One Maywood Park pacing record that hasn’t been bettered in the last 20 years belongs to She’s A Great Lady. Her mark of 1:51.2 back in June of 1995 with harness racing trainer / driver Joe Anderson in the bike was a world record at that time for a 3-year-old filly pacer on a half-mile track. Through the years that mile has been lowered a number of times at a number of places but not at Maywood Park. Interesting She’s A Great Lady paced her record mile in what may be the biggest romp by a racehorse in in an open stake on the local circuit’s half-miler. Certainly no other Cinderella, a stakes fixture at Maywood since 1985 has ever seen a filly dominate that race the way She’s A Great Lady did. Her winning margin was a whopping 16 lengths over runner-up Keystone Mia. The third place horse Blue Mesa finished 24 lengths behind the Joe Holloway trained winning filly owned by L & L Devisser of Holland, Michigan. However, one week later She’s A Great Lady and “Little Joe” didn’t get the job done when she was bet down to 3-5 odds in the $100,000 American National Filly Pace at Sportsman’s Park. She’s A Great Lady went off stride before the start on that June 24 night and by the first quarter mile pole was over 16 lengths behind. The filly still trailed by almost a dozen behind at the half before rallying for fourth, beaten four-plus lengths by Teen Talk and Tony Morgan, who paid $37.60. She’s A Great Lady would bounce back in a big way by winning 8 of her final 12 starts that year including the $496,000 Mistletoe Shalee at The Meadowlands and put $610,930 on her 3-year-old card. The daughter of Dexter Nukes racing career ended after only two starts in 1997 as a 5-year-old but with a gaudy career winning clip of 50 per cent, taking 26 of 52 lifetime starts and earning $973,383. She’s A Great Lady, currently owned by Diamond Creek Farm of Wellsville, PA has been a mama 11 times since her retirement from racing. Her first foal was Lady Macbeach, a son of Jenna’s Beach Boy who made over $800,000. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association
Bred by Rita and Rod Williams, this son of Art’s Conquest out of the dam Cold Fusion, was foaled in North Henderson, Illinois and sold for $40,000 at the 2002 Cottonwood Farm Sale as a yearling to the Erv Miller Stable. Coldheartedrevenge only made five starts as a 2-year-old, winning twice and making a modest $22,650. However as a 3-year-old he made 11 stops in a winner’s circle, banking $169,074 with $51,000 of that amount coming in his Maywood Pace Final triumph with driver Andy Miller. The horse was sold to east coast interests later in 2004 after his second place finish in the Super Night Langley Consolation and went on to rattle off 6 wins in 7 starts for his new connections. Coldheartedrevenge’s best year in earnings came in 2006 as a 5-year-old when he raked in $205,032. The gelding came back to Illinois that year and raced for the Joe Anderson Stable, winning a trio of Free For All events including the race in the above photo. As a 7-year-old in 2008 the ICF pacer spent the Spring and Fall out east but campaigned in between at Balmoral for the Ken Rucker Stable, taking in over $122,000 while winning 11 races that season. Three of his four Free For All victories in the summer of ’08 on the Crete one-miler were sub 1:50 performances, including a lifetime best 1:48.3 victory with Mike Oosting in early September. The horse would go on to capture the Maurello Consolation on Super Night with Oosting in 1:49.3. Coldheartedrevenge last raced as an 11-year-old in 2012 where he was winless in three trips postward. The rugged ICF pacer ended his career with 58 career victories and earnings of $847,817. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association
With Super Night less than two weeks away I decided to do some researching on the Illinois gala evening of harness racing that began at old Sportsman’s Park in 1989. Only one horse has ever won the same Super Night stake three consecutive years and that was Clark Fairley’s King Johnnie who captured the then Dan Patch (now the Tony Maurello) in 2005, 2006 and 2007 with Tim Tetrick. Mystical Victress can be the second horse to turn the trick if she can win the Lorna Propes (formerly the Ann Vonian) a third straight time with a victory on September 14th in the pacing stake for ICF fillies and mares age three and up. Another victory in the Propes would make the Erv Miller trainee the only horse to nail down four consecutive Super Night championships. Mystical Victress also won the Grandma Ann Final as a 3-year-old for Indiana owners Mystical Marker Farms and Peggy Hood. You might remember that Mystical Victress was the heavy favorite to win the $250,000 Filly Orange in Blue Final back in 2009 but ended up second best that September night to the John Butenschoen trainee Fox Valley Oracle. The first horse to win a Super Night Championship as a 2, 3 and 4-year-old was the Illinois powerhouse Big Tom when he campaigned for the Joe Anderson Stable at the end of the last century for owners Tom Lewandowski, John Leahy and Anderson Racing Stables. Big Tom’s 1997 Orange and Blue crown was taken at Sportsman’s Park, the last year of harness racing at the Cicero, Illinois track. The illustrious pacer prevailed in the Pete Langley Memorial Final when it was then raced the first time at Balmoral Park in 1998, overtaking his chief rival Taser Gun in the late going (See Photo). The next year Big Tom drew off in the Dan Patch showdown. Lavern Hostetler’s Gosox was the first pacer to capture back-to-back Super Night championships. The Ideal Society colt won the Orange and Blue Colt Final on the first Super Night in 1989 at Sportsman’s and followed with the Langley title in 1990. Broadway Preview was the first colt or gelding pacer to win the same Super Night stake in back-to-back years when he took the Dan Patch crowns in 1995 and 1996 at Sportsman’s. Shady Veil was the first mare to do it when she triumphed in the Ann Vonian in 1997 and 1998. Interestingly she did it on two different racetracks with two different drivers. Jim Curran (See Photo)drove her in the last Ann Vonian to be decided at Sportsman’s in ’97 and Randy Jacobs was at her lines in ’98 when Super Night was switched to Balmoral. Last year’s Super Night handle of $1,767,268, while more than $1 million below the record $2.9-plus million of 2000, did reverse a disturbing trend. It was the highest since 2009 and $150,000 higher than 2011. This year is the 25th consecutive edition of Super Night. Those all so important stake elimination races for the festive evening will be contested next Saturday on the Crete, IL big track. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association
In about two months it’ll be the 16th anniversary of the closing of Sportsman’s Park to harness racing. The old Cicero, Illinois track’s final Standardbred program was Friday, October 10, 1997 and attached is that night’s front page of its program. As you can see by the top headline Dave Magee was the leading driver in the Sportsman’s Park final meet while Joe Anderson took the trainer’s title for a sixth consecutive year. After finishing second to Tony Morgan in the Sportsman’s driver race the previous two years (1995 and 1996), Magee reclaimed the driving crown in 1997 for an unprecedented 11th time. Earlier Magee won the Sportsman’s Park driving titles in 1981 through 1983, in 1987, 1989, 1991 through 1994 and in 1997. The final stake race was the $20,000 Rambling Willie for ICF pacers 3 and up. There were 12 horses battling on the seven-eighth’s track, The 35-1 longshot Oliver G Slim, trained and driven by Merv Chupp was the $73.60 upset winner of that stake, coming from 10th with a :26.1 final quarter in 1:53 flat. Oliver G Slim that night beat the likes of Broadway Preview, Hot Chilli Pepper, Bingo Johnnie and Jeffrey’s Pet. The last harness race contested before the demise of Sportsman’s Park was an $8,000 ICF claiming event with a $5,000 purse on the 10-race card. It went to Rose and George Bonomo’s Lake Hills Doc, driven by Andy Miller. The Top 10 drivers on the 1997 and last Sportsman’s Park meeting were Dave Magee, Tony Morgan, Andy Miller, Dale Hiteman, Joe Anderson, Lavern Hostetler, Dean Magee, Dan Knox and Jim Curran. A year earlier (1996) Joe Anderson became the first trainer in Sportsman’s Park history to win over 100 races and $1.2 million in purses and he did it again in 1997. From second through 20th the final trainer’s race it was Brian Pinske, Doug Larsen, Jim Eaton, Dave McCaffrey, Gerry Hansen, Julie Miller, Jim Meade, Ken Rucker, Merv Chupp, Andrew Patterson, Roger Welch, Mitch McKenzie, Perry Smith, Mark Fransen, John Butenschoen, Ronnie Roberts, Homer Hochstetler, Lloyd Daulton and Neil Coleman, in that order. Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association
This New Zealand import was the dominant pacing mare on the Chicago harness racing circuit in the middle 1990s for the Joe Anderson Stable when she was owned by Illinoisans John Leahy, Bill Blessing, Eric Boquist and Regina Kiefer.
Masterofhisdomain Sunday evening follows a trio of past stable-mates and his harness racing trainer Joe Anderson into the Illinois Harness Hall of Fame at the IHHA's Award Banquet in Alsip, IL.
Two weeks from tonight on Sunday, Feb. 10 the I.H.H.A. will to honor Tom and Rose Lewandowski as its 2012 Persons of the Year at its annual Hall of Fame Banquet. In 2012 the Lewandowski's donated $5,000 towards a 'Big Tom' College Scholarship which was shared Emily Magee and Chas Walker for their winning essays on what Illinois harness racing means to them.
He's only 32 but Ryan Anderson has had more setbacks in harness racing than what many trainers twice his age have suffered in a lifetime. Three serious injuries and then a 60-day suspension and $2,000 for clenbuterol have stalled the New York horseman's career but since he's been back driving Anderson has been on fire.
Echuca played host to the Gunbower HRC meeting held at Frank Ryan Raceway on Tuesday December 13, with keen harness racing the order of the night.
The 16th Annual SBOANJ Golf Outing raised funds to benefit harness racing horsemen and produced a fun day for 115 golfers on July 11, 2011 at Gambler Ridge Golf Course in Cream Ridge, NJ. The golfers lucked into a mid-90s day with enough of a breeze to let them tour the course in fine form. In total, 130 people took part in the festivities, including a prime rib dinner.
Headpoles R Us (Cat Manzi) was both decisive and deserving Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing co-featured $32,500 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Leaving from post position No. 4, "Headpoles" slipped in fourth as Giveittomestraight (George Brennan) was a mare on a mission.
Inside assignee Farmer's Tuition (Cat Manzi) sat fourth around the Friday night oval, then closed ranks late to win Yonkers Raceway's harness racing co-featured $32,500 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.
Jasperthat A (Cat Manzi) upset the Friday night apple cart, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing co-featured $32,500 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Bling (Eric Goodell) garnered all the early attention, taking over from inside assignee Celtic Danser (Jordan Stratton) just after a :27.3 opening quarter-mile.
Headpoles R Us (Cat Manzi) timed it just right Friday night (January 21), winning Yonkers Raceway's $38,000 co-featured Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Leaving from post position No. 5, she watched the early harness racing antics as slight 5-2 choice Little Mermaid N (Jim Pantaleano) and Twin B Tiara (Dan Dube) took turns on the lead though intervals of :28.1 and :58.
Inside assignee Headpoles R Us (Ryan Anderson) smothered Breakheart Pass (Yannick Gingras) in the lane Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing co-featured $38,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace.
Favored Aliveandwell N (Ryan Anderson) conquered the cavalry Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $38,000 Open Handicap Pace. Leaving from post position No. 5, Aliveandwell N moved around Forensic Z Tam (Pat Lachance), securing the lead before a :27.3 opening quarter-mile.