That's A No No (Keystone Nordic) continued the winning ways in what has been a sensational season for Jordan Derue at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. A previous Johnny Page Award winner for up-and-coming driver, Derue is having a breakout season as a trainer in 2014 and currently sits atop the trainer standings at the Spa. The 23-year-old horseman has ten more wins than his closest competitor in the standings Heidi Rohr and lengthened that lead just a bit on Thursday night. Derue purchased That's A No No privately last month and has had a nice stretch with the seven year old since dropping him into the bottom level claimer. Last week, That's A No No overcame post eight to become the pocket rocket for Derue and on Thursday went right out to the early lead despite once again starting from the outside post. That's A No No faced a two-pronged challenge in the stretch but dug in to prevail in 1:59 for a seasonal mark in the $4,200 claiming event. Derue, who now has 50 wins locally as a trainer this season, has a training average of just shy of .400 in what has been a breakout year for the youngster as a trainer. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Friday night with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway
The C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series has been taking annual weekend treks to New England for many years now with races in Maine and in Massachusetts but this season the Scarborough Downs race slated on Saturday, June 28 was cancelled. Still a race went to post at Bangor Raceway in Maine on June 27 and at Plainridge Racecourse in Massachusetts on June 29. At Bangor "Sir Philip" Bo Sowers, who mostly trains and lets others do the driving, donned his driving colors and romped to an oh-so-easy victory with Motown Dreamgirl in a time of 2:01.1. Obviously the best on paper the 8 year old Keystone Nordic mare was sent off as an odds on favorite and she lived up to her billing when she took command early and then made every pole a winning one en route to victory, her fifth of the year. Although Peter "Sycamore Ventures" Gerry had a two-hole trip with Cantabmyway they had all the needed keeping Maine Muscle and Tony "the Capo" Verruso from getting second money in the event. Both trotters finished approximately two lengths behind the winner. Motown Dreamgirl is also trained by Sowers and owned by Standard Ventures. She paid just $2.20 for win. With the Saturday race cancelled the action moved to Plainridge Racecourse in Plainville, Mass. on Sunday afternoon. Six trotters went to past there that day and again the odds on favorite CSI What's My Name trotted to victory. His winning time was 1:58.3. Driver Dave" Steady as" Yarock sent the 9-year-old Tagliabue gelding toward the front and looked for a spot along the pylons which he found after the quarter pole behind the pace-setter, Rodeo Red and driver "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo. After following Faraldo past the half and up the backside Yarock moved CSI What's My Name out to challenge and they trotted to the front as they went by three quarters. Once on the lead Yarock's trotter rebuffed a late charge from LF Topaz and driver by "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli to score a 1-1/4 length triumph. Rodeo Red faded and finished third. It was the fourth victory of the season for CSI What's My Name who's co-owned by Yarock, Dave Glasser and Joel Golub. The trotter returned a $3.60 win mutuel. On Saturday July 5 Billings action will be featured over Historic Track in the Cradle of the Trotter. by John Manzi, for the C.K.G.Billings Driving Series
Stitch In Time (Keystone Nordic) continued his winning ways on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The four-year-old trotter came to town from the Midwest as a winning machine, prevailing in 10 of his 16 lifetime starts heading into this year. Stitch In Time has teamed up with driver Billy Dobson and together they have gone three-for-three following a wire-to-wire Sunday score. The victory in 1:59.4 over the "off" track on Sunday served as a lifetime mark for the Amber Buter trained trotter. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway
Veteran trotter Coach Fox (Keystone Nordic) completed the pick five on Wednesday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Melissa Beckwith trainee parlayed class and post relief into his first local score of the season with driver Wally Hennessey at the controls. The ten-year-old trotter became a half millionaire with his front running score on Wednesday night, a victory that was the 58th of his career. The pick five had a three week carryover of just shy of $4,500 and the pool had an additional $8,500 or so bet into it to create a nice pool for the bettors. After Coach Fox emerged victorious, the pick five returned $909.50 on a $1 bet despite several favorites prevailing. The pick five is a wager offered only on Wednesday nights. Live racing resumes on Friday night with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by MIke Sardella for Saratoga Raceway
BATAVIA, N.Y. --- Keyodee Star and driver Jack Rice sat back enjoyed a hot pace in front of them then pounced on the leg-weary leaders in the stretch and won the $8,500 Open Trot at Batavia Downs by 1-3/4 lengths over BZ Glide in 1:59.0 on a damp, dreary Friday night (Sept. 13). Hour Lavec (John Cummings Jr.) set the scorching fractions of 27.4, 57.2 and 1:27.4 then said 'good night' as Haste and Mythical Hall battled for the lead around the final turn. But with the wicked fractions, the race set up perfectly for the closers and Keyodee Star (Keystone Nordic-Hannah Star) was by far the best. Going past the three-quarter marker Keyodee Star was fourth on the outside, 5-1/4 lengths behind the leader. He fanned out four-wide and gobbled up tons of ground with each stride, easily trotting past Haste (Jim McNeight) for the win, while BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) rallied late to gain the second spot. Owned by Joan Rae Ellafrits and Lynn Wilson, Keyodee Star ($18.80) has now won three times in 21 starts this season and has $25,235 in the bank. Maria Rice trained the 7-year-old gelding who now has earnings of $291,603 lifetime. Saturday will be a huge evening at Batavia Downs with two $61,000 divisions of the New York Sires Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers, three legs worth $12,600 each of the Excelsior Series and the always competitive $8,500 Open Pace. The $7,500 'Dash For Cash' is also on tap as five high school seniors team up with professional drivers and compete for some large scholarship money. And to top it off, it's 'Dollar Days' with $1 Sahlen hot dogs, sodas and draft beer. All the action gets underway at 6:30 p.m. with an outstanding 13-race card scheduled. For more information including schedule, promotions, news and race replays, go to http://bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing. by Brian J. Mazurek for Batavia Downs
Eight Michigan Sires Stakes (MISS) finals were held on the Monday, Sept. 2, Labor Day afternoon card at Hazel Park, with four going being the gate as non-wagering affairs prior to the regular program. Although for the most part the races consisted of short fields, eight different stallions were represented in the winner's circle. The quartet of races on the betting card got underway with the $35,172 MISS final for 2-year-old male pacers. The Brad Kramer-driven Beastly was fourth at the three-quarters but the gelded son of Stampede Hanover-Todd's Affair rushed past the competition in the final turn to draw clear by 10 1/2 lengths as the 1- 9 favorite in 2:02.2. Man The Torpedo (Skip DeMull) was a distant second, with Chasing Jake (Jason Merriman) third. Kelly Goodwin owns and trains Beastly, who won for the third time in six starts. Kramer sent Lady Laker to the lead from post 7 in the $39,377 MISS final for 3-year-old filly trotters, and by the :58.1 half she had a three-length lead, expanding the margin to seven lengths at the 1:27 three-quarters. The 1-9 favorite then cruised to the wire 15 lengths in front in 1:58. Defending MISS champion Kendall Marie (Peter Otten) finished second, with Crazy Sherry (Carl Putnam Jr.) third. A daughter of Lockkeeper-Hyercass, Lady Laker is trained by Al Tomlinson for owner David Vanderhyde. She was undefeated in four starts in 2012, and in 2013 her four wins also include the Hanover in mid-July at Balmoral Park. Her earnings went past the $100,000 mark with her MISS win on Monday. Ovewhelming favorite That'll Be The Rei successfully defended his MISS title as Mike Micallef directed the son of Cheyenne Rei-Unspeakable Joy gelding to a wire-to-wire, 1:55.1 victory in the $37,827 MISS final for sophomore male pacers. That'll Be The Rei defeated runner-up Lexington Avenue (Kody Massey) by five lengths, with Sharp Cheeser (Darrell Wright) third. Micallef also trains That'll Be The Rei for owner Dan Courtemanche. The win was his ninth in 14 starts this year and 18th overall in 24 career starts. That'll Be The Rei increased his earnings to more than $120,000 with the victory. Haberdashery busted the favorite brigade wide open in the last of the four betting races with a 50-1 upset in the $40,077 MISS final for 3-year-old male trotters. The 1-2 favorite Zeplin, driven by Goodwin, appeared on his way to victory but when he broke stride in the stretch, it paved the way for Haberdashery and driver Jeff Sweeney to go on to the 2:02.4 victory. Zeplin recovered to finish second, with Winwood Scout and driver DeMull third. A gelded son of Keystone Nordic-Ready Elegance, Haberdashery won for the first time in six career starts. The winner is trained and owned by Chris Allen. All four early races were won in relatively easy fashion. Lady Windsor started things off with a 2:00.1 victory for trainer-driver Wright in the five-horse, $35,272 MISS final for 2-year-old filly trotters. Keep It Sweet (Larry Lee Smith) was 13 lengths back in second, with Best Friend Always (Todd Buter) another 18 lengths behind in third. E.J. Underwood III owns Lady Windsor, a daughter of Coventry-Rhonda T. The career-best win was her sixth straight in seven career starts. Scrappy Alex and trainer-driver Putnam led wire to wire in the $35,222 MISS final for 2-year-old male trotters to score in 2:09.3. SS RC CR (Rex Putnam) finished 2 3/4 lengths behind in second, with Just A Kid (Tim Roach) third. A gelded son of Scrappy Robert-Classic Enterprise, Scrappy Alex is owned by Sam Heron. The win was his fourth in nine starts. Kramer and Kayla Grace romped to a 15 1/4-length win in 1:58 in the $34,372 MISS final for 2-year-old filly pacers. Sue's Your Daddy (Jeff Sweeney), TC Country (Otten) and Winwood Elle (DeMull) finished second, third and fourth, respectively, as the short field crossed the wire in post-position order. A daughter of He's All That-A Maze Of Grace, Kayla Grace remained undefeated in nine starts. She is trained by Marie "Ginny" St. Charles, who shares ownership withEd and Cheryl Sayfie's ECS Racing. Super Soph, whose nine-for-nine freshman season in 2012 included the MISS final, successfully defended that title with a career-best 1:53.2 score in the $34,627 contest for 3-year-old filly pacers. Jason Merriman was in the sulky as Super Soph led gate to wire to defeat Don't Stare (Keith Crawford) by 2 1/2 lengths, with Reiwatch (Kramer) third. A full sister to Canadian Hall of Fame inductee Admirals Express, Super Soph is a daughter of Admirals Galley-Platinum Card. Greg West trains Super Soph for owners Ryan Morefield, Brian Campbell and Mark Wamp. Her earnings now stand at more than $128,000. Submitted by Hazel Park Publicity Department
The new Hambletonian Society managed Hambletonian Monte Series began last night at the new Meadowlands with two non-wagering $5,000 divisions of leg #1. The first division went to the Heather Reese ridden A Penny Earned (4m Conway Hall-Penny Dream-Dream Vacation) in 1:58.3 for trainer George Ducharme, also trainer of Hambletonian hopeful colt Royalty For Life. Owned by Ross, Fontaine, Oliva and Ducharme, the winner (bred by Walnut Hall Limited) moved from fourth at the half to defeat Pointe Of Honour with Tara Hynes aboard. Chinese Cuisine was third for Tina Duer The second division went to The Standardbred Ventures Inc. owned Motown Dreamgirl (7f Keystone Nordic-Spurtacular High-Esquire Spur) handled by Jennifer Lowrey in 2:01.3. The Bonley Farm bred mare defeated Muscolo with Michelle Crawford up and third place finisher Sundance Bayama ridden by Stephanie Werser. The winning trainer was Robert Lounsbury. Race pacesetter Celebrity Playboy ended sixth with the Ray Schnittker ridden Flex The Muscle finishing fifth. The second leg of the Hambletonian Monte Series will take place next Friday night, with the final on Hambletonian Day. by Thomas H. Hicks
Double Dribble was first to cross the wire in the $5,000 Open Pace in Northfield Park's sixth on Monday, April 15, 2013.
Monica's Image continued her winning ways on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.