On Monday afternoon at Monticello Raceway, harness racing driver Larry Stalbaum entered the winners circle for the 5000th time. He guided a horse that he owns Multiple Choice, a 12 year old Keystone Raider gelding to 3 length win in the first race. Larry was surrounded a throng of family, well-wishers and horseman in the winners circle after the race. Larry has been a long time regular at Monticello Raceway, over the last few years he has also branched out to Pocono Downs and Yonkers Raceway. An excited Stalbaum said in the winners circle "I am very glad that this win came at Monticello, I have a lot of fond memories here." Larry added to his tally by also winning the 5th race with Givemybest Hanover, for owner Woody Hoblitzell of Destin,FL. By Shawn Wiles
Maine Sire Stakes action returned to the harness racing meeting at Scarborough Downs on Saturday as 13 state-bred two-year-old fillies took over the limelight in twin splits contested for purses in excess of $11,000 per division. Pembroke Bambino turned the tables on apparent deep-stretch defeat in the first $11,391 stakes contest of the twilight program, as the daughter of Baron Biltmore-Fully Committed took full advantage of a costly misstep by the post time favorite Life Isa Short Walk, who rolled off stride while on the lead with the wire right at hand. The win established a maiden standard of 2:05.2 for the William Varney owned home-bred who is trained by Valerie Grondin and was driven to victory by Heath Campbell. Seriously Sarah (Gary Mosher) was elevated into the runner-up placing after Life Isa Short Walk (David Ingraham) was set back to third for a lapped on break at the wire. Former Scarborough driving champion Kevin Switzer returned to the raceway on Saturday following an extended Delmarva swing and quickly re-established himself as one of the most strident forces in Maine Sire Stakes action with an insistent sort of win behind LadiesLoveOutlaws in the $11,567 second stakes division. In her very first lifetime start, the daughter of Keystone Rodeo, out of the blue hen mare, Dynamite Donna sprinted home to an 8-3/4 length domination, while establishing a respectable maiden standard of 1:59.2 for owner/driver/trainer Switzer. Racing For Rick (Ron Cushing) settled for second after briefly grabbing the lead from the eventual winner, while Wonderdust (Wallace Watson),who followed along in third throughout the mile, eventually finished in that position. Maine Sire Stakes races return to Scarborough Downs on Sunday (7/26) as the two-year-old colt pacers will take center stage. Live racing is proudly featured at Scarborough Downs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. (EDT). The Sunday matinee gets underway at 1:30. For more information, visit www.ScarboroughDowns.com or our Facebook page. Michael Sweeney
Freehold, NJ --- Billmar Scooter never won a major stakes, but owner Gene Oldford would take a stable filled with horses like her. And who knows, if all goes well she might produce one of them herself. Oldford decided earlier this year that Billmar Scooter would be retired after reaching $800,000 in career earnings. On Wednesday, the 10-year-old mare surpassed that number – and did it in style – winning a conditioned race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Her next assignment will be motherhood. Oldford, who shares ownership of Billmar Scooter with driver Tyler Buter, plans to breed the mare to American Ideal. “We’re really going to miss her,” Oldford said. “She’s been so good to us, but it’s probably time to breed her. We had a breeding coming to American Ideal and we thought this would be a good time to use it. I told Tyler that all we have to do now is find her replacement. She just kept plugging along every year.” Billmar Scooter, a daughter of stallion Keystone Raider out of the mare Its Scooter Time, was bred by Bill Roberts of Michigan and raced by Bill and Marie Roberts during the early part of her career. Oldford bought the horse on the recommendation of trainer Al Sisco following Bill Roberts’ death and raced the horse for more than seven years. Since 2011, Amber Buter handled the training. The horse raced at 28 tracks during her career, from the Michigan fairs to the East Coast and Canada. She enjoyed one of her best seasons in 2012, when she was named Pocono Downs’ Pacer of the Year thanks to capturing nine of 12 starts at the track. In addition to high-level wins at Pocono and Yonkers throughout her career, she won a preliminary division of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers in 2012. Lifetime, Billmar Scooter won 45 of 240 races and hit the board in 56 percent of her starts. She finished her career with $804,218 in purses, making her the richest daughter of Keystone Raider. “Her consistency was what I most admired about her,” Oldford said. “She really never got lame or sick or sore. We gave her a little time off in the wintertime, just enough to freshen her up, and she was good. “She was pretty much always in the money,” he added. “I never complained when she was second. I’ve been in the business long enough, and told people time and time again, that I’m always happy with seconds. If I could get seconds every time I’d be thrilled.” One of Billmar Scooter’s memorable second-place finishes came to Park Avenue, another daughter of Keystone Raider, in the $48,383 Michigan Pari-Mutuel Final for 4-year-old female pacers at Sports Creek Raceway in 2009. Oldford also was among the owners of Park Avenue. “What a night that was, to have them come in 1-2,” said Oldford, who is enshrined in the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association Hall of Fame. “Usually you’re just happy to get a check let alone be 1-2. “I’ve always liked Keystone Raiders. Overall they’ve been good.” Of course, while Oldford is happy with second-place finishes as a rule, he was delighted Billmar Scooter capped her career with a win. “That was perfect,” said Oldford, an 82-year-old native of Detroit who now lives in St. Clair, Michigan. “The only thing that would have made it better is if I would have been there.” Tyler Buter was thankful to have the best seat in the house for Billmar Scooter’s final victory – the driver’s seat. “It was fitting she went out in style,” Buter said. “She’s just an absolute sweetheart and she loved to race. She’s like one of those employees who would never miss a day of work. She wanted to race every day. She loved her job.” by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications
The Florida Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association presented its April, 2014 Caretaker of the Month award to Louis Ginesi Wednesday evening at the Isle Pompano Park. He and and wife Erin Ginesi developed, along with regular teamster Mickey Mc Nichol, the young pacing mare Goldstar Rockette to an impressive month's performance. Now owned by Ginesi, after purchase in June 2013 from breeder Tom Audley, the four year-old daughter of Rock On-Tony's Silveraider-Keystone Raider has emerged recently with three wins and a second in April. She scored in a lifetime record 1:54.4f at Pompano Park on April 23 and now shows a slate of 4-3-2 in 12 starts this year, good for earnings of $13,824. Ginesi (shown below with Erin and USHWA presenters), credits the turnaround of Goldstar Rockette to patience, maturity, excellent farrier and veterinarian work and the special driving skills of veteran Mickey Mc Nichol. The connections of pensioner Tweedle Dum said in interview that they look forward to another ten years of racing success for their pacing mare. That could happen as the maternal family is one of aged pacing success. Dam Tony's Silveraider took her 1:55.2f mark at age seven and earned $114,166. Her other offspring include Goldstar Raider 5, 1:52.2f for $109,178 and recent winner Gold Star Kenny P 3, 1:57f. Ginesi was presented by the Florida Chapter with a plaque and a check for $100. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Florida USHWA
Tonight the Florida Chapter of USHWA awarded Ernesto Alvarez as its January Caretaker of the Month for his fine work, in the Joe Pavia Stable, handling the red-hot open pacing mare Arodasi (5f, Western Terror-Do Me Justice-Keystone Raider). An October, 2012 purchase by Joe Pavia Jr. Stable Inc., Peter V. Shank, Joseph Barbera and AGC Stables Inc., Arodasi recorded three January wins in fillies/mares open handicap competition and took a 1:52f mark, which she lowered to 1:51.4k shortly after the award presentation. Tonight she scored with an impressive overland move from seventh to record a hard neck fought win. Mr. Alvarez received a plaque and check from the Florida Chapter for his efforts, which he mentioned on interview that the success was due to "good care and walking her a lot." Arodasi now sports career earnings of $190,311 with 13 victories. Her four 2014 victories have been worth $20,000 and she banked over $88,000 last year in 31 starts. The combination of great care and solid pedigree has made this one work. First dam Do Me Justice (3, 1:53.2f, $412,844), by the legendary iron-tough Michigan stallion Keystone Raider, is a 100% produced from eight foals, all with records of 2:00 or better and four with earnings of over $100,000. Second dam Always In Style generated 12 money winners from 13 foals including two more $400,000 plus career earners, Another Mile and Do Me Good. Here's wishing Ernesto Alvarez, Arodasi and her connections continued success in their journey toward "another mile" victory. Thomas H. Hicks and Steve Wolf
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The beat goes on for Pinner as he looks for six-in-a-row Thursday afternoon as Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park holds its Boxing Day card. First race post time is 1 pm for the 13-dash affair. Pinner gets the services of maritime leading dash winner Marc Campbell, who will hold the lines for co-owner and trainer Brian Ladner and co-owners Kevin and Lillian of Charlottetown. The seven-year-old son of Mach Three has post 4 in the race 12 $2,200 feature event. Other entries include Nobestbfor (Walter Cheverie), Doll R General (Mark McKinnon), McJestic (Corey MacPherson), Toad River (Ken Murphy), Blue Meadow Willie (Bob MacInnis), Stayoutofmyaffair (Jason Hughes), and Artist List (Mark Bradley). The afternoon back-up class has Sterling Seelster favored to win in race 9 with Campbell in the bike for trainer Mitchell Tierney and owner Neal Moase of Warren Grove. Capitalism (Hughes) will provide a strong challenge with rail control while Ebandtheboys (Muprhy) is picked for third from post 6. That race is named in honor of retiring pacer Buck Barker, who will retire after an iron tough racing career, with 50 wins from 295 starts and $114,820 in career earnings. The 12-year-old son of Keystone Raider was claimed for $6,500 on April 4, 2007 at Flamboro Downs, subsequently making 185 of his career starts on P.E.I. for his new connections. The ownership duo vowed to retire the horse once he got lifetime win number 50, which they did after his Nov. 10 victory in Summerside. Buck Barker will lead the race 9 post parade, then score down before visiting the winner's circle one last time for a cooler presentation. Incredible Her Bee will look to deliver in the race 4 trot class for a purse of $1,100 with Campbell in the bike for trainer Tim McKinnon and owner Len Kordy of Kingston, Ont. The four-year-old daughter of Here Comes Herbie has post 4 and will have to battle off a field including Mile Hill Belle (Brian MacPhee), Honeymoonisover (Brian Andrew), Dunmore Alpha (Ted Smallwood), and Sandhill Angel (Kenny Arsenault). JK Queen was the morning line favorite, but is scratched from the afternoon event after making breaks in her last two starts, now having to qualify. Catch all the action live at www.redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores
VERNON, NY—The favorite Maud Blue Chip continued her winning ways with a career-best 1:58 performance in a division of Thursday night’s $109,124 New York Sires Stakes feature for 2-year-old filly trotters at Vernon Downs. Competing against eight eager rivals over a rain-affected good track in Thursday’s ninth race, Maud Blue Chip rallied from fourth at the half to become a challenging second entering the final quarter. With Tyler Buter doing the teaming for trainer Chuck Sylvester, the steady-striding brown filly turned on the speed in the stretch and defeated Market Rally by 1-3/4 lengths. It was the Third Straight NYSS score, and the fourth win (coupled with a pair of third-place finishes) in six starts for the quick-footed daughter of Credit Winner-Queen of the Moor, who increased her winnings to $126,639 for owners Melvin Hartman, David H. Mc Duffee and Jeff Gural’s Little E LLC stable. Thursday’s other NYSS winner was Exotic Form, a representative of the Dan Dailey Stable entry, who also closed late to post a 1:58.2 lifetime-fastest tally in the sixth session. Claude Huckabone, III was at the controls for Daley as the opportunistic bay filly overtook the favorite, Gammy’s Girl, in the final furlong and secured a three-quarter length score, her second NYSS win in succession and third (coupled with a second-place finish and a third) in seven official outings. The fast and fit daughter of Malabar Man-Form Fitting increased her earnings to $103,045 for the Winbak Farm. Thursday’s 12-race program also included three divisions of a $38,200 Excelsior Series contest for state-bred frosh-filly high-steppers. The winners were Ski To The Max (Conway Hall-Enjoy The Sun) in 1:59.3 for driver and trainer Gates Brunet and the Theodore Gewertz, Y. Jean Brunet and Deborah Brunet ownership contingent; Emiliana (Cash Hall-Monalisa Can) in 1:59.3 with Chris Long teaming for trainer Jim Graham and owner Lisa Wyatt, and Holly’s Lightning (Conway Hall-Indigo Sakra) in 2:00.2 for driver/trainer Sam Schillaci and owner Greg Martin. The crowd’s choice Billmar Scooter, making just her second local appearance, delivered a 1:51.2 triumph in Thursday’s $10,000 second race, the week’s Open distaff pace. The hard-hitting 8-year-old mare rallied from fourth in the final quarter to defeat Love You Bye, last week’s victor in this class, by two lengths. It was the fifth current victory and 38th all-time for the bay daughter of Keystone Raider-Its Scooter Time, who is owned by driver Tyler Buter, trained by Amber Buter and owned by the Oldford Farms. In addition to Tyler Buter’s driving double, reinsman Chris Lems collected his meet-leading 19th two-win credit during the track’s 63rd program of 2013. DOWNS DOINGS The Peter Carney-conditioned trotter Rattle On (2:02.1) and Holly’s Lightning (2:00.2) each earned their first pari-mutuel victories during Thursday’s card… The Downs will present a 10-race program starting at 6:45 on Friday night… A revised 2013 racing and stakes calendar, as well as additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com. Jim Moran
Cache River, who has led the way into the stretch in her last four trips to the post while coming away with a pair of harness racing victories, appears the one to catch once again in Friday night's opening leg of the Michael Corley Pacing series for the mares at Cal Expo.
He was the dominant pacer in the Free For All Ranks with Walter Paisley in the sulky during the 1990 harness racing season at Sportsman's Park when it was still a five-eighths oval.
To say that Monticello Raceway's $5,000 harness racing 'Au Revoir' on Thursday afternoon December 27th is a unique race would be a gross understatement.
Since Monticello Raceway instituted its Au Revoir back in 1991 only five times has the race been presented. Although the raceway had tried to fill it every year since the inaugural the fact remains that there is usually is a shortage of harness racing 14 year olds still racing in December of the final year of eligibility.
Amber Buter has hit the New York harness racing scene by storm this year. The 27-year-old Middletown (NY) conditioner has not only notched up her first 100 wins in 2012 but the she has also gone past $1 million in purses for the first time.
Major Athens brushed to the lead with a quarter-pole move and went on to victory in a stake-fastest 1:56.1 in a harness racing division of Wednesday's (July 11) $315,724 Hickory Pride, a Pennsylvania Sires Stake for freshman cold and gelding trotters, at The Meadows.
Billmar Scooter used a pocket trip and harness racing's passing lane to capture the featured mares pace of the week for a second consecutive time on Tuesday night (June 19) at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
Billmar Scooter exploded through the inside passing lane in the stretch to win a thrilling featured pace for harness racing mares on Tuesday night (June 12) at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The race, which was a condition for mares who are winners of over $25,000 lifetime, carried the night's top purse of $25,000.
Billmar Scooter beat a tough group of distaff pacers to win her second straight winners of over $25,000 lifetime pace for mares in the feature harness race on Tuesday night (May 15) at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.