Louisville, KY --- It wasn’t exactly in the cards for White Birch Farms to be racing In The Arsenal, but after capturing his $25,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard elimination at Yonkers Raceway on July 12, in front running fashion, they have to feel vindicated after the colt came home from last year’s Harrisburg Sale rather than being in someone else’s barn. “He didn’t reach his reserve,” said Kelvin Harrison, the colt’s conditioner. “So White Birch bought him back for $7,500. It was because he was small, but not real small. He was also absolutely correct. “I think it was because he was the 14th foal out of this mare (Ladyotra). A lot of today’s yearling buyers will steer away from horses after they are the eighth foal for some reason. Also, the thing is they grow and that’s exactly what he did. Even if he had turned out to be a small 2-year-old that wouldn’t have bothered me as Direct Fight (a former Harrison trainee that earned $825,052 in his career) was and it never bothered him.” The son of American Ideal and the On The Road Again mare Ladyotra, In The Arsenal seeks his second consecutive triumph and the second of his three race career on Saturday (July 19) in the $175,000 Sheppard final. In The Arsenal will leave from post position two with Eric Goodell holding the lines in race five. He is the 5-2 morning line second choice in a field of eight. The colt will face some stiff competition from 8-5 morning line favorite Cartoon Daddy, who is a perfect two-for-two with more than $31,000 in the bank and was the other Sheppard elimination victor. But back to In The Arsenal’s family tree. The homebred’s dam was 21 years old when she foaled him, but Ladyotra, who earned more than $115,000 in her racing career, has been as prolific as they come in the breeding shed. From her 14 foals she has produced Exquisite Art (1998, Artsplace, p,3,1:50.4, $578,544), Otra Sign (1999, Life Sign, p,1:54.2f, $115,458), Queen Otra (2001, Artsplace, p,4,1:51, $200,837) and Premier (2007, Artsplace, p,1:51.3f, $158,233). Ladyotra has dropped nine winners and the 12 yearlings that were sold to other buyers at public auction fetched the sum of $589,000. It is still early in his racing career, but In The Arsenal certainly possesses the genetic material to be a very nice horse. “I watched He’s Watching last year in the final of the (New York) Sire Stakes,” Harrison said. “He was a small horse but he has the same sire as In The Arsenal and he certainly could go fast. I watched him again this year in the eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace and he had not grown much from last year but was really muscled out. Then you saw what he did the night of the Meadowlands Pace. 1:46.4. That time speaks for itself. “In The Arsenal has actually grown and is now probably bigger than He’s Watching. He is no longer a small horse but a medium sized one. He’s very muscular and he’s a well put together horse. He is also great gaited. The only thing that ever concerned me with him was he might get a little bit hot.” The colt was sixth in his career debut on July 5, a $15,000 2-year-old race at Meadowlands Racetrack, after having the lead at the half. “It wasn’t the greatest of trips,” Harrison said. “Brian (Sears) chased him up a little bit out of the gate and then he got him going. He put him in the hole and then he didn’t get out of the hole, then was a bit aggressive when he did let him go. He still paced nicely right to the wire. “For the elimination, I thought when the sheet came out, we would put him in the hole and race him from behind, but when I saw what was in there I told Eric (Goodell) to just not get him in trouble.” After Saturday’s engagement, In The Arsenal will appear in most of the major stakes races for his age, gait and gender. “We have him staked up to everything,” Harrison said. “He just has real, real high speed. I think he’s one of those that has enough speed to make his own race. He’s also one of those horses that has never had a bad day. Even when he was training, I trained him with a group and put him behind, etc. He just always did everything so easily. I even worked him at White Birch in 1:59 before I even qualified him. Even then he was really handy.” Here is the field for the Sheppard final, with drivers, trainers and morning line odds: 1-Rock N’ Roll World-Eric Carlson-Nifty Norman-10-1, 2-In The Arsenal-Eric Goodell-Kelvin Harrison-5-2, 3-Perfect Bet, Jeff Dauplaise, Jeff Dauplaise-12-1, 4-Mystical Pacer-Brent Holland-Erv Miller-10-1, 5-Cartoon Daddy-George Brennan-Ron Burke-8-5, 6-Parklane Eagle-Jordan Stratton-Peter Foley-20-1, 7-Lone Survivor-Brian Sears-Sam DePinto-6-1, 8-Byby Landon-Jason Bartlett-Allan Johnson-8-1. Courtesy of Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent
Louisville, KY --- When freshman trotter Outburst stopped the clock in a world record 1:53.1 on Sept. 27 at The Red Mile, Noel Daley was not shocked that the gelding was on his way to get his picture taken, but he was incredulous with how swiftly the juvenile he co-owns and conditions trotted his mile. “I’m not delusional,” he said. “He is definitely nowhere near as good as his father (Explosive Matter) was at 2, but now he’s the fastest 2-year-old gelding of all time. “He is a nice horse and I never considered him to be of champion quality, so it was a bit of a surprise for us. The third horse (race favorite Southwind Spirit) went out and did all the work for the whole mile so it worked out perfectly for us. “I did actually think he could win the race, I didn’t think he would do it in world record time, but I was confident he could win the race with the right trip and he got it.” A son of first crop sire Explosive Matter and the Supergill mare Exquisite Lady, Outburst is also owned by Adam Victor & Son Stable and Mirva Bogucki. The trio purchased him for $33,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Sale and he is a half-brother to Highly Refined, who was a $70,000 yearling purchase that only made $120 during his brief career, Mr Exquisite, a $35,000 yearling purchase that never made it to the gate, and Sand Lladro, a $10,000 yearling purchase by Cantab Hall that has collected a little more than $7,300 during his time at the races. Although his sire was an outstanding individual, the performance of Outburst's siblings wouldn’t have many people rushing to sign a check, but Daley selected the colt based on the advice of a colleague that believed quality did exist on his dam's side. Who his father was certainly factored into the decision, but was not the primary reason Daley brought him home. “All the foals ended up having issues and didn’t show anything on paper, but he knew there was one in Sweden that had just started racing,” Daley said. “He knew all the other foals would have been pretty sharp without those issues, so when this foal came along, he went and saw him in the paddock and he really liked him. Also, he was an Explosive Matter and we were looking to get a couple of his colts from his first year. He fit in perfectly.” From seven pari-mutuel engagements, Outburst has a record of 4-1-1. He has earned just shy of $90,000 and his first performance after his world record will be on Friday (Oct. 4) in an $87,500 division of the International Stallion Stakes at The Red Mile. He will leave from post four in an eight horse field as the 2-1 morning line favorite with Ron Pierce grasping the reins. The race is the fourth on the card. “He’s never really let us down anytime,” Daley said. “I assume he will be good again in there. I’m not watching for him to break his world record or anything, but he is going to be the horse to beat.” Outburst commenced his career on Aug. 7 in a $13,000 non-winners race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. It has been his only off the board finish as he was second coming into the stretch and broke stride to finish seventh, but was placed sixth. He broke his maiden on Aug. 13 over the same oval in a division of the PA Stallion Series and was then second to heavy favorite Don Dorado in an $85,616 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes contest at Harrah’s Philadelphia. On Sept. 4 he returned to Scranton-Wilkes Barre for another victory in a $13,000 non-winners race, before finishing third in a $10,000 first leg contest of the Kindergarten Series at The Red Mile on Sept. 12. Outburst captured his third triumph in the $10,000 second leg of the Kindergarten Series on Sept. 19 and kind of caught the harness world by surprise with his world record mile on Sept. 27. “We liked him right from the start,” Daley said. “Then he went through a stage in February where he started doing things wrong basically and wasn’t focused, so that is when we decided to geld him. He has always been pretty sound, but it was his attitude and he was just being a colt. “It wasn’t like he was a $200,000 purchase and we were not worried about the breeding side of it, so we tried to geld him and carry on from there. “He should have won his first start. He was actually going good and went to the inside when they went into the straightaway at Pocono because he didn’t know what to do. He had never been in that situation before and like a lot of other young trotters, it bit him off balance a little bit and he made a miscue.” When Outburst completes his race on Friday, he will probably start only one more time this year before his winter vacation. “I paid him up to a lot of things to start with as far as the first payments, but when I had to geld him, I dropped him out of a lot of things,” Daley said. “I put him in a lot of the better races next year, but all he has left this year is the Kindergarten. After that we will bring him back to the barn, check him out and that will probably be it for him. That will be good as long as he shuts down sound. Then we will bring him back next year and if he shows he can go the speeds, we will give a go in all the big things next year.” by Kimberly French USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent
Long before he ever made his career debut at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on June 28, David Menary had some high hopes for He’s Watching. A June 13 foal, the colt sold for $3,000 at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale, and was the last baby his conditioner and co-owner had in the barn to be broken. But when He’s Watching finally got hooked to the cart he could already pace in 2:28 free-legged, which was well ahead of some of his more mature colleagues. The son of American Ideal and the Real Desire mare Baberhood, He's Watching is also owned by Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero. He was always in the first set and had impressed Menary by the time he could go in 2:14, as well as the week before he qualified on June 1 at Mohawk Racetrack. Naturally, the trainer was excited about his colt’s first start in the New York Sire Stakes on that late June evening, but that quickly changed to abject horror, when He’s Watching, who had never made a break while training down, spotted the field 20 lengths by going off stride shortly after he left the gate. “My heart dropped,” Menary said. “I knew we might have to teach him how to race and there’s always next week, but then when he was on the backstretch I said, ‘he’s still going to win if he doesn’t run again.’“ And win he did, crossing the wire in a time of 1:55, with a final quarter in :27.4. It’s already been a quite a season for this youngster with tying a track record, setting a track record, and establishing a world record while remaining a perfect seven for seven, but Menary hopes He’s Watching delivers in what the horse’s goal has been all year and that is to triumph in the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes final for his age, gait and gender on Saturday (Sept. 28) at Yonkers Raceway. He will leave from post position one with his regular pilot, Jim Morrill, Jr., holding the lines. “When the sheet came out I had to give a little woohoo,” Menary said. “The gods are smiling on us. I have another nice colt in there, Major Trick, and he drew right beside him in the two. Hopefully they get the job done and we have no bad luck. They have no excuses with the draw.” But let’s look back on what He’s Watching has accomplished so far this year as frankly, it is beyond impressive and is more akin to spectacular. After his performance at Saratoga, the colt moved on to another $37,862 New York Sire Stake contest at Buffalo Raceway on July 10. Once again, He’s Watching broke stride leaving the seven hole and was in last, but after a hair raising first over brush had the lead at the half in :59. He went on to win in 1:55.4, lowering the track standard of 1:56.2 set by Heston Blue Chip. The colt qualified at Mohawk on July 31 and made his next appearance at Tioga Downs on Aug. 9 in a $27,090 New York Sire Stakes race. Thankfully, he managed to maintain his gait and the result was a world record of 1:50 by a little more than six lengths. The previous record was 1:50.3 and was held by Rock N Roll Heaven. “Jim Morrill said live in his interview that night at Tioga that he probably could have gone in (1):49,” Menary said. “He also told me in conversation he would have went better than 1:49 if he had asked him for speed, but you don’t get paid for going fast. Everything he has done he has done it all himself and we have brought home a good horse every week. He even had a foot problem prior to Tioga and raced right through that. I think his speed is unreal and I don’t think we have really topped the max yet.” In his next four starts, all in New York Sire Stakes company, He’s Watching has stayed pacing for the entire mile and collected four more wins. His bankroll now stands just shy of $180,000 and in his last start, a $78,629 New York Sire Stakes contest on Sept. 16 at Yonkers Raceway, he hung on by just a nose after drifting out a bit down the stretch. His conditioner does not see the issue as something problematic. “He had too much speed for his knowledge,” Menary said. “He was like a 16-year-old kid driving a corvette that wanted to go from second gear to fifth. He’s matured and is probably the best conditioned 2-year-old in my barn. He is all muscle with just a touch of fat. “We sure haven’t taken anything out of him and I haven’t even seen him blow. He has impressed me in stages and even though he was small as a baby, he was a flawless individual and I scored him high. “He has brought home a percentage of his purse every time and we were looking for a few good New York bred colts as we are just a stone’s throw away from Buffalo, Batavia and Tioga. We have made the best of a good opportunity.” After He’s Watching completes his mile on Saturday evening, Menary isn’t exactly sure what his future plans consist of, but is leaning towards turning him out and focusing on next year. “He’s done from 20 lengths back, from the front, from first over and he has re-moved,” he said. “He’s done everything we have asked him to and that hasn’t been very much. Hopefully we can end the year on a high note with this race because we are pretty excited about next year. “He was lightly staked because he was a late foal and $3,000 (yearling purchase) and the Matron is too late, too far and too much money for what they go for. “I think we will have the advantage on our competition by getting him into the green grass while they are in Lexington, the Breeders Crown, the Matron and the Governor’s Cup. We have never pushed this colt and nearly every race he has been shut down without being asked for speed. “He’s not just a good horse, he is a special horse, and winning the Sire Stakes final would be icing on the cake.” by Kimberly French, for USTA
Delaware, OH --- Joseph Di Scala, Jr. and Cynthia Lynn Massari's Vibe Blue Chip (Yannick Gingras) popped out of the three hole going to the three-quarters and captured the $65,750 first division of the Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Thursday (Sept. 19) at the Delaware County Fair. From the first call to the top of the stretch they all chased Bluto (Andy Miller), who couldn’t withstand the charge of Vibe Blue Chip. Bluto held second and Sailer Eddie (Ron Pierced) earned third money. Vibe Blue Chip (Andover Hall-Winning Jonlin, by Muscles Yankee) won in 1:54.3, a national season’s record for a sophomore trotting gelding on a half-mile track. He has now won five of 14 and $128,787 this year under the direction of trainer Ron Burke. "I only put trotting hobbles on him to give him confidence," said Burke. "He gets a little shaky, but it's not a gait issue. He's cleanly gaited. "Actually I saw he had a little trouble on the turn but Yannick did a great job holding him together around the turn, then pulling out the plugs coming into the stretch. I knew if he could do that he would trot right by them. "We are taking him to Lexington and after that it will be day-to-day with him." The favored Spider Blue Chip (Ron Pierce) made two breaks, which helped High Bridge (Yannick Gingras) win the $65,750 second division of the Old Oaken Bucket. The mile was covered in 1:55.1, equaling the national season’s record for a 3-year-old trotting colt on a half-mile track. Boffin (Charlie Norris) and Theatrical Session (David Miller) were next to the wire, finishing second and third, respectively. High Bridge (Cantab Hall-Madame Volo, byYankee Glide) is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Jim Fielding and is trained by Jimmy Takter. He has won five of 18 this year, with $249,348 in the bank. He finished seventh, beaten only four lengths, in this year’s Hambletonian. "He might not be right up with the top horses but he is very consistent and a good horse to have in the barn," said Jimmy Takter. "If he could have gotten out in the Hambo, as he got blocked in behind some horses, he could have finished second. "There are still a lot of races left this year and he is a very sound horse. I've never had a problem with him. Look how well he raced just six days ago (a strong second in the $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final). "We have the Breeders Crown at Pocono (in October) and he really likes it there." -- Kimberly French also contributed to this report by John Pawlak, the U.S. Trotting Association Courtesy of the United States Trotting Association web newsroom
Delaware, OH --- Hauser Brothers Racing, Susan Oakes, J&T Silva Stables and Matt Tudisco’s Frau Blucher and driver Ron Pierce set a world record of 1:53.1 in the $52,194 second division of the Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 18) at the Delaware County Fair. The mile, raced in take-no-prisoners fashion, gave Frau Blucher (Broadway Hall-My Angel, by Muscles Yankee) her sixth sophomore win in 11 tries, and the Lisa McNerney-bred filly has now won $759,617 lifetime. Frau Blucher left from post position two and went right to the front, cutting out fractions of :27.4, :56.4 and 1:24.1. Coffeecake Hanover (Yannick Gingras) and Bethel Hanover (Brian Sears), who sat behind the winner the entire mile, finished second and third, respectively. "At the end of the day a world record is certainly a great thing and it means a lot to have her put her name in the history books," said co-owner Timothy Hauser. "I've always had a great amount of faith in her. "We struggled with her earlier in the year and the Hambletonian Oaks was a setback (sixth placed tenth after a break) because we expected to run one or two, but now we will gear her up for the Breeders Crown and see what we have for Bee A Magician." Miller’s Stable’s Silver Credit, in rein to Corey Callahan, used the number one post to its greatest advantage in the $52,194 first division of the Buckette. The Randy Beekman-trained miss by Muscles Yankee and out of Credit Review (by Credit Winner) went wire-to-wire through splits of :27, :55.2 and 1:24 on the way to a 1:54.4 win -- a new mark and (at the time) a national season’s record for a 3-year-old trotting filly on a half-mile track. Silver Credit has now won four of 13 this year and has won three straight -- all on half-mile tracks. UF Tadys Donato (Brian Sears) finished second, 6-1/4 lengths behind the winner, and Andie Sophia (Tim Tetrick) came from off the pace to earn third money. "We were very glad to get the one (post)," said winning trainer Randy Beeckman. "She has been very consistent the whole year and it was nice to have things go her way a little bit. "She really enjoys racing and likes what she does. "I'm hoping her next start, which will be down in Lexington, she won't have to do it on the front end again. She's been out there a lot. After Lexington, if all goes well we will go to the Breeders Crown." -- Kimberly French also contributed to this report by John Pawlak Courtesy of the United States News Room
Louisville, KY --- He certainly does not have a lot of experience as he is only a 2-year-old, but Western Conquest’s connections always had high hopes for the colt and are very much looking forward for this fifth foal of Aries Conquest, a former stakes winner that also hailed from the same barn. “Right from the start he trained down like he would be a really nice 2-year-old,” said Erv Miller, the colt’s conditioner, who was in charge of his dam’s career and during their early campaigns, three of his siblings. “He’s a really smart colt, so that helps.” A son of American Ideal and owned by Tanah Merah Farms, Western Conquest debuted on June 13 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs with a win in a 2-year-old race. He followed that up with another victory over the same surface and in the same class a week later with Marcus Miller again at the lines. His first pari-mutuel engagement was at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on June 28 in a $46,631 New York Sire Stakes contest and that Friday evening is when he broke his maiden in 1:57 as the prohibitive favorite. Remaining in the Empire State, the colt picked up his second win on July 13 in his $25,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard Memorial elimination with Brent Holland as his pilot. He paced the mile in 1:56.4. To date, his mark is Q1:55.2f, set in his second 2-year-old race. The colt makes his next start in the $111,250 Sheppard final on Saturday (July 20) from post position four in the evening’s fifth race. His main competition appears to be the other elimination victor, Stevensville, who has already won in 1:52.2f from only four starts, but that one is drawn into the eight hole. “He’s pretty handy off the gate,” Miller said. “I’m sure we will try to establish his position somewhere early in the race and then we will see how it goes from there.” Western Conquest is a three-quarter brother to Aries Angel (Western Ideal, p,4,1:52.3f, $152,071), a half-brother to Bakken (No Pan Intended, p,3,1:55.1h, $44,200), who just started racing this year and a full brother to White Jade (p,3,1:52s, $94,250). Their mother was also quite talented as a freshman, as she was the winner of the 2003 Orange and Blue Filly final. “He is a big, strong colt,” Miller said. “Beyond that his best quality is that he is perfectly mannered. You can leave with him from the gate and then he is quiet. He settles right down and never gets too keyed up, which is important.” After the Sheppard final, Western Conquest will stay in New York for the majority of the summer, competing in New York Sire Stakes events, but you might see him make appearances in the American-National, International Stallion Stakes and the Breeders Crown. “He is eligible to a lot of races because we liked him so much early on,” Miller said. “He’ll go back into the New York Sire Stakes and we did keep him eligible to some of the bigger races. He is a pretty nice colt.” Below is the field for the Sheppard final: PP Horse Driver Trainer 1-Disarrei- Patrick Lachance Robert Siegelman 2-Forty Five Red Daniel Dube Ron Burke 3-Thereisapaceforus Larry Stalbaum Jimmy Takter 4-Western Conquest Brent Holland Erv Miller 5-Great American Mark MacDonald- Tony Alagna 6-Goldin Parachute Daniel Dube Sam De Pinto 7-Gotta Laugh Again Ray Schnittker Ray Schnittker 8-Stevensville Jordan Stratton Ray Schnittker by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent Courtesy of the United States Trotting Association Web Newsroom
At odds of 96-1, last year's Matron victor Twilight Bonfire was guided up the rail by harness racing driver David Miller to finish second in the $980,000 North America Cup final on June 15 at Mohawk. With all eyes on the 2012 Pacer of the Year, Captaintreacherous, Danny Collins' charge seems to be a bit overlooked within his division, although the colt has been a model of consistency.
When he was looking through the sales catalog for the August 2011 Blooded Horse Sale a harness racing filly named Real Deal Babe caught Rob Harmon's eye. After the gavel went down for $5,700, he brought her home, gave her some time, and then began the lessons for her professional career.
True to form, long-time owner/breeder Angelo Frassetto waited until after his homebred filly Ms Caila J Fra annexed the $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final for 3-year-old pacing fillies, in a lifetime best 1:49, to leave this earth.
It took this guy some time to come around, but now that he knows he is not the one in charge, 3-year-old trotting colt Denver is showing a world of promise at the right time.
It took her ten starts to finally reach the winner's circle and after finishing second in start No.11 by a half-length to I Luv the Nitelife in a $108,700 division of the Bluegrass last year, harness racing trainer Carl Jamieson was looking forward to Belle Boyd's performance in the Breeders Crown.
He doesn't have a barn full of horses, but you only need one and harness racing trainer Deshawn Minor is pretty pleased the one he has is Smilin Eli.
Sent off as the favorite in the 2005 Hambletonian, Classic Photo was defeated by Vivid Photo for the $1.5 million purse, but Todd Schadel, who just happened to co-own the victorious gelding, possessed no reservations about breeding to the stallion and is quite pleased with how Classic Martine, the result of this mating, is performing.
Although she had a little luck in her last start, a victory in a $40,900 division of the Lady Suffolk at Freehold Raceway on May 3, Vida De Vie, unlike four of her opponents, managed to remain flat for the entire mile and improved her harness racing record to 3-1-1-0 with $21,650 in the bank.
After defeating Arch Madness, the richest Canadian-sired trotter in the history of harness racing, by seven lengths in a sterling 1:53 in a qualifying race at Meadowlands Racetrack on March 30, Guccio served notice his 4-year-old campaign could indeed be something really special.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and granted 7-year-old pacing mare Warrawee Koine is certainly not a canine, but this year she has employed a new strategy during her race miles that may very well have boosted her performance level.