Louisville, KY --- From Oct. 10 to Oct. 18, heading into the night of the Indiana Sire Stakes Championships, Matt Rheinheimer and Jackie Porter were darn lucky they didn’t have to seek professional help. “Everyone kept asking me if I had heard from Matt and if she was okay,” said Porter, who has owned horses for more than two decades. “I kept telling them I didn’t want to hear from him. On the morning of the race I almost thought I would have to have someone drive me to Hoosier Park. And then when I got there Matt was so concerned about her. He would be working on his other horses and always go check on her. She was like, ‘Why do you keep putting your hand in here? Really? You are bothering me.’” The she Porter is referring to is his 2-year-old Indiana champion Churita. The daughter of Airzoom Lindy and the Yankee Paco mare Stonebridge Volare compiled a record of 10-8-1-1, earned $263,225 and established her lifetime mark of 1:56s in her 11-1/4 length romp in the $220,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Championship for her age, gait and gender on Oct. 18 at Hoosier Park. That facility’s leading driver for the 2014 meet and her regular pilot, Trace Tetrick, held the lines. Churita was not even on Rheinheimer or Porter’s list when they selected yearlings. Porter became addicted to racing through a co-worker that brought him to the track and then was introduced to the barns shortly thereafter through a colleague of his brother's. He started hauling water buckets, mucking stalls and walking horses. It was official. He had the bug. “I’ve never had anything like her,” he said. “I always had cheap claimers and fair horses. I love the fairs. You can take the kids right up to see the horses and the atmosphere is great. I’ve always had horses for fun and that kind of experience, but I guess you could say lightning struck with this filly. “The other horses we were looking at went for over $20,000 and I couldn’t spend that much. Even if I did, then it would put pressure on Matt, who has been training for me for five or six years, to make them a good horse and sometimes they just aren’t. I’m not in the business for that. “She is the first horse I’ve ever had in a sire stakes race like that. And that was not the plan for her because right after we bought her, Matt came back to me and said, ‘I have bad news. She is not eligible for the fairs.’ So there really was luck involved when it came to her. We weren’t planning on the Indiana sire stakes for her.” After the other horses Rheinheimer and Porter had their eye on went to other purchasers, Paul Webb from Ivy Lane Farm notified Rheinheimer regarding Churita’s availability. “She had only been at the farm for three weeks,” he said. “She was a short, fat, little thing but had plenty of room to grow. I knew if she had some grain and some tender loving care, she could be brought along. I never thought she would do this at two though. I was thinking she could be competitive in overnights when she was three.” Churita was not impressive training down and always had to jog with other horses because she would stop at the half. She just wanted to go back to the barn and her comfort zone, so Rheinheimer debated about turning her out, biding his time for a sophomore campaign. He figured he would toss her in a qualifier and she would tell him. “She broke,” he said. “And that’s when I found out she popped a splint. I took care of that and when she was like that in the second qualifier, well, that’s when I hunted Trace down.” With Tetrick at the lines, the only time this lass has not posed for a photograph was a second placed third finish for breaking in the stretch in an Indiana Sire Stakes final on July 23. As Churita’s season progressed, so did she. The filly only became stronger and more businesslike with each mile. The girl was transitioning to a woman. “She just transformed from an easygoing horse into a professional,” Rheinheimer said. “Once she started picking up how to race and she started liking it, she started to get sassy after her last couple starts. “She has always been very nice to be around. In her last start she ran the girls out of the paddock because she was in the test barn too long. She knew what she had to do but she was ready to go back to her stall. She was aggravated.” And then there was the growth spurt. “I only was able to see her race three or four times,” Porter said. “There was one point I had not seen her for five weeks and when I went back to visit, I wasn’t sure it was her. The only way I recognized her was she was next to Matt’s other horse, so it had to be her. I couldn’t believe she was the same horse.” Currently, Churita is enjoying an extended vacation and will return to training around the first of the New Year. “We haven’t really talked about what will happen next year,” Rheinheimer said. “We are still enjoying and letting it sink in what she did in this one. We talked about staking her outside of Indiana. Everyone always wants to race in other places, but Indiana is a good place to be. “We’ll see how she comes back, but I’ll tell you I was just as nervous her first start as I was her last. I have had a lot of horses that showed promise and had year after year of being let down. You think something is good and then it doesn’t turn out that way. “She was just an ordinary horse. I never thought she would do this. So I was walking on pins and needles all year thinking something was going to go wrong. When it doesn’t you sit back and breathe a sigh of relief. I’ve chased a lot of horses, but it’s not any easier on the other end when everyone is chasing you.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent
Without ever seeing the “rail” and parked out first-over the entire mile, Sumatra was able to grind it out for driver Brian Sears in capturing the $118,300 Old Oaken Bucket Thursday at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. It was a bulky ten-horse field for three-year-old trotters on a half mile track and winning trainer Tom Fanning said this was going to happen. “I don’t like everyone not having their nose on the gate,” Fanning said Wednesday morning. We won’t be able to take back if we don’t leave or else we will be parked out the entire mile. I still think my horse is a contender in here. He has been doing great the last two weeks.” Fanning was right on the mark with that pre-race comment. Uva Hanover (Tim Tetrick) were the first out of the gate and on the early lead with race favorite Datsyuk (Charlie Norris) grabbing the pocket trip. They went to the opening quarter in :28. Then Skates N Plates ( ) came first-over and cleared to the lead with Sumatra and Sears losing their cover and getting parked-out to the half in :56.4. Around the third turn, Skates N Plates was in command with Sumatra gaining ground with every stride. They passed the three-quarters in 1:26 and Sumatra was then able to clear to the lead as Skates N Plates began to fold. Down the stretch Sears urged Sumatra on and they held a two length lead as the field came at them but it was too late as Sumatra held on at the wire to score by a diminishing three-quarters of a length in 1:56.1. Datsyuk was second and Il Sogno Dream (Aaron Merriman) finished third. Sumatra went off at odds of 19-1. “It did work out,” Sears said, “My horse was able to overcome it (first-over). He doesn’t have the handiest speed in the world but he is honest and he tries real hard. I know that horse of Trond’s (Smedshammer) would not hold the lead and my horse got by him on the last turn and that made the race for him. I didn’t put any pressure on him. I let him do it on his own. He’s not real quick but he keeps going and does not get tired and he showed that today.” It was the second win this year for Sumatra. The gelded son of Muscles Yankee other win this year was the Dexter Cup Trot final at Freehold Raceway, once again on a half mile track. Sumatra is owned by Joseph Smith of Vero Beach, FL and paid $41.00 to win. Pinkman takes $59,445 Standardbred Stake Nothing was “breaking bad” for Pinkman in Thursday’s $59,445 Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters, as he overcame favorite Crazy Wow in deep stretch for the victory at the Delaware County Fair. Making only his second start, Pinkman and driver Yannick Gingras followed leader Crazy Wow -- who won the New York Sire Stakes championship last Saturday -- for nearly the entire mile before pulling out of the pocket and trotting to the win in 1:57. Crazy Wow finished second, followed by Ralph R and Walter White. The Jimmy Takter-trained Pinkman, racing as an entry with Walter White, went off at 5-1 and paid $12 to win. Pinkman and Walter White are named after characters from the television series “Breaking Bad.” Pinkman is a son of Explosive Matter out of the mare Margie Seelster. He was purchased for $77,000 under the name Traffic Jam at the Lexington Selected Sale. His family includes stakes-winner Grassbed, who is the mother of 1990 Dan Patch Award-winner Me Maggie and grandmother of millionaire racehorse and top stallion Credit Winner. In his first start, Pinkman finished second from post eight in a conditioned race at The Red Mile. He has now earned $27,275 for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. On Thursday, Pinkman sat behind Crazy Wow through fractions of :29.4, :59.3 and 1:28.4. Walter White made a first-over challenge from fourth place at the half-mile point, but only was able to get within a half-length of overtaking Crazy Wow for the lead. Pinkman found room coming off the final turn and was able to overcome a 1-1/4 length deficit to win by a neck. "He is now a gelding rather than a colt," said Jimmy Takter. "We had some problems that resulted from the castration surgery that took some time for him to recover from so that is why he had a late start. We started him in Lexington last week and I was very happy with him so I decided to put him in here." By Steve Wolf, Ken Weingartner with Kimberly French
Delaware, OH --- Emerald Highlands Farm's Color’s A Virgin won the 44th edition of the Jugette Wednesday afternoon at the Delaware County Fair. Color’s A Virgin and Trace Tetrick used a perfect second over trip and edged past Beautiful Lady (Matt Kakaley) in the lane to score a 1 ¼ length victory in 1:52.4. Beach Story (Brett Miller) rallied for the show spot. The Jugette victory was the first for driver Trace Tetrick and trainer Brian Brown. “The (Jugette) is my best win,” noted the 27 year-old driver. “I’m thankful to have the opportunity…She is a great mare.” Brown didn’t celebrate until his filly crossed the finish line. “Sometimes when she is on the front or she clears too early, she can lose her concentration and she runs on us.” Bruce Trogdon has long admired the horses competing in the big events at the Delaware County Fair from his seat in the grandstand. On Wednesday, he got to admire one of his own from the winner’s circle. Color’s A Virgin, bred and owned by Trogdon’s Emerald Highlands Farm in Mount Vernon, Ohio, won the $298,100 Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers by 1-1/4 lengths over Beautiful Lady in 1:52.4 at Delaware. “I’ve been coming here for 39 years and I love to watch the Jug and the Jugette,” Trogdon said. “I just love to watch the beautiful horses. I never dreamed that someday I would raise and keep and have the winner of the Jugette. It is so special to me. Nothing could compare to this. It’s super special to me.” 2014 Jugette Final Color's A Virgin, Gallie Bythe Beach, Beautiful Lady win Jugette elims Color’s A Virgin raced on the outside for more than half the mile and wore down favorite Lady Shadow in the stretch to win the first elimination of the Jugette in 1:51.3. Southwind Silence got up for second place and Also Encouraging was third to also advance to the final. Trace Tetrick drove Color’s A Virgin for trainer Brian Brown and owner Emerald Highlands Farm. It was her seventh win in 11 starts this season. She paid $8.60 to win. Beach Body was scratched, leaving a field of six horses. Lady Shadow got the lead with an opening quarter of :26.3 and stayed on top through fractions of :55.2 and 1:23.2 until the field reached the final turn. Color’s A Virgin, a daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Color, was in second place at that point and continued her first-over grind until she was in front. Gallie Bythe Beach stormed through the stretch to rally from fifth place at the top of the lane and nipped Allstar Rating at the wire to win the second of three eliminations for the Jugette. Gallie Bythe Beach was timed in 1:52.2. Allstar Rating and third-place finisher Beach Gal also advanced to the Jugette final. Allstar Rating grabbed the lead at the start and guided the field through fractions of :26.3, :54.3 and 1:22.4. She rebuffed a first-over challenge from Beach Gal and appeared to be heading for victory, but Gallie Bythe Beach and driver John Campbell never relented in their charge. Gallie Bythe Beach, a daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Galleria, owned by Fashion Farms and trained by Jim Campbell, picked up her first win of the season in 12 tries. She won six of 10 races last season and never finished worse than third. "She was a very nice filly last year that didn't progress as nicely as we would have liked but we were really encouraged by her last race at Chester," said driver John Campbell. "Like Jim and I were talking about, there is a lot of money still on the table and she might be getting sharp at the right time of year when some of the others might not be on the improve." Gallie Bythe Beach Beautiful Lady and driver Matt Kakaley cruised to a win by open lengths in 1:52.2 in the third of three eliminations for the Jugette. Beach Story finished second and Candy’s A Virgin was third to also advance to the Jugette final. Sandbetweenurtoes worked through a :26.2 opening quarter-mile to take the top spot from Beautiful Lady and remained in front until three-quarters, when Gettingreadytoroll came first over and stuck her head in front. No sooner there, though, Gettingreadytoroll went off stride and Sandbetweenurtoes reclaimed the lead. It was short lived, however, as Beautiful Lady and driver Matt Kakaley burst from the pocket and pulled away from the field around the final turn and through the stretch. Beautiful Lady, a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Love The Game, is trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and RTC Stables. Sent off at 14-1, she picked up her fourth win in 13 starts this season and paid $31.40 to win. Beautiful Lady Rock N Randall (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) went gate-to-wire to capture the final division of the $64,634 (div) OBC for freshman colt pacers. Rock N Randall defeated a late charging Danger Storm (Ron Pierce) and Dyno Mite Man (David Miller) in 1:58.1. Ollie Pop (Aaron Merriman) scored an upset win in the first $32,317 division in 1:56.4. It was a Miller family reunion in the winner’s circle after the second division of the $60,134 (div.) three-year-old filly trot. David Miller guided Rose Run Princess to victory in 1:58.1. The Trainforthefuture lass is trained by David’s daughter, Devan. Turbochargedroxie (Dan Noble) and Anniesbluejeanbaby (Greg Grismore) completed the trifecta. The first division went to upsetter Autumn Estelle (Hugh Beatty) who edged the heavy favorite Sandys Victory (Josh Sutton) in 2:00. Rompaway Galaxy (Mike Micallef) and Count Full Mac (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) took divisions of the $61,334 (div) Ohio Breeders Championships for three-year-old colt trotters. by Ken Weingartner with Kimberly French
Delaware, OH --- Lifetime Pursuit made it six wins in a row by dominating Wednesday’s (Sept. 17) $89,475 Buckette for 3-year-old female harness racing trotters at the Delaware County Fair, crossing the wire in front by 12-3/4 lengths in 1:53.4. Driven by Yannick Gingras, the filly started from post six and raced three wide around the first turn to get the lead from Broadway Socks. Once there, she never looked back through fractions of :28.2, :56.4 and 1:25.1. The winning time was three-fifths of a second off Frau Blucher’s half-mile-track world record for a 3-year-old female trotter, set last year in the Buckette. Sent off at odds of 1-9, Lifetime Pursuit paid $2.10 to win. Bikini So Teeny was second, followed by Yoga and Broadway Socks. “It definitely was a walk in the park today,” Gingras said. “Since Hambletonian Day, she’s turned from being a very good filly to a great filly. She was awesome that day and she’s been awesome ever since.” Lifetime Pursuit started her six-race win streak by winning the Hambletonian Oaks on Aug. 2 at the Meadowlands. Since then, she’s added divisions of the Casual Breeze and Simcoe stakes, plus the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. “She is amazing to drive but she is a filly where you can't hurt her feelings,” Gingras added. “Before the Hambletonian Oaks I always drove her behind cover or made sure I got her out of the pocket. But in the Hambletonian Oaks she had the perfect trip, I just pulled the plugs and popped her out. Since then she has been so good she's been the 1-5 or 1-9 favorite so she's needed to be involved earlier. She's probably been on the front a little too much because of that but she really feels tremendous to drive right now.” The daughter of Cantab Hall-Queen Of Grace is trained by Jimmy Takter and owned by Brittany Farms. She has won eight of 13 races this year and $652,054. For her career, she has won 14 of 24 starts and is nearing $1 million. by Ken Weingarter with Kimberly French
Delaware, OH --- Wild Honey trotted the fastest mile in history by a 2-year-old trotter on a half-mile racetrack Wednesday (Sept. 17) at the Delaware County Fair, winning the second $32,323 division of the Standardbred Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters in 1:55.2. The recently crowned Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion left no doubt about the race’s outcome, leading from start to finish at odds of 1-9. The fractions were :28.4, :57.3 and 1:25.4 with driver Yannick Gingras at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter. Hot Start finished second by 7-3/4 lengths and Gee O’Keeffe was third. Wild Honey’s performance erased one of trotting’s oldest records from the books. She eclipsed the previous best time of 1:56.3 by a 2-year-old female trotter on a half-mile track set by CR Kay Suzie on Sept. 21, 1994 at Freehold Raceway. The only trotting record to stand longer is Pine Chip’s 1:54 time for a 4-year-old male trotter on a half-mile oval, set on Sept. 18, 1994 at Delaware. In addition, Wild Honey bettered the mark of 1:55.3, set by colt Dontyouforgetit in 2012 at Delaware, for the fastest ever half-mile time by any 2-year-old trotter. Wild Honey is trained by Jimmy Takter, as was Dontyouforgetit. A daughter of Cantab Hall out of the mare U Wanna Lindy, Wild Honey is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Herb Liverman, and Jim Fielding. She was purchased for $35,000 under the name Can Can Lindy at the Lexington Selected Sale. Her family includes 1994 Hambletonian winner Victory Dream. Wild Honey has won six consecutive races since finishing second by a head to Gatka Hanover in her debut. She has earned $271,031. “She won all of her (PA Sire Stakes) legs and had just one defeat by a (head) in her first lifetime start,” said trainer Jimmy Takter. “She’s just a tough filly. She’s got it. She’s the real deal.” Takter said Wild Honey is on her way to Lexington for the Grand Circuit meet next week. “When I got a first quarter of :28.4, I thought it would be hard for anybody to beat her in here,” said driver Yannick Gingras. “At the five-eighths I just let her roll along. I didn’t really ‘let her go,’ I just let her do what she wanted to do. The 1:55.2 was all her. The plugs were still in. I didn’t dig into her. She could have gone in (1):54 and change.” Sweet Shurga and driver Ron Pierce charged through the stretch and overcame favorite Smokinmombo in the final strides to win the first $32,323 division of the Standardbred Stakes. Smokinmombo, driven by Aaron Merriman, led for nearly the entire race after vanquishing Avalon Hall in a battle for the top spot coming off the first turn. Sweet Shurga was third until the final turn when Pierce moved to the outside and followed Dancewithme Chuck into the stretch. From there, Sweet Shurga cruised past her foes to reach the finish line in 2:00. Sent off at odds of 17-1, the daughter of Donato Hanover-Sweet American paid $36 to win. Sweet American is a full sister to 1993 Hambletonian winner American Winner. Smokinmombo finished second, followed by Dancewithme Chuck and Yanks Ball Girl. The fractions were :28.3, :59.3 and 1:29.3. Sweet Shurga has won two of four races and earned $19,629 for owner Bob Key and trainer Norm Parker. "She’s a green filly of Mr. Key’s,” said trainer Norm Parker. “She goes back to the family of American Winner. (Mr. Key) always liked that family. I liked her when I got her. Paul Reid trained her in Florida. When I got her she was really green. "Her manners are her biggest problem. She’s very temperamental, but I think she’s going to be a nice filly. "(Since her break on Aug. 20) we did some field time. In her last race at The Meadows, Dickie Stillings took good care of her. I just did the same thing -- gave her some field time and thought I’d bring her here and give her a shot.” by Ken Weingartner with Kimberly French & TJ Burkett/USTA
Louisville, KY --- Even before they purchased him for $13,000 at this past January's Tattersalls Winter Mixed Sale, the 3-year-old trotting gelding Wheelsandthelegman had made quite an impression on Beth and Walter Carroll. Unraced at 2, Wheelesandthelegman jumped it off at the top of the stretch in his first qualifier as a 3-year-old on Jan. 10 at the Meadowlands, but still managed to come home third ahead of trainer Walter Carroll’s horse Spectator K. Carroll took note of that performance and although Wheelsandthelegman broke behind the gate in his second qualifier the following week, he and his wife, Beth, still thought enough of the gelding to purchase him at the Sale last January. “Walter had his eye on him ever since he qualified and when we saw him at the sale, we both liked him,” Beth Carroll said. “We didn’t know why he had not raced last year but he had absolutely no issues.” The Carrolls did not have super high expectations for the son of Donato Hanoverand the Malabar Man mare Carmita, but after two qualifying contents at Spring Garden Ranch in March and April, they brought him back to Pennsylvania to get his career started. That was when the couple began to realize their horse possessed some serious ability. “The winter was horrible here (in New Holland, Pa.) so we missed a lot of time with him,” Carroll said. “So we sent him down to our good friend Jim Raymer at Spring Garden Ranch for five weeks. Then when he won his first race we started to get really excited about him.” With Raymer in the irons, Wheelsandthelegman, named after the alter ego crime fighting duo from American Dad, captured his first three races, all non-winners events, before triumphing in a $74,900 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes contest at Harrah’s Philadelphia on May 15. His next engagement, a third to Hambletonian second place finisher Nuncio in another Pennsylvania Sire Stakes race on May 30, would be his first time tasting defeat. After a little time off, Wheelsandthelegman got back to the winners’ circle on July 17 in a $13,000 non-winners race at Harrah’s Philadelphia prior to another victory in a $32,855 division of the Arden Downs stake at The Meadows on July 26, where he defeated Il Sogno Dream, the fourth place finisher in the Hambletonian, in 1.54.1. Although he did not compete in the Hambletonian, the gelding did make an appearance on that day in a $50,000 Townsend Ackerman division where he finished off the board for the only time in his short career. Wheelsandthelegman was sixth but placed 11th after leaving from the nine hole and he seemingly was not particularly fond of the Meadowlands oval. “It was a tough trip for him against some really nice horses and that fast first quarter (:27.1) certainly did not help him, but he does have really good gate speed,” Carroll said. “He also didn’t seem to be getting over the track very well and he had been sick the week before. He got stung by something and we don’t know how or by what, but he was all swollen. That might have still been affecting him a little bit.” The gelding, however, will attempt to return to his winning ways when he leaves from post position two in a $60,000 division of the Currier and Ives Stake on Friday (Aug. 8) at the Meadows. Dick Stillings will be holding the lines rather than Raymer for the card’s eighth race. Wheelsandthelegman is the 3-1 morning line second choice. His lifetime mark of 1:53.4 and bankroll of just over $88,000 is tops in the field of six. “We are very good friends with Jim Raymer,” Carroll said. “He and his wife Terry are wonderful people and we are very grateful every time Jim drives him for us. We also feel lucky for all they have done for us. Jim really likes this horse and I think he likes driving him more than some of his own horses.” Named for a television character, Wheelsandthelegman definitely has some personality to him. “He’s bossy,” Carroll said. “But he’s not mean at all. He’s really just a very busy horse and is always in motion. He’s always doing something and is never still for a second.” After the Currier & Ives is in the books, the Carrolls will keep Wheelsandthelegman in Pennsylvania for the remainder of the year and then shut him down in the fall. “He has the PA Sire Stakes and hopefully he makes the final,” Carroll said. “Then he has the Keystone Classic. After that we are just going to give him a nice, long break over the winter and take it from there. “We were really surprised by him and are just thrilled. Although we didn’t name him, it is something to have a horse that even has his own ringtone.” Below are the fields for Friday's Currier & Ives divisions. $60,000 Currier & Ives First Division Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Amped Up Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-5-2 2-Wheelsandthelegman-Richard Stillings-Walter Carroll-3-1 3-Jett Star-Dan Rawlings-Steve Owens-5-1 4-Choco Sun-David Miller-Orjan Torstensson-6-1 5-Frost Free Hanover-Brian Zendt-Leslie Zendt-7-2 6-Axios-Dave Palone-Rich Gillock-4-1 $60,000 Currier & Ives Second Division Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Tea Party Politics-Brian Zendt-William Zendt-5-1 2-Skates N Plates-Yannick Gingras-Trond Smedshammer-4-1 3-Sarcastic Man-Tony Hall-Rich Gillock-8-1 4-Il Sogno Dream-David Miller-Christopher Beaver-2-1 5-Southwind Spirit-Dave Palone-Ron Burke-7-2 6-Andover The Gold-Brett Miller-J C Miller Jr.-10-1 by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent
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.