DOVER, Del. --- The 18th renewal of the $400,000 (est) Progress Pace at Dover Downs is the highlight of the first full month of the track's 45th season. The Progress Pace is the signature event of the 2013 Dover Downs' "Novemberfest of Racing." The Progress Pace features the sport's leading three-year-olds in training in a two-week event. First, a $35,000 elimination division on Nov. 10 with the top eight finishers return for a $284,160 final on Nov. 17. Vegas Vacation, driven by Brian Sears, scored a 1:48.3 victory in this year's Matron Final. The gelding was favorite for the Progress Pace elim., but did not come out of the Matron, "100 percent," thus was scratched. Twilight Bonfire, a 20-1 longshot from post 8 with Tim Tetrick driving, pulled a major surprise in the $35,000 elim by nipping Sunshine Beach by half a neck. The Progress Pace Final on Dec. 1 is the richest race in Delaware harness racing this year. Progress Pace history The Progress Pace was created by Dover Downs' CEO Denis McGlynn in the fashion of a former state of Delaware sports' tradition - The Battle of the Brandywine - formerly the showcase event of ill-fated Brandywine Raceway. Over the years, Most of the sports leading drivers, owners and stables have participated in the Progress Pace. Hall of Fame drivers include three-time winners John Campbell and Ron Pierce, Mike Lachance, Cat Manzi, Dave Palone and David Miller. Luc Ouellette also drove three winners while Bret Pelling trained three Progress Pace champions. Sampson Street Stable has shared in three Progress Pace champions, Newman Racing is the only other with more than one winner. The first Progress Pace was carded in 1996 with a $100,000 final. The winner was Armbro Operative, owned by Tom Walsh, Jr. and Dave McDuffy, driven by Mike Lachance. It was the first of three Progress Pace winners conditioned by Brett Pelling. Pelling also trained the winners of the next two winners of the event, when Dream Away, owned by Canadian horsemen Marvin Katz, Sam Goldband and Al Libfeld won the 1997 edition and Crown Jewel Stable's Browning Blue Chip took 1998 laurels. Both winners were driven by John Campbell. Luc Ouellette drove Jeff Snyder's Royalflush Hanover to his first Progress Pace titles. The gelding overtook Grinfromeartoear on the backstretch and pulled off to win the 1999 title. The following season, Ouellette came back to drive 2000 winner Powerful Toy, owned by Newman Racing Stable, Sampson Street and Dodge A Bullet stables. Ron Pierce made the winner's circle in the 2001 event driving Peruvian Hanover for owners Sidney Korn and Alvin Jacobson. Art Major beat stablemate McArdle to win the 2002 edition. Owned by Deena Frost, Jerry Silva, Sampson Street and TLP stables, Art Major was the third Progress Pace champion driven by John Campbell, In 2003, for the second straight year and third time in Progress Pace history, Radar Sign, a colt owned in part by Sampson Street Stable and Newman Racing Stable, driven by Ouellette, won the final. The 2004 winner was longshot Holborn Hanover, with George Brennan driving for trainer Mark Harder and owners John Fielding and Canamerica Capital Corp. Holborn Hanover became the first sub-150 Progress Pace winner posting a come-from-behind 1:49.3f victory. In 2005, Gryffindor, became the first Delaware-owned and trained winner. After being purchased by Three Point Acres in time to win the Messenger Stake at Harrington Raceway, the sophomore won the 10th Progress Pace wire-to-wire in 1:50 with David Miller in the sulky. The purse was the event's all-time highest, $394,120. Another Delaware owned and conditioned colt, Total Truth, was the 2006 Progress Pace champion. The colt owned by Only Money and Teague Inc., the first of two straight for Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce. Pierce returned to take 2007 Progress Pace in upset fashion. Trained by Robby Siegelman for The Cheyenne Gang, Ghee House rolled down the lane for a 1:50.4 upset victory to take the 12th edition. In November 2008, overlooked at 32-1, Cat Manzi drove Bettor Sweet to a surprise 1:52.1f victory, the second richest Progress Pace boasting a $390,000 purse. Two locally owned horses Rudy Rednose and Badlands Nitro, both trained by George Teague, finished second and third respectively. Vertical Horizon and Jim Morrill Jr. were the winning 1:50.4 team, for the 2009 edition. In 2010, Yannick Gingras guided Rockin Image to an impressive 1:50.3 victory. The 2011 winner was Westwardho Hanover, a 1:49.1 performance piloted by Dave Palone. Heston Blue Chip completed an outstanding Fall campaign to win the 2012 Progress Pace with Tim Tetrick in the bike, in event winning time of 1:49. Progress Pace Champions Year Purse Winner (Driver) Win Time 1996 $100,000 Armbro Operative (Mike Lachance) 1:53f 1997 $100,000 Dream Away (John Campbell) 1:54f 1998 $225,000 Browning Blue Chip (John Campbell)1:51.2f 1999 $225,000 Royalflush Hanover (Luc Ouellette) 1:51.2f 2000 $228,000 Powerful Toy (Luc Ouellette) 1:52.1f 2001 $337,100 Peruvian Hanover (Ron Pierce) 1:52.3f 2002 $335,000 Art Major (John Campbell) 1:51f 2003 $350,060 Radar Sign (Luc Ouellette) 1:51.4f 2004 $345,900 Holborn Hanover (George Brennan) 1:49.3f 2005 $394,120 Gryffindor (David Miller) 1:50f 2006 $348,900 Total Truth (Ron Pierce) 1:52.2f 2007 $350,900 Ghee House (Ron Pierce) 1:50.4f 2008 $390,000 Bettor Sweet (Cat Manzi) 1:51.2f 2009 $350,000 Vertical Horizon (Jim Morrill Jr.) 1:50.4f 2010 $320,000 Rockin Image (Yannick Gingras) 1:50.3f 2011 $330,000 Westwardho Hanover (Dave Palone) 1:49.1f 2012 $270,000 Heston Blue Chip (Tim Tetrick) 1:49f - event record by Marv Bachrad for Dover Downs
Lucan Hanover Sweeps Summertime Pacing Series CAMPBELLVILLE, July 29 – Casie Coleman’s Lucan Hanover completed the Summertime Pacing Series sweep as the swift pacer scored at ease in the $47,000 final, Monday at Mohawk. Sent off as the 1/9 heavy favourite, Lucan Hanover also captured both preliminary legs for owners West Wins Stable and Christine Calhoun. Driven by Scott Zeron, Lucan Hanover settled away in fifth as Ahdoughnolum (Luc Ouellette) blasted to command before the opening panel in :26.3. As the pacing colts and geldings marched towards the half, Zeron made a quick brush to the front with Lucan Hanover before the mid-way point in :55.2. From there, Zeron and the son of Western Ideal cruised past three-quarters in 1:23 en route to an open-length win in 1:50.4. Manchester (Randy Waples) came on to finish second with Avatartist (Mike Saftic) third. “I didn’t want to gun him to the front. I kind of wanted to take my time with him,” Zeron said following the win. “I made the choice to power move him because the pace was slow and he can make that move and he carried his speed right to the wire. He started of at The Meadowlands this year and Casie [Coleman] wanted to bring him up here and braven him up and he’s done that” A $47,000 yearling purchase, Lucan Hanover celebrated his fifth win from nine starts this season along with $94,820 in earnings. He paid $2.20 to win. All videos for tonight's meeting are attached with Lucan Hanover's win race 10. Greg Gangle
ELORA, ON - Guelph residents Bjorn "Bernie" Noren and Garth Gordon are readying trotting colts Hope For Justice and Aggressive for an early season showdown at Grand River Raceway on Monday, July 22. Both colts were victorious in their divisions of the Gold Series season opener at Mohawk Racetrack on July 4 and would like to maintain their standing atop the two-year-old trotting colt leaderboard. Hope For Justice will start with a moderate advantage after landing Post 3 in the draw. The Windsong Espoir gelding and regular reinsman Luc Ouellette are heading into the event with a perfect record stretching back to a June 8 qualifier where they circled the Mohawk oval in 2:04.4. In a second qualifier at the Campbellville oval on June 22 the duo posted a 1:59.1 win, and they improved that mark to 1:57.2 in the first leg of the Gold Series. Noren shares ownership of Hope For Justice with breeder Mary Katz of Lexington, KY. Aggressive will start from Hope For Justice's right at Post 6 and Mike Saftic will steer the Kadabra gelding for Gordon and his partners Robert Lee and James Walker of Port Perry. Saftic engineered a 1:59.4 win for the gelding in the season opener and will be looking to replicate that effort in Monday's eighth race. Like Hope For Justice, Aggressive qualified twice at Mohawk before making his Ontario Sires Stakes debut, posting a fourth on June 14 and a second on June 22. Gordon and his partners acquired Aggressive at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale, offering up $24,000 for the half-brother to $181,424 winner Imageofasweetday. In addition to Hope For Justice, Noren will harness three other Gold Series hopefuls in Monday's test, British Steel, Blue Mitchell and Brixton. British Steel will try and improve on his fourth-place result in the season opener from Post 4 in the third $35,000 division, one race later Blue Mitchell will make his debut from Post 4, and Brixton helps wraps up the Gold Series action in the tenth race, making his bid for a top finish from Post 3. Post time for Grand River Raceway's Monday, July 22 program is 7:05 pm and the two-year-old trotting colts will light up the Elora oval in Races 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, and 10. For complete entries For up to date point standings, race replays, and more. Sandra Snyder
Hope For Justice kicked off the harness racing two-year-old trotting colt Gold Series season opener with a sharp 1:57.2 mile over the Mohawk Racetrack oval that would prove to be the quickest of five $42,000 divisions.
Both JJ Shark and Donau were not heavily supported by the betting public on Saturday evening at Woodbine, but both sophomore pacers found the harness racing winner's circle in the first round of the $20,000 opening leg of the Valedictory Series.
The second round of the Girls' Night Out Pacing Series continued on Friday evening at Mohawk. Gracie Montana and Ferrari Sena captured their $30,000 divisions to mark their spot in the rich $50,000 harness racing final taking place next Friday, August 10 at Mohawk.
Ontario's talented harness racing three-year-old pacing colts turned up the heat at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday evening as both Gold Elimination winners were clocked in 1:50 or better.
Ferrari Sena overcame post 10, went coast-to-coast and pulled off a 30-1 harness racing shocker in her $20,000 opening-round division of the Girls' Night Out Pacing Series on Friday evening at Mohawk.
When harness racing driver Luc Ouellette partners Bestinthebusiness in their next assignment, the $50,000 Beat The Heat Pacing Series final on Saturday at Mohawk, the veteran reinsman hopes the end result is a winning one.
Former New Zealand pacer Flem N Em notched up his 16th career win in 80 starts at tonight's (Tuesday June 11) harness racing meeting in Mohawk.
George Teague Jr. is sending two Pepsi North America Cup hopefuls, Easy Again and Allstar Legend, to Mohawk Racetrack for Saturday's Somebeachsomewhere Stakes while a third will get something of a try out in Friday's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at The Meadows.
The popular Ontario sired harness racing 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings delivered romping wins in each of their C$25,000 Upper Canada Cup eliminations on Saturday night at Georgian Downs.
Pepsi North America Cup hopeful State Treasurer was able to overcome a first-turn miscue to capture his $35,000 second round harness racing division of The Diplomat Pacing Series on Thursday evening (May 3) at Woodbine.
Yonkers Raceway Saturday night offered penultimate preliminary round competition in its George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series competition. A quintet of $50,000 harness racing events comprised the fourth round, with many of the usual names--save for the AWOL Atochia--adorning the marquee.
It's sort of odd to see a new face emerge in a the fourth round of a series...but then again, this new face is really an old, familiar face. Luc Ouellette makes his initial Yonkers Raceway appearance in nearly nine years Saturday night (April 14), driving early solid choice Strand Hanover from post position No. 4 in the fourth race--the first of five, $50,000 divisions of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.
Fresh off a victory in the opening round of the Spring Pacing Championship, Golden Receiver and harness racing driver Randy Waples returned to victory in the second $60,000 leg Saturday evening at Woodbine.