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December 2, 2013 – Ray Garnett took top honors for the week in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs with a weekly net profit of $248.60, leading a trio of handicappers with triple digit profits. Finishing second for the week was Gordon Waterstone with a net profit of $193.00 for the week with Sally Hinckley grabbing the show spot with a weekly profit of $115.00. Garnett’s biggest hit came in the Three Diamonds as he made a $30 win wager on the winner Delightful Dragon, earning him $315.00. Overall contest leader, Richard Scott remains on top with a net loss of $127.40, $713.45 ahead of second place handicapper Earl Paulson. With three races remaining, it appears the trailing handicappers will need to make some bold handicapping selections if they have any hope of catching Scott or to get into the top three in order to earn some money for their charities. Here are the contest standings at the conclusion of action on December 1, 2013. Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott ($161.00) ($127.40) 1st 6 2nd Earl Paulson ($204.00) ($840.85) ($713.45) 2nd 7 3rd Rusty Nash ($159.00) ($935.87) ($808.47) 3rd 4 4th Ann Stepien ($112.05) ($1,036.95) ($909.55) 4th 1 5th Dennis O'Hara ($168.00) ($1,228.45) ($1,101.05) 5th 2 6th Garnet Barnsdale ($240.00) ($1,427.74) ($1,300.34) 6th 10 7th Gordon Waterstone $193.00 ($2,040.60) ($1,913.20) 8th 4 8th Mark McKelvie ($210.00) ($2,349.79) ($2,222.39) 7th 9 9th Sally Hinckley $115.00 ($2,670.50) ($2,543.10) 9th 0 10th Ray Garnett $248.60 ($3,180.43) ($3,053.03) 10th 3 Ten grace days permitted. After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. Key Hits Ray Garnett - $5 Exacta Box ($30) in The Valley Victory paid $105.50, $30 Win in The Three Diamonds paid $315.00; Sally Hinckley - $20 Trifecta plus a $5 Trifecta Key ($10) in The Moni Maker paid $325.00; Dennis O’Hara - $10 Trifecta ($30) in The Moni Maker paid $130.00; Gordon Waterstone - $10 Exacta ($30) in The Nadia Lobell paid $333.00, $10 Trifecta ($30) in The Moni Maker paid $130.00. Remaining Contest Schedule Saturday, December 7, 2013 – Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment; $58,000(Est.) Reynolds - 3yo Colt Pace, $50,000(Est.) Reynolds – 3yo Filly Pace Saturday, December 14, 2013 – Northfield Park; $130,000(Est.) Cleveland Classic - Open by Allan Schott for HANA
I went four for eight last week, some of my favorite horses got beat, which is bound to happen every now and then. I actually won $.90 (based on $2 win bet each race). We are still in the minus earning column at -$36.30 going into this weekend and we will try once again to bring that number down more. We start off the weekend at the Meadowlands Saturday will a great final stakes program of the season headed by seven major events including the TVG Series Finals and then on Sunday it's the Progress Pace final at Dover Downs. It promises to be a great weekend of racing action! $456,150 Final GoldSmith Maid 2YO Filly Trot 2nd race Saturday, Meadowlands - This race could well wrap-up year-end honors in this division as Shake It Cerry has been super throughout the season for the Jimmy Takter Stable. She should be 1/9 and rightfully so having won her last four-starts and is 7 for 10 on the year with earnings of nearly $600,000. She is a trotting machine and has beaten everyone in this field from on and off the pace. $167,500 Nadia Lobell 3YO Filly Pace 3rd race Saturday, Meadowlands - With I Luv The Nitelife out for the season with a fractured knee this race becomes a two-horse match-up with Shebestingin taking on Charisma Hanover. Both are superb fillies in their own right. Charisma Hanover come in on a five-race win streak with 13 wins this year. But I am going with Shebestingin. She has 11 wins this year, won in Lexington at a mile in world record time of 1:47 and if need be can grind it out on the outside. Will be a classic match-up! $494,750 Valley Victory Final 2YO Colt Trot 4th race Saturday, Meadowlands - With Father Patrick turned out for the season this race should belong to Nuncio. This colt has great speed, first or second in all of his nine starts this year and does not like to be passed. Look for him to get to the front and never look back and has trotting master John Campbell in the sulky too! $500,000 TVG Series Final Open Trot 6th race Saturday, Meadowlands - You can just about make a case for any of the seven horses in this field being able to win. Wishing Stone returned to his winning ways last week in the snow, Mister Herbie was super impressive in his qualifying race, Market Share is total class but I am once again going with Arch Madness. Classy "old man" in the field still has plenty of trot, has beaten this competition before and as long as Trond gets him geared up on the outside by the three-quarters he can grind it out for an upset score. $534,500 Governor's Cup Final 2YO Colt Pace 8th race Saturday, Meadowlands - This will be a very competitive race and I am looking at somewhat of a newcomer grabbing the winner's share of the purse. JK Endofanera showed a :25.4 final quarter mile in a nose lost in a Meadowlands qualifying race, his second nose defeat. Prior to that he shows winning in 1:51.4, has gate speed to insure good position to strike from and has yet to finish worse than second in six lifetime starts. $394,950 Three Diamonds Final 2YO Filly Pace 9th race Saturday, Meadowlands - I think this is a two-horse race between JK Molly and Ali Blue. JK Molly prepped for this final with two sharp qualifying races at the Meadowlands and figures to try and lead all the way in here. But I am going with Ali Blue. She needs mainly to watch her manners and stay on stride but when she is right, which she has been in her last two starts she has the speed to beat JK Molly. $512,000 TVG Free For All Final Open Pace 10th race Saturday, Meadowlands - This is the race many of us have been hoping for all season long. Captaintreacherous, king of the three-year-olds, taking on Foiled Again, Pet Rock and some of the best older pacers in the sport. A lot is riding on this race as Pet Rock and Foiled Again can claim Older Pacer of the Year honors by winning. Foiled Again can even look at possible Pacer of the Year honors with a victory, but both of these game performers have to do one thing first, beat Captaintreacherous. Even with drawing the outside post eight, I think Captaintreacherous has been pointed and primed for this race and that he can beat his older rivals. I don't think he will ever see the lead until mid to late stretch, but if he gets any live cover he will be in position to grind a victory. And when he wins he can claim not only Pacer of the Year honors for the second straight year but also have a shot at Horse of the Year honors. $253,000 Moni Maker 3YO Filly Trot 11th race Saturday, Meadowlands - What can you say about perfection? Bee A Magician looks to close out her superb three-year-old season unbeaten as she goes for her 17th straight win. She has beaten everyone she has faced and done so impressively all season long. Another strong showing in her final race of the year should all but nail down Horse of the Year honors for her...unless the "Captain" can win his race, in which it will be a nail-biter decision that won't be announced until February 23. Either way Bee A Magician has giving us her best week in week out all season long and I can't wait for her to return next year. $284,160 Progress Pace Final 3YO Colts 10th race Sunday, Dover Downs - With Vegas Vacation turned out for the year, the elimination race last week was Sunshine Beach's to win or lose and he lost! Twilight Bonfire turned the tables on Sunshine Beach with an upset win at odds of 20-1. I don't see that happening again today. Sunshine Beach may have it rough at first, having to start from the outside in post eight, but I think that John Campbell will be on the lookout and will rate his colt the best he can and still have something left for the final quarter mile.
Shebestingin and driver David Miller had little trouble holding off challenger Charisma Hanover (Yannick Gingras) in scoring a 1:50 victory to capture the $167,000 Nadia Lobell Pace for three-year-old fillies at the Meadowlands Saturday. Aunt Caroline (Scott Zeron) was first to show out of the gate and then stung Somwherovrarainbow (Brian Sears) who finally made it to the lead at the opening quarter mile in :27. Then it was Miller and Shebestingin coming after the race leaders first-over and she was able to clear to the lead by the half mile marker in :55.2. In the backstretch was when Gingras started up first-over with Charisma Hanover and she caught up with the leaders at the three-quarters in 1:23.1. But as they straighten out to come down the stretch it was all Shebestingin as Charisma Hanover could not keep up. Shebestingin coasted to the wire winning by two and three-quarter lengths over UF Dragon Queen (Tim Tetrick) with Somwherovrarainbow grabbing third place. "Over the year we have had our troubles," Miller said. "Her last few starts she has behaved really well. She is actually maturing into a horse that will be in the winner's circle a lot." It was the Third Straight win and 12th victory on the year for the daughter of Bettor's Delight. Trained by Joe Holloway and co-owned by Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz and L & L Devisser, LLC, Shebestingin ends her 2013 season with earnings of $638,126. "When she warmed up tonight she was bucking and playing," said trainer Joe Holloway, who also trains third place finisher Somwherovrarainbow. "She was really feeling good. They will both be back next year and should really be good." By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com
Charisma Hanover has charmed driver Yannick Gingras with her recent form as he gets ready to race the 3-year-old filly pacer in Saturday’s $167,500 Nadia Lobell Stakes at Meadowlands Racetrack. Gingras and Charisma Hanover will leave from post seven in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies, which also includes world-record-holder Shebestingin from the stable of trainer Joe Holloway. Charisma Hanover has won 13 of 19 races this season, including seven of her last eight starts. Saturday’s stakes-filled card at the Meadowlands also includes the $534,500 Governor’s Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, $494,750 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, $456,150 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, and $394,950 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. Also in action is 3-year-old colt Captaintreacherous, who takes on older foes including Foiled Again and Pet Rock in the $512,000 TVG Free For All Series Championship for pacers, and 3-year-old filly trotter Bee A Magician, who looks to complete a perfect season in the $253,000 Moni Maker Stakes. There also is the $500,000 TVG Free For All Series Championship for older trotters. Charisma Hanover enters the Nadia Lobell off a 1:51.4 win in the 3-year-old open Nov. 23 at the Meadowlands. In her previous start, she beat I Luv The Nitelife by a head to capture the American-National Stakes at Balmoral Park. I Luv The Nitelife, the richest filly pacer in harness racing history, was expected to compete in the Nadia Lobell, but will miss the race because of a knee injury that will require surgery. “I think she’s gotten better as the season has gone on, but she’s raced really well all year,” Gingras said about Charisma Hanover, who is trained by Ron Burke and has earned $555,729 this season. “We’ve been racing her a little differently than early in the year. She would get a little too fired up early in the year.” Charisma Hanover got a little fired up in the Valley Forge Stakes at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August, finishing seventh, but has been simply on fire in her eight starts since then. Her wins included the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, the Lady Maud and American-National in a stakes- and track-record 1:49. Her only loss during that span came when she suffered broken equipment and was pulled up in a Keystone Classic division at The Meadows in September. “She got the right trip behind I Luv The Nitelife in the American-National, but she never saw the rail either,” Gingras said. “She’s a very good horse herself, really a top horse in my mind.” Charisma Hanover, owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, is a daughter of stallion Dragon Again out of the mare Caught The Bouquet. She is a half-sister to 2004 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Runover Feeling, who finished third in the 2005 North America Cup and has earned nearly $900,000 in his career. The Nadia Lobell field, in addition to Charisma Hanover and Shebestingin, includes UF Dragon’s Queen, Mattie Terror Girl, Aunt Caroline, Jerseylicious, Somwherovrarainbow and Authorize. Shebestingin is the fastest female pacer in history thanks to her 1:47 win in a division of the Glen Garnsey at The Red Mile in October. “There are some good fillies in there that can go real fast as well,” Gingras said. “It should be a great race.” by Ken Weingartner for HRC
This Week: Meadowlands fall stakes finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Progress Pace final, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: Meadowlands Racetrack will feature eight stakes on the Saturday night (Nov. 30) card led by the $512,000 TVG FFA Series final for older pacers and the $500,000 TVG FFA Series final for older trotters. Also on tap will be the $534,500 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers, the $494,750 Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, the $456,150 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, the $394,950 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $253,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $167,500 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers. On Sunday night (Dec 1), Dover Downs will feature the $284,160 Progress Pace final for 3-year-old male pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Meadowlands Racetrack's new season got underway this past Saturday night, with many of the top free for all trotters and pacers in the sport competing in the TVG FFA Series. The team of trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras swept both contests as Wishing Stone captured the trot and Foiled Again the pace. In the $50,000 final preliminary leg of the TVG FFA Trotting Series, Wishing Stone and Yannick Gingras led at every quarter, hitting the first quarter in :28.3, stalked by Arch Madness (Trond Smedshammer) and Uncle Peter (David Miller). That trio stayed in the same order through the :56 half and 1:24.4 three-quarters. With about an eighth of a mile to go, Market Share was out and moving, but could not overtake the late leaders, Arch Madness, who came off the rail to challenge and the winner in 1:54 by 1-1/4 lengths, Wishing Stone. Arch Madness was second and Market Share was third. Wishing Stone is trained by Ron Burke for owners Cowboyland Aalborg, TLP Stable, J & T Silva Stables and Deo Volente Farms. "Foiled Again will not be passed." Announcer Ken Warkentin summed up the mile as Foiled Again won the $50,000 TVG FFA Pace at the Meadowlands in 1:49.3. The last chance to gain points for this week's final saw Golden Receiver (Corey Callahan) first on the lead at the opening quarter in :27.1, only to be overtaken by Sweet Lou and David Miller, who held the lead to the :53.4 half. Just past the half, Yannick Gingras had Foiled Again out and poised to advance on the stubborn Sweet Lou, who was still on the lead at the 1:22 three-quarters. As the field paced down the stretch, the advancing duo of Warrawee Needy (Tim Tetrick) and Foiled Again wore down Sweet Lou, and the battle was on between those two. Foiled Again inched ahead and would not yield to Warrawee Needy to win by a neck in 1:49.3. Modern Legend (John Campbell) was third and Sweet Lou was fourth. Foiled Again is trained by Ron Burke and co-owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. The $35,000 Progress Pace elimination for 3-year-old males was held on Sunday night at Dover Downs and 20-1 Twilight Bonfire got his picture taken. In a two-colt battle down the lane, Twilight Bonfire finally passed the favorite, Sunshine Beach, in the final strides to win by a head. Dedi's Dragon closed to finish third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2013, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Hanover Shoe Farms is the sponsor for the 2013 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,827; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,580; 3. David Miller - 1,143; 4. Brian Sears - 726.5; and 5. Ron Pierce - 692.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,751.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,166.5; 3. Linda Toscano - 495.5; 4. Jonas Czernyson - 472.5; and 5. Tony Alagna - 471. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 396.8; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 367.35; 3. Frank Bellino - 268.5; 4. Brittany Farms - 263.05; and 5. WJ Donovan - 242.75. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack. The Meadowlands will host W.N. Reynolds Memorial contests for 3-year-old colt and filly pacers. by Paul Ramlow for the Grand Circuit
Whether you are a devoted harness racing fan, a purist of the Standardbred sport, a gambler or just someone who likes to watch a great event, then look no further than the Meadowlands Racetrack this Saturday, November 30. It’s a once in a lifetime match-up as Captaintreacherous, the three-year-old pacing machine, looks to close out his 2013 race season going against nine of the best older pacers in harness racing in the $512,000 final of the TVG Series. Voted the 2012 Pacer of the Year by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), Captaintreacherous has lived up to those standards again in 2013. He has competed in 15 races this season, won 13 of them and lost the other two in photo finishes. He has a record at a mile of 1:47.1 and earnings this year of $2,055,033. Trained by Tony Alagna and owned by the Captaintreacherous Racing Stable out of Versailles, KY, the son of Somebeachsomewhere was a yearling purchase for $250,000 and worth every penny and then some as he now sports career earnings of $2,973,286. Now on Saturday he will be all out to prove once again he is the best pacer in the world for the second straight year. But it will not be an easy task as he faces nine opponents, many of whom have years of experience and tons of speed. Leading the way is Foiled Again, the richest pacer in the history of harness racing with more than $5.7 million in earnings. With a victory he will be challenging Captaintreacherous for the votes in the Pacer of the Year balloting in December by the membership of USHWA and the race secretaries. For three straight years world champion Foiled Again has earned over $1 million for trainer and co-owner Ron Burke. The nine-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again never seems to know where the finish line is. He continues races first-up on the outside and if he can’t get to the lead he just grinds it out against opponents with great success. Also in the race is Pet Rock, whose displays of raw unbridled speed saw him score world records on two different sized tracks in 2013, the fastest a dazzling 1:47 mile. Other standouts in the race include the 2011 Two-Year-Old Pacer of the Year, Sweet Lou, Warrawee Needy, Golden Receiver, Bolt The Duer, Modern Legend, Dynamic Youth and Bettor’s Edge. “Of course we would be happier with post four than post eight,” said Myron Bell, spokesman for Captaintreacherous Racing. “But the racing gods of the post position draw did not hear me. I promise everyone that Captaintreacherous will be heard from in this race. Our goals this year were to win the Meadowlands Pace, win the North America Cup and win the Breeders Crown so we could get an invitation to race in the TVG Final. Now it is up to Captaintreacherous and our driver Tim Tetrick to put the icing on the cake with a win this Saturday. “I am looking to have a great night on Saturday, win or lose,” Bell said. “He’s (Captaintreacherous) record speaks for himself. Of course I think he can beat these horses and I know he could lose too. But I am also happy because this race is for the fans. Anyone who loves a good horse race has to come to the Meadowlands on Saturday.” In addition to the TVG Pace Final, the 13-race program also features the $500,000 TVG Final for trotters headlined by Market Share, Arch Madness and Wishing Stone. There is the $534,500 final of the Governors Cup for two-year-old pacing colts, the $494,750 final of the Valley Victory for two-year-old trotters, the $465,150 final of the Goldsmith Maid for two-year-old trotting fillies, $394,950 Final of the Three Diamonds for two-year-old pacing fillies and the $167,700 Nadia Lobell Pace for three-year-old fillies. By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com
World champion three-year-old pacing filly, I Luv The Nitelife, is done racing for the 2013 season and was not entered in the Nadia Lobell Pace this Saturday at the Meadowlands. Trainer Chris Ryder was very upset over the incident. “She has a slab fracture of her right knee,” Ryder said. “We are mortified. We do not know how this happened. She has been a great filly and it has been an unbelievable season. According to co-owner Joanne Young, “I Luv The Nitelife jogged early this morning and was fine. Then later in her stall her groom saw that she was lame and got a hold of Chris who called in the veterinarian. “She qualified last week and was perfect,” Young said. “It’s so sad that she cannot make her final race this Saturday, but better this happened now then maybe in the race on Saturday. We will explore the options of surgery and see if she can come back and race next year.” For the 2013 season, I Luv The Nitelife, sired by Rocknroll Hanover, raced 15 times with 13 wins, one second and one third place finish. She won $1,253,757 in purses and took a lifetime mark of 1:48.3. Lifetime she has 17 wins in 25 starts with earnings of $1,943,287 for owners Richard and Joanne Young of Coconut Creek, FL. Her major stakes victories include the Breeders Crown, Jugette, Simcoe, Valley Forge, Miss New Jersey, Mistletoe Shalee, James Lynch and the Fan Hanover. “What a sensational season we had with her.” Young added. “We had the same situation happen with Put On A Show and after a year’s rest she came back to race again. “And if it is not in the cards for Nitelife to race again, then we will be very happy to have her make babies for us to race.” By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com
November 25, 2013 – While Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment had a stellar opening, the same cannot be said of the handicappers in this past week’s racing action in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. The ‘top’ handicapper was overall leader Richard Scott who had a net loss of only $14.50 for the two races on this past week’s slate. Rusty Nash and Anne Stepien are the only other two handicappers who cashed any tickets. Overall contest leader, Richard Scott remains on top with a net profit of $33.60, $670.45 ahead of second place handicapper Earl Paulson. After this week, there are only three races remaining in the contest which concludes December 15, 2013. Here are the contest standings at the conclusion of action on November 23, 2013. As of November 23, 2013 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott ($14.50) $33.60 $0.00 1st 6 2nd Earl Paulson ($60.00) ($636.85) ($670.45) 2nd 7 3rd Rusty Nash ($36.60) ($776.87) ($810.47) 3rd 4 4th Ann Stepien ($57.90) ($924.90) ($958.50) 5th 1 5th Dennis O'Hara ($60.00) ($1,060.45) ($1,094.05) 4th 2 6th Garnet Barnsdale ($60.00) ($1,187.74) ($1,221.34) 6th 9 7th Mark McKelvie ($60.00) ($2,139.79) ($2,173.39) 7th 8 8th Gordon Waterstone ($60.00) ($2,233.60) ($2,267.20) 8th 4 9th Sally Hinckley ($60.00) ($2,785.50) ($2,819.10) 9th 0 10th Ray Garnett ($60.00) ($3,429.03) ($3,462.63) 10th 3 Ten grace days permitted. After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. Contest Schedule This Week Saturday, November 30, 2013 – Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment - $500,000 TVG FFA Series Trot Final; $500,000 TVG FFA Series Pace Final, $534,500 Governors Cup (2yo Open Pace), $394,950 Three Diamonds (2yo Filly Pace), $494,750 Valley Victory (2yo Open Trot), $456,150 Goldsmith Maid (2yo Filly Trot), $172,500(Est.) Nadia Lobell (3yo Filly Pace), $253,000(Est.) Moni Maker (3yo Filly Trot) Sunday, December 1, 2013 – Dover Downs - $330,000(Est.) Progress Pace (3yo Open Pace) by Allan Schott for HANA
Once again Foiled Again showed his heels to his much younger rivals, coming first-over for driver Yannick Gingras, wearing down pacesetter Sweet Lou and then holding off Warrawee Needy to win the $50,000 TVG Series Pace final leg at the Meadowlands Saturday. Bolt The Duer (Mark Macdonald) and Golden Receiver (Corey Callahan) battled early for control of the lead with Golden Receiver winning out by the opening quarter mile in :27.1. Then Sweet Lou (David Miller) came first up and cleared to the lead in the backstretch by the half mile in :53.4. It was then that Gingras started up first-over with Foiled Again from fifth place and they started working their way towards the leaders. Past the three-quarters in 1:22, Foiled Again was poised to confront Sweet Lou with Warrawee Needy (Tim Tetrick) gobbling up the second-over trip. As they started down the stretch Foiled Again collared Sweet Lou to take the lead and then with a true grit effort, dug in and held off Warrawee Needy to win by a neck in 1:49.3. Modern Legend (John Campbell) closed well to be third. Now the richest pacer in the history of harness racing, Foiled Again posted his tenth win on the year. The nine-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again sports 75 wins during his career with lifetime earnings of $5,774,968, $1,148,984 of that total earning just this year. It is his third straight year of winning more than $1 in a single season. Foiled Again is trained by Ron Burke and is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and the JJK Stable. Sent off as the 3/2 betting favorite, Foiled Again paid $5.00 to win. “For me it was a Catch-22,” Burke said. “In the backstretch I got Sweet Lou on the front end and I have Foiled coming and I want them to dig in and hang on but Foiled Again is a bit tougher and I knew he would wear him down late. This horse races good in the fall, good in the spring, good in the winter. Just because he does not only win in the summer people count him out but he is so good. He is not super fast but goes the same mile week in week out.” Burke also stated that Sweet Lou would return and race next year. But he felt that after tonight’s race, Fred And Ginger may call it a career and head to stallion duty. Fred And Ginger did not finish the race tonight and Burke said he has had some heart issues that is ending his career. Charisma Hanover hangs on in Nadia Lobell Preview Charisma Hanover was bearing out badly in the stretch but still able to hold on over a determined Aunt Caroline in capturing the $25,000 Nadia Lobell Preview for three-year-old pacing fillies. The race started off with UF Dragon’s Queen (Tim Tetrick) taking the early lead with Parlee Beach (Mark Macdonald) leaving hard from post ten to grab the two-hole spot. Going around the first turn saw Charisma Hanover, the 1/5 favorite, coming first over and clearing to the lead after the opening quarter mile in :27.2. Going down the backstretch, Charisma Hanover and driver Yannick Gingras settled into the lead at the half in :55.3. Then Aunt Caroline (Scott Zeron) came first-over with Mattie Terror Girl (David Miller) grabbing the second-over cover. Past the three-quarters in 1:23.3, Charisma Hanover still looked comfortable on the lead. As they started down the stretch, Charisma Hanover began to bear out and half way down the stretch Aunt Caroline moved to the inside with a burst of speed and nearly collared Charisma Hanover as she continued to bear to the outside but was game enough to hold on and win by neck over Aunt Caroline in 1:51.4. UF Dragon’s Queen was third. It was the fifth straight win and 13th victory on the year for Charisma Hanover, who is sired by Dragon Again. She is trained by Ron Burke and is owned by the Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi, both of Pennsylvania. Charisma Hanover paid $2.40 to win. Next week at the Meadowlands Charisma Hanover will once again meet with world champion I Luv The Nitelife in the $200,000 final of the Nadia Lobell Pace. By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com
Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment presented nine preview qualifying races at 6:00pm on Monday evening looking toward Saturday’s Grand Opening and the last few races showcased several of harness racing’s top performers. A few of the season’s fastest freshman pacing colts used tonight as a tightner for next Saturday’s $534,500 Governor’s Cup stake. A pair of Ron Burke trainees hit the wire together with Somestarsomewhere hanging on by a short nose over JK Endofanera in 1:51.4 with a wicked 26- final quarter after setting all the pace for Yannick Gingras. Burke Racing owns this son of Somebeachsomewhere, who set the freshman track record of 1:49.2 at The Red Mile this fall and won his Breeders Crown elim in a world record 1:49.4 at Pocono, with Weaver Bruscemi, Yanek & Carr. The seventh race, three year old pacing fillies prepping for the Nadia Lobell, pitted this year’s top sophomore I Luv The Nitelife against last’s season division leader Somewherovrarainbow, who was making her first start out of the Joe Holloway barn. They went around the oval in that order through 27.2 / 55.4 / 1:23.3 fractions and flew home in 26.3 for a time of 1:50.1 with “Nitelife” a length and a half winner. Tim Tetrick was behind the filly, as he has been in all of her starts and she looked as sharp as she has at any point this season. Chris Ryder conditions the Rocknroll Hanover filly for Richard and Joanne Young. The most exciting news of the fall season is that top three year old pacing colt Captaintreacherous is slated to face older horses in the $500,000 TVG FFA Final on November 30, a feat that hasn’t been attempted in decades. The “Captain” used tonight’s qualifier to hone to a razor’s edge with a 1:49.3 waltz around the racetrack. Tetrick guided him through even fractions with a 27- kicker on the end. Captaintreacherous has also held his form remarkably over the long and taxing summer and was turned out beautifully for tonight’s race by trainer Tony Alagna and his team. All that remains is for the connections, ownership group Captaintreacherous Racing headed by Myron Bell, and Tony to deem him fit for the race and we’ll get to see the match-up that we’d like. The last race saw Pet Rock getting some work in toward that same TVG Final goal, where he will certainly be a main contender. Dave Miller put him right on the lead through soft numbers then sprinted home in 26.1 to win in 1:50.4. Trainer Virgil Morgan has Frank Bellino’s Rocknroll Hanover stud dead sharp for the last start of his career next Saturday before he heads off to Midland Farms in Ohio to embark on his new career. Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment General Manager and CEO Jason Settlemoir observed, “Having the two preview nights to allow the servers and food prep the opportunity to get familiar with their jobs in the new space has been invaluable. Thanks to the horsemen for supporting it with their participation and to all of our employees for their hard work and dedication as we prepare for Saturday’s Grand Opening.” Check The Meadowlands website for more information on tonight and Saturday’s races. by Nick Salvi for the Meadowlands
The growth, generosity and well wishes continue to rise as horsemen and women throughout the harness racing community and outside the Standardbred industry are coming forth with donations towards the Anthony Coletta Fund. Coletta, who was critically injured in a driving accident at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Sunday, November 17 suffered head trauma and multiple fractions that required emergency surgery. He is figthing for his life at the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Reports said he is still breathing on his own, and tomorrow he will have multiple surgeries to work on fixing his broken pelvis, hip and elbow. Horsemen and women and racetracks across the United States are rallying to help raise funds for Coletta’s massive medical expenses. Thursday there will be a special days at tracks throughout the nation as many drivers, trainers and owners are donating and matching fees to help the cause. Joanne and Richard Young, owners of the world champion pacing filly, I Luv The Nitelife, said today they will donate 10% of their filly’s earnings from her next race, which is the $200,000 Nadia Lobell Pace at the Meadowlands on November 30. If she continues her winning ways that could amount to $9,000. Driver Yannick Gingras announced earlier this week that his is donating his driving fees to the Coletta Fund on Thursday and already more than ten owners and drivers have said they would match whatever he raises. Coletta’s best friend, trainer Anthony “Pork Chop” Defrancesco, III, has visited Coletta every day in the hospital and has set up a Facebook page, “Thoughts and Prayers for Anthony Coletta,” that already has more than 4,000 likes. Defrancesco has arranged for the purchase of 6,000 wrist bands that he will have ready by Monday. “I hope 6,000 will be enough.” Defrancesco said. He is also arranging with a local bank to set up a permanent fund for his friend. “Anyone wishing to make donations can write out a check to Anthony Coletta and send it to Defrancesco at 2551 South Mildred Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148. “ Defrancesco said. “To order wrist bands or to assist in our fundraising efforts please call 215-385-6732. “We have even heard from some groups outside our industry who are sponsoring trail rides to help raise money for the family too,” Defrancesco said. “This is really great.” Tracks and organizations where fund raising efforts are taking place include Dover Downs (DE), Freehold Raceway (NJ), Harrah's Philadelphia (PA), the Meadows (PA), Lebonon Raceway (OH), Pocono Downs (PA), Yonkers Raceway (NY), The SOA/NY, Crawford Farm and many indiviual grooms, trainers, drivers and owners too. By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com
East Rutherford, NJ - In preparation for what is likely to be the final starts of their season, Captaintreacherous and I Luv The Nitelife will qualify Thursday night at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. I Luv The Nitelife will make what is expected to be her final 2013 start the following Saturday, November 30th in The Nadia Lobell. Her owner Richard Young has nothing but praise for his superstar filly. "Nitelife has raced her heart out all year," said Young. "She raced in the Jugette, and we expected to have an elimination for The Breeders Crown, but instead had to qualify her. Then with one start in seven weeks she raced her heart out and got beat a neck at Balmoral. Maybe a qualifier would have helped, so we are getting her one prior to the Nadia Lobell." Captaintreacherous is gearing up for a new challenge. Captaintreacherous Racing spokesman Myron Bell talked about his star colt. "We are extremely pleased with the year he has had," said Bell. "There was no shame getting beat a nose in a tough trip in a world record mile. The other loss, the Captain was a bit sick. It happens. Our concern wasn't going undefeated, it was racing well and keeping his form and he has done that. Right now, he is 100-percent. If he comes out of this qualifier good, he has earned the right to race in the TVG Free For All Championship. It is an honor that Captaintreacherous is the three year old to take on this challenge and we feel very privileged to be competing in what will be a historic event for the sport of harness racing." The historic event that Bell is speaking of is that for the first time in a generation, the best three year old pacing colt will challenge the best Free For All Pacers in the world. "I don't think this has happened in over thirty years," Bell stated. "We are really behind this and I want to thank Tony Alagna and Tim Tetrick for doing such a great job with him all year and getting him to this race 100-percent fit and sound." The qualifiers will begin at 6:00 P.M. Thursday evening as part of a "Preview Night" for horsemen. In addition those horsemen attending will enjoy a complimentary dinner in "Pink," Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment tiered dining room. The Grand Opening will include a 13-race program Saturday Night, November 23rd featuring the Final Preliminary Legs of the TVG Free For All Championships. by Rachel Ryan for the Meadowlands
This Week: TVG FFA Series legs, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. and Progress Pace elimination, Dover Downs, Dover, Del. Schedule of events: Meadowlands Racetrack will unveil their new grandstand this Saturday with a card featuring the final preliminary legs of the TVG series for older pacers and trotters. Eliminations were also scheduled in the Governor's Cup for 2-year-old colt pacers, the Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers, the Valley Victory for 2-year-old colt trotters and the Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, but will not be required. Those races will go directly to their lucrative finals on Nov. 30. On Sunday night (Nov. 24), Dover Downs will feature a $35,000 elimination in the Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. The top eight pacers in the nine horse elimination will advance to the $330,000 (est.) Progress Pace final on Dec. 1. Last time: Eight Matron Stakes finals were featured on the Sunday (Nov. 17) program at Dover Downs. The biggest night in Delaware harness racing history featured multiple track records in the Matron events with more than $1.32 million in purses at stake. [cid:image002.jpg@01CEE5D8.AE518DC0] Among the horses setting a track record was 3-year-old filly pacer Shebestingin, who scored in 1:49.1, besting Ms Caila J Fra (Andy Miller) to the wire in a final quarter of :27.4. Joe Holloway trains the Bettor's Delight-Armbro Tussle filly for Ted Gewertz, L&L DeVisser and Val D'or Farms. She won for the 11th time this season and has earned $554,876. Matt Kakaley moved All Bets Off into the lead after a :26.1 opening quarter and was never headed, collecting a 1:50 triumph in the $154,575 Matron 2-year-old colt pace final, breaking the former track mark of 1:50.4 shared by Heston Blue Chip and If I Can Dream. Ron Burke trains the winner for Frank Baldachino, Rosemary Shelswell, The Panhellenic Stable and Burke Racing Stable. Nuncio knocked two seconds off Explosive Matter's freshman track mark of 1:55 with a powerful 1:53 decision in the $166,650 2-year-old male trot. John Campbell was at the controls as the Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle youngster record his fifth victory in nine starts. Scott Andrews conditions the winner for Stall TZ Inc. Maywood Park hosted four Grand Circuit stakes on their Friday night (Nov. 15) card and Word Power did all the talking in the Windy City Pace, coming up the inside lane to capture Maywood's premiere event in 1:51.4. Scott Zeron steered the 3-year-old son of Western Ideal-Lush Limbaugh for trainer Larry Remmen and owner Brad Grant. Unraced at 2, Word Power pushed his career earnings to $375,804 in securing his seventh lifetime victory in 17 trips postward. Lucan Hanover picked up second-place money, while Apprentice Hanover held on for show honors. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2013, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Hanover Shoe Farms is the sponsor for the 2013 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,772; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,523; 3. David Miller - 1,123; 4. Brian Sears - 701.5; and 5. Ron Pierce - 672.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,706.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,131.5; 3. Linda Toscano - 493.5; 4. Tony Alagna - 466; and 5. Jonas Czernyson - 447.5. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 388.5; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 364.05; 3. Frank Bellino - 268.5; 4. Brittany Farms - 263.05; and 5. WJ Donovan - 242.75. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack and Dover Downs. The Meadowlands will host eight stakes, the TVG FFA Series finals for trotters and pacers; the Governor's Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-olds; the Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters; and the Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers. Dover will host the final in the Progress Pace for 3-year-old pacing colts. by Paul Ramlow for the Grand Circuit
For the eleventh time this year, Shebestingin made it look easy in getting to the winner’s circle and on Sunday at Dover Downs she set a track record in winning the $130,650 Matron Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies in 1:49.1. Ms Caila J Fra (Andy Miller) left from the rail to take the early lead with Summertime Lea (Yannick Gringras) on their backs. After the opening quarter in :25.4 was when driver David Miller came charging on the outside with the 1/5 favorite, Shebestingin and they easily took command before the half mile pole in :53.4. Racing up the backstretch, Shebestingin held the field at bay as Jerseylicious (Corey Callahan) was caught on the outside since the start and could not catch up to the race leaders. Despite no pressure on the outside, Shebestingin still led the field past the three-quarters in 1:21.2 and then held the field at bay coming down the stretch and winning by three easy lengths. Ms Caila J Fra was second with UF Dragon’s Queen (Tim Tetrick) finished third. Sired by Bettor’s Delight, Shebestingin surpassed the prior track record of 1:49.2 that was set by Show Her The Money. She is trained by Joe Holloway and is co-owned by Val D’or Farms, Ted Gewertz and L 7 L Devisser. Shebestingin paid $2.40 to win. “She is very good,” Holloway said. “She was good last week. Hopefully she will mature and will round into form for next year. When my filly is on her game she is as good as anybody. She had a little problem with the starts, some issues with herself. “She was lightly raced last year,” Hollowed explained, “and she will get more mature as she goes along. We thought she was something special when we baby raced her last year. She has gone some good miles and then got hurt so we put her away for the year. She will race once more in the Nadia Lobell at the Meadowlands and that will be it for her for the year. We will race her next year as well.” By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com
East Rutherford, NJ - As Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment prepares for its grand opening, a look back on the final season raced in the original grandstand reveals inspiring results. The Meadowlands raced 72 days from December 27, 2012 through Hambletonian Day, August 3, 2013 and The Meadowlands can proudly announce that total handle for the 72 days surpassed $204 Million. The average handle per night was $2,843,203. “After receiving the final numbers, seeing our handle exceeded $200 Million is something all of harness racing can be proud of,” said Director of Racing Operations Darin Zoccali. “This past season was a transition year for us and to have had the type of success we had is extremely promising. On the heels of one of best racing seasons at The Meadowlands in years, we are obviously all extremely excited to see what 2014 and the new Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will bring.” Compared to 2012, the total handle, despite racing six less days, yielded an increase of over $44 Million, or 28-percent. The average daily handle of $2,843,203 was an increase of more than $700,000 over the average daily handle in 2012, or 33-percent. “We did a lot of things differently this past year,” said General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “We got rid of the notion that change cannot be positive because the way things have always been done takes precedent. From changes to our wagering format, to pursuing bigger bettors, making an integrity-driven product our top priority, dramatically increasing event marketing and providing outstanding customer service, this past season has provided a template for our future success. Now, adding all of that to a brand new, state of the art facility, we cannot wait to see what 2014 will bring.” Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment has its Grand Opening on Saturday November 23rd, with first post time at 7:15 P.M. The opening night program features eliminations for the Fall Final Four and the final preliminary legs of the TVG Free For All Championships. Thanksgiving weekend features cards on both Friday November 29th and Saturday November 30th. The November 30th card will be one of the best of the year for the sport of harness racing with Finals of the Nadia Lobell, Moni Maker, Fall Final Four and TVG Free For All Championships. Purses for the evening will surpass $3 Million. In addition, Horse of the Year will be on the line as Bee A Magician looks to put a bow on an undefeated season, while Captaintreacherous hopes to defeat the best Free For All Pacers in the world. It will be a night to remember. Visit www.PlayMeadowlands.com for details. by Rachel Ryan for the Meadowlands