WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 16, 2015 -- When Safe From Terror surprised the field and harness racing bettors by winning the Sept. 5 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship at 45-1, some may have dismissed it as a fluke. They likely won't be saying that about her any longer, as she scored her second consecutive upset, this time at 5-1, in Wednesday's $170,000 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers at The Meadows -- and took the overland route to do it. Sassa Hanover wanted the lead from the rail, but she was pressured early by Divine Caroline and Storm Point, forcing her to step a lively opening half in 26.3/54.4. With all that early speed, winning driver Matt Kakaley knew the front end might collapse but wasn't sure third over was the place to be. "I was a little worried," Kakaley said, "but I wanted to get her out in the flow of the race anyway. It worked out perfect, really, because the front end kind of fell apart off the last turn." Safe From Terror moved four wide through the stretch to down another closer, The Show Returns, by a length in 1:50.4, a career best. Divine Caroline was full of pace but lacked room and had to settle for show. The back-to-back upsets by the daughter of Western Terror-In A Safe Place didn't surprise Kakaley. "I've won a lot of races with this filly, and she's always been very, very good," he said. "There was a point for a few starts where she was just okay, not great, but she was very good today." Ron Burke trains Safe From Terror, who now boasts $449,992 in lifetime earnings, for Our Horse Cents Stables, Stable 45 and J&T Silva Stables. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Certified Ideal collected a front-end victory -- her third in the last four starts -- in 1:51.2 for Tony Hall, trainer Randy Bendis and owners Mike Novosel, Jr., Tom Pollack, James Walton and Bendis. Do Me Honor was second, 1/2 length back, with Jaded Dream third. The 5-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Areba's Last soared over $400,000 in career earnings. It was one of four wins for Hall on the 15-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino
Freehold, NJ --- Bettor Be Steppin, the richest 3-year-old female pacer in North America this season, will step out for the first time since winning last month’s Valley Forge Stakes when she faces eight harness racing rivals in Wednesday’s (Sept. 16) $170,000 Nadia Lobell at The Meadows in western Pennsylvania. The Joe Holloway-trained filly leaves from post No. 2 with driver Corey Callahan and is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the event for 3-year-old filly pacers. Bettor Be Steppin has won five of 11 races this year, finished second on three occasions, and earned $419,150 for owners Val D’Or Farms, Rojan Stables, and Ted Gewertz. In addition to winning the Valley Forge on Aug. 22 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Bettor Be Steppin’s victories include the Lynch Memorial and two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes. She also finished in a dead-heat second with stablemate Divine Caroline in the Shady Daisy and was second in a division of the Adioo Volo. Post time is 12:55 p.m. for Wednesday’s first race at The Meadows. The Nadia Lobell is race No. 6, with a post time of 2:35 p.m. approximately. “I look forward to driving her every time she gets in (to race),” said Callahan, who has sat behind Bettor Be Steppin in her last 20 starts dating back to last season, posting eight wins and a total of 15 on-the-board finishes. “She’s an exceptional filly. Joe has done an excellent job managing her; she’s always on her toes. It’s nice to know you’ve got a good live horse that’s ready to race every week. It’s been a lot of fun this year, that’s for sure.” The Nadia Lobell field also includes Divine Caroline, Adioo Volo division winners Sassa Hanover and Storm Point, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Safe From Terror, New Jersey Sire Stakes champion The Show Returns, and Lynch Memorial runner-up Single Me. Sassa Hanover, the 3-1 second choice on the morning line, Safe From Terror, and Storm Point are from the stable of trainer Ron Burke. Sassa Hanover, who has won 13 of 25 lifetime races and earned $704,002, enters the event off a 1:52.1 win in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Yonkers Raceway on Aug. 31. She will be driven by Yannick Gingras. “Sassa Hanover has kind of turned it around here the last few weeks and has gone some pretty good miles,” Callahan said. “She drew the rail and Yannick and Burke are ultra-aggressive with everything, so that might make it a little tricky. But over the year, (Bettor Be Steppin) has been the most consistent and the best filly in her group. “She’s professional in every sense of the word, one of those push-button horses. She doesn’t have any quirks, she doesn’t do anything crazy. She does everything you ask her to do. It makes my job a lot easier, that’s for sure. She’s handy. She’s quick off the gate, but she also can race from behind. Most of your horses nowadays, it’s such a speed game, if you have one that is handy enough and can handle the pressure on the lead you can make a lot of money with them. Most of these horses now, that’s where you see them. You love to work out trips, but it’s tough sometimes.” Callahan, who earlier this year won his sixth consecutive driving title at Dover Downs and is one win behind Tim Tetrick for second place at Harrah’s Philadelphia, is on the verge of surpassing 500 wins for the sixth consecutive season and could reach $10 million in purses for the first time. Callahan set a career high in purses with $9.70 million in 2013 and hit $9.08 million last year. He entered Tuesday with 479 wins and $7.11 million in earnings. “I hope so, that’s been my goal the last couple years,” Callahan said about reaching $10 million. “A lot of that has to do with getting better horses to drive. I’m getting live drives and when you get those, it makes it a lot easier to get them in the race and pick up those top three finishes. I’m very fortunate that way.” Following is the field in post order for the Nadia Lobell with drivers, trainers and morning line odds: 1. Sassa Hanover by Rock N Roll Heaven, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 3-1 2. Bettor Be Steppin by Bettor's Delight, Corey Callahan, Joe Holloway, 5-2 3. The Show Returns by Rocknroll Hanover, John Campbell, Chris Ryder, 15-1 4. Totally Rusty by Ruty For Real, Andrew McCarthy, Ross Croghan, 6-1 5. Safe From Terror by Western Terror, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 6-1 6. Imagine Dragon by Dragon Again, Scott Zeron, Frank Antonacci, 15-1 7. Single Me by Bettor' Delight, Eric Goodell, Ross Croghan, 12-1 8. Divine Caroline by Rock N Roll Heaven, David Miller, Joe Holloway, 5-1 9. Storm Point by Somebeachsomewhere, Dave Palone, Ron Burke, 12-1 by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications
Meadow Lands, PA - Bettor Be Steppin, the richest 3-year-old female pacer in North America this season, will step out for the first time since winning last month's Valley Forge Stakes when she faces eight rivals in Wednesday's $170,000 Nadia Lobell at The Meadows in western Pennsylvania. The Joe Holloway-trained filly leaves from post No. 2 with driver Corey Callahan and is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the event for 3-year-old filly pacers. Bettor Be Steppin has won five of 11 races this year, finished second on three occasions, and earned $419,150 for owners Val D'Or Farms, Rojan Stables, and Ted Gewertz. In addition to winning the Valley Forge on Aug. 22 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Bettor Be Steppin's victories include the Lynch Memorial and two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes. She also finished in a dead-heat second with stablemate Divine Caroline in the Shady Daisy and was second in a division of the Adioo Volo. Post time is 12:55 p.m. for Wednesday's first race at The Meadows. The Nadia Lobell is race No. 6, with a post time of 2:35 p.m. approximately. "I look forward to driving her every time she gets in (to race)," said Callahan, who has sat behind Bettor Be Steppin in her last 20 starts dating back to last season, posting eight wins and a total of 15 on-the-board finishes. "She's an exceptional filly. Joe has done an excellent job managing her; she's always on her toes. It's nice to know you've got a good live horse that's ready to race every week. It's been a lot of fun this year, that's for sure." The Nadia Lobell field also includes Divine Caroline, Adioo Volo division winners Sassa Hanover and Storm Point, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Safe From Terror, New Jersey Sire Stakes champion The Show Returns, and Lynch Memorial runner-up Single Me. Sassa Hanover, the 3-1 second choice on the morning line, Safe From Terror, and Storm Point are from the stable of trainer Ron Burke. Sassa Hanover, who has won 13 of 25 lifetime races and earned $704,002, enters the event off a 1:52.1 win in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Yonkers Raceway on Aug. 31. She will be driven by Yannick Gingras. "Sassa Hanover has kind of turned it around here the last few weeks and has gone some pretty good miles," Callahan said. "She drew the rail and Yannick and Burke are ultra-aggressive with everything, so that might make it a little tricky. But over the year, (Bettor Be Steppin) has been the most consistent and the best filly in her group. "She's professional in every sense of the word, one of those push-button horses. She doesn't have any quirks, she doesn't do anything crazy. She does everything you ask her to do. It makes my job a lot easier, that's for sure. She's handy. She's quick off the gate, but she also can race from behind. Most of your horses nowadays, it's such a speed game, if you have one that is handy enough and can handle the pressure on the lead you can make a lot of money with them. Most of these horses now, that's where you see them. You love to work out trips, but it's tough sometimes." Callahan, who earlier this year won his sixth consecutive driving title at Dover Downs and is one win behind Tim Tetrick for second place at Harrah's Philadelphia, is on the verge of surpassing 500 wins for the sixth consecutive season and could reach $10 million in purses for the first time. Callahan set a career high in purses with $9.70 million in 2013 and hit $9.08 million last year. He entered Tuesday with 479 wins and $7.11 million in earnings. "I hope so, that's been my goal the last couple years," Callahan said about reaching $10 million. "A lot of that has to do with getting better horses to drive. I'm getting live drives and when you get those, it makes it a lot easier to get them in the race and pick up those top three finishes. I'm very fortunate that way." Following is the field in post order for the Nadia Lobell with drivers, trainers and morning line odds: 1. Sassa Hanover, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 3-1 2. Bettor Be Steppin, Corey Callahan, Joe Holloway, 5-2 3. The Show Returns, John Campbell, Chris Ryder, 15-1 4. Totally Rusty, Andrew McCarthy, Ross Croghan, 6-1 5. Safe From Terror, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 6-1 6. Imagine Dragon, Scott Zeron, Frank Antonacci, 15-1 7. Single Me, Eric Goodell, Ross Croghan, 12-1 8. Divine Caroline, David Miller, Joe Holloway, 5-1 9. Storm Point, Dave Palone, Ron Burke, 12-1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA
LEBANON, OH. - The "Roarin' Grand" is on its way to southwest Ohio as Miami Valley Raceway presents its first-ever national stakes races this Sunday night (May 4). The $50,300 Sam 'Chip' Noble III Memorial pace for older pacing mares and the $60,000 Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares are scheduled as the 8th and 9th races on an 11 race program which will bring the curtain down on the new track's inaugural season. The combined earnings of the two fields is $7,542,251 and combined win total is 214 races. "We couldn't be more pleased with the response to our first national stakes offerings," said Race Secretary Gregg Keidel. "We have horses that have earned over $1 million and winners of many of the most prestigious stakes races in North America, including Breeder's Crowns. It will be great to host Maven, one of the absolute best trotting mares in the world; and having an array of nationally-acclaimed drivers, including two Hall Of Famers, fly in for these events is certainly a big plus!" Yagonnakissmeornot, fresh off a second place finish in the $371,400 Blue Chip Matchmaker series final at Yonkers in which she won four preliminary legs, has been tabbed the 2-1 morning line favorite in the Chip Noble Memorial-honoring one of the most talented and respected horsemen in Ohio harness racing history, who succumbed to cancer earlier this year. Driver Daniel Dube will start from the two-hole with the half-million dollar earner who is trained by Rene Allard. Despite the fact she has won more races in 2014 than the rest of the field combined there are some other extremely talented mares to deal with. Shebestingin will start from the four-hole with Hall Of Famer and local driving legend David Miller on her lines. The Joe Holloway-trainee has a four-race win streak entering this contest including an eye-popping 1:50.4 win in her only 2014 start. She won the Nadia Lobell, the Matron and the Glen Garnsey in her final 2013 starts. Jerseylicious is another outstanding mare who won nine times last season and earned $295,154. Corey Callahan will sulky-sit for trainer Wayne Givens. The powerful Ron Burke stable will be represented by Camille, a six-year-old mare with over $1 million in her bankroll. Yannick Gingras will be at Miami Valley to guide her. Three mares with Ohio connections round out the field: Ohmybelle (Tyler Smith), She's Shocking (Kayne Kauffman) and Best Impressions (Josh Sutton). The Jonas Czernyson stable, ripe with many of the top trotters in the United States, has four mares entered in the Miami Valley Distaff, including morning line favorite Maven at 4-5. With special permission from the Ohio State Racing Commission all four of Czernyson's horses will be uncoupled for wagering purposes making for a most interesting and competitive race. Maven has won 25 of 40 lifetime races and earned a remarkable $1.4 million. She won the older mares Breeder's Crown last October and also took her lifetime speed record winning in 1:51.4 over the Delaware, Ohio half-mile track in September. Regular driver Yannick Gingras will steer Maven from the five-hole behind the starting gate. Czernyson owns a piece of all three of the other entrants from his stable with a variety of partners. D'Orsay (Daniel Dube) has been listed as the 4-1 second choice while stablemates Ma Chere Hall (Corey Callahan, 6-1) and Mistery Woman (David Miller, 10-1) also have the credentials to make the race extremely exciting. Trainer Benoit Beillargeon has entered Rockin With Dewey (Jason Brewer, 6-1), who already has four 2014 triumphs at Woodbine Raceway in Canada. Cowgirl Hall (Dave Palone, 8-1) will carry the Burke stable banner into the race; while Daylon Miracle (Aaron Merriman, 12-1) and Angies Lucky Star (Trevor Henry, 15-1) round out the talented field. Post time for the season-ending Sunday night program at Miami Valley is 6:30 p.m. From Miami Valley Raceway Publicity Department
LEBANON, OH. - With a month left in its inaugural season, Miami Valley Raceway is pleased to announce it has attracted a stellar list of nominees for its first-ever Grand Circuit races on closing night, Sunday, May 4. The Chip Noble Memorial, for older pacing mares, has attracted 19 nominations with combined lifetime earnings over $9.5 million. The Miami Valley Distaff, for older trotting mares, has 29 nominees with a combined lifetime bounty over $10 million. A pair of millionairesses remain eligible to each of the much-anticipated events. Rocklamation ($1,771,329) and Camille ($1,020,591) are the richest pacers on the list which includes a half-dozen who have won quicker than 1:50. The pair recently finished a neck apart in a photo finish leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for female free-for-allers at Yonkers. At least five other nominees are currently competing in the prestigious Blue Chip Matchmaker Series including multiple leg winners Somwherovrarainbow and Yagonnakissmeornot. Other notables on the Chip Noble Memorial nomination list are Shebestingin, who won 12 races in 2013 including the Nadia Lobell, Matron and Glen Garnsey stakes and was favored in the Breeders Crown championship; Betterluvnexttime, who triumphed an amazing 17 times last season; Jerseylicious, who finished third in the 2013 Jugette; American Girl, who has won back-to-back mares Invitationals at Hoosier; and Miami Valley track record holder Ohmybelle, whose current 1:53.3 track standard will definitely be in jeopardy on May 4. On the trotting side, Maven ($1,423,969) and Cedar Dove ($1,177,330) sport the largest lifetime bankrolls, partially due to their one-two finish in last year's Breeders Crown divisional championship. Fifteen other nominees, however, all have earnings in excess of $250,000 and a total of eleven of the mares nominated to the 'Distaff' have winning trot records under 1:53. D'Orsay finished third in the aged Breeders Crown race and won the Muscle Hill in 2013. Ma Chere Hall was last year's Matron winner and runnerup in the Kentucky Filly Futurity; Mistery Woman won the Zweig; Classic Martine finished second in the Hambletonian Oaks; and Frau Blucher was second in the three-year-old Breeders Crown and won a division of The Buckette. Perfect Alliance is currently a perfect seven-for-seven in 2014 including a clean sweep of the Singer Memorial series at The Meadowlands; while Daylon Miracle has won five of her last six starts in open preferred company at The Meadows. Estimated purse for the Chip Noble Memorial pace is $50,000. The Miami Valley Distaff trot will race for approximately $60,000. The top nine 2013-14 money winners that enter will comprise the fields for these Grand Circuit races with any other qualified mares that enter and don't get in the races entitled to a berth in an open event on the same program or a refund of their nominating and sustaining payments. From the Miami Valley Race Office
The Red Mile and Hoosier Park are proud to present the 2014 edition of the Moni Maker and Nadia Lobell Stakes. The 2014 edition of the prestigious stakes will be held on Oct. 31st at Hoosier Park. Both stakes have an estimated purse of $175,000. The 9 qualified highest 2014 money earners entered will qualify for the race with the remaining entrants receiving a full refund of all payments. With only the top 9 qualified money earners allowed to start, all horses will be on the gate. This will be the first time for the stakes to be raced at Hoosier Park after the Nadia Lobell and the Moni Maker were held at The Meadowlands in 2013. Both stakes saw the stars of the sport compete last season in thrilling performances. The Moni Maker was the final 2013 performance for the undefeated Bee A Magician as she capped off her phenomenal season. With a purse of $253,000, the Moni Maker exceed the estimated purse of $175,000. In the Nadia Lobell, the fastest pacing filly of all time, Shebestingin, captured her 12th victory over top fillies like Charisma Hanover and UF Dragon Queen for the $167,000 purse. The Red Mile will handle all payments starting in March for both stakes. by Jay Hochstetler, for The Red Mile
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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