Panocchio (No Pan Intended) scored his first Open Pace victory since July on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Jimmy Mattison-trained four year old is in the midst of a breakout year and secured his ninth win of the season in just nineteen tries as he outclosed his harness racing rivals in the $17,000 Saturday feature. Gerry Mattison piloted Panocchio and sat patiently with the top pacer as the fractions in the first half were sizzling despite a sloppy track after a day full of rain in Saratoga. The race's favorite Bet On Roulette (Wally Hennessey) came first over after a half in a demanding 55.2 and Panocchio followed third over before reeling in Bet On Roulette in the final furlong. Bet On Roulette was a strong second in the mile paced in 1:53.3 while Code Word (Joe Bongiorno) came on to finish third. Panocchio returned $12.80 to win while the exacta with the even money favorite second came back $34.60. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella
The regular harness racing season for the two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series concluded on Friday (September 12) night at Mohawk Racetrack with five $18,000 divisions, and Moonwards Hanover and Thinkofagameplan both kept their Grassroots win streaks intact. Competing in the opening event, Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell), who came into this race off Grassroots successes on August 24 at Georgian Downs and August 31 at Clinton Raceway, circled from third to first before the :56.3 half. He would go on to post three-quarters in 1:26.1 and then kicked home in :28.4 to win by half a length over a closing Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair). There was a dead-heat for third between Big Moment (Randy Waples) and Ballybunion (James MacDonald). Trainer Jack Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ontario, owns Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who is now three-for-six in the win column with a bankroll of $36,000, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples), the points leader in this group, was behind the gate in the second Grassroots split, and he would pull out of the pocket to take command after the 27 second opening quarter. Thinkofagameplan, who was second in a division of the Grand Circuit Champlain Stakes at Mohawk in his last try, would then click off the half in 57 seconds and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 en route to a 1:54.3 score. He defeated runner-up Mybestolxfriendray (Phil Hudon) by a length and three-quarters with Ace Of Clubs (Doug McNair) back in third. Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his fourth win (all in Grassroots competition) from eight attempts and pushed his earnings to $76.440, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. While those familiar faces were victorious, the other three Grassroots flights were all won by horses who hadn’t yet tasted a win in the provincial program this season. Mr Carrotts (Phil Hudon) was the first to break through as he won the third section in 1:54.2. He was first at the :27.2 opening quarter and the :56.4 half, but first-over challenger Star Cover (Jody Jamieson) put a head in front at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Mr Carrotts would battle back on the inside in the lane, and he would go on to beat Star Cover by a length at the finish line with Windsong Lord (Chris Christoforou) in third. Murray Brethour trains Mr Carrotts, a colt by Mach Three, for owner-breeder Melvyn Varcoe of Thornton, Ontario. Mr Carrotts broke his maiden in his fifth trip behind the gate, and he has now put away $10,000. He’s the fourth foal out of the Run The Table mare Cueless ($466,638), who was a three-time winner in OSS competition during her racing career. Robert Hill (James MacDonald) had been picking up minor shares against Gold Series competition, but a drop to the Grassroots level made him a 1:54.1 winner on this night. He left from post eight in the fourth Grassroots test, and he was up to grab the front after the :27.4 opening quarter. Robert Hill would go on to put the :56.3 half and the 1:25.3 three-quarters on the board before a :28.3 final kicker sealed his two and a quarter length triumph. Halton Hurricane (Rick Zeron) was second and Pace Seelster (Jody Jamieson) nabbed third. Tony Alagna trains the winner, a Jeremes Jet colt, for owner Thomas Hill of England. Robert Hill, who was bred by Perretti Farms and sold for $30,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale, picked up his first win from six attempts, and he has now pocketed $19,220. He’s the seventh foal out of the Caprock mare Smooth Latin N ($217,884), which makes him a half-brother to two six-figure earners in McApulco ($365,942) and Mcaracas ($170,579) and to three-year-old Shadios, who has won twice in Grassroots competition this year for the Alagna/Hill combination. In the nightcap it was Supersonic Jet (Trevor Henry) who chopped out the :26.4 first quarter, but he would be overtaken by both Pier Ho Temptation (Chris Christoforou) and Shippen Out (Doug McNair) prior to the :56.2 half. Shippen Out then got to three-quarters first in 1:25, fighting off a first-over test by Jeb (Phil Hudon) in the process. Shippen Out put away Jeb for good early in the stretch drive and then held his pursuers at bay late in the mile to win by a length and a quarter in 1:54. Mystical Jet (Jody Jamieson) came in second and Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon) took third. Blair Burgess trains the victorious Badlands Hanover colt for owner Karin Olsson-Burgess of Milton, Ontario. Shippen Out won for the first time in eight starts, and he has now earned $16,150. Winbak Farm bred Shippen Out, who fetched $9,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. He’s the first foal out of the No Pan Intended mare Shipps Bikini ($410,500), who won a Grassroots division herself as a two-year-old. The two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will return to Mohawk next Friday (September 19) to compete in their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of this Friday’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0912mohsn.dat.
YONKERS, NY, Friday, August 29, 2014-Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $44,000 co-featured Opens--a handicap for distaff pacers and a blind draw for all trotters who passed initiation--were won by rank outsider Campanile (Eric Carlson, $58.50) and Obrigado (Brent Holland, $11). An early bystander from post position No. 4, Campanile had much to watch. Last week's victress, Robin Cruiser (Jordan Stratton) was in play, getting stung by pole assignee, the newly-sold Venus Delight (Jason Bartlett). No sooner did the just-above-even-money fave Robin Cruiser make the lead (:26.4 opening quarter-mile) than Monkey on My Wheel (Dan Dube) took her turn. Monkey on My Wheel found a :55.4 intermission and 1:24.2 three-quarters, with Montenegro (Greg Merton) offering a stern test first-up. Monkey on My Wheel opened to a length-and-a-quarter entering the lane, but was done soon after. Venus Delight closed deep in the passing lane, but it was Campanile-third-up--moving widest and fastest. Sixth in and out of the final turn, Campanile prevailed by a neck in 1:52.3. Robin Cruiser, Crazy on You (Holland) and Camille (George Brennan) rounded out the payees. For Campanile, a 5-year-old daughter of No Pan Intended trained by Allan Johnson for owner Michael Casalino Jr., it was her seventh win in 31 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $290.50, with the triple returning $789. The week's marquee trot saw upstate scourge Obrigado-which, as pointed out by track announcer/U-N interpreter John Hernan, translates to "thank you" in Portuguese-prevail from second-over. After Tober (Bartlett) and Lorenzo Dream (Jeff Gregory) led the way (:27.2, :57.1), Tober regained and found a 1:26.1 three-quarters. He had a 2Â¼-length lead turning for home, having disposed of both a stopping "Lorenzo" and an uncovered DW's NY Yank (Brennan). However, Obrigado-gradually advancing from post No. 5-snapped the leader late, winning by a neck in 1:55.3. Third went to Bingo Queen (Eric Goodell), with tepid 19-10 choice Somebody AS (Dube) and "DW" settling for the minor awards. For Obrigado, a 4-year-old Boy Band gelding co-owned by (trainer) Paul Kelley, William Weaver III, Linwood Higgins and Stable 45, he's now 7-for-16 this season (28-for-39 lifetime). The exacta paid $44.20, with the triple returning $216.50. Friday's undercard saw the 7-year-old double millionaire Wishing Stone (Brennan, $3.70) beat up his rivals, setting a set track record for aged trotting horses (1:54.2). He (nearly a year ago to the day) and Archangel shared the old standard at a tick slower. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
Freehold, NJ --- The Pacing Triple Crown begins Monday (Sept. 1) at Tioga Downs in upstate New York, where eight 3-year-old pacers meet in the $437,325 Cane Pace. He’s Watching brings a four-race win streak into the Cane Pace and is undefeated in three lifetime starts at Tioga Downs. Last season, he won a division of the New York Sire Stakes in 1:50, which established the track record for a 2-year-old. And in his most recent race, a 1:49.1 triumph in the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs on Aug. 10, he missed the track standard for 3-year-olds by two-fifths of a second. or the year, He’s Watching has won five of eight races, including the Meadowlands Pace in a world-record-equaling 1:46.4, and earned $692,247. He’s Watching was not eligible to the Cane Pace, but his connections paid $35,000 to supplement to the race. “He likes Tioga,” said Ontario-based trainer Dave Menary, who owns He’s Watching with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and the Muscara Racing Trust. “Hopefully we’ll keep our Tioga streak alive. “I’m really happy with him. This is the third time he’s had three weeks off between starts and he’s liked it so far. He raced well last time and seems to be in top shape right now. I had him to Mohawk (Racetrack) on Monday and went a good mile with him. “We’ve just kind of followed the same routine every time he’s had three weeks off and it’s working so far. I think we’re ready for Monday.” First race post time is 1:30 p.m. Monday, with the Cane Pace slated for approximately 3:46 p.m. The card also includes the fourth leg of the Miss Versatility Series for older female trotters, featuring world champions Classic Martine, Maven, and Frau Blucher. No horse has won the Pacing Triple Crown since No Pan Intended in 2003. The second jewel in the Triple Crown is the Little Brown Jug, to be held Sept. 18 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio, and the third is the Messenger Stakes, slated for Oct. 25 at Yonkers Raceway. He’s Watching, who will be driven by two-time Cane Pace winner Tim Tetrick, will start from post six. “At Tioga, the six hole is fine,” Menary said. “I was hoping not to get the very inside or the very outside. I think from the six hole, it gives Tim a lot of options. I leave (what to do) up to him.” JK Endofanera, who in June won the North America Cup, enters the Cane Pace off a win in a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes on Aug. 17 at Tioga Downs. In his previous two starts -- his elimination for the Empire Breeders Classic and the EBC final -- he finished second to He’s Watching. For the year, JK Endofanera has won six of 10 races and earned $660,709 for trainer Ron Burke and owner 3 Brothers Stables. He starts the Cane Pace from post five with driver Brian Sears. He’s Watching is one of three $35,000 supplemental entries to the Cane Pace, along with Luck Be Withyou and Lyonssomewhere. Luck Be Withyou, who won last season’s Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male pacers, saw a three-race win streak snapped when he finished in a dead-heat second to All Bets Off in the Carl Milstein Memorial on Aug. 15 at Northfield Park. “There are a lot of horses in there, not just JK,” Menary said. “Hopefully we can get off to a good start (in the Triple Crown). I’ve been able to keep him really fresh and he’s been sharp. Hopefully I can keep him sharp. “I’m trying to take it week by week, but he’s still got a lot left on his plate. I think he’s in good form right now and hopefully he can stay that way until the end of the year.” Following is the Cane Pace field with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Luck Be Withyou, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes; 2. Bushwacker, David Miller, Chris Ryder; 3. Doo Wop Hanover, Corey Callahan, Steve Elliott; 4. Stevensville, Mark MacDonald, Ray Schnittker; 5. JK Endofanera, Brian Sears, Ron Burke; 6. He’s Watching, Tim Tetrick, Dave Menary; 7. Lyonssomewhere, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 8. Beat The Drum, Brett Miller, Staffan Lind. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
Eight $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots contests for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers were staged on Sunday night (August 24) at Georgian Downs, and the last of those eight splits saw a new track record of 1:52.2 turned in by Seaforth. Driven by Mike Saftic, Seaforth was up to grab the lead away from Pan Street USA (Randy Waples) after the :27.2 opening quarter. From there, Seaforth hit the half in :56 and the three-quarters in 1:23.4 before he paced a final quarter in :28.3 to seal the win and the record. Pan Street USA held second, beaten just over a length by the winner, and Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair) finished third. The clocking lowered the previous rookie gelding pace record of 1:53.1 set earlier this year by Southwind Indy, and also is better than Sportskeeper’s colt record of 1:52.3 by a fifth of a second. Eric Adams trains Seaforth, a No Pan Intended gelding, for owner/breeder Millar Farms of Newmarket, Ont. This was Seaforth’s second win from six starts and he has now earned $38,260. He’s the first foal out of the Western Hanover mare Chocolate Truffle, a half-sister to five six-figure earners, including multi-time Grassroots winner Rare Copy (Grinfromeartoear, $158,213). Driver Paul MacDonell also enjoyed a fine trip to Georgian Downs as he racked up three Grassroots wins, including a pair for trainer Jack Darling. Darling and MacDonell connected for the first time in the sixth flight withMoonwards Hanover (1:54) and then came right back in the next dash with York Seelster (1:54). MacDonell also prevailed in the fifth division with Pair Of Deuces (1:54.1). Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ont. owns both Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter, and York Seelster, a Mach Three gelding. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who broke his maiden in his fourth try and pushed his bankroll to $21,500, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. York Seelster, bred by Seelster Farms Inc. and sold for $55,000 at the 2013 Forest City Yearling Sale, is now one-for-five in the win column to go with earnings of $24,900. The fourth foal out of the Artsplace mare Yankee Athena, York Seelster is a half-brother to Yoselin Seelster (Shadow Play, $109,432), an OSS Gold winner last season for two-year-old pacing fillies. Richard “Nifty” Norman trains Pair Of Deuces, MacDonell’s other winner, for owner/breeder Pinske Stables of Plato, Minnesota. The Badlands Hanover colt is now a two-time winner from five trips behind the gate and he has stashed away $19,500. He’s the first foal out of the Pinske’s Dragon Again mare Pacific Dragonette, a sister to horses like Doubleshotascotch ($683,773). In other action Jeb (Phil Hudon, 1:54.3) and Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples, 1:54.2) both posted their second victories in Grassroots competition this season. Jeb, a colt by Camluck, is trained by James “Friday” Dean for owners Wilma and James MacKenzie of Ennismore, Ont. Jeb, who has banked $26,160 to go with his pair of wins, was bred by Seawind Amg Stbs 2005 Inc. and was taken out of the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale for $22,000. He’s the second foal out of the Western Hanover mare Keystone Treasure, a half-sister to a pair of former OSS standouts in Invitro (Camluck, $2,383,597) and Bigtime Ball (Camluck, $1,625,073). Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his second win from five attempts and pushed his bankroll to $27,660, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ont. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. The other Grassroots winners on Sunday night were: --Midnight Play (Shadow Play), a 1:54.2 maiden-breaking winner for driver Jonathan Drury, trainer Bill Cass, and owner John Craig of North York, Ont. Bred by Winbak Farm, he was sold for $72,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Midnight Play’s dam Midnight Art (Artsplace) is a half-sister to the likes of Manchine ($257,361). --Fightmaster (Art Colony, 1:55). He also won for the first time in his career with James MacDonald at the controls for trainer Ben Baillargeon and owners Jack Quinn and Michael McGuigan of Charlottetown, P.E.I. Fightmaster was bred by Charlotte Ranch and Caneast Standards Inc. and fetched $24,000 at the 2013 Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale. His dam is the Bo Knows Jate mare Ardor Chymes ($497,707), a multiple-time OSS winner in her racing career. The two-year-old male pacers of the OSS Grassroots will be back in action next Sunday afternoon (August 31) at Clinton Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes
Summerside, PE - It was the Gilles Barrieau show Wednesday night at Red Shores' Summerside. 'The Maritime Magic Man' stole the show in Summerside hitting a grand slam on the 14-dash card. His biggest win of the night came in Race 8. Jann Down extended her win streak to four races, winning her $ 11,700 'Gold' division of the Lady Slipper stake for two-year-old filly pacers. The daughter of Articulator cut out all the numbera laying down fractions of :30.3, 1:03 and 1:33.2 closing it out with a :28.1 kicker stopping the clock in 2:01.3. She is owned by the Downey Stables and Stephen Mason does the training. Barrieau also picked up a Grassroot victory for the same connections with Ubettowin. He won a Joe O'Brien grassroots with a catch drive on Ross Melvino and an overnight race with Bringhome Theblue. The second 'Gold' division seen a four race win streak snapped as, as Dusty Lane Bria moved back to her winning ways snapping the streak of Woodmere Dancenart winning in 1:59 ,closing it out in :28.3. The daughter of Ameripan Gigolo is owned by Kenny Wilkie and Larry Chappell, Wilkie does the training and Kenny Arsenault did the driving. Arsenault picked up his secomd win with Camco Titan in the $10,800 'Gold' division of the Joe O'Brien in 158.2. The son of Ameripan Gigolo is owned by Windemere Farms, Harris Johnston, John Howatt and Roger Burns. Earl Watts picked up a training double with the victory, he also won a Lady Slipper 'Grassroots' with Windemere Belle. Arsenault had a driving triple on the card winnig with DBS Rosco in 1:57.4. The second 'Gold' division was won by the two-year-old No Pan Intended colt Jack Reacher in 1:58.1. He is owned by the Lenny and Squiggy stable, Cliff Murphy does the training and son Kenny handled the driving duties. The colt now has two lifetime victories from two starts. Miss Oromocto also extended her lifetime win streak to two races in a division of the Lady Slipper 'Grassroots'. Brian Macphee did the driving for co-owner and training Mel Land along with co-owner Sharon Burchill. Silverhill Blaze inline to trainer, driver Jason Hughes picked up the victory in the last Joe O'Brien 'Grassroots' division for owner Donald MacRae. Flaming Prince posted the fastest mile of the night with a 1:56 score for driver Terry Gallant. It was Gallant's second winner on the program after guiding OK Chivas to victory in race four. Racing returns to Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park Thursday at 7pm and Saturday at 6pm. The National Driving Championship, featuring the Founder's Cup Invitational, is Tuesday with a 7pm post time. The action returns to Red Shores' Summerside next Wednesday night featuring the two and three-year-old trotters. by Bo Ford, for Red Shores
After 17 nights of darkness, Red Shores' Summerside is ready to turn the lights back on Wednesday for live harness racing action. A 14-dash card filled with the Joe O'Brien for two-year-old pacing colts and the Lady Slipper for two-year-old pacing fillies will get underway with a special 6:30 p.m. post time. A story line from Old Home Week will be carried over into the sixth race on Wednesday night. The battle of a pair of Woodmere fillies will not only commence again but this time there will be another Woodmere added to the mix in Race 6. Last Thursday, Woodmere Dancenart and Woodmere Articblue went head-to-head in Atlantic Sire Stakes action with Woodmere Dancenart getting the first call at the wire and Woodmere Articblue finishing second, Wednesday you can add Woodmere Costalot into that mix when the three daughters of Articulator will line up against three daughters of Ameripian Gigolo for a purse of $ 11,700 in the first 'Gold' division of the Lady Slipper stake. 'Dancenart' has been enrolled as the morning line choice from Post 4 as she looks to extend her win streak to four races. The Daughter of Articulator - Shadow Dancer took her lifetime best last Thursday winning in 1:58.3 for owners Morah Kerr and Phonsie Maceachern. Clare MacDonald handles the training and driving duties. A bridesmaid to her former field mate in her last two, 'Articblue' will look to get the monkey off of her back from the outside Post 6. The daughter of Articulator - Blue Violet has finished no-worst-than second in five starts this season, banking $ 14, 749 for owners Tayna Tremblett and Stevi Jardine. Ken Collins does the training and Marc Campbell will be back in the bike this week. The third Woodmere bred filly is a daughter of Articulator - Costly Ball, owned by Peter and Greg Francis along with Malcom and Daphne Isnor all of Nova Scotia, 'Costalot' has yet to win this season but will look to change things Wednesday for trainer - driver Bernard McCallum. The three daughter of Articulator will look to make their dad proud when they face off against three daughters of Ameripan Gigolo. Dusty Lane Bria has drawn the rail for owners Kenny Wilkie and Larry Chappell. She will look to get back to her winning ways after seeing her three race unbeaten streak snapped after a costly break at the start last week. Lyndale Jenn and Party Rockin are the other two fillies who will contest for the lions share of the $11, 700 purse. The second 'Gold' division goes in Race 8 with Jann Down looking to extend her win streak to four. She hasn't missed a top two finish in her five lifetime starts. Owned by the Downey Stables and trained by Stephen Mason, she took a new lifetime best in her last start stopping the clock in 1:59.1 for Gilles Barrieau. He'll be back in the bike from Post 4 Wednesday. The daughter of Articulator will have to do battle against another Ameripan Gigolo filly, Three Pink Bows. Owned by Tanya Tremblett and Stevi Jardine of Nova Scotia, she has yet to miss a top three finish from six starts this season. Clare MacDonald handles the training and driving. Elm Grove Joanette, Rocks Confession, Pictonian Stardust and Casa Miasa round out the field. Bngs Express will hook up and do battle with Camco Titan in Race 10, the first 'Gold' division of the Joe O'Brien stake. A second place finisher in his last three starts, owners Thomas Hawco JR and George Della Valle hope their colt can shake the streak and have his named called first at the wire on Wednesday. Danny Romo does the training and driving on the son of 'Gigolo' from Post 4. Camco Titan comes fresh off of a 1:59.2 score in his Atlantic Sire Stakes 'A' division appearance last week. Owned by Windemere Farms, Harris Johnston, John Howatt and Roger Burns, he has two victories from four starts this year for trainer Earl Watts. Veteran reinsman Kenny Arsenault will handle the lines from Post 1. Lorne Valley Ricki, Proven Desire, R Es Aiden, George and Old Stu Da Baker complete the field. The second O'Brien 'Gold' division goes to post in Race 12 and is sure to display an impeccable amount of talent from post 5 starter Jack Reacher. The son of No Pan Intended made quick work of his foes in his first lifetime start winning by eight lengths in 1:58.4, owned by the Lenny and Squiggy Stable, he is trained by Clifford Murphy and Kenny Murphy does the driving. He will face off against six other rivals. Dixieland Band, I Am Able, Gotta Move, J J Romeo, Goodmorningmister and All Hail. Windemere Belle will look to get things started in the first Lady Slipper Grassroots division for the Windemere Farm and Brittany Watts. The post 1 starter is trained by Earl Watts and will have the driving services of Summerside's leading driving Marc Campbell. The $ 5, 800 purse will be contested in Race 3. Ubettowin is the morning line choice in the second Grassroots division. The Driven To Win filly is owned by the Downey Stables, trained by Stephen Mason and Barrieau will drive from Post 5 in Race 5. The third and final Lady Slipper Grassroot division goes in Race 9, Miss Oromocto, fresh off a Atlantic Sire Stakes 'B' division victory has drawn into Post 5 for Sharon Burchill and co-owner trainer Melvin Land, Brian MacPhee will drive. Race 7 and 11 play host to the Grassroots divisions for the Joe O'Brien. Hog Aufray is the Race 7 favourite for owner Claude Poirier, Clare MacDonald will drive for trainer Earl Watts. He will score from Post 5. Silverhill Blaze is the 5-2 favourite in Race 11, the Post 7 starter is owned by Donald MacRae, Jason Hughes does the training and driving. Heading into the fall meet at Red Shores' Summerside, Campbell leads all drivers in wins with 35, there is a two-way tie for second between the 'Blue Knight' Jason Hughes and 'The Maritime Magicman' Gilles Barrieau, they have 21 a piece. Gary Chappell who is only 8 wins away from 2500 is fourth with 16 and Kenny Arsenault and Terry Gallant are tied with 14 to round out the top five. On the training side of things, Thane Mann sits a top of the leader board with 15 victories from 54 starters this season, Earl Watts and Jackie Matheson are dead locked for second with 10 victories. Hughes is fourth with 9 and Phillip Desroches rounds out the top five with 8. by Bo Ford, for Red Shores
Sweeping three-wide on the backstretch to pounce on a pressured pace, Pan Luis Obispo ($6.00) drew off for a 4-1/4 length win in Friday (August 15) evening's $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace at Tioga Downs. Vinny Ginsburg kept the four-year-old No Pan Intended mare well off a :54.2 first-half battle between Inittowinafortune (Aaron Byron) and Keystone Wanda (Corey Braden), moving a closer second-over on the backstretch before making a three-wide push past the fading Keystone Wanda. Pan Luis Obispo continued into the lead at the apex of the far turn, taking over from a softened up Inittowinafortune past a 1:22.3 three-quarter split. She drew clear of her six rivals at will through the stretch, keeping pocket rival Southwind Trini (Jim Marohn, Jr.) 4-1/4 lengths at bay for a 1:51.2 triumph. Cloris Hanover (Brandon Simpson) was an even--but all-out--third off her ground-saving trip. Robert Bresnahan trains Pan Luis Obispo for winning owner Robert Bresnahan, Jr. While only able to muster a second-place finish in the featured event, leading driver Jim Marohn, Jr. registered a Friday night grand slam, winning with R U Ideal (1:54.1), O Narutac Rockette (1:54.4), Wallstreet Hanover (1:58.4), and Winbak Heavenly (1:53.2). Live racing returns to Tioga on Saturday (August 16) evening, with first post slated for 6:15 p.m. EDT. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs
Headlining Mohawk Racetrack’s Monday night (August 11) harness racing program were six $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series events for two-year-old pacing fillies, and while she wasn’t the swiftest winner, Wicked Speed’s win in the fifth flight pushed her record to a perfect three-for-three with two of those victories coming in Grassroots action. With Scott Young handling the driving assignment for his father, trainer Bob Young, Wicked Speed came first-over in the final half and wore down leader Marachere (Jody Jamieson) late in the mile to win by half a length in 1:57.4. Fiftyshadesofbay (Rick Zeron) finished third in the race, which was conducted over a track rated good and a second off due to rainy conditions. Bob Young of Guelph, Ontario, also co-owns the victorious daughter of Mach Three with partner Status Stables Inc. of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Wicked Speed, who also won in Grassroots action at Clinton Raceway on July 20 and has now earned $20,000, was bred by GBW Breeding Farms Inc. and was purchased for $10,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Wicked Speed’s dam is the Western Hanover mare Pannie Oakley ($106,925). Sassafras Girl (Phil Hudon) also picked up her second win in Grassroots competition after grabbing a 1:57 triumph in the nightcap. She was in front through fractions of :28.1, :58.4, and 1:28 before she splashed home in 29 seconds to win by two and a half lengths over Little Miss Artist (Mike Saftic). OK Hallelujah (Sylvain Filion) claimed third. Murray Brethour trains Sassafras Girl, a Badlands Hanover filly, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sassafras Girl, who is now three-for-six overall and has banked $21,380, was bred by Winbak Farm. She’s out of the Die Laughing mare Tug River Della ($219,395) and a half-sister to the likes of Rub N Tug ($433,999). Before the rain visited Mohawk, Ride Away Shark (Jody Jamieson) was an impressive 1:53 winner in the third Grassroots contest. She moved from fifth to first on the way to the 57 second half and didn’t look back on her way to a three length decision over Solar Sister (Doug McNair). Ms Mac N Cheese (Sylvain Filion) collected third. Ride Away Shark, another Winbak Farm-bred filly, has a pair of victories from five attempts and has put away $18,280 for trainer Scott McNiven and owners Kim McNiven of Putnam and Thomas Brodhurst of London, Ontario. Those connections took Ride Away Shark, a daughter of Classic Card Shark, out of last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale for $7,000. She’s the first foal out of the Dream Away mare Freedom Away. Double Creme was an OSS winner as a two-year-old filly, and her daughter is now too as OK Heavenly (Doug McNair) won the Grassroots opener by two and a quarter lengths in 1:55. Chase The Shadows (Jody Jamieson) was next in that dash, followed by Maralika (Chris Christoforou). Mark Steacy trains OK Heavenly, a daughter of Sportswriter, for co-owner/breeder Oak Knoll Stables of Campbellcroft, Ontario, Conrad Leber of Montreal, Quebec, Richard Karper of Saint-Laurent, Quebec, and Wheelhouse Racing Stable of Mississauga, Ontario. It was OK Heavenly’s first win from four trips behind the gate, and she has now banked $12,600. Her dam, who earned $415,049 in her career, has already produced multi-time OSS winner OK Boromir (No Pan Intended, $569,884) and OK Commander ($612,304). Also winning in OSS competition on Monday night were: --Lady Jen (Royal Mattjesty-Ladyjack-Cams Card Shark), who tallied in 1:55.4 for driver Sylvain Filion, trainer Scott McEneny, and owner Hutt Racing Stable. She was also the third winner for breeder Winbak Farm. --Southwind Luna (Sportswriter-Lil Presto Hanover-The Panderosa), who clicked in 1:55.3 for driver Billy Davis Jr., trainer Otis Hall, and owner Nasussito Racing Inc. of Ayr, Ontario. Bred by Southwind Farm, Southwind Luna is the first foal out of her dam, who is a half-sister to the likes of $2.6 million earner McArdle. The next Grassroots event for rookie pacing fillies is on August 23 at Georgian Downs. For full results and charts of Monday night’s events Ontario Sire Stakes .
Fresh off a pair of harness racing open wins at Saratoga, Obrigado ($8.70) pounced from a rated tracking trip to take the $15,000 Open Trot on Saturday (August 9) at Tioga Downs, equalling the all-age track record of 1:52.3 in the act. From the outset, Aaron Byron kept the four-year-old Boy Band gelding well off an ambitious pace set by Wisenheimer (Jim Marohn, Jr.), only starting to move a closer second on the far turn after a 1:23.2 three-quarter split. While pressing on the far turn, Obrigado gained into a joint lead coming to the top of the stretch, driven out in the final sixteenth to prevail by three-quarters of a length. Macs Bad Boy (Mike Simons) rallied off a stalking trip to narrowly take second from Wisenheimer, while odds-on favorite Traverse Seelster (Brandon Simpson) simply had too far to rally, finishing fourth. The mark, shared by Manningly and Autumn Escapade, also gave Obrigado outright ownership of the track record for four-year-old trotting geldings, eclipsing the past record of 1:54.3 shared by Martino and Brookroad Knight. Trainer Paul Kelley co-owns Obrigado with the partnership of Higgins, Weaver, and Stable 45. Later in the card, Pan Luis Obispo ($13.20) sustained a first-over bid to prevail in the $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap Pace, wearing down Inittowinafortune in 1:51.4. Vinny Ginsburg handled the driving duties of the four-year-old No Pan Intended mare for trainer Robert Bresnahan and owner Robert Bresnahan, Jr. Live racing resumes on Sunday (August 10) afternoon, with a stakes-laden program headlined by the finals of the Empire Breeders Classic for New York-sired three-year-old pacers. Post time is 1:30 p.m. EDT. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs
Portmarnock, Ireland – Titanium and driver Vicky Gill rewrote the track record for two-year-old pacers at Portmarnock Trotting Track Saturday in winning their elimination division of the third annual Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial Series. The race surface, despite overcast skies and rain, was in perfect shape. Gill, along with her father, John Gill of Yorkshire, England, won the Delaney Memorial Final last year with their colt, Camden Tino, and at that time had set the track record with a 2:01.9 victory in the final and have now done it again. Camden Tino has first set the record in his elimination heat the prior day in 2:02.2. Depending on their post position draw on Sunday, Titanium could well be the betting favorite for the final tomorrow as he was very impressive in winning his elimination heat. The purse for the final on Sunday is 18,500 euros ($23,000US). It was Ballyhill Jimmy (Martin Loughran) who went to the early lead over Portmarnock’s half mile over with Lyons Premier (Andrew Cairns) who took the pocket-trip to the opening quarter mile in :29.2. Race favorite Alexander Camden (Mick Lord) was stuck first-over from the start. Past the half mile marker in 1:00.1, Ballyhill Jimmy led the way as Alexander Camden was having trouble being parked out and began to fade by the three-quarters. Then Lyons Premier and Cairns pulled from the pocket and came after Ballyhill Jimmy. Coalford Tetrick came three-wide for driver Stevie Lees and following their cover was Vicky Gill with Titanium. After the three-quarters in 1:30.1, It was Coalford Tetrick taking command and Alexander Camden found a second wind and was back in the hunt, but on the far outside it was Titanium and Vicky Gill flying on the outside to win it all by three and one-half lengths in 2:01.2. Coalford Tetrick was second with Alexander Camden third. Also making it to the final tomorrow were Lyons Premier (4th), Rhyds Gambler (5th) and Ballyhill Jimmy (6th). “I was following live cover and thinking that I actually had a pretty good chance,” said Vicky Gill after the race. “We were not very pleased after the draw and getting barrier seven, but we made the most of it. He raced so well. It would be great to be able to win this race again. It’s going to be tough.” Sired by Hasty Hall from the mare, Another Mattie, Titanium is owned by Vicky Gill and was a 3,400 euro yearling purchase. He has now won three of his four lifetime starts The second elimination heat was for fillies with five starters. Leaving from the rail was the race favorite, Camden Carmel and North America’s Wally Hennessey doing the driving. They cut the mile in the rain to a quick :29.5 opening quarter mile with Meadowbranch Millie (John Richardson) in the two-hole. Then Hennessey backed off the pace as Springhill Nancy came first-over and started to apply pressure as they went to a slow half in 1:03.4 and that convinced John Richardson who popped the pocket and took the lead away with Meadowbranch Millie. Meanwhile, Showtime Big Cigar (Anthony Butt) was second-over behind Springhill Nancy. At the three-quarters in 1:35.4, Hennessey then came back with Carmel Camden and cleared to the lead at the top of the stretch and then held the field at bay to win with ease by two lengths in 2:07. Regal Sensation (Johnathan Dunn) came on for second place to make the final on Sunday. For Wally Hennessey it was his first drive ever in Ireland and he started it off with a victory. “It was a little crazy at the beginning,” Hennessey explained. “We did not hear in the back paddock to come out for the race so we were late getting to the track, then we had a piece of equipment break so my filly never had a chance to warm-up properly. “The track surface was actually pretty good,” Hennessey said, “It has just started raining hard as the race was ready to go. I figured to get out early and secure good position so when they came at me I was fine letting them go at the half and taking the two-hole spot. “Then we came back at them the filly on the rail gave us a fight,” Hennessey said. “But once we started down the stretch my filly was much the best. We’re going to give it a good shot tomorrow. It will really help that the two fillies in the final get to draw for the inside positions.” "What a great way to start off and in my first drive ever in Ireland," Hennessey said. "Not only my first win in my first drive but to do it with a horse owned by Derek and James made it all the better. They have been such great hosts here in Ireland." Owned by Derek and James Delaney of Oakwood Stud, whose brother Vincent that died in 2011 is whom the race is named in memory of, purchased Carmel Camden as a yearling for 12,000 euros. She is sired by No Pan Intended from the mare Pan Culottes, both of whom were Breeders Crown winners in the United States. Carmel Camden is undefeated in four starts. If Carmel Camden can win the final Sunday she would become the first filly to have won the Delaney Memorial. The fastest mile on the ten-race program Saturday was won by Merrington Motion and driver Rocker Laidler in 1:58.2. There was also a special 1.5 mile Trottrur Francais that was captured by Ritial Brio and driver Billy Roche in 2:10.6, the mile time in 2:07.9. New Zealand’s Anthony Butt, who competed in six races on the program was not able to win any heats but was a close second in the fourth race pace with Rhyds Premier. Camden Kofi and owner/trainer/driver Cathal Kerrigan was the winner in 2:01.9. By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com
Campanile (No Pan Intended) has been the most consistent force in the Fillies and Mares Open this year at Saratoga Casino and Raceway and on Friday night, she flexed her muscles once again. The Allan Johnson trainee came into the race as a first or second place finisher in five consecutive $17,000 Opens and was first or second in eight of her last nine local tries heading into Friday's feature. Driver Austin Siegelman was content to get away at the back of the six horse field in the early stages as Campanile's rivals slugged it out posting blistering fractions. The five year old mare swooped the group and recorded a 1:52.2 victory in the Open, her fastest win time of the season. It was one of three wins on the card for Johnson and Siegelman who won with trotters Backstreet Hanover (Andover Hall) and Brussel Sprout (Glidemaster). Campanile returned $7.90 to win in what was her sixth victory of the season. Tiamo (Mark Beckwith) was the Open's runner up while Road Bet (Frank Coppola Jr) held on for third. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 7:05pm. Mike Sardella
A total of 15 two-year-old colt and filly pacers have entered the 3rd annual Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial this weekend at Portmarnock Trotting Track in Dublin, Ireland. There will be three five horse field elimination divisions on Saturday, August 9 with the top two official finishers and the fastest two third place finishers to return the very next day, Sunday, August 10, for the finale. Each preliminary round will race for a purse of 750 euros ($1,000 US) and the final will go for a record 18,500 euros ($25,000 US), making it the richest stakes race ever in the history of harness racing in both Ireland and Great Britain and the richest pacing event ever in all of Europe. One of the three divisions will be for fillies and the fillies that advance to the final will then draw for the inside post positions. The draw for post positions will not take place until Saturday afternoon before the start of the race card at Portmarnock, that way all owners, trainers and drivers will be on hand for the draws. The same will take place on Sunday. Currently the 6/4 favourite and leading contender is Alexander Camden, who was the highest priced yearling ever sold in Ireland and the United Kingdom last season, fetching £38,000 sterling ($53,000 US) at the York Standardbred Sale last year. His is sired by Cambest out of Lola making him a full brother to two sub 1:49 pacers Canyon Wind and Paragon. In his short career on the track, Alexander Camden seems to be living up to his purchase price as the good looking youngster is being trained by English maestro Mick Lord for Scottish owner Davy Morton. In his four races so far, the colt has two wins and two seconds with his fastest victory in 2:02.3 at York Raceway, the UKs premier half mile track. However, the fastest of the freshman pacers so far this season is a filly, Carmel Camden, who is owned and trained by Dubliners Derek and James Delaney, who originally developed and sponsored the race back in 2012 in memory of their younger brother Vincent, who tragically past away in 2011 at age 27. Since the inception of the event, the brothers have dearly sought to have a runner in the line-up and last October they acquired Carmel Camden, a £12,000 sterling ($17,000US) daughter of No Pan Intended out of Pan Cullottes, who were both US Breeders Crown winners respectively back in 2003. Carmel Camden is the second choice in the early wagering at odds of 7/4. She has made three starts so far and remains undefeated. Her fastest win was 2:01.7 over Portmarnock’s half mile oval, just a few ticks shy of tying the track record for two-year-old fillies. Another top prospect is Titanium, who was a bargain £3,400 sterling ($5,000 US) yearling purchase and is by super sire Hasty Hall, who has dominated the ranks of the juvenile classic winners in the UK in recent years. Owned and driven by leading lady driver Vicky Gill of Yorkshire and trained by Vicky’s Dad, John Gill, of the Emerald Stables, Titanium has won two of his three starts so far and has a personal best time of 2.02.2. Vicky and dad John won this race just last year with Camden Tino, so the combination know just what it takes to win the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial. Titanium is listed at odds of 7-1. Other contenders include Lyons Premier at 5-1, another son of Hasty Hall, who has two impressive starts so far, a strong win at York Raceway in 2:03.3 for Welsh owner/breeder Geoff Mound. Mound races pacers all over Canada and the USA under the Lyons prefix. Just last week Lyons Premier won a colts division Breeders Crown in the UK by six open lengths in 2:07.2 in defeating It’s My Check with Titanium third over a heavy wet track.; Mikey Camden at 12-1, is by Cambest, who is a £27,000 sterling ($38,000US) yearling purchase, has one win after three starts in 2:03.1 and locally owned Meadowbranch Ideal, an imported son of Western Ideal who has been impressive in three qualifiers so far, but as yet to win at the Dublin venue. He is 7-1. Listed below are the 15 horses entered in the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial Pacing Series for two-year-olds. Morning line odds for the punters are listed next to the name of each horse. 6/4 Alexander Camden 7/4 Carmel Camden (f) 5 Lyons Premier 6 Coalford Tetrick 7 Titanium 7 Its My Check 7 Meadowbranch Ideal 12 Mikey Camden 12 Watch Your Back (f) 16 Rhyds Gambler 16 Ballyhill Jimmy 25 Showtime Big Cigar 25 Meadowbranch Millie (f) 33 Regal Sensation (f) 40 Springhill Nancy (f) (f) denotes a filly Handicapper Thomas Bennett has put the race in summary. “Based on all known form this looks like a straightforward match between Carmel Camden and Alexander Camden,” Bennett said, “with the latter just getting the nod. Top trainer Mick Lord has gradually built up momentum with the colt and is improving rapidly whilst a filly has never won this event going against the chances of Carmel Camden. Titanium could upstage the pair of them and Lyons Premier, Coalford Tetrick and Its My Check boast solid credentials and are more than capable of causing a shock.” In addition to the Delaney Memorial with it eliminations on Saturday and final on Sunday, there are other top race events over the weekend. “We had more than 150 horses entered for this weekend,” said Derek Delaney, “That is a great number for any weekend meet. Looks like everyone wants to be part of the racing action at Portmarnock.” The supporting card over the weekend will feature the Oakwood Stud Three-Year-Old Derby; the Paul Murtagh Senior Memorial 4YO Championship and the Elvin/Delaney FFA Trot. On Saturday starting at 3:00 pm guests at the track are invited to a meet and greet with the three Hall of Famers who have come to Ireland for the event. They are world-class drivers Wally Hennessey from the USA/Canada, New Zealand’s Anthony Butt and calling the major races both days is world-renowned track announcer, Roger Huston. At 3:30 pm will be the drawing of post positions for Saturday’s race card followed by the special charity auction with proceeds going to the Peita House of Ireland, which is a center for the prevention of self-harm or suicide. The top item in the auction is a UFO racing sulky from world famous trainer Ron Burke. This bike was used on many of the Burke Stables top horses, including world champion Foiled Again. There will also be six sets of driver’s autographed colours from some of the top horsemen in harness racing. The racing will get underway Saturday starting at 5:00 pm. In addition, there will be 18 services to stallion at stud here in Ireland and some in the UK. All the donation from these proceeds will be presented to the representatives from the Pieta House during Sunday’s race program. Ladbroke’s, the premier sponsor of the Vincent Delaney Memorial, is also giving out a 5 euro match play wager to everyone that comes out to track on Sunday. Entertainment for the children each day will include a Playbus, face-painting, balloonist, candy cart, a colouring competition and a free goody bag for all the children. Sunday’s first race post time is 2:00 pm and there will be a competition for the Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Gentleman and the Best Dressed Couple with some wonderful prizes including a Designer Dress Hire, Hotel Break, Pampering Vouchers and much more. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
Viva Bayama rewrote an 18-year-old track record Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R for three-year-old trotting fillies in scoring her third straight victory. Competing in a $7,500 division of the Quebec-Bred Series for trotters and pacers, trainer/driver Yves Filion allowed his filly by Muscle Mass to follow pacesetter Y S Majestic Girl (Stephane Brosseau) through fast early fractions of :28.4; :59 and 1:29.3 to the three-quarters. Then moving out to take the lead by the top of the stretch, Viva Bayama pulled away in the stretch to win by two and one-half lengths. Y S Majestic Girl held for second with Lucyll Bro (Stephane Gendron) third. Viva Bayama paid $2.60 to win. It was a lifetime mark for Viva Bayama, who was bred and is owned by Filion’s Bayama Farms of Quebec and her time surpassed the previous track mark of 2:00.1 that was originally set by Emilie Cas El in 1995. The fastest mile of the five divisions was set in the eighth race for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings when Atomic Million AM missed tying the track record by one fifth of a second with his 1:53 triumph. Driver Sylvain Lacalle sent Atomic Million AM right to the lead with Hall Bro (Stephane Brosseau) sitting right on their backs through fast fractions of :26.4, :56.2 and 1:25.1. Hall Bro, who was on a three-race winning streak, tried his might but could not catch Atomic Million AM as he kicked in a :27.4 last quarter mile to win by a half-length. Bali (Marie Auger) was third. It was the ninth win in twelve starts this year for the gelded son of Million Dollar Cam who paid $3.60 to win. The track record for three-year-olds is 1:52.4 set by Duc Dorleans in 2013. There were two $7,500 divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies and the fastest division went to Champagne Shower and driver Denis St Pierre. They led from start to finish in 1:56.4, romping by five and one-half lengths over Bemmol Kalie (Melane Plourde) and C L Infinite (Marie Auger). It was the fourth straight win for Champagne Shower, a daughter of Santana Blue Chip. The first division saw Tango Bayama come from off the pace for driver/trainer Rheo Filion to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:59.1. Ladylyonne (Stephane Brosseau) was second with Canbec Lindor (Denis St. Pierre) third. It was a maiden victory for the filly by No Pan Intended after 15 career starts. She is also owned by Filion and paid $8.40 to win. In the seventh race division for trotting colts and geldings, Maximuscle and driver Mario Charron led from start to finish with an easy victory by two lengths in 1:59.3. Andovers Touch (Stephane Brosseau) was second with Monster Mass (Claude Larose) was third. It was the fifth win in seven starts this year for the son of Angus Hall who paid $2.90 to win. This was the final of four preliminary rounds of competition in the Quebec-Bred Series. The top eight point earners in each division will now return to the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday, September 7 for the $65,000 finals. Live racing resumes at the Hippodrome 3R on Tuesday evening with first race post time at 7:00 pm. For more information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 2, 2014 - Pancetta (Jordan Stratton) prevailed from third-over Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. Sitting chilly early from post position No. 6, Pancetta saw Great Vintage (Larry Stalbaum) take over from pole-sitting Safe Harbor (Dan Dube), Great Vintage then put up intervals of :27.2, :56 and 1:24. A first-up Shock it To Em (Eric Carlson) dueled the leader into submission early in the lane. At that point, it was a second-up Frankie's Dragon (Eric Goodell) and a third-up Pancetta chiming in. It was the latter whipping the former by a half-length in a season's-best 1:52. Third went to a from-last, 17-10 choice P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett), with Shock it To Em and The Real One (Pat Lachance) rounding out the payees. For second choice Pancetta, a 5-year-old son of No Pan Intended trained by Jennifer Sabot for California co-owners Richard Morita and David Yamada, he returned $7.10 for his fourth win in 16 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $95, with the triple returning $332.50. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker
With less than three weeks away from the race weekend, it’s time to take at look at some of the leading contenders for the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial Series at Portmarnock’s Harness Racing venue in Dublin, Ireland the 9th and 10th of August. The series is for two-year-old pacers and have been developed into the richest series ever in the history of harness racing in the British Isles with more than €30,000 euros ($40,000 US) in total purses. Conditions are tough for the freshmen pacers as there will elimination races Saturday evening, August 9th and then the mixed final on Sunday afternoon, August 10th. Fillies will draw for inside post positions in the final on the half mile track. At the time of writing there are a record number 52 two-year-olds that are eligible for the series. Currently the 6/4 favourite and leading contender is Alexander Camden, who was the highest priced yearling ever sold in Ireland and the United Kingdom last season, fetching £38,000 sterling ($53,000 US) at the York Standardbred Sale last year. His is sired by Cambest out of Lola making him a full brother to two sub 1:49 pacers Canyon Wind and Paragon. In his short career on the track, Alexander Camden seems to be living up to his purchase price as the good looking youngster is being trained by English maestro Mick Lord for Scottish owner Davy Morton. In his four races so far, the colt has two wins and two seconds with his fastest victory in 2:02.3 at York Raceway, the UKs premier half mile track. However, the fastest of the freshman pacers so far this season is a filly, Carmel Camden, who is owned and trained by Dubliners Derek and James Delaney, who originally developed and sponsored the race back in 2012 in memory of their younger brother Vincent, who tragically past away in 2011 at age 27. Since the inception of the event, the brothers have dearly sought to have a runner in the line-up and last October they acquired Carmel Camden, a £12,000 sterling ($17,000US) daughter of No Pan Intended out of Pan Cullottes, who were both US Breeders Crown winners respectively back in 2003. Carmel Camden has made three starts so far and remains undefeated. Her fastest win was 2:01.7 over Portmarnock’s half mile oval, just a few ticks shy of tying the track record for two-year-old fillies. Gaining in popularity with each renewal, the Delaney brothers have gone all-out to make this year’s memorial to their brother a world class event and have invited Hall of Fame drivers Wally Hennessey from North America and Anthony Butt from New Zealand to compete in the series. Both drivers are booked to drive some horses over the weekend adding an exciting new dimension to the meeting. In addition, they have also invited Hall of Fame and world renowned track announcer, Roger Huston, to call the races both days at Portmarnock. Racing fans in Ireland and the UK will be in for a real treat as Huston’s inimitable style of race calling will inevitably have the people standing up and cheering throughout each race. Another top prospect is Titanium, who was a bargain £3,400 sterling ($5,000 US) yearling purchase and is by super sire Hasty Hall, who has dominated the ranks of the juvenile classic winners in the UK in recent years. Owned and driven by leading lady driver Vicky Gill of Yorkshire and trained by Vicky’s Dad, John Gill, of the Emerald Stables, Titanium has won two of his three starts so far and has a personal best time of 2.02.2. Vicky and dad John won this race just last year with Camden Tino, so the combination know just what it takes to win the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial. Other contenders include Lyons Premier, another son of Hasty Hall, who has but one start so far and scored a strong win at York Raceway in 2:03.3 for Welsh owner/breeder Geoff Mound. He races pacers all over Canada and the USA under the Lyons prefix; Mikey Camden, by Cambest, who is a £27,000 sterling ($38,000US) yearling purchase, has one in after three starts in 2:03.1 and locally owned Meadowbranch Ideal, an imported son of Western Ideal who has been impressive in three qualifiers so far, but as yet to win at the Dublin venue. With less than three weeks to go before the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial weekend of racing, there will be more two-year-olds qualifying and prepping for the big series and competition is guaranteed to be fierce among trainers right across the British Isles, all eyeing up the lucrative €13,000 ($22,000US) first prize, a record purse for a pacing race in all of Europe. By Steve Wolf and Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink.com