Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $30,000 20¢ Super High Five total pool guarantee to Saturday's (February 11th) harness racing program. Offered in Race 13, the $30,000 20¢ Super High Five guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $8,965.66. Northfield's 20¢ Super High Five offers a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. Saturday's post time is 6:00 p.m.
Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $25,000 Pick-5 total pool guarantee on Wednesday (February 8th). Beginning in Race 3, the $25,000 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $5,304.95. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. Northfield's Pick 5, Pick 4 and the Pick 3's offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent. Wednesday's post time is 6:00 p.m.
Longshot harness racing bettors were ecstatic while the horses crossed the finish of Northfield Park's 10th race on Tuesday (January 17) when #8 Arrow rocketed from the back to win at odds of 60-1. Growth Opportunities, LLC of North Canton, Ohio owns the five year-old pacer. Dean Santantonio trains Arrow and called upon Sam Schillaci for the winning drive. Tuesday's triumph was Arrow's first win this year in three starts and represents his eighth lifetime score. Arrow was followed across the wire by #6 Village Jackson (2-1), #2 Battle Call (2-1) and #4 Moreland Flash (50-1). Arrow returned $123.00 to win; the 8-6 Exacta paid $502.00; the 8-6-2 Trifecta returned $1,831.60; and the 8-6-2-4 20¢ Superfecta paid $695.65. Arrow's win came as the third leg of the evening's $1 Pick 4 which returned a whopping $13,854.50. Although his horse was scratched from race 10 and did not compete against the evening's richest winner, driver Jason Merriman made six trips to the winner's circle on Tuesday's 15-race program. Jason 's triumphs were with Lion Image ($17.20) in race one, Talladega Hanover ($5.80) in race three, Urlacker ($18.80) in race five, Wheres The Clicker ($6.60) in race seven, High Blue ($10.60) in race nine and Albert A' Scootin ($12.20) in race 13. Merriman won his first race in 2003, a $4,900 condition event in 1:59.3, at Pompano Park aboard I C U Talkin. Since breaking his maiden, Jason has scored 2,236 more times with purse earnings approaching $11 million. Ayers Ratlif
Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $25,000 Super High Five total pool guarantee on Monday harness racing program (January 16th). Offered in Race 13, the $25,000 Super High Five guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $5,847.88. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. Monday's post time is 6:00 p.m. Ayers Ratlif
Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $50,000 Pick-5 total pool guarantee on Saturday (January 14th). Beginning in Race 3, the $50,000 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $15,549.31. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. Northfield's Pick 5, Pick 4 and the Pick 3's offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent. Saturday's post time is 6:00 p.m. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park
Harness racing longshot players were celebrating after the horses crossed the finish of Northfield Park's seventh race on Tuesday (January 10) when #6 Son Ofa Spur swooped from the back to win at odds of 49-1. Colt N Filly Stable of Medina, Ohio owns the 12 year-old trotter. Kurt Sugg trains Son Ofa Spur and was aboard for the winning drive. Tuesday's triumph was Son Ofa Spur's first win this year in two starts and represents his 40th lifetime score. Son Ofa Spur was followed across the wire by #1 Bad Cantab (9-5), #2 Wind Surfer (1-1) and #5 Naughty Not Nice (7-1). Son Ofa Spur returned $100.40 to win; the 6-1 Exacta paid $411.60; the 6-1-2 Trifecta returned $1,784.00; and the 6-1-2-5 20Â¢ Superfecta paid $407.70. Ayers Ratlif
Ronnie Wrenn Jr. again topped the local driving ranks in 2016, winning 612 races over the Flying Turns. His nearest competitor, Aaron Merriman, drove 533 winners. Kurt Sugg (305), Jason Merriman (291) and Ryan Stahl (275) completed the top five reinsmen. Wrenn, 30, resides in Stow, Ohio and now has five driving titles under his belt. He won the dash titles at Northfield Park in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He also won the Northville Downs title in 2013. Ronnie's 2016 total victory tally was 690, which ranked him second among all drivers in North America. Only Aaron Merriman (891) had more total wins in 2016 than Wrenn. Wrenn began driving in 2008 and has since won 3,658 races and purses in excess of $19 million. Wrenn's fasted win ever came in the 2015 edition of the $225,000 Jim Ewart Memorial at Scioto Downs aboard Doo Wop Hanover in 1:49.2. His richest was with Whataboy in last year's $250,000 Ohio Sires Stake Final for sophomore colt pacers at Northfield Park in 1:51.3. Northfield Park's 2016 leading trainer Brian Loney won 30 more races than any other local conditioner. He garnered 136 victories throughout last year. Michael Dowdall finished second with 106 wins. Sam Schillaci (105), Jessica Millner (85) and Sue Stockwell (69) rounded out the top five Northfield Park trainers for 2016. Brian, originally from Hager Hill, Kentucky, now lives in Northfield, Ohio. He and wife Harla Renae have three children: 16 year-old son Gannun, 12 year-old son Payton and seven year-old daughter Polly. Loney, 38, scored his first training win with the gelding pacer Stealth Fighter at Fairmount Park in 1996. To date, he has 1,476 career victories and purse earnings over $4 million. The 2016 Northfield title is the fifth local dash victory for Brian. He has also won titles at Bluegrass Downs, Fairmount Park, The Red Mile and Thunder Ridge. Wrenn and Loney will each be presented with a plaque and dining gift certificate to the Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park in a winner's circle ceremony later in January. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park
Harrisburg, PA --- Nominations for the 2016 Caretaker of the Year must be received or postmarked by Monday (Jan. 9). The award, in its second year of sponsorship by Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park in conjunction with the United States Harness Writers Association, recognizes the unsung heroes of the sport -- the caretakers who maintain the health and welfare of the horses on a daily basis. Any caretaker working for any stable in North America is eligible. All that is needed to nominate is a letter or e-mail, 200 words minimum, from an individual or group detailing the skills and special qualities of the caretaker. Initially titled Groom of the Year Award when first presented in 1982, the honor was instituted as a result of a suggestion made by Delvin Miller at the annual Harness Tracks of America meeting when he received HTA's Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award. Previously sponsored annually by HTA and Hanover Shoe Farms, the tradition lapsed in 2014 but was re-established in 2015 by HRRNP and USHWA. The HRRNP Caretaker of the Year will receive a cash prize of $500, a trophy, and transportation costs to the USHWA Dan Patch Awards Banquet in Las Vegas, on Feb. 26, where he or she will be recognized for the achievement. The winner also will enjoy a two-night stay at the Planet Hollywood, host hotel for the USHWA activities, as well as two complimentary dinner tickets. "The United States Harness Writers Association is proud to join with Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park in presenting this prestigious honor," said USHWA President Tim Bojarski. "The caretakers of our sport and the role they play in the success of our animals are many times sorely overlooked. This award gives everyone a way to honor those who work in your stable so they can be recognized by everyone else in our industry for what they do." The winner will be chosen by a seven-person selection committee comprised of USHWA members, all of whom are former caretakers: Tim Bojarski (chair), Tom Charters, Moira Fanning, Dean Hoffman, Rob Pennington, Kim Rinker and Shawn Wiles. All nomination letters and e-mails must be received and/or postmarked by Jan. 9 and sent to Chair Bojarski at email@example.com or mailed to Tim Bojarski, 7523 Maple Road, Akron, NY 14001. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association/Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park
Aaron Merriman is harness racing's dash winning driver for both 2015 and 2016. Flipping the calendar to 2017 has not changed his winning ways. In fact, Merriman won eight races on Sunday (January 1) at Northfield Park. Aaron's triumphs were with King Muscles ($2.40) in race 1, Jude Hall ($2.60) in race three, Ewald Hanover ($3.60) in race five, Beauty Chip ($2.20) in race six, Stevie Diamonds ($3.20) in race eight, Doc Betts' Buckeye ($2.40) in race 10, SR Radar ($3.00) in race 12 and Avanza ($2.60) in race 14. Merriman won his first race in 1998, a $2,200 condition event in 1:58.3, at the former Raceway Park in Toledo, Ohio aboard Albert's Filly. Since breaking his maiden, Aaron has scored 8,737 more times with purse earnings approaching $53 million. Ayers Ratliff
Northfield Park, Ohio's leading racetrack in pari-mutuel handle, both on-track and export, is offering live harness racing four nights a week to start the 2017 racing year. January through September racing is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. The exceptions to this schedule are the addition of three Sundays, January 1, May 28 and September 3. There is no live racing on Memorial Day or Labor Day Mondays. Beginning in October Northfield adds Sunday evenings and will race five nights a week until the end of the ear. Friday (December 22) will replace Christmas Eve Sunday, while Friday (December 29) will replace racing on Christmas Monday. Northfield Park's marquee racing events are as follows: $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie Saturday, June 3; $175,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic Saturday, July 1; $300,000 Carl Milstein Memorial and $50,000 Myron Charna President's Pace Saturday, August 12; and $125,000 Courageous Lady Saturday, October 14. The $125,000 (est.) Summit County Fair Stakes, featuring many of Ohio's best freshman and sophomore trotters and pacers, will be held on Saturday, July 29. Each of the 222 live racing nights carries a first race post time of 6:00 p.m. Northfield Park is open daily from noon until after midnight for simulcasting action from tracks across the United States, Canada and Australia. .................................................... Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $12,500 Pick-5 total pool guarantee on Friday (December 30th). Beginning in Race 3, the $12,500 Pick-5 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $2,353.29. This wager is being offered as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the United States Trotting Association. Northfield’s Pick 5, Pick 4 and the Pick 3’s offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent. Friday’s post time is 6:00 p.m. Ayers Ratliff
Nominations are now being accepted for the 2016 Caretaker of the Year. The harness racing award, in its second year of sponsorship by Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park (HRRNP) in conjunction with the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), recognizes the unsung heroes of the sport -- the caretakers who maintain the health and welfare of the horses on a daily basis. Initially titled Groom of the Year Award when first presented in 1982, the honor was instituted as a result of a suggestion made by Delvin Miller at the annual Harness Tracks of America meeting when he received HTA's Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award. Previously sponsored annually by HTA and Hanover Shoe Farms, the tradition lapsed in 2014 but was re-established in 2015 by HRRNP and USHWA. The HRRNP Caretaker of the Year will receive a cash prize of $500, a trophy, and transportation costs to the USHWA Dan Patch Awards Banquet in Las Vegas, on Sunday evening, February 26, 2017, where he or she will be recognized for the achievement. The winner also will enjoy a two-night stay at the Planet Hollywood, host hotel for the USHWA activities, as well as two complimentary dinner tickets. "The United States Harness Writers Association is proud to join with Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park in presenting this prestigious honor," said USHWA President Tim Bojarski. "The caretakers of our sport and the role they play in the success of our animals are many times sorely overlooked. This award gives everyone a way to honor those who work in your stable so they can be recognized by everyone else in our industry for what they do." Any caretaker working for any stable in North America is eligible. All that is needed to nominate is a letter or email, 200 words minimum, from an individual or group detailing the skills and special qualities of the caretaker. The winner will be chosen by a seven-person selection committee comprised of USHWA members, all of whom are former caretakers: Tim Bojarski (chair), Tom Charters, Moira Fanning, Dean Hoffman, Rob Pennington, Kim Rinker and Shawn Wiles. All nomination letters and emails must be received and/or postmarked by Monday, January 9, 2017, and sent to Chair Bojarski at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Tim Bojarski, 7523 Maple Road, Akron, NY 14001. The U.S. Harness Writers Association/Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park
The festive and well-attended harness racing evening was made even better for Thomas Dillon, when his horse, Rock Me Baby, won the $120,000 Courageous Lady at Northfield Park. The Courageous Lady was a series of firsts for Rock Me Baby. It was the first time she had raced for Dillon. He purchased her just two weeks ago for $82,000 at the Harrisburg Sale. It was also Rock Me Baby's first start for trainer Heidi Rohr and the first time that Tim Tetrick has driven the filly. Rock Me Baby left off the gate. She initially sat in third, but was sent to the outside approaching the quarter. Once she made the lead about the quarter-pole, Rock Me Baby never experienced an anxious moment the remainder of the mile. She posted fractions of: 26.4, 54.4, 1:23 and 1:52. "We had to go a pretty big first half," explained Tetrick,"but I was able to give her a breather around the turn and she was really strong to the finish." The clocking was a stakes record for the Courageous Lady and equaled Northfield Park's track record for sophomore filly pacers. "I was happy to get to drive her," said Tetrick. "When they called me to ask if I would come here (Northfield), I was like absolutely!" "I love traveling around to these big races offered at places like Northfield and being able to compete with nice horses. I'm just glad to be a part of all this." Completing the field were Mother Of Art, LA Delight, Yankee Moonshine, Dime A Dance, Bellatricks, Free Show and Time On My Hands. Rock Me Baby (Rock N Roll Heaven-Lover Of Art-Artsplace) now has four wins in 21 lifetime starts. Saturday's victory increased her career bankroll to $164,228. She returned $5.40 to win. Ayers Ratliff
After spending the past three weeks racing against older horses, Bellatricks returns to her age group to face seven harness racing rivals in Saturday's $120,000 Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers at Northfield Park. Trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. would have preferred to keep Bellatricks away from older horses, but his filly didn't fit many conditions and she needed to keep racing in preparation for the Courageous Lady. As it turned out, Bellatricks held her own in her three starts in the Fillies and Mares Open at Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, posting two second-place finishes before ending up fifth in her most recent performance on Nov. 18. Morgan, though, said the filly's finish last week was deceptively good. "She was loaded last week, she just couldn't get out," Morgan said. "They don't have a passing lane there unfortunately and she had nowhere to go. But she's heading into this race somewhat fresh. She will need to be, because the competition is pretty stiff. "You hate to race a 3-year-old against aged horses," he added, "but it's late in the year and it served its purpose for a couple weeks until the Courageous Lady." Bellatricks and driver Ryan Stahl will start the Courageous Lady from post three. Bellatricks is 10-1 on the morning line. Jugette winner L A Delight, who will leave from post eight with John Campbell at the lines for trainer Bob McIntosh, is the 5-2 favorite. The field also includes two entries from the stable of trainer Ron Burke, who has won the last three editions of the event. Burke's starters are Mother Of Art from post one, at 9-2 on the morning line, and 12-1 Free Show from post six. Bellatricks, a daughter of stallion Third Straight out of the mare Scarlet Begonia, has won four of 18 races this season and six of 25 starts lifetime. She has earned $170,859 in her career for owner Carl Howard, who purchased the filly under the name Shameless Hall for $18,000 at the 2014 Blooded Horse Sale. She twice finished second in the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship, losing each year to Lakeisha Hall. This season's setback in the final came by a head. In fact, Bellatricks finished second to Lakeisha Hall three times this year in the sire stakes series, with two losses by a head and the other by one length. "It would have been nice to win the final at Lexington, but second place for $175,000 is OK," Morgan said. "She's been a pleasant surprise. She was not a high-priced yearling. Carl Howard picked her out. He did a great job doing a little research and finding out there were only 20 fillies eligible for the Kentucky Sire Stakes and he nabbed her. "She's been a success." Bellatricks' recent efforts against older horses were not her only starts this season in fields with aged rivals. Two months ago, she finished third to 2015 Courageous Lady winner Sassa Hanover in a conditioned race at Harrah's Philadelphia. Sassa Hanover later went on to finish second in the Breeders Crown Mare Pace. In July, Bellatricks beat older foes at Scioto Downs, a feat she repeated in August at Yonkers Raceway. "She's got a great attitude," Morgan said. "She's a good-looking filly. She's not real big, but she's built very well. She's got great conformation. I think she will be a nice racehorse hopefully for the next few years. She's versatile. She can leave a quarter in :26 and you can grab her and she'll come right back to you and she loves to pass a horse. "I think her versatility is what will make her a good aged horse. She's already won on a half and five-eighths and she was good on the mile track at Lexington. It's nice to have a horse that you can use that to your advantage. She's just real handy; I think that's the best way to describe her. By being so handy I think she'll be competitive wherever she goes." Morgan believes that includes Saturday at Northfield Park. "I think she'll be competitive in there," Morgan said. "Obviously that's a very tough field with some really good fillies. But I think if she gets a trip she'll be competitive." Following is the Courageous Lady field in post order: PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1-Mother Of Art - Art Major - Ronnie Wrenn Jr.- Ron Burke - 9/2 2-Time On My Hands - American Ideal - Aaron Merriman - Chris Ryder - 4/1 3-Bellatricks - Third Straight - Ryan Stahl - Virgil Morgan Jr. - 10/1 4-Yankee Moonshine - Yankee Cruiser - Don Irvine Jr .- Doug Hinklin - 8/1 5-Rock Me Baby - Rock N Roll Heaven - Tim Tetrick - Heidi Rohr - 7/2 6-Free Show - Badlands Hanover - Jason Merriman - Ron Burke - 12/1 7-Dime A Dance - Roll With Joe - Mike Wilder - Doug Snyder - 15/1 8-L A Delight - Bettor's Delight - John Campbell - Robert McIntosh - 5/2 Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager Harness Racing Communications A division of the U.S. Trotting Association
The $120,000 Courageous Lady goes postward this Saturday evening (November 26) at Northfield Park. The Grand Circuit race is an open harness racing event for North America's top 3-year-old filly pacers and once again has attracted an impressive slate of talent. This year's Jugette winner, LA Delight, will start from post eight and has been named the 5-2 early favorite by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting Dave Bianconi. A Courageous Lady victory would push LA Delight's earnings in excess of $1.2 million. The Robert McIntosh trainee has posted nine victories this year, including a 1:49.1 win at The Meadows Racetrack. McIntosh, a 2003 inductee into Harness Racing's Hall of Fame, has called upon fellow HOF member, John Campbell, to drive. The morning line second choice, Rock Me Baby, has drawn post five for trainer Heidi Rohr. She enters this event off an impressive 1:52.4 qualifier at Saratoga Raceway where she bested her competition by seven lengths. Tim Tetrick has been named to pilot Rock Me Baby. Ron Burke, the leading money winning trainer in North America, has entered two fillies in Saturday's featured event. Burke will start Mother Of Art, the 9-2 morning line fourth choice, and Free Show, a 12-1 morning line longshot. The 2016 $120,000 Courageous Lady field: PP Horse Trainer Driver Morning Line 1 Mother Of Art - Ron Burke - Ronnie Wrenn Jr. 9-2 2 Time On My Hands - Chris Ryder - Aaron Merriman 4-1 3 Bellatricks - Virgil Morgan Jr. - Ryan Stahl 10-1 4 Yankee Moonshine - Doug Hinklin - Don Irvine Jr. 8-1 5 Rock Me Baby - Heidi Rohr -Tim Tetrick 7-2 6 Free Show - Ron Burke -Jason Merriman 12-1 7 Dime A Dance - Doug Snyder - Mike Wilder 15-1 8 LA Delight - Robert McIntosh - John Campbell 5-2 This year's Courageous Lady is the 11th of a 15-race program. A $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 pool has been added to the night. The guaranteed Pick-4 will begin with race eight and conclude with the Courageous Lady. In addition to world-class excitement on the track, an impressive array of activities has been planned for guests in attendance. "Home for the Holiday" drawings will be announced throughout the evening where winners will be taking home household goods worth thousands of dollars. Guests can also try their luck in Ohio Lottery Plinko and second chance drawings for non-winning instant lotto tickets that are $5 or more in value. Attendees can also enjoy a $19.95 buffet in Lady Luck's Clubhouse Restaurant, which offers a panoramic view of the races. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 330.467.4101. HISTORY OF THE RACE: The race is named after one of the finest and most popular pacing fillies ever to compete on Northfield Park's Flying Turns -- Courageous Lady. The poignant story behind the race revolves around the late Ruth Cohen of Mayfield Heights. In 1977, Julian Cohen, a Cleveland attorney and avid harness racing fan, paid $35,000 for the two year-old filly Courageous Lady for his sister Ruth, who had been diagnosed with cancer and given only two years to live. "We bought Courageous Lady midway through the filly's two year-old season and Ruth loved that horse," said Mr. Cohen, who himself passed away in 1997. "We followed her to all of her races. Ruth lived another eight years, primarily because of her horse." Courageous Lady, an Ohio-sired daughter of Captain Courageous from the mare Painter Pam, earned $418,256 between 1977 and 1981. She took a time-trial mark of 1:54.4 and twice equaled the 1:55.2 world record of the famed Silk Stockings. Among her other illustrious accomplishments, Courageous Lady became the first Ohio Sires Stakes champion to defend her title. She won numerous stakes in the United States and Canada, setting multiple stakes and national season's standards. As a broodmare, Courageous Lady produced two outstanding offspring prior to her untimely passing in 1989 at age 14. The filly Uptown Swell as a 1:54.2 performer with career earnings of $728,135, and Courageous Legacy, a Sonsam stallion, garnered a 1:52.2 lifetime record while banking over $183,000 for owner Julian Cohen. Northfield Park is proud to honor Ruth Cohen and the great mare, Courageous Lady. The outstanding fields of distaff talent annually assembled for the Courageous Lade are a fitting tribute for two of racing's most memorable and truly courageous ladies. Ayers Ratliff
Big returns Saturday at Northfield Park and harness racing longshot players were cashing in after the horses crossed the finish of Northfield Park's fourth race on Saturday (November 12) when #6 Happy To Scoot swooped from the back to win at odds of 70-1. Steve Ashby of Mentor on the Lake, Ohio owns and trains the five year-old pacer. Daren Harvey was aboard for the winning drive. Saturday's win was Happy To Scoot's second win this year in 26 starts and represents her sixth lifetime score. Happy To Scoot was followed across the wire by #3 Tammy Ann (6-1), #1 Always Dee One (7-1) and #4 Fountain Pen (2-5). Happy To Scoot returned $141.80 to win; the 6-3 Exacta paid $2,348.60; the 6-3-1 Trifecta returned $12,120.60; and the 6-3-1-4 20¢ Superfecta paid $3,657.76. Ayers Ratlif
Like Old Times went to post on Saturday (November 7) at Northfield Park as both the 2015 Ohio horse of the year and the fastest harness racing four year-old trotting mare in the history of the Flying Turns. When she crossed the finish, she proved herself even faster when she lowered her own track record in the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot to 1:54.4. Her former record was 1:55 trotted earlier this year. Keith Ross of Bellefontaine, Ohio owns Like Old Times. Don McKirgan is her conditioner and Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. was in the sulky for the winning drive. Like Old Times (Chip Chip Hooray-Royal Two-Royal Troubador) started from post five. She fired off the gate and led her competition through fractions of :27.4, :57.2, 1:26.1 and 1:54.4, besting her competition by 1¾-lengths. Like Old Times now has eight wins in 24 starts this year. Monday's victory represents her 22nd career score and bolstered her bankroll to $492,430. She returned $9.40 to win. Ayers Ratlif