OK, you’re driver Daryl Bier, known from Cal Expo to Dover and Pocono, from Pompano to The Meadowlands. You’ve had experience with really good horses before, as you currently guide the top FFA trotter Modern Family, and have had former world champion Special T Rocks, $900,000+ winner Higher And Higher, and others. You’re sitting behind a four-year-old who only has six months of actual racing experience and you are in the $36,000 Open Handicap feature race at Dover on closing day, April 10, but you know he’s a very fast horse who’s getting better. Your even-money main opposition broke early, so you decided to go to the point with the 6-5 second choice, and you rate the half in 56.1. Then it gets fun. You open him a notch to get away from your remaining rivals, and he responds instantly – he’s not a big horse, but he’s quick as can be. You whiz past the ¾ (“I didn’t think to look at the time; I was thinking about my $18,000 winners share); then, early on the final turn, you kick the earplugs out on your horse, test him a little more. He visibly downshifts on the TV monitors, and Daryl feels it in the bike – we’re going FAST! Through the lane, Bier takes him in hand, but he still destroys his field that has collective earnings of $1.9 million lifetime, by six (or more) lengths. Daryl gets to look at the timer past the finish – it says 1:48.2. Quick math tells him that’s a last half, on a five-eighth-mile track, in 56-degree temperatures, with nobody around him, for a horse in his 16th career start, in 52.1. He gets a chance to look at the ¾ time – it was 1:22.3, which means he paced in 26.2 down the back, and then when he downshifted, his horse came the last quarter (on a 5/8-mile track) in 25.4! Daryl returns to the Dover winners circle with a big smile. His brother Sean, a veteran of the racetrack game, is jumping and hollering – “DID YOU SEE THAT?” (probably not intended at Daryl, who of course did see that). The Dover paddock is abuzz after the race. Oh, did we mention that in his previous start, coming from behind wicked fractions, he had tied the all-time Dover record of 1:48, first set by his year’s 3YO champion, Heston Blue Chip? Meet Bandolito. Unraced at two in 2012, the son of Ponder-Sody’s Home Brew was brought to the races by veteran Florida horseman Warren Harp, and Daryl got a call from an agent he had worked with, Gary Brown. The horse fit a pattern Daryl has used with much success – buy promising horses who didn’t race or didn't race much at two: Modern Family didn’t start as a freshman, and Special T Rocks only raced twice at 2 – and the price was right. So he was brought into the Bier stable, with Daryl’s brother David making the initial purchase while agreeing that if the horse was good enough to make the Kentucky Sire Stakes in the summer, Daryl and longtime stable patron Charles Dombeck would join the ownership. Bandolito came north, where he came under the care of Team Bier, which includes caretaker Brad Sawyer (“He has Modern Family, too, so he’s a top man”) and horseshoer Chuck Crissman Jr., the father-in-law of Daryl’s brother Sean (Crissman comes more into the story later, and then again right at the very end). Third in his first northern start, the unheralded sophomore then rips off six straight between Harrah’s and Pocono, including a 1:51.3f-27 triumph (in his fourth lifetime start). Off to Kentucky under the new Bandolito partnership. The Ponder colt wins his two prelims with ease at the famous Red Mile, both with sub-27 last quarters, and Bandolito is 1-10* in the final. “I decided to use Tim Tetrick that night,” Daryl said, “because Tim obviously knows good horses, and I wanted to see what he thought of the horse, whether he was for real.” 1:49.4 later (26.2 on the end), Tetrick turns to Bier and says, “I like him. He’s a real good horse.” And thus basically ended Bandolito’s first campaign. Oh, the calendar will say he started back in December 2013, but this was really round two for Bandolito. And he didn’t come out of his corner strongly. A hard-closing fifth in a 1:51 mile at Dover just six days before Christmas was a good start, but then Bandolito caused some concern – while winning a race. “He was second-over, but won by only a head in 1:52.3, and I was worried,” Bier recalled – his people were considering nominating him for the Levy Series around then, but that kind of mile wouldn’t do. “And then he quarter-moved in his next race, for $18,000, and was caught and beaten almost two lengths.” The answer came quickly. Bandolito was dead lame the next day, one foot obviously distressing him. “But Chuck (Crissman) saved us right then and there. He figured out the foot problem, got him straightened away. He didn’t walk for three weeks after the lameness,” but things progressed well for Bier/Crissman/Sawyer and the other owners, so well that with their careful nurturing Bandolito qualified on March 19. Two weeks later he equaled the all-time Dover record of 1:48 on April 3 – his 15th lifetime start. Came home in 52.1-25.4 a week later – start #16. “We were more excited about that race, because nobody was pushing us and because of the sheer speed.” What’s next for Bandolito? Good question. Perhaps the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial on Kentucky Derby Day (a race in which Bier and Special T Rocks equaled a 1:48.2 world record two years ago) at Pocono, where Bier recently re-established his base, maybe after an overnight start this weekend if Daryl can get one for him. Afterwards? … But they are fun question marks to have! Daryl: “We got a copy of the race, and I watched it with Chuck on his big screen TV. And you can see things pretty good on it, and the eighth, just into the turn, from when I kicked the earplugs, we timed him in 12 seconds. We both timed that, and did it a couple of times. A 12-second eighth … that’s a 24-second quarter…” How good IS Bandolito? By Jerry Connors, for Harnesslink.com
DOVER, Del.---- Casino Bags Carlo swept to victory in the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Three-Year-Old Male pace, the last of four $100,000 DSBF finals this week on the closing day of the 45th harness racing season at Dover Downs, Thursday, April 10 at Dover Downs. Bandolito romps in 1:48 winning $36,000 Preferred pace and Just A Jolt takes $33,000 Delaware Special. When front-pacing favorite Elite Awards suddenly broke stride on the final turn, Vince Copeland, sitting second with Casino Bags Carlo, shot into the lead and rushed home a 1:52.4 winner of the final DSBF three-year-old championships. The win was the third straight victory of an unbeaten campaign for Cavalli Pazzi Stables,. Copeland has trained and driven the Roddy's Bags Again-Casino Bus gelding now a winner of eight of 12 races and only once farther back that third while winning $70,000 this year and $168,911 lifetime. West Star Director (Ben Stafford Jr.) finished second for the third consecutive start. Forced Passage (Ross Wolfenden) was third. Driver George Dennis said he and Elite Awards saw a lose horseshoe shining brightly on the track along a pylon and the pacer was startled and broke stride, finishing out of the money for the first time in 12 races with 10 of them easy wins. Bandolito, a 1:48 winner last week, currently the fastest time of 2014, won even more impressively this week stepping up to the $36,000 Preferred Handicap. Trainer-driver Daryl Bier, co-owner with Charley Dombeck and David Bier, the Ponder-Sody's Home Brew brown four-year-old was never trouble chalking up his third win in four starts this year while winning $48,977 and $228,815 in his 16 race career. Tarpon Hanover (David Miller) ended a two-race win streak finishing second with Take It Back Terry (Ross Wolfenden) the show horse. When Nova Artist (Allan Davis) became involved in trouble in front of the grandstand when he received a broke race wheel, the $33,000 Delaware Special Handicap became a toss up. Feel Like a Fool (Dennis) took over the lead and led into the stretch when Tim Tetrick steered Just A Jolt to the front nearing the wire for a 1:50.2 triumph. Feel Like A Fool and Full Of Sand (Corey Callahan) were second and third respectively. Nova Artist pulled up before the clubhouse turn. Corey Callahan drove Joan Hamstead's homebred Lewiebyalength scooted to a 1:53.2 success in the $20,000 DSBF consolation. A 13-1 shot Three Day Forecast (Jonathan Roberts) was second with By Noggin (Tony Morgan) third. Callahan also guided Gateway Racing's Lollipop Kid to a 1:49.1 conquest in an $18,000 Male Winners-Over pace. The Dylan Davis-trainee is an altered son of Shady Character-Saly Pansen and won for the third time in 10 outings this year. Manhattan Rusty N (Ron Pierce) finished a strong second with Poker Hat (Tetrick) finishing third. In the $17,500 3,4&5-Year-Old Male Winners-Over pace, Troy and Todd Tribbett's Alittleaintenough notched his fourth win of the season with Ron Pierce driving, a 1:51 lifetime mark. The Artiscape-Mayland Beauty gelding trained by Joe Hunterpfund was followed home by Chesapeake Bay (David Miller) and Totally Kissed (Montrell Teague), the only sophomore in the field, who was third. Bret Brittingham drove the other $17,500 division winner, Leslie Betts' Teresa's Beach. The Somebeachsomewhere-GE's Jen four-year-old is trained by Johnny Waite and won #4 this year in 11 starts. Sea Harrier (Tetrick) accepted his first loss after two wins. Varsity Hanover (Kim Vincent) closed strongly to finish third. In between races ceremonies, Corey Callahan was presented the Leading Driver award. Dylan Davis won the Leading Trainer title, while Nova Artist, for the second time in three seasons, won Horse of the Meet honors. Dover Downs says 'so long' to its 45th season and thanks all who participating in making the 2013-14 meet successful. Thanks for being an important part of the banner season. Racing will resume next Fall. In the meantime, harness racing resumes on Monday, April 21 at Harrington Raceway. There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Leading harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
DOVER, Del.---- Bandolito scored the fastest mile of the year on any size track while equaling the all-track record of 1:48 set in 2012 by Heston Blue Chip, while Casino Bags Carlo was the fastest of three Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) $20,000 2nd leg Pace preliminaries and in the $33,000 Delaware Special, Nova Artist won again on a strong Thursday, April 3 program at Dover Downs. Daryl Bier moved Bandolito up on the outside as Lollipop Kid (Corey Callahan) and Fancyfreeshark (Jonathan Roberts) continued to battle on the front end. Bandolito took the lead on the final turn and breezed home in track record equaling and track four-year-old record time of 1:48. Bier trains and co-owns the Ponder-Sody's Home Brew brown horse with Charles Dombeck and David Bier. It was his second win of the year and 11th lifetime and now has won purses of 210,815. Manhattan Rusty N (Ron Pierce) showed late speed to finish second in front of Lollipop Kid, third. . Casino Bags Carlo turned in the fastest of the three DSBF prelims, a 1:53.4 wire-to-wire performance for trainer, driver Vince Copeland and owner Cavalli Pazzi Stables. The Roddy's Bags Again-Casino Bus gelding won his second in two starts in 2014 and seventh, with two second and a third in his 11 career races banking $118,911. Forced Passage (Ross Wolfenden) was runner-up with Lewiebyalength (Corey Callahan) the show horse. In the second $20,000 DSBF pace, Elite Awards came from off-the-pace for driver George Dennis to take the lead from West Star Director (Ben Stafford Jr.) and then led his six rivals home for a 1:54.3 victory, his Third Straight this years and 10th in 11 starts lifetime earning $124,225. David Rearic conditions the Powerful Toy-Silk Slip gelding for owner Karen Walls. The third DSBF division was even more competitive. Tim Tetrick drove Art Retreat to a come-from-behind 1:54 decision. Go Big Spinder (Ron Pierce) closed well to take second while Hawker (David Miller), who vied for the early lead was the show finisher. Vern Cannon and trainer Jeff Clark owned the Artzina-Wild Retreat gelding who won for the first time in 13 starts which include five seconds and two thirds. Nova Artist in his customary style closed from fifth at the half to notch a 1:50.2 triumph in the $33,000 Delaware Special. Allan Davis was at the controls of the seven-year-old son of Real Artist-Avon Lady who recorded his fourth win of the year to go with two seconds and two thirds for owners trainer Eddy and Kathy Davis. The almost black pacer, who was the track's Horse of The Meet two seasons back, has won $85.350 this year and $849,917 in his career. Just A Jolt (Tim Tetrick) also rallied from off-the-pace to finish second in front of Feel Like A Fool (Dennis). Jet Blue Miracle came on strong in one of two $18,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over paces to rack up a 1:52.1 win. Ross Wolfenden teamed with trainer Les Givens to make owners Ed Maas, Arlene Paisley and Nanticoke Racing happy with their fourth win of the year. Major Bucks (Toby Lynch) finished second with Shiretown Pitbull (Sean Bier) third. In the other $18,000 event, Tim Tetrick roared down the lane driving Sea Harrier, a Jereme's Jet-Ingrid Bergrin gelding, to his sixth win of the meet in nine races for Paton Racing and trainer Jim King. Jolt Of Fire (Dennis) and Spinfiniti (Pierce) were second and third respectively. Frank Chick's So Much To Say, driven by Dennis for trainer Kevin Lare, posted a 1:52 victory in a $15,500 4&5-Year-Old pace. Art Of Escape (Pierce) was second followed by Heart Breaking (Davis), third. Morgan and Jeanne McInnis rejuvenated Cams Art in 1:51.2 won a close 1:51.2 decision at 12-1 odds in a $15,000 Male pace with Bret Brittingham driving. SB Mike's Hot Beach (Mike Rossi), off at 71-1, cut out the mile and finished second. Just Bettor (Pierce) came on from far back for third money. George Dennis had three wins while Allan Davis, Tim Tetrick and Bret Brittingham had doubles. A $20,000-$25,000 Claiming pace is the top race on Sunday when racing resumes. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Leading harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book.
LEBANON, OH. - The 'girls' pretty much had their way with the 'boys' in Sunday night's $8000 championship final of the month-long Madness in March tournament at Miami Valley Raceway. A field of 64 $4.000 claiming horses began the Madness in March elimination tournament with the field reduced to 32 after week one, 16 after week two and the Elite 8 after week three. While the 'brackets' for the first three weeks were divided by gender, the final pitted the top four surviving geldings versus the top four surviving mares in a "Battle of the Sexes." When the dust settled, Rock Ann Rolling was crowned Tournament Queen following a track-record 1:53.4 performance, the fastest clocking ever by a female over the age of four at Miami Valley to date. A pair of other mares raced creditably against their male counterparts with Taylors Artist (Josh Sutton) finishing third and C L Life Road (Dan Noble) fourth across the finish line. Rock Ann Rolling is owned by driver Jason Brewer and conditioned by his father Jeff Brewer. It was the 13th career win for the six-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare. The best any of the four geldings could do in the championship was a runnerup finish by Communicator (Pat Berry) who fell just three-quarters of length short for the P T Stable, who claimed him in the first week of the tournament. Olive Loaf (Kyle Ater) garnered the final paycheck for his fifth place effort. A pair of co-featured Fillies and Mares Open paces were also highlights of the program. Rev Me Up (Dan Noble) captured the $9500 Open I for the second straight week in 1:54, which stood for one race as the track record for older distaffers until Rock Ann Rolling bested it. Despite the eight-hole, Rev Me Up fired when the wings opened and went gate to wire, holding off Whisty's Paradise (Pat Berry) and Canary Island (Chris Page) in a thrilling photo finish. Patrons who backed the repeat winner were rewarded with a $22.80 mutuel payoff on the Kathy Millman trainee who is leased by Merl P'Pool. The $7,500 Open II went to favored Ohmybelle (Tyler Smith) with a narrow victory over Everymileamemory (Pat Berry) and Bazooka Terror (Randy Tharps). The speedy 1:53.3 clocking established a new standard for four-year-old mares who have raced at Miami Valley during the track's initial two months in business. Janet Banks owns the daughter of Ponder who is trained by Tyler's father, Jeff Smith. From Miami Valley Raceway Publicity Department
TORONTO, March 27 - An elite group of 70 horses remain eligible to the 31st edition of the Pepsi North America Cup, one of harness racing's most prestigious events and Canada's richest harness race with a $1 million final. The one mile pace for three-year-olds at Mohawk Racetrack, is scheduled for Saturday, June 14. Headlining this year's group of nominees is the Dan Patch Award winner and undefeated He's Watching, who set two world records last season along with six track records for trainer and co-owner David Menary. The son of American Ideal boasts a 1:50 speed badge along with $291,722 in earnings. O'Brien Award winner Arthur Blue Chip, who banked $400,120 last season, also remains a top contender for this year's prize. The son of first-crop sire Shadow Play amassed a 6-2-1 record from 11 starts last season. He capped off his year as the richest two-year-old colt pacer. Luck Be Withyou, the 2013 Breeders Crown champion, is also on the list and one of the early favourites for the race. National Debt, who remains undefeated in his career after capturing the Buddy Gilmour Memorial at The Meadowlands, is also on the list of nominees. The Pepsi North America Cup eliminations are set for Saturday, June 7. Sustaining payments will be due on April 15 and May 15. The list of nominees follows: AGADIR HANOVER ALWAYS B MIKI ARI ALLSTAR ARTHUR BLUE CHIP AVALANCHE HANOVER BEAT THE DRUM BONDI HANOVER BOOMBOOM BALLYKEEL BRODYS SCRAPPER BUGGER BRUISER CABANA BOY HANOVER CAPITAL ACCOUNT CARRACCI HANOVER CRAFTY MASTER DANCIN HILL DOO WOP HANOVER EWALD HANOVER FOR A BETTOR TIME FORT KNOX GOLD ROCKS HERE COMES WILLIAM HE'S WATCHING IDEAL COWBOY IDEAL MAGIC IDEAL SHADOW IDEALBEACH HANOVER IM DRINKIN DOUBLES JACK ATTACK JET AIRWAY JIGGLE IT JK ENDOFANERA JOURNEYMAN LETS DRINK ON IT LIMELIGHT BEACH LUCK BE WITHYOU LUCKY KING LYONSSOMEWHERE MAJOR DEAGAN MAJOR TRICK MCWICKED MELMERBY BEACH MOLIERE HANOVER NAKED CITY NATIONAL DEBT ODDS ON RHODONITE ON GOLDEN Ponder P L HELLCAT PARNU HANOVER PLAY IT AGAIN SAM SILVERHILL SHADOW SMACK TALK SOME MAJOR BEACH SOMESTARSOMEWHERE SOMETIMES SAID SOMEWHERE FANCY SURPRISE HANOVER SWEET BEACH SWEET TALKIN CLYDE TELLITLIKEITIS THATS MY OPINION THREE OF CLUBS UNLOCKED WACO BRUISER WEATHER HANOVER WELL WRITTEN WESTERN VINTAGE WHISKEY N PIE WHISTLE JIMMY K WICKED BUSINESS WINDS OF CHANGE Total Horses after the following payments. February 15 - 77 Qualifiers moved to Saturday Due to mild and wet temperatures scheduled for this Friday, Woodbine Racetrack will shift its qualifying sessions to Saturday. Seven qualifying sessions till take place, beginning at 4 p.m. by Greg Gangle, for WEG
BOWDEN ALSO BUYS SHARES IN FATHER PATRICK...WILL STAND HIM AT DIAMOND CREEK FARM
By Bill Liblick, re-printed with permission by www.sullivancountypost.com As EPR Properties and Empire Resorts prepares to present their resort destination plans next Thursday evening at a private presentation at Bethel Woods, and not at Empire’s operational facility, the harness racing horsemen at Monticello Raceway have declared war. The horsemen feel they have been betrayed and used as a pawn by Empire Resorts, the owner of Monticello Raceway, and are fearful that the Standardbred racetrack and the industry that has employed thousands of residents over the years in Sullivan County will be gone if the company receives a license to operate a full-fledged gaming hall. When racino’s were permitted in New York State it saved the horse racing industry from dying. The introduction of video slot terminals has seen racetracks such as Monticello, Tioga Downs, Saratoga, and Yonkers flourish thanks to a percentage of the take going into racing purses. Although attendance and actual pool totals from Monticello Raceway attendees is minimal, the racetrack has become a cash cow for Empire Resorts thanks to simulcasting and off-track betting wagering. Monticello Raceway has in essence become a huge television studio. Under proposals from EPR and Empire Resorts they say they are going to construct a new harness track at the Concord no matter what happens – with or without table games – but will they? Horsemen claim Empire Resorts is capping purses at 2013 levels and if they are granted a table gaming license there will be no increases. They also say there are no guarantees the harness track will even remain open. The Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association has declared a war against Empire Resorts. They argue track owners slammed the door on them once the resort destination amendment was approved in November and that they refuse to negotiate. Things are so bad, the horsemen have exercised their right to stop Monticello’s simulcast signal from being broadcast, preventing Empire Resorts and New York State from receiving millions in revenue. Empire has since slashed purses and cut back the number of races in a card. They have even shut down the horsemen’s lunch room. According to Alan Schwartz, President of Monticello’s Harness Association The dispute between management and the horsemen at Monticello Raceway is very easy to understand. “The parent company of the racetrack seeks to obtain a lucrative license to construct a Las Vegas style casino, complete with slot machines and table games. They would be one of just two, and possibly the only casino permitted in the Catskills. Despite the tremendous windfall such a license would bring to the parent company, it flatly refuses to allow the horsemen or breeders to share in any portion of the huge anticipated profits.” Schwartz claims that “in order to get the casino amendment passed, management both figuratively and literally called the horsemen their “partners.” The logo of their lobbying group prominently contains a horse. Their radio commercials ballyhooed their support for racing. Of course, once the amendment passed, management’s idea of “partnership” quickly degenerated.” Under the present video lottery gaming law, horsemen and breeders get a fixed percentage of the track’s net win. When a racino underperforms, the purse money generated is less, even though it isn’t the horsemen’s fault. When the racino does well, purses go up modestly – In essence a true economic partnership. Schwartz maintains Empire Resorts wants a firm cap on purses and breeding contributions at 2013 levels. He says if that happens, harness racing will become a near-zero or zero growth industry. “Nobody is going to buy or breed horses in this state when places like Ohio, Massachusetts, Delaware and Pennsylvania offer significantly more industry support.” Schwartz acknowledges that harness racing won’t die in the next several years, but “consider, however, that the price of feed, diesel fuel, veterinary services; literally anything you can think of, will be significantly higher in just a few years. Once you can’t pay to maintain racehorses, the sport will evaporate from sheer economics – And that’s exactly what our racetrack management “partners” would love to see happen.” Although Empire Resorts blames Albany for the horsemen’s plight, Schwartz asserts the law speaks only about minimum contributions. “No government can interfere with the private right of contract. Racetrack management hides behind Albany when, in reality, their own lobbyists pushed for and signed off on the legislation.” Schwartz says “The horsemen and breeders at Monticello and elsewhere refuse to be “silent” former partners. If management wishes to embrace us as economic partners, as mandated under the video lottery gaming law, gaming can move forward in a meaningful way in the Catskills, and the renaissance created by Albany through the VLT program can continue to flourish, for not only the six harness tracks owners but also for the state, education and the agriculture and racing industries. If that doesn’t occur, we really have nothing else to lose.” Schwartz professes he is trying to negotiate in good faith, but Empire Resorts is not, so with “few weapons in this fight” they had to pull the simulcasting signal. “We are also acutely aware of the loss of revenue to the track, the horsemen and the industry. Yet, we have pondered just how much money these track operators strive for while they jeopardize an entire industry for their own profit; a racing industry that worked hard to spawn the birth of VLTs at tracks in this and other states. We cannot just sit by and watch an industry get swallowed up by a handful of track operators professing to be concerned about our sport, whose ultimate goal is to kill it.” The right to withhold the export of signal from Monticello is a right granted to horsemen by Federal law. Schwartz explained, “That 1978 law very wisely recognizes that the horsemen at a host track are the real guardians of this sport. It armed the horsemen with the important tool to use only when they perceived a crisis threatening the very existence of the game. It has been used very sparingly and with the utmost of caution.” A mediator has been appointed by the New York State Gaming Commission in an attempt to resolve the situation. Charles Degliomini, executive vice president of Empire Resorts/Monticello Raceway issued the following statement in response the suspension of simulcasting. “Monticello Casino & Raceway (“MC&R”) continues to support the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act (“Gaming Act”). When they authored the Gaming Act, the Senate, Assembly and the Executive protected the Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association (“MHHA”), and the entire racing industry. As New York State moves toward approving four casinos in upstate New York, future revenue for the horsemen is governed by the Gaming Act, and current revenue is governed by the New York State Lottery for Education Law. Degliomini added, “It is sad and unfortunate that we are being attacked for legislation that actually protects harness horsemen’s interests. While MC&R continues in good faith, through negotiation and mediation, to attempt to secure an agreement with MHHA, the MHHA is now attempting to amend a law that they don’t like by unfairly punishing our business, our employees, our loyal customers and even their own members. We are simply track owners, not elected officials. The MHHA should stop this destructive behavior and turn the simulcasting signal back on.” With all the new resort destination proposals coming out of the woodwork this dispute is something Sullivan County does not need. Schwartz does raise many valid concerns that must be addressed if a racino operator is granted a full gaming license, Monticello Raceway, the horsemen, and the industry must be protected.
TORONTO, CA March 5 - An impressive group of 77 sophomore including rookie standouts Hes Watching, Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou have been nominated to the 31st edition of the Pepsi North America Cup. One of harness racing's most prestigious events, the $1 million race is set for Saturday, June 14 at Mohawk Racetrack. Headlining this year's group of nominees is the Dan Patch Award winner and undefeated Hes Watching, who set two world records last season along with six track records for trainer and co-owner David Menary. The son of American Ideal boasts a 1:50 speed badge along with $291,722 in earnings. Arthur Blue Chip, who banked $400,120 last season along with an O'Brien Award, was the richest rookie-pacing colt of 2013. The son of first-crop sire Shadow Play amassed a 6-2-1 record from 11 starts last season. Luck Be Withyou, the 2013 Breeders Crown champion, is also on the list and one of the early favourites for the race. The Pepsi North America Cup eliminations are set for Saturday, June 7. Sustaining payments will be due on March 15, April 15 and May 15. The complete list of this year's Pepsi NA Cup eligibles are listed below: AGADIR HANOVER ALWAYS B MIKI ARI ALLSTAR ARTHUR BLUE CHIP AVALANCHE HANOVER BEAT THE DRUM BEST OF THE BUNCH BONDI HANOVER BOOM BOOM BALLYKEEL BRODYS SCRAPPER BUGGER BRUISER BUSHWACKER CABANA BOY HANOVER CAPITAL ACCOUNT CARRACCI HANOVER CRAFTY MASTER DANCIN HILL DEVIL'S ARCADE DOO WOP HANOVER EARTHSHAKER EWALD HANOVER FOR A BETTOR TIME FORT KNOX GOLD ROCKS HERE COMES WILLIAM HES WATCHING IDEAL COWBOY IDEAL MAGIC IDEAL SHADOW IDEALBEACH HANOVER IM DRINKIN DOUBLES JACKATTACK JET AIRWAY JK ENDOFANERA JIGGLE IT JOURNEYMAN LET'S DRINK ON IT LIMELIGHT BEACH LUCK BE WITH YOU LUCKY KING LYONS SOMEWHERE MAJOR DEAGAN MAJOR TRICK MARCO DE VIE MCWICKED MELMERBY BEACH MOLIERE HANOVER NAKED CITY NATIONAL DEBT ODDS ON RHODONITE ON GOLDEN Ponder PLAY IT AGAIN SAM P L HELLCAT PARNU HANOVER SHADIOS SILVERHILL SHADOW SMACK TALK SOME MAJOR BEACH SOMESTARSOMEWHERE SOMETIMES SAID SOMEWHERE FANCY SURPRISE HANOVER SWEET BEACH SWEET TALKIN CLYDE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT TELLITLIKEITIS THAT'S MY OPINION THREE OF CLUBS UNLOCKED WACO BRUISER WEATHER HANOVER WELL WRITTEN WESTERN VINTAGE WHISKEY N PIE WHISTLE JIMMY K WICKED BUSINESS WINDS OF CHANGE by Greg Gangle, for WEG
DOVER, Del.---- Lord Terror scored a relentless 1:53.4 victory to best two rivals at the finish of the $20,000 Male Claiming Allowance at Dover Downs on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Ponder won the other co-feature. Driver Vic Kirby shook up Lord Terror on the backstretch as he challenged front-pacing Poker Hat (Corey Callahan), the leader from the start. Cash Cab (Trace Tetrick) was also closing strongly on the far outside. Lord Terror and Kirby got up in the final stride for trainer Eric Ell and owner Bill Emmons for his third win of 2014. The Western Terror-Cheryl Hanover gelding also has a second and two thirds to his credit this year. He has won $309,528 lifetime. Poker Hat was a nose behind in second with Cash Cab, third by a neck. Partner stalked leader Little Michael B until the passing lane, then driver Jonathan Roberts zipped along the inside to quickly move past on the way to a 1:52.2 victory, his career fastest, to win a $20,000 4&5-Year-Old Claiming Allowance. Bobby Glassmeyer owns and trains the Ponder-Dominique Semalu gelding who won for the second time this year. Little Michael B (Callahan) was second nipping Here Is The Future (Montrell Teague) third. Leading driver Corey Callahan piloted four winners, Vic Kirby won twice and Arty Foster Jr. also had an owner-trainer double. A pair of million-dollar winners head the top two trots on the Wednesday card; Green Day in the $20,000 Open and Looking Hanover in the $15,000 Winners-Over. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
Who can win Monticello Raceway's "Not-Quite Presidential" Pace on Presidents Day, Feb. 17? The race appears to be so wide open that even John Flynn, the tracks longtime morning line odds-maker, pondered over the decision as to who he should make the favorite. "It may be a field of lesser caliber pacers but wow, I had a hard time deciding who should be the early line favorite," Flynn said. "The more I looked over the field (of horses) the more I thought it could be anyone's race (to win)." After constantly reviewing the eight -horse field Flynn's eyes finally centered on Red Carpet Tonight and Space Chalet, and when he made his final decision the former got posted as the favorite at odds of 5-2 while the latter was second choice at 3-1. Top Philadelphia lawyer and prominent horse owner, Howard "Zachary" Taylor, will make the trek up from the city of Brotherly Love to drive the favorite while Saratoga Raceway's racing secretary, Don "Herbert" Hoover will handle the driving chores behind Space Chalet. Although the aforementioned are considered the favorites in the race anyone of the other six other pacers have an equally good chance at visiting the winners circle according to Flynn. Even the number eight horse, Act of Heaven, driven by Dennis "George" Washington, was rated 7-2 on the morning line by Flynn. "This should be a great betting race because there are no clear-cut favorites," Flynn added. Even the Mighty M's director of racing Eric Warner concurs with Flynn, who is also the tracks program director. "This is one of the most evenly-matched field of horses we've had in quite some time," Warner said. "It should be a good battle and with no standouts in the race the horse that gets the best trip will probably be the winner." Other drivers in the event include: "Harry" Truman Gale, J. Scott "Zachary" Taylor, George "James K." Polk, Jr., Cedric "George" Washington and Peter Gerry. For the record, the drivers competing in the "Not-Quite Presidential" Pace have the same names as U.S. Presidents, save one, Peter Gerry. Nevertheless his family line fits the race conditions since his grandfather-four or five generations removed-Elbridge Thomas Gerry, not only was a signer of the Declaration of Independence but he was also the fifth vice president of the United States serving in the second term of President James Madison. The Not Quite Presidential" Pace is slated as race number nine on the Presidents Day,(Feb. 17) 10-race program. First post will be at 12:25PM with 3:45PM the approximate post time for the featured event. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 --The Harness Racing Museum urges breeders to take advantage of the exceptional roster of stallions for the 2014 breeding auction.Bidding ends this Saturday, February 15, 2014 at noon Eastern. This year's list includes Hall of Fame inductees Camluck (2008) standing in Ontario and Cam's Card Shark* (2007) in Pennsylvania. By state and gait Ohio's trotting sires are Break The Bank K, Colie's, Dejarmbro, Northern Kid, Triumphant Caviar and Valley Victor. Ohio pacing sires are Feelin Friskie, Manhardt, Powerful Toy, Shark Gesture, Stand Forever, Three Olives, Woodstock and Yankee Cruiser*. Pennsylvania trotters available for service are Lear Jetta, Sierra Kosmos and Tom Ridge*, and pacers Cam's Card Shark*, Ponder, Real Artist and Tuffofthetoughest. New York is represented by trotting sires Conway Hall and Lucky Chucky. The pacing ranks consist of Lislea, Panther Hanover, Riverboat King*, Rockincam, So Surreal and Village Jove*. Maryland trotters available are Charlie De Vie, Four Starz Robro, Groton Hall and Holy Guacamolie. Pacing stallions are Nuclear Breeze, The Fraternity Pan, Totally Western and Up Front Charlie. Ontario is represented by the trotting sire Angus Hall and pacing stallions Artistic Fella, Badlands Hanover, Camluck and Classic Card Shark. Indiana offers pacers Allthatgltrsisgold, Always A Virgin*, He's Gorgeous and Panspacificflight.Delaware provides trotter Cr Commando and pacing sire Dream Away. Illinois provides pacing sire Yankee Skyscaper. Income raised by the auction, nearly $540,000 over the past 15 years, supports the Museum's General Operating Fund. It helps to ensure quality services, special exhibitions, traveling exhibits, promotional support and educational programming for children and adults. Our efforts also help to encourage new owners and fans! For additional information on the auction, or to receive a complete list of stallions and conditions for bidding, please contact Joanne Young at 845.294.6330, firstname.lastname@example.org or visitwww.harnessmuseum.com. More than one breeding is available for horses marked with an (*) Bids must be postmarked by February 15, 2014. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, N.Y. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tour 4 p.m.). Thanks to USTA support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. For additional information about the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs please call 845.294.6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com. From the Harness Racing Museum
Marooned, a seven-year-old gelding, who boasted a losing sequence of 20 when he was claimed for $10,000 ten weeks ago, delighted his new owners when he stormed home from the rear to win the $50,000 Channel Nine Binshaw Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A tote outsider at 46/1, Marooned was handled expertly by Chris Voak and his victory over the heavily-supported 9/2 third favourite Northern Assassin and Copagin (10/1) came as a major surprise. There were six claims lodged for Marooned when he contested a claimer at Gloucester Park on November 29 and Gloucester Park Harness Racing committeeman Garry Scott was exceedingly happy when he was successful in the ballot. Marooned, who is raced by Scott, his wife Janine, their son Matt and friends Tony Maguire, Alison Tilt and the Manton brothers, is proving a splendid acquisition, with his first eight starts since entering Matt Scott's Serpentine stables producing two wins and a second placing for stakes of $42,845. The New South Wales-bred Marooned was able to contest the heats of the Binshaw Classic, restricted to M1-class pacers, because his classification was reduced from an M2 mark to M1 after he had extended his losing sequence to ten last August. He started out wide from barrier six on the front line in Friday night's 2130m final and Voak eased him back to race on the pegs. Polemarker Shnappy, the 3/1 favourite, set the pace after resisting a strong early challenge from Atlastalone. The pace was solid throughout, and after each of the first two 400m sections of the final mile went by in 29.4sec., Shnappy sprinted the third quarter in 28.6sec. Northern Assassin, ninth in the first lap, started a three-wide move approaching the bell and he got to a narrow lead 300m from home and looked the winner until Marooned flew home out wide on the track. Marooned was tucked away in the pegs in ninth position at the bell. He was still ninth when Voak eased him off the inside with 400m to travel. Marooned then went four wide and was sixth on the home turn before charging home to burst to the lead in the closing stages. The final quarter took 29.5sec. and the winner rated 1.57. Copagin, who raced three back on the pegs, finished boldly, out wide, to be a neck away in third place, with Shnappy wilting to fourth. "Last week his run (fourth to Copagrin) was a hell of a lot better than what it looked," Voak said. "I don't think we would have been any match for Copagrin, but I reckon if he had got clear a little earlier he would have run second. "Often in these type of races, with the hot speed, you need a lot of luck, and we got that. But by the same token the horse still has to be good enough to hit the line. And tonight he certainly ate it up. I drove Marooned for Matt early in December and he finished strongly to beat This Time Dylan (who went on to finish third to Hokonui Ben and Toretto in the WA Pacing Cup). If This Time Dylan was in tonight's field he probably would have been the $2 favourite." When Marooned won from This Time Dylan he sprinted the final 800m in 56.7sec. and the last quarter in 27.6sec. and Voak admitted to Matt Scott that the gelding was quite a bit better than he had anticipated. Friday night's win, paying $46.80 on the tote, was one of several successes by the gelding at handsome odds. His New South Wales successes included wins at $44.70 at Wagga and $17.60 and $48.70 at Menangle. By American stallion Hare Hare, Marooned has earned $145,722 from 17 wins and 15 placings from 72 starts. The victory continued the 25-year-old Voak's great run of successes this season. With 63 wins he is in second place behind Gary hall jun. (72) on the Statewide premiership. He is equal sixth on the Metropolitan premiership table with 22 wins, with Hall showing the way with 53 wins. EMPRESS STAKES IS THE TARGET FOR FAMOUS ALCHEMIST Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. is setting talented New Zealand-bred five-year-old Famous Alchemist for the $50,000 Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park on February 28 after she had strolled to victory in the 1730m Alan Vawser Memorial on Friday night. Famous Alchemist, favourite at 7/4 on, was never seriously challenged and she was able to stroll through the lead time in a modest 8.3sec. before simply ambling through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.3sec. and 30.8sec. Rarely, in any company, is a leader able to dawdle over the first 800m of the final mile in 62.1sec. Gary Hall jun. gave Famous Alchemist a little more rein and she sped over the final quarters in 28.5sec. and 27.2sec. She was not extended in coasting to victory by a length from 7/1 chance Sensational Gabby, who fought on doggedly after racing without cover. Rocky Marciano, second fancy at 5/2, trailed the pacemaker throughout and was hopelessly blocked for a run in finishing a close third. Hall did not release the ear plugs and Famous Alchemist rated 1.57.3 and could have gone considerably faster. She has led six times at her 20 starts in Western Australia and has won every time. The expected early speed battle between Famous Alchemist (barrier 1) and Sensational Gabby (three) did not eventuate and trainer Ross Olivieri appears to have cured the mare's recent habit of overracing badly in her races. This surprised Hall jun., who said: "I thought that there would have been a lot of speed off the gate and during the week everyone said to me that Famous Alchemist would have trouble in holding up. And we thought that the first half might be run quicker than the last. "But it was one of those races which did not pan out that way and she has led comfortably. Half-way through the race I felt like pulling her one off the fence and putting some pressure on myself. She is a quality mare who has had a few setbacks, and we're happy to have her racing in this sort of form." Famous Alchemist, owned by Karen Hall, has had 37 starts for 12 wins and 12 placings for earnings of $236,219. LIVELONG AND PROSPER REGAINING FORM AFTER SURGERY About a year ago Livelong And Prosper was laid low by injury and his future was uncertain. He was suffering from severe stifle lock in both hind legs and veterinary surgeon Kim Rose had to cut the ligaments in both legs in an attempt to cure the problem. The operation was successful, but when Livelong And Prosper resumed work for Bickley trainer Peter Anderson the somewhat gangling and lightly-framed gelding struggled to reproduce the form he showed when he started his Western Australian career as a three-year-old early in 2012. Anderson then experimented by giving Livelong And Prosper a lighter workload on the training track and concentrated on a lot of swimming in the pool. This decision is paying dividends. The New Zealand-bred gelding has put on weight and is racing with admirable enthusiasm. In his current preparation he has won at Bunbury in November and at Gloucester Park and Harvey in December and he impressed at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he unwound a sparkling late burst to snatch victory from Im Clean Cut and Soho Jackman in the 2130m See It First on Nine Pathway Pace. Despite fast-finishing thirds at his two previous outings, Livelong And Prosper was a 25/1 chance, mainly because of his wide draw at No. 5 on the front line. Soho Jackman, undefeated at three starts since a spell, was favourite at 10/9 on and polemarker Ohoka Kentucky was a firm 6/4 second fancy. Ohoka Kentucky was first into stride, with Gary Hall jun. getting Soho Jackman away brilliantly from barrier six. Soho Jackman poured on the pressure and was held at bay by Ohoka Kentucky before Robbie Williams relinquished the lead after 450m. The early cracking pace had the rest of the field well spread out, mainly in Indian file, with Morgan Woodley able to get Livelong And Prosper across to the pegs in sixth position. Williams took Ohoka Kentucky off the pegs and into the breeze 1050m from home to put some pressure on the leader. Livelong And Prosper was sixth at the bell when Woodley was able to ease him off the pegs before switching him three wide 460m from home. Then the gelding was forced four wide at the 400m when Shannon Suvaljko started a three-wide move with Im Clean Cut. Livelong And Prosper sustained his spirited burst, out wide, to hit the front about 70m from the post and he beat Im Clean Cut (18/1) by a neck, with a neck to Soho Jackman. Ohoka Kentucky wilted to finish fifth. Livelong And Prosper was purchased as a three-year-old by Ken Casellas and Ross Waddell after his four starts had produced one third placing at Alexandra Park. He made an auspicious start in WA, winning at his first two starts, at Harvey and Narrogin in January 2012 before catching the eye with a splendid fast-finishing third to talented three-year-olds Gracias Para Nada and Western Cullen at Gloucester Park the following month. He is now starting to realise his full potential and should improve on his record of seven wins, 16 placings and $45,235 in stakes from 46 starts. By American stallion Falcon Seelster, Livelong And Prosper is the second foal out of Badlands Hanover mare Nicolosa, who had only five starts for one win (at Alexandra Park in August 2006). Nicolosa is the first foal out of Al Cioccolato, who won at her only start, as a three-year-old at Forbury in May 2001. Woodley said that he felt confident after the fast lead time and with the pressure being applied in front. "I was confident until we were pushed four wide at the 400m," he said. "However, he knuckled down well in the straight." UNWANTED ARTISTIC COPPER SHOWS HER CLASS Prominent breeder Mike Howie was disappointed when Artistic Copper failed to attract a single bid at the 2012 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale. But now is quite happy that nobody was interested in the filly, who had a reserve price of $10,000. Howie decided to keep the filly and gave her to Andrew De Campo to be prepared for racing. Artistic Copper boosted her earnings to $83,125 when she gave a polished frontrunning exhibition to score a three-length victory over the fast-finishing Lipizzaner in the $21,000 Love Child On Nine WA Sales Classic for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Artistic Copper, hot favourite at 3/1 on, started from barrier two and Matt White dashed her to the front after 120m. After moderate quarters of 31.7sec. and 31.3sec., Artistic Copper sped over the final sections in 28.7sec. and 28.3sec. to win easily from 8/1 chance Lipizzaner, who fought on solidly from sixth and last at the bell. Shez Sensational was a half-length away in third place after racing without cover in the middle stages. This gave Artistic Copper her second success in a feature event for fillies. White drove her to victory in the group 1 $100,000 Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies last April. She now has raced 13 times for four wins and one placing. "She is a lot stronger this time in," said White. "She has got better with every run this preparation and she has put it all together now." Artistic Copper is by American stallion Artistic Fella, who earned $2,604,855 from 26 wins, ten seconds and four thirds from 52 starts. He set a world record rate of 1.49.3 over 1700m and in seven of his wins he rated 1.48.4 or better and in another five wins he rated faster than 1.50. ROBINSON GETS VEITCHTY HOME IN A THREE-WAY PHOTO Trainer Michael Robinson made full use of a needle-eye opening in the final stages of the Fat Tony On Nine Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to send 9/1 chance Veitchy through on the inside of the pacemaker Sargent Sonny to score in a thrilling three-way photo. The camera revealed that Veitchy had scored by a nose from 9/4 favourite Sparkling Seelster, with a head to Sargent Sonny, the 3/1 second fancy. "He always finishes strongly and hits the line well," Robinson said. "He's so consistent and I love driving him. It's a pleasure to have this little horse." Robinson was happy to take the trail behind the pacemaker Sargent Sonny, with Sparkling Seelster in the breeze and 6/1 chance Soho Highroller in the one-out, one-back position. Sparkling Seelster got his nose in front 20m from the post, but just failed to hold off the fast-finishing Veitchy. Veitchy, who won at seven of his 26 starts in New Zealand, has earned $73,795 from 11 wins and 21 placings from 71 starts. He is raced by Dion Poolman, Ashlee Cortopassi, Barry Street, Christian McArthur, Kirsty Ferguson, Simon Campbell-Hardwick, Brett King, Haley Morland, Frank Ranaldi and Richard McArthur. The six-year-old by Sands A Flyin is related to several good winners, including The Cavalier, who won 15 races and $248,089. He is the second foal out of I'llmakemyname, who had only one start, for a win as a three-year-old at Bay of Plenty in October 2005. NORTHVIEW PUNTER ANSWERS A FEW QUERIES "There has probably been a little bit of a question mark over him lately, whether he is still up to his best form," Gary Hall jun. said after driving Northview Punter to a convincing victory in the first heat of the Block On Nine Lewis Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Well the New Zealand-bred four-year-old, favourite at 10/9 on, certainly showed that he is in splendid form as he surged past stablemate Real Hammer and into the lead after 450m and then relaxed with a muddling 31.5sec. quarter before he sprinted over the final three 400m sections in 29.7sec., 28.1sec. and 28sec. to score by just over two lengths from Pacific Warrior, rating 1.56.8 over the 2130m journey. Pacific Warrior, second fancy at 9/4, raced three wide early and then in the breeze and he was gallant in defeat. Mein Guy ran on from sixth at the bell to be a fair third, with Mohegan Sun finishing boldly to be an eye-catching fourth. "There were questions about his form and tonight we were definitely going to find out," Hall said. "We got away with a bit once we got to the front. Northview Punter is a class animal and when he finds the rail he's a hard horse to get over." Northview Punter, a Bettors Delight horse who is prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., has already earned $208,215 from 16 wins and 11 placings from 34 starts. BOBBY TEAL LEADS AND MAKES IT FOUR WINS IN A ROW Former Victorian pacer Bobby Teal, who managed just one win from his first 25 starts in Western Australia and had a losing sequence of 20 three months ago, has struck a purple patch of form and his smart all-the-way win in the 2503m Mark Readings Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night was his sixth victory from his past nine starts and his fourth in a row. Forrestdale trainer Jarrad Humphries has produced the Life Sign six-year-old in grand shape in the past three months and Kyle Harper has relished the opportunity to drive the standing-start specialist who has contested 44 stands in his past 45 starts. Bobby Teal, equal favourite at 7/4, was not extended in leading throughout to win by 5m from the equal fancy J Walker, who started from 20m and sustained a strong three-wide burst from ninth at the bell. Lord Coburn (22/1) who raced three back on the pegs, ran on strongly to finish third. Once Bobby Teal jumped to the front Harper was able to get the gelding to relax and he was able to amble through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.1sec. before he lifted his rating and reeled off final quarters of 29.3sec., 28.5sec. and 29.5sec. "A lot of stands recently have been run the same way, with the leader being able to get it easy early and then run a quick time over the final 1200m," Harper said. "Most of these fields are made up of evenly-matched bunches. "There was nothing tonight to put a lot of pressure on and that makes it easy to get what you need, and if the horse is good enough he will prove hard to run down." Bobby Teal, owned by Albany businessman Harry Capararo and Queenslander Wayne Innes, has raced 72 times for 12 wins and 24 placings for stakes of $80,966. TAJIES GIRL FINISHES FAST TO CAUSE AN UPSET West Australian-bred four-year-old Tajies Girl caused an upset when she started at 31/1 and finished strongly to get up and snatch victory from 5/4 on favourite Hoylakes Firstlady in the 1730m The Voice On Nine Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The win, by a head, was a triumph for young owner-trainer-reinsman Chris Butt, who had the Blissfull Hall mare poised to strike in the one-out, one-back position throughout. Hoylakes Firstlady started from the No. 1 barrier and was beaten out by Am Opulent from the No. 3 barrier. However, Am Opulent was unable to cross to the pegs and was forced to race without cover all the way. Butt bided his time and waited until the home turn before switching Tajies Girl three wide. Tajies Girl sprinted strongly and burst to the front in the final 15m, with the final quarter being run in a smart 28.6sec. Am Opulent fought on gamely to be third. The winner rated 1.58.5. Tajies Girl, a sound second to Bonsu at Pinjarra last Monday, drew favourably at barrier two in Friday night's race, but Butt was left to Ponder his tactics. "When the draw came out I wasn't sure how it was going to work out," he said. "And as things turned out we got the perfect trip and she got the job done. "She has been racing well in the country, but she is a bit limited and has to be held up for one run." Tajies Girl is out of Classic Rendezvous, who produced Lord Matao, who has had 42 starts for eight wins, eight placings and $65,040. Tajies Girl now has had 27 starts for four wins, six placings and $32,003 in prizemoney. Classic rendezvous was unplaced at three starts as a two-year-old in early 2000 before being retired. SHARDONS ROCKET APPROACHES $300,000 MILESTONE Seemingly indestructible nine-year-old Shardons Rocket moved a step closer to reaching $300,000 in prizemoney when Chris Lewis drove his assertively to score a solid all-the-way victory in the 2130m A Current Affair Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Owned by Ashley and Gavin McPhail and trained at Byford by Tony Svilicich, Shardons Rocket is an iron horse who has raced 137 times for 25 wins and 47 placings for stakes of $297,102. He was favourite at 5/4 on and Lewis drove him hard from the No. 2 barrier to get past the polemarker Touch Me Toes and into the lead after 80m. Pride of Colorado, resuming after a spell, raced wide early before moving into the breeze and then Lewis increased the tempo, with Shardons Rocket dashing over the final three quarters in 29.3sec., 28.4sec. and 29.2sec. He had to fight grimly to hold on and beat 9/1 chance Rojen Cruz, who raced three back on the pegs before Chris Voak brought him home with a fast run, out five wide on the track. Pride of Colorado battled on gamely to be a close third, a nose ahead of Whos Mistake. On All Fours, who had won at his two previous starts and had enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, lacked sparkle and finished sixth in the field of seven. by Ken Casellas
The Harness Racing Museum is pleased to announce an exceptional roster of stallions for the 2014 breeding auction. This year's list includes Hall of Fame inductees Camluck (2008) and Cam's Card Shark (2007). By state and gait Ohio's trotting sires are Break The Bank K, Colie's, Dejarmbro and Northern Kid. The pacing gait is represented by Feelin Friskie, Manhardt, Powerful Toy, Stand Forever, Three Olives, Woodstock and Yankee Cruiser. Pennsylvania trotters available for service are Lear Jetta, Sierra Kosmos and Tom Ridge, with pacers Cam's Card Shark, Ponder, Real Artist and Tuffofthetoughest. New York is represented by the trotting sire Lucky Chucky and the pacing sires are Lislea, Panther Hanover, Riverboat King, Rockincam, So Surreal and Village Jove. Maryland trotters available are Charlie De Vie, Four Starz Robro, Groton Hall and Holy Guacamolie, while Nuclear Breeze, The Fraternity Pan, Totally Western and Up Front Charlie are pacing stallions offered. Ontario is represented by the trotting sire Angus Hall and pacing stallions Artistic Fella, Badlands Hanover, Camluck and Classic Card Shark. Indiana offers pacers Allthatgltrsisgold, Always A Virgin, He's Gorgeous and Panspacificflight. Delaware provides trotter Cr Commando and pacing sire Dream Away. Illinois provides pacing sire Yankee Skyscaper. Income raised by the auction, nearly $540,000 over the past 15 years, supports the Museum's General Operating Fund. It helps to ensure quality services, special exhibitions, traveling exhibits, promotional support and educational programming for children and adults. Our efforts also help to encourage new owners and fans! For additional information on the auction, to donate breedings, or to receive a complete list of stallions and conditions for bidding, please contact Joanne Young at 845.294.6330, email@example.com or visit www.harnessmuseum.com, where updates will also be posted. Bids must be postmarked by February 15 , 2014. The Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame is located at 240 Main Street in Goshen, N.Y. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last tour 4 p.m.). Thanks to USTA support, the Museum is currently offering free admission for walk-in visitors and group docent-guided tours at a minimal charge per person. For additional information about the Museum, its membership program, special events and educational programs please call 845.294.6330 or visit www.harnessmuseum.com. Submitted by the Harness Racing Museum
It started at a very young age, spending time with his cousin on the family farm working and racing horses. By the age of 12, Bob McClure knew being a harness driver was his career of choice. Sure, as he matured and grew, Bob had a contingency plan of working in the construction industry, but only if he had to, not because he wanted to. Bob wanted to be a top flight harness driver and so far he is working hard achieving his goal. Bob is a third generation horseman, and his uncle Jim McClure is another top harness driver in Ontario amassing over 4000 wins throughout his career. Certainly Bob will one day pass his uncle's win total and further adding to the legacy of the McClure family. "I am the type of person to never sit still." says Bob. "I always keep myself busy and anything I do, I like to do it well". One can attest to that as Bob has raced at 11 different raceways, (Meadowlands, Sarnia, Flamboro, Grand River, Hanover, Clinton to name a few), and he is only 23. His passion for harness racing has increased over the years and nothing bigger was when Bob won his first race at Meadowlands. "It's been the biggest time of my life, Southwind Vavoom was a strong horse and when I pulled the plugs going into the stretch, the horse took off." "As the wire drew near and we crossed the finish I saw Tim Tetrick right beside me, I couldn't believe it, we won by a nose. I was so pumped when we got to the winners circle, it's a feeling I will never forget" What a win to have by the age of 20. "Looking back at the time, I didn't appreciate the horse. I was a new driver making mistakes, but no matter what I did, Southwind Vavoom knew what to do." It's a definite learning opportunity Bob had and now it seems with every race, he appreciates all of it more and more. The horses, fellow drivers, the words of wisdom passed on to him from his uncle Jim. "My uncle always told me to be positive and give off positivity, never be negative. Sometimes you have a bad race, but you need to get over it and do your best. As well, I always want to tell the trainers and (patrons) that I tried my best. We race horses and I do my best to put them in the proper positions to win." Sometimes Bob admits it's hard to get over tough races, he ponders about possible mistakes and how he could have handled the situation differently. It shows he's a man of good conscious, in today's era where many people shrug things off and blame others, it is mightily refreshing to hear someone admit to a mistake yet in the same breath you know it was made in good faith and with positive intentions. We all live ....we all learn. As a new driver, even though Bob comes from a horse racing family, he still has to work for it. "As the new kid on the block (in the driver's lounge), you have to stand up for yourself and not let anyone push you around. At times there are feuds, but we get over it quick. We race horses, not each other, so there is a mutual respect between drivers." If by chance Bob is not having a good night at the races, you can anticipate him throwing out his goggles and gloves, even if they are new. Bob openly says he is superstitious, "If I have a new pair of goggles, gloves or even a whip and I am not winning, I will throw them all out. Even getting to Flamboro I have a route that I always take. There's several ways to get there, but I have to go my way." If not, he agrees he will be "upset all night". What is Bob's path for 2014? "To be a top 10 driver at Flamboro. The last three months of 2013 was unbelievable, I had some powerful stables behind me and it really helped my career. To be a top ten driver at Flamboro is difficult. There are 10 good drivers sitting on the couch for every race. It has to be one of the strongest driving colonies outside of Mohawk/Woodbine." There is no doubt in my mind, in the near future when looking at a race program at Mohawk, you will see the name 'Bob McClure' listed to drive horses in stake races. Meadowlands was where he won his first 'big' race, but who knows, he could be the winning driver of the Hambletonian in 2015, or 2016 or both. The possibilities are endless and when you see someone who has so much drive and passion for what they love, it only leads to great things, wonderful memories and milestones. by Roderick Balgobin for the Supernova Sports Club www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: @ScSupernova
Dover, Del--- Amid a light snowfall, Texican N won the $30,000 Preferred/Handicap, Mustang Art the $27,500 Delaware Special and Bandolino the $18,000 Open, the three top paces on Thursday, Jan. 2 at Dover Downs Corey Callahan and Ron Pierce drove three winners each. Harry von Knoblauch's Texican N put on a gritty front-pacing performance, with Ross Wolfenden, to set a personal speed record on 1:50.3, to win the $30,000 Preferred Handicap. Escape The News and Corey Callahan enjoyed a two-hole trip to finish second while Nova Artist, driven by Allan Davis, prompted the fast pace on the outside, held on to finish third. Peter Tritton conditions the American-blooded, New Zealand-bred, altered son of Bettor's Delight-Bury My Heart to his 16th lifetime win and $268,024 in duo-continent earnings. Mustang Art, trained by Jim McGuire for owners Max Walton and Greg Papaleo, was at his best racing head-to-head against leader Sunshine Superman (Toby Lynch) for most of a 1:52.3 mile and still had enough in a :28.4 final panel to chalk up his 26th career trip to the winner's circle. The victory was one of three for Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce. Pap Ray (Matt Kakaley) closed with a rush for place money. Malak Uswaad N (Ross Wolfenden) was third. Bandolito, a late Summer acquisition by David Bier, Charles Dombeck and trainer-driver Daryl Bier, came on strongly in the lane for a 1:52.3 score in the $18,000 4&5-Year-Old Open. The win for the Ponder-Dody's Home Brew four-year-old brings his lifetime record to 10 wins in 12 starts and $198,840 earnings. Handsome Henry K (Frank Milby) was a close second. Ron Pierce's second of three consecutive wins came steering Beavercreek Artist home in 1:52.2 to win a $15,000 Male Winners-Over pace. Good Bet (Ben Stafford Jr.) came on to finish second in front of pace-setting Valentino (Matt Kakaley). Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta own the ultra-consistent Artiscape-Spring Chick gelding who has three wins, two seconds and three thirds in his last eight outings. Earlier a five-race win streak by Logamotion came to an end in a $13,000 4&5-Year-Old pace, when Vic Kirby drove Steve Warrington-owned and trained, Rebel Soldier to his fourth win of the meet, a 1:53.2 decision. Bluebird Shooter (Allan Davis) and On Eagles Wings (Matt Kakaley) were second and third respectively. Logamotion (Corey Callahan) the early leader retreated to finish fourth. Corey Callahan and Ron Pierce had three wins apiece, Allan Davis drove two winners. by Marv Bachrad for Dover Downs
Planning an interstate raid comes with its fair share of hurdles. Careful consideration and meticulous details need to be checked and then double checked but sometimes; unfortunate events can demolish all good plans. Just ask Queensland horseman Darren Weeks. Last weekend, Kylie Rasmussen, the state’s leading driver and partner of Weeks suffered a fractured vertebrae sustained in a nasty race fall at Albion Park. The in-form couple who prepare star Queensland mare Forever Gold were thrown a major curve ball leaving their proposed Sydney campaign up in the air. Rasmussen spent the night in hospital as doctors and spinal specialists examined x-rays of her back leaving Weeks pondering about the future, immediate and long-term. With Rasmussen cleared to return home on Sunday afternoon, it was business as usual and the trip to Sydney would proceed but altered drastically. “We were all set to go with a small but select team spearheaded by Tammy (Forever Gold) but those plans were all but shelved after the accident last Saturday night. It was a huge relief when the doctors allowed Kylie to return home without any major spinal injuries.” Weeks said. The trip to Sydney is on with Weeks heading south today (Wednesday) with a team of two – Forever Gold and talented lower-grade mare All Starzzz Shark. Forever Gold will contest this Saturday night’s Gr.1 $100,000 Cordina Chicken Farms Sprint at TABCORP Park, Menangle – the final lead-up event to next week’s $750,000 Miracle Mile. If successful, Forever Gold will gain automatic entry into Australasia’s premier speed test. But all won’t be lost if Forever Gold doesn’t stamp her ticket to the big dance next week with the Gr.2 $50,000 Robin Dundee Stakes the back-up. “The main reason for the trip is to gain an early invitation to the Ladyship Mile next year but we decided to have a shot at the Sprint race this week, if we happen to land an invitation we won’t be knocking it back, that’s for sure. Her first-up effort two weeks ago was very encouraging and she’s trained on really well since, I was very pleased she found the line first-up in fast time from a tricky draw after a long break. It’s a cracking field this weekend but she won’t run a bad race, she never does so you can expect another really brave showing from her. We will definitely start next week in the mare’s event if we don’t pick-up an invite and she will prove very hard to beat in the race.” Weeks will return to Brisbane after his short Sydney campaign, hopefully with an invitation in hand. Footnote; Forever Gold finished third in last season’s Gr.1 $200,000 Ladyship Mile behind Our Sixpence and Torque In Motion in 1;52.6. by Chris Barsby