Frank's Best is the type of trotter that has everybody in the race looking over their shoulders when the racing gets serious, having used his long-fused tactics to put nearly $180,000 in the bank for his owner/trainer/breeder Bob Johnson. "That's his cup of tea," driver Mooney Svendsen explained when asked about the 6-year-old son of Armbro Scribe. "You give him any kind of trip to the stretch and he'll give you a :27 and change final quarter. He loves to race and he absolutely loves this track." While Franks Best had raced strictly to that wait until the stretch style in his first three starts at this meet, Svendsen decided to take a little different tact and moved much earlier with his charge in last week's clash in the Open Trot. The result was his second win at the stand, albeit in unusual fashion. "Opening week here everything worked out nicely and he looped the field and won," Mooney explained. "But then the next race we were stuck behind poor cover that only went about 10 feet and then the start after that we were forced to zig and zag and he came home in :27 2/5, but had too much to do. "The plan last week was to be aggressive if they tried to go too slow up front, and that's exactly the way it was setting up to the half. I moved him out, he hooked up with his stablemate (Inside Broadway) on the last turn and then was able to open up into the stretch and he held. He gave me a real nice burst when I popped his earplugs." Frank's Best will suit up once again with Svendsen giving directions in Saturday night's co-featured tenth race. Racing secretary Fred Kuebler has assigned the hard-hitting sidewheler the outside post in the field of eight, which familiar rivals as last week's tough luck runner-up Axle and barnmate Inside Broadway, both of whom have posed for snapshots at the top run at this meeting. A REMINDER THERE ARE THREE WAGERS EACH NIGHT WITH A REDUCED 16 PERCENT TAKEOUT RATE. THEY ARE THE 50-CENT PICK FIVE THAT BEGINS ON THE THIRD RACE; THE 20-CENT PICK 4 ON THE FINAL FOUR RACES; AND THE 10-CENT HI-FIVE ON THE NIGHTCAP. Phantom Dan, Frank's Best headline co-features Saturday's 12-race program at the Watch and Wager LLC meet at Cal Expo spotlights some of the top performers on the grounds as Phantom Dan has top billing in the Open Pace and Franks Best looms the one to beat in the Open Trot. Phantom Dan is a 5-year-old son of Little Steven out of the Precious Bunny mare Yankee Siloh who is owned by James Kennedy and Jennifer Burns and is reined and trained by Kennedy. He established his mark of 1:53 1/5 here earlier in the season and is looking to pull off a hat trick. Phantom Dan took the measure of conditioned rivals on October 26 and posted an easier-than-looks victory with Kennedy that evening. Moving up to the Open ranks while assigned the outside post proved no problem for the bay gelding at most recent asking, as he once again zipped right top and prevailed by a length and a quarter as the 3-5 favorite in that affair. One And Only was making his first appearance since a summer campaign at Vernon Downs and was a solid runner-up last week. The Bettor's Delight offspring has gone a number of big miles over this layout and will be looking to turn the tables for owners Richard Morita and David Yamada, conditioner Lino Pacheco and driver Luke Plano. Franks Best is a multiple stakes winner who comes into this assignment with nearly $180,000 on his card and a 1:56 2/5 mark. He is owned, trained and was bred by Bob Johnson and Mooney Svendsen will once again handle the lines behind the 6-year-old son of Armbro Scribe. The Johnson colorbearer got the job done at the head of the class on opening week, looping the field turning for home to win going away by a length and a half, then had to settle for a second and a third in his next two outings. Franks Best returned to his winning ways in the last clash among the best trotters on the grounds, making a big move by the half to the lead, opening up straightening for home and then just holding over a fast-closing Axle. The latter is a 4-year-old who was claimed for $5,000 in August at Running Aces and has recorded two sharp wins and two seconds in the interim for owners Dave Siegel, Bob Thronson, Greg Robinson and George Reider. Reider is the conditioner and co-owner Siegel will once again be at the controls. By Mark Ratzky for Cal Expo Harness
VERNON, NY—Newcomer Arockin Hanover captured the $12,000 Open pace; Noble Wabbit lowered his odd-distance record for 7/8ths-of-a-mile in the “Turn Back The Clock Rewind Race,” while drivers John Macdonald and Truman Gale each recorded four victories during Saturday night’s 13-race program at Vernon Downs. The Saratoga-shipper Arockin Hanover went off as the second choice in Saturday’s featured seventh session. As the favorite Sheer Brilliance cut fast fractions of :26.3, :55 and 1:22.4, Arockin Hanover drafted along back in fourth place. Entering the homestretch, Arockin Hanover revved up and closed like a gate in the wind to not only overtake the pace-setter, but draw off to an eye-popping 3-3/4-length tally in 1:51. The fast-closing finish by the speedy 5-year-old gelding resulted in his second win in succession, eighth this season and 20th all time. Gale did the driving for trainer Jason Robinson as the bay son of Rocknroll Hanover-Artaffection raised his career bankroll to more than $377,100 for owner Robert D. Main. Entering Saturday’s $4,500 fourth event as the Vernon record-holder for a 7/8ths-mile clockwise pace off a 1:42.3 effort in 2011, Noble Wabbit rallied overland from fifth in the early going, advanced to third entering the stretch and then powered home to defeat the pocket-sitting Prince Polaris by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:39. It was the first win in 2013 for the 10-year-old bay gelding, but his 37th lifetime score. MacDonald did the teaming for trainer George Ducharme and owner Heather Reese as the productive son of Precious Bunny-Noble Lady Avalon increased his lifetime earnings to $154,487. Gale, for the second time during the 86-card Downs campaign, collected four wins on a single program, while it marked the first occasion for MacDonald, a newcomer to the track this season. Dave Dewhurst, the meet’s second-leading trainer with 37 tallies, also harnessed two first-place finishers during the rainy evening. DOWNS DOINGS Gary P. Clark, the track’s leading provisional pilot at present, recorded his fourth local score after a 1:54.4 trip behind the pacer New York Kitty (owned by he and Fay Clark) in Saturday’s second session… The Kenneth Daniels-owned sophomore trotter Southwind Tule chalked up his first pari-mutuel victory following a 2:02.1 performance for trainer and driver Claude Huckabone, III in Saturday’s $3,400 third event… Only two live racing dates remain during the track’s 88-card campaign that continues through Nov. 9… Vernon’s program for Friday, Nov. 8 will start at 6:45 p.m., but the card for Saturday, Nov. 9, will begin at 6 p.m., and include a coffee mug giveaway, while supplies last, and a spectacular fireworks display to conclude the track’s 60th anniversary season…. A revised 2013, 88-program racing and stakes calendar, as well as additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com. Jim Moran
Draft Bunny was an upset winner in Northfield Park’s 13th race on Friday (October 11). Dale Decker of Temperance, Michigan owns, trains and drove the mare to victory. Draft Bunny (Precious Bunny-Dunachton Clara-Nuclear Terror) started from post six and kicked from the back to win by 1/4-length in 1:56.2. Friday’s triumph increased Draft Bunny’s lifetime win tally to 23 and her career earnings to $66,482. (6) Draft Bunny (80-1) was followed across the wire by (9) I Love My Yankee (4-1) and (4) Cosmetician (8-1). Draft Bunny returned $166.00 to win; the 6-9 Exacta paid $1,448.20 and the 6-9-4 Trifecta returned $5,659.40. by Ayers Ratliff for Northfield Park
Race one saw Sweetie Hearts (Angus Hall-Sweetheart K-Muscles Yankee) win the two-year-old filly trot in 1:57.2. There were two races for two-year-old filly pacers and they were taken out by the David Menary trained Polk Dot Hanover (Western Ideal-Paling Avenue-Precious Bunny) and the Mario Baillargeon driven Brescia Seelster (Camluck-Beryl Seelster-Jate Lobell) Videos of all races are attached.
Vegas Vacation set a new record of 1:48.3 in his division of the Simcoe stakes tonight Saturday the 7th of September at Mohawk Raceway. Harness racing driver Brian Sears swept the two divisions driving Fool Me Once to win the other division. The Champlain Stakes also featured on the night with Winds Of Change, Precious Beauty and Luck Be Withyou winning Race 1: 1st Shes Da Bomb (b,f,2 - Art Major-Armbro Bombay-Western Hanover 2nd Porsche Seelster (b,f,2 - Artistic Fella-Platinum Seelster-Western Hanover) 3rd Impatience (br,f,2 - Somebeachsomewhere-Restive Hanover-The Panderosa) Race 2: 1st Your So Vain (b,c,3 - Donato Hanover-Tennis Lover-Muscles Yankee) 2nd Royalty For Life (b,c,3 - Rc Royalty-Bourbon N Grits-Donerail) 3rd Smilin Eli (b,c,3 - Muscles Yankee-Gerris Joy-Enjoy Lavec) Race 3: 1st Master Of Law (br,g,3 - Deweycheatumnhowe-Possess The Magic-Self Possessed) 2nd Punxsutawney (b,c,3 - Glidemaster-Sunseeker Kosmos-S Js Photo) 3rd Wheeling N Dealin (b,c,3 - Cantab Hall-Quick Credit-Credit Winner) Race 4: 1st Ideal Race (b,g,7 - Western Terror-Eidette Hanover-Big Towner) 2nd Thepaninsulahotel (b,h,7 - No Pan Intended-Onenightinpangkok-Matts Scooter) 3rd Twin B Impressive (b,g,4 - Bettors Delight-Impeccant-Jate Lobell) Race 5: 1st Fool Me Once (b,c,3 - Art Major-Fool That I Am-Jennas Beach Boy) 2nd Captive Audience (b,c,3 - Art Major-Captiva Island-Western Hanover) 3rd Lucan Hanover (b,g,3 - Western Ideal-Lauren Order-Dragon Again) Race 6: 1st Winds Of Change (b,c,2 - American Ideal-Arts Temptress-Artsplace) 2nd Jet Airway (br,c,2 - Jeremes Jet-Aromatic-Artiscape) 3rd Crafty Master (b,c,2 - Mister Big-Cam Odie-Camluck) Race 7: 1st Bestofbest Hanover (b,h,5 - Western Hanover-Bunny Lake-Precious Bunny) 2nd Sparky Mark (b,h,6 - Astreos-Luckbealadytonite-Camluck) 3rd Shelbys Cobra (b,g,6 - Western Ideal-Sounds Perfect-Artsplace) Race 8: 1st Precocious Beauty (b,f,2 - Art Major-Precious Beauty-Jate Lobell) 2nd Beach Gal (br,f,2 - Somebeachsomewhere-Michelle My Gal-Dragon Again) 3rd Bahama Blue (b,f,2 - Somebeachsomewhere-Isabella Blue Chip-Bettors Delight) Race 9: 1st Luck Be Withyou (b,c,2 - Western Ideal-Trim Hanover-Camluck) 2nd Fort Knox (b,c,2 - American Ideal-The Art Museum-Artsplace) 3rd Some Major Beach (b,c,2 - Major In Art-Wheres The Beach-Beach Towel) Race 10: 1st Aslan (b,g,4 - Mach Three-Skyview-Falcon Seelster) 2nd Ellis Park (br,g,4 - Rocknroll Hanover-Roller Cam-Cambest) 3rd Smokin Bear (gr,g,4 - Grinfromeartoear-Smokin Pistol-Jate Lobell) Race 11: 1st Vegas Vacation (br,g,3 - Bettors Delight-Dont You Smile-Grinfromeartoear) 2nd Sunshine Beach (b,c,3 - Somebeachsomewhere-Light Up-Artsplace) 3rd Sunfire Blue Chip (b,c,3 - American Ideal-Shot Togo Bluechip-Cams Card Shark) Race 12: 1st Grande Seelster (br,g,5 - Camluck-Glendale Kim-Troublemaker) 2nd Bestinthebusiness (b,g,5 - Another Mile-Tendin To Business-Lon Todd Hanover) 3rd Top Gear (b,g,6 - Real Desire-Trust Me Ashley-Ball And Chain) Race 13: 1st Bay Of Sharks (b,h,7 - Cams Card Shark-Whitley Bay-Tylers Mark) 2nd Red Bugler (b,g,6 - Cammibest-My Friend Flicka-Firm Friend) 3rd Clic K (ch,g,5 - Shanghai Phil-Eclatante-Bullvons Dream) All videos are attached.
Bob 'Hollywood' Heyden ranks Art Official's upset of Somebeachsomewhere in 2008 as his greatest Meadowlands Pace moment. Heyden has seen them all, as a harness racing fan and as the Meadowlands Racetrack's statistician, television personality and unofficial historian.
On July 3 Northfield Park hosted five divisions of Ohio Sires Stake racing action as part of the Wednesday 13-race program.
On Wednesday, July 3 Northfield Park offers guests the opportunity to start their holiday off right with stakes harness racing action.
Hanover, PA - With just a few weeks left to the harness racing breeding season, Hanover Shoe Farm is getting ready to close up the 2013 breeding and foaling season with another productive year according to Murray Brown, the farms public relations director.
Lima Adore was an upset winner in Northfield Park's fourth race on Friday (April 12). Ryan Stahl capably piloted the harness racing mare for owner Donald Blake of Salem, Ohio and trainer Jody Blake.
This photo of champion harness racing pacer Cam Fella was taken in 1997 outside the paddock of Sportsman's Park when the 18-year-old pacer was making his farewell tour through the country enroute to his retirement home at The Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.
After 4-year-old pacing gelding Shopping With Art posted his first triumph in a $19,190 conditioned race on Dec. 3 at Woodbine Racetrack, harness racing trainer/driver Daryl Bier discovered the son of Art Major-Precious Shopper was for sale
Shopping With Art is a winner, at least in his last six races, while Versado returned with a 1:50.1 front-pacing harness racing victory in the $35,000 Preferred Handicap while Catchmecullen A closed strongly to win the $30,000 Delaware Special at Dover Downs on a windy, Thursday Jan. 31.
Many of Australia's leading stud farms have thrown their support behind the inaugural Terang Harness Racing Club Stallion Tender. Alabar Bloodstock, who operate standardbred breeding establishments in Victoria, New Zealand and the Riverina, has offered a choice of three stallions in Armbro Operative, Elsu and Gotta Go Cullect.
At the age of 17, Brandon Bragg has to be one of the youngest, not to mention enthusiastic, harness racing owners at Cal Expo and in the country.
Cycle Power, who came off the bench for a $17 upset last week; Ivegotwhatuneed, his most immediate victim as the odds-on choice in that affair; and the classy sophomore returnee Shamderock head the cast in Saturday's (October 1) $4,500 Cal Expo harness racing feature for the pacers.