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Freehold, NJ --- Brian Burton has no idea what to expect in the weeks ahead, but he is looking forward to finding out. Burton is the harness racing driver of Ei Ei O, another pacing-sired trotter from the stable of breeder/owner/trainer Richard Hans. The lightly raced 3-year-old is eligible to this year’s Hambletonian Stakes, but will first have to prove himself on the Grand Circuit stage. His first opportunity is Saturday when the road to the Hambletonian begins with two eliminations for the Dexter Cup at Freehold Raceway. The Dexter Cup is the traditional launch of the Hambletonian chase and eight of the 17 horses entered in this year’s event are also staked to harness racing’s premier race for 3-year-old trotters. The first eight-horse elimination features, in post order, Another Chapter, Southwind Cruze, Sir John F, Texican, Explosive, Eternal Patrol, Lars Perry, and Southwind Woody. The second division has Gustavo Fring, Madison Muscle, Muscle High, Lord Cromwell, Ei Ei O, Earl Variera, Arch Credit, and Muzzy’s Muscles. The connections of Southwind Cobra accepted a bye based on career purses. Joining Ei Ei O as Hambletonian eligible are Another Chapter, Sir John F, Eternal Patrol, Southwind Woody, Madison Muscle, Earl Variera, and Southwind Cobra. Southwind Cobra’s foes in the May 6 Dexter Cup final will be the top three finishers from each elimination plus one fourth-place finisher chosen by lot. Ei Ei O is a son of pacer Cam’s Rocket out of the trotting mare My Baby Momma. His granddam is Kora’s Trotter, who with Cam’s Rocket produced Hans’ multiple-stakes-winning world champion Googoo Gaagaa. Unraced at age 2 because of a minor leg injury, Ei Ei O has won his only two races this year, both with Burton in the sulky. The colt heads to his Dexter Cup elimination off an 11-1/2 length victory in 1:55 at Rosecroft Raceway. In his debut, a 1:57 triumph at Rosecroft, he trotted his back half in :56. “It’s very exciting; I’m grateful to Richard for giving me the opportunity to drive this trotter,” Burton said. “Richard has said this horse could be as good, or better, than Goo. I guess we’re getting ready to start finding this stuff out.” The 39-year-old Burton was last fall’s leading trainer at Rosecroft Raceway, where he also drives regularly. Burton followed his father, Martin, into harness racing, but not before getting English and journalism degrees and trying his hand at several other professions, including sports writing and sales. Burton and Hans, both Maryland residents, began working together last year. Burton drove Hans’ Maryland Sire Stakes standout Hybrid Henry (also by Cam’s Rocket) last season at age 2. Ei Ei O is inexperienced, but possesses a similarly fluid stride as Googoo Gaagaa. In 2012, Googoo Gaagaa won the Beal Memorial in a world-record 1:50.4 and captured the Colonial by a neck over Hambletonian champion Market Share. Googoo Gaagaa was not eligible to the Hambletonian. “I know it’s just Rosecroft and competition wise it’s not what (Ei Ei O’s) going to face on Saturday, but the speed and the ability that he showed, and the bottomless tank he’s showed so far, has been really impressive,” Burton said. “His greenness is his biggest obstacle. “It’s unconventional breeding, but the greatest thing about the Cam’s Rocket breed is they all try. And most, like EI, get around turns like they’re pacers. There’s no hitch in theses horses’ giddy up.” Burton is not going to think about the Hambletonian, but is hoping Ei Ei O can provide thrills this year. “We’ve got to get by Saturday first,” said Burton, who has won 396 career races as a driver, including four at Freehold. “Hopefully we do well and get into the final. “I talked to (Googoo Gaagaa’s regular driver) Corey Callahan and said this could be the ride of a lifetime. He said, ‘You’re right, it could be.’ He gave me a little bit of advice about driving EI on Saturday and we’ll go from there.” by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

The non-wagering harness racing card at Ocean Downs opened with Speed It (Cam's Rocket) lowering his own stakes record to 1:58.3 for trotting colts/geldings with driver Jim Morand in the bike.   The pair cut the mile opening the distance to the field at every pole with Righteous Renegade finishing second.   Richard Hans owns, trains and bred the winner.   In the trotting fillies, the dual between Rock The Game (Cam's Rocket) and Star Rose continues with Rock The Game stopping the clock in 2:01.1 this week.   Breakaway Racing owns the filly, Shaun Callahan trains and Corey Callahan was the reinsman.   Fastestgirlaround (Dontloseyourdayjob) and pilot Frank Milby swept the July series for pacing fillies with a 1:58.3 mile over a fast closing Mo Power. Brian Callahan trains and co-owns the filly with Gloria Kinnamon. Gloria is also the breeder.   The pacing colt/geldings finished the early card with the Winbak Farm owned and bred Steal N Go sweeping the series. Steal N Go (Bonnie And Clyde) cut the nice even mile in 2:00.4 for driver/trainer Jeff Fout with What I Say Goes getting up for place.   Maryland Standardbred Fund stakes resume on Sunday Aug. 7th with the 2 year olds going to the post.   By Cheri Stambaugh

The Sunday July 3rd harness racing card at Ocean Downs opened with a non-wagering event for trotting colts/geldings with a purse of $27,400.    Hybrid Henry another Cam's Rocket trotter out of the mare Give Em The Boot circled the field out of the gate and never looked back. Driver Brian Burton, in a stakes record time of 2:01.1 for two-year-old trotting geldings, crossed the wire 9¼ lengths in front of Midnight Zette (Credit Winner-Your Word Is Good). Richard Hans owns, trains and bred the winner.   The first division for pacing colts/geldings opened the wagering card. A light rain didn't stop the big crowd from cheering on the multiple lead changes, with Toms Tarzan (Cam's Rocket-Radiant Breeze) gaining the lead at the ¾ pole and charging to an 8 length victory in 1:56.3. Brian Burton was in the bike for his second stakes win of the night with a purse of $14,650. Thomas Cooke owns and bred the colt and Roger Hans trains. Im The Director held off Giddy On Down for place.   Reinsman Frank Milby gave May River (RC Royalty-Darby's Delight) the perfect pocket trip behind Spoonful and Les Givens, waiting til the head of the stretch to challenge and take a ¾ length lead in 2:02.4 in race 3. John Roach trains for owner/breeder William E. Miller II. The purse for the 2 yo trotting fillies was $ 28,100. Spoonful held on for second.   Race 5 was the first division for pacing fillies going for a purse of $16,500. Miss Valerie (Allie's Western-Flannel Yankee) was content to follow Cheap Aint Fast until the head of the stretch. The loud crowd cheered the stretch drive with Miss Valerie getting the ½ length victory, stopping the clock in 2:00 for owners Leblanc Racing Inc., Count De Money Stable and William Lutz. Roger Plant Jr drove the Steve LeBlanc trainee. Tom and Linda Winebrener are the breedrs.   Corey Callahan and Richard Hans teamed up in race 6, the second division of filly paces going for $16,500 as co-owners, driver and trainer. It was an explosive combination when Gigi From Fiji (Ponder-Odds On Arttoheart) made her first lifetime start. Corey sent her out of the gate and just blew away the rest of the field in the 1:56.3 winning by 10½ lengths over Liberty School.   The final stake of the night was the second division for pacing colt/geldings going as race 9 with the purse of $14,650. The favorite Almost Cut My Hair (Barber Pole-Sally Pansen) didn't disappoint her followers increasing her lead at every pole over the field for owners/breeder KDK Standardbreds and trainer Kevin Switzer. Victor Kirby was in the bike for the 1:59.1 mile. Evolution Rise Up came back from a break in the first turn to take the place position.   Maryland Standardbred Fund stakes for 3 year olds will be contested on Thursday night July 7th starting at 7:20 at Ocean Downs   By Cheri Stambaugh

The Maryland Sire Stakes season got underway with two-year-old preliminaries on Sunday night at the Casino at Ocean Downs.   Once again the stallion Cam's Rocket has produced a winning 2 YO pacer and trotter. Richard Hans continues to take chances breeding his trotting mares to pacing stallion Cam's Rocket and only time will tell how good this year's colt will be.   Here I Am (Cam's Rocket-Give Em The Boot) had an equipment malfunction when an elbow boot came down in last week's MD Standardbred Fund stake causing him to make breaks the last half. Here I Am came out sporting a new pair of leather elbow boots this week and that seemed to do the trick as driver Jim Morand cut the mile in 2:02.2, winning by 1¼ lengths over Doggone Slots (Doggone Yankee) in the colt and gelding trot.   In the pacing colt and gelding division Tom's Typhoon (Cam's Rocket) won over stablemate Tom's Tornado (Cam's Rocket) by 2 ½ lengths in 1:57.3 giving him 2 wins in 2 stake starts for owner Thomas Cooke. Roger Hans trains and driver Jim Morand picked up his second stakes win for the night.   Filly pacer Helaine's Firebird, a daughter of Allie's Western, coasted to a 7 length win in 2:04.3 after Jodi's Sweety caused interference in the first turn. George Dennis drove the filly for owner Frank Chick and trainer Kevin Lare.   The 2 YO filly trotting filly Betcha Ur My Baby (You Betcha) redeemed herself this week staying flat and making every pole a winning one for owner Pam Wagner, trainer Duane Wagner and reinsmen William Long. Time for the mile was 2:06.1. The CR Renegade filly Marshalinn held on for second.   By Cheri Stambaugh, for the Maryland Standardbred Fund Stakes

When Corey (Callahan) is away Richard (Hans) will play! With regular driver Corey Callahan at the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio and GooGoo GaaGaa needing a race, owner-trainer Richard Hans got to do his favorite thing – drive Goo in a race. It wasn’t the Open at a big track or a 4 year old stake, it was in the FFA race at the local Frederick County, MD fair. Richard has always supported the fair races, bringing 2 or 3 most  days, doing his own driving and having a great time. There are  4 to 6 races a day, some going  two heats and it lets the local people enjoy our sport the old fashioned way. While most of the racing world was glued to the Little Brown Jug card the locals young and old were watching GooGoo GaaGaa in race 4, the FFA trot at the Great Frederick Fair. Veteran reinsman John Wagner took Cool Colby to the front as the gate closed and as they say, did’t look back. Richard and Goo got away third keeping out of trouble and when they all settle he move up to the pocket behind Cool Colby, when they reached the last turn Richard looked like he was going to challenge Wagner’s lead but Cool Colby still had a little reserve in the tank. Cool Colby, owned and trained by Arlene Cameron stopped the clock in 2:00. A quote from Richard Hans after the races: “I guess I still need a little more practice before I try for Corey’s win record” The father-son team of Joe and Timmy Offutt each came away with a win in heats of the FFA pace, Timmy winning with Native Sign and Joe returning to the winner circle with Lady Drama. Other winners on the card were Mattox’s Western owned and driven by Wayne Johnson taking both heats of the other FFA pace and John Wagner getting his second win with Powerful Yield owned by Arlene Cameron in the other trot. Racing continues thru Sat. at The Great Frederick Fair, please stop and enjoy the fun.  By Cheri Stambaugh, member of USHWA

Googoo Gaagaa is ready to step up his preparations for his 4-year-old season. The world champion trotter will qualify Tuesday morning (April 16) at Harrah’s Philadelphia with regular driver Corey Callahan at the lines for breeder/owner/trainer Richard Hans.

Tom Cooke began his relationship with the Hans family in the 1980s when he claimed a horse from them. Since then, he has enjoyed successes with the family, a harness racing trend he hopes to continue with trotting mare Martiniontherocks.

Every time Googoo Gaagaa wins a race, it seems like a harness racing record-setting experience.

GooGoo GaaGaa did not disappoint the Washington-area fans. Starting back after a short break, GooGoo GaaGaa showed off his spectacular style, winning the 3-year-old colt trot in the Maryland Sire Stakes prelims by 23 lengths in 1:58.1 for pilot Jim Morand Saturday night (October 20) at Rosecroft Raceway.

Googoo Gaagaa is ready to return to harness racing action. The record-setting 3-year-old trotter will face seven rivals in Thursday's $20,550 Maryland Standardbred Race Fund event at Ocean Downs in Maryland. Among his foes will be Windshield, who is 6-for-6 this year and the winner of 14 of 16 career starts.

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