DAYTON, OH. - Hello Chipper, a late-blooming three-year-old filly trotter, made it "Three-in-a-row in O-HI-O" on Friday night (November 20) at Hollywood Dayton Raceway by beating a full field of older and more experienced condition harness racing trotters. Owned, trained and driven by Rocky Stidham, the daughter of Chip Chip Hooray was content to get away seventh through the opening :27.2 panel despite leaving from the coveted rail post position. Buried and shuffled back to eighth at the :56.3 half, Stidham backed out and swung three wide down the backstretch as his talented filly, off at 8-1 odds, got back into contention at the 1:26.4 three-quarter station. As the demanding first half fractions began to take their toll, Hello Chipper was freshest through the stretch after swinging four-wide for a path of her own. Runnerup Wattafind (Kayne Kauffman) and show finisher Marquesas (Josh Sutton) were also closing well, but Hello Chipper and Stidham had the most pep in their step to secure the 1:59 victory. It was the fourth win in five starts, despite a giant jump in class, and boosted the green filly's bankroll over $20,000. Latenite Rendezvous won the top conditioned distaff pace on the Friday card giving driver Chris Page his second win as part of his 32nd birthday celebration. The five-year-old Dave Panlone mare topped Ohmybelle (Kayne Kauffman) and Platinum Spirit (Dan Noble) in 1:53. Page, who is nearing his 3,000th career victory, also co-owns the winner with Jerry Daugherty and Roger Hall. Gregg Keidel
Pompano Beach, FL...December 12, 2013...Andover America finally reached the winner's circle at Pompano Park on Wednesday night as the eight year-old, brushing from fifth halfway through the mile to the lead around the final turn, scored a handy two length win for Bruce Ranger in 1:54 in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Trot. Jesses Jo, driven by Ed Hensley, finished second while Keystone Thomas, piloted by Joe Pavia, Jr., wound up third. She's All In and Pure Barre picked up the final two awards in the field of nine. The winner, a classy son of Andover Hall, with 48 lifetime wins and $730,240 coming into the action, was unhurried early on as Keystone Thomas took the field to the opener in :28.2, soon to be replaced on the front end by Jesses Jo, who was hard pressed to make the top off of a :27.3 second panel which placed him at the half in :56. That's when Andover America was sent throttling by Ranger and he took the lead with authority around the final turn and put the field away turning for home. In a post race interview, Ranger said, "You know, a lot depends on how the race goes...whether the pace will be soft or hot, you, know, things like that. Tonight, the pace was very hot, especially that second quarter and, when we hit the backside, I thought, 'now's the time!' He responded very well and that was that. He went a great mile." Owned by Mc Trade Enterprises, Andover America was the 9 to 5 tote board favorite and returned $5.80 to his $2 backers. The Open 2 Trot went to Deb Clayton's I'll Tell You What, driven by Dave Ingraham. This eight year-old son of Lockkeeper, also coming in to the action with 48 lifetime victories, went a brave first-over journey to collar pacesetting Blushing Hanover (Kevin Wallis) in deep stretch to win by a half length in 1:55.1. HP Forte (Mark O'Mara) was a fast closing third while Surface, trotting the fastest final panel in the field (:28.3) finished fourth. Dutchess Seelster picked up the nickel in the nine horse field. I'll Tell You What was third choice on the board and returned $9.20 to win. The Open 3 Trot went to the vastly improved Sun Island, who used a stout brush on the backside from sixth to surge into the lead around the final turn and score in a lifetime best 1:55. His previous best was 1:55.3 achieved as a three year-old there years back. Bruce Ranger handled the winner for owner Gene Kirsch to send his lifetime bounty to $145,338--only $9,830 over the past two seasons. Shelby County (Rocky Stidham) finished second with Thekeptman (Andy Santeramo) third. Pacesetting Gale Warning was fourth while the favorite, Spring Goal, finished fifth. As fourth choice in the pool, Sun Island paid $10.00 to win. Kathy Bove of the Paul Bernardo Stables tonight received the October Florida USHWA "Caretaker of the Month" award for her work with the successful two year-old pacing filly J D Eleven Bell's (2f Eleven AM-Cherry Bomb-Cambest). Responding to the tender loving care of Ms. Bove, this filly earned $21,009 in her freshman season, taking a record of 1:57.1f at Pompano Park. The multiple stakes winner posted a 4-2-4 slate in 12 seasonal starts. Bred by Berry Stables and owned by Joseph Martinelli, Sr. of Staten Island, NY the Bernardo trainee is one of a handful of US foals of Eleven AM (Falcon Seelster-Imustbedreamin-Royal Command C), a career winner of $513,884 with 34 victories and a record of 4, 1:51f taken in 2006 and equaled the following season. Eleven AM earned over $251,000 as a freshman in 2004. He was exported to Argentina in 2010 and has successful offspring racing at the Buenos Aires standardbred racing venue. by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park
COLUMBUS, MN. - Driver-trainer Craig Banks put Silence Son on the engine in Wednesday night's $9000 Open Trot at Running Aces and the strategy worked great as owner Hinshaw Homestead Farms' stalwart wired the field in 1:55.3. In the process he became the fastest four-year-old gelding and etched his name in the local record books for the second time. About a year ago Silence Son set the three-year-old gelding track record in 1:56.3 with Banks aboard. It was just the ninth seasonal start for the winner and second win, first in Open company. Sent off at 6-1 odds, Silence Son beat Franky Provolone (Steve Wiseman) and Shelby County (Rocky Stidham). Earlier in the program, Flick A Fly (Rick Magee) pulled a mild upset in an $8000 two-year-old Minnesota-sired Class A event. It was the fourth straight victory for the filly owned by the Van Otterloo Stables and trained by David Flinn. She just nosed out Delco Voracious, who had won a $29,600 Hanover Stake in Chicago for the trainer-driver combination of father Jesse De Long and son John De Long, in 1:56.2. Cyber Cowboy (Tim Maier) rounded out the trifecta for owner Margaret Epp. The $5500 Class B two-year-old race was captured by Wounded Warrior (Ryan Lems), who romped by open lengths in 1:58.4 over Ksmewithurizclosed (Magee) and Im A Tinker Too (James Yoder). The colt is owned by Mark Mintun. All Minnesota-sired horses are anticipating the State Championship program on August 31, which will feature eleven state-bred races for $20,000 each on the season's closing night. Gregg Keidel
COLUMBUS, MN. - Driver Steve Wiseman captured four races on the Sunday night program at Running Aces, moving him into fifth place in the local dash standings and leaving him just 13 wins short of the coveted 2,000 triumphs plateau. Two of Wiseman's victories came behind horses from his own barn. Silver Spir used the passing lane to nip Somecam (Gerry Longo) and Headsup Yankee (Nick Roland) in a conditioned-claiming event for a $6000 purse. It was the fifth seasonal win for owner Maureen Pittaro's four-year-old who now has $21,000 in 2013 earnings. Hiho Legacy swept from eighth to first in the final quarter-mile to best a field of $3500 claimers. It was the second straight win for owner Paul Welence's gelding who bested Funny Guy (Don Sherman) and Big Guy Two Win (Lemoyne Svendsen). Wiseman also won for vacationing fellow California trainer Tim Maier, guiding Dani California in a bottom trot, clocked in 1:58.3 to top Viking Mia (Svendsen) and Jessie Ann (James Yoder). Son Jason Maier owns the mare who has notched three wins in her last four starts. Eternal Overdrive gave Wiseman his other win in a $3000 claimer timed in 1:54.4. Tim Brown trains the winner for lessee Brandon Bragg. Western So (Evan Coblentz) was a fast-closing second with Kennan's Jerry (Rocky Stidham) getting the show dough. There are eleven nights remaining in the 2013 season at Running Aces, so Wiseman needs to average just over one win a night to reach the milestone in his career while at his summer home in Minnesota. Gregg Keidel
COLUMBUS, MN. - Rich Dessert ran his impressive 2013 Running Aces resume to nine wins and one second in ten tries on Wednesday night by winning the $9000 Open Trot in 1:56.1. The clocking lowered his own local standard for four-year-old geldings by one-fifth of a second. The Minnesota-sired son of Rich Boy just edged Shelby County (Rocky Stidham) and Silence Son (Craig Banks) for driver-trainer Tim Maier and his wife Denise, the owner. Driver John De Long scored a hat trick on the evening with wins behind conditioned trotter Abe's Little Blacky and pacers I'm Blue Too and Irish Raider. by Gregg Keidel
Harness racing driver John De Long captured a total of four of the ten races on the Wednesday night program at Running Aces--and set two divisional track records in the process.
Her connections thought highly of her while she was training down as a baby and have been very patient with Shelby County throughout the duration of her harness racing career. Now at age five she is in the best form of her life and is the sixth winningest horse in North America this season.
The harness racing "girls" have no trouble going head-to-head with the "boys" when it comes to the best trotters currently competing in Minnesota.
The signal she sent at the three-quarters wasn't a positive one, but when Shelby County got a scent of pay-dirt, she knew what to do. Harness racing winners-over trotters, racing for an increased purse (25% raise) of $5,600, were featured at Cal Expo on Friday night (May 4), on which Shelby County showed her spunk.
She had issues behind the gate in her last two, but with Shelby County minding her manners, there'd be no catching her. Winners-Over trotters, racing for a purse of $4,500, were featured at Cal Expo on a harness racing summerlike Friday night (April 20), on which Shelby County made every pole a winning one.
Wendi Wiener is over the moon when one of her horses wins, so use your imagination as both of her starters ended up in the Cal Expo winner's circle last Friday night (March 30) for harness racing trainer and co-owner Nathalie Tremblay.
As the clock approaches 11 p.m., it's safe to say most senior citizens are in bed with a warm class of milk, if not already asleep. As that hour approached last Saturday night (March 17) at harness racing's Cal Expo, with the rain falling and the track a sea of slop, 71 years young Gene Vallandingham was out doing what he loves driving his mare Amazon Dot.
Albion figures to have more than his share of backers at Cal Expo when he suits up for Saturday night's (March 17) pacing headliner after posting a devastating victory at this same level last week for harness racing trainer Matias Ruiz and pilot Luke Plano.
Midwest-based harness racing trainer George Anthrop is making his third invasion of California, having previously campaigned his performers in the Golden State in 1997 and then again in 2007. "It seemed like the time was right," explained Anthrop.
A two race bump after beating these twice to start off the year came to an end when Shelby County never looked back. Harness racing 'Winners-Over' trotters, racing for a $4,500 purse, were featured at Cal Expo on Friday night (February 10), on which Shelby County successfully changed tactics.
Bob Roesch (pronounced Rush) got his first harness racing snapshot here at Cal Expo in last Saturday night's (February 4) opener, landing in the charmed enclosure with the odds-on pacing mare Wild About Eagle. The 48-year-old Ohio native was involved with riding horses as a youngster, but it wasn't until he was 18 that he discovered the world of harness racing.