Day At The Track
Search Results
49 to 64 of 88

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Stallion Review – Ponder - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Ponder, 1:49h, 1:48.1 ($1,686,134). Trailers on a half mile 3yo stake? It shouldn’t be! On Little Brown Jug and Jugette Days, there were stakes races for three-year-old trotters, the Oaken Bucket and the Buckette. Both had ten horses going on a half mile track. Two trailers. Kudos to Sam, Dave, Wendy and Roger at the Jug - The broadcast team of Sam Mckee, Dave Bianconi, Wendy Ross and when available, Roger Huston, were superb in last week’s coverage of the Delaware County Fairgrounds and Jug and Jugette Days. Rules are rules, or weak excuse? - Opinions are divided over Gaita Pullicino’s latest clash with Harness Racing Victoria stewards. Open the gates - Is it time for every race track in Australasia to drop their admission fee? After all, race courses are the only ‘casinos’ in the world where patrons have to pay to gamble! 2015 Inter-Dominions - The announcement last week that Perth is the new home of the Inter-Dominions from 2015 has been greeted with a lot of positive comment and why not. NZ Election Not What We Need - Last weekend in New Zealand the 2014 general election took place and unfortunately for harness racing nothing much is going to change. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Trailers on a half mile 3yo stake? It shouldn't be! - On Little Brown Jug and Jugette Days, there were stakes races for three-year-old trotters, the Oaken Bucket and the Buckette. Both had ten horses going on a half mile track. Two trailers. Kudos to Sam, Dave, Wendy and Roger at the Jug - The broadcast team of Sam Mckee, Dave Bianconi, Wendy Ross and when available, Roger Huston, were superb in last week’s coverage of the Delaware County Fairgrounds and Jug and Jugette Days. Rules are rules, or weak excuse? - Opinions are divided over Gaita Pullicino’s latest clash with Harness Racing Victoria stewards. Stallion Review – Ponder - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Ponder, 1:49h, 1:48.1 ($1,686,134). Open the gates - Is it time for every race track in Australasia to drop their admission fee? After all, race courses are the only ‘casinos’ in the world where patrons have to pay to gamble! 2015 Inter-Dominions - The announcement last week that Perth is the new home of the Inter-Dominions from 2015 has been greeted with a lot of positive comment and why not. NZ Election Not What We Need - Last weekend in New Zealand the 2014 general election took place and unfortunately for harness racing nothing much is going to change. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

Fifty-four of the 68 winners of the Little Brown Jug go back to Hal Dale. Two of those winners, Keystoner and Good Time, were his sons, while all the rest are linked to either his son, Adios, or his grandson Meadow Skipper, neither of whom won the Jug. Adios, who was born in 1940, pre-dated the Jug, which started in 1946. Meadow Skipper did participate, but he was parked most of the mile in the 1963 final and finished third to Overtrick, who set an all-age world record of 1:57.1. While Adios, who was twenty years older than Skipper, got a head start; eight sons and a grandson—Romeo Hanover—by Adios had won editions of the Jug before the principal of Skipper’s first crop, Most Happy Fella, won in 1970. Meadow Skipper certainly made up for lost time. Thirty-four of 43 Jugs since 1970 have been won by sons or other descendants of his—that’s about 80%. The only gap larger than one year during that run was the three year stretch at the beginning of the run, between 1971 and 1974, when Nansemond, Strike Out, Melvin’s Woe and Airliner were victorious. Between Hot Hitter’s win in 1979 and Abercrombie’s in 1993, there was a 13 year dry spell for Adios and any other progenitor not named Meadow Skipper. The last Adios line colt to win the Jug was Real Desire in 2007. Beyond his own failure to win the Little Brown Jug, Skipper’s prolific band of sons, grandsons and great grandsons, as successful as they have been at producing Jug winners,  have a spotty record when it comes to winning the race. Yes, Most Happy Fella, Niatross and Bettor’s Delight won, but the list of Skipper’s descendants who produced winners but didn’t win it themselves is much longer: Cam Fella, Western Hanover, Falcon Almahurst, Western Ideal, No Nukes, Cam’s Card Shark, Rocknroll Hanover, The Panderosa, Tyler B, French Chef, Oil Burner, Tyler’s Mark…. While Adios had nine sons win the Jug, Meadow Skipper only had four. The difference is that while Adios only got four from his greatest son Bret Hanover and three via his great grandson Abercrombie, Skipper got twenty from the Most Happy Fella branch, eleven from the Cam Fella branch, and seven through Albatross.   Since the turn of the century only three Adios Line colts have won the Jug—Astreos, Mr Feelgood and Real Desire—and none of those victories have come in the last six years. The other dozen were won by Skipper line stallions. This year’s Jug may prove to be a game changer, and there are a couple of ways that can happen. The field won’t be drawn until Saturday, but in his latest edition of Road to the Little Brown Jug, Delaware PR man Jay Wolf rates McWicked as the top contender. He, of course, is from the Adios line, being a son of McArdle, who has been keeping the Bret Hanover artery on life support in recent years. McArdle’s daddy, Falcon Seelster, wasn’t in the Jug, although he did set a world record of 1:51 at Delaware as a sophomore on Jug Day 1985. The call of that race by Roger Huston trumped the Jug itself, where Nihilator won in a time that was more than a second slower. A win by McWicked would prevent a seven race losing streak by Team Adios. Another way in which the 2014 Jug could be a game changer would be a win by a son of Somebeachsomewhere. Jay lists four possibilities on his Top Ten list: Ron Burke’s Limelight Beach, who just finished second to McWicked in the $260,000 PASS Championship Final; Jimmy Takter’s Cane winner, Lyonssomewhere; Bob McIntosh’s gelding, Somewhere In LA, who finished third to McWicked in the PASS Final; or Brent MacGrath’s Melmerby Beach, who won a split of the Simcoe over the weekend. This would represent a dramatic change because no member of the line running from Volomite through Sampson Hanover has ever won the Little Brown Jug, and no top line descendant of Volomite has won in 38 years, since Stanley Dancer’s Keystone Ore beat Joe O’Brien’s Armbro Ranger in 1976. The other two winners going back to Volomite are Overtrick in 1963 and Rum Customer in 1968. SBSW skipped the Jug, and last year Captaintreacherous, the star of his first crop, did the same. There may be no Jug winners on the branch he is now the figurehead for, coming down from his great, great, great grandsire Sampson Hanover, but that one was very handy on a half. In September, 1951, 4-year-old Sampson Hanover, who was converted from the trot as a three-year-old, became the first pacer or trotter to win a race in under two minutes on a half mile track. He accomplished that historic fete in the Almahurst Pace at Delaware, Ohio. So, we have the inspiration of Sampson Hanover’s Delaware heroics for the sons of SBSW and for McWicked his granddaddy Falcon Seelster’s world record mile over that track and his great granddaddy Bret Hanover’s world record of 1:57 in the Jug. Either way, it’s time for a colt not tied to Meadow Skipper to step up and take the prize. He’s Watching is quick as a cat around those turns and his pilot Tim Tetrick is no slouch. It won’t be easy, but it’s about that time. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/    

The Little Brown Jug and CBS Sports Network have finalized plans for the 69th edition of the pacing classic. The Little Brown Jug brought to you by Fazolis telecast will air live from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network on Thursday, September 18th. The last Jug elimination heat will be shown live at approximately 5:11 p.m. The remaining eliminations will be covered on a tape delay basis. The 2nd heat of the Jug will be shown live at approximately 6:15 p.m. The LBJ conditions require the champion to win two heats, if a race off is necessary, CBS Sports Network will cut into its regularly scheduled program at 7:00 p.m. to show the race-off live. Post time of the race-off would be approximately 7:02 p.m. The Winbak Farm Pace is also expected to air live during the 90 minute broadcast. We are extremely excited about the live coverage of the Little Brown Jug, said production coordinator Sam McKee. Thanks to great support from our main sponsor Fazolis, plus the Ohio Standardbred Development Fund, the USTA and the Jack Darling Pledge Fund, were able to showcase one of harness racings greatest events to a national television audience. The willingness of CBS to cut back in for live coverage of a race off if necessary allows the Delaware County Fair to schedule and structure the races to maximize both mutuel handle and the on-track experience for everyone. This years LBJ is shaping up to be one of the finest, added Phil Terry, LBJ Marketing Manager. We are expected the best three-year-old colt pacers to enter and we are looking forward to a great day of racing. Bruce Casella is the Executive Producer of the telecast. Veteran racing personalities Gary Seibel and Dave Brower will host the show along with Justin Horowitz and Heather Vitale. The Voice of the Jug, Hall Of Fame announcer Roger Huston will call the races. To find the CBS Sports Network channel in your area, please visit http://www.cbssportsnetwork.com/channel-finder. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

This coming weekend Saturday 6th & Sunday 7th September, Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin, Ireland, will host the annual “Christopher Dunne 3-year-old Memorial Pace and Race Day where over 120 horses are set to do battle for a share of the €30,000 prize money on offer over the 2 days of racing. To honour the memory of son their Christopher who died tragically back in 1994 at the tender age of 18 whilst on holiday, his parents Christy and Carol along with siblings Geoff, Jonathan and Alison have fittingly organized and heavily sponsored an annual 3-Year-Old Derby every subsequent year which has become one of highlights of the Irish harness racing calendar. The Dunne family are long steeped in harness racing going back some 3 generations, with a fourth generation now coming through from their base in Kill, County Kildare under the name of the “Porterstown Stud”. This year’s event marks the 20th anniversary of Christopher’s passing and sees 13 three-year-old colts and fillies face the starter over 2 heats and a grand final for a purse of over €15,000. Such prize money has lured the cream of 3-year-old pacing talent from both the UK and Ireland including some royally bred US/Canadian bred imports. Fittingly, the Porterstown Stud, have their own participant in Porterstown Chris who goes to post as one of the favourites to land the much coveted trophy and the lions share of the spoils. The aptly named colt is out of Carol Dunne's own mare, Miladies Pleasure, and sired by the famous “Doonbeg” which they also own and now stand at stud having finally retired after being victorious at Musselburgh in Scotland back in July. A stellar supporting card is also lined up to complement the feature event. Seven top Free-For-All pacers are set to go to post followed by five top Free-For-All Trotters, nine Junior Free-For-All pacers, five Four-Year-Old Pacers and the STAGBI Mares Race. Three Le Trotter Francais races complete the card with added prize money for all grade of handicap horses competing. Altogether, over 120 standardbreds have been entered to compete over the two days and such a huge entry is set to attract hundreds of additional patrons to Portmarnock Raceway, who will also welcome the invasion of English, Scottish and Welsh harness-mad enthusiasts with open arms and the promise of great racing, great atmosphere, great music and great craic. To steal a paraphrase from the famous Hall of Fame announcer Roger Huston...BE THERE! by Graham Bryne and Thomas Bennett for Portmarnock Raceway Complete entries and latest betting from world-renowned Belfast, Ireland bookie, Dan Carlin. 10/1 Rhyds Design 20/1 Springhill CJ 20/1 Springhill KG 3/1 Ayr Regal 8/1 Frisco Hold Up 8/1 Camden Tino 5/4 Rhyds Rainbow 5/2 Porterstown Chris 16/1 Bonfire 3/1 Rhyds Art 3/1 Rob Hall 12/1 Wolfhill Major 7/1 Camden Vito ALL IN RUN OR NOT Each Way Laid 1/5 Odds 1,2,3 Dan Carlin 00447808 395812

This Weekend Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin, Ireland really is the place to be this weekend for harness racing and although there is more than 120 horses running for €30,000+ in prize money, there is much more than money at stake over the 2 days race meet. All season there have been battles raging across all ranks of pacers and trotters and these simmering rivalries are set to finally boil over at Portmarnock in front of what is forecasted to be a monster attendance. The feature event of the weekend is the Christopher Dunne Memorial Derby that pitches hot favourite Rhyds Rainbow against arch rival Rhyds Art with the end result being a winner for the punters as this is set to be a no-holds-barred catfight for the €10,000 first prize. Rainbow has beaten Art virtually every time they met so far and boasts a 1.57.3 personal best as opposed to Art’s best of 1.58.1 but the pendulum seems to have swung back in favour of the latter in recent weeks as she beat Rainbow rather comprehensively at Tregaron in August. Has Rainbow gone “over the top” or can she bounce back to inflict yet another defeat on her arch nemesis, the rapidly improving Art? Pundits predict that this grudge match between the two top fillies is going to get vicious and it’s us the paying public who love the sport who'll will be rewarded with a spectacle of biblical proportions. Lob in the colts, Porterstown Chris and Ayr Regal, who are both at the top of their game at the moment and this event is shaping up to be the classic of all classics. Whilst on the subject of top class fillies, the STAGBI aged fillies and mares race is another mouth-watering contest and this tail-ends the Saturday night card. The popular Shades Of Grey representing England will be all the rage in this but Scottish raider Racezapan will not go down without putting up one hell of a fight. The Welsh send over Baby Rosa in an effort to bring the coveted prize back to the valleys whilst local hope Coalford Cabrini is Ireland’s best chance of keeping the lion’s share of the prize money at home. Sunday boasts an equally strong card and there is some serious unfinished business in the top class free for all ranks and with the Grafton Barber sponsored FFA race. It’s widely predicted by pundits that this race will answer for once, and for all, just who is the top pacer in the British Isles. This race is worth the entry fee alone and family honour is at stake. Current reigning UK champion Stoneriggs Mystery hammered his rivals into submission at Portmarnock last month and was just 0.5 of a second outside the track record having been parked and also sloppy track conditions. Local up and coming superstar Springhill Alibi was 3rd that day but it was his first foray into FFA company and he put this experience in the top flight to good use at Tregaron when he exacted revenge on Mystery to lay claim to his title. Throw in Rhyds Destiny who took the All Ireland title in Inchydoney, Brywins Magic Potion who triumphed at Aberystwyth, Meadowbranch Romeo who landed the Famous Musselburgh Pace, Tir Prince record holder Forafewdollarsmore and Tregaron Welsh Classic winner Saunder Mach Three and we have arguably the best FFA held at any venue in 2014. The draw will be of paramount importance on the day but the overall victor will rightfully claim to be top dog across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Le Trot Francais races may not be everybody’s cup of tea but the Gold standard of the French breds have captivated the Irish public all season. Joe Caffrey’s Romulus Angenais can arguably claim to be the best around at present but Radjah Normand, Rubis De Lorion and Real De Morge are snapping at his heels and eyeing up the number one spot. These clash again and it would take a brave man to accurately predict the 1-2-3 home in this popular event. It’s unusual for an owner of one of the French breds to step outside the comfort of the restricted races but Englishman John Howard has made the bold move of entering the recently acquired Robec against the speed merchants Danger Of Butcher and Yke Starlake in the Rising Force FFA trot and all eyes will be on the English raider to see if he can move up the gears faster that his French counterparts and beat the crack milers at their own game. This race will be a thriller, an maybe a track record. Tarawood Messi came of age at Portmarnock last month winning the Paul Murtagh Memorial 4-year-old Classic and the strawberry Roan colt puts his title on the line against 3 opponents on Sunday. McCoy is a worthy opponent and a game winner in Wales last weekend whilst Racezapan lines out a second time over the weekend – this time against the colts which must be a tip in itself from confident connections. Ayr Majesty is a king in waiting and it’s predicted that Messi will have to dig deep to the very bottom of his reserves to stop the aptly named Majesty taking his crown. Will we have a new 4-year-old King or will Messi score yet again and cement himself as the best? The above race previews represent just a small number of scores that will be settled over the weekend and with the advantage of being near the M50, Dublin Airport, Dublin/Dun Laoghaire Ferry Port and local train station, Portmarnock Raceway really will be the place to be this weekend. In the words of USA Hall of Fame announcer, Roger Huston…BE THERE! By Thomas Bennett, for Portmarnock Trotting Club

Getting the latest harness racing news regarding the Little Brown Jug is now easier by following the LBJ on twitter. Enter our username @LB_Jug or search for The Little Brown Jug to follow us. Well be tweeting more updates on the event, news, announcements, race information, stakes results, fair information, and more! If you have any information or updates that you would like to share with us then simply add the #Jug14 in your tweet or tag our username to potentially get re-tweeted! For the direct link, go to: https://twitter.com/LB_Jug   Complete Grand Circuit Week Schedule Available; Delaware Accepting On-line Entries The complete stakes and overnight schedule for the Delaware Grand Circuit meet is now available at http://www.littlebrownjug.com/racing/racing-schedule. Delaware will also be taking on-line entries this year. Trainers are urged to visit https://onlineservices.ustrotting.com for more details. LBJ Radio Network to Broadcast Every Race, Every Day of the Delaware Meet For the fifth consecutive year, the Little Brown Jug Radio Network will broadcast all races from the Delaware County Fair (September 14 18), concluding with the 69th Little Brown Jug presented by Fazolis. Delaware radio stations WDLR (1550-AM) and WINF (98.5-FM) along with Marysville radio station WQTT (1270-AM) will carry each day's races. Airtime begins 30 minutes before the scheduled post time. The broadcast will be streamed online on the worldwide web at 1550wdlr.com, 985winf.com, and qt1270.com. Hosting the broadcast will be Don Berman and James Witherite. Berman is a veteran broadcaster, handicapper, former horse owner, and fan, who resides in Columbus, Ohio. Witherite is the racecaller at Tioga Downs (NY), and has previously been track announcer for seven years at Harrah's Philadelphia. He is an accomplished musician as well. There will be numerous live interviews, as well as updated odds and complete mutuel results for each race each day. Hall of fame announcer Roger Huston, the voice of the Little Brown Jug since 1967, will make his handicapping selections prior to each race, and his race calls will be the centerpiece of the broadcast. CHHA to Host Free Fellowship Breakfast on Jugette Day The Christian Harness Horsemen's Association is hosting a powerful prayer breakfast to celebrate the CHHA's 30th anniversary and the many blessings the harness racing industry has enjoyed leading up to the 2014 Little Brown Jug & Jugette. The breakfast will be held on Wednesday September 17, from 6:30 A.M. to 7:30 A.M. in the Buckeye Valley Boosters Building on the Delaware County Fairgrounds. The breakfast is free, but reservations are required. To reserve your spot, please contact Christian Harness Horsemans Association at www.chha.net or Lee Alphen at (603) 898-1927. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

For the next two weeks Jay Wolf, Little Brown Jug Publicity Director, will rank the top 10 eligibles for the Little Brown Jug presented by Fazolis. Week #5 September 2, 2014 1. McWicked (1:47.3f; $957,883) Owner: SSG Stables (NY) Trainer: Casie Coleman Driver: David Miller Won a $99,990 leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at the Meadows (8/29) in 1:48.3. 2. He's Watching (1:46.4; $1,093,300) Owner: Menary Racing (ONT), Brad Gray (ONT), Michael Guerriero (ONT) & Muscara Racing (PA) Trainer: David Menary  Driver: Tim Tetrick He was upset by Lyonssomewhere by a half length in the $437,325 Can Pace Final (9/1). 3. Somewhere In LA (1:50f; $342,133) Owner: J & T Silva Stables (NY), Deo Volente Farms (NJ) & TLP Stable (NJ) Trainer: Robert McIntosh and Jimmy Takter Driver: Brett Miller/Tim Tetrick Finished second to McWicked by a nose in the leg of the PA Sire Stake (8/29). 4. Sometimes Said (1:50.0f; $433,390) Owner: Fashion Farms (PA) Trainer: Jim Campbell Driver: John Campbell/David Miller The son of Well Said won a $99,990 leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes at the Meadows (8/29) in 1:50. 5. Lyonssomewhere (1:49.4f; $386,812) Owners: Geoffrey Lyons Mound (ONT) Trainer: Jimmy Takter  Driver: Yannick Gingras/Jimmy Takter He now becomes Jug eligible with his win in the $427,325 Cane Pace Final. His owner must now commit to the $45,000 supplemental entry fee. 6. Limelight Beach (1:49.4; $297,950) Owners: Burke Racing Stable (PA), Weaver Bruscemi (PA), M1 Stable (PA) and Wingfield Brothers (OH) Trainer: Ron Burke Drivers: Yannick Gingras and Matt Kakaley He finished third by a neck to McWicked in the PA Sire Stake (8/29). 7. At Press Time (1:48.2f; $330,902) Owners: Burke Racing Stable (PA) and Weaver Bruscemi (PA) Trainer: Ron Burke  Driver: Matt Kakaley and Yannick Gingras Finished fifth to McWicked in the PASS at the Meadows (8/29). 8. Cammikey (1:49.4f; $217,788) Owner: Cam Land LLC (PA) Trainer: William Zendt Driver: Brian Zendt The son of Somebeachsomewhere was fourth to Sometimes Said in the PA Sire Stake (8/29). 9. On Golden Ponder (1:52.2h; $177,465) Owners: Robert McIntosh Stable (ONT), CSX Stable (OH) and Michael Kohler (MI) Trainer: Robert McIntosh Driver: John Campbell The world record holder as a freshman last season sweep the legs and $175,000 final of the Kentucky Sire Stakes at the Red Mile (8/31). 10. Beat The Drum (1:49.2f; $290,274) Owner: Bender Sweden Inc. (FL) Trainer: Staffan Lind Driver: Ron Pierce He was parked the entire mile in the Cane Pace Final (9/1) fading to seventh. This weeks expert ranking is courtesy of Hall of Fame track announcer Roger Huston. The Voice has called every LBJ since 1967. 1. McWicked 2. Hes Watching 3. Lyonssomewhere 4. Somewhere In LA 5. Limelight Beach 6. Sometimes Said 7. Lets Drink On It 8. Cammikey 9. At Press Time 10. Mattamerican  

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association is pleased to make a $3,000 donation to the ALS Association, raised through the organization's "Ice Bucket Challenge." Over 40 Meadows horsemen, led by track announcer Roger Huston, got together in the paddock prior to the races on Friday night (August 22) for a group challenge, and MSOA Executive Secretary Kim Hankins took the opportunity to issue a challenge to the members of the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association and the United States Trotting Association. Donations were collected from not only those that participated in the challenge, but also from horsemen that were unable to attend. In all, $3,000 was raised. "The ice bucket challenge really brought together our group for a fun event," said MSOA President Rich Gillock. "We are pleased to be able to support this very worthy cause and we thank our horsemen and women for their generosity." by Jeff Zidek, for the MSOA  

Roger Huston, the iconic voice of harness racing, will call the action Thursday (August 28) at Northfield Park. The 15-race program will add to the tally of races he has announced, which currently stands at 167,200. Huston has been the voice of The Meadows since 1976 and will be calling his 47th Little Brown Jug on September 18. In addition, he has announced at 127 other venues. These include locations all over the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Wales and Australia. Huston, a member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, has enjoyed an amazing career in the sport -- and it is a career that will continue -- as he has no plans on retiring from the job he still immensely enjoys. First race post time on Thursday is 6:00 p.m. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

A large group of horsemen from The Meadows tonight accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Roger Huston and MSOA Executive Director Kim Hankins offer comments before the video begins:   by Jeff Zidek, for the MSOA

WASHINGTON PA - The rain went away from this southwestern PA town close to The Meadows for Tuesday fair harness racing at the Washington County Fair and the famed Arden Downs oval, allowing for a full day of racing two-year-olds, as opposed to the previous day, when only two heats for sophomores got in. The attention Wednesday focused on two-year-old pacing colts, and especially three babies trained by "The King of the PA Fairs," Roger Hammer, even though Hammer drove only one of them. That one would be R N Nate, a Nuclear Breeze gelding who was won his last six starts at the fairs (plus throwing in a Stallion Series victory for good measure, in 1:55.4) for breeder-owner-trainer-driver Hammer. The circuit's top dashwinner, Chris Shaw, deputized for Hammer on the two other horses, including the day's (and meet's) fastest, Given Up Terror, an altered son of Western Terror who won here in 2:01.2 for trainer Hammer, with Mississippian Chad Parker on the paperwork as the owner. This precocious youngster has been twice second in the Stallion Series and won an overnight in 1:55.4. Those two races came among the four divisions of the PA Fair Sire Stake 2PC event; driver Brady Brown and trainer Mike Gillock clicked to take the other two, with Firm It Up (2:09.1- 30.2) and Moonshine Road (2:06.3). We talked about three Hammer 2PCs - the third is racing in the Quaker State Stakes, and Rustlercafe is now 7-6-1-0 in that series after a 2:02.2 score. Hammer is the owner/trainer/breeder of the altered son of Rustler Hanover, with Chris Shaw again in the bike. Other highlights included Ohioan Marty Wollam capturing three races on the day, from three different trainers, including two of the three Fair Sire Stakes 2TC winners: the Andover Hall colt Andover Express and the SJ's Caviar colt Itza Rube; and the recent local addition of Crist Hershberger, who had two sulky scores Wednesday and has already posted his best overall moneywinning season - and it's only mid-August. Mid-August means plenty of PA fair racing, and indeed the trotters and pacers will be back in action today and Thursday at Dayton PA, where first post is noon; a recap will be posted at the end of the meet. ................................................ Your correspondent had the privilege of filling in at the microphone for the peerless Roger Huston, returning from Ireland, during the first two days of the four-day meet at the State Fair of West Virginia (NOT the West Virginia State Fair, as you will be told), track #187 in his personal collection. On Tuesday, day two, it looked like a boxing slugfest out there: driver Chuck Perry won the first race, J D Wengerd the second, then Perry, then Wengerd, then Perry - so that the scorecard after the first two days reads 4-4, with three of Wengerd's winners coming from the barn of top trainer Shane Heasley. The SFOWV track crew again did an excellent job with the surface after more lashing with rain, and the meet's fastest pace, 2:02.1, was put up by the veteran campaigner Spudcam, a gelded son of Camluck trained and driven by Wengerd for J M F Racing. Publicity Office, PA Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

If the weather forecasters were paid by their accuracy most would be pretty much broke as we awoke Sunday morning to sunny skies and a strong breeze when the forecast was for rain all day. It was shaping up to be a picture perfect day for the big races at Portmarnock Trotting Track. After a hearty Irish breakfast we all prepared for the big day of racing and piled into the shuttle for the track. Our gracious host, Derek Delaney and his family were dressed to impress for their special memorial day to their late brother Vincent. Derek took head counts to make sure everyone was accounted for and off we went. And everyone had to have a good look at my specially designed Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial pith helmet hat that my wife Stephanie helped me make for the occasion. It was unique, the only one in the world, and it featured the flags of all the nations that were racing that day, the band around the brim was the logo for the race and atop the hat was a racehorse. Throughout the day everyone had to comment and check out my special hat. I must have taken two dozen photos with people and the children all laughed and wanted to try it on. It was a big hit. As we drove to the track we saw plenty of horse trailers of all shapes and sizes entering the grounds and everyone had great big smiles as it was a special racing day. The race paddock area was jammed with trailers and horsemen and women preparing for the races. There are no “race paddock” like they have in North America for harness racing. Here at Portmarnock, just like most tracks in Ireland and the United Kingdom as many fairs do back home, your trailer is your paddock area. You tie your horse up on the side and harness them, bath them between warmups and throw a “rug” over them and walk them around to cool out. Everyone is prepared and they bring coolers with sandwiches and drinks and make a day of it. After your horse races and is put away then you head over to the main track for the festivities. The bounce house and tenting for the children’s area was already filled with tyke’s ripping off their shoes to have a go and allow their parents a little time to check out their race programs. The bookies were setting up their stands, the bar was already open and I was offered my first Guinness of the day, which I had to refuse…too early and too long an afternoon with work to do for a late breakfast stout to start off the afternoon. But there was plenty of people already in the bar getting prepped for the day’s events. As the crowds come in you get your racetrack fixtures of people just like every track around the world. You have your hard core punters, your average fans, your die hard regulars who immediately head to their favorite spot to lay claim for the day. But today was extra special and with that came the ladies dressed for the Royal Ascot or perhaps the Kentucky Derby of harness racing in Ireland. There was a contest of the best dressed man and women at the races. And there were many women dressed up beautifully along with many of the younger daughters of the horsemen. There was also a special exhibition by world champion Irish Dancers and music throughout the afternoon between the race announcements. The bookies had a field day at the track. Everyone wanted to get a bet in. Here at Portmarnock there is win wagering only, no exactas or trifectas or any gimmick bets, no place or show, just the win bets. But the action was feverish before the start of the first race. It was amazing as the “punters” were known by every “bookie” by first name or a nickname. They would place their wager, the bookie would shout it out to his teller, who wrote it done and then the punter was given a special card with a number on to verify the wager. I placed my bets with Dan Carlin of Belfast, Ireland. He was the main bookie who set the early wagering odds on the races last Monday once the fields were drawn. But what is so unique with bookie wagering at a track like this in Ireland and the UK is that as the wagers are made the odds can change. You can bet way ahead of time on fixed odds but as post time draws near and more wagers are made, the bookies change the odds to reflect the wagering. Sometimes they will shave a fraction of a point just to draw more attention. On Saturday in the second elimination heat of the Delaney Memorial, Carmel Camden had received so many wagers that most of the bookies stopped taking bets on her with two minutes to post. Dan Carlin called me out as “Steve the Yank” when I made my bets, never said how much someone wagered except after he counted the wagered cash and dropped into the cash holder he would say it in some sort of code to his teller to keep the record of it. The bookies would shout out new odds to encourage punters to wager a few more euros and it all added up to a lot of excitement. I figured just from watching a few races that the average bookie at the track, with 1,000 people at Portmarnock this Sunday, handled at least 40 or more wagers per race x 7 bookies x 10 races would be near 200,000 euros ($267,000) in total wagering going back and forth between winners and losers for the day. Dan Carlin would not say how things were going except that everyone was having a good time. Mother Nature cooperated as best it could and it seemed that when the rain clouds came over the skies would open up and it would pour for five minutes and then the sun would come back out and dry everything up. It was raining hard for a few minutes before the start of the feature race and then as if Vincent Delaney himself made it stop before the finish of his memorial race. After the racing was over the track pub was filled to the brim with race fans, owners, trainers, drivers and everyone’s children, all have a grand time. And the Guinness stout and Irish whiskey, mainly Jamieson’s as both are produced right in Dublin, were enjoyed quite a lot, even by this reporter, for the two nights in a row. Between the superb hospitality of everyone I met for my five day venture to Dublin and their deep rooted passion for the sport of harness racing, I can honestly encourage anyone and everyone to make their plans well in advance to come to Portmarnock Trotting Track next year for the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial Series. The Delaney brothers, Derek and James, who were the best of hosts to the visiting guests, Roger Huston, Wally Hennessey, Anthony Butt, Heather Vitale, myself and my wife Stephanie, have already promised that the race weekend will be bigger and better with richer purses for next season and more special events. It’s the Irish version of the Little Brown Jug and they have already gotten a commitment from Roger Huston who said he will be back to call the races once again. It’s a weekend of “grass roots” fair racing that will keep you smiling and having a great time in a country that thrives on friendliness and first-class hospitality from the minute you arrive. Only there is no Little Brown Jug waiting at the finish line at Portmarnock, but there will be a glass of good strong Guinness stout! By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Dublin, Ireland – You could call it the “Little Brown Jug” of Ireland and most everyone at the track would know what you were talking about. There were horsemen, women and children from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales and they all have great passion for harness racing. Portmarnock Trotting Track is just fifteen minutes from the center of Dublin. The passenger train runs past the backstretch every 20 minutes or so, day and night. We started off the afternoon with a meet and greet featuring Hall of Famers Wally Hennessey (USA/Canada), Roger Huston (USA) Anthony Butt (New Zealand) Heather Vitale and myself. The tented area immediately became packed with nearly 200 race fans both young and old in attendance. After the introductions were made Roger Huston took charge and told some great stories that got the crowd in motion and questions to the guest started to fly. People wanted to know why they still used the Australian jog-cart styled long shafted race bikes down under instead of the American version. Fans wanted to know what it was like for Wally Hennessey to drive Moni Maker all over the racing world and which Roger Huston’s favorite Little Brown Jug races was. Then there was a great live auction with the proceeds going to the Pieta House that is country-wide suicide prevention organization with 15 locations throughout Ireland. I was most proud that horsemen from the USA and Canada donated great items, driving colors autographed from Tim Tetrick, Corey Callahan, George Brennan, David Miller, Jody Jamieson and, of course, Wally Hennessey. Anthony Butt brought over a set of his colors and a special Inter dominion jacket were all bid for feverishly. Bobble heads too (Roger Huston, Jody Jamieson and Corey Callahan) and the Meadowlands sent over Hambletonian caps from last week’s race. The biggest item of all was a used UFO race bike used by Foiled Again from the Ron Burke Stable and that alone brought 3,000 euros ($4,000 US). The auction continues Sunday but I overheard that proceeds just for Saturday may have tipped the scales at over 6,000 euros and could surpass 10,000 after Sunday. Then the racing began and the crowds piled in more and more despite on and off rain showers throughout the day. Portmarnock is not that big a track. The infield is used during the day as a golf driving range so racing did not start until 5 pm. Up until 4 pm a tractor was in the centerfield scooping up golf balls. They race four on the gate and four trailers. Roger Huston called the races from the infield on the second floor of glass trailers. He was sitting on a swivel chair so he could swing around the see horses at the raced down the backstretch. But despite the rain the fans came out, maybe 1,000 strong for the races. And what I found to be the most interesting was the wagering on the races. There are no betting windows and pari-mutuel machines, no self-service bill accepting units. They have actual live bookies. Men taking bets, writing down first names and handing back a business card type voucher, shouting out the odds and parlays, checking their competition and if they were willing, raising their odds a fraction to entice others to come wager with them. A fistful of cash in hand to make quick change before the field lined up behind the starting gate. Some bookies had an LCD board and could change odds in a split second typing away on their keyboard. Others had dry erase boards that would smear in the rain so they had to wipe them with their sleeves in order to post the new odds. Some were dressed in nice suits with loud ties, one had a top hat. It just made the races more interesting than I had seen before. It was wagering at its grass roots. Legalized bookies encourage punters to come forward and try their luck. And everyone loved Roger Huston’s race calls. He had them cheering for the field at the half mile and the finish of each race. And the fans applauded the winners and losers after every event. And then once the races were over, the party did not stop. The bar at the track was packed from the start of the first race and was still going strong when I left to come back to the hotel at near midnight. Everyone was having a great time. I just hope some of them remembered to get a little rest because everyone was looking forward to the Sunday card and hoping for Mother Nature to provide them with a sunny, dry afternoon, especially for the final of the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial Pace Final. We started out Day 2 in Dublin, Ireland sorta on the wrong foot, perhaps even the wrong side of the bed. As some of us (me) overslept because of our 36-hour first day, I missed the trip to the Guiness Factory, so Stephanie (my wife) and I talked with the lobby desk people and they turned us on to a pleasant surprise. The Village of Malahide. We took a taxi and within 20 minutes was at the entrance to the Malahide Castle and its lavish 1,000 acres grounds. We walked up what seemed to be a half mile tree-laden drive, stopped to watch youngsters playing cricket, just like kids in America playing organized baseball, on the beautifully manicured lawns of the palatial estate. Then we reached the castle and its stunning four-acre walled gardens, all first built in the 12th century. The Talbot Family owned and lived there for almost 800 years. The castle is full furnished and magnificent. We then took a quick walking tour into the Malahide Village with its picturesque streets decorated with flower displays, lovely store fronts and boat marina. Then back to the hotel and to get ready for the harness racing at Portmarnock. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

When we first arrived this morning in Dublin, Ireland, it was cloudy and overcast with a misty rain about, but customs was a breeze off we went to drop off our bags at the hotel. That would all change for the better! There would be no rest for the weary on this trip, it was a harness racing trip of a lifetime and we were already going in an extra distance race after an opening quarter mile of :26.1. We (Wally Hennessey, my wife, Stephanie Wolf, and myself) had just finished flying in from Toronto, Canada on the red-eye, leaving at 11 pm Thursday and getting into Dublin Friday morning at 10:30 am. We headed to the hotel and met the rest of the crew. Anthony Butt from New Zealand had arrived Wednesday and had a leg up on us already, Roger Huston and Heather Vitale came in at 8 am Friday, and we got to meet our host, Derek Delaney and his lovey wife Lilian and their cute daughter Lexie. Other special guests that would join us on the trip were David Wilson of Scotland, Bernie (Bernadette) Kelly and the superb equine artist/photographer, Nadina Ironia. Then it was off to Derek and James Delaney’s Oakwood Stud Farm and Training Center in Greenhill Rhode in County Offaly. A beautiful facility that can be best described by the photos in this story. Lunch was at a splendid Irish pub nearby called Killeen and then we were able to head back to the hotel and pass out for a few hours. We capped off the 36-hour day by being part of a special kick-off dinner for the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial Series weekend with a tribute dinner at the hotel with another 50 new friends. Words cannot describe the sights, sounds, tastes, smells and great time we had so please enjoy these photographs! By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

A total of 15 two-year-old colt and filly pacers have entered the 3rd annual Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial this weekend at Portmarnock Trotting Track in Dublin, Ireland. There will be three five horse field elimination divisions on Saturday, August 9 with the top two official finishers and the fastest two third place finishers to return the very next day, Sunday, August 10, for the finale. Each preliminary round will race for a purse of 750 euros ($1,000 US) and the final will go for a record 18,500 euros ($25,000 US), making it the richest stakes race ever in the history of harness racing in both Ireland and Great Britain and the richest pacing event ever in all of Europe. One of the three divisions will be for fillies and the fillies that advance to the final will then draw for the inside post positions. The draw for post positions will not take place until Saturday afternoon before the start of the race card at Portmarnock, that way all owners, trainers and drivers will be on hand for the draws. The same will take place on Sunday. Currently the 6/4 favourite and leading contender is Alexander Camden, who was the highest priced yearling ever sold in Ireland and the United Kingdom last season, fetching £38,000 sterling ($53,000 US) at the York Standardbred Sale last year. His is sired by Cambest out of Lola making him a full brother to two sub 1:49 pacers Canyon Wind and Paragon. In his short career on the track, Alexander Camden seems to be living up to his purchase price as the good looking youngster is being trained by English maestro Mick Lord for Scottish owner Davy Morton. In his four races so far, the colt has two wins and two seconds with his fastest victory in 2:02.3 at York Raceway, the UKs premier half mile track. However, the fastest of the freshman pacers so far this season is a filly, Carmel Camden, who is owned and trained by Dubliners Derek and James Delaney, who originally developed and sponsored the race back in 2012 in memory of their younger brother Vincent, who tragically past away in 2011 at age 27. Since the inception of the event, the brothers have dearly sought to have a runner in the line-up and last October they acquired Carmel Camden, a £12,000 sterling ($17,000US) daughter of No Pan Intended out of Pan Cullottes, who were both US Breeders Crown winners respectively back in 2003. Carmel Camden is the second choice in the early wagering at odds of 7/4. She has made three starts so far and remains undefeated. Her fastest win was 2:01.7 over Portmarnock’s half mile oval, just a few ticks shy of tying the track record for two-year-old fillies. Another top prospect is Titanium, who was a bargain £3,400 sterling ($5,000 US) yearling purchase and is by super sire Hasty Hall, who has dominated the ranks of the juvenile classic winners in the UK in recent years. Owned and driven by leading lady driver Vicky Gill of Yorkshire and trained by Vicky’s Dad, John Gill, of the Emerald Stables, Titanium has won two of his three starts so far and has a personal best time of 2.02.2. Vicky and dad John won this race just last year with Camden Tino, so the combination know just what it takes to win the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial. Titanium is listed at odds of 7-1. Other contenders include Lyons Premier at 5-1, another son of Hasty Hall, who has two impressive starts so far, a strong win at York Raceway in 2:03.3 for Welsh owner/breeder Geoff Mound. Mound races pacers all over Canada and the USA under the Lyons prefix. Just last week Lyons Premier won a colts division Breeders Crown in the UK by six open lengths in 2:07.2 in defeating It’s My Check with Titanium third over a heavy wet track.; Mikey Camden at 12-1, is by Cambest, who is a £27,000 sterling ($38,000US) yearling purchase, has one win after three starts in 2:03.1 and locally owned Meadowbranch Ideal, an imported son of Western Ideal who has been impressive in three qualifiers so far, but as yet to win at the Dublin venue. He is 7-1. Listed below are the 15 horses entered in the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial Pacing Series for two-year-olds. Morning line odds for the punters are listed next to the name of each horse. 6/4 Alexander Camden 7/4 Carmel Camden (f) 5 Lyons Premier 6 Coalford Tetrick 7 Titanium 7 Its My Check 7 Meadowbranch Ideal 12 Mikey Camden 12 Watch Your Back (f) 16 Rhyds Gambler 16 Ballyhill Jimmy 25 Showtime Big Cigar 25 Meadowbranch Millie (f) 33 Regal Sensation (f) 40 Springhill Nancy (f) (f) denotes a filly Handicapper Thomas Bennett has put the race in summary. “Based on all known form this looks like a straightforward match between Carmel Camden and Alexander Camden,” Bennett said, “with the latter just getting the nod. Top trainer Mick Lord has gradually built up momentum with the colt and is improving rapidly whilst a filly has never won this event going against the chances of Carmel Camden. Titanium could upstage the pair of them and Lyons Premier, Coalford Tetrick and Its My Check boast solid credentials and are more than capable of causing a shock.” In addition to the Delaney Memorial with it eliminations on Saturday and final on Sunday, there are other top race events over the weekend. “We had more than 150 horses entered for this weekend,” said Derek Delaney, “That is a great number for any weekend meet. Looks like everyone wants to be part of the racing action at Portmarnock.” The supporting card over the weekend will feature the Oakwood Stud Three-Year-Old Derby; the Paul Murtagh Senior Memorial 4YO Championship and the Elvin/Delaney FFA Trot. On Saturday starting at 3:00 pm guests at the track are invited to a meet and greet with the three Hall of Famers who have come to Ireland for the event. They are world-class drivers Wally Hennessey from the USA/Canada, New Zealand’s Anthony Butt and calling the major races both days is world-renowned track announcer, Roger Huston. At 3:30 pm will be the drawing of post positions for Saturday’s race card followed by the special charity auction with proceeds going to the Peita House of Ireland, which is a center for the prevention of self-harm or suicide. The top item in the auction is a UFO racing sulky from world famous trainer Ron Burke. This bike was used on many of the Burke Stables top horses, including world champion Foiled Again. There will also be six sets of driver’s autographed colours from some of the top horsemen in harness racing. The racing will get underway Saturday starting at 5:00 pm. In addition, there will be 18 services to stallion at stud here in Ireland and some in the UK. All the donation from these proceeds will be presented to the representatives from the Pieta House during Sunday’s race program. Ladbroke’s, the premier sponsor of the Vincent Delaney Memorial,  is also giving out a 5 euro match play wager to everyone that comes out to track on Sunday. Entertainment for the children each day will include a Playbus, face-painting, balloonist, candy cart, a colouring competition and a free goody bag for all the children. Sunday’s first race post time is 2:00 pm and there will be a competition for the Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Gentleman and the Best Dressed Couple with some wonderful prizes including a Designer Dress Hire, Hotel Break, Pampering Vouchers and much more. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com  

49 to 64 of 88