On a cold and crisp yet windless Friday night at The Meadowlands a couple of new shooters took the $30,000 overnight features, both in front running fashion. The top trot was carded as race two and Twin B Spike Man handled his initial ascension to the Free For All ranks with aplomb. A convincing winner against the B-1 class last week, Twin B Spike Man responded to a confident steer by Mike Simons with a superb 1:51.1 mile, lowering his career best by over two seconds in the process. Sent up hard after by Simons after DW's NY Yank past the 55.1 half, Twin B Spike Man cleared and kept rolling along through the third panel in 27.4 and widened his advantage through the stretch to coast in by a half over Modern Family, who was locked in but finished with very strong trot as the 9-10 favorite. DW's NY Yank checked in third. At age seven Twin B Spike Man has found his best form for the Mike Simons / Gail Wrubel tandem, having eclipsed his 2013 earnings total already this season and is now in excess of $45,000 in just seven starts. Simons owns the stable star in partnership with Daniel Eccleston and Albert Abdella III. The Free For All debut of American In Paris went as well against the finest pacing mares The Meadowlands has to offer. Yannick Gingras wheeled her from an early tuck in third to wrestle the lead from Monkey On My Wheel after a snappy 26.2 opener. From there it was a comfortable pace until very late stretch and the wire arrived just in time to save a 1:50.3 decision over the fast closing Keepers Destiny. Monkey On My Wheel saved third to complete a two / three sweep for trainer Andrew Harris. American In Paris remained unbeaten in 2014 and the win put her over $100,000 in career earnings. She races out of the Burke Stable and is owned in partnership with Weaver Bruscemi. Corey Callahan won three races on the night, while Trace Tetrick, Scott Zeron, Dave Miller and Yannick Gingras shared the wealth, all with driving doubles. Total handle for the Friday card eclipsed $3 Million at $3,181,196 for the 13-race program. Racing resumes Saturday, with a 13-race card featuring Golden Receiver who headlines a Free For All Handicap Pace and the second round of the Buddy Gilmour pacing series. Post time is 7:15 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands
Yannick Gingras says it will be a challenge for Time To Quit to win the Charles Singer Memorial Series at Meadowlands Racetrack, but for now the Big M's leading driver is focused on Thursday's second round. Time To Quit, who is unbeaten in four starts this season, races in the second of two $15,000 second-leg divisions of the restricted series for 3- and 4-year-old trotters. Trained by Ron Burke, the 4-year-old gelding is joined by entry mate Winbak Sullivan at 4-5 on the morning line. Perfect Alliance, a 4-year-old female trotter racing out of the stable of trainer Julie Miller and undefeated in three starts this season, is the 3-5 morning line choice in the first division. Last week, Time To Quit won his Singer division by a head over Clementine Dream in 1:56.2. Perfect Alliance, driven by Andy Miller, won her division by 7-3/4 lengths over Ray Hall in 1:53.3. This week, both trotters start from post eight in eight-horse fields. The $52,500 Charles Singer Memorial Series final is March 8. "I'm not sure he can go with Perfect Alliance," said Gingras, who leads all Meadowlands drivers with 55 victories this year and a 27 percent win rate. "Thankfully, she's in the other division again. She's done it three (starts) in a row. I think she's the only horse that can win from the outside, the rest need an inside post and a trip. "But there are some nice horses in there. Ray Hall is definitely a nice horse and Cajole Hanover and Clementine Dream have a chance too. It'll be interesting." Of course, Time To Quit first needs to get through this week. Mark Harder's Clementine Dream is the 5-2 second choice in the second Singer division, starting from post two with driver Scott Zeron, and Ross Croghan's Cajole Hanover is 5-1 from post five with driver David Miller. Time To Quit, a son of stallion Chocolatier out of the mare Lovable Truth, won the $46,500 Super Bowl Series final by 1-3/4 lengths over Clementine Dream on Jan. 22, one week after besting Cajole Hanover by a nose in the second round. "He's been really good and he'll be first-time Lasix this week, so that should help too," Gingras said. "He can carry his speed pretty well. He's been on the front a lot so far this year, but he doesn't need to be there. He can do it any way; he's a big, strong horse." In the first division of the Singer, Gingras drives Burke-trained You Rock My World. The horse starts from post one and is joined by entry mate Cocotier, driven by Zeron, at 10-1 on the morning line. You Rock My World, a 4-year-old gelding, won one of 19 starts last season, but finished the year by hitting the board in three consecutive conditioned races. He won a conditioned race in 1:57 at the Meadowlands on Feb. 6, but finished seventh in his first round of the Singer after leading the field to the opening quarter in :27.1. "It was too much early, a little more than he could handle," Gingras said. "But he's good to drive and good gaited." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
2013 was a dynamic year for super horse Captaintreacherous and his trainer Tony Alagna, winning 13 out of 16 races and bagging over $2,000,000 in purse money. It was truly an unbelievable season that saw the 3 year old son of Somebeachsomewhere travel throughout the continent, winning at Mohawk Racetrack in Canada and at Balmoral Park, Pocono Downs, The Red Mile, Hoosier Park, Tioga Downs and The Meadowlands in the USA. After a well deserved break, the 4-year-old Captaintreacherous returned home to Tony Alagna’s farm at the end of January, in anticipation of a great 2014 season. Will Captaintreacherous, driven by Tim Tetrick, win another $2,000,000 in 2014? That’s tough to predict, but even if Captaintreacherous won half that amount, it would be still be an unbelievable achievement which rarely happens. Captaintreacherous is the Lebron James of horse racing, all they do is win. Trainer Tony Alagna, (Anthony P. Alagna is his full name), has been working with horses his entire life. Tony would help his family after school, on weekends and during the summer when he wasn’t in school. Ever since Tony can remember, his dream was to run his own stable and have a fleet of world class horses. With the wonderful success of 2013, it’s interesting how some in the industry welcome him as a new comer when he’s been here all along. Tony views that opinion as odd and explains, “People view you as you’re an overnight sensation when you’ve been in the business your whole life. My parents trained horses when I was a kid, my mom still trains in Chicago.” “Sometimes people are surprised of the success I’ve had in the last four years on my own…. It’s hasn’t been a four year plan, it’s been a lifetime of work and goals to get to this part.” says Tony. “I like to tell people I’m the oldest new comer around.” Prior to running his own operation, Tony trained horses for other stables for 16 years, including working for Irv Miller and Fox Valley Standardbreds. “It’s been a lifetime of being around the horses and learning to get to the stage I am at now.” Tony admits. When it comes to a horse’s personality, they’re just like humans, each one is unique. Tony says “They’re like kids, each one has their own learning curve”. As to what it was like when Captaintreacherous joined Alagna Stables and how his learning curve was, Tony said “…he’s really an easy horse who makes us look good.” “He’s very schedule orientated” Tony says. “During the racing season he doesn’t get any days off, we jog him every day. He’s very simple, when he’s done he is ready for lunch. For what he likes to do, he is very ritual like. He is what the doctor ordered, as far as we are concerned, being the first great son of Somebeachsomewhere.” Once Tony and the ownership group saw his pedigree, it was love at first sight. “We only looked at the horse because it was the pedigree we loved. Secondly, when we saw the horse, he was the complete package…. He’s a great individual and a great athlete.” Tony says. Once they brought him back to the farm and turned him out Tony admits “…he had a presence about him. It was something special from the get-go. Whenever he stopped, he would look at you. Like he was looking for you and you weren’t looking for him. There is just a special presence with a great horse. We spent a lot of money, with the hope of, if he showed up the possibilities would be endless and we are blessed it turned out that way.” With a well deserved vacation over, it’s time to get back to the fun of racing. For 2014, Captaintreacherous will not be ready to race until June and as for any races Tony and the ownership are looking to enter Captaintreacherous, it is too soon to say. Tony points out what they’re going to do and states, “Like we did last year, we are going to pick and choose our spots. We haven’t marked down any dates; we want to try (and) win major stake races and continue to add to his already strong resume.” Captaintreacherous came back to Alagna stables “much bigger and stronger.” according to Tony. “He really filled out and he’s more mature…. We had to let out his harness, it’s much bigger than last year’s. He’s a very entertaining horse, that’s one of the reasons why we did the stall camera. I told everybody that this horse is very entertaining during the day…. He’s so playful it’s a lot of fun for people to watch. I know some people who cannot believe his antics throughout the day.” As to who can challenge Captaintreacherous this season, there are a few Tony thinks can have a breakout year which should make this year quite intriguing. Tony notes, “There are a lot of great horses coming back this year. Foiled Again is coming back and (trainer) Ron Burke has some great horses coming back, there’s Sweet Lou…. There is plenty of competition, we hope our horse is going to continue to do the work he’s done and do us proud.” Tony is proud of Captaintreacherous and hopes to one day guide the sons and daughters of Captaintreacherous to the same level of success. There is still a lot of racing to do, but Tony being one for charting things out, has already given some thought as to which mares he would like to breed with Captaintreacherous. “My long term goal with this horse is, someday train Captaintreacherous’ sons and daughters out of fillies I have in the barn right now. I don’t feel like we are setting up ourselves for having 2 or 3 years of success, rather hoping we set up ourselves for 10 years of success. We bought fillies last year and bought fillies this year, with Captaintreacherous in mind as the stallion. American Ideal and Western Ideal fillies, we think, will compliment Captaintreacherous with him being from Somebeachsomewhere.” Getting to know Tony was great. Tony considers his entire home to be his man cave! He has everything spread out so it’s all accessible at any time for convenience. Since Tony travels extensively throughout the racing season, his form of unwinding is coming home to relax. He does enjoy going to New York City to watch a show, but other than that Tony considers himself very low key. For fans, Tony wants to help promote the sport and deliver top class entertainment. Tony asserts, “It’s our responsibility as trainers, owners and drivers to do our part to keep the positive flow going. We need to make ourselves more accessible to the fans, I think we need to bring down all the stereo types we have within the industry. There are so many things we need to try do to bring the fans back to the track because there’s more competition… we need to make it family orientated, where it’s a fun night out and not just about gambling.” It’s thanks to people like Tony Alagna, Tim Tetrick, Mike Hamilton and Scott Zeron that fans can continue to enjoy great experiences at the races. by Roderick Balgobin for the Supernova Sports Club www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: @ScSupernova
TORONTO, January 27 - While KG Dragonator and Ontario Success received the bulk of support from the betting public in the $34,700 final of the Snowshoe Series final on Monday at Woodbine, it was Littlebitaclass who edged his rivals at 5-1 for driver Scott Zeron. Zeron guided the son of Santanna Blue Chip into the three-hole in the early stages as Zark (Doug McNair) was first to the front well before the opening station in :27.3. Zark would continue to provide honest fractions throughout the mile as he led past the half in :55.4. Brother John (Sylvain Filion) was In The Pocket, but began to fade as Littlebitaclass angled to the outside to march past that rival and was able to slide into the pocket behind Zark past three-quarters in a quick 1:23.3. Turning for home, the tempo-setter began to fade as Littlebitaclass took over command, but KG Dragonator (Phil Hudon) was using his patented closing kick as he was eating up racetrack from the back field. Littlebitaclass continued to lead in deep stretch and fended off a late challenge from KG Dragonator to score the narrow win in 1:54.3. Ontario Success (Chris Christoforou), who captured both preliminary legs, came from well off-the-pace and settled for third. Trained by David Menary for owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Howard Taylor, Littlebitaclass increased his bankroll to $44,475. The sophomore gelding has a 7-1-0 record from 10 career starts. The bay captured his division in the opening round of the series before finishing fourth in the second leg. He paid $13.10 to win. The Snowshoe Series was for three- and four-year-old cold and gelding pacers, who are non-winners of two races or $20,000 lifetime as of November 30, 2013. by Greg Gangle for WEG
Sent postward at odds of 12-1, the class-climbing Lucky Terror upset the popular millionaire, Mystician, in a final quarter sprint to take the top conditioned class at Woodbine Racetrack on a cold Saturday night. With Jack Moiseyev catch-driving, Lucky Terror prevailed by a nose in the 10th race for non-winners of $28,000 in the last five starts (also eligible non-winners of $175,000 lifetime). Mckinney (Sylvain Filion) set up shop on the front-end after leaving from post three and led the field of seven through fractions of :27.1, :55.3 and 1:24.2. Meanwhile, Lucky Terror moved underway from fifth at the half with 3-5 favourite Mystician (Scott Zeron) following his cover. Lucky Terror battled the leader around the final turn, eventually edging by, while Jeff Gillis trainee Mystician launched his late attack to make it into the win photo in a 1:52.3 mile. Lucky Terror paid $26.40 to win. Third-place honours went to Mckinney, who held off Frankies Dragon (Chris Christoforou) and Grande Seelster (Randy Waples) over a length and a half behind. Lucky Terror is trained by Shaun McDonald and owned by Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph-Eramosa, Ont. and Leonard Christopher of Acton, Ont. The win was the seven-year-old Western Terror gelding's 28th lifetime and the lion's share of the $28,000 purse lifted his career bankroll to $254,683. Lucky Terror pulled off the biggest upset on the 12-race card, which only saw three post-time favourites make it to the winner's circle. The fastest mile of the -10 degree night was 1:51.4, posted by post 10 starter Alexas Jackpot ($18.10) and Jonathan Drury in the fourth race for conditioner Marty Fine. The winner upset another popular Gillis-trained and Zeron-driven starter, Speed Again, who cut fractions of :26.2, :55, and 1:23 from post nine. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack. Videos of all races are attached. Printed with permission of Standardbred Canada
OK…we made up for prior losses last week picking four of seven winners and hitting three cold exactas. Now that we are back on a roll it is time to rally with some long shots. Weather could be a big factor so make sure to take that into account before wagering. This weekend we have seven races spanning the East with three at Woodbine, three at Yonkers and one at Pompano. No Meadowlands until after the Super Bowl. Good luck! $10,000 Pace Open Handicap Pompano Park 3rd race Saturday – With Prairie Jaguar not in the race it becomes much more competitive. I think Northern Companion, despite being handicapped with the outside post eight is the horse to beat in here. Even being 0 for 3 in 2014 is not a factor as this one is rarely ever out of the money. He has great closing speed, can go first-over and with any live cover will be flying at the end of the mile. Use Thebestofjoel and Electric Lad in exotic plays. $20,000 Trot F/M NW/$150,000 Life Woodbine 3rd race Saturday – Two races in a row I am trying my luck with horses in the eight-hole. Samira Hanover came up short with not much trot last week which was totally uncharacteristic of her. Gets Scott Zeron in the sulky and should be able to return to her winning ways. Use Magic Will Work and Standing My Ground in exotic plays. $33,000 Pace Open Handicap Yonkers Raceway 6th race Saturday - Both Bettor’s Edge and Money Twitch A were sharp winners in their last start but because they have drawn posts 8 and 7 respectively I am going with another return winner in Lumberjack Willie. Won in this class last out off perfect two-hole trip. May not have good inside post like last week but prior starts show he has a knack for working out trips and winning. Use Bettor’s Edge and Money Twitch A in exotic plays. $22,000 Pace NW/$18,000 Last 5 Starts Woodbine 6th race Saturday – I like his name, I really like his morning line odds and I like that fact that he is moving up in class again after two straight wins. Bold Decision has the rail in a very tough field but last two starts in tough conditions he just goes to the front and wins for fun. Will be high in odds but either cuts the mile again or gets great cover to win off of. Use Thorn In Your Side and Wazzup Wazzup in exotic plays. $22,000 Pace NW/$32,000 Last 6 Starts Yonkers Raceway 8th race Saturday – I really like it that Yonkers puts on extra distance races as it mixes it up and makes for tougher handicapping. Tonight we have two return winners from 1 1/16 mile races that I think shows they could be a touch better than the morning line says. I like Life Up Front who has won his last two starts at extra distances and can win from either on or off the pace and shows he can win at a mile too. Use Escape The News and Nob Hill High in exotic plays. $28,000 Pace NW/$28,000 Last 5 Starts Woodbine 10th race Saturday – After decent try in Preferred class last week, Grande Seelster drops and will hopefully pop as he did two starts back. He won then on the front end from post seven with ease. Gets Randy Waples in the bike as Sylvain Filion has his own horse in the race who is also a contender. Use Mystician and McKinney in exotic plays. $20,000 Pace N/W $25,000 Last 6 Starts Yonkers Raceway 11th race Saturday – Returning from a brief layoff, Glass Prince was solid in his qualifying race. He is leaving the claiming ranks to go into this Conditional event, which is actually moving up in class but I think from an inside post he shows he can get the job done even if he has to grind it out. Use Shortstacked and Hypnotist in exotic plays.
He had to work a bit harder this time, but Time To Quit was victorious once again, winning his division of the second round of the Super Bowl series by a hard-fought nose over Cajole Hanover in 1:55.1 at the Meadowlands Thursday night. Despite being labeled as the "horse to beat" in the series, Time To Quit escaped as the second choice in the wagering at 2-1. Cajole Hanover received all the late attention at the windows, coming off a trip that saw him make up a ton of ground following a break. The two favorites trotted to the wire together, with Time To Quit getting his nose on the wire first for the tandem of Yannick Gingras and Ron Burke. Time To Quit is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Phillip Collura. Clementine Dream sporting several equipment changes, turned a live cover trip into a fairly easy win in his Super Bowl division in 1:55.2 for Scott Zeron, who scored a double on the card. Clementine Dream joins Time To Quit, Donatella Hanover (who skipped round 2), Home Turf and Ray Hall has winners in the first two rounds in the Super Bowl. Clementine Dream is owned by Racing Team of America and Brian Paquet. The Super Bowl Final will be contested on Wednesday, January 22nd, which is the final night of live racing before the NFL Super Bowl break. The biggest story of the night may have been the on-track handle which soared 40-percent over this same Thursday in 2013. Combined with an increase in export as well, the total handle of $2,069,125 was a near 10-percent increase over that same card. Racing resumes on Friday, with first post time at 7:15 P.M. by Darin Zoccali for The Meadowlands
TORONTO, December 28 - Sylvain Filion and Richard Moreau retained their titles as Woodbine Entertainment Group's (WEG) leading harness racing driver and trainer, respectively, after the 2013 Standardbred racing season came to a close Saturday night at Woodbine. Filion finished with 248 wins at Woodbine and Mohawk Racetracks, five in front of Scott Zeron, who had 243 victories, while Jody Jamieson was third with 213, including a pair on the final night. Moreau collected his third WEG training title after winning 126 races. Jeff Gillis had 81 wins, while Carmen Auciello wound up third with 76 victories. Filion, who lives in Milton, had to share his first WEG driver championship with Jody Jamieson in 2012, each with 284 wins. But this year he stands alone. "This past year has been a memorable one for me both on and off the track," said Filion. "I drove many terrific horses and am very thankful for the opportunity. Winning with Boomboom Ballykeel (in the $683,000 Metro Pace for trainer Richard Moreau) was certainly unexpected and that was a great thrill. Off the track, my wife and I adopted a baby and that's something very special." The 44-year-old Filion, who also led all drivers in purse earnings on the WEG circuit with over $5.3 million, is seeking a second consecutive O'Brien Award as Canada's Top Driver, an honour he earned for the first time for his accomplishments last year. The 49-year-old Moreau, who captured his first WEG title in 2010, also led all trainers in purse earnings with over $2.5 million. The Puslinch, Ontario resident is an O'Brien Award finalist for Canada's Trainer of the Year. Live racing returns to Woodbine on Monday, January 6 and continues on a three-day-a-week schedule (Monday, Friday and Saturday). First race post time is 7:25 p.m. Videos of all Saturday night races are attached.
East Rutherford, NJ - Harness racing driver Scott Zeron is starting to catch on, quickly. Each week he is driving with more confidence and winning more races. The 2012 Rising Star Award Winner scored a natural hat trick on the Friday night card at the Meadowlands. The Friday guest on "In The Sulky," Zeron attributed his early season success to the "opportunities trainers are giving him and the confidence they are showing in him." Zeron pointed to Janie Bay's win on a rainy Friday night as the race that has moved him in the right direction. While Zeron was unable to win with that mare again, it didn't stop him from winning three other races on the card. He scored from well off the pace with Eighthunrdollarbill in the featured $25,000 A-1 Pace for Fillies and Mares for owners J. Darrow and Ron Broadstone and trainer Andrew Harris. Zeron came back the very next race, going wire to wire in a sharp 1:52.4 score with the B-1 trotter Il Mago for Mark Harder and the Chris Alexander Stables Incorporated. Zeron then avenged a tough loss last week for Big McDeal, winning the B-1 Pace for fillies and mares in a three horse blanket photo finish in 1:52.3 for Larry Remmen and owner Bradley Grant. Tonight's effort put Zeron in the top-5 in the driver standings. Not to be out-done, Yannick Gingras also won three consecutive races on the card, ironically all from post position 10 with Wednesdays Whim, Four Starz Speed and Sarandon Blue Chip. Corey Callahan and Dave Miller had driving doubles as well. For the first time the Meadowlands was able to gauge performance of total handle, by comparing it to a night that the track raced the previous year. The total handle of $2,812,167 was an increase of $121,060 from the $2,691,107 wagered on this same Friday in 2012, which happened to be opening night of the 2012-2013 Winter Meet. Racing resumes Saturday night with first post time at 7:15 P.M. Rachel Ryan
On Wednesday, December 18, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 8, 2014. This year marks the 25th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Nine past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Foiled Again, I Luv The Nitelife, Intimidate, Mister Herbie, Sylvain Filion, Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms. Sylvain Filion will defend the Driver of the Year title against first-time nominee Doug McNair. Filion, 44, of Milton, ON, is currently the leading money winning driver on the WEG circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk and Woodbine. With 281 victories, he is closing in on Scott Zeron for the title as WEG’s top dash winning driver. He has a good shot of achieving that as Zeron has moved to The Meadowlands. A career winner of 7,477 races, Filion recently surpassed $6 million in earnings in 2013 in addition to going over $80 million in his career. He is also the regular driver for O’Brien finalist, Intimidate. Doug McNair, 24, of Guelph, ON, is enjoying a productive year as he’s driven 292 winners to go along with $5.6 million in purse earnings, his second best year on record ever for money. McNair was the regular driver for O’Brien finalists Precocious Beauty and Love Canal. There will be a new name beside the Trainer of the Year category as Gregg McNair and Richard Moreau are looking for their first National title. McNair, 52, of Guelph, ON, is en route to a career year and sits second in the Canadian trainer earnings standings. McNair conditions O’Brien finalist Precocious Beauty and to date has trained 109 winners and horses to $3.1 million in purse earnings. Moreau, 49, of Puslinch, ON, was a finalist in this category last year. The conditioner has been a mainstay on the WEG circuit for the last decade. He leads the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Kelly Hoerdt, 47, of Beaumont, AB, receives his third nomination for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship and he is up against first time nominee Paul MacKenzie. Kelly Hoerdt is a successful horsemen who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. He’s been training in Alberta on and off for 25 years. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in earnings at Alberta Downs this year. He’s currently in the top five trainers at Northlands for both wins and money and sits in sixth at Northlands in the driving charts. Hoerdt has 66 wins and $487,528 in earnings as a driver and 81 wins and $616,517 as a trainer. Paul MacKenzie, 52, of Puslinch, ON, has been driving and training for over 35 years and has managed to be one of the top B circuit drivers for decades. The Charlottetown native is the all time leader in driving wins at Flamboro Downs. In 2013 he was the third leading dash winner at Grand River and in the top 10 drivers at Flamboro. Paul drove 169 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $1 million in 2013. He didn’t focus much on training. Unfortunately MacKenzie suffered some injuries at Grand River in late October and has not driven since. Precocious Beauty and Shes Da Bomb, both sired by Art Major, are the finalists in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly category. Precocious Beauty won 7 of 11 races, $462,912 and took a mark of 1:50.1 which happened to tie a World Record for the mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the $451,000 Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. Shes Da Bomb had 5 wins in 8 starts and earnings of $216,056. She paced to her season’s record of 1:50.3 at The Red Mile. Both fillies captured divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and Champlain at Mohawk. Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou didn’t battle each other much on the racetrack but the two will vie for the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt title. Arthur Blue Chip scored 6 wins in 11 starts, bankrolled $400,120 and took a mark of 1:51.2 in an elimination of the Metro at Mohawk before being scratched from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya. Luck Be Withyou’s victory in the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was the highlight of a 40 year partnership between owner John Craig and trainer Bill Cass. Luck Be Withyou had 5 wins in 11 races and $363,402 in purse earnings. He took a mark of 1:50 in an elimination of the Breeders Crown, and also scored a victory in a division of the Champlain at Mohawk. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore and looks to add another O’Brien to her trophy case. She is up against Love Canal in the three-year-old pacing filly division. I Luv The Nitelife boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner-up finish in the American National. Love Canal put together a record of 4-3-1 in 13 races, earned $344,693 and took a mark of 1:50.1 at Mohawk in the Canadian Breeders Championship one week after her win in the elimination. She also had victories in the final of the SBOA Stake and an Ontario Sires Stakes event. Sunshine Beach and Vegas Vacation are finalists in the sophomore pacing colt category. Sunshine Beach hit for 16 top three finishes, including eight wins in 20 starts for earnings of $913,702. He defeated Captaintreacherous in the Battle of the Brandywine in a 1:47.4 world record mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August and was a runner-up to the division leader in the Breeders Crown. He was also victorious in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Progress Pace. Vegas Vacation put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 in 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses with major wins in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Empire Breeders Classic, Simcoe Stakes, Little Brown Jug and the Matron Stakes. He was also a close runner-up in the Hempt Memorial, the Tattersalls Pace and the Adios. Anndrovette is looking to defend her crown as Canada’s Older Pacing Mare against the talented Rocklamation. Anndrovette is looking for her third consecutive trophy as the country’s top pacing mare following a season where she scored 7 wins and bankrolled $564,827. She took a mark of 1:48 at Mohawk in the Roses Are Red Final -- a Canadian record -- and also posted a win in the elimination. She won three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, an elimination of the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. Rocklamation won 5 of 21 races and earned $546,217 on the season while posting a mark of 1:49.3 in the Golden Girls at The Meadowlands. She won two legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and captured the Milton Stakes at Mohawk. A Rocknroll Dance and Foiled Again are the Older Pacing Horse finalists. Multiple World Champion A Rocknroll Dance was the first horse in harness racing history to pace three consecutive sub-1:48 wins. Those scores came this year in an invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1:47.4f) and in the elimination and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.3-1:47.2). He established World Records as a four-year-old on both five-eighths and half-mile tracks. His 1:49.1 world mark on a half was taken winning the Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield over Foiled Again, and his 1:47.4 world mark on a five-eighths came in an invitational race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He defeated the best older pacers of the year in winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk in track and Canadian record time. A Rocknroll Dance has been retired from racing and will begin his stud career in 2014 at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final, for his third straight million-dollar campaign. Following Foiled Again's final start of the year, trainer Ron Burke noted that the iron tough pacer has exceeded his expectations with all of his accomplishments. He earned $1.4 million on the year, while surpassing the $6 million career marker and closed the season sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at The Meadowlands. Miss Aultsville and Riveting Rosie are nominees in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Miss Aultsville established a stakes, track and Canadian record of 1:59.2 for two-year-old trotting fillies on a half-mile track in an Ontario Sires Stakes event, one of her two season wins. She earned just over $151,000 on the season. Riveting Rosie closed out her 2013 campaign with six wins, one second and one third in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Riveting Rosie’s major victories were the Peaceful Way Final, The Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain. Father Patrick and Muscle Matters will face off in the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division. Father Patrick topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Stakes. Muscle Matters was lightly raced but earned $218,800 in 6 starts, half of which he won. He took his mark of 1:55.4 in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. Bee A Magician, who was perfect in her 2013 season, is up against Motown Muscle in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly division. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her 2013 races and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore season. The invincible filly took a mark of 1:51 at The Meadowlands and won the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Motown Muscle enjoyed a productive 2013 campaign, hitting for 6 wins in 14 races and $331,423 in purse money. She took a mark of 1:53.4 at Mohawk and racked up wins in a division of the Casual Breeze, Canadian Breeders Championship elimination and final, and several Ontario Sires Stakes events. Flanagan Memory and Your So Vain are the sophomore trotting colt nominees. Flanagan Memory won seven of 11 races for $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Your So Vain was a winner of 5 of 13 and $382,105. He posted a mark of 1:52.4 in winning an elimination of the Canadian Trotting Classic. He also added wins in the Simcoe Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes, and a heat of the Kentucky Futurity to his resume. Bax Of Life and Maven are the Older Trotting Mare finalists. Bax of Life won 4 of 23 races and earned just over $155,000. She took a mark of 1:52.2 at The Red Mile. She was a nose winner in a Breeders Crown elimination and second in the Miss Versatility. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She swept the Miss Versatility Trotting Series including a 1:51.4 World Record in the final at Delaware. She also added wins in an elimination and the final of the Armbro Flight and Allerage to her credentials. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her coffers. Intimidate and Mister Herbie are the Older Trotting Horse finalists. Both horses were O’Brien winners in 2012 – Intimidate as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and Mister Herbie as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse. Intimidate stepped up to the Older Trotting Horse ranks to win 7 of 9 on the year and bank $176,000. He won several Preferred events and took a mark of 1:51 in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in races including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067. Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms are nominated in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category, and are both previous winners of this award. McIntosh’s 98 starters have accounted for 228 wins and just over $2 million in earnings in 2013, while Seelster-bred horses have posted 254 victories and $2.1 million in purse earnings. In the Future Star Category, the finalists for this first-time award are Travis Cullen and Patrick Shepherd. Horseman Travis Cullen, 21 of Edmonton, AB, closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the last day of racing while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year of over $366,000 in trainer earnings and over $577,000 in driving earnings, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. His 2013 total of 109 training wins in Canada places him fourth among all trainers while his .430 UTRS leads the nation. Patrick Shepherd, 21, of Lynden, ON, trained 112 winners and horses to $542,799 in earnings. His Canadian win total ranks as the third best among all conditioners, as does his .389 training average. One of the 24 horse nominees will be honoured as Canada’s Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Gala on Saturday, February 8, 20114, at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, PE. The complete list of finalists and owners is as follows. 2013 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer Precocious Beauty - owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Shes Da Bomb – owned by F. Bellino And Sons LLC, Bronxville, NY Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Arthur Blue Chip – owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Luck Be Withyou – owned by John H. Craig, North York, ON Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer I Luv The Nitelife - owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Love Canal - owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc – Robert Cooper Stables LLC, Boca Raton, FL - J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer Sunshine Beach - owned by Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc., Hudson- Conrad Leber, Montreal QC – Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB Vegas Vacation – owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON Older Pacing Mare Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Rocklamation - owned by J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY – Stable 45, Boynton Beach, FL- Our Horse Centre Stables, Clifton Park, NY Older Pacing Horse A Rocknroll Dance - owned by A Rocknroll Dance Stable, Wauseon, OH Foiled Again - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL Trotters Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Miss Aultsville - owned by Old Aultsville Stable, Mississauga, ON – Pealer Pen, Camp Hill, PA – John Kopas Stables Ltd. Milton, ON Riveting Rosie - owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Father Patrick - owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Muscle Matters - owned by Nunzio Vena, Bolton – Santo Vena, Brampton – Benoit Baillargeon, Rockwood – Richard Thompson, London, ON Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Motown Muscle - owned by Bet Max Stables Inc., Casco – Benenati Inc., Clinton Twp, MI Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Flanagan Memory - owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Your So Vain – owned by P G Van Camp Stables, Port Perry, ON Older Trotting Mare Bax Of Life – owned by Jerry Duford – Joanne S Wray, Campbellville, ON Maven - owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Judith Farrow, Hemmingford – Luc Blais, Lochaber Ouest, QC Mister Herbie – owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY People Awards O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Paul MacKenzie, Puslinch, ON Armstrong Breeder of the Year Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion, Campbellville, ON Doug McNair, Guelph, ON Trainer of the Year Gregg McNair, Guelph, ON Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB Patrick Shepherd, Lynden, ON
Yannick Gingras hits $100,000,000 in stakes with the first race winner Time To Quit, driving for master trainer Ron Burke. More on this amazing feat tomorrow. Sweet Justice might just be the next star for trainer Bruce Saunders and he didn't break the bank. The three year old gelded son of Justice Hall went through the sales ring at The Harrisburg Mixed Sale as Hip No. 2011. He left a $25,000 purchase by Bruce Saunders for M&M Harness Racing Since the sale, Sweet Justice has done nothing but win, literally. He has made three starts at The Meadowlands, all of them wins, each time moving up the class ladder. Tonight, he defeated older horses for the first time in an incredibly fast 1:52 with Dave Miller in the bike. Since the sale, Sweet Justice has earned $23,000 in 3 starts. It is safe to say he is well on his way to being a bargain. The human star of the night was Ron Pierce, who grabbed four wins on his way to a vacation in Montana, including the nightcap, scoring at 15-1 with Lexus Artist for trainer Jim Clouser. Scott Zeron's arrow continues to be pointed upward as he scored another driving double, including a 40-1 shocker with Kilted Pride for trainer Carmen Auciello, the second time that tandem has scored this meet. It was also the second time Zeron didn't know he won, as he headed back to the paddock, but had to turn around and get his picture taken. Andy Miller was a two-race winner as well. Handle was up again over the last time The Meadowlands raced on this date in 2010. The total handle showed an increase of 34-percent which is comparable to the increases being realized all season. In addition, the live handle was up 29-percent over that same race day in 2010. Racing is scheduled to return Saturday at 7:15 P.M., but we will keep our customers updated based on the weather. Rachel Ryan
The $126,000 Cleveland Classic, one of Northfield Park's premier races, is set for Saturday, December 14, 2013. The final open stakes event on this year's national harness racing calendar, the Classic always draws an impressive slate of equine athletes as well as North America's top drivers. This year is no exception. 1 - ONLY THE LONELY - This son of Western Ideal has lifetime earnings of $123,233 and a lifetime mark of 1:50.1 (M1). The Nick Surick trainee was introduced to Lasix in his most recent start where he posted a 1:54.3 gate to wire victory at Yonkers Raceway. That is one of six career victories for the sophomore colt. He is owned by the partnership of JL Benson Stables, KDM Stables and Nick Surick. Aaron Merriman has been named to drive and carries a 10-1 morning-line. 2 - TWILIGHT BONFIRE - Has been named the 5-2 morning-line favorite in this year's event. This colt has seven career wins to his credit and has won two of his last three races including a 1:51.4 victory in the $48,878 Reynolds Stake and the Meadowlands. Rich Gillock traines the son of The Panderosa for owner Robert Key. This horse enters with earnings of $891,090 and a lifetime best of 1:50.1 (Mea 5/8). His biggest payday came in a place finish in the $980,000 North America Cup at Woodbine in June. Tony Hall will be in town to drive. 3- DEDI'S DRAGON - One of two horses in this race trained by Ronald Burke. This one enters for the owning partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Phillip Collura and Tracy Hendler. Dedi's Dragon has career earnings of $599,959 and a lifetime mark of 1:50.4 (HoP 7/8). He has eight career wins including a win over Captaintreacherous last month in the $252,000 Monument Circle Stake at Hoosier Park. Harness racing's all-time winningest driver, Dave Palone, has been named to drive and carries a 3-1 morning-line. 4 - WORD POWER - Scott Zeron will make his Northfield Park driving debut aboard this 4-1 starter. Word Power is conditioned by Larry Remmen for owner Bradley Grant. He has seven career wins, a career best of 1:49.4 (M1) and earnings of $372,284. He has received a short rest after his win in the $176,000 Windy City Pace at Maywood Park and enters off of a 1:53.4 qualifying effort at the Meadowlands, where he paced home in :26.4. 5 - APPRENTICE HANOVER - One of two horses that have been entered for owner Bradley Grant. This one is trained by Benjamin Wallace. This son of Somebeachsomewhere enters this race off of two consecutive victories at Woodbine Racetrack. He has earned $432,205 in nine lifetime wins and has a lifetime mark of 1:49.4 (Mea 5/8). Canadian star, Jody Jamieson is named to pilot this 6-1 morning-line. 6 - GOOD DAY MATE - Completes the field for this year's Cleveland Classic. This Christian Cullen colt is one of two entered by Ronald Burke. This one is owned by the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, J&T Silva Stables, Stable 45 and Chuck Pompey. Good Day Mate has career earnings of $306,363 and sports the fastest mark in the race, 1:49.3 (PcD 5/8). This seven-time career winner receives the driving services of Buckeye native Brett Miller and holds a 12-1 morning-line. The $126,000 Cleveland Classic has been slated as Saturday's eleventh race and has an approximate post time of 10:45 p.m. The stakes event will be the fourth leg of the Pick-4 with a guaranteed pool of $10,000 and a reduced takeout rate of just 14%. The 2013 $126,000 Cleveland Classic Field: Post Horse Trainer Driver M/L 1 Only The Lonely Aaron Merriman Nick Surick 10-1 2 Twilight Bonfire Tony Hall Rich Gillock 5-2 3 Dedi's Dragon Dave Palone Ron Burke 3-1 4 Word Power Scott Zeron Larry Remmen 4-1 5 Apprentice Hanover Jody Jamieson Benjamin Wallace 6-1 6 Good Day Mate Brett Miller Ron Burke 12-1 Southbound wins at Northfield Wednesday Southbound paced home for his third straight win Wednesday (December 11) in Northfield Park’s eleventh race. The four year-old is owned by Jeffrey Hays and trained by Brett Landis. Keith Kash Jr. Was aboard for the winning drive. Southbound started from post four and was fourth through an initial quarter of :28.3. Kash brushed the gelding to the lead in the second quarter and never looked back, setting fractions of :58.2, 1:28 and 1:57.4. Southbound posted a 4-length margin of victory over his closest competitor, Kilo Shark (Josh Sutton). Wednesday’s triumph was the eighth career success for Southbound (Southsider-No Trouble-Nobleland Sam) and increased his lifetime earnings to $28,694. He was heavily favored and returned $3.00 to win. by Ayers Ratliff for Northfield Park
Word Power picked up his first stakes win of the season last time out and hopes to make it two in a row to finish the campaign when he faces five foes in Saturday's $126,000 Cleveland Classic for 3-year-old pacers at Northfield Park in Ohio. Trained by Larry Remmen for owner Bradley Grant, Word Power won the $176,000 Windy City Pace on Nov. 15 at Maywood Park. The colt, second by a neck to Captaintreacherous in the Cane Pace and third in the Adios, has won seven of 17 starts and earned $372,284 this year. "He deserves it," Remmen said. "He's missed a few by a small part, but that happens. I thought he was going to go by in the Cane, but it wasn't meant to be. But at Maywood he was very good. He seems like he's in good form right now." Word Power will start the Cleveland Classic from post four with driver Scott Zeron, who was in the sulky for the Windy City Pace score, and is 4-1 on the morning line. Word Power prepped for the Cleveland Classic by winning a qualifier in 1:53.4 on Dec. 6 at the Meadowlands. The remainder of the Cleveland Classic field includes stakes-winners Dedi's Dragon and Twilight Bonfire along with Apprentice Hanover, Good Day Mate and Only The Lonely. Twilight Bonfire, who won the Reynolds Stakes and was second in the North America Cup and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, will start from post two with driver Tony Hall and is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Dedi's Dragon, who won the Monument Circle and will start from post three with driver Dave Palone, is the 3-1 second choice. Apprentice Hanover also is owned by Grant. "It's pretty competitive for a six-horse field," Remmen said. "It's sure not going to be a walk in the park. Anyone with the right luck can win that race." Word Power, a son of stallion Western Ideal out of the mare Lush Limbaugh, sold for $13,000 at the 2011 Lexington Selected Sale. He is a three-quarter brother to stakes-winner Yankee Lariat and his dam is a three-quarter sister to $2-million-earner Camtastic. Unraced at age 2 because of health issues, Word Power has earned a check in all but three races this year. He was seventh in the New Jersey Classic and eighth in the Messenger Stakes. (His other miss came when he made an interference break in his elimination of the Little Brown Jug.) "I was disappointed with the New Jersey Classic and Messenger, but every other race he showed up," Remmen said. "After this race we'll give him some time off and decide on the plans for next year." A $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 has been added to Saturday's card. The Pick-4 begins in the eighth race and will conclude with the Cleveland Classic. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the night's first race. Following is the Cleveland Classic field with listed drivers and trainers (and morning line odds): 1. Only The Lonely, Aaron Merriman, Nick Surick (10-1); 2. Twilight Bonfire, Tony Hall, Rich Gillock (5-2); 3. Dedi's Dragon, Dave Palone, Ron Burke (3-1); 4. Word Power, Scott Zeron, Larry Remmen (4-1); 5. Apprentice Hanover, Jody Jamieson, Ben Wallace (6-1); 6. Good Day Mate, Brett Miller, Burke (12-1). by Ken Weingardner for Harness Racing Communications
Twilight Bonfire has drawn post 2 in Saturday's (December 14) $126,000 Cleveland Classic and has been named the 5-2 morning-line favorite by Northfield Park Executive VP/Director of Racing Dave Bianconi. The Cleveland Classic is the final stakes event of 2013 and features six of the best three year-olds pacers and some of the top drivers in the sport. The event is slated as the 11 race on Northfield's Saturday program and carries an approximate post time of 10:45 p.m. A $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 has been added to the evening's card. Saturday's Pick-4 begins in the eighth race and will conclude with the Cleveland Classic. First race post time is 6:30 p.m. The 2013 $126,000 Cleveland Classic field: Horse Driver Trainer M/L 1-Only The Lonely Dr. Aaron Merriman Tr. Nick Surick 10-1 2-Twilight Bonfire Dr. Tony Hall Tr. Rich Gillock 5-2 3-Dedi's Dragon Dr. Dave Palone Tr. Ron Burke 3-1 4-Word Power Dr. Scott Zeron Tr. Larry Remmen 4-1 5-Apprentice Hanover Dr. Jody Jamieson Tr. Benjamin Wallace 6-1 6-Good Day Mate Dr. Brett Miller Tr. Ron Burke 12-1 By Ayers Ratliff for Northfield Park
It was old hat for Dave Miller, as he found his way to the winners circle three times Friday night at the Meadowlands. But for Scott Zeron, it was a different story. After being shut out in his first three nights driving at the Meadowlands, Zeron broke through in a big way as he scored a driving double. Zeron put a perfect drive on Janie Bay in the second race, parlaying a second over trip into a dominant victory. "I guess a lot of people thought I would just pick up here where I left off in Canada," said Zeron in a post-race interview. "These guys are the best in the world and I am not going to get the best horses right away, but I am learning and I knew I had a big shot in this race, this is a nice mare." Zeron came back in the featured $20,000 Trot in race 7 as he steered the classy Appomattox to an off the pace win in a very competitive field. Zeron is starting to catch on at the Meadowlands, as he has 23 drives in the 26 races this weekend in East Rutherford. Zeron was joined by Trace Tetrick, who out-dueled older brother Tim in race 1, to earn his first Meadowlands victory with Acadia As. Tim Tetrick and Yannick Gingras added driving doubles as well. All three featured guaranteed pools at the Meadowlands required a signature as the Pick Five and both Pick Four's paid large dividends. The Pick 5 returned $1,580.65 for the $.50 minimum, the Early Pick 4 yielded a $3,632.80 return for a $1 ticket, while the Late Pick 4 returned $2,638.40 for the $1 minimum play. Compared to the last time this Friday was raced in 2010, total handle reflected a 32-percent increase, which remained in-line with the gains the Meadowlands has been realizing all season. Racing returns to the Meadowlands Saturday night with a 13-race card getting underway at 7:15 P.M.
Shebestingin and driver David Miller had little trouble holding off challenger Charisma Hanover (Yannick Gingras) in scoring a 1:50 victory to capture the $167,000 Nadia Lobell Pace for three-year-old fillies at the Meadowlands Saturday. Aunt Caroline (Scott Zeron) was first to show out of the gate and then stung Somwherovrarainbow (Brian Sears) who finally made it to the lead at the opening quarter mile in :27. Then it was Miller and Shebestingin coming after the race leaders first-over and she was able to clear to the lead by the half mile marker in :55.2. In the backstretch was when Gingras started up first-over with Charisma Hanover and she caught up with the leaders at the three-quarters in 1:23.1. But as they straighten out to come down the stretch it was all Shebestingin as Charisma Hanover could not keep up. Shebestingin coasted to the wire winning by two and three-quarter lengths over UF Dragon Queen (Tim Tetrick) with Somwherovrarainbow grabbing third place. "Over the year we have had our troubles," Miller said. "Her last few starts she has behaved really well. She is actually maturing into a horse that will be in the winner's circle a lot." It was the Third Straight win and 12th victory on the year for the daughter of Bettor's Delight. Trained by Joe Holloway and co-owned by Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz and L & L Devisser, LLC, Shebestingin ends her 2013 season with earnings of $638,126. "When she warmed up tonight she was bucking and playing," said trainer Joe Holloway, who also trains third place finisher Somwherovrarainbow. "She was really feeling good. They will both be back next year and should really be good." By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com