The breeders involved in harness racing in Australasia have access in 2014 to the leading sires in the world but just three North American sires continue to dominate our breeding scene at the moment and they are Art Major, Bettor's Delight and Mach Three. Australia Art Major stands in Australia and is completely dominant on the stakes money charts in that country due in no small part to the large numerical advantage he holds over his two main opponents. The charts below show quite clearly the advantage he has. Art Major 4 year olds - 167 3 year olds - 129 2 year olds - 153 Bettors Delight 4 year olds - 56 3 year olds - 84 2 year olds - 74 Mach Three 4 year olds - 53 3 year olds - 33 2 year olds - 49 As you can see Art Major has a huge advantage and thats what you see every time you go to the track. You see Art Majors everywhere and that reinforces the message that he is on top. But the big numbers are only important if the stallion can deliver elite level racehorses and Art Major can do that in spades as he has shown over many years. New Zealand Skip across the Tasman to the home of both Bettors Delight and Mach Three and you get a completely different picture, again entirely due to foal numbers. Bettors Delight is completely dominant there on the stake money won list due in the main to huge books which have given him huge foal numbers most years. He is extremely fertile and has the added bonus of being a great filly sire as well The charts below show that huge advantage Bettors Delight has numbers wise over Art Major and Mach Three. Bettors Delight 4 year olds - 117 3 year olds - 234 2 year olds - 220 Art Major 4 years old - 98 3 year olds - 87 2 year olds - 49 Mach Three 4 year olds - 160 3 year olds - 77 2 year olds - 94 Last years three year old season in New Zealand was different from normal in so much as Mach Three had more foals than either Bettors Delight or Art Major for the first time in living memory. The result was that Mach Three won the 3 year olds stake money list quite comfortably from Bettors Delight and Art Major which proves once again that foal numbers do matter when it comes to winning sire premierships Now plenty of sires are trying to break the dominance of the big three and the latest is Sportswriter. He met the first requirement for all new stallions trying to dislodge the top three in that he had the largest crop of 2 year olds with 155 of any sire in Australia last season and he did leave 33 winners from his first crop. But when it came to the big money races, the Art Majors and Bettors Delights scooped up most of the money. So a good start for Sportswriter but not up with the big boys yet. Another stallion who has been given a big chance to join the big boys in Australia is Shadow Play who served a huge book of 295 mares last season in Australia and a further 80 in New Zealand on the back of a great first season in North America. His first crop of two year olds in Australasia were good last season without being brilliant so the jury is still out as to weather he can challenge the big three. Rock N Roll Heaven served a book of 215 mares in his first year at stud in Australia and a further 52 in New Zealand so his first crop which are two year olds in the current season will be watched with great interest. His North American results in the super tough New York Sires Stakes have been very good so the signs so far are positive. Auckland Reactor is another stallion who has been handed an opportunity to join the big three serving 212 mares in New Zealand and 182 in Australia in his first season at stud. With that number of mares, Auckland Reactor needs to make a big slash right from the start or else he will be discarded quickly. As it stands the big three continue to dominate but one thing is very clear. To compete with the Art Majors, Bettors Delights and Mach Threes is never going to be easy as they are world class sires who perform in both hemispheres. For any new sire to challenge the dominance of the three established top sires, he needs a book of mares of a comparable size and quality to what they regularly serve or he is really going to struggle. Harnesslink Media
WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 23, 2014 -- Pecking for late racing room outside and inside, Cover Model finally found a seam and poured through to score in Tuesday's $88,600 Keystone Classic at The Meadows. Alexa Said took the other harness racing division of the stake for 2-year-old filly pacers. Cover Model was sixth near the three-quarters when Dan Rawlings slipped her off the cones into the outside flow. When cover took him nowhere, Rawlings guided Cover Model back inside and hunted room, finding it between horses. The daughter of Dragon Again-Fashion Sureal rolled home to triumph in 1:53.4, 2-1/4 lengths better than Special Package. Momas Got A Gun, a full sister to Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach, was third. "I came out because I thought the outside flow was good, but it wasn't going anywhere," Rawlings said. "I basically took a shot (inside), and a seam opened up. I wasn't planning on being buried like I was, but everything worked out." Douglas Lewis trains Cover Model for Frederick W. Hertrich III and CTC stable. Alexa Said roared three wide through the lane to prevail for Eric Ledford in a career-best 1:55.3. Pennsylvania Stallion Series champion Half Past Seven was second by a length while early leader Mistup Magic earned show. It was the first stakes victory for Alexa Said although Tye Loy, who conditions the daughter of Well Said-Niki Blue Chip and owns with Michael Lowe, said she easily could have several more. "She's had bad luck and bad trips," said Loy of his $18,000 yearling acquisition. "When you warm her up, you wouldn't think she could go in 2:30 the way she's lollygagging around. When she hits the gate, it's all business; she puts her game face on." In the $18,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Cowgirl Hall thwarted the challenge of Better Caviar and downed him by a length in 1:53.2. Major Athens saved show. Dave Palone drove for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jack Piatt III and Michael Rosenthal. The 5-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Centerfold hall extended her career bankroll to $598,903. On Wednesday the Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $5,000-guaranteed pool for its Pick 5 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. The Meadows added the “instant” guarantee after Tuesday’s Pick 5 was uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $1,239.74. Minimum wager for the Pick 5 (Races 12-16) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post for Wednesday’s program, which features a $117,200 Keystone Classic for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters, is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
Oh My Joepa (Rocknroll Hanover-Nittany Lion) returned to the Vernon Downs Winner's Circle after the $6,500 feature harness racing event on Saturday night. He had won two straight before finishing third last Saturday night. Oh My Joepa (Claude Huckabone III) sat in mid-pack throughout the early stages while You Bet Your Glass (Frank Davis) set the pace through a quarter of 27.3 seconds and a half-mile in 56.3 seconds. Oh My Joepa was able to catch some live cover from Western Tsunami (Roman Lopez) as the field moved on to the final turn. In fact, Western Tsunami took the lead as they paced past three-quarters in 1:25. That lead lasted into the stretch, but then Oh My Joepa rallied past on the outside and strode away to win handily in 1:53.1. Martial Bliss (Joe Nassimos), who had been sent aggressively at the start before settling into a pocket trip behind You Bet Your Glass, closed smartly to finish second. Melvyn (Truman Gale) trailed early on, but was another sharp closer at the end and finished third. The complete order of finish was: Oh My Joepa, Martial Bliss, Melvyn, Western Tsunami, The Green Knight, Dragon Fever, Cabbie's Delight, and You Bet Your Glass. Oh My Joepa is owned and trained by Michael Deters of Coconut Creek, Florida. Live racing resumes at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with a 12-race program. First post time is 6:45pm. by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity
Vabellino (5m Ouragon de Celland-Girl de Chartepie) and reinsman Eric Raffin won today’s €240,000 Gr. I Criterium des 5 Ans (five year-olds) today at Paris-Vincennes at 11/1 odds. This race was the feature on a great card and the Quinte+ race of the day with a jackpot of €4.1 million. 14 starters contested this “classique” event over 3000 meters on the grande piste. Vulcain de Vandel was second for trainer/driver Franck Nivard in a close finish with third place to Viking de Val and Eric Lambertz and favorite Very Nice Marceaux (at 1.8/1 odds) with Pierre Vercruysse up ended fourth. The winner is owned by Ecurie Podium and trained by Sebastian Guarato. Vabellino recorded his 13th victory in 29 starts for €356,300 earned after today. Time of the contest was a quick 1.12.7kr after the field reached the 1000 meter to go post in 1.13.6kr. The Prix de Beaugency (Gr. III European, €105,000 purse, 2850 meters) for aged campaigners went to 2.4/1 odds favorite Olmo Holz (6m Uronometro-Veuve du Kras-Park Avenue Joe) with Christophe Martens aboard for trainer Vincent Martens. Frans Delmonte owns the winner, who recorded his seventh win in 29 starts, now for €609,440 earned. Sirocco Jibace and Franck Ouvrie ended second with Global Manhattan third for pilot Franck Nivard. Tornado Bello was forwardly placed early and then was disqualified for a miscue. Time of the race was 1.14.1kr with rated fractions until late. Time with 500 meters to go was 1.14.9kr. The Gr. II Prix Uranie for three year-old fillies went to 1.7/1 odds Biche des Clos (3f Rolling d-Heripre-Moon d’Eronville) with Mathieu Mottier up. She took the winners’ share of the €120,000 purse by completing 2700 meters in 1.15.1kr to narrowly defeat Be My Girl (3f Love You-Ornella Rainbow) with Jos. Verbeeck aboard. Billie de Montfort (3f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) was third for J-M Bazire as the 1.2/1 odds favorite. Biche des Clos remains undefeated in seven starts, now for earnings of €182,250. At Charlottenlund (Copenhagen) today’s feature was the Dansk Filly (four year-old) Derby, a 2000 meter autostart test for 350,000kr to the winner. Tast of Bourbon (4f Donato Hanover-Qualita Bourbon-Love You) took the trophy easily in a new Danish record for the distance 1.12.2kr for 74 year-old veteran owner/breeder/driver Jean-Pierre Dubois. Jean Baudron is the trainer and fleet front stepping filly recorded her second straight at Charlottenlund after scoring initially on August 17. The great gaited mare now has a slate of 4-2-3 in 14 starts for 1,512,997kr earned. Officials said the win by Tast of Bourbon was one of the most decisive victories ever in the Filly Derby. Dubois finished second early on the card with first-time two year-old starter Toutefois (2f Infinitif-Ziniaz-Buvetier d’Aunou) that is bred and owned in Italy by Dubois’ Scuderia Bolgheri Srl. On the Charlottenlund undercard the Prix Orali for aged mares went to well-regarded Britt Hudson (8f Pine Chip-Lea Hudson-Jigs Rapido) in rein to Johnny Takter. She scored for the 12th time in 61 career starts, today earning 50,000kr first money. Rolf Ramnegard owns and trains the winner that completed the 2000 meters autostart in 1.13.3kr. MT Harmony (5f Quite Easy-Princess Pleasure-Viking Kronos) was second in a close decision, driven by Peter Untersteiner, with Sunbeam (by Dream Vacation) third for Nicolaj Andersen. Hungarian shippers Racerstina and Princess View were unplaced. The Dansk Filly Derby Consolation for 50,000kr to the winner, was contested by 12 entrants over 2000 meters autostart. Tut AP (4f Quite Easy-Nasa Haleryd-Lindy’s Crown) took the win for Rene Kjaar. Morten Juul trains this winner that covered the course in 1.15.1kr for a length victory over The Negotiator (by Varenne) with Birger Jorgensen up with third to Tourmalet (by ENS Snapshot) driven by Ken Ecce. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com
The Jerry Riordan trained Sheava Vik won today's Gr. I International Lindhals Fillies Final at Romme Sweden. Reined by Johan Untersteiner, the Italy-bred three-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover-Nashville OM-Uronometro scored in 1.12.2kr over 1640 meters autostart for co-owners Allevamento Folli SRL and Loris Vicario. The winner earned 800,000SEK first money and raised her career earnings to 1,072,062SEK with her fourth victory in 15 outings. Next behind the winner were Gabriella Sisu (3f Muscle Mass-Armbro Begood-Conway Hall) with Erik Adielsson up and Souchong (3f Going Kronos-Dimbula-Victory Dream) handled by Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Roger Wallmann. The co-featured Lindhals Final for colts, a Gr. I International event with 800,000SEK to the winner, went to Al Dente in 1.12kr for Orjan Kihlstrom teaming for trainer Conrad Lugauer. This winner scored easily to record his 13th victory in 18 appearances for earnings of 2,895,000SEK. The three year-old son of Scarlet Knight-Mollies Photo-SJ's Photo is an impressive 2014 performer with 12 wins and a second in 13 starts. Origo Tilly (3g Super Arnie-Regina Tilly-Speedy Crown) was second for Torbjorn Jansson ahead of Thewayiam As (3m Allstar Hall-Nilema Way-Mack Lobell) with Johnny Takter aboard. The top aged event on the Romme card was the Super Light Gold for 150,000SEK to the winner of this 1640 meter autostart test. Occhione Jet (6m Pine Chip-Estelle Jet-Supergill) took the win in 1.10.9kr for Erik Adielsson over Bon Freccia (6m Steinlager-Fabiola Safir-Lindy's Crown) with Bjorn Goop up, in a photo. Third went to System Performance (5f Scarlet Knight-Hermit Lady-Express Ride) and Stefan Melander. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com
Canaka BF (7f Jobie Tempest-Frida Filiokus-Spotlite Lobell) rallied late for Ulf Ohlsson to win today's Gr. I UET Masters Series European Mares Championship at Solvalla, Sweden worth 650,000SEK to winner. Canaka BF recorded her 18th career win in 64 starts now for earnings of 4,905,292SEK. Today's victory was her fifth 2014 win in ten outings. Prussia (5f Ken Warkentin-Elvezia-Pine Chip) was a very game second for trainer/driver Pietro Gubellini with third to She Loves You FI (7f Love You-SJ's Shad Roe-SJ's Photo) and Bjorn Goop. Time was 1.11.7kr, a SWE record for the 2140 meters autostart distance. Jorma Kontio steered Absolute Newport quickly to the lead and repulsed a three wide early move by Prussia to seize command. Kontio parked Prussia all the way until Absolute Newport stopped, yielding the leading spot to Prussia and she nearly held on under aggressive Gubellini handling. Canaka BF rallied wide in the late going to win by three-quarter length with She Loves You FI a close third and the Jerry Riordan trained Rossella Ross ended fourth. On the card the Carolo Mins for three year-olds went to US-bred Fire To The Rain (3m Yankee Glide-Adelaide Hall-Conway Hall) and Ulf Ohlsson. The 1640 meter autostart test had ten starters with 100,000SEK to the winner and Fire To The Rain scored in 1.11.7kr to just defeat Explosive De Vie (3g Explosive Matter-Ava-Pine Chip) and trainer/driver Jim Oscarsson. This pair easily bested third place finisher Saphire Bi (3f Conway Hall-Valley Jean Bi-Valley Boss Bi) with Bjorn Goop up for trainer Riordan. Fire To the Rain won for the third time in six lifetime starts, now for earnings of 1,130,365SEK. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com
The 3 YO Maryland Standardbred Fund stakes started the evening with the non wagering filly trotters going for a purse of $28,900. Explosive Attitude(Explosive Matter) and Kelsey's Commando(Cr Commando) renewed their rivalry from July only this time Kelsey's Commando was able to catch Explosive Attitude coming down the stretch, stopping the clock in 2:00.2 last quarter in :29.2. Victor Kirby drove and trained the filly for new owners George and Rose Bonomo. The wagering card started with the 3 YO filly pacers. Driver Tony Morgan sent Ain't No Maybe So(Nuclear Breeze) charging right to the front with a first quarter of:27.1. The Lundell entry of Valentina De Vie and Rosie De Vie sat second and third just waiting for the right moment. Jonathan Roberts pulled Valentina De Vie(Bettor's Delight) in the last turn quickly overtaking the leader winning in 1:55.3. Ain't No Maybe So held on for second and Rosie De Vie finished third. Valentina De Vie is owned by the Joie de Vie Farm. After race 3 the Maryland Horse Industry Board presented Ocean Downs Racetrack with a Secretary's Citation from the State of Maryland in honor of the track's 65th Anniversary. MHIB also presented track owner William Rickman with a Secretary's Citation in honor of his many contributions to the harness racing industry over the year. In the colt/gelding trot Kandy Korn(Cantab Hall) got away 6th but driver Frank Milby pulled before the half, working his way up to the leader Whichwayrightorleft near the Â¾ pole. These two battled down the stretch with Kandy Korn crossing the wire in 1:59.4 for owners Bruce and Tanya Schadel. The most exciting race of the night was the 3 YO colt/gelding pace. In usual fashion driver Corey Callahan sent Tom's Titan(Cam's Rocket) to the lead with new comer Kingofthejungle(Well Said) getting the pocket trip. At the head of the stretch Tony Morgan pulled Kingofthejungle and the two charged down the stretch head and head with Kingofthejungle winning by a head in 1:53.4 last quarter in :27.4. Desyllas Racing LLC , William Beck and Carol Rieken own and Brandon Simpson trains. By Cheri Stambaugh
WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 9, 2014 -- "Marvelous" Marvin Raber and Catching Katie waltzed to a convincing victory in Friday's $10,000 final of the C.K.G. Billings Midwest Series amateur trot at The Meadows. Raber was sitting In The Pocket down the backside when he pulled Catching Katie, a 6-year-old daughter of Revenue S-She's Queenie owned by John Schlabach, and easily gobbled up the leader, Richard Roach and Margarita Man. Raber, who trains Catching Katie, went on to score in 1:57.2, 5-3/4 lengths better than "Law Book Larry" Farley and Good Friend. Jerry "The Jet" Mihelich and Texas Ridge -- also conditioned by Raber -- earned show. "I have a lot of faith in her." Raber said. "She got a good trip and closed well. I was waiting foe right time to mover her. I thought the leader was slowing up a little bit, so I decided to go on the straightaway instead of around the turn." Raber, who at 37 is at least 17 years younger than every other competitor in the finals, indicated he doesn't necessarily view his victory as a triumph for youth. "The other drivers have a lot more experience and probably know a lot more about racing than I do," he said, "but it doesn't really matter who I'm driving against. It's a horse race, and it's all about fun." Evan Pattak
WILKES-BARRE PA - The fourth and final preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies was held at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Friday night, with all three favorites winning and some idea of the Stallion Series Championship qualifiers developing. In the first cut, Somenicebeach made easy work of her career stakes debut by leading at every call en route to taking a new mark of 1:52. McVita Bella who *preliminary* calculated to be the Stallion Series pointsleader (*all official figures will come from the Harrisburg office of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission*) was second to the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, who was guided by Pocono's leading driver George Napolitano Jr. for trainer Chris Oakes and owner Susan Oakes. Jim Morrill Jr. was in the sulky behind the other two winners, first with the Real Desire filly Real Drama, who was a pocket rocket in reducing her speed tab to 1:52.3. Kelly O'Donnell conditions the winning filly for the Bay Pond Racing Stable. Real Drama won her cut by three lengths; Morrill had much harder work in the third division, as he and the Well Said filly Lucy's Pearl rallied gamely from the two-hole to edge stubborn pacesetter Beach Body by a half-length in the fastest time, 1:50.3. "Trotting Guru" Ron Gurfein may train more pacers if he continues to bring out tough misses like this one, who is owned by Gurfein in partnership with Elizabeth Novak. After careful math (and again we STRESS these are NOT official figures), the following pointstandings (based on a 35-25-15-10-8-5-4-2-1 distribution) for the PAStS 3PFs emerge: 1. McVita Bella, 120; 2. Lucy's Pearl, 105; 3. Eiffel Tower, 4. Real Drama (both had 95 points, but Eiffel Tower wins the money tiebreaker $25,000 to $21,600); 5. Do Your Job, 6. Stucklikeglue (both with 70 points, Do Your Job with more money $20,000 to $12,200); 7. Beach Body, 65; 8. Baby Cat, 64; tie 9. Marathon Day and Oogle Google (both tied at both 60 points and $15,000 in earnings; if needed to split them, there would be a shake of the pills). The top nine declaring in will advance to the Stallion Series Championship, to be held at The Meadows on September 9.
Two divisions of the NY RUS Series took place this week at Norwich, NY with the first $500 division going to My Irish Molly with Jocelyn Lavigne in the irons. Trained by Truman Gale, the winner, a nine year-old mare by Psychic Spirit-Fox Valley Blondie-Armbro Charger, scored in 2:13.4h for owner Donn Lewandrowski over John-michael (Tara Hynes up) and Kash Now (Michelle Miller), both of these trained by Michael Miller. The second division went to Vassar Hall in 2:07.4h for Michelle Crawford. This pair covered the last half in 1:02.4 for trainer Brett Crawford, co-owner with Len Wojdyla. The ten year-old mare by Striking Sahbra-Vera Hall-Conway Hall defeated Truth In Action (Karen Isbell) and Magic Cheque (Tara Hynes). Separately, plans moved forward for a monte event at Rosecroft Raceway on October 18. A fund-raising effort is underway spearheaded by rider Tara Hynes. Supporter financial participation is welcome by going to http://www.gofundme.com/c8yw14. All monies raised will go to the purse for the Rosecroft race. Thomas H. Hicks Renaissance Partners LLC Thomas H. Hicks, Managing Partner 3508 Sahara Springs Blvd. Pompano Beach, FL 33069 www.renaissancelc.com firstname.lastname@example.org 954-971-3555 Tel FL Office 704-844-0600 Tel NC Office 954-415-6369 Cel 704-845-1176 Fax Experience > Value, Integrity, Performance The information above and attached, if any, may contain privileged and confidential information intended only for the use of the person(s) named above. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any review, dissemination, distribution and duplication of this communication is strictly prohibited. Please notify the sender by email and destroy all copies of the original message. Thank you.
WAYNESBURG PA - The annual two-day harness racing meet at the Greene County Fair in this southwestern PA town (hometown of Dave Palone) saw two three-year-old trotters run their 2014 fair records to 7 for 8, and a two-year-old trotter make a very promising debut. Fly Past Hanover opened the sophomore action with a 2:07 win, last quarter 30.2, for driver Steve Schoeffel, who had three wins each day to lead the meet, trainer Bill Daugherty Jr., and owner Susan Daugherty. The altered son of Cantab Hall is a nose shy of an undefeated fair campaign, as it took Faust edging him by the smallest margin in a Bedford all-age trot record of 2:00.4 to spoil his sheet this summer. Another Cantab Hall offspring, the filly Cantabs Lightning, is also 7 for 8 at the Pennsy twicearounds after a tally in 2:05.3, last quarter 30, winning by 19Â¾ lengths - imagine what she might have done if she hadn't made a break before the quarter. Wayne Long owns, trains, and drove the impressive miss. Roger Hammer trainees produced the fastest miles of the day on both 3YO day (Friday) and 2YO day (Thursday). The sophomore Yankee Cruiser gelding Fangled Hanover went the fastest mile of the meet, 2:01.4, in winning a Fair Sire Stakes division, with owner Hammer also driving the winner. Hammer didn't have the sulky seat behind Thursday's fastest baby as he was racing at Honesdale, but Steve Schoeffel more than capably deputized, as he and Rustlercafe distanced a Quaker State field in 2:02-29.2. Hammer, as usual, got the big end of the money, as he owns and trains Rustlercafe, now 5 for 6 in Quaker competition. In the 2YO Fair Sire Stakes, three horses posted a 2:06.3 time for speed co-honors, two being the pacing filly Joltstheice and the pacing gelding Jed Kidd Squawking. But the third 2:06.3 baby winner, the one that made the fans sit up and take notice, was a trotter - the Muscle Massive filly Piano Rose, who won effortlessly, and in her career debut to boot. Steve Schoeffel got the call to drive the undefeated neophyte for trainer Fred Grant and owner Ralph Del Priore Jr. The racing at Waynesburg signaled the shift of the PA fair circuit back west for the rest of August, after several weeks of being based in the central and eastern parts of the state. Next stop is at the historic Arden Downs oval at the Washington County Fair, where they'll go to the gate on Monday and Tuesday at 10 a.m. TOP FIVE PA FAIR CIRCUIT DRIVERS AND TRAINERS AFTER THE RACING of AUGUST 8 DRIVERS TRAINERS Chris Shaw 60 Jason Shaw 44 Steve Schoeffel 54 Steve Schoeffel 32 Roger Hammer 25 Roger Hammer 27 (tie) Todd Cummings 15 Bill Daugherty Jr. 15 (tie) Wayne Long Bob Krenitsky Jr. 13 Publicity Office of the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association
August 1-7, 2014; At this point in the season, it's typical for 3-year-old horses at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs to be battling against others of their own age in Stallion Series or Sire Stakes action. Yet our two top performers of the week that was at Pocono dared to take on older horses. Not only did they survive, but they thrived. Here are the details of both their exploits and those of the other top performers as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: LUCK BE WITHYOU This 3-year-old colt from the Chris Oakes' barn started the season in Canada but quickly found a home at Pocono with a condition win on June 28 in 1:50:1. He then battled his way to a 7th in finals of the prestigious Meadowlands Pace before returning for an even more impressive victory in a blistering 1:48 on July 19. On Saturday night, Luck Be Withyou faced his sternest test yet by going up against the non-winners of $22,500 in the last five races grouping. Among the competitors he would have to face were Meirs Hanover and Bolt The Duer, a pair of veterans as talented and as tested as there are in the sport. If the relative inexperience of Luck Be Withyou was ever going to be a factor, this was the race. At the top of the stretch, the 3-year-old was staring at the tail of Bolt The Duer, who had set the pace and done so in reasonable fractions. Yet Luck Be With You was ready for the challenge when driver George Napolitano Jr. asked for another gear. He sped by a stunned Bolt The Duer and held off fast-closing E Street Plan for the win in 1:49:2. Even though the time wasn't as flashy as his previous win, this victory was the best evidence yet of this sophomore's incredible talent. Other top pacers this week include: Show Runner (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), a mare whose victory in Friday night's featured condition pace in a career-best 1:50:3 was her second straight win; Gold Deuce (George Napolitano Jr., Lou Pena), who powered to a win over $10,000 claimers on Saturday night in 1:50:4, a career-best and his Third Straight win; and Mach It So (Andrew McCarthy, PJ Fraley), who picked up a win in Saturday night's featured Preferred Handicap pace in 1:48:2, a new career-best and the fastest time posted this week at MSPD. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: REVRAC HARBOUR This award was probably a little overdue for this 3-year-old colt from the barn of trainer Tony Alagna. From June 3 to July 1, he ripped off four consecutive wins at Pocono, topping out with a back-to-back career-best miles of 1:54:1 in wins over the non-winners of four condition. He traveled to the Meadowlands after that and struggled against some of the top trotters in the country in a pair of stakes races. Revrac Harbour returned on Tuesday night to face all older horses in a non-winners of $13,000 in the last five starts condition trot. Back at Pocono again, he found his stride quickly by making a move to the front end early in the race. Yet Picture This, the race favorite, lurked behind him In The Pocket for much of the mile and enjoyed a much better trip. In the stretch, Picture This took to the inside passing lane and briefly seemed like he was about to get past. That's when driver Scott Zeron coaxed just a little extra effort from an already-taxed Revrac Harbour, who dug in and surged back in front in the final strides in 1:55:4 on a sloppy track. That makes it five wins in the last five races he's started at Pocono, with this maybe the gutsiest yet. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Zooming (Tyler Buter, Amber Buter),who shipped in from New York for a condition win on Saturday in 1:51:4, easily the week's fastest trotting time; Waldorf Hall (Corey Callahan, Jim Raymer), who churned through the slop for a condition win on Tuesday in 1:53:4; and Swiss Lightning (Anthony Napolitano, Kevin Lare), who ripped off his fourth straight claiming victory on Wednesday night in 1:54:4, matching his career-best in the process. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: RESCUE PLAN It's not often George Napolitano Jr., the meet's leading driver, pilots a long shot, but this condition pacer was at 42-1 when G-Nap steered him to victory on Tuesday night for a $87.60 win payout on a $2 ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: GEORGE NAPOLITANO JR. Who else could it be this other than George Nap, considering that he won seven of the thirteen races on the card on Saturday and nearly pulled off a 20-win week. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: CHRISTIE COLLINS Collins' barn has been steadily gaining momentum in the summer months, and her trainees picked up three more wins this week, including a double on Friday. That will do it for it this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com. Jim Beviglia
The Hambletonian Monte Series Final at the new Meadowlands and two Ontario pari-mutuel races at Grand River Raceway showcased North American monte activities this weekend. On Friday evening the $27,500 Hambletonian Monte Final took place (non-wagering) at the new Meadowlands. Sponsors were Jeff Gural, Valley High Stable, Back On Track, Ron Burke Stable, Arden Homestead Stable, Crawford Farm, Aldrich Properties, George Ducharme and Winners Circle Blueberries. The final followed two $10,000 legs the previous two weekends. This week, A Penny Earned (5g Conway Hall-Penny Dream-Dream Vacation) scored for Michelle Crawford and trainer George Ducharme in 1:57.2 (last quarter :28.2), just short of the north American speed race record set by Master Pine two years ago in 1:57.1. The winner was second in a July 18 leg behind Take My Picture that was second in the final for Therese Lindgren and trainer Nikolas Drennan. O U Gus (the July 25 winner) ended third for Stephanie Werder and trainer Whitney Richards. Master Pine finished fourth for Helene Gregory and trainer Julie Miller in the competitive (seven starters timed in 2:00.1 or better) ten horse field. In Ontario, Grand River Raceway hosted two pari-mutuel events on August 1st and 4th. The August 4th International Monte was part of the raceway's Industry Day and attracted riders from Canada, Belgium and Finland. The US rider-entrant Jennifer Connor was a scratch due to travel problems. Previous monte winner Radical Dreamer (Marit Valstad) made the fast pace, tracked and battled by eventual winner Tragically Shipp (Saara Jalasti aboard), that pulled away late for an comfortable win over Angies Lucky Star (Philippe Massachaele) in 2:02.4h over a rain soaked surface. Tragically Shipp (8g Shipps Speed-CH On Tour-Armbro Laser) is trained by Lee Watson for owners Lynne and David Magee. Jalasti and Massachaele regularly ride in monte races in Europe, where monte is very popular and part of most pari-mutuel racing cards at French and Scandinavian tracks. Race replay follows: The August 1 race at Grand River was billed as the Canada vs. Norway Challenge and it went to Callie Magoo (5g Magoo-Callie Alyssa-Wesgate Crown) with Norway's G. Berg up for trainer John Braid. This pair scored in 2:04.3h over King Tut (Sarah Town up for Canada) and Charlie Tuna. Both Grand River races were well received in the pari-mutuel wagering, as had been the case in previous Ontario pari-mutuel monte races. Standardbred Canada and Meadowlands files Thomas H. Hicks
After enjoying a cozy pocket trip, Stitch in Time ($19.20) made a late push to the fore, collaring 6-5 favorite Wisenheimer to take the $14,000 Open Handicap Trot at Tioga Downs on Saturday (August 2) evening. Brandon Simpson floated forward with the four-year-old Keystone Nordic gelding, settling behind House Money (Aaron Byron) on the first turn. As Wisenheimer brushed to the fore through a :28 first quarter, House Money broke stride, enabling Stitch in Time to inherit the pocket with just over a circuit to go. The two would continue as an uncontested leading pair throughout, but Stitch in Time was able to benefit from his tracking trip in the final eighth. Off the far turn, Simpson angled him wide, and the response was instant. Stitch in Time wore down Wisenheimer, prevailing by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.1. I Love New York (Bruce Clarke) was carried to the grandstand side off a stalking trip, staying on for third. Amber Buter trains Stitch in Time for owners Lynette Buter, Carol Fuhs, and William Fuhs. Racing returns to Tioga with a stakes-filled Sunday (August 3) afternoon card. The 13-race pari-mutuel program is slated for a 1:30 p.m. EDT start, with a pair of non-wagering events to commence a half-hour earlier. by James Witherite
A powerful :26.2 third quarter propelled Michael Pagonas's Inittowinafortune ($4.20) to back-to-back Open class wins at Tioga Downs, taking the $14,000 Fillies and Mares Open on Friday (August 1) evening by a geared down three lengths. The four-year-old Cams Fortune mare controlled the terms from the outset, pushing clear of Oceans Motion (Chuck Connor, Jr.) through a :27.1 first quarter before relaxing the pace into the clubhouse turn. On the backstretch, Inittowinafortune accelerated in earnest, but Oceans Motion did well to keep pace through the taxing third quarter, at which point Inittowinafortune was driven clear to a three-length advantage at head-stretch. The lead expanded to nearly five lengths with 100 yards to go, but Inittowinafortune was geared down late for a comfortable 1:52 win. Oceans Motion held second off a chasing effort, while Elleofnxample (Brandon Simpson) sustained a mild late bid to take third. Aaron Byron handled the driving duties aboard Inittowinafortune for trainer Michael Russo. The win was one of four on the night for Byron, while leading driver Jim Marohn, Jr. scored his fourth consecutive Tioga hat trick. Live racing continues at Tioga on Saturday (August 2) evening, with first post scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT. Tioga Downs golf outing reminder There is still room for participants in the 2014 Tioga Downs horsemen's golf outing, to be held on Saturday, August 9. The golf outing will be contested in the four-man scramble format, and will take place at Pheasant Hills in Owego, New York with an 8:00 a.m. shotgun start. A steak dinner and prize ceremony at the course will follow the golf outing. The tournament is free for all horsemen and owners. To sign up, please email Garrett Madison at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 607.699.7691. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs
MANALAPAN, NJ - July 30, 2014 - Saturday's Hambletonian Day 15-race card at the Meadowlands is loaded with rich stakes worth nearly $3.6 million in purse money, including the $225,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic and its filly companion race, the $100,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey. The two stakes for New Jersey-sired three-year-old pacers are early in the card - the third race for the Miss New Jersey and the fourth race for the New Jersey Classic - and have the possibility of being two of the most contentious and bettor-friendly events, with no prohibitive favorites. Racing conditions for the two stakes were amended to eliminate eliminations. The finals are limited to the 10 highest lifetime money-winning horses in the entry box. To further sweeten the pot, even those who do not share in the top five purse distribution will not go home empty-handed. The connections of the New Jersey Classic colts finishing sixth through 10 will receive $1,500 each while the connections of the Miss New Jersey fillies will receive $1,000 each. "We are very pleased that we have full and competitive fields for both stakes, in fact, 11 entered in each with 10 going postward," said Tom Luchento, president of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey [SBOANJ], which sponsors the two races. "We feel stallions will return to New Jersey once we have casino-infused purses, a likelihood in the next few years, but for now we are trying our best to make it worthwhile for breeders to support our program and owners to buy New Jersey-sired offspring with the opportunity to compete in such events as the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey," Luchento added. Post time on Saturday, August 2, 2014 is 12 noon with gates opening at 10 a.m. Admission is $5. The $1 million Hambletonian [Race 13] and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks [Race 12] and the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trot will be featured on the live television broadcast from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network [for Channel Finder - www.cbssportsnework.com]. The program will be hosted by Gary Seibel, Dave Brower and Justin Horowitz. The fields for the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey with post, horse, sire, driver, trainer and morning line odds: Race 4 - $225,000 ANTHONY ABBATIELLO NEW JERSEY CLASSIC 1-Doo Wop Hanover - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Steve Elliott - 9-5 2-Western Vintage - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nancy Johansson - 5-2 3-Rockeyed Optimist - Rocknroll Hanover - Matt Kakaley - Steve Elliott - 20-1 4-Buckwacker - Rocknroll Hanover - David Miller - Chris Ryder - 9-2 5-Sweet Rock - Rocknroll Hanover - Brett Miller - Wayne Given - 20-1 6-Dancin Hill - Rocknroll Hanover - Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna - 10-1 7-Rock Out - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott - 15-1 8-Card Shock- Cam's Card Shark - George Brennan - Mark Silva - 20-1 9-Beat The Drum - Tell All - Ron Pierce - Staffan Lind - 6-1 10-Rocknroll Reality - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen - 12-1 Race 3 - $100,000 THOMAS D'ALTRUI MISS NEW JERSEY 1-Ideal Helen - Western Ideal - Marcus Miller - Erv Miller - 10-1 2-Act Now - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nikolas Drennan - 3-1 3-Gettingreadytoroll - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 2-1 4-My Lady Day - Western Ideal - David Miller - Joe Holloway - 15-1 5-Surfside Sexy - Rocknroll Hanover - Ron Pierce - Ron Burke - 20-1 6-Cut A Deal - Rocknroll Hanover - George Brennan - Nick Surick - 20-1 7-Blixtra - Rocknroll Hanover - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svandstedt - 9-2 8-Highland Rockstar - Rocknroll Hanover - Mike Lachance - Buzzy Sholty - 20-1 9-Rockingcam Park - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Ron Coyne Jr. - 8-1 10- Kate Can't Wait - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - Ross Croghan - 6-1 By Carol Hodes for the SBOANJ