A field of eight lined up behind the starter in the featured harness racing event on Sunday afternoon (September 14) at Harrah's Philadelphia, a pace for winner's over $25,000 lifetime. The wagering public made Wake Up Peter (Brett Miller) the post time favorite, starting from post position five. At the start, Emeritus Maximus (Ron Pierce) got the first call off the wings, but his lead was short-lived, as Scott Rocks (Geo Napolitano Jr) brushed just beyond the quarter, which went in :26.1. After a second split in :28.1, Scott Rocks faced a challenge from the first-over Speed Again (Yannick Gingras). They battled to three quarters, which went in 1:21.3 (:27.1). Just beyond that point, Speed Again overpowered Scott Rocks, who folded up and finished last with the pocket-sitter Emeritus Maximus picking up the chase. At the finish, Speed Again narrowly held on to win by a nose, stopping the clock in 1:49.2, returning $11.60 to win. Emeritus Maximus finished second, while favored Wake Up Peter rallied for third. The winner keyed a $32.40 exacta. The trifecta paid $190.20, while the Superfecta returned $1,045.20. Speed Again is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, and Ctc Stables, and was trained by Ron Burke. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia
Tabcorp Holdings Limited has again been ranked the global gambling industry leader in the annual Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 2014. Tabcorp has received this recognition for nine out of the last 10 years, positioning it ahead of other Australian and international wagering, casino and lottery operators. The company received a 100 per cent rating in the 'Promoting Responsible Gaming' category for the eight successive years. Tabcorp Managing Director and CEO, David Attenborough stated Tabcorp is committed to operating sustainably. “Tabcorp’s continued global leadership in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index is a testament to our commitment to a high standard of governance,” Attenborough declared. “Tabcorp operates its businesses with utmost integrity for the benefit of our many stakeholders, including investors, the racing industry and hotel and club partners. “We are proud to lead the way in responsible gambling in Australia and globally.” Of the criterion on which 23 companies from across the globe in the casino and gaming sector were assessed, Tabcorp received the top score in 11 of the 19 measures. The DJSI assessed Tabcorp across economic, environmental and social dimensions. In addition to promoting responsible gambling, Tabcorp's other leading measures in its sustainability ranking include stakeholder engagement, anti-crime policy/measures, brand management, corporate governance and talent attraction and retention. In the 2014 financial year, Tabcorp’s businesses generated more than $500million in taxes on gambling and income taxes paid and payable. Tabcorp is also the single largest supporter of the Australian racing industry, returning $735million last financial year. As proven during the past two years, Tabcorp is also a generous community sponsor – highlighted by their support of Victoria’s Charity Football Day, which raised an astonishing $29,000 for the Childrens’ Tumour Foundation.
All the “true harness racing participants” can hold their heads up high according to TAB.COM.AU Charity Day organiser Robbie O’Connell. Having received the last of the donations and fees yesterday, O’Connell was “stoked” to discover the total was well above the earlier released tally…furthermore it has ‘smashed’ last year’s amount. The inaugural event raised a terrific $14,000 for the Childrens’ Tumour Foundation, with O’Connell setting the target at $20,000 this year and was thrilled when the figure was sitting on $22,000 as of last week. “I was rapt when we were floating around $22,000 as that was 50 per cent up on last year,” O’Connell declared. “But now with all the money in, I just can’t believe the total….I’m stoked beyond belief.” Thanks to generous sponsors, players and spectators, the event has raised a truly amazing $29,000, which clearly outshines the $18,000 the foundation receives from the government each year. “I just can’t believe it,” O’Connell said. “Thanks to the true harness racing participants and so many generous sponsors, we have eclipsed our target amount by almost $9000. “It just proves what those in harness racing who are willing to give and go out of their way just a little can achieve.” Already planning next year’s event, which will again be staged at Bendigo, O’Connell revealed the money will be split between four childrens’ charities. “Next year we will be sharing the money to four charities,” O’Connell explained. “The entire thing is about helping children and there are so many in need of that help. “The four charities will be ones that have touched harness racing families, as when it comes down to it, we are all one big family and therefore it affects us all. “Through the footy days I have discovered trainers, drivers and owners with children who are hampered by illnesses I’ve never heard of let alone experienced. “With that in mind, the aim as of next year will be raising awareness and much needed funds for a variety of charities, which can hopefully lead to a cure, or at the very least, the publicity required to enhance their cause. “So I’m giving everyone fair warning….if you’re a player start training as there are no excuses, if you’re in a position to sponsor we’d love to hear from you and if you’re a supporter, bring your wallets!” PAUL COURTS
The Geauga County Fair is the oldest fair and best kept secret in Burton, Ohio. The fair celebrated its 192nd anniversary in 2014. The hospitality extended to the horseman and fairgoers is second to none. Although the horses were in short supply, the purses were abundant. The single day of harness racing action went post ward on Saturday (August 30). Purses were in the excess of $42,000 for the afternoon eight-race program. It was a profitable day for all horsemen. Another honored tradition at the fair, are the half mile Amish races. The local Amish community bring their horses to compete in the two $300 heats with hopes to return in the $400 final. As always it was a huge success and definitely a fan pleaser. The fair board wants to say thank you to all horsemen who participated and supported this year's fair and look forward to another great fair in 2015. By Terri Mt.Pleasant
It was a case of mixed emotions at Victorian harness racing’s biggest social event – TAB.COM.AU Charity Football Day – at Bendigo yesterday. As a high, the Melton girls cleaned up in the Aldebaran Netball Cup, but on the downside, the Melton fellas were smashed on the Tabcorp footy field. Melton is yet to win from four starts…the only team still waiting to enjoy a taste glory! On the opposite end of the scale, the skill and agility of the netballers placed them in a class of their own as they rocketed to success. Multiple Group One winning reinswoman Kate Gath was the recipient of the Yirribee Stud Most Valuable Player Award. Gath’s football counterpart was Heath Barton, who enjoyed double success as a member of the triumphant Shepparton squad. After dispensing of Ballarat in the opener, Shepparton then accounted for defending champions, Bendigo, to hold the Tabcorp Premiership Cup aloft. Tobey Courts,11, earned an honourable mention after booting four goals, including three against Ballarat. Away from the fun and games, the event had a serious side – raising awareness and valuable funds for the Childrens’ Tumour Foundation. Thrilled with the wide spread involvement, organiser Robbie O’Connell declared both ‘goals’ were achieved by the 500-strong crowd. “The amount of publicity this day has generated has certainly helped raising the awareness of the cause,” O’Connell said. “Anyone in harness racing would have to have been living in a cave not to have known about the day and what it’s all about. “And I’m thrilled to say we eclipsed last year’s total and even bettered our target amount in money raised. After $14,000 last year we were hoping for $20,000 this time, but we’re sitting on $22,000 at the moment. “Everyone involved, be it sponsor, helper, player or spectator can hold their heads up high…well, except for the Melton footy team!” There were also plenty of fun activities for the kids throughout the afternoon, as they enjoyed the jumping castle, little athletics competition and the free Auckland Reactor soccer and footballs thanks to Alabar Bloodstock. Alexa Astin and Will Janky were big winners after scoring bikes thanks to Amart Sports Melton by guessing the amount of snakes in a jar. “I couldn’t believe Alexa guessed the exact amount,” O’Connell said. “I thought I was clever not making it an obvious amount like 125 or 120, so I left it at 123. “According to Alexa’s dad her guess was simple, she counted them one, two, three, so he wrote that down! “Overall if was a terrific day, everyone had fun and we achieved our goals thanks to the sponsors, the helpers and every person who came and participated in the spirit of it all.” PAUL COURTS
TAB odds-makers lure in punters with the promo slogan: "You know the odds, now beat them". But less than three months before New Zealand's biggest betting day - the November 4 running of the Melbourne Cup - they have cracked down on a Kiwi punter who has excelled at doing just that. TAB executive general manager Glenn Patrick recently wrote to Christchurch man Graham Beirne that the betting agency was losing "a significant amount of money" on his fixed odds betting, so it had to adjust the amount of money he could win. In a move which the 67-year-old hit out at, he can now not win any more than $2000 on a win or place bet, and cannot win any more than $2000 even on a combination multi. He must also place all his bets by 9.30am on respective race days. "It's more like, ‘You know the odds, now beat them. But if you do, we'll cut you'," a fuming Beirne said. "On the one hand they're complaining about leakage - don't bet overseas, they say, but you can only back losers in New Zealand - ‘You can play in our sand pit but only if you lose'." Beirne owned Kate's First when it won the 1997 Auckland Cup. He has been a passionate supporter of harness racing for more than 50 years. But the TAB's stance had him questioning his future support for the industry in New Zealand. "I put $1 million into the industry every year through 25 racehorses, plus broodmares and sponsorship, but I'm at the point of thinking of selling the lot and going and playing bridge," he said. He added in a written response to Patrick and the TAB: "The owners that continue to race horses are supplying the product for your customers to generate turnover. Have you also considered that while my past betting has cost you money on fixed odds, every time I line up a horse in a race it is making you money on the tote? "No doubt you also have other large winning customers but how many of these people contribute product for your customers to be on to the degree that I do? I would suggest none." Beirne had offered a compromise over betting limits, but the TAB had rejected it, he said. Patrick told the Sunday Star-Times it was standard practice around the world for corporate bookmakers to restrict winning punters. He believed the way the TAB was treating Beirne was fair and reasonable. He would not confirm how many other punters had similar restrictions. "One of our objectives under the Racing Act is to maintain a profitable wagering system and we need to take that obligation seriously," he said. "There will be clients who have better information than us, or who are better than us, that we will need to put limits on." Courtesy of Barry Lichter - Sunday Star Times
The Queensland harness racing industry will be on the receiving end of a 16 per cent prizemoney boost from October 1 this year as part of a funding windfall for the state's three racing codes. Addressing an industry briefing at Deagon this week, Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board Chairman Kevin Dixon said Racing Queensland had delivered on its commitment to improve the returns for participants of all codes in the wake of the new wagering deal. “This is a monumental occasion for the Queensland racing industry. We have now provided an opportunity for every participant in the state to increase their returns through significant increases to prize money allocations in all codes,” Mr Dixon said. “For years, the Queensland racing industry has been lobbying for more prizemoney and we have delivered that today in a way that ensures each code and region benefits from the increases. “Based on the increases coming into effect on October 1, overall prizemoney year on year will increase by 50 per cent for greyhounds, 20 per cent for thoroughbreds and 16 per cent for harness racing. “These improvements were devised with a new allocation strategy, which determines prizemoney based on each code’s individual revenue less the costs they incur. This means when one code is performing well, they will directly benefit from their success and not be impacted by other codes.” The key improvements from October 1, 2014 are: Harness Non-performing Monday meetings have been removed form the schedule and those races have been absorbed by other meetings, and will receive a prizemoney increase of 50% from $2,000 to $3,000. Prizemoney offered at Saturday Metro meetings increases by 19 per cent, highlighted by CMO races increasing 50% to $12,000, and 2nd Division Q0/Q1/Q2 increasing 33% to $8000. Similarly, prize money at Tuesday Metro will increase by 27.5 per cent and Friday Metro by 39% Increase to provincial prizemoney at Redcliffe on Wednesday nights by 52 per cent with a number of races now worth $5000. Mr Dixon said the new wagering deal with Tatts Bet had paved the way for the prizemoney increases, which would only be amplified by the recent improvements to QTIS and soon-to-be announced improvements to the other breeding schemes. “Once the wagering deal was finalised, we were able to look at the big picture and determine where we could invest and expend that money to give our participants the best possible return on their investment,” Mr Dixon said. “The best part of the new deal is, though, that if the racing industry pulls together and performs, increases like these will continue to flow in the future. “Prizemoney was the obvious and most sought after improvement, and now we will work closely with our stakeholder groups to ensure future allocations of funding continue to address the needs of the industry.” Minister for Racing Steve Dickson said the increases to prizemoney marked a major milestone in the Government’s commitment to reinvigorate the racing industry in Queensland. “Prizemoney increases in all three codes across the state have always been the goal and today we have seen just how bright the future is for our participants,” Mr Dickson said. The new prizemoney structure has been achieved because of the terrific wagering deal recently secured with Tatts, and builds on the success of the first phase of our infrastructure strategy, and the stabilisation of the administrative part of the organisation. “The reinvigoration of the industry is well underway and we will continue to work with Racing Queensland and industry participants to ensure it continues.” Racing Queensland
If the racing industry wants to remain competitive, it must change and become more relevant to a younger customer base. That's the clear message from New Zealand Racing Board chair Glenda Hughes who says with those changes inevitably come costs. Hughes said while the year end financials hadn't yet been finalised, the board was being upfront with stakeholders that it would not meet its net profit target and that distribution forecasts would be "steady." A high New Zealand-Australia currency exchange rate, which has also impacted on SkyCity's results, was partly to blame but higher costs and longer timeframes associated with key projects, such as the mobile app and broadcasting upgrade had also contributed. "Coming in, I knew the business suffered from historic underinvestment and it was clear to me changes were needed to keep the business competitive," Hughes said. "Together with the soon-to-be-released new mobile app and an upgrade in core IT services, these investments better position the business to remain relevant to a younger customer base and adapt to a rapid shift to digital channels. "These projects are not yet delivering the full benefits planned and this has flowed through our forecasts." But Hughes said good results had started already from these projects such as live race streaming and the transition to SKY which had paved the way for the recently revamped TAB Trackside 1 and Trackside 2 television channels. Hughes said despite the necessary industry investment for the future, the board would be very focussed on bringing down other costs. "I see this as a major issue and it's the point that is raised with me more than any other. "I'll be pushing hard to see focus brought to reducing costs even though it may take some time for them to unwind." Hughes said this year's Statement of Intent was an honest reflection of where NZRB stood at the moment and the board was taking a more realistic approach. "It is not where I'd like us to be but our aim is to get the distribution back up to the codes. "Last year we delivered a record distribution and next year we'll be reviewing the forecasts to ensure we are delivering the best possible distribution." Hughes said it was nothing unusual to review and update its three year forecasts. "We do this every year to ensure we accurately reflect the state of the business and our operating environment. A draft has gone to the racing industry for consultation and we will take their feedback into account. "We will be refining the strategy accordingly. We'll be in a better position to provide an update at our agm later this year." Hughes said while higher than expected costs had impacted on distribution forecasts for the new season that did not mean the strategic goals unveiled in 2013 may not eventually be achievable. Meanwhile, Hughes welcomed news that both the Government and Labour had committed to tackling the issue of betting leakage, which was now a major threat to the industry. It is estimated New Zealanders bet $300 million a year with overseas agencies that isn't subject to levies or taxes, costing the Government $30m in revenue and the codes $35m in profit distribution. Racing Minister Nathan Guy said betting was now a priority, and his team would work closely with the industry to find practical solutions to the problem after the election. Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson said Labour would pass legislation to stop offshore betting websites from avoiding tax here. Courtesy of Barry Lichter and the Sunday Star Times
The New Zealand Racing Board welcomes the commitment of both the Government and Labour party to tackle the issue of offshore betting. Racing Minister Nathan Guy says it's now a priority, and his team intend to work closely with the racing industry to look for practical solutions to the problem after the election. Racing Spokesperson Ross Robertson says Labour will pass legislation to stop offshore betting websites from avoiding tax in New Zealand and denying revenue to the New Zealand racing industry. The TAB estimates that New Zealanders bet up to $300 million per year with overseas agencies that isn't subject to levies or taxes. New Zealand Racing Board Chair Glenda Hughes says leakage is increasing and now a major threat to New Zealand's racing industry. "We have long called for measures to level the playing field and ensure the racing industry sees a benefit from their investment." "We have been working with the current government on this issue and we are pleased that both these political parties now see the need to take action." The racing industry plays a critical role in the New Zealand economy contributing $1.6 billion to GDP - on par with the seafood and wine industries. It's a major source of employment, supporting over 17,000 full time jobs across the country. Kate Gourdie Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board
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
A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour's Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour's racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to New Zealand's racing industry. "It is estimated around $300-$400 million of Kiwi money is placed on overseas sports betting sites that aren't subject to levies or tax. That not only cuts the TAB's odds but also starves this country's racing industry of funds. "Other countries, including the UK, are implementing legislation that makes clear that a bet placed on a local website should be subject to that jurisdiction's tax rules. "A Labour Government will do the same to ensure New Zealand Racing and the TAB are not disadvantaged by overseas bookies and agencies, a move that is expected to increase the Government tax take by around $20 million a year. "Labour will bring together industry stakeholders, including social service providers, to review wider gambling regulation and develop policy on the use of pokie machines. "We will also assist in establishing a Code of Practice for the racing industry, which will be agreed on and drawn up by all major stakeholders. It will safeguard the position of the NZ Racing Board to hold the exclusive rights to racing and sports betting in this country and for the net proceeds to be returned to support New Zealand racing. "While the racing industry makes a significant contribution to New Zealand's GDP and creates employment and export opportunities, it does face difficulties in remaining sustainable into the future. "Labour recognises that and will work alongside the sector to support its revitalisation," Ross Robertson said. Contact: Ross Robertson 0274 923245 Authorised by Ross Robertson, Parliament Buildings, Wellington
There was no ring-around last week however the ring-around the week prior produced five winners. Let’s see if we can top that tally this week. Forbury – Thursday Robbie Close: Thinks impressive last start winner Billies A Star will prove very tough to beat in the third race on the card. Jonny Cox: Has found some value in the form of stable newcomer Franco Theron – race six. Ken Barron: Has opted for Livura, who looks a strong chance in race seven, as his bet of the week. Matthew Williamson: Thinks Sage can surprise at value from her ace draw. She also competes in the seventh race on the card. Franklin@Alexandra Park – Friday Scott Phelan: Has opted for Getaway Doug as his bet of the week – race two. Steve Richardson (T.A.B): Rates the chances of Tarn, who was a good workout winner last weekend, in the same event. Todd Mitchell: Is bullish about the chances of Tangos Delight, who has raced well lately despite receiving little luck. She looks a good chance in race six. Jay Abernethy: Has opted for Pacific Rapture, who finished a nice second in the Golden Girls Final, in the same race. Josh Dickie: Expects Tembi to prove too strong for his five rivals in the last event on the card. Rangiora – Sunday Gavin Smith: Has opted for stable newcomer Zena Mac, who looks a good chance from her ace alley in the second race. Mark Jones: Rates JC Skipper as his best chance of the weekend – race four. Ricky May: Has selected Mighty Peruvian, who stuck on gamely for second last start. He also competes in race four. Terry Chmiel: Expects impressive trialist Parramatta to prove hard to beat in the fifth event on the card. Mitchell Robertson (Harnesslink): New Deal – race nine.
A night field with the Alpine $3,000 claiming series harness racing action was nothing but eye popping and heart grabbing at Red Shores Charlottetown on Tuesday night. The common phrase of "Boom, just like that!" used by track announcer Vance Cameron when a large first quarter flashes up on the board was used many times Tuesday night. A total of five races on the 12 dash card feature first quarters better than :28. In the evenings feature Race 8, favourite Lyndale Royal seen his win streak stopped by Mcmacverick in line to Kenny Murphy. Lyndale Royal left off the gate from post 3 with Marc Campbell at the helm, after being clearing just before a quarter in :27.3, Campbell continued to roll his charge flipping off a half in :56.2 and three quarters in 1:26.4. Tempo Seelster made a bolt three wide move up the back stretch to clear Lyndale Royal at the head of the stretch before Mcmaverick got up in the final stride to win by a nose for owner - trainer Keith Campbell. The fastest trip of the night came in the evening finale with the 'Blue Knight' Jason Hughes guiding Outside The Wire to a five length victory winning in 1:55.1 for owners Andrew Avery and John Brodrick. Onehotvett finished second and Iron Phil was place third after I D K was placed for interference approaching three-quarters. Claiming action was in full flight in the final leg of the Alpine $ 3,000 claiming series. A total of six horses were claimed heading into the two finals Saturday night. Maiden Heaven was the first claim, she prevailed to win for her owners Charles Gaudreaut and Maxim Gaudreault in 1:58. Hello America finished third and was claimed. Whatabadgirl picked up the win in the Race 5 fillies and mares for owner, trainer, driver Gary MacDonald in 1:58.1. The third division went to driver Stephen Quinn and Mcdaisy Cutter in 1:58. On the horses and geldings side of things Cam Cool took Race 9 in 1:56.4 for driver Campbell, he and third place finisher Bakardi Arti were claimed. Godivabeachdiamond played a little hard ball hanging out two other rivals to an opening quarter of :27.4 and hanging on to win in 1:56. He and second place finisher J N J both found new addresses. Bo Ford
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.
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