In an exciting announcement for the Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star, it has been revealed that star US reinsman Corey Callahan will be in Australia for the International extravaganza on March 22. In just its second year, the $400,000 Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star trotting series held across one sensational night at Tabcorp Park Melton has attracted some massive names and it continues with Callahan adding his name to the list of visitors for the richest squaregaiting event in the southern hemisphere. Having only started his career at the age of 27, eight years later he has quickly become one of the leading drivers in North America. Growing up under the tutelage of his father Nick, Corey decided to turn his hand to college ambitions before returning to harness racing where he has driven thousands of winners. In fact since 2010 he has never driven less than 500 winners in a season, an extraordinary statistic that proves just how prolific the talented driver has been. He is also currently leads the United States Trotting Association Drivers' Premiership, 29 ahead of Ron Pierce . And it's not just his consistency that has him on top, he has also mixed it at the top level, taking out the $500,000 Hoosier Cup with Mr Wiggles in 2009 and competed in the World Driving Championship, representing the US. But it was 2013 which was the year that put the 35-year-old on the world stage as he raked in over $9.7 million in stakes earnings, placing him in the upper-Echelon in North America. He drove standout winners like Golden Receiver, D'Orsay and Drop The Ball. But, Australian trots fans will know him for his association with Ma Chere Hall, owned by Australian interests, however his win with Allstar Partner in the $260,000 PA Sires Stakes Championship was the highlight of his season. Callahan has been a fixture of some of the best tracks in America, racking up over 100 wins at The Meadowlands last season. Callahan will be involved during the week of the Great Southern Star and will compete in the Drivers Invitational on the all-squaregaiting night. Callahan arrives in Australia on March 18 and is available for drives. Interested trainers should call the Racing Office on (03) 8378 0200. For media enquiries contact Brett Boyd on (03) 8378 0250. BLAKE REDDEN COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER [Harness Racing Victoria]
It was an enticing mix of old and new at The Meadowlands on Saturday night with fan favorite Golden Receiver making a successful return to the track and a couple of lightly raced three year olds with big futures captured divisions of the Buddy Gilmour series. Golden Receiver has had a remarkable career for trainer Mark Harder and owners Our Horse Cents Stable and Nina Simmonds, winning over two million dollars with many of his greatest victories coming at The Meadowlands. Now aged nine years, Golden Receiver returned to the racing wars with Corey Callahan aboard after a two and a half month respite following his second place finish in the 2013 TVG Pacing Championship final on November 30. On Saturday, driver Callahan called upon his mount's customary speed and style to set comfortable (for him) fractions of 26.1, 54.4, 1:22.4 before holding off the formidable late bid by the pocket sitting Easy Again by a neck in 1:49.2. Both Harder and Callahan were elated by the return of their "Big Horse" in the same fine form he has exhibited for the past several years. The Buddy Gilmour series (formerly known as the Jr Trendsetter) for three year old colts and geldings has long been a springboard for lightly raced sophomores to gain needed experience as they embark on what their connections hope will be a summer stakes campaign. The winners of the pair of $17,500 divisions raced on Saturday gave further cause for optimism to their connections who had already made the February 15 nomination payment to the Meadowlands Pace on each. Brittany Farms has raced many champions through the years and were a partner in last year's Pace winner Captaintreacherous. George Segal's nom de course looks to have another potential prodigy in the American Ideal colt Capital Account. Trained by Jimmy Takter, Capital Account didn't make his first start until December 21 but has demonstrated unusual speed in his four prior outings with three wins and a place. Saturday's race was another step forward, resulting in a five length win in a new record of 1:51-. Pierce, also from Takter's barn, was second and Grandpa Don, third. Yannick Gingras has been aboard for all of Capital Account's races and handled him flawlessly again in this one. There's no questioning the colt's speed and once his mind and gait catch up he's going to be a force. National Debt comes from an entirely different background but was no less impressive in his east coast debut after travelling across the continent. He is being trained in New Jersey by Ron Coyne Jr. for Blair and Ema Corbeil and their partner Kelly Hoerdt, who developed and drove the undefeated colt to four impressive wins in Western Canada last fall. National Debt made a quick impression on the locals with his sharp appearance and long, powerful strides. With two qualifiers under his belt for fitness, National Debt and Tim Tetrick caught the similarly unbeaten Dinner At The Met in his Gilmour split. On this evening, after taking an early tuck in third, Tetrick moved National Debt to the lead just past the 56.1 half and let him roll on a bit. When Dinner At The Met rolled up to challenge into the stretch National Debt had plenty in reserve, sprinting home in 26.3 to hold safe by three lengths in 1:50.3. Most impressive were the two separate bursts of speed National Debt displayed, one, making his bid for the lead past the half, the other in the stretch. When Tetrick asked for speed in the final eighth, the response was devastating. National Debt could provide quite the surplus for his connections in 2014. It was a tremendous night for wagering at The Meadowlands Saturday. The Total handle was a robust $3,625,092, which was a slight bump from last year. In addition, on-track handle was up as the facility was packed with patrons taking advantage of the first signs of spring in the northeast. The attractions at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will only grow in the spring with the opening of Victory Terrace, the rooftop bar and lounge and The Backyard, which will be the expansion of the track apron with entertainment and dining options galore. Racing resumes on Thursday, with the second round of the Charles Singer Memorial trotting series, with post time at 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali
This weekends three series finales at Cal Expo honor the memory and contributions of Alan Kirschenbaum, Richard Staley and Marvin Shapiro. The Alan Kirschenbaum Series is named for the longtime owner and breeder and past president of the California Harness Horsemens Association, who died in October 2012. Kirschenbaum was a major factor in California as an owner, breeder and amateur driver for many years. With his stallions Little Steven and British Sterling standing at Cherry Tree Farm in Wilton, he helped support the industry in California. In the past, he had even waived his stallion fees to help the California horsemen breed their mares to help the horse population survive in the Golden State. He was also a huge supporter of the California Sire Stakes and amateur races. Richard Staley, who passed away in 1997 at the age of 66, was one of the top owners to ever campaign trotters and pacers in California. He was involved in the sport for more than 25 years and during that entire period had only one trainer, Hall of Famer Doug Ackerman. Over the years Staley and Ackerman would regularly go to the major sales to select and purchase the regally-bred years that became the bulwark of the Staley Stable and provided California harness racing with many of his classiest performers. Marvin Shapiro was the son of L.K. Shapiro, who owned the Hall of Fame thoroughbred and California-bred champion Native Diver. He was the president of Western Harness Racing Inc. in the 1960s and spearheaded legislation that sanctioned night racing in California. He died in 2003 at the age of 83. Marvin Shapiro Finale, Open Pace in spotlight A contentious $7,350 finale of the Marvin Shapiro Pacing Series and an Open Pace headed by One And Only are the main events on Saturday nights Watch and Wager LLC program at Cal Expo. Itsabouttonight and Plum Crazy Baby captured the two divisions of the first leg of the Shapiro, while last week saw one division and it was Majestic Lass who come rolling late to post a $47 upset. An 8-year-old daughter of Art Major, Majestic Lass is owned by Kimberly Andres, is conditioned by Salvador Wenceslao and will have Mooney Svendsen in the sulky. No threat in the first leg of the Shapiro, she came back last week to be up by a head over another longshot in Pips Jenny G., with the $1 exacta returning a cool $515 in that affair. Itsabouttonight will represent owner/trainer Gretchen Smith with Tim Maier at the helm. The Illinois-bred mare dominated her division of the opening leg over a sloppy track, then was a close third last weekend after opening up a large lead at the head of the stretch that evening. Plum Crazy Baby is a 6-year-old Relentless Yankee mare who carries the banner of Derick Takahashi with Dario Solares training and Dave Siegel doing the honors. She was a very convincing victress in the first leg, then was first over in her most recent appearance and had to settle for the fourth as the 8-5 favorite behind Majestic Lass. Completing the field are Red Star Gilda with Williams Hernandez; No Mo Parking for Mike Jarvis; Curvacious with Luke Plano in the sulky; Pips Jeeny G, Patrick Galbraith; and Little Schoolgirl, who leaves from the outside slot with James Kennedy at the helm. One And Only gets top billing in the Open Pace for owners Richard Morita and David Yamada, trainer Lino Pacheco and driver Luke Plano. The son of Bettors Delight rattled off five straight wins between December 21 and February 1 before having the streak broken at most recent asking after doing his work from the demanding No. 10 post position. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness
The 2014 book for first-year stallion A Rocknroll Dance is now full and closed, according to Diamond Creek Farm's Adam Bowden. A Rocknroll Dance p,2,1:49.1; 3,1:48.1f; 4,1:47.2 ($2,429,441), a multiple World Champion and winner of the Meadowlands Pace, stands at Diamond Creek of Pennsylvania for a stud fee of $6,000. I'd like to thank all who booked to him, from the first one to the last one, Bowden said. We believed in him as a racehorse and we believe in him now as he embarks on his next career. His book is filled with quality from top to bottom. "We're breeding 19 of our own top mares to him, including three millionaires and two Dan Patch winners", he added. Included in that group is Diamond Creek's sparkling 2012 acquisition See You At Peelers p,2,1:51.3f; 3,1:49.2f ($1,573,260), a World Champion and two-time Dan Patch award winner. Other top mares in A Rocknroll Dance's initial court include Loyal Opposition, Loving Caroline, Isabella Blue Chip, Tidewaterdragonfly, Blood Diamond and Apple, the latter two from the immediate maternal families of great producers Cathedra and Arterra. "Dance is a gorgeous stallion, and hopefully his foals will have that great Western Hanover look that his inbreeding suggests", Bowden said. "I think they'll be very popular attractions at the select yearling sales." Diamond Creek Farm For further information contact Adam Bowden: (859) 707-5987, email: email@example.com
On what was another difficult evening weather-wise with the wind blowing a gale throughout, The Meadowlands Saturday night card provided excitement, opportunity and value. The excitement was provided by Easy Again who won the $30,000 Free For All feature by leading all the way in 1:51.1. Sent out hard from the outside post six after a pair of scratches by Yannick Gingras, Easy Again got to the opening quarter in 27.4 and decided to duplicate those fractions for each quarter thereafter, including ripping home in 27.4 into the teeth of a fierce wind. Trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and Panhellenic Stable who bought the Dragon Again horse for $100,000 at Harrisburg. Easy Again has always been a high speed horse but plagued by issues throughout his career. He certainly looks poised to be a force on the east coast this summer. So far as opportunity and value, the nightly Pick 5 got the ball rolling with a payoff of $5,076, the early Pick 4 returned $1,341 and the late Pick 4 a whopping $23,854 (all $1 increments). Panesthetic and Dave Miller made it back to back impressive wins, making a double jump in class, but going wire to wire again, winning the $16,000 B-1 Pace in 1:52.2 for trainer Andrew Harris. Panesthetic is owned by Arlene Shaw, Alice Bonenfant and P. Shaw. In addition, Dinner At The Met will head into Saturday's Buddy Gilmour Pacing Series a perfect three for three following his 1:54.3 romp in the nightcap, a non-winners of two pacing event. The three year old son of Metropolitan is trained by Erv Miller, who co-owns the gelding with Bert Hochsurung and has been guided to victory in all three of his starts by Marcus Miller. Despite the snow and extreme winds, it was another $3 Million night in East Rutherford, New Jersey as total handle checked in at $3,064,833. Racing returns Thursday, for the first round of the Charles Singer Memorial Trotting Series with post time at 7:15 P.M. That program is the identical program from February 13th that was forced to cancel due to a winter storm. That entire 10-race program has been carried over to this coming Thursday. Darin Zoccali
The world's classic trotting race has engaged a classic field of 25 for next Sunday's one million euro Gr. I International Prix d'Amerique over 2700 meters at Paris-Vincennes. Today's Prix de Cornulier winner Roxane Griff is in the mix (earnings in chart below exclude today's race and now stand at 2,023,118 euro), along with veteran performers Ready Cash (a double winner), Timoko (likely with Jos. Verbeeck at the lines, he a four time driving winner of the Prix d'Amerique) and The Best Madrik. Last year's winner Royal Dream was not engaged after two weak recent efforts. New players Triode de Felliere, Up And Quick and Soleil du Fosse should not be overlooked. The same can be said of a group from Italy, Sweden and Norway that includes Sweden's surprise entrant Maharajah. Recent impressive winner at Vincennes, Yarrah Boko, should have a chance along with some of the Italian contingent that includes sprinter Mack Grace SM on a twelve race win streak, Nesta Effe that raced today at Florence, Pascia' Lest and longshot Marielles. As usual the Prix d'Amerique shapes up as a superior race with superior equine talent. 1 Spirit Beji 2 Unabella Perrine 3 Uhlan Du Val 4 Soleil Du Fosse 5 Triode De Felliere 6 Santa Rosa France 7 Marielles 8 Renommee D'Obret 9 Pascia' Lest 10 Univers De Pan 11 Up And Quick 12 Roxana De Barbray 13 Vanika Du Ruel 14 Titego D'Etang 15 Mack Grace Sm 16 Quinoa Du Gers 17 Nesta Effe 18 Yarrah Boko 19 Reve de Beylev 20 The Best Madrik 21 Save The Quick 22 Roxane Griff 23 Timoko 24 Maharajah 25 Ready Cash In just a week another champion will join a list of immortals (last 28 listed below) in the 2014 edition of the race begun in 1920 to celebrate America's role in creating freedom from tyranny in Europe. Nowhere is America celebrated better than with the Prix d'Amerique, nowhere is international racing better presented. Be there !!! 2013 Royal Dream (Jean-Philippe Dubois) 2012 Ready Cash (Franck Nivard) 2011 Ready Cash (Franck Nivard) 2010 Oyonnax (Sebastien Ernault) 2009 Meaulnes du Corta (Franck Nivard) 2008 Offshore Dream (Pierre Levesque) 2007 Offshore Dream (Pierre Levesque) 2006 Gigant Neo (Dominik Locqueneux) 2005 Jag de Bellouet (Christophe Gallier) 2004 Kesaco Phedo (Jean-Michel Bazire) 2003 Abano As (Jos Verbeeck) 2002 Varenne (Giampaolo Minnucci) 2001 Varenne (Giampaolo Minnucci) 2000 Général du Pommeau (Jules Lepennetier) 1999 Moni Maker (Jean-Michel Bazire) 1998 Dryade des Bois (Jos Verbeeck) 1997 Abo Volo (Jos Verbeeck) 1996 Coktail Jet (Jean-Etienne Dubois) 1995 Ina Scot (Helen Johansson) 1994 Sea Cove (Jos Verbeeck) 1993 Queen L. (Stig H. Johansson) 1992 Verdict Gédé (Jean-Claude Hallais) 1991 Ténor de Baune (Jean-Baptiste Bossuet) 1990 Ourasi (Michel-Marcel Gougeon) 1989 Queila Gédé (Roger Baudron) 1988 Ourasi (Jean-René Gougeon) 1987 Ourasi (Jean-René Gougeon) 1986 Ourasi (Jean-René Gougeon)* (Files from Paris-Turf) by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com
Billed as a matchup between the razor sharp Sweet Justice and the classy Daylon Magician, Friday's Open Trot at The Meadowlands seemed to be a 2-horse race on paper, but in the end, it was anything but. Sweet Justice broke stride right at the start, seemingly leaving the race to Daylon Magician who asserted an early lead. Setting fractions of 26.4, 55.2 and 1:23.4, Daylon Magician driven by Dave Miller turned for home seemingly on cruise control. But World Cup was guided off the pylons by Joe Bongiorno and made his move with three-sixteenths of a mile to go and what a move it was as he wore down Daylon Magician sprinting home in 27.4 to get up by a nose at 17-1. World Cup is owned by Carly Roman and trained by Brad Irvine. It was that upset that sparked a lone winning ticket in the Pick-5 which returned $30,052.60 for the $.50 cent minimum play. The Pick 5 wasn't the only pool with one winning ticket as Mike Simons repeat upset victory with Twin B Spike Man at 31-1 in the tenth race B-1/B-2 Handicap Trot ensured one winning ticket in the Late Pick 4, which returned $64,811.80. Perfect Alliance was noteworthy impressive winner in her return to the races, romping to a 7-length score in a lifetime best 1:53.3 as she gears up for the Charles Singer Memorial Series. Driver Yannick Gingras stole the driving show tonight, winning five races extending his lead in the drivers standing to 14 wins in front of Dave Miller. It was another big night for the on-track handle, as it yielded a 14-percent increase over the same race day in 2013, while the total handle of $3,120,181 was a five percent increase as well. Racing resumes on Saturday with first post time of 7:15 P.M. The program features a Free For All Handicap Trot, featuring Hypnotic Blue Chip, Bettor's Edge and the razor sharp Dovuto Hanover. Darin Zoccali
Your eyes are not deceiving you, Gerry Longo is back in California and competing here at Cal Expo. Once a fixture at or near the top of the driver standings at this track, Hollywood Park and Los Alamitos, the 68-year-old driver/trainer has returned to the West Coast for at least the foreseeable future. Its been over 30 years since I raced out here, said Longo, who recently passed the 2,600-win plateau with over $11 million in earnings. Ive come to California quite a bit to visit my mother, who lives in Garden Grove, and my daughter in Riverside, but this is the first time Ive raced here in a long time. I can tell you that the weather is nice, the people are great and Im impressed with the way theyve upgraded the facility since I was here the last time. Longo explained that he made the move to Chicago at a time when it looked like harness racing was about to go down for the count in California. I did some racing back there in 78, 79 and 80, then I bought a place and started racing in Chicago full time, he said. I like to travel, so Ive also been racing at tracks in Virginia and Minnesota. Gerry has brought out six performers and is almost treating the visit like a vacation. Right now the plan is stay at least under March, but well see how it goes. Open Pace, Sire Stakes, Joe OBrien set An Open Pace spotlighting One And Only; a trio of $10,000 California Sire Stakes and the first leg of the Joe OBrien Pacing Series are the main events on Saturday nights 15-race program at Cal Expo. The Open Pace is the third race on the evening with One And Only looming large. He is a 6-year-old son of Bettors Delight out of the Western Hanover mare Gallie Too who carries the banner of Richard Morita and David Yamada with Line Pacheco the conditioner and Luke Plano handling the lines. He is looking for his Third Straight win at the top level. The bay performer got a perfect pocket trip with Plano on December 21 and drew off by five lengths when push came to shove in a lifetime-best 1:52 2/5 mile. Sent off at 40 cents on the dollar in the most recent top dance two weeks ago, One And Only took matters into his own hands and went coast-to-coast by a two and a half lengths to the delight of his many backers. Set to challenge One And Only are Its Getting Hairy for Tim Maier; Phantom Dan with trainer James Kennedy in the sulky; Docs Zippy, Tyler Smith; and Winsmith Syd, who leaves from the rail with Steve Wiseman. A Stitch In Time and Show Runner are strictly the ones to beat, respectively, in the Sire Stakes for the 4-year-old pacers, while the 3-year-old colts get their first chance to race for added-money at the meeting. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness
An Open Trot headed by stablemates Inside Broadway and Franks Best and a trio of $10,000 California Sire Stakes share the marquee Friday night at the Watch and Wager LLC meet at Cal Expo. A 15-race card is on tap with first post set at 5:20. The Open Trot goes as the eighth race on the evening, the Sire Stakes for 3-year-old pacing fillies occupies the sixth spot while the other two stakes will be decided as non-betting events prior to the regular program. Inside Broadway started off the new year in winning fashion by capturing the top dance for the trotting set on January 3 for her owner/breeder/trainer Bob Johnson and regular pilot James Kennedy. He made a huge move down the backside to go from fifth to first and came home powerfully to seal the deal in a 1:58 flat performance. Franks Best is also owned, trained and was bred by Johnson and is a half-brother to Inside Broadway with both being out of the American Winner mare Inside Edition. An earner of over $185,000 with a 1:56 2/5 career standard, the 7-year-old has several Invite wins at the meet and will once again be guided by Mooney Svendsen. Rounding out the field are Bet It All from the rail for Steve Wiseman; Rich Dessert with trainer Tim Maier in the sulky; El Azteca, to be guided by Tyler Smith; and Axel with Dave Siegel at the controls. The Sire Stakes for the sophomore pacing fillies will give that group their first added-money opportunity at the meeting. Trainer Junior Wilkinson will send out an uncoupled pair in Brewski, who has the inside slot with Tyler Smith; and Clara Bea with Chip Lackey at the helm. They will be challenged by Js Littlerockstar, Merlot, De Valeria and Perfect Pitch. The other two Sire Stakes are for the trotting set. Kimmie Girls offspring Freedombird looks to add another trophy to the mantle for trainer Gordie Graham and pilot Luke Plano in the 4-year-old affair, while Ahh Panama is among the major players in the 3-year-old contest. by Mark Ratzky for Cal Expo Harness
DOVER, Del. ---- Monochromatic makes a return to this week's female feature, after a three week absence, to take on eight foes in the $21,000 Mares/Handicap pace on Monday, Jan. 7 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. A 13-time winner of $200,605 in 2013 for North State Street Stable, Monochromatic, with Corey Callahan takes on last week's front-pacing winner Peter Tritton's Sam Fran Lady N and Tony Morgan, Jeremes Sweetheart, driven by Ron Pierce for Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta and Ontario finalist Jason and Susan Skinner's BJ's Sweetheart teamed with George Dennis. Two other contenders are both fresh from victory last time out, Ted Gewertz, George Teague and Fannin Racing's Yagonnakissmeornot, with driver Montrell Teague and Prairie Lee, owned by Bill Emmons, driven by Vic Kirby. The other starters are Foulk Stable's Mystra, piloted by Chris Page and KDM Stable's Miss Annie J, handled by Allan Davis. Monday through Thursday racing begins at 4:30 p.m. No racing on Friday and Saturday. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Marv Bachrad
Despite being up against one of its most successful Saturday nights in 2013, the Meadowlands was able to do one better. The total handle for the Saturday program of $3,658,400 marked an increase of $154,699 over the $3,503,701 wagered on this same Saturday last year, or just over 4-percent. The 2013 performance was a 29-percent increase over the prior year. The Meadowlands has started the new calendar year showing gains on top of gains. On-track handle also showed a mild increase. On the racetrack, three drivers shared in the majority of the wealth as Yannick Gingras, Ron Pierce and Corey Callahan all scored driving triples. Gingras' three wins brought his tally to nine for the weekend. There were five sub 1:50 miles on the card, including Bettor's Edge who captured the $30,000 A-1/FFA Handicap over 2012 Cane Pace Winner Dynamic Youth in 1:49.1. Bettor's Edge led the field from start to finish, giving Gingras one of his three wins for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable L.L.C., Weaver Bruscemi L.L.C. and M1 Stable. The fastest mile of the night was also the first mile of the night, as Eddie Sweat went right down the road for Ron Pierce in 1:48.4 for trainer Aaron Lambert and owners Lasalle Racing Group L.L.C. The other sub 1:50 winning performers were Cobalt Man, Magic Tricks and Rage N Ryan. Racing returns on Thursday night, which will be the opening round of the Super Bowl series. The cancelled program from January 2nd has been carried over to this upcoming Thursday night in its entirety. The Super Bowl Final is now scheduled for Wednesday January 22nd. For more information log onto PlayMeadowlands.com. Rachel Ryan
Winbak Farm welcomed its first foal of 2014, early on Thursday morning. The foal, a bay filly, is the first of 300 plus foals to be born at the Maryland location this foaling season. The filly is the first foal from an unraced Christian Cullen mare named Lilli Maid, and sired by Delaware stallion Roddy's Bags Again. Lilli Maid is a half-sister to Western Expression, p, 1:51.2f ($172,152) and Little Michael B, p, 1:50f-'13 ($130,117). The maternal family also includes Gimmebackmybullets, p, 1:49.3s ($664,742). Roddy's Bags Again stands at Winbak Farm of Delaware, which means the filly will be potentially eligible to race in the lucrative Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund program where Winbak Farm has high hopes for her success. Those interested in learning more about Roddy's Bags Again and Winbak Farm should visit www.winbakfarm.com. Winbak Farm is welcoming everyone to submit names for this filly. Those with name ideas should email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Elizabeth Lewis-House
Fridays 15-race program is headed by the Stuart A. Wiener Memorial Pace; a California Sire Stakes featuring Show Runner and two divisions of the second leg of the Dr. Gary Budahn Trotting Series. First post is 5:20 p.m. (PDT). The Stuart A. Wiener Memorial is named for the man who has raced trotters and pacers with his wife Wendi since 1990. They were married for 42 years and he passed away on Dec. 5 from a heart infection at the age of 65. He is also survived by his daughter Jennifer, her husband Jon and a 10-year-old grandson Nathan. He was CFO at Health Science College in Henderson, Nevada and enjoyed his work, but it was his love of horses that really showed through, Wendi said. Our first horse was Shot N, who we had with Ross Croghan, and he is still on the farm. Stu loved everything about the game, including the betting, and a perfect union was made. For many years, the Wieners have raced their horses with trainer Nathalie Tremblay, including their favorite pacer Bewareofthisaffair. Stuarts name did appear on some of the horses along with Wendis brother Alan Kraslow, but most of the performers raced under her name. Stu loved going to Sacramento and hanging out with the horses. We both loved Nathalie and Dave (Kuri) and we have all been together so long that its not as much a business as it is family. He even had the chance to jog a horse by himself once, and he never stopped talking about it. Stu really loved the horses and proof is that we have seven retired here on the farm. Life was always interesting, especially on race night when we went to Dish Network to watch every race. The last few months Stu actually felt good and was even back to golf, but who knew. I keep telling people that we need to celebrate Stus life. Even with all the health problems he had in the last several years, he had a pretty fantastic life. It was the horses that actually lifted him at the worst times. Contentious field set for Invitational Trot A well-matched field is set for Fridays $5,000 Invitational Trot, with last weeks upset winner K D Amazin Spirit taking on the stablemates Franks Best and Inside Broadway and the hard-knocking Axle. K D Amazin Spirit is a 7-year-old son of Thadrow out of the Monterey Judge mare K D Charm who is owned, trained and was bred by Keith Willey and will have xxxx at the controls. He comes into this assignment with $104,000 in his account and a 1:54 2/5 mark that was established here earlier this season. He had no shown much in his first three starts since returning from Running Aces, where he closed out that campaign with a win, but he certainly returned to top form in last weeks clash at the head of the class. Plano motored him right to the top, he set the fractions without a challenge and came home with nearly four lengths to spare at nearly 16-1 that evening. Franks Best was runner-up in that affair as the 2-1 choice and figures to once again get plenty of support. The Bob Johnson owned, trained and bred 6-year-old has $185,000 in the bank, a slew of Sire Stakes trophies on the mantle and has posed for pictures following three of his last six trips to the post here with Mooney Svendsen handling the lines. Inside Broadway is a half-brother to Franks Best and gives Johnson another strong look at the outcome. The 4-year-ood Broadway Hall offspring rattled off three straight wins between November 9 and December 6 and has been burdened with the outside posts in his last two appearances, including the demanding No. 10 slot on December 13. James Kennedy will again be in the sulky. Axle is a Michigan-bred son of Hard Rock who figures right in the thick of things with his best mile. He dead-heated for the win in a conditioned contest on November 22, but has had to settle for minor awards in the interim while doing his work at this top rung. George Reider trains and David Siegel drives and they co-own the performer with Robert Thronson and Greg Robinson. BEGINNING THIS WEEKEND, THERE WILL BE A $10,000 GUARANTED POOL FOR THE PICK 5 ON BOTH FRIDAY AND SATURDAY. THE PICK 4 GUARANTEE CONTINUES TO BE $20,000 ON FRIDAYS AND $25,000 ON SATURDAYS. Mark Ratzky
Ohio's leading racetrack by total handle, in both the on-track and export categories, is offering live harness racing four nights a week to start the 2014 racing year. January through July racing is Monday through Thursday with three additional dates of Friday, April 28 and Saturdays July 19 and 26. Beginning in August Northfield drops Wednesdays and adds Friday Evenings. Wednesdays resume on October 29 and a Monday through Friday schedule will be raced till the end of the year except for Friday November 27 and December 24, 25 and 31. Northfield Park's three marquee racing events are as follows: $100,000 (gtd.) Courageous Lady Friday, April 25; the $150,000 (gtd.) Battle of Lake Erie Saturday, July 19; and the $150,000 (gtd.) Cleveland Classic Friday, December 12. Each live racing night carries a first race post time of 6:00 p.m.
This Week: The 2013 Grand Circuit season has come to a close. The 2014 schedule will be released in January. Last time: Apprentice Hanover, driven by Jody Jamieson, made a sweeping three-wide move to win the $126,000 Cleveland Classic in 1:52.1 on Dec. 14 at Northfield Park in the final Grand Circuit event of the 2013 campaign. Sent off at odds of 3-1 as a heavy snow fell on the half-mile oval, Apprentice Hanover got away fifth as favored Word Power made the lead before the quarter, clocked in :27. Apprentice Hanover and driver Jody Jamieson won the Cleveland Classic in 1:52.1. Twilight Bonfire (Tony Hall) was first to challenge the leader, timing a slingshot swipe before the half, timed in :56.2. Jamieson put Apprentice Hanover on Hall's helmet in front of the grandstand for the first time. Twilight Bonfire put up a stiff challenge through three-quarters in 1:24, but could only close within a head of Word Power. In mid-turn, Jamieson tipped Apprentice Hanover three-wide. The colt responded by blowing by the other two colts to win. Twilight Bonfire was second with Good Day Mate charging late for third. Only The Lonely was fourth and Word Power faded to fifth. Apprentice Hanover was one of two horses (Word Power being the other) owned by Bradley Grant in the race. The 3-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere-Allamerican Nadia is trained by Ben Wallace. Apprentice Hanover now has five wins in 18 starts this year, good for purse earnings of $228,207. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2013, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Hanover Shoe Farms is the sponsor for the 2013 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the final standings for the 2013 season: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,862; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,645; 3. David Miller - 1,233; 4. Brian Sears - 781.5; and 5. Ron Pierce - 729.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,818.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,221.5; 3. Linda Toscano - 515.5; 4. Jonas Czernyson - 507.5; and 5. Tony Alagna - 471. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 410.7; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 380; 3. Frank Bellino - 268.5; 4. Brittany Farms - 263.05; and 5. WJ Donovan - 244. Looking ahead: The 2014 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director
Trainer Benjamin Wallace is having a great winter after a disappointing summer with Apprentice Hanover. Apprentice Hanover ($8.00), driven by Jody Jamieson, won the $126,000 Cleveland Classic at Northfield Park in 1:52.1. He started from post five and sat fifth through moderate early fractions of :27 and :56.2. Jamieson pulled second over and followed cover through the 1:24 three-quarters. Apprentice Hanover was tipped off his cover in the stretch and bested his competition by Â½-length. "We received a really good tow following Twilight Bonfire. He had us in good position," said Jody Jamieson. "The track was heavy tonight with a lot of snow but (Apprentice Hanover) was grabbing it great." Saturday's win is Apprentice Hanover's fifth this year and his third consecutive victory. He is concluding 2013 very strong after a rocky start to the season. "We has a bad summer with him," admitted Jamieson. "He got sick, as horses do." "He (Apprentice Hanover) just ruined my summer," trainer Ban Wallace commented. "He got very sick. I lost a lot of sleep over it. This is the first real race where I actually thought I had him tight and ready." Apprentice Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Allamerican Nadia-Dragon's Lair) increased his career bankroll to $495,205 for Milton, Ontario, Canada owner Bradley Grant. Completing the 2013 Classic field were Twilight Bonfire, Good Day Mate, Only The Lonely, Word Power and Dedi's Dragon.