In one of the classic harness racing stretch drives of the year, Clear Vision and driver Tim Tetrick nosed out Foiled Again and Yannick Gingras in winning the Grand Circuit inaugural $122,000 Dayton Pacing Derby. The time of the race was a track record 1:49 mile and it was the first time that Tetrick had ever driven the horse. It was race favorite Dancin Yankee and driver Tyler Buter who was first to show out of the starting gate, brushing by Night Pro (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) to a speedy :25.4 opening quarter mile. Then at the half mile marker in :53.4, Tetrick sent Clear Vision first-over and they flushed out Foiled Again who went right after Dancin Yankee and took command of the race by the three-quarters in 1:21.1 as Dancin Yankee spit out the bit and began to fade. That left Clear Vision first-over with Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson) on their backs going around the last turn but Clear Vision was still on the move. Collaring Foiled Again at the top of the stretch, those two went at it neck and neck in a driving finish to the wire with Clear Vision barely getting up in the final stride to win it. Apprentice Hanover was two and one-half lengths back in third. “It was very very tight,” said Tim Tetrick after the race, “It was horse race against Foiled Again. He’s one of the best horses I have ever seen, Foiled Again. He just doesn’t give up. He got a little rougher trip then my guy got up right when he needed to. I was loving the trip we were getting but with Foiled Again it’s so tough to get by him. I was in the right spot and my horse worn him down. “He (Clear Vision) is a nice horse and can tough it out,” Tetrick said. “He knows how to get the job done.” An eight-year-old gelding by Western Hanover, it was the sixth win this year for Clear Vision. He is trained by Ron Burke and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Panhellenic Stable and Jim Koran. He paid $4.60 to win. Tetrick came right back to the winner’s circle in the very next race after he won the $162,000 inaugural Grand Circuit Dayton Trotting Derby for older horses, also in a track record time with Market Share. It was Lindy’s Tru Grit (Scott Zeron) who took full advantage of the rail and sped to the early lead with race favorite Creatine and driver Dan Nobel sitting half in-half out in the two-hole and Daylon Magician (Jack Moiseyev) stuck first-over and floating on the outside in third. They went that way to the opening quarter mile in :26.3. Daylon Magician finally worked his way to the front and then Noble came first-over with Creatine with Wishing Stone (Yannick Gingras) second over and following third over was Market Share to the half mile in :55.1. Then the backstretch, before the three-quarter mile marker in 1:24.1, Tetrick sent Market Share three-wide and they came marching on and were able to clear to the lead after the bold move before the top of the stretch. From there it was a breeze for Market Share as he pulled away from the field and went on to win going away by three and one-half lengths in 1:52.4. Opening Night (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) was able to close for second with Creatine third. “If you look at him (Market Share),” Tetrick said, “he’s not very big but he has a big heart and he tries. It’s been kinda tough on Linda pulling her hair out this season trying to get him right. He’s had some health issues but he now has showed how he has made over $3 million. He’s done it the hard way, he won the Hambletonian, he was a $16,000 yearling and I have a special place (in my heart) for him. “When my horse is on his game,” Tetrick added, “He can race with the best in the country. Maybe by Breeders Crown we can beat Sebastian K.” For Market Share, a five-year-old stallion by Revenue S, it was his fourth win this year for trainer Linda Toscano and owners Richard Gutnick, T L P Stable and Bill Augustine. He paid $7.80 to win. An $11,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace, named in memory of R. J. "Skeeter" Brown, was also featured on the card. Latenite Rendezvous (Chris Page), making her first start at Dayton Raceway, was victorious for the partnership of Jerry Daugherty, Roger Hall and Page. They won in track record time of 1:51.4. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
ANDERSON, Ind. - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a stakes-filled card on Friday, October 24 as Grand Circuit racing action made a stop at Hoosier Park's seven-eighths mile oval for the third time this season. The 14-race card was highlighted by divisions of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotters and pacers and it was Hoosier Park's leading trainer, Ron Burke who stole the show with five winners on the 14-race card. Teaming up with drivers Matt Kakaley and Ricky Macomber Jr., the Burke stable found the winner's circle four times in stakes action and ended the evening with a victory in the Invitational Pace. Sayitall BB kicked off the stakes action for Burke as she was able to turn a pocket-trip into a 1:51.4 score in her $35,650 split of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies. Kakaley sent the sophomore pacing filly away from the gate to grab a pocket seat behind Skippin By and Trace Tetrick who carved out fractions of :26.1, :54.3, and 1:23.4 before ever feeling a threat. Sayitall BB was given the green light around the final turn and the sophomore filly used a :27.4 final panel to finish three-parts of a length in front of Skippin By. Fresh off her win in the Cinderella Stakes at Maywood Park, Sayitall BB has now won eight of 13 seasonal outings. With a seven-race win streak on the line, Rose Run Parker delivered as the heavy betting favorite in his $37,150 division of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings with a final time of 1:53.4. With regular pilot Ricky Macomber Jr. at the lines, Rose Run Parker made his customary move down the backside and was in control around the three-quarter mark. As the field turned for home, Rose Run Parker put his talent on display and he trotted away from the field to win by five lengths. The 1:53.4 mark was a new track record at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for three-year-old trotting geldings and a new lifetime best for Rose Run Parker. JK Endofanera looked every bit the part of a 1-5 favorite as he cruised home a winner in 1:49.4 in the first $30,000 division of the Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. With driver Matt Kakaley in the sulky, JK Endofanera made his winning move down the backside and never looked back. The son of Art Major-Presidential Lady powered away from the field with a :27.4 final quarter to win by eight lengths over his stablemate At Press Time and Ricky Macomber Jr. JK Endofanera was prepping for the $250,000 Monument Circle Pace slated for Friday, October 31 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Burke team found the winner's circle once again, but this time it was with the 2014 Little Brown Jug winner, Limelight Beach who stopped the timer in 1:50.3 in the third split of the $30,000 Circle City Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts. Kakaley wasted no time as he sent Limelight Beach away from the gate firing from post five. The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Benear rattled off fractions of :26.1, :55.1, and 1:23.3 before using a :27 final panel to coast home a winner by two lengths. Limelight Beach has now won four of 17 seasonal outings and pushed his 2014 bankroll to $539,118. The Burke-Kakaley duo notched their final victory of the night after Bettor's Edge used a near gate-to-wire effort to score in the $22,000 Invitational pace in 1:49.4. The five-year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight-Spring Wind was able to hold off a late charge from Mykindachip and Ed Hensley late in the lane to score his seventh of the season. The stakes action will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, October 25 as the 14-race card will feature the Madison County Stakes for two-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Each of the four divisions carries an estimated purse of $75,000. The first race will line-up behind the gate at 5:15 p.m. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park
YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 24, 2014--Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $35,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--one for distaff pacers and one for any trotter with acceptable street cred--were won by a pocketed Set Me Up (George Brennan, $6) and a two-move Melady's Monet (Jason Bartlett, $6.10). The week's fairer-sex feature was strictly a two-speed number, with slight 2-1 favorite Set Me Up--in play from post position No. 4--grabbbing the first lead before surrendering to Scandalous Hanover (Brian Sears). That one threw down early weigh stations of :28.1 and :58.1 as longshot Simple Saver N (Eric Carlson) tried it first-up. A brisk, :27.3 third quarter (1:25.4) dispatched that challenge as Scandalous Hanover owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. However, Set Me Up edged in and edged past, winning by head-fought head in 1:54. Coffee Addict (Dan Dube) rallied well for third, with ground-savers Seafood Annie (Larry Stalbaum) and Keystone Wanda (Brent Holland) rounding out the payees. For Set Me Up, a 5-year-old daughter of Shark Gesture co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her seventh win in 30 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $22.40, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $82. The week's marquee trot saw Melady's Monet, assigned post No, 7, left into a comfy three-hole. It was Andie Sophia (Dan Dube) leading through intervals of (:28.1, :57.4 and 1:26.2), with "Melady"--having taken out past the half--about to wear that one down. Melady's Monet secured the lead in and out of the final turn, then widened. The final margin was 2Â½ lengths in 1:54.4 Second went to Andie Sophia, with 7-5 choice Bambino Glide (Sears), Alternat Thursdays (Brennan) and Fortunista (Carlson) settling for the remainder. For second choice Melady's Monet, a 5-year-old Revenue S gelding trained by Melady Enterprises and trained by Kevin McDermott, he's now 5-for-23 this season. The exacta paid $24.20, the triple returned $103.50 and the superfecta paid $535. Saturday's stakes-stuffed program includes the $500,000 Yonkers Trot, $500,000 Messenger Stakes, $250,000 International Trot Preview (1Â¼ miles), $150,854 Lady Maud and $124,590 Hudson Filly Trot. Those races comprise a $20,000 guaranteed Pick 5 pool and there's also a T-shirt giveaway [while supplies last]). The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
Batavia, NY---One of the finer harness racing fields of top class trotters was assembled on Friday night (Oct. 24) at Batavia Downs and although the race had the look of a competitive contest, Lutetium proved once again he's one tough trotter to beat as he won the $9,500 Open feature. Driver Jim Morrill, Jr. had the hot hands with six winners on the card. After returning to the track from a five-week layoff, Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) found himself with a rare inside post (2) and even rarer 7-2 price. He also found himself in a familiar spot; on top of the field before they hit the eighth pole. After seating his peers with a :28.1 quarter, Lutetium strolled to the half in :58.4. When the outer flow got rolling, Second Hand News (John Cummings Jr.) was first up and got closest as the leader turned up the heat with a :29 third panel. It was then Second Hand News faded and Lutetium extended his lead to two open lengths. Down the lane, Serious George (Jack Flanigen), who got the pocket trip the whole race, made a game rush to the wire but Lutetium held strong and coasted to a half-length victory in 1:57.4. It was the 14th win in 27 starts for Lutetium ($9.50) and it raised his 2014 earnings to $79,940 for owner Colleen Girdlestone. The 7-year-old son of Credit Winner is trained by Mark Laidlaw. In the night's co-feature, Escrow Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) went gate to wire to take the win as well as a new season mark of 1:58.3. It was the second win in 29 starts for the 7-year-old Classic Photo mare and boosted her bank account to $25,040 for owner Vallelunga Z L. Escrow Blue Chip returned $6.20 for the win. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. strutted his stuff Friday while winning six races and taking five third-place finishes on the night. He only missed the board one time in his twelve drives. His winners included Landfair Nipper ($4.90), Escrow Blue Chip ($6.20), The Bronx Bumper ($2.60), Force Nine ($7.60), Dontch Remember ($17.60) and Outoftexas ($6.60). Racing resume on Saturday night (Oct. 25) at Batavia Downs with the first post slated for 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
TRENTON — Monmouth Park was expecting thousands of extra gamblers Sunday looking to place legal bets on NFL games for the first time in New Jersey history. But that won't happen. A federal judge today granted a request by four professional sports leagues and the NCAA for a temporary restraining order to halt the Oceanport horse-racing track from becoming the first venue in New Jersey to offer legal sports wagering. Monmouth Park was set to take advantage of a law Gov. Chris Christie signed last weekpaving the way for legalized sports betting at the state's casinos and racetracks by repealing an old state ban. But the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA filed a lawsuit Monday, saying the law violates a federal ban on sports wagering. They asked U.S. District Court Judge Michael Shipp in Trenton for the restraining order, saying Monmouth Park's plan would cause them immediate irreparable harm. To view the rest of this story click here.
Ted Gewertz and Diamond Creek Racing's Somwherovrarainbow (David Miller) regained her winning ways at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday afternoon. The event was an open for filly and mare pacers, going for a purse of $35,000. The race also featured top distaffers such as three-time millionaire Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick), two-time millionaire Rocklamation (Yannick Gingras), and budding superstar Katie Said, who was driven by the returning Andy Miller. At the start, it was Rocklamation powering her way off the wings, getting the first quarter in 26.4. There was no rest up top however, as Regal Elektra (Vic Kirby) successfully brushed just beyond the quarter. After the half of 55.4, Somewherovrarainbow charged determinedly first-over, overpowering the leader at three-quarters (1:23). It was all over from that point forward, as she went on to a four length win, stopping the clock in 1:50.4. Anndrovette cleared late to be second, while Katie Said finished third. Somewherovrarainbow picked up her nineteenth career win, pushing her earnings closer to $1.3 million. She is trained by Joe Holloway. She went on to pay $37.40 to win, keying a $111.80 exacta, and a $800.80 trifecta. Open trotters were also in action on Friday over the Chester oval. The wagering public sent Bill Weaver's NF Happenstance (Andrew McCarty) off as the favorite. At the start, it was long shot Guiltywithanexcuse (Ron Pierce) moving out for the lead, by the quarter in :26.2. That lead was short-lived however, as Quick Deal (Andy Miller) surged past to clear, tripping the half in :56 (:28.3). Heading towards three-quarters, favored NF Happenstance gained ground first-over. They squared off at three quarters, which was clocked in 1:24.4 (28.4). Quick Deal made a break at the top of the stretch, which left NF Happenstance in a battle with a fast closing Backstreet Hanover, who swept past to pull off the upset, stopping the clock in 1:53.4. She paid $44.40 to win. The winner is owned by David Hamm, trained by Allan Johnson, and was one of three driving wins on the day for George Napolitano Jr. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia
WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 24 -- Murderers Row mowed 'em down again Friday at The Meadows, capturing her second straight in a late-closing series for freshman filly trotters. Best Glider recovered from an early break to gain her second series victory while Phabaj Hanover and RV Janet also took $12,500 splits. The championships of all four current series for 2-year-olds at The Meadows are set for Saturday, Nov. 1. As she did in her initial series win, Murderers Row fired from the gate for Dave Palone and was ahead at every call, scoring comfortably in 1:59.4. The pocket-sitting She Glides was second, 3-1/2 lengths back. Red's Winner rallied for show. Ron Burke trains the daughter of Donato Hanover-Housethatruthbuilt for the Chuck Sylvester stable and owners Steve Jones, Mary Kinsey and Ted Gewertz. In the two companion features on Friday's card, one of the track's top performers extended his winning streak while another saw her victory skein end with a tough beat. In the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, Visible Gold found the Lightning Lane just in time to prevail in 1:52 for Palone, Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables. Odin Blue Chip was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Artist Night third. It was the fourth straight for the 6-year-old Bettor's Delight-Gabrielle gelding, who now has banked $351,444. However, in the $18,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Anaffairtoremember, who had won both starts since shipping to The Meadows, fell a neck short and settled for place when Crazy Grigio angled off the cones in the stretch and found racing room wide to score in 1:55 for Eric Goodell. Kandian Klub earned show. Burke conditions Crazy Grigio, a 4-year-old daughter of Crazed-Musetta Hanover who pushed her career earnings to $134,498, for Albert Crawford and Michelle Crawford. Burke and Mike Wilder each enjoyed a four-bagger on the 15-race card while Palone fashioned a triple. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
YONKERS, NY, - An important wagering/refund notice from Yonkers Raceway. Regarding the early Pick 4 wager from Saturday, Oct. 18th, Yonkers Raceway regrets any confusion caused by the late "barring" of two horses-Nuncio and Amped Up Hanover-from all wagering in the fourth race. Those horses should have been coupled as a wagering entry soon after the draw, but regrettably were not. Anyone who wagered on either of those horses in the Pick 4 was, by New York State Gaming Commission rules, given the wagering favorite as a "replacement." When Nuncio (racing for purse money only) won the race and would have gone off as the heavy favorite, customers in many instances were left with a horse they did not choose. While the rules state that a refund would also be available prior to the start of the wager (third race), we understand that this may not have been communicated to, or understood by, some guests either on track, at a simulcast location or on-line. Yonkers Raceway has decided to refund any Pick 4 wager that had either of those two horses (Nuncio or Amped Up Hanover) included in the bet....and if your wager was made at EmpireCityBets.com, we are going to double the refund. Please bring your ticket to the mutuel office (4th floor), or send the ticket, or a screen shot from your wagering site confirming the wager, to... From the Mutuel Department at Yonkers Raceway
This time last year Bee A Magician was number one in the harness racing Top Ten Poll and about to draw off from Captaintreacherous. Unless she lost—an unlikely occurrence—the Horse Of The Year (HOTY) race was over. This year things are more unsettled; Sebastian K is still on top, but after consecutive losses, second place Father Patrick is threatening. And if those two implode coming down the stretch there is always the undefeated freshman filly, JK She’salady. That would be an interesting development in that no two-year-old filly has ever been voted HOTY. There have been many great freshman fillies from the trotting and pacing ranks, but circumstances, perhaps a dominant player from the sophomore or FFA ranks or simple prejudice against the fledgling set, have always prevented them from scoring the ultimate prize. For instance, in 1973 the Hickory Smoke filly Starlark Hanover won 21 of 22 starts for David Wade. She won 15 major stakes races, earned $145,000, and set nine track records along the way. She beat the boys—11 of them-- in the Harriman at Yonkers Raceway from the second tier. Starlark received only three HOTY votes. And her contemporary, two-year-old Delmonica Hanover, who was voted HOTY in 1974, received two votes that year. Handle With Care was also a freshman in 1973, winning all 17 starts for Bill Haughton, including the Matron, Belle Acton, Hanover and La Paloma. HWC was voted HOTY in Canada, but received only one vote in the US. The overwhelming choice that year, garnering 187 of 216 votes, was the trotting bred FFA pacer Sir Dalrae. He won 20 of 27 starts and earned more than $300,000 for Jim Dennis. The son of Porterhouse, who had no success as a trotter, swept the inaugural US Pacing Championship Series at Sportsman’s Park, Roosevelt Raceway and Hollywood Park, matching the Roosevelt track record of 1:57.4 in the process. That being said, it’s hard to justify Starlark, Delmonica and Handle With Care getting only six votes. In 1964 freshman filly Armbro Flight won 20 of 26 starts, earning more money than any two-year-old filly ever had--$107,452. The sourpuss daughter of Star’s Pride was voted HOTY in Canada. Her problem in the US was Bret Hanover, who became the first two-year-old to win HOTY honors. He won all 24 starts, set nine track records for his class, and earned more money than any two-year-old ever had. Bret got 174 of 182 votes, so there weren’t many left for Armbro Flight. Flamboyant, the great Florican filly trained by Bill Haughton and driven by Haughton and John Chapman, was an outstanding freshman, but ran into a similar Bret Hanover problem, as the great pacer captured his third HOTY title in 1966. George Segal’s Albatross filly, Three Diamonds, won nine of her ten starts and more than $233,000 for Gene Riegle in 1981, but Fan Hanover captured 133 votes thanks to her precedent setting win in the Little Brown Jug. There were only nine votes available to Three Diamonds. Three years later freshman Davidia Hanover won 12 of 13, set a world record at The Meadows, and earned more than $500,000, but Fancy Crown won the division handily, with On The Road Again and two-year-old Nihilator also receiving quite a few votes. There were just two left for Davidia. Follow My Star won 13 of 14 in 1985, but Nihilator and OTRA took all the votes. Four years later Peace Corps won a unanimous decision in her division off of 15 wins, including the Merrie Annabelle and the Breeders Crown, but four-year-old Mack Lobell cashed his 17 wins in for the title. In 1991 Miss Easy, who, like Armbro Flight and Peace Corps, was anything but easy to deal with, won 15 of 17, including the BC, Three Diamonds, Countess Adios and Sweetheart, but Beach Towel trumped that by winning the NA Cup, Meadowlands Pace and Tattersalls Pace. The No Nukes filly Immortality swept her division at two in 1992, with the BC, Three Diamonds and Sweetheart being among her 13 wins, earning her over a million dollars, but she received only 14 HOY votes, compared to 244 for Mr. Perfect, Artsplace. In 1995 NA Cup and Maeadowlands Pace winner Cam’s Card Shark beat BC and Nat Ray winner Pine Chip 206 to 180, leaving CR Kay Suzie in the dust with 12 measly votes. She got her title the following year when she took the Yonkers Trot and the WTD. Continentalvictory was her victim. Eternal Camnation took 12 of her 13 starts in 1999, but six-year-old Moni Maker was voted HOTY. At two the great Snow White won 11 of 13 and swept her division. She set a world record on a half and earned more than $1.2 million, however, Hambletonian, Kentucky Futurity and CTC winner Donato Hanover received 189 votes to 11 for her. Honorable Daughter was an outstanding freshman, but SBSW got in her way. Check Me Out won 14 of 16 and set a world record, but her eight HOTY votes were no match for the 93 San Pail received. JK She’salady has a better shot at getting over the HOTY hurdle than many of the fillies listed above: Sebastian and Patrick both have blemishes on their records that an undefeated filly can exploit. If her two elders stumble over the course of the next month, while she remains upright, there’s no reason she can’t be the first freshman filly to be voted Horse of the Year. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com
(NEW KENT, VA) --- Colonial Downs will showcase Virginia-bred two and three year old pacers and trotters of both sexes Sunday afternoon in the annual $371,000 "Day of Champions" program, which will usher out the 2014 fall season. The four Commonwealth geared pacing events will be part of an eleven race pari-mutuel card starting at 1:00 PM while the four trotting stakes will be held as non-wagering races starting at 11:30 AM. Perfect Number, fresh off a three length win in last week's "Day of Champions" prep, is the early 9-5 favorite in the $49,400 three year old colt pace. Corey Braden, the meet's leading driver, will be in the sulky again for the Art Official gelding, who will face seven other sophomores in the seventh race. Filomena is the early 4-5 choice in the $48,000 three year old filly pacing championship. She defeated two year old champ Santa Baby by 1 3/4 lengths in last week's prep and hopes to turn the table from a year ago when she finished second to Santa Baby as a freshman. Frank Gannon's Riggy and Herman Hagerman's entry of Cam's Lilly and Blueridge Pushy are favored in the respective two year old $50,375 colt and $46,850 filly pacing divisions. Riggy wired the field in his prep race against five other foes in 1:57 2/5 while Hagerman's pair finished fourth and second a week ago after a tight blanket finish in 2:00 3/5. Here Comes Lucy, who won that race by a neck over two others, is actually the third choice at 4-1. Always Quick Star and Jingle Bells will try to defend their championships from a year ago as freshmen when they compete in the $44,600 filly and $42,000 colt/gelding trots as three year olds. Elma Lou and Wilbur Eden hope to parlay prep wins in the two year old filly and colt trots into championship titles on Sunday when they vie for $45,575 and $44,300 purses respectively.
In the world of harness racing there is not much that super star trotter Sebastian K has not done. The eight-year-old stallion by Korean has nearly $3 million in career earnings, has won most every major event in Europe, came to the USA this year and scored the fastest one mile race in Standardbred history with his 1:49 mile at Pocono Downs. So what’s left for the world champion to prove? How about making his first start ever on a half mile track! That’s right. Sebastian K has never raced on a half mile oval. He has 74 lifetime starts, 34 wins, 14 seconds and 2 thirds in his championship career. But can he handle the sharper turns on a half mile track? “It will not be a problem,” said Bjorn “Bernie” Noren, second trainer for Ake Svanstedt, “He (Sebastian K) is in good shape and with his quick early speed he will be OK on the smaller track.” This Saturday Sebastian K and Svanstedt will start from post six in the $250,000 International Trot Preview at Yonkers Raceway. The invitational event has drawn eight of the top trotters in racing. Included in the field and making his USA debut of another European champion, Commander Crowe, who has raced against Sebastian K in the past. Also in the field and the only mare against male rivals, is the 2013 Dan Patch Harness Horse of the Year, Bee A Magician. In fact, the total career earnings of the eight horses in the race is an amazing $17 million. Both Commander Crowe and Arch Madness are career earners of more than $4 million each. The Yonkers International Trot also tests the stamina of these champion trotters as the race is not the usual distance of one mile, the mainstay of North American harness racing, but is an extra distance race at one and one-quarter mile. How will that affect Sebastian K, who now has to maneuver the sharper turns of a half mile oval five times instead of just four times. “It will affect the American horses much more than it will Sebastian K,” said Noren. “They are not use to going an extra quarter mile, but Sebastian K, Commander Crowe and Arch Madness have all raced extra distances and should have an advantage over the other horses.” Commander Crowe has just come over from Europe and may not have had enough time to recover from the stress of trip and according to Noren, “He may not be at 100% for this race. He is a very great horse but the trip overseas is very tough on a horse. He could be in good shape but I would look for him to be at his best for the Breeders Crown next month at the Meadowlands. “It is good that he (Commander Crowe) has come over here to race,” Noren added, “The competition will help make the races more exciting for everyone here.” When asked to size up the competition against Sebastian K on Saturday, Noren summed it up. “Of course Sebastian K is the best in the race,” Noren chuckled, “And Ake Svantsted is so good at measuring a horse in an extra distance race. I think that Archangel and Arch Madness can be good and if Commander Crowe is feeling good he will be tough too.” The big question in the race will be that most of the horses entered have not set foot on a half mile track for most of their careers and they include Commander Crowe, Archangel, Sebastian K, Natural Herbie and Not Afraid. That’s five of the eight starters. And the other three, Bee A Magician, Obrigado and Arch Madness, have all won or were second in their last starts on Yonkers half mile oval. The morning line has Natural Herbie from post seven as the 3-1 race favorite. He is on a three-race winning streak. Arch Madness is the second choice at odds of 7/2 and for the first time since arriving in the USA, Sebastian K is not the race favorite in the morning line, but third choice at 4-1. With such keen competition, the revival of the International Trot will be quite the event to watch this weekend. Here is the field in post position order: $250,000 International Trot Preview 1 ¼ miles Commander Crowe (Orjan Kihlstrom) 8-1 Bee A Magician (David Miller) 8-1 Archangel (Matt Kakaley) 6-1 Obrigado (Jason Bartlett) 5-1 Arch Madness (George Brennan) 7/2 Sebastian K (Ake Svanstedt) 4-1 Natural Herbie (Verlin Yoder) 3-1 Not Afraid (Brett Miller) 20-1 By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
Last week we once again showed a minor loss on win bets (-$3.80) but made money with some decent exacta and tri hits. The action will be fast and furious this weekend as the Grand Circuit is in full swing around North America. We venture to Dayton Raceway Friday for their two opening season main events, the Dayton Pacing Derby and Dayton Trotting Derby for older horses and they have attracted some of the best in harness. Then Saturday its show time at Yonkers with the third jewel of the trotting Triple Crown, the Yonkers Trot, plus the Messenger Pace and the revival of the International Trot. Then over to Woodbine for the Big Four Finals, the Governor's Cup, Valley Victory, Goldsmith Maid and Three Diamonds. Great racing and good luck! $122,000 Pace Dayton Pacing Derby Dayton Raceway 11th race FRIDAY - After crushing much weaker opposition the last two weeks, Dancin Yankee gets back to taking on the big boys but I think he is ready for the challenge. It will be a slugfest for sure but based on his last two impressive wins I think that Dancin Yankee is up for the challenge. Use Foiled Again and Clear Vision in exotic plays. $162,000 Trot Dayton Trotting Derby Dayton Raceway 12th race FRIDAY - Racing fans at Dayton will get to see some good trottin action in here. Well matched field has some superstar performers but I think that Creatine has returned to his old self from last year as of late and will continue to dominate the older trotting ranks. His last two wins were super impressive and can take another in here. Use DW's NY Yank and Wishing Stone in exotic plays. $464,000 Trot Goldsmith Maid Final Woodbine Racecourse 3rd race SATURDAY - It's make it or break it and I mean that literally as Mission Brief has the race her own to win or lose. If she minds her manners she will take this field with trot to spare but if she jumps it off as she has in the past then the others will have a field day. I think this world champion has turned the corner on her bad manners off her past two starts and will wire the field again. Use Gatka Hanover and Jolene Jolene in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Yonkers Trot Final Yonkers Raceway 5th race SATURDAY - Nuncio has now been barred from wagering on the race. So from a wagering perpsective, I will go to my second choice, Gural Hanover. So even if he finishes second to Nuncio, you still win. He won his elim with ease and has been super sharp all season with 10 wins. I still think Nuncio will capture the third jewel of the trotting triple crown. Nuncio has been razor sharp and with no Father Patrick or Trixton to go again I think he will wire the field for John Campbell to take two of the three jewels of the Triple Crown. Now use Datsyuk and Don Dorado in exotic plays. $521,000 Trot Valley Victory Final Woodbine Racecourse 5th race SATURDAY - No matter how hard you look at this field you just can't pick against Habitat. He has had an awesome season and is currently on a three-race winning streak for the Ron Burke Stable. His only loss in last two months was when he was not on the front end so figure that Gringras will be sending him in here. Win last week from post eight was very impressive. Use Uncle Lasse and Pinkman in exotic plays. $500,000 Pace Messenger Stake Final Yonkers Raceway 6th race SATURDAY - It will be a real good race for the third jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown here. I am going against the morning line and taking the entry of All Bets Off/Forty Five Red from the Ron Burke Stable. Despite outside posts they both have what it takes to win, one is all front end speed, the other great closing speed (at least last week) and combined they can win and pay a price. Use Luck Be Withyou and McWicked in exotic plays. $565,000 Pace Governor's Cup Final Woodbine Racecourse 7th race SATURDAY - Here is another situation where it is all up to the horse. If Artspeak has his head on straight and decides not to make a break and he returns to his former self he can take this field for fun. But he has not been right the last two weeks. I'm betting that he will put the past behind him and rise up in returning to his winning ways. Use Pierce Hanover and Lyons Again in exotic plays. $124,590 Trot Hudson Filly Final Yonkers Raceway 7th race SATURDAY - Disappointing short field for this Grand Circuit event and I think the Ron Burke Stable will finish one-two with their strong entry of Market Rally/Avalicious. Market Rally is the strong horse of the two and is the NYSS champion filly. Avalicious is coming off a lifetime mark of 1:53.2 at Pocono Downs. Too tough to go again. Use Highest Peak and Bambino Supreme in exotic plays. $150,854 Pace Lady Maud Final Yonkers Raceway 8th race SATURDAY - Last week in winning her elimination division for this final, Act Now showed her dominance and also that she can handle a half mile track with a very impressive 1:53.1 romp by three open lengths. All she needs to do in here is repeat that effort and she is home free. Use Fancy Desire and the entry of Beautiful Lady/A La Notte Hanover in exotic plays. $424,000 Pace Three Diamonds Final Woodbine Racecourse 9th race SATURDAY - Currently the only unbeaten star in North America, JK She'salady goes for her tenth straight win in here. She has just been perfect in every start all season long and continues to roll on by her opponents once again. Use The Show Returns and Band Of Angels in exotic plays. $250,000 Trot International Trot Preview Yonkers Raceway 9th race SATURDAY - Saving the best for last this weekend. Throw out the morning line on this race, it was done by a computer. This is real trotting action at its best. And the best in here is Sebastian K. While Commander Crowe and Arch Madness have nearly twice the lifetime earnings of Sebastian K, their best days are behind them. Sebastian K may be making his first start ever on a half mile oval but he will overcome it with little issue. The extra quarter mile in this distance race is the difference that Sebastian K will flourish on. Use Bee A Magician and Natural Herbie in exotic plays.
Usually a trainer seeks out new owners to purchase horses for them to train. But these days harness racing trainer Dee Hotton is taking a different approach. She is seeking other trainers who may want her to train their horses. Hotton, who trains her stable out of the Wayne County Fairgrounds in Wooster, Ohio, does not miss a day of training during the winter months as she moves her stable to Pinehurst Racetrack in Pinehurst, North Carolina from January to April and then comes back for the spring and summer race season. “A lot of trainers turn their horses out for the winter,” Hotton says, “and then put them back on the track come springtime. But these days there are a lot of young horses that maybe didn’t make it to the races, or were injured early and already turned out. With the winter’s the past few years so harsh, why not allow me to take their horses with me to Pinehurst and start their comeback early and then when I return they can have their horses back and already in shape to begin training down for the race season or I can have them ready to qualify. “I am still training horses to race myself,” Dee was quick to reply, “But I am also looking to take in outsiders this winter. “Not every horse is going to be stakes caliber,” She explained, “but there are a lot of early closer series at many tracks that they can be prepped in advance to be ready for. And at Pinehurst it is a lot less expensive to train a horse as compared to south Florida. The weather may not be as ideal, but we rarely have a day we can’t get on the racetrack to work out.” Dee Hotton is also seeking harness racing fans who are ready to take the plunge and become actual racehorse owners. “I have partnerships forming where people who have been racing fans can now be a partial owner at a really affordable price,” Hotton explained, “I can put them into the exciting world of harness racing and offer harness racing enthusiasts the opportunity to make the dream of owning a quality Standardbred become a reality. We strive to make horse ownership easy, successful, and fun!” Deirdre “Dee” Hotton founded, owns, and manages the Dee Hotton Stable. She has been involved in harness racing for over 25 years. She dreamed of training horses from a very young age after driving harness horses in Ohio matinee races while in her teens. Graduating from Ohio State with a degree in Horse Production and Management, Hotton made that dream a reality by establishing her own stable. “There is nothing like the experience and delight in watching your horse cross the finish line first,” says Dee Hooton. “The sheer exhilaration of racing is beyond words. At the Dee Hotton Stable we take pride in communicating with our partners and we believe your experience should be very enjoyable and fulfilling. Your life may never be the same after you experience the sensations of being a harness racing owner.” With two brand new tracks opened and racino enriched purses leaping at all four pari-mutuel tracks and at the numerous county fairs throughout the summer, Ohio is the hotbed for harness racing and the Dee Hotton Stable is right in the middle of it all. She also has the best online website at www.deehottonstable.com that has all the details of her operation, rates, past winners and more. If anyone is interested in joining a partnership and getting involved in harness racing as an owner, they are encouraged to contact Dee Hotton anytime and talk about it. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
As the C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series heads into the homestretch the battle for the Eastern Region points championship drew ever closer when both Tony "the Capo" Verruso and Robert "Rapid Rail" Krivelin each were victorious in their respective divisions at Yonkers Raceway Thursday evening (Oct.23). Verruso won with Its Bush Time in 2:02.1 while Krivelin copped his division with Current Crisis in a time of 2:01. In his split Verruso left softly from the four hole with Its Bush Time and settled in along the pylons in fifth position. They moved up to fourth at the halfway point as "Johnny on the Spot" Kolkowski cut the fractions with Alaric. Up the backside Verruso moved to challenge and his trotter was second alongside the leader at the third stanza. Meanwhile "Mighty Matt" Zuccarello with Homer Jay, followed Verruso around the final turn and when they headed for paydirt the three trotters were side by side and it appeared to be anyone's race especially when all three trotters hit the finish line nearly simultaneously. That caused the judges to scrutinize the photo and when they did they found Its Bust Time a head winner over Homer Jay with Alaric a nose back in third place. All three trotters were time in 2:02.1. Its Bush Time is owned by the Allen Cisco Stable of Michigan. For Verruso, the president of the Billings Series, it marked his fourth seasonal triumph and 52nd of his amateur driving career. Krivelin's journey, with Current Crisis, was somewhat different than Verruso's because David "Poppa" Glasser sped away from the gate with Sir Siro and they trotted by the quarter in a stiff :28.3 which had the trailing horses gapped. Krivelin's trotter was 13-lengths behind at the first stanza in fifth position but Current Crisis didn't remain there. When Glasser stepped on the breaks Krivelin was out and going with Current Crisis and they were third on the limb at the halfway point two lengths off the leader. But up the backside Krivelin got the best of Glasser and Current Crisis opened up three lengths on Sir Siro. In the lane Krivelin and Current Crisis braced for a stiff challenge from Celtic Merchant and driver Paul "the Coach" Minore who was following Sir Siro from the get-go. But Current Crisis was up to the challenge and finished a one length winner over Celtic Merchant. Sir Siro tired, but still finished third. Krivelin owns the winner and for him it was his 165th driving victory. With just one east region trot remaining at Pocono Downs on November 12th , both Verruso and Krivelin may be looking for mounts there. Verruso earned 13 points for his victory and now has 54 points which moves him to third place on the Eastern Region which leaves him nine points behind leader, "Mighty Matt" Zuccarello's 63 . leaderboard. Krivelin also earned 13 points and is now in fourth place with 46 points . A good showing at Pocono Downs by any of the drivers near the top of the leadrerboard could determine the East region points champion. The overall Billings Series finale - the Delvin Miller Gold and Silver Cup Championships--will be contested at Chester Downs (Harrah's Philadelphia) on Sunday, November 23. by John Manzi, for the Billings Amateur Drivers Series
DOVER, Del. --- The first draw for the upcoming Dover Downs meet takes place on Monday, Oct. 27. The racetrack is also open for training on Monday. The upcoming 2014-2015 meet officially reopens for its 46th season Sunday, Nov. 2, with post time at 5:30 p.m. The schedule for training on the track is: Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 12 Noon. The first qualifying day is Wednesday, Oct. 29 starting at 10 a.m. Qualifying horses must be declared in to go, the previous day. The condition sheet for the first week of racing can be found on doverdowns.com The first draw takes place Monday, Oct. 27 for the opening day card, Sunday, Nov. 2; the Tuesday, Oct. 27 draw is for Monday, Nov. 3 races. The draw for Wednesday qualifying race (Oct. 29). The draw on Wednesday, Oct. 29 will be for Tuesday, Nov. 4; and on Thursday, Oct. 30, the draw will be for Wednesday, Nov. 5 racing. Starting on Monday, Oct. 27 - Thursday, Oct. 30, Race Secretary Rod Newhart stresses horses for the opening week of racing must be submitted from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. sharp. Late entries will not be accepted. Beginning Nov. 3, the Race Office will take entries from 10 a.m. until 12 Noon sharp, with no exceptions. On race days, the Race Office is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The Race Office phone numbers are 302-857-3230 or 302-674-4600 extension 3230. To fax use 302-741-8986. Daily condition sheet s will be published on the track website: doverdowns.com Dover Downs will race Monday through Thursday with post time at 4:30 p.m. Sunday racing begins at 5:30 p.m. There is no live racing on Friday and Saturday. Sunday, Nov.2 is declaration day for all eight Matron Stakes for two-and-three-year-old trotting and pacing colts and fillies to be raced on Thursday, Nov. 6. The track's signature event, the estimated $350,000 Progress Pace for three-year-old colts is set for $35,000 elims on Sunday, Nov. 26 with the final on Sunday, Dec. 7. On the weekly schedule, the top female paces is set for Mondays; top claimers on Tuesday; top trotters on Wednesday and with the Preferred, Delaware Special and Opens topping the Thursday programs. The Dover Downs season features 15 races carded daily. During the upcoming meet, there are a handful of non-live racing day exceptions. No racing days are: -Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 27 -The traditional one-week Christmas break, Dec. 19-Dec. 27 -On New Year's Eve, Wednesday, Dec. 31 -and Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1 On Progress Pace Final day - Sunday, Dec. 7, all fans in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book, showing their Capital Club card (which can be obtained without charge), will receive a free 2014 Progress Pace cap. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing and NFL three-game wagering is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Early reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
Calvin B (Bettor's Delight) pulled off the mild upset in the $7,000 featured race at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Thursday night. The John Cross-trained four year old has been a consistent factor in his starts this season, hitting the board in 14 of 22 heading into Thursday's race but only had recorded one victory. Coming from last in a six horse field, Calvin B paced past all of his rivals in the second half of the mile for Brian Cross before hitting the line first in 1:56.4, a seasonal best. Despite the fact that it was just a six horse field following two scratches, Calvin B returned a hefty $29.00 to win in Thursday's featured race. Live racing continues on Friday night with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway