Pompano Beach, FL --- The history of one of the world’s most majestic sports, harness racing, is well over 200-years-old in the United States and, one of the most iconic facilities encompassing harness racing’s grand tradition, Roosevelt Raceway, is brought to life in a most succinct manner by authors Victoria M. Howard, Billy Haughton and Freddie Hudson. Now closed for more than a quarter century, Roosevelt Raceway is where night time harness racing began and flourished for some four plus decades. The authors have unlocked a vault of memories, not only reliving history under the lights as many of today’s “old-timers” witnessed, but unearthing occurrences that, heretofore, were kept “hushed up”--only known by a few raceway executives--now erased from this earth, either naturally or otherwise--and a few underworld cronies, also no longer in this world, again, either naturally or otherwise. The initial chapters deal with George Morton Levy, the founding father of racing under the stars, and his connections with the underworld and politicians, some of whom were as crooked as many of the numbers on the Roosevelt Raceway infield tote-board. The book also covers the introduction of the “savior” of the sport--the mobile starting gate--as well as the celebrities, fatal occurrences, riots and characters that made Roosevelt Raceway the subject matter in, literally, millions of conversations over the years. Great horses, like the artichoke eating French-bred trotter Jamin and the grand Su Mac Lad, who, literally, wore out three sets of “free-for-all” trotters over his career, are brought back to life in this book...as well as greats like Bye Bye Byrd, Adios Butler, Cardigan Bay and Bret Hanover. And, of course, the book completes its task with a tribute to many of the sport’s great drivers who competed at Roosevelt Raceway--Billy, Stanley, Buddy, “Loosh,” “The Red Man,” Herve, Benny “The Whip” and “Toothpick Del,” to name a few. One of my favorite chapters is the one entitled “Stories Remembered,” a hilarious recollection of anecdotes both on and off the track. This book is a “must” for racing fans. It will bring back great memories and lighten every day it is in your hands. An official launch date for the book has not been released but it is due to be on shelves before November 1. by John Berry, - John Berry is a long time harness racing publictist, an inductee of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame Communicators, a past president of the US Harness Writers Association and a prior Hervey Writing Award winner.
It took an exciting stretch drive for Love You Bye (McArdle-Cam's Genious) to pick up her third win in the last four starts at Vernon Downs in the $10,000 harness racing feature on Thursday night. Love You Bye (Jimmy Whittemore) sat in mid-pack through the early stages of the race, as Seascape Hanover (Fern Paquet Jr.) set the early pace of 26.1 for the quarter and 54.4 for the half. It was at the half-mile mark that Ugly Betty (John Macdonald) rallied up on the outside to take the lead, which she held through the three-quarter mark in 1:22.3. Ugly Betty was in front into mid-stretch, at which point Seascape Hanover came back up the inside and Love You Bye commenced to close down the outside. Love You Bye managed to beat Seascape Hanover home to win in 1:52.1. The complete order of finish was: Love You Bye, Seascape Hanover, Ugly Betty, Park N Orchard, Table Games, Elleofnxample, Artic Byrd, and R U Ideal. Let's Go Higher had been a Judge's scratch. Love You Bye is owned by D. Jimmy Whittemore of Norway, Maine and trained by Dennis Whittemore. Live racing resumes on Friday night with an exciting 10-race program featuring $340,000 Zweig Memorial with Hambletonian runner-up Nuncio and betting favorite Father Patrick making up a very strong entry for trainer Jimmy Takter. Sebastian K will also be racing at Vernon on Friday night in the $236,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot and he will be facing 2013 Horse Of The Year, Bee A Magician, who takes on the boys. Post time for racing on Friday night at Vernon Downs in 6:45pm. by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs
ANDERSON, Ind.-August 28, 2014-Twenty years of racing history will come alive on Friday, August 29 when the doors open at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in honor of the tracks' 20th anniversary of live racing. Hoosier Park hosted the first live racing meet on September 1, 1994 and will invite guests to enjoy all that Hoosier Park has to offer with four big days of fan appreciation - free offers, exciting giveaways, great discounts, and much more in a weekend-long celebration. "Not only is it our 20th anniversary of live racing but it is also our 20th anniversary of being involved in the Madison County community," Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager of Racing, Rick Moore noted. "The fans are a major part of our success here at Hoosier Park and what better way to celebrate than with numerous festivities dedicated to them. We hope everyone will come out and enjoy our four days of celebration." The fan appreciation festivities will kick-off on Friday, August 29 with a free Hoosier Park Beach Towel give-away starting at noon for the first 500 guests. Racing fans will also receive a free mystery voucher with the purchase of a live Hoosier Park racing program that could be worth up to $250. Fan-tastic Fridays will continue and feature $1 dogs, $1 programs, $1 drafts & $1 bets through the end of live racing. With a post time of 5:15 p.m., Friday's 14-race card will feature Indiana Sires Stakes action for three-year-old pacing fillies and two-year-old trotting fillies. The night will end with a free performance by First Impression Band in the Terrace Showroom starting at 10 p.m. On Saturday, August 30, racing fans can pick-up a free Superfecta wager for the live Hoosier Park racing card from 2 to 6 p.m. at Trackside Club Centaur. Hoosier Park's 'Family Fun Days' return this Saturday and will continue each weekend throughout the entirety of the harness racing meet. Activities will include a bounce house, face painting, jugglers, live entertainment, games and winner's circle giveaways. With a special racing post time of 4 p.m. on Saturday, Hoosier Park will host a 14-race card highlighted by two divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes action for three-year-old pacing colts. At the conclusion of live racing, the four-time Grammy-winning Doobie Brothers will take center stage at approximately 8:30 p.m. as part of Hoosier Park's 2014 Summer Concert Series. Sunday, August 31 will include $5 burger and fries at the Big Deli from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the first 1,000 guests that visit Club Centaur in the casino, starting at noon, will receive a free Hoosier Park hat, while supplies last. Monday, September 1 will offer a $5.95 buffet from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the "Labor Day Play Day" promotion. With a winner every 15 minutes, Club Centaur members playing with their club card will have a chance to win $100 that will be sent directly to their Club Centaur account from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the casino, guests can enjoy free popcorn and $1 Dogs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be live entertainment in the casino. Offering an extended stakes schedule for the 2014 harness racing season, live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the 160-day meet will be conducted through November 15. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park
MANALAPAN, NJ - August 28, 2014 - Mountain Top drew off to a length and three-quarter victory, besting a trio of Ray Schnittker trainees in the $7,000 first leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes - Green Acres for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, the third race and opening day feature at Freehold Raceway on Thursday. Schnittker's odds-on entry finished second [Broken Record], third [Switchblade Hall] and fourth [Cruzinwith muscles] in the field of seven. There was no show wagering. Mountain Top [$6.40, $2.20], trained and driven by Francisco Del Cid, benefited from a two-hole trip behind Broken Record, tipping out and going by in the stretch for the victory in 2:02.2. The son of Muscle Hill [all the other starters were by Muscles Yankee] posted his first win in his eighth career start. Unraced at two, the trotter has now banked $21,220 for owner Mario Mazza of Newton, PA. The first foal of Diana Hall was a $45,000 Harrisburg Yearling Sale purchase. By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ
This Week: Canadian Pacing Derby final, Metro final, She's A Great Lady final, Champlain Stakes and Simcoe Stakes, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Zweig Memorial, Zweig Memorial Filly and Crawford Farms Trot, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y.; and Cane Pace, Shady Daisy and Miss Versatility, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Aug. 28) at Mohawk Racetrack with three divisions in the C$253,114 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Aug. 29) card at Mohawk features two divisions in the C$249,242 Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt trotters and two divisions in the C$209,189 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters. The big Saturday (Aug. 30) program is highlighted by the C$667,000 Metro final for 2-year-old colt pacers, the C$634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby final for open pacers, the C$480,000 She's A Great Lady final for 2-year-old filly pacers, the C$218,076 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt trotters and the C$207,689 Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action will take place at Vernon Downs on Friday night (Aug. 29) with the $340,000 Zweig Memorial main event and $60,000 consolation for 3-year-old male trotters, the $150,000 Zweig Memorial Filly for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $236,000 Crawford Farms Trot for older open trotters. On Monday (Sept. 1), Tioga Downs will host a trio of Grand Circuit events, led by the $437,325 Cane Pace, the first leg of the Pacing Triple Crown. Tioga will also feature the $125,000 (est.) Shady Daisy for 3-year-old filly pacers and the $40,000 (est.) fourth leg of the Miss Versatility for older trotting mares. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Mohawk Racetrack this past Saturday night with eliminations for the Canadian Pacing Derby, the Metro Pace and the She's A Great Lady. Sweet Lou was a 1:48.1 winner in his Canadian Pacing Derby elimination. Leaving no doubt as to his current superiority, Sweet Lou powered his way to victory in the first Canadian Pacing Derby elimination in preparation for this week's Canadian Pacing Derby final. With Ron Pierce simply a passenger, Sweet Lou, the prohibitive 1-9 choice, was initially tucked in third as Thinking Out Loud clocked the first quarter in a blistering :25, before blowing by the leader and taking the field to the half in :53.3. After opening a couple of lengths on his pursuers while reaching three-quarters in 1:22, Sweet Lou easily prevailed by one length in a stretch drive over the determined veteran Foiled Again, the world's richest pacer, and Domethatagain in 1:48.1. It was Sweet Lou's 10th consecutive win of the year on a 2014 resume which includes victories in the Dan Patch at Hoosier Park, U.S. Pacing Championship and William Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands and the Ben Franklin at Pocono Downs. Trained by Ron Burke, Sweet Lou, a 5-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser-Sweet Future, has banked more than $3 million, but has enjoyed more success this year than in past seasons, including his 2-year-old campaign in 2011 when he won 10 of 12 starts, capped by the Breeders Crown, and was named divisional champion. Clear Vision, with Brett Miller, nailed stablemate Bettor's Edge at the wire to take the second elimination. The top two finishers are both trained by Ron Burke. Bettor's Edge, the even money choice, had things all his own way for all but the final strides, cutting out leisurely fractions of :26.3, :56.2 and 1:24.3. But somehow Clear Vision, who finished second by a nose to A Rocknroll Dance in last year's Canadian Pacing Derby, came flying late from last for the nose win in a three-horse photo in 1:50.3. State Treasurer finished a neck behind the winner in third. It was only the fourth win in 19 starts this year for the 8-year-old gelded son of Western Hanover, but by doing so, he went over the $2 million mark in career earnings with his 27th lifetime victory. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again 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). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 826; 2. Tim Tetrick - 514; 3. Ron Pierce - 396.5; 4. David Miller - 369.5; 5. Brian Sears - 245. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,171.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 569; 3. PJ Fraley - 204; 4. Ray Schnittker - 199; 5. Julie Miller - 180. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 258.6; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 231.1; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 162; 4. Bamond Racing - 156.5; 5. Robert Key - 125. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Tioga Downs and Mohawk Racetrack. Tioga will host the Reynolds Memorial events for 2-year-old trotters. Mohawk will offer the Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers, Champlain Stakes races for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and eliminations for the Canadian Trotting Classic and Elegantimage for 3-year-olds and William Wellwood and Peaceful Way for 2-year-olds. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit
A strong field of eight winner's over $25,000 lifetime trotters lined up for action at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (August 28). The wagering public put their support into millionaire trotter Uncle Peter, despite post eight. At the start, it was the outside horses, NF Happenstance (Andrew McCarthy) and Uncle Peter (David Miller) leaving the gate well, with Uncle Peter clearing the lead just after the quarter in 27.2. The leader was able to rate the second quarter in :29, before facing a challenge from the first-over Opening Night (Tim Tetrick). These two battled to the head of the lane, and that's when the closers started to take aim. They lined up five across the track in an exciting stretch drive. In the end, it was the Randy Bendis trainee Crosbys Clam Bake (Ron Pierce) closing fastest of all, stopping the clock in 1:54.3, for his third straight win. Wind of the North closed up the inside for second, while NF Happenstance finished third. Crosbys Clam Bake is owned by Jack Piatt II, Tom Pollack, and trainer Randy Bendis. He rewarded his backers with a handsome $40.60 mutuel, which produced a $516.80 exacta. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia
Eight top three-year-old pacers will contest the first jewel of pacing's Triple Crown, the 60th Cane Pace, and nine top drivers will contest the second half of the Vernon/Tioga Drivers' Championship on a blockbuster Labor Day (Monday, September 1) card at Tioga Downs. He's Watching brings a four-race win streak into the $437,325 Cane Pace, carded as Monday's ninth race. Since fading to third in the North America Cup, the son of American Ideal proved a powerful 1:46.4 winner in the Meadowlands Pace and an equally dominant 1:49.1 winner in the Empire Breeders Classic, taking the eliminations for each respective event as well. Usual driver Tim Tetrick has once again been listed by trainer David Menary. He's Watching is one of three $35,000 supplemental entries, along with Luck Be Withyou and Lyons Somewhere. Among those looking to deny He's Watching the first jewel of pacing's Triple Crown are Milstein runner-up Luck Be Withyou and North America Cup winner JK Endofanera. Luck Be Withyou, the Chris Oakes-trained son of Western Ideal, chased McWicked in the $400,000 Milstein at Northfield two weeks ago, finishing in a dead heat for second with McWicked, just three-quarters of a length behind eventual winner All Bets Off, who pounced up the open stretch. Ron Pierce is listed to drive the nine-time winner. JK Endofanera, the lone millionaire in the field, rebounded well from a sixth-place finish in the Meadowlnads, taking second in the Empire Breeders Classic before scoring a 1:50.1 Geers Stake win locally. Ron Burke has listed Brian Sears to handle the driving duties. Ten three-year-old pacing fillies entered the Shady Daisy, which will be raced as a single $124,325 dash in the afternoon's seventh race. Fancy Desire, a $7,500 supplemental entry, leads the full field, having won the $300,000 James Lynch at Pocono in 1:49.3 among seven other career wins. Mark MacDonald has been nominated by trainer Kevin Carr to drive the Real Desire filly. Geers winner Katie Said (Marcus Miller), Pennsylvania standout Tyra (Tim Tetrick nominated), and stakes-placed Gallie Bythe Beach (John Campbell nominated) are also among the Shady Daisy entrants. Eight distaff trotters will vie for their share of $40,000 in a Miss Versatility preliminary event, carded as the third race. Divisional standout Maven returned to her winning ways in a Preferred event at Pocono last week, struggling in prior events since returning to the States after a sixth-place finish in the Elitloppet. The Jonas Czernyson trainee will be reunited with regular driver Yannick Gingras, and will race as part of a three-mare entry with stablemates D'Orsay (Corey Callahan) and Ma Chere Hall (David Miller). Classic Martine, who has found her way into the spotlight as of late with wins in the Armbro Flight and Ima Lula events, also draws into the star-studded event, with Tim Tetrick listed to drive the Chris Oakes-trained daughter of Classic Photo. In addition to the high-profile stakes action, nine of the premier drivers in the sport complete the Vernon/Tioga Drivers' Championship, with the first round taking place on Friday (August 29) at Vernon Downs. As in years past, the overall winner of the nine-race tournament takes home a $25,000 first prize--the equivalent of the commission for winning a $1,000,000 race. All nine drivers additionally will donate their commissions to charity. Tioga Downs honors last year's Driver's Championship winner Jim Marohn, Jr. with a bobblehead giveaway. Fans can receive their bobblehead, as well as a Drivers' Championship t-shirt (while supplies last) at the promotions table on the tarmac prior to and during the races. Post time for the 11-race card is 1:30 p.m. EDT. by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs
Woodstock, Virginia-- The crowd was full of American veterans for another great day for live racing at the Shenandoah County Fair. On hand were some very good horses including Tarver Hanover (Little Brown Jug Day 2003) and Magnum Kosmos (Hambletonian 2011) who definitely made their presence felt on a near perfect day of racing. Starting off the card was a field of FFA pacers that were very competitive and led to a very exciting finish. Peanut Butter Cup (3,F The Panderosa-Voluptuous Hanover) rode the pocket for driver WIlliam Carter and when they turned for home, American Fighter who had led the whole mile went just a touch wide. They were 4 wide at the head of the lane and Peanut Butter Cup got up just in time in 2:02 4/5. Tug River Man made today another winning one racing in 2 heats today for Trainer Betsy Brown in the Ed Long Memorial. Tug River Man sat behind a very good Sun Chimes and up the back stretch really took off for driver Alvin Lineweaver. At the head of the lane Lineweaver took the lead, but Sun Chimes tried to battle back, but faded. Betsy Brown said of Tug River Man "He's a very gutsy horse with a ton of heart." This win gives him 3 wins on 4 starts this weekend. Magnum Kosmos the fan favorite after having participated in the Hambletonian went off stride on the opening turn of the race and never really fought back. In heat 2, however, he came right after Sun Chimes and a tiring Tug River Man and just missed at the wire for trainer/driver Tony Dinges. The fastest race of the day and of the 2014 season came in race 6 which was the 2nd heat of the 2nd division of the FFA Pace. Tarver Hanover went to the lead early setting some pretty honest fractions, but when they turned for home Prince of Badlands and William Carter took over the lead and just got up to win in a stunning upset. After today Tarver Hanover has made over $826,000 lifetime and has won 53 of 303 starts making him the winningest horse to race at the fair this season. Racing continues at the Shenandoah County Fair tomorrow with a 1st post of 1PM. For more information you can go to shencofair.com or call the race office. By Michael Carter, for Shenandoah County Fair
With Super Night right around the corner it got me thinking about the last time the biggest night in Illinois racing was contested at Sportsman’s Park when it was still a five-eighths oval. The year was 1991 and just weeks after that gala evening the racetrack straightaways were torn up so it could be extended to a seventh-eights oval to accommodate the thoroughbreds the following spring. Some 23 years ago there were only six major Super Night stakes. The 3-year-old trots (Lady Ann Reed and Su Mac Lad) hadn’t been added yet to the annual Illinois bred championships. The older ICF mare pace was the Ann Vonian, later renamed the Lorna Propes, and the Tony Maurello for colts and geldings was the Dan Patch. A packed Grandstand and Clubhouse was at the Cicero, IL facility for the 12-race card and saw the 1990 Illinois Horse of the Year Plum Peach win her second consecutive Super Night title by taking the third race $210,000 Grandma Ann Final with Walter Paisley in 1:56.1 for trainer Mark Fransen. Two races later Panic Attack rolled to her eighth straight triumph in the $342,000 Filly Orange and Blue with Dave Magee in 1:56.3 for trainer Tex Moats. The Masquerade filly would go on to be named the 1991 Illinois Harness Horse of the Year for owners Don Stevens and Norman Levine. The seventh race $60,000 Dan Patch went to the favorite Dirty Deeds in 1:54 with Dale Hiteman in the bike behind the 7-year-old Robert Black trainee owned by DTN Stable, Roger and Dawn Sampson Stable, Irwin Kay and Stan Williams. The $225,000 Pete Langley Memorial Final was next and the surprise winner was the speedy, but erratic road gelding Rana Diablo, trained and driver by George Kramer for Chicago owner Frank Calabrese, The front-stepping pacer reported home in 1:55.4. The $396,000 Orange and Blue Colt Final was the tenth (and not the final) race on the Super Night card and it was Wicked Brew proving best in 1:56.2 for driver Homer Hochstetler. Mickey Rodriguez trained the 2-year-old son of Gold for owner Ralph Sergio of Riverside, I, beating the likes of Woolly Bully, Broadway Circuit and Kavitsky. Before the 12th race finale, the Grandma Ann Consolation, the sixth and final Super Night championship was decided when the 7-year-old mare Jerrah Belle, with less than $100,000 in career earnings, took the $60,000 Ann Vonian with Lemoyne Svendsen driving for trainer Todd Crone. The Solar Storm mare was owned by Bobbie Harper, who was the proprietor of an automobile dealership in the far southern Illinois town of Tunnel Hill, about 35 miles north of Paducah, Kentucky. Before the Ann Vonian Harper told the Sportsman’s Park publicity department: “I named the filly after my granddaughter Jerrah. It’s a six-hour driver to Chicago from Tunnel Hill, but we’ll all be at Sportsman’s for Super Night. I have to be return home early Sunday morning because I’m frying fish for the annual church picnic.” I bet that was one memorable “Fish Fry” for the town of Tunnel Hill which had a population of 685 at the turn of this century. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA
Feel The Power (Full Count) pulled off the upset in the evening's $8,000 featured race at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The John Mongeon-trained trotter had been on the board in six of his previous seven starts heading into Wednesday's feature but was the race's biggest long shot while dismissed at odds of 20-1. Frank Coppola Jr. sat patiently in the first half but then swung Feel The Power three wide heading to three quarters and the seven year old trotter had enough to get by the favorite V I P (Austin Siegelman) in the stretch and record the victory in 1:57.4. V I P held second while Zorgwijk Nova (Chris Long) earned the show spot. For Feel The Power, it was win number four on the season. Live racing continues on Thursday night when NY Sire Stakes come back to town. First post time is 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway
STONEBORO PA - The Pennsylvania Fair Circuit was in a total "split" situation this past Tuesday and Wednesday, with the racing for two-year-olds conducted at both the Erie County Fair in Wattsburg and the Indiana County Fair on Tuesday, and the three-year-olds going the following days at both places. Speed was achieved at both venues: the two track records for trotting fillies were rewritten at Wattsburg, while at Indiana the only 2:00 mile of the fair season outside of Bedford went into the books. And one young horseman accomplished an amazing feat linking both tracks both days. On Tuesday morning the two-year-old trotting filly Missive reset the Wattsburg track record for a/s/g to 2:08 in winning her division of the Fair Sire Stakes (and going faster than the boys did). Steve Schoeffel, Wattsburg's leading driver with six wins in the two days, trains and drove the daughter of Muscle Massive for Lander Stables LLC and Kathy Schoeffel. Within an hour of that performance, North America's winningest two-year-olds, the pacing filly Tropical Terror (now at 12) and gelding Nippy (10), both added to their victory total, and both did it in the same unusual way - they were both placed first in their events. Both the Western Terror filly Tropical Terror (who has now won in a dead-heat and by disqualification, and lost by a half-length in her only other start) and the Nuclear Breeze gelding Nippy are campaigned by Team Shaw - trainer Jason Shaw (Wattsburg meet leader with 4 wins over the two days), driver Chris Shaw, and owner Mason Shaw, Jason's 2YO son. On Wednesday Wattsburg altered another line in its record tables when the sophomore Straight Up Lindy filly Static Electricity made the stopwatch click at 2:05.2. The firm of Shaw, Shaw, and Shaw also profited from this trotter's victory. Tuesday's Indiana action saw Todd Schadel drive four winners, but he had to settle for second behind perhaps the most impressive winner of the day, the baby trotting filly by SJ's Caviar named HS Pearl, who won in 2:07.1 (also faster than either winning time posted by her colt counterparts, like Missive at Wattsburg), and with last quarter of 29.4. Wayne Long trains and drives the impressive miss, and he shares ownership with Joyce Lineweaver. On Wednesday at Indiana, the Yankee Cruiser gelding Fangled Hanover teamed with owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer to win a division of the 3PC event in 2:00, the only magic mile of the year on the Pennsy twicearounds other than at the speed show at Bedford, which produced six such times. There have only been a handful of clockings in even time or better at Indiana (the all-time fastest is 1:58.3 by Straight Character), and Fangled Hanover now joins that select group for Hammer, who was the meet's leading trainer with four and co-leading driver with four along with his Vivid Photo partner Schadel - and an up-and-coming horseman who deserves his own paragraph. 20-year-old Cory Kreiser has only 48 driving victories in his young career, and he had never trained a winner before this season. But Kreiser posted four sulky victories at Indiana to tie the veterans Hammer and Schadel - and even more impressively he trained a winner - each day - at each of the two tracks! Winning at Wattsburg Tuesday was Uber Doober Do (Schoeffel deputizing) and Julio Lauxmont (Brady Brown) Wednesday in Quaker State events; at his "base" at Indiana, Kreiser was the victorious trainer/driver in a Sire Stake with Allstar Ballet on Tuesday and a Quaker State with Acelia on Wednesday to complete the unique trainer quartet. Cory also had Indiana catch-driving Sire Stakes triumphs with Koi Lauxmont for trainer Ted Williams on Tuesday and Medoland Onyx for conditioner Pat Medors on Wednesday, thus achieving his sulky foursome. The circuit moves on to its final "Western stop" this Friday and Sunday at the Great Stoneboro Fair; freshman will start their races at 10 a.m. Friday, with sophomores set to go Sunday at high noon. The circuit then heads east for its final tour, at Port Royal, York, Gratz, and Bloomsburg, then goes back west to The Meadows on Saturday evening, October 5 for the $200,000 Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship Night. From the PA Fair Harness Horsemen's Association
WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 28, 2014 -- When The Meadows hosts Friday's final preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for 3-year-old harness racing colt and gelding pacers, it may seem like Act 2 of the 2014 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light. That's because the $199,980 stake has attracted Adios champion McWicked as well as Somewhere In L A and Let's Drink On It, who along with McWicked won Adios eliminations. First post Friday is 6:55 PM. Following the Adios, McWicked easily captured a PASS division but saw his five-race winning streak snapped in the $400,000 Carl Milstein at Northfield Park, where he dead-heated for second. "He raced great, but I thought he could have been a little better than what he was," said Casie Coleman, who trains the son of McArdle-Western Sahara for SSG Stables. "He came out of it quite good. He's had a real good week training, and I've been very happy with him." She indicated McWicked, whose dominance during his winning streak has made him a legitimate candidate for divisional honors, will be pointed for the PASS championship and the Little Brown Jug, with the balance of his schedule to be determined. McWicked goes from post 4 in the first division, race 8, with David Miller aboard, and he'll renew acquaintances with Somewhere In L A, who finished a length behind McWicked in the Adios final. The Somebeachsomewhere-West Of L A gelding leaves from post 7 for Dave Palone, trainer Jimmy Takter and owners J&T Silva Stables, Deo Valente Farms and TLP Stable. Since the Adios, Somewhere In L A has won both his starts, including a strong performance in The Meadows' Preferred Pace last week. Let's Drink On It endured a tough trip in the Millstein and had to settle for fifth. In Friday's PASS, he's landed in the wide-open second division (race 10), where he leaves from post 6 for Tyler Smith. "He couldn't get into the race in the Milstein," said Joe Seekman, who conditions the son of Art Official-Letmedowneasy for Tina Seekman, Larry Bond, Hal Hewitt and Vince Boido, Jr. "When you have good horses inside you, it's suicidal to try to leave. I hope he gets away a little closer. He's been training good, and he's healthy. Also in the second division is Bob Key's Mattamerican, winner of the Adios consolation. He'll try to overcome post 8 for Aaron Merriman and trainer Norm Parker. The $260,000 (est.) PASS championship for this division is set for Sept. 7 at Harrah's Philadelphia. MANDATORY PAYOUTS FRIDAY. Because Friday is the last program of the Mountain Laurel meeting, there can be no carryovers in the Pick 4, the Pick 5 and the last Superfecta on the card. These wagers all are "must pay." In addition, the Pick 5 sports a carryover of $1,660.11. Since the Washington Trotting Association meeting begins Tuesday, Sept. 2, there will be no discontinuity in live racing. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
KSTP/ABC TV 5 Eyewitness News in Saint Paul, MN has obtained a letter management at Running Aces Harness Track has sent to hundreds of employees outlining plans to cut wages significantly. "The plan we are sharing with our employees in the coming days includes no layoffs, no loss of benefits to current full-time employees or job reductions. Our redesigned card room assignments are geared to keep the impact to employee earnings as neutral as possible. Running Aces like many businesses has struggled through the last several years due to unstable economic conditions. Therefore we are restructuring our staff and team to optimize our guest experience to match our current labor and skill needs with the demands of our card room operations. In recent years, in addition to the unstable economic conditions, a national downturn in poker play, the multi-million dollar 10 year infusion of tribal slot machine marketing dollars into Canterbury Park, and the restrictive business and cost increases from current Statutes has taken it’s toll on Running Aces. To view the rest of this story click here.
Billy Flynn won his sixth consecutive race to start his career, capturing a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes on Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. There were four divisions of the Sire Stakes held on Wednesday night for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings with purses ranging from $62,653 to $63,053. Billy Flynn (Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones), a two-year-old colt trained by Staffan Lind and driven by Brett Miller, took the lead on the first turn of his split and coasted from there to a win in 1:55:4, a new career-best on a track listed in good condition. In addition to the six-for-six start, Billy Flynn has now swept all four preliminary legs of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes. Other Sire Stakes winners on Wednesday night: Cruzado Dela Noche (Muscle Massive-Alidade), driven by David Miller and trained by Nancy Johansson, in 1:55:4; Hurrikane Jonny K (Andover Hall-Lavieenrose De Vie), driven by George Napolitano Jr. and trained by John McDermott, in 1:56:2; and Uncle Lasse (Donato Hanover-Solveig), driven by Ron Pierce and trained by Jimmy Takter, in 1:56:4. Week in Review On Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, we were lucky enough to have two $25,000 Preferred races on the card, one each for the trotters and pacers. As if often the case, those Preferred races, gathering such brilliant talent as they tend to do, produced thrilling outcomes and our three major award-winners for the week. That’s right, I said three. Read on and see how this is possible as we hand out the Weekly Awards. PACERS OF THE WEEK: MACH IT SO and GOLDEN RECEIVER There are a lot of close finishes in harness racing, but relatively few dead heats. After all, the chances of two horses travelling the distance of a mile and arriving at the finish line at exactly the same time so that they inseparable when the finish line is viewed in a photo, is pretty rare. It’s always a kick when it happens, but, when it happens between two horses the caliber of Mach It So and Golden Receiver, it’s a special treat. On Saturday night, those two star pacers were lined up alongside each other in the Preferred pace. Golden Receiver, a former Pacer of the Year at Pocono, came in slumping a bit, but with career earnings of over $2.1 million, he’s always a major threat. Mach It So came in at the top of his game, having won two straight, including a Preferred at Pocono on August 2. It looked as though it would be the hot horse’s night when Mach It So, driven by Andrew McCarthy for trainer PJ Fraley, took over the lead in the stretch with a huge first-over move. But Golden Receiver, with Simon Allard driving for trainer Jake Huff, suddenly surged on the inside. The two hit the line together and the photo couldn’t separate them, so they shared the victory in 1:49:4. In a bizarre twist, two other horses in the race, Word Power and Big Time Promise, finished in their own dead heat for fifth place. Wacky, wonderful stuff in the week’s featured race. Other top pacers this week include: Bolt The Duer (Mark MacDonald, Peter Foley), the standout veteran who won his second straight condition pace on Saturday night, this one coming in 1:50; Giveittoemstaight (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), a mare who rolled to her second straight condition win on Friday night and matched her career mark of 1:50:4 in the process; and Flying Cowboy (Andrew McCarthy, Matias Ruiz), whose career-best win in 1:50:4 in a claiming handicap on Wednesday night was his third consecutive victory. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: MAVEN In the trotting game, fillies of ages two and three usually get the chance to compete against each other a large majority of the time. Once they hit age four though and officially become mares, the opportunities to face their own gender exclusively start to dry out. Some stakes races still dot the schedule, but most tracks don’t offer overnight races for only distaff trotters over age four. That means they have to go up against the boys every once in a while. For a trotter as talented as Maven, a 5-year-old mare from the Jonas Czernyson barn who has pretty much conquered all comers to this point in her career, such a prospect isn’t all that daunting. Even in a race like Saturday night’s Preferred Handicap trot, which featured some tough veteran male trotters like Not Afraid and Sevruga, the mare raced with extreme confidence. With Mark MacDonald in the bike, Maven made a huge move on the outside late to take over the lead, holding off Waiting On A Woman by a length for the win. It was just her second victory of the year, coming in a scorching 1:52:3, but it pushed her career earnings up near $1.5 million. There’s a lot more money to be earned by this standout, probably some of it at the expense of her male counterparts. Honorable mention on the trotting side this week goes to: Amigo Ranger (Simon Allard, Rene Allard), whose condition victory on Tuesday night in 1:52:3 was a career-best and matched the fastest trotting time of the week at Pocono; Donatomite (Trond Smedshammer trainer and driver), who stayed unbeaten after three career starts as a 2-year-old with a Stallion Series win on Tuesday night in 1:54:4; and Billy Flynn ( Brett Miller, Staffan Lind), a two-year-old who now has six wins in six tries after a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes win on Wednesday night in a career-best 1:55:4. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: G NOTE This 2-year-old filly made quite an auspicious debut with Andrew McCarthy in the bike, upsetting the field in Tuesday night’s final race at 30-1 to pay off $62.60 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: ANTHONY NAPOLITANO With driving doubles on Sunday and Tuesday highlighting another fine week at the races, A-Nap became the latest driver to earn 100 victories in the 2014 meet at Pocono. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: NEAL EHRHART Ehrhart pulled off quite the training double on Tuesday night, scoring first with 14-1 shot Guilford and then adding Fool’s Revenue later in the night at 15-1. That will do it for this week, but we’ll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs
WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 27, 2014 -- The Lunch Pail powered to the front and rolled to a comfortable victory in a career-best 1:51.1, fastest in Wednesday's $60,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series at The Meadows. The event for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers was contested over three divisions, with Sean Liam Q and Brioni also taking $20,000 splits. Eric Ledford enjoyed a stake double behind The Lunch Pail and Sean Liam Q. The Meadows will host the championships for all eight stallion series divisions Sept. 8-9. The Lunch Pail dueled with Avalanche Hanover before grabbing the lead and allowing his rival to stalk from the pocket. But Avalanche Hanover couldn't cut into the margin late and settled for second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with Hemingway third. "I wanted to cut it with him," Ledford said. "Last time he was out here he raced really well on the front end. We got away with a pretty nice second quarter, so things worked out pretty good." Joe Holloway trains The Lunch Pail, a Yankee Cruiser-Noble Marty gelding, for Michael Ouriel. Looped while vying for the early lead, Sean Liam Q persevered and prevailed handily in 1:51.2, 2-1/2 lengths better than the rallying Stone Cold Shark. Jins Shark earned show. "We got strung out in a 26.3 quarter -- that wasn't my objective," Ledford said of the son of McArdle-Taylor Lou Q. "We were committed to the front after that. But he was pretty strong, considering the fractions." Ross Croghan conditions Sean Liam Q for Steve Stewart, Bourbon Creek Stable, Donald Robinson and Michael Robinson. Brioni competed in the Adios at The Meadows, and while he couldn't go with that crowd, he favorably impressed Mike Wilder. "Obviously, he was up against some of the toughest horses in the country, and he wasn't humiliated in any way," Wilder said. "When you get a horse like that in the stallion series, you're pretty confident you have a pretty good shot. He was push button." Buoyed by that observation, Wilder sent Brioni on a quarter-pole move that carried him to victory in 1:52.2, 1-1/4 lengths ahead of Bristol Bay. Well Said Stride completed the ticket. Robin Cruise trains the son of Four Starzzz Shark-Armbro Bahama for owner/breeder Ronald Michelon. In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Cowgirl Hall matched her own track record for older mares -- a mark she shares with Daylon Miracle -- when she scored a front-end victory in 1:52.4. ER Ellie was 8 lengths back in second, with True Day Dream third. Dave Palone drove the 5-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Centerfold Hall for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable. Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jack Piatt III and Michael Rosenthal. Cowgirl Hall extended her career bankroll to $579,463. Dan Rawlings drove five winners on the 16-race card while Palone and Wilder each fashioned a triple. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday, when the card features the Tarport Effrat, a $199,980 PA Sires Stake for sophomore colt and gelding pacers with a field headlined by Adios winner McWicked. First post is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
HARRINGTON, Del. - I Like My Boss ($2.80, Jon Roberts) kept his impressive unbeaten record intact Wednesday with a track record setting performance, winning in 1:57 at Harrington Raceway. Owned by trainer Bob Shahan, Jimmy Parsons Jr. and Ashley Parsons, the 3-year-old Don Boss Vita gelding improved to 13-for-13 in his career. He had not raced since his dazzling track record performance (1:57.2) in the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) final on July 24, and Wednesday's race was his first test versus older horses. I Like My Boss, sent off as the 2-to-5 favorite, relinquished control of the mile early to second choice Abbi's Gabbi, who set fractions of 29.2, 59.2, and 1:29.1. Roberts edged I Like My Boss to the outside at the top of the stretch and went by willingly for his 13th consecutive win. The win also established a new track record, breaking his own mark. Driver/trainer Vince Copeland had a double and won the overnight feature with trotter Cash On Delivery in 1:55.3. Victor Kirby also had a driving double. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway