Gotta Have Nukes nosed out favourite Playbook to post a 27-1 upset in this week's $10,500 Open Pace at Fraser Downs on Sunday afternoon for trainer/driver Rick White. Playbook and trainer/driver Keith Clark set up shop on the front end and led the field of nine Open pacers through fractions of :27.3, :57.4 and 1:25.1 with second choice Prairie Illusion and Scott Knight advancing from third and going head-to-head with the leader around the final turn. Playbook held that foe at bay, but went down to defeat to the late-surging Gotta Have Nukes. White had the longshot positioned fourth throughout the mile before moving him into the pocket spot. Gotta Have Nukes then sprinted a final quarter in :28.1 along the pylons to score the victory and a new lifetime mark of 1:53.4. The winner returned $56 to his backers. Playbook settled for second with Prairie Illusion following less than one length behind. The five-year-old Kents On Nuke gelding is owned and bred by White and June Kauffman. A multiple stakes winner at two and three, Gotta Have Nukes earned just one win in 20 starts last year during his four-year-old campaign against Open company. Sunday's win was his 13th lifetime and bumped his bankroll to $172,048. Gotta Have Nukes' former stakes competitor Steve O was also in the spotlight on Sunday, winning the following $10,000 Abbetross A Claiming Series Final for $5,500 claiming pacers. Trained and driven by Jim Marino, Steve O sat third for most of the mile before kicking home in :28.3 to prevail by half a length in 1:56.1 over pocket-sitter Mr Prospector and Brad Watt. Marlin Hanover and Glenn White rounded out the top three finishers over three lengths behind. Steve O was a winner in the Jan. 5 opening leg of the series and a runner-up in round two over a sloppy track on Jan. 12. His eighth career win pushed his earnings over the $100,000 mark. Sent postward at odds of 7-1, Steve O paid 16.50 to win. The five-year-old Village Jiffy gelding is owned by J.F. Gagne, Carl Warnaar and Peter Van Seggelen. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Fraser Downs. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
Fraser Downs' Abbetross A Claiming Series for $4,500 claiming pacers began with a pair of close finishes on Sunday afternoon. The $5,000 series opener went to Cenalta Pride ($6.40) when all was said in done. The popular pacesetter held on by a nose in a five-across finish in 1:56.4 for trainer/driver Bill Davis and owners Westcan Stables and Last Shot Stable. Finishing second through fifth, Promise To Lynette, Ronnie Woo Woo, Western Nitro and Taylor Special were separated by less than a length across the wire. Cenalta Pride, who has hit the board in his previous five starts at the same level, was claimed by Richard Knight. The eight-year-old As Promised gelding earned his 19th career win. Steve O ($6), the favourite in the second division who is trained and driven by Jim Marino, out-sprinted first over Branding Party to prevail by half a length in 1:58.2 for owners J.F. Gagne, Carl Warnaar and Peter Van Seggelen. In a photo for a show, Marlin Hanover edged out Somethinsgoinon, Cenalta Wizard and Outlaw I See Red one length behind. The win was Steve O's seventh lifetime. The five-year-old Village Jiffy gelding earned his first victory since a successful stakes campaign during his debut season in 2012 as a three-year-old. Davis' series win was one of his three training/driving triumphs on the 10-race card. Travis Bowman drove four winners. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Fraser Downs. From Publcity Department Fraser Downs
John Williamson has been in the harness racing business for more than 40 years, so it will be a special occasion when he watches his first Breeders Crown finalist -- Urbanite Hanover -- go behind the starting gate in Saturday's $600,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male pacers at Woodbine Racetrack.
Robert Briley and Baron Racing Stable's Dancin Yankee ($2.60, Ross Wolfenden) overcame post eight to prevail in the featured $20,000 Open harness racing event on Monday (September 23) at Harrington Raceway in 1:52.
It doesn't seem possible but eight days from now (September 3), the 17th running of the Bert Beckwith Memorial will be run at Plainridge Racecourse. Since its beginning October 23, 1994 the race became an instant harness racing classic and its purse reached $75,000 on several occasions.
When the eight-year-old harness racing mare Bio Link walked into David Grisenthwaite's barn just seven starts ago, he never thought she would become the fastest horse he has ever trained. 'She was kind of a joke at first,' said Grisenthwaite. 'We were pleasantly surprised when she starting winning for us.'
The weather was beautiful, and the harness racing was too Saturday night at Hanover Raceway. A large crowd filled the grandstand to watch twelve great races as part of the long weekend festivities. Saturday evening was Hockeyville Night at the races, a tradition that has been taking place since Hanover's bid to become Kraft Hockeyville several years ago.
Winbak Farm will be giving a $1,000 harness racing discount to anybody who books by the end of February to Riverboat King and Village Jove.
Plainridge Racecourse harness racing officials announed the 14th running of the Bert Beckwith Day festivities will take place September 5, (Labor Day). The 2011 'Beckwith Memorial will carry a purse of $20,000 and the field will be established a week earlier with a pair of $6,000 eliminations on Monday, August 29.
Moffat (Ontario) based harness racing driver, Jody Jameson keeps on proving why he is one of the best reinsmen in the world following another classy display at tonight's (Thursday June 30) meeting at Mohawk Racetrack. The 35-year-old was again in dynamic form winning four of the 10 races programmed.
Andrea Hill's Jeremy's Successor ($7.20, Sean Bier) earned his fifth Harrington Raceway win in 2011 Monday with a 1:53.1 score in the harness racing featured $18,600 Open Pace. Trained by Crissy Crissman, the 7-year-old Mach Three gelding sat behind pacesetter Harlingen Hanover throughout and surged up the inside late for the win.
The Bergstein and the Beckwith are both classics run on Labor Day (Sept. 6) at Plainridge Racecourse. Three weeks from now the holiday festivities will once again bring hard core harness racing fans together for another enjoyable weekend which honors greats of the present and the past.
Former North American Two Year Old Pacing Colt of the Year, Village Jolt will be racking up the frequent flyer harness racing miles when he arrives in Australia to stand the 2010/11 season at Empire Stallions in Avenel, Victoria.
Rusty's For Real and Roll Call win opening day co-feature races while Corey Callahan had five driving wins and Ross Wolfenden four winners on Sunday, Nov. 1 at Dover Downs. Harness racing trainer Art Brewer had a training triple.
It's called the Delvin Miller Adios, but a certain owner may be excused if he thinks of the race as the Jeff Snyder Adios. That's because Snyder already has won the 'Pace for the Orchids' three times as an owner, and on Saturday at The Meadows, he'll be gunning for the Adios grand slam with Well Said, thus far the cream of the 3-year-old pacing crop.
Arty Foster Jr.'s Village Blitz ($7.00 Tony Morgan) earned his third straight win Monday in the $20,000 Open Pace at Harrington Raceway in 1:52.2. The 8-year-old Village Jiffy gelding has been remarkably sharp of late, with four wins in his last five starts.