Amped Up (Village Jolt) lasted on the lead to pull off the mild upset in the $6,420 featured race on Thursday at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Mike Carrubba-trained six-year-old moved to the lead early on and held off the first over bid from the favorite en route to his victory in 1:57.2. Muncie (Shawn Gray) sat the pocket and finished second for third consecutive start while the favored Militia Man (Austin Siegelman) had to settle for third. Bruce Aldrich Jr, who piloted Amped up to the upset victory at odds of 11-1, recorded four wins on the card. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway
DOVER, Del.---- Nova Artist held off fast closing Malak Uswaad N by a nose to win the $27,500 Delaware Special Handicap in 1:51.while Emeritus Maximus came from far back to take the $17,500 Open Handicap sub-feature in 1:51/1 on a windy Thursday, March 13 at Dover Downs. Allan Davis put Nova Artist in motion heading around the clubhouse turn and moved up on the backstretch to finally take the lead in the stretch. The seven-year-old son of Real Artist-Avon Lady then had just enough to hold off fast-finishing Malak Uswaad N (Tony Morgan) at the wire. Jeremey's Successor (Sean Bier) was a solid third. Kathy and trainer Eddie Davis own the 33-time race winner of $825,142. It was his third winner of the year good for $60,575 in 2014. Emeritus Maximus tuned up for the rest of his four-year-old season by rolling from next to last in the $17,500 4&5-Year-Old Open Handicap to his third victory of the year in five starts with Ron Pierce in the bike. A four-year-old by Rocknroll Hanover-Eternity's Delight purchased after his sophomore-stakes season by John Cancelliere and trained by his brother Tom Cancelliere,Emeritus Maximus has won $315,155 lifetime. Lindwood Player (Corey Callahan) raced gamely finishing second. Mr. Dennis (Jim Morand) was the show horse. In $15,000 Male Winners-Over paces; Bill Emmons' Bad Man Sam and Vic Kirby used an overland journey to score a lifetime best 1:51.2 triumph. The Julianne Bobby-trainee, a Badlands Hanover-Greenspring Jenny gelding, just held off a fast closing Summer Camp (Callahan) by a nose. Beavercreek Artist (Ron Pierce) was third. Forrest Bartlett's Jolt Of Fire scored a 1:52.4 decision in the other $15,000 event. George Dennis guided the Ronda Galko conditioned Village Jolt-Fie Foe Fire gelding to his first win of the year. Wilbur's Z Tam (A. Davis) was second with Twincreeks Jack (Pierce) third. Fire in the Belly kept his three-year-old record unblemished as Trace Tetrick steered the Real Artist-Fire In The Sky to an easy wire-to-wire 1:53 victory finishing alone for his fourth-in-a-row in a $13,000 4&5-Year-Old Male pace. Owner Tom Kemp is reported to have turned down a six-figure offer for the gelding who now has won six of his eight lifetime races with two seconds. All Gold (Bret Brittingham) was best of the rest. MG Kid (Morand) was third. Trace Tetrick drove three winners, two for trainer Jim King. Corey Callahan and Ron Pierce had doubles. There is no live racing on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday racing begins at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. To watch races and dine in the Winner's Circle restaurant, call 302-674-4600 for reservations. By Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
DOVER, Del.---- DVC Jazzy Jolt was strongest in the stretch to win the first of two $9,500 3,4&5-Year-Old co-feature on a rainy Sunday over a 'sloppy' track on March 2 at Dover Downs. Driver Ross Wolfenden had a 'grand slam,' including Company After Six in the other division. Ross Wolfenden drove both co-feature races. He scored the second of consecutive winning drives piloting trainer Ursula Berndt and Frank Bianchi's Village Jolt-Jazzy Jam gelding to his first win of 2014. While White Sports coat (Ron Pierce) cut out the early fractions, Wolfeden was content to wait fourth until the stretch before making a speedy bid to overtake the leader. Martz Creek Perry (Tony Morgan) got up to edge Thetruthaboutdavid for third. Chris Short's Company After Six was another Wolfenden win. The New Zealand-born chauffeur guided the Company Stock-T's Kicks After Six gelding home in a lifetime fastest 1:55 besting Tune Up (Bret Brittingham) and So Unexpected (Allan Davis), second and third respectively; Wolfenden completed his four winning drives connecting with Jeanmarie Kurowski's Osceola Gold in 1:56.2 taking a Delaware $7,500 Claiming Alllowance. In addition to Wolfenden's four; Allan Davis, Bret Brittingham and trainer Don Brittingham had doubles. Paradise Lost, last week's upset winner, Jeremes Sweetheart and streaking JK Letitgo lead the Monday $20,000 distaff feature. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. There is no live racing on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday racing begins at 5:30 p.m. To watch races and dine in the Winner's Circle restaurant, call 302-674-4600 3for reservations. There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Leading harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. 0 by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
Chip Lackey gave the Gene Vallandingham-trained Giant Sculpture a perfect drive in last weeks Open Handicap Pace, working out a two-hole trip with the son of Village Jolt and posting a four-length decision in a lifetime-best 1:52 clocking. "I dont have many winners circle pictures on my wall, but this is one Ill be proud to put up there," said the veteran Lackey. "Winning an Open Pace and having the picture taken with Gene and Lou Pena was very special." Vallandingham and Lackey go back to 1973, when Gene first came to California. I went to work for Gene when he first got out here, and then I went back with him to Maywood Park the next year and he was the leading trainer. The victory with Giant Sculpture was the second in five starts with Lackey in the sulky. The first time I drove him back in January he was 11-1 and put in a real game, first-over effort and got there by a nose. He had also put in some solid races coming into last week, giving me a good finish every time. According to Chip, post position played a big role in his strategy last week. We had been drawing outside Docs Zippy every week and I didnt want to battle with him early, but this time we were inside and I sent my horse and was able to work out a pocket trip. They may have been going :55 to the half that night, but I knew I had a ton of horse. I made sure to ease out a little early so we didnt get trapped in, and he gave me a super kick. It was very gratifying to go out there and win a race like this for such great people. Sire Stakes, Open Pace, Jim Grundy Series on tap A $10,000 California Sire Stakes for 3-year-olds that finds King Of The Crop and Rikybrnthegaragdown renewing their rivalry; the opening leg of the Jim Grundy Trotting Series featuring Donna Letsgo and an Open Pace are the main attractions at Cal Expo Saturday night. King Of The Crop had to settle for second in the first stakes clash for the sophomore pacing colts on January 18, but has posed for pictures following the last two big-money events. The Little Steven homebred carries the banner of Frank Nevarez with James Kennedy doing the driving and training. The bay performer left little doubt in the February 1 clash, drawing off by five and a half-lengths that evening in a snappy 1:55 1/5 mile. Backed down to 1-5 for the most recent gathering of this group two weeks ago, he had to work much harder as he opened up on the lead at the head of the lane and held by a head over Rikybrnthegaragdown. The latter is by Living It Up out of the Sportsmaster mare Sports Bra and races for Maryann Plano with son Luke reining and training. He made every pole a winning in the first Sire Stakes of the season on January 18, was a distant third in the next one and then fell just short of catching his arch-rival in that last added-money affair two weeks ago. He returned last week to post a convincing score in a conditioned event. Last weeks Open Pace saw Giant Sculpture pulling off the upset. He is a 6-year-old son of Village Jolt who carries the banner of A Piece Of The Action LLC, is conditioned by Gene Vallandingham and will once again be handled by Chip Lackey. He was able to work out a perfect trip in the most recent clash at the head of the class, sitting the pocket and then exploding in the stretch for a four-length score in a lifetime-best 1:52 performance. One And Only had to settle for the exacta completion that evening while leaving from the outside post as the 1-2 favorite for owners Richard Morita and David Yamada, conditioner Lino Pacheco and pilot Luke Plano. He rattled off five straight victories at this top rung between December 21 and January 21, including a score from the demanding No. 10 post. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness
DOVER, Del.---- Trace Tetrick topped a five-win day guiding Artists Rally to a 1:52.1 victory on a windy and chilly Thursday, Feb 27 in the $27,500 Delaware Special/Handicap at Dover Downs. Artists Rally left from post 1 and controlled all quarters en route to victory in the week's top pace, the $27,500 Del. Special. Ed Gannon Jr. owns and trains the Real Artist-Spunky Gal black gelding who won for the second time this year. Jeremy's Successor (Sean) Bier) finished second in front of Feel Like A Fool (George Dennis). Ice Scraper, driven by Roger Plante, and EZ Noah with Allan Davis, finished in a 1:52.3 deadhead for win in the $17,500 4&5-Year-Old Open Handicap. Phyllis Copeland conditions Ice Scraper, a Yankee Skyscraper-Chilli Breezes gelding owned by Jim Behrendt. EZ Noah is a Western Terror-Her Majesty gelding trained by Josh Green for owner Baron Racing. Harry von Knoblauch's Ohoka Texas N streaked along the passing lane to get up in 1:52. To win the $15,000 Male Winners-Over pace. The win was one of two for Ross Wolfenden. Peter Tritton trains the Christian Cullen-Millwood Touche seven-year-old. Dreamfair Kovu (Jim Morand) was the place horse with Bad Man Sam (Kirby) the early leader finishing a close third. Ron Pierce was aboard Manhattan Rusty N, a 1:53.3 winner of the $25,000-$30,000 Male Claiming Handicap. Wade Wyatt owns the Artsplace-Miss Matao N gelding trained by Joe Skowyra. The victory was the fourth in a row for Manhattan Rusty N, with three different owners due to being claimed three straight weeks. Adams Hanover ( ) was second with Hasty Western (A.Davis) the show horse. There were several $14,500 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over paces. In one Patron Racing and trainer Jim King's Sea Harrier was one of Tetrick's early wins. The Jereme's Jet-Ingrid Ingrid Bergrin gelding won for the fourth time in his last five outings recording a 1:53.4 triumph. Tetrick returned for another victory in a $14,500 pace for younger male horses steering John Dayton's Just A Jolt, sired by Village Jolt from Just Wait Kate, also conditioned by Jim King, for a 1:53.1 score. Lauren Allen owned and trained Cruising West, by Yankee Cruise-Best Western, was Ross Wolfenden's third trip to the winners circle thanks to a 1:54.3 win in a third $14,500 pace. The Delaware-bred Spinfiniti, owned by Howard Taylor, notched his sixth win in his last seven starts as Wolfenden drove a 1:56.1 victory. The No Spin Zone-Hurricane Jenna brown four-year-old finished second in his only none-win of the year. In addition to Trace Tetrick quintet of wins and Wolfenden's triple, trainer Bobby Myers, Josh Green along with Jim King had two wins each. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
After joint consultation Jim Simpson, President of Hanover Shoe Farms and majority owner Jeff Snyder have decided to retire Cam's Card Shark from active stallion duty at Hanover. "The horse has been good to everybody associated with him from the day he was foaled" Simpson said. "He has now reached the stage in life where it is both difficult and dangerous for him and those around him to mount the phantom mare or even to be collected using a live mare". Cam's Card Shark is a foal of 1991. As a two year old he was lightly campaigned under the guidance of trainer Micky McGivern. His wins at two included the Lou Babic Memorial and two New Jersey Sires Stakes. At 3, he was transferred to the Bill Robinson Stable. He was voted "Horse of the Year 1994". In addition he garnered both O'Brien and Nova awards for Horse of the Year. His wins at three include the $1,000,000 Meadowlands Pace, The North America Cup, the Art Rooney Memorial, the Adios, the Messenger, the New Jersey Classic and the Miller Memorial. He was syndicated at the end of 1994 and retired with two and three year old earnings of $2,498,204.. He entered the stallion ranks at Hanover's New Jersey Farm in 1995. His stallion accomplishments are many and varied He has sired ten millionaires including five who have earned in excess of two million dollars. He is credited with three Little Brown Jug winners and two winners of The Meadowlands Pace.His most renowned performers have been Shark Gesture, Bettors Delight, Four Starzzz Shark, Royalflush Hanover, Holborn Hanover, Roll With Joe, Village Jolt and Million Dollar Cam. Of special note is that his son Bettors Delight is the fifth great stallion from a paternal line that follows from Meadow Skipper, through Most Happy Fella, to Cam Fella, to Cams Card Shark and now Bettors Delight. This is a feat unprecedented in both Standardbred and Thoroughbred breeding. Its quite possible that the line will be extended through his grandson Betterthancheddar. Snyder said that Cams Card Shark will live out his remaining days "which I hope will be many" at Hanover Shoe Farms. From Hanover Shoe Farms
DOVER, Del.----. Feel Like A Fool closed strongly for a 1:51 victory in the $27,500 Delaware Special on Thursday, Feb. 19 at Dover Downs. George Dennis piloted Kovach Stables' Feel Like A Fool to his first win of 2014 coming from off-the-pace to score a 1:51 triumph in this week's feature pace. Mustang Art (Ron Pierce) rolled away to take a fast early lead in :26 and continued to lead until deep stretch when the Bobby Clark-trainee, Feel Like A Fool, an Art Major-Fool That I am gelding, came on to edged People Are Crazy (Vic Kirby) for the win. Mustang Art held on for third. The $17,500 4&5-Year-Old Open went even faster Lindwood Player and Corey Callahan streaked home in a lifetime best 1:50.4 for Mike Casalino and meet-leading trainer Dylan Davis. The win was the third in-a-row for The Panderosa-Direct Player five-year-old who now has banked $224,799 in his career. Mr Dennis (Pierce) finished second nosing out Jeremes General (Allan Davis), third. Owner-trainer Ed Gannon's Artists Rally with Trace Tetrick finished even faster posting a 1:50.3 lifetime best. The Real Artist-Spunky Gal gelding nipped Dirty Devil (Callahan), who had won two straight. Bad Man Sam (Kirby) was third in the $15,000 Male Winners-Over pace. In the first of three $14,500 paces, Just A Jolt, a Village Jolt-Just Wait Kate gelding, driven by Trace Tetrick, trained by Jim King for owner John Dayton recorded a lifetime record 1:52.1 in a $&5-year-old pace. Chesapeake Bay (Pierce) was runner-up. Shark On Board (Frank Milby) was the show finisher. Crissman Inc.'s Fancy Colt, reined by Tony Morgan, made it three in-a-row and five in his last seven, notching a 1:52.2, for trainer Tim Crissman, in another winners-over pace. Encoding Z Tam (Callahan) took second with Coopers Beach (Jonathan Roberts) third. Fancy Colt is an Always A Virgin from Fanciful Hanover gelding. Howard Taylor's Spinfiniti was the first of four Corey Callahan wins. The No Spin Zone-Hurricane Jenny four-year-old trained by Josh Green won his fifth in six starts taking a $12,000 4&5-Year-Old Male pace. Two races later Callahan steered Crusher Man at 55-1 to a 1:53 win in another $12,000 pace. Trainer Trish Foulk co-owns the gelding with Nanticoke Racing. Corey Callahan won his fourth race of the day, another $14,000 pace, driving Z Tam Stables' Wilbur's Z Tam, trained by Dave McCaffrey, to a personal record equaling 1:52 win. The Charley Barley-Artha Ray gelding won by a nostril beating race favorite Sea Harrier (Tetrick) who had a three-race win streak ended. Teresa's Beach (Bret Brittingham) was the show horse. Jonathan Roberts and trainer Dylan Davis had two wins apiece. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
The betting public leaned heavily on Lady Latte in Tuesday’s $10,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 2 class at the Raceway, and the veteran distaffer didn’t disappoint her legion of pari-mutuel supporters. In rein to Jonathan Drury, Lady Latte shot to immediate command from Post 1 and cruised through panels of :29.2, :59.1 and 1:27.4 before using a :29.3 kicker to win by 2-3/4 lengths over pocket-riding Andro Madi in 1:57.2. Ostinato, who pulled off a 23-1 shocker one week earlier, rallied off cover to finish third. Gord McDonnell trains the eight-year-old daughter of No Pan Intended-Miss Jeki for Craig Turner and Mhairi Kersel of Ingersoll, Ontario. It was the mare’s second win of the season from four trips to the track, and it increased her lifetime win total to 33. The OSS graduate has now banked $428,085. Drury also mapped out the winning trip for Black Magic Eyes in the $7,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 3. Just as he did one race earlier with Lady Latte, Drury rolled Black Magic Eyes to the top and she didn’t look back through splits of :29, :59.3 and 1:29.1. Her :30.2 closing quarter was good enough to earn her the 1:59.3 decision by 1-1/2 lengths over St Lads Zena, while 4-5 favourite Mamasaidso was third. Richard Moreau, who sent out a pair of winners on the 12-race card, trains the six-year-old daughter of Village Jolt-Western Concert for Gaston Bibeau, Eric Bibeau and Sylvain Descheneaux of Quebec. It was the mare’s first win of the season and the lion’s share of the purse boosted her overall bankroll to $116,000. To view results for Tuesday’s card of harness racing, click the following link: Tuesday Results – The Raceway at Western Fair District. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
After quite a bit of nibbling, I'm Confident got his picture taken last week for trainer Bob Johnson and pilot Tyler Smith. He'll attempt a curtain call in Saturdays Cal Expo headliner while facing a slightly tougher group. The 8-year-old son of The Panderosa comes into the assignment with $272,000 in his bank account and a 1:53 mark that was established last season at Hoosier Park. The fact that he gamely re-rallied to get the job done last week will not be lost on the bettors. "He was one of three horses I bought last summer in Indiana from Gilbert Herrera.", said Johnson, who co-owns the performer with Marty Garey and Hank Wieseneck. "All three had over $200,000 on their card, but hes the only one who really worked out. "He has that back class working for him and I was actually shocked he was on the lead last week and then re-rallied to beat the favorite. As far as Tyler Smith is concerned, Ive never seen a driver with so much talent at such an early age." Last summer at age 20, Smith became the youngest driver in harness racing history to reach 1,000 victories. He has been dividing his time between Northfield Park in Ohio and Cal Expo of late, although the nasty weather back East shut down Northfield earlier this week. "I was driving for Bob this summer and he suggested I look into coming to Cal Expo," said Smith, who will turn 21 later this month. "After talking with (General Manager) Chris Schick, I was very excited about the opportunity." Smith, who captured the Hoosier Park driving crown, noted that he actually prefers to race on a mile track. On a half-mile track, post position can be a big handicap and you almost always have to be moving. I like the chance to be patient and think a little more out there. It's Getting Hairy gets the marquee treatment It's Getting Hairy, who has been doing all his recent work at the Invitational level against the likes of Pancetta and One And Only, gets some class relief and earns the top billing in Saturdays pacing feature at the Watch and Wager LLC meet at Cal Expo. Among the major rivals in the main event are the hard-knocking Split Ticket, who will go postward for trainer Lino Pacheco and Chip Lackey; Phantom Dan and recent victor Giant Sculpture. A 14-race card is on tap with first post set for 5:20 p.m. A 5-year-old son of Relentless Yankee from the Troublemaker mare Camden Flora, It's Getting Hairy is owned by Denise Maier with Tim Maier driving and training. Last year saw him capturing nine of his 24 appearances, including a lifetime-best 1:52 3/5 clocking at Running Aces. The dark-hued performer was razor sharp earlier in the meeting, including back-to-back wins at the Open 2 level in November where he used a wicked stretch kick to prove a punctual favorite on both occasions. It's Getting Hairy has had to settle for minor awards in the interim, however, while facing some pretty tough customers in Pancetta, One And Only and Stuebuen Jumpinjack. He figures to be much more at home with this weekends rival and could easily return to his winning ways under these conditions. Like Its Getting Hairy, Phantom Dan was an Open 2 victor earlier in this session and is a nice fit at this level. James Kennedy drives, trains and co-owns the son of Little Steven with Jennifer Burns and he was beaten a head last weekend in a solid effort. Giant Sculpture is moving up in class after posting a convincing score from well off the pace at most recent asking. The 6-year-old Village Jolt gelding goes about his business for A Piece Of The Action LLC with Gene Vallandingham the conditioner and Steve Wiseman making a return engagement in the sulky. By Mark Ratzky for Cal Expo Harness
DOVER, Del.--- Nova Artist made it three-consecutive Thursday feature wins with a come-from-behind 1:49.2 victory in the 30,000 Preferred/Open Handicap pace on Nov. 21 at Dover Downs. After a torrid :25.3 opening panel, Matt Kakaley driving Valentino finally took the lead from Sunshine Superman and Jason Lynch. On the backstretch, Ron Pierce hustled Adventure Bound up on the outside as challengers bunched heading to the final In now typical style, Nova Artist came off-cover to zoom to the front for his second straight faster than 1:50 triumph. Allan Davis drove the six-year-old Real Artist-Avon Lady horse owned by his parents, trainer Eddie and Kathy Davis. The win was his ninth of the year in 27 trips and $169,850 earnings. Nova Artist's career bankroll is $768,467 with 31 winning efforts. Adventure Bound was a strong second in front of Simon's Artist with Vic Kirby the show horse. Papa Ray also was a fast finisher in the $17,500 3&4-Year-Old Open pace. Matt Kakaley was at the controls for a career fastest 1:51.3 mile. Wayne Givens conditions the Village Jolt-Liamatters four-year-old for Reg Hazzard II and Legacy Racing Of Del. The win the seventh of the year bringing his total purses to $129,280 and $211,500 lifetime. Rage N Ryan (Allan Davis) was runner-up. Lindwood Player (Corey Callahan) closed for third. Mary Ann Larrimore's Believe This Bob thundered down the lane at 17-1 to win the $15,500 Male Winners-Over pace in 1:51.2. Montrell Teague was in the bike for the Beach Romeo-Believe This Gal gelding's second win in-a-row and fifth win of the campaign. Main A Dieu Too (Corey Callahan) and Beavercreek Artist (Ron Pierce) were second and third respectively. In a $14,500 3,4&5-Year-Old pace, Bobby Glassmeyer owned and trained Democracy N, a Christian Cullen-We Love To Party import, made his first North American visit to the winner's circle in 1:50.2 for Jonathan Roberts. Jeremes General (Allan Davis) was a nose back in second while People Are Crazy (Ron Pierce) was third. Eddie Davis Jr., Matt Kakaley, Allan Davis, Corey Callahan, Vic KIRBY and Bret Brittingham had driving doubles. There is no live harness on Friday and Saturday. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Dover Downs weekday racing starts at 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Marv Bachrad
If you're a regular fan of Cal Expo racing, watching Cherry Tree Nicole roll by the leaders in the stretch like she did last weekend is nothing new. The 7-year-old daughter of British Sterling was winning for 15th time from 29 appearances on the season, already topping the dozen photos she posed for last year. When she suits up Saturday night for Tim and Denise Maier, she will be seeking victory No. 55 from 160 trips to the post and she has definitely earned her $127,000 bankroll the old-fashioned way. "She doesn't like to be rushed, but she certainly knows where the wire is," driver/trainer Tim Maier related. "I don't believe Denise and I have ever raced a horse who won 30 races in two years, but she's on track to do it." Cherry Tree Nicole is out of the Cumin mare Yankee Reflection, who raced for the late Nicol Tremblay. "Alan Kirschenbaum named this one as a tribute to Nicol," Tim said. "In the past, we've taken her with us to Running Aces, but she doesn't like the smaller track so this summer we just kept her here and gave her a break." Tim and Denise also raced her sire British Sterling, who passed away recently and has been represented by some nice performers from limited opportunities. "I purchased him in Florida as a 4-year-old for Alan, because at the time he was looking for a trotter to drive in the amateur races. He turned out to be a very nice performer, and his strength was the fact he was good-gaited, honest and a big finisher." That sounds a lot like his daughter Cherry Tree Nicole, who will strut her stuff in the final race on Saturday. Not only does she do Tim and Denise proud, but the late Nicol Tremblay and Alan Kirschenbaum as well. A REMINDER THERE ARE THREE WAGERS EACH NIGHT WITH A REDUCED 16 PERCENT TAKEOUT RATE. THEY ARE THE 50-CENT PICK FIVE THAT BEGINS ON THE THIRD RACE; THE 20-CENT PICK 4 ON THE FINAL FOUR RACES; AND THE 10-CENT HI-FIVE ON THE NIGHTCAP. Sire Stakes, Open Pace hold the spotlight A $10,000 California Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacers with A Stitch In Time looming the solid choice and an Open Pace that finds Phantom Dan eyeing his fourth straight trip to the charmed enclosure are the main events on the Watch and Wager LLC program at Cal Expo Saturday night. A 13- race program is on tap, with the Open Pace set as the second contest on the evening while the Sire Stakes follows as the third race on the card. First post is set for 5:55 p.m. A Stitch In Time looms large in the Sire Stakes as the son of Kent's On Nuke comes into the assignment with nine victories from 14 starts and a 1:53 3/5 mark. He will be challenged by Hi Ho Disguise, Bit Player, Kablooie and Me Tarzan. In an effort to level out the playing field a bit in the Open Pace, racing secretary Fred Kuebler has assigned Phantom Dan the demanding No. 10 post position for this week's gathering at the head of the class. This will mean he will have quite a bit of separation at the start between himself and his four rivals. Phantom Dan is a 5-year-old son of Little Steven who hasn't been beaten to any of the poles in his last three trips to the post. James Kennedy owns, trains and drives this razor-sharp performer who has posted two of his scores in 1:54 2/5 and another in 1:55 flat while never looking like a loser in any of those outings. Off as the prohibitive 1-2 choice in his most recent appearance, Phantom Dan never looked like a loser as Kennedy buzzed him off the gate to command and he was able to moderate the fractions to his liking, coming home with a length and a quarter over Giant Sculpture that night. The latter was making his California debut for A Piece Of The Action LLC and driver/trainer Gene Vallandingham and has every right to make a move forward with a local effort under his belt. The son of Village Jolt was a 1:52 1/5 winner at Balmoral earlier this season. One And Only has gone a series of powerful miles over this layout and will appreciate having his main rival marooned in that outside slot. Lino Pacheco conditions the 5-year-old Bettor's Delight offspring for Richard Morita and David Yamada with Luke Plano once again handling the lines. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness
Wagga will host its final meeting of the 2012-13 season on Friday with a massive 12 race program. The premierships have been decided with Narrandera trainer Shaun Snudden in front from Kim Hillier, while Blake Jones will finish ahead of Paul Diebert in the driver's title. Since resuming from a disqualification, Jackson Painting has figured strongly at Wagga and will finish third in both awards. The local trainer award will go to Paul Kahlefeldt, while Adam Jenkiins is the top local reinsman. The Wagga pacer of the year title has been won by Cousin Dupreez who hit the front earlier this month. The awards will be presented at the Wagga RSL Club on Saturday night, September 7. Champion filly Frith will also be recognised with her second consecutive Southwest and Riverina pacer of the year award, while Distant Memory was the leading juvenile performer. World class magician Jonas Jost will perform his amazing show at the sponsors and awards evening. The announcement of the successful tenders for services to Empire Stallion pair Blissful Hall and Village Jolt will also be announced. Tenders will close next Friday. PREMIERSHIPS Trainers Shaun Snudden 162 Kim Hillier 125 Jackson Painting 104 Paul Kahlefeldt 100 Michael Hardy 41 Drivers Blake Jones 159 Paul Diebert 131 Jackson Painting114 Adam Jenkins 76 Michael Hardy 41 Nancy O'Grady || Harness Racing New South Wales |
HUGHESVILLE PA – Talented youngsters in sport frequently benefit from the guiding hand of a veteran to their particular discipline. This certainly was a major theme during Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes racing for two-year-olds on Thursday at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds, as seven of the victorious babies paraded back to the Hughesville winners circle were guided by experts 65 years old or older. The most regular visitor to Hughesville victory lane Thursday (4) and for the meet (5) was Dave Brickell (65), who won with four baby trotters, the first three of them within 50 minutes of the start of the card (the other winner in that period was 66YO Bill Daugherty Jr.). Brickell then only had one drive in the next 12 races but still, after three hours in a roasting 95-degree sunshine, he piloted home the card’s getaway winner in the 17th. Brickell is the owner/trainer/driver of the Oh So White gelding Whitey Lauxmont, who is unbeaten in four fair starts and won the fastest division of the 2CT in 2:07-30. His main competitor in that deep division may be Ruiz, now undefeated in two career starts, who repaired an early miscue that cost him 12-15 lengths, went up uncovered, and gained into a 29.3 last quarter to tally for driver Winston Lineweaver (70) and trainer Eileen Lineweaver, co-owner of the altered son of SJ’s Caviar with Bill Kreutzer. Fastest mile of the card came from the Village Jolt gelding Waitingforthisone, who reduced his mark by almost six seconds to 2:02.1 for owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer (67). The mile most threatening to a Thursday track record was the engine triumph in 2:02.2, 2/5 shy of Nuclear Photo’s local 2PF standard, by a daughter of Four Starzzz Shark (three siring credits), Above And Beyond, owned by Ronald Michelon, and trained by Erv Miller – who at 46 is still in very successful middle age, with 4221 training victories and over $60M in conditioning earnings since recordkeeping for trainers started in 1991. The driver, you ask? Erv Miller!—who last sat behind a winning racehorse at Balmoral in November of 2011. But Erv showing sulky prowess shouldn’t surprise you – in the four seasons he had 100 or more drives, 1996-1999, he won two North American UDR titles and was second in another year! (And yes, it’s no accident that this paragraph mentioning UDR championships was placed just below the previous one.) Not to say that the “young guns” of the circuit didn’t have a fine day – in fact, there were the 7 driver wins for the 65+ers mentioned above, and then 7 sulkysitting triumphs for those who had not yet reached 30. The “oldest” of the latter group is 29YO Wayne Long, who guided the fastest trotter of the day, Cantabs Lightning, to the third win of her unblemished career, in 2:06.3. The daughter of Cantab Hall is also trained and driven by Long. And the leading trainer of the meet was 29YO Jason Hall, who harnessed four winners (three Thursday), all driven by his 27YO brother Chris. Their main owner is an interesting case. Of his 14-horse stable (including 11 two-year-olds), nine started at Hughesville, and he had three winners, three seconds, a third, and two fourths, for earnings of $5419. Jason is the father of his principal owner, Mason. Chris is his uncle. And his entire stable – is older than he is. FINISHING LINES – For the first time in 23 years, harness racing returns to the Bedford County Fair, with Monday and Tuesday sessions beginning at 11 a.m. Two members of the Bedford Sports Hall of Fame – Sam Beegle and Roger Hammer – are sure to be there.
Fair Voltage and Greg Merton captured Tioga's $10,000 featured condition pace on Thursday night in front of a packed house of more than 8,500 fans.
Next Sunday afternoon SA BOTRA is holding one of its biggest harness racing fund raisers of the year when it hosts their Christmas In July function at Globe Derby Park with special guest speaker Gary Hall Senior, apart from the fun and good time to be had over lunch with Hall, breeders will have a chance to pick up a bargain at the annual stallion auction.
Yonkers Raceway's pair of Friday night $46,000 co-features--a Filly and Mare Open Pace and a welcome-to-all Open Handicap Trot--were won by a from way-out Virgin Mary (Eric Goodell, $24.80) and a perfect-trip Super Manning (Mark MacDonald, $39.80).