Ed Mullinax probably would be happy if UF Rockin Dragon turns out to be a little bit like his mother. A longtime harness racehorse owner, Mullinax campaigned UF Rockin Dragon's dam, Up Front Dragonfly, and saw her win 28 races and earn $579,718 despite sitting out her 2-year-old season. She was lightly staked, with her most lucrative victory coming in the $100,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship in 2005. Otherwise, her wins came in the opens and upper level conditioned classes. "She was probably the best mare I ever had," Mullinax said. "My trainer didn't think much of her as a 2-year-old, so she wasn't eligible to a whole lot. She made her money the hard way." Less than three weeks after Up Front Dragonfly won the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final, Mullinax watched P-Forty-Seven capture the $569,032 Little Brown Jug. Mullinax co-owned P-Forty-Seven, who defeated a field that included eventual Horse of the Year winner Rocknroll Hanover. "That was one of the best years I ever had," Mullinax said. "It was quite an adventure." Rocknroll Hanover, incidentally, is the father of UF Rockin Dragon, who faces eight rivals in Saturday's $30,000 Bobby Weiss Series final for 3- and 4-year-old male pacers at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. UF Rockin Dragon, who won two of four starts in the series and never finished off the board, drew post No. 1 for the final. He will be driven by Mark MacDonald for trainer Mark Ford. Getitoffyourchest, who has three wins in the series, drew post seven and two-time Weiss winner Somewhere With You got post six. A 4-year-old gelding, UF Rockin Dragon has won three of 11 races and $32,425 this season. Hampered previously by multiple ankle issues, he won just one of 17 starts combined at ages 2 and 3. Mullinax purchased UF Rockin Dragon under the name Uriel Hanover for $65,000. He is a half-brother to Uffizi Hanover, who won last season's Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly pacers. Uffizi Hanover, in the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter, sold for $100,000. "I was interested in her, but the price got me out," Mullinax said. UF Rockin Dragon won his first start in the Weiss Series in a lifetime-best 1:51.3, followed by a second and third. Last week, he won again, overcoming traffic trouble heading into the final turn when the horse he was following went off stride, to score in 1:51.4. For his career, UF Rockin Dragon has won three of 11 races at Pocono Downs and finished off the board only three times. "It's still a dream of mine that this horse is going to be a real good one," said the 81-year-old Mullinax, whose list of standout horses also includes million-dollar-earners Dragon Again and Whosurboy. "He's a pretty exciting horse. In some of his early races, he would have a quarter (mile) that was really good, but he's going to have to do a little better going four quarters instead of just one big one. I've got a lot of hope. We'll find out." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications
CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — The three-year-old pacing fillies were upset minded at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening, as only one favourite emerged victorious from four Grassroots divisions. Upfrontwhosurlady was the only top choice to get the job done, rolling home to a three and three-quarter length victory over Lyonssweetie and Hippie Chic. The 1:51.2 clocking — engineered by Moffat resident Jody Jamieson — matched the Whosurboy daughter’s personal best. Hillsburgh resident Jeff Gillis trains Upfrontwhosurlady for Up Front Racing LLC of Amherst, OH. Monday’s appearance was the filly’s first of the season in the Grassroots program, coming after four Gold Series starts. Driver Scott Zeron of Oakville captured the next two Grassroots divisions, guiding lightly rated Raise Your Glass to a hard closing nose victory over Senorita Santanna and favourite Western Empress in the fifth race, and third choice Betit To Getit to a front end score over division leader Mattys Big Day and Godiva Seelster in the seventh. Raise Your Glass stopped the Mohawk teletimer at 1:52 for her first win of the season. Howell, NJ resident Anthony Monica conditions the homebred daughter of Santanna Blue Chip for his partner Michael Timpano of Phelpston. Betit To Getit also hit the wire in 1:52, but the win was the filly’s second straight and third this season in Grassroots action. Milton resident Ben Wallace trains the No Pan Intended daughter — who wrapped up the regular season in second spot in the point standings — for Holland Racing Stable of Aurora. The final Grassroots division was captured by Cambridge reinsman Billy Davis Jr. and Burlesque, who reeled in pacesetter and favourite Windsong Jacoba in the stretch. Miss Machqueen rounded out the top three in the 1:51.4 mile. The win was the first of the season for Mach Three daughter Burlesque, who is trained by Carmen Auciello for Wheelhouse Racing Stable of Mississauga. Added to the second, third and sixth Burlesque posted in her first three Grassroots appearances, Monday’s win was just enough to squeak the filly into the Sept. 21 Grassroots Championship, which features the top 10 point earners from the six regular season events. Ontario Sires Stakes excitement continues at Mohawk Racetrack this week on Thursday and Friday, with the first races getting under way at 7:25 pm. For complete results For up to date point standings, race replays, and more Sandra Snyder
ELORA, ON - Trainer Jeff Gillis will harness one sophomore pacing filly in each of the $70,000 Gold Series divisions at Grand River Raceway on Monday, Aug. 26. First off the gate for Team Gillis will be Seaside Rory, and the Hillsburgh resident and his partners will be hoping the filly can reprise the winning effort she mounted in the Mid-Summer Consolation at Mohawk Racetrack on Aug. 10. With regular reinsman Jody Jamieson at the helm, Seaside Rory sprinted home in the Consolation to record a one and three-quarter length victory in a personal best 1:51. The Mach Three daughter will line up at Post 3 in the first Gold division on Monday, aiming for the sixth win of her career. Gillis, Mac Nichol of Burlington, M And L Of Delaware LLC of Wilmington, DE and Ellen Ott of Buffalo, NY share ownership on the winner of $81,608. Stablemate Bad Feeling gets the toughest draw of the evening, landing in the same heat as division leader Pan Luis Obispo, who will start from Post 6. Bad Feeling finished fifth in the Mid-Summer Consolation and will be hoping to improve on that result from Post 1 in Monday's seventh race. Gillis owns the Badlands Hanover daughter and has sent her out 20 times this season, netting four wins, two seconds, three thirds and earnings of $39,470. Upfrontwhosurlady rounds out the Gillis contingent, starting from Post 7 in the tenth race. The Whosurboy daughter was fourth in the Aug. 10 Consolation for owners Up Front Racing LLC of Amherst, OH and has a third and a sixth to her credit through the first two legs of the Gold Series season. Post time for Grand River Raceway's Monday evening program is 7:05 pm and the three-year-old pacing fillies will wage their Gold Series battles in Races 4, 7, 10. For complete entries For up to date point standings, race replays, and more Sandra Snyder
New York harness racing trainer Mark Ford is determined to improve on a year which he termed average - despite grossing more than $4.3 million in 2012. 'We had just an average year. There were lots of nagging little problems and sickness that cost us a lot of aggravation, but we were still fortunate to win the amount of money we did, so I guess it could have been a lot worse,' Ford told Harnesslink.