Apaches Fame, the pacer that many would consider to be the Standardbred that helped elevate the Ontario Sires Stakes program to a world-class producer of harness racing talent, has passed away at the age of 26. Bred by Robert Chapple of Chatham, Ont., the son of Apaches Circle - Dovers Skip turned heads from the moment he stepped onto the racetrack in 1989. In his first pari-mutuel start at Greenwood Raceway, Apaches Fame and trainer-driver Bud Fritz reeled off a win in 1:57.4 in the Kindergarten Series. He moved onto the OSS ranks and dominated his foes there, finishing his rookie season with 10 wins in 14 starts and a mark of 1:54.1 taken at Windsor Raceway. That mile was just one-fifth of a second off the world record at the time. Expectations were high for his three-year-old season as Apaches Fame stepped up to race against North America's best three-year-old pacers in Grand Circuit competition - a rarity for a horse from the OSS program. Against open opposition that year he tied the track record at Greenwood in winning the Burlington Stakes in 1:52.4, and also posted wins in the Motor City Pace, Confederation Cup, Little Brown Jug Preview, as well as and the Provincial Cup and Prix d’Ete eliminations. But his biggest win was a win for the province, if not the country. Facing divisional standout Beach Towel, Apaches Fame made harness racing history by becoming the first Ontario-bred and sired colt to win the prestigious $1 million North America Cup. Busloads of fans from Southwestern Ontario flocked to Greenwood that day to take in the race and witness history, and the winner's circle celebration harkened back to the days of the Cam Fella Express in popularity. Apaches Fame ended his season with 20 wins in 26 starts, which earned him the O'Brien Award as the best three-year-old colt in the country. Returning to the races at age four for Dovers Venture II Stable (Chapple, Dr. Jan Venclik, Ross Cushman, Tom Lightbody and Gary Nolte) Apaches Fame won the Grand Prix Quebec, Blue Bonnets Challenge, Des Smith Memorial and William Haughton Memorial Series at Yonkers before being retired in January 1992 at the age of five. After 67 career starts, Apaches Fame amassed a record of 39-11-9, a mark of 1:51.4 and earnings in excess of $1.76 million. Apaches Fame stood for stallion duty in Ontario and produced the winners of more than $38 million. With 777 foals, 612 made it to the races with 81 per cent of those horses taking race records. Among his most notable performers are the 1998 O'Brien Award winning Horse of the Year Odies Fame, 2000 O'Brien Award winner Legacy Of Fame as well as Twin B Champ, Stonebridge Galaxy and more recently, Twin B Warrior. In 2000, Apaches Fame was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall Of Fame for his contributions to Canadian horse racing both as a standout racehorse and sire. In June 2013, Standardbred Canada honoured Apaches Fame with a special video tribute to commemorate his historic North America Cup victory by visiting the stallion at his Chatham, Ont. home, where he resided at the farm owned by breeder Robert Chapple's son Rob and his wife Becky. The Chapples were joined by Venclik and Doug Nash, who helped manage Apaches Fame through his stallion career at Glengate Farms. "Apaches Fame was the horse that legitimized the Ontario Sires Stakes program of being worthy of producing horse that were world class," said Nash. "When he won the North America Cup, it changed things around forever within the industry, where trainers and owners recognized the Ontario-breds as being capable of campaigning on the world stage." Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. _ The sensational Bee A Magician puts her perfect 7-for-7 record this season on the line in a $35,000 Hambletonian Oaks elimination on Saturday night at The Meadowlands Racetrack. Bee A Magician, the leader in the 3-year-old trotting filly division, has her eyes squarely on the big prize: the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks on Aug. 3. To get there, she must first pass Saturday's elimination test. The Oaks drew 14 entrants. They were evenly divided into a pair of eliminations with the top five from each advancing to the final on the undercard for the $1.2 million Hambletonian. In addition to the Oaks eliminations, the 13-race card starting at 7:15 p.m. also includes a pair of $50,000 eliminations for the U.S. Pacing Championship, two $25,000 Opens for 3-year-old trotters pointing to the Hambletonian and the prep races for the Thomas D'Altrui SBOA Miss New Jersey and the Anthony Abbatiello SBOA New Jersey Classic.. And bring an appetite. There will be free admission, and all the grilled corn you can eat, on Corntastic Night with competitions for husking, carrying and eating corn. Bee A Magician has the rail with Ron Pierce set to drive in the first Oaks elimination, her return to action following a world record victory in the Delvin Miller Memorial on July 13 at The Meadowlands. She trotted the mile in 1:51, fastest ever by a 3-year-old trotting filly. The overpowering score sparked speculation she might tackle the boys in the Hambletonian. After weighing the pros and cons, trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and the ownership team of Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee opted for the Oaks. "We just feel that going two heats against the boys might be too much," Norman said. "All the owners are on board with it." Norman still marvels at Bee A Magician's record-setting win. "The last performance was obviously her best," he said. "Even I was surprised. She's a good horse but that was phenomenal. I don't think it's a one-time thing. I think we'll see more of that. She acted like she was a little short after that mile and I think she might actually improve off that." Bee A Magician is currently ranked #2 behind Meadowlands Pace winner Captaintreacherous in the latest Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. Hartman and Norman are looking for an Oaks double. They captured the race last year with Personal Style in a $116.40 upset. The price will obviously be much lower if Bee A Magician comes through for them. She is the 3-5 favorite in her elimination. The other contenders in the first Oaks elimination, in post position order, are: Fashion Athena, Miss Steele, Ma Chere Hall, Frau Blucher, Handover Belle and Déjà Vu Too. To Dream On, last season's Dan Patch Award winner as the division champion, tops the second Oaks elimination as the 5/2 choice. That full field, in post position order: Time To Kill, Southwind Cocoa, Raring To Go S, To Dream On, Coffeecake Hanover, Mistery Woman and Classic Martine. The top Free-For-All Pacers are back in action for the U.S. Pacing Championship eliminations with the top five returning for the $213,650 final on Hambletonian Day. Bolt The Duer and Sweet Lou, the second and the third place finishers in the Big M's William Haughton Memorial final, square off again in the first elimination. The second elimination is loaded, with a lineup that includes: Haughton winner Pet Rock, world-record holder Warrawee Needy and Foiled Again, the richest pacer ever with $5.1 million in the bank. The U.S. Pacing Championship is another key event in the inaugural TVG Free-For-All Series that culminates with a $500,000 final at The New Meadowlands Racetrack on Nov. 30. The 3-year-old Open Trots give Hambletonian hopefuls one last chance to compete over the track before the main event next weekend. Corky, the new leader in Ken Warkentin's "Road to the Hambletonian" rankings, gets his final Hambo tune-up in the first Open. Hambletonian Day is closing day, and the zenith of the Championship Meet. Fans can follow the next two action-filled weekends at meadowlandsracetrack.com and on Twitter at #Hambo13. by Rachel Ryan
Freehold, NJ --- Jim Mulinix believes A Rocknroll Dance still will make noise in the older male pacer division this season. He hopes the sweet music begins in Saturday’s $120,500 Battle of Lake Erie at Northfield Park in Ohio. The 4-year-old A Rocknroll Dance entered this season with 11 wins in 33 starts and $1.93 million in purses. He struggled to begin 2013, but last weekend picked up his first victory in six races when he captured a $26,400 winners-over event at Hoosier Park. A Rocknroll Dance won by 3-1/4 lengths over Time To Roll in 1:48.2. A Rocknroll Dance and driver Kayne Kauffman will start the Battle of Lake Erie from post No. 5 and are 4-1 on the morning line. Foiled Again, the all-time money-winning pacer in harness racing history with $5.17 million, is the 2-1 favorite from post two with Tony Hall in the sulky for trainer Ron Burke. Foiled Again won the Battle of Lake Erie in 2009 and 2011. He was second in 2012 and third in 2010. “I think before the year is over he’ll do some good things,” said Mulinix, who owns A Rocknroll Dance with Diamond Creek Farm, Denny Miller, J&T Silva Stables and the Muscara Racing Trust under the A RockNRoll Dance Stable banner. “I think he’s been pretty good this year, he just hasn’t had any luck. It seems wherever he drew he always ended up in a bad place.” During the early part of his campaign, A Rocknroll Dance also was bothered by a sore mouth that affected him getting on the bit. Mulinix had the issue resolved prior to the William R. Haughton Memorial eliminations on July 6 and his horse responded with a 1:47.4 mile -- which was only good enough for seventh place (he missed advancing to the final by a half-length), but gave Mulinix an improved outlook for the future. “He seems much happier with his mouth and hasn’t been fussing with his head and is driving good,” Mulinix said. “Before he was throwing his head going to the gate and turning his head and I think it might have affected his breathing too. He seems much better now.” A Rocknroll Dance’s career wins include the 2011 Governor’s Cup and 2012 Meadowlands Pace, Hempt Memorial and Battle of the Brandywine. He was second in the 2011 Breeders Crown and Metro Pace. In his win at Hoosier Park last weekend with Trace Tetrick driving, A Rocknroll Dance battled for the lead in the opening quarter-mile and got the top spot prior to the halfway point, which was reached in :53.3. He paced the last two quarters in :27.2 each. “That was really no indication because it was like a training mile,” Mulinix said. “He got to the front and no one could really come at him.” Still, with his mouth issues in the past and a win under his belt, the future appears brighter for A Rocknroll Dance. “This group is so tough, but he seems as good as ever,” Mulinix said. “But who knows if as good as ever is good enough with this bunch of horses. You have to get better. I’ve been working him a little harder, trying to pick up a step here or there. I think he will be OK. We’re just going to take it one week at a time.” Following is the Battle of Lake Erie field with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Aracache Hanover, Greg Grismore, Gregg McNair; 2. Foiled Again, Tony Hall, Ron Burke; 3. Rockin Finish, Wyatt Irvine, Virgil Morgan, Jr.; 4. Thinking Out Loud, Dan Noble, Robert McIntosh; 5. A Rocknroll Dance, Kayne Kauffman, Jim Mulinix; 6. Clear Vision, Chris Page, Ron Burke; 7. State Treasurer, Aaron Merriman, Dr. Ian Moore; 8. Versado, Ryan Stahl, Nick Surick. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications Courtesy of the United States Trotting Association Web Newsroom
Harness racing driver Dave Miller drove the fastest mile of his career Saturday at the Meadowlands as he guided Pet Rock to a very impressive 1:47 victory in the $471,800 final of the William R. Haughton Memorial Free-For-All Pace.
It may be difficult to teach old dogs new tricks, but the father-and-son team of harness racing trainer Carl Jamieson and driver Jody Jamieson seem to have been effective teaching an older horse a new way to race.
Ok harness racing fans, after seven weeks I have picked horses in 44 races with only 19 winners, not that good. I had two out of five winners last week which made for a $3.00 overall loss. We are in the minus earning column still at (-$4.30) going into this weekend.
In the 8th race second $50,000 elimination division of the Haughton Memorial FFA Pace, Sweet Lou and harness racing driver Yannick Gingras was able to regain his winning form the hard way, grinding out a first-over parked the mile victory by a slim neck over Pet Rock in 1:48.4.
Warrawee Needy ($4.80) tied the all age world record as the fastest Standardbred ever in harness racing Saturday at the Meadowlands, scoring a 1:46.4 victory in winning his $50,000 elimination division for the William H. Haughton Memorial Free-For-All Pace.
East Rutherford, NJ - It's Saturday night in early July and what better place to watch harness racing fireworks than at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Of the 13 races on the program, seven are stakes events highlighted by the Meadowlands Pace and Haughton FFA Pace eliminations plus the second round of the NJ Sire Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies.
Apparently, nobody told Golden Receiver that he was supposed to slow down a bit at the age of seven. Because the harness racing New York-bred gelding is doing the exact opposite.
Won The West, two-time divisional champion who boasts harness racing purses of $3.9 million, will be officially retired on Friday night (August 17) at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
The 2012 Championship Meet at the Meadowlands Racetrack will end with a bang - literally - on Friday, August 17. Fireworks, live music, eight stakes races, the Vernon/Meadowlands Drivers' Championship and unbelievable prize drawings are in store at the track's Summer Finale.
A quartet of stakes topped by the $523,000 William R. Haughton Memorial provided a thrilling finish to the 2011 Meadowlands harness racing meet on Saturday, August 20. Alexie Mattosie overcame a grueling first over trip to win the Haughton at odds of 8-1. Doug McNair and Aracache Hanover parked Alexie Mattosie through blistering fractions of :53, and 1:20.1 before fading late in the stretch.
The $523,000 William R. Haughton Memorial headlines the stakes-laden summer finale at the Meadowlands Racetrack on Saturday, August 20. In addition to the track's richest harness racing event for free for all pacers, the program includes the $363,900 Sweetheart and $317,800 Woodrow Wilson for two-year-olds and the $235,700 Golden Girls for older mares.
We Will See rallied from the far outside to win the first of two $50,000 harness racing eliminations for the William R. Haughton Memorial on Saturday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Driven by Ron Pierce, We Will See closed from seventh to stop the leader Alexie Mattosie by three-quarters of a length in 1:48.3.
Young Canadian harness racing driving dynamo Doug McNair will aim for a starting spot in the $523,000 William R. Haughton Memorial with Aracache Hanover in the first of two $50,000 elimination races on Saturday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack.