For the second week in a row, the Jordan Hope trained Little Santamonica shipped in for the mares Open handicap at Batavia Downs and once again took the winners share of the $9,500 purse for harness racing owner Kelly Hope. After firing right to the front from post five for reinsmen Truman Gale, the 6-year-old daughter of Little Steven opened up a two-length advantage and maintained that margin through quarters of :28.3, :58.1, 1:26 before stopping the clock at 1:54.2. She returned $4.10 for the win as the solid public choice. This was the tenth win 21 attempts for Little Santamonica this year and it brought her earnings up to $97,725 for the season. Asset Management (Fern Paquet) who shipped in from Tioga Downs was second and Bazooka Terror (Kevin Cummings) was third. Drivers Shawn McDonough and Ron Beback Jr. both scored driving triples on the night. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs this Friday (Aug. 8) with a 6:35 post time. Tim Bojarski
Batavia, NY - An enthusiastic crowd lined the fence to welcome back live harness racing at the oldest lighted harness track in North America and their zeal was rewarded with a great slate of exciting contests on a warm summer night. The feature race was the $9,500 mares Open pace where newcomer Bazooka Terror established her status the first start out of the box as she soundly defeated her competition in 1:55.4. Bazooka Terror got away fourth as Case Solved (John Cummings Jr.) and Mondatta (Ron Beback Jr.) argued for the lead in 28 seconds flat. But just before they hit the half, Shawn McDonough pulled the mare first-over where she seemed to hang a bit before getting in gear. By the time they hit the three-quarters in 1:26.2, Bazooka Terror found her stride and motored around Case Solved as they skated through the turn. When they hit the top of the stretch, McDonough was rocking and knocking and Bazooka Terror responded to pull away to a widening two-length victory. Bazooka Terror is owned by her trainer, Leonard Segall of Clearwater, Florida. This was her sixth win of the year and it pushed her bankroll to $43,904 for 2014.She returned $6.20 for the win. In the co-featured$7,500 Open mares trot, Love Me Do took a huge step in class and thought nothing of it as she cruised to a five-length victory in a seasonal best time of 1:59. Love Me Do was claimed last week for $8,000 after winning that race from post seven in 2:00.1. Apparently liking what he bought, trainer Alex Giuliani wasted no time in promoting her to the top level for her sex and gait this week and the move paid off. Love Me Do left and tucked third as 3-2 favorite Fiorentina (John Cummings Jr.) took the front and began to cut the mile. After a 29 second quarter and 59 second half, Love Me Do tipped at the five-eighths and took the lead past the three-quarters in 1:28.4. When she got the lead she got away from the pack and scored an easy five length victory, her sixth of the year. The time of 1:59 was a seasonal mark for Love Me Do and the winners share raised he annual earnings to $31,397. She paid $10.20 to win. Love Me Do is owned by Mark Jakubik of West Seneca, NY. Reinsman Kevin Cummings carried his hot hand over from the recently concluded Buffalo meet winning four times on opening night while 2013 Batavia leading dash driver Shawn McDonough notched a triple. Batavia Downs returns live this Friday night (July 25) with 12 races on the card. For more racing information, a list of racing promotions or to watch race replays as soon as they are declared official, logon to www.bataviadonwsgaming.com. Or if you would like to bet online and watch live streaming coverage of the races as they occur, logon to www.bataviabets.com and open an account. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
Batavia, NY- As Batavia Downs kicks off its 2014 live racing season tonight, the best of the resident distaff congregation takes main stage as both feature races focus on the best local mares from both gaits. The evening's first race is a $7,500 mares Open trot that has seven going postward. The 2-1 morning line favorite is Fiorentina. This 5-year-old Angus Hall mare has been facing the boys each week in Open company at the recently concluded Buffalo Raceway meet and has been no worse than third in her four most recent starts. However you have to go back to February 28 to find the last time she has won a race. That said, competing within her peer group tonight will provide some welcomed class relief for this outing. Fiorentina, who is conditioned by the Downs defending training champion John Mungillo, has three wins in 12 starts for the year with a mark of 1:58.3 at Buffalo. She drew post two and has Truman Gale in the bike. Stormont O My has the rail and a 3-1 second choice designation. This classy 10-year-old has been racing mostly in claiming races this year, winning her last start handily in 1:59.4 with a $12,500 price tag. She has raced in Open class company twice at Buffalo and faced Fiorentina both times. On April 18 Stormont O My was second, finishing ahead of Fiorentina who was third and on January 23 she was also second, only behind Fiorentina who won that race. Stormont O My is trained by Darrin Monti and is co-owned and driven by Drew Monti. She has four wins in 15 starts this year with her best winning effort of 2014 coming just last week. In the night's featured sixth race, seven starters will line up in the mares Open pace to compete for the winner's share of $9,500. The 5-2 odds maker's choice is Bazooka Terror, who hails from the barn of local newcomer Leonard Segall. This 5-year-old Western Terror has been competing most recently at Scarborough Downs in Maine and had a 1:56.2 win in the top mares class there three starts ago. After finishing second at that level once again, she was dropped to a lower condition where she dominated the field and registered a 1:54.2, nine-length victory over the half-mile track. She took her lifetime mark of 1:52.1 at Tioga Downs on June 6 of this year and has registered three wins in her last five starts. Bazooka Terror has been overcoming outside posts in seven of her last eight starts and gets some inside relief tonight from post three. She also gets the services of defending Batavia Downs dash winning driver Shawn McDonough. Her main rival in the race is the 3-1 second choice, Case Solved. This recent addition to the Adam Short stable has been impressive locally since coming in from Hoosier Park in Indiana. After winning her initial start at Buffalo for her new connections in an uncontested 1:54.2 wire-to-wire romp, Case Solved moved into the mares Open ranks and finished a narrowly beaten second two consecutive times. Driver Ray Fisher Jr. will pick up the lines once again and look to allay those back to back defeats this week. Post time for the 12 race card is 6:35. Opening night will also feature two giveaways for the fans on hand. Free Batavia Downs racing programs and magnetic schedules with be distributed to all in attendance, as long as supplies last. For more racing information or to watch race replays as soon as they are declared official, logon towww.bataviadonwsgaming.com. Or if you would like to bet online and watch live streaming coverage of the races as they occur, logon towww.bataviabets.comand open an account. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
Faced with a host of challengers in the final 300 yards, Oldford Farms and Tyler Buter's Antigua Hanover ($8.20) had just enough left in reserve, digging in to stave off three late-charging rivals en route to a 1:53.3 score in Friday (May 31) evening's $11,000 Miracle Mile 2 pace for fillies and mares at Tioga Downs. The four-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was beaten to the first turn by Canaco Star (Mike Merton), but brushed to the fore immediately upon Canaco Star's clearing at the apex of the first turn. After setting sensible early splits of :28.2 and :56.3, Antigua Hanover turned aside a first-over challenge from If I Didnt Care (Rick Dane), edging clear to the top of the stretch. After dismissing If I Didnt Care's challenge on the approach to the far turn, Antigua Hanover withstood late charges from eventual runner-up Bazooka Terror (Aaron Byron) and third-place finisher Dirty Girty (Greg Merton), digging in late to prevail by a diminishing three-quarters-length margin. Brandon Simpson handled the driving duties aboard Antigua Hanover for trainer Amber Buter. Live racing resumes at Tioga Downs on Sunday (June 1) afternoon, with the Roll With Joe Pace headlining the card. Non-wagering events begin at 12:45 p.m. EDT, with the first of 13 pari-mutuel races scheduled for 1:30 p.m. by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs
Today’s Gr. II International UET Masters Series Prix des Ducs de Normandie went to the legendary veteran trotter Roi de Lupin for trainer/owner J-P Marmion. J-M Bazire teamed the winner to victory in 1.12.7kr over 2450 meters. He earned his 26th career win and the winner’s share of the €150,000 purse raised lifetime earnings to €1,636,450. Swedishman and Reve de Beylev followed the winner home in a good field that also included Turbo Jet, Uhlan du Val, Tiego d’Etang and other upper-class “trotteurs”. Summary follows. May 14, 2014 Caen, Prix des Ducs de Normandie, Gr. II International UET Masters Series, €150,000, 16 starters over 2450 meters, 1.12.7kr, Quinte+ jackpot €8.75 million 1st Roi du Lupin (9g Fleuron Perrine-Helia de Saint Pol-Quiton du Coral), J-M Bazire up for trainer/owner/breeder J-P Marmion, his 26th win for €1,636,450, 2.3/1 odds 2nd Swedishman (8g Gogo-Volgana), Thierry Duvaldestin trainer/driver, 4/1 3rd Reve de Beylev (9m Fortuna Font-Heloise Poterie), Eric Raffin for trainer Sebastian Guarato, 28/1 4th Turbo Jet (7m Joyau d’Amour-Elite d’Atout), Jean Etienne Dubois driver/trainer, 20/1 5th Uhlan du Val (6m Islero de Bellouet-Indiana Beautiful), Cedric Megissier trainer/driver, 7/1 Beaten field included 3.8/1 Tiego d’Etang, Quinoa du Gers, Axelle Dark, Valse Darling, Sam Gibus, Valse Castelets, Talicia Bella. The Caen undercard, conducted on this perfect May day before a huge gathering, featured graded monte action. Four year-old Love You stallion Airport took the Gr. II Prix Henri Balliere with a €120,000 purse. The winner was handled by Eric Raffin and scored in 1.13.7kr by open lengths for trainer Ake Kristofferson and owner Ecurie des Charmes. The favorite winner boosted his lifetime earnings to over €197,000. May 14, 2014 Caen, Prix Henri Balliere, Gr. II monte €120,000, 2450 meters, 13 starters, 1.13.7kr 1st Airport (4m Love You-Pivoine-Cygnus d’Odyssee), Eric Raffin up for Ake Kristofferson and owner Ecurie des Charmes, 1.5/1 favorite, his fifth win for €197,400 2nd Albertains (4m Power Jet-Nymphe de Feugeres), Julien Raffestan up for J-E Senet, 41/1 3rd Athos du Roc (4m Odeisis de Vandel-Herbe des Brouets), Franck Nivard up for trainer D-J Brault, 14/1 The Gr. I Prix Saint-Leger des Trotteurs for €150,000 went to the “jazzman”, Bird Parker with Yohan Lebourgeois up. Phillipe Allaire trains the winner for Elisabeth Allaire, as he crushed his foes to score in 1.13.8kr. Career earnings of this one are now just short of €262,000. Bird Parker has favorably responded to the switch to monte competition as his last three monte starts have been exceptional. May 14, 2014 Caen, Prix Saint-Leger des Trotteur/Prix Jeux Equestres Mondiaux, Gr. I monte, €150,000, 14 starters, 2450 meters, 1.13.8kr 1st Bird Parker (3m Ready Cash-Belisha-Fakir du Vivier), Yohan Lebourgeois up for Philippe Allaire trainer and owner Mme. Elisabeth Allaire, breeder M.C. Toulorge, 1.1/1 odds, his third win for €261,980 2nd Barbar des Brouets (3m Giant Cat-Pin Up des Brouets), Philippe Masschaele up, 9/1 3rd Bingo Star (3m Look de Star-Rosiris), Adrien Lamy aboard, 64/1 Aged monte campaigners, 19 of them in fact, battled in the €65,000 Prix du Calvados ov2nd er 2450 meters. Uppercut de Manche took the inside route to victory for Damien Bonne, in the irons for trainer Thierry Raffegeau, to score in 1.13.8kr to pick up his 11th lifetime win, now with earnings of €240,450. He was the even money favorite and defeated the 13/1 Tun Winner, a son of Kaisy Dream that stood one season in North America. May 14, 2014 Caen, Prix du Calvados, European monte, €65,000, 2450 meters, 19 starters, 1.13.8kr 1st Uppercut de Manche (6g Neutron du Cebe-Nuit de Manche-Coktail Jet), Damien Bonne up for trainer Thierry Raffegeau, 1/1 odds, 11th career win for €240,450 2nd Tun Winner (7g Kaisy Dream-Isaline Fortiniere), S-E Pasquier up, 13/1 3rd Remember Jihem (9m Jag de Bellouet-Feriana), Fabien Gence, 33/1 Good three year-olds took to the sulky in the €36,000 Prix de la Touques over 2200 meters autostart. The Ready Cash sired Bold Eagle took this one impressively for Jean-Etienne Dubois as the 4/5 favorite. He recoded victory five in a brief career with the win over Black Gold, a son of Sam Bourbon and now trained by Franck Leblanc after being recently acquired at public auction. May 14, 2014, Caen, Prix de la Touques, three year-olds, €36,000, 2200 meters autostart, 13 starters, 1.15kr 1st Bold Eagle (3m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet-Love You), Jean Etienne Dubois, driver/trainer/owner/breeder, 4/5 favorite, fifth win for €52,550 2nd Black Gold (3m Sam Bourbon-Seldovia), Franck Nivard for Franck Leblanc trainer 3rd Berry Felin (3m Nahar de Beval-Krisma des Bois), G. Delacour trainer/driver On the May 13 evening card at Paris-Vincennes three year-olds did battle with J-M Bazire winning both the female and male contests with Babylone Seven and Bandit Charentais. Summaries follow: May 13, 2014, Paris-Vincennes, Prix Murzim, €42,000, 2700 meters for females, 9 starters, 1.17.3kr 1st Babylone Seven (3f Oiseau de Faux-Nyala), J-M Bazire trainer/driver, 2.7/1 2nd Blanche Mencourt (3f Ready Cash-Navaja Blanche), Jos. Verbeeck up for trainer Philippe Allaire, 7/10 favorite 3rd Balva Miontaval (3f Magnificent Rodney-Primavera de Lou), Eric Raffin up, 46/1 4th Belle d’Hommeur (3f Password-Place l’Honneur), Julien Dubois trainer/dri ver, 8/1 May 13, 2014, Paris-Vincennes, Prix Hesperia, €36,000 for males, 2200 meters, 12 starters, 1.15.3kr 1st Bandit Charentais (3m So Lovely Girl-Here I Am), J-M Bazire up for J-M Baudouin, 9/10 favorite 2nd Bambino du Mont (3m Quitus de Mexique-Porta Mag), Pierre Vercruysse up for A-P Schmitt trainer, 50/1 3rd Bazooka Nep (3m Quatre Juillet-Star de Gautiers), Damien Bonne for Sebastian Guarato trainer, 20/1 Of other interesting note the veteran 11 year-old Commander Crowe makes his first 2014 start on May 17 at Wolvega. 1 Oaks de Villeneuve, L.G.M. De Groote 2 Lobell Countess, M.F. Rothengatter 3 Commander Crowe, R. Bakker 4 Sage de Bresles, H.W. Langeweg jr. 5 Quito de Roche, J.H. Schwarma 6 Picardo, C. De Groote 7 Attrape Moi, C.F. Kamminga 8 Andriy Fortuna, P.J. Strooper UET Masters Series point leaders were also announced. The final will be in September in Copenhagen. Elitloppet starter Timoko ranks second with other last weekend winners Univers de Pan and Roxane Griff near the top. 1 ITALIE MACK GRACE SM(M 8) 3300 2 FRANCE TIMOKO(M 7) 3050 3 FRANCE ROXANE GRIFF(F 9) 2275 4 FRANCE UNIVERS DE PAN (M 6) 2100 5 SUEDE COMMANDER CROWE(H 11) 2000 6 SUEDE NAHAR(H 9) 1900 7 FRANCE UP AND QUICK(M 6) 1650 8 FRANCE SAVE THE QUICK(F 8) 1600 9 SUEDE SANITY(H 8) 1550 10 ITALIE NAPOLEON BAR(M 7) 1500 11 SUEDE PANNE DE MOTEUR(M 6) 1400 12 FRANCE TEXAS CHARM(M 7) 1275 13 SUEDE MAHARAJAH(M 9) 1250 14 ITALIE PASCIA'LEST(M 5) 1200 15 FRANCE TIEGO D'ETANG(M 7) 1150 16 ITALIE OWEN CR(M 6) 1150 17 FRANCE READY CASH(M 9) 1100 – retired or is he ? 18 SUEDE SEBASTIAN K.(M 8) 1050 – now in USA 19 FRANCE THE BEST MADRIK(M 7) 1025 - retired 20 SUEDE DEUXIEME PICSOUS(M 7) 1000 by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com
LEBANON, OH. - Up Front Kellie Jo hopped into Miami Valley Raceway on Easter Sunday and hopped out with her fifth straight open mares harness racing victory in the Buckeye state, the first four coming at Northfield Park. The eight-year-old Bettor's Delight mare is obviously as sharp as ever, despite her advanced age of eight, as she prevailed over Y Mach Me (Kyle Ater) by a head in 1:52 and Bazooka Terror (Randy Tharps) who was a half-length away at the wire. Driver Josh Sutton left like a bunny who had backed into a porcupine and got the lead in less than an eighth of a mile despite being assigned the outside nine-hole. The favored winner raced unchallenged through moderate fractions before stepping on the gas at the three quarters station. Although she responded well, the others did make the race quite interesting and were closing furiously at the finish. Up Front Kellie Jo is owned by Ed Mullinax and Mark Ford and trained by Rob Harmon. The triumph was one of three for Sutton on the holiday program. Jeremy Smith and Dan Noble also fashioned driving doubles on the nine-race card. From the Miami Valley Raceway Publicity Department
LEBANON, OH. - The 'girls' pretty much had their way with the 'boys' in Sunday night's $8000 championship final of the month-long Madness in March tournament at Miami Valley Raceway. A field of 64 $4.000 claiming horses began the Madness in March elimination tournament with the field reduced to 32 after week one, 16 after week two and the Elite 8 after week three. While the 'brackets' for the first three weeks were divided by gender, the final pitted the top four surviving geldings versus the top four surviving mares in a "Battle of the Sexes." When the dust settled, Rock Ann Rolling was crowned Tournament Queen following a track-record 1:53.4 performance, the fastest clocking ever by a female over the age of four at Miami Valley to date. A pair of other mares raced creditably against their male counterparts with Taylors Artist (Josh Sutton) finishing third and C L Life Road (Dan Noble) fourth across the finish line. Rock Ann Rolling is owned by driver Jason Brewer and conditioned by his father Jeff Brewer. It was the 13th career win for the six-year-old Rocknroll Hanover mare. The best any of the four geldings could do in the championship was a runnerup finish by Communicator (Pat Berry) who fell just three-quarters of length short for the P T Stable, who claimed him in the first week of the tournament. Olive Loaf (Kyle Ater) garnered the final paycheck for his fifth place effort. A pair of co-featured Fillies and Mares Open paces were also highlights of the program. Rev Me Up (Dan Noble) captured the $9500 Open I for the second straight week in 1:54, which stood for one race as the track record for older distaffers until Rock Ann Rolling bested it. Despite the eight-hole, Rev Me Up fired when the wings opened and went gate to wire, holding off Whisty's Paradise (Pat Berry) and Canary Island (Chris Page) in a thrilling photo finish. Patrons who backed the repeat winner were rewarded with a $22.80 mutuel payoff on the Kathy Millman trainee who is leased by Merl P'Pool. The $7,500 Open II went to favored Ohmybelle (Tyler Smith) with a narrow victory over Everymileamemory (Pat Berry) and Bazooka Terror (Randy Tharps). The speedy 1:53.3 clocking established a new standard for four-year-old mares who have raced at Miami Valley during the track's initial two months in business. Janet Banks owns the daughter of Ponder who is trained by Tyler's father, Jeff Smith. From Miami Valley Raceway Publicity Department
Almost half of Saturday’s 13-race card at Balmoral are ICF stake elimination races to decide the finalists for next weekend’s Southland Festival of Racing program. A fifth place finish or higher is needed on Saturday to advance to gain the ICF finals of the $65,000 Loyal Opposition for 2-year-old ICF fillies, the $65,500 Mini Me for freshman pacing colts and geldings and the $59,000 Incredible Finale for second season male pacers. The fifth race first division of the Incredible Finale came up strong with Cardinal champion Fancy Creek Elusive (programmed 3-1, Dave Magee), Hanover winner Mystical Walter (2-1, Casey Leonard) and last year’s freshman division titleholder Fox Valley Action (9-2, Todd Warren) all squaring off. They’ll be challenged by Monopoly Man (6-1, John De Long), Sage Ruck (6-1, Mike Oosting), Colechester (12-1, Dave Magee) and Bazooka (10-1, Kyle Wilfong. Only two of the seven starters will be eliminated. The second Incredible Finale split is headed up by the Cardinal runner-up Crankin’ It Up (5-2, Kyle Wilfong) and four-time season winner Big Brad (9-2, Bobby Smolin), second best to Latest Desire in last week’s Hanover open stake. Also looking for a berth in the final are Darth Quaider (9-2, Mike Oosting), Fox Valley Norman (6-1, John De Long), Silver Devil (6-1, Jamaica Patton), Mr Three Quarters (12-1, Casey Leonard, Kostas Wine (10-1, Dave Magee) and Sweet Water Jack (20-1, Brian Carpenter). As expected, eliminations were not necessary for either of the ICF 3-year-old trotting stakes. In fact only six horses—American Empress, Divination, Just For Fun, Kelsey’s Star, Little Ms Chrissy and Trot Fudge Sundae—will compete in the $45,000 Fox Valley Evita Final for fillies. The reigning colt division leader King Mufasa has eight challengers in the $51,500 Kadabra Championship: Fox Valley Camo, Fox Valley Dubai, Fox Valley Legend, Powerful Mel, Powerful Poe, Semper Fit, Showstopin Monkey and Skyline Road. Saturday I’ll highlight the ICF two-year-old stake eliminations for the Loyal Opposition for the gals and the Mini Me for the guys. By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association
Ben Wallace is no stranger to conditioning harness racing champions. In 1999, the Milton resident trained the Triple Crown winner, Blissfull Hall, voted Canada's Horse of the Year who went on to bank $1,468,648 in lifetime earnings.
The countdown is underway at Western Fair for the London track’s signature annual event, the 36th edition of the $250,000 Molson Pace, less than eight weeks away on Friday, May 30th.