Day At The Track

Racing for toilet paper at Olympia Palm Beach

09:42 AM 01 Apr 2020 NZDT
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The winner of each of the qualifying races Wednesday at Olympia of Palm Beach Training Center will get a 12-pack of toilet paper.

Lake Worth, FL - In harness racing there are purses and prizes to be won when competing, whether it's going for over $1 million in the Hambletonian Trot, or just a local fair race for $2,500, there is always a prize that awaits the winner.

Perhaps for the first time ever in horse racing history there will be races held on Wednesday (April 1) and what does the winner of the race get when they arrive in the winner's circle? You guessed it, a case of 12 rolls of toilet paper.

And this is no April 1 Fool's Joke!

Olympia of Palm Beach Training Center, formally known as the South Florida Trotting Center, will be holding five qualifying races Wednesday morning. Due to the Coronavirus-19, the public is not allowed to attend, but track management is hopeful to have live video and droning of the trotting races.

Sam Stathis owns Olympia of Palm Beach Training Center. He has his Celebrity Farms Stable there and has entered seven of his horses in the qualifying races.

"We wanted to have a prize for the winner of each race," Stathis said. "and we wanted to have some fun with it. At first the races were going to be for non-winners of a ham sandwich, but due to the hoarders grabbing up all the toilet paper, we switched the prize from a ham sandwich to a 12-pack of toilet paper. Maybe I'll thrown in a six-pack of Corona beer too!"

Usually qualifying races are held to determine if a trotter or pacer can go in a specified time to meet the standards set by racetracks. There are never purses or prizes for qualifying races.

"Right now," Stathis explained. "While everyone else is building bunkers and waiting for the world to end from Coronavirus-19, we take this virus very seriously and recommend and practice social distancing. It's ironic in a sport where we want to get fans to attend, this time we want them to stay away for everyone's protection. But in turn, we are trying to keep our horses exercised, keep moral up and show the world that we can have some fun with this incredible sport."

Of the 12 horses that are competing in the five qualifying races, there is one unique standout performer. His name is Celebrity Maserati.

The oldest horse in the field at age ten, Celebrity Maserati, was a top stake winning trotting colt at age two and three, amassing $198,000 in earnings for Sam Stathis's Celebrity Farms and has a record of 1:53. Over the years he has had some injuries that kept him from racing, but not from breeding horses.

Over the years Celebrity Maserati (sired by Andover Hall), has bred numerous mares, enough in fact that he not only has three of his sons and daughters competing in the qualifying races, but in the third race Celebrity Maserati starts from post three with Stathis driving and its daughter, Celebrity Serena, starts alongside him in post three.

The other "Celebrity" horses that Celebrity Maserati has sired include recent 1:54.3 winner at Pompano Park, Celebrity Miracle (race two), and Celebrity Bianca, whom also starts in race two. Another Celebrity horse, Celebrity Titan, who is sired by Yankee Glide, starts in the first race. He is a brother to Celebrity Miracle.

The fourth and fifth races are for pacers and features $101,000 winner Jimi Wind Ricks in the fourth race against $49,000 winner Sweet Deisel. The fifth race spotlights $77,000 winner Rose Run Slider against $43,000 winner Roll With Angel.

Some of the sports top harness racing drivers will be competing in the qualifying races including Scott Zeron, Jim Meittinis, Dan Daley and Fern Paquet, Jr.

To get a program proof and to watch the video and droning of the qualifying races that will begin at 11:00 am Wednesday, go to www.olympiapalmbeach.com and look for the special links on the home page. Ann-Mari Daley will also be doing Facebook Live of the races from the starting gate.

By Steve Wolf, for Olympia of Palm Beach

 
 
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