Day At The Track
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During the long, cold winter in Western Pennsylvania Rich Gillock, like any other resident, was looking forward to the spring, but it wasn't because of the warmer temperatures. He couldn't wait to get Major Athens on track and see what this harness racing colt was made of.

The field for the $387,250 Peter Haughton Memorial, the Meadowlands' marquee event for harness racing 2-year-old colt trotters, was decided by a pair of elimination races on Friday night.

Lower fees help boost nominations to Meadowlands Racetrack's summer stakes events for harness racing 2-year-old horses by over 35 percent in 2012.

Jonas Czernyson is no ordinary harness racing trainer. The Swedish born 38-year-old might not have large training numbers but he has quickly become recognized by his peers as one of North America's outstanding young horsemen.

The Jimmy Takter trained and Johnny Takter driven Weingartner upset harness racing favorites Power Play and Big Chocolate today's (Saturday August 6) $400,000 Peter Haughton Memorial Trot for 2-year-old colts and geldings.

Big Chocolate rallied from the back of the field to win one of two $20,000 eliminations for the Peter Haughton Memorial Friday night at Meadowlands Racetrack. Heavy rains soaked the harness racing track early in the card, creating sloppy conditions for the 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings. That didn't stop Big Chocolate from accelerating down the stretch to capture his first career win in 1:57.

Harness racing trainer Steve Elliott sends three hopefuls into Friday's (July 29) Peter Haughton Memorial eliminations at Meadowlands Racetrack, but he trains only two of the 2-year-old trotting colts. Elliott, who won the 2006 Haughton with Donato Hanover, trains Quit Smoking Now and Yankee Royalty. He co-owns Power Play, but the horse is trained by Julie Miller.

Don't be surprised to see champion New Zealand pacer Auckland Reactor back racing in the United States next year. That's the opinion of one of North America's most prominent harness racing owners and 'Reactor' shareholder, Jerry Silva.

Harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter told Monday morning that he plans on appealing the decision by the Meadowlands' stewards last Saturday afternoon to disqualify his horse Pastor Stephen from first to sixth in the $500,000 Peter Haughton Memorial final for causing interference.

In a stunning judges' decision, Pastor Stephen, the second of the two Jimmy Takter choices, was disqualified from first and placed off the board after he won the $500,000 Peter Haughton Memorial Final in 1:55.2 over his stable mate, favorite Leader Of The Gang.

Jimmy Takter trainees won both $20,000 eliminations for the Peter Haughton Memorial for harness racing two-year-old colt and gelding trotters Friday night at Meadowlands Racetrack. Leader Of The Gang pulled away in the stretch, trotting to victory in 1:55.3. Neal finished second and The Lindy Reserve was third.

Harness racing eliminations will be held a week from Saturday for the $1.5 million Hambletonian on August 7 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The race is the second jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown, following the Yonkers Trot and prior to the Kentucky Futurity, and is the world's most prestigious event for 3-year-old trotters.

Lucky Chucky, who was voted last season's best 2-year-old male trotter by the U.S. Harness Writers' Association, and Peter Haughton Memorial winner Holiday Road are among the eight horses entered in Friday's $80,900 Historic-Dickerson Cup at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Both 3-year-old trotters will be making their season debuts.

Chris Page has been selected as the recipient of the Peter Haughton Memorial Award by the Ohio Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association. The Haughton Award goes to a young Ohioan who is an "up and coming" star among harness racing horsemen.

The Greg Peck trained and Brian Sears trained Holiday Road recorded the fastest ever mile in the history of the Peter Haughton Memorial for harness racing two year old trotters when Holiday Road sliced a second off the stakes record at the Meadowlands on Hambletonian Day

It seems harness racing driver Brian Sears and trainer Greg Peck, the team behind the Hambletonian favorite Muscle Hill, already have a top prospect for next year's race in their arsenal.

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