Day At The Track
Manchego, harness racing

Plainridge Park concludes the 2020 meet

Plainville, MA --- The 2020 Plainridge Park meet concluded on Friday (Nov. 27) and despite starting over two months late due to the global pandemic, the harness racing track enjoyed a successful and productive year. With stringent safety protocols in place and the strict adherence to them by all racing personnel from day one of live racing, the meet was run in its entirety without any Covid-related incidents. That is a reflection of the hard work put in by the track's staff and all of the horsemen and horsewomen to ensure the safety of everyone and protect their livelihoods as all worked through difficult times. "We are happy with the meet we had given the circumstances we had to deal with. But the only way we were able to operate successfully centered around my incredible staff. Each and every one of them went above and beyond their responsibilities, doing whatever it took to get thru the toughest season we have ever faced in regards to operations,"said Steve O'Toole, Director of Racing at Plainridge Park. "We tried to accommodate the horsemen as best we could, especially the regulars and those local. The $7 million in purses distributed in the shortened season should give them stability until we start next year." On the track, Shawn Gray was the top dash driver with 111 wins, $1,081,476 in earnings and a UDR of .436 followed by Drew Monti in second with 94 wins, $899,901 in earnings and a UDR of .302 and Bruce Ranger a very close third with 93 wins, $907,748 in earnings and a UDR of .300. Shawn Gray (Tim Bojarski Photo) Melissa Beckwith was the winningest trainer with 39 victories in only 89 starts which gave her a win percentage of 44% and a UTR of .541. She also bankrolled $249,700 in earnings. Jimmy Nickerson was right behind her in second with 32 wins, $323,515 in earnings and a UTR of .401. Best Honey Hanover was the most productive horse, visiting the winner's circle eight times during the meet and earning $48,300 while splitting time between barns through claims. There were eight track records broken and one tied during the year. Two of those occurred on Spirit of Massachusetts Trot day in July when Manchego scorched The Ridge in 1:49.3 to set the all-time trotting mark and Shartin N paced in 1:48.1 to break the all-time pacing mark she set just one year ago. Manchego scorched The Ridge in 1:49.3 Shartin N paced in 1:48.1 to break the all-time pacing mark The Massachusetts Sire Stakes held at Plainridge in October also showed how far the state-bred Standardbreds have come as seven stake records were broken and another tied during the four week run of that series. Plainridge Park will kick off their 2021 on April 12 and feature 110 days of love racing. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Bell I No, harness racing

$102,000 Stallion Stakes contested

Pompano Beach, FL...November 30, 2020...The FSBOA sponsored Florida Stallion Stakes for two year-olds highlighted the Sunday harness racing festivities at Pompano Park contested in four divisions with KK's Dream Girl, Prairie Virtue, Mister David C and Shulda Hada Drink were victorious in their respective classes and taking their major shares of $102,000 in purses. But after the completion of those events, the fireworks continued with a pair of Open pacing events and a 1:49.3 performance by the invader Bell I No in a conditioned event with optional claimers. First, here's a recap of the Stallion Stakes events. KK's Dream Girl, who suffered a broken hobble and had to be pulled up in last week's Sunshine State Stakes Final, redeemed herself on Sunday night with a lifetime best performance of 1:54.4--leading every long stride of her mile off panels of :28.1, :57.1 and 1:26.1 and finishing 2½ lengths up at the wire. The beautiful roan daughter of Mysticism was handled by Corey Braden for trainer Maggie Audley and the Gold Star Farm as this 2 to 1 second choice put the highly regarded 2 to 5 favorite, Prairie Sweetness Kevin Wallis), in the garden spot much of the way, never threatening the winner. Sparkyfareyouwe (Bryce Fenn), saving ground all the way around, rallied to finish third. Dice Dice Baby finished fourth while Rocks Stormyd picked up the final check in the quintet after a mild threat three-eighths into the mile. After the mile, a humble Corey Braden remarked, "Well, she kept her pants (hobbles) on tonight and she had a pretty easy journey. I decided to not take any chances and put her on the front since we drew inside of Kevin's (Wallis) filly, (Prairie) Sweetness. It worked out well and I am very happy for Maggie (trainer Audley), who works so hard on her horses. Paying $6.00 to her many faithful, KK's Dream Girl, earning $13,500 of the $27,000 purse, sent her career bankroll to $16,425 for the first five weeks of her racing career. KK's Dream Girl The $27,500 Stallion Stakes for trotting fillies went, as advertised, to the 1 to 20 favorite, Prairie Virtue, driven by Mike Simons. The daughter of Shibboleth Hanover took charge a few strides after the wings opened and had daylight at every pole, clocking panels of :29.1, :59 and 1:29.1 before an effortless :29.3 finale took her to the line 1¾ lengths ahead of the pocket-sitting Ciao Bella (Alessandro Spano). Prairie Trinket (Dave Ingraham) rallied for third, 7¼ lengths away and a neck better than West Haven. Prairie Ginger picked up the nickel in the field of six. Prairie Virtue is trained by Lisa Martin for Mary Martin and Laurie Poulin and this win, her second lifetime in five starts, sent her bounty to $19,675 since beginning her career about two months ago. With a multitude of backers, she paid $2,10 to win. Prairie Virtue In the $22,000 Stallion Stakes for pacing geldings, Mister David C, the son of Royal Millennium, was driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Tony Dinges and owners Fred Grant and the Birnam Wood Farm and let Theflyingrock (Mike Simons) cut panels of :27.3, :57.1 and 1:25.3 before his individual :28.2 finale was more than enough to score a handy 5½ length win in a lifetime best mile of 1:54.2 in this match race of sorts with only two starters. Now with a scorecard of 2-1-1 in four career starts, Mister David enjoyed a payday of $14,300 of the $22,000 purse to send his bounty to $18,510. The $25,500 Stallion Stakes attracted a quartet consisting of three geldings and one colt and it was the gelding Shulda Hada Drink winning his third race in four starts, surviving a nasty miscue at the start, spotting his foes several lengths. But driver Mike Simons got his charge composed and went on to score a 2:02.1 win measuring 1½ lengths over Seeking Matthew (Sergio Corona) with Jo Jo Jet and Prairie Lazuli way, way back at the end of the mile. After the race, driver Simons commented, "Believe me, I held my breath for a few seconds when he skipped but he calmed down and put in a nice rally after that. Indeed he did. Away last after the miscue, Shulda Hada Drink reached third on the outside at the opening station in :31.3, was a length away from the leader Seeking Matthew half way througb in 1:01.1, stuck his head in front past the third station in 1:31 and drew off in the final stages. Trained by George Coblentz for owner Nick Coblentz, Shulda Hada Drink has banked $22,897 since his racing career began five weeks ago. Bell I No, the eight year-old invader from the north, scorched the Pompano oval in 1:49.3 for John MacDonald--the fastest mile of the meeting. The altered son of Rock N Roll Heaven, trained by Tee Wine for the Jemaxpo Racing Stables, sprinted off the wings from his outside post, took command a few strides prior to the opening eighth, and recorded sizzlers of :27, :54.3 and 1:22 with a :27.3 finale sealing the issue by 6½ lengths over the pocket sitting Hot Art (Rick Plano) with Rockntouch (Wally Hennessey) next over Perkins and Autotune Hanover in the septet. For Bell I No, it was his ninth win of the season in 26 starts, good for $105,454 this semester and $365,375 lifetime. He paid $3.80 as the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite. Bell I No About 25 minutes later, Loud Splash, also driven by John MacDonald for trainer Tee Wine, took top honors in the $11,500 Open Handicap Pace, stopping the tele-timer in 1:50. This four year-old son of Thinking Out Loud, got picture perfect handling in stalking Mach West (Wally Hennessey) through panels of :27.1, :55.1 and 1:22.2 before leaving the coziness of his pocket to roll by late on the strength of his :27.2 finale to score by three-parts-of-a-length. Skip To My Lou (Joe Chindano, Jr.) was third followed by Maxdaddy Blue Chip. Plus One got the minors in the classy sextet. Loud Splash, owned by Samuel Abdoo, took a new lifetime mark with the win and sent his 2020 earnings to $55,476 and $97,651 career-wise. Lightly regarded in the wagering as fifth choice, Loud Splash paid $19.80 to win. Loud Splash That win, by the way, gave trainer Tee Wine and driver John MacDonald a consecutive triple on the card as When You Dance won in 1:52.2 immediately prior to Bell I No and Loud Splash. The $10,000 Open 2 Pace went to Seeing Eye Single, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr. This five year-old gelded son of Dragon Again scored a handy three length win in 1:50.4 for trainer Devan Miller and owners Burke Racing Stable and Purnel & Libby LLC. Caviart Reagan (Wally Hennessey) was second while Mac Anover (Kevin Wallis) was next. Dash Of Danger and Rock On Moe got the last two checks in the field of nine. Seeing Eye Single vaulted his lifetime bankroll of $434,552 and paid $7.40 to win. Seeing Eye Single Finally, Pompano Park's Pick-6, with three chalks, a 5 to 2 shot and an 8 to 1 outsider in the mix, paid $3,172.95 for the 50 cent ticket. Racing resumes Monday night as the track moves to a five day schedule--Sunday through Thursday--with a million dollar field going to the gate in the Open Handicap Trot. The finals of the Florida Stallion Stakes will also be contested in four non-wagering events. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park  

Mitch Turnbull, harness racing

Mitch Turnbull makes it 300 wins as a driver

Notching up his 300th career win as a driver at his home track steering a horse trained by his father - it was certainly a fitting moment for harness racing driver Mitch Turnbull. Eight years after he made his driving debut, Turnbull brought up the milestone at the Bathurst Paceway last Wednesday aboard $1.20 favourite Major Braken. From barrier six aboard the two-year-old gelding trained at The Lagoon by his father Steve, Mitch Turnbull hunted forward and easily found the lead. He eased the pace off in the middle stages before asking the favourite to give, Major Bracken clocking a 27.6 seconds final sectional to win by 3.3 meters. The run reminded Turnbull of his first winning drive at the old showground paceway on November 14, 2012 aboard Rainbow Thunder. "That win was pretty similar to the 300th drive because I led easy, went slow then sprinted home and no-one could get near me," Turnbull said. With his grandfather Tony 'AD' Turnbull Australia's leading trainer six times, his uncles, aunties, cousins, parents and older siblings involved in harness racing, Mitch Turnbull always aimed to follow in their footsteps. He's in the main driven for his father Steve - 203 of his wins coming aboard his horses - so that win 300 came with a member of the Radiant Lodge team was fitting. "Steve has supported me right through and a majority of my wins have been for Steve as a trainer, so it was good to get done there," he said. "I left school earlier, at the end of Year 9, to work for Steve and have worked for him right through. Usually every year I like to get away from about a month, I've travelled to Perth, Victoria and Queensland, but I've always come back to Steve and he's always looked after me, he's taught me everything I know." While Turnbull rates his Group 2 win aboard Warrawee Drinking in a NSW Breeders Challenge True Blue Series final as one of his favourite moments thus far, in the main he enjoys any success on his home track. He's had 121 of them. "I was fortunate about a month ago to win a Group 2 race at Menangle, so that was a nice surprise, but I do really enjoy driving at Bathurst on a Wednesday night and getting wins there because it's home," he said. "I had a horse, Courtsinsession, that I was driving for 12 months straight and it was just a super horse and that helped me out a lot because he was so competitive. "It gave me a lot of confidence because he had some good wins and I was able to travel him down to Melbourne, which was a good trip. He only run fourth [in the Free For All], but it was good to do something different." As for whether or not he intends to follow in the footsteps of his siblings Nathan, Josh and Amanda and train his own team, Mitch thinks that will probably happen in time. But for now he's more than happy to keep driving for his father. "I probably will [train] one day, but the moment I'm flat out with Steve and helping him, that's how how I'd rather it be anyway," he said. "I'd rather work for Steve rather than have the pressures of training, I can enjoy and learn from him." Pressure is something Turnbull said he doesn't really feel and he's happy enough with his siblings being more in the spotlight than himself. "None of that really bothers me, I only really feel pressure if I have a nice horse in a big race, but Amanda has always been the number one and it hasn't really fazed me if I'm number two or three as long as I get the odd winner," he said. "It is nice to beat them, but in saying that Amanda and Nathan and Josh have supported me and taught me a lot." By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

He’s Watching,Harness racing

Hes Watching filly eyes $50,000 Group 2

Hes Watching three-year-old filly Belladonna Girl proved she is the one to beat in next Saturday’s Group 2 $50,000 Southern Cross Series Final at Globe Derby Park with a devastating win in her heat. Despite a difficult draw and a wide passage, Belladonna Girl soundly trounced her rivals by 24 metres in a 1:58.2 rate over 2230 metres with the closing 800 in 57.7. To watch the video replay click on this link A close fourth in the Breeders Crown Final, she has won three of her last six starts. Another talented three-year-old daughter of Hes Watching in Silent Rapture NZ made it four on the bounce on Australian soil when she scored in runaway fashion at Cobram, rating 1:59.1. Hes Watching was also represented by two winners in NSW last week in the two-year-old Major Bracken, who became his 14th individual juvenile winner, and the three-year-old filly Watching You Dream.  In North America, the NZ bred filly Hereslooknatyou posted her eighth success from 17 starts in her adopted country when she prevailed in 1:56.4 at Saratoga Raceway, New York. Other recent northern hemisphere winners by Hes Watching were the three-year-olds Illbewatchingu (1:57.4, Yonkers), Saulsbrook Flashy (1:58.8, Flamboro Downs), Panerai (1:59.6, Western Fair Raceway) and She’s Magic (2:00.6, Western Fair). Hes Watching stands at the Tipperary Equine stud, Young (NSW), of Luke Primmer.   Peter Wharton  

Champion pacer Cruz Bromac, who amassed more than $1 million in stakes with some spine-tingling harness racing performances on both sides of the Tasman, has been retired. The nine-year-old gelding, one of many from Bromac Lodge, the barn of successful NZ breeder the late Bob McArdle, competed against the best in Australia and New Zealand. Cruz Bromac goes out with an amazing winning record at nearly 50 percent of his starts. Highly regarded trainer Dean Braun, of Lara, near Geelong, has had many class performers over the past two decades, but there's one that stands out in his opinion. "Cruz Bromac was the best horse without doubt that I've trained. He put up some phenomenal runs over his career and his victories speak for themselves," Braun said. Dean Braun "He was a lovely horse with a kind attitude. He was still working super on the track at home any day of the week, but his best was behind him," he said. "Deep down I knew for a while that he wasn't the horse he had been and (regular reinsman) Chris Alford was on the same page. Cruz Bromac hasn't got anything to prove so after a meeting with the owning group manager Danny Zavitsanos recently, it was decided to retire him." Cruz Bromac (Falcon Seelster-Crown Defender (Life Sign) posted 23 wins and 13 placings from just 56 race starts for $1,057,995 in earnings. Braun said among his favorite memories of Cruz Bromac were wins in the NZ Cup last year, a NZ FFA, the Len Smith Mile and Victorian Country Cup successes at Cobram, Hamilton and Warragul. Cruz Bromac winning the New Zealand Cup "He also won five InterDominion heats and there was a big metro feature race win at Melton. He actually held the track record there up until recently when Lochinvar Art broke it," he said. "When you went to the races with him, you always knew you would never be far away. He certainly did an outstanding job over the years." Braun paid a modest amount for the pacer who was being prepared by astute Kiwi horseman Mark Jones. "We bought him as an unraced three-year-old. Mark had a high opinion of the horse, so I organized for Blair Orange to drive him and the deal was later sealed," he said. "I was racing a few in Sydney at the time so Cruz Bromac was flown into there. I started him a few days after he landed, and he ran fourth, and then won his next two-in one of these he went a bit over 1.51." When Braun headed back to Victoria, Cruz Bromac won at his first two starts at Yarra Glen and Melton. Cruz Bromac goes to the line in one of his Tabcorp Park Melton victories "I took him over to the west then, but he didn't handle Perth's Gloucester Park at all," he said. On his return he quickly got back into the winner's circle with victories at Geelong, Melton, Maryborough and Ballarat. Champion Melbourne reinsman Chris Alford partnered Cruz Bromac to six wins. Others to enjoy success were Natalie Rasmussen (five), Greg Sugars (four), Luke McCarthy and Nathan Purdon (two each), while Chris Geary, Blair Orange, Mark Purdon and Nathan Jack each had one win. Braun said Cruz Bromac would enjoy his retirement at a property belonging to one of his owners. "We'll miss him. As well as being an awesome racehorse, he had a bit of character." Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

SCARBOROUGH — The last live races at Scarborough Downs on Saturday attracted a crowd of hundreds drawn to relive the track’s heyday and recall decades of memories made at one of the last places for harness racing in New England. A sense of nostalgia and sorrow hung over the crowd, bundled up against a cold, damp, overcast day or huddled inside the floor-level grandstand.  The last races of the track’s 70-year history brought in one of the largest crowds it hosted recently. The parking lot was almost full and around the time of the first race a line for programs stretched nearly to the main entrance. “I think a lot of people are coming to see the place and say, ‘I was there to say goodbye,'” said Rick Simonds, 71, as he sat on a bench near the track, reviewing the race program. “It’s sad.” Simonds has a deep connection to Scarborough Downs. He worked there, owned racehorses and was a former chairman of the Maine Harness Racing Board. “It’s nostalgic,” Simonds said. “I have worked here; I’ve been here hundreds and hundreds of times. I haven’t been here in a couple of years, and I don’t even know if I’m going to bet.” “I had to come today,” he said. “But did I come because I wanted to see it or because I want to say I was there for the last hurrah? I’m not sure.” Fittingly, a Maine-bred, Goin Manstyle with Wallace Watson, won the final race ever to be held at Scarborough Downs.  Scarborough Downs opened in the 1950s for thoroughbred racing and switched to harness racing in the 1970s. It reached its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, when the 6,500-capacity grandstand was regularly packed. But the 1990s marked the start of the Downs’ gradual decline. It stopped charging for admission in 2002, canceled night races in 2007 and eventually closed the dilapidated grandstand to fans. Handles – the amount bet on live races – dwindled along with the crowds and more money was wagered on simulcast races broadcast at the Downs clubhouse. In 2018, a local development group bought the racetrack and a 480-acre parcel around it for nearly $7 million to turn into housing, shopping, offices and business space. The new owners leased the track back to its former owners. Amber McKenzie, 21, and Bert Bronn, 57, came by the track Saturday in memory of his father, her grandfather. His dad, who died this year, lived across the street from the Downs and attended regularly for 50 years. “He didn’t own any horses, but he knew everyone who did,” Bronn said. “It used to be really beautiful. There used to be a really great steakhouse. Over the years it has kind of deteriorated.” McKenzie said she recalled coming down with her grandfather and spending time with the horses and drivers. He had a special pass to get into the paddock, McKenzie recalled. “I spent a lot of time down here with him,” she said. Luck was with McKenzie and Bronn on Saturday – their favored horse won the first and second races of the day. “He’s looking down on us today,” Bronn said of his late father. Family ties brought Lindsay and Eric McAfee up from Boston to see the last races. Eric said that when his father was a college student in Maine, he’d come to the track to try to win some money to take his future wife out on dates. Eric remembers coming with his father to watch races at Scarborough Downs in later years. “This feels like the last go-around,” said Eric, 30. “There’s no place like this anymore. It’s pretty old-school.” With the Downs’ closure, there are only two remaining harness racing tracks in New England – in Bangor and at Plainridge Park in Massachusetts. The couple have been to the Plainridge racetrack, but it is combined with a casino and isn’t quite the same, said Lindsay McAfee, 31. “It has a lot of old charm that you don’t see anymore. We’re all going to miss it,” she said of the Downs. Paul Cowley sat inside watching the races. The first time he came to the racetrack, the same year it opened, he was thinking of getting engaged and bet the daily double – his mother had to place the bet for him because he was too young. Cowley won $79 on that bet and went out to buy an engagement ring, he said. “It used to be crowded in here,” he said. Some people there Saturday expect the end of live races at Scarborough Downs won’t be the death knell for Maine harness racing. There are rumors of a group looking at locations for a new, modern racetrack elsewhere in southern Maine or restarting racing at the Cumberland Fairgrounds next year. The Downs will continue simulcasting U.S. races at its clubhouse. Barbara McDonald, 57, wearing a black wide-brimmed had with a large red flower arrangement and a black face mask with sequins, is optimistic for the future of racing. Her husband, a former racer, attracted her to the track and she made a point of arranging for hat-themed celebrations every year for the Kentucky Derby. “It’s heartbreaking, the end of an era,” McDonald said of Saturday’s final day of races at the Downs. “We’ve supported this as long as we can.” Even with the closure of her hometown track, McDonald hopes the sport will see a revival as new, young folks pick up an interest. “Maybe there’ll be a resurgence,” she said. “We’ve just lost touch over the generations, but it will come back around.” As the last race was announced, the loudspeakers played “Auld Lang Syne” and bettors lined up to place final wagers. Following the race a crowd of spectators gathered around racers for the biggest winners circle photo in the racetrack’s history, said longtime race announcer Mike Sweeney, over the sound system. This was the “day we never thought would come,” Sweeney said. “We go out with our heads held high, proud of our accomplishment,” he said. “Hopefully we left some sort of legacy and a framework to carry the industry forward into the next 70 years.” Staff Photographer Brianna Soukup contributed reporting. Reprinted with permission of The Press Herald

November 28, 2020 - Very Kronos (6m Ready Cash-Glide About-Yankee Glide), off at 7.6/1 odds, rallied late in the lane to win the harness racing Gr. II International Konung Paul XVI (purse 57,960€, 2140 meters autostart) last evening timed in 1.10.9kr. Erik Adielsson teamed this Svante Bath trainee to his 21st career victory in 40 starts for 3,304,559SEK in life earnings. His dam Glide About was bred by Kentuckiana Farms and took a record of 3, 1:54.2 winning US$291,650. Cyber Lane (7g Raja Mirchi-Sybaris Hanover-Cantab Hall) was game second as the 1.7/1 favorite with trainer Johan Untersteiner aboard. Third home was 16.5/1 Antonio Trot (7g Orlando Vici-Outside Interest-Lindy Lane) with Bjorn Goop at the lines for trainer Timo Nurmos. Zarenne FAS (5m Varenne) and Milligan’s School (7m Yankee Glide) captured the next two checks. Very Kronos Race replay - https://www.atg.se/video/archive/667307077152/vinnare_2020-11-28_5_10 Thomas H. Hicks  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - All it took for Franco Totem N to get back to the winner's circle was a little class relief, and on Saturday night at The Meadowlands, he showed his class in taking the $21,000 featured pace for harness racing non-winners of $14,000 in their last five starts. The gelded son of Changeover-Treaty Franco last won when in at this level on Oct. 24. Three solid outings (two fourths and a second) would follow at the non-winners of $20,000 level, which prepped him perfectly for Saturday night. In the early going, the Nifty Norman trainee sat third before vacating the rail and going after leader B Stoney. Franco Totem N led at the half in :55 while parked before settling on the point. De Los Cielos Deo, the 8-5 favorite who was seeking his fourth win in five tries, came calling first-over approaching and around the far turn, but never got close enough to make Franco Totem N sweat, as the Dexter Dunn-driven 7-year-old hit the wire 1½ lengths to the good in 1:49.3 after coming home in :26.4. De Los Cielos Deo held second with Mindtrip rallying for third. Owned by Enzed Racing Stable and Jerry Kovach, Franco Totem N returned $7.60 as the second choice in the wagering. He now has 26 wins from 88 career starts and earnings of $226,130. Franco Totem N PROLIFIC PAYOFFS: One shrewd player betting into the Elite Turf Club hub had him or herself quite a night, calling out the only winning ticket in the track's 20-cent Pick-5, and walked away with a giant payout of $55,157.16. The key to victory was 75-1 shot Quagmire Bluechip, who scored in the fourth race. The winner's odds for the sequence were 9-2, 5-2, 4-1, 75-1 and 7-2, as none were sent to the gate as the betting favorite. The 20-cent Pick-6, which had a carryover of $5,214, ended up with a total pool of $32,358. Despite a sequence that saw favorites win legs five (4-5) and six (6-5), only two sharp handicappers hit the wager for $14,143.12. The first four legs saw winner's odds of 9-2, 7-1, 5-2 and 6-1. Another multi-leg wager that yielded only one winner was the 20-cent Survivor Pick-7. Betting into the Oregon hub, he or she held the only ticket with the first five winners of the sequence and cashed in for $7,930.54. Once again, Quagmire Bluechip provided the boost to the payoff. A LITTLE MORE: Dexter Dunn led the driver's colony with three winners. ... Dave Miller had a second consecutive driving double. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,667,691, the fourth straight Saturday where wagering exceeded the $2.5-million mark. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Caviart Ally took full advantage of her inside starting position and worked out a perfect pocket-sitting trip to surge past the pace-setting Shartin N in mid-stretch to prevail by a neck in 1:52.1 in the sixth race $100,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker harness racing Invitational at Yonkers Raceway. Shartin N, the 2019 Horse of the Year and defending Blue Chip Matchmaker Champion left quickly from post position seven and controlled the race throughout but had to settle for second. Snobbytown finished third five and one-quarter lengths behind. It was Caviart Ally's third win in 2020 and 28th lifetime for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Brett Pelling. The winner's share leaves her just shy of $2 million in career earnings at $1,974,971. The six-year-old mare is owned by Caviart Farms of Vienna, Virginia. As the 8-5 second choice, she paid $5.50 to win. Caviart Ally In the eighth race $125,000 Borgata Pacing Series Eligibles Invitational, This Is The Plan closed past the tiring leaders to win by half a length in 1:52 paying $5.60 to win as the 9-5 second choice. This Is The Plan left alertly from the outside starting position to tuck in fourth and worked out a second over trip for driver George Brennan. The Ron Burke trainee notched his fourth win of 2020 for owners Burke Racing, Weaver, Bruscemi, Jerry and Theresa Silva and Larry Karr. This Is The Plan Ostro Hanover held second after setting the pace and Tookadiveoffdipper was two and one-quarter lengths back in third. The Blue Chip Matchmaker and Borgata Pacing Series races were originally scheduled to begin March 13 and 14 but were canceled when the racetrack closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of the customary five legs and final, the races were altered to be one dash invitationals for horses that were eligible for the original races this Spring. Alex Dadoyan Director of Racing

Promising harness racing young Bathurst reinsman Tom Pay will relish being back in his hometown Dubbo this evening where he has two drives. Pay grew up to become a harness racing devotee being from a family steeped in harness racing involvement. He heads “home” tonight to represent his boss, trainer Mat Rue and he will also be there to accept his award for being the most successful concession driver at Dubbo for the 2019-20 season. “I am really thrilled to have won this award, especially in my home town as all my family still live there and enjoy going to the local race meetings, particularly when me and my brother Jack drive there,” said Tom. “Things are going really well in Bathurst working for Mat.  “I accepted the job with him when I finished school three years ago and I could not be happier with my decision.  “We get on very well and he has some nice horses.” The move certainly aided Tom with his driving as he gets more opportunities with trainers quick to take advantage of his concession claim. “I am so grateful to be given drives on some very good horses,” said Tom. “Having the claim has afforded me a few drives on our stable star Fouroeight and I am excited in the knowledge that we have some nice horses coming through, which I will get to drive, when it suits.” Tonight, Pay will get his turn to shine with his plumb drives. “Beast Mode is a horse that has always shown us so much promise,” he said. “He has really turned the corner over the past month.  “His runs during the Blayney carnival and then his performance at Parkes last Sunday proved that he is a serious racehorse. “He rises in grade tonight, but I feel he is racing well enough to handle it.” HRNSW MEDIA

November 28, 2020 - Today’s Paris Vincennes harness racing program featured the Gr. II Prix Annick Dreux “Criterium des Pouliches” (purse 95,000€, 2700 meters, three year old females) and 2.3/1 odds Hirondelle Sibey (3f Gazouillis-Celina de Chatelet) scored in 1.14.7kr with Eric Raffin up for trainer J.M. Baudouin. This was her fifth career victory now for 245,600€ earned. Second home was 3.4/1 Hanna des Molles (3f Village Mystic-Ultimate Jet) with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer L. Cl. Abrivard. The 1.7/1 favorite Havana d’Aurcy (3f Royal Dream-Avila) took third with Jean Michel Bazire up. 9/1 Hunter Valley (3f Charly du Noyer-Reethi Rah Jet) and 84/1 Hora Beji (3f Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree) completed the top five. Hirondelle Sibey The Gr. III Prix Jacques des Vauloge (purse 85,000€, 2700 meters, three year old males) was next on the superb Vincennes card and here the 3/1 odds Hooker Berry (3m Booster Winner-Osaka Berry) prevailed in 1.15.3kr with trainer Jean Michel Bazire up. This fifth career win for Hooker Berry raised his life earnings to 324,320€. The 6/10 favorite Hohneck (3m Royal Dream-Carances) was second with Yoann Lebourgeois at the lines for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire ahead of 13/1 Hokkaido Jiel (3m Brillantissime) with P.Y. Verva up for trainer J. L. Dersoir. 108/1 Heart Of Gold (3m Bird Parker), 34/1 Hyacinto Bello (3m Voltigeur de Myrt) and 26/1 Hades de Vandel (3m Ganymede) followed the top three, these also in a close pack. Hooker Berry The Gr. III Prix de Chenonceaux (purse 70,000€, 2700 meters, 4-5 year old European eligibles) completed the groupe level events today. Here the 10/1 odds Fun Quick (5m Carpe Diem-Activity Quick)  scored in 1.12.1kr with Matthieu Abrivard up for Ecurie Quick Star and trainer Maik Esper. The was the winner’s fifth career victory now for 345,900€ earned. 13/1 Fire Cracker (5g Quaro-Urganza) was second handled by Eric Raffin for trainer Gregory Thorel. Third was 29/1 Galileo Bello (4m Aladin d;Ecajuel) with Gabriel Gelormini up. 32.1 Foxtrot Sea and 8.8/1 Fric du Chene completed the top five. ​Fun Quick Thomas H. Hicks

November 27, 2020 - Aetos Kronos (4m Bold Eagle-Will Of A Woman-Muscles Yankee) converted a three wide surge to a narrow harness racing victory in tonight’s Solvalla Grand Prix (300,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart, four year olds) clocked in 1.11.6kr. Magnus A. Djuse teamed the 10/1 odds winner for trainer Jerry Riordan and owners Team Snyder and Aetos Dios AB. He won for the 11th time in 26 career appearances now for 7,222,374SEK earned. He has five victories in 10 starts this year. The 1.9/1 favorite Ecurie D (4m Infinitif-To Soon-Muscles Yankee) held second after a long death seat journey with Bjorn Goop up for trainer Frode Hamre. This one is now 14 for 17 lifetime. 6.2/1 odds Power (4m Googoo Gaagaa-La Vici-Orlando Vici) set the face and yielded back to third in the lane with trainer Robert Bergh aboard. Aetos Kronos mid-stretch final bend Replay https://youtu.be/IJB2DIRg6ss ATG, Solvalla files/photos Thomas H. Hicks  

Catrina Stephens will be keen to build on her early season success when harness racing resumes at the Bermuda Equestrian Centre tonight, starting from 6pm. “I’m going in with a positive and open mind for a good night of racing and to have fun,” she said. The 27-year-old has been virtually unstoppable competing with a trio of ponies owned by the Burrows family. Stephens achieved a personal milestone during the previous race day held on the Remembrance Day holiday after chalking up a remarkable fourteenth consecutive win. “I never thought I would win like that,” she said. “I was just going out to have fun. “I thought I might win one or two, but it was OK if I didn’t. “This is definitely a personal best, to win 14 back-to-back.” Stephens has made a spectacular comeback from an eight-year hiatus from the sport. “I never really had any expectations,” she added. “It’s my first season racing these ponies, so the first couple of race days were to get a feel of the ponies and see how they race without being pushed. They all have surprised me so much already.” Stephens has enjoyed success at the helm of the Burrows family’s mares Shady Maple and Reign of Terror and gelding Whatyatalkinbout. “I believe that if your ponies are happy, they will enjoy what they are doing,” she explained. “I would like to think that they are all very happy and a consistent routine will get you far.” Stephens and Canadian-bred pony Whatyatalkinbout continued to turn heads during the previous race day as they swept both heats in the 1:08/1-1:11/3 division to move up two time bars. The three-year-old has undergone an amazing transformation this term having made a poor start during its debut campaign last season. “That’s incredible for him because he was the underdog,” Stephens said. “We started out in the slowest time bar [1:11/4 and slower] and already we have jumped two time bars within three race days.” By Colin Thompson Reprinted with permission of The Royal Gazette

YONKERS, N.Y. – Since arriving in the United States this March, the harness racing training duo of Lauren and Shane Tritton have quickly made a name for themselves in their new home. Their stable has swelled from the 12 horses the Trittons flew over from their native Australia as American owners have flocked to their barn. Since their pari-mutuel debut June 12, the Trittons have amassed 55 wins from 194 starts with another 52 seconds and thirds.  Forty of those victories have come at Yonkers Raceway, placing the Trittons seventh in the trainer’s standings. Saturday night (Nov. 28) at the Hilltop, the Trittons will make their American stakes debut as they send out Lady Dela Renta in the $100,000 distaff invitational pace for Blue Chip Matchmaker Series eligibles and San Domino in the $125,000 invitational pace for Borgata Pacing Series eligibles. “We’re excited that we’ve been able to get a couple horses in for our owners. We were hoping to be successful coming to America, but you just never know how it’s going to go,” Shane Tritton said. “We’re very relieved that things have worked out OK, we’ve made the right moves. Having these two horses in these races is a big culmination of these six months and hopefully they can do well. They’re both very tough races and we understand they are the best horses going around in this area right now. We hope that we can do well.” Australia-bred Lady Dela Renta appeared to be an open-type pacer last fall when she captured a $42,000 filly and mare open handicap pace at Yonkers Oct. 4, 2019 in just her sixth Stateside start in the barn of Jose Godinez. However, she went winless in her first five races this spring at Yonkers and Scioto between March 6 and July 10. When racing resumed on the East Coast, owner Bukers Stable shipped Lady Dela Renta to the Trittons’ stable in Pine Bush, N.Y. Since the move, Lady Dela Renta has been a standout in the pacing mare ranks at Yonkers. She qualified a winner in 1:52.2 with Lauren Tritton in the bike July 31. Lady Dela Renta won her pari-mutuel debut for the Trittons with Jordan Stratton driving by 3 3/4 lengths in a $15,500 overnight Aug. 13. Since then, Lady Dela Renta has won another five races from seven starts, including three at the preferred or open level. “She was a horse that my wife actually chased after a little bit. The owners seemed interested in sending her to us and my wife definitely wanted her. She had faith that we could turn her around,” Tritton said. “We knew a little bit about her in Australia and she was a pretty high-class mare there. After she came to us, Lauren has done most of the work. She just really got along good with her. She’s certainly a mare we had a lot of respect for before we started training her and I think having that belief in them is enough to try to get them back the way they should be.” Tritton counts Lady Dela Renta’s most recent victory in the $25,000 filly and mare preferred on Nov. 12 as her most impressive performance to date. After starting from the outside post in a field of five, Lady Dela Renta dropped back to race in fourth early as Snobbytown and Lispatty dueled for the lead through a :27.1 quarter over the sloppy going. Sensing the pace slowing, Jordan Stratton angled Lady Dela Renta to the outside first-over with five-eights of a mile to pace. Lady Dela Renta pressured Snobbytown through a :57.2 half mile. Racing up the backstretch, Lady Dela Renta fought to put a neck in front of Snobbytown as the pace accelerated through three-quarters in 1:24.4. Lady Dela Renta held the lead over Snobbytown around the final turn. With Stratton motionless in the stretch, Lady Dela Renta extended the margin to 3/4 lengths to stop the clock in 1:53.3. The victory came two weeks after Lady Dela Renta made a break in stride as the 8-5 favorite and finished last Oct. 29. “I think her last win was very good. She got muddled up in a wet track, she broke the start before and we were really just trying to screw her back down and make sure we had her right for this race,” Tritton said. “She was parked out virtually the whole race and you could see she had the race won from a long way out. It gave us a lot of faith that she can do a lot of work in her races and still be there at the end. We needed to get a good win on the board to make sure we were right for this race, so her last win was definitely the most satisfying.” Lady Dela Renta drew post position eight and is 8-1 on the morning line with Jordan Stratton named to drive in the $100,000 distaff invitational, which will go as race six on Saturday night’s 10-race program.  “We expect that she’s going to keep getting better. We’re still scratching the surface. I think next year, she’ll progress a bit more and we really couldn’t be disappointed in her,” Tritton said. “The only couple of times she’s been beaten, it hasn’t been her fault. We expect her to race really well. We’re obviously disappointed with the barrier draw, but someone has to come from there. That’s how the cookie crumbles and maybe next time in one of these big races we might get the luck, so you just have to take it as you get it.” Lady Dela Renta’s rivals include Shartin, the $2.5 million earner who was voted 2019 Horse of the Year. Shartin is 8-for-11 at Yonkers Raceway and is a two-time Blue Chip Matchmaker Series Final winner, having taken the 2018 and 2019 editions. Saturday night will mark Shartin’s first start at Yonkers since the 7-year-old Jim King, Jr. trainee overcame post eight in a $33,000 filly and mare open handicap June 30.  Shartin enters this distaff invitational on the longest winless streak of her career since she began racing in the U.S., having lost five straight races from Oct. 3 through Nov. 21, including four losses to Kissin In The Sand in the $175,000 Dayton Distaff Derby, the elimination and final of the Breeders Crown, and the $150,000 TVG Mares Final.  Shartin drew post seven in the distaff invitational and is the 2-1 morning line favorite with co-owner Tim Tetrick set to drive. The field also includes Caviart Ally, who drew the rail for Andy McCarthy and Brett Pelling and enters off a fourth-place finish in the TVG Mares Final at the Meadowlands Nov. 21. Caviart Ally is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. Major Occasion also exits the TVG Mares Final, having finished sixth for trainer Nifty Norman. Major Occasion drew post four in the distaff invitational and is 4-1 on the morning line with Pat Lachance set to drive. Local threats in this race include the Ron Burke-trained mare Snobbytown, who has finished first, second, or third in each of her last 10 starts, all of which came in either the local filly and mare open or preferred ranks. Snobbytown will start from post two with George Brennan in the sulky. The pair are 6-1 on the morning line.  Robyn Camden, Imprincessgemma, and Seaswift Joy complete the lineup. The Trittons will start San Domino in the $125,000 invitational pace two races after Lady Dela Renta. Another pacer bred in Australia, San Domino had been racing in the U.S. for Andrew Harris since August 2019, earning 9 wins and $179,067 from 29 starts, primarily in the open and conditioned ranks at East Coast tracks. However, owners Joe P Racing and Oldford Racing sent San Domino to the Trittons this fall, hoping to reach success at the stakes level. “It’s funny, the owners approached us. They had a pretty good horse called None Bettor and San Domino is kind of like him. I probably had more respect for San Domino than None Bettor from what they had done in Australia,” Tritton said. “I thought San Domino was probably underachieving a little bit, so we concentrated on trying to get him back to the way we thought he should be.” San Domino debuted for the Trittons in a $15,000 Yonkers overnight Oct. 2, scoring a wire-to-wire win by 2 1/2 lengths with Brent Holland in the bike. San Domino doubled up Oct. 10, taking a $17,500 overnight by 4 lengths in 1:51.2 with Jordan Stratton driving. San Domino then moved to the open ranks, finishing third behind Mac’s Jackpot and Ostro Hanover off a pocket trip Oct. 17 with Jason Bartlett in the sulky and second behind The Real One on Halloween with Austin Siegelman at the lines.  In his latest start in the $25,000 pacing feature Nov. 7, Jordan Stratton sent the 7-year-old straight to the lead and never looked back, holding off Leonidas and Micky Gee by 3/4 lengths to score a blistering 1:50.3 win. “San Domino has been stepping out of his stablemate’s shadow and showing what he can do, too. He’s probably gotten better with every run we’ve given him,” Tritton said. “We’re pretty excited with him. He’s a pretty tough horse, he’s always been a good horse in Australia. We just hope that the race can go his way. He can be a real tough bugger and I think he showed that in his last win. He’s had a good couple of weeks to get ready for this race. We think he’s as good as he can be.” The Trittons elected not to race San Domino after his last start and instead trained him up to Saturday night’s invitational. San Domino and Lady Dela Renta shipped to Yonkers last Friday (Nov. 20) to go a training trip. With Shane Tritton driving San Domino and Stratton driving Lady Dela Renta, the pair trained in company in 1:53.1. “We had the choice of running him back to back after that big win last time. Both of them went to Yonkers last Friday and ran a mile in 1:53.1. They’re both basically coming off a pretty good run last week even though they didn’t race,” Tritton said. “We’re confident that their fitness is where it needs to be. Obviously, these are tough races and they need to be 100 percent. We’re pretty confident that they are both there. It’s whether they can get the luck in the running.” San Domino will start from post position four, the same post he left from in his recent down-the-road open win. He and Stratton are 5-2 on the morning line and could be poised to set the tempo again. “I think San Domino showed last time that he likes to be on the front end, he likes to run a really hard race,” Tritton said. “If he can get on the front end and make every post a winner, I think that’s his best chance. I think his last mile showed that and I’m sure that will be the game plan. It’s a nice draw for him, we’re happy with it, and I’m sure Jordan is going out there with the idea that he has a good chance.” Ron Burke will send out the race’s 2-1 morning line favorite in This Is The Plan, who’s three wins this year include the $140,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby Sept. 25. This Is The Plan also finished second in the $150,000 Allerage Open Pace at the Red Mile Oct. 11 and third in the $340,000 TVG FFA Pace last out Nov. 21. George Brennan will drive the 5-year-old gelding from post eight. The field also includes Raukapuka Ruler, who enters off back-to-back wins in local overnights in 1:51.4 and 1:52.4 Nov. 14 and 21, respectively. The Pete Tritton-trained 7-year-old is 4-1 on the morning line with Tim Tetrick programmed to drive.  Ostro Hanover won two local $17,500 overnights in his last four starts and most recently came from 12 3/4 lengths behind to finish third beaten 1 1/4 lengths in the $30,000 open pace Nov. 21. The Daniel Renaud trainee will employ the services of Tyler Buter and is 5-1 on the morning line after drawing the inside post. Micky Gee ran up the score this summer at Yonkers, scoring five local wins in the conditioned and open ranks, most of which came with sweeping three- or four-wide moves in last-to-first style. However, the Lance Hudson trainee is winless in his last five starts dating to Oct. 17 and is 12-1 on the morning line with Jason Bartlett set to drive. Bechers Brook, Mac’s Jackpot, and Tookadiveoffdipper complete the field. If one or both of Lady Dela Renta and San Domino were to win their respective stakes races Saturday night? “It would obviously be great,” Tritton answered. “We’ve had a lot of experience with these big races in Australia. We know that you can have big nights and you can have terrible nights. I’m sure there are seven other horses in these races that are thinking that they deserve to be there and have a chance of winning, too. We don’t get too disappointed if we don’t win. We just like to go in there and do our best and if we can show that we’re competitive at this level, I’m sure one of these races will go our way. Hopefully this weekend. If not, it will be next chance we get. “We’re very humbled to be invited to these races. Hopefully we can put on a good show.” Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights through Dec. 22. First post time is 7:12 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Heading into the Friday night harness racing featured $25,000 high-end conditioned trot at The Meadowlands, Deltasun A had won two of his last four starts, and while he was facing better foes than he had in recent outings, he was dismissed at odds of 16-1, and that created a big payday for his fans. Driven by George Napolitano Jr. and trained by Andrew Harris, Deltasun A was racing in sixth as the field of eight straightened away down the backstretch. Napolitano moved the 7-year-old gelded son of Tenotrump-Deltasu to the outside and made his way toward leader Warrior One, who had cut out front-end fractions of :27.2 and :55.3, and continued to race on the point past three-quarters in 1:24.4. Just before the three-quarter mark, 8-5 favorite JL Cruze popped out of the pocket to take his shot at the leader, which provided a live tow for Deltasun A around the far turn. Deltasun A tipped off his cover at the eighth pole, and with some energetic handling from Napolitano, gunned down JL Cruze at the wire by a neck in 1:53.1, just a fifth of a second slower than his lifetime best. Warrior One held third. Owned by Douglas Overhiser, A Harris Racing and Michael Goldberg Racing, Deltasun A returned $34.60 to his appreciative backers. He now has 22 victories from just 58 lifetime starts and earnings of $209,134. Deltasun A A LITTLE MORE: Three drivers stood above the rest on the Friday night card. Andy Miller guided three to the winner's circle while Dave Miller had a driving double. Also registering a double was Scott Zeron, whose winners were sent to the gate at odds of 80-1 and 12-1. Both of Zeron's victories played a major role in giant 50-cent Pick-4 payoffs. The wager that ended in race nine returned $5,960.65, and in the 13th, the payoff was $5,486.55. ... The 20-cent Pick-6 went unhit as both of Zeron's bombs scored during the sequence, setting up a guaranteed pool of $15,000 for Saturday night. Free past performances for the Pick-6, as well as the 20-cent Pick-5, are available at playmeadowlands.com. ... All-source wagering totaled $2,488,170. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

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Plainville, MA --- The 2020 Plainridge Park meet concluded on Friday (Nov. 27) and despite starting over two months late due to the global pandemic, the harness racing track enjoyed a successful and productive year. With stringent safety protocols in place and the strict adherence to them by all racing personnel from day one of live racing, the meet was run in its entirety without any Covid-related incidents. That is a reflection of the hard work put in by the track's staff and all of the horsemen and horsewomen to ensure the safety of everyone and protect their livelihoods as all worked through difficult times. "We are happy with the meet we had given the circumstances we had to deal with. But the only way we were able to operate successfully centered around my incredible staff. Each and every one of them went above and beyond their responsibilities, doing whatever it took to get thru the toughest season we have ever faced in regards to operations,"said Steve O'Toole, Director of Racing at Plainridge Park. "We tried to accommodate the horsemen as best we could, especially the regulars and those local. The $7 million in purses distributed in the shortened season should give them stability until we start next year." On the track, Shawn Gray was the top dash driver with 111 wins, $1,081,476 in earnings and a UDR of .436 followed by Drew Monti in second with 94 wins, $899,901 in earnings and a UDR of .302 and Bruce Ranger a very close third with 93 wins, $907,748 in earnings and a UDR of .300. Shawn Gray (Tim Bojarski Photo) Melissa Beckwith was the winningest trainer with 39 victories in only 89 starts which gave her a win percentage of 44% and a UTR of .541. She also bankrolled $249,700 in earnings. Jimmy Nickerson was right behind her in second with 32 wins, $323,515 in earnings and a UTR of .401. Best Honey Hanover was the most productive horse, visiting the winner's circle eight times during the meet and earning $48,300 while splitting time between barns through claims. There were eight track records broken and one tied during the year. Two of those occurred on Spirit of Massachusetts Trot day in July when Manchego scorched The Ridge in 1:49.3 to set the all-time trotting mark and Shartin N paced in 1:48.1 to break the all-time pacing mark she set just one year ago. Manchego scorched The Ridge in 1:49.3 Shartin N paced in 1:48.1 to break the all-time pacing mark The Massachusetts Sire Stakes held at Plainridge in October also showed how far the state-bred Standardbreds have come as seven stake records were broken and another tied during the four week run of that series. Plainridge Park will kick off their 2021 on April 12 and feature 110 days of love racing. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts
Grove City, OH - This is the final call for all Ohio stallion owners to reserve their spot in the 2021 harness racing Ohio Standardbred Stallion Directory and Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association Member Directory. Businesses also wanting to advertise in the 2021 directory need to reserve their ad space. For more information call Frank Fraas at 614-569-6404 or e-mail the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association at publications@ohha.com. ............................................. The Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association (OHHA) is a non-profit organization serving Standardbred horse owners, breeders, trainers, drivers, and fans who participate in the sport of harness racing in the Buckeye State. OHHA was founded in 1953. The mission of the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association is to preserve, protect, promote, and serve the entire Standardbred industry in Ohio and beyond. Frank Fraas
Fort Washington, MD – Precision Blue Chip continued his harness racing Fall Meet at Rosecroft Raceway Sunday night (Nov. 29) edging Admiral Ballsy and Major Pocket A to take the $12,000 Open Handicap in a lifetime best 1:50.4. Frank Milby was in the bike again as the 5-year old gelded son of Bettor’s Delight, won the top class for the second straight week for owner-trainer Courtney Brooks. It is the 11th win of the year in 24 starts and the fourth in the Open Handicap this meet. Jonathan Roberts won four races on the card, Trevor Stafford won twice in the bike, while John Wagner took home two wins as well. Trainers Richard Malone Jr., and Jerry Nock had a pair of wins on the night. by Pete Medhurst, for Rosecroft Raceway
Pompano Beach, FL...November 30, 2020...The FSBOA sponsored Florida Stallion Stakes for two year-olds highlighted the Sunday harness racing festivities at Pompano Park contested in four divisions with KK's Dream Girl, Prairie Virtue, Mister David C and Shulda Hada Drink were victorious in their respective classes and taking their major shares of $102,000 in purses. But after the completion of those events, the fireworks continued with a pair of Open pacing events and a 1:49.3 performance by the invader Bell I No in a conditioned event with optional claimers. First, here's a recap of the Stallion Stakes events. KK's Dream Girl, who suffered a broken hobble and had to be pulled up in last week's Sunshine State Stakes Final, redeemed herself on Sunday night with a lifetime best performance of 1:54.4--leading every long stride of her mile off panels of :28.1, :57.1 and 1:26.1 and finishing 2½ lengths up at the wire. The beautiful roan daughter of Mysticism was handled by Corey Braden for trainer Maggie Audley and the Gold Star Farm as this 2 to 1 second choice put the highly regarded 2 to 5 favorite, Prairie Sweetness Kevin Wallis), in the garden spot much of the way, never threatening the winner. Sparkyfareyouwe (Bryce Fenn), saving ground all the way around, rallied to finish third. Dice Dice Baby finished fourth while Rocks Stormyd picked up the final check in the quintet after a mild threat three-eighths into the mile. After the mile, a humble Corey Braden remarked, "Well, she kept her pants (hobbles) on tonight and she had a pretty easy journey. I decided to not take any chances and put her on the front since we drew inside of Kevin's (Wallis) filly, (Prairie) Sweetness. It worked out well and I am very happy for Maggie (trainer Audley), who works so hard on her horses. Paying $6.00 to her many faithful, KK's Dream Girl, earning $13,500 of the $27,000 purse, sent her career bankroll to $16,425 for the first five weeks of her racing career. KK's Dream Girl The $27,500 Stallion Stakes for trotting fillies went, as advertised, to the 1 to 20 favorite, Prairie Virtue, driven by Mike Simons. The daughter of Shibboleth Hanover took charge a few strides after the wings opened and had daylight at every pole, clocking panels of :29.1, :59 and 1:29.1 before an effortless :29.3 finale took her to the line 1¾ lengths ahead of the pocket-sitting Ciao Bella (Alessandro Spano). Prairie Trinket (Dave Ingraham) rallied for third, 7¼ lengths away and a neck better than West Haven. Prairie Ginger picked up the nickel in the field of six. Prairie Virtue is trained by Lisa Martin for Mary Martin and Laurie Poulin and this win, her second lifetime in five starts, sent her bounty to $19,675 since beginning her career about two months ago. With a multitude of backers, she paid $2,10 to win. Prairie Virtue In the $22,000 Stallion Stakes for pacing geldings, Mister David C, the son of Royal Millennium, was driven by Wally Hennessey for trainer Tony Dinges and owners Fred Grant and the Birnam Wood Farm and let Theflyingrock (Mike Simons) cut panels of :27.3, :57.1 and 1:25.3 before his individual :28.2 finale was more than enough to score a handy 5½ length win in a lifetime best mile of 1:54.2 in this match race of sorts with only two starters. Now with a scorecard of 2-1-1 in four career starts, Mister David enjoyed a payday of $14,300 of the $22,000 purse to send his bounty to $18,510. The $25,500 Stallion Stakes attracted a quartet consisting of three geldings and one colt and it was the gelding Shulda Hada Drink winning his third race in four starts, surviving a nasty miscue at the start, spotting his foes several lengths. But driver Mike Simons got his charge composed and went on to score a 2:02.1 win measuring 1½ lengths over Seeking Matthew (Sergio Corona) with Jo Jo Jet and Prairie Lazuli way, way back at the end of the mile. After the race, driver Simons commented, "Believe me, I held my breath for a few seconds when he skipped but he calmed down and put in a nice rally after that. Indeed he did. Away last after the miscue, Shulda Hada Drink reached third on the outside at the opening station in :31.3, was a length away from the leader Seeking Matthew half way througb in 1:01.1, stuck his head in front past the third station in 1:31 and drew off in the final stages. Trained by George Coblentz for owner Nick Coblentz, Shulda Hada Drink has banked $22,897 since his racing career began five weeks ago. Bell I No, the eight year-old invader from the north, scorched the Pompano oval in 1:49.3 for John MacDonald--the fastest mile of the meeting. The altered son of Rock N Roll Heaven, trained by Tee Wine for the Jemaxpo Racing Stables, sprinted off the wings from his outside post, took command a few strides prior to the opening eighth, and recorded sizzlers of :27, :54.3 and 1:22 with a :27.3 finale sealing the issue by 6½ lengths over the pocket sitting Hot Art (Rick Plano) with Rockntouch (Wally Hennessey) next over Perkins and Autotune Hanover in the septet. For Bell I No, it was his ninth win of the season in 26 starts, good for $105,454 this semester and $365,375 lifetime. He paid $3.80 as the 4 to 5 tote-board favorite. Bell I No About 25 minutes later, Loud Splash, also driven by John MacDonald for trainer Tee Wine, took top honors in the $11,500 Open Handicap Pace, stopping the tele-timer in 1:50. This four year-old son of Thinking Out Loud, got picture perfect handling in stalking Mach West (Wally Hennessey) through panels of :27.1, :55.1 and 1:22.2 before leaving the coziness of his pocket to roll by late on the strength of his :27.2 finale to score by three-parts-of-a-length. Skip To My Lou (Joe Chindano, Jr.) was third followed by Maxdaddy Blue Chip. Plus One got the minors in the classy sextet. Loud Splash, owned by Samuel Abdoo, took a new lifetime mark with the win and sent his 2020 earnings to $55,476 and $97,651 career-wise. Lightly regarded in the wagering as fifth choice, Loud Splash paid $19.80 to win. Loud Splash That win, by the way, gave trainer Tee Wine and driver John MacDonald a consecutive triple on the card as When You Dance won in 1:52.2 immediately prior to Bell I No and Loud Splash. The $10,000 Open 2 Pace went to Seeing Eye Single, driven by Ricky Macomber, Jr. This five year-old gelded son of Dragon Again scored a handy three length win in 1:50.4 for trainer Devan Miller and owners Burke Racing Stable and Purnel & Libby LLC. Caviart Reagan (Wally Hennessey) was second while Mac Anover (Kevin Wallis) was next. Dash Of Danger and Rock On Moe got the last two checks in the field of nine. Seeing Eye Single vaulted his lifetime bankroll of $434,552 and paid $7.40 to win. Seeing Eye Single Finally, Pompano Park's Pick-6, with three chalks, a 5 to 2 shot and an 8 to 1 outsider in the mix, paid $3,172.95 for the 50 cent ticket. Racing resumes Monday night as the track moves to a five day schedule--Sunday through Thursday--with a million dollar field going to the gate in the Open Handicap Trot. The finals of the Florida Stallion Stakes will also be contested in four non-wagering events. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park  
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