Day At The Track
USTA Logo.jpg

Input sought by USTA about Newlook website

Columbus, OH -- The U.S. Trotting Association announced the launch of a "NewLook" website that invites members, industry participants and fans of harness racing an all-new way to provide feedback on the organization's redesign of its website on Monday (March 18). A landing page for all information about the redesign project, http://NewLook.ustrotting.com is the place where USTA website users will be able to provide feedback on specific functionality and features that currently exist or that they would like to see included during the planning phase of the website's redesign. "The USTA web redesign team is seeking input on elements of the current website and the new website, as it is developed so that feedback can provide ways to improve the user experience," said USTA Executive Vice President and CEO Mike Tanner. In addition, the NewLook website will allow the public to view updates about the design work as it progresses and the ability to interact with the USTA in order to give feedback on the concepts and design elements prior to the release of the new website. Visitors will be invited to participate in a survey to indicate whether they were able to achieve their goals and if they were satisfied with the amount of effort required to accomplish those, rate areas that need improvement and compare the USTA website to other websites that they visit. Other areas of interest are opinions on the ease of navigation and what additional information users would like added to the new site. At first, the survey will be available only to users that already have or sign up for a USTA myaccount, who simply need to sign in and navigate to "NewLook" to take the survey. Later, it also will be available to guests without a login. In addition, visitors will be offered the opportunity to sign up in order to participate in focus groups to add further input on the website's redesign. The NewLook website was unveiled in a demonstration to the USTA directors at a special IT Education working session at the Annual Meeting last Saturday (March 9) in Columbus, OH. The NewLook page will also include a help option for additional information. From the USTA Communications Department

All About Cowboys

All About Cowboys records new lifetime mark

LEBANON, OH - All About Cowboys (Jason Brewer) dominated the $25,000 Open I Trot at Miami Valley Raceway on Sunday afternoon (March 17), establishing a new lifetime mark in the process. The 6-year-old Ken Rucker-trainee grabbed the front end during a :27.1 first quarter, then proceeded to trip the subsequent timing beams in :56.1 and 1:25.2 before scooting home in :28.1 to record the 1:53.3 victory. The gelded son of Swan For All towed pocket sitter Primed N Powerful (Tyler Smith) through the finish line in second with Andy Ray (Elliott Deaton) rallying from fifth to third in the stretch. The triumph was the 16th in 91 career starts for All About Cowboys, who blew past the $200,000 earnings plateau with the win. Green Acres LLC and Mike Klimas of Illinois own the ultra-consistent winner who has banked $58,180 in eight 2019 starts at Miami Valley. A $20,000 Open II Trot was captured easily by Mugshot Man (Chris Page), who was open lengths better than Pass The Vape (Derek Watiker) and Impressive Chief (Brett Miller) in 1:54.4. It was just the second win in the last two seasons for the 6-year-old son of Jailhouse Jesse, but was the quickest of his ten lifetime victories. Fred Morgan Jr. trains Mugshot Man for owner John Holman. The Red Owens Memorial late-closer for green fillies and mares got underway on Sunday as well. Heavily-favored Ben's Jenna (Trace Tetrick) lived up to the public's expectations, but only narrowly. The Mach Three-sired sophomore won for the third time in just six lifetime starts in 1:56.3. Delight Kate (Tyler Smith) and Respect (Kyle Ater) were next best in a tightly bunched field at the finish. Tyler George conditions the winner for David Kryway and the Ontario LTD stable.   Gregg Keidel

Bobs Hope,Harness racing

Bobs Hope passes $200,000 in earnings

Bobs Hope (Donato Hanover) started from the rail in Sunday's $15,000 Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Amanda Kelley trainee spent his winter racing in Florida and returned to town on a two-race win streak. Jay Randall got the driving assignment on Sunday and situated Bobs Hope into the pocket spot in the early going. Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray), a three-time winner of Spa Opens last year, was making his first local start of the season and moved out to an easy lead on the chilly Sunday afternoon. Bobs Hope tracked the top one throughout and popped the pocket around the final turn. The seven year old surged by in the stretch before drawing away to win in 1:58. The race's favorite Cash Me Out (Phil Fluet) got up for second while Wings Of Royalty held on for third. Bobs Hope, whose earnings from Sunday's score moved him over the $200,000 for his career, was dismissed at odds of 5-1 in his return to Saratoga. Bobs Hope paid $12.80 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $33.80 and $114, respectively. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:00pm.   Mike Sardella

The Wall, harness racing

Dube milestone, Bongiorno two-fer in Levy opener

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 16, 2019 - Saturday night's (March 16th) opening round of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series offered a fair amount of form and a fair amount of 'huh?' among the Free-For-Allers, A half-dozen, $50,000 groups were contested in succession. Here's the 'wrap' sheet... First division  Say this much for Dan Dube...he appreciates timing. Approaching his latest driving milestone for a while, Dube coordinated it just right, stylishly winning Saturday night's (March 16th) opener of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. His open-length romp with favored Western Fame ($4.40) not only served as the 9,000th win of his career, but threw down the Free-For-All series gauntlet as the fastest local mile (1:51.1) of the season. From post position No. 4 Western Fame gave nothing else a shot through intervals of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:24.1. The two-length lead off the final turn became 5¾ lengths at the wire, helped by his fast feet and a scattering behind after a nasty break by Windsong Leo (George Brennan). Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett) avoided the happenstance to end up second, with Mach it So (Brent Holland), Lyons Steel (Mark MacDonald) and Don Domingo N (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder. For Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal co-owned by Go Fast and B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski & Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, it was his first win a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, the triple returned $110 and the superfecta paid $967. The Quebec-born Dube, turning 50 this June, was the main driver of Horses of the Year Gallo Blue Chip (2000) and Rock N Roll Heaven (2010). His career purse earnings exceed $119 million. :"He (Western Fame) was ready for this mile," Dube said. "I thought he'd race well. I heard something behind me (field scattering), but I was in front by a few lengths so I wasn't worried about it. "I'm obviously happy to get to this (9,000) number. When I came down from Canada, I never thought I'd have the success I've had." Second division Odds-on Anythingforlove A (Joe Bongiorno, $2.70)-from post No. 3-who'd been doing his damage up front, sat pocketed to the returning Rockin' Ron (Kakaley). The latter led through intervals of :27.4, 57.2 and 1:25.1, with his stalker pulling early. Anythingforlove A finally dispatched the leader, then held off Somebaddude (Andy McCarthy) by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.4. Luciano A (Brennan) was third, with a tiring Rockin' Ron and Pacing Major N (Jordan Stratton) rounding out the payees. For Anythingforlove A, a 7-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding owned by Wish Me Luck Stables and trained by Jennifer Bongiorno, it was his fourth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $11.80, the triple returned $45 and the superfecta paid $228. "I was happy to sit behind Rockin' Ron," Joe Bongiorno said. "(Anythingforlove A) can't be on the lead every week against these horses, so if I could get him an easier trip, I did." Third division Pole-sitting Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland, $20) went the distance (:27.4, 57.2, 1:24.4; 1:52.4) while 3-10 favorite Beckham's Z Tam (Tim Tetrick) never seemed comfortable, winding up a non-factor fourth. 'Beckham' was away second, not wanting to take the lead while losing pocket contact down the backside. "Tim (Tetrick) said the horse just sort of fell asleep in the pocket and he probably should have put him on the front and let him pace," trainer Bruce Saunders said. "He seemed fine, but we're going to scope him anyway." Mac's Jackpot (Kakaley) closed for second, beaten a length at 38-1, with Micky Gee N (Scott Zeron), Beckham's Z Tam and Sam's a Champ A (Jim Marohn Jr.) earning the minors. For third choice Ideal Jimmy, a 6-year-old homebred Western Ideal gelding owned by D R Van Witzenberg and trained by Erv Miller, it was his fourth win in seven '19 tries. The exacta paid $373, the triple returned $2,388 and the superfecta paid $5,031. Fourth division "He's the reason I came here tonight." Such was the pre-race assessment of driver McCarthy, who launched Rodeo Rock ($4.40) from second-over to win handily. From post No. 4, Rodeo Rock watched 9-10 polester Duplicated N (Tetrick) take over from longshot Rodeo Romeo (Bartlett), then lead through soft (and flat) intervals of :28 and :57 before a 1:24.4 three-quarters. Rodeo Rock worked from behind I'm Some Graduate (Kakaley), then went wide after his target. Duplicated N owned a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn, but Rodeo Rock picked him off. The margin was three-quarters of a length in 1:52.4, with Rodeo Romeo, JJ Flyin' (Brennan) and I'm Some Graduate coming away with the smaller envelopes. For second choice Rodeo Rock, a 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding owned by Royal Wire Products and trained by Robert Cleary, it was his second win in as many seasonal efforts. The exacta paid $7.80, the triple returned $82.50 and the superfecta paid $473. Rodeo Rock Fifth division Just-over-even-money favorite I'marocnrollegend N (Kakaley) literally and figuratively hit The Wall (Bongiorno, $41.60). Winning the draw and sitting a three-hole through fractions of :26.3; 56.3 and 1:24.2, The Wall waited for a first-up Always at My Place (Brennan) to retreat before hanging a sharp right turn for clearance. The Wall won a three-horse scrum by a head in a season's-best 1:53, with I'marocnrollegend N second and a pocketed Bettor's Fire N (Ron Cushing) third. Endeavor (Tetrick) and Rockathon (Stratton) also made coinage. For rank outsider (sixth choice) The Wall, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding owned by J L Benson Stables and trained by Nick Surick, he's now 2-for-8 this season. The exacta paid $92.50, the triple returned $325.50 and the superfecta paid $2,230. "They were getting out of there quickly, so I had no choice but to be third," Bongiorno said. I wasn't going to come first-up and I was fortunate when (Always at My Place) tired to have room. This horse had had some bad draws and been in some bad spots, so it was good to save ground for once." Sixth division A gritty (though not Philadelphia Flyer Gritty) first-up effort by favored More the Better N (Zeron, $4.70). After pole-sitting Mar Nien A (Greg Merton) rebuffed quarter-move advances of Gokudo Hanover (Brennan), the former led through early substations of :27.1 and :56.4. From post No. 3, More the Better N hooked Mar Nien A through a :27.4 third quarter (1:24.3), eventually putting that one away early in the lane. More the Better N held off a crisply-rallying Mach Doro A (Cushing) by a neck in 1:53.2. Gokudo Hanover, Bellow's Binge (Bartlett) and Ballerat Boomerang (Tetrick) fell into line for the remainder, while Mar Nien A backpedaled to last among the octet. For More the Better N, a 6-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Robert Cooper Stables and trained by Ross Croghan, it was his first win in a trio of '19 tries. The exacta paid $45.40, the triple returned $257.50 and the superfecta paid $862. Saturday night's $44,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by a down-the-road Eye Ofa Tiger AS (Bartlett, $7.60) in 1:56. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 16, 2019 -- Say this much for harness racing driver Dan Dube...he appreciates timing. Approaching his latest driving milestone for a while, Dube coordinated it just right, stylishly winning Saturday night's (March 16th) opener of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. His open-length romp with favored Western Ace ($4.40) not only served as the 9,000th win of his career, but threw down the Free-For-All series gauntlet as the fastest local mile (1:51.1) of the season. From post position No. 4 in the first of a half-dozen, $50,000 divisions, Western Ace gave nothing else a shot through intervals of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:24.1. The two-length lead off the final turn became 5¾ lengths at the wire, helped by his fast feet and a scattering behind after a nasty break by Windsong Leo (George Brennan). Somewhere in L A avoid the happenstance to end us second, with Mach it So (Brent Holland), Lyons Steel (Mark MacDonald) and Don Domingo N (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder. For Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal co-owned by Go Fast and B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski & Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, it was his first win a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, the triple returned $110 and the superfecta paid $967. Western Fame The Quebec-born Dube, turning 50 this June, was the main driver of Horse of the Year Gallo Blue Chip (2000) and Rock N Roll Heaven (2010). His career purse earnings exceed $119 million. :"He (Western Fame) was ready for this mile," Dube said. "I thought he'd race well. I heard something behind me (field scattering), but I was in front by a few lengths so I wasn't worried about it. "I'm obviously happy to get to this (9,000) number. When I came down from Canada, I never thought I'd have the success I've had." Frank Drucker

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Racing luck usually plays a part when one wins a race. Getting an expert steer doesn't hurt, either. Those two factors were on display in the Saturday night feature at the Meadowlands, as Caviart Luca and Big M leading harness racing driver Yannick Gingras nailed favorite K Ryan Bluechip at the wire in the featured Preferred for pacers. Speedsters Castle Flight and New Talent were on the go early. Castle Flight led at the quarter in :27.3 while New Talent, fresh off his Big M season's-fastest 1:49.2 score last week, then brushed to the top at the three-eighths and hit the half in :55.1 as the 2-1 chalk K Ryan Bluechip was gradually chipping away at the leader's edge racing first-over. All the while, Caviart Luca was sitting in what appeared to be an impossible spot - third at the rail - with four horses in the outer flow. K Ryan Bluechip inched his way past New Talent with a little less than three-sixteenths of a mile to go. Enter racing luck and Gingras. Finding a seam just big enough as the field spread out in the stretch, Gingras moved Caviart Luca off the rail to get directly behind KRB with an eighth to go. Inside the sixteenth pole, Caviart Luca swung to the outside and managed to get up by the smallest of noses at the wire. New Talent held on for third. "I just got lucky to find a seam in the middle," said Gingras, "my horse was sharp and ready." Making just his second start of the year, Caviart Luca, eighth and last in his 2019 debut at Yonkers, returned $10.40 as the third choice in the wagering for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and Phillip Collura. The 8-year-old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere-Caviart Sierra, who completed the mile in 1:51.1, has now won 29-of-141 career starts and earned $742,535. ANDY'S DANDY: Andy Miller piloted four winners on the card, giving him seven for the weekend. Gingras was right behind him with six, after winning three times on both Friday and Saturday. On the training side, the red-hot Jennifer Bongiorno made two Saturday winner's circle visits, giving her three victories for the weekend. A LITTLE MORE: Wagering continued to be strong as all-source betting totaled $2,919,538. ... 50-Cent Pick-4 cashers walked away with $903.80 by using 9-1 shot Pepper Guy and driver Dexter Dunn in the ninth race. The winner's odds of the other three horses in the sequence were 4-1, 9-2 and 3-2. ... Dunn and Vinny Ginsburg each drove a pair of winners. ... Racing resumes Friday at 7:15 p.m. Bettors will have a new wager to try as that evening will see the debut of the Can-Am Pick-4, a wager that requires players to pick two winners at the Meadowlands and two at Woodbine Mohawk Park. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

WILKES-BARRE PA - The weather may have been cold and windy for the opening night of the 2019 harness racing season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but one place where it was hot was near the claiming box, as no fewer the fifteen horses were haltered in the five claiming events at the mountain oval Saturday night - including Urban Renewal, the winner of the featured $20,000 claiming handicap pace on the opener. With two speedy favorites drawing posts one and two, driver Eric Carlson raced out and accepted a 4-tuck with the altered son of Cam's Card Shark, then came uncovered on a night when the speed was winless in the first nine races. That figure soon went to 0-for-10, as Urban Renewal grinded right to the lead on the turn, then drew off to win by 3¼ lengths in his farewell for trainer Mike Watson and Clifford Grundy, who saw the horse taken for a $35,000 claiming price. Each of the five claimers had at least two horses changing hands - the $30,000/$35,000-tagged feature saw half of the field of eight entering new barns, with hopeful owners laying out an amazing $297,500 trying to get a sharp horse for the early-season campaigns. In the race after the feature, a $17,500 conditioned pace, a horse was finally able to last wire-to-wire, and appropriately it was a horse backed by the noted front-favoring team of driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer Hunter Oakes, the Four Starzzz Shark gelding Epaulette A, who took a North American mark of 1:51.3 for the ownership of the Northfolk Racing Stable. Epaulette A had favored Soho Wallstreet A coming at him late, but withstood that rival in crossing the beam ¾ of a length to the good. Both feature winners went over the $200,000 mark in career earnings with their triumphs. Jim Morrill Jr., who had made his first sulky appearance since October 26 on the Wednesday card at Buffalo, was in mid-season form on the Saturday Pocono program, guiding three winners, including $61.00 winner Western Alumni (who also was promptly claimed). Simon Allard also posted a driving triple. The trotters and pacers next take to the Pocono oval on Tuesday, when a 16-race card featuring several hopefuls for the upcoming Weiss Series goes postward at 4 p.m. - Pocono will race at 4 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays this year in trying to garner the "simulcast gap" money, while the Saturday and Sunday cards will stay at 7 p.m. PHHA / Pocono

Harness rascing trainer Jackie Greene is no stranger to Open Pace victories at Saratoga Casino Hotel. In fact, no trainer has won the Open more times in the past several years than Greene. Her Artful Way is the three-time defending Pacer of the Year at the Spa and since that veteran is a common participant in the Saturday night feature, some of Greene's other top flight pacers are forced to race out of town. With Artful Way not in to go this week, Greene entered Hudson Phil (Shanghai Phil) into Saturday's $15,000 Open Pace and the rising star started from post two. Hudson Phil finished second in his most recent try in the local Open in February before making two starts at the Meadowlands. Driver Jay Randall wasted no time in putting the four year old pacer on the front-end on Saturday and the youngster had to endure sizzling fractions on a chilly night in the Spa City. Parking out a rival, Hudson Phil clicked off a first quarter in 26.4 before reaching the half in 54.2. The demanding fractions didn't seem to take their toll as Hudson Phil kept rolling along and actually opened up a big lead in the stretch before stopping the timer in 1:52.1, the fastest clocking of the year for any horse on the young season at Saratoga. Hudson Phil paid $6.20 to win as he bested last week's Open winner Carolina Beach (Mark Beckwith) who had to settle for second. Havefaithinme N (Bruce Aldrich Jr) earned the show spot. An eight time winner in 2018, Hudson Phil recorded his first victory of the '19 campaign on Saturday in what was his first career win in the local Open. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12:00pm. Mike Sardella  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Shagnwiththedragon wasn't going to disappoint his backers in his Buffalo Raceway debut on Saturday night (March 16) as he showed plenty of heart in holding off Upfront Country by a neck in the harness racing featured $11,000 Class AA Open pace.   Sent off as the heavy 2-to-5 chalk, Shagnwiththedragon (Drew Monti) was able to thwart the challenge of a stubborn Upfront Countryboy (Shawn McDonough) who had to settle for the heart-breaking place position while Golden Gesture (Denny Bucceri) took third.   Just arriving from Northfield Park and Miami Valley in Ohio, Shagnwiththedragon ($2.90) managed to reach the top with only minor pressure and settled in to register splits of :28.3, :57.3 and 1:28.0 over the good track.    It became a match race down the stretch as Shagnwiththedragon and Upfront Countryboy battled it out to the wire with the newcomer holding on by a neck in 1:58.2.   Co-owned by Tessa Roland and Eim Racing, the JD Perrin trained Shagnwiththedragon (Dragon Again-Lady Terror) is a 5-year-old gelding that has won $15,600 this year and $82,806 in his career.   In the sub-featured $9,500 Class A paces, Heaven Rocks (Monti) took the first division with an easy 5-1/4 length drubbing of the field in 1:57.4 while Littlebitaclass (Kevin Cummings) used a final push at the lamp to nudge past China Dream by a neck in 1:59.1.   Heaven Rocks ($8.40) was strong on the front end from start to finish and never was threatened in beating Sunset Sid (Ray Fisher Jr.) and Rebel Voyager (Billy Davis Jr.).   Using fractions of :28.3, :58.3 and 1:28.1, Heaven Rocks was in command down the stretch jogging freely under the wire.   Owned by Roland and conditioned by Perrin, Heaven Rocks (Rock N Roll Heaven-Cheerful Outlook) is a 7-year-old gelding who notched his first victory of 2019 in nine attempts. The win jacked his seasonal earnings to $13,065 and $200,362 lifetime.   Littlebitofclass stunned the field in the second division with a $28.60 victory over the favored China Dream (Davis Jr.).   Letting China Dream cut the splits of :29.1, :59.2 and 1:29.0, Littlebitaclass floated to the outside coming the down and and had just enough left in the tank to squeeze out the narrow victory.   Mike Torcello owns the 8-year-old gelded Littlebitaclass (Santanna Blue Chip-Aspirinne Semalu). Conditioned by Gerry Sarama, the win moved his bankroll to $10,585 this season and $281,955 lifetime.   Monti and Bucceri each had three driving wins on the night with Kevin Cummings getting a pair. Perrin, Sarama and Mike Ohol scored training doubles.   Racing will continue on Wednesday evening with a 13-race card scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. There will be a $590 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.   For more information including the latest mews, race replays, results, entries, upcoming promotions and simulcast schedule, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

LEBANON, OH - Saint Patrick's weekend has certainly been a time of celebration for the Kayne Kauffman harness racing Stable! After winning the $25,000 championship of the Herb Coven Jr. Memorial Series for mares with Tura Lura Lural on Friday night, Kauffman returned to the Miami Valley winner's circle on Saturday night by winning the $25,000 championship leg of the George Williams Memorial Series for male pacers. Gerardo, a 4-year-old son of Rockin Image, took a new lifetime mark of 1:51.2 while topping Reagan's Avenger (Chris Page) and Velocity Smoke (Dan Noble). Despite drawing outside his main contenders, Kauffman sent Gerardo on a mission when the gate swung open, pacing three-wide around the first bend before clearing to the front just past the :26.3 opening panel. With an outer tier developing quickly thereafter, Kauffman kept the pedal to the metal through middle fractions of :54.1 and 1:22 before bravely pacing a :29.2 final quarter to seal the deal. Reagan's Avenger finally got to the winner's wheel at the head of the stretch, but Gerardo dug down deeper and widened to a 2-1/2 length margin at the wire. Gerardo's 1:51.2 clocking represented a new speed badge for owner Mark Bogen's newest acquisition, purchased at auction in February. Gerardo now has five career triumphs and $127,030 in purse earnings. Two races later, Fan Of Terror (Sam Widger) pulled a mild upset in the weekly feature, the $25,000 Open I Pace, also establishing a new lifetime mark of 1:50.4. The former claimer, a 7-year-old Western Terror gelding, also went gate to wire, holding off a determined Granite (Brett Miller) and fast-closing Dancin Yankee (Chris Page) with a gritty performance. Latest owner Therl Hensley has almost recouped the $30,000 he plucked down to claim Fan Of Terror a month ago. In three starts he has earned $28,750 with two wins and a second-all in Open class company. Peter Redder is now training the winner of 30 career races, including six victories in eight tries already this season. Fan Of Terror Angelo J Fra (Brett Miller) copped the $20,000 Open II, finding room along the pylons in the stretch to sneak through for a 1:51 score. Fox Valley Reggie (Tyler Smith) was runnerup and Evergreen Elite (Kyle Ater) picked up the show dough. Kris Hinchcliff has trained the winner, who surpassed $400,000 in earnings, for Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi LLC for the past several years. Driver Chris Page topped the driver's colony on Saturday night with a Grand Slam. His first of four wins came behind the trotter No Whip Chip, who paid $4.60 for his 1:56.1 score. His other triumphs were with The Optimist (1:53.1, $6.60), A True Rock Star (1:51.4, $9.20) and GD Western Joe (1:50.4, $8.00). Gregg Keidel

Warrior Inside started life as a winner. A Kentucky thoroughbred, the chestnut brown bay gelding racehorse trained at Churchill Downs in Louisville. In his debut last March in New Orleans, he placed second in a field of 63. But his fourth race at Churchill Downs was his last, coming in eighth. He'd developed career-ending bone chips in both front knees. Life after racing for most horses usually ends in one of two ways. Animals with good genes are used for stud service in hopes of producing superior stock. Others are sent to slaughter at rendering plants in Canada and Mexico. Furniture store chain IKEA made headlines in 2013 when traces of horse meat were found in the store's famous Swedish meatballs, which were sent out to several countries across Europe.  The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that 80,000 horses annually get processed for meat. More: Oxford firefighters, Oakland Co. deputies rescue horse trapped under ice More: Woman gets jail for neglect of horses in western Michigan (L to R) Mr. Palmer and Warrior Inside play with each other at their stalls inside Willowbrooke Farms in Plymouth, Michigan on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. This farm caters towards retired race horses enrolled in the Canter USA program that rehabs, retrains and finds new homes for thoroughbreds who leave racing at young ages when they become injured or are not fast enough to win. . (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)   Warrior Inside got lucky. He ended up at Canter Michigan, one of the few sanctuaries in the country that gives losing horses another shot. "When horses broke down, they would just get rid of them," said Canter Michigan's horse trainer Jennifer Blades on owners of racetracks. "Now, they're not allowed to do that, so that's made more horses come in through the Canter program." Warrior Inside, known as Indy by his handlers, is one of nine horses at Canter Michigan. The organization in Commerce Township, founded in 1998, today has 19 affiliates nationwide rehabbing former racehorses for new careers as show horses or for law enforcement. Blades, said most of the horses she sees “just weren’t fast enough” or suffered an injury — common for young horses. Jennifer Blades, the owner and operator of Willowbrooke Farms in Plymouth poses for a portrait with Warrior Inside, a former race horse on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. The farm caters towards retired race horses enrolled in the Canter USA program which rehabs, retrains and finds new homes for thoroughbreds who leave racing at young ages when they become injured or are not fast enough to win. . (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)   Road to recovery Indy's trainer, Tim Glyshaw, donated the horse to Canter Michigan which sent him to Michigan State University's large animal clinic for surgery in May. Afterward, he spent six months in rehab at a Lansing-area farm.  But surgery and rehab is expensive. Horse operations usually cost between $3,000-$4,000 and rehab an additional $2,000-$3,000, Blades said. Canter Michigan relies on fundraisers and support from other nonprofit agencies. In December, the ASPCA granted $225,000 to nine equine rescue groups, including the Michigan and national chapters of Canter. After rehab, Blades said, training begins. “We start with groundwork,” said Blades. “We put them in a crosstie and they learn to be groomed, handled and to be quiet. A lot of the racehorses are very jumpy and they will kick at you and will bounce around a little bit to break the ties.” Warrior Inside, a former race horse, burns off energy inside Willowbrooke Farms in Plymouth on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.  (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)   Not all horses receive the same training, since every equine is different. Some horses may only be able to spend 20 to 30 minutes outside, while others can last for an hour, Blades said.   “When I go to work with a horse, I have a basic plan, but I have to adapt it according to how they’re doing that day or each horse individually,” she said. “And they have their good and bad days just like we do. Some have more of a work ethic and really want to be good, and others don’t really want to be bothered."   Horse racing in Michigan  According to the Michigan Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, a group dedicated to improving horse racing in the state, the rise of the sport in Michigan began in 1933 when Gov. William Comstock signed a law legalizing horse racing with wagering. Northville Downs became the state’s first racetrack, opening in 1944. Others soon followed, including Jackson Harness Raceway, Hazel Park Race Track and Detroit Race Course. Harness racers move down the home stretch at Northville Downs race track on Saturday, May 14, 2016 in Northville. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier)   Horse racing hit its peak in the late 1980s, with eight tracks operating across the state, in cities such as Flint, Saginaw, Mount Pleasant and Muskegon. But the industry began to decline with increasing competition from other types of wagering, starting with the creation of the Michigan Lottery in 1972. Casinos built on Indian reservations became big in the 1980s, and Detroit saw the opening of three casinos in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Simulcasting, where guests could watch and bet on multiple live races in one location, helped keep racetracks open a little longer, but could not solely save them. Muskegon Race Course closed in 1997, with many of the other racetracks following suit into the late 2000s.  Last year, Hazel Park Race Track abruptly closed after nearly 70 years of business.The track was one of two racetracks still operating in the state, and the only track offering thoroughbred racing. Shortly after the closing of Hazel Park, home builder Hunter Pasteur Homes announced that Northville Downs will be sold and converted into a mixed-use development. The track plans to stay open through the 2020 racing season, and hopes to operate at a new location after the property is sold. Canter Executive Director Robbie Timmons said the group received two horses from Hazel Park right after the track closed, with another brought in last September. One equine has already found a new home.    However, Blades does not expect any horses from Northville Downs, since it only has standardbred horses, which are used in harness racing. Canter only trains thoroughbreds, with the majority coming from places like Ohio and Kentucky. A new life Willowbrooke Farms in Plymouth, caters to retired race horses enrolled in the Canter USA program that rehabs, retrains and finds new homes for thoroughbreds who leave racing at young ages when they become injured or are not fast enough to win.  (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)   How long it takes to get a racehorse ready for adoption can vary. Blades said horses are available for sale within a couple of months. But equines that have been injured might not be suitable for adoption until they've spent five to eight months in the program. When Indy is ready, he's expected to fetch $1,800, Blades said. Horses at Canter usually sell for prices ranging from $800 to $2,000 to buyers from as far away as North Carolina and Texas. Blades has yet to learn what Indy’s new career path will be, but she believes he "can do almost anything." “He’s quiet, easygoing, so I think he could be a pleasure horse. He’s built to be a jumping horse the way he moves, but we have not jumped him yet because we didn’t want to push it too soon. I think he’s gonna make some Canter adult an awesome horse for whatever they choose. "I just want to see the horse go on and be happy and have a good career and a good home.” By Micah Walker Reprinted with permission of the Detroit Free Press

Google Me, the fastest pony in local harness racing, could potentially come out of early retirement. Tyler Lopes retired his five-year-old Indiana-bred mare after she broke multiple track records and became the first mare to win the prestigious Champion of Champions at the Bermuda Equestrian Centre last month. However, he suggested yesterday that he could potentially change his decision should his mare still have a burning desire to compete. “I don’t plan to bring her back but if she wants to race again then she goes back to racing,” said Lopes, who co-owns Google Me with his father Robert. “It all depends on how she copes (with retirement) because some horses don’t know how to deal with themselves when they’re not racing. “It’s like an athlete retiring. It’s always difficult at first because it’s all you know and some of them don’t cope so well with it and get quite stressed and what not. “Because of her heart and how much she loves to race she may not be happy not racing so we’ll wait and see and play it by ear. “If the mare turns around and tells us she wants to race then she goes back to racing.” Competing with driver Candyce Martins in the sulky, Google Me set the new overall track after achieving a lifetime best time of 1:01/1 during the qualifying heats of the Champion of Champions, which is also a new mare’s record and four-year-old’s record. Lopes’s horse then capped a phenomenal weekend at the track by becoming the first mare to win the Champion of Champions title, having achieved the fastest average time of 2:05/3 over the two heats in the Final Dash. Lopes said his horse’s historical feat was a “childhood dream come true”. “She broke multiple records at once so it was a lot to take in and a bit of a childhood dream come true for me to be honest,” he said. “To be honest, it took a while to sink it. “To do it in the manner that she did it was definitely a surprise but I always knew she could do it. “It was just a matter of when she chose to show us that type of speed. “In the back of my mind I was kind of hoping it would work out that way. It’s a fairytale ending and really couldn’t be better. It was literally perfect.” Lopes said he saw potential in the horse when he purchased her as a yearling. “I saw her running around with the other yearlings and she just caught my eye,” he recalled. “Looking at her I could tell this filly was going to grow into a serious racehorse. “I couldn’t have asked for a better horse. Everything about her is amazing; her personality, she’s easy to work with and she knows and loves her job.” Lopes thanked all those who played a role in his horse’s success. “It takes a whole team to make it work and be successful and everyone that was involved with her this year deserve a huge congratulations,” he said. “I’m very grateful to all of them. “The mare has definitely had a very good year and it would not have been possible without them.” By Colin Thompson Reprinted with permission of The Royal Gazette

Anderson, Ind.--March 16, 2019-- Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will host an on-site job fair on Friday, March 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lower level of the racetrack grandstands. The event will provide applicants the opportunity to meet with Harrah's Hoosier Park personnel to discuss potential job opportunities. Representatives from many of the departments will be on hand to explain specific job duties and responsibilities and conduct on-the-spot interviews. Hiring departments include Food & Beverage, Finance, Electronic Games, Marketing, Facilities, Security, Audio Visual, Racing, Retail, Catering, Landscaping, and more. "We will accept applications and offer on-site interviews for open positions during both job fair sessions," said Carrisse Hull, director of human resources. "This is a great opportunity to get involved in a fun, fast-paced environment that has become one of the top entertainment destinations in Central Indiana. If you're in the job market, we encourage you to come out and talk with us." Job openings are available in the Careers section of www.HarrahsHoosierPark.com. Harrah's Hoosier Park is an equal opportunity employer. About Harrah's Hoosier Park Harrah's Hoosier Park, which is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR), holds multiple awards from industry publications for customer service, entertainment, gaming, dining, and team member culture. Harrah's Hoosier Park, a fully-integrated gaming and racing facility, features 2,000 of the latest slots and electronic table games and a 7/8 mile oval horse track offering live harness racing each year. Simulcast wagering is offered year-round at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, the Winner's Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis and Winner's Circle OTB & VooDoo BBQ & Grill in New Haven/Fort Wayne, Ind. For more information, please visit www.HoosierPark.com. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing at racetracks and 21 or older to gamble at casinos. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-9-WITH-IT (1-800-994-8448) ©2019 Caesars License Company, LLC. Kiersten Flint  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Apparently, Yannick Gingras and Andy Miller like an off track, as both Meadowlands regulars, currently first and third, respectively, in the driver standings at the mile oval, each scored three times on the Friday night Big M harness racing card. At the start of the evening, the weather was spring like, with temperatures in the 70s, but a cold front came through after the fourth race, dousing the track with several intense rainfalls that made it necessary to delay the action twice during the remainder of the card. Neither Miller nor Gingras could have cared less, as each scored their trifectas after the track was downgraded to sloppy for the start of the fifth race. That's when Miller got his night underway, scoring with Abbeylara in a $7,500 claiming pace as the 8-5 second choice in 1:53.2. The resurgent Rubber Duck won the seventh, a conditioned trot, in 1:52.3 as the 6-5 favorite before Miller completed his three-bagger in the 14th race with Arch Credit in a conditioned trot in 1:55.3. After going a three-hole trip, Arch Credit skimmed the cones to become the night's biggest-priced winner at $23.80. Gingras began with Max Volo in the sixth race conditioned trot, scoring as the 6-5 public choice in 1:56.1. Well Said Maria (4-1 second choice) followed in the ninth race fillies and mares conditioned pace in 1:52.1 before Tearful Of Happy became Gingras' third of the night in the 11th race fillies and mares conditioned pace in 1:52.1 as the 5-2 second choice. A LITTLE MORE: The 14-race card saw a 6-1 shot win the opener and a 10-1 chance take the finale. The 12 races in the middle were won by six favorites, with no horse scoring at odds greater than 4-1. ... The 50-Cent Pick-4 fell just short of a sixth straight $100,000 pool, as a total of $97,185 was wagered. The sequence saw winner's odds of 3-1, 4-1, 7-2 and 5-2 add up to a healthy payoff of $1,001. ... Tyler Buter and Andy McCarthy had driving doubles while Nick Surick trained a pair to victory lane. ... All-source handle totaled $2,675,593. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

YONKERS, N.Y. – Late last summer, harness racing trainer Amanda Kelley skimmed through a sales listing in the hopes of finding a reasonably priced horse who could race in the claiming ranks at Saratoga Raceway. Such a horse would fit longtime owner Fred Scheigert’s stable, which is predominantly comprised of claimers and New York breds who fit at the Spa. Among the listings was Mar Nien, who came with a $12,500 price tag. Kelley began researching the horse and after looking at his lines, realized the listed price had to be a mistake. The Australian-bred pacer by Rock N Roll Heaven out of the Armbro Operative mare Champagnesheffield began his stateside career in August and showed promise. He won his debut at Harrah’s Philadelphia in 1:50.2 for Chris Scicluna before posting two runner-up efforts timed in 1:50.4 and 1:49.2. Kelley followed up on the listing and sure enough, the correct price was much higher. She was sure Scheigert wouldn’t want to make such a sizeable outlay on one horse, but she decided to present the opportunity anyway. “I asked the owners if they would be interested,” Kelley remembered. “I told them it could be a really good investment for the stable and shockingly they said, ‘OK, go look at him.’ So, we did, and it went from there. He checked out with a clean bill of health and came on the team.” Kelley grew up training American Saddlebreds before delving into the Standardbred world working on breeding farms. She spent time helping trainers at Saratoga and fell in love with racing. Pushed by her mentors, Kelley worked to earn her training license. She made her first start in 2015 and soon connected with Scheigert. Less than a year after getting her license, Kelley was training all his horses. “They knew me, they were comfortable with me, and asked if I would take all their horses. It was everything. It was terrifying,” she said. “They like to do things a certain way. They like mostly claiming. Mar Nien is actually one of the first purchases I’ve ever done for them, aside from claiming.”' Mar Nien made his presence known from the moment he entered Kelley’s stable. The gelding came with a personality that set him apart. “He has a little goofball attitude. I feel he’s talented, I really like him, and he’s fast, but his personality is playful,” Kelley explained. “He loves the other horses, he talks to everybody. He’s definitely a neat personality in the barn.  “His head is constantly going, it’s on a swivel. He has to look at everything,” she continued. “You could be jogging him along and his head is completely to the left or right. He’s very observant; he catches everything. He likes his mid-morning naps, don’t bother him then. But he loves attention, you can give him hugs, he’ll put his head on you. He’s cool to be around.” Mar Nien also proved to be a handful on the racetrack and keeping him calm in the morning became a priority.  “He can get a bit aggressive. He likes to work, he likes his job,” Kelley said. “We try to keep him quiet when he jogs because he likes to be a little more enthusiastic than you want. If someone else is training out there, hang on, because he thinks he should be doing it, too. He just has a really good work ethic. He covers the ground nice, he’s smooth, there’s just no wasted movement with him. He’s a little guy but has a big heart and big motor.” Mar Nien debuted for Kelley and Scheigert in a $10,170 overnight at Saratoga September 15. With Bruce Aldrich, Jr. in the sulky, the gelding capitalized on a pocket trip and posted a 1:51.1 victory with a :27.1 final quarter. The following week, Mar Nien circled the field to win the $15,000 Open Handicap in 1:52. “His first start, I said, ‘OK, now we’re going to see what kind of horse he is.’ It’s always nerve-wracking the first start,” Kelley said. “He still had the plugs in. We were like, ‘wow.’ Bruce shook Mr. Scheigert’s hand and he said, ‘you have a nice animal.’ That was really exciting to hear. The next week, it was just a repeat. It was very exciting.” Mar Nien earned three victories and two placings from five more starts to close his 2018 season before Kelley gave him a break for the winter. Although any plans were contingent on how Mar Nien trained back, Kelley kept the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series in the back of her mind. Mar Nien qualified back February 19 at Pompano Park, winning in 1:55.3 from post nine. A week later, the 7-year-old won another trial at the south-Florida oval, skipping over a sloppy track in 1:51. “We qualified him once and he went easy, took him back and just came the second half. I trained him a mile-and-a-half that week, then requalified him. This time, we asked him a little bit,” Kelley said. “When the time came up, we were like, ‘woah.’ I don’t know if we were quite expecting to go that much, but he just does it on his own. He came out of that really good and then we shipped up.” Mar Nien will make his seasonal debut in the ninth race Saturday (March 16) at Yonkers Raceway, the sixth and final division of the Levy Series first leg. It will be Kelley’s first time harnessing a horse in a Grand Circuit race. “It’s terrifying, it’s exciting,” she said. “A lot of people don’t even get this opportunity and I’m so thankful for it. I haven’t done racehorses my whole life, but people give you this opportunity and say, ‘we trust you with this.’ To give you a nice animal, it’s pretty awesome. “I’m really thankful for the people around me, the people in the barn and the people who helped make this happen,” Kelley continued. “The owners and everybody that’s been there for me. I’ve needed help along the way and these are great people.” Mar Nien drew post one and will start as the race’s 5-2 morning line favorite with Greg Merton in the sulky. He will face the likes of More The Better, who drew post three and is 3-1 off a runner-up finish from post eight in a local $23,000 overnight March 9. Gokudo Hanover will start from post two, an improvement from the outside posts that hampered his last two outings; the 7-year-old gelding is 7-2 for Brennan and DiDomenico.  Bellow’s Binge won a $29,000 overnight in his last start March 9 and is a 7-2 morning line for Bartlett and Banca. Mach Doro will make his second start for Cushing and Gibbs after winning on debut March 4, but will have to overcome post seven. Cruise Patrol, Lockton Luck, and Ballerat Boomerang complete the field.  “To me, every horse in there is a threat,” Kelley said. “It’s all the way the race works out. I would love to get away first or second. I’d like to see him get away like that and handle anything that comes at him. I just hope he finishes strong and he races strong. My job is just to make sure he shows up and races and finishes strong.” Saturday night’s card features six divisions of the Levy Series First Leg. Live harness racing is featured at Yonkers Raceway every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

« Article Archive
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Europe
Columbus, OH -- The U.S. Trotting Association announced the launch of a "NewLook" website that invites members, industry participants and fans of harness racing an all-new way to provide feedback on the organization's redesign of its website on Monday (March 18). A landing page for all information about the redesign project, http://NewLook.ustrotting.com is the place where USTA website users will be able to provide feedback on specific functionality and features that currently exist or that they would like to see included during the planning phase of the website's redesign. "The USTA web redesign team is seeking input on elements of the current website and the new website, as it is developed so that feedback can provide ways to improve the user experience," said USTA Executive Vice President and CEO Mike Tanner. In addition, the NewLook website will allow the public to view updates about the design work as it progresses and the ability to interact with the USTA in order to give feedback on the concepts and design elements prior to the release of the new website. Visitors will be invited to participate in a survey to indicate whether they were able to achieve their goals and if they were satisfied with the amount of effort required to accomplish those, rate areas that need improvement and compare the USTA website to other websites that they visit. Other areas of interest are opinions on the ease of navigation and what additional information users would like added to the new site. At first, the survey will be available only to users that already have or sign up for a USTA myaccount, who simply need to sign in and navigate to "NewLook" to take the survey. Later, it also will be available to guests without a login. In addition, visitors will be offered the opportunity to sign up in order to participate in focus groups to add further input on the website's redesign. The NewLook website was unveiled in a demonstration to the USTA directors at a special IT Education working session at the Annual Meeting last Saturday (March 9) in Columbus, OH. The NewLook page will also include a help option for additional information. From the USTA Communications Department
LEBANON, OH - All About Cowboys (Jason Brewer) dominated the $25,000 Open I Trot at Miami Valley Raceway on Sunday afternoon (March 17), establishing a new lifetime mark in the process. The 6-year-old Ken Rucker-trainee grabbed the front end during a :27.1 first quarter, then proceeded to trip the subsequent timing beams in :56.1 and 1:25.2 before scooting home in :28.1 to record the 1:53.3 victory. The gelded son of Swan For All towed pocket sitter Primed N Powerful (Tyler Smith) through the finish line in second with Andy Ray (Elliott Deaton) rallying from fifth to third in the stretch. The triumph was the 16th in 91 career starts for All About Cowboys, who blew past the $200,000 earnings plateau with the win. Green Acres LLC and Mike Klimas of Illinois own the ultra-consistent winner who has banked $58,180 in eight 2019 starts at Miami Valley. A $20,000 Open II Trot was captured easily by Mugshot Man (Chris Page), who was open lengths better than Pass The Vape (Derek Watiker) and Impressive Chief (Brett Miller) in 1:54.4. It was just the second win in the last two seasons for the 6-year-old son of Jailhouse Jesse, but was the quickest of his ten lifetime victories. Fred Morgan Jr. trains Mugshot Man for owner John Holman. The Red Owens Memorial late-closer for green fillies and mares got underway on Sunday as well. Heavily-favored Ben's Jenna (Trace Tetrick) lived up to the public's expectations, but only narrowly. The Mach Three-sired sophomore won for the third time in just six lifetime starts in 1:56.3. Delight Kate (Tyler Smith) and Respect (Kyle Ater) were next best in a tightly bunched field at the finish. Tyler George conditions the winner for David Kryway and the Ontario LTD stable.   Gregg Keidel
Bobs Hope (Donato Hanover) started from the rail in Sunday's $15,000 Open Trot at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Amanda Kelley trainee spent his winter racing in Florida and returned to town on a two-race win streak. Jay Randall got the driving assignment on Sunday and situated Bobs Hope into the pocket spot in the early going. Wings Of Royalty (Shawn Gray), a three-time winner of Spa Opens last year, was making his first local start of the season and moved out to an easy lead on the chilly Sunday afternoon. Bobs Hope tracked the top one throughout and popped the pocket around the final turn. The seven year old surged by in the stretch before drawing away to win in 1:58. The race's favorite Cash Me Out (Phil Fluet) got up for second while Wings Of Royalty held on for third. Bobs Hope, whose earnings from Sunday's score moved him over the $200,000 for his career, was dismissed at odds of 5-1 in his return to Saratoga. Bobs Hope paid $12.80 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $33.80 and $114, respectively. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12:00pm.   Mike Sardella
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 16, 2019 - Saturday night's (March 16th) opening round of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series offered a fair amount of form and a fair amount of 'huh?' among the Free-For-Allers, A half-dozen, $50,000 groups were contested in succession. Here's the 'wrap' sheet... First division  Say this much for Dan Dube...he appreciates timing. Approaching his latest driving milestone for a while, Dube coordinated it just right, stylishly winning Saturday night's (March 16th) opener of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. His open-length romp with favored Western Fame ($4.40) not only served as the 9,000th win of his career, but threw down the Free-For-All series gauntlet as the fastest local mile (1:51.1) of the season. From post position No. 4 Western Fame gave nothing else a shot through intervals of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:24.1. The two-length lead off the final turn became 5¾ lengths at the wire, helped by his fast feet and a scattering behind after a nasty break by Windsong Leo (George Brennan). Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett) avoided the happenstance to end up second, with Mach it So (Brent Holland), Lyons Steel (Mark MacDonald) and Don Domingo N (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder. For Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal co-owned by Go Fast and B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski & Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, it was his first win a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, the triple returned $110 and the superfecta paid $967. The Quebec-born Dube, turning 50 this June, was the main driver of Horses of the Year Gallo Blue Chip (2000) and Rock N Roll Heaven (2010). His career purse earnings exceed $119 million. :"He (Western Fame) was ready for this mile," Dube said. "I thought he'd race well. I heard something behind me (field scattering), but I was in front by a few lengths so I wasn't worried about it. "I'm obviously happy to get to this (9,000) number. When I came down from Canada, I never thought I'd have the success I've had." Second division Odds-on Anythingforlove A (Joe Bongiorno, $2.70)-from post No. 3-who'd been doing his damage up front, sat pocketed to the returning Rockin' Ron (Kakaley). The latter led through intervals of :27.4, 57.2 and 1:25.1, with his stalker pulling early. Anythingforlove A finally dispatched the leader, then held off Somebaddude (Andy McCarthy) by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.4. Luciano A (Brennan) was third, with a tiring Rockin' Ron and Pacing Major N (Jordan Stratton) rounding out the payees. For Anythingforlove A, a 7-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding owned by Wish Me Luck Stables and trained by Jennifer Bongiorno, it was his fourth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $11.80, the triple returned $45 and the superfecta paid $228. "I was happy to sit behind Rockin' Ron," Joe Bongiorno said. "(Anythingforlove A) can't be on the lead every week against these horses, so if I could get him an easier trip, I did." Third division Pole-sitting Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland, $20) went the distance (:27.4, 57.2, 1:24.4; 1:52.4) while 3-10 favorite Beckham's Z Tam (Tim Tetrick) never seemed comfortable, winding up a non-factor fourth. 'Beckham' was away second, not wanting to take the lead while losing pocket contact down the backside. "Tim (Tetrick) said the horse just sort of fell asleep in the pocket and he probably should have put him on the front and let him pace," trainer Bruce Saunders said. "He seemed fine, but we're going to scope him anyway." Mac's Jackpot (Kakaley) closed for second, beaten a length at 38-1, with Micky Gee N (Scott Zeron), Beckham's Z Tam and Sam's a Champ A (Jim Marohn Jr.) earning the minors. For third choice Ideal Jimmy, a 6-year-old homebred Western Ideal gelding owned by D R Van Witzenberg and trained by Erv Miller, it was his fourth win in seven '19 tries. The exacta paid $373, the triple returned $2,388 and the superfecta paid $5,031. Fourth division "He's the reason I came here tonight." Such was the pre-race assessment of driver McCarthy, who launched Rodeo Rock ($4.40) from second-over to win handily. From post No. 4, Rodeo Rock watched 9-10 polester Duplicated N (Tetrick) take over from longshot Rodeo Romeo (Bartlett), then lead through soft (and flat) intervals of :28 and :57 before a 1:24.4 three-quarters. Rodeo Rock worked from behind I'm Some Graduate (Kakaley), then went wide after his target. Duplicated N owned a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn, but Rodeo Rock picked him off. The margin was three-quarters of a length in 1:52.4, with Rodeo Romeo, JJ Flyin' (Brennan) and I'm Some Graduate coming away with the smaller envelopes. For second choice Rodeo Rock, a 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding owned by Royal Wire Products and trained by Robert Cleary, it was his second win in as many seasonal efforts. The exacta paid $7.80, the triple returned $82.50 and the superfecta paid $473. Rodeo Rock Fifth division Just-over-even-money favorite I'marocnrollegend N (Kakaley) literally and figuratively hit The Wall (Bongiorno, $41.60). Winning the draw and sitting a three-hole through fractions of :26.3; 56.3 and 1:24.2, The Wall waited for a first-up Always at My Place (Brennan) to retreat before hanging a sharp right turn for clearance. The Wall won a three-horse scrum by a head in a season's-best 1:53, with I'marocnrollegend N second and a pocketed Bettor's Fire N (Ron Cushing) third. Endeavor (Tetrick) and Rockathon (Stratton) also made coinage. For rank outsider (sixth choice) The Wall, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding owned by J L Benson Stables and trained by Nick Surick, he's now 2-for-8 this season. The exacta paid $92.50, the triple returned $325.50 and the superfecta paid $2,230. "They were getting out of there quickly, so I had no choice but to be third," Bongiorno said. I wasn't going to come first-up and I was fortunate when (Always at My Place) tired to have room. This horse had had some bad draws and been in some bad spots, so it was good to save ground for once." Sixth division A gritty (though not Philadelphia Flyer Gritty) first-up effort by favored More the Better N (Zeron, $4.70). After pole-sitting Mar Nien A (Greg Merton) rebuffed quarter-move advances of Gokudo Hanover (Brennan), the former led through early substations of :27.1 and :56.4. From post No. 3, More the Better N hooked Mar Nien A through a :27.4 third quarter (1:24.3), eventually putting that one away early in the lane. More the Better N held off a crisply-rallying Mach Doro A (Cushing) by a neck in 1:53.2. Gokudo Hanover, Bellow's Binge (Bartlett) and Ballerat Boomerang (Tetrick) fell into line for the remainder, while Mar Nien A backpedaled to last among the octet. For More the Better N, a 6-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Robert Cooper Stables and trained by Ross Croghan, it was his first win in a trio of '19 tries. The exacta paid $45.40, the triple returned $257.50 and the superfecta paid $862. Saturday night's $44,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by a down-the-road Eye Ofa Tiger AS (Bartlett, $7.60) in 1:56. Frank Drucker
Loader
Loader
Loader
Loader

Additional Articles