Day At The Track
Victoria's Maverick, harness racing

Victoria's Maverick takes Plainridge feature

Plainville, MA --- Harness racing took center stage in the Bay State for the first time since last November as Plainridge Park kicked off their 2020 live racing season on Monday (July 13). With fans watching trackside, the horses put on a solid show despite the long layoff for many entered on the day's card. The first feature of the meet was a $12,000 conditioned pacing event that was won by Victoria's Maverick, who closed with a strong brush down the lane. Victoria's Maverick (Mike Stevenson) got away second behind a headstrong Van Helsing (Matty Athearn), who took the field to the half in :56.2. It was there that Besidetheseaside A (Ron Cushing) came calling and hooked up in a duel with the leader that lasted to the head of the stretch. After taking full advantage of the pace and cover, Stevenson steered Victoria's Maverick inside the tiring Van Helsing and skirted the pylons to the wire where he won by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:55.   The win came in the first seasonal start for Victoria's Maverick ($6.80) and the purse pushed his lifetime earnings to over $250,000 in only 29 tries. The 4-year-old Massachusetts-bred gelding by Western Maverick is owned by Don Gauthier and Ralph Anderson, who also trains the winner. There were also two $10,000 divisions of the Freedom Trail series for Plainridge-based horses that both provided strong payouts. The first elimination went to Bet On Joe (Mike Stevenson) who sat the pocket behind American Rock (Jim Hardy) until the stretch where he tipped, cleared and cruised home in 1:56. Bet On Joe ($17.80) is owned by Sharon Goding and trained by Bobby Marston. The second split was won by Cherokee Hiflyzane (Drew Monti) who made a move past the five-eighths and overpowered the leading Tixnstones (Jim Hardy) around the last turn. He then held off a fast closing Mansome (Pat Curtain) at the wire to win in 1:53.4. Cherokee Hiflyzane ($10.20) is owned by Barrie Farrar and the winner's trainer, Roger Farrar. Nick Graffam was the hot driver on Monday, winning three races on the card. He blew up the tote board with Pembroke Hat Trick ($38.40) and King Royalty ($21.00) before guiding home the strongly backed Rockin Cougar ($5.60). Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (July 16) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  

American Courage, harness racing

First major 2YO stake to American Courage

YONKERS, NY - American Courage made a decisive brush to the lead approaching the first quarter and held off the pocket sitting Town Gossip to prevail in the $104,250 MGM Springfield Stakes at Yonkers Raceway Monday by a half length in 1:53.3. American Courage remains unbeaten in four lifetime harness racing starts for trainer Travis Alexander, driver Matt Kakaley and the Fiddler's Creek Stables of West Bloomfield, Michigan.His time of 1:53.3 was a lifetime mark.   The two year old colt by American Ideal is the first foal out of the Art Major mare Nota Fool Bluechip. The heavy favorite in the race, American Courage paid $2.40 to win. Crystal Beach was six and three quarter lengths back in third. by Alex Dadoyan, for Yonkers Raceway

Proper One, harness racing

Proper One repeats in Open Pace

HARRINGTON, DE. - Louis Tomczak Jr.'s Proper One ($16.00, Ross Wolfenden) was an upset harness racing winner in the $12,000 Open Pace Monday at Harrington Raceway in 1:52.4. The 6-year-old homebred Proper Respect gelding registered his second straight win, and 29th in his career for trainer Carlo Poliseno. Post position number eight proved no problem for Proper One, who was last early as pacesetter Sicily set fractions of 27, 56,3 and 1:25. Proper One was perched third-over near the half mile while Slick Tony gained first over. The former surged three-wide on the final turn as second over Archangel Three retreated and made the lead in mid stretch where he would stay. Finishing second was a fast closing Q's Cruise - the race favorite, while Slick Tony finished third. Allan Davis and Montrell Teague each had three wins on the card. Russell Foster had a driving double. William Sartin's Monty's Play ($3.00, Davis) notched his 4th straight win for trainer Joe Hundertpfund Jr. in 1:53.3. The 5-year-old Shadow Play re-took the lead from Inforce in deep stretch to keep his win streak intact. Live racing will continue Tuesday with a 4:30 p.m. post time. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway  

I'm Some Graduate, harness racing

Lifetime mark for I'm Some Graduate

WASHINGTON, PA, July 13, 2020 -- Pushed four-wide to get the early harness racing lead, I'm Some Graduate dug in, held off a quartet of challengers late and scored in a career-best 1:50.2 in Monday's $17,900 Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. I'm Some Graduate reached the point from post 9 in a demanding 27.1 opening panel for driver Dave Palone. When the first-over Major Nemesis led a parade of challengers in the lane, the 7-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Western Graduate gelding refused to yield, defeating Major Nemesis by 3/4 lengths, with K Ryan Bluechip third.   Ron Burke trains I'm Some Graduate, who now boasts $499,858 in lifetime earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby. Palone collected five wins on the 15-race card while Aaron Merriman and Jim Pantaleano each fashioned a triple. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the 15-race program features a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3) and a $4,634.20 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  

Trenton, NJ — Harness racing driver Jason Bartlett clearly remembers the first time he trained a horse. The pre-teen thought he was going much faster than instructed, discovered he was going much slower, and came up with a number somewhere in between. “My grandfather (trainer Dick Bartlett) told me to go in (2):15 and I think I went in, like, (2):40, and I thought I was flying,” Bartlett said. “I missed that mark by a lot. I had to come back and lie to him a little bit and told him I went in (2):25 so I wasn’t too far off.” Since that day Bartlett has learned to go fast for real in becoming one of harness racing’s top drivers. He has ranked among the Top 10 in North American harness racing in wins nine times overall and among the Top 10 for purses also nine times. Bartlett has enjoyed great success at his home track, winning nine driving titles at Yonkers Raceway. He has 8,431 career wins and $114 million in earnings. It all started on his family’s farm in Windsor, Maine, where Jason would wile away the hours in the stable when not excelling at football and basketball. “As a kid I was always drawn to it, it was never a chore for me to go to the barn and work and help out,” Bartlett said. “I always loved it. Loved going to the races. It was very easy for me. I kind of knew I wanted to do that. But my grandfather told me to ‘Go to school, get a degree, and this will always be here when you get back.’” Dick had a stable that ranged between 20 and 30 horses, “so on the weekends and school vacations it was almost kind of mandatory I was there at the barn helping.” Aside from performing his duties, Bartlett showed an eye for horses at a young age. One of the favorites among his grandfather’s stable was Pay Or Play, for good reason. “I actually picked him out at a sale,” Bartlett said. “He showed a lot of speed, but he showed a ton of breaks and my grandfather always loved that. I had to drag him to the barn to look at him. He was in one of those far barns and he was like ‘Nah I don’t want to go see this thing.’ I ran over myself and looked at it and I dragged him over and he ended up buying him.” Another special horse from Bartlett’s youth was Geri’s Beauty, with which he won his first race at the Windsor Fair in 1998. “I don’t remember that much,” he said. “I just remember it was at a fair and it actually worked out pretty good. I came second over to three-wide down the backside. I started driving three weeks before that. I think I was a junior in high school. We started out two fairs before that and I finally got my first win at our hometown fair.” Jason Bartlett has enjoyed great success at his home track, winning nine driving titles at Yonkers Raceway. Mike Lizzi Photo. During that period, Bartlett was splitting his time between the stables and the gym. As a standout two-sport athlete in middle school, he needed to decide between basketball and football in high school. He would have opted for the gridiron, but his school did not have a football team, so he chose hoops. That turned out to be a pretty good choice as Bartlett became an explosive backcourt scorer. Heeding his grandfather’s wishes about attending college, Jason took his talents to the University of Southern Maine in Portland, where he became the NCAA Division III scoring champion one year with a 28-point average. Despite those numbers, he never harbored illusions of playing at the next level. “Division III is a whole different beast,” he said. “I’m fast, I’m quick, I can jump, but I was too small, didn’t have enough muscle.” After graduating with a degree in industrial electricity, Bartlett headed straight back to the barn to get started on his “real” career. Asked if that major ever came in handy, Jason laughed. “For the most part if I look at a tool I draw blood,” he said. “If I had to, yes. But I wouldn’t get rich on it. My uncle did that sort of work, that’s why I jumped into that field. But I just got the degree to have it in case racing didn’t work out.” Bartlett worked with his grandfather for the next five years. In 2009, owner Scott Dillon — who owned most of the horses Bartlett trained at the time — encouraged him to go out on his own. Dillon helped him financially in making the move to New York. “I knew some trainers in New York that were originally from Maine,” Bartlett said. “Bobby Sumner and Timmy Case were doing really well at Yonkers at the time. I used to take horses from Bobby Sumner if they weren’t right, he would send them to me so I could race them in New England. “Bobby always had a stable of 40 or 50 horses, he was one of the leading trainers at Yonkers. When I came down, he asked me to drive some of his horses at Yonkers, so I started catch driving for him. We started doing really well and it just took off from there.” Bartlett also trained 25 of his own horses when arriving in New York. But when he started having driving success, he sold them in order to focus on just one aspect of the sport. “Driving was always the one thing I was trying to strive for,” he said. “To be a catch driver, and that was it.” Bartlett points to Dillon, Sumner, and Maine Hall of Famer Don Richards as playing big parts in his success. Richards allowed Jason to live with him during college so he needn’t incur any housing bills. His biggest influence, of course, is Dick, who is still going strong at 80. “Tough love would be one of the big things I took from him,” Bartlett said. “He critiqued me a lot. I always say he was my biggest fan but my biggest critic. Even if we had a great day he was always pushing me to be better. Don’t be satisfied. Don’t be complacent. Just because you’re doing good now doesn’t mean you’ll be doing good in a month. Work hard.” Jason Bartlett and his family celebrated his 8,000th career win in 2019. Katy Gazzini Photo. Bartlett and his wife Kristen are trying to pass along those qualities to their children, who inherited the athletic gene of both parents. Kristen is a former field hockey, basketball and softball player. The Bartletts run their local CYO basketball program and also coach their sons’ teams. Kobe, 13, and Karter, 9, are more into playing sports than working the stables at the moment. Jason speaks with pride at how Kobe’s team finally won New York’s Orange County CYO championship along with the regional title after several years of near misses. “They focus a lot on sports,” Bartlett said. “They play soccer, lacrosse, football. They’ll watch me on TV. I guess Karter is a little more intrigued by it, he loves to go jog. It’s a tough business, a tough way to make a living. They might get into it later but they’re going to have to go to school and stuff, just like my grandfather made me do.” And that seems to have worked out pretty well. Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

YONKERS, N.Y. – Trainer Erv Miller entered three colts in the eliminations of the MGM Springfield Stakes (formerly the Lawrence B Sheppard) eliminations: Carrythetorchman, Crystal Beach, and Not Today. All three made the $104,250 final, set for Monday night (July 13) at Yonkers Raceway; Carrythetorchman by virtue of a victory and Not Today with a fourth in the second elimination and Crystal Beach with a third-place finish behind American Courage in the first elimination. With Carrythetorchman unbeaten in two baby races and his first pari-mutuel start, he leads the pack against the race’s 8-5 morning line favorite American Courage. By American Ideal out of the Astreos mare Kattimon, Carrythetorchman is a half to Classic Pro, a winner of two Ontario Sire Stakes legs and an earner of over $500,000 to date, and a full to Grand Circuit winner and New York Sire Stakes standout Devil Child. Carrythetorchman was a $70,000 buy from the 2019 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale for Miller and owners Ronald Michelon and War Horse Stable. “He’s a good conformation horse. You might want one a little bigger for the big stuff, but for New York, I thought he was about the right size for getting around the half,” Miller said. “So far, he’s proven that. He doesn’t wear any boots and just gets around the half-mile track real easy.” Although Miller says Carrythetorchman showed class from the beginning of his training, the colt began to develop a bad habit while training in Florida over the winter and into the spring as he dealt with minor foot trouble. “Early on, he was really good. Then he went through a phase and I think it was more his feet than anything just had him where he wasn’t happy with what he was doing,” Miller said. “He wasn’t easy to keep under control when they jogged. He’d switch back and forth from the pace to the trot and we got that under control by leaving the hopples on him all the time.  “He was really fussy on the track at one time, but now he doesn’t do anything wrong,” Miller continued. “Since we got him close, a couple weeks before qualifying, he gotten over everything and it seemed like he was way better.” With that hiccup behind them, Miller shipped Carrythetorchman and the rest of his stable from Florida to Pennsylvania’s Wingate Farm uncertain when the horses would be able to qualify. With efforts to contain the coronavirus closing racetracks across North America, Wingate improvised, like many training centers throughout the country. “With COVID-19, it was just one of those things that we had to come up with a new solution. We couldn’t go anywhere to get qualified, so we came up with the next best plan,” Miller said. “I saw it coming when we left Florida, PA is shut down, things aren’t moving, so we better see if we can get our farm OK’d to qualify. That worked out good. We had a couple weeks of qualifiers that got things going.” Carrythetorchman was one of the horses who benefited, qualifying at home over the five-eighths mile track at Wingate June 15. He led his field of four gate-to-wire, stopping the clock in 1:59.2 with a :28 final quarter.  Nine days later, Miller was able to ship to Pocono Downs for a second baby race. Carrythetorchman left from post eight and utilized a :28.2 last quarter to power away from the field to win by 10 3/4 lengths in 1:57.  “He did really well. Because of training and knowing what kind of horse he was, we wanted to get a little faster mile in him there that day than what he did (at the farm) and expose him a little more. We did that and he just handled it really well,” Miller said. Carrythetorchman debuted July 6 at Yonkers, 20 minutes after American Courage posted a blowout 7 1/4-length win in the first MGM Springfield Stakes elimination in 1:55.2. Carrythetorchman left in between horses and glided to the front reaching the backstretch the first time. Driver Scott Zeron was simply a passenger as Carrythetorchman cruised home a 1 1/2-length winner in 1:55.4. Carrythetorchman drew post position three in the MGM Springfield Stakes Final and at 9-5, is the second choice on the morning line. American Courage will start from post four with Matt Kakaley as the 8-5 morning line favorite. “(American Courage) looked really sharp in his qualifier for this race, too. We just have to see how it plays out,” said Miller, who wasn’t sure what will happen when the two unbeaten colts face each other Monday night. Crystal Beach drew post two in the final and is a 20-1 morning line after finishing 9 lengths behind American Courage last week. Crystal Beach left hard from post five in his elimination, but was denied the lead by Major Makeover and was forced to take back into third heading to the quarter. With Crystal Beach keen in the hole, driver Marcus Miller angled to the outside turning into the stretch the first time and brushed to the top before being forced to yield again as American Courage forged to the lead at 1-5. “(Crystal Beach) really raced well the other day, but he was moved a lot, so it’s hard to tell how much he will go when he gets a nicer trip, maybe not used up quite as hard,” Miller said. “He’s also a very handy horse and gets around a half really good.” Crystal Beach was a $36,000 purchase from the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and is owned by Miller and Tanah Merah Farm. Crystal Beach impressed training down and won his first baby race by 7 3/4 lengths at Wingate June 15 before finishing second behind Carrythetorchman June 24 at Pocono ahead of his debut in the Springfield elimination. “He’s been a really nice horse. He’s always trained like just a top, top colt. When you’re getting ready to race them, sometimes you don’t get quite what you expect or quite as much as you thought they trained like,” Miller said. “His biggest attribute is he’s just so handy, he’s very handy on a half-mile racetrack.” Not Today is also 20-1 on the morning line after drawing post six and will employ the driving services of Jason Bartlett. A $77,000 purchase as the Harrisburg Sale last fall, Not Today is owned by Anderson, Willinger, and Golemes.  Not Today was second behind Crystal Beach June 15, but won his trial at Pocono June 24 by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:58.4. He finished seventh 10 lengths behind American Courage in an overnight at Pocono June 30 before his fourth-place effort in the Springfield elimination last week. “He’s a little but more of an immature horse, not quite as mature as the other two, but he’s a little bigger, stronger horse. Hopefully at some point, he’ll catch up to the other guys a little bit,” Miller said. Town Gossip, Victory Move, Coalition Hanover, and Major Makeover complete the lineup for the MGM Springfield Stakes Final, carded as the fourth of eight races Monday night. “I think it’s a nice race to have. With everything going on, it’s nice for the 2-year-olds to be able to race for $100,000 right now,” Miller said. “With all the COVID-19, all the races being cut, and schedules being redone, it’s nice to still have this race.” The amended Yonkers Raceway calendar will see live harness racing conducted Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights until July 17. Beginning the week of July 20, the schedule will add Saturday nights as the track returns to its normal five night per week schedule through Dec. 19. First post time is 7:05 p.m. The complete revised racing calendar is available online here. By Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Grove City, OH - The Buckeye Stallion Series for Two-Year-Old Colt and Filly Pacers highlight Monday night's 15 race program at MGM Northfield Park. Sixty-three freshmen pacers make up seven divisions while fifty-four filly pacers battle in six divisions. The colt and gelding entries are led by two Mike Polhamus trained pacers. Brighter Days, by Woodstock, was a winner at Eldorado Scioto Downs on July 6 in in 1:55. Polhamus also has Twig, the sone of Mr. Apples. Twig has a mark of 1:55.2 at Scioto Downs in his win on July 2. Two county fair winners are also entered in the seven divisions. Grey Phanton by Western Terror was a winner at Paulding in 2:01 and is trained by Elpidio Bernardi Jr. The other winner is Imagine It, by If I Can Dream, trained by Kent Wilcox. Imagine It's win was at Marion in 2:03. Another one to keep an eye on is Speak Well, a Next Generation participant at Scioto Downs, was a qualifying winner I 1:56.2Q at Scioto Downs for trainer Clarence Foulk. Several other colts and geldings have impressive qualifying wins. Pan's Pro was a qualifying winner at Scioto Downs in 1:58. Dive Bar, went 1:56.2 in winning a qualifier at Scioto Downs. The fillies are led by the undefeated Apple Soozy, for trainer Dan O'Mara. Apple Soozy, by Mr Apples, is 2 for 2 this season with the fastest at Hoosier Park in 1:55. Two county winners will also go on the filly side. Forever Missy, by McArdle, trained by Cory Deyermand and has a win at Cortland in 2:02.4 and Smothastenesewisky, the daughter of Nob Hill High and trained by Brian Haynes was a winner at the Circleville County Fair and has a qualifying win in 1:56.2Q at Scioto Downs Six others have qualifying wins on their records. Sheryl's She Shed, by Racing Hill, was a qualifying winner for trainer Brian Brown in 1:58.1. Grace Of Art has a win in a qualifier at Northfield. She was a winner in 1:58.4Q for trainer Jeff Cox. Deedee Didit was a qualifying winner at Scioto Downs in 1:58.1. She will be up against another qualifying winner in Dragon's Last. Dragon's Last has a qualifying win at Northfield going 1:59.4. Lady Warrior collected a qualifying win at Scioto Downs also, winning in 1:59.2. Western Rosie rounds out the list of winners in qualifiers. She was a winner at Scioto Downs in 1:57.3. Deyermand also has Bearcreekhoney entered on Monday night. Bearcreekhoney is coming off a 4th place finish in $150,000 The Next Generation at Scioto Downs. The races get underway Monday night at Northfield with a first race post of 6:00pm. By Roger Huston, for the OHHA  

Columbus, MN - Keep On Rocking A delivered another big performance at Running Aces on the Sunday afternoon (July 12) harness racing card when he made easy work of an abbreviated field to pick up his third straight victory at the top Open Handicap level since arriving in the upper midwest in mid June as one of the top horses on the roster of Owner/Trainer Chris Scicluna.   The 8 year old Australian import by Rocknroll Hanover dominated this week's top pace with a sharp effort from gate-to-wire in 1:52.4 as he and driver Pat Berry fired to the lead from post five and then registered moderate early fractions of :27.4 and :57.   Berry then proceeded to step on the gas pedal with the leader just past the midway point, keeping everybody in chase mode with a solid final half mile in :55.4 to record a 1-3/4 length tally and eclipse the quarter-million dollar mark ($252,992) in career earnings with his 27th lifetime win. He was the heavy favorite in the wagering, and returned $2.80 for every $2.00 investment.   Heza Real Diamond (Nick Roland) rode the pocket and held gamely for second while Royale Big Guy (Mooney Svendsen) secured the third position throughout.   Also featured on the Sunday program were three divisions of the Minnesota-Sired sophomore trotters, with SB Madame Secretary (Darrell Wright, $6.00) turning in a career best 1:57.2 mile in the $11,500 'A' division over Teachmehowtotory (Nick Roland) who was just a half length back at the wire.   The $6,900 'B' division went to Double My Decker (Pat Berry, $2.20) in 2:02.1 for her sixth career win, while SB My Boy Gideon (Gerald Longo, $4.40) was placed as the winner in the $4,600 'C' division after Beautiful Beast (Mooney Svendsen) was disqualified for a lapped on break at the wire. The mile was registered in 1:58.3 while SB My Boy Gideon trotted in 1:58.4.   Driver Pat Berry led the day on Sunday with four winners for a Grand Slam, while Lemoyne ('Mooney') Svendsen registered a triple and both Gerald Longo and Darrel Wright each picked up a driving double.   Trainers Justin Anfinson and Ulf Holm-Johansen were the leaders on the day with two winners apiece.   Live Racing returns to Running Aces on Tuesday, July 14, with first post at 1:00 pm (CDT) and features a carryover in the 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot wager of $8,169.96.   by Darin Gange, for Running Aces

Grove City, OH - The Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association (OHHA) will continue its live streaming coverage of Ohio county fair races with two days of racing from the Clinton County Fairgrounds in Wilmington, Ohio July 13 and July 14. Live coverage of both race cards in Ohio Colt Racing Association will be shown on the OHHA Facebook page and the OHHA YouTube channel. Post time is 5:00 PM for both days. Replays of the races will be available on the Trot and Pace Marketing website, trotandpacemarketing.com, following the completion of racing. Race programs for both days are available at https://www.ohha.com/ohiofairracing.html. The Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association will be live streaming Ohio fair races throughout the summer. For a complete schedule go to OHHA.com. by Frank Fraas, for the OHHA  

HARRISBURG, PA -- Pennsylvania horsemen are reminded that the double draw for Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes racing during the Thursday-Friday 2-day event at Silver Springs Ranch in northeastern Pennsylvania will take place Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.   Horsemen may enter through the online system, or can call their entries in to 610-513-7957.   More state fair circuit information is being finalized and should be distributed within the next couple of days.   From the PHHA, MSOA and the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association partnership    

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Trainers Ron Burke and Nancy Takter each accounted for two $30,000  harness racing divisions of a Pennsylvania All-Stars event for two-year-old pacing colts during a Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with Burke sending out the fastest two winners and Takter harnessing victorious sons of Always B Miki. Fulsome, a colt by Betting Line - Triple V Hanover, was much better in his second purse start to break his maiden and win the fastest of the five All-Stars sections. Moved to the lead in the second quarter by driver Yannick Gingras, the pair came their last split in :27.3 to post a 1:52.2 victory, two lengths clear of Capt Jack Hanover. William Donovan, Thomas Dillon, Purnel & Libby, and Joe Sbrocco co-own the Burke trainee.   The Brigade sent out the 1-2 finishers in the first All-Stars race, as the Sweet Lou - Lucy's Pearl colt Lou's Pearlman followed the cover of fellow 6-5 shot and stablemate Summa Cum Laude late on the backstretch, then finished out his own back half in :54.4 - :27.1 to defeat his barnmate by a half-length in a career best 1:52.4. A winner in the first prelim of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes as well, Lou's Pearlman was driven by Joe Bongiorno in his All-Stars triumph for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Elizabeth Novak, and Howard Taylor.   The Takter-trained Always A Miki squared off against fellow PA Sires winner Bayfield Beach in his division, but after Always A Miki got away with a :57.4 half, there was no catching him in the :55.3 - :27.2 back fractions, completing this mile in 1:53.2 after winning his Sires event a full second faster. The Always B Miki - Beach Gal colt defeated Bayfield Beach by 1¾ lengths; mention should also be mentioned of 59-1 shot Whole Lotta Lou, who came uncovered from seventh and held for third. Dexter Dunn had sulky duty behind the winner for owners Christina Takter, Goran Anderberg, Herb Liverman, and the Rojan Stables.   The Always B Miki - Katie Said colt Monterey Jack made his purse debut a winning one for Nancy Takter, getting a 58.3 half after forcing a lineup from the rail, then jetting home in :55.3 - :27.2 for a new mark of 1:54.1, 3¾ lengths ahead of Batterup Hanover. Yannick Gingras, getting a Sire Stakes victory for both doubling trainers, drove "Jack" to the easy win for Black Horse Racing, Caviart Farms, and John Fielding.   In the other All-Stars event, the Captaintreacherous - Calgary Hanover gelding Chase H Hanover also used the rail to force an early lineup, then sprinted home in :55.1 - :27.1 to take a mark of 1:53.2, 1¾ lengths ahead of Straight Talk. Scott Cox conditions the David Miller-driven winner for himself and co-owner Jason Ash.   The two-year-olds have come to establish their form quickly in Pennsylvania - all five winners were sent off as the posttime betting favorite. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs

What Cheer, IA -- Nine fields of 3-year-old and aged harness racing pacers competed on Sunday (July 12), the final day of the Keokuk County Fair.   The card began with two divisions of 3-year-old pacing colts and two divisions of 3-year-old pacing fillies vying for the State Representative David Maxwell blanket.   Top 3-year-old gelding Slippin The Clutch won the first colt race. Drawing to the outside in post position five, Slippin The Clutch was hung out until the quarter when he was able to take the front and grab the rail. Will Roland drove the son of Iowa sire Millionaire Cam to a 1:57.2 victory for owners Jay Delong, Jeff Carey, and Rick & CD Huffman. Trained by Curtis Carey, Slippin The Clutch has five wins in five starts in 2020.   The second division of pacing colts went to CD Huffman and Larry Mather's 3-year-old colt Always Hotspeed. Pacing a 2:02.1 mile with Chad Svendson in the bike, the son of Real Desire is trained by Joel McDanel.   The fastest division of 3-year-old pacing fillies went to Rob Anderson's Jennie Ann. The Lettherockbegin filly led gate-to-wire in a speedy 1:59.3 mile. This was Jennie Ann's third win this year, and her second fastest mile following a 1:58.3 performance at West Liberty a few weeks ago.   Shining Jewels made it two in a row taking the other division of 3-year-old pacing fillies after a win in Humboldt last week. The daughter of Real Desire knocked two seconds off last week's win clocking a 2:00.2 mile. Trained by Elvin Zimmerman, Shining Jewels was driven by Samuel Zimmerman and owned by Aimes Racing.   The feature race of the day was the Aged Iowa-Registered Pace for colts and geldings. Two of Iowa's top horses, Minnie VInnie and Roland N Rock, both drew first tier post positions setting up a battle for the boys. Eight-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding Roland N Rock took advantage of post position two to capture the early lead. The 5-year-old son of Millionaire Cam, Minnie Vinnie, dropped into the two hole coming into the first turn and didn't challenge until the half. The two raced wheel to wheel with Duane Roland driving Roland N Rock on the inside and Will Roland piloting Minnie Vinnie in hot pursuit. Minnie Vinnie inched ahead into the final turn and brought it home down the stretch to win in 1:59.   The mare division of the Aged Iowa-Registered Pace went to Edmund Krapp's filly Red N Hotallover. The daughter of Ryan N Hanover paced a 1:59.1 mile with James Gould taking the reins. Red N Hotallover has won four of her last five starts.   A colt and a filly division of 3-year-old non-winners of $3,000 in 2020 pacers followed. Trained and driven by Mark Mintun, Robert Lem's Yankee Skyscaper gelding Yankee On The Move shaved four seconds off his personal best earning a new lifetime mark of 2:00.4. Duane and Connie Roland's Sportsmaster filly Sporty Fox made her way to the winner's circle for the first time this year in a 2:06 mile with Cory Larson driving.   The final race of the last day of the Keokuk County Fair was for non-winners of $2,500 or maiden pacers. Somewherebeautiful entered with $2,300 on her card and drew the rail with Duane Roland driving. Winning in a flawless gate-to-wire performance, the 3-year-old Somebeachsomewhere filly finished in 2:01.3 for owners Duane and Roger Roland.   Iowa racing action resumes next Saturday (July 18) and Sunday (July 19) with the second round of the Iowa Sires Stakes contested at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds. Post time is 12:30pm.   by Gretchen Roland, Iowa Harness Horse Association    

Chester, PA -- Over a year after winning his previous Harrah's Philadelphia appearance, former Indiana harness racing standout Shnitzledosomethin ($4.00) once again proved dominant at the riverside oval by way of a 1:50.4 victory in Sunday afternoon's (July 12) featured $14,400 top-level pace. Corey Callahan sent the 5-year-old son of Fred And Ginger to a clear lead over Ideal Feeling (Tim Tetrick) through a sharp :26.2 first quarter, but was able to pull the pace back to a :55.4 half before facing a stern first-over challenge from Gratian Hanover (George Brennan) up the far side. Shnitzledosomethin responded well to outside pressure, using a :27 third split to dismiss Gratian Hanover and subsequently opening up 4-1/4 lengths of clearance on Ideal Feeling for a facile 1:50.4 win. Bettor Memories (Dexter Dunn) lifted wide off third-over cover to finish third. Dylan Davis trains Shnitzledosomethin for Howard Taylor, Ed Gold, Abe Basen and Richard Lombardo. The 17-time winner now has prevailed in two of his three Harrah's Philadelphia starts to date, with his lone defeat being a third-place finish in an Open event last June. George Brennan and Tim Tetrick led all drivers with four wins on the 14-race card, while Davis' two training wins were matched by Ron Burke and Jim King Jr. The 20-cent Jackpot Hi-5 carryover continues to grow, now standing at $8,895.55 when racing returns on Wednesday afternoon (July 15). Post time is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia 

Tioga Downs played host to two hanress racing divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for 3-year-old pacing fillies on Sunday (July 12). Both divisions raced for a purse of $59,000. Hen Party (Andrew McCarthy) rolls to easy win in the first division of the NYSS. The Fun Marshall (Mitchell Cushing) went straight to the lead but was quickly passed by Alleyesonme AS (Scott Zeron). Alleyesonme AS led to the first quarter in :27.3. Hen Party ($2.70) came first-over from third and grabbed the lead as they went by the stands for the first time. She led to the half in :55.1. She used a :28.4 third quarter to hit three-quarters in 1:24.0. As they made the turn for home the only one with a shot was second place finisher, Alleyesonme AS but she couldn't get close and Hen Party breezed home in a lifetime best time of 1:52.0. Rapunzel Bluechip (Jason Bartlett) finished a distant third.   Hen Party is a 3-year-old filly by Roll With Joe. Owned by Crawford Farms Racing and trained by Tony Alagna, she won for the second time this season. She has five career victories. Merga Hanover (Matt Kakaley) charges late to win the second division of the NYSS. Racine Bell (Jason Bartlett) flew out of the gate and went straight to the lead. She hit the first quarter in :27.0. The filly went :28.4 in the second quarter to hit the half first in :55.4. As they reached the backstretch So Rude (Joe Bongiorno) came first up and put on the pressure. Racine Bell held on to a slight lead as they hit three-quarters in 1:22.1. So Rude wrestled the lead away as they reached the stretch. Merga Hanover ($41.20) popped out of the pocket going three-wide in mid-stretch and blew right on by to win in a lifetime best of 1:51.1. So Rude held for second with Dragon Roll (Jim Morrill Jr.) coming up to get third.   Merga Hanover is a 3-year-old filly by American Ideal. She is trained by Ron Burke for owners Joe Sbrocco, WJ Donovan, Thomas and Scott Dillon. It was her first win this season. She now owns seven career victories. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (July 17) starting at 4 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

There were double features on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino Hotel as both the Open Trot and Open Pace were part of the thirteen card harness racing matinee. Waiting On A Woman (Northern Bailey) last recorded an Open win at Saratoga in March of 2015. The veteran trotter has been a staple out of the Kyle Spagnola stable for years and has competed at numerous tracks throughout the northeast over that time. Now at the age of twelve, Waiting On A Woman is back in Open company and was coming off a third-place finish in last week's feature when he started from post two on Sunday afternoon. Dismissed at odds of 8-1 in the six-horse co-feature, Waiting On A Woman marched out to the early lead and felt no pressure in lap one going down to the half in a leisurely 59.2. At that point, the veteran had plenty left to cruise through a final lap in 55.4 while drawing away to win by more than five lengths in 1:55.1. nbsp; Waiting On A Woman paid $18.60 to win and bested last week's Open winner and runner-up Gemologist (Jordan Derue) and Volare (Billy Dobson) who ran two-three in this week's installment of the $8,500 Open Trot. The exacta and triple returned $45 and $114, respectively. Waiting On A Woman is owned by Mike Polansky of Loudonville, NY. The other co-feature on Sunday was the $8,500 Open Pace which saw Hudson Phil finally shake his seconditis to record an Open win. The Jackie Greene trainee was an eight-time Open winner in 2019 but finished up his campaign with runner-up tries in three of his final four starts. His '20 season began in June with three more second-place finishes. This week, reinsman Shawn Gray put Hudson Phil on the front-end, taking the lead just before the quarter pole. The five year old would not have to settle for second-best this week as he dug in to win in 1:53.3 holding off a late charge from Deetzy (Jay Randall) who ended up finishing second. Crockets Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum), the winner of two straight Opens heading into Sunday, went a big mile before having to settle for third.   Hudson Phil, who is owned by the Kellogg Racing Stables of Queensbury, NY, was the 4-5 betting favorite in the co-feature and led an exacta and triple that paid $12.40 and $57, respectively. Live racing resumes on Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee that begins at 12 Noon. There will be a $2,855 carryover in the Pick Five pool with the Pick Five beginning in race one on Wednesday afternoon's card. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

« Article Archive
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Europe
Plainville, MA --- Harness racing took center stage in the Bay State for the first time since last November as Plainridge Park kicked off their 2020 live racing season on Monday (July 13). With fans watching trackside, the horses put on a solid show despite the long layoff for many entered on the day's card. The first feature of the meet was a $12,000 conditioned pacing event that was won by Victoria's Maverick, who closed with a strong brush down the lane. Victoria's Maverick (Mike Stevenson) got away second behind a headstrong Van Helsing (Matty Athearn), who took the field to the half in :56.2. It was there that Besidetheseaside A (Ron Cushing) came calling and hooked up in a duel with the leader that lasted to the head of the stretch. After taking full advantage of the pace and cover, Stevenson steered Victoria's Maverick inside the tiring Van Helsing and skirted the pylons to the wire where he won by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:55.   The win came in the first seasonal start for Victoria's Maverick ($6.80) and the purse pushed his lifetime earnings to over $250,000 in only 29 tries. The 4-year-old Massachusetts-bred gelding by Western Maverick is owned by Don Gauthier and Ralph Anderson, who also trains the winner. There were also two $10,000 divisions of the Freedom Trail series for Plainridge-based horses that both provided strong payouts. The first elimination went to Bet On Joe (Mike Stevenson) who sat the pocket behind American Rock (Jim Hardy) until the stretch where he tipped, cleared and cruised home in 1:56. Bet On Joe ($17.80) is owned by Sharon Goding and trained by Bobby Marston. The second split was won by Cherokee Hiflyzane (Drew Monti) who made a move past the five-eighths and overpowered the leading Tixnstones (Jim Hardy) around the last turn. He then held off a fast closing Mansome (Pat Curtain) at the wire to win in 1:53.4. Cherokee Hiflyzane ($10.20) is owned by Barrie Farrar and the winner's trainer, Roger Farrar. Nick Graffam was the hot driver on Monday, winning three races on the card. He blew up the tote board with Pembroke Hat Trick ($38.40) and King Royalty ($21.00) before guiding home the strongly backed Rockin Cougar ($5.60). Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (July 16) with post time at 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts  
YONKERS, NY - American Courage made a decisive brush to the lead approaching the first quarter and held off the pocket sitting Town Gossip to prevail in the $104,250 MGM Springfield Stakes at Yonkers Raceway Monday by a half length in 1:53.3. American Courage remains unbeaten in four lifetime harness racing starts for trainer Travis Alexander, driver Matt Kakaley and the Fiddler's Creek Stables of West Bloomfield, Michigan.His time of 1:53.3 was a lifetime mark.   The two year old colt by American Ideal is the first foal out of the Art Major mare Nota Fool Bluechip. The heavy favorite in the race, American Courage paid $2.40 to win. Crystal Beach was six and three quarter lengths back in third. by Alex Dadoyan, for Yonkers Raceway
HARRINGTON, DE. - Louis Tomczak Jr.'s Proper One ($16.00, Ross Wolfenden) was an upset harness racing winner in the $12,000 Open Pace Monday at Harrington Raceway in 1:52.4. The 6-year-old homebred Proper Respect gelding registered his second straight win, and 29th in his career for trainer Carlo Poliseno. Post position number eight proved no problem for Proper One, who was last early as pacesetter Sicily set fractions of 27, 56,3 and 1:25. Proper One was perched third-over near the half mile while Slick Tony gained first over. The former surged three-wide on the final turn as second over Archangel Three retreated and made the lead in mid stretch where he would stay. Finishing second was a fast closing Q's Cruise - the race favorite, while Slick Tony finished third. Allan Davis and Montrell Teague each had three wins on the card. Russell Foster had a driving double. William Sartin's Monty's Play ($3.00, Davis) notched his 4th straight win for trainer Joe Hundertpfund Jr. in 1:53.3. The 5-year-old Shadow Play re-took the lead from Inforce in deep stretch to keep his win streak intact. Live racing will continue Tuesday with a 4:30 p.m. post time. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway  
WASHINGTON, PA, July 13, 2020 -- Pushed four-wide to get the early harness racing lead, I'm Some Graduate dug in, held off a quartet of challengers late and scored in a career-best 1:50.2 in Monday's $17,900 Open Handicap Pace at The Meadows. I'm Some Graduate reached the point from post 9 in a demanding 27.1 opening panel for driver Dave Palone. When the first-over Major Nemesis led a parade of challengers in the lane, the 7-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Western Graduate gelding refused to yield, defeating Major Nemesis by 3/4 lengths, with K Ryan Bluechip third.   Ron Burke trains I'm Some Graduate, who now boasts $499,858 in lifetime earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby. Palone collected five wins on the 15-race card while Aaron Merriman and Jim Pantaleano each fashioned a triple. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the 15-race program features a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3) and a $4,634.20 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association  
Loader
Loader
Loader
Loader

Additional Articles