Day At The Track
Lazarus, harness racing

Lazarus fends off McWicked to win Hoosier Derby

ANDERSON, IN  - It was billed as Round Three of a budding rivalry between two superstar harness racing pacers in Lazarus N (Yannick Gingras) and McWicked (David Miller) and the contest lived up to every bit of the hype, as on Friday (Sept. 21) Lazarus N defeated a hard-charging McWicked by a neck in a scintillating edition of the $177,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in 1:48.4. "He felt very good when I was warming him up so I was confident he would race well tonight," said Jimmy Takter, who conditions Lazarus N for Taylor Made Farm. "We know what a talented horse he is, and he really seems to like it here at Hoosier Park." Unlike his last race at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 15 where Gingras drove Lazarus N rather conservatively after his second place finish to McWicked in the $462,000 Canadian Pacing Derby on Sept. 1, the 6-year-old stallion was placed right on the lead prior to the first turn. Leading the field of nine through a first quarter in :26 and the half-mile in :55, Lazarus N looked very strong on the lead he maintained over Filibuster Hanover and Split The House. As Lazarus N hit the three-quarter pole in 1:23, McWicked was pacing comfortably in fifth place and when Western Fame moved first-over, he received a perfect second-over trip to commence his bid for victory. Around the final turn, the separation Lazarus N had placed between himself and the rest of the field began to vanish while McWicked swung to the outside to close with his customary power. As the wire loomed ever closer, McWicked was gaining on Lazarus N with every stride, but Lazarus N was determined and held off McWicked by a diminishing neck. Donttellmeagain (Tim Tetrick) used a :24.3 final quarter to finish third. "He felt just like he did the first time we came to Hoosier Park," Gingras said. "He is definitely back to himself." Sent to the gate as the even-money favorite, Lazarus N, a son of Bettor's Delight, rewarded his backers with a payout of $4.40. McWicked, who is trained by Casie Coleman and owned by Ed James, was the public's second selection at odds of 2-1, provided his supporters with $3.40. Donttellmeagain, (10-1) paid $4 for his third place finish. By Kim French, for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

Marion Marauder, harness racing

Marion Marauder wins $200,000 Caesars Classic

ANDERSON, IN - It The sport's top harness racing trotters were showcased in the inaugural edition of the $200,000 Caesars Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino during an action-packed 14-race card on Friday, September 21 and as expected, it was a true demonstration of sheer trotting talent. With regular pilot Scott Zeron in the bike, Trotting Triple Crown Champion Marion Marauder staged an incredible rally late in the lane and utilized the long Hoosier Park stretch to his advantage to get up in the final strides of the mile in 1:52.4. Handed the tough, outside post position nine, Marion Marauder was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in eighth. Using his customary early gate speed, Sam Widger had I Know My Chip pointed to the front to grab command just before the first quarter in :26.2. Opting out of a pocket trip, Yannick Gingras pointed Hannelore Hanover to the front and she quickly grabbed the lead just before the half to dictate fractions of :56.1 and 1:25.2. Bridge To Jesse's and John DeLong were unable to find a seat along the rail and began their long first-over journey approaching the final turn. Homicide Hunter and David Miller quickly grabbed the cover and were well placed second-over while Marion Marauder followed suit and were poised to strike from third-over. Hannelore Hanover was able to put away Bridge To Jesse's and appeared to be up to the task but her biggest threats were still behind her. Homicide Hunter tipped from behind his tiring cover but it was Marion Marauder who was widest of all with a full head of steam. Utilizing a :26.2 final panel, Marion Marauder dug in gamely in the final strides to hold off a hard charging JL Cruze and Trace Tetrick. Homicide Hunter also rallied well late to round out the trifecta. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Marion Marauder returned $5.60 at the betting windows. "We never tell Scott how to drive, he knows this horse so well and always takes care of him," trainer Paula Wellwood noted in the winner's circle. "We don't worry about the trip much because he can take a lot of air; he's just a great horse." The five-year-old son of Muscle Hill-Spellbound Hanover won for the sixth time this season and for the 20th time in his career. With the win, Marion Marauder sent his lifetime purse earnings over the $3 million mark for owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 23 with an 11-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

Kinetic King, harness racing

Greg Merton wins seven at Tioga Downs

2018 leading driver Mike Merton padded his lead with seven wins including both co-features at Tioga Downs on Friday (September 21). Coveredndiamonds N (Merton) wins Fillies & Mares Open Pace ($13,000). K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart Jr.) led to the first quarter in :27.2. Coveredndiamonds N ($2.50) took over just after the quarter and led to the half in :57.0 and hit the three-quarter mark in 1:25.0. Trained by Rob Harmon for owners Seth Rosenberg Racing LLC., and Joel Kahan, she flew home in a last quarter of 27.0 to win going away in a lifetime best of 1:52.0. Northern Dali (Mike Simos) came up to finish second with K J's Caroline holding on for third. Coveredndiamonds N is a 5-year-old mare by American Ideal. It was her eighth win of the season and her 13th career victory. Kinetic King (Merton) charges late to capture Open Trot ($13,000).   Buff (Corey Braden) went right to the front and controlled all the early fractions (:27.2, :57.1, 1:24.1).   Kinetic King ($9.10) was fifth after three-quarters. Trained by Patti Harmon for owners Brian Kleinberg and Harmon Racing Stable LLC., he went three-wide at the top of the stretch and blew right by to win in a lifetime best of 1:53.3. Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) finished second best with BJ Lorado (Aaron Byron) getting third money.   Kinetic King is an 8-year-old gelding by Ken Warkentin. It was his fourth win of 2018 and his 21st career victory.   Know as the "Magic Man" at Tioga Downs, Mike Merton had a magical night with seven wins. He got his five other wins with Rollingndiamonds ($4.30), Modern Mercury ($4.40), Persistent Bettor ($4.70), QB Kemp ($3.90), and Sweet Kix ($28.60). Tioga Downs returns for live racing for the last time in 2018 on Saturday (September 22). The 13 race card has a special post time of 5:30 p.m. with fireworks following racing. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs

Lady Ashlee Ann

Courtly Choice - 15th foal from Lady Ashlee Ann

Lady Ashlee Ann, this great 25 year-old harness racing mare produces the winner of the 2018 Little Brown Jug, Courtly Choice and he is her 15th life foal and 13th winner. Nothing makes me laugh more than when I hear from those so call "harness racing experts on breeding" (Stallion owners, professionals, stud masters and the so called pedigree buffs) sitting behind their computers making outlandish remarks about how to breed a champion, when in fact the majority do not know what they are talking about! None of us do when it comes to breeding! I believe that there is only one rule with breeding horses and that is "THERE IS NO RULE" One of the arguments you hear from a number of these people is that old mares are no good to breed from, that you must breed to young mares!  If only we knew it would be easy and the rich man would own the business. I have said many times that harness racing is the only business in the world that can make billionaires into millionaires! It is because the people with a lot of money think that money can buy success in breeding but that is not the case when it comes to breeding. No, breeding is not that easy! With the $436,560 Little Brown Jug just completed yesterday I checked to see how the winners were bred and what number foal each of the starters were. Here is that result and the oldest foals produced were the best performers; 1st - Courtly Choice 15th foal (by Art Major from Lady Ashlee Ann by Camtastic)  2nd - Dorsoduro Hanover 13th foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Deer Valley Miss by Artsplace) 3rd - Lather Up 10th foal (by I'm Gorgeous from Pocket Comb by In The Pocket) 4th - Hayden Hanover 4th foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Hana Hanover by Western Hanover) 5th - This Is The Plan 4th foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Thats The Plan by Western Ideal) 6th - Done Well 2nd foal (by Well Said from Dagnabit Hanover by All American Native) 7th - Babes Dig Me 3rd foal (by Bettor's Delight from Western Babe by Western Hanover) 8th - Stay Hungary 5th foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from My Little Dragon by Dragon Again) That was the final field but here are the other starters in The Little Brown Jug for interest; Nutcracker Sweet 10th foal (by Bettor's Delight from Sweet Future by Falcons Future) Hitman Hill 7th foal (by American Ideal from Fox Valley Shaker by Incredible Finale) Wes Delight 6th foal (by Bettor's Delight from Maid West by Western Hanover) Key Advisor 3rd foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Credit Rating by Western Honover) Decoy 1st foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Live Entertainment by Real Artist) Below is a great statistical article about  "Do young mares produce better race horses than old mares". This article was produced by Dr Mike Wilson of Canada a few years ago with help of Standardbred Canada. John Curtin Harnesslink Media   Dr Mike Wilson's article Over the years, a number of articles have been written on the relationship between birth order and racing success. All of the ones I have read have claimed that the first and second foals are more likely to be winners than are foals of older mares. None of the authors of these articles have taken into account the different numbers of horses in each of the different parities. (Parity is birth order; for example a first foal is first parity, a ninth foal is ninth parity etc). Finally after a lengthy article on this subject in an edition of Canada’s Standardbred Trot Magazine, I was prompted into doing that analysis myself. With the able assistance of Janet Cookson, of Standardbred Canada, I obtained the number of foals registered with Standardbred Canada and The United States Trotting Association for the years 1991 to 2001, and of these the number of winners, in each year, that had won more than $1,000,000, $500,000, or $100,000. These winners were related to birth order. The analysis was cut off at 2001 so that all horses had at least two years of racing. The raw data was then adjusted for each parity to 10,000 births so, if there were 20,000 first foals racing and among them, for example 2,000 winners, it would relate to 1,000 winners per 10,000. Similarly, if there were 2,000 tenth foals, in the same period, and only 200 winners, it would also be 1,000 per 10,000. In total, there were 158,357 foals registered in North America in the period of 1991 to 2001, consisting of 46,756 trotters and 111,601 pacers. Tables 1 and 2 show the numbers in each parity and the number of winners at three purse-earning levels. Indeed, as others have described, there is a fairly steep drop-off in the numbers of winners as parity increases. It might appear that a first or second foal has five or six times the likelihood of winning $500,000, than for example, a ninth or tenth foal. However, if you look at tables 3 and 4, which show the same date adjusted to 10,000 horses in each category, you will see that no such trend exists. In fact, a ninth or tenth parity foal, from either a trotting or pacing mare, is as likely to become a millionaire, as is a first or second foal. Similarly, no loss of performance potential exists in either gait for $500,000 or for $100,000 trotting winners. Older pacing mare progeny appear to produce approximately 2.5% fewer $100,000 earners per 10,000 foals than do those of young mares, however, a statistical analysis of this data (performed by Dr. Kate Dewey of the Department of population Medicine at the University of Guelph), indicates that the foals of older mares are as likely to be winners in each purse earning levels as the foals of early parities (p<0.05). I was astonished to see the very high early culling rate practiced by North American Standardbred breeders. Twenty percent of first parity mares do not produce a second foal, 15% do not produce a third foal and another 10% fail to produce a fourth foal. These culling decisions were all taken before the first foal had raced as a two-year-old! What would these data show if the 45% of culled mares had been kept in the breeding herd until they were in their ninth or tenth year parities? Why were they culled? Are older mares retained longer because those mares are superior by pedigree or by some other parameter? I intend to answer some of these questions in a later analysis. The belief that early foals are more successful than those of later parities has led to price difference for them at major yearling sales. Murray Brown, of Standardbred Horse Sales Co. in Harrisburg, PA., once told me that after the third parity, pacing yearlings (and to a lesser extent, trotters), drop off in price rapidly. From my analysis of the data, it would appear that buyers would be well advised to not automatically exclude yearlings from older broodmares! If older mares are at least as likely to produce big winners, as are younger mares, it begs the question as to whether there has been any genetic improvement in the ten years looked at in this study. The practice of breeding proven broodmares to new stallions and new broodmares to proven stallions is a breeding policy many currently follow. What would happen to the numbers if the policy were reversed? Could it be that older mares would look even better? In the meantime, this study clearly suggests that at yearling sale time, “Go for the old girls!” Table 1: Number of Pacing winners (1992-2001 North America)  by Birth Order and Earnings               Birth  Winners over Winners over Winners over  # of foals Order $1,000,000 $500,000 $100,000  registered 1st 24 116 2,448 23,779 2nd 25 17 1,830 19,067 3rd 15 84 1,437 15,733 4th 17 81 1,196 13,043 5th 14 45 898 10,760 6th 11 41 718 8,757 7th 5 24 574 7,076 8th 2 19 436 5,667 9th 6 21 317 4,391 10th 5 16 238 3,328 Total 124 564 10,092 111,601   Table 2: Number of Trotting winners (1992-2001 North America)  by Birth Order and Earnings               Birth  Winners over Winners over Winners over  # of foals Order $1,000,000 $500,000 $100,000  registered 1st 13 62 784 10,312 2nd 4 46 668 8,238 3rd 13 34 499 6,709 4th 10 29 369 5,509 5th 4 21 312 4,446 6th 3 10 235 3,495 7th 3 14 188 2,831 8th 3 13 173 2,216 9th 4 9 119 1,730 10th 1 5 81 1,270 Total 58 243 3,428 46,756   Table 3: Number of Pacing Winners (Adjusted per 10,000 foals)  By earnings and birth order                                     Earnings  1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th  7th  8th  9th  10th  >$1,000,000 10 13 10 13 13 13 7 4 14 15 >$500,000 49 61 53 62 42 47 34 34 48 48 >$100,000 1029 960 913 917 835 820 811 769 721 715                         Table 4: Number of Trotting Winners (Adjusted per 10,000 foals)  By earnings and birth order                                     Earnings  1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th  7th  8th  9th  10th  >$1,000,000 13 5 19 18 9 9 11 14 23 8 >$500,000 60 56 51 53 47 29 49 69 52 39 >$100,000 760 811 743 670 701 672 664 780 687 637                       By Mike Wilson Warrawee Farm

Batavia, NY --- The $320,000 New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) consolation races were contested in eight divisions at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Sept. 21) with Jason Bartlett and Marcus Miller getting the lion's share of the eight harness racing contests. Bartlett won three and finished third two more times while Miller won two and finished second four times. Despite a heavy downpour early in the card, the track set up quickly and two lifetime and two seasonal marks were set during the evening in the NYSS races. Here is a race by race recap of the consolation events. 2-year-old filly pace Winner-Topville Angelina (American Ideal-A Fiesty Affair) 1:57.2 Owners-Erv Miller Stable, Michael Anderson and George Golemes Trainer-Erv Miller Breeder-Robert Hamather (non-betting) Topville Angelina (Marcus Miller) travelled second the entire mile behind Sun Viser (Billy Davis Jr.) through even fractions until the top of the stretch when Miller tipped her and she quickly paced by the leader down the lane to win by three lengths in 1:57.2. 2-year-old filly trot Winner-Sweet Chapter (Chapter Seven-Mom's A Sweetie Pie) 2:01.2 Owners-Hutt Racing Stable, Blake MacIntosh, Glenn Bechtel and the Mortgage Boys Stable Trainer-Blake MacIntosh Breeder-Winbak Farm Mutuel-$3.20 Sweet Chapter (Jim Morrill Jr.) went right to the front and dictated the entire race. Contending with a heavy downpour during the mile, Sweet Chapter trotted to the three-quarters in 1:30.1 without a challenge before Hot Chapter (Marcus Miller) started an attack on the outside. Hot Chapter trotted hard down the lane in the middle of the track but Sweet Chapter had enough left to hang on and win in 2:01.2. 2-year-old colt and gelding pace Winner-KJ Leo (Art Major-Winsmith Jess) 1:54.4 Owners-Brenda Messenger, Philip Shapiro and Scott Woogen Trainer-Gary Messenger Breeders-Brenda Messenger, Philip Shapiro and Scott Woogen Mutuel-$24.40 Cub Fan (Marcus Miller) was a strong leaver and set the pace once he settled ahead of KJ Leo (Billy Davis Jr.) who would get the perfect trip. After getting to the half in :57.1, Jet Rock (Kevin Cummings) pulled first up and pushed the issue with Cub Fan all the way to the top of the stretch. At that point he faded and KJ Leo popped the pocket and paced down the lane stride for stride with Cub Fan. When they hit the wire they were a neck apart with KJ Leo getting the better of the photo in 1:54.4, which was a new lifetime mark. 2-year-old colt and gelding trot Winner-JNR Express (Coway Hall-Yankee T L C) 1:59.3 Owners-James De Armond and Russell Young Trainer-Jessica Okusko Breeder-Donald La Page Mutuel-$9.00 JNR Express (Kevin Cummings) took no prisoners as he left and led at every station. After trotting well in hand through a 1:29.2 three quarters, JNR Express took a two-length lead into a stretch and held off a late surge by Brady Bunch (Marcus Miller) and Whimzical Chapter (Dan Daley) to win in 1:59.3, which was a new lifetime mark. 3-year-old filly pace Winner-Solitary (American Ideal-Lonesome Day) 1:54.4 Owners-William Daggett Jr., Lawrence Vukovic and the J L Benson Stable Trainer-Nick Surick Breeder-Docs Farm Mutuel-$3.30 Pelican Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) grabbed the lead by the quarter and took the race to the half in :57. An outer flow began to advance and by the three quarters horses were three deep heading into the turn with Solitary (Jason Bartlett) locked in fifth with no racing room. Believe In Me (Drew Monti) who was second on the outside bore out and gave Solitary and opening to get out and get out she did. Bartlett gave the filly her head and she shifted gears and paced away from the field to win by three lengths in 1:54.4, which was a new seasonal mark. "The race didn't unfold as I expected and I had to make my way out of traffic in the last turn. But When I got her free it was over," said Bartlett after the race. 3-year-old colt and gelding trot Winner-I'm The Muscle (Muscle Mass-Lady Bling) 1:57.4 Owner-Rheau Viau Trainer-Rene Allard Breeder-Blair and Erna Corbell Mutuel-$2.30 In a race shortened by two scratches, I'm The Muscle (Jason Bartlett) wanted nothing but the front and didn't waste any time getting there. He trotted unchallenged on top by two open lengths in :29.3, :59.3 and 1:29.1 before rounding the last turn and flying home in a quick :28.3 to win in 1:57.4. "He has been getting better and better each week and last week he was closing on Six Pack Late. He's a real nice horse," said Bartlett in the winner's circle. 3-year-old filly trot Winner-Supergirl RIley (Muscle Mass-Crown Laurel) 1:57 Owners-Paymaq Racing, George Golemes and Harvey Eisman Trainer-Erv Miller Breeder-Brittany Farms Mutuel-$2.10 Marcus Miller took advantage of the continuing front end bias and put the 1-9 favorite Supergirl RIley right on the point as the field followed in single file. With the rest of the group gapping behind, the pocket-sitting Golden Muscle (Drew Monti) pulled at three-quarters to take her shot. But halfway through the turn, Golden Muscle broke and Supergirl RIley found herself all alone trotting down the stretch a wrapped-up winner by three in 1:57. "She's just an unbelievable horse. She does everything right and she won easy tonight," said driver Marcus Miller after the race. 3-year-old colt and gelding pace Winner-Ideal Feeling (American Ideal-Feelinglikeastar) 1:52.4 Owner-Rick Berks Trainer-Mike Deters Breeder-Winbak Farm Mutuel-$3.10 Ideal Feeling (Jason Bartlett) seated third off the gate but then came quick past the eighth pole to grab the lead. Rolling handily past the half and to three-quarters in 1:24.1 without any opposition, Ideal Feeling watched as Lyons Steel (Kevin Cummings) left his cover and made his bid for the win. As the race moved down the lane, Lyons Steel continued to gain ground but Bartlett kept Ideal Feeling to task and he won by a half length in 1:52.4 to take his third consecutive win. Before the races began, Batavia Downs held a press conference with regional media outlets to formally announce the track being awarded the 2019 NYSS Night of Champions. The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund awarded the $1.8 million finals to Batavia Downs because of its excellent facilities and their ability to promote the race and offer an exciting fan experience. Henry Wojtaszek, President and CEO of Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel expressed his excitement looking forward to next year. "We are very excited for Batavia Downs Gaming to host the $1.8 million finals if the New York SIre Stakes with the long history this facility has with harness racing. We have made so many improvements to the track and can't wait to host everyone that weekend and showcase our new hotel and beautiful clubhouse." Kelly Young, Executive Director of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund said "2019 will be the 30th edition of the Night of Champions and we look forward to bringing it to western New York and Batavia Downs. We're really excited to watch this race track do what it does best; that is promoting harness racing and bringing fans in to watch the best horses the state has to offer." The date of the finals will be announced once the actual racing schedule is finalized. By TIm Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Driver Wally Hennessey and trainer Melissa Beckwith achieved a feat that may have never been done before when they teamed up for wins in five consecutive harness races on Friday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The evening's $15,000 feature saw Beckwith's Happy Heart draw the rail for her first attempt in the Fillies and Mares Open in quite some time at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Wally Hennessey piloted Happy Heart for the first time last week and the mare went coast to coast in a conditional race. Hennessey was back in the sulky on Friday evening and he wound up getting a pocket ride for Happy Heart who rode the coattails of the favored Spreester (Frank Coppola Jr) who was on the engine. Spreester paced a first half in 56.4 before checking in at three quarters in 1:25.1 while confronted by rival Rock N Roll Rosie (Jimmy Devaux). As those two squared off, Happy Heart sat patiently in the pocket before shaking loose in the passing lane. Happy Heart and Spreester went toe-to-toe for a few strides before Happy Heart got up to win the photo in the $15,000 Friday feature. The Melissa Beckwith trainee went off at odds of 6-1 in her first victory in the local Open. Returning $14.40 to win, Happy Heart led an exacta with Spreester second that paid $46.20. Rock N Roll Rosie earned the show spot. Hennessey and Beckwith teamed up for five consecutive winners on the card as pacing mares Sports Delight, Media Queen N and Fade To Gold and trotter Glide In The Wind joined Happy Heart in recording victories in successive races on Friday evening, a feat we have never seen before at Saratoga and one that may be hard pressed to ever occur again. Hennessey drove winners in six consecutive races on Friday as he piloted trainer John Mac Donald's Stonebridge Frosty to a wire-to-wire score following the five straight with Beckwith trainees in an historic night for the Hall of Fame reinsman and meet's leading conditioner. Live racing continues on Saturday night at the Spa with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Under The Bus (Truman Gale) captured the featured fillies and mares pace ($6,500) at Vernon Downs on Friday (September 21). Under The Bus ($12.80) charged to the front and led gate-to-wire putting up all the fractions (:27.1, :57.2, 1:25.4, 1:53.4). Owned by Hossman LLC and trained by Robert Gale, she held off second place finisher, Love Live Laugh (Jimmy Whittemore) and late charging third place finisher, Jaclyn Hanover (John MacDonald) to win her second straight race. Under The Bus is a 4-year-old mare by Art Major. It was her fifth win this season and her 19th career victory. Leading driver Jimmy Whittemore won three on the night. He got his wins with Hanrahan ($4.90), Star Flyer ($6.00), and Come Monday ($11.40). John MacDonald and Leon Bailey each drove two winners on the night. MacDonald got his wins with Pink Gardenias ($10.20) and Agood Time To Rock ($2.60). Bailey went to the winner's circle with Ms Casey Mac ($31.40) and Southwind Vixon ($5.70). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (September 22) with a 13 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.veernondowns.com. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs  

Saratoga Springs, NY-The granddaddy of all amateur driving organizations, the CKG Billings Series,moved on to Saratoga Harness on Friday night (Sept. 21) for a trotting event and for the second consecutive week "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli and his vastly improved Someway Same Hall romped over a six others when they scored an oh-so-easy 15-length victory winning in 1:56.4 by an amazing 15 lengths. It was the second consecutive triumph and seventh victory of the season for Ciuffetelli and the 7 year old altered son of Cash Hall. Last week at Freehold Raceway they won by eight lengths in 1:58.1. "Once I learned that he doesn't like me to grab him I've been letting him have his way and its really paying dividends," Ciuffetelli said about Someway Same Hall. "He loves the front-end and that's where he's happy so that's where I've been putting him lately." After starting from the four-hole Ciuffetelli was little more than a passenger as his veteran trotter zipped to the lead as the wings of the gate folded and they had four lengths on he field when they passed the first stanza in :28.1. The lead was opened to five lengths at the half as the timer flashed :56.3. When they headed for the three quarters they were eight in front and from there only the margin of victory was to be determined. They crossed the finish line 15 lengths ahead of Wygant Prince and driver "Coach Paul" Minore. Darron Hall and "Buffalo Bob" Davis chugged home third some 17 lengths behind the winner. Recently Ciuffetelli has battled back from a serious dose of Lyme disease and his health seems to be improving daily. He takes his well-being philosophically, so much so, that he calls his racing outfit, "The Tic Racing Stable". Sent off as the prohibitive betting favorite in the race Someway Same Hall paid just $2.80 for win. He's trained by Ciuffetelli, a retired prison guard, and owned by his Tic Racing Stable. by John Manzi, for the Billings Series

“Build it and they will come” as Kevin Costner told us in the 1989 hit movie Field of Dreams. Hoping to capitalize on Illinois’ biggest night of racing, Night of Champions, Hawthorne Race Course has also added a pair of $25,000 Invitationals that have attracted some of the top “open” pacers and trotters currently campaigning locally and throughout the Midwest as part of Saturday’s huge 13-race program. All the action is scheduled to kick off at 6:55 p.m. and the Invitationals will go as races nine and 10 on the program.    “We are really thrilled with the turn out we have received for these events,” said Director of Publicity/Racing Analyst Jim Miller. “Eventually we want to grow these events into $50,000 and then $100,000 type of events that people will circle on their calendars when plotting out a horse’s engagements for the year and this a great start.” Trotters will be first to hit the track in race nine with Summit Pacing Acres Satin Dancer installed as the 5-2 morning line choice in the field of 10. The four-year-old Indiana bred daughter of Big Stick Lindy has racked up 24 career wins for trainer Byron Hooley, hitting the board in 39 of 47 career starts while earning almost $675,000. Burke Racing Stable will send out their veteran campaigner Call For Justice from post three and the six-year-old can draw closer to the $550,000 mark in lifetime earnings as he looks for his 39th lifetime victory while going behind the gate for career start 99. The son of Justice Hall boasts a mark of 1:52.4 and has hit the board in 67 of his 98 starts. Minnesota sensation Pridecrest will carry the hopes of owner Chris Schick as the six-year-old Angus Hall gelding looks for his fifth straight victory. A 30-time career winner, Pridecrest will have the services of leading reinsman Casey Leonard on Saturday night as he leaves from the inside post in search of his 13th win in 21 trips to the gate in 2018. Rounding out this fine field of sidewinders are Chupp Racing’s Pine Dream, who is fresh off back to back wins here at Hawthorne; Celebrity Farms Celebrity Eventsy, a career winner of $566,000; CC Racing’s Gloire Dream, an Ohio invader who has taken a mark of 1:53.1 this season; Robert Key’s Cue Hall, who owns the distinction of being the fastest trotter in the field with a mark of 1:52.0 this year; Jeralene Roland’s Banker Volo, who recently went over the $400,000 mark in career earnings; Robert Silberberg’s Walter White and 11-time winner over the past two years whose career best of 1:53.3 came here at Hawthorne earlier this season and John Barnard’s Swan Chase, an Indiana Sire Stake terror who banked nearly $300,000 last season. In total the 10 trotters entered into this inaugural Night of Champions Invitational Trot have 240 career wins with nearly $4.1 in lifetime earnings. The pacers will follow in race 10 with Burke Racing Stable’s Dancin Yankee dropped in as a heavy 9-5 favorite in the group. The 10-year-old son of Yankee Cruiser is showing no signs of slowing down with age racking up nine wins, seven seconds and one third in 20 starts this season while adding another $160,275 to a career bankroll which now sits at a whopping $1.8 million. The 68-time career winner also boasts a lifetime mark of 1:47.2. Thomas Pollack and Jeff Cullipher’s New Talent is fresh off miles of 1:48.4 and 1:48.3 at The Red Mile and Hoosier Park respectively and this five-year-old gelding figures to get plenty of attention despite being stuck on the far outside of this field. With 16 of his 18 lifetime wins coming over the past two seasons the five-year-old son of Mach Three is definitely living up to his name.  Allard Racing Inc and Rick Howles have sent their five-year-old A Bettors Risk right back to Hawthorne for this event after “gutting” out a thrilling victory in 1:50.2 in last week’s Open on this surface. Under the watchful eye of conditioner Payton Ode this altered son of Bettor’s Delight has a mark of 1:48.3 this season and appears to be a pacer who is starting to establish himself as one of the fastest in the mid-west this year. Completing the field for the Invitational Pace will be Engle Stable & JL Benson Stable’s Ballerat Boomerang who invades from Pennsylvania with more than $81,000 in earnings on his card this year for trainer Nick Surick; The Panhellenic Stables Granite who is fresh off back to back victories at Hoosier Park; Z Tam Stables Uncmprmising Z Tam, a 12-time winner this year with a mark of 1:49.0 which was taken at Hoosier Park in June; Clinard Properties Inc.’s Yankee Bounty, who sports lifetime earnings of more than $733,000; Terry Leonard and Chris Schick’s Trashytonguetalker, who has been one of the top pacers on the Chicago circuit for the past few seasons; Chris Choros, Eleven Star Stables, Jeff Brewer and P. J. Dillon’s Bettor Spirits N, a wire to wire winner in 1:51.0 last week at Dayton and Ervin Miller and John Koliopoulos’s Air Strike, a seven-time winner in 2018. With eerily close stats to their trotting brethren, this classy field of pacers has put together 251 lifetime victories with just over $4.5 million in career earnings.  Fans can also enjoy a “blast from the past” as some of Chicago’s biggest driving stars of the past will be on hand to meet and greet fans in the Revel Stoke Party Box area located behind the winner’s circle on the first floor of the grandstand. Such favorites as Dave Magee, Joe Anderson, Doug Hamilton, Jerry Graham, Connel & Nelson Willis, Dan Shetler, Dwight Banks, Lavern Hostetler, Wayne Temple, Delvin L. Insko, Carl Porcelli and Randy Jacobs are all expected to be on hand. The meet and greet is expected to start around 7p.m.  Please contact Guest Services as (708) 780-3733 for more information. by Tom Kelley, for Hawthorne Race Course

CHESTER PA - The Liberty Bell stakes series continued on Friday at Harrah's Philadelphia with harness racing action for two-year-old colts, with each gait contesting three $30,000 divisions. Among the pacing set, it was the Western Ideal - My Little Artist colt Mangogh who first visited Victory Lane, working out a pocket trip for driver Eric Carlson behind favored Sugar Factory, then rallying up the inside to catch that rival by a length while equaling his lifetime mark of 1:53.4. Bruce Saunders trains the winner of three of his last five starts for M And L Of Delaware LLC and M & M Harness Racing LLC. Southwind Ozzi got the other kind of perfect trip - second-over - in taking a maiden mark of 1:53.2 for driver Mike Simons and trainer Bill MacKenzie in his Liberty Bell section. It was obvious on the far turn that the son of Somebeachsomewhere - Southwind Solara was right up on the bit and ready to go, and indeed he stormed home in 56 to be four lengths clear at the finish for owners Vincent Ali and Alma Iafelice. The Sweet Lou - Shark Lightning colt Love Me Some Lou, still the fastest juvenile of the year on a 5/8-mile track at 1:50.4, charged uncovered before and around the far turn to get a stretch advantage, then withstood favored Captain Victorious rallying up the inside to take down a ¾ length victory in 1:53. Corey Callahan, who drove him in that season's record mile, also guided "Lou" today for trainer Tom Cancelliere and owner John Cancelliere. Among the trotters, the Donato Hanover - Lady Holiday colt Holiday Hanover was kept out of trouble by driver Jordan Stratton, then kicked home first 1½ lengths clear while going in 1:58 for his first lifetime victory. D.R. Ackerman owns and trains the youngster, who had had trouble in his previous starts but today eluded racing misfortune and proved the strongest late. The Cantab Hall - Upside Hanover colt Klutzy had to mount a first-over challenge from last in his division, but he proved equal to the challenge, grinding down favored pacesetter Stonebridge Symba and then fending off the late rush of Ginger Tree Skyr by 1½ lengths in 1:57.4. Corey Callahan, notching a win on each gait, handled the catch-driving assignment behind Klutzy and made the most of it for trainer Julie Miller and Stroy Inc. In the third section, sent off at 7-5 were both the Explosive Matter - Phaeton gelding Explosivebreakaway, a full brother to top sophomore filly Phaetosive, and the Muscle Hill - Bluff colt Summit In Sight, a $300,000 yearling making his career debut. The pedigrees showed on the racetrack, as early leader Explosivebreakaway left Summit In Sight go to the lead at the 3/8 and set soft fractions, then rallied inside in a 28.4 kicker to just get by his main foe by half a length in 1:59. Tom Jackson guided the winner, now 5-3-2-0 for his brief career, for trainer Fred Grant, who is also co-owner with Janice Rubin, Steve Katz, and Murray Brown. Top pacing mare Shartin N, who is 14-for-19 this season but comes off an off-the-board finish in the Great Northeast Series Championship in her last start, has not lost two consecutive races in her hugely successful 2018 campaign, and she'll look to keep that statement true here on Sunday in a $25,000 winners-over mares pace, but if she is to do so she'll have to overcome the outside post seven starting slot. From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

YONKERS, N.Y. - New York's richest night of racing returns to Yonkers Raceway this Saturday with the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes "Night of Champions." Eight finals races featuring the best state-bred 2- and 3-year-olds will be contested for $225,000 purses each. Post time is 6:50 p.m., with the first NYSS Final scheduled as the second race of the card. A full list of entries can be found here. The star-studded evening features a number of familiar names and impressive resumes, including Plunge Blue Chip. The 3-year-old trotting filly holds the all-age track record at Yonkers with a 1:53.1 posted this season. She will be competing against last year's NYSS champion Lucky Ava in the sixth race. The other returning champion, Alexis Faith, will take on the 3-year-old filly pacers in race seven. This year's Yonkers Trot runner-up Helpisontheway is featured in the 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings division (Race 8) and Gimpanzee will look to extend his season long undefeated streak in the final for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters (Race 3). "New York-breds provided an exciting racing season this year, with track record performances across the state and Grand Circuit victories on the road, so we are guaranteed an exciting night of racing," said M. Kelly Young, executive director, Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. "We'd like to congratulate all the owners, trainers and drivers on another successful season, and thank our fans for their continued support." "The New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions highlights the best young horses bred in New York State and shows off our tremendous Standardbred breeding and racing program," said Richard A. Ball, Commissioner, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund Trustee. "These races have great energy and truly should not be missed." Race sponsors for the event include New York-based breeders and institutions: Allerage Farms, Blue Chip Farms, Cameo Hills Farm, Crawford Farms, Morrisville College Equine Institute, and Winbak Farm. The New York Sire Stakes program promotes the breeding, buying, and racing of Standardbred horses in New York State, and is administered by the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. It was the first program of is kind, featuring 2- and 3-year-old colts and fillies, and has become the model for state-bred racing programs in North America. The NYSS Consolation Finals will be held at Batavia Downs on Sept. 21. The finals for the NYSS Excelsior Series are scheduled for Sept. 23 at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Earlier this month, the Fund announced that Batavia Downs will serve as host of the 2019 "Night of Champions." From the  Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund

Elkton, MD --- Post Time with Mike and Mike, presented by BetAmerica, continues their live remote season on Friday (Aug 21) with coverage of the 2018 Casears Trotting Classic, live from Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Anderson, Indiana.   The Trotting Classic, which features 2018 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover is stacked with talent who will be trying to take down the $200,000 prize. Crazy Wow (Marcus Melander) draws to her inside coming off a strong victory in the Maple Leaf Trot at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   Mike and Mike will have extensive coverage of The Casears Trotting Classic beginning at 8:00 p.m. via their website that will run for three hours. Joining the duo will be regular correspondent Jessica Otten, Garnet Barnsdale, and Robert "Goldsheet Bob" Eppich.   Patrons on track can will be greeted with a free hat giveaway and can receive them beginning at 11 am from Club Centaur. Also, beginning at 5:00 patrons can enjoy the all-new Fan-Tastic Fridays. There will be $1 programs, $2 drafts at select outlets, and $3 pints at Dan Patch Brewhouse.   Patrons can also participate in the Beat The Boss contest beginning at 5:00 for a chance at winning $250.00 Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by BetAmerica can be heard live at www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN.   From Post Time with Mike and Mike

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 21, 2018-For years in Boston Celtic green, Larry Bird taunted, tortured and tormented New York. Saturday night (Sept. 22nd), his 'nicknamesake' tries to take it. Hickfromfrenchlick drew post position No. 6 in 2-year-old pacing colt and gelding event during Yonkers Raceway's $1.8 million New York Night of Champions. The race, sponsored by the state's Agriculture and Horse Breeding Development Fund, is the fourth of a dozen-race card and the third of eight consecutively-contested $225,000 sire stakes finales. Hickfromfrenchlick is no stranger to the spotlight, having won the $100,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace here in mid-July (1:55.4). The son of So Surreal returned to Westchester in late August, picking off divisional leader-and tonight's pole-sitter-Melodie's Major in a New York Sire Stakes event (1:53.3). It was off to Vernon Downs after that and a down-the-road, life-best 1:51.3 statebred romp. For the season, he's won four of six tries ($120,541), though he did not fire in his final NYSS try (Batavia). "Stuck behind some bad horses who had no reason to pull," Ray Schnittker said. Fortunately for Hickfromfrenchlick's co-owner/trainer and sometime chauffeur, those sort of nights have been few and far between. Schnittker drove that night (as he did at Vernon), but is AWOL (Meadows) Saturday, so he enlists Tim Tetrick this time around. "Training down, he was good, so I'm not surprised," Schnittker said of the $47,000 (Goshen, NY) lad who's also co-owned by Nolamaura Racing and Thomas Spatorico. "He had a :27 and change last quarter (in a Landmark event) at Goshen, so I knew he was ready. "I trained his mother (My Girl's a Star) and she had a record of (1):52 and 2 as a 2-year-old. (Author's aside...My Girl's a Star was a solid New York Sire Stakes lass, winning 7-of-11 and more than $139,000 as a frosh [2010] despite having the misfortune of being in the same age group as one See You at Peelers). "I told Mark (MacDonald) he was going to win the Sheppard, so just don't screw it up, which he didn't." Any such guarantees for Tetrick before he and Hickfromfrenchlick Saturday night? "No one can outleave Melodie's Major if they wanted to, but I think (Hickfromfrenchlick) can get around some of the others, and if he's close, he wouldn't stun me." Regardless of Saturday's outcome, Hickfromfrenchlick is finished for the season. "He's done everything we've asked," Schnittker said. Post time for the New York Night of Champions fun and frolic is the usual 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

Batavia, NY --- The richest Standardbred in the history of the sport, the $7.59 million winner Foiled Again will be racing at Batavia Downs tonight, Friday night (September 21) which is the next stop of his farewell tour as he heads to retirement at the end of the year. Foiled Again's lifetime win count is now at 103 races and he comes to Batavia on a three-race win streak having won at the Greenville Fair, the Windsor Fair and most recently at Freehold Raceway. This past week he made an appearance at the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, Ohio and went a training mile in front of the crowd on Jugette Day in preparation for his race at The Downs on Friday. The 14-year-old Foiled Again will compete in race eight at Batavia which is an Open II event going for $10,000 and the estimated post time for that race is 9 p.m. The visit was made possible through his owners Burke Racing, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and JJK Stables. Having raced at Batavia Downs six times in his career, Foiled Again has a five win and one second record. His first appearance was in 2009 when he won his first of three Robert J. Kane Memorial paces, which is Batavia Down's signature stake. He also won two Opens and finished second in a third. In an interview earlier this summer, trainer Ron Burke expressed his feelings about racing Foiled Again at Batavia Downs. "Of course Foiled will be coming to Batavia this year; Batavia is always on his list. One of the best memories we ever had of his career was his win in the 2016 Kane Memorial there. We were all at the Lexington sale watching the race on a monitor outside. We knew that was probably going to be his last stake ever. And when he came flying from the back of the pack after they kept him parked out the whole mile to swoop the field and win, we were all screaming and cheering. We were literally all crying, it was special for us." Jim Morrill Jr. will be in the bike behind the pacing legend this week to see if he can make his last visit at Batavia a winning one. Foiled Again is just part of one of the biggest nights of racing ever held at Batavia Downs. The New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) consolation races will also be held with eight divisions going to post for the $320,000 in purse money available. The first NYSS race is non-betting with a 5:20 p.m. post time. Then NYSS events are in race one, two, three, five, six seven and 10. Post time for the first betting race is 6 p.m. The early Pick-5 wager (which runs from race one through race five) includes four of the NYSS consolation events and has a guaranteed pool of $3,000 for Friday. It is part of the USTA Strategic Wagering pool and race pages can be downloaded for free from Trackmaster and the USTA through this link. (http://handicapping.ustrotting.com) The Batavia Downs early Pick-5 on Friday is also the USTA Play of the Day on the Harness Racing Fan Zone. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Delaware, OH - Courtly Choice and David Miller rebounded from a potentially damaging break in the first heat and got up in the shadow of the wire in the second to win the $642,000 Little Brown Jug, presented by the Ohio Harness Horseman's Association, Thursday evening at the Delaware County Fair. When the field of seven hanress racing pacers were sent on their way for the $436,560 final heat, the first elimination winner Lather Up (Montrell Teague) left from post two and outsprinted the second elimination winner Dorsoduro Hanover into the first turn and controlled the fractions of :27, :54 4/5 and 1:21 2/5. Coming down the lane for the final time, Lather Up looked like the champ, but weakened in the lane allowing Courtly Choice to win by a neck in a four horse photo finish in 1:49 4/5. In the final print, Dorsoduro Hanover rallied for second. Lather Up finished third and Hayden Hanover fourth. The three-year-old son of Art Major is trained by Blake MacIntosh and owned by Hutt Racing Stable, Mac & Heim Stables, Daniel Piouffe and Touch Stone Farms. With his fifth Jug victory, David Miller joins William Haughton and Mike Lachance with the most driver titles. "The first heat he raced great, but I felt horrible," noted Miller. "The only way to make it better was to win." "He puts up a big fight. He's game. I give him a lot of credit." The second elimination was action packed from the start. Courtly Choice made a costly break in stride and was last in the field of six. Andy Miller sent Hayden Hanover to the early lead pass the quarter in :26 2/5. The "triple crown" contender, Stay Hungry (Doug McNair) took command before the half mile in :55. Miller sent Courtly Choice three wide down the backstretch and was in contention at the three-quarters in 1:22 4/5. As the field turned for home Stay Hungry stayed strong and crossed the line ¾ of a length ahead of the late charging Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley) and Courtly Choice. To see the final heat race video click here. Before the connections made it to the winners circle, the 'inquiry' sign was posted for possible interference between Stay Hungry and Dorsoduro Hanover in the first turn. After a lengthy review, Dorsoduro Hanover (timed in 1:51) was placed the winner and Stay Hungry was disqualified and placed fourth. Courtly Choice and Hayden Hanover also qualified for the final. Stay Hungry was later scratched from the second heat. In the first $102,720 elimination, Lather Up protected his rail position and led the field of seven through the into the first turn and past the opening quarter in :27. Done Well was the first to challenge when Tim Tetrick came to the outside before the half in :55 3/5. This Is The Plan, who sat second for the entire mile, put forward a late effort, but Lather Up used a :26 4/5 last quarter to cross the line in 1:49 3/5. This Is The Plan was second, 1 ½ lengths back. Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller) and Done Well finished third and fourth to advance to the final. Originally, Courtly Choice was ineligible for the 73rd LBJ, but his connections elected to pay the $45,000 supplemental entry fee after winning the $701,830 Meadowlands Pace Final on July 14. With the winner's share, Courtly Choice now sports $952,704 on his career earnings card. $111,075 Old Oaken Bucket I'm Your Captain (Andy Miller) used a four wide move around the final turn to defeat Hill Street (Yannick Gingras) and Maxus (Jimmy Takter) to take the Old Oaken Bucket in 1:55 2/5. The pacesetting Treasure Tee (Trevor Henry) faded to fourth. I'm You Captain is owned by Andy Miller Stable and Black Horse Racing and trained by Julie Miller. The Muscle Hill colt has won four out his last seven starts. $107,000 Ms. Versatility Trot Final David Miller and Broadway Donna used a perfect second over trip and defeated NF Happenstance (Jack Parker, Jr.) by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:53 1/5. Ice Attraction (Yannick Gingras) was third, another two lengths behind. Broadway Donna is trained by Jim Campbell and has amassed $1.4 million for Fashion Farms. $40,418 Standardbred Colt Pace Workin Ona Mystery (Tim Tetrick) defeated stablemate Air Force Hanover (David Miller) in 1:50 3/5 to take the freshman colt pace. The field raced in post-position order through the first three quarters of the mile in :27, :54 3/5 and 1:22 2/5. Tetrick tipped the eventual winner off the rail and cruised home in :28 1/5 to establish a new lifetime mark and remains undefeated in three career starts. The Captaintreacherous colt is conditioned by Brian Brown for Jim Stambaugh, Alan Keith, Milton Leeman and the Wingfield Brothers. $48,218 Standardbred Colt Trot Prospect Hill (Andy Miller) took the lead as the field approached the half mile station and never looked back to win the $48,218 Standardbred by 2 ½ lengths over Final Claim (Mike Wilder) in 1:55 1/5. The son of Muscle Hill has won seven of nine seasonal starts for Stroy Inc. and trainer Julie Miller. $111,554 Ohio Breeders Championship Three-Year-Old Colt Pace Rockathon (David Miller) took the opening division in 1:52 over Slick Mick (Tim Tetrick) and Born To Be Bad (Andy Miller). Trainer Kimberly Dailey and Carl & Melanie Atley own the gelded son of Pet Rock who has pushed his career earnings to $338,615. The second $55,777 division went to the heavily favored Bounding Dragon and Dan Noble in 1:51. The winner went gate to wire for owners Alan Keith and Melanie Atley and trainer Mike Roth. The ultra-consistent Bounding Dragon has finished in the top two places eleven times this season. $133,906 Ohio Breeders Championship Two-Year-Old Colt Pace Rock Candy (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) went gate to wire to win the opening division in a stakes record 1:51 3/5. The Pet Rock gelding is owned by Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco and Richard Lombardo. Trainer Brian Brown returned to the winner's circle in the second $66,953 division with Dislocator (Chris Page). Joelyn Ridder, Scott Davis, Sharron Sopronyi and VIP Internet Stable own the Big Bad John colt who defeated Seattle Hanover (Matt Kakaley) and Authentic Hanover (Tyler Smith) in 1:54 4/5. $111,704 Ohio Breeders Championship Three-Year-Old Filly Pace Baron Remy (Chris Page) and McVenus (Trace Tetrick) took the two $55,852 divisions in 1:53 and 1:52 2/5 respectively. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

« Article Archive
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Europe
ANDERSON, IN  - It was billed as Round Three of a budding rivalry between two superstar harness racing pacers in Lazarus N (Yannick Gingras) and McWicked (David Miller) and the contest lived up to every bit of the hype, as on Friday (Sept. 21) Lazarus N defeated a hard-charging McWicked by a neck in a scintillating edition of the $177,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in 1:48.4. "He felt very good when I was warming him up so I was confident he would race well tonight," said Jimmy Takter, who conditions Lazarus N for Taylor Made Farm. "We know what a talented horse he is, and he really seems to like it here at Hoosier Park." Unlike his last race at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 15 where Gingras drove Lazarus N rather conservatively after his second place finish to McWicked in the $462,000 Canadian Pacing Derby on Sept. 1, the 6-year-old stallion was placed right on the lead prior to the first turn. Leading the field of nine through a first quarter in :26 and the half-mile in :55, Lazarus N looked very strong on the lead he maintained over Filibuster Hanover and Split The House. As Lazarus N hit the three-quarter pole in 1:23, McWicked was pacing comfortably in fifth place and when Western Fame moved first-over, he received a perfect second-over trip to commence his bid for victory. Around the final turn, the separation Lazarus N had placed between himself and the rest of the field began to vanish while McWicked swung to the outside to close with his customary power. As the wire loomed ever closer, McWicked was gaining on Lazarus N with every stride, but Lazarus N was determined and held off McWicked by a diminishing neck. Donttellmeagain (Tim Tetrick) used a :24.3 final quarter to finish third. "He felt just like he did the first time we came to Hoosier Park," Gingras said. "He is definitely back to himself." Sent to the gate as the even-money favorite, Lazarus N, a son of Bettor's Delight, rewarded his backers with a payout of $4.40. McWicked, who is trained by Casie Coleman and owned by Ed James, was the public's second selection at odds of 2-1, provided his supporters with $3.40. Donttellmeagain, (10-1) paid $4 for his third place finish. By Kim French, for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino
ANDERSON, IN - It The sport's top harness racing trotters were showcased in the inaugural edition of the $200,000 Caesars Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino during an action-packed 14-race card on Friday, September 21 and as expected, it was a true demonstration of sheer trotting talent. With regular pilot Scott Zeron in the bike, Trotting Triple Crown Champion Marion Marauder staged an incredible rally late in the lane and utilized the long Hoosier Park stretch to his advantage to get up in the final strides of the mile in 1:52.4. Handed the tough, outside post position nine, Marion Marauder was unhurried from the gate and settled along the rail in eighth. Using his customary early gate speed, Sam Widger had I Know My Chip pointed to the front to grab command just before the first quarter in :26.2. Opting out of a pocket trip, Yannick Gingras pointed Hannelore Hanover to the front and she quickly grabbed the lead just before the half to dictate fractions of :56.1 and 1:25.2. Bridge To Jesse's and John DeLong were unable to find a seat along the rail and began their long first-over journey approaching the final turn. Homicide Hunter and David Miller quickly grabbed the cover and were well placed second-over while Marion Marauder followed suit and were poised to strike from third-over. Hannelore Hanover was able to put away Bridge To Jesse's and appeared to be up to the task but her biggest threats were still behind her. Homicide Hunter tipped from behind his tiring cover but it was Marion Marauder who was widest of all with a full head of steam. Utilizing a :26.2 final panel, Marion Marauder dug in gamely in the final strides to hold off a hard charging JL Cruze and Trace Tetrick. Homicide Hunter also rallied well late to round out the trifecta. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Marion Marauder returned $5.60 at the betting windows. "We never tell Scott how to drive, he knows this horse so well and always takes care of him," trainer Paula Wellwood noted in the winner's circle. "We don't worry about the trip much because he can take a lot of air; he's just a great horse." The five-year-old son of Muscle Hill-Spellbound Hanover won for the sixth time this season and for the 20th time in his career. With the win, Marion Marauder sent his lifetime purse earnings over the $3 million mark for owners Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling. Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 23 with an 11-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 10. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park
2018 leading driver Mike Merton padded his lead with seven wins including both co-features at Tioga Downs on Friday (September 21). Coveredndiamonds N (Merton) wins Fillies & Mares Open Pace ($13,000). K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart Jr.) led to the first quarter in :27.2. Coveredndiamonds N ($2.50) took over just after the quarter and led to the half in :57.0 and hit the three-quarter mark in 1:25.0. Trained by Rob Harmon for owners Seth Rosenberg Racing LLC., and Joel Kahan, she flew home in a last quarter of 27.0 to win going away in a lifetime best of 1:52.0. Northern Dali (Mike Simos) came up to finish second with K J's Caroline holding on for third. Coveredndiamonds N is a 5-year-old mare by American Ideal. It was her eighth win of the season and her 13th career victory. Kinetic King (Merton) charges late to capture Open Trot ($13,000).   Buff (Corey Braden) went right to the front and controlled all the early fractions (:27.2, :57.1, 1:24.1).   Kinetic King ($9.10) was fifth after three-quarters. Trained by Patti Harmon for owners Brian Kleinberg and Harmon Racing Stable LLC., he went three-wide at the top of the stretch and blew right by to win in a lifetime best of 1:53.3. Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) finished second best with BJ Lorado (Aaron Byron) getting third money.   Kinetic King is an 8-year-old gelding by Ken Warkentin. It was his fourth win of 2018 and his 21st career victory.   Know as the "Magic Man" at Tioga Downs, Mike Merton had a magical night with seven wins. He got his five other wins with Rollingndiamonds ($4.30), Modern Mercury ($4.40), Persistent Bettor ($4.70), QB Kemp ($3.90), and Sweet Kix ($28.60). Tioga Downs returns for live racing for the last time in 2018 on Saturday (September 22). The 13 race card has a special post time of 5:30 p.m. with fireworks following racing. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs
Lady Ashlee Ann, this great 25 year-old harness racing mare produces the winner of the 2018 Little Brown Jug, Courtly Choice and he is her 15th life foal and 13th winner. Nothing makes me laugh more than when I hear from those so call "harness racing experts on breeding" (Stallion owners, professionals, stud masters and the so called pedigree buffs) sitting behind their computers making outlandish remarks about how to breed a champion, when in fact the majority do not know what they are talking about! None of us do when it comes to breeding! I believe that there is only one rule with breeding horses and that is "THERE IS NO RULE" One of the arguments you hear from a number of these people is that old mares are no good to breed from, that you must breed to young mares!  If only we knew it would be easy and the rich man would own the business. I have said many times that harness racing is the only business in the world that can make billionaires into millionaires! It is because the people with a lot of money think that money can buy success in breeding but that is not the case when it comes to breeding. No, breeding is not that easy! With the $436,560 Little Brown Jug just completed yesterday I checked to see how the winners were bred and what number foal each of the starters were. Here is that result and the oldest foals produced were the best performers; 1st - Courtly Choice 15th foal (by Art Major from Lady Ashlee Ann by Camtastic)  2nd - Dorsoduro Hanover 13th foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Deer Valley Miss by Artsplace) 3rd - Lather Up 10th foal (by I'm Gorgeous from Pocket Comb by In The Pocket) 4th - Hayden Hanover 4th foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Hana Hanover by Western Hanover) 5th - This Is The Plan 4th foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Thats The Plan by Western Ideal) 6th - Done Well 2nd foal (by Well Said from Dagnabit Hanover by All American Native) 7th - Babes Dig Me 3rd foal (by Bettor's Delight from Western Babe by Western Hanover) 8th - Stay Hungary 5th foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from My Little Dragon by Dragon Again) That was the final field but here are the other starters in The Little Brown Jug for interest; Nutcracker Sweet 10th foal (by Bettor's Delight from Sweet Future by Falcons Future) Hitman Hill 7th foal (by American Ideal from Fox Valley Shaker by Incredible Finale) Wes Delight 6th foal (by Bettor's Delight from Maid West by Western Hanover) Key Advisor 3rd foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Credit Rating by Western Honover) Decoy 1st foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Live Entertainment by Real Artist) Below is a great statistical article about  "Do young mares produce better race horses than old mares". This article was produced by Dr Mike Wilson of Canada a few years ago with help of Standardbred Canada. John Curtin Harnesslink Media   Dr Mike Wilson's article Over the years, a number of articles have been written on the relationship between birth order and racing success. All of the ones I have read have claimed that the first and second foals are more likely to be winners than are foals of older mares. None of the authors of these articles have taken into account the different numbers of horses in each of the different parities. (Parity is birth order; for example a first foal is first parity, a ninth foal is ninth parity etc). Finally after a lengthy article on this subject in an edition of Canada’s Standardbred Trot Magazine, I was prompted into doing that analysis myself. With the able assistance of Janet Cookson, of Standardbred Canada, I obtained the number of foals registered with Standardbred Canada and The United States Trotting Association for the years 1991 to 2001, and of these the number of winners, in each year, that had won more than $1,000,000, $500,000, or $100,000. These winners were related to birth order. The analysis was cut off at 2001 so that all horses had at least two years of racing. The raw data was then adjusted for each parity to 10,000 births so, if there were 20,000 first foals racing and among them, for example 2,000 winners, it would relate to 1,000 winners per 10,000. Similarly, if there were 2,000 tenth foals, in the same period, and only 200 winners, it would also be 1,000 per 10,000. In total, there were 158,357 foals registered in North America in the period of 1991 to 2001, consisting of 46,756 trotters and 111,601 pacers. Tables 1 and 2 show the numbers in each parity and the number of winners at three purse-earning levels. Indeed, as others have described, there is a fairly steep drop-off in the numbers of winners as parity increases. It might appear that a first or second foal has five or six times the likelihood of winning $500,000, than for example, a ninth or tenth foal. However, if you look at tables 3 and 4, which show the same date adjusted to 10,000 horses in each category, you will see that no such trend exists. In fact, a ninth or tenth parity foal, from either a trotting or pacing mare, is as likely to become a millionaire, as is a first or second foal. Similarly, no loss of performance potential exists in either gait for $500,000 or for $100,000 trotting winners. Older pacing mare progeny appear to produce approximately 2.5% fewer $100,000 earners per 10,000 foals than do those of young mares, however, a statistical analysis of this data (performed by Dr. Kate Dewey of the Department of population Medicine at the University of Guelph), indicates that the foals of older mares are as likely to be winners in each purse earning levels as the foals of early parities (p<0.05). I was astonished to see the very high early culling rate practiced by North American Standardbred breeders. Twenty percent of first parity mares do not produce a second foal, 15% do not produce a third foal and another 10% fail to produce a fourth foal. These culling decisions were all taken before the first foal had raced as a two-year-old! What would these data show if the 45% of culled mares had been kept in the breeding herd until they were in their ninth or tenth year parities? Why were they culled? Are older mares retained longer because those mares are superior by pedigree or by some other parameter? I intend to answer some of these questions in a later analysis. The belief that early foals are more successful than those of later parities has led to price difference for them at major yearling sales. Murray Brown, of Standardbred Horse Sales Co. in Harrisburg, PA., once told me that after the third parity, pacing yearlings (and to a lesser extent, trotters), drop off in price rapidly. From my analysis of the data, it would appear that buyers would be well advised to not automatically exclude yearlings from older broodmares! If older mares are at least as likely to produce big winners, as are younger mares, it begs the question as to whether there has been any genetic improvement in the ten years looked at in this study. The practice of breeding proven broodmares to new stallions and new broodmares to proven stallions is a breeding policy many currently follow. What would happen to the numbers if the policy were reversed? Could it be that older mares would look even better? In the meantime, this study clearly suggests that at yearling sale time, “Go for the old girls!” Table 1: Number of Pacing winners (1992-2001 North America)  by Birth Order and Earnings               Birth  Winners over Winners over Winners over  # of foals Order $1,000,000 $500,000 $100,000  registered 1st 24 116 2,448 23,779 2nd 25 17 1,830 19,067 3rd 15 84 1,437 15,733 4th 17 81 1,196 13,043 5th 14 45 898 10,760 6th 11 41 718 8,757 7th 5 24 574 7,076 8th 2 19 436 5,667 9th 6 21 317 4,391 10th 5 16 238 3,328 Total 124 564 10,092 111,601   Table 2: Number of Trotting winners (1992-2001 North America)  by Birth Order and Earnings               Birth  Winners over Winners over Winners over  # of foals Order $1,000,000 $500,000 $100,000  registered 1st 13 62 784 10,312 2nd 4 46 668 8,238 3rd 13 34 499 6,709 4th 10 29 369 5,509 5th 4 21 312 4,446 6th 3 10 235 3,495 7th 3 14 188 2,831 8th 3 13 173 2,216 9th 4 9 119 1,730 10th 1 5 81 1,270 Total 58 243 3,428 46,756   Table 3: Number of Pacing Winners (Adjusted per 10,000 foals)  By earnings and birth order                                     Earnings  1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th  7th  8th  9th  10th  >$1,000,000 10 13 10 13 13 13 7 4 14 15 >$500,000 49 61 53 62 42 47 34 34 48 48 >$100,000 1029 960 913 917 835 820 811 769 721 715                         Table 4: Number of Trotting Winners (Adjusted per 10,000 foals)  By earnings and birth order                                     Earnings  1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th  7th  8th  9th  10th  >$1,000,000 13 5 19 18 9 9 11 14 23 8 >$500,000 60 56 51 53 47 29 49 69 52 39 >$100,000 760 811 743 670 701 672 664 780 687 637                       By Mike Wilson Warrawee Farm
Loader
Loader
Loader
Loader

Additional Articles