This is a quiet weekend for harness racing in the United States but things will be getting interesting this coming weekend with the Meadowlands opening on New Year Day night. The final warm-up for the meet will be Monday morning with twenty-four qualifiers scheduled.
One interesting horse qualifying tomorrow is in the 10th qualifier. Maritime invader Darko makes her American debut in this race. This soon to be four year old pacing filly has been racing in the Maritimes with her last race November 7 at Charlotteown Driving Park, finishing third in the Island Breeders Stakes. This winner of sixteen of twenty seven lifetime has a lifetime mark of 1:57.4 at Turo Raceway at two (equaled this year at Charlotteown) which is nothing to sneeze at in the Maritimes. While this horse has yet to break six figures in lifetime earnings, her $93K+ earnings is impressive for the Maritimes. Ocassionaly a bearcat comes from Atlantic Canada (remember Waveore?). She maybe someone to watch in the early going.
Another horse of interest may be Australian import, Aquestionoftime A (20th race). While this seven year old pacing gelding has been racing lately in claiming stakes in Australia, he has raced well in regular stakes races. His 2009 earnings of $55K is not shabby for a horse that was racing down under. His Decembr 22nd qualifier was disappointing but I look for improvement tomorrow. Depending on how he races tomorrow, he may be one to watch in his first North American pari-mutuel start.
Last week I mentioned in my blog entry that TVG would likely snub Harness Racing in their Year in Review. Well, I was wrong. There was a brief segment where Muscle Hill and Well Said were mentioned winning the Hambletonian and the Meadowlands Pace, respectively. Mention was also made of the Merrie Annabelle.
Harnesslink was obviously scouring the web over the holidays looking for video gems. They came across a cartoon explaining harness racing featuring The Funny Company. Take a look; it is somewhat entertaining.
As we prepare to say "Good Bye" this week to our fourteen year old veterans facing mandatory retirement from the pari-mutuel wars, I found a video of a match race at Rideau Carlton Raceway held on December 31, 2006. This "Clash of the Titans" was a match race with two fourteen year olds making their last starts. Take a look at Kendall Python and Conrad Seelster (the sound is poor during the replay of the stretch drive).