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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Trot Fest, Snow White, Weekend Stakes

Time for Trot Fest

Standardbred Canada is following up the Extreme Racing program for the last two years with a new program called Adrenaline Fest at Hiawatha Horse Park. This festival will be occuring over a four day period and will include more than racing. There will be a multitude of events, non-racing, horse-related as well as special racing events including extreme racing (races with many horses in races at various distances). The festival is geared to wards families as well as younger people; an opportunity to expose people who may not traditionally be drawn to racing. As Standarbred Canada says, "So Much More than Just Racing". Kudos to Standardbred Canada and the horsemen for coming up with this event. I am sure it will be a success.

Why can't we have a similar event in the States? Let's call it Trot Fest. Think of it, a four day summer festival at The Meadowlands, The Red Mile or other tracks. An event like this could be held at one track a year or it can be a tour. All you need are horsemen willing to enter horses in these races, a track willing to host the event as well as line up the events and talent. The USTA could provide the logistical help in organizing the festival(s).

Trot Fest could be a means to get racing on ESPN. Since ESPN shows other extreme sports, this event would be a natural for them. Take the in-house racing program and put the highlights into a one hour show. There is no better in-house racing show than the one at the Delaware Fair Grounds. Get Ellie Sarama and others from Delaware to host the in-house program for the festival. Offer the show to ESPN for free. A show on ESPN could attract young people who normally wouldn't think of harness racing as an entertainment option.
It is too late for this year, but hopefully we will have Trot Fest next year.

Snow White Returns

Snow White the champion 2 year old is on the comeback trail. As a 2 year old, Snow White set a world record of 1:52.4 on the trot at the Red Mile and earned over $1.2 million. When her 2 year old season was over, there was some talk that Snow White was good enough to take on the colts during her 3 year old campaign. Unfortunately, surgery during the winter and some soundness issues made her 3 year old campaign disappointing. While Snow White won three races she was frustrating her connections by jumping when the big money was on the line.

Now Snow White seems to be better and she is on the comeback trail. While her 4 year old campaign will be short, hopefully she will return to her early glory and racing fans will be treated to the next Moni Maker.

Weekend Stakes Action

Since I will be away tomorrow, it is time to review the weekend racing action. Yesterday, I covered the Dan Patch Invitational; today we take a look at the North American Cup eliminations at Mohawk Raceway and other stakes.

There are four eliminations for the NA Cup. In the second division, Dial or Nodial is the overwhelming favorite after his strong second place finish in the New Jersey Classic at the Meadowlands. Other than Dial or Nodial's division, the other eliminations look to be wide open races. Will Barber Pole return to his early season form and vanquish New Jersey Classic winner Passmaster Hanover? Will someone make the muddled picture clearer and become the darling of the 3yo colt division?

Don't forget there are eliminations for the Fan Hanover and the Good Times this week as well at Mohawk. Will Yellow Diamond and Not Enough dominate the 3yo fillies? Overall, it is great night of racing. Don't miss it.

On Sunday, the Meadowlands is hosting a special Father's Day program. The highlight of the weekend is the $100,000 Perretti Farms Matchmaker, a FFA for mares. Buck I St Pat makes her first parimutuel start since her return from the Elitlopp in Sweden. Will she be able to pick up where she left off in the states? If Buck I St Pat falters, look for Spice Queen to make things interesting.

Enjoy the weekend and good racing.

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