Unconfirmed rumors indicate Morris Bailey has finally agreed to the lease of Monmouth Park. Sources, say he agreed to the terms on Friday evening. No details have yet been released, but it would appear things are a go. for both Monmouth and Meadowlands; provided no further issues arrive. Truth be told, there have been so many bumps and curves in this story, until both groups are licensed by the NJRC, I'll fully believe it when it is done.
Before the attention of the standardbred racing universe in North America turns to Delaware, Ohio and Lexington Kentucky, there is one more big stakes race occurring elsewhere. The Quillen Memorial will be contested tomorrow evening at Harrington Raceway. Here is my analysis for this $335,000 race.
Harrington Raceway - 8th Pace - $335,000; Boby Quillen Memorial Pace Final - Open
1 - Foiled Again (Gingras, 8-5) - Speaking of lucky in the post position draw; it was July 10 when this warh horse drew a post outside of post position four. A half mile specialist who draws the rail, we know what is going to happen; Giingras will try to leave and take this field the whole way to victory. No value on this horse, but do you think anyone is going to beat him?
2 - Pangiorno (Wolfenden, 5-1) - Tried to wire the field last week only to get beat by Atochia in the stretch. If he couldn't pull it off last week, what makes you think he will pull it off on the front end with Foiled Again inside of him?
3 - Go Go Solano (Simpson, 10-1) - An upset chance. Last week was raced conservatively to grab the final spot. For this type of money expect him to put in a more aggressive drive. Past efforts suggest he may try to be much closer to the action and possibly even attempt to get to the front ahead of Foiled Again. The question is will he and can he hold it.
4 - Mainland Key N (Hanners, 12-1) - Finished third last week racing conservatively. Seems to be overmatched and will do the same this week, hoping to pick up a check.
5 - Clear Vision (D Miller, 6-1) - Finished second to Foiled Again last week, but realistically don't see him upsetting here. Just the same, must include in exotics.
6 - Giddy Up Lucky (Dube, 8-1) - Finished third going the overland route to Atochia last week. My guess is he will stay back and hope for fast fractions in order to make one sweeping move at the end. The question is will he get the fractions and will he be close enough for the upset? Another exotic possibility.
7 - Hypnotic Blue Chip (Tetrick, 4-1) - At Chester he has won from outside posts, but I just don't think he will be able to get involved early enough to be a factor from this post.
8 - Atochia (Pierce, 3-1) - I love these open the draws, the way it should be. Elimination winner is saddled with post eight this week which is typically the killer on the half mile oval. While he has the class to overcome the post disadvantage, it will be a tough challenge to win; not as tough to hit the board.
Longshot Play: 3
Sad news comes to us that Falcon Seelster was euthanized at the age of thirty due to infirmities of old age. While perhaps his most lasting tribute will be as a sire in New Zealand, where he sired Allstar Blue Jean who raced to a 1:48.4 record and Attorney General who obtained a 1:48.2 record in North America. He also had a successful career at stud in the United States as well. However, let's not forget his racing efforts either. Who can forget this day at Delaware, Ohio?
To give you perspective his 1:51 mile over the half mile oval (which was his lifetime mark) occurred back in 1985 at the age of three. Horses did not race that fast over the half mile oval back then. Some people call this one of the most impressive races in harness racing history.
To give you a sense of his success as a sire in New Zealand, here is a promotional video released last year when Falcon Seelster reached the age of 29; an age where most sires are long forgotten about.
Falcon Seelster, he was one of the great ones on the track and in the breeding shed. May he rest in peace.