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Monday, September 7, 2015

An Early September Potpourri

Southwind Frank continued to impress with an easy 1:54.1 win over his overmatched paternal brother Brooklyn Hill in his Champlain split on Friday night. Muscle Hill had a strong weekend: What else is new? His son Dominion Beach was a surprise winner of the other Champlain split for Brett Miller and Nancy J; sophomores Canepa Hanover and Muscle Diamond both won Simcoe splits on Saturday. The Muscle Hill freshman class of 2017 will be eligible to the PASS.


The $225,000 finals for the Ohio Sire Stakes program will be held Saturday night at Scioto, in conjunction with the Jim Ewart open pace and the Chip Noble open trot. This past Saturday night Kanthaka, a 2 YO Triumphant Caviar colt won a $40,000 split in a track record 1:57.1 at Scioto for Ryan Stahl and Chris Beaver. Dave Palone is the undefeated colt’s regular driver. His dam, Elena, by San Pail’s daddy the Valley Victory stallion San Pellegrino, won OSS Gold at two and three.

The previous track record holder, from six races earlier, was the Tainforthefuture gelding MJB Got Faith, who won his division for Peter Wrenn. Train, by Donerail, has produced eight small crops in Ohio and one each in Indiana and Pennsylvania.

The Big John colt Primo Giovanni, out of the Bettor’s Delight mare JK Reunited, also impressed. He won in 1:53.1 for Chris Page and Virgil Morgan Jr., making him six for six.


Control The Moment, who is now seven for seven, with wins in the Metro and the Nassagaweya, is the poster boy for Well Said. Uffizi Hanover won the BC, Bluegrass and Fan Hanover, then faded; Lost For Words won Bluegrass and ISS splits; Lyons Levi Lewis won a split of the Champlain; and Well Hello There took a division of the American National, but this dominant win in the Metro tops the pyramid. Control The Moment is the man for Well Said.


Wakizashi Hanover, who crossed the million dollar threshold for 2015 with his PA Championship win, is the first two or three-year-old by twenty-year-old Dragon Again to bank a million dollars in a single year. My Little Dragon earned almost $900,000 at three, but Waki is the first. Foiled only won something like $7,000 at two and $52,000 at three. Waki’s win in the North America Cup is also significant in that no son of his sire had ever won the Cup, Pace or LBJ.


Obrigado, who is third in his division in earnings, now has back to back wins in the Crawford and the Yonkers open. If he wins the upcoming Maple Leaf Trot, there’s no denying him a spot in the Yonkers International. Eliminations for the MLT—if necessary—will be held on Saturday, and winners pick their post in the final. Last year, when Intimidate upset Sebastian K on an off track, paying almost $100, there were two six-horse elimination fields.

Habitat, Pinkman and Crazy Wow are all staked to the CTC, which will hold eliminations on Saturday—if necessary. Time to sort out the division on a big track, after the fiasco at Yonkers on Saturday. The mercurial late bloomer, Muscle Diamond, is also eligible. Maybe they’ll choose the night of the finals to give the recently retired San Pail a hometown sendoff.


Jim Morrill Jr is killing it in the NYSS—even more than usual. He’s earned more than $1.3 million in the series this year, which is 63% more than number two, Jeff Gregory. In Ontario, Sylvain Filion is comfortably ahead of Trevor Henry and James MacDonald in OSS money. Sylvain is up over $1.2 million. The lucrative finals in both programs will afford both men an opportunity to top off their accounts.


Bettor’s Delight and Sportswriter are doing battle in the freshman division of the Ontario Sire Stakes program this year. While the former is the master of straddling the GC and whatever sire stakes program he’s a part of, Sportswriter has been strictly an OSS creation. Bettor’s Delight’s daughter, LA Delight, won the Great Lady Saturday and the Eternal Camnation the previous week, and his son Betting Time was second in the Metro.

Reverend Hanover was supposed to be the Sportswriter colt who bridged the gap to the GC, but he experienced a setback and has only started four times. He drew off from the field in 1:48.3 in a $25,000 3 YO open on Saturday. Unfortunately, it’s getting late. After the race, Coleman mentioned the OSS Super final and maybe the BC.


Only four sophomore trotting fillies are entered in Friday’s $30,000 Helen Smith at Freehold. Next year the Rocknroll freshman class will race in Pennsylvania, and in 2017 the Muscle Hill freshmen will do the same.


Thirteen of the 22 freshman trotting fillies entered in the three Peaceful Way eliminations at Mohawk on Thursday also competed in the Champlain last Thursday. This includes the three division winners: Could It Be Magic, Caprice Hill and Emoticon Hanover. The latter two will face off in the second split. Kadabra swept the three divisions of the Champlain. Beyond that, OSS bred fillies have won four of the last five editions of the Peaceful Way; Stubborn Belle, Riveting Rosie and BAM took the last three; Crys Dream won in 2010.


While the web sites for the New York and Ontario programs, which are comparable to the one in the Keystone State, are timely and very informative, the PASS site is beyond awful. It’s as timely as a five-year-old newspaper and as informative as staring at a blank wall.


Only four started in today’s leg of the Miss Versatility at Tioga—four betting interests. Division kingpins D’One and BAM are both staked to the Maple Leaf Trot, while Shake It Cerry last raced in the Muscle Hill a couple of weeks ago. Rockin With Dewey, the longshot winner of the Earl Rowe was the dominant mare today. The fact that the final is held at Delaware on Jug Day probably chases some away.

Joe FitzGerald


Anonymous said...

The Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission's website is an embarrassment to all involved. It was recently redone, but makes what little information there is even more difficult to find.

Reports on monthly meetings aren't posted in a timely fashion. Sadly, the website also lacks a searchable database for license information on drivers and trainers, rejected applications, suspensions/fines and racing injuries and deaths. The Pennsylvania group should look at New York's website for tips on how it could be accomplished.

Pacingguy said...

The NJRC site is almost as bad. Perhaps the best site is the CHRB site. There you have access not only to meeting agendas, you get to see the package the commissioners are given for each meeting.