by harness racing publicists across North America
The Saturday (Oct. 7) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Saratoga Casino Hotel, Batavia Downs, The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and Vernon Downs.
Lachie Maguire N takes Saratoga feature
Saratoga Springs, NY —Lachie Maguire N (Bettor’s Delight) returned to Saratoga Casino Hotel on Saturday (Oct. 7) with two second-place finishes to his credit in his last two starts. The Jose Godinez trainee was the runner-up in his most recent try at Yonkers after finishing second in his previous start in the Saratoga Open. On Saturday,
Lachie Maguire N powered out to the early lead with Bruce Aldrich Jr. in the sulky but gave way to JK Panache (Shawn Gray) approaching the opening quarter. JK Panache, who was riding a two-race win streak as he returned to the local feature on Saturday, clicked off a first half in :56.1 without facing a challenge. With the 4-5 betting favorite Lachie Maguire N riding his coattails, JK Panache checked in at three quarters in 1:23.3
Aldrich popped the pocket turning for home and Lachie Maguire N got the better of JK Panache in a mile clocked in 1:51.4. The win in the $18,000 Open was victory number six on the year for Lachie Maguire N. JK Panache was the runner-up while Deetzy came on to finish third. The exacta in the feature paid $17.60 while the triple came back $54.50. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee starting at 12:15pm.
— by Mike Sardella
Batavia, NY — International trotting came to Batavia Downs on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 6) as the French-bred Bioness shipped in and captured the $15,000 Brian Schroeder Memorial Trot. The Downs annual signature invitational trot is named for the long-time western New York trainer/driver Brian Schroeder whose specialty was breaking and racing diagonal-gaited Standardbreds. Schroeder passed away on October 11, 2007 after a lengthy illness. Schroeder conditioned and raced some of the best trotters of his era at Batavia Downs as well as on the Grand circuit. Aside from all the races he won in western New York, Schroeder’s career highlights included competing in the 1993 Hambletonian with Collier St Joey and finishing second with Financial Paige in the Breeders Crown 3-year-old filly trot at Woodbine in 1995. Leaving from post eight, Bioness (Kevin Cummings) made his way to the top and settled in past the quarter in :28.1. With no opposition Cummings backed the next panel down to :29.4 and looked confident on the point. As the race made its way into the third turn, Southern Palms (Shawn McDonough) pulled first-up from fifth and started the rim trek in a slow, methodical fashion. When the group hit the three-quarters Bioness had opened up a two length lead while Southern Palms made his way to second, but still with much work to do. At the top of the lane Bioness looked home free, but McDonough was working his horse hard and getting favorable results. Southern Palms came flying down the lane while Bioness really needed the line. With both drivers in full swing, Bioness hung on by a head to win in 1:57.
“The plan was to go to the front from the start and when I got there he felt fine the whole mile. He was game holding that other horse off at the wire but he was all in at that point,” said Cummings after the race. Bioness ($5.00) scored his fourth win in 14 starts this year and the purse pushed his earnings to $101,688 for 2018. Northfork Racing Stable owns Bioness who is trained byris Oakes. The winner was greeted in the Purple Haze winner’s circle by many friends and family of Brian Schroeder. Bioness (Sam Bourbon-Quiradelle D’hilly) was purchased and imported this spring through the French-American Trotting Club (FATC) program developed by the Standardbred Ownersssociation of New York. The 7-year-old gelding competed in three legs of the FATC series at Yonkers in August before winning the $120,000 final, going the mile and one-half in 2:58. After having a three-week sabbatical, Bioness qualified at Mohegan Sun Pocono in 1:54.3 before shipping to Batavia for this engagement.
The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono
Wilkes-Barre, PA — After his stable mate in Team Oakes, Homicide Hunter, became the fastest trotter ever with a 1:48.4 victory at Lexington earlier in the day, the Rocknroll Hanover gelding Scott Rocks upheld the honor of the pacing end of the stable with a 1:49.2 victory in the $30,000 Open pace Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. George Napolitano Jr., teaming with trainer Hunter Oakes successfully for the fourth time and notched five wins total, sent the speedy pacer to his preferred spot at the head of the field, cutting out fractions of :26.2, :54.4, and 1:22.2, as first Check Six and then Music Is Art challenged. Through the stretch, Scott Rocks drew off from those rivals, then withstood a game inside bid from Franco Rayner N by three-quarters of a length. The durable 8-year-old, whose 1:49 win at Northfield Park in 2016 still stands as the world record for older pacing geldings on a half-mile track, notched his 50th career victory in the Saturday feature, with his earnings now up to $839,029. In the $20,000 claiming handicap pace, Pembroke Wildcat won his third straight contest, having to overcome the first-over trip and oft-winning pacesetter Ideal Kiss to tally in 1:50.1. The victorious Western Maverick gelding, second choice to the pacesetting favorite, gradually wore down the frontstepper under the guidance of Anthony Napolitano and had a two length margin on the money, with pocketsitter Townslight Hanover photoing out the hard-used pacesetter for the deuce. Brittany Robertson trains and owns the career winner of $355,227.
I Am Golden (Ronald Harp) fires late to take the featured pace ($6,500) at Vernon Downs on Saturday (Oct. 6).Oh My Joepa (John MacDonald) took control just before hitting the first quarter in :26.4. He led them to the half in :56.0 and three-quarters in 1:24.3. I Am Golden ($11.60) was fifth and last at the first three markers. Tarport Andy (Leon Bailey) would be the first to put pressure on Oh My Joepa. I Am Golden watched this and went three-wide in mid-stretch. Owned by Paula Sarcone and trained by Harp, he would wear down second place finisher Oh My Joepa and get by just before the wire to win in 1:52.3. Golden Gun (Josh Kinney) finished third. I Am Golden is a 4-year-old gelding by Allthatgltrsisgold. It was his ninth win this season and the 14th victory for his career. MacDonald drives four and trains three winners on the night. John MacDonald drove and trained Round The Beach ($2.50), Machmemackie ($8.20), and Western Toro to victories. He also drove Deaks Sweetie Pie ($14.60) to a first place finish. With just eight racing days left in the 2018 season, Jimmy Whittemore leads all drivers with 101 wins. Defending champion John MacDonald is just two back with 99 wins. Truman Gale is third with 52 wins. Claude Huckabone III (44) and Leon Bailey (39) round off the top five. On the training side John MacDonald has a comfortable lead with 55 wins. immy Whittemore is second best with 34 training victories. Homer Hochstetler occupies the spot with 30 trips to the winner’s circle. Truman Gale is fourth with 28 tallies. Robert Gale is fifth with 25 wins. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (October 12) with a 6:10 p.m. post time. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com.