by harness racing publicists across North America
The Saturday (Oct. 20) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from The Meadows, Batavia Downs, Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, Vernon Downs and Saratoga Casino Hotel.
Phoenix Warrior N wins Meadows feature
Washington, PA —Phoenix Warrior N dueled with Windsong Leo through a :26.4 third quarter before edging away late to capture Saturday’s (Oct. 20) $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows.
Phoenix Warrior N and Jim Pantaleano were stalking Windsong Leo and Dave Palone from the pocket when, after a sluggish :29.3 second panel, they decided to duke it out right there. The rivals raced as a team until the stretch, where the 6-year-old Jereme’s Jet-Never Walk Alone gelding was the stronger, downing Windsong Leo by a neck in 1:51.4 over a “good” surface. Dapper Dude finished third.
Scott Betts trains Phoenix Warrior N, who won for the 12th time this year and lifted his career bankroll to $345,973, for Timothy Betts, Nicholas Catalano and Stephen Moss.
Palone collected four wins — including a pair for trainer Trent Stohler — while Tony Hall and trainer Ron Burke each enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card.
— by Evan Pattak
Kevin Cummings was red hot at Batavia Downs scoring wins in both features with In Runaway Bay and Nesh Cruiser along with three other victories to take five of the 10 races on the card. Cummings, who is currently the second leading dash driver of the meet, made a strong bid to retake the top spot after his performance on Saturday night (Oct. 20). In the $11,000 Open Handicap pace, Dark Horse (Ray Fisher Jr.) left hard and seated In Runaway Bay N (Kevin Cummings) who also tried for the front early. After everyone took a seat the race went to the half in :56 flat. At that point Barry Hanover (Shawn McDonough) started the outer flow and Rock To Glory (Drew Monti) followed that move. nAs the race progressed to the three-quarters, Rock To Glory deserted his fading cover and tipped three-deep trying to get to Dark Horse. Almost out of that last bend, Barry Hanover finally packed it in and In Runaway Bay N nudged his way off the pylons between Dark Horse and Rock To Glory. As the top three argued towards the wire, In Runaway Bay N put away Dark Horse and held off a fast closing Rock To Glory to win by a half-length in 1:54.4. In Runaway Bay N ($8.70) scored his sixth win of 2018 and eclipsed the half-century mark in earnings, now boasting $53,550 this year for owner Mark Jakubik. In the $9,900 Open II pace, Nesh Cruiser (Kevin Cummings) tripped out behind Bugatti (Jim Morrill Jr.) to the head of the stretch before pulling out and going by to win by a nose in 1:54.4 for his eighth win of the year. Trainer RIchard Roth owns with Randy Roth and Robert Roth. Besides those two wins, Cummings also scored with Cotton Eyed Joe (1:57.2, $6.40), Terlingua (1:56.4, $8.00) and Keystone Keen (1:56.4, $6.10) to round out the five-bagger. Not to be outdone, the Downs leading driver Drew Monti also scored four wins on Saturday night as well. So after the last race ended, Monti is still on top with 82 wins for the meet with Cummings sitting right behind with 77. The early Pick-5 that was part of the USTA Strategic Wagering program with a $7,000 guaranteed pool produced an instant jackpot payoff $5,350.50 for a $1 ticket on the combination of 7-4-3-2-3. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon with post time set for 5 p.m.
Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway
Driver Travis Seekman guided a pair of Illinois invaders to the Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway winner’s circle on Saturday night (Oct. 20), capturing both the $17,500 Open I and the $15,000 Open II paces. Hot Rod Dylan, trained by Nelson Willis, triumphed for just the third time in 2018 in the Open I, beating Snowball’s Romeo (Josh Sutton) and Winwood Mac (Chris Page) in 1:52.3 on a night when strong winds were taking a toll on the horses. Snowball’s Romeo sped to an early lead posting an opening panel in :26.2. After tripping the middle beams in :54.3 and 1:22.3 he lead a well-bunched field that fanned out for the stretch drive. Hot Rod Dylan benefitted from the pocket ride throughout most of the mile and moved into the outer flow at the three-quarter station–in time to gradually push to a narrow victory. Winwood Mac, last week’s winner, was forced to race first-up on the outside much of the way but still managed a show finish.Shirley LeVin owns Hot Rod Dylan, a 5-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere who has 15 lifetime wins in just 51 career starts. Feelnlikearockstar upset the Open II field at 16-1 odds for Seekman, topping fellow Illinois ship-ins Account Rollover (Dan Noble) and Jewel Maker (Juan Franco). The 6-year-old winner also benefitted from a two-hole trip behind the eventual runnerup, who posted fractional clockings of :27.4, :56.3 and 1:24.2 before relinquishing the lead mid-stretch of the 1:53.3 mile. Trainer Perry Smith co-owns Feelnlikearockstar with Sawgrass Farms LLC. It was the fourth seasonal victory from 30 starts for the son of Artstanding.
Golden Gun (Josh Kinney) captured the featured pace ($6,500) at Vernon Downs on Saturday (Oct. 20). Golden Gun ($3.50) charged to the lead and led the pack to a first quarter of :26.1. All About Rusty (John MacDonald) went first-over and put on the pressure all the way through the backstretch. Golden Gun, who is owned by the Wiz Kids Stable and trained by Jeff Sorenson, led to the half in :53.3 and three-quarters in 1:22.1. Golden Gun shook loose at the top of the stretch and looked like he was going to win with ease. I Am Golden (Ron Harp) flew down the stretch like he had wings but he fell just short at the end to finish second. Golden gun hit the line first in 1:51.1. Card Knock Life (Truman Gale) finished third.
Golden Gun is an 8-year-old gelding by Headmaster. It was his fifth win of the season. He now has 29 career victories. Josh Kinney and Leon Bailey each drove three winners on the night.Kinney’s other wins came with Upto A Dream ($6.80) and Odds On Demi-Queue ($4.40). Bailey went to the winner’s circle with Vegas Again ($7.60), Tarport Andy ($5.40), and Frappe’ ($11.40).Round The Beach (John MacDonald) wins the under feature pace ($6,000). Round The Beach ($2.80) bolted to the front and never looked back going gate-to-wire (:27.2, :57.0, 1:25.1, 1:52.3). Owned and trained by MacDonald, she won by four lengths in the end for her third straight victory. Banacek (Adam Cappizano) charged late to finish second.Napper Tandy (Claude Huckabone III) was third best. Round The Beach is a 3-year-old filly by Somebeachsomewhere. It was her fifth win this season. She now has six career victories. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (October 26) at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com.
Saratoga Casino Hotel
Saturday featured two divisions of the second leg of the Gary Kamal Memorial Pacing Series. It is the fifth installment of the series that honors the memory of the longtime horseman at Saratoga Casino Hotel and is for young pacers, 5-years-old and younger. Both divisions went for a purse of $10,000 and it was Arch Hanover (Art Major) who cemented himself as the series’ one to beat on Saturday night. Arch Hanover brought a four-race win streak into the second leg but drew post seven in the eight-horse race. Leading driver Billy Dobson blasted Arch Hanover out early and the 4-year-old wound up in the pocket. Rival Kiwi Tintin N (Frank Coppola Jr.) came into the race with a three-for-three record since coming to the U.S. and the New Zealand invader was subsequently the 1-2 betting favorite despite starting from post eight. Kiwi Tintin N surged up first-over and took the lead around the final turn but Arch Hanover came roaring out of the hole setting up a sensational stretch duel. Arch Hanover got up in the final stride to prevail in 1:53.4, matching his win time from leg one which served as a lifetime mark. Kiwi Tintin N will be a force in the final as he was a strong second while longshot Still To Come (Chris Long) earned the show spot. The other division of the series second leg was won by SB Angelindisguise (Shawn Gray) who romped in his second local start, stopping the timer in 1:53.3 to punch his ticket to the final. The Joe De Carlo trainee spent his summer competing in the Midwest and headed East just two weeks ago to compete for new connections in the Kamal Memorial Pace. SB Angelindisguise bested Saulsbrook Deputy (Frank Coppola Jr.) who was the race’s odds-on favorite on Saturday night en route to his first local score. Barbados (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot. The Gary Kamal Memorial Pacing Series final will take place next Saturday night (Oct 27) and will be contested for a purse of $35,200. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Sunday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15 p.m.