2017 RACE DATES
MEADOWLANDS - Post Time 7:15pm
March 17 - August 5, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays
September 8 - September 16, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays
November 17 - December 2, 2017
Fridays & Saturdays
December 7 - December 30, 2017
Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays
FREEHOLD - Post Time 12:30pm
September 1 - December 9, 2017
Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays
Special Race Day Monday September 4, 2017
December 28 - December 30, 2017
Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays
WHITE BLISS, BETTING POOLS & OTHER NEWS FOR BREEDERS CROWN WEEKEND
WHITE BLISS MAKES FIRST MEADOWLANDS START ON FRIDAY
By Justin Horowitz for the Meadowlands
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - November 20, 2014 – A once-in-a-generation horse will compete in the first race at the Meadowlands on Friday night, November 21 at 7:15 p.m.
White Bliss, a registered white standardbred, will be making his second career start on Friday which kicks off the championship weekend that includes the $5.5 million Breeders Crown, a 12-race series that annually helps determine harness racing’s year-end champions.
Less than one percent of all standardbreds are white, and the odds of White Bliss being born completely white was a 1 in 200,000 longshot since his parents were bay and brown in color. .
“We are delighted that White Bliss can make his final start of the season at the Meadowlands,” said Swedish owner Tristan Sjoberg. “Due to a bout of colic and then illness, he has made his debut very late in the season, but he has improved with each qualifier.”
White Bliss was purchased at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, PA for $240,000 by Sjoberg, who bought the horse as a Christmas present for his mother.
Trained by Ake Svanstedt, White Bliss finished third in his first career race on November 11 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.
“He was boxed in for most of his debut race, but showed an impressive turn of speed in the lightning lane on the home stretch,” explained Sjoberg. “We are hoping that he can develop further over the winter months, and we have set our sights on most of the major stakes races in 2015. After Friday he heads down to Florida to work on his tan for a few months before training for the three-year-old season starts in earnest. In the stable at Legend Farm, he is placed right next to Sebastian K so I hope ‘Seabass’ has given Bliss some tips how to go fast.”
GALLIE BLYTHE BEACH LOOKS TO MAKE UP FOR MISSED FINAL IN THIS YEAR’S BREEDERS CROWN
By Ken Weingartner for the Breeders Crown
Jim Campbell was happy to see Gallie Bythe Beach repeat as a Breeders Crown elimination winner, but the trainer will be even more delighted if the parallels to last year end right there.
Last season as a 2-year-old, filly pacer Gallie Bythe Beach was found to be sore in the days following her Breeders Crown elimination, which she won with a world-record-equaling performance at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, and was scratched from the final.
It ended a campaign in which Gallie Bythe Beach won six of 10 races, never finished worse than third, and earned $338,229 for Campbell and owner Jules Siegel’s Fashion Farms.
“You could have taken a chance on it, but it wouldn’t have been the right thing to do,” Campbell said. “We did the right thing for her, and anytime you do that, you don’t regret the decision. But it was really unfortunate because she was really good in her elimination.”
The good news for Campbell and company is that Gallie Bythe Beach was really good in her elimination again this year.
She won from post eight by two lengths over Major Dancer in 1:50.4, guaranteeing an inside starting spot for Friday’s $593,750 Breeders Crown final for 3-year-old female pacers at the Meadowlands. She received post four and is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line behind favorite Color’s A Virgin.
“It felt good, and it looked like she was her old self again,” Campbell said. “It was a good win for all of us.”
Gallie Bythe Beach is a homebred daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Galleria. Somebeachsomewhere won the 2008 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers on his way to Horse of the Year honors and Galleria, who also was trained by Campbell, won the 1998 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old female pacers on her way to the Dan Patch Award for divisional honors.
This year, Gallie Bythe Beach has won three of 17 races and earned $188,989. All three of her victories have come in her most recent six starts, and she has finished off the board only once in her last seven races.
“The season didn’t start off very well,” Campbell said. “She was getting some rough trips and racing hard and not getting paid very well for it. We kind of started back from zero again, racing her from off the pace a little bit, and she seemed to respond that way.
“There are a lot of fillies out there that can go fast, and if you get sped up a little bit early there are some waiting to get you on the end. But the way she was the other night, I think she could race any way you wanted to race her.”
If Gallie Bythe Beach is to win this year’s Breeders Crown, it will require beating a field that includes multiple-stakes-winner Color’s A Virgin, who brings a seven-race win streak to the final. Color’s A Virgin, who defeated Gallie Bythe Beach by two and a quarter lengths in the Nadia Lobell Stakes on October 31, won her Breeders Crown elimination by a length and a half over Precocious Beauty in 1:51.
Color’s A Virgin, who began a sustained first-over bid from fifth place prior to the halfway point of her elim, starts the final from post five with regular driver Trace Tetrick and is the 6-5 favorite on the morning line. Trace’s brother, Tim, drives Gallie Bythe Beach.
“[The early fractions in the elimination] had me a little worried,” said Brian Brown, trainer of Color’s A Virgin, of her race in the eliminations. “And when Trace came, I was hoping tonight we could be second over, but you want to be second over behind the right horse. I’d rather be first over with her than second over behind the wrong one.
“In the last turn, I saw Trace tapping her a little. Generally he doesn’t have to do that. [In the elim] he had to tap her a little earlier than normal. He blew it off and didn’t think it meant anything. I was a little worried for a while, but it worked out well.”
Trace Tetrick and Color’s A Virgin have teamed for 13 wins and a second-place finish in 14 starts together.
“Even though we’ve had a lot of those first-over grinds, Trace has been so easy with her,” Brown said. “He hasn’t tried to win the race at the half or on the last turn. He’s waited until the stretch and then chased her home. He’s done a great job managing her. I have to give Trace credit because he doesn’t get in a hurry. When you’re forcing her to the front, she doesn’t like it. She just loves to pass horses.”
The Breeders Crown Final also includes Uffizi Hanover, who won last season’s Breeders Crown for 2-year-old female pacers. Color’s A Virgin and Sayitall BB were supplemented to the Breeders Crown for $62,500, as was Weeper, who failed to advance to the final.
Following is the field in post order for the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old female pacers: 1. Major Dancer, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman, 8-1; 2. Beach Gal, David Miller, Dave Menary, 15-1; 3. Gettingreadytoroll, Corey Callahan, Jimmy Takter, 9-2; 4. Gallie Bythe Beach, Tim Tetrick, Jim Campbell, 3-1; 5. Color’s A Virgin, Trace Tetrick, Brian Brown, 6-5; 6. Uffizi Hanover, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 20-1; 7. Beach Story, David Miller, Kelvin Harrison, 30-1; 8. Allstar Rating, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 20-1; 9. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 10-1; 10. Precocious Beauty, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair, 20-1.
STEACY STALKING ANOTHER CROWN
By Perry Lefko for the Breeders Crown
Mark Steacy has a pretty good batting average in the Breeders Crown.
The trainer of Harper Blue Chip, who is entered in this year’s Three-Year-Old male trotting final, has won three finals with 10 starters and narrowly missed a fourth.
“I’ve been kind of lucky as far as the Breeders Crown,” he said. “We haven’t raced in a lot of them, but I guess we’ve made the best of what we’ve been in.”
He won with Majestic Son in the Three-Year-old Colt Trot in 2006, Stylish Artist in the 2007 Two-Year-Old Filly Pace and Hana Hanover in the 2009 Open Mare Pace. She placed third the year before in her division.
Steacy narrowly missed a fourth win last year, finishing second by only a neck with Sunshine Beach, who started eighth in the field of nine and was parked a good deal of the way.
Asked to pick if any of his winners stand out from the rest, Steacy chose Majestic Son, who would go on to win Horse of the Year Honors in Canada that season.
“By far my best horse was Majestic Son,” he said. “He was a great horse, comparable to any of the three-year-old trotters that have raced. That’s how I feel about him.”
Majestic Son, with Trevor Ritchie handling the lines, defeated odds-on favorite Glidemaster, who won the Hambletonian.
Hana Hanover, driven by George Brennan, registered a win at more than 13-1 odds in a time of 1:48.4, the fastest mile of her career.
“Hana Hanover was a real gutsy mare, not so much blessed with talent, but she just had a big heart and tried real hard all the time,” Steacy said.
Stylist Artist, also driven by Brennan, went postward in her race at just under 5-1 odds, leaving from the rail. She sat in second for part of the race, dropped back to fourth, albeit by only a half length, and poured it on with a final quarter mile in 27.3 to prevail by a length and a half.
“Stylish Artist was a nice filly, but she got lucky,” Steacy said. “She got a very nice trip, and it just worked out well. George Brennan drove her perfectly. She was a nice mare, but not a great mare.”
Harper Blue Chip, who finished third in the Hambletonian at 45-1 odds, is one of 10 entered in his Breeders Crown. He will face two of trainer Jimmy Takter’s horses – Nuncio and Father Patrick.
Harper Blue Chip drew post nine and was assigned a morning line of 12-1
“It’s hard to compete against him [Takter] when he has two real live horses like he has,” Steacy said. “If his horses are 100 percent healthy and everything, realistically we’re not going to be first or second in that race, but it’s been a long year and Father Patrick is vulnerable now, and Nuncio beat [Harper Blue Chip] by three-quarters of a length last time out [in the Matron], where we were back four or five lengths at the start of the summer. So I think we’re closing the ground on these horses.
“The horse that scares me a lot is Riina Rekila’s [EL Titan, which won the Erskine in his last race]. He’s a nice horse, and I think he’s peaking at the right time. I’m quite worried about that one as well.
“Finishing third [in the Hambletonian] was probably the best I expected to happen. There’s nothing like winning the Hambletonian, which I’d like to do some day, but going up against [Takter’s horses] and finishing third was like a win because we were such a longshot.”
Harper Blue Chip, a $40,000 yearling purchase, has won six of 14 starts this year and $657,029 after winning four of eight last year and $196,883. He is undefeated in four Ontario Sires Stakes races this season. He is owned by Landmark 6 Racing Stable that includes Steacy, David R McDonald, David K Reid and George R Judson. McDonald and Reid have been with Steacy since the early 1980s. Judson is another longtime client and the octogenarian is enjoying his great success in the business with Harper Blue Chip.
“I knew George was looking for a nice horse and I felt this was going to be a nice one, so we swung a deal where I sold my 25 percent share to him in the horse’s two-year-old year, and it’s worked out really well for him,” Steacy said.
Landmark 6, led by Howard Pearce of Kingston, is a syndicate that owns one quarter of the horse. Steacy and Pearce started putting together syndicates six years ago to give relative new owners in the business a chance to be involved in a group with minimal financial risk. Some of the original syndicate members have reinvested in the subsequent Landmark groups.
“Fortunately for Landmark 6, they got the ultimate horse in Harper Blue Chip,” Steacy said. “That’s made it even more rewarding for the Landmark groups. He’s been our best horse, by far, but we’ve had a couple nice ones, but nothing like Harper Blue Chip. When we cash out at the end of the year, they’re all going to make money in this group.”
As part of the process of creating the syndicates, the members have to relinquish their investment after the horses’ three-year-old seasons. The members pay up front to cover all the costs through to the end of the three-year-old year.
“That quarter will probably be sold; we’ll just have to figure out a price,” he said. “If a good enough offer came along, we’ll sell the whole horse. It would have to be a decent offer because I think this horse can make a very nice aged horse as well. I know it’s tough for four-year-olds but there’s a few more opportunities next year for four-year-olds. And the Majestic Sons have shown they can go on as four-year-olds.”
Steacy’s 2013 three-year-old pacing star, Sunshine Beach was recently retired to stand stud at Seelster Farms. He had a tough four-year-old campaign winning only one of 10 races and a mere $27,330 after winning eight of 20 last year and $913,702. He was one of the few to pin a loss on Captaintreacherous.
Sunshine Beach battled with a bladder stone problem all of his three-year-old season, which was not publicized, and this year he had to endure a kidney stone issue.
“It took its wear and tear on this poor horse,” Steacy said. “He was a very talented horse and he got off to a slow start because he had a few complications early at two, and once we got that figured out he matured into a nice three-year-old.”
“He was parked every step of the mile from the eight hole (in the Breeders Crown) and just got beat,” Steacy said. “He was a champion three-year-old, maybe a half a step behind Captaintreacherous.”
DIVISION HONORS COULD BE DECIDED IN BREEDERS CROWN FOR 3-YEAR-OLD MALE PACERS
By Ken Weingartner for the Breeders Crown
The race for divisional honors could become clearer, or further muddled, depending on the outcome of Saturday’s $531,250 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers at the Meadowlands.
No fewer than eight horses in the 3-year-old male pacing division can claim at least one major open stakes triumph this season.
The Pacing Triple Crown races – the Cane Pace, Little Brown Jug and Messenger – were won by Lyonssomewhere, Limelight Beach and All Bets Off, respectively.
Among the richest remaining open stakes for 3-year-old male pacers, the North America Cup went to JK Endofanera, the Meadowlands Pace to He’s Watching, the Max C. Hempt Memorial and Delvin Miller Adios to McWicked, the Monument Circle to Always B Miki, and the Matron to Big Boy Dreams.
Always B Miki, JK Endofanera, Limelight Beach and McWicked are among the 10 horses in Saturday’s Breeders Crown. So is Luck Be Withyou, who won last season’s Breeders Crown for 2-year-olds, as well as Little Brown Jug runner-up Let’s Drink On It.
Limelight Beach and Always B Miki won their respective Breeders Crown eliminations last weekend.
Always B Miki, who won by a neck over JK Endofanera in 1:50 for his fifth consecutive victory, drew post No. 4 and is the 8-5 morning line favorite. Limelight Beach, who won by a half-length over McWicked in 1:49.3, got post five and is the 3-1 third choice behind 5-2 JK Endofanera.
Although the Progress Pace and Cleveland Classic follow the Breeders Crown, many will look to Saturday night to provide some clarity about the division picture.
“I think Always B Miki has come on really good in the fall,” said Yannick Gingras, who drives rival Limelight Beach. “If he wins, I think it gives him the division. The same thing for JK Endofanera. Limelight Beach, if he wins this, I think there will be talk there too. After that, I’m not sure.”
Always B Miki is a homebred son of Always A Virgin-Artstopper from Joe Hurley’s Roll The Dice Stable and named in honor of Hurley’s wife. Hurley owns the colt with Mitchel Skolnick’s multi-partnered Bluewood Stable and Martin Granoff’s Val D’Or Farms.
His victories include his Crown elim, Monument Circle, Indiana Sire Stakes championship, and divisions of the Tattersalls Pace and Bluegrass Stakes. He has finished no worse than second in 12 consecutive starts, winning nine. For the season, he has won 12 of 19 starts and $791,482.
One of his runner-up finishes came to He’s Watching in world-record-equaling 1:46.4 in the Meadowlands Pace despite starting from post nine and racing on the outside – three to four wide at times – the entire way.
“That was probably the biggest mile I’ve ever seen a horse go,” said David Miller, who drives Always B Miki for six-time Breeders Crown-winning trainer Joe Holloway. “It was unbelievable.”
Always B Miki was supplemented to the Breeders Crown for $62,500.
“It is unbelievably unexpressionable; that’s all I can say,” Hurley said about having the Breeders Crown favorite. “It’s ecstasy.”
When Miller was asked if Always B Miki compared favorably to No Pan Intended, a 3-year-old colt pacer Miller drove to Horse of the Year honors in 2003, he replied with a grin, “Oh yeah, for sure.”
Always B Miki’s half-sister, Yagonnakissmeornot, is the favorite in Saturday’s $281,250 Breeders Crown Mare Pace. But family connections are not limited to Always B Miki as JK Endofanera’s full sister, JK She’salady, is the favorite in Saturday’s $500,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly pacers.
JK Endofanera is a homebred son of Art Major-Presidential Lady owned by Alan, Ron and Steve Katz’s 3 Brothers Stables. He was named to honor the Katz’s late father, Jack Katz, as well as veterinarian Dr. Stephen P. Dey II, who passed away the day the horse was foaled at the Dey family’s Heritage Hill Farm.
The colt is trained by six-time Breeders Crown winner Ron Burke and driven by Ron Pierce. JK Endofanera’s wins this year include the North America Cup, American-National Stakes and a division of the Tattersalls Pace. He has won 10 of 17 starts this year and $956,145.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way the horse raced (in his elimination) or the way I raced him,” Pierce said. “He had a lot of pace. I’m very happy with him and I feel very confident going into next week. I really feel good about him and the trip he got. Even though I was on top at the half, he was well within himself.”
Limelight Beach, a son of Somebeachsomewhere-Benear, was winless in his first 12 starts this season before capturing his opening heat and the final of the Little Brown Jug in September. The gelding was purchased by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and M1 Stable in July, with one of the original owners, Wingfield Brothers, remaining on board.
In seven starts beginning with Jug Day, Limelight Beach has five wins and a second-place finish. His only off-the-board finish came in the American-National Stakes when he went off stride and was fifth.
“He jumped something,” Gingras said. “I’m not sure what he saw. I didn’t see anything, but he saw something.”
Limelight Beach has made 12 starts for Burke, finishing worse than third only twice. He finished fourth in his first race, was found to have bled, and added Lasix for subsequent starts. His wins include divisions of the Circle City and Bluegrass Stakes, plus his elimination for the Breeders Crown.
“Even two weeks before the Jug you could tell he was coming around a little bit,” Gingras said. “He was racing better and better every week, the addition of Lasix I think helped him, and he was finally healthy. It all came together in the Jug and he’s been really good since.”
McWicked, who is 6-1 on the morning line, also could make a statement for year-end honors. The son of McArdle-Western Sahara has nine victories in 20 starts, including a world-record 1:47.3 mile in the Hempt at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, and a division-best $1.03 million in purses.
He was first-time Lasix in his Breeders Crown elimination after three consecutive third-place finishes.
“I've been real happy with him,” said Casie Coleman, a three-time Breeders Crown winner who trains McWicked for owner Ed James’ SSG Stables. “I’m not a big fan of Lasix, but I decided to try it. He seems to be bouncing back at the right time. He trained (Wednesday) and was real sharp.
“This division has been wide open, it’s been a different winner almost every big race. It’s been good racing, and good betting races, because you never know what’s going to happen with this group. I’m thinking if one of these horses like JK Endofanera, McWicked, Always B Miki, Limelight Beach ends up winning the Breeders Crown, division honors is looking pretty favorable in their direction.”
$531,250 3-YEAR-OLD COLT PACE
1. Let’s Drink On It, Tyler Smith, Joe Seekman, 15-1; 2. Somesizesomestyle, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 30-1; 3. McWicked, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman, 6-1; 4. Always B Miki, David Miller, Joe Holloway, 8-5; 5. Limelight Beach, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 3-1; 6. JK Endofanera, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke, 5-2; 7. Doo Wop Hanover, John Campbell, Steve Elliott, 20-1; 8. Somestarsomewhere, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 30-1; 9. Luck Be Withyou, Brian Sears, Chris Oakes, 20-1; 10. Capital Account, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 30-1.
BREEDERS CROWN WAGERING FORMAT
By the Meadowlands
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The two night Breeders Crown format features 12 Breeders Crown races and all 12 of the championship races will be a part of a guaranteed pool.
On Friday with Breeders Crown races covering races 7 through 10, the standard Meadowlands wagering format will be in play. It includes:
• $30,000 Guaranteed $.50 Cent Pick 5 (Races 1 through 5)
• $25,000 Guaranteed $.50 Cent Early Pick 4 (Races 3 through 6)
• $50,000 Guaranteed $.50 Cent Late Pick 4 (Races 7 through 10)
The Saturday Breeders Crown Program offers eight Breeders Crown races that cover races 4 through 11.
All Breeders Crown races are included in the Early and Late Pick 4 wagers and the guaranteed pools are enhanced as well. The Saturday guaranteed pool are as follows:
• $30,000 Guaranteed $.50 Cent Pick 5 (Races 1 through 5)
• $50,000 Guaranteed $.50 Cent Early Pick 4 (Races 4 through 7)
• $100,000 Guaranteed $.50 Cent Late Pick 4 (Races 8 through 11)
Both racing programs include a 20-Cent Jackpot Super Hi-5 with the low 8 percent takeout in the 13th and final race. The carryover into the Friday Program is $8,879.77.
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