This weekend marks two of the major races for juvenile pacers, with elimination races for the Sweetheart for fillies and the Woodrow Wilson Pace for colts
at The Meadowlands on Friday, August 13. The finals will be held on August 22.
The Wilson, which will go for a final purse of $473,000, attracted a field of 13. The four horses with the top earnings were granted byes. Three of those will not race, Fashion Delight, Grahams Legacy and Rollwithitharry. The fourth, Roll With Joe, opted to decline the bye and will race on Friday. The top seven finishers will compete in the final.
A total of 13 fillies entered the $402,400 Sweetheart. Ace Of Pace and Show And Tell were awarded byes and thus, the top 8 finishers on Friday will advance to the final.
Lookinforadventure, not eligible to the Wilson, has the Metro Stakes in Canada on his horizon. The colt has had driver John Campbell looking for the winner’s circle on a regular basis. The two-year-old colt pacer is four-for-four this season after his 1:51.3 win in a division of the Niatross at The Meadowlands on August 6. Three weeks earlier, Lookinforadventure won the $200,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship.
“He’s done everything we’ve asked of him so far,” said John Campbell, who drives the colt for trainer Bruce Saunders and owner Frank Bellino. “He’s really a talented colt. He’s one of the ones that’s fun to drive. He’s learning all the time. That’s a new dimension for him to go back to the front and race that way. He’s passed every test so far, but they always get tougher as you go along.”
Lookinforadventure, a son of Rocknroll Hanover-Student Driver, was purchased as a yearling for $85,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale.
“He’s got tremendous speed,” Campbell said. “He can really pace for a piece. It’s hard to find one with that kind of ability. When you get one like that, the key is to try to keep them healthy and free of injury.”
Campbell says Lookinforadventure seems to have the complete package: Ability, speed and a good temperament.
“A lot of these young horses are overanxious and wanting to go too much too quick in the mile,” Campbell said. “You want ability, speed and one you can control. He’s got it all.”
While Lookinforadventure is not Wilson-bound, Campbell’s brother, Jim, is eyeing the race with Fashion Delight, who accepted the bye and will not race on Friday. The colt also won a Niatross division, his in 1:51.2. David Miller drove Fashion Delight for owner Fashion Farms.
“He was a real nice colt training down all winter,” Jim Campbell said. “He doesn’t do a thing wrong on the track. He can be a little tough in [the paddock] at times getting ready, but around the barn he’s perfect to get along with. When you train them down, you never know what you’ve got, but we thought he was a nice colt. David baby raced him his first couple starts and David loved him the first time he sat behind him.”
Fashion Delight, a son of Bettors Delight-BJs Sunshine, was purchased as a yearling for $35,000. He has won consecutive starts since finishing third in an overnight and second in a division of the Reynolds Stakes.
“He’s just gotten better and better with each race,” Campbell said. “So far we’re very happy with the way he’s progressed. He’s got the quick speed and so far he’s shown he can carry it, too.”
Another trainer with his eyes on the Wilson is Ed Hart, whose Roll With Joe was second to Fashion Delight in the Niatross and second to Lookinforadventure in the New Jersey Sire Stakes final.
A son of Cams Card Shark-Classic Wish, the colt is a full brother to Bettors Delight and half brother to Pacing Triple Crown winner No Pan Intended. He was purchased as a yearling for $100,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale.
“He’s a very well-bred horse so I think there’s a lot of potential for this colt,” Hart said. “He’s been a real nice horse training down all the way. There’s nothing really to say. He’s just been one of the ones you really kind of look for.”
Roll With Joe has one win, in a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, in four races this year. George Brennan has been his primary driver. The colt is owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock, Stephen Demeter, Not To Worry Stable and Winbak Farm.
“He’s been progressing pretty steadily,” Hart said. “I think he’s going to peak for the Wilson at the right time. He’s a little bit of a heavier colt; it’s tough to keep weight off him. Now he’s got three weeks in a row of racing and I think he’ll be better for it. He’s a pretty uneventful horse. He’s just a classy type of horse.”
Making his first start in stakes company, Powerful Mist, owned by Legacy Racing, Niel Gargiulo and Louie Paglierani and trained by Wayne Givens, brings the fastest mark of the 10 competitors in Friday’s Wilson elimination race. The son of Powerful Toy turned in a 1:51.4 win, with a last quarter of :26.1 on August 4 at The Meadowlands. He was a $27,000 yearling purchase and will be driven on Friday by Ron Pierce.
“He started off perfect and he’s just got it going through his whole training career,” said trainer Wayne Givens. ”He’s just been outstanding from Day One. When I went to the Winbak Farm private sale [last fall], to me, he was the best looking yearling at the sale. I just went and tried to pick out something I thought would be good and I thought he was the best looking one in the sale. His conformation is good and he’s out of a real good family. He just stood out. He’s probably the smartest horse I’ve ever been around.
“Winbak didn’t stake him heavy for this year. He’s staked pretty heavy for next year and I put him in some two year-old races. Ron Pierce drove Winbak Speed (p, 6, 1:49, $879,682) for me and I kind of use him when I go out of town. Ronnie loves him. You can drive him with two fingers. He looks like an outstanding individual. He’s still a stud and you’d never know it. Never showed any signs of getting out of hand or anything. He’s had three starts on that track now and I think whichever way he has to do it, he’ll be fine.”
Trainer Larry Remmen, who’s a team with his brother Ray, sends out two starters in the Wilson elims, the younger brother of Shark Gesture (p,6, 1:48.1, $2,4 million), called Shark Ingested and a new acquisition on August 1, Mcsocks.
Remmen says it’s hard to compare big and little brothers, who are owned by the same partnership of Gerald and Norman Smiley and the TLP Stable, both sold as $110,000 yearlings, at this point. “I didn’t know Shark Gesture when he was young, there are some traits that are probably the same,” says Remmen. “Mr. Smiley told me that there’s a lot of similarities as far as being slow getting started. But they progressed as the year went on and that seems to be what this guy is doing.”
Shark Ingested’s last start, his first win, in the Niatross Stake at The Meadowlands in 1:53.2, came with an eye popping :26 last quarter. “We were a little concerned there that he seemed like he was lackadaisical and not paying attention. We were wondering what was wrong with him. George [driver Brennan] said when another horse got up near him, he kind of woke up. I knew he could go a fast quarter. I didn’t think he that fast a quarter in him, but he hadn’t been used the whole race, so that didn’t surprise me. Colts are so much better than they used to be, so much more natural, at that place, nothing seems to surprise me anymore."
Remmen says they’re learning that Shark Ingested races best when he’s engaged early in the race. “When we started with him, we were cautious. We didn’t want to mess him up early and we kind of put him to sleep the first few times he raced,” he says. “If you put him in to the race early, he has more interest. That’s a similar trait to his brother. He wants to be up towards the front early.”
Mcsocks is a new member of the Remmen Stable, a recent purchase at the Tattersalls Sale on August 1. “We didn’t change anything on him, we got him out of the sale. John [Campbell] had qualified him last time [on July 29, a win in 1:54.1] and said he’s a pretty nice colt. I was watching the race by accident and couldn’t see who John was driving in the qualifier before the sale and I said, ‘Man, this is not a bad colt.’ Then John said I might want to have a look at him. I went over and looked at him on the Saturday before the sale. I couldn’t see anything wrong with him and then Ray went over and bought him the next day. We paid $48,000. He acted like he can go pretty fast, but whether he can carry it, we’ll find out Friday."
The field for the Wilson elimination race, for a purse of $20,000, from the rail out with driver and trainer, is as follows:
1. Powerful Mist, Ron Pierce, Wayne Givens
2. Arockin Hanover, Andy Miller, Erv Miller
3. Shark Ingested, George Brennan, Larry Remmen
4. Roll Em Up, John Campbell, Joe Holloway
5. On The Radar, Yannick Gingras, Erv Miller
6. Mr Bedrock, Andy Miller, Robert Taylor
7. Mcsocks, John Campbell, Larry Remmen
8. Roll With Joe, George Brennan, Ed Hart
9. Line Officer, Tim Tetrick, Noel Daley
10. Jo Pas Pe Iii, Brian Sears, Jim Campbell
The field for the Sweetheart elimination, from the rail out, with drivers and trainers is as follows:
1. Native Daughter, David Miller, Mark Capone
2. Ms Malicious, Tim Tetrick, Jerry Silverman
3. Shyaway, Brian Sears, Larry Rathbone
4. Drop The Ball, John Campbell, Paul Reid
4. Cndiana Jones, Brad Hanners, Wayne Givens
5. Mothermayi Hanover, Tim Tetrick, Luis Porfilio
6. Rocklamation, Tim Tetrick, Mark Harder
7. Honky Tonk Woman, David Miller, Jeff Webster
8. Myluvlife, Mike Lachance, Joe King
This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.