Records are meant to be set and this past weekend was no exception in the harness racing industry.
On Saturday night, July 12 at The Meadowlands, He’s Watching captured the $776,000 Meadowlands Pace in a world record-equaling time of 1:46.4—the fastest clocking in harness racing history. Tim Tetrick was in the sulky—winning his fourth edition of this classic event for sophomore pacers.
He’s Watching now becomes just the fourth pacer in history to have traveled that fast in a race mile, joining Somebeachsomewhere, Holborn Hanover and Warawee Needy.
“This horse just exploded,” said Tetrick. “It’s an honor to drive in a race like this and an even bigger honor to have a horse that can win it. This is a great horse.”
David Menary trains He’s Watching for Menary Racing, Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and the Muscara Racing Trust. The son of American Ideal—who was a $3,000 yearling at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg—now has a 3-1-1 record from six seasonal starts and $448,235 in his 2014 coffers.
He’s Watching won his Meadowland’s Pace elimination in 1:48.1, and was the 2013 Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer of the Year. Lifetime, he’s amassed $849,957 in 14 starts, with 11 wins, one second and one third.
A trio of Jimmy Takter-trained youngsters finished in the top three spots in the $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial. This event for 3-year-old trotters is considered to be one of the top preps for the $1.2 million Hambletonion, which will be contested at The Big M on Aug. 2
To no surprise, it was heavily-favored Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras) who stopped the clock in 1:51.3, followed by stablemates Nuncio (John Campbell) and Trixton (Jimmy Takter).
Father Patrick, who sports an unblemished six for six record this season and 16 wins in 17 career outings, used wire-to-wire tactics and a :27 second final brush to prevail.
“With the nine-hole in a 12-horse field, I didn’t want to get caught behind a wall of horses,” Gingras stressed. “Father Patrick beat this field straight up tonight, there were no excuses for the others.”
Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall, now has $1,254,988 in career earnings for the Father Patrick Stable of East Windsor, NJ.
Trainer Takter also captured the $213,500 Del Miller Memorial with his Shake it Cerry (Ron Pierce), winning in 1:53. This event is linked to the Hambletonian Oaks, the sister event to the Hambletonian, for 3-year-old trotting fillies.
Owned by the Solveig Racing Partners, this sophomore daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig notched her fifth win of the season in six starts in gate to wire fashion, pushing her 2014 earnings to $217,338. Lifetime she’s earned $1,045,107.
“This was a great prep for the Hambo Oaks,” Pierce said. “Tonight was a great workout for her, and she’s never been sharper.”
Trainer Ron Burke scored a one-two punch in the $463,300 William Haughton Memorial, as he harnessed both the winner and second-place finisher in this event.
At the wire, it was Sweet Lou (Ron Pierce) who stormed home with a :25.4 final brush to score his six straight win this year in 1:47.1. The son of Yankee Cruiser now has 28 career wins and $2,760,111 in earnings for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry karr and Phil Collura.
Stablemate Bettor’s Edge (Matt Kakaley) was a strong second, while last year’s Meadowland’s Pace winner, Captaintreacherous, finished third.
In the $212,150 Mistletoe Shalee for sophomore pacing filies, Sandbetweenurtoes (Brett Miller) swept to a neck victor over Weeper in a speedy 1:49.3.
Trained by Larry Remmen, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, had only one start lsat year as a 2-year-old, but has emerged this year with an unscathed record of six wins in six starts for owner Bradley Grant of Milton, Ontario. Sandbetweenurtoes pushed her career earnings to $176,216.
At Chicago’s Maywood Park on Friday night, July 11, it was Dakota Roadster who stole the show, winning the $10,000 Fox Valley Barzgar Stake in 1:57.4. Travis Seekman was at the lines behind the 2-year-old son of Duneside Perch for trainer Bob Phillips. The youngster was making just his third career start and now has $8,500 in lifetime earnings.
On Thursday night, July 10, Lex (Kyle Wilfong) had captured the $10,000 My Mettalica Stake for freshman pacing fillies in 1:57.3. The daughter of Lexington Legend now has two wins in three career starts for trainer Nelson Willis and $8,040 in earnings.
Sparkling Yankee set a new Northfield Park track record of 1:52 on July 10, besting the old mark of 1:52.1 for aged pacing mares set by Don’t Blame Her in 2011.
Sparkling Yankee, a daughter of Yankee Cruiser-Northmedo Tam, was steered by Ronnie Wrenn, jr. for trainer-owner Joseph Miller of Dundee, Ohio and Michael Yoder of Fredericksburg, Ohio.
The 6-year-old mare now has $95,101 in career earnings from 21 wins. She has nine victories in 22 trips postward this season along.