01/13/2013 10:47AM

Harness Racing: On the track - Saturday

Lisa Photo
Golden Receiver won the first leg of the Presidential at the Meadowlands in 1:49.

Meadowlands - 'Receiver' feeling Presidential

The Presidential traditionally is the first major Free-For-All Stake of the harness racing season.  Last year it was captured by Golden Receiver, who would go on to a near $1 Million campaign.  If the first two weeks are any indication, Golden Receiver is poised for another big year.  Following his 1:48 4/5 performance in The Free For All last week, Golden Receiver put up a 1:49 tour de force in Round 1 of The Presidential.  Following a year that saw Tim Tetrick drive many champions, his 2013 already shows similar potential with the fleet of foot Golden Receiver.

His competition in the series may come from Versado, whose 1:49 4/5 performance was made even more impressive by the fact that he won just two days ago in the feature race at Dover.  Trainer Nick Surick thought he had another big race in him. 

“I told Andy (Miller) that he warmed up better tonight than he did on Thursday and just drive him like he was the best and he will get there,”  said Surick.

He held off the classy Dial Or No Dial by a nose after setting the pace.  Round two of The Presidential is next Saturday.

It was another successful night at the windows in East Rutherford.  The total handle for Saturday was $2,890,130 an increase of 17% from the same Saturday in 2012.

Racing resumes Thursday for the second round of The Super Bowl series for trotters, featuring three divisions with full fields.  The second round of The Clyde Hirt will be contested on Friday with The Presidential set for its second round on Saturday. 

(edited release-Meadowlands)


Yonkers - Electrofire in Open

Favored Electrofire (Brian Sears) was the champion of the chalk players Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 Open Handicap Pace.

Starting inside his six rivals, Electrofire retook from the six wins-in-a-row Proven Lover (Jason Bartlett) through a foggy 28-second opening quarter-mile. The reformed claimer then rolled through a :55 4/5 intermission and 1:23 4/5 three-quarters, losing his pocket pursuer and any semblance of an outer flow.

Electrofire had 2½ lengths turning for home and was never threatened. He was two lengths to the good at the wire, which he found in 1:52 3/5. Second went to Saint William A (Larry Stalbaum), photoing over Here We Go Again (George Brennan). Fitz's Z Tam (Matt Kakaley, seven winners in the first two racing nights) and newly-minted millionaire River Shark (Mark MacDonald) rounded out the payees.

For reformed claimer Electrofire, a 6-year-old son of Electric Stena co-owned by West Wins Stable & Dave Miller and trained by Casie Coleman, he returned $4.20 for his first win in a couple of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $46.20, with the triple returning $172.

(edited release-Yonkers)


Freehold - Love To Rock on a roll

Love To Rock, with driver Kyle DiBenedetto, won for an eighth consecutive time at Freehold on Saturday.  The Robert Horowitz trained gelding has moved up from capturing a $6,000 claiming race on November 10th to winning the previous three in $15,000 claiming races. 

The final time for Love To Rock was 1:56 1/5 and he won by just under two lengths.

The record for most wins in a row at Freehold is held by the filly Shortest Distance who had twelve consecutive wins in 2009.

Live racing resumes at Freehold Raceway on Thursday.  Post time for the first race is 12:30pm

(edited release-Freehold)


Dover - Allan Davis scores four

Allan Davis had his biggest year in 2012 and is escalating in January driving four winners on Saturday, headed by 18-1 Southern Viking in the Jan. 12 Delaware $12,500 4&5-Year-Old Mares pace feature at Dover Downs.

Southern Viking challenged front-pacing Auf Wiedersehen (Jack Parker) after the three-quarters and then took over entering the homestretch. The five-year-old Matt’s Scooter-Perfect Viking daughter trained by Anastas Papadopoulos for Brandon, Wanda and Cliff Murray took a lifetime mark of 1:55 4/5. Powerful Honey (Roger Plante) closed strongly to finish second in front of Squeezeme Pleaseme (Eddie Davis Jr.).

Earlier, Allan Davis and trainer Wayne Givens collaborated on a trio of other winners; Niel Gargiulo and Reg Hazzard’s Peach Pistol in a 1:51 4/5 win; All Pro Hall in 1:53 for Mark Givens and Legacy Racing Of DE and fast finishing Totally De Vie in 1:54 3/5 for Billie Givens and the first of two wins for Legacy Racing Of DE.

Daryl Bier and Tony Morgan also won three times on the card.

Dover Downs Saturday and Sunday post time is now 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday, starting time, 4:30 p.m. and Friday is a dark day.

(edited release-Dover)