05/30/2017 4:11PM

Northfield: $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie set for Saturday

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Saturday’s Battle of Lake Erie rivals have a combined 192 victories.  Northfield Park’s 11th race features a competitive field of the sport’s best open pacers and will reveal who earns the 193rd win.     

All Bets Off drew post 4 and has been installed as the 5-2 slight morning-line favorite by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting, Dave Bianconi.  He attracts national driving star Matt Kakaley and is one of two entries in the field for harness racing’s leading trainer Ron Burke.  All Bets Off makes his third local appearance.  He won the inaugural $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial in 2014 and was the runner-up (from post 8) in this event last year.  He has career earnings of $2,272,503 and a 1:48 2/5 lifetime mark at Rosecroft’s 5/8-mile oval.

Luck Be Withyou enters this event off two consecutive victories and drew post 3.  He has been given a 3-1 morning line.  Saturday marks Luck Be Withyou’s fourth start over the Flying Turns.  He finished dead-heated for second in 2014 in the $400,000 Milstein and has been eighth and fourth in his two Battle attempts.  Luck Be Withyou has a career bankroll of $1,339,741 and won a $500,000 Breeders Crown in 2013 and the $500,000 Ben Franklin in 2015.       

Guantanamo Bay drew the rail and is the 9-2 third choice.  He and his driver Vincent Ginsburg both make their Northfield debuts.  Guantanamo Bay has four wins this season and 14 career scores.  He paced a lifetime best of 1:51 2/5 (Meadows 5/8) last year and has earned $278,538. 

Since its inception in 1986, the Battle of Lake Erie has drawn the sport’s best veteran pacers.  Past Battle Champions include racing greats Falcon Seelster, Quite A Sensation, Jaguar Spur, Dorunrun Bluegrass, Cambest, Gallo Blue Chip, Maltese Artist and Foiled Again. 

This will be the first year since 2009 that Foiled Again will not compete in this race.  However, he is not ready to completely pass the torch and will be leading the post parade after competing in the $20,000 Open Pace on the undercard.  Later in the evening he will greet fans from a special stall set up on the grandstand apron.  Harness racing’s richest horse, with $7,521,128 in earnings and 94 victories, loves people and is accustomed to fans who like to take selfies with him.        

The 2017 $200,000 Battle of Lake Erie field:

Horse                                 Driver                         Trainer                       M/L

1-Guantanamo Bay             Vincent Ginsburg         Daniel Renaud           9-2      

2-Soto                                 Art Stafford Jr.             Eric Ell                        6-1

3-Luck Be Withyou              Aaron Merriman          Chris Oakes                3-1

4-All Bets Off                       Matt Kakaley               Ron Burke                   5-2

5-Mr Wiggle Pants               Aaron Merriman          Scott McEneny            5-1

6-Night Pro                          Ronnie Wrenn Jr.         Dale Decker               12-1

7-Rockin Ron                        Aaron Merriman          Ron Burke                   8-1

8-Sunfire Blue Chip              Mark MacDonald         Jimmy Takter              10-1    

*Final driver selections are due by 9PM on Tuesday.

Superfecta wagering has been added to the 'Battle' feature.  First race post time is 6:00 p.m.

-edited release (Northfield park)