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|Balmoral Park (8/26/06)
Contact: Tom Kelley
New track records set on American National Night
$190,000 American National 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trot
Chocolatier took the lead and never looked back in the $190,000 American National for sophomore trotters Saturday night at Balmoral Park. With DR Ackerman at the lines, the son of Credit Winner was on idle at the wire, tripping the timer in a respectable 1:54, three lengths ahead of rival Double Player (Andy Miller).
Trained by Doug Ackerman and driven in all of his starts by his son DR, Chocolatierís victory was his third of the season in eight trips postward, and pushed his seasonal earnings to $533,750. He also became harness racingís newest millionaire, as he added the winnerís share of $95,000 to his already hefty bankrollópushing his career total to $1,042,000.
"He was very sharp tonight and I was a little concerned about his fitness level since itís been three weeks since he raced in the Hambletonian, but he was sharp and really wanted to go," DR Ackerman noted. "Our next start is one week from today in the World Trotting Derby at DuQuoin."
Chocolatier was the 2005 Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and most recently finished a game second to Glidemaster in the Hambletonian at The Meadowlands in early August.
Andy Miller brought Double Player up for second, while Muscles to Spare (George Brennan) held down show honors.
$203,000 American National Aged Pace
Holborn Hanover paced to an all-time track record at Balmoral Park Saturday night of 1:47.4 with driver George Brennan at the controls. Trained by Brett Robinson for John Fielding, and Canamerica Capital Corp., of Ontario, the five-year-old gelded son of Camís Card Shark cruised to his seventh victory of the season in 20 tries. The time bested Quik Pulse Mindaleís record three-year-old track record of 1:48.
Lis Mara (Andy Miller) sat in the two-hole to finish second, while a hard-closing Stonebridge Regal (Mike Oosting) got up for third in the final strides.
"My horse had to work hard to hold off Lis Mara in the lane, but he was able to get the job done," driver George Brennan noted. "Heís five now ó heís more mature and has really rounded into shape this year ó and weíre just hoping he continues."
Holborn Hanover also obliterated the stakes record of 1:49.3 set by Royalflush Hanover in 2000. Holborn Hanover, a winner of over $1.7 million, became the fastest racehorse in Standardbred history on August 5 when he paced to a blistering 1:46.4 while winning the US Pacing Championship at The Meadowlands earlier this season.
The $200,000 American National Aged Trot
Sand Vic established a new track record of 1:51.4 at Balmoral Park Saturday night en route to winning the $200,000 American National Aged Trot by nine lengths. George Brennan was at the lines for trainer Trond Smedshammer and owner August Fredrik Miedel of Pompano Beach, Florida. He shattered the previous track record of 1:53, established by Magician in 2000.
"Heíll go to Canada next, for the $1 million Maple Leaf Trot," trainer Smedshammer noted. "Heís a very happy horse and has put on a great deal of weight since last year. We plan on racing him next year too."
"Iíve been behind this horse many times, racing against him," driver Brennan said. "But it was a great treat to get to actually sit behind him and steer him. I thought he was going very strongly at the three-quarter marker and had the race pretty much in hand."
Sand Vic is a five-year-old son of Mr Vic and pushed his seasonal earnings to $892,250 and his career bankroll to $1,630,822. He is currently the number one ranked trotter in North America.
The $32,500 Hanover 3-Year-Old Filly Trot
George Brennan steered his fourth winner of the night as he piloted Celebrity Sweedie to a 1:56 victory in the $32,5000 Hanover Stake for sophomore filly trotters. The daughter of Yankee Glide is trained by Staffan Lind for Celebrity Farms of New York, New York. Celebrity Sweedie pushed her seasonal earnings to $150,805 with the win, her sixth of the year in 13 tries this year. She now has $408,410 in her career bank account. Klipspringer (Tim Tetrick) was second and Heathers Dream (Peter Wrenn) third.
The $55,000 Hanover 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace
A very tight photo finish revealed that Fox Valley Tribal and driver Ryan Anderson had outnosed My Boy David and driver Andy Miller for the victory in the $55,000 American National pace for sophomore pacing colts and geldings. Fox Valley Tribal, a son of Sportsmaster, tripped the timer in 1:50.1 for trainer Joe Anderson and owner Antonio Charivalle of Hamilton, Ontario.
The victory was the sixth of the year in 15 starts for Fox Valley Tribal and pushed his seasonal earnings to $281,437 and his career earnings to $426,477. Real Mean Art (Mike Oosting) closed well to be third, with West Bound Train in fourth for Mike Lachance.
$42,000 Hanover 3-Year-Old Filly Pace
My Metallica cruised to a wire-to-wire 1:51.1 victory for driver George Brennan in uncontested fashion. Trained by Tom Harmer for the Ciara Stable, Michael Polansky and Duke Johnston, the daughter of Party At Artsplace picked up her first victory of the season in 12 tries. Her nearest rival, Bow Wow Wine (Ryan Anderson) was nearly seven lengths behind her, with Artistic Ashley nailing down third. My Metallica now has $42,356 in seasonal earnings and $182,521 in career earnings.
$32,500 Hanover 3-Year-Old Filly Trot
Gastine proved the toughest among a full field of sophomore trotting lasses in the $32,500 Hanover Stake. Mike Lachance drove the Bob Stewart trained daughter of Garland Lobell for owners Reve Avec Moi Dreamwithme of Brigham, Quebec. After sitting back throughout most of the mile, Gastine weaved her way through the field of trotters and emerged at the front of the pack.
Unraced as a freshman, Gastine is out of the world champion Hambletonian winner Continentalvictory, and picked up her fourth win in ten starts this season for her connections in a career best of 1:56.4. She upped her career bankroll to $73,623 with the win. A hard-trying Venezia (DR Ackerman) picked up place honors, with Classical Girl (Mark OíMark) nabbing third.
The $66,000 Fairy Godmother
Loyal Opposition kept her Fairy Godmother championship intact by winning the 2006 edition in 1:52 for driver Andy Miller. Illinoisí richest pacing mare of all time didnít change her tactics from last year either, taking the lead from the start and snipping off fractions of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:24.4 before brushing home in :27.1.
"She races better if she has to chase horses," Miller noted. "But she proved herself up to the challenge when that other horse came at her late in the lane."
Loyal Opposition, trained by Millerís older brother Erv, the 2005 USHWA Trainer of the Year, pushed her career earnings to $2,765,811 with the win, her ninth of the year in 17 tries for owner Daniel Waxman of Ancaster, Ontario.
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