Freehold, NJ --- After setting track records at Tioga Downs and Hoosier Park in his two most recent starts, Shark Gesture heads to Harrah’s Chester for Sunday’s (July 11) Ben Franklin Pace eliminations. Shark Gesture has won four of five races this year, earning $347,000, and is the nearly unanimous No. 1-ranked horse in harness racing, receiving 34 of 35 first place votes in the Top 10 poll.
Twelve horses entered the Franklin, so two six-horse eliminations will be held this weekend. The top four finishers from each elim will advance to the $500,000 final on July 18.
|Shark Gesture heads a field of 12 horses in the Ben Franklin Pace eliminations.|
Shark Gesture is coming off a win on June 26 in the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park, where he paced the mile in 1:48.1 and won by 10-1/2 lengths over Won The West. The time set the track record at Hoosier Park, breaking the mark of 1:48.2 set by Pacific Fella in the 1998 Dan Patch.
On June 13, Shark Gesture won the $228,000 Bettor's Delight at Tioga Downs, where he paced the mile in 1:48.3 to establish the track record there.
Shark Gesture is trained by Larry Remmen and driven by George Brennan. The 7-year-old horse has won 24 of 71 career races and earned $2.2 million for owners Norman Smiley, Gerald Smiley and TLP Stable.
Hypnotic Blue Chip, who is coming off a win in last weekend’s $100,000 Battle of Lake Erie Invitational at Northfield Park, is among the field facing Shark Gesture in Sunday’s first Franklin elim. Hypnotic Blue Chip was second, beaten a neck, in the Bettor's Delight and third in the Dan Patch Invitational.
Completing the first elim field are Mr Wiggles, Atochia, Three Of Spades, and Annieswesterncard.
Won The West and Foiled Again, who are ranked No. 6 and No. 8, respectively, in this week’s Top 10 poll, lead the second elim. Won The West has won three of eight races this season and has not finished worse than third in any start while earning $337,540. His top victory came in the $293,280 Molson Pace on May 28. David Miller will drive for trainer Ron Burke.
Foiled Again, also trained by Burke, has won five of 11 races this year and hit the board 10 times while earning $454,410. He won the $460,000 George Morton Levy Memorial Series final on May 1 at Yonkers Raceway and is coming off a third-place effort in the Battle of Lake Erie. Yannick Gingras will drive Foiled Again.
Rounding out the second elim field are Dial Or Nodial, Vintage Master, Dali, and Keep It Real.