New Kent, VA --- Jovial Joker N, a 13-year-old Life Sign gelding, turned back the clock and scored a convincing divisional win on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 18) in the Horace Martin Memorial Pacing Series at Colonial Downs.
|Jovial Joker N was a 1:39 winner in his division of the Horace Martin Series.|
The victory was Jovial Joker N’s 50th and helped boost his career bankroll over the $433,000 mark. Trainer Dean Eckley and driver Robert Dinning, both competing at Colonial for the first time, saw their pacer sent off as the 13-1 longshot in the seven-eighths-mile race.
Henry Lewis’ Putnam’s Art got to the front early and triggered initial quarter panels of :26.2, :55.4 and 1:25 before hooking up with Art At Heart together at the top of the stretch. Jovial Joker N, a length behind in third at that point, cruised by the pacesetters and coasted home to a 3-1/4 length win in 1:39.
Don Brainard’s JK Geronimo connected in an earlier Martin division, beating Gerald Longo’s Lemondrop Martini by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:38.3. Driver Corey Braden, who had two wins on the afternoon, guided the 5-year-old pacing mare to her fourth straight win.
Two first leg divisions of the VHHA Pacing Series complemented the opening day program.
George Anthrop’s Glad Its Over and Dean Eckley’s Plain Easy scored wins respectively in 1:55 and 1:54.3. The former stormed back from sixth at the top of the stretch to win by a half-length over Stately Man while Frank Milby directed the latter to a 1-1/4 length triumph after pacing third throughout most of the mile.
Colonial Downs’ fall season continues Thursday with a ten race card that begins at 1 p.m. The 16th annual Standardbred campaign continues through Oct. 27 on a Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday basis.