Doc’s Bonanza returns to the winner’s circle at Colonial
New Kent, VA --- Doc’s Bonanza, the 2012 Horse of the Meet at Colonial Downs, got back to the winner’s for the first time in two starts at the current fall season in Wednesday’s $6,000 winners-over featured pace.
|Doc's Bonanza found himself in a familiar place on Wednesday -- the Colonial Downs winner's circle.|
Doc’s Zippy set the early pace, triggering fractions of :26.2, :54.1 and 1:22.3. Doc’s Bonanza ended up winning in 1:51, a season’s best, by 1-¾ lengths over Fly To The Angels. Last fall, the Mary Dawson-trained horse had a winning mile of 1:49.4 in New Kent.
A trio of late-closing pacing series divisions were also raced on the card as well. Fortune’s Jenna and Lemondrop Martini scored $3,500 division wins in the Horace Martin Memorial’s second leg. Jeff Nisonger directed the former to a 1:53.4, one length triumph, while Gerald Longo guided the latter to a new life mark of 1:53.3.
What’s Up Rock made up for an early break in the Va. Harness Horsemen’s Association (VHHA) Pacing Series’ first leg to score a tight win over Plain Easy in a $4,000 second leg division on Wednesday. Driver Robert Dinning directed trainer Dean Eckley’s 3-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding to a neck victory in 1:54.2.
A sluggish I Reckon So shook off a tough start and stormed past six other pacers in the stretch to capture the second VHHA division. The 3-year-old Yankee Skyscraper gelding crossed in a lifetime-best 1:53.3 after going off-stride before the start and languishing in last through much of the first three-quarters.
The U Gotta Win One Now Series also got underway with a single $3,500 division and Henry Lewis’s Vertigo Hanover got his second win of the young meet with a 1:36.3 effort in the seventh-eighths mile pace. Driver Chuck Perry took advantage of a perfect pocket trip to beat runner-up All Is Lost by nearly three lengths.
Colonial Downs will host a 10-race harness program on Thursday at 1 p.m.
-- Darrell Wood
Regis The Horse had his first off-the-board finish on national TV Wednesday as the 2-year-old pacer finished fifth while broadcast live on Fox Sports 1’s sports discussion show “Crowd Goes Wild.” The Shadow Play colt driven by Montrell Teague lost ground while first-over in his second circuit after appearing to bear-in and hook wheels briefly with the leader and eventual race winner, Thisdeuceiswild. Regis The Horse was able to gather momentum again but faded in the stretch while his namesake and TV legend, “Crowd Goes Wild” host Regis Philbin looked on. Philbin joked after the race, “I’m going to sell that horse.” Regis The Horse had three wins and a second place finish in his previous four starts, all of which have been aired live. Meanwhile in the $19,000 Open trot, Rojan Stables, L A Express, Howard Taylor and Allan Kaplan’s He’s Spooky ($11.20, Jon Roberts) prevailed after a fierce stretch drive in the final sixteenth of a mile and edged the pacesetter Green Day for a narrow win. Photo Maxx was third. Trained by Doug Lewis, He’s Spooky registered his seventh win of the year. George Dennis had three wins on the program.
Another race card, another track record at Batavia Downs. It what appears to becoming a nightly occurrence, another track standard was erased at the half-mile oval. It was Xenia Hanover's turn this time to get her name into the record book as she shattered the mark for older pacing mares by going 1:53 in a 7-1/2 length blowout in $8,500 Open pace for fillies and mares at Batavia Downs. The previous record of 1:53.4 was set by Up Front Kellie Jo in 2012 and just equaled by Marty Party on Sept. 18. Six track records have been equaled or broken during the 2013 summer-fall meet. Real Joy (Ron Beback Jr.) led the way to the half in :56 Xenia Hanover ($4.50) sat fourth over the fast track. But down the backstretch the final time, Batavia Downs' co-leading driver Shawn McDonough went first-over with Xenia Hanover and charged to the lead, hitting the three-quarter mark on top in an eye-popping 1:24.3. With the outcome decided, the only questions in the last quarter mile was the final time and margin of victory. Xenia Hanover answered both questions, impressively. She paced the last quarter in :28.2 en route to the huge victory in the record time of 1:53. You're Too Funny (Kevin Cummings) managed to take second while Marty Party (Drew Monti) took the show spot. It was the eighth win in 28 starts this season for Xenia Hanover (The Panderosa--Witsends Louise) who is owned by Keith Pinkowski and trained by Mihajalo Zjdelar Jr. The victory moved the 8-year-old mare's earnings to $36,400 in 2013 and $178,486, lifetime. Ken "Doc" Holliday didn't take long to get back to the winner’s circle, he did so in his second night back. His last win came in January 2012.
Saratoga Casino and Raceway
Veteran trotter Coach Fox (Keystone Nordic) completed the Pick-5 on Wednesday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Melissa Beckwith trainee parlayed class and post relief into his first local score of the season with Wally Hennessey at the controls. The 10-year- old trotter became a half millionaire with his front running score on Wednesday night, a victory that was the 58th of his career. The Pick-5 had a three week carryover of just shy of $4,500 and the pool had an additional $8,500 or so bet into it to create a nice pool for the bettors. After Coach Fox emerged victorious, the Pick-5 returned $909.50 on a $1 bet despite several favorites prevailing. The Pick-5 is a wager offered only on Wednesday nights.