Saturday’s (Feb. 1) edition of Racing Roundup features results stories from Pompano Park, Yonkers Raceway, Buffalo Raceway and Northfield Park.
Prairie Jaguar extends streak to seven
Pompano Beach, FL --- This harness racing journalist had to make a decision after Prairie Jaguar won for the seventh consecutive time at Pompano Park--simply "cut and paste" the same article written in his last start two weeks ago or write something new.
Of course, the answer is obvious.
Prairie Jaguar, the incredible Florida bred 6-year-old son of Spy Hard, did it again--winning, this time, in 1:49.2--for his fourth winning mile in 1:50 or faster at Pompano Park, the most ever by any standardbred in this track's history stretching now a half-century.
Driven again by Jason Dillander for trainer Mike Deters, who co-owns with Laurie Poulin, Prairie Jaguar led virtually every step of the mile, first, out-brushing Lyons Johnny, handled by Wally Hennessey, through a scalding opening quarter of :26 and, then, clocking fractions of :53.3 and 1;22.1 along the way to report home with a two length margin over Lyons Johnny with Hillybilly (Bruce Ranger) third after having raced in that position the entire route.
Northern Companion, last early, rallied to finish fourth while McGreat picked up the final award in the field of seven--the final horse across the line timed in 1:50.4.
In a post race interview, driver Dillander said, "...this horse amazes me every time he races. He was off a couple of weeks so I wasn't sure he'd be as tight, but he was just awesome tonight. I admit I was a little bit worried because he was so relaxed up the backstretch but when Wally's horse (Lyons Johnny) came to me around the final turn, he pinned his ears back and was all business from there. What did he come home in :27 and a piece? (:27.1.)
For Prairie Jaguar, this seven race winning streak has pushed his lifetime bounty to $72,222 in 69 lifetime starts--$30,000 of that in his past seven races covering less than two months.
Trainer Deters summed it up perfectly when he said, "...he sure has come a long way since his first start as a 2-year-old way back in 2010 when he paced his mile in (2):15 and a piece...and that's without making a break!"
He sure has.
-- John Berry
Money Twitch A (Eric Carlson) kept the form spree going Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway $33,000 Open Pace in 1:53. For Money Twitch A, a 9-year-old Down Under Life Sign gelding owned by William Emmons and trained by Heidi Rohr, he returned $18 (fourth choice) for his third win in four seasonal starts. Fat Man’s Alley took second with Dovuto Hanover third. The exacta paid $65, with the triple returning $302.50. The feature race was about the only thing Pierce did not win, since he left with six victories on the dozen-race card (eight in his rare, two-night Westchester stay). Saturday’s 12-race handle was $1,105,830, a second consecutive seven-figure night and third of 2014.
Sand Summerfield didn't mind the rainy, raw and sloppy conditions at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (Feb.1) as he splashed and dashed his way to victory over Stonebridge Rocket in the $10,500 Open Pace. The win completed the sweep in Open competition for owner Robert Main and trainer Jason Robinson at Buffalo Raceway as Ellisarro Hanover took the $10,500 Open Trot on Friday night. Sand Summerfield set the fractions to the half with a 1:00.3 time but found himself in second place as Stonebridge Rocket blasted his way to the top just past the midway point. Driver Dan Rawlings then showed plenty of patience as he sat the garden spot with Sand Summerfield ($5.50) until deep stretch where they were able to overtake Stonebridge Rocket and score the half-length victory in 1:57.2. OK Braveheart (Billy Dobson) took the show position. It was the first win of the season in five attempts for Sand Summerfield (Mantacular-Ribbons And Bows) and the 26th of his career. The 7-year-old gelding has now won $10,530 in 2014 and $322,170 lifetime.
Classic Sakuri captured the $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace on Saturday (February 1) in Northfield Park’s eighth. She was one of two victories on the night for her trainer, Barry Langley. Josh Sutton drove the 8-year-old pacer for owners Lora Markley and Kiesha Malloy. Classic Sakuri (Astreos-Spider Cam-Camluck) started from post five on a sloppy surface and was the benefactor of an early speed duel. She was sat mid-pack through initial fractions of :27.3 and :57. Sutton swept Classic Sakuri to the front in the third quarter and she never looked back. Classic Sakuri maintained a 2-1/2 length margin of victory and paced final fractions of 1:26.1 and 1:56.2 Completing the race were Canaco Star, Crazy Luv Bug, Eradikate, Sand Song, Hugs Again, Save My Dragon and Shes Glorious. Saturday’s victory was Classic Sakuri’s 25 career success and increased her bankroll to $125,910. She returned $8.40 to win. The Saturday feature was one of five wins on the night for Josh Sutton, who leads the initial Northfield Park 2014 driving standings. Sutton’s other winners of the night included Alhambra Bokay ($5.00) in race three, Joe’s Miss Daisy ($3.60) in race four, African Violet ($7.00) in race six and Petite Courageuse ($4.20) in race nine. Sutton, 31, began driving in 2000 and has since garnered 2,229 career victories and is approaching $13,000,000 in purse earnings.