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Harness Racing Notebook: From the breeding shed to the racetrack
Thursday, June 26, 2014 - by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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Ken Weingartner
Freehold, NJ --- After a stint in the breeding shed, 7-year-old trotter Wishing Stone is ready to make his 2014 racing debut in a conditioned handicap on Friday (June 27) at the Meadowlands.

Wishing Stone received post 10 in the race and is 9-2 on the morning line. He enters the race off one qualifier, a 1:55.2 effort on June 20 with Yannick Gingras driving for trainer Ron Burke.

Undercover Strike is the 3-1 favorite, followed by Mistery Woman at 7-2 and Spider Blue Chip at 4-1.

USTA/Ken Weingartner photo
Wishing Stone has won 21 of 69 lifetime races and earned $2.23 million.

Wishing Stone stood as a stallion at Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey. He fulfilled contracts for 331 doses of frozen semen overseas as well as being bred to some 30 mares in North America.

Although it is common for trotters overseas to breed and race in the same season, that is not the case in North America. Some well-known successes abroad include Ready Cash, who is France’s richest trotter in history in addition to being a popular sire, and Coktail Jet and Mack Lobell, who both won the prestigious Elitloppet after performing stud duties.

“It’s a fun experiment and I think it’s going to work,” said Mike Gulotta, the CEO of Deo Volente Farms and head of the Wishing Stone Syndicate ownership group. “Actually, the first part of it has worked. We’re excited.”

Gulotta hopes to see Wishing Stone get a boost as a stallion thanks to a new bonus program at the Meadowlands for New Jersey-sired horses.

“I think now that people see that things will be changing in New Jersey, there will be a lot more interest in him and other Jersey stallions next year,” Gulotta said. “Sometimes people need to see that something is actually happening in order to commit.”

Wishing Stone is well known in Europe, having competed there at ages 4 and 5. In 2011, he won the French trotting race Grand Prix du Sud Ouest at 1-5/16 mile and also the King’s Trophy in Sweden. He was second in the Gran Premio Continentale in Italy.

A year later, he captured the Copenhagen Cup in Denmark at a distance of 1-1/4 mile. He finished his European campaign with a second-place finish in the Jubilee Trophy for 5-year-old trotters in Sweden. He returned to the U.S. in August 2012 to continue his career in North America.

Lifetime, Wishing Stone has won 21 of 69 races and earned $2.23 million, making him the richest offspring of sire Conway Hall. He has won multiple stakes in the U.S., including the 2010 Kentucky Futurity in straight heats at Lexington’s Red Mile.

“We’ll see now how he races,” Gulotta said. “He looks good. I think he’s gained weight and grown up a little, actually, which may be helpful to him. We’re happy.”

To read a Hoof Beats magazine story about Wishing Stone’s double duty, click here.

* * *

JK Endofanera, the No. 1-ranked horse on the Road to the Meadowlands Pace, is entered in Friday’s qualifiers at the Meadowlands. The colt, who captured the North America Cup on June 14, has won eight of 12 career races and never finished worse than third. The Ron Burke-trainee has earned $913,517 for owner 3 Brothers Stables.

He is not the only Meadowlands Pace eligible in the qualifier. He is joined by Jimmy Takter-trained Lyonssomewhere, who was fifth in the North America Cup, as well as Joe Holloway’s Always B Miki, Tracy Brainard’s Big Boy Dreams, and Ron Coyne Jr.’s National Debt.

USTA/Mark Hall photo
JK Endofanera won the North America Cup on June 14 at Mohawk.

Lyonssomewhere is No. 4 and Always B Miki is No. 7 in the Meadowlands Pace rankings. Big Boy Dreams, who was second to He’s Watching in last year’s New York Sire Stakes championship, has not raced in 2014.

Eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace will be held July 5 and the $650,000 final is July 12.

Elsewhere, Boomboom Ballykeel, who won last year’s Metro Pace, is in the first of three divisions of the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday. Boomboom Ballykeel has one win, which came in the sire stakes in May, in three starts this season. He is trained by Richard Moreau.

The second division includes Meadowlands Pace eligibles Bugger Bruiser, trained by Carmen Auciello, and Erv Miller’s Jet Airway while the third division has Ian Moore’s Play It Again Sam.

Three horses eligible to the Meadowlands Pace are competing in the same New York Sire Stakes division Friday at Buffalo Raceway -- Patrick Lachance’s Sir Sam’s Z Tam, Mark Ford’s Twin B Speedo, and P.J. Fraley’s Ideal Cowboy.

* * *

In addition to the previously mentioned horses qualifying Friday at the Meadowlands, Bee A Magician, Royalty For Life, Shebestingin, and Cee Bee Yes will be among others in action.

Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, is winless in three starts this season and coming off a ninth-place finish in the Armbro Flight Stakes on June 14 at Mohawk. Trainer Nifty Norman told Trot Insider the mare scoped sick following the Armbro Flight and would start next against her male counterparts in the $400,000 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters on July 5 at the Meadowlands.

Last year, Bee A Magician’s wins included the Hambletonian Oaks. Also being pointed to the Hambletonian Maturity is 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life.

* * *

Levy Memorial Series champion P H Supercam will look to snap a four-race losing streak in Saturday’s Open Handicap at Yonkers Raceway. The race also includes Heston Blue Chip and last week’s winner Digital Z Tam.


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