Cotolo’s Harness Review, News And Notes
News And Notes
On June 6 Running Aces Harness Park opens its 2012 season. Qualifying races were held recently, offering the prospect that horses owned by the Van Otterloo Stable are ready to fly. Team Otterloo sent out five winners on the qually card, including Chewy Baca, Plum Crazy Baby, Oompa Loompa, I O One and Al Mar Peggy Sue, the latter the only trotter of the quintet.
World Champion Sweet Lou trounced his competition in a $281,335 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at the Meadows. He is now poised to take control in one of next week’s North America Cup eliminations in Canada.
In September of 2011, the connections of millionaire-pacer Hypnotic Blue Chip (pictured left) retired the older pacer. Things change. Hypnotic Blue Chip has been brought back for another season and won his qualifier readying to meet his older foes again. He is a winner of $1.5 million for trainer Kevin McDermott.
The Fall Final Four, a season’s stakes quartet for two-year-olds, do not appear on the North American stakes schedule.
The races—the Governor’s Cup (pacing colts), the Three Diamonds (pacing fillies), the Valley Victory (trotting colts) and the Goldsmith Maid (trotting fillies) had been staged at Chester (now Philadelphia) last November and carried purses from $365,000 for the Goldsmith Maid to $501,000 for the Governor’s Cup.
Prior to being presented at Philadelphia, the Fall Final Four events were raced at either the Meadowlands, Woodbine or Mohawk. They began as features at the ill-fated Garden State Park.
Have you noticed the variety of sulkies being used these days at harness tracks everywhere? The most popular new bikes are the Spider Sulky and the UFO, both sporting customized wheels that spin spoke designs. The new sulkies do not offer any advantage to handicappers; they are simply stylized gear.
Recently, driver Tim Tetrick became the youngest man in the sport’s history to win 7,000 harness races. He marked the achievement at Philadelphia. The 30-year-old Tetrick made better on Walter Case, Jr. who was the youngest driver to reach the milestone at 35.
Tetrick, who brought his tack east from Illinois already holds the records for youngest driver to win 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 and 6,000 races. He also was the youngest to reach $100 million in career purses.
Watch the Hambletonian Trail blog for previews and the Hambletonian Society website for result stories.
Cartoon by Thom Pye