Harness action heats up Memorial Day weekend

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Ted Black

May 25th, 2018

While many Americans will head to the beach or simply to their backyards for cookouts this coming Memorial Day weekend, harness racing enthusiasts will have ample time to devour plenty of races in addition to burgers and hot dogs.

Saturday evening the Western Fair Raceway will host the inaugural edition of the $160,000 Camluck Classic - previously contested as the Molson Pace - and the field of eight includes several of the proven aged pacers and several others looking to join that mix.

Sunfire Blue Chip drew the coveted rail for trainer Jimmy Takter and will be among the serious contenders, while Killer Martini gets post three, Rockin Ron alongside him in post four, then Easy Lover Hanover, Evenin Of Pleasure, Dr. J Hanover and Bit Of A Legend N. Rockin Ron, Evenin Of Pleasure, Dr J Hanover and Bit Of A Legend N all exit the tough George Morton Levy Memorial Series for free-for-all pacers and Bit Of A Legend N arrives as the defending champion of this event, although last year he had the rail instead of post eight.

That same evening Yonkers Raceway will host the $300,000 Art Rooney Final for three-year-old colt pacers and the $110,000 Lismore Final for three-year-old filly pacers. Springsteen, the beaten favorite in his elim, will be a genuine factor in this spot while Decoy (David Miller) got post eight after his dominant performance in the elim for Takter. Pass Line Blue Chip should be the one to beat in the Lismore, having raced well as the 4-5 favorite in the lone elim last week.

That same evening the Meadowlands will host the $47,000 Escort final, the $42,000 Rainbow Blue final and the $35,000 Hot Lead final.

Then on Memorial Day harness racing fans will be busy virtually noon to midnight. Harrah's Philadelphia will present six divisions of the $20,000 The Stallion Series for three-year-old pacing fillies. Harrington will offer a live card from 5-7:45 with the $16,000 Open as the main event and two solid supporting overnight races, one of which will feature three-time DSBF final hero Slick Tony, and Pocono Downs will present three, $30,000 Pennsylvania All-Stars splits for three-year-old colt pacers on the latter portion of its Monday card where Heartbeat Hill, Wes Delight, This Is The Plan, Hayden Hanover, Karpathian Kid and Dorsoduro Hanover will all be major contenders in their respective splits.

Monday will be the last night that serious harness racing followers can scout top performers to include in the inaugural edition of the 2018 Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10 poll that will be unveiled on Tuesday afternoon. Horses competing in the Camluck Classic and those in the Rooney and Lismore will certainly find their way onto numerous ballots, as will Hannelore Hanover, Machego and Ariana G who have already won their respective seasonal debuts.