Harrington offers Governor's Day card

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Ted Black

July 27th, 2018

While many harness racing enthusiasts are accustomed to seeing the sport's best trotters and pacers compete on weekends, local standardbred fans were given a treat on Thursday evening when Harrington Raceway hosted its annual, lucrative Governor's Day card during the middle of the Delaware State Fair.

Thursday's opener was the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund final for three-year-old filly pacers and featured the emergence of a budding star. Jamie's Renegade (Russell Foster), lightly raced at age two, overcame a first over journey and remained unbeaten in five seasonal starts when she wore down Go Sandy Go (Eric Goodell) to score. Trained by Walter Bozman, Jr. for owners Debbie & Jamie Bozman, Jamie's Renegade notched her sixth win in eight career outings.

Then one race later on the card, Blazing Bobby Sox (Art Stafford, Jr.) lived up to his billing as the 1-5 favorite in the $40,000 Governor's Cup when he scored in 1:51.1 for his trainer-driver. It was his ninth win in 18 starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings past the $100,000 plateau. Then one race later on the card, Apple Bottom Jeans (Corey Callahan) easily lived to her role as the 1-9 choice in the $30,000 Legislator's Cup when she carved out all the fractions to score in 1:51.2 to notch her seventh win in 14 starts this year and pushed her seasonal bankroll to nearly $100,000.

Just prior to the midway point of the card, Star Sapphire (Russell Foster) forged a mild 9-5 upset in the $100,000 DSBF final for three-year-old filly trotters when she gained command soon after the start and rebuffed an extended first over bid from 1-2 choice Deja Vu Blue (Corey Callahan) to score by two lengths in 2:01.2. A sophomore daughter of Anders Bluestone trained by Tui Stone for Shirley Shand and breeder Serendipity Stable (Marv Bachrad), Star Sapphire recorded her third win in 12 starts this year and now owns a 7-5-2 slate and $235,000 bankroll from 20 career tries.

Then two races later in the $100,000 DSBF final for three-year-old colt trotters, Super Fly (Art Stafford, Jr.) overcame post seven to gain command before the opener and carved out honest fractions and edged clear late as the 1-5 choice in 1:57.2. A sophomore son of Super Punk also trained by Stafford, Super Fly recorded his sixth win in nine starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings past $140,000 and now owns nine wins and $210,000 banked from 16 career outings.

Then three races later in the marquee event on the card, Slick Tony (Foster) lived up to his role as the 1-5 choice when he left alertly along the rail to force several foes to find seats, led the field by the opener in 27.1, got a breather by the half in 57 flat, rolled by three-quarters in 1:25.1 then held safe the pocket-sitting Evolution Tour (Tim Tetrick) to score by over a length in 1:52.4. Slick Tony has now won six of eight starts this year and earned $144,000 and now owns 15 wins and earned nearly $300,000 from 19 starts for owner-trainer-breeder George "Ronnie" Leager.

Slick Tony joined a small, elite group by completing a sweep of the four $100,000 DSBF finals for pacers at ages two and three and now he will seek to enhance his bankroll early next month when he heads to Northfield Park near Cleveland, Ohio, for the $400,000 Milstein Memorial. Slick Tony was among the finalists for Maryland-bred harness horse of the year in 2017 and he will be among the short list of contenders for the same honor this year.