Harrington Raceway Hosts Lucrative Governor's Day Card

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Ted Black

July 28th, 2017

While many harness racing enthusiasts are already looking forward to the Adios Pace at the Meadows on Saturday afternoon and the Hambletonian Oaks eliminations at the Meadowlands later that evening, many standardbred fans were given an added treat when Harrington Raceway in Delaware offered a lucrative Governor's Day card on Thursday evening.

Each summer the Delaware half-mile oval takes center stage on the Delmarva peninsula on two occasions, the Governor's Day card held during the Delaware State Fair and the $150,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial for older pacers contested on the third Monday in September. While the Quillen is an open Invitational event for the best aged free-for-all pacers in the land, the Governor's Day card highlights the best trotters and pacers owned and sired in the First State and offers total purses that exceed $600,000 and even attracts the state's Governor briefly.

In the opening race on the card, the $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund final for three-year-old filly pacers, Logan's Girl (Victor Kirby) gained command before reaching the opener in 27.4, got a modest breather by the half in 56.4, met token pressure from stablemate Spanish Dream down the backside and through the far turn and held sway in the lane for a length score in 1:53.2. A sophomore daughter of Roddy's Bags Again trained by Jim King, Jr., Logan's Girl notched her sixth win in 11 starts this year and now owns 13 wins in 20 career tries with a lifetime bankroll exceeding $260,000.

One race later in the $40,000 Governor's Cup for Delaware-owned older pacers, Sparky Mark (Jonathan Roberts) successfully, but surprisingly, defended his title in the overnight feature when he benefited from a two-hole trip behind Remember Me VK (Montrell Teague), angled out of the pocket late and just outkicked the pocket-sitting Captive Audience (Corey Callahan) to post a 21-1 shocker in 1:52. A 10-year-old Astreos stallion owned and trained by Trish Foulk, Sparky Mark notched his fourth win in 21 seasonal starts and now sports a solid 58-35-24 slate and $1.15 million banked from 203 career outings.

Then one race later in the $30,000 Legislator's Cup for Delaware-owned pacing mares, Hostess Lisa (Tony Morgan) benefited from a two-hole trip behind defending champion BJ's Sweetheart (Tetrick), angled to the passing lane and surged through along the inside for a 5-1 upset in 1:52.4. An eight-year-old Sagebrush mare owned and trained by Brian Malone, Hostess Lisa now owns a 7-4-5 slate and banked nearly $90,000 from 21 starts this year and she sports 34-32-34 slate and over $400,000 banked from 203 lifetime outings.

Then one race later in the President's Cup for Delaware-owned older pacers, McKenry (Bret Brittingham) gained command soon after the outset and led through honest fractions en route to a two-length score in 1:52.3. A five-year-old McArdle gelding trained by Donald Brittingham for owners Peter & Antoinette Gray, McKenry notched his seventh win from 14 starts this year and now banked nearly $58,000 from 14 tries. The Grays were among the biggest winners as they also took home the trophy belatedly for being tabbed as the Rosecroft Raceway spring overnight horse of the meet by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association.

Then one race later in the $100,000 DSBF final for three-year-old filly trotters, named in honor of the late Jack Walls, Spoonful (Corey Callahan) lived up to her role as the 1-5 favorite when she quarter moved to command and then led throughout en route to a two-length score in 2:01.3. A sophomore daughter of Political Briefing trained by Les Givens, Spoonful recorded her fifth win in nine starts this year and pushed her seasonal earnings toward $140,000 and she now owns nine wins and over $240,000 banked in 22 career tries.

One race later in the $30,000 Charles D. Murphy Jr. Memorial for Delaware-owned older trotters, Tymal Signature (Tetrick) overcame his longshot status and a first over bid into a sharp back half to overhaul former DSBF multiple champion I Like My Boss in 1:57.4. A five-year-old Deweycheatumnhowe mare trained by Bobby Glassmyer, Tymal Signature notched her fourth win in 17 starts this year and now owns a solid 13-11-11 slate and earned just over $170,000 from 80 lifetime tries.

Three races later in the $100,000 DSBF final for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings, named in honor of the late trainer-driver Hal Belote, who died as the result of an accident soon after the start at the half-mile oval, Master Clave (Ross Wolfenden) benefited from a pocket trip behind Master Kingpin (Stafford) through the first three calls and then angled to the passing lane and edged clear late as the 1-9 favorite in 2:00.

A sophomore gelded son of Master Lavec trained by John Wilkerson for owner-breeder Benjamin Brooks, Master Clave recorded his sixth win in seven starts this year and now owns 11 wins in 15 career tries and pushed his career earnings to nearly $240,000. Master Clave won four DSBF finals during his brief career in the program, accounting for more than eighty percent of his lifetime bankroll to this point.

Then two races later in the $100,000 DSBF final for three-year-old colt & gelding pacers, Bags To Riches (Tetrick) overcame a long, first over bid to overtake 4-5 choice Daiymir and then outkick Automatic Dragon (Kirby) to score in 1:52.3. A sophomore son of Roddy's Bags Again trained by Jason Skinner and co-owned Skinner and It's Only Money Stables, Bags To Riches notched his seventh win in 11 starts this year and now owns 11 wins in 19 career tries with lifetime earnings of nearly $240,000. Skinner noted his next outing will be the $300,000 Cleveland Classic at Northfield Park on August 5.

Last Thursday's Governor's Day card at Harrington may have highlighted the best Delaware-owned and sired pacers and trotters, but various Maryland-bred horses had a serious impact on the program.

Of the 17 horses bred by Winbak Farm in Chesapeake City, Maryland, Logan's Girl, Spoonful and notched victories, while Spanish Dream,  and Wake Up And Go finished third.

While Winbak Farm has more than 300 broodmares and has gained the national spotlight through the efforts of No Pan Intended, Rainbow Blue, Muscle Hill and Lady Shadow in recent years, Delaware's Virginia "Leigh" Louthan has gradually made a name for herself on the local scene thanks to her abilities as an owner, breeder, trainer and blacksmith, despite her rather petite frame.