July 27, 2017
Field Set for the 2017 Cleveland Trotting Classic at Northfield Park
Northeast Ohio’s newest premier race, the Cleveland Trotting Classic, will go to post Saturday (July 1) at Northfield Park. The Classic carries a $185,000 purse and has attracted some of the best veteran trotters in North America. The Grand Circuit race is the featured event on a program that includes four $40,000 divisions of Ohio Sire Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers.
Resolve drew post one and has been named the 8-5 morning line favorite in the Classic field by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting Dave Bianconi. Resolve enters Saturday’s race off a 1:54.3 mile against open company at Yonkers. The race was his first start in the United States since returning from Sweden where he competed in the prestigious Elitlopp at Solvalla Racetrack. In 2016, Resolve won the $1,000,000 Yonkers International Trot, a race that was renewed after a 20-year hiatus. Resolve sports 16 wins, lifetime earnings of $2,327,254, and a mark of 1:50.1.
Crazy Wow is the 3-1 second choice. He drew post two for powerhouse trainer Ron Burke. The 5-year-old has two wins this year including a track record-setting win at Scioto Downs in the Charlie Hill Memorial Trot on June 10 and an impressive victory in the Maxie Lee Invitational at Harrah’s Philadelphia. He has garnered career earnings of $1,772,564 and took a mark of 1:51.1 at Vernon Downs in 2014.
The 2016 winner of the Cleveland Trotting Classic, Obrigado, will return to Northeast Ohio to defend his crown. Obrigado comes off two strong efforts, including a second to Crazy Wow in the Charlie Hill. Mark MacDonald will be looking for back-to-back Cleveland Trotting Classic wins as he is scheduled to drive the talented 7-year-old gelding. Obrigado has a mark of 1:50.3 at the Meadowlands and has made $1,684,749.
Bianconi said about the Classic: “This is the strongest field of trotters we have hosted in my 26 years at Northfield.”
The 2017 Cleveland Trotting Classic field:
1-Resolve-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-8-5
2-Crazy Wow-Chris Page-Ron Burke-3-1
3-Il Sogno Dream-Aaron Merriman-Christopher Beaver-10-1
4-Obrigado-Mark MacDonald-Paul Kelley-9-2
5-Fly Jesse Fly-Peter Wrenn-Ron Otto-20-1
6-Maestro Blue Chip-Ronnie Wrenn Jr.-Scott Di Domenico-12-1
7-Homicide Hunter-Aaron Merriman-Chris Oakes-8-1
8-Will Take Charge-TBA-John Bax-15-1
Driver selections will be finalized by 9 p.m. Tuesday evening.
This year’s Classic program undercard is highlighted by four $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes races featuring the best sophomore colt and gelding pacers in the Buckeye State.
Superfecta wagering has been added to Saturday’s 11th race, the Classic feature, and will carry a guaranteed pool of $15,000. A $7,500 guaranteed Pick-4 has also been added and covers races eight through 11. First race post time is 6 p.m.
In addition to superior racing action, the night will also offer guests a buffet in Lady Luck’s clubhouse dining room. The buffet is just $19.95. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 330.467.4101.
The first 1,000 racing fans (18 and older) will receive a FREE limited edition 60th anniversary t-shirt from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. or while supplies last. In addition, from 6-10 p.m. stop by the outdoor apron to listen to country band, Tony Rio and Relentless perform between races or stop by and try the delicious offerings of Smash Time food truck and Crooked Kettle Popcorn Stand, or try your luck at the beer slide from 7-8 p.m. for cash and prizes.
Cleveland Trotting Classic night attendees will receive a bonus entry for the 60th Anniversary Car Giveaway making them eligible to win a 2017 Buick Cascada or a 2017 Honda CR-V. One lucky winner will be drawn randomly on Carl Milstein Memorial Night on Aug. 12. Every summer has a story…start yours at Northfield Park!
July 2, 2016
Obrigado Wins Northfield Park’s Cleveland Trotting Classic
Obrigado avenged last year’s Cleveland Trotting Classic defeat with an impressive track record victory on Saturday (July 2). Last year’s runner-up trotted like he had something to prove and bested his competition by 5 ¾-lengths.
Obrigado ($3.40) started from the rail. He floated off the gate and two rivals were ahead of him at the 1/8-pole. Once the field was set, driver Mark MacDonald quarter-moved Obrigado. He took the lead just past the :27.2 opening quarter and never experienced an anxious moment the rest of the mile. He led his rivals through times of :56, 1:25 and 1:53.2.
“He (Obrigado) is really sharp right now. I got him to the front and let things play out from there,” said MacDonald. “Once this horse is near the lead, he does the rest.”
The 1:53.2 clocking replaces the 1:54.1 time of Kirty Dream (Aaron Merriman) as the fastest mile ever on the Flying Turns for a five year-old and up gelded trotter. Kirty Dream’s mark has held since 2014.
Saturday’s win is Obrigado’s fourth win this year and 38th lifetime score, increasing his bankroll to $1,109,749 for owners Paul Kelley Racing Stable, SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins and Stable 45.
Completing the $180,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic were Muscle Up The Goal, Shake It Cerry, Il Sogno Dream, Maestro Blue Chip, Homicide Hunter and Like Old Times.
“This is a great horse to drive. I love driving for Paul Kelley, and his owners are extremely patient,” explained Mac Donald. “It is very meaningful to win races for guys like them.”
July 3, 2015
Daylon Magician Wins The Cleveland Trotting Classic
Jack Moiseyev won the Cleveland Classic in 1991 with three year-old pacing star Precious Bunny and had not been to Northfield Park since. He returned to the Flying Turns on Friday (July 3) to drive Daylon Magician in the $170,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic and found himself in the winner’s circle again.
Daylon Magician ($19.80) started from post seven and let his competition carve blistering early fractions of :26.3, :54.3 and 1:23.4. Moiseyev pulled second over and followed cover up the backstretch before making his move in the final quarter and besting his competition by a head, stopping the timer at 1:53.2. The clocking broke the track record for five-and-up trotting horses and tied Northfield’s all-age trotting record.
“Everything kind of worked out for us. They were going pretty fast and I was able to rest him (Daylon Magician) early, and that is what he really likes,” said Jack Moiseyev. “He was in a good spot turning for home because if he is close he tries to beat whoever is in front of him.”
Friday’s win is Daylon Magician’s sixth this year and 31st lifetime score, increasing his bankroll to $1,934,527 for Komoka, Ontario, Canada owner Daylon Farms LTD.
Completing the 2015 Trotting Classic were Obrigado, DW’s NY Yank, Rompaway Galaxy, Awesome Valley, Il Sogno Dream, Datsyuk and Count Me In.
The track record set in the Classic was just one of four records set on the 15-race program, which also featured 11 $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes races for freshman filly pacers and trotters.
In the evening’s fifth race Shut Up And Dance ($4.20) broke the track record for two year-old-trotting fillies when she posted a four length victory in 1:58. Aaron Merriman drove for trainer Dirk Simpson and owner James Bafia. The previous record was 1:58.1 held by both Rose Run Keepsake (Steve Carter) in 2008 and You’re Majestic (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) in 2014.
Lease Ness Monster won the evening’s $13,000 Fillies and Mares Open and broke her own record for four year-old-pacing mares. She won by 4 ¾-lengths in 1:52 for driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. and trainer Matt Waltz, who co-owns the mare with David Waltz. Her previous 1:52.1 record was set earlier this year.
Victory Is Coming was parked every step of the way in the $20,000 Open Trot and still managed to edge out her competition by a nose in 1:53.2. Ronnie Wrenn Jr drove the mare for trainer Ammon Hershberger and owners Betty and John Red Shaw. That time beat her previous 1:53.3 record she trotted last year. She solely held the title as Northfield’s fasted trotter ever for about 15 minutes before Daylon Magician equaled that time in the very next race.
July 1, 2015
Field Set for Northfield Park’s $170,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic
The Cleveland Trotting Classic, Northeast Ohio’s newest premier race, will go to post Friday (July 3) at Northfield Park. The Classic carries a $170,000 purse for its inaugural edition and has attracted some of the best veteran trotters in North America. The Grand Circuit race is the featured event of a stakes-laden program that offers total purses of $647,500.
1 – Count Me In is one of two starters from the powerful barn of Ron Burke. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, M1 Stable and Michelle Yanek, he has won 30 and been on the board in 64 of 95 career races. His lifetime mark is 1:53.3 (Mea 5/8) with a career bankroll of $427,919. The six year-old has already posted four wins this year and has been racing against the best trotters at Scioto Downs. Burke has named Josh Sutton to drive this 9-2 morning-line competitor.
2 – Obrigado, the 2-1 morning line favorite, has the highest win percentage of any starter in this inaugural edition. He has been victorious in 31 of 51 career races, including a 21 race win streak earlier in his career. He has earnings of $421,164 and a 1:51.3 (M 1) mark in his most recent race in the $50,000 TVG Free-for-All Trot. The five year-old is owned by Paul Kelley, Linwood Higgens, William Weaver III and Stable 45. He is conditioned by Paul Kelley. Canadian native Mark MacDonald has been named to steer.
3 – DW’s NY Yank sports career earnings of $855,914. He has 103 lifetime starts and 37 career victories. He is a six year-old son of Dilbert Hanover with a lifetime mark of 1:51.3 (PcD 5/8). DW’s NY Yank, one of two entrants in this field by trainer Ron Burke, is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Howard Taylor and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. He has won five of 13 starts this year and has been made the 7-2 second favorite. Chris Page has been given the driving assignment.
4 – Awesome Valley will start for the Trust of Barbara Boese. With 27 career victories, he has been a model of consistency, finishing in the top three 62 of his 100 lifetime starts. He has already won four starts this year with three second and third place finishes in 16 starts. This six year-old son of Valley Victor has career earnings of $365,863 and sports a 1:53 (DD 5/8) lifetime mark. This 20-1 morning line selection is trained by Joseph Hundertpfund Jr. and will be driven by Montrell Teague.
5 – Datsyuk enters this race for owners Leonard Buckner and Charlie Norris. He is also conditioned and usually driven by Norris, but Don Irvine, Jr. gets the reins for tonight’s outing. The four year-old has garnered five career victories in 21 starts, earning a mark of 1:53.1 (TgDn 5/8) and $454,253 in earnings. The son of Explosive Matter was unraced as a freshman but had a stellar sophomore campaign last year, winning three legs of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes and a Tompkins Geers Stake. He carries a 15-1 morning line.
6 – Rompaway Galaxy is owned by Rompaway Farms and trained by Krista Harmon. The four year-old has raced over Northfield Park’s Flying Turns three times, posting two wins and a third place finish. He has a total of 29 career starts with 14 triumphs. He earned a 1:52 (M 1) lifetime mark just two races ago and has career earnings of $423,981. He was the Ohio Sire Stakes Champion as a freshman and won the Ohio State Fair Stakes and Ohio Breeders’ Championship as a sophomore. Mike Micallef has been named to drive this 12-1 morning-line starter.
7 – Daylon Magician, 6-1 is the richest horse in the inaugural Classic field with $1,849,527 in earnings. This son of Kadabra has five wins in eight starts this year and 30 lifetime scores to his credit, the richest being the $1,020,000 Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk Racetrack in 2011. Jack Moiseyev is the 7-year-old’s trainer and driver for owner Daylon Farms LTD. Moiseyev posted a win at Northfield Park in the Cleveland Classic with 3 year-old pacing star Precious Bunny in 1991. Daylon Magician has a 1:51.1 mark at Mohawk Racetrack, trotted in 2013.
8 – Il Sogno Dream, 8-1, just won two weekends ago by open lengths in an impressive effort from post eight at Scioto Downs. He has a 1:52.2 (ScD 5/8) lifetime mark, trotted this year, and career earnings of $488,101. This son of Cantab Hall has won 10 of 33 career starts and is two for four so far this year. Christopher Beaver trains Il Sogno Dream for owners Bill Manes, Dan Manes, Leonard Christopher and Randy Christopher. Aaron Merriman has been given the driving assignment. Merriman, the current leading driver in North America, has won more local races than any other driver over the Flying Turns.
This year’s Classic program undercard is highlighted by 11 $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes races featuring the best freshman filly pacers and trotters in the Buckeye State. There will be six divisions of filly pacers and five filly trot stakes races going to post.
Superfecta wagering has been added to Friday’s 11th race, the Classic feature. A $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 has also been added and covers races eight through 11. First race post time is 6 p.m.
In addition to superior racing action, the night will also offer guests a buffet in Lady Luck’s clubhouse dining room. The buffet is just $19.95. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 330.467.4101.
Guests who want to be close to all of the racing action can stop by the grandstand apron for a plethora of free fanfare activities. These attractions include a t-shirt toss from the winner’s circle by the successful driver of each race, driver meet-and-greets and commemorative poster signings throughout the evening, Harness Racing Bingo offering up to $1,000 in cash and prizes, country band Six String Cowboy performing on the apron from 6-10 p.m., and spinning of the Northfield Park Prize Wheel for cash and prizes from 8-9:30 p.m.
June 30, 2015
Obrigado is Early Favorite in Northfield Park’s Cleveland Trotting Classic
Northeast Ohio’s newest premier race, the Cleveland Trotting Classic, will go to post Friday (July 3) at Northfield Park. The Classic carries a $170,000 purse for its inaugural edition and has attracted some of the best veteran trotters in North America. The Grand Circuit race is the featured event of a stakes-laden program. The Friday card offers total purses of $647,500.
Obrigado drew post two and has been named the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the Classic field by Northfield Park Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting, Dave Bianconi. Entering Friday’s race off a 1:51.3 lifetime mark in the $50,000 TVG Free for All at the Meadowlands, Canadian Mark MacDonald has been named to drive the 5 year-old gelding. Obrigado sports 31wins, including 21 consecutive victories earlier in his career, and has lifetime earnings of $421,164.
DW’s NY Yank is the 3-1 second choice. He drew post three for powerhouse trainer Ron Burke. The six year-old has five wins this year and 37 career victories. DW’s NY Yank is a hard-hitting Open trotter that has garnered career earnings of $855,914 with a 1:51.3 mark at Pocono Downs taken in 2013.
Daylon Magician is the richest in the field with $1,849,527 in earnings. He drew post seven and is 6-1. The seven year-old has five wins this year and 30 lifetime scores, the richest being the $1,020,000 Canadian Trot at Mohawk Racetrack in 2011. Jack Moiseyev is the seven year-old’s trainer and driver. Daylon Magician has a 1:51.1 mark at Mohawk Racetrack, trotted in 2013.
The 2015 Cleveland Trotting Classic field:
Horse Driver Trainer M/L
1-Count Me In Aaron Merriman* Ron Burke 9-2
2-Obrigado Mark MacDonald Paul Kelley 2-1
3-DW’s NY Yank Chris Page Ron Burke 3-1
4-Awesome Valley Aaron Merriman* Joseph Hundertpfund Jr. 20-1
5-Datsyuk Charlie Norris Charlie Norris 15-1
6-Rompaway Galaxy Aaron Merriman* Krista Harmon 12-1
7-Daylon Magician Jack Moiseyev Jack Moiseyev 6-1
8-Il Sogno Dream Aaron Merriman* Christopher Beaver 8-1
*Driver selections will be finalized by 9:00 p.m. Tuesday evening.
This year’s Classic program undercard highlights 11 $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes races featuring the best freshman filly pacers and trotters in the Buckeye State. There will be six divisions of filly pacers and five filly trot stake races going to post.
Superfecta wagering has been added to Friday’s 11th race, the Classic feature. A $10,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 has also been added and covers races eight through 11. First race post time is 6:00 p.m.
In addition to superior racing action, Classic night will also offer guests a buffet in Lady Luck’s clubhouse dining room. The buffet is just $19.95. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 330-467-4101.
Guests who want to be close to all of the racing action can stop by the grandstand apron for a plethora of FREE fanfare activities. These attractions include a t-shirt toss from the winner’s circle by the successful driver of each race, driver meet-and-greets and commemorative poster signings throughout the evening, Harness Racing Bingo offering up to $1,000 in cash and prizes, country band Six String Cowboy performing on the apron from 6:00 till 10:00 p.m., and spinning of the Northfield Park Prize Wheel for cash and prizes from 8:00 till 9:30 p.m.
June 24, 2015
Impressive Horses Eligible to Northfield Park’s
Cleveland Trotting Classic
The Cleveland Trotting Classic, Northeast Ohio’s newest premier race, is scheduled for its inaugural edition on Friday, July 3. The Grand Circuit race is estimated to carry a purse of $180,000 and has drawn an impressive slate of 22 of the best veteran trotters in North America that are eligible to the event.
Market Share leads all eligibles in earnings with $3,685,796. The six year-old, although winless this year in three starts, has 25 lifetime victories and sports a mark of 1:50.2 at Harrah’s Philadelphia. In 2012 Market Share won the $1,500,000 Hambletonian at the Meadowlands, the $1,030,000 Canadian Trot at Mohawk Racetrack, the $235,000 American National at Balmoral Park and the $108,000 Galt at Maywood Park. In 2013 Market Share won the $526,710 Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk Racetrack, the $600,000 Breeders Crown at Pocono Downs, the $200,000 American National at Balmoral Park and the $500,000 TVG Free for All at the Meadowlands. Last year Market Share was successful in the $250,000 Maxie Lee at Harrah’s Philadelphia and the $162,000 Dayton Trotting Derby at Hollywood Dayton Raceway.
Daylon Magician is the other millionaire of the bunch with $1,847,324 to his credit and a lifetime mark of 1:51.1 at Mohawk Racetrack. The seven year-old has 30 lifetime wins, the richest being the $1,020,000 Canadian Trot at Mohawk Racetrack in 2011. The trotter already has five wins this year and has not been worse than third in his seven starts so far in 2015.
DW’s NY Yank just won a $26,000 Open Handicap at the Meadowlands. That triumph increased his seasonal win tally to five and lifetime victories to 37. The six year-old hard-hitting Open trotter has garnered career earnings of $853,414 and sports a 1:51.3 mark at Pocono Downs taken in 2013.
Il Sogno Dream, in rein to Northfield Park’s runner-up leading driver, Aaron Merriman, scored in his last outing in a $25,000 Open Trot at Scioto Downs. He has won two of four starts this year. The four year-old has earned $488,101 with 10 lifetime victories and a 1:52.2 mark at Scioto Downs in May of this year.
Natural Herbie also posted a win in his most recent race, a $15,000 conditioned event at Hoosier Park. The five year-old has 25 lifetime wins including the $200,000 Indiana Sire Stake final in 2012 and 2013 and the $250,000 International Trot at Yonkers Raceway in 2014. Natural Herbie has $770,991 in career earnings and a mark of 1:51.4 at the Meadowlands.
Friday’s Cleveland Trotting Classic will be well-supported with an undercard featuring multiple $40,000 divisions of Ohio Sires Stakes for freshman filly pacers and trotters. Numerous fan-friendly attractions are on tap, including a t-shirt toss from the winner’s circle by the successful driver of each race, driver meet-and-greets and commemorative poster signings throughout the evening, Harness Racing Bingo offering over $1,000 in cash and prizes, country band Six String Cowboy performing on the apron from 6:00 till 10:00 p.m., and spinning of the Northfield Park Prize Wheel for cash and prizes from 8:00 till 9:30 p.m.
Lady Luck’s Clubhouse Restaurant will be offering a $19.95 picnic-themed buffet special. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 330-467-4101.
First race post time for the inaugural Cleveland Trotting Classic card is 6:00 p.m. Parking and Admission are always FREE at Northfield Park.
December 14, 2013
APPRENTICE HANOVER WINS THE CLEVELAND CLASSIC
Trainer Benjamin Wallace is having a great winter after a disappointing summer with Apprentice Hanover.
Apprentice Hanover ($8.00), driven by Jody Jamieson, won the $126,000 Cleveland Classic at Northfield Park in 1:52.1. He started from post five and sat fifth through moderate early fractions of :27 and :56.2. Jamieson pulled second over and followed cover through the 1:24 three-quarters. Apprentice Hanover was tipped off his cover in the stretch and bested his competition by ½-length.
“We received a really good tow following Twilight Bonfire. He had us in good position,” said Jody Jamieson. “The track was heavy tonight with a lot of snow but (Apprentice Hanover) was grabbing it great.”
Saturday’s win is Apprentice Hanover’s fifth this year and his third consecutive victory. He is concluding 2013 very strong after a rocky start to the season.
“We has a bad summer with him,” admitted Jamieson. “He got sick, as horses do.”
“He (Apprentice Hanover) just ruined my summer,” trainer Ban Wallace commented. “He got very sick. I lost a lot of sleep over it. This is the first real race where I actually thought I had his tight and ready.”
Apprentice Hanover (Somebeachsomewhere-Allamerican Nadia-Dragon’s Lair) increased his career bankroll to $495,205 for Milton, Ontario, Canada owner Bradley Grant.
Completing the 2013 Classic field were Twilight Bonfire, Good Day Mate, Only The Lonely, Word Power and Dedi’s Dragon.
December 11, 2013
Twilight Bonfire Favored to Win Saturday’s $126,000 Cleveland Classic
Twilight Bonfire has drawn post 2 in Saturday’s (December 14) $126,000 Cleveland Classic and has been named the 5-2 morning-line favorite by Northfield Park Executive VP/Director of Racing Dave Bianconi.
The Cleveland Classic is the final stakes event of 2013 and features six of the best three year-old pacers and some of the top drivers in the sport. The event is slated as the 11 race on Northfield’s Saturday program and carries an approximate post time of 10:45 p.m.
A $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 has been added to the evening’s card. Saturday’s Pick-4 begins in the eighth race and will conclude with the Cleveland Classic. First race post time is 6:30 p.m.
The 2013 $126,000 Cleveland Classic field:
Horse Driver Trainer M/L
1-Only The Lonely Aaron Merriman Nick Surick 10-1
2-Twilight Bonfire Tony Hall Rich Gillock 5-2
3-Dedi’s Dragon Dave Palone Ron Burke 3-1
4-Word Power Scott Zeron Larry Remmen 4-1
5-Apprentice Hanover Jody Jamieson Benjamin Wallace 6-1
6-Good Day Mate Bret Miller Ron Burke 12-1
December 8, 2012
Bolt The Duer Wins The 2012 Cleveland Classic
Bolt The Duer, owned by All Star Racing Inc. and trained by Peter Foley, won the $130,000 Cleveland Classic for 3 year-old pacing colts in 1:51 at Northfield Park Saturday night.
Bolt The Duer briefly led through the first 1/8 of the mile before releasing Pet Rock (Douglas McNair) to the front through an opening fraction of 27.2. Pet Rock yielded to Thinking Out Loud (David Miller) through a half in 54.4. Thinking out Loud led through three-quarters at 1:22.1 before tiring in the stretch. Driver Mark MacDonald tipped Bolt The Duer around the last turn and got up to win by ¾ of a length over Pet Rock. Also completing this year’s Classic the field were Rockin Finish, Mortal Zin and A Rocknroll Dance.
“He’s got great tactical speed,” said MacDonald, “He’s a great horse and he dug in down the stretch and got the job done. He just never stops coming.” The win came just three days after the passing of one of Bolt The Duer’s owners. John M. Como Sr. died Wednesday at the age of 88. “Mr. Como was a gentleman to be around,” commented MacDonald. “He loved this horse and he loved racing.”
It was the 15 career victory for Bolt The Duer and increased his bankroll to $1,116,668. This son of Ponder, out of the Artsplace mare, Wonderbolt has a lifetime mark of 1:47.4.
“I am just delighted to end the season like this,” said Foley. “Although this was the last race for this year, he will be back in 2013. He is a beautiful horse and I am sure he will get even better. We look forward to racing him next year.”
Bolt The Duer paid $10.00, $4.60 and $2.20. Pet Rock, paid $5.60 and $2.20 to place and Thinking Out Loud paid $2.10 to show.
Field Set for 2012 Cleveland Classic
The $130,000 Cleveland Classic, one of Northfield Park’s premier races, is set for Saturday, December 8, 2012. The final open stakes event on this year’s national harness racing calendar, the Classic always draws an impressive slate of equine athletes as well as North America’s top drivers. This year is no exception.
Thinking Out Loud has drawn the rail and has been named the 2-1 morning line favorite. He goes to post for owners Robert McIntosh Stables of LaSalle, Ontario, CXS Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio and Al McIntosh Holdings of Leamington, Ontario. Thinking Out Loud has bankrolled an impressive $1,249,712. He boasts ten career victories including his triumph in the $1,470,000 North America Cup at Mohawk Raceway, when he paced his career-best time of 1:47.4. Trainer Robert McIntosh brings Buckeye native David Miller in to steer.
Pet Rock carries a 4-1 morning line and starts from post two. He is a son of Rocknroll Hanover, with earnings just shy of $1,000,000. Among his 10 lifetime wins is a victory scored earlier this month in the $215,000 Windy City Pace at Maywood. He paced a 1:50 career best at Woodbine Racetrack for owner Frank Bellino of Bronxville, NY. Pet Rock is one of two horses that will start for trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr. Morgan has called on Douglas McNair to drive.
Bolt The Duer drew post-position three and has morning line odds of 7-2. He starts already having won fourteen races in his career, including this year’s $415,820 Messenger at Yonkers Raceway. The son of Ponder is owned by All Star Racing, Inc., of Towaco, NJ and trained by Peter Foley. Bolt The Duer has bankrolled $1,051,668 and took a lifetime mark of 1:47.4 at The Meadows. Foley has secured Mark McDonald to be in the sulky.
Rockin Finish is 12-1 and is the second starter being prepped by trainer Virgil Morgan. Jr. Rockin Finish is the only horse in the field to have started over Northfield Park’s Flying Turns, where he posted a 1:55.4 victory in October. The son of Rocknroll Hanover is owned by Gerrie Tucker of Montreal, Quebec. Rockin Finish has garnered six career victories and earnings of $117,192. His 1:51.3 lifetime best was paced at Woodbine Racetrack. Young local driving talent Tyler Smith has been named to drive and will start from post four.
Mortal Zin goes to post for trainer Ronald Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable of Fredricktown, PA, Weaver Bruscemi of Canonsburg, PA, Slaughter Racing Stable of Prospect, KY and Lawrence Karr of Randolph, NJ. This is one of four sons of Rocknroll Hanover in this year’s Classic field. Matt Kakaley has been named to drive and will score from post-position five. Mortal Zin has eight career victories under his belt and comes with a lifetime mark of 1:51.1 taken at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Mortal Zin looks to add to his $154,115 bankroll, but at morning line odds of 15-1, he is the field’s longshot.
A Rocknroll Dance racing out of post-position six, at morning line odds of 6-1, is approaching $2,000,000 in career earnings. The Ohio-based son of Rocknroll Hanover is owned by A RockNRoll Dance Stable of Wauseon, Ohio and trained by Ohio-based trainer James Mulinix. The horse has garnered eleven lifetime wins, including this year’s $600,000 Meadowlands Pace. A Rocknroll Dance paced his career best of 1:48.3 at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Peter Wrenn has been named to drive the top earner in the field.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The $130,000 Cleveland Classic has been slated as Saturday’s eleventh race and has an approximate post time of 10:50 p.m. The stakes event will be the fourth leg of the Pick-4 with a guaranteed pool of $10,000 and a reduced takeout rate of just 14%.
The 2012 $130,000 Cleveland Classic Field:
Post Horse Trainer Driver M/L
1 Thinking Out Loud Robert McIntosh David Miller 2-1
2 Pet Rock Virgil Morgan, Jr. Douglas McNair 4-1
3 Bolt The Duer Peter Foley Mark McDonald 7-2
4 Rockin Finish Virgil Morgan, Jr. Tyler Smith 12-1
5 Mortal Zin Ron Burke Matt Kakaley 15-1
6 A Rocknroll Dance Jim Mulinix Peter Wrenn 6-1
December 10, 2011
Westwardho Hanover Cruises to Jay Auto Group Cleveland Classic
Westwardho Stable’s Westwardho Hanover easily outdistanced a field of 10 three-year-old colt pacers in capturing the $162,200 Jay Auto Group Cleveland Classic in 22-degree cold conditions on a clear night at Northfield Park.
The favored Westwardho Hanover ($2.40), driven by Dave Palone, won the Classic in 1:51.1. He led at every call despite being hung three wide for most of the first quarter. “I didn’t really get him out all that well, but he was strong once he made the top,” said driver Dave Palone. At the wire he was an easy five lengths ahead of Mystic Desire. “He was particularly impressive with how cold it is,” commented Palone. Completing the field were Audreys Dream, Mach Of Ballykeel, Something For Doc, Southwind Milo, Camgrandest, Onhishonor Hanover, Upfront Ellijay Ed and Best Man Hanover.
Westwardho Hanover’s $15,000 supplemental fee paid off for owner Westward Ho Stable, as his career bankroll increased to $582,348. The son of Dragon Again, out of the Western Hanover mare Western Duel, has a lifetime mark of 1:49.1 and is trained by Ronald Burke, who plans on continuing to race this colt. “He is good and is the freshest colt going. It is a shame the season has to come to an end,” noted Palone.
Dave Palone entered the race with four Classic victories, tied with John Campbell and Walter Case, Jr. This year’s win makes him the winningest driver for this prestigious stakes event.
December 7, 2011
FULL FIELD SET FOR CLASSIC: The $162,200 Jay Auto Group Cleveland Classic, one of Northfield Park’s premier races, is scheduled for Saturday night, December 10. This is the last national stakes event of the year for three-year-old pacers. The Cleveland Classic always draws an impressive slate of equine athletes as well as North America’s top drivers, and this year is no exception.
Westwardho Hanover, whose owners are paying a $15,000 supplemental fee to enter, is the even-money morning-line favorite and starts from post five. He is owned by the Westward Ho Stable and has a career bankroll of $501,248 and a lifetime mark of 1:49.1. In his most recent start, Westwardho Hanover was second in the $221,465 Matron at Dover Downs. This son of Dragon Again entered the Matron off of a win in the $330,000 Progress Pace, also at Dover. Dave Palone is his regular driver and trainer Ronald Burke has again called on Palone to steer him. Palone will be looking for his fifth Classic victory. He is currently tied with John Campbell and Walter Case Jr, who each have won this race four times.
Mystic Desire, the 4-1 morning-line second choice, has drawn post nine. Mystic Desire, a son of Real Desire, has lifetime earnings of $607,924 with a career mark of 1:50. The Ross Croghan trainee just finished second in the $175,000 Windy City at Maywood Park. He has twelve lifetime wins for the partnership of Let It Ride Stables, Robert Cooper Stables, Jerry Silva and Dana Parham.
The $162,200 Jay Auto Group Cleveland Classic
Post Horse Trainer Driver M/L
1 Southwind Milo Ronald Burke Ryan Stahl 5-1
2 Best Man Hanover Perry Smith Dan Noble* 10-1
3 Mach Of Ballykeel Richard Moreau TBA 20-1
4 Upfront Ellijay Ed James Arledge Dan Noble* 25-1
5 Westwardho Hanover Ronald Burke David Palone 1-1
6 Camgrandest Patrick Curtain Eric Carlson 12-1
7 Something For Doc Brian Brown Tony Hall 6-1
8 Audrys Dream Benjamin Wallace Jody Jamieson 8-1
9 Mystic Desire Ross Croghan Peter Wrenn 4-1
10 Onhishonor Hanover Perry Smith Dan Noble* 15-1
* Requested by owner/trainer interests to drive. Noble will decide which horse
to drive by 9:00 am Thursday, December 8.
2010 Jay Auto Group Cleveland Classic Recap
The $172,000 Jay Auto Group Cleveland Classic
Despite snow and windy conditions, favored One More Laugh ($2.60), driven by Tim Tetrick, won the $172,000 Jay Auto Group Cleveland Classic at Northfield Park in 1:52.1, leading at every call. He was a head better than Valentino at the wire, with Jackets Required, who challenged the winner at three-quarters, finishing third.
One More Laugh (shown above is a USTA file photo) is a three-year-old bay gelding by Mcardle from the Sportsmaster mare Fancy Creek Funny. He won for the ninth time in 20 seasonal starts and pushed his 2010 bankroll to $1,576,984. He has earned $2,171,290 in his career for owners Creative Racing Stable, Jerry Silva and Ray Schnittker, who is his trainer.
One More Laugh Favored In Northfield’s $172,000 Cleveland Classic
One Of Three Supplemental Entries, He Is Named 1-1 Favorite
Three supplemental entries – headed by Schnittker, Silva and Creative Racing’s One More Laugh – have entered Saturday’s Jay Auto Group Cleveland Classic at Northfield Park, pushing the purse to $172,000. Each of the supplemental entries: One More Laugh, Aracache Hanover and Dreamlands Art, paid $15,000 to enter the race.
One More Laugh (at left in an USTA photo) has been named the even-money morning-line favorite after drawing post two in the eight-horse field. Among One More Laugh’s numerous stakes victories is the $1,000,000 Meadowlands Pace, which he captured in July. Tim Tetrick, who shared National Driver-of-the-year honors with Dave Palone last year, is scheduled to drive One More Laugh, a winner of over $2,000,000 in his career. Palone will handle Dreamlands Art for trainer Ron Burke and his connections, which include local owner James Koran of Macedonia. He is the 8-1 fourth choice, leaving from post five. Alongside him will be 4-1 second choice Aracache Hanover. Owned by William Switala and James Martin, Gregg McNair trains the Confederation Cup champ. His son Doug, a rising star in Ontario, will drive. Valentino has been named the third choice, at 6-1, from the rail.
The Jay Auto Group Cleveland Classic is the 11th race on the 14 race card and will have added superfecta wagering. Post time for the Classic is 10:45 Eastern, while first race post is 7:00 PM.
$172,000 Jay Auto Group Cleveland Classic Race 11 10:45 PM (Eastern)
||KDM Stables & J L Benson Stables
||One More Laugh*
||Creative Racing, Jerry Silva, R. Schnittker
||R. McIntosh Stbl & Al McIntosh Holdings
||Sawgrass Farms Llc
||Burke Racing, Jim Koran, Weaver Bruscemi Llc, BFJ Stable
||William. Switala & James Martin
||Umholtz Racing & Kennedy Sports
||Bay Racing Stable
*-Designates $15,000 Supplemental Entry