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The Cleveland Classic

  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


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

hree 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)

Post Horse Driver Trainer Owner ML Odds
1 Valentino Aaron Merriman Nick Surick KDM Stables & J L Benson Stables  6-1
2 One More Laugh* Tim Tetrick Ray Schnittker Creative Racing, Jerry Silva, R. Schnittker  1-1
3 Jackets Required David Miller Bob McIntosh R. McIntosh Stbl & Al McIntosh Holdings  10-1
4 Morgan Shark Ryan Stahl Joe Seekman Sawgrass Farms Llc  12-1
5 Dreamlands Art* Dave Palone Ron Burke Burke Racing, Jim Koran, Weaver Bruscemi Llc, BFJ Stable  8-1
6 Aracache Hanover* Doug McNair Gregg McNair William. Switala & James Martin  4-1
7 Tidewater Teddy Dan Charlino Clair Umholtz Umholtz Racing & Kennedy Sports 20-1
8 Doc’s Yankee Dan Noble Ron Potter Bay Racing Stable 15-1

*-Designates $15,000 Supplemental Entry


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