The Trot Blog


USTA presents Harness Racing Driving Strategy

Montrell Teague earns first driving win
May 8, 2009, 8:43 am
Filed under: Harness Racing Drivers, Harness Racing News | Tags: ,

Friday, May 08, 2009 – by Matt Sparacino, publicity director, Harrington Raceway - Fotowon photo

Montrell Teague

Harrington, DE - Montrell Teague earned his first lifetime driving win on Thursday (May 7) at Harrington Raceway, piloting Jason Johnson and Stanley Johnson’s Mememe ($4.00) to a one length win in the seventh race in 1:57.2. Fotowon photo Montrell Teague piloted Mememe to a 1:57.2 score for his first lifetime driving win. Teague had five previous starts but made his sixth career start a winning one aboard the 4-year-old Dragon Again mare for trainer Jason Johnson. Teague and Mememe seized the front approaching the quarter in :28.1 and set all the fractions from there before holding off Friendship Dance and More To The Story to the wire.

“It feels good,” said Teague, who is the son of owner/trainer George Teague Jr. “I was a little nervous until I started warming the horse up. It feels good to win one here in front of my friends and family and people that gave me support.” It was the fourth win in a row for Mememe.

“He left the gate good and rated her well,” said George Teague, Jr. “I’m very proud.” Driver Brandon Givens had three winners on the program. Racing resumes Sunday (May 10) with a 5:15 p.m. post time.



John Campbell named to Canadian Sports Hall of Fame

John Campbell named to Canadian Sports Hall of Fame… a tremendous honor and well deserved. 

John Campbell



WOLFENDEN WINS #4,000

 

Ross Wolfenden 4,000 wins!

Ross Wolfenden 4,000 wins!

TP LUCY, RUBY RANSOM WIN $100,000 DSBF FINALS; WOLFENDEN WINS #4,000

DOVER, Del. – Dover Downs – TP Lucy and Ruby Ransom were decisive winners of $100,000 Delaware Standarbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Finals, Starsel won the $32,000 Open Handicap trot and Ross Wolfenden reached the 4,000-win mark on Wednesday, April 8 at Dover Downs. The 2008-09 live racing meet comes to a close on Thursday, April 9.

Tony Morgan led off a banner night of racing with the first of four winning drives piloting Mark Waterman’s TP Lucy to a 1:58.1 victory, her second straight and fourth in five career races in the $100,000 DSBF Three-Year-Old Filly Trot final. The Linbo-Fastreena chestnut was an easy winner reducing her lifetime record by one full second. JA’s Commando finished second with Vic Kirby and entrymate Funny Briefs driven by George Brennan picked up the third place share. TP Lucy has now won $73,500 in her five races.

Ruby Ransom rushed into the lead just past the opening quarter pole and then was never headed in a 1:58.3 conquest in the $100,000 colt trot final. Brandon Givens was the winning pilot driving for Ed Maas and Nanticoke Racing Inc. The win was the second, with two seconds, in four starts this season for the CR Commando-Dreamland’s Trophy colt that has been 1-2-3 in 16 of 19 career starts while banking $211,304 in two seasons of racing. Bob Shahan and Bakermill Blake sat second for most of the mile. Special Command got up for third with Roger Plante driving.  Ruby Ransom

Daryl Bier left smartly from the outside with Starsel and the Angus Hall-Super Sally gelding to get the lead and the pair were never headed in a 1:53.4 score, a new mark for the six-year-old owned by Glenn DelRusso, Charles Dombeck and trainer-driver Bier. Veteran JM Vangogh finished second for Corey Callahan with Joey The Jet JT reined by Ross Wolfenden third.

Larry Baron’s Sergeant York made it two wins in a row as Jon Roberts guided the Duke Of York-PJ Naomi four-year-old to victory in 1:55.1 in the $21,000 sub-feature trot.  The win was the 100th of the meet for leading trainer Josh Green. Letmetellusumthin, the only female in the field of eight, finished a strong second reined by Corey Callahan.  Fivedollarsforsox and George Denis closed for third money.

In a $17,000 trot, Tony Morgan picked up his fourth win on the program driving Howard and Josh Kaufman’s Good Feeling to a 1:55.1 triumph for Duane Stoliker’s second training win. Rose Run Flash (Mike Cole) and Mignon (Wolfenden) were second and third respectively.   

Bobby Myers’ Enessee Ernie was an easy 1:58 winner, his second straight, in a $16,000 4,&5-Year-Old trot with Eddie Davis Jr. at the controls. The Enjoy Lavec-Ms Matched Pearls gelding was followed by CJ’s Crown (Jim King) and Rusty Rusty Rusty (Kirby) second and third respectively.

The Wiz Kids Stable’s Scarlet McZara won the top pace on the card, a $15,000 3,4&5-Year-Old Filly and Mare pace. Corey Callahan drove the McArdle-Zara three-year-old picked up her second win in five races. Lysistrata (Davis Jr.) was runner-up. Winning Solution (Joe Columbo) was along in time for third. 

Thursday, April 9 is 2008-09 meet closing day. The Horse of the Meet, Leading Driver and Trainer awards will be presented. First post is 4:30 p.m. There is no charge for admission or parking at Dover Downs. Reservations are suggested for the Winner’s Circle Restaurant. Call 302-674-4600.



AUSPICIOUS DEBUT FOR KADABRA COLT IN TIE SILK

Parlay

AUSPICIOUS DEBUT FOR KADABRA COLT IN TIE SILK

 

Toronto, ON

 

 

 

He only has two starts to his credit, but an unbeaten three-year-old colt named Parlay has already turned some heads at Woodbine racetrack. 

The rookie son of Kadabra is scheduled to make his stakes debut in the Tie Silk Trotting Series this Thursday, April 9, and the morning line handicappers are laying even money odds that he will dominate his field of nine other three-year-olds.  

Ricky McPhee of Cambridge, Ontario trains and co-owns the precocious young trotter, who already has a speed mark of 1:56.4 and will be driven by Jack Moiseyev on Thursday night. To see whether Parlay lives up to his early promise, catch the $20,000 opening round of the Tie Silk series.

Race #4, Post Time 8:27p.m.

(From Karen Briggs/WEG Media – photo courtesy of New Image Media)



Corey Callahan’s Corner – Mar 28, 2009

Corey Callahan

We are very fortunate to be able to start a new feature with one of the leading harness racing drivers, Corey Callahan.  He has quickly become one of the top drivers in the sport.  This really is an open forum for both Corey and our readers. 

Corey’s first post gives us a snapshot into his background.  We hope you enjoy this new perspective from the driver himself.  Please post questions or topics you’d like to hear more about.  Now, here is “Corey Callahan’s Corner”.     

Corey:  “Well, I really got started driving in a very round about way. Obviously, my parents have raced horses my whole life and I grew up on a horse farm, but this is not what I thought was in store for my life. Growing up, my parents would always harp to us saying that we were going to go to college and get a “real job”, something with a steady income, etc.

So, I heeded their advice and went on to the University of Kentucky and received a degree in Marketing. Absolutely loved college! Lexington is a great place and I met some wonderful people. Plus, I played hockey there as well which enabled me to visit a lot of other towns and schools in the midwest. After college I took a job in the world of recruiting. I put on the suit and tie everyday for about 4 years and then one day I had just decided that I’d had enough. I looked at myself and was like…..you’re 25 years old, when Monday rolls around every week you dread getting up to go to work! So I decided I wasn’t going to be “that” person. Called my dad and asked him if he could give me some work to keep me afloat until I figured out what I wanted to do with my life.

After spending more time with the horses, I realized that I liked them a whole lot more than I ever thought I did. After a couple months of putting on my dads colors and warming up, I decided that I would like to get my qualifying license and see how that went. Well that was in the Spring of 2005. Did pretty good in the qualies and thought hey maybe I can try this. Officially got my license in October of 2005. Ended up with 16 starts and finally won one when my cousin Frank Milby let me drive a mare of his that was winning every week. What a thrill that was.

From that point on luck has definitely been on my side and the wins have just kept coming. Getting close to 1,000 now and should have it sometime soon I hope. This all happened so fast and I just feel very blessed to be able to wake up everyday and love my job and be able to make a good living for myself!!”

Our next “Corey Callahan’s Corner” will feature a typical day in the life of a driver….



Merriman Leads NA Drivers

MerrimanAaron Merriman finished sixth in wins among all harness racing drivers in North America last season, so he is no stranger to the top 10 list. He just might not be as familiar yet with his current spot – No. 1.

Merriman, who drives regularly at both Northfield Park in Ohio and The Meadows in western Pennsylvania, entered Monday with 187 wins and held a 22-victory lead over second-place Dave Palone. Merriman has been the leading driver at Northfield each of the past three seasons. He leads the standings
again this year and is eighth at The Meadows.

“It’s exciting,” the 30-year-old Merriman said about his place in the North American standings. “I don’t know how long it will last, whether it will continue, but it’s kind of a neat experience. I’m just really working a lot, between Northfield and The Meadows. I got my foot in the door last March at The Meadows, so I’ve been going there pretty steady. It’s a little tiring, but the driving is going really well.”

Merriman started in the sport with his father Lanny, who has nearly 1,200 lifetime wins as a driver and more than 500 victories as a trainer. Merriman got his first win in 1998 and had his first million-dollar season in 2004. He won 558 races in 2006, good for ninth place in North America, and set career highs with 612 victories and $3.1 million in earnings in 2008. Entering Monday, he was three wins from 3,500 for his career.

As one of the new kids on the block at The Meadows, it can be more difficult for Merriman to get top assignments, particularly with the likes of Palone, Tony Hall, Mike Wilder and Brett Miller already established in the driving colony.

“It doesn’t really bother me, I just like driving,” Merriman said. “Everyone wants to have power, but sometimes it’s not the case. It just doesn’t work out that way. There are a lot of other guys in this business with talent.”

Driving at The Meadows, which is a five-eighths-mile oval, may have helped Merriman become a better driver at Northfield, which is a half-mile oval, by exposing him to a different type of racing.

“It’s not typical for five-eighths-mile racing,” Merriman said. “Horses just cannot live on the outside at The Meadows like they can other places. It’s kind of helped me at Northfield because it’s got me to be a bit more patient.”

Merriman has no plans to change his routine at the moment. In the future, though, he will need to have shoulder surgery as the result of an accident suffered last year and could be sidelined for up to six months.

“I’m happy with what I have,” Merriman said. “I’ve got a six-year-old son (Kristopher) that I really base my life around. I want to stay here for now because he goes to kindergarten in Ohio and it’s a very nice area. As long as I can keep up the doubleheaders and make a living, and I’m not gone too much, it’s good.”

He also might keep an eye on the driver standings as the year progresses.

“If it gets toward the end of the year and I’ve got a chance to be the top dash guy, it’s something I might shoot for,” he said. “But I’ve got a lot on my plate.”

(Harness Racing Communications)



A wicked triple dead heat finish!

The Meadows had A wicked triple dead heat finish.  In watching the replay, it appeared several horses might have won.  What a finish.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.