The Trot Blog



Ross Wolfenden 4,000 wins!

Ross Wolfenden 4,000 wins!


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.


Winbak Speed


The prestigious Classic Series for older horses opens its 2009 season with the first of three stops at Dover Downs and later to the Meadowlands and Mohawk to complete the preliminaries culminating with a $250, final in each of its four divisions.

A select field of five contest the $86,000 Pacing Classic led by Wayne Givens and Niel Gargiulo’s Winbak Speed (Ron Pierce), the leading money winning horses thus far this year, John Cancelliere’s Western Shore (Andy Miller), Joe Smith’s Allamerican Idol (Brian Sears), Frog Juice (Jim Morand) racing for Gary and Barbara Iles and Bulletproof Enterprises’ Riggins (David Miller) from the rail.

The $85,000 Trotting Classic is led by world champion and track record holder Enough Talk (Pierce) the all-time fastest trotter all-time, owned by P Keinhans Racing and Jerry Silva, one-time Hambletonian champion and Trotter of the Year Vivid Photo racing for driver Roger Hammer and Todd Shadel. The face Trillium Racing Stable’s Green Day (George Brennan), Four Starz Speed (Dave Palone) racing for Howard Taylor, Weaver Bruscemi and Burke Racing Stable, Flowing Mineral Farm’s Michaelrowyourboat (Tim Tetrick) from the rail and Larry Roman’s Swan Image (David Miller) from outside post 6.

White Birch Farm’s Darlin’s Delight (Yannick Gingras), winner of the recent Overbid Final leads five challengers in the $85,000 Classic Distaff. Jeff Snyder’s homebred Woobine-standout Michelle’s Power (Jody Jamieson), Martha Maxine (Andy Miller) winner of the Cape & Cutter for owners T.P. Alagna, Brittany Farms and Erv Miller Stable, Bulletproof Enterprises Cuz She Can (Brennan) and a two-horse entry of Southwind Tempo (Tetrick) owned by Jerry Silva and Let It Ride Stable and Mind Boggling (Eric Goodell) for owners Mentally and Let It Ride stables.

With 14 entries, the Classic Oaks is split into two $60,000 sections. Track record holder Buck I St. Pat (Tetrick), the 2008 Trotting Mare of the Year, owned by Howard Taylor, Ed Gold, Abe Basen and Dr. Ron Fuller, meets P Kleinhans racing’s Lavec Dream (Pierce), Shanamphilaniklou Inc.’s Hawaiianphotograph (Palone), Heb Liverman’s Spice Queen (Sears), Ed Mullinax and Frank Dettore’s Up Front Hotsey (Mike Vanderkemp) trainer Misty and driver David Miller’s Autumn Escapade and Tyler Raymer and Trillium Racing’s Sumertime Yankee (Brennan).

The other $60,000 distaff edition finds Sylvia Burke and Randy Ringer’s Afternoon Dreams (Palone) seeking her sixth straight win taking on the “Dover Darling” Allmar Surprise owned by driver Vic Kirby and Matt Ivory, Elmer Fannin’s Kadealia (Tetrick), Arlene and Jules Siegel’s Stage Show (Brennan), Falls For You (Sears) racing for Ted Gewertz, Willow Pond and Fair Winds Farm, Classic Lane (Tony Morgan) owned by Bob and Lauren Tucker, and Sholty and JML stables’ Morguns Sweetheart (Gingras).

In addition, the Dover Downs Monday card includes two $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund finals for pacers, colt and for fillies, and a $40,000 Open Preferred pace. Post time is 4:30 p.m.

 (courtesy of Marv Bachrad and Dover Downs)

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…’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….

The Comeback Kid!



Courtesy of Dover Downs and Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del.— $1.7-million winner JM Vangogh rallied to win the $32,000 Open trot, Go Nano Go led from the start to win the $17,500 sub-feature trot at Dover Downs on Wednesday, March 11. Corey Callahan had a driving quadruple.

After a torrid head-to-head duel that consummated more than the last quarter mile, JM Vangogh came back after being head in mid stretch by Joey The Jet JT to notch a 1:55.2 victory in the top trot of the week. Corey Callahan drove the nine-year-old son of ill-fated Earl-Queen’s Tut to his first win of the year for owners Paul Chambers, his trainer, and Laurieta Mello. Tom Jackson guided Joey The Jet JT to a second with Twelve Seventeen and Jack Parker finishing third in the eight-horse field. JM Vangogh has now banked $1,794,327 in his career. The win was the fourth on the card for Callahan.

Eddie Davis Jr. drove J&E Stable’s Go Nano Go into the lead on the first turn and led the rest of a 1:56 mile to win the $17,500 sub-feature trot. Jon Win (Vic Kirby) shadowed the lead the rest of the way to finish second. Letmetellusumthin (Callahan) took a shot at the leader after the three quarters then held on to finish third. The win was the first of the year for the Janet Davis-conditioned Balanced Image-Cool Reins gelding now a career winner of $313,170.

There were 16 winners on the card. In the 15th race when Deborah And Barak (Tony Morgan) and Fire The Dragon (Roger Plante) could not be separated in the 1:56.3 photo finish. In a $15,500 Delaware 3,4&5-Year-Old pace, Deborah And Barak and Playland Place (Ross Wolfenden) dueled down the lane until the closing strides when Onery Inc’s Fire The Dragon culminated a strong stretch drive to fly up on the outside and deadheat with Michael Mammes’ Deborah And Barak for first place. Playland Place, a head back, had to settle for third.

Red Skull, a recent acquisition by owner Larry Baron, won for the second time for leading trainer Josh Green fashioning a 1:54.2 victory in a $13,000 3,4&5-Year-Old pace.  Sudden Interest (Vic Kirby) third under the wire, was placed second when Dream Job (Jon Roberts), second, was disqualified and placed out of the money, for interference entering the backstretch.  CJ Striker (Frank Milby) was placed third. .

Dirty Devil opened the card with a 1:53 victory in a $10,500 3,4&5-Year-Old pace. Owned by Dave Moffett, Dave Toomey and trainer Billy Moffett, the Real Artist-Ms. Eyes And Thighs sophomore gelding was driven to victory by George Dennis. Freedom Soldier (Jim Morand) came down the passing lane to finish second. Denim Hanover (Jon Roberts) cut out most of the mile held on for third.

Monday through Thursday, 4:30 p.m. is post time. Friday is a dark day. Saturday and Sunday racing starts at 5:30 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.

Standardbred Weekly Podcast – Brett Sturman on handicaps and weather bias

Harness Link and Standardbred Weekly bring us excellent analysis on 1/2 mile racing versus 5/8 mile and larger track surfaces and various weather issues.

podcastBrett Sturman on handicaps and weather bias

Snowstorm racing

Dover snowstorm Mar 1, 2009Dover snow

A tip of the cap to all who braved the elements in this mess this past week….cheers!

Here is some good Canadian music for you andymurphyplease.


Dover Downs

DOVER DOWNS EXTRA 2/26/09 (courtesy of Dover Downs and Marv Bachrad)


The Delaware racing community lost a longtime friend and supporter this week when Jim McGinnis, a harness horse owner and former Delaware Lt. Governor passed away at age 77 after a battle with cancer. In addition to owning horses that raced at Brandywine and Liberty Bell Park, McGinnis served in Delaware House of Representatives and State Senate and in 1976 was elected Lt. Governor. Upon completion of his term, he turned down a bid to run for governor to focus his energy on his commercial realty company. During the 1960 and 1970s, he and good friend Bill Brooks and Baird Brittingham, then president of Delaware Park racetrack, formed the BMcB Stable and raced a large stable of horses. McGinness also served as Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association director in the 1970, when it represented horsemen in the Delaware Valley and Maryland. In later years, he and his close friend the venerable Russell Kirby, of Milford, Del. owned several horses, including the fast-class pacer Spun Out, until the passing of Mr. Kirby a few years ago.


Eric Goodell made a habit of winning early week feature races. On Monday, Goodell steered the winners of the co-features, Sharky Oswborne in the $40,000 Preferred/Open and then Steeler in the $37,500 Delaware Special. He didn’t stop there. On Tuesday, Goodell won the top two feature races both overlooked at 6-1 odds And both with come-from-behind wins. Chloes Silver Star won the $33,000 Mares Open/Handicap and Wannahuckaloogi took the $26,000 Mares Jr. Open pace. He completed the program driving Real Jenna to victory in the $17,500 Mares pace completing the program with five wins.


It seems that there is always a “comeback story” in harness racing. For the pacer, Cookerosa and his owner, trainer Jim Banks, a warm-hearted story continues. When it appeared that Cookerosa’s racing career was over due to a knee injury, Banks was given the well-bred horse. Banks then nursed Cookerosa back to soundness. The horse returned to racing last year winning three races in 10 outings. Cookerosa now has won twice this year with a second in seven starts and $17,587 a few dollars more than he earned last year.


The longest winning streak of the meet came to an end on Thursday when Seein Stars , a mare owned and trained by Adrian Wiser, had the lead in the stretch but was caught by Queen Kathy, driven by Corey Callahan, nearing the finish line to give the 10-year-old her first loss after five consecutive wins. Early this season, Victors Vicky became first five-race winner of the meet working her way through the race conditions, non-win, winners-over and winning an Open trot.


The “Go For Distance” event moves into its second stanza on Saturday with a pair of $15,000 divisions labeled the “Skill” leg. Last Saturday, the first week of the three-pronged feature called the “Speed” leg for $10,000 Claiming pacers showcased two of its four division won in North American record equaling time. Dragon’s Blood and Pegasus Osborne both were clocked in 1:09.1 for the 5/8th mile dash. Next Saturday, March 7, will feature the third and final event with 10 starters racing over a distance of 1-1/4 miles in the “Stamina” leg, for a purse of $25,000.


Joel Halpern is thinking about going out of town the next time one of his horses races. While the prominent Dover eye specialist was away on Feb. 25, two of his recent acquisitions raced in the first two races and won both ends of the daily double. Speedcentric, off at 25-1, came from last to first to score a 1:56.1 win in the 1st race for trainer D.W. Camac and driver Mile Cole. Then trainer and co-owner George Dennis drove 34-1 shot Black Tie to victory in the 2nd race. The 7-3 daily double rewarded backers $314.00 for a $2 ticket.


Tony Morgan continues to dominate the dash-win column at Dover Downs with 236 wins through Thursday and the sport’s defending champion leads all drivers in the sport this year with 125 winners. The runner-up at Dover is Corey Callahan with 177 wins. Ross Wolfenden is third , a 125 winner. Brandon Givens with 97 and Jim Morand with 94 wins are fourth and fifth in the standings. Currently, Callahan is sixth in the sport this year with 76 winners this year.


Josh Green has the lead among trainers at the track. Since opening day in late October, Green has haltered 78 winners. Chuck Crissman is second with 67 wins, Tim Crissman has 55, Les Givens is fourth with 45 and Dylan Davis hold fifth place with 39 winners. Green stands second in the 2009 North American standings with 48 wins.