More than $600,000 in purses will be up for grabs in a historic nighttime Governor’s Day program at Harrington Raceway Thursday at the Delaware State Fair.
Traditionally, the races were held with an 11 a.m. post time, but will have a 7 p.m. start time in this year’s annual installment of live horse racing at the fair which showcases the top Delaware owned or bred horses.
Four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) finals will be contested for the state’s top bred 3-year-olds, with three $20,000 consolation events also being offered.
The first of the DSBF finals is carded as the evening’s first race as the sophomore pacing fillies will do battle as the first half of the daily double. Eli Scott’s Here’s My Ticket (2-1, Ross Wolfenden) will look to atone for a defeat as the favorite at Ocean Downs on 6-28 and attempt to complete a sweep of DSBF finals this year after winning both her eliminations in dominant fashion. Here’s My Ticket will start from post five and face a fairly deep field that includes Ed Walls’ Designer Bags (5-1, Allan Davis) who also won both of her elimination events but drew post eight.
The first trotting final is slated as the fifth race on the 13-race program, as Nanticoke Racing and Delbert Cain’s Alleigh Girl (5/2, Ross Wolfenden) will look to keep her perfect 2012 record (5-for-5) intact for trainer Les Givens. Other elimination winners in the field include Josh Green and Baron Racing’s Commitment to Win (3-1, Roger Plante), Morgan and Jeanne McInnis’ Skuttlebutt (4-1, Victor Kirby) and Nanticoke Racing and Bobby Wyatt’s Da Boss Lady (8-1, Jim Morand).
Nanticoke Racing and Ross Wolfenden’s Windshield (9-to-5, Wolfenden) has been a beast among DSBF rivals throughout his career and is the favorite in the colt trotting final as he looks to build on a 13-for-15 career resume. He will start from post seven for trainer Les Givens as his most proven opposition, E&K Stable and Lois and Earl Walters’ I’m So Striking (7-to-2, Eddie Dennis) drew dreaded post eight.
Another race favorite drew outside in the pacing colt final as Wayne Givens-trainee Flying Instructor (2-1, Corey Callahan) will need to overcome post eight to extend his winning streak in DSBF company. Owned by Legacy Racing of De, Nanticoke Racing, Niel Gargiulo and Louie Paglierani, the son of Badlands Hanover was a decisive winner in all of his DSBF races this year. A quality group will oppose him, including Eli Scott and Greg Simendinger’s Its Outta Here (7-to-2, Kirby) and Gary and Barbara Iles’ Shaving Mug (4-1, Montrell Teague), who each won elimination races as did fellow Wayne Givens-trainee Three Mints (6-1, Allan Davis).
There also three staple races for older horses (3 years old and up), the $40,000 Governor’s Cup Pace, the $30,000 Legislator’s Cup Pace for fillies and mares and the $30,000 Charles Murphy Memorial Trot.
Delaware Governor Jack Markell will present the trophy to the winning connections of the Governor’s Cup, as early favorite Elizabeth Brittingham’s As Bad As Thunder (5/2, Bret Brittingham) will look to build on a three race win streak and drew the rail. 2011 Harrington horse of the meet Jeremy’s Successor (3-1, Sean Bier) is among the field of eight who will look to play spoiler for owner the Heavenly Ways Stable.
One of the most competitive races on the program figures to be the Legislator’s Cup, which will start the pick four (races 3-6). Arguably the two sharpest mares at the Harrington spring season, North State Street Stable’s Monochromatic (2-1, Corey Callahan), and Nanticoke Racing and Josh Parker’s Nice N Nice drew the inside posts and will match up with a high quality field that also boasts earnings leader George Teague’s No Bad Luck (3-1, Montrell Teague), a winner of more than $108,000 already this year.
The Charles Murphy Memorial Trot also features a highly competitive group that includes mare Sea Raven (4-1, Kirby), who is owned by Steve Anderson, and Jeff Bartels’ The Budster (5/2, Ross Wolfenden). It will be a homecoming of sort for Tony Poliseno’s Man About Town (5-1, Mike Cole) and Gary Evans and Foulk Stables’ Second Hand News (3-1, Jon Roberts) who have been racing at a high level on Pennsylvania and New York circuits.