HARRINGTON — Harrington Raceway’s richest program of the season will commence Thursday (post time 7 p.m.) during the annual Governor’s Day program at the Delaware State Fair.
Four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) final events for 3-year-olds and a trio of $15,000 consolations are on the 12-race program, in addition to longtime staples for older horses including the $50,000 Governor’s Cup and $35,000 Legislator’s Cup and Charles Murphy Memorial Trot.
On the wagering front, there will be a pick four (races 2-5) and pick five (races 8-12) on the program.
The first DSBF final event is the first race on the card, as Littlebagoftricks (7/5, Russell Foster) will look to continue her dominance of the pacing fillies as the presumptive heavy favorite for trainer and co-owner Josh Green. Co-owned by Rich Lombardo and Charles Cochran, the Roddy’s Bags Again filly is unbeaten in five starts this year and dominated her two elimination legs. She will start from post four.
Her main competition appears to be Jo Ann Looney-King’s Stealing Bases (5/2, Tim Tetrick), who also won both of her elimination events and drew post two for trainer Jim King Jr. The Roddy’s Bags Again-sired filly made $101,942 in her 2-year-old season.
The Governor’s Cup, a popular annual event bringing the top Delaware-owned older horses, features 2019 champ Sicily (7/2, Victor Kirby). The venerable 9-year-old owned by Legacy Racing of Delaware and Reginald Hazzard is closing in on $800,000 in career earnings for trainer Wayne Givens. Along with Robbins Nest Farm’s Gallic Beach (20/1, Corey Callahan), they are the only 9-year-olds in the field, the only horses older than 7 in the group.
All entries in the field have wins over the track this season, except for Jason Lynch’s Gunslinger Hill (7/1, Lynch), who was runner-up four times. Lynch is the owner/trainer of two horses in the field, the other being McBoogity (20/1, Tetrick), who finished in the money in 3 straight starts before the summer break.
Mst Racing’s Goldberg (5/2, Allan Davis) is the early favorite and already has multiple wins over the surface this year.
Gov. John Carney once again is expected to present the trophy to the winning connections.
The DSBF filly trotting final is slated sixth on the card, named in memory of Jack Walls, who served as president of Harrington Raceway and was a lifelong supporter of harness racing and popular member of the local community. Four elimination winners are in the field including Gary White’s Whitesville Beulah (5/2, David Hill III), Thestable Jazzy Judy’s Jazzy Judy (2/1, Anthony Macdonald) and Pam Wagner and Scott Woogen’s K J Diamond (15-1, Victor Kirby), and Allan Schmucker and Logan Powell’s Annalee (20/1 Tetrick).
The male pacing final, which honors the memory of driver/trainer Ben Stafford Jr., is the start of the pick five in race eight. Stafford Jr. was a talented horsemen who campaigned many DSBF contenders over the years including Badlands Jenna and Badlands and Art.
The male pacing division includes double elimination winners Kdk Standardbreds’ Archie and Emerson (7/2, Jason Thompson) and Clyde Francis and Mst Racing’s Henrico (3/1, Victor Kirby). Henrico is one of two Clyde Francis-trainees in the field, the other being Mst Racing and George Teague Jr.’s Subban (9/5, Allan Davis), who won the 2-year-old final at Harrington last fall.
The male trotting final is the 9th race, named in memory of driver/trainer Hal Belote, who died in a 2006 racing accident. Belote was an underrated horsemen who competed on the Mid-Atlantic circuit for decades and campaigned top horses such as Smashing Jane GT.
The overwhelming favorite figures to be Bobby Myers’ Big Al M (8/5, Davis) for driver/trainer Eric Davis. The Anders Bluestone gelding is undefeated in three starts this year and has dominated the DSBF ranks.