Southwind Bella Dazzles In Northfield Open

Southwind Bella

Fresh off a third-place effort to Strong Poison in the USS Indianapolis at Harrah's Hoosier Park, Southwind Bella found her best stride on Sunday, Nov. 19, winning the $18,000 Filly and Mare Open Pace at MGM Northfield Park.

Following a fifth-place effort in the $100,000 Courageous Lady on Oct. 14, trainer Ron Burke shipped the daughter of Huntsville to Northfield Park, where she scored an impressive victory from post seven against conditioned company on Oct. 28. She returned to the winner's circle on Sunday night with another outstanding effort from an outside draw.

Adashious Hanover (Elliot Deaton) and Mystical Virgin (Kurt Sugg) were both hustled off the wings and duelled into the opening turn, with Adashious Hanover clearing before entering the backstretch. Southwind Bella (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) came away cleanly in third, and heading to the quarter, Wrenn stepped on the gas, clearing Adashious Hanover past a :27.3 opening fraction.

With the field in straight alignment to the half, Wrenn tried to get somewhat of a breather but continued to set decent fractions, eclipsing the second quarter in :55.3. Up the backstretch, Wrenn only had to ask Southwind Bella for a little bit as she quickly opened up a three-length lead heading to three-quarters in 1:23.1.  

Southwind Bella was confidently handled through the stretch, winning by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:52.2 over Fairiesdelight A (Aaron Merriman) and Adashious Hanover.

Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Bridgette Jablonsky and Lombardo/Green Racing, the talented filly pushed her career earnings to $238,495.

Ferrari Wins GLADA Trot At Northfield

Could amateur driver Larry Ferrari be reaching his prime these days? The answer may be a resounding “yes” after his performance with So Wishfull in the Great Lakes Amateur Driving Association (GLADA) event on Sunday night.

When Ferrari’s So Wishfull crossed the wire a handy winner, Ferrari’s “batting average” (UDRS) reached .300 for the first time in his career stretching back to 1984. So Wishfull, a seven-year-old Wishing Stone gelding, is also enjoying his best year with his sixth success of the season vaulting his 2023 earnings to $41,901—a new plateau as well—with lifetime earnings now $137,712 to go along with a mark of 1:54.2, also set this year.

At the wire, So Wishfull left the late-closing Brogotto, handled by Henry Beachy, two lengths back in second with Dontyousayit, driven by Christina Johnson, and Another Breath, with Floyd Rhodes in his sulky, in a dead-heat for third. Cowboy Country was fifth after being prominent throughout.

Beginning from post two this night, Ferrari sent his charge alertly off the wings and engaged in a war with Cowboy Country through a lively :28.1 opener before yielding.

During the next half-mile, Cowboy Country and Another Breath locked horns as these two raced as a team through subsequent panels of :58.2 and 1:28.1 with So Wishful third locked up and Mr Houdini contending second over. 

So Wishfull, cool, calm and collected, found the passing lane turning for home and scooted to the wire justifying his 3-5 favouritism.

Ferrari trains the winner for his wife, Kiesha, and after the race, lamented, “We just got the best of the trips saving ground throughout and it was a bit chilly out there and we went the shortest distance tonight. We might have travelled 10 yards shorter than the others tonight and, you know, many races are won by a whisker or two, so the inside post made a big difference.”

Ferrari now has 380 lifetime driving wins to go along with 277 training successes.

GLADA competes on a weekly basis at Northfield, as well as The Meadows on occasion, with all amateur drivers' earnings in these events earmarked for charitable distribution.

Live harness racing resumes at Northfield on Monday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. MGM Northfield Park currently races on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

(With files from MGM Northfield Park and GLADA)