Despite an early thunderstorm, racing fans were treated to a terrific night of racing Thursday at Harrington Raceway’s annual Governor’s Day program during the Delaware State Fair.
After heavy downpours invaded Kent County just prior to the first race, mother nature cooperated for most of the rest of the evening as 13 races were contested for nearly $600,000 in total purses.
The $40,000 Governor’s Cup is always a popular event with local bragging rights at stake, as Foulk Stables’ Sparky Mark ($5.60, Corey Callahan) prevailed narrowly in 1:53. The nine-year-old Astreos stallion held off second-place finisher Leyden in a tight photo finish. Little Ben was third. Sparky Mark notched his 53rd career win for trainer Dylan Davis.
Four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund finals for three-year-olds were among the highlights of the program.
KDK Standardbreds’ Apple Bottom Jeans ($3.40, Montrell Teague) won the filly pacing final in 1:53 with an impressive front-end performance over Delle Donne and Use Your Noodle. Trained by Kevin Switzer, the Mr Apples filly recorded her ninth win in 17 lifetime starts.
James Craparotta and Berry Racing’s Epic Smash ($9, Pat Berry) prevailed in 1:58 in the filly trotting final. Trained by Traci Berry, the Political Briefing never had an anxious moment in her five-length win over Triple Bottom Line and Cicadas Song.
Syl King, Jr.’s Chipoffthewall ($2.80, Anthony Morgan) won the trotting colts and geldings final in 1:58.4 in front-end fashion over Seafood Scrappy and Rojo. Trained by his owner, the Master Lavec gelding notched his 10th career win.
Henry Faragalli III, Nanticoke Racing and Bay Pond Racing Stable’s Next Success ($13.20, Jim Morand) captured the last DSBF final on the program with a wire-to-wire win from post position eight in 1:54 over Casino Bags Anso and Johns Dream. The Veeza gelding was trained by Les Givens and picked up his 10th career win and completed a sweep of the DSBF finals this year.
In non-DSBF events for older horses, winners included Purrfect Bags ($5.80, Victor Kirby) in the Legislator’s Cup, Raritan Bay ($3.20, Bret Brittingham) in the President’s Cup and Wingus ($34.20, Roger Plante, Jr.) in the Charles Murphy, Jr. Memorial Trot in 1:57.
Aside from Murphy, Jr., there were Memorial races that honoured Hal Belote, Thurman Adams, Jack Walls, John Frazer, Del and Dorothy Manges, Jim Case, Walter Messick and Sam Matthews.
Live racing resumes at Harrington Raceway on August 15.