Janet Hudson’s Just a Jolt ($3.20, Victor Kirby) notched his second straight $40,000 Governor’s Cup Thursday at Harrington Raceway with a 1:51.2 triumph as part of the annual Governor’s Day program during the Delaware State Fair.
As the richest program of the year for Delaware harness racing, $610,000 in total purses was up for grabs for exclusively Delaware owned and/or bred horses. The popular local event puts bragging rights at stake as a focal point for many Delaware horsemen on the annual day that is laden with legislators, dignitaries and memorial races.
Just A Jolt, a Jim King Jr.-trainee was sent immediately for the lead and never relented as he held off a game Bandolito, who was second and Papa Ray who was a solid third. Just A Jolt recorded his sixth win of the season as his earnings ballooned to more than $112,000 in 2015. The Honorable Governor Jack Markell was on hand to present the trophy to the winning connections.
Four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) final events were contested for 3-year-olds.
The first featured a track record for another King Jr. trainee, as Purrfect Bags ($4.80, Kirby) cruised to a decisive 1:51.2 victory, a new track record for 3-year-old pacing fillies. Purrfect Bags held off Gigi Deo and Love Forbidden, who rounded out the trifecta. Owned by Joann Looney-King, the Roddy’s Bags Again filly, Purrfect Bags, reset the track record formerly co-held by Seboomook Fool Yah and Totally Rusty (1:52.1).
The filly trotting final was the next DSBF event as Callmemza ($17.60, Jon Roberts) pulled off a minor upset over Cuddle Punk and My Fire Cloud Too in 1:57.4. A daughter of Great George Two, Callmemza notched her eighth career win for co-owner/trainer Bib Roberts, and co-owners Graham Grace Stables and M&W Stables.
In the colt and gelding trotting final, 1-to-9 favorite Go Byem broke stride and changed the complexion of the race as Ed Kimmel’s and Don and David Lee Wiest’s Perfect Vangogh ($116.60, Tony Morgan) ended up loose on the lead and prevailed over Political Foe in 1:57.4. Go Byem made a dramatic recovery to finish third. A son of JM Vangogh, Perfect Vangogh earned his third career win. The winner was trained by Don Wiest.
The pacing colt and geldings final went to Sharon Wyatt, Robin West and Ron Benton’s Remember Me VK ($3.20, Montrell Teague) who dazzled with a 1:51.2 score over Roddy’s Hot Again and Quick Art. Trained by Bob Wyatt, the Art Director gelding recorded his ninth career win in 12 starts.
In the $30,000 Legislator’s Cup, featuring the state’s top pacing mares, Jason and Susan Skinner’s BJ’s Sweetheart ($4.20, Morgan) scored in 1:53.
The $30,000 Charles Murphy Jr. Memorial Trot went to Gary Evans and Foulk Stables Prayer Session (Corey Callahan, $2.60) in 1:55.