Harrington Raceway will host its richest program of the season on Governor’s Day Thursday during the Delaware State Fair with a 7 p.m. post time.
More than $600,000 in total purses will be at stake on the 13-race program, headlined by four $100,000 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund final events for 3-year-olds as well as program staples like the coveted $40,000 Governor’s Cup, which features some of the top Delaware horses ages 4 years old and up. Delaware Governor John Carney will be on hand to present the trophy to the winner.
The first DSBF final is for pacing fillies as the first race on the program. An evenly matched group will line up behind the gate as trainer Jim King Jr. has three entries in the event for owner Jo Ann Looney-King, including Spanish Dream (9/2, Tim Tetrick), Logan’s Girl (5/2, Victor Kirby) and Lillisbagsrpacked (20/1, Allan Davis). Thomson Sister Racing Stable’s Free Flight Fran (3/1, Ross Wolfenden) is a chief threat to the stablemates. The race is named in honor of Ben Stafford Jr., a well-liked local horseman who passed away in 2016.
The filly trotting final is the fifth race on the program, named in memory of former Harrington Raceway track president Jack Walls. Nanticoke Racing and Delbert Cain’s Spoonful (9/5, Corey Callahan), Stephen Moss’ Luv Is Blind (3/1, Kirby) and double elimination winner Donald Marine’s Political Energy (7/2, Russell Foster) have been standouts among the group.
The male trotters will compete in their $100,000 final in the ninth raced, named in memory of driver/trainer Hal Belote, who was tragically killed in a racing accident. Ben Brooks’ Master Clave (7/5, Wolfenden) has dominated the class and will bid for his 11th win in 15 career starts for trainer John Wilkerson.
Perhaps the most competitive DSBF final may be for pacing colts and geldings as a highly competitive group fulfills the eight horse field including three horses owned by George Teague Jr. and trained by Clyde Francis. Ain’t It Fun (9/1, Wolfenden), Henry The Dragon (5/1, Bret Brittingham) and Daiymir (4/1, Montrell Teague) are expected to have strong presence in the field, as is previous DSBF champ, Bags To Riches (3/1, Tim Tetrick) for owners Only Money Stable and trainer Jason Skinner. Tina Clark and Brian Clark’s Automatic Dragon (9/2, Kirby) won both of his eliminations impressively and will loom as another contender in the extremely deep field.
The $40,000 Governor’s Cup, always a sought-after crown for local bragging rights, features a solid group of veteran pacers that includes last year’s winner, Foulk Stables’ Sparky Mark (20/1, Jon Roberts). The morning line favorite is owner/trainer Josh Green’s Poisonous (8/5, Ross Wolfenden), who took a seasonal mark of 1:49.4 at Dover Downs this winter.
Three $20,000 DSBF consolations are also on the program to accompany long standing races such as the Charles Murphy Memorial Trot, Legislators Cup (In Memory of Thurman Adams Jr.), Presidents Cup and Sam Mathews Memorial. The DSBF consolations are individually named in memory of Del and Dorothy Manges, John Frazer and Walter Messick.