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Barn Notes

Live action shot of a horse race at Presque Isle Downs

Barn Notes #13

Final Chapter – 2016


As Fall is upon us, it’s time to say good-bye to the 2016 Racing Season?  As of the 98th

day of racing, several titles have already been determined. 

The Jockey of the 2016 Meet was settled several months ago with Antonio Gallardo

wrapping up his 3rd title in a row with 142 wins, even missing one day a week riding at

Presque Isle Downs to ride at another Venue.  Pablo Morales gets the runner-up honor

with 100 wins, Huber (Shorty) Villa-Gomez finished 3rd with 68 wins.

The Trainer Title was much closer with Teresa Connelly securing her second straight

title with 40 wins, Ron Potts finished second with 32 wins and Dale Capuano was 3rd

with 29 wins. 

The owner of the meet will come down to the last day with Elkstone Group and Wayne

Rice riding it out for the position.

Final Day Stakes

Both The H.B.P.A. Stakes ($100,000) for older Fillies & Mares going 1 mile 70 and The

Fitz Dixon, Jr. Memorial Juvenile Stakes ($100,000) for 2 year old colts going 6 ½

Furlongs drew over-filled fields. Favoritism should go to the Larry Rivelli trained  

Wellabled in the Fitz Dixon and the Graham Motion pair of Valued Strike and Catcha

Rising Star in the H.B.P.A.

Thank you!!!!!

As the last day of racing will be quickly upon us, we take this opportunity to thank you

for your participation and support throughout this 2016 Season and we look forward

to seeing you in April 2017!!!


Barn Notes #12

Stakes Wrap-Ups

The Presque Isle Masters Stakes, GII

Sarah Sis led the field all the way and held off a strong closing bid from Two-Time winner Living the Life to narrowly prevail in the $400,000 Presque Isle Downs (GII) Masters.

Living the Life off the pace early burst from the pack in the final sixteenth and steadily closed in on Sarah Sis, coming tantalizingly close to a Third Straight Win, but she was denied by just a head.

Trained by Ingrid Mason for Owner, Joe Ragsdale, Sarah Sis added a fifth graded win to her record and a second victory from eight starts this year.

Sarah Sis paid $22.10, $10 and $7.00 Living the Life returned $5.40 and $3.60 and Bar of Gold paid $6.20 to show.  Elusive Collection was fourth in the Masters followed by Cactus Kris, Regia Marina, Meshell, Birdatthewire, Unbirdled Courage, Cactus Copy and Disco Barbie to complete the order of finish.

Presque Isle Mile

Ghost Hunter trained by Jamie Ness brought in a 4 race winning streak to capture this years’ Presque Isle Mile ($200,000).  Ghost Hunter (5:20) emerged from a pack of tightly bunched horses inside the eighth pole and drew clear to win his first career stakes by 1 ½ lengths.

It was his seventh win in eight starts at Presque Isle.  His only loss came when he was a troubled fifth in last year’s Mile.  The 3 year old Tale of the Nile finished second at 32-1.  Choctaw Chuck, the pacesetter, was third, but was disqualified to fourth for interfering with Great Minds who was elevated to 3rd.

Mrs. Henry D Paxson Memorial Stakes

Tulsa Queen, the longest shot among five Pennsylvania Bred 2 year old fillies and last

after the opening half, surged into contention, split horses, and drew off to a 5 ½

length victory in the $100,000 Mrs. Henry D. Paxson Stakes.  Ridden for the 1st time by

David Delgado, Tulsa Queen (29.40) was still a Maiden after 3 outings.  A daughter of

Cactus Ridge, trained by Ryan Walsh for Owner Ann Walsh, Tulsa Queen ran six

furlongs in 110.89.  Spanker 9-5 second choice was second, Diamond Dollar the 4-5

favorite was a disappointing third.


Barn Notes #11

The post positions have been set for the 2016 major stakes, The Grade II Masters and the Presque Isle Mile and for The Mrs. Henry D Paxson Memorial.


The Grade II Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes

Two times Masters Champ, Living The Life has drawn the 5 hole for her quest of becoming the first 3-time Masters Champ.  The $400,000 has lured some of the best Female Sprinters in the Country. 

Living The Life the only outside invader who has been training on the grounds, should be the post time favorite.  This years’ edition might be one of the closest matched Masters in history.  Sarah Six could be the sleeper of the race a she appears to be the only controlling speed in the race.  Athena, Elusive Collection, Meshell, Living The Life, Bar of Gold, Regia Marina, Disco Barbie, and Unbridled Courage, should all be stalking the pace.  Cactus Kris, Cactus Copy, and Birdatthewire should be closing late if the pace is fast. 

The Masters is carded as the 5th Race (7:15p.m.) Monday, September 19!  Don’t Miss it!


The Presque Isle Mile

The 10th Running of the $200,000 “Presque Isle Mile” is set for Sunday, September 18 as the 6th Race (7:40p.m.).  Always one of the most popular races of the year, the 2016 edition is no exception with 63 nominations taken.  A full field of 12 runners is expected. 

The out-of-town invaders appear to be the ones to beat.  Midnight Cello (last year’s runner up), Great Minds, Freitag, and Il Segreto round out a strong outside contention.  Viva Lad, Ghost Hunter, and Choctaw Chuck are the local contenders.  Mister Nofty, Pleasant Outlook, Postulation,Smooth Stone and Tale of the Nile will also take their shots at the Big Money!!


The Mrs. Henry D. Paxson Memorial

The 3rd running of “The Mrs. Henry D. Paxson Memorial Stakes” ($100,000 for Registered PA Breds) will have eight (8) 2 year old Fillies going to the post on Sunday in the 4th Race (6:45p.m.).

Diamond Dollar the only Stakes winner in the race should be a strong favorite to win this years’ edition.  Get Sassy the only other two-time winner should try to redeem herself off of the disappointing effort two (2) weeks ago in the McDermott Stakes.  New comers Spanker and Pistol Andie will take their shots at locals Diamond Dollar,Get Sassy, Cotton Eye Gem, Yes It’s Erie, Smokin’anddrinkin and Tulsa Queen round out this years’ Paxson Field.


Barn Notes #10

Three Stakes and a Chance for a Three-peat!

Two-time Master’s Champion Living the Life has arrived on the grounds for final preparations to defend her crown!  If victorious, she would become the first three (3) time winner.

49 nominations were taken, with 15 Fillies and Mares already having won some level of Graded Stakes.  The two local horses Cactus Kris and Disco Barbie should be entering to take a shot at dethroning the champ.  The Presque Isle Downs Grade II Masters Stakes, ($400,000 Guaranteed), will be run Monday, September 19.

The Presque Isle Mile ($200,000 Guaranteed) had 63 nominations with 19 of them Graded Stakes Winners.  Departing, with nearly Two Million Dollars in winnings in his career heads a field that should be contested with the maximum size of 12, Sunday, September 18! 

The Mrs. Henry D. Paxson Memorial Stakes ($100,000 Guaranteed) to be run as the co-feature with The Mile had 25 nominations.  Diamond Dollar, coming off her victory against the boys in the McDermott Stakes heads the closely matched 2yo PA Bred Fillies race! 

The PP’s for all three Stakes are on-line at


Barn Notes #9

Six Stakes Remaining

As we get closer to autumn, it’s the time of the year when the races get bigger and better!!!   Presque Isle is no exception.

The September excitement starts with The Mark McDermott Stakes for Registered PA Bred Two Year Olds ($100,000) at Six Furlongs, on Sunday, September 4.

The Girls Division, The Mrs. Henry D. Paxson Memorial Stakes for PA Bred Two Year Old Fillies at Six Furlongs will be run on Sunday, September 18.

The Presque Isle Mile with a $200,000 purse and the Grade II Masters for $400,000 will be contested Sunday, September 18 and Monday, September 19, respectively. 

Living the Life will attempt to defend her title and become the first three-time Champion in the Grade II Masters.  Several other top sprinting mares have already been nominated!

The last 2 Stakes of the year, The Fitz Dixon ($100,000) for Two Year Olds at 6 ½ Furlongs and the H.B.P.A Stakes ($100,000) for fillies and mares 1 mile 70 yards will be run closing day, Thursday, October 6. 

Check your condition books for the closing dates on all the remaining stakes!

Recent Winners!

Lucabunny trained by Nick Caruso got up in time to capture the PA Bred Malvern Rose for 3 yr. old fillies and mares going a flat mile.  Ridden by Willie Martinez, Luca Bunny went off 25-1 to capture her 1st Stakes on August 7th. 


Barn Notes #8

50 Days Left

With 50 days of racing left, the battle for top Jock appears to be nearly over. Antonio Gallardo (75) is running away from the rest of the Colony with a commanding 24 win lead on his closest rival’s Pablo Morales (51), Mario Pino (38), Huber Villa Gomes (36) and Ronnie Allen (35)

What is amazing is Mr. Gallardo has been missing at least 1 day a week for the past month to ride at other venues.

The Trainer’s Title is looking like a real horse race. Ron Potts is holding a 23-19 lead over Dale Capuano, Teresa Connelly (17), Gerald Brooks (15), and Tim Hamm (13) seem to be the only ones left in the race for the Title.

Upcoming Events

The Malvern Rose Stakes for Registered PA Bred for 3 year olds, Fillies going a mile is slated for Sunday, August 7, $100,000 guaranteed.

The H.B.P.A. Golf 4-man scramble will be played Friday, August 12. Sign up with Monica Travers. The cost is $50 per player. Get your Foursomes together.


Barn Notes #7

Bound and Dynamic Strike win PA Bred Stakes

The Bernie Houghton trained Bound got up in time to win this year’s edition of the NORTHERN FLING.Bound sat right off the pace setter R-Frosty One to get up in the last 50 yards to win her 3rd PA Bred Stakes of her career. She pushed her career earnings to over $400,000. R-Frosty One hung on for the place with Valued Strike running a good third!

The LEEMATT STAKES for the boys saw a fast flying Dynamic strike getting up in the last strides to overtake the favorite Granny’s Kitten by a neck! Grand Old Game set the fractions and hung on for the Show!

Dynamic Strike’s win was the first stakes in for trainer Gerald Brooks and owner Ronald Clark. “The Strike” was claimed for $32,000 at Pimlico in his last race with the LEEMATT as their goal.

Nominations close Wednesday, July 27, for The MALVERN ROSE STAKES for 3 year old PA Bred Fillies going One Mile, $100,000 guaranteed. Race to be run Sunday, August 7.


Barn Notes #6

30 Days Gone Already?!!

It’s hard to believe that we are a third of the way thru the 2016 Race Meet! Antonio Gallardo seems poised to take his third riding title in a row. He has opened up a commanding 13 win lead over his closest Friend and Rival, Pablo Morales.

The training title is much closer as it appears it’s anybody’s title to win. Ron Potts is currently in front with a slim 2 win margin. Teresa Connelly, last year’s winner, is tied with Dale Capuano with 12 wins each.

This Sunday, the attention turns to the older Registered PA breds as we have 2 stakes, THE LEEMATT STAKES for the boys and THE NORTHERN FLING STAKES for the girls. Both races are run at 1 mile and the purse has been increased to a cool $100,000!

The Northern Fling drew a stellar field of 9 older Filly and Mares. BoundR-Frosty One, and Bekki’s Danceshould be the ones to beat as they have been running against the best PA breds the past few years. Valued Strike and Bella Flor might be ready to spring the upset against their older foes. THE NORTHERN FLING will be carded as the 5th race on Sunday, July 10 with a post time of 7:05pm.

THE LEEMATT STAKES drew a fine field of 12. Granny’s KittenRoxbury N OvertonHelm and Forward Thinker should receive a lot of support as they have been running well against open company. Grand Old GameDynamic Strike and Hollywood Talent are the local hopefuls. THE LEEMATT has a 7:55pm post time and is carded as the 7th race, also on Sunday, July 10.


Barn Notes #5

The Satin and Lace Stakes on Father’s Day brought out 2 of the top Tapeta™ mares in this region, Disco Barbie and Cactus Kris. The large crowd wasn’t disappointed as the two (2) mares battled head to head down the stretch as Disco Barbie prevailed by a head over her longtime foe! Late Spring was a good third!

The Karl Boyes Memorial Northwestern PA Stakes run the following day had a field of 11 older horses. Stormofthecentury at 25-1 broke on top and never looked back as he went on to score a convincing 2 length win! The favorite Good by Greg finished second and the fast closing Rapid Dan was third.

Nominations close Wednesday, June 29th for two PA Bred Stakes, The Northern Fling Stakes for Fillies and Mares and The Leematt Stakes. Both races will run at One Mile for Three Year Olds and Upward on Sunday, July 10, with purses of $100,000.


Barn Notes #4

Two Evenly Matched Stakes

The Satin and Lace (Sunday, June 19) drew an evenly matched field of 9. Two (2) of the local horses Cactus Kris and Disco Barbie might have a slight edge over the rest of the field due to their success over the Tapeta surface. The out of town horses Thirteen Arrows, Lindisfarne and Late Spring are using the race for a Prep for the Grade II Masters Stakes which is the premier race of the Meet.

The rest of the field includes Haines City, Tahnee, Granny’s Drink and Once More For Love. The Satin and Lace Stakes will be contested as the 7th Race on an 8 race card on Sunday with an approximate post time of 7:55pm.

The Karl Boyes Memorial Stakes (Monday, June 20) drew 15 entries. The field is headed by last year’s winner Dazzled Saint. This year’s race is wide open as everyone has a shot to win! Choctaw Chuck should have a lot of support as he is coming off a good win in the Prep for this race. There is plenty of speed to try and slow down Dazzled Saint. Good Bye Greg, Chief Exchanger and Breakin The Fever will be the ones to try to soften the “Saint” up. This may benefit the closers Speightsong, County Corrections, Storm of the Century and the PA Bred Starling’s Law. The rest of the Field consists of long shots Hold On Smokey, Samurai Zip and Rapid Dan. The Karl Boyes Memorial Stakes is carded as the 5th Race on an 8 race card on Monday with an approximate post time of 7:05pm.


Barn Notes #3

Antonio Gallardo (27 wins) seems on his way to defending his Riding Title as he opens up an 11 win lead on his closest rivals: Pablo Morales (16 wins) is second; Huber Villa-Gomes (12 wins) and Ronnie Allen (12 wins) are tied for third. Willie Martinez and Mario Pino are also in contention with 10 wins each.
The trainer standing is much closer as Dale Capuano (8 wins) has a slim lead over last year’s Leading Trainer, Teresa Connelly (7 wins). Ron Potts (6 wins) and Gerald Brooks (5 wins) are also making strong runs at the Title!
June offers 2 stakes races. The Satin and Lace (Sunday, June 19) and the Karl Boyes Memorial Northwestern PA (Monday, June 20)
Condition Book #2 is on-line and Printed Books are available in the Race Office.



Barn Notes #2

“NO HOLDING BACK BEAR” took control from the tart and never looked back as he went on to win the $100,000 Tom Ridge Stakes in a sizzling 1:08.1. “HOLDING GOLD” finished second with “DON’T BE SO SALTY” hanging on for the Show!
Huber Villa Gomez tops the Jockey standings after the 1st week, with an outstanding 6 wins from 19 starts. Mario Pino is second with 5 wins from 15 starts.
Ron Potts leads the training standings with 3 wins from 7 starts. Gerald Brooks and Ryan Walsh are in a dead heat for second with 2 wins each.
Nominations close Wednesday, June 8, on two (2) stakes for older horses, The Satin and Lace Stakes for Fillies and Mares and the Karl Boyes Memorial Northwestern PA Stakes. Both stakes will be contested at 5 ½ Furlongs and each carry a $100,000 purse.


Barn Notes #1

Presque Isle Downs launches its 10th Season of Live Racing. Teresa Connelly who became the first women to finish as the Track’s leading trainer returns as well as runners up Wayne Race and Gerald Brooks.
Leading Rider Antonio Gallardo returns as well as Pablo Morales, Mario Pino, Ronnie Allen and Willie Martinez.
Highlighted by the Presque Isle Mile on September 18th and the Grade II $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes for Fillies and Mares, 6 ½ Furlongs on September 19th, Presque Isle will offer the same 12 Stake package as last year. Each of the five (5) Pennsylvania Bred Stakes received a $25,000 purse boost to $100,000.
The 100 day meet will follow the same Sunday to Thursday schedule through October 6th with the first post at 5:25pm.