WITH just five weeks remaining in the 71st season of live harness racing at Harrington Raceway, one of the most exciting weeks of the season is the upcoming week that includes the 11th Annual $150,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial and the first leg of action for the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund stakes for two-year-olds.
Kicking off Monday September 18, the Quillen Memorial is the marquee event of the season at Harrington, featuring some of racing’s top pacers.
The race is named in honor of the late Quillen who passed away 13 years to the day of this year’s event. Quillen was a long-time Delaware legislator and board member of Harrington Raceway and the Delaware State Fair, while also being a big racing fan who regularly came to the racetrack.
Quillen would be proud to have his name attached to this year’s field, which includes the winners of a combined estimated $11 million lifetime, including 2015 winner Mach It So (6/1, David Miller) for owner Bamond Racing and trainer Jeff Bamond.
The field is full of half-mile racetrack regulars, including Harry Von Knoblauch Stable’s Bit Of A Legend (5/2, Jordan Stratton) whose won the lion’s share of his 39 career victories over small tracks, including the $260,000 Gerrity Memorial at Saratoga Raceway.
His trainer, Peter Tritton, knows the Harrington surface well as he was formerly stabled at the track for approximately a decade.
A pair of local interests will look to protect home court, Bruce Kennedy and Tri County Stable’s Wakizashi Hanover (7/2, Victor Kirby) and Robert Cooper and J&T Silva Stables’ Mel Mara (4/1, Corey Callahan). Somewhere in L A (9/1, Tony Morgan) sports the highest seasonal earnings in the field with $468,400 for owners D’Elegance Stables Ix and Iannacone, TLP & Gandolfo Stables.
Brad Grant’s Mr Wiggle Pants (20/1, Aaron Merriman), Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and Panhellenic Stables’ All Bets Off (6/1, Matt Kakaley) and Thomas Pollack and Jeff Cullipher’s Rock N Roll World (20/1, Ross Wolfenden) complete the field.
All Bets Off’s trainer and co-owner, Ron Burke, has had unmatched success in the Quillen, winning it six times, including twice with Foiled Again, harness racing’s richest horse of all-time.
- MATT SPARACINO