CHESTER PA – Trainer Joe Holloway, part of the Hall Of Fame incoming class in July at Goshen, got an early distinction in this memorable year by posting, according to USTA records, the 1000th training victory “of his second career” when the royally-bred Voyager broke his maiden in an impressive 1:52.2 on Wednesday afternoon at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Holloway started in the harness racing business when he was an altar boy for Father Francis Tierney, in Delaware, working as a groom after the priest decided to take up a field in which many of his parishioners participated. Holloway was already an established record-maker in training partnership with stable manager David Rovine, having set a Meadowlands-then-record 106 victories in 1987 – well before this count to 1000 started, as the USTA records begin in 1991.
The milestone came behind the altered sophomore son of Captaintreacherous and Shebestingin (still the world’s fastest mare at 1:47), as Andy Miller brushed the horse to the top in front of the stands in his career debut, then went on to a 1½ length win for Brittany Farms LLC and Val D’Or Farms.
The Sweet Lou colt Lyons Night Hawk, fourth in the Metro and a 1:50.2 Lexington winner at two, was very strong in his sophomore debut, taking a $14,000 pacing event in 1:51.3. Tim Tetrick was able to keep the winner in third position until late on the backstretch, then gained into a :54.3 last half to win by 4 ¼ lengths for trainer Gareth Dowse and owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound.
Philly will welcome quite a few stars making their 2019 debut this Kentucky Derby weekend. On Friday, freshman champion Warrawee Ubeaut heads one of two divisions of a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes filly pace, while on Sunday four-year-olds Crystal Fashion and Kissin In The Sand return to the racing wars in the first leg of the Great Northeast Open Series, their $30,000 events being the Open trot and Mares Open pace, respectively.