Trio of Open events to headline Northville opening weekend

Trio of Open events to headline Northville opening weekend from Northville Downs and the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association
NORTHVILLE, Mich. — A trio of Open events will serve as the marquee races during the opening weekend of the 2021 spring meeting at Northville Downs, with races taking place at the suburban Detroit facility on Friday (April 2) and Saturday (April 3) evenings.
Friday’s co-features are the $8,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace and the $8,000 Open Handicap Trot, slotted as the eighth and ninth races on an 11-race program.
In the distaff feature, Another Beach Day has been installed the 8-5 favorite after racing all winter at Florida’s Pompano Park and will start from the pole in the field of seven. The 5-year-old daughter of Somebeachsomewhere last won on March 9, defeating conditioned company at Pompano in 1:54.2 while under the care of Braxten Boyd. Braxten’s dad, Brett, has assumed Another Beach Day’s training duties, and Darrell Wright has been tabbed to drive. Kaitlyn Rae is the elder stateswoman in the field at the age of 12, and she is one of five mares to make their 2021 debut in this event. The Michigan-bred daughter of Cheyenne Rei is the richest member of the field with $457,810 in career earnings, and she has 66 wins to her credit. Todd Warren will drive Kaitlyn Rae from post three for owner-trainer Riley Asher-Stalbaum.
The Open Handicap Trot will see Ohio fair circuit champion Timestorm make his 4-year-old debut against six rivals. The son of Stormin Normand won 22 of 31 races in his first two seasons of competition, primarily racing on the Ohio fair circuit. His biggest win to date was the $40,000 Ohio Fair Championship on Oct. 10 at MGM Northfield Park, which he won in a lifetime best 1:55.1. Nineteen-year-old Justin Irvine will drive Timestorm from post six for trainer Kent Hess. Other likely standouts include SL Royal George (post five, Art McIlmurray, 2-1), who has won 22 races in his career, and Hail Caesar (post four, Darrell Wright, 4-1), who hit the board in his last four attempts in the Northville Open.
The highlight of Saturday’s 12-race card is the $8,000 Open Handicap Pace, programmed as race eight.
Magic Shark carries the best momentum of any into the field of seven, having won three of his last five races at Northfield and already boasting four wins in 11 tries this season. Todd Warren will drive the 6-year-old Shadyshark Hanover gelding from post six for trainer Ray Farmer. Team Tritton Inc.’s Salty Robyn N debuts for trainer Danielle St. Louis, invading from The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono after being outmatched by upper-level claimers there. The 9-year-old Art Official gelding earned the most recent of his 22 career wins on Feb. 18 at The Meadows in an upper-level conditioned pace. Marc St. Louis Jr. will drive the veteran from post five.
Bettors will find the return of the “Big Horse Handicapper” a welcome addition to their handicapping arsenal, as Northville and the MHHA have partnered with The Players’ Guide to offer racegoers full-card selections and analysis of selected races free of charge. The “Big Horse Handicapper” tip sheet can be found on-track in the Northville racing program, or online via their website (northvilledowns.com) or The Players’ Guide‘s website (the-players-guide.com).
Northville Downs will host live harness racing on Fridays and Saturdays through June 26, with a nightly post time of 7:30 p.m. ET throughout the 26-day stand. The 28-day fall meeting will take place from Sept. 17 through Dec. 17, also on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. ET.