by Frank Carulli
February 19, 2019
Atlanta was the talk of the harness racing world when she became the first filly in 22 years to win the Hambletonian last July. The now 4-year-old trotter didn’t lose any of her appeal when she was put up for auction at OnGait.com last Friday.
She sold for a record $1,550,000, surpassing Cameron Hall ($1.1 million in 2001) as the most expensive Standardbred ever sold at public auction. Michelle Crawford of Crawford Farms in New York, which sponsors the Hambletonian and co-owned Atlanta with Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor and Bradley Grant before the auction, placed the winning bid.
Atlanta, 12-for-24 lifetime with $1,140,689 in earnings, spent the winter in Florida preparing for this racing season.
Atlanta was disqualified from consideration for Canada’s prestigious O’Brien Awards because her trainer, Rick Zeron, was serving a 180-day suspension.
Ron Burke, the perennial North America leader in wins and earnings, will be Atlanta’s new trainer.
IN THE XPRESSLANE: Trainer Brian Loney sent out seven winners Monday at Northfield Park from nine starters. A $20 win bet on Loney’s nine starters produced a $280 profit. Loney won with Always’syourway ($4.60), Twin B Stingray ($14.60), Montana Pablo A ($5.20), Bully Pulpit ($5), Dante Ivy ($5.80), Man He Can Skoot ($7.60) and Hunch Man ($3). … The Dan Patch Awards banquet from Orlando, FL will be streamed live on the U.S. Harness Writers’ Association facebook page this Sunday, Feb. 24, starting at 7 p.m. … Yannick Gingras, in the midst of a torrid 27-for-61 winning run at the Meadowlands in the first half of February, guided the Ron Burke-trained Resita to a third consecutive victory in Friday’s featured $15,750 trot. … Harrah’s Philadelphia will conduct live racing four days a week, from March 29 to December 15. Post time will be 12:25 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 12:40 on Sundays.