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Hurricane Beach wins after record :51.3f half

July 23, 2018

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According to a detailed check of available records, the Somebeachsomewhere–Blazing Yankee 4-year-old pacing gelding Hurricane Beach cut the fastest half-mile ever in a Standardbred race on a five-eighths-mile track (:51.3), in winning the last race on Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The final time for the mile was 1:49.4, over a sloppy track, in the $17,000 conditioned pace.

Hurricane Beach blasted away from post eight for driver Simon Allard, hitting the quarter in :25.2 with the field well-strung-out behind, and Allard had the horse under a hold passing the stands for the first time. The half-mile station was reached as noted in :51.3, and the three-quarters was reached in 1:19.3. Hurricane Beach officially had a 10-length lead at the stretch call, and won by 7 1/4 lengths.

A detailed list of miles which have reached the three-quarters in 1:20, while not official, has been kept, and the :51.3 clocking eradicated the former mark for five-eighth-mile tracks of :52.1 set by Split The House in the 2016 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft, won by All Bets Off. The record in such a race on a five-eighths-mile track for the quarter is :25.1, notched by five horses (only one of which went on to win). Always B Miki went 1:19 to the three-quarters in winning the Ewart Pace at Scioto, also in 2016.

The overall harness record for reaching the half in a mile race, according to this list, is :51.2, set by Devonshire Hanover at The Meadowlands in 2006.

Those with long memories about unusual records probably had a bell ring as soon as they saw a horse named "Hurricane" involved in fast fractions. And yes, Hurricane Beach is a half-brother, out of Blazing Yankee, to the Cam’s Card Shark pacer Hurrikane Kingcole, who holds the overall record for the fastest-ever clocking to the three-quarters in a mile race, 1:18.2, in the 2012 SBOA-NJ Classic at The Meadowlands, which was won by Panther Hanover. (Pocono/PHHA)

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