December 31, 2018 – Perhaps the best annual New Year’s Eve celebration of harness racing took place at Kincsem Park.
The event featuring racing, entertainment, food and family fun was well-presented and well-attended in a nice evening for the fans.
The Kincsem Park trotting features included the Tamas Pinter Memorial (purse 1,600,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart, 14 starters) that saw 25/1 Tangelic (6f Incredible Cole-Malhana Serey-Malhana Sacha) score timed in 1.17.8kr with amateur driver Sandor Hegedus aboard for trainer Laszlo Kolozsi. 13.8/1 Betty Evo (5f Orlando Vici-Grant Me Glory-Yankee Glide) was second driven by trainer Laszlo Kolozsi, and third went to 3/1 Under World (5g Racino) with trainer Emil Csordas up.
Also for a 1.6Huf million purse was the Pancho DIJ (1900 meters autostart, 10 starters) and the 1.18.3kr timed victory went to 5.8/1 Zapato (3m Frullino Jet-Diatomea PL-Friendly Face) by a short nose, with trainer Tibor Hajnal driving. Napsugar et.al. owns the winner that was bred by Kabala Menes Kft. 2.9/1 Rocky HR (6m Roc de Montfort-Times-SJs Photo) was a just-missed second for trainer Balazs Juhasz. Third went to 9.2/1 Disney HR (5f Light Up de Vonnas-Times-SJs Photo).
The big evening feature was the 2.1Huf million purse Lovaregyleti DIJ (2560 meters distance handicap, nine starters). 18.9/1 outsider Vital RG (4m SJs Photo-Vitesse OR-Indro Park) staged a furious stretch run that resulted in a 1.19.3kr victory for trainer/driver Tibor Hajnal. Aquadrom Kft bred and co-owns the winner that defeated 2.7/1 Henrik Ibsen AT (6m Worship-Her Own Child-Imposant Sund) that Hajnal trains and Csaba Lakatos drove. 3.7/1 Vortice Bi (4m Toss Out-Rhode Island Bi-Equinox Bi) was third for Imre Fazekas ahead of Unique Vil (5m Conway Hall) and the 20 meter handicapped Velvet Dancer.
A number of 2018 award winner were named including amateur driver Tamas Tanczer (nine wins in 30 starts), breeder Kabala Menes Kft (76 wins for over 48Huf million earned), owner Hico Verseny (36 wins for over 21Huf million) and horse of the year Veronica Fling (6,780,000Huf earned).
The event was exceptionally promoted and may serve as a roadmap for the future in other markets.
Thomas H. Hicks