Bonavista Bay 1.jpg

Comeback pacer's unassuming return

Once touted as harness racing’s next superstar, Bonavista Bay will make an unassuming racing return at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Under the care of astute Victorian training partners Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin, Bonavista Bay won 14 of his first 20 starts, with three seconds also to his credit. His victories included Melton Plate, Golden Nugget, Vicbred Final and Ford McInerney Classic. Sent to Western Australia by owner Bob Proberts halfway through his four-year-old campaign, Bonavista Bay was transferred to trainer Mike Reed, where he continued to race in style before being struck down with leg problems. After two-and-a-half years off the scene, the son of Rustler Hanover had two starts at Gloucester Park before again going sore. Following an 18-month stint at stud, Bonavista Bay was sent to leading New South Wales mentor Belinda McCarthy in a bid to resurrect his career. “He has come along quite well,” McCarthy said. “He’s trialled well and is standing up to it all, so we are hoping for the best. “You can never tell with horses which have been injured for so long like him, but so far so good. “He was sent to us so he can race on Menangle, which should be better on his legs given the wider turns.” In his McCarthy debut, Bonavista Bay will face off against reigning Inter Dominion champion Beautide, speed machine, Suave Stuey Lombo, and proven campaigner Seel N Print. On top of that, the nine-year-old has drawn awkwardly in barrier six over the flying mile, which is expected to be run in 1:50 or better. “It’s not going to be easy for him,” McCarthy declared. “Given the class he has come back at, there are no easy options. “This start is all about getting him back to race fitness, and more importantly, seeing how he pulls up.” PAUL COURTS

ellen bartley.jpg

Bartley all smiles after maiden win

There could not have been a bigger smile in Australasia – harness racing-based or not – than the one Ellen Bartley sported at Temora last night. Having her fifth drive, Bartley registered her maiden victory in what promises to a fruitful career in the sulky. Naturally pleased with the result, Bartley stated the win was just as much a relief as it was a thrill. “I was pretty confident before the race, but things didn’t pan out as expected,” Bartley said. “The plan was to go forward for the front and then hold the lead, but she came out roughly and we ended up behind the leader. “In the end it worked out well, which is great. To get my first win is very exciting and I was just so thrilled heading back to scale. “Even though it was a tight finished, I was just so excited and caught up in the moment as I felt we’d won.” Partnering Good Girl Shirl, Bartley settled the mare behind the pacemaker, Beauknowsbrownie, which set a modest tempo during the middle stages. With the leader tiring leaving the back straight, Good Girl Shirl appeared to be in a hopeless position before Bartley was able to squeeze through traffic at the top of the home straight. Sprinting solidly, the daughter of Elsu grabbed the front in the last stride to score by a neck from The Queens Portrait, with Miss Marnie a metre-and-a-half away third. “I was a little worried on the home turn, but thankfully we were able to get an opening,” Bartley said. “After that she finished well, which was great.” Covering the mile in 2:02.9, Good Girl Shirl extended her record to four wins and four placings from 17 starts for trainer Matthew Painting. Although based in New South Wales, Bartley is a Vicbred sister to talented reinswoman, Rebecca, who has been among the state’s top five concession drivers during the past few years. Admitting sibling rivalry is part of their relationship, Bartley, hopes to emulate her sister’s feats within the industry. “I will be happy if I can achieve as much as Bec has in such a short time,” Bartley declared. “Bec has done so well and to do what she’s done would be wonderful. “There’s no rivalry between us…well maybe a little!” A late starter as a driver, Bartley, 21, realised her passion lies within harness racing after spending two years at university. “I moved to Wagga to get my Bachelor of Equine Science, but after two years I decided it wasn’t for me,” Bartley explained. “I wanted to give driving ago, so I have stayed in New South Wales with my boyfriend, Blake Jones. “In a couple of years I would like to move into training, but for now I’m loving driving.” PAUL COURTS

Bi Polar Rose, harness racing

Bi Polar Rose shines in Lady Lincoln final

Illinois conceived and foaled trotters were back in the spotlight on Wednesday night with a pair of stakes highlighting the nine-race card. Freshmen fillies had the chance to grab their biggest payday of the year for the state-bred set as a field of nine went postward in the $90,000 Lady Lincoln Land Stake while a compact field of six sophomore trotting fillies gathered in a $10,100 Betzotic Stake to start the Wednesday night action. The Betzotic proved to be a walk in the park for Super Night winner Bailey's Wish as the pride of owners Jim Bafia and Eugene White demolished her rivals with a 7 ½ length score in 1:57.3 for driver Dave Magee. Sent to the front by Magee after an opening quarter in 29.0 the daughter of Southwind Breeze--Jen made the top easily and was unchallenged through middle splits of 57.4 & 1:27.3. Quickly putting daylight between herself and the rest of the field, the Dirk Simpson trained miss left her rivals in her wake as she cruised under the wire with her fifth win in 13 starts this season. Band's Alexis (Todd Warren) rallied late to finish second while Say No Mo (John De Long) was third. Even-money co-favorite Macie Rae made a break in the lane and finished last in the field of six. Bailey's Wish returned $4.20, $2.80 & $2.20 while upping her career record to 10-8-3 in 27 starts with earnings of $243,938. With the scratch of last week's elimination winner Jazzie Mermaid (injured) the LadyLincolnLand looked like it would be a showdown between Fox Valley Yoko and Persuasive Look. Unfortunately a break behind the gate took out the latter and the former made a break while challenging in deep stretch allowing a game Bi Polar Rose to post a front stepping half-length victory in 1:59.3 for Travis Seekman. Confidently handled by Seekman the daughter of Polar Winner--I Still Owe trotted right to the top from post five, putting up leisurely splits of 29.4, 59.3 & 1:29.0 while cruising along unchallenged. In the lane the Ronnie Roberts trained miss dug in gamely, turning back a "passing lane" challenge from 29-1 longshot Fox Valley Harrah (Kyle Wilfong) who had enjoyed a perfect pocket sitting trip while also keeping Fox Valley Yoko (John De Long) at bay to notch her third win in eight tries. Fox Valley Harrah was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while Fox Valley Yoko did well to salvage a third place finish after the miscue. Sent off at 7-2 by the betting public Bi Polar Rose returned $9.20, $4.00 & $3.00 while running her record to 3-2-1 in eight starts with earnings of $60,515 for owners Cynthia Demarlie and Jason Van Winkle. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park  

Win The Wheels Contest artwork(1).jpg

Top prizes in free Insider Access contest!

How would you like to win a set of $1,400US custom race bike wheels from Forward Motion Technologies, perhaps a full set of RazorHorse shoes, maybe a five gallon bucket of Lifeline Horse Supplement or a $100 Amazon gift card? These prizes, plus more - 13 in total - will be given away in Harnesslink’s month long Insider Access “Win The Wheels Contest” throughout October. All you have to do is sign-up for our fortnightly newsletter, Insider Access, by the end of October. It’s as simple as that (and be age 18 or older too). No fees, no charges, you can unsubscribe at any time (we suggest you at least wait until after the prizes are drawn), no hidden costs whatsoever, totally free to enter. Can’t make it any simpler than that! Insider Access is a great newsletter which keeps you informed on news and opinions in harness racing that you won’t get on any other website or magazine, even our own Harnesslink! Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing as you view the current issue of Insider Access.  “We are so pleased that some of our advertising sponsors have come on board for this special promotion,” said John Curtin, founder and CEO of Harnesslink. “I want to thank the people at Forward Motion Technologies, Lifeline Horse Supplement and RazorHorse for joining us and donating these great prizes. So take a moment to go on our site and check out the companies and see what prizes you might win.” At the end of October everyone who has signed up for the newsletter, even those who already get Insider Access, will be drawn at random. The first 12 names selected will win either the horse supplement or RazorHorse shoes and the 13th winner will get the set of sulky wheels, shipped to their residents, no matter what country you live in. A reminder that everyone who signs up must be age 18 or older in order to win. All winners will be notified via email and proof of age and proper mailing address will be verified. For the complete rules and regulations for the contest click here. Just click below to visit the three sponsors of “Win The Wheels Contest.” https://forwardmotiontechnologies.com/ http://horse.watchthemthrive.com/horses/elite/ http://www.razerhorse.com/

Always B Miki and He's Watching on Saturday will appear in the same race for the first time since the Meadowlands Pace in July, and Joe Hurley is looking forward to their next round. Hurley bred and co-owns Always B Miki, who finished second to He's Watching in the Meadowlands Pace despite starting from post nine and racing on the outside - three to four wide at times - the entire way. He's Watching won the race with a world-record-equaling 1:46.4 performance. The two horses meet Saturday in the first of two $218,300 Tattersalls Pace divisions for 3-year-old male pacers at The Red Mile in Lexington. Always B Miki, trained by Joe Holloway, starts from post No. 1 with driver David Miller. He's Watching, trained by Dave Menary, starts from post four with Tim Tetrick at the lines. "I've already got it planned out in my mind, but Dave Miller will probably do something entirely different than what I would do," Hurley said. "They'll be 1-2 going to the top of the stretch, and then we'll see. Miki's on top, Tetrick's in the two hole. Then we'll see who can turn it on, and Miki never stops." Always B Miki, named after Hurley's wife, comes into the Tattersalls off a career-best 1:47.4 win last weekend in his division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile. He won by 6-1/4 lengths over Melmerby Beach, pulling away thanks to a :25.3 final quarter-mile. No horse came home faster that day. "I thought it was consistent with everything he's done that nobody's noticed because it's in Indiana," Hurley said, referring to Always B Miki having spent the time since the Meadowlands Pace at Hoosier Park. "He's been racing there in hand. He's a monster." Always B Miki has won eight of 15 races this year and finished worse than second only three times. He has earned $432,332 for Hurley and fellow owners Bluewood Stable and Val D'Or Farms. Since the Meadowlands Pace, the colt has raced six times, winning five. In those victories, no horse was nearer than 4-1/2 lengths of Always B Miki at the wire. Hurley, who races as Roll The Dice Stable, bred Always B Miki's father and mother. His sire, Always A Virgin, won more than $1 million in his career for Hurley, Bluewood Stable and Val D'Or Farms. His dam, Artstopper, was unraced but is a half-sister to stakes-winner Cheyenne Rei and also produced $714,154-earner Yagonnakissmeornot. The family also includes stakes-winners Ain't No Stopn Him and Lon Todd Hanover. "Virgin was terrific, but Miki is incredibly terrific fantastic," Hurley said. "He's absolutely the best horse I've had. I think everybody (in the ownership group) agrees this is the best ever. "His stride is just incredible. He's had very bad luck with some things that have happened, either by nature or by fate. Now he's getting a chance to show himself and he's just absolutely fantastic." Always B Miki's schedule following the Tattersalls includes the Indiana Sire Stakes championship and the Circle City at Hoosier Park. He could be supplemented to the Matron Stakes and is likely to be supplemented to the Breeders Crown. "I'm looking forward to taking on the best and proving that he is the best," Hurley said. "Hopefully we end up on top at the end of the year." In the Tattersalls Pace second division, North America Cup winner JK Endofanera, who handed Always B Miki his only loss in his last six starts, takes on a field that includes Little Brown Jug runner-up Let's Drink On It. There also are two divisions of the Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old female pacers. The first division is headlined by stakes-winners Uffizi Hanover and Gettingreadytoroll, both from the stable of Jimmy Takter, and New York Sire Stakes champion It Was Fascination. In the second division, the top five finishers in a Bluegrass Stakes division last week - Gallie Bythe Beach, Act Now, Beach Gal, Ali Blue, and Allstar Rating - meet again. Action for 2-year-olds includes four divisions of the International Stallion Stakes for male pacers, where Artspeak puts his perfect 7-for-7 record on the line in the third of the splits. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

The system of setting up a ranking order for the New Zealand Cup which gave all horses a pathway to gaining entry has a lot of merit. It means all the Cup aspirants know where they stand and what they have to do to gain a start. Where it has the potential to fall down is when there is no form from the current season and subjective judgments have to made on performances from last season. The criteria as announced earlier in the season goes like this. Horses shall be ranked in the following descending order: Horse   -   Name   -   Winner   -   Details Winner 2013 New Zealand Trotting Cup - Terror To Love Winner 2014 Interdominion - Beautide (Not nominated) Winner 2014 Auckland Cup - Terror To Love Winner 2014 Maurice Holmes Vase - Christen Me Winner 2014 Avon City Ford Cup - Terror To Love Winner, 2nd, 3rd 2014 Canterbury Classic - ..................... *Then competitiveness and performance in this seasons Group races leading up to the 2014 Cup. *The competitiveness and performance in previous seasons Group races. *The competitiveness and performance in non black type races this season. Most of the rankings would seem straight forward but two struck us as being debatable so we thought a closer look at the reasons and rational for the list was warranted. Easy On The Eye - Rank 9  Hasn't raced this season so his ranking is solely based on his performances from last season. Last season Easy On The Eye had 14 starts for two wins and three seconds for stakes of $102,871 *Won the Group 2 Franklin Cup *2nd in the Group 1 New Zealand Free For All *2nd in the Group 2 City Of Auckland Free For All Of the races identified as being part the road way to the Cup, he won the Spring Cup at Alexandra Park but was unplaced in the Canterbury Classsic, Kaikoura Cup and ran tenth in the New Zealand Cup itself. Fly Like An Eagle - Rank 15 Hasn't raced this season so his ranking is solely based on his performances from last season. Last season Fly Like An Eagle had 15 starts for 1 win and two seconds for stakes of $154,324 *Won the Group 2 Kaikoura Cup *2nd in Group 1 New Zealand Cup *2nd in Group 3 Methven Cup Of the races identified as being part of the road way to the Cup, he won the Kaikoura Cup and was beaten a neck in both the Methven Cup and the New Zealand Cup itself. A difference of six places would seem hard to understand going by last seasons performances so we went to HRNZ for an explanation. Chief handicapper Andrew Morris agreed that looking from the outside there would appear to be little between the pair but it wasn't as straight forward as that. " When considering form from last season, the panel looks at the whole season of each horse involved and not just the races in the road way to the Cup from last year, he said. "Easy On the Eye carried on after Cup week and won a Group race after that and was placed in another Group race whereas Fly Like An Eagle's form fell away badly after the Cup meeting and he was disappointing for the rest of the season" he said "The horses between Easy On The Eye and Fly Like An Eagle all won Group 1 races last season and it was just a matter of where we slotted them in." 'Having said all of that their fate is in their own hands really and good performances in the remaining races before the Cup could see either horse quickly rise up the rankings" he said. The panel of six have an unenviable job in our view and why we may not agree with all the decisions, in the main they do a great job. To view the latest rankings click here. Harnesslink Media 

An interstate trip for the beginning of harness racing’s Grand Circuit is on the cards for up-and-comer Blazin N Cullen. Should the former Kiwi perform to expectations at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night, trainer John McCarthy will head north for the Queensland Pacing Championship on October 25. While that sounds simple enough, Blazin N Cullen first has to compete against the likes of reigning Inter Dominion champion Beautide, speed machine, Suave Stuey Lombo, and proven campaigner Seel N Print. Admitting he is “testing the water” with the gelding, McCarthy is confident Blazin N Cullen can handle the step up in grade. Given Blazin N Cullen’s record since crossing the Tasman it’s easy to understand why McCarthy has faith in the five-year-old. Blazin N Cullen boasts five wins and two placings from eight local starts, including a 1:51.9 victory at the world class venue a fortnight ago. “We bought him as a nice horse and so far he has done everything we have asked of him,” McCarthy said. “He has improved with every run and has the feel of a good horse about him. “It is a big step up this week, but I’m happy to be testing the water with him to see just where he is at. “I’m hoping he measures up as For A Reason is being aimed at the QPC and I think he would be the right horse to go with him.” Predicting another quick time over a mile, McCarthy believes Blazin N Cullen will have no trouble staying in touch with the field after drawing barrier two. Blessed with brilliant gate speed, Suave Stuey Lombo is expected to lead from gate seven, while Beautide will begin from the outside of the front line. “I’ve got no doubt he can follow the speed, but whether he still has a turn of foot at the end we will wait and see,” McCarthy said. “I just don’t know if he can come off high speed and still run a quick quarter. “He has gone 1:51.9, but 1:49 and change against this quality of field is another story.” An exceptionally-bred pacer, “it’s a crying shame” Blazin N Cullen is a gelding according to McCarthy. By top sire Christian Cullen, Blazin N Cullen is from Rye Hanover, which is a sister to Red River Hanover, Rustler Hanover and Rocknroll Hanover. “He has unbelievable bloodlines on both sides,” McCarthy said. “It’s a crying shame he is a gelding as he would have to be one of the best bred pacers in the world.” PAUL COURTS

Teamster Orjan Kihlstrom and the veteran Commander Crowe start Sunday in the Grand Premio Turilli at Campanelle in Rome, Italy. The 187,000€ purse event, over the 1640 meter sprinter distance, has drawn 12 starters including Napoleon Bar and Prussia. The Campanelle card includes the featured Gr. I Derby Italiano for €770,000 and the Gr. Oaks with the purse of 220,000€. Sceicco is the likely favorite in the Derby and trainer Jerry Riordan sends out Sheava Vik and Saphire Bi in the Oaks. On Saturday the Gr. I Grand Prix de l’UET for 400,000€ purse takes place at Mauquenchy (FR). This four year-old European Championship is a competitive group including Vasterbo Loveboat, Tast of Bourbon. Africaine, Tumble Dust, Robert Bi and D’One. Mauquenchy October 4, 2014 Grand Prix de l’UET Gr. I European Championship 4 Year-Olds, 2150 meters autostart, 400,000€ Radieux, 4m, Locqueneux/Kolgjini, Italy Dominator, 4m, B. Goop/B. Goop, Sweden Amiral Sacha, 4m, Gelormini/Lamare Rue de Bac, 4m, Bazire/Souloy, Italy Vasterbo Loveboat, 4m, Nivard/Bath, Sweden Boys Going In, 4m, tba/Persson, Sweden Tast of Bourbon, 4f, Jos. Verbeeck/J. Baudron, Denmark Africaine, 4f, Jean-Etienne Dubois/Jean-Etienne Dubois Tumble Dust, 4m, tba/Malmqvist, Denmark Robert Bi, 4m, Bakker/Hagoort, Italy D’One, 4f, tba/Walmann, Sweden Rome Campanelle, October 5, 2014 Gr. I Open Derby Italiano, 2100 meters autostart, 770,000€, three year-olds Sharon Gar, f, Gubellini/Congiu Sceicco, m, Guzzinati/Guzzinati Stankovic Ok, m, Bellei/Ehlert Specialess, m, Vitagliano/Votagliano Saba del Ronco, f, Casillo/Casillo Sansone Bar, m, B. Goop/Savarese Sister Dany Bar, f, Smorgon/Smorgon Swan Wise As, f, Maistro/Ehlert Skyline Dany, m, V-P Dell’Annunziata/Sarnataro Santiago d’Ete, m, Andreghetti/Ruth Sugar Rey, m, Minucci/Romanelli Sing Hallelujah, m, Vecchione/Ehlert Gr. I Females Oaks del Trotto, 1640 meters autostart, 220,000€ purse, three year-olds Sunrise Dancer, f, Gallucci/Casillo Simona Om, f, Andreghetti/Castellani Sheava Vik, f, Guzzinati/Riordan Saphire Bi, f, Bellei/Riordan Smeralda Jet, f, Di Nardo Savannah Bi, f, Esposito/Bondo Sirena d’Asolo, f, Luongo Scintilla Caf, f, Lo Verde Seattle Bi, f, Stefani/Pollini Seibella Park, f, Minopoli, Jr. Sangria Bi, f, Biasuzzi Safra Lb, f, Bakker/Hagoort Secret Love Rsm, f, Gubellini Seduttrice, f, Nuvoletta/ Smorgon Gr. I UET Masters Series Gran Premio Turilli International, 1640 meters autostart, 187,000€ Orsia, f6, Gocciadoro/Gocciadoro Commander Crowe, 11g, Kihlstrom/Souloy Napoleon Bar, 7m, Bellei/Savarese Owen Cr, 6m, Gubellini/Rantanen Newyork Newyork, 7m, Baldi/Baldi Prussia, 5f, Andreghetti/Rantanen Osasco di Ruggi, 6m, Vecchione/Ehlert Louvre, 9m, Esposito/Bondo Pancottina Bar, 5f, B. Goop/Savarese Positano d’Ete, 5m, Minopoli Jr./Team Minopoli Srl Lotar Bi, 9m, Raspante/Bruniera Papalla, 5f, Stefani/Team Moni Srl   Gr. I Derby Italiano Consolation, 2100 meters autostart, 45,100€, three year-olds Stanislaus Ans, m, Minnucci/Cocignani Sergent Pepper, m, Farolfi/Sarzetto Secretariat, m, Baldi/Baldi Superbo Capar, m, Lobardo Jr., Baveresi Satchmo As, m, Bellei/Casilllo Sirrodo, m, Matteini/Matteini Shasa, m, Vecchione/Battistini Scoop Grif Italia, m, Smorgon/Smorgon Serpillo Spin, m, Andreghetti/Souloy Seven Eleven Bi, m, Biasuzzi/Lagas Silven Grif, m, D’Alessandro Jr/D;Alessandro Jr, Sereno Op, m, Moni/Moni Smash Slide Sm, m, Di Nardo/Todisco Surya Grif, m, Cintura/Cintura by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

This Week: Red Mile Grand Circuit, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky. Schedule of events: The second week of harness racing Grand Circuit action at The Red Mile kicks off on Thursday (Oct. 2) with four divisions in the $323,200 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Oct. 3) card features five divisions in the $383,600 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt trotters and three divisions in the $253,700 International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Oct. 4), The Red Mile will offer the $600,000 (est.) Tattersalls Pace for 3-year-old colt pacers, the $400,000 (est.) International Stallion Stake for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $350,000 (est.) Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers. The week concludes on Sunday (Oct. 5) with the $600,000 (est.) Kentucky Futurity, the second leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown for 3-year-olds, the companion $350,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old filly trotters, a pair of $180,000 (est.) Allerage races for both open pacers and open trotters, and $75,000 (est.) Allerage races for older pacing mares and older trotting mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Bigtown Hero knocked off several of the sport's top older pacers to win the $200,000 Jim Ewart Memorial Pace on Saturday night (Sept. 27) at Scioto Downs. Bigtown Hero (Dave Palone) rallied on the outside in the stretch run to hit the wire in 1:48.2, equaling the Scioto Downs track record. Kanaris (Aaron Merriman) paced a huge mile to finish second at 25-1 odds, with Night Pro gamely holding on for third at 11-1. Both Sweet Lou and Foiled Again faded in the stretch drive, with Sweet Lou finishing fifth, 3-1/2 lengths behind the winner, and Foiled Again fading to eighth and last. Conditioned by Ron Steck for Allard Racing and Yves Sarrazin, the son of American Idealout of the Artsplace mare Art Account, was sent off in this event at odds of 6-1. The opening week of Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile featured many memorable moments, including a world record performance on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 28). Cee Bee Yes trotted the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old filly, 1:50.2, in capturing the $86,700 first division of the Bluegrass Stakes for sophomore ladies. In the final eighth, Lifetime Pursuit had a slight advantage on Cee Bee Yes, who trotted alongside, then by the former world champion filly, to christen herself a champion in 1:50.2. Owned by Jason and Doug Allen, trained by Julie Miller, and driven by Scott Zeron, the daughter ofMuscles Yankee-Enbeecee paid $115.40 to win. This victory pushed Cee Bee Yes’ career earnings to $336,532. On Thursday (Sept. 25) in the $84,250 second Bluegrass division for freshman trotting fillies, a field of seven went postward over the red clay, and as expected, 8-5 favorite Jolene Jolene won, and won in a big way -- equaling Mission Brief's world record for a 2-year-old trotting filly of 1:52.1. David Miller steered the daughter of Muscle Hill-Celebrity Speedie for owner Bill Donovan and trainer Jonas Czernyson. Jolene Jolene now has four wins in eight starts, with two seconds and a third, and $207,527 in career earnings. Undefeated Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Billy Flynn captured his $78,400 Bluegrass division for 2-year-old trotting colts on Friday (Sept. 26) handily in 1:55.4, holding off a late charge by the hard-trying Muscle Diamond (John Campbell) to prevail by a half-length under the wire. Driver Brett Miller steered the son of Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones through splits of :29.2, :58.1 and 1:28.3 to notch his eighth career victory. The win pushed his lifetime earnings to $312,057 for owner Bender Sweden, Inc. Artspeak, fresh off his Metro win on Aug. 30 at Mohawk, continued his winning ways by capturing the $83,250 third division of the Bluegrass 2-year-old colt pace on Saturday (Sept. 27) handily in 1:51.3. Tony Alagna harnessed and Scott Zeron drove the son of Western Ideal-The Art Museum, who pushed his career earnings to $479,450 with the victory, the seventh of his career in as many starts. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 1,425; 2. Tim Tetrick – 785; 3. David Miller – 680.5; 4. Ron Pierce – 515.5; 5. Corey Callahan – 426. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,590.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 1,182; 3. Tony Alagna – 300: 4. Joe Holloway – 294; 5. Erv Miller – 276.5. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 359.3; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 321.8; 3. Robert Key – 220; 4. 3 Brothers Stable – 207; 5. Brittany Farms – 201. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Harrah’s Philadelphia and Balmoral Park. Harrah’s Philadelphia will offer the Historic Series races for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, while Balmoral Park will card eight American-National events for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers, 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, and older open pacers and trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

Lexington, KY --- Enthusiastic yearling buyers smashed through the $100,000 sales average for a session for the first time in the 10-year history of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale on Tuesday night (Sept. 30). The 97 harness racing yearlings passing through the ring sold for an average of $104,959, easily eclipsing the previous record for a single session of $89,847 set in 2008. It also represented an increase of 21.6 percent over the first session of $86,324 a year ago. The 39 yearlings selling for at least $100,000 equaled the highest total for a single session at Lexington Selected, tying the mark set in 2007. Bidding was spirited from the outset, as hip number one, pacing filly Encore Deo, sold for $100,000, the first lead-off yearling to sell for six figures in Lexington Selected history. This was also to be the highest priced among the seven the Burke Racing Stable purchased. Just moments later, the bidding started at $200,000 for hip number five, Prince De Vie, and rocketed upward, finally stopping at $400,000. Myron Bell was the winning bidder for the Cantab Hall colt out of Dream Angel, a sister of Dream Vacation. The colt is a full brother to $221,961 winning Oasis Dream and current 2-year-old Fly Angel Fly, with a record of 1:56.3. Preferred Equine Marketing, Inc. consigned the colt for breeder Joie De Vie LLC. That lofty $400,000 price was to be equaled later in the evening, as Melvin Hartman, David McDuffee, and Marvin Katz joined forces to acquire Bene Bene, a Kadabra filly out of Pizza Dolce, thus a full sister to multiple stakes winning mares Miss Paris 3, 1:54.2f ($865,160) and Bella Dolce 3,1:54.2 ($730,384). Hunterton Sales Agency consigned the filly for breeders Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm and Donald Robinson. Three additional yearlings sold for more than $300,000. Agent Björn Noren signed the slip for $355,000 for Dante, a Credit Winner colt out of Michelle’s Angel, making him a full brother to millionaire world champion Archangel. Diamond Creek Farm bred, raised, and consigned Dante. The highest-priced pacer for the session was the filly Sonoma Valley, a Rocknroll Hanover out of Art’s Vintage, she being the dam of $2 million winning Vintage Master and another pair with earnings of more than $500,000 apiece. George Segal paid $325,000 for the filly that was consigned by Brittany Farms for Brittany Farms and Doug and Steve Monieson. There was a substantial European contingent present on Tuesday and Robert Lindstrom was particularly active in the bidding, buying five yearlings, each for more than $100,000. The top among these at $320,000 was The Perfect Lindy, aCredit Winner colt. This is the first foal from Highscore Kemp, herself a $100,000 winner and a three-quarter sister to Hambletonian winner Trixton. K R Breeding LLC bred the colt that was consigned by Preferred Equine Marketing, Inc. The Lexington Select Yearling Sale continues each evening at 7 p.m. through Saturday at the Fasig-Tipton Sale Arena. Below are summaries by gait and sex for the first session. Gait-Sex-Sold-Total Price-Average Price-Highest Price Pace-Colts-21-$1,632,000-$77,714-$130,000 Pace-Fillies-27-$2,871,000-$106,333-$325,000 Trot-Colts-31-$3,757,000-$121,194-$400,000 Trot-Fillies-18-$1,921,000-$106,722-$400,000 by David Carr for the USTA

Three $70,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series events for two-year-old male trotters were staged on Tuesday night (September 30) at Mohawk Racetrack. Heavy fog rolled in throughout the harness racing card, leaving those watching with a clear view of only the first division. That opening split was won by 6-1 shot Rise Up Rise Up (Mike Saftic), who came out of the pocket inside the final eighth and wore down leader and public choice Infiniti As (Billy Davis Jr.) to win by half a length in 1:57.1. Gronk (Jody Jamieson) came on in the lane to collect third. This was the first win in five tries for Rise Up Rise Up, a gelded son of Holiday Road. Now an earner of $46,900, Rise Up Rise Up is trained by Sue Marie Gangell for the ownership group of Tony Di Matteo of Stoney Creek, Mark Searles of Caledonia, and 648885 Ontario Limited of Caledonia, Ontario. Rise Up Rise Up, who was bred by Dr. Robert Boyce and Joan Boyce, is the 11th foal out of the Super Pleasure mare Dixieland Jazz, making him a half-brother to half a dozen six-figure earners, including former OSS Grassroots Championship winner Lexus Lulu. By the time the second Gold Series flight went behind the gate visibility was limited. A Little More Love (Randy Waples) led the field into the first turn and to the :28.3 opening quarter, but when the field emerged out of the fog inside the final eighth, 11-1 shot Alacrity (Eddie Green) was on the lead, and he would go on to win by just over a length in 1:57.4. A Little More Love was second and Caulfield (Chris Christoforou) came in third. Green also trains Alacrity, a gelding by Pilgrims Taj, for owner Kristine Green of Ohsweken, Ontario. Alacrity, a Gold Series winner on August 5 at Mohawk, scored his second win from six attempts, and he has now pocketed $136,850. Alacrity, who was bred by Wilbur Lang and sold for $30,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale, is the fifth foal out of the San Pellegrino mare Elena ($414,731). Elena won three times during her OSS career, including two Gold Finals. Fractions of :28.2, :57.4, and 1:27 went on the board in the last Gold Series dash, and when the two-year-old male trotters came out of the soup in deep stretch, public choice Dont Rush (Chris Christoforou) was open lengths in front of his nearest rival in a 1:57.3 performance. Luck O The Irish (Tom Durand) was the runner-up and Nightontheroad (Jody Jamieson) nabbed third. Trainer Dustin Jones of Waterdown, Ontario, also bred and now co-owns Dont Rush, an Infinitif colt, with partner Greg Judson of Athens, Ontario. Dont Rush, who also won in Gold Series action on July 13 at Georgian Downs and on September 30 at Flamboro Downs, is now three-for-10 in the win column with earnings of $171,985. He’s the sixth foal out of the Muscles Yankee mare Color Me Pretty, a half-sister to the likes of Best Image (Balanced Image, $104,110), who was three-for-three during her OSS career. This concluded the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series regular season for two-year-old colt and gelding trotters. They do have one provincial event remaining on their calendar – the Super Final on October 11 at Mohawk Racetrack. Full charts and results from the foggy Tuesday night at Mohawk will be available here - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0930mohsn.dat.

The harness racing gypsy Gold Ace has arrived back home where it all began as he prepares to remind New Zealand racegoers what they have been missing. The seven year old entire by Bettors Delight arrived at Steven Reid's stable yesterday after spending the last 12 months racing out of the Luke McCarthy stable. The "Reidman" was happy with the last 12 months. " Gold Ace won the $100,000 Cranbourne Cup, $50,000 Shepparton Cup and ran third in the $400,000 Hunter Cup earning over $200,000 in the process so its been a good 12 months" he said "His couple of runs at the start of this campaign were below par and had Luke scratching his head so we thought we would bring him back to New Zealand and race him here," Reid told Harnesslink today. Gold Ace has done an outstanding job right from day one and goes into his seven year old season as the winner of 20 races and $1,128,709 in stakes and Steven is confident more wins are in store. "Luke has sent him back in terrific order and we have already mapped out a tentative program for him starting with the Free For All during Cup week". "We will give him a run from behind the mobile at the Cup trials and that will tell us weather we start in the Junior Free For All on Cup Day or weather we resume in the Group 1 Free For All on Show Day" he said "We wouldn't have looked at the race if it was still over a mile but with it reverting back to 1950 metres that makes the draw no where near as important"he said.  Gold Ace might be back at his home base at Pukekohe but he is certainly a different horse to the one they are used to according to Reid. "He is has been very colty since he stepped off the float and you have to watch yourself around him now. We will race him this season and then with his record he deserves a chance to prove himself as a sire next year" he said. Arguably the quickest horse off the gate in New Zealand before his spell in Australia, Gold Ace will add further interest to the open class races in New Zealand this season. Harnesslink Media 

Day Two of the 22nd annual International Simulcasting Conference Tuesday covered a litany of new projects underway in racing along with interesting open forum discussions and presentations on two newest tracks in racing. The conference is being held at the Marriott Delray Beach and is co-hosted by the Thoroughbred Racing Association (TRA) and Harness Tracks of America HTA). TRA executive vice president Chris Scherf opened the day’s discussions talking about how everyone in the pari-mutuel industry must be prudent to stop the manipulating of wagering pools and also that the currently problems plaguing the NFL over Ray Rice and other plays could well serve notice to the racing industry that we can also be severely hurt by situations like what the NFL is going through and we should be prepared. The first panel covered the Who, What, Where & When of the Wagering Networks. Lauren Horah, wagering analyst for the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TRPB) started off talking about her organizations services. In 2013 they handled over 1,100 alerts and 23 of them need formal investigations. She explained how they cover all aspects of wagering problems and look for “trigger alerts”. That they receive phone calls, emails from race commissions, fans & bettors, tote companies, track managers and also find situations via Facebook and Twitter. They usually take up to one week to compete an investigation. Harness racing no longer has an investigative service due to lack of funding. Curtis Linnell, the VP of Operations and Wagering analysis at the TRPB spoke about wagering pool cycles. He explained that “robotic wager” or incoming wagers from outside sources, internet, etc. first started back in 1999 and at times it could take three to four minutes to get the final wagers in on a race. Pari-mutuels back then featured 60 second cycles on pools showing changes in odds. By 1998 that cycle was sped up to 30-45 seconds. And now with accounts and sub-accounts the cycles takes place every 20 seconds. Also that about 20% of all bets are done robotically. It was noted that late bets or wagering pool odds manipulation is so easy to do from outside sources. Late bets can create final odds in the last seconds of wagering and no one knows about it until after the race is official. Illegal off-shore wagering has been affecting pools since they were first on the scene. There are outfits doing this also throughout the world on football, rugby and other sports by illegal groups wagering into pool to manipulate odds with tons of money being exchanged world-wide. One race was cited with $69,000 in the pool on the last cycle. There were 8 runners in the race, then 30 second later the race went off and the final pool total was $109,000. A $38,000 increase, 35% of the pool that people never saw come into the race. The late bet came in five seconds after the race went off. The favorite went from even money to 4-1 and the trifecta came back at half of what the price should have been. Tote companies are now able to break down wagering patterns within five seconds of each other and this will help in finding out who and where these bets are coming from. Jane Murray, Director of Services for TRA, spoke about how in the last year Thoroughbred wagering on-line has increased from 29% to 35%, which is a very rapid growth. That there are more than 1,500 non-racing gaming locations in the USA and less and less people are coming to the track as more wager via the internet. The influx of racinos on the industry is bringing in more money for purses but now the money is coming in from sources other than pari-mutuel handle and if those sources stop adding to purses, then purses will drop due to lack of pari-mutuel handle. Next was a lively open table discussion, led by Chris Scherf, on what is needed in the next five years from now to help the racing industry. Talks ranged from making fans and politicians more aware of the need for horse racing breeding programs and racetracks to keep the green acres alive, that tracks needs to be more competitive with reducing take-outs with major cuts, to not use the word “subsidies” when referring to outside sources adding to purses, that old facilities need to be upgraded. There were talks about working out a way to take 5% of all purses and dedicate it to national marketing for the industry but that horsemen would fight it but how is racing then to survive? The addition of the Super High 5 Jackpot has done well and many tracks are following suit. That our industry needs to draw young people and find ways to get them interested in racing and not just slots or playing poker. That the Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) sites need to come to the table and help as they are getting away with paying very low rates for getting the signals for their players to wager on and that years ago all these players would go to the tracks. It was brought up about how great and interested people are in Fantasy Football, which is all the rage and how can we capture that idea and turn it and fans into racing. During the lunch break, it was announced that Keeneland Racetrack won the 2014 Simulcasting Award. Lou Rafferto, Jr., the president of YUP Racing, spoke on their new site, www.yupracing.com, is geared towards a specific audience in the USA. Their site caters to the Chinese and working with ExpressBet, they have developed a website ADW based on the simulcasting of the Thoroughbred racing from Hong Kong. Their site is in three languages, English, basic Chinese and Mandarin. The site is very extensive and they launched it in December, 2013. So far all their customers, 99% are Chinese and that everyone who answers the phone must be able to speak either Chinese or Mandarin. The site has been struggling since the beginning as most people involved have no internet savvy and needs to be talked through on how to wager. The site has added chat features in all three languages so people can talk with each other and the company is hopeful that business will improve over time as people get accustomed to the system. The next discussion featured the topic of on track mobile wagering and included speakers Frank Hopf, Director of Mutuels/Simulcasting at Sam Huston Race Park; Carrie Stallbories, Director of Mutuels/Simulcasting at Remington Park; Micah Lloyd, Director of Digital Operations/Products Development at Sportstech; David Payton, VP of Sales at AmTote and Chris Emslic, Senior Director of Key Accounts for United Tote. Most everyone spoke on how smart phones, iPhone and iPad wagering can be a challenge for first time users and it takes a while to get the knack of it. The service is just getting its feet off the ground and that a number of tracks have the service already. The biggest cost involved is setting up the Wi-Fi networking. Most tracks are regulated so that people cannot place wagers with these devices once they leave the facility or get near the race paddock and other restricted areas. As with most new wagering procedures it will take time as customers need to embrace the idea of wagering from their cell phones and iPad. The final session of the day features Meadowlands GM Jason Settlemoir and Penn National VP of Racing, Chris McErlean, talking about their new facilities. Settlemoir spoke about the new Meadowlands grandstand being 180,000 square feet and along with all the special amenities the new business has that the top two items are Social Media and Customer Service. All employees have been retrained in both areas before going into the new building and that Jason is the one who teaches everyone about Customer Service as that is their number one priority. He spoke about the new nightclub and how on a Saturday night the club may be dead during the live racing card but once 11:30 pm rolls in the joint begins to jump until the wee morning hours. He explained how they brought in a professional company to do the DJ’ing and special lighting and how it has turned into a happening place. Their first season they only did Saturday’s and now will seek to expand on that for the upcoming winter meet. Chris McErlean talked about the new Hollywood Dayton Raceway in Ohio that is opening this Friday evening and about the new Thoroughbred facility in Austintown, OH. He stated how they are very much the same in size and how they trimmed down the plants to fit with the population in the area. Both facilities will have at least 850 VLT’s and racing accommodations for up to 1,000 people indoors. Each facility is about 120,000 square feet in its entirety. Have great site lines for racing both from the lower and upper levels. That their dining rooms can hold up to 250 people, plenty of track apron room too. The racetracks are state of the art facilities and will feature mobile phone wagering. Chris also spoke about their new OTB in New Jersey called Favorites and is located in Gloucester Township outside of Cherry Hill, NJ. That is was a former restaurant and thus refitting was simple as it had a bar and dining areas so it was not too bad in preparing. TRA VP Chris Scherf concluded the conference stating that the final sessions would be Wednesday morning and that they saved the best or most interesting or hottest topics for the last day. The two presentations will be on the Models, Myths and Truths of the Horse Shortage followed by the Handicapper’s Access to Racing Information. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Harness racing driver Brett Miller has suffered few anxious moments this season with undefeated 2-year-old male trotter Billy Flynn, but the minutes prior to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship were difficult to endure. Billy Flynn, in the midst of enjoying himself as the field warmed up for the race, accidentally took off his right front shoe. Miller tried to locate the shoe, but muddy track conditions that night made it impossible. So Miller brought Billy Flynn back to the paddock, where the blacksmith put on a random shoe moments before racing for $260,000. "I was sick to my stomach," said Miller, who is able to laugh now as he retells the story. "It felt like it took an hour. For him to go through all that and then go out and annihilate the field, it was pretty amazing." Billy Flynn won the race, held Sept. 6 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, by 2-3/4 lengths in a career-best 1:55.2. He rallied from fourth place after three-quarters with a three-wide move around the final turn. "He races great on the front, but I think he's better from off the pace," Miller said. "When he's following horses and has a target to go after, he's unreal." Billy Flynn puts his 8-for-8 record on the line Friday in the third of five International Stallion Stakes divisions at The Red Mile in Lexington. Billy Flynn will start from post six with Miller at the lines for trainer Staffan Lind. Last week, in his first start since the sire stakes championship, Billy Flynn won a division of the Bluegrass Stakes by a half-length over Muscle Diamond in 1:55.4. "I thought he raced great," Miller said. "He felt as good as he's felt all year. He was a little wound up, a little more grabby than usual, but I think being at Lexington he was just feeling good." Billy Flynn is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Zeta Jones and was named after the smooth-talking lawyer in the musical "Chicago," which co-starred Catherine Zeta-Jones in the film version. Owned by Bender Sweden Inc., the colt was purchased as a yearling for $120,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale and is a full brother to Mr Chicago, who was a winner in both the U.S. and Europe. "Staffan has done some kind of job training him, manners-wise," said Miller, who has driven Billy Flynn in all eight of his races, earning $312,057 in purses. "I know a lot of that, too, is the horse himself, but Staffan has done a great job with him. "He's like an older horse because you can do anything you want with him in a race. He's so handy. His manners are so good. And he gives 110 percent. When a horse is near him, he tries so hard to fight that horse off. So far, he has (fought them off)." Billy Flynn's International Stallion Stakes division includes stakes-winner Pinkman and New York Sire Stakes champion Crazy Wow. Also part of the field is Canepa Hanover, a $300,000 yearling purchase who is a half-brother to 2006 Horse of the Year Glidemaster. "I'm realistic," Miller said. "I know there are some colts out there that he could have a tough time with. I love the colt, he's the best 2-year-old trotting colt I've ever sat behind, but he hasn't faced everybody. I'm sure he's going to get beat one day. "It's just been a fun ride so far, that's for sure." Stakes-winner French Laundry and New York Sire Stakes championship runner-up Wings Of Royalty are among the trotters in the first division of the International Stallion Stakes. Shoot The Thrill, who won a division of the Arden Downs, is in the second split. Uncle Lasse, a full brother to standout 3-year-old female trotter Shake It Cerry and a Bluegrass division winner last week, is in the fourth division. The fifth division finds Peter Haughton Memorial champion Centurion ATM and Bluegrass division winner The Bank, plus Whom Shall I Fear, a full brother to star 3-year-old male trotter Father Patrick. Friday's card at The Red Mile also includes three divisions of International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers. by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

Despite his disillusioned state, harness racing trainer Lance Justice has decided not to disappoint Smoken Up’s fans. Annoyed by the suspensions he received at Tabcorp Park Melton last Friday night, Justice aired his frustrations on Facebook, during which time he stated he is no longer willing to promote the industry until the “powers to be...get in the real world”. Justice had previously agreed to take Smoken Up to Ballarat for Friday night’s Laser Electrical Lightning Mile. As the defending champion and track record holder, Smoken Up was set to lead the field onto the track for the $30,000 feature. A long time critic to what he believes is a lack of industry promotion, Justice cancelled Smoken Up’s appearance only to realise he was focusing his frustration in the wrong direction. Justice has often aired his believe the industry falls short in promoting its champions – both equine and human - unlike the thoroughbreds, which constantly pushes its stars into the limelight. “No more... I have decided I will not do anymore for harness racing, sorry Ballarat, Trigger and I won't be there,” Justice wrote. “After Friday night’s display by the powers to be I just can't be bothered anymore it’s hard enough to make ends meet without being told you are not allowed to drive for five weeks. “Have a look at the replays and tell me where anybody was interfered with or lost their chance to get the best result. He says to the powers to be “Get in the real world. I bet if I told you no pay for five weeks you would not be smiling.” Although he has since confirmed Smoken Up will make an appearance at Ballarat, Justice remains adamant a revamp of penalties is required in Victoria. “The stewards are too heavy handed,” Justice declared. “There is no defining difference between light, medium or heavy interference, and as such, it’s just bang...this is the sentence. “It’s mandatory sentencing gone mad. “Imagine we start pointing out the mistakes the stewards and staff make and say no pay. “HRV have done plenty wrong, but they don’t lose their wages.” Justice’s Facebook post received 215 likes and 63 comments of support, with four people sharing the post. Julija Brosnan’s remark echoed Justice’s opinion by posing the question: “How many professions do you know that penalise a misdemeanour by taking away a person’s livelihood?” Justice received three weeks for tightening when driving Im Barney Rubble two victory and two weeks for interference when partnering Machin Out to third behind Mark Dennis. Im Barney Rubble Machin Out The stewards’ report reads: Driver Lance Justice was found guilty of a charge under Rule 163(1)(a) which deals with causing interference in that shortly after the start he shifted Im Barney Rubble NZ down the track when not sufficiently clear of Asoka NZ (Alison Chisholm), tightening that gelding and causing it to shift down onto Cut For An Ace (Geoff Webster), that was tightened onto Alchemy NZ (Jason Hackett) and resulted in Onedin Hustler NZ (Greg Sugars) also being tightened, contacting the near-side wheel of Alchemy NZ and racing roughly. After considering submissions on penalty that included Mr Justice’s record, his driving frequency and the interference caused, Mr Justice had his license to drive in race suspended for a period of three weeks to commence at a time to be fixed. Driver Lance Justice was found guilty of a charge under Rule 163(1)(a) which deals with causing interference in that racing around the home turn he shifted Machin Out up the track when not clear of Artoc NZ (Chris Alford) causing that horse to be checked by its driver and The Baggy Green (Laura Crossland), which was racing to the outside of Artoc, to also be checked by its driver. After considering submissions on penalty that included Mr Justice’s offence record, driving frequency and the level of interference, Mr Justice had his license to drive in race suspended for a period of two weeks that was deemed to be cumulative to the suspension incurred in Race 5 and to commence at a time to be fixed. PAUL COURTS

« Article Archive
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Europe
Illinois conceived and foaled trotters were back in the spotlight on Wednesday night with a pair of stakes highlighting the nine-race card. Freshmen fillies had the chance to grab their biggest payday of the year for the state-bred set as a field of nine went postward in the $90,000 Lady Lincoln Land Stake while a compact field of six sophomore trotting fillies gathered in a $10,100 Betzotic Stake to start the Wednesday night action. The Betzotic proved to be a walk in the park for Super Night winner Bailey's Wish as the pride of owners Jim Bafia and Eugene White demolished her rivals with a 7 ½ length score in 1:57.3 for driver Dave Magee. Sent to the front by Magee after an opening quarter in 29.0 the daughter of Southwind Breeze--Jen made the top easily and was unchallenged through middle splits of 57.4 & 1:27.3. Quickly putting daylight between herself and the rest of the field, the Dirk Simpson trained miss left her rivals in her wake as she cruised under the wire with her fifth win in 13 starts this season. Band's Alexis (Todd Warren) rallied late to finish second while Say No Mo (John De Long) was third. Even-money co-favorite Macie Rae made a break in the lane and finished last in the field of six. Bailey's Wish returned $4.20, $2.80 & $2.20 while upping her career record to 10-8-3 in 27 starts with earnings of $243,938. With the scratch of last week's elimination winner Jazzie Mermaid (injured) the LadyLincolnLand looked like it would be a showdown between Fox Valley Yoko and Persuasive Look. Unfortunately a break behind the gate took out the latter and the former made a break while challenging in deep stretch allowing a game Bi Polar Rose to post a front stepping half-length victory in 1:59.3 for Travis Seekman. Confidently handled by Seekman the daughter of Polar Winner--I Still Owe trotted right to the top from post five, putting up leisurely splits of 29.4, 59.3 & 1:29.0 while cruising along unchallenged. In the lane the Ronnie Roberts trained miss dug in gamely, turning back a "passing lane" challenge from 29-1 longshot Fox Valley Harrah (Kyle Wilfong) who had enjoyed a perfect pocket sitting trip while also keeping Fox Valley Yoko (John De Long) at bay to notch her third win in eight tries. Fox Valley Harrah was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role while Fox Valley Yoko did well to salvage a third place finish after the miscue. Sent off at 7-2 by the betting public Bi Polar Rose returned $9.20, $4.00 & $3.00 while running her record to 3-2-1 in eight starts with earnings of $60,515 for owners Cynthia Demarlie and Jason Van Winkle. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park  
Batavia, NY---Timing is everything and driver Jim McNeight had his down to a science Wednesday night (Oct. 1) in winning the $8,500 mares Open pace feature at Batavia Downs with Infrontigo Hanover. Going directly to the wood off the gate, McNeight settled Infrontigo Hanover in fourth while Taylor Rei (Aaron Byron) and Fiftyonefifty (Mike Whelan) played give-and-go to the quarter. When the dust settled at that post in :28.2, McNeight saw his chance and Infrontigo Hanover was quickly pulled at the three-eighths and took the lead before they hit the half. From then on the only thing left to figure out was how fast and by how many? Infrontigo Hanover opened up a six-length lead going to the three-quarters in 1:25, then turned the corner and paced home uncontested to a wrapped-up three and one-half length victory in a new lifetime mark of 1:54.2. The winner paid $9.10. Bazooka Terror (Kevin Cummings) closed sharply for second and Dontch Remember (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) finished third. It was the fourth win in 28 starts for Infrontigo Hanover and raised her seasonal earnings to $34,844 for owners Summer Wind Stable of New York Inc. and Bob Gruber. The 6-year-old Western Hanover mare is trained by Bob Gruber. Second leading North American dash winning driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr. was at the Downs Wednesday and pulled closer to leader Aaron Merriman as he came away with five winners on the card. He scored with Kill A Rockingbird ($28.60), Blissful Escape ($3.90), Delightful Syd ($5.80), Stonetag ($4.40) and Helena's Hope ($3.30). Jim McNeight had the hat trick and Kevin Cummings doubled up. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Oct. 3) with post time at 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
The Isle Pompano Park drew its first card of the new season Wednesday and came up with ten races to kick off the start of its 51st season of harness racing on Saturday. And with the start of the meet there will be plenty of familiar faces along with some new folks and the return of some popular trainers and drivers from the past. Bruce Ranger, the tracks all-time winningest driver (8,734 career, over 6,000 at Pompano) said he is more than ready to get back to racing despite still recovering from a broken back in an accident at the track last spring. “I have been taking it very slowly,” Ranger said Saturday at the qualifying races. “And it is working out. The first day I drove I was hurting the next morning but now after working some in the mornings and driving at the Sunshine Meadows fairs the last two weeks, I am pretty much ready to go.” The 126-day meet starts out with just two nights a week (Saturday and Wednesday) and then picks up Mondays later in the season, then Tuesdays and in the height of the snowbird season this winter, adds Sundays to the mix and will go five nights a week. The meet goes through the end of June and first race post time has been pushed up to 7:30 pm. Brett Revington, the new Director of Racing, said, "During our peak season, we expect to offer an average of $75,000 in purses per night, including a stretch of four weeks from mid-January to mid-February where we race five nights per week.” Revington said that starting opening night we will see some familiar and new faces at Pompano Park. “Dan Clements has come back,” Revington said, “And he will be driving opening night along with newcomer Aaron Byron and Bryce Fenn has returned too. We also will have trainers Chris Oakes, Sheldon Rose and Marcel Barrieau. Other new faces will be Jason Robinson, Mike Murphy, Mike Micallef and Gary Hayes from Indiana. We will have a great mix of drivers and trainers here.” There is a new agreement with TVG to showcase the Pompano races, a raise in purses to an estimated $75,000 a night, $8.2 million total and some new wagering options too. There will be a Superfecta in every race with a new $.20 cent minimum, the Pick 4 pool will have only a 12% takeout and for the first time, Pompano will offer the “hot topic” wager in racing, a “Hi-5” on the final race of the night on each program. "We look forward to our upcoming season with a renewed enthusiasm based on our new wagering options, invigorating promotions and a bulging stall application list featuring new stables and a waiting list,” Revington said. “It should be the most competitive season we have ever had!" The action gets underway right on opening night with the third leg of the Sunshine Stakes for two and three-year-old trotters and pacers. In the $10,000 Open Pace feature, the fastest horse in the history of Pompano Park, Prairie Jaguar, takes on one of the winningest horses, Northern Companion, in the fourth race. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
How would you like to win a set of $1,400US custom race bike wheels from Forward Motion Technologies, perhaps a full set of RazorHorse shoes, maybe a five gallon bucket of Lifeline Horse Supplement or a $100 Amazon gift card? These prizes, plus more - 13 in total - will be given away in Harnesslink’s month long Insider Access “Win The Wheels Contest” throughout October. All you have to do is sign-up for our fortnightly newsletter, Insider Access, by the end of October. It’s as simple as that (and be age 18 or older too). No fees, no charges, you can unsubscribe at any time (we suggest you at least wait until after the prizes are drawn), no hidden costs whatsoever, totally free to enter. Can’t make it any simpler than that! Insider Access is a great newsletter which keeps you informed on news and opinions in harness racing that you won’t get on any other website or magazine, even our own Harnesslink! Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing as you view the current issue of Insider Access.  “We are so pleased that some of our advertising sponsors have come on board for this special promotion,” said John Curtin, founder and CEO of Harnesslink. “I want to thank the people at Forward Motion Technologies, Lifeline Horse Supplement and RazorHorse for joining us and donating these great prizes. So take a moment to go on our site and check out the companies and see what prizes you might win.” At the end of October everyone who has signed up for the newsletter, even those who already get Insider Access, will be drawn at random. The first 12 names selected will win either the horse supplement or RazorHorse shoes and the 13th winner will get the set of sulky wheels, shipped to their residents, no matter what country you live in. A reminder that everyone who signs up must be age 18 or older in order to win. All winners will be notified via email and proof of age and proper mailing address will be verified. For the complete rules and regulations for the contest click here. Just click below to visit the three sponsors of “Win The Wheels Contest.” https://forwardmotiontechnologies.com/ http://horse.watchthemthrive.com/horses/elite/ http://www.razerhorse.com/
Loader
Loader
Loader
Loader

Additional Articles