Brazuca

Palone wins 6, guides Brazuca to record

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 29, 2016 -- Brazuca powered to the lead near the three-eighths and rolled to harness racing victory in 1:52.2, shattering the stake record in Monday's $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event at The Meadows. The stake for 2-year-old filly pacers was contested over four divisions, with Queen To Me, Freakonomics and Pink Gardenias taking the other $20,000 splits. Dave Palone enjoyed a stake double, among his six wins on the 14-race card, behind Brazuca and Pink Gardenias. Even after Brazuca's decisive brush, she wasn't home free, as she had to fend off the menacing uncovered bid of Rockette. The daughter of Bettor's Delight-Knock Three Times held off the challenger by 1/2 length, while Bridge To Tomorrow rallied for show. The time erased the previous stake mark of 1:53.4 held jointly by Tipton Teeez and Valuable Art. Trainer Tom Cancelliere indicated he expected a great deal from Brazuca, a $75,000 yearling acquisition for John Cancelliere, but not in her fifth career start. "I'm surprised," he said. "I love this filly, but we started her slow, and I thought she would need a little bit more time. She's got all kinds of stakes, but we'll see where she wants to go. If she wants to keep going, we'll keep going with her." Dismissed at 10-1, Queen To Me was fourth along the pylons as the field turned for home, with no racing room in sight. But when Sweetest Emotion pulled the pocket and promptly broke stride for Mike Wilder, that left the Lightning Lane for Queen To Me. The daughter of Bettor's Delight-Arterra poured through and pulled off the upset in a maiden-breaking 1:53, a neck better than the pace-setting Emily R Hanover. Gemma's Beach Girl earned show. "They went big fractions, and I know the horse on the front is a nice horse but can get a little wobbly late," said Joe Bongiorno, who piloted Queen To Me for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Willow Oak Ranch. "Once Mike ran and Palone had to check his horse, I knew it would be me and Emily R down by the wire. My filly felt good, and she finished good." In her two career victories, Freakonomics never was ahead until the final call. Winning driver Jim Pantaleano said that's the style trainer Ross Croghan prefers for her. "When I saw the fractions come up, I thought they would come back a little," Pantaleano said. "But I was mostly paying attention to my filly. That's the way Ross wanted her raced. Clearly he's a top conditioner who knows his horses. He knows this filly." Last entering the final turn, Freakonomics followed long shot Traceuse Hanover through the stretch and nailed her by a nose in 1:55, with Beautiful Hill third. Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham campaign Freakonomics, a daughter of Western Terror-Mind Boggling. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Skippin By used two moves -- one for position from post 8, one to overpower the leader, Medusa -- to triumph in a sharp 1:50.2 for Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC Wall Brothers Stable and Bruce Soulsby. Certified Ideal was a length back in second with Spreester third. The 5-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Southern Magnolia extended her career bankroll to $629,479. Tuesday's card at The Meadows features the Meadow Cheer, a $183,616 PA Sires Stake for freshman filly pacers. First post is 1 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

2017 major sponsors VDM.jpg

Hanover and Alabar new sponsors for Ireland’s VDM

Two of the sports biggest breeding operations in all of harness racing, Hanover Shoe Farms in North America and Alabar Stud in Australia/New Zealand, have both signed on as new sponsors for the 6th annual Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend (VDM) in Ireland for 2017. In addition, Diamond Creek Farm and Joe Bellino Racing Stable in the USA, PJI Engineering and Oakwood Stud in Ireland, have all “re-upped” their race sponsorships for the big race weekend. The Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend is the creation of Derek and James Delaney of Offlay, Ireland, who is 2012, a year after the tragic death of their younger brother Vincent, decided to have a memorial race in his honor. Little did they know that their weekend honoring their lost brother would develop into the richest harness racing stakes event in all of Ireland and the UK. “My brother James and I look back at what we’ve done with our brothers race in just four years,” said Derek Delaney. “And it blows us away. We have a VDM Committee who is the backbone of our big weekend and now we hire some outside agency’s to help us. It’s amazing. We know that Vincent is very proud of what we have done in his memory.” Hanover Shoe Farms is the leading money earning breeding farm in racing and they are now the title sponsor of the Vincent Delaney Memorial Colt Pace for two-year-olds. The icing on the cake for Hanover Shoe Farms management may have been after Tyrion Hanover, a son of Somebeachsomewhere, won the VDM colt division on August 14. He was purchased at Hanover’s Harrisburg Sale at a yearling and flown back to the UK. “Murray (Brown) came back with great enthusiasm about the weekend in Ireland.” Jim Simpson, president of Hanover Shoe Farms. “He told me how they are in it for the love of Horse Racing...not the money. The sponsorship was available so we took it. We sponsor races in Lexington, Meadowlands, The Hambletonian, The Little Brown Jug, Chester, The Meadows, Pocono Downs, UK and Germany.  So why not Ireland?” Simpson said that he is already planning on coming to Ireland next year for the VDM Weekend. The Diamond Creek Farm VDM filly division is being sponsored for the second straight year by Diamond Creek Farm and the Adam Bowden Family. “It was an easy decision.” Bowden said. “After going to Ireland for the 2016 edition of the VDM Memorial we were blown away by the hospitality of the Irish people as well as the Delaney family. “Joining a grassroots movement is addicting, Bowden explained, “and being part of something great is what we are all about. Diamond Creek Farm wants to be involved in events that showcase the greatness of Standardbred racing both at home in the US as well as abroad. Derek Delaney, single-handedly has energized the sport in that region and we could not be more excited about the what the future will bring. “How could you not be entirely blown away over there?” Bowden said. “You can see the event in pictures or follow Heather Vitale's live Facebook posts, but being there in person is an out of this world experience. My wife and I could not be more thankful for the opportunity and the generosity shown by everyone we came in contact with. “I grew up going to the races in Maine (especially the Cumberland Fair in my hometown),” Bowden added, “and being at Portmarnock Raceway was like being transported back in time to 1985 when I was a little kid and reliving my first harness racing experiences where everything was novel and new. It was grassroots racing at its finest.” The VDM is the world’s most rugged race for two-year-olds, requiring the young horses to race Saturday in elimination divisions and then return Sunday for their respective finals in the one-mile race. “We even have sponsors now for the VDM elimination races,” Derek Delaney added. “Clive and Anne Dalton from Australia have signed on and are guaranteeing that each elimination division for both the colts and fillies will race for €2,000 each.”    Alabar Stud, the largest breeding operation down under with 28 stallions in Australia and New Zealand, is now co-sponsoring the Alabar-Oakwood Derby for three-year-old pacers. This race calls for the same format as the VDM, eliminations Saturday (if necessary) and the finals on Sunday. The race is also at a one-mile distance.   And, with the Alabar sponsorship, there will also be a filly division for the 3YO Derby in 2017. Alan Galloway, owner and director of Alabar Stud, was in Ireland for the VDM Weekend this past August and was infatuated with everything he saw. “It was my first time in Ireland for the VDM,” said Galloway, “And what a show they put on. Just a fantastic race weekend. So much excitement. So much passion for the sport that I knew Alabar had to get involved again. “We actually were sponsors when the first Breeders Crown UK & Ireland came about over ten years ago.” Galloway said. “We were invited to come over and help them and the Ireland improve racing. I met and worked with its president, David Wilson, when he first developed the Breeders Crown series. We bred over 100 mares back then,” Galloway said. “We sent over Village Jasper, Armbro Operative and Safely Kept. It was very difficult getting all the approvals from the government but we got it done. Many of the horses racing there now are from their offspring’s. “I was really taken back this year,” Galloway said. “The Irish are such lovely people. Everything that Derek Delaney and his brother have done to promote this weekend is fantastic. Their story is very moving, so emotional, it’s what we at Alabar want to be part of.” Another major sponsor, smitten by coming to the VDM this year, was Joe Bellino and his family, all eight of them. The Bellino Racing Stable in the USA had agreed to sponsor the Rocknroll Heaven/Pet Rock Irish-American FFA Pace this year and was so enthralled with the entire Ireland experience, Joe re-upped for 2017 even before he came home. “It was the way the people in racing there embraced my family,” Joe Bellino said. “And their deep love for the sport that convinced me to want to sponsor the race again. The way they celebrated a win with cheering and excitement. It’s just the same way I am whether racing for $100 purse or $500,000. It was also great to see and feel it firsthand. “In some way in North America we have lost our way with that sort of enthusiasm.” Bellino explained. “It’s almost like the people who win are used to winning and have come to expect it. That’s why I really appreciated the Hambo this year as it was great to see and feel the passion for our sport just as they do in Ireland.” PJI Engineering of England, one of the largest metal fabricators in all of the UK and Ireland, has come back on board as the sponsor of the Junior FFA Pace. “I first met Derek and James in 2015,” explained Paul Johnson, owner of PJI Engineering in England, “and he was telling me the story on Vincent and the passion the two of them have for the sport is unbelievable. “These two are trying there utmost to take this sport to the next level,” Johnson said, “and the VDM has done so. This is an event that everyone looks forward to every year now, and it gets better every year. Let's not forget the charity's they give to as well. We look forward to be a part of the VDM for many years to come!” With new and renewed sponsorship support coming from around the world, Derek and James Delaney are putting the money right back into their big race weekend. “Because of the great growth of sponsors for the VDM Weekend,” Derek Delaney said, “we will be able in 2017 to also expand the Paul Murtagh, Sr. Memorial for four-year-olds to both a horse and mare divisions with Yirribee Stud in Australia taking on as sponsor of the mare division and there will be an increase in purse for the Elvin-Delaney Invitation Le Trot race. This is all so grand! “We now have many of the world’s leading harness racing breeders, owners, trainer, drivers, announcers and journalists coming to Ireland for the VDM.” Delaney added, “It’s hard to imagine that just five years ago we raced for €20,000 ($25,000US) in total purses that first year and now in 2017 the weekend will feature more than €100,000 ($127,000US) in purses. “The VDM has become a major success story to have the biggest breeding farms in the world sponsoring our brothers memorial weekend” Delaney added, “and it's also a major step in the right direction for our breeders, owners, trainers and drivers that they can now breed and sell, train or own horses that has real earning potential in juvenile racing and more! “When you have Alan Galloway and Alabar Farms, Joe Bellino and his Bellino Racing Stables, Jim Simpson & Murray Brown of Hanover shoe Farms, Adam Bowden and Diamond Creek Farms, Rod Woodhouse of Yirribee Stud Australia, all willing to advise and sponsor us and help improve the breeding in Ireland and the UK.” Said Delaney. “We all know this can only mean a very strong future for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend and a very bright future for our Oakwood Stud.” Delaney added, “We have been a major factor in the racing and breeding in Ireland and the UK and I believe our Standardbreds will become world class in the future. Ireland has a history for producing the best gallopers in the world, so why can't we in Ireland and UK not be the best producers of Standardbreds in the world or at least one of the best! “We are also working with Sire Stakes Ireland and the Breeders Crown UK and Ireland, bricking and building stronger with devoted people like my brother James Delaney, Bernie Kelly, Dave Wilson, Jackie Mann, Thomas Bennett and others. It's all going to complement our events and others stakes. It’s going to be something special how our racing will be growing in the next two to three years’ time, getting stronger year on year. “Maybe most important about all of this,” Delaney said, “is the great new friends we have made over the years that will last a lifetime.” For more information, visit www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com. The dates for the 2017 Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend are Saturday and Sunday, August 12 and 13. By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial Weekend   

Ryan Harvey

Spirit of grandfathers lives in Ryan Harvey

Trenton, NJ --- If harness racing driver Ryan Harvey were a Standardbred instead of a human, he probably would have sold for half a million at a yearling sale just based on his pedigree. Harvey’s grandfathers, who both passed away this year, are harness racing royalty. Paternal granddad Harry Harvey is a Hambletonian winning driver and Hall of Famer, while maternal grandfather Walter “Boots” Dunn had an eight-decade career and is believed to be the leading amateur driver of all time according to USTA records. “They all joke about it, that if they had pedigree books for the drivers I’d be close to the front page,” Harvey said. “It puts a little pressure on me but I kind of hope to use it to my advantage. I’ll take the attention and obviously it’s given me more opportunities than if I wasn’t Boots and Harry’s grandson.” Ryan drove Famous Mistress -- trained by his aunt Lisa Dunn -- to his first career victory earlier this month at the Greene County Fair in Waynesburg, Pa. Since he does not have a registered set of colors yet, Harvey won the race wearing Boots’ colors and helmet, while also wearing Harry’s pants and vest. “I’m going to milk that for as long as I can,” Harvey said. “Once I get my actual set of colors that are registered, I’ll find a way to keep them in the mix.” And while his famous grandfathers have been major factors in Harvey’s career, his dad (and Harry’s son) Leo, has been Ryan’s biggest inspiration. Growing up in Imperial, Pa., in the shadows of the Pittsburgh Airport, Harvey would attend afternoon kindergarten class so Leo, a driver and trainer, could take him to The Meadows racetrack every morning. Instead of sleeping until 8, Ryan was rousted from bed at 6 a.m. to help out at the track. “This probably happened earlier than kindergarten,” Harvey said, “but my memory only started working in kindergarten.” He did the usual chores such as cleaning stalls and feeding the horses. He also had some unusual responsibilities while sitting on Leo’s lap when they drove around the track. “He’s a jokester,” Ryan said. “We’d get up alongside another trainer who was one of his friends and he’d whisper something in my ear to say to them. He’d have little 5- or 6-year-old me yelling out little smart remarks to all these people and then we’d trot right past them. “At the end of the day he’d give me money for the cafeteria to get some food and then he’d send me on to p.m. kindergarten. He made it fun. He got me in there and he didn’t hold back. I don’t think there were many 5-year-olds on the track at that point.” At age 10, a relative suggested Harvey enroll in the Harness Horse Youth Foundation camp, which taught him the sport’s nuances before the end-of-camp race. “Just little things, like braiding the horse’s hair, kind of the ins and outs,” Ryan said. “Even at that point I was ready to get behind a horse and go. I can remember looking forward to that race the whole week.” Harvey won the race, which he and his family recently watched on video. “My camp was at The Meadows, where (longtime Hall of Fame announcer) Roger Huston is,” Ryan said. “He knows my family pretty well. I won that race and he was giving his usual emphatic call. I came across the wire and he said ‘And there’s another driver in the family!’ I think a lot of people could see it coming.” All the while he was learning under Dunn, who lived 100 miles north in Cochranton, Pa. Ryan spent plenty of time there, getting a hands-on education most drivers can only dream of. He would also make trips to New Jersey and almost be in awe of grandpa Harry. “They’re both very important in harness racing in their own right,” Ryan said. “I would see Boots in action and I’d be like ‘All right, this is how it’s done.’ With Harry it was just like ‘Whoa!’” Both were also important to young Ryan. “Harry was more of a look-up-to-as-a-legend type of deal with me, where I kind of thought he was larger than life,” Harvey said. “Anytime I had the chance to say my grandfather won the Hambletonian I would use that to my advantage. “He was 92 when he passed, I’m 23, so most of the time I spent with him he was in his 80s. But he was still training and I was lucky enough to go to his barn. He had an impeccable operation where he was very business-like and no corners were cut. He was a no BS type man and I kind of always looked up to him like he was too good to be true.” And then there was Boots, a constant hands-on influence. “We’d be up here every single weekend,” said Ryan, who now lives at Boots’ farm and takes care of it. “He was more consciously impacting almost my every decision, not just harness racing. Boots would ride in the back of the trailer with the horses, there were no corners cut.” And while Boots assured Ryan he had the talent to drive Standardbreds, Harvey’s mom Kathy urged him to attend college. An admitted bookworm, Ryan said, “I was addicted to horses but I also didn’t want to put school in the backseat. We’d go to fairs and they would overlap with school. I’d take my schoolwork with me and make sure I had that done before anything.” Harvey showed business savvy at a young age, picking dandelions at the barn and selling them to make enough money for a candy bar. He went to the University of Pittsburgh and graduated with an economics degree. The summer after his junior year he got a Wall Street internship at a start-up online publication. Ryan would ride his bike -- a favorite form of transportation he still uses frequently -- from his NYU dorm to work. “Every day I sat behind a desk and basically hated it,” he said. Harvey began re-evaluating his goals and, despite having some job offers on the table, returned home to be with Dunn. After Ryan’s graduation, Boots’ cancer began to worsen and a nursing home was not an option. “He wouldn’t have fared well in that environment,” Harvey said. “He was jogging horses until the day he died. I came up here and helped take care of him and spend some special time with him. That’s when I got out of the job market. From there it’s been harness racing 100 percent.” Harvey and his aunt Lisa now tend to a dozen or so horses in training on Boots’ farm, and also have a broodmare operation that is preparing nine yearlings to race next year. Lisa, who is one of Boots’ daughters, provided Ryan with numerous drives but he went his first 17 without a win. With many of his family members on hand, he was disappointed when his horse broke behind the gate in his first race. “I was kind of getting to the point where I was like ‘All right, I need to do this now or never,’” Harvey said. “She was putting the faith in me, I had to go out there and produce results.” He did just that at the Greene County Fair on Aug. 9. It was only a three-horse race but the favorite, Brauti Hanover, has been winning at a steady rate on the fair circuit. “We kind of went in just hoping to get second, but it turned into a horserace,” said Harvey, who took advantage of Brauti Hanover bearing out and losing ground on the turns. “It was a stretch drive,” Harvey said. “We were pretty much neck and neck, stride for stride. I was just thinking about winning, and after it finally happened I kind of realized what just went down. I could hear my mom screaming and I was really overcome with joy and excitement. It was a special feeling. I think I might have shed a tear under my driving glasses but I was trying to hold back.” It was an exciting drive for Harvey, but not half as harrowing as one that he made at age 18. During his freshman year at Pitt, Ryan helped jog horses at fairs. One day he was approached by a starter who did numerous fairs and was responsible for getting the starting gates from fair to fair. “I guess I seemed like a likely candidate, because he approached me and said ‘Hey young fella, would you drive this?’” Harvey said, still laughing at the memory. “That starting gate doesn’t exist anymore; it was near the end of its life. And I was in this old jeep, if you would go over 55 it would rattle.” Harvey had to make a 150-mile drive halfway across Pennsylvania, from Hughesville to Honesdale. “I’m going down Interstate 80 with this starting gate, probably getting the weirdest looks I’ve ever gotten in my life,” Harvey said. “Even at 23 people probably think I’m not much more than 18. At 18 people probably thought I was 15 driving down the highway with this thing.” It was the kind of experience that colorful careers are made of. The kind of careers that both of his grandfathers had. And while he was disappointed that neither was alive to see his first driving victory, their spirit will live within Ryan forever. As of now, all thoughts are of harness racing. “The fair season’s coming to an end, after that I’ll kind of regroup, get my bearings,” Harvey said. “I just want to get along this summer and try to make next summer better. Anytime I can drive for Lisa, it makes me happy if I can do well for her. But it’s a different kind of feeling if you can do well for others. “I hope to build up the faith and trust from other owners and trainers and kind of get my name out there and see what I can do with it.” It’s a name that people certainly respect in the business -- on both sides of the family. by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Sarah Birkhold

Harness Tracks of America Scholarship winners

Harness Tracks of America and International Sound Corporation are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Harold Snyder Memorial Scholarship awards totaling $15,000. The annual funding program, eligible to sons and daughters of harness racing participants or individuals actively engaged in the sport themselves, was launched in 1973 by Stan Bergstein, the late HTA Executive Vice President for nearly 60 years. Three outstanding students will each receive a $5000 grant to assist in their post-secondary educational careers. “We had a bumper crop of determined and accomplished applicants for the 2016-17 school year,” noted David Snyder, Chairman of the Selection Committee. “The costs of a college or advanced degree continue to climb, and the committee had a difficult task separating 22 very worthy candidates. Nearly all of them demonstrated strong academic skills, financial need, generous volunteer and community service participation, and energetic part-time employment experiences.”  This year’s Harold Snyder Scholarship recipients are: SARAH MARIE BIRKHOLD: A 22 year-old Animal Sciences major at The University of Florida in Gainesville, Ms. Birkhold will graduate in December and plans to pursue a Veterinary Medicine degree at either UF or The Ohio State University. She earned a 3.89 GPA during her spring semester and just days ago learned that she aced her summer session Physics 2 Lab class.  Throughout high school and college, Sarah worked part-time as a tax preparer, rental property manager and assistant in the George Birkhold Stable, where she helped break and train yearlings. Last year she started a small business painting and tiling cow heads and painting old saws that she finds in antique shops. “It’s definitely nice to earn some extra money doing something I love,” she wrote in her essay submission, adding, “I have not yet had to borrow money/loans, but I will have to for graduate school.” Birkhold currently serves as President of Gator Collegiate Cattlewomen and Treasurer of Block and Bridle and recently received the Outstanding Service Award from the Biotechnology Alliance of Suncoast Biology Educators. She was a teaching assistant, lecturer and grader for the Animal Nutrition course spring semester and will serve in that capacity again for the Equine Enterprise Management class this fall. JENNE’ VENIER: Ms. Venier, 18, graduated in June from Eastwood High School in Pemberville, OH. Enrolled in a demanding college prep curriculum, including Biology 2 and Anatomy & Physics post-secondary classes at the University of Findlay, she finished with a cumulative GPA of 3.99, earning all A’s and two B’s. She just started fall semester classes at Lourdes University near Toledo, pursuing a degree in nursing.  A National Honor Society inductee who earned the Most Valuable Player award on the Eastwood Varsity Golf Team, Jenne’ was involved in numerous charitable endeavors throughout high school, including Wood County Special and Youth Olympics, Food Pantry, Sharing Hands and blood drive volunteer. The award-winning chalk artist and painter garnered impressive endorsements attesting to her character and work ethic, including lengthy and sincere letters of recommendation from her high school English teacher and Key Club advisor, youth pastor and the Wood County Prosecuting Attorney. Jenee’ is the daughter of owner-trainer-driver Dan Venier and owner-groom Cheryl Venier. They own and operate a family farm in Pemberville.  MICHAEL FAHY: Fahy, 23, is a repeat recipient, having won the same $5000 grant amount last year after achieving a sterling undergraduate record at southeastern Ohio’s Marietta College. He is the son of harness horse owners William and Moira Fahy, who race at The Meadows in Washington, PA.  Michael is now in his second year at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., where he will graduate in spring 2017 with a Master of Arts advanced degree. He is majoring in U.S. National Security Policy. Michael served as a Legislative Affairs Intern for the U.S. Department of State during his second semester and is currently employed as an Analyst Intern at the federal Government Accountability Office. “I have been tasked with auditing the U.S. Department of Defense regarding their efforts to adapt their infrastructure to the effects of climate change overseas,” he wrote. “This topic is very politically salient and has exposed me to the deep depths of the government bureaucracy.” The obvious skills of articulateness and diplomacy Mr. Fahy demonstrated in his scholarship essay are matched by his continuing academic prowess. He currently boasts a 3.67 GPA at Georgetown after earning all A’s and one B+ in such rigorous subjects as Grand Strategy/Military Operations, Energy and Security and U.S. Defense Budgeting and National Security. Harness Tracks of America and International Sound Corporation have made 214 grants to 146 students since the scholarship fund’s inception. A total of $808,950 has been awarded. The program remains one of the cherished legacies of double Hall of Famer Bergstein and International Sound founder Snyder, who died in 2015. HTA Scholarship Committee Members Tom Aldrich (Northfield Park), Charles Lockhart (Dover Downs), Chris McErlean (Penn Gaming), Rick Moore (Hoosier Park) and Jason Settlemoir (The Meadowlands) are deeply grateful for the continuing financial support of Marcia Snyder, Harold’s widow, and son David. The Snyders’ generous endowments have enriched the sport and touched the lives of harness racing families over many decades.  Heather McColloch c/o Northfield Park 330-467-4101, ext. 2204 hmccolloch@northfieldpark.com          Heather MCColloch   Marketing & Hospitality 330-467-4101, ext. 2204          

CLINTON, Ontario . . . Eight of the best harness racing drivers in Canada will be at Clinton Raceway on the track's final program for the 2016 season, Sunday September 4. They will compete in the 36th Clinton Drivers' Championship, an annual fundraiser which has raised in excess of $290,000 since its inception in 1981.   "The charities we're supporting with the drivers' competition this year are the four area Legions, Clinton, Seaforth, Goderich and Brussels," explained Ian Fleming, the track's General Manager. "The Legions are an important aspect of every community and I think it's good for racing to support them."   "I'm always happy to win," said Trevor Henry after winning his third Drivers' Championship at Clinton last year, "but the real winners here are the veterans and the local legions that are working to support them. I know we're all happy to come out and drive to support them."   Henry, who currently sits second among all drivers in Canada this year for money won with $3.2 million in purses to date, will be looking to defend his title this year. Clinton's top driver for many years, Henry went over the 6,000 mark in races won earlier in 2016.   Should Henry win the 2016 Drivers' Championship he'll tie with Dave Wall and Jody Jamieson for the most wins in the competition at four. Jamieson, who is perennially in the top 10 drivers in Canada in money and races won, will be looking for his fifth Championship trophy. Named Canada's Driver of the Year three times in his career, Jody has 7,400 wins and $116 million earned to date.   Jamieson and Henry will be joined by two other talented WEG drivers, Doug McNair and James MacDonald and they'll square off against the top two drivers at Clinton, Nick Steward and Ryan Holliday, along with Canada's top two drivers in terms of races won so far this year, Alfie Carroll and Bob McClure.   Steward and Holliday have both made 80 starts at Clinton's half-mile oval so far this year raking up 19 and 17 trips to the winner's circle respectively. Steward is on track for a career year with a total of 161 wins so far in 2016 for just under a million in purse earnings. He's just four wins shy of 1,500 lifetime wins. Holliday meanwhile just achieved a career milestone of $5 million in purses in his career.   Carroll and McClure are two of the country's busiest (and winningest) drivers. Carroll has competed in 1,737 races so far this year while McClure has sat behind 1,423 horses in races to date in 2016. Their hard work has been rewarded as they have more wins than any of their rivals this year. Carroll has 375 trips to the winner's circle while McClure has 305. The third place driver is distanced with 215 victories.   In addition, the pair are the top two drivers at three of Ontario's racetracks - Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway and Flamboro Downs. When Western Fair's meet ended in May Carroll was their number one driver followed by Steward and McClure.   All of the drivers participating will be donating their fees to the fundraiser which will also be boosted by a silent auction, draws and a BBQ chicken dinner. The card also includes Ontario Sires Stakes races for three-year-old pacing fillies.   The final card of racing at Clinton Raceway for 2016 promises to be a great one with the country's leading drivers in attendance, very talented stakes horses performing and a fundraiser for a very worthwhile cause. First race post is 1:30 p.m.   Jessica Carnochan

MOHAWK: Top trainer Tony O'Sullivan has joined Anthony and Amy MacDonald in their innovative thestable.ca partnership with the aim of bringing affordable racehorse ownership to even more first time and returning fans of the exciting sport of harness racing. "We're trying to build a brand with The Stable and Tony will play a key role in helping thestable.ca do that as part of our growth plan," Anthony MacDonald said. O'Sullivan will continue operating his own barn, Tony O'Sullivan Racing, but will join thestable.ca as part of a training cooperative that over time will bring more trainers, owners and yearlings into thestable.ca's unique, single share fractional ownership fold. "I think thestable.ca is a great platform to bring new and returning owners to the industry in an affordable way, which in turn will grown the industry," O'Sullivan said. "I am looking forward to the upcoming sales and the possibilities." O'Sullivan as operated his own public stable in Ontario and New Jersey for more than 10 years, earning close to $4 million in each of 2011 and 2012, and consistently ranking among the continent's top trainers. The New Zealand native has more than $25 million in lifetime earnings, notched over 1,000 wins and campaigned horses like Alsace Hanover and Muscle Baby Doll. Thestable.ca, which will enter its second season this fall, was created by MacDonald with the goal of making racehorse ownership affordable by bringing new investors and owners into the sport for a low buy-in price starting at a single share, an industry first. For a yearling valued at $15,000, this means an initial investment of just $150 plus the monthly training fee of $20 per share, less than the cost of a movie night out for two and a lot more fun as owners get to cheer on their horses at the track. While the fractional ownership concept is not new, what is unique about thestable.ca is that owners can now purchase low cost, single shares in a variety of yearling prospects from different racing jurisdictions. MacDonald's aim is twofold: to bring new owners into the sport while at the same time helping to revive a struggling industry with new blood. Thestable.ca purchases yearlings at the fall sales or from breeders who want to place their young stock in the purchase and training program. In it's first year in business starting in the fall of 2015, thestable.ca sold all available shares in its initial offering of 25 yearlings. This bunch, now two-year-olds, has graduated from thestable.ca's yearling training program, with some notable successes, including Rose Run Speedster, a $14,000 trotter who up until early August, had won two OSS Gold Series races and $94,500 from five starts, and Bourbon and Barley, a pacing filly who was a $6,000 yearling sales buy and recently sold for $140,000. Thestable.ca will be out in force at the fall yearling sales in Ontario and all over the US with MacDonald working to surpass thestable.ca numbers (http://thestable.ca/investor/) from 2016. CONTACTS: Anthony MacDonald -- (e-mail) Anthony@thestable.ca; (cell) 519-400-4263 website: thstable,ca; twitter: @thestablecanada; Facebook.

With respect to the actions taken by Victoria Police at the Melton harness racing meeting yesterday involving harness racing participants, Victoria Police has advised Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) its investigation is continuing and that no charges have been issued against the relevant parties. Regardless and in consideration of the industry HRV Integrity Department has provided the relevant parties, who were yesterday arrested and interviewed by the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit of Victoria Police, until 4pm on 2 September, 2016, to provide submissions as to why their licenses should not be suspended or other action should not be taken under the provisions of the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR). HRV Integrity Department takes into consideration that the decision to suspend licenses of participants and/or take other actions are serious measures and thus all available material needs to be considered. This includes the information from Victoria Police regarding the continuing status of its investigations and the absence of any criminal charges. With respect to the further progression of the investigation by Victoria Police on 28 August, 2016, HRV is unable to make any further comment at this time. Harness Racing Victoria

Sea Eyre is making a habit of beating home another trotter by his own sire when he wins. The harness racing gelding by The Pres has scored two victories to date, and on both occasions he's gotten to the post ahead of a year-older trotter who shares the same father.   The first time was at Addington on February 19 this year when Sea Eyre defeated I'm Not Eyre, then last Friday night at Alexandra Park he did it again - prevailing in a tight finish over Precious Moment to set up a $127 quinella!   It's fair to say that the pickings have been slim in between wins, but like a lot of trotters who are learning their craft, Sea Eyre had a few wee issues that needed ironing out and the decision to send him north has started to pay dividends.   Raced on lease by Palmerston-based horseman Ricky Allen, Sea Eyre joined the stable of Richard Brosnan a couple of months after clearing maidens and his new trainer speaks highly of the now 4-year-old gelding out of Viola Chiola.   "Ricky thought that a change of scenery might help," Brosnan said, explaining the temporary arrangement.   "And the horse's issues aren't anything major, just a lot of little things; it always takes time to get to know them and work out what suits."   The chinks in Sea Eyre's armour included a couple of steering issues and his tendency to "fire up" on raceday, but Brosnan's confident that he's slowly turning things around.   "He's actually really good-natured and is beautiful around home, plus on racenight he'll be as quiet as anything too - until you get him out onto the track, when he turns into a right handful.   "He'll be hard on the bit, and the trick is trying to get him to save that until later in the race; even when he's been wild at times though, some of his runs weren't that bad.   "We've changed a bit of gear and are hopefully getting him sorted now, because he did seem more relaxed on Friday."   It's too early to tell whether Sea Eyre will climb as high as the Open Class ranks, but the man who's currently putting the polish on this son of The Pres believes he can win more.   "He might not be a star but he's a nice, handy trotter - and I do think he's still twelve months away yet," Brosnan said.   "There's only a few around by The Pres up here, but they've done quite a good job.   "We've bred two ourselves, out of Baltic Sun. The first one was born with a badly offset hoof and never raced, which was a pity really because it was such a lovely natured horse.   "But I've broken in a 2-year-old full-sister and she's nice too; I've got no problems with them."       For more on The Pres click on this link.   Harnesslink Media

Detectives investigating claims of harness race-fixing last night made arrests in Melbourne at the sport’s biggest meeting of the year. Police detained several industry figures, including top trainer-driver Nathan Jack, at the Breeders Crown meeting at the Melton track and at other locations. The investigation centred on a race at Cobram in northern Victoria on June 22 last year, won by a horse called Airborne Magic, trained by David Bartley. Tooram Lad, driven by the Shepparton-based Jack, ran third at $4.60, ahead of the $1.70 favourite Dehillman. The Herald Sun reports today that it is believed as much as $30,000 was won on the race by figures connected to participants. Investigators from Harness Racing Victoria’s integrity unit initiated an inquiry after becoming suspicious. The unit’s findings were later passed on to the Victoria Police sporting integrity intelligence unit. Some of those involved in the race, and others connected to them, have been interviewed twice. One racing stalwart said the investigation would rock the industry. “It’s s big deal. It’ll really get the tongues wagging.” Harness Racing Victoria has bolstered efforts to crack down on corruption in the past two years. It has invested in hiring investigators and boosted its intelligence-gathering and analysis capacity. More money has been sunk into resources, including technology able to detail call charge records and retrieve text ­messages. HRV last night confirmed an investigation had been run by its officers into a Cobram race on June 22 last year. It said the matter was then referred to police. “HRV are unable to make any further comment at this time,” a spokesman said. The Breeders Crown features eight group one races and brings together the best horses in Australia. Investigators are determined to rid the sport of any lingering perception it is vulnerable to corruption. They last year uncovered a race-fixing scam which torpedoed the careers of top trainer Shayne Cramp and his father Greg. Both later pleaded guilty in court to the criminal charge of ­engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome. The Australian

Nichols, N.Y. -- Solar Sister ($9.50) stole the show in the final 150 yards of Sunday (August 28) afternoon's stakes-laden harness racing card at Tioga Downs, dueling down prohibitive favorite Lady Shadow for a 1:49.4 triumph in the $200,000 Artiscape distaff pace. Favorites were upended in the Empire Breeders Classics as well, as No Clouds Bluechip ($7.00) and Fresh Cut ($36.00) both took top honors in their respective events for New York-sired 3-year-old pacers. On the undercard, trainer-driver Ãke Svanstedt swept a trio of W. N. Reynolds Memorial events for 2-year-old trotters. Tasked with a second-row start in a field of 10, Solar Sister sat just of a contested pace in the initial stages of the Artiscape, working into fifth early as Lady Shadow (Yannick Gingras) pushed clear of Table Talk (Andy Miller) after a :26.2 first quarter. On approach to the clubhouse turn, Doug McNair angled Solar Sister first-over, only offering mild progress into a :54 half mile. The 4-year-old Mach Three mare did her best work up the far side, working to within a length of Lady Shadow through a :27.2 third quarter and subsequently dueling with the 1-1/8-mile world record holder. The two drew off from a fading Table Talk, and Solar Sister dueled to the fore in mid-stretch. Solar Sister's 1:49.4 mile time gives her a share of the track record for 4-year-old pacing mares that was established by Anndrovette five years ago. Lady Shadow would have to settle for runner-up honors as the 2-5 favorite, while Devil Child (David Miller) sustained a massive three-wide bid off the far turn to capture third. Gregg McNair trains the homebred Solar Sister for Ontarians David Willmot and Clay Horner. Favorites were upended in both Empire Breeders Classic events as well, with No Clouds Bluechip and Fresh Cut both prevailing off cozy stalking trips. In the $239,225 Filly Classic, Brett Miller pushed No Clouds Bluechip into play with just over a quarter mile to go, overtaking a fading Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald) before engaging Wishy Washy Girl (Jim Morrill, Jr.) on approach to the far turn. The Roll With Joe filly edged clear authoritatively, sprinting off by 4-3/4 lengths en route to a 1:50.1 triumph as the second favorite. Wine Snob (John Campbell) posted belated uncovered gains to take second at 59-1, while even-money favorite Penpal (Pat Lachance) could only overcome stale early cover enough to save third down the grandstand side. John Berger trains No Clouds Bluechip for owners Richard Carney, Farrell Carney, and Barbara Berger. The development of the $240,475 Classic for colts and geldings came as no surprise, but the outcome stunned. Marcus Miller pushed forward early with Fresh Cut and ultimately established a cozy pocket trip with a circuit to go after yielding to 1-4 favorite American Passport (Scott Zeron) at the winning post. While the shape of the race held true to expected form, Fresh Cut's strong turn of foot from the pocket in the final eighth of a mile proved plenty to reel in American Passport and also stave off a late bid from 41-1 runner-up Stolen Glimpse (Yannick Gingras) for a 1:51.1 victory. American Passport ultimately faded to third after he was gathered in. Erv Miller trains Fresh Cut, a son of American Ideal, for the Bay Pond Racing Stable. Svanstedt and Muscle Hill sweep Reynolds Already renowned for his mastery in the kingdom of trotting, Svanstedt revealed why that contention possesses such veracity as he conditioned and steered New Jersey Viking (Muscle Hill-Hall Of Wishes), Ice Attraction (Muscle Hill-The Ice Queen) and Evelyn (Muscle Hill-Viva Las Lindy) to victory in their respective splits. While both New Jersey Viking ($2.90) and Ice Attraction's journeys ($3.10) to the wire in their contests, which are relegated solely to 2-year-old colts and fillies, were quite straightforward, Evelyn's ($5.20) provided a much more extensive amount of drama. Commencing his mile from post position eight, New Jersey Viking went right to the fore and was never threatened as he cruised around the Nichols oval. Owned by Knuttson Trotting and Little E LLC, the colt collected his second career triumph from five trips to the post. Two of his previous engagements were fourth-place finishes in the Peter Haughton Memorial and New Jersey Sire Stakes final. New Jersey Viking tripped the timer in 1:55.1, which was a new lifetime mark, and increased his bankroll to more than $69,268. Southwind Moody (Yannick Gingras) and Bill's Man (Corey Callahan) were second and third respectively. While not quite as dominant as her male counterpart, Ice Attraction demonstrated why she merits respect. The public's selection was content to sit in the pocket while Overdraft Volo (Andy Miller) cut the mile, until Svanstedt pulled his charge on the far turn. There was never a doubt who would be appearing in the winner's enclosure as the filly always had her rival measured. Owned by her trainer, Douglas Sipple, Mal and Janet Burroughs and Little E LLC, Ice Attraction strode across the finish line in 1:56, a new lifetime best, and scored her second career win to improve her resume to 6-2-1-1. Her earnings now stand at $35,300. Overdraft Volo and Caviart Wonder (Matt Kakaley) came home second and third, respectively. Although Evelyn's trip around the track was not without its impediments, the filly persevered after being shuffled back to fourth from second. Once pulled three-wide at the three-quarter pole, Evelyn passed her dueling colleagues Southwind Avanti (Marcus Johansson) and Treviso (Charlie Norris) to break her maiden in her sixth attempt. The filly, owned by Svanstedt, Little E LLC, Borge Nasstrom and JT45, equaled the track standard for her age, sex and gait with a final clocking of 1:55.2. Her record now stands at 6-1-1-1 and she has earned $47,310. Despite not winning prior to today, Evelyn had displayed talent with a sixth in the James Doherty Memorial and a second in the New Jersey Sire Stakes final. Southwind Avanti outlasted Treviso for second. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Monday (August 29) evening, with the first of nine races scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite, Tioga Downs  

The finish line to the Race to Royalty has arrived. Eight Group 1 races are been contested today at Tabcorp Park Melton for the annual TAB Breeders Crown Finals Day with huge prizemoney on offer and a big harness racing crowd is in attendance. Race 1 - Haras Des Trotteurs Breeders Crown 3YO Trotting Fillies Final By Cody Winnell WILMAS MATE (Pegasus Spur-Mybrotherwasastar) is the first Group 1 Breeders Crown champion of the day at Tabcorp Park Melton. Punters backed the Paul Nairn-trained three-year-old filly into $1.55 fixed with TAB.com.au and she didn’t disappoint, taking out the Haras Des Trotteurs sponsored three-year-old trotting fillies final in memorable fashion. Moving to the chair from back in the field in the running line when the bell chimed, reinsman David Butt aboard Wilmas Mate put the pressure to leader High Gait down the back with a 27.8secs third split the result. High Gait rallied fiercely with Chris Alford in the gig.  That filly initially worked to the lead after Aldebaran Ay M found the pegs early and handed up. High Gait posted a 45.5secs lead time and opening splits of 29.9 and 30.4. Down the back it became a race in two as the class fillies gapped their rivals. Shades of Bonecrusher/Our Waverley Star ensued. Or we could compare it to Terror To Love/Christen Me at Cranbourne. High Gait lifted and fought right to the wire but Wilmas Mate always just had her measure, scoring by 1m with a 29.6secs last quarter for a swift 1:57.3 mile rate for the 2240-metre journey. “She got a bit pully down the back, probably not wanting to go so quick but Chris was making a bit of noise wanting to go,” Butt said. “It’s great to win a race like this. She’s a great filly.” That’s 13 wins from 25 starts now for Wilmas Mate, whose earnings skyrocket to almost quarter of a million dollars on the back of today’s win. Sky Majesty (Jodi Quinlan) ran a super race for third. She's had a great season and her run today was full of merit, while Aldebaran Eve was fourth.  Courchevel and Princess Phoenix galloped early and left their chances at the gate. Video replay  Race 2 - Aldebaran Park Breeders Crown 2YO Trotting Fillies Final By Cody Winnell KYVALLEY Kyrie (Angus Hall-Aldebaran Maori) has upstaged her rivals in the Aldebaran Park two-year-old trotting fillies Breeders Crown Final at huge odds. Driven to the lead early by Anthony Butt from barrier six, Kyvalley Kyrie defied all comers at $41 at TAB.com.au to score by 3.2m in a mile rate of 2:01.7. “I’ve always had a lot of faith in this filly,” Butt said post race. “It was a great training performance by Brent (Lilley) as she performed pretty average last start. “If I handed up I was handing someone the race, so I was keen to hold the lead today.” Kyvalley Kyrie opened her final mile with a 31.2 quarter before middle splits of 29.7 and 29.8. She got up the straight in 31.1 and had 3.2m to spare over Our Regal Love (Chris Alford), who had her chance in second, with Iona Spider finishing with a venomous burst to be 3.8m off the winner in third after missing the start for Jodi Quinlan and Shane Hall. That was a huge run. Derrie Aire also produced a big effort for fourth for Amy Tubbs, while Sval Queen finished fifth. Nieta galloped, a horror start to the day for Anton Golino/Greg Sugars, with two favourites missing away to start the day. On to the third. Race 3 - Aldebaran Park 2YO Trotting Colts/Geldings Final By Cody Winnell CUSTODIAN (Muscle Mass-Maia) is Kiwi trainer Mark Purdon’s first Crown star of the day. The gelded son of Muscle Mass was backed off the map in markets across the country, into $1.9 on the tote and $2.1 fixed with TAB.com.au, displacing Illawong Byron as favourite. The winning move was made just prior the mile when Purdon took Custodian around the field and attacked early leader Illawong Byron, who started from pole. Illawong Byron, who has been an absolute model of consistency all season, made a rare mistake and jumped off stride, gifting Custodian the front. To Illawong Byron’s credit he got back down and trotting and by the end of the race had made up good ground to finish a creditable fifth. Eyrish Mist finished second beaten 3.6m for Brent Lilley and Anthony Butt, who are having a good day themselves, while Claudys Prince was gallant in third for Mick Blackmore and Gavin Lang, just holding off Kheiron, who also ran another bottler for Peter Lane and Chris Alford. “He trotted beautifully today,” Purdon said of Custodian, who rated 2:00.7 in winning. “He behaved himself really well. “Jodi’s unfortunately galloped and the race looked to be between the two horses on paper.” Results Video replay Race 4 - IRT Breeders Crown 3YO pacing Colts/Geldings final By Michael Howard THEY threw everything at him including Iceenothink but Mark Purdon’s super Somebeachsomewhere three-year-old, Our Waikiki Beach, held on to win the Group 1 and reaffirm his status. The track’s class record was smashed as they rattled from start to finish, with Our Waikiki Beach recording its 23rd win from 24 starts by claiming the IRT Breeders Crown final for three-year-old colts and geldings. “He’s a champion,” Purdon said. “He can’t do any more than he’s done, he just keep delivering.” It was anything but easy for the $1.04 favourite, who found the lead from the gates but a procession of challenges took the breeze, with fellow Kiwi Franco Cristiano pouring on the pressure with Dexter Dunn holding the reins. A blistering 27.9 first quarter followed a 45.1 lead time and Purdon was concerned.   “He had to burn hard early to hold the top. Even from a lap out they were really humming,” Purdon said. “With a lap to go, I’m not sure what speed we were going, but we were going better than 30 seconds for a quarter. I knew we were going real hard and we couldn’t maintain that for the whole lap.” A 28.8 second quarter was followed by a 28.9 third and come the final straight the early challenges had faded but Iceenothink burst wide, Match In Heaven poured down the sprint lane and Rock In America loomed. In a 28.0 final quarter Our Waikiki Beach held off all challenges for a 1m win, with Match In Heaven second for trainer Paul Fitzpatrick and driver Blake Fitzpatrick. The 1:54.0 mile rate was only 0.8 outside Keayang Cullen’s track record and 0.4 under the class record. “It wasn’t an easy race but full credit to the horse, he really dug deep,” Purdon said. Results Video replay Race 5 - Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO fillies By Michael Howard IT didn’t all go to script but Emma Stewart’s stable etched its name on a 2016 Breeders Crown trophy when Rocknroll Magic rattled home to win the three-year-old fillies final. The expected playbook – favourite Heavens Trend leads, stablemate Rocknroll Magic sits on her back and they work the rest out in the straight – was torn up when Mark Purdon’s My Mackenzie flew the gates. That placed Gavin Lang leader’s back on Heavens Trend and Chris Alford and Rocknroll Magic buried away three-back on the pegs, and a huge crowd held their breath awaiting the final straight. “Preferably we would have been behind the leader, but when My Mackenzie came out so quick Gavin wasn’t able to get off the fence and do a retake because it was just going a bit too hard,” Alford said. “I was sort of happy, because we were rolling along pretty strong.” After a 59.9 first half and a 28.4 third quarter, My Mackenzie still had plenty left in the tank, with Heavens Trend urging off his back before the sprint lane but unable to open up in the straight. That left the sprint lane for Rocknroll Magic, but still My Mackenzie pressed on and it was only in the dying moments that Chris Alford found the front and recorded a memorable victory. A 27.5 final quarter would see the Owners Enclosure erupte as Rocknroll Magic’s huge loyal following in raptures. “At the top of the straight she was sort of flat out, flat out. She is only little but she just keeps giving,” Alford said. “Fifty metres out she wasn’t going to get there and then she just stuck her head out and hit the line. “She went from fifth to first in about the space of that last 50m, she’s done a great job.” Rockstar Angel ran third for trainer David Aiken and driver Michael Bellman. The first two home are both by Rock N Roll Heaven. Results Video replay   Race 6 - Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 2YO colts and geldings final By Michael Howard A RAPT Chris Alford and the horse that typifies his determination, Our Little General, produced a brilliant Breeders Crown win. The Mach Three colt just kept on chugging while all the favourites battled around him, with Tingira Beach having a torrid time for Shane and Lauren Tritton’s and Mark Purdon’s Pacing Major looming but then fading. “He’s a great little horse,” Alford said. “He’s only small, but he is all heart. He drives like a little car: He goes forward and drops the bit, goes forward and drops the bit. He still had a great kick at the top of the straight and he well deserved that win.” Tritton was unable to hold the front with Tingira Beach on the polemarker and $1.60 favourite, with Big Gun Johnny sweeping to the front. This pricked Alford’s interest. “I thought Big Gun Johnny had crossed and I thought that’s a great opportunity for me to get the front again like last week,” Alford said. Tingira Beach then galloped twice in the running, falling back along the pegs and out of contention. “I’m not too sure what happened with Lauren, whether she was going where these was no room or Matty hadn’t quite crossed, we’ll just have to leave that up to the stewards,” Alford said. “Once she was out of the race it changed the complexion a bit and then I thought I would get the front, but Colin McDowell’s horse (Sunset Zeus) just took charge and I just had to sit their patiently and wait for his horse to slow down a little bit so we could make a move.” Alford took the front and was soon joined by Purdon’s well-backed Art Major colt, Pacing Major. “I was really worried when Pacing Major got outside him so early, I thought if he puts the gas on down the back I’d nearly have to let him go,” Alford said. “Little General, he just kept chugging away and Mark’s horse was sort of gone off the back, so I was pretty confident as we straightened and then when I let him go he really kicked.” Our Little General hit the line first, 4.9m clear of Astride who had a big run for the McCarthy camp after being unsettled by a galloping Tingira Beach, with Wrappers Delight third for trainer Geoff Webster and driver Gavin Lang. Results Video replay   Race 7 - Alabar Breeders Crown Series two-year-old fillies final By Michael Howard HE came, he saw and, despite one hell of a run from Petacular, he conquered. Mark Purdon’s stable claimed a third Breeders Crown for the day, winning the two-year-old fillies with his talented Bettor's Delight filly, Partyon, who retained her unbeaten record with a blistering Group 1 win. Partyon stopped the clock at 1:54.4, some 1.8 seconds quicker than the track’s previous distance record for this class, having survived a battle with Michael Stanley’s brave Burrumbeet filly Petacular. “She’s done a great job. She is a beautiful filly and you just can’t fault her record,” Purdon said. “She’s been great from the time she stepped out to cap it off today.” The Kiwi reinsman and trainer steered Partyon to the front from barrier seven. “(Partyon’s) got good gate speed, although in saying that we didn’t cross them by much and we were going early,” he said. Petacular joined her mid-race, with Gavin Lang tucking well-rated Miss Graceland on leader’s back. “I was a little bit worried, because (Partyon) was really getting plenty of pressure, and I was worried how Gavin was going on my back,” Purdon said. “She just stuck to her task all the way up the straight.” Petacular fought on superbly but, having sat in the breeze for much of the running, didn’t have the fuel tickets to win after a 27.5 third quarter, with Partyon winning by 3.1m from Petacular and My Casino Belle finishing off well to claim third. Results Video replay   Race 8 - Breckon Farms Breeders Crown four-year-old entires and geldings By Michael Howard Ideal For Real (American Ideal) reaffirmed his status as a racehorse to be reckoned with, dominating the four-year-old entires and geldings Group 2 final. Emma Stewart notched up her third win to match Mark Purdon’s mighty haul, claiming the Breckon Farms Breeders Crown Championship by 6m when Ideal For Real produced an all-the-way win. “It is a pretty serious little horse this one,” Lang said. Ideal For Real flew the gate from barrier five, with his main rival, Tee Cee Bee Macray, tucked away at the rear of the field from his wide second row draw. “He’s showed a little bit of gate speed today, which he hasn’t had to use much in the past,” Lang said. “He come off the arm pretty good and got a good position, eventually found the front and got it done pretty easy.” Ideal For Real separated from the pack before they reached the straight and the margin only swelled until a late surge when the win was well in hand. Greg Sugars warmed Tee Cee Bee Macray up at the turn and the star swooper stormed home down the straight, but Ideal For Real’s advantage was too great and he hung on to win by 6m, with $195-shot Egodan only a half-neck further back in third for Vince Vallelonga. Results Video replay   Race 9 - Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown for three-year-old colts and geldings By Michael Howard THEY did it on Vicbred night and served up another dose on Breeders Crown night – the Cranbourne crew’s Cruisin Around stood alone when the moment mattered most. The three-year-old Bacardi Lindy trotter stood up to test one, survive the onslaught out of the gate, and driver Greg Sugars kept enough petrol tickets in the bank to steer Michael Hughes’ gelding to a memorable 5.6m win. “There was a lot of pressure on me to get out of the gate and stay in one piece and thankfully he rose to the occasion for me,” Sugars said. Cruisin Around’s rival, Sundons Courage, was ever present for trainer Chris and owner Brad Angove, but despite Chris Alford’s best efforts in the breeze he couldn’t claw back the gap and Cruisin Around held on to win by 5.6m. Sugars gave much of the credit to trainer Michael Hughes. “I’ve driven a few horses for Mick (Hughes). He does do a very good job,” Sugars said. “An important way to measure a trainer’s ability, they might not always have the best horses going around, but if they can run consistently week-in week-out to their ability, that’s all you can ask for from a trainer. “That’s Michael Hughes to a T. Everytime you step out on one of his horses you know it’s going to run a good race.” Temporale ran third for trainer-driver Tony Herlihy, with Maori Law reaffirming his talent for trainer Bill Morgan, placing fourth.  Results Video replay Race 10 - Nevele R Stud Breeders Crown Championship four-year-old mares By Michael Howard Chris Alford drove Lovelist (Always A Virgin) to victory to cap a brilliant night’s racing with a win in the last, which has seen him draw level in the SBG Accountants Metropolitan Drivers’ Premiership. Lang and Alford, who tied for the award last year, are level at 47 wins apiece with the winner to be decided at Wednesday night’s Breeders Crown silver series races. “At the start of the day I thought my best two drives were (trotters) High Gait and Our Regal Love, and they both ran great but weren’t quite good enough on the day, and then you get a bit depressed,” Alford said. “But it’s been a great day, three wins and a couple of seconds and a couple of fourths. These horses are unreal, they are just like driving machines, they never let you down.” In Delight Me, Lang was driving the $1.60 favourite in the Group 2 championship for four-year-old mares, but Delight Me was always going to have to do plenty from her back row draw and she tailed the field for much of the running. Conversely, Lovelist enjoyed cover to sit mid-race early, and then improved on Keayang Mercedes’ back mid-race before rolling all the way to the front well before the bell, and by the time that rang Delight Me had moved from the back to take the breeze. Alford stole a march at the last bend and Delight Me couldn’t go with the leader, with only second-placegetter Cyclone Kate making ground as Lovelist recorded a 4.7m win. “We had a little bit of luck earlier. She got in nicely in midfield, when the speed backed off I took the opportunity to get around and once she found the front she just slipped into another gear,” Alford said. “With Delight Me outside you never know how confident you can be but she felt really good going around the last bend and when I asked her she kicked away really well.” Results Video replay

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 27 - The harness racing finals are now set for the Metro Pace and Shes A Great Lady after a wild elimination night Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. A total of three $40,000 Metro Pace and two $35,000 Shes A Great Lady eliminations were contested with some major longshots putting an interesting spin on the action. The Metro Pace eliminations for pacing colts and geldings started with a bang, as Windsong Napoleon pulled off a 54-1 gate to wire upset. A son of Art Major, Windsong Napoleon was blasted to the front by driver Phil Hudon to post an opening-quarter of :27.1. The Carl Jamieson trainee marched the field by the half in :56 and the three-quarter pole in 1:24.3. In the stretch, Windsong Napoleon drifted out a lane and was confronted by Calvin K, who shot up the rail after sitting the two-hole. The rookie pacing colts went toe-to-toe, but Windsong Napoleon had no quit in him and fought off Calvin K to win by a neck in 1:51.3. "I got good fractions and everything worked out," said Hudon post-race. "He kicked in down the lane, I thought (Calvin K) was getting up the inside and he dug back in." Classic Pro finished third, while Pointomygranson was fourth. Owned by Jamieson, Thomas Kyron and Doug Good, Windsong Napoleon now has three wins in eight starts. The Art Major colt was coming into the Metro elimination off a disappointing seventh in the Nassagaweya, but Hudon explained the reason for the poor effort. "Last week I definitely shut his air off by letting (Calvin K) go and tonight they put a choke plate on him, I didn't rev him up as much early and he was a lot calmer." Windsong Napoleon now has $63,004 earned heading into next week's final. A $2 win ticket on the Art Major colt returned $110.40. Windsong Napoleon The second elimination saw another fantastic stretch duel, but this time it was the favourites battling it out. Jimmy Takter trainee Ocean Colony defeated Ideal Wheel by a head in a national season's best 1:50.1. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Ocean Colony left from post two and quickly grabbed command. After an opening-quarter of :27, Ideal Wheel made his way to the front after being parked around the first turn. The tempo was hot, as Ideal Wheel posted middle-half fractions of :54.4 and 1:22.4. In the stretch, Ocean Colony was angled to the outside by Gingras and battled stride for stride with a gritty Ideal Wheel, but ultimately got by for the impressive victory. Bobcat Bound finished third, while fourth went to Darlings Dragon. Saturday's Metro elimination was the first time Ocean Colony had a different driver other than Brett Miller. "I was really impressed," said Gingras. "Brett told me nothing but good things about him. He said they brought him along slowly and he was really good at Tioga last week and Jimmy told me the same thing." A $110,000 purchase at last year's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Ocean Colony is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Hatfield Stables, Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. The son of Somebeachsomewhere now has two wins in five starts and $38,079 earned. Ocean Colony paid $6.60 to win. Ocean Colony The final elimination was a throw down with Beyond Delight scoring a 20-1 upset victory. Bettors Dream fired out from post eight to post an opening-quarter of :26.4. Some Attitude, who was parked around the first turn, was pushed to the front by David Miller and cleared just before reaching the half in :55.1. Blood Line, the 8/5 favourite, was angled out from third by Gingras to come first up around the far turn. The public's choice cleared to the front and led by two-lengths at the three-quarter pole in 1:22.3. Meanwhile, Sylvain Filion was able to get Beyond Delight off the rail on the far turn and sat fifth turning for home. In the stretch, Beyond Delight began pacing up a storm when fed open racetrack. The Tony O'Sullivan trainee powered by Blood Line to defeat him by three-lengths in 1:51. The top two finishers were clear at the wire, but the same could not be said for a trio of horses seeking third. Southwind General shot up the rail to grab third just ahead of Bettors Dream and R J P. However, a pair of inquires were posted involving the three horses. Southwind General was disqualified from third and placed last for going inside three pylons in the stretch. The Judges also looked at contact between Bettors Dream and R J P at the wire, but ruled there was no interference. Therefore, Bettors Dream was vaulted up to third and qualified for the final. The lengthy review may have stolen some thunder from Beyond Delight, who picked the perfect time to break his maiden. Following the race, O'Sullivan discussed the recent development of Beyond Delight into a Grand Circuit contender. "He was okay training down and then we kind of thought he would be a racehorse, but in the last three weeks he has just blossomed," said O'Sullivan. "We sent him down to Tioga a couple weeks ago and he raced really well, took a shot at the Nassagaweya based on that and he actually got locked in last week and was very good. "We kind of had a little bit of confidence coming in, but racing against these type of colts that are more accomplished, if he races good and makes the final it's great, but to race the way he did is really satisfying." Beyond Delight was a $50,000 purchase at last year's Harrisburg Yearling Sale and is owned by Jeffrey & Michael Snyder and Four Friends Racing Stable LLC. The son of Bettor's Delight now has $40,068 earned through eight starts. The O'Sullivan trainee paid $43.30 to win. Beyond Delight Similar to the Metro Pace, the Shes A Great Lady eliminations started off with a major upset. Candlelight Dinner was the talk of the town heading into the 'Great Lady' eliminations, but an off night from the pacing filly allowed Thats The Ticket to strike for a 58-1 upset. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Thats The Ticket got away fifth and sat in that spot along the rail until just before the three-quarter pole. Candlelight Dinner got away third, but made a quick brush to the lead after an opening-quarter of :28.1. The 1/9 favourite led the field to the half in :56.2 and then paced a big :27.1 third-quarter to lead the field to the top of the lane. In the stretch, Candlelight Dinner surrendered the lead to Happy Hannah, who enjoyed a two-hole trip. Happy Hannah appeared to have a victory in her sights, but Thats The Ticket burst onto the scene late and surged by on the far outside to win by half a length in 1:52. World Apart finished third, while Blameitonthenight was fourth. Candlelight Dinner faded back to finish fifth, but did qualify for the final. Thats The Ticket, who was a $60,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchased, is trained by Chris Ryder for owners Craig Henderson, Robert Mondillo and Lawrence Minowitz. The daughter of Roll With Joe was winless in five starts coming into the Shes A Great Lady elimination. Last week, Thats The Ticket was fifth in a division of the Eternal Camnation, but paced home in :26.3. Despite that closing effort, Ryder wasn't satisfied in his filly heading into Saturday's contest. "She paced home in :26 I know, but she's been having trouble getting around the last turn," said Ryder. "Even tonight Sylvain said she wasn't perfect, but obviously better. "Being New York bred we went to the half-mile tracks and she couldn't get around the turns at all and then at Vernon she paced in (1):52...so that's why we came here." Thats The Ticket now has $44,579 earned. A $2 win ticket on the Ryder trainee returned $119. Thats The Ticket The second elimination didn't have nearly the same fireworks, as even-money favourite Idyllic Beach prevailed in 1:51.1. The Jimmy Takter trained filly was unhurried at the start by driver Gingras and found an early seat in sixth. Several fillies clashed near the front in the early going, while Gingras was able to pick up the cover of first over challenger Agent Q heading into the far turn. Agent Q became the new leader on the turn and reached the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4. In the stretch, Idyllic Beach came off cover and hooked up with Agent Q for a battle, ultimately getting up to win by three-quarters of a length. Awash and Everyones Watching finished third and fourth, respectively. The final spot to the Shes A Great Lady final was secured by Obvious Blue Chip. A daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, IdyllicBeach entered Saturday's elimination with three wins in four starts. "Just every start she is getting stronger and stronger," said Gingras. "Early on we were a little bit worried about her getting a little too hot, but now she's two fingers and drives real nice." IdyllicBeach is the first foal out of 2010 Shes A Great Lady champion Idyllic. A $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, IdyllicBeach is owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Brixton Medical Inc. and Marvin Katz. She now has $102,762 in earnings through five starts. IdyllicBeach paid $4.10 to win. IdyllicBeach Following Saturday's eliminations, the finals of the $661,000 Metro Pace and $427,000 Shes A Great Lady were drawn. The fourth-place finisher to draw into the Metro final was Darlings Dragon. The $616,000 Canadian Pacing Derby was also drawn Saturday evening. Here are the fields for next week's finals. $661,000 Metro Pace 1. Beyond Delight 2. Darlings Dragon 3. Windsong Napoleon 4. Ocean Colony 5. Calvin K 6. Bobcat Bound 7. Classic Pro 8. Ideal Wheel 9. Blood Line 10. Bettors Dream AE: Pointomygranson   $616,000 Canadian Pacing Derby 1. Wiggle It Jiggleit 2. Nickle Bag 3. State Treasurer 4. Shamballa 5. Rockin In Heaven 6. Nirvana Seelster 7. All Bets Off 8. Always B Miki 9. Dealt A Winner 10. Evenin Of Pleasure   $427,000 Shes A Great Lady 1. Candlelight Dinner 2. Thats The Ticket 3. World Apart 4. Idyllic Beach 5. Everyones Watching 6. Agent Q 7. Awash 8. Obvious Blue Chip 9. Blameitonthenight 10. Happy Hannah AE: Fade   Mark McKelvie

AUGUST 27, 2016 - Trainer Per Henriksen and driver Chris Christoforou, Jr. had a golden map to the winner's circle at Georgian Downs on Saturday evening, sweeping both $105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series divisions for the harness racing three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. First off the gate from the Henriksen stable was Bee In Charge, who was sent to the front from Post 5 by Christoforou. The pair hit the quarter in :29 and then sailed on through a :57.4 half and 1:26.2 three-quarters. Reigning division champion Tony Soprano pressed the pace through the final quarter, but Bee In Charge dug in and trotted under the wire one and one-half lengths on top in 1:54.3 Tony Soprano finished second and fan favourite Sass was third. "Bee In Charge has raced well this season and continued that tonight," said Campbellville, ON resident Christoforou. "He got off the gate well, made the front and was a very strong winner. He's a very smart colt and has a strong pedigree. He has improved quite a bit in the last three months." Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL share ownership of Bee In Charge, who is a Manofmanymissions half-brother to their $3.9 million winning mare Bee A Magician. Saturday's win was the gelding's second in Gold Series action this season, he and Christoforou were also victorious at Mohawk Racetrack in the June 27 season opener. From five wins, two seconds and one third in 10 sophomore starts Bee In Charge has earned $153,940. On the advice of Henriksen, Christoforou employed similar tactics in the second Gold division, sending Muscle Hustle to the front from Post 1. The colt roared through fractions of :27, :55.4 and 1:23.3 and stayed game to the wire for a head victory in a track, Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) and Canadian record 1:52.2. Warrawee Roo was a game second and Dia Monde was just one-half length back in third. "I knew I had two good horses and I thought the first one (Bee In Charge), I thought he was going to win, and the second one (Muscle Hustle), I talked to Chris and I said, I think this horse is very good, I said send him to the front and park them, you've got no friends out there," said Henriksen of the front-end effort. "I knew that Muscle Hustle was a very good horse." Muscle Hustle's 1:52.2 mile lowered the 1:53.4 OSS and Canadian record B Strike Three had set at Georgian Downs in a Gold Final in June 2008. "I don't think any horse every trotted faster, any three-year-old, trotted faster on a five-eighths mile track," noted Henriksen. "I got him last year and understood quite early that he had quite a bit of talent." Henriksen conditions Muscle Hustle for Ecurie Bergh Inc. of Norwood, ON. In 10 sophomore starts the Muscle Mass son boasts a record of six wins and two seconds for earnings of $174,850. He was also victorious in Gold Series action at Mohawk Racetrack on July 11. Through the first four Gold Series events Bee In Charge and Muscle Hustle sit atop the three-year-old trotting colt division standings with 133 and 130 points, respectively. The colts will make their last Gold Series start on Oct. 6 at Mohawk Racetrack and the top 10 point earners from the five regular season events will then compete in the $250,000 Super Final at Mohawk on Oct. 15. So long as they remain healthy, Bee In Charge and Muscle Hustle will spend their Gold Series break competing against the best trotters in North America. On Saturday, Sept. 3 Mohawk Racetrack hosts the Simcoe Trot, and eliminations for the Canadian Trotting Classic are slated for Saturday, Sept. 10 with the $700,000 Final going postward on Saturday, Sept. 17. "They were sick when the Hambletonian went so we've just got to look forward and hope they stay healthy, and then they will make pretty good money," said Henriksen. "They are both pretty big size, good looking horses, and with a nice gait to them both, and they don't have very many issues health-wise." Both colts had abbreviated two-year-old seasons due to sickness, two starts for Bee In Charge and three for Muscle Hustle, but Henriksen said their limited number of starts and future schedule are the extent of the similarities between the two trotters. "They're different horses. Bee In Charge you can do anything to. He don't care what you do to him, he's laid back, and the other one is a little more high strung and wants to have it his way, and that's also the reason he is a little ignorant and stubborn sometimes," noted the Norwood, ON resident. "That's the reason he is heading for that opening in the first turn sometimes." Muscle Hustle made a break in the August 10 Gold event at Grand River Raceway, attempting an early return to the paddock on the first turn and making a break when driver Randy Waples disagreed with the plan. Christoforou said the colt was flawless on Saturday and expects big things from the trotter through the last two months of stakes action. "Muscle Hustle was tremendous tonight," said the reinsman. "He does have a tendency to try and pull himself up at times, but was all business tonight. Hopefully he's getting over that now and will finish off the season minding his manners. I think he's going to go some big trips before the year is over and proved tonight he is a top flight colt, and not just in the OSS." In addition to Muscle Hustle's three-year-old trotting colt record, Georgian Downs fans also witnessed an all age track and Canadian record in the Honourable Earl Rowe Memorial Trot. Lookslikeachpndale, in rein to Paul MacDonell, scorched under the wire in 1:51.3 to win the $100,000 contest for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor Charmed Life was second and Il Sogno Dream was third. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Georgian Downs on Sunday evening, with five $18,000 Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. The fillies kick off the Aug. 28 program at 6 pm and will also compete in Races 4, 6, 8, and 9. Ontario Racing

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 27, 2016 — A year ago, it was Purrfect Bags. Saturday night, it was Newborn Sassy (Jordan Stratton, $3) wreaking havoc for co-owner and harness racing trainer Jo Ann Looney-King in Yonkers Raceway’s Lady Maud Pace. 'Sassy' won this $109,050 edition for 3-year-old fillies, rolling past Apple Bottom Jeans (Jason Bartlett) late in 1:53. Odds-on Newborn Sassy, leaving from post position No. 3, left into an immediate two-hole behind second-choice Apple Bottom Jeans. The fave went to pull pocket, but 'ABJ' was not in a giving mood. She reseated her rival, then put up intervals of :27.4, :56.3 and 1:25.2. Skinny Dipper (Brian Sears) made a move out of third, but backpedaled in a hurry. Apple Bottom Jeans did get some nighttime daylight, opening a couple of lengths entering the final turn. However, Newborn Sassy closed ranks and angled out, wearing down the leader late and winning by a half-length. Hug a Dragoness (George Brennan) photoed Cheyenne Triengel (Scott Zeron) for third, with Time on My Hands (Dan Dube) settling for the smallest envelope. Skinny Dipper faded to last among the happy half-dozen. For 'Sassy,' a Western Ideal miss also co-owned by CC Racing, it was her fourth win in 13 '16 tries. The exacta paid $5.70, with the triple returning $21.60. While King won this race for a second consecutive season, Stratton completed his own 'double," having guided Kryptos to win the Lismore Pace for this same division in late May. "I knew we had a bit of a post disadvantage (against Apple Bottom Jeans), so I took a chance at moving again," Stratton said. "I'm not surprised Jason (Bartlett) wouldn't let me go, so I just had to wait. "She's a very talented filly, and I knew it pained (regular driver) Timmy (Tetrick) not be get to drive her tonight. I'm just fortunate the connections had confidence in me." Saturday's $45,000 Open Handicaps were won by... --Pace, Doctor Butch (Brent Holland, $6.70) in 1:50.4; --Trot, Undercover Strike (Bartlett, $2.50) in 1:54. Special Saturday props, too, to Kevin McDermott, who earned his 1,500th career training victory after Badix Hanover (Tyler Buter, $8.40) 'won the bob' in the $18,000, first-race pace (1:52.3). Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 27, 2016 - Pole-sitting and pocketed, 14-1 Wildflower (Dan Dube, $31) picked off a drifting, odds-on Celebrity Eventsy (John Campbell) Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $118,574 Hudson Trot for harness racing 3-year-old fillies. The 1-4 choice had no visible excuse, waltzing around the oval (:28.2, 58.2; 1:27.3) with minimal first-up pressure from Windowshopper (Ake Svanstedt). The people's preference owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but tired late. Even with high-line urging from her chauffeur, she bore out more than enough to give her pursuer a shot. Wildflower ducked inside and stuck her tongue out a the wire, winning the Kodak moment in 1:56.1. Southwind Hope (Andy Miler), who slipped out in front of a gapper down the backside, offered good late foot to grab third while beaten a half-length. Dream Child (Jason Bartlett) and Windowshopper grabbed the final pay envelopes, while Hillosophical (Scott Zeron) was outrun and Dancing in Thehall (Mack MacDonald) broke. For Wildflower, one of three trained by Svanstedt here (Dancing in Thehall and Windowshopper, all racing separately), the daughter of Muscle Hill is co-owned by her trainer, Douglas Sipple and Mal & Janet Burroughs, it was her third win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $60.50, with the triple returning $119. "It's the first time I've driven her," Dube said. "I looked at the program and saw she doesn't make breaks, and thought she'd be a good horse for this track. "I saw John's filly (Celebrity Eventsy) starting to drift and thought I had a chance. When she made that last lunge, I thought I won it." Frank Drucker

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WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 29, 2016 -- Brazuca powered to the lead near the three-eighths and rolled to harness racing victory in 1:52.2, shattering the stake record in Monday's $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event at The Meadows. The stake for 2-year-old filly pacers was contested over four divisions, with Queen To Me, Freakonomics and Pink Gardenias taking the other $20,000 splits. Dave Palone enjoyed a stake double, among his six wins on the 14-race card, behind Brazuca and Pink Gardenias. Even after Brazuca's decisive brush, she wasn't home free, as she had to fend off the menacing uncovered bid of Rockette. The daughter of Bettor's Delight-Knock Three Times held off the challenger by 1/2 length, while Bridge To Tomorrow rallied for show. The time erased the previous stake mark of 1:53.4 held jointly by Tipton Teeez and Valuable Art. Trainer Tom Cancelliere indicated he expected a great deal from Brazuca, a $75,000 yearling acquisition for John Cancelliere, but not in her fifth career start. "I'm surprised," he said. "I love this filly, but we started her slow, and I thought she would need a little bit more time. She's got all kinds of stakes, but we'll see where she wants to go. If she wants to keep going, we'll keep going with her." Dismissed at 10-1, Queen To Me was fourth along the pylons as the field turned for home, with no racing room in sight. But when Sweetest Emotion pulled the pocket and promptly broke stride for Mike Wilder, that left the Lightning Lane for Queen To Me. The daughter of Bettor's Delight-Arterra poured through and pulled off the upset in a maiden-breaking 1:53, a neck better than the pace-setting Emily R Hanover. Gemma's Beach Girl earned show. "They went big fractions, and I know the horse on the front is a nice horse but can get a little wobbly late," said Joe Bongiorno, who piloted Queen To Me for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Willow Oak Ranch. "Once Mike ran and Palone had to check his horse, I knew it would be me and Emily R down by the wire. My filly felt good, and she finished good." In her two career victories, Freakonomics never was ahead until the final call. Winning driver Jim Pantaleano said that's the style trainer Ross Croghan prefers for her. "When I saw the fractions come up, I thought they would come back a little," Pantaleano said. "But I was mostly paying attention to my filly. That's the way Ross wanted her raced. Clearly he's a top conditioner who knows his horses. He knows this filly." Last entering the final turn, Freakonomics followed long shot Traceuse Hanover through the stretch and nailed her by a nose in 1:55, with Beautiful Hill third. Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham campaign Freakonomics, a daughter of Western Terror-Mind Boggling. In the $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace, Skippin By used two moves -- one for position from post 8, one to overpower the leader, Medusa -- to triumph in a sharp 1:50.2 for Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC Wall Brothers Stable and Bruce Soulsby. Certified Ideal was a length back in second with Spreester third. The 5-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Southern Magnolia extended her career bankroll to $629,479. Tuesday's card at The Meadows features the Meadow Cheer, a $183,616 PA Sires Stake for freshman filly pacers. First post is 1 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino
Nichols, N.Y. -- Every Way Out ($3.00) made every yard a winning one in the $52,780 Solicitor, a W. N. Reynolds Memorial Stakes event for harness racing 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Monday (August 29) evening at Tioga Downs.   The son of If I Can Dream and Every Play pushed through up the pegs to establish the early lead, forcing Cougar Bait (Marcus Miller) into the pocket on approach to the first turn. Every Way Out controlled the terms through sectionals of :28.3, :57.3, and 1:26 before he was forced to brace for a bid from Cougar Bait out of the pocket. Every Way Out prevailed by a half length, staving off Cougar Bait while driven to complete the one-mile journey in 1:54. Rock the Boat (John Cummings, Jr.) stayed on from a clear tracking trip to hold third.   Tim Tetrick drove Every Way Out to his sixth victory in as many career starts for owners Howard Taylor, Abraham Basen, Edwin Gold, and Thomas Lazzaro and trainer Dylan Davis.   Tetrick also won the first $31,590 division of the Lorraine, just holding sway with Lets Havea Party ($3.90) over Ella Christina (Marcus Johansson) and Well What's New (Kyle DiBenedetto) in 1:54.1. Tony Alagna trains the Art Major-City Delight filly for Brittany Farms and Marvin Katz.   The other Lorraine split saw Loreenas Ruffian ($13.40) draw clear in hand to a 1:53 score over Touchamatic (Aaron Byron), while odds-on favorite Ameraway (Marcus Miller) could only muster a third-place finish from off the pace. Trainer-driver Charlie Norris co-owns the McArdle-She's a Ruff One filly with Leonard Buckner and Rebecca Ewing.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (September 2) evening, with post time scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs
In the first race on the Monday harness racing card of August 29 at Plainridge Park in Massachusetts, if one was to wager on a horse because they liked its name, it's a good bet they'd have wagered on Trotalot, an accomplished 9-year old altered son of SJ's Photo. And for those game individuals who did, they would be raking in the profits because Trotalot won the trotting contest in the eastern region of the CKG Billings Amateur Driving Series. Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff, an executive recruiter by trade, was at the controls when Trotalot took the lead from the pole position and led the field throughout winning the race in a time of 1:56.4. But that triumph didn't come easy especially when Just Like Lloyd and driver"Bay State Bob" Kenney came calling at the end of the mile. Trotalot and Just Like Lloyd matched stride for stride in the deep stretch but Hechkoff's charge prevailed, albeit by a long neck. "I heard Bob's (Kenney) trotter coming at us and gaining slowly but thankfully they ran out of racetrack," Hechkoff said. Third place went to Shelikescandy in rein to "Buffalo Bob" Davis. Trotalot paid $4.00 for win which was the trotter's fifth victoryof the season and 23rd of the gelding's career. He's owned by RBH Ventures and Kyle Spagnola and trained by Spagnola. For Hechkoff, it marked his 10th seasonal driving victory and 87th of his amateur career. Next Billings action will be in the Midwest region over the five-eighths mile track at Scioto Downs in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, September 3rd. John Manzi
HARRINGTON, Del. - John Cancelliere's Special T Rocks and harness racing driver Jim Morand scored a 1:51 win Monday in the $16,000 Open Pace at Harrington Raceway. Special T Rocks set the pace from post position three as Getitoffyourchest mounted a first over attack before yielding. Handsome Henry K put together a fierce rally late for the place spot but could not get to a powerful Special T Rocks who prevailed with ease for his sixth win of year. Badlands Racing LLC and L A Express Stable's He's Marvalous ($2.20, Montrell Teague) was an impressive 1:52.2 winner in an $10,000 conditioned pace. The 3-year-old Delmarvalous gelding set all the fractions in his win. Janet Hudson and co-owner/trainer Jo Ann Looney-King's Little Ben ($7, Victor Kirby) notched his fifth win of the year in a $10,000 conditioned pace. in 1:52.1. Kirby had three wins on the card. Teague, Jim Morand, Art Stafford Jr., and Allan Davis each had a driving double. Matthew Sparacino    
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