Bruce Edward - To completely rebuild Durham Park

Bruce Edward to rebuild Durham Park

The fire that burnt Durham Park to the ground last December may have burnt all the buildings and fences on the farm but it certainly hasn't dimmed the enthusiasm of the owner Bruce Edward. Interviewed on APG TV during Sunday's yearling sale at Oaklands Junction, Bruce was looking forward to completely rebuilding the property.   " My accountants were not that keen for me to rebuild the property but I have a real passion for the industry." " It's what I want to do when I wake up in the morning so the planning is underway to rebuild all of the buildings and fences on the property." " I had spent ten years developing the property when the fire struck but now we have a clean slate I will get the opportunity to change a few things for the better." " Its going to take anywhere from nine to twelve months to get the property back to where it was and all the broodmares and foals will remain at Alabar until everything is completed,"Bruce said. After the fire Bruce took up a generous offer from Alabar surpremo Alan Galloway to move his stock to the Alabar farm free of charge and to use the facilities there to prepare his yearlings for Sundays sale. Durham Park catalogued eleven yearlings on Sunday and sold ten of them on the day with the only yearling not sold being the full sister to last years brilliant two year old filly, Heaven's Trend 1:52.1 ($136,933) who was passed in at $25,000, just short of her reserve of $28,000. The other ten yearlings all found a new home and when the dust settled, Durham Park had grossed $244,000 with an average for those sold of $24,400 which was not far short of the overall sale average. Considering Bruce had no yearlings by Somebeachsomewhere who was in such hot demand on the day and only a couple by Bettor's Delight who was the other stallion whose stock were in demand, he achieved a good result overall. Two yearlings in his draft drew particular praise from Bruce even before the sale. " I have a lot of time for Lot 99, the full brother to last years New South Wales Derby winner Ideal For Real 1:55.8 ($182,485). " He is such a nice horse to do anything with." " He is bred on the American Ideal - Real Desire cross which has already produced the brilliant He's Watching 1:46.8 ($1,129,215) and Ideal For Real still holds the quickest last quarter in a race in Australia so that high speed is coming through." "The other yearling is Lot 195 who is a Bettor's Delight colt from an American Ideal half sister to three in 1:50 including the champion Maltese Artist 1:48.3 ($2,322,671)." "Andy Gath has his two year old half brother and holds him in high regard," Bruce said. The last few months must have been really trying for Bruce and his family but to see the passion he still clearly holds for the harness racing industry is quite special. Harnesslink Media

Brady Galliers

Brady Galliers ready to keep learning and improving

When it comes to learning about harness racing, Brady Galliers looks to those with experience --- even when they are horses. Galliers, a 20-year-old driver and trainer from Ohio, fell in love with harness racing as a youngster at the county fairs. His family had no involvement in the sport at the time, but Galliers eventually convinced his parents, Mark and Jane, to buy a racehorse. In the ensuing years, Galliers got more deeply involved in harness racing as an active participant and now has a stable of 12 horses. In January, he received the Ohio chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association's Peter Haughton Memorial Award, which is given to an up-and-coming horseman in the Buckeye State. Last season, Galliers competed on Ohio's fair circuit in addition to racing at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway, Miami Valley Raceway, and Scioto Downs. He won 24 of 393 races as a driver and notched 15 wins in 161 starts as a trainer. Among the horses in Galliers' stable is past stakes-winner and millionaire Schoolkids. Galliers purchased the now 10-year-old gelded pacer for $10,000 at last November's Blooded Horse Fall Speed Sale at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Schoolkids, who races in Saturday's $20,000 Open at Miami Valley Raceway with Galliers in the sulky, has in a way graduated to teacher. "He definitely teaches me," Galliers said. "It helps out a ton. That goes for a couple other horses I've got too. They've been doing it for longer than I have, so I kind of let them do their thing for the most part. He goes out there and does what he does best. I've only had him for a few months, but he's been great to me. He's a great horse to be around. He has his moods, but who doesn't? "It's really cool to think that I have an Open horse right now," Galliers added. "He's not the best Open horse, but he's in there and I know he'll give it a shot. He's an old class horse, that's for sure. He'll give it his all. I would love to have a barn full of horses like him. It's an honor to have a horse like him and be racing in the top classes every weekend. He really makes it a joy." Galliers has found joy in harness racing since watching it at the fairs before he was even a teenager. He was active in a number of sports --- basketball being his favorite --- but gave up all those other pursuits by his junior year in high school so he could focus on racing. "When I would go to the county fairs, I loved the horses," Galliers said. "I just thought it was so cool what they did. I just wanted to learn more and more about the sport. My parents took me to the races and I'd wander off to the barns and learn from there. I went out to a farm and jogged my first horse and I knew this is what I want to do." Galliers started driving in 2013. He bought a horse named Windy City Ron, competed with the pacer in the fair circuit's Signature Series, and advanced to the series final on Little Brown Jug Day at the Delaware County Fair. Galliers and Windy City Ron finished third. For his career, Galliers has won 38 of 538 races as a driver. So far this year, he has two wins, four seconds and two thirds in 15 starts. "My parents have helped me tremendously, with supporting me and getting me horses," Galliers said. "They're my biggest owners. I wouldn't be where I am today without them. I started with one horse and now I'm up to 12. I want to be a driver, though. That's my biggest thing. But I know that being young I have to start slowly and get my name out there. I think the best way is getting my own horses." Training also is an opportunity to get more experience with horses. "It definitely benefits me," said Galliers, who has moved from his hometown of Defiance to Dayton so he could be nearer to most of the state's racetracks. "It's not just jumping on and off the horse. I want to be mainly a driver, but I don't mind having a stable of my own. Horsemanship-wise, it's taught me everything. I've got to take care of my horses. I have to get them healthy and ready. It's a whole different game. You always have to be ready for the next week. "I've had people help me tremendously but I've never really worked for anybody so I've kind of learned on my own. I'm still young and I don't know everything, obviously, and I'm always willing to learn. Every day I learn more, from training wise and driving wise. I think I've learned a lot in the last year." As for what he most enjoys about harness racing these days, Galliers responded with one word. "Winning," he said, laughing. "Who doesn't love to win? But what I love the most after that is being out there driving. It is what I love doing. It's something I want to turn into a profession. "I know I'm young and I know I don't really have a shot yet with some of the trainers. You go up against the best drivers every night, so it's very hard. I'm just trying to get my foot in the door. I take any drives I can and hopefully one of these days I'll find a trainer who will give me a shot." by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA        

The Meadowlands

First four straight $3m nightly handles since 2003

Thanks to full fields, competitive harness racing, reduced takeout rates, and a successful partnership with horse racing network TVG, the Meadowlands has posted four straight $3 million handle nights for the first time since a period between December 19, 2003 and January 3, 2004 when the historic harness track posted five straight programs that handled more than $3 million. The large wagering pools and relatively low percentage of winning favorites (34 percent) created a horseplayer's dream scenario last Friday night. A carryover in the 50-cent Pick Five of $18,643 attracted more than $140,000 in new money. With a usually tricky sequence that featured just one favorite and a 42/1 longshot, one horseplayer was rewarded with a life-changing payoff of $109,966.10. Plus, numerous other players that had four of the five winners received $255.70. "From a gambling perspective, look at what the Meadowlands is offering," explained Meadowlands CEO/GM Jason M. Settlemoir, "we have $100,000 payouts to draw the big players. Ten cent superfectas averaged $423 last weekend to draw the smaller players. When you add exciting finishes, big fields, big pools and low takeouts, everything currently adds up to $3,000,000 a night. From a gambling perspective, what is there not to like?" The partnership between the Meadowlands and TVG has also contributed significantly to the wagering success. Harness racing at the Meadowlands is featured prominently on the network. Every race is broadcast live or on slight tape delay. In addition, the network's on-air hosts interact and analyze the races with the Meadowlands' Justin Horowitz. This commitment to the Meadowlands product and exposure to thoroughbred handicappers has attracted new money to the wagering pools. "The Meadowlands represents the best that Standardbred racing has to offer in the U.S. and it shows in consumer enthusiasm for the product," said Kip Levin, CEO of TVG and Betfair US. "The attractive high definition video presentation of Meadowlands races as well as the horsemen's participation at the meet allows us to present a compelling product to evening audiences nationwide. We look forward to working with the Meadowlands on future innovations for racing." In addition to the monstrous Pick Five payoff, the track's other guaranteed wagering pools in a pair of Pick Four wagers also returned handsome amounts. Friday's Early Pick Four paid $5,647 for a 50-cent wager while Saturday's Late Pick Four returned $2,585 for 50 cents. The three guaranteed pools (Pick Five, Early and Late Pick Four) offer reduced takeout rates of 15 percent, instead of the 25 percent allowed by New Jersey regulations. The six pools handled a total of $428,615, which means the reduced takeout allowed the Meadowlands to return an extra $42,861 to the winning horseplayers last weekend alone. "We are coming off four consecutive $3 million nights and now that football season has ended, we think our current product is strong enough with 34 percent winning favorites and 23 ten-horse fields this weekend to draw not only sports fans, but crossover thoroughbred fans to play The Meadowlands," said Settlemoir. Live racing takes place Friday and Saturday nights at the Meadowlands with 14-race programs beginning at 6:35 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

The 2014 Prix de France winner Noras Bean

Twenty one in the €400,000 Grand Prix de France

Twenty one trotteurs remain engaged for Sunday’s Gr. I International Grand Prix de France at Paris-Vincennes. The final field, to be determined Thursday, will battle over 2100 meters autostart for a purse of €400,000. Despite Bold Eagle’s sharp score in the Prix d’Amerique, many challengers remain including Timoko, Oasis Bi, Bird Parker, Anna Max, Trebol and Lionel. The pacesetter in last Sunday’s monte Prix d’Ile-de-France, Vaillant Cash, is in the field. The rolling start is likely to produce a fast pace and winning time. The cinders are fast as shown by the 1.10.6kr victory by Scarlet Turgot last weekend in the monte classic. Look for a new challenger that might benefit from the shorter distance and mobile start plus the race could showcase just how strong Bold Eagle is. The 2015 edition saw Timoko vs Texas Charm with Timoko just up on the line for a close victory clocked in 1.11.4kr. Video below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7LnchI9V4k Thomas H. Hicks

Harness racing driver Jason Bartlett put some more distance between himself and rest of Yonkers Raceway's chauffeurs Monday evening, winning eight of the program's dozen races. Bartlett, who didn't miss an assignment, wasted no time. He guided the undefeated Bea's Ideal ($3.50) to an eased-up, 1:56.3 win in the $12,500 pacing opener. The 4-year-old daughter of American Ideal, unraced prior to this season, is 4-for-4 ($25,000) to begin her career for co-owners (trainer) Heidi Rohr, Marc Reynolds and David Glazer. The lass has been nominated to the upcoming Petticoat Pacing Series, which begins Tuesday afternoon, March 7. Five of Bartlett's Monday winners were trained by Richard Banca, beginning with Wayne the Lefty ($4) in the $6,500 third-race pace (1:55.3). After that, it was Brown Brinny ($6.50) in the $15,000 seventh-race pace, Mybrothergeorge ($3) in the $6,500 eighth-race pace (1:55.4), OK Heartbeat ($6.20) in the $18,000 ninth-race pace (1:55) and A Plus Hanover ($5.10) in the $12,500 pacing finale (1:55.2). Bartlett's other victories came behind a pair of trotters, Dominus Hanover ($3.20) in the $12,500 second race (1:58.3) and Get to Doin' It ($21) in the $18,000 11th race (1:59.2). He now has 213 local wins this season. The Raceway's live season continues with a Tuesday matinee, first post at 1 PM. Frank Drucker

Bushwacker, the richest harness racing horse of 2016 won the $30,000 Preferred Handicap for the second straight week at Dover Downs on Monday, Feb. 8. After Mustang Art, with Sean Bier, took the feature pacers to the quarter in :25.4, Tim Tetrick pulled Bushwacker to the outside in front of the grandstand to take lead at the half in :54.3. Bushwacker was in command through a 1:22.1 three quarters and had enough to reach the finish line in 1:50.4 with Mustang Art, second. Doctor Butch came on in the lane for Tony Morgan to finish third. The five-year-old altered son of Rocknroll Hanover-Dolphins Can Talk, conditioned by Chris Ryder, won for the fifth time in 2016 and sixth in his last eight, for Henderson Farms. It was his 17th career win with a $426,212 lifetime bankroll. Bushwacker has now won $71,100 already in 2016. Frank Chick's Warp Factor Three, trained by Kevin Lare, made good use of starting from post 1 with Yannick Gingras scoring a 1:52 victory in a $15,500 4&*5-Year-Old Male pace. Skyway Gladiator (Mike Rossi) was second in front of Apollo Seelster (Roberts). Russ Foster, the youngest driver in the race at 26, drove Sentencing Memo, the youngest horse in the event, a three-year-old, to a fast closing triumph in a $14,000 pace for young male horses. Suchasenceofhumor (Jim Morand) was runner-up with Roll Big (Corey Callahan), the favorite, third. Veteran Arty Foster, the driver's grandfather, owns and trains the Western Terror-Lady Annie gelding, who won for the fourth time in five outings and sixth time in seven starts. In a $14,000 Male Winners-Over pace, Owner Foulk Stable won for the first time since claiming Sparky Mark for $50,000 in December, as Jonathan Roberts, who had a driving triple, piloted the nine-year-old son of Astreos-Luckbealadytonite to a 1:51.2 triumph. It was one of two training wins for meet leader Dylan Davis. Just A Jolt (Tetrick), the race favorite, finished strongly for second with Don't Ya Know (Vic Kirby) the show horse. Rocknroll Jewell gave Gingras a double winning for the sixth consecutive time notching a 1:51.2 conquest in a $12,000 Male pace. Tom Lazzaro owns the Rocknroll Hanover-Michelle's Jewell gelding trained by Dylan Davis. Gallic Beach (Callahan) went a big trip and finished second. Believe This Bob (Ross Wolfenden) was a close third. In a day of big prices, 21-1 Millennium Wheel was the biggest, scoring a 1:52 decision in a $20,000 Male Claiming Allowance. Trainer Jason Lynch shares ownership win Jim Jacobs in the Bettor's Delight-London Eye gelding. Beavercreek Artist (Allan Davis) and Brioni (Tony Morgan), whose seven-race win streak came to an end, were second and third respectively. Jonathan Roberts with three wins, Montrell Teague, Allan Davis, Yannick Gingras and trainer Dylan Davis had two wins each. SPRINGFORTH, SHINE N SHIMMER HEAD $20,000 MARES OPEN TUESDAY   Springforth, a just miss second in his last two starts meets regulars Shin N Shimmer and Fashion Showdown in the $20,000 Mares Open Handicap on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at Dover Downs.  Post time is 4:30 p.m. Owner-trainer Jeff Clark’s Springforth, piloted by George Dennis, has been a close-up second in three 0f his last three outings, with a win in between, takes on Howard Taylor’s hard-hitting Shine N Shimmer teamed with Corey Callahan and Chris White’s Fashion Showdown, driven by Ross Wolfenden, a two-time Open winner, who has a major change of post positions this week moving from post-8 to number-3 this week.   Jerseylicious leaves from the rail with Allan Davis driving for Pam Curran, Niel Gargiulo and Legacy Racing while Tony Morgan will drive JFE Enterprise’s Scandalicious from the outside in the seven-distaff field. John McGill’s No Respect with Tim Tetrick in the bike, and Lou Catana and trainer Vince Bradley’s sharp Matinee Dragon with Jonathan Roberts complete the highly competitive lineup. A $15,000 Mares Winners-Over pace heads the undercard.  Mildred’s Button (Montrell Teague) closed strongly to win last week’s edition. Lorie and Paul Davis’ Lady Beth (Tetrick) was a head back in second for the second straight start. Playncardswitroddy (Dennis), owned by George&Tina Dennis and Ask W stables, was used on the backstretch and was only two-lengths off at the wire. Naty (Jonathan Roberts) step up a notch for trainer Brian Malone and Carrie Stackowitz after an impressive win last week. Marv Bachrad

One of the hardest things to promote in the harness racing industry is a stallion who is promising but not quite delivering with the results on the track at the level needed. There can be a whole raft of reasons but the prospective broodmare clients for the stallion just want to see those runs on the board and the more the merrier. I think the above description fits the young trotting stallion The Pres perfectly. The Pres is a son of  the champion trotting sire Andover Hall who is proving to be a great sire of sires with his son Donato Hanover being at the top of the pile in North America Add in a maternal family that is littered with outstanding performers and The Pres has a pedigree that ticks all the boxes. Lightly raced before a career ending injury, The Pres won four of nine and took a 1:55 mark which is a clear  indication of a quality individual. His first crop was welcomed with a lot of favourable comment from trainers in New Zealand when being broken in and they were well received at the sales. From that first crop he produced the smart two year old Primz Luck 2:00.8 who won four of seven starts at two and looked top class but due to injury hasn't again since. That first crop in New Zealand numbered 38 foals and has produced 17 qualifiers to date which in New Zealand conditions is okay but it is only now that they are four year olds that they are stating to convert that into winning performances. Several look very promising such as Le Lievre's Gift 1:57.6 who is two from two to date and Precious Pet who won her only start to date in the manner of a horse with plenty more wins in store The second crop numbers 46 foals which are half way through their three year old seasons. Eight have qualified to date including one of last season's star two year olds in Cyclone Chief  2:01.7p ($34,491) who was very unlucky not to win the Breeders Crown Final at Melton at two going under by a neck after being checked late in the race. Two other three year olds from that crop that look well above average are the Phil Williamson stablemates in Astral Ruler and Sam Galleon. Astral Ruler went round in the Hambletonian at Ashburton on the weekend and didn't disgrace himself while Sam Galleon was impressive winning at Winton last Friday. So The Pres is slowly righting the ship in New Zealand and those numbers should keep improving from now on. While The Pres had been battling to establish himself in New Zealand, his very small Australian crops have been making hay while the sun shines. His first crop who are four this season numbered just two foals, neither of which has raced. His second crop who are three this season number just five foals but four have already won including the star filly Princess Phoenix ($80,133) who won two Group 1 races at two and the promising colt Big Jack Hammer ($33,600) who won one Group 1 at two. To produce two very smart youngsters such as those two from just five foals is the kind of result that stallion owners dream of. What it shows yet again though is that The Pres can produce that individual that is capable of winning Group races which is a must do for any aspiring stallion to establish himself in todays competitive stallion market. There are only six yearlings by the Pres in this years yearlings sales and they are all at the Christchurch sale. The whole six are from lovely trotting mares and with the recent results in both New Zealand and Australia being so positive, the stock of The Pres may surprise a few people on sale day in a fortnight. Harnesslink Media

Two well known Victorian administrators with a combined involvement with harness racing spanning more than a century have been honoured with Harness Racing Australia Distinguished Service awards. Both men - Peter Bourke and Carl O'Dwyer - have been long time owners and breeders and among the administrative positions each has held has been more than a decade on the board of Harness Racing Victoria, both retiring in 2011. Peter Bourke has spent a lifetime in the harness racing industry where he has carried out many roles and held many titles. Joining the Harness Racing Victoria Board in December 2000 before completing his term in May 2011, Bourke and his fellow members were hit with some major hurdles during the last decade, eg. split TV vision, EI outbreak and the emergence of corporate internet bookmakers. A champion of strong integrity functions and processes, he is also a staunch supporter of country racing and hardly has there been an industry event in country Victoria that Bourke has not attended on behalf of HRV. Peter also holds the title of Chairman of the Australian Pacing Gold – the Standardbred sales company unchallenged as the most influential the Australian harness racing industry has to offer. In addition to his many titles, Peter also bred and raced a number of racehorses over the years. Carl O’Dwyer has been involved in the horse industry as a farrier for 50 years, with his main area of expertise specializing in problem horseshoeing of performance horses. His main passion is the Harness Racing industry and shoeing Standardbreds, both pacers and trotters. In 1971, Carl formed O’Dwyer Horseshoe Sales Australia as he saw a need for mechanically produced horseshoes. O’Dwyer Horseshoes used state of the art technology in the form of automation in the manufacturing process to produce quality products. More recently, the company joined with Mustad Hoofcare SA and Carl is still involved as consultant on product development and performs several clinics each year for the company. Carl has served on many committees in the Harness Racing industry, Farrier Industry and also the greater horse industry in Australia. He was a member for several years on the Australian Rural Industries Research and Development Committee (RIDIC), which was responsible for allocating funding to research in the Equine Industry within Australia. In addition to being a Businessman and Farrier he has also been a successful Harness Racing Trainer and Driver. As a trainer he won a number of major Australian races including the Hunter Cup, Cochran Cup, Dullard Cup and the Consolation Inter Dominion Trot. With a foundation of experience across the industry and in business, this led Carl to a role as a Board member of Harness Racing Victoria (2001-2011). In presenting the Distinguished Service awards to Mr Bourke and Mr O'Dwyer at Tabcorp Park Melton, HRA chairman Geoff Want paid tribute to their lengthy involvement in the sport. He said both men were highly regarded in the industry, they were passionate about and committed to fostering harness racing, and were worthy recipients of the award. Harness Racing Victoria

Alexandre Abrivard teamed Prix de Cornulier winner Scarlet Turgot (10f Dahir de Prelong-Noella de Massy) to victory in today’s Gr. I International €200,000 purse Prix d’Ile-de-France (2175 meters, monte, 13 starters) at Paris-Vincennes. The 2.4/1 harness racing favorite trailed for much of the 2175 meter test, long behind open lengths leader Vaillant Cash, before making a three-wide move to get into contention around the final bend. Once in range she darted to the pegs and got past Vaillant Cash (7m Offshore Dream-Kara du Rebon) on the line. Vaillant Cash was off at 9.6/1 odds and was reined by Clement Frecelle. Scarlet Turgot is trained by Yannick-Alain Briand for owner Mme. Th. Hoste. 29.7/1 Tornade du Digeon (9f Jag de Bellouet-Harlane du Terme) was third for Eric Raffin and trainer J-M Bazire. 49/1 Udayama (8f Echo-Lancia du Pont) was fourth (she the race winner last year) and 44/1 Nonant Le Pin (9f Goetmals Wood-Blazing Janice) ended fifth for Yoann Lebourgeois. The winner was clocked in 1.10.6kr off fast fractions (1.06.8kr at 1500 to go; 1.07.5kr at 1000; 1.098kr at 500). With the victory Scarlet Turgot became a legend of sort by recording the Cornulier/Ile-de-France double and lowering the mounted trotting time record at Paris-Vincennes with the 1.10.6kr score. Malakite held the old record at 1.108kr set in May, 2008. Scarlet also lowered the Prix d’Ille-de-France record set by Picsou de Villabon (1.10.9kr in 2011). The Vaillant Cash led fractions today set up the new time standard (1.06.8kr at 1500 meters to go; 1.07.5kr at 1000; 1.09.8kr at the 500) and the top finishers, each clocked in 1.11.3kr or better, compared to the aforementioned Picsoo Villabon and the 1.11.3kr winners Nouba Turgot in 2009 and Hot Tub in 2008. The opening monte contest this day was the €95,000 purse Gr. III Prix Indienne over 2175 meters. The nose winner timed in 1.11.5kr was 4/5 odds Boss du Meleuc (5g Lucky Blue-Rafale du Meleuc). Eric Raffin teamed the winner for trainer/owner Yannick Alain Briand. 2.6/1 Aventurier Cehere (6g Niky-Iloa de l’Orne) at 2.6/1 was second for Antoine Wiels with a distant third to 79/1 Aurea Vikland (6f Prince de Montforf-Kettina de Monti) and joc key P-Y Verva. The Quinte+ today had a €3.85 million jackpot and the race was the €60,000 purse Grand Prix d’Afrique over 2850 meters with 18 contestants. Also named the Prix de la Gironde, the race winner was 3.2/1 Ange de Lune (6g Laetenter Diem-Kera Elle) for owner/trainer/driver Mathieu Abrivard clocked in 1.14kr. 19/1 Vivaldo Bello (7m Love You-Enfilade) was second for Franck Nivard teaming for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin.  16/1 Aupiquaria (6f Goetmals Wood-Illys Way) held third for trainer/driver J-M Bazire. The Gr. III International Prix de la Marne (purse €110,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) went to the rallying wide Ustinof du Vivier (8g Look de Star-Melba du Vivier) at 3.1.1 odds for Alexandre Abrivard for trainer Sebastien Guarato. Bred by Jean-Yves Lecuyer,the winner scored in 1.12.5kr off fast even fractions (1.11.8kr at 1500 meters to go; 1.10.9kr at 1000; 1.12.1kr at 500 to go) and prevailed to victory when leading 0.5/1 odds favorite Viking Blue went off-stride and took dq. 62/1 Sierra Leone (10f John Arifant-Une d’Havetot) reached second for J.Cl. Hallais and Ave Avis (6m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) took third for trainer/driver J-M Bazire. 25/1 Luckycharm Hanover (8m Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover) hugged the pegs to be fourth  for Bjorn Goop and trainer Daniel Reden with fifth to 25/1 Beckman (9g Turbo Sund-Nins Palema) that Orjan Kihlstrom reined for trainer Fabrice Souloy.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upqe1rWk7Go The Gr. III Prix de Royen (purse €100,000, 2700 meters, 12 European starters) went to 2.7/1 Briac Dark (5m Prince Gede-Queen des Charmes) for trainer/driver Franck Anne and owner Guy Barou. This one scored timed in 1.13.4kr after quick early fractions (1.11.7kr at 1500 meters to go; 1.11kr at 1000; 1.13.9kr at 500). Briac Dark surged to a nice lead after Arlington Dream and Red Rose America made the pace, with Arlington Dream off-stride off the final bend., and then held gamely as 6.5/1 Vikind Va Bene (6m Rite On Line-Iriana du Mont) closed in for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Fabrice Souloy. 5/2 odds Akido (6g Love You-Isba) rallied for third for trainer/driver Franck Nivard and Wcurie Comte P de Montesson with 23.2/1 A Nous Trois (6m Orlando Vici-Quallas) getting fourth for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer  Sebastien Guarato. The wrap-up today was the Prix Toque Blanches (purse €80,000, 2850 meters, 13 starters, monte for apprentice jockeys) and Ugo On Wood (8g Nuage Noir-Madone On Wood) took victory at 9/10 odds with Leo Abrivard up. 3.2/1 Unsert Dairpet was second for Julien Balu and 24.8/1 Uppercut Orange held for third for Alexis Collette.The winner was timed in a sharp 1.13kr. Thomas H. Hicks

Dublin, IRELAND – Records are made to be broke, but every single year? For the fourth straight season, the number of two-year-olds entered for the prestigious Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial at Portmarnock Raceway has shattered the record books once again. A whopping 80 harness racing pacing colts and fillies have been nominated for the endurance weekend of racing that takes place Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14, 2016. “This year,” said race developer Derek Delaney of Oakwood Stud, “thanks to the generous sponsorship by USA’s Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farm, there is a first time final for fillies only and with that addition, the record of 59 entered in 2015 fell quickly to the wayside.” Of the record 80 royally bred 2-year-old harness racing pacers that have now staked their claim on the 5th annual Ladbrokes Vincent Delaney Memorial Cup weekend, 44 are colts and 36 are fillies. “If they were all to the make the races this year,” Delaney said, “We will have to add a race card on the Friday, just to hold the elimination races. Wouldn’t that be grand?” The Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial total purses are estimated at over €40,000 in 2016. It is by far the richest harness racing event in the history of both Ireland and the UK. The increase in nominations was a very positive 33% over last year. To win the Ladbroke’s Vincent Delaney Memorial, two-year-olds must race in elimination heats on the first day and then return the next to compete in the finals. Also on the program that weekend are three other signature events, the Oakwood Stud Derby for three-year-old pacers, the Paul Murtaugh, Sr. Memorial for four-year-olds and the Irish-American Junior Free-For-All. In addition there are other special trotting and pacing events on the program each day. The race series and festival weekend was developed by Derek and his brother James Delaney, as a tribute to their younger brother Vincent, who tragically died of a massive heart attack at age 26 in 2011. “Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin on August 13th and 14th is going to be the place to be at,” Said Delaney. “We had thousands of patrons come out last year and expect to increase on that in 2016. We already have racing fans from around the globe coming to our venue in Ireland, traditionally dubbed as the land of a thousand welcomes.” For more information visit www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com. By Steve Wolf, for the Vincent Delaney Memorial 2016 Vincent Delaney Memorial Colt Nominees link http://www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com/race-eligibles/index.php?pid=race-eligibles&raceno=2 2016 Vincent Delaney Memorial Filly Nominees link  http://www.vincentdelaneymemorial.com/race-eligibles/index.php?pid=race-eligibles&raceno=1      

The harness racing barrier draws have been conducted for this Saturday night’s Coca-Cola Amatil Sprint and Cordina Chicken Farms Sprint at Tabcorp Park Menangle.  The $200,000 events will be run on night one of the Sky Racing Carnival Of Miracles and both are qualifying events for the $750,000 Miracle Mile on Sunday February 28. COCA-COLA AMATIL SPRINT BARRIER HORSE TRAINER 1 EASY ON THE EYE SHANE TRITTON 2 MY GENERAL LEE (EM 1)   3 BLAZIN N CULLEN JOHN MCCARTHY 4 BEAUTIDE JAMES RATTRAY 5 COLD MAJOR DAVID AIKEN 6 SUAVE STUEY LOMBO SHANE TRITTON 7 MAJOR CROCKER VINCE VALLELONGA 8 LOUS LAD (EM 2) PAUL FITZPATRICK 9 OUR SKY MAJOR BARRY PURDON 10 OUR HI JINX  ODM BELINDA MCCARTHY   CORDINA CHICKEN FARMS SPRINT   BARRIER HORSE TRAINER 1 MY GENERAL LEE (EM 1)   2 FIVE STAR ANVIL ADAM KELLY 3 MODERN RULER JAMES RATTRAY 4 BLING IT ON BELINDA MCCARTHY 5 IAM MR BRIGHTSIDE KERRYANN TURNER 6 MACH BEAUTY SHANE TRITTON 7 LOUS LAD  (EM 2) PAUL FITZPATRICK 8 MY HARD COPY GARY HALL SNR 9 BETTOR BET BLACK DARREN MCCALL 10 MONIFIETH JOHN MCCARTHY     Greg Hayes      

The harness racing barrier draw has been conducted for this Saturday night's Form 700 Chariots Of Fire at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The $200,000 event will be run on night one of the Sky Racing Carnival Of Miracles. The Cordina Chicken Sprint and Coca-Cola Sprint will also be conducted on Saturday night. The $200,000 races will also be qualifying races for the SEW Eurodrive Miracle Mile on Sunday February 28.   BARRIER HORSE TRAINER 1 LORD ZIN ZAN JOHN MCCARTHY 2 EXPRESS STRIDE BELINDA MCCARTHY 3 AMERETTO ASHLEE GRIVES 4 CRUZ BROMAC DEAN BRAUN 5 AZTEC BROMAC KERRYANN TURNER 6 ADMIRAL BRONSKI (EM 1) TAHN CAMILLERI 7 LETS CUT LOOSE KEVIN PIZZUTO 8 KILCULLEN JOHN MCCARTHY 9 ARMS OF AN ANGEL SHANE TRITTON 10 TACT TATE AMANDA TURNBULL 11 HAVE FAITH IN ME MARK PURDON 12 WINGARA (EM 2) PETER ROMERO       .                       Greg Hayes

As someone who has spent a big part of every year for the last 35 years travelling between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres on business revolving around harness racing, I get to witness first hand trends and developments in the harness racing industry worldwide. The Northern Hemishere in the past has always been in front of their Southern Hemisphere counterparts when it comes to the development of the standardbred breed along with track surfaces, equipment and race carts to name just a few things. The industry in the Southern Hemisphere has always followed the lead on industry developments in the north to the point that in 2016 that we look like a carbon copy in many respects of our northern counterparts.  There use to be a time lag between developments in the north being adopted in the south but that gap is virtually non existent today with our industry in the south using a lot of the equipment and technology in use in the north. Tracks in the Australasia are constantly closing the gap with North America while I believe some of our premier tracks such as Tabcorp Park Menangle, Tabcorp Park Melton in Australia and Ashburton and Addington in New Zealand are condition wise the equal of anything I have seen in North America. The race bikes in use in Australasia are cutting edge these days and have certainly contributed to the dramatic fall in overall times we have witnessed in the south in the last few years. So the harness racing industry in the Southern Hemisphere now operates on a par with our Northern Hemisphere counterparts on so many levels and that development is allowing our bloodstock to show that the gap between them and their Northern Hemisphere cousins is shrinking by the day. Since the advent of shuttle stallions in the 1990s, breeders in the Southern Hemisphere have obtained access over the next 20 years to most of the best stallions stallions standing in North America. What started as a small trickle at first is now a torrent with the result that the leading sires in North America in 2016 are the leading sires in Australasia in 2016. Somebeachsomewhere, Art Major, Bettor's Delight, American Ideal, Mach Three and Rock N Roll Heaven dominate the Southern Hemisphere siring charts. Champion racehorses entering the stallion ranks such as A Rocknroll Dance, Sweet Lou and He's Watching are immediately available down under to the point that some stallions cover their first lifetime book of mares in Australasia. The impact of Southern Hemisphere breeders having access to the best stallions in the world has been to raise the standard of the standardbred breed in Australasia at a rate that is unparalled in the history of the industry down under. When you add the vast improvement in technology used in our industry alongside the bloodstock bred these days in Australasia, the end result is the speed explosion we are witnessing on a weekly basis these days. Times are being run on a regular basis now that would have been unheard of as little as three to five years ago. On Saturday night at Menangle, the three year old son of Somebeachsomewhere in Waikiki Beach posted a 1:50.6 mile in winning a race in his build up to the New South Wales Derby. It was a brilliant performance that he achieved without any real pressure from his rivals and he gave the distinct impression he had more to offer late in the straight. What made the effort even more impressive was he ran that time at night. North Americans have long reconized that there is an atmospheric advantage time wise when racing during the day. As a result most of their major classics such as Hambletonian Day or Little Brown Jug Day are staged during the day to maxmise the speed factor involved. Last years astonishing Ladyship Mile win by Adore Me in 1:47.7 was just another example of how daytime races do have an advantage over races staged at night. Both the New Zealand Cup meeting and the Harness Jewels meeting are renowned for producing times close to or better than existing New Zealand records and it is no coincidence that they are both daytime meetings. I have to admit I am really looking forward to the big day at Menagle on February 28th The Miracle Mile and Ladyship Mile being run during the daytime for me raises the anticipation of sub 1:50 races. In my opinion that is the last piece of the jigsaw needed in our classics run over a mile if we want to see our Southern Hemishere bred horses start to breach that 1:50 mark on a regular basis. JC

The first round of this years harness racing Australian Pacing Gold sales was held at the Inglis Sales complex at Oaklands Junction in Melbourne yesterday. The catalogue this year didn't look as strong on paper as the upcoming Sydney round but there was still plenty of 'blue bloods' sprinkled throughout the offerings yesterday.  As has become the norm in the last few years, Mark Purdon and several of his long standing clients were in attendance and once again they purchased several well bred yearlings by a variety of stallions over the course of the sale. Trevor Casey led the charge with his one purchase of Lot 55. A son of Art Major, he is the first foal of Pembrook Caesar, a 1:53 winning daughter of Julius Caesar who won 10 from 22 in a brief career and $77,432 in stakes. Pembrooke Caesar is a half sister to Barry's former champion pacer Pembrooke Benny 1:53.7 ($907,890). Neil Pilcher was active, purchasing three lots on the day. Neil outlaid $70,000 for a filly by Somebeachsomewhere from the brilliant Courage Under Fire mare Arctic Fire who took a record of 1:51.6 on her way to way to winning $394,262. Arctic Filly is a three quarter sister to the former brilliant New Zealand three year old, Classy Filly 1:57 ($200,890) and the Somebeachsomewhere filly offered yesterday was her first live foal. Neil also bought Lot 38, a colt by Somebeachsomewhere from the imported Camluck mare Mitzi M Hanover for $50,000. The second foal from the mare, Mitzi M Hanover had already produced Fast Flyer 1:57.8 who won a heat of the Australian Pacing Gold before dying from a snake bite. Mitzi M Hanover is a half sister to 5 in 1:55 including the champion pacer Noble Ability 1:49.1 ($1,748,890) so lacks nothing on the pedigree page As Neil is prone to do at a lot of sales, he also bought a son of Courage Under Fire which sold as Lot 48 He is the first colt from his dam who is the imported Western Ideal mare O Narutac Bella 1:51.2 ($154,536) and cost Neil $28,000 There are no out and out champions in the pedigree up close but there are countless $100,000 winners who are closely related to this colt. Kennard Bloodstock brought Lot 143 for $40,000 which was a colt by Bettor's Delight from the former smart juvenile Bendall Rose 1:59.4 (51,095) who won 10 from 22 on the track. The dam is a half sister to Roses For Tash 1:59.4 ($115,188) and the colt is bred on the same cross as Arden Rooney so he ticks a few boxes. Mark Purdon bought two on the day and as is his custom they were not related to previous stars he had brought in Australia. Full brothers to All Stars champions such as Waikiki Beach and Border Control  were on offer but were not on his radar yesterday. The first colt Mark bought was Lot 46, a colt by Mach Three from the 1:54.4 Artsplace mare National Gallery ($90,600) for which he paid $52,000. Crossing Somebeachsomewhere with Artsplace mares in North America has been very successful in taking a bit of heat out of the progeny by Mach Three and his sons. This is a strong branch of  the Armalight family and he looked a lovely type on the live stream yesterday. The second colt Mark bought was Lot 92, a colt by Art Major from the Armbro Operative mare Spitfire Shadow who has already produced three winners in 1:58 including Christian Shadow 1:53.7 ($119,676), Art Shadow 1:57.5 ($114,488) and Lis  Mara Shadow 1:56.3 ($39,355) No stars up close but plenty of depth to the pedigree and again the colt looked a lovely type in the ring yesterday and cost Mark $46,000 Several Australian based clients of the All Stars barn such as Merv and Meg Butterworth and Kevin Riseley were active yesterday and no doubt some of those will also make their way to Rolleston as well. The only other Kiwi to sign a docket sheet yesterday was Barry Purdon who outlaid $53,000 for a Art Major colt from the 1:58.6 McArdle mare in She's Got It All. She's Got It All is a daughter of the New Zealand mare Gliding By 1:57.4 ($48,093) which belongs to a branch of the Black Watch family which the Purdons have had a lot of sucess with over the years. Overall yesterday the sale would have to be rated a big success with the average up 12.5% to $28,733 and the clearance rate a very healthy 83% on the day. The second round of the APG sales will be held at the Newmarket Sales Comples at Randwick in Sydney on Saturday, February 27th. Harnesslink Media

Sons of Ready Cash took two of today’s top groupe events at Paris-Vincennes and harness racing trainer/owner Philippe Allaire, owner/developer of Ready Cash, enjoyed a great day. The opener this Saturday went to 1.4/1 Charmeur de Larre (4m Baccarat du Pont-Qusidmika) clocked in 1.16.1kr for Julien Raffestin aboard for trainer Sylvain Roger and Ecurie le Petteviniere. The race was the Prix de Paimboeuf (purse €58,000, 2700 meters, nine starters) for monte contestants. 2.3/1 Canadien d’Am (4m Ready Cash-Kanadia) was second for Franck Nivard, trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Laurent Edin, that one ahead of third finishing 8.7/1 Cesar Volo (4m Prince de Montfort-Qualite Volo) ridden by David Thomain. The superb colt Django Riff (3m Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine) at 2/5 odds took the Gr. II Prix Paul Viel (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, nine starters) timed in 1.13.4kr for Yoann Lebourgeois, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. 3.7/1 Dollar Macker (3m Saxo de Vandel-Salt Lake City) was second for J-Ph Monclin, trainer Allaire and owner Olivier Henri Thomas, with 19.3/1 Ducato Bourbon (3m Love You-Kamera Bourbon) third for Franck Nivard, trainer Franck Leblanc and Ecurie Siray. These top three are all good future racing prospects and come from solid maternal families. Django could be a Bold Eagle type. The dam of Django Riff is the Look de Star mare Rasta Perrine, a US$119,000 winner. Dollar Macker’s second dam is La Star, she dam of La Star Dream (US$325,631) and grand dam of Intense America in North America. Third dam Bahama produced four US$149,000 plus winners. Ducato Bourbon’s dam Kamera Bourbon won US$220,543 and has produced two winners in excess of US$121,000 including US$625,000 winning Scala Bourbon. Second dam Etta Extra is the dam of Mara Bourbon (US$1.8 million), Qualita Bourbon (US$1.7 million) and US$471,000 winning Sam Bourbon, a promising FR sire. This maternal family is influenced by North American sires Star’s Pride, Speedy Crown and Armbro Goal. The day’s Quinte+ Prix de la Gironde (purse €70,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) went to the 1.16kr timed, 2.2/1 odds Vermeil Somolli (7g Olimede-Quitalia Somolli) with Mathieu Abrivard up for Ecurie Somolli and trained J-P Fichaux. 9.7/1 Vernico Pommereux (by Love You-Noure du Pommrreux)) was next for Franck Niavrd with 41/1 Tonnerre Margea third for David Thomain. The Gr. III Prix d’Avignon (purse €85,000, 2100 meters, 15 starters) produced a blanket finish clocked in 1.12.5kr by the winner, 6.5/1 Capone Face (4m Ready Cash-Kingly Pride-Defi d’Aunou) with Franck Nivard up for Antonio De Sousa and trainer Franck Leblanc. 7.6/1 Caduceus Des Baux (by Mark Speed) lasted second for Mathieu Abrivard ahead of 7.3/1 third finishing Clif du Pommereux (4m Love You-Noure du Pommereux) for trainer/driver Sylvain Roger. This one is a full-brother to the second finished in the Quinte+ event with the same owner. Congrats to Mr. Lolic! The winners’ dam reflects top flight pedigree and North American influence via Armbro Goal (Defi d’Aunou), Nevele Pride (Kimberland) and Star’s Pride (Florestan). There are seven US$100,000 plus winners in Kingly Pride’s family including herself. Trainer Philippe Allaire returned to win the Gr. II Prix Rocquepine (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 10 starters) with 4.2/1 Demonia Roma (3f Password-Rome To Paris-Love You), that he also owns. J-Ph Monclin drove the winner to a narrow score timed in 1.15.4kr. 6.1/1 Diva du Mouchel (3f The Best Madrik-Perle du Mouchel) was second for Franck Nivard, trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Laurent Edin. 5/1 Don’t Explain (3f Prodigious-Quarmen du Gite) rallied for third with Mathieu Abrivard up for, again, owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. The winner’s dam has a productive family that includes Lucky d’Hilly (US$557,572), winner of the Prix Albert Viel at age three. The Prix de Barfleur (purse €54,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 starters) went to the 1.12.1kr winner Bar d’Or (5g Orlando Vici-Star du Donjon) at 5.3/1 for trainer/driver Alexis Garandeau. 46/1 Bari (5m Ganymede-Magicienne) rallied for second to trainer/driver L.Cl. Abrivard. This day at Jagersro their V75Gold (150,000SEK to the winner) went to 4.3/1 Dreams Take Time (7m Andover Andover-B My Honey-Viking Kronos) and Peter Untersteiner. The winner increased career earnings to over 5.5SEK million. Peter Ingves teamed Edward Ale (8g Here Comes Herbie-Mustang Donna-Pine Chip) for second ahead of veteran Nahar (11g Love You-Mahonny Broline-Joie de Vie) and driver Robert Bergh. At Kincsem Park (Budapest) the featured Gala Peter DIJ (600,000Huf purse, 1960 meters) went to Orifiamma Jet (8f Supergill-Ticket To Ride-Nevele Pride) with Tibor Hajnal the trainer/driver. She is 1-1-0 in two starts this year after eight wins and placings in nine 2015 outings. Orangyal (8f Wall Street Banker-Derengo-Endless Sands) was second ahead of Landlord (11m Baltic Bet-Golden Lady-Endless Sands). The Saturday card was the third of the 2016 program and reflected continued progress of the new pari-mutuel, video and simulcast systems begun in 2015, including a Q+ type big bet named Kincsem+. Thomas H. Hicks

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When it comes to learning about harness racing, Brady Galliers looks to those with experience --- even when they are horses. Galliers, a 20-year-old driver and trainer from Ohio, fell in love with harness racing as a youngster at the county fairs. His family had no involvement in the sport at the time, but Galliers eventually convinced his parents, Mark and Jane, to buy a racehorse. In the ensuing years, Galliers got more deeply involved in harness racing as an active participant and now has a stable of 12 horses. In January, he received the Ohio chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association's Peter Haughton Memorial Award, which is given to an up-and-coming horseman in the Buckeye State. Last season, Galliers competed on Ohio's fair circuit in addition to racing at Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway, Miami Valley Raceway, and Scioto Downs. He won 24 of 393 races as a driver and notched 15 wins in 161 starts as a trainer. Among the horses in Galliers' stable is past stakes-winner and millionaire Schoolkids. Galliers purchased the now 10-year-old gelded pacer for $10,000 at last November's Blooded Horse Fall Speed Sale at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Schoolkids, who races in Saturday's $20,000 Open at Miami Valley Raceway with Galliers in the sulky, has in a way graduated to teacher. "He definitely teaches me," Galliers said. "It helps out a ton. That goes for a couple other horses I've got too. They've been doing it for longer than I have, so I kind of let them do their thing for the most part. He goes out there and does what he does best. I've only had him for a few months, but he's been great to me. He's a great horse to be around. He has his moods, but who doesn't? "It's really cool to think that I have an Open horse right now," Galliers added. "He's not the best Open horse, but he's in there and I know he'll give it a shot. He's an old class horse, that's for sure. He'll give it his all. I would love to have a barn full of horses like him. It's an honor to have a horse like him and be racing in the top classes every weekend. He really makes it a joy." Galliers has found joy in harness racing since watching it at the fairs before he was even a teenager. He was active in a number of sports --- basketball being his favorite --- but gave up all those other pursuits by his junior year in high school so he could focus on racing. "When I would go to the county fairs, I loved the horses," Galliers said. "I just thought it was so cool what they did. I just wanted to learn more and more about the sport. My parents took me to the races and I'd wander off to the barns and learn from there. I went out to a farm and jogged my first horse and I knew this is what I want to do." Galliers started driving in 2013. He bought a horse named Windy City Ron, competed with the pacer in the fair circuit's Signature Series, and advanced to the series final on Little Brown Jug Day at the Delaware County Fair. Galliers and Windy City Ron finished third. For his career, Galliers has won 38 of 538 races as a driver. So far this year, he has two wins, four seconds and two thirds in 15 starts. "My parents have helped me tremendously, with supporting me and getting me horses," Galliers said. "They're my biggest owners. I wouldn't be where I am today without them. I started with one horse and now I'm up to 12. I want to be a driver, though. That's my biggest thing. But I know that being young I have to start slowly and get my name out there. I think the best way is getting my own horses." Training also is an opportunity to get more experience with horses. "It definitely benefits me," said Galliers, who has moved from his hometown of Defiance to Dayton so he could be nearer to most of the state's racetracks. "It's not just jumping on and off the horse. I want to be mainly a driver, but I don't mind having a stable of my own. Horsemanship-wise, it's taught me everything. I've got to take care of my horses. I have to get them healthy and ready. It's a whole different game. You always have to be ready for the next week. "I've had people help me tremendously but I've never really worked for anybody so I've kind of learned on my own. I'm still young and I don't know everything, obviously, and I'm always willing to learn. Every day I learn more, from training wise and driving wise. I think I've learned a lot in the last year." As for what he most enjoys about harness racing these days, Galliers responded with one word. "Winning," he said, laughing. "Who doesn't love to win? But what I love the most after that is being out there driving. It is what I love doing. It's something I want to turn into a profession. "I know I'm young and I know I don't really have a shot yet with some of the trainers. You go up against the best drivers every night, so it's very hard. I'm just trying to get my foot in the door. I take any drives I can and hopefully one of these days I'll find a trainer who will give me a shot." by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA        
Thanks to full fields, competitive harness racing, reduced takeout rates, and a successful partnership with horse racing network TVG, the Meadowlands has posted four straight $3 million handle nights for the first time since a period between December 19, 2003 and January 3, 2004 when the historic harness track posted five straight programs that handled more than $3 million. The large wagering pools and relatively low percentage of winning favorites (34 percent) created a horseplayer's dream scenario last Friday night. A carryover in the 50-cent Pick Five of $18,643 attracted more than $140,000 in new money. With a usually tricky sequence that featured just one favorite and a 42/1 longshot, one horseplayer was rewarded with a life-changing payoff of $109,966.10. Plus, numerous other players that had four of the five winners received $255.70. "From a gambling perspective, look at what the Meadowlands is offering," explained Meadowlands CEO/GM Jason M. Settlemoir, "we have $100,000 payouts to draw the big players. Ten cent superfectas averaged $423 last weekend to draw the smaller players. When you add exciting finishes, big fields, big pools and low takeouts, everything currently adds up to $3,000,000 a night. From a gambling perspective, what is there not to like?" The partnership between the Meadowlands and TVG has also contributed significantly to the wagering success. Harness racing at the Meadowlands is featured prominently on the network. Every race is broadcast live or on slight tape delay. In addition, the network's on-air hosts interact and analyze the races with the Meadowlands' Justin Horowitz. This commitment to the Meadowlands product and exposure to thoroughbred handicappers has attracted new money to the wagering pools. "The Meadowlands represents the best that Standardbred racing has to offer in the U.S. and it shows in consumer enthusiasm for the product," said Kip Levin, CEO of TVG and Betfair US. "The attractive high definition video presentation of Meadowlands races as well as the horsemen's participation at the meet allows us to present a compelling product to evening audiences nationwide. We look forward to working with the Meadowlands on future innovations for racing." In addition to the monstrous Pick Five payoff, the track's other guaranteed wagering pools in a pair of Pick Four wagers also returned handsome amounts. Friday's Early Pick Four paid $5,647 for a 50-cent wager while Saturday's Late Pick Four returned $2,585 for 50 cents. The three guaranteed pools (Pick Five, Early and Late Pick Four) offer reduced takeout rates of 15 percent, instead of the 25 percent allowed by New Jersey regulations. The six pools handled a total of $428,615, which means the reduced takeout allowed the Meadowlands to return an extra $42,861 to the winning horseplayers last weekend alone. "We are coming off four consecutive $3 million nights and now that football season has ended, we think our current product is strong enough with 34 percent winning favorites and 23 ten-horse fields this weekend to draw not only sports fans, but crossover thoroughbred fans to play The Meadowlands," said Settlemoir. Live racing takes place Friday and Saturday nights at the Meadowlands with 14-race programs beginning at 6:35 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz
Drift Away moved powerfully first over and went on to a comfortable harness racing victory in Tuesday's opening leg of the Winter Claiming Series for $20,000 claiming trotters at The Meadows. Pittstop Kip shot the Lightning Lane to take the other $15,000 opening-leg split. Drift Away had been hampered by post 8 or 9 for five consecutive starts, when he felt compelled to try for the early lead. On Tuesday, the 9-year-old Trojan Touch-Frances Maxine gelding settled in sixth before getting underway for Tony Hall. He scored in 1:57.3 over a sloppy surface, 1-1/4 lengths better than the rallying Queens Lonely Earl, with Pembroke Castaway third. Andy Rickert trains Drift Away, who extended his career bankroll to $316,623, for Mark Jakubik and Tessa Roland. Tuesday's card also featured three opening-leg divisions of the Winter Claiming Series for $10,000 claiming trotters, with Mateo M, Crazy Eyes and Skyway Cruiser each capturing $8,000 splits. Elsewhere on the program, Bessie was ahead at every pole for the second consecutive start as she prevailed handily in 1:55.2 in the $22,500 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/ Preferred Handicap Trot. The pocket-sitting Cowgirl Hall was second, 1-3/4 lengths back, while Scented Roses closed well for show. Jim Pantaleano piloted the 5-year-old daughter of Equinox Bi-Cantabs Chorine, who vaulted over $200,000 in lifetime earnings, for trainer Rick Clapper and owners Paula Clapper, Umholtz Racing Stable and Kennedy Sports Corp. Pantaleano collected five wins and Hall three on the 15-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino
Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment will provide horseplayers with one of their first opportunities to qualify for the 2017 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) with a qualifying event on Saturday, February 20. The Meadowlands qualifier will offer three guaranteed seats to the NHC, which recently provided Upstate New York handicapper Paul Matties an $800,000 first place prize for winning this year's event last month in Las Vegas. The Meadowlands qualifier requires a $400 buy-in, with $200 going towards each player's bankroll and $200 going towards the event's prize pool. Players can purchase multiple entries. Contestants must bet a minimum of ten races from Gulfstream, Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, and/or Oaklawn with a $20 minimum per wager. Win, place, show or combination of the three is allowed. The top three finishers will earn seats to the 2017 NHC Final in Las Vegas. They must be NHC Tour members to qualify for the NHC Final. For complete tournament information and details, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz
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