Day At The Track
Rajesh Face

The field for the 2018 Elitloppet

Here are the horses presented in the harness racing Elitloppet 2018.  There have been nine two time winners of the Elite Race - Timoko (2014, 2017), Varenne (2001, 2002). Copiad (1994, 1995), Mack Lobell (1988, 1990), Ideal du Gazeau (1980, 1982). Timothy T. (1974, 1975), Eileen Eden (1968, 1970), Roquepine (1966, 1967) and Gelinotte (1956, 1957)…. Rajesh Face He has as much capacity as possible, but has had a bad luck when it really matters. In Elitloppet there will be a change. Rajesh Face won a try for the Sprinter Master, but was picked up in the final. In Swedish Travderby he also won his attempt, but galloped in the finals and got to settle for a fifth place. In total he has won 11 wins on 29 starts, but also galloped at nine occasions. He often has to wear the favorite team in the race and on all six occasions he has been played for twice he has won. "Rajesh Face has always been an exceptional horse and the last after the race was how fast he could run over short distances. Now he can show it, says Anders Malmrot. Facts - Rajesh Face Age: 5 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 29 (11-2-2)  Earned: 1 519 960 SEK  Record: 1.10.5 car start (1 609m)  Owner: Tn Projekt AB & Falkbolagen AB  Trainer: Lutfi Kolgjini  Attendant: Joyce Duivenvoorden  Nationality: Swedish Cokstile   Cokstile took four wins as a three year old and won, among other things, the DNT's Final Final. The biggest win came four years when he won in Norsk Travderby. That same year he won his attempt at the Champion Jarlsberg Grand Prix and then finished second in the final. This year he has only started once but then took a safe win over sprinter distances before, among other things, Donatomite. Cokstile is trained by Jan Kristian Waaler and will be run by Lars Anvar Kolle. It will be an elite race premier for both of them, but not for the owner. "The owner Jan-Erik Andresen also had Yarrah Boko and will now experience the mood and excitement of Elitloppet again," says Anders Malmrot. Facts - Cokstile Age: 5 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 20 (8-4-4)  Earned: 1,833,545 NOK  Record: 1.10.0 car start (1 609m)  Owner: Jan-Erik Andresen  Coach: Jan Kristian Waaler  Coach : Ragnhild Diesen  Nationality: Norwegian Up and Quick     Up and Quicks credentials are exceptional. He was the second behind Maharajah in the Prix d'Amerique 2014 and won the same race in 2015. He also won these two years in Prix de Paris and the year before he won the French five-year criterion. In the last two years he has won in the French sprint race Criterium de Vitesse de Basse Normandie. "His results speak for himself and after some new start-ups he is back at elite level," says Anders Malmrot. Facts -  Up and Quick Age: 10 years  Sex: male  Starter / Results: 66 (16-13-4)  Earned: 2,092,040 EUR  Record: 1.09,4 autostart (1 609m)  Owner: Ecurie Quick Star  Coach: Antoine Lherete  attendants : Angélique Beaufils  Nationality: French   Lionel NO     Norwegian Lionel, registered in Sweden as Lionel NO, started his career at Göran Antonsen in Norway where he won twice as a three year old. The first major victory came as four-year-old in HKH Crown Prince Haakon's Poker Race, but it was the year after that Lionel got his big break when he won at nine occasions after moving down to France. The career's biggest victory so far came in 2016, in the Grand Prix de Paris at Vincennes in Paris, when Lionel got a heavy race outside the leader but still managed to defeat the race's favorite Bold Eagle. In the beginning, he then won in the Prix de l'Atlantique. After a coach change to Daniel Redén he became 2017 in the Grand Prix d'Amerique, winner of the Olympiatrave and second in the Oslo Grand Prix in 2017. "The strength has been Lionel's signum, but over the years, speed has also come. He is totally out of position for positions and I am really pleased to have a Norwegian horse and kusk to Elitloppet, says Anders Malmrot. Facts - Lionel NO Age: 8 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 62 (21-10-6)  Earned: 12,952 093 SEK  Record: 1.10,6 car start (2140m)  Owner: Göran Antonsen  Coach: Daniel Redén  Coach: Pär Pergenius  Nationality: Norwegian Amiral Sacha     Amiral Sacha has continually met the European elite and his biggest victory came in the Grand Prix de Wallonie at Mons in Belgium in 2016. The second biggest is the victory in Prix des Ducs de Normandie, the same race he was today. He has also been two in Europe, Prix de Selection and Criterium Continental. "He was invited to Elitloppet last year, but chose to decline. This year, however, they are ready to travel to Solvalla and it is very pleasing, says Anders Malmrot. Star Chess Gabriele Gelormini has won with Amiral Sacha on 13 occasions, and he is also ready to play in Elitloppet. Facts - Amiral Sacha Age: 8 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 46 (15-12-4)  Earned: 1 075 130 EUR  Record: 1.10.4 car start (2 300m)  Owner: Ecurie Sidere  Coach: Florent Lamare  Coach: Marie Lamare  Nationality: French Orlando Jet     Austrian, but German-trained, Orlando Jet is the hottest horse in Germany right now. As a young horse he has won in Breeders' Crown for both 3- and 4-year-olds and last year he won an impressive win at Vincennes. He has a total of eleven victories at 14 starts and has only made a start this year, which ended in victory before the German star Cash Hanover. "I see great potential in Orlando Jet and now he is facing a real fire bump. He has not started shortly before but is quick from start and I think it fits him well, says Anders Malmrot. The coach Rudi Haller has won no less than six Austrian Derbyn and won a total of about 2 900 times. He was champion nine times on the now downhill track in Pfaffenhofen a few miles north of Munich, and for the last two years he has been titled München Daglfing. This will be Rudi Haller's first Elitlopp.  Facts - Orlando Jet Age: 5 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 14 (11-2-0)  Earned: 183 549 EUR  Record: 1.11.6 autostart (1900m)  Owner: Stall Team Neuhof  Coach: Rudi Haller  Coach: Sarah Wiehe  Nationality: Austrian   Takethem     Takethem started the career in the best way as a three year old with five wins and a win in Danish Trav Criterion as the crown of the work. As an elder he has triumphed victories, but also been persecuted by injuries. Now he is fresh and fresh and was last two in the Copenhagen Cup at Charlottenlund. "Takethem has repeatedly demonstrated what talent he is and I think it will be great fun to recieve Steen Juul and his nice horse to Elitloppet," says Anders Malmrot. Last year Takethem finished fifth at 1.09.2 in the attempt by Bold Eagle and missed just one final spot. Facts - Takethem Age: 8 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 49 (19-17-2)  Earned: 2 677 219 DKK  Record: 1.09.2 car start (1609m)  Owner: Takethem I / S  Coach: Steen Juul  Coach: Camilla Juul  Nationality: Danish   Dreammoko     Dreammoko is invited to Elitloppet. Coach Richard Westerink did not hesitate a second before he thanked. "It was nice to hear he was so happy. Richard loves Elitloppet and he has had fantastic success with Timoko, "says Solvallas sports director Anders Malmrot. Five-year-old Dreammoko competed in Elitloppshelgen last year when he finished three in Tommy Hanné's race - the four-year elite. This year he has begun to take up the fight against the elite elite and finished second in a very positive way in both the tries and the final of the Gran Premio della Lotteria in Naples on May 1st. "He showed both starting speed and fierce solitude in Lotterian and it will be fun to see him in the Elit race," says Anders Malmrot. Facts - Dreammoko Age: 5 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 36 (5-6-5)  Earned: 451 345 EUR  Record: 1.10.1 autostart (1640m)  Owner: Jan Stins  Coach: Richard Westerink  Coach: Erwin Ganzinotti  Nationality: Dutch   Volstead     After the sweaty victory at Örebrotravet last Saturday, when he did not get anything for free but still surely won in the Gold Division, Volstead has been invited to Elitloppet. Volstead is a coalmate with old stallmate Nuncio and was imported to Sweden from the United States as a year. He had an impressive four-year season where he won in King Gustaf V's Cup and was second to Nuncio in the Sprint Champion. The following year he took the road to Elitloppet through a powerful death seeker in Prince Daniel's race at the Gävletravet. Ifjol, there was no Elitlopp, but the Sweden Cup where he won the new running record 1.09.3. "Volstead seems quite old for positions and can withstand high pace throughout the race. Actually, he has all the characteristics you can expect from an Elitlopp horse, "says Anders Malmrot. Facts - Volstead Age: 7 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 62 (21-9-1)  Earned: 5,263,824 SEK  Record: 1.09.3 car start (1640m)  Owner: Stall TZ  Coach: Stefan Melander  Coach: Jenny Gustavsson  Nationality : Swedish   Nadal Broline     Nadal Broline played his speed over the rise in Algot Scott's memory and thus secured a seat in the Elitloppet. Eight years old, Nadal Broline has only started 40 times but won every other race. Over the past few years he has been a sequel to the Gold Division and, among other things, won a round of races for the Olympiatravet. "This was his annual debut and he will go further after this race. I really admire his attitude to winning and now it's time for him to take care of the really big runners, "says Anders Malmrot. Algot Scott's memory is one of three races qualifying for the Elit Race. The other two are Finlandia-Ajo at Vermo in Helsinki on May 5 and Prince Daniel's race at the Gävle Race on May 19th. Facts - Nadal Broline Age: 8 years  Gender: Valack  Starter / Results: 40 (20-9-4)  Earned: 3,896,415 SEK  Record: 1.09.8 car start (1640m)  Owner: Onkel Invest Oy  Coach: Reijo Liljendahl  Coach: Pernilla Sundling  Nationality: Finnish Pastore Bob     The Finnish runway Finlandia-Ajo became Pastore Bob's race from start to finish. Flashy to start, he directed the whole field and when a loudly spun Heavy Sound galloped on the run there was never any doubt about who would win the race. Thus, Pastore Bob is directly qualified for the Elitloppet. The victory in Finlandia-Ajo, worth 110,000 Euro, is marginally the biggest in five-year-old Pastore Bob's career. The biggest victory check he had previously earned was SEK 250,000 in Prince Carl Philips Jubilee Spokal at Färjestadtravet earlier this spring. Pastore Bob was sold this autumn to KM Hästfarm in Holm AB & Rolkur Invest AB and swapped in conjunction with the coach. At Johan Untersteiner, the horse has found a new gear and started with three straight wins for his new coach. Now he was a winner in Finland's biggest trawl race and also received an invitation to Elitloppet last Sunday in May. "He is a" runner-up "and it's impossible to know how good this horse can be, says Anders Malmrot. Finlandia-Ajo is one of three race qualifying for Elitloppet. The other two are Algot Scott's memory of Åbytravet on May 12 and Prince Daniel's race at the Gävle Race on May 19th. Facts - Pastore Bob Age: 5 years  Gender: Valack  Starter / Result: 34 (5-5-4)  Earned: 2 352 442 SEK  Record: 1.10.7 car start (1640m)  Owner: KM Hästfarm i Holm AB & Rolkur Invest AB  Coach: Johan Untersteiner  Coach: Andreas Johansson  Nationality: Swedish Ringo Starr Treb     Eighty-year-old Ringostarr Treb is a frequent participant in the European big league and has competed in Finland, France, Holland, Italy, Norway and Sweden. The biggest prize draw is the $ 1,500,000 he earned through today's win in Olympiatravet, but he has also won in the Sundsvall Open Trot milestone. The enormously fast record time 1.08,2a comes from the second place behind Propulsion in Hugo Åbergs Memorial when it went new Europe record at 1.08.1. "Ringostarr Treb, was really good at Olympiatravet today but he fits even better over sprinter distances and will be really interesting in the Elitloppet," says Anders Malmrot. Two heat on Solvalla becomes no news for Ringostarr Treb. In the last three years he has participated in the Sweden Cup during Elitloppshelgen and qualified for the final at all times. Best went in 2015 when he won in both the try and the final. Facts - Ringo Starr Treb Age: 8 years  Sex: male  Starter / Results: 83 (28-11-17)  Earned: 9,693,301 SEK  Record: 1.08,2 autostart (1609m)  Owner: EVAMRacing Trotter SRLS  Coach: Jerry Riordan  attendants : Heli Tariimaa  Nationality: Italian   Maori Time     It was February 24th that the eyes were directed "Down Under" after Maori Time not only lowered the Australian record but also became the fastest in the world this year after winning the Group 1 race Access Group Solutions Trotters Mile. 1.09.3 solved the victory time as seemingly very convenient in the lead from start to finish. "We have had a dialogue with the circuit around Maori Time for a long time, and it feels great that the pieces have fallen in place so we can see her in this year's Elitlopp," says Anders Malmrot. Maori Time, who was named the Australian Aged Trotting Mare of the Year in 2016, has won more than every third race in the last three years and has been signing in the Aldebaran Park Bill Collins Sprint victory in 2015 (201, 2016, 2017).  Maori Time commences his journey from Australia on May 9 with flights to Amsterdam. After that she travels the country road up to Stockholm. Facts - Maori Time  Age: 8 years  Gender: Star  Beginner / Score: 66 (24-12-7)  Earned: 421 301 AUD (approx. 2 750 000 SEK)  Record: 1.09.3 car start (1609m)  Owner: Fredrick Crews  Coach: Brent Lilley  Coach: Justin Abbott  Nationality: Australian     Propulsion     He is not only fastest in Europe, but also World's second fastest trotting horse. Among Propulsion's biggest victories is Hugo Åberg's Memorial 2016 and 2017 where he won the European Championships 1.08.1, Norrbotten's Great Prize 2016 and 2017, Finlandia Ajo 2017 and Prix de Bourgogne 2017. He was also second in the Elitlopp 2017 and barely hit three in the French Grand Prix Grand Prix d'Amerique and Grand Prix de France earlier this year. In the last few weeks, the horse has had a few weeks of rest, but now the match starts against Elitloppet. "I want to give Daniel Redén time to prepare the horse so he is in top shape last Sunday in May. Propulsion is an exception horse and it is obvious to invite him to Elitloppet, says Anders Malmrot. This is the third consecutive year that Propulsion is invited to Elitloppet. In 2016 he became three in the trial and four in the final and he finished second in both the attempt and the final. Facts - Propulsion Age: 7 years  Gender: Stallion  Start / Result: 53 (24-9-7)  Earned: 13,720 317 SEK  Records: 1.08.1 Autostart (1609m)  Owner: Stall Zet  Coach: Daniel Redén  Coach: Ellinor Wennebring  Nationality : Swedish   Bold Eagle   Last year, Bold Eagle made Elitloppsdebut and raised a lot of resurrection when he attempted to win by the hardest external leader at the fastest Elit Run time ever - 1.08.4. In the final, however, he was defeated by French Timoko. "I'm very pleased that the whole circuit around Bold Eagle wants to come back to Elitloppet this year again. He was the big exclamation mark last year and has all the conditions for being there again. An Elitloppseger is really the only thing missing in the horse's outstanding career, says Anders Malmrot. Bold Eagle was earlier in the year two in the Grand Prix d'Amerique after a riotous riot against Elitlopp invited Readly Express and then barely hit second in the Grand Prix de France. In 2017 he became the first horse of 41 years to win the French Triple Couronne (Grand Prix de France, Grand Prix de France and the Grand Prix de Paris). Among Bold Eagles biggest victories are the Grand Prix d'Amerique 2016 and 2017, the Grand Prix de France 2016-2018, the Grand Prix de Paris 2017, the Grand Prix de l'UET 2015, the Critérium de 3 ans 2014, the Prix de Selection 2015, the Critérium Continental 2015 and Critérium de 3 Ans 2016. Facts - Bold Eagle Age: 7 years  Gender: Stallion  Starter / Result: 50 (38-8-0)  Earned: 4 041 620 EUR  Record: 1.08.4 Autostart (1609m)  Owner: Ecurie P.Pilarski  Coach: Sébastien Guarato  Attendant : Hugues Monthulé  Nationality: French   Uza Josselyn     With 84 days left to Elitloppet, Solvalla's sports manager made clear with the second horse of the field. It is the Danish-born, but Swiss-trained, Uza Josselyn who caught Anders Malmott's interest. Today she barely won at Vincennes in Paris, France. In sulky, 25-year-old Francis Alexandre Abrivard, who took his 837th victory, sat. Alexandre Abrivard will also drive her in Elitloppet. - Uza Josselyn is a fantastic man who has all the qualities I want from an elite race horse. She is fast-paced and has shown that she works well even on smaller courses and I think she will be a colorful squad in the Elitlopp in 2018, "says Solvallas sports director Anders Malmrot Uza Josselyn's biggest victory came on November 1, when she won the Gran Premio delle Nazioni at San Siro in Milan, Italy. A victory worth 128 800 Euro. Facts Uza Josselyn Age: 7 years  Gender: Star  Start / Result: 32 (19-3-2)  Earned: 6,756 168 SEK  Record: 1.10,6 car start (2100m)  Owner: Ecurie Rythm & Blues  Coach: René Aebischer  Coach: Barbara Aebischer  Nationality: Swiss   Reprinted with permission of The Elitloppet.se  

Smalltownthrowdown, harness racing

Smalltownthrowdown 'a two-move titan'

YONKERS, NY, Sunday, May 20, 2018 - Smalltownthrowdown (Brian Sears, $8.50) was a two-move harness racing titan Sunday afternoon (May 20th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $54,800 Open Handicap Trot The field of eight (seven with nose-to-gate, one in back of bus) went as the opener and the first of four 'French' trots. Smalltownthrowdown, three-wide from post position No. 6-in one notch after the programmed pylon number was removed-found an early four-hole. He watched Buen Camino (Jim Marohn Jr.) and longshot Bluebird Jesse (catch-driver Brent Holland) duel early, with the latter-out two turns-making the lead between a :28.1 opening quarter-mile and :57.2 half. Smalltownthrowdown was then ready for his cue, extricating himself from the cones and busting the race wide open. The lead was 3½ lengths at the 1:27 three-quarters. After a 1:55.2 milepost, Smalltownthrowdown finished the mile-and-a-quarter in 2:25.4. Buen Camino found room late to grab a best-of-the-rest second, beaten 3¾ lengths. Bluebird Jesse easily held third, with Kinetic King (Jordan Stratton) and Gural Hanover (George Brennan) relegated to the minors. Seasoned Saint (Jason Bartlett) was a never-in-it sixth as the 19-10 favorite. For third choice Smalltownthrowdown, a 5-year-old statebred Cash Hall gelding co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bruce Soulsby, Yves Sarazin and VIP Internet Stable, it was his second win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $26.80, the triple returned $124 and the superfecta paid $439.50. Sunday's return of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a winning combination of 9-Forest Blue (Belmont's 3rd race) and 1-Noble Warrawee (Yonkers' 7th race) paid $50.75 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $6,254. The next Sunday matinee is June 17th (post time TBA). Frank Drucker

Samis Rolin Stone, harness racing

New Jersey Sires Stakes kicks off

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — May 20, 2018 — The Meadowlands held the $15,000 first leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for harness racing sophomore pacers and trotters on Friday (May 18).  The colts raced in non-bettting races, while the fillies were during the regular scheduled card. The 3-year-old pacing colts was won by Melanie’s Fran (David Miller) trained by Kevin McDermott in 1:57.3.  The son of Hypnotic Blue Chip owned by 80 Slot Right Stable of New Jersey, easily beat the competition, Hypnotico. Shoshie Deo (George Brennan) took the first leg of 3-year-old colt trotters in 1:56.2.  Trained by Deshawn Minor and owned by Annemette Minor, Shoshie Deo moved to the front at the quarter after U Need Stones made a break, making it an easy win for him.  U Need Stones (Yannick Gingras) came back to finish second while Brutal Storm (Eric Abbatiello) came in third. The Linda Toscano trainee Hypnotic Tale (David Miller) won the 3-year-old filly pacing division in 1:53.1.  Owned by Ronald Mario, the Hypnotic Blue Chip sired filly sat patiently in the pocket then wore down the competition at the wire.  Hurrikane Empress (Yannick Gingras) held on for second while Cruzinforavictory (Frank Milby) finished third. The 3-year-old filly trotting division was won by Samis Rolin Stone (Brett Miller) also trained by Deshwan Minor in 1:56.4.  The Wishing Stone filly owned by Daniel Lengacher took the lead at the half and never looked back.  Diamondstone Us (David Miller) finished second and Take A Wish (Steve Smith) came in third. The second leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for 3-year-olds is scheduled for Friday, May 25, 2018, at the Meadowlands. Courtney Stafford

Imre Fazekas, harness racing

Longines remains undefeated

May 19, 2018 - Longines (4f Conway Hall-Kentucky Love Song-Valley Victor) won her seventh straight on Saturday afternoon over Kincsem Park’s rain soaked surface in the Z Sigmond DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart). The undefeated mare is owned by Pimri i., trained by Imre Fazekas and driven this day by Andrea Fazekas. This pair left from post five, went to the front and continuously widened the margin that was about 60 meters at the line. The 1.7/1 favorite, bred in Germany, was timed in a sharp 1.16.6kr. The Kali DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 1800 meters repulostart – no gate due to weather) went to 7.7/1 Kings Call (5g SJs Photo-Marina Eme-Adams Hall) clocked in 1.19.4kr and driven by Emese Vezer for trainer Emil Csordas. The winning team posted a second win in 2018 in 10 starts with six other placings. Veronica Fling, Trencsen and Villam Ville were next to the line in this good field. The featured Williams DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters  repulostart – no gate due to weather) went to 1.6/1 Speedy Boy (7g Wall Street Banker-Vas Lady-Endless Sands) with Veljko Mazsity up, timed in 1.19.1kr. This one has two wins in three 2018 outings. 5/1 Time To Say Goodbye (6m Maximus Lindy-Jungfrau-Valley Guardian) was second in his first start of the year, with Lajos Marton aboard. Landlord was third Thomas H. Hicks

WILKES-BARRE PA - Wes Delight, who left the gate so quickly he lost his head number a couple of steps in, showed that having a few races under your girth can be an advantage even against the likes of harness racing divisional champion Lost In Time, Stay Hungry, Nutcracker Sweet, and Hayden Hanover, as those top colts making their seasonal bow could not defeat the winner of three of his four seasonal starts, with Wes Delight winning the "feature" division of the $166,015 second preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Corey Callahan had the victorious son of Bettor's Delight away with great jet, getting the lead early, then yielding to the 3-2 favorite Stay Hungry before the 26.4 quarter, with Hayden Hanover, 8-5 Lost In Time, and Nutcracker Spot filling the next three spots. As Stay Hungry got to the half in a moderate 55.4, Lost In Time came first-over, with Nutcracker Suite on his back - and the real race was on. As they passed the 1:23.2 3/4s, Lost In Time fell back a little, and Stay Hungry maintained the advantage, with Wes Delight lurking in the pocket then pulling out for the drive. Halfway through the lane Stay Hungry looked to have a good chance, but he got a bit weary late, and Wes Delight took his measure, then held off the game and resurgent Lost In Time by a nose in 1:50.4 to take a new mark. Stay Hungry was beaten only a neck, with Nutcracker Suite and Hayden Hanover getting the last two checks. This was the biggest win of the young career of Wes Delight, who lowered his mark while boosting his bankroll to $192,573. Mark Harder trains the developing sophomore, and he shares ownership with Rick Phillips and Rachel Frost. The $300,000 yearling I'm A Big Deal, by Somebeachsomewhere out of the world champion Big Mcdeal, got the evening off to a flying start in his Sires section, going to the lead, yielding briefly, then retaking while posting fractions of 26.2, 54.4, and 1:21.3. By the last-named number, he had opened up by a decisive lead, and he finished out his mile in 1:50.2, 6½ lengths ahead, to take a new mark. George Napolitano Jr. had the sulky duty for trainer Chris Ryder, who is also co-owner with Craig Henderson and Robert Mondillo, behind a colt who certainly paced back to his pedigree Saturday. In the other division, the crowd thought the Ryder barn would add a second Sires victory with This Is The Plan, a winner in the first PASS prelim, but it was the other first-round winner, Dorsoduro Hanover, who came on again in the stretch to post a neck victory in a lifetime best 1:50.1, also the fastest clocking of the three divsiions. Matt Kakaley, in his first night back in action after a mid-March racing accident, sent the Ron Burke trainee to the lead before the 27 quarter, then sat behind This Is The Plan through midfractions of 55.3 and 1:22.4. The pacesetter dug in through the lane, but the pocketsitter proved stronger in the Pocono Pike, remaining undefeated in two 2018 starts and raising his bankroll to $145,168 for Burke Racing Stable LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; Weaver Bruscemi LLC; and Wingfield Five LLC. There were also two $30,000 divisions of the Great Northeast Open Series for open pacers. In one, Mach It So equaled the fastest clocking on a 5/8-mile track this year (Major Uptrend at Dover and Nuclear Breeze at Miami Valley) with a 1:49 victory for driver George Napolitano Jr., trainer Jeff Bamond Jr., and Bamond Racing LLC. Mach It So left side-by-side with Dr J Hanover, let that one take the top before the hot 26 quarter, then removed to the lead, hit the half in 54.1, then opened up a sizable lead with a 26.4 quarter to trip the third timer in 1:21. The Mach Three gelding still had a big lead as far as midstretch, but both his early exertions and rapid closer Bettor's Edge were catching up to him; however, you don't earn $2,578,675 in your career by succumbing easily, and Mach It So held on by a half-length. In the other Great Northeast cut, Rockin Ron became a two-time Great Northeast winner, holding off the determined Rockeyed Optimist by a nose in 1:50.2. Matt Kakaley put the Real Desire gelding on top and set fractions of 26.3, 55.1, and 1:22.4; in early stretch the pair had opened up two lengths, but Rockeyed Optimist, first-over, came back on with great gameness only to just get photoed out. Maxdaddy Blue Chip came from way out of it to miss it all by a neck behind the $1,151,107 winner, trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, RTC Stables Inc., and J&T Silva Stables LLC. Finally, Walks Of Life, the winningest horse in North America this year with 12, could not add a 13th triumph to his 2018 record, but he certainly tried very hard in the $20,000/$25,000 claiming handicap, passing the poles in 26.1, 54.2, and 1:22.2, with Legion Of Boom pressing him early and Corner Con Artist having the lead most of the backstretch first-over. Walks Of Life shook off the first-over, but could not keep pocket rocket Legion Of Boom at bay, dropping a ½ length decision to that one, driven by Anthony Napolitano for trainer Joe Pavia Jr. and the partnership of John Whitig, Michael Rich, Lawrence Chimerine, and Jeffrey Hess. One trend did continue - Walks of Life was claimed, for the ninth straight start, and Legion Of Boom will be changing barns as well. PHHA / Pocono

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Ariana G made her return to harness racing a winning one, scoring in the first of two divisions of the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters Saturday night at the Meadowlands. The 2017 Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown champion was ready to go in her first start as a 4-year-old off a pair of solid qualifiers, marching up to the top just after the quarter, which went in :27.3. Bill's Man, the 9-2 second choice in the wagering, came after the leader as he made progress up the backstretch and got into striking position at three-quarters, but Ariana G had been able to rate the middle half in :57.2, leaving her plenty for the stretch drive. After trotting her final quarter in :27.1, she hit the wire three-quarters-of-a-length in front of Dunbar Hall, who had explosive late trot after going a third-over trip. Yes Mickey, one of only three horses to defeat Ariana G a year ago, finished third. "(Driver) Yannick (Gingras) said she was loaded," said winning trainer Jimmy Takter. "But I'm always nervous when my horses make their first start of the year." He needn't have been. As the 2-5 favorite, Ariana G returned $2.80 to her backers for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. She trotted the mile in 1:52.1 and now has 22 wins from 27 lifetime starts and earnings of $1.89 million. The second Graduate division saw a thrilling stretch duel go to Achille Duharas, who nailed International Moni by a nose on the wire in 1:52.2. Making his first start of the year, International Moni was sharp, working out an inside trip and looking like a winner in deep stretch, but the Toronto invader Achille Duharas ($8.20 to win), with Jody Jamieson driving, got up as they hit the finish. Lord Cromwell was third. A LITTLE MORE: The total wager of $2,172,322 represented a 25 percent decrease from the corresponding card from a year ago. A total of only 83 horses participated on Saturday's program, an average of 8.3 per race for the 10 races. Last year, 112 horses were spread over 12 races, an average of 9.3 per race. ... One lucky simulcast player in Toms River, N.J. raked the pot in the 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10. After surviving nine legs, he or she walked away with $15,257. ... Harness racing's biggest pot of gold got a little bit bigger. The Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five failed to result in a single-ticket winner, bloating the carryover to $233,359. ... Racing resumes at the Meadowlands Friday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 19, 2018 - Yonkers Raceway's foggy Saturday night (May 19th) featured harness racing eliminations for both the Art Rooney and Lismore Paces. With 10 3-year-old boys entering the Rooney and nine sophomore girls in the Lismore, it was three games of 'musical chairs' to determine next week's finalists. Odds-on favorite Decoy (Dave Miller, $2.20) made short work of his four foes in the first, $40,000 eliminations for the Rooney. Unhurried from post position No. 3, he rolled to the past the half, then rolled away. The final margin over a 'good' surface was 8½ lengths in 1:54. Minnie Vinnie (Brett Miller) closed for second as the 32-1 rank outsider, with Major Authority (Brian Sears) third and early leader Jimtastic (Jason Bartlett) fourth. Matinee Fashion (George Brennan) eliminated himself with a break down the backside the second time. For Decoy, a son of Somebeachsomewhere co-owned Brixton Medical Group, R A W Equine & Joe Sbrocco and trained by Jimmy Takter, it was his second win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $36.60, with no triple wagering offered due to the short field. "I was pretty happy with him," Miller said. "He went a good middle half. Now, we hope to draw good for next week. Miller has won three finals of the Rooney Pace, including last season with Downbytheseaside. Saturday other 40-large elim for the Rooney saw Trump Nation (Bartlett, $9) hold off both 4-5 choice Springsteen (Sears) and Babes Dig Me (Brett Miller) by a head and a neck, respectively. Pole-sitting Trump Nation took over from early leader-and subsequent breaker-Handsoffmychips (Brennan), then finish it off in 1:53.3, his fastest purse mile of the season. Kwik Talkin' (Jordan Stratton) wound up fourth. For third choice Trump Nation, a statebred son of Betterthancheddar co-owned by (trainer) Andrew Harris and Evan Katz, he's now 2-for-4 this season. The exacta paid $17.80, with again no triple wagering offered. "I wanted to control the race," Bartlett said. "When I saw the cheap (:57.2) half, I thought I was in good shape, but halfway down the lane, when (Springsteen) came at me, I thought I was beaten. He dug in." The evening's lone $20,000 elimination for the Lismore was won by Jewels Forreal (Dan Dube, $5.20, part of entry) in a life-best 1:55.1. Pocketed from post No. 4, Jews Forreal was able to get out when entrymate Python Blue Chip (Brennan) made a bad, first-over break in the final turn. Pass Line Bluechip (Bartlett) cut the mile but could not last, beaten a head. Checkered Past (Mark MacDonald) was third, with Solitary (Brent Holland), Alexa's Power (Stratton), Believe in Me (Sears), Reign on Me (Brett Miller) and a recovering Python Blue Chip also qualifying for the final. Krushed Apple (Dave Miller) was outrun. For second choice (part of three-headed entry) Jewels Forreal, a daughter of So Surreal co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her first win in seven '18 tries. The exacta paid $12.20, the triple returned $55.50 and the superfecta paid $267. The finals of both events, worth $300,000 (Rooney) and $111,444 (Lismore), go next Saturday night (May 26th). Open draws take place Monday afternoon (May 21st). Saturday night's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace saw favored Evenin' of Pleasure (Sears, $5.20) repeat in 1:52.3 . The 8-year-old son of Dragon Again, owned by Gestion J Y Blais and trained by Jennifer Bongiorno, is approaching $900,000 in career coin after a 30th lifetime win. Sunday matinees return tomorrow (May 20th), with a first post of 12:35 PM. Frank Drucker

MILTON, May 19, 2018 - The first stakes event of the 2018 harness racing season at Woodbine Mohawk Park highlighted Saturday's Fireworks and Family Fun Night card. The $113,792 SBOA Trot and $115,792 SBOA Pace featured some of the top Ontario sired three-year-old fillies in the game. O'Brien Award winner Percy Blue Chip didn't let a little stinging in the early-going get in the way of adding another trophy to her collection. The Dr. Ian Moore trained pacing filly made a statement with a 1:51.4 victory in her season debut. Driver Sylvain Filion was sitting behind Percy Blue Chip for the first-time ever in Saturday's SBOA Stakes and he fired her out from post-six towards the lead. Quite A Sight and driver Trevor Henry also blasted from the rail and didn't let 'Percy' clear without a fight. Parked by the opening-quarter in :26.2, Percy Blue Chip finally cleared at three-eighths and kept on motoring up to the half in :54.1. A :29.3 breather on the final-turn sealed the deal, as Percy Blue Chip pulled away from rivals in the lane with a :28 kicker to win by 3¼ lengths. Sudden Passing finished second, while Quite A Sight and Play The Bell finished third and fourth, respectively. "I can tell you right now I like her very much," said Filion post-race. "It was her first start of the year and we got stung a bit to the quarter, but when she cleared she felt very good and when I asked her around the last turn she just took off." A daughter of Shadow Play, Percy Blue Chip won five of nine starts last season, including the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final, and banked $440,795 for owners Shadow Two Stable, James & Wilma MacKenzie and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. Saturday's season-debut victory pushes Percy Blue Chip over $500,000 in career earnings. She paid $3 to win. Percy Blue Chip The landscape of the SBOA Trot changed drastically prior to the evening's first-race, as Ontario Sires Stakes champion Kadabra Queen was scratched due to sickness. Per Henriksen trainee Illusioneesta took full advantage of the absence, defeating five rivals in 1:58.1. Chris Christoforou steered the daughter of Kadabra to victory, making a second-quarter leap from second to first and never looking back. Illusioneesta trotted home in :28.2 to win by two-lengths over Miss Mimi, Apprentice M and Magics Lucky Charm. Owned by Harbor Racing Stable LLC and Asa Farm, Illusioneesta was winless in 10 starts last season, but did compete in major stakes and banked over $100,000. The Kadabra filly has discovered the taste of victory this season with now two wins in four starts. Illusioneesta's career earnings climb to $178,568 following Saturday's victory. She paid $3.70 to win. Illusioneesta Saturday's card also saw a lengthy win streak snapped in the $34,000 Preferred Pace. Casie Coleman trainee McWicked was large in his season debut, coming first up to win in 1:50.1. Bob McClure was in the bike behind the Casie Coleman trainee. Easy Lover Hanover, who had won nine in a row, got away second and made a quick second-quarter move to the lead. McWicked charged up to confront 'Easy Lover' at three-quarters and eventually muscled by in the stretch for the victory. Isitfridayyet got up for second, while Nirvana Seelster just edged out Easy Lover Hanover for third. Owned by S S G Stables, McWicked came into his season debut off a pair of qualifiers, including a 1:50.3 mile last Friday. The Coleman trainee went 7 for 27 last season and banked nearly $600,000. Saturday's victory was the 23rd overall for the winner of $2.4 million. McWicked paid $6.70 to win. McWicked Live racing resumes Monday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Lori Hennessey gets goosebumps when she thinks of the harness racing  Gold Cup & Saucer. “There’s nothing more exciting,” the Charlottetown native said. “Even if it is pouring rain, when they shut those lights off and they parade the horse on the spotlight, there’s nothing like it.” The Gold Cup & Saucer is the most prestigious harness race in North America, but for many people it’s so much more than a race. It’s the premier event for the biggest week of the summer in Prince Edward Island – Old Home Week – a time for people living off-Island traditionally to come home and spend time with family and for tourists to visit the province. “It’s pretty special,” Hennessey said. “Everybody comes home for Old Home Week.” The week has always been a busy one for her family, which has a rich harness racing history. Lori’s birthday is Aug. 17, her sister, Linda (Bubby), was born on Aug. 18 and their brother, Jody, and their father, Joe, were born on Aug. 19. “It would always land on Old Home Week, those three days,” Lori said. Lori and her sister, Francie, both work at The Guardian and were thrilled to hear the news the company will be the title sponsor for the big race after a three-year deal was signed earlier this week. “Woohoo,” Lori said upon hearing the news. “We’re excited,” Francie added. Related: The Guardian returns as title sponsor of the Gold Cup & Saucer They grew up with The Evening Patriot sponsoring the Gold Cup & Saucer and are pleased the company is back in the title position. Lori joined The Guardian in 1989 and Francie joined her a couple of years later. Their brother, Wally, won the race in 2001 and 2005 and is a hall of fame driver with more than 9,600 career victories. “It is such a prestigious race (and) not just if you’re from Prince Edward Island,” he said. “The Gold Cup and Saucer is world-renowned.” Wally said any driver, including himself, can get butterflies before a Gold Cup start. “There is a lot of nerves going into the race, but as a driver . . . once you get into the sulky behind the horse and get on the track, it’s business as usual,” he said. He noted the big race does present a bit of a wrinkle with the pomp and ceremony meaning horses can be on the track 25-40 minutes more than normal before the starter’s gates close. “Horses are athletes the same as we are, and when they have a change like that some are able to adapt to it and some aren’t,” Wally explained. “It’s just amazing. It’s like a good coffee, if you get the right brew, you’re going to draw the crowd, and evidently the people seem to like this.” -Mel Jenkins Francie recalled meeting Wally early in the night before he won his first Gold Cup & Saucer. “He said, ‘I’ll see ya’s in the winner’s circle’,” she said, quickly reflecting back to the memorable race. “He was dead last. Coming on the end, his horse just went right from the very back right to (the front). It was unreal.” It is part of what makes the big race so special to so many people. Guardian columnist Fred (Fiddler) MacDonald has covered many of the races for this newspaper. He said what separated it from other races was always taking the best horses, whether they be from the New England states or eastern Canada. “We see them on TV at Yonkers and the Meadowlands and then the next thing you see them out here,” he said from the track. The race has also spurred interest in the ownership side of the sport. “People would buy horses to try and get in the Gold Cup & Saucer,” MacDonald explained. “It’s so popular that guys are still, to this day, trying to buy horses to win the Gold Cup & Saucer.” Mel Jenkins was the manager at the track when the race was born. It was a different time when there were 28 race tracks across the province and every farm had a horse. Jenkins recalled the publicity The Patriot-sponsored race generated in the community leading to large crowds on race day. “We found that by doing this we got headlines on the front page of the newspaper, whether it was The Patriot or The Guardian,” he said. “The grounds would be full. The grandstand was a double-decker grandstand at that time and it would hold 6,000-7,000 people,” he explained. “Down below there wasn't room to move – there was so many people.” Jenkins marvelled at the staying power of the Gold Cup & Saucer. “It’s just amazing,” he said. “It’s like a good coffee, if you get the right brew, you’re going to draw the crowd, and evidently the people seem to like this.” By Jason Malloy Reprinted with permission of The Guardian

WASHINGTON, PA, May 19, 2018 -- Moosonee moved three wide into the final turn and roared through the lane to capture the fastest division in Saturday's $174,888 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters at The Meadows. The event, known as the Super Bowl, was contested over four divisions, with Captain Morgan, Whats The Word and Donatover also taking splits. None of the winners was the betting favorite, suggesting that this division will be wide open throughout the PASS season. Moosonee might more appropriately have been called "Monsoonee" for the Super Bowl after a brief, monsoon-like storm rendered the track sloppy. That didn't deter the Explosive Matter-Lady Andover gelding, who angled off the cones for Aaron Merriman and zipped home in a career-best 1:54 in his sophomore debut. Defending PA champ Fashionwoodchopper was trapped in but was able to shoot the Lightning Lane for second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with early leader Gemologist third. "I broke his maiden with him last year, and he showed some potential," Merriman said. "As you can see, he grew up a lot. The way he qualified at Northfield, I was very confident today. He won absolutely in hand." Chris Beaver trains Moosonee for Winterbeary Farm. Captain Morgan won a single race at 2, but he came back more powerful and determined, scoring handily on the front end for Christian Lind, trainer Staffan Lind and owners Lind Racing Stable, Bender Sweden Inc., Roy Holth and Kemppisuojalampistable. Evaluate was second, beaten 2-3/4 lengths, while Im Your Captain completed the ticket. "He was kind of immature last year; he made some stupid breaks," Staffan Lind said of the son of Cantab Hall-Muchness. "This year, he's a completely different horse. We even took off the hopples." Added Christian Lind: "He's always good on the front. As soon as he feels the presence of another horse, he just picks up speed and grabs the bit." Trainer Janice Connor removed the hopples from Whats The Word before his last race; the improvement showed, as he moved confidently first over for Corey Callahan and wore down Hill Street, downing him by 2 lengths in 1:54.1, a life mark. Dawson Springs earned show. "He raced with hopples last year but trained down really well without them this year," said Connor, who owns the son of Donato Hanover-Your Word Is Good with Arden Homestead Stable. "He blew up two starts ago, so we put the hopples back. We also went back to a hood with no earplugs." $80,000 PA Stallion Series Stake -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters The stallion series event, the co-feature on Saturday's Preakness Day card, might have seemed an unlikely spot for Lindy's Big Bang following his May 5 victory in the $133,800 Dexter Cup, but he overcame a tough trip to win. Also collecting victories were I Know My Rights, Joey and Rich And Miserable. Tyler Buter and his father, trainer Todd Buter, enjoyed a stake double with I Know My Rights and Rich And Miserable. Stuck with post 8, Lindy's Big Bang raced outside before getting the lead near the three-eighths. He held off the rallying Meadowbranch Ricky by a length in 1:55.4, with early leader Bautista third. "It was kind of a group decision (to race him in the stallion series)," said winning driver David Miller, who owns the Explosive Matter-Lindy Of My Dreams gelding with Melvin Hartman and David McDuffee. "I don't know if he can trot in 1:53, and the sires stakes are subject to going that fast. We'll keep him brave. Hopefully, he can keep winning. When they get to winning, sometimes it helps their attitude." Nifty Norman conditions Lindy's Big Bang, who lifted his career bankroll to $127,233. Looped from the gate, I Know My Rights powered to the point and was much the best, prevailing by 2-3/4 lengths over Konnichiwa in a career-best 1:56, with Whoucalncrazy third. Tyler Buter, Lynette Buter and Gene Oldford Farms campaign I Know My Rights, who now has banked $140,505. "He definitely wintered well," Tyler Buter said. "He was full of himself. He can be a handful sometimes, but on the track he's a gentleman. Our plan is just to take care of him, and if Dad wants to try him against the tougher ones, then we will." Joey entered the race off two straight impressive wins in overnights, but could he handle stakes company? Trainer Leslie Zendt was confident he could. "He's always shown that he's had a lot of talent," she said of the son of Yankee Glide-Jodi's Jayme she owns with Bill Zendt. "We've had a little trouble with him getting around the turns here. We always thought he'd be better on a bigger track, but you have to start somewhere." Joey moved first up for Dave Palone and triumphed in 1:55.2, 1/2 length ahead of Unforgetable, while Mississippi Storm earned show. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

The Miss Versatility series for harness racing older mare trotters begins on Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park as the eighth race. The first leg drew a field of nine racing for a purse of $50,000 (CAD).   Making her seasonal debut is Emoticon Hanover, who had a remarkable season in 2017 while winning the Miss Versatility final, the Breeders Crown and the Joie De Vie in world record time of 1:50.2 for owner Serge Godin's Determination Stable and trainer Luc Blais. She's had three conditioning qualifiers, the most recent a 1:56.1 win over the Campbellville oval. James MacDonald will drive the career winner of over $1.25 million from post position #7 on Monday.   The main rival in Monday's race is a familiar one in the venerable Caprice Hill (PP#2 Doug McNair). The two mares battled on several occasions last year, in fact Caprice was at the flank of Emoticon while beaten less than a length in the Breeders Crown. She's earned nearly $1.5 million in her career for owner Tom Hill while residing in the Tony Alagna barn.   Here's the field and a program is available on the web.   8 -- Trot, purse $50,000 MISS VERSATILITY - 1ST LEG - FILLIES & MARES. Post time: 09:50 P.M. 1 Highland Top Hill by Muscle Hill 2 Caprice Hill by Kadabra 3 Dream Together by Muscle Hill 4 Pink Pistol by Cantab Hall 5 Its Hallright by Cantab Hall 6 P L Jill by Kadabra 7 Emoticon Hanover by Kadabra 8 Southwind Tesla by Chapter Seven 9 The Erm by Cantab Hall   Nick Salvi

May 19, 2018 - 6/1 Heavy Sound (6g Ken Warkentin-Illustre November-Viking Kronos) impressively won the harness racing Gr. II International H.K.H Prins Daniels at Gavle, Sweden (500,000SEK to the winner, 1609 meters autostart) clocked in 1.09.2kr off quick fractions (1.06.5kr at the first 500 meters, 1.09.1kr at the first 1000). Heavy Sound, driven by Kenneth Haugstad for trainer Daniel Reden and SRF Stable, inherited the front when leading Nobel Amok went off stride (he was among four that were miscue dq’s in the ten horse field). He began from post 9. Twister Bi (6m Varenne-Lorraine Bi-Lemon Dra) was second in his first 2018 start with Christoffer Eriksson up for trainer Jerry Riordan and owner Pasquale Ciccarelli, closing strongly from the back. Twister began from post three, was briefly off gait before the start, and was far back and in traffic until late when he circled up and his push fell three lengths short. Beau Mec (11m Jag de Bellouet-Extreme Lady-Meadow Gallant) was third for driver Carl Johan Jepson. Queer Fish and Dante Boko completed the top five. The winner, lightly raced, with now 14 life wins in 31 starts for 5,536,550SEK earned, was trained by Roger Walmann through his last 2017 start on September 23rd. He now has three wins in four 2018 outings after making only three appearances in 2017. His second dam is the legendary Lovely Godiva by Ideal du Gazeau, followed by Keystone Gwen (Speedy Crown), Keystone Godiva (Hickory Pride) and Goddess Gallon, that produced stakes winners Keystone Pride and Keystone Gabriel. Lovely Godiva (SE) (102 0.80 +37) m, 1990 1.14,5v 1.12,2a SEK 11,549,624 88 46-10-4 At 3, Winner of Guldstoet, Breeders' Crown. At 4, Winner of Svenskt Trav S:t Leger, Stochampionatet, Breeders' Crown. At 5, Winner of Prix Marcel Laurent. At 6, Winner of C.L.Müllers Memorial, Prix de la Marne, Grote Prijs der Lage Landen, second in Prix du Luxembourg, Prix du Plateau de Gravelle, Elite-Rennen. At 7, Winner of Arvid Stjernswärds Minneslöpning, Prix de France. At 8, second in The Red Mile, Grosser Preis von Bayern, third in Ego Boys Minne. At 9, Winner of Grosser Preis von Bayern, second in Prix de Paris, Prix de Belgique, Prix d'Amerique, third in Olympiatravet. Thomas H. Hicks  

May 19, 2018 - 6 .1/1 Blue Story (f Opium-Loumana Flor) won Friday evening’s Paris-Vincennes harness racing featured Prix d’Arena Sport Club de Nogent (purse €72,000, 2850 meters, 12 European starters) timed in 1.13.7kr and reined by Thomas Levesque, also the trainer. Albert Gozlan owns the now 11 time winner in 50 starts for €395,070 earned.  61/1 Glen Ord Superb (7m Orlando Vici) was second driven by Christophe Martens for Ecurie Olmendorf and trainer Vincent Martens. 22/1 Ursi Caf (5f Explot Caf) took third for reinsman Alexandre Abrivard. 10/1 Toseland Kyu (6m Love You) and 2.3/1 favorite Cathy A Quira (6f Password) completed the top five. The Q+ Prix de la Ville de Nogent-sur-Marne (purse €52,000, 2850 meters, 18 European entrants) was the top undercard event and it went to 1.14kr timed and 7.4/1 odds Be One des Thirons (7g Roi du Coq-Miss des Thirons). Philippe Daugeard owns, trains and teamed the winner that now has 13 victories in 51 starts for €219,320 earned. 7.3/1 Seibella Park (7f Varenne-Grandera Park) held second for Alexandre Abrivard, trainer Vincent Lacroix and Scuderia Team Minopoli. 19/1 Vixel (9g Quido du Goutier) was third for trainer/driver Franck Ouvrie and breeder/owner Jacques Vandromme. 27/1 Beach Julry and 18/1 Azela des Plaignes completed the top five in this contest. With a week to go before the May 27 Elitloppet 2018 there are 14 confirmed starters (after Readly Express, Cyber Lane and Urlo dei Venti dropped out).  Thomas H. Hicks

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Oh what a difference a year can make. That's the tune that harness racing trainer Jean Tourigny is humming these days since his trotting mare, HP Run Like Mom, is unbeaten in three starts this year. She goes for her fourth straight win on Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R. The four-year-old mare by Kadabra from the Promising Catch mare, Canaco Runner, is co-owned by Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville and was bred by Hamel with Lapharmaciedekedgwick Inc., NB. A five-time winner last year at age three, HP Run Like Mom was headed into the $65,000 final of the Breeders Cup Final as the morning line betting favorite, looking to cap off a pretty good season. That did not happen, in fact the mare broke stride from post eight and was unable to rebound. Then the following week she broke again in a qualifying race, then stayed trotting in the next qualifying race, but that was it, HP Run Like Mom was to be turned out for next season. "She was deconcentrated and lost confidence after going to Toronto to race," Said Tourigny. "She disappointed me at Mohawk. I thought she would be able to trot a mile in 1:54." Before HP Run Like Mom when to Mohawk Raceway, her last start was a 25 and one-half length romp in the Breeders Cup third leg at H3R and she scored a lifetime best 1:59.4 triumph. "Now she is four years old and has really matured," Tourigny explained. "We go week by week with her and we let her decide how fast she wants to go. She is now building up confidence from week to week." Last week was perhaps HP Run Like Mom's best win of the season. With Stephane Brosseau her regular driver, last week she came after the race leader at the half, took command of the lead and held the field at bay in scoring a 2:01.1 triumph. "My father Leo and I," Tourigny added. "trained and raced her mother (Canaco Runner 6, 1:54.4s $443,545) and it makes for me a challenge more to have the honor to take care of her foals that Claude Hamel, Celine Paquin and Michel Damphousse have given me this great opportunity. "I have three teams that help with the care and racing of the horses," Tourigny said. "We have 16 horses in the stable now. Barry Robert and Jules Girard are the main caretakers. Then there is myself, Trudel Rolland and my dad doing the training and my paddock team at the track are Yves Corbin and his daughter Clare. "I must give credit to my dad," Tourigny said. "He comes every morning to train. He is going to be 79 soon. I am so happy to have these great people working with me and, of course, all the owners who have put their trust in me. Without Michel Damphousse, Claude Hamel and Celine Paquin, Rolland Trudel, Brian Paquette, and Steve Garceau, I would be nothing." Tourigny is also excited that his top pacing mare, HP Sissy, is coming back to the stable this weekend to begin prepping for the Quebec-Bred Series at the Hippodrome 3R. She was a prior champion at H3R and went on to race in Toronto and then New York, winning $229,000 with a record of 1:52.1h. HP Run Like Mom is not the morning line favorite in the sixth race trot on Sunday at H3R. She will be tested Sunday, having to start from the far outside in post eight. A The honor of being the morning line favorite goes to another good mare named Lucky Promesses from post four for owner, breeder and driver, Jerome Lombart. This is just the second start this year for the five-year-old mare by Lucky Fool. Last year was her best season ever as she was the winningest horse to race at H3R. She closed out the season with ten wins for trainer Andreane Lapierre, taking a record of 1:58.2 at Rideau Carleton. Other contenders in the race include KFB Amigo Cool (post two), EAU Naturelle (post five) and Abundasass (post three). Track Notes: Defending H3R leading driver, Stephane Brosseau, is off to the best start of his career, winning 12 of the 29 races (41%) held so far at the Hippodrome 3R. His record is 25-12-4-3 and his "batting average" or UDR is an amazing .596. He will be driving in the first eight races at H3R Sunday before heading over to Rideau Carleton. For a free race program for Sunday, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. First race post time Sunday is 12:50 pm. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

MILTON, May 18, 2018 - The team of owner Carl Kuepfer and harness racing trainer Patrick Shepherd had a memorable Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The duo sent out four starters on the 12-race program and made four-trips to the winner's circle. Reinsman Doug McNair sat behind three of the winners, while Louis Philippe Roy had the other winning drive. Shepherd and Kuepfer started the evening off by sweeping the opening three-races on the card. Claiming pacer Fern Hill Breeze ($4.20) got things rolling by registering his third win in five starts. The second-half of the 'Daily Double' was won by six-year-old trotting mare Talbotcreek Suzie ($3.90), who won her second straight for the Shepherd stable and fourth-overall. The third win of the evening was the biggest price of the four-victories, as pacing mare E R Rhonda prevailed by a head in a $10,000 claiming event. The seven-year-old paid $10.50 to win. Trotting mare Stirling Boudica ($3.50) went coast-to-coast in the evening's eighth-race to cap off the memorable evening for Kuepfer and Shepherd. The eight-year-old was returning to the Shepherd barn after a week away and has now won three consecutive starts in his barn. Shepherd now has 10 wins in 27 starts this season at Woodbine Mohawk Park for an eye-catching winning percentage of 37 per cent. He currently sits third in the Trainer Standings. The $30,000 Mares Preferred was Friday's feature race with a wide-open field of nine battling from start to finish. P L Hurricane and driver Sylvain Filion came from third-over on the far turn to sweep by rivals and score a 27-1 upset in 1:52.3. Artistic Madison, who was 51-1, split between rivals to grab second. Circle The Page finished third despite making a first-turn break for the third-straight start, while Clear Idea, who won last week's edition and was the 3-2 favourite, finished fourth. P L Hurricane rarely misses a cheque and Friday's 27th career victory pushed her over $500,000 in career earnings. The seven-year-old is owned and trained by Dave Brown and now has back to back wins to bring her 2018 record to three wins and 12 top-three finishes in 18 starts. A $2 win ticket on P L Hurricane returned $57.40, while the $2 Exacta with Artistic Madison paid $847.90. Live racing continues Saturday evening with the annual Fireworks and Family Fun Night. A special post-time of 6:45 p.m. has been issued. Mark McKelvie

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Tropical Storm Bi (Yankee Glide) went the fastest mile of any trotter at Saratoga Casino Hotel this season when last Sunday (May 13th) he wired the field in 1:54.3 with harness racing driver Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. One week removed from that impressive score, the Tony Ciuffetelli-trained Tropical Storm Bi moved into the Open Trot on Sunday and went off as the public's 4-5 betting favorite as he looked to repeat. The six year old gelding made an easy lead in the $14,500 Open and never looked back. Tropical Storm Bi recorded his first ever win in the local feature as he stopped the timer in 1:55.4 in a wire-to-wire romp on Sunday. Stirling Cadet (Frank Coppola Jr) finished second despite getting a first-over journey in the feature while the race's lone lady Consolidator (Jordan Derue) earned the show spot in the Open for the second consecutive week. It was the fourth victory of the season for Tropical Storm Bi who paid $3.90 to win and led an exacta and triple that returned $26.20 and $83.50, respectively. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12:15pm first post. Mike Sardella
YONKERS, NY, Sunday, May 20, 2018 - Smalltownthrowdown (Brian Sears, $8.50) was a two-move harness racing titan Sunday afternoon (May 20th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $54,800 Open Handicap Trot The field of eight (seven with nose-to-gate, one in back of bus) went as the opener and the first of four 'French' trots. Smalltownthrowdown, three-wide from post position No. 6-in one notch after the programmed pylon number was removed-found an early four-hole. He watched Buen Camino (Jim Marohn Jr.) and longshot Bluebird Jesse (catch-driver Brent Holland) duel early, with the latter-out two turns-making the lead between a :28.1 opening quarter-mile and :57.2 half. Smalltownthrowdown was then ready for his cue, extricating himself from the cones and busting the race wide open. The lead was 3½ lengths at the 1:27 three-quarters. After a 1:55.2 milepost, Smalltownthrowdown finished the mile-and-a-quarter in 2:25.4. Buen Camino found room late to grab a best-of-the-rest second, beaten 3¾ lengths. Bluebird Jesse easily held third, with Kinetic King (Jordan Stratton) and Gural Hanover (George Brennan) relegated to the minors. Seasoned Saint (Jason Bartlett) was a never-in-it sixth as the 19-10 favorite. For third choice Smalltownthrowdown, a 5-year-old statebred Cash Hall gelding co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bruce Soulsby, Yves Sarazin and VIP Internet Stable, it was his second win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $26.80, the triple returned $124 and the superfecta paid $439.50. Sunday's return of the 'New York, New York Double' offered a winning combination of 9-Forest Blue (Belmont's 3rd race) and 1-Noble Warrawee (Yonkers' 7th race) paid $50.75 for every correct $1 wager. Total pool was $6,254. The next Sunday matinee is June 17th (post time TBA). Frank Drucker
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — May 20, 2018 — The Meadowlands held the $15,000 first leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for harness racing sophomore pacers and trotters on Friday (May 18).  The colts raced in non-bettting races, while the fillies were during the regular scheduled card. The 3-year-old pacing colts was won by Melanie’s Fran (David Miller) trained by Kevin McDermott in 1:57.3.  The son of Hypnotic Blue Chip owned by 80 Slot Right Stable of New Jersey, easily beat the competition, Hypnotico. Shoshie Deo (George Brennan) took the first leg of 3-year-old colt trotters in 1:56.2.  Trained by Deshawn Minor and owned by Annemette Minor, Shoshie Deo moved to the front at the quarter after U Need Stones made a break, making it an easy win for him.  U Need Stones (Yannick Gingras) came back to finish second while Brutal Storm (Eric Abbatiello) came in third. The Linda Toscano trainee Hypnotic Tale (David Miller) won the 3-year-old filly pacing division in 1:53.1.  Owned by Ronald Mario, the Hypnotic Blue Chip sired filly sat patiently in the pocket then wore down the competition at the wire.  Hurrikane Empress (Yannick Gingras) held on for second while Cruzinforavictory (Frank Milby) finished third. The 3-year-old filly trotting division was won by Samis Rolin Stone (Brett Miller) also trained by Deshwan Minor in 1:56.4.  The Wishing Stone filly owned by Daniel Lengacher took the lead at the half and never looked back.  Diamondstone Us (David Miller) finished second and Take A Wish (Steve Smith) came in third. The second leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for 3-year-olds is scheduled for Friday, May 25, 2018, at the Meadowlands. Courtney Stafford
WILKES-BARRE PA - Wes Delight, who left the gate so quickly he lost his head number a couple of steps in, showed that having a few races under your girth can be an advantage even against the likes of harness racing divisional champion Lost In Time, Stay Hungry, Nutcracker Sweet, and Hayden Hanover, as those top colts making their seasonal bow could not defeat the winner of three of his four seasonal starts, with Wes Delight winning the "feature" division of the $166,015 second preliminary round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Corey Callahan had the victorious son of Bettor's Delight away with great jet, getting the lead early, then yielding to the 3-2 favorite Stay Hungry before the 26.4 quarter, with Hayden Hanover, 8-5 Lost In Time, and Nutcracker Spot filling the next three spots. As Stay Hungry got to the half in a moderate 55.4, Lost In Time came first-over, with Nutcracker Suite on his back - and the real race was on. As they passed the 1:23.2 3/4s, Lost In Time fell back a little, and Stay Hungry maintained the advantage, with Wes Delight lurking in the pocket then pulling out for the drive. Halfway through the lane Stay Hungry looked to have a good chance, but he got a bit weary late, and Wes Delight took his measure, then held off the game and resurgent Lost In Time by a nose in 1:50.4 to take a new mark. Stay Hungry was beaten only a neck, with Nutcracker Suite and Hayden Hanover getting the last two checks. This was the biggest win of the young career of Wes Delight, who lowered his mark while boosting his bankroll to $192,573. Mark Harder trains the developing sophomore, and he shares ownership with Rick Phillips and Rachel Frost. The $300,000 yearling I'm A Big Deal, by Somebeachsomewhere out of the world champion Big Mcdeal, got the evening off to a flying start in his Sires section, going to the lead, yielding briefly, then retaking while posting fractions of 26.2, 54.4, and 1:21.3. By the last-named number, he had opened up by a decisive lead, and he finished out his mile in 1:50.2, 6½ lengths ahead, to take a new mark. George Napolitano Jr. had the sulky duty for trainer Chris Ryder, who is also co-owner with Craig Henderson and Robert Mondillo, behind a colt who certainly paced back to his pedigree Saturday. In the other division, the crowd thought the Ryder barn would add a second Sires victory with This Is The Plan, a winner in the first PASS prelim, but it was the other first-round winner, Dorsoduro Hanover, who came on again in the stretch to post a neck victory in a lifetime best 1:50.1, also the fastest clocking of the three divsiions. Matt Kakaley, in his first night back in action after a mid-March racing accident, sent the Ron Burke trainee to the lead before the 27 quarter, then sat behind This Is The Plan through midfractions of 55.3 and 1:22.4. The pacesetter dug in through the lane, but the pocketsitter proved stronger in the Pocono Pike, remaining undefeated in two 2018 starts and raising his bankroll to $145,168 for Burke Racing Stable LLC; Silva, Purnel & Libby; Weaver Bruscemi LLC; and Wingfield Five LLC. There were also two $30,000 divisions of the Great Northeast Open Series for open pacers. In one, Mach It So equaled the fastest clocking on a 5/8-mile track this year (Major Uptrend at Dover and Nuclear Breeze at Miami Valley) with a 1:49 victory for driver George Napolitano Jr., trainer Jeff Bamond Jr., and Bamond Racing LLC. Mach It So left side-by-side with Dr J Hanover, let that one take the top before the hot 26 quarter, then removed to the lead, hit the half in 54.1, then opened up a sizable lead with a 26.4 quarter to trip the third timer in 1:21. The Mach Three gelding still had a big lead as far as midstretch, but both his early exertions and rapid closer Bettor's Edge were catching up to him; however, you don't earn $2,578,675 in your career by succumbing easily, and Mach It So held on by a half-length. In the other Great Northeast cut, Rockin Ron became a two-time Great Northeast winner, holding off the determined Rockeyed Optimist by a nose in 1:50.2. Matt Kakaley put the Real Desire gelding on top and set fractions of 26.3, 55.1, and 1:22.4; in early stretch the pair had opened up two lengths, but Rockeyed Optimist, first-over, came back on with great gameness only to just get photoed out. Maxdaddy Blue Chip came from way out of it to miss it all by a neck behind the $1,151,107 winner, trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, RTC Stables Inc., and J&T Silva Stables LLC. Finally, Walks Of Life, the winningest horse in North America this year with 12, could not add a 13th triumph to his 2018 record, but he certainly tried very hard in the $20,000/$25,000 claiming handicap, passing the poles in 26.1, 54.2, and 1:22.2, with Legion Of Boom pressing him early and Corner Con Artist having the lead most of the backstretch first-over. Walks Of Life shook off the first-over, but could not keep pocket rocket Legion Of Boom at bay, dropping a ½ length decision to that one, driven by Anthony Napolitano for trainer Joe Pavia Jr. and the partnership of John Whitig, Michael Rich, Lawrence Chimerine, and Jeffrey Hess. One trend did continue - Walks of Life was claimed, for the ninth straight start, and Legion Of Boom will be changing barns as well. PHHA / Pocono
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