Day At The Track
Harness racing

Zeron to race Atlanta in Hambletonian

MILTON, ON - July 21, 2018 - Superstar harness racing trotting filly Atlanta will attempt to make history by tackling the boys and competing in the $1 million Hambletonian on Saturday, August 4 at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Trainer Rick Zeron made the official announcement on Saturday evening (July 21) regarding his decision to race his three-year-old filly Atlanta against the boys rather than against fillies in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks. A daughter of Chapter Seven, Atlanta has taken the racing world by storm and is currently undefeated in five starts this season. Zeron was not required to make a decision regarding which route Atlanta would take until this Tuesday (July 24), but noted he and his son, Scott, made their decision weeks ago. "Scott and I decided this about a month ago, but we just kind of kept it all to ourselves and mulled everything all over and did all the right do's and don'ts," said Zeron, who shared the news while preparing to race Saturday at Georgian Downs. "We came up with she's competitive enough to race against the boys." Atlanta was purchased for $60,000 as a yearling at the Harrisburg Sale in November of 2016. The Chapter Seven filly had a solid rookie season, winning four of 10 starts and earning $135,075, but was in the shadow of then-undefeated Manchego. Zeron wasn't shy about declaring high hopes for Atlanta's sophomore season during the winter training months at Sunshine Meadows in Florida. The filly immediately backed up her trainer's statements in her season debut. "We qualified her (April 28) and I told Scott to qualify her around 1:55 and he went 1:54 with her," said Zeron. "He got off the bike and said, 'She's serious.' " "10 days later we tried to get her in a three-year-old filly class at The Meadowlands and they didn't have one. They said 'There is a class, non-winners of $11,500 last five, but you'll be in against colts and a couple of aged trotters.' and I said 'Go ahead'. She sat seventh and Scott moved her at the head of the lane and she won her first start in 1:52." Atlanta's dazzling debut caught the attention of many and proved to Zeron exactly what he had thought for months about his filly. "That's when we knew that she was really special." In just her third start of the season, Atlanta established a Vernon Downs all-age track record of 1:50.3 in the Empire Breeders Classic. The victory vaulted the filly into superstar status and created a buzz among racing fans. Atlanta has since added two more victories to her career totals, which sit at nine wins and $313,309 earned. Her most recent victory occurred Thursday evening in a New York Sires Stakes event at Vernon. Zeron described the victory as a "training mile". The Hambletonian will require Atlanta to race multiple-heats on the same day, unlike the Hambletonian Oaks which has eliminations the week prior to the final. "I'm not that worried about it," said Zeron about racing heats. "She recovers about 12 or 14 minutes after each race." Zeron co-owns Atlanta with partners Crawford Farms, Holland Racing Stable, Howard Taylor and Brad Grant. He noted that his partners have provided full support. "All of my owners are on board with my decision to race her in the Hambletonian." Atlanta will become just the fifth filly since the year 2000 to race against the boys in the Hambletonian. The last filly to capture harness racing's most prestigious trotting event was Continentalvictory in 1996. Zeron's decision to race Atlanta in the sport's biggest trotting event adds tremendous hype to the 93rd Hambletonian and the veteran horseman expects to leave a lasting mark. "This will go down in history." by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

Hitman Hill, harness racing

Hitman Hill, American History win Adios elims

WASHINGTON, PA, July 21, 2018 - Hitman Hill and American History each scored in Saturday's eliminations for the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids at The Meadows and will lead the harness racing field into next Saturday's $400,000 final.   Also making the nine-horse final field are Done Well, Wes Delight, Summer Travel, Dorsoduro Hanover, Thinkgbig Dreambig, and Babes Dig Me as well as GD Western Joe, who earned a berth as the fifth-place finisher with higher career earnings.   The connections of Hitman Hill and American History will choose their post positions, with the selection order determined by draw, with the other post positions determined by open draw. That draw is set for 12:30 PM Tuesday and can be seen on Meadows Live!   Hitman Hill was on top past the quarter when his driver, Brett Miller, opted to release the favorite, Dorsuduro Hanover, who had been outside every step.   "Dorsoduro went some kind of mile in his last start in the Meadowlands Pace," Miller said. "I was happy to follow him."   At the top of the stretch, Miller, still in the pocket, had another choice to make: outside or Lightning Lane. "I could have gone either way, but my colt was running out," he said. "That's why I chose to go outside. Dorsoduro fought me all the way to the wire. I wasn't even sure if we got up. I've been high on my colt since Day 1. I think he's as good as any 3-year-old out there."   Hitman Hill edged Dorsoduro Hanover by a nose in1:50, with the fast-closing Thinkbig Dreambig third. Chris Oakes trains the American Ideal-Fox Valley Shaker gelding for Tom Hill and Northfork Racing Stable.   American History had been racing hell bent for the front, a strategy that put him on the board in North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace eliminations but got him cooked in the finals of those events. His regular pilot, Yannick Gingras, indicated before Saturday's race that he might try a more reserved approach.   But when an opportunity to quarter-pole to the lead arose, American History and Gingras took it. The son of American Ideal-Perfect Touch opened a 3-1/2-length lead into the final turn and ultimately downed Done Well by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51, with early leader Wes Delight third.   "That definitely wasn't the plan today, but sometimes you have to play the cards the way they're dealt," Gingras said. "That's the way the race unfolded today--a big difference in fractions from last week. I'm sure that's part of the reason he held on today."   Tony Alagna, who conditions American History for Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and American History Racing, agreed with Gingras' decision.   "Sometimes you have to call an audible," Alagna said. "Yannick thought more horses would leave than actually did. He was planning on tripping out, but when he saw the fractions, he decided to take a shot and move to the front."   by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows  

Let It Ride,Harness racing

Emerging star wins Blacks A Fake

Tim Butt knows a thing or two about preparing a Grand Circuit winner. The champion horseman has prepared more Grand Circuit winners than any other trainer in this part of the world….and by a good margin! His tally now stands at 52 (17 pacing & 35 trotting events). And his latest winner came via the final leg of the 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season, the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship at Albion Park tonight (Saturday). Rising star Let It Ride ($4.30) confirmed his status as a genuine star of the future with a brilliant and resounding victory in the 2680m feature event when easily defeating Atomic Red ($3.90 fav) and Alleluia ($32.60) in a track record time of 1:54.8 (Our Hi Jinx held previous mark at 1:55.0). Handled by star reinsman Dexter Dunn who overcame an illness the night prior, the recent Gr.1 Breeders Challenge winner was given a perfect run in behind the pace setting Atomic Red before racing clear soon after straightening. With Glenferrie Hood and Tact Tate both leaving the gate with urgency, Dunn bided his time before charging forward quickly to take the lead away from Glenferrie Hood at the 2000m mark. The winning move came shortly after when Dunn elected to take cover behind the hard-running Atomic Red. The lead time was covered in 74.9 seconds. Atomic Red led the way from Ultimate Art who improved his position quickly while Let It Ride sat perfectly in the trail. The first half of the final mile was covered in 29.2 and 29.4 seconds. Entering the back straight, Atomic Red led from Ultimate Art and Let It Ride while Cruz Bromac improved three-wide solo with My Field Marshal catching his cover. Cruz Bromac raced roughly mid-way down the back straight and checked My Field Marshal while Carlas Pixel and Ohoka Punter also copped interference. The third quarter was covered in 28.9 seconds. At the top of the home straight, Atomic Red attempted to kick away but Let It Ride quickly loomed to his outside and the put the result beyond doubt very quickly. The winning margin was a widening 13.5m over Atomic Red while there was a further 4.5m back to Alleluia in third. The final quarter was timed in 28.7 seconds. “We got a perfect trip and got lucky to follow the right horse throughout, he took us right to the home straight and I knew my guy was feeling great in the pocket and he quickened nicely over the latter part.” Dunn said. For Dunn, it was his 7th Grand Circuit victory. Again, the management of Butt was pinpoint accurate following his decision earlier this week to bypass the original target of the 4yo Championship (support feature) and concentrate on the main event coupled with flying Dunn in from New Zealand to partner the gelding. At the time, it was a big gamble but one that has paid handsome dividends. It was first test against genuine open class rivals. Let It Ride has now won 15 of his 27 starts. Connections will now switch their focus towards the Inter Dominion series in Melbourne later this year. The 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season is now complete with global superstar Lazarus set to be crowned champion after amassing 304 points throughout the term. Lazarus finished well clear of Soho Tribeca (205) and Tiger Tara (145). Chris Barsby

Bronson Munro,Harness racing

Munro charged for abusing two female drivers

A promising harness racing driver with previous form for abuse has pled guilty to misconduct after abusing two female drivers. Bronson Munro was banned from rugby for 46 weeks in 2016 over a racial insult towards a Fijian rugby player in a high-level Canterbury country game. He found himself again in strife over an incident at a junior drivers' event at Forbury Park, Dunedin, on June 15. Munro was charged with misconduct for using foul language against Charlotte Purvis and Sheree Tomlinson during and after Race 8, in which he believed his horse should have been given the lead by the female drivers. Read the full story here Article by Martin van Beynen Reprinted with permission of Stuff

East Rutherford, NJ - Trainer Jimmy Takter brought the down under sensation Lazarus out for gate schooling after today's qualifiers and the pair went a dazzling mile in 1:51 flat, the only company being two trotters that were unable to keep up and the only encouragement a few "C'mon boy" calls from the driver.   Fractions were 29.2, 57, 1:25.3, 1:51.   The six-year-old New Zealand bred son of Bettors Delight was imported by Taylor Made Stallions and is expected to contest the top older horse events for the balance of the season.   Breakfast WithThe Babies (BWTB), sponsored by Fashion Farms Meadowlands Pace Day edition, was conducted at 9:00 am under ideal conditions, no wind and temperatures of 70 degrees. Pacing colts opened the card today and Goldberg rode the Team Teague bus up from Harrington this morning then went a sensational mile in 1:51.3 for catch driver Dewayne Minor. He went right to the front, set fast fractions and closed it out in 27.3 in hand. Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) rallied between horses for second and Alittlewiggleroom, driven by George Teague, gained wide late for third. Goldberg is a Montrell Teague homebred by family sire Mr Wiggles and is trained by his aunt Brenda Teague. Captain McKee was a 1:53.4 winner for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Scott Zeron. Zeron afforded the Captaintreacherous colt a perfect trip behind eventual second place finisher Cub Fan (Andy Miller), tipping off that one in the stretch through the 27.2 final panel for the win. Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant and Captain Trevor Racing gave $75,000 for the Hanover bred at Harrisburg last fall. Pacing filly Pace Baby Pace (Andy Miller) put one in the win column for her sire Sweet Lou with a 1:56.1 score for the Burke barn. She sat a pocket to Passion Struck (Andy McCarthy) through reasonable fractions then sailed by under minimal encouragement form the driver. JK Mardi Says (Zeron) rallied wide nicely for the place. The winner is a homebred for Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi, LLC. Trotting fillies came next and Sister's Promise can now be counted among the winners from Father Patrick's first crop after her effortless 2:00.4 score for Tim Tetrick. Celebrity Serena cut the mile through slow numbers and led until mid-stretch where the winner and Mother Teresa (Zeron) went by in the 28.4 final stanza. Linda Toscano trains Sister's Promise for Brittany Farms. She was a $120,000 Harrisburg yearling, bred by Fred Hertrich, III. Andy and Julie Miller won the next race with the Donato Hanover filly American Kronos in 1:58. Getting away in third, American Kronos accelerated when asked around the last bend and sailed by early leader Lindy Pearl (Zeron) through the 27.4 end to the mile. Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and David Goodrow own the winner, bred in Italy by Allevamento Kronos. Full Right (Justin Morrison) won in 1:59.1, surging by a stubborn Celebrity Stalone (Minor) in the shadow of the wire. Jim Campbell trains the homebred son of RC Royalty for Runthetable Stable. Finally Dewayne Minor doubled up for the day by driving Fearless Dreamer, an Explosive Matter colt from Bold Dreamer to a front stepping 1:59.1 win over Practical Cat (Takter). The winner is owned by Rivers Stable who gave $35,000 from the Valley High consignment at the Lexington Yearling Sale. Also of note last season's Dan Patch award winning freshman trotter Fourth Dimension went a flat qualifier in 1:52.4 for Brian Sears as trainer Marcus Melander continues to seek answers to the colt's erratic performances thus far this year. Live racing tonight at 8:00 and it's Corntastic Night! Lazarus “schools” in an approximate time of 1:51. Last qua in 25 and change.— Dave Brower (@eedoogie) July 21, 2018 by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

Leading reinsman Blair Orange has produced the greatest season by a New Zealand harness racing driver, officially breaking new ground with win number 230 at Addington last night. Going into last night Orange still needed three wins to tie the old mark of 229 wins in a season, set by Dexter Dunn in last years premiership.  In the end it was a cakewalk for Orange who finished up winning four races at the New Zealand Metropolitan trotting club racenight and he could be considered unlucky not to win a fifth when beaten a nose into second driving Sharnae in Race 6 for trainer Brad Mowbray.  Orange won the first of his four win bag in Race 5, leading all the way with in form trotter Flyinova who was backing up from a win at Ashburton last weekend. The Jeff Wheeler trained trotter always had the field covered in front and was simply too good for his opposition over the extreme distance of 3200m. His next win came in heat three of the South Of The Waitaki series when Whata Razzle Dazzle sprinted home in 55.8 seconds for his last 800m to grab a deserved win. Blair then equaled the record 229 wins with another front running display on trotter Idle Moose, who won Race 9 convincingly after being very unlucky in his previous start when getting carted back on the turn. It was only fitting that he broke the record driving the winner of Race 10 as well, getting home on a relative outsider in All Nuts And Bolts for his good friend David Pearce,who trains the Bettor's Delight gelding at his West Melton stables. With another week still left in the season, Orange looks sure to build on that total and set a mark that will be very hard to break in years to come.   Harnesslink Media

YONKERS, N.Y. – Trainer Chris Oakes will start Agent Q in Friday night’s $44,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace at Yonkers Raceway, but in the daughter of Western Terror’s previous local start, the pair were on less friendly grounds.  Agent Q’s only other races at the Hilltop came in the elimination and final of the Lismore Pace in May 2017. Agent Q captured her elimination and started as the 1-5 betting favorite in the $140,770 final for then conditioner Aaron Lambert. However, Oakes’ filly, Tequila Monday, upset Agent Q with a 4-1 score from post seven. “That was a good one, I don’t think I was supposed to win that race,” Oakes said with a laugh as he recalled the action. “I remember her following Agent Q, Agent Q cleared, and Tequila Monday sat outside of her and pulled right up alongside of her. Probably nobody else could have kept up. She cleared her and was gone. That was a big mile.” Tequila Monday traded blows with Agent Q throughout last year with the latter taking the Lynch Memorial and Matron Stakes. Instead of continuing to race against her, Oakes added Agent Q to his training roster when owners Crawford Farms, Rochetti Cassar Racing, and Robert Muscara purchased the filly.  “Quite honestly, it just tells you how much power I’ve got as far as owners go,” Oakes said. “She’s a good horse and instead of having to fight against her, we ended up buying her and putting her on the team. If you can’t beat them, join them. That’s the way I look at it. “I just knew she was solid, she raced from the front, from the back and every time she raced, she put in a really solid effort,” he continued. “I knew coming back at 4, she’d probably be one of the top mares this year and I already had one, so they complement each other. Although Agent Q vetted out with a chip in her left hind ankle, Oakes and the ownership went through with the purchase. Agent Q underwent successful surgery to remove the chip over the winter and came to Oakes’ Florida barn in February to prepare for her 4-year-old campaign. Although she wasn’t a physical standout, her attitude signaled her talent. “Nice mare, she could have been a little bigger and stronger,” Oakes said. “She wasn’t an overly powerful looking horse, but definitely has the spirit and the heart, you could tell she’s real feisty. Definitely a really good horse. “Right off the bat, she got down to Florida for the winter and she was fine, there was never really any problems with her,” he continued. “She was eating decent. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a great caretaker. I’ve got Therese Pierce and she’s amazing. She got the filly and just loves on her all day long. It’s personal with them, they work all day long and they love what they do.” Agent Q won her first two starts for Oakes in the Great Northeast Open Series at Pocono Downs and Harrah’s Philadelphia May 13 and 20, respectively. Her debut effort came as a shock to her trainer as Agent Q raced last of eight around the racetrack before riding cover three-wide to the top of the stretch. Still in last with a furlong to pace, Agent Q quickened under urging from David Miller and streaked past the field to record a 1:52.3 score at odds of 5-2. “First win was actually a big surprise,” Oakes said. “She sat last pretty much the whole mile and Dave Miller, who had been driving her for the previous connections, I just told him, ‘just take care of her, first start, race her easy,’ and he did and she still won. She was dead last turning for home and just flew by them.” After her quick double to star the year boosted her record to 15 wins from 32 stars and $1.2 million in the bank, Agent Q recorded three straight losses, including a ninth-place finish in her Roses Are Red elimination where she was beaten 15 ¾ lengths at Mohawk June 9. Oakes took time to regroup. “It’s just weird how you take a wrong turn and you’re just trying to get back to where you were,” he said. “The horse had a bad night and we had to straighten her out and we’re back on track now.” Agent Q qualified back at Pocono Downs July 11, finishing second to 3-year-old star Springsteen. She was individually timed in 1:53.3 with a :27.1 final quarter. The effort gave Oakes enough confidence to enter Agent Q into the distaff feature Friday night. Starting from a drawn post six with Eric Goodell in the sulky, Agent Q is a 10-1 morning line. Agent Q’s six rivals include Magic Forces, who won two straight Filly and Mare Opens June 29 and July 6 before finishing eighth from post eight last out July 13. The Burke trainee drew post five and is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line. Caviart Cherie is the 5-2 morning line choice off a win in the Filly and Mare Preferred last week while Newborn Sassy is 3-1 from post seven off a win in last week’s feature. Bronze Over, Lispatty, and Medusa complete the lineup. Oakes admits this is a difficult spot for Agent Q to make her return. “I think she’ll race well. She’s in a little bit of a tough spot, there’s speed inside of her. I think she’ll race well, but is she going to go the mile of her life? No, she’s coming off a little bit of a layoff in a qualifier, so I think she’ll be better off another race or two.” First post time Friday at Yonkers is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.  by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY  

The biggest night of the Albion park harness racing calendar is finally here and the competition looks as fierce as ever. Tomorrow night we will honour the famed pacer Blacks A Fake, who earnt over $4.5mil with 72 wins under his belt. Trained & driven by Natalie Rasmussen, he won the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 Inter Dominion Championships - making him the only four-time winner of Australasia's premier harness race. Other achievements include wins in the Queensland Winter Cup (3 times), Victoria Cup, Hunter Cup and three Australian Horse of the Year titles. The $200,000 grand circuit event, the "UBET Blacks A Fake" starts as race 8 on the program at 8.40pm. Race favourite, Atomic Red lines up against last week’s Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint winner, Tact Tate as well as the likes of Let It Ride, My Field Marshall, Cruz Bromac and Glenferrie Hood. Additional group races on the program include the G1 QBred Triad Finals for the two year olds, G2 AQWA Constructions Queensland Derby, G3 Ted & Edna Badcock Memorial 4YO Championship and G3 Haras Des Trotteurs Marathon. The program also highlights Australasia’s most talented drivers in the Garrard’s Horse & Hound Drivers Invitation Pace with New Zealand’s Dexter Dunn joining Queensland drivers Nathan Dawson, Grant Dixon, Pete McMullen, Gary Whitaker and Kelli Dawson alongside interstate competitors Luke McCarthy, Chris Geary, Amanda Turnbull, Anthony Butt, Matthew Craven and Rob Morris. For the meetings full form analysis and selections refer to Racing Queensland harness racing specialist Darren Clayton’s deliberations on the meeting: The race meeting has a number of exquisite betting propositions courtesy of wagering service provider UBET. Headlining these offers is a $25K First 4 jackpot pool on race 1 scheduled for 5:08pm EST. This is complimented by a $5K First 4 jackpot pool on race 8, the UBET Blacks A Fake. Additionally, a $2.5K Quadrella jackpot is listed for races 2 to 5 with the first leg due at 5:42pm EST which is complimented by $2K jackpot Trifectas on races 3 to 6. The first race of an action packed 10 event card begins at 5.08pm EST. For further information contact the Club on 07 3262 2577 or Racing Queensland

Atlanta (Scott Zeron) won the second of two divisions of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for sophomore harness racing trotting fillies at Vernon Downs on Thursday (July 19). Repentance (Jim Morrill Jr.) was first to the quarter in 27.0. Atlanta ($2.10) who is trained by Rick Zeron, stormed to the front just after the quarter and controlled the race the rest of the way (:57.0, 1:26.4, 1:53.4). Her win in the second division of the NYSS ($61,300) was never in doubt. Lucky Ava (Ake Svanstedt) was second best with Repentance getting third money. Atlanta is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven and is owned by the team of Rick Zeron, Crawford Farms, Howard Taylor, Holland Racing Stable, and Bradley Grant. She is now five for five this season and nine for fourteen in her career. Lima Novelty (Scott Zeron) holds off Ciao Dolce (Ake Svanstedt) to win the NYSS first division ($60,200). Ciao Dolce led to a first quarter in :27.3. Lima Novelty ($3.00) went first-over from fourth and brushed by to take the lead before hitting the half in :57.0. She continued to lead, hitting three-quarters in 1:26.1. Ciao Dolce followed in the pocket until mid stretch. She would go first over and battle down the rest of the stretch but Lima Novelty dug in and held on to win in 1:54.1. Ciao Dolce settled for second while Tribute To Seven (Matt Kakaley) fired late to finish third. Lima Novelty is a 3-year-old filly by Chapter Seven. Owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano, she won for the fourth time this season and the eighth time in her career. Scott Zeron won three on the night as he added a win with the Russian Spy ($4.40). Matt Kakaley visited the winner's circle three times on the night as well. He got his wins with Talkoholic ($48.00), Byway ($10.20), and White Cheetah ($5.90). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (July 20) with an 11 race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Champion reinsman Chris Alford has produced the greatest season by an Australian driver, officially breaking new ground with win number 389 at Geelong tonight. With a victory on $13-shot Dependlebury in the Flying Brick Original Cider Pace, Alford moved past Daryl Douglas' season record of 388 wins that had stood since the 2007-08 season. “It’s a mark that may never be beaten," caller Dan Mielicki told Trots Vision in the wake of Alford's win. "400 is in danger, and that’s a record that will stand for a very, very long time.” Alford entered today one shy of Douglas' record but won with his family's two-year-old trotting filly Sleepee at Stawell today and then made the 210km trek to Geelong to steer Dependlebury to an against-the-odds win. The achievement attracted much praise from his peers and trots fans. Read More Michael Howard For Trots media

Talent comes in many forms. And in many shapes and sizes. But for Luke McCarthy, as a kid growing up in Bathurst, all he wanted to do was horses, or harness racing to be more precise. He would shadow his father John with the family horses, always keen and eager to learn as much as possible.  The young country kid dreamed big. And when the family packed up their home and headed to the ‘big smoke’ of Brisbane, young McCarthy put plans in place. As a fresh-faced teenager, he captured much of the public imagination with his precocious talent and his unparalleled skillset in the sulky which netted many features in a short space of time. Owners and trainers alike were flocking to utilize his services on race day. It was all but impossible not to fall for him, so splendid were his gifts, so endearing his personality. From a very young age, he was destined to become a big time harness racing driver. And he can drive fast. Never fussed on achieving high academic grades, he watched time tick by at school until the bell sounded so he could get home and grade his equine students on the family property. He would mark his calendar and counted the days down until the next set of school holidays so he could spend time with the likes of famous Turnbull clan at The Lagoon and the legendary Brian Hancock. His thirst for knowledge was unwavering. He would ply his trade at every available opportunity, always looking to hone his style after watching as much vision as possible. His first drive resulted in success, steering Castle Belles to victory at Redcliffe on March 5, 1999. Now boasting over 2200 lifetime victories, McCarthy has firmly established himself as one of the best big race drivers in the sport. His winning drive behind Muscle Hill (widely regarded as the greatest trotter of all-time) in the 2009 World Trotting Derby at DuQuoin, Illinois is a clear illustration of his talent. He has 55 Gr.1 victories while 12 have come via the Grand Circuit. And 8 of those Grand Circuit triumphs have come at his favourite track – Albion Park. This weekend, he can add to that tally. McCarthy will partner star mare Carlas Pixel in the Gr.1 $200,540 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship. The Dean Braun trained mare must overcome gate 13, the outside of the second-line in the 2680m mobile feature. Gambling giant UBET has listed Carlas Pixel as a $10 chance. “We’ve got a good shot; I know the draw looks bad on paper but I still think she’s good enough to win, she felt so strong last week and should improve a little further with the extra week up here. We just need a strong first lap which will bring us right into it.” McCarthy said. Carlas Pixel thrashed her rivals in her Queensland debut when brilliantly winning the Fleur De Lil Ladyship Stakes against her own sex. History is against the fairer sex in this event, first staged in 1969, only one mare has proven successful, champion mare Tailamade Lombo scored back in 2000. McCarthy guided Cobbity Classic to victory in 2004 followed by Slipnslide (2005/06), Mr Feelgood (2010/11), Washakie (2012), Ideal Scott (2013) and For A Reason (2014). During a decade long reign, only Blacks A Fake (2008/09) stopped a McCarthy family clean sweep of the Sunshine State feature. Now based in Sydney near Menangle, McCarthy has only scored one Grand Circuit victory in his home state, he took the winning drive behind Washakie in the 2010 Treuer Memorial when defeating Blacks A Fake while other Grand Circuit triumphs have come via Melbourne with For A Reason and Mr Feelgood (Victoria Cup) while Bling It On (Hunter Cup - 2017) is his most recent winner. And while he craves more success on the Grand Circuit, he’s chuffed with what he’s got and where he’s got it. “Make no mistake, I love driving at Albion Park and enjoy getting back there as often as I can. I suppose because we had so much family success at the track and because it provided a perfect spring board to where we are now, it makes it a special place and we all have so many great memories. “While I’ve been lucky enough to drive on so many great tracks around the world, I still rate Albion Park as my favourite venue to drive at. All of us (Luke, Andy & Toddy) boys kicked off our careers here in Brisbane and we’ve all won big races here too along with dad. “I don’t take these victories for granted, it’s hard to get horses good enough for this grade let alone winning them. I can vividly remember all of my big race triumphs at this track and hopefully there’s another one just around the corner.” Judging by his recent efforts over the past three Saturday nights, his form is as good as ever. From 23 drives, McCarthy has landed 12 winners including his quintet last weekend. Interestingly, with all the glory he has achieved in Queensland, McCarthy has never won a state drivers premiership. However, he has dominated the metropolitan drivers’ premiership. McCarthy secured the Albion Park premierships during the 2001/02, 02/03, 03/04, 04/05, 05/06, 06/07 and 2009/10 seasons. His strike rate this season currently sits at 1 win in every 4 drives. His biggest season came via the 2006/07 term when he landed 164 winners. And only once during the past 17 seasons has McCarthy missed the century mark (2008/09 – 90 wins). Another feature McCarthy is chasing this weekend is the Gr.2 $75,540 AQWA Constructions Queensland Derby. He will partner boom pacer and race favourite Duplicated who starts from the coveted inside draw. Like Carlas Pixel, Duplicated hails from the stables of Braun. “This is a very serious prospect; he surprised me in a very good way last week when taking my first drive behind him. He was sharp and will improve plenty from the run; he’s got great stamina and a very high cruising pace. “I’m really looking forward to driving him again, he’ll be spot on and he’s the horse to beat. Dean’s a great trainer and a pleasure to drive for; I know he’s excited about the weekend too.” Duplicated is rated as a $1.40 elect with UBET. The McCarthy/Braun combination struck last year when they combined to win the Queensland Oaks with Shartin, now considered the best pacing mare in the world following a spate of big race victories in North America and Canada this year. Luke McCarthy Rates His Top 5: Muscle Hill ("and by a fair margin") Be Good Johnny Mr Feelgood Slipnslide Bling It On Special mentions – Famous Forever and All Speed Hanover. McCarthy will turn 36 in November this year. Chris Barsby

MILTON, ON -  July 19, 2018 - The inaugural National Caretaker Appreciation Day will take place this Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park and it would be a challenge to find an individual who feels recognizing the unsung heroes of the sport isn't long overdue. "They're the backbone and without a doubt not just to my operation, but the industry as a whole," said veteran trainer Ben Wallace. "I have two of the best and they've been with me a while and thank goodness they have. They are without a doubt the unsung heroes and there is no way we could function without them." National Caretaker Appreciation Day will be held at tracks across Canada this weekend from July 20 to 22. The program idea came from a meeting between trainer Sarah Lauren Scott, a former caretaker, and Kathy Wade Vlaar, Manager of Industry Marketing for Standardbred Canada. This weekend's event at Woodbine Mohawk Park has been primarily organized by Scott and promises to be a memorable evening. Activities include gift bags for all caretakers, special mementos for winning caretakers, complimentary dinner in the paddock kitchen, race sponsorships for each race and draw prizes. Caretakers are typically behind the scenes, but this Saturday each caretaker will be publicly acknowledge by track announcer Ken Middleton during the post parades. "Appreciation and acknowledgement will go a long way in whatever you do," Scott said. "Each caretaker has responsibilities that deserve to be credited." Adding to the evening's events, a pair of caretakers will honoured in the winner's circle with the Dwane Graham Achievement Award as outstanding caretakers. Graham, who passed away in March, epitomized the definition of a hardworking, knowledgeable and kind caretaker that always put his horses first. Veteran reinsman Paul MacDonell is one of many horsepeople happy to see the creation of National Caretaker Appreciation Day. "I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was going to be a day directed towards them," MacDonell said. "They are unsung heroes in my mind. They get up first thing in the morning and they are there late at night and during the day it can go on for hours, so they really deserve this." The average racing fan may overlook the high-level of trust that drivers put in caretakers for every day or night of racing. "They're the ones that have to report everything to the trainer about the horse and any specific that could've gone wrong or right during the week," MacDonell explained. "We entrust them to make sure the horses are harnessed and all the equipment is intact before we go out onto the track." Scott is hopeful that National Caretaker Appreciation Day can also be used to help grow the industry and put a spotlight on opportunities for employment. "The entry level position of being a caretaker needs to be updated and glorified to a degree so when the Millennials are seeking employment our industry is considered," Scott said. "Being a caretaker requires someone very driven and committed. Behind every great horse is a caretaker." Dedication is the main trait trainers seek in their caretakers and many believe it is an important factor in having success on the track. "I just find the ones that really love their horses are the best ones," MacDonell said. "They're the ones that put in the time and effort. They all come differently, but the ones that really care about their horses are the ones that really are the backbone of our industry." Wallace echoed MacDonell's thoughts. "Dedication is the thing that comes to mind first...I would say diligence, being on time and responsible are the biggest characteristics." In addition to Woodbine Mohawk Park, twelve additional tracks across the country will be hosting events this weekend to recognize and honour caretakers. "It's a big initiative and participation has been overwhelming," explained Wade Vlaar. "The industry is 100% behind this project and this is one small way we can say thank you to some of the hardest working individuals in our sport." Post time for Saturday's card of racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park is 7:30 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

WASHINGTON, PA, July 19, 2018 -- When Larry Karr met Larry Karr, the earth moved. Reunited now after several years apart, the pair will try to recapture the magic when Larry Karr, the human, sends Larry Karr, the 3-year-old colt he co-owns, after Adios orchids. The 52nd edition of the $450,000 (est) Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids kicks off Saturday at The Meadows with a pair of eliminations that go as races 12 and 13. The first four finishers in each elimination, plus the fifth-place finisher with higher career earnings, return for the July 28 final. Larry Karr leaves from post 2 in race 13 with Yannick Gingras at the helm. The eliminations card also includes a pair of stakes for freshman pacing colts as well as a number of "big score" wagering opportunities: a $7,500-guaranteed Pick 4 (races 4-7), a $5,000-guaranteed Pick 5 (races 11-15) and a $2,748.90 jackpot in the Super High 5 (race 15). First post for the eliminations card is 1:05 PM. A New Jersey resident, Karr is well known in the business world as the associate general counsel for the North American operations of Ingredion Incorporated, a manufacturer of food ingredients. But he's just as prominent in harness racing, particularly as a partner in many horses trained by Ron Burke. Karr's father owned Standardbreds and took young Larry with him when he raced at Monticello, the Meadowlands, Yonkers and Roosevelt. "I sometimes say that my legal job gets in the way of my horse racing activities," Karr jokes. In 2015, Karr was reviewing weanlings at Diamond Creek Farm's annual open house when Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek called one of the youngsters to his attention. "He mentioned that the dam of this colt was Emily Car, same last name as mine but spelled differently. He was a good-looking colt. About eight months later, Adam asked me if he could name the colt Larry Karr. I was happy to consent." Karr and his partners tried to buy Larry Karr at his subsequent yearling auction and set a ceiling of $30,000. When another bidder hammered him down for $35,000, that seemed to be that. But storybook romances don't end that way. "He showed ability at 2 but got sick later in the year," Karr says. "We heard he was available and began pursuing him on and off about a month ago. His prior owners are very decent folks. I'm not sure if our interest in this horse is due to his performance or to his connection with me. I hope it's a little bit of both." That's how C. Kevin Thomas and the estate of James Thompson sold Larry Karr to Larry Karr and his partners -- Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC and Frank Baldachino. As Adios contenders go, the credentials of the equine Larry Karr are a little light. The A Rocknroll Dance gelding has banked just less than $20,000 in his career, and although he's entering the Adios off three straight wins at Hoosier Park, those victories have been in overnights rather than stakes. "It's undoubtedly a major step up," Karr says, "but he's pretty well staked. If we can get him to step up even a little bit, he'll be well worth what we paid for him." Karr may not know exactly what to expect of his namesake come Saturday, but he considers one outcome unacceptable. "We've been joking that if the horse doesn't do well, my co-owners will say, 'Larry Karr stinks.' I never want to hear that." Here are the Adios eliminations fields in post position order with trainers, drivers and morning line odds: Elimination 1, Race 12 1. Summer Travel Andrew Harris/David Miller 10-1 2. No Easy Day Ron Burke/Matt Kakaley 8-1 3. American History Tony Alagna/Yannick Gingras 7-2 4. Shadow Cat John Butenschoen/Brett Miller 6-1 5. Bambino Joe Greg Wright, Jr./Aaron Merriman 10-1 6. GD Western Joe Burke/Dave Palone 8-1 7. Done Well Brian Brown/Tim Tetrick 5-2 8. Wes Delight Mark Harder/Corey Callahan 9-2 Elimination 2, Race 13 1. Springsteen Rene Allard/Simon Allard 6-1 2. Larry Karr Burke/Gingras 4-1 3. Dorsoduro Hanover Burke/Kakaley 2-1 4. Hitman Hill Chris Oakes/Brett Miller 10-1 5. Thinkbig Dreambig Jimmy Takter/Jordan Stratton 9-2 6. Odds On Lauderdale Alagna/Andrew McCarthy 8-1 7. Western Beachboy Christen Pantaleano/Jim Pantaleano 10-1 8. Babes Dig Me Alagna/David Miller 8-1 by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

A win on the punt and a quick scroll through social media started a chain reaction that would lead Steve Salter, part-owner of dual Group 1 winner Tact Tate, from Victoria to Brisbane this weekend.  A masterful drive by Amanda Turnbull helped Tact Tate complete a long-awaited comeback to the winners’ stall in last week's Group 2 Sunshine Sprint, following a near 15-month stint on the sidelines through injury.   Salter bought into the gelding in August 2015 after Nathan Jack posted a notice via ‘Twitter’ that he and Turnbull were looking to syndicate a horse they’d bought from New Zealand. “I had a lucky win on the punt one day and then I saw that Nathan put it up on Twitter. I had always wanted to have one with Nathan and Amanda and I know Amanda likes the McArdles, so when I saw McArdle in the breeding I thought ‘Why not?’,” he said. “What I also bought into was a great bunch of owners. I have made lifelong friends and Nathan and Amanda have been terrific … I can’t speak highly enough of them.”  Tact Tate's Group 1 wins include the 2016 Nestle 4YO Bonanza and the 2017 Bohemia Crystal. But following the Bathurst Mayors cup in March 2017, scans showed the gelding had suffered a bone chip. He would race just once between then and June this year. Salter praised Nathan and Amanda for nursing Tact Tate back to full health.  “Hence the excitement after we won,” Salter said. “I had a few of my mates asking me ‘Why are you so excited, the Grand Final (Blacks A Fake) is next weekend’. “But it was the knowledge that we could have lost him that made the win all the more special.” Salter said he had now made lifelong friends in the ownership group, and hopes to be celebrating just as hard this weekend.  "I don't see any reaason why he couldn't (win). Hopefully he doesn't have to spend too much energy early. I'm worried about a couple inside us but if he shows the speed he did last week he can be up there. It's a Group 1 race and you've got to be in it to win it!"  Tact Tate can also earn his connections an extra $50,000 in UBET Grand Slam Bonuses, if he is able to win on Saturday night. A minor placing would also give them $15,000. Ohoka Punter and Celestial Arden can also earn their connections an extra $15,000 should either place or win.  By Alex Nolan Racing Queensland

A little under a year ago, it looked as if the career of star pacer Beaudiene Boaz was finished. The son of Badlands Hanover pulled up sore after track work, where it was later revealed he had done a suspensory ligament in his back leg. He was then sent for an operation, and missed all of the feature races over the summer period, including the Inter Dominion, which he finished third in in 2016. Trainer Gary Hall Snr said he doesn’t know how the six-year-old has been able to get back to the track, ahead of his return to racing in tomorrow night’s Garrards Horse & Hound For All Your Equine Needs Pace (2536m). “His track work and trial form has been pretty good,” he said. “He’s showing no signs of any problems. Beaudiene Boaz trialled at Pinjarra last Sunday, where he defeated stablemate Runrunjimmydunn over 2185m. Hall Snr said he got exactly what he wanted out of the trial with the Golden Slipper, WA Derby and Golden Nugget winner. “He came from last and won,” he said. “Runrunjimmydunn led, and Beaudiene Boaz went 1.56.8 for the journey on a wet track, which was reasonable.” Beaudiene Boaz has drawn barrier six for tomorrow night’s event, and faces a high quality field for his return to the track including star stablemate Chicago Bull, and the Kyle Harper-trained Bettors Fire. Hall Snr said despite the tricky assignment tomorrow night, he still felt Beaudiene Boaz was capable of finding his best form again and would take benefit from the run tomorrow. “If he doesn’t go sore, I expect him to get back to his best,” he said. “He won’t go east, but he will be set for the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups. “He will go back at the start tomorrow night, and I expect him to be competitive, but I couldn’t imagine him beating Chicago Bull or Bettors Fire. “I’m sure he can run into the minors.” Chicago Bull, who returned to racing in winning fashion last Friday night, is again expected to be the one to beat tomorrow night, but Hall Snr said he would need to be at his best to beat Bettors Fire. “I’m happy with him,” he said. “I think Bettors Fire will be pretty hard to beat if he finds the front and Chicago Bull has to sit in the breeze.” Hall Snr also has Runrunjimmydunn to make his return tomorrow night, and was confident of a forward showing from the gelding first-up. Elsewhere on the night, Hall Snr said Lets Chase The Dream and Chok Chai were both in winnable races. The Gloucester Park meeting gets underway at 5.22pm. Tim Walker

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Heading into Saturday night, in two of the previous five installments of the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel, the track record has been set. In 2013, Bolt The Duer lowered the all-age track record to 1:49 before having his mark eclipsed the following season when Dancin Yankee cruised to a 1:48.4 score in the Gerrity. In 2016, defending National Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit shined in the season's biggest race at Saratoga as he overcame a difficult journey to prevail in the $260,000 race that memorializes the longtime former Chairman of the Board of Saratoga Harness Inc. Joe Gerrity Jr. Saturday night was the tenth installment of the race in his honor. The winner of the '17 Gerrity Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) was back to defend his crown and wound up as a 2-1 co-second choice in the wagering on a beautiful night for racing in the Spa City. Bit Of A Legend sat the pocket behind the favored Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) who was hounded while on the engine, having to endure first half fractions of 26.2 and 53.4 before seeing rival Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) fly past him heading towards three quarters. Evenin Of Pleasure took over and took off, pacing away from his rivals before stopping the timer in 1:49.2, the third fastest time for any horse in track history. Evenin Of Pleasure's romp came by a margin of five and a half lengths. Bit Of A Legend N now has a win and two seconds in the Gerrity as he was the runner-up on Saturday night while Rockin Ron earned the show spot. With the win, the eight year old Evenin Of Pleasure went over the $1 million mark in career earnings. A force at Yonkers this spring and summer, Evenin Of Pleasure is trained by Jenn Bongiorno for owner Gestion Blais, Inc. of Montreal, QC, CA. Evenin Of Pleasure paid $6.00 to win and led an exacta and triple that came back $18 and $49.40, respectively. Saturday's star-studded card also featured a blanket presentation for harness racing's richest horse as Foiled Again was honored in the winner's circle at the conclusion of his conditional race at the Spa. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening with a first post time of 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 21, 2018-Veteran Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald, $6.60) had to work for the lead and that worked for him Saturday night (July 21st), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. Using his usual gate speed, Great Vintage-from post position No. 5-had an early impediment in Barimah A (Brent Holland). Forced wide around that one, Great Vintage then continued to the lead, taking over from Robbie Burns N (Greg Merton) before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. Once he fronted the fray, Great Vintage finished it off (:56.4, 1:24.4, 1:52.4). Second went to a stubborn 17-10 fave Always at My Place (George Brennan), who was also compromised when an out-again Barimah A moved first-up and was his obligatory hard-to-steer self. Barimah A eventually went back in-again-leaving Always at My Place to take up the chase. Great Vintage, with a length-and-a-half lead entering the lane, defeated Always at My Place by three-quarters of a length in 1:52. Robbie Burns N was a pocket third, with Run Oneover N (Jim Marohn Jr.) and that Barimah A rounding out the payees. For second choice Great Vintage, a 10-year-old son of American Ideal owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Goran Anderberg & Goran Falk and trained by Jimmy Takter, it was his fourth win in 11 seasonal starts (career 44-for-159, earnings over $1.24 million). The exacta paid $22, the triple returned $68.50 and the superfecta paid $281. Sunday's (July 22nd) matinee has a first post of 12:30 PM, with races 1 through 4 of the overflow-field, mile-and-a-quarter 'French' theme. The 'New York, New York Double' is comprised of Saratoga's third race and Yonkers' fifth. Post times are 2:07 PM and 2:20 PM, respectively. . by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
Obrigado (Rene Sejthen) looked in prime form beating the best trotters at Tioga Downs on Saturday (July 21). Obrigado ($5.20) was bet as the second choice to Barn Bella (Claude Huckabone). Obrigado controlled all the fractions (:27.3, :56.3, 1:25.0, 1:53.3). He went to the lead and never gave it up even as he was pressured all the way down the backstretch and the final turn by the betting favorite, Barn Bella (Claude Huckabone Jr.). Prairie Fortune (Jim Meittinis) took a run at him in the stretch but settled for second best. Barn Bella gutted it out to finish third. Obrigado is an 8-year-old gelding by Boy Band. Owned by trainer Paul Kelley as well as SRF Stable, L Higgins and Stable 45. It was his first win in two years and career victory number 43. He has won almost 1.8 million dollars in his career. Truth And Liberty (Mike Simons) fires late to capture Fillies and Mares Open Handicap ($12,000). Roll With Sparky led the group to the first quarter in :27.1 and the half in :56.1. K J's Caroline (Mike Merton) then took a short lead before hitting three-quarters in 1:23.4. Truth And Liberty ($5.20), who is owned by Fairy Horsemother Stables and trained by Simons, went three wide at the top of the stretch and blew right by to win in 1:52.3. MC Attagirl (Fern Paquet Jr.) came up late to finish second. K J's Caroline settled for third. Truth And Liberty is a 6-year-old mare by Total Truth. It was her third win in 2018. She now has 31 lifetime victories. Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Sunday (July 22) with a 13 race card starting at 6:15. For more information go to   by John Horne, for Tioga Downs
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Helpisontheway looked like a seat-filler in the Saturday night feature at the Meadowlands, the $61,900 Arthur Tompkins Memorial for 3-year-old colts and geldings on the trot. The Linda Toscano trainee was sent to the gate at odds of 9-1 and was one of only two horses in the field of eight who are not eligible to the Hambletonian. He may not have looked like much on paper, but he sure did on the track. Tim Tetrick used a little of the colt's speed to grab the three hole early, before brushing to the top just before the half. Racing on the rim, here came 8-5 second choice Zephyr Kronos, inching closer as the pair passed three-quarters. In mid-stretch, it appeared Zephyr Kronos would go by easily, as driver Jimmy Takter wasn't getting after his Hambo hopeful, who is a son of Ready Cash-Orange Kronos. In deep stretch, Tetrick energetically asked Helpisontheway for more, and he responded as Takter took that cue and got after his colt, but at the conclusion of the three-sixteenths of a mile duel, it was Helpisontheway prevailing by a hard-fought neck in 1:53.2. Met's Hall finished third. Evaluate, the 3-2 favorite, went off stride at the start. Helpisontheway, a son of Chapter Seven-Porque who won twice earlier this year on the New York Sire Stakes circuit, now has three wins in seven starts this season and earnings of just over $94,000. He paid $20.60 to win. In the Arthur Tompkins for sophomore trotting females, Hey Blondie lived up to her 4-5 promise, racing parked for the final half-mile yet still scoring easily by a length over Bill's Lady in 1:54.3. Hey Blondie, a daughter of Cantab Hall-Winbak Blondie who is Hambletonian Oaks eligible, was driven by Andy McCarthy and trained by Chuck Sylvester. She returned $3.60 to her backers. A LITTLE MORE: The Early 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five resulted in a single-ticket winner. That Oregon Express player, who held the ticket with the 5-1-3-6-9 combination in race nine, walked away with $20,039. ... It was a double jackpot night, as the Late JSH5 was also hit, by a player in Ontario. That bettor with the ticket reading 9-6-5-3-1 in race 12 was paid $13,401. ... The 20-Cent Survivor Pick-10 also had only one winner. That lucky Twin Spires player survived eight legs of the wager and cashed in for $11,109. ... The 50-Cent Pick-4 pool went past the $90,000 mark for a sixth straight time, as $90,308 was poured into the pot. ... All-source wagering totaled $1,942,079. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Friday at 7:15 p.m. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

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