Day At The Track
Mostinterestingman in earlier start, Harness racing

Mostinterestingman compelling in Open upset

Mostinterestingman took the first-over route to win the $37,000 harness racing Open Trot at Yonkers Raceway on Friday, and he, at 11-1, proved much of the betting public wrong as he crossed the line in front.   Jordan Stratton requested moderate speed from the gelding as the starting gate pulled away and slotted into third. Nows The Moment (Matt Kakaley) was parked out by the former, so he accelerated to take the lead at the quarter mile marker, which he hit in :27.2.   Nows The Moment got a second-quarter breather as he completed the half in :57. Mostinterestingman switched to the outside as the field of eight turned into the backstretch for the last time, and he immediately gained on the leader. He put a nose in front of Nows The Moment as they passed three-quarters in 1:25.1 and left the field behind in the stretch.   Mostinterestingman scored the victory in 1:55. Hill Of A Horse (Brent Holland) launched a late rally, but was three quarters of a length short in second. Smallltownthrowdown (Austin Siegelman) was third throughout. The winner paid $24.60.   MOSTINTERESTINGMAN REPLAY     Mostinterestingman, an eight-year-old Manofmanymissions gelding, passed the $700,000 earnings mark with the victory. He has visited the winner's circle 34 times from 158 total starts. Ricky Bucci, a resident of Campbell Hall, is the trainer and a co-owner along with Richard Solano of Coconut Creek.   George Brennan won three dashes for the second night in a row; he drove Mariner Seelster (1:54.1), Sports Bettor (1:53.2), and Patriarch Hanover (1:55.3) to victory on Friday.   Yonkers Raceway will return on Monday, May 17 with an 11-race card featuring another $37,000 Open.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink

Dancin Lou, harness racing

Another stallion TAX victim

Another stallion deal has fallen through due to the ‘Stallion TAX’ the Harness Racing Australia Executive is proposing the immediate introduction of. Studmaster Shane Murphy of Mountain View Stud, in Victoria, was in negotiations to bring Breeders Crown winner Dancin Lou 1:47.2 ($1,119,848) to Australia, however, this will not be happening. “I’ve been looking to shuttle a stallion to Australia for a while, trying to find the right horse,” said Murphy. “I found Dancin Lou who is by Sweet Lou, based in Canada and is only a five-year-old so he ticked all the right boxes but the deal has fallen through. Dancin Lou - Winning The Breeders Crown and beating Bettors Wish and Captain Crunch in the process “The Stallion TAX didn’t help with the negotiating and it just wouldn’t have been a wise move on my behalf. “I just can’t take any stallion on so will have to re-evaluate what I do. “It is a bit of a shame as I was sensing a lot more optimism in the industry but I feel this Stallion TAX has taken that away.” By Amanda Rando for Harnesslink

Guardian Angel AS, harness racing

Guardian Angel AS is pride of the stable

Hightstown, NJ — Guardian Angel AS has been part of Anna Lorentzon’s life for the better part of six years now, so it is no surprise she developed a special connection with her family’s homebred harness racing trotter. But their bond goes beyond mere success on the racetrack, where the stallion has won multiple Grand Circuit stakes and earned $1.44 million. “He was my father’s favorite horse of the last 10 or 15 years,” said Lorentzon, referring to John-Erik Magnusson, who passed away in 2018. “As long as he’s racing, it’s part of my dad. Every ACL (farm) horse is going to be part of my dad, but especially him because he was his pride the last few years before he passed away. He means a lot to the whole stable, that’s for sure.” Anna Lorentzon has developed a special connection with her family’s homebred trotter, Guardian Angel AS. USTA/Ken Weingartner photo. Guardian Angel AS was bred in Kentucky by the family’s ACL Stuteri AB and is trained by Lorentzon’s sister, Anette. The 7-year-old stallion by Archangel, owned by ACL and Kjell Johansson, has won 25 of 65 career races and counts the 2019 Maple Leaf Trot and 2019 Spirit of Massachusetts among his top triumphs. He also won the 2019 Cleveland Trotting Classic with a world-record performance at Northfield Park and last year captured the Crawford Farms Open Trot. On Saturday, he will try to add the $141,250 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at The Meadowlands to his credits. He heads to the annual event for older trotters off a fifth-place finish in the Charlie Hill Memorial on May 6 at Eldorado Scioto Downs. It was Guardian Angel AS’ first start of the year. “Anette has been happy with him,” said Lorentzon, who assists her sister by handling the stable’s horses in New Jersey and has traveled with Guardian Angel AS to all but two of his lifetime races. “He always needs a couple of qualifiers and a start to get going. He’s proved that every year. “He seems good. He trained good this week so we’re hoping for the best (Saturday) especially because we have a good draw. He’s a happy horse and still loves to do it. He doesn’t do much wrong. He might want his way a little bit more now, but other than that, nothing.” Guardian Angel AS and driver Tim Tetrick will start the Cutler from post three. Guardian Angel AS is 5-1 on the morning line in the 10-horse field. The Cutler morning-line favorite is 7-year-old stallion Lindy The Great, who is 2-for-2 this season for trainer Julie Miller and driver Andy Miller. Lisa photo. The Cutler morning-line favorite is 7-year-old stallion Lindy The Great, who is 2-for-2 this season for trainer Julie Miller and driver Andy Miller. A winner of $1.06 million lifetime, Lindy The Great is 3-1 and will start from post seven. “I was happy with the draw; that was OK, the seven hole,” Julie Miller said. “We were prepping him for this race and he’s had two good starts to get tight. He trained well this week, so hopefully we can get a little racing luck and have some go. “It seems like he’s grown into his own. With age, he just keeps getting better. I hope that continues for him.” The race also features two award-winners making their first starts of 2021. Six-year-old mare Manchego, a two-time Dan Patch Award recipient, will start from post nine for trainer Nancy Takter and driver Dexter Dunn. She is 9-2. Forbidden Trade, Canada’s 2019 Horse of the Year after winning that season’s Hambletonian Stakes, starts from post 10 for trainer Luc Blais and driver Bob McClure. He is 7-2. Saturday’s card at The Meadowlands also includes two $50,000 divisions of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old pacers. In addition, Dan Patch Award winner Amigo Volo makes his 4-year-old debut in the $30,000 Preferred Trot. Racing begins at 6:20 p.m. (EDT) Saturday at The Meadowlands. The Big M and TrackMaster have teamed to regularly provide free past performances for each race card. Past performances can be found here on The Meadowlands website. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Francis Richard, harness racing

Francis Richard realistic with three 8-posts

Trois-Rivieres, QC - By his own admission, with a stable made up mainly of young horses, it is quite rare that harness racing trainer Francis Richard is so active so early in the season. The situation in 2021 is a little different since he currently has in his stable a few older horses that meet the conditions well, especially in the so-called feature events. This is the case in this second program of the young season at the Hippodrome 3R Friday (3:00 pm) afternoon with three starters, three from the eighth position. What to do with the 8th position? It is well known that the eighth position on a half-mile track like H3R is quite a challenge. Yes, sometimes horses darting from 8th position win, but especially in lower classes. From the first program of the season last week, Diamond Rock, Lise Carbonneau's horse from trainer Pierre Leclerc, with Pascal Berube to the guides, demonstrated this. But it was a class of non-winners of a race. For Richard, winning the lead is no easy task: "The mare Topsill Beach won last week but she enjoyed a nice mile," Francis said. "An ultra-fast first half helped her. I thought the best mare in this group was Daniel St-Pierre's mare, Arrhytmogenic. My mare, whom I claimed on the last day of racing in Mohawk, had qualified well but I would not have thought she would have won. We'll see this week." First departures in addition According to Richard, what does not help in addition to being handicapped by the 8th position is that his two other starters on Friday, Dreydl Hanover and Profound Paragon will be in their first start in a long time: "We must not forget that the mare of my good friend Jean-Bernard Renaud," Richard explained. "Before his qualification on April 1, he had not raced since October. That's a long time. Jean-Bernard is a good friend of mine, so when he saw that we were racing at H3R, we started to think that maybe some of his horses could do well here." "I moderate my expectations," Richard added. "However, since, yes, the mare has earned a lot of money in 2020 as a three-year-old; this time, she faces some pretty tough elderly experienced horses. As for Dreydl Hanover, I've only had him a few days. This is for me the first horse for the owner Francis Morin. He qualified well, that's all I can say at the moment. In all three cases, it will be a good challenge, no doubt!" Two days of racing this week The race office at H3R pulled off a miracle this weekend. Remember that the final decision to add racing on Friday came only on Tuesday and the next day, the race office came alive to fill two programs, the one on Friday and the one on Sunday. One thing is to have horses in numbers, another that of being able to classify them in races that do them justice. Among the things that can be seen on this second H3R race program on Friday, we highlight in broad strokes a few facts: the professional debut of Jessica Turenne, who has passed her ten qualifying lines in record time. According to Manon Gravel, who can be trusted when it comes to such statistics, it is very rare for a rookie, male or female, to pass their ten races without missing a single one. At best, we try a dozen times to succeed ten, but Jessica, the daughter of Serge Turenne and Linda Belanger, made the stroke of a ten out of ten! Jessica will drive her Angelo Benjo to the 3rd race and he has a rating of 7/2. Stephane Brosseau will have a busy afternoon as he will be at work in all ten races! One more testimony, if one were needed, of his great popularity to the trainers. Pascal Berube and Samuel Fillion followed with seven drives each. A word of advice to punters: it would be surprising if Guy Gagnon, the Rideau champion, came to H3R to watch the races. He was relatively quiet on May 7, but it could be much more visible this week. Post time Friday is 3:00 pm and Sunday at 12:30 pm. For a free race program and more information about the Hippodrome 3R, visit www.hippodrome3r.com. By Daniel Delisle, for the Quebec Jockey Club  

WASHINGTON, PA -  May 14, 2021 -- In Range was among the sport's top 2-year-old harness racing colt trotters last year and was tantalizingly close to several signature victories that would have elevated his profile significantly. On Saturday, the Hambletonian eligible kicks off what his connections hope will be his breakthrough sophomore campaign in the $150,507 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event, known as the Hickory Smoke, will be contested over three divisions, races 8, 9 and 11. In Range goes from post 5, race 9 with Tim Tetrick driving. Saturday's card also features a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake for 3-year-old male trotters. First post is 11:25 AM, an early start that will roll the live card into the track's simulcast of the Preakness. In Range captured three PASS preliminary legs last year and banked more than $411,000, an outstanding season to be sure. But, oh, what might have been. In the PASS championship, he finished second, 2 lengths behind Captain Corey. In the Breeders Crown final, he was second again, beaten 3/4 lengths by upset winner On A Streak. And in Southwind Tyrion's record 1:51.3 mile in the International Stallion Stakes at the Red Mile, In Range was, yep, second once more, 1-3/4 lengths back. Yet Marcus Melander, who trains the son of Bar Hopping-Ilia for AMG Stable, Kenneth Kjellgren, Tomas Ansell and Rick Wahlstedt, says he wasn't at all frustrated by the tough beats in marquee races. "It wasn't like we were the favorite in those races," he says. "My horse surprised me. When he was training down, I thought he was a nice horse but not the horse he turned out to be." The owners thought so highly of In Range that they gave $185,000 for him as a yearling -- and they haven't been disappointed so far. "We had his half brother Long Tom, who turned out to be pretty good," Melander says. "I really liked Bar Hopping as a racehorse, so maybe we paid a little more for him than we wanted to pay. But we had him on our list, we tried to get him, and we did. "He filled out nicely and had a good winter. He's perfect to drive, never gets grabby. I would say he can do everything. He has it all." Melander will send out two others in the Hickory Smoke. Tart Tongue (race 11, post 2, Tetrick) was winless in seven outings at 2 but took the April 25 Weiss Consolation at Pocono. "I think he'll be a nice sires stake horse, but he's not of the same caliber as In Range," Melander says. Glacier Hanover (race 8, post 6, Dexter Dunn) is more of a project, with his lone career victory in an overnight event. "He's new in my barn this year, and he's really stepping up in class. We'll start him in a sires stake and see what he turns out to be." In all, Melander has about a dozen sophomore colt and gelding trotters about to begin the serious part of their schedules. The group includes Dancinginthedark, a winner of nearly $92,000 last year who'll make his seasonal debut Friday in a New Jersey Sires Stake at The Meadowlands. As he prepares for his busy weekend, Melander couldn't be blamed for reflecting on 2019 when he was preparing Gimpanzee, Greenshoe and Green Manalishi for their sophomore stakes campaigns. All that trio did was win more than $5.2 million combined lifetime and multiple Dan Patch awards . . . and help Melander secure the Trainer of the Year title. How does this year's cohort compare? "Those horses don't grow on trees -- we got a little spoiled," Melander says. "But hopefully, we'll have a good year. We have a good group. It wouldn't surprise me if some of them showed up in big races." by Evan Pattak, for The Meadows

Three year old filly Bettor Twist won her fifth Group One harness racing event tonight when taking out the $115,344 Gr1 Nevele R Fillies Series Final in the hands of driver Natalie Rasmussen. Bettor Twist made light work of her second row draw, eventually working around to the lead with a lap to go and proving too strong in the run to the judge winning impressively in a 1-55.0 mile rate for the 1980m mobile event. The Robert Dunn trained Off N Gone was a brave second 2 1/2 lengths away with a further 6 lengths back to Bettor Talk Art in third. Bettor Twist sits well clear at the top of the Harness Jewels leaderboard with a big gap back to La Rosa in second. The Hayden Cullen trained Akuta (Bettor's Delight - Adore To Our Dreams) claimed the $200,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2 for 2yo C & G later on the nights program in the hands of leading driver Blair Orange. Akuta beat home the stablemate Cosmic Major by 2 1/4 lengths in a 1-55.0 mile rate and in doing so claiming the position as number one 2yo in the country.   View the full results from Addington tonight click here!   Harnesslink Media

Exciting two-year old trotter Highgrove confirmed his number one tag for the upcoming harness racing jewels by easily winning tonights NZB Standardbred Harness Million Listed 2yo Trot at Addington raceway. Trained by Robert Dunn, the Love You gelding speared straight to the lead in the $75,000 event and was never in danger of defeat finally winning by three lengths untouched in the hands of driver John Dunn.  Wy Fi ran home well for second and Rakero Blaze held down third. The winning mile rate for Highgrove (Love You - Focus on Me)  was 2-01.8 with a final 800m in 58.5 seconds. Later on the card another big trot on the night was taken out by the Greg and Nina Hope trained Midnight Dash who won the $40,000 Listed Lone Star Aged Trotters Classic. The win came courtesy of a great Ben Hope drive when Midnight Dash (Muscle Hill - Lady Midnight) looped the field midrace to lead and then managed to hold off the opposition to win by three quarters of a length, beating Oscar Bonavena who ran a brave second and Chinese Whisper who battled home well for third. View the full results from Addington tonight click here!   Harnesslink Media

Jive Dancing A split through traffic late and reached up in the final meters to win the conditioned harness racing feature pace and head an Aussie top three at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday   Reinsman Daniel Dube, capitalizing on his rail positioning, called on Jive Dancing A for early speed and acquired the pocket entering the first turn. Lucky Artist A (Scott Zeron) left quickest and briefly attained the top spot. Dube pulled his mare out immediately to take the lead, but Imprincessgemma A (George Brennan) followed them into the two-path and struck the front just past the quarter mile in :27.2.   Jive Dancing A remained second through the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.1, but she was boxed in by the first-over Stowaway Hanover (Brent Holland) as they turned for home. The latter depleted her stamina and backed up in time for Jive Dancing A to pull out and streak past Imprincessgemma A for a 1:53.3 victory.   Imprincessgemma A had her heart broken, finished second by a nose. Waltzwithsierra A (Jordan Stratton) finished third and completed an Australian triactor. Horses with roots Down Under comprised the top five of the eight-deep field - Golden Quest N (Jason Bartlett) was fourth, and Lucky Artist A finished fifth. The winner was a mild upset - she paid $14.60.   JIVE DANCING A REPLAY     Jive Dancing A is a 25-time winner from 95 lifetime starts and has earned $170,517 lifetime. She is owned and trained by Gilberto Garcia-Herrera of Columbus, who bought her in April. The seven-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven mare moved to North America in July 2019. She made her first U.S. start on Aug. 9, 2019.   Also on the card, Tony Ciuffetelli captured the ninth leg, second division of the North American Amateur Drivers Association Spring Trot Series aboard a game Golden Kronos. Ciuffetelli placed his gelding third through a first quarter of :28, then pulled him first-up prior to the half in :58.1, grinded on the outside through three-quarters in 1:27.2, and vanquished leader Exarch (Tony Verruso) in the final eighth to win by a length and a half in 1:57. Exarch finished second, and Madhatter Blue Chip (Joe Lee) took show.   GOLDEN KRONOS REPLAY     Golden Kronos is a seven-year-old son of Chapter Seven with a record of 25-for-97 lifetime and just shy of $225,000 in earnings. Stanley Zombick Jr. trains for Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, William Pozefsky of Albany, and Myron Eckstein of Henderson.    George Brennan tripled on the evening. He won the third with E R Hilary (1:55.1), the fifth with Rockn Philly (1:55.2), and ninth with Tellitsassymae (1:52.3).   Yonkers Raceway will conclude its week of action with 10 races on Friday, May 14, which includes a $37,000 Open Trot. Those dashes will begin at 7:15 p.m. EDT.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink  

The strength of the Queensland breeding industry will be on shown this Saturday night with the running of the QBRED Triad finals for three and four-year-olds. Queensland has produced some of the sport’s brightest stars in the last two decades including the likes of Blacks A Fake, Fleur De Lil and Colt Thirty One. Now the search is on for the next Maroon poster child. With two $100,000 features for the three-year-old pacing divisions, the barrier draws conducted on Tuesday created plenty of intrigue.   Manilla Playboy will be searching for his second career Group 1 when he starts from the front row in the colts and geldings division. Trained by Shane Fraser and now driven by his new reinsman Shane Graham, the trio have combined for back-to-back victories in the last month.  His main rivals in defending Triad champion Big Wheels and New South Wales visitor Justalittle Bit have both been cursed by second line draws, which now makes their takes infinitely tougher.   When it comes to the fillies Group 1 event, on paper, the barrier draw has made the race.   The clash between Jasper and Talent To Spare has been well anticipated since they clashed throughout their juvenile campaigns. Whilst Jasper appeared to be a more well-rounded filly at two, Talent To Spare has returned in superb fashion, blazing through four victories and a second at her last five starts.   To add further to the build-up, both fillies have now drawn wide second row gates. Jasper will wear the 12 saddlecloth, whereas Talent To Spare is drawn right alongside her in 13.   Listed features for the four-year-olds and two-year-olds will also be hotly contested by some classy pacers.   Grant Dixon will once again play an important part in all 10 races on the card with a representation of 24 runners on a night that he has dominated many times in the past.   ‘The Creek’ is building towards an enormous TAB Constellations Carnival and will no doubt host a decent crowd tomorrow night, in conjunction with NRL Magic Round taking place five minutes down the road at Suncorp Stadium. In a correlation of the two sports, leading trainer Chantal Turpin’s brother Jake will captain the Brisbane Broncos tonight, whilst she will look for Group 1 success with Big Wheels and Typhoon Torque tomorrow.   If you can’t make it on track tomorrow night, never fear, as Sky Racing Active will showcase all the action on track with Cassie Fahey, Chris Barsby and myself.   The proposed Harness Racing Australia stallion levy has continued to cause rumblings across Australia and New Zealand this week.   The 15% ‘tax’ will be implemented on service fees from stallions which originate from outside of Australia, which of course encompasses American shuttle stallions, those based in New Zealand as well as Europe with frozen semen.   The issue of colonial stallions not receiving sufficient support has certainly created chatter in the past, however I don’t believe anyone saw something quite so significant on the radar.   This levy will be imposed on the stallion owners on receipt of a 45-day positive pregnancy test, however it would be foolish to assume this would not also have an effect on the broodmare owner.   In a year of positivity for the breeding industry, one integral part of the industry that has not experienced such an upswing in a very long time has achieved just that. So why do we now decide to implement a levy which will undoubtedly undo all this positive progress?  An enormous part of our harness racing eco system are studs who rely on shuttling stallions to provide to the Australian industry, then pour many of this revenue back into the game in sponsorships and support.   This levy will either break them, or break breeders. It's as simple as that – whoever wears the brunt of this tax will have an immense struggle on their hands.  Shouldn’t we want to entice our industry to be the best and breed to the best?  Shouldn’t breeders have the freedom to choose who they wish to send their mares to, without having to consider a significant tariff on most of their options?   This levy is estimated to deliver $2 million dollars annually back to the industry each year, which I am sure no one is complaining about, but surely there must be a better way to raise revenue then taxing our own participants so significantly.   We are robbing Peter to pay Paul.   Globe Derby will host South Australia’s lone Group 1 event for this season tomorrow night.   The Allwood Final for two-year-olds has been dominated by Emma Stewart, and this year’s edition looks to be no different.  2019 saw Pandering prove far too good, whereas Treachery made it a one filly affair last year.   Encipher looks to be the one to beat in this year’s edition after a tough fought heat victory, at just her first start last week.  In a stirring battle over the last lap, Encipher managed to narrowly nose out a brave Dougs Diva in the significantly quicker second heat, spacing their rivals by over 50 metres.   Kate Gath will make her way ‘home’ to South Australia this weekend in search of another Group 1 driving victory for her resume.   Best bet of the weekend – R5 N6 Albion Park Manilla Playboy  Value bet of the weekend – R7 N8 Albion Park Aunty Bella     By Brittany Graham for Sky Racing

Highgrove (NZ) (Love You) is set to continue his incredible harness racing rise in the $75,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million Two-Year-Old Trot (1980m) at Addington on Friday 14 May.  The gelding has confirmed his status as one of New Zealand’s best two-year-old trotters by winning three of his four career starts. Highgrove was purchased by trainer Robert Dunn for $34,000 at NZB Standardbred’s 2020 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch from Laura Smith’s draft. Dunn then syndicated the trotter amongst his stable owners including Alan Neumann, Ian Neumann, Vinnie Neumann, Emma Hintz, and Brent Clarke. The trainer would like nothing more than to see Highgrove reward his owners’ loyalty with a Harness Million Series crown. “They are great owners and we would love to be able to win this race for them,” Dunn said. Highgrove impressed right from the moment he joined the Diamond Racing stable following his purchase at the National Standardbred Yearling Sale. And his progression since has Dunn and his son John, who is set to take the reins behind the star trotter on Friday night, thrilled with their gelding’s Harness Million preparation. “He has always been a very nice horse,” Dunn said. “Ross Houghton broke him in for us and he really liked him. “Johnny has made some changes to his shoeing after his last run and he is really happy with him going into Friday night.” Highgrove comes into the Harness Million Two-Year-Old Trot after an emphatic eight-length win at Ashburton. Two starts prior, the gelding powered to a big win in the $28,200 Group Three New Zealand Two-Year-Old Trotting Stakes (1980m) at Addington, despite losing valuable ground early in the race. Bookmakers clearly think Dunn can deliver a Harness Million crown for his owners. Highgrove has been installed the red-hot favourite for the lucrative feature. The Sale topping trotter at NZB Standardbred’s 2020 National Yearling Sale is rated the hardest horse for Highgrove to beat. Toro Stride (NZ) (Love You) comes into Friday night’s race after running fourth at Rangiora last weekend in just his second race start for trainer Phil Williamson and driver Matthew Williamson. The two-year-old was a $280,000 purchase made by Peter Lagan Standardbreds secured from the draft of Barron Bloodstock. Brother Love (NZ) (Love You) beat Toro Stride home at Rangiora last weekend and looks a strong threat in Friday night’s feature for trainer-driver Gavin Smith. The gelding purchased by Smith for $16,000 at the 2020 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch. Emma Joy (NZ) (Majestic Son) has made the trip down South from the Waikato for trainers Jason and Megan Teaz to contest tonight’s Listed Harness Million Series race. The filly has produced a win and a second placing in just two starts while racing in the North Island. Emma Joy was purchased for $5,000 by Jason Teaz at the 2019 All Age Sale at Karaka. One Tree Hill (NZ) (Muscle Hill), Wy Fi (NZ) (Love You), Rakero Blaze (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) and Nortie Nortie (NZ) (Andover Hall) will also contest the NZB Standardbred Harness Million Two-Year-Old Trot. The $75,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million Two-Year-Old Trot (1980m) will be run as Race 6 at 7:09PM (NZT) at Addington Raceway on Friday 14 May. 2021 Harness Million Two-Year-Old Trot Final Field BARRIER HORSE DRIVER TRAINER SALE PURCHASER  1 Brother Love Gavin Smith Gavin Smith 2020 Christchurch Yearling Sale, $16,000 Mr GD Smith 2 Toro Stride   Matthew Williamson Phil Williamson 2020 Christchurch Yearling Sale, $280,000 Peter Lagan Standardbreds 3 One Tree Hill   Brad Williamson Brad Williamson 2020 Auckland Yearling Sale, $30,000 Mr BM Williamson  4 Wy Fi Natalie Rasmussen Hayden Cullen 2020 Auckland Yearling Sale, $40,000 All Stars Racing Stables 5 Highgrove   John Dunn Robert Dunn 2020 Christchurch Yearling Sale, $34,000 Diamond Racing 6 Rakero Blaze   Bob Butt Phil Burrows 2020 Auckland Yearling Sale, $30,000 Dawe Contracting  7 Emma Joy  Megan Teaz Jason & Megan Teaz 2019 Auckland All Age Sale, $5,000 Mr JL Teaz 8 Nortie Nortie   Ricky May Michael Purdon 2020 Auckland Yearling Sale, $35,000 Mr M Purdon     NZB Standardbred

Standardbred Canada reports that the storied career of one of harness racing’s ultimate warriors has come to an end with the recent announcement that Wiggle It Jiggleit has hung up his horseshoes. The charismatic campaigner, who was more than worthy of having his picture plastered on a box of Wheaties, manufactured a 39-12-6 record from 66 starts while banking just shy of $4.1 million for George Teague Jr Inc and Teague Racing Partnership. Wiggle It Jiggleit, a nine-year-old son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover, kicked off his career with 11 consecutive scores before tasting defeat for the first time in what turned out to be an epic battle with Wakizashi Hanover in the 2015 Pepsi North America Cup. As most heavyweight champions do, however, Wiggle It Jiggleit bounced back to win his next four races with sweeps of the Max Hempt Memorial and the Meadowlands Pace. But the race that stood out as arguably one of the gutsiest performances of not only his career – but possibly of all-time – was his jaw-dropping performance in the second heat of the 2015 Little Brown Jug. "That was definitely a war,” said driver Montrell Teague following the win. “I thought I was done around the last turn, too, but man, he's the gutsiest horse I've ever seen." Wiggle It Jiggleit did that day what few pacers could ever dream about doing. And it was that toughness, grit and determination that made him the horse that he was. He just found ways to win. And those characteristics helped George Teague gush about the Clyde Francis trainee whenever he had the chance. “He has generated so much interest in the sport and that is so exciting to watch,” claimed Teague. “He has so many people that follow him and I’m proud of what he has done for racing.” After his three-year-old season, he came back to race as an older horse and captured the Battle Of Lake Erie, Bobby Quillen Memorial, Canadian Pacing Derby, Dayton Pacing Derby, Dorothy Mullin Invitational, two legs of the George Morton Levy Series, Graduate Series, Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial, Dan Patch and an Invitational Pace at Yonkers. His efforts garnered O'Brien Award honours in Canada while racing against U.S. Horse of the Year Always B Miki throughout most of the season. All the awards he captured, all the stakes scores he celebrated, the breathtaking speed he produced time and time again not to mention his heart and desire – those are the things that made Wiggle It Jiggleit one of harness racing's most beloved and revered performers. And the best thing about it is, George Teague confirmed with Trot Insider there will be no more comebacks. This is it for Wiggle It Jiggleit, he’s officially retired once and for all and he’ll have a home for life with the Teagues. From Standardbred Canada

Reporter Jeffrey Schweers of USA Today writes about what is on the table for the Florida Special Legilative Session that begins on May 17. The special session is devote just for gaming issues.   One hundred years after it was first legalized in Florida, could horse racing be going the way of greyhound racing: Out of business? Lawmakers return to Tallahassee May 17 for a special session to consider a new gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe, giving it exclusive rights to run online sports betting in Florida.  The House and Senate also will discuss three pieces of legislation that would create a regulatory framework for online sports betting, licensing, tax rates and fees. One would create a statewide gaming commission to regulate sports betting and other games allowed by Florida law, and a second would carve out a public records exemption to protect certain information presented to the commission. A third bill would allow Florida pari-mutuels — with the exception of thoroughbred racing —  to "decouple" live harness racing and jai alai games from their casino operations. That means they wouldn't have to run expensive live races and games that cost more than the races earn, relying on the casino profits to subsidize the live events. Tracks that just want to operate more lucrative card rooms, for instance, could abandon racing.  To read the rest of the story, click here.  

Harness Racing This Week: Arthur Cutler Memorial and Graduate Series leg, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to The Meadowlands on Saturday (May 15), with the $141,250 Arthur Cutler Memorial for open trotters and two $50,000 divisions in the second leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last Time: With $135,000 on the line, Ohio-bred It's Academic took control and never looked back in winning the Charlie Hill Memorial Trot at Eldorado Scioto Downs on Thursday (May 6). The 4-year-old stallion by Uncle Peter led gate-to-wire for driver Yannick Gingras. It's Academic took control and never looked back in winning the Charlie Hill Memorial Trot at Eldorado Scioto Downs. Conrad photo. Getting his own way to a :28 opening quarter and :56 half, no serious bids were made to challenge the leader. Stablemate Mission Accepted (Chris Page) popped the pocket at the three-quarter pole but could not make up any ground. Posting a :27.3 last quarter, It's Academic won by two lengths in 1:52.3. Mission Accepted finished second and Majestic Player A (Brett Miller) was third. Whata Swan (Trace Tetrick), who supplemented into the race, was fourth. "He's just so beautiful to drive," said Gingras after the race. "He's two fingers. Just a perfect horse to drive. He was vicious last start at The Meadowlands and he was wrapped up. I liked the fractions, they played into my favor." The field of classy trotters had earned more than $4 million going into the race, and It's Academic boosted his lifetime earnings to $560,688 for owner Brad Grant. The trotter just recently moved into the Ron Burke barn after racing up in Canada for Richard Moreau and paid $6.00 to win for his third victory in seven starts this year. The winner of the Charlie Hill Memorial Trot gets an automatic nomination to the Caesars Trotting Classic scheduled for Sept. 24 at Harrah's Hoosier Park. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2021, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2021 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders (through the races on 5-8-21): Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 115; 2. Todd McCarthy - 95; 3. Andrew McCarthy - 79; 4. George Brennan - 74; 5. Tim Tetrick - 70. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 174; 2. Noel Daley - 57; 3. Todd Buter - 55; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 47; 5t. Jeff Cullipher - 40; 5t. Sheena McElhiney - 40. Owners: 1. Renee Bercury - 50; 2t. Burke Racing Stable - 43.6; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi - 43.6; 4t. Jesmeral Stable - 40; 4t. Brad Grant - 40. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at The Meadowlands with the first leg of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters. by Paul Ramlow. publicity director, the Grand Circuit

Exciting southern trained harness racing filly Cover Girl has provided a minor upset tonight by taking out the listed $150,000 NZB Standardbred Harness Million 2 Final at Alexandra Park at just her 4th start. After sitting in the trail for the majority of the race Cover Girl (Bettor's Delight-Sossusvlei) utilized the passing lane to beat hot favourite True Fantasy who was brave in second after being left parked for the entire race.. Trainer Bob Butt did the driving of the winner Cover Girl, who paced the mobile 1700m distance in 2-04.1 which equates to a 1-57.4 mile rate. The last 800m of the race was cut out in a slick 56.4 seconds. Earlier in the night speedy trotting filly Time Up The Hill got a deserved win in the Group 3 Haras des Trotteurs Northern Trotting Oaks! The ultra consistent filly went straight to the front for regular driver Ken Barron and held off second favourite Mexicana who ran home well for second. Michael Ward does the training of Time Up The Hill (Muscle Hill - Majestic Time) and he also owns and bred the trotting filly.   View the Alexandra Park harness racing results click here!   Harnesslink Media

Down Under pacer wins race in North America 10 years after his debut harness racing win in New Zealand. Astonishingly the 13yo Down under pacer Heez Orl Black N was the winner of race number 2 on Sunday at Pocono in Pennsylvania, pacing a winning mile of 1:56.0 around the 1000m (5/8 miles) racetrack. In a completive finish he beat out another down under pacing in the 12yo Highview Conall N. An awesome result to see two down under pacers quinella a race at ages 12 and 13 respectively. The win was a significant one for Heez Orl Black N as it was 10 years and two months since he won his first ever race in February of 2011 in New Zealand, in this race he was driven by the one and only Dexter Dunn. While racing in New Zealand the son of In The Pocket won over $110,000 and was the winner of the Group 1 2yo Welcome Stakes. He was then exported to Australia in February of 2013, where he raced for the next 19 months. In his Australian racing career he won 9 races and was placed at listed level. His next stop was to the USA in November of 2014 where he remains now and has had an extremely successful career. Credit to all horse people involved with this horse.    Monday 3rd May Harrington Raceway DE Match In Heaven A – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $11,000 Major Pocket A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $14,800 Itsrockandroll A – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $17,000 Bad Boy Brad A – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $14,000 Always Flashing A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $6,000   Plainridge Park MA Duplicated N – Time: 1:51.0, Stake: $14,000 Mach Up A – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $7,000 Ideal Star N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $10,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Sheriff N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $21,000 Raukapuka Ruler N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $37,000 Micky Gee N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $24,000   Tuesday 4th May Harrington Raceway DE Rock N Shard N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $11,000   Miami Valley Raceway OH Persistent Threat A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $5,500   Saratoga Harness NY Gunpowder N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $9,100   Yonkers Raceway NY Alta Leroy N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $14,000 Soho Leviathan A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $12,000 Kerford Road A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $21,000 One Off Delight A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $17,000   Wednesday 5th May Bangor Raceway ME Millwood Faith N – Time: 1:59.3, Stake: $4,000   Buffalo Raceway NY Milliondollargem A – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $7,900   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Kerrin Joseph A – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $9,900 On The Cards N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $9,900   Harrington Raceway DE Afterdinnerspeaker N – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $4,900   Monticello Raceway NY Machtu N – Time: 1:58.0, Stake: $5,000   Saratoga Harness NY Eden Paige N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $4,500 Misty Memory N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $10,000 Onspeed N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $9,500   Thursday 6th May Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Flying Wingard A – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $6,500   Monticello Raceway NY Go Cullect N – Time: 1:58.4, Stake: $3,400   Plainridge Park MA Patanjali N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $4,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Milwood Bonnie N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $12,000 Jive Dancing A – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $21,000   Friday 7th May Freehold Raceway NJ Lynbar Rose N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $4,800   Harrah’s Philadelphia PA Sly Eleanor N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $6,300   Meadowlands NJ Deltasun A – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $22,500   Scioto Downs OH Lovin Miss Daisy N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $6,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Elrama A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $17,000   Saturday 8th May Cumberland Raceway ME Ima Tragedy A – Time: 1:57.4, Stake: $2,400   Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Eyespywithmylileye N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $14,000   Meadowlands NJ Keep Rockin A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $16,500   Northville Downs MI Stening A – Time: 1:57.2, Stake: $5,500   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA   Bravo Tex N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $7,600 Alluneedisfaith N – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $13,000   Sunday 9th May Harrah’s Philadelphia PA San Domino A – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $16,200 Dbldelitebrigade N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $11,200   Rosecroft Raceway MD Buckeye N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $4,600   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Heez Orl Black N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $5,400 Lady Rocknrolla A – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $11,200   Tioga Downs NY Highrthananeagle A – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $5,800   Click here for previous weeks articles   by Carter Dalgety

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The defending harness racing driving champion "Lightning" Leon Bailey had a night he will never forget as he drove seven horses to the winner's circle at Vernon Downs on Friday (May 14). Bailey steers Badix Hanover to easy win in the featured $5,500 pace. Badix Hanover charged out of the gate and went right to the front and led to the first quarter in :27.2. He slowed the pace down with a :29 second quarter to hit the half in :56.2. Peggy J (Jeff Sorenson) was the first to make a move coming first-over from third. She put on the pressure but Badix Hanover continued to lead hitting three-quarters in 1:24.0. As they made the turn for home Badix Hanover would not only have to fight off Peggy J but now Napper Tandy (Jimmy Whittemore) came charging late. The tough Badix Hanover had plenty left to win easily in 1:53.2. Nappy Tandy was second best while Peggy J had to settle for third. BADIX HANOVER   Badix Hanover ($2.90) is a 9-year-old gelding by Western Ideal. He is owned by Bill Reepmeyer and trained by Bruce Lauer. It was his second straight win and his fourth in 2021. He now owns 33 career wins. Bailey's other wins came with Take A Chance ($8.80), Dream On A Roll ($19.20), Jericho Diva ($16.20), Natameri ($14.80), Discus Hanover ($4.80), and Golden Gun ($3.40). It was the most wins he ever got in a single night. He now has 17 victories this season. Shawn McDonough drives his 1,000th winner in the nightcap with P L Lester ($24.80). The 30-year-old is a regular driver at Buffalo Raceway but he has been driving Friday nights at Vernon Downs all season. He took P L Lester straight to the front and hit the first quarter first in :27.0 and was first to the half in :56.0. Notwithoutafight (Stanley Zombick Jr.) came first-over and chased P L Lester all around the final turn. P L Lester hit three-quarters first in 1:24.1. As they reached the stretch P L Lester found another gear and won easily in 1:53.4. It was his first win this season and 11th career victory. McDonough trains him for owner Kathleen Leuer. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Saturday (May 15) with a 10-race card starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com For full race results, click here. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs
Mostinterestingman took the first-over route to win the $37,000 harness racing Open Trot at Yonkers Raceway on Friday, and he, at 11-1, proved much of the betting public wrong as he crossed the line in front.   Jordan Stratton requested moderate speed from the gelding as the starting gate pulled away and slotted into third. Nows The Moment (Matt Kakaley) was parked out by the former, so he accelerated to take the lead at the quarter mile marker, which he hit in :27.2.   Nows The Moment got a second-quarter breather as he completed the half in :57. Mostinterestingman switched to the outside as the field of eight turned into the backstretch for the last time, and he immediately gained on the leader. He put a nose in front of Nows The Moment as they passed three-quarters in 1:25.1 and left the field behind in the stretch.   Mostinterestingman scored the victory in 1:55. Hill Of A Horse (Brent Holland) launched a late rally, but was three quarters of a length short in second. Smallltownthrowdown (Austin Siegelman) was third throughout. The winner paid $24.60.   MOSTINTERESTINGMAN REPLAY     Mostinterestingman, an eight-year-old Manofmanymissions gelding, passed the $700,000 earnings mark with the victory. He has visited the winner's circle 34 times from 158 total starts. Ricky Bucci, a resident of Campbell Hall, is the trainer and a co-owner along with Richard Solano of Coconut Creek.   George Brennan won three dashes for the second night in a row; he drove Mariner Seelster (1:54.1), Sports Bettor (1:53.2), and Patriarch Hanover (1:55.3) to victory on Friday.   Yonkers Raceway will return on Monday, May 17 with an 11-race card featuring another $37,000 Open.   For full race results, click here.   by Nicholas Barnsdale, for Harnesslink
Plainville, MA --- After getting away in an impossible position, Smooth Aceleration regrouped at the half mile and proved to be the best of the bunch this day in the $20,000 Winners-Over harness racing trot at Plainridge Park on Friday afternoon (May 14). Starting from post seven, Smooth Aceleration (Matty Athearn) got away seventh by 8-1/2 lengths as the favored Explosive Ridge (Bruce Ranger) led the field to the quarter in :28.1 and the half in :56.4. At that point an outer flow led by Lucky Weekend (Drew Monti) approached the leader with Smooth Aceleration now second-over in the breeze. The outside horses continued to gain ground and coming out of the final bend, the top three fanned wide from the pylons: Explosive Ridge, Lucky Weekend and Smooth Aceleration. Heading down the lane with less than a length separating the trio, Explosive Ridge was trying to fend off Lucky Weekend's push but way wide, Smooth Aceleration lived up to his name and sped by them both in the center of the track, winning by 1/4 of a length in 1:55.1. SMOOTH ACELERATION REPLAY   Disregarded by the betting public at 13-1, Smooth Aceleration ($29.00) scored his second win of the year for owner William Phipps and trainer Gretchen Athearn. The dynamic duo of Athearn and Athearn teamed up two races later to make it a double with --- Make It A Double ($14.60), who was also overlooked at the windows and yet took a seasonal mark of 1:55.3 after being parked out from the 3/8th's pole to the wire, where he won by 2-1/4 lengths. Phipps co-owns with Gretchen Athearn. There were two undercard divisions of $12,500 conditioned races for 6-year-old and younger trotters that also produced solid payoffs. Gracie Under Fire (Shawn Gray) came first over at the half and tracked down Dixie Slippers (Wally Watson) in the lane to win by 1/4 length in 1:57.4, which was a new seasonal mark. Gracie Under Fire ($11.20) is owned by Robin Crochere and Leighton Property and is trained by David Crochere, who had a conditioning double on Friday. In the other division, Prairie Romeo (Jim Hardy) sat second behind Valentin (Wally Watson) to the top of the stretch where he pulled and trotted away to a 3-1/4 length win and a new lifetime mark of 1:56.2. Prairie Romeo ($11.40) is owned by David Zuckerman and is trained by Jolene Andrews, who also had a training double on the card. Hardy won two more races and registered two more lifetime marks with RFL's M London (1:57.2, $2.80) and Sylvia Trench (1:55.1, $30.80) giving himself the hat trick for the day. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (May 17) with post time at 4 p.m. For full race results, click here. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts
WASHINGTON, PA -- Shuffled to sixth through the final turn, Rising MVP poured through an inviting Lightning Lane to spring the 9-1 harness racing upset in Friday's $17,600 Open Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Rising MVP had no hope of finding room outside, but when the Lightning Lane proved magically available, Aaron Merriman guided the 6-year-old My MVP - Nutmegs Winner gelding to a 1:55.1 victory. Icanflylikeanangel, who fronted the mile, came up a nose short, with On Higher Ground third. Rising MVP now has earned $320,985 for trainer Bill Daugherty, Jr., who removed the winner's hopples for Friday's race, and owner Susan Daugherty. RISING MVP REPLAY   Saturday's "Preakness Day" live card at The Meadows features a pair of stakes for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters -- a $150,507 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $60,000 PA Stallion Series event -- as well as an $804.59 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. Also featured are a variety of fan activities that will culminate in the track's simulcast of the Preakness at approximately 6:45 PM. The 13-race live program begins at the special time of 11:25 AM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA
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