Tina Sugarman, author of one of the top equine novels of 2016-2017, Horse Flesh, has agreed to share excerpts of her book with Harnesslink. Horse Flesh is a thriller mystery fiction novel based around a Standardbred racetrack in Ontario, Canada. It is the first novel ever penned by horsewoman, Tina Sugarman. Each week, Harnesslink will feature an excerpt from Horse Flesh. If you wish to purchase the book either in paperback or ereader formats, click here. Here is this week’s 4th excerpt from Horse Flesh! Horse Flesh by Tina Sugarman CORNERED Theo sprinted to his car through the pouring rain. He fumbled with the key, shaking like a leaf. He knew all about those guys in dark glasses. If they thought he hadn’t done his best to win, however untrue that was, he’d be in big trouble. He’d been feeling pretty low about losing with Heart of Darkness. That now seemed insignificant. Somehow, he got out of the horsemen’s parking lot without running into anything. Then he hit the road. The rain was cascading down like Niagara Falls. It had grounded every sane driver, so he was alone out there. The windshield wipers simply couldn’t cope with the torrent, but he desperately needed to put some distance between him and the racetrack. Moose had scared the shit out of him! Things were getting way too complicated at Iroquois Downs. There was plenty to worry about driving in a horse race without all that. He took the Indian Trail. It was slow going, as the road meandered through the bush. But Theo struggled on, using the blurred, watery house lights that appeared from time to time to guide him. At length, he reached open country and a straight road. The rain was easing up. He breathed a sigh of relief. He was almost home. Ferme Victoire, his Uncle Bernie’s place, was just around the corner. His relief was short lived. A pair of headlights materialized out of thin air. He had a fleeting glimpse of a vast combine harvester coming straight at him, as he slammed on the brakes. He put his hand down on the horn and held it there, but the headlights kept on coming. Was the maniac at the wheel deaf as well as blind? And what the hell was it doing out at this time of night, in this weather? Suddenly he knew. A split second later, another set of lights shone in his rear-view mirror, half blinding him. He was trapped! He had to get off the road! He swung left and instantly regretted his decision. An ugly looking barbed wire fence lay on top of a steep bank. He swerved to the right. His tires squealed in protest, but he put his foot down hard on the accelerator and prayed. There was a deafening crash. The air around him exploded. Theo watched, fascinated, as tiny air bubbles floated slowly across his line of vision. The car rocked violently, then landed right side up. Everything stopped. His headlights were shining on a sea of green corn. It was eerily quiet. The passenger door was pressing right up against his right arm. But by some miracle, he was still in one piece. He forced his way out and glanced up at the road. What he saw there made his heart stop. Two massive guys were silhouetted in the headlights streaming from a long black limousine that looked like a hearse. But the men looked nothing like undertakers. They were wielding powerful flashlights which, in their hands, looked like lethal weapons. But it was the sight of the long knives hanging from their belts which really scared him. He didn’t wait to find out more. He pushed his way through corn stalks, floundering on the heavy ground, ankle deep in mud. He’d heard stories about these guys, terrifying stories. He struggled on, his progress maddeningly slow, his imagination running riot. But despite his urgent need to put in as much distance as possible between him and them, he could feel that he was running out of steam. He and his cousin Lara had been in plenty of scrapes as kids, but this was no game! He hunkered down, listening intently. Smash! Bang! They were trashing his car, breaking the windows, slashing the tires. The headlights dimmed, then died. A piece of Theo died with it. Apart from his race bike, the car was the only thing he owned. Bastards, he cursed silently, afraid to make a sound. Suddenly everything went quiet again, a silence filled with menace. Now they were through with the car, they’d come after him, he guessed. He froze, peering through the rows of corn, hearing nothing, seeing even less. After what felt like an eternity, a powerful engine no hearse would ever possess roared into life, its dark outline menacing, even from a safe distance. This was no ordinary vehicle, Theo realized. Its front end was built like a battering ram. He shuddered as it rolled away down the road, its red tail lights glowing in the dark. Theo rose cautiously to his feet and looked about him, wondering what to do next. There was no sense going back to his car. It was a total write off. As he squelched through the mud to higher ground at the edge of the field, he realized the rain had stopped. He sat down and emptied the water out of his shoes. What now? he asked himself. Dave Bodinski waited for a break between cloudbursts before setting off for home, a one-bedroom walk-up on Erinsville’s east side. It didn’t bother him so much that he had to go see the judges in the morning. He and Scotty McCoy had to sing from the same hymn book, is all. But the rumour running around the Race Barn about some guys losing a big bet in the fourth, that had bothered him. Big time! He knew in his gut that Raiders Moon’s win had a lot to do with it and, thanks to the judges practically arresting him in the grandstand, there was a big fat finger pointing directly at him. Every couple of minutes he took a peek in his rear view mirror, looking out for a guy on his tail, even though he had no idea what he’d do if he was being followed. To his relief, he reached his building without incident. On his way up the stairs, the phone started ringing. He unlocked his front door in record time and ran inside, but the phone cut out, right after he picked up. Normally he’d have cared less, but he had to wonder. Who’d be calling at this time of night? And why? When no one called back, he assumed the worst. He locked all the windows and double bolted the front door. He was thankful that his apartment was on the second floor. It gave him a sporting chance. He decided to take Scotty McCoy with him to cash in the tickets. Scotty wasn’t big, but he was stronger than he looked. He was bull headed too. If anyone tried to jump them, Scotty wouldn’t take it lying down. Hoping for the best, Dave switched off his phone and barricaded himself in the bedroom. He fell into a fitful doze, listening to the sound of the rain on the window panes. The road was far too dangerous, Theo realized. He went in the opposite direction, walking along the narrow ridge of grass on the edge of the field, listening intently to every sound, trying to ignore the sinister rustling in the corn stalks. He was doing okay till an owl hooted in his ear. Eventually the corn field gave way to bush. He hesitated for a moment. Then he began fighting his way through the undergrowth, feeling very much alone. The moon, his only source of light, had disappeared behind the clouds. If he’d got it right, his uncle’s farm wasn’t far off. If not…he’d just have to hole up in the woods and wait till dawn. He’d reckoned without the coyotes. The first howl, too close for comfort, sent shivers down his spine. It was quickly joined by others. A deer came bounding towards him, nearly running him down. The pack was on the hunt. The clouds rolled back and he made out the shadowy forms of the coyotes snaking in and out of the trees, their eyes glinting. They were after something. He just hoped it wasn’t him! For the fifth time that night, Scotty McCoy left the pay phone and made his way back to his barn. He was cold, wet and worried sick. Where was Dave when he needed him? Raiders Moon wasn’t acting right. If she got any worse, he’d be forced to call the vet and that was the last thing he wanted to do right now. It was like calling the police after you’d committed a crime. Nevertheless, after looking over the mare one more time, Scotty knew he had to bite the bullet. Things had gone too far. Even Dave couldn’t help him now. Coyotes didn’t generally attack people, but they’d take a puppy or a pet cat in a heartbeat. Better safe than sorry, Theo reasoned, getting down on his hands and knees and groping around for something to throw at them. Eventually, his fingers closed on a dead branch. Pretty soon he spotted the coyotes’ intended quarry: a clutch of round eyed baby raccoons, trying to shimmy up a tree trunk, the picture of innocence. As the pack edged forward, he brandished his tree branch, yelling at the top of his lungs. To his relief, the coyotes turned tail and ran. Ousting them gave him a much-needed boost, but when he looked around for the raccoons they had disappeared. There’s gratitude for you, he thought. A hundred metres further on, the outline of his uncle’s hay barn loomed up, it’s reassuring light shining like a beacon through the mist. He was almost home! Then the barn light cut out, plunging him into darkness. Minutes ticked by. Theo was afraid to make a move. Was this an ordinary power cut, or were the Undertakers out there somewhere, waiting for him? Rain hit veterinarian Jay Winterflood smack in the face the moment he left the comfort of his truck. Getting to Scotty McCoy’s barn was like fording a swollen river, something he’d had plenty of practice at on the Cree Reserve in Quebec, where he had spent the first fifteen years of his life. Inside the barn, a man was sprawled on a rickety chair, half asleep. He jumped up when he saw Jay. “Doc!” he exclaimed. “Scotty McCoy?” Jay asked. Scotty nodded. “She’s bad, Doc, real bad,” he said hurrying over to one of the stalls and opening the door. The horse inside was obviously in distress. She’d backed herself into a corner. Her head was almost touching the floor and her flanks were heaving. There was a chill in the air which had nothing to do with the temperature. It clung to the hay bales stacked in the aisle way and lingered on the upturned jog carts and the harness bags hanging from the rafters. Involuntarily Jay shivered. “I don’t understand it!” Scotty said, scratching his head. “She raced great tonight. She won!” “How long has she been like this?” Jay asked, gesturing at the cowpat-like manure strewn around her stall. Scotty hung his head. “Two, three hours,” he confessed. “I figured she’d come out of it, see.” “I need to know exactly what she was given today,” Jay said gravely. “Nothing!” Scotty replied indignantly. “If you want me to save your mare, you’d better tell me the truth!” “Three boxes of baking soda,” Scotty mumbled. “An’ a box o’ cake sugar.” “You know,” Jay said, “you guys think that baking soda is harmless.” “I never used it before!” Scotty cut in. “And in small doses, it is harmless,” Jay continued “But you can see now, used in excess, it can have a devastating effect.” “You take cash?” Scotty asked, evidently anxious to put a stop to the lecture. “You need to bring her into the clinic right away,” Jay said firmly. “My preliminary diagnosis is intestinal distress and extreme dehydration. I can’t treat her here.” “The clinic!” Scotty exclaimed, looking horrified. “They killed the last one I sent in there. Stuck me with a bill for three grand anyway.” “Not on my watch,” Jay replied. “I’ll meet you there in twenty minutes.” He picked up his bag. “I’m hoping we won’t have to operate,” he added, walking towards the door. “Operate!” Scotty repeated. Time was slipping away, Jay could feel it. He was blessed and cursed by an uncanny ability, a sixth sense. The gift had come to him from his mother’s people. It made most Canadians uneasy, so he’d learned to keep it to himself. “I don’t want no trouble, Doc!” Scotty said. “Load her up,” Jay replied, losing patience. “The sooner I start treatment the better her chances.” “You mean she might not make it?” Scotty asked, looking terrified. “I’m not making any promises,” Jay replied grimly, heading out into the downpour. The house was pitch black. Even the porch light was out. Clawing his way through the dark, Theo clambered up the porch steps, trying to avoid the one that creaked, a legacy from his teenage days. Uncle Bernie used to leave an emergency key in a flowerpot. He groped his way towards it and felt around. To his surprise, it was still there, buried in the earth. Gingerly, he opened the heavy front door only to be bombarded by the thud of boots and blinded by a flashlight. This time there was nowhere to run. He was cornered! “Theo?” he heard Uncle Bernie’s voice ask uncertainly. “What’s going on? It’s two o’clock in the morning! Look at you!” he exclaimed. “Marta!” he called out. “It’s alright! It’s only Theo.” A few minutes later Theo was sitting at the kitchen table wrapped in a horse blanket, drinking hot milk with a slug of brandy. Shadows cast by the candlelight were dancing on the walls. The electricity was still out. “You look very bad,” Marta pronounced. “Tell him Bernie. It is true, yes?” “You got yourself in some kind of trouble?” Bernie asked, looking worried to death. “I’ll tell you,” Theo replied shakily, finishing off the brandy. “I’ll tell you the whole sorry story. You’re not going to believe this!” André Fontainbleu was sitting in his private study watching the video he had secretly made of him and Anya making love earlier that night. He was pleased with his performance. Two females had given him pleasure tonight: Anya and the filly, Jolie Dame. Stay tuned in to Harnesslink every week for another excerpt from Horse Flesh!
YONKERS, NY, Monday, March 27, 2017 - You just have to admire someone who was in a sow barn by day and a Yonkers Raceway harness racing winner's circle by night. "She's the best horse we've ever had," owner Jeffrey Williamson said after not-quite-death-and-taxes Cousin Mary (Jordan Stratton, $2.70) easily disposed of her seven rivals in Monday's (March 27th) final of the $61,000 Petticoat Pacing Series. The series was open to 3- and 4-year-old pacers who are/were non-winners of four races or $40,000 through last Dec.1 and pretty much closed once 'Mary' strutted her stuff. After hat-tricking her three Petticoat prelims, Cousin Mary won the draw for the final. Yielding early to St. Kitts (Jason Bartlett), the people's choice took over eight before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. From there, is was quite simple (:57.2, 1:25.4, 1:54.3) after putting away a first-over bid from Vintage Babe (Yannick Gingras). The margin, a length-and-a-half entering the lane, was 2¾ lengths at the wire. St. Kitts was second, with a closing A Crafty Lady (Dan Dube) third. Vintage Babe and Real Diva (George Brennan) settled for the minors, while Northern Soiree (Matt Kakaley), Rei's Star Cross (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald) rounded out the order. For Cousin Mary, a 4-year-old daughter of Camluck owned by Williamson-a hog farmer northwest of Toronto-and trained by Andrew Harris, it was her seventh win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $13.20, the triple returned $170 and the superfecta paid $704. "Honestly, when she first came to me, I didn't think that much of her,' Harris said. "She was handling (Yonkers') lower conditions, but not going that fast. When she moved up from non-winners of four (races) to non-winners of eight, she lost but raced better than she did when she was winning. "That's when I thought she had a future. Tonight was the first time the series Jordan (Stratton) popped her plugs, and I don't know where her bottom is." A $30,000 series consolation was won by a Winners Over MacDonald, $36.60) in 1:55.1. Monday night's Pick 5, which began with a $5,353.51 carryover, attracted $22,248 worth of fresh investors. The winning combination of 4/1/4/5/1 paid $60.87 for every winning half-a-buck-wager. The $61,800 final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series goes Tuesday night (March 28th). Frank Drucker
DOVER, Del.--- The 2017 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Three-Year-Old $20,000 preliminaries got underway on Monday, March 27at Dover Downs on March 27 with Master Clave and Moonshine Lavec posting totting wins. Kin the first division, Master Clave quickly responded after breaking stride at the start making up 10 length before taking the lead on the final turn on the way to a 2:01.1 victory. Ross Wolfenden guided the Master Lavec-Dilly Dally Delia gelding owned by Ben Brooks and trained by John Wilkerson. It was the first start of the year for the winner of five races in eight starts last season. He has now earned $106,750 in his career. Master Kingpin (Art Stafford Jr.) piloted the second-place finisher. Kirby In Command (Jared Moyer) took third. Moonshine Lavec was too much in the $20,000 second section. Sean Bier directed the three-year-old by Master Lavec-Chocolate N Roses trained by Erika Paradee who owns the gelding with Francisca Munoz and Chrissy Crissman. Crosby (George Dennis), last November's upset winner of the $100,000 DSBF freshman final, was second in front of Jiggs (Vic Kirby). It was the third start and first win of the year for Moonshine Lavec who has won $66,401 lifetime. Crissman Inc.'s Fancy Colt won the fastest event pm the regular program pacing a 1"50.4 mile. The Always A Virgin Fanciful Hanover gelding scored his third victory of the year with Tony Morgan in the bike. The seven-year-old has a lifetime bankroll of #227,355. Delaware Hanover (Wolfenden) was second with Bad Man Sam (Corey Callahan) third/ Frank Milby drove the day's longest shot 20-1 Big Secret for owner-trainer Jeff Clark and David Clark, a 1:52.1 victory. Ross Wolfenden, Tony Morgan and Corey Callahan notched driving doubles. FOUR $20,000 DSBF FILLY PACE 1ST LEG PRELIMS ON TUESDAY CARD The Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) spotlights four $20,000 Three-Year-Old Filly Pace 1st leg preliminary divisions are led by the first- second and third-place finishers in last Fall’s $100,000 finals. Logan’s Girl was the winner upsetting favorite Spanish Dream who finished third with Magicinthemoonlite second. Logan’s Girl won seven of nine starts last year winning $147,840 in purses. She is fresh from a 1:53.1 victory in a prep last week. Vic Kirby will drive for trainer Jim King and owner JoAnn Looney-King in the opening section. Scott Woogen’s KJ Dale, a freshman prelim winner and third in the consolation, is in the hands of Tim Tetrick. Thomson Sisters Racing’s Free Flight Fran is another contender. The second $20,000 DSBF event finds Mangicinthemoonlite and Tetrick leaving from the outside for trainer Arlene Cameron and owners Linda Condor and Kevin Freeman. She meets George Teague’s Bad Mama with Montrell Teague from the rail. She’s No Spinster had a pair of prelim wins in November for owners Ashley, Cain, Yenser and driver Allan Davis. George Leader’s Diva Demands is fresh from a win last week at Rosecroft and will be driven by meet leader Corey Callahan in the third $20,000 leg. JoAnn Looney-King’s Lillisbagsrpacked with Vic Kirby and breeder, owner, trainer Virginia Louthan’s Giga Spin head the opposition. The final DSBF prelim is led by Spanish Dream for the King owned and trained with Kirby driving from post 1. Joel and Dianne Halpern’s homebred Westwind Roddylee and Tim Tetrick and George Teague’s I Won Them Both with Montrell Teague are the major challengers. . The DSBF 2nd leg prelims are set for next week. Topping the non-stakes program is a $20,000 Mares Open Handicap pace featuring a hard-hitting field of seven. Five-times winner Bryan Truitt’s Enhance Your Mind (Kirby), stakes winner Newborn Sassy (Tetrick) racing for CC Racing and JoAnn Looney-King, JFE Enterprise’s Scandalicious (Tony Morgan) and KDK Standardbred’s Apple Bottom Jeans (Teague), who set a Rosecroft 1:50.3 track record last week, have upset credentials. An terrific supporting card is on the 15-race Tuesday program. Monday through Thursday live racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are ‘dark days’ at the track. Fine food is available while watching the races at the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad <<<DOVER DOWNS>>> Contact Marv Bachrad 302-857-3294 e-mail: email@example.com Fax 302-734-3134 MASTER CAVE, MOONSHINE LAVEC WIN 20,000 DSBF 1ST LEG DIVISIONS DOVER, Del.--- The 2017 Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) Three-Year-Old $20,000 preliminaries got underway on Monday, March 27at Dover Downs on March 27 with Master Clave and Moonshine Lavec posting totting wins. Kin the first division, Master Clave quickly responded after breaking stride at the start making up 10 length before taking the lead on the final turn on the way to a 2:01.1 victory. Ross Wolfenden guided the Master Lavec-Dilly Dally Delia gelding owned by Ben Brooks and trained by John Wilkerson. It was the first start of the year for the winner of five races in eight starts last season. He has now earned $106,750 in his career. Master Kingpin (Art Stafford Jr.) piloted the second-place finisher. Kirby In Command (Jared Moyer) took third. Moonshine Lavec was too much in the $20,000 second section. Sean Bier directed the three-year-old by Master Lavec-Chocolate N Roses trained by Erika Paradee who owns the gelding with Francisca Munoz and Chrissy Crissman. Crosby (George Dennis), last November's upset winner of the $100,000 DSBF freshman final, was second in front of Jiggs (Vic Kirby). It was the third start and first win of the year for Moonshine Lavec who has won $66,401 lifetime. Crissman Inc.'s Fancy Colt won the fastest event pm the regular program pacing a 1"50.4 mile. The Always A Virgin Fanciful Hanover gelding scored his third victory of the year with Tony Morgan in the bike. The seven-year-old has a lifetime bankroll of #227,355. Delaware Hanover (Wolfenden) was second with Bad Man Sam (Corey Callahan) third/ Frank Milby drove the day's longest shot 20-1 Big Secret for owner-trainer Jeff Clark and David Clark, a 1:52.1 victory. Ross Wolfenden, Tony Morgan and Corey Callahan notched driving doubles. Tuesday; Logan's Girl, Bad Mama, Diva Demands and Spanish Dream are program favorites in four DSBF $20,000 filly prelims while Enhance Your Dreams, Newborn Sassy and Apple bottom Jeans head the $20,000 Mares Open.. DSBF 1st-leg prelims continue all this week with 2nd leg $20,000 prelims Monday through Thursday next week. The top eight point-getters in each of four divisions then return for $100,000 finals the last week of the Dover Downs 2016-2017 meet, April 10 through closing day April 13. Weekday post time, Monday through Thursday, is 4:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are dark days. Parking and admission are free. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant's acclaimed Buffet and for the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Top harness and thoroughbred races are featured in the Racing and Sports Book daily for 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are dark days. Parking and admission at Dover Downs is free. Reservations are suggested for the popular Winner's Circle Restaurant and its acclaimed Buffet. . For reservations, call 302-674-4600. The Dover Downs Racing and Sports Book features simulcasting of top harness and thoroughbred racing from 12 Noon to 12 Midnight daily. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are dark days. Parking and admission at Dover Downs is free. Reservations are suggested for the popular Winner's Circle Restaurant and its acclaimed Buffet. . For reservations, call 302-674-4600. The Dover Downs Racing and Sports Book features simulcasting of top harness and thoroughbred racing from 12 Noon to 12 Midnight daily.
Young musicians giving their all and Harness racing at Globe Derby Park circuit all on Saturday April 1st. No fooling! The night will have a strong youth focus and hopefully be the first of monthly acoustic nights to be held at the park as part of a campaign to draw younger people to the sport. Local talent Billy Burns, who played his first gig at age 11, will be the feature artist fresh from the Fringe. Plenty of other local young musicians will be entertaining the crowd and these young musicians are some of the best in the land, already performing at major events. The event, held monthly over various Adelaide venues, promotes and gives experience to up and coming young bands and artists from all over the state. Niko Rallis is a young upcoming bass guitarist who will entertain the crowd with his amazing presence on the stage at such a young age. Adam Slater is another home brewed talent that has spent years playing gigs and touring the country with high energy performances. Georgina Mannion is a singer songwriter, has proven her talent playing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in 2016, as well as other South Australian Events. Tahlia Borg first played the drums at age 7 and has an unbelievable voice and proudly strong vocals will also be performing on the night. Supported by the whole music industry, we might just see the beginning of a new South Australian music icon, the likes of the Master’s Apprentices or Jimmy Barnes. SAHRC are focusing on the younger generation and will be supporting the night, hopefully making it a monthly gig. It will be the perfect night for anyone wanting to see the best next generation of musicians honing their skills. Entry is free and the fun starts at 7:00pm. Bookings for the restaurant are filling fast, so make sure you don’t miss out on what will be a great night. by Max Beasley for SAHRC
Goggo Gee Gee has gone from paddock pet to harness racing star in the eyes of his owner Adam Rattray. When Goggo Gee Gee was a foal playing amongst many in a paddock on the Rattrays' Karalta Pacing Stables at Pateena Road Longford he took a shine to Adam Rattray and they formed a bond. It isn't an odd occurrence but one that ensured plenty of emotion when Goggo Gee Gee emerged triumphant in the Harry Holgate Memorial final at the Luxbet Racing Centre in Launceston last Sunday night. With his trainer Todd Rattray in the sulky, the gelding worked home three-wide for the last lap with the favourite Courageous Jamane on his back. But when the driver released the deafeners and called on the Bettor's Delight gelding for the supreme effort he sprinted clear of the favourite and then outgunned race leader Christian Jaz over the final 100 metres to win narrowly with the favourite closing late to grab third. "I just sat there three wide and I knew the favourite was on my back and that he was the one to beat, so when he pulled out on the corner I went for home in an attempt to out sprint him," Todd Rattray said. It was Goggo Gee Gee's seventh win but clearly his best and his owner is hoping for more. "He came up to me in a paddock and we bonded and from then on he was pretty much a pet," Adam Rattray said. "He is a small horse with a big heart and I thought it was a tough win." Peter Staples
WASHINGTON, PA, March 27, 2017 -- Lincolnjames gobbled up the leader with a powerful first-over move, then drew off late to capture Monday's $20,000 harness racing Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Lincolnjames was fourth when Dave Palone sent him after Dapper Dude, who was rendered vulnerable by a 26.3 opening panel. The 6-year-old Northwest-Winbak Lucy gelding had little trouble clearing and opening a daylight lead. He triumphed in 1:51.1, 3-1/4 lengths better than 23-1 long shot Gallant Seelster, with Purdy Sam third. Ron Burke trains Lincolnjames, who won for the third time in his last four starts and extended his career bankroll to $180,987, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Jim Pantaleano collected four wins on the 13-race card while Dan Rawlings enjoyed a triple, including a pair of victories for trainer Dirk Simpson. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino
More than 20 years have passed since John Wilkinson and some fellow harness racing owners won the 1995 Mildura Pacing Cup with Newsbreaker. This year, Wilkinson and some other members of the Newsbreaker crew are hoping their horse, Messini, can take out the time-honoured event. “It would be a great thrill to compete in the Mildura Cup given the history of the race and our involvement in the race with Newsbreaker a number of years ago when we were lucky enough to win it,” Wilkinson said. Messini bounced back to winning form at Ouyen on Sunday after a turbulent summer preparation, which saw the six-year-old entire battling to regain his best form. But trainer Brent Lilley persisted and had the two-time Vicbred Super Series winner in cherry ripe order for Sunday’s Greggs Electrical Ouyen Pacing Cup, Messini breaking the track record despite a wide run for the last lap – notching a slick mile rate of 1:56.0. Driven by Anthony Butt, Messini collared race favourite Im Corzin Terror metres before the post to win by a short half-head in the 2423-metre Group 3. The Mildura Cup Carnival starts April 4 with the Group 2 Mildura Cup run on Saturday April 8. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)
WEST CORK, Ireland - The Red John Memorial was set up in 2015 following the tragic death of "Red" John O Donovan in January 2015. John was only 27 when he passed away but was a life long supporter of Harness racing in his native Cork and far beyond. The 2015 Memorial was a one day event but in 2016 the Red John Memorial became a two day event with the main race of the weekend The Red John Memorial Handicap carried a total purse of €5000. In 2017 all records will be broken with prize money in excess of €90,000. The Red John Memorial weekend takes place on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August. This year Lyre, approx 2 miles from the bustling town of Clonakilty, will be the venue for what promises to be the biggest ever harness meeting staged in the West Cork region. The venue is owned by Ger Hegarty who has long being involved in the sport and boasts a natural grand stand which gives race goers a panoramic view of this half mile all grass oval. Clonakilty is around an hours drive from Cork International Airport and is on the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way in West Cork. The Red John Memorial Handicap is for pacers born in 2013 or before, is of course, the feature of the weekend. The final which will be made up of eight qualifiers from elimination heats and will have a total purse of €20,000 with a winners prize of €10,000 making it the richest handicap race in all of Ireland and the UK. The committee are indebted to Bill Donovan from Florida who has generously agreed to sponsor the event for the next three years .Donovan is president of a large trucking business based in Boston and has links to several more transport companies. His passion for standardbreds both trotters and pacers has put him in a position of one of the leading owners on the USA harness racing circuit. Bill has ancestoral links in Skibbereen and has forged strong links with the Murphy family from Baltimore through IB Coyote a mare jointly owned by Bill and the Murphy brothers Tadhg and Donal who won the prestigious Vincent Delaney Memorial two year old championship in 2016 and this was the catalyst for him getting involved in sponsoring the weekend. Bill has also sent a few of his own horses over from the USA to be trained and raced here in Ireland. Bill has also stepped in to sponsor "The Maven Derby" another handicap event this time for trotters born in 2014 or before. Maven was one of the greatest trotting mares ever to race in the USA and actually raced for a time in Etilop in Sweden. In 70 lifetime starts, Maven earned $2,005,369. With 31 wins, 14 second place finishes and 4 thirds. Her lifetime record is her world record performance over the Delaware track when she scorched that surface in 1:51.4h. In 2013, she was honoured to receive the USTA's Dan Patch Award and Canada's Joe O'Brien Award as the sport's top older trotting mare. This will be ran on the same lines as The Red John Handicap with eliminations and the grand final also for a total purse of €20,000. The Le Trot organisation from France are joint sponsors with Mr Donovan for this race which honours Maven, a horse owned by Bill Donovan. Bill says himself "Maven was a dream come true for me a mare of a lifetime but I have been blessed to have owned some great horses besides Maven including Ashleys Husband p,1.49.1 $250,736, Band Of Angels p,3 1.50 $487,150 , Bettor B Lucky p,3 1.50 $750,936 , Holier Than Thou p,3 1.50.1 $152,778 (World Champion) , Im On Cloud Nine p,3 1.54.2 $214,374 , Jolene Jolene p,2 1.52 $239,637 (World Champion) Lauderdale p,1.53.2 $386,189 , Medusa p,1.49 $432,012 Mistery Woman p,4 1.51 (World Champion) and Shared Past p,3 1.53 $416,606. "They have all given me so much success in harness racing and coming here to Cork to support the Red John Weekend gives me a chance to give something back to racing here where my fore fathers emigrated from many years ago " With the success of The Vincent Delaney Memorial in Portmarnock,The Red John Memorial weekend takes place on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th August which is the week after The Delaney weekend and it gives harness racing followers a week long of top class racing both in Dublin and here In Cork and The overseas visitors will be guaranteed a great time . Both The Red John and Maven Derby will see owners paying three sustaining fees of €100 per horse. The organisation of such a big event could not happen without the help of so many people and the harness racoing community here in West Cork are really pulling out all the stops to ensure this weekend will grow from humble beginings and become "The One" all owners and trainers want to win. "No matter what we ask of people putting up the track, sourcing stables for the visiting horses and garning sponsorship, there is always a positive outcome and without all this help such a weekend would not happen "said Micheal O'Donovan (brother of the late Red John) "What can we say, only Bill Donovan has put us in a great position with his generous sponsorship and I'm sure Red John will be looking down on us smiling on how big the weekend has become," added Caroline Collins of the Red John Committee. Following on from last year, Oakwood Stud will again sponsor the Three Year Old Grass Pacing Championship, which was a huge success in its first year. "Derek Delaney rang me last year and said why not try a three year old series which he and his brother James would sponsor, so we did and hopefully that grows just the way the VDM has." said Tim Kelleher of the committee "This year Derek rang and said they were again coming on board and to be honest we must mention all the rest of our sponsors from near and far who have been so generous " added Kelleher " We are always looking for new sponsors and The Clonakilty Chamber Of Commerce have been most helpful " The programme of events reads as follows THE RED JOHN MEMORIAL HANDICAP 1 ¼ MILES Heats €1600 (Estimated) Final €20,000 Consolation Final â‚¬5000 THE MAVEN TROT DERBY 1 ½ MILES Heats €2800 Final €20,000 Consolation Final €8000 THE OAKWOOD STUD IRISH 3YO GRASS PACING CHAMPIONSHIP Estimated prize fund €5000 THE PJI ENGINEERING FREE FOR ALL Estimated prize fund €3000 There will be a full supporting programme on both days with bumper prize money for all races. The on-line entry system will be available shortly as will details of Stabling and hotels. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink
WILKES-BARRE PA - Maybe Hall of Fame harness racing horseman John Campbell might want to reconsider that July 1 career change he's talked about. Set to become the president/CEO of the Hambletonian Society on the first of July, Campbell showed he still has plenty of sulky magic left at his command, sending Muscle Diamond right to the front in the $20,000 handicap trotting feature Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, backing off the half, then sprinting home to be a very easy winner over odds-on favorite Melady's Monet in 1:53.3. Campbell had the winning son of Muscle Hill in high gear early and quickly made the top, forcing tucks while going to the quarter in 27.1. With no challengers looming, Campbell gave Muscle Diamond a huge breather on the front end in quarter two, hitting the half in 57.4, with Melady's Monet starting up uncovered. The favorite got to within just over a length of Muscle Diamond on the far turn after a 1:25.4 clocking at the ¾, but in the stretch Muscle Diamond sparkled with a 27.4 kicker, winning by 4 1/2 lengths. Melady's Monet claimed second, a length to the good of the pocketsitter Crazy About Pat. Muscle Diamond would fit any definition of impeccably-bred, a Muscle Hill out of millionaire / world champion / divisional champion Windylane Hanover, and his career earnings of $662,899 have been achieved in but 31 starts - if trainer Brett Bittle can find the key to an extended campaign for the fast trotter, who was second in his Breeders Crown at two and then third at three, you'll hear much more from him and owners Brett and Dan Bittle and the Charles Kellers, III and IV. The victory was #10,637 of Campbell's storied career; more importantly, his lifetime earnings are now at $299,366,442, and that number that begins with a "3" looming on the horizon does seem attainable. The biggest purse race of the night for pacers was an $18,000 "nw 7 races or $70,000" contest, which went to the four-year-old gelding Dash Of Danger, who took a new mark of 1:52 for the hot connections of trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and Marc Reynolds. Matt Kakaley rushed up down the backstretch with the sidewheeler, also with top-shelf breeding (a Western Terror half-brother to the $2M+-winning mare Glowing Report), paced on to a big lead late on the final turn, then held off the bold late rush of Shane Adam, who trailed most of the way, by a half-length. PHHA / Pocono
Talented three-year-old pacer Usain Jolt tuned up for this Sunday's harness racing Tasmanian Derby with an effortless win in a C2-C3 event over 2200 metres in Launceston on Sunday night. The Tony Petersen-trained gelding settled near the rear of the field in the one-out line before driver Ricky Duggan eased him out three-wide to make his move a lap from home. Usain Jolt crept into the race and when the leader Tiz A Jamane tried to kick clear at the top of the home straight Duggan released the reins and the three-year-old powered clear of the field and went on to score untouched by over 12 metres from Charlie James that tracked the winner all the way during the last lap. Usain Jolt and archrival Scooterwillrev will clash for the first time this season in next Sunday's $30,000 Tasmanian Derby and it would appear any interstate invader will have to be very good to deny either one of the Tasmanians the joy of victory. Usain Jolt has won six of his seven starts this season with an average winning margin of almost 19 metres with his only defeat coming in Launceston when beaten 1.8 metres by Buster William at what was his third start for the season. Scooterwillrev is unbeaten from five starts this season and overall he has an unblemished record from 13 starts in the state with his only defeats coming in Victoria while campaigning in the Breeders Crown 2YO series last year. The Craig Hayes-trained gelding's latest win was in a C2-C4 event in Hobart when driven by Gavin Lang who will make the trip from Melbourne to Hobart on Sunday to be reunited with the son of Somebeachsomewhere. Peter Staples
Pompano Beach, FL...Sunday, March 26, 2017...Drachan Hanover, confidently handled by harness racing driver Wally Hennessey, scored a handy 1:51 win in Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Pace on Sunday night (March 26.) The five year-old son of Jereme's Jet, leaving from the coveted post five, darted off the Hummer's wings into an early lead, yielded at the hot :26.1 opening station to Sing For Me George (Kevin Wallis), re-took a few long strides later and carved subsequent panels of :54.3 and 1;23.2 before an effortless :27.3 sprint home sealed the issue by 3½ lengths over Pointsman (Rick Plano) with Sing For Me George another nose back in third. King Of The Crop, last for much of his journey in this classy quintet, finished fourth while Rockntouch picked up the nickel, five lengths off the winner. In a post-race interview, driver Wally Hennessey related, "last week when I drove him, he had missed a week and was just a little short at the end. "Tonight, he felt determined behind the gate and I let him do what he does best--and that's go! "The pace was pretty hot but he felt strong the entire way. The half in :54 and a piece didn't scare me at all because, when this horse is right, he can handle that. "He was all on his own down the lane." Trained by Marcel Barrieau for owners Lloyd Maclean and Kenneth Rankin, Drachan Hanover pushed his 2017 scorecard to 3-1-0 in nine starts, good for $25,400. Career-wise, Drachan Hanover now has 15 win in 60 lifetime starts and $369,417 in bounty. As the 1 to 5 favorite, Drachan Hanover returned $2.40 to his multitude of faithful. The $10,000 Open 2 Pace went to Heart Felt, driven by Bryce Fenn, also in 1:51. This six year-old gelded son of Well Said was sent on a mission as the wings folded and thwarted all challenges with sizzling panels of :26, :54.3 and 1:22.2 before a :28.3 waltz home capped the mile. Heart Felt now has three wins in 11 starts this year and bounty of $22,635. Lifetime, Heart Felt now has $129,355 in earnings to go along with a record of 1:50.4, also achieved at Pompano Park. Trained by Luanna Beeson for Winchester Baye Acres, Heart Felt, off at 6 to 5, returned $4.60 to win. Racing continues on Monday night with a septet of trotters mixing it up in the $12,000 Open Handicap Trot. Boli will be looking for a repeat win in that event but must overcome the outside seven post to do so. Boli will have the driving services of Pompano Park's leading driver, Wally Hennessey and is listed as the 3 to 1 second choice on the morning line. The 5 to 2 morning line favorite is Sooo Handsome, leaving from post five for owner-trainer-driver Rick Plano. This four year-old has three wins and four seconds in 11 starts this semester and comes off a solid second in last week's Open trot. My Revenuer, Explosive Muscles, Winding Hill, Celebrity Maserati and Sailer Eddie complete a very talented and well-balanced field. Post time is set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park