Day At The Track
Jackie Barker, trainer Owen Martin and owner Steve West,Harness racing

The best is yet to come for 'Marjorie'

Experienced Wimmera harness racing trainer Owen Martin has high hopes that the best is just around the corner for his much-improved stable star, bay mare Marjorie Jean. That's despite the pacer having a standout 2018-19 season with six impressive victories - and along the way collecting the Horse of the Year award at Horsham Harness Racing Club. "I really think the horse has turned the corner. She was a bit slow early, but now she's got the idea and I'm sure that next year will be her best year," Martin, who is based at Concongella, near Stawell, in the Northern Grampians area. Prior to the most recent season, Marjorie Jean (Blissful Hall-Longtan Ebony (Village Jasper) had just one win and five placings from 30 starts. However last season she turned things around dramatically for six wins and five placings from 29 outings. "She recorded some nice wins at Horsham. It's a lovely big track and she certainly enjoys the long straights," Martin said. Marjorie Jean faced the starter at Horsham on seven occasions last season. She was victorious on four occasions and had one placing, so thoroughly deserved her award. "Our son-in-law Murray Sullivan does most of the driving and he won for us in February and March. But he's been away travelling a fair bit, so we've had to turn to a few others," Martin said. "Ballarat youngster James Herbertson got the money at Swan Hill, and then we've stuck with Jackie Barker at Horsham meetings and she won in June and August," he said. Martin said it was a big thrill to compete at Melton during the season with Marjorie Jean. "We raced in the Vicbred 4yo Mares series. I think Jackie enjoyed it down there. We ran fifth in a heat and then eighth, beaten 20m, in the Group One Final," he said. Marjorie Jean is owned by Steve West, who went to school with Martin. "That was a long time ago and now we are neighbors, probably living 500 or 600 metres from each other," Martin said. "I think I may have got Steve initially interested when I invited him to come on board in a syndicate, and he's had a terrific run since with a few handy ones," he said. "Farmersntradies, a Blissful Hall-sired chestnut gelding, was outstanding for seven seasons from 2009 with 18 wins and 27 placings for over $134,000. "There was also Across The Way that won a few before being sold to WA, and another called Usage that we sold to SA and then it ended up in Mildura." Martin said a trip to the South Australian yearling sales resulted in Steve purchasing Marjorie Jean. "Steve had his eye on one, but I talked him into bidding for Marjorie Jean. I had her full sister in Longtan Bliss who won 12 races for $60,000 and if she hadn't had a few problems she could have been anything," he said. Martin has been training for over 30 years after being taught the ropes by his late father Ray. "Dad was born and bred in the area. He worked hard from an early age, mainly on the silos at Rupanyup and Minyip. He was also a very good footballer and was paid massive amounts to play back before the war," he said. Marjorie Jean was sent to the paddock after her latest success at Horsham in late August. "We took off on a short holiday. She's back jogging now, but with the Barry and Aaron Dunn team, because I'm booked for an ankle operation, which will have me sidelined for two months. "I had the other one operated on about five years ago - just some wear and tear from my football days - but I'll be back at the horses as soon as possible." Other Horsham awards were won by: Kerryn Manning (leading driver); Matt Craven (leading trainer); Janet Excell (local trainer award); and James Herbertson (leading concession driver).   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Spankem,harness racing

Spankem sizzles in Hannon

By Jonny Turner Miracle Mile winner Spankem confirmed his New Zealand Cup favouritism when equalling the Oamaru track record during his win of the Hannon Memorial on Sunday.  The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained 5yr-old never gave his rivals a hope of catching him when he produced a stunning 53.3sec last 800m in his front-running victory. Spankem stopped the clock at 3:14.4 for the 2600m standing start event to equal Classic Cullen's 2010 track record. The flawless performance again confirmed Purdon's comments earlier this season that Spankem has returned in even better order than he was in during his impressive Miracle Mile-winning 4yr-old season. The scary news for his New Zealand Cup opponents - and the good news for his fans - is there is more to come, as Spankem builds towards peak fitness for the second Tuesday in November. ''It was a nice run and another step up for him - he went really well,'' Purdon said. Purdon took no risks when driving Spankem by taking the favourite to the front at the 1600m after he made a fair beginning and settled midfield. That early position meant the reinsman had to move forward and try to take the front before it was too late. ''I was going to be in a position where I was going to be forced to go,'' Purdon said. ''If I had waited, it was going to be too late in the race and I was probably going to be forced to sit in the death, and he could have over-raced in that situation.'' After a brief tussle for the lead, Spankem controlled the pace before reeling off his stunning finish. His closing 400m of 26.4sec was even enough to impress his champion trainer-driver. ''He is a very fast horse - he is incredibly fast,'' Purdon said. Classie Brigade got his manners back in check and boosted his New Zealand Cup hopes when running into second. The Robert Dunn-trained pacer put his horror beginning in the New Brighton Cup behind him by going straight to the lead in yesterday's feature. Classie Brigade comfortably held second from Ultimate Sniper, who ran into third after racing three back on the markers. Purdon confirmed last season's New Zealand Derby winner was still in need of racing to get back to his best after his recovery from a knee operation. ''He was off the scene for such a long time - this time will improve him again.'' Chase Auckland arguably produced the run of the race outside of the winner, even though he missed a top-three placing. The 5yr-old looked to be in a headstrong mood when he arrived at Oamaru, and he was not on his best behaviour when galloping with a lap to run. After regaining his composure, Chase Auckland produced an incredible finish to run into fourth placing from last placing before the home turn. The performance confirmed the pacer's winning debut in open class in the New Brighton Cup was no fluke, and that he was a genuine New Zealand Cup contender. His chances in the great race may depend on what mood he is in on the day, as he is prone to getting fizzed up on occasions. ''He has got that nature about him, he is just a horse that you have got to catch him in the right mood on the day,'' Purdon said. A G's White Socks effectively had no winning chance when coming wide on the home bend as Spankem produced his scintillating final sectionals. Though his effort was sound, the pacer has made his third consecutive poor beginning to a spring campaign. The first five horses home in the Hannon Memorial are all expected to race in next month's Canterbury Classic at Addington. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Tiger Tara, Harness racing

Aussie news

ON the weekend Tiger Tara was crowned NSW Horse of the Year for the second successive year, his career looked at the crossroads. But there was two ways of looking at Tiger Tara’s latest defeat – his third from as many runs this campaign -  which came at Menangle last Friday night. On face value, the superstar found the front without much fuss over a suitable 2300m trip and could only labour into a well-held fourth placing behind former Kiwi pacer Alta Orlando. But, on the other hand, trainer Kevin Pizzuto was remarkably frank before the race, declaring Tiger Tara “way underdone” and very vulnerable. “Knowing where he’s at, I was happy with the run. He’s well short of peak fitness and I wasn’t able to fast work him during the week because of all the rain (in Sydney),” Pizzuto said. “I considered scratching him, but he needs racing. He needs to get fitter. He blew up badly over the back after it. He’s still got a way to go.” Pizzuto said he would “use the next few days” to plot Tiger Tara’s pathway towards the NZ Cup, which could include a Victoria Cup start on October 12. While Tiger Tara was the talking point, Alta Orlando built on some good placings since crossing the Tasman to post his first win in the Craig Cross stable. Luke McCarthy buzzed him out from a wide draw, took a sit on Tiger Tara and zipped through along the inside to win in a slick 1min54.3sec mile rate for 2300m. It was Alta Orlando’s first win since scoring at Addington on May 18, last year. _____________________________________________________________________________________ THE much-travelled Cruz Bromac is close to a racetrack return. Now back being trained in Victoria by Amanda Grieve, the high-class pacer popped-up at the Melton trials last week. He won a solo trial in slow time, but zipped home in 55.9 and 26.6sec. A winner of 20 of his 44 starts, Cruz Bromac hasn’t raced since finishing third in the Canadian Club Sprint, a Miracle Mile qualifier, at Menangle on February 23. It was his last run in a very fruitful stint where he earned almost $300,000 with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. ____________________________________________________________________________________ FORMER Kiwi trotter Miss Blissful looks like continuing a winning formula for Andy and Kate Gath. She’s their latest trotter bought out of NZ for major owner Norm Jenkin, who also races Tornado Valley and McLovin. And Miss Blissful made quite the statement winning on debut for the Gaths at Melton last night. Despite drawing the back row and then making an early move to sit parked, the daughter of Pegasus Spur had the race won on the home turn and cruised away with a 12.4m victory in a 1min58.2sec mile rate for 1720m. She won just three of her 27 runs in NZ and was sold after a second at Alexandra Park on June 14. _____________________________________________________________________________________ WESTERN Australia’s most-improved pacer Our Corelli is no one-trick pony. Most of his wins since switching to Debbie Lewis’ stable sand roaring through the grades have come in front or right on the speed. Last Friday night he drew wide, sat midfield and snatch a nose win over many of WA’s best open-class pacers, including favourite El Jacko. Our Corelli, a five-year-old son of Bettors Delight, has won eight of his 12 runs since being sold and switching stables. Father and son, Mike and Mark Reed teamed for a couple of wins of note on the same Gloucester Park card. The exciting Bletchley Park, a four-year-old brother to Bling It On, thrashed a handy field and looks a serious horse in the making. He made it nine wins from just 17 starts, winning by almost 12m in a 1min56.4sec mile rate for the long 2536m trip. He’s sure to be a major player in the Golden Nugget late this year. And stablemate Arma Indie,a former Kiwi four-year-old mare led throughout to stretch her winning streak to four wins from as many starts this campaign in the ninth race. _____________________________________________________________________________________ FILLING the void left by the retirement of a megastar like Lennytheshark is a tough ask. But David Aiken’s stable, including his open ranks, are still ticking along nicely. Not only did Aiken quinella the fast-class race at Melton last night with Audi Hare leading and holding-off stablemate Higherthananeagle along the sprint lane, but he also won again with the very exciting Raptors Flight. Kima Frenning drove both Audi Hare and Raptors Flight. Raptors Flight has been a revelation since coming to Australia. He’s now unbeaten seven runs. Last night he drew wide and jumped in grade, but blasted to the front and, despite pulling very hard at times, ripped home in 56 and 28.3sec to win very impressively again. He looks every bit a serious country cups horse and maybe more. _____________________________________________________________________________________ UNHERALDED Victorian horseman Chris Svanosio snared a well deserved feature win of his own last night. It was just a couple of weeks ago where Svanosio played caretaker trainer with star NSW trotter Tough Monarch for Rickie Alchin and won two features at Melton. This time it was all in Svanosio’s name as he trained and drove Magicool to lead throughout and cause an upset in the Group 3 True Roman trot (2240m) at Melton. In a tactical affair, Svanosio pinched a 62.2sec middle half and sprinted home in 57.6 and 28.7sec to easily beat My Skypocket with multiple Group 1 winner Big Jack Hammer flying home from last to third. On the same card, it was fantastic to see former pin-up juvenile trotter Wobelee win so impressively. The five-year-old was outstanding, sustaining a long run around the field and surging clear to win in a brisk 1min56.2sec mile rate for 1720m.   by Adam Hamilton

Fox Valley Gemini,Harness racing

A sloppy night of Champions

STICKNEY, IL--After a string of weeks of gorgeous weather at Hawthorne Race Course, Mother Nature wasn't nearly as kind when it came to Saturday's Night of Champions. The 12 race card kicked off with a fast track, but the skies opened up prior to the start of the 11 stakes events, leaving for sloppy going through the stakes harness racing action.   THE ROBERT S MOLARO CHAMPIONSHIP Jim Ballinger's Fox Valley Gemini, two-time Illinois Horse of the Year, went off as the 1-5 favorite in the $45,000 Robert S. Molaro and didn't disappoint. Winning his fourth straight race, Fox Valley Gemini drew off to a commanding victory, getting the mile in a lifetime best of 1:50. At the finish, he was seven and a half lengths clear of the rest of the field. Dakota Roadster got up for second while Royale Rose got third. Driven by Casey Leonard and trained by Terry Leonard, Fox Valley Gemini won for the 30th time from only 39 starts. As written above, Fox Valley Gemini got the mile in 1:50 after fractions of :27.1, :59, and 1:22.3.   THE FOX VALLEY FLAN CHAMPIONSHIP Lous Abigail, winning for the seventh time in 10 starts, took Saturday's $82,000 Fox Valley Flan Championship, for three years old and up ICF Pacers. Driven by leading driver Casey Leonard and trained by Steven Searle, Lous Abigail won by a comfortable four and three-quarter lengths. Owned by Flacco Family Farms LLC, Lous Abigail got the mile in 2:00.1, after fractions of :29.4, :58.4 and 1:28.3 Bee See held on for second while Fox Valley Lush finished third.   THE INCREDIBLE TILLIE CHAMPIONSHIP Morning-line favorite but second-choice in the wagering, Fox Valley Exploit, owned by David Brigham and Kyle Husted, and driven and trained by Kyle Husted, won the $115,000 Incredible Tillie Championship, for two-year-old filly Trotters, by three and a half lengths. They raced through fractions of :29.4, :58.4, 1:28.3 with a final time of 2:00.1 Bee See, the slight wagering favorite, finished second with Lous Abigail getting up for third.   THE PLESAC CHAMPIONSHIP It was never really a contest. Danny S. Graham's Annas Lucky Star, already a track-record holder, simply dominated in Saturday's $45,000 Plesac Championship, for 3-year-olds and up ICF Trotters. She took the lead quickly and won as she pleased, going off at 1-9 and drawing off to win by 15 lengths. Her time of 1:56.3 was seconds slower than her lifetime best of 1:53.1 but it didn't matter. She set modest fractions of :30, :59, and 1:27.3. Trained by Nelson Willis and driven by Kyle Wilfong, Annas Lucky Star won for the 33rd time in her career, and her ninth from 15 starts in 2019. Primed N Powerful tracked all the way and held for second with Majistic Caprice finishing third.   THE BEULAH DYGERT MEMORIAL CHAMPIONSHIP Flacco Family Farms' popular filly Louzotic made every pole a winning one in the $95,000 Beulah Dygert Memorial Championship, for 3-year-old ICF filly Trotters, on Saturday night. Winning for the 11th time in 15 starts this year, including her fifth straight, Louzotic had regular driver Kyle Husted in the bike. This talented filly is trained by Steven Searle. She finished six and a quarter lengths ahead of rival Heidi High with Lous Paramour getting up for the show dough. Louzotic led all the way through fractions of :29.1, :59.4, 1:29.4 with a final time of 1:58.3.   THE ERWIN F. DYGERT CHAMPIONSHIP Lourhianon, winning for the second straight time since getting Lasix, overcame the outside post position and the sloppy track to take the $92,000 Erwin F. Dygert Memorial, for 3-year-old ICF colts and geldings, going away. Owned by C Lawrence Mc Burney, trained by Kennedy Lindsey, and driven by Luke Plano, Lourhianon took the lead soon after coming out of the far turn, raced wide through the stretch and still won by six and three-quarter lengths. He got the mile in 1:57.3 after early fractions of :29.4, :59.3, and 1:29. Frontier Maynard grabbed second with For Trots Sakes coming in third.   THE KADABRA CHAMPIONSHIP When favored Fox Valley Quest broke coming out of the first turn in Saturday's $108,000 Kadabra Championship, for 2-year-old ICF colt and gelding Trotters, that opened up the opportunity for everybody else. Ed Teefey's Crooked Creek took advantage. Winning for the third straight time and the fifth time in nine races, Ryan Anderson guided this Mike Brink trainee to a six-length victory in 1:55.3. Desert Sheik, another Brink-trained Trotter, finished second. Longshot Fitchey For Fun snagged third place. Early fractions for the race were :29.4, :58.1. and 1:27.3.   THE INCREDIBLE FINALE CHAMPIONSHIP Triple Zzz's He'zzz A Wise Guy was a three and a quarter-length winner in Saturday's $102,000 Incredible Finale Championship. The race was for 2-year-old ICF colt and gelding Pacers. His victory was his fifth straight from only seven races. Trained by Donald Filomeno, He'zzz A Wise Guy was guided to the victory by Robert Smolin. Favored Fox Valley Ren, who had won seven of nine races, finished second with RJ Wulfy finishing third. He covered the mile in 1:55.0 after fractions of :28.3, :57/4 and 1:27.1   THE ROBERT F. CAREY, JR. MEMORIAL CHAMPIONSHIP Fox Valley Triton, who was beaten as the favorite in his last leg of the Carey, made amends in the $109,000 Robert F. Carey, Jr. Memorial Championship on Saturday night. The Carey was for 3-year-old ICF colts and gelding pacers. Owned by Dandy Farms Racing, FT Racing and Peter A Kouchis, trained by Terry Leonard and driven by Casey Leonard (his third win of the night) Fox Valley Triton eked out a neck victory over Meyer On Fire. Maximus finished third. With fractions of :28.3, :57.3, 1:26.1, he got the mile in 1:54.1   THE PLUM PEACHY CHAMPIONSHIP Fox Valley Halsey made it two in a row with a victory in Saturday's $100,000 Plum Peachy. Owned by Cynthia Kay Willis, Ronnie J & Jerry D Graham, Fox Valley Halsey is trained by Nelson Willis and was driven by Juan Franco. Fox Valley Halsey finished a neck ahead of Fox Valley Lil Kim with Fox Valley Torrid a neck behind. He covered the mile in 1:54.4 after early fractions of :28.4, :58.1 and 1:25.3   THE TONY MAURELLO CHAMPIONSHIP Francis L Greer and James E Greer's Skeeter Machine won the finale on the Night of Champions. The race, The $45,000 Tony Maurello Championship, was for ICF 3-year-olds and up Pacers. Trained by Nicole Agosti and driven by Kyle Husted (his third victory of the night) Skeeter Machine won for the fifth time this year and the 17th time in his career. The final race of the night brought fractions of :28.1, :57, 1:25.1 with a final time of 1:54.0 Whiskersonkittens got up for second place, a half-length back, while there was a dead heat for third place between San Antonio Rose and Fox Valley Charm Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago's Hometown Track, returned for live harness racing on Friday, May 3. The summer harness meet opened on Friday, May 3 and races through September 22. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 10 through December 28. For more information, visit www.Hawthorneracecourse.com or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700.   Jim Miller

MILTON, ON - September 21, 2019 - Undefeated rookie Tall Dark Stranger established a new harness racing stakes record with a 1:49.1 victory in Saturday's $750,000 Metro Pace.   The son of Bettors Delight angled from the two-hole and cruised home in :27, giving his driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Johansson each their first victory in harness racing's richest race for two-year-olds.   "He's just a great colt," said Johansson. "He looked strong the whole way and still had his plugs in at the wire. If they were coming harder at him I think he still had some left in the tank."   Tall Dark Stranger left from post-four and circled around Easi Hanover, who blasted from the outside, to lead at the opening-quarter in :27. Race-favourite Capt Midnight moved out from third and went after the lead racing up the backstretch, getting stretched out by Tall Dark Stranger before clearing after a :54.1 half.   Capt Midnight carried the lead around the far turn with Tall Dark Stranger and Gingras angling from the two-hole ahead of the three-quarter pole. Ys Mathis was first-up, three-lengths from the lead, with Papi Rob Hanover on his back. The three-quarter time was 1:22.   In the stretch, Tall Dark Stranger powered by Capt Midnight to a clear lead with an eighth of a mile to go. Papi Rob Hanover made things interesting late, ultimately coming up half a length short to a steady Tall Dark Stranger. Capt Midnight finished third, while Seeyou At Thebeach was fourth.   Tall Dark Stranger grinded away to narrowly defeated Papi Rob Hanover in last week's elimination. Gingras felt that performance made a big impact on the colt.   "(Last week) it took him a long time in the stretch, but today I stretched the other colt and in the last turn he knew what it was about this time," said Gingras. "When I came out of the two-hole he went right by Capt Midnight and that was without even me asking him at that point.   "He's got some learning to do, but he's got all the tools to be a great one."   Tall Dark Stranger is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms and Howard Taylor. The son of Bettors Delight is now six for six with $499,533 earned after being purchased for $330,000 at last October's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.   The clocking of 1:49.1 shaved a fifth of a second off the previous stakes record set by Sportswriter in 2009. It also matches the track record set by A Rocknroll Dance in 2011.   Gingras and Johansson can now scratch the Metro Pace off their bucket list, as the duo teamed up in the 2011 edition to finish second with Western Vintage.   Johansson's victory with Tall Dark Stranger gives her a sweep of Mohawk Park's two richest races of the season, as she captured the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup in June with Captain Crunch.   "Not bad for a girl born in Sweden," laughed Johansson. "I'm very lucky that I have owners that support me with great horses and makes my job a lot easier having the material to perform at the highest level."   Tall Dark Stranger paid $5.40 to win.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, ON - September 21, 2019 - Lyons Sentinel entered the Canadian harness racing record books with a stunning 1:49.3 victory in Saturday's $540,000 Shes A Great Lady for two-year-old pacing fillies.   The daughter of Captaintreacherous converted off a two-hole trip to win for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim King Jr. in a Stakes, Track and Canadian Record time.   "She's done things we didn't think could be done," said King Jr. post-race. "About time she walked in my barn I could tell she was really special."   The $540,000 contest carried the storyline of a showdown between impressive elimination winners Alicorn and Lyons Sentinel. The fillies didn't disappoint, sitting one-two from start to finish.   Alicorn and driver Louis Philippe Roy blasted from post-five and hung up an opening-quarter of :26.4, while Lyons Sentinel followed in second. Reflect With Me got away third and hugged the rail for most of the mile.   After a second-quarter breather of :28.4, Alicorn faced pressure from Somebeachsometime, who had been parked every step of the mile after starting from post-nine. Peaky Sneaky failed to stay with the first-up challenger while in a second-over position, which left room for Tetrick to slide off the rail at three-quarters with Lyons Sentinel.   Alicorn went into sprint mode after reaching three-quarters in 1:23.1, but Lyons Sentinel was too much to handle. The King Jr. trainee stormed by powerfully in :26 to win by half a length. Alicorn finished second, while Reflect With Me couldn't find room up the rail in the stretch and settled for third over JK First Lady.   "I just didn't want to give Roy too much space," said Tetrick. "I didn't want to give him three or four lengths and get the half cheap and take off from me, so I put her on the back and I took a chance of getting locked in, but it all worked out."   A $55,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Lyons Sentinel has stamped herself as harness racing's top two-year-old pacing filly for owners Threelyonsracing. The Captaintreacherous filly has now won five in a row and is six for nine on the season with $562,330 earned.   Lyons Sentinel's record mile broke the previous Canadian record of 1:50.1, which she matched in last week's elimination. The now-fastest two-year-old filly in Canadian racing history returned $3.40 for a $2 win ticket.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 21, 2019 -- Goes Down Smooth drew away from the harness racing field late with a powerful finishing kick that carried him to victory in a track-record 1:52.3 in Saturday's $75,299 Keystone Classic for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters at The Meadows. The mile lowered the mark set by Explosivebreakaway in another Keystone Classic division only about 30 minutes earlier. The event was contested over three divisions, with Lindy's Crazy Hall taking the other split. Goes Down Smooth battled three wide for the early lead, but after Matt Kakaley gave him a 29 second-quarter breather, the Muscle Hill-Peach Martini gelding made a shambles of the race, defeating Nextroundsonme by a widening 9-1/2 lengths. Darty finished third. " I let him trot out a little bit, but he did it real easy today," Kakaley said. "He's been good for quite a while now." Ron Burke trains the winner, who vaulted over $200,000 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, William Switala, James Martin and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. The time also is a stake record and the fastest this year by a sophomore gelding trotter on a five-eighths-mile track. While Explosivebreakaway's 1:52.4 performance will go down as one of the most fleeting track records in The Meadows history, he had plenty to celebrate. He found the pocket for Tom Jackson in a blistering 26 opening panel. The Explosive Matter-Phaeton gelding brushed outside through the lane and downed Kate's Massive by 3-1/4 lengths, with Stonebridge Symba third. "I wasn't worried about my horse finishing; I was worried about the horse in front of me carrying me far enough," Jackson said. "He took me plenty far enough. We changed his shoes after his last race here, and he's been a different horse ever since." Fred Grant trains Explosivebreakaway, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $131,925, and owns with Janice Rubin, Steven Katz and Murray Brown. $75,300 Keystone Classic -- 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pacers Pyro and Highlandbeachlover captured the divisions in Saturday's other Keystone Classic. Kakaley hustled Pyro to the point from the rail and eschewed the opportunity to release a pair of early challengers and take a covered trip. " I wanted to line them up and have my colt in front, give him a shot on the lead," he said. "I thought he was the best. He dug in, and he was good." Kakaley knew his horse, as Pyro prevailed in 1:50.3, 1/2 length better than Waterway. Lyons Night Hawk completed the ticket. Pyro, a Sweet Lou-Whetstone Hanover gelding, now boasts $170,266 in earnings for Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Larry Karr, Phillip Collura and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Highlandbeachlover scored impressively in 1:51.1 after a desultory first quarter that frustrated Aaron Merriman, who couldn't put the Somebeachsomewhere-Rockn Highland gelding where he wanted to. "This horse isn't the easiest horse to drive, so I really didn't have a plan, to be honest with you," Merriman said. "This horse has some go, but there's nothing real easy about him. He was very resilient today. He's usually not a front-end horse, but I thought I better put him in the best stop to win," Aflame Hanover was second, beaten 1-1/4 lengths, with He's Packin third. The judges reviewed the actions of three horses, including the winner, before declaring the race official with the order of finish unchanged. Desyllas Racing, Elmore's Races Horses and William Beck campaign Highlandbeachlover. Winning trainer Kelly O'Donnell indicated the horse is eligible for stakes at the Red Mile but that his schedule has not been determined. In the $20,000 Open Handicap Pace, Windsong Leo made it three straight with a two-move victory in 1:49.2 for Dave Palone, trainer Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and Collura. The 7-year-old Jereme's Jet-Windsong Goldie gelding extended his lifetime earnings to $517,900. Burke fashioned a four-bagger while Tony Hall, Kakaley and Palone each piloted three winners on the 14-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the program features a pair of Keystone Classics for 3-year-old fillies -- a $65,500 trot and a $59,300 pace. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

MILTON, ON - September 21, 2019 - Caviart Ally defended her Milton Stakes title with a harness racing stakes record 1:48.3 victory in Saturday's $250,000 event at Woodbine Mohawk Park.   The five-year-old pacing mare shot to the front for driver Andrew McCarthy and never looked back, pacing a :53.3 back-half to secure her second Milton Stakes victory.   "I knew in the post parade she was going to be good," said McCarthy of Caviart Ally. "She usually tells me and she was very focused and had her mind on the job."   A model of consistency, Caviart Ally started from post-eight in the nine-horse field and went off at odds of 4/1. She posted opening fractions of :26.4 and :55, before race-favourite Youaremycandygirl started first-up from fourth.   McCarthy stomped on the gas pedal in the third-quarter, posting a :26.3 split. The duo proceeded to say goodnight to their rivals and sprinted home in :27 to win by a length and three-quarters. Kissin In The Sand finished second, while Seaswift Joy N and Apple Bottom Jeans completed the Superfecta. Youaremycandygirl finished eighth.   Owned by Caviart Farms, Caviart Ally joined the barn of trainer Pelling this season after former trainer Noel Daley returned to his home-country of Australia.   "She's so consistent," said Pelling, noting he was confident when his mare turned for home with the lead. "I just didn't think coming first-up on her and it was the favourite first-up and I said 'that's a big ask' and I was pretty confident. He hadn't pulled the plugs and I thought she was doing it tonight."   Caviart Ally is now six for 15 this season and has hit the board in every start. Her 22nd career victory gives her $432,064 earned this season, bringing her career earnings to $1.5 million for Caviart Farms.   A $2 win ticket on Caviart Ally returned $10.70.   by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

By Jonny Turner Taking his first horse to Ascot Park in almost a decade paid off for trainer Jim Curtin when Emmersyn Lee scored a front-running victory on Saturday. The inexperienced 3yr-old took her step towards qualifying for the Southland Oaks Final when winning comfortable in maiden company. Curtain said it would be scary to think how long ago it had been since he had taken a horse from his own stable to race in Southland. The records books show it was almost a decade ago – when Slash And Burn ran third in the Northern Southland Cup in 2009. Curtin will not wait nearly as long to line up his next runner in the deep south. Emmersyn Lee is likely to return south to race in Gore, next month, to complete her mandatory two starts for Southland Oaks qualification. Curtin is not getting ahead of himself with the filly, but is hopeful she could develop in to a contender for the race. “We are hoping she can develop in to a nice filly.” “The Oaks would be a long range goal if she kept improving.” Emmersyn Lee showed she had plenty to learn about the racing game when taking a good look at the Ascot Park scenery at different stages of her 2200m win. Curtin said the filly is far from the complete package. “She is still pretty inexperienced, she has got a bit to learn.” “We just hope she keeps improving.” Curtin and wife, Sandi, bred the Bettarthancheddar filly from their American Ideal mare, Crystal Bromac. The couple race Emmersyn Lee with David Aitken, of Canterbury. Saturday’s race looked Emmersyn Lee’s for the keeping soon after the start when the favourite, Kickupyaheels, galloped. The Robin Swain trained filly caught the eye with a big performance to collect herself and run fifth. Emmersyn Lee was one of four Canterbury trained winners at Saturday’s meeting. Three wins went to Otago trained horses and two wins went to hometown trainers.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner Some say the older you get, the wiser you get, but that does not appear to be the case for Hannon Memorial contender A G’s White Socks. The Greg And Nina Hope trained 6yr-old will attempt to go one better than his runner-up effort behind Dream About Me, in this year’s race, at Oamaru on Sunday. Twelve months ago, A G’s White Socks pinged away from the standing start tapes to lead, before just going down in an action-packed finish. The chances of the pacer making the same kind of beginning, this year, look bleak if his recent manners are anything to go by. The formerly brilliant beginner has developed a habit of putting in some rough strides after stepping off the mark. And it is not only giving his driver, Ricky May, a headache. It is giving away a major advantage to his rivals. That was evident when A G’s White Socks began quickly, before putting in some rough steps, and had to settle three back on the markers in Chase Auckland’s New Brighton Cup. “At the start he made flyer actually, he was in front and then he put some skips in,” May said. “It sort of cost him leading really, the other horse [Chase Auckland] headed me off.” “If he had have been in front it would have been a different story.” A G’s White Socks was effectively out of play when Chase Auckland paced his last 800m in 54 5sec from the front to win. Though he only looked to battle in to fourth, A G’s White Socks’ was timed to pace exactly the same final last split as the winner did. That effort backed up the 6yr-old’s 54.2sec last 800m in his first start for the season behind Classie Brigade in the Maurice Holmes Vase. The pacer’s fast finishes and the feel he has given his driver have May convinced the horse is thriving. “I still feel as though he has been going good and he went real good in his first start back, as well.” “He has got a lot of speed and he proved that at the end of last season.” “He is not far away, he has just go to stop putting a few rough steps at the start.” “It is a bit disappointing, really, we just hope he gets through it.” A G’s White Socks trailed the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained trio of Chase Auckland, Spankem and Ultimate Sniper home in the New Brighton Cup. Spankem produced even more impressive sectionals, when speeding home wide on the track to grab second placing in the event. Like, A G’s White Socks, the Miracle Mile winner was a stride slow to begin and settled back in the field, while Chase Auckland had control of the race in front. If Spankem repeats the sizzling 54.0sec last 800m and 25.3sec last 800m he produced at Addington he must be the horse to beat in the Hannon Memorial. Chase Auckland boosted New Zealand Cup claims in what was effectively his first taste of open class racing against older horses with his good win in the New Brighton Cup. A repeat of that effort, including the standing start manners he showed, will make him highly competitive again. Ultimate Sniper could not match Chase Auckland or Spankem after having a good run in the trail when they clashed at Addington. The horse was presented in bigger condition than his stablemates and could be the biggest improver of the trio at Oamaru. The Hannon Memorial has been robbed of one of its most interesting talking points by the scratching of Southland sensation U May Cullect The Kirstin Barclay and Paul Ellis trained pacer was found to be suffering from a stone bruise on Saturday morning. Barclay said though the problem was only a minor one, but there was no sense in racing the horse. If U May Cullect’s hoof heals as expected, he will head to Addington for next month’s Canterbury Classic. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Garrick Knight Cop that! Brilliant win from unpolished colt He’s far from the finished product, but Copy That showed just why Ray Green rates him as good as stablemate Line Up when recording a sensational win at Alexandra Park on Friday night. He went rough and galloped twice in the 2200-metre event, including at the 400-metre point, but still managed to regather his momentum and storm home to win in the hands of Zachary Butcher. Initial indications were final sectionals of 54.9 and 26.9 coming very wide on the track. Butcher reported to Green as expected – the bends are still an issue, but he’s like a Rolls Royce on the straights. “Zac said it was the corners that he was having trouble with, but once he got round them he was all business,” said Green. The Sires Stakes heat at Cambridge on October 3 is the next aim and then, hopefully, a trip to Christchurch for the $170,000 Final on New Zealand Cup Day. Having won the race in 2009 with Sir Lincoln and run second with King Of Swing two years ago, Green knows the type of horse it takes to be competitive in the Spring feature for three-year-olds. “In my opinion he’s up to the best horses and will be very competitive in a race like that. “That’s the main mission at this point, and it’s a matter of managing him through to there. “We took him to Cambridge last Saturday for a workout and he never put a foot wrong. “He’s possibly better left-handed so that’s a good line, at least with a view to the Sires Stakes.” Copy That was purchased by Green and wife Debbie as a weanling before they on-sold him three months ago to Australian stable clients, Merv and Meg Butterworth, for a handsome profit.   American sale possible for C K Spur Arna Donnelly reckons she might have found the key to training after preparing another winning double. Both Donnelly and stable junior Alicia Harrison spent four days in Samoa to start the week, returning just in time to see both C K Spur and Young Conqueror get the chocolates. “It’s pretty easy, this training business,” she joked shortly after her second success of the night. C K Spur has turned in to a real money machine for his owners, Karen De Jongh-Kennedy and Kevin Foley, and his $25,000 race win took his lifetime stakes over the $120,000. That will soon be boosted further when he earns a promoted win from a recent placing due to a swabbing issue. It means he has shot up the ratings and there has been plenty of interest in him from overseas as a result. “Someone in Perth was keen on buying him but there is also a bit of talk about a sale to America,” said Donnelly. “Nothing has come of it yet, but I was told they were keen to try and get him on a flight next week.” If that doesn’t materialize, Donnelly reckons she might have a crack at one of the country’s two biggest trots. “I know we won’t beat Johnny Dunn’s good horse (Sundees Son), but I reckon he will love the two miles of the Dominion.” Young Conqueror made it two in a row when winning the R53-64 pace earlier in the night in the hands of Scott Phelan. “I’m really pleased for the owner, Robert Symon,” said Donnelly. “He puts a lot in to the game and has been a good supporter of mine.”   Down The Hatch continues dam’s excellent record The brilliant record of broodmare gem Slangevar continued when Down The Hatch cleared maidens for Steve Telfer. The daughter of Mach Three delivered on strong tote support with a commanding all-the-way win in the hands of Benjamin Butcher. Telfer says she’s only really become a racehorse in the last month after battling wayward tendencies as a juvenile. “She was always very lazy and green. “It’s only been in the last month that she has switched on; she’s really come ahead in leaps and bounds. “I was actually a bit surprised Ben led on her, because I wouldn’t even do that at home. “She’s always looking at things and switching off. “But she travelled the whole way, which was great to see.” Down The Hatch is the sixth foal, and fifth winner, out of Slangevar, a one-win mare by Cameleon, following on from First Home (9 wins), Cheers Kathy (14 wins), Prince Of Pops (21 wins) and current stable star for Telfer, Triple Eight (8 wins). “She’s been a wonderful producer,” said Telfer. “And the funny thing is, they have all been different types and different sizes. “Physically, she (Down The Hatch) looks like Triple Eight, but she’s a lot nicer pacer.” The next foal out of Slangevar is a Rock N Roll Heaven two-year-old filly called Little Suzie. “Brent Donnelly broke her in for us and the reports were all good.” Telfer recorded a double on the card, classy mare Ivana Flybye returning to form with a dominant win in the first race on the card, run in an electric 2.38.8 (1.56.1 MR). Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

The Robert Dunn trained Carlos Bromac capitalised on a perfect sit behind leader Onesmartfella to win the Macca Lodge Mobile Pace at the Invercargill Harness Racing meeting at Ascot Park today (Saturday). “I drew one, got a nice trail all the way so that helped but he did it quite nice,” said driver John Dunn after the win. The winning margin was a length and a half from a brave Onesmartfella who was worked over twice in the lead. Carlos Bromac was bought by Robert and John Dunn for $33,000 at the Christchurch Yearling Sales. He’s out of the unraced Art Major mare Cha Cha Bromac and is closely related to Attorney General, Cullen Bromac and a host of other winners. “At two he wasn’t the best of pacers but his gait’s got a lot better now. We still have a wee bit to work on.” Dunn says the horse will stay down in Southland for Thursday’s Winton meeting. “If he goes nice there we’ll leave him down for the Nuggets (Nuggets Final) then take him home and regroup. He’s paid up for the Sires Stakes so hopefully he improves enough for that.” The three year old Bettor’s Delight gelding is part-owned by Southlander Charlie Templeton. “He loves it old Charlie. It’s good to bring a horse down here because he flies up (to Christchurch) all the time and watches his horses go.” Templeton has owned a few horses over the years and currently races the three win Mach Three mare Nakuru and her unraced two year old half-sister Shanika out of the Dunn stable. John Dunn was also successful early in the day when he drove the Shannon Armour trained gelding Dalness Arizona to win at odds of 20 to 1. Dalness Arizona holds on to beat Hans Ideal                          – Photo Bruce Stewart Other winners on the day included Emmersyn Lee for Canterbury trainer Jim Curtin, Winning Bones which won after a daring drive by Brent Barclay and the Brad Mowbray trained Kingmaker.   Bruce Stewart

YONKERS, N.Y. – In 1993, Holger Ehlert was working as an assistant trainer in Wim Paal’s stable. Paal sent Embassy Lobell to New York to represent France in the International Trot that year and Mike Lachance kept the American-bred well off a blistering early pace. However, as the field came into the stretch for the second of three times, Lachance misjudged the 1 1/4-mile stakes distance. He yanked on the left line and urged Embassy Lobell up the pylons, passing Norway’s Prince Of Mischief and Germany’s Sea Cove to take third passing the wire with one circuit remaining. Although Embassy Lobell continued to track in third for the final half-mile, he lost ground in the stretch as Giant Force out-dueled Meadow Prophet to win the $500,000 stakes. Ehlert’s next chance to experience International Trot glory didn’t come for another 23 years. After 10 years with Paal, Ehlert went out on his own in 1994, moved to Italy, where he met his wife, Anne, and started a family. In 2013, Ringostarr Treb came to Ehlert’s barn and after the trotter posted a strong season in Italy in 2016, he earned an invitation to the $1 million Yonkers International Trot. The International Trot dream would slip through Ehlert’s fingers again though. Shortly before Ringostarr Treb was scheduled to fly to New York, a failed blood test prevented the horse from traveling to the United States. “That was really big disappointment for us,” Anne Ehlert said via email. “The horse was top at the time, and we didn't understand why the tests were not OK. Later on, the veterinarian explained what the problem was. He maybe had had tick bite earlier and that made his antibodies high. It is forbidden to travel to the U.S. if that value is over certain level. We got test result in the same day as the flight, so there was nothing we could do, and we couldn't have known it earlier. That was tough for the whole team.” Although Holger Ehlert’s two brushes with the International Trot proved memorable for the wrong reasons, he and Anne hope to make good memories in this year’s renewal of the Yonkers International. The pair will bring Zacon Gio across the Atlantic to compete in the $1 million stakes. “It would mean a lot. It has always been our biggest dream to win this race,” Anne Ehlert said. “This time we really wish that everything goes right. We believe it is a third time charmed and we will be very proud to present the Italian flag.” Ehlert has 120 horses in training at his Pisa, Tuscany stable and Anne works in breeding and breaking babies, in addition to taking care of some of the older horses. Zacon Gio’s personality helps him stand out from the pack. “Zacon Gio is like yearling and always willing to play, never serious. He is not big, medium size American-type horse. He looks like he is out of Yankee Glide, the sire of his dam,” Anne Ehlert said. “He is funny to work with, but you have to be always alert. He sees and hears things that nobody else sees. The previous trainer said that he was always like that.” A 4-year-old by Ruty Grif out of the Yankee Glide mare May Glade Font Sm, Zacon Gio began his career with trainer Domenico Minopoli. Zacon Gio won 9 of his first 16 races, but failed to make an impression in stakes, finishing eighth in the Group 1, 154,000€ Gran Premio Citta' Di Napoli in June 2018. By August, Zacon Gio was transferred to Ehlert. “The owners always believed that he was important and wanted to try something new for him. They called Holger and sent him to us,” Anne Ehlert said. After finishing fourth in his debut for the stable at Cesena Sept. 1, 2018, Zacon Gio hasn’t been beaten. His win streak began next out in Bologne Oct. 25 and after four more wins in as many tries through Feb. 23, 2019, Zacon Gio earned another try in stakes company and faced his toughest test. Zacon Gio drew post 12 in the Group 2 Premio Citta' Di Torino at Turin April 7. The seven-across configuration meant Zacon Gio would start in the second tier behind the five horse in a 14-horse field. Despite racing uncovered on the rim for much of the 2,060-meter stakes, when driver Roberto Vecchione kicked out the plugs and put the whip on Zacon Gio’s tail approaching the final turn, Zacon Gio assumed the lead and quickly kicked away from the field. Vecchione rested the whip back on his shoulder in the stretch as Zacon Gio cruised to a 2 1/2-length victory. After witnessing the romp, the Ehlert’s knew they had a special horse. Zacon Gio connected again in the Group 2 Gran Premio Regione Campania April 30 before meeting French star Face Time Bourbon in the Group 1 Premio Unione Europea May 19. Vecchione sent Zacon Gio off the wings of the gate and the Italian trotter led throughout the 2,080-meter contest while the Face Time Bourbon raced first-over and applied pressure. Zacon Gio turned away Face Time Bourbon at the midway point of the far turn and entered the stretch with a clear lead. Although he looked vanquished on the turn, the French champion took another shot at the Italian in the stretch, cutting into Zacon Gio’s advantage with each stride. With Vecchione cracking the lines, imploring with the whip, and bouncing in the bike, Zacon Gio held off Face Time Bourbon by a half-length to score in the 407,000€ stakes. “We would have been happy even if Zacon Gio arrived second behind Face Time Bourbon,” Ehlert said. “It was great to win that race and it was really emotional. Face Time Bourbon is one of the favorites for Prix d’Amérique 2020.” Zacon Gio earned another Group 1 win in the 154,000€ Gran Premio Tino Triossi June 29. Two more wins Aug. 25 and Sept. 14, when he took the Premio Citta' Di Follonica in an 11-length romp, extend his win streak to 11 entering the Yonkers International Trot. Overall, Zacon Gio is 20-for-30 with $412,510 earned. “Amazing has been the way to describe how he won all those races. It does not add extra pressure, but of course it would be great that winning streak will continue,” Ehlert said. Despite his impressive resume, Zacon Gio has never raced outside Italy. The move was by design, but now, the Ehlerts and owner Giuseppe Franco are ready to venture away from home with their star trotter. “He was not ready earlier,” Ehlert said. “For us (it was not a difficult decision) at all. We had (the International) in mind already after Turin. The owner had to think about it for 5 minutes, but this is a once in the lifetime possibility, so they said, ‘let's go.’ ” Ehlert believes dealing with the quarantine regulations will be the most difficult aspect of the journey. The European contingent for the International will be stabled at Yonkers for the week leading up to the International Oct. 12 and will spend most of the time in their stalls, with exceptions made for training on the Hilltop oval and grazing in the track’s infield. “The biggest challenge is absolutely quarantine,” Ehlert said. “Zacon Gio is used to going to the paddock every day and he won’t have that possibility. He’s never flown, but he travels well, so we believe the flight is not going to be problem for him.” Zacon Gio’s nine rivals in the Yonkers International Trot include defending champion Cruzado Dela Noche (Sweden) and 2018 Hambletonian winner Atlanta (U.S.). Guardian Angel AS will also represent the U.S. and Marion Marauder will race for Canada. The other European invaders are Bahia Quesnot (France), Lionel (Norway), Norton Commander (Germany), Slide So Easy (Denmark), and Uza Josselyn. “We are very excited. We are not afraid of anybody, but we have respect for everybody,” Ehlert said. The $1 million Yonkers International Trot is slated for Saturday, October 12 at Yonkers Raceway. The card will also feature a pair of $250,000 invitationals, the 1 1/4-mile Harry Harvey Trot and 1-mile Dan Rooney Pace. For more information on the event and its participants, click here. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. First post time is 6:50 p.m. by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

FOR the second year in a row Tiger Tara has been crowned the Gallagher New South Wales Horse of the Year. Receiving 100 per cent of the votes, Tiger Tara was handed the honour at the Harness Racing New South Wales Awards Night on Saturday. Tiger Tara certainly had a year to remember on track taking out the Tabcorp Inter Dominion as well as the Hunter and Victoria Cups and pocketing $865,500 in prizemoney along the way. The Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation responsible for Racing, the Hon Kevin Anderson was in attendance and presented Club Menangle Chairman Ray Sharman Australia's highest harness racing award, the JP Stratton Award, for his 26 years of service on that Board. Harness Racing NSW would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of tonight's award winners. Listed below are all of the 2018/19 award winners which were presented in front of a capacity crowd, hosted by Mark McNamara.   HORSE OF THE YEAR AWARDS   Arthur J. Gallagher NSW Horse of the Year: Tiger Tara Club Menangle Two-Year-Old of the Year: Expensive Ego Cockburn & Co NSW Two-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pacer of the Year: Expensive Ego Cockburn & Co NSW Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year: Michelle Lee Mac Cockburn & Co NSW Two-Year-Old Trotter of the Year: Playboy In Paris Club Menangle NSW Three-Year-Old of the Year: Muscle Factory Sydney Morning Herald NSW Three-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pacer of the Year: Muscle Factory Sydney Morning Herald NSW Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer of the Year: Miss Streisand Sydney Morning Herald NSW 3YO Trotter of the Year: Caligula Club Menangle NSW Aged Horse of the Year: Tiger Tara KS Black & Co NSW Aged Entire/Gelding Pacer of the Year: Tiger Tara KS Black & Co NSW Aged Mare Pacer of the Year: Major Occasion KS Black & Co NSW Aged Trotter of the Year: Tough Monarch Daily Form Service NSW Broodmare of the Year: Miss Brazillian Daily Form Service NSW Sire of the Year: Million Dollar Cam   PARTICIPANT AWARDS   TAB Kevin Newman Award For Driving Excellence: Anthony Frisby Lexus Of Parramatta Junior Trainer Encouragement Award: Brooke Wilkins Lexus of Parramatta Junior Driver Encouragement Award: Joshua Gallagher KARI Indigenous Participant of the Year: James Sutton Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Leading Hobbyist Driver: Cassie Robinson Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Leading Hobbyist Trainer: Wayne Sullivan Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Leading Trotting Trainer and Driver: Blake Fitzpatrick Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Champion Junior Driver: Cameron Hart Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Champion Driver: Todd McCarthy Garrards Horse & Hound NSW Champion Trainer: KerryAnn Turner GHD NSW Owner of the Year: Greg and Mandy Targett IntelliTek NSW Breeder of the Year: Greg and Mandy Targett Harness Racing NSW Service to the Breeding Industry: Peter and Marie Neil   CLUB MENANGLE AWARDS Lexus of Parramatta Medal: Lachie Manzelmann Lexus of Parramatta Club Menangle First Lady Award: Gemma Rue Lexus of Parramatta Club Menangle Metropolitan Driver: Todd McCarthy Lexus of Parramatta Club Menangle Metropolitan Trainer: Shane and Lauren Tritton   DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS HRNSW Don Clough Award: Lorraine Pozza HRNSW Industry Contribution Award: Jim Bell HRNSW Club Volunteer Awards: Ann Brown (Tamworth HRC), Brian Hay (Wagga HRC), Jan Hay (Wagga HRC), Peter Jones (Eugowra HRC), Terry McMillen (Wagga HRC)   CARNIVAL OF CUPS AWARDS Tabcorp Carnival of Cups Horse of the Series: Ned Pepper Tabcorp Best Community Engagement Club: Coolamon HRC Tabcorp Best Fraternity Engagement Club: Young HRC Tabcorp Best Club with a feature race over $30,000: Eugowra HRC Tabcorp Best Club with a feature race between $13,001 and $30,000: Temora HRC Tabcorp Best Club with a feature race to a max of $13,000: Newcastle HRC   To access photos from the night please click here.   AMANDA RANDO MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING NEW SOUTH WALES

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 19, 2019-Lindy The Great burst from the pack at the top of the stretch and trotted to a three and three-quarter length harness racing victory Friday, September 20 to capture the $230,000 Caesars Trotting Classic for free-for-all trotters at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The five-year-old Crazed-Highscore Kemp stallion stopped the timer in 1:51.1 to equal the fastest mile ever trotted over the Anderson oval. The Caesars Trotting Classic headlined a Grand Circuit card that offered purses in excess of $1.4 million and some of the sport's top stars. "I liked him more today than the last two times I drove him. I felt like the last two times he was too aggressive and I couldn't get him to relax through the mile," said driver Louis Roy. "He was perfect today. He still made the lead, but I didn't rush him because I didn't want him too excited. After that, he was a gentleman; I could drive him with two fingers." Sent off at odds of 5-1, Roy and Lindy The Great moved to the lead from post five and soon found themselves in the pocket once Crystal Fashion and David Miller pushed to the front on the way to a :55 opening half. Marion Marauder, last year's Caesars Trotting Classic champion, grabbed the cover and advanced to second as the field entered the turn. However, turning for home, Roy and his Domenico Cecere-trained trotter were up for the challenge, quickly separating themselves from the field by open lengths to score their sixth win of the season and fifth consecutive. Mission Accepted and Chris Page finished second followed by favorite Guardian Angel As and Tim Tetrick. Owned by K R Breeding LLC, breeder of the stallion, and Robert Rudolph, Lindy The Great raised his seasonal bankroll to $168,965. His career earnings stand at $571,775. He returned $13.20-$9.20-$5.40 with the victory. The winning time eclipsed the 1:51.3 mark established by Southwind Chrome last week at Hoosier Park, and matched the time registered by gelding Bridge To Jesse's in August. Lindy The Great now heads to Lexington for the Allerage. It was a tough night for favorites in Hoosier Park's highest profile events Friday. Yannick Gingras called an audible with This Is The Plan in the $176,000 Harrah's Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for free-for-all pacers, and the change in tactics produced a 1:48.4 victory for the Ron Burke trainee. Endeavor and Sam Widger raced a tough second while Filibuster Hanover settled for third after cutting the mile. Favorite McWicked raced sixth. "Sometimes you get a scenario in your head. I didn't tell anybody, but decided to race him from behind," Gingras commented in the winner's circle. "I figured if I take him back and follow McWicked, we'll take our shots from there." Lining up from post two, This Is The Plan settled for fifth early as Filibuster Hanover and Endeavor fired for the lead with the latter clicking off a :26.3 opening quarter. Chris Page moved Filibuster Hanover to the front and with McWicked first up in fourth, Gingras slipped in behind the favorite. This Is The Plan was in perfect position turning for home, dashing to the wire with a :26.2 last panel to finish a quarter length in front. "He's been so good since the Ben Franklin," Gingras explained. "He's never put in a bad performance. Like last week, he finished seventh, but he raced as hard as any horse." The Somebeachsomewhere-That's The Plan four year old picked up his third win in 16 starts this season. Bred by Moni Market Breeders, the gelding is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby and Lawrence Karr. The triumph pushed the pacer's seasonal earnings to $743,598. He returned $9.60-$4.80-$4.20 to his backers. Indiana sensation Priceless collected her biggest payday of the season with a 1:51.1 victory in the $230,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stake for freshman pacing fillies. Driven by trainer Brandon Bates, the Rockin Image lass used a pocket trip to perfection, pacing home to a two-length margin at the wire in a lifetime best performance. "It worked out exactly the way I had hoped. When Tim left (with favorite Beyond Ecstasy) I was ecstatic," Bates said. "He cut some nice fractions in the race and it was pretty easy from there." The victory was the fifth in seven starts for the filly, bred by Mark Graber, Mervin Graber and Jacob Graber. Kevin Miller and Bert Hochsprung own the freshman, whom Hochsprung said could be headed to the Breeders Crown at the conclusion of the Indiana Sires Stakes campaign. "I don't know if we can beat them, but I'm probably going to give her a shot," he said. "I told myself tonight that if we could beat this group, we're probably going." Favorite Sherry Lyns Lady and Tim Tetrick battled back to nose out Rock Swan, driven by his brother, Trace, to take the $215,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management stake for freshman filly trotters in a time of 1:54.2. Crucial rounded out the trifecta. Trained by Jim Campbell for Coyote Wynd Farms, the victory was the second in nine outings for the Father Patrick two year old. "I saw him coming," Tetrick said of his brother and Rock Swan. "He had a jump on me and I was just hoping I could catch him late, and I did. Mine was a little funny in the last turn and she cost me a couple of steps, but good horses overcome that and she got up there and got it done." Bred by Steve Stewart and Timot Stable Inc., Sherry Lyns Lady now possesses seasonal earnings of $264,154. Century Farroh showed why he was favored in the $170,000 Jennas Beach Boy for sophomore colt and gelding pacers. One of four supplemental entries into the race, the son of Mach Three claimed his 12th win in 14 seasonal starts, winning in 1:49.1. Crimson And Chrome raced second while Rockie Got Framed finished third. Starting from the second tier, Sylvain Filion placed the colt on the front racing to a :54.3 first half. Once on the engine, he dictated the pace before going on to a one-length score. Dr. Ian Moore, who trains the colt for Ratchford Stable NS, said that the lightly-staked horse could return to Hoosier Park this fall, and a supplement into the Breeders Crown is not out of the question, saying he deserves a shot on his home turf. "I'll talk to the owner tonight and we'll see what he says. Basically, right now, this time of year with any horse it's sort of week to week because he's been going since the end of January, it's been a long grind," said Moore. "Every decision we make from here on in will be week to week." Sawyer's Desire and Gingras used a :26.4 last quarter to get by favored Odds On Osiris to capture the $125,000 Elevation for freshman colt and gelding pacers in a lifetime best 1:51. Trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and breeder David Wills, the victory was the second of the season for the Real Desire gelding. Sent off at 8-1 odds, he paid $18.60-$4.00-$3.20. Favored Evident Beauty, driven by David Miller, kept a neck in front of Grand Swan and Lewayne Miller in deep stretch to score a 1:53.3 triumph in the $135,000 Moni Maker for sophomore trotting fillies. The Trixton three year old, bred by White Birch Farm, collected her seventh win in 12 starts, improving her seasonal earnings to $487,206. Her career tally now stands at $735,398 for trainer Nifty Norman and owners Melvin Hartman, Little E LLC and R A W Equine Inc. Live racing will continue at Harrah' s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, September 21. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.   James Platz for Harrah's Hoosier Park

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WILKES-BARRE, PA - Favored Scirocco Rob sat behind second choice Whats The Word for most of the $17,500 harness racing trotting feature on Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, then moved out in the stretch and got by that tough rival by a half-length in 1:52.1, just a tick off his lifetime mark. Whats The Word buzzed away right to the lead, while the looped Scirocco Rob made his way to the pocket before the lively :26.3 quarter. The pacesetter went on to middle fractions of :55.3 and 1:23.4, with the winning Explosive Matter gelding coming outside for the stretch drive as the top two drew away from the rest. Scirocco Rob went by his game but outtrotted foe late, with George Napolitano Jr. getting his fourth win of the night for trainer Mark Silva and owners Kathleen and Lewis Whitaker Jr. There were three $17,000 conditioned subfeatures, two on the trot and one on the pace. In the first trot, Daniel Dube made a cameo appearance at The Downs to drive his own Muscles Yankee sophomore gelding Brownie, and the journey was worthwhile for Dube as Brownie overcame a first-over trip and held off the horse on his back, Hill Of A Horse, by a half-length in a lifetime best of 1:54.3. The Pierre Paradis-trained youngster now has a 9-4-2-1 record since adding trotting hopples on June 20. The winner of the second trotting cofeature also reduced his lifetime best as the Lionhunter gelding The Lionking AS defeated first-over Boxing Gloves by two lengths in 1:54.2. The Lionking AS had been using his early foot to work out forwardly-placed trips, then had been close without winning, but this week owner/trainer/driver Kevin Wallis sent him right down the road, and the winner responded with a sharp last quarter of :28 en route to the victory. The pacing event likewise resulted in a lifetime effort from the winenr, the Rock N Roll Heaven gelding Rebel Rouser, who stopped the timer in 1:50.2 for driver Eric Goodell, trainer Bob Cleary, and co-owners W J Donovan and Donal Murphy. Rebel Rouser went straight to the top, yielded to the pacecontrolling move of favorite Sports Legend in front of the stands, then went to the Pocono Pike and worked past the leader to win by a half-length. From the PHHA / Pocono Downs
The Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Sire Stakes has announced that it will institute four new events for four-year-old harness racing trotters and pacers beginning in the spring of 2020. The new races, called the New Jersey Breeders' Maturity, will be open to all horses that were nominated as yearlings to either the New Jersey Sire Stakes Premier Division or the New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund. It is expected that the races will be conducted at The Meadowlands in late March or early April and will consist of a preliminary leg and a final. Preliminary legs will go for $12,500 or $15,000 depending upon the number of entries, with the top ten point earners advancing to the finals. All preliminary legs will be contested, regardless of the number of entries. Purses for the finals shall be tiered based upon the number of entries. If less than five horses enter the purse for the final will be $30,000; if five to seven horses are entered the purse will be $40,000, and if more than seven enter the purse will increase to $50,000. To remain eligible, a nomination fee of $200 must be made for each horse by January 15, 2020. A $200 starting fee will be required to enter the preliminary leg. There will be no additional starting fees for horses that qualify for the finals. From the New Jersey Sire Stakes
There were eight harness racing Excelsior A Finals contested on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The culmination of the summer-long Excelsior series saw eight divisions which each went for a purse of $55,000 on a beautiful late summer evening in the Spa City. Two and three year old trotters who competed starting in late spring and through the summer saw their stakes campaigns culminate on Saturday night. It was "Miller Night" at Saratoga as reinsmen Andy and Marcus Miller prevailed in three of the eight Finals. Marcus Miller piloted Century Ferrari (American Ideal) to victory in the three year old colt and gelding pace in a sizzling 1:52.4 for his father trainer Erv Miller. Century Ferrari got the jump on his race's favorite Rickybobbynthehaus (Tyler Buter) and held that one off in the stretch before securing his fourth win of the season. Marcus Miller also sat behind the Anette Lorenzon-trained Alleyesonme As (Heston Blue Chip) in the two year old filly pace as she went coast-to-coast in 1:54.2. Andy Miller recorded a win on Saturday night as his Book Seven (Chapter Seven) went wire-to-wire in the two year old colt and gelding trot Final, stopping the timer in 1:59.4. Julie Miller trains the freshman trotter who moved his seasonal record to five for nine with the victory. Scott Zeron was the other out-of-towner to pilot a winner in a $55,000 Final as he guided the Blake Macintosh-trained Fool Me Again (Roll With Joe) to a 1:53.4 score in the three year old filly pace. Four local drivers logged victories among the eight Finals on Saturday night as well. Jimmy Devaux got the evening started for the Spa regulars by guiding Ideal Perception (American Ideal) to a front-running score in 1:54.2 in the two year old colt and gelding pace. Tony Alagna trains the freshman pacer whose victory was his third of the season. John Stark Jr. trains and drives C And T's Credit (Credit Winner) who cruised to a first-over win in the two year old filly trot, stopping the timer in 2:00 for an open-length score. Mark Beckwith and Frank Coppola Jr. each catch-drove a Finals winner on Saturday as Beckwith guided Certify (Credit Winner) to a career-best victory in 1:55, paying immediate dividends for his new connections as the three year old gelding went coast-to-coast in his first start out of the Lance Hudson stable. Coppola's win came while sitting behind George Ducharme's Hanna Dreamgirl (Chapter Seven) in the three year old filly trot. Hanna Dreamgirl sprung the biggest upset of the night, swooping the group in 1:58.3 and doing so at odds of 19-1 with Coppola at the controls. Live racing continues on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga with a matinee beginning at 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  
The Iowa harness racing Championship Finals set for Sunday (9/22) at What Cheer have been postponed due to rain.  The finals have been rescheduled for Monday (9/23), post time is 12:30 pm.  Horsemen can take horses out of the detention barn to jog.  Horses may not leave the grounds or they will be disqualified. by Tara Spach, for the IaHHA
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