Day At The Track

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 24, 2017 - Hoosier Park Racing & Casino played host to a 14-race harness racing card highlighted by Indiana Sires Stakes action on Wednesday, May 24 but it was leading driver Trace Tetrick who stole the show. Winning eight of the evening's 14-races, Tetrick once again tied the record for most wins in one night, a feat that he also reached in 2012. Eric Ledford established the eight race record in 1999 while Don Irvine Jr. recorded eight wins in 2003 and most recently, Sam Widger accomplished an eight win night in late 2016. While the track was rated good for much of the evening due to rain in the area, Tetrick didn't seem to mind. Tetrick found the winner's circle for the first time on the evening in the second race of the program behind Lone Wolf Terror for trainer Philippe Belanger. After finishing off the board in the third race, Tetrick then went on to steer four consecutive winners on the program including Swan Forever in the opening division of Indiana Sires Stakes action for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings for trainer Erv Miller. With a final time of 1:55.4, Swan Forever used a near gate to wire effort to score his second lifetime victory and establish a new lifetime best in the process. Tetrick would also take the second division of the Indiana Sires Stakes eliminations behind Swan Chase for trainer William Crone. Using a determined gate to wire effort, Swan Chase delivered as the post time favorite to score by nearly two lengths in 1:56.1 and give Tetrick his sixth winner of the night. Tetrick would find the winner's circle three races later as DJ Delight staged a big rally late in the lane to pull the slight upset in the eleventh race of the evening. Scoring in a new lifetime best of 1:57.1, Tetrick found late racing room and the Dan O'Mara trainee utilized a :27.2 final panel to record his first win of the season. Tetrick's eighth and final winner of the night came in the last race of the program behind the Tyler George trained Last Minute Cindy. Sent off as the heavy betting favorite, Last Minute Cindy went gate to wire and dug in gamely late in the mile to score in 1:55.3. "Everything worked out for us tonight," Tetrick humbly noted after the eighth winner. "Looking at the program, I knew a few of my horses had good shots to win and a few of the other horses really stepped up and raced great tonight, so it all worked out." "Every night is a new night," he continued. "When I hang up the lines after every race, it's on to the next one. I just try to do the best I can and put each horse in the best spot to win every race. I could have nights where I lose eight in a row so I try to take every night as a new night and tonight was just a really good night. I am thankful to everyone who continues to give me the opportunity to drive their horses." The Southern Illinois native started driving in 2003 and has been making headlines ever since. Now at the age of 30, Tetrick has five Hoosier Park leading driver titles to his credit and has stamped himself into the Hoosier Park history books on more than one occasion. As the all-time leading driver in Hoosier Park history, Tetrick also holds the record for most wins in one season after he recorded 371 victories throughout the 2016 season. Tetrick recently celebrated career win 4,000 at Hoosier Park and is on his way to record his best season to date in 2017. With 257 wins on the season, Tetrick is ranked second among all drivers in North America and currently leads all drivers at Hoosier Park through 36 nights of live racing. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino continues on Thursday, May 25 with a 14-race card featuring a $10,000 Guaranteed pick-4 pool in races 3-6. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com Emily Gaskin

Here are the harness racing shadow fields for the nine Group 1 races being held at the Ashburton Trust Harness Jewels next Saturday, June 3. Please note these fields could be subject to change - depending on any withdrawals before the final field is drawn at noon tomorrow NZT. These final fields will be available on www.hrnz.co.nz around 12.30pm tomorrow (Friday). If you have any questions please feel free to contact myself on the details below or Darrin Williams on 03 964 1192. Click here to view the fields.  

Saturday night’s monte at Tabcorp Park Melton will be a star-studded affair after harness racing trainers Andy Gath and Ross Sugars elected to stick saddles on two of their leading trotters. Gath will run Group 1 placegetter K D Muscles in the $14,000 Aldebaran Park Monte Championship, the first time the trainer of almost 9600 starters has entered the saddled racing. The 87th monte run in Victoria will also mark Sugars’ first participation in the class since Illawong Magic contested four montes between May and July in 2014. “There is always a bit of apprehension, but I expect both to benefit from their first go in the monte,” Sugars said. “It’s something completely different in their training. It’s like taking a horse who has always been training on the track and you take it swimming and it gets a different outlet and some new lease on life. It doesn’t work for all, but for most it will.” The trainers arrive at the monte from different perspectives. For Sugars it’s a chance to freshen Illawong Helios and possibly extend his season, having had 12 starts since January 23. For Gath it’s a chance to give K D Muscles, owned by Norm Jenkin, a hit-out in a race that doesn’t also feature another Jenkin’s runner. “She has the same owner as Clover Mac who is in for Ballarat's (John Slack Memorial Trotters Cup) on Friday night and instead of doubling up we will take advantage of the $14,000 race on Saturday to avoid the clash,” Gath said. “(K D Muscles) hadn’t run under a saddle before Monday morning. Michelle (Phillips) did half-a-dozen laps on her and then she trialled on Monday night and handled it well. She ran good time.” Beyond that the jury is out. It’s expected the talented trotter will be competitive with the likes of Conon Bridge, Brent Lilley’s Breeders Crown winner who’s a veteran of four montes, and Vics Cheval, David Aiken’s trotter who returns to the montes for the first time since 2016 when she won three races under saddle. “It’s a little hard to know what affect it will have,” Gath said. “We will see how she recovers from having carried weight on her back instead of a sulky. “I thought she trialled good under saddle and she will have Ben Aubron riding her and he is quite experienced. I think she will acquit herself well.” Sugars has little apprehension about throwing Illawong Helios into the championship, the calendar’s richest mobile start monte. “Both her and K D Muscles I think will perform really well,” Sugars said. “The short-course will suit them and I think it will be a very good race between Conon Bridge, K D Muscles and Illawong Helios. “This has come at the right time (for Illawong Helios). She had progressed well this campaign and then levelled out.” Sugars said putting Illawong Helios into a monte had “always been in the back of the mind”, having trained her under saddle “three or four times” last October before she was put out for a spell. “It might keep her in work longer and if she benefits I won’t just race her in montes but put her back in normal racing,” Sugars said. “It might get a few others thinking about it and having a go, because the monte racing has definitely improved as better horses have taken to it.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 27 May 2017 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 27 May 2017

Busselton harness racing trainer Barry Howlett has given punters a good lead by declaring his smart squaregaiter Sunnys Little Whiz ready to win first-up at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The former Kiwi mare hasn't graced the racetrack since December 9 when she won the Group 1 $50,000 Trotters Cup (2503m) at headquarters but Howlett has had his star trotter back in work for almost three months and he expects her to be hard to beat first-up off her 20m handicap in the www.gloucesterpark.com.au Trotters Discretionary Handicap (2503m). "I gave Sunnys a couple of months off after the Trotters Cup," Howlett said. "She'd done a great job in her first campaign in Australia with her eight wins and two seconds. She enjoyed her break but it's back to work now and I'm looking forward to seeing her at the races again." Howlett said Sunnys Little Whiz had been working very well in her lead up to her return to the track. "Of course she's not race-hardened after a two-month spell, but she's showing enough on the training track to suggest she'll be very competitive on Friday night," he said. "We wouldn't be starting her unless she was fairly forward in her prep and there's no Cardigan Boko in her race on Friday night." Sunnys Little Whiz was something of a revelation in her first campaign in Australia. She arrived on our shores with very little fanfare, but quickly established a reputation as a foolproof squaregaiter with a big heart. Sunnys Little Whiz strung together six wins in a row before her colours were lowered at Pinjarra as a long odds-on favourite when she uncharacteristically broke in running. Howlett said, in hindsight, he shouldn't have started her that day. "She copped a kick in the float on the way to the races," he said. "She was passed fit to race but it put her off and she really didn't perform up to her best that day. Her only other defeat came at the hands of Cardigan Boko." Howlett, who started training pacers as a hobby, has progressed to a full-time trainer in the past three or four years with 20 to 30 horses in work at any one time. He has his own 800m fast-work track and has concentrated on buying quality stock from New Zealand. It's a formula that's obviously working with Howlett sitting comfortably in fourth spot on the State training list behind Greg and Skye Bond, Gary Hall and Ross Olivieri. Horses from the Howlett team have won 58 races so far this season for more than $424,000 in prize money. Wayne Currall

Hunter Cup champion Bling It On is ready to go again. The $1.5 million earner is being primed for several upcoming harness racing features in the coming weeks culminating in the final leg of the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit series, the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on July 15. But before heading north, the Sydney trained star will target the Gr.3 $30,000 Golden Mile on June 10 followed by the Gr.1 $100,000 Len Smith Mile two weeks later, both events will be staged at TABCORP Park, Menangle. The Brisbane winter carnival targets are the Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint on July 8 followed by the Blacks A Fake. And success in the Blacks A Fake will see him crowned the 2016/17 Grand Circuit champion. “That’s something that we’re definitely aware of given he’s got a stud career in front of him, being crowned the Grand Circuit champion is an added bonus for his long term value. He needs to win the Blacks A Fake to land the title.” Regular driver Luke McCarthy said. Bling It On hasn’t raced since finishing 6th in the Miracle Mile behind Lennytheshark in 1:49.2 on February 25. But a private workout yesterday (Wednesday) at Menangle has proven that he’s ready for the upcoming campaign. A public trial next week has now been scheduled. “Originally he was going to trial this week but the volume of races plus trials this week at Menangle forced our hand, we gave him a good hit-out yesterday and he’s going to trial next week. He worked really well and felt very comfortable. “He enjoyed his break but his training indicates he’s in really good order, he’ll have a good trial next week and then we’re likely to go into the Golden Mile fresh-up. “The main target is the Brisbane feature, they’re going to be really strong races with the likes of Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay but I know Yank (Bling It On) is capable. We’ve beaten Lenny twice this season so we know we can match him.” Both victories over Lennytheshark have come via 1000m tracks – Melton and Bunbury. Bling It On beat Lennytheshark in the Smoken Up Sprint and in a heat of the Inter Dominion. The American Ideal entire has won 10 of his 15 starts at Albion Park, a track which also measures 1000m. The Queensland winter carnival officially starts on June 2 and reaches its climax on July 15. Chris Barsby

WASHINGTON, PA, May 24, 2017 -- The harness racing veteran Tamarind displayed his class and toughness Wednesday at The Meadows when he sustained a first-over bid in the slop and went on to capture the featured race, a $13,000 conditioned trot. Tamarind was fourth near the half when Aaron Merriman sent him after the leader, Classic Banker. It took the 9-year-old son of Angus Hall-Spicegirl Kosmos most of the back half to wear down Classic Banker, but he drew off in the stretch to prevail in 1:55. Mike The Trader rallied for second, 2-1/2 lengths back, while Classic Banker saved show. Bill Bercury owns and trains Tamarind, who boosted his career bankroll to $892,084. Mike Wilder and Merriman each fashioned a three-bagger on the 12-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes with a special Friday card that features the $72,000 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. First post is 5 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

It's fair to say that going to college is a blessing that not everybody has the privilege to access. Besides those who don't have access to college, there is a large portion of people who have had to leave college because of financial issues beyond their control. That very reason is why Dover hip-hop artist Amillion The Poet has teamed up with harness racing legend George Teague Jr. to offer two scholarship opportunities to students in Delaware. Throughout the last few years, Amillion has been one of the most talked-about hip-hop artists in the state. The attention is not only for his music and overseas shows, but also for his work as a mentor and activist. Teague is the owner of Teague Stable and Farm in Harrington, and his horse Wiggle It JiggleIt is a champion American Standardbred racehorse. At 3, he won 22 of 26 starts including the Little Brown Jug and Meadowlands Pace, earning him the Dan Patch Award for 2015 Harness Horse of the Year. Last year, he finished second in the 2016 Horse of the Year balloting and to date has close to $4 million in earnings from racing. Teague is one of the few African-American owners in horse racing and continues to set the bar for other minorities in the sport. Teague and Amillion have teamed up to offer two separate scholarships of $2,500, and the requirements are simple: Students must create a song, rap, poem or jingle about either why they want to go to college or about the sport of harness racing. Students must then make a video between 30-60 seconds featuring the song. No matter who wins, two of Delaware’s influential men offering opportunities to kids is a win-win situation. We spoke with both Amillion and Teague about their plan. Q: So what sparked this idea in the first place? Amillion: Well, I'm always thinking of ways to give back to the community outside of music. Last year when you gave me the honor of being a mover and shaker in 2016, I took it to heart and wanted to make sure I keep giving back. I basically had a conversation with George in the barbershop and he had seen me on a local TV show called Delmarva Life. I had already planned on doing the scholarship and when we talked about it, he told me he would match whatever I put up. It's a blessing that doubled just by a conversation. Teague: I saw ... all the good, positive things he had going on in the local community, so when I met him and he talked about his scholarship idea I knew I had to get involved in some way. Q: Why is providing this opportunity so important to both of you? Amillion: Well, as you know, I had to leave school and basketball behind because I had to take care of my daughter. Now that I am in a position to help others, I feel like, what better to give to someone looking to pursue their education? God had other plans for me but education is vital to our community, and many times money can be an obstacle that prevents smart students from going to college altogether. Teague: I actually dropped out of school at age 15. I was fortunate enough to be around horses and make a career for myself but not everybody has that opportunity either. When Amillion told me about his idea, I thought, what better than to help someone achieve something I wasn't able to achieve? Education is important, especially for our youth, so hopefully this helps take some of the stress off of a prospective student. Q: What are your plans for the scholarship fund in the future? Amillion: We definitely are looking to make this an annual thing and maybe even a partnership with other sponsors to grow the scholarship. Anybody willing to add to the pot can be involved. Teague: If I can keep having luck in the racing world I will definitely increase the amount for the future. But either way we both plan to make this a yearly opportunity and hope to cultivate young minds in the process. Just like we need more minorities in horse racing, we need more in college, too. It’s all about opening doors for the next generation so that we can better our community. Scholarship Submission Info Any high school students in the state of Delaware can submit a rap, song, poem or jingle about why they want to go to college or the art of harness racing for a chance to win a $2,500 scholarship. All videos must be sent to Teague1NA@gmail by Friday, May 26. Winners will be announced Monday. Sponsors and support are welcome. Checks can be made payable to the nonprofit Delaware Parents Association. Dominick 'King Dom' Draper, Allhiphop.com Reprinted with permission of the News Journal Delawareonline

Brian Brown was pleased with Downbytheseaside's win in last weekend's Art Rooney Pace elimination and the harness racing trainer hopes the colt can be even better in Saturday's $300,000 final. Downbytheseaside, the 6-5 morning line favorite in Saturday's race for 3-year-old male pacers, won the lone Rooney elimination by 1-1/4 lengths over Miso Fast in 1:52.2. It was the colt's second win in two tries this year, but Brown thought the horse's finish lacked its usual pop. "I thought he was pretty good; he got just a little bit weak late," Brown said. "He hadn't raced in two weeks, but I trained him really hard on (the previous) Tuesday. Was he short? Did I over-train him? We're trying to figure out all of the reasons it could be." Another possibility is Downbytheseaside was suffering from the lingering effects of a foot abscess. "He had popped a gravel and the track was hard," Brown said. "I wonder if the foot didn't get to bothering him a little late in the mile and he just went enough to win." Downbytheseaside, usually stabled with Brown at his central Ohio base at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, remained with caretaker Toni Dale and driver David Miller in New Jersey to prep for this weekend's Rooney final. The horse jogged Tuesday and Brown received an encouraging report from Miller. "David was happy," Brown said. "He jogged him and the horse had his tail up over his back and was excited and playing. And he said the horse jogged real sound. So we think he's going to be even better Saturday." Downbytheseaside won eight of 13 races last year, earned $577,106 in purses, and paced the fastest mile in history by a 2-year-old on a half-mile track (1:50) in addition to equaling the world record of 1:49 for a 2-year-old on a mile oval. His wins included the Governor's Cup and divisions of the International Stallion, Bluegrass, and Standardbred stakes. He finished second to Dan Patch Award-winner Huntsville in the Breeders Crown and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. The colt is owned by Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and Diamond Creek Racing. In last weekend's Rooney elimination, Downbytheseaside started from post nine in the second tier of a nine-horse field. The race, from which the top-eight finishers advanced to the final, featured four different leaders in the opening half-mile. Downbytheseaside was the fourth of the leaders, using a three-wide move to the front as the field reached the midpoint in :55.4. "It was a lot more action than I expected when you're only eliminating one horse," Brown said. "They raced pretty hard. I actually wound up in the worst spot getting to the front." Downbytheseaside held off hard-charging Miso Fast, with Stealth Bomber third. That group was followed by Summer Side, Mac's Jackpot, Funknwaffles, Henry The Dragon, and Rollin About in advancing to the final. Heaven's Gait, who went off stride, was eliminated. In the final, Downbytheseaside will start from post No. 3 with Miller in the sulky. Miso Fast is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line and will leave from post two with Matt Kakaley driving for trainer Ron Burke. "I like where we're at," Brown said. "I think we're in pretty good shape. We'll just show up and race." Downbytheseaside's connections decided to skip the second-round of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes to compete in the Rooney. There were several reasons: the colt's prowess on a half-mile track, the money, and the chance to avoid a confrontation with Huntsville ahead of next month's Pepsi North America Cup at Mohawk. As it turned out, Brown-trained Fear The Dragon upset Huntsville in last Sunday's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action. "This is working out pretty good," Brown said. "If we can get it done Saturday it will have worked out perfectly." As for the future in the 3-year-old male pacing division, Brown expects it to be a season-long battle. "We've had like two races so far; I don't think we've even begun to see how this is going to work out," Brown said. "Even though Huntsville wasn't as good Sunday as he has been, I don't expect him that way next time. We had a great weekend, but I don't expect it to be that way all the time. It's going to get a lot tougher. "I think there will be trading wins all summer long. I don't look for anyone to stand out. I hope I've got two that can, but I don't expect it." * * * * * * Another horse that could see improvement in Saturday's Rooney final is Funknwaffles. The gelding, who was last year's New York Sire Stakes champion and a track-record-holder at Yonkers, was one of the elimination's early leaders and remained second at three-quarters before dropping back to sixth. Trainer John Butenschoen said the horse might have had an issue with his breathing. "We were disappointed in where we finished but there might have been an excuse for it," said Butenschoen, who trains the horse for Crawford Farms Racing. "But he came out of the race good and he played out in the field hard (Sunday) and (Monday) before we jogged him. Hopefully we can do well and forget that he finished sixth there Saturday." Even though he was disappointed with the outcome, Butenschoen enjoyed the action in the elimination. "That was a good race," he said. "There was action off the wings and people coming at different points of the mile. They were racing the whole way. It's a lot of fun to watch half-mile track racing when they race them like that. You had a lot of horses that people were high on and expecting to do something and it showed on the racetrack. Everyone was giving them a chance to see what they had." Following is the Rooney field in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line. The Rooney is race eight on Saturday's card with an estimated 9:30 p.m. post time. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-ML 1 - Mac's Jackpot - Somebeachsomewhere - Jason Bartlett - Jim Campbell - 9/1 2 - Miso Fast - Roll With Joe - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 4/1 3 - Downbytheseaside - Somebeachsomewhere - David Miller - Brian Brown - 6/5 4 - Rollin About - Roll With Joe - Brent Holland - Erv Miller - 20/1 5 - Funknwaffles - American Ideal - Brian Sears - John Butenschoen - 6/1 6 - Summer Side - Well Said - Tim Tetrick - Ray Schnittker - 8/1 7 - Henry The Dragon - Custard The Dragon - Montrell Teague - Clyde Francis - 8/1 8 - Stealth Bomber - Rocknroll Hanover - Brett Miller - Tony O'Sullivan - 12/1 Saturday's Yonkers card also includes the $140,770 Lismore Pace final for 3-year-old female pacers. Agent Q and Big City Betty won eliminations last weekend. The Lismore is race six with an estimated 8:50 p.m. post time. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-ML 1 - Warrawee Sunshine - Somebeachsomewhere - Tim Tetrick - Chris Ryder - 6/1 2 - Caviart Cherie - Well Said - Jason Bartlett - Noel Daley - 9/1 3 - Caviart Ally - Bettor's Delight - Andy McCarthy - Noel Daley - 5/1 4 - Agent Q - Western Terror - David Miller - Aaron Lambert - 5/2 5 - Big City Betty - Bettor's Delight - Jim Marohn Jr. - Steve Salerno - 5/1 6 - Gotthisone Hanover - Somebeachsomewhere - George Brennan - Ron Burke - 12/1 7 - Tequila Monday - American Ideal - Brian Sears - Chris Oakes - 3/1 8 - Ashlee's Spitfire - Roll With Joe - Daniel Dube - Chris Ryder - 20/1 Ken Weingartner

Schenectady, NY --- The New York State Gaming Commission today indefinitely suspended harness owner, trainer and driver Michael S. Weiner for racing four horses at Monticello Raceway doped with mitragynine, a dangerous drug with performance enhancing and analgesic effects similar to cocaine and morphine. Commonly known as Kratom and derived from the plant Mitragyna speciosa that grows only in Southeast Asia, there is no legitimate reason for mitragynine to be found in any race horse. Kratom is a controlled substance in many countries and has been declared a “drug of concern” by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency with no known legitimate industrial, agrochemical, chemical, human or veterinary medical use. The drug was found in Weiner’s horses through the introduction of an analytical detection methodology by the New York Drug Testing and Research Program (NYDTRP). To date, it has not been identified in any other racing jurisdiction. After the NYDTRP identified the presence of Kratom, the lab conducted a drug administration trial to substantiate that administration had occurred within one week of the horses’ races in clear violation of Commission rules. “This dangerous drug has no business anywhere in horse racing,” said Ronald Ochrym, the Commission’s Director of Horse Racing and Pari-Mutuel Wagering. “Thanks to the innovative work of the New York Drug Testing and Research Program, this individual is no longer participating in the sport and we are on the lookout for additional cheaters.” Weiner trained four horses that raced at Monticello Raceway on February 2, 3 and 7, 2017. Bupa Bruiser finished first in the third race at Monticello on February 2, 2017 French Lick finished fifth in the third race at Monticello on February 3, 2017 Vernon Belle finished second in the seventh race at Monticello on February 3, 2017 Majestic Jo finished first in the fifth race at Monticello on February 7, 2017 All four horses have been disqualified and Weiner’s share of purses in the above mentioned races have been ordered returned. Effective today, Weiner is summarily suspended and is excluded from all New York tracks. Upon full adjudication by the Commission, Weiner could ultimately have his license to participate revoked and face up to $25,000 in fines per violation. A hearing on the matter is currently scheduled for June 2. What is Mitragynine? Click here. More here Chemists study the neurochemistry of alkaloids from the Mitragyna plant In study after study, Mitragynine is called out as the most prevalent and potent alkaloid in the kratom leaf’s arsenal. Unintentional Fatal Intoxications with Mitragynine by Lee Park, director of communications, New York State Gaming Commission 

The 2017 edition of the Betsy Ross Mares Pacing Invitational features a classy group of harness racing aged distaffers, as they vie for a $150,000 purse on Sunday, May 28th at Harrah's Philadelphia. The race features the first ever meeting between Diamond Creek Racing's Pure Country and dominant older mare Lady Shadow. Pure Country, who finished second in her 4-year-old debut last start at Yonkers, won 10 races of 21 starts a year ago, with earnings over $1 million. It was good enough for a Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old pacing filly. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Western Montana was also a Breeder's Crown Champion at age two. Originally, her 4-year-old debut was set for the Chip Noble Memorial at Miami Valley, but was unable to compete due to sickness. Pure Country will start from post two on Sunday. Lady Shadow wasted little time continuing her dominance in 2017. The multiple O'Brien Award winner equaled the track record in 1:50.3 at Miami Valley in her seasonal debut in the Chip Noble Memorial. The 6-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Lady Camella ended last year's season by winning the Breeder's Crown and the TVG Free For All for mares in impressive fashion. In her career, she has won 29 of 56 races with earnings over $1.6 million. She draws post 7 for Sunday's affair. Drawing post 1 is another millionaire mare Sassa Hanover. The 5-year-old daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven had a big 3-year-old season, including victories in the Jugette and Courageous Lady among others. Her 4-year-old season was a bit of a dissapointment, however, she closed the season strong with door-knocking efforts against Lady Shadow to close out the campaign. She is making her third start of the season for Trainer Ron Burke. Richard Poillucci's Nike Franco N starts from post position 3. The 7-year-old New Zealander was a multiple group one winner down under before coming to North America in August of last year. The McArdle daughter was 7 of 14 in the win column in 2016 and all ready has 2 wins this season. Another product of Australasia Mackenzie A will start from post position number 4. The Peter Tritton pupil made her North American debut at Yonkers in February. The 5-year-old daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven won 8 times before coming stateside, including the Group 2 Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. She is coming off of a win in the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series Final at Yonkers. Randy Bendis and Tom Pollack's Medusa will start from post position number 5. The second place finisher in the Blue Chip Matchmaker will look to add to her sizable win total. She has notched 28 victories in 81 career starts. The 6-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical has victories over many of these throughout her career. Emilio and Maria Rosati's Blue Moon Stride will start from post 7. The 4-year-old daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Classic Star broke through in last year's Missletoe Shalee at The Meadowlands, with an eye-opening 1:49.2 performance. The New Jersey Sire Stakes Standout is making her fourth start of the season. The ultra-sharp Cousin Mary will start from post position number 8. The 4-year-old daughter of Camluck-Chianti Seelster swept the Bobby Weiss Series at Pocono, after completing the sweep of the Petticoat Series at Yonkers. She has won 11 of 13 starts this year. Her latest was a qualifier over the Harrah's Philly oval, in which she paced the last half in an effortless :56. The final time was 1:54.1. The Betsy Ross is part of an all-star card coming up on Sunday, May 28th at Harrah's Philadelphia. The Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational for aged trotters and the Ben Stafford Jr. Memorial for aged pacers are also on the program. Post Time is 12:40 PM. Michael Bozich

Harness Racing This Week: Molson Pace, The Raceway at Western Fair District, London, Ontario; Currier & Ives Filly, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; Art Rooney and Lismore, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; and Maxie Lee Memorial, Ben Stafford Jr. Memorial and Betsy Ross, Harrah's Philadelphia, Chester, Pa. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will take place at four locations this weekend. Action begins on Friday (May 26) at The Raceway at Western Fair District with the C$150,000 Molson Pace for free for all pacers. Also on Friday, The Meadows will card three $24,000 divisions in the Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters. Yonkers Raceway will host the $300,000 final of the Art Rooney Pace (3-year-old colts/geldings) and the $140,760 Lismore Pace (3-year-old fillies) on Saturday (May 27). Elimination winner Downbytheseaside leads the field of eight in the Art Rooney Pace. Harrah's Philadelphia will host three Invitational events on Sunday (May 28), each with a purse of $150,000, in the Maxie Lee Memorial for older trotters, the Ben Stafford Jr. Memorial for older pacing males and the Betsy Ross for older filly and mare pacers. Complete entries for the Meadows, Yonkers and Harrah's Philadelphia races can be found by clicking on this link. Western Fair entries can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: World champion Downbytheseaside (David Miller, $3.10) was as odds-on as advertised Saturday night (May 20), winning Yonkers Raceway's lone $40,000 elimination for the 27th Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-olds. Starting from the second tier in the nine-to-get-to-eight foray, Downbytheseaside found himself three-wide at the half in a race that had much more movement than expected. Last season's Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace winner, Summer Side (Ray Schnittker), made the first lead, stuffing Stealth Bomber (Brett Miller) in behind before a :28.1 opening quarter-mile. However, Stealth Bomber wanted to no part of the pocket. That one made the lead, with last season's New York Sire Stakes champion Funknwaffles (Brian Sears) and Downbytheseaside in hot pursuit. Downbytheseaside fronted the fray right at the :55.4 intermission, than continued toward a 1:24.3 three-quarters. Stealth Bomber then moved again, vacating a three-hole in front of Miso Fast (Matt Kakaley). Downbytheseaside opened a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn, winning by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:52.2. Miso Fast snapped Stealth Bomber for second, with Summer Side and Mac's Jackpot (Jason Bartlett) rounding out the payees. Funknwaffles tired to sixth, with Henry The Dragon (Montrell Teague) and rank outsider Rollin About (Brent Holland) also earning invites to Saturday night's (May 27) $300,000 final. Heaven's Gait (Jordan Stratton) made a filthy break passing the three-quarters, winding up last and not making the finale. For Downbytheseaside, a son of Somebeachsomewhere trained by Brian Brown for co-owners Country Club Acres, Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo and Diamond Creek Racing, it was his second win in as many season starts. He is 10-for-15 in his career. Hannelore Hanover returned to Mohawk Racetrack for the first time this season Monday (May 22) and turned in a dominating 1:52.4 victory in the first leg of the Miss Versatility. A field of eight older trotting mares clashed in the $38,836 Grand Circuit event. Hannelore Hanover was sent off as the 1-5 favorite and made a winning performance look like a walk in the park. Driver Yannick Gingras let the big mare stride out early, but yielded for a four-hole spot and allowed Emoticon Hanover and Side Bet Hanover to play musical chairs with the lead. As Emoticon Hanover reclaimed the lead for the second time at the half in :56.3, Hannelore Hanover was sent first-up by Gingras and the heavy favorite claimed the top spot swinging into the turn. The superstar trotting mare proceeded to post a 1:24.3 third quarter followed by a :28.1 kicker to secure a 5-1/4 length victory. Emoticon Hanover held her position to finish second, while Barn Girl won a show photo over Oho Diamond. Trained by Ron Burke, Hannelore Hanover came into her second start of the season Monday off a second place finish at Miami Valley on May 7. A 5-year-old daughter of Swan For All, Hannelore Hanover is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and J&T Silva Stables. Last season, Hannelore Hanover won 17 of 20 starts and earned $1.1 million. Her victory Monday gives her 27 career wins and an additional $19,418 to her bankroll of more than $1.4 million. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders through and including the races on May 20. Drivers: 1. Jason Bartlett - 148; 2. Yannick Gingras - 119; 3. Matt Kakaley - 101; 4. Jordan Stratton - 96; 5. Tim Tetrick - 63. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 111; 2. Peter Tritton - 92; 3. Richard Banca - 86; 4. Rene Allard - 79; 5. Scott DiDomenico - 39. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable - 73.5; 2. Fred Monteleone Stable - 32; 3t. Carolyn Atherton - 30; 3t. Burke Racing Stable - 30; 5. Weaver Bruscemi - 27. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place at Northfield Park, The Meadows and Mohawk next weekend. Northfield will host the Battle of Lake Erie for open pacers; the Meadows will contest the Currier & Ives for 3-year-old trotting colts; and Mohawk will feature the Somebeachsomewhere for 3-year-old colt pacers and the second leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old open pacers and trotters. Paul Ramlow

With just three months left until the end of the 2016/17 season, the husband and wife team of Greg and Skye Bond are well placed to win their first metropolitan harness racing trainer's title. The Bonds already have the State trainer's title in the bag.  They have trained 162 winners throughout WA so far this season - almost double that of next best Gary Hall Snr - for stakes close to $2M but they have never won a city trainer's title, finishing second on a number of occasions, with their 88 winners for the season of 2011/12 - just 10 behind Hall - being the closest they've been. However, the Bonds currently lead the Hall camp in the city training race with 67 winners to Hall's 55. Twelve winners is a lot to catch up in three months, but if anyone can do it then Hall has proven time and time again that he's the man. Hall hasn't won nine of the last ten city training titles simply by luck (he finished second to Ross Olivieri in the 2010/11 season). His ability to find and then fine tune his horses underlines his ability and skill as a horseman with few peers. Greg and Skye Bond have shown they have the touch when it comes to finding the right horses for WA racing conditions and then getting them to their peak. On Friday night at Gloucester Park the Bonds and Hall go head-to-head in many races. The first race goes to Hall with the smart Herrick Roosevelt drawing the pole and looking the best of good things to post an all-the-way victory. The Bonds don't have a runner. The Bonds have Blinding Light representing them in the second and must be given an each-way chance. Hall doesn't have a runner. The classy Mcclinchie and Pay Me Cullen should even the score in the third for the Bonds as Hall doesn't have a runner and this is a very winnable race for Mcclinchie. Both stables bypass the fourth event. The Bonds have Vanquished and Condrieu flying the flag for the stable in the fifth race, with Hall again not represented. Hall has four runners in the Pure Steel Final - Harry Hoo, Zach Maguire, Overboard Again and Campora - while the Bond camp hasn't got a runner. Both stables will go head-to-head in the seventh, the Members Sprint, with the Bonds fielding four runners - Our Jimmy Johnstone, Phoenix Warrior, Simply Susational and Ima Connoisseur. The Hall camp will be represented by Run Oneover and Beaudiene Boaz. This promises to be the race of the night as far as the speed battle goes with Our Jimmy Johnstone (Barrier 2) and Run Oneover(3) both able to fly from the machine. A hectic early pace should bring horses like Bettor Reward, Beaudiene Boaz, Phoenix Warrior and Ima Connoisseur into the equation. Hard to call this for either stable, but the Bond camp's weight of numbers could be the deciding factor. And that's where both stables call it a night. With only 12 wins separating these two mighty stables, the next three months promises to be a battle of the big guns as the Bonds strive to wrest the city title away from a man who has made it his own in recent years. Stay tuned - it promises to be an intriguing contest. Wayne Currall

Friday night's $25,000 Pure Steel Final (2130m) at Gloucester Park brings together a quality field of up-and-coming harness racing pacers. The 12-horse field is comprised of pacers who qualified in heats run over the past three weeks at headquarters and Tuesday's random barrier draw shed no light on who would emerge as the winner. It's one of the most open races seen at GP in a long time, with nine of the twelve runners in with a realistic chance of taking home the spoils. The three heat winners - Americanbootscoota (Barrier 2), Livura (5) and Zach Maguire (9) - were all impressive in their respective victories but apart from Americanbootscoota (Allamerican Ingot), Livura and Zach Maguire will have to contend with tricky draws. Red Hot Major lobbed the coveted pole and driver Aiden De Campo seems certain to use the horse's speed from the machine to attempt an all-the-way victory. This Gary Elson-trained five-year-old entire has been racing in solid form and punters would be wise to disregard his last-start fourth behind Frostyflyer when he just did too much work from a wide gate. Two starts prior Red Hot Major sprinted home the last 800m in a slick 54.7 to defeat Simply Susational in a 2185m race at Pinjarra and then he came to town, sprinted hard from a middle gate to take up the running and boxed on strongly to finish a close third in a heat of the Pure Steel (2130m) behind Livura and Overboard Again. Leading trainer Gary Hall Snr has a strong hand in the final with Zach Maguire, Harry Hoo (3), Overboard Again (11) and Campora (12). Overboard Again with two wins and a close second to his credit since returning from a spell, is poised to get a charmed run on the back of Americanbootscoota. The consistent Campora, two wins and four placings from his six starts since a spell, follows out stablemate Harry Hoo, himself a last-start all-the-way winner at headquarters and the impressive Zach Maguire, three wins from his three starts back since a break, completes the Hall juggernaut. Johnny Disco, from the stables of Ross Ashby, has been in good form with two wins and a second at his past four runs and is set to get a cushy run on the back of likely leader Red Hot Major. Champion reinsman Chris Lewis will be keen to keep the breeze on his wife Debra's horse Americanbootscoota - a tough four-year-old gelding who appears to do his best work when parked. Ravenswood-based trainer Nathan Turvey has qualified two horses for the final - the consistent Livura, who he will drive, and former Kiwi pacer Dana Duke (4), to be reined by Ryan Warwick. It's certainly a quality line-up with many of these horses destined to become fast-class pacers in the future. Finding the winner will be no easy task, but punters can be assured that if they do find the winner then the odds will be tasty. Wayne Currall

ANDERSON, Ind.-May 23, 2017 - The opening round of Indiana Sires Stakes action highlighted the Tuesday, May 23rd harness racing program at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and featured three divisions of $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. Each filly was aiming to earn a spot in the first of five $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final slated for May 30 at Hoosier Park. Indiana's two-year-old trotting filly of the year, Satin Dancer, looked every the bit the part of a 1-9 favorite as she turned a pocket trip into a two and a half length victory, scoring in 1:56. Driven by Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Satin Dancer protected her rail position but J-S Jesses Girl and Sam Widger were on a mission to the front. J-S Jesses Girl dictated fractions of :27.3, :57.4, and 1:27.4 before Satin Dancer tipped from the pocket late in the late to cruise home in front. Trained by Byron Hooley, Satin Dancer has now won 11 of 19 lifetime starts and sports a career bankroll of $283,558. The daughter of Big Stick Lindy-Shaken Not Stirred captured the second win from three seasonal outings of her sophomore campaign for owner, Summit Pacing Acres LLC. The fastest division of the night belonged to Swan Defined and LeWayne Miller who recorded their third consecutive Hoosier Park win, tonight in 1:55. The victory established a new lifetime best mark for the daughter of Swan For All-Armbro Definition. Swan Defined also benefitted from a pocket seat while Wheels A Turning and Joe Putnam carved out splits of :29, :58.3 and 1:27.1. As the field turned for home, Swan Defined found another gear, utilizing a :27.2 final quarter to win by five and three-quarter lengths. Swan Defined improved her lifetime record to six wins from ten lifetime starts while bankrolling $41,905 in lifetime purse earnings. Owned by Last Chance Racing Stable and Clifford Slusher, Swan Defined has now won three of four 2017 starts. The biggest upset of the night was found in the final split of the stakes action as Shawnee Beauty and Brandon Bates found the winner's circle at odds of 13-1. Scoring her maiden breaking win amongst stakes company, Shawnee Beauty converted a pocket trip into a 1:56 victory, scoring by nearly two lengths. Bates sent Shawnee Beauty away from the gate firing to grab a seat behind the pace-setting, Ajessia and Doug Rideout. Ajessia relaxed on the front through fractions of :28.1, :58.1 and 1:27 while the field remained in single file order. Bates tipped Shawnee Beauty from the pocket late in the lane and she dug in gamely to get the win. "She is a very good gaited, very willing filly," Bates noted after the victory. "She was lightly raced last year and had a tendency to get hot so we've been teaching her every start. She continues to mature and really enjoys her job; I don't think we've seen the best from her yet." Trained by Henry Lunsford, the three-year-old daughter of Valley Speed-Double Yankee recorded her first victory from 13 lifetime outings. Shawnee Beauty has now earned $24,120 for her owner, Judith Lunsford. Indiana Sires Stakes action continues at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, May 24 with three divisions of the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 17. The 24th season of live harness racing is highlighted by the 34th edition of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's championship event valued at $6 million, on Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, May 23, 2017--Another reminder regarding Yonkers Raceway's harness racing matinee this Sunday (May 28th), with a first post of 12;30 PM. The 12-race program includes a quartet (races 5 through 8) of 'French' trots, as a dozen horses at the mile-and-a-quarter-distance. The $68,000 Open Trot (fifth race) includes last week's first three Open Handicap Trot finishers--Red Hot Herbie (Dan Dube, post 6), Hemi Seelster (Brent Holland, post 3) and Golden Son (Brian Sears, post 12). The return of Sunday racing means the return of the "New York, New York Double,' this time featuring the third race from Belmont (post time 2:32 PM) and the seventh from Yonkers (2:45 PM). It's a dollar minimum wager (18½ percent takeout), program pages available in both tracks' respective live programs as well as any number of simulcast books (pages also sent when finalized). Note that after the Sunday card, live racing and evening simulcasting take a hiatus until Friday, June 16th. Afternoon simulcasting--including the June 10th Belmont Stakes--remains available. Tuesday night (May 23rd) props to Road Untraveled (Jordan Stratton, $4/60) for winning the $65,500 final of the Jackpot Next Door Claimers, an event for base $20,000 claimers (1:53.3). Frank Drucker

London, May 23, 2017 -- The 2017 edition of the Molson Pace, slated for this Friday May 26 at The Raceway at Western Fair District, will feature some of the harness racing sport's top free-for-all pacers. One of the new faces joining this year's field is Bit Of A Legend N, who will make his first trek to Canada for trainer Peter Tritton. The New Zealand-born son of Bettor's Delight will line up from the coveted rail with regular pilot Jordan Stratton in the bike. "The draw couldn't have worked out any better," Tritton said from his home base in Pine Bush, New York. "I think most trainers would want the rail and now it's up to the horse to deliver." Tritton, a native of Australia, has spent more than 15 years in the US and will also be making his first trip to Canada. "It's something I'm definitely looking forward to it," he said. "There have been a few times in the past I've meant to come, but it never worked out. My family and I are looking forward to the trip." The veteran conditioner, who races primarily at Yonkers, has found a strong niche for recruiting horses from Down Under (Australia & New Zealand) that fits his program in New York. Standout horses that have found their way in the Tritton barn include Moss Dale Connor N, Mackenzie N, Texican N and Sell A Bit N, just to name a few. "I've been very fortunate to have a great relationship with agent Peter Larkin for the past 35 years," Tritton said. "He recruits the horses and I'll go ahead and look them up with owner Harry Von Knoblauch. He knows the horses have to fit my program at Yonkers and we've had quite a bit of success over the years." Bit Of A Legend N is one horse that Tritton has become very fond of since arriving on North American soil a few seasons ago. The 35-time winner has more than $1.5 million earned lifetime and captured the 2016 final of the Levy against the best free-for-all pacers in North America on a half-mile track. He capped off last season with more than $723,000 earned. "I shouldn't say he was a pleasant surprise how good he turned out, because I knew he was very talented," he said. "I just didn't think he'd be this good. "He's so professional and very easy to drive," Tritton continued. "He's has just a pleasant horse and his manners are perfect. I can't fault him in any way." Tritton will once again be handing the driving assignment to young driver Jordan Stratton. The young reinsman will also be making his debut in the Molson Pace. "Jordan use to drive for me a little a few years ago and we had some luck," said Tritton. "I wanted a driver that would commit to driving all my horses, because I didn't like using different drivers every week. Jordan agreed and I think it has worked out well for everyone." Tritton admits it won't be an easy task on Friday. "I think it's an excellent looking field," he said. "I wouldn't say there is a standout and that should mean a great finish. We're looking forward to the experience in Canada." The field for this years Molson Pace will line up as follows: 1. Bit Of A Legend N ($1,525,011) - Jordan Stratton 2. Rockin In Heaven ($548,971) - Trevor Henry 3. Clear Vision ($2,703,859) - Brett Miller 4. Fool Me Once ($963,778) - Doug McNair 5. Evenin Of Pleasure ($773,857) - Sylvain Filion 6. Sunfire Blue Chip ($1,181,939) - Mark MacDonald 7. Rockin Ron ($665,988) - Matt Kakaley 8. Night Pro ($738,432) - Bob McClure Greg Blanchard