Day At The Track

Mateship was to the fore at Charlton yesterday when Glenn Douglas and Michael Bellman crossed the line in the same sulky after a harness racing collision in the finishing straight. Douglas’ drive Pocket The Deal galloped in the final 200m in the Cup Day Fanatics 3YO Classic, veering in on Michael Bellman’s Knight Sky Safari, who was hugging the pegs. Bellman takes up the commentary. “At the time, when I looked up, I saw it sort of gallop and it was holding its ground in a straight line and I thought I’m going to be all right,” he told RSN 927 this morning. “Josh Duggan (driving Islandspecialmajor) got through underneath it, only just, and once he cleared Josh he just took two bounds to the left and I was coming through at a fairly quick rate of knots and just couldn’t miss him in the end. “As he whipped across, I hit him with that much force I Shanghaied (Glen) into my cart.” While Douglas leapfrogged into the sulky from the right, Bellman was almost spat out to the left, with only quick reactions and a bit of teamwork preventing either from hitting the canvas. “I didn’t really even know at the time, because I had fallen to the left and was heading out of the cart,” Bellman said. “I was lucky I got hung up underneath the undercarriage of the sulky and hung on with my legs. “I pushed myself back up off the ground to get back in and as I looked back, here’s Glenn hanging on the other shaft. “He looked like he was planking for a second, he was laying right back. I’ve just got myself back in, reached down and grabbed him by the hand and pulled him back up in.” It was a great piece of drivers camaraderie, although that friendship only extends so far. “I’m just dirty if he hits me up for half my driving fee,” Bellman said. Most importantly, no drivers nor horses were harmed in the incident. Click here to see vision of the thrilling finish.

On the 22 February, 2017 a Panel of Appeal was convened to hear Mr David Taff’s appeal against the decision of a Panel of Enquiry which found on 26 November, 2016 at York Raceway, Mr. Taff to be in breach of section Y13 of the Rules and Regulations of the British Harness Racing Club (BHRC).  Mr. Taff was negligent in his position as a public trainer in that he failed to take all reasonable precautions in respect of the horse known as Johnny Camden, to avoid that horse’s exposure to a prohibited substance namely, Cobalt. He was found positive on 03, September, 2016 after competing at Tir Prince Raceway. The BHRC’s reply to those grounds of appeal took place at the hearing held at Tower Wharf, Bristol. Mr Taff represented himself, the BHRC were represented by Rory Mac Neice and Joanne Saye of Ashfords LLP, instructed by Kirsty Lee of the BHRC. The Panel of Appeal heard submissions from Mr. Taff and from Mr. Mac Neice. Having heard from the parties and having considered the written submissions and other evidence produced to them, the Panel dismissed Mr. Taff’s appeal and confirmed the finding and penalties imposed by the original enquiry panel. As a consequence, Mr. Taff shall have the following penalties imposed upon him: A fine of £2,500; suspension of all licenses with effect from 26 November, 2016 for a period of 5 years;  In addition Mr. Taff is ordered to pay the costs of the BHRC in the sum of £5,550. The BHRC reserve the right to inform any and all animal welfare organizations of the penalties issued under Y24[b]. This decision is published in accordance with A3 of the BHRC’s Rules and Regulations. From the British Harness Racing Club

YONKERS, N.Y. - Harness racing driver Jordan Stratton sat behind 5-year-old mare Mackenzie for the first time last Friday (Feb. 17) as she faced the starting gate for a qualifier at Yonkers Raceway. Starting from post position six, she paced evenly in the early stages before sprinting home late. She posted her final quarter in :27.1 and finished fourth. Although it was her first outing since finishing second in the Breeders Crown for 3-Year-Old fillies at Australia’s Tabcorp Park Melton August 28, the effort pleased Stratton. “I was happy with it. Pete just wanted to run her home a little bit. She did it pretty easily,” he said. “She seems like the real deal to me. It’s tough to tell off one qualifier, but she seems good.” The latest import to join to ranks of trainer Peter Tritton, Mackenzie is already an accomplished mare. She won eight of 19 starts Down Under, including the Group 2 Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge Blue Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, and placed in another seven races en route to A$121,861 in earnings. The November 18, 2012 foal by Rock N Roll Heaven out of Kept For Pleasure took her mark of 1:52.4 at Tabcorp Park Menagle last May. Now, her connections are eager to launch her North American campaign in Friday’s sixth race $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace at Yonkers. “She’s probably not 100 percent, but Jordan said to put her in,” Tritton said. “He was very excited about (the qualifier) and said she’s a real good mare. That was pleasing. I haven’t done a lot with her, but she does feel very impressive driving her.” Mackenzie first caught Tritton’s eye when he noticed her in a replay. Soon, he got a call from a friend tipping him off that she was for sale. Tritton purchased Mackenzie and shipped her to the United States just before Christmas. Two months later, she will make her stateside debut. “She looked like a nice horse and looked like she could go around Yonkers, which is the main criteria,” Tritton explained. “She’s a big mare, but she seems to get around the tracks good. She’s got plenty of class. She’s fairly young. It’s a shame she’s got to start up in the top class, but she’s won so much money that she has to start up there for a while.” Preparing a horse for her first races in such short order after crossing the Equator is challenging, but Tritton’s experience training in both Australia and the United States gives him an advantage. He understands horses must cope with drastic changes in seasons and differences in training methodologies. Above all, the process takes patience. “The seasons are exactly the opposite. When we get one in the middle of winter here like we did with her, it was completely in summer there, so it was pretty hard,” Tritton explained. “I just let the horse tell me. You just have to do the best with them that you can during that time and be prepared to back off of them and not work them too hard. “I’m a little bit fortunate because I know how they’re trained there and I know how they’re trained here, so I can sort of put them together a bit,” Tritton continued. “Whereas some guys who haven’t trained over there just train them the way they know here and it’s not really the same.” While Tritton says it takes a horse a full year to fully acclimatize after changing hemispheres, the experience they gain in their first few starts is pivotal to ensuring a smooth transition. In this way, patience in the sulky pays off as well. Stratton will employ a proven strategy in handling Australian horses for the first time: take them off the gate and let them finish strongly. As he puts it, “get the most money the easiest I can do it. “It’s all new to them. New country, new weather in the different hemisphere,” Stratton said. “One or two bad experiences in their first start and it kind of screws them for the rest of their career, but once you get past the first few starts, they’re usually ok.” Tritton is eager to see how Mackenzie fares in Friday’s Filly and Mare Open Handicap, where she’ll start from post position four as a 15-1 outsider on the morning line. A good effort could land her a chance in the upcoming Bluechip Matchmaker Series alongside stablemate Sell A Bit. “I think I’ll put her in the Bluechip,” he said. “I think she has the ability to go in it no problems at all, I just hope that I don’t tap her out the first season because she’s a young mare, but we’ll see how it goes.” While last week’s Filly and Make Open Handicap winner Bedroomconfessions is absent this week, Mackenzie will still face a full field in the distaff feature. Mach It A Par, the 3-1 morning line choice, will make her second start of the year after finishing third in last week’s feature. Last week’s preferred winner Tessa Seelster will start from post eight and is 7-2. Filly and Mare Open runner up last out, Empress Deo is 4-1 and starts from post five. Lispatty, For The Ladies, Regil Elektra, and Shesjustadelight complete the field. First post is 7:10 p.m. by Brandon Valvo for SOA of NY

February 22, 2017 - Caprice de Lupin (5g Chaillot-Nadege Francerie) scored a 1.14.7kr victory in today’s Prix de Noir Moutier (purse €80,000, 2875 meters, 12 starters) at Enghien. The 2.7/1 odds winner was reined by Antoine Wiels for breeder/owner/trainer J-P Marmion. 1.2/1 favorite Classic Haufor (5m Jag de Bellouet-Glamour d’Haufor) was second for breeder/owner/trainer Christian Bigeon and 11.3/1 Copernic de Play (5g Giant Cat-Orelie de Play) took third for owner/trainer/driver Franck Blandin. The final engaged horses for Sunday’s Gr. I Grand Prix de Paris numbers 13 including Bold Eagle, seeking the Triple Crown title in France. Lionel and Bolina Josselyn are likely to be the significant obstacles. Sunday 26 Février 2017 C4 - GRAND PRIX DE PARIS 400 000€ Groupe I - Attelé - 4150m European Trotting Masters Series 2017 Course Internationale Les partants du Grand Prix de Paris 2017 :   1- Sauveur (D4) – Björn Goop 2- Ustie Haufor (D4) – Christian Bigeon 3- Briac Dark ( DA) – David Thomain 4- Valko Jenilat (D4) – Eric Raffin 5- Best Of Jets (D4) – Tony Le Beller 6- Lionel (D4) – Örjan Kihlstrom 7- Tornade du Digeon (D4) – Alexandre Abrivard 8- Belina Josselyn (D4) – Jean-Michel Bazire 9- Bird Parker (DP) – Jean-Philippe Monclin 10- Akim du Cap Vert (D4) – Franck Anne 11- Tiégo d'Etang (F4) – Charles-Julien Bigeon 12- Up and Quick (D4) – Mathieu Mottier 13- Bold Eagle (DP) – Franck Nivard Gelinotte, Bellino II, Vourasie and Jardy won the classic “Vincennes Marathon” three times, each consecutively. The race was created in 1942 and the distance was changed from 3450 meters to the current 4150 meters in 1994. Two time winner Up And Quick holds the record time of 1.13.5kr and is the 2017 field. Other double winners were Jamin, Toscan, Une de Mail and Eleazer. Thomas H. Hicks

The all-new 2017 TrotBritain Le Trot £60k 3YO Trot Series and 3YO Derby for minimum £10k is offering a unique raffle to win one of two French trotters for this year’s stakes races. So here is your chance to be part of it! Raffle tickets are £60 per number – winners decided on the official Lotto bonus ball (soonest date after all 59 numbers sold). Thanks to the kind agreement of TrotBritain the two French trotters will be made available to raffle (two separate Lotto draws to determine winner). These three-year-olds will be fully staked into two of Great Britain’s most lucrative trotting race series to date: The Le Trot 3YO – Heats throughout the racing calendar at various tracks with Finals at Tir Prince on 9th September Series with the purse at a whopping £60,000. The TrotBritain Le Trot 3YO Derby – minimum £10,000 purse which will include consolation races, so all eligible horses are guaranteed a run and return on stakes fee (at Tir Prince on 23rd September (Heats) & 14th October (Final & Consolations). The Le Trot 3YO French trotters will be selected by TrotBritain during their next French visit w/c 13th March 2017. Horses will arrive w/c 20th March 2017. Do not miss out on this opportunity to be part of these fantastic new races and the Le Trot initiative under TrotBritain. And each raffle ticket is just £60 per number. Contact the British Harness Racing Club at 01405 766877 to pick your number. Draw date will be announced once all 59 tickets are sold. The two French trotters will be made available to the raffle subject to sufficient sales of numbers. All funds raised will be divided equally between the 2017 PRAKAS & Roosevelt Race Series. From the British Harness Racing Club

February 23, 2017 - 14 upper class international harness racing trotters appeared at Vincennes for today’s Gr. II Prix de Plateau de Gravelle (purse €110,000, 2100 meters autostart and this competitive Quinte+ contest went to 1.12.1kr clocked and 55.1/1 odds Timone EK (5m Mr. Vic-Gemona) with J-Ph Monclin up. Fractions were quick from the outset (1.06.6kr at 1500 to go; 1.09.3kr at the 1000; 1.12kr with 500 remaining). Luigi Lottieri of Italy owns the Ph. Billard trainee. 274/1 Orione Degli Dei (9g Conway Hall-Elissa Dei) was second for driver Roberto Andreghetti, owner Scuderia Bologna 2011 and trainer Ph. Billard. 16/1 Ave Avis (7m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) took third for trainer/driver J-M Bazire. 28/1 Rod Stewart (7m Love You-Valley Lane) was fourth reined by Franck Ouvrie for trainer Jerry Riordan and Italy’s Graziano Ceccaroni, the owner. 130/1 Sugar Rey (6m Look de Star-Aurora Boreale) was placed fifth due to disqualification of Indigious and Franck Nivard. Sugar Rey was teamed by Pietro Gubellini for trainer H.E. Bondo and Italy’s owner Ecurie Tre Cer. The 3/10 favorite Propulsion was a miscue dq, as was United Back. The opening activity today was the Prix des Pas Nordiques (purse €20,000, 2100 meters autostart, 12 International coldblood starters) and the 2.3/1 favorite Smedsbo Faksen (6m Jarvsofaks-Kjostad Besta) scored in 1.23.9kr for Bjorn Goop, trainer Jan-Olav Persson and owner Travakademien-Easy of Sweden. This son to legendary Jarvsofaks, perhaps the greatest trotting horse ever, easily bested 10.8/1 Wik Emil (9m Lome Elden-Mille N), a distant second, ahead of third finishing and 2.4/1 Finnskog Fokus and Gunnar Austevoll. Speed Delicious (7m Fast Photo-Ala Delicious), racing barefoot, scored a 1.14.7kr timed victory in the Prix du Cantal (purse €90,000, 2850 meters, 18 Eiuropean starters) for driver Franck Nivard at 4.3/1 odds. Sweden’s Mattias Luduigssun owns this Ph. Billard trainee. 37.7/1 Monas Invercote (8f Viking Kronos-Monas Speranza) was second with Dominik Locqueneux up for trainer Bjorn Good and Stall Timotej AB and Ove Bergkin of Sweden. 23.8/1 Romi Mms (7f Turbo Sund-Goldy LB) was third for Mathieu Mottier. This invader from Austria and Hungary racing is owned by Mitja Slavic (Croatia) and now trained by Ph. Billard. Super Fez was fourth for Pietro Gubellini. Thomas H. Hicks  

DOVER, Del.--- It was a five-win harness racing card for Corey Callahan topped by a 1:52.2 victory equaling lifetime record in the $20,000 Mares Open Handicap on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at Dover Downs. Trainer Dylan Davis had four wins while owner Mike Casalino tripled. Callahan drove Mike Casalino's Tough Mac, who was bet down to a 3-5 favorite, into the early lead and never looked back en route to his third win of the year in the week's top trotting event. The Dylan Davis conditioned Tough Mac extended his lead at the three-quarters and breezed home in a :28.3 final panel. Wind Of The North (Sean Bier) took to the outside as the field turner for home and zoomed from sixth to within two strides of catching Tough Mac at the wire. Uva Hanover (Tony Morgan) was the third-place finisher. The Tough Mac victory was the third in his last four for the black gelding by Lockkeeper-Traditional Lady and his 22nd lifetime. He has earned $349,399 in purses. Callahan had just enough to steer Canadiab-bred Earl's Speeder past leader Celebrity Pegasus (Art Stafford Jr.) in the final step for a lifetime best 1:52.3 in the $15,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners Over trot. The Earl Of Stormont-Trapazius gelding is also trained by Dylan Davis for owner Mike Casalino. Steel Reserve (Vic Kirby) was third. In a $13,500 4&5-Year-Old trot, Barbara Kirby's 19-1 shot Myclaimtovictory closed along the passing lane for Kim Vincent to catch and nip heavy favorite Markley's Guy (Kirby) in the last step for a 1:53.2 personal fastest mile. Streamsong (Jonathan Roberts) was the show horse. Bret Brittingham posted his second winner guiding RBH Ventures and Spagnola Racing's Guiltywithanexcuse to his third consecutive victory overtaking former Hambletonian champion Market Share (Morgan) in deep stretch for a 1:53.3 triumph. Gillie The Kid (Kirby) took third. The $30,000 Preferred pace features four newcomers this week-Take It Back Terry, McArdles Lightning, Katies Rocker and the sharp Star Messenger. The co-feature is the $27,500 Delaware Special led by Blazing Bobby Sox, Little Ben and Mustang Art. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are dark days. Parking and admission at Dover Downs is free. Reservations are suggested for the popular Winner's Circle Restaurant and its acclaimed Buffet. . For reservations, call 302-674-4600. Simulcasting of top harness and thoroughbred racing is available in the Dover Downs Racing and Sports Book, from 12 Noon to 12 Midnight daily. Marv Bachrad

Harness racing driver Ryan Warwick, the leading reinsman in Western Australia this season, is planning to get Our Jimmy Johnstone away to a flying start in a bid to win the $50,000 Governor’s Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Our Jimmy Johnstone, prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, is awkwardly drawn at barrier six on the front line in the group 2 event and his chief rival Im Full of Excuses is more favourably drawn at barrier four. “At this stage, I’ll probably adopt similar tactics as I used when Our Jimmy Johnstone won the RWWA Cup (2536m) last Friday night,” Warwick said. Our Jimmy Johnstone began brilliantly from the No. 8 barrier last week and sped to the front after 80m. Im Full of Excuses was restrained back to last from the outside barrier (No. 9) before he finished solidly from ninth at the bell to be fourth, three lengths behind Our Jimmy Johnstone. “I’ll probably come out as hard as we can,” Warwick said. “My initial thought was if we come out, we’ve got to come out full bore to be able to cross Im Full of Excuses. He’s the horse to beat. If we cross (to the front) we should win. You can’t afford to give him (Im Full of Excuses) a head start. He gave us a head start last week and we beat him. “The thing in our favour is that this week’s race is over 2130m and if we come out and don’t get to the front it’s not the end of the world. If it was a race over 2536m and to burn early would cost you a bit of petrol. Our Jimmy Johnstone has won from the breeze.” There is little doubt that Chris Lewis will make a bold bid to send the Ross Olivieri-trained Im Full of Excuses to an early lead. Drawn inside of Im Full of Excuses are Ohoka Kentucky, Shardons Rocket and Red Salute, all of whom possess good gate speed and have won races after setting the pace. A victory by Im Full of Excuses would give Olivieri, owner Merv Butterworth and Lewis their second success in a Governor’s Cup. The Butterworth-owned and Olivieri-trained Chief Thundercloud started from the No. 1 barrier when Stuart McDonald drove him to an all-the-way win over Dredlock Rockstar and Cyamach in last year’s Governor’s Cup. Lewis was successful behind the Tony Svilicich-trained Has The Answers in 2010. The Peter Anderson-trained Bronze Seeker is in top form and should be running home strongly in the final stages. He will be handled by Michael Grantham, with stablemate Lisharry, awkwardly drawn at barrier five, to be driven by Gary Hall jun. Bronze Seeker maintained his excellent form when he started out wide at barrier seven and was eighth at the bell before charging home late, out five wide, to be second to Our Jimmy Johnstone last Friday night. Ryan Bell will drive Our Jimmy Johnstone’s stablemate Condrieu (barrier seven) and Dylan Egerton-Green will be the new driver for the Mike Reed-trained Kiwi Legend (No. 8). Each pacer faces a tough task from an unfavourable barrier. Ken Casellas

A sparkling track workout on Tuesday morning has Major Reality in peak form for her attempt at Gloucester Park to become only the fourth harness racing mare to win the $50,000 Empress Stakes two years in a row in the 48-year history of the Group 2 feature event. Driven by Tom Buchanan, Major Reality set the pace and gave a powerful display to defeat her talented stablemate The Parade in the workout and astute Boyanup horseman Justin Prentice is full of confidence the five-year-old will make a successful defence of her crown. Prentice is due to return to Perth on Thursday after a ten-day trip to New Zealand and is looking forward to driving the Art Major mare, whose winning prospects soared when she drew the coveted No. 1 barrier in the 2536m event. Prentice was in New Zealand on a buying mission 12 months ago, when he had three runners in the 2016 Empress Stakes in which Major Reality made the most of starting from the No. 1 barrier when she started at 5/4 on and, with Brayden Green in the sulky, she scored a stylish all-the-way victory over Tricky Styx. Major Reality warmed up for Friday night’s big race with a stylish workout on Tuesday morning. “She worked very well with The Parade and I believe that if she is able to hold the front she will be extremely hard to beat on Friday night,” Buchanan said. “Major Reality led up (in the workout) and The Parade (Bailey McDonough) sat on her back, and they got home really good. Major Reality was doing it very easy on the line and won by about a neck.” Buchanan said that Prentice had been somewhat disappointed with Major Reality’s performance in the WA Pacing Cup three starts ago when she led from barrier one before fading to eighth behind Chicago Bull. “She had been backed up from her unplaced run in the Fremantle Cup a week earlier,” Buchanan said. “She seems to perform better when she is raced fortnightly. She won the Empress prelude a fortnight ago and her work since has been really good.” Major Reality, one of six New Zealand-bred mares in Friday night’s field of eight (after the scratching of Ideal Alice), has won at 19 of her 32 starts and has earned $366,596. The only mares to have won the Empress Stakes two years in a row have been Bellagena (1971-72), Golden Goddess (three in a row in 1997-98-99) and Sensational Gabby (2014-15). Kiwi Cloud won the event in 1977 and 1979. The six-year-old The Parade will be contesting the Empress Stakes for the third time. She finished third in 2015 and seventh last year. The Parade, who has earned $392,999 from 21 wins and 15 placings from 53 starts, was most impressive in winning a 2100m trial at a 1.57.2 rate at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park track on Wednesday of last week, is awkwardly drawn out wide at barrier seven on Friday night. “It was a very pleasing performance,” said Buchanan, who drove the mare in the trial. “She rolled to the front after 300 to 400m, led up and got home in 55.5sec. with the plugs still in. The 2536m on Friday night will suit her down to the ground. But she will definitely need a lot of luck from out there, with Major Reality and Bettor Be Supreme drawn inside of her. If she had drawn barrier one she would have been hard to beat.” The Parade will be driven for the first time by Gary Hall jun., who drove Aussie Made Lombo to victory in the 2013 Empress Stakes. Bettor Be Supreme, a winner at 12 of her 20 starts and trained at Busselton by Barry Howlett, is favourably drawn at barrier three on Friday night and will have many admirers. She is a splendid frontrunner and Chris Lewis, who has won the Empress Stakes a record eight times, could well make a spirited bid for the early lead. Bettor Be Supreme’s winning sequence of five was broken when she failed in the 2100m Manea Classic at Bunbury last Saturday night. She revealed dazzling speed from barrier seven to burst to the front after 50m and after opening quarters of the final mile in 30.2sec. and 29sec. she sped over the third quarter in 27.7sec. before wilting to finish seventh, five lengths behind Bettor Reward, with a final section of 27.8sec. Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond are seeking their first win in an Empress Stakes and will be pinning their hopes with consistent six-year-old Jungle Jewel, who sat behind the pacemaker Major Reality and finished fourth behind her in last year’s Empress Stakes. Jungle Jewel, a winner of 16 races, has also chalked up 29 minor placings. She has a losing sequence of 26, but has been placed at six of her past seven starts. She will start from the No. 4 barrier and reinsman Ryan Warwick said that she was ready to perform strongly after several solid recent efforts. “She is going really well, but has lost that little bit of brilliance she had when she was at her best,” he said. “She just hasn’t got that 200m devastating run anymore and she’s now more one-dimensional. But she can figure in the placings.” Ken Casellas

The traveling roadshow for John Cremin has come to a close. The Queensland horseman has returned home this week following an extended harness racing campaign with a small but select team which took in three states of Australia. Cremin, along with his wife Tanya, went south originally with a team of two, talented trotter Melpark Royal Son and intermediate grade pacer Psychedelic before being joined by former classy New Zealand pacer Hughie Green mid-way through their travels. Venturing to South Australia, Victoria and finishing up in New South Wales, the Cremin’s took in plenty of racing and with good success. But all good things must come to an end. “We’re back home now and all three horses will have an easy couple of weeks to get over the trip, I was really pleased with how they performed and it was a great learning experience. In the end, it got really hot and I think that knocked the horses around a bit which didn’t help.” Cremin said Hughie Green will now be set for the upcoming Brisbane winter carnival, the giant sized Art Major gelding will be set for the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake on July 15 at Albion Park. The Blacks A Fake, the biggest event staged in Queensland recently gained Grand Circuit status and is the final leg of the 2016/17 series. Since joining Cremin, Hughie Green has raced three times for a victory at Melton followed by a game effort first-up when beaten narrowly at Ballarat while being unplaced at Menangle last week. Starting from a wide draw, Hughie Green got back in the field and never threatened when finishing 9th behind Watch Pulp Fiction in a time of 1:51.4. “We’re still learning about the horse and I’m not disappointed by his effort last time, the draw wasn’t kind and it was his first look at the track while the pace didn’t suit us. He came through the race well and he’s back home now in his new environment. “The hot weather knocked him plus the travel from Melbourne to Sydney during the week probably took a toll on him, he’ll have a couple of easy weeks before we fire him up for the winter carnival. “Given how the dynamics have changed up here with the open class ranks, he’s going to be right in the thick of things and hopefully he can show his true ability. He’s lovely big gentle giant and he’s still got plenty more to give so the next couple of months should be interesting and hopefully fun with him.” During the campaign, Cremin won two races while being placed on another five occasions from his 13 starters. The highlight was Hughie Green winning at Melton on Hunter Cup night in the $20,000 M1/M2 Pace.   Chris Barsby

Harness Racing New South Wales Stewards advise that all horses engaged in the 2017 AINSWORTH GAME TECHNOLOGY MIRACLE MILE (Group 1), including the emergency runners, will undergo a routine veterinary examination tomorrow morning. Regulatory Veterinarian, Dr Don Colantonio vetted all horses and blood samples were taken when they entered the Retention Facility yesterday. HRNSW Chairman of Stewards, Graham Loch, stressed that the examinations were quite routine and intended to avoid unnecessary speculation regarding the fitness of any of this year's Miracle Mile field. MICHAEL PRENTICE | INTEGRITY OFFICER (02) 9722 6600 GRAHAM LOCH | CHAIRMAN OF STEWARDS (02) 9722 6600    

Just eight months ago there was just one metre that separated stablemates Hectorjayjay and Lennytheshark but that gap has narrowed according to harness racing trainer David Aiken. As the two quality pacers prepare to go head-to-head in this Saturday night's Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle, it will be just the second time they have raced each other. Their first clash saw Hectorjayjay come out on top in the 2016 Len Smith Mile and Lennytheshark finished a close second, 1.2m away to be precise. "They have trialled against each other but at the races I've tried to keep them separated as much as I could," revealed Aiken. "They were going to race each other in the Inter Dominion but then we had to withdraw Lenny from the Final with his hoof issues. "There isn't much separating the pair of them now. "They are two different types of horses . . . Lenny is tougher and Hector has the speed." Both horses won preludes for the Miracle Mile at Menangle last Saturday night. Lennytheshark was the faster one of the pair, leading throughout in the Group 1 Canadian Club Sprint recording the mile in a rate of 1:50.3. "Lenny is back to his best," said Aiken. "We were really happy with his latest run and is spot on heading into the Miracle Mile." Lennytheshark is currently the equal third favourite at $6 with TAB Fixed Odds to win Saturday's Grand Circuit race after drawing barrier six. His stablemate Hectorjayjay is the second favourite at $3.80 despite drawing barrier 10. He too led throughout to win his Miracle Mile qualifier last week, the Group 1 Allied Express Sprint, in a rate of 1:51.5. "We haven't sat down to discuss what our tactics will be in the Miracle Mile but Hector will be going forward," stated Aiken. "He ran home his last quarter in 25.8 (seconds) last week and he will only benefit from the run considering it was only his third start back from the Inter Dominion." Aiken's son Josh has secured the drive on Hectorjayjay having won seven races and two placings in his 10 drives on the gelding. As the age of 23, Josh is the second youngest driver in this year's 50th edition of the Miracle Mile with Chris Geary on Salty Robyn the youngest at 19 years of age. Meanwhile, Chris Alford will drive Lennytheshark. Alford, a winner of 5893 races, has driven Lennytheshark in every start the pacer has had in Aiken's care.   AMANDA RANDO

It is that time of year - the 50th Miracle Mile is just two days away. This week Trots TV caught up with a couple of the stables that have dual runners in the Grand Circuit gem including trainers David Aiken and Lauren Tritton. There is also usual CEO's Blog and The Week That Was. See links below.               David Aiken interview: Lauren Tritton interview: CEO's Blog: The Week That Was: AMANDA RANDO

Sunday's Cathedral Parish harness racing Day at Bathurst drew a very large crowd, swelled by many once-a- year family groups (the Irish Catholics love a punt!), clergy and school students. They all had a rollicking good time, but it's unlikely anyone enjoyed themselves more than winning owners Dave and Helen Harper, and Rob Davis, whose wins came right on the back of major successes at Saturday's feature Menangle race meeting. The morning (well, almost) after the night before, where the only hangover was the sweet smell of success. The Harpers race Mysweetchilliphilly NZ, which scored a truly amazing win on debut in the opening event for 2YO fillies,  flying the gate, bursting clear of the field in the run to the first turn, then extending her lead throughout to score by a mere 59.7 metres from the chasing pack! She stopped the clock at 1:55.3, which easily lowered the fillies record held by last year's Tiara winner Don't Think Twice, and came close to Bullet Stride's 1:54.7 overall record for that age group. She's a daughter of Betterthancheddar, the Alabar-based sire whose first crop race this season, and a true free-running type, a fact acknowledged by driver Chris Geary and Shane Tritton, who co-trains the filly with his wife Lauren. "We wanted to give her a look at the track before we bring her up for the Tiara in a few weeks, but we knew she was capable of doing this, based on her work at home, where she works with Divine State and keeps up with him all the time," Tritton commented at the presentation. That colt, bought as a going 2YO from New Zealand by the Harpers, set tongues wagging with his own sensational debut  a few weeks ago then followed up with an Australasian record of 1:51.6 in Saturday's Sapling Stakes on his home track at Menangle. He, too, is heading to Bathurst for the Crown, and the Harper youngsters will line up in their respective heats as short -priced favourites to take out the double. In the meantime, Dave and Helen will be cheering on Salty Robyn whose placing in the Chariots Of Fire earned him a run in Saturday's Miracle Mile at Menangle,  together with Yayas Hot Spot from the Tritton team. It's an exciting time for the couple, and Sunday's one minute and fifty-five seconds was an exciting time for everyone at Group One Feeds Paceway, as they witnessed the start of what looks likely to be an exciting career. Rob Davis, whose team all carry the "Red" name which derives from his initials, enjoyed the win of Power Of Red in a C1/C2 2260 metres class, trainer-driver Steve Turnbull dodging some early trouble then bringing him with a strong run from mid-field to score a narrow but convincing win. It brought up a hat-trick for the four-year-old, after heat and final wins the previous two Sundays on the grass track at Orange, but his owner was only thinking back as far as the previous night at Menangle, where the younger full-brother Atomic Red won a heat of the NSW Derby in a world-record 1:54.4 rate over 2400 metres. Rob Davis is known for his exuberant finishing bursts, as he races his horses to the line, but he must have been worn out by all the excitement from the Derby heat, and could manage just a few fist-pumps as Power Of Red came hard down the centre of the track. Steve Turnbull, who scored a training and driving double after an earlier come-from- behind win with Joes Star Of Mia, was also excited by the Derby success. He'd instructed Amanda to be aggressive on Atomic Red, who can be a difficult customer, but he needn't have worried as the youngster launched early on and just kept running. Much in the style of Mysweetchillipilly! Amanda Turnbull also backed up well at Bathurst, scoring a training-driving double with My Bettor Bella NZ, in C0 company, and What A Curtainraiser NZ, in a C1/ C2 sprint, both leading throughout as very warm favourites. The feature G.J. & A.D. Turnbull Cathedral Parish Cup also had a Menangle to Bathurst link, with recent Chariots contender Sams The Master scoring a soft win in 1:56.4 (last half of 56.5 seconds) for trainer-driver Nathan Turnbull, who was joined at the presentation by his children Jett and Lacey, Bishop Michael McKenna and the legend himself, Tony Turnbull. Owner Rod Smith, who has often declared that his childhood trips into Bathurst when A.D.Turnbull was racing is the reason he's involved in harness racing today, will be flattered by A.D.'s call that "Rod Smith is the best thing that's happened to trotting!" Nathan Turnbull is keeping his options open with Sams The Master, with some rich country races being considered, and the Four-Year-Old  Breeders Challenge series in late June as his main goal. Shane and Lauren Tritton featured as part-owners of their other debutant winner Lynnsanity, which sat in the death before scoring a promising win in the 2YOColts/Geldings event. While the mile rate of 1:59.6 was much slower than their earlier winner, it was the manner of the win which impressed, with the Mr Feelgood colt displaying a very professional attitude, and push-button capability. "Just like driving a car," was the trainer's comment to Chris Geary after the win. When the Trittons sought permission from Brisbane Heat cricketer Chris Lynn to name their trialling-sale purchase after him, he decided to take a share in the colt, and though the name isn't listed in the racebook, former Kangaroo and league commentator Gordon Tallis shares in Lynn's ownership. Lynnsanity also made the trip up the mountains to get experience on the Bathurst track before the Gold Crown series, and his trainer is hoping that both Lynn and Tallis can make it to Bathurst at some stage of the carnival. The late, great Artie Beetson never made it to Bathurst carnival, but his namesake did him proud by winning the Crown back in 2010, and he continues to race well, scoring his twenty-seventh career win, for trainer Peter Trevor-Jones and driver Mat Rue, in Sunday's final event. It was a good effort, after striking some bother early in the race. The focus at Bathurst is very much on the juveniles as the carnival fast approaches. This Friday sees the running of heats of the Graham Board & Co. Sales Race, with the finals on Friday March 3. by Terry Neil

DOVER, Del--- Take It Back Terry, McCardles Lightning and Katies Rocker join the $30,000 Preferred Handicap pace, Feb. 23 at Dover Downs. Seven start in the harness racing co-feature Delaware Special. First post is 4:30 p.m. Yannick Gingras will drive Weaver Bruscemi, Karr, Collura and Burke Racing stable's $1.2-million winning Take I Back Terry, who makes his first start of 2017. Howard Taylor's Katies Rocker, teamed with Montrell Teague, also makes his initial appearance after last racing in the Hap Hansen-Progress Pace and Breeders Crown late last Fall. After two Meadowlands qualifying wins, Hall of Famer John Campbell will be behind Lightning Stable's McCardles Lightening. Gary Ewing's Star Messenger, claimed around New Year's Day, has stepped up from the $20,000 tag to win three top class races and makes his first Preferred appearance. Henderson Farms' Bushwacker and Corey Callahan already has racked up three top class wins this meet. Cajon Lightning racing for Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farms led until the final stride with Art Stafford Jr. only to finish second by a nose last week. Sweet Rock returns to the Preferred after a Del Special win last Thursday for Allan Davis and owners Reg Hazzard, G.P. Calloway and Legacy Racing. The solid Arque Hanover, driven by Jonathan Roberts for owners Abe Basen, Tom Lazzaro, and Robert Cooper Stable complete the superior field. The $17,500 Delaware Special appears a dog fight between Art and driver Art Stafford Jr.'s super sharp Blazing Bobby Sox. Janet Hudson and JoAnn Looney King's Little Ben (Vic Kirby), George&Tina Dennis' Seventh Secret and Mustang Art (Sean Bier) for owners Max Walton and Greg Papaleo. Not to be overlooked are Al Carter and trainer Doug Lewis' Captive Audience (Callahan), Don Marine and Brent Hall's resurgent Emeritus Maximus (Gingras) and Joan Dalphon and Elanor Lewis' Don't Ya Know (Campbell) from post 1. The $20,000 Open paces is led by Richard Lombardo and L&J Racing's veteran Dancin Yankee (Ross Wolfenden), Ed Gannon, Frank Canzone, Bob Sabatini and driver Yannick Gingras' Bad Gamer, a winner of three in-a-row and John Magill and Brian Carsey's Missle J (Roberts), fresh from three straight Meadowlands wins. The 15-race program includes a powerful undercard. When at the track enjoy racing and tasty food in the Winners Circle Restaurant acclaimed buffet. Call for reservations at 302-674-4600. Harness and Thoroughbred Simulcasting daily 12 Noon until 12 Midnight at Dover Downs Race and Sports Book in the Colonnade. There is no charge for parking or admission at Dover Downs. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are dark days for live racing at Dover Downs. Weekdays - Monday through Thursday - racing begins at 4:30 p.m. Marv Bachrad

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 22, 2017 -- Racing off a 13-week layoff, Call For Justice found an escape route late and went on to capture Wednesday's harness racing $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Call For Justice zipped to the early lead for Dave Palone but was shuffled to fourth into the final turn. Palone was able to angle Call For Justice to the outside, and the 5-year-old son of Justice Hall-Mika's Mazurka took off when he saw racetrack, scoring in 1:54.2. Barn Girl, parked most of the mile, was a game second, 3/4 lengths back, with Chef Lee third. Ron Burke trains Call For Justice, who now boasts career earnings of $288,797, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Palone and Burke each fashioned a four-bagger on the 13-race card while Aaron Merriman collected three wins. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino