Day At The Track

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Supporters of the harness racing betting favorites found themselves empty handed following the Fall Final Four pacing events on Saturday (Nov. 21) at the Meadowlands. Breeders Crown champ Summa Cum Laude grew leg weary off quick fractions while pocket-sitter Always A Miki vaulted with fresh legs to a 1:50.2 victory in the $371,900 Governor's Cup--sponsored by Walnridge Farm & Heritage Hill Farm. Captain Sleaze, at odds of 90-1, kicked to the front and held a brief lead by a :26.3 opening quarter as Always A Miki pulled wide from the pocket with Summa Cum Laude on his back. Always A Miki cleared command to the backstretch before yielding to Summa Cum Laude. Then Abuckabett Hanover tipped first over from fourth tracked by his stablemate, Metro Pace winner Exploit, approaching a :54.3 half. Abuckabett Hanover ranged toward the pacesetter nearing three-quarters in 1:21.4, but his advance stalled nearing the straightaway and forced Exploit to launch three wide. Summa Cum Laude clung to the lead into the stretch as a lane opened for Always A Miki to vacate pocket, and the Always B Miki-Beach Gal colt lunged to a late lead over an extended Exploit and held firm to a half-length victory. Summa Cum Laude held third with Captain Fancy closing for fourth.   "He's a very small horse, there's not much too him--but he's shown all year [that] he's a true competitor," driver Dexter Dunn said after the race. "We re-moved there at the quarter, then Yannick [Gingras and Summa Cum Laude] came and it worked out perfect. The three-quarters was pretty fast, and he was tagged on Yannick's helmet the whole trip. I knew he had something left if I could get him clear." Owned by Christina Takter, Goran Anderberg, Herb Liverman and Rojan Stables, Always A Miki collected his fifth victory from 13 starts, earning $342,418. Nancy Takter trains the $16.00 winner. Blue Diamond Eyes culled the flames of red-hot Breeders Crown champ Fire Start Hanover and emerged victorious in the $323,600 Three Diamonds Final--sponsored by Daniel Baer & South Mountain Stables. Driver David Miller had Blue Diamond Eyes revved early, powering for the front past a :27.3 first quarter to pocket Notorious Pink into the backstretch. Fire Start Hanover raced fourth into the backstretch and gradually edged off the pylons until committing first over by a :56 half. Once taken outside, Fire Start Hanover rolled towards Blue Diamond Eyes to battle the leader by three-quarters in 1:23.3. However, the far-turn blitz paid a toll on Fire Start Hanover as she retreated through the field with shortening strides. Blue Diamond Eyes meanwhile blazed to the finish while prompted by pocket-popping Notorious Pink, who settled for second by one-and-a-half lengths in the 1:51.1 mile. Thebeachiscalling wove through traffic for third with Lindy At The Beach taking fourth.   "Really where she turned her whole year around was in the Kentucky Sires Stakes," trainer Ron Burke said after the race. "She went down, re-found herself, then she came back and won the final. Then even in the Breeders Crown, we couldn't get her in the right spots. Last week [David Miller] said she's ready for a big effort and he said we'll give it to her this week. Like, we're just going to put her on the front and make them come beat her. He was very right--I knew when they came into the last turn [that] they'd have to pace hard to get around her, because she'll fight when she gets the lead." Winning her fifth race from 13 starts, Blue Diamond Eyes has banked $554,617 for owners Thomas & Scott Dillon. The filly by Captaintreacherous-Aria Hanover returned $11.40 to win. An $81,000 consolation was contested earlier on the card for the Governor's Cup. Chris Ryder trainee Beachhead bolted down the center of the track off swift fractions of :26.2, :54.3 and 1:22.4 to win by three-quarter lengths in 1:51.2 over Baklouva, who rallied from last for second. David Miller drove the $13.40 winner for owners Steve Heimbecker and Mac Nichol. By Ray Cotolo, for the Meadowlands Racetrack

East Rutherford, NJ - Kissin In The Sand took the lead at the half, fended off a challenge from Shartin N on the final turn, and pulled away from the field in the stretch to win Saturday's $150,000 TVG Series Mare Pace championship in a stakes-record 1:48 at The Meadowlands. Three-year-old filly Peaky Sneaky was second and Shartin N was third. It was the final start of Kissin In The Sand's career. The 5-year-old mare finished the season with a seven-race win streak and pushed her lifetime victory total to 27 in 58 starts. She earned $1.74 million for owners Marvin Katz and Hatfield Stables and trainer Nancy Takter. "She was outstanding tonight," winning driver Dexter Dunn said. "She's had an amazing career, she's an amazing mare, and I was lucky enough to get on for the last four or five starts to enjoy the last run home." Kissin In The Sand left from post nine and settled into third as Peaky Sneaky and Shartin N exchanged the lead in an opening :26.3 quarter. Kissin In The Sand made her move on the backstretch and got to the front just as she hit the half in :53.4. She remained on top to three-quarters in 1:20.3 and came home in :27.2 to win by 2-1/2 lengths over stablemate Peaky Sneaky.   "She kicked in the straight really good," Dunn said. "She knows when it's go time. Once we got the plugs out, she went to another gear and finished off a very strong mile." Sent off the 4-5 favorite, Kissin In The Sand paid $3.80 to win. Kissin In The Sand, by Somebeachsomewhere out of Kiss Me Kate, was bred by Christina Takter, John Fielding, R A W Equine Inc., and Concord Stud Farm. She was a Dan Patch Award winner at age 3. Among her wins to close out this season were her first Breeders Crown as well as the Dayton Distaff Derby, Milton Stakes, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. "When she was 3, I actually took care of her myself because I had a much smaller stable, so I had a very close relationship with her," trainer Nancy Takter said. "That's why she's so special (to me). "She's matured so much through the years. She was a pain in the butt to break. I remember four years ago when she came into my barn, I called Marvin Katz and said she's either going to be great, or she's going to be terrible. So I'm happy she decided to be great. She was just tough from day one and her performance tonight just shows how tough she really is." Kissin In The Sand will be bred to another of Takter's recently retired stars, Tall Dark Stranger. "Hopefully, they're a match made in heaven," Takter said, adding with a laugh, "I already told Marvin and Bud (Hatfield) that I get to train the first baby." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – On Nov. 21, a filly defended her crown while a gelding of regal blood scored himself high honors in Fall Final Four harness rcing action at the Meadowlands. Anoka Hanover won the $451,800 Goldsmith Maid for freshman trotting fillies—sponsored by Hunterton Farms. Todd McCarthy drove the Noel Daley-trained filly to victory in 1:53.2. The Kindergarten Classic champion scored her seventh-straight win of the season and her 10th win in 14 starts. Beautiful Game was rushed to the front entering the first turn but settled for the pocket to a :28.1 opening quarter as Insta Glam cruised to the lead. Race-favorite Anoka Hanover, from the pylon post, protected position to race third, and stayed put at the pegs while Insta Glam sped to a :55.4 half. But, to the far turn and with the Breeders Crown champ Lady Chaos ranging uncovered, McCarthy moved his charge for the leader. Insta Glam began to feel the pressure of Anoka Hanover’s strong strides past three-quarters in 1:23.3 while Lady Chaos spun her wheels and gapped cover. Into the stretch, Anoka Hanover drew away from the field to score easily by two-and-a-quarter lengths. Soaring up the inside came Flawless Country, who finished second, passing Beautiful Game, third, and Wet My Whistle, fourth.    Noel Daley co-owns the daughter of Donato Hanover—Aunt Mel along with LA Express Stable LLC and Caviart Farms.  “She’s been phenomenal,” Todd McCarthy said after the race. “Noel’s done an unbelievable job managing her. The success we’ve had with her has been a dream come true for me. She’s been getting better and better all the time. I love her attitude; she wants to do the job every time.” Buck Chaffee of Caviart Farms said none of the connections thought Anoka Hanover was as classy as she raced this season. “She didn’t look great as a baby. We didn’t know she was good until she started racing,” he said. “As owners we’re happy. This is one of those pleasant surprises.” As the public’s choice, Anoka Hanover paid $2.80 to win. She increased her earnings to $599,053. Bee Forever, with Victor Kirby at the reins, pulled off an upset in the $398,650 Valley Victory for freshman trotting colts and geldings—sponsored by Kentuckiana Farms—closing with confidence down the stretch to win in 1:54.  Bee Forever was in no rush to leave, settling in ninth as Dees Red Delicous, race-favorite On A Streak, and Incommunicado stepped quickly off the gate. Incommunicado grabbed the top spot, but gave way past a :27.4 first quarter as Dees Red Delicous strode to the front. On A Streak, positioned fourth, then made his move for the lead, cruising by Dees Red Delicous through a :55.4 half before bearing a first-over charge from Zenith Stride to the far turn. Zenith Stride kept the pressure on the leader to three-quarters in 1:25.1, but grew leg weary off the turn. Storming three-wide from near last, Bee Forever found a clear path to aim at the finish line, and full of trot, Kirby did not have to urge the son of Muscle Hill—Bee A Magician to glide safely to victory by a neck. On A Streak held for second and Delayed Hanover followed to get third.   Richard “Nifty” Norman trains Bee Forever, who won his second race in nine starts.  “The first time I drove Bee Forever, Nifty told me the colt can trot really fast but he’s green and needs to be taught. Every week he got better.” Kirby said in Bee Forever’s Kindergarten Final performance two weeks ago, “if I shake free, he wins, so I knew if he gets open space it would work out.” Bee Forever has now earned $240,986 at two and Kirby feels there’s a lot more to come at three. “You’re going to hear from him next year,” he said. Bee Forever paid $30.60 to win. By Frank Cotolo, for The Meadowlands   

East Rutherford, NJ - Manchego made her final career start a winning one, capturing Saturday's (Nov. 21) $320,000 TVG Open Trot championship by 1-1/4 lengths over Atlanta in 1:51.3 at The Meadowlands. Lindy The Great finished third. Manchego, a 5-year-old mare, was retired in a ceremony in the winner's circle following the race. She ended her career with 33 wins in 56 career starts and $2.72 million in purses. Her victories included the 2018 Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown titles at ages 2, 4, and 5. She is the fastest female trotter ever thanks to her 1:49 victory in the 2019 Allerage Farms Mare Trot at Red Mile and also the fastest female trotter in history on a five-eighths-mile track, with a mark of 1:49.3 in this year's Spirit of Massachusetts at Plainridge Park. Manchego is the only female trotter to win with a sub-1:50 mile in multiple years. She has been the sport's fastest trotter in 2019 and 2020. In 2017, Manchego won all 12 of her starts and became the first undefeated 2-year-old filly trotter in Breeders Crown history as well as the first unbeaten 2-year-old filly trotter to win a Dan Patch Award. With her Breeders Crown triumph last month, she joined Peace Corps and Grades Singing as the only female trotters with at least three trophies. Manchego, by Muscle Hill out of Secret Magic, was trained by Jimmy Takter at ages 2 and 3, and Nancy Takter at 4 and 5. She is owned by Barry Guariglia's Black Horse Racing and was bred by Brittany Farms. "She's just a super mare," Nancy Takter said. "She's been great since the first moment that she ever set foot on the track. "When you get the call that you get to train a horse like Manchego, those calls probably aren't going to come very many times in my life, so I appreciate every moment that I had with her. She's just an unbelievable mare. She makes my job easy, she makes all of us look good around her, because she's just such a professional." On Saturday, Manchego and driver Dexter Dunn watched from fourth as Crystal Fashion led to the quarter in :28 and half in :57. As the field neared the final turn, Dunn moved with Manchego and gained the cover of Atlanta, who had been racing in second. Crystal Fashion remained on top at three-quarters, reached in 1:24.1, but in the stretch it was all Manchego, who came home in :27 for the victory.   "It's fitting that the first time she ever went behind the gate was at The Meadowlands and she gets to finish her career here with a win," Takter said. "She started her career with a win at The Meadowlands and she's going to end it the same way." Said Guariglia, "It feels wonderful. She almost made that look too easy. She's super sharp right now. I was a little nervous when they got to the half in :57; she probably hasn't seen that since she trained back in March. Win or lose, I was ready for the emotions tonight. But, obviously, it's great to win." Manchego, the slight even-money favorite over Atlanta, paid $4.00 to win. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Batavia, NY --- Harness racing driver Jim Morrill Jr. hit another milestone in his illustrious career after he steered Love The Dragon ($3.00) to victory in the third race at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 21) to reach 7,500 wins lifetime. In his typical style, Morrill went right to the front, rated a perfect mile and was a wrapped-up winner in 1:58.3. To date, Jim Morrill Jr. now has 40,273 starts with 7,500 wins, 6,220 seconds and 5,152 thirds with $108,289,933 in earnings. Morrill currently sits 13th in North America for UDR with a mark of .380. At the current Batavia Downs meet, Morrill is the leading driver with 86 wins, $426,956 in purse money and a UDR of .381. Morrill made his first start driving for his father at Foxboro Park in 1984. The family's operation eventually moved to Rosecroft Raceway where Morrill started getting many catch drives and soon found himself in high demand. In 1990 Morrill went to New York and started driving for Ray Schnittker and George Anthony at Yonkers Raceway and with much success achieved there, decided that move would be long term. During his time competing at the New York/New Jersey circuit Morrill recalled his most memorable race as being the 2004 Meadowlands Pace where Holborn Hanover was a 58-1 upset winner in 1:49 to equal the stake mark. After 15 years of driving at the highest level, Morrill left the metropolitan area in 2005 and relocated his family and business to western New York and since arriving has not only been at the very top of the driver colony on that circuit, but also an annual dominant force in the New York Sire Stakes. In 2006 at Batavia Downs, Morrill set the all-time driving standard for the track with 177 wins and a UDR of .537 for one meet. Long Train Runnin showed a lot of heart and determination as he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the $8,500 Open I Handicap pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 21).  Long Train Runnin (Shawn McDonough) got away third as Stratosphere (Drew Monti) took the scratch-shortened, single-file field to the half in :58. As they passed that station, Long Train Runnin was already out first-over and moving fast towards the leader as they proceeded into the clubhouse turn.  Moving towards three-quarters, Stratosphere and Long Train Runnin were pacing side-by-side and had broken away from the pack by three lengths on the strength of a :27.3 third panel. As they were rounding the final bend, Stratosphere pulled clear and opened up a length advantage heading into the stretch. But the relentless urging of McDonough reinvigorated Long Train Runnin who found another gear and caught Stratosphere at the wire by a head in 1:54.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Long Train Runnin ($6.10) who has now earned $32,552 this year for owner WIlliam Emmons. Jim Clouser Jr. does the training. Emmons and Clouser teamed up again in the very next race to capture the $7,500 Open II Handicap with McSpidey (Jim Morrill Jr.) who went wire to wire by 2-¼ lengths in 1:54.4. It was also the fifth win for McSpidey ($2.40) who is now over $343,000 in lifetime bank.  Shawn McDonough had a huge night at Batavia on Saturday, driving four winners and sending two for pictures that he trained. McDonough steered the aforementioned Long Train Runnin, Are You In (1:58.2, $22.40), Santana Beach (1:56, $25.80) and Nesh Cruiser (1:58.1, $27.40), who he also trained along with PL Lester (1:54.3, $10.20).  Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 25) with post time at 5 p.m. and there will be a guaranteed pool of $3,000 for the Pick-5 on Wednesday. The pool is part of the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program and as such, free program pages for races one through five will be available on the USTA and Batavia Downs websites early next week. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Over the years, the Quebec Jockey Club at the Hippodrome 3R has made a point of celebrating the retirement of certain harness racing horses who have reached the ripe old age of 14. This has always been done on closing day for the track, which is this Sunday, November 22. All Standardbred race horses must retire on January 1 at age 15. They are still allowed to race but only in amateur and fair events. But this year, the ceremony will take on a special significance for several reasons: Onyx VA, since it is about him that we are talking about, will have had during his life only one owner, André Larocque of Lourdes-De-Joliette. This horse raced at H3R for nine of the twelve years of his long and prolific career. It was at H3R that this career began an it is at H3R that it will end this Sunday, November 22. When we ask this charming gentleman, who is Andre Larocque, to share some of his memories with us, he becomes perplexed, not really knowing which elements, which races to choose: "In my lasting memories, Larocque said. "There is this race at Rideau Carleton in 2014 with Kyle Forgie in the sulky and a victory in the best class in 1:54.3 from 7th position; better still, his mile at H3R, the same year, this time with Stephane Brosseau, a victory in 1.53.4, from one end to the other after having torn the fronts away from DGs Woodstock in :27 seconds. "At 2 years old," Larocque explained. "He had a very fruitful year, successively winning three stakes (two Quebec Elite series, one Quebec Plus series) with Daniel Potvin on the guides. Daniel was my blacksmith at the time, and what a job he did with the colt. These were his three highest paying races in his career, twice for purses of $35,000, once for $25,000. The rest of his life he spent raising a thousand dollars here and there. Small grants in overnites. If you look at his record now, he took 293 starts and made just over $300,000, which works out to $1,000 per start. An iron horse, a clapper. " It was at the turn of the 2000s that André decided to try his luck in breeding, by acquiring a mare, Better Than Good, by The Big Dog. A mare who had never raced but whose family was full of big names: Die Laughing, Dexter Nukes, Silent Majority. This mare, bred to Artist Sena, first gave her Mamzele Leopold ($40,000 and a record 1.56), but the filly was plagued with conformation issues. The second breeding, this time with Electric Sena (Cam Fella), provided him with the colt that became Onyx VA. For the younger ones, know that Electric Sena in his day was quite a horse ($1.1M and a record of 1.48.3). "Then the mare didn't give much," Larocque added. "A few raced, some didn't. But Onyx VA was going to make people forget all that, he was so handsome, efficient and very intelligent. My role, week after week, was to find him a class that would do him justice. After the Quebec race tracks closed, I had no choice but to have him race in Ontario and he excelled on all kinds of tracks, in all kinds of conditions: Rideau, Flamboro, Grand River, London, Woodbine . He had some health problems, but never to prevent him from coming back to the track. He made me very happy, to say the least. "Sunday will be his last start, Larocque said. "I have no plans to go anywhere else next. This is where it all began and this is where it all ends. He will be entitled to a peaceful, deserved retirement. He has his stall, his paddock, his routine and he will now be at rest. For my part, I don't know what the future holds. "I am 69 years old, Larocque said. "And have had my fair share of health issues over the past few months. My hips make it difficult for me to move around, and it is no whim that I asked Claude Beausoleil to take on the role of trainer for the last few weeks. If ever my health allows me, I will not say no to a possible return with another horse. For the moment, my concerns are elsewhere. "I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone who has helped me over the past twelve years with my horse," Larocque added. "There are stable neighbors, trainers, drivers, lots of people who made this 'trip' with Onyx VA possible. Thank you everyone from the heart." Onyx VA will start on Sunday, in the 7th race. This will be his 294th start. He has recorded 47 career victories. At the end of his race, Claude Beausoleil will lead him to the winner's circle for a small ceremony during which he will be placed a cooler blanket which will officially mark the end of his racing career. And with the 2nd starting position shared, it doesn't say that Onyx VA will be beaten. Track Notes: Racing fans can get a free race program for Sunday by visiting www.hippodrome3r.ca. First race post time Sunday is 1:00 pm. Simulcasting will continue seven days a week at H3R and all of its OTB outlets in Quebec. Also, on Sunday there are three Preferred events for the trotters and pacers. Francis Richard for the fourth straight year will take top honors as the leading trainer. The leading driver battle continues into Sunday with Pascal Berube (who is not driving Sunday) holds a four-win lead, 52 to 48, over Stephane Brosseau, who has eight drives on the program. By Daniel Delisle, for the Quebec Jockey Club

The following harness racing music video is on Charlottetown Driving Park and was produced by Kinley Dowling.  Kinley can be reached at: KINLEY Instagram: @kinleydowling Facebook: KINLEY12345 Twitter: @KinleyDowling Email: kinley.dowling@gmail.com www.kinleymusic.com  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – After failing in consecutive starts as the favorite, HL Revadon had probably lost a few harness racing fans heading into Friday night’s $20,000 high-end conditioned trot, the feature race at The Meadowlands. But those chalk players who went to the well just one more time got to pay for the drinks at the race's end. The super-consistent HL Revadon, who had hit the board in five straight starts heading into the non-winners of six event, was handled differently by driver Mark MacDonald than he was a week ago, when he went directly to the lead before ending up third. This time around, MacDonald had his horse away in no particular hurry, sitting third in the early stages before using a quick burst of speed to claim the lead while parked at the half in a tepid :57.3. From there, it was no problem for the 4-year-old gelded son of Andover Hall-D Liteful Hanover, who trotted clear of the pocket-sitting I Got The Looks by 2½ lengths at the head of the stretch before reporting home a 2¼-length winner in 1:53.2. Winnerup rallied along the inside to get second. I Got The Looks was third. Trained by Harry Landy and owned by Share A Horse Inc., HL Revadon returned $6.20 to win as the 2-1 public choice. He’s now won seven of 32 lifetime starts and earned $182,349. DUNN DEAL: Driver Dexter Dunn continues to impress as the 30-year-old native of New Zealand, the only driver in the sport this year with $10 million in earnings, and who won four Breeders Crown events several weeks ago at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, tightened his stranglehold on a second straight Driver of the Year trophy by winning three times on the Friday night program. A LITTLE MORE: Action on the Big M’s two 50-cent Pick-4 wagers continued strong as a total of $137,715 was put in play on the bets. … Favorites have been on a roll of late at the track, as after six public choices clicked on Friday a total of 29 winning public choices have scored over the last 64 races (45 percent). … All-source wagering totaled $2,334,662. … The 20-cent Pick-6 went unhit, creating a $5,088 carryover. There will be a guaranteed pool of $15,000 for the next program. … Racing resumes Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. as eight stakes races for purses totaling $2.495 million will be up for grabs on Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night. SATURDAY PICK-6 POOL HAS $15,000 GUARANTEE AT BIG M After only one favorite scored during the sequence, Friday night’s 20-cent Pick-6 went unhit at The Meadowlands, creating a carryover of $5,088. As a result, the P6 pool will be guaranteed at $15,000 for Saturday night’s program, which is Fall Final Four/TVG Finals Night at The Big M. Those who had five winners on Friday night collected $307.30 on the wager that begins with the eighth race. Free past performances for the entire Saturday program, courtesy of the United States Trotting Association and TrackMaster, are available at playmeadowlands.com.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

Chicago Bull’s win in last night’s Freemantle Cup in West Australia elevated him on a number of fronts. He’s a diminutive wee champ. He won by 5.7 metres over another Southern Bred Southern Reared horse Galactic Star, and the win was his sixtieth. Chicago Bull is now the second highest race winner in the history of Southland Harness Racing, with only champion Cardigan Bay ahead of him at 80 lifetime wins. Themightyquinn (58 wins) still holds the record for the highest stake earning horse to come out of the province, having won $5,520,066. “He’s (Chicago Bull) exceeded everyone’s expectations. Just the way he tries so hard in every race. He’s so consistent and never lets anyone down,” said Katrina Price who bred Chicago Bull with her husband John and his parents Roger and Helen Price of Winton. It was Chicago Bull’s fifth Group One and second Freemantle Cup and his stake earnings are fast heading towards a quarter of a million. All his wins bar one, have been at Gloucester Park. He also becomes his sire Bettor’s Delight’s second biggest Australian stake earner with only Lazarus ahead of him with $4,423,391. Adore Me is third on the list with $1,677,032. Price says Chicago Bull may now be aimed at The Hunter Cup in February after he runs in the WA Pacing Cup early next month. Chicago Bull as a two year old at Winton Chicago Bull is out of the Christian Cullen mare Chicago Blues. “She’s having a forty two day scan on Monday so hopefully there’s a little baby sister there.” The Prices have a full-brother to Chicago Bull named Chicago Bear going to next year’s sale. “He’s got rock star good looks whereas poor little Chicago Bull missed out on all that. He’s pretty determined and was really tough to break in but he’s onside now. He loves people and is very social. If he has that determination out on the racetrack he’ll do alright.” Katrina and John recently purchased American Ideal mare Hartofdixie that won six races for Barry Purdon. She’s out of a half-sister to Maxim which won twelve races including the 2014 Victoria Derby. Hartofdixie’s third dam is Scuse Me, New Zealand Broodmare of the Year in 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. “We’re preparing her yearling colt by Bettor’s Delight and he’s going to go through the sale.” Katrina is also preparing four yearlings for Tuapeka Lodge, including Tuapeka Dan, the first foal out of Bonnie Joan – the winner of ten races and just over $200,000. He’s by Bettor’s Delight. Also in the draft is a Bettor’s Delight colt out of five win Art Major mare Break Dance, named Point Break. “They’re coming down on Tuesday. It’ll be a pretty nice draft. I’ve also got two of Dave Kennedy’s trotters. There’s a bit of everything this year and with eight yearlings we’re going to be pretty busy.”   by Bruce Stewart

It was Chicago Bull’s defining moment. Yes he’d already won 59 races, a stack of them features, and more than $2 million in stakemoney, but last night’s dominant $300,000 Group 1 Fremantle Cup win was the pinnacle, so far at least. It was just over two years ago in Auckland he had that freakish accident which left him with a broken back and his career in tatters, just when it seemed he was on the verge of greatness. Trainer Gary Hall Sr nursed him back to the races, but at his comeback campaign he wasn’t quite the same horse. But connections were patient and tried again and now – somehow – Chicago Bull is arguably better than ever as he nears eight years of age. The pint-sized former Kiwi did all the work in a dramatic and action-packed Fremantle Cup and still left his rivals standing in the run home to score by 5.7m in a 1min56.9sec mile rate for 2536m. Watc the race replay click here The Gary Hall Jr drive was as sublime as it was confident, surging his way around to sit parked in the middle stages and giving his younger arch-rival Shockwave the one-one trail. But Chicago Bull was simply better than them. The usually unflappable Hall Jr was choked with emotion after the win, probably because he was caretaker trainer of Chicago Bull in Auckland when he had that accident a couple of years back. “That was devastating for ‘Junior’. It wasn’t his fault or anything, but he took it hard. I think this makes up for it in his mind now,” Hall Sr said. “He’s an unbelievable horse, yes that’s the word for it, unbelievable. He won so easily tonight. “He’s going at least as good as ever. If anything he’s finishing off his races better, he’s getting to the line stronger. Look at tonight, despite the work he did, he still kicked away from them.” Hall Jr marvelled at Chicago Bull’s win. “What can you say about that. He was incredible,” he said. “All the credit goes to ‘Senior’ (Gary Hall Sr). We all doubted if he’d make it back, including Senior, but he kept at it and look at the results.” Evergreen Galactic Star ran a mighty race for second, while emerging star Shockwave was perhaps slightly disappointing in third spot, albeit only beaten seven metres. When Shockwave got the breeze and then took the one-one on Chicago Bull, most would’ve had him favourite to win from there with a lap to go. The most exciting part is the same horses lock horns again with a new set of barrier draws in the $450,000 Group 1 WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park on December 4.   HRNZ

Beset by financial hardship in recent years, Scarborough Downs will bring down the curtain on 70 years of horse racing later this month. The racetrack, located just south of Portland, Maine, will conduct its final racing program next Saturday (Nov. 28) after opening in 1950 and having conducted harness racing since the 1970s. After riding the wave of harness racing's heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, Scarborough Downs largely ended up lost in the shuffle of full-card simulcasting and has suffered financial losses for the better part of the current century. "It's a combination of things," Scarborough downs publicist Mike Sweeney said in a report from the Portland (Maine) Press Herald. "The overriding sense within the industry is that harness racing needs something different, something that Scarborough Downs can't offer." The half-mile track and its cavernous 6,500-seat grandstand — which was sold out many a summer evening in racing's golden decades — were sold in 2018 to real estate developers Crossroads Holdings LLC, along with the 500 acres of land surrounding the track. Crossroads leased the track back to its operators for the past three seasons, but with on-site wagering revenue having stagnated, the arrangement became unsustainable. “We just appreciated the fact that the new owners let us have us of facility as long as possible to ensure the industry could get on secure footing, where we can go on from here,” said Mike Cushing, director of the Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association. “For that we’re grateful.” The track will still offer simulcast wagering through the end of 2020, and will apply to do the same in 2021 after averaging nearly $8 million a year in simulcast handle over the past three years — a much rosier figure than the roughly $810,000 in on-track handle over 72 Scarborough programs in 2019. For the time being, the closure of Scarborough Downs relegates harness racing in the Pine Tree State to Bangor Raceway as well as a storied county fair circuit which, unlike many jurisdictions in the United States, offers pari-mutuel wagering. But despite the final days of one of New England's harness racing jewels of yesteryear being nigh, Cushing feels that brighter days could be ahead with the help of a new venue, which the Press Herald reports is potentially in the works. "I think this means a new beginning for harness racing in Maine," Cushing concluded. (with files from the Portland (Maine) Press Herald)

Harness racing driver Todd McCarthy is no fan of the cold, but the Australia native is a big admirer of good horses. And the latter will keep McCarthy in the U.S. through this winter and next year. The 27-year-old McCarthy moved to the U.S. in late August and already counts a handful of Grand Circuit stakes victories among his 80 wins sinceeries cham then. His biggest triumph came earlier this month with Anoka Hanover in the Kindergarten Classic Spionship for 2-year-old female trotters, and McCarthy will be back in action with the filly this weekend. Anoka Hanover is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in Saturday's $451,800 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters at The Meadowlands. She brings a six-race win streak to the event, including divisions of the International Stallion and Bluegrass stakes. For the year, the Noel Daley-trained filly has won nine of 13 races and $373,153. McCarthy has been in the sulky for her past six starts. "She's been awesome," McCarthy said. "Noel has done a terrific job with her and certainly made my job easier. It's a tough race, but fingers crossed, hopefully everything goes well for us." Anoka Hanover was not eligible to the Breeders Crown last month at Harrah's Hoosier Park. On Saturday, she will face the top-three Breeders Crown finishers: winner Lady Chaos, runner-up Mazzarati, and Splash Blue Chip. Lady Chaos and Splash Blue Chip have not raced since the Crown. Mazzarati finished third in the Kindergarten two weeks ago, when Anoka Hanover won in a career-best 1:52.3. "Going to the Breeders Crown would have been cool but she might not have been the same horse going into the Kindergarten and the race this week," McCarthy said about Anoka Hanover, a daughter of Donato Hanover-Aunt Mel. "I'm a big believer that sometimes everything happens for a reason and that fortnight ago was perfect. "She's got such a good attitude for such a young filly; she handles herself so well. She's just a lovely little horse to drive. She's so honest. She's out there to do her best every time, you don't have to ask her too much; she's trying as hard as you can. When you come across a horse like that, it doesn't matter what age group, you just really appreciate them." McCarthy is the younger brother of top drivers Luke and Andy McCarthy and son of highly regarded trainer John McCarthy. His accomplishments Down Under included winning the 2016 Australasian Young Drivers Championship and multiple New South Wales state and metropolitan premiership driving titles. He represented Australia at the 2019 World Driving Championship and counts the Inter Dominion as his top victory. "I have to thank Noel for all he's done," McCarthy said. "He helped me come over here and got me going. He couldn't have been more helpful since I've come to the States, putting me down to drive. I can't thank him enough." McCarthy's original plan was to return to Australia during the U.S. winter and return next spring or summer. But with his newfound success in the States, he decided there was no reason to leave. McCarthy entered Friday with 80 wins in 565 drives, a 14-percent win rate, and $1.17 million in purses. "To be honest, I never thought I would stay this busy when I came over; I thought I'd be pretty quiet," McCarthy said. "But everyone has been so welcoming, and I've been getting a lot of great opportunities. I'm really enjoying it. "I don't like the cold too much, but I'm happy to stick it out and I'll do my best to enjoy the winter. I don't want to go home. I'm having too much fun." The Goldsmith Maid is part of the Fall Four events for 2-year-olds Saturday at The Big M. Breeders Crown champion On A Streak is the 3-1 favorite in the $398,650 Valley Victory for male trotters and Summa Cum Laude, who captured a Breeders Crown in a dead heat with Perfect Sting, is the 9-5 choice in the $371,900 Governor's Cup for male pacers. Fire Start Hanover, also a Crown winner, is the 2-1 favorite in the $323,600 Three Diamonds for female pacers. In addition to the Fall Four, the Saturday card includes TVG Series championships for trotters and pacers. Those races will feature the final career starts for Dan Patch Award winners Bettor's Wish, Kissin In The Sand, and Manchego. For complete Saturday Big M entries, click here. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EST). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA    

Trois-Rivieres, QC - This Sunday is the final day of harness racing at the Hippodrome 3R for the 2020 season. It will be a total of 44 race days, four extra days than the normal 40-day race meet due to extra simulcasting revenue due to Covid-19. Yet, despite the extra race days, the annual driving title at H3R has yet to be decided as leader Pascal Berube holds a slim four-win lead (52 to 48) over Stephane Brosseau. But on Sunday Brosseau has eight drives and Berube has none. Why no drives for Pascal Berube who did not miss a day of racing all season long at H3R? That's because Berube has moved his stable and base of operations this past week to Toronto. Thus, he is leaving the driving title up to Brosseau, if he can even tie Berube or surpass him with a five-win day. Winning the H3R drivers title on closing day is nothing new for Brosseau. He did it back in 2017, scoring three wins closing day to capture the title from rival Stephane Gendron. As for the leading trainer title, that is already decided and in an unprecedented feat, trainer Francis Richard is capturing his fourth straight H3R title. He goes into Sunday's 10 race card with an 11-win lead, 33 to 22, over Maxime Velaye. Neither Richard nor Velaye have any horses entered at H3R on Sunday. "I feel blessed to be lucky enough year after year to have good owners and good horses in my barn," Francis Richard said. "And a great team behind me. We work hard day in and day out. So, it's a nice reward to get that training title one more time." On the racetrack Sunday there are three Preferred events starting in the third race for the top trotters. Heading the field is last week's upset winner, Sir Chopin (post 5) with owner, trainer and driver Carol Voyer. They face rivals Keepall (post 6), Precieuse CC (post 3) and Caroluzzo (post 2). The fifth race features the Preferred horses where Dreydl Hanover (post 6) will seek a return trip to the winners for driver Samuel Fillion. Last week Drey­dl Hanover was a tiger against this same field, scoring in 1:55.3. Also entered are 4-time Quebec Champion, Atomic Million Am (post 7), City Of The Year (post 2), Maracasso (post 5) and Somewhere Bettor (post 8). The Fillies and Mares do battle in the sixth race where Wild River Swan (post 8) is coming off a wire-to-wire triumph in 1:57.4 with Samuel Fillion in the sulky. She has now won two of her last three starts. She will face rivals Sieras Rose (post 1), Shemaksmefelunreal (post 7) and Y C easy (post 2). The seventh race features the 14-year-old pacer Onyx V A (post 2), who is making the last start of his career as he must retire from racing on January 1, 2021. The Quebec-bred son of Electric Stena was bred and has been owned by Andre Larocque of Lourdes-De-Joliette his entire career. Onyx V A raced every year of his career with 47 victories. After his race, win or lose, trainer-driver Claude Beausoleil will bring Onyx V A back to the winner's circle for a special presentation. Track Notes: Of the 79 horses entered for the final day of racing at H3R, all 79 horses were used for the race program. First race post time Sunday at 1:00 pm. For a free race program, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club          

Soho Tribeca won 21 races in a four season career including three Group One races. Victims of his speed and never say die attitude included the mighty warriors of recent years in Lazarus, Lennytheshark, Tiger Tara and Chicago Bull. Sometimes though horses are remembered by their courage in defeat. On 24th February 2018 Soho Tribeca displayed something rarely seen anywhere in the Harness Racing World. The occasion was the 2018 edition of the $750,000 Miracle Mile at Menangle. Sure he finished third, beaten by just a head and a half neck, but with the winner rating 1.46.9 and with Tribeca parked in the breeze for the entire journey it was truly a remarkable performance. Greg Sugars held the reins that day and with Lauren Tritton blasting Anything For Love to the front there was very little that Greg could do other than to sit parked. So the sectionals went by like this; 26.3 / 53.6 / 1.19.8 and 1.46.9 Now just for a moment lets compare the run of Soho Tribeca that day with the existing World Records of 1.46 held jointly by Always B Miki and Lather Up. Always B Miki 26.2 / 52.4 / 1.19.8 and 1.46. Lather Up 25.6 / 52.0 / 1.19.2 and 1.46. In his memorable performance at The Red Mile, Always B Miki slotted in third on the rails at the first turn, charged to the front in the back straight and then led for the rest of the journey. Lather Up attained his World Record status at The Meadowlands in 2019. He took a pocket trip behind the tearaway leader Always A Prince to the ¾ pole and then pulled to the lead as he entered the long Meadowlands straight. So both Always B Miki and Lather Up didn’t cover any extra ground in their memorable wins. In comparison Soho Tribeca was in the one wide line around the two Menangle bends so how much extra ground did he cover above the 1609 metres of the race ? A mathematical formula would give us the answer. There is no suggestion here that Soho Tribeca is a better horse than the two current World’s fastest ever pacers but it does highlight the fact that our very best Pacers are the equal of any in the World. By the way - Tiger Tara, Lennytheshark and Lazarus finished a combined 48 metres astern of Soho Tribeca that day in February 2018. Soho Tribeca had a high cruising speed and an incredible never say die attitude to his racing. He was so tough and never ever gave up even if beaten. That run in the Miracle Mile was a victory that just got away. Greg Sugars, who drove Soho Tribeca in the Miracle Mile, Hunter Cup and Kilmore Cup. Soho Tribeca   A Son of a Miracle mare and a Champion stallion. Soho Tribeca’s breeding would not be out of place if he appeared at the famed North American tracks of The Red Mile and The Meadowlands - being by American Ideal from an Art Major mare and a very special mare as well as she was crowned the Australian Broodmare of the Year in 2018. American Ideal is an extremely fast son of Western Ideal and it appears that this stallion line commenced by one of the fastest horses in history , No Nukes, back in the early 1980’s is now being sustained through the blood of Western Ideal. There is no doubt that Western Ideal 1.48 inherited some of his stunning ability and bit of toughness from his Abercrombie dam Leah Almahurst, the winner of over $1million. Western Ideal along with Artsplace are the two stallions that we repeatedly see today in the pedigrees of the elite racehorses. So Soho Tribeca is blessed with the Best in Breeding with these two stallions very prominent in his pedigree. His dam Pixel Perfect, by the champion son of Artsplace in Art Major, has been a revelation in the Australian Stud Book. She is now the dam of seven  foals of racing age including a current 2 year old. Five of these have sub 1.55 records whilst the 2 year old Soho Broadway already has a 1.56.1 record. The seven winners have now collectively won over $2.366 million and all but the 2 year old have won over $100,000. Pixel Perfect, who was unraced, was in fact the only foal of her Dam’s [Amarillen] first 9 foals not to win - the other eight foals won over $1.35 million between them. So it would be difficult to argue that Soho Tribeca wasn’t one of the best Bred stallions to be registered for Stud duty in Australia in the past 20 years at least. Add a Bonus to a Booking. Soho Tribeca has received outstanding support from breeders in all States of Australia and still has some Bookings available before reaching the 150 target. If your mare is based in Victoria the resulting foal from a breeding to the tall and handsome man will be Eligible for the First Win Vicbred Colonial Stallion Bonus of $12,000.   Northern Rivers Equine

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound Breeding of NZ Cup winner Self Assured, who won the NZ Trotting Cup, main race of the NZ Cup carnival at Addington, is a Bettor’s Delight gelding from the same family as that which produced the dual NZ Cup winner Lazarus. Self Assured, who was an Auckland Cup winner as a four-year-old, has only been sparingly raced, but he has shown up as a brilliant pacer, and it was a top field he beat at Addington. Bred by Wellington businessman Reg Caldow, the five-year-old gelding is out of Star Of Venus (TT1:53), by Christian Cullen from Starlitnight, by Tuapeka Knight from the Soky’s Atom mare Star Of Bethlehem.  Lazarus, also sired by Bettor’s Delight, is from the Christian Cullen mare, Bethany, whose dam, Spirit Of Beth is a sister to Star Of Bethlehem, the third dam of Self Assured.   Aussie winners at NZ Cup carnival Two promising young horses to win at the NZ Cup carnival were the three-year-old Riveered and the four-year-old Jawbreaker, both very closely related and both bred in Victoria by Glenn Taylor. Riveered, who has won two of his last four starts, is a striking colt by Bettor’s Delight out of a capable racemare in Arivee (1:59.3), by Safely Kept from Willing Greek, by Golden Greek (a free-legged son of Abercrombie) from a fine racemare in Willing Whiz, by Armbro Whiz. Arivee, who won 13 races and $83,953, left earlier winners in Fighting Fire (1:53.9), Im Very Willing (1:59) and the Presidential Ball mare Eye Like Candy (1:55.8), the dam of Jawbreaker (by Art Major), who has won two. Arivee ranks as a sister to Kalypso (2:00.8), who became the dam of the Victoria Cup winner Caribbean Blaster and the exported War Dan (1:50), and a half-sister to the NSW Breeders Challenge winners Grand Stride 1:52.4 ($324,658) and Sapphire Stride 1:52.2 ($134,115). This family has had an association of some 110 years in Australia, and it has been responsible for a long line of winners such as the Fremantle Cup and Inter Dominion heat winner Willadios, Charlaval (NSW Breeders Challenge 3YO), Rohan Home (Breeders Crown Open), Zaneden (NSW Hondo Grattan Sprint), Katasopos (Tatlow Memorial), Lachlan Missie (Queensland Oaks) and The Night Pearl (SA Derby).   Brother to My Hard Copy Copy N Pace, who won the opening race at Gloucester Park, after racing wide most of the way, has now won six races and is rated one of the brightest prospects in his class. He ranks as a three-year-old brother by American Ideal to the dual WA Pacing Cup winner My Hard Copy 1:51.6 ($1.2 million), now at the stud in WA. Copy N Pace                                   --Jodie Hallows photo Their dam, Readallaboutit, a Presidential Ball mare from Natalia’s Joy (2:00.6), by Butler B G from the American-bred Natalia Lobell, has proved a most successful broodmare. Besides My Hard Copy and Copy N Pace, others of her progeny have been the Group 3 winner My Carbon Copy 1:54.6 ($116,468), Our Front Page (1:58.1) and Press Release (1:59.5). Readallaboutit was not of much account herself but she was a half-sister to Money In The Pocket (1:58.8, 10 wins) and to the dam of Secret Rendezvous 1:51 ($109,772) and the Presidential Ball mare Presidential Belle (1:57.6), who, in turn, is the dam of the dual Inter Dominion heat winner Run Oneover 1:50.8 ($584,119). This has been one of the most successful branches of the Lettie family, Natalia’s Joy being a half-sister to the dam of the former Australian 3YO of the Year and Chariots of Fire winner Manifold Bay 1:58.1 ($538,604).   Techy’s Angel is tops The most improved three-year-old in recent weeks is Techy’s Angel, from Emma Stewart’s Ballarat stable, and she will be among the leading fancies for tomorrow night’s $200,000 Breeders Crown Final. She won a semi-final last weekend in a new lifetime mark of 1:55.5 for 2240 metres after being required to overcome a difficult barrier. Techy’s Angel                            --Stuart McCormick photo The winner of six races, Techy’s Angel is a grand type of filly by the defunct Alta Christiano (a Derby winner and son of Christian Cullen) from a capable racemare in Venus Williams (1:55.3), a half-sister by Washington VC to Giddyupandgobaby 1:56 (WA Golden Girls Mile) and the metropolitan winners Lavros Cam (1:56.7) and Motoring With Marty. Mighty Dear (2:00.6), the second dam of Techy’s Angel, was a sister to the Traralgon Cup winner Doncaster and a half-sister to Major Rae (1:58), Cut The Cake (1:58.4) and to the Noodlum mare Dear Donna, dam of OK Ado 1:54.1 (Invercargill and Timaru Cups). Techy’s Angel was bred and is raced by Goulburn Valley breeder Mario Cirillo.   Zeuss Bromac’s maternal line The three-year-old Zeuss Bromac, who won a semi-final of the Breeders Crown, was bred and originally raced in NZ but has a breeding background with deep roots in Victoria. By Bettor’s Delight, he is out of the Mach Three mare Zeta Bromac (1:55.5), who won five races, including a Breeders Crown heat in the North Island. Zeta Bromac, who was bred in Canterbury, was out of Zante Beach, by Fake Left from the Tatlow winner Gemfire, by Torado Hanover from Gold Mistress, by Golden Money Maker from Madame Han, who established a great winning line for Helen and the late Graham Head. She left the Nyah Cup winner Chipmunk and five Moonee Valley winners including Easymark, Good Mistress and Cocky Benz. Zeuss Bromac            --Stuart McCormick photo                      Zante Beach, who won 16 races and $115,160 in stakes and took a record of 1:59, became the dam of the exported My Zach Bromac (1:52), the NSW Country Series winner Zorro Bromac (1:56.6) and recent Gloucester Park three-year-old winner Savvy Bromac (1:57.9), a sister to Zeta Bromac. Zante Beach was a half-sister to the Derby winner Garnet River 1:50 ($555,822), the NSW Tatlow winner The Godine Machine (1:58.5), Mota Mate (SA Sires Produce) and Western Blaze (1:53.7 (a winner of 25 races and $171,220).   Let’s Katchmeifucan in 1:51.8 Let’s Katchmeifucan gave a taste of his class when he easily won the Group 3 $30,600 Pace, the main event at the weekend meeting at Menangle running out the 1609 metres in a sparkling 1:51.8. He was not in danger of defeat over the last 800 metres. By Panspacificflight, a son of The Panderosa, Let’s Katchmeifucan is out of the McArdle mare McKenzie Jaccka (1:59), whose dam, Marianna Jaccka (1:59.9), was by Holmes Hanover from the Admiral Halsey mare Miss Priscilla, a half-sister to the NZ Oaks winner Josephine Bret. McKenzie Jaccka left a capable pacer in Fairy Tinkabell (1:51.6), a winner at Menangle earlier this year. Panspacificflight, the sire of Let’s Katchmeifucan, has produced the Group 1 winner Arden’s Choice, Little Rascal (1:50.2), Last Flight In (1:52), Wattlebank Flyer and Wick (1:51) from his NZ crops, and in America, has left nine in the 1:50 list.   Granny Smith winner The Brighton mare Still Hungover, who firmly clinched her claim to being the best four-year-old mare in Tasmania when she won the $50,000 Granny Smith at Devonport, is a member of one of Tasmania’s top ranking standardbred families. Still Hungover, who has now won 10 races and $110,654, is a mare by the Dragon Again horse Sutter Hanover, who stood his early seasons at the stud in Victoria and has been located at Elderslie near Hobart while at the stud in Tasmania. Sutter Hanover has enjoyed moderate success from restricted stud chances. His stock include the top WA filly Blacknsweet Adda and the smart Tasmanian pacer Fortino. Still Hungover is out of Crystal Still, by the Canadian bred sire Time Stands Still, from Crystal Gold, a Tasmanian bred mare by the A. G. Hunter Cup winner Golden Alley from Golden Mood, by Light Mood from Brown Cobber, by Cobber O’Mine and tracing to the taproot Blue Eyes. Crystal Gold was the dam of a top ranking pacer in Simply Electric 1:58.4 ($248,664), winner of 38 races including the Hobart Pacing Cup and the Tasmanian Gold Mile twice, and Seddon Mitch (1:58), who won the Globe Derby Stakes. Clear Gold, a sister to Crystal Gold, won 18 races including the Tasmanian Sires Produce and St Mary’s Cup. The champion Tasmanian mare Jane Ellen, a triple Oaks winner, is a member of this family.   From family of Donna Who Sweet Louise, who won a semi-final of the Breeders Crown at Melton, is a Sweet Lou filly from the same family as that which produced a top Queensland racemare in Donna Who. Sweet Louise                          --Stuart McCormick photo   Sweet Louise, who won a heat of the Crown at Bendigo, has only been sparingly raced, but she has shown up as a very useful pacer, and it was a strong field she beat at Melton. She has a good deal in her favour on the score of blood. Apart from being by Sweet Lou, and one of his second crop, Sweet Louise is out of the Modern Art mare Artistic Dancer, who has proved a very successful broodmare. Others of her progeny have been Plain Baby (1:57), Black Derby (1:56) and Dance Of Fire (1:57.4). Artistic Dancer, who was unraced, from the NZ bred mare Whola Dancer (2:00.9), a good winner at Globe Derby Park, by Holmes Hanover from Donna Who (1:57.1), a winner of 19 races and $244,668 in stakes including the APG Final. At the stud Donna Who became the dam of five winners including Wholigan (1:57.2) and is the grand-dam of the Southland Oaks winner Smokin Bird (1:55.1), High Courage 1:53.2 ($143,950), the Menangle winner Whos Escaped 1:52.7 ($127,377) and the Bettor’s Delight mare Slick Bird (1:55.7), the dam of the high class WA pacers Slick Artist 1:52.2 ($204,557) and While They Pray 1:54.7 ($120,088). Sweet Louise was bred and is raced by Melbourne enthusiast John Dorrington.   Victorian trotter has strong bloodlines Peregrine Phoenix, who won her fourth race from her last five starts at the Geelong midweek meeting, is a four-year-old trotter of some potential. A member of Chris Svanosio’s Romsey team, she has a good deal more in her favour on the score of blood than most. By Muscle Hill, who sired top trotters in Dance Craze and Elite Stride, Peregrine Phoenix is out of the Malabar Maple mare Maple Eve Phoenix whose dam,  Dodo Rocket, was a Wagon Apollo mare who left trotters of the calibre of Princess Phoenix (1:55.5), the winner of 12 races including the Vicbred 2YO Final, and Hadrian’s Phoenix (2:00), who won five. Dodo Rocket was out of a good producer in Jolabyrd, who ranked as a sister to the cups winning trotter Joseph Boppard and a half-sister to the Moonee Valley winners Supreme Gent and Kinnoul. Peregrine Phoenix is a half-sister to the former brilliant juvenile trotter Eljaykay Phoenix 1:58.6 ($256,877), who won five Group races.    Three winners from the same family The three-year-olds Dance Class and Star Rocker and the six-year-old Somewhere Secret, who all won at the recent Kilmore meeting, are all members of the same family. Dance Class, a filly by A Rocknroll Dance, ranks as a half-sister to the Vicbred champion Out To Play 1:53.3 ($215,627), Paintball 1:54.4 ($100,508) and Stay And Play (1:55.5), being out the Presidential Ball mare, Play Ball, whose dam, Secret Life, is the dam of Somewhere Secret (by Somebeachsomewhere). Star Rocker, a son of A Rocknroll Dance, is from the Silver Chalice winner Starburst Girl 1:53.6 ($143,670), an Art Major mare from Celebrity Ball, by Presidential Ball from the noted producer Larrakeyah Lady, the third dam of Somewhere Secret and the fourth dam of Dance Class. Other members of the immediately family have been the Victoria Oaks and Breeders Crown winner Beauty Secret, Major Secret (NSW Derby), the dual Southern Cross winner That’s Perfect, Perfect Major (WA The Preux Chevalier) and the smart two-year-old Rogue Wave.   by Peter Wharton

After Melanie Maxwell put her harness racing ambitions on hold for more than a decade, a rogue horse that she just wouldn't give up on has finally fulfilled her dreams. The optimistically-named One Mans Trash (Falcons Icon-Psycho Molley (Dare You To) finally broke through to win a modest maiden at Cranbourne on Saturday - but his path to the winner's circle is one of the unlikeliest of harness racing success stories. That One Man's Trash was an eight-year-old having his third lifetime start (and his first in two years) gives some inkling of the back story. But the impressive barnstorming victory repaid in a moment Melanie's countless hours of patience and care. "I've watched the replay of the race probably 100 trillion times! He went awesome! I always knew he was a good horse and my friends Chris Hunter (trainer) and Des Hughes kept telling me he was capable of running some smart times," Melanie said. "There were plenty of times I threatened to send him back. I may not have been 100 percent serious, but that's how I felt at the time - but oh what a fantastic feeling to finally get that win," she laughed. One Mans Trash strides to his maiden victory at age 8 The happy-go-lucky horsewoman's harness racing ambitions began in the 1990s when she completed the harness course at Victoria's Gippsland Training Centre at Warragul. "After I did the training, I worked with the late Arthur Fullwood for 12 months and then with Chris Hunter for a few years," Melanie, of Neerim, in West Gippsland, said. "I never really stopped being interested in harness racing, but I got occupied with raising a family of three lovely daughters, as happens," she said. "Then 10 years down the track I just happened to spot a two-and-a-half-year-old standardbred 'cast off' in an Echuca sales catalogue, and it was funny, because I just kept coming back to check out this one particular horse." Curiosity got the better of her, and Melanie made some calls to track down the youngster's background. "I'm pretty sure he was headed for the knackery - everyone I spoke to warned me about him, that he was crazy, but I just couldn't let him go, for some reason." Melanie couldn't afford the horse's $350 price tag, but a conversation with Rehoming Horses Victoria was the key. "It was unreal. Rehoming Horses Victoria raised the money in 24 hours from people wanting to save these horses. I was just blown away by all the lovely people gathering up the money," she said. When the horse arrived at Melanie's property, he was more than a little worse for wear, and clearly a "project horse" - not an ideal prospect for a relatively inexperienced trainer. "He was scared of everything, even his own shadow and he was always ready for a fight! He was my first horse, so it was like the blind leading the blind!" she laughed. "It took two months to get a rug on him and over 12 months to re-break him. At home I would jog him along an 800m stretch of a dirt road and just keep doing loops. "I felt I was always taking two steps forward with him, and then 10 back, but after 18 months I finally got him onto a float so we could go into Warragul and do trackwork-and we both survived! Then we started going there two or three times a week." Melanie junior with the family favorite One Man's trash began showing solid progress and Melanie believed, some promise and in October of 2018, he was ready for the next step. "I was going to trial him and when they got called off, I just put him straight into the races at Cranbourne," she said. "It was the first time he'd seen a mobile barrier and our driver Rodney Petroff did a terrific job. The horse went super by running second. We went back three weeks later and ran 5th, but the next day he couldn't walk." Melanie found the pacer's hoof had been attacked by an aggressive condition similar to seedy toe. "Half of his hoof rotted out and we had to make sure it stayed dry and was kept cleaned out, so he had two years in the paddock as we cut out the infection." In the extended recovery period, Melanie began studying to be a paramedic, and being time-poor, let her trainer's licence lapse, accepting her dream may have ended. "I thought: 'Well that's that.' I'd run out of time, but deep down I believed he could do it after he'd overcome all of his setbacks, so I asked Chris Hunter if he would have a try with 'Monkey'," she said. "I just wanted to see the horse out on the track and the only way that was going to happen was to hand him on to someone else. Chris has always been happy to help and is always there for you and thankfully he agreed. "He's done a brilliant job, and our driver, Rodney (Petroff) also deserves a lot of credit." Hunter, a highly respected horseman at Trafalgar, was full of praise for One Mans Trash, one of three horses he has in work. "He has a will to win and it was a good job to come back and get the victory after two years in a paddock. We'll have a bit of fun with him because he's definitely got some high speed," Hunter said. "Mel has been marvellous with the horse. He was an absolute idiot when she first got him, but she kept hanging in there. She was rapt with the win - she was on the phone about five seconds after the race!" Watch the emotional win of One Man's Trash here. One Mans Trash will face the starter again on Sunday at Warragul and his four biggest fans in Melanie and her three girls Shae, 17, Chelsea, 15, and Melanie Jnr, 11, are sure to be cheering their hearts out. "The amazing thing is that he is such a lovely horse now - all he girls have ridden him at some stage, they brush him and he loves all the fuss," Melanie said. "I'd love to have 100 horses. Even when we started a family, I always thought I'd be back and was trying to keep a toe in. I just love it."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura