Day At The Track

Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr is seriously contemplating a chance of tactics behind consistent pacer Carter Micheal when he drives the six-year-old from barrier five in the 2130m Christmas Sundowner Packages Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and his advice to punters is to overlook the horse’s fourth placing last week. “He might have looked a bit disappointing,” Hall said. “But they went ridiculous time (with final quarters of 28.4sec., 29.1sec., 28.1sec. and 27.4sec.) after we had burnt out hard from the outside (barrier eight) to get a good spot.” With Major Pocket scorching along in front Carter Micheal enjoyed an ideal trail in the one-out, one-back position, but just battled on in the home straight to finish three lengths from the winner who rated a brilliant 1.52.6 over the 1730m journey.  “It was a catch 22 situation,” Hall explained. “We got a good spot but paid the price for the early burn. He’s probably better when you don’t use him out of the gate like that. We’ll probably try to slot him in on Friday night and see where we end up.” Carter Micheal, trained by Nathan Turvey, is a consistent performer who has had 63 starts for 16 wins, 14 seconds and eight thirds. His past 11 starts have produced two wins, three seconds, three thirds and three fourths. The John Ellis-trained Black Jack Zac has a losing sequence of seven but looks very hard to beat from the prized No. 1 barrier, with Kyle Harper in the sulky. He possesses good gate speed, but is certainly not a noted frontrunner, with all his eight wins from 59 starts coming in races in which he has produced a spirited finishing burst. Marquisard, a five-year-old prepared by Craig Abercromby, is capable of a bold showing at his second outing after a spell and following his first-up 12th behind Mighty Flying Deal at odds of 125/1. He is a speedy beginner and Chris Lewis could well try to steal a march on his rivals by bursting to the front in the early stages. Hall had no hesitation in declaring the best of his winning chances on the ten-event program was the inexperienced Raging Bull four-year-old Wildwest in the Melbourne Cup Luncheon Pace in which the New Zealand-bred gelding will start from the inside of the back line. Wildwest, trained by Gary Hall Snr and a leading candidate for the rich classic for four-year-olds in the coming months, has not been extended in win at his only five starts one in New Zealand and four in WA. “His work has been really good, and this is not a particularly strong field,” said Hall Jnr. “If it was a stronger field I might have elected to stay on the pegs. But here I’ll be looking to come off the inside as soon as I can.” Hall is also bullish about the prospects of Overboard Again in the eighth event in which the seven-year-old is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line. Overboard Again impressed with his first-up second to Mighty Flying Deal last Friday night when he raced three wide in thee first lap and then without cover. “It’s a winnable race for him because of where he has drawn,” he said. “I’ve got options and he should improve a lot on last week’s performance.”   Ken Casellas

Up-and-coming star Patrickthepiranha is fit and ready for a strong showing at his first appearance for 119 days when he contests the Book Your Christmas Party Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ace trainer Colin Brown is looking forward keenly to driving the WA-bred gelding, who is favourably drawn at barrier three on the front line in the 2130m event. And he predicts he will prove very hard to beat in his clash with outstanding five-year-old Mighty Conqueror. “The plan will be to go forward,” Brown said. “He’s got really good gate speed and is fresh. He’ll be very keen on the gate, I would suggest. So, we’ll go forward and play it by ear. He will be hard to beat. His heart rate after his track workouts has been lower than Its Rock And Roll’s heart rate.” Brown produced Its Rock And Roll in splendid condition for the four-year-old’s return to racing after a spell when the gelding gave a stylish frontrunning display to score an easy win at a 1.58.8 rate over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday afternoon. It was an enjoyable 61st birthday present for the outstanding horseman. Patrickthepirhana and Its Rock And Roll are firmly on target for the $50,000 Four-Year-Old Championship on November 15, the $125,000 Four-Year-Old Classic on November 29 and the $200,000 Golden Nugget on December 13. “Patrickthepirhana had a bit longer off than Its Rock And Roll, about two weeks,” Brown said. “But he’s done at least as much (this preparation) as Its Rock And Roll. They have been working with Eden Franco and Patrick has done plenty of miles. The big four-year-old races are only a month away, so both horses need to have a reasonable level of fitness.” Patrickthepirhana has won at ten of his 18 starts for stakes of $172,573. His victories include three three-year-old feature events earlier this year --- the Caduceus Club Classic, the Sales Classic and the Westbred Classic. He has been driven in all 18 races by Dylan Egerton-Green, who will drive his own nomination, six-year-old Tyler Brett, from barrier six in Friday night’s event. Brown said he was looking forward to driving Patrickthepirhana for the first time in a race --- “mainly to see for myself where he’s at,” he explained. “Dylan gives me good feedback, but there’s nothing like sitting behind yourself to make sure everything is ticketty-boo. “There’s not a lot between Patrickthepirhana and Its Rock And Roll, but Patrick is more versatile. He had a lot more runs on the board as a three-year-old (nine wins from 15 starts) compared with Its Rock And Roll (12 starts for no wins and eight placings as a three-year-old).” As two-year-olds Patrickthepirhana raced three times for one win and one placing, while Its Roc k And Roll had 11 starts for four wins and five placings. The clash between Patrickthepirhana and Mighty Conqueror should provide plenty of fireworks. Mighty Conqueror, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has outstanding potential and has won at 13 of his 19 starts. Regular reinsman Ryan Warwick is serving a 14-day suspension and Chris Lewis will drive Mighty Conqueror from out wide at barrier seven.   Mighty Conqueror gave an excellent performance in a 2503m standing-start event last Friday night when, in a desperate attempt to gain an early ascendancy over his chief rival Space Junk, he broke into a gallop 150m after the start. He lost several lengths and was a long way behind the leaders in tenth position after a lap before surging forward to work hard in the breeze. He battled on with grim determination. That was Mighty Conqueror’s second appearance after a spell and followed an impressive win from 40m in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra 11 days earlier. Brown is hoping for better luck with Patrickthepirhana and Its Rock And Roll in the coming months after losing richly-talented six-year-old Maxentius about five weeks ago when he died during a trial at Byford. The New South Wales-bred Maxentius, who had raced 19 times for Brown for six wins and six placings for a career record of 45 starts for 13 wins, 12 placings and $113,771 in stakes, was being set for the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups in the summer. “We had spelled him for six months and had been in work for four months,” Brown said. “He was going sensationally, and we were getting him ready for the Cups.”   Ken Casellas

It's hard to imagine a more potent marketing tool for the sport of harness racing than the experience of racing fans being able to actually drive in a race. The adrenaline rush from thundering hooves, the power of the horse, drivers urging their charges on, the crowd cheering and the commentators call ringing is an authentic horse racing experience only harness racing can offer. And it's the exhilaration of co-driving a horse under race conditions that's taken Mildura by storm, reviving interest in the sport and reaching new generations and demographics. The dual seated sulky events are now one of the most talked-about features of the north-west Victorian club's night racing program, and it receives enquiries from potential participants from all over Australia and even as far away as New Zealand. Watch a dual sulky race here The concept was introduced at Melton in 2014 -- a brainchild of then-CEO Shane Gloury - and involves a registered driver being teamed with a participant in a purpose-designed double seat sulky, racing in a field of four. In almost every sense it's a genuine race, betting aside (although we're not saying there aren't a few side bets made along the way!) Mildura picked up the concept and made double-seated sulky races their own two years ago. "The whole experience is conducted under real race conditions," Mildura CEO Michelle McGinty-Wilson said. "There's very strict safety standards. They wear helmets, approved safety vests and are provided with a set of racing colors," McGinty-Wilson said. "They're given a pre-race briefing, then they're accompanied to the stable area and introduced to their driver to see their horse geared up and get ready to race. "They have a short pre-race period in the parade ring and then it's out onto the track. Our events are started under mobile barrier conditions and are run over about 1800 metres." While the registered drivers have control of the horses, their passengers also hold reins which are attached through the rings of the head halters. The double-seater sulky experience is part of the club's highly successful Club 40 sponsorship package. In addition members of the public can purchase a $195 Golden Ticket which entitles them to go in the double seat sulky race, naming rights of their horse, a DVD of the event, and their partner gets to ride in the mobile barrier car as well as dinner in the club's upstairs dining room. "A lot of the people we've had received the 'race' drive as a birthday or anniversary present - it's a bit of a 'bucket list' thing for a lot of people. "People are absolutely blown away by the adrenaline of it. You can sometimes see that people are having second thoughts once it's actually time to get in the sulky. And we do notice that more often than not, the girls get right into it but sometimes the guys are a bit hesitant. "But without exception, once they're out and into it, the ones who were a bit scared come back and say they want to do it again. "Almost everyone comments on the speed, saying it was faster than they thought it would be. "We've had people up to their 80s do it, and they're thrilled by the whole experience." A couple from Sale in Victoria's Gippsland region, drove to the Melbourne Airport, flew to Mildura to take part in the double-seat sulky event, and returned home the following day. "They described it as an awesome night and an absolutely amazing experience," McGinty-Wilson said. The push for the double-seated sulky races in Mildura came after the previous secretary-manager Tim Scala and several committee members saw the events at Melton. After some initial scepticism, the club arranged for a number of the carts to be manufactured by an engineer near Melbourne. "We really had no doubt that it would take off - there's just nothing more exciting than holding the reins for the first time. It becomes an addiction as many can vouch," former committeeman and trainer-driver Geoff Lucas said. "It's travelled everywhere. A while ago we put one of the races up on YouTube and there was 10,000 hits. A Swedish television station also picked it up and featured it on a news bulletin," he said. Well-known Mildura plumber and long-time harness racing supporter Lou Young is soon off on a holiday for two to Vanavatu, courtesy of his success in the final of the 2018 season finale. He last week made it three wins from three "drives" succeeding first in the heat and semi-finals of the challenge, then in the final alongside registered driver Reece Moore. Stewards overlooked Young's exuberant driving nearing the finish line with jubilant fist-punching - much to the delight of his family and friends in the crowd! Many leading drivers have been involved in the special event, including Melbourne's John Caldow, who was only too pleased to help out. Northern region sister club, Swan Hill, occasionally borrows the dual seated sulkies for special events, while a number of other clubs in Victoria and interstate have joined the concept.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR

17 October, 2019 - IRT New Zealand 'IRT NZ' acknowledges that the Commerce Commission has filed Commerce Act proceedings. The alleged conduct relates to previous (pre-October 2018) joint venture arrangements between New Zealand Bloodstock (NZB) and the IRT NZ Partnership for the transportation of horses by air freight on domestic and trans-Tasman routes only. The purpose of the joint venture was to enable a regular (scheduled) and reliable trans-Tasman service which IRT NZ believes could not have been provided, to the level of demand required, by any individual party due to the irregularity of horse shipments and the high cost of providing air transportation. IRT NZ believes that the joint venture was the best way to achieve that purpose for customers at the time, particularly given the level of commitment required by an airline to allocate a suitable aircraft for the service. IRT NZ never wilfully intended to breach the law but acknowledges the outcome of the Commission's investigation and continues to co-operate in full. As the case is before the courts, IRT NZ will not be commenting further at this time.  

The Commerce Commission has filed proceedings against horse transporters the International Racecourse Transport New Zealand Partnership (IRT), claiming price-fixing. The commission alleges that an agreement between IRT NZ and a competitor to set retail prices amounted to cartel conduct in breach of the Commerce Act. The allegations involve fixing prices, controlling and maintaining retail prices that are quoted and charged, and the size of discounts given for airfreight services. Read the full story here at Stuff   by Bonnie Flaws Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

By Jonny Turner Canterbury mare Sweet Mary gets the chance to start her season in style when she free- falls down the grades at Forbury Park on Thursday night. Just two starts ago, the Brad Mowbray-trained pacer was mixing it in group 1 company at the Harness Jewels, where she ran a creditable fifth behind Elle Mac. Sweet Mary will not have to face nearly as daunting a task when she resumes in rating 53-70 company over 2200m. ''From a class perspective, from some of the races she was in last season, it is a drop in class for her,'' Mowbray said. While Sweet Mary will not give away a class edge to her rivals, she does lack a race fitness advantage, as all but two of her rivals have had the benefit of recent racing. In contrast, Sweet Mary has just had one public appearance to ready her for her resumption. But it was a good one. She won a recent 2400m mobile trial at Ashburton in 3:01.9, reeling off a slick 55.5sec last 800m. Mowbray feels that effort signalled his mare is ready to make an impact at the races. ''It was a smart overall time as well, as much as she ran smart sectionals. ''She is a naturally fit horse, she is not one to take too long to come back to her best - she doesn't carry much extra weight. ''So, we have obviously thought she is ready to hit the race track.'' Sixteen-win veteran Aveross Rustler looks one of Sweet Mary's main rivals. The 11yr-old comes into tonight's race following a fair effort at Oamaru, after taking on a strong intermediate field at Addington. The Wayne Low-trained pacer won in his prior start at Forbury Park from the same outside of the front row draw he starts from on Thursday night. Rollova also looks a strong chance in race 5. The David and Catherine Butt-trained pacer went to the line untested at Methven on Sunday after being denied racing room in the straight. The 4yr-old was an easy winner of his prior start at Motukarara. The Mowbray stable have two more runners entered at Forbury Park tonight in Wandering Star and Refine. Wandering Star also resumes after impressing at the Ashburton trials recently. The 8yr-old was just a length behind Zsa Zoe, who trotted her last 400m in 27.3sec to win a 2400m hit out. That signals the horse is ready to turn around his form in his first start for the Mowbray stable. ''I don't think he would be 100% fool-proof, but if he put his best foot forward I am pretty sure he wouldn't be out of it. He is a very good beginner, too.'' Wandering Star's standing-start prowess should help him overcome his 30m handicap when he takes on a largely out of form line-up of trotters over 2700m in race 1. Refine looks a solid place chance against rating 45-52 pacers in race 6. The 4yr-old goes in to the 2200m mobile event after running third behind Highland Reign at Motukarara. ''She boomed home at Motukarara, she had a couple of days off after that and we have just worked her back up and she looks a million dollars.'' Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

HALF of Bathurst is headed to the Auckland Inter Dominion. Well that’s a slight exaggeration, but the country NSW town best known for its annual car race will certainly be punching above its weight at Alexandra Park with a probable five representatives in the series starting on November 29. Steve Turnbull, already an Inter Dominion winner with Smooth Satin, has three of his stable stars booked on a flight to NZ next month. “Conviction, Atomic Red and Courtsinsession are all on that flight at this stage,” Turnbull said. “Maybe they are a step below the very best ones, but I’m really happy with them all and they deserve a crack at it.” Turnbull’s daughter, Amanda, is adding to the family raid with her classy pacer Ellmers Image making the trip across as well. But it could be a non-Turnbull who represents Bathurst’s best hope in the series through Chris and Anthony Frisby’s Our Uncle Sam, runner-up to Tiger Tara in last year’s Melbourne Inter Dominion final. Our Uncle Sam returned from a spell at Bathurst last night (Wednesday) and won’t race again before crossing the Tasman to chase the NZ Cup ahead of the Inter Dominion. But Ellmers Image, Conviction, Atomic Red and Courtsinsession will only target Auckland. “Conviction won well in quick time first-up at Eugowra and runs at Menangle Saturday night, while Atomic Red and Courtsinsession have come up really well,” Steve Turnbull said from Bathurst trots last night. “Atomic Red would be the best of ours, but he has this condition where he’s been continually growing bone chips and needing them removed. About five months ago we were told he’d stabilised, so we’ve brought him back and he seems great through the trials.” Amanda Turnbull said Ellmers Image would trial Monday. “He won the consolation in last year’s Melbourne series and I think it was the making of him, he won some nice races really well afterwards,” she said. “After this trial, I’ll find a race for him then get him ready for the trip across,” she said. by Adam Hamilton

Brandon Bates has a horse in the Breeders Crown for the first time, and it's Priceless. Priceless, who last week won an Indiana Sire Stakes championship for her sixth victory of the season, was among the 21 horses entered in Friday's (Oct. 18) Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old filly pacers at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The 44-year-old Bates trains and drives Priceless for owners Kevin Miller and Bert Hochsprung, who also are starting a horse in the Breeders Crown for the first time. It will be Priceless' second Grand Circuit start of the year (she won the Kentuckiana Stallion Management on Sept. 20 at Harrah's Hoosier Park) and she is the 7-2 third choice on the morning line in the first of three eliminations. Baby Your The Best, the runner-up in both the Kentucky and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships, is the 5-2 favorite followed by two-time Grand Circuit winner Reflect With Me at 3-1. The field also includes International Stallion Stakes division winner Peaky Sneaky (4-1) and Kentucky Sire Stakes champ Gai Waterhouse (9-2). Ontario Sire Stakes champion Alicorn is the 4-5 favorite in the second elimination and She's A Great Lady winner Lyons Sentinel, who brings a six-race victory streak to the event, is the 3-5 chalk in the third. The top three finishers from each elimination plus the fourth-place finisher with the highest earnings as calculated by Standardbred Canada will advance to the $600,000 final on Oct. 25 at Mohawk. Priceless, a daughter of Rockin Image out of Btwnyurheartnmine, has earned $328,662 in nine starts, with an average margin of victory of five lengths in her six wins. She has finished second once and gone off stride twice, the first of which Bates attributed to a bad night and the second to interference. She heads to her Breeders Crown elimination off her 1:52.2 score in the Indiana championship, where she paced her final quarter-mile in :26.1 and won by 6-1/2 lengths. "I don't know that she's been any better all year," Bates said Tuesday. "She's really matured and attitude wise she seems as happy as she could be. I couldn't be more pleased." Bates and Priceless did not get off on the best foot. "The first three days I didn't like her at all," Bates said with a laugh. "She laid down three days in a row. The first day I was brushing her and she laid down in the crossties. The second day I was putting hobbles on her and she laid down in the crossties. The third day, just before we were coming off the track, she kind of folded up and laid down in the jog cart. "But when she got her mind on her business and her work, she just blossomed and excelled. She showed a lot of talent." One thing Bates has never had to worry about is Priceless missing any meals. The filly's nickname is "Pudgie." "She likes to eat, and she looks like she's a little fat," Bates said. "Her race-night groom, Dani Copeland, gave her the nickname the first time we raced her down here. She's a great eater." Bates would like to see Priceless eat up the racetrack Friday and advance to the Breeders Crown final. "She's got a lot of personality," Bates said. "She gets turned out every day for as long as she wants to be out. She really likes that. She's the first one out of the barn in the morning and then she gets back out and she likes to watch the other horses jog. She'll pace some of them down the fence line and just really enjoys herself." An Ohio native who 20 years ago moved to Indiana, Bates has won 926 races as a driver and 194 as a trainer. He is on the board of the Indiana Standardbred Association and has worked full time in racing since the mid-2000s. Prior to then, he split his time between the horses and a job in a soybean processing facility. Over the years, Bates thought he had two previous hopes of making it to the Breeders Crown, with trotters Haulin Laser (who got sick) and Swandre The Giant (who was sold). "Hopefully the third time is the charm," Bates said. Racing begins at 7:50 p.m. (EDT) Friday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Eliminations for all 2-year-old Breeders Crown divisions are on the card. Eliminations for 3-year-olds and up are Saturday, with a 7:10 p.m. post time. For Friday's complete entries, click here. For Saturday's complete entries, click here. By Ken Weingartner, for the Breeders Crown  

This Week: Harness racing Breeders Crown eliminations, Woodbine Mohawk Park, Milton, Ont.; The Pegasus, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Kindergarten Series, The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit heads to Woodbine Mohawk Park this Friday (Oct. 18) and Saturday (Oct. 19) for Breeders Crown eliminations in nine divisions. Eliminations will not be required for the open pace, open trot and mare pace. The Friday card features a trio of $25,000 eliminations in the 2-year-old filly pace, two eliminations in the 2-year-old filly trot and single eliminations in the 2-year-old colt pace and 2-year-old colt trot. The Saturday card has a total of eight eliminations, with each carrying a purse of $25,000. The 3-year-old colt pace, 3-year-old filly trot and mare trot will each split two ways, while the 3-year-old colt trot and 3-year-old filly pace have lone eliminations. On Friday night at Hoosier Park, there will be eight divisions of The Pegasus for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. The $80,000 colt pace, $76,700 colt trot, $69,000 filly trot and $67,000 filly pace will each have two divisions. The Meadowlands on Friday night will host another leg of The Kindergarten Series for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. There will be two divisions in the filly trot and single divisions in the colt pace, colt trot and filly pace. Each race has a purse of $10,000. Complete entries for the Breeders Crown races are available at this link. Entries for the Hoosier and Meadowlands races are available at this link. Last time: If the boisterous Italian contingent who found their way to Westchester, N.Y., Saturday afternoon (Oct. 12) could have lifted Zacon Gio onto their shoulders, they would have. The 4-year-old survived nine world-class rivals and an inquiry, winning Yonkers Raceway's $1 million International Trot. Zacon Gio won the $1 million International Trot at Yonkers. Mike Lizzi photo. The 41st International - fifth after a two-decade hiatus - was truly "Viva Italia," as the favored Zacon Gio (Roberto Vecchione, $4.30) won by 3-1/4 emphatic lengths, the mile-and-a-quarter going in 2:24.1. At the outset, after a break by France's mare Bahia Quesnot (Junior Guelpa), it was another 4-year-old, American lass Atlanta (Yannick Gingras), making the lead. Directly outside of her, the third ma'am, Swiss miss Uza Josselyn (Erik Adielsson), also left, poking about a neck in front of Atlanta. If Adielsson had to do it over again, he probably would have kept his charge marching forward. Instead, Uza Josselyn found herself parked through fractions (:28.1, :59) usually reserved for qualifiers. Denmark's Slide So Easy (Ake Svanstedt) left from the pole, protecting the pocket, while Zacon Gio - from post position five - was content to work from second-over. Behind him was the other American entrant, Guardian Angel AS (Tim Tetrick). Meanwhile, Atlanta waltzed through a 1:28 three-quarters, a lap standing between herself, pomp and circumstance. Zacon Gio then went wide around Uza Josselyn and met no resistance from Atlanta, blitzing by after the 1:55.4 milepost and widening from there. Slide So Easy slid out for second, with Canada's Marion Marauder (Scott Zeron) a ground-saving third. Guardian Angel AS wound up fourth, while last season's upsetter, Cruzado Dela Noche (Brian Sears), was fifth. Uza Josselyn and Atlanta tired to sixth and seventh, respectively, ahead of misbehavers Lionel (Goran Antonsen), Norton Commander (Conni Lagauer) and Bahia Quesnot. After a lengthy inquiry of what turned out to be the winning move, the result stood. For Zacon Gio, a son of Ruty Grif owned by Franco Giuseppe and trained by Holger Ehlert, the perfect season (nine-for-nine) continues with a 12th consecutive win overall dating to last season. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2019 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,252.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,053; 3. Dexter Dunn - 835; 4. David Miller - 831; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 664. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,073; 2. Tony Alagna - 690; 3 Ake Svanstedt - 562; 4. Marcus Melander - 534; 5. Nancy Johansson - 488. Owners: 1. Courant Inc. - 240; 2. Brad Grant - 227.3; 3. Fashion Farms - 214.5; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 211.3; 5. Robert Key - 191. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next week at Woodbine Mohawk Park with Breeders Crown finals in all 12 categories (2- and 3-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters and older horse and mare pacers and trotters). Hoosier Park will host Circle City divisions for 3-year-olds and Madison County divisions for 2-year-olds. In addition, The Meadowlands will host another leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters of both sexes. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit    

With harness racing entries due next week and three Standardbred auctions under their belt, gavelhouse.com’s September sale saw new ground broken with the top price fetched being $25,000 for the well-presented Miss Fiona. The Captaintreacherous filly was sold in work with her listing page boasting decent side-on and front-on shots with the added bonus of quality video footage of her having a run along at the Winton track. To date other notable sales on the site include $16,000 for the well-bred two-year-old daughter of Majestic Son, Maggie May in the first sale in July, $12,000 for the empty racing or breeding proposition Ballroom Beauty and $8,000 for the empty, maiden mare Carpen Dior. A standard entry fee is just $125 + GST with 5% commission applying if a successful sale eventuates. Entries for the October gavelhouse.com Standardbred auction are due online by 7pm Wednesday 23 October with the catalogue launched at 5pm Thursday 24 October and bidding closing from 7pm Wednesday 30 October. Contact gavelhouse.com Standardbred representative Cam Bray should you wish to discuss using the site via +64 21 737 199 or email cam@gavelhouse.com  

Victorian junior concessional driver Sam Barker is a young man with an energy and passion for the sport of harness racing that’s sure to take him places. And lately the 21-year-old has been quietly going about ticking off items on his “things to do” list. Barker drove his first Melton winner last month, something that he’s longed to achieve, and then prepared his first winner as a licensed trainer. “It was exciting times there for a while. But I got a bit of luck and it all fell into place,” he said. “I just hope it continues because I’d love to get more driving opportunities, especially while I still have my five-point claim.” Barker has been working for over three years at the Long Forest stables of Andy and Kate Gath, situated between Melton and Bacchus Marsh, west of Melbourne. “They are just fantastic and have been a huge influence on my career. Not only do they teach you a lot, but it’s always in a professional manner,” Barker said. “Both Andy and Kate are very good role models. I am enjoying my time with them that’s for sure.” It was with some irony that Barker beat his “boss” Kate when he posted his first Melton victory aboard five-year-old horse Success Counts (Imperial Count-Successor (Sundon) at odds of 12/1. “I was a bit nervous when Kate was getting an inside run on the stablemate Galleons Glory because my fellow trotted a little bit rough up the home straight the previous week and ended up in a gallop,” Barker said. “I just wanted him to keep trotting over the final stages and thought he could run a nice race – and he did. “It was so good that Andy and Kate, along with the owners, gave me the opportunity.” Barker, who now has a small team in training himself, said he had always wanted to follow in the footsteps of his dad, Kelvin. Kelvin Barker, based at Ballarat, has been a well-regarded trainer-driver over the years.  However he’s now concentrating on the training side to good effect, posting a career-best season last season, with a dozen winners. “Dad has about 10 in work at the moment and is still enjoying it,” Barker said. “Further down the track it’s my aim to establish myself as a trainer. I see my future in that role,” he said. Barker registered his first training win at Ballarat recently with bay mare Beat The Drums (Modern Art-Highview Congo(McArdle) with Kate Gath taking the reins. “I own that horse myself after buying it off Barry Finnis, who lives in South Australia,” he said. “But most of the horses I’ve got belong to a friend in Lyndon Turner, who is a reasonably big breeder. He is right into it and does pretty well.” Barker said from a very young age, he had always wanted to get involved in harness racing. “I attended Ballarat Christian College. I finished Year Nine and then it was virtually off working with the horses,” he said. “When I’m asked to name my favorite track I suppose I should say Melton because I’ve now driven a winner there and it is okay – but despite the very cold nights in winter, I would have to label Ballarat as the best.” Barker has been in good form so far this season from limited driving opportunities. He has posted three wins from 11 drives.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

New Zealand officials were McLovin the run of Andy Gath’s Aldebaran Park Bill Collins Trotters Sprint winner at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. They subsequently propelled McLovin into fourth on the $300k Dominion Trot rankings, which were unveiled this morning. HRNZ media wrote, “McLovin’s win in the Bill Collins Sprint has seen him lock in his Dominion place by leaping from the fringe (#15) to fourth in the rankings. The brave win against fellow Dominion nominee, Tough Monarch, and other leading Australian trotters really threw down a marker as one of the premier trotting performances of the season to date.” Winning driver Kate Gath (ranked No.12 on the Australian Drivers’ Championship) was also impressed, comparing McLovin to Inter Dominion champion Tornado Valley post-race. “At home, the feel he gives me, he’s very similar to Tornado (Valley),” she said. Saturday night was exceptional as McLovin toiled three-wide with no helmet to chase for the final lap. “The first quarter came up, and then the second quarter and I thought, ‘I’ve got to go now… because if I don’t go now I’m not going to get in the race,” Gath said. Gath’s quick thinking and faith in McLovin paid off, the seven-year-old trotter covering the most ground the last lap but still good enough to fend off a sprint-laning four-time Group 1 winner (Big Jack Hammer) in a photo. It was McLovin’s first Group 1 win, but it would be safe to say based on the way he won – and what he beat – it won’t be his last. His rivals had won 12 prior Group 1s between them. Marcoola, Sundees Son and Oscar Bonavena head McLovin in the Dominion Trot standings. The New Zealand Trotting Cup rankings were also updated with Thefixer, Classie Brigade, Chase Auckland, Spankem and Henry Hubert all remaining firm in slots 1-5. Victorians Cruz Bromac and San Carlo are numbers five and six respectively after third and fourth-place finishes in the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup, while Our Uncle Sam dropped one spot to No.8 ahead of Ashley Locaz (11 up to 9) and Ultimate Sniper (9 back to 10). Smokin By jumped from 26 to 16 after placing in the Methven Cup. Buster Brady, Ellmers Image and Sicario have all cancelled their NZ Cup ambitions.   Cody Winnell HRV Trots Media

MILTON, ON - October 15, 2019 - Filly pacer Lyons Sentinel, this harness racing season's richest 2-year-old, as well as undefeated divisional money-leaders Tall Dark Stranger, Real Cool Sam, and Hypnotic AM were among 63 freshmen entered Tuesday for the $6 million Breeders Crown at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Eliminations for the 2-year-olds, which are necessary in all four divisions and go for a purse of $25,000 each, are Friday at Mohawk. Post time for Friday's first race is 7:50 p.m. (EDT). The $600,000 finals for 2-year-olds will be Oct. 25 at Mohawk, with an early 7 p.m. post time. Breeders Crown eliminations for 3-year-olds and up are Saturday at Mohawk. Elimination winners, in an order determined by lot, draw for post positions one through five for the finals. The draws for the 2-year-old finals, except for the colt-and-gelding pace, will be conducted Friday following the eliminations. The draw for the colt-and-gelding pace will be Tuesday at the post-position draw and press conference at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Twelve horses were entered for the 2-year-old colt-and-gelding pace, with the connections of Capt Midnight and Catch The Fire accepting earnings-based byes to advance directly to the final. The top eight finishers from the remaining 10-horse elimination will join those two in the final. Capt Midnight, by Captaintreacherous, has won multiple Grand Circuit stakes for trainer Tony Alagna. Catch The Fire, also by Captaintreacherous and trained by John Ackley, is a Kentucky Sire Stakes champion. The connections of Tall Dark Stranger and Papi Rob Hanover declined a bye. Tall Dark Stranger is unbeaten in seven starts for trainer Nancy Johansson, with his wins including the Metro Pace at Mohawk. A son of Bettor's Delight, the colt has earned $411,265 this season. He starts the elim from post four. Papi Rob Hanover, trained by Brett Pelling, counts the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship among his three wins in eight starts. The son of Somebeachsomewhere finished second in the Metro and has earned $315,358. He leaves from post six. Thirteen horses were entered for the 2-year-old colt-and-gelding trot, with the connections of Real Cool Sam, Port Perry, and Capricornus accepting byes to advance directly to the final. The top seven finishers from the remaining 10-horse field will join that trio next week. Real Cool Sam, the Peter Haughton Memorial and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion, is unbeaten in nine races. Trained by Jim Campbell, the son of Muscle Hill has earned $454,575. Ontario Sire Stakes final runner-up Port Perry, a son of Kadabra, has earned $224,090 for trainer Luc Blais while William Wellwood Memorial runner-up Capricornus, by Cantab Hall, has earned $192,885 for trainer Marcus Melander. Two-time Grand Circuit-winner Amigo Volo, a son of Father Patrick trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman and Carter Pinske, will start the elimination from post three. New York Sire Stakes champion Third Shift, a son of Chapter Seven, leaves from post one for Ake Svanstedt. Ontario Sire Stakes champ Moon Bridge, a son of E L Titan also from Svanstedt's stable, starts from post seven. Twenty-one 2-year-old filly pacers entered the Breeders Crown, requiring three eliminations. The top three finishers from each elimination plus the fourth-place finisher with the highest earnings as calculated by Standardbred Canada advance to the final. Lyons Sentinel, a daughter of Captaintreacherous trained by Jim King Jr., is in the third elim. She has won seven of 10 races this year and finished no worse than second in any start, earning $519,255. She brings a six-race win streak to her Breeders Crown elimination, with her victories including the She's A Great Lady at Mohawk and the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship. Ontario Sire Stakes champion Alicorn, trained by Chantel Mitchell, is in the second elimination while the first elim includes Indiana Sire Stakes champ Priceless, from the stable of Brandon Bates. Seventeen 2-year-old filly trotters were divided into two eliminations, with James Doherty Memorial and New York Sire Stakes champion Hypnotic AM in the first. Hypnotic AM, by Chapter Seven, has won all seven of her races this season and earned $386,457 for trainer Marcus Melander. Also in the first elim is Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Sister Sledge, trained by Ron Burke. The second elimination includes Peaceful Way winner Dip Me Hanover, trained by Linda Toscano, and multiple Grand Circuit winner Sherry Lyns Lady, trained by Jim Campbell. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the final. Following are the fields in post-position order for Friday's $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-olds at Woodbine Mohawk Park. 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY TROT Elimination 1 (Race 1) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Madame Sherry-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell 2-Shishito-Dexter Dunn-Per Engblom 3-Winter Olympics-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 4-Sister Sledge-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 5-Whose Blues-Bob McClure-Luc Blais 6-Hypnotic AM-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander 7-Globetrotting-Anthony MacDonald-Jason McGinnis 8-Violet Stride-Tyler Buter-Mark Harder Elimination 2 (Race 3) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Tricky Sister-Dan Dube-Andrew Harris 2-Crucial-Chris Page-Ron Burke 3-Jula Shes Magic-Jody Jamieson-Susanne Kerwood 4-Romona Hill-Andy McCarthy-Tony Alagna 5-Dip Me Hanover-David Miller-Linda Toscano 6-Wine Rack Hanover-Sylvain Filion-R. Nifty Norman 7-Sherry Lyns Lady-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell 8-Ms Savannah Belle-Yannick Gingras-Per Engblom 9-May Baby-James Yoder-James Yoder 2-YEAR-OLD COLT & GELDING TROT Single Elimination (Race 2) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Third Shift-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 2-Synergy-Yannick Gingras-Per Engblom 3-Amigo Volo-Dexter Dunn-R. Nifty Norman 4-Rome Pays Off-Tim Tetrick-Marcus Melander 5-Back Of The Neck-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander 6-Chestnut Hill-Tim Tetrick-R. Nifty Norman 7-Moon Bridge-Dexter Dunn-Ake Svanstedt 8-Beads-Paul MacDonell-John Bax 9-Blue Cupertino-Doug McNair-Gregg McNair 10-Horse Trader-Trevor Henry-Paul Walker 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE Elimination 1 (Race 4) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Baby Your The Best-David Miller-Linda Toscano 2-Peaky Sneaky-Dexter Dunn-Nancy Johansson 3-Sound Idea-Chris Christoforou-John Balzer 4-Gai Waterhouse-Yannick Gingras-Domenico Cecere 5-Priceless-Brandon Bates-Brandon Bates 6-Reflect With Me-Andy McCarthy-Tony Alagna 7-Merga Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE Elimination 2 (Race 6) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Keystone Kalimba-Jody Jamieson-Dave Menary 2-New Year-Corey Callahan-Ross Croghan 3-Shouldabeenatd-David Miller-Ron Burke 4-Alexa Skye-Dexter Dunn-Ian Moore 5-Alicorn-Louis Roy-Chantal Mitchell 6-Off The Press-Yannick Gingras-Paul Reid 7-Lady Lou-Andy McCarthy-Tony Alagna 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY PACE Elimination 3 (Race 8) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Somebeachsometime-Jody Jamieson-Dave Menary 2-JK First Lady-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson 3-Marloe Hanover-Dexter Dunn-R. Nifty Norman 4-The Bethinator-Andy Miller-Julie Miller 5-Looksgoodinaromper-Chris Page-Ron Burke 6-Lyons Sentinel-Tim Tetrick-Jim King Jr. 7-Betalady-Jody Jamieson-Susanne Kerwood 2-YEAR-OLD COLT & GELDING PACE Single Elimination (Race 10) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Mayhem Hanover-Doug McNair-Gregg McNair 2-Team Best-David Miller-Blake MacIntosh 3-Seeyou At Thebeach-Tim Tetrick-Brian Brown 4-Tall Dark Stranger-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson 5-Cattlewash-Louis Roy-Ron Burke 6-Papi Rob Hanover-David Miller-Brett Pelling 7-Freedom Warrior-Brian Sears-Kevin Lare 8-Put To Right-Andy McCarthy-Tony Alagna 9-Major Betts-Dexter Dunn-Mark Harder 10-Allywag Hanover-Tim Tetrick-Casie Coleman For more information go to www.Hambletonian.com or https://woodbine.com/mohawk/events/breeders-crown/. by Ken Weingartner, for Hambletonian Society  

MILTON, ON - October 15, 2019 - Harness racing divisional supremacy and international glory will be on the line in the eight Breeders Crown events for three-year-olds and up at Woodbine Mohawk Park. All four sophomore divisions will require eliminations this Saturday (October 19), while only the Mare Trot from the older ranks will need eliminations. The three-year-old colt pace (15 entrants) and three-year-old filly trot (16 entrants) will have two eliminations each on Saturday's card, while the sophomore trotting colts (12 entrants) and pacing fillies (12 entrants) will each feature just a single elimination after two byes were issued in each event. The Mare Trot attracted 15 ladies and will need two eliminations to determine its final field. The Open Trot (11 entrants), Open Pace (10 entrants) and Mare Pace (7 entrants) will all headline directly to a final on October 26. A total of eight elimination races will take place on this Saturday's (October 19) card at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Saturday battles for Crown spots Trainer Marcus Melander will send his three-headed monster of sophomore trotting colts Greenshoe, Green Manalishi S and Gimpanzee to Woodbine Mohawk Park for the Breeders Crown. Only a single ten-horse elimination is needed in the 3-Year-Old Colt Trot division, as 12 horses were entered. The top-two earners in 2019 received byes, while the other ten entered will compete to eliminate two ahead of the $500,000 (USD) final. Melander opted to take the bye with the division-leader Greenshoe, who has banked over $1.1 million this season. Hambletonian champion Forbidden Trade received the second bye, which was accepted by trainer Luc Blais. The Ontario Sires Stakes champion is eight for 13 with $1 million earned. Green Manalishi S headlines Saturday's elimination from post-two. The son of Muscle Hill is undefeated in four starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park, capturing this year's Canadian Trotting Classic and last year's William Wellwood Memorial. Gimpanzee has drawn post-four for the elimination, as the son of Chapter Seven attempts to become a two-time Breeders Crown champion. The New York Sires Stakes champion won last year's 2-Year-Old Colt Trot final in convincing fashion and enters this year's event having won 15 of 19 career starts. The elimination field for the 3-Year-Old Colt Trot Breeders Crown also includes Dont Letem (post-five), Marseille (post-nine) and Pilot Discretion (post-ten). All three trotters have posted strong results in marquee events this season. The single-elimination for sophomore trotting colts and geldings has been carded as Race 5 on Saturday's card. The 3-Year-Old-Colt Pace division is a wide-open affair with a group of 15 separated into a pair of eliminations. Pepsi North America Cup winner Captain Crunch has won just two of seven starts since his classic victory in June at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Nancy Johansson trained son of Captaintreacherous has been knocking on the door in his last two starts, posting runner-up finishes in each. The defending Breeders Crown champion has drawn post-two in the first elimination. Captain Crunch will tackle the likes of Meadowlands Pace winner Best In Show (post-eight), Tattersalls winner Dancin Lou (post-three) and multiple Grand Circuit stakes winner Century Farroh (post-one), who was supplemented Monday by his connections for $62,500 (USD). The ultra-consistent Bettors Wish (post-one) will square-off with Little Brown Jug champion Southwind Ozzi (post-three) in the second elimination. Chris Ryder trainee Bettors Wish has won 11 of 15 starts this season, including the Art Rooney, Milstein Memorial, Kentucky Sires Stakes championship and Tattersalls. The son of Bettors Delight has finished in the runner-up spot in all four of his defeats this season. Southwind Ozzi rose to stardom this summer for trainer Bill MacKenzie by posting victories in marquee events such as the Adios and Little Brown Jug. The son of Somebeachsomewhere has won nine of 12 starts and earned the confidence from his connections to put up $62,500 (USD) to supplement to the Breeders Crown. The top-five finishers from each 3-Year-Old Pacing Colt elimination will advance to the $600,000 (USD) final. Trainer Ron Burke turned down a bye and will race defending Breeders Crown champion Warrawee Ubeaut in Saturday's single-elimination for the 3-Year-Old Filly Pace event. Tony Alagna's Treacherous Reign and Bob McIntosh's Sunny Dee received byes from the group of 12 entered, which sets up a ten-horse division to eliminate two for the $550,000 (USD) final. Warrawee Ubeaut (post-six) powers into her elimination on a six-race win streak, which includes scores in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship, Jugette and Glen Garnsey Memorial. The daughter of Sweet Lou has won 10 of 15 this season and is a 13-time winner with over $1.3 million earned. The sophomore pacing filly elimination will also feature Ontario Sires Stakes champion Boadicea (post-nine). The Bill Budd trained daughter of Big Jim was supplemented on Monday to the event by her owners for a fee of $62,500 (USD). Standouts Stonebridge Soul (post-two), Tall Drink Hanover (post-five) and Queen Of The Pride (post-eight) will also compete. The elimination for three-year-old pacing fillies has been carded as Race 8. A competitive group of 16 has been split into a pair of eliminations for the 3-Year-Old Filly Trot Crown event. The top-five finishers from each division will advance to the $500,000 (USD) final. Elegantimage winner Evident Beauty (post-one) for trainer 'Nifty' Norman, Zweig Memorial winner The Ice Dutchess (post-two) for trainer Johansson and Ohio Sires Stakes champion Only Take Cash (post-three) for trainer McIntosh will all meet in the first elimination. The second elimination will feature a matchup between Hambletonian Oaks champion When Dovescry (post-two) for trainer Rene Allard and Kentucky Filly Futurity winner Beautiful Sin (post-eight) for trainer Ake Svanstedt. Those two will also have to deal with Millies Possesion (post-three), who has won 10 of 13 starts for trainer Jim Campbell. The sophomore trotting fillies will clash in Races 2 and 3 on Saturday's card. A strong turnout of 15 older trotting mares will allow fans the opportunity to see several superstars in action during this weekend's eliminations for the $325,000 (USD) Mare Trot. Four-year-old Manchego storms into Woodbine Mohawk Park on a three-race win streak, highlighted by a World Record 1:49 victory in the Allerage. The Nancy Johansson trainee is a 24-time winner and captured the Breeders Crown at age two in 2017. She'll line up from post-eight in Saturday's second elimination. A pair of two-time Crown champions will compete in the deep Mare Trot division. Emoticon Hanover is going for a three-peat in the event after victories last year at Pocono and in 2017 at Hoosier. The Luc Blais trained six-year-old has won 24 of 68 career starts, hitting the board in 51 of those outings. She tackles Manchego from post-three in the second split. Former Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover returns to the Mare Trot Crown division for the first time since 2016. The Ron Burke trained seven-year-old captured the Open Trot division in 2017 and the Mare Trot division in 2016. She is a 46-time winner with over $3.2 million (CAD) in career earnings. Hannelore Hanover lines up from post-six in the first elimination, which also features local standout Dream Together (post-one), supplement entry Custom Cantab (post-three) and the Svanstedt duo of Darling Mearas S (post-two) and Plunge Blue Chip (post-seven). The Mare Trot Breeders Crown eliminations have been carded as Races 6 and 9. Harness Racing Heavyweights head straight to Crown Finals A trio of events for older competitors will not require eliminations this weekend. Foreign classic invitee Bold Eagle will star in the $500,000 (USD) Open Trot. The eight-year-old son of Ready Cash will take on 10 rivals in his North American debut, seeking to add a Crown title to his incredible legacy. Hall of Fame driver Brian Sears will steer the winner of over $5 million for trainer Sebastien Guarato. France's Bold Eagle is the first foreign classic winner to accept a Breeders Crown invitation since Commander Crowe in 2014, who won the Open Trot at The Meadowlands. Four-year-old mare Atlanta has earned the confidence of her connections to take another crack at the boys in a classic event. The 2018 Hambletonian champion and winner of nearly $2 million will attempt to steal the attention of the trotting world from Bold Eagle and claim the Open Trot title for a 20th career victory. This season's highest earner in the Open Trot is Anette Lorentzon trainee Guardian Angel As, who scored the biggest victory of his career earlier this season at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The five-year-old stallion captured the Maple Leaf Trot on August 31 and most recently finished fourth in the Yonkers International Trot. The Open Trot star power also includes World champion Six Pack, 2016 Hambletonian champion Marion Marauder and 2017 Breeders Crown champion Fiftydallarbill. The event is completed by Dunbar Hall, Mission Accepted, Southwind Chrome and Will Take Charge. Reigning Horse of the Year McWicked is back to defend his title in the $500,000 (USD) Open Pace and is seeking a third Breeders Crown victory. The Casie Coleman trained eight-year-old went four years between Crown victories after winning at age three and again last season. McWicked enters off back-to-back victories in the Allerage and Rooney Invitational. The ten-horse Open Pace field includes two former Little Brown Jug champions in Courtly Choice and Filibuster Hanover. Blake MacIntosh trained four-year-old Courtly Choice scored an upset win earlier this season at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the Canadian Pacing Derby. Hometown favourite Jimmy Freight will make his Breeders Crown debut in the Open Pace. The five-year-old is a 21-time winner and has finished outside the top-five only once in 50 career starts. The field for the pacing heavyweight clash is completed by Always a Prince, American History, Dorsoduro Hanover, Easy Lover Hanover, Geez Joe and This Is The Plan. Shartin N returns to the $300,000 (USD) Mare Pace with eyes on a second-consecutive Breeders Crown victory. The six-year-old New Zealand bred has won 14 of 16 starts this season, frequently crushing her foes and earning much buzz as potential Horse of the Year. The Jim King Jr. trainee is undefeated in four starts at Woodbine Mohawk Park, sweeping the last two editions of the Roses Are Red. While nearly flawless, Shartin N did taste defeat in her most recent start, finishing second to rival Caviart Ally in the Allerage at The Red Mile. The superstar mares finished in the opposite order in last year's Crown event. A five-year-old, Caviart Ally has seven wins and top-three finishes in all 16 starts this season. The Brett Pelling trainee captured her second-consecutive Milton Stakes last month at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Mare Pace field also includes 2017 Breeders Crown champion Youaremycandygirl, and Dan Patch Award winner Kissin In The Sand. Bettors Up, Kaitlyn N and Kendall Seelster will also compete. Elimination and Draw details set Breeders Crown 2-year-old eliminations will be held Friday (October 18) and the sophomore and open divisions requiring eliminations will race Saturday (October 19). Elimination winners draw for inside post positions 1-5. Post positions will be drawn on Friday and Saturday after the elimination races, except for the 2-year-old Colt Pace, Crown Pace and Crown Trot. Those three events will be drawn at a Press Conference next Tuesday (October 22). Post time for Friday's (October 18) card is 7:50 p.m., while Saturday's (October 19) post time is set for 7:10 p.m. Following are the fields in post-position order for Friday's $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-olds at Woodbine Mohawk Park. 3-Year-Old Filly Trot Elimination 1 (Race 2) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Evident Beauty-David Miller-R. Nifty Norman 2-The Ice Dutchess-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson 3-Only Take Cash-Trevor Henry-Bob McIntosh 4-Seaside Bliss-James MacDonald-Paul Kelley 5-Grimmie Hanover-Corey Callahan-Jeff Cullipher 6-Golden Tricks-Andy Miller-Ake Svanstedt 7-Dark As A Pocket-Jody Jamieson-Mike Keeling 8-Winndevie-Brian Sears-Trond Smedshammer 3-Year-Old Filly Trot Elimination 2 (Race 3) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Sweet Chapter-Tim Tetrick-Blake MacIntosh 2-When Dovescry-Simon Allard-Rene Allard 3-Millies Possesion-Dexter Dunn-Jim Campbell 4-Miss Trixton-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander 5-Go Time-Mike Saftic-Allan McCoy 6-Cambridge Kate-Jody Jamieson-Stephanie Jamieson 7-Asiago-Tim Tetrick-Per Engblom 8-Beautiful Sin-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 3-Year-Old Colt Trot Elimination (Race 5) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Chin Chin Hall-Peter Wrenn-R. Nifty Norman 2-Green Manalishi S-Tim Tetrick-Marcus Melander 3-Goes Down Smooth-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke 4-Gimpanzee-David Miller-Marcus Melander 5-Dont Letem-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson 6-Soul Strong-Dexter Dunn-Ake Svanstedt 7-Only For Justice-Chris Christoforou-Dany Fontaine 8-Super Schissel-Louis Philippe Roy-Per Engblom 9-Marseille-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 10-Pilot Discretion-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna Mare Trot Elimination 1 (Race 6) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Dream Together-Bob McClure-Luc Blais 2-Darling Mearas S-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 3-Custom Cantab-David Miller-Chris Beaver 4-Supergirl Riley-Simon Allard-Rene Allard 5-Top Expectations-Sylvain Filion-Ben Baillargeon 6-Hannelore Hanover-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 7-Plunge Blue Chip-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt Mare Trot Elimination 2 (Race 9) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Ice Attraction-Andrew McCarthy-Ake Svanstedt 2-Hey Livvy-Trevor Henry-Jeff Gillis 3-Emoticon Hanover-Bob McClure-Luc Blais 4-Highland Top Hill-Doug McNair-Amanda Fine 5-Weslynn Dancer-Scott Zeron-Richard Banca 6-Royal Witch-Trevor Henry-Ben Baillargeon 7-P L Jill-Mario Baillargeon-Ben Baillargeon 8-Manchego-Dexter Dunn-Nancy Johansson 3-Year-Old Filly Pace Elimination (Race 8) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Ideation Hanover-James MacDonald-Dave Menary 2-Stonebridge Soul-Tim Tetrick-Chris Ryder 3-Bestseller Hanover-Scott Zeron-Scott Blackler 4-Philly Hanover-Brian Sears-Ron Coyne 5-Tall Drink Hanover-Andrew McCarthy-Tony Alagna 6-Warrawee Ubeaut-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 7-Sylph Hanover-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke 8-Queen Of The Pride-Brian Sears-Kevin Lare 9-Boadicea-Jonathan Drury-Bill Budd 10-Beautyonthebeach-Doug McNair-Gregg McNair 3-Year-Old Colt Pace Elimination 1 (Race 10) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Century Farroh-Sylvain Filion-Dr. Ian Moore 2-Captain Crunch-Scott Zeron-Nancy Johansson 3-Dancin Lou-Dexter Dunn-Tahnee Camilleri 4-Air Force Hanover-Simon Allard-Rene Allard 5-Fixed Idea-Randy Waples-Todd Clements 6-Semi Tough-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke 7-Stag Party-Doug McNair-Casie Coleman 8-Best In Show-Bob McClure-Linda Toscano 3-Year-Old Colt Pace Elimination #2 (Race 11) PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Bettors Wish-Dexter Dunn-Chris Ryder 2-De Los Cielos Deo-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 3-Southwind Ozzi-Brian Sears-Bill MacKenzie 4-Bronx Seelster-Simon Allard-Rene Allard 5-Covered Bridge-James MacDonald-Blake MacIntosh 6-Blood Money-Yannick Gingras-Nancy Johansson 7-Cant Beach That-David Miller-Brett Pelling For more information go to www.Hambletonian.com or https://woodbine.com/mohawk/events/breeders-crown/. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

By Jonny Turner       Australian trotter McLovin will have his own southern support crew when his Dunedin breeders, Daryl and Anne Trainor, are on hand for his New Zealand Cup carnival tilt. The Andy Gath-trained 7yr-old showed he was on track for a raid on his former homeland when producing an astounding performance to win in the Bill Collins Trotters Sprint at Melton on Saturday. McLovin looked at long odds to win when off the bit at the 500m after racing three wide for much of the 1720m feature, but the Otago-bred rallied bravely in the straight The Trainors admitted they did not have high hopes during the race after McLovin faced such a big task to win. ''We always called him Big Mac, because he was a big horse and I said 'Big Mac is going to sleep well tonight','' Darryl Trainor said. ''But, he kept going and we cheered him all the way down the straight - we probably woke the neighbours up.'' The Trainors will be track side to watch McLovin in Christchurch, so their cheers will not be wasted on their neighbours again. McLovin has thrived since arriving in Gath's stable after the horse was sold to major owner Norm Jenkin, out of the Canterbury stable of Ray Jenkins. The Trainors sold the trotter to Jenkins' clients when he was an unqualified 3yr-old. McLovin is from the Trainors' four-win former racemare Winfield Invasion. The squaregaiter may have been able to reach the group 1 heights her son has if her career had not been limited to just 11 starts by injury. ''She was in Brent Lilly's stable and he had [Interdominion winner] Game Bid at the time,'' Trainor said. ''He did not rate our mare any inferior to him. She had a motor, but she was unsound.” “Three out of her four legs had issues.” Winfield Invasion has thrived since her retirement. ''She is 21 now, but she runs around the paddock like a 2yr-old,'' Trainor said. ''She looks a picture.'' McLovin is the third of the Armbro Invasion mare's seven foals. Her first foal by Monarchy showed huge promise before she died unexpectedly. A subsequent foal by Skyvalley showed limited ability before retiring to the broodmare paddock. The Trainors won once race in New Zealand with her fourth foal, Say Your Pres. She has won four more races in Sydney with the couple's son, Jack, in the sulky. Former two-win Otago trotter, Havehorsewilltravel, who recently joined Brent Mangos' stable, is Winfield Invasion's fifth foal. The Trainors have a sixth foal from the mare – a 3yr-old by Angus Hall, who is shaping up nicely for trainer Mark Jones. Jones drove Winfield Invasion in three of her wins and had an association with almost all of her foals. “We have a great association with Mark and he has been really good to us.” “He has been really happy with the way the Angus Hall filly has been coming along.” The Trainors, who plan to mate the mare with Majestic Son this season, also have a 2yr-old filly from Winfield Invasion. Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Star Galleria’s New Zealand Cup dream is still alive — if trainer Steven Reid actually wants it to be. Arguably the north’s fastest pacer looked in danger of missing the Cup last week when he has diagnosed with suspected suspensory damage, which would have been nearly impossible to overcome with the Cup now less than four weeks away. But to Reid’s delight his stable star scanned clear of any damage on both Thursday and Friday and is clear to race at Alexandra Park next week. But with the Auckland Inter Dominions a tasty second early summer carrot for the open class pacers, Reid says even if Star Galleria returns to his best he is not certain to head to Addington. “Sure, everybody wants to start in the Cup but there is no point going unless you give yourself a real show,” says Reid. "So he will need to go really well next week to be heading to Addington. “And by that I mean if he even won next week but I wasn’t thrilled with him he might stay home. “Things are different this season with the Inter Dominions up here. It gives us a whole other target we don’t usually have. “So we will race him next week and then make a decision around Addington.” The lure of a home town Inter Dominion will keep another northern group one winner away from the Cup carnival with National Trot winner Massive Metro withdrawn from the Dominion. Trainer Michelle Wallis says her stable star has struggled with a hoof abscess and would have needed to be racing consistently by now to be honed down for the 3200m of the Dominion. “So we have pulled him out of that and while we would liked to have gone there it is not as bad knowing we have the Inters at home later that month,” says Wallis. “And even after the Inters after are done we have races like the National Trot and the good Australian races like the Great Southern Star so he has plenty of options.” One of the potential stars of the Alexandra Park Inter Doiminions makes a surprise return at Addington on Friday night when Self Assured steps out against the big boys. The four-year-old is unbeaten in six starts and was so impressive during his Queensland winter campaign that culminated in him winning their Derby he is the $4.50 second favourite for the Inter Dominion. He was originally not set to resume for another few weeks but this Friday’s handicap pace was added by Addington at the request of trainers and now Self Assured finds himself up against Miracle Mile-winning stablemate Spankem but with a 30m start on Friday, If he remains unbeaten the open class pecking order and some major race markets could need reviewing.   By Michael Guerin