Day At The Track

Don’t bother asking Mark Purdon why group one stars Princess Tiffany and Jesse Duke flopped so badly at the start of their Breeders Crown campaigns.  Because the champion trainer admits he doesn’t know. And he will be as interested as anybody to see how they bounce back in the semi-finals of the rich Victorian series at Bendigo on Saturday. Both Princess Tiffany and Jesse Duke were were beaten as short-priced favourites in their heats of the Breeders Crown in Victoria late last week, Princess Tiffany unable show any acceleration as a $1.04 chance after having the perfect trip.  “She should have won by three or four lengths so she was very disappointing,” says Purdon.  “Her work before the race had been really good and her blood report since doesn’t show any problems.  “So we have no excuses. The only thing we can put it down to is the very wet track.  “But she will need to go better this week.”  Princess Tiffany, who has won three Oaks and is the defending Breeders Crown champion, has drawn the second line in a very strong semi final and while she has the luxury of only needing to finish in the first half of the field to make the final, that hardly helps punters.  Both horses will again be driven by Luke McCarthy, with Purdon staying home then going across to train the pair for their finals next week. Jesse Duke only battled to the line when well-beaten fourth in his heat last Friday and has draw the outside of the front line in his semi final on Saturday night which contains all three of last week’s heat winners. “He was disappointing too and didn’t have the wet track as an excuse so we went to see better from him this week too.”
The other Kiwi pacers in the ABC have had mixed luck in the draws, with Best Western facing a tricky marble in the Princess Tiffany heat. But juvenile pacers Perfect Stride (three front line) and Zeuss Bromac have drawn well, the latter starting from one on the second line but behind a horse who should give him a great trail into the race. While the pacers will try and earn their finals spots this Saturday, the three New Zealand-trained trotters in the Crown have straight heats into the final at Maryborough today. And trainer Phil Williamson believes to can win two of them. Williamson couldn’t be happier with Redwood winner Ultimate Stride heading into his juvenile boys trot heat and he would only need to behave and produce his best to win while the Oamaru trainer is confident placing Liberty Stride on the unruly will aid her in her three-year-old fillies heat. “I trailed her on Sunday and she really pleased me,” says Williamson. “She should follow them out more relaxed from the unruly and the reason she has galloped the last start two starts was because she didn’t know what to do when the pressure went on early and tried to race them. “So I think she will be fine this week.” The other Kiwi in the series Kratos would do well to run a place in his three-year-old boys trot heat as he is up against Derby-winning star Majestuoso and runner-up All Cashed Up.   Michael Guerin

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Million-dollar winner's Jimmy Freight and This Is The Plan headline a field of eight four-year-old harness racing pacers that will do battle in the $200,000C Prix d'Ete Sunday afternoon at the Hippodrome 3R. The post position draw for the Grand Circuit race will take place Thursday at 12:00 noon at a special press conference at the racetrack. One of the richest races in North America restricted to just four-year-olds, the Prix d'Ete dates back to 1966 at Blue Bonnets Raceway in Montreal. Over the years many world champions won the prestigious race. The stakes race ended when Blue Bonnets closed in 1992 and was revived by the Quebec Jockey Club in 2014. Here are the eight horses, trainers and drivers in alphabetical order. Casimir Richie P Trainer- Dr. Ian Moore, Driver - Sylvain Filion Done Well Trainer - Ron Burke, Driver - Bob McClure Hitman Hill Trainer - Chris Oakes, Driver - Eric Goodell Jimmy Freight Trainer - Richard Moreau, Driver - Louis Philippe Roy Pretty Handsome Trainer - Andrew McCabe, Driver - Trevor Henry The Downtown Bus Trainer - Jeff Gillis, Driver - Daniel Dube This Is The Plan Trainer - Ron Burke, Driver - Daniel Dube Turbo Hill Trainer - Chris Oakes, Driver - Hunter Oakes A record 16 horses entered the Prix d'Ete and only the top eight money earners in 2019 make it into the race. The remaining eight horses that did not get in the race will receive their nomination fees back. They are American History, Kiwi Talkin, Pedro Hanover, Shnitzledosomethin, Springsteen, Stock, Talotcreekwhiskey and Thor De Vie. There will be two coupled entries in the race. Done Well and This Is The Plan from the Ron Burke Stable and Hitman Hill and Turbo Hill, both of whom are co-owned by Tom Hill. Also, on Sunday at H3R will be the third round of the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old pacing colts and fillies. Post time Sunday is 1:00 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Vernon, NY - Vernon Downs will host the $330,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial trot for 3-year-old colts and its $135,000 filly companion Grand Circuit harness racing stakes on Saturday, August 18.   The Zweig (race 9) has drawn the two Hambletonian elimination winners in Greenshoe and Green Manalishi S, both of whom reside in the Marcus Melander stable.   Green Manalishi S (PP#2 Tim Tetrick) has won half of his six starts this season for owner Anders Strom's Courant, Inc. including a 1:50.3 career best when his prevailed after a long uncovered bid in his Hambo elim. He made his way to the front in the final, eventually succumbing to winner Forbidden Trade.   The enigmatic Greenshoe (PP#6 Brian Sears) came into the Hambletonian as the heavy favorite. He won his elim in 1:50.2 and looked for all intents and purposes to be the final winner despite an eventful trip when he trotted boldly up to Forbidden Trade mid-stretch, but did not go by. Greenshoe has amassed $586,500 in seasonal earnings for Courant, Hans Backe, Lars Granqvist and Morten Langli.   The $135,000 Filly Zweig (race 8) is a very strong and competitive field led by NJSS final winner Evident Beauty (Dave Miller). She's won four of seven and is leading money winner in the field at over $200,000 this season for owners Mel Hartman, Little E, LLC and R A W Equine. Nifty Norman trains the filly.   Both of the Zweig races will be housed in a stakes barn where they must be checked in by 8:00pm on Friday evening. Call the Racing Office at (315) 829-6825 for details.   The NYSS for 2-year-old pacing colts supports the feature with a pair of divisions racing for a purse of more than $50,000.   by Nick Salvi, for Vernon Downs

To outsiders, it may have seemed like an unremarkable win for harness racing trainer-driver Shane Smith when his pacer Tianischoice saluted at Mildura recently. But for Smith and his wife Sharon, it really couldn't have been more significant or emotional, marking the couple's first race victory since Shane overcame a prolonged battle with cancer. Diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma three years ago, life is only now returning to something resembling "normality" for the former Broken Hill couple, who've had a "horse or two" in work for most of the past 30 years. "In hindsight, it was a bit sad because when we lost a close friend suddenly and unexpectedly five years ago, it was a bit of a wakeup call. That was really the reason we decided to make the move from Broken Hill to Mildura," Sharon said. "We had been thinking about it for a long time, but when we lost her, it really made us think that life can be short, and we should do what we want to," she said. "So we bought a property in Mildura three years ago - and virtually straight after that, as we were preparing to move, Shane was diagnosed in February 2016." It left the couple trying to manage two properties, an interstate move and some tough decisions, all while Shane was starting his cancer treatment. "It was a huge shock and really everything else just went into the background," Shane said. "I was having chemotherapy and going through all that, Sharon was back here trying to run the property - the timing wasn't the best!" he said. "We were moving here to have a fresh start and to do some of the things we had wanted to do for a long time, and that really just got turned upside down." Needless to say, horses went on the backburner. Chemotherapy slowed the progress of the disease, but ultimately it didn't stop it and Shane was placed on a second round of treatment. It was a trial of stem-cell therapy at the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre, and Shane was one of the early patients to undergo the process in Australia. "It was a pretty difficult time and one of the worst things was having to be kept as isolated as possible during the treatment because of the risk of Shane catching something," Sharon said. "So that meant very little contact with family and friends. We had a new grandson born just a month before Shane was diagnosed so we missed a lot of time with him," she said. "But ultimately, the treatment was successful and in January this year we got the news that we wanted to hear, that Shane was cancer-free." Not surprisingly, life has taken some time to return to "normal", and horses didn't necessarily take first priority. Sharon and Shane Smith    The couple developed horse infrastructure on their property, including a track, and are training a small team, mostly for Broken Hill owners. "It takes a while for you to start thinking about life without the cancer hanging over your head, and we had a lot to do before we started thinking about horses," Sharon said. "Catching up on lost time with family and our grandchildren, Matilda, Wyatt and Tommy was the most important thing to us, and we did plenty of that!" she said. "But it really did feel good to us to be back doing those routine things with the horses." Shane also had to regain his licence in Victoria, completing 15 trial drives to do so. He got back to the trials in April and returned to race driving in July. And it was a case of first night back, and first win. Smith warmed up to the task with one drive at his comeback meeting at Mildura, before saluting on Tianischoice (Dream Away- Willow Bend (Armbro Aussie) later in the night, for friend and Broken Hill owners Alan and Trudy Rennie. "It was a real thrill. What we've been through does change your perspective a bit on what's important and what you do with your life. But it was certainly an unreal feeling - and hopefully the next one won't be too far away," Shane said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

MILTON, ON - August 13, 2019 - Captaintreacherous filly Reflect With Me established a new series record of 1:50.3 with a dominating harness racing victory in Tuesday's final of the Whenuwishuponastar. A field of seven two-year-old pacing fillies clashed in the $50,000 series final. Round one winners Reflect With Me and Alexa Skye returned to action after a week off, while Somebeachsometime entered with plenty of momentum after a stunning victory in the second leg. The opening-quarter saw Dr. Ian Moore trainee Kat storm out to the lead and post a :27.3 opener. Stablemate Alexa Skye tipped off her back entering the backstretch to circle to the lead, but that was short-lived as driver Andrew McCarthy started up Reflect With Me from third and the Tony Alagna trainee made a powerful brush to the lead. Reflect With Me proceeded to put the series final to bed by pacing a :27.3 third-quarter followed by an easy-looking :26.4 kicker to win impressively by four-lengths in 1:50.3. Kat finished second, while Somebeachsometime rallied from sixth to finish third. "I've been pretty careful with her just racing off the pace and I kind of wanted to prove a point tonight and let everyone know how good she actually is," said McCarthy following the victory. "She's so slick gaited and smart and just does everything so easy." A $120,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Reflect With Me has two wins and $35,800 earned in four starts for owners Brittany Farms and Brad Grant. The daughter of Captaintreacherous gives her conditioner Alagna back-to-back series victories following last year's triumph by Tall Drink Hanover. A $2 win ticket on Reflect With Me returned $3.90. Live racing resumes Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

Superstar Kiwi filly Our Princess Tiffany will have to overcome the back row to resurrect her Breeders Crown assault in the semi-finals at Bendigo on Saturday night.  Despite one of the most disappointing runs of her career when a labouring fourth in her Crown heat, Our Princess Tiffany still dominates Aussie TAB betting for her semi. Although drawn the back row (gate 10), she is $1.22 favourite.  Emma Stewart’s Two Times Bettor easily beat Our Princess Tiffany in their heat, but also has the back row (gate nine) in the semi. She’s firmed from $5 to $4.40.  The other Kiwi in the race, Jeremy Young’s Best Western, has been specked from $13 into $10 from barrier six.  The first of the Kiwis to step-out at Bendigo is Ray Green’s Perfect Stride in the first and much weaker of the two semis for juvenile colts and geldings.  Perfect Stride, who ran second to Pacifico Dream in his Crown heat, is a commanding $1.65 favourite from gate three in his semi. Ironically, the main threat is Focus Stride – who like Perfect Stride is owned by Emilio Rosati – at $5 from the pole.  The depth is so much stronger in the second semi where another Kiwi, Zachary Butcher’s Zeuss Bromac, is a $6 shot from inside the back row (gate eight). Emma Stewart’s glamour pair Be Happy Mach ($1.50, gate nine) and Mirragon ($4.20, gate one) are the key players.  The second of the All Stars’ Crown hopefuls, Jesse Duke, faces a huge assignment from outside the front (gate seven) in a powerhouse first semi of the Crown 3YO colts and geldings. The Aussie TAB has him a $12 chance.  David Aiken’s NSW and Tasmanian Derby winner Max Delight is $1.70 favourite from gate four ahead of Emma Stewart’s star pair Hurricane Harley ($3.90, gate nine) and Demon Delight ($5, gate 13).  Stewart’s Out To Play (gate three) is $2 favourite in the second semi from Malcolms Rhythm (gate two, $2.80) with Lochinvar Art at $3.60 from a horror outside back row draw (gate 13).  _____________________________________________________________________________ BEFORE the pacers step-out at Bendigo, NZ’s Breeders Crown trotting hopefuls strut their stuff at Maryborough tomorrow (Thursday).  The headline act is Phil Williamson’s last-start Redwood Classic winner Ultimate Stride, who is a $1.65 to snare another win from gate six in the first heat for juvenile colts and geldings.  Exciting stablemate Liberty Stride, who ruined her chance when favourite in the Victoria Trotters’ Derby by galloping away hopelessly, is set for a fascinating clash with buzz local I Am Pegasus in the first heat for 3YO fillies.  I Am Pegasus is a clear $1.40 favourite from gate three, while Liberty Stride is the lone back runner (gate eight) and a $2.90 shot.  The highlight of the day will be another glimpse of breathtaking Victoria Trotters’ Derby winner Majestuoso in his heat of the Crown for 3YO colts and geldings.  It’s a talent-packed race and he’s drawn outside the front (gate seven) over the shorter 2190m trip, but Majestuoso is $2.20 favourite. Key rivals include likely leader All Cashed Up (gate three, $4), Just Believe (one, $5).  The Kiwi in the race is John and Josh Dickie’s Kratos, who made late ground for third in the Derby. He’s a $5 shot from gate five.      Adam Hamilton

Star three year old of the season Ultimate Sniper will be nominated for the New Zealand Cup in November though at this stage he is still in the “throw in a nomination” category in what is looking like an increasingly complicated spring racing scene. “Our other main candidates, The Fixer, Spankem, Chase Auckland and Ashley Locaz will be there hopefully, but we will be adding “Snip” because it could be one of those springs” Natalie Rasmussen said. One of the factors involved is just how well Ultimate Sniper has done over the winter . He is also another All Star who did not race at 2 blooming in spectacular fashion as a three year old. His 10 starts yielded 8 wins and a second placing his record only marred by a gallop in the Vero Stakes, his unplaced run. He was second to Jesse Duke in the Northern Derby Prelude then winning both the G1 Derby events here as well as the Sires STakes Final. Missing from the nominations will be Funatthebeach who left All Stars for Sydney on Sunday. He will race out of the Tritton stable though is ultimately bound for the United Stakes. Such sales, and the sad demise of some likely rivals, does give All Stars a strong Cup hand and with the Inter Dominions as a quick backup . Mark won the New Zealand Cup with Il Vicolo as a four year old and later with Lazarus at the same age.Both horses had raced at a high level at two and three   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/

Hightstown, NJ — There was little movement in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, with Milstein Memorial winner Bettor’s Wish making the biggest gain, going from seventh to fifth in the rankings. Shartin N, who was idle, continued her hold on to No. 1 while Dan Patch Stakes winner Lather Up stayed at No. 2. Lather Up added two first-place votes, giving him five. Shartin N, who has held the poll’s top position for the entire season, had the remaining 30 first-place nods. Captain Crunch, who was idle, moved from fourth to third as Atlanta dropped a spot following her setback in the Joie De Vie Stakes. The only other horse in the top 10 who raced was Forbidden Trade, who won an Ontario Sire Stakes Gold division Monday night. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, which runs weekly through November, does not determine Horse of the Year. The members of the U.S. Harness Writers Association vote on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 12 – 8/13/2019 Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Shartin N (30) 6pm 13-12-0-0 $742,927 345 1 2 Lather Up (5) 4ph 11-8-0-1 $677,448 318 2 3 Captain Crunch 3pc 7-5-0-0 $651,402 228 4 4 Atlanta 4tm 8-6-1-0 $439,650 191 3 5 Bettor’s Wish 3pc 9-6-3-0 $824,544 172 7 6 Greenshoe 3tc 7-5-2-0 $586,500 168 5 7 Forbidden Trade 3tc 9-6-2-1 $671,484 148 6 8 When Dovescry 3tf 5-2-2-1 $285,540 65 8 9 Real Cool Sam 2tg 5-5-0-0 $216,998 45 9 10 Hypnotic AM 2tf 4-4-0-0 $196,932 34 10 ALSO: Manchego, Tall Drink Hanover 25; Southwind Ozzi 24; Millies Possesion 23; Crystal Fashion, Gimpanzee 21; Best In Show 10; Green Manalishi S 9; Six Pack 8; Guardian Angel As 7; McWicked 5; JK First Lady, Western Fame 4; Double A Mint, Stonebridge Soul 3; Adriano Hanover, Capt Midnight, Caviart Ally, Courtly Choice, Hannelore Hanover, This Is The Plan, Workin Ona Mystery 2; Century Farroh, Hickfromfrenchlick, Rich And Miserable, Sister Sledge, Tall Dark Stranger 1.

MILTON, AUG. 12, 2019 - Hambletonian champion Forbidden Trade returned to Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday evening and pushed his lifetime earnings over $1 million with his second Gold Series win of the season. In their first start since the two-heat Hambletonian on Aug. 3, Forbidden Trade and driver Bob McClure lined up at Post 1 in Monday's $105,600 Gold Series division and got away third as All Wrapped Up and Cool Clifford battled to a :27.3 opening quarter. McClure sent Forbidden Trade after the leaders heading for the :57 half, but All Wrapped Up and driver Louis-Philippe Roy had no interest in yielding to the heavy favourites. The pair matched strides past the 1:24.3 three-quarters and on down the stretch until Forbidden Trade got a head in front of All Wrapped Up to claim the 1:53 victory. Cool Clifford finished three and three-quarter lengths behind the duelling leaders in third. "In the Hambletonian he got two nice trips and well, tonight I drove him absolutely terrible and he still won, so it just shows how nice a horse he is," said McClure. "All class, heart, whatever, he's the whole package." "He's a special horse for sure," added trainer Luc Blais. "It was a tough mile, he came first over and he battled until the wire. The horse of Mr. (Rob) Fellows (All Wrapped Up) was good tonight, he fought at the wire too. That was a good race." The win was Forbidden Trade's second on the three-year-old trotting colt Gold Series circuit and his sixth of the season. Through his nine sophomore starts the Kadabra colt has earned $724,441, and with the $300,436 he earned in his division leading two-year-old season, he has now banked $1,024,877 for owner Determination of Montreal, QC. "Me and Luc (Blais) were looking at him after the race and I made a joke to Luc, I said, 'Geez he's getting a little fat Luc,'" said McClure with a laugh. "He looks great. He doesn't look like a horse that's been through what he has, he looks fresh and happy and healthy and he's got a nice belly on him. It's amazing how well he came out of that race (Hambletonian). "He gets a well-deserved break now," the Rockwood, ON resident added. Forbidden Trade will enjoy some time in the paddock at Blais' Campbellville farm before resuming his stakes schedule in September. Woodbine Mohawk Park hosts the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting colts on Sept. 6 and the Canadian Trotting Classic on Sept. 13, followed by the last regular season Gold Series event on Sept. 26. The top 10 point earners from the regular season will then wrap up their Ontario Sires Stakes careers in the Oct. 12 Super Final. "We're going to concentrate on the end of the year, it will be a very intense couple of months," said Blais, adding that Forbidden Trade has the advantage of not having to travel for the Canadian Trotting Classic or the Breeders Crown, which Woodbine Mohawk Park will host on Oct. 26. "He's got his own paddock and he loves that you know. When we came back from New Jersey, he was happy to come back home." After scoring his first Gold Series win of the sophomore campaign in Monday's other $105,600 division, trainer Shane Arsenault is hoping that Knight Angel will have enough points to join Forbidden Trade in the season-ending Super Final. Starting from Post 2, Knight Angel and driver Doug McNair stalked fan favourite Southwind Avenger through fractions of :28, :57.2 and 1:26 before finding an opening in the stretch and sprinting home to a neck victory in 1:54.4. Southwind Avenger settled for second and While Your Up was two lengths back in third. "My dad (Lou Arsenault) once told me, he said, 'There's nothing like winning a horse race to make you feel good,' and that's so true," said Freelton resident Arsenault, who celebrated in the winner's circle with his co-owners Justin Fisher of Cambridge, Gary Leeming of Simcoe and Giuseppe Mascia of Mississauga, ON. "Tonight we're pretty ecstatic." Arsenault added that the win, Knight Angel's fifth of the season, might even be enough to erase the memory of the hospital stay he endured courtesy of the Archangel son in the fall of 2017. "It's been quite a road with Knight Angel. I bought him out of London and I brought him home, was working with him the next day and everything was fine, and then I went to work with him again and he put the boots to me and I ended up in the hospital for a couple days with a broken pelvis," Arsenault recalled. "I think after tonight he's redeemed himself. "It was a bumpy start and now - it took us almost two full years - but I'm going to forgive him now," said Arsenault with a chuckle. The trainer noted that Knight Angel still has his feisty moments, but has largely settled into a steady routine. He has also been fairly steady in Gold Series action, recording one third, one fourth and one fifth in addition to Monday's win for a total of 75 points, good enough for sixth spot in the standings heading into the last regular season event. Complete results from Monday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0812wbsbsn.dat. Next up on Woodbine Mohawk Park's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are the two-year-old pacing colts, who will compete in five Grassroots divisions on Thursday, Aug. 15. The freshman pacing colts will open the evening at 7:10 pm in the first race and also compete in Races 3, 4, 5, and 9.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park www.ontarioracing.com

Dual-code horsewoman Rita Burnett had every reason recently to be "over the moon." Rita was one of harness racing's female trail blazers, along with contemporaries Debbie Quinlan and Roma Pocock, but these days shares her time between the standardbreds and thoroughbreds. Burnett, of Kilmore, cheered home four-year-old pacer Cheeky Major in the Happy Birthday Master Paddy Vicbred Pace at her home track last Thursday. And the win was made that little bit special with her daughter Monique taking the reins. Cheeky Major (Art Major-Mademoiselle Gigi (Towner's Big Guy) showed plenty of gate speed to zip to the head of affairs. Beautifully rated on a rain affected track by Monique, the pair reeled off quarters of 29.6, 31.7, 31.5 and 31.1 to cruise the line with a handy six metre advantage. Long-time supporters of harness racing in Tom and Jean O'Donnell race the winner. "Despite being at it for probably over 30 years, mum is still enthusiastic as ever," Monique said. "She has six standardbred racehorses in work but does heaps of breakers and that's probably what she enjoys most, doing the babies," she said. "But she just loves getting a winner now and again and that's the first time for a while that we've combined to land the money, so it was extra nice." Rita Burnett                                                                    Monique Burnett  _____________________________________________________________________________ Much-travelled Myrniong reinsman Greg Sugars is leading the Driver of the Year award at Shepparton with two meetings to go. Greg is 36 points ahead of master Victorian driver Chris Alford, an opponent he holds with much respect. Astute Avenel trainer David Aiken is well clear on the trainers' premiership. He has a 31-point buffer over Bendigo's Glenn Douglas, who has been in red hot form. Quiet achiever Chris Svanosio is next best. Concession Driver of the Year leader is Kima Frenning, who came out backpacking from Sweden a few years ago, and is now going places in harness racing. Local young talent in Ryan Duffy is holding down second place. The Horse of The Year title sees bay gelding Ramblenroller (Blissful Hall-Cheryl's Fancy (Classic Garry), prepared by Stuart Govers, at the top of the table. Ultra-consistent gelding Enforce the Law (Lawman-Angel Force (Vittner) is a slender two-point leader in the Trotter Of The Year Award. Enforce the Law is prepared by Justin Torney. A brief look at the seasonal awards with meetings (tonight and August 18) remaining: Driver - Greg Sugars 147, Chris Alford 111, Kima Frenning 85 and John Caldow 78. Trainer - David Aiken 102, Glenn Douglas 61, Chris Svanosio 48, Laura Crossland 42 and Donna Castles 41. Horse Of The Year - Ramblenroller 20, Crocodile Kid 16, She Envy 14 and Roslyn Gaye 14. Trotter Of The Year - Enforce The Law 14, Nica Macdonon 12, Starlight Storm 12, Tetra 9, Popcorn Sutton 9, Majestic Time 9 and Col Du Galibier 9. Concession Driver Of The Year-Kima Frenning 85, Ryan Duffy 49, Zac Phillips 36, Brad Chisholm 27 and Tayla French 26. Greg Sugars _____________________________________________________________________________ Ararat Harness Racing Club has sent out an SOS to participants and followers of our industry. Club vice-President Phil Ralph has undertaken the monumental task of researching 100 years of harness racing in the Victorian central highlands city. Phil is seeking names of drivers, trainers and others going back "as far as you can remember". Any relevant photographs stacked in cupboards and old newspapers are also on Phil's hit list. He has been out and about in recent weeks visiting people to hear their stories. But Phil isn't stopping there - he's hungry for information! Anyone with suggestions of people who can make life a little easier for Phil is urged to send an e-mail to ararat@hrv.org.au   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

MILTON, August 12, 2019 - Capt Midnight became harness racing's first sub-1:50 two-year-old of 2019 with a thrilling 1:49.4 victory in Monday's Dream Maker Series final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Dream Maker final featured a field of six rookie pacing colts, all sons of Captaintreacherous, and four competitors from the barn of trainer Tony Alagna. Round one winners Allywag Hanover, trained by Casie Coleman, and Capt Midnight, trained by Alagna, returned to the series following a week off and played major roles in Monday's contest. The opening-quarter saw Captain Nemo surge out to grab the lead and post a :27.4 opener. Allywag Hanover and driver Sylvain Filion didn't sit second for long and were out and moving for the top entering the turn. Capt Midnight and driver Andrew McCarthy immediately moved out from fourth to follow 'Allywag', which set up a wicked second-quarter. 'Allywag' stormed by the half in :54.3, while Capt Midnight and McCarthy were forced to take back and drop into the two-hole. Allywag Hanover continued his mission by reaching three-quarters in 1:22.1. Captain Nemo angled out from third to come first-up heading towards the third-marker. In the stretch, Captain Nemo battled by Allywag Hanover to claim the lead with an eighth of a mile to go. Capt Midnight had room to angle off the pylons to the far outside and powered up to duel down to the line with his stablemate, prevailing on the outside by a head. Captain Kirk finished third to complete an Alagna trifecta. Allywag Hanover faded back to finish fourth. "I followed Sylvain (Filion) hoping I could put my guy on the front tonight," said McCarthy following the victory. "He's such a big long horse and he carries speed so easy I was hoping I could just send him down the road but didn't work out that way and I had to dump in the two-hole for a bit and I was lucky to get out and get him going and he likes to pass horses and got it done." Capt Midnight is now two for four with both victories coming in the Dream Maker and both by tracking down Captain Nemo. McCarthy highlighted the intelligence of the son of Captaintreacherous after noting he was forced to fire up and then back down Capt Midnight in the opening-half. "That's one thing about the Captain's they are pretty smart," said McCarthy. "You can kind of hurt their feelings and they don't take it to heart." A $350,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase, Capt Midnight is owned by Marvin Katz, Kenneth Jacobs, Brad Grant and Captain Kirk Racing. The Alagna trainee has banked $33,800 in four starts and is eligible to the upcoming Nassagaweya, Champlain and Metro. Trainer Alagna has now won the last two editions of the Dream Maker. Captain Ahab won last year's final in 1:51.1. The previous stakes record was 1:50.3 and set in 2017 by Summer Travel. A $2 win ticket on Capt Midnight returned $6.60. Mark McKelvie

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 12, 2019 -- The Party's Rockin powered to the lead at the quarter and scored geared down in a career-best 1:52.4, fastest in Monday's $80,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series stake for harness racing freshman filly pacers at The Meadows. Real Long Hanover, Sweet Camille and Arden Hanover captured the other divisions. Tyler Buter and trainer Mark Harder teamed for a stake double with The Party's Rockin and Arden Hanover. Once The Party's Rockin reached the point, she drew away steadily to down the pocket-sitting Keystone Eureka by 4-3/4 lengths, with Don't Speak third. It was the second stallion series victory for Matthew Dugan's daughter of Captaintreacherous-Rocknroll Cameo. "This filly has a lot of high speed. I liked her the first time I sat behind her," Buter said. "She's right on the verge of being a sires stake filly. She'd be very competitive in that group." Off the board in all three previous starts, Real Long Hanover zipped to the front from post 7, took advantage of some early confusion towards the back of the pack and sprinted to victory in 1:53.2, 3/4 lengths better than Dream Dancing. Coral Reef Hanover earned show. "Last time she was here, she wasn't on her game. She didn't feel that good," said winning driver Dexter Dunn. "She didn't have to be on the front today, but she really felt like she wanted to tear into it." Tony Alagna trains Real Long Hanover, a daughter of Captaintreacherous-Rockin Everyway, for Alagna Racing, Marvin Katz and Riverview Racing. Real Long Hanover Facing a long, arduous first-over trek, Sweet Camille found a path back to the cones for a breather that helped her rally again and break her maiden in 1:54.3 for Mike Wilder. Early leader Windfall Profits finished second, 1/2 length back, while Anthem completed the ticket. "It's always nice to get back to the rail -- especially after you've had to do the work first up with a horse that's a little bit green," said Wilder of the daughter of Sweet Lou-Camille. "I'm not sure she needed that, but it sure helped out. It got her right back on the bit nice." Ron Burke conditions Camille for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, M1 Stable and Jack Piatt III. In the $20,000 Open 1 Handicap Trot, Meme Hanover sprang a 14-1 upset for Jason Merriman and owner/trainer Kris Rickert. The 5-year-old Explosive Matter-Migisi gelding prevailed in a career-fastest 1:54.1 and lifted his lifetime bankroll to $144,986. Tony Hall collected three wins on the 14-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday, when the program features a $183,040 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers as well as a $722.96 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

Don’t try telling Grant Crabbe that New Zealand harness horses aren’t the equal of the best in the world. Because he is on a one-man crusade to prove they are. And when it comes to his world champion mare Shartin, Crabbe is winning the war. The mare Crabbe bred out of his Canterbury base became the fastest pacing mare of all time when she blasted around The Meadowlands in 1:46.8 recently, winning so easily it is realistic to think she could have threatened the all-comers world mark of 1:46 had she been pushed or asked. That continued a stunning last 18 months for Shartin and coming on top of Lazarus pacing close to 1:46 last year, New Zealand horses are running world class times in an industry where times are a far more valued than in thoroughbred racing. Crabbe, a retired motor mechanic, isn’t surprised by the Kiwi resurgence and is more than willing to put his money where his mouth is to say it can continue. Shartin is by New Zealand pacer Tintin In America, who was a speed freak when trained by Geoff Small but like so many domestic stallions doesn’t get elite broodmares. But the first time Crabbe saw Tintin In America he knew he was the stallion for his one-win mare Bagdarin. “I was doing some work at Nevele R Stud at the time and he got off the float and I said to one of the other guys, “that is the fastest horse I have seen in a straight line since Lord Module. “The other guy told me that was fine but being a colonial stallion he will struggle for numbers. “I knew he was right but I don’t care. I know our horses are as good as anywhere in the world and if our best stallions got the mares that Bettors Delight and Art Major did they would have just as much success.” Back when Crabbe bred Bagdarin to Tintin In America it hardly seemed much of a gamble, she was a one-win mare who only had three starts and was retired “because she had arthritis in her knees so bad they looked like gorgonzola cheese,” he remembers. “But she could run. She was from Bruce Francis’s breed and to be honest she was going to be retired before I started training because she was a bit uncontrollable. “It took me three weeks to get her settled enough to work. But this whole family can run.”Shartin proved that straight away but she was too fast to last with a part-time trainer like Crabbe. After a blazing trial at Ashburton she was sold to Australia where she had a top class three-year-old career before moving on to North America, where she hasn’t stopped improving. So consistently dominant has she been that after last weekend’s world record she deserves to be in the conversation with the greatest New Zealand pacing mares, a list of beauty and brilliance. But even though Bagdarin is only 12 and Crabbe could send her to any stallion in the world and get a high-priced yearling, he keeps the faith with the Kiwis. Shartin has a three-year-old brother “who can really run” called Knockawarwon while last season she even visited local stallion Gold Ace, a former New Zealand racehorse who has only just sired his first domestic winner. “I am a proud Kiwi and I don’t want to hear our horses aren’t as good as the best in North America, cause its not true.” Crabbe says he watches every race Shartin has live online and gets regular emails from her connections but has never been tempted to jump on the big bird to go watch her. “I am sure I’d have a good time if I did go see her but I’d also feel like spare part, and being a former mechanic, I don’t want to feel like a spare part,” he laughs. And as for the question every breeder has to suffer when they sell a horse who goes on to the greatness: does Crabbe ever wonder, what if? “No, never. I actually don’t enjoy racing horses that much because they lose more than they win and I hate losing. “I am not a bad loser, I just hate the disappointment. “So I get just as much thrill watching her race now as I would as the owner and she is bringing other people happiness. “And she is doing our New Zealand industry proud. And I love that.”   Michael Guerin

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The harness racing horses eligible for the $200,000C Prix D'Ete at the Hippodrome 3R must be entered in the race office at the track by 11:00 am on Wednesday. The post position draw for the race will take place at a special press conference at the Hippodrome 3R on Thursday morning starting at 11:00 am with the draw taking place at 12:00 noon. The phone number and fax for the race office at H3R is 819-376-4453 Fax 819-374-3585. The Prix D'Ete, once the richest and most prestigious race in Canada, was revived by the Quebec Jockey Club back in 2013. The inaugural revival saw Jimmy Takter's Sunfire Blue Chip set the all-age Canadian and track record at 3R in 1:50.3. That record was tied the following year with All Bet's Off scoring for the Ron Burke Stable. Then Harness Horse of the Year, Wiggle It Jiggleit, came to 3R for Team Teague in 2016, only to come up second best to the Burke's Stable's Rockin Ron in a classic battle over a sloppy track in 1:52. In 2017 it was the Jimmy Takter Stable winning the Prix D'Ete for the second time as Western Fame and driver Trevor Henry wired the field in 1:53.2. Then this past year, Ricky and Jamie Macomber stole the show in an upset with their pacer Beckhams Z Tam in 1:52.1. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Canterbury harness racing trainer-driver Nigel Raymond McGrath has been cleared of a race-fixing charge arising from an 18-month industry investigation. It was the only charge McGrath, 45, faced as part of the police's Operation Inca inquiry into racing industry figures last year. Christchurch District Court Judge Raoul Neave dismissed the charge and McGrath was able to walk away. He had no name suppression, but one aspect of the case remains suppressed. Prosecutor Karyn South told the court the Crown believed there was enough evidence but the "public interest test was not met". Defence counsel Pip Hall QC Hall said the defence position was always that there was not enough evidence for the charge to proceed. Read the full story here.   by David Clarkson Reprinted with permission of Stuff

Custom Cantab (David Miller) steals the $132,000 Joie De Vie open mare trot at Tioga Downs on Sunday (August 11). At the start of the race Darling Mearas S (Brian Sears) went on a break and caused Manchego (Dexter Dunn) to go on a break as well. The big favorite Atlanta then got to the front and led to the first quarter in :27.0. Emoticon Hanover (Bob McClure) went in the pocket and followed Atlanta to a :55.0 half and a 1:23.1 third-quarter. Custom Cantab ($65.00), who is owned by trainer Christopher Beaver, Donald Robinson, and RBH Ventures Inc., went first over just before three-quarters. She then would blow right by the tiring Atlanta to win in a lifetime best of 1:52.0. Dream Together (Scott Zeron) finished second with Plunge Blue Chip (Ake Svanstedt) getting third money. Atlanta finished a disappointing sixth. Custom Cantab is a 4-year-old mare by Mr Cantab. She won for the second time this season and now owns 17 career victories. Speeding Spur N (Brian Sears) charges late to capture the $148,000 Crawford Farms open trot. Mission Accepted (Yannick Gingras) led to the first quarter in :27.4. Speeding Spur N ($18.60) went to the lead as they headed for the stands for the first time. Mission Accepted reclaimed the lead with five-eighths of a mile to go and led to the half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1:24.2. Speeding Spur N, who is owned by Woodlands Stud NZ Inc. and trained by Linda Toscano, popped out of the pocket as they reached the stretch. He looked like a rocket coming down the stretch and just squeaked by second place finisher Mission Accepted to win in a track record time for aged trotting horses of 1:52.4. Run Director (Sylvain Filion) was third best. Speeding Spur N is an 8-year-old horse by Pegasus Spur. It was win number two of the season and his 28th career victory. It was his first win in the United States. Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) wins the $12,500 first elimination for the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) featuring 3-year-old colts & geldings. Rollwithpapajoe (Dexter Dunn) got to the first quarter first in :27.0 and led to the half in :55.0. Major Blake (Jason Bartlett) went first-over on the back stretch and stuck a nose in front hitting three-quarters first in 1:22.1. Rollwithpapajoe reclaimed the lead as they reached the top of the stretch. Artie's Ideal ($24.80), who is owned by Bay Pond Racing and trained by Erv Miller, followed in the pocket and came out to go first-over. Buddy Hill (Brian Sears) then made a three-wide move. Artie's Ideal was too strong in deep stretch and held off second place finisher Buddy Hill to win in a lifetime best of 1:50.3. Covered Bridge (Wally Hennessey) finished third as World On Edge (Matt Kakaley) took fourth. All four qualified for the EBC final next Sunday (August 18). Rollwithpapajoe finished fifth and is the also eligible for the final. Artie's Ideal is 3-year-old colt by American Ideal. It was his first win this season. He now owns three career victories. Hickfromfrenchlick (Matt Kakaley) holds on to win the $12,500 second division. Hickfromfrenchlick ($4.30) charged to the front and led to a first quarter of :28.0. He controlled the pace hitting the half in :56.3. Major March (Jason Bartlett) went first-over just before Hickfromfrenchlick hit three-quarters in 1:24.4. Hickfromfrenchlick, who is owned by trainer Ray Schnittker, Nolamaura Racing, and Thomas Spatorico, battled with Major March as they made the turn for home. Shake That House (Brian Sears) then found an opening on the inside but fell just short as Hickfromfrenchlick won in 1:51.4. Shake That House settled for second best. Major March held on for third. Respect Our Flag (Dexter Dunn) finished fourth with Chatelroll getting fifth place. All five qualified for the EBC Final. Hickfromfrenchlick is a 3-year-old colt by So Surreal. It was win number five this season and career victory number nine. Tioga Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 16) with a 10 race card starting at 6:15 p.m. For more information go to www.tiogadowns.com by John Horne, for Tioga Downs