Day At The Track

Many harness racing fans will remember an incredibly successful North Island family of horses from the eighties and nineties that trace back to the broodmare Birdie. Birdie, of course, earned fame as the dam of Dillon Dean and Dillon Dale, who, between them, won 37 races and were placed 31 times, she also left My Double Birdie (1:57.4) who left Two Under (1:53.2 in USA) Dillon Dean's main wins included the NZ Messenger and Derby titles alongside the NZ Free For All. Dillon Dale also won the NZ Free For All, the NZ Juvenile Championship and Thames Cup. Birdie's Belle, a Berry Hanover daughter of Birdie, produced the outstanding pacer Elmer Gantry, winner of 18 races and 29 times placed. The dam of Lot 31 at the 2020 National Standardbred Yearling Sale is out of a half sister to Elmer Gantry giving buyers a chance to buy in to a family that has left an indelible mark in harness racing annuals. Lot 31 Simply Sam is by outstanding sire American Ideal out of Simply Stunning and is being offered on behalf of Breckon Farms. American Ideal served a full book of 220 mares this past season in Australia standing at a stud fee of A$10,000. American Ideal is the sire of over $105,000,000 in progeny earnings in North America including 12 millionaires. His progeny has average earnings of over $123,191 per starter. In New Zealand, American Ideal has bred 298 winners and his progeny earnings are over $9,000,000 including the likes of The Orange Agent $516,972), Ideal Scott ($388,689), Besotted ($255,744) and recent top three-year-old Copy That ($107,334)   In Australia, American Ideal has 189 Australian bred winners of $12,509,442 to date. He has amazing per starter average earnings of $50,239 per starter. These winners include the super stars Bling It On ($1,830,597) and Soho Tribeca ($1,103,854). Top two-year-old in Australia last season was Pelosi 1:52.6 ($254,236) another daughter of American Ideal. A simple stunning story so far and a compelling future ahead for American Ideal and Simply Sam!  Harnesslink Media

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound.   Double Expresso top WA three-year-old filly   There was never much doubt that Double Expresso was the season’s top rating three-year-old filly as she was the previous season at two years, and she duly confirmed her class by winning the $50,000 Dainty’s Daughter Classic at Gloucester Park.   Actually she was a class above her rivals, and was not seriously tested in running out the 2130 metres in a 1:56 mile rate.   From 12 starts Double Expresso has won nine and been three times placed for $214,579 in stakes   By the world champion Sweet Lou, and one of his first crop, Double Expresso is out of Here For The Money, by Rich And Spoilt (a Group 1 winner and son of Million To One) from Regal Castle, by Safely Kept from Duel Queen, by Seahawk Hanover.   Double Expresso                                                              --Scott Hamilton photo   Here For The Money, a winner of seven races and $81,874, is also the dam of this season’s WA Golden Nugget winner Shockwave 1:54 ($298,704).   This is the family which produced such winners as Kingstar, Chariot King, Emjayem Grand (1:49.6), Its Only Rocknroll, Duel Prince and others.   Double Expresso was bred by Kevin and Annette Charles.       ‘Beach’ colt wins Premiere   The Premiere Stakes, the first classic race for two-year-olds in Victoria, and run at Melton, was won in cavalier fashion by Soho Lanikai, a colt by Somebeachsomewhere from the smart racemare Obahma Joy (by American Ideal), who took a mile record of 1:53.2 at Menangle.   After sitting parked most of the trip, the colt careered away in the closing stages to win untouched by 65 metres – one of the biggest margins ever put up by a juvenile in this country.     Obahma Joy, the dam of Soho Lanikai, won 12 races including the NSW Breeders Challenge 4YO Final and $180,618 in stakes and at the stud has produced three foals of racing age for three winners - all inside 2:00.   By American Ideal, Obahma Joy was a half-sister to the APG Final placegetter Kingofthestars 1:55.9 ($111,139) and Make Mine Joe (1:56.3), being out of Kirrilee Joy, by Safely Kept from the Fake Left mare Intrude, dam of the champion racemare Make Mine Cullen.   Bettorthanyou, a half-sister to Kirrilee Joy, ranks as the dam of the recent Echuca Pacing Cup and Pure Steel winner Sicario.   Soho Lanikai, who is raced by Robert Watson and trained by Michael Stanley, looks a top colt.     Cup winner by Western Ideal   Pat Stanley, who won the $60,000 South Australian Pacing Cup – Rackemup Tigerpie, Somewhere Secret and Stroke Of Luck filled the placings behind him – has made smart progress through the classes.   He is a grand stayer and one of the best of the Australasian stock of the Western Hanover horse Western Ideal, who sired top pacers of the calibre of Rocknroll Hanover, Vintage Master, Always A Virgin and others in America.   Pat Stanley is a five-year-old gelding from Jaz Tanner, by Artiscape from Sly And Stylish, by New York Motoring from Sly Soky, by Soky’s Atom from Sly Tabella, by Saigon – a pedigree with some real background with a strong staying influence behind it.     This has been one of the most successful branches of the Harold’s Rest family, Sly And Stylish being a half-sister to the NZ Free-for-all winner Sly Flyin 1:53.6 ($903,705) and to Sly Shard, a capable racemare who has produced an outstanding family of winners including the millionaire Smiling Shard and the Casey Classic winner Mach Shard.       First Australian winner for ‘Captain’   Captaintreacherous, the former USA 2YO and 3YO of the Year and now leading sire, was credited with his first Australian winner when the two-year-old Captain Braveheart won on debut in 1:53.3 at Menangle.   The colt had shown up impressively in several trials at Menangle recently.     Bred by Lauriston Bloodstock, Captain Braveheart is the third foal and winner out of Scottish Glamour NZ (1:55.9), the dam also of last year’s Leeton Breeders Plate winner The Tiger Army (1:59.1).   Since producing Captain Braveheart in 2017, Scottish Glamour has left a filly foal by Yankee Rockstar but failed to get into foal this season.   In New Zealand, Captaintreacherous has sired the Young Guns heat winners It’s All About Faith (1:56.4) and Platinum Stride from three starters.     From Derby winning family   Mach Dan, winner of the $30,000 South Australian Derby at Globe Derby Park and winner of five of his eight lifetime starts, has the breeding to develop into a top class colt. He is by Mach Three from Bettor Give It NZ, by Bettor’s Delight from Giveitawhirlgirl, and is related to some top Australian pacers.   Mach Dan was bred by Shannon and Meaghan Nixon, of Bacchus Marsh (Vic.), and is the second foal of Bettor Give It (1:57.4), a dual Listed winner of almost $140,000 in stakes.   Bettor Give It ranks as a half-sister to a fine racemare and NZ Sires Stakes champion in Twist And Twirl 1:56 ($283,258), the dam of the WA Derby and recent A. G. Hunter Cup winner King Of Swing 1:48.7 ($793,196).       Tenth winner from broodmare   When the Mach Three three-year-old Bonski Macarena won at Albion Park last Friday, she credited her dam Bronski Gorgeous with her tenth individual winner.   Bronski Macarena had previously been placed on four occasions at the Brisbane headquarters’ track.   Others from Bronski Gorgeous to win have been Admiral Bronski 1:51.6 ($294,362), a very smart three-year-old, Brigadier Bronski 1:51 (265,932), the Group 2 winner General Bronski 1:53.7 ($160,729), Major Bronski (Vic. Derby heat and sire), Bronski Mackenzie (1:53.2),   Sombronskisomwhere (1:54.4), Private Bronski (1:55), Breeze On Bronski (1:56.8), La Pistola and now Bronski Macarena.   Bronski Gorgeous, who is now in her 20 th year, has since produced a yearling colt by Somebeachsomewhere and has a positive test to Sweet Lou.   A top racemare in her own right, Bronski Gorgeous ranked as a half-sister to the Derby and cups winner Sir Galvinator 1:56.8 ($516,723) and Esprit De Kayjay 1:51.6 ($586,976), being out of Promise, by Land Grant from the noted producer Blythbank Del.     Tenth on end   Ryley Major won his tenth race on end in the $25,000 Hobart Pacing Cup, one of the feature events on the Tasmanian calendar. He is by the Artsplace horse, Art Major, sire of the one- time fastest ever NZ bred pacer, My Field Marshal.   Ryley Major is out of a top flight racemare in Shez Rylemak 1:56.2 ($270,688), by Totally Western from Rosary, a Granny Smith winner by Ticket To Heaven from Rosewood Treasure, by Out To Win from the Bachelor Hanover mare Rosewill Rosary was a half-sister to the Matron winner Rosewood Robust and a member of the same family as the Auckland Cup winner Burlington Bertie and Good Chase (NZ Derby and sire).   Ryley Major                                                         --tasracing.com.au photo   Ryley Major is a member of Rohan Hillier’s team.     First winner for Bonavista Bay   Bonavista Bay, a multiple Group 1 winning son of Rustler Hanover from a smart racemare in Our Lady Rena, by Troublemaker, and who is now at the stud in Western Australia, was represented by his first winner when the three-year-old gelding Bonavista Boy was successful recently at Melton.   He led throughout and scored by open lengths in a 1:54.2 rate over 1720 metres.   Before going to WA, where he stands at Spurrs Stud, Wagin, Bonavista Bay was only lightly used at the stud in Victoria and he has had very few runners.   Bonavista Boy, a half-brother to winners in Franco Jolto (1:56.9) and Franco Brien, is a well developed gelding and promises to be a very good stayer.   Their dam, Bianca Jasper, was a Village Jasper mare from Our Lady Bianca (by Classic Garry), who left several useful winners including Serenas A Hit 2:00.4 (Moonee Valley) and Compare Bianca (1:58.7).       Breeders land treble   South Australian breeders Peter and Lesley Medhurst led in three winners at their home track Mount Gambier on Tuesday. And they came within a nose of completing a quadrella.   Their winners, Crown Royale, Pebble Sands and Sea Lover, all belong to the same family, that tracing back to the Kentucky mare Roses In Paris.   A smart racemare in her own right, Roses In Paris, who took a mark of 1:58.9, left 12 winners from 13 foals, three of which won at Group level in Pete’s Elect 1:51.6 ($118,085),   Thorninmyside 1:58.9 ($160,666) and King Grin 1:56.7 ($132,436).     Tasmanian yearling sale on Saturday   A total of 21 yearlings have been nominated for the Tasmanian Harness Sale to be held at Carrick Park, near Launceston, on Saturday.     The draft includes youngsters by the well-credentialled sires Rock N Roll Heaven, Sweet Lou, Racing Hill, Betting Line, Well Said, Sunshine Beach, Modern Art and the ill-fated Hurrikane Kingcole.   The on-line catalogue with photos of the yearlings can be viewed at tasracingcorporate.com.au       By Peter Wharton

I - as well as others - had a chance to see, read and hear about Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s proposal, this past Tuesday Feb. 4, of establishing a new ‘Nellie Bly’ Scholarship Fund by redirecting $204 million of existing tax dollars from the Race Horse Development Trust Fund.   If this didn't throw the Pennsylvania horse industry under a bus it sure appears that the life line of horse racing in that state is in serious danger. After taking a few days to think about this and inhaling some very good social media posts from drivers, trainers and people around the industry, I ask you - have we done enough to market our product outside the proverbial four walls? The sport of racing has been around a very long time and so has it’s outdated form of betting. The long tradition of pari-mutuel wagering just isn't going to cut it any longer and if we don't do anything to change the landscape of our betting, we will have basically killed our sport. I know the above can't be changed overnight and we have hurdles to leap over, but time is running out. Horse racing has been playing catch up to many things - including sports wagering and before we fall off our own pile of shavings we best start looking at what we need to do as an industry. Have we done enough to get our product out there? I don't mean self-promotion that you see all over the internet and social media sites - where one promotes themselves - for the good of their own and parlays it off as an industry achievement. Our industry requires advertising and advertising agency's to focus on creating a demand for our brand. Selective advertising is not the path we should be looking to follow. Selective advertising can be deceptive to lure one into a false belief. This past month in TROT magazine I can point out where one breeding operation takes a shot at another and in a recent online article you can find similar being done on the Standardbred Canada website. Can’t we sit the children down and remind them that they are the same people who - as one owner said - are suing the province/government over lost breeding dollars from the SARP cancellation? Let me tug on the right line and get you back to selective advertising. Selective advertisers assume there is an existing demand and we see that inside our race tracks with as Casino Operators luring people in with gifts and gift promotions. Give people something for free and they will take it all day long - does that mean value added? Maybe for a casino, but as far as Return On Investment (ROI) for tracks – I’d have to say no! We as an industry need to get racetrack owners and operators to join in. We need to make not just good marketing moves, but great marketing decisions - if we are going to compete for the wagering dollar. Where do we get the funds to do this?  Let’s take a percentage of purse funds and let’s look at selling outside advertising campaigns - to generate cash flow from outside the four walls.  We as individuals are so great at selling the game to one another, but selling this to someone already involved in the sport is like selling water to a camel - when it doesn't want or need to drink. I can sit here all day and make you believe I'm going to bring thousands of people to the sport - by doing something that's hasn't been done yet, but before we jump in - hand over fist - is there going to be any ROI? I have yet to see the cards dealt, but I'm sure a couple of email blasts aren't going to do it… Nor will a few gifts - so to speak Legit marketing firms will tell you this industry needs proposed changes. The industry leaders have to make things - such as past performances - free and available to EVERYONE!   When I want stats to bet a basketball game - I can get tons of information free, for that sport, without having to spend a dime. I betting you'd be hard pressed to point out when the last article you read, on our sport, actually had a positive movement to make you (or someone reading it) want to get out and watch live horse racing. I challenge you to walk around in a circle and find a corner, let me know when you have successfully completed that mission. Deception and illusion are great tools - just as David Copperfield and Criss Angel have shown in the past. If you want to use the phrase ‘outside the box’ then start creating a primary advertising focus and demand - on this general product called horse racing. It all starts there and make sure to get the product out to those who aren’t already a prodigy of the sport. We are all ‘addicts’ to the sport we breathe. I hate to use the word ‘addicts’, but we are IMHO. The industry needs help and we need it fast. Imagine sitting at a McDonalds - eating a Big Mac - and then I walk over to you to try and convince you that a Big Mac is the best - so just keep coming to McDonalds. I hope you get the analogy of that. Back on Feb 4th, of this year, driver Yannick Gingras said the following on social media - after the announcement of Tom Wolf’s proposal… “Let’s all get together and promote our wonderful sport before it’s too late.” His key word there was ‘together’.  Our sport, right now, is like watching an episode of survivor - where it's every man and/or woman for themselves… Where - in the end - they all point their fingers at each other... Hopefully horse racing doesn’t come down to this. As a fan and part-time owner - I won't sit here and preach that I am a marketing firm and I have a ‘100% sure proof solutions’ to solve this, but at the same time - I will tell you what we are missing and it's because I see it daily and have spoken to groups who see it too. Three to five times a year we have the mainstream media actually paying attention to horse racing and I don’t need to list what events those are. I'm sure everyone has their idea of what works best, but remember most ideas are like armpits - we all have them and most stink. People can't come to the races if they don't know about it. More often than not, no one knows what is going on at their local track - unless they are on the inside looking out. Think about that last statement for a bit. We, as an industry, are promoting horse racing to people who are already a part of the sport - so how can we expect it to grow? We can't grow it like that… by Lou Sorella, for Harnesslink  

By Garrick Knight    The country’s top three-year-old colt returns at Alexandra Park tonight on a path towards next month’s Northern Derby. And it’s an unconventional starting point for Copy That, too – a standing start event against the older horses. The reason? Quite simple. He is too highly assessed and there is a dire horse shortage in Auckland. Trainer Ray Green is frustrated but understanding. “I’ve had that conversation with them but I can understand their problem, that being the gross shortage of horses in the north. “Really, we have no other option; it’s a necessary evil.” He’s ineligible for next week’s Waikato Guineas due to his high rating – a race he would have been a very short-priced favourite in. Instead, Green will start him this week, then in the Derby prelude in two weeks’ time before the $200,000 feature on March 6. Green gave Copy That some standing start practise at the trials last week and it went well. “We stood him up once and he did well; I think he’ll be very good from the stand because he’s quite a rapid-going little horse.” The horse is thriving according to Green and he is in a good place heading towards a plethora of feature races over the next six months. “He’s very good and I’m very happy with him. “He’s in a good place right now. “It was good to get him a wee break over Christmas but he was glad to be back; he likes being in work and enjoys the routine.” Green is noted for taking his horses to the races fit and ready to win every time and this week is no different. But don’t expect driver David Butcher to launch him if he’s slow away. “This is just a lead-up race to our main mission. “He’ll win it if the opportunity presents itself, but we aren’t going to send him on a ‘search and destroy’ mission.” Bookies have faith – they opened Copy That a prohibitive $1.55 favourite yesterday afternoon. Green also has four horses in the $15,000 two-year-old race to close out the night. Of them, Franco Nandor opened second elect with bookies last night after a brave debut second a week ago, where he was nosed out right on the line. “He sort of exceeded my expectations a little bit first-up. “He’s certainly lifted his game. All four of them are nice horses, actually. “Vanquish Stride’s first start was very good considering he did everything wrong against a better class of horse and still finished with them. “The three colts will all be pointing towards the Young Guns Final in a few weeks’ time.” Monday will see Green, stable owner John Street, and client Emilio Rosati start their three-day yearling shopping spree at Karaka and Christchurch. Most of the hard work has been done, but he’s hopeful of avoiding one thorn in his side. “We’ve eliminated a bunch in the last few weeks, but haven’t looked closely at the ones still on our list. “It’s the same old story – work to the budget and see what they’re going for. “And if Jean Feiss is bidding on one that makes it difficult. “We were the under-bidders on Jesse Duke and Self Assured. She’s tough to beat, especially when she hones in on one she likes. “She’s a great judge.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Natalie Rasmussen isn’t expecting Princess Tiffany to be gifted tonight’s $100,000 New Zealand Breeders Stakes at Addington. That doesn’t diminish her confidence the hot favourite can win and earn herself a trip to Sydney but it might not be the comfortable watch many punters expect. Princess Tiffany is $1.40 in the Breeders after returning from a long layoff by easily beating many of these last start over 1980m when she was able to stroll to the front and control the race. Rasmussen, who co-trains the multiple group one winner and will drive her, says Princess Tiffany has improved with that outing but she expects more early challenges tonight. “I don’t think the other drivers will just hand it to her this time,” says Rasmussen. “I think the two drawn inside her might be happy to trail but other horses like Wainui Creek, Step Up or Bettors Heart drawn wider might have a crack early. “So while I am confident she can win I might not be as easy as last time.” While multi punters or big players might be happy to take the $1.40 for Princess Tiffany others may look for different ways to make money out of the race, with the natural option looking to be Ivana Flybye at $2.20 a place drawn the ace. If Princess Tiffany is able to run straight to the front and stay there that could be good money but if Rasmussen is right and there is more early pressure than the Ivana Flybye trail and run second theory may not be so logical. If the market is right and Princess Tiffany does win then she will earn automatic entry into the A200,000 Ladyship Mile in Sydney on March 7 and she would head there to take on arch-rival Belle Of Montana. Rasmussen and partner Mark Purdon hold the key to most of the features at Addington tonight with Amazing Dream expected to continue her domination of the three-year-old fillies season in the $150,000 Sales Series Pace. “She is working really well and even if she doesn’t lead she should trail at worst.” Another Masterpiece is fresh up since the Auckland Cup on New Years Eve but has been working so well Rasmussen says she will not be scared to put him into the race from a wide draw, even though he meets some fit, hard-running rivals. But the $30,000 Trotters Free-For-All looks potentially more challenging for the All Stars with Marcoola and Valloria genuine threats to their pair of Enhance Your Calm and King’s Landing. “Our two are trotting well but it won’t be an easy race,” offers Rasmussen. “I’d favour Enhance Your Calm slightly out of our two.”   Michael Guerin

When opportunity knocked, Drew Monti answered. It led to the best season of the 25-year-old driver's career. Monti was amid what he called a "pedestrian" campaign at his home track, Buffalo Raceway, when he was presented an opportunity to drive regularly at Plainridge Park. It gave Monti the chance to make new, as well as strengthen previous, connections and drive in an increased number of stakes. By the end of 2019, his purse earnings were a career-best $2.24 million. Prior to last year, Monti had driven in two races worth at least $100,000. In 2019, he drove in 11. He won a Massachusetts Sire Stakes championship with Odds On Orlando and competed in Grand Circuit events at multiple tracks. He did not arrive at Plainridge until early June, but with the notable backing of Lindy Farms, posted 89 wins the rest of the meet. Only Mitchell Cushing and Drew Campbell won more races during that time. Monti also enjoyed success at Red Mile, winning 13 of 75 starts (only Dexter Dunn won more among drivers with fewer than 130 starts at the Lexington oval) while still finishing third in the standings at Buffalo and fourth at Batavia. "It was definitely my best year so far, including exposure," Monti said. "It's nothing even compared to what I'd gone through. Even just going to Plainridge for Lindy Farms and stuff, I feel like I made some big strides as far as taking it to the next level. "It's a great circuit at home, but if you really want to be in the game and do well, you have to get out there. Lindy really got me going. They got me out there and the rest of it snowballed from there. I'm very grateful to them for that." Monti has kicked off this year by driving at The Meadowlands and Buffalo. It is his first trip back to the Big M since the winter of 2017. He has nine wins in 86 starts at The Meadowlands heading into this weekend's action, when he will have a total of 17 drives on Friday and Saturday. "I talked with people about coming down and I'm glad I did," Monti said. "I'm happy to be there. It's been going pretty well, I think. "It's hard to pick where you're going to go. You kind of go where you're needed. Obviously, you've got to have enough work to make it worth your while. Anyone can say they're going somewhere, but to actually compete and have enough work to make it worthwhile is the key." Monti, a Buffalo native, has won 1,532 races in his career with earnings of $9.50 million. In addition to driving, he helps his dad, Darrin, with the family's training stable. The family ties make for difficult decisions when it comes to traveling. "I don't think it's a secret, I love Buffalo," Monti said. "I'm not saying I would be opposed to moving anywhere, but I like the area I live in and I'm very close with my family. That was one thing that was difficult for me. You can't be everywhere all the time. You've got to make sacrifices. Sometimes it was with our own horses back home. I'd be watching our horses race and it was the first time I wasn't the one driving them. That said, I can see the rewards. "I'm very happy with the last couple years and the way things have progressed. I'd like to continue at that pace. I'm not one to really push things. I like to kind of let it come to me. (Early last year) I was a little bummed because I wasn't doing that great at home. I was winning races, but it was just very pedestrian. It's funny; it just shows you how things can change." Monti, who so far in his career has won two driving titles at Batavia and one at Buffalo, hopes to have a schedule similar to 2019 this year. "I'm planning on going back to Plainridge, I'm planning to be available for stakes, Grand Circuit, stuff like that," Monti said. "I'll still make appearances at Buffalo as much as I can. It's hard to say because things can change so quickly and unpredictably. It's hard to plan exactly what you're doing." Because you never know when opportunity will knock.  by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

Always B Miki has the heart of a harness racing champion. He has proven this time and time again, whether it be setting a world record during the Allerage Pace, or in his fierce showdown in the 2016 Breeders Crown to capture his second consecutive Breeders Crown title. His fierce determination has led to his success on the track, even after suffering a potentially career-ending injury his 3-year-old year, Always B Miki would not be stopped. He recovered and came back even stronger, with wins in the Breeders Crown, the Haughton Memorial, the Gold Cup, and the Ben Franklin, among many others, landing on the board an impressive 45 times. His grit and speed are second to none, and he will surely be a force to be reckoned with in the stud barn. Always B Miki  Click here for Always B Miki on Wikipedia 2011 Bay Stallion by Always A Virgin out of Artstopper Earnings of $2,715,368 2016 Horse of The Year Always B Miki set the WORLD RECORD during the Allerage Pace, winning in an outstanding 1:46 Two time Breeders Crown champion, winning both in 2015 and then again the consecutive year in 2016, in a thrilling battle against Wiggle It Jiggleit Only horse to win 4 races in 1:47 or faster Multiple other victories in prestigious races such as the Ben Franklin, Haughton Memorial and the Ewart Memorial Always B Miki record Year Age Starts Win Place Show Earnings Speed Record Ref 2013 2 12 2 4 3 $135,384 1:53.1 [8] 2014 3 19 12 4 – $791,482 1:47.4 [29] 2015 4 4 4 – – $301,210 1:48.1 [30] 2016 5 18 12 5 – $1,487,292 1:46.0[a] [31] Overall 53 30 13 3 $2,719,368 1:46.0   ^ World record[28] Always B Miki is featured with 26 yearlings at the 2020 National Standardbred Yearling Sale, New Zealand this coming week. He has 12 yearlings in the Northern Sale at Karaka on Monday and he has 14 in the Southern Sale on Tuesday and Wednesday. Breckon Farms have six yearlings entered by Always B Miki in the Northern Sale at Karaka.  One of those yearlings is Lot 9 Money Motives,out of the race winning Bettor's Delight mare Moving Money selling on behalf of Breckon Farms.. Moving Money's dam is the very good race mare Angela's Dream winner of $118,244. Lot 9 - Money Motives Other yearlings by Always B Miki from the Breckon Farms draft are Lot 43, Lot 76, Lot 93, Lot 103 and Lot 106 Harnesslink Media.

Exciting times as the first BETTING LINE yearlings in New Zealand go under the hammer and a quality list of very well bred harness racing horses across the four days of the sales from Somebeachsomewhere, Captaintreacherous, Well Said and Western Terror. Lots 5-122 below will be sold at the Karaka Sales in Auckland 16 & 17 February Lots 185-382 will be sold at the Canterbury Sales in Christchurch 18 & 19 February You can access the entire catalogue through the NZB logo at the bottom of the email or click on the individual photo for the full pedigree of that lot - below is a listing of the outstanding colts and fillies available by our exceptional stallions: Lot 5 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt (from Christian Cullen mare)   Lot 44 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS colt (from Badlands Hanover mare) Lot 50 - BETTING LINE colt (from Artiscape mare) Lot 67 - BETTING LINE colt (from Presidential Ball mare) Lot 87 - BETTING LINE filly (from Falcon Seelster mare) Lot 122 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS colt (from Badlands Hanover mare) Lot 186 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt (from Artsplace mare) Lot 201 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt (from American Ideal mare) Lot 210 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS colt (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 212 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 227 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS colt (from Dream Away mare) Lot 230 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt (from Christian Cullen mare) Lot 241 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS filly (from Christian Cullen mare) Lot 256 - BETTING LINE colt (from Courage Under Fire mare) Lot 263 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS filly (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 268 - BETTING LINE filly (from Somebeachsomewhere mare) Lot 278 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS colt (from Rocknroll Hanover mare) Lot 310 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS colt (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 319 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE filly (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 344 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS filly (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 352 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 364 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS filly (from Christian Cullen mare) Lot 374 - BETTING LINE colt (from Dream Army mare) Lot 381 - BETTING LINE filly (from Christian Cullen mare) Lot 36 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS filly (from Art Major mare) Lot 47 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE filly (from Artsplace mare) Lot 54 - BETTING LINE filly (from Christian Cullen mare) Lot 75 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS colt (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 96 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 185 - BETTING LINE colt (from American Ideal mare) Lot 193 - WESTERN TERROR colt (from Christian Cullen mare) Lot 203 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 211 - BETTING LINE filly (from Big Jim mare) Lot 220 - WELL SAID filly (from Christian Cullen mare) Lot 228 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 235 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS filly (from Life Sign mare) Lot 250 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt (from Badlands Hanover mare) Lot 258 - BETTING LINE colt (from Holmes Hanover mare) Lot 266 - WELL SAID filly (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 267 - BETTING LINE filly (from Artsplace mare) Lot 277 - BETTING LINE filly (from Artsplace mare) Lot 297 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt (from Live Or Die mare) Lot 318 - BETTING LINE colt (from Rocknroll Hanover mare) Lot 338 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS colt (from Shadow Play mare) Lot 350 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS filly (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 362 - CAPTAINTREACHEROUS colt (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 365 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt (from Presidential Ball mare) Lot 380 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt (from Bettors Delight mare) Lot 382 - SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE colt (from Artsplace mare)

Guelph, ON Feb. 13, 2020 - In 2015, Lara Genik and Dr. C. Meghan McMurtry from the University of Guelph’s Department of Psychology conducted a survey at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, looking into the prevalence and impact of less studied painful incidents among children while handling and riding horses. Some of the results may surprise you. “There hasn’t been much work conducted about less serious incidents”, says Genik. “When I looked at the literature that did exist, I found that it has primarily focused on serious injuries that led to hospitalization. For example – we don’t know much about how often less serious incidents are occurring, when or where they are occurring, and what the impact is on youth and their parents.” Genik’s research survey set out to understand common painful incidents associated with riding and to gain insight that could potentially lead to intervention through safety and educational programming.   With the help of Equine Guelph and their EquiMania! youth display, data was collected at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. 120 children aged 8-18 (who participated in riding at least once per week) and a parent completed brief questionnaires about their riding habits including helmet use, supervision, painful incidents that have occurred, and their impact.   A startling result indicated that 75% of the children surveyed had experienced at least one type of painful incident more than once, yet only 7.3% said they had modified their behavior (e.g., keeping fingers away from the horse’s mouth after having been bitten). “We were quite surprised that these incidents had little impact on children’s behavior around horses,” says Genik. “This implies that the incidents may continue to occur even if they could be prevented – and we know from recent work that many incidents around horses may actually be preventable.”    Responses from parents and children were quite consistent and revealed regular and consistent helmet use and supervision were more commonly endorsed when riding horses compared to handling them on the ground. There were just a few responses that differed; specifically, parents believed children’s helmet use occurred more frequently when handling horses on the ground compared to their children’s reports. The same was true for the answers regarding supervision when working around horses from the ground.   'Once Bit, Twice Shy' not the case in equine research study   When incidents did occur, it was mainly parents and coaches who addressed them. Therefore, a proactive suggestion would be for both coaches and parents to have current first aid training and knowledge about concussions. The study also identified many benefits associated with riding, which Genik identified with, having been involved with horses since a young age herself. “It is a fantastic sport and there has been many positive changes in regards to safety around horses over recent years,” says Genik, “but we still need to do more. Specifically, we think there would be value in learning more about how and what is happening when these incidents occur – this could allow us to more specifically inform, develop and implement targeted interventions to relevant stakeholders.”   Genik hopes future research into the relatively unknown prevalence of minor incidents around horses will help parents and riding coaches supervise and educate children in proactive ways, as well as work through incidents and talk about prevention strategies. The development of problem-solving skills was one of the benefits of riding, according to survey participants. This is a great opportunity for parents to apply these problem-solving skills with children.   Future studies collaborating with stables could provide a better understanding of incidents to tailor and update safety programming. Detailed incident reporting and real-time reporting are just a few of the items cited for potential research that could contribute to education influencing behavioural change.   Read the full research paper at ScienceDirect.com   Equine Guelph has been happy to support this important research. With the same goals for increasing safety through education, Equine Guelph offers online courses benefiting anyone who handles horses. Visit TheHorsePortal.ca for the next offering of Horse Behaviour & Safety. This short course is available for both Adults and Youth (age 13 – 17) and our students say, “I recommend this course for everyone involved with horses to gain a better understanding of their behaviour and how we can make safety our top priority.”   Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit www.equineguelph.ca.   Story by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - In harness racing, it's not uncommon to see tracks with favorites that win at a rate of 45 percent and higher, but at the Meadowlands, the races play out more as they would at major thoroughbred tracks, meaning bigger payouts for the patrons. As of Monday (Feb. 10), the Big M's post-time choices have been clicking 36 percent of the time, which is the same rate as at Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park. Santa Anita favorites are winning 38 percent of the time. "The percentage of winning favorites at the Meadowlands shows that the racing office is doing a great job carding ultra-competitive races to wager on," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "Last weekend (Feb. 7-8), there were only seven winning favorites out of 26 races (27 percent) at the Meadowlands. If you go down the list of what is important to horse players, I think the Big M is getting it done as well as any track right now, especially when one considers our low 15 percent takeout on all of our Pick-4s, Pick-5s and Pick-6s." Last week, the mile oval saw wholesale changes to its betting menu - not to mention its post time - and the track's faithful following responded in a big way. While the new earlier post time of 6:55 p.m. must have taken some by surprise, the majority were ready, betting with both fists. Handle on the first race both nights was vigorous, as $244,355 in bets were taken Friday before $293,871 was pushed through the windows Saturday. Saturday's total handle of $2,856,554 - third best of 2020 - saw an average per race of just under $220,000 and represented the fifth straight card where action exceeded $2.5 million. The first race Pick-5, which saw a reduced base bet of 20 cents (down from 50 cents), took in big play, with total pools of $55,082 Friday and a season-best $72,364 Saturday. Saturday's payout of $3,548 was particularly impressive when one considers the odds of the winners, which were 2-1, 5-2, 7-2, 5-1 and 5-2. The $1 payout of $17,740 was more than 13 times what the parlay returned. "Whether you are here for start of the card or can't get here until later on in the night, there is now a plethora of multi-race bets spaced out throughout the evening," said Settlemoir. One multi-leg bet now flows right into another on a typical 13-race card, as the 20-cent Pick-5 covers races one through five, the "signature" Early 50-cent Pick-4 races six through nine and the new Late 50-cent Pick-4 races 10 through 13. Another new wager that was popular with players was the 20-cent Pick-6, which saw its total pool increase 36 percent to over $24,000 on Saturday when compared to Friday. One Saturday sharpie took down the entire pool, cashing in for $20,797. When compared to the "standard" 25 percent chop, that winner walked away with an extra $2,442 in his or her pocket given the Big M's low 15 percent rake. The move of the "signature" $50,000 guaranteed 50-cent Pick-4 to the sixth race was something bettors were ready for, as $68,473 and $86,015 were wagered Friday and Saturday, respectively, leading to payoffs of $758 and $291. Besides the Pick-6, a new Late 50-cent Pick-4 debuted to rave reviews, with $53,229 in action taken Friday (leading to a payoff of $1,130) before $61,834 was put in play Saturday ($700). "Our new multi-race menu offers four wagers on Friday and five on Saturday at the highly-reduced takeout of 15 percent," said Settlemoir. "The Early and Late Pick-4, Pick-5, Pick-6 and the Saturday only Can-Am Pick-4. The math says that with the added money now going to the players, small losers can now become small winners and small winners can become big winners. Of course, we are counting on the support of price-conscious players - regardless of the size of their bankrolls - to make these multi-race wagers a must play." Total play on last weekend's Pick-4s, Pick-5s and Pick-6s was almost $440,000, as $194,770 was wagered Friday before $244,787 was put in play Saturday. FREE FREE FREE: Free program pages for the Early 50-cent Pick-4 and Late 20-cent Jackpot Super High-Five are always available at playmeadowlands.com and ustrotting.com. GET READY WITH DAVE AND DAVE: The Big M TV team of Dave Brower and Dave Little are always there for players who want all the information needed to tackle a Meadowlands card. Analysis and selections by Brower, who also serves as track odds maker, are always available 48 hours before a race card at playmeadowlands.com. The duo can be seen nightly on the "Meadowlands Live" simulcast show beginning at 6:22 p.m., with whomever is in the co-host chair providing an in-depth look at that evening's Pick-5. The Daves provide best bets and value plays on the card - as well as a look at the night's featured races - before coming on-camera before race six to give out tickets for the night's Early 50-cent Pick-4. Both handicappers have done well of late, with Little - who gives out "Little's Late Double" before the 12th race every night - having given out three straight doubles, a streak that ended last Saturday, the same night that Brower gave out the Early Pick-4 that paid $291. TWITTER TALK: Connect with everyone on the Meadowlands' TV (and TVG) team on Twitter: Jessica Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Dave Brower (@eedoogie), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM), Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover), Rich Mattei (@Richmattei16), Mike Bozich (@MikeBozich) and Peter Kleinhans (@PKleinhansMusic). And for selections and everything Meadowlands, go to #playbigm. COMING UP.... On Feb. 14, card players who are 21 or older can play Texas Hold'em on "Free Poker Friday", hosted by World Free Poker. On Feb. 14, bring your sweetheart to the races and enjoy a fabulous Valentine's Day dinner in the Big M's Pink Restaurant. You might be one of three couples to win a gift certificate for a bed and breakfast stay in Cape May, NJ. For reservations, call 201-THE-BIGM. On Feb. 22, The Big M will host its February World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifier. The top two finishers will qualify for the WHHC Final. It's only $200 to play ($100 to enter; $100 bankroll). For complete information, check out the brochure at http://playmeadowlands.com/uploadedFiles/2020%20February%20WHHC%20qualifier.pdf. From the Meadowlands Media Department  

It’s often hard to line up 2yr old form with any confidence. A smart, well bred performer might look a million bucks one week and perform like it’s worth two bucks-fifty the next. Couple that with the All Stars Stables dominance of juvenile racing in New Zealand over the past few years and you have an argument that might say “she’s a nice one for next season” or “she’ll be better placed once the good fillies are out of the way” I’m not entirely sure that argument would hold up for a certain trial and workout performer lately… Credentials are as follows Trainer: M Anderson Horse: Town Echo The Art Major filly, out of a Bettor’s Delight two-win mare in Cordelia, has impressed in her two trials and does genuinely look like a horse that can have punters sitting up and slinging their hard-earned on at short notice. Her eight length blitzing of a field yesterday at Rangiora trials (in a time of 2.35.7 over the 2000m mobile) comes after a bullish trial performance some three months ago at Addington when accounting for the Cran Dalgety trained Karmic Delight. On that occasion Town Echo found the line like a horse in a hurry completing the last quarter in a little over 27 seconds from the trail to win by a comfortable two length margin. Yes it’s early days but there are fair wins and there are nice wins, the efforts of Town Echo certainly belonging in the latter of those two descriptions. A further investigation in to the prospective quality of the filly is supported by a brief look at its closely-related performers. Aqua Sancta (2 wins from just 7 starts on NZ soil) Zinny Mach (now multiple winner in the USA) and the well travelled Our Bagger Vance (8 wins) all have blood ties to the Anderson runner. When you couple those family-ties effort with the sound UDR of the young trainer / driver then you have a compelling argument towards Town Echo being more than your average run-of-the-mill qualifier.     So while the two year-old riches generally go to the stable racing in blue with a few stars on their chests if would pay to follow the Anderson trained runner in the months ahead. There’s a strong chance you’ll witness a nice horse, in full flight, winning races.    If Town Echo is the horse her recent efforts suggest then Lot 35 at the upcoming 2020 National Standardbred Yearling Sale is well worth a look. “Cover Girl” is a Bettor’s Delight filly offered by Breckon Farms and is closely related via her dam (Sossusvlei) being a half sister to Cordelia. “Cover Girl” is only the second foal out of Sossuvlei and a full sister to the forementioned Aqua Sancta. Pedigree updates; Aqua Sancta 2016 (Bettor's Delight-Sossusvlei, by Art Major - Corbie) 29/11/2019 2nd NZMTC NZ Sires Stks 3yo Silver 1-58.3 Cash N Flow 2012 (Mach Three-Karen Donna, by In The Pocket - Megaera) 09/11/2019 2nd Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle NSW Kevin Robinson ffa Gr.3 16/11/2019 1st Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle NSW Sue Kelly ffa 1-49.9 Gr.3 30/11/2019 2nd Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle NSW Lazarus At Yirribee ffa Gr.3 06/01/2020 1st Tabcorp Pk Menangle Ainsworth Game Technology Pace 1-52.0 25/01/2020 2nd Tabcorp Park Melton Vic Casey Classic Gr.2 Perfect Stride 2016 (Bettor's Delight-Chicago Blues, by Christian Cullen - Bluejeanbabyqueen) 26/11/2019 1st Nswhrc at Tabcorp Pk Menangle Garrards Horse And Hound Pace 1-53.1 25/01/2020 3rd Tabcorp Park Melton Vic Derby Gr.1 Ben McMillan

Reinswoman Jocelyn Young and trainer Debra Lewis teamed up to claim winning trebles together and steal the show last Friday night at the Albany Harness Racing Club. Pierre Whitby started a great night for the duo in race four of the nine-race card, the four-year-old gelding justifying his $2.80 quote by winning the Zero Harmdash Pace (2690m), edging out Allwood Glow by a half head on the line. Young and Lewis then made it a race-to-race double in race five when $1.34 favourite American Tour proved too strong for her rivals in the Jimmy’s Tribute Pace (2265m) prevailing by more than 6m. Less than an hour later the pair had three winners for the evening at Harold Reid Paceway after Right Royal Cheer brought up her third career win, saluting by more than 5m in race seven, the Scooters Finale Fillies and Mares Pace (2265m). Driver Jocelyn Young claimed a treble on Friday night teaming up with the Debra Lewis Leading trainer-driver Nathan Turvey also tasted success, saddling up two winners and driving three to victory himself. In race three Miracle Moose, the $1.50 favourite, took home the money after winning the HE McAleese Minute Pace (2265m) by 6m over Faiselle. Miracle Moose trained and driven by Nathan Turvey winning the H.E McAleese Minute Pace (2265m) The Terry Ferguson-trained Beiderbecke won by a half neck to The Glass Ceiling in race six, the Hanson Handicap Pace (2247m). Then Turvey added a third winner when his own runner Alfredi dominated the final race, the Hanson Quarry Run 3YO Pace (2265m), winning by 22.7m. Leading Albany reinsman Corey Peterson guided Batavia Silverline home in the first race. Then the Albany Cup winning combination of driver Emily Suvaljko and trainer Barry Howlett teamed up with Ohoka Titan to win race two, the Spuds Sprint Pace (2265m), by 1.2m. AHRC will host their memorial night tomorrow from 6.35pm. By Taj Stubber  Reprinted with permission of The West Australian

On the racetrack, Libertybelle Midfrew was an outstanding harness racing mare. As tough as they come! “Libby” won over $600,000 in prizemoney and competed at the highest level in Western Australia. “Libby’s” credits include the Group 1 WA Oaks and the Group 1 Golden Nugget in 2014. To watch the video replay of The WA Oaks click on this link. To watch the video replay of The Golden Nugget click on this link. The mare’s racetrack deeds are now starting to be repeated in the breeding barn. Jackie Gibson of Success Stud tells us that she has become a real favourite of her Mum, Mary Gibson, the matriarch at Young, NSW. She is simply everyone’s favourite animal. Kind, gentle and regal. A bit like Mary. The Bettors Delight colt out of her sold for $120,000 at last year’s Sydney APG sale. He is now in the hands of Marg Lee and reports are good. This year’s offering at Sydney APG is another cracking Bettors Delight colt. He is lot 722 in the Sydney APG sale. If photos do not lie, this bloke might yet fetch more than last year’s result. Jackie says he is without doubt one of the most impressive yearlings turned off Success Stud. We are delighted to be able to present a product off Success like this colt, said Jackie. Lot 722 in The Sydney APG Sale. A Bettor's Delight colt from Libertybelle Midfrew What excites Jackie and Mary even more, is that this year’s product appears to repeat offering. Libby has a most stunning Captaintreacherous filly on her now. The great Captaintreacherous throws a wonderful type and he did not miss out with Libby. We just love being greeted by the great mare every morning. We see her as part of the Success story and likely to fill a similar role in the Gibson history book to the great producer, Grace Robinson. If photos do not lie, who would not want this filly tucked away as a future champ!

A 10-year-old ex-claimer chestnut gelding in Tasmania has earnt himself a "home for life" after combining with bubbly teenage harness racing driver Georgia Hayward for her first race win at the weekend. Hayward, 17, with just 11 drives behind her, showed all the poise in the world to land the money with 100/1 shot It Is A Glacier (It Is I-Glacier Girl (Chill Factor) in the Launceston fast class race at Mowbray. "We've been racing him mostly in the claimers, but he won't be ever going back into those. I can pretty much guarantee that at the end of his racing he has a home here forever," a thrilled Hayward, based at Scottsdale, 60kms north-east of Launceston, said. "We didn't think he was good enough to go around in discretionary races, so he's probably gone around in the claimers for eight out of the 12 starts he's had for us and with a $5000 price," she said. Hayward said she was hopeful It Is A Glacier's good stand-start speed would allow her to find a good position. And from the outside front row draw, she found the back of old-timer Destreos soon after the start. "I thought we may have been going a bit quick early. I can't remember ever thinking I might be the winner. Even when the horse on my outside Ideal World dropped off and I got into the clear, I was still pretty relaxed," she said. "Then when I hit the front near the finish line there was a lot of tears. I realized I was going to win. I couldn't believe it and couldn't stop crying. I was just so happy because most of my family was there watching. "It was a day that I'll remember for a long time that's for sure. My mum Louise and 'Pop' John haven't missed any of my races, and dad David is there most of the time, depending on his work." Happy smiles: from left trainer Kent Rattray with It Is A Glacier. Winning driver Georgia is with her parents David and Louise, while “pop” John, Georgia’s brother James, and “nan” Julie join the celebrations. (Stacey Lear Photography) The pacer is known around the stables as "Meggs" (because "he's a 'ranga' and they're all known as Ginger Meggs") and Hayward said he was already a family favorite, even before his weekend win. "My brother James is listed as the owner, but Meggs is definitely family owned - most of them have some ownership, and I hope some of them put a few dollars on because he paid $157 on the TAB," she laughed. "We didn't go out or anything to celebrate-I think I just grabbed some KFC on the way home. I would really love to win another race soon because I could then buy my own ute and give dad his car back." Hayward said it was planned to give "Meggs" an easy time before aiming him at the heats of the Easter Cup. "I'm still on cloud nine, so I'll keep enjoying it for a bit yet." Hayward said while her family had been in the sport for a long time, she became interested only a few years ago. "My great grandparents Lawrence Hayward and his wife Lennie where involved along with my pop John Hayward, racing horses like Swishinover and Swishinon," she said. "We moved to Scottsdale from Ringarooma. "It was a lovely town where we used to live, but it's becoming smaller by the day. We shifted because of work and schooling. "I'd been involved with pony club for years and Wayne and Kent Rattray came knocking on the door to see if I wanted to help out at their stables," she said. So that's where it started, and Kent now trains our horse. "We've had Meggs since early last year and got him off Peter Romero who is at Chiltern, near Wangaratta in Victoria." Hayward last year spent five months working with James Rattray at his stables in Exeter, nearly two hours from Sydney. "I learnt a great deal and would love to go back and spend more time there."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Jim Avritt Sr. bought his first Standardbred in 1963 when he was a senior at Xavier University and nearly 60 years later continues to enjoy the thrills of harness racing and breeding. On Feb. 23 in Orlando, Fla., Avritt's Precocious Beauty will be honored as the Pacing Broodmare of the Year at the U.S. Harness Writers Association's Dan Patch Award banquet. Precocious Beauty is the dam of Tall Dark Stranger, who that same night will receive the Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male pacer. Earlier this month, Tall Dark Stranger picked up the O'Brien Award in Canada. Avritt bred and raced Precocious Beauty, who in 2013 also captured O'Brien and Dan Patch awards. Tall Dark Stranger, a Bettor's Delight-sired colt who sold for $330,000 at the 2018 Lexington Selected Sale, was her second foal. Her first foal, an Avritt-owned filly by Somebeachsomewhere named Beautyonthebeach, was a two-time Kentucky Sire Stakes champion. She was retired following the 2019 season and will be bred to Bettor's Delight this week. "It's incredible, really incredible," the 79-year-old Avritt said. "I never thought when I started out that I'd reach this point, that's for sure. I never dreamed at that time I would have something like Precocious Beauty down the road, either as a race filly or a broodmare. Precocious Beauty "I can't wait (for the awards weekend). I'm going to hit some of the training centers on Saturday morning before heading to Orlando. I'm looking forward to it." Avritt traces his successes to the purchase of Dominique Semalu as a broodmare in 1995. Dominque Semalu is the dam of Precious Beauty, whose offspring in addition to Precocious Beauty include O'Brien and Dan Patch awards winner Sportswriter and Grand Circuit winner Prescient Beauty. The family also includes the grandam of Dan Patch Award winner Downbytheseaside. "I've said it before, if I hadn't been lucky enough to buy Dominique Semalu nobody would have ever heard of me," Avritt said. "I've sold some high-priced yearlings out of her. Although she didn't produce any really top stakes winners, she had good raceway horses that earned quite a bit of money, and every daughter she ever had turned out to be a tremendous producer." Avritt generally keeps fillies out of his broodmares and sells the colts. Precocious Beauty's third foal, a colt by Somebeachsomewhere named Beach Party, sold for $190,000 last fall at Lexington. Avritt has kept a yearling filly out of Precocious Beauty, by American Ideal, named Elegant Beauty. He also has a 2-year-old homebred filly out of Barefoot Beauty that he is training. She is by Shadow Play and named Barefoot'npregnant. "She is a really, really nice filly," Avritt said. "She's probably as nice as anything I've trained. If she's good enough, she'll go up to Gregg (McNair) when he goes north from Florida. Otherwise, she'll stay down here and I'll race her some at the fairs and see how much she can improve." Avritt still likes to drive in races, although he does not do it often. "Every now and then I drive," he said. "I really enjoy that part of it. There is no feeling in the world like going behind the gate." Even if he does not get on the track, the Kentucky resident still gets to enjoy watching his small broodmare band's offspring compete. "I'm hoping it's not over yet," Avritt said. "I just wish I was younger so I could enjoy it a lot longer." by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

ANTHONY Butt was the star of Victoria’s Summer Of Glory and looks a key player again heading into Sydney’s Carnival of Miracles. Butt’s two major Victorian winners, Dr Susan and Line Up, shape as the ones to beat against in the NSW Oaks and NSW Derby respectively. And he’s got Perfect Stride for support in the Derby, along with the consistent Make Way pushing for a Chariots Of Fire berth. Line Up, Perfect Stride and Make Way all step-out at Menangle on Saturday night. “Line Up and Perfect Stride go round in just a normal three-year-old race, but they needed the run otherwise it would’ve been five weeks between runs from the Victoria Derby to the Derby heats here,” Butt said. “It’s turned into a really strong race because horses like Governor Jujon and Youaremy Sunshine are using it for a lead-up as well.” Smooth Deal would’ve been there as well, but he was balloted out and will go around next Tuesday at Menangle instead. The heats of the Derby are at Menangle on February 29 and the final a week later on the Miracle Mile card. “Line Up and Perfect Stride are really well going into this week. They’ve come through Melbourne very well,” Butt said. “I’m driving Line Up and young Cam Hart, who drives a fair bit for Emilio (Rosati, owner), will be on Perfect Stride. “I actually don’t think there is much between them. Line Up had more lead-up racing and was primed for Melbourne, while Perfect Stride will have really benefitted a lot from those couple of hard runs down there.” Butt said the Cran Dalgety and Nathan Purdon-trained Dr Susan’s Menangle win last Saturday showed she was right on song for the NSW Oaks heats on Saturday week. “She did that well. She’s absolutely flying and her gate speed, combined with the fact she can switch off after burning early, is such an asset,” he said. Butt’s also hopeful Make Way, trained by his fiancé Sonya Smith, can secure a Chariots Of Fire start with another bold run in Saturday night’s Group 2 Paleface Adios. “He’s just that bit below the absolute best ones, but the top four from last week are gone. Yes, a few new ones come in, but he’s drawn ok (gate six) and a top five run this week should be enough to get him in,” he said. Butt foray into training, most specifically the private gig for Rosati and his wife, Mary, continues to go. He confirmed he was taking over Shane and Lauren Tritton’s huge double barn at Menangle when they leave at the end of March. “It’s perfect. It’ll give us 40 boxes and plus room for another five or so who prefer to be in yards,” he said. “We’ve already got 30 or so in work and the set-up Shane and Lauren have will be ideal to move into,” he said.   STAR Kiwi pacer AG’s White Socks headlines the field for Saturday night’s $50,000 Group 2 Terang Cup (2680m). Greg and Nina Hope’s stable star will chase a second Victorian country cup after his Ballarat success last month. Punters have already stepped-in to AG’s White Socks backing him from $3.50 into $2.80 with the Aussie TAB, despite drawing the back row (gate nine). In-form local Code Bailey, who ran fourth in the Hunter Cup compared to AG’s White Socks’ fifth placing, has the advantage of the front row (gate six) and is $2.40 favourite. On the same card, former Kiwi Ronald J has been backed from $2.15 into $2 to make a winning Aussie debut for Kate and Andy Gath in the Group 3 Terang Trotters’ Cup.   Adam Hamilton