Day At The Track

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - It's one thing to stand out against many of the finest older harness racing pacers in training. It's quite another to do it as a young'un. Missile J, a relative toddler at the age of four, finds himself worthy of a seat at Saturday night's (Apr. 22nd) adult table for Yonkers Raceway's $529,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. This race, and its companion, the $310,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker, are the sport's two richest of the season to date. The Levy, of course, honors the memory of the Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway. Back to Missile J we go. The son of American Ideal, already with last season's Art Rooney Pace (for then-owner Ken Jacobs and then-trainer Linda Toscano) here highlighting the resume, was the leader in the Levy clubhouse after winning his first three series starts. With his place in the final thus secured, he took the fourth week off before a 'just don't get hurt' fifth-place effort in last Saturday's (Apr,. 15th) final prelim leg, winding up third in the standings. According to the U-S Trotting Association's Anne Chunko, just four of the previous 29 winners of this race have been 4-year-olds. Though Missile J won the Rooney flashing eight-hole speed, his success in the Levy has been the result of some eye-popping closes. "He's a bit of a hothead," trainer Scott DiDomenico said. "Once you start him up, it's hard to throttle him back down." DiDomenico took over training after the horse changed hands for $115,000 at the Meadowlands sale this past January. This season's early results (in seven wins in nine starts) came on the hooves of a very poor end to 2016, when Missile J finished seventh in the final of the Empire Breeders (Tioga) and eighth (last) in the final of the New York Sire Stakes (here). "We (along with co-owners John McGill and Brian Carsey) just wanted a good Yonkers Saturday night horse," DiDomenico said. "There was no thinking he'd be in the Levy. "I knew he was a high-speed horse who could sprint and was raced hard. He seemed a bit tired at the end of last season, but the first few times we raced him this season (Meadowlands), he was so good that we decided to take a shot and nominate him." In winning his first three series legs, Missile J rallied from sixth, fourth and sixth, snatching victories from venues not usually associated with Westchester win photos. "He wants to chase horses, but even he surprised me a couple of times," DiDomenico-who added an open bridle to the horse's wardrobe--said. "What that allowed us to do was given him a week (round 4) off, and that was big. This is a grueling series, and not having to race every Saturday was a big plus. "Also, having (Timmy) Tetrick each week has been great. The pair leave from post position No. 3 in the Levy. "I have one of the best drivers in the sport and I love the draw," DiDomenico said. "There's speed inside and outside and he (Tetrick) can just watch things unfold. Now, Missile J just has to execute." For all of Tetrick's accomplishments, he has never won this race. The 34-year-old DiDomenico, an Illinois expatriate who earlier this season earned his 1,000th career training victory, has enjoyed his greatest success with the $1.4 million pacing lass, Handsoffmycookie. "Personally, it would be special to win this race, especially here (Yonkers). It's where I've mainly raced the past number of years, and it's where I always prefer to race." Apparently, his charge feels the same way. The field for the 2017 Levy, which goes as the 10th of 12 races (first post 7:10 PM, race is approximately 10:15 PM)... 1-McWicked (Matt Kakaley, 3-1), 2-Blood Brother (Brian Sears, 12-1), 3-Missile J (Tim Tetrick, 4-1), 4-Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube, 9-1), 5-Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett, 2-1), 6-Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, 5-1), 7-Provocativeprincen (Yannick Gingras, 20-1), 8-Soto (Brett Miller, 12-1). Frank Drucker

Matt Kakaley saw many of McWicked's victories during the horse's Dan Patch Award-winning campaign in 2014, but not from a favorable vantage point. Kakaley drove horses that lost nine times to McWicked that season, which culminated with McWicked being named harness racing's best 3-year-old male pacer. Last weekend McWicked won again, but this time Kakaley was much happier with the view. Kakaley began driving McWicked three weeks ago in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series and the two teamed to advance to Saturday's $529,000 championship at Yonkers Raceway by getting last week's crucial triumph following two second-place finishes. "It's cool how it's worked out where I finally get to drive him," Kakaley said. "I raced against him many, many times and he usually beat me every time I raced him. I think I got the better of him once or twice. "This has worked out good. He's getting sharp at the right time. He was super the other night."McWicked will start Saturday's Levy final from post No. 1 and is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line behind favorite Somewhere In L A, who enters the race off back-to-back victories. Missile J, the only three-time winner in the event's five preliminary rounds, is 4-1 while defending champion Bit Of A Legend N is 5-1. "It's going to be a good race," Kakaley said. "It's a good group of horses. Missile J is the one to beat, but Somewhere In L A has been racing good, Bit Of A Legend has been racing good. I don't think any one horse lays over (the field). There are probably four or five that have a really big shot." McWicked, owned by Ed James and trained since last year by Steve Elliott, was stymied at ages 4 and 5 by throat issues that resulted in two surgeries. This year, the 6-year-old son of McArdle-Western Sahara has won three of seven races and earned $71,000 to push his career purses to $1.83 million. Kakaley and McWicked needed last Saturday's win to secure a place in the Levy final. A week after losing by a nose to Clear Vision in a gate-to-wire attempt, McWicked rallied from four-lengths back at the half to win by three-quarters of a length over Caviart Luca. "He's been getting better and better each start," Kakaley said. "The (previous) start, when I had him on the front, he was just kind of waiting on a horse and Clear Vision got him. I asked Steve to make a little bridle change and he was sharp. He was super. "He's getting right at the right time for this series and the rail always helps at Yonkers. He's just a pleasure to drive. He'll do anything you want. He's all professional. Steve has got him really good right now. Hopefully I can work out a good trip and give him a big chance to get the job done." Two races prior to the Levy championship, Kakaley will drive Medusa in the $310,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final. Medusa, who had one win in the five preliminary rounds for trainer Andrew Federico Jr. and owners Randy Bendis and Tom Pollack, is 20-1 on the morning line from post six. Mach It A Par, who shared the points lead in the prelims with Shesjustadelight N, is the 2-1 choice from post three. Regil Elektra, a three-time winner in the series, is 5-2 from post five and Shesjustadelight N is 4-1 from post two. "I wasn't too thrilled about the draw," Kakaley said. "She drew outside a couple of the main contenders. But she's been really good. She was really sharp when she won and she was really good last week, I just didn't really have much room up the passing lane. But she finished with a good amount of steam. "I was really looking forward to her being a live shot in there. Hopefully things will work out because she's been good. I think she still has a shot; she just needs the race to set up for her." Complete entries for the Saturday races at Yonkers can be found by clicking on this link. Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

April 19, 2017 - Bold Eagle leads a classy harness racing field of 11 in Saturday’s Gr. I UET Masters Series Prix de l’Atlantique at Enghien. The recent Triple Crown winner, first in 41 years, drew post one in the 2150 meters autostart affair for a purse of €200,000. The lineup follows:   Thomas H. Hicks

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Wednesday, April 19, 2017) — Increased out-of-competition testing, investing in additional investigators and research into emerging threats is the most effective way to catch — and, more importantly, deter — cheating in horse racing. That was the big take-away from the drug-testing forum on opening day of the Association of Racing Commissioners International’s 83rd annual conference on Equine Welfare and Racing Integrity at the Charleston Marriott. The panel featured Dr. Scott Stanley of the University of California, Davis, which conducts that state’s horse-racing testing; Dr. Anthony Fontana of Truesdail Laboratories; and, speaking via teleconferencing, Dr. George Maylin, the longtime director of the New York Equine Drug Testing and Research Laboratory. Also on the panel was Brice Cote, a former standardbred driver and detective in New Jersey State Police’s racetrack unit who heads the integrity efforts at The Meadowlands, Tioga and Vernon Downs harness tracks. Even if the panelists expressed varying beliefs on the prevalence of rules-violators, they all emphasized the importance of out-of-competition testing — taking samples from horses in between races — as a way to detect substances that no longer show in traditional blood or urine tests from samples taken immediately after a race but still could have an impact on a horse’s performance. "The only way we're going to stop this is by intelligence-based policing and out-of-competition testing," Cote said. “Most jurisdictions have very good drug testing,” Stanley said afterward. “We do robust testing, and most of the labs are accredited as well. Now we look at big challenges. And when you look at big challenges, you can make those mountains into molehills, or you can take them off one at a time and get them knocked down. We are doing both. We are taking the ones that have legitimate concerns for the industry, like cobalt when that came up. We found that, set a threshold, established rules and made that go away — quickly. Steroids, anabolic and corticosteroids, those now are well-regulated. This are big wins for the industry. They weren’t low-hanging fruit either. We still have some challenges that have now climbed the tree, they’re higher up. And we need to knock those off.” Stanley discussed the potential of “biological passports” as a tool, in its infancy of development for equines, that could be used in out-of-competition testing. The testing would provide a baseline result to which subsequent testing both pre-race and between races could be compared. “If they change abruptly, if the bio-markers tell us this horse was given an anabolic agent, we don’t have to detect it,” he said of the exact substance. “We’d be able to say, ‘This horse cannot naturally produce this profile. It has to be enhanced.’” “Informed testing, focused testing and targeting testing is something we need to put more emphasis on,” said ARCI president Ed Martin. “Out of competition testing should be expanded, but it’s real value doesn’t come until you’ve expended the research dollars to be able to detect the substances not being detected in the existing out-of-competition testing.” Also Tuesday: A panel of administrative veterinarians discussed keeping horses’ treatment records and the trust issues that arise among equine practitioners, horsemen and regulators as to proper use. Dr. Scott Palmer, New York’s equine medical director, said that regulators getting horses’ treatment records can benefit horsemen and veterinarians because of the research made possible. He noted that Depo-Medrol was the most popular corticosteroid used in joint injections up until 2012. Unknown at the time, the medication could pool in other tissue and stick around longer when used in hocks and stifles, trickier joints than ankles, Palmer said. “We discovered that Depo-Medrol could be found in the joint in a blood test of a horse as long as 100 days after the administration period,” he said. “The idea that you go on the (Racing Medication & Testing Consortium) guidelines and see 21 days for Depo-Medrol is a risky business. It wasn’t accurate, because there was such a variation in the amount of time that the Depo-Medrol would be discoverable in a post-race blood test.” Palmer said that, with what was learned from knowing the location of injections and the timing of administration, veterinarians were cautioned about using Depo-Medrol in the first place. He said that today in New York if a veterinarian uses Depo-Medrol, the horse must be tested for the substance before running. “That’s a good example how we can use the research findings from the medical records, the treatment records to protect people and help create a better regulatory policy,” Palmer said. A morning panel brought various perspectives on how to promote the good in horse racing while not ignoring issues facing the sport. Wagner to players: ‘Regulators do strive to get it right’ Judy Wagner, outgoing ARCI chair and horse racing’s First Lady of Handicapping, had a message for her fellow horseplayers. Wagner is the 2001 National Horseplayers Championship winner, the horseplayers’ representative on the board of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the vice chair of the Louisiana Racing Commission. With her one-year term as ARCI chair ending Thursday, she’ll hand the baton to chair-elect Jeff Colliton of the Washington Horse Racing Commission. “As a horseplayer — and this is a message that I want to get across to horseplayers: Regulators do strive to get it right,” she told the audience at the Charleston Marriott for the three-day conference. “We really want to make the players, everybody in the industry, feel that we have an industry of integrity. “Let handicappers know that they have a product that they can respect; they don’t have to handicap the rumors that this trainer is doping horses or whatever. And saying that, I wish that we could educate the public that there is a difference between d-o-p-e and legal medication to help the horse. There is a place for therapeutic drugs.” Committee recommends banning Clenbuterol for Quarter Horses The Quarter Horse Racing Committee voted 5-3 to recommend amending the ARCI model rule to prohibit the bronchodilator Clenbuterol in Quarter Horse and mixed-breed races, with testing in blood serum and plasma, urine and hair permitted. The recommendation now goes to the Drug Testing Standards and Practices Committee for consideration, then the Model Rules Committee and ultimately the ARCI board, if approved at each step. Clenbuterol is a useful therapeutic medication to treat respiratory ailments, but its abuse to build muscle mass sparked American Quarter Horse Association officials to request that it be completely banned in their breed. The abuse is not seen with Thoroughbreds, for which such muscle build-up could impede running that breed’s longer distances, officials said. The AQHA officials requested that the rule be breed-specific. “We don’t feel it is our job to take it away from other breeds,” said Janet VanBebber, the AQHA’s chief racing officer. “But we readily acknowledge that there is abuse within our breed of the sport.” The three racing jurisdictions voting against the recommendation said they thought it should be banned for all breeds. Ed Martin ARCI president

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series finals and consolations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features the $529,000 final and the $100,000 consolation of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers, as well as the $310,600 final and $75,000 consolation in the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. All four races will take place on Saturday (April 22). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: The time to impress the judges concluded Saturday night (April 15), with preliminary-round competition ending for Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Round Five saw three $50,000 divisions go at it. Favored Somewhere In L A (Jason Bartlett, $4.10) became the sport's newest millionaire, easily winning the third event in front-end fashion. From post position five, he never had any angst, especially after a cheap half with the splits of :28, :56.4, 1:24.3, and 1:51.3. The final margin was 1-3/4 lengths over a second-up Clear Vision (Brett Miller), with Guantanamo Bay (Scott Zeron) lasting for an uncovered third. All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) and tiring-pocket Wakizashi Hanover (Tim Tetrick) settled for the remainder. For Somewhere In L A, a 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Richard Banca for co-owners D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P Stable and The Gandolfo Stables, it was his sixth win in 13 seasonal starts and he is two-for-five in this series. Defending series champ Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $4.40) threw down the gauntlet for the finale, going down the road from the pole with fractions of :27.1, :56.1, 1:25, and 1:51.3 as the people's choice in the night's second event. After stuffing Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) in behind, he whipped that rival by three-quarters of a length, note the :26.3 kicker in the final panel, while Blood Brother (Bartlett) was a first-up third. Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald) and Missile J (Tetrick) earned the minors. For Bit Of A Legend N, an 8-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch Stable and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his second win in seven seasonal starts and he is two-for-five in the series. Saturday night's first Levy grouping had a first-over favorite in McWicked (Kakaley, $4.30), from post position two, edge past pace-setting Caviart Luca (George Brennan) after that one's intervals of :27.2, :56.4 and 1:24.4. McWicked vacated the three-hole, engaged Caviart Luca in and out of the final turn and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.4 and again, note the :26.3 last quarter. First leader Mach It So (Tetrick) held for third, with Santa Fe Beachboy (Barlett) and Provocativeprincen (Stratton) getting the smaller change. McWicked, a 6-year-old son of McArdle trained by Steve Elliott for owner S S G Stables, is now three-for-seven this season and is one-for-five in this series. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2017 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Jason Bartlett - 128; 2. Matt Kakaley - 81; 3. Jordan Stratton - 71; 4. Tim Tetrick - 49; 5. Daniel Dube - 39. Trainers: 1. Richard Banca - 76; 2. Peter Tritton - 67; 3. Rene Allard - 39; 4. Ron Burke - 34; 5. Scott DiDomenico - 32. Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable - 58.5; 2. Fred Monteleone Stable - 32; 3. S S G Stables - 20; 4t. Carmen Iannacone - 19.2; 4t. D'Elegance Stable IX - 19.2; 4t. T L P Stable - 19.2. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Freehold Raceway, with $48,000 (est.) Dexter Cup eliminations (if necessary) for 3-year-old open trotters on Saturday (April 29). Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

The Union Européenne du Trot (UET) has advised Standardbred Canada that Germany’s representative to the harness racing 2017 World Driving Championship, Michael Nimczyk, is now unable to take part in this year’s event.  Unfortunately some of Germany’s major races take place at the same time as the WDC. Noel Baldacchino from Malta was next in the UET standings and has accepted an invitation from the organizers to compete. Baldacchino has been driving for over 26 years and has competed in 5,865 races with 925 wins to his credit.  He has been Malta’s Champion Driver ten times during his career and has won this title for eight of the past ten years. Here is a look at the complete field: Australia - Shane Graham Austria - Gerhard Mayr Belgium - Rik Depuydt Canada - Brandon Campbell Finland - Mika Forss Malta – Noel Baldacchino New Zealand - Dexter Dunn (defending champion) New Zealand - Mark Purdon Norway - Eirik Høitomt Sweden - Björn Goop United States - Marcus Miller The 22-race competition takes place at five different racetracks in four different provinces. Drivers earn points based on their finishing position and the top point earner at the end of the 22 races will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money. The first leg kicks off at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino in Balzac, Alberta on Saturday, August 12. Following the first leg in Alberta, the drivers will then head to Ontario for the next two legs. Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville will host the second leg on Monday, August 14, and that will be followed by the third leg at Georgian Downs in Innisfil on August 15. The action then moves to Trois-Rivières, Quebec on Wednesday, August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg of the WDC before the drivers head to Prince Edward Island and Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on Friday, August 18, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week. This event, along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, hosted in Charlottetown, PEI, are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.   Kathy Wade Vlaar Manager of Industry Marketing  

Friday evening's Stan Bergstein Trot is named for the legendary figure in harness racing who passed away in 2011 at the age of 87. Mr. Bergstein was a harness-racing titan who advocated for cooperation between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries to solve the sports' common problems. He stepped down in 2011 after 50 years as the executive vice president of Harness Tracks of America, the Standardbred industry's trade association. He was immediately appointed as the organization's first executive emeritus, and continued to advise the association and write guest columns for the Daily Racing Form until the weeks before his death. The only person to ever be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame and its Communicators Hall of Fame, Mr. Bergstein worked in a wide variety of roles at racetracks, auction houses, announcer's booths, and racing publications, and he maintained extensive collections of harness-racing books and artwork. He was widely respected not only in the harness industry, but also in the Thoroughbred industry, and he served as a mentor to generations of young racing professionals through a close association with the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, located in Tucson, for the past 40 years. Mr. Bergstein was a forceful proponent of forging closer ties between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries, most notably in tackling medication abuse and problems with drug-testing. In dozens of commentaries, Bergstein maintained that the Standardbred industry's problems were, or would be those of the Thoroughbred industry, and that neglect of a problem in one sport would damage the other. Bergstein borrowed from the Thoroughbred industry early in his career, incorporating claiming races as a racing secretary while working at the Chicago tracks in the 1950's. At the time, the harness racing industry did not run claiming races, and they are now as commonplace in Standardbred racing as they are in Thoroughbred racing Bergstein also spearheaded the creation of Standardbred Investigative Services, a security agency modeled on the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau. A native of Illinois, Bergstein attended harness races as a young man and received a journalism degree from Northwestern University. He was the former executive editor of Hoof Beats magazine, and the former vice president of publicity and public relations for the United States Trotting Association. Cal Expo trackman/program director Marty Bridges credits Stan Bergstein with bringing him into harness racing as a profession. "After college and two years in the Army, I was employed by the small business association. At night, after work, I was a regular patron at Sportsmans Park and Maywood in Chicago. "My supervisor, a former sportswriter for the Chicago Daily News, knew of my interest and called Stan to set up a meeting. Surprisingly, I was to meet him at Du Quoin on Hambletonian Day. Watching Stan call the races from a slightly elevated booth on the infield adjacent to the finish line was thrilling and between races we talked about racing, horses, drivers and trainers. "His knowledge of the sport was amazing and I had never met anyone like him, and still haven't. He introduced me to John Tinsley, the program director for all the Chicago tracks and John hired me on the spot. Its been a great ride, doing something I love." Gene Vallandingham first met Stan Bergstein in 1959 when he was working for the legendary Joe OBrien. "Stan came to Joe's farm every spring for the annual Camptown racing weekend, when all of Shafter would be there for a day of racing. Stan was the true voice of harness racing, he was liked by all and I miss him." Chris Schick said, "Stan was foremost a kind and compassionate person. He was a true visionary in the harness racing industry. In 1979 well before simulcasting, he so rightly stated the future of the industry was in how well we brought the product to the public. He was also very vocal of the industry for being reluctant to embrace change. Our industry lost a giant when he passed." Bergstein Trot, Sire Stakes, Pick 5 carryover The $10,000 Stan Bergstein Trot headed by Flameon; a California Sire Stakes and a $10,241 carryover in the Pick 5 are the highlights on Friday night's program at Cal Expo. There will be 12 races presented under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:15 p.m. The Sire Stakes features Lodi Puppycat and will go as the sixth race, while the Bergstein is slated as the ninth event on the card. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent wager that is conducted on the first five races and there will be a $40,000-guaranteed pool. The Pick 5 also comes with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate, which is also the case with the 20-cent Pick4, which has a $30,000-guaranteed pool on Fridays and $40,000 guarantee on Saturdays. Looking at the Bergstein, Flameon will be making his first evening appearance since January 13 but sports a couple of sharp qualifiers under his belt in the interim and looms large in this cast for owner Mark Anderson, trainer Gordie Graham and pilot James Kennedy. A 7-year-old son of Angus Hall out of the Valleymeister mare Benn's Fire, Flameon has captured 20 of his 44 career appearances with $95,000 in his bank account and a 1:55 3/5 mark that was established two years ago. The hard-hitting performer has won three of his starts at this meet at the Open level, with the most recent coming on December 16. In his last start, he was second to Silverlode after carving out all the fractions that evening. Taking him on are Franky Provolone, Zoraze, Swift Cougar, My Little Susie, Cadet, Kickinitwithkohler, Shez So Sassy and Silverhill Volo. In the Sire Stakes, Lodi Puppycat will be challenged by Ldo Jazz Player, Gravel Girl, Indio Azteca, Bo Plenty and Never Onebadchange. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

The count towards harness racing reinswoman Jodi Quinlan's mighty milestone - 2000 winning drives - initiated more than two decades ago with a swoop down the straight on the first day of winter. It was June 1, 1992, when trainer Gary Quinlan’s six-year-old gelding by Windshield Wiper led a concession driver on to Cranbourne’s course to tackle the Sky Channel Stakes. Zephyr Lad had placed only once in his last eight starts and was a 20/1 pop, having drawn the outside of the front row, with the 2/1 favourite Five Ply, trained and driven by trots legend Ted Demmler, among those on his inside. For some it was just another manic Monday, for Zephyr Lad’s 17-year-old reinswoman it was a nerve-racking opportunity. “I used to get terribly nervous when I first started,” Jodi Quinlan said. “The first winner was very nerve-racking. I think I was sitting in the one-one and just happened to get out around the turn at Cranbourne and sprint home. It was a really close finish.” A short-half-head separated Zephyr Lad from Lord Of Rohan, but it was enough for Quinlan to break her duck in just her fifth start. “I was that nervous, it was all a bit overwhelming at the time.” It was the only victory Zephyr Lad would produce in his last  23 starts, despite also passing through the hands of renowned drivers Chris Alford, Gavin Lang, Brian Gath, Ross Sugars and Matthew Harding. Also notably, Zephyr Lad was not only trained by Quinlan’s uncle Gary but part-owned by her grandfather Alby, an insight into the outstanding family support that gave her an initial leg up. “Mum and dad had gallopers and I lost my father just before I turned 15 and went into trotters because that was what was available to me,” Quinlan said. “My uncle Geoff Walker took me under his wing early on and carted me all over the country side to drive Highland Bomber. “Geoff was the one who was prepared to put me on early doors. He was a very good horseman, really good at breaking them in. He was the one who stuck up for me early on.” And Quinlan is also quick to credit uncle Gary, who gave her opportunities on key drives, exposure that would fast-track her career. That included Our Millers Road, who Quinlan said “really ran for me”. “(Our Millers Road) was the first one who got me out there at the Valley. My two uncles and mum have been the backbone of where I got too today,” she said. “I obtained a lot of outside drives from (Our Millers Road) and that helped me outdrive my claim. As much as Geoff started me off and got me going, my time as the stable driver for Gary for many years gave me that next step and led to me moving to Melton and starting out on my own.” Quinlan’s opportunities enjoyed a steady incline, peaking in 2002-03 when she would drive 990 starters for 162 winners and 258 placegetters. Her greatest win would come in the following November when she piloted Sokyola to the $550,000 SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile for trainer Lance Justice.  “I look at it as a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Quinlan said. “(Owner) Colin Croft was the reason I drove Sokyola, he promised one day that he would put me on a good horse and it just happened to be Sokyola. You have to pinch yourself even now to think that I’ve won a Miracle Mile.” They are now milestones amid a milestone, having carried Quinlan to 2000 wins last Wednesday when steering her three-year-old colt, Somebeachshadow, to victory by a head at Kilmore. It was a formidable achievement some 25 seasons in the making. “Im proud of the achievement that I’ve been able to do that,” Quinlan said. “I’m very lucky to have had so much support. I’m the one who gets all the accolades and the one who drives them, but it has taken a lot of dirt and tears to get to this stage and you need the support of a lot of people in the industry.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

The race to be crowned the Australian Pacing Gold Trotting Master for 2016/17 is on. And it’s wide open. With two legs remaining, both to be staged in Auckland at Alexandra Park, a number of scenarios and possibilities can play out. Currently leading the race is Sydney trotter On Thunder Road, albeit with a one point margin over Glenferrie Typhoon and Monbet but all three quality performers are notable absentees from the Auckland features. No Australian trained performers have made the trip across the Tasman Sea. So the Gr.1 $100,000 HR Fisken & Sons 2017 ANZAC Cup this Friday night takes on a whole new level of importance. While the prizemoney is paramount for connections, the Group One glory coupled with the possibility of being crowned the Trotting Master is hard to put a price tag on. First staged back in 2012, the list of winners includes I Can Doosit, Stent, Superbowlcheerleader, Sheemon and Monbet last year. It’s a list that oozes class and another name will be added this weekend. But who will it be? A field of 15 with 2 emergencies has been drawn to contest the 2200m mobile start open class feature, a lead-in event to next week’s $150,000 Canam Rowe Cup. It’s an interesting mix of up and coming talent taking on proven stars. Champion horseman Paul Nairn has won just about every trotting feature imaginable in this part of the world, but the ANZAC Cup is missing from his trophy cabinet. That could quickly change this weekend when he sends out his pair of richly talented mares Habibti Ivy (gate 4) and Wilmas Mate (gate 13), both mares have come up with handy draws. Habibti Ivy is unbeaten in four starts this campaign while the giant Wilmas Mate indicated her best form is just around the corner following her slashing effort last start. Also winless in the event is Tim Butt, the master horseman is hoping former European trotter Daryl Boko can provide him with his maiden victory. The Majestic Son gelding will need luck after being slammed with gate eight, the outside of the front-line. Last start Group One winner Eyre I Come is chasing back to back features following his last start Addington triumph two weeks ago, the Mark Jones trained gelding will start from gate 3 and will command plenty of respect. Flashy trotter Bordeaux must overcome a second-line draw (gate 14) but has the services of champion reinsman Dexter Dunn, connections have kept their charge fresh for this assignment. Former Northern Derby winner King Denny (gate 11) returns north with mixed form but can’t be ruled out with Mark Purdon taking the drive. Gee Up Neddy (gate 7) is having his first start at Alexandra Park and comes north with solid form and certainly into the mix. Talented performers Great Things Happen (gate 10) and Sunny Ruby (gate 15) both return to New Zealand after successful recent stints in Victoria. Great Things Happen has won three of his last four starts while Sunny Ruby is a triple Group One winner. The local hopes appear strong with Lemond (gate 1), Prime Power (gate 5) and Temporale (gate 6) all boast excellent form while High Gait (gate 12) also returns from Victoria and joins the astute father/son combination of John and Josh Dickie. Veteran performers Realmein and Foray are listed as the emergency runners. The 2016/17 APG Trotting Masters is set for an exciting finale and the race is well and truly on. Chris Barsby

New Zealand Cup winning harness racing hero Changeover is now a Queenslander. The former champion racehorse has quickly emerged as a leading stallion prospect with a number of talented types gracing the tracks throughout the world. Previously based at the famed Nevele R Stud in Christchurch, Changeover will stand the next breeding season at Burwood Stud on the Darling Downs of Queensland for Noel and Christine Denning. The addition of Changeover to the Queensland breeding ranks will be a massive boost for local breeders. He will stand alongside perennial performer Cammibest, exciting young stallion Lanercost and the trotter Brylin Boyz. A deal was recently struck which left generous harness racing benefactor Chris Garrard buying the In The Pocket stallion. Garrard, Brisbane based, has poured millions into the three racing codes via breeding, buying and sponsoring major events throughout Australasia over a long period of time. The keen breeder has been a huge supporter of Changeover following his retirement and landed a Group One winner last season when Changeoverme scored in the $100,000 QBRED Triad 2yo Final for colts and geldings at Albion Park during the winter carnival. “This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce a proven producing stallion to local breeders, I jumped at the opportunity to purchase the stallion when offered and I truly believe he will be a great fit here in Queensland,” Garrard said. “After discussing it with Noel and Christine, I was thoroughly pleased that they were proud to stand this stallion at their stud. His numbers and results are very good and he’s still on the up plus he provides a great opportunity for breeders being a son of a super sire.” He added. As a racehorse, Changeover was scintillating winning 29 of his 66 career starts while baking more than $2.4 million. He raced at two with great success before his retirement as a six-year-old. His biggest victory came via the 2008 New Zealand Cup at Addington when scoring easily as the race favourite in a time of 3:56.4 – a mile rate of 1:58.8 for the 3200m standing start feature. At stud, Changeover has produced the likes of Run Oneover, Risk, Glenferrie Bronte, Nuala, Prince Of Pops, Sudden Change, Motu Gatecrasher, Controversial, Whitershadeofpale, Expressive Victor, Change The Rulz and Webb Ellis among many others. In recent times, the progeny of Changeover has enjoyed good success at Albion Park through the likes of The Charging Moa, Change The Nation and Charlyse among others. Last season, Changeover landed a feature race juvenile double in Queensland courtesy of Changeoverme (at Albion Park) and Heart Of Change (at Redcliffe). No service fee has been as yet. Chris Barsby

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 190(1) against licensed trainer Mr Boris Devcic.  ARHR 190(1) reads as follows:     A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. The charge under ARHR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Devcic related to a post-race urine sample taken from the horse ‘Noble Julius’ after it won Race 7, the ‘Weightman’s Packing & Stationary Pace’, at Mildura on 23 November 2016.  Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain the prohibited substance caffeine.  The Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) in NSW reported confirmation of these findings in the reserve portion of the relevant urine sample. Mr Devcic pleaded guilty to the charge before submissions on penalty were heard from HRV Stewards and Mr Devcic. Further evidence was also heard from RASL Scientific Manager Mr Paul Zahra.  In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Devcic’s guilty plea and co-operation throughout the investigation, Mr Devcic’s record in regard to prohibited substance matters where a previous offence was some 17 years prior, both general and specific deterrence, consistency of penalty and the absolute liability nature of the offence. Mr Devcic was subsequently fined $6000. The HRV RAD Board also ordered that ‘Noble Julius’ be disqualified from Race 7 at Mildura on 23 November 2016, under ARHR 195, and that the finishing places be amended accordingly. Harness Racing Victoria

WILKES-BARRE PA - Developing trotters headlined the Tuesday harness racing card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with three $15,000 preliminary round divisions of the Bobby Weiss Series for both male and female trotters.   The males started their prelims a week behind the other Weiss contestants, and thus this was only their second prelim. But all three winners from last week were able to repeat Tuesday night; all three also seem to be learning quickly right now, as each of the trio are four-year-old geldings.   Fastest was Hilarious Hero, a son of Deweycheatumnhowe who obviously did some "growing up" between three and four: 0-24 entering 2017, the Hero is now undefeated in three seasonal outings, all at The Downs, with this 1:55.4 victory also a personal best. Matt Kakaley was in the sulky for trainer Jenny Melander and the partnership of Melander Racing Inc. and Clark Stables LLC.   The other two divisions went in 1:56.1, with one of them a lifetime best for a victorious son of Southfork, Bend In The River, who was first at every call for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Nick Surick, and the Second Chance Stable Inc. The Credit Winner gelding Ooh Rah was the only one of the sextet of Weiss trotting winners not to take a mark this evening, although he missed his time in his first Weiss win by only a tick Tuesday in scoring handily for driver Jim Morrill Jr. and trainer Kathleen La Montagne, the latter co-owner with Donald La Montagne.   On the female side of the Weiss Series trotting ledger, a daughter of Kadabra was expected to be a third-round winner, and one was - but not the one everyone thought it would be.   Sunrise Avenue was 2-for-2 in the Weiss to date, winning both starts by open lengths, and indeed trotted on Tuesday in 1:55, faster than she had won in either of the first two legs. But on this night Connie Jean, a Cantab Hall mare handled by Jim Marohn Jr., made the lead early, let the brushing favorite go to sit on her back, and then caught her by a nose in an exciting stretch duel, with the Keystone Trotters LLC-owned winner taking 5 3/5 seconds off her lifetime mark (and going faster than any of the winning males).   Connie Jean is trained by Neal Ehrhart, who started seven horses in the Weiss trotting female class the first two weeks and six this week, and from the 20 he got two wins, two seconds, four thirds, 17 checkgetters - and most remarkably for a "nw 2 or $20,000 as of 1-1-17" series, only one breaker!   The victorious daughter of Kadabra was Whambamthankumaam, who came on strongly in the last quarter for driver Greg Wright Jr. to win easily while lowering her mark a tick to 1:56.2. Steve Salerno is handling the local training of the mare, who usually competes out of The Meadows, for owner Thomas Mucci.   The Muscle Touch had not quite had the winning touch to date (10-2-4-4 in 2017, 39-3-17-6 lifetime), but on Tuesday she parlayed a pocket trip from pilot Jim Morrill Jr. (the only driver to double in the Weiss on Tuesday) to a trip to Victory Lane, completing the speed badge sweep for the ladies with a 1:56.3 victory. Trainer Brewer Adams has seen the daughter of Muscle Mass post a 3-1-1-1 series record for owners Louis Catana and Vincent Bradley.   PHHA / Pocono  

One of the great races of the Alexandra Park season has been saved by some cunning co-operation, meaning Auckland race fans will get a rare opportunity to see pacing hero Lazarus. The champion hasn’t raced in Auckland for over 13 months, his last outing resulting in an effortless Northern Derby win in March last year. Since then he has taken the Australasian pacing scene by storm, winning the New Zealand Cup in record time, the Victoria Cup, Chariots of Fire, NZ Free-For-All and added another Derby. But none of those have meant a trip to Auckland, with his only northern start since the Northern Derby being in the Flying Mile at Cambridge in January. That drought was in danger of continuing this week too as the Auckland Trotting Club initially only received four entries for Friday night’s $100,000 Taylor Mile. While the ATC tries to run its best races even with small fields, four would have tested their resolve, especially with Lazarus likely to stifle betting on the Group One. Firstly trainers Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen stepped in, obviously keen to get the race off the ground, transferring stablemate Golden Goddess from her original 2700m standing start target. Then that mare’s owners Merv and Meg Butterworth allowed their low grade pacer Pavarotti to be included in the Mile, even though he will be racing miles out of his grade and is a legitimate 500-1 chance. So after some shuffling the inaccurately-named race - the Mile is actually 1700m mobile - will be held. It would have been a shame to lose the Taylor as it was for a long time New Zealand’s most important mile, before the Jewels came along at Ashburton and Cambridge and the national mile record book was torn to shreds. Eight out of the last 14 Taylor Mile winners have gone on to win either a New Zealand or Auckland Cup or the Miracle Mile. While Lazarus will be red hot on Friday at least he has the widest draw and is possibly not as dominant over sprint trips, although he does have two sub 1:50 miles to his name this season. Co-trainer Rasmussen said while moving Golden Goddess to the Mile was done to help get the race off the ground, the high-quality mare loses little from her change of plans. “She has a good draw and she will be competitive,” said Rasmussen. “She is mainly up in Auckland because it is hard to get races for her and she was going to start in the handicap, which has The Orange Agent in it anyway. “She needs money to earn her way into Jewels contention, if she ends up going there, and she can get some good money this week.” In fact it is hard to see how Golden Goddess won’t earn at least between $5000 and $10,000 for a third or fourth placing and after her win at Addington last Saturday that would take her a long way up the Jewels leader board. But her connections have still not decided whether they may head to Melbourne for the same series of mare’s races as The Orange Agent next month, so those who fancy her in the Jewels markets should be careful. While saving the Taylor Mile gives Friday’s meeting the hero factor of Lazarus, it is a wonderful card regardless, with some welcome returns from Australia boosting the $100,000 Anzac Cup. Sunny Ruby is back after a hugely successful summer alongside Great Things Happen while High Gait joins the Dickie stable for a short campaign before heading to stud. The Sires’ Stakes Trot sees Enghien draw the second line, which evens things up nicely, while the juvenile pacing fillies get serious for the first time in the $110,000 Caduceus Club Classic.   Michael Guerin

LEBANON, OH. - The Dr. Dan Farwick Memorial harness racing series at Miami Valley Raceway came to a conclusion on Tuesday afternoon (April 18) with the $27,500 championship leg. The late closer for non-winners of six races or $60,000 lifetime was open to trotters foaled in any jurisdiction, but it was a pair of Buckeye breds who finished one-two at the end of the 1:54.1 mile. Another Breath (Jason Brewer), despite drawing the dreaded nine-hole on the outside of the starting gate, triumphed for the second straight week beating Lets Go Bucks (Dan Noble) and Milford's Z Tam (Tyler Smith). The Land Shark (Kayne Kauffman) cut all the fractions (:27.1, :56.3 and 1:24.3) before faltering in the stretch when a cavalry charge to the wire ensued. Another Breath got away fifth, moved second over and up to fourth at the half, was third on the outside at the three quarters, then tipped three-wide off of eventual runnerup Lets Go Bucks cover and pressed to the front just steps from the wire. The winner, a 4-year-old son of Lou's Legacy, now has eight career wins and $150,488 in earnings. He was recently purchased by owner Richard Mishkin and moved to the Jeff Johnson Jr. barn. A $20,000 Open Trot was also contested with the lone mare in the 7-horse field schooling the 'boys' in 1:53.4. Moving up into open company for the very first time, Honey B (Kyle Ater) outdid Don't rush (Mike Oosting) and Walter White (Dan Noble) for her 13th career triumph, raising her lifetime bounty to $238,581. Dan Ater trains the 5-year-old daughter of Victory Sam for Jim Burnett and Tim Homan. Gregg Keidel

WASHINGTON, PA, April 18, 2017 -- Dismissed at a juicy 33-1, Fancytucky followed live cover, then roared through the lane to pull off a harness racing shocker in Tuesday's $22,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Fancytucky was fifth down the backside when Dan Rawlings moved her off the cones to follow the first-over Goodtogo Hanover. The 5-year-old daughter of Pinetucky-Beaucoup Amour nailed Goodtogo Hanover by a neck at the wire, prevailing in a career-best 1:54.4. Early leader Bags For All finished third. Troy McDougal trains Fancytucky and owns with James Steuernagel. Elsewhere on the 14-race card, Muay Hanover scored in 1:56.2, fastest this year by a 3-year-old colt trotter on a five-eighths-mile track. Mike Wilder drove for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Jim Pantaleano and trainer Christen Pantaleano teamed for a pair of victories, as did Brian Zendt and trainer Todd Rooney with the half-siblings Swell Chap and Casey T. Rawlings and Wilder each checked in with a double.   The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

The U.S. Trotting Association's annual Driving School will be May 31-June 3 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, home of the Little Brown Jug, in central Ohio. As this year's school approaches, the USTA will periodically profile "graduates" of the program. For more information about the harness racing school, click here. Sitting behind a horse wasn't Mike Cayouette's first time around a track. Before he found harness racing, Cayouette was active in snowmobile racing. "We raced on horse tracks; they iced them down in the wintertime and we raced on them," said Cayouette, who lives in Maine. "(Racing) a snowmobile is a little easier," he added with a laugh. "You've got a little more control with that one." Solving issues with a snowmobile and making one go fast might be easier, but working with a horse and unraveling the mysteries to each one's success is what drives Cayouette now. "It's fun with the horses, figuring out what they need to have, need to wear," said Cayouette, who has eight horses in training. "You're learning as much as they're learning." Cayouette, who owns the Sidney Training Center, started his own learning at the U.S. Trotting Association Driving School in 2010. Cayouette owned racehorses for a decade, but wanted to get more involved as a trainer and driver. Since the school, the 59-year-old Cayouette has posted 93 wins as a trainer --- including a career-best 22 last year --- and 24 victories as a driver. "It's been good," said Cayouette, who also operates a retail flooring business. "The school was a lot of help to me because I was pretty green as far as being a trainer or driver. Mostly I was just an owner and occasionally I would jog some now and then. "At the school, I liked the part about the shoeing a lot. And Aaron Merriman spoke and he was quite helpful, too, as far as driving. I would definitely recommend the school." Seven years after attending the school, Merriman drove one of Cayouette's homebred pacers at Ohio's Northfield Park. Merriman won with the horse, Sinners Prayer, in a then-lifetime-best 1:53 on Feb. 27. "That was awesome," Cayouette said. This year's Driving School will begin Wednesday, May 31, with a welcoming reception/dinner featuring Bob Boni, co-owner of 2016 Horse of the Year Always B Miki. Participants work alongside grooms and trainers stabled at the fairgrounds Thursday-Saturday mornings. Each afternoon, topics such as horse ownership, veterinary care, driving strategy, training and conditioning and stable management will be covered by guest speakers. As for Cayouette's biggest accomplishment since the school, he said "just driving is an accomplishment to me." He won 10 of 72 races as a driver in 2012, but has cut back on his driving in recent years. "In the future I'd really like to have a nice open (level) horse," Cayouette said. "We don't have the better grade of horses, but we get around. My wife (Brenda) loves the horses and is an owner on a lot of them. It's a lot of fun." Ken Weingartner