Day At The Track

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Marcus Melander shined brightest at The Meadowlands Friday night, as his trainees scored three times among the 10 harness racing divisions of the first leg of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gait. Moonstone S was the first winner of the night for Melander in the third race colts and geldings trot. The son of Muscle Hill-Moonlight Kronos, who finished second in the Aug. 8 Peter Haughton Memorial, pulled the pocket after the half and sailed off to an easy 2½-length score as the 6-5 favorite with Tim Tetrick driving. He recorded his first win in five lifetime starts after stopping the clock in 1:55. Melander and Brian Sears teamed up to take the fourth race filly trot with Ineffable, a daughter of Cantab Hall-Jolene Jolene, who won for the second time in five lifetime tries. The 6-5 public choice, who was third in the Aug. 8 Jim Doherty Memorial, emerged from the pocket to win by a half-length in 1:56.2. In race seven, Melander completed his three-bagger with a second score in a colts and geldings trot as his Sonofamistery, with Sears driving, rolled to an easy 1¾-length win in 1:56.1 after racing parked out for the final half mile. The son of Muscle Hill-Mistery Woman, who broke in each of his first two seasonal starts, paid $3.00 after being sent off as the heavy 1-2 favorite. He’s now won twice from four outings. BIG ACTION: Betting was vigorous in the two multi-leg wagers that offered carryovers. The Late 20-cent Pick-5, which had $21,811 in the hat to start, attracted $123,810 in “new money” for a total pool of $145,621. Those who had tickets with the combination of 5-8-6-6-5 cashed in for $414.64. The Late 20-cent Pick-4 sported a total pool of $172,828 after $134,438 was added to the $38,390 carryover. Tickets reading 8-6-6-5 returned $344.30. … All-source wagering totaled $2,618,071. A LITTLE MORE: Lindysmusclemania stayed perfect in three starts after taking a Kindergarten division for trotting colts and geldings. The Ake Svanstedt-trained son of Muscle Hill-Possessed By Lindy hit the wire in a lifetime-best 1:54.4, 3½ lengths to the good with Andy Miller driving the 6-5 favorite. … Speaking of favorites, they scored in nine straight races beginning in race two. By night’s end, 10 post-time choices had visited the winner’s circle from 13 races. … Live racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m.   By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

MILTON, SEPT. 18, 2020 - Ontario's talented three-year-old pacing colts returned to Gold Series harness racing competition on Friday, Sept. 18 at Woodbine Mohawk Park after spending the last month competing in Grand Circuit stakes. The sole $156,400 division featured a showdown between point leaders Beaumond Hanover and Tattoo Artist, both riding three-race win streaks in Ontario Sires Stakes action, along with six other Gold Series rivals. As they have in virtually every start this season, Tattoo Artist and driver Bob McClure rocketed away from Post 8 and led the field into the first turn. Beaumond Hanover and driver Jody Jamieson found themselves in the outer lane from Post 2 and opted to carry on, reaching the front heading by the :26.2 quarter, but McClure and Tattoo Artist quickly reclaimed the lead. The fan favourites rolled through a :54.4 half and 1:23 three-quarters and then kicked home for a one and one-quarter length victory in 1:50.1. Beaumond Hanover finished second and Rhythm In Motion was third. "He's really a pleasure to drive," said McClure. "Horses as handy as him, as smart as him and with the lungs he has don't come around often. I look forward to seeing him between every start." The win, Tattoo's Artist's seventh in 10 sophomore starts, came as a bit of a relief to trainer Dr. Ian Moore, who said the colt was not as sharp as he usually is on the training track this week. "He actually didn't train very good on Tuesday, for the first time. Normally he trains really good and he wasn't so keen there Tuesday. I didn't tell Bobby that of course, but he did warm up very sharp tonight so I did tell him that," said Moore with a chuckle. "I'm going to talk to Frank Cannon and Eric Cherry tomorrow and I think that we're probably going to try him in the US next Friday (Sept. 25) at Hoosier for the Jennas Beach Boy, which Century Farroh won last year, because Century Farroh has one the same night, so I think I'll send them both." Cannon of Sanford, FL and Cherry, through his Let It Ride Stables Inc. of Boca Raton, FL, share ownership of Tattoo Artist and if the pair is in agreement the colt will be reunited with his winter caretaker Brad Firlotte at Indiana's Hoosier Park. "He's worked for me in Florida for the last ten years and he looked after Tattoo as a two-year-old and then he looked after him again last fall until he left as three-year-old," said Moore of Florida-based Firlotte, who will fly up to Indiana. "He won't have Giselle with him, his regular caretaker Giselle Loder, but that's the way it is at the border, right." The three-year-old pacing colts have one Gold leg remaining, Oct. 9 at The Raceway at the Western Fair District, and the Super Final, Oct. 17 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Those are the only stakes engagements remaining on Tattoo Artist's calendar, unless Cannon and Cherry opt to supplement the son of Hes Watching to the Breeders Crown eliminations Oct. 24 at Hoosier Park. "No matter what happens for the rest of the year, he's had a great year. I think that puts him over half a million for the year, so I don't think anybody will complain," said Moore. "He's a sweet little guy, no doubt about it. We've had a lot of fun with him and enjoyed every minute of it." Complete results from Friday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Gold Series point standings can be found on the Ontario Sires Stakes Leaderboard. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park

The plan to spend money it doesn’t have to prepare to challenge integrity legislation. Did you know that the USTA is operating this year with a budget deficit of $219,940? I didn’t. Did you know that at the same time the USTA is operating under this deficit it has cut salaries by $170,000 and rejected at least two attempts to provide more funding for the protection of unwanted horses? I didn’t know that, either. I also didn’t know that while the USTA is taking these unfortunate steps it authorized $425,000 in funding to prepare itself to challenge the constitutionality of whatever racing integrity legislation ultimately emerges from Congress. In other words, the USTA is running a budget deficit, and saddling its employees with pay cuts or worse, while it spends beyond its means to take on Congress, the executive branch, the Thoroughbred industry, animal rights activists, and all the many other powerful entities who have lined up to support a meaningful change to the way horse racing operates in the United States. Did you sign up for such a use of your USTA membership dues? I didn’t. Did your USTA director ask you what you think of the pending legislation? Mine sure didn’t. The complex federal litigation the USTA is preparing for-- no one spends $425,000 to study the constitutionality of a statute it does not intend to subsequently challenge-- will take millions of dollars and many years to conclude. And even if after all that the USTA somehow wins, which is unlikely, the victory would likely mean some sort of return to the current system we all surely can agree is a total failure. Even if the USTA wins, in other words, we all will lose. Another kicker? Throughout the course of that litigation harness racing will be vulnerable to political attacks by powerful people who want less racing-- including the very legislators we are begging to continue purse subsidies. We all deserve more answers about the USTA’s expenditure of this money. What justifies it at a grim time when the USTA is telling its own employees they have to do with less? Why didn't USTA leaders ask members for their input before authorizing the expense? How much already has been spent? How exactly is it being monitored? How were these lawyers and lobbyists selected? What are their connections to harness racing or to members of the USTA’s board? What outreach did the USTA undertake to educate members about its decision to spend precious resources in this fashion?  I asked the USTA’s Dan Leary some of these questions last week. His response via email: “As the public record reflects, the funding was unanimously approved by the full USTA Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting in April and has been closely monitored by the Executive Committee since then. The purpose is to examine and analyze the legality and constitutionality of the Horse Racing Integrity Act. That examination is continuing. We will be prepared to discuss these efforts when the work is completed.” No organization committed to transparency and accountability would offer to “discuss these efforts” only after all the money is all spent. Russell Williams, over the weekend, in a condescending open letter to Jeff Gural, defended the expenditure and then hinted that the law firm he hired to do the work reached a conclusion that the legislation is legally vulnerable. Of course it did. Give any law firm $425,000 and you can expect its lawyers to cobble together an argument you want it to make. And, sure enough, on Monday the USTA announced online that its hired guns had concluded that the legislation is likely unconstitutional. The smart people who support the federal legislation say that their very own smart lawyers have vetted the measure and revised it to make it less likely to be struck down by the courts. Ultimately, federal judges will decide-- after the USTA exposes itself for years to lawmakers and animal rights activists as an industry that wasn't willing to embrace a new approach to racing safety and integrity. Imagine paying all that money for the privilege of becoming a target for lawsuits and new legislative attempts to end purse subsidies-- without first giving USTA members the chance to vote on whether we want to travel down this perilous road. Not in my name. If the legislation passes, and it looks like it will, then those in harness racing who believe it should be challenged in court can all pool their own money and litigate the matter privately. Good luck with that. This is what I think the USTA is getting at, in those April minutes linked to above, when we see this: “Once the analysis is completed, we will be looking for other outside support to fund the balance.” So why then is the USTA footing the bill for the first $425,000 of this dubious endeavor? Why is that “outside support” not paying now?  Here’s an idea. How about a vote of USTA members with a single question involving the expenditure of the $425,000: What's the best use for that money: Paying lawyers to fight popular and bipartisan federal legislation to improve racing integrity or helping horsemen and horsewomen offset some of the additional drug testing costs that will come from the legislation once it’s passed? Or, better yet, what's more important, paying the salaries of USTA employees or funding lengthy and expensive litigation that if successful brings us to where we are today. Even if you are queasy about the pending federal legislation you should be alarmed that the USTA is operating in this manner. I have heard from many horsemen and horsewomen over the past few weeks who are simply shocked to discover that the USTA’s vitriolic opposition to federal legislation-- seemingly any federal legislation-- has found such profound expression in the association’s budget. Many are growing less skeptical of the pending federal legislation-- in its new and improved form-- and more skeptical of the USTA’s divisive and dangerous antics in opposing it. Andrew Cohen    

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 18, 2020 -- Amigo Volo powered to a professional, purposeful victory in Friday's Keystone Classic at The Meadows, serving notice to his harness racing division rivals that he'll be a force to be reckoned with in rich late-season stakes. Patriarch Hanover took the other division in the $79,700 stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Considered one of the division's best early in the year, Amigo Volo finished third in his Hambletonian elimination and fourth in the final, despite being stuck with post 10. While that performance may have downgraded him in the eyes of some, he's now won three straight -- including the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stake championship -- and appears razor sharp. "He's on his way out to Lexington, so it was the perfect spot for him to come here and come calling through," said winning driver Dexter Dunn. "He's in his top form at the moment. As long as he keeps that form, I'm sure he'll be competitive in the big races." In the Keystone Classic, the Father Patrick-Margarita Momma gelding shrugged off the unexpected first-up challenge of long shot Focus Pocus and prevailed in 1:54.3. The pocket-sitting Harley K was 2-1/2 lengths back in second while Focus Pocus saved show.   Amigo Volo now has banked $966,644 for trainer Nifty Norman and owners Pinske Stables and David J. Miller. Patriarch Hanover quarter-poled to the point for Matt Kakaley and downed early leader Town Victor by 3/4 lengths in 1:55.3, with Nezblanc third.   "He's just a step behind a couple of the top sires stake horses," Kakaley said of the son of Father Patrick-Personal Style, "but he gives his all every time, and he's made some money. He's had a respectable year so far." Ron Burke trains Patriarch Hanover, who lifted his lifetime bankroll to $235,266, for Burke Racing Stable, William Switala, James Martin and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. $68,300 Keystone Classic -- 3-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace Speaking of peaking at the right time, Sandbetweenmytoes scored in 1:50 in Friday's co-feature, giving him three wins in the last four starts -- all in 1:50 or faster. Trainer Jim Campbell agreed that Fashion Farms' homebred Somebeachsomewhere-Galleria gelding is more confident and sure gaited than he was early in the season. "Unfortunately, his only bad race in the last four was the PA Sites Stake championship," Campbell said. "We'll take him to Delaware for the Jug. I think he'll get around there good. He gets around a five-eighths-mile track pretty good, and that's the best half-mile track in the country at Delaware. I don't foresee any problems." Sandbetweenmytoes quarter-poled to the top for Scott Zeron and defeated early leader Tru Lou by 2-1/4 lengths. Seeyou At Thebeach completed the ticket. The winner extended his career earnings to $177,142. You knew Burke would make some noise in this stake -- he sent out 10 of the 17 starters -- and he spoke loudly in the other split, sweeping the exacta with Cattlewash and The Greek Freak. Cattlewash shot the Lightning Lane for David Miller to prevail in 1:51. Ruthless Hanover earned show. "He's coming around at the right time, and I'm happy to be on board," Miller said. "If he goes to the Jug, he'll handle the half-mile track just fine. He's a beautifully gaited horse." The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Road Bet now boasts $424,908 in career earnings for owner William Donovan. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday when the 13-race card features a $26,773.07 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5 and a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3). First post is 12:45 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the MSOA                      

Delaware, OH — Captain Barbossa found the perfect time to visit the winner’s circle for the first time this year, capturing Thursday’s $335,400 Little Brown Jug final for 3-year-old male pacers in 1:49.1 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in central Ohio. Cattlewash was second and Catch The Fire finished third. The win was Captain Barbossa’s first in 13 races this season. The gelding, who finished second in his Jug elimination, was driven to victory in the final by Joe Bongiorno, who celebrated his 27th birthday Wednesday. Captain Barbossa gave Bongiorno his first Jug trophy, as well as the first for trainer Tony Alagna. He paid $15.00 to win. Captain Barbossa, a son of Captaintreacherous out of Swinging Beauty, is owned by Robert LeBlanc, David Anderson, and the partnership of Alagna, Martha Frank, John Fodera, and Steven Wienick. He was bred by Steiner Stock Farm. His winning time was one-fifth of a second off the stakes and world record for a 3-year-old pacer on a half-mile track. The margin of victory was 1-1/2 lengths.   Catch The Fire, Sandbetweenmytoes win Little Brown Jug eliminations Catch The Fire won the first $111,800 elimination of the Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old male pacers Thursday at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, overtaking pacesetter Seeyou At Thebeach on the last turn on his way to a 1:49.3 triumph. Seeyou At Thebeach was second, followed by Later Dudes and Genius Man. Those four horses advanced to the $335,400 Little Brown Jug final.   Catch The Fire was the 4-5 favorite in the field of seven. He was driven by Mike Wilder for trainer John Ackley and owner CT Stables. Sandbetweenmytoes scored a 7-1 upset in the second of Thursday’s two eliminations, using a three-wide move entering the last turn to get past leader Capt Midnight on his way to a 1:49.3 victory. Captain Barbossa finished second, with Capt Midnight third and Cattlewash fourth. Those four horses also advanced to the $335,400 Little Brown Jug final.   Sandbetweenmytoes was driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Jim Campbell and owner Fashion Farms. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Mag N Lady not only crushed the field in winning her $10,000 division for the Future Stars Series at the Hippodrome 3R Friday, but also smashed the track record for two-year-old trotting fillies by nearly two seconds. Starting from post one for trainer-driver Jean Francois Maguire in the non-wagering race, Mag N Lady led every step of the one-mile race, cutting fractions of :28.4, :58.3 and 1:28 before rolling away from the field, winning by 14 and one-half lengths in 1:59.2. Finishing a distance second was XOXO (Jerome Lombart) with New Road (Steeven Genois) third. The previous track record for two-year-old trotting fillies was 2:01.1 and was co-held by Meganou (2014) and Claudi PV (2018). For Mag N Lady, it was her third straight win in the Future Stars Series. The Royalty For Life daughter is owned by Maguire with Julie Malenfant and Richard Legris and Pascale Maguire. She will now headline her $55,000 division of the Super Sunday Quebec Championship finals on Sunday, Sept. 27 at H3R. All eight of the finals will take place next week with more than $500,000 in total purses. In the first race $10,000 third leg division for the two-year-old trotting colts, undefeated Kinnder Dangerzone also made it a clean sweep of the three preliminary rounds, leading from start to finish. With Pierre-Luc Roy in the sulky, Kinnder Dangerzone was parked first-over past the opening quarter mile in :29.2 before taking command with Incredible Hall (Stephane Brosseau) following them in second place. They raced that way the rest of the mile with Kinnder Dangerzone holding off Incredible Hall to win by one length in 2:03.2. Hall Win (Kevin Maquire) was third. Sired by Northern Escort, it was third straight win for the unbeaten Kinnder Dangerzone, who is trained, owned and was bred by Denitza Petrova of Melbourne. He paid $3.60 to win. In the sixth race, Streakazana ($5.80) and driver David Pilon swept three-wide in the backstretch, was parked out around the final turn and still was able to beat older pacers with a 1:58.4 triumph. It was her third straight win and fifth of the season. She was prepping for her $65,000 final next week at H3R. Petrova and Roy made it a double at H3R Friday as Kinnder Dangerzone's half-sister, Kinnder High Class, beat older rivals in the seventh race trot. The three-year-old filly by Royalty For Life chewed up a field of older trotting foes, winning with ease in 2:00 by three and one-half lengths. She paid $4.30 to win. Track Notes: H3R's leading driver Pascal Berube extended his lead Friday with a driving triple. Live racing resumes at H3R on Sunday, which is National Caretakers Appreciation Day. All caretakers will be announced with their horses in each post parade and each caretaker will receive a coupon for a free meal in the Paddock Restaurant. Post time Sunday is 1:00 pm. For a free race program, visit www.hippodrome3R.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

The word perfect is the perfect adjective in Perfect Sting's name at this point in his harness racing career. Trainer Joe Holloway believes another adjective might suit the 2-year-old pacing colt as his career continues: Special. Perfect Sting, a son of two of history's fastest horses, stallion Always B Miki and mare Shebestingin, is 5-for-5 this season for Holloway and breeders/owners Brittany Farms and Val D'Or Farms. His next start comes in Sunday's $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers at Lexington's Red Mile, where he will leave from post five with regular driver David Miller and is the 6-5 morning-line favorite. Red Mile hosts all eight Kentucky Sire Stakes finals for 2- and 3-year-old pacers and trotters on Sunday. Meadowlands Pace and North America Cup winner Tall Dark Stranger, ranked No. 2 in harness racing's current Top 10 poll, headlines the championship for 3-year-old male pacers. Reflect With Me, unbeaten in six starts this year and ranked No. 9, leads the group of 3-year-old female pacers. Perfect Sting debuted July 28 with a dead-heat win at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and followed with a neck victory at The Meadowlands. Since then, he has won three Kentucky Sire Stakes starts at Red Mile, all by a minimum of a length. His 1:49.2 triumph on Aug. 25 is the season's fastest mile for a 2-year-old pacer. Only 11 freshmen in history have been faster. "A long time ago, I said I think this is going to be the best horse I ever trained," Holloway said. "So far, so good. But he's got to do it. We've got five more starts, at the most six, to see. They each get tougher now, but I think he can handle it. He's never been tired yet." During his Hall of Fame career, Holloway has trained a number of standout pacers, including three-time Dan Patch Award winner Jenna's Beach Boy and millionaire Always A Virgin as well as Hall of Famer Always B Miki (who shares the record for history's fastest mile, 1:46, with Lather Up) at ages 2 and 3. So his praise for Perfect Sting speaks volumes. "He's just far more advanced than Jenna, Miki, Always A Virgin; any of those," Holloway said. "David trained him (in the spring) and said when he puts it all together, he's going to be great. Each time out he's getting a little bit better and he's learning more. David said in three or four start he'd figure it out. He's still not quite there, but he'll get there. He does it effortlessly, so let's hope he continues that way. "It's too early to proclaim him the best, but I think he's got a real chance to do something special. Maybe he won't, maybe he will. But if he does, it will be a fun ride. "I called it early, David called it early, and now we just have to see." In addition to training Perfect Sting's sire during the early part of his career, Holloway trained Shebestingin throughout her career. Shebestingin was the sport's all-time fastest female pacer until 2019, when Shartin N's 1:46.4 mile bettered Shebestingin's mark by one-fifth of a second. "The mare deserved to have a great horse," Holloway said. "Hopefully he continues on." Following the Kentucky Sire Stakes championship, Perfect Sting is slated to start in the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes at Red Mile before going to the Breeders Crown at Harrah's Hoosier Park. "This was the plan the whole time, we're shooting for everything at the end," Holloway said. "Right now, everything seems to be working OK." Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Sunday at Red Mile and the Kentucky Sire Stakes finals are the first eight races. Following are the morning-line favorites in each final, in race order. Three-year-old male trotters, Beads, 1-1. Two-year-old filly pacers, Making Waves, 4-5. Two-year-old male pacers, Perfect Sting, 6-5. Three-year-old filly trotters, Hypnotic AM, 5-2. Three-year-old male pacers, Tall Dark Stranger, 4-5. Two-year-old filly trotters, Darlene Hanover, 5-2. Three-year-old filly pacers, Reflect With Me, 6-5. Two-year-old male trotters, Dancinginthedark M, 2-1. For complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

Toronto, On - September 18, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Christine Magee as Chair effective immediately. As Chair of the Board of Directors, Magee will provide leadership, guidance and governance as Woodbine Entertainment fulfills its mandate to sustain and grow horse racing in Ontario. This includes advancing its master plan to develop the surrounding lands at Woodbine Racetrack and Woodbine Mohawk Park to be world-class entertainment destinations while creating new revenue streams that will support the horse racing industry and the tens of thousands of jobs it directly and indirectly supports throughout the province. "We are thrilled to have someone with Christine's business acumen, experience and leadership be the Chair of our Board of Directors while we continue to grow the sport of horse racing, support and sustain the entire industry in this province, and fulfill our vision of being the top horse racing destination in North America," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. "As we continue to advance our plans to diversify our business model to sustain the horse racing industry for decades to come, Christine's knowledge, experience and leadership will be invaluable to our efforts." Magee, who has been on Woodbine Entertainment's Board of Directors since 2015, is the Chair of Sleep Country, the company she co-founded in 1994 and served as its President until 2014. The resident of Oakville, Ontario is also the Chair of the Talent Fund Advisory Council and serves on the Board of Directors of TELUS, Metro Inc., Trillium Health Partners and Plan International Canada, and is a Member of the Morrissette Entrepreneurship Advisory Board of University Western Ontario. On July 1, 2015, Magee was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in recognition of her significant contributions to the Canadian business community. "It's an absolute honour and privilege to step into this role for an organization that has such a rich history and bright future," said Magee. "It's also humbling as I have come to appreciate how important Woodbine Entertainment is to an entire industry that is the way of life for so many Ontarians and a passion for horse racing fans throughout the world." Magee replaces Clay Horner who is retiring from the organization following a successful tenure as Chair of Woodbine Entertainment since 2015 and a Director since 2002. As a member of the Board, Horner helped lead Woodbine Entertainment to become one of the top destinations in North America for both Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing. "Over the years, Clay's contributions to Woodbine Entertainment are significant and widely appreciated by the entire horse racing industry in Ontario," commented Lawson. "His passion for the sport of horse racing and his experience in business and law has served the organization well. On behalf of our Board of Directors, and our entire horse racing community, I would like to thank Clay for everything he did." "My service on the Board has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life," said Horner. "I have been fortunate to work with so many excellent board members and employees, and three terrific CEOs in David Willmot, Nick Eaves and Jim Lawson who are also cherished friends. Woodbine is an industry leader in all aspects and is wonderfully positioned for further growth and success in horse racing and development initiatives. I am proud of the commitments and involvement of Woodbine and our employees to our broader communities. As I retire from the Board, I look forward to watching Woodbine deliver in spades on its mandate to further the best interests of racing in Ontario." Long-time board member John Fielding also announced he is retiring from the organization as Director and Chair of the Standardbred Racing Committee. Current Woodbine Entertainment Director and former President of Western Fair District Hugh Mitchell has been appointed to Chair of the Standardbred Racing Committee. From Woodbine Entertainment  

Anderson, IN—Brookview Bullet turned in an impressive effort to capture the featured harness racing event of the evening, the $79,500 Indiana Sires Stakes for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings, at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, September 17. Brett Miller was in to drive the Tyler George trainee who stopped the clock in 1:51 and established a new lifetime best in the process.   Leaving from post four in the talented field of 11, Brookview Bullet left just enough to grab a spot along the rail in third through a snappy opening quarter of :25.4. James Yoder had JK Going West on the front but was joined by Skyway Victor and Brandon Bates at the half in :55. Miller gave Brookview Bullet the green light and the colt ranged up to the take the lead at three-quarters in 1:23.4.   As the field turned for home, Brookview Bullet was still calling the shots and braced for the stretch drive to the wire. What’s Your Beef and Trace Tetrick were applying pressure from first over and the pocket-sitting JK Going West was looming large but Brookview Bullet wasn’t finished. Using a :27.1 final quarter, Brookview Bullet was able to hold off all challengers to get the win by three and three-quarters lengths. JK Going West finished second while What’s Your Beef rounded out the trifecta. Sent off at odds of 3-5, Brookview Bullet returned $3.40 to his backers at the betting windows.   Trained by Tyler George, the gelded son of Always A Virgin—Babylon Sister recorded his fourth win from five seasonal starts. Owned by Eleven Star Stable, Brookview Bullet pushed his lifetime bankroll to $85,588.  Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, September 18. The evening’s 14-race card will also feature a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-5 in Races 10-14 and a $10,000 Guaranteed Hoosier High-5 pool in the last race of the program.  The 2020 live racing season at Harrah’s Hoosier Park will feature 111 racing programs and follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule throughout the season. With a daily post time of 6:30 p.m., live racing will be conducted through Nov. 21. For more information on the live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com.    Emily Ratcliff  |  Race Marketing Manager and Commentator

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 Close relatives win at Bendigo Two of Victoria’s star youngsters at present, and both winners at the Bendigo midweek meeting who promise to be a force in the upcoming classics, are Treachery and Roquefort Cheese. Both bred by Peter Gleeson are members of the same maternal family. Treachery, a two-year-old filly bred by Gleeson in partnership with Bruce and Craig Cameron, is by Captaintreacherous from the thrice Group winner Lovelist (1:53.2), by Always A Virgin from Lifeline, by Classic Garry from Larrakeyah Lady. Roquefort Cheese, a three-year-old Betterthancheddar filly, is out of Feel The Magic (1:59.6), by Fully Loaded from the What’s Next mare Dreams, a half-sister to Lifeline, the grand-dam of Treachery. This is the family which produced such winners as Ride High (1:48), a Breeders Crown champion and rated the best pacer in Australia today, the A. G. Hunter Cup winner Safe And Sound, Major Secret (NSW Derby), Beauty Secret (Vic. Oaks), The Good Times, Out To Play and so on. Star four-year-old by Well Said A bright future is being predicted for the Well Said four-year-old The Buckeye Bullet, whose success at Gloucester Park last Friday was his seventh winning run from his last nine starts. He ranks as a half-brother to a capable pacer and Melton Cup winner in Toulouse Lautrec 1:53.1 ($257,126) and the SA Sires Produce winner Lady Taras Bulba (1:55.1), who, in turn, is the dam of Lady Flora 1:57.7 (4 wins).   Their dam, Titan Bloss (1:59.9), a Son Of Afella mare from Young Royalty, by Lordship from Pruedence, has proved a most successful broodmare. She is also the dam of the Harold Park winner Tinship (1:55.9), Tagataese 2:00.4 (5 NZ wins) and the Perth winner Tour King (2:00.8). Titan Bloss, who won five races, was a half-sister to the good Harold Park winner Titan Vic, Titan Sioux (9 wins) and to the Lumber Dream mare Titan Crest, dam of the Gore Cup and Moonee Valley winner Titan Abel. Treble for breeders Prominent New South Wales breeders the Xerri family, trading as Sloy’s Company, had a red-letter night at the recent Penrith meeting with a winning treble. They were the three-year-olds Smoothe Style (Bettor’s Delight-Miss Brazilian) and Flying Scribe (Sportswriter-Jet’s Girl) and the five-year-old Jay’s Cash (American Ideal-Far Apart). Smoothe Style is one of four winners produced by the Mach Three mare Miss Brazilian this season, the others being Let’s Go To Brazil, Benicio and Mister Brazil. Flying Scribe ranks as a half-brother to the promising Victorian stayer Struve (9 wins from 17 starts), while Jay’s Cash is a half-brother to recent winners in Backintown and Far Out Bro. Tasmanian Sweepstakes winning line Paul Hill, who brought out classy juveniles in Feelin Dusty, Chica Bella and Hillview Jake, has a top two-year-old in Rocknovertime racing at present. He downed a smart field in a heat of the Tasmanian Sweepstakes at Hobart last Sunday and has now won two of his three outings by a combined margin of 42 metres. Rocknovertime ranks as a half-brother to the Sweepstakes winner Chica Bella (1:58.7) and Cesta La Vie (2:00.5), being a gelding by the Rocknroll Hanover horse Rock N Roll Heaven from Time Moves On, by Time Stands Still from Evening Jay, by Cognac Hanover from Jay Firth, by Bye And Large. This is the family that left a top flight juvenile in Hillview Jake 1:57.8 ($107,045), who won six races as a two-year-old including the Dandy Patch, Sweepstakes, Golden Slipper and Breeders Plate. Well related three-year-old Amelia Rose, who easily accounted for older rivals at Terang, showed ability as a two-year-old last season when she finished second to Maajida in the Vicbred Super Series final. She has opened her three-year-old season on a winning note – she has won four and been twice placed from her last seven starts – and will be well in line for the major juvenile classics. Amelia Rose is a filly by the Artsplace horse Art Major from Bennies Daughter, the dam of an earlier winner in Sporty Ben. Bennies Daughter ranks as a half-sister to the Bathurst Gold Crown winners Soho Valencia and Yrubla and the Victoria Oaks winner Niki No No, being by Falcon Seelster from Benelise, by Vintner from Dorrie’s Daughter, by Keystone Scotch. A half-brother to Bennies Daughter in Majordan (by Art Major) was a winner in 1:49.6 at Scioto Downs, Ohio on the same night that Amelia Rose won at Terang. Both were bred by Benstud Standardbreds, who bred a second sub 1:50 winner at Scioto Downs in Stars Align (also by Art Major), who won in 1:48.8. The feat of breeding two sub 1:50 winners on the same card in North America is believed to be a first for Australian breeding.  Albion Park winner from good broodmare Dina Bolt, a Bettor’s Delight three-year-old and a double winner at Albion Park recently, is out of Pullover Brown, a triple Oaks winner with a record of 1:56.7, who is proving a successful broodmare. Pullover Brown is also the dam of In Runaway Bay, a Melton and Menangle winner who later took a mark of 1:52.6 in America, and Dina Brown (1:57.4), winner of the NZ Sires Stakes 3YO Graduette. Pullover Brown was an Armbro Operative mare from Dinavinetto, by Fitch II from Precious Dina, by Mercedes from the Estes Minbar mare Precious Nandina. She was a sister to the exported Montecito 1:49.4 ($522,723) and a half-sister to Im Against The Wind (1:59), dam of the Cobram Cup and US winner Pass Them By 1:51.8 ($419,261), Neon Sky 1:53 ($158,481), Irak M Up (1:56) and the Melton winner Like A Wildfire (1:54.3). Other members of this family, which was founded in Australia by the Ajax mare Lady Ajax, were the Auckland Cup winner Flight South (1:56.3), Whittaker (1:50), the Inter Dominion heat winner Where Eagles Dare (1:51.8) and Three Jewels (1:57.6). Dina Bolt Son of Beach Shack A two-year-old to make a good impression in Victoria this week was Sayitaintso Joe, who was bred and is raced by Brendan and Anne James and trained by Michael Stanley. He won at second start at Ballarat in the smart time of 1:59.5 and looks every inch the blood he represents. A gelding by Roll With Joe, he is out of a fine racemare in Beach Shack 1:53.2 ($148,702) and the first of her produce to race.  Beach Shack, a Listed winner at Melton, is by Somebeachsomewhere from the grand producer Arty Alice NZ, by Artiscape from the Bo Scot’s Blue Chip mare Pleasant Franco, dam of the great Christian Cullen. Besides Beach Shack, Arty Alice is also the dam of Rockstar Angel 1:51 $406,258), a multiple Group winner at Melton and now competing successfully in America, Angel Of Arts 1:55.5 ($100,600), Earth Angel (1:54.7) and Tarin Kowt (1:56), all metropolitan winners. Andover Sun bred to be top trotter Andover Sun, who won his fourth race from his last six starts at Melton last weekend, is a three-year-old trotter expected to graduate far beyond his present rating. A member of John and Maree Caldow’s Melton team, he has a good deal more in his favour on the score of blood than most. By Andover Hall, who sired the Group 1 winners Jaxnme and Is That A Bid and is a brother to champion sires Angus Hall and Broadway Hall, Andover Sun is out of the Sundon mare Solar Flash (Tr 2:01), who also produced this season’s two-year-old winner Sangreal. Solar Flash, who was only lightly raced, was out of Flash And Flair, by S J’s Photo from a fine racemare in Fiona’s Flair, whose 15 successes included the E. B. Cochran Cup and a string of country cups. Besides Solar Flash, Flash And Flair was also the dam of the Vicbred and Breeders Crown finalist Our Flash Girl, a winner of six races and The Summer Cat (4 wins to date) and the grand-dam of recent winner Pickles Magee. Flash And Flair was a sister to a top trotter in A Touch Of Flair Tr 1:52.6 ($569,197) and a half-sister to the high class trotters Down Under Muscles Tr 2:01.1 ($216,925), now a successful sire, Son Of Flair Tr 1:56.2 ($257,909) and Mighty Maori Tr 1:55.2 ($256,305), all Group winners. In all, Fiona’s Flair’s progeny won 130 races and a staggering $1.35 million in stakes. In the back removes of Andover Sun’s pedigree are pacers of the calibre of the Breeders Crown and Vicbred champion Oscar Le Vant, Lynmont (Victoria and SA Oaks), Danny Strike, Bubba’s A Fake (Tas. Granny Smith) and Barkurrei. For all that, strains of Sundon, S J’s Photo and Super Bowl would tend to give an influence in later removes producing trotters of the calibre of Andover Sun. Andover Sun Crack colt by Bettor’s Delight A top colt in Victoria this season – he has won five and been placed once in six starts – is Soho Bollinger, a close relative of the former top NZ sprinter The Suleiman. Bred by Robert Watson, who also races him, Soho Bollinger is a colt by Bettor’s Delight from Soho Champagne, by Artsplace from Miss Maddy Jay, by In The Pocket from Highland Park 1:58.5 ($173,032), a winner of 11 races including the Queen of the Pacific and NZ Yearling Sales 3YO Series. Soho Champagne, the dam of Soho Bollinger, left earlier winners in Soho Angel 1:53.3 ($168,430), whose 10 successes included the Tatlow Memorial, and Soho All Shook Up (1:56.8), who are both being bred from. The family descends through mares by Tuapeka Knight, Armbro Hurricane, Lordship, Young Charles, Red Shadow and Logan Pointer to Prudish (by Principal), foaled in NZ in 1903. Other members of this family have been The Cornishman (Gawler Cup), The Phoenician (Vic. E. K. Bray Country Clubs Cup), Black And Tan (NZ Franklin Nursery) and the NZ country cup winners Saucy Jack, Ginger Megs and Master Michael. Ninth winner from broodmare When the Mr Feelgood two-year-old Ringos A Star won at the Redcliffe midweek meeting, he credited his dam Rhapsody In Red with her ninth individual winner. Ringos A Star, who overcame a chequered passage to win, had shown good placed form in the Brisbane area. Others from Rhapsody In Red to win have been the Group winners Red Charmer (1:55.2), Rani Major (1:55.7), Raring To Go (1:56.1) and Rich Heritage (1:56.3) and the handy performers Reds Good To Go (1:55.4), Reds Jet Star (1:55.6), Caesar Rules, Red Hot And Ready and now Ringos A Star. Rhapsody In Red is a Fake Left mare from Charming Reminder, by Vanston Hanover from the Tempest Hanover mare Call Girl, who established a great winning line for prominent Queensland breeder-owner Kevin Seymour. She left a top racemare in Goldrush Girl (TT1:55.3) and Destiny Calls, a winner of 19 races.   Peter Wharton

MILTON, SEPT. 17, 2020 – All four of the winners in Thursday night’s two-year-old pacing colt Grassroots action at Woodbine Mohawk Park picked up their second harness racing victory of the Ontario Sires Stakes program and marked themselves as horses to be reckoned with heading into the postseason. In the first $23,150 division Proline and driver Bob McClure eased away from Post 1 into seventh as Kyuquot led the field to a :27.3 opening quarter. As Mustang Beach completed the third lead change heading by the :57.3 half, McClure was tipping Proline out behind fan favourite Stonebridge Rex, who shadowed Rau Ru. The challengers marched steadily forward and although Mustang Beach had a two length margin at the 1:25.3 three-quarters, he was soon under heavy attack. Rolling out from behind Stonebridge Rex, Proline unleashed a :26.3 last quarter to claim the victory in a personal best 1:53.1. Stonebridge Rex was one and one-quarter lengths back in second and Rau Ru was two lengths back in third. “He’s got lots of speed. I’m very pleased with him now,” said Campbellville, ON resident Luc Blais, who trains the colt for Determination of Montreal, QC. “His last two races, we can’t get better than that I think with the way he did that.” The win was Proline’s second straight in Grassroots action, with the first coming in the Sept. 8 leg at Woodbine Mohawk Park. With two wins and one sixth, the speedy youngster finishes up the Grassroots regular season in sixth spot in the standings with 103 points. No Plan Intended and driver Jody Jamieson also employed a come-from-behind strategy to capture the second division from Post 7. The fan favourites powered down the stretch to a two and one-quarter length victory in 1:53.1. Proline’s stablemate Shazam Blue Chip finished second and Big Bang Bang completed the top three. “Honestly tonight he didn’t seem as strong as last week (Sept. 8), but a couple of two-year-olds in the barn have been coughing. We did take his blood the other day and he didn’t show any signs of sickness, but we might have to keep an eye on him because he didn’t finish as strong, not terrible, but he was a lot better last week,” said trainer Stephanie Jamieson. “He’s got a lot of heart that horse, he’s a tough little bugger.” Moffat resident Jamieson trains No Plan Intended for her father-in-law Carl Jamieson of Puslinch, ON and Brian Paquet of Quebec, QC. The partners also bred the son of Up The Credit, who the elder Jamieson trained and the pair co-owned through his $1.3 million racing career. With two wins, one second and one sixth in his Grassroots career, No Plan Intended heads into the postseason in a two-way tie for second with 128 points. Sharing second spot with No Plan Intended is Take Control, who cruised along on the front end to a one and one-half length victory in the third division. In rein to Louis-Philippe Roy, the Control The Moment son  stopped the teletimer in a personal best 1:52.3. Big Teddy finished second and Last Bet was third. “The 10-hole last week (Sept. 8), he kind of didn’t get into the race, but he finished really strong. So today was good that he had a chance to get into the race,” said trainer Dan Lagace of Cambridge, who shares ownership of the gelding with Ben Mudry of Toronto, ON. “He’s been a nice little colt. He was only $8,000 so with a good finish in the next couple of weeks he’s had a pretty good year.” Thursday’s victory boosted Take Control’s earnings to $30,982 through seven lifetime starts. Unlike Proline and No Pan Intended, he posted his first Grassroots win in the Aug. 22 leg at Hiawatha Horse Park and finished sixth from Post 10 in the Sept. 8 leg. The final $23,150 division saw Second Bruiser romp to his second straight 1:51.4 victory, hitting the wire one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Cadillac Bayama. Watch My Beverage was seven lengths back in third. “He’s pretty awesome. He was amazing last week and I think he was even better tonight,” said driver James MacDonald. “It’s a cool night, a little breezy and 1:51.4 for a two-year-old this time of year, and the way he did it, he’s just a really nice colt. Hopefully he keeps progressing. He could be anything.” Guelph resident MacDonald drove the Believeinbruiser son to the win, his second in three lifetime starts, for trainer Vernon Cochrane of Fergus and his co-owner Stefan Piekos of Palgrave, ON. The win netted Second Bruiser 100 points and puts him in seventh spot in the standings. The top 20 point earners now advance to the Oct. 1 Semi-Finals from which the top five finishers will move on to the $75,000 Grassroots Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 10. Complete results from Thursday’s program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Grassroots point standings can be found on the Ontario Sires Stakes Leaderboard. On Friday night the three-year-old pacing colts resume their Gold Series rivalry at Woodbine Mohawk Park after taking a break to compete in Grand Circuit action in recent weeks. The colts will battle for $156,400 in Race 8 on the program, which gets under way at 7 pm. Fans can download a program here.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing www.ontarioracing.com

MILTON, ON - September 17, 2020 - The march to the Mohawk Million is entering the final stage with slot owners required to finalize the two-year-old harness racing trotter that will race in their slot by Monday (September 21) at Noon. The Mohawk Million for $1 million (USD) will be the richest Standardbred race contested in Canada since 2012. The event for rookie trotters will headline a $2.5 million-plus card on Saturday, September 26 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Mohawk Million had nine slots available for purchase at a cost $110,000 (USD) each. The tenth and final slot in the race was awarded to the winner of last Saturday's William Wellwood Memorial, On A Streak. The winner of the race will receive the traditional 50 per cent of the purse. All starters will receive at least one per cent of the purse. The purse distribution breakdown is listed below: 1st: $500,000 2nd: $225,000 3rd: $108,000 4th: $72,000 5th: $45,000 6th-10th: $10,000 Each slot is an entity that may be sold, traded or subject to lease. The slot owners must declare a horse to race in their slot by Monday (September 21) at Noon. The nine slot owners are listed below: Brad Grant Courant Inc. (Anders Strom) Determination (Serge Godin) Diamond Creek Racing (Adam Bowden) Dreamland Farms (Gina Ghent) Fashion Farms (Jules Siegel) Glengate Farms (Jim Bullock) Jeffrey Snyder John Fielding The Mohawk Million card will also feature the $720,000 Metro Pace, $455,000 Shes A Great Lady and $215,000 Milton Stakes. Eliminations for those three events take place this Saturday (September 19). by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

DUNDAS, ON - SEPT. 17, 2020 - Due to an electrical fire Flamboro Downs was forced to suspend the Thursday, Sept. 17 harness racing card following the third race. Only one of three Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old trotting fillies had been completed prior to the suspension of the program so the remaining divisions, along with two Prospect Series divisions for three-year-old trotting fillies, have been rescheduled to Saturday, Sept. 19 at 3 pm. The Grassroots and Prospect Series divisions will be contested as drawn, with no wagering, prior to the start of Flamboro Downs' Saturday program. The Grassroots division scheduled as Race 5 on Thursday evening will be the first race, going postward at 3 pm on Saturday, the Grassroots division programmed as Race 6 will be Race 2. The Prospect Series division carded as Race 8 on Thursday will go postward as Race 3 and the Prospect Series division slated as Race 10 will be the fourth and last race of the non-wagering event. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Jovial Bendigo harness racing farrier John McDermott isn't sure how his dance moves looked as he was cheering home his longshot winner this week, but he's adamant he's sticking to his day job. "I don't think there would have been much finesse at all. I'd best describe it as a bit of a rap dance. I know I had arms and hands flaying around everywhere," he laughed. McDermott was watching his first-starter from about 50 metres from the finish line at the Ballarat meeting on Wednesday night when he went from being satisfied - to realizing he was about to land a winner. And judging by the performance of 137/1 shot Waikare Colleen (Tennotrump-Waikare Patricia (Last Sunset) on her two-year-old race debut, there's sure to be many more to come. To watch the video replay click here. Driver Scott Rains pushed forward from a front line barrier to land one-one early. But after the leaders sorted themselves out, Rains found himself leading the outside division. "I was happy because our aim was to get around safely and do it right," McDermott said. "She was in the death-seat, but looked comfortable and we knew she would trot all the way. Coming up the straight, I was so pleased that she was still hanging in there," he said. When Maryborough veteran Mark Hayes kicked on the leader Igniting Stride on the home corner, Waikare Colleen was up for the fight and wouldn't go away. She did her best work over the final stages to win by nearly two metres in a most creditable mile rate for the 2yo maiden trotters of 2.04-5. "I haven't had a square-gaiter for a long time. And this is the first two-year-old trotter I've raced, although I did drive one over 20 years ago for Paul Morrissey. It was called Just Like Jack and we won a few as well as running third in the Redwood and Sires Final," McDermott said. "We really haven't any big plans for this girl because we thought she would take time being so big. She's paid up for the Sires and that's about all. We've put her in at Maryborough next Monday as there's nothing much else about." McDermott said he was surprised by the long odds of Waikare Colleen at Ballarat because the filly had been trialling quite nicely. "The first two were against older horses and she was far from disgraced because we didn't bustle her at any stage. Then at her latest trial she ran third against her own age group and peeled off a 29 second quarter," he said. "We are working a team of four at present. Scott (Rains) has now driven a few winners for us and he was pretty excited as well with Waikare Colleen." The filly is raced by John's wife Kelly, his mother Shirley and the estate of Max Lancaster. She is one of two live foals from Waikare Patricia (13 wins, 16 p for $150K) - the other being a Sebastian K yearling colt. Waikare Patricia was raced by the McDermott family and was sensational in 2013 with wins in the $30K Glenferrie Kahdon Trot, $15K Empire Platinum Trot Final, $10K Petstock Platinum and $10K Empire Platinum. Three generations of the McDermott and Waikare family tree – Ciarah, Sophie and Brady McDermott with Waikare Colleen (left), John and Kelly McDermott and the “family matriachs” Shirley McDermott and Waikare Colleen’s grand-dam, 27 year old (interdominion place-getter) Waikare Gold. Waikare Gold (by Golden Greek), also raced by the McDermotts and the grand dam of "Colleen", amassed 15 wins, 44 placings for $131K. She had five foals to race, all being winners. Another notable apart from "Patricia" was Waikare Aristocrat with 15 wins for $124K. McDermott said the late Max Lancaster, who lived near the Snowy Mountains, had been good friends with his dad, Henry, who died in early 2007. "Dad reckoned Max was a gem - he loved taking him to the trots. He always said Max was like a good luck charm. "Two of the horses have been named in honor of the late wife of Max-her name was Patricia Colleen. Their children told us that when Waikare Patricia was racing, it had added five years onto the life of Max. He passed away a couple of years ago and two of his kids have taken over his interest in the horses." Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Stickney, IL - The best in the state of Illinois will be on the track Saturday as 11 stakes races will be contested for Night of Champions at Hawthorne Race Course. Although temps are expected to be cool, conditions look to be dry on Saturday as many divisional honors are on the line. Last week sports wagering kicked off with the partnership between PointsBet and Hawthorne Race Course. While online sports wagering has begun, the on-site sportsbook is expected to open very soon. To celebrate, PointsBet has sponsored an extra $20,000 in purse money for each of the three finals for older horses. "Horse racing and sports betting really go hand-in-hand," stated Johnny Aitken, CEO of PointsBet USA. "Our sponsorship will add purse money that not only supports Illinois horsemen but showcases our partnership with Hawthorne and engages new fans who already enjoyed wagering on live sports, whether that's a race or a football game." Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association Executive Director Tony Somone added, "I think Hawthorne's choice to partner with PointsBet for sports betting in Illinois demonstrates the track's continued commitment to racing and the hard-working horsemen of Illinois. Horse racing is the original sports betting after all, and this sponsorship adds even more excitement to the competition on the track." Race 2 - $68,000 PointsBet & Club Hawthorne Robert S. Molaro Memorial Championship With the great partnership between PointsBet and Hawthorne, an additional $20,000 in purse money has been added to the Robert S. Molaro Memorial. The Molaro Memorial is for three-year-old and up pacers and drew a full field, led by past Illinois Champion Fox Valley Gemini. Drawing post eight, Fox Valley Gemini has won 38 of 54 lifetime starts for over $450k in earnings for owner Jim Ballinger and trainer Terry Leonard. Driven by the meet's leading driver Casey Leonard, Gemini has won eight times on the year, hitting the board in all 12 of his starts. Fox Valley Gemini is the 6-5 morning line favorite. Second choice in the Molaro Memorial at 9-2 is Salvatore from the barn of Perry Smith. Claimed just two starts back, Salvatore has been very good on the year as well, winning five times from 15 starts and finishing in the top three in 11 of those races. Travis Seekman drives Salvatore who drew post three. Last week's Molaro elimination winner drew the rail as Al's Hammered starts for owner/trainer/driver Robert Smolin. Lightly raced with only seven starts on the year, Al's Hammered posted a year's best mark for himself, winning in 1:52.2 last week. Race 3 - $88,000 Fox Valley Flan Championship Two-year-old filly trotters follow in the Fox Valley Flan as trainer Steve Searle looks to dominate the race. Searle has four horses in the final, drawing post positions two through five. Leading the way at 4-5 for Searle is Loulita for owners Flacco Family Farms LLC and Dr. Patrick Graham. After getting off to a bit of a slow start on the year, Loulita has rattled off five straight wins, taking the final leg of this series last weekend in a new lifetime mark of 2:01. Casey Leonard gets the call as Loulita drew post four. Right next to Loulita, drawing post five, is the Searle entrant poised to upset in Lous Voodoo Woman. Owned by Steven Renard, Lous Voodoo Woman has made more starts by a large margin than any other in the field, starting 19 times on the year. A winner of seven of those starts, Lous Voodoo Woman has speed has driver Kyle Wilfong will look to try to steal the race on the front end with her. Race 4 - $80,000 Incredible Tillie Championship Two-year-old filly pacers contest the Incredible Tillie in one of the night's more wide-open finals. The 8-5 morning line favorite is Scorecard Dandy for owners Green Acres LLC and Mike Klimas for trainer Gregory Kain. Driven by Juan Franco and drawing post four, Scorecard Dandy has won three of seven starts on the year. Her most recent race was her best, as she took the final leg of this series last week, rallying to win in 1:55.3. Right next to Scorecard Dandy in post three is 3-1 second-choice Princess Mooss. Although only posting one win on the year for owner Alan Beals and trainer Gary Rath, Princess Mooss has finished in the top three in eight of nine starts, including each of her last four races. Kyle Wilfong gets the drive for Princess Mooss. Possibly overlooked in the Trackmaster morning line at 8-1, Connie On the Go draws the rail for owners Ronald Phillips and John Carver and trainer Jamaica Patton. Connie On the Go opened the season strong, winning five of her first six starts. A pair of tiring trips leading into the final may be the reason for the inflated line, but a recent qualifier where she finished strongly could put her into the mix for this final. Race 5 - $67,000 PointsBet & Club Hawthorne Plesac Championship Three-year-old and up trotters follow in the Plesac Championship, another stakes final receiving a $20,000 purse boost from PointsBet. The girls will look to crash the boy's party as talented six-year-old mare Annas Lucky Star is the 7-5 favorite for owner Danny Graham and trainer Nelson Willis. The track record holder for aged mare trotter, Annas Lucky Star has won five of 11 starts on the year. She set the track record in a win against open trotters on August 8, winning in 1:53.3 and then equaled that mark two weeks later. Driven by Kyle Wilfong, Annas Lucky Star is looking for her 40th career victory in start number 73. The competition for Annas Lucky Star could come from a pair of Steve Searle trained trotters in Lousraptor and Louzotic. Both owned by Flacco Family Farms LLC, Lousraptor draws post two while Louzotic drew outside post nine in the field. Lousraptor has had a fine year, winning five of 18 races while finishing in the top three 13 times. He upset Annas Lucky Star two weeks ago as Juan Franco gets the call on the 4-1 second choice. Talented mare Louztoic will be driven by Kyle Husted as she has finished first or second in nine of 15 races this year. An 11-time winner in 2019, Louzotic rallied in last week's Plesac prep, nabbing Annas Lucky Star on the wire for the upset win. Louzotic is 10-1 in the morning line. Race 6 - $98,000 Beulah Dygert Memorial Championship Three-year-old filly trotters follow in the Beulah Dygert Memorial as trainer Steve Searle will look to strike once again. This race Searle sends out a pair in Lous Abigail and Bee See. Lous Abigail is the 6-5 morning line choice for owner Flacco Family Farms LLC as she has rattled off five consecutive victories coming into this final. She posted a season best mark of 1:57.3 while winning two starts back and cruised to a nearly ten-length score in her division of the final leg of this series last weekend. Casey Leonard returns in the bike with Lous Abigail. Owned in partnership by Baldes, Searle, Paloma, and Paloma, Bee See draws post two and is 10-1 in the morning line. Driven by Kyle Husted, Bee See was a five time winner from ten starts last season and has found the board in half of her ten races in 2020. She was beaten only a head in a game effort behind Lous Abigail three starts back. Second choice at 5-2 and drawing the inside is Fox Valley Extacy. Owned in partnership by Miller, Hochsprung, Hochsprung, and Falzone, Fox Valley Extacy has won half of her ten starts this year, including a game front-end score last out. Travis Seekman gets the drive once again. Race 7 - $109,000 Erwin F. Dygert Memorial Championship The second richest final on the card goes for three-year-old male trotters as a talented bunch lines up. Drawing post six is the 3-2 favorite Fox Valley Quest for owners Carl Lacy and Benita Simmons. Trained by Tom Simmons Fox Valley Quest has been very good this year, finishing in the top three in all 11 starts, including six victories. He looked strong in his most recent start, taking the final let of the Dygert by four lengths while leading from start to finish. Another having a fantastic year is 5-2 second choice Crooked Creek for owner Ed Teefey and trainer Mike Brink. Drawing the rail and to be driven by Todd Warren, Crooked Creek has won eight of 11 starts on the year, including a six-length win in his division of the Dygert last week. Crooked Creek also got the best of Fox Valley Quest at the end of August, holding him off for a length-and-a-quarter score. Crooked Creek isn't Brink's only shot as he also sends out On Higher Ground whom he owns in partnership with All-Wright Racing LLC. On Higher Ground has hit the board in 10 of 11 this year, including a win over both Fox Valley Quest and Crooked Creek on August 21. Kyle Wilfong gets the drive once again with On Higher Ground. Race 8 - $118,000 Kadabra Championship The evening's richest race goes for two-year-old male trotters in a completely wide-open Kadabra final. With no horse in the full field of ten with over three lifetime victories, any could win this event. The 2-1 morning line favorite drew post four as Lousrolando starts for owners David Brigham and Kyle Husted as Husted trains and drives. Lousrolando is the "now" horse though as he enters this final off a pair of solid victories. Last week he controlled things on the front end, winning the final leg of the Kadabra by six-and-a-quarter lengths. The lightly raced Fistfullofdollars poses a threat for owners Brink, Toumer, Clauson, and Brown and trainer Mike Brink. Making only four lifetime starts, he has found the board in each race, winning his most recent division of the Kadabra in a game victory. Kyle Wilfong drives as Fistfullofdollars will likely have to look to rate and rally from post eight. Race 9 - $71,000 Incredible Finale Championship Two-year-old male pacers line up in the Incredible Finale as the 8-5 favorite Frontier Charley will have to work hard to win from the far outside. Drawing post nine, Frontier Charley is driven by Todd Warren for trainer Jim Eaton. A winner of four of seven starts on the year, he rides a two race streak into this final, including a late closing score last out. Well Basically races for owner Engel Stable Of IL LLC and trainer Erv Miller. He put together a string of three straight wins early in August before being caught on the wire by Frontier Charley in his last. Marcus Miller was behind him for the last of his streak of three wins and drives again on Saturday. Ideal Big Guy gets the rail for owners Dandy Farms Racing, trainer Terry Leonard, Ob Stables and Peter Kouchis as the 7-2 third choice. Although entering this final with only one win lifetime, he has found the board in four of his last five starts. His early speed will benefit him in this final from the inside. Race 10 - $86,000 Robert F. Carey, Jr. Memorial Championship Three-year-old male pacers are featured in the Carey Memorial as He'zzz A Wise Sky is the 3-2 morning line choice. Owned by Triple Zzz Stable and trained by Don Filomeno, He'zzz A Wise Sky won on Night of Champions last year and has continued his winning ways. Finishing first or second in ten of 11 races this year, he has rattled off three straight wins, including a dominating effort in last week's prep. Regular driver Robert Smolin returns in the bike. Western Perch was the last horse to get the best of He'zzz A Wise Sky, pulling off the upset against him on August 14. Owned in partnership by Bowen, Bowen, and Markert, the Nicole Agosti trainee drew post five. A three-time winner on the year, Western Perch is driven in the final by Kyle Wilfong. Race 11 - $108,000 Plum Peachy Championship A good field of three-year-old filly pacers line up with multiple horses in with a chance. Although listed as the 3-1 second choice in the Trackmaster morning line, Fox Valley Exploit will go off the favorite for owners David Brigham and Kyle Husted. Husted trains and drives the winner of seven of eight on the year, including a speedy win in 1:53 in the second leg of this series. She will have to overcome her post nine draw but her tactical speed allows her to show speed or rate and rally. Listed at 2-1 but the likely second choice at off time is Sign Her Up. Getting a favorable inside draw for owners Rb Roper and Fabian Johnson, Sign Her Up has won four times from 14 starts on the year and hit the board in nine of those 14 races. She is the only horse in the field to defeat Fox Valley Exploit this summer, doing so on August 22. Juan Franco drives for trainer Charles Arthur. Harper has also been very good in 2020 as she starts for owner Peter Karras and trainer Rick Schrock. An eight-time winner from 14 starts, Harper went unraced as a two-year-old but has only missed the board twice this year. Kyle Wilfong drives as Harper comes off a second-place performance behind Fox Valley Exploit last time out. Race 12 - $68,000 PointsBet & Club Hawthorne Tony Maurello Memorial Championship The same as last season, aged female pacers round out the championship evening. Last year's reigning champ Skeeter Machine returns to try to defend her title for owners Francis and James Greer and trainer Nicole Agosti. After winning five times last year, Skeeter Machine has posted five wins once again in 2020. She's the 9-2 third choice in the morning line as Kyle Wilfong drives. The deserving favorite at 9-5 is Allbeastnobeauty for driver and trainer Todd Warren. A winner of nine of 21 starts on the year for owners Brookside Stables and Keith Ravis, she enters this final on a four race win streak. She won gamely in last week's elimination as she looks for her 33rd lifetime win. Hawthorne Race Course, Chicago's Hometown Track, returned for live harness racing on Saturday, February 15 and races through Sunday, September 20. Post time nightly is 7:10 PM. Hawthorne races live during the summer harness meet every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Fall thoroughbreds close out the year, running from October 2 through December 26. For more information, visit www.Hawthorneracecourse.com or contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700. by Jim Miller, for Hawthorne Race Course

A total of 23 harness racing two-year-olds – 21 pacers and two trotters – including two from New Zealand - have been nominated for the inaugural Nutrien Equine Ready To Run Sale to be held in November. The online sale will be conducted from 10am on Friday, November 20 until 4pm on Sunday, November 22 coinciding with the Breeders Crown Finals weekend at Melton. Horses will be ‘breezed up’ at Menangle on Sunday, November 1, Shepparton on Wednesday, November 4 and in NZ’s South Island at a track and date to be confirmed. Nutrien Equine standardbred manager Mark Barton said: “The sale will offer another opportunity for breeders of young horses to sell their stock besides the yearling sales. “Lochinvar Art is one of the products of the ready-to-run concept.” Many of Australasia’s leading trainers and breeders have thrown their weight behind the sale including Luke McCarthy, Rickie Alchin, Mark Jones (NZ), Benstud Standardbreds, Lauriston Bloodstock, Nick Hooper, Paul Graydon, Reibey Farm and Rhiannon Park. Fifteen sires will be represented at the sale including stock by established sires such as Art Major, American Ideal, Rock N Roll Heaven, Well Said, Sportswriter, Western Terror, Shadow Play, Betterthancheddar, Sir Lincoln, For A Reason and Love You and emerging sires in Betting Line, Heston Blue Chip, Bling It On and Cardigan Boko. A Well Said-Bettor Abs 2YO filly in the Sale The entry includes half-brothers to the Melton Mares Championship winner Sophies Ideal 1:53.5 ($150,979), Islay 1:52.8 ($218,117), Valbonne (1:55.4) and promising trotter Mar Pacifico and half-sisters to the Breeders Crown champion All Eyes On Us 1:51.4 ($307,515), the prolific Albion Park winner Tennyson Bromac 1:53.4 ($139,837) and Spy Major (1:53.9) and close relatives of the Group 1 winners Gotta Go Cullen, Happy Asset, Lombo Skyrider, Awesome Armbro, Philadelphia Man and Tandia’s Courage. A Heston Blue Chip 2YO gelding in the sale Pedigrees and pre-registration details will be available in early October. For further information visit www.nutrienequine.com.au Peter Wharton