Day At The Track

Midland Acres announced today that Fear The Dragon's book is now full and closed for 2019. The 2017 North America Cup and multiple harness racing Grand Circuit winning son of Dragon Again's book was full and closed early in his inaugural season last year as well. Fear The Dragon p,2,1:50.3f; 3,1:48.4 ($1,578,547) is out of the prolific producer and stakes winning Western Ideal mare Armbro Cinnamon and his pedigree just keeps looking better and better. This year his 3-year-old half-brother Cinnamack also won in 1:48.1 in Lexington. Fear The Dragon's second dam is the brilliant Dan Patch Award winner Mattaroni. “With the support of breeders across the country as well as our own, plus the many great broodmares from majority owner Emerald Highlands Farm, Dragon is off to an absolutely flying start,” said Midland Acres’ John Mossbarger. “The icing on the cake is that he was superb in the breeding shed settling mares, usually needing only one breeding.” Bruce Trogdon of Emerald Highlands Farm is equally excited about the start that the stallion he bred, raised and raced is getting off to. “We bred the majority of our broodmare band to him last season and are doing so again this year. He was himself such a good looking and an athletic colt growing up that I can’t wait to to see his own foals hitting the ground!” Trogdon won’t have to wait long. The first Fear The Dragon foal out of one of his own mares is due Feb. 1 That will be the result of an embryo transplant from his own Dan Patch Award winner Blazin Britches p,3,1:48.4 ($575,911). Fear The Dragon - The Adios

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 4, 2018 -- Circle The Page sat patiently in the pocket, then roared through the Lightning Lane to capture Tuesday's harness racing $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. As Jewels Forreal moved first over and put away the leader, Cracklin Rosie, she got the jump on Circle The Page, who could only wait for clearance. But when Dan Rawlings pointed her to the Lightning Lane, she surged at the wire to edge Jewels Forreal by a nose in 1:56 over a "good" surface. McDazzle finished third. John Sullivan train Circle The Page, a 4-year-old daughter of Real Artist-Queen Marie who lifted her lifetime bankroll to $193,374, and owns with Michael Marocco. Brady Brown piloted four winners on the 13-race card and did it in characteristic "Downtown Brown" fashion, bringing home three 7-1 shots and an 8-1 outsider. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday, when the program features a $1,738.01 Pick 5 carryover and a $927.60 carried-over jackpot in the Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Twelve new charges alleging race fixing – including the drugging of a horse – have been laid in the police's investigation into the harness racing scene. A North Canterbury man in his 50s, a driver, appeared at the Christchurch District Court on Wednesday for the first time as part of the expanding investigation, dubbed Operation Inca.  He faced one race fixing charge, alleging that a substance was administered to a horse to gain an advantageat a race meeting earlier this year. He is charged with conspiring with one of the other defendants to fix the race. His court appearance at a review session before Judge Raoul Neave brings the total number of people caught up in the investigation to 13. Read the full story at Stuff.   David Clarkson for Stuff 

CRUZ Bromac will be raging hot favourite to complete a cleansweep of the Inter Dominion heats after drawing superbly for the third night at Cranbourne on Saturday. The All Stars’ runner led throughout on night one, made a midrace move to sit parked and win easily last night and should lead throughout again from gate four at Cranbourne. Another Kiwi, Im Pats Delight, looks the only real danger, but he will need plenty of luck from an inside back row draw (gate eight). Cran Dalgety’s four-year-old has looked terrific with a second on night one and fastest-of-the-night win at Ballarat last night. Cruz Bromac’s stablemate, Spankem, is flying, but faces another tricky draw (gate nine) in his Cranbourne heat. It’s a fascinating heat with the three class runners all drawing the back row. Wrappers Delight (gate eight) and Galactic Star (10) the others. Long-time Grand Final favourite Tiger Tara has finally drawn well in a heat and looks a standout in his Cranbourne heat from gate four. Audi Hare looks the early leader from gate two and would happily trail Tiger Tara, who will relish the draw and the 2555m trip. Major rival San Carlo drew awfully outside the back row (gate 11) and now needs a top four finish to be certain of making the final. In the trotting series, big guns Tornado Valley and Speeding Spur will dominate betting in their final round heats. Speeding Spur, who sat parked and ran a brave third to Tornado Valley at Ballarat last night, drew superbly in gate two over the longer 2555m trip and Cranbourne in a heat lacking depth. He looks set to either lead or work to the front with Kyvalley Blur (gate five) and the emerging, Big Jack Hammer (eight), the others with winning chances. The other Kiwi, Monty Python, drew awfully in gate 11. Tornado Valley should complete a cleansweep of the heats after drawing gate four in the second of Saturday night’s heats. Save Our Pennys, who has finished second to Tornado Valley in both heats so far, has the pole and should trail Tornado Valley again and the only real danger. The other key player in the heat is Maori Law, who ran a slashing second to Speeding Spur on night one then galloped and finished last on night two. Kiwi outsiders Alderbeck (gate eight) and Wilmas Mate (10) will struggle. Adam Hamilton Click here for the third night ID18 fields

Ballarat played host to the second round heats over 1710 metres of the Inter Dominion on Tuesday December 4, where favourites prevailed in most races. PACERS: HEAT ONE David Aiken’s much improved 5Y0 Bettors Delight-Charlotte Church gelding Wrappers Delight (Kima Frenning), a short priced $1.80 chance, made full advantage of his pole line draw to lead throughout in a rate of 1-53.6 (last half 53.9 – quarter 26.1) to account for a game Tiger Tara which after starting from the extreme draw moved outside him off a three wide trail on the back of San Carlo at the bell by 1.2 metres, with first night heat winner Spankem (one/two at bell) closing late for a fast finishing third 1.1 metres back in third place after following Our Uncle Sam home three wide in the last lap. Maximan was fourth .3 metres away after trailing the winner and using the sprint lane, while San Carlo was a shade disappointing when fifth 4.9 metres off the winner when following Tiger Tara in the final circuit. HEAT TWO: Kiwi Im Pats Delight ($1.40), a 4Y0 Bettors Delight-Righteous Franco entire trained in Christchurch by Cran Dalgety and driven by Gavin Lang, led throughout from gate two in registering a soft 3.7 metre margin in advance of Cant Refuse (three back the markers) which flashed home when extricated from a pocket in the straight, Im The Boss (gate five) was strong when third a half head away after racing exposed, a half head in advance of Bad Billy which trailed the winner. In a last half of 55.5 – quarter 26.7, Im Pats Delight returned a slashing mile rate of 1-52.2. Franco Nelson (one/one – three wide last lap) was fifth 5.5 metres back just in advance of Joes Star Of Mia which followed him all of the way. HEAT THREE: First round heat winner Cruz Bromac ($1.60) continued his outstanding form with an easy 2.8 metre victory in 1-53.5 (half 55.9 – quarter 26.3). Driven by co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen for the All Stars Team,  Cruz Bromac wasn’t pushed at the start from gate four on the second line settling at the tail of the field as Audi Hare (gate two) and Mach Doro (gate five) engaged in a two horse war for the front running with Audi Hare winning out. When Galactic Star (another first round winner) went forward from the extreme draw at the start to park in the open racing for the bell, Cruz Bromac was set alight to race uncovered for the last lap. Sustaining the run, Cruz Bromac was too strong in the straight, scoring by 2.8 metres from Audi Hare which battled on courageously, with Galactic Star closing late after being extricated into the clear halfway up the running third a head away. Mach Doro (three back the markers was fourth and Mattgregor fifth after trailing the winner from outside the front line.  A 7Y0 Falcon Seelster-Crown Defender gelding, Cruz Bromac registered his 19th success from 36 outings. TROTTERS – HEAT ONE: Dominion Handicap runner-up Kyvalley Blur ($6.90) returned to form after a dismal eighth to Tornado Valley on the first night to blouse his rivals by 1.7 metres in an exciting finish where five horses crossed the wire with 4.8 metres between them. Trained by Brent Lilley and driven by Chris Alford, Kyvalley Blur starting from the extreme draw settled well back in the field as Sky Petite (gate two) was able to cross Fabrication on her inside, with Illawong Armstrong (gate 3) outside the pair to eventually take control as Enrolled (gate 4) moved forward to occupy the spot outside the leader racing for the bell. Fabrication galloped shortly after the start putting himself out of business. Big Jack Hammer (one/one from gate five) eased three wide approaching the final bend to issue a challenge, while Monty Python from mid-field was four wide on straightening. Weaving in-between runners in the last lap to be four back approaching the home turn, Kyvalley Blur was extricated five wide in the straight and finished full of running to defeat Big Jack Hammer by 1.7 metres, with Sky Petite using the sprint lane to be a half neck back in third place 1.2 metres ahead of Enrolled and Kingdom Come (three back the markers). Hot favourite Maori Law was never a chance after getting buried four back the markers from inside the second line, breaking in the straight when cramped for room. A ever-reliable all American bred 11Y0 gelding by Chocolatier from Duo Val Car raced by Jim Connelly, Kyvalley Blur chalked up his 29th victory from 119 outings, returning a mile rate of 1-55.6 (last half 57.5 – quarter 28.9). HEAT TWO: There were divided opinions as to which of the two favourites would lead, with Speeding Spur ($2.10 gate five) and Tornado Valley ($2.20 from outside the front row) both brilliant beginners, but it was Tornado Valley which exploded away to cross Save Our Pennys (gate two) which led out momentarily from his ideal draw. This left Speeding Spur in the open with Rompers Monarchy (one/one), Red Hot Tooth (three back the markers) and Alderbeck three back in the moving line. Racing down the back straight on the final occasion the leading three chances drew away from their rivals, with Tornado Valley gaining a slight margin on turning. Not done with, Speeding Spur rallied in the straight, with Save Our Pennys using the sprint lane to issue a challenge, however Tornado Valley held a margin to the wire for Andy and Kate Gath to score by 2.1 metres over Save Our Pennys, with Speeding Spur a head away in third place. Tough Monarch (three wide last lap from last) was fourth six metres off Speeding Spur in fourth place. In a last half mile of 56.4 – quarter 27, Tornado Valley returned a mile rate of 1-56.1. The all important third and final round of heats over the longer trip of 2555 metres will be held at Cranbourne on Saturday.   Harness Racing Australia

When Shadow Sax was withdrawn from the harness racing TAB Inter Dominion pacing series, leaving champion reinsman Chris Alford with just one horse for all of ID18, in hindsight, Kyvalley Blur’s chances probably improved. The Puppet’s a genius, and the trotter everyone probably thought was pushing uphill following a lacklustre Round 1 performance quickly silenced his knockers. Kyvalley Blur launched from a seemingly impossible position mid-race to take out the second-round trotting heat at Ballarat over the sprint trip of 1710m in 1:55.6 by 1.7m over Big Jack Hammer, with Sky Petite third. And there’s improvement to come, says Alford: “If he stays like tonight he’ll go better again on Saturday from what Lills (trainer Brent Lilley) said. He’ll need a draw in the final, but if he gets it he will be right there.” Tornado Valley prevailed in the other trotting heat, rating 1:56.1 and scorching home in a 27-second final quarter for Kate and Andy Gath. With gate speed to burn – and another gear when required late in the piece – Tornado Valley seemingly has it all. Save Our Pennys was excellent again for Gavin Lang, finishing second, while Speeding Spur boxed on for third after parking throughout. In the pacing section Wrappers Delight delivered the hammer blow to his rivals for driver Kima Frenning and trainer David Aiken, going all the way from the pole in 1:53.6 to defeat Tiger Tara and Spankem. “This series is really going to suit him and he’s proved that tonight again. I think he’ll just keep on improving. David (Aiken) is doing such a good job with him,” Frenning said. The third horse, Spankem, was enormous, breaking the clock from back in the field for the All-Stars stable. Cran Dalgety produced Im Pats Delight for a comfortable win with Gavin Lang in the bike, scoring by 3.7m over Cant Refuse – whose owners in the stands were absolutely thrilled with the performance of Matthew Craven’s star – while Im The Boss was a gritty third. And Cruz Bromac has launched in the betting charts with his stablemate Spankem, both into $4, after he effortlessly won his second-round heat with Nat Rasmussen in the gig. For full results and videos click here Trots Media - Cody Winnell More TAB ID18 Round 2 coverage Kate's loving Tornado Valley Nat's delicious dilemma  Blake Redden breaks down the trot heats

A huge decision sits on the shoulders of the Inter Dominion harness racing queen and three wins in Natalie Rasmussen is unclear of one of the biggest decisions she may have to make this year: Spankem or Cruz Bromac. The All Stars pair are $4 co-favourites after two nights of TAB Inter Dominion, repeating their eye-catching first-up efforts at Tabcorp Park with a pair of impressive performances on a brilliant night’s racing at Ballarat. Having just saluted in the last of the night’s ID18 heats with Cruz Bromac Rasmussen told Sky Racing’s Jason Bonnington choosing her drive on December 15’s Inter Dominion finals night at Tabcorp Park Melton was a “out of the hat” decision. “They’re both beautiful horses,” Rasmussen said. “They both have strength and they are both tough.” Cruz Bromac was ultra-impressive in overcoming his back row draw to round up leader Audi Hare and hold off fast finishing Galactic Star to salute in 1:53.5. “That was a lovely run for him,” Rasmussen said. “He hit the line good. Last week was a good confidence builder and tonight ever better. I just went to the line nice and kind with him.” Excitement is clearly building and its shared by another renowned driver, Gavin Lang, whose Kiwi is also flying. Having caught the drive of New Zealand trainer Cran Dalgety’s Im Pats Delight, Lang couldn’t help but dream that the trophy missing on his shelf – a Pacing Inter Dominion – might be within arm’s length after tonight’s heat win. “I would love to win it, but it’s only run once a year and a very very hard race to win, so hopefully this might be my time,” Lang said. Racing continues with Saturday night’s third round of TAB Inter Dominion heats. Get track side and lap it up via www.id18.com.au For full results and videos click here   Trots Media - Michael Howard

Every point matters in the harness racing TAB Inter Dominion trotting championship and form analyst Blake Redden has broken it down horse-by-horse after two heats of ID18. In addition to detailing the official points score, which can be viewed by clicking here, Redden has given each runner a race-by-race rating. 32 Points – Tornado Valley  (17.5/20) Night 1: 9/10 – Copped pressure through the third quarter and was still trucking on the line Night 2: 8.5/10 – Flexed his muscle after the start and dictated thereafter. 27 Points – Speeding Spur  (16/20) Night 1: 8/10 – He got a pretty soft time through the middle stages but he staved off a pretty serious challenge from Maori Law and was well clear late. Night 2: 8/10 – Didn’t find the pegs but brave as ever from the breeze. It’s hard to knock his form as the key danger to the favourite right now. 26 Points – Save Our Pennys (17/20) Night 1: 9/10 – Came into this second-up from a break and loomed the winner on the bend, magical effort. Night 2: 8/10 – Had to be driven hard after the start but held the leader's back and produced a most similar run as Night 1 over what probably isn’t his best trip. 22 Points – Big Jack Hammer (14.5/20)  Night 1: 6.5/10 – Didn’t have to work in transit but he hit the line nicely. Night 2: 8/10 – Ran the gate and landed a lovely spot in the one by one. Looked the winner half way up the straight but his first genuine crack at this level from off the pegs and he stood up. 21 Points – Kyvalley Blur (13/20) Night 1: 4/10 – He was off the bit a long way out and despite trying to rally late he just didn’t come on as expected. Night 2: 9/10 – Phenomenal is just about the only way to describe his performance. Chris Alford take a bow, sliced through the field and came with his customary turn of speed. 20 Points – Tough Monarch (13.5/20) Night 1: 6.5/10 – You will find varying opinions on how good this guy’s run was, I wasn’t as taken as some others but he did work to the breeze and apply the pressure to the leader.  Night 2: 7/10 – Came wide on the track and was still finding the line at the end. A nice run to keep him ticking over. 18 Points – Rompers Monarchy (11.5/20) Night 1: 6/10 – Had the right run in transit and made OK ground late. Night 2: 5.5/10 – Off the pegs this time and did run the gate. Not many made ground and while she got a touch tired late, the run was still sound. 18 Points – Sky Petite (15/20) Night 1: 7.5/10 – Superb effort from this girl to make ground wide on the track. She didn’t get heaps of points but it sets her up for a nice series. Night 2: 7.5/10 – Used her gate speed to full effect before landing behind the speed, just halted for momentum early in the straight and she didn’t shirk the task late. 16 Points – Kingdom Come (13.5/20)  Night 1: 6.5/10 – Didn’t have much luck off a soft run and hit the line well. Night 2: 7/10 – Was handled beautifully by Kate Gath and he was just struggling to get a full crack at the sprint lane for a stride or two so he has put in another super run. 16 Points – Monty Python (14/20)  Night 1: 7/10 – Sat parked and lifted when beaten so a pretty nice effort all things considered. Night 2: 7/10 – He was forced to start the three-wide train and he loomed dangerously halfway up the lane. Another very nice effort. 15 Points – Red Hot Tooth (13/20) Night 1: 6.5/10 – Was forced to come wide in the track and not many horses made ground out wide all night so there’s merit to her run. Night 2: 6.5/10 – Was afforded a pegline run and given the slick last quarter she did as much as possible, she just keeps hanging in there. 14 Points – Maori Law (12.5/20) Night 1: 8.5/10 – Worked early, went back and then launched with an almighty run at the 800m. He did get tired late but the run was sensational given he will have improvement. Night 2: 4/10 – A horror story from start to finish. Total forgive. 14 points - Wilmas Mate (11/20)  Night 1: 5/10 – She got further back than expected on the pegs but just a middling effort Night 2: 6/10 – Played for luck in between horses and she was poking through late, trending in the right direction at least. 13 Points – Enrolled (13.5/20)  Night 1: 6/10 – This fella didn’t have much luck late and could have finished a touch closer. Night 2: 7.5/10 – Worked the breeze and not the worst place to be over the sprint but still went massive to finish where he did. 10 Points – Father Christmas (10.5/20)  Night 1: 4.5/10 – Didn’t have the clearest of passages at a crucial stage and finished off quite OK. Night 2: 6/10 – Unsuited by the distance but he didn’t lose the back of Tough Monarch in the lane so there are signs he is starting to turn it around. 9 Points – Fabrication (11/20) Night 1: 5/10 – Had a soft run and probably just held his ground more than made any late. Night 2: 6/10 – Hard to know what to make of this run. Galloped early but was flashing to the line albeit well beaten. Definitely some merit to the run but he needs points to qualify. 9 Points – Our Twentyten (6/20)  Night 1: 4/10 – Had every possible and was just fair on face value. Night 2: 2/10 – Further back on the pegs than last time but just fair again. 8 Points – Alderbeck (7.5/20)  Night 1: 3.5/10 – Was forced to lead the three-wide train so while you can be somewhat forgiving, he was never in the race. Night 2: 4/10 – Didn’t have heaps of clear air late and was holding his ground. 7 Points – Illawong Armstrong (9/20)  Night 1: 6/10 – Another that had no luck in the lane, it’s best to forgive his run completely. Night 2: 3/10 – Had every chance after finding the front and probably just not at his best. 7 Points – King Denny (11/20) Night 1: 6/10 – Another forced to come wide on the track and while he wasn’t rewarded via points, he ran quite well. Night 2: 5/10 – It was always going to be hard for him from the draw and the sprint trip didn’t suit so he gets a pass mark. 7 Points – Kowhai Monarch (8.5/20) Night 1: 2.5/10 – Did some work in the middle stages but looked very tired late. Night 2: 6/10 – Many horses went about as well as each other in a blanket finish but driven more quietly he was hitting the line pretty strongly. 5 Points – Kheiron (6/20) Night 1: 3/10 – He was wide on the track but remained at the tail throughout. Night 2: 3/10 – Similar to his first run in this series, hard to see him getting involved from here. Scratched – Cruisin Around (2/10) Night 1: 2/10 – Just not at his best. For full results and videos click here Trots Media - Blake Redden

The raiders have stepped to the fore in the harness racing TAB Inter Dominion pacing championship as Blake Redden deep dives runner-by-runner in who's stepped up and who's on the verge of stepping out after two nights of pacing heats. In addition to detailing the official points score, which can be viewed by clicking here, Redden has given each runner a race-by-race rating. 32 Points – Cruz Bromac (16.5/20) Night 1: 8/10 – Didn’t do anything unexpected when leading and breezing away as a short-priced favourite. Night 2: 8.5/10 – A simply spectacular drive which meant he could just control this race. 29 Points – Im Pats Delight (17.5/20) Night 1: 8.5/10 – Had to work hard to shoot for the front but came back underneath Gavin Lang and was trying all the way to the line. Night 2: 9/10 – Did it very easily and it’s quite clear he is building into this series perfectly. 27 Points – Galactic Star (16/20) Night 1: 8/10 – Sprung a surprise at the start and changed the complexion of the race. He was entitled to win in the end but still a super win when it’s all told. Night 2: 8/10 – After the early speed the heat came out of this race so for him to take the ground he did in the straight was the perfect indicator that he’s right on track after night 1. 27 Points – Spankem (18/20) Night 1: 9/10 – It’s easy to look at the drive of Nat Rasmussen and underrate just how strong this bloke was through the line. Proved he is a serious contender. Night 2: 9/10 – Ran the hands off the clock in an unsuitable race, into equal favouritism for the series and it’s not hard to understand why. 24 Points – Tiger Tara (16.5/20) Night 1: 8/10 – Got shuffled back but hit the line with great gusto late. Nice to see him back after a too-bad-to-be-true run in the NZ FFA. Night 2: 8.5/10 – Driven aggressively and was ironically able to get a relatively nice run from the breeze. Banked points and couldn’t be shaken off late. 24 Points – Wrappers Delight (16/20) Night 1: 8/10 – Ended up in an awkward spot and was one of the only horses to come wide on the track and make ground for the night. Night 2: 8/10 – Found the lead as expected, got a soft time and ripped home in a quarter. We didn’t learn anything new about him and he’s largely still an unknown commodity in this series. 21 Points – Audi Hare (13.5/20) Night 1: 6.5/10 – Had a quiet time along the pegs but probably just held his ground like most of the beaten brigade behind Audi Hare. Night 2: 7/10 – Had to work very hard early, got plenty of respite in the middle stages but was just controlled by a better horse late. 21 Points – Cant Refuse (15.5/20) Night 1: 7.5/10 – Didn’t have to go around a horse but he was finishing hard up the inside. Night 2: 8/10 – Another soft run and was able to burst through to snatch second late. He’s probably going to need luck right through this series but his turn of foot will give him knockout chances going forward. 21 Points – San Carlo (15.5/20) Night 1: 8.5/10 – Sat parked and just kept finding all the way to the line despite not winning. The Galactic Star formline looks fine for this series and he’s only going to improve. Night 2: 7/10 – Understandably was happy to hand the breeze over once Tiger Tara arrived so quickly, he didn’t make any ground in the lane but he didn’t need to, it’s his staying prowess that brings him into the final. 20 Points – Mach Doro (14/20) Night 1: 6.5/10 – Had every possible and while he didn’t lose anything late, he didn’t gain anything either. Night 2: 7.5/10 – Worked hard early and was finishing off as well as anything, the big question now looms, is he better over the sprint trip? 20 Points – Maximan (14/20) Night 1: 7/10 – A terrific plan from Team Tritton to punch the breeze in a race where no horse was likely to make much ground. Battled away willfully late. Night 2: 7/10 – Looked a stone-cold certainty to run a drum at the top of the straight and he didn’t throw in the towel but the class just got to him late. 18 Points – Cash N Flow (12.5/20) Night 1: 7/10 – Trailed home Cruz Bromac who controlled the race but he held everything else. Night 2: 5.5/10 – Got back and was never a factor over the sprint trip. 15 Points – Im The Boss (14/20) Night 1: 6.5/10 – Was never really in the hunt and while well beaten, no great knock on his effort. Night 2: 7.5/10 – Got fired up from the breeze as is customary and while it was hard for the others to make ground, he still gets a big tick and some much needed points heading into the suitable staying heat. 15 Points – Our Uncle Sam (14/20) Night 1: 7.5/10 – Ended up getting shuffled back but his run was full of merit to get as close to the winner as he did. Night 2: 6.5/10 – Came three-wide solo and he was still fighting hard late for sixth. He’s not far off them, but may just lack the absolute class required. 14 Points – Franco Nelson (13.5/20) Night 1: 6.5/10 – Ended up being an awkward race for him and he didn’t find the front as expected so overall there was merit to his performance. Night 2: 7/10 – Was forced to pull three-wide after the tempo had slackened mid-race and he made a 100-metre dash at the leaders so it’s obvious he is on the improve and might be an each-way sleeper in the series. 14 Points – Mattgregor (11/20) Night 1: 5.5/10 – Was three-wide for a while and finished with the peloton. Pretty inconclusive. Night 2: 5.5/10 – He came out running and lobbed behind the leader but just couldn’t improve his position inside the final quarter. 14 Points – Motu Meteor (14/20) Night 1: 7.5/10 – Surprising to see him so close to the action but it was a masterstroke in terms of earning very valuable points for the series. He went right up to his best (if not exceeded it). Night 2: 6.5/10 – Raced the gate, got shuffled back and wasn’t losing ground late so another solid performance. 14 Points – Yayas Hot Spot (13/20) Night 1: 7/10 – Wasn’t asked to do much work but when he saw a gap he finished off nicely. Night 2: 6/10 – Looked in a bit of bother halfway home but the last 50 metres he did lift and he has raced well over staying trips in Victoria before so don’t drop off him yet. 12 Points – Village Witch (12.5/20) Night 1: 7/10 – Took a while to hit her top but she was finishing off as well as anything. Night 2: 5.5/10 – Hard to judge exactly where she is at given she was wide on the track. A total forgive run again. 11 Points – Bad Billy (11/20) Night 1: 4.5/10 – Was probably a bit better than it first looks on paper but was beaten a fair way. Night 2: 6.5/10 – Was guaranteed a nice run and held his ground well at the finish but showed under these conditions he isn’t quite up to the best in the series. 11 Points – Conviction (13/20) Night 1: 6.5/10 – He was poking up along the pegs nicely and perhaps a little bit underrated for a race like the consolation based on that. Night 2: 6.5/10 – He was poking through late in an on speed dominated race. He is half flying but just needs to find the right conditions. 11 Points – Joes Star Of Mia (12.5/20) Night 1: 6.5/10 – Was left in an awkward spot with over a lap to go and really hard to take much from the night out. Night 2: 6/10 – Had to chase the helmet of Franco Nelson but when he got wound up he was running through the line. 11 Points – My Alpha Rock (11/20) Night 1: 6.5/10 – Took his chances in front and did cop pressure but hard to see him leading all the way and winning a heat or final of this series now. Night 2: 4.5/10 – Another inconclusive run coming wide over the sprint trip. 10 Points – Ellmers Image (11.5/20) Night 1: 5.5/10 – Ended up in a place he probably didn’t want to be but the tank read empty halfway up the straight. Night 2: 6/10 – Dropped in three poles and visually was far better with that quiet run but still a little ways off the big guns. 10 Points – Mister Wickham (10.5/20) Night 1: 6/10 – Never looked likely but went about as good as Magical Marn given he was off the pegs. Night 2: 4.5/10 – Not much changed for him tonight, he was given an easy time out the back and did as much as expected late. 9 Points – Tee Cee Bee Macray (6.5/20) Night 1: 2/10 – Didn’t make much ground off a soft trip. Night 2: 4.5/10 – An improved effort but may have been suited by the 1710 metres. 8 Points – Magical Marn (9/20) Night 1: 6/10 – Didn’t do any work but he found the line as well as could be expected. Night 2: 3/10 – He wasn’t able to run on like night 1, he’ll need big points Saturday night or the consolation is calling. 7 Points – Freyberg (8/20) Night 1: 5/10 – Beaten a long way but wasn’t exactly losing ground late. Night 2: 3/10 – Settled at the rear and made no impression. 6 Points – Hickstead (10/20) Night 1: 5.5/10 – Just never involved in any meaningful way from the back of the field. Night 2: 4.5/10 – Was never in the hunt and while he was OK in the lane he didn’t pick up much ground. 5 Points – Ideal Success (8/20) Night 1: 4/10 – It didn’t look his race on paper and that’s exactly how it panned out. Night 2: 4/10 – Found himself further back than expected but he was going up and down late. 3 Points – John Of Arc Night 1: 2/10 – Beaten very early Night 2: 2/10 – Never sighted Scratched – Shadow Sax (7.5/10) Night 1: 7.5/10 – Got back and made terrific ground, he didn’t get the rewards point-wise but it was a terrific effort Scratched – Let It Ride (5/10) Night 1: 5/10 – Had a nice run and got out in enough time but just didn’t have his usual ping. Scratched – Italian Delight  (2/10) Night 1: 2/10 – The market said he wouldn’t be a factor and that proved true. Scratched – Burnaholeinmypocket (2/10) Night 1: 2/10 – Has every chance and was gone a fair way out. We know he is better than that. Scratched – Is It Billy (1/10) Night 1: 1/10 – He was beaten to quickly. For full results and videos click here   Trots Media - Blake Redden

Goshen, NY - Michelle and Albert Crawford have announced that their harness racing World Champion trotter Crazy Wow 3,1:51.1 ($2,532,143) has been retired and will stand stud in New York for an introductory fee of $3,000. An outstanding individual and multiple stakes winner of over $2.5 million, Crazy Wow is the obvious choice for New York breeders as the next descendant of the unrivaled Credit Winner. His dam, No Pan No Gain (by Mr Vic, a son of the immortal Valley Victory), was a multiple stakes winner who earned $415,000 racing against the top fillies on the Grand Circuit, defeating Nova 2-year-old Trotting Filly of the Year in 2000, Spellbound Hanover. These bloodlines make Crazy Wow a great cross with Muscle Hill, Conway Hall and Chapter Seven mares. Well-respected breeder/farm owner Chris Coyle noted, "Crazy Wow is one of the best trotting stallions we've had under our care here at Olive Branch. He is an imposing horse with tremendous balance, length and soundness. He truly represents a durable, high speed horse with a genetic link to the incomparable Credit Winner that the New York horsemen want." Making money the hard way, Crazy Wow won 22 of 67 starts in 5 seasons, racing against and defeating some of the toughest and fastest trotters in recent memory. This September the son of Crazed captured the $500,000 Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk over Marion Marauder, Ariana G and Emoticon Hanover, equaling his mark of 1:51.1. Last season Crazy Wow established a world record of 1:52.3h winning the $185,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic over Resolve and Obrigado. In addition, he won the $200,000 Charlie Hill at Scioto in a track record 1:52f and the $150,000 Maxie Lee Invitational at Chester over JL Cruze. He capped off the 2017 season with victory in the $250,000 Harry Harvey at Yonkers over 1¼ miles. Crazy Wow then won his elimination of the Breeders Crown at Hoosier, and was a fast closing second to Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover in the $526,000 Crown Open Trot final earning just under $700,000 on the year. In fact, Crazy Wow has been so consistent for so long, that it is easy to forget that he won 9 of 17 races and over a million dollars back in 2015 at age three. Winning the $270,000 Erskine over Trotter of the Year Pinkman and the now-fastest-trotter-ever Homicide Hunter, and the $243,550 Matron at the end of the season, he also captured a division of the Bluegrass at the Red Mile. The fact is that Crazy Wow was good, and tough, all season at three, while also copping the $500,000 Colonial in August (over Pinkman at Pocono) and setting a track record of 1:51.1 in the $255,000 Empire Breeders Classic at Vernon in June. Crazy Wow was also the champion 2-year-old trotting colt of the New York Sire Stakes program in 2014, winning two legs and the $225,000 final at Yonkers. This impressive effort led him to be purchased by a group led by Gene Kurzrok and sent to Burke Racing at the end of his freshman season. Following a major stakes win, trainer Ron Burke said this about Crazy Wow, "He's a good horse that I think can go with them all the time when he gets the chances. In the big races, I think he will acquit himself well." Michelle Crawford, who also foaled and raised the 16-hand speedster noted, "We are blessed to have our WOW return to our farm after his prestigious racing career. We are so excited to stand Crazy Wow, we are bursting at the seams. He is inevitably one of our first and favorite graduates from our growing farm. His tenacity and toughness on the track will hopefully flow over to his progeny. Wow always gave 100% on the track, winning one third of all of his lifetime starts.." From an impressive and ever-expanding broodmare band, the Crawfords plan on supporting Crazy Wow with some of their top trotting mares. The marketing and management of Crazy Wow's stallion career will also be administered by Crawford Farms. Renowned New York stallion manager David Hanson stated, "World Champion Crazy Wow is a fantastic addition to the stallion ranks in New York. We at Leatherstocking Equine are proud to have the privilege of standing him at our facility. Leatherstocking Equine intends to support him well with quality mares including Barn Babe 2,1:58f; 3,1:54.2f ($350,463)." All breeding and booking inquiries should be directed to David Hanson at the Leatherstocking Equine Group, New Berlin, NY. Email: dhanson@leatherstockingvet.com or call: 607-847-9996. by Chris Tully for Crawford Farms            

Hightstown, NJ — McWicked topped the final harness racing Hambletonian Society / Breeders Crown poll for 2018. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The members of the U.S. Harness Writers Association vote this month on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 28 – 12/4/2018 Rank Name (First Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 McWicked (27) 7ph 19-12-3-2 $1,575,364 341 1 2 Shartin N (8) 5pm 24-19-1-0 $1,053,236 321 2 3 Atlanta 3tf 14-8-5-1 $1,017,278 234 3 4 Woodside Charm 2tf 7-7-0-0 $521,658 222 4 5 Kissin In The Sand 3pf 15-10-5-0 $845,495 177 5 6 Gimpanzee 2tc 9-9-0-0 $591,358 146 6 7 Tactical Landing 3tc 14-9-2-2 $810,800 135 7 8 Six Pack 3tc 15-11-2-1 $1,159,648 86 8 9 Dorsoduro Hanover 3pg 22-10-6-2 $1,284,562 73 9 10 Courtly Choice    3pc 16-10-1-0 $910,603 59 10 Also: Captain Crunch 32; Homicide Hunter 27; Jimmy Freight 22; Emoticon Hanover 14; Manchego 11; Warrawee Ubeaut 10; Marion Marauder 5; Crystal Fashion 4; Plunge Blue Chip, Prescient Beauty 2; Lather Up, Pure Country 1.  

Harness Racing This Week: The 2018 Grand Circuit season has come to a close. The 2019 schedule will be released in January. Last time: This Is The Plan, steered by Tim Tetrick, snuck up the inside several hundred yards from the finish line to best Jimmy Freight (Scott Zeron) by a head in 1:50.2 in the $260,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace final on Thursday (Nov. 29) at Dover Downs. This Is The Plan stopped Jimmy Freight by a head in 1:50.2 in the $260,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace final. Fotowon photo. This Is The Plan, who dead-heated with The Downtown Bus to capture the $193,750 Matron Stakes final over this very same oval, broke on top from post position three. After establishing a first quarter-mile fraction of :26, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-That's The Plan yielded the lead to Jimmy Freight and settled in the pocket spot while that rival posted splits of :55 and 1:22.3. After Jimmy Freight repelled the first-over bid of Breeders Crown victor Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley), it appeared the Sportswriter-Allamerican Summer colt would cross the wire in front. Tetrick and This Is the Plan, however, had other intentions. Tetrick shifted his charge to the pylons after being shuffled back slightly to third from Dorsoduro Hanover's advance. The colt responded by striding past Jimmy Freight with a last quarter of :27.3 to collect his triumph. Dorsoduro Hanover, after a tough overland journey, was a strong third. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Silva, Purnel & Libby and Lawrence Karr, This Is The Plan paid $5.40 to his supporters as the public's second selection. This Is The Plan, who was third in the $35,000 elimination for this contest behind Jimmy Freight a week prior, boosted his career bankroll to $642,540 and his lifetime record to 33-7-8-7. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, 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 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the final leaders. Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 1,529.5; 2. Yannick Gingras - 1,525; 3. David Miller - 1,254.5; 4. Scott Zeron - 764; 5. Andrew McCarthy - 668.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,471.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,200; 3. Tony Alagna - 726.5; 4. Julie Miller - 481; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 449. Owners: 1. Fashion Farms - 325; 2. Burke Racing Stable - 306.3; 3. Diamond Creek Racing - 304.6; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 284.8; 5. Bill Donovan - 241.2. Looking ahead: The 2019 Grand Circuit schedule will be released in January. by Paul Ramlow, publicity director, The Grand Circuit

Harness Racing driver Kate Gath admits to not having too many favourites. “It’s hard to be one of my favourites,” the champion reinswoman said after Tornado Valley’s scintillating 1:56.1 win tonight at Ballarat in Round 2 of the TAB Inter Dominion Trotting Championship. Tornado Valley showed gate speed at the start to muscle his way to the top and hot speed late as he ripped home in 27 seconds for the last 400m. “This fella is up there now,” she said, naming gun pacers About To Rock and Caribbean Blaster as her two favourites so far. “Only time will tell though if he can catch the other two.” TAB shortened Tornado Valley into $2 from $2.1 following tonight’s win. To watch the video replay click on this link                   5 8:02pm TAB INTER DOMINION TROTTING CHAMPIONSHIP (2ND ROUND QUALIFYING HEAT 2) (GROUP 3) 1710M $20,000 TM0 Or Better. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 TORNADO VALLEY NZ      Fr7 7 Andy Gath Kate Gath   $ 2.20   PRS GS L 1 SWAB   BAY GELDING 7 by SKYVALLEY NZ out of BEGIN (NZ) ()  Owner(s): N R (Norm) Jenkin  Breeder(s): P L Gaugler, T M McMillan 2 SAVE OUR PENNYS      Fr2 2 Gavin Lang Gavin Lang 2.10 $ 9.80   GS 3 USL SWAB 3 SPEEDING SPUR NZ      Fr5 5 J W Dickie, J I Dickie Josh Dickie 2.60 $ 2.10 fav  PRS GS OLT 2 4 TOUGH MONARCH      Sr3 10 Rickie Alchin Rickie Alchin 8.60 $ 18.40   10 3WL 5 RED HOT TOOTH      Sr2 9 Kari Males Zac Phillips 9.20 $ 22.30   PRS 5 6 ROMPERS MONARCHY NZ      Fr6 6 J A Rando, M J Rando David Morris 10.10 $ 98.90   PRS PH 4 7 FATHER CHRISTMAS NZ      Fr3 3 Brent Lilley Greg Sugars 12.40 $ 58.50   PRU 8 8 ALDERBECK NZ      Fr4 4 Phil Williamson Anthony Butt 13.30 $ 84.30   6 9 KHEIRON      Sr1 8 Peter Lane Chris Lang 17.00 $ 114.00   PRS 9 10 OUR TWENTYTEN NZ      Fr1 1 Brent Lilley Rodney Petroff 23.20 $ 101.00   PRS 7 CMP Scratchings   CRUISIN AROUND 11 Track Rating: GOOD Gross Time: 2:03:3 Mile Rate: 1:56:1 Lead Time: 6.7 First Quarter: 29 Second Quarter: 31.2 Third Quarter: 29.4 Fourth Quarter: 27 Margins: 2.1m x HD   Trots Media - Cody Winnell

Wind Of The North trotted home for his 50th career victory, winning the third race at Northfield Park on Monday (December 3). The eight year-old harness racing veteran, with 164 career starts, also has 36 seconds and 21 third-place finishes. Wind Of The North (Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind-Pine Chip) has career earnings of $1,035,258 with a lifetime mark of 1:51 at Pocono Downs at age four. The trotter's richest win was for a purse of $100,000 in the Chip Noble Trot at Scioto Downs in 2015. Wind Of The North is a well-traveled campaigner -- his 50 wins have been spread across 13 different racing surfaces. Wind Of The North was assigned post-8 in the evening's $19,000 Open Handicap Trot. He fired off the gate despite starting from the far outside and led at every call through fractions of :27.2, :57.4, 1:26.2 and 1:55 over a sloppy surface, besting his competition by a 2¼-lengths. He was the race favorite and returned $3.40 to win. William Bercury of Slippery Rock, PA owns and trains Wind Of The North. Aaron Merriman was aboard for the winning drive. Merriman had a big night on Monday winning a total of eight times on the 15-race program. Ayres Ratliff

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 3, 2018 -- Media Buzz proved that he's not fake news when he stalked Classic Banker from the pocket, then shot the Lightning Lane to pull off the 8-1 harness racing upset in Monday's $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. A closing second last week, Media Buzz generated luke-warm support stepping up to the Preferred Handicap. However, when Dan Rawlings gave him the perfect pocket trip, Media Buzz responded by downing the 1-1 Classic Banker by 3/4 lengths in 1:56.4. TSM Photo Bugger rallied for show. Steve Bush trains Media Buzz, a 4-year-old Explosive Matter-Lady Bar gelding who extended his career bankroll to $170,160, and owns with Alvira Fassett and Dennis Fassett. Dave Palone collected four wins -- including three for trainer Trent Stohler -- on the 13-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Toledo, OH — The ownership group of Tactical Landing (Muscle Hill-Southwind Serena-Varenne) 2,Q1:56; 3,1:50.2 ($812,300) has made the bittersweet decision to retire him to stud duty as a result of an injury he sustained while harness racing. From the day he was born, through the time he sold as the second highest priced yearling for $800,0000 and throughout his racing career, the full brother to world champion Mission Brief 2,1:50.3; 3,1:50.2f ($1,599,587) has created a buzz within the industry. His unmatched regal pedigree, conformation, size, speed and appearance set him apart from all others. All the promise and anticipation surrounding Tactical Landing came together this year at three. In just his fourth start this year, he won a heat of the $1.2 million Hambletonian and finished a strong third in the final. After a victory in the Bluegrass Stakes, he set his lifetime mark of 1:50.2 easily winning a heat of the Kentucky Futurity. Tactical Landing finished up the year with spectacular performances in the Breeders Crown eliminations and $500,000 final and the $350,000 TVG Open Trot final, dominating the best trotters in North America. Jimmy Takter said it best about this generational trotter: “What a wonderful experience it was to work with this horse. He has everything that very few horses have…class, speed and strength. I have been here for 36 years and I cannot say that I have seen any better than him.” Tactical Landing’s pedigree is the finest in the world. He is a son of the greatest living trotting sire in the sport, Muscle Hill, and his Breeders Crown champion mother, Southwind Serena, is the daughter of arguably the greatest trotter of all time, Italy’s Varenne. Laura Young, Farm Manager at Southwind Farms, expressed their enthusiasm to stand Tactical Landing: “Our family at Southwind is honored to stand the most charismatic son of Muscle Hill. Tactical Landing has had a buzz about him since he was born. He is a very special horse. Southwind has always stood the best of the best. His royal pedigree, stellar conformation and unprecedented good looks will produce some outstanding and highly sought after foals. This is the son of Muscle Hill we’ve been waiting for!” Tactical Landing is currently being syndicated and a limited number of shares are now available for purchase. He will stand for an introductory service of $15,000. For more information on syndication shares contact R. Kevin Greenfield, Syndicate Manager, 419.346.0609; or email kgreenfield@gkflaw.com. from The Tactical Landing Stable & Southwind Farms