Day At The Track

April 19, 2019 - Tomorrow’s Enghien-Soisy harness racing headliner is the Gr. I International UET Master Series’ Prix de l’Atlantique to be raced over 2150 meters autostart. Now, 11 horses will be at the start. Presumed favorite Bold Eagle has been scratched. The Jean-Michel Bazire trainee Looking Superb (starting from second tier post 11 based on career earnings) along with the top performing Dijon with trainer Romain Derieux the pilot from post six (now in one slot) are likely to be in the hunt.  Comments from the connections of Bold Eagle follow: “The announcement was made on Friday night on Equidia: Bold Eagle will not participate in the Prix de l'atlantic Casino Barrière Enghien-les-Bains, his last blood test having revealed a white blood cell count too high. Thomas Bernereau, co-owner of the winner of two Grand Prix of America, said on Equidia:  "the horse was very well at work but by acquired conscience, so as not to repeat the scheme of Cagnes, we realized this blood sample that revealed this rate very high. The vet is thinking of a viral episode. We prefer to abstain and then we will see if we go on the Prix of the Dukes of Normandy or the Prix René Ballière. In fact, we decided to put this protocol of blood before any potential race.” The Enghien card remains sensational with other races including Face Time Bourbon, Fleche Bourbon, Ferreteria and Orlando Jet among a host of top tier trotteurs. In the days ahead (April 25) in Italy will be the Gran Premio Nazionale and its Filly Division counterpart. The lineups for these prestigious events are shown below. Axl Rose is a likely favorite in the open.   Thomas H. Hicks  

CHESTER PA - The Big Jim gelding Tiger Thompson roared to the fastest mile of the young season at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday afternoon, fronting a good field at every call to win the $18,000 harness racing pacing feature in 1:50.1. Dexter Dunn got the strong Kiwi-bred to the lead before a 26.1 quarter despite the outside post seven, then got a breather to the half in 56. There was no catching the Tiger after that, by the tail or by anything else, as he streaked home in 54.1 - 26.4 to be 2¾ lengths clear of pocketsitter and countrymate Crockets Cullen N for his second straight win. (Yes, if you toss out that 29.4 second quarter, Tiger Thompson paced his other ¾ of a mile in 1:20.2.) Joshua Parker trains the razor-sharp Tiger, and he shares ownership in him with Nanticoke Racing Inc., Stephen Messick, and Prestige Stable. The top pacing mares event on the card, a $14,500 contest, also fell to Team Dunn / Parker, as Better Decision N followed the example of her stablemate and set sail on the lead, winning for the fifth time in her last eight starts, here in 1:53. A daughter of Bettor's Delight, Better Decision N blitzed home in 55.4 for trainer/co-owner Parker, Nanticoke Racing, and Donna Messick. And while they were at it, trainer/owner Parker, driver Dunn, Nanticoke, and Prestige thought they might as well take the other $14,500 high-level conditioned pace, with the pocketsitting Live Or Die gelding Robbie Burns N having his plans to catch pacesetting Great Vintage not go awry by a neck in 1:52.1; Barry Spedden is also co-owner of this winner. The $16,000 top trot saw Spee Club force wholesale tucks with an alert start from the rail, then continue on unpassed until crossing the wire in 1:56, tying his personal best. The son of Cantab Hall was driven to his second straight victory by Art Stafford Jr. for trainer D. Erin Neilson, co-owner with David Neilson. While it doesn't quite yet have the Saturday night appeal of its counterpart 100 miles up the Northeast Pennsylvania Turnpike Extension, the Philly claiming box got a lot of use today. Because of Sunday being dark for Easter, more claiming events than usual - five - were put on the Philly card, with every selling race seeing at least one horse change hands, and a total of eight claims totaling up to $109,000. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia  

Chester V. Ault, 104, of Chattanooga was born in 1914 on a “frosty December day” in Cedar Bluff, Alabama. He was a long-time resident of Chattanooga, where his many ventures included founding a chain of Ault Hardware and Appliance Stores, developing North Crest Estates on Missionary Ridge and management of Ault Properties where he worked until his death at age 104. Chester was a great lover of nature. Famous for his beautiful dahlias and tasty tomatoes, he had a life-long respect for animals of all kinds. He traveled widely throughout the world visiting 11 African countries. There he not only spent time with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, but hunted big game in Botswana.  He was an avid quail hunter who worked diligently to restore the quail population in Lookout Valley. A world traveler, Chester loved to entertain with his stories of climbing the Great Pyramid and traveling down the Amazon. However, Rome was to be his favorite city, where he returned 5 times to trace the life and death of St. Paul. Chester came into international prominence in 1971 while he and his first wife Katie were managing the harness racing stable of the Dave L. Brown Trust.  It was under their leadership that Steady Star became the fastest harness horse in the world and held the world record for 10 years. In 1997, both the horse and Chester were featured in Sports Illustrated and on CNN. Steady Star and driver Joe O'Brien setting a world's record, 1971 Proud to have served his country during World War II in the Army Air Corp, Chester was very interested in the history of the United States, learning that he was a descendant of both William Brewster and Isaac Allerton who arrived in 1620 on the Mayflower. He was a lifetime member of the Veteran of Foreign Wars. During his lifetime, Chester was a member of First Centenary United Methodist Church, the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club, Fairyland Club, The Walden Club and the Dahlia Society. He was a former member of the Brainerd Kiwanis Club and the Jaycees. He is survived by his wife Rosemary Wilbanks Ault, his daughter Cathie Ault Kasch, and two grandchildren Katie Kasch Bien (Keith) of Wildwood, GA and Andrew David Kasch of Hollywood, California as well as four great-grandchildren, Zoë and Mia Kasch and Tala and Silas Bien. He also leaves behind stepchildren Robert Wilbanks, Emmaly Wilbanks Manuel (Joe) and three step- grandchildren Meredith, Wil and Mary Melissa Manuel.  He was preceded in death by his first wife, Katie Brown Ault, his son, Van Robert Ault, his sister, Catherine Ault Gill and brother, Hugh Ault, Sr. The funeral service will be held on Monday, April 22, at 3 p.m. at First Centenary United Methodist Church. Visitation will be held prior to the service from 1–3 p.m. at the church. Graveside service to follow at Forest Hills Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to First Centenary United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 208, Chattanooga, TN 37401. Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home, Battlefield Parkway.

Cream Ridge, NJ - 4/18/19 - Trial Victory, the aged harness racing stallion and son of the great Valley Victory, found tagged to ship for slaughter, has arrived at his new home in Alabama. The wonderful lady is a wildlife firefighter and is a rescue minded individual who already has a few just like him, rescued. She is delighted to receive him.   She, and the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) thank all who contributed to have him redirected to a safe situation, transported to quarantine, and shipped to his lucky opportunity to live out his life.   It is not easy to find a home for a stallion, a horse that is aged, and also blind in one eye, but this guy is finally experiencing a little luck in his life.   His new home shared, "He came with a healed eye injury leaving him 100% blind in the eye and does very well with it. Poor guy looks like something crushed the whole eye socket at some point, but he has no pain and no heat. He and my teenager puppy have already made friends. He's such a love bug and answers to "hey old man". He nickers when he sees me coming, food or not, and loves his ears scratched. He is an absolute gentleman. He still has his stallion moments of whinnying and thinking about my mare, but that's about it and then he goes back to grazing. I couldn't sleep the other night, so I went out and paid him a visit. He came up to me when I sat down and put his head in my lap while I rubbed his face and ears. Such a sweet boy! He has 4 acres to himself. It's wooded with a nice stand of grass underneath, and his hay roll."   Hundreds of Standardbreds are tagged to ship for slaughter every week. Many are in their late teens and early twenties, as breeding was prolific in the late 90's.   When these horses did not make the races, or made the races and had injuries, the vast majority of them were sold to the rural communities as workhorses. These communities typically treat animals as equipment. Used to plow fields, pull equipment, and as transportation, they are now ageing out as they like to "turn them over for fresh ones when in their teens". This is likely the reason for so many presently being shipped to the Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses. These practices still continue for the present horses on the tracks and in the breeding sheds. In the past two years, with the help of the volunteer group on Facebook, Save Our Standardbreds From Slaughter, SOSS, SRF helped more than 1,100 trotters and pacers just like Trial Victory divert from the trip to slaughter, to one where they can live out their lives, and do so with dignity. Thank you to all who helped.   Tax-deductible donations may be made by going to www.AdoptaHorse.org or by calling Tammy at 609-738-3255 or email at SRFHorsesandkids@gmail.com. DONATE TO SRF TODAY!   About Standardbred Retirement Foundation   Standardbred Retirement Foundation, since 1989, provides humane care and services for horse in need of lifetime homes, and in crisis, through rehabilitation, training, adoption, life-long follow-up or life time sanctuary and offering therapeutic equine opportunities for children and adults.   Tammy Cailliau Phone: 609-738-3255 Email address: SRFHorsesandkids@gmail.com    

Trenton, NJ — American Admiral may not know it, but he is in the midst of trying to prove if he’s ready to fight some bigger harness racing battles down the road. The 3-year-old colt pacer is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in a $15,000 division of Saturday’s (April 20) Bobby Weiss Series at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Since he has only been working with the horse since January, trainer Andrew Harris is unsure of how extensively he will stake him this year. “We’re playing it by ear,” said Harris, who made American Admiral eligible for the Reynolds and Art Rooney Pace. “It all depends on how he continues to mature. If he goes through this series and shows he can go with those type of horses like Turbo Hill, then yeah, we’re going to go that route. As of right now we’re going to play it by ear. We don’t know what we’ve got, we don’t know what the bottom is yet. If he continues to improve maybe we’ve got ourselves a New York Sires Stakes horse that’s got some possibilities. Or maybe we just have an Excelsior Series type horse. We’re kind of using this series to tell us what we’ve got.” The early reviews have been positive. At the recommendation of Harris, American Admiral was purchased by the Flemings (William, Ian and James) for $34,000 at the Standardbred Mixed Sale at Harrisburg in November. He was trained by Tony Alagna last year and had a first, second and third while earning $19,890 in 10 starts. Harris knew nothing about the horse, but thought he would provide the most bang for the buck among those up for sale. “They called me up and said they wanted to have a nice little horse to race for next year,” the trainer said. “There were a lot of horses I thought we might have to over-pay for. This one kind of came in under the radar. I saw he raced at Yonkers and Yonkers is primarily where I race anyway so I thought he might just be in the price range. He ended up going a little cheaper than what I thought I’d have to give for him.” As for what he liked about American Admiral, Harris said, “His breeding was impeccable. He wasn’t overly-sized but he was a little muscle horse and those are the types of horses I kind of like for Yonkers. I didn’t know what to expect. We just kind of got lucky. So far it’s all working out.” It is indeed. American Admiral has hit the board four times in five races, having taken two firsts, a second and third for $19,640 in purse money. After the purchase, Harris put the horse out in the field and never looked at him for six weeks. “I didn’t even jog him,” he said. “I needed to let him grow up and let him mature. If he did have any aches and pains they would heal out in the field. I just let him get freshened up. We just started fresh and started off the chalkboard. We made adjustments to his training as he needed something, but we started with (knowing) nothing. We slowly added certain things here or there but I didn’t know what he had before. I never looked or asked.” Harris brought the horse back on Jan. 1 and began working on him, and then eased him back into racing. He is fairly well behaved in the barn, but “He’s a little stud colt so he lets you know that he’s there. He’s not over rambunctious or anything like that but you have to watch him a little bit. He wants to play but his play is a little aggressive. He’s a nice horse, but you don’t want to get caught sleeping around him.” He is keeping folks wide awake on the track as of late. As American Admiral’s confidence grew, Harris began putting him into play a bit more. The strategy seems to be working, as the horse has won his last two races. “He’s just developing into kind of a nice little horse that I don’t know where his bottom is quite just yet,” he said. “I don’t have super high expectations for the horse but I think he’s going to be a nice little horse. He’s got a big engine and he wants to go. But you have to race him the right way.” Just what way is that? “We try to teach him to stay off the helmet a little bit until it’s time to press the go button,” Harris continued. “He’s just come to the point where we can use him now. He’s ready, he’s tight now. He wasn’t tight when we were starting. I brought him back a little bit slower than I usually do. Now his confidence is right and he looks like a totally different animal. He’s happy and strong. “And every driver that sat on him likes him. George (Napolitano Jr.) sat on him the other night and said ‘Wow, can this thing fly for a piece.’ That’s the type of horse you want. He takes care of himself for the mile right now as long as we don’t over-drive him too early in the race. He’s got as good of a move as anyone in that series.” Harris feels American Admiral is the best horse in his division in the Bobby Weiss, but knows that the final will be a different story. “I think Sports Legend and Turbo Hill are the two horses to beat in the whole series,” Harris said. “We kind of got lucky, we avoided them this week, so it will be interesting to see how we face up against them.” However it comes out will go a long way in determining where the American Admiral fleet ends up next. by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

April 19, 2019 - The 1.37/1 harness racing favorite Perfect Spirit (5m Andover Hall-Good Common Cents-Kadabra) took today’s 250,000SEK first money Prins Carl Philips Prize at Farjestad, raced over 1640 meters autostart. Race time was 1.10.1kr. Orjan Kihlstrom reined the former Hambletonian winner that is owned by SRF Stable and trained by Daniel Reden. Perfect Spirit now has 17 career wins in 31 starts for 9,787,579SEK earned.  Hanover Shoe Farms bred the winner that defeated 13/1 Heart Of Steel (5g Cantab Hall-Angel Heikant-Open The Sky) teamed by trainer Peter Untersteiner. 7.7/1 Eldorado B (5m Maharajah-Alexia Hammering-Smasher) was third with Torbjorn Jansson the pilot. Yesterday in Sweden, at Gavle, there were two interesting winner. The 3/2 favorite Acciaio (3m Love You-Light My Candle-Garland Lobell) won a 2140 meter autostart event (first prize 100,000SEK) with Alessandro Gocciador up, the trainer for owner Scuderia Pink and Black. Race time was 1.13.kr for this three time winner in 10 career starts. Also on the Gavle card was a 2140 meters autostart event for mares (150,000SEK first prize) that went to 4.6/1 Vivacious Allie (4f Muscle Hill-KD Girl-Self Possessed). Orjan Kihlstrom teamed the Daniel Reden. Race time was 1.15.1kr. Thomas H. Hicks  

MONTICELLO – Last Wednesday afternoon at Monticello Casino & Raceway, there were probably 50 people inside the gambling hall that has 1,100 video-lottery machines. The empty scene demonstrated why its owner, Empire Resorts, plans to shutter the Sullivan County facility on Tuesday after 15 years in operation, making it the first so-called racino in New York to close since they were approved in 2001. Empire Resorts also owns the $1 billion Resorts World Catskills casino just six miles away, and the company says the two facilities simply couldn't co-exist. The betting at Monticello Casino & Raceway's video-lottery terminals has slowed to a crawl since the larger casino opened in February 2018, while Resorts World Catskills faces its own financial challenges. There is not enough business that remains at that VLT facility to justify the cost of operating it," Ryan Eller, Empire's president and CEO, said last week. The closure raises questions about the future of horse racing at Monticello Raceway and whether the VLTs can be relocated to another venue in the region, which Empire Resorts and state lawmakers are considering.         What happens next? Empire Resorts is vowing to keep open the venerable harness track, which started racing in 1958. But closing the VLT facility is drawing criticism from local officials and customers, who talked about missing the small, family atmosphere at Monticello. Resorts World "will never be like this. This is like a family here. You get to where you know everybody," Hunter Rhinesmith, 77, of New Jersey, who has come to the track since 1959, said as he and his wife left the racino last week. There are also concerns the company ultimately wants to dump racing all together, but Resorts World said it has no plans to do so. "The guardians of racing are the horsemen. Track operators are the guardians of their pocketbooks and nothing else," said Joe Faraldo, president of the state's Standardbred Owners Association. Hunter Rhinesmith talks about the imminent closing of the casino, at the Monticello Casino Raceway in Monticello, April 10, 2019.  (Photo: Mark Vergari/USA TODAY NETWORK New York)   The VLTs could get a new life in other locations in the region. A state bill would let the Catskill Off-Track Betting Corp. take over the machines and locate them in three locations in its region, which stretches across the Hudson Valley and into the Southern Tier. To counter the legislation, Empire Resorts has quietly floated its own proposal to reopen a VLT facility with 1,100 machines in Orange County, ideally near the popular Woodbury Common outlet mall.   Empire Resorts had downplayed relocating the VLT facility, but the USA Today Network's Albany Bureau obtained a copy of the company's 15-page proposal dated March 19 circulated at the state Capitol that boasts of the money and jobs a gambling hall in Harriman could bring to the region. On Wednesday, Eller confirmed Resorts World's interest in a new VLT parlor in neighboring Orange County. "We’re eager to explore various options to preserve the Monticello Raceway operations, and relocating the raceway video-gaming machines to Orange County would definitely go a long way to that goal," he said. "It creates jobs, increases revenue for the state of New York and education, and we look forward to continuing the dialogue with the state, Orange County, Sullivan County and all stakeholders." More: An exclusive, inside look: New York’s largest waterpark, The Kartrite, is opening More: Resorts World Catskills: Financial struggles grow for new casino, report shows Closing a racino The exterior of the Monticello Casino Raceway in Monticello, April 10, 2019.  (Photo: Mark Vergari/USA TODAY NETWORK New York)   When Resorts World Catskills opened in February 2018, Empire Resorts said it would keep open the VLT parlor at Monticello Raceway, hoping to serve enough customers so both could be profitable. But Resorts World has struggled to draw customers from the New York City area as it had anticipated, and it appears the new casino is simply pulling customers from Monticello. Resorts World's net win per day — the money left in the slot machines after payouts to winners — has been the lowest in the state at about $119 per machine. Monticello has been even worse over the past year: a mere $75 win per day, which is the lowest of any racino since the VLT parlors starting opening across New York 15 years ago. The amount bet at Monticello over the past year fell 50 percent compared to the year prior, records show. Empire Resorts announced in January it would close Monticello's gambling hall April 23. All players' points and perks will be transferred over to Resorts World. About 40 employees will remain at the racetrack, while the roughly 160 workers at the Monticello casino were offered either a severance package or a job at Resorts World. Mona Karasik, 65, of Bethel, said she is retiring as a slot engineer at Monticello, saying she wasn't offered a comparable position at Resorts World. "It’s a big loss, and I’m going to miss all my people," she said. "I have two physically challenged sons and to me this was my escape for the last 15 years. And my co-workers were the best. We were like a family." Mona Karasik a slot attendant, talks about the imminent closing of the casino at the Monticello Casino Raceway in Monticello, April 10, 2019. (Photo: Mark Vergari/USA TODAY NETWORK New York)   The state Gaming Commission said it is set to remove the VLTs, which the state owns. "The commission has been working with both Empire Resorts and the central system and game vendors to appropriately close the gaming activity and secure and remove all technical equipment," the commission said in a statement. The state gets a portion of the revenue from Monticello's VLTs to fund education, and the horsemen also get a piece for racing, as do local governments for hosting the facility. Those payments will now be covered by Resorts World Catskills. The state budget doesn't anticipate any reduction in revenue to the state. Resorts World, meanwhile, is lowering the number of slot machines it has: Last month, the state approved it going from 2,150 machines to 1,600 machines, 26 percent fewer than initially mandated. More: Resorts World Catskills struggling financially: report More: Resorts World Catskills, Tioga Downs to lower number of slot machines A horse track remains Harness racers warm-up their horses before a race at the Monticello Casino Raceway in Monticello, April 10, 2019.  (Photo: Mark Vergari/USA TODAY NETWORK New York)   While the racino at Monticello was nearly empty inside last week, the harness track outside had more horses than people. Just three or four people were along the rail watching the races last Wednesday afternoon, a sign of how horse racing has become reliant mainly on simulcast betting rather than on-track attendance. Indeed, attendance at Monticello Raceway in 1987 was about 426,000, state records show, but was down to a meager 13,000 in 2017. With the racino closing, there will be even fewer people on the property. The amount bet on races there fell from $13 million in 2007 to $4.6 million in 2017. Jimmy Walker, 81, of Monticello, remembered when the expansive grandstand at the track would be packed. He said he has been coming since it opened.  "The parking lots were full; you couldn’t find a place to park," he recalled. Video slot machines are pictured at the Monticello Casino Raceway in Monticello, April 10, 2019.  (Photo: Mark Vergari/USA TODAY NETWORK New York)   Faraldo said he fears Empire Resorts will look to get out of the remaining six years of its contract with the horsemen to run racing at Monticello. Faraldo said it would difficult to try, though: State lawmakers have opposed any inkling of talk of closing racetracks, citing the jobs they create. Moreover, state law requires any racino to maintain racing in order to keep their VLT license. Faraldo contended Resorts World's license could be in jeopardy if it decided to close racing, since Monticello's revenue sharing is now tethered to the casino. But Eller said it has no plans to close the track. "We have an intention and a commitment to continue to run racing operations for the foreseeable future," he said. "So we have no intent to shut down the racing operations. As long as we’re able to support it, we’ll continue to support it." More: How VLTs saved NY horse racing More: How upstate's new casinos are underperforming Talk of moving the VLTs The exterior of the Resorts World Catskills Casino Resort in Monticello, April 10, 2019.  (Photo: Mark Vergari/USA TODAY NETWORK New York)   Assembly Racing Committee chairman Gary Pretlow, D-Mount Vernon, introduced a bill in February that would turn over Monticello's VLTs and the track to Catskills OTB. The structure would be similar to the one by Western OTB, which owns and run Batavia Downs — a harness track with VLTs. Pretlow said the measure would put the track on better footing and allow the state and local governments to benefit from keeping the VLTs open. The bill would let Capital OTB open three smaller VLT facilities in the region, including potentially in Broome, Chemung, Orange, Rockland, Dutchess, Tompkins, Putnam or Ulster counties. "My concern has always been the viability of the racetrack, and that’s supported by the activity in the racino, not the casino," Pretlow said last month. "When they said they wanted to shut down the machines, I suggested that we, the state, take over those machines and make them part of Catskill OTB." The exterior of the Resorts World Catskills Casino Resort in Monticello, April 10, 2019.  (Photo: Mark Vergari/USA TODAY NETWORK New York)   Resorts World, though, has indicated it could run a VLT parlor in Orange County, projecting in its analysis that the facility would be a revenue boost for the region, include $100 million or more of investment from Resorts World and add about 400 jobs. Resorts World said it intends to talk to local leaders about the idea. Either way, officials locally hope that the soon-to-be empty casino at Monticello Raceway can be reused as a space for events or another full-time purpose. "It’s a great location for economic development," said Joshua Potosek, the Sullivan County manager. "There is a lot of real estate where they can do a lot of things." By Joseph Spector, Albany Bureau Reprinted with permission of The Poughkeepsie Journal

Stamina and speed were undoubtedly a major factor of former star Kiwi pacer Auckland Reactor’s dominance during his sensational harness racing career – and it’s now emerging through the progeny of the champ. Auckland Reactor sired his 50th individual Australian winner this season at Newcastle last Tuesday night. All up it’s the 87th victory for the “Reactor Factor” (as he was known to rival trainers and fans) for stakes of more than – this is not a misprint – $2.2 million. The pacer notching up the sire’s Oz half century was Stephens Spirit (Auckland Reactor NZ-Big Smiles Please (Grinfromeartoear USA), trained by Clayton Harmey, of Cessnock. “I really like the horse, and he’s only going to get better with more race experience,” Harmey said. “He likes to roll along, particularly with a consistent speed, and he’s got a future,” he said. Stephens Spirit certainly showed his depth, with the three-year-old being pinged out of the gate, then holding off Aspiring Stride (Michael Formosa) and Ultra Bliss (Glenn Bull) at the finish. Harmey said it was fortunate that Stephens Spirit took no harm in a race three days earlier when his driver Will Rixon was dislodged from the sulky. “I actually didn’t see the incident because I was busy with some other horses. But I think Will got tipped out after there was some tightening and locking of wheels. “The clerk of the course was apparently quick to grab our horse so there was no damage done, thankfully. “I gave him the following day off and then bowled him along a bit on the Monday to ensure there weren’t any problems with him.” Harmey said when Stephens Spirit was able to lead at Newcastle and coast along in 28.7, 31.8, 29.5 and 29.4, he thought he would take so catching. “But I wasn’t too sure at the 300-metre mark because he appeared to be under siege. But I was pleased at the way he fought on and held them all off,” he said. Stephens Spirit is the only live foal out of a former handy racemare Big Smile Please, who finished with nine wins and 10 placings for over $37,000. Harmey said before Stephen Sweeney died, he gave some money to his family. “Joel Sweeney and his mum Roslyn bought Big Smile Please. I was training her when she won a heat of the prestigious Inter-City heat at Newcastle, but injuries prevented her from showing her best,” Harmey said. “We all liked Auckland Reactor – we just thought he was an awesome racehorse (winner of his first 17 starts in a row and 24 of his first 27 starts), so it was decided to take Big Smile Please to get in foal to him and the resultant foal was Stephens Spirit.” Harmey said the win was a welcome reward for Joel and Roslyn for their help around the stables. “Joel cleans out all the boxes and helps with feeding up and Roslyn is there to do waters and other jobs,” he said. “Without those two, my life would be hell. They got a big kick out of the win and they deserve it.” Harmey trains at the Cessnock show grounds and despite reducing his numbers to 17 a while ago, there has been a sudden increase in numbers recently, and he’s now back up to a team of 27. He has a large proportion of youngsters, and Harmey has high hopes for a three-year-old Straddie, a winner of two races and five placings from just 10 outings. “He’s a half-brother to millionaire pacer For A Reason (27 wins for $1.1m) so the breeding is certainly there,” he said. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

When harness racing trainer-driver David Murphy and his wife Erin took a young trotter to the sales and it was passed in, they weren’t the slightest disappointed in returning home with it. Murphy, a highly respected trainer-driver based at Ballarat, put a $10,000 reserve on the Yankee Spider-sired filly, but the top bid fell way short, at $6,500. Now the couple are smiling all the way to the bank as Fox Force Five (Yankee Spider-Motu Vee (Yankee Paco) shapes up as a bright prospect for the stable.  Murphy bounced the three-year-old filly to the lead at Ballarat on Tuesday night in the Eureka Lending Group Trot and it was virtually a case of “it’s all over, red rover” from that point. Fox Force Five trotted faultlessly in 33, 32.4, 29 and 28.9 for 2.03-6 (2200m) and won nicely – well, like a warm $1.40 favorite should! Click here for a video replay “I probably didn’t have much to worry about as she felt great and she did it comfortably,” Murphy said. “That was her third win from 17 starts and she is a terrific little earner. I think the worst she has ever finished in her races is fifth spot,” he said. “We are aiming her later on for all the group races. There will be some smart ones in those features, but we won’t be disgraced.” Murphy said he trained Motu Vee, the dam of Yankee Spider, who didn’t make it to the races. “We got her to the trials a few times, but she kept having trouble on the bends.,” he said. “I persevered for a long time because her dam, Motu Avrill was a nine times winner. She won six in New Zealand and then two at Cranbourne and one at Moonee Valley for over $78,000. “When I finally did give up, the owner said he didn’t want her back, so we decided to get her in foal. Yankee Spider was leaving some winners at the time, so that was where she headed.” Murphy was most keen on Fox Force Five when she was being broken in. “I certainly had a bit of an opinion of her, and as a two-year-old, her trials were very good,” he said. “But at the races she would make mistakes which was annoying. But she did show enough ability to keep with them and be up with the best. “Some of those early race starts were at Melton and she was never beaten by huge margins. “After four placings she broke through for a win at Kilmore last August, so we tipped her out. She then got the money when we brought her back to the track at Melton in January and a handful of nice runs led up to the win at Ballarat.” Murphy said he now he is facing a small dilemma regarding the square gaiter. “She is at that awkward growing stage, so we’ll have to sit down and work out if we press on or not,” he said. The Murphy stable has a team of 20 in work at present. Other recent winners include Me Pat Malone (Ballarat) and Ima Showgirl (two wins at Geelong), while some youngsters are bringing smiles of anticipation. “There’s a two-year-old by Village Jolt that goes along okay as well as a couple of others, so things are picking up again,” he said. “We dropped off the pace with a bit of lull there for a while, but the past 18 months have been better, so things are looking up again.” Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura  

Dracarys has reinforced her standing as the filly to beat in next month's WA Oaks, following an effortless win in the Oaks Prelude (2130m) at Gloucester Park. It was another impressive display from the Justin Prentice-trained filly, who scored by 5.8m to Soho Interceptor. Reinsman Gary Hall Jnr slowly made his way to the front on the Bettors Delight filly from barrier 12 and was then too strong over the closing stages, where she ran home in 56.6. Fake News, who won the Oaks Prelude last week, finished third. Balcatherine, the second favourite in tonight's event, was unplaced after having to go back from the wide draw. Hall Jnr said it was a professional performance by Dracarys. "She's got good speed," he told RWWA Harness. "I always planned to put her into it tonight when the pace allowed us to. "She's got a motor to go with it too." Hall Jnr said he expected the filly to improve further for the Oaks and was full of praise for Prentice's training performance. "Justin has always been good at getting them to peak at the right time," he said. "This has always been the plan for her and her main aim this prep. "He's pretty good at what he does, so I just leave that up to him." Prentice then teamed up with reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green in the later in the night with fellow three-year-old Back In Twenty to take out the Glenroy Chaff Pace (2130m). A smart field of three-year-old colts and geldings assembled for the event, but a smart Egerton-Green drive was enough for the colt to score a comfortable win to Sangue Reale. Elsewhere on the Gloucester Park meeting, Mighty Conqueror took out a thrilling edition of the Group 2 Easter Cup (2902m). Mighty Conqueror eventually worked to the front after starting off a 20m Handicap, but had to hold off a fast-finishing As Happy As Larry. Reinsman Ryan Warwick declared post-race the four-year-old had the potential to be a key in feature races over the summer carnival. In the Free-For-All event of the evening, Vultan Tin showed his trademark toughness to score a narrow win over Always Arjay. Vultan Tin settled in the breeze for reinsman Chris Voak, as Always Arjay led from the inside barrier. The tough gelding loomed on the home turn and looked poised to score an easy win, but Always Arjay fought back on the inside to make it a tight finish. It was the second leg of a driving double for Voak, who scored on Back To The Beach earlier in the evening.   Tim Walker

Paul Lewis admits it was a bit of an impulse buy when he and his two brothers snapped up a tiny Well Said filly at the 2017 Australian Pacing Gold sales in Sydney. But the $16,000 price tag has already proven a bargain for connections, who have enjoyed a great early ride with the Matthew Craven-trained pacer. Wellsaidlucy has won five of her six career starts - including a feature victory in the South Australian Oaks last month - for a tick over $28,000 in prizemoney. Now the daughter of Virtual Hanover is being aimed at the Lazarus Victoria Oaks (2240m) heats this Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton. "We had a bit of a day on the cans so we bought this horse," Lewis recalled. From there, Wellsaidlucy was given some time to grow and mature before beginning her racing career with a big win at Ararat in October last year. "She just does everything we ask her to," Lewis, who is based in Hamilton, said. "We think she is going to lack that little bit of top-end speed, but who knows? "She's done more than expected ... I must admit we have placed her well." This Saturday night's heat will be a major step-up for Wellsaidlucy and Lewis isn't getting too carried away about the horse's chances in the $24,000 event. "She'll be outclassed on Saturday, but at least she's there and she's having a crack," Lewis said. "She actually got a little bit of a cold last week and we nearly didn't go, but Matty (Craven) said she's pulled up a treat and we're going to race her." Lewis is hoping Wellsaidlucy can run inside the top four to earn a place in the $150,000 Group 1 Lazarus Victoria Oaks Final on April 27. "That'd be awesome - I'd be rapt," he said. "If we ran fourth, you'd probably see me jumping around a bit. "If you had have asked me a month ago if she would be even in the heat, I'd have said no. So she's actually surpassed what we expected from her, that's for sure." Wellsaidlucy has drawn barrier six in her heat and will face tough opposition from the likes of Emma Stewart-trained Kualoa, Adam Kelly's Arabella Star and Gary Hoban's Tangoingwithsierra. Craven said his horse would need to improve once again to be competitive in what looks a "very solid" heat. "So far she has been winning well when getting the ideal trip in slow times, so this week is a whole new ball game and unknown," Craven said. "If she can make it into the final we would be rapt." Two other qualifiers will be run on Saturday night, with Barry Purdon-trained Belle Of Montana a red-hot favourite in heat one and Kylie Rasmussen's Smart As Camm Be well fancied in heat two.   Tim O'Connor for HRV Trots Media

There are three organizations that set “international standards” concerning equine races: the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) Recent press releases and political advocacy campaigns in the US have made reference to the need to adopt “international standards”.   The implied standards referenced are those of the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities, embodied in 87 pages of an International Agreement. No racing regulatory authority empowered to make or enforce rules anywhere in North America is allowed to vote on adoption of those standards, although individual members of the European Union may.     By contrast, the ARCI standards are the result of cooperative discussions between all aspects of the racing industry and are adopted upon the votes of the actual racing regulatory authorities who have been given the statutory ability to adopt and enforce such policies.    The ARCI does not limit those regulatory authorities allowed to vote. The standards of all three organizations are substantially similar, although the ARCI Model Rules are more exhaustive with regard to many matters.   One major difference deals with whether to permit the controlled and disclosed administration of furosemide on race day, an equine welfare program adopted decades ago designed to mitigate or prevent EIPH, exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage.   The ARCI has been setting international standards for 85 years.  Those standards are embodied in the ARCI Model Rules of Racing of which all but 53 of its 468 pages apply to equine races and associated wagering. Rebecca Shoemaker

Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made Stallions and Mike Gulotta of Deo Volente Farms are pleased to announce that all available shares in Lazarus N,  “The Wonder From Down Under” have been sold celebrating a successful syndication and would like to thank every member for their support. Lazarus N (Bettor’s Delight – Bethany – Christian Cullen) New Zealand earnings $2,016,841 Australian earnings      $1,671,597 USA earnings               $  294,050 Canadian earnings       $  158,500 …………………………………........ Total earnings             $4,140,988 ………………………………….......... Lazarus, the richest son of super sire Bettor's Delight was retired from racing on November 30, 2018 to begin his dual hemisphere stud career.  Lazarus was named New Zealand Horse of the Year twice, 3yr, 4yr, and 5yr old Pacer of the Year as well as Australian Pacer Of The Year and Australasian Grand Circuit Champion for two years. Lazarus N compiled an impressive International race record of 51 starts with 37 wins, 8 seconds, 4 thirds, and only 2 unplaced races lifetime. Lazarus N has attracted some outstanding high profile breeders to his court this season including; Hanover Shoe Farm, Blue Chip Farm, Deo Volente Farms, Tara Hills Stud, Concord Stud, Walnridge Farm, Spring Haven Standardbreds, Fox Valley Starndardbreds, Caviat Farm, Heritage Hill Farm, Preferred Equine, Let It Ride, Steve Stewart, Mark Ford, Twinbrook Farm, Anthony Perretti Farm and bloodstock, Taylor Made Stallions, Nick Surick, Chris Ryder, Thomas Pontone, Stonegate Standardbred etc etc Lazarus N is as impressive in the breeding shed as he was on the racetrack and has attracted some outstanding high profile mares to his 2019 book including; Worldly Beauty p1:49.3 ($2,146,076) Rocklamation p1:48.3 ($2,281,795) Odds On Stephanie, a race winning sister to Captaintreacherous p1:47.1 ($3,153,541) Artstopper, dam of Always B Miki p1:46 ($2,826,176) Shake It Miki, sister to Always B Miki p1:46 ($2,826,176) West Side Glory, the race winning dam of See You at Peelers p1:49.2f ($1,566,900). Realuhcamnation, a daughter of champion race mare Eternal Camnation 1:49.2 ($4,129,390) Teenage Paige, the dam of Agent Q 1:48.3 ($1,292,415) Ab Fab, a half to millionaires Betterthancheddar ($1,636,086) and Ashlees Big Guy ($1,009,523) Dashboard Dancer, a race winning half-sister to Maltese Artist 1:48.3 ($2,340,872). Docdor Cameo, a daughter of champion race mare Eternal Camnation 1:49.2 ($4,129,390) Double Jeopardy, a half to Western Terror 1:48.3 ($1,289,422) & If I Can Dream ($2,038,153) Dreamingofwichita, a half to A Rocknroll Dance 1:47.2 ($2,441,164) Olivette Hanover, from super race mare Ohyouprettything ($1,135,873) and a race winning full-sister to Jeremes Jet 1:47 ($1,659.413) Mach A Wish 1:50 ($601,975) Cinamony, 1:49.3 ($532,404) Etc, etc, etc The Lazarus N Syndicate is also pleased to announce a contract to breed from the owners of top race mare, Shartin N p, 5, 1:48.2M ($1,192,553) in 2020.  Lazarus N stands at Deo Volente Farms in Flemington, NJ (www.deovolentefarms.com) at a stud for a fee of $10,000. For more information call Linda at 908-782-4848. Deo Volente Farms

Harness racing driver Daniel Dube is hoping for business as usual when Western Fame competes in Saturday's (April 20) $662,800 George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series championship at Yonkers Raceway, where the 6-year-old stallion has won four of five starts in the event and led nearly every step of the way. He knows it might not be that easy. "I'd like to think I'm going to go around the track like I usually do but for big money somebody is going to take a shot," Dube said. Dube and Western Fame will start the Levy championship from post five. Western Fame has seven wins and two second-places finishes in his past 11 races at Yonkers. He finished seventh in last year's Levy final. For his career, Western Fame has won 20 of 73 starts and earned $1.15 million. He was trained by Jimmy Takter before heading to the stable of Rene Allard at the end of last year. Dube and Allard have teamed to win three of the past four Levy championships. "(Post) five is really good, it's a perfect spot for my horse. I'm happy with that," Dube said, adding about Western Fame's work in the series, "He's been doing it nice and easy. "He's got a lot of good qualities; he's quick off the gate and he's quick turning for home. He's just a nice horse. He's strong. I hope he keeps going that way. If he doesn't get sick or something he should be good." Western Fame finished the Levy's five preliminary rounds with a series-best 350 points. Ideal Jimmy was second with 325 points thanks to three wins and two seconds. But the 6-year-old gelding did not fare well in the draw and will start Saturday from post eight, which has produced only 14 winners in 508 tries (2.8 percent). Last week, Ideal Jimmy and driver Brent Holland started from post six in their preliminary division and led from start to finish. "He's razor sharp, but from (post) eight you've got to have a lot of luck," said Ideal Jimmy's trainer, Erv Miller. "It's pretty hard to get out of there on the lead from the eight hole, but you never know. We'll see what happens. "He's a very handy horse, which he showed the last start. He can do what he needs to do. He's been real good racing from behind too. We'll just have to see how it works out. He's really come into his own. He's really good now. He's real sharp for the final, but the eight hole makes it tough." Of the eight Levy finalists, all but two competed in all five of the prelims. JJ Flynn skipped last week's round and Rodeo Rock sat out April 6. Rodeo Rock, who starts Saturday from post six, returned last week with a second-place finish behind Western Fame. "I would have liked to draw a little bit closer (inside) but it's not a horrible position," said Andy McCarthy, who drives Rodeo Rock. "Hopefully things get mixed up pretty good the first half. I think that's a possibility. I don't know what (Holland) will do with Ideal Jimmy. He leaves the gate so fast, he might take a chance. "It could be a bit of a rush into that first turn. A lot of horses can leave fast and I think they're all going to try to push for a good position there early. I just hope they don't line up. I've got to hope they mix it up pretty good the first three-eighths of a mile and see what happens after that." Rodeo Rock won his first two rounds in the series before a third-place finish on March 30. "He was very good the first two weeks," McCarthy said. "I probably drove him bad that third week. I should have pushed off harder and tried to trip him out a little more, but I came first over. He got just a little tired at the end of the mile. "I thought he raced terrific last week. I had to come first up out of the third turn into a very fast back half and he didn't lose ground. He kept pacing." Racing at Yonkers begins at 6:50 p.m. (EDT). The Levy championship is race 11 on the card. The card also includes the $401,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker championship for older female pacers (race nine). For complete Saturday night entries, click here. Following is the field for the $662,800 George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing championship. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Anythingforlove A        Joe Bongiorno - Jennifer Bongiorno 2-More The Better N       Scott Zeron - Ross Croghan 3-JJ Flynn                       Tim Tetrick - Josh Green 4-The Downtown Bus -   Tim Tetrick - Jeff Gillis 5-Western Fame             Dan Dube - Rene Allard 6-Rodeo Rock                 Andrew McCarthy-Robert Cleary 7-The Wall                      Andy Miller - Nick Surick 8-Ideal Jimmy                 Brent Holland - Erv Miller Ken Weingartner

Guelph, ON April 18, 2019 - Researchers at the University of Guelph are leading the way in equine research again, this time with studies looking at tools that may help predict disease spread in horse populations.   The studies were published in early January. In the first study, researchers looked at using small, non-invasive radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, placed under vet wrap on each horse's halter, to collect data on which horses came into contact with one another on horse farms. In the second study, researchers used data collected with the RFID tags to help create and compare contact networks (see explanation below) at horse facilities in Ontario.   Scientists use contact networks to help understand how a disease might spread in a population. To understand what a contact network is, picture a big map with different dots. Each dot represents a person. When one person comes into contact with another person, a line is drawn to connect them. So, if Kathy met Laura for coffee, there would be a line between Kathy and Laura's dots. There would also be lines connecting Kathy's dot and Laura's dot with the people they interacted with while they went for coffee, like the cashier at the coffee place. It's like a scientific "connect the dots", where the lines you draw are based on who comes into contact with who. Now try picturing this for your horse. What lines would you draw between your horse and others at your facility?   Rachael Milwid, a former OVC PhD student and the lead author of the studies, comments on several important findings from the work, "Groups of horses that are turned out together had the most contact with one another which was to be expected, however the data also suggests that even horses that are not turned out together or that are not neighbours in the barn actually have significant contact with one another over the course of each day. These results imply that in the case of a disease outbreak, extra care should be taken to keep the horses separate to prevent the disease from spreading throughout the entire farm."   To learn more about how the researchers used the RFID tags and other results from the studies, read the articles Validation of modified radio-frequency identification tag firmware and Comparison of the dynamic networks of four equine boarding and training facilities.   The authors of the studies are Rachael M. Milwid, Terri L. O'Sullivan, Zvonimir Poljak, Marek Laskowski, and Amy L. Greer. The work was supported by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the Canada Research Chairs Program, and the Ontario Veterinary College.   Find out what you can do to prevent disease spread at your facility with Equine Guelph's online Biosecurity course (https://thehorseportal.ca/course/sickness-prevention-in-horses-f19/).   by: Nicole Weidner

YONKERS, N.Y. – Harness racing trainer Rene Allard knows how it feels to win the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series Final. The trainer captured Yonkers Raceway’s richest pacing event in each of the last two years with Keystone Velocity and took the 2015 edition with Domethatagain. Allard will take aim at his third straight Levy victory and fourth overall when he sends out Western Fame in Saturday night’s $662,800 series final. The lead up to this year’s final has a distinct feel for Allard, however. His past winners were outsiders, or even longshots. Despite drawing post one, Domethatagain was 6-1 in the final after winning one preliminary leg and finishing second in another. Keystone Velocity pulled off an 11-1 surprise in winning his first Levy title and was a tepid 5-2 favorite last year after scoring just one victory in the preliminaries. Western Fame however, is expected to be a heavy favorite Saturday night. “I think it’s a lot of pressure, more pressure than usual because we’re going to have the favorite,” Allard said. “Having the favorite is always a little extra pressure, but I would rather be the favorite than the longest shot on the board. That means we have a good shot.” A fixture in the barn of Jimmy Takter since the beginning of his career, Western Fame won a division of the Bluegrass and eliminations of the Little Brown Jug and Breeders’ Crown and finished second in the Jug Final, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Final, Tattersalls Pace, and Matron Stakes at 3. At 4, Western Fame captured the Prix d’Été and Confederation Cup and was third in the Graduate Final. After racing at the FFA level throughout 2018, Allard eyed the Western Ideal son for his stable. “I was looking, trying to find a horse to replace Keystone Velocity. He was going to stud to breed and retire and I was looking for one in that age group,” Allard explained. “I obviously didn’t think McWicked and a couple of those other ones would be for sale, but I thought this one might come up for sale because I knew Jimmy was retiring. I contacted them and said, ‘if this horse ever comes up for sale, let me know.’ ” About a month later, Allard’s phone rang. Western Fame was for sale. Allard agreed on a price, and the deal was complete. “Everything happened pretty fast,” Allard added. Western Fame made a favorable impression from the moment he arrived in the barn. His intelligence and professionalism impressed his new trainer, who owns the stallion in partnership with Go Fast Stable, Stephen Klunowski, B And I Stable, and Gilbert Short. “Classy horses like him are definitely pleasant to be around. He’s a good horse to be around, very smart horse, obviously Takter did a great job with him throughout his career,” Allard said. “Everything he does, he does it right. Working around fast horses, those are the ones I like to work around the best. I don’t mind if they have issues, but if they have speed, that’s half the battle.” Western Fame made his first start for Allard December 2, 2018 when he captured the $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway. After a winter break, Western Fame qualified back at Yonkers February 2 before making his seasonal debut March 9 in the Open Handicap at Saratoga. Although he finished third in that start, he was rough around the final turn as he made a bid to circle the field. “The first start this year, he was struggling a little bit in the turns,” Allard said. “We changed his shoeing and did a couple adjustments to his equipment and he’s been super ever since. We changed his shoes, we have spreaders on him, and he’s been really good since.” Western Fame put his Levy rivals on notice with a first-leg blowout win March 17. He scored in wire-to-wire fashion by 5 ¾ lengths in 1:51.1, pacing a final quarter in :27. After a runner-up finish in week two, Western Fame returned to his dominant ways, taking legs three, four, and five by 2, 5 ½, and 1 ¾ lengths, respectively. Western Fame kicked home in :27 in his last two starts and his fourth-leg victory came in 1:50.4, equaling the season’s mark at Yonkers. “We knew he was a good horse. He’s won a lot of races at the highest level, so we thought he’d be a nice horse to have for the aged pacing stakes, but he’s really gone beyond our expectations. He’s been really good,” Allard said. Western Fame drew post position five in the rich Levy Series Final and is expected to be a heavy favorite off his dominance in the preliminaries. However, fellow leavers The Downtown Bus, JJ Flynn, and Anythingforlove all drew inside the series leader. Allard will leave the race tactics to regular driver Dan Dube, who piloted both Keystone Velocity and Domethatagain to their Levy wins. “I think the horse can be driven any way. Throughout his career, he’s done it from every spot, so I don’t think he’s only one way,” Allard said. “But I believe Dube is probably going to be pretty aggressive being the favorite in there. “Western Fame has been super since we purchased him. He’s ultra-consistent and I expect him to be right there on Saturday again,” Allard continued. “He looks good, feels good. Any time you go for that kind of money on a half-mile track, it’s never easy. It’s not going to be easy, so hopefully everything goes well, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.” For Allard, winning the Levy carries meaning beyond the purse money. He considers Yonkers his home track; he was leading trainer in 2015, 2016, and 2018 and currently tops the trainer standings. Last year, Allard made nearly half of his 1,717 starts at the Hilltop. “Yonkers is the racetrack that I race at the most and this is the biggest race of the year for us there. I haven’t had a chance to have a trotter in the International yet, maybe one day, but the Levy is a race that anyone who races at Yonkers wants to win,” Allard said. “It makes it extra special; that’s our track that we race at, we’re there every night. It means a lot to win that race, it would mean a lot to get it done. “Last time we won, I think I had Dube on top of my shoulders,” Allard continued. “Every time we win, the party gets a little crazier and crazier. We celebrate; that’s one thing that we do with Team Allard is we try to have fun. You live only once, so we try to live right.” The field for the Levy Series Final is listed below: Post Position   Horse   Driver  Trainer  1       Anythingforlove A         Joe Bongiorno             Jenn Bongiorno 2       More The Better N       Scott Zeron                  Ross Croghan 3       JJ Flynn                       Tim Tetrick*                  Josh Green 4       The Downtown Bus     Tim Tetrick*                 Jeff Gillis 5       Western Fame             Dan Dube                    Rene Allard 6       Rodeo Rock                 Andrew McCarthy       Robert Cleary 7       The Wall                       Andy Miller                  Nick Surick 8       Ideal Jimmy                  Brent Holland               Erv Miller Driver choice to be announced. Saturday night’s card also features the $401,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series Final, the $100,000 Levy Series Consolation, the $75,000 Matchmaker Series Consolation, and a $50,000 Open Handicap Trot. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.  Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY