Day At The Track

June 27, 2020 - Today’s Gr. I International Kymi Grand Prix (UET Masters Series, 2100 meters autostart, nine starters with the scratch of Racing Mange) at Kouvola Finland, went to Vitruvio (6m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM-Xebu) reined by harness raqcing trainer Bjorn Goop for Scuderia Pink and Black Srl. He was timed in 1.11.6kr and was on the front fairly early taking the lead for then leading stablemate Moni Viking (7m Maharajah-Jeunesse Doree-Coktail Jet) and reinsman Pierre Vercruysse that ended third. Vitruvio, off at 1.3/1 on the PMU network, won for first time in 2020 from five starts and he now sports 18 career wins in 47 starts for 1,355,820€ earned. Second went to stalking Cokstile (7m Quite Easy-Joystile-Coktail Jet) that was a shork neck short for Christoffer Eriksson. Fourth home was Handsome Brad (7m Brad de Veluwe-Ulrica M-Red Xing). Ble du Gers (9g Quinoa du Gers) was fifth for Jos Verbeeck after racing on the outer throughout and sixth was Antonio Tabac (8m Crazed) that was blocked on the pegs after first being in the pocked. Vitruvio Replay  https://veikkausmedia.fi/?video=20200627_15_110 Thomas H. Hicks  

WILKES-BARRE PA - Rich And Miserable, the 2019 Trotter of the Year at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, returned to northeast Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon and immediately resumed his winning ways, posting a 1:52.4 victory over a good harness racing track in the $20,000 winners-over contest. Driver Tyler Buter wound up in third early with the gelded son of Explosive Matter as favored Obrigado put up hot early fractions of :26.4 and :55.2, not having to move outside until approaching the 1:23.3 three-quarters. Rich And Miserable quickly got in gear and went by the leader fairly easily for his 17th win in 49 lifetime starts, good for $417,922. Todd Buter trains the successful trotter for Buter Farm Inc., Lynette Buter, and William and Carol Fuhs. Rich And Miserable Like Rich And Miserable, Turbo Hill was a 12-time winner in 2019, and like that trotter the son of American Ideal won the feature on his gait on the Saturday Pocono program. Boosting his lifetime bankroll to $207,145, Turbo Hill raced in the pocket, went to the Pocono Pike to gain the stretch lead, then held off a closing Skyway Quinton to his left to post a 1:50.3 victory in the $17,200 contest for owner Tom Hill. Turbo Hill Trainer Jennifer Bongiorno rang up her third victory on the card, and George Napolitano Jr. visited the winners circle (he's actually doing that even though there is currently no ceremony, with no fans) for the fifth time on the card. PHHA / Pocono

For the fourth consecutive year the Osarus Trot – Haras des Rouges Terres sale will take place at Haras des Rouges Terres in Saint Léonard des Parcs (Normandy, France) and will take place on August 28. Following the same format as in previous years, approximately one hundred horses, mainly “in training”, will be offered for sale by the famous French Baudron-Dubois family during a lunch-sale which is staged at the stables of Louis Baudron. The sale will be broadcast live on the Osarus Trot website at www.osarus-trot.com. Since its creation in 2017, the sale has produced a great number of winners on the track such as FIASCHETTO 1’13m, winner of the Gr.3 Prix Dido and placed second in the Gr.2 Prix Félicien Gauvreau, GRAND ART 1’12, winner and placed several times at group level at Vincennes and Enghien and who took a fourth place in the Gr.3 Prix Camilla at the end of May, Good Friday 1’13, winner of 6 races, Dream 1’13, winner of 7 races and 150.000 € since he was purchased in 2018, Fame Music 1’13 winner of 6 races including 3 in Paris, Hotika Blue 1’15 (winner at Vincennes last winter) or recent winners Hotel Mystic, top price of the 2019 edition, and Gabella, impressive winner at the beginning of June at Argentan.  Osarus Trot – Haras des Rouges Terres sale Contact : rnaud Angeliaume +33 (0) 6 07 57 06 00 / trot@osarus.com www.osarus-trot.com Marie Le Roux

MILTON, JUNE 26, 2020 - Ontario's talented three-year-old pacing fillies kicked off the 2020 Ontario Sires Stakes season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday with two harness racing veterans of the provincial program and two newcomers gracing the Grassroots winner's circle. Mach My Kiss opened the campaign with a victory in the first $22,800 division, cruising along on the front end to a 1:53 personal best for driver Doug McNair. Bettorthanbobbi finished two lengths behind the fan favourite in second, with Trafalgar three more lengths back in third. "She raced great, we got a cheap half," noted Guelph resident McNair, who engineered fractions of :28.1, :58 and 1:26.1. "She is a real handy filly and she had lots of pace." Rob Fellows trains the Mach Three daughter for his wife Yolanda Fellows of Rockwood and Erna Corbeil of Beaumont, AB. Mach My Kiss was a three-time winner in the Grassroots last season, including a victory in the Semi-finals. Mach My Kiss Got Power also made a return to the Grassroots winner's circle, powering up the outside to catch pacesetter Sunshine Hall and hold off the late closing Need Ur Opinion in the last division. The Royal Mattjesty daughter had a head in front at the 1:55.2 finish, with Need Ur Opinion edging out fan favourite Sunshine Hall for second. "She had the outside in her first start back this year and drew better tonight," said driver Chris Christoforou of Campbellville. "The plan was to be second over but one of the inside horses made a break leaving so it turned into first over, but she overcame it and raced great. She was a nice filly last year, she finished third in a Gold at Grand River." Tony O'Sullivan of Cambridge shares ownership of Got Power with Gary Volpe of St. Thomas and William Hill of Dundas, ON and the trainer was pleased with the filly's sophomore Grassroots debut, coming on the heels of a ninth-place effort from Post 9 in a June 12 overnight event. "I'm happy with the result," said O'Sullivan. "It was her first real race of the year, so a good step in the right direction and hopefully she can improve off that." Got Power Mia Culpa and Greystone Natali O made their debuts in the Grassroots winner's circle with impressive efforts in the second and third divisions. Mia Culpa and driver Rick Zeron sprinted from sixth to first in the final quarter to halt the teletimer at 1:53, a personal best for the Shadow Play filly. Pacesetter Lyons Tilt Hanover finished second, leaving fan favourite Landry Seelster to settle for third. It was the second win in three sophomore starts for Mia Culpa, who made just one appearance in the Grassroots at two. Jean Tourigny trains the filly for Roland Trudel of Becancour, Michel Damphousse of Louiseville and Guy Lavoie of Terrebonne, QC. Mia Culpa In the third split, driver Sylvain Filion had Greystone Natali O on the move early from Post 5 and landed on the rail behind fan favourite Mary Kat and Odds On Vero Beach. Content to sit third through a :26.1 quarter, :56 half and 1:25.2 three-quarters, Filion found himself with an open lane in the stretch as Odds On Vero Beach tipped out to attack and Mary Kat drifted off the rail. Greystone Natali O took full advantage of the opportunity and powered up the inside to a two and one-half length victory in a personal best 1:52.4. Odds On Vero Beach and Mary Kat finished in a dead heat for second. The win was the fifth of the season for Greystone Natali O, who did not make her two-year-old debut until after the provincial program had wrapped up last fall. Since then the Shadow Play daughter has been a model of consistency for trainer Brent Belore and owner-breeders Jean Caddey, Alana Belore and Dylan Belore of Embro, missing just one cheque in 14 starts. Greystone Natali O The three-year-old pacing fillies will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 14 for their second Grassroots start. Complete results for Friday's contest are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at the Campbellville oval on Saturday, June 27 with six Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts. The colts will open the program at 7 pm in the first race and also compete in Races 2, 5, 7, 8, and 10. Downloadable programs and a live stream of all the races are available on the Woodbine Mohawk Park website. Video: Race 2 - Mach My Kiss; Race 4 - Mia Culpa; Race 7 - Greystone Natali O; Race 9 - Got Power OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

Since the indictment of more than two dozen thoroughbred and harness racing trainers, assistants, veterinarians, and pharmacists in connection with a horse doping ring this March, rumors have swirled that more names could be forthcoming in connection with the federal investigation. Speaking at a status conference for the case on Tuesday morning, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Adams told U.S. District Judge Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil that a superseding indictment could be around the corner, but did not provide details as to the timing. “We are looking seriously at superseding indictments,” said Adams. “For the moment, and I made this point at least to some defense counsel previously, the nature of what we're looking at is largely in the same kind of criminal conduct as what is in the current indictment. We're looking at expanding timeframes for certain of the conspiracies. We're looking at potentially adding different statutory charges with respect to certain of the defendants. What I do not anticipate for the moment is that those superseding indictments, if and when they come, would require the production of some substantial large set of materials not already produced to date or already in the queue of things we expect to produce.” A superseding indictment is one which replaces an existing indictment, and could add charges against already-named defendants and/or could name new defendants. Vyskocil reminded Adams that the court would not hold things up while the government finishes its investigation. Adams said he understood and that he would not ask to hold up the proceedings for that reason. The charges on the current indictments, which names former top trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis, among others, focus on drug adulteration, misbranding, and conspiracy. The indictments claim a network of horsemen, veterinarians and pharmacy reps sold, distributed and used drugs in racehorses for the purpose of performance enhancement. Other than a potential superseding indictment, there are not likely to be many updates in the case until late fall. Currently, attorneys are going through the discovery process, meaning each side is requesting and providing requested evidence in the case. Adams said he believes his office will be able to provide the last of the discovery material requested by defendants by the end of September. Already, the office has provided some 90 gigabytes' worth of data to all defendants in three different volumes, and has fielded 20 additional individual requests. That data includes the results of 30 different search warrants, intercepted phone calls and text messages, geolocation information for various devices, email accounts, file transfer accounts, inventory lists, shipping records, veterinary records, drug promotional and marketing material, and much more. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is still extracting data from devices like cell phones and tablets seized from defendants at the time of their arrests. Adams mentioned that labs inside and outside the United States had been asked to conduct testing on samples related to the case, although it was not immediately clear whether that referred to samples of substances seized in searches of pharmacies or biological samples from horses, or both. Those results were not all known to the federal government as of yet, and some defense attorneys expressed a desire to work out some sort of split sampling process where possible, acknowledging there was a finite amount of some samples available to test. After the government produces requested evidence, it is sent to a coordinating discovery attorney for organization and distribution. One defense attorney pointed out that it generally takes the coordinating discovery attorney roughly a month to process large document releases before they are given over to defense counsel, so a late September target for discovery completion means they will get a look at the last of the evidence in early November. Vyskocil scheduled a status conference for Nov. 19. Most participants on the call agreed it would be impractical to set a trial date or motion schedule until the defense has seen all the government's evidence against their clients. Read more about the federal indictments in this March 9 piece from the Paulick Report. By Natalia Ross Reprinted with permission of The Paulick Report

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Southwind Chrome was sent on a mission by his driver Scott Zeron in the Friday night harness racing feature at the Meadowlands. And he completed it in spectacular fashion. The 5-year-old son of Chapter Seven-Counter Pointe won a second straight start in the Preferred for trotters, as the razor-sharp Jeff Cullipher trainee scored in 1:50.4 after going a less-than-ideal trip. There were horses leaving the gate from the outside, so Zeron had a decision to make early on from post eight. "I think given the circumstances, it worked out the way it had to," said Zeron. "There were not a lot of leavers mid-pack, so it was either sneak into the four-hole or go to the front. Midway around the first turn, I decided to go to the lead. He was so good tonight. I figured I'd make the front and then rate from there." But it would not be easy. JL Cruze, the 5-2 favorite, grabbed the lead at the quarter in a wicked :26.3 as Southwind Chrome continued his march to the top while uncovered. He did not clear until the three-eighths. The half was reached in :55 and Southwind Chrome was moving well on the point, then Zeron asked for more in an effort to seal the victory on the far turn. "I figured if I put space between Dex [Dunn, driving JL Cruze] and I at the five-eighths, I would be able to cruise down the lane." He did just that. Southwind Chrome opened up a 1¾-length edge at three-quarters after rating the third fraction in :28 and upped his lead to 2½ at the head of the stretch. Southwind Chrome's advantage diminished in deep stretch as JL Cruze was closing in, but still held on by a safe neck. Kenziesky Hanover was third. "When you have a good horse, you just want to know the other horses' form," said Zeron. "I knew my horse was at the top of his game." Southwind Chrome, who is heading for next week's $200,000 Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at the Big M, paid $9.20 to win as the second choice in the betting and now has 13 wins from 36 career starts and earnings of $230,210 for owners Pollack Racing and Jeff Cullipher. NJSS WRAP UP The second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for 3-year-olds saw four divisions on the Friday card, and filly pacer Odds On Sarasota (Rock N Roll Heaven-Odds On Charmaine) stayed perfect in two sire stakes starts this year by finding room late along the pylons to win in 1:55 as the 4-5 favorite for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Ross Croghan. Odds On Sarasota Rockin The Aces (Rock N Roll Heaven-Mattaroni) came from way back at odds of 17-1 to gun down 1-9 public choice Rock Me Hard in deep stretch in the colts and geldings pace in a lifetime-best 1:51.2 for Brian Sears and Robert Cleary. Ab'sattitudexpress was sent to the top by Yannick Gingras and blew away the field at odds of 7-1 for Lucas Wallin in the filly trot. The daughter of Trixton-Abbie'sgotattidtude stopped the clock in a lifetime-best 1:52.4. Abbie'sgotattidtude After racing wide around the first turn, 2-5 favorite Play Trix On Me was a dominant winner in the colts and geldings trot. The son of Trixton-Lima Playmate equaled his lifetime best of 1:53.2 for Zeron and Linda Toscano, the Hall of Famer who was celebrating a birthday. A LITTLE MORE Former Meadowlands leading drivers Sears and George Brennan, who were winless in 39 and 22 starts, respectively, both won for the first time at the meet. ... The Big M's "Big 4" multi-leg wagers were popular, as the 20-cent Pick-5 ($74,907), 20-cent Pick-6 ($32,872 with some help from a $8,948 carryover), Early 50-cent Pick-4 ($78,906) and Late 50-cent Pick-4 ($78,087) all took big play. Wagering for the 13-race card totaled $2,837,178, upping the Big M's streak of at least $2.5 million in handle to 14. ... Racing resumes Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations

ANDERSON, Ind.--June 26, 2020 -- Indiana Sires Stakes Champion Priceless backed up her 1-5 favoritism in the $30,000 Star Destroyer Stakes for harness racing three-year-old pacing fillies to win her seasonal debut at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, June 26. With trainer Brandon Bates in the sulky, Priceless used her customary front stepping tactics to best her rivals in 1:52. Leaving from post two, Priceless battled with divisional rival Foxy Rigger and Trace Tetrick to the quarter pole in :26. Foxy Rigger got the first call but would yield the lead to Priceless just before the half in :55.1. Priceless cruised to the three-quarters in 1:24.3 and was then joined on the outside by Grace Rocks and LeWayne Miller. Sprinting home in :27.2., Priceless was able to put away Grace Rocks and held off a late surge from a fast closing Sweet Filly and Michael Oosting to get the win by a quarter of a length. Sweet Filly was forced to settle for second while Foxy Rigger rounded out the trifecta. Priceless returned $2.60 to her betting backers. After winning seven of 11 seasonal starts and $347,162 in her freshman campaign, Priceless is owned by Kevin Miller and Bert Hochsprung. The daughter of Rockin Image-Btwnyurheartnmine is expected to make her next start in the opening round of Indiana Sires Stakes action for three-year-old pacing fillies at Harrah's Hoosier Park on Saturday, July 4. The evening also featured two $20,000 divisions of the Star Destroyer Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Island Of The Sea and Michael Oosting delivered as the heavy betting favorite in the opening division to stop the timer 1:50.4. Scoring in near gate to wire fashion, Island Of The Sea utilized a :26.4 closing kick to get the win by nearly four lengths. It was the second straight Hoosier Park victory for the gelded son of Always A Virgin-Trinity Island in just three starts this season. Trained by Shane Bowermaster, Island Of The Sea has now earned $36,000 lifetime and is owned by Eric Ell and Lisa Ell. Island Of The Sea In the second division for the pacing colts and geldings, Roll With Jr and John DeLong also used a front-stepping effort to find the wire first in 1:51.2 for trainer Jeff Cullipher. Roll With Jr left alertly from post three to dictate fractions of :27.1, :54.3 and 1:23.3. The field was tightly packed turning for home and looked poised to pounce on the leader. Roll With Jr dug in gamely late in the lane to repel a charge from High Impression and Sam Widger to get the win by three parts of a length. In his first start of the season, Roll With Jr recorded the first win of his sophomore campaign and fourth win lifetime. The son of Roll With Joe-No One Is Alone has now bankrolled $176,516 for owners Pollack Racing LLC and Jeff Cullipher. It was also a big night for veteran driver Sam Widger who won seven of the 14 races on the evening's program. Widger, who finished second in the leading driver standings at Harrah's Hoosier Park in 2019, is currently third on the leading driver standings through nine nights of live racing with 17 wins. Live racing will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, June 27 with a 14-race card. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 21. For more information on the live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. Emily Ratcliff

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Harness racing driver Pascal Berube scored a driving double on opening day Wednesday at the Hippodrome 3R and he hopes this is a sign of a good racing season to come. Berube, along with his wife, trainer Isabelle Binet, has a small but powerful stable for the summer/fall race meet. They call themselves Team B. "Of course, we would like to have some more horses to train," Berube explained. "But I am happy with the five horses we currently have. They are fit and ready to go." Currently Team B has five horses in their stable. Holiday Party, Lucky Promesses, Stock, Fortune Fella and Uptown Woman. On opening day Wednesday, Berube won with Stock, who was very impressive at odds of 7-1, leading from start to finish in 1:58.2. This Sunday (1:00 pm post), Team B has four horses entered. Uptown Woman is one of the favorites in the Mares Preferred Pace, along with Stock returning to race Sunday and former Quebec-Bred Champion, Holiday Party and Lucky Promesses, are featured in the Preferred Trot for Team Berube-Binet. Berbue will drive Holiday Party and Samuel Fillion will drive Lucky Promesses as they are both in the same race. This season Berube said he does not have two-year-old's in training. "I am fortunate to get some good catch-drives," Berube said. "I must thank the owners and trainers that have faith in me to drive their horses. I am kept busy driving at both H3R and at Rideau Carleton Raceway." Berube has a catch-drive in the sixth race Preferred Pace with G A Speed Sammy for trainer Yves Tessier. They take on top local pacers Outlaw Turn N Burn (post 1), Hooter Shooter (post 5) and Matts Tuition (post 4). He will also drive Gucci Eyepatch (race 1), and Heaven For Sure (race 4). As for competing at the races Wednesday without any spectators to cheer the horses and driver on, it was same as usual for Berube. "It is just like racing in qualifiers but with purses," Berube said. "I feel sorry for the owners who like to be at the track and watch their horses' race live from the grandstand. For the driver it's the same job." "We did order customized masks for us to wear during the pandemic," Berube added. "They were made by Manon Lemelin and look very cool." Look for the Blue, Black and White Team B masks this season at H3R as they may be in the winner's circle a lot. For a free Sunday race program, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club       Steven Wolf Steven Wolf Consulting (954) 654-3757 stevenwolf1956@gmail.com      

Australian harness racing has lost one of its all-time greats with the death of Westburn Grant. His trainer-driver and adoring caretaker in retirement Vic Frost said Westburn Grant died at his property near Tweed Heads on Thursday, just a couple of months short of his 35th birthday. Westburn Grant, affectionately known as “Spot”, won 38 of his 67 starts and over $2 million, including the 1992 Melbourne Inter Dominion and two Miracle Miles in 1989 and ‘90. “He’d had a tumour on his neck and went downhill in the last week,” Frost said. “It’s a really sad time … he’s been with me all his life. I raced his Mum (Westburn Vue) and he’s been with me since he was born. “He’s had a fantastic life, he was almost 35. He’s had the run of the place at home here with Gail (Frost’s wife) and I. He’d help himself to the hay shed and wander from one horse to another to stand next to them, many of those horses his descendants. Gail pampered him like nothing else. “What a super racehorse he was, too. He had blistering speed and could do it early or late, as well as having a fair bit of stamina. Frost will always treasured the two Miracle Mile wins in 1989 and 1990, but spoke most glowingly of his 1992 Melbourne Inter Dominion win. “That was a real challenge, a real triumph,” he said. “He’d always had bad feet, but they were a huge issue during that series. “I had to find a long stretch beach to train him and I did, at least a couple of hours from Melbourne at a place called Venus Bay. “We were away from the world and nobody could contact me. I got him as well as I could and he did the rest in the final.” The most special win of Westburn Grant’s career for Frost came when he landed his second Group 1 WA Pacing Cup victory in January, 1992. It came just two weeks after Vic and his then wife, Margaret, lost their son Gary in a tragic accident at home. Group 1 WA Pacing Cup “We were in Perth with the horse when Gary died,” Frost said. “We went back home, left the horse with Colin Brown in Perth, and went back a week or so later and ‘Spot’ did it for us. That win meant so much.” Reprinted with permission of The Courier Mail Westburn Grant on YouTube Click on the links for each show; This is a story about the great Westburn Grant and trainer/driver Vic Frost. The great Westburn Grant in one of his two Miracle Mile wins. The first of six epic battles in the 1991-92 season between Westburn Grant and Franco Ice This is the 1992 Inter-Dominion grand final from Moonee Valley This is the 1989 New Zealand Derby from Christchurch.Here we see Vic Frost in the sulky behind Westburn Grant,as they win this great race. This is the 1989 Miracle Mile as it was aired live on SBS tv.Here we see Vic Frost in the sulky This is a story about Vic Frost and his champion pacer Westburn Grant, as they prepare for the 1991 Miracle Mile at Harold Park. This is the 1992 Inter-Dominion grand final. The last of six battles on the 1991-92 Grand Circuit was the Victoria Cup This is the 1990 Miracle Mile from Sydney's Harold Park Paceway Harness Racing from Harold Park. Includes Sinbad Bay, Thorate and Westburn Grant.  

INNISFIL, JUNE 26, 2020 - Since harness racing resumed at the beginning of June Ben Baillargeon has been on a tear, sending out 20 winners from 54 starters, and the trainer will be looking to add to that tally when the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series season gets underway this Sunday, June 28 at Georgian Downs. Baillargeon goes into the event with the early favourites in both Gold Series divisions after his three-year-old trotting geldings Hayek and HP Royal Theo delivered a pair of impressive victories at Woodbine Mohawk Park last weekend. "They're similar, they're both fast, I can tell you that," said Baillargeon. "We all knew about HP Royal Theo, we knew that he's very good, he showed all kinds of ability last year," said Baillargeon of the Royalty For Life son who captured the 2019 William Wellwood Memorial Trot. "We cut him loose a little bit last week - not that we didn't cut him loose his first start, he trotted in 1:54.3, last quarter in :27.1, in against older horses - but last week he was ready and I needed to see what we had in the tank. So I said he (Louis-Philippe Roy) might want to let him trot a little. He didn't really let him trot, this is what's amazing about it, he didn't really let him trot and he went in 1:52.3, last quarter in :27.3. "And the other horse, Hayek, a friend of my dad said, 'This horse is for sale Ben, you should look into it, this one's for you'. So I looked into it. I called Marcus Melander and he told me what I wanted to know and that was it, we made the deal," said Baillargeon, who acquired Hayek on June 8. "And the horse looked awful good his first start. He was a little bit of a handful last week, I think he will settle down with time, but he sure has lots of speed, serious speed." Hayek and driver Sylvain Filion will be looking to replicate that June 22 effort - a seven-length gate-to-wire score in 1:53.3 - from Post 3 in the first division on Sunday, facing off against six rivals for the $105,600 purse. Baillargeon shares ownership of the E L Titan gelding with Teresa Davidson of Milton, Santo Vena of Brampton and Nunzio Vena of Bolton, ON and the trainer said Hayek enjoyed a day off after Monday's victory and will just jog and continue to settle into his new home leading up to his Ontario Sires Stakes debut on Sunday. "He came to the barn I think 10 days before I raced him last Monday and he was a little bit, not a handful, but he was a little aggressive, let's put it this way," said the Guelph resident. "Today (Thursday) he was very nice on the track. I think he's starting to like his new surroundings." HP Royal Theo will make his sophomore Gold Series debut from Post 5 in the second $106,400 division, coming into the season opener off the impressive June 20 effort that saw him cruise home three lengths the best in 1:52.3. Regular reinsman Louis-Philippe Roy will be in the race bike for owner-breeder Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff and Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, QC. The gelding was a Gold Series winner at two, but he also made breaks in three provincial starts, so Baillargeon is hoping the trotter can kick off a more consistent provincial campaign on Sunday. "These two horses, they're sure nice," said the trainer. "That Hayek horse, he looked very good his first start and well Theo, like I said, we always knew that he was good, but he showed that he's matured a lot since last year." Georgian Downs will send the first race behind the starting gate at 6 pm on Sunday and feature the Gold Series three-year-old trotting colts and geldings in Races 5 and 8. Downloadable programs and a live stream of all the races are available on the Georgian Downs website. In addition to Sunday's Gold Series, Georgian Downs will also host two $7,100 divisions of the Prospect Series for three-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Saturday evening. Horses that were sustained to the 2020 Ontario Sires Stakes program are eligible for the Prospect Series, which consists of five legs contested at racetracks across Ontario leading up to a $15,000 final. Saturday's divisions will go postward as Races 1 and 7, with a 7:15 pm post time. Downloadable programs and a live stream of all the races are available on the Georgian Downs website. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit www.ontariosiresstakes.com For feature stories, photographs, background information and/or contact details for local Ontario Sires Stakes participants contact Sandra Snyder at 519-572-0167 or ossnews@ontarioracing.com. Ontario Racing

WASHINGTON, PA, June 26, 2020 -- The Meadows kicks off its reconfigured stakes season Saturday, and the opening event has attracted one of harness racing's budding superstars. Sister Sledge, who banked $555,313 at 2 and finished second in Dan Patch Award voting, will make her seasonal debut in the $53,528 Arden Downs for 3-year-old filly trotters. The stake goes as races 7 and 10. Sister Sledge will leave from post 3 in race 10 with Dave Palone driving. The 14-race card also features a $2,093.64 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM. Sister Sledge was a phenom at 2, winning her first seven starts and sweeping all four Pennsylvania Sires Stake preliminary legs en route to the championship. She finished second to Ramona Hill, who won the Dan Patch Award, in the Breeders Crown final. Had trainer Ron Burke been able to stick to his original schedule, Sister Sledge likely would have a few starts under her belt instead of just the pair of qualifiers she's mustered. But with racing and stakes schedules disrupted by COVID-19, Burke decided to ship Sister Sledge from her New Jersey base for the Arden Downs -- and possibly for the Currier & Ives filly division July 4 at The Meadows. "With the schedule changes, this was the first stake she was eligible for," Burke said. "She needs the race, and we didn't want her in an Open Trot. We want to stretch her out a bit." Mark Weaver of Weaver Bruscemi LLC, which owns the daughter of Father Patrick-Behindclosedoors with Burke Racing Stable, Jason Melillo, and J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby, noted that, although Sister Sledge will compete for much higher purses later in the year, this race is important to her. "We hope this will lay a foundation for her for the rest of the year," Weaver said. "Anytime we go to the gate, we want to win, and the purse isn't chopped liver." Saturday's program also features The Meadows debut of Portrstownchris IR (race 1, post 4, Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.), a 9-year-old Irish bred who is part of a package of six horses that the Burke stable purchased through Irish horseman/broker Derek Delaney. "Derek had been pushing us for a few years to buy some horses from Great Britain, but we thought that wasn't really our game," Weaver said. "Then, one of the British horses beat one of our horses and I thought, maybe there's method to Derek's madness." So far, it's been a successful new route to the winners' circle for the Burke stable. In their 18 starts to date (counting qualifiers), the British/Irish six pack has 16 victories and two place finishes. By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

June 23, 2020 -With Paris-Vincennes and Enghien now open to host its own harness racing programs, there are a number of Groupe races on the schedule through July 4 These top level races are worth our attention: Vincennes June 26 – Gr. III Prix Paul Delanie (purse 75,000€, monte, 2850 meters European eligibles); Vincennes June 30 – Gr. II Prix Paul Leguerney (purse 85,000€, 2700 meters, four year olds); Vincennes June 30 – Gr. II Prix Phaeton (purse 85,000€, 2700 meters, four year olds); Enghien July 4 – Gr. III Prix de Berlin (purse 60,000€, 2875 meters, three year olds)   Thomas H. Hicks  

East Rutherford, NJ - The popular Breakfast With The Babies (BWTB) endeavor of enjoying the future harness racing stars of the sport while having coffee and bagels with other fans returns this Saturday morning at nine o'clock.   The New Jersey SBOA will again generously sponsor the bagels, muffins and refreshments provided for those who enjoy watching the freshman pacers and trotters get their early lessons. Baby race proofs will be provided to all guests.   The East Deck will be open to owners at 8:30 a.m. with all tables properly social distanced and the races will get underway at 9 a.m. with an announcer calling the action. All owners will have access to hand sanitizer and restrooms.   All owners must enter from the open gate located on the east side of the building. Owners will have their temperature taken upon entrance and must have a mask on when not seated at a table. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed entrance. No outside food and beverage is allowed on the property.   Reservations are needed and can be made by calling Marianne Rotella at (201) 842-5059 or email her at MRotella@playmeadowlands.com. At the conclusion of qualifiers all guests must exit the grandstand and adhere to all COVID-19 safety protocols.

"Breeding a racehorse is a serious investment and Harness Breeders Victoria have responded to clear demand in the industry to help harness racing breeders make the most of their endeavours by developing a series of ten educational seminars.   Touching on everything from pedigree matching and information resources, to broodmare health and foaling down, these live broadcasts with respected Victorian industry experts will help breeders become even better at what they do - or give race mare owners the confidence to embark upon a breeding program this year.   Each seminar will be screened live each Sunday from June 28th, and viewers are encouraged to participate with questions and comments while the seminar is taking place, with terrific prizes for HBV members who get involved - including a service to Speeding Spur (Woodlands), free yearling sale nominations, Barastoc feed packs valued at around $350, and much more.     Everyone is welcome to access the seminars for free as they happen, or go back and watch any episode after it's screened on the HBV website or YouTube channel. Follow the HBV Facebook Page for reminders and information about each seminar."   Breed To Succeed webpage.   Breed To Succeed launch email   HBV Facebook Page (where Live stream will commence each Sunday):       Desiree Pettit-Keating   Harness Breeders Victoria

Club Menangle wishes to update the harness racing industry as to the current status of discussions with Nutrien Equine with regard to a request for Club Menangle to host three futurity races to be run in conjunction with a proposed yearling sale in 2022. As there are a number of rumours circulating within the industry, Club Menangle wishes to ensure transparency as to the current situation. Nutrien Equine approached Club Menangle in May 2020 seeking agreement to conduct three races in 2022 as part of a proposed futurity series. Club Menangle responded on 22 May, 2020 and formally advised Nutrien Equine the dates proposed conflicted with the Sky Carnival of Miracles, the Bathurst Gold Crown Series and other existing race commitments through until the end of April 2022. Accordingly, Club Menangle asked Nutrien Equine to submit potential dates post April 2022. A further request was received from Nutrien Equine dated 19 June, 2020 seeking Club Menangle’s consideration to hosting its proposed Futurity Races between 11 March and 29 April, 2022. The Board of Club Menangle considered the 19 June request at the Board meeting held on 25 June, 2020. Club Menangle has reiterated the comments made in the earlier letter to Nutrien Equine indicating the dates requested are unavailable in the metropolitan racing calendar at Club Menangle, for the reasons originally advised.  In its response, Club Menangle emphasised no racing at Club Menangle would be countenanced in March of any year, which might impact on the promotion and conduct of the Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival. Club Menangle remains committed to supporting the Bathurst Gold Crown as the first Group One 2 Year Old race series held in the New South Wales Racing Calendar. Nutrien Equine has been again asked to submit potential dates, post April 2022. A number of other requests for information have also been sought from Nutrien Equine. Club Menangle is the premier harness racing track in New South Wales and accordingly it is our desire to conduct any race series of significance at our venue. However, in order for this to occur, the placement of any new series must work in with existing commitments. As at this time, in the absence of potential dates post April 2022 and the additional information requested by Club Menangle, the harness racing industry should note the Nutrien Equine request currently remains unresolved. For more information in relation to this media release please contact Club Menangle Chief Executive, Bruce Christison, on (02) 46 45 2200 Club Menangle

Fashionwoodchopper (Claude Huckabone III) takes the $5,600 featured harness racing trot at Vernon Downs on Thursday (June 25). Spoiler Alert (Leon Bailey) broke sharp and took the lead as they went by the stands for the first time. Warrawee Preferred then went on by to take them to a first quarter of :26.4. He then used a :29.2 second quarter to take them to the half in :56.1. Fashionwoodchopper ($6.10) was the first to make a move going first-over from fifth. Warrawee Preferred continued to lead as they hit three-quarters in 1:25.4. Spoiler Alert remained in the pocket second but Fashionwoodchopper made it to third. As they reached the stretch Fashionwoodchopper took over second and blew right on by in deep stretch to win in 1:55.0. If Not Why Not (Brett Crawford) was fifth after three-quarters and somehow found an opening by weaving through traffic to come up to take second. Warrawee Preferred had to settle for third. Fashionwoodchopper is a 5-year-old gelding by Donato Hanover. He is owned by Howard Jacobs and trained by Huckabone III. It was his first win of 2020. He now has reached the winner's circle 11 times in his career. Claude Huckabone III, Howard Parker, Leon Bailey, and Jimmy Taggart Jr all had driving doubles. Huckabone III's other win came with Keystone Magneto ($36.20). Parker's victories came with Kellyurthegreatest ($12.40), and Golden Brit $5.80. Bailey finished first with Jenny Lake ($3.60), and Ulysses Bi ($8.30). Taggart Jr. combined with trainer Kerin Warner for wins with Londaonfitz ($12.40), and Roll With Joy ($6.30). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Thursday (July 2) with a post time of 4:00 p.m. (time change). On Saturday (July 4) "The Miracle Mile" will feature the Empire Breeders Classic (EBC) for 3-year-old trotters. New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for freshman pacing fillies will make their debut that day as well. Post time for July fourth is 1:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com.   John Horne for Vernon Downs.