Canadian Horse Racing logo.jpg

Are Ontario horsemen sucked in? Muscle Hill preview

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Contract with COSTA/WEG may not be that great - We billed it last week in a Harnesslink.com exclusive as one of the greatest possible agreements in Standardbred racing, but since then we have learned more about the dealings and how questions still remain unanswered. Graham Beirne's Betting Restricted in NZ - One of the biggest gamblers on harness racing in New Zealand is Graham Beirne who is a well-known figure in the harness racing industry. A prolific breeder and owner, his horses carry the "Anvil" trademark at the start or end of their names. Stallion Review – Muscle Hill - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the very good racehorse and stallion Muscle Hill, 1:50.1 ($3,266,835). New Low Cost Sales Format in New Zealand - A few feathers have certainly been ruffled with the announcement of the Broodmare and mixed stock being run by the Standardbred Breeders Association at Addington in September. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

Ryan Holiday, harness racing

Holliday determined to win Clinton's Drivers Challenge

Clinton -- Ryan Holliday of Mount Forest, Ont. said he has extra incentive to win the 34th Annual Drivers Challenge Aug. 31 at Clinton Raceway that extends beyond trying to prove himself against a group of top drivers from Toronto. Holliday's cousin, Lindsay Foulon, has a two-year-old daughter with leukemia. While Hayden Foulon is being treated at Children's Hospital in London, her family has received support from Childcan (www.childcan.com), the charitable recipient of Clinton's Drivers Challenge for the fourth consecutive year. When Holliday, 26, was recovering from a broken elbow and wrist suffered in an accident in January at The Raceway at The Western Fair District in London, he spent a few days in the same hospital where Heyden was having some tests. "We were talking there one day and my cousin told me about how Childcan helps them. I said, 'Childcan? I'm pretty sure I drive for them in the charity event.' It makes you realize a little more about the good they do. I actually saw firsthand what the money does." The Drivers Challenge will pit Clinton's top three drivers -- Trevor Henry, Bruce Richardson and Holliday -- against Chris Christoforou, Jody Jamieson, Doug McNair, Sylvain Filion and James MacDonald from the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) circuit. "That day there's a great crowd and there's a lot of good drivers there and it makes for a good day," McNair said. "It's definitely a fun event, but we race pretty tough out there, especially that day. No one does anybody any favours out there, that's for sure. Everybody wants to win and obviously it's for a good cause." All driver fees and proceeds from the day will be donated to Childcan. The charity has already received more than $40,000 from the Clinton Raceway event. The Drivers Challenge has raised more than $275,000 for various charities since its inception in 1981. Renee Simmons is in charge of Family Support for Childcan. She said the charity helps families with simple, daily expenses while they have a child being treated for cancer. "We offer every family a (hospital) parking pass and that is theirs until their child has completed treatment," Simmons said. "When they're in-patient, we set families up with two cafeteria vouchers per day. So, they have two $10 vouchers to spend on meals. "Then, we have an emergency financial assistance fund that our families can access, especially for our families that travel... Our mission is to make sure that the parents can focus on their child's care." Simmons, along with Hayden and Lindsay Foulon are expected to be at Clinton Raceway Aug. 31 for the Drivers Challenge. The program will also feature an Ontario Sires Stakes grassroots event for two-year-old pacing colts, as well as a charity barbeque, loom bracelet sale, 50/50 draw, bake sale, various auctions and a petting zoo, bouncy castle and face painting for the kids. The card starts at 1:30 p.m. "I'm looking forward to the pig roast, I'll be honest with you," Simmons said, laughing. "I always eat very well when I'm in Clinton." Holliday said Hayden's treatment is going well. "They're monitoring her counts all the time. As long as everything's good, she'll be out for the event," he said. As for the racing, Holliday said he's looking forward to testing his mettle against the big city boys, particularly at a track he calls home. "Clinton's a great place to race," he said. "They do a really good job there. They make sure there's a good show every week for everybody. The Drivers Challenge will be no different. They seem to go the extra mile there." Holliday said he might even have a little home track edge. "I know the horses there really well," he said. "I drive them week in and week out. So, maybe I have an advantage. Even to be recognized driving against those guys is pretty cool to me in general. I'm just glad I'm at that stage." by Jessica Carnochan, for Clinton Raceway  

Jerry Riordan, harness racing

Sheava Vik takes Lindhals Gr. I Final at Romme

The Jerry Riordan trained Sheava Vik won today's Gr. I International Lindhals Fillies Final at Romme Sweden. Reined by Johan Untersteiner, the Italy-bred three-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover-Nashville OM-Uronometro scored in 1.12.2kr over 1640 meters autostart for co-owners Allevamento Folli SRL and Loris Vicario. The winner earned 800,000SEK first money and raised her career earnings to 1,072,062SEK with her fourth victory in 15 outings. Next behind the winner were Gabriella Sisu (3f Muscle Mass-Armbro Begood-Conway Hall) with Erik Adielsson up and Souchong (3f Going Kronos-Dimbula-Victory Dream) handled by Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Roger Wallmann. The co-featured Lindhals Final for colts, a Gr. I International event with 800,000SEK to the winner, went to Al Dente in 1.12kr for Orjan Kihlstrom teaming for trainer Conrad Lugauer. This winner scored easily to record his 13th victory in 18 appearances for earnings of 2,895,000SEK. The three year-old son of Scarlet Knight-Mollies Photo-SJ's Photo is an impressive 2014 performer with 12 wins and a second in 13 starts. Origo Tilly (3g Super Arnie-Regina Tilly-Speedy Crown) was second for Torbjorn Jansson ahead of Thewayiam As (3m Allstar Hall-Nilema Way-Mack Lobell) with Johnny Takter aboard. The top aged event on the Romme card was the Super Light Gold for 150,000SEK to the winner of this 1640 meter autostart test. Occhione Jet (6m Pine Chip-Estelle Jet-Supergill) took the win in 1.10.9kr for Erik Adielsson over Bon Freccia (6m Steinlager-Fabiola Safir-Lindy's Crown) with Bjorn Goop up, in a photo. Third went to System Performance (5f Scarlet Knight-Hermit Lady-Express Ride) and Stefan Melander. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Timoko, harness racing

Timoko bounces back with strong win in France

Timoko bounced back with a victory in tonight’s €180,000 ($238,000US) purse in the Gr. II Gran Prix du Conseil General des Alpes at Cagnes sur mer, the third leg of the TGV miler series in France. Bjorn Goop reined the winner home in 1:52.44 (1.09.9kr) for owner/trainer Richard Westerink. The seven-year-old son of Imoko-Kiss Mr Coulonces held off veteran Roi du Lupin (9g Fleuron Perrine-Helia de Saint Pol) with Anthon y Barrier up for trainer/owner J-P Marmion. Timoko recorded his 24th win in 64 starts and increased his earnings to €2,770,650. Italy’s Napoleon Bar (7m Varenne-Dalmazia) was third for Pierre Vercruysse, owner Emiliano Stecca and trainer Cat Savarese, ahead of Pascia’Lest with Robert Andreghetti up for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin and owner Samuel Querci. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Bugsy Malone took today's Prix d'Antibes (E52,000 purse, 2700 meters, seven starters) at Paris-Vincennes for Yohan Lebourgeois and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire in 1.16kr. The 3/5 favorite defeated Berry Felin (3m Nahar de Beval-Krisma des Bois) and Franck Ouvrie at 28/1 with Balthazar Maza (3m Prodigious-Paloma) with Mathieu Abrivard at the lines third for trainer Sebastian Guarato, off at 18/1 odds. The featured Gr. II Prix Pierre Gamare (E120,000 purse, 2700 meters monte, 10 starters) went to Bomba (3f Goetmals Wood-Passion d'Amour) with Mathieu Mottier up for trainer Philippe Allaire at 8.9/1 odds. She scored by six lengths in 1.15kr over 26/1 outside Blooma d'Heripre (3f Rolling d'Heripre-Quenta Por Favor) and David Thomain. 19/1 Bikini des Molands (3m Gai Brillant-Quiche des Molands) was third for trainer Anthony Dollion. Today's Quinte+ was at Vincennes and the Prix de Beaune (European, E60,000 purse, 2700 meters, 15 starters) went to Teatro (7m Ganymede-Josette) with Christian Bigeon up as driver/trainer/owner. The 5.6/1 odds winner recorded his eighth career victory in 38 starts for E241,300, scoring in 1.13.1kr. Tommerre Marjea (7g Jeanbat du Vivier-Jharia du Ham) was second for J-M Bazire with Conrads Fredrik (7g Credit Winner-Ahmeida) third for Dominik Locqueneux. Italy's Nefertite del Rio (7f Varenne-Zeudia) was fourth for Alexandre Abrivard. The exact order Q+ payoff was E3,450 for a E2 wager. The jackpot was E3.65 million. Italy's Painting Wise took the Prix du Perigord (E60,000 purse, 2700 meters, European eligibles with 14 starters) in 1.12.9kr. J-M Bazire teamed the winner for trainer Fabrice Souloy and owner Azienda Agricola Biasuzzi. He was off at 2.6/1 and defeated Virgious Maza (6g Prodigious-Pocket Edition) with trainer/driver Sebastian Ernault. Picone (6m Credit Winner-Fabiaz) was third for trainer/driver Santo Mollo and owner Ecurie Don Miguel. Thomas H. Hicks

Norway's Support Justice (5m Kadabra-Artisane-Lindy Lane) took today's Gr. I UET Masters Series Jubileumspokalen over 2140 meters autostart at Solvalla. The winner earned 1 million SEK (US$145,140) for the victory, his 17th in 24 career starts, now with earnings of 4,732,895SEK. Geir Vegard Gundersen trains the winner and he was the driver. The important victory was number five this year in eight outings. Winning time was 1.11.7kr (Varenne race record of 1.11.2kr in 2002). BBS Sugarlight (5g Super Light-Sugarsweet Sid-Sugarcane Hanover) was second for Peter Untersteiner and Claes Boko ended third for Erik Adielsson teaming for trainer Stig H. Johansson. Stefan Melander's Standout (5m Ganymede-Ebony DK-Royal Troubador) was a fast closing fourth after encountering traffic trouble throughout from second tier post 11. John Campbell reined Standout. Magic Tonight was first to the lead with Beer Summit In The Pocket. BBS Sugarlight was first up early and then Time Machine went three wide to move alongside leader Magic Tonight. BBS Sugarlight was shuffled a bit and then made a three-wide charge late but could not hold off the eventual winner in what was a great contest with flying finish. Magic Tonight ended eighth, Beer Summit was tenth with Denmark's Stelton disqualified for a miscue. Support Justice may be one to watch in other upcoming classics. Replay of today's Support Justice victory may be seen here. Also video of Mack Lobell and John Campbell today at Solvalla follows. The Jubileumsspokalen began in 1977 and to date has produced three-time winners Zoogin and Gidde Palema. Pershing, Callit and Victory Tilly won this event twice. Stig H. Johansson has won this race as driver nine times followed by Ake Svanstedt with seven victories. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

Video of Mack Lobell & John Campbell

Canaka BF (7f Jobie Tempest-Frida Filiokus-Spotlite Lobell) rallied late for Ulf Ohlsson to win today's Gr. I UET Masters Series European Mares Championship at Solvalla, Sweden worth 650,000SEK to winner. Canaka BF recorded her 18th career win in 64 starts now for earnings of 4,905,292SEK. Today's victory was her fifth 2014 win in ten outings. Prussia (5f Ken Warkentin-Elvezia-Pine Chip) was a very game second for trainer/driver Pietro Gubellini with third to She Loves You FI (7f Love You-SJ's Shad Roe-SJ's Photo) and Bjorn Goop. Time was 1.11.7kr, a SWE record for the 2140 meters autostart distance. Jorma Kontio steered Absolute Newport quickly to the lead and repulsed a three wide early move by Prussia to seize command. Kontio parked Prussia all the way until Absolute Newport stopped, yielding the leading spot to Prussia and she nearly held on under aggressive Gubellini handling. Canaka BF rallied wide in the late going to win by three-quarter length with She Loves You FI a close third and the Jerry Riordan trained Rossella Ross ended fourth. On the card the Carolo Mins for three year-olds went to US-bred Fire To The Rain (3m Yankee Glide-Adelaide Hall-Conway Hall) and Ulf Ohlsson. The 1640 meter autostart test had ten starters with 100,000SEK to the winner and Fire To The Rain scored in 1.11.7kr to just defeat Explosive De Vie (3g Explosive Matter-Ava-Pine Chip) and trainer/driver Jim Oscarsson. This pair easily bested third place finisher Saphire Bi (3f Conway Hall-Valley Jean Bi-Valley Boss Bi) with Bjorn Goop up for trainer Riordan. Fire To the Rain won for the third time in six lifetime starts, now for earnings of 1,130,365SEK. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Denmark’s Knud Mönster won the title as the 2014 European Harness Racing Driver Champion. He was in first position after day one at Solanget on Monday and achieved the total points victory after the second day at Umaker. Mönster didn’t win any races during the Tuesday session but a second place was enough to grab the points total standings. This was the first Danish victory since 1989 when Birger Jönsson got the victory and driver Mönster was satisfied with his performance stating “previously I’ve won the Danish Derby and this win is just as big.” Swedish driver Björn Goop won one race on Tuesday and with that victory took third place in the point standings.  “Even if I didn’t get first in the totals I think it has been a great championship. The races were fair drawn and different winners in each race indicates this. Everyone did great and I’m very proud of my work,” said Goop. Top 5 in the total standings – qualified for 2014 World Championship in Australia 1. Knud Mönster, Denmark, 75 points 2. Tony Le Beller, France, 69 points 3. Björn Goop, Sweden, 65 pooints 4. Hugo Langeweg Jr, Netherlands, 64 points 5. Vidar Hop, Norway, 60 points Winners of the eight races in the contest were: Solanget Cruisinjo, Androver Guillermo Andreau Belmont As, Branislav Mukic Trolle, Hubert Brandstatter Treess Ribston, Bjorn Goop Umaker Flash Hornline, Tony Le Beller Hulte Nova, Hubert Brandstatter Hook Broline, Hugo Langeweg, Jr. Here To Chill F, Vidar Hop by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com    

Reve de Coeur (9g Kiwi-Fine Perle) took today’s featured €16,378 Prix Trophee Vert Suisse at Avenches in France. Timed in 1.17.6kr over 2000 meters on the turf, the winner recorded victory 14 in 90 starts for earnings of €220,045. Jean Matthey drove the 7.2/1 odds winner that defeated a pair of Giant Cat sired veterans Negotians d’Oritige and Padium du Rib. At Cabourg, Couleur Citron took a two year-old fillies event for €13,000 over 2050 meters autostart, the Prix d’Argentan. Eleven contested this one with Couleur Citron home first in her maiden effort for Yohan Lebourgeois and trainer Philippe Allaire timed in 1.19.6kr. The daughter of Coktail Jet-L’aunou du Fier is owned by J-P Barjon  and was 7/10 favorite, Barjon the owner of Prix d’Amerique winner Meaulnes du Corta. Louis Baudron was second with his trained and owned C’est Facile (2f Rocklyn-Maflymede) at 10.9/1 As the sun set at Cabourg, the €24,000 Prix du Vira (2840 meters, 14 starters) went to Baron de Fleur in 1.18kr for Johanna Lindqvist, driving for trainer/owner Anders Lindqvist, her father. The three year-old son of Biesolo-Oseille Folie scored at 6.8/1 over Bellinissimo (3m Baccarat du Pont-Jaconde) handled by Thomas Levesque for trainer Mike Lenders and Ecurie Pierre Levesque. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

August 16, 2014. - Tibor Hajnal teamed trainee Orifiamma Jet to a rallying victory in today's 500,000HUf Peneszvirag DIJ, the 1900 meter autostart feature on the Kincsem Park card. The six year-old daughter of Supergill-Ticket To Ride-Nevele Pride is owned by Illetmeny Kft. and recorded her second straight top-class victory and the third in her last six appearances, this one timed in 1.16.5kr. She was off at 3/1 odds. Amazing Lobell (6f Incredible Crafts-Us Companion) ended second. The Saturday card included other interesting winners. The Danubian DIJ went to Lucky Boy (5g Zoler Cobra-Lisa November) in 1.16.4kr over 1800 meters autostart. Josef Sagaj handled the winner for trainer owner Moleh Silvester of SLO. Another SLO invader Sanger MS (4m Victory Scream-Samba MS) was second for Mitja Slavic. The sires of these two reflect obscure horses. Zoler Cobra is a son of Danny Lad-Oleranna-Dailer. He was a winner of US$407,238 with a 1:57.1 record and winner of the Gran Premio Giorgio Jagher Memorial. Dailer was a three year-old winner of the Derby Italiano and Gran Premio Orsi Mangelli. Victory Scream was a US$95,000 yearling at Kentucky Standardbred and is by Valley Victory from Screamer by Crowning Point. He took a 1:56.4 record and earned over US$88,000. Mellby Schwim (9f Supergill-Impish Hornline) won the 1800 meter Amateur Handicap in 1.17.4kr at 1.4/1 odds for Sandor Turbucz and owner Diadoa IV. Lightly raced Ramona Vita (4f Diamond Way-Dorina Vita) took the Nyeretlenek over 1800 meters for Tibor Hajnal, also trainer, for Illetmeny Kft. This was her fourth lifetime start. Thomas H. Hicks

August 17, 2014. J-M Bazire teamed his trainee Trophee de Jaba (7g Kesaco Phedo-Otika Vita) to victory in today's E45,000 purse Trophee Vert featured Prix du Conseil General at La Roche-Posay.  The winner recorded his 14th career victory in 54 starts, now for earnings of E331,850, as he defeated 12 rivals over the 2600 meter distance. Trophee de Jaba was off at 2.9/1 odds. Sindy de Civrac was second for Paul Bouchard at 16.4/1 with Scarlet Kep third for Jerome Dubreil at 125.4/1. The day's turf events also included a race for apprentice lad reinsmen and an amateur event. Thomas H. Hicks  

After a brief respite, harness racing action returned today at Paris-Vincennes and what a card it was! Four Gr. II events highlighted the excellent Monday program under sunny skies, a forerunner to the next Vincennes winter meet. The E120,000 purse Gr. II Prix Pierre Plazen for European three year-olds over 2175 meters, went to well-regarded Booster Winner (3m Love You-Quille Viretaute) with Eric Raffin teaming for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Philippe Aloisio. He scored in 1.13.4kr in the eight horse field at 3.6/1 odds over Bird Parker (3m Ready Cash-Belisha) and Yohan Lebourgeois for Philippe Allaire and owner Mme. Elisabeth Allaire. Black d'Avril and Franck Ouvrie was third ahead of favorite Brutus du Bailly with J-M Bazire aboard. Time was 1.13.4kr for the winner. Viking de Val (5m Baccarat du Pont-La Forge de Val) took the E120,000 Gr. II Prix Jockey for five year-olds. 13 horses faced the starter going 2700 meters. The 10/1 winner was teamed by trainer/owner Eric Lambertz timed in 1.14.3kr off slow fractions (1.15.7kr at 1500; 1.15.5kr at 1000; 1.15.2kr at 500 meters to go mark). Second favorite at 1.9/1 was second place finisher Very Nice Marceaux (5m Jag de Bellouet-Julie Fortuna) with Pierre Vercruysse up. Very Nice Marceaux was first to lead and then followed early speed before traffic trouble was encountered. When free in the lane, Very Nice Marceaux could not gain on the winner. Victoire ended third for Mathieu Mottier with Voltigeur de Myrt home fourth for Eric Raffin. The 1.8/1 favorite Vinci de l'Abbaye was a dq for reinsman J-M Bazire. The three year-old European females battled in the E120,000 Gr. II Prix Guy Deloison over 2175 meters with 12 starters. Biche des Clos (3f Rolling d'Heripre-Moon d'Eronville) prevailed by a neck at 4.1/1 for teamster Mathieu Mottier in 1.12kr after fast early fractions (1.08.4kr at 1500; 1.09.9kr at 1000; 1.12.8kr at 500 to go mark) set by 57/1 Swan Wise As (3f Varenne-Golden Variety) that faded to eighth when challenged. Favorite Billie de Montfort (3f Jasmin de Flore-Quisny de Montfort) was a solid second for Eric Raffin with Beauty Turgot and Franck Nivard third ahead of Bardane du Houlbut, fourth for R-C Larue. Well-regarded Sister Dany Bar and Be My Girl (both off at under 10.1) were disqualified for miscues. The monte Gr. II Prix Herve Ceran-Maillard for E120,000 over 2175 meters was contested by 13 five year-olds. Valse de Reve (5m Mister President-Nouba Houba) was the winner at 12.3/1 for Camille Levesque as this pair defeated second choice Vittel de Brevol (5m Jag de Bellouet-Lady de Brevol) and David Thomain. 3/2 favorite Vision Intense (5f Prodigious-Intense Action) was a fast closing third for Nathalie Henry with Valdice de Mars fourth for Yohan Lebourgeois. Race time was 1.12kr after speedy fractions (1.09.3kr at 1500; 1.10.3kr at 1000; 1.11.6kr with 500 to go). Vision Intense was away toward the back and was slow to move toward the lead until late in the contest when Ms. Henry pulled the plugs and her great mare accelerated without bearing out. Off this effort she will likely be a factor in the winter. Thomas H. Hicks

US-expat trainer Jerry Riordan won two on Saturday's superb card at Aby, Sweden and recorded a second place finish. Radysin America (4f Donato Hanover-Zagabria Dei-Victory Dream) took the Bertil Knutssons Trot over 1640 meters autostart in a sharp 1.11.8kr. Johnny Takter drove this one for owner Lisa Riordan to earn 80,000SEK first money. The half-sister to retired international star Lisa America, also developed and campaigned by Riordan, was bred in Italy by Guida Italia SRL and this was her seventh career win in 18 starts, now for 370,135SEK. The time was also her lifetime best and she survived a four-horse photo to win over Britt Palema (5f Adams Hall-Rapidsland Glare-Southwind Pinnacle) with trainer/driver Fredrik Persson, Sandra Volo (5f Cantab Hall-Sandra Victory-Valley Victory) and Orjan Kihlstrom and Pin Kronos (5f Cantab Hall-Luck Of the Day-Mr. Lavec) that was fourth for Johan Untersteiner. Riordan also had a training win with Sylvester America (3m Varenne-Armbro Voice-Garland Lobell) in the Euro Classic Next Year for three-year-olds worth 50,000SEK to the winner. He scored in a photo timed in 1.15.2kr over 2140 meters autostart with Johan Untersteiner up. Lisa Riordan also owns this colt that was bred in Italy by Guida Italia SRL. Sylvester won for third time in nine starts. Fabuleux BR was second for trainer/driver Veijo Heiskanen. As previously reported, Riordan's trainee Rare Wise As (4f Varenne-In Wise As-SJ's Caviar) was second in a three-horse photo in a fast-class four year-old mares event timed in 1.13.6kr. This mare, also owned by Lisa Riordan, was handled by Linda Allercrantz. The race was won by My Gliding Angel (4f Yankee Glide-My Shooting Star-Malabar Man) trained and driven by Bjorn Goop for Stall Kennys, her seventh win in16 tries and she earned 80,000SEK, with favored Backfire home third for Johnny Takter. The Aby card also showcased the Bronze Division Final for 200,000SEK to the winner, and it went to Royal Fighter (6m Varenne-Froken Julie-Supergill) in gate to wire fashion over 2140 meters autostart. Jennifer Tillman drover the winner, trained by Per Eriksson, that was timed in 1.12.2kr to gain his 10th win in 46 starts. The winner is owned by Per Rodert and Christina Nilsson. The opener of the day was the Aby Stora Monte Pris for 100,000SEK to the victor. The contest over 1640 meters autostart had a competitive 10 horse field and the French veteran Organdi d'Or (12g Achille-Hovillara d'Or-Vroum d'Or) emerged with the win. He's trained by rider Sofia Aronsson and scored in 1.13.2kr by two lengths for his 20th career win in 124 starts, now with 3,665,792SEK earned. He's owned in France by Armand Turquet-Lepreux. Henke Diablo with Peter Jarven aboard and Nouvelle Pelle with Asa Svensson up were next to the line. US-bred Moon Dream was fourth for Siv Emilie Lovvold and Hitchcock was a dq for rider Malin Beras. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

The gallant 11-year-old Commander Crowe took the prestigious Gr. I International Aby Stora Prix today in Sweden in a raceoff with the other heat winner Quid Pro Quo. The gelded son of Juliano Star-Somark-Mack Lobell recorded his 60th career victory in 102 starts, now for earnings of 32,010,516SEK, that is over US$4,669,000 at today's conversion rate. The race-off began with the Commander from post one (determined by coin flip), Orjan Kihlstrom up, and Quid Pro Quo electively started from post five to gain advantage from the banked track. Erik Adielsson hustled Quid Pro Quo (5m Yankee Glide-Hostage-Express Ride) to the front and set a reasonable pace. Then in front of the stands, and abundant cheering fans, Orjan Kihlstrom took a hard shot at the youthful leader but could not clear. Commander dropped behind his rival around the second turn and then again made a harder challenge for the lead on the backstretch. Despite heavy urging by Adielsson, Quid Pro Quo's desire was broken and the Commander surged past with 400 meters to go and opened a quick five lengths that he extended to ten bythe  top of stretch. Kihlstrom put the whip away and jogged to the line eased up in 1.12.1kr (1:56.01 mile rate) to pocket another 400,000SEK for Snopgarps Gard AB and trainer Fabrice Souloy, in what was a strategically superb match-race. Quid Pro Quo earned 100,000SEK for his raceoff effort and for the day he earned 700,000SEK. The Aby Stora Pris commenced in 1936 and has been raced each year since. Sebastian K won the 2012 and 2013 editions and that horse was lauded today with videos of his successes and free t-shirts for the fans. Rapide Lebel, Lisa America and Torvald Palema won this race in 2011, 2010 and 2009. Race record before today's heats was 1.11.3kr set by Red Chili Pirat in 2006. Double winners of the Aby Stora Pris include some greats - Sebastian K. (2012, 2013), Gidde Palema (2003, 2005), Victory Tilly (2000, 2002), Zoogin (1995, 1996), Idéal du Gazeau (1981, 1982), Lyon (1970, 1972), Gelinotte (1956, 1957) and Iran Scott (1951, 1952). Ake Svanstedt has won the race six times as driver and Stig H. Johansson is a five-time winner. North American-bred winners have included Sea Cove and Prince Mystic. Roosevelt International competitors also won this classic, including 1960 Roosevelt winner Hairos II (Willem Geersen), Oscar RL (Henri Levesque), Roosevelt winner in 1981-1983 Ideal du Gazeau (Eugene Lefevre), 1990 Roosevelt victor Reve d'Udon, and Pluvier III (Gunnar Nordin), the Roosevelt winner in 1965. Quid Pro Quo (5m Yankee Glide-Hostage-Express Ride) took heat one from post six with a decisive victory in 1.10.3kr. Owned by Stall Gladiator the winner recorded his first 2014 win in eight starts, now for career earnings for 5,040,760SEK. Erik Adielsson handled the winner that defeated Norway’s Juliano Rags reined by Noralf Braekken with Reven d’Amour third for Bjorn Goop. Commander Crowe left from post five but was unable to clear the front and raced without cover throughout for Orjan Kihlstrom. The Crowe faded to seventh. Joke Face made a miscue at the start.  The second heat was a surprise as Commander Crowe left hard again for Orjan Kihlstrom from post four, but this time he made the front with Quid Pro Quo in the pocket. Joke Face was first to move but was unable to get alongside the Commander as Kihlstrom rated the pace and accelerated  enough to win by a length from Quid Pro Quo with Juliano Rags third ahead of Solvato. Time for the 1640 meter autostart test was 1.10kr (1:52.63 mile rate). The victory for Commander Crowe was number 59 in 101 starts, now for earnings of 31,610,516. Snopgarps Gard AB owns the winner. The heat winners earned 400,000SEK for their victories. The undercard so far has produced interesting winners. Sylvester America scored in 1.15.2kr over 2140 meters autostart for trainer Jerry Riordan and reinsman Johan Untersteiner. The Italian bred three year-old son of Varenne-Armbro Voice-Garland Lobell recorded his fourth win in 10 starts for owner Lisa Riordan, and earned 50,000SEK first money. The Klass II Final for 200,000SEK to the winner went to Poker Kronos (5g Viking Kronos-Frances Lavec-Tenor de Baune) for trainer/driver Robert Bergh. He scored in 1.12.6kr for his fifth win in seven 2014 appearances, and his fifth straight. My Gliding Angel (4f Yankee Glide-My Shooting Star-Malabar Man) also won on the card in 1.13.6kr for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop in a narrow three-way photo over the Varenne mare Rare Wise As (Linda Allercrantz up for trainer Jerry Riordan) and favorite Backfire was home third with Johnny Takter up. Another US import, Single Sock, finished fourth. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com      

« Article Archive
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Europe
Loader
Loader
Loader
Loader
In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Contract with COSTA/WEG may not be that great - We billed it last week in a Harnesslink.com exclusive as one of the greatest possible agreements in Standardbred racing, but since then we have learned more about the dealings and how questions still remain unanswered. Graham Beirne's Betting Restricted in NZ - One of the biggest gamblers on harness racing in New Zealand is Graham Beirne who is a well-known figure in the harness racing industry. A prolific breeder and owner, his horses carry the "Anvil" trademark at the start or end of their names. Stallion Review – Muscle Hill - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the very good racehorse and stallion Muscle Hill, 1:50.1 ($3,266,835). New Low Cost Sales Format in New Zealand - A few feathers have certainly been ruffled with the announcement of the Broodmare and mixed stock being run by the Standardbred Breeders Association at Addington in September. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).
Clinton -- Ryan Holliday of Mount Forest, Ont. said he has extra incentive to win the 34th Annual Drivers Challenge Aug. 31 at Clinton Raceway that extends beyond trying to prove himself against a group of top drivers from Toronto. Holliday's cousin, Lindsay Foulon, has a two-year-old daughter with leukemia. While Hayden Foulon is being treated at Children's Hospital in London, her family has received support from Childcan (www.childcan.com), the charitable recipient of Clinton's Drivers Challenge for the fourth consecutive year. When Holliday, 26, was recovering from a broken elbow and wrist suffered in an accident in January at The Raceway at The Western Fair District in London, he spent a few days in the same hospital where Heyden was having some tests. "We were talking there one day and my cousin told me about how Childcan helps them. I said, 'Childcan? I'm pretty sure I drive for them in the charity event.' It makes you realize a little more about the good they do. I actually saw firsthand what the money does." The Drivers Challenge will pit Clinton's top three drivers -- Trevor Henry, Bruce Richardson and Holliday -- against Chris Christoforou, Jody Jamieson, Doug McNair, Sylvain Filion and James MacDonald from the Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) circuit. "That day there's a great crowd and there's a lot of good drivers there and it makes for a good day," McNair said. "It's definitely a fun event, but we race pretty tough out there, especially that day. No one does anybody any favours out there, that's for sure. Everybody wants to win and obviously it's for a good cause." All driver fees and proceeds from the day will be donated to Childcan. The charity has already received more than $40,000 from the Clinton Raceway event. The Drivers Challenge has raised more than $275,000 for various charities since its inception in 1981. Renee Simmons is in charge of Family Support for Childcan. She said the charity helps families with simple, daily expenses while they have a child being treated for cancer. "We offer every family a (hospital) parking pass and that is theirs until their child has completed treatment," Simmons said. "When they're in-patient, we set families up with two cafeteria vouchers per day. So, they have two $10 vouchers to spend on meals. "Then, we have an emergency financial assistance fund that our families can access, especially for our families that travel... Our mission is to make sure that the parents can focus on their child's care." Simmons, along with Hayden and Lindsay Foulon are expected to be at Clinton Raceway Aug. 31 for the Drivers Challenge. The program will also feature an Ontario Sires Stakes grassroots event for two-year-old pacing colts, as well as a charity barbeque, loom bracelet sale, 50/50 draw, bake sale, various auctions and a petting zoo, bouncy castle and face painting for the kids. The card starts at 1:30 p.m. "I'm looking forward to the pig roast, I'll be honest with you," Simmons said, laughing. "I always eat very well when I'm in Clinton." Holliday said Hayden's treatment is going well. "They're monitoring her counts all the time. As long as everything's good, she'll be out for the event," he said. As for the racing, Holliday said he's looking forward to testing his mettle against the big city boys, particularly at a track he calls home. "Clinton's a great place to race," he said. "They do a really good job there. They make sure there's a good show every week for everybody. The Drivers Challenge will be no different. They seem to go the extra mile there." Holliday said he might even have a little home track edge. "I know the horses there really well," he said. "I drive them week in and week out. So, maybe I have an advantage. Even to be recognized driving against those guys is pretty cool to me in general. I'm just glad I'm at that stage." by Jessica Carnochan, for Clinton Raceway  
The Jerry Riordan trained Sheava Vik won today's Gr. I International Lindhals Fillies Final at Romme Sweden. Reined by Johan Untersteiner, the Italy-bred three-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover-Nashville OM-Uronometro scored in 1.12.2kr over 1640 meters autostart for co-owners Allevamento Folli SRL and Loris Vicario. The winner earned 800,000SEK first money and raised her career earnings to 1,072,062SEK with her fourth victory in 15 outings. Next behind the winner were Gabriella Sisu (3f Muscle Mass-Armbro Begood-Conway Hall) with Erik Adielsson up and Souchong (3f Going Kronos-Dimbula-Victory Dream) handled by Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Roger Wallmann. The co-featured Lindhals Final for colts, a Gr. I International event with 800,000SEK to the winner, went to Al Dente in 1.12kr for Orjan Kihlstrom teaming for trainer Conrad Lugauer. This winner scored easily to record his 13th victory in 18 appearances for earnings of 2,895,000SEK. The three year-old son of Scarlet Knight-Mollies Photo-SJ's Photo is an impressive 2014 performer with 12 wins and a second in 13 starts. Origo Tilly (3g Super Arnie-Regina Tilly-Speedy Crown) was second for Torbjorn Jansson ahead of Thewayiam As (3m Allstar Hall-Nilema Way-Mack Lobell) with Johnny Takter aboard. The top aged event on the Romme card was the Super Light Gold for 150,000SEK to the winner of this 1640 meter autostart test. Occhione Jet (6m Pine Chip-Estelle Jet-Supergill) took the win in 1.10.9kr for Erik Adielsson over Bon Freccia (6m Steinlager-Fabiola Safir-Lindy's Crown) with Bjorn Goop up, in a photo. Third went to System Performance (5f Scarlet Knight-Hermit Lady-Express Ride) and Stefan Melander. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com
Timoko bounced back with a victory in tonight’s €180,000 ($238,000US) purse in the Gr. II Gran Prix du Conseil General des Alpes at Cagnes sur mer, the third leg of the TGV miler series in France. Bjorn Goop reined the winner home in 1:52.44 (1.09.9kr) for owner/trainer Richard Westerink. The seven-year-old son of Imoko-Kiss Mr Coulonces held off veteran Roi du Lupin (9g Fleuron Perrine-Helia de Saint Pol) with Anthon y Barrier up for trainer/owner J-P Marmion. Timoko recorded his 24th win in 64 starts and increased his earnings to €2,770,650. Italy’s Napoleon Bar (7m Varenne-Dalmazia) was third for Pierre Vercruysse, owner Emiliano Stecca and trainer Cat Savarese, ahead of Pascia’Lest with Robert Andreghetti up for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin and owner Samuel Querci. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com