Day At The Track
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Ultimate Christmas party dates announced

Alexandra Park has officially announced its Christmas At The Races hospitality evenings, with eight dates confirmed for November and December.  2018’s Christmas At The Races will take place on Fridays 16, 23 and 30 November and 7, 14, and 21 December as well as Saturday 8 and 15 December. “Christmas at the Races is one of our most popular events of the year. If you’re looking for a fantastic and easy to organise Christmas party with delicious food, stunning décor, great entertainment, and an all-round fun night out for everyone then this is it,” says Roxanne Visser, Sales & Events Coordinator at Alexandra Park. Alexandra Park’s advertising campaign this year reminds people that ‘It’s never too early…’ In fact, tickets are already selling fast, with some rooms on some nights already sold out or close to it!  “These incredibly popular evenings make for the perfect work Christmas party. With just four months until Christmas, we’re encouraging people, businesses and organisations not to sit back but make that booking now,” she says. Alexandra Park is renowned for delivering delicious dining packages and exciting harness racing under lights. Then after the last race, everyone gets together at The Alex Bar & Eatery to enjoy live entertainment. “Not only are we providing eight dates to choose from, including two Saturdays, but we’re giving people plenty of options when it comes to location, the type of hospitality package, and cost. However, regardless of the hospitality package people decide, everyone gets to enjoy a sumptuous Christmas-style buffet. “We’ve got Holly packages available from $70 per person, Mistletoe packages at $115, and Pohutukawa packages in our stunning level five venue, Top of the Park, from $165 per person which includes our premium buffet, a premium drinks package and of course the best view at Alexandra Park,” says Ms Visser. For further information on Christmas At The Races or to reserve your table please call (09) 631-1165, email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz. Alexandra Park’s internationally-themed cuisine race nights continue with Thai Night on Friday 14 September where two return air tickets to Thailand will be won thanks to Thai Airways. Italian Night is on 21 September and Tropical Nights At The Races will take place on 13 and 27 October.   Cameron Brewer

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Lazarus N headlines field for Pacing Derby

MILTON, ON - August 21, 2018 - The Canadian debut of Lazarus N will have to wait until Saturday, September 1 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The entry box for this year's Canadian Pacing Derby closed Tuesday morning with 10 older pacers entered, meaning eliminations will not be necessary this weekend. The star-studded group of 10 advance directly to the $600,000 final on September 1. 'The Wonder from Down Under' Lazarus N headlines the field for this year's Pacing Derby. The New Zealand-bred superstar will be making his second start on North American soil in Canada's oldest harness racing event. A six-year-old, Lazarus N was purchased earlier this year by Taylor Made Stallions and brought to North America to race for trainer Jimmy Takter. The son of Bettors Delight exited the Down Under racing scene with 35 wins in 45 starts, over $2.6 million in earnings and numerous awards. Lazarus N won his North American debut on August 10 at Hoosier Park in the Dan Patch. While all eyes will be locked on Lazarus N in the Canadian Pacing Derby, the other nine pacers are well-accomplished and will be looking to spoil the party. Casie Coleman trainee McWicked has been cleaning up in the older pacer division and enters the Pacing Derby with six wins and over $672,000 earned in 10 starts. The seven-year-old champion recently surpassed $3 million in career earnings for owner S S G Stables. McWicked will be competing in his third Canadian Pacing Derby final. His best finish was a third in last year's event. Dave Menary trainee Sintra is back to defend his Pacing Derby title. The five-year-old gelding is just one for eight this season, but his lone victory did come in the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup on Pepsi North America Cup night. Sintra is currently $964 shy of $1 million in career earnings for owners Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Menary Racing Inc. His win in last year's Pacing Derby is currently the richest victory of his career. Always loaded with talent, trainer Ron Burke, harness racing's all-time leading trainer, will send out a trio of starters in the Canadian Pacing Derby. Burke's triple-threat for the $600,000 event consists of All Bets Off (29 wins, $3.1 million), Filibuster Hanover (12 wins, $1.2 million) and Rockin Ron (33 wins, $1.5 million). All Bets Off will be racing in his fourth-consecutive Canadian Pacing Derby. The seven-year-old has finished fourth in each of the past two editions. Rockin Ron will be seeking redemption in this year's Pacing Derby. The five-year-old won his elimination last year before surrounding the lead in deep stretch and finishing second in the final. This year's Canadian Pacing Derby also includes Dr J Hanover, the fastest horse in Canadian harness racing history. The Tony Alagna trained five-year-old set the Canadian record of 1:46.4 last June at Mohawk Park. Dr J Hanover has enjoyed recent success at the Milton oval, having posted two Preferred victories since July 28. Mohawk Park fan-favourite Nirvana Seelster is entered to race in his fourth-consecutive Canadian Pacing Derby. The Bill Budd trained seven-year-old finished fourth in last year's final and enters this year's edition just over $6,000 away from millionaire status. Split The House, last year's Breeders Crown champion, will be making his Pacing Derby debut. The Chris Oakes trained six-year-old is a 13-time winner with more than $760,000 in career earnings. The field of 10 is completed by Western Fame, the second entrant from the Takter barn. The winner of more than $925,000 lifetime comes into the Pacing Derby off a 1:48.4 upset victory in last Sunday's Roll With Joe Stakes at Tioga Downs. Western Fame may not receive the bright lights like stablemate Lazarus, but the five-year-old has quietly scored five victories and earned nearly $200,000 this season. The field of 10 for this year's Canadian Pacing Derby has combined for 241 wins and $16,277,077 in earnings. The $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby joins the $651,000 Maple Leaf Trot for a stacked card on Saturday, September 1. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Here is the full field for the Canadian Pacing Derby in alphabetical order. All Bets Off Dr J Hanover Filibuster Hanover Lazarus N McWicked Nirvana Seelster Rockin Ron Sintra Split The House Western Fame by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

Dexter Dunn, harness racing

A conversation with Dexter Dunn

Dexter Dunn is only 28 years old, but his accomplishments as a harness racing driver belie his age. The New Zealand native, who arrived in the U.S. last week to spend the next several weeks (at least) competing in North America, won his first race a dozen years ago and has continued to accumulate victories at a record pace in his homeland. A native of Christchurch, Dunn led New Zealand's premiership in wins for 10 consecutive years from 2008 through 2017. During that span, he won at least 200 races on six occasions and twice finished with 199. He was the only New Zealand driver to win at least 200 races in a season prior to this year, when he saw his record of 229 victories toppled by friend Blair Orange. Orange finished 2017-18 with 232 wins, followed by Dunn with 213. Dunn already ranks fifth in New Zealand history with 2,225 wins. Tony Herlihy is No. 1 with 3,456. Dunn was the youngest driver to both 1,000 and 2,000 wins, and the youngest, at the age of 18, to win a Group 1 race in New Zealand. In 2015, Dunn represented his country in the World Driving Championship and drove off with the trophy. Harness racing is a family affair for the Dunns. Dexter's father, Robert, is among the top trainers in wins in New Zealand history, with 1,374, and last year set a career high for purses with $1.37 million while finishing second in victories in the premiership. Dexter's brother, John, also is an accomplished driver, with nearly 1,000 wins. He has finished in the premiership's top five each of the past six seasons. Dunn was invited to drive in the U.S. this summer by trainer Chris Ryder, a longtime family friend. Dunn drove in the States in 2011 as part of an extended visit that included participating in the U.S.-hosted World Driving Championship and in Canada in 2017, again in the WDC. He finished fourth both times. For his career in North America, Dunn has won nine of 141 races and $174,266 in purses. So far this visit, Dunn has raced at Yonkers and Harrah's Philadelphia. He drives again tonight at Yonkers and tomorrow at Philly. Dunn spoke recently with Ken Weingartner, the media relations manager for the U.S. Trotting Association, about his career, proudest moments, visiting the U.S. last year to play rugby, and another recent Stateside arrival, New Zealand-bred champion pacer Lazarus. KW: Your dad is an accomplished horseman, so how old were you when you started working with the horses? DD: When I was young, my dad stopped training for about four or five years, probably when I was about (ages) 6 to 11. So in that period, I really had nothing to do with horses. Then he started training again when I was about 11. When he first started back, he just had a couple horses. He got me out of school one day because he needed me to go with him to the beach, he was taking them to the beach, to work the horses. From that day on, I was back into it. From then on it was just horses, horses, horses. KW: Working the horses on the beach has to be pretty cool. DD: Yeah, it's nice. I think the horses enjoy it too. It's good for them. They walk in the water afterwards. KW: Is this what you've wanted to do from then on? DD: It gets in your blood. Once you get attached to horses it's pretty hard to get away from it. I left school when I was 16. We took some horses to Auckland for six weeks from Christchurch and then I got a job in Australia for three months and ended up staying there for another year. KW: How old were you when you started driving? DD: I was 17. My first win was in Australia. I spent six months driving over there and then came home. KW: Have you ever had another job? DD: I was a milk boy when I was a kid. (Laughs.) I would jump off the truck and deliver the milk bottles to the door. It was good after-school money. KW: What made you decide to come to the U.S. now? DD: I spent three months here seven years ago. The World Driving Championship was here and I came over two months before. I really enjoyed it. It's always been on my mind, but you get back home and you're busy most of the year and in your routine. Chris went home a few months ago for his niece's wedding and we started talking about it again. I woke up one day, I was on my way to qualifiers, and I decided I was going to come over. That was it. Why not? I'm not getting any younger. If I'm going to do it, now is probably the right time. KW: What is your plan? DD: I've got no set plan. I'll see how it goes. I want to do a little bit of looking around too. Like, I've never been to the Little Brown Jug. Whether I'm driving or not, I want to go and have a look at it. I want to work and do the driving, but it's a little bit of a break from racing at home too. There's no set plan when I'm going back. If I go home, it would probably have to be in mid-October. We'll see how things go. KW: Would you stay for the Breeders Crown? That's not until the end of October. DD: If I'm here until the Breeders Crown, I'm probably not going home. Our big meeting, we have New Zealand Cup Week, and that's the second week of November. That's our biggest week of the year, really. If I'm at the Breeders Crown, I'm missing Cup time. I'm pretty lucky. I've got all my supporters at home and then I come over here and Chris and (his wife) Nicola are looking after me, putting me on horses. It's a pretty lucky situation. Real lucky. KW: You've come over here, and I'm sure you want to show people what you can do, so is it difficult to be patient and not want to over-drive horses or anything like that? DD: It's probably a little bit hard, I think. You just have to let things happen. It's probably hard because I sort of haven't come over here unnoticed. But I don't worry too much about things like that. I try not to put too much pressure on myself; it's not the way I am. I knew coming over here it wasn't going to be easy. You can't come over and just expect to be driving good ones. But I was looking forward to it. I'm really looking forward to a new challenge, something different. You have the same routine day in and day out and this is almost like starting again. KW: What is the biggest challenge? DD: Knowing the horses. You have to study up. You can read the lines, but you don't really know much about the horses or the competition. You have to pick up on it pretty quick. But everyone over here is really good, they look after you. KW: Will you do more studying? DD: I've always been quite keen on studying the fields, but I'll probably do more. At home I know all the horses, so I could probably do a field a lot quicker than I could here. KW: Is the driving style here a lot different than home? DD: It's different, but the gap has closed a lot. Our racing at home, the times are just dropping readily. It's kind of that up-front tempo. It's hard to come from the back now. You used to be able to come from last and win a race, but now it's changed a lot. KW: How would you describe yourself as a driver? DD: It's hard to say. It's really horses for courses, I guess. Competitive is probably the top one. KW: Do you turn the page quickly or carry things with you? DD: When I was younger I was really hard on myself. I'd go home and think about a bad race and it would worry me. But over the years, it's completely gone. I think if you can't turn the page it's bad. The minute you scuff up, you know and everyone else knows, so you just turn the page and move on to the next race. You win the next one and it's forgotten about. KW: What are you most looking forward to over here? DD: The challenge. And I know a lot of people, I've met a lot of people over here from over the years, so it will be good to catch up with them. I just want to have a good time. KW: With all you've accomplished so far in your career, what are you most proud of? DD: I think my biggest achievement was in 2009. I won the Canterbury Sportsman of the Year. I beat a fella named Richie McCaw. He was the All Blacks (national team) captain for two World Cup wins. Probably on the top of the list of New Zealand heroes, he's it for playing rugby. He's a hero to me. To beat him in that was pretty special. Winning the World Driving Championship was cool too. That's right up there as well. KW: What do you most enjoy about the sport? DD: The people. I love the people. I've driven in six different countries now and everywhere you go you meet great people. You really do. I'd never had met these people in any other job. I probably wouldn't have gotten out of New Zealand. And then winning, of course. KW: Was it tough to see your record for wins (in a season) broken? DD: No. (Blair Orange) is one of my closest mates. It's OK. Change is good. I didn't mind. KW: Growing up, did you play other sports? DD: I played rugby my whole life. I was still playing last year. My team, the West Melton Warthogs, went to Aspen, Colorado, in September of last year and played in a rugby tournament there (Aspen Ruggerfest). That was really cool. That was probably the experience of a lifetime, going there and playing. And Aspen is a beautiful place. It's good to play rugby. It's a different group of people and you can get away from horses and horse talk for that little period of time. It's good to freshen up. I didn't play this year because I was busy. My body doesn't like it much when I play. You always wake up on a Sunday morning, it's a good hurt, but it's sore. Your body doesn't bounce back like it does when you're a teenager. KW: Well, it's great for us to see you come over here and drive. First Lazarus arrives, and now you. DD: I'm sure Lazarus will make more of an impression over here than I will. He's an awesome horse. I had to race against him a bunch of times, which stunk because he was so good. He was always so hard to get past. You might think you had him beat at the top of the stretch, but by the end of it he'd get away from you again. I don't think he's ever lost when he's been in front in his whole career. He is a champion horse. KW: Did you ever drive him? DD: No. I got to pet him once. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

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Trainer forfeits cash in botched investigation

Harness racing trainer Brett Edwards has forfeited more than $36,000 in cash seized in a raid by the armed defenders squad in 2013. The cash forfeited was part of the $72,000 the Ministry for Primary Industries seized in September of 2013 in an investigation dubbed "Operation Partridge", for a suspected fraud of the fish quota system. Edwards claimed $26,000 of the the cash was from having $1000 at $20.00(win) and $1000 at $6.00 (place) on a race horse he trained called Dauntless and the rest came from a returned house deposit and from selling golf balls and firewood. Edwards was sentenced to five months community detention and 100 hours community work after admitting his guilt to some of the charges in the investigation. For more detail in this case read the two linked reports by Phil Taylor in the NZ Herald. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12095828 https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12106669 Harnesslink Media  

Harness racing trainer Stephen Hale has been fined $4500 for racing a horse with Cobalt in its system above the recommended levels. The horse in question is Matau Gem who finished second at the Timaru meeting on the 13 May 2018.. The horse has since been disqualified. Full details below: BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing IN THE MATTER of Information No. A6426 BETWEEN KYLIE ROCHELLE WILLIAMS, Racing Investigator for the Racing Integrity Unit Informant AND STEPHEN JOHN HALE of Christchurch, Licensed Trainer Respondent Date of Hearing: 12 August 2018 Venue: Rangiora Racecourse, Rangiora Judicial Committee: Mr SC Ching (Chair) Mr G Clapp (Member) Present: Mrs KR Williams, the Informant Mr SJ Hale, the Respondent Mr C DeFilippi, Licensed Trainer Date of Decision: 15 August 2018 RESERVED DECISION OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE The Charge [1] Information No. A6426 alleges that: On the 13 May 2018, Stephen John HALE, being the registered trainer of the standardbred MATAU GEM presented the horse to race in Race 3, the SOUTH FUELS BULK FUEL SPECIALISTS MOBILE PACE, at the Timaru Harness Racing Club’s meeting with a prohibited substance, namely Cobalt (greater than 100 micrograms per litre), in its system. This is in breach of the Prohibited Substance Rule, Rule 1004(1A) (3)(4). The Rules [2] Rule 1004 of the Rules of Harness Racing provides as follows: (1) A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. (3) When a horse is presented to race in contravention of sub-rule (1A) or (2) the trainer of the horse commits a breach of these Rules (4) A breach of sub-rule (1A), (2), (3) or (3A) is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the TCO2 level or prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse. [3] Mrs Williams presented a letter signed by Mr M R Godber, General Manager of the RIU, pursuant to Rule 1108(2) authorising the filing of the information. The Plea [4] Mr Hale had signed the Statement by the Respondent at the foot of the information form indicating that he admitted the breach of the Rule. He confirmed this at the hearing. Agreed Summary of Facts [5] 1. The facts are as follows: MATAU GEM is a 5-year-old Brown mare and is trained by Mr Stephen John HALE. MATAU GEM is owned by Mrs M Morrison-Palmer, P B Palmer and Mrs H M Browne. MATAU GEM has raced 14 times for 3 seconds and 1 third and lifetime stakes of $7,260 as at 24 July 2018. 2. MATAU GEM was correctly entered and presented to race by trainer Mr Hale at the Timaru Harness Racing Club meeting on 13 May 2018. MATAU GEM was driven in Race 3, the SOUTHFUELS BULK FUEL SPECIALISTS MOBILE PACE by Mr D Dunn, finishing in second place winning a stake of $1,330. This stake has not been paid out. 3. Following the race, the Stipendiary Stewards ordered that MATAU GEM be post-race swabbed. MATAU GEM provided a urine sample at 12.20pm in the presence of the trainer and Swabbing Steward Ms M Orr. The race was programmed to start at 12.00pm. The urine samples were recorded with the Sample number 133672. Mr Hale does not contest the taking of the sample. 4. On the 31st May 2018 the New Zealand Racing Laboratory reported that swab 133672 had a Cobalt screening level in excess of 100 micrograms per litre of urine. The sample was forwarded to Racing Analytical Services, Victoria, for confirmation. On 12 June 2018 Racing Analytical Services confirmed a level of 120 micrograms per litre. HRNZ set the level of 100 micrograms per litre of urine on 1 June 2017. 5. Racecourse Investigator Mrs Kylie Williams and Stipendiary Steward Mr Scott Wallis advised Mr Hale of the screened result on 2 June 2018. A number of samples were taken from the property for testing and a urine sample was taken from MATAU GEM. 6. Mr Hale could not offer an explanation for the elevated level of Cobalt in the urine sample taken from MATAU GEM. 7. The exhibit urine sample taken from MATAU GEM returned a level of 40 micrograms per litre. 8. Mr Hale advised that he had been feeding a multi mineral salt block that he was unaware contained Cobalt. This mineral salt block was in the horse’s feed bin with the horse eating it at will when stabled. 9. A sample of the multi mineral salt block was taken for testing which confirmed cobalt at a level of 60mg/kg. The packaging on the salt block clearly showed Cobalt as an ingredient at 65mg/kg. 10. Mr Hale did not make any enquiries regarding the amount of Cobalt in the mineral mix. 11. Dr Andrew Grierson, Chief Veterinary Advisor to HRNZ confirmed that there is enough Cobalt in a mineral salt block to return a positive and that there have been Cobalt positives in Australia from them. 12. Mr Hale has been training since 1986/87. Mr Hale has trained 31 winners. 13. Mr Hale has not previously been charged with a breach of the prohibited substance rule. Submissions of Informant on Penalty [6] 1. Mr Hale has pleaded guilty to a breach of Rules 1004(1A) (3) and (4) after presenting MATAU GEM at the races with a prohibited substance in its system, namely Cobalt at a level greater than 100mg/l, at the Timaru HRC meeting on the 13th May 2018. 2. The penalty provisions that apply in this case are outlined in Rule 1004(7). 1004(7) Every person who commits a breach of sub-rule (2) or (3) shall be liable to: (a) a fine not exceeding $20,000; and/or (b) be disqualified or suspended from holding or obtaining a licence for any specific period not exceeding five years. 3. The rules also require the mandatory disqualification of the horse: Rule 1004(8) states: Any horse connected with a breach of sub-rule (1), (2), or (3) shall be disqualified from any race entered and/or liable to a period of disqualification not exceeding five years. Rule 1004D: Any horse which has been taken to a racecourse for the purpose of engaging in a race which is found to have administered to it or ingested by it any prohibited substance shall be disqualified from that race. 4. Sentencing Principles - The four principles of sentencing can be summarised briefly ● Penalties are designed to punish the offender for his / her wrongdoing. They are not retributive in the sense that the punishment is disproportionate to the offence, but the offender must be met with a punishment. ● In a racing context it is extremely important that a penalty has the effect of deterring others from committing like offences. ● A penalty should also reflect the disapproval of the J.C.A for the type of behaviour in question. ● The need to rehabilitate the offender should be taken into account. The first three principles are particularly important here. 5. Relevant Precedents – In addition to the sentencing principles the Judicial Committee should have regard to the following precedents: RIU v G RICHARDSON & G PARKER - 13 July 2018 Subject: One charge of presenting horses with Cobalt level over the threshold - $6,000 fine. Level of: 198 RIU v G DIXON - 10 April 2018 Subject: One charge of presenting horses with Cobalt level over the threshold - $6,500 fine. Level of: 293 RIU v R BROSNAN - 13 February 2018 Subject: Three charges of presenting horses with Cobalt levels over the threshold - $19,200 fine. Levels of: 143, 136, 522 RIU v C DALGETY – 16 May 2017 Subject: Five charges of presenting horses with Cobalt levels over the threshold - $32,000 fine. Levels of: 245, 300, 250, >600, 584, (prohibited level was 200mg/l). 6. Aggravating Features – Mr Hale has a vast knowledge of feeding and supplementation in horses as part of his employment has been for a company selling supplements. Mr Hale failed to read the ingredients in the multivitamin salt block and seek professional advice when introducing a new product into his horses’ feeding regime. It is clearly stated on the packaging that it contained cobalt and the amount. By using a block that horses have access to without monitoring how much they consume is risky. Feed supplements are better given in measured proportions so the trainer is aware of exactly how much is consumed. There has been much publicity and discussion about Cobalt in both Harness Racing and Thoroughbred Racing. All Licence Holders should be aware to check when using any new feed or supplements. Mr Hale is well aware of Cobalt being a prohibited substance under the Rules and how positive swabs can be as a result of feeding supplements as he is employed by Mr C Dalgety. 7. Mitigating Factors – Mr Hale admits full liability as the trainer and admitted the breach at the first opportunity and has cooperated fully throughout the investigation. The low level returned by the horse, 120mg/L. The prohibited level was dropped from 200mg/L to 100mg/L by HRNZ on 1 June 2017. Mr Hale has been training for over 30 years and has trained 31 winners and has never breached this rule before. 8. Conclusion – The Racing Integrity Unit seeks a penalty of a fine of $5,000. The JCA guidelines of 1st May 2015 detail a starting point of $8,000 for a first offence of presenting a horse with a drug in its system. This is Mr Hale’s first offence after many years of training. Mr Hale has to be given credit for the manner in which he has conducted himself during this enquiry and admitting the breach at the first opportunity however the onus is on trainers at all times to ensure that a horse in their care and control is completely drug free when presented at the races. We also seek the disqualification of MATAU GEM under Rule 1004(8). 9. The RIU are seeking costs of $77.63 for transcripts typed up as requested by Mr Hale. Respondents submissions on Penalty [7] Mr Hale gave lengthy submissions on Penalty as follows; He said that Mrs Williams is suggesting a fine of $5000 as penalty in his case, which he stated was very high compared to the four cases in the RIU’s Penalty submissions. The Richardson /Parker penalty of $6000 was with a reading of 198. He said his mare returned readings of 113 and 116 with the Australian Lab returning a reading of 120. He said, if you work out their fine per point, it calculates out to $61.22 per point. The Dickson case was a level of 293 and the fine being $6500 which works out to $33.67 per point. The Brosnan case, he said, worked out at $47.78 per point, with 3 positives and fine of $19,200. The Dalgety case with 5 positives and a $32,000 fine worked out to $46.48 per point. Mr Hale said that his highest reading was 120, only 10 over the 110 allowance, allowing for a margin of error. He said that if he was fined $5000, as suggested by the RIU, that would calculate out to $500 per point, which is 10 times higher per point than any of the penalties above. This, he said, seems very unfair. Mr Hale continued by stating a horse, on average, doing a bit of work like a show or race horse requires 60grams of salt per day. He said that each of these salt blocks have 2.5kgs in them which is 41 days of use by a horse. Mr Hale said he had no idea the horse was using that much of the salt block until after the positive when cleaning out the feed bins for all his horses. He spoke to Dominion Salt saying to them that a warning needed to be put on the packaging stating that if a horse over indulged in the salt block, a positive swab may follow. Mr Hale produced the packaging for the salt, mineral block which clearly stated its ingredients, one of them being Cobalt. Mr DeFilippi was called as a character witness and stated that this was not the first case where this has happened, and the only penalty imposed was loss of the stake, one being the S Walkinshaw case, 2 years ago. Mr DeFilippi stated that Mr Hale, in his opinion has done nothing wrong, he hasn’t made a mistake, he hasn’t been careless, he hasn’t slipped up, he has done nothing wrong. He has done nothing different to any other trainer in he country. He said that the salt block used was probably the most popular salt block on the market. Mr DeFilippi said he held Mr Hale in the highest regard and reiterated he had done no more with his horses in relation to the salt block than any other trainer in the country. Mrs Williams, in reply, stated that in that particular case, being the Walkinshaw case, the labelling on the packaging was incorrect and the amount was 100 times stronger than advertised on the box, a manufacturing error. She said in this case the mineral block sample was analysed and was analysed back with less cobalt than actually advertised on the box, so not manufacturer’s error. Mr Hale stated that he had found out how the salt blocks were produced which is in a 20-ton cycle. He said that the company had told him that no 2 x 20kg blocks are exactly the same, but are as humanly possible, using machinery to mix the ingredients. He said that if that was the case there was a possibility that the levels of cobalt could be at different levels, one may be at a level of 60 with another maybe a level of 80. Mr Hale stated that Cobalt stores up in a horse’s system and MATAU GEM could have been going through a lot more of the product due to her trialling and getting prepared to race. He said that after removing only the salt block from the mare’s preparation, her next reading was 2.1 which showed the salt block was probably the culprit. Mrs Williams added that the natural reading of cobalt in most horses is under 4. Mr Hale put forward a theory forward why his horse was over on the day. He said that the 2 sawdust urinals at Timaru were unusable as one was empty of sawdust with the other, the sawdust piled into a corner. He said his horses usually use the sawdust urinals on course once they arrive at the track. On this occasion MATAU GEM did not take advantage of the urinal and did not urinate prior to the race. This, he believed, concentrated the sample as normally this horse will urinate prior to it starting. In the swab box, he said, the mare gave only a strong, small sample but afterwards urinated heavily in the car park. Had the mare been able to urinate as she normally does in a horse urinal prior to starting, her reading on cobalt would have been lower, well under 100. Mr Hale objected to the RIU’s submission that he should have consulted a vet for advice in regard to the salt blocks due to the ingredients. Mr Hale also attempted to discuss another case where the trainer only got a warning for an elevated reading. He said that the RIU’s submission for a $5000 fine was ridiculous. He stated that he has already lost the owners stake, his percentages and did not charge training fees for the horse for 2 months while this case was being investigated. Mr Hale said he could not take a horse to the races for approximately 7 weeks while waiting for the tests on the salt blocks to come back. He said he is in a strange financial situation at the moment and here he is getting slammed possibly $5000 for a $3.50 salt block. Mr Hale said it has already cost him $3000 plus hundreds of toll calls and emails he has had to send and receive and costs to get the transcript of his interview. He said that he worked in the feed industry and this charge was an embarrassment to him, which could also cost him his job. Mr Hale produced 5 character references including a letter from Richard Turner, the vet who has been attending to Mr Hale’s horses over the past 2 years. Disqualification of the horse [8] Mrs Williams referred to Rule 1004D of the Rules of Harness Racing which provides: Any horse which has been taken to a racecourse for the purpose of engaging in a race which is found to have administered to it or ingested any prohibited substance shall be disqualified from the race. [9] Mrs Williams said that the place stake has not been paid out. Mrs Williams sought disqualification of MATAU GEM. [10] The Committee ordered that MATAU GEM be disqualified from Race 3, the Southfuels Bulk Fuel Specialists Mobile Pace, at the meeting of Timaru Harness racing Club held at Timaru on 13 May 2018, effective Monday 13 August 2018. As a consequence of the disqualification, the amended result for the Race is as follows: 1st - Firstjoy 2nd - With The Band 3rd - Reklaw’s Gem 4th - Trompeur 5th - She’s Outstanding 6th - Silent Shadow The Committee ordered that stakes for the Race be paid in accordance with that amended result. Reasons for Penalty [11] The relevant penalty Rule is Rule 1004 (7) which provides: Every person who commits a breach of sub-rule (2) or (3) shall be liable to: (a) a fine not exceeding $20,000.00; and/or (b) be disqualified or suspended from holding or obtaining a licence for any specific period not exceeding five years. [12] The principal mitigating factors, to which the Committee has had regard in determining penalty, are Mr Hale’s early admission of the breach, his full cooperation and the way in which he has conducted himself throughout the enquiry. In addition, Mr Hale’s record in regard to this rule is excellent with this breach being his first, in over 30 years of training. [13] We find that Mr Hale’s character is not in question here and the support of other industry participants, including Mr DeFilippi, provided glowing oral and written references which this Committee have also taken into consideration. [14] Against those factors is the ever-present need to maintain the integrity of and public confidence in harness racing by adequately punishing the breach and deterring others from offending in a similar manner in the future. [15] Mr Hale’s submissions on what happened to MATAU GEM by over indulgence of the Mineral Salt Block, on the balance of probabilities, seems to be the only logical explanation for this positive result. However, it will probably never be established, to the degree of certainty required, that the Mineral Block was the culprit. [16] The Informant has not alleged that Mr Hale had deliberately administered the prohibited substance to MATAU GEM and the Committee has no basis for any finding that he did so. [17] Nevertheless, the Committee finds that Mr Hale was negligent to a degree in a number of respects, as submitted by Mrs Williams. Mr Hale has a vast knowledge of feeding and supplementation in horses as part of his employment. With this vast knowledge we find it implausible that he was not more vigilant with the supplements being given to his horses. We find that he was negligent to a degree in failing to read the ingredients on the packaging for the Mineral Salt Block where it clearly shows that it contains among other ingredients, Cobalt. By using a Mineral Block that horses have literally unlimited access to with a product that includes a prohibited substance, even at low levels, is risky to say the least. We have concluded that the above are aggravating factors to be taken into consideration. [18] The JCA Penalty Guide provides a starting point for a first breach of this rule with an $8,000 fine. We determined that this starting point of $8000 would be for a mid-range breach of the rule. This particular case, we concluded, was low range with the positive reading of Cobalt being 120, just over the limit. After consideration we adopted a starting point of $6000 for this breach. Whilst we have found there are some aspects of Mr Hale’s actions, are to a degree negligent, the need for an uplift for aggravating factors, we determined was not warranted. There are however, strong mitigating factors worthy of consideration, being Mr Hale’s early admission of the breach, his full cooperation throughout the investigation, in conjunction with his excellent record over the past 30 years and the high regard he holds within the industry as evidenced by his character references. For these factors, Mr Hale is deserved of a combined discount which we determined would be at 25%. This discount we set at $1500. [19] Having regard to all of the matters referred to above, the Committee is satisfied that a fine of $4,500 is an appropriate penalty in this case. We believe that such a penalty will satisfy the principal requirements of sentencing – that is to say, to punish the offender, to deter others in the industry and the need to maintain integrity and public confidence in harness racing. Penalty [20] Mr Hale is fined the sum of $4,500. Costs [21] Mrs Williams did seek the award of costs in favour of the Racing Integrity Unit being the cost of transcripts as requested by Mr Hales being $77.63, which is so awarded. [22] As this hearing was heard at a race meeting there was no order for costs to the JCA. SC Ching Chair   Harnesslink Media

Welcome to the Harness Half Hour podcast brought to you by HRNZ marketing. Jess Smith brings the latest harness racing news and interviews with colorful and interesting industry participants from New Zealand and around the world.   Jess Smith

MILTON, ON - August 20, 2018 - The deadline for supplements to this year's Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot was Monday morning and the Woodbine Race Office received payments from the connections of Lazarus N and Dancer Hall. A $40,000 payment was required to supplement to the Canadian Pacing Derby or Maple Leaf Trot. "The Wonder from Down Under" Lazarus N will be making his second start on North American soil in the Canadian Pacing Derby. The six-year-old stallion won his U.S. debut on August 10 at Hoosier Park in the $325,000 Dan Patch. Earlier this year, Lazarus N was purchased by Taylor Made Stallion and brought to North America with eyes on the top races for older pacers and a potential World Record. The son of Bettors Delight, out of Christian Cullen mare Bethany, dominated the racing scene Down Under, winning 35 of 45 starts and earning $2.6 million prior to being purchased. Lazarus N races for Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. Dancer Hall has been a breakout star this season at Woodbine Mohawk Park and now the four-year-old will get the opportunity to take on the sport's best in the Maple Leaf Trot. A son of Deweycheatumnhowe, Dancer Hall has won seven of his last 10 starts heading into the Maple Leaf Trot. His most recent victory was 4 3/4 lengths score in the $75,000 Earl Rowe Invitational on Sunday evening at Georgian Downs. The Paul Reid trainee has been starring in the Woodbine Preferred this summer, having posted four wins and three runner-up finishes in seven Preferred starts. Dancer Hall is eight for 13 this season with $173,500 earned for owners 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa. His career numbers currently sit at 16 wins and $273,150 earned. Entries for this year's Canadian Pacing Derby and Maple Leaf Trot are due Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. If necessary, eliminations for both events will be contested this Saturday (August 25) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

Harness racing superstars Poster Boy and Ignatius put on a spectacle in the 3yo Breeders Crown 2nd semi final at Bendigo last night, with only half a neck separating the pair at the end of a record run 2150m.  At the finish Poster Boy after leading up the three wide line over the last lap narrowly edged out a game Ignatius who was forced to sit parked for the entire journey in a sizzling 1-54.2 mile rate. Both horses have drawn the second line in the final of the Breeders Crown series to be run this coming Saturday night, adding even more intrigue into an already fascinating end of series decider for the 3yo pacing colts and geldings.   See the barrier draws below for all divisions courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria. 2YO Trotting Fillies 2YO Trotting Colts And Geldings 3YO Trotting Fillies 3YO Trotting Colts And Geldings 2YO Pacing Fillies 2YO Pacing Colts And Geldings 3YO Pacing Fillies 3YO Pacing Colts And Geldings

With partners Braeden and Caroline Whitelock otherwise occupied at a rugby ground in Sydney, Phil Creighton made a lightning return trip to  Melbourne on Saturday to witness Princess Tiffany score an impressive win in her Breeder's Crown semi-final. He was pleased to hear Mark tell him everything was on schedule for the final next weekend and thrilled when Mark told an interviewer after the race he doubted he had had a better juvenile filly than Princess Tiffany, now unbeaten in eight starts and an emphatic favourite for the BC Final after an authority-stamping end to end victory home in 27.1 "Mark said to me the draw was a wee bit of a worry and he might try for the front rather than end up parked and it worked out well" said Phil who bred the filly's dam, big winner Dancing Diamonds with Stu Gillan and raced her with the Whitelocks. An earlier foal of the mare, Rock Diamonds, bred by the Whitelocks is a good winner in Perth. "I thought I should make the effort to go and see the semi. She is a very special filly. You  love to watch your own horses even if you have to make the effort and Mark's words made it worthwhile. He has had some very smart juvenile fillies, like Dream About Me and many more" Phil, who also races Ultimate Machete a G1 winner in Australia this season,  has since lost Asabella the dam of Dancing Diamonds whose two previous foals had been smart pacer Code Red and the high class pacer Ohoka's Bondy. Phil and wife Margaret have recently cut back on their commercial breeding interests but Princess Tiffany will be claiming a lot of his attention for some time.   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables   View the video here!   2 5:34pm ALWAYS B MIKI ALABAR BREEDERS CROWN SERIES 21 (2YO FILLIES) (1ST SEMI-FINAL) 2150M $20,000 2YO Fillies. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 OUR PRINCESS TIFFANY NZ      Fr4 4 Mark Purdon Mark Purdon   $ 1.50 fav  PRS GS L 1 SWAB   BAY FILLY 2 by ART MAJOR USA out of DANCING DIAMONDS (NZ) (BETTORS DELIGHT USA)  Owner(s): B J Whitelock, C J Whitelock, P J Creighton, M C Creighton  Breeder(s): B J Whitelock, C J Whitelock 2 KUALOA      Fr3 3 Emma Stewart Chris Alford 5.70 $ 3.00   RRAS LCD B LCRT 4 3 SWIMSUIT EDITION      Fr1 1 Emma Stewart Mark Pitt 11.30 $ 11.10   RRAS WI 2 4 ENCHANTED STRIDE      Fr7 7 David Miles David Miles 14.10 $ 33.00   PRS GS INC 6 5 LARAJAY MACRAY      Sr1 8 Jess Tubbs Greg Sugars 17.70 $ 35.30   5 RR SHO 6 MY GIRL PEARL      Fr2 2 Ahmed Taiba Monique Burnett 17.90 $ 76.70   GS 3 7 MY ANNA RANI      Fr5 5 Roy Roots Jnr Kima Frenning 19.90 $ 79.80   RES 8 8 ROSIE SAMBROSIE      Fr6 6 Chris Svanosio Chris Svanosio 35.10 $ 150.00   RAS 9 9 ILLAWONG ASTRO      Sr2 9 Jodi Quinlan Craig Demmler 61.60 $ 215.00   7 TIRE NAT Scratchings   NO WIN NO FEED 10 Track Rating: GOOD Gross Time: 2:39:2 Mile Rate: 1:59:1 Lead Time: 39.5 First Quarter: 32.5 Second Quarter: 31.6 Third Quarter: 28.4 Fourth Quarter: 27.2 Margins: 5.7m x 5.6m  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, August 16, 2018-When driver changes were finalized for Yonkers Raceway's Saturday night (Aug. 18th) program, one name stood out amongst the rank of file. The 10-time New Zealand premiership driving champion finds himself with a pair of escorts, Pointomygranson (post position No. 3) for trainer Chris Ryder in the $23,000, third-race pace, and Quick Asa Trick N (post No. 7), trained by Darran Cassar, in the $23,000, ninth-race pace. Down Under connections are obvious, with Ryder a Kiwi and Cassar from Australia. Dunn, who turns 29 next month, won the 2015 World Driving Championship, held in Australia. He visited Yonkers-going 0-for-4-when the biennial event was stateside four years earlier. Dunn last drove in North America in 2017 as Canada hosted the competition. After some pesky passport issues, Dunn arrived in New Jersey, with Ryder serving as 'point man' for the excursion. "It's a three-year visa, but I don't have a return (to New Zealand) date," Dunn said, adding, "There's no plan. I'm just going to see how it works out." "When Pointomygranson wins off the screen, everyone is going to see how good Dexter is," Ryder said...without guaranteeing that result. Asked to describe his compatriot, Ryder was effusive. "He's just the right guy for the job, young but with a lot of experience. I've seen him get results from good horses and difficult ones. "The (driving) style between here and New Zealand is not as different as it used to be," Ryder said. "New Zealand racing his improved, so it's always about getting into the right position." The bulk of Dunn's Down Under small-track experience has been over three-turn, five-eighths-mile ovals, so Westchester's 'rustic' half-mile figures to provide a different challenge. "There are a lot of good drivers here, but I think he can adapt as well as anyone can," Ryder said. Dunn's lasting Yonkers Raceway impression from his first go-round? "Eight-holes stink." The guy's a quick study. Post time for Saturday's dozen-race card is the usual 6:50 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

Gavin Smith is hoping his patience pays off at Addington tonight. What Smith has done with stable star Great Things Happen and what he would liked to have done with him are two very different things. What he has done is craft a short but sometimes spectacular career, punctuated by breathtaking wins in races such as last season's NZ Free-For-All at Addington. On days like that Great Things Happen looks the equal of any trotter in Australasia outside of Monbet but when he resumes as a seven-year-old at Addington tonight it will be just his 32nd start. Which is not what Smith has wanted. He would relish a 12-14 start season, taking on the numerous group one opportunities for the open class trotters. He hopes that finally comes true this season. "That would be great, to be able to race him for a full season," says Smith. "But it just hasn't worked out that way. Last season, he had a recurring problem with a quarter crack and I thought I could keep patching it up and having half seasons with him or give him the whole six months off and start again. So I put the horse first and missed a lot of big races last season. But his feet are now great." They have looked that way in recent trials when Great Things Happen has dominated in the style of a fresh-up winner in what looks a perfect race tonight. "He obviously isn't at his peak and is still pretty round but he should still win," says Smith. "Then he can have another race and we will give him a short break, get ready for Cup week and start thinking about things like the Inter Dominion and all the big races later in the season. "But it is great to have a horse like him back." Although the domestic harness scene lacks any other stars this weekend, Harness Jewels winners Princess Tiffany and Another Masterpiece take on Aussie's best in semifinals of the Breeders Crown at Bendigo on Saturday night. Trainer Mark Purdon is thrilled with both horses but slightly concerned by their barrier draws, particularly the second line marble for Another Masterpiece.   Michael Guerin

Here are the 2017/18 NZB Standardbred Harness Racing New Zealand Annual Award Contenders PACERS 2YO Colts & Geldings A BETTOR ACT ANOTHER MASTERPIECE JESSE DUKE WAR DAN DELIGHT 3YO Colts & Geldings CHASE AUCKLAND PAT’S DELIGHT SHERIFF SICARIO 4YO Entires & Geldings A G’S WHITE SOCKS EAMON MAGUIRE JACK’S LEGEND STAR GALLERIA ULTIMATE MACHETE VINCENT (AUS) 5YO+ Entires & Geldings ALTA ORLANDO HEAVEN ROCKS LAZARUS TITAN BANNER 2YO Fillies DRACARYS HAVTIME KAYLA MARIE PRINCESS TIFFANY 3YO Fillies BETTOR JOY DIBABA ELLE MAC SHEZ ALL ROCK SOCIABLE 4YO Mares BONNIE JOAN DELISHKA OPOUTAMA PARTYON UTMOST DELIGHT 5YO+ Mares AMERICAN TART BETTER B AMAZED DREAM ABOUT ME JO’S DREAM TROTTERS 2YO Colts & Geldings ENHANCE YOUR CALM FULL NOISE ONE APOLLO OSCAR BONAVENA 3YO Colts & Geldings MAJESTIC MAN SUNDEES SON VALLORIA WINTERFELL 4YO Entires & Geldings ENGHIEN HABIBI INTA IZMOK MASSIVE METRO 5YO+ Entires & Geldings AMARETTO SUN GREAT THINGS HAPPEN LEMOND SPEEDING SPUR TEMPORALE 2YO Fillies CHEERFUL SHE REIGNS SUNNY’S LITTLE JESTIC TICKLE ME PINK 3YO Fillies LUBY LOU MONARO MIA RENEZMAE SHOW GAIT 4YO Mares BONNIE HIGHLANDER MADISON JANE MYSTICAL STAR PRES THE BELLE RUTHLESS KAYLA 5YO+ Mares DESTINY JONES HARRIET OF MOT MAJESTIC ALI SUNSET PEAK OTHER AWARDS Pacing Broodmare BETHANY DANCING DIAMONDS GOODLOOKINGGIRL Trotting Broodmare DELLA'S SPEED TEN TO ONE WHOSINTHENEST Pacing Stallion ART MAJOR BETTOR'S DELIGHT MACH THREE Trotting Stallion LOVE YOU MAJESTIC SON SUNDON Owner of the Year TREVOR CASEY JEAN FEISS PHILLIP & GLENYS KENNARD Breeder of the Year BRECKON FARMS BRAEDEN & CAROLINE WHITELOCK WOODLANDS STUD   HRNZ

The death occurred in early March, after a long illness, of D.R.  (Royce) Cleal. Royce trained and drove many horses in a long career notching up many winners from a limited number of drives each season. His first win was with Star Raider at the Hokitika races in 1955. He trained Intercede (Smokey Hanover-Caprice) for Digger Hartigan and Peter Phibbs. She was the winner of four races before being sold to America. Black Pan (Jerry Adios -Garrison Lady ) won four races as did  Braeburn (Brahman -Direct Approach.) He had a great day at Methven in February 1979 when he reined in two winners. The first was behind Greymouth’s Len and Rosie Goodall trained Karleda Maid (Port Boxer-Viva Lady) who paid $34 for a win. In the next leg of the treble he drove the Westport Wonder, Canny Tina (Canny Scott-New Tina) to victory. She was trained at Westport by Paddy O’Toole and paid $31.  Thurber’s Command won the last leg of the treble but there were no live tickets on him so the treble pool ($92,000) was shared by the two ticket holders on the second horse. One was Bob Dayne from Greymouth and the other was Royce’s brother-in-law, Max Walsh. Max and Royce headed to the Yearling sales with the winnings (well some of them) and purchased an H.T Luca –Sly Imp yearling filly they named Lady Luca. Royce trained and drove Lady Luca throughout her career for Max and wife Jeanette. She only had 32 starts for 3 wins, 7 seconds and three thirds. Lady Luca ran second in the 1982 Westport Cup to the well performed Ansett (her next start was in the NZ Breeders Cup in which she finished 5th to Bonnies Chance and Armalight.) The winning margin for Ansett was half a head with four lengths back to the third horse. Royce drove many horses for local trainers and among the ones he reined home first were: Stoney Cold for K.J. Beveridge, Omanu and Neveles Own for FP Higgins, King Turk for T.A. Craddock, Rosewood Lady for C.R. Woodcock, and Ailsa Hanover for W.N Forsyth. With limited opportunities he was chosen as a reserve for the Drivers’ Championship in 1980. The other reserve drivers were Pat O’Reilly, Kevin Townley and Trevor Thomas so he was in pretty good company. Royce drove well over seventy winners from limited opportunities with his final winner being at Nelson at the ripe old age of 69. Today his nephew, Trevor Walsh carries on the family tradition training at Patterson Park and driving on race days.   Courtesy of Dan Moloney Westport Trotting Club  

There are just the three meetings programmed in again this week so we are in the quietest stretch of the new season for harness racing in New Zealand. Several of our regular contributors are also away on holiday during this time so the ringaround page is a bit smaller than normal over this period.  Waikato Bay Of Plenty host a meeting tonight at Cambridge raceway, while the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club hold their Mid August racenight at Addington Raceway on Friday night Kurow host their annual meeting at Oamaru on Sunday. Last week the biggest winning dividend in the ringaround selections went to Tony Herlihy who thought Red Reactor would be hard to beat last Friday night. Red Reactor did win and paid $6.20 and $2.30 on the tote.  Note: We will keep adding to this page if more tips come in after the deadline, so check back often   Cambridge on Thursday night John Curtin - John thinks that Just Wing It would be a winning chance at Cambridge in Race 3 Andre Poutama - Andre says his best drive would be Royal Lincoln at Cambridge in Race 5 Jay Abernethy - Jay is going for The Hulk as his best chance this week at Cambridge in Race 6 Todd Macfarlane - Todd says his best drive is probably Rise To Success at Cambridge in Race 8   Addington on Friday night Stephen Richardson (Odds Analyst) - Stephen thinks Gran Chico can go close to winning Race 4 Ricky May -  Ricky thinks his best drive would be Kingslayer at Addington in Race 6 Harnesslink Reporter - says Beau Vista can go close to winning at Addington in Race 8 Mark Jones - Mark is going for Robyn's Gem as his best chance this week at Addington in Race 10   Oamaru on Sunday Matthew Williamson - Matthew thinks that Rydgemont Son might be his best drive this week in Race 1 Blair Orange - Blair is going for Change The Print as his best drive this week at Oamaru in Race 3 Racechat - Lance thinks that Fancy Schmancy is a good winning chance at Oamaru in Race 4 Brad Williamson - Brad says his best drive this week could be Jen Jaccka in Race 6     Harnesslink Media

The recently named Southland Horse of the Year Duke of Wellington is back in work at Lauren Pearson’s Winton stable. Now owned by the Butterworth Racing Syndicate, the four year old gelding has been lodging at Diane Cournane’s property (Pearson’s aunt) since winning the Alabar Group Two Southern Supremacy Stakes on the 29th April. “He’s just back to be jogged up for Merv and then he’ll go elsewhere I suppose. I’m not too sure where he’s going after that. He’s come back in real good order, didn’t get too fat and he’s still got a shine on his coat so he looks real good. The break did him the world of good,” Pearson said. She’s resigned to the fact that her star will only be here for a short time but she’s pleased to have been a part of his early four year old preparation. “It’s great having a nice horse in your stable to make you get up and out on the cold mornings.” Pearson says the Duke of Wellington is also pleased to be back. “He went straight back into his old box down in the back paddock. He’s still lazy as on the track but he’s bucking around and playing in the paddock.” The American Ideal gelding qualified at Ascot Park in late October and in ten starts won five races and was placed another four times. He won his last four starts in a row including the Supremacy. “That was his first season (last season) because he didn’t do anything as a two year old. To do what he did on one prep was a hell of a good feat.” Pearson and partner Brent Barclay are jogging up three Butterworth horses; Governor’s Bay, Zealand Star and Duke Of Wellington. All horses have been in work since the 24th July and will have six weeks jogging. “He’ll (Merv Butterworth) give us a yodel and tell us what’s happening after that.” Pearson says Governor’s Bay has been well looked after since being turned out. “He’s in really good condition and has got a lot to fall back on. Hopefully he does a good job for Merv.” Governor's Bay                           - Photo Bruce Stewart He was owned by George Bennett, Paula Holmes and Peter and Ann Bagrie and won two races for Tom Bagrie before he was bought by Merv and Meg Butterworth. He had one start at the end of his four year old season for Brett Gray’s stable, running seventh in the fast run 2400 metre mobile event at Winton on 14th April. He was turned out after that. Pearson, after a two week holiday in Cairns and Townsville has most her team back in work, including promising trotter Super Fast Pat. “When he gets his mind on the job he’ll earn his keep. The motor’s there and he’s got a lot of ability. He hates the grit so that’s the main problem with him.”   Bruce Stewart Souhtland Harness Racing

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Alexandra Park has officially announced its Christmas At The Races hospitality evenings, with eight dates confirmed for November and December.  2018’s Christmas At The Races will take place on Fridays 16, 23 and 30 November and 7, 14, and 21 December as well as Saturday 8 and 15 December. “Christmas at the Races is one of our most popular events of the year. If you’re looking for a fantastic and easy to organise Christmas party with delicious food, stunning décor, great entertainment, and an all-round fun night out for everyone then this is it,” says Roxanne Visser, Sales & Events Coordinator at Alexandra Park. Alexandra Park’s advertising campaign this year reminds people that ‘It’s never too early…’ In fact, tickets are already selling fast, with some rooms on some nights already sold out or close to it!  “These incredibly popular evenings make for the perfect work Christmas party. With just four months until Christmas, we’re encouraging people, businesses and organisations not to sit back but make that booking now,” she says. Alexandra Park is renowned for delivering delicious dining packages and exciting harness racing under lights. Then after the last race, everyone gets together at The Alex Bar & Eatery to enjoy live entertainment. “Not only are we providing eight dates to choose from, including two Saturdays, but we’re giving people plenty of options when it comes to location, the type of hospitality package, and cost. However, regardless of the hospitality package people decide, everyone gets to enjoy a sumptuous Christmas-style buffet. “We’ve got Holly packages available from $70 per person, Mistletoe packages at $115, and Pohutukawa packages in our stunning level five venue, Top of the Park, from $165 per person which includes our premium buffet, a premium drinks package and of course the best view at Alexandra Park,” says Ms Visser. For further information on Christmas At The Races or to reserve your table please call (09) 631-1165, email dining@alexandrapark.co.nz or visit www.alexandrapark.co.nz. Alexandra Park’s internationally-themed cuisine race nights continue with Thai Night on Friday 14 September where two return air tickets to Thailand will be won thanks to Thai Airways. Italian Night is on 21 September and Tropical Nights At The Races will take place on 13 and 27 October.   Cameron Brewer
MILTON, ON - August 21, 2018 - The Canadian debut of Lazarus N will have to wait until Saturday, September 1 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The entry box for this year's Canadian Pacing Derby closed Tuesday morning with 10 older pacers entered, meaning eliminations will not be necessary this weekend. The star-studded group of 10 advance directly to the $600,000 final on September 1. 'The Wonder from Down Under' Lazarus N headlines the field for this year's Pacing Derby. The New Zealand-bred superstar will be making his second start on North American soil in Canada's oldest harness racing event. A six-year-old, Lazarus N was purchased earlier this year by Taylor Made Stallions and brought to North America to race for trainer Jimmy Takter. The son of Bettors Delight exited the Down Under racing scene with 35 wins in 45 starts, over $2.6 million in earnings and numerous awards. Lazarus N won his North American debut on August 10 at Hoosier Park in the Dan Patch. While all eyes will be locked on Lazarus N in the Canadian Pacing Derby, the other nine pacers are well-accomplished and will be looking to spoil the party. Casie Coleman trainee McWicked has been cleaning up in the older pacer division and enters the Pacing Derby with six wins and over $672,000 earned in 10 starts. The seven-year-old champion recently surpassed $3 million in career earnings for owner S S G Stables. McWicked will be competing in his third Canadian Pacing Derby final. His best finish was a third in last year's event. Dave Menary trainee Sintra is back to defend his Pacing Derby title. The five-year-old gelding is just one for eight this season, but his lone victory did come in the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup on Pepsi North America Cup night. Sintra is currently $964 shy of $1 million in career earnings for owners Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Menary Racing Inc. His win in last year's Pacing Derby is currently the richest victory of his career. Always loaded with talent, trainer Ron Burke, harness racing's all-time leading trainer, will send out a trio of starters in the Canadian Pacing Derby. Burke's triple-threat for the $600,000 event consists of All Bets Off (29 wins, $3.1 million), Filibuster Hanover (12 wins, $1.2 million) and Rockin Ron (33 wins, $1.5 million). All Bets Off will be racing in his fourth-consecutive Canadian Pacing Derby. The seven-year-old has finished fourth in each of the past two editions. Rockin Ron will be seeking redemption in this year's Pacing Derby. The five-year-old won his elimination last year before surrounding the lead in deep stretch and finishing second in the final. This year's Canadian Pacing Derby also includes Dr J Hanover, the fastest horse in Canadian harness racing history. The Tony Alagna trained five-year-old set the Canadian record of 1:46.4 last June at Mohawk Park. Dr J Hanover has enjoyed recent success at the Milton oval, having posted two Preferred victories since July 28. Mohawk Park fan-favourite Nirvana Seelster is entered to race in his fourth-consecutive Canadian Pacing Derby. The Bill Budd trained seven-year-old finished fourth in last year's final and enters this year's edition just over $6,000 away from millionaire status. Split The House, last year's Breeders Crown champion, will be making his Pacing Derby debut. The Chris Oakes trained six-year-old is a 13-time winner with more than $760,000 in career earnings. The field of 10 is completed by Western Fame, the second entrant from the Takter barn. The winner of more than $925,000 lifetime comes into the Pacing Derby off a 1:48.4 upset victory in last Sunday's Roll With Joe Stakes at Tioga Downs. Western Fame may not receive the bright lights like stablemate Lazarus, but the five-year-old has quietly scored five victories and earned nearly $200,000 this season. The field of 10 for this year's Canadian Pacing Derby has combined for 241 wins and $16,277,077 in earnings. The $600,000 Canadian Pacing Derby joins the $651,000 Maple Leaf Trot for a stacked card on Saturday, September 1. Post time is 7:10 p.m. Here is the full field for the Canadian Pacing Derby in alphabetical order. All Bets Off Dr J Hanover Filibuster Hanover Lazarus N McWicked Nirvana Seelster Rockin Ron Sintra Split The House Western Fame by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications
Dexter Dunn is only 28 years old, but his accomplishments as a harness racing driver belie his age. The New Zealand native, who arrived in the U.S. last week to spend the next several weeks (at least) competing in North America, won his first race a dozen years ago and has continued to accumulate victories at a record pace in his homeland. A native of Christchurch, Dunn led New Zealand's premiership in wins for 10 consecutive years from 2008 through 2017. During that span, he won at least 200 races on six occasions and twice finished with 199. He was the only New Zealand driver to win at least 200 races in a season prior to this year, when he saw his record of 229 victories toppled by friend Blair Orange. Orange finished 2017-18 with 232 wins, followed by Dunn with 213. Dunn already ranks fifth in New Zealand history with 2,225 wins. Tony Herlihy is No. 1 with 3,456. Dunn was the youngest driver to both 1,000 and 2,000 wins, and the youngest, at the age of 18, to win a Group 1 race in New Zealand. In 2015, Dunn represented his country in the World Driving Championship and drove off with the trophy. Harness racing is a family affair for the Dunns. Dexter's father, Robert, is among the top trainers in wins in New Zealand history, with 1,374, and last year set a career high for purses with $1.37 million while finishing second in victories in the premiership. Dexter's brother, John, also is an accomplished driver, with nearly 1,000 wins. He has finished in the premiership's top five each of the past six seasons. Dunn was invited to drive in the U.S. this summer by trainer Chris Ryder, a longtime family friend. Dunn drove in the States in 2011 as part of an extended visit that included participating in the U.S.-hosted World Driving Championship and in Canada in 2017, again in the WDC. He finished fourth both times. For his career in North America, Dunn has won nine of 141 races and $174,266 in purses. So far this visit, Dunn has raced at Yonkers and Harrah's Philadelphia. He drives again tonight at Yonkers and tomorrow at Philly. Dunn spoke recently with Ken Weingartner, the media relations manager for the U.S. Trotting Association, about his career, proudest moments, visiting the U.S. last year to play rugby, and another recent Stateside arrival, New Zealand-bred champion pacer Lazarus. KW: Your dad is an accomplished horseman, so how old were you when you started working with the horses? DD: When I was young, my dad stopped training for about four or five years, probably when I was about (ages) 6 to 11. So in that period, I really had nothing to do with horses. Then he started training again when I was about 11. When he first started back, he just had a couple horses. He got me out of school one day because he needed me to go with him to the beach, he was taking them to the beach, to work the horses. From that day on, I was back into it. From then on it was just horses, horses, horses. KW: Working the horses on the beach has to be pretty cool. DD: Yeah, it's nice. I think the horses enjoy it too. It's good for them. They walk in the water afterwards. KW: Is this what you've wanted to do from then on? DD: It gets in your blood. Once you get attached to horses it's pretty hard to get away from it. I left school when I was 16. We took some horses to Auckland for six weeks from Christchurch and then I got a job in Australia for three months and ended up staying there for another year. KW: How old were you when you started driving? DD: I was 17. My first win was in Australia. I spent six months driving over there and then came home. KW: Have you ever had another job? DD: I was a milk boy when I was a kid. (Laughs.) I would jump off the truck and deliver the milk bottles to the door. It was good after-school money. KW: What made you decide to come to the U.S. now? DD: I spent three months here seven years ago. The World Driving Championship was here and I came over two months before. I really enjoyed it. It's always been on my mind, but you get back home and you're busy most of the year and in your routine. Chris went home a few months ago for his niece's wedding and we started talking about it again. I woke up one day, I was on my way to qualifiers, and I decided I was going to come over. That was it. Why not? I'm not getting any younger. If I'm going to do it, now is probably the right time. KW: What is your plan? DD: I've got no set plan. I'll see how it goes. I want to do a little bit of looking around too. Like, I've never been to the Little Brown Jug. Whether I'm driving or not, I want to go and have a look at it. I want to work and do the driving, but it's a little bit of a break from racing at home too. There's no set plan when I'm going back. If I go home, it would probably have to be in mid-October. We'll see how things go. KW: Would you stay for the Breeders Crown? That's not until the end of October. DD: If I'm here until the Breeders Crown, I'm probably not going home. Our big meeting, we have New Zealand Cup Week, and that's the second week of November. That's our biggest week of the year, really. If I'm at the Breeders Crown, I'm missing Cup time. I'm pretty lucky. I've got all my supporters at home and then I come over here and Chris and (his wife) Nicola are looking after me, putting me on horses. It's a pretty lucky situation. Real lucky. KW: You've come over here, and I'm sure you want to show people what you can do, so is it difficult to be patient and not want to over-drive horses or anything like that? DD: It's probably a little bit hard, I think. You just have to let things happen. It's probably hard because I sort of haven't come over here unnoticed. But I don't worry too much about things like that. I try not to put too much pressure on myself; it's not the way I am. I knew coming over here it wasn't going to be easy. You can't come over and just expect to be driving good ones. But I was looking forward to it. I'm really looking forward to a new challenge, something different. You have the same routine day in and day out and this is almost like starting again. KW: What is the biggest challenge? DD: Knowing the horses. You have to study up. You can read the lines, but you don't really know much about the horses or the competition. You have to pick up on it pretty quick. But everyone over here is really good, they look after you. KW: Will you do more studying? DD: I've always been quite keen on studying the fields, but I'll probably do more. At home I know all the horses, so I could probably do a field a lot quicker than I could here. KW: Is the driving style here a lot different than home? DD: It's different, but the gap has closed a lot. Our racing at home, the times are just dropping readily. It's kind of that up-front tempo. It's hard to come from the back now. You used to be able to come from last and win a race, but now it's changed a lot. KW: How would you describe yourself as a driver? DD: It's hard to say. It's really horses for courses, I guess. Competitive is probably the top one. KW: Do you turn the page quickly or carry things with you? DD: When I was younger I was really hard on myself. I'd go home and think about a bad race and it would worry me. But over the years, it's completely gone. I think if you can't turn the page it's bad. The minute you scuff up, you know and everyone else knows, so you just turn the page and move on to the next race. You win the next one and it's forgotten about. KW: What are you most looking forward to over here? DD: The challenge. And I know a lot of people, I've met a lot of people over here from over the years, so it will be good to catch up with them. I just want to have a good time. KW: With all you've accomplished so far in your career, what are you most proud of? DD: I think my biggest achievement was in 2009. I won the Canterbury Sportsman of the Year. I beat a fella named Richie McCaw. He was the All Blacks (national team) captain for two World Cup wins. Probably on the top of the list of New Zealand heroes, he's it for playing rugby. He's a hero to me. To beat him in that was pretty special. Winning the World Driving Championship was cool too. That's right up there as well. KW: What do you most enjoy about the sport? DD: The people. I love the people. I've driven in six different countries now and everywhere you go you meet great people. You really do. I'd never had met these people in any other job. I probably wouldn't have gotten out of New Zealand. And then winning, of course. KW: Was it tough to see your record for wins (in a season) broken? DD: No. (Blair Orange) is one of my closest mates. It's OK. Change is good. I didn't mind. KW: Growing up, did you play other sports? DD: I played rugby my whole life. I was still playing last year. My team, the West Melton Warthogs, went to Aspen, Colorado, in September of last year and played in a rugby tournament there (Aspen Ruggerfest). That was really cool. That was probably the experience of a lifetime, going there and playing. And Aspen is a beautiful place. It's good to play rugby. It's a different group of people and you can get away from horses and horse talk for that little period of time. It's good to freshen up. I didn't play this year because I was busy. My body doesn't like it much when I play. You always wake up on a Sunday morning, it's a good hurt, but it's sore. Your body doesn't bounce back like it does when you're a teenager. KW: Well, it's great for us to see you come over here and drive. First Lazarus arrives, and now you. DD: I'm sure Lazarus will make more of an impression over here than I will. He's an awesome horse. I had to race against him a bunch of times, which stunk because he was so good. He was always so hard to get past. You might think you had him beat at the top of the stretch, but by the end of it he'd get away from you again. I don't think he's ever lost when he's been in front in his whole career. He is a champion horse. KW: Did you ever drive him? DD: No. I got to pet him once. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA
Harness racing trainer Brett Edwards has forfeited more than $36,000 in cash seized in a raid by the armed defenders squad in 2013. The cash forfeited was part of the $72,000 the Ministry for Primary Industries seized in September of 2013 in an investigation dubbed "Operation Partridge", for a suspected fraud of the fish quota system. Edwards claimed $26,000 of the the cash was from having $1000 at $20.00(win) and $1000 at $6.00 (place) on a race horse he trained called Dauntless and the rest came from a returned house deposit and from selling golf balls and firewood. Edwards was sentenced to five months community detention and 100 hours community work after admitting his guilt to some of the charges in the investigation. For more detail in this case read the two linked reports by Phil Taylor in the NZ Herald. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12095828 https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12106669 Harnesslink Media  
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