Day At The Track
Chicago Bull,Harness racing

Chicago Bull jumping out of his skin

Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr is bubbling with confidence about Chicago Bull’s winning prospects in the $50,000 J P Stratton Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night, declaring that the pacing superstar is at his peak for another clash with rising star Shockwave. “Chicago Bull has been jumping out of his skin since his win in the Navy Cup,” Hall said. Chicago Bull was at his awesome best in the Navy Cup last Friday week when he raced outside the pacemaker Galactic Star before careering away to win effortlessly from Bletchley Park at a 1.53.7 rate over 2130m  a week after finishing a half-head second to Shockwave in the 2536m Brennan Memorial. This week Chicago Bull will start from the No. 4 barrier on the front line, with Shockwave at barrier two on the back line. “Shockwave went super last week and I’m glad we’ve got the draw advantage over him this week,” said Hall. “It’s hard not to be confident about Chicago Bull’s chances this week after his latest start. And there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be going as good again. So, I’m pretty confident. “It will be a good race and the early plan will be to go forward (at the start). I reckon The Bird Dance from barrier one should be able to hold the others in the early stages and then you would imagine that he would be happy to sit on Chicago Bull. If The Bird Dance tries to hold out Chicago Bull, it would be detrimental (to his prospects).” Chicago Bull should notch his 56TH victory and give the Hall of Fame father and son combination of Gary Hall senior and junior their fifth win in the Stratton Cup after scoring with Bengeeman (2002), Alzona (2011), Waylade (2015) and Chicago Bull (2018). Chicago Bull also finished third behind Shandale and Soho Tribeca in the 2017 Stratton Cup after working hard in the breeze for the final 1200m. Four-year-olds Shockwave and The Bird Dance are expected to provide plenty of opposition for Chicago Bull, with Shockwave chalking up his 16TH win from 39 starts when he led from barrier one and cruised to victory over Chiaroscuro and Our Jimmy Johnstone in the 2536m Media Guild Cup last Friday night. The Bird Dance has won at 16 of his 24 starts and star trainers Greg and Skye Bond produced him in fine fettle for his first-up victory last week. He is sure to be improved by that run. His reinsman Ryan Warwick has yet to taste success in the Stratton Cup, but the Bonds have won the event with Russley Rascal (2012) and Vampiro (2019). Vampiro, who finished strongly to win by a head at $17.20 from stablemate and $2.50 favourite El Jacko in last year’s Stratton Cup, was handled by Colin Brown, whose previous wins in the race were behind Demoralizer in 2007 and Russley Rascal. The Bond stable has four runners in this year’s Cup The Bird Dance (Warwick), Vampiro (Dylan Egerton-Green), Galactic Star (Brown) and Ocean Ridge (Deni Roberts). Ocean Ridge is a consistent five-year-old, but he faces a tough task on Friday night from the outside barrier (No. 9).   Ken Casellas

Addington,Harness racing

A brilliant brat and Harness Million action

Premier harness racing hits Addington once again on Friday night with a number of feature events across both gaits. The richest race of the night appears at 6.38pm with the running of the NZB Standardbred Harness Million for fillies. La Rosa and Town Echo (now with the M Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen stable) would appear to hold sway over the final result but there’s also a North Island presence in the form of Platinum who has sound exposed form. The forgotten runner might come from the Robert Dunn barn in Passion And Power. A filly who impressed at Alexandra Park early in her career but has since been hard to follow from a punting point of view recently. The Art Major filly will have options from the #3 draw.       The next “Harness Million” final is the trotting feature with a limited but classy field assembled. Leaf Stride remains unbeaten after his efforts last week but comes up with a wide barrier draw. The Greg and Nina Hope runners Eurokash and Franco Jorik are both capable too although their manners left a little to be desired last time around and would need to be present if they’re to be a factor by the time the last furlong is run. Son Of Patrick, trained by the astute Barry Purdon, scared them all after sitting 3 wide over the last 600m last week and a similar performance could see the son of Father Patrick claim the title. A select but competitive field in a race that will be about behaviour and mid-race tactics. The 7th on the card, the Stevie Golding -Harcourts Canterbury Park Cup is, on paper at least, the most  clear cut of the features, it sees Sundees Son loom as the one they’ll have to beat with Dominion Handicap winner Habibi Inta making his first race day appearance for some time. Woodstone, fresh off a sound performance in behind One Apollo at Banks Peninsula and Majestic Man fill this field out and may offer value alongside the enigma of the race in Matua Tana. His late gallops, which seem to be all too common, proving heartbreaking for punters at times. The features on the card are rounded off by the Lamb & Hayward Canterbury Classic at Group 2 level with the race set to be run at 8.38pm.  All eyes, you’d suggest, will be on Self Assured. The All Stars trained star is proving half brat half everything you want a pacer to be this time in mixing early gallops with spellbinding late bids for victory. His latest run in the New Brighton Cup was marred by an early gallop which effectively saw him take no part in the affair. His prior run being a sublime win in the Maurice Holmes Vase, a win he had no right to claim after once again getting things wrong when you’re meant to get things right, that is, behind the standing start tapes. Open class races are seldom won by mistake makers, at the moment Self Assured is proving he’s good enough to overcome such issues, but only up to a point. With that in mind other stables will fancy an upset with Classie Brigade, known for his love of a standing start, well drawn to once again dictate mid-race tempo from his handy #4 draw. His Hannon Memorial victory a blueprint as to how he can continue to taste group glory going forward. Spankem, who has been seen doing sound work at recent workouts and trials will have his admirers alongside A G’s White Socks, who , with further improvement from his Hannon Memorial run, could provide a price and a relative shock to New Zealand Cup markets if able to pull off a victory. The presence of U May Cullect another positive for the meeting and field as the Southerner brings his supporters to the big smoke once again.   A night of depth, some real class, and a few talking points once it’s all done and dusted.   Ben McMillan  

Brett Shipway,Harness racing

All is now "shipshape" for Brett

Country Victorian harness racing trainer-driver Brett (Shippy) Shipway is a full-of-life kind of guy who thoroughly enjoys a bit of fun and laugh Shipway, based at Carisbrook, near Maryborough, is still sporting a big smile after some missteps and good fortunes presented him with a surprise win at Charlton on Monday afternoon with bay mare A Nip Will Do. “We’ve been having some bad luck in our last few goes, so I guess it was time things swung our way,” Shipway laughed. “I’d describe most of our horses as average, so that means following others and driving for luck. But I thought our girl went good at Charlton anyway,” he said. “She is our old workhorse; an old pet that we have around the place. She doesn’t do a great lot of work at home because we only gear her up race day.  But she’s been good to us—she pulls in about $1000 a month.” A Nip Will Do (Bacardi Lindy-Earls Gold (Earl), starting at 16/1, took out the $7000 Charlton Welcomes Tetrick Racing Trot in what developed into an action-packed affair. “Someone said to me it was a ‘Bradbury’ type victory, but the name of the game is to keep trotting-and we did that,” he said. A Nip Will Do was tucked away three back the pegs for most of the way, and turning for home appeared no hope.  But Shipway grabbed the opportunity to angle out into the clear in the final straight – just in time to avoid the washup from two of the leaders breaking up. A Nip Will Do strolled to the line, grabbing a deserved win for her owners, Shipway, his partner Colleen Batson along with Stan Lythgo. Brett Shipway and his mare A Nip Will Do after their Charlton success The mare has now won four races this season with nine placings. Her lifetime racing career stands at 181 starts, six wins, 13 runner-up cheques and 35 thirds for over $90,000. Shipway, who says he’s been around horses for as long as he can remember, has five racehorses in training with another 10 two and three-year-olds ready to come back in. “I was prepping most of them up and then a few meetings got called off due to coronavirus, so when I wasn’t sure what was going to happen I turned a lot of them out,” he said. “They are all square-gaiters. I haven’t had a pacer for years. I’ve never really had the passion for them. “Dad always had horses around the place—back in those old days everyone had trotters. I remember when you used to drive around the district, you’d always see a jinker or a gig outside the front gate of the farms. Horses are an addiction. “We came from the Hawkesbury and Richmond region, outside of Sydney. Dad raced at those tracks as well as Penrith.” Shipway does all of his own shoeing but admits to being in the wars of late. “I’ve had one foot that’s been worrying me for a while, and then the other day a horse stood on my good one. But we all get mad horses now and again. “Earls Gold, the dam of A Nip Will Do, was a bit crazy. She could also be nasty, but she could run. As a two-year-old she set an Australasian record.” Shipway said it was easy to nominate the best horses he’d been involved with over the years. “Dad had merry-go-round horses and all the carnival gear and he’d do promotional work with them. I was only 16 or 17, but the money they would drag in was unreal! “We’d have to replace their glass eyes now and again because the kids would pull them out, but they didn’t need much looking after!”   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Brian Tropea, harness racing

"I owe a lot to that guy named Brian"

Racinos provide slots gaming for adult customers, an offering which can be difficult to balance with the family/youth-oriented sport of harness racing when both take place at the same venue. In recent years, some tracks with on-site gaming have restricted people under the legal gambling age from entering grandstands, a decision Brian Tropea says stems from the presence of the machines: "It really doesn't have anything to do with banning them from a racetrack--it's banning them from a casino." This year, in which COVID-19 has seriously impacted the number of people that can be safely allowed to attend live racing at certain tracks, the question of how to provide young families and fans with a chance to watch fall and winter races is on hold. But the Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA) general manager considers the issue essential for racino operators and those who oversee the sport to address. He doesn't view an outdoor observation "hut" as an acceptable way to shelter kids and families when racino tracks re-open to the public. "How do you replace the grandstand, where you can sit in the clubhouse and overlook the finish line, and build a facility somewhere down in the first turn for people to watch races?" he asks. Tropea says that smaller tracks around Ontario did an impressive job of safely hosting summer races with on-track audiences. He mentions Dredsen Raceway, Hanover Raceway, Leamington Raceway, and Kawartha Downs as examples of how all-age groups stayed connected to the sport, even during the pandemic. "They did it on a reservation basis, first come, first served," he explains. "If you had a husband and a wife and two kids, that was four spots. Those tracks didn't say you have to be of legal betting age to be here," even with a limited number of spots for spectators available on race days. Why the emphasis on keeping young people and families engaged in harness racing? "Unless you can expose people to the live product, they're never going to become a customer of betting horse races. One hundred percent, that's the value," he says. "You can put horse races on in a bar, and people might decide to play a couple of races on a betting terminal at the bar, while they have a few beers or something. But they certainly aren't going to become loyal fans of the sport based on that experience." While no longer active, OHHA's Hands On Horse program helped promote Standardbreds and racing to a near-limitless audience. "It all starts with the live experience, and that was where the Hands On Horses program was so valuable, I believe, because we gave people an experience they won't forget," shares the OHHA GM.   "I carried one-year-old kids around the racetrack, and I had 95-year-old men and women on the cart. What we did is we created a lifetime memory, similar to someone who's a hockey fan being allowed to go and skate on the ice with the Maple Leafs. I always said to people, it's one thing to get a casual fan to the racetrack, and they may enjoy the races while they're there and make a few bets while having a hotdog and a drink. But if you can get them to actually touch a horse, interact with the horse..." The lifelong horseman names another Ontario track where lasting impressions were made with Hands On Horses: "Western Fair was a great situation for us. The grandstand was right beside where we would keep the horses in between the races, so we would get the next group of people that were going out for a [jog cart] ride and bring them back over. We'd have 15 minutes in between races to get those people suited up with their helmet and stuff, pet the horses, take selfies, and really spend 15 intimate minutes with somebody who understands the industry, in a very comfortable setting." Up to 65-70 participants would commonly sign up for what has become an increasingly-rare opportunity, says Tropea.   "I felt so privileged to share with people that feeling of how I felt when I first sat in a jog cart, with the thousands of people I've had a chance to share that with over the years." He grew up in racing, and would ride along with his dad until he was old enough to jog a horse on his own, "at six or seven years old." Harness racing's future depends on the sport's lesser-known venues, where young people can build interest and skills with horses, and in racing media roles like publicity and racecalling. "With the smaller racetracks, to me, they're an integral part of any racing jurisdiction," notes Tropea.   "The fair circuit in Ohio is a great example. Where is the next generation of trainers and drivers and potential owners going to come from, if we lose them? [...] The vast majority of our participants are second-, third-, fourth-, fifth-generation horsepeople. It's not an industry that's easily infiltrated. If I'm a young kid and I decide that I want to be a driver, but when I start out, I have no connections to the industry, how do I go about doing that?" Programs like those offered by Hands On Horses and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation serve an essential role, and so do the small tracks where handle doesn't necessarily reflect the racing product's true value.   Tropea says "most of the smaller racetracks in Ontario go out of their way" to accomodate youth and special events like Childcan's "Horsin' Around for Cancer" fundraising barbeque for families affected by childhood cancer, held in the recent past at Clinton Raceway. He also shares a particularly moving message he received about one former Hands On Horses participant, showing the lasting impact that a small but welcoming track can have on the lives of at-risk youth:   "Hi Brian, I just wanted to send along a little conversation I had with one of the young grooms at Hanover Raceway a few weeks ago. He was only about 16 years old and was volunteering his services paddocking a couple of horses in Hanover. I don't remember his name, but he was a great kid. I asked how he liked being around the horses and how he got into it. What he said, I was not prepared for and really took me back.   He began to tell me he was in Clinton about three years ago, and he and a few of the friends he hung with were getting into some trouble and decided to go to the track and cause a stir over there. He said at [age] 13, his parents were alcoholics and didn't care what he was doing. He was at the track and decided to go for a ride on the jogger with some guy named Brian.   As he trotted around, he thought he was going to be a bit of hotdog and show off a bit with his friends watching. He said this Brian guy explained to him the racehorse is a powerful animal and needs to be respected. He was instantly drawn to the power this horse was able to exude and was sort of intimidated. As he jogged around, this Brian guy explained to him how many kids get involved in racing and how he could. As he got off the jogger and returned to his friends, he said it was those words Brian said that sort of changed him that day. He told his friends to leave the track and they did, and they went on to cause problems somewhere else. He went home.   The next day, he went to Clinton [Raceway] and immediately started volunteering with a few of the trainers there. A month or two later, his parents moved to outside Hanover. He still, to this day, hitchhikes into town on race nights and helps paddock. He has had a few part-time jobs with local trainers, and beams when he says he doesn't get into trouble like he used to. His grades have improved and he always has a bit of pocket cash. He said he owes a lot to that guy named Brian."   by Melissa Keith, for the USHWA Youth Membership Committee                

The annual Aste Its yearling sale was held on September 28-29 in Italy with 218 lots catalogued and 155 lots sold. The sale included well-bred yearlings by many of the leading sires in the sport. Five lots sold for 100,000€ or more. Profiles of the top two selling yearlings are shown below: Video: Dear Wise As Reijo Liljendahl buyer of this and several lots Diabolik Gio Video: Aste ITS files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

DAYTON, OH. - Hollywood Dayton Raceway will present its marquee harness racing program of the 2020 season on Saturday night, October 3, featuring eleven stakes races and three Open events with purses totaling $1,131,500. Headlining the evening will be a trio of Dayton Derbies for male pacers, female pacers and trotters including 11 millionaire horses.   The $176,500 Dayton Pacing Derby includes a full field of nine of the sport's current superstars. Bettor's Wish (Dexter Dunn, 5-2) has been given the slightest morning line nod, but a case could be made for every entrant as all sport 2020 records of 1:49.1 or faster.   Trainer Chris Ryder's 4-year-old son of Bettor's Delight has earned $2,124,783 in purses and two months ago won the Sam McKee Memorial at The Meadowlands in 1:47.3. Second choice Ceentury Farroh (David Miller, 3-1) could become a millionaire with a win in the Derby. He captured the Dan Patch at Harrah's Hoosier in mid-August.   Sectionline Bigry (Tyler Smith, 7-2) will be one of four in the Derby with local ties. The 5-year-old son of Ohio stallion Pet Rock is owned by Harold Bauder of Delaware, Ohio and trained by Steve Bauder. He has won 26 or 62 lifetime starts and last week lowered his record to 1:48.1 winning an Invitational at Hoosier while going a second faster than the Hoosier Pacing Derby on the same card.   Other Derby hopefuls are Dancin Lou (Brian Sears, 9-2), Backstreet Shadow (Tim Tetrick, 6-1), Ocean Rock (8-1, Dan Noble), This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras, 10-1), Bllack Hole (Scott Zeron, 12-1) and Our Majordan A (Brett Miller, 15-1).   Ocean Rock is the first 3-year-old in the seven year history of the Dayton Derby to enter the track's marquee event.   The sophomore son of Rockin Armadeus has been triumphant in 11 of his 18 races over two seasons, including a 6-2-1 slate in nine starts this year. He won the $300,000 Ohio Sires Stakes championship a month ago at Eldorado Scioto Downs for owner Sandra Burnett of nearby Wilmington, Ohio and the driver-trainer team of Dan and Christi Noble.   Bllack Hole is another Ohio-sired combatant, owned by L & L Stables of Springfield, Ohio. He owns a 1:48 speed badge taken at The Meadowlands and would sport a lower morning line designation if not for his post eight draw.   Our Majordan A is the oldest Derby hopeful at age eight and will be saddled with post nine behind the starting car. The Virgil Morgan Jr.-trainee is one of three in the field with sub 1:48 seasonal victories, and he is the winningest horse in the field with 33 triumphs. In addition to being stable in Ohio, the Australian-bred is co-owned by Ned Hodkinson of Blacklick, Ohio.   The $175,000 Dayton Distaff favorite will be Shartin N (Tim Tetrick, 6-5), who will face a compact field of six that includes four million dollar winners. With $2,394,049 in her purse coffers, Shartin N is the richest mare in the race, but Kissin In The Sand (Dexter Dunn, 7-2, $1,383,094), Caviart Ally (Andrew McCarthy, 9-2, $1,870,311) and Warrawee Ubeaut (Yannick Gingras, 6-1, $1,743,523) can't be discounted. Treacherous Reign (TBA, 8-l) and Stonebridge Soul (Brett Miller, 12-1) complete the field.   The $175,000 Dayton Trotting Derby will feature four of the finest older mares face five male counterparts. The mares Atlanta (Yannick Gingras, 2-1) and Manchego (Dexter Dunn, 7-2) have each won over $2 million and are expected to get heavy mutuel backing.   Majestic Player A (Brett Miller,4-1) has won 13 of 17 races this season and is familiar with the Dayton Raceway surface. Others win the field include Lindy The Great (Andy Miller, 9-2), Guardian Angel AS (Tim Tetrick, 6-1), Crystal Fashion (Jordan Stratton, 8-1), When Dovescry (David Miller, 10-1), Soul Strong (TBA, 12-1) and Pure Chance (Scott Zeron, 15-1).   The outstanding program will also include eight $60,000 Buckeye Stallion Series championship races to reward Ohio-sired two and three year olds who have competed throughout the state all season long.   A $75,000 Dayton Derby Consolation, as well as $25,000 Opens for pacing mares and trotters will complete the card.   Post time on Saturday is 6:15 p.m.   From Hollywood Dayton Raceway  

Harness racing this week: Bluegrass Stakes, Red Mile, Lexington, Ky., and Dayton Pacing Derby, Dayton Trotting Derby, and Dayton Distaff Derby, Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Dayton, Ohio. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Friday (Oct. 2) at the Red Mile and the Lexington oval will feature three divisions in the $316,300 Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt trotters and two divisions in the $268,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Saturday (Oct. 3), Red Mile will offer the $350,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $300,000 (est.) Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly trotters. The first week of racing in Lexington will conclude on Sunday (Oct. 4) with $200,000 (est.) Bluegrass events for 3-year-old male and female trotters and pacers. Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Saturday night (Oct. 3) will feature a trio of Grand Circuit stakes in the $176,500 Dayton Pacing Derby for open pacers, the $175,000 Dayton Trotting Derby for open trotters and the $175,000 Dayton Distaff Derby for female pacers. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Venerate and driver Andrew McCarthy powered off cover at the head of the stretch to win the $1 million Mohawk Million on Saturday night (Sept. 26) at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A full field of ten rookie trotters, including three fillies, met in the inaugural Mohawk Million, a "buy-in" race with nine slots available for the purchase of $110,000 each and a final slot awarded to the winner of the William Wellwood Memorial. Venerate and driver Andrew McCarthy powered off cover at the head of the stretch to win the $1 million Mohawk Million. New Image Media photo. Racing in the slot of Brad Grant, Marvin Katz and partners, Venerate overcame a second-tier start with a perfect steer from McCarthy to win in 1:53.2. The Julie Miller trainee got away eighth and was able to follow the favorite Donna Soprano, eventually muscling by the previously undefeated filly to win by three-quarters of a length. "I was hoping I'd get out of there a little closer, but after scoring him down I knew I couldn't make him accelerate too fast, so I just wanted to get out of there upright," said McCarthy. "He's a very strong horse, I've seen that, I didn't really care how far back I got, just figured I'd have to get through that first turn and then worry about where I'm going from there. "The speed was pretty tough early, so it worked out where I could end up getting a pretty good trip, but when I looked up at the eighth-pole I was a long away back." The opening stages of the race saw several horses leaving hard, causing a four-wide push into the first turn. Altar cut a :27 opening quarter before handing the lead over to Wellwood winner On A Streak, who was four-wide entering the turn. Race-favorite Donna Soprano got away sixth, while Venerate was eighth. On A Streak led to the half in :56.1 just as Insta Glam came with a powerful rush to claim the top spot going into the final turn. Donna Soprano got her cue to go just before the half, as did Venerate and McCarthy seeing an opportunity to follow the favorite. Insta Glam trotted a strong third quarter to get the field to that station in 1:24 with a few lengths of separation. In the stretch, Donna Soprano and Venerate trotted by Insta Glam to set up a battle of their own. The filly Donna Soprano tried to hold on, but the colt Venerate was too much to handle, powering by to victory. On A Streak finished third, while Insta Glam was fourth. "I'm so thankful for Andy and Julie and Pinske Stable," said McCarthy. "And to Brad (Grant) for deciding to use me on this horse, I'm so thankful." A son of French stallion Love You, Venerate is owned by Pinske Stables and Andy Miller Stable. The connections negotiated a private deal with slot owner Brad Grant, Marvin Katz and partners to take a shot at the Mohawk Million. "It makes me look pretty smart I guess," laughed Grant. "We really believed in this race when we bought our slot. What Woodbine has done is something new and I think it's great, it had a buzz to it all year long." Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2020, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2020 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following this past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 645; 2. Andrew McCarthy - 414; 3. Dexter Dunn - 393; 4. Tim Tetrick - 336.5; 5. Bob McClure - 322. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 583; 2. Nancy Takter - 551.5; 3. Tony Alagna - 492; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 309; 5. Marcus Melander - 303. Owners: 1. Determination - 200; 2. Brad Grant - 160.1; 3. Caviart Farms - 152; 4. Burke Racing Stable - 135.8; 5. S R F Stable - 125.3. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Lexington's historic Red Mile. Featured at Red Mile will be the Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters, the companion Kentucky Filly Futurity for sophomore fillies, the Tattersalls Pace and the Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, four International Stallion Stakes races for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, and four Allerage contests for open pacers and trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

MILTON, SEPT. 29, 2020 - Ontario's top three-year-old pacing fillies wrapped up their Gold Series regular season at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Tuesday, Sept. 29 and both Alicorn and Rose Run Victoria returned to the harness racing winner's circle after a three-month absence. Alicorn lined up at Post 3 in the first $105,600 Gold division with regular pilot Louis-Philippe Roy in the race bike. The fan favourites got away fourth, but soon after the :26.2 quarter they were advancing on leader Betalady. Alicorn got a brief windbreak from Beach Sports as that filly took command heading for the :54 half and then locked horns with the new leader through the 1:21.4 three-quarters. Alicorn got a head in front turning for home and dug in down the stretch for a two and one-quarter length win in 1:50.4. Beach Sports finished second and So Delightful closed for third. "When she headed her around the turn I said, 'Oh okay we're good now, she's good', because she hadn't had that opportunity the last couple times. When she came first-up like that she didn't get to head the horse on the lead and I think that's what cost her," said trainer Chantal Mitchell. "This will be a good confidence booster for everybody involved, for the horse, for the driver, for the owners, for everybody. It's always good to go into the Super Final off a win." The two-year-old pacing filly division champion, Alicorn won her sophomore debut in the June 29 Gold Series opener at Woodbine Mohawk Park, but had not found the winner's circle again in six starts. She had finished fourth twice and fifth once against her Gold Series peers, with her best result a second in the Aug. 22 Fan Hanover elimination. In the Sept. 12 Simcoe Stakes the Bettors Delight daughter finished fourth, kicking home in :26.1 and Mitchell felt she was finally getting back to her early season form. "That was her strongest last quarter of the year and she was very much like herself, so going into this week I was fairly confident with her," said the Waterdown, ON resident. "And those races when she did go big trips, she might have finished fourth or wherever she finished, but she went a big trip, probably the biggest trip out of anybody in that race, so I was disappointed, but I was happy because not very many horses would have hung on as tough as she did in those races, under those circumstances." Mitchell trains Alicorn for Windermere Stable LLC of New York, NY and Robert Muscara of Ivyland, PA. The filly heads into the Oct. 17 Super Final ranked fifth with 121 points. Rose Run Victoria gave driver Jody Jamieson a work out in the second $104,800 division, but the Moffat reinsman put the Hes Watching daughter in a position to win and a :26.3 last quarter did the rest. "She was good tonight that's for sure. They put all the good mares in one division it seemed like. Man alive, I didn't like that, but at least the game plan worked. She seems better chasing, any time she's raced really well it's been from behind, so we just kept her that way," said trainer Rod Boyd. "Jody did a great job, because she was grabbing on a lot and Jody's probably the strongest driver on this circuit and even he said he was pretty much done at the end of it." Starting from Post 5, Jamieson settled Rose Run Victoria in fifth as Karma Seelster and Sex Appeal tussled to a :26.3 quarter. Sex Appeal carried on to a :55 half and when All Day Sunshine and Lauras Love started up the outside Jamieson allowed Rose Run Victoria to follow. Sex Appeal reached the three-quarters in 1:23.2, but she was quickly challenged by Karma Seelster to her left and Lauras Love on her right. Jamieson kept Rose Run Victoria tucked in behind fan favourite Lauras Love well into the stretch, but when he gave the filly an open lane she powered home to a one and three-quarter length win in a personal best 1:50.4. Lauras Love finished second and Sex Appeal stayed game for third. Cambridge resident Boyd trains Rose Run Victoria for Rick Phillips of Tappan, NY and Mark Harder of Freehold, NJ, who developed the filly before shipping her to Ontario at the end of June. "Mark, he sent me one message after the race, 'Good job, she ain't easy is she'. She's pretty bull headed anything you do with her," said Boyd. "She's the biggest mare I have in the barn, she's 16 hands for sure. She's powerful, plenty powerful." Rose Run Victoria won her July 17 Gold Series division at Woodbine Mohawk Park and finished third once and fourth twice in the other three legs. After making breaks in her Fan Hanover elimination and the Sept. 5 Gold leg Rose Run Victoria was forced to requalify, which is when Jamieson joined the team. "She's so racy that she wants to do it, but she just puts herself in bad situations I think. A couple starts ago it was my fault, how I had her rigged up," said Boyd. "Jody has helped me out a bit, because it does take somebody strong to go with her, so Jody helps out a lot." The fiery filly heads into the Super Final sitting third in the standings with 128 points and Boyd is hoping Jamieson can craft a similar trip against the division's top fillies when $250,000 is on the line. Complete results from Tuesday's program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Gold Series point standings are available on the Ontario Sires Stakes Leaderboard.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit:   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park

Washington, D.C. - Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1754, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, led by U.S. Reps. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., and Andy Barr, R-Ky. by a voice vote. H.R. 1754 mirrors legislation recently introduced by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Martha McSally, R-Ariz., and Diane Feinstein, D-Calif.  The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act includes a ban on race-day doping, the establishment of a uniform national standard for rules and regulations for U.S. horseracing that would be overseen by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) is landmark legislation that would directly address the safety and welfare of racehorses, and the integrity of the sport itself, through better anti-doping measures and racetrack safety standards. "Doping of athletes in sport to enhance performance is widely recognized as a form of cheating in human competition," said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action who testified before Congress on the issue in January. "It's equally wrong and even more dangerous for the athletes involved to allow widespread doping in American horse racing, and we call on the U.S. Senate to swiftly pass this measure that will put the welfare of the horse at the center of the enterprise." "After nearly six years working to advance this bipartisan legislation to modernize horseracing in the United States, we are at long last rounding the final turn," said U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y. "Our Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act puts the health and well-being of our equine athletes and jockeys firmly at the center of the sport and delivers commonsense medication and track safety standards that will lift this noble sport to higher standards of integrity and safety. These long overdue reforms will help restore public trust in the sport and put it on a path to a long and vital future, supporting countless jobs and driving economic activity in communities across our nation. I thank my longtime collaborator and friend, Congressman Barr, for leading with me in this effort to restore integrity to our sport of kings. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to advance their companion legislation without delay and deliver it swiftly to the President to sign into law." "We applaud Reps. Tonko and Barr for reminding the nation that horses and jockeys, who are the athletes at core of the sport, should be our top priority when it comes to safety standards in racing," added Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action, who testified in favor of the original anti-doping legislation more than six years ago. "We call on the Senate to saddle up and swiftly pass this measure that makes sense for animal welfare and the health and welfare of the jockeys who ride these majestic creatures." The doping of American racehorses has been the subject of Congressional attention over the past five years with hundreds of horses dying on racetracks weekly, and the indictment of 37 trainers and veterinarians in March of 2020. The bill has the support of Animal Wellness Action (AWA), the Animal Wellness Foundation (AWF), and key players throughout the horse racing industry, including all three Triple Crown racetracks. Churchill Downs, which runs the Kentucky Derby, is the most recent corporation to get on board. The effort continues to enjoy the support of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity (CHRI), which includes The Jockey Club, the Breeders Cup, Keeneland Racecourse, the Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association, the Water Hay Oats Alliance, and AWA and AWF. The patchwork of regulations across the U.S.'s 38 racing jurisdictions has undermined the public's confidence in horseracing, threatened the integrity of competition, and endangered the human and equine athletes. Enactment of the HISA will address these problems head on while helping to enhance the public's interest in this very important industry. For the safety of the horses and jockeys, and for the sport of horseracing itself, American horseracing needs the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020. Key Provisions In order to create these uniform performance and safety standards for the sport of horseracing, the HISA creates the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, which is a private, independent, self-regulatory, nonprofit organization. It will not be funded by the federal government - the horseracing industry will pay the funds necessary for the establishment and administration of the Authority. The Authority is tasked with developing and implementing both a horseracing anti-doping and medication control program and a racetrack safety program. Composition of the Authority The Authority will be governed by a Board of Directors consisting of nine members. Five of those members will be independent of the industry, and four members will be experts from the following sectors of the industry: owners and breeders, trainers, racetracks, veterinarians, State racing commissions, and jockeys. To assist with the development of these programs, the Board will establish an anti-doping and medication control standing committee and a racetrack safety standing committee, both controlled by independent members outside the industry. All independent members of the Board and standing committees will be subject to strict conflict-of-interest standards. Anti-Doping Program The Authority will be required to create a set of uniform anti-doping rules, including lists of prohibited substances and methods, protocols around the administration of permitted substances, and laboratory testing accreditation and protocols. These permitted and prohibited substances and practices will be developed after taking into consideration international anti-doping standards and veterinarian ethical standards, along with consulting racing industry representatives and the public. The new nationwide rules would replace the current patchwork of regulatory systems that govern horseracing's 38 separate racing jurisdictions. For services related to the enforcement of this program, the Authority shall enter into an agreement with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which has a proven track record of conducting anti-doping and medication control activities for all U.S. Olympic athletes and its approach can easily be adapted to horseracing. Racetrack Safety Program To protect the health and safety of racehorses and jockeys, the Authority will also create a racetrack safety program, consisting of a uniform set of training and racing safety standards and protocols. Those standards include racetrack design and maintenance, oversight of human and equine injury reporting and prevention, and the procedures for undertaking investigations at racetrack and non-racetrack facilities related to safety violations. The Authority creates an accreditation program to ensure that racetracks comply with these safety procedures, and in order to continue to gather information on racetrack safety, the Authority will establish a nationwide database of racehorse safety, performance, health, and injury information within one year of the establishment of the program. From the Animal Wellness Foundation  

The Hambletonian Society supports the proposed Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), the latest version of which is S.R. 4547, introduced on September 9, 2020. The Society believes that the current system of oversight and regulation of horse racing needs and demands changes in structure and execution and that the proposed legislation has the potential to bring new found confidence and trust to horseplayers, owners and all other participants. While some of the provisions of the original bill caused legitimate concerns for the Standardbred industry, since, among other concerns, it provided for "one size fits all" rules for all breeds, the amended bill now recognizes the uniqueness of other breeds, including Standardbreds. To be represented effectively, the Standardbred industry and its leaders must be united in their approach to the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority to be established under HISA, so as to ensure that therapeutic medication protocols, funding mechanisms and representation, are appropriate and practical for the harness racing industry. Universal thresholds and withdrawal times, as well as standardized testing procedures for permitted therapeutic medications, will allow honest and ethical breeders, trainers and veterinarians to care for race horses in a more consistent manner. This proposed legislation also greatly increases the chances of detecting and apprehending unscrupulous and unethical people who currently operate within industry-regulated boundaries. The Society urges all participants and organizations in the Standardbred Industry to familiarize themselves with the contents of the amended bill, (Amended HISA Bill SR4547) and support this groundbreaking legislation. There is an opening to be part of a solution that will allow harness racing to be treated fairly and be the best that it can be as we move forward. Sincerely, John Campbell President & Chief Executive Officer Jim Simpson Chairman of the Executive Committee   The Hambletonian Society Executive Committee Frank Antonacci Thomas A. Charters E.T. Gerry Jr. Ted Gewertz Fred W. Hertrich III Charles E. Keller III Michael G. Kimelman Seth Rosenfeld George I. Segal   The full board of the Hambletonian Society, Inc. can be found here: Hambletonian Society Board Below is the link to the House floor if you would like to watch the debate on the HR 1754, the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act.  It should begin around 1pm.  There is 40 minutes of debate, divided between Reps and Dems.   Votes will be stacked beginning at 6:30, and you can watch the live vote at the same link.

A tall, powerful stallion with extraordinary conformation, named after a Presbyterian Minister, is about to make an impact on the harness racing breeding Industry throughout North America and the Southern Hemisphere. Pastor Stephen, the 2010 Dan Patch Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year in North America, has been purchased from Europe for an undisclosed price by Taylor Made Stallions and will be standing in Indiana for the upcoming 2021 breeding season. His race record of 1.52.4 and $1,058,188 in earnings, together with his pedigree makes him one of the most impressive prospects available to Breeders in recent years. The fact that he is a full brother to the $2.6m winner Father Patrick is even more appealing.  Now standing at US$30,000 Father Patrick has been an instant hit at Stud in North America with the sensational trotter Greenshoe t3;1.49.4 emerging from his first crop. Pastor Stephen is by one of North America’s leading sires in Cantab Hall, the sire of winners of just under $100m in North America. Pastor Stephen is from the Broodmare gem Gala Dream, who in turn is a half-sister to World Champion trotter Chocolatier 1.53 ($1.3m). Pastor Stephen’s pedigree is loaded up with two year old speed, aside from his own record; Father Patrick  -  the USTA Two and Three Year Old Trotting Colt of the Year. Cantab Hall  -   the USTA Two Year Old Trotting Colt of the Year. Chocolatier  -   the USTA Two Year old Trotting Colt of the Year Pastor Stephen, the Dan Patch two-year-old Trotting Colt of the Year and a winner of more than $1m as a two and three year old was exported to Europe after his brilliant race career ended in his 3 year old season upon suffering a broken coffin bone.  Pastor Stephen Pastor Stephen has been very successful in the breeding shed all across Europe with a more than 70% rate of his foals making it to the races, all despite the fact that he was held up in a court case and losing two full breeding seasons. With his progeny making a good impact early on the European breeding scene American interests had fixed their eyes on the grand circuit super star Pastor Stephen. They entered into an agreement early 2018 to purchase the “Dan Patch two year old of the Year” and bring him back to North America. However, there were disagreements in connection with the purchase contract, and after almost two years of legal fighting, the case was finally heard in the Uppsala District Court, Sweden. The case has now been resolved with the American interests winning the case. Pastor Stephen has now arrived back in the USA!  “He was a really good gaited colt, easy horse to be around and to race. He was top three of his class as a three-year-old. Unfortunately he got injured in a transport incident before the Hambletonian where he finished third in his elimination and fifth in the final from post 10. After that a coffin bone injury put an end to his career in the USA and was sold to Europe. I am glad he is back in the USA. He will be a big asset to the Indiana Breeding Industry as he is the full-brother to Father Patrick, as a matter of fact I reserved two breeding rights to Pastor Stephen myself.” Jimmy Takter on Pastor Stephen Pastor Stephen was recently purchased by Taylor Made Stallions, adding to their exceptional group of Standardbred stallions, What The Hill, Lazarus and Lather Up, Pastor Stephen will no doubt enrich the Taylor Made Standardbred stallion portfolio with influence throughout the breeding world. Pastor Stephen will be standing at Premier Acres in Indiana for a fee of $7,500. Dennis Bontrager of Premier Acres says he is really excited about Pastor Stephen standing in Indiana. For the first time he says, Indiana breeders have a chance to breed to the best ever and most high profile stallion to stand in Indiana. For enquiries phone Dennis Bontrager (260) 585 4927 by Steve Wolf

MILTON, SEPT. 28, 2020 – A rain-soaked harness racing surface did not prevent Pemberton from employing his trademark finishing kick to capture the sole $158,000 three-year-old trotting colt Gold Series division at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday, Sept. 28. Starting from Post 10, Pemberton and regular reinsman Trevor Henry got away sixth, tucked in behind fan favourite HP Royal Theo, as Hot Wheelz led the way to a :27.4 quarter. Driver Louis-Philippe Roy tipped HP Royal Theo into the outer lane heading for the :57.2 half and Henry kept Pemberton on his heels through the 1:26 three-quarters as the pair advanced on the pacesetter. In the stretch Henry asked Pemberton for a bigger gear and the gelding kicked home for a one and one-half length victory in 1:54.2, over a surface rated one second slower than normal. HP Royal Theo finished second and pocket-sitter Threefiftytwo was another length back in third. “It went great. I got a really good trip, second over behind Louis’ horse. It couldn’t have worked out better actually,” said Henry. “It’s tough from the 10-hole. You don’t want to get trapped on the rail so you’ve got to let somebody in, hopefully it’s a good horse, and it was tonight. He’s a nice colt too that HP Royal Theo, I was happy to follow him.” Henry drives Pemberton for trainer Paul Walker and owner/breeders Brenda Walker of Owen Sound and Christine Walker of Tara, ON. Monday’s victory was the gelding’s second in Gold Series action and his sixth in eight lifetime starts. Unraced at two, the son of Wheeling N Dealin made his debut at Georgian Downs on June 6, finishing fourth, and then reeled off four straight wins, including his first Gold victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 21. Pemberton finished third in the Aug. 19 Gold leg at Grand River Raceway and then kicked off what is now a two race win streak with a victory in overnight action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 7. “I don’t know whether he’s changed a whole lot,” said Henry of the trotter’s development over the past four months. “I don’t know how fast he can go, but he’s by far the nicest horse I’ve ever drove, such a professional, well-mannered, he beats them a lot of times just on his manners and his late kick for home. He’s such a nice horse to drive, he does nothing wrong.” Monday’s win boosted Pemberton’s earnings to $186,284 and put him third in the three-year-old trotting colt standings with 112 points. The colts will wrap up their Gold Series regular season on Thursday, Oct. 8 at Woodbine Mohawk Park and then the top 10 point earners will compete over the Milton oval in the $250,000 Super Final on Oct. 17. Complete results from Monday’s program are available at Woodbine Mohawk Park Results. Gold Series point standings can be found on the Ontario Sires Stakes Leaderboard.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit:   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park

Down Under trainer and driver have unforgettable day at Delaware Ohio on Wednesday. Driver Dexter Dunn drove 6 winners on the harness racing program, with the major highlights being Party Girl Hill’s world record performance and her win in the Jugette Final. Down Under Trainer Chris Ryder was successful in 3 races, highlighted by training the quinella in the Jugette Final. The Down Under trainer / driver combination teamed up and won both of the two Jugette divisions worth $47,545 each. The first one was with New Year a 3yo daughter of Somebeachsomewhere who won in 1:52.0. The next win was with unbeaten filly Party Girl Hill who put up a freakish performance to win in a world record time of 1:49.3. This winning time was the fastest every time recorded for a female pacer around a half mile (800m) racetrack.  Following the two wins. The mares backed up in the Jugette Final approximately an hour forty minutes later where they crossed the line in quinella. Party Girl Hill and Dexter Dunn coming in 1st place in a time of 1:50.3 and New Year finishing 2nd to her with Joe Bongiorno picking up the catch drive, making it a Chris Ryder trained Quinella in the $142,635 Final.   Party Girl Hill a daughter of Captaintreacherous kept her race record unbeaten and stamped her mark in the history with her world record performance. It was only her 11th career start and 11th win and has $577,270 in the bank to date. Following Dexter Dunns successful day of driving 6 winners and 3 for Chris Ryder he said, “This is a special moment for my lifetime because the Ryders have been family friends with the Dunns for 50-odd years. Chris and (his wife) Nicola have done so much to get me over here and support me. It’s a day I’ll never forget.”.  Dunn also teamed up with Down Under trainer Nifty Norman on the day to win with Spoiled Princess, a 3yo daughter of Trixton who won the 2nd division of the Buckette in 1:55.2 trotting.    Monday 21st September Harrington Raceway DE Jacks Legend N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $15,000 Mako Banner N – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $5,500 Extreme Machine N – Time: 1:56.0, Stake: $6,500   Monticello Raceway NY Kamwood Laughter N – Time: 1:58.1, Stake: $6,600   Plainridge Park MA Naughty Maravu N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $10,500 Rock Diamonds N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $9,000 Tisadream N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $7,500   Yonkers Raceway NY Highview Conall N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $8,500 Majestic Kiwi N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $8,500 Yayas Hot Spot N – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $12,500   Tuesday 22nd September   Harrington Raceway DE Shes Pukka N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $13,500 Betterthanamisus N – Time: 1:56.1, Stake: $10,000 Jossie James A – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $7,500   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Claytons Bettor N – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $10,400   The Meadows PA Rollin Withholly A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $8,400 Amelias Courage A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $8,100   Wednesday 23rd September Harrahs Philadelphia PA English Rose N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $7,600 Kotare Yarra N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $6,800   Harrington Raceway DE Shared Interest A – Time: 1:58.1, Stake: $7,500   Northfield Park OH Copper Coast A – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $4,200   The Meadows PA Hedges Avenue A – Time: 1:53.1, Stake: $10,800   Thursday 24th September   Harrahs Philadelphia PA Sevens Hope A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $8,800 Kotare Yarra N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $6,800   Friday 25th September Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Bechers Brook A – Time: 1:50.1, Stake: $23,750   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Miss You N – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $14,000   Meadowlands NJ Team Kiwi N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $8,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Mickey Gee N – Time: 1:52.2, Stake: $25,000 Hundie N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $15,000 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Wardan Express A, 3rd Zach Maguire N   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA The Bandit Queen N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $17,000 Tuapeka Jessie N – Time: 1:51.3, Stake: $20,000   Saturday 26th September Batavia Downs NY Harry Hoo N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $7,500   Freehold Raceway NJ Campora N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $4,800   Harrah’s Hoosier Park IN Blazen River N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $15,000   Hollywood Gaming Dayton Raceway OH Armabluechipboy N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $8,600 Stars Align A – Time: 1:50.0, Stake: $15,500   Meadowlands NJ Whittaker N – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $8,000   Northville Downs MI Stening A – Time: 1:57.3, Stake: $6,500   Running Aces Casino & Racetrack MN Firenglow A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $3,700   Scarborough Downs ME Midnight Dylan N – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $4,200   The Downs At Mohegan Sun Pocono PA Our Corelli N – Time: 1:50.3, Stake: $8,800 Our Zak Whitby A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $8,800 Alluneedisfaith A – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $11,200   Woodbine Mohawk Park CA Persimmon A – Time: 1:49.4, Stake: $24,000   Sunday 27th September   Harrahs Philadelphia PA Jacks Legend N – Time: 1:49.3, Stake: $14,400 Jacks Shadow N – Time: 1:50.2, Stake: $11,600   Dover OH Mackeral A – Time: 1:55.3, Stake: $1,200   Flamboro Downs CA Marty Monkhouser A – Time: 1:56.3, Stake: $5,000   Rideau Carleton Raceway CA Darcee N – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $6,000   Click here for previous weeks articles   by Carter Dalgety

Plainville, MA --- A fourth Massachusetts Sire Stake record was broken during only the second day of competition when the 2-year-olds of both gaits and genders hit the harness racing track at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Sept. 28), getting the series off to its fastest start ever. And all five division winners on Monday also took new lifetime marks. In the $28,500 division for freshman male pacers, Dancing Lew (Rocknroll Dance-Love Rocks) hit the sticks fifth tracking the heavily favored Mullinax (Scott Zeron) who flashed to the front. Bruce Ranger pulled Dancing Lew in front of the stands and motored up towards the leader around the second turn. From there he got within a length of Mullinax but couldn't advance further as they hit the top of the stretch. But when they straightened out in the lane, Dancing Lew swelled up and paced right by Mullinax and won by 1/2 length in 1:54. The time was a new lifetime mark and a new stake record for a 2-year-old gelding pacer. It was the second straight win for Dancing Lew ($16.20) who is owned by Anthony Sivik Jr., Kathleen Mofield and KDK Standarbreds, who also bred the winner. Kevin Switzer is the trainer. The trotting colts and geldings went for $29,000 and New York Sire Stake finalist Incommunicado (Chapter Seven-Gran Cavalla) grabbed the winner's share. For the bulk of the race it was a two-horse competition. Beantown Madness (Shawn Gray) took the lead and Incommunicado (Scott Zeron) tucked in second. Positions remained unchanged until the 7/8th's pole when Incommunicado moved into the two-path and took direct aim at Beantown Madness. The two trotters battled all the way to the wire where Incommunicado got the advantage and won by 1/2 length in 1:56.4, which was a new lifetime mark. Incommunicado Incommunicado ($3.40) grabbed his second win of the year for owners Knuttson Trotting, Little E, Arthur Geiger and David Stolz. Ake Svanstedt trains the winner who was bred by the Moni Maker Stable. The freshmen filly pacers put on quite a show in their $29,000 division with another NYSS finalist, Rightfully Mine (American Ideal-Leah), getting the job done. Suzie Blue Chip (Shawn Gray) grabbed the lead by the quarter and then controlled the pace with Rightfully Mine (Scott Zeron) and Purameri (Drew Monti) sitting second and third. After getting to the half in :57.2, Purameri hit the gas and motored up the outside to pace alongside Suzie Blue Chip around the last turn. At the top of the stretch Purameri lost her momentum and Suzie Blue Chip drifted off the pylons allowing Rightfully Mine room to shoot the gap and win by a neck in 1:54.1, which was a career best time for the winner. Rightfully Mine Rightfully Mine ($4.00) scored her second win of the year for owners Anthony Scussel and Monique Cohen, who also bred the winner. Sheena Mcelhiney is the trainer. The trotting fillies went in two $13,750 divisions of five horses each. In the first split, Royal Envy (RC Royalty-Temper Of Will) sat second behind the heavy 1-9 favorite Moni For Lindy (Scott Zeron) until the top of the lane where driver Shawn Gray tipped and brushed her down the stretch and right past Moni For Lindy at the wire in 1:58.1. It was a new lifetime mark for the winner. Royal Envy Royal Envy ($26.00) is owned and was bred by Alfred Ross and Ray Campbell Jr. The second division saw Matty Athearn send Me Too Baby (Muscle Hill-Baby Shaq) off the gate to the front where he opened up a four-length lead at the quarter. They maintained a gapped advantage at every station before cruising home a winner in a career best tying 1:58.2. Me Too Baby Me Too Baby ($2.80) has now won two races in a row for owner/breeder Thomas Dillon and trainer Gretchen Athearn. The Massachusetts Sire Stakes continue at Plainridge Park on Sunday (Oct. 4) with the second leg of the 3-year-olds and on Monday (Oct. 5) when the 2-year-olds reconvene. Post time for both days is 2 p.m. Regular racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Thursday (Oct. 1) with post time also at 2 p.m.   By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

Father-and-son harness racing combo Guy and Mitch Chapple are in steaming hot form and a few cold celebratory beers were the perfect reward. Mitch, who combines working as a radiator repairer and training a small team at Maitland in the Lower Hunter Valley, landed a winning double at nearby Newcastle on Friday night. And the victories were made even sweeter with Mitch’s father Guy, an accomplished reinsman, driving the pair to success. Brown colt Roclea Ruler (Heston Blue Chip-Irresistible Girl (Safely Kept) led all the way to take out the Medowie Lodge NSWBC 2yo colts and geldings heat, with stablemate La Cabeza Gem (Captaintreacherous-Gemmia (Western Terror) also an easy front-running winner in the Lochend Stud fillies division. “Both the horses raced well. It was really good and we did have a few beers and dinner down at the pub the next night,” Mitch said. “While I’m listed as the official trainer, dad and I work as a team. I’ve been licensed since December 2018 and that was my third double so everything is going along nicely.” They train a team of five horses out of a property opposite the Maitland Showgrounds which was previously owned by Mitch’s pop Charlie Lee, who passed away six or seven years ago. “It’s perfect because apart from the main race track, there’s a jog track nearby. We’ve got eight stables at the back of the house so we’re pretty lucky,” Mitch said. “If we had to float them somewhere else to a track, I really don’t think we’d be in the sport. It would be too hard because I work full-time and dad has a part-time job.” Mitch said he was always going to be part of harness racing as his family was heavily involved. “I’ve got Uncle Dean (Chapple) who is right into it. Dad was also stable driver for Shane and Lauren Tritton (now in the USA) for three years. My interest goes back to when I was just a teenager and every school holidays I’d be down at Robbie Morris’ stables,” he said. “If I was off for two weeks I’d be there for all that time, and during the six-week break, I’d spend four of those with Robbie. He has been so good to me.” The old team will join forces in the two-year-old $20,000 NSW Breeders’ Challenge semi-finals at Menangle on Saturday week with Morris booked to handle both Roclea Ruler and La Cabeza Gem. Mitch said the two youngsters were the best of their team at the moment, but were not without their challenges. “Gem can tie-up badly at times. She was really bad two or three days before her win and we pretty much just walked her around leading up to the race. She is probably 60 to 70 percent right, but we are slowly getting on top of it,” he said. “Roclea Ruler has a big future, but he’s been so green. I think the racing and travelling he’s done over the past month has played a part in improving him.” La Cabeza Gem, who made the Gold Tiara final at Bathurst back in March after winning a qualifying heat, has three wins and three placings from seven starts. Two-year-old filly La Cabeza Gem powers to the line to score an easy win Roclea Ruler hasn’t been out of the money in his six starts—having two wins and four placings. “I’ve raced a few times at Menangle in the past. We had no joy, but hopefully we can turn that around when we’re there for the semis,” Mitch said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

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Columbus, MN - Nineteen year old harness racing driver Jacob Cutting scored his first ever Grand Slam on the Wednesday afternoon (September 30) program at Running Aces, his four wins included the feature race and covered half of the days card.   Cutting steered the 6-5 second choice in the wagering Justlikehim to a neck victory in a thrilling three-way battle to the wire in 1:56.4 over race favorite Mandeville (Nick Roland) and Magic Mvp (Chris Scicluna) in the featured $7,500 Open Handicap Trot. It was two wins in a row for Justlikehim ($4.60). The winner is owned by Orlando Nevarez and trained by Edwin Quevedo.       Pridecrest (Mooney Svendsen, $3.60) scored an 11-1/4 length romp in a $3,700 conditioned trot for owner Christopher Schick and trainer Kathie Plested-Wiseman, stopping the timer in 1:56.4 for his fifth win of the season, and fortieth career tally.   Villa For Rent ($3.20) wired the field in a $3,800 claiming/condition pace in 1:57.1 for three wins in a row, and completed a double on the day for both Mooney Svendsen and Kathie Plested-Wiseman.   Trainer Edwin Quevedo scored three wins on the program to move into second place in the Leading Trainer standings with just two more race cards to go for the 2020 Running Aces season.   The 20 cent Pick-5 Jackpot carryover now stands at $18,673.66. There will be a mandatory payout in all pools on Sunday, October 4. Post Time for both closing weekend cards is 1:00 pm CDT.   by Darin Gagne, for Running Aces
Batavia, NY --- Heavy rain, strong winds and sloppy goings were not the best conditions for racing on Wednesday night (Sept. 30), but they were no match for the storm harness racing driver Billy Davis Jr. kicked up on the track while winning six of the 13 races at Batavia Downs. Davis came out of the gate strong, winning both ends of the double with Surfers Paradise (1:57.3, $3.10) and The Land Shark (2:01.2, $14.80) and followed that up with victories with Wonderful World (1:56.1, $5.90), Pembroke Bada Bing (2:02, $22.20), Rockn Legend (2:00.3, $7.40) and Electric Chapel N (2:00.2, $4.30). Davis, who is the defending dash driving champion at the Downs, started Wednesday in second place and 10 wins behind the current leader Jim Morrill Jr. But with Morrill drawing a blank during the card, Davis is now only four wins away from moving into a first place tie. Davis is also currently the tenth leading percentage driver in North America with a .342 Universal Driver Rating. Morrill is fifth in that category with a .377. The one race Davis did not win was the featured $8,500 Open I trot. That race went to Lunar Credit and Jim McNeight Jr. who lurked second behind the front running Il Mago (Jim Morrill Jr.) all the way to the top of the stretch where the one-path opened up. Lunar Credit shot the gap to catch the leader and fend off the fast closing Daylon Phantom (Drew Monti) and Before I Die (Dave McNeight III) to win by 1/2 length in 1:58.4. Lunar Credit ($10.40) scored his fourth win for his owner/driver McNeight Jr. The winner is trained by Jim McNeight. Jim McNeight Jr. also had a big night in the bike winning two more races to score the hat trick. Trainers Jim McNeight, Andy Torre, Don Niles and Sabrina Shaw all registered two wins on Wednesday. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Oct. 3) with post time at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
Columbus, OH - The Standardbred Racing Investigative Fund (SRIF) announced its formal launch on Tuesday, Sept. 29. SRIF is a 501(c)(3) corporation formed to fund expert investigations into matters concerning the health and welfare of horses in the harness racing industry, such as prohibited medication practices and fraudulent trainer listings. "Independence and confidentiality must go hand-in-hand to generate a reliable investigative product. We took great care when planning to maximize these features, insulating the Oversight Committee within the organization. This, combined with the business model of outsourcing to top-level investigative firms, makes SRIF the first of its kind in racing," stated Russell Williams, SRIF's interim Secretary-Treasurer. SRIF will eventually be registered to operate in all harness racing jurisdictions. The Oversight Committee will supervise investigations and report results from completed investigations to the racing commissions or other appropriate authorities. The Oversight Committee, comprising retired federal and state judges and prominent attorneys at the law firm of Saxton & Stump, has impressive credentials as well as extensive experience in regional and national criminal and fraud investigations. Committee members include: Hon. Lawrence F. Stengel (Ret.) is a shareholder with the law firm of Saxton & Stump and currently chairs their internal investigations practice. He is the former Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and has served as a special investigator for the NFL Concussion Settlement program and chair of the oversight committee for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Independent Reparation and Reconciliation program. Kathleen Duffy Bruder, Esquire, is an attorney with the law firm of Saxton & Stump and chairs their regulatory and government affairs practice. Bruder is the former Deputy Chief of Staff for the Pennsylvania Office of the Governor under former Gov. Tom Corbett. She is a member of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Civil Procedural Rules Committee and is experienced in representing issues important to the state racing industry associations. Hon. Robert A. Graci (Ret.) is a former Chief Counsel to the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board, a retired Superior Court Judge and the former Chief Deputy Attorney General who headed the criminal appeals and investigating grand jury section. He has extensive investigative experience working with law enforcement officials at the local, state and federal levels. To see full bios on the three members of the Oversight Committee, click here. SRIF's initial funding comes from a $250,000 matching grant from Hanover Shoe Farms. Its initial officers and directors are Bridgette S. Jablonsky, VMD, Robert Boni, and Russell Williams. Several horsepersons' associations have expressed their solid support, and SRIF expects to be well funded for the long term. "The pending federal legislation includes nothing about investigative capability, so even if it becomes law, SRIF will be much needed," Williams added. Contributions can be sent to: Standardbred Racing Investigative Fund P.O. Box 339 Hanover, PA 17331 SRIF will maintain its own anonymous telephone tipline that cannot be accessed by any outside individual or organization. Information will go directly to the Oversight Committee. The SRIF tipline number will be published across all industry online journals once established. Media Contacts: Dan Leary, Director of Communications, USTA - Jenna Wagner, VP Marketing and Development, Saxton & Stump - Russell Williams, Interim Secretary-Treasurer, SRIF - From the USTA Communications Department    
HARRINGTON, DE - Bobby Myers' Big Al M ($3.40, Eddie Davis Jr.) was the fastest of four Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) $20,000 2-year-old trotting divisional harness racing winners Wednesday at Harrington Raceway. The Anders Bluestone gelding marched to the lead from post seven and never relented over Altar Call and Roll Juan.Big Al M won by six open lengths in 2:01.  Trained by Eric Davis, "Al" redeemed himself after hitting the wire first last week but being placed second due to a pylon disqualification.   The first filly split saw Harry Marsh Jr.'s Designer's Edge ($11, Bill Long) score a 2:04.4 win over Kim's Command and Annalee. A daughter of He's Spooky, Designer's Edge held off a fierce late bid from Kim's Command for her first career win. Rhett ($2.60, Tony Morgan) was heavily favored at 1-to-5 and didn't disappoint in the final male division as the Keystone Activator gelding notched his second straight win in 2:01.4 for owners Don and David Wiest. Trained by 90-year-old Don Wiest, Rhett led all the way and was comfortable six length winner over Someofmygoodtime and Malachi's Test. Providence West's Toni Lee ($45, Kim Vincent) was a 2:07.3 wire-to-wire winner in the final filly division over Amy Wil and Azurine. The He's Spooky filly notched her first lifetime win for trainer/driver Vincent. Tony Morgan, Allan Davis and Eddie Davis Jr. each had driving doubles. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway  

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