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World champ visiting Melton

SUPERSTAR Azumah Nelson will be harness racing’s special guest at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. In Australia to promote his biography and raise awareness of his home country’s fight against poverty, the champion boxer and humanitarian has been lured into harness racing via his close friendship with Tony Peacock. Accepting an invitation to be a guest of Harness Racing Victoria, Nelson, who is affectionately-known as The Professor, stated he is ‘excited’ to return the world class venue. The Ghanaian-born triple world champion admitted he caught the ‘harness bug’ while visiting Peacock’s Kilmore property and Tabcorp Park in 2010. With poverty the standard, not the exception in Ghana, Nelson is doing his best to eradicate the problem while also overseeing the Azumah Nelson Foundation. The Academy’s objective is to provide facilities and opportunities for handicapped and disadvantaged youth to reach their full potential. On offer are a range of educational and sporting ventures, including Australian Rules Football, which Nelson took a liking to during his previous visit. Along with their interest in standardbreds, Peacock and Nelson also share a love for pugilism, with the latter’s achievements well-known. The world’s best pound-for-pound boxer during the early 1990s, Nelson won three world titles as a featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight as well as the Ghanaian, Commonwealth and African crowns. Nelson’s new book – The Professor, Life story of Azumah Nelson – is a must read for all boxing, and general sports, fans. In a bid to meet and greet harness racing participants during his visit, Nelson will present each winning trainer with a signed copy of his book throughout the program. Nelson’s visit may also double as an omen for local trainer Lance Justice, who is hoping his retiring champion Smoken Up can end his career on a winning note. The last time Nelson enjoyed the racing at Melton Justice scored a double, including the night’s free-for-all! For more information on Nelson’s biography visit: www.azumahnelsonbiography.com PAUL COURTS

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Trigger's tough farewell draw

Harness racing superstar Smoken Up faces a tough challenge in his bid for a farewell victory at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Due to be retired after his appearance in the Casey Classic, Smoken Up has drawn awkwardly in gate nine for trainer Lance Justice. Admitting the barrier has hampered the prospects of a final win, Justice stated the outing is “more about enjoying the moment” with the sprightly 12-year-old. “If he wins, he wins and if he doesn’t it’s not the end of the world,” Justice declared. “Saturday is more about enjoying the moment as he says good bye to racing. “We’ve been fortunate to have won 72 races with him, so one more will only be some sweet, sweet icing on the cake. “Naturally, I would love to see him go out on a high, but from the draw it may not be possible. “Don’t get me wrong, I still think he can win, and no matter what happens, I know he will do his best as always. “Overall, it is going to be very emotion as it’s the end of an era.” Justice was fortunate to enjoy a perfect end to former stable star Sokyola’s career at Moonee Valley on June 22, 2007 when the son of Soky’s Atom accounted for The Warp Drive and The Phantoms Guest. “We were lucking enough to have a happy ending with Sokyola and with a bit of luck we can enjoy the same with Smoken Up,” Justice said. “A win would also bookend his career with me as he won on debut at Yarra Valley in March 2007. To begin and end with a win would be a fairytale.” Smoken Up has registered 72 victories and 48 placings from 141 starts with Justice for earnings of $3,588,949 to be Australasia's third richest pacer behind Blacks A Fake ($4,575,438) and Im Themightyquinn ($4,567,456). His wins include two Miracle Miles, four South Australia Cups, four Len Smith Miles and the Victoria Cup, with his best time of 1:48.5 coming at Tabcorp Park Menangle on April 30, 2011. The son of Tinted Cloud has claimed 13 Group Ones across the Southern Hemisphere, won at 15 tracks and set numerous records, including becoming the first standardbred on this side of the equator to better 1:50. While his favourite track is Menangle due its spacious 1400-metre circuit, Smoken Up has registered the majority of his wins at Melbourne’s two metropolitan tracks. In fact, the gelding boasts the record for the most wins at headquarters, with his 33 triumphs breaking down to 12 at Moonee Valley and 21 at Melton. That total also equates to 32 metropolitan wins and one country front. Former top mare Make Mine Cullen held the previous record thanks to her 30 wins between the two tracks. The daughter of Christian Cullen won 29 at Melton and one at Moonee Valley for Glenn Douglas. Her tally breaks down to 25 city and five country wins, with one of her provincial fronts coming at the Valley. Sokyola was credited as Moonee Valley’s leading performer with his 29 wins, which splits to 26 metro and three country. Former outstanding pacer Dusty Miller is believed to have won 27 races at the Ascot Vale Showgrounds, however, there are no in depth records to verify his stats. To put things into another perspective, the immortal Popular Alm notched 21 wins at the Valley, while his arch-rival, Gammalite, had 24! A farewell victory will also see Smoken Up fall a win short of True Roman’s ‘all-comers’ record in town. Among the best trotters produced in the Southern Hemisphere, True Roman won an amazing 35 races at the Valley. True Roman’s tally breaks down to an incredible 34 metro and one country success. “To have Sokyola as the most successful metro horse in numbers and now Smoken Up is amazing,” Justice said. “Now with a bit of luck Trigger can match old Soky by bowing out with a win. “Like I said, it’s going to be an emotional night and we will both be out there doing our best.” - PAUL COURTS

Lyonssomewhere

Lyonssomewhere upsets in $437,325 Cane Pace

Lyonssomewhere pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2014 harness racing season as he led from start to finish in capturing the first jewel of the pacing Triple Crown, the $437,325 60th annual Cane Pace at Tioga Downs on Labor Day Monday. Sent off at odds of 19-1, he paid $40.20 to win. A $35,000 supplement to the Cane Pace paid off for the three-year-old colt by Somebeachsomewhere who will now head out to Delaware, Ohio to go after the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the Little Brown Jug, on September 18. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Lyonssomewhere left from post seven and went right to the front with Luck Be Withyou (Ron Pierce) taking the two-hole spot from the rail. They sped to the opening quarter mile in a quick :26 seconds. Lyonssomewhere and Gingras were hot on the lead and took the field to half mile marker in :53.3 as JK Endofanera (Brian Sears) started up first-over with race favorite He’s Watching (Tim Tetrick) second-over. But to the surprise of all, Luck Be Withyou and Pierce came first-over in front of JK Endofanera as they wanted to go first up again Lyonssomewhere to the three-quarters in 1:21.3. It was then that Gingras realized the good position he was in and started to open up his lead by the top of the stretch with Lyonssomewhere as Tetrick has swept three-wide with He’s Watching and started to gain ground with every stride coming down the stretch. But it was too little too late as Gingras kept his colt going strong to win by a half length in a lifetime best clocking of 1:49.4. Doo Wop Hanover (Corey Callahan) was third. Trained by Jimmy Takter and owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound of Brentford, Ontario, it was the fifth win in nine starts this year for Lyonsssomewhere.   “Ronnie (Pierce) tried a couple of time to come after us,” said Yannick Gingras, “And he was not one of the horses I wanted to follow. I really did not know what I wanted to do behind the starting gate. I would have followed He’s Watching. My horse is handy enough that I could make my decision once the gate left. “I wasn’t sure if I would be able to hold him off (He’s Watching),” said Gingras, “He’s got an awesome kick. Around the last turn I knew he wasn’t in the top four so I wanted to get some separation between the two of us. It worked.” “We supplemented horse,” Takter said, “And when we got post seven I said to owner Jeff Lyons, Gosh we never get any luck with this horse. He had a great week going into this race. I had a feeling he could do it. I know how good he can be. He is a fantastic horse. “That is why we supplemented him to the Cane Pace,” Takter said, “Because he is so lightly staked we wanted to give him a chance in this race and now we will give him a shot in the Little Brown Jug.” “We are all over the moon and thumbs up after this race,” said owner Jeff Lyons, “We know he is a good horse. This time he got a good trip, a fantastic trainer and driver and so we made it.” The Labor Day card also saw Yannick Gingras triumph in the $25,000 Vernon/Tioga Drivers' Championship, winning the sixth race on the card with Cabrera en route to his title. A pair of wins from Matt Kakaley propelled him into second place, while Ron Pierce finished third. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Also Encouraging wins $150,000 Shady Daisy

CHARMED LIFE UPSETS IN MISS VERSATILITY

Vernon, NY --- Labor Day weekend harness racing began with a bang at Vernon Downs on Friday (Aug. 29) night as the opening leg of the Tioga-Vernon All-Star Drivers' Championship shared the spotlight with the Zweig Memorial, the Jack Bailey Memorial and the Crawford Farms Trot. All drivers advance to Tioga today (Sept. 1) for round two and the Cane Pace. Following the first four legs of round one of the drivers 'race for the cup' the lead is shared by Yannick Gingras and Ron Pierce with 20 points each. But it was not solely the lure of a $10,000 first prize that drew the top reinsmen to Vernon. With over three-quarters of a million dollars of purse money on the card, and some of the best racehorses in the country, the big guns were happy to be in town. For trainers, the day began with a noon check-in at the detention barn for the top stakes horses. Many horsemen made the most of the opportunity to attend the inaugural Open House at Crawford Farms in Durhamville, just 10 minutes north on route 31 near Verona. With plenty of yearlings to inspect, several trainers like Ron Burke, Linda Toscano, Charlie Norris, Homer Hochstetler and Gates Brunet got a head start on their evaluation rounds. Al and Michelle Crawford put out an elaborate spread of barbecue and refreshments and most attendees spent the sunny afternoon socializing and looking at colts. The crew at Vernon also had a fun-filled evening planned at the Downs, which started with an autograph session with the top drivers and included a T-shirt giveaway as well as the Jim Marohn Jr.bobblehead. Fans lined up along the apron to get the T-shirts and Marohn dolls which were individually emblazoned with the nine different drivers competing. Even the boss himself, Jeff Gural, was on-hand to greet the drivers and fans, and could be seen along the outside fence chatting with the Green Hornet before the card began. Following the third race was the ever popular Racing Under Saddle series $5,700 final. The race was won by Heather Reese who opened up a city block on the rest of the field by the time they rounded the final turn. Team Crawford packed the winner's circle to help celebrate with their colleague and farm manager who was the winning rider in 2:04 with Tymal Oh So Nice. Both Zweig finals went to Takter stable all-stars. Filly Shake It Cerry rallied in 1:53.4 with Ron Pierce driving and improved her seasonal stats to 8 wins in 10 starts and $395,036. Colt Father Patrick got back to his winning ways and eclipsed $700,000 for the season with regular pilot Yannick Gingras in 1:52.2. Despite all the 3-year-old trotting talent on tap, the elixir that the crowd was truly thirsty for was Sebastian K and the rest of the field in the $236,000 Crawford Farms Trot. The number one horse in North America went off the prohibitive 1-9 favorite and did not disappoint, winning strategically for Svanstedt USA in 1:53, equaling the track record. The Crawford-sponsored purse put the collective earnings of the talented field just over the $15 million mark, and included Archangel (2nd), Market Share (3rd), and 2013 Dan Patch Horse of the Year Bee A Magician (4th). Gingras and Pierce will be reunited today (Sept. 1) at Tioga along with Corey Callahan, Tim Tetrick, Matt Kakaley, Scott Zeron, Jody Jamieson, Jim Marohn Jr. and Chris Lems for the final round. Along with the drivers challenge, the Miss Versatility and the Shady Daisy fill-up the Southern Tier's holiday menu. Highlighted by the $437,325 Cane Pace, first leg of the pacing triple crown, the historic event features glamour boys He's Watching and JK Endofanera. Labor Day in central New York will assuredly go out with a bang as well. by Chris Tully

Star harness racing filly Mindarie Priddy has lost her battle with laminitis. Struggling to recover from a “simple” cut in her hoof, Mindarie Priddy had to be put down yesterday. Devastated by the news, trainer David Miles remains shocked by the manner in which the daughter of Artistic Fella met her demise. “All this is the result of something amazingly simple,” Miles said. “Initially she only stood on a toe chip, which developed into a foot infection that didn’t burst as you’d normally expect. “We took her to the vet surgery and it went pear-shaped from there, and before we knew it, she was fighting for her life. “In the end she was suffering from laminitis and we had to make the heartbreaking call.” Laminitis is a disease that affects hooved animals, often leading to perforation of the coffin bone through the sole of the hoof, requiring aggressive treatment or euthanasia. Sadly in the case of Mindarie Priddy – a winner of 11 races from 17 starts for earnings of $284,659 - it was the latter. In human terms, Laminitis is similar to gangrene, which often leads to amputation. “I can’t believe this has happened,” Miles declared. “We tried everything we could to save her, but her body was just fighting itself and not responding. “In the end the laminitis was too bad and there was every chance the pedal bone would have kept rotating and pushed through the sole of her foot. “There was even talk of getting a prosthetic leg for her, so I can tell you we tried, and thought of, everything, but the overall result is she had to be put down.” Miles also revealed connections flushed several embryos from the mare, which was served by leading sire, Bettors Delight. Again to Miles’ dismay, the embryos “didn’t take”. “During the last month we knew things weren’t looking good and were aware of what may come, so we tried to get some embryos out of her,” Miles said. “They were by Bettors Delight, which would have been a terrific mating, but they didn’t take, so we’ve ended up with nothing. “She was without doubt the best filly I have ever put a bridle on…she had speed, stamina and brains, she was the perfect racehorse. “The Australian Pacing Gold will remain her best win, but for one reason or another, we never got to see the best of her.” PAUL COURTS

It’s been almost 20 years since the acronym HIPAA entered the American lexicon. Shorthand for the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, HIPAA was promulgated to, among other things, regulate the use and disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI) and standardize electronic health care transactions for billing, reimbursement and other purposes. Everyone has been exposed to HIPAA. When filling out those numerous clipboard information forms in the doctor’s waiting room, a HIPAA release form is included. With some limited exceptions, a doctor may not speak about a patient’s condition or treatment with anyone, including family members and friends, without the patient’s express consent. Do the privacy aspects of the HIPAA statute make sense? It’s obvious that our health is one of our most guarded secrets. Like it or not, certain conditions and illnesses like depression, cancer and alcoholism carry public stigma, our enlightened 21st century society notwithstanding. Moreover, aspects of human dignity must be considered. Think about two doctors in a hospital elevator nonchalantly talking about the hopeless prognosis for the elderly lady in bed 602, not aware that her daughter is riding the elevator with them. Pre-HIPAA, such unfortunate breaches were commonplace. Making sure our confidential health information is judiciously safeguarded has its place. Should racehorse veterinary records be afforded HIPAA-like privacy protection? Do reports regarding the administration of medication or the performance of therapeutic procedures qualify as protected health information? If the questions sound somewhat absurd, consider that equine health records are treated as rather secretive data, the disclosure of which generally can’t be compelled. This summer, the issue of veterinary record transfer was discussed at theGrayson-Jockey Club Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit. The conversation mostly involved the claiming realm. When a trainer successfully claims a racehorse on behalf of an owner, he or she gets the horse, and nothing else. The conditioner receives no information about any special feed or vitamin regimens, quirks or idiosyncrasies; much less any information about prior illnesses and surgeries. Inasmuch as veterinary records are the property of the owner, it is it’s generally believed that vets can’t turn over treatment records to new owners without the permission of the owner who authorized the treatments. Interestingly, this may not legally be the case. In New York, for example, Education Law § 6714 governs the disclosure of treatment records. The relevant subdivision states: “Upon written request from the owner of an animal which has received treatment from or under the supervision of a veterinarian, such veterinarian shall provide to such owner within a reasonable time period a copy of all records relating to the treatment of such animal.  For the purposes of this section, the term "records" shall mean all information concerning or related to the examination or treatment of the  animal kept by the veterinarian in the course of his or her practice…” Nothing in the subdivision appears to prohibit a veterinarian who previously treated a horse from disclosing those records to the animal’s new owner. In fact, it might mandate it if a request is made. Of course, identifying the horse’s previous treatment providers might prove difficult. This is especially true in the harness realm, as many of our horses are on private farms and training centers, as opposed to the backstretch of a racetrack where a trainer’s choice of vet is open and well known. Here are some points to ponder before you decide what’s best for the industry: Horseracing, like other professional sports, is a competitive endeavor. Why should trainer Smith be obligated to turn over a horse’s records to trainer Jones, who might subsequently race the horse against one of the other horses in trainer Smith’s stable?  Unlike virtually all other professional sports, however, wagering on the outcome of contests is perfectly legal. Why shouldn’t trainer Jones have all available prior veterinary information at his disposal in order to assist the horse to compete to his maximum ability? After all, isn’t that level of performance what the betting public expects?  Isn’t the health and safety of the animal always paramount? While there should be no requirement to tell anybody anything about the horse while in trainer Smith’s possession, once control is transferred to trainer Jones, shouldn’t the new conditioner be able to do everything possible to promote the horse’s wellbeing? Horses can’t talk, but the human previously charged with supporting the animal’s health can offer much in the way of assistance. Once the claim is consummated, why can’t trainer Smith’s vet disclose to trainer Jones exactly what he’s gotten his owner into, thereby assisting Jones’ vet to properly maintain the horse? Some trainers are known to be specialists at getting horses to the winner’s circle first time off the claim. The lack of the horse’s health history certainly doesn’t hamper these trainers as much as others. The key to victory might just be trainer Jones’ unique husbandry, which is performed without, and possibly in spite of, whatever trainer Smith thought the horse needed.  If you’ve read this far, you’ve already thought about the metaphorical elephant in the room: How many treatments, procedures and administrations are done under the radar, such that there are no records in anyone’s possession regarding their performance? Whether accomplished by a phantom vet or the unscrupulous trainer Smith himself, no amount of mandated rules will help trainer Jones know what has really been done to the horse. In this realm, couldn’t incomplete records be worse than no records at all? Stated another way, if trainer Jones can’t justifiably rely on the records provided, do they have much value at all? On this last point, if trainer Jones later discovers that the records provided are incomplete, can Jones’ owner sue Smith’s owner for damages, or even void the claim? Would the legal issue only trigger if the records were found to be substantially incomplete? Materially incomplete? Consider the damage this would do to the claiming game. In this same vein, what about yearling auctions? Inasmuch as there are absolutely no warranties for anything, save some express limited guarantees regarding freedom from certain conditions and procedures, why should the turnover of information be required? If every illness, injection or surgery is to be disclosed, would nondisclosure, innocent or otherwise, trigger lawsuits? In effect, would the traditional “buyer beware” nature of auctions be forever changed? Assuming the propriety of the mandatory exchange of veterinary information, a broader discussion involves just how it would be accomplished. Vets keep records, so should a rule simply state that every vet who previously treated a horse is required to turn over data to a new owner on request? Such a protocol would seem cumbersome, as all prior vets, including those of owners remotely in the horse’s past performance chain, would need to be identified. Rather, should regulated disclosure involve an electronic database repository, such that a racing commission could review the information at any time? In New York, trainers or their veterinarians must report all corticosteroid joint injections within 48 hours through an Equine Steroid Administration Log. Should this form of reporting be expanded to include every administration of a substance or completion of a procedure? While on the subject of horse health, should the database include records of vaccinations, shoeing and teeth floating? Who would bear the expense for such reporting and database maintenance? What would such a system do to the cost of veterinary care? Moreover, given the multistate nature of Standardbred racing, such a protocol would need to come by way of interstate compact to be efficacious. For example, assume Pennsylvania has a record disclosure rule. If I claim a horse at Pocono Downs, what good would the rule do me if the horse spent the majority of its career in a state where no similar rule existed? Finally, if the formidable task of populating and maintaining a database is to be undertaken, shouldn’t it simply become information freely accessible in real time to handicappers? While betting on football isn’t legal, player injury reports are openly disseminated. Since the bettors know if a horse got a Lasix® shot this afternoon, shouldn’t they also know about the epiglottic entrapment corrective procedure the horse underwent last year? Why can’t the savvy punter research whether a horse’s dam ever foundered, or whether his sire suffered a bowed tendon as a 2 year old? In fact, shouldn’t veterinary reporting extend to treatment of breeding stock? To be clear, the USTA doesn’t have any pronounced opinion or official position on any aspect of this subject. The issue is presented because it has been recently raised in a public forum. As folks who care about this industry, your opinion about what should or shouldn’t happen is important. Think about it, and let us know how you feel. Chris E. Wittstruck is an attorney, a director of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and a charter member of the Albany Law School Racing and Gaming Law Network.

It was a case of mixed emotions at Victorian harness racing’s biggest social event – TAB.COM.AU Charity Football Day – at Bendigo yesterday. As a high, the Melton girls cleaned up in the Aldebaran Netball Cup, but on the downside, the Melton fellas were smashed on the Tabcorp footy field. Melton is yet to win from four starts…the only team still waiting to enjoy a taste glory! On the opposite end of the scale, the skill and agility of the netballers placed them in a class of their own as they rocketed to success. Multiple Group One winning reinswoman Kate Gath was the recipient of the Yirribee Stud Most Valuable Player Award. Gath’s football counterpart was Heath Barton, who enjoyed double success as a member of the triumphant Shepparton squad. After dispensing of Ballarat in the opener, Shepparton then accounted for defending champions, Bendigo, to hold the Tabcorp Premiership Cup aloft. Tobey Courts,11, earned an honourable mention after booting four goals, including three against Ballarat. Away from the fun and games, the event had a serious side – raising awareness and valuable funds for the Childrens’ Tumour Foundation. Thrilled with the wide spread involvement, organiser Robbie O’Connell declared both ‘goals’ were achieved by the 500-strong crowd. “The amount of publicity this day has generated has certainly helped raising the awareness of the cause,” O’Connell said. “Anyone in harness racing would have to have been living in a cave not to have known about the day and what it’s all about. “And I’m thrilled to say we eclipsed last year’s total and even bettered our target amount in money raised. After $14,000 last year we were hoping for $20,000 this time, but we’re sitting on $22,000 at the moment. “Everyone involved, be it sponsor, helper, player or spectator can hold their heads up high…well, except for the Melton footy team!” There were also plenty of fun activities for the kids throughout the afternoon, as they enjoyed the jumping castle, little athletics competition and the free Auckland Reactor soccer and footballs thanks to Alabar Bloodstock. Alexa Astin and Will Janky were big winners after scoring bikes thanks to Amart Sports Melton by guessing the amount of snakes in a jar. “I couldn’t believe Alexa guessed the exact amount,” O’Connell said. “I thought I was clever not making it an obvious amount like 125 or 120, so I left it at 123. “According to Alexa’s dad her guess was simple, she counted them one, two, three, so he wrote that down! “Overall if was a terrific day, everyone had fun and we achieved our goals thanks to the sponsors, the helpers and every person who came and participated in the spirit of it all.” PAUL COURTS

The Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association have certainly got harness racing people talking with their innovative broodmare and mixed stock sale. Scheduled for next Thursday (September 11th), the sale concept is unlike anything seen in New Zealand before and has created a lot of interest from breeders and buyers if the feedback we are getting at Harnesslink is anything to go by. The timing of the sale has met with almost universal approval and with spring upon us and the breeding season commencing shortly it does seem an opportune time to sell/buy breeding stock. The other breeding stock sales up to now have been held in May where you have the prospect of a hard winter in front of you and that has tended to drag the sales down a touch, especially in the South Island. No stock will be on site next Thursday with all prospective buyers having done their due diligence prior to the sale. The aim of that measure is to keep the cost down to the vendors with transport a major cost for those vendors outside of Christchurch. There is a small entry fee of $125 but no commission is payable on any lots that are sold which makes this a very low cost sale for the vendors. The sale has attracted 72 entries in the broodmare section and 18 in the mixed stock section which is a good number for a first up sale of this type. As with any new venture there are things that are not quite up to the mark and the one drawing the most comment is the form of the online catalogue.  Notable Australian breeders such as Trevor Swan and Anne Anderson have expressed their frustration at not having a catalogue page to peruse and the amount of work that is required  to research the immediate family of each lot. What this sale has done is bring some new vendors to the market with maternal families that have been hard to acquire in the recent past. All in all we think the Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association should be applauded for trying to have a sale with a low cost structure at a time that suits everyone in the industry. If they can fix up the catalogue issue for future sales then the Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association may be on to a winner. For details on the sale click here. Harnesslink Media

Rhyds Destiny joined the ranks of the elite in harness racing in West Cork as he captured the coveted All Ireland Harness Final at Clonakilty on Sunday . Seven runners lined up for the premier event on the calendar and Rhyds Destiny with Mike Kelleher in the bike set a blistering early pace on this mile and three furlong event. Best of The Fleet went in pursuit of the pace maker along with Ringo Star and Miraculous Return but this was a day that Rhyds Destiny met his "Destiny" and run out an easy eight length winner from Ringo Star who had won the stayers championship at the three day Tregaron festival in Wales last week . The winner is jointly owned by Leap based John Shanahan and Aiden Hayes and John Mycock a Derbyshire dairy farmer in the UK who is a regular visitor to the West Cork area and has in the past been associated with Fidlin another All Ireland winner. Winning driver Mike Kelleher drove two winners on the day having earlier coming off the pace in the final furlong to win on Meadowbranch Kiki who won his maiden at the same fixture last year. IB Maximus is another to win in Wales last week followed up with a hard fought win in the Grade 1 & 2. This son of Kikicolt took to this testing track to hold off Rocokoko and The Hitman in a blanket finiosh to ensure driver Donal Murphy the 2014 ITHRF drivers championship . Mr Security with owner "Red" John O Donovan in the bike notched up another win in his best season to date . Drawn in pole position this son of Cams Security led from the start and his five length winning margin may have been a lot more if required . IB Mohican has found end of season form and denied 2014 ITHRF horse of the year Sunnyside Kildare his seventh local win . Seamus Quill was seen at his best to deny "Kildare " another win . The talented but at times erratic Millers Boy broke his maiden in a fashion that suggests that 2015 may bring further honours for this son of Timon Del Sol who gave Brickley Racing yet another win in a season that saw the Baltimore based stables win their first Ballabuidhe Grand Prix. by Tim Kelleher RESULTS Maiden & Novice 1. Shelley Brickley MILLERS BOY C Brickley 2. C & C Racing MEADOWBRANCH LUCKY J Cross 3. Talavary Stud TALAVARY TIARA M Kelleher DIST 3l 12l TIME 2.10.6 SP EV 3/1 3/1 Novice & Grade 1 1. Kelleher Bros MEADOWBRANCH KIKI M Kelleher 2. P McInerney BRYWINS LIFESTYLE Owner 3. D O Brien NAVY BLUE M O Brien DIST 1/2l 1/2l TIME 2.12.4 SP 5/2 2/1 3/1 Grade 1 & 2 1. IB Stables IB MAXIMUS D Murphy 2. B Duggan ROCOKOKO J O Donovan 3. J Hill THE HITMAN K Sheehy DIST 1l SH TIME 2.12.4 SP 6/4 6/4 3/1 Grade 2 - 4 1. F Quill IB MOHICAN S Quill 2. S Buckley SUNNYSIDE KILDARE D Murphy 3. K Connolly TALENTED MAN K Sheehy DIST 1/2l 4l TIME 2.08.8 SP 3/1 4/5 3/1 Grade 4 & 5 1. J O Donovan MR SECURITY Owner 2. Marie Moloney CAMDEN JIMMY M O Reilly 3. F Quill IB RAPIDO D Quill DIST 5l 1/2l TIME 2.10.6 ALL IRELAND HARNESS FINAL (Sponsored by Bernies Bar Clonakilty) 1.Shanahan /Mycock /Hayes RHYDS DESTINY M Kelleher 2. F Brickley RINGO STAR C Brickley 3. C & C Racing MIRACULOUS RETURN J Cross DIST 8l 1l TIME 3.06.7 SP 4/7 4/1 5/1  

The 2014 harness racing season at Clinton Raceway came to a close on Sunday afternoon (August 31), and six $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions were contested on the program. The star of those races was Thinkofagameplan, who moved into sole possession of the top spot in the Grassroots point standings with a 1:57 track record performance in the third split. With Randy Waples handling the driving assignment, Thinkofagameplan overtook leader Pan Street USA (Doug McNair) from first-over past three-quarters and then drew away in the stretch to win by four lengths in the new track record clocking. Pan Street USA wound up second with Pair Of Deuces (Paul MacDonell) back in third. The 1:57 effort dropped the track record for a two-year-old pacing colt by a fifth of a second. It had belonged to Front Row since he won a Grassroots division in 1:57.1 on September 21, 2003. Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his third win (all in Grassroots competition) from six attempts and pushed his bankroll to $36,660, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. In other action three horses picked up their second Grassroots wins of the season. The first to do it was Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell), who backed up his victory last Sunday at Georgian Downs with a 1:59.2 tally in the Grassroots opener. He was followed up by Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon), who bagged the fourth section in 1:58 after a two-hole trip, and The Fire Within (Jody Jamieson) was the last to double up as he snagged the fifth flight in 1:58.4. Trainer Jack Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ontario, owns Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who is now two-for-five in the win column with a bankroll of $30,500, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. Joe Hudon, who resides in Acton, Ontario, also co-owns Twin B Scandal, a gelded son of Mach Three-Twin B Intrigue (McArdle), with partner R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, Ontario. Twin B Scandal now has a pair of triumphs from seven efforts, and he has banked $28,440. The dam of Twin B Scandal is out of Daylon Magic, who won 18 times in Ontario Sires Stakes competition between her two- and three-year-old seasons. Twin B Scandal, who brought $32,000 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale, was bred by Twinbrook Limited and James Kirk. The Fire Within is a gelding by Whosurboy and out of the Big Towner mare Mollie Hanover ($311,480). The half-brother to millionaire Illusionist picked up his third win from six attempts and ran his rookie season earnings to $23,620 for breeder, owner, trainer Fred Drouillard of Dutton, Ontario. Also winning in Grassroots competition today were: --Star Cover (Jody Jamieson, 1:57.3). This son of Royal Mattjesty is owned and trained by Blake MacIntosh of Waterdown, Ontario. Star Cover has won twice from seven trips behind the gate, and he has put away $14,060. He was bred by Winbak Farm and fetched $4,500 at the 2013 Forest City Yearling Sale. Star Cover’s dam is the Dexter Nukes mare Armbro Rosebud ($721,057), an Ontario Sires Stakes superstar who won 11 times from 14 attempts during her OSS career. --Charlottes Colony (Trevor Henry, 1:58). An Art Colony colt, Charlottes Colony broke his maiden in his fifth try and boosted his output to $16,800. Charlottes Colony is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Thomas McGuffog of Hanwell and Geoffrey Macneish of Douglas, New Brunswick. Charlottes Colony, whose dam is the Mohican Pride mare OGs Starlett ($536,647), was bred by Dan Belliveau and was hammered down for $4,200 at last year’s Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale. The next Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots event for rookie pacing males will take place on September 12 at Mohawk Racetrack. For full results and charts click here. Ontario Sire Stakes  

If we could hear it 'from the horse's mouth', it's pretty obvious what harness racing superstar Smoken Up will be wishing for. With today (1st of September) the beginning of the Australian season, Smoken Up and his standardbred counterparts are celebrating their birthday. Marking his 12th birthday with a party and cake at trainer Lance Justice's stable in Melton, Victoria, Smoken Up is on the verge of retirement. To be more precise, the son of Tinted Cloud is due to have his last start at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Taking that into consideration, Smoken Up is likely to be wishing for a 'fairytale ending'...least that's what Justice and the gelding's connections are looking to achieve with the multi millionaire. Justice was fortunate to enjoy a perfect end to former stable star Sokyola's career at Moonee Valley on June 22, 2007 when the son of Soky's Atom accounted for The Warp Drive and The Phantoms Guest. "We were lucking enough to have a happy ending with Sokyola and with a bit of luck we can enjoy the same with Smoken Up at Tabcorp Park next Saturday night," Justice said. "We will know how our chances are shaping up a little better on Tuesday when the fields come out and can see where he has drawn. "I'm a realist and am fully aware it's unlikely to happen, but at the same time we can enjoy the ride, hope for a good draw and then hope for the best on race night. "Whether he wins or not, it's going to be a joyful and sad occasion at the same time as it's the end of an era." Successful upon debut for Justice at Yarra Valley on March 8, 2007, Smoken Up has registered a further 71 victories and 48 placings from 141 starts for earnings of $3,588,949 to be Australasia's third richest pacer behind Blacks A Fake ($4,575,438) and Im Themightyquinn ($4,567,456). His wins include two Miracle Miles, four South Australia Cups, four Len Smith Miles and the Victoria Cup, with his best time of 1:48.5 coming at Tabcorp Park Menangle on April 30, 2011. Smoken Up has claimed 13 Group Ones across the Southern Hemisphere, won at 15 tracks and set numerous records, including becoming the first standardbred on this side of the equator to better 1:50. PAUL COURTS

Tumble Dust (4m Crazed-Affinity-Victory Dream) easily won today's 2014 Danish Derby in Copenhagen worth 600,000kr (US$106,183) to the winner. Bjorn Goop teamed Tumble Dust to his third consecutive win for trainer Tomas Malmqvist and owner Stall Easy KB.  The winner recorded his seventh career victory in 23 starts, now for earnings of 2,491,245kr (US$440,881). Tumble Dust scored over 3000 meters autostart (1-7/8 miles, three laps around the 1000 meter oval) in 1.14.7kr despite the sloppy racetrack dulled by day-long rains that delayed the start of the racing program. His time was the fastest Derby winner ever despite the off-track conditions. Wagering favorite Tumble Dust (odds 1.7/1) scored from post four and took to the front in the first turn from T Rex and reinsman Lars Anvar Kolle, and then led throughout. Tano Bork (by Great Challenger) and Tango Vang (by Lindy Lane) were second and third. Bred and raised by Thomas Lind-Holm Washer and trained by Jagersro's Tomas Malmqvist, Tumble Dust prepped at Charlottenlund with a victory in a derby trial 14 days ago over 2500 meters. Prior to the trial he had been racing at the 1609 meter sprinter distance. In the final run Tumble Dust was almost alone on the field, and won easily by three lengths, while Tano Bork, who had been sitting in the third couple on the outside, ended well for second place for teamster Christian Lindhardt. Tumble Dust's next big task will be to qualify to start in the European Derby, which this year will be raced at Mauquenchy (FR). Tumble Dust gave trainer Malmqvist his second Danish Derby victory and it was the first time that Bjorn Goop won the Derby in Copenhagen. Fine racing at Charlottenlund graced the Danish Derby undercard today. The Gr. II UET Masters Series Rex The Great, raced over 2000 meters autostart for 187,500kr to the winner, went to O'Grady (8m SJ's Photo-Dawn Garbo-Smasher) and trainer/driver Flemming Jensen. He scored in 1.14.5kr to record his 35th win in 66 starts, now for earnings of 2,781,679kr. Politiken (7g Ens Snapshot-Goldie Hawn-Earthquake) was second for Morten Friis and Obi-Wan (8g Ganymede-Hejsa Reerstrup-Speedy Herve) ended third. Commander Crowe and Kaffir Face were scratched. Well-regarded Owen CR was shuffled toward the back and his attempt to circle the filed around the last bend was unsuccessful. The Derby Consolation (2000 meters autostart for 50,000kr to the winner) went to Triton Sisa (4g Credit Winner-Keenness Sisa-Carmody Lobell) for teamster/trainer Jan Dahlgaard. He scored in 1.14.4kr over Tripolini VP and Top Winner. The Walther Kaiser-Hansens 2014 race for 75,000kr to the winner went to Je T'Aime Express and Peter Untersteiner. The Swedish bred three year-old gelded son of Symphonic Hanover-Je T'Aime Marron-Sugarcane Hanover scored in 1.14.3kr over 2000 meters autostart. The Krafft Stayercup over 2950 meters distance handicapped, worth 60,000kr to the winner, went to Alphatron reined by Jeppe Juel. The winner raced without distance penalty and scored in 1.16kr over 13 rivals, 11 of which started with 20 or 40 meter penalties. Two year-olds face the starter in the Mark Ingdams over 2000 meters autostart. 50,000kr went to impressive winner Amalie Bork (2f Beaumont Hanover-Malou Bork-Chipmate) in 1.17kr. She's now undefeated in three starts. Another CN (by Buvetier d'Aunou) and Alongcameaspider (by Lindy Lane) were next and a battle for third also involved Alex Trojborg (by Great Challenger) and Echauffour US (Donato Hanover-Bourbon Dream), the latter piloted by Bjorn Goop for J-P Dubois in his first start.  by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

The Muscle Hill-Oiseau-Andover Hall colt Babe La Marc topped tonight's DTC Danish Derby Yearling Sale, attracting a winning bid of 210,000 Danish krone ($37,000 US) from trainer Peter G. Norman. Oiseau is from Weather Bird, she by Lindy Lane from the Speedy Crown mare San Antonio Belle, winner of the Kentucky Standardbred at age two in the US. Seven yearlings brought 100,000kr or more as 42 sold of the 66 cataloged. Those sold averaged 56,857kr, or US$10,022. The sale summary and top five sellers are shown below. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

With race favorites winning most of the stakes races at Mohawk Raceway Saturday night, Modern Legend was the shocker of the evening as he won the $634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby at odds of 66-1 Saturday and paid $135.70 to win. The 1/5 betting favorite, Sweet Lou, saw his ten-race winning streak come to an abrupt halt in the race as he was on the lead coming down the stretch but faded to sixth place at the finish. The race began with Bettor’s Edge (Matt Kakaley) beating out Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) to the early lead but once they reached the opening quarter mile in :26, Gingras came right out with Foiled Again and took command. Then by the half mile in :53, Ron Pierce came charging up first-over with Sweet Lou and cleared with ease to control the pace. And just as Sweet Lou was on the lead, up came Clear Vision (Brett Miller) to challenge first-over and following their cover was the long shot Modern Legend and driver David Miller. Past the three-quarters in a blazing 1:20.1, Clear Vision was about to collar Sweet Lou as they started down the stretch and Foiled Again and Gingras were already trying to squeeze by on the inside as everyone sensed that Sweet Lou had had enough. But it was David Miller and Modern Legend who proved to be much the best as they tipped three-wide on the final turn and mowed everybody by, pulling away for a three and one-half length triumph in 1:47.2. Foiled Again was second with Clear Vision third. The time of the race tied the track, stakes and Canadian record with A Rocknroll Dance in 2013. It was a lifetime mark and the fourth win this year for Modern Legend. The six-year-old gelding by Modern Art was bred and is owned and trained by Dave Drew of Catharines, Ontario. “This is the only horse I have right now,” said Dave Drew, “I had as many as five this year but now down to just this one. This is a horse of a lifetime for me and this was a race of a lifetime. He has been racing for me on the Grand Circuit the last couple of years and always coming close and never really putting it all together. But tonight David Miller gave him a perfect drive and he was on his game. Just a super night for him. “He has always raced well but has had some outside posts earlier this season,” Drew said. “Had some tough trips, was interfered with but he has been racing well and it was just a matter of putting it all together at the right time and in the right race and he did that tonight. It was just a superb night for me and my family.” “It worked out great tonight,” said winning driver David Miller, “I know the horse Clear Vision and I figured if I can get on his back and follow him and he would take us to where we needed to be in the race. I was real surprised around the last turn as I still had a lot of horse coming to the stretch so I fanned him out and he did the rest. He raced tremendous. He beat some great horses tonight. Hats off to the horse. He’s been racing against them the past couple of years and it was great to see him get the job done.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

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Scioto Downs to host the 2014 Ohio Super Night on Saturday, September 27. The invigorating, full card will have purses in excess of $2 million.   Ohio Super Night will feature the eight Ohio Sires Stakes Finals with purses of $200,000 each. The rich card will also host The Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational Pace for a $200,000 bounty plus the Chip Noble Memorial Trot for a purse of $75,000, an Open Pace and a Filly and Mare Open Pace, both chasing a $50,000 prize.   If anyone is interested in the Super Night events, please contact the Scioto Downs race office at (614) 295-4668 or (614) 295-4669.   From Scioto Downs Racino    
September 2, 2014 - The week off in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs gave the handicappers the opportunity to think over their handicapping strategy and by doing so, they came out guns a blazing with five instances of handicappers scoring net profits of over $1,000 on any given day. When the dust settled, Mark McKelvie was the big winner for the week showing a net profit of $2,586, leapfrogging from 8th to 3rd place. While McKelvie won the week, Bob Zanakis regained the lead over Brandon Valvo with a swing a $2,919.25 thanks to his weekly net profit of $2,094.75. Gordon Waterstone's weekly net profit of $2,103 moved him from 12th place to 6th. On Thursday, August 28, Bob Zanakis started the hit parade, playing a $6 price part wheel trifecta ($144 total) in the first division of the Champlain and it paid off handsomely as he received a dividend of $2,408.40. Other key hits on Thursday were Sally Hinckley's $10 trifecta key ($120l) in the third division of the Champlain which paid $301, Dennis O'Hara's $50 cold exacta in the same race which returned $260, and Ann Stepien's $2 four-horse trifecta box ($48) earned $143.60. On a typical day, Gordon Waterstone's $20 trifecta key ($120) in the third division would normally have been the talk of the town with its $602 return but alas, Zanakis' play overshadowed this accomplishment. On Friday, August 2, the handicappers gathered their collective breaths with no particular breakouts. While the day's action was sedate, there were some individual bets worth noting. Derick Giwner's $150 exacta in the Zweig Memorial returned $405 while in the same race, Hinckley's $25 trifecta key ($150) paid $307.50. Saturday saw three players with big nights. Mark McKelvie led the trio with a net profit of $3,226 thanks to a $20 trifecta part-wheel ($60) in the She's A Great Lady. Waterstone earned $1,403 as a result of a $10 trifecta part wheel ($200) in the same race and O'Hara's $1,097 evening was attributable to a $30 trifecta key ($360) in the Metro which grossed $1,497. Other solid plays were Ray Garnett's $14 trifecta key ($280) in the Metro paid a $698.60 dividend as was Hinckley's $10 trifecta key play, returning $499. In the first division of the Simcoe, Josi Verlingieri had two winning tickets, a $25 exacta box ($150) paid $317.50 and a $125 win, place wager which returned $943.75. With a one day break, the handicappers returned for a Labor Day stanza which belonged to Garnet Barnsdale with his hit in the Shady Daisy. While Barnsdale had listed a $1 superfecta part wheel ($42), his ticket was reduced to a $.30 ticket ($12.60) which paid $2,561.90, reflecting the size of the superfecta pool. Waterstone was the only other player who won on Sunday as his $30 exacta box ($180) paid $438. The current standings after the completion of four legs are: As of September 1, 2014 - Leg 27 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis $2,094.75 $4,303.45   2nd Brandon Valvo ($824.50) $2,780.00 $1,523.45 3rd Mark McKelvie $2,586.00 $1,962.00 $2,341.45 4th Josi Verlingieri $937.40 $1,551.55 $2,751.90 5th Earl Paulson ($504.00) $240.90 $4,062.55 6th Gordon Waterstone $2,103.00 $202.70 $4,100.75 7th Brian McEvoy $67.50 ($110.00) $4,413.45 8th Derick Giwner ($715.00) ($759.23) $5,062.68 9th Garnet Barnsdale $1,331.30 ($894.70) $5,198.15 10th Ray Garnett ($480.40) ($1,102.55) $5,406.00 11th Sally Hinckley ($122.00) ($1,793.90) $6,097.35 12th Ann Stepien ($406.95) ($2,156.06) $6,459.51 13th Rusty Nash ($745.65) ($2,369.76) $6,673.21 14th Dennis O'Hara $467.00 ($2,579.70) $6,883.15 15th Ray Cotolo ($1,150.00) ($5,698.40) $10,001.85 This week, one leg of the contest will be held on Saturday, September 6 at Mohawk Racetrack with a trio of races scheduled, the Simcoe for 3yo open pacers and the Champlain for 2yo open pacers and 2yo filly pacers will be contested. As always, the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. by Allan Schott for HANA
HARRINGTON, Del. - Overlooked at odds of 14-to-1, Jeffrey Bartels' Last Shot Leeton ($31, Roger Plante Jr.) was an upset winner in the $11,000 feature Monday at Harrington Raceway in 1:52.3. Trained by Eli Scott Jr., Last Shot Leeton settled behind a contested pace which saw Major Bucks on the front in 26.2 to the opening quarter-mile, 55 seconds to the half-mile and 1:23.3 to the three-quarters. Last Shot Leeton mounted his attack his second-over behind favorite People Are Crazy before fanning wide at the top of the stretch and blowing by the leaders for a one-length win over Ourea Nourrir and People Are Crazy. It was the second straight win for Last Shot Leeton. Plante, George Dennis and Ross Wolfenden each had two wins on the ten-race program. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway
Drivers Truman Gale and Jimmy Whittemore each scored three victories on the Labor Day matinee program at Vernon Downs.   Gale picked up victories in the first race with Mass Appeal (Muscle Mass-Pana Colada), the seventh race with Psyched (Conway Hall-Psychotherapist), and the tenth and final race with Funny Photo (Classic Photo-American Jean). Funny Photo was sent off as the even-money favorite and certainly trotted that way, winning by a comfortable margin of five lengths in a final time of 1:57.   Whittemore won the third race with the betting favorite, How Bout Cash (Cash Hall-Hot Chili Girl), the sixth race with Ehi Guaglione (Camotion-Her Eyes Only), and the eighth race with Jokerman (American Ideal-Shark Tail).   The drive with Jokerman might have been the most impressive of the day for Whittemore. The horse was sent off at 26-1 and sat last in the field of seven through the three-quarter mark before weaving through traffic in the stretch to strike the front before the wire and win, returning $54 for those who backed him.   The $3,500 feature race on the Monday program was the ninth race, which was a work of art by the winner Daley Lovin (Conway Hall-Dreamsrmadeofthis).   Trainer-driver Dan Daley sent Daley Lovin immediately to the lead and was never threatened after that. The colt built up an eight-length lead through three-quarters and continued to pull away through the stretch, eventually building a winning margin of sixteen lengths. The fractions were 27.2 for the quarter, 56.3 for the half, 1:24.3 for three-quarters, and a final time of 1:53.4.   The complete order of finish for the ninth race was: Daley Lovin, Sonnewald, Im-A-Gangster, Paradise Paintball, Tellmehowyoulikeit, Lucy, and Dewlalula.   Daley Lovin is owned by Ann-Mari Daley of Lake Worth, Florida and Jirl LLC of Yonkers, New York.   by Michael Chamberlain, for Vernon Downs 
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