Auckland Trotting Club's Visionary plans

Auckland Club's stunning plans to secure future

Everybody involved in harness racing in New Zealand knows that there are major challenges facing the industry. Whatever branch of the industry you look at has issues that are threatening the very existence of the sport we love. From the decline in the number of mares being sent to stud to the difficulty in retaining owners in the game through to a management structure that is more attuned to the 19th century than the 21st century we live in and you have an industry in real difficulty. The two major clubs in New Zealand are the Auckland Trotting Club based at Alexandra Park and the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club based at  Addington Raceway and both deserve credit in the last few years for lifting stake levels and increasing returns to stake holders. Both have achieved this by developing large income streams outside of harness racing and have used those funds to help lift stake levels. The Auckland Trotting Club have now released visionary development plans that if implemented in full will see a huge lift in stakes at Alexandra Park and will definitely give the whole harness racing industry in New Zealand a huge boost when it needs it most. The proposals are for the establishment of a village type concept at the eastern end of Alexandra Park which has an estimated cost of development of $205,400,000. It will involve a nine story apartment complex of 231 apartments with 8 of these being luxury penthouse units and a major retail complex underneath the apartments. It is envisaged that the construction phase will last for 20 months and the Auckland club already has agreements with their neighbours regarding the development. The CEO Dominique Dowding has driven this project and is due a lot of the credit for the progress made to date. Just yesterday the club received consent for the project from the Auckland City Council.  Last night the Auckland president Kerry Hoggard outlined the proposal to over 120 members. The Auckland Trotting Club board this year includes such well respected industry participants as Barry Purdon, John Green, Derek Balle, Bruce Cater and Ross Johnson and they were very supportive of the plan as were the vast majority of the members. If completed to budget, the project will leave the club with $30,000,000 in cash and new assets with a capital value of $27,000,000 On top of that the Club will have a new income stream from the rental of the retail outlets which is projected to bring in $1,670,000 per annum. The last big hurdle for the project is keeping within the budget set for the construction phase and the Club reserves the right to stop the project if costs blow out in the tender for the construction of the village.. If it all goes to plan, the Auckland Trotting Club could eventually expect to be racing for a minimum stake of $20,000 which is a 66% increase on the present minimum. Not only that but it will secure the future of harness racing in the North Island and give the whole industry in New Zealand a real lift. The Auckland club should be congatulated for being so proactive in securing the future of harness racing in the North Island with such an innovative project. Harnesslink Media 

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Terror To Love's 'Kryptonite'

Superman has Kryptonite…harness racing star Terror To Love has Menangle! Just like the green fragments are capable of bringing the last son of Kyrpton to his knees, Menangle has the ability to neutralise New Zealand’s favourite son’s powers. Terror To Love has failed to flatter at the world class venue, with two seconds his best results from seven starts. The son of Western Terror has also been a beaten favourite in numerous occasions. And as though Lex Luthor was behind connection’s torment, Terror To Love’s run of horror draws has continued. Terror To Love’s latest “visitors’ draw” will see him begin from the outside of the front row in Saturday night’s Miracle Mile. Frustrated with the starting position, co-trainer Paul Court remains quietly confident the multi-millionaire can emerge triumphant. Court prepares Terror to Love with his father, Graham. “We just can’t get a decent barrier there,” Court declared. “Perhaps this time it could be a blessing in disguise. “There is a lot of speed drawn inside him and from out wide he won’t be getting involved in an early battles.” Aware Terror To Love’s critics will be out in force once again if the seven-year-old competes below his best, Court admitted he feels as though his stable star has something to prove in Australia. “For one reason or another, he just hasn’t had any luck in Australia, which has people doubting him,” Court said. “That in itself is strange as he has run second in a Miracle Mile and Group One Cordina Sprint. “The draw hasn’t been good to us again, but hopefully this time things can go his way a little. “It would mean more to win the Miracle Mile over there than it would a record fourth New Zealand Cup.” PAUL COURTS

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Harnesslink Ballarat Fantasy Cup bound?

As part of the Harnesslink Fantasy Ballarat Pacing Cup promotion, we will aid harness racing fans with their selections by providing profiles on each of the Cup’s 44 winners. The most popular provincial event on the calendar, the Ballarat Cup is scheduled to be run on December 13, with topliners such as Beautide and defending champion, Restrepo, being aimed at the feature. During its December 9 barrier draw breakfast, the Ballarat and District Trotting Club will conduct a ‘phantom call’ of the Harnesslink Fantasy Ballarat Pacing Cup based on the field selected by our panel of experts. Panellists will submit their top 12 members from the Cup’s honour roll, with a point system to decide the final line-up. The voice of the industry - Dan Mielicki – will then ‘call’ the race to determine which Cup winner can lay claim to being the greatest of them all! Enthusiasts are also invited to submit their fantasy field via the club’s Facebook page, with the person who correctly selects the most starters in the final fantasy field - including their finishing order - to receive a $1000 bet on this year’s Cup compliments of the Flying Horse Venue and hospitality on the night. 1977 GRANDO BOY (Royal Dollar – Smokey’s Own) Won Ballarat Cup from front line in 1:18.7 1975 Stawell Cup   1978 ABIDAIR (Caliburn – Biddable Jean) Won Ballarat Cup from front line in 1:18.9 1977 South Australia Derby PAUL COURTS

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Shane's statistics support Stuey

Although the numbers point to Guaranteed winning harness racing’s premier sprint at Menangle on Saturday night, trainer Shane Tritton is confident he has the statistic to prove otherwise. Since its inception in 1967, the Miracle Mile has been won by more five-year-olds than any other age category. The Grand Circuit gem is also a happy hunting ground for raiders, which boast a superior record over locals. As the only five-year-old in the prestigious event, the Victorian-trained Guaranteed ‘ticks all the boxes’. Paying little attention to figures spread across 47 editions of the Miracle Mile, Tritton believes a modern day stat out weights them all…Suave Stuey Lombo’s record over 1609 metres. “When Lauren (Panella) has driven him over a mile at Menangle he has been pretty much unbeatable,” Tritton declared. “The only time he has been beaten over the mile for Lauren at the track was when he didn’t event take part on the race.” Panella has combined with Suave Stuey Lombo for nine wins from 10 starts over the mile at the world class venue, with the son of Bettors Delight galloping away from the mobile and taking no part in the race on the other occasion. Suave Stuey Lombo also boasts a 1:49.6 win at Menangle after racing in the ‘death seat’ last June. As for the seven-year-old’s wide draw, Tritton also has a stat to suggest the barrier draw isn’t a concern. Suave Stuey Lombo has drawn gate eight, but will slot into seven with the removal of the emergency. “He has always drawn six or worse for me at over a mile at Menangle and he still keeps winning,” Tritton said. “He’s proven he is capable of sitting in the ‘death’ and breaking 1:50 and he is ready to do it again. “He gets out of the gate quicker at Menangle and he’ll be sent forward again.” Given Suave Stuey Lombo’s preference for speed, Tritton hinted Smoken Up’s 1:48.5 Australasian record could be broken. “It will take a career best time from any of them to win this and he is ready to do that,” Tritton declared. “It is a strong field, but it will be hard to beat a horse running 1:49 or better, which is our logic going into it.” PAUL COURTS

This Saturday’s Vincennes card includes the annual Prix des Recontres Internationales that includes drivers representing countries that have executed pari-mutuel and breeding agreements with France. Brian Sears represents the USA in country colors and will battle 14 other contestants including well known international drivers Gerhard Mayr, Christophe Martens and Tony Le Beller. The lineup is shown below (horse, driver, trainer, career earnings in closest thousand euro and best time). Prix des Recontres Internationales, purse €22,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 starters, claiming €22,000 price, grande and petite tracks) 1. Redieux Begonia, Gerhard Mayr, Mlle. M.A. Goetz, 330, 1.13kr 2. Quassia du Bon Air, Zydrunas Vasilionka, B. Marie, 460, 1.11.7kr 3. Rubelinos, Jean-Bernard Matthey, St. Provost, 329, 1.12.7kr 4. Quiqui Guillard, Edelbert Ohmer, P. Godey, 246, 1.12.9kr 5. Quel Instant, Rail Gabdrashitov, A. Laigron, 374,1.12.6kr 6. Quebir de l’Aube, Brian Sears, A. Laigron, 340, 1.12.1kr 7. Quick Viervil, Vito Sadl, Ch. Gallier, 464, 1.11.4kr 8. Rocco Darche, A. Wallace, V. Goetz, 307, 1.12.5kr 9. Quartino, Guillermo Andrea Adrover, V. Goetz, 329, 1.11.9kr 10. Requiem de Chenu, Christophe Martens, F. Pellerot, 219, 1.13.3kr 11. Qui Tar Biekte, Mme. Olga Bondar, St. Provost, 216, 1.13.1kr 12. Quick Moubaz, Tony Le Beller, L.De Groote, 212, 1.12.3kr 13. Roi de Lou, Rudolf L. Pools, E. Varin, 241, 1.14.6kr 14. Urai de Nganda, Tony Demanuele, Mlle. Alice Dubert, 232, 1.11.6kr 15. Quarto Trehenniere, Jiri Svoboda, Y. Hallais, 202, 1.13.3kr Quartino has won three of his last five starts and could be favored. A well-produced video summary of the Vincennes Winter-Meet that is worth watching is attached. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

Roosevelt Raceway: Where It All Began by Victoria M. Howard, Freddie Hudson and Billy Haughton is the sort of all-encompassing homage to a great racetrack we need more of. Curt Greene covered the Kentucky Futurity; Biff Lowry, Terry Todd and Tom White took a broader look at The Red Mile; Kimberly Rinker gave us a history of the tracks in and around Chicago; Bob Temple chronicled the New England tracks; and Dean Hoffman gave us a historical overview of the sport in New York State; but this is the first time we’ve been treated to a rich, unfettered look into a single Standardbred track. Haughton and Hudson have lifelong connections to the sport via their trainer-driver fathers Billy Haughton and Billy Hudson, while Howard is a published author who has owned, trained and bred racehorses for forty years. The book is divided into two sections, with the first chronicling the trials and tribulations George Morton Levy dealt with in his quest to turn Roosevelt Raceway into the premier trotting track in North America, while the second section—labeled Book Two—offers an intimate look at the people and horses that made Roosevelt so great. It is filled with amusing anecdotes, statistics and key dates. Levy was friends with mobster Frank Costello and served as Lucky Luciano’s lawyer. Also, Frank Erickson, one of the top bookmakers in the country, was a longtime friend. These connections, which allowed Levy to overcome obstacles placed in his way by bookmakers, politicians and labor unions, are explored in depth in the first section of the book. Developing a racetrack in Metropolitan New York during that time frame involved plenty of nasty business, and our three authors never look away from it. The serious nature of Levy’s alliances with unsavory characters is brought home to us when Alvin Weil, something of a Levy protégé, who was associated with Roosevelt Raceway for 25 years, was the victim of a mob style execution several years after resigning from his role as president of the track. He was attempting to start another racetrack at the time and was involved with the same sort of shady characters Levy had dealt with. The narrative style in Book One is somewhat disjointed and herky-jerky, probably because Haughton and Hudson are passing on their remembrances of the track’s early days to Howard and she’s forwarding them to the reader. We seem to keep going back to the opening in September, 1940. While the information is good, the piecemeal narrative style can be disconcerting. The introduction of Steve Phillips’ mobile starting gate in the spring of 1946 is cited as one of the paramount factors in the ever expanding popularity of Roosevelt Raceway. Plenty of space is allocated to Phillips, the first man inducted into the Hall of Fame. An emphasis on single dash racing is also cited, as it was difficult in the early days to get enough horses to fill every card. Eventually, when Roosevelt became the best place in North America to race, horses were turned away in droves. We’re told that when the track underwent a $20 million renovation in 1958 a 14-bed hospital unit with two fully functioning operating rooms was built. I don’t know about you, but if I need surgery, the racetrack is always my first choice. We are also treated to plenty of heretofore unknown information about the International Trot, which publicist Joey Goldstein and his crew turned into the greatest promotional event in the history of the sport. The artichoke crisis fashioned around Jamin, who won the 1959 International, is front and center, as it should be. Almost 46,000 attended the race that year. The following year the race drew almost 55,000—the largest crowd to ever view a horse race in the United States. The sport received wide ranging media coverage during Roosevelt’s halcyon days and our trio of authors pay respect to Warren Pack, Tony Sisti and others who kept the public informed through the daily newspapers. I wish Louis Effrat, who covered the sport so well for the Times, had been mentioned. Also, I don’t understand why they went out of their way to take a shot at Henry Hecht, the must read handicapper for the Post. He always took the side of the bettors and the fans, so some of the drivers didn’t like him. Howard, Hudson and Haughton are all in with the drivers. Another example of them going to extreme lengths to placate the drivers is the chapter on the superfecta scandal of the early 1970’s. The government charged that all but 21 of the 69 superfectas offered at New York Metropolitan tracks during the first three months of 1973 were fixed. The prosecutors are mocked mercilessly by the authors while the drivers are elevated to sainthood. They conclude that all that billowing smoke could be explained away by the fact that betting syndicate mastermind Forrest Gerry Jr was a very good handicapper. The price of a super ticket was $3 back then so an eight horse box would run one $5,080, while eliminating two horses would knock it down to $1,080. The question was, how would one determine which two horses to cross off the program. Gerry and cohort Richard Perry were ultimately convicted in Brooklyn Federal Court of conspiring with harness drivers to fix superfecta races. One is left wondering why the trio went there. Throughout the rest of the book Buddy Gilmour and Ben Webster are treated like lovable rogues. You can’t have it both ways. There are also some basic mistakes in the book. John Chapman is described as the “proud trainer/owner of Delmonica Hanover.” Del Miller and Arnold Hanger owned Delmonica until they sold her to Dottie Hardy and Ann Ryan at Tattersalls in 1974. Boardwalk Farms and Boardwalk Enterprises owned her after that. Chapman drove Delmonica to two wins in the Roosevelt International, but he never owned her. Also, they write that Duncan MacDonald went to Harrisburg and bought Fresh Yankee for $900. He wasn’t near the place. Sanders Russell bought her for him. And Russell was the one who told Max Hempt to ship the mare to Alabama so as to avoid the $900 shipping charge to Nova Scotia. They say Adios Butler was one of the best sires in the history of the sport. One of the worst is more like it. Material like this never should have made the final cut. Any longstanding harness racing fan would pick up on it right away. The profiles of the drivers, horses and announcers who put on the show at Roosevelt Raceway for 48 years are outstanding. Recollections and anecdotes from publicity director Barry Lefkowitz, announcer Jerry Glantz and numerous others, as well as amusing stories recounted from memory by the authors, add a unique touch to the book. The listing of significant events throughout the life of the track, pages of hard to come by statistics, and even a trivia section conceived by Freddie Hudson, make it a must read for harness racing fans everywhere. And, if that isn’t enough, a portion of the royalties will go to the Harness Racing Museum And Hall Of Fame and the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com

Harnesslink’s new recruit and Australian Editor-In-Chief, Paul Courts, has received another accolade. Just last week, Courts was among the recipients of Harness Racing Australia’s “Joseph Coulter Media Awards”, capturing Best News Story for his piece titled “Trigger’s final shot”. At last night’s Hall of Fame Presentation Dinner at Tabcorp Park Melton, Courts’ article was recognised by Harness Racing Victoria. Veteran scribe Max Agnew and Lucy McCormick also followed their HRA awards with state recognition. In an evening to remember, Agnew was also inducted into the Hall Of Fame – a fitting tribute to a long and passionate career within the industry. HRV media and communications manager Cody Winnell stated the quality of nominations for this year’s HRV media awards was exceptional. “We were impressed with the strong quality of entries across all categories and we were also very pleased with the number of nominations we received,” Winnell said. “The media plays such a vital role in the success of our industry and we are blessed to have such knowledgeable and dedicated harness racing journalists, authors and presenters depicting our great sport across all media platforms. “Our media people are very passionate and this comes across in all their work.” This year’s winners were as follows: Best News Story (Print or Online): Paul Courts, Harness Racing Weekly – Trigger’s Final Shot Best Feature Story (Print or Online): Max Agnew, Track Bred – Broodmares Are Not Created Equal Best Country Story/Feature: Lucy McCormick, Harness Racer – Snake Island Best Radio Feature/Interview: Len Baker, Harness Review 979FM – Graeme Lang Interview Best Coverage of Harness Racing Event: Sunraysia Daily – Mildura Cup Coverage Best Current Affairs/News Coverage: RSN – Gait Speed with Nadia Horne Special Commendation Award: John Peck – Horsham Harness Racing History

Punters continue to support New Zealand harness racing star Christen Me ahead of Saturday night’s SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile at Menangle. Posted at $5 earlier this week, Christen Me has firmed slightly to be $4.20 on TAB Fixed Odds, with defending champion Beautide remaining favourite at $1.70. With 31 per cent of the market bet on the Cran Dalgety-trained gelding, Christen Me shapes as the TAB’s worst result. Success will see Christen Me’s sire – Christian Cullen – become the first Miracle Mile champion to produce a subsequent winner. With plenty of betting time remaining, Beautide may still become a tragic outcome for the TAB, with twice as much money for him as Christen Me during the past 24 hours. A steady flow of wagers has seen Beautide’s market share increase to 27, with Victorian raider, Guaranteed next at 17 per cent. Surprisingly the fastest competitor in the field – For A Reason – is attracting little attention with son of Art Major commanding just four-and-a-half per cent of the market. Despite drawing ideally in the pole, Easy On The Eye is virtually friendless, with less than two per cent of the marketing in support of the gelding. Punters looking to splurge on the ‘multiples’ are in for a treat, with the TAB guaranteeing a $200,000 jackpot on the Menangle ‘Quaddie’ and $100,000 jackpot on the Miracle Mile First Four. 1 – EASY ON THE EYE (TAB’s fluctuation since draw $16 to $31) Percentage of market: 1.7 2 – AVONNOVA ($12 to $16) Percentage of market: 6 3 – BEAUTIDE ($1.75 to $1.70) Percentage of market: 27 4 – CHRISTEN ME ($5 to $4.20) Percentage of market: 31 Big bet: $3k at $5 5 – FOR A REASON ($6.50 to $7.50) Percentage of market: 4.5 6 – CHARIOT KING (2nd emergency, $101 to $151) Percentage of market: -- 7 – GUARANTEED ($7.50 to $12 back to $10) Percentage of market: 16 8 – SUAVE STUEY LOMBO ($12 to $16) Percentage of market: 6 9 – BETTOR BET BLACK (1st emergency, $151 to $301) Percentage of market: -- 10 – TERROR TO LOVE ($21 to $35 back to $21) Percentage of market: 6 Big bet: $200 x $400 at $41 PAUL COURTS

The PMU in France has produced a special video (in English) highlighting the start of their 2014-2015 winter festival race meet at Vincennes that began at the end of October.  The video is well done and worth watching and learning about the major stakes events and horses as they begin their quest towards the Prix de Amerique. Submitted by Christian Le Barbey  

East Rutherford, NJ - What is a racetrack to do when faced with following a Breeders Crown weekend chock full of thrills? Why at The Meadowlands the response is to come right back with the $1 million TVG Series Championship featuring the very finest of the older set on both the trot and pace.   After following a season-long trail of top class events that began in May and concluded with last Saturday's Crown Finals, the TVG Championships close out a fantastic season for the top Free For Allers with year-end awards hanging in the balance.   The $500,000 Pacing Championship comes as the seventh race on the card and offers a renewal of the thrilling rivalry between Thinking Out Loud and Sweet Lou who have been duking it out in headline events for the past three years.   "Lou" put together an unprecedented string of six straight sub-1:48 miles during the heart of the summer season, winning ten in a row once united with Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce. He's the division's top seasonal money winner with more than $1.1 million this season and has amassed a lifetime bankroll of over $3.2 million for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura. They've enjoyed a great ride with the son of Yankee Cruiser from Sweet Future who remains the fastest freshman of all time with his 1:49 score in the 2011 Breeders Crown. Ron Burke has trained Sweet Lou throughout his career, which comes to a close on Saturday as he goes to stud at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania.   Thinking Out Loud is a pure homebred, by Ponder from the mare Los Angeles, both raced in the stable of his Hall of Fame trainer Bob McIntosh who shares ownership with brother Al McIntosh and long-time patrons CSX Stable (brothers Keith, Ken and Mike Carpenter). The winner of the 2012 North America Cup, Thinking Out Loud has amassed over $1.8 million career-wise with $200,000 coming in last Saturday's Breeders Crown Final where he and driver John Campbell used every inch of the long Meadowlands stretch to nail Sweet Lou on the wire. Known for his late rallying style and nail-biting finishes, Thinking Out Loud comes to this race near his best form.   Space does not permit the tale be told of the depth present for the TVG Pacing Championship. Suffice to say that these eight champions have amassed nearly $18.5 million in earnings and among those not mentioned above are both the richest at $6.77 million, 2013 TVG champion Foiled Again and co-fastest, Warrawee Needy at 1:46.4, pacers in the history of the sport.   Hoosier Pacing Derby winner Bettor's Edge, Canadian Pacing Derby champ Modern Legend, winner of the inaugural Dayton Pacing Derby Clear Vision and Allerage Farms Open victor State Treasurer complete the All Star line-up.   If it were possible to out-do the race that I have just described, it could likely occur just three races later in the $500,000 TVG Trotting Championship, where the career earnings of the ten participants is over $21 million!   The Trotting Championship has something for everybody; including the fastest trotter ever in Sebastian K who set the trotting world on its ear with his epic 1:49 masterpiece at Pocono this summer. Though his air of invincibility may have been breached, the majestic Swedish invader racing for Knutsson Trotting has a chance to reassert himself in Horse of the Year balloting in this contest. Ake Svanstedt trains and drives the champion.   The competition is fierce, led by a pair femme fatales who are just now finding their best form of the season. From Sebastian K's inside starts 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician. She is the winner of the Breeders Crown Mare Open Trot, thus the lone invitee to this race as allowed by the TVG conditions. She was devastating in victory, scorching the first quarter in 26.1 to line up the competition in her wake, then sprinting home in 27.2 to hold them off in 1:51.4. Brian Sears was at his best in orchestrating the winning trip on behalf of trainer Nifty Norman and owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee.   Maven made headlines when she commanded a king's ransom of $750,000 when offered at auction just three weeks ago and has made buyer Herb Liverman look like the Warren Buffet of horse racing since. Declining the chance to race the girls, she went into the Open division of the Breeders Crown and won the elimination despite the disadvantage of post ten. Another brave performance followed in the final of that race where she not only survived a long, uncovered bid into International champion Commander Crowe but was still inching in on his lead when the wire came in 1:51.   Maven begins again from the far outside here but asks no quarter from her rivals. Top driver Yannick Gingras will attempt to overcome the poor starting position in his quest to find the best course to victory, as the pair has done many times. She is most recently trained by Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter and Mr. Liverman now has John Fielding and Joyce McClelland as partners in the mare.   Beyond those three lurk such talented trotters as last year's TVG Champion, the $3.5 million winning Market Share, Allerage Farms Open and American National winner Creatine, International star and classics winner Wishing Stone, Maple Leaf Trot winner Intimidate, ageless wonder, $4.2 million, multiple classics winning world record holder Arch Madness, 2013 Ontario Sires Stakes champ Flanagan Memory and the iron tough DW's NY Yank.   These are but the highlights of a titillating thirteen race Saturday night program at The Meadowlands. First post is 7:15pm and the wagering options are many; multiple guaranteed Pick 4's and the brand new Super Hi Five wager with a building jackpot. More details may be found at www.playmeadowlands.com .   From The Meadowlands Media Relations Department

This Week: TVG Series finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will be at Meadowlands Racetrack this Saturday (Nov. 29) for the $500,000 TVG Series final for 3-year-old and up open pacers and the $500,000 TVG Series final for 3-year-old and up open trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Twelve classes competed in Breeders Crown finals this past weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack. Let's take a look at some of the highlights: Commander Crowe won the $500,000 Open Trot by three-quarters of a length over favorite Maven in a stakes-record-equaling 1:51. Le Grand Blond -- European star Commander Crowe -- provided a grand finale to Saturday's eight Breeders Crown races, winning the $500,000 Open Trot by three-quarters of a length over favorite Maven in a stakes-record-equaling 1:51. An 11-year-old chestnut, Commander Crowe became the oldest Breeders Crown champion in history. Foiled Again, who won last season's Breeders Crown Open Pace at the age of 9, held the record for oldest winner. The Swedish-born Commander Crowe, who has won 61 of 106 career races and earned $5.09 million, captured his first Breeders Crown after third-place finishes in 2011 and 2012 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. His earnings rank No. 4 among all trotters in history and his triumphs include the Elitlopp Invitational, which he captured in 2012. Commander Crowe, trained by Fabrice Souloy, was driven to victory by Orjan Kihlstrom. Maven, who was trying to become the first mare since Moni Maker in 1998 to win the Breeders Crown Open Trot, raced on the outside from the half-mile point, closing from fourth to second, but getting no nearer. Creatine finished third, followed by Flanagan Memory. Three of the Crown winners put themselves in prime contention for Horse of the Year honors. On Friday, Shake It Cerry and Ron Pierce made it back-to-back Breeders Crown victories as the duo won the $500,000 3-Year-Old Filly Trot edition in a stakes record time of 1:52.2, two-fifths of a second better than the old mark set by Bee A Magician last year. Shake It Cerry shook off the competition and left the field behind to win by 2-1/4 lengths. Cee Bee Yes was second and Struck By Lindy closed strongly for third. It was the 19th Breeders Crown for her trainer Jimmy Takter and 30th for driver Ron Pierce, and she was the first trotting filly to win back-to-back Crowns since Cameron Hall in 2001-2002. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig is owned by Sloveig's Racing Partners. Make that an even dozen in as many tries for JK She'salady as she and driver Tim Tetrick won the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 2-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday night at the Meadowlands. She covered the mile in 1:50.2, a track and stakes record. Tetrick kept JK She'salady to her task and went straight to the finish line by 1-3/4 lengths in front of second place finisher Sassa Hanover and Bettor Be Steppin in third. JK She'salady is trained by Nancy Johansson and owned by 3 Brothers Stables of New York. It was the first winner for 33-year-old Johansson, who is the daughter of Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter. If she would be voted the Horse of the Year, the homebred daughter of Art Major-Presidential Lady would be the first 2-year-old pacing filly accorded that honor. "Redemption for Father Patrick. He is blessed with a Breeders Crown," called out track announcer Ken Warkentin as Father Patrick hit the wire to win the $500,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old trotting colts by a neck in a stakes record time of 1:51.4 on Saturday. E L Titan was second and Nuncio, who was looking for late racing room along the rail, was third. Harper Blue Chip was fourth. Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream, is owned by the Father Patrick Stable, is trained by Jimmy Takter and was driven to victory by Yannick Gingras. He has won 12 of 17 starts this year, good for earnings of $1,693,081. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, 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 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 2,267; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,162; 3. David Miller - 1,003.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 852.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 647. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 2,445.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,908; 3. Erv Miller - 446.5; 4. Joe Holloway - 411; 5. Julie Miller - 347. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 540.48; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 490.48; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 357; 4. Brittany Farms - 294.45; 5. Robert Key - 272. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs as the Delaware track will host the Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Guaranteed will win harness racing’s premier sprint - SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile - at Menangle on Saturday night. That’s not a personal opinion, or a tip, but rather a guide by statistics and history. In what is destined to be an exciting edition of the time-honoured feature, Guaranteed ‘ticks all the boxes’ as far as the weight of numbers is concerned. Since its inception in 1967 when New Zealand mare Robin Dundee achieved the exact goal the event was created for, 47 editions of the Miracle Mile have been run and won. As a result of the Equine Influenza outbreak, 2007 is the only season Grand Circuit gem has been missing from the calendar. As for the Miracle Mile’s original ‘goal’, the mission of the new race was to see the magical two-minute barrier broken for the first time under race conditions in Australia. During the next five decades the Miracle Mile has established itself as the Southern Hemisphere’s ultimate speed test, but how does Guaranteed fit into the equation? A breakdown of the winners results in a five-year-old from interstate as the ultimate Miracle Mile candidate! Five-year-olds have been the most successful age group with 18 wins… six-year-olds are next on 10. The eldest winner is Double Agent, which was a true ‘greybeard’ at 12 in 1984 for Joe Isley. Visitors out score local competitors almost three-to-one, with only 13 New South Wales-trained horses emerging triumphant. As the only five-year-old raider in the field, Guaranteed ‘fits the bill’ for Victorian co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. “Let’s just hope the stats are a good indicator,” Stewart said. To be driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang – Australia’s most successful Group One driver – Guaranteed has drawn barrier seven, which may prove a blessing in disguise according to Stewart. The son of Artsplace slots into six with the removal of the emergency. “There is going to be plenty of speed early, so the draw may turn out in our favour,” Stewart said. “From there he will be eased out under his own steam and looking for a good trail. “He has proven how quickly he can sprint when coming off a fast tempo, so with a bit of luck that’s what he will be able to do. “This is another step up for him, but he won’t disgrace himself.” PAUL COURTS

Victorian harness racing trainer Brian Kiesey is poised to create history on Sunday. Crossing into South Australia for the Mount Gambier program, Kiesey-trained runners will complete the field in the Loddon Valley Trotters’ Handicap. While it’s believed to be the first time a stable has supplied the entire line-up in a trotters’ and open class event, it is not the only occasion a trainer has prepared every runner in a race. The most recent occurrence was on June 6, 2010 when Sam Torre trained each of the five entrants in Be Active Every Day Two-Year-Old Pace at Geraldton in Western Australia. Also in a WA-based two-year-old race, Graham Tindale had all eight starters in the Heart Foundation Stake at Northam on November 16, 1997. Playing down the milestone, Kiesey revealed his onslaught was a simple case of “helping out the club”. “The club rang me a month ago asking me to support their meetings, which I agreed to do,” Kiesey explained. “As such, I will make regular tips up there every fortnight, which I enjoy as it is a great place. “They particularly wanted help getting the trotting races going, so I’m just helping the club out.” With Its Not Dark Yet the early favourite, despite behing re-handicapped to 30 metres, Kiesey believes one of the contenders off easier marks shape as the likely winner. “She won at Terang last night, so she’s been put back to 30 metres,” Kiesey said. “I don’t think she can win from that far behind as it’s too hard to get around them on such a small track. “The Final Cut from 10 metres, or Master Kiesey from 20 both begin quickly and could find the front, which makes them the one to beat. “Once in front they will be too hard to run down and I can’t see the others getting around them. “But you never know in standing starts and I promise you they will all be out there trying and doing their best.” PAUL COURTS

Since its inception, the Miracle Mile has become the event that captures the imagination – and opinion – of the harness racing population. Developed in 1967, the Group One was designed with one mission in mind…creating a ‘miracle’. To be more precise the dream was to see the two-minute barrier broken for the first time under race conditions in Australia. To everyone’s delight, New Zealand wonder mare Robin Dundee achieved the feat during inaugural running, stopping the clock in 1:59. Almost five decades later, the Grand Circuit gem has been captured by the “who’s who” of the sport, with records tumbling on a regular basis. As we count down to Saturday night’s edition at Menangle, here are some statistics on the race that has become ultimate speed test on this side of the equator.   SEX OF WINNERS: 3 Mares - (Robin Dundee, 1967 - Norms Daughter, June 1996 – Baby Bling, April 2013) 21 Stallions - (Last winner - Christian Cullen, 1998) 23 Geldings - (Last winner – Beautide, November 2013)   AGES OF WINNERS: 4-Y-O - 5 5-Y-O - 18 6-Y-O - 10 7-Y-O - 7 8-Y-O - 5 9-Y-O - 1 12-Y-O – 1   SUCCESSFUL BARRIERS: 1 - 10 (Last winner, Smoken Up - 2011) 2 - 10 (Last winner, Be Good Johnny - 2005) 3 - 6 (Last winner, Baby Bling – April 2013) 4 - 10 (Last winner, Smoken Up - 2010) 5 – 7 (Last winner, Beautide – November 2013) 6 - 4 (Last winner, Double Identity - 2002) 7 - 0 8 - 0   FIVE FASTEST WINNERS: Beautide (November 2013) - 1:50.2 Smoken Up (2010) – 1:50.3 Baby Bling (2013 April) – 1:50.5 Monkey King (2009) – 1:50.8 Iraklis (December 1996) - 1:54.2   FIVE SLOWEST WINNERS: The Scotsman (1979) - 2:00.7 Bay Foyle (1972) - 2:00.6 Pure Steel (1978) and Locarno (1980) - 2:00.4 Chokin (1993) - 2:00   CONSECUTIVE WINNERS: Westburn Grant (1989 and ‘90) Chokin (1993 and ‘94) Holmes D G (1999 and 2000) Sokyola (2003 and ‘04) Be Good Johnny (2005 and ‘06) Smoken Up (2010 and ‘11)   MOST APPEARANCES: Paleface Adios - 7 1974 - 2nd (Hondo Grattan 1) 1975 - 5th (Young Quinn 1) 1976 - 1st (Don’t Retreat 2, Hondo Grattan 3) 1977 - 2nd (Royal Force 2) 1978 - 2nd (Pure Steel 1) 1979 - 2nd (The Scotsman 1) 1980 - 3rd (Locarno 1, Pure Steel 2)   WHERE WINNERS TRAINED: New South Wales - 14 (Last winner, Baby Bling – April 2013) New Zealand - 12 (Last winner, Monkey King - 2009) Western Australia - 7 (Last winner, Norms Daughter - June 1996) Victoria - 9 (Last winner, Smoken Up - 2011) Queensland - 3 (Last winner, Be Good Johnny - 2006) Tasmania - 2 (Last winner, Halwes - 1968)…debate over Beautide (November 2013) which was based in New South Wales!   FAVOURITES: 19 Successful - 28 Unsuccessful   BEATEN WHEN ODDS-ON: Preux Chevalier - 8/11 - Last in 1984 Village Kid - 4/9 - 3rd in December 1986 Il Vicolo - 4/5 - 2nd in June 1996 Iraklis - 9/10 - 3rd in 1997 Blacks A Fake - 4/7 - 5th in 2008 Excel Stride – 5/4 – 4th in April 2013   MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINERS: • Barry Purdon - Christopher Vance (1991), Chokin (1993 and ‘94) and Holmes DG (1999 and 2000) • Lance Justice - Sokyola (2003 and ‘04) and Smoken Up (2010 and ‘11)   MOST SUCCESSFUL DRIVERS: • Vic Frost - Lucky Creed (1970), Westburn Grant (1989 and ‘90) • Tony Herlihy - Christopher Vance (1991), Chokin (1993 and ‘94) • Lance Justice – Sokyola (2003), Smoken Up (2010 and ‘11) PAUL COURTS

Despite being the fastest competitor in the event, harness racing star For A Reason is quickly becoming the forgotten horse leading into Saturday night’s Miracle Mile at Menangle. Boasting a 1:49.4 mark – the second fastest in Australasian history - For A Reason has generated little, to no, publicity as the focus centres around his rivals, particularly Beautide, Christen Me, Suave Stuey Lombo and Terror To Love. Trainer Belinda McCarthy is hoping the trend will continue during the rich sprint, leaving For A Reason to “do his thing” as he chases a second Grand Circuit win for the season. For A Reason captured last month’s Queensland Pacing Championship with McCarthy’s husband, Luke, in the cart. Luke will partner the son of Art Major again this weekend. “We’re happy to just go along our own way and get ready for the race,” McCarthy said. “The important thing is the horse is in great shape and is ready to do his thing.” Drawn awkwardly in barrier five, For A Reason is likely to be eased away from the mobile as Luke avoids the early speed battle in preference for a handy position in the running line. “We would have preferred one or two, but the draw could have been worse out in seven or eight,” McCarthy said. “From there we will be looking to get into a nice trail and hope for a bit of luck at the business end. “He couldn’t be in better shape going into this, so now we just need that bit of luck.” Citing defending champion Beautide as the one to beat, McCarthy believes the winner will have to break the magical 1:50 mark. Smoken Up’s southern hemisphere record of 1:48.5 is safe according to McCarthy. “I think whoever wins will have to go 1:50 or just under,” McCarthy said. “It would be great for the industry if Smoken Up’s record was broken, but it probably won’t happen.” PAUL COURTS

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Roosevelt Raceway: Where It All Began by Victoria M. Howard, Freddie Hudson and Billy Haughton is the sort of all-encompassing homage to a great racetrack we need more of. Curt Greene covered the Kentucky Futurity; Biff Lowry, Terry Todd and Tom White took a broader look at The Red Mile; Kimberly Rinker gave us a history of the tracks in and around Chicago; Bob Temple chronicled the New England tracks; and Dean Hoffman gave us a historical overview of the sport in New York State; but this is the first time we’ve been treated to a rich, unfettered look into a single Standardbred track. Haughton and Hudson have lifelong connections to the sport via their trainer-driver fathers Billy Haughton and Billy Hudson, while Howard is a published author who has owned, trained and bred racehorses for forty years. The book is divided into two sections, with the first chronicling the trials and tribulations George Morton Levy dealt with in his quest to turn Roosevelt Raceway into the premier trotting track in North America, while the second section—labeled Book Two—offers an intimate look at the people and horses that made Roosevelt so great. It is filled with amusing anecdotes, statistics and key dates. Levy was friends with mobster Frank Costello and served as Lucky Luciano’s lawyer. Also, Frank Erickson, one of the top bookmakers in the country, was a longtime friend. These connections, which allowed Levy to overcome obstacles placed in his way by bookmakers, politicians and labor unions, are explored in depth in the first section of the book. Developing a racetrack in Metropolitan New York during that time frame involved plenty of nasty business, and our three authors never look away from it. The serious nature of Levy’s alliances with unsavory characters is brought home to us when Alvin Weil, something of a Levy protégé, who was associated with Roosevelt Raceway for 25 years, was the victim of a mob style execution several years after resigning from his role as president of the track. He was attempting to start another racetrack at the time and was involved with the same sort of shady characters Levy had dealt with. The narrative style in Book One is somewhat disjointed and herky-jerky, probably because Haughton and Hudson are passing on their remembrances of the track’s early days to Howard and she’s forwarding them to the reader. We seem to keep going back to the opening in September, 1940. While the information is good, the piecemeal narrative style can be disconcerting. The introduction of Steve Phillips’ mobile starting gate in the spring of 1946 is cited as one of the paramount factors in the ever expanding popularity of Roosevelt Raceway. Plenty of space is allocated to Phillips, the first man inducted into the Hall of Fame. An emphasis on single dash racing is also cited, as it was difficult in the early days to get enough horses to fill every card. Eventually, when Roosevelt became the best place in North America to race, horses were turned away in droves. We’re told that when the track underwent a $20 million renovation in 1958 a 14-bed hospital unit with two fully functioning operating rooms was built. I don’t know about you, but if I need surgery, the racetrack is always my first choice. We are also treated to plenty of heretofore unknown information about the International Trot, which publicist Joey Goldstein and his crew turned into the greatest promotional event in the history of the sport. The artichoke crisis fashioned around Jamin, who won the 1959 International, is front and center, as it should be. Almost 46,000 attended the race that year. The following year the race drew almost 55,000—the largest crowd to ever view a horse race in the United States. The sport received wide ranging media coverage during Roosevelt’s halcyon days and our trio of authors pay respect to Warren Pack, Tony Sisti and others who kept the public informed through the daily newspapers. I wish Louis Effrat, who covered the sport so well for the Times, had been mentioned. Also, I don’t understand why they went out of their way to take a shot at Henry Hecht, the must read handicapper for the Post. He always took the side of the bettors and the fans, so some of the drivers didn’t like him. Howard, Hudson and Haughton are all in with the drivers. Another example of them going to extreme lengths to placate the drivers is the chapter on the superfecta scandal of the early 1970’s. The government charged that all but 21 of the 69 superfectas offered at New York Metropolitan tracks during the first three months of 1973 were fixed. The prosecutors are mocked mercilessly by the authors while the drivers are elevated to sainthood. They conclude that all that billowing smoke could be explained away by the fact that betting syndicate mastermind Forrest Gerry Jr was a very good handicapper. The price of a super ticket was $3 back then so an eight horse box would run one $5,080, while eliminating two horses would knock it down to $1,080. The question was, how would one determine which two horses to cross off the program. Gerry and cohort Richard Perry were ultimately convicted in Brooklyn Federal Court of conspiring with harness drivers to fix superfecta races. One is left wondering why the trio went there. Throughout the rest of the book Buddy Gilmour and Ben Webster are treated like lovable rogues. You can’t have it both ways. There are also some basic mistakes in the book. John Chapman is described as the “proud trainer/owner of Delmonica Hanover.” Del Miller and Arnold Hanger owned Delmonica until they sold her to Dottie Hardy and Ann Ryan at Tattersalls in 1974. Boardwalk Farms and Boardwalk Enterprises owned her after that. Chapman drove Delmonica to two wins in the Roosevelt International, but he never owned her. Also, they write that Duncan MacDonald went to Harrisburg and bought Fresh Yankee for $900. He wasn’t near the place. Sanders Russell bought her for him. And Russell was the one who told Max Hempt to ship the mare to Alabama so as to avoid the $900 shipping charge to Nova Scotia. They say Adios Butler was one of the best sires in the history of the sport. One of the worst is more like it. Material like this never should have made the final cut. Any longstanding harness racing fan would pick up on it right away. The profiles of the drivers, horses and announcers who put on the show at Roosevelt Raceway for 48 years are outstanding. Recollections and anecdotes from publicity director Barry Lefkowitz, announcer Jerry Glantz and numerous others, as well as amusing stories recounted from memory by the authors, add a unique touch to the book. The listing of significant events throughout the life of the track, pages of hard to come by statistics, and even a trivia section conceived by Freddie Hudson, make it a must read for harness racing fans everywhere. And, if that isn’t enough, a portion of the royalties will go to the Harness Racing Museum And Hall Of Fame and the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com
Batavia, NY---It was business as usual at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Nov. 26) after a week long hiatus due to inclement weather. Although several feet of snow from the storm had already dissipated, a 32-degree temperature and flurries greeted the horses as they hit the track with mud-gear employed. The night's feature race hosted the top seven distaff pacers on the grounds in the $9,600 mares Open and when the slush had settled, Seascape Hanover had bagged her eighth win of the year. When the starter released the field, the group settled into post-position order for the first half of the mile. Rail rider Memumsnotnice (Kevin Cummings) cut the fractions through that segment before Mondatta (Jim McNeight) came first-over into the third turn. With those two carrying the mail, Seascape Hanover (Ron Beback Jr.) sat chilly in the garden spot just waiting to make her move. That time came at the head of the stretch when the passing lane opened up and Seascape Hanover made her move and paced right by Memumsnotnice to notch the 1:59 victory. Mondatta hung on for third. Seascape Hanover ($4.60) is owned by Tessa Roland and Mark Jakubik and is trained by J.D. Perrin. The win boosted her 2014 earnings to $43,877 and now the 8-year-old Camluck mare is just shy of a quarter-million dollars earned lifetime. Driver Ron Beback Jr. scored a driving hat trick on the night while Drew Monti, Ray Fisher Jr. and Jimmy Whittemore all doubled up. Superfecta players had a heyday Wednesday night as six races returned boxcar payouts. The 4-1-6-3 combination in the second race paid $5,542.00, 6-1-4-8 in the third returned $2,010.00, 1-4-2-6 in the ninth paid $3,997.00, 2-8-6-1 in the tenth paid $1,205.00, 3-1-8-2 in the eleventh returned $2,130.00 and the twelfth race featured a monster double payout due to a dead-heat for place. 5-3-6-1 paid $6,350.00 and 5-6-3-1 returned $4,234.00. And while we're on the topic of instant jackpots, the Pick-4 in races three through six rewarded players with a $5,339.00 bundle of cash. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night (Nov. 28). And the first of two Saturday double-headers will be held this Saturday (Nov. 29) with post times set at 12:15 and 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
DOVER, Del. --- With no racing on Thanksgiving Day, the Wednesday card was power packed with both the $26,000 Delaware Special won by So Take That and Baximum winner of the $18,000 Open trot on a windy and rainy Nov. 26 at Dover Downs, over a sloppy track. Corey Callahan had a five bagger. So Take That has shown an affinity for the Dover five-eighths oval winning for the fourth consecutive time stepping up through the ranks to win the $26,000 Delaware Special. Claimed in August by Frank Chick, the Camluck-Everybreathutake gelding conditioned by Dan Munson, was bet down to favorite and driver Montrell Teague took care of the rest guiding a wire-to-wire 1:53 victory over the off track. Just A Jolt came on for Vic Kirby to finish second with Simon's Artist and Corey Callahan, a fast closing third. Bandolito was a program scratch. With two horses - Cash On Delivery and Wilamar Valley - both scratched, Baximum came from fifth at the half and rolled past the leaders to score a convincing 1:54.4 win in the $18,000 Open Handicap trot. Allan Davis picked up his third victory while trainer Bobby Clark and co-owner Tina Clark also recorded their third wins. Brian Clark, the other owner, became a two-time winner. Enrico As (Corey Callahan), last week's event winner, finished second and I Like My Boss (Jonathan Roberts) was the show finisher. In other races, Corey Callahan won his third of five wins steering People Are Crazy home in 1:54 to win the $16,000 4&5-Year-Old Open pace. Callahan completed his five win performance, taking both $14,500 events, winning his fourth driving KDM Stables' Pierce to a 1:54.4 success and closing out the night reining Mike Casalino and trainer Dylan Davis' Four Staces to victory 1:53, both Male Winners-Over paces for young horses. Eric Foster's Stirling Charisma, and Vic Kirby, won the secondary trot, a $14,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners Over. Others enjoying big winners in addition the Callahan (5), Allan Davis and the Clarks (3), were two-race winners, drivers Vic Kirby and Ross Wolfenden, trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Stave Iaquinta. There is no racing Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, and as usual no live racing Friday and Saturday. Sunday racing resumes at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Leading harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. Dover Downs Extra The Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) program for two-year-olds has reached $100,000 finals early next week. After two weeks of $20,000 preliminaries, filly trotters start off the week with a $100,000 final on Monday. Those who qualified for the finals were among the first eight point-getters in two weeks of preliminaries. ------------------------------------ Ross Wolfenden drove four feature race winners on Monday including Penny Paratrooper  who took command on the backstretch and opened up romping to a 1:58.2 victory her fifth in six races.”Tthe only time she didn’t win was after breaking stride early in the $100,000 final at Harrington,” remarked Wolfenden. ----------------------------------- On Tuesday, a Bib and Jonathan Roberts family homebred, Egosnattidues pulled a mild surprise winning the $100,000 DSBF Colt Final. “This is the first time that [Egosnattitudes] ever put it all together,” said driver Jonathan Roberts. “Last month he set a track record at Harrington (in a DSBF prelim) but he came up with some issues after that, so this is a pleasant surprise.” --------------------------------------------------------- So Take That has shown an affinity for the Dover five-eighths oval winning for the fourth consecutive time, stepping up through the ranks to win the $26,000 Delaware Special. Claimed in August by Frank Chick, the five-year-old gelding conditioned by Dan Munson, was bet down to favorite and driver Montrell Teague took care of the rest guiding a wire-to-wire 1:53 victory over an off track. ------------------------------------ Thursday was a big night for several local horsemen. Corey Callahan drove five winners, Allan Davis and trainer Bobby Clark and his wife, owner Tina Clark) had three wins. Two-race winners were drivers Vic Kirby and Ross Wolfenden, trainer Eric Ell and owners Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Stave Iaquinta. ------------------------------ Corley Callahan had another big week driving winners as he seeking his sixth straight track title. Callahan added nine wins in three days of racing to total 54. His UDRS or batting average is now .389.  Allan Davis, second in the standing is now at 37. Ross Wolfenden had a big week and holds third place with 29. Vic Kirby moves into fourth place with 27 wins, two more than Tony Morgan with 25. ----------------------------------------------------- Doug Lewis and Wayne Givens are atop the leading trainer standings with 15 winners each. Jim King is now third with 11 wins.  Nick Surick is in third place with nine wins. Joe Hundertpfund, fourth, with eight wins. Dylan Davis and Dan Munson are tied for fifth with seven wins each. ------------------------------------------------------ The long eight-race win-streak of Willow Mill Faith came to a close on Monday, in a Delaware $7,500-$10,000 Claiming Handicap. Quick Pulse Daisy moved  past on the backstretch on the way to a 1:55 victory. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs
Pompano Beach, FL...November 26, 2014...Its Payday Friday. Well, It usually is but that was changed to Wednesday for owner Dan Clements as he piloted his own four year-old Its Payday Friday to victory in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Trot. Stepping up to the top class after two straight victories in "non-winners" events, this son of Kadabra took command right at the :28.1 opening marker and then posted following fractions of :56.3 and 1:25.3 before holding off the furious late rally of Andover America (Bruce Ranger) to win by a neck in a lifetime best 1:55 performance. Baby Boy Grin (Kevin Wallis), seeking his Third Straight win, had to settle for third, 1 1/2 lengths away. She's All In was fourth while Count Speed picked up the "nickel" in the multi-million dollar septet. In a post race interview, driver Dan Clements said, "we both love this track...and, "by both," I mean this horse and this driver. He hasn't been worse than second in his five starts here and we're both happy as a lark here. And, I might add, the trainer, Renaldo Morales III, loves it, too. This horse seems to like to be in the thick of things so, since he's won on the front his last two starts, I thought, 'why tinker with success.' He sure dug in late and beat a very talented field." Indeed he did. Coming into the action, the collective earnings of the starters in this field was over $2.5 million with Its Payday Friday the second lowest at $165,258. "When you are facing a field as talented as this," Clements said, "it's always in the back of your mind whether you're in over your head. Its Payday Friday answered that tonight." The victory was the seventh of the year for the winner, pushing his 2014 earnings to $52,091 to go along with his new lifetime mark. As second choice on the tote-board, Its Payday Friday paid a dividend to his believers on this Wednesday night of $5.20 for their $2 investment. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park
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