Artspeak, harness racing

Artspeak is done racing for the season

It was announced today via Harness Racing Update, that Artspeak will not race in the Breeders Crown and is done for the 2014 race according to spokesman Myron Bell for Brittany Farms. Before the Governor’s Cup, Harnesslink interviewed trainer Tony Alagna, who explained that they did not know why Artspeak made breaks in his prior two starts but that he was ready to go in the Governor’s Cup and that he has traveled up to Woodbine early just to train the colt himself and to make sure he was 100% ready to race. Alagna said he would not speculate before the race what the plans were for Artspeak after the Governor’s Cup. Artspeak was at his best and put in a tremendous effort in the Governor’s Cup. But right after the race, Alagna was off to Harrisburg to inspect yearlings for the upcoming sales and would not return any phone calls about the future of Artspeak. Now Myron Bell is stating that “The horse is weak in his stifles and that's why he made two breaks. He has already raced 10 times this year and we don't believe in racing two-year-olds more than 10 times. "That's what Captaintreacherous did. We want a 3-year-old and the best way to do that is to not burn them out as 2-year-olds.” Repeated attempts to reach Tony Alagna for more details have gone unanswered to both Harnesslink and Harness Racing Update. So now with Artspeak put out to pasture for the rest of the 2014 season, that leaves an opening for In The Arsenal to step up and steal some of Artspeaks “thunder” by sweeping the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs and then the Breeders Crown at the Meadowlands. It’s sort of the same route that Heston Blue Chip took in defeating Michael’s Power for three-year-old honors in 2012. Sired by American Ideal, In The Arsenal has won his last three starts and has five wins in his eight starts this season for trainer Kelvin Harrison. One of those wins was against undefeated Artspeak and ended his seven-race winning streak in the International Stallion Stake at Lexington’s Red Mile. Then in his next start, In The Arsenal brought an end to undefeated Yankee Bounty’s eight-race winning streak in the Historic Series Goshen Cup at Harrah’s Philadelphia. “Since his last win at Harrah’s,” said trainer Kelvin Harrison, “He (In The Arsenal) has been really feeling good. We are looking forward to racing in the Matron at Dover Downs next week and if all goes well then we will go next in the Breeders Crown.” By Steve Wolf, for

Upland Hanover, harness racing

176-1 long shot comes in at Northfield Park

Long shot players were ecstatic as the horses crossed the wire in the ninth race at Northfield Park on Thursday (October 30), when (7) Upland Hanover successfully kicked from the back to win at odds of 176-1. Northfield, Ohio's Greg Bartlett owns and trains the seven year-old. Jason Thompson was aboard for the winning drive. It was the fourth win this year in 23 starts and represents Upland Hanover's 12th lifetime score. (7) Upland Hanover (176-1) was followed across the wire by (3) Caramel Chinno (8-5) and (1) Stellllllla (6-1). Upland Hanover returned $355.60 to win; the 7-3 Exacta paid $1,094.80; and the 7-3-1 Trifecta returned a whopping $10,102.20. Albeit one of the biggest winners in Northfield Park's history, Upland Hanover is not the longest shot to ever score over the Flying Turns. That honor goes to Jet's Appearance and driver Sheri Hersman when they paid $579 to win on August 22, 1988. Northfield Park is announcing the addition of a $20,000 Pick-4 total pool guarantee to Monday’s (November 3) program.  Beginning in Race 8, the $20,000 Pick-4 guaranteed total pool includes a carryover of $3,578.47. Northfield’s Pick 5, Pick 4 and the Pick 3’s offer a reduced takeout rate of just 14 percent.    Monday’s post time is 6:00 p.m. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Jody Jamieson, harness racing

Jody Jamieson records 7,000th career win

TORONTO, October 30 - Driver Jody Jamieson became the newest member of the 7,000 win club Thursday night at Woodbine Racetrack. In the evening's seventh race, Jamieson guide pacer Frankie Boy to victory in a division of the Autumn Series for his 7,000th career win. Jamieson, 37, entered the night three wins shy of the milestone, but quickly moved in on the 7,000 win plateau after scoring victories in the second and sixth race. The Moffat, Ontario resident has been consistently among the top drivers on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit over the last decade and was the circuit's top driver in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012. Jamieson has captured several of the sport's most prestigious titles including the North America Cup twice, the Little Brown Jug and the Maple Leaf Trot. In August of 2013, Jamieson reached the $100 million mark in career earnings. This season, Jamieson has recorded 254 wins and earnings of just under $5 million, while his career earnings number sits at over $107 million. The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to congratulate Jody on his accomplishment and wish him continued success. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

mount eden.jpg

Flashback Friday - superstar honoured at GP

It’s that time of the week as Harnesslink presents another ‘Flashback Friday’, written by multiple award-winning journalist PAUL COURTS. If you have any past champions or magical moments you’d like to relive, contact Paul who will be glad to hear from you…enjoy! One of the greatest pacers produced anywhere in the world – Mount Eden - will return to the spotlight at Gloucester Park tonight. The former idol will be honoured with the running of the $50,000 Mount Eden Sprint. While the highly-talented performer’s career ended almost four decades ago, his incredible feats on the racetrack will live on for some time. In fact, just earlier this week, former media man Bill Hutchison declared Mount Eden’s 1971 Miracle Mile performance as the greatest he has seen. In a time when the Group One was still in its infant stage, Mount Eden produced an effort still unequalled in the rich sprint. Having bettered two-minutes on five consecutive occasions leading into the Miracle Mile, the Jack Miles-trained stallion was the star attraction for the fifth edition of the Harold Park-based feature. As expected a top field was assembled for the encounter, with Mount Eden competing against Deep Court, Neutrodyne and Bay Foyle, along with New Zealander raiders, Stella Frost and Manaroa. The most-lightly raced runner in the field, Mount Eden boasted 13 wins, a second and a third from just 19 starts for earnings of $21,790. The field had a mixture of speed and stamina, but no one was aware they were about to witness one of the greatest efforts seen in Australasia. Mount Eden’s legion of supporters, who backed him into 6/4 favouritism, felt their hearts slump, however, when he wanted to trot in the score-up. The son of Morris Eden then went into a wild gallop just before the field was released, but to the delight of punters, the starter, Clive Salkeld, declared a false start. The field re-assembled, but once again Mount Eden preferred to trot a few strides in his hopples. Miles restrained him as he broke into a gallop, but this time there was no third chance. Just as everyone was expecting another false start, Salkeld let them go, resulting in loud booing from the big crowd. The official stewards’ report read: “The starter deferred the start when Mount Eden mixed its gait and became out of touch with the field. In the second run-up Mount Eden repeated this behaviour, but as the starter believed that on this occasion it was in touch with the field, he proceeded with the start”. Galloping wildly, Mount Eden was 10 lengths off the field as Stella Frost and Bay Foyle raced head-and-head into the first turn. In what was regarded at the time to have been the fastest quarter run by a standardbred, Mount Eden caught the field and was a close fourth as they hit the first blue light. Miles allowed his charge to ‘catch a breath’ during the middle stages before sending Mound Eden to the lead with a lightning move at the 600-metre mark. Bolstered by a huge roar from the stellar crowd, Mount Eden careered away for a 15-yard win from Deep Court and Bay Foyle. “The terrific roar at the home turn really excited me,” Miles was quoted as saying. Mount Eden stopped the clock in 1:58.8, with his time only two-tenths of a second outside the track record set by Halwes in the 1968 Miracle Mile. He became the eighth pacer to run two minutes or better at Harold Park, joining Avian Derby, Ribands, James Scott, Robin Dundee, Halwes, Adaptor and Lucky Creed. Hutchison referred to Mount Eden’s success “like when JFK got shot, or man first landed on the moon, for me it was one of those occasions when you remember exactly where you were at the time…which for me, was the Botanic Hotel in South Yarra. “No horse should be able to do what he did that night in a field as strong as that and win. “Shame he didn’t have the brain to go with his ability, but pound-for-pound on sheer ability, I have never seen a better horse.” Mount Eden was sold to American interests not long after when Miles and Ogden received an offer too good to refuse. Although no figure was released at the time, it was later reported to be $300,000 – the highest price paid for a horse – galloper, pacer or trotter - in Australia. The previous highest was $250,000 for South Australian thoroughbred, Tobin Bronze. Mount Eden was spelled in Sydney before his journey America, where he was set for the $180,000 International Pace series at Yonkers Raceway in June. The ‘Aussie Wonder’ tragically broke down with a bowed tendon in the near-side front leg before making his American debut and was retired to stud. Ironically, unlike Australian breeders, who thrive on imported stallions, Americans were unwilling to risk sending their mares to a ‘foreigner’. In 1978 Mount Eden returned to stand at stud in Western Australia, but by then broodmare owners had all but forgotten his great feats, which saw him receive little patronage. In 1991, the New South Wales Harness Racing Club brought Mount Eden out of his retirement paddock in Victoria to lead the Miracle Mile field onto the track in what was his final public appearance. Miles, who was too frail from illness to make the trip from Western Australia to join Mount Eden, passed away the morning after Christopher Vance captured the Miracle Mile in 1:57.2. Having enjoyed a peaceful retirement, Mount Eden died a couple of years later. PAUL COURTS

As the races for divisional honors head toward the finish line, trainer Ron Burke is hoping for continued strong performances from his horses down the stretch. Burke sends 18 horses into Friday's stakes action at Hoosier Park, not to mention five more to Vernon Downs for stakes engagements on Saturday. Among Burke's top contenders at Hoosier are 3-year-old male pacers JK Endofanera and Limelight Beach in the $275,000 Monument Circle, older male pacers Clear Vision, Foiled Again and Sweet Lou in the $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, and 3-year-old female trotter Market Rally in the $193,000 Moni Maker Stakes. "There is still money left out there, so you want to finish up strong with some of these," Burke said. "We usually tend to do good in races at the end of the year. We've always done that. It's been more of a tradition that we tend to start poorly and do better late. Hopefully it will continue." Burke's stable already has earned a record $23.75 million this year and is nearing 1,000 wins for the second consecutive season. His earnings are the most for any trainer in horse racing, more than $3.70 million ahead of Thoroughbred leader Todd Pletcher. Last year, Burke's horses won 262 races over the final three months of the campaign. Only three other trainers won more races - in the entire year. This season, Burke has 109 victories in October, including 25 in stakes events. JK Endofanera is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the Monument Circle, a race won by Burke two of the past three years. JK Endofanera brings a four-race win streak to the race, including victories in the American-National Stakes and a division of the Tattersalls Pace. Last week he won a division of the Circle City at Hoosier. For the year, the son of Art Major-Presidential Lady has won 10 of 15 races and $936,145 for breeder/owner 3 Brothers Stables. Joe Holloway-trained Always B Miki, who also won a Tattersalls division and has captured seven of his last eight starts, is the 5-2 second choice, followed by Limelight Beach at 3-1. Limelight Beach has won four of his last five races, including the Little Brown Jug. The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere-Benear has banked $539,118 this season. He is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, M1 Stable, and Wingfield Brothers. "All my 3-year-olds have been real good recently," said Burke, who also has At Press Time, Forty Five Red, and Big Boy Dreams entered in the Monument Circle. "They're finishing up the year strong. I'm glad about that. "The Monument Circle is our best two shots (Friday) with JK (Endofanera) and Limelight Beach. We'll see how that works. They've got to beat Always B Miki." McWicked leads all 3-year-old male pacers in purses, with $1.01 million, followed by JK Endofanera, All Bets Off, He's Watching, Always B Miki, and Limelight Beach. "There are three or four horses (that could win divisional honors); whoever wins the Breeders Crown is probably the 3-year-old of the year," Burke said. "It's going to be exciting. It's not like last year, where it already was all decided (with Captaintreacherous). Coming into the Breeders Crown this year, there's still a lot up for grabs." Clear Vision is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, followed by Foiled Again at 5-2 and Sweet Lou at 7-2. Burke-trained Bettor's Edge and Easy Again also are part of the 10-horse field. Foiled Again won the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby - then named the Indiana Pacing Derby and raced at Indiana Downs - in 2011 and 2012. Clear Vision is coming off a win last week in the Dayton Pacing Derby, where he edged Foiled Again by a nose. Sweet Lou won 10 consecutive races during the summer, and has earned $958,558 this year, but heads to the Pacing Derby trying to snap a three-race losing streak. "Lou trained great this week," Burke said. "I went out and trained him myself on Tuesday and I was very happy with him. I think he'll be back to himself. "Bettor's Edge and Clear Vision drew great spots and Foiled is still Foiled. Hopefully we should do alright. They've stayed sound all year, all of them, and raced great. I could see them finishing up the year great too." Burke's Rose Run Parker is the 4-1 second choice in the $230,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-old male trotters. Multiple-stakes-winner Father Patrick, from the stable of Jimmy Takter, is the 3-5 morning line favorite. Takter also has the top choices in the Moni Maker - Shake It Cerry and Lifetime Pursuit - followed by Burke's Market Rally, who is a two-time New York Sire Stakes champion trying open stakes company for only the third time in her career. "She's in very tough, against very good horses," Burke said. "But I've always wanted to see what Market Rally would do against top horses, so I'm excited to see what she'll do there." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

2014 Prix d'Amerique harness racing winner Maharajah (9m Viking Kronos-Chili Khan-Giant Chill) was a good third tonight at Solvalla in the 2140 meter circle start distance handicapped Owners Trophy. The 200,000SEK race went to the winner Checco Boko (5g Express It-Vintage Boko-Garland Lobell) with Jorma Kontio up for trainer Timo Normos. Pocket sitting Micciano Lung (8m Park Avenue Joe-Stella-Lanson) was third for Cark-Erik Lindblom. The winner was timed in 1.13.4kr. Maharajah moved early (after a 20 meter handicap) and raced in the death seat outside leader Checco Boko before ending third for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Stefan Hultman. Hultman commented post-race that Maharajah raced well after a nine month layoff and the road to the 2015 Prix d'Amerique is underway. On the undercard J-P Barjon's Mister JP (2m Taurus Dream-Baghdad Dream-Yankee Glide-I Feel Good) earned 100,000SEK for a 1.15.6kr win over 2140 meters autostart. The impressive youngster scored for Bjorn Goop. The monte feature, also for 100,000SEK to the winner over the 2140 meter autostart course, went to Muskelmann GT (9g Muscles Yankee-Aino Lady-Dallas Lobell) in 1.12.4kr for Siv Emilie Louvold. Lord Photo was second for Linda Allercrantz ahead of Nouvelle Pelle handled by Asa Svensson by Thomas H. Hicks, for

Harness Racing New South Wales concluded an inquiry into a report received from the Australian Government National Measurement Institute that cobalt above the threshold was detected in a post race urine sample taken from BIEN HOA NZ following its win at Newcastle on 29 May 2014. The “B” sample and associated control sample were confirmed by the ChemCentre in Western Australia. Glenn Hayward pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 190 (1), (2) and (4) in that he did present BEIN HOA NZ to race not free of a prohibited substance. Hayward further pleaded guilty to a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 187(2) in that he gave false and/or misleading evidence at the inquiry on 1 September 2014 regarding any contact and/or meeting he had previous with Shannon Wonson. Hayward was disqualified for a period of 10 years in respect of the charge under Rule 190 (1), (2) & (4) to commence from 1 August 2014, the date upon which he was stood down. In considering penalty Stewards were mindful of the following; This was Hayward’s third offence for Rule 190 breaches, that Cobalt is deemed a Class 1 substance under the HRNSW Penalty Guidelines,The level recorded being 570ug/LMr Hayward’s licence history and other personal subjective facts In relation to the charge under Rule 187(2), Hayward was disqualified for a period of 12 months, to be served concurrently with the period imposed for the Rule 190 breach. Acting under the provisions of Rule 195, BEIN HOA NZ was disqualified from the abovementioned race. HRNSW Media

The Windsor Star in Windsor, Ontario today reported that a Tecumseh-based harness racing trainer caught injecting performance-enhancing drugs into a horse in 2010 has been convicted of fraud by the Ontario Court of Appeal. Derek Riesberry is the first person in Canada to go before the criminal courts for horse doping. After a lengthy trial that began in 2012, Riesberry was acquitted last year by Superior Court Justice Steven Rogin. Despite finding that Riesberry was a cheat, Rogin found him not guilty of two counts of fraud, saying the Crown had not proven that the betting public had been deprived of anything. In a decision released this week after a Crown appeal, the Ontario Court of Appeal found Rogin had erred in his decision. The appellate court set aside the acquittals and substituted guilty verdicts. The court has referred the case back to Rogin for sentencing. “The betting public was deprived of information about the race that they were entitled to know; they were deprived of an honest race run in accordance with the rules,” the court of appeal found. The court has also ordered a new trial on two counts of cheating at play. On Sept. 28, 2010, Riesberry was videotaped by hidden camera injecting something into the neck of a horse at Windsor Raceway. The horse raced about an hour later, placing sixth. A few weeks later, on Nov. 7, 2010, Riesberry was arrested as he entered the racetrack. A syringe filled with performance-enhancing drugs – epinephrine and clenbuterol – was found in his truck. Reisberry was charged with fraud, attempted fraud, cheating at play and attempting to cheat at play. In the past, such breaches would be dealt with as licence infractions at regulatory tribunals. But in a crackdown by the Ontario Racing Commission, Riesberry and fellow trainer Chris Haskell were charged criminally. Haskell’s trial had been adjourned, awaiting the outcome of Riesberry’s trial and appeal. Both Riesberry and Haskell hired the same lawyer to represent them. He could not be reached for comment, nor could the head of the Ontario Racing Commission to whom calls were referred. In acquitting Riesberry, Rogin had delved into the legal meanings of the word “game.” He concluded horse racing is not a game because it relies on skill rather than chance. “In our view, the trial judge erred in his interpretation of a game,” the court of appeal ruled. “The trial judge erred in law by applying the wrong legal test to determine whether horse racing was a game of mixed chance and skill.” On appeal, the Crown cited starting post positions — drawn by lot or by a computerized random post position generator — as an example of chance. “Certain post positions are more advantageous than others in that the advantageous positions provide shorter distances to travel,” the court of appeal said. “Accordingly, in relation to the cheating while playing a game charges, we set aside the acquittals and order a new trial.” Riesberry and Haskell’s cases will be spoken to in Superior Court in November to set dates. by Sarah Sacheli for the Windsor Star

It was the year Bob Hawke became Prime Minister, Ash Wednesday fires tore through Victoria and South Australia, Australia II won the America’s Cup, the movie Phar Lap was a smash hit and Thor actor Chris Hemsworth was born. 1983 was also the year the inaugural M H Treuer Memorial – named the Truer Cup - was run for $30,000 and captured by Double Agent. Since then the feature’s stakemoney has risen and fallen several times, with its peak of $198,000 coming in 1996 when Our Sir Vancelot emerged triumphant. Sadly, the former prestigious event – once part of the Grand Circuit - has slipped further down the scale by returning to its original prizemoney level of $30,000...losing its Group One status along the way. Although listed as $100,000 at the beginning of the season, the December 6 edition has been reduced - without any publicity from the club – to its 1983 level! Furthermore, the conditions of the race have also been removed, with the club yet to advice what class the Treuer Memorial will cater for. Just last month, President Les Bentley declared prizemoney for the club’s flagship event would rise to $105,000 next season. “We are hoping to increase the stake to $105,000 in 2015,” Bentley said. Support races on the card have also been subject to prizemoney cuts. It’s believed the club has had to make the dramatic decision as a result of a long-running legal battle, which is causing immense strain on every area of its operation. No club official was available for comment when Harnesslink called its office. PAUL COURTS

Harness racing in New Zealand lost one of its racetrack stars this week when the outstanding trotting racemare Superbowlcheerleader was retired due to injury. Since joining the All Stars team last year, she had gone ahead in leaps and bounds and looked to be in for a huge season. Originally with the Wallis/Hackett barn for whom she won six races, Superbowlcheerleader was purchased last year by Brian West and Sue Grainger first and foremost as a future broodmare. The daughter of Sundon had won six races and close to $40,000 and after being purchased,she was transferred to the All Stars barn at Rolleston for a few more starts before becoming a broodmare. However it soon became apparent that Superbowlcheerleader was far from finished an the racetrack. Always known to be a touch headstrong like a lot of the Sundon's, Superbowlcheerleader showed the All Star team enough to suggest that they should press on with a race career. It took half a dozen starts for the All Stars team to get her to the winners circle but she kept on improving and a 3rd in the $80,000 Group 1 New Zealand Trotting Championship to Master Lavros in a 1:59.4 mile rate for the 2600 metres had everyone sitting up and taking notice. At her next start Superbowlcheerleader won the $95,845 Group 1 Anzac Cup over Zedalite after sitting parked for the majority of the journey in what was undoubtedly her best win. She started this season with a neck second to Kinscaslough in New Zealand record time and looked to be peaking nicely for all the big trotting races around Cup week. Since being purchased and transferred to the All Stars barn, Superbowlcheerleader had faced the starter 19 times for 4 wins and 5 placings for stakes of $99,337. She goes to stud with an overall record of 47 starts for 10 wins, 5 seconds and 8 thirds for stakes totaling $139,782 When spoken to this morning Brian West while disappointed with how it ended, has loved the ride with the mare. " We purchased her really as a broodmare and to have her turn around and race like that has been a huge thrill"  he said. " Mark and Natalie have done such a great job with her and I feel for them a bit as they thought she was shaping up to have her best season yet. "We haven't decided on a stallion for her yet but there is no shortage of world class sires available,"  he said. Superbowlcheerleader is the 3rd foal from the Britewell mare Brite Paula. The first two are both winners in Going Commando - 6 wins ($37,477) and Hot Holiday -17 wins ($159,404) while Brite Paula herself is a full sister to the former age group star Super Command -11 wins ($185,803) The third dam is the brilliant trotting mare Paula Scott who raced in North America in the 1970s, taking a record then of 2:00 and earning $123,198. and she was a half sister to the great trotting mare Paulette who won the 1971 Group One Rowe Cup. It has been a great trotting family for over 40 years and Superbowlcheerleader will get her chance at stud to further enhance its standing. Harnesslink Media

ANDERSON, Ind.- Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, the exclusive home of Indiana harness racing, is proud to announce it will host the coveted Breeders Crown events in the fall of 2017 for the first time in its 21-year racing history, pending approval by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission and Indiana Standardbred Association. The seven-eighths mile track, which opened in 1994, was awarded all 12 year-end championship races, worth a combined $5 million, by the Hambletonian Society which oversees the prestigious Breeders Crown series. The exact dates are yet to be determined but are historically showcased in late October or November. "Hoosier Park is a world class racetrack and has been a solid supporter of Grand Circuit and stakes racing since they opened," said Tom Charters, president of the Hambletonian Society which owns and services the races. "We are delighted to add a new track to the Breeders Crown roster, especially one as celebrated, and as accommodating to fans, owners, and horsepeople as Hoosier Park." Much like the Super Bowl, the season-culminating Breeders Crown series does not have a fixed venue. The Breeders Crown races will be hosted at The Meadowlands Racetrack in 2014 and 2016 and at Woodbine Racetrack in Canada in 2015 before heading to Hoosier Park in 2017. "Hoosier Park's team members are honored to have earned this level of recognition," said Rod Ratcliff, Centaur Gaming chairman and chief executive officer. "We can't thank the dedicated racing fans, team members, as well as the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, Indiana Legislature, Indiana Standardbred Association, and all of our partners in the racing industry enough for their continued work to elevate Indiana horse racing on a national level." Owned by Indianapolis-based Centaur Gaming, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino underwent a major expansion to its racing facility when casino gaming at Indiana's racetracks was legislatively authorized in 2007. Centaur, founded in 1993, is a company built on the precept of furthering the entertainment and economic development benefits of Indiana gaming and horse racing. "This is a major step forward for Indiana horse racing and something Hoosier Park and our partners in the industry have been working towards for years," said Jim Brown, Centaur Gaming president and chief operating officer. "Since 2008, Hoosier Park has continued to make significant investments into improving our racing product - both on-track and via our simulcast signal, and this announcement serves as recognition of these efforts. The Hoosier Park team will be ready to welcome racing fans from across the country in 2017." The state-bred program has improved dramatically in 20 years, and the $3 million stakes schedule, centered annually around the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational, attracts the best trotters and pacers in North America throughout the season. The 30-year-old Breeders Crown series has typically crowned champions in every division for trotters and pacers and been the deciding factor in Horse of the Year honors. Originally conceived and executed as a traveling series, the "Crown" has traveled to racetracks across North America and raced as either single night or multiple night events. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

This Week: Monument Circle, Carl Erskine Trot, Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, Nadia Lobell and Moni Maker, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind. and Artiscape, Muscle Hill and Kindergarten finals, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week will get underway on Friday (Oct. 31) at Hoosier Park with five stakes races on the card. Leading the way is the $275,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old colt pacers. Also on tap will be the $230,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-old colt trotters, the $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for older pacers, the $193,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $176,500 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers. The Saturday (Nov. 1) card at Vernon Downs features the $250,500 Kindergarten Series final for 2-year-old trotting fillies, the $240,500 Kindergarten Series final for 2-year-old trotting colts, the $178,000 Artiscape for older pacing mares and the $178,000 Muscle Hill for older trotting mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Yonkers Raceway, Woodbine Racetrack and Hollywood Dayton Raceway all had major stakes last weekend during an extremely busy Grand Circuit weekend. Natural Herbie grinds out win the International Trot   In an already long race -- at the nontraditional distance of 1-1/4 miles -- Natural Herbie went even longer to win Saturday's $250,000 International Trot Preview Invitational at Yonkers Raceway. Racing on the outside much of the way, Natural Herbie battled through a field of international stars to win in 2:24.4 at odds of 9-1. European standout Commander Crowe finished second, three-quarters of a length behind, and Bee A Magician, the lone female in the eight-horse field, was third. Obrigado was fourth and Arch Madness fifth. Natural Herbie, purchased by trainer/driver Verlin Yoder just prior to the start of his racing career as a 2-year-old, has won 12 of 23 races this year and 24 of 46 lifetime, with earnings of $749,841. Nuncio won Saturday's $500,000 Yonkers Trot for 3-year-olds at Yonkers Raceway, giving trainer Jimmy Takter a sweep of the Trotting Triple Crown. Sent off at odds of 1-9, Nuncio (Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle) and driver John Campbell won the Yonkers Trot by 2-1/4 lengths over Datsyuk in 1:56. Resolve finished third. Takter, who won the Hambletonian Stakes with Trixton, picked up the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot with Nuncio. Owned by Stefan Melander's Stall TZ Inc., Nuncio has won 10 of 15 races this year and earned $1.29 million. He finished second in the Hambletonian. All Bets Off went to the front as soon as the gate opened and never was challenged on his way to winning Saturday's $500,000 Messenger Stakes for 3-year-old pacers at Yonkers Raceway. Driven by Matt Kakaley for trainer Ron Burke, All Bets Off (Bettor's Delight-Armbro Penelope) won by 2-3/4 lengths over Luck Be Withyou in 1:51.1, with McWicked third. The time was the fastest ever for a Messenger Stakes at Yonkers. The finest 2-year-olds in harness racing were on display Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack for the Fall Four Stakes. Made up of the Governor's Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid, the Fall Four Stakes has been an annual showcase of the best freshmen in the sport. Leading the winners of the four stakes was JK She'salady, who improved to a perfect ten for ten with another victory in the $377,360 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Sent off as the heavy 1-5 favorite, JK She'salady and Yannick Gingras got away fifth and sat along the rail until the midway point of the race. Around the final turn, Gingras sent JK She'salady first up to challenge the leader, The Show Returns, as the fillies were on even terms at the three-quarter pole in 1:24. JK She'salady came off the turn and quickly created separation with the field and cruised home to an impressive looking 1-1/2 length victory in 1:52.1. Solar Sister took the place spot, while Ideal Nuggets finished third. A daughter of Art Major-Presidential Lady, JK She'salady is trained by Nancy Johansson for owners 3 Brothers Stable. She returned $2.50 to win. On Friday at Hollywood Dayton Raceway, the night was supposed to belong to Foiled Again and Creatine, but although each raced very creditably neither was able to capture a Grand Circuit Dayton Derby. Instead stablemate Clear Vision literally nosed out Foiled Again in the $122,000 Dayton Pacing Derby, lowering the track record to 1:49, and Market Share pulled a mild upset in the $162,000 Dayton Trotting Derby, establishing a new track trot standard with the 1:52.4 clocking. 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 - 1,925; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,062; 3. David Miller - 894.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 635.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 613. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 2,122.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,599; 3. Erv Miller - 441.5; 4. Joe Holloway - 349; 5. Tony Alagna - 332. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 478.55; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 428.55; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 317; 4. Robert Key - 272; 5. Brittany Farms - 258.45. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next week at Dover Downs with eight Matron Stakes for 2- and 3-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters set for Thursday (Nov. 6). by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

You have just a couple of day left to win a set of $1,400US custom race bike wheels from Forward Motion Technologies, perhaps a full set of RazorHorse shoes, maybe a five gallon bucket of Lifeline Horse Supplement or a $100 Amazon gift card? These prizes, plus more - 13 in total - will be given away in Harnesslink’s month long Insider Access “Win The Wheels Contest” throughout October. All you have to do is sign-up for our fortnightly newsletter, Insider Access, by the end of October. THAT"S THIS FRIDAY AT MIDNIGHT!  It’s as simple as that (and be age 18 or older too). No fees, no charges, you can unsubscribe at any time (we suggest you at least wait until after the prizes are drawn), no hidden costs whatsoever, totally free to enter. Can’t make it any simpler than that! Insider Access is a great newsletter which keeps you informed on news and opinions in harness racing that you won’t get on any other website or magazine, even our own Harnesslink! Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing as you view the current issue of Insider Access.  “We are so pleased that some of our advertising sponsors have come on board for this special promotion,” said John Curtin, founder and CEO of Harnesslink. “I want to thank the people at Forward Motion Technologies, Lifeline Horse Supplement and RazorHorse for joining us and donating these great prizes. So take a moment to go on our site and check out the companies and see what prizes you might win.” At the end of October everyone who has signed up for the newsletter, even those who already get Insider Access, will be drawn at random. The first 12 names selected will win either the horse supplement or RazorHorse shoes and the 13th winner will get the set of sulky wheels, shipped to their residents, no matter what country you live in. A reminder that everyone who signs up must be age 18 or older in order to win. All winners will be notified via email and proof of age and proper mailing address will be verified. For the complete rules and regulations for the contest click here. Just click below to visit the three sponsors of “Win The Wheels Contest.”

Leading harness racing trainer Gary Hall has identified outstanding American performer Heston Blue Chip as the pacer he wants to continue his dominance in the rich Inter Dominion Championship. Hall and his son, Gary, have enjoyed a high rate of success in the great race in recent years, winning with champion Im Themightyquinn in Auckland in 2011, Perth 2012 and Sydney in 2013. They also finished a nose second to Jofess with the Falcon Strike in 2004. Heston Blue Chip has won 36 races and has earned in excess of $1.7million, with Hall in negotiations with the stallion’s owner, New York businessman Ken Jacobs. “I’m hoping to be able to purchase Heston Blue Chip at a reasonable price and discussions are going along very well,” Hall declared. Im Themightyquinn is now a 10-year-old and in the twilight of a magnificent career, with Hall looking for a ready-made replacement. The premier horseman is confident Machtu will continue to improve and develop into a serious Inter Dominion contender when the event is run at Gloucester Park for three years, beginning in November 2015. The Final each year will offer a purse of $1.3 million – the richest pacers’ event in the world. But he is extremely keen to buy a top-flight American pacer on behalf of several stable clients to give him a great chance to add to his Championship successes. Heston Blue Chip is by American Ideal and is the first foal from Shot Togo Bluechip. He has proved a great bargain for Jacobs, who liked the five-year-old’s breeding and bought him for just $30,000 at the 2010 standardbred sales. Heston Blue Chip was a good winner as a two-year-old before a dominant season in 2012 when he won at 14 of his 18 starts, set four track records and won the prestigious Dan Patch award as the Three-Year-Old Colt of the Year in America. Trained by Linda Toscano, Heston Blue Chip has been driven to most of his victories by Tim Tetrick, who summed up the stallion by saying: “I can’t say enough good things about this horse. He is such a pleasure to drive; it’s like driving a Cadillac out there.” A versatile campaigner, Heston Blue Chip’s chief asset is his dazzling early speed, which has seen him set the pace in most of his wins at Yonkers, Meadowlands, Vernon Downs, Woodbine, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Saratoga Raceway and Dover Downs. Heston Blue Chip, whose stable name is Moses, set an all-age track record of 1.48 over a mile in December 2012. If Hall is able to clinch the deal, Heston Blue Chip will become only the fifth American pacer to race at Gloucester Park, joining Crouch, Tibet, Ultra jet and Mr Feelgood. KEN CASELLAS

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 28, 2014-Brian Sears won the 9,000th race of his illustrious career Tuesday night, the milestone coming The Way I Am ($9.80) in the fifth race of Yonkers Raceway's 12-race program. The 3-year-old Muscle Mass gelding went wire-to-wire from post position No. 3, winning the mile-and-one-sixteenth event trot by 8¼ lengths in 2:05.4. Sears began his work night needing two wins for the latest plateau. He took the $11,000 pacing opener with Wayward Son ($7.80), pacing the mile-and-one-sixteenth in 1:59.2. "It's great to win (No. 9,000) here, because Yonkers Raceway is my home now," Sears said, congratulatory sign in tow. "I'm really happy to win it for (trainer) Buzzy (Sholty), because our families have known each other for years and we grew up in the business together." Sears is the 15th driver in harness racing history to win 9,000 races. A 46-year-old native of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Sears-the Raceway's defending driving champion---has career purse earnings in excess of $158 million. Prior to relocating his base to Westchester last season, Sears was the leading driver at Vernon Downs, Pompano, the Meadows and the Meadowlands. His escorts have made at least $10 million in purses in all but one of the past 10 full seasons. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

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DAYTON, OH. - Elimination heat winners Ola Hanover, M A Duty and Her Ideal Hanover will headline the field for the $12,900 championship leg of the "Stars of the Future" mini-series for non-winners of two pari-mutuels distaff pacers next Friday night (November 7). The top three finishers from a trio of $6000 survival battles advanced during Friday's rain-soaked live racing program at Hollywood Dayton Raceway. Ola Hanover (Dan Noble) beat Empress Deo (Randy Tharps) and Kolebalt (Kayne Kauffman) in the first division for owner Mike Foote and trainer Conor Flynn. The Always A Virgin sophomore broke her maiden seven starts ago at The Meadows before making her second start at Dayton a winning one. M A Duty (Greg Grismore), a three-year-old filly by Life Guard On Duty, had eleven county fair triumphs to her credit but was winning for the first time at a commercial track in the second split. She bested CAS Art Apparel (Kyle Ater) and Iam Total For Real (Josh Sutton) for owner Melissa Orlando and trainer Mike Croucher. Her Ideal Hanover (Kyle Ater) managed to negotiate a track that was just officially labeled as 'sloppy' in 1:59.1, besting Cyclone Sweetheart (Jack Dailey) and Sweet Caldonia (Kayne Kauffman). Doug Cullers owns the five-year-old Western Ideal mare who now has two wins and a second in three Dayton Raceway starts for conditioner Christopher Hope. Racing resumes at Dayton Raceway at 6:35 p.m. Saturday night with a powerful 14-race program. From the press box at Dayton Raceway
For the second straight week I lost money (-$4.10) on win bets but with the cold exactas and trifectas in the Messenger Stakes and Valley Victory, we made decent money for the weekend. This weekend we have super cards Friday at Hoosier Park and Saturday at Vernon Downs plus we travel north of the boarder to Woodbine Racetrack for their good Preferred Trot. Good Luck! $50,000 Pace Monument Circle consolation 3yo colts Hoosier 6th race FRIDAY - May only be the consolation race but still a very good match-up. I am going with Capital Account. Early season sensation has been putting in decent efforts except for his last outing against tougher. Draws well, rested and should be able to regain winning form against this field. Use Somestarsomewhere and Somesizesomestyle in exotic plays. $193,000 Trot Moni Maker 3yo fillies Hoosier Park 8th race FRIDAY - Best fillies in the nation will go out at it in here but the smart money has to go with Shake It Cerry. Won't be a walk in the park as she faces four other return winners in the field but she has beaten most of them throughout the season and can do it again. Use Lifetime Pursuit and Riveting Rosie in exotic plays. $176,500 Pace Nadia Lobell 3yo fillies Hoosier Park 9th race FRIDAY - Since winning the Jugette and rolling through five straight wins, Color's A Virgin has been sensational in Indiana for two years. She really gets tested once against facing the best in the nation. But even from post eight she is rightly the morning line favorite to win it all. Use Precocious Beauty and Katie Said in exotic plays. $230,000 Trot Carl Erskine 3yo colts Hoosier Park 10th race FRIDAY - Will be really interesting to see how Indiana's top colt, Rose Run Parker, who is going for his eighth straight win, will fare against the number one rated colt in the nation, Father Patrick. I am going to have to stick with Father Patrick as has beaten the best all season long. Use Rose Run Parker and Il Sogno Dream in exotic plays. $211,500 Pace Hoosier Park Pacing Derby FFA Hoosier Park 11th race FRIDAY - Half of the field are return winners but I am going with the horse who has lost his last three starts, only by a nose and a head. That's Foiled Again. Game class master can still show his heels to younger rivals and from outside post he might even be able to work out a trip to take this field. Use Sweet Lou and Clear Vision in exotic plays. $275,000 Pace The Monument Circle Final 3yo colts Hoosier 12th race FRIDAY - Wow...Limelight Beach, JK Endofanera, Always B Miki, Let's Drink On It, nearly all the best colts in the country going head and head for big money. I am taking a shot that Always B Miki got a week's rest after his big win at Hoosier where he romped by 8 ½ lengths and can do it again. Use JK Endofaneara and Limelight Beach in exotic plays. $34,000 Trot Preferred Woodbine Racetrack 5th race SATURDAY - Great matchup here between the return of Intimidate against Daylon Magician. When he is right he can beat any trotter there is and I think that Intimidate is ready to fire it up after good rest and very sharp qualifying win last week. Outside post is only hindrance. Use Daylon Magician and Slip Into Glide in exotic plays. $178,000 Pace Artiscape older mares Vernon Downs 6th race SATURDAY - Trainers PJ Fraley and Ron Burke seem to have the deck stacked, each with a three-horse entry. Doesn't matter because I am going with Joe Holloway's Somwherovrarainbow. She showed her former self last week with impressive win at Harrah's. All she needs is come live cover and she can score again. Use Fraley entry of Krispy Apple, Shelliscape, Anndrovette with Burke entry of Rocklamation, Summertime Lea and Camille in exotic plays. $240,500 Trot Kindergarten Final 2yo colts Vernon Downs 7th race SATURDAY - While the Erv Miller entry of Airman Batten and SS Poseidon are the race favorite, I am going with French Laundry. He has the gate speed to get good position and has shown great closing speed, :27.3 in his last start. Yannick will work his magic to get this one home. Use Airman Batten/SS Poseidon entry and Boots N Chairns/Suit And Tie entry in exotic plays. $251,100 Trot Kindergarten Final 2yo fillies Vernon Downs 8th race SATURDAY - Jimmy Takter's entry of Sarcy and Lil U Hanover have not been world beaters this season but have drawn well and have both shown good trot in recent action and gets a slim call in here over Allerage Star. Use Allerage Star and Queen The Bea in exotic plays. $178,000 Trot Muscle Hill older mares Vernon Downs 9th race SATURDAY - Great field of trotting mares featuring numerous world champions and a Horse of the Year! Who to pick? The class of the field is Bee A Magician, who last week was a game third in the International Trot against the world's best. Despite drawing outside post nine I think she is in a perfect spot for Brian Sears to work out a great trip to score from. Use Classic Martine and Perfect Alliance in exotic plays.
WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 31, 2014 -- Santa Fe Beachboy quarter-poled to the lead and held off the determined bid of Visible Gold to capture Friday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. In his last outing, Santa Fe Beachboy took on some of the sport's best in the $150,000 Dayton Derby and was no match for the likes of Clear Vision and Foiled Again. But he was plenty tough Friday, snapping Visible Gold's four-race winning streak by downing him by 1/2 length in 1:51. Brooklyn Flight shot the Lightning Lane show. Jim Pantaleano drove the 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere-Santa Fe Yankee, who extended his career bankroll to $122,093, for trainer Brian Brown and owner Santa Fe Stable. In Friday's companion feature, the $18,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Kandian Klub moved powerfully first over for Dave Palone to score in 1:55, 1-3/4 lengths better than Mistress Valentine. Victory Is Coming earned show. Ron Burke conditions Kandian Klub, a 5-year-old daughter of Pegasus Spur-KT Dee Dee who now boasts lifetime earnings of $172,851, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Palone drove five winners -- four for Burke -- on the 15-race card while Tony Hall enjoyed a four-bagger. Pantaleano and trainer Mike Palone each fashioned a triple. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday with s special card that features the championships of four late-closing series. First post is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
The Cane Pace will find a new home in 2015. For the first time, the first leg of the pacing Triple Crown will head to The Meadowlands. It will join the star-studded Hambletonian Day card on August 8, 2015. The move is one that is not only great for The Meadowlands, but for the harness racing industry. "Having the best three year old pacers in the sport competing on Hambletonian Day is going to be great for The Meadowlands and Hambletonian Day," said Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural. "The Cane Pace is so rich in its history and it deserves a place on harness racing's biggest stage and adding it to The Hambletonian Day card will do just that." In addition to the Cane Pace, it's filly counterpart, the Shady Daisy, will also join The Hambletonian Day program. The Meadowlands will also be adding a "sister race" to the John Cashman Memorial for the aged mare trotters on Hambletonian Day. "The Hambletonian is a spectacle in itself," said General Manager Jason Settlemoir, "but these additions to The Hambletonian Day card means there will be a major stake race for every category of standardbred that are age three or older. I think these additions to program will make the 2015 Hambletonian Day program the greatest Hambletonian Day card the sport has ever seen." "In addition, I would like to thank our sister track, Tioga Downs, for being such a great host of this event for the last few years. This move is done with the vision to solidify The Cane Pace as not only an integral part of pacing's Triple Crown, but also to solidify its status as one of the premier races for the three year old pacers each year and Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands provides the platform to accomplish just that." There will be some adjustments made to the conditions of the Cane due to its new location on the racing calendar. "There are an abundance of races for the three-year-old pacers over the course of the summer," said Director of Racing Operations Darin Zoccali. "The major change to the race will be that it will not contest eliminations, which we feel will make the race more appealing to the leading three year old pacers. No eliminations will also enhance the purse of the Cane Pace Final for 2015. We will provide full details regarding the updated conditions of The Cane Pace in the near future" The Cane Pace is the first leg of Pacing's Triple Crown. It was created in 1955 and originally raced as "The Cane Futurity." The Meadowlands will be the fifth host track of The Cane Pace, joining Yonkers Raceway, Freehold Raceway, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and Tioga Downs as venues that have hosted the first jewel of pacing's Triple Crown. From the Meadowlands press box  

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