Harness Racing

Do we need to have Starting Gate safety checks?

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great new newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s newsletter contains the following feature stories: Do we need to have safety checks for Starting Gates? – With the accidents this season at Freehold Raceway and now Summerside Racetrack with starting gates is it time for mandatory safety checks? Well Said Pedigree/Review – Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the very good racehorse and stallion Well Said p,3,1:47.4m ($2,690,693). Bitter-Sweet Meadowlands Closing Weekend - It is a bitter-sweet week for harness racing fans world-wide this coming weekend as the Meadowlands features its final weekend of harness racing action for their summer meet. The need for change in NZ Harness Racing Clubs -  With a structure and government that is a relic of a different time and clubs that can only make a change in format once a year at their annual meetings it is time for a change. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

Wally Hennessey, harness racing

Saratoga to host Wally Hennessey Night Friday

SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York (July 29, 2014) – On August 1st, the Saratoga Harness Horseperson’s Association (SHHA) and Saratoga Casino and Raceway will host ‘Wally Hennessey Night,’ at the casino’s harness track. The night will be dedicated in honor of the legendary driver who made his Saratoga debut in 1987. Following the third race of the night, Hennessey will be honored by world famous horse racing announcer and local favorite, Tom Durkin.    “Wally Hennessey Night” will offer fans plenty of fun filled activities in addition to the evening’s harness racing card. Stewart’s will be on hand offering up free ‘make-your-own’ sundaes while supplies last, sponsored by the Agriculture and NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund.  Additionally, following the third race, a group photo will be held on the harness track near the winners circle. All guests will have the opportunity to join the photo with both Wally Hennessey and Tom Durkin in what is being planned to be the largest group photo in the history of the harness track. The photo will be available to purchase and take home later that evening.  Drawings will be sponsored and conducted by the SHHA for all horsemen and guests who present a valid New York State racing license, for a chance to win grain and other equine supplies. Parking and admission are free, as always, and in honor of the event, programs for the evening’s races will be available for no charge. The first post time for the August 1st event is at 7:05pm.  “Hosting an event like this is truly an honor for us,” said John Matarazzo, Director of Racing Operations at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. “We’re very proud to be a part of Wally’s historic accomplishments and couldn’t be more excited to celebrate such top class in harness racing.”  Hennessey will be inducted in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in Ontario on August 6th where he will join an elite group of standardbred drivers. Hennessey is already a member of the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame, the Florida Hall of Fame, the Prince Edward Island Sports Hall of Fame and the Prince Edward Island Wall of Fame at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino in Charlottetown. Immediately following his induction in Canada, Hennessey will be traveling to Ireland, where he will be driving in the Vincent Delaney Memorial series at Portmarnock Trotting Track in Dublin.  “The SHHA is honored to be part of such a special event honoring Wally Hennessey for being inducted in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and being invited to represent the United States at the Delaney Memorial in Ireland,” said Tom McTygue, Member of the Board of Directors for the SHHA. “We hope to have the opportunity to do this for other drivers in the future to showcase and promote the sport of harness racing.” Wally Hennessey’s storied career began in the early 70’s and has brought him to tracks all over the world. Since then, Hennessey has become one of the premier drivers in all of harness racing, amassing 8,588 career wins and nearly $58 million in purse earnings.  by Tom Engle, for Saratoga Raceway 

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Hambletonian draws only 11; one dash for the cash!

With only 11 horses entered in the Hambletonian Trot, the three-year-old colts will go straight to the final with no two-heat elimination races needed. The purse for the final will be $1,006,125. The Hambletonian fianl will be carded as race 13 on the 15 race program Saturday afternoon. The Jimmy Takter trained trio of Father Patrick, Nuncio and Trixton will headline the field for the 89th edition of the American Trotting Classic. Joining those three are Datsyuk, Don Dorado, Doncango, Harper Blue Chip, Il Sogno Dream, JJ Alex, Resolve and Royal Ice. The Hambletonian post position draw will take place at 4PM at Victory Sports Bar along with the draw for the John Cashman Memorial and the Hambletonian Oaks. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands

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Mingara makes it four for four in Australia

Ex-pat Kiwi harness racing trainer Nicole Molander believes recent stable addition – Mingara has the potential to be one of Australia’s best standing start trotters. The New South Wales horsewoman said she only had to add the finishing touches to the former Jason and Megan Teaz trained mare, who arrived in Sydney on June 12. “She’s won all four of her races easily – beating the best trotters going around at this time of year at Menangle last Saturday. You have to put those wins down to Megan and Jason,’’ Molander said. “The horse came to us in absolutely immaculate condition. I have been very impressed with Megan. Everything we have asked about the horse Megan knew the mare’s traits back to front.’’ Mingara has now recorded four consecutive victories at Tabcorp Park Menangle on June 21, July 8, July 12, and July 26 for her Kiwi owners and breeders Graeme and Barbara Wisnewski. Molander believed Mingara had the potential to possibly match it with Group One-winning stablemate, Keystone Del one day. He will be back jogging next week in preparation for his 2014-2015 campaign. “This mare doesn’t quite have the same zip as Keystone Del but she has been very impressive winning all three of her standing starts. “Megan and Jason have done a splendid job with her. She has immaculate manners and a really nice gait. She gets to the front not long after the start - even off handicaps.’’ Teaz (Megan) deflected the praise saying Mingara’s time was up in New Zealand merely because she had to race off long handicaps against stern opposition. “Nicole is a very good trainer and has rounded her off nicely. We always thought Mingara would go well in Australia,’’ Teaz said. “She was the best of the six we’ve got in work. She would run the fastest sectionals in most of her races but had too much ground to make up off her handicaps. “Potentially, King Of Cool isn’t that behind her. We’ve got a lot of time for him.’’ Mingara was the $1.40 favourite in Saturday’s $20,000 Glenferrie Farms Trotters Handicap. Blake Fitzpatrick had Mingara in front after 30m from her 10 metres handicap. That brilliant start saw her dictate all the pace to win the 2300m event by an increasing 18 metres. She stopped the clock in 2:56.5 with a 2:03 mile rate. She trotted her first quarter in 31.7, second quarter in 31, third in 28.7 and home in 28.3. In New Zealand Mingara raced 27 times for six wins and nine placings from November 2012. Her Kiwi bank balance stood at $46,464. She’s won an extra $25,500 for her four wins at Menangle. The 5-year-old Thanksgiving – Sporty Spice mare won three of her New Zealand assignments this season. Molander said she would now race her throughout the winter and autumn before spelling her in the summer. “We will take her to Victoria if we have to because they have lots of open class standing start events there. We would not be scared to travel with this mare,” Molander said. Meanwhile Teaz, who is in her fourth season of training with husband Jason, has now won 10 races from 79 starters. They have also placed 22 times for $73,152 in stakes. In the sulky junior driver Teaz has won 12 races from 243 starters since 2008. “I prefer training to driving these days. I do love driving the trotters but I really love conditioning horses for our owners,’’ she said. “We are nothing without our owners. I’d like to thank them all very much, especially people like Tony Armstrong, Wayne & Carol Aylward, and my father-and-mother-in-law, Basil and Helen Teaz. “I really enjoy training horses and I get that opportunity because of our owners. Jason and I are very grateful to the people who support us.’’ The 24-year-old horsewoman said the household’s training and broadcasting lifestyles were working well despite her husband Jason being based in Dunedin. “Jason comes back all the time to help me. I also owe a lot to Ray Bradley and Kayla Sharp, who both help me out. We work our team from Ray’s track at Ohaupo.’’ Teaz’s husband Jason was appointed the New Zealand Racing Board’s race-caller in Otago, the West Coast and Tasman in November Last year. By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)

ELORA, ON - Elimination races for Grand River Raceway's 24th annual Industry Day event were contested this evening, July 28. A total of five elimination dashes were featured for two stake events: the $217,000 Battle Of Waterloo (ON-sired two-year-old pacing colts) and the $138,000 Battle Of The Belles (ON-sired two-year-old pacing fillies). Both stake finals will be featured during the 11-race afternoon card valued at more than $560,000 on Monday, August 4. It was a big night for local trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge, ON, who secured two hopefuls in the Battle Of The Belles, and four colts in the Battle Of Waterloo. In addition, finalists sired by her powerhouse stallion Sportswriter account for five of the nine starters in each race. At just 33, Coleman is a five-time winner of the O'Brien Award for Canadian Trainer Of The Year. She has already won many of harness racing's biggest races, but is still chasing her first victory in the Battle Of Waterloo. BATTLE OF THE BELLES Solar Seelster secured the first of two spots in the final for the race's 2013 winning trainer, Gregg McNair of Guelph, ON. The 1:58 score in the first division marked the Mach Three filly's maiden win. Doug McNair piloted the regally-bred daughter of millionaire pacer Cabrini Hanover from post seven for owners David Willmot and Clay Harland Horner. Jody Jamieson and Win The Gold closed well to finish second for trainer Tony O'Sullivan. Shes Dignified was third, securing a spot in the final for trainer Stephen Gillard and driver Stuart Sowerby. The pair won the 2011 edition of the Battle Of The Belles with another homebred, Your Beautiful. The filly's sire, Your Nemesis was the winner of the second edition of the Battle Of Waterloo in 1999. McNair secured a second spot in the Belles final with Betty And The Jets, who finished second to cand driver Chris Christoforou. Leaving from the outside post eight, the 5-1 shot powered down the stretch to finish a quarter length the best over Betty And The Jets and Sassafras Girl, trained by Murray Brethour and driven by Rick Zeron. Sportswriter daughters swept the third and final division where Sports Chic didn't disappoint as the 7-5 favourite for trainer and co-owner Blake Macintosh. A $35,000 yearling, the miss has amassed $70,000 and three wins in four starts. Jody Jamieson was aboard for the 1:57 mile - the quickest elimination clocking on an unusually chilly summer eve. Business As Usual was three lengths behind to finish in the runner-up spot with Chris Christoforou for Coleman. Capela rounded out the top three for trainer Linda Toscano and reinsman John Campbell. BATTLE OF WATERLOO Carl Jamieson is a five-time winner of the Battle Of Waterloo, including the inaugural edition in 1998. His race favourite in the first division of the Battle Of Waterloo, Sporting The Look, recorded his second win in three starts. Purchased as a yearling for $72,000, the colt was driven by three-time Battle Of Waterloo winning driver Jody Jamieson. Go Daddy Go, driven by John Campbell for Robert McIntosh was the runner-up, followed by Casie Coleman pupils Southwind Indy and Mikes Powerhouse. Fifth-place finisher Win One Soon drew into the final field during the post position draw conducted after the final elimination division. Sportskeeper and Jody Jamieson wired the field in the second division to win by two lengths for Coleman and co-owner Merlin Howse. The homebred colt is unbeaten in two career starts. Sports Bettor was the runner-up for local trainer Mark Austin of Fergus, ON. Race favourite Bob Ben And John overcame traffic troubles and an outside post to finish third for Coleman. A double-placing in the second division ultimately gave Supersonic Jet the final berth in the Battle Of Waterloo. The Jeremes Jet son is trained by Dr. Ian Moore, winning trainer of the 2009 edition of the race. The placings unfolded when Seaforth (#2) went off-stride approaching the quarter and made a brief break, but enough to interfere with Supersonic Jet (#5) which resulted in the placing of #2 behind #5. In addition, Robert Hill (#3) made a break on the first turn and caused interference to #2 and was placed behind #2. Because of the double placings, #5 who finished 6th was placed up to 5th as a result of the first placing, then to 4th as a result of the second placing. The sixth annual Battle Of The Belles and 17th annual Battle Of Waterloo will be contested during Industry Day at Grand River Raceway on Monday, August 4. Post time for race one is 1:30 p.m. For complete event details, visit www.IndustryDayCelebration.com Post position draws for both stake races were conducted on July 28. The following are the fields for the finals on Industry Day: POST POSITIONS FOR THE $217,000 BATTLE OF WATERLOO Post position/Horse name/Trainer/Driver 1. Southwind Indy Casie Coleman Chris Christoforou 2. Supersonic Jet Dr. Ian Moore Paul Mackenzie 3. Bob Ben And John Casie Coleman Chris Christoforou 4. Sporting The Look Carl Jamieson Jody Jamieson 5. Mikes Powerhouse Casie Coleman Trevor Henry 6. Win One Soon Ken Fritsch Phil Hudon 7. Go Daddy Go Robert McIntosh John Campbell 8. Sportskeeper Casie Coleman Jody Jamieson 9. Sports Bettor Mark Austin Trevor Henry POST POSITIONS FOR THE $138,000 BATTLE OF THE BELLES Post position/Horse name/Trainer/Driver 1. Business As Usual Casie Coleman Chris Christoforou 2. Win The Gold Tony O'Sullivan Jody Jamieson 3. Capela Linda Toscano John Campbell 4. Betty And The Jets Gregg McNair Jody Jamieson 5. Sassafras Girl Murray Brethour Rick Zeron 6. Sports Chic Blake Macintosh Jody Jamieson 7. Southwind Mischief Casie Coleman Chris Christoforou 8. Shes Dignified Stephen Gillard Stuart Sowerby 9. Solar Seelster Gregg McNair Doug McNair Kelly Spencer

For anyone to be a commercial breeder in the standardbred industry in New Zealand means they usually need a benevolent banker and a determination to stick it out for the long term. It is a part of the harness racing industry that sees a lot of participants come in all gung ho and leave a short time later, wiser and poorer for the experience. A small number have been able to structure their breeding operations in such a way that not only are they profitable but they produce a high quality and successful product to boot. At the forefront of this small group in New Zealand is the founder of Studholme Bloodstock, Brian West. Recently we travelled to his magnificent 300 acre property at Coes Ford in Canterbury to spend an afternoon with Brian to get an over view of his involvement to date and what the future holds. Harnesslink When did you first develop an interest in the Harness Racing Industry. Brian West  My first memories were as a thirteen year old. That interest grew to the point where in my early twenties  I  purchased my first horse. I used to go to local dispersal sales looking to pick up well bred stock with a view to trading them further down the track. Harnesslink Anyone you turned to for advice in those early days. Brian West Jim Dalgety was a great help in those early days and I still seek his advice at times today. He has a wealth of knowledge and is very generous with his time. Alec Purdon and Des Callaghan (Tara Lodge) were two others that I sought out in those early years and they both helped me immensely. I am indebted to them all for their help. Harnesslink How did Yonkers Breeding Partnership come about? Brian West In 1986, I set up Yonkers Breeding Partnership in conjunction with four close friends of mine. We floated the partnership and it ended up with 100 investors all up. The aim was to target the top end of the yearling market. The partnership purchased the bloodstock and things looked to be coming together nicely when out of the blue the government of the day completely changed the tax structure for bloodstock. That completely compromised the financial viability of Yonkers Breeding Partnership. As a result we sold down the bloodstock over a period of three years at a significant loss. The partnership was very fortunate however as the funding borrowed from Barclays Bank was secured against the bloodstock and not the investors so the money lost by the investors was minimal. In 1986, we set up Club Classics Syndicates as an outlet for some of our bloodstock. The first syndicate was made up of seven horses with seven different trainers but we were having trouble selecting the seventh horse for the package. Robert Dunn went and looked at a group of horses we owned and to our surprise chose a smallish plain looking Stampede colt as the seventh horse. Of course he turned out to be Defoe 1:53 ($423,372) and that gave the syndicates a lot of creditability going forward. We were based at the old Watties farm in Shands road at the time and we had employed Michael House to do all the pre-training of the syndicate horses which also helped in their success. Harnesslink How did Yonkers Breeding Partnership (1989) come about. Brian West After the wind up of Yonkers Breeding Partnership, a few of the investors wanted to start again. So we wrote to the 100 original investors and offered them the opportunity to be involved. About 10% took up the offer and together we formed Yonkers Breeding Partnership (1989). We purchased the ten best pedigreed mares from the original Yonkers portfolio. Harnesslink How long did Yonkers Breeding Partnership (1989) last for? Brian West A little over twelve years all up. Most of the investors were coming up to retirement and wanted to free up some cash. The Bloodstock was valued and purchased by Studholme Park (BD West) The partnership made a profit every year of its twelve years, something I and manager, Jack Hartley, were very proud of, as they were very difficult days in the standardbred industry in New Zealand. Harnesslink At what point did the bloodstock operations evolve to their present name of Studholme Bloodstock? Brian West Studholme Bloodstock was formed in January 2003. Taking ownership of the bloodstock formally owned by Studholme Park (BD West) Harnesslink Why did you move from the Shands road property as it was beautifully set up Brian West I was looking to down size our breeding operation to create more leisure time, at the same time a developer made an offer to purchase the Shands Road property. I wasn't sure where I was going to go but I ran into an old friend of mine in real estate and not long after that he convinced me to have a look at the farm we are presently on. I would have to be honest and say when I first saw the property as I drove in, I was less than impressed as the house and outbuildings looked very run down. But my friend convinced me to have a look at the farm and I am glad I did because it is an outstanding property. I purchased 70 acres at first and then further down the track I purchased an additional 230 acres of an adjoining property to give me the 300 acres we presently have. It is a beautifully set up farm with 10 acre paddocks and shelter to each paddock from the easterly and the southerly winds. The earthquakes destroyed the main house (built in 1863) and I have yet to finalise its future with the insurance company but I have restored the other buildings on the property including the fourteen box ‘mews’, a two-storey stable complex and recently refurbished a small cottage which is now my home. Harnesslink How many stocks does the farm carry? Brian West Can vary from time to time but usually we would be carrying 100 horses and we finish up to 200 cattle as well. We run the cattle behind the horses and we crop some paddocks each year. All our paddocks are sown with a grass mix that has a heavy emphasis on red clover which seems to suit our soil type here. Harnesslink Any outside clients Brian West No, I have turned down dozens of approaches over the years. I do have breeding arrangements with a few people on a 50/50 basis and race some fillies with friends. I would calculate that Studholme Bloodstock owns outright about 70% of the horses on the farm at any one time. I am in breeding and racing arrangements with long term clients and friends: Peter Smith and Winky Foley (Kahukuri Bloodstock), Neville Tilsley, Mike and Sue Grainger (Grainger Bloodstock), John Purvis (Grassy Meadows Farm), Vicky Purdon, Mike Gourdie, Gavin Chin, Graham Gimblett and Ken McDonald of Master Musician and For a Reason fame. Harnesslink You didn’t sell fillies at the sales for a period of four or five years there not long ago .Why? Brian West When I first set up Studholme Park, I sold every foal I bred as that was the only way to pay the bills and keep our heads above water. Buyers of yearlings are generally looking for a reason not to buy and unless they are faultless in conformation and pedigree they were not giving me a return on my investment. As I became more financial and aware that our fillies were being sold at a loss in most instances, I decided to retain all fillies and try them as a race horse. The result of this decision has been very positive for my farm. These days we will sell the odd filly but they have to tick every box before I enter them in the yearling sales. This year I retained nine fillies which have all been broken in. Harnesslink What trainers do you use? Brian West I stopped counting when I got to seventy. These days though I mainly use Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen while I also have some with Cran Dalgety and Robert and John Dunn and Grant Payne. Different fillies suit different trainers. Secret Lotion and Art Critic never really settled at Marks and Natalies but have been in great form since joining Robert and John’s team so I am not afraid to move them if I think it might help. One year I sent seven fillies to Nicole Molander in Sydney. They all won enough money to pay their way and came back home with smart mile rates besides their name which is always helpful when selling at the sales Harnesslink How many have you got for next years’ sales and could you give us a rundown on their programme from weaning up to sale day. Brian West I will have 12 colts and two fillies barring injuries for next years’ sale. We run them in small mobs right through from weaning. They are fed a barley based mix that I have made to our specifications which has a 16% protein component. We change the mix on the 1st of August, reducing the protein component to 13% The hard feed is supplemented with lucerne/red clover baleage and some meadow hay. We have 14 double fenced yearling paddocks which we use during the sale prep. The sales prep starts on December 1st, we bring them in from the paddocks at seven in the morning. Following breakfast, they will be put on a walker for 30 minutes. They stay in for lunch and are put back in their paddocks at two in the afternoon and they stay there overnight. We do that right up to Christmas and then give them ten days off to freshen them up. We will then start again in early January and go right through to the sale which is usually around the 20th February. A lot of trainers/buyers like to come and see the horses on farm and we fit in around them as much as we can. Also, we are part of the very successful sales bus tour. Our main marketing push comes in the form of a booklet showing a photograph of each yearling. Harnesslink Whom would you rate the best horse you have raced –bred—seen Brian West The best horse I have raced would have to be Secret Potion 1:57.5 ($285,313) who won both the Great Northern Oaks (Group1) and Nevele R Fillies Final(Group1). Close behind would be Lancome 1:54.9 ($461,278) who won 13 races including the Harness Jewels  4 year old Diamond (Group1) The best horse I have bred would have to be A Bit Of A Legend 1:54.7 ($720,710) who has won 17 to date including both the two and three year old divisions of the Austrlasian Breeders Crown (Group 1) The best horse I have seen would have to be Lord Module 1:54.9 ($251,750) At his peak he made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up with his speed and power. Harnesslink What have been some of the major changes that you think have been positive for the industry in your time. Brian West Two stand out for me. 1.) The DNA testing regime was a major step forward and made those mistakes of the past impossible. 2.) The other was the introduction of shuttle stallions which allowed the breeders in the southern hemisphere access to the best stallions in the world. Jack Rice, a USA lawyer and John Curtin had to fight tooth and nail to establish shuttle stallions and yet neither has ever had their contribution recognised which is a shame as we wouldn't be where we are today without their efforts. Harnesslink How do you see the future of harness racing and breeding in New Zealand. Brian West One of the major impediments to the future of the harness racing industry in New Zealand is the archaic governance structure that we have in this industry. The ‘Clubs’ run the industry in New Zealand. Clubs were set up to run race meetings and that should be their primary focus. The industry should be governed by a board of directors elected by industry participants, licence holders, breeders and owners. Such a board would free the industry from the glacial pace of change we have under the current structure. The other major problem that needs attention and soon is the lack of any incentives for people to breed. The number of mares bred this last breeding season was the lowest for 45 years and is in a downward spiral. The focus so far has been to increase stakes and that has been successful to a point but still the numbers of mares bred continues to decline. We need to incentivise the breeders to breed. There are several ways you can do that and there are several places overseas which run breeding incentive schemes. Which one would best meet the New Zealand industries needs further evaluation but one thing is certain, the French have it right, twelve and a half percent of every dollar earned is paid to the breeder. If we don't start to reward the people who produce the product that keeps our industry alive then we may not have an industry long term. Harnesslink Thanks for taking the time to speak to us Brian. It is much appreciated. Harnesslink media  

The annual Tattersalls Summer Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands witnessed hot and fast bidding that resulted in a 34.7% increase in average per horse sale price from the previous year.   Of the 123 racehorses that sold for a gross of $2,544,200, the average reached $20,685. The main attraction of the well-attended Harness Horse auction was the "drop-in-the-box" nature of the 30 horses that raced in the two days prior to the sale, and over 100 that raced in the last week.   The highlight of the sale was the offering of World Champion trotter Sevruga 1:50.3 who was a $160,000 post-sale purchase. A winner of over $1 million lifetime, he will start in the $300,000 John Cashman, Jr Memorial on Hambo Day for new owners Scott and Joe Pennacchio.   Long-time horse owner, amateur driver, and current president of the Florida Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association, Joe Pennacchio noted that Sevruga "was one of the rare, great trotters around, and may be in just a little over his head in Grand Circuit stakes company. We look forward to racing him in Open and Late Closing events."   Consigned by Northwood Bloodstock Agency, Sevruga was one of nearly 50 horses represented by Bob Boni. Following the sale, Boni noted pleasure with the day's events and stated that "it was a very strong horse sale. Good horses sold well, as they usually do."   The annual racehorse reduction of Jules Siegel's Fashion Farm was particularly well-received, bolstered by several high-priced youngsters. Topping the overall 2-year-old sales was the PA eligible Broadway Hall gelding On The Sly, who showed consistently flat lines around 1:58 and fetched $51,000 from Barbara Boese of Milton, DE.   Preferred Equine Marketing represented another well-placed $75,000 Fashion Farm sale with the American Ideal colt, Ideal Fashion p,3,1:52.1f--`14. Kyle Spagnola signed for the 3-year-old NY eligible colt who had just won his last start at Yonkers in 1:53.4h.   Toward the end of the sale, prospective purchasers not willing to go home empty handed saw stars with Moonliteonthebeach p,4,1:51--`14, who was consigned by Preferred Equine Marketing for Scott Kimelman and the Blue Chip Bloodstock Partners. The bidding was fierce and competitive for the handsome 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere who just paced in 1:49.3 finishing second at Pocono just 12 hours before the sale. When the dust settled, Andrew Harris signed the winning $85,000 ticket for trainer P.J. Fraley and owner Jeff Bamond.   Lynch winning 3-year-old pacing filly Fancy Desire p,3,1:49 was the anticipated sale topper, and was hammered down for $195,000, however failed to reach the required reserve price.   Tattersalls sales manager David Reid was happy with the overall results of the sale, and was optimistic about the health of the industry. "Sales have been good. This was a very active group of racehorses, which always translates into active bidding. My only disappointment was the relative absence of Canadian buyers. It serves as a true indicator of the importance of the slots programs in these regional markets. Having said that, with an eye on the future, bring on the Hambletonian." by Chris Tully, for Tattersalls  

Premier Turf Club, a betting provider for both Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing proudly proclaims it is racing's 'Best Kept Secret' as part of its logo. Is it? It does seem that way as Premier Turf Club focuses more on customer service compared to off-shore betting sites, where their only focus is their bottom line. Premier Turf Club is an Oregon based pari-mutuel wagering provider operated and regulated in the state of Oregon by the Oregon Racing Commission. Rich Nilsen, the Director of Player Services, took time to break down why Premier Turf Club offers more to customers compared to faceless betting sites located, well, who knows where. "The vision was to create an account wagering service that benefited the players who supported the industry." Rich explains, "The idea was to give the players back real cash on their wagers, which would lead to more wagering and help keep players solvent. Unlike other sites at the time, we would not charge wagering fees or nickel-and-dime our players to death." Rich adds, "We also wanted to provide a customized and personal experience for the players. In general, horseplayers don't want bells and whistles. They want a solid, streamlined wagering platform that they can rely on." Unlike other sites, customers can genuinely get to know who operates Premier Turf Club. Rich joined the BetPTC group in 2011 and Rich is a graduate from the University of Louisville Equine Business Program. "I started a racing stable which I managed for 10 years." Rich explains, "I have been handicapping for about 30 years and am a regular on the tournament scene. I was introduced to the harness races as a youngster on Long Island and attended the old Roosevelt Raceway. But my love and expertise is in Thoroughbred racing." Knowing Rich has roots as a fan in horse racing, better allows Premier Turf Club to empathize with their customers when it comes to stringent measures put in place by the IRS. "When a customer places a wager with BetPTC from the comfort of their home or on the road, it's no different than wagering at their local track or OTB. All the wagers go directly into the pools and support the Thoroughbred, Greyhound and Standardbred racing industries." Rich says. "We are certainly hopefully that legislation in Washington will change regarding how 'winnings' are viewed by the IRS. It's ludicrous that a player has to report the cashing of a $605 ticket, for example, without taking into account what it cost to place that wager." BetPTC strives to reward their customers immediately, allowing customers to cash in their rewards almost instantly which are very unique. "BetPTC has actually been a pioneer in innovative horse racing applications and services" Rich notes. "We were the first site to offer conditional wagering, where a player could set minimum odds requirements for their bets." Rich adds, "We are now the first and only company to offer same-day instant cash rewards. Minutes after a race or wager is declared official, the rewards are immediately placed in the players' accounts. There are no points to figure out and no waiting." Premier Turf Club is always looking to expand and broaden what customers can access. Such as adding NYRA, Woodbine/Mohawk (Canada's elite tracks), as well as racing from Japan and Australia. "BetPTC also has one of the most experienced simulcast directors in the industry, Kay Webb, who negotiates with the racetracks and works to obtain new signals." Rich states. With the legislation the way it is right now, Premier Turf Club can only offer service to select customers in certain states. However, BetPTC General Manager Todd Bowker is continuously looking to expand coverage. Rich wants customers to know they are the #1 priority at all times. "We treat customers like the real people they are." Rich confirms. "BetPTC is a small company and we have one-on-one personal relationships with our client base. As a result we have one of the highest retention rates in the account wagering business. Secondly, we provide our players with the best cash-back rewards in the industry, based on their level of play." "We invite anyone who is new to 'Racing's Best Kept Secret' to come try out BetPTC.com this summer. We recently upped our new member bonus to $150, so it's a great time to join and experience the difference." by Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com

SEBASTIAN K WINS CASHMAN ELIM WITH EASE

Harness driver David Miller was taking no chances with his top pacer, McWicked, sending the son of McArdle to the lead over At Press Time and never easing up as they won the $400,000 Adios Pace for three-year-olds at the Meadows Saturday afternoon. Trained by Casie Coleman, the first woman trainer to win the Adios, and owned by the SSG Stables of North Boston, New York, it was the fourth straight win for McWicked, who covered the one mile race in 1:49.1. Leading to the first quarter in :26.3, Miller kept McWicked in front to the half mile marker in :55.4 and then the action got underway as driver Brett Miller came first-over with Somewhere In L A, giving second-over cover to Beat The Drum (Ron Pierce) with Let’s Drink On It (Tyler Smith) third-over. Brett Miller kept Somewhere In L A well rated on the outside as the field past the three-quarters in 1:22.3 and then started to get after his colt as they were able to collar McWicked as they rounded the final turn. But once he was looked in the eye, McWicked dug in again for driver David Miller and held Somewhere In L A at bay as they went on to win by one and one-quarter lengths. Somewhere In L A was second with Cammikey (Brian Zendt) closing strongly for third place. “I was really anticipating a lot more leavers,” said David Miller. “Only the one horse pushed off and I got in front of him and pretty much just loafed around the track. I really did not have any pressure at all. I was kinda shocked that everyone grabbed up after the start of the race. “I was really surprised when I saw how cheap we got to the half mile,” Miller said. “I saw Brett (Miller) was riding alongside us but I knew my colt would be fine. Once we got around the final turn I knew we were home. My horse was ready for him. My colt is very manageable. He would go a lot slower if I let him. But when I called on him he kicked it into gear and got the job done.” “He ranks right up there with some of the best colts I have driven,” Miller said. “He keeps winning these big races. I really like him a lot.” “It really worked out well,” Casie Coleman said. “We got to the front pretty cheap and he was great. We will give him around ten days off now and then go in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes legs and final and then get him ready for the Little Brown Jug. “So far every start I put this horse behind the gate,” Coleman said. “He gives everything he’s got, 110%. He is an iron tough horse, wicked fast and a pleasure to have in the barn. He does nothing wrong and is just a sweetheart of a horse.” It was the sixth win in just nine starts this year for McWicked. Bred by Andray Farms of PA, McWicked now sports career earnings of $798,447. He was sent off as the 1/5 betting favorite and paid $2.40 to win. Mattamerican took the $30,000 Adios Consolation for Dave Palone, trainer Norm Parker and owner/breeder Bob Key. The race was opened to PA-sired colts and geldings who did not compete in Adios eliminations . . . In a conditioned pace, David Miller piloted Santa Fe Beachboy to victory in 1:49.1, a track record for 4-year-old horses. That erased the mark of 1:49.3 established by Trick Man in 2011. Brian Brown trains the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Santa Fe Yankee for Santa Fe Stable By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Is there anyone who can keep up with Sweet Lou? It does not look likely as the five-year-old stallion once again showed his heels to his rivals in winning the $40,000 FFA Pace at the Meadowlands Saturday. Driven by Ron Pierce, Sweet Lou waited in third place as Golden Receiver and driver Corey Callahan led the field to the opening quarter mile in :26.4. But once the field reached the backstretch, Pierce sent Sweet Lou to the front and he was firmly in command by the half mile in :54.1. Then it was Thinking Out Loud and driver John Campbell who was first to challenge and they came flying up first-over and nearly collared Sweet Lou by the three-quarters in 1:21.3. He had come up so fast that Captaintreacherous and driver Tim Tetrick was gapping second-over until the top of the stretch. But it was too little too late for everyone else in the field as once they started down the stretch, Pierce and Sweet Lou skipped away from the field and won by two open lengths in 1:47.3 with Captaintreacherous second and Thinking Out Loud third. Not only was it the seventh straight win for Sweet Lou, but it was also his fourth straight win in 1:47.4 and no harness horse has ever done that before. Trained by Ron Burke and owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver-Bruscemi, L. Karr and P. Collura, it was the seventh win in ten starts this year for Sweet Lou. He paid $2.80 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

SHAKE IT CERRY EASY WINNER IN HAMBO OAKS PREP

Two of the most well known identities in harness racing in Auckland in Graham Mackie and wife Trish Dunell have always dabbled in both codes. Trish , who is the HRNZ photographer at northern harness racing meetings and Graham have struck the jackpot with one of their homebred thoroughbreds. Read and enjoy. Every owner dreams of getting a racehorse good enough to win a million dollars. Spalato has done it in just four starts for his South Auckland breeder Trish Dunell.  "I'm no student of breeding. I just got lucky." Trish Dunell's economical choice of words hardly does justice to the incredible sequence of events which led to Spalato winning the Group One Singapore Derby. And while it is two weeks since the horse she bred and races with husband Graham Mackie annihilated his rivals in the S$1.15million feature, there's not a morning goes by when she doesn't wake up and think: Did that really happen? Isn't that kind of result reserved for the rich and famous? When she watched a video replay of the race last week, for the umpteenth time, she burst into tears. The excitement of the big win is now being replaced by raw emotion as everywhere she goes she is hugged and congratulated by wellwishers, both friends and strangers. In her email box a message from NZ Bloodstock principal and leviathan owner Sir Peter Vela tells of the inspiration he gained from the feat. Winning a major international Group One feature is nothing new to Sir Peter but it's certainly a novel feeling for Dunell, who has raced horses for nearly 40 years, 10-win trotter Silver Wheels her previous best. The closest Dunell had come to a Group I win before was seeing other owners' joy through the lens of her Canon, as the country's leading equine photographer. So in Singapore, when it came time to honour the horse they call "The Pony" Dunell was lost for words. "There are no words," Dunell managed to get out when interviewed immediately afterwards. For when Dunell looks at Spalato she sees more than the flying machine who under Brazilian jockey Manoel Nunes put a big space on his derby rivals. And she doesn't just think of the ridiculously big dollars - $NZ975,590 to be exact - that the horse has earned in only four starts. She sees the little foal who popped out one October night in 2009 at Highview Stud near Hamilton. And she can't help but recall the trials and tribulations that led to his even being there. Always on the lookout for a bargain - a trait of her whole family, including son Cameron after whom Spalato was originally nicknamed - it seemed like such a good plan to buy Miss Forty Niner at Ashford Park Stud's dispersal sale at Otaki in 1996. The broodmare had seen a few summers but, being by Mr Prospector, was a full sister to the former successful sire Straight Strike. Bloodstock agent Peter Jenkins, instrumental in importing the mare from the States when Sir Arthur Williams' stud was at its prime, recommended Dunell buy her and her weanling filly Delph. Dunell can't recall how much she paid - "but it wasn't a lot" - and as it turned out that seemed just as well as the mare, who already had a chequered breeding history, kept losing her foals when close to giving birth. "I didn't get one foal out of her," Dunell said. "I tried three or four times - Glenmorgan Farm tried too with the same result. I even leased her out and they didn't get a foal either." Any hopes Dunell had of recouping her outlay by racing Delph were dashed when the weak little weanling, by the unheralded Blue Razor, failed to furnish - and she was put to stud, dropping her first foal in October, 2000. But it was Delph's second foal, Aftershock, that gave Dunell and Mackie hope that the family might yet deliver for them. He debuted in winning style in February, 2006, and only seven starts later in November was running in open company, dead-heating for a close second in the Avondale Cup. Sadly, he started roaring and after being operated on, went in the wind again. Knowing how good he could have been, Dunell went in search of his closest relation - Delph's third filly foal. To cut expenses, she had done a foal-for-foal deal with Frank Drummond, sending the mare to his Cheval Stud to be served by Express Duke - "Graeme really liked Express Duke as a racehorse" - Drummond to take the first born and Dunell the second. "When I called him and asked what had happened to the filly he said he was about to sell her as a polo pony. He'd done nothing with her and she was still running round the hills." In the nick of time, Dunell bought the filly, named Ellington who, big and strong, proved a real handful when broken in by Toni Croon. Ellington, however, didn't have much ability and even though she "tried like a tiger" the $150 she earned for fifth in her debut was the extent of her earnings. In four subsequent starts, three for beach trainer Sue Martin, she finished among the tailenders each time. Ellington stopped so quickly in her last go at Avondale, Dunell suspected she may have been bleeding, and decided to quit her. "If they show nothing at all on the track I find homes for them, as riding horses or polo ponies," Dunell said. "I hate to get them put down or give them horrible homes." But Ellington wasn't your typical kids' pony. "She didn't have the right temperament to be someone's favourite pony," said Dunell who got to know her funny little traits during the time she looked after her at their former Takanini property. "She was quite unsociable - very hard to catch. I'm sure she would have been a hermit in the wild. She wasn't even sociable with other mares. She was happier standing with the cows. "It would have been very hard to find a place for her. You couldn't say she was even pretty - she's very plain - she wouldn't have made it in the show ring. "If I had been realistic, she wouldn't have made the cut as a broodmare." Dunell says she puts her decision to breed from Ellington down to her tendency to be "a little potty over the Delph family. "I kept on thinking there has to be another good horse out of this family. But I shouldn't have bred from her - nobody else would have." Perhaps what kept Dunell going was that, while a little cranky, all the family were honest and tried hard. That about summed up the ability of two of Delph's other foals, full sister and brother Divine Miss Em and Roverto, who gave Dunell a thrill when they quinellaed a $5000 maiden race at Waipa in August, 2011. But whatever the reason, Dunell will forever be thankful that she did keep Ellington because Delph is now dead and Ellington's second foal turned out to be Spalato. The hand of fate was on Dunell's side again when Spalato failed to sell as a yearling because he was on the small side. And yet again when Spalato won his second trial and looked like being sold, the deal fell through. So Spalato ended up in Singapore, where the prizemoney puts New Zealand racing to shame and owners get a NZ$840 rebate every time their horses start - unless they run first or last. A small bone chip in his fetlock delayed his debut but since he finally stepped out in May - in a maiden race worth NZ$60,000 - he's never stopped winning and now, with an unbeaten streak of four, he's being talked about as one of the most exciting horses to have raced in Singapore. Dunell's name might not appear as an owner in the racebook - she never bothered to sign the papers to avoid the NZ$530 annual fee - but Spalato is as much her baby as Mackie's who with 15 wins is Singapore's leading owner this season, S$280,000 ahead of Laurie Laxon's Oscar Racing Stable. Since Spalato's boom run, Dunell says she's been told by breeding buffs how her choice to go to the stallion Elusive City was truly inspired. "But it was just luck. All I do is try to make sure they're not too closely bred and I have to like the stallions on type. And that's it. I'm no student of breeding." Dunell said she invariably chose a new stallion, because they were cheaper, and just hoped that the sire would become commercial and not flop. That's why you won't find any big name sires in the list of consorts for Ellington who has been to Royal Gem, Strategic Image and Per Incanto. Ellington is now at Lime Country in the Hawkes Bay, due to foal to Niagara, an Encosta De Lago stallion Dunell and Mackie have a major share in. Lime Country's Greg Griffin is busy breaking in Ellington's latest yearling, who only last week he described as a real "toad" - just like the rest of the family. Ellington's third foal, by Strategic Image, has just joined Spalato in Singapore after three trial placings but Dunell knows the chances of him ending up as good are a million to one. But then Dunell already has her million dollar horse. And the memories she has of that Group One day at Kranji will linger. While trainer John O'Hara, who wept openly as Spalato ran to the line, couldn't feast with them that night because of Ramadan, nearly everyone else did. Staff at the Regent Hotel were kept busy extending tables, then spilling them into another room, as people turned up to help celebrate the big win. And outside, like a beacon to all, sat the motorbike which Spalato's groom Sylvester Gho has had specially repainted with his idol's name and registered racing number 250. You get the feeling Spalato mania has only just begun. Courtesy of Barry Lichter and the Sunday Star Times

Allstar Rating scored the biggest victory of her career, setting the track and stakes record with lifetime mark of 1:49 in capturing the $114,175 Adioo Volo Pace for three-year-old fillies Saturday at the Meadows. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Allstar Rating got away in second place behind the quick leaving Marathon Day (Tyler Smith) to the opening quarter mile in :26.2. Gringras then quarter moved to take command. Behind them Southwind Silence had made a break and forced race favorite Gallie Bythe Beach (David Miller) wide. Miller then came on and took the lead with Gallie Bythe Beach over Allstar Rating and the cut the mile to the half in :53.2 and the three-quarters in a blistering 1:20.3. Then on the final turn, Gingras came back with Allstar Rating and blew by Gallie Bythe Beach en route to scoring a four length romp. Also Encouraging (Brett Miller) was able to come on for second place with Marathon Day third. Gallie Bythe Beach faded to fifth place. “Last week I thought she was a winner heading for home,” said Yannick Gingras of Allstar Rating, “then in the last little bit she gave up on me. Ronnie (Burke) trained her himself this week and he said to just put her in play and she would be fine. I saw David (Miller) was coming (Gallie Bythe Beach) and I wanted to cut the mile but he has a great mare so I had no trouble following them. I know how the other horses are so I took my shot and went to the lead on the final turn. I was asking her at the end so I don’t know if she had any more left but she did fine. She is a good mare.” It was a lifetime mark for Allstar Rating and the third win this year for the daughter of Four Starzzz Shark. She is trained by Ron Burke and is owned by the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi and the JJK Stables. She paid $9.40 to win. Her time of 1:49 surpassed the track record of 1:49.1 that was set in 2012 by Big McDeal and also rewrote the stakes record of 1:49.3 that was set by Major Look in 2012. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

WASHINGTON, PA, July 26, 2014 -- Billy Flynn bore out in the stretch but still had enough forward momentum to equal the stake record in Friday's $80,000 Arden Downs at The Meadows. The Grand Circuit event for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters, known as the Edward M. Ryan, was contested over four divisions, with Explosive Drama, Shoot The Thrill, Billy Flynn and Canappealformore taking the other splits. Grand Circuit racing at The Meadows continues Saturday with the $400,000 final of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented By Coors Light, which goes as race 12 with an approximate post time of 4 PM. Billy Flynn quarter-poled to the front for Brett Miller and appeared to have the race well in hand when he drifted wide in the lane. That presented an opportunity to Tick Tok Tag, who made up some ground but fell 3/4 lengths short, with Ralph R third. The winning time of 1:56.2 matched the mark set by Federalreservenote in 2009. "He'll do that (bear out) a little bit every time," said Staffan Lind, who trains the son of Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones for Bender Sweden, Inc. "We've looked at it a number of times. As long as he's in control in the turns, I'm not too worried. We had the head pole pretty tight here, but if I race him on a big track, I'll take off the head pole, and he won't bear out at all." The victory kept Billy Flynn undefeated in his three-race career. Explosive Drama kept his wits about him for Mike Simons when the leader, Ice O Late, broke stride in front of him, and he went on to score in 1:57.3, 2 lengths better than Bighandsbiggloves. Chef Lee completed the ticket. "Mike wanted to give him a little bit of a trip, and things worked out," said Tyler Butenschoen, assistant to winning trainer John Butenschoen. "He was real sharp here tonight. I didn't know what to expect with the step up in class. But he's always had it in him. It's nice to see him put it all together." Give It A Shot Stable and VIP Internet stable campaign the Explosive Matter-Phillycityhall gelding. $60,000 Arden Downs, 2-Year-Old Filly Trotters The Judge Joe McGraw was the Grand Circuit co-feature on Friday's card, with divisions going to Smokinmombo, Matter Hatter and Osteo Blast -- each a daughter of Explosive Matter. Mike Wilder enjoyed a stake double behind Matter Hatter and Osteo Blast. Smokinmombo used a quick backside burst to put away the field and triumph in 1:56.2, a tick off the stake record, for Aaron Merriman. Blessings Counted was second, a length back, while Kirsi Hanover completed the ticket. "She doesn't seem awesome when she's on the front, but when you pull her off another horse, she can really go," said Chris Beaver, who trains Smokinmombo, a $15,000 yearling acquisition, and owns with Synerco Ventures and James Gallagher. "She has a nice body to her. She's not very big, but she's built nice." Beaver said he'll give the filly some time off before her next engagement, a Pennsylvania Sires Stake. Hammered down to 1-5 in the wagering, Matter Hatter performed like the prohibitive choice, moving to the front at the quarter and dominating the field in 1:58.2. Classical Annie was second, 2-1/4 lengths in arrears, with Sand C-Four third. "She's a dream to drive," Wilder said. "Anything you ask her to do, she does it, and she's very slick gaited. You can wind her right up and in the next step ask her to stop, and she does." Jeff Cox conditions Matter Hatter for Pius Soehnlen. Evan Pattak

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In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great new newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s newsletter contains the following feature stories: Do we need to have safety checks for Starting Gates? – With the accidents this season at Freehold Raceway and now Summerside Racetrack with starting gates is it time for mandatory safety checks? Well Said Pedigree/Review – Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the very good racehorse and stallion Well Said p,3,1:47.4m ($2,690,693). Bitter-Sweet Meadowlands Closing Weekend - It is a bitter-sweet week for harness racing fans world-wide this coming weekend as the Meadowlands features its final weekend of harness racing action for their summer meet. The need for change in NZ Harness Racing Clubs -  With a structure and government that is a relic of a different time and clubs that can only make a change in format once a year at their annual meetings it is time for a change. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).
SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York (July 29, 2014) – On August 1st, the Saratoga Harness Horseperson’s Association (SHHA) and Saratoga Casino and Raceway will host ‘Wally Hennessey Night,’ at the casino’s harness track. The night will be dedicated in honor of the legendary driver who made his Saratoga debut in 1987. Following the third race of the night, Hennessey will be honored by world famous horse racing announcer and local favorite, Tom Durkin.    “Wally Hennessey Night” will offer fans plenty of fun filled activities in addition to the evening’s harness racing card. Stewart’s will be on hand offering up free ‘make-your-own’ sundaes while supplies last, sponsored by the Agriculture and NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund.  Additionally, following the third race, a group photo will be held on the harness track near the winners circle. All guests will have the opportunity to join the photo with both Wally Hennessey and Tom Durkin in what is being planned to be the largest group photo in the history of the harness track. The photo will be available to purchase and take home later that evening.  Drawings will be sponsored and conducted by the SHHA for all horsemen and guests who present a valid New York State racing license, for a chance to win grain and other equine supplies. Parking and admission are free, as always, and in honor of the event, programs for the evening’s races will be available for no charge. The first post time for the August 1st event is at 7:05pm.  “Hosting an event like this is truly an honor for us,” said John Matarazzo, Director of Racing Operations at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. “We’re very proud to be a part of Wally’s historic accomplishments and couldn’t be more excited to celebrate such top class in harness racing.”  Hennessey will be inducted in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in Ontario on August 6th where he will join an elite group of standardbred drivers. Hennessey is already a member of the Saratoga Harness Hall of Fame, the Florida Hall of Fame, the Prince Edward Island Sports Hall of Fame and the Prince Edward Island Wall of Fame at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino in Charlottetown. Immediately following his induction in Canada, Hennessey will be traveling to Ireland, where he will be driving in the Vincent Delaney Memorial series at Portmarnock Trotting Track in Dublin.  “The SHHA is honored to be part of such a special event honoring Wally Hennessey for being inducted in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and being invited to represent the United States at the Delaney Memorial in Ireland,” said Tom McTygue, Member of the Board of Directors for the SHHA. “We hope to have the opportunity to do this for other drivers in the future to showcase and promote the sport of harness racing.” Wally Hennessey’s storied career began in the early 70’s and has brought him to tracks all over the world. Since then, Hennessey has become one of the premier drivers in all of harness racing, amassing 8,588 career wins and nearly $58 million in purse earnings.  by Tom Engle, for Saratoga Raceway 
Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 11 – 7/29/2014                                              Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (30) 8th 7-6-1-0 $352,278 341 1 2 Father Patrick (2) 3tc 6-6-0-0 $510,931 302 2 3 Sweet Lou (3) 5ph 10-7-1-1 $662,650 285 3 4 He’s Watching 3pc 6-3-1-1 $558,235 223 4 5 McWicked 3pc 9-6-2-0 $618,830 167 6 6 Trixton 3tc 8-6-1-1 $283,855 147 5 7 Shake It Cerry 3tf 7-6-0-1 $234,838 98 8 8 JK Endofanera 3pc 7-5-0-1 $566,667 85 7 9 Sandbetweenurtoes 3pf 7-7-0-0 $211,157 70 9 10 Nuncio 3tc 7-5-2-0 $342,003 59 10 Also: Dancin Yankee (46), Archangel (18), Bee A Magician (14), Perfect Alliance (13), Market Share (10), Classic Martine, Intimidate, Mission Brief, Modern Family (7), Yankee Bounty (6), Rocklamation (4), Artspeak (3), Bettor’s Edge (2), Clear Vision, I Like My Boss, Somwherovrarainbow, Your So Vain (1). Complied by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Comunications 
Two years ago, Marcus Miller spent part of Hambletonian Day driving in harness races at the Logan County Fair in his native state of Illinois. Last year, he watched the Hambletonian Day card from his new home in Pennsylvania before heading to work that night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. This year, Hambletonian Day will have a different feel entirely. Miller will be part of the show. Miller is driving on Saturday's Hambletonian Day card at the Meadowlands Racetrack, with his top assignment coming behind Cee Bee Yes in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters. "I'm very excited," Miller said. "She's a really nice filly. She's the kind of filly that if things work out, she's got the talent to get there." In June, the 25-year-old Miller got career win No. 2,000. A few weeks later, Miller drove in his biggest race to date, the $776,000 Meadowlands Pace, and guided Jet Airway to a fifth-place finish for his father, trainer Erv Miller. "Hopefully one of these days I'll win a race like that," said Miller, who won multiple driving titles on the Chicago circuit before moving east in spring 2013, before adding with a grin, "Maybe it'll be this one. "I'm happy with this summer," he added. "Last year I was brand new out here and now I'm meeting people and I'm getting drives for good trainers and good owners that didn't even know me two years ago. I'm getting a lot more drives." Miller, who also will drive SS Poseidon for his father in Saturday's Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters, got his first win in 2004 and won a career-best 501 races in 2011. His career high of $3.14 million in purses followed in 2012 and last year he missed a third consecutive $3 million-season by less than $50,000. This year, he has 108 wins and $1.70 million in purses. He guided Cee Bee Yes to victory in a division of the New Jersey Sire Stakes and finished second in the $100,000 championship. Miller and the filly finished fifth in last weekend's Hambletonian Oaks prep, beaten by two lengths. Cee Bee Yes (Muscles Yankee-Enbeecee) has won two of seven races this year and six of 18 in her career, with $268,182 in earnings. She was the 2013 New Jersey Sire Stakes champion. The filly is owned by Jason and Doug Allen. She is trained by Julie Miller, whose husband Andy is Erv Miller's brother and Marcus' uncle. "She was a little better [in the prep] than she was in her last start," Miller said. "Hopefully she can take one more step and if something crazy happens, I think we can be close." Cee Bee Yes is one of three fillies in the Hambletonian Oaks for Julie Miller. She also sends out world champion Designed To Be and stakes-winner Take The Money. "She's my sleeper," Julie said about Cee Bee Yes. "She does her job, she's a sweetheart, and Marcus gets along with her well. If they mix it up, I think she can pick up the pieces." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  
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