Day At The Track
Sydney Weaver, harness racing

Harnesslink’s Sydney Weaver heading “Down Under”

Harnesslink’s award winning columnist, Sydney Weaver, is set to go on another world globing adventure starting this week. Last August it was Ireland and now she’s headed to Australia. Weaver, along with her parents, Lisa and Don, will be enjoying the trip of a lifetime down under, compliments of a host of sponsors making this “dream come true” for the Weaver’s. “I am truly blessed to be going on this trip,” Weaver said. “It’s the trip of a lifetime. It is hard to put into words my excitement, joy and gratitude. Being able to go to Australia is a dream come true!” The sports leading breeders, owners and trainers, many of whom met Sydney for the first time in Ireland, were enchanted by the young women’s enthusiasm for harness racing and her passion to achieve whatever goals she set for herself despite having Cerebral Palsy. Led by Alan Galloway of Alabar Farms, Sydney Weaver and family will be spending three weeks in Australia, sponsored in part by Adam Bowden’s Diamond Creek Farm, A Rocknroll Dance Syndicate, Nevele R Stud, Blue Chip Farm, Pepper Tree Farm (Art Major’s owners), the owners of Auckland Reactor and Joe Bellino and the owners of Rock N Roll Heaven (Pepper Tree Farm and Alabar).  "Sydney is a very inspirational person," Said Alabar's Alan Galloway. "When I first met her in Ireland I was just blown away by her enthusiasm for Harness Racing. I just knew we had to help her come down to Australia. This trip will enable her and her parents, Don and Lisa, to see some of the best horses and racing in the World. We can't thank our fellow stallion owners enough for their support as well."  Once Sydney arrives in Sydney, the funs gets started right away as she will be attending the $750,000 Miracle Mile at Menangle Park in New South Wales this Saturday, February 25. Her trip will also feature attending the APG Sydney Yearling Sales, the Lyn McPherson Memorial Night at Tabcorp Park Melton on March 11, tours of Alabar Farm, the training facilities of Andy Gath and Emma Stewart in Victoria, Aldebaran Park in Victoria plus getting to visit Tanya McDermott, who is the manager of Harness Racing Victoria’s HERO (Harness Education & Rehoming Opportunities) operations. “To think that soon I am leaving on a grand adventure still feels surreal.” Weaver explained. “I have so much to look forward to, but I am most looking forward to meeting new friends and getting to meet those who I have connected with on social media.” Of course, Sydney will be posting daily on her great adventure to Australia. By Steven Wolf, for Harnesslink

Shane Hayes

Hopes of finding horseman sadly fading

Hopes of finding missing harness racing horseman Shane Hayes alive are sadly fading. The popular 53-year-old who spent much of his adult life training and driving out of Kumeu, NZ, has been missing at sea since February 10. Family friend and spokesman Peter Smith said Hayes took his boat out over the Mangawhai Heads, north of Auckland, to test it for an upcoming fishing competition and has not been seen since. “There are a lot of people searching for him and we even have helicopters and a crop dusting plane from a local farmer involved,” said Smith. “But the family are realistic now. They are holding on to hope but everybody realises we may not see Shane again. “It is terribly sad but it may be a case of searching for a body now.” Hayes, who is married to Laureen and has two children, Harry and Jackie, is best known for his association with talented trotter Chiola Cola in the late 1990s. Along with his father Don they trained the giant trotter to win 17 races and he even campaigned in Scandinavia alongside champion mare Pride Of Petite. The Hayes were rarely without a good horse and had their share of success with pacers but were best known for their trotters through their association at stud with Great Evander. Shane moved out of harness racing full-time when the family moved from Kumeu a decade ago but still dabbled. He is an immensely popular figure in northern harness racing, a big man with a big smile and engaging conversationist. A Givealittle page has been set up to help fund the search for Shane and support the family through this tough time. by Michael Guerin

Atomic Red

$200,000 NSW Derby field

The barrier draw for the Group 1 New South Wales Derby has been conducted this morning at Harness Racing NSW. The Mark Purdon trio Vincent, Motu Meteor and Ultimate Machete have all drawn the front row while 2400m world record holder Atomic Red has drawn wide in barrier nine. See full field for the $200,000 classic that will take place at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night (February 25). RBD. 2400m. MS.         1--1r1  VINCENT, by Art Major - Mark Purdon 3C7 FT 2--312 OUR LITTLE GENERAL, by Mach Three - Chris Alford 3C1 FT 3--515  MAXENTIUS, by Mach Three - Blake Fitzpatrick 3C1 FT Em 1 4--214  HES MY MATE, by Passmaster Hanover - Mitchell Reese 3C2 FT 5--121 MOTU METEOR NZ, by Bettor's Delight - Mark Purdon 3C5 FT 6--213 OUR TRIPLE PLAY NZ, by Shadow Play - Brad Hewitt 3C1 FT 7--113 ULTIMATE MACHETE NZ, by Bettor's Delight - Mark Purdon 3C5 FT 8--432  ASTRIDE, by Somebeachsomewhere - Luke McCarthy 3C0 FT 9--s11  ATOMIC RED, by Rocknroll Hanover - Amanda Turnbull 3C2 FT 10--124  PRETTY HOT, by Courage Under Fire - Bernie Hewitt 3C1 FT ----------------------------------Second Row-------------------------- 11-553 WARDAN EXPRESS, by Art Major - Amanda Turnbull 3C1 FT 12--522  CONVICTION, by For A Reason - Amanda Turnbull 3C0 FT 13--114  REDBANK BLAZE, by Rocknroll Hanover - KerryAnn Turner 3C4 FT 14--s15  ROLL WITH ME, by Roll With Joe - Blake Fitzpatrick 3C1 FT ODM Em 2 AMANDA RANDO

Frith

$200,000 Ladyship Mile field

The barrier draw for the Group 1 Ladyship Mile has been conducted this morning at Harness Racing NSW. Defending champion Frith has drawn barrier two while top New Zealand mares Our Dream About Me and A Piccadilly Princess have drawn barriers nine and 10 respectively. See full field for the $200,000 feature that will take place at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night (February 25).             1--925 BETTORTHANSPECIAL, by Bettor's Delight - C13 M0 FT 2--3s3 FRITH, by Four Starzzz Shark - Luke McCarthy C29 M14 FT 3--211 ROCKER BAND NZ, by Rocknroll Hanover - Zac Butcher C10 M4 FT 4--8s2 AMERETTO, by Million Dollar Cam - Ashlee Grives C11 M2 FT 5--821 CYCLONE KATE NZ, by Mach Three - John McCarthy C10 M6 FT 6--134 MY LUCKY BELLE NZ, by Gotta Go Cullect - Chris Alford C6 M0 FT 7--524 DU VELLA NZ, by Courage Under Fire - Jim Douglass C8 M1 FT 8--674 MISTRESSOFILLUSION, by Jereme's Jet - Todd McCarthy C6 M1 FT 9--111 OUR DREAM ABOUT ME NZ, by Bettor's Delight - Mark Purdon C9 M4 FT 10--121 A PICCADILLY PRINCESS NZ,  by Bettor's Delight - Mark Purdon C10 M4 FT -----------------------------------------------------------------Second Row----------------------------------------------------------------- 11--183 SALLY FLETCHER, by American Ideal - Gavin Fitzpatrick C8 M2 FT 12-257 TACT HAYLEYS DELIGHT NZ, by Bettor's Delight - Pete McMullen C6 M2 FT Em 1 13--760 HELENS BONUS, by Grinfromeartoear - Blake Fitzpatrick C6 M1 FT Em 2 Amanda Rando  

Pompano Beach, FL...Sunday, February 19, 2017..."February Madness" continued at Pompano Park on Sunday night (February 19) as the "fourth quarter" of the Italian-American Amateur competition was contested and it was Italy that captured the crown with an 87 to 81 victory over the American team consisting of members of the Florida Amateur Driving Club. The win was sealed when Italy's Ciro Ciccarelli earned a hard-fought win measuring a half- length with Y S Joe in 1:55.3 over Stronski, handled by yet another Italian visitor, Antonio Simioli. A Fool For Mark, driven by Shane Arsenault, was third, just another nose back, after a valiant effort carving out early panels of :28.2 and :56.3 before being encountered by Y S Joe around turn three, reached in 1:25.4. A Fool For Mark cut the corner turning for home to reclaim a short lead, but Y S Joe, parked every step of the route, was ultra-game in forging by and holding off the late surging Stronki. Orlando's Express, with Billy Muggleston in the bike, was fourth, 1 ¾ lengths away while College Major and Joe Pennacchio teamed up to claim the nickel in the octet. In a post-race interview Ciccarelli, through an interpreter, lamented, "This was the thrill of a lifetime for me. "I have never driven a pacer before and they are very fast--faster than I have ever been before. "This horse was outside the whole way and was very strong to the finish despite this. "This was a great experience for all of us from Italy and I want to thank Mr. Dein Spriggs and Mr. Joe Pennacchio for being such great hosts for us all." Ciccarelli led the Italian contingent with 29 points while Simioli had 28 for the winning team. While there were only four drivers from Italy competing, the U.S. team had 16 drivers from their Florida Amateur Driving Club on their roster with Dein Spriggs and Gary Barbere sharing top honors with 13 points each. Y S Joe, a chestnut five year-old horse by Mach Three trained by Fannie Saul-Beaulieu for owner Michel Daneault of Quebec, Canada, earned his first win of the year in seven starts. As the 6 to 5 tote-board favorite, Y S Joe paid $4.60 to win. Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Handicap Pace went, in a mild upset, to Drachan Hanover, driven by John MacDonald. This five year-old son of Jereme's jet, used his rail post to perfection by carding front end panels of :26.1; :54.4 and 1:22.3 before a :27.4 finale held off the late furious rally by Rocky's Z Tam, handled by Ricky Macomber, Jr., by a neck in 1:50.2. First Of Itskind, with Tom Jackson in the bike, closed fastest of all--:27.2--to finish third, two lengths away, while Mystic Desire finished fourth. The 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Panocchio, made a mild bid on the backstretch but could only manage to pick up the minor award in the septet of classy pacers. After the race, Mac Donald related, "he (Drachan Hanover) raced well last week after missing one and I thought he'd be tighter tonight so I sent him and let him do his thing. He's won before on the front end, so this mile didn't surprise me. He beat a very classy field. Trained by Marcel Barrieau for Lloyd Maclean and Kenneth Rankin, Drachan Hanover won for the initial time this semester and 13th win lifetime in 56 starts, vaulting his earnings to $353,457. As the third choice at 4 to 1, Drachan Hanover paid $10.80 to win. The $10,000 Open 2 Pace went to the 4 to 5 favorite Uncmprmising Z Tam, driven by Mike Simons, in a lifetime best performance of 1:50.2--his previous winning 1:50.2 mile being over the larger 7/8ths oval at Hoosier Park. The four year-old son of Shadyshark Hanover made a quarter move (:27.1) to the top and went on to post subsequent fractions of :54.4 and 1;22.1 before sprinting home untouched by two lengths over Fritzie Pic Up Man, handled by Kevin Wallis. King Of The Crop, with Dave Ingraham in the bike, rallied from last to finish third, 3 ¼ lengths back, while Pointsman and Heart Felt picked up the final two awards in this septet. Trained by Jamie Macomber for the Z Tam Stables, Uncmprmising Z Tam now sports a 3-2-0 scorecard in six starts this year, good for $18,975. The win--the 10th in only 36 career starts--vaulted him over the $250,000 mark in bounty--$251,163 to be precise. He paid $3.80 to win to his multitude of backers. Racing continues on Monday night with post time set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park

The barrier draw for the Group 1 New South Wales Oaks has been conducted this morning at Harness Racing NSW. Early fancies Partyon and Petacular have both drawn the second row. See full field for the $200,000 classic that will take place at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Saturday night (February 25). RBD. 2400m. MS.           1--512                   TAKARA TRUFFLE NZ,  by American Ideal - Mitchell Reese 2--245                  SANNA CRUZA, by Art Major - Josh Aiken (C) 3--124                  ROYAL STORY, by Always A Virgin - Bernie Hewitt  4--237                  MISS AMI SLOY, by Art Major - Vincent Langdon Em 1 5--s22                    MISS GRACELAND, by Rocknroll Hanover -  Chris Alford  6--117                   SHARTIN NZ, by Tintin In America - Luke McCarthy  Em 2 7--475                  WESTERN JEWELS, by Always A Virgin - Adam Sanderson 8--334                  TAYLORS REASON, by For A Reason - Bernie Hewitt 9--s16                  SHEZALLAPPLES, by Sportswriter - Jim Douglass 10--213                DONT THINK TWICE, by Armbro Operative - Jason Grimson (C)  --------------------------Second Row---------------------- 11--111                 PARTYON NZ, by Bettor's Delight - Mark Purdon 12--353                 ELIZA DUSHKU NZ, by Bettor's Delight - Amanda Turnbull  13--226                 ANGEL IN WHITE NZ, by Santanna Blue Chip - Chris Geary (C) 14--211                 PETACULAR, by Somebeachsomewhere - Michael Stanley  Amanda Rando

February 19, 2017 - A top flight harness racing program today at Paris-Vincennes included three groupe races led by the €200,000 Prix Comte de Montesson for three year-olds, but first the apprentice jockeys were on display in the monte Prix de Grenade (purse €50,000, 2175 meters, apprentice jockeys) that started the day’s action. 1.7/1 favorite Aida des Valoisien (7f Chef du Chatelet-Ida des Valois) scored, clocked in a quick 1.12.3kr, for Jean-Yann Ricart and trainer Eddy Castelleta. Four lengths back second was 7.8/1 Atout de Fontaine (7g Oxford du Rib-Mistina de Tragui) for Julien Balu, in the irons for breeder/owner/trainer Bruno Courault. Third went to 20.4/1 Aphrodite Child (7f Love You-New Orleans) for Honorin Guerot and trainer Matthieu Abrivard. Univaldi d’Aval (9g Vivaldi de Chenu-Kiss Me d’Aval) was victorious as 4/5 favorite in the Prix d’Aras (purse €45,000, 2700 meters, 18 European entrants – one scratch) for pilot J-M Bazire and trainer/owner Daniel Bethouart (picture below). Time was 1.14.3kr off even modest fractions. 29/1 Bazir Dimanche (9g Orlando Vici-Stora Mellosa) was second for Dominik Locqueneux and trainer Robert Bergh. Third was 11.2/1 Queasy (8g Donato Hanover-Merinated Herring) reined by Bjron Goop for trainer Ronny Kuiper and Sweden’s owner Stall Tavkompaniet AB. 40/1 Alexia du Cherisay (7f Le Big Boss-Precious Thing) was fourth for Franck Ouvrie and fifth in this Quinte+ contest was the Jerry Riordan owned/trained 5.2/1 Radysin America (7f Donato Hanover-Zagabria Dei) with Franck Nivard up. The exact order Q+ payoff (without jackpot) was €11,792 for a €2 wager. The Gr. III monte Prix du Pontavlle de Heussey (purse €110,000, 2175 meters, eight starters) produced a well earned victory, clocked in 1.12kr (fractions 1.09.9kr at the 1500; 1.10.5kr with 1000 remaining; 1.11.6kr with 500 to go), for 13.5/1 Valse de Reve (8f Mister President-Nouba Houba) with Camille Levesque up for owner/trainer Alain Roussel. 20.2/1 Udayama (9f Echo-Lancia du Pont) was next for Guillaume Martin and owner/trainer Lois Gruossard. Third was 1.2/1 favorite Adelia de Melodie (7f Lilium Madrik-Piccola Stella) for David Thomain and the 3/2 second betting choice, Val Royal (8m Capriccio-Quarda du Rib), took fourth for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer J-M Bazire for Ecurie Charmes. The Gr. III Prix d’Orthez (purse €100,000, 2700 meters, 15 starters – four year-olds) produced a blanket finish led by 9/2 invader from the north, Phantasm Soa (4m Cromwell-Ulver H), in rein to Matthieu Abrivard for trainer Olivier Raffin and Norway’s owner, Gudbrand ALM Skiaker. The 1.13.9kr timed winner closed stoutly to defeat 11.5/1 Discours Joyeux (4m Goetmals Wood-Quelloe Copine) and Damien Bonne, for trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J.Y. Roze. The 2.4/1 favorite Detroit Castelets (4m Neoh Jiel-Rosanna Bonheur) and pilot Franck Ouvrie took third for trainer J.L. Dersoir and Ecurie Luck. Fractions throughout were modest. The featured Gr. I Prix Comte Pierre de Montesson (purse €200,000, 2700 meters. 14 three year-starters) went to 1.14.5kr timed and 6.9/1 Ecu Pierji (3m Tucson-Tosca Pierji) with Mathieu Mottier aboard. Sebastien Guarato trains this one for Philippe Dewulf and he was bred by Pierre Julienne. 23.8/1 Eros du Chene (3m Un Amour d’Haufor-Oulamova de Lou) was second for driver J-M Bazire and breeder/owner Claude Guedj. Julien LeMer is the trainer. 8.3/1 Estella Love (3f Love You-Shucca) rallied strongly for Franck Ouvrie to gain third for owner Jean-Pierre Dubois, who bred this filly through Ecurie Dream With Me. Yves Boireau is the trainer. Elisone Mag and Eliseo were fourth and fifth. Well regarded Erminig d’Oliverie,Elea Madrik and Equinoxe was miscue dq’s. The Prix Finistere (purse €80,00, 2850 meters, 10 startes) went to 5.7/1 Cathy A Quira (5f Password-Quira des Jacquets) driven by Matthieu Abrivard and trained by Jarmo Niskanen, for breeder/owner Etienne Desmet. 10.4/1 Carla Love (5f Royal Lover-Queridade Vonnas) was second for J-M Bazire, ahead of 33.3/1 Crescendis (5f Querido de Blart-Libertatis) and driver J.F. Senet. This winner powered home in 1.13.9kr after the clocking at 500 meters remaining was 1.14.9kr. Later in the Vincennes card the $56,000 Prix de la Gacilly went to 1.14kr timed and 3/1 odds Basic (6f Sam Bourbon-Buwarienne) raced over 2850 meters by trainer/driver Bjorn Goop for Stall Ardvidssons AB. The coldbloods contested the Prix des Trotteurs “Sang-Froid” for €20,000 over 2100 meters autostart. The 1.24.5kr clocked winner was 10/1 Finnskog Fokus (10g Spiked-Silje Spretta) with Gunnar Astevoll at the lines. Thomas H. Hicks

The trial winners are continuing thick and fast for Auckland Reactor as his progeny start to get serious on the harness racing track. Ezy Ryder was impressive when winning his trial at Shepparton on Tuesday. Going straight to the front, the long striding two year old ran home in 58.2 to win by four lengths. At Bunbury on Wednesday night sons of Auckland Reactor won both two year old trials. Orphan Reactor rated a slick 2:00.2 while Gold River took out the educational trial. In New Zealand, Red Reactor was a two length winner at Cambridge last night. The Sean McCaffrey and Ross Paynter trained horse remains undefeated at trials/workouts. At Rangiora, Blue Blazer won his workout in impressive fashion. The promising two year old ran home in 57.8 and 28.2 to win by a neck. He is still learning his craft but is clearly showing he has ability. Five two year old trial/workout winners in the space of a few days is clearly a great sign for the future of Auckland Reactor as a stallion. Here is the trial of Ezy Rider winning at Shepparton Trials With the PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales on next week it is worth noting that Auckland Reactor will be represented by 23 well bred yearlings including half relations to stakes winners such as Our Sixpence $613,997, Isaiah $589,667, Threepence $253,306, Hip Hop Anvil $267,274, Aztec Bromac $183,740, Selkie $92,831, etc. Don’t miss out on securing one of them as they could be a lot more expensive next year! Breckon Farms have one outstanding colt by Auckland Reactor at the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale next Monday the 20th of February at Karaka. Lot 133 – Kid Granite (bay colt, Auckland Reactor / Georgia’s Jury) Kid Granite is the second foal from the Group 1 placed mare Georgia's Jury ($59,871) who is a half-sister to Raesawinner ($107,852) and Van Mara ($41,455). This is the family of Mister Livan ($96,985), Van Esteem ($59,211), Dominus (1.51m, 38 wins $262,461), Cumbria Warrior (24 wins 35 places $105,649), Bhagwan ($117,562) and multiple Group 2 & 3 winner and Group 1 placed Easy On The Eye (1.50.7m, 19 wins 23 places $517,860). Harnesslink Media

February 18, 2017 - Nuncio (6m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) record an easy, and well-rated. front end harness racing victory tonight in the V75 Gold at Axevalla in Sweden. The Orjan Kihlstrom driven and Stefan Melander trained and owned (Stall TZ) champion was timed in 1.15.7kr (fractions: 1.17.3kr at first 500 meters; 1.18.3kr at the first 1000; 1.18.1kr at the 1500) over 2140 meters autostart to earn 150,000SEK first prize. Nuncio last raced September 18, 2016 at Bjerke. Russell C. Williams of Hanover, PA bred Nuncio, the 1.07/1 favorite that bested 30.79/1 Bruno di Quattro (9m Broadway Hall-Ussel-Speedy Soma) with Kenneth Haugstad up and 31.88/1 Art On Line (9g Rite On Line-Fleur-Backstreet Guy) for Johnny Takter. Winmecredit and Spring Erom were fourth and fifth. Nuncio’s career slate now stands at 38-12-2 in 52 starts for 27,723,230SEK earned. He is now 12 for 12 in 2016-17. This night Nuncio was eased to the front, faced a challenge deep in the last bend, and then drew off for a four length score. Nuncio (Ö.Kihlström/S.Melander) Thomas H. Hicks  

February 18, 2017 - Trainer Emil Csordas teamed veteran, and 9/1 odds, Milliondollar Lex (11m Ganymede-Dadaumpa Jet-Supergill) to a 1.17.5kr timed harness racing victory in today’s featured Geza Sennyey Memorial (purse 1,500,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart). The Sun Systems Kft and Laura Pekker owned winner, pictured on this cold late afternoon, bested 10/1 Rinette Streamline (10f Kashner Hanover-Keys Praise-Prakas) and driver Csaba Lakatos and 19.2/1 Orderly (10f Yankee Glide-Dearest Darling-Ultra Decal) reined by trainer Attila Budai. Other action in the program included the several interesting winners: Szacharin (6f Vanito-Inzulin) for trainer/driver Istvan Papp and Gyolai Racing Kft. in the 600,000Huf purse Globus DIJ raced over 1900 meters autostart, timed in 1.19.9kr; Timoko RL (4m Doctor Sugar RL-Triestina) in the 400,000Huf purse Erika DIJ (1900 meters autostart) timed in 1.20.7kr for trainer/driver Imre Fazekas and owner Airzoom d.o.o; Rosamundi (9f Chipmate-Kama Sutra) for co-owner/driver Jozsef Karai and trainer Csaba Lakatos, timed in 1.21.6kr winning the 360,000Huf Mother’s Song Handicap raced over 1800 meters autostart. Next weekend Kincsem Park will zone in, as will most of Europe, on the Gr. I International Grand Prix de France, the final leg of the Triple Crown of France, as part of their simulcast offering. Thomas H. Hicks

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (February 18, 2017) - Alberto Contador lowered his lifetime mark for the second straight week at the Meadowlands, winning the harness racing featured $15,000 conditioned pace in 1:49.4. Alberto Contador won last week at 14/1 in 1:50.1 and stepped up in class in his repeat bid. Brett Miller moved the New Zealand bred 9-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding to the front past the quarter in :26.4. Miller controlled the rest of the action from there, easily holding sway from Ontario Success by two lengths at the wire. Jet Airway was third while racing for purse money only with Barimah finishing fourth and rounding out the trifecta. Alberto Contador, named for the champion Spanish cyclist, has won 33 times in 138 career starts with earnings of $452,431. Four preliminary divisions of the Dash For the G-Notes series were contested. So Take That won the fastest division in 1:51.4 for Corey Callahan and Mike Watson. It was Watson's third training win of the weekend. Iminurblindspot, the 3-year-old full brother to world champion Shebestingin, broke his maiden in his third career start in a "non-winners of two" in 1:55.3. He is trained by Nifty Norman and owned by Enzed Racing Stable and William Switala. He was a $35,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase. John Campbell, Corey Callahan, and Jim Marohn, Jr. each posted a driving double. Patti Harmon scored a training double. Total handle was $2,799,173 on the 12-race card. Live racing resumes Thursday with a 9-race card. Post time is 7:15 p.m. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

Another round of the annual Standardbred Yearling Sales with the harness racing “Sale of the Stars” as they are dubbed, set to start on Monday. The Australasian Classic Yearling Sale is to be staged at Karaka, in Auckland, on the 20th February, with the Parade Day the day before on Sunday the 19th February.  This sale is followed immediately by the NZ Premier Yearling Sale at Christchurch, on the 21st and 22nd February. Many internet based and hardcopy advertising programmes have long been put in place and Breckon Farms pride themselves on their proactive approach to yearling promotion for their entire draft of farm owned and client yearlings. Our promotion began back in December with exposure through banners on the Harnesslink, HRNZ and Australian Harness Racing websites, linking to Breckon Farms Website Yearling Sales section, where all the latest information, photos and videos have been available.  Added to this were regular in-depth articles on Harnesslink of all Breckon Farms lots, race sponsorship, racebook advertising, oncourse big screen advertising, industry magazine advertisements and on-farm parades, flowing through January and February. Three yearlings that harnesslink have not covered to date are; Lot 124 – Top Change (brown filly, Well Said - Changedown) The sire of Top Change is Well Said 1:47.3 ($2,690,820) who is by Western Hanover from the very good race mare Must See p2,1:52 ($562,858), an Artsplace daughter of the Matt's Scooter mare, Grand Lady 1:52.4 ($235,571). What can you say about a horse that paced in 1:47.4 as a three-year-old, won $2,690,693 in purses and only had 26 starts for 14 wins 4 seconds and 2 thirds? Nothing, except it was an outstanding result! A really smart two year old who could mix it with the best at that age without being dominant. At three Well Said was just a monster, running time and winning Grand Circuit races one after another. Any three year old who can top $2,000,000 in earnings has a right to be called a champion. As a stallion Well Said has delivered where it counts with his sons and daughters doing a fine job on the track. His overall numbers are up with the best. Sire of 2015 Canadian two-year-old of the year Control The Moment who went on to win the 2016 Meadowlands Pace and is now at stud. Top Change is a half-sister to dual Group 1 and Group 3 placed filly Renske B ($57,349) and from a half-sister to 10 winners, including New Zealand Cup winner, 6-time Group 1 winner, millionaire pacer and successful sire Changeover (1.53.4h, 29 wins 16 places $2,426,765). Lot 62 – Mathew James (bay colt, Bettor’s Delight - Taylor Kate) Matthew James is the third foal and first colt from a qualified Artsplace mare who is already the dam of a winner in Crystal Sparkles ($20,530) and who is a half-sister to 4 winners in multiple Group 1 winner and 3yo Pacing Filly of the Year who set a NZ Record Lauraella (1.55.9, 10 wins 7 places $649,946), multiple Group 1 placed The Muskeg Express ($111,331), The Pacman (15 wins 23 places $100,235) and Estilo (1.54.1f, 11 wins 16 places $66,797). Lot 147 – Hot Rhythm (bay filly, Bettor’s Delight - Hot Shoe Shuffle) Hot Rhythm is a half-sister to seven winners including Group 1 winner Glenferrie Shuffle (1.57m, 13 wins 16 places $279,839), Listed race winner and Group 2 & 3 placed Jivin Cullen (1.54m, 12 wins 15 places $169,082). Her dam Hot Shoe Shuffle ($295,011) is a Group 2 and dual Listed race winner and dual Group 1 placed Falcon Seelster mare who is a full-sister to Iwasborntoboogy (1.50.4m, 31 wins $282,306). With the Australasian Classic Yearling Sales now so close, it is pertinent to reinforce some of our historical achievements as the major yearling sales preparer at the North Island Sales. In the 23 sales from 1993 through to 2015 (current 3YO’s) we have produced 385 winners from 646 yearlings sold, which is almost 60% winners to yearlings sold. We have produced the winners of 39 Group 1 Races, including wins in such races as an Interdominion Grand Final, NZ Cups (3), Hunter Cup, Harness Jewels, Breeders Crowns. Through the PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales Series races we have produced the winners of 7 Open Finals, 10 Fillies Finals, Northern Hemisphere Time Final and Aged Handicap Pace. There have been 4 Millionaire Pacers that have come from our drafts, plus who could forget the Superstar of Harness Racing in the trotting ranks, I Can Doosit, who would have been the 5th millionaire if he hadn’t had to be withdrawn from the sales. Since this year’s catalogue was published there have been many updates to pedigrees of yearlings in our draft and these are listed below, so as you are fully aware of the latest successes in relation to Breckon Farms Draft yearlings. In lot order, they are:- Lot 22 – Drum Beat (bay colt Art Major / Milagro) Emiliana now has 5 wins & 8 places for $40,045 KATY PERRY now has 22 wins & 15 places for $504,533   Lot 32 – Goodman (bay colt Wishing Stone / Olesya) The Muscle Hill half-brother Star Of Olesya qualified on the 14th January 2017, running 2nd by a ½ neck in 2:10 and now has 2 starts for 2 seconds   Lot 40 – Oynas (bay colt Mach Three / Paddy Brown) BETTORBEASTAR now has 10 wins & 13 places for $72,520   Lot 46 – Toomuchlip (bay filly Art Major / Racketeers Girl) Dream To Reality now has 3 wins & 1 place for $14,065   Lot 50 – Rockin Regal (brown colt A Rocknroll Dance / Spirit Of Spring) MAJOR STAR now has a 1:53.5 Mile Rate and 13 wins & 21 places for $179,628   Lot 54 – Ball Of Art (bay colt Art Major / Star Of The Ball) (OUR) MCARDLE STAR now has 7 wins & 3 places for $42,847   Lot 62 – Mathew Jones (bay colt Bettor’s Delight / Taylor Kate) Crystal Sparkles now has 1 win & 6 places for $20,780 EXPRESS STRIDE is 3-from-3 this campaign and now has a best Mile Rate of 1:49.8 and now has 9 wins & 10 places for $191,790 ARMAZEM now has a 1:54.7 Mile Rate and 11 wins & 26 places for $84,640   Lot 66 – All Yours (bay colt Art Major / Temepara Cullen) STRAWBERRY STRIDE is now a winner in Australia and has 2 wins & 2 places for $41,884 and a best Mile Rate of 1:57.4 SMILEY SOPHIE is now a winner with a 1:56.5 Mile Rate and 1 win & 7 places for $54,486 ART I SPECIAL now has 8 wins & 23 places for $61,986   Lot 71 – Fantasize (bay filly Art Major / Thebestamancanget) MAJOR STAR now has a 1:53.5 Mile Rate and 13 wins & 21 places for $179,628   Lot 75 – My Kiwi Lass (bay filly Bettor’s Delight / Toast To Cullen) NIMBLE JACK now has another win and now has 12 wins & 37 places for $94,894 KENRICK also has another win and now has 4 wins & 11 places for $54,234   Lot 83 – Yorkshire Rose (bay colt A Rocknroll Dance / Veste) Purest Silk is a 2YO Young Guns Heat placed filly at her only start to date STRAWBERRY STRIDE is now a winner in Australia and has 2 wins & 2 places for $41,884 and a best Mile Rate of 1:57.4 SMILEY SOPHIE is now a winner with a 1:56.5 Mile Rate and 1 win & 7 places for $54,486 ART I SPECIAL now has 8 wins & 23 places for $61,986   Lot 91 – Zinny Mach (bay colt Mach Three / Zingara) LAREDO TORPEDO now has a best Mile Rate of 1:59.7 and now has 2 wins & 6 places for $18,692 EXPRESS STRIDE is 3-from-3 this campaign and now has a best Mile Rate of 1:49.8 and now has 9 wins & 10 places for $191,790 ARMAZEM now has a 1:54.7 Mile Rate and 11 wins & 26 places for $84,640   Lot 104 – Kokomo Beach (brown colt Bettor’s Delight / Beach Parade) PARTYON now has 7 wins from 7 starts and a Race, Track & Australian Record 1:51.3 Mile Time for $265,075   Lot 112 – Macca’s (bay colt Mach Three / Bella Me) ECLIPSE ME now has a best Mile Rate of 1:57.5 and now has 6 wins & 11 places for $84,264   Lot 137 – Miss Streisand (bay filly A Rocknroll Dance / Goodlookinggirl) FLAMING FLUTTER now has 21 wins & 35 places for $687,715   Lot 147 – Hot Rhythm (bay filly Bettor’s Delight / Hot Shoe Shuffle) JIVIN CULLEN now has 13 wins & 17 places for $175,572 SEM’S DELIGHT now has a best Mile Rate of 1:57 and now has 2 wins & 5 places for $46,076 We also look forward to seeing you at the Parade Day on the 19th February and then ready to go on Sale Day, the 20thFebruary, at Karaka.    

Harness racing debuts don't come a lot more impressive than that of My Sweetchilliphilly's today at Bathurst! The daughter of Betterthancheddar went straight to the front and never gave her rivals a chance. Running home in 57.3, she won by an incredible 59.7 metres in an electric 1:55.3! What a performance! My Sweetchilliphilly will now head towards the Group One Bathurst Gold Tiara next month. Bred in New Zealand by Melissa Tapp, My Sweetchilliphilly is the 8th foal and 4th winner out of the In The Pocket mare Tact Philly. After My Sweetchilliphilly's win, Betterthancheddar now has three individual two year old winners in Australia this season.

Mark Purdon's star pair drew perfectly in the harness racing barrier draw for the $750,000 Ainsworth Miracle Mile at Tabcorp Park @ Club Menangle today. The only problem was, neither of them was Lazarus. Inter Dominion winner Smolda drew gate one and Our Waikiki Beach drew four but is expected to come into gate three when the second emergency, Major Crocker, is scratched, despite drawing barrier two. Purdon's star four-year-old Lazarus threw the race open when he drew out in gate eight (will come into six with the emergencies out) but can be expected to endure a wide run if he is to figure in the finish. David Aiken's pair of hotshots Lennytheshark (six) and Hectorjayjay (gate 10) also drew poorly as did another speedster Yayas Hotspot, who has to contend with gate nine if he had any hope of being first to the pegs. The final draw for the $740,000 Group One classic, to be run next Saturday night at Menangle is: 1. SMOLDA 2. MAJOR CROCKER (2nd em) 3. BLING IT ON 4. OUR WAIKIKI BEACH 5. SALTY ROBYN 6. LENNYTHESHARK 7. AZTEC BROMAC (1st em) 8. LAZARUS 9. YAYAS HOTSPOT 10. HECTORJAYJAY   By MICHAEL COURT                    

LEBANON, OH. - Latest Desire made it three-in-a-row in O-hi-o on Saturday night (Feb. 18) at Miami Valley Raceway, capturing the $22,000 Open I Pace again despite being assigned the outermost post position in the harness racing field of nine. Knowing that his horse is in exceptionally good form driver Simon Allard set sail from the get-go, managing to clear to the front as the first quarter beam was reached in :27. The winner was afforded a :29 second breather in the second quarter, reaching the midway point of the race in :56. With Lucky Lime (Kyle Ater) moving up to second on the outside and My Buddy Ninkster (Tyler Smith) enjoying a tight pocket ride, Latest Desire had to step it up in the third panel, stopping that teletimer in 1:23.4. With Lucky Lime still pressing on the outside and runnerup My Buddy Ninkster finding racing room along the stretch pylons, Allard and Latest Desire paced a confident :28.1 closing quarter to win by a measured 'neck' margin. A recent purchase by the partnership of AWS Stables, Fairway Stables and Milton Leeman, Latest Desire eclipsed the $400,000 earnings plateau with his third straight win, including a 20% bonus as Ohio owners winning from a nine-hole start. Virgil Morgan Jr. trains the 7-year-old Real Desire gelding. Latest Desire (S.Allard/V.Morgan Jr.) Miami Valley Gregg Keidel

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WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 20, 2017 -- After a second-quarter breather, Medusa sprinted home in 55.1 to capture her second straight victory in Monday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Medusa retook the lead past the quarter, allowing Tony Hall to give her a leisurely 29.3 second panel. The 6-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical turned on the gas from there, downing the rallying Lakeisha Hall by 3/4 lengths in 1:52.1. Spreester earned show. Randy Bendis trains Medusa, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $441,012, and owns with Tom Pollack. Dave Palone piloted three winners, including a pair for trainer Ron Burke, on the 13-race card.   by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows    
Undercover Beauty (Crazed) prevailed in Monday's feature at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The trotting mare completed a training double for conditioner Andy Gardner on the holiday matinee card as she came from off the pace to secure her first victory of the season. Undercover Beauty, who paid $15.80 to win while springing the mild upset, was driven to victory by Billy Dobson who followed up his opening day hat trick with another three win afternoon on Monday. The four year old mare Undercover Beauty stopped the timer in 1:58.2 in the matinee's $8,025 feature for New York sired trotters. Dobson, who rattled off five consecutive driving titles at Saratoga from 2010-2014, is off to a strong start to the '17 season with his six wins on opening weekend. Live racing resumes on Thursday afternoon with a matinee beginning at 12:15pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  
Pompano Beach, FL...Sunday, February 19, 2017..."February Madness" continued at Pompano Park on Sunday night (February 19) as the "fourth quarter" of the Italian-American Amateur competition was contested and it was Italy that captured the crown with an 87 to 81 victory over the American team consisting of members of the Florida Amateur Driving Club. The win was sealed when Italy's Ciro Ciccarelli earned a hard-fought win measuring a half- length with Y S Joe in 1:55.3 over Stronski, handled by yet another Italian visitor, Antonio Simioli. A Fool For Mark, driven by Shane Arsenault, was third, just another nose back, after a valiant effort carving out early panels of :28.2 and :56.3 before being encountered by Y S Joe around turn three, reached in 1:25.4. A Fool For Mark cut the corner turning for home to reclaim a short lead, but Y S Joe, parked every step of the route, was ultra-game in forging by and holding off the late surging Stronki. Orlando's Express, with Billy Muggleston in the bike, was fourth, 1 ¾ lengths away while College Major and Joe Pennacchio teamed up to claim the nickel in the octet. In a post-race interview Ciccarelli, through an interpreter, lamented, "This was the thrill of a lifetime for me. "I have never driven a pacer before and they are very fast--faster than I have ever been before. "This horse was outside the whole way and was very strong to the finish despite this. "This was a great experience for all of us from Italy and I want to thank Mr. Dein Spriggs and Mr. Joe Pennacchio for being such great hosts for us all." Ciccarelli led the Italian contingent with 29 points while Simioli had 28 for the winning team. While there were only four drivers from Italy competing, the U.S. team had 16 drivers from their Florida Amateur Driving Club on their roster with Dein Spriggs and Gary Barbere sharing top honors with 13 points each. Y S Joe, a chestnut five year-old horse by Mach Three trained by Fannie Saul-Beaulieu for owner Michel Daneault of Quebec, Canada, earned his first win of the year in seven starts. As the 6 to 5 tote-board favorite, Y S Joe paid $4.60 to win. Pompano Park's $12,000 Open Handicap Pace went, in a mild upset, to Drachan Hanover, driven by John MacDonald. This five year-old son of Jereme's jet, used his rail post to perfection by carding front end panels of :26.1; :54.4 and 1:22.3 before a :27.4 finale held off the late furious rally by Rocky's Z Tam, handled by Ricky Macomber, Jr., by a neck in 1:50.2. First Of Itskind, with Tom Jackson in the bike, closed fastest of all--:27.2--to finish third, two lengths away, while Mystic Desire finished fourth. The 3 to 5 tote-board favorite, Panocchio, made a mild bid on the backstretch but could only manage to pick up the minor award in the septet of classy pacers. After the race, Mac Donald related, "he (Drachan Hanover) raced well last week after missing one and I thought he'd be tighter tonight so I sent him and let him do his thing. He's won before on the front end, so this mile didn't surprise me. He beat a very classy field. Trained by Marcel Barrieau for Lloyd Maclean and Kenneth Rankin, Drachan Hanover won for the initial time this semester and 13th win lifetime in 56 starts, vaulting his earnings to $353,457. As the third choice at 4 to 1, Drachan Hanover paid $10.80 to win. The $10,000 Open 2 Pace went to the 4 to 5 favorite Uncmprmising Z Tam, driven by Mike Simons, in a lifetime best performance of 1:50.2--his previous winning 1:50.2 mile being over the larger 7/8ths oval at Hoosier Park. The four year-old son of Shadyshark Hanover made a quarter move (:27.1) to the top and went on to post subsequent fractions of :54.4 and 1;22.1 before sprinting home untouched by two lengths over Fritzie Pic Up Man, handled by Kevin Wallis. King Of The Crop, with Dave Ingraham in the bike, rallied from last to finish third, 3 ¼ lengths back, while Pointsman and Heart Felt picked up the final two awards in this septet. Trained by Jamie Macomber for the Z Tam Stables, Uncmprmising Z Tam now sports a 3-2-0 scorecard in six starts this year, good for $18,975. The win--the 10th in only 36 career starts--vaulted him over the $250,000 mark in bounty--$251,163 to be precise. He paid $3.80 to win to his multitude of backers. Racing continues on Monday night with post time set for 7:20 p.m. by John Berry, for Isle Pompano Park
Bettor Rock On N (Bettor's Delight) came from well off the pace to secure the victory in the first feature of the 2017 harness racing season at Saratoga Casino Hotel on the year's opening day card. The Heidi Rohr trainee was sitting last, nearly a dozen lengths off of the lead at the half mile pole in Sunday's $12,000 Open Pace, but the patience of driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. paid off as the front end started to give way and Bettor Rock On N started to pick off horses one by one in the final quarter. A late surge at the wire secured the victory for the eight year old pacer who was a recent addition to the Rohr stable. Bettor Rock On N stopped the timer in 1:53.3 as he nosed out the favored E Z Noah (Billy Dobson) in the final stride. Paying $7.50 to win, Bettor Rock On N prevailed for the second time in '17 after securing a victory at Yonkers earlier in the month. E Z Noah had to settle for second while Roethblissberger (Mark Beckwith) earned the show spot in his local debut. The exacta and triple returned $24.60 and $96.50, respectively. Live racing continues on Monday afternoon with another matinee that is scheduled to kick off at 12:15pm. Mike Sardella
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