Day At The Track
Rock Of Cashel, harness racing

Son of Majestic Son earnings now $581,063

CHESTER PA - Rock Of Cashel, only a neck behind the streaking NF Happenstance last week, benefited from the absence of that harness racing competitor, scratched due to sickness - and didn't mind the introduction of a couple of other hard-hitters - in winning the $22,500 winners-over handicap trot Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Starting inside newcomers Gural Hanover and Melady's Monet, Rock Of Cashel was sent out of the gate quickly by driver Corey Callahan, settling in the pocket behind Gural Hanover by the 27.1 quarter, with Melady's Monet not leaving and racing from next-to-last. The victorious son of Majestic Son was content to sit in the golden chair through middle splits of 56.1 and 1:24.3, then moved outside in the lane and had plenty to go to the lead, winning in 1:53.2. Jack Vernon rallied up the inside to pass Gural Hanover and take second. Rock Of Cashel raised his lifetime earnings to $581,063 with the victory. Mark Harder trains the consistent campaigner for Joseph Jannuzzelli and Jeffery Ruch. Harder had three wins on the card at Philly Thursday, giving him six in the young season to tie him on top of the trainers' standings with Ron Burke, and helping run his meet totals to a stunning 12-6-5-1-.753. The last time a Harder horse missed a check at any track was on April 9 at Yonkers - in the interim he has gone 17-9-6-1-1. FINISHING LINES - While we're looking at horsemen's statistics ... "The Four Millers" are not a barbershop quartet, but a hot foursome of drivers who are making beautiful victory music at Harrah's Philly. Today they won half of the card's 14 races (Andy, Brett, and Marcus had two each, David one), and they occupy four of the top seven spots in the win sulky statistics so far at Philly - 1. George Napolitano Jr. 13, 2. (tie) Andy Miller and Tim Tetrick 11, 4. (tie) Brett Miller and Marcus Miller 10, 6. (tie) Yannick Gingras and David Miller 8. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Miss Muscle, harness racing

John Mongeon Sr. Memorial Trotting Series

Thursday featured the second leg of the harness racing John Mongeon Sr. Memorial Trotting Series at Saratoga Casino Hotel. There were three divisions of the second leg of the series which will conclude next Thursday with a $32,700 Final. John Stark Jr's Miss Muscle (Muscle Mass) picked a good time to put in a career-best effort as she prevailed first over in her $10,000 division of the series' second leg. Miss Muscle trotted to victory in 1:59.4 for Stark who's Lasa Dida Lady (Deweycheatumnhowe) was a beaten favorite in the first division of the series on Thursday, coming up second-best to Got It Good (Triumphant Caviar) who set a lifetime mark winning in 2:00. Though Lasa Dida Lady didn't prevail, her second place finish may be enough to punch her ticket to next week's Final. The series' last division of the day went the way of Spoiler Alert (Chapter Seven) who was the most convincing winner of the afternoon and will undoubtedly head into the Final as the one to beat. Spoiler Alert, a leg one winner, set a lifetime mark on Thursday scoring by open daylight in 1:58, the fastest time for any of the series' winners. Brett Crawford piloted the Misty Carey-trained trotter to the convincing romp in the Mongeon Series second leg, a series that will conclude on May 3rd. Live racing continues on Friday evening at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. There is a pick five carryover of $3,182 on Friday night. The pick five is a 50 cent minimum wager. Mike Sardella

Triplet Hanover, harness racing

Triplet Hanover has 18th consecutive foal

If there were an award for consistency and reliability in the harness racing broodmare ranks it would undoubtedly go to the Hanover Shoe Farms owned matron Triplet Hanover. On Monday April 23, she foaled her 18th consecutive foal, a colt by Artspeak. She has had a foal every year from 2001 through 2018. Every one of her previous foals of age have made it to the sales ring as yearlings. This year she will be represented by a full brother to her newborn colt, Techtopia Hanover, who will be part of Hanover's consignment to Harrisburg in November. Triplet Hanover is scheduled to be bred to Betting Line in 2018. Thus far, her 16 foals who have entered the sales ring have sold for a gross of $1,153,000. No slouch in the production department, Triplet Hanover, now 22, has already produced the winners of $1,717,083 and her Stakes Winning daughter Trim Hanover, is the dam of the millionaires American Jewel p.2,1.50.2, 3,1.48.2 ($1,840,585) and Luck Be Withyou p.2,1.50f, 3,1.48f, 1.47.4f ($1,454, 166). Gunjan Patel Syndicate Administrator / Social Media Coordinator Hanover Shoe Farms, Inc.

Enghien,Harness racing

Start might be the winning and losing

It might seem strange two of Auckland's greatest staying races are so dependent on what happens at the start, three or even four minutes before the finish. But the start might be the winning and losing of the two biggest group ones at Alexandra Park tonight. Both the $150,000 Rowe Cup and $100,000 Messenger have enough depth to make them even but their natural lead-up races last Friday — the Anzac Cup and Taylor Mile — suggested trainer Greg Hope has the horse to beat in both. A G's White Socks led, trailed and bolted away with the Taylor Mile and has the draw to potentially do something similar in the Messenger, while Enghien has been so good in his last two starts, including the Anzac Cup when he was pushed off the track down the back straight, he is clearly the trotter to beat in the Rowe Cup.   But both face very obvious challenges in the early stages of their races. A G's White Socks might, and it is only a might, have the gate speed to hold Eamon Maguire and Star Galleria at the start of the 2700m mobile Messenger and if he does Hope will be reluctant to see driver Ricky May trail like he did last week. "I think if we hand the lead to Eamon Maguire then he will hand to his stablemate (More The Better) and we are three deep on the markers and in trouble," says Hope. "Ricky and I have discussed it and we are of the mind that if he leads we will want to stay there and take our chances." A G's White Socks's two recent group one wins, the other being the Easter Cup three starts ago, have been when he trailed and the possibility of him wanting to lead throughout if he can hold fast beginner Eamon Maguire at the start, sets the tone for a competitive race. While most major Alexandra Park staying races are won by the horses saving ground on the markers, any early battle could play into the hooves of Star Galleria, who emerges as the value in the race. But Eamon Maguire, still a very new recruit to the All Stars, was the run of the race when second in the Taylor Mile and if he crosses straight to the front he has all the options. The start of the Rowe Cup may not be as much about options as manners, with Enghien still very much a work in progress and one who has had very few standing starts on a full front line in his career. That could mean some early nerves for both he and punters tonight but Hope is confident he will handle the stand. "He is actually a very sensible horse and can begin quickly," says Hope. "When he did gallop from a stand three start ago it wasn't his fault, he got a shock when horses rushed up behind him because he had blinkers on. "But I am confident he will get it right and I am sure he is better than when he ran second in the Anzac Cup last Friday." That, coupled with the mixed form of many of his rivals, makes Enghien the horse to beat but you can make each way cases for Speeding Spur (draw and career record), Lemond (blazing Anzac Cup win) and Harriet Of Mot (occasional bursts of brilliance). The two other group ones tonight are vastly different. It is silly to bet against Winterfell in the Trotting Derby while the Sires' Stakes Championship has been thrown wide open by the unfortunate scratching of Princess Tiffany.   Michael Guerin

April 25, 2018 - Top trotting was Wednesday at Milano headed by the Gran Premio Nazionale (purse €154,000, 2250 meters autostart, 14 three year old colts). Victory in a close brush at the line was post 12 Zaccaria Bar (3m Ready Cash-Finlanda-Lindy Lane) reined by Federico Esposito and timed in 1.13.6kr. This colt recorded his second victory in three 2018 starts and now has five wins in eight career appearances. Zilath (3m Maharajah-Only LB-Conway Hall) was a close second driven by Andrea Guzinatti. His third dam is Winky’s Goal. Third was Ze Doca (3m Self Possessed-Pandora Degli Dei-Varenne with Roberto Vecchione up. Second dam of this one is Donnina that is the maternal family of Lisa America The Gran Premio Nazionale Filly (purse €88,000, 1650 meters autostart, 12 three year old filly starters) went to 1.13.6kr timed and first time 2018 starter Ziva EK (3f Varenne-Gianna di Jesolo-Diamond Way) with Roberto Vecchione up. This filly, that started from post 11, now has three career wins in seven outings. Ziman (3f Nad Al Shaba-Iman Bi-Ganymede) was second for Fr. Facci, ahead of Zelda Zack (3f Libeccio Grif-Lagacy Grif) Earlier in the program was the Pr. Giula Grif (purse €7,700, 1650 meters autostart) and the winner Zabriskie OK (3f Conway Hall-Georgia Pines-Pine Chip) scored, reaching the line in an impressive1.12.8kr. Alessandro Gocciadoro teamed the winner, now two for two in 2018, and four wins in six career starts). Second dam of this filly is Dasooner Dabettor and third dam is Armbro Brilliance. Two quick life speed records occurred on the card. Victor Ferm (4m Nad Al Sheba-Gavina di Casei-Uronometro) scored for Andrea Guzzinati clocked in 1.11.5kr, his eighth career win in 28 starts. Tano Fohle SM (6m Ganymede-Fohle BSM-Sugarcane Hanover) took a 1.11.1kr victory driven by Enrico Bellei, the winner’s 20th victory in 35 career starts. Gran Premio Nazionale-Mem. G. Ferraris 2018 - Milan / Zaccaria Bar Thomas H. Hicks

WASHINGTON, PA, April 26, 2018 -- He's won only a single small stake, and he's battled back from a heart ailment that forced him into temporary retirement. Yet Saturday at The Meadows, Doctor RJ will have a chance to grind into a bit of harness racing glory. With an in-the-money finish, he'll vault over $300,000 in career earnings, a remarkable achievement for a hard knocker robbed early of the chance to achieve his full potential. Doctor RJ goes from post 3 in race 3 with Dan Charlino driving. Saturday's card features a pair of rich pool guarantees -- $7,500 for the Pick 4 (races 4-7), $5,000 for the Pick 5 (races 8-12). First post is 1:05 PM. Paul Kennedy trained Doctor RJ's dam, Informant, for Michigan horseman Markus Ernst, who bred the winner of more than $770,000 to Real Artist. When that match produced a chestnut colt, he was named Doctor RJ for Ernst's son and given to Kennedy to condition. "Informant is in the Michigan Harness Racing Hall of Fame," Kennedy says. "He's one of only two foals from her, and I thought he would be a nice colt. He tore a suspensory and never raced at 2." Kennedy, meanwhile, relocated to The Meadows in 2010 and brought the injured colt with him. Finally race ready at 3, Doctor RJ competed in his richest event, the $32,400 final of an early-closing series at The Meadows, dead-heating for fourth. Since then, he's dropped as low as the $5,000 claiming ranks and risen as high as the Preferred Handicap, depending on what his health and form would allow. Along the way, he developed a relentless rallying style that has worn down many an opponent. "He's a pretty good old war horse," Kennedy says. "He gives you what he's got, though his legs don't go as fast as they used to. The biggest problem we have with him is keeping his weight down. He does like to eat." But disaster struck again last year in the form of recurring irregular heartbeats that appeared impervious to treatment. Kennedy and the horse's owners, Keith Pippi and Kennedy's wife Robyn, decided to make him a riding horse, a less stressful occupation than racing. The old boy proved his mettle once more, winning three blue ribbons for The Meadows-based trainer Joelene Christman at the Washington (PA) Fairgrounds. Knowing how much the good Doctor likes to race -- and how much he likes to watch his gelding race -- Kennedy took one final shot, sending him to Ohio State University. There, doctors were able to regularize the rhythm of his heart. Doctor RJ is the last of the horses Kennedy brought with him from Michigan and has become something of a pet for the Kennedys and their daughters, Camryn, 7, and Olivia, 5, who, like their mom, are redheads. "I hate to race him in claimers, but there's not much I can do about that," Paul Kennedy says. "We'll race him as long as his heart holds out, then it's back to riding. My daughters like him. With his red hair, he fits in the family." Also on Saturday, Mychoice members can compete in a Thoroughbred handicapping contest, with Belmont Park the featured track. More information is available at the retail counter in the track's Racebook. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

April 25, 2018 - Today’s featured 4th leg of the GNT Paris-Turf (Gr. III, purse €90,000, 2625 meters distance handicap, 16 starters) was at Agen La Garenne and the result was a dead-heat victory shared by 29/1 Aribo Mix (8g Reve des Vallees-Hardness) handicapped 25 meters and reined by trainer Dominik Cordeau. Ecurie Saint Hilaire owns the now 10 time winner for €294,780 earned. The 3/5 favorite and 50 meter handicapped Aubrion du Gers (8g Memphis du Rib-J’arrive du Gers) rallied on the pegs for owner/trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire, the 31st career win for the now winner of €1,488,372. 47/1 Utile Lebel (10g Biesolo) was third for trainer/driver Christophe Feyte after racing at the front, ahead of 24/1 Baronne de Bapre (7f Prodigious) for Frederic Closier and 5.4/1 Cavalleria (6f Prodigious) teamed by trainer Nicolas Ensch, this one penalized 25 meters. Race time of Aribo Mix was 1.13.0kr with Aubrion du Gers clocked in 1.12.3kr. The field raced three wide in a close pack during the last lap before some separation took place in the lane. Thomas H. Hicks

Guelph, ON April, 25, 2018 - EquiMania! would like to extend a sincere thank you to the organizers, supporters, sponsors, volunteers and the attendees at the Can-Am Equine Expo in Markham, ON. It was the 13th consecutive year of participation for EquiMania! at yet another brilliant show! Can-Am is always a must-attend for horse lovers from all disciplines. The April 6 – 8 event offered a multitude of learning opportunities, as well as entertainment and shopping for a well-rounded sensational outing. The staff and volunteers manning the education booth and Equimania! fun zone are always impressed by the dedicated equestrians coming out to Can-Am to further their equine knowledge.   To build on Can-Am’s atmosphere of education, attendees of the Equine Guelph and EquiMania! displays were encouraged to fill out ballots for a chance to win a free short online course from The Horse Portal.   Congratulations to Victoria Ayres, of Queensville, Ontario, who won her choice of one of the following 3-week courses offered to ages 16 and up: Horse Care & Welfare (September 17 – October 5, 2018), Sickness Prevention (October 15 – 26, 2018), Gut Health and Colic Prevention (November 12 – 30, 2018) or Horse Behaviour & Safety (January 21 – February 8, 2019). Congratulations also go out to Teya from Ontario, who won free enrolment into Horse Behaviour & Safety for Youth (July 23 – August 10, 2018). Check out The Horse Portalfor more information on these courses and upcoming 12 week courses.    “My heartfelt thanks go out to Ross Millar and the Can-Am team, especially auction organizer Janice Blakeney, for their dedication to putting together the annual Art Auction featured at the Can-Am Saturday Evening Extravaganza,” says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph. The auction was a resounding success with $4275.00 raised in under 15 minutes, with all the proceeds going to Equine Guelph. Many thanks to the four talented ladies who donated their beautiful pieces of art include: Nola McConnan, Ann Clifford, Kelly Plitz and Shawn Hamilton.    Equine Guelph would also like to acknowledge Heartland star, Amber Marshall for her role in the art auction. Amber provided a gift basket (signed magazines, necklace she wears on Heartland show, horse treats). When a call came out from the crowd to include a selfie, she quickly agreed to add that to the gift pack. The bidding quickly reached $800, and there were still 3 bidders at this level, so Amber suggested she would provide 3 gift packs and selfies if everyone would donate $800.  She tripled the donation with this action! Thank you Amber!   The strength of great partnerships has made EquiMania! a popular exhibit in Ontario and beyond. Equine Guelph thanks the sponsors and volunteers who make it possible to bring EquiMania! to approximately 2 million visitors every year! Thank you ESSO, Greenhawk, Kubota Canada, Ontario Equestrian, Shur-Gain, SSG Gloves, Standardbred Canada, System Fencing and Workplace Safety and Prevention Services.    To book EquiMania! for your next event contact Eq4kids@uoguelph.ca    Kids, visit EquiMania! online to play games online & stay tuned to upcoming events for more EquiMania! outings.   Equine Guelph

The numbers make sense! That's our boy 'American Ideal'. A dominant dual hemisphere harness racing sire, the son of Western Ideal is a gun sire on both sides of the equator. With career progeny earnings nearing $90,000 million, American Ideal is easily one of the 'big boys' in the stallion shed. He leaves precocious juvenile speed, blue riband 3yo performers and grand circuit performers - the complete package! American Ideal is currently the leading dollar average sire in Australia for the 2017/18 season, he sits 3rd on the New Zealand Sires list and has been the best stallion in New York the past two seasons and was a dominant performer in the USA 2&3yo ranks in the 2017 season. He is the sire of ten millionaires - three of those in Australia - Bling It On, My Hard Copy and Soho Tribeca. Woodlands Stud is proud to offer 22 weanlings by 'American Ideal' on Friday June 1st at Karaka at the annual PGG Wrightson weanling sale. We have catalogued 12 colts and 10 fillies from some of New Zealand's leading families. Some very good judges have pin hooked weanlings from our draft in recent years and have gone on to good pay days at the yearling sales and on the race track. With Woodlands Stud bred and raised weanlings you have a very big head start. Our progeny are well reared and handled by a very good team led by stud master Tony Grayling. Information regarding the sale is available on our website. Go to www.woodlandsstud.co.nz for all the details. You can also contact our New Zealand agent Stacey Markham on 021595492 or contact our Australian agent Mark Hughes on 0451650707.  

Liam O’Connor and Jim Currie, long-standing friends and clients of ace harness racing trainer-reinsman Colin Brown, have no regrets about outlaying $37,500 to purchase Its Rock And Roll at the APG Perth yearling sales early last year. The gelding has already earned $76,825 from two wins and two seconds from four starts and he has excellent prospects of adding another $30,225 to his tally by winning the $50,000 Westral Champagne Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Brown is bubbling with confidence and is planning to take full advantage of the coveted No. 1 barrier by attempting an all-the-way victory in the Group 2 feature event over 2130m. None of the ten runners has raced beyond 1730m, but Its Rock And Roll should have little difficulty in competing strongly over the longer journey, with Brown declaring that the gelding is feeling better than he was when he won the Group 1 Sales Classic Final on March 2. “His ring craft has improved dramatically since then and he’s got a lot of natural speed and a bit of toughness as well,” Brown said. Its Rock And Roll made an impressive debut when he was a 30/1 outsider from the No. 1 barrier and led and won from Highly Flammable and Shockwave at Gloucester Park in the first week of February. He then finished a head second to Babyface Adda before he started at 12/1 and began speedily from barrier seven in the Sales Classic in which he raced wide early and then in the one-out, one-back position before finishing strongly to get up and beat the pacemaker Shockwave by a head, rating 1.56.6, a race record. Brown then gave Its Rock And Roll two and a half weeks off before preparing him for this week’s classic. Its Rock And Roll resumed in a 1684m event at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when he started from the back line, settled in sixth position and quickly dashed forward into the breeze after 550m. He fought on doggedly to be a two-length second to quality New Zealand-bred two-year-old Bletchley Park, who rated 1.56.2, with a final quarter in a sizzling 26.8sec. Brown said that it was an exceptional performance by Its Rock And Roll, who took no harm from his tough run at his first appearance for just over seven weeks. Its Rock And Roll is bred to shine as a two-year-old. His dam, the Victorian-bred Miss Worthy Whitby won at three of her eight starts at Bathurst, Albion Park and Gloucester Park as a two-year-old in 2010. The Storm Inside, a half-brother to Miss Worthy Whitby, had six starts for six wins as a two-year-old early in 2016. His wins included the Group 2 Fitzpatrick Memorial at Menangle and the Group 1 APG Classic for colts and geldings at Melton. Toughest for Its Rock And Roll to beat on Friday night could well be Valbonne, a New Zealand-bred colt by Mach Three. Valbonne, prepared by Mike Reed, will start from the No. 5 barrier on the front line and will be driven by Chris Lewis. Valbonne warmed up for the Champagne Classic in fine style at Pinjarra on Monday of last week when he raced in the breeze for the first 500m and then in the one-out, one-back position before finishing solidly to win from Sangue Reale and Babyface Adda. Lewis will be aiming to win the Champagne Classic for a record eighth time after victories with Pardon Me Boys (1987), Talladega (1999), Wirrapunda (2001), All Four Firing (2002), Slick Operator (2003), David Hercules (2009) and Mister Jadore (2013). Ross Olivieri, who prepared Talladega for his win in the classic, is hopeful that Rich And Spoilt colt Babyface Adda will overcome the outside barrier (No. 9). Babyface Adda has won at Gloucester Park and Pinjarra and leading reinsman Shannon Suvaljko said he was confident he would fight out the finish. “I have no doubt that he will compete strongly over the 2130m,” he said. Collie owner-trainer David Hunter has high hopes that his smart filly Itz All About Magic will prove hard to beat and remain unbeaten after four starts, following successes at Pinjarra (two) and Gloucester Park. Stuart McDonald will drive Itz All About Magic, the only runner off the back line who should gain a perfect run behind the likely pacemaker Its Rock And Roll. Ken Casellas

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment kicks off the Championship Meet on Friday, May 4th, and runs through Hambletonian Day, Saturday, August 4th. Live harness racing takes place every Friday and Saturday night with a 7:15pm post time. The Championship Meet features over $8.5 million in stakes races and event-filled weekends. Every live race night fans can enter Horseplay. Pick up a free horse at the promotions table and throw the horse into the car for a chance to win $100 and an entry into the Friday, August 3rd drawing for a brand new 2018 car. For every horse that makes it into the Horseplay car, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment donates $10 to the designated monthly charity. The May donation recipient is K9 Soldiers, Inc/The Argos Project, the June donation recipient is Bergen County Horse Rescue, and the July/August donation recipient is Homefront. On Saturday, May 5th, join Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment - for an exciting day and night of simulcast & live racing action, including the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs. Fans can enter the $1,000 Derby Hat contest and the $100 win wager promotion and enjoy the $49.95 Victory Sports Bar Buffet. For reservations call 201-THE-BIG-M (201-843-2446). On Saturday May 19th, the beer will flow for the 3rd Annual Spring Beer Fest. Doors open for VIP ($75) at 4:30 pm with General Admission ($35) at 5:30 pm and beer is poured until 9:30pm. Fest-goers will experience an evening of the best craft beer, cider, live-harness racing, music and food the Garden State has to offer with over 30 breweries and cideries participating. Tickets can be purchased at https://bit.ly/2pKYx3k. The 3rd annual Battle for the Best Burger is slated for Saturday, June 9th. The contest offers a $1,500 grand prize with $1,000 for 2nd place and $500 for third. This free event runs from 12 noon - 10 pm and fans are encouraged to come out and taste some of the best local burgers. Camels and ostriches will thunder down the stretch at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment for the 7th Annual Camel & Ostrich Derby on Saturday, June 16th. On Saturday June 23rd, the vino will flow at Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment for the Summer Wine Festival. Doors open for VIP Admission ($75) at 4:30 pm with General Admission ($35) at 5:30 pm and wine is poured until 9:30pm. Fest-goers will experience an evening of great wines from around the world, live-harness racing, music and food. Tickets are available at https://bit.ly/2pNlwMc. Saturday, July 7th is Fan Appreciation Night and the 1st Annual Wiener Dog Derby. Fans can enjoy $1 hot dogs, popcorn, soda and draft beer while watching dachshunds dash down the track's stretch in our Wiener Dog Derby. Plus following the races fans are encouraged to stay of the free fireworks show. Racing features a special post time of 6:35pm. Then on Saturday, July 14th the 3rd annual BBQ Battle returns to the track on Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace Night. $2,000 is up for grabs in the Battle with $500 top prizes for the best brisket, chicken, pulled pork and ribs. Plus on the track, the top 3 year old pacers compete for the $600,000 Meadowlands Pace title. Racing features a special post time of 6:35pm. The always popular Seafood Festival is scheduled for its fifth year on Saturday, July 28th. The Pink buffet, overlooking the live racing action, will feature a special seafood-themed spread including lobster, mussels and clams. There will also be a raw bar in the Backyard and a variety of food trucks serving up some of the best seafood in the Garden State. The race meet wraps up on Saturday, August 4th with the greatest day in harness racing - $1 million Hambletonian Day. Over $3.5 million is on the line as the top trotters and pacers compete to be crown champions. Doors open at 10 am with first race at 12 noon. Admission is $5 and includes a commemorative Hambo baseball cap for adults and a horse keychain for children. In addition to the great harness racing, fans can enjoy carnival rides and games, pony rides, face painters, live music and much more. For a complete list of nightly events, promotions and updated racing calendar please visit PlayMeadowlands.com. Dining reservations for the Pink buffet or Victory Sports bar can be made by calling 201-The-BigM (201-843-2446) or by visiting Playmeadowlands.com/dining. Looking to book a corporate event or private party? Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment has unlimited event possibilities - from a rooftop terrace with skyline views, to Victory Sports Bar to private Skybox Suites. Book a Party today by emailing catering@playmeadowlands.com. Rachel Ryan

MONTREAL — The abandoned Hippodrome de Montreal grandstand looks over a weed-choked field, a mountain of dirty snow covering the track where horses once thundered past on their way to the finish line. In the almost 10 years since the harness racing track closed, the structure has been quietly decaying as a series of municipal and provincial administrations have struggled to put a plan in place for the immense track of land northwest of Montreal's downtown. Now, that era will likely come to an end in the coming days and weeks as the city moves forward with plans to demolish the clubhouse and decontaminate the 434,000 square-metre terrain. Before that, Montreal police and a team of social workers are expected to make a final scan to ensure no squatters remain. The demolition comes none too soon, according to Coun. Marvin Rotrand. Rotrand, who has represented the district since 1982, believes successive municipal administrations have wasted time in redeveloping the massive vacant terrain into family-friendly housing. "It's a prime and choice site, and it's really nonsense that it's been allowed to remain vacant decade after decade," Rotrand said. The track, known for most of its history as Blue Bonnets, opened in 1907 and closed in 2009. Various proposals have suggested placing anywhere between 3,000 and 8,000 condo units on the site, which is one of the largest parcels of undeveloped land that is relatively close to downtown and accessible by public transit. Community activists are also lobbying for up to 2,500 social housing units on the site. The demolition will be a sad moment for Sylvain Filion, a a four-time Canadian driver of the year who spent the first decades of his career at Blue Bonnets. Filion says his earliest memories include playing in the packed grandstands as a six-year-old as the standardbred horses flew by. "There used to be a huge crowd there for Sunday afternoon racing," said Filion, who moved to the Toronto area after the track closed down. "You don't see crowds like that at the races any more. The ambience was just incredible." Filion, 49, remembers the camaraderie in the barn, the friendly competition and the excitement leading up to big events, such as the Prix d'Ete held every August. "I never thought they'd demolish that place," he said. "At one point it was one of the biggest tracks in North America." At one time, the busy track employed thousands of drivers, trainers, grooms and race officials. But by the 1990s, the industry was in decline. The city purchased the land in 1991 and sold it to the province seven years later. Since the closure, various municipal and provincial governments have negotiated for a plan to redevelop the site, which served as a temporary concert venue for Irish rock band U2 in 2011 and as a temporary snow dump this past winter. Last year, the province agreed to cede the land to the city in exchange for a share in the profits once the lot is parcelled out to developers for condo development. Despite the upcoming demolition, Rotrand says any future housing remains years away. "We're now at the stage where we're actually going to demolish, but doesn't mean anything will happen imminently," he said. By Morgan Lowrie / The Canadian Press Reprinted with permission of The Canadian Press  

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce Hector Clouthier Sr. and Frank McMahon as the 2018 CHRHF Legend Honourees.  Originally launched as a millennium project in 2000, the Legends section of the   Hall of Fame is dedicated to honouring the people and horses who significantly contributed to  Canada’s horse racing story over fifty years in the past. The ceremony takes place on May 16. Hector Clouthier Sr. - Standardbred Legend Born in Petawawa February 1, 1916, Hector Clouthier, Sr., began working full-time for his father’s logging company in the Ottawa Valley at age 12 and by 14 was running his own operation.  Known as the “Lumber King of the Ottawa Valley,” his involvement in the family lumber business continued until his death 75 years later, in 2003.  He entered the Standardbred racing industry in 1952. Some of his most noted race horses included Barney Diplomat, purchased in 1953 for the then staggering amount of $10,000, and trained by Hall of Famer Keith Waples, as well as JJ’s Metro who won purses totalling $350,000.   Clouthier established Northwood Stables and the nearby Northwood Hotel in the Pembroke, Ontario area. He began a breeding operation   soon after with the first Northwood-bred foal registered in 1959.  The farm expanded to include 40 broodmares and stood three stallions -- Mr. Dean, Mighty Billie and Macduff.  The Northwood name frequently appeared in races programsin Ontario, Quebec, New York and New Jersey, often with Keith Waples as driver of choice for stake races. Hector eventually became involved in racing industry associations, sitting on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Trotting Association, the Canadian Standardbred Horse Society, and the Ontario Harness Horse Association. It was said that he was one of the founding fathers of organized horsemen in Ontario, helping to negotiate contracts that enabled horsemen to make a career in the racing business.  His support and promotion of the industry assisted in the development of Standardbred breeding and racing.  Clouthier was recruited by the Quebec based United Harness Horsemen’s Association, became the organization’s President, and was soon thrust into contract negotiations with the powerful Jean Louis Levesque, owner of Montreal’s Blue Bonnets Raceway, to resolve a horsemen’s strike over purses. An advocate of stake races for young horses in Ontario, Clouthier was instrumental in starting discussions for what would become the Ontario Sires Stakes program.   We remember Hector Clouthier Sr. as a pioneer and a winner on the track and in life. Frank McMahon - Thoroughbred Legend Time Magazine called Frank McMahon the "man who did the most to open up Northwest Canada's wilderness, and convince oilmen of its treasures." He was also a major contributor to Thoroughbred horse racing in Canada and his was the first major stable in Western Canada. Born in the village of Moyie in the East Kootenays of British Columbia, he was the son of a hard-rock miner.  A founding member of the Jockey Club of Canada, McMahon had early racing success as a partner in Alberta Ranches when their Royal Serenade won the 1953 running of the Hollywood Gold Cup. Other stakes victories, under McMahon's stable colours, followed across Western Canada, including the 1966 British Columbia Derby at Exhibition Park in Vancouver, and the 1970 Canadian Derby at Edmonton's Northlands Park. McMahon, in partnership with Calgary newspaper publisher and CHRHF member Max Bell, won Canada's most important race for home-breds, The Queen's Plate, with Merger in 1968. Bell and McMahon had teamed up earlier, along with singer Bing Crosby who he met while attending Washington State’s Gonzaga University, in ownership of Meadow Court, winner of the Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. In 1969, with Hall of Famer John Longden training, McMahon's gorgeous chestnut colt, Majestic Prince, won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.  An injury compromised the colt's chance at a Triple Crown.  Majestic Prince was later inducted into the US National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1988. In 1970, a son of Majestic Prince, later named Crowned Prince, was purchased at auction in Kentucky for one-half million dollars.  The successful bidder was McMahon, who also co-bred the colt with Leslie Combs II.  Crowned Prince was sent to England to race and was the Champion Two-Year-Old Colt in England in 1971 after winning the Dewhurst and Champagne Stakes.  Mr. McMahon passed away May 20, 1986 in Hamilton, Bermuda.  The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame will celebrate these deserving legends at the CHRHF President’s Reception scheduled to take place Wednesday, May 16th at 4:30 pm in the Hall of Fame located inside Gate 10 at Woodbine Racetrack.  The horse racing community is invited to attend and are asked to confirm attendance by contacting admin@horseracinghalloffame.com.  Also on the agenda will be the introduction of 2018 Inductees:  Builders – William (Bill) Andrew and John G. Sikura; Communicators – Dave Landry and Dan Loiselle; Driver/Trainer – Jim Doherty; Trainer – Reade Baker; Standardbreds – Blissfull Hall and Chancey Lady; Thoroughbreds – Judy the Beauty and Shaman Ghost The permanent display panels will be unveiled for 2017 inductees:  Builders – Dr. Gordon Gilbertson and Eugene Melnyk; Communicator – Curtis Stock; Driver/Trainer – Blair Burgess; Standardbreds – Elegantimage, Happy Lady and Mach Three; Thoroughbreds – Quiet Resolve and South Ocean; Trainer – Harold J. Barroby. Additional details are available at:  www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com For more information, please contact:  Linda Rainey, Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Linda.rainey@horseracinghalloffame.com  or 416-417-9404 Linda Rainey Managing Director Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

Harness Racing This Week: Dexter Cup elimination, Freehold Raceway, Freehold, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Freehold this week features a $44,600 Dexter Cup elimination for 3-year-old open trotters. A total of 11 horses dropped into the box for the Dexter, with Don, Maxus and Perlucky earning byes into next week's final. The remaining eight horses will contest the single elimination, with the top five advancing to the final. Complete entries for the race can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Keystone Velocity won his second consecutive George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series championship, moving to the lead as the field reached the quarter-mile point and retaining the top spot every step of the way from there to defeat Bit Of A Legend N by one length in 1:52 at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (April 21). Somewhere In L A finished third and Mach It So was fourth in the $532,000 event for older male pacers. Western Fame, who started from post one, led the field around the first turn, followed by Dr J Hanover and Keystone Velocity. Dan Dube then put Keystone Velocity in gear and brushed to the front and recorded fractions of :26.4, :56.2, and 1:23.4 on his way to the win. Keystone Velocity, a 10-year-old stallion, joins Foiled Again as the only back-to-back winners of the Levy. Foiled Again accomplished the feat in 2009 and 2010. "He's a very nice horse," Dube said. "For sure he's better with cover, from behind, but you can do whatever you want with him. When I went to the front and got a breather, it was good." Keystone Velocity, last year's Dan Patch Award winner for best older male pacer, has won two of six races this year and earned $320,000. For his career, the son of Western Hanover out of Venus Killean has won 29 of 116 starts and earned $1.64 million. Rene Allard trains Keystone Velocity for owners Allard Racing, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr., and VIP Internet Stable.. An equipment change helped keep Shartin N going straight and propelled her straight to victory in Saturday's $373,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series championship for older female pacers at Yonkers Raceway. The mare posted a 4-1/2 length victory over Sell A Bit N in 1:52.2. Motu Moonbeam N was third. Shartin N was fourth in the early portion of the race, trailing leader Sell A Bit N, Medusa and Lakeisha Hall. Driver Tim Tetrick moved Shartin N to the front just past the halfway point and never looked back. The fractions for the mile were :27.2, :57, and 1:24. Trainer Jim King Jr. made several changes to Shartin N prior to Saturday's race, the most significant, he said, being the addition of a Murphy blind. "It took right up to tonight to get it done," King said. "We worked on her a lot at home and made some changes. We came up here and warmed her up a couple trips and made some more changes. We put our heads together and came up with a plan and here we are. We did so many different things. The biggest thing was adding the Murphy blind to her to get her to go straight and stop her from being so fussy. I warmed her up a hard trip before we raced to take some of the sting out of her." Added Tetrick, "With the Murphy blind it straightened her up and (King) did a great job. He had her on 'go' tonight." Shartin N is a 5-year-old daughter of Tintin In America out of Bagdarin. She is owned by Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King. The mare has won eight of 10 races this year and earned $292,875. Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2018, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2018 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 129; 2. Jordan Stratton - 119; 3t. Jason Bartlett - 84; 3t. Yannick Gingras - 84; 5. Daniel Dube - 65. Trainers: 1. Peter Tritton - 102; 2. Ron Burke - 76; 3. Richard Banca - 75; 4. Jim King Jr. - 69; 5. Rene Allard - 65. Owners: 1. Vonknoblauch Stable - 87; 2. Richard Poillucci - 34; 3. Jo Ann Looney-King - 30; 4t. Brittany Farms - 25; 4t. Diamond Creek Racing - 25; 4t. Friendship Stables - 25. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Freehold Raceway, Meadowlands Racetrack, and Miami Valley Raceway. Freehold has the Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old filly trotters and the Dexter Cup for 3-year-old open trotters on Saturday (May 5); Meadowlands Racetrack will host the Cutler Memorial for older trotters and the first leg of the Graduate for 4-year-old pacers on Saturday (May 5); and Miami Valley Raceway features the Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares and older pacing mares on Monday (May 7). Paul Ramlow

April 24, 2018 - The Prix Masina (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2100 meters autostart, 14 three year old females) began the top harness racing action this evening and it went to 26/1 Fiorella de Ted (3f Up and Quick-Ravissante Jo) timed in 1.14.2kr for driver Franck Nivard. Franck Leblanc trains this one for owner Emmanuel Baziller, and Ted now has three wins in 13 starts for €147,380 earned. 11/1 Fantastic Life (3f Prodigious-True Life) took second driven by breeder Jean Philippe Dubois for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. 78/1 Fipsie de Guez (3f Tango Quick-Utsie de Guez) has third for trainer/driver Junior Guelpa. 3/5 favorite Fly With Us was a dq. The co-feature Tuesday evening at Vincennes was the Prix Paule Karle (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2100 meters autostart, 11 three year old colts) and 2/1 Follow You (3m Ready Cash-Mara Bourbon) scored in 1.15kr for driver Franck Niavrd. This Sebastien Guarato trainee is owned by Scuderia Bivans Srl, was bred by Ecurie Dream With Me, and now has five wins in eight career starts for €146,950. 1.9/1 Fajor du Lorault (3m Vaillant Cash-Native du Lorault) was a close second for Francois Lecanu and trainerFrederic Heon. with 6.4/1 Fantissime (3m Ready Cash-Invre de Victoire) took third with Yoann Lebourgeois up for breeder/trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Frederic Sauque. The Gr. I International Olympiatravet takes place at Aby on Saturday with a nice field at the start. Thomas H. Hicks

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Plainville, MA---After three solid outings at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Manssive shipped to the Commonwealth for the first time in his life and left an impression at the Ridge with a harness racing lifetime mark and on a select group of happy bettors who backed the 60-1 shot as he took the $12,000 conditioned trotting feature at Plainridge Park on Thursday afternoon (April 26). Manssive (Ron Cushing) took command by the :28.1 quarter before yielding the front to Muscles Jared (Truman Gale). From there a pocket trip would be the call for Cushing who took full advantage of being forwardly placed off the wings. Muscles Jared, who came off a strong winning effort last week, looked game once again as he went to the half in :57.4 before a challenge by Buff (Greg Merton), who hastened the fraction up the backside to :28.1 once again. When the pack hit the head of the stretch, Muscles Jared had a two-length advantage and looked pretty solid. But just like that, he'd had enough and started to give way to a wall of horses coming fast. Manssive was to his left on the pylons and Buff, Nathaniel (Drew Campbell) and Boohya TJ (Nick Graffam) were fanned outside to his right. Those four horses were now a half-length ahead Muscles Jared and a mere neck apart from each other as they hit the wire with Manssive getting there first by a head in 1:56. It was the second win of the year for Manssive ($129) who is owned by Kevin Sywyk and his driver, Ron Cushing. Heidi Gibbs does the training. The largest win mutual of the meet also triggered stout exotics. The 4-1 exacta returned $280.40 and the 4-1-5 trifecta paid $1,529.40 in the short six-horse field. It also prompted a 4-1 late double that paid $815.80. All payoffs were for two-dollar wagers. In the co-featured $12,000 conditioned trot, Candy Lane (Drew Campbell) scored her first victory of the year as she trotted wire to wire in a five-length, 1:56.2 romp. Candy Lane ($6.20) is owned by Linwood Higgins and trained by James Dunn. Shawn Gray scored three driving wins on Thursday's card while Mike Hitchcock bagged a training double. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Monday (April 30) with post time at 4 p.m. Please note that the racing schedule also changes at Plainridge next week as racing goes to four days a week with the addition of Friday starting on May 4. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts      
MONTICELLO,NY - Less than a week after the North American Amateur Drivers Association completed their Friendship Challenge against the visiting Hungarians it was back to two trots in the seventh leg of the NAADA spring trotting series at Monticello Raceway. And when the judges declared the races official, Paul Minore and Alan Schwartz each reined a winner in their respective splits on the nine race harness racing betting card. Minore won the sixth race with Stayin Strong in 2:01.2 while Schwartz copped the ninth and final race of the afternoon with with Ladys Big Stormont in the identical time of 2:01.2. In his division Minore notched is 100th career victory with a come-from-behind triumph to score a head victory over a stubborn Fox Valley Steffen, driven by Jennifer Lappe. Tony Verruso garnered the show dough with Flirting Duezy, who was another half length back in third. "After starting from the seven-hole and sitting in sixth position some 10 lengths off the lead, I knew with the quick early fractions of :28.2 and :58.1 that they (the leaders) would be coming back to me late in the mile," Minore said after the race. "And that's just what happened. "When we headed for the three quarters I moved my trotter to the outside and we began picking up horses. Although I was still fifth on the final turn the front-end horses began to tire and I was able to get the lead just before the wire." It was the first time Minore drove Stayin Strong, who was win-less in 12 previous starts. The 5-year-old Muscles Yankee gelding is owned by Adam Friedland and trained by Craig Mosher. He paid $15.80; $6.10 and $4.20 across the board. In the second split -race nine- Minore was up behind Wygant Prince who was 2:00.3 winner in his last start but a third place finish was all the veteran gelding could muster in an action packed event dotted with breaking horses. When the starter said "go" Schwartz hustled his charge to the lead with Monica Banca and Brandos Muscle Man on the limb challenging. As the two approached the first stanza Schwartz grabbed leather and allowed Banca to take command and then immediately retook the lead. The two trotters raced one-two past the half after Eyore Hanover (David Glasser) Tim Lizzi (Bob Davis) and Here Comes Numbers (Jennifer Lappe) all went off-stride. As the leaders headed into the final turn Tony Verruso, who was saving all the ground while traveling along the pylons with Gifted Way, decided to move for the lead on the turn but unfortunately his charge went off-stride which undoubtedly cost them the race. Although the aforementioned happened behind Schwartz who was cutting the mile, he remained undeterred and kept urging his trotter all the way to the wire. At the finish, Ladys Big Stormont was one-length winner over Brandos Muscle Man. And as stated earlier Wygant Prince took home he show dough. "After the race I was told that I had a lucky break when Gifted Way went off-stride, and maybe I did. But when it was all over my horse got the biggest share of the purse," Schwartz related. :He's (my horse) not one to ever count out. After all, he won 12 races last season and now has three wins already this year." The betting crowd was certainly in Schwartz's corner as they sent Ladys Big Stormont off as the odds-on favorite in the race. He is owned and trained by his driver and paid just $3.30 for win. On Friday, May 3 the eighth leg of the NAADA series will again be contested at Yonkers Raceway by John Manzi for NAADA
CHESTER PA - Rock Of Cashel, only a neck behind the streaking NF Happenstance last week, benefited from the absence of that harness racing competitor, scratched due to sickness - and didn't mind the introduction of a couple of other hard-hitters - in winning the $22,500 winners-over handicap trot Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Starting inside newcomers Gural Hanover and Melady's Monet, Rock Of Cashel was sent out of the gate quickly by driver Corey Callahan, settling in the pocket behind Gural Hanover by the 27.1 quarter, with Melady's Monet not leaving and racing from next-to-last. The victorious son of Majestic Son was content to sit in the golden chair through middle splits of 56.1 and 1:24.3, then moved outside in the lane and had plenty to go to the lead, winning in 1:53.2. Jack Vernon rallied up the inside to pass Gural Hanover and take second. Rock Of Cashel raised his lifetime earnings to $581,063 with the victory. Mark Harder trains the consistent campaigner for Joseph Jannuzzelli and Jeffery Ruch. Harder had three wins on the card at Philly Thursday, giving him six in the young season to tie him on top of the trainers' standings with Ron Burke, and helping run his meet totals to a stunning 12-6-5-1-.753. The last time a Harder horse missed a check at any track was on April 9 at Yonkers - in the interim he has gone 17-9-6-1-1. FINISHING LINES - While we're looking at horsemen's statistics ... "The Four Millers" are not a barbershop quartet, but a hot foursome of drivers who are making beautiful victory music at Harrah's Philly. Today they won half of the card's 14 races (Andy, Brett, and Marcus had two each, David one), and they occupy four of the top seven spots in the win sulky statistics so far at Philly - 1. George Napolitano Jr. 13, 2. (tie) Andy Miller and Tim Tetrick 11, 4. (tie) Brett Miller and Marcus Miller 10, 6. (tie) Yannick Gingras and David Miller 8. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia
BRIDGEWATER, Me. (WAGM) - Harness racing in the State of Maine will ramp up next week. Scarborough Downs has been racing for a little over a month and next week horses will go to the gate at Bangor Raceway. Neal Grass and his family of Bridgewater are getting six horses ready to race (Neal Grass):" We love it and we can do it as a family. My wife, daughter, son and daughter's boyfriend are all involved. It is a lot of work but everybody works together and makes it so it is enjoyable." Grass says they have training and jogging the horses for a couple of months now Grass:" It has been more of a challenge this year because of the excessive amounts of snow. The snow holding on later and then turning into mud. We have managed to do ok. We have missed just four days of training since February. We are going to be ready." Grass and his family have been involved in racing for a few years now. They were always fans of racing and decided to take the next step Grass:" Let's try it we started out with one or two that weren't so good and the last three or four years we have picked up better horses. (Sharon Grass):" We would go and watch the races. We were always curious in the amount of work it was and when we got involved in it we found out is seven days a week." Sharon says there is nothing like seeing your horse win the race and get the picture taken Grass:" We have had winners back to back . It is so exciting you have one coming in from getting the picture taken in the winners circle and you have another one going out to race and then back into the winners circle so it is exciting." They have been trucking their horses to Bangor for training trips the last few weeks and will attempt to qualify the horses next week. Grass:" The last three years we have invested a lot into the business to grow the business. Instead of just doing it as a hobby we are trying to do it as a business." Sharon says that she has developed a real bond with the horses Grass:" For me personally it is the love for the horses first . I love taking care of them love coming out here they are my best friends."   By Rene Cloukey   Reprinted with permission of wagmtv.com
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