Day At The Track
Manchego, harness racing

Dunn sweeps Mare Trot Crown elims

MILTON, ONT, October 19, 2019 - Harness racing reinsman Dexter Dunn cleaned up in the Mare Trot eliminations on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park to add to his big night in the Breeders Crown eliminations. A total of 15 older trotting mares were split into a pair of $32,500 (CAD) eliminations to determine the Breeders Crown final field. Dexter Dunn found a seam late in the stretch and was able to knife through and catapult Darling Mearas S to victory in the first elimination. Darling Mearas S left alertly then yielded willingly into the first turn to Custom Cantab who cut the opening fraction in :27 3/5. David Miller put the breaks on in the short field and had Custom Cantab in control through a half in a pedestrian :57 clocking. The pace picked up as Dream Together moved to the outside on the turn followed by Hannelore Hanover and race favorite Plunge Blue Chip second and third over respectively. Custom Cantab had all of the rating required to get the job done but turning into the homestretch off the 1:26 1/5 mile the field was closing in. Dream Together was holding her ground first-over and Plunge Blue Chip had rallied wide for Ake Svanstedt and flanked Hannelore Hanover as those continued to grind up towards the leader. Yet it was Dunn who found room at the right time and Darling Mearas As, a daughter of Cantab Hall had the explosive speed necessary in the final sprint to get the job done in a 1:53 2/5 clocking. Plunge Blue Chip rallied brilliantly for second with Custom Cantab holding on for third. Hannelore Hanover and Dream Together also advance into next week's final. Supergirl Riley made a break well before the start and lost her chance at the final. Bettors were given a refund as the mare was declared a "non-starter." Darling Mearas As paid $17.40 winning for the third time in 12 starts this year for trainer Ake Svanstedt and owner-breeder Snogarps Gard of Sweden. "She got herself in good position," Dunn said. "We really got lucky half way down the stretch. Looks like we're in good shape for next week." To see the race replay, click here. Manchego got the respect one would expect from a 1-5 betting choice and had little difficulty in strolling down the road to capture the second Mares trot elimination for Dunn. It was the fourth straight victory for the 4-year-old by Muscle Hill. Only Manchego and Emoticon Hanover left in the field of eight and Manchego had control before the :27 opening quarter with Emoticon Hanover content to race in the pocket for Bob McClure. With no challengers Dunn cruised to the half in :56 4/5 and waited for challengers to come. Hey Livvy was flushed out on the final bend by Weslynn Dancer but couldn't make a dent in the leaders margin as Manchego controlled the pace through a three quarter clocking of 1:25 2/5. In the homestretch Dunn looked around to see where the competition was coming from but there was none to be found. Manchego did drift a bit off the pylons but at no point did the Nancy Johansson-trained mare need any assistance from her driver and she scored comfortably in 1:52 3/5 with a :27 1/5 final quarter. Emoticon Hanover held on for the place spot with Weslynn Dancer closing well to finish third. Ice Attraction became the third Ake Svanstedt-trained mare to qualify for the final and Highland Top Hill rounded out those advancing. Manchego won for the sixth time in 2019 and returned $2.40 as the prohibitive favorite. She's trained by Nancy Johansson for owner Black Horse Racing. "She's exceptional," said Johansson. "There's no other way to describe her." "She felt great again tonight," said Dunn referring to her consecutive world record performances at The Red Mile and Dayton. As far as the mare drifting out some. "You just let her do her thing. She was full of run at the line." To watch the race replay, click here. Post positions for the $325,000 Mare Trot final were drawn following the eliminations. Elimination winners drew for posts one through five. 1 Weslynn Dancer 2 Ice Attraction 3 Plunge Blue Chip 4 Manchego 5 Darling Mearas S 6 Hannelore Hanover 7 Highland Top Hill 8 Dream Together 9 Custom Cantab 10 Emoticon Hanover From Woodbine Communications/Hambletonian Society

Don't Let'em, harness racing

Canadian record set by Don't Let'em

MILTON, ONT, October 19, 2019 - Harness racing driver Yannick Gingras drove Dont Letem to a 1:51.3 win in the $32,500 (CAD) Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt Trot elimination on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A field of 10 competed with the top-eight finishers advancing to next Saturday's $600,000 final. Forbidden Trade and Greenshoe received byes to the final. The Nancy Johansson-trained Dont Letem fired early for the lead and made the rest of the field chase him through fractions of :28.1, :56.4, 1:24.2 and matched the track record for sophomore trotters with a 1:51.3 mile. Green Manalishi S sat in second for three panels and Chin Chin Hall rolled along in third. Soul Strong came out to lead a second tier that stalled down the stretch. Chin Chin Hall took his best steps late to get second, with Green Manalishi S holding third, those three a few lengths ahead of the rest of the pack. Gimpanzee closed strongly to pick up fourth. "They all left so slow out of the gate," said Yannick Gingras, "I had to take him to the front." Dont Letem (Somebeachsomewhere--Passageway)was bred by Brittany Farms, which co-owns with John Fielding. His win price was $9.10. Spots fifth through eighth to qualify for the final were secured by Soul Strong, Goes Down Smooth, Marseille and Super Schissel. To see the race replay, click here. The post position draw for next Saturday's final took place following the elimination. Dont Letem drew first for posts one through five based on winning his elimination. 1 Green Manalishi S 2 Dont Letem 3 Marseille 4 Greenshoe 5 Chin Chin Hall 6 Gimpanzee 7 Goes Down Smooth 8 Forbidden Trade 9 Soul Strong 10 Super Schissel From Woodbine Communications/Hambletonian Society  

The Ice Dutchess, harness racing

Breeders Crown 3YO Filly Trots

MILTON, ONT, October 19, 2019 - Sophomore harness racing trotting fillies launched the second night of Breeders Crown eliminations on Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 16 three-year-old trotting fillies were split into a pair of $32,500 (CAD) eliminations to determine the field for next Saturday's (October 26) $600,000 final. Yannick Gingras picked up where he left off a night earlier sending The Ice Dutchess to the front shortly past the quarter pole and rolling to an easy 1:53 score in the first elimination. Grimmie Hanover left alertly to gain control into the opening bend for Corey Callahan with The Ice Dutchess getting looped initially and then driving forward. Grimmie Hanover cut the quarter in :28 1/5 but yielded to The Ice Dutchess in short order and then followed from a distant pocket. Evident Beauty, the 3-2 betting choice sat third and was patient past the half in :57 flat and it wasn't until midway on the final turn as The Ice Dutchess drew clear from Grimmie Hanover that David Miller sent Evident Beauty out on the offensive followed closely by Only Take Cash. The Ice Dutchess passed three quarters in 1:24 3/5 and had a sizable advantage heading into the homestretch when Evident Beauty appeared to be closing the gap but in midstretch Evident Beauty made a miscue that she wouldn't recover from and Gingras sat idly in the bike and allowed his filly to march home in a :28 2/5 final quarter to complete the mile. Only Take Cash was a solid closing second as Winndevie with Brian Sears made up a huge amount of ground in the late stretch to finish third. Early leader Grimmie Hanover held on for fourth while Seaside Bliss closed out the qualifiers from this division. The Ice Dutchess is owned by Coyote Wynd Farms and trained by Nancy Johansson. It as the fifth win in 2019 for The Ice Dutchess who paid $8.80 for the win. "Nancy (Johansson) has got her figured out. When she's on her game she can do it any way," Gingras said of The Ice Dutchess. "We've had trouble getting her around this track," said Johansson. "I think we've found the right shoe combination." To watch the race replay, click here. Millies Possession and driver Dexter Dunn made a bold move on the backstretch to gain control and then easily held off Hambletonian Oaks champion When Dovescry in the stretch to post a 6-1 upset in the second elimination. When Dovescry and driver Simon Allard left alertly from post two to gain control and managed to force a host of leavers into holes with Cambridge Kate taking a seat and Kentucky Futurity filly champion Beautiful Sin dropping in fourth before entering the first turn. Millies Possession got away in fifth and after When Dovescry hit the quarter in :27 flat Dunn wasted little time and sent the homebred Millies Possession and a brisk backstretch bull rush that saw her take command well before the :56 1/5 opening half clocking. Dunn kept Millies Possession engaged on the front end and had her hit three quarters in 1:24 as Ake Svanstedt and Beautiful Sin languished on the rim unable to make up ground on the leaders. It was a two-filly race in the homestretch and Dunn kept Millies Possession to her task as When Dovescry angled and drifted out through the stretch but didn't make up ground. Sweet Chapter held her ground inside and finished third ahead of a solid closing Asiago with Miss Trixton gaining the final berth. Millies Possession trotted the mile in 1:53. Millies Possession was a winner for the 11th time in 14 career starts all in 2019 for trainer Jim Campbell and owner Jules Siegel's Fashion Farm LLC. "She's a great filly," said Dunn following the race. "She felt good when I warmed her up. That move down the backstretch was the best she's felt all year." Millies Possession bounced back from her worst performance of the year, a seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Filly Futurity. "She had a legitimate excuse," said Campbell for The Red Mile disappointment. "She scoped sick after the race. We got her back to New Jersey and on antibiotics and she bounced back." To watch the race replay, click here. The post positions for the $600,000 final were drawn following the eliminations. Elimination winners drew for post one through five. 1 The Ice Dutchess 2 Millies Possesion 3 Miss Trixton 4 Asiago 5 Sweet Chapter 6 When Dovescry 7 Winndevie 8 Grimmie Hanover 9 Seaside Bliss 10 Only Take Cash Dorsoduro Hanover, with Matt Kakaley in the bike, won the $34,000 Preferred for trainer Ron Burke at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday in 1:49.4, topping four others eligible to next week's Breeders Crown Open Pace. Youaremycandygirl and Courtly Choice left alertly, with the mare taking a short lead until Courtly Choice got the lead, followed by favorite Geez Joe and Dorsoduro Hanover in a first quarter of :26.1. Geez Joe took to the outside and rushed to the top, keeping the pace through a :55.1 half. Dorsoduro Hanover came out and fired first over, reaching Geez Joe around the second turn in three-quarters timed in 1:23.1. Dorsoduro Hanover plowed ahead to take command as Geez Joe was overtaken by a closing Jimmy Freight and a persistent Youaremycandy girl, crossing the wire in 1:49.4. Dorsoduro Hanover (Somebeachsome--Deer Valley Miss) was bred by Hanover Shoe Farm, is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Dorsoduro Hanover paid $22.50 to win. Post positions for the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace were drawn on Saturday evening. 1 Easy Lover Hanover 2 Jimmy Freight 3 American History 4 Geez Joe 5 Courtly Choice 6 Always A Prince 7 Dorsoduro Hanover 8 McWicked 9 Filibuster Hanover 10 This Is The Plan To watch the race replay, click here. From Woodbine Communications/Hambletonian Society            

Igor du Regency

Son of Orlando Vici tops sale

October 18, 2019 - The fall Caen Trotteurs harness racing sale was completed with sessions on October 15-16. In total there were 823 lots consigned, 685 lots being yearlings. Below is the total sale results and the October 15-16 summary. We reported the prior days last week. The sale topper on October 15 was the yearling colt Igor du Regency, a son of Orlando Vici, that brought 29,000€ from Philippe Dewulf. Philippe Dewulf pedigree The October 16th sale topper was hip 822, a weanling filly names Juventus du Klau (wf, Cash And Go-Kitty-Coktail Jet), that brought 21,000€ from Alain Dambrires. This is by a full brother to Bold Eagle.     Thomas H. Hicks  

The fourth leg of the traveling Trotteur Francais series was the Grand Prix Gelsenkirchen (purse 50,000€, 2600 meters autostart, 12 starters International) in Germany and it went to 1.14.9kr timed and 5.1/1 odds Discovry Dry (6g Goetmals Wood-L’Etoile Dry) reined by his harness racing trainer Tony Le Beller.   The victory increased his life earnings to 184,850€. Favorite Billie de Montfort (8g Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) was second off at 1.2/1 odds and with Gabriele Gelormini up for trainer Sebastien Guarato.   15/1 Balando (8m Nijinski Blue-Quitalia) was third for pilot Rick Wester. Bon Copain and Eridan took the next two checks.   Thomas H. Hicks

Defi de Retz (6m First de Retz-Nouvelle d’Atout) took this 11th leg of the Grand National de Trot at Feurs (Gr. III, purse 85,000€, 2850 meters distance handicap), reined by Alexandre Abrivard for harness racing trainer Jean Michel Bazire and breeder/owner Ottavia Roffi-Urano.   This was his 12 th career victory for 264,480€ in life earnings. Second was Cocktail Desbois (7g Coktail Jet-Queen Goulette) with Eric Raffin up for trainer J-M Baudouin. Third home was Eclat de Gloire (5g Tiego d’Etang-Vive Fee) handled by his trainer Loris Garcia.   Thomas H. Hicks  

October 19, 2019 - Below are the Orsi Mangelli Open and Filly division eligibles for those harness racing tests on November 1 at Torino. The Open Gr. I division races for a purse of 363,000€ and will likely be led by Axl Rose, the impressive colt from the Gocciadoro barn. France will send General du Parc and Girls Talk into the fray as likely competitors. Look well below for the eligibles;                                               Audrey Effe will lead the Filly division. Thomas H. Hicks  

MILTON, ONT, October 18, 2019 - Earlier in the evening harness racing driver Yannick Gingras upended two unbeaten juveniles in capturing Breeders Crown eliminations. Gingras was on the other side of the fence in the lone $32,500 (CAD) Crown elimination for juvenile pacing colts and this time his unbeaten Tall Dark Stranger tasted defeat for the first time as Papi Rob Hanover and driver Dave Miller turned the tables in capturing the event in 1:50 2/5 at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday. Tall Dark Stranger was sent off as the odds-on choice in the field of 10 necessary to find eight horses for the final. Gingras sent him to the front early and he seated Cattlewash in the pocket and cut the opening fraction in :27 4/5 as Papi Rob Hanover and Major Betts both found spots along the pylons. Tall Dark Stranger appeared to be cruising on the lead until Miller made a sudden move and engaged the leader. The two hooked up for an extended duel but Papi Rob Hanover overtook the favorite just past the :55 1/5 opening half. Miller kept the pace lively and did not allow an outer tier flow to develop kicking his third quarter in :27 1/5 with the teletimer flashing 1:22 2/5. Papi Rob Hanover, sent off at 3-2 was second in the Metro to Tall Dark Stranger but on this night it was his rival that failed to engage in the final eighth of a mile as Miller worked on Papi Rob Hanover and got the desired result. A final quarter of :28 flat snapped Tall Dark Stranger's seven race win streak and assured the winner a decent draw for the final. Cattlewash finished third followed by Mayhem Hanover in fourth. Rounding out those headed for next Friday's final are Freedom Warrior, Allywag Hanover, Major Betts and Put To Right. To see the race, click here. David McDuffee owns Papi Rob Hanover a son of Somebeachsomewhere and Brett Pelling trains the colt who returned $5 to win. "I knew we had to finish in the top eight so I asked Brett before the race what the strategy was," Miller said. "He said 'I came here to win' so we accomplished that," said Miller. "I was going to sit and just come late but when I saw the quarter in :27 4/5 I figured I better go. He was strong." "He's the real deal," said Pelling. "He's never done anything wrong. He had post 9 in the Metro final and got beat and I didn't want to take a chance drawing outside again." The post positions for the Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Colt Pace will be drawn at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. By winning his elimination, Papi Rob Hanover is guaranteed to draw anywhere from post one to post five. From Woodbine Communications/Hambletonian Society  

MILTON, ONT, October 18, 2019 - Trainer-driver Brandon Bates will make his Breeders Crown harness racing debut following a 1:50.2 blowout victory on Friday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the opening elimination for two-year-old pacing fillies with his Rockin Image filly Priceless. A group of 21 rookie pacing fillies were split into three $32,500 (CAD) eliminations to determine the field for next Friday's (October 25) $600,000 final. The first elimination saw Bates blast Priceless to the front while Gai Waterhouse secured pocket to a :26.3 opening quarter. Priceless raced uncontested to a :55 half and faced far-turn pressure from Baby Your The Best tipping first over from third. Past three-quarters in 1:22.4, Priceless opened her lead through the stretch chased by Reflect With Me closing from third over for second while Baby Your The Best settled for third. "Actually she did it pretty easy," Bates said after the race. "She's got more in the tank. I thought all year that she belongs in the conversation." Winning her seventh race from 10 starts, Priceless has earned $344,912 for owners Kevin Miller and Bert Hochsprung. She paid $6.50 to win. To see the race replay, click here. Lyons Sentinel delivered as the 1-5 favourite in the second fastest elimination on the night to hold off a pocket move from Marloe Hanover. Betalady launched from the outermost post in the field of seven to take the lead with Marloe Hanover sitting second to a :26.4 opening quarter. Marloe Hanover soon popped pocket to take control as driver Tim Tetrick sent Lyons Sentinel towards the front approaching a :55.1. Lyons Sentinel led the field to the final turn, speeding to three-quarters in 1:22.4, and maintained command through the stretch as Marloe Hanover angled wide but only gave pursuit from second. Looksgoodinaromper closed from last for third. "She just keeps impressing me more and more every time I sit behind her," Tetrick said after the race. "I wasn't [planning on] going to the front but I didn't want to get away too far back and let some of the better [fillies] get away from me. I put her on the lead, which I don't think that's her best game, but she paced all the way to the wire today and the plugs were still in." Collecting her seventh-consecutive victory in her 11th start, Lyons Sentinel has finished no worse than second in her career. The daughter of Captaintreacherous--racing for owner Threelyonsracing--has surpassed $600,000 in earnings. The division leader heads into the final facing a firm challenge from other elimination winner Priceless. "I followed Brandon Bates' filly in the Kentuckiana," Tetrick said. "I had a filly I thought was okay but he blew my doors off there." "As it stands we're really looking forward to next week, but it's going to be a horse race," winning trainer Jim King Jr. said after the race. "I hope we're ready for them. [Priceless] was impressive; that was I really good mile tonight. I hope she was watching us too. I think she has a little in reserve and I hope we don't have to use it all up yet." Lyons Sentinel paid $2.50 to win. To see the replay, click here. New Year ground down 1-5 favourite Alicorn to take the second elimination, stopping the clock in 1:52. Driver Corey Callahan floated New Year into fourth while Lady Lou led Alicorn to a :27 first quarter. Alicorn soon circled to the front moving to the backside and strolled to a :56.1 half while Callahan edged New Year first over heading to the far turn. New Year ranged closer to Alicorn pacing to three-quarters in 1:24.4 and drew alongside the Ontario Sires Stakes champ in the stretch. Alicorn tried to stay straight through the lane as New Year dug into the pacesetter before pushing past in the final eighth to win. Lady Lou--off a pocket trip--finished third while Shouldabeenatd, with the highest earnings of the fourth-place finishers, coming from second over to qualify for the final in fourth. "She's like the perfect combination of Drop The Ball and Somebeach[somewhere]," Corey Callahan said after the race. "Drop The Ball [her dam] was really quick and this filly just carries her speed a long ways. You don't really feel her change gears but she hits it. It's a good feeling." A filly by Somebeachsomewhere, New Year--a homebred for Let It Ride Stables Inc. and Dana Parham--made her career debut in early September. She has since won four races from five starts and earned $99,930. "She's really fresh," Callahan also said. "She's gone a couple of big heats--that heat at Lexington was huge. Today she didn't have to work quite as hard as she did down there, so I think we have fresh legs going into the final." New Year returned $6.40 to win. To see the replay, click here. The post position draw for the $600,000 2-Year-Old Filly Pace final took place following the eliminations. Elimination winners drew for post positions one through five. 1 Lyons Sentinel 2 Alicorn 3 Priceless 4 New Year 5 Lady Lou 6 Looksgoodinaromper 7 Marloe Hanover 8 Reflect With Me 9 Baby Your The Best 10 Shouldabeenatd From Woodbine Entertainment/Hambletonian Society  

By Garrick Knight It was a dream start to his driving career for Zev Meredith at Cambridge on Friday night. On his first night of driving, six days after hurriedly satisfying his licence requirements, the 17-year-old took two drives for boss Brent Mangos and came away with a win and a placing. After flying home on Gladamare to run second, Meredith drove hot favourite Havehorsewilltravel in the junior drivers’ event and got the job done to cap a memorable night. “It’s been a fantastic night, I couldn’t be happier,” Meredith told HRNZ. “I really want to send a massive thank you to ‘Mango’, as well as the owners of both horses, for putting me on. “To accept that a junior was on, having his first drives, might not have been easy.” Meredith doesn’t have a heap of family history in the game apart from a mother who worked at Linden Park Stud in Pukekawa at one point in time. “I really only got in to it because we lived next door to the Franklin Park track manager and he introduced me to Franklin Kidz Kartz. “That taught me the basics and then I started to help out Paulette Screen with her ponies. “Then I got offered some holiday work at Mango’s because he needed someone for a few weeks while his staff were on holiday. “I went back for another week after that and before long he offered me a full-time job.” That was in June last year and in the ensuing 16 months Meredith has absorbed all he can from one of New Zealand’s most accomplished and revered horsemen. “He’s been really good, trying to teach me as much as he can. “He’ll tell you when you’re doing something wrong and then give you tips on how to do it better. “I’m a very curious person so I’m always asking questions.” A junior driver shortage in the north plus the opportunity to drive the exciting Havehorsewilltravel less than a week later prompted Meredith to complete his final four graduating drives at the workouts last Saturday. The problem was, Mangos only had one horse in. Enter Ray Green. “Ray was massive; he enabled me to get signed off by giving me three drives last week. “And it was nice to sit behind different horses that I hadn’t driven before, wearing different gear, too.” By coincidence, two of the three drives Meredith took for Green were on the three-year-olds Double Or Nothing and Larry Lincoln, who both also won at Cambridge on Friday night. After a good steer on the unlucky Gladamare, Meredith wanted to take luck out of the equation on Havehorsewilltravel. He’s a recent arrival from Otago but is chock-full of ability and was facing a significant drop in grade from recent Auckland racing. Crucially, Meredith had the advantage of practicing on him at home during the week. “I did most of the work with him in the last week to try and learn his little tricks and traits.” It paid off – Meredith got him round in one piece even after being illegally pushed out 1100 from home and having to go four-wide out of the straight the final time. “I just pressed on even after I nearly got knocked over. If I didn’t do that, I wasn’t likely to win it. “He was definitely the best horse in the race – he has a fair bit of ability – so it made sense to drive him that way.” Meredith is like any other teenage junior driver; he has the same hopes and ambitions. Except for one surprising one. “I don’t plan on leaving the industry. In fact, I want to train one day, hopefully. If I earn the right to do it.” Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

MILTON, ONT, October 18, 2019 - Harness racing driver Yannick Gingras set up shop in the winner's circle to launch the Breeders Crown elimination weekend festivities on Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A pair of eliminations for the 2-Year-Old Filly Trot and a single elimination for the 2-Year-Old Colt Trot were contested. Gingras drove Synergy to a 1:55 win in the $32,500 Breeders Crown Two-Year-Old Colt Trot elimination. The field left evenly except for Chestnut Hill, who galloped off the gate while mid-pack Beads went to the front as the rest of the field found early spots. Back Of The Neck sat behind the leader into a :27.2 first quarter while Synergy sat in fourth. Synergy was in a good spot going into the half as favorite Amigo Volo and outsider Horse Trader jumped, leaving a big lead for Beads and a clear path for Synergy on the inside through a half in :57. By the 1:25.4 three-quarters, Beads was being chased strongly by Third Shift, who went four wide into the stretch, along with Rome Pays Off charging up the middle and Synergy riding the rail. Those three left Beads behind and as Third Shift dueled with Rome Pays Off, Gingras glided by them to win by a length in 1:55. Synergy (Father Patrick--Southwind Sauna), is trained by Per Engblom. The colt was bred by Southwind Farms and is owned by Brittany Farms, John Fielding, Herb Liverman and David Anderson. Third Shift nosed Rome Pays Off for the place. Chestnut Hill recovered from the early break and finished fourth. The top-seven finishers from the elimination advanced to the final to join the trio of Capricornus, Port Perry and Real Cool Sam, who all took byes to the final. Moon Bridge, Beads and Amigo Volo finished fifth through seventh to qualify for the next Friday's (October 25) $600,000 final. Synergy paid $36.90 to win. To watch the replay, click here. Sister Sledge regained her winning form and in the process ended the undefeated reign of Hypnotic AM in capturing the first of two $32,500 eliminations of the Breeders Crown for juvenile trotting fillies. Gingras guided Sister Sledge to the lead in the early stages and released 1-5 favorite Hypnotic AM and driver Brian Sears well before the :27 2/5 opening quarter marker. Those two continued in that order through middle fractions of :56 1/5 and 1:24 4/5 as only Violet Stride attempted to rally on the outside without cover but couldn't get reasonably close to the top pair. In the homestretch Gingras tipped the daughter of Father Patrick to the outside and Sister Sledge rolled right by the favorite to score by a length. Hypnotic AM entered the Crown elimination unbeaten in seven prior starts but had to settle for second here. Shishito saved ground most of the way and finished third with Violet Stride and Madame Sherry earning final berths. Burke Racing Stable, Jason Merillo, J & T Silva, Purnell & Libby and Weaver-Bruscemi LLC share partnership in Sister Sledge now an eight time winner in 10 starts as a freshman. "I rushed her a bit out of the two hole at The Red Mile," said Gingras, "And she got rough. Here I waited a bit and she was strong." Trainer Burke was frustrated with a second and third place finish in Grand Circuit action at The Red Mile but found the answers he was looking for. "We decided to change her bridle after the Pennsylvania Championship," Burke said of the mistake. "She's as good a filly as there is out there." Sister Sledge returned $13.80 to win. To watch the replay click here.  It was Gingras once again putting the end to another unbeaten streak in the second $32,500 Breeders Crown elimination for juvenile trotting fillies when he guided Ms Savannah Belle to victory with previously flawless Ramona Hill had to settle for third. Ms Savannah Belle started from post eight but Gingras was quick to energize her at the outset grabbing the early lead then yielding to Indiana-based filly May Baby before the :27 3/5 opening quarter was clocked. Ms Savannah Belle stayed close up in the pocket as May Baby carved out lively fractions of :56, 1:24 4/5 for James Yoder. Gingras wasted little time and angled Ms Savannah Belle to challenge into the homestretch and the daughter of Muscle Hill took off quickly rolling past the leader and drawing clear from other rivals to post a 1:53 2/5 clocking. Wine Rack Hanover rallied along the inside after a pylon-sitting trip for second just ahead of Ramona Hill who went a long way on the outside without cover in a difficult grinding effort. May Baby settled for fourth after doing the early leg work and Peaceful Way champion Dip Me Hanover rallied late for the final berth. Sent off as a 4-1 offering Ms Savannah Belle returned $10.60 winning for the fourth time in 8 career starts for owner-breeder Al Libfeld and trainer Per Engblom. "We decided to race her just the first week at The Red Mile and get her ready for this," said Engblom following the victory. "I think she'll be even better next week. "She had some bad luck early she drew outside (post 10) in the Doherty and raced well there." Ms Savannah Belle paid $10.60 to win. To see the replay, click here. Post positions for the 2-Year-Old Colt Trot and 2-Year-Old Filly Trot finals were drawn following the eliminations. Elimination winners drew for inside post positions one through five. $600,000 2-Year-Old Colt Trot 1 Beads 2 Synergy 3 Moon Bridge 4 Amigo Volo 5 Chestnut Hill 6 Rome Pays Off 7 Third Shift 8 Capricornus 9 Real Cool Sam 10 Port Perry $600,000 2-Year-Old Filly Trot 1 Hypnotic Am 2 Sister Sledge 3 May Baby 4 Dip Me Hanover 5 Ms Savannah Belle 6 Wine Rack Hanover 7 Madame Sherry 8 Shishito 9 Violet Stride 10 Ramona Hill From Woodbine Communications/Hambletonian Society

Heathcote harness racing driver Tayla French is riding the crest of a wave at the moment and the hard working 22-year-old thoroughly deserves her success. Somehow Tayla juggles working part-time at a Bendigo stable three or four mornings a week, a job as a medical receptionist in her hometown, helping her father Terry prepare his team and somehow fits in race driving a couple of nights a week. "It does get a bit hectic, but I'm enjoying it. It usually all falls into place so that's all good," Tayla said. And over the past 10 days, the junior concession reinswoman has been in sensational form on the racetrack. Competing at Shepparton, Kilmore and Bendigo meetings, French has chalked up five wins and is well on the way on improving on her debutante 2018-19 season of eight victories and 40 placings. "It has been great. I think I'm getting better at reading races and if things don't initially go to plan, I don't get fazed and work out then what might be best," she said. "The highlight was obviously getting my first winning race double at Kilmore - the first leg was with Nuclear Nikky (Auckland Reactor-Nickle Miss (Grinfromeartoear), prepared by dad. He's only had the horse for a fortnight and that was her first start, but she did trial nicely four days before. "The other Kilmore success was Blissfull Mind (Blissfull Hall-Mind Dance (Megamind), for Charlie Farrugia, who I had won on at his previous start." French said despite wanting to join the police force at one stage, it was "probably always going to be horses" after studying Year 12. "I can remember driving fast work for dad as a kid and it just continued on from there. When I made the decision to pass on the police force, for the time being, it meant commit to harness racing and that's what I'm wanting to do," she said. French started driving only in August of last year and three weeks in, landed her maiden winner. "Dad has been fantastic in teaching me things about the industry. My mum Kym's unfortunately allergic to horses, but she gives me heaps of support, too," she said. "l work part-time in Bendigo for local trainer-driver Chris Svanosio, and he also has been a terrific help." The winning streak by French kicked off at Bendigo last Tuesday week when she was successful for trainer Jess Tubbs on Illawong Mustang (Mach Three-Light In Every Day (Artiscape). The following night at Shepparton, the youngster drove a well-judged race for her father Terry to land the money on Joeys Hangover (Well Said-Without Guile (Art Major). French then headed down the road to the same venue seven days later to team up with an old favorite in 12-year-old Lights And Music (Jet Laag-Computerize (Stand Together) and they posted the gelding's 28th career win for trainer Colin Godden. Her memorable double at Kilmore was last Thursday. Five-year-old daughter of exciting sire Auckland Reactor In Nuclear Nikky had to do it the hard way after racing in the death-seat for the majority of the race. "I got through early from barrier 11 to land in the one-one, but then the horse outside the leader went to the front so I was posted. We only just go there, but she did it tough and deserved it," French said. Blissfull Mind wrapped up the double for her. The gelding led until the bell, took cover, but then finished full of running in the latter stages to get the prize. French said she used to enjoy playing other sports including netball and cricket. "I just don't have the time now. But I'm happy with what I'm doing," she said. French now has six wins and nine placings for the 2019-20 season...and on her current form, there are more winners just around the corner!   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

By Jonny Turner Ultimate Sniper kicked his New Zealand Cup campaign in to gear and went some way towards justifying his short odds for the great race when winning at Addington on Friday night. The 4yr-old unleashed a fast 55.8sec last 800m, on a sticky Addington track that had many horses struggling to break 60sec, to win the meetings open class handicap. The only flaw in his nearly perfect performance came at the start when Ultimate Sniper produced his second consecutive gallop away from behind the tapes. The pacer was quickly back in to a pace and he settled for driver Natalie Rasmussen in midfield, before the reinswoman took him to the front with a lap to go. Ultimate Sniper resisted a short challenge for the lead from Classie Brigade before Rasmussen cranked the speed up from the 800m. Ultimate Sniper dug deep in the straight to hold off Self Assured by half a head in a thrilling finish. The runner-up should lose no admirers in his first defeat after giving away a big race fitness advantage to his rivals. Spankem ran in to third, just half a length away, in a sound effort from his 30m back mark. Another Masterpiece trailed his stablemates in to fill an All Stars first four. All of the seven horses in the race produced solid efforts including Nandolo, who was trucking in the straight without any room to move in until it was too late. Ultimate Sniper held second favouritism for the New Zealand Cup at $5, with his stablemate Thefixer, after the market for the 3200m feature was updated following his win. Spankem now sits at $2.20, after earlier getting in to $2 odds. The All Stars also produced the first four in heat three of the Sires Stakes Series when last season’s leading 2yr-old male pacer, One Change, began his 3yr-old term on a perfect note. Rasmussen has the $1.30 favourite in front throughout and the colt went on for a comfortable win by a length and a half over Flying Even Bettor. Italian lad caught the eye with a big finish from the rear of the field to take third, ahead of Pur Dan. The All Stars’ night of perfection continued when star trotter Oscar Bonavena embarrassed his inferior opposition with a massive nine and a half length victory. The Dominion favourite confirmed his title as Australasia’s most exciting trotter when leading throughout and not giving anything else a chance. The rest of the field were in a race of their own, which was won by Woodstone, who produced his best run of the spring in the 1980m free-for-all. Oscar Bonavena was rated at $1.95 odds for the Dominion following his win. The All Stars stable completed their incredible night out by producing Taxman and Aqua Sancta to quinella a minor event.  Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

Ultimate Sniper, classy and determined as usual, finally broke through for his first win in open company, denying stablemate Self Assured of a winning debut at that level in an exciting finish and stepping up his assault on the big prizes coming up. He didn’t get it easy, missing the start again and settling well back. A big run in the middle stages to wrest the lead from Self Assured was the winning of the race even though it gave his rival the cover in the running. Ultimate Sniper dug in hard in the straight and just prevailed but did it in style. The standing start still needs some work in that field. “The problem I think is that when he races he has a fairly low head carriage but at the start he is getting his head up at the wrong time and making a mistake. We have to work on getting the right compromise for that” Natalie said “But he went very good. He is on target at this stage” Mark was not disappointed with Spankem saying pre-race the 20m start he was giving the winner would make things a little harder for him. “He got a pretty good run and the handicap was the difference in the end but he got home well. I was happy with that run Blair Orange was more than happy with Self Assured. His main concern is that he may not get to drive him again for a while. Ï don’t think I will get on him again but we will see what develops. I was really impressed. He messed up the start a bit but the way he came back to his gear so quickly in his first stand was really encouraging. It was a terrific run really when you consider he was coming out of age group racing and running against horses like those while doing it” Blair liked the run of Pur Dan in the Sires Stakes heat too. “He got a nice trip but he didn’t give any ground and it was a good effort.”" Tim was also very positive about Another Masterpiece. “He’s in for a good season on that run It was his first race for a long while and he went real good. He won’t be long showing what he can do”   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/

If there were any doubts about One Change turning his stunning two year old form into his three year old career they were well and truly extinguished as he went six for six in the Sires Stakes heat. “The fairy tale continues”said devoted strapper Ashleigh. And it may continue next week in another Sires Stakes heat. Previous winners of heats can start but draw the outside gates automatically and a start is not certain if a full field of non winners pays up for the race. As it happened All Stars produced the First 4 in the race-not for the first time of course but it is not a regular occurrence by any means, “He will probably be there. Otherwise he has to run in the Flying Stakes”quipped Natalie referring to One Change’s high rating. She played a major role in the win with a masterly front running display as always. The time of 2.26 etc was hardly setting records and Oscar Bonavena, in his brilliant demolition of a useful field later in the night went nearly the same time, albeit on a slightly better track. The sticky track was high on Natalie’s worry list before the Sires Stakes. “He is a very good horse but it was his first start this time in and I didn’t want it to be too hard” she said after leading throughout from the ace draw. “Put it this way we won’t be hanging around like that in the Final !” “He was very good, right up to what I expected There was some good news behind him too and at least one major Final threat. Ïtalian Lad was great. He got home nice. I was pleased with that”Mark said Tim was also very happy with Flying Even Bettor. “That was a lot better than his last run. I expected it would be but he ran right up to the mark. He’s tough really. The final, which will be run at a much faster clip will suit him. He comes right into the upset category now”said Tim His second placing reproduced the quinella of the Harness Jewels two year old section, a further indication Flying Even Bettor is coming right at the right time. Virgil was a little disappointing. He didn’t have the luck in the running for a horse with a sharp final sprint but faded in the straight.   Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables http://www.allstarsracingstables.com/

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MILTON, ONT, October 19, 2019 - Harness racing reinsman Dexter Dunn cleaned up in the Mare Trot eliminations on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park to add to his big night in the Breeders Crown eliminations. A total of 15 older trotting mares were split into a pair of $32,500 (CAD) eliminations to determine the Breeders Crown final field. Dexter Dunn found a seam late in the stretch and was able to knife through and catapult Darling Mearas S to victory in the first elimination. Darling Mearas S left alertly then yielded willingly into the first turn to Custom Cantab who cut the opening fraction in :27 3/5. David Miller put the breaks on in the short field and had Custom Cantab in control through a half in a pedestrian :57 clocking. The pace picked up as Dream Together moved to the outside on the turn followed by Hannelore Hanover and race favorite Plunge Blue Chip second and third over respectively. Custom Cantab had all of the rating required to get the job done but turning into the homestretch off the 1:26 1/5 mile the field was closing in. Dream Together was holding her ground first-over and Plunge Blue Chip had rallied wide for Ake Svanstedt and flanked Hannelore Hanover as those continued to grind up towards the leader. Yet it was Dunn who found room at the right time and Darling Mearas As, a daughter of Cantab Hall had the explosive speed necessary in the final sprint to get the job done in a 1:53 2/5 clocking. Plunge Blue Chip rallied brilliantly for second with Custom Cantab holding on for third. Hannelore Hanover and Dream Together also advance into next week's final. Supergirl Riley made a break well before the start and lost her chance at the final. Bettors were given a refund as the mare was declared a "non-starter." Darling Mearas As paid $17.40 winning for the third time in 12 starts this year for trainer Ake Svanstedt and owner-breeder Snogarps Gard of Sweden. "She got herself in good position," Dunn said. "We really got lucky half way down the stretch. Looks like we're in good shape for next week." To see the race replay, click here. Manchego got the respect one would expect from a 1-5 betting choice and had little difficulty in strolling down the road to capture the second Mares trot elimination for Dunn. It was the fourth straight victory for the 4-year-old by Muscle Hill. Only Manchego and Emoticon Hanover left in the field of eight and Manchego had control before the :27 opening quarter with Emoticon Hanover content to race in the pocket for Bob McClure. With no challengers Dunn cruised to the half in :56 4/5 and waited for challengers to come. Hey Livvy was flushed out on the final bend by Weslynn Dancer but couldn't make a dent in the leaders margin as Manchego controlled the pace through a three quarter clocking of 1:25 2/5. In the homestretch Dunn looked around to see where the competition was coming from but there was none to be found. Manchego did drift a bit off the pylons but at no point did the Nancy Johansson-trained mare need any assistance from her driver and she scored comfortably in 1:52 3/5 with a :27 1/5 final quarter. Emoticon Hanover held on for the place spot with Weslynn Dancer closing well to finish third. Ice Attraction became the third Ake Svanstedt-trained mare to qualify for the final and Highland Top Hill rounded out those advancing. Manchego won for the sixth time in 2019 and returned $2.40 as the prohibitive favorite. She's trained by Nancy Johansson for owner Black Horse Racing. "She's exceptional," said Johansson. "There's no other way to describe her." "She felt great again tonight," said Dunn referring to her consecutive world record performances at The Red Mile and Dayton. As far as the mare drifting out some. "You just let her do her thing. She was full of run at the line." To watch the race replay, click here. Post positions for the $325,000 Mare Trot final were drawn following the eliminations. Elimination winners drew for posts one through five. 1 Weslynn Dancer 2 Ice Attraction 3 Plunge Blue Chip 4 Manchego 5 Darling Mearas S 6 Hannelore Hanover 7 Highland Top Hill 8 Dream Together 9 Custom Cantab 10 Emoticon Hanover From Woodbine Communications/Hambletonian Society
MILTON, ONT, October 19, 2019 - Harness racing driver Yannick Gingras drove Dont Letem to a 1:51.3 win in the $32,500 (CAD) Breeders Crown Three-Year-Old Colt Trot elimination on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A field of 10 competed with the top-eight finishers advancing to next Saturday's $600,000 final. Forbidden Trade and Greenshoe received byes to the final. The Nancy Johansson-trained Dont Letem fired early for the lead and made the rest of the field chase him through fractions of :28.1, :56.4, 1:24.2 and matched the track record for sophomore trotters with a 1:51.3 mile. Green Manalishi S sat in second for three panels and Chin Chin Hall rolled along in third. Soul Strong came out to lead a second tier that stalled down the stretch. Chin Chin Hall took his best steps late to get second, with Green Manalishi S holding third, those three a few lengths ahead of the rest of the pack. Gimpanzee closed strongly to pick up fourth. "They all left so slow out of the gate," said Yannick Gingras, "I had to take him to the front." Dont Letem (Somebeachsomewhere--Passageway)was bred by Brittany Farms, which co-owns with John Fielding. His win price was $9.10. Spots fifth through eighth to qualify for the final were secured by Soul Strong, Goes Down Smooth, Marseille and Super Schissel. To see the race replay, click here. The post position draw for next Saturday's final took place following the elimination. Dont Letem drew first for posts one through five based on winning his elimination. 1 Green Manalishi S 2 Dont Letem 3 Marseille 4 Greenshoe 5 Chin Chin Hall 6 Gimpanzee 7 Goes Down Smooth 8 Forbidden Trade 9 Soul Strong 10 Super Schissel From Woodbine Communications/Hambletonian Society  
MILTON, ONT, October 19, 2019 - Sophomore harness racing trotting fillies launched the second night of Breeders Crown eliminations on Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 16 three-year-old trotting fillies were split into a pair of $32,500 (CAD) eliminations to determine the field for next Saturday's (October 26) $600,000 final. Yannick Gingras picked up where he left off a night earlier sending The Ice Dutchess to the front shortly past the quarter pole and rolling to an easy 1:53 score in the first elimination. Grimmie Hanover left alertly to gain control into the opening bend for Corey Callahan with The Ice Dutchess getting looped initially and then driving forward. Grimmie Hanover cut the quarter in :28 1/5 but yielded to The Ice Dutchess in short order and then followed from a distant pocket. Evident Beauty, the 3-2 betting choice sat third and was patient past the half in :57 flat and it wasn't until midway on the final turn as The Ice Dutchess drew clear from Grimmie Hanover that David Miller sent Evident Beauty out on the offensive followed closely by Only Take Cash. The Ice Dutchess passed three quarters in 1:24 3/5 and had a sizable advantage heading into the homestretch when Evident Beauty appeared to be closing the gap but in midstretch Evident Beauty made a miscue that she wouldn't recover from and Gingras sat idly in the bike and allowed his filly to march home in a :28 2/5 final quarter to complete the mile. Only Take Cash was a solid closing second as Winndevie with Brian Sears made up a huge amount of ground in the late stretch to finish third. Early leader Grimmie Hanover held on for fourth while Seaside Bliss closed out the qualifiers from this division. The Ice Dutchess is owned by Coyote Wynd Farms and trained by Nancy Johansson. It as the fifth win in 2019 for The Ice Dutchess who paid $8.80 for the win. "Nancy (Johansson) has got her figured out. When she's on her game she can do it any way," Gingras said of The Ice Dutchess. "We've had trouble getting her around this track," said Johansson. "I think we've found the right shoe combination." To watch the race replay, click here. Millies Possession and driver Dexter Dunn made a bold move on the backstretch to gain control and then easily held off Hambletonian Oaks champion When Dovescry in the stretch to post a 6-1 upset in the second elimination. When Dovescry and driver Simon Allard left alertly from post two to gain control and managed to force a host of leavers into holes with Cambridge Kate taking a seat and Kentucky Futurity filly champion Beautiful Sin dropping in fourth before entering the first turn. Millies Possession got away in fifth and after When Dovescry hit the quarter in :27 flat Dunn wasted little time and sent the homebred Millies Possession and a brisk backstretch bull rush that saw her take command well before the :56 1/5 opening half clocking. Dunn kept Millies Possession engaged on the front end and had her hit three quarters in 1:24 as Ake Svanstedt and Beautiful Sin languished on the rim unable to make up ground on the leaders. It was a two-filly race in the homestretch and Dunn kept Millies Possession to her task as When Dovescry angled and drifted out through the stretch but didn't make up ground. Sweet Chapter held her ground inside and finished third ahead of a solid closing Asiago with Miss Trixton gaining the final berth. Millies Possession trotted the mile in 1:53. Millies Possession was a winner for the 11th time in 14 career starts all in 2019 for trainer Jim Campbell and owner Jules Siegel's Fashion Farm LLC. "She's a great filly," said Dunn following the race. "She felt good when I warmed her up. That move down the backstretch was the best she's felt all year." Millies Possession bounced back from her worst performance of the year, a seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Filly Futurity. "She had a legitimate excuse," said Campbell for The Red Mile disappointment. "She scoped sick after the race. We got her back to New Jersey and on antibiotics and she bounced back." To watch the race replay, click here. The post positions for the $600,000 final were drawn following the eliminations. Elimination winners drew for post one through five. 1 The Ice Dutchess 2 Millies Possesion 3 Miss Trixton 4 Asiago 5 Sweet Chapter 6 When Dovescry 7 Winndevie 8 Grimmie Hanover 9 Seaside Bliss 10 Only Take Cash Dorsoduro Hanover, with Matt Kakaley in the bike, won the $34,000 Preferred for trainer Ron Burke at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday in 1:49.4, topping four others eligible to next week's Breeders Crown Open Pace. Youaremycandygirl and Courtly Choice left alertly, with the mare taking a short lead until Courtly Choice got the lead, followed by favorite Geez Joe and Dorsoduro Hanover in a first quarter of :26.1. Geez Joe took to the outside and rushed to the top, keeping the pace through a :55.1 half. Dorsoduro Hanover came out and fired first over, reaching Geez Joe around the second turn in three-quarters timed in 1:23.1. Dorsoduro Hanover plowed ahead to take command as Geez Joe was overtaken by a closing Jimmy Freight and a persistent Youaremycandy girl, crossing the wire in 1:49.4. Dorsoduro Hanover (Somebeachsome--Deer Valley Miss) was bred by Hanover Shoe Farm, is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Dorsoduro Hanover paid $22.50 to win. Post positions for the $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace were drawn on Saturday evening. 1 Easy Lover Hanover 2 Jimmy Freight 3 American History 4 Geez Joe 5 Courtly Choice 6 Always A Prince 7 Dorsoduro Hanover 8 McWicked 9 Filibuster Hanover 10 This Is The Plan To watch the race replay, click here. From Woodbine Communications/Hambletonian Society            
Brookdale Bruiser (John MacDonald) wins the $7,000 featured harness racing pace at Vernon Downs on Saturday (October 19). Brookdale Bruiser ($6.70) went to the front and hit the first quarter in :26.1. He slowed down the second quarter hitting the half in :56.1. The gelding led to three-quarters in 1:25.2. Sometimes Said (Leon Bailey) followed all the way to three-quarters. He came out of the pocket and went after Brookdale Bruiser. Brookdale Bruiser, who is owned by the J P Stables and trained by MacDonald, had plenty left in the tank as they made the turn for home. He would win easily in 1:52.3. Sometimes Said had to settle for second. Golden Brit (Howard Parker) would receive third money. Brookdale Bruiser is a 5-year-old gelding by Roll With Joe. It was his 11th win this season. He now owns 19 career victories. Jimmy Whittemore drove four winners on the evening. He got his wins with Nanuet ($18.80), Grave Dancer ($13.00), The Royal Garden N ($23.80), and American Sweet Pea ($6.10). John MacDonald drove three winners. He got his other victories with Lady Rapidash ($16.00), and Fridaynightflight ($12.60). Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (10-25) starting at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com. by John Horne, for Vernon Downs
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