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Domethatagain wins $529,000 Levy final

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 25, 2015 - A perfect trip and plastic shoes did wonders for Domethatagain (Dan Dube, $17.60) Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway $529,000 final of the harness racing George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Starting from the inside post position in the Free-For-All event--harness racing's richest race of the season to date--Domethatagain saw defending series champion P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) leave like a shot from the far outside. P H Supercam's job was made much easier when the three horses directly inside of him-6-5 favorite Take it Back Terry (George Brennan), Polak A (Brian Sears) and "Supercam's" stablemate, Mach it So (Tim Tetrick)-were all off the gate. P H Supercam made the lead before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. Domethatagain was away second, with Lucan Hanover (Dave Miller) third. "Lucan" was out early, instigating the issue toward a spiffy, :55.3 intermission, while Beach Memories (Yannick Gingras) chased from second-over. P H Supercam and Lucan Hanover dropped the gloves in a :27.2 third quarter (1:23), with the former clinging to a short lead into the lane. Domethatagain then angled inside, getting first "run" and drawing out. He best a third-over Take it Back Terry by a length in 1:51.1. Beach Memories was third, with P H Supercam fading to fourth. Mach it So earned the final pay envelope, with Windsong Jack (Eric Carlson), Polak A and Lucan Hanover rounding out the order. The final time made it the fastest local mile of the season and one-fifth off the stakes record (Maltese Artist's [Greg Grismore] 1:51 in 2007). For fifth choice Domethatagain, a 6-year-old son of Bettor's Delight co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bob Hamather and Bruce Soulsby, it was his second win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid exacta paid $70.50, the triple returned $391 and the superfecta paid $739. "I was surprised to see (P H Supercam) coming at me so early, because he usually doesn't leave that fast," Dube-winning his first Levy-said. "I had no problem sitting behind him and it worked out perfectly. He's hasn't always been same horse every week, but he was very good tonight." "We weren't happy with the way he was handling the track, so we tried plastic shoes up front," Allard said. "We thought he'd be better with them, and obviously it helped." Not to mention a helluva trip. Domethatagain The 28th edition of the Levy again honored the Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway, with the Levy family in attendance to make the winner's circle presentation. A $100,000 series consolation was won by Sapphire City (Mark MacDonald, $29.80) in 1:52.2 Note that since no one took Saturday night's Pick 5, Monday's gimmick begins with a carryover of $4,752.50 ($10,000 guaranteed pool). The Raceway's live season continues Monday (post time 7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM, $66,500 final of YR/SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all nighttime programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

Venus Delight and all her connections

The $261,000 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 25, 2015 - “The last quarter is her best quarter.” Such was pre-race assessment and post-race reminder from harness racing driver Jason Bartlett after Venus Delight ($5.80, part of entry) prevailed from the pocket Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway $261,000 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker for Open Pacing Mares. Starting from the inside post position in harness racing’s second-richest race of the season to date (behind the final of the G-M Levy), Venus Delight gave up the early baton to last season’s runner-up, Yagonnakissmeornot (Brian Sears). That one laid down early intervals of 27-second flats and :56.1 before her stablemate/entrymate Carolsideal (Dan Dube), the other half of the 1-2 favored proposition, moved from fourth. “Yagonna” and “Carol” moved in tandem toward a 1:24.4 three-quarters, with “Venus” pocketed and Monkey on My Wheel (Dave Miller) working from second-over. Yagonnakissmenot maintained a tenuous lead in and out of the final turn, but Venus Delight was waiting for her close-up. She ducked in and went by a stubborn leader, prevailing by three-quarters of a length in a season’s-best 1:52.4. Carolsideal held third, with Fancy Desire (Yannick Gingras) and the winner’s parimutuel partner, Krispy Apple (Tim Tetrick), grabbing the final two pay envelopes. Monkey on My Wheel, String (Eric Carlson) and the retiring Camille (George Brennan) completing the order.    For second choice (with her stablemate) Venus Delight, a 5-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight owned by Bamond Racing LLC and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was her third in in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid exacta paid $8.10, with the triple returning $19.80. “Last week (final series preliminary leg), I wanted to see her on the front because she hadn’t been there in so long,” Bartlett said. “She didn’t seem as comfortable. She’d rather have a target to go after.” A $75,000 series consolation was won by a first-up For the Ladies N (Sears, $13.40) in 1:53.1. Frank Drucker

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Smolda caps off successful Aussie campaign

Talented harness racing performer Smolda capped off a sensational Australian campaign for New Zealand’s power couple Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen with his win at Menangle just moments ago. With Rasmussen in the cart, Smolda caused a minor upset in the Len Smith Mile – securing the feature in 1:50.6. After enjoying the perfect one-one trail, the son of Courage Under Fire scored by two-and-a-half metres from Beautide, with Lennytheshark two metres away third. The gelding’s victory provided the duo with consecutive Group Ones, having annexed the rich Australian Pacing Gold Final with Our Waikiki Beach less than an hour earlier. Last week Smolda captured the Group Two Renshaw Cup at Penrith. “I couldn’t be happier with that run,” Purdon said. “As I have said before, he was racing well back home without any luck and has really thrived at his two runs in Australia. “He got the great trail today and Natalie drove him to perfection. “It was very pleasing to see him finish the race off like he did.” Along with Our Waikiki Beach and Smolda, Purdon/Rasmussen have also enjoyed victories with exciting youngster Follow The Stars. Also triumphant at Penrith, Follow The Stars was a cut above his rivals in the Caduceus Cup at Melton last Friday night. With Luke McCarthy in the cart, the son of Art Major rated 1:56.8 over 2240 metres to easily account for Mister Wickham and Wingara. Interestingly, all three winners are Australian-bred! PAUL COURTS

Fast Movin Train scored the upset in the $47,306 W.N. Reynolds Memorial

Fast Movin Train motors to a Reynolds upset

EAST RUTHERFORD, (April 25, 2015) - The harness racing 'Grand Circuit' season got underway at The Meadowlands with a bit of a surprise. Dismissed at 24-1, Fast Movin Train scored the upset in the $47,306 W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Tar Heel division for three year old pacers. The early lead was established by Colorful Speech, who reached the quarter in 27.1 before settling into a rhythm and gliding to the half-mile in 56.3. At that time, Coaster committed first over from mid-pack, carrying Rock N' Roll World into a live outer flow. In the meantime, Fast Movin Train, who showed good speed off the gate, was content riding the pocket throughout the mile as Colorful Speech took the field past three-quarters in 1:25.1. In the stretch, Andy Miller called on Colorful Speech for more speed, but the field was closing in. Coaster continued to grind away first over and closed the gap, while Rock N' Roll World was rallying off his cover. But inside the final eighth of a mile, a seam opened and into the breach came Fast Movin Train, who found the seam and burst through to grab the victory in the shadow of the wire in 1:52.3. The win was the second in the last three starts for the three year old gelded son of Rock N Roll Heaven and the first stakes victory of his career, sending his lifetime earnings close to $60,000. The winner was driven by Dave Miller for Joe Holloway and owner Michael Ouriel. With 12 horses entered, the second round of the Whata Baron series saw an overloaded field contest one division for $22,500. In a race that saw six different horses on the lead at one point in the mile, the last horse to reach the lead was round one winner Rediscovery. Although he was an overwhelming favorite the prior week, Rediscovery escaped from the second tier at 5-1. He came from well off the pace while racing third over. There was a scramble for the lead with four different horses having the lead at some point before the half-mile mark of the 1 1/8th miles contest. It would be Major Uptrend who would settle into the leading position after fractions of 26.1 and 55.1. He would continue to lead around the turn, past three-quarters in 1:23.4, but the field began to close in. Ideal Cowboy was bearing down first over, El Bloombito was rallying off cover and he grabbed the lead inside the last eighth of a mile, but he was quicky collared by Rediscovery who came home fastest of all to complete the 1 1/8th miles in 2:04.2. Bettorever rallied from far back to be second with El Bloombito third. The winner was driven by Andrew McCarthy for Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Collura. Doo Wop Hanover took the $25,000 Four and Five Year Old Open Handicap Pace, giving John Campbell his third win on the card. Doo Wop sat third early behind the speed of 6/5 favorite Fool Me Once, who was looking to go wire to wire for the second consecutive week. Campbell guided his horse first over into a 55.3 half-mile and by the time the field hit three-quarters in 1:23.1, Doo Wop Hanover was nearly on even terms with the leader. The former New Jersey Sire Stakes Champion hit the front in mid-stretch and held off a late rally by Dovuto Hanover, while pacing home in a powerful 26.3 to win in 1:49.4. Dovuto Hanover was second while Fool Me Once saved the show. Little Brown Jug Winner Limelight Beach sat the pocket throughout and was an even fourth in his 2015 debut. Doo Wop Hanover is trained by Steve Elliot, who won two races on the card for Peter Blood and Rick Berks. Gokudo Hanover made it three in a row, winning his division of the Spring Preview for three year old pacers in 1:51.1 by gamely holding off Revenge Shark and Soto. Gokudo Hanover was allowed to control the tempo again, stealing a 29-second, second quarter in the process. Soto came first over into a strong third quarter, while Revenge Shark saved ground throughout. The three lined up across the track and raced to the wire, but Gokudo Hanover would not let anyone by, winning for John Campbell. The winner is trained by Douglas Hamilton for Sandbur Farms, Valarie Sutton and Joseph Hemingway. Gweneeee J, the sister to world champion Kenneth J made the third time the charm, scoring her first victory Saturday Night at The Meadowlands. Sent off as the odds-on favorite for the third consecutive time, the three year old filly took no prisoners, putting herself on the lead and staying there throughout the mile. Her stablemate, Lady Spartacus, who defeated her last week, was relegated to the pocket throughout and could not get to Gweneeee J, who paced home in 26.4 to score a decisive victory. John Campbell drove the filly for Linda Toscano and Kenneth Jacobs. The 2015 World Harness Handicapping Championship was conducted on Saturday night at The Meadowlands and the winner, taking home the $14,400 first place prize was William Meisel of Staten Island, N.Y. William catapulted to the win with a $100, last race win wager on the winner, Rockaholic, sending his bankroll to $1,092 to capture the prize. The fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5 went unclaimed, with the carryover now at $95,311. The last race Jackpot Super Hi-5 also had more than one winner and that carryover grew to $68,662. Darin Zoccali

Australians haven’t seen the last of New Zealand’s latest harness racing star Our Waikiki Beach. Following the freshman’s effortless Australian Pacing Gold victory at Menangle just moments ago, trainer Mark Purdon confirmed the son of Somebeachsomewhere will remain on the mainland during the next couple of months. Instead of heading home for the Harness Jewels, Our Waikiki Beach will stay on this side of the Tasman for the New South Wales Breeders' Challenge. “We are very happy with the way he has come along during this trip to Australia,” Purdon said. “With that in mind, he will stay with Belinda and Luke McCarthy for the Breeders' Challenge. "He also has the Breeders' Crown later in the season." Driven by Natalie Rasmussen, Our Waikiki Beach began swiftly to lead from barrier one, with the remainder of the $322,000 Group One a formality. Never seriously challenged, the colt cruised to a soft 14-and-a-half metre win from Born To Rocknroll, with the quinella provided by Empire Stallions’ sires. Kingofthestars was two-and-a-half metres away third. “From the draw he was always going to be hard to beat, and once he led, the race was well in his keeping,” Purdon said. “I’m very impressed with the way he came away from them up the straight.” With the final 800 metres run in 55.2 seconds, Our Waikiki Beach covered the mile in 1:54.3, extending his unbeaten record to five. PAUL COURTS

Pompano Beach, FL...April 25, 2015...E Z Noah, driven by Aaron Byron, unhurried early through blazing fractions, roared home in :27.1 to post an upset harness racing  win in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Pace on Saturday night. The six year-old gelded son of Western Terror, trained by Shawn Glassmeyer for owner Baron Racing Stable, stopped the timer in 1:50 for his first success of the season in seven starts, drawing clear by two lengths over Steelhead Hanover (Joe Pavia, Jr.) and Johnny Grippa (Bruce Ranger), the latter duo finishing in a dead-heat for second. Three Of Clubs, making his initial appearance this season, was just a nose back in fourth while Raji's Blue Line picked up the nickel in the field of nine. It was Three Of Clubs with gate speed at the start with Steelhead Hanover, beginning from post nine, on the attack early and taking charge just short of the opener in :26.2 with Johnny Grippa next and E Z Noah a relaxed fourth. Positions remained unchanged through the :54.4 half with E Z Noah on the move midway up the backside. With the hot pace continuing through 3/4s in 1:22.1, Steelhead Hanover continued to show the way but, a sixteenth out, E Z Noah had him measured and strolled on by, with Johnny Gripps and Three Of Clubs battling for place honors with with Steelhead. The photo showed Steelhead Hanover and Johnny Gripps tied and Three Of Clubs a nostril back. In a post race interview, driver Aaron Byron said, "Shawn (Trainer Glassmeyer) told me that the horse has a ton of talent and that he thought he'd been on the improve. I thought I might be in a little deep with him but I was hoping for a hot pace with the thought of picking up the pieces if they went 3/4s in, say, (1):22. He was full of pace in the lane when it counted." EZ Noah now has 20 lifetime victories and career bounty of $411,774. As fifth choice on the tote-board, E Z Noah paid $20.60 to his faithful followers. In the $7,000 pace for $15,000 claimers, Neptune Blue Chip, handled by Bruce Ranger, went back to his "old" strategy and used alacrity out of the gate and broke the beams at :26.2, :55.1 and 1:23 before sprinting home in :27.4 to report home in a lifetime best 1:50.4. Though Neptune Blue Chip has had the majority of his wins leading up to this night on or near the front end--20 of 24--he has been racing off the pace in recent events but, on Saturday night, he was on the engine as the gate sprung and, as driver Bruce Ranger said, "he brushed the whole mile." The seven year-old altered son of American Ideal, trained by Jim Mc Donald for Ciro Gentile and Twenty Four Carrot Racing, pinned the wire-to-wire defeat on pocket sitting M G Home Run (Kevin Wallis), 1 1/4 lengths away. Cascata (Dave Ingraham) finished third while Oakmont and Acton Onelasttime picked up the final two awards. Neptune Blue Chip won for the 25th time in his career measuring 116 starts, sending his lifetime bounty to $160,497. As the 8 to 5 favorite, Neptune Blue Chip paid $5.20 to win. In another Saturday night highlight, longtime sports writer Murray Janoff, one of the original founders of the United States Harness Writers Association, was honored on the eve of his 100th birthday. Family and friends, including New York newspaper columnists Dave and Debbie Little, former driver Lucien Fontaine and Harnesslink editor Steve Wolf, joined the sports icon in the winner's circle to pay a well deserved tribute for his coverage of harness racing, as well as pro football, basketball, baseball, track and field and tennis. During his distinguished career spanning eight decades, he has covered some of sport's most prestigious events, including many Super Bowl events, World Series', N.B.A. Playoffs and, of course, many harness racing feature races. Janoff, an astute handicapper, even selected the winner of his race, Beignet ($4.40) and after the race was presented with a "P.H.D." (Professional Handicapping Degree), as well. Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, even with 19 to 1 chance Milliondollartouch taking the finale, saw s16 astute handicapper having the 6-4-7-5-3 combination with the 20 cent ticket returning $636.36. The carryover for Monday night's program is $165,950.91. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park    

The 2015 World Harness Handicapping Championship was conducted on Saturday night at The Meadowlands and the winner, taking home the $14,400 first place prize was William Meisel of Staten Island, N.Y. Meisel, a court officer by day, is a frequent Meadowlands contest player. Tonight, he cashed on 8 out of 10 contest wagers and was in second place going into the 13th and final contest race. William catapulted to the win with a $100 last race win wager on the winner, Rockaholic, sending his bankroll to $1,092 to capture the prize. Official standings will be posted Tuesday. Rachel Ryan 

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 25 - The conditions might have been a bit chilly, but Etruscan Hanover was sizzling Saturday night to a Don Mills harness racing stakes record at Mohawk Raceway. A field of eight four- and five-year-old trotters took to the track Saturday evening for the $44,400 final of the Don Mills Trotting Series. The series finale appeared to be a competitive contest on paper, but Etruscan Hanover would turn the final into his own personal showcase. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Etruscan Hanover sprinted off the gate to the front and posted a speedy opening-quarter of :26.4. The fast first-quarter would be a sign of things to come, as Etruscan Hanover carved out fractions of :55.1 and 1:24 to bring the field into the stretch. Bourbon Bay, the 4/5 favourite, appeared to be getting a nice two-hole trip in behind the leader, but would be not match for Etruscan Hanover in the lane. Etruscan Hanover and Baillargeon trotted home in :28.2 to score a 3 ¼ length victory over Bourbon Bay and established a new Don Mills stakes record of 1:52.2. Exemplar finished third, while Wild And Crazy Guy was fourth. A five-year-old son of Donato Hanover, Etruscan Hanover is trained by Ben Baillargeon, who shares ownership with Santo & Nunzio Vena and Claude Hamel. The gelding trotter has had breaking issues throughout his career, but continually posts successful results when he minds his manners. Etruscan Hanover now has a record of three wins from nine starts this season. The Don Mills final triumph is the tenth career victory for the Baillargeon trainee and increases his bankroll to over $87,000. The stakes record clocking of 1:52.2 knocks more than three-seconds off Etruscan Hanover's previous career-mark. A $2 win ticket on Etruscan Hanover returned $6.80. In order to be eligible to the Don Mills series, the four- and five-year-old trotters had to be non-winners of $150,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2014. Etruscan Hanover J Js Delivery on time in Diplomat opener J Js Delivery shot up the rail late to pull off a 23/1 upset in the first leg of The Diplomat Saturday night at Mohawk. A field of nine three-year-old pacing colts and geldings lined up Saturday for the first round of The Diplomat series. J Js Delivery and driver James MacDonald were the quickest off the gate and posted a solid opening-quarter of :26.1. American Rock, the Youthful series winner and 9/5 second-choice, was parked around the first turn and would overtake the lead as the field rolled into the backstretch. The Wayfaring Man, the 3/2 favourite, came charging first up from fourth around the final turn to tango with the leader down to the three-quarter pole in 1:25.1. In the stretch, Good Friday Three came off the cover of The Wayfaring Man to pace by the leaders and appeared to be on his way to victory. However, MacDonald would find room up the rail in deep stretch to allow J Js Delivery to charge through and score a  length victory over Good Friday Three in 1:52.2. Star Cover come on late to finish third, while The Wayfaring Man and American Rock had to settle for fourth and fifth, respectively. A son of Jeremes Jet, J Js Delivery was making his second start for new trainer Dave Menary Saturday night. The three-year-old gelding is now two-for-two out of the Menary barn and has a record of three wins from five starts in 2015. J Js Delivery, who is owned by Robert Hamather, now has five career victories and earnings of $66,686. The clocking of 1:52.2 drops more than a full-second off of the gelding's previous career-mark. J Js Delivery paid $49.50 to win. J Js Delivery In order to be eligible to The Diplomat, the sophomore pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2014. The second leg of The Diplomat will take place next Saturday (May 2). Mark McKelvie

WILKES-BARRE PA - Sparky Mark ($14.20), the next-to-longest shot in the field, made every pole a winning one in the $25,000 winners-over pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night, with all-time money champion Foiled Again, having to go first-over after a rest of three weeks, finishing fifth, beaten less than four lengths in the 1:49.2 mile.   The red-hot Brothers Allard, driver Simon and trainer Rene, teamed up behind the victorious son of Astreos, who hit the quarter in 26.3 and the half in 55, "walkin'-horse" time over the speedy red clay surface. Foiled Again came first-over but could get no closer than the winner's wheel at the 1:22.4 ¾ pole, with Sparky Mark then turning on the sprint engine even further with a 26.4 dash home to win by a half-length over pocketsitting Luck Be Withyou, a 2013 Breeders Crown winner at Pocono (like Foiled Again) making his 2015 debut here. Kapildeo Singh and Michael Assante share ownership on Sparky Mark, who went over $900,000 in career earnings with the triumph.   Foiled Again's all-time money total now stands at $6,925,031, with his Pocono record 12-5-3-2-$759,636. The 11YO's start on Saturday came a staggering 2780 days since his first appearance at the mountain oval, when as a three-year-old the altered son of Dragon Again was third in a Pennsylvania Sire Stake on July 3, 2007.   ********** This Saturday is Kentucky Derby Day, which The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono will celebrate with the only doubleheader of racing this season. The first race will go at 11:00 a.m., with the evening card set to go at 6:30 p.m.   The highlight of the afternoon card is the debut of the stakes season at Pocono, with a Pennsylvania All-Stars for PA-sired three-year-olds featured next weekend and the one after that - the three-year-old trotting colts will be in the Saturday afternoon spotlight. The evening card feature will be the $50,000 Van Rose Memorial Pace, named after the longtime sportswriter and handicapper of the area.   PHHA / Pocono

The rumours had been circulating for a while in harness racing circles in New Zealand that the champion racehorse and sire Sundon was struggling with health issues. Today Keith Gibson, the managing director of Roydon Lodge confirmed those rumours. "Unfortunately yesterday we had to euthanize Sundon." (recorded as Sondon in the USTA’s stud book). "We were no longer able to adequately manage the pain he suffered from the effects of arthritis and laminitis," Keith said. Imported from North America as a weanling, the son of Arndon was a star performer on the racetrack but it is the siring barn that he made his biggest impact as he revolutionized the trotting breed in Australasia. It is hard to do justice to the impact Sundon has had on the trotting scene in Australasia but a few of the following facts may give you an insight. In New Zealand where there are at best only three trotting races per meeting, Sundon has sired the winners of $26,514,146 to date and it is still rising. Sundon also currently leads the overall New Zealand broodmare charts by over $250,000 from In The Pocket which is a fantastic achievement for a trotting sire. His broodmare earnings in New Zealand alone already stand at $13,061,329 and he hasn't just been the dominant sire in his adopted country. Sundon has also sired the winners of over $15,000,000 in Australia (Nz+Au bred) and $9,475,184 in North America and his total earnings worldwide are in excess of $50,000,000. Sundon is one of those once in a lifetime horses whose influence on the trotting breed in Australasia will continue for generations to come. We here at Harnesslink offer our condolences to Keith Gibson, Michael House and all of the Roydon Lodge staff on the loss of such a magnificent horse. Harnesslink Media

East Rutherford, NJ --- Some of harness racing's biggest stars, including five Dan Patch Award winners, were in qualifier action Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack, where they were greeted by an unseasonably cold morning and stiff headwind in the stretch. Three of the Dan Patch Award winners - older trotters Father Patrick, Market Share and Bee A Magician - met in the ninth of the day's 16 qualifiers, but it was Kevin McDermott-trained Melady's Monet who led them all to the finish line. Melady's Monet, who has raced in the Opens during the winter at the Meadowlands and has won five of eight starts this season, won by 1-1/4 lengths over Father Patrick in 1:54.4. Market Share was third and Bee A Magician fourth, both timed in 1:56. Four-year-old Father Patrick, making his first trip of the season to the track, and driver Yannick Gingras were content to sit behind Melady's Monet through the stretch after fractions of :29.1, :57.4, and 1:27. No harness racing horse earned more money last year than Father Patrick, who banked $1.69 million. He was a divisional Dan Patch Award winner at both ages 2 and 3. "(Father) Patrick looked fantastic," trainer Jimmy Takter said. "Yannick said he was just crawling over (Melady's Monet), but he didn't want to make a sprint of it." Father Patrick, whose wins in 2014 included the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters, Canadian Trotting Classic and Beal Memorial, has done stallion duty while preparing for this season. "He loves it," Takter said. "Everything is good. He's filled out quite a bit; he's much more stout." Bee A Magician, a 5-year-old mare who was the Dan Patch Award Horse of the Year in 2013, was making her final qualifying start prior to the Miami Valley Distaff on May 3. "She was good," trainer Nifty Norman said. "She's come back really good. I'm very happy with her. (Driver Brian Sears) likes to qualify nice and simple, but he's very happy with her. If he's happy, I'm happy." Market Share, a 6-year-old who has won $3.68 million in his career and received Dan Patch Award honors at ages 3 and 4, was making his first qualifying start as he gets ready for the Cutler Memorial (eliminations May 9) at the Meadowlands. "It was pretty much what we expected," trainer Linda Toscano said. "We've kind of gone back to basics and we knew we were going to race him just at the end of the mile. It was such a tough qualifier; we don't really have anything to prove. We just needed to get some work under him. "He'll come back and qualify again next week and he should be the better for it. If he acts like he's good for the Cutler, we'll go to the Cutler. He'll tell us." Pinkman, who was voted the 2014 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter, was the only award-winner to win his qualifier. The Takter-trainee won by three-quarters of a length over stablemate Uncle Lasse in 1:55.1. Aldebaran Eagle and Cruzado Dela Noche, who each won an International Stallion Stakes division last year, were third and fourth, respectively, followed by Breeders Crown runner-up Muscle Diamond. Last season, Pinkman won six of eight races and earned $566,960. Named after a character from the television series, "Breaking Bad," the gelding's victories included the Breeders Crown, in a stakes-record-equaling 1:53.2, and Valley Victory Stakes. "Pinkman is so lazy," Takter said. "He does what you ask of him. It's not impressive at all, but that's him. And he wins. He might be one of those horses we always underestimate." Artspeak, who received the 2014 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old male pacer, made his first qualifying effort Saturday, but went off stride approaching the three-quarters point and finished 10th. Hurrikane Ali, trained by John McDermott Jr., won in 1:51.4. Last year, Artspeak won eight of 10 races and earned $742,185, with top wins coming in the Metro Pace and Governor's Cup. He went off stride in both losses. "He loses his focus sometimes when he comes first over like that," trainer Tony Alagna said. "He did it the other day training up here. He just doesn't pay attention. (Driver Scott Zeron) says he felt perfect, he just loses his focus. If he's on a helmet, he doesn't do it. But he's got to be able to come first over as well. "I'm going to take his hobbles back in a little bit more because they're still two inches longer than they were last year. We'll train him next week and make sure he's OK before we put him back in to qualify. That's why we gave ourselves some extra time, just to make sure, because he's done it before. It's frustrating, but if training horses was easy everybody would do it. We'll fix it and he'll be as good as ever." Takter sent out four qualifier winners, with 3-year-old filly trotters Wild Honey (1:55.1), Lilu Hanover (1:57.4) and Fly Angel Fly (1:56.3) joining Pinkman in victory. Takter's 3-year-old male trotters The Bank, Walter White and French Laundry finished second through fourth behind Crazy Wow in another qualifier featuring multiple stakes winners. "I thought they qualified very good," Takter said. "It's tough weather; the wind is tough, but I'm happy with all of them." Crazy Wow, who won last year's New York Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male trotters, was making his debut for trainer Ron Burke after spending last season with Dan O'Mara. Crazy Wow won in 1:54.1. "He was very good," Burke said. "I wasn't surprised, but he was even better than I thought he would be." Burke also had wins with 3-year-old filly pacers Happiness (1:53.1) and Southwind Roulette (1:53.3). JK Endofanera, who won the 2014 North America Cup, finished second to Larry Remmen-trained Somesizesomestyle in 1:51.3 in a qualifier for older male pacers. Somesizesomestyle was a Breeders Crown runner-up in 2014. "Overall I thought it was real good," Burke said. "I was happy with JK Endofanera; he was strong for his first start. My better horses were what they should have been. They improved today. That's all you're looking for, improvement each time." Steve Elliott had two qualifier winners, with 3-year-old male trotter Twain Drive (1:56.2) and 3-year-old male pacer Artistic Major (1:53.2). Toscano's Dapper Don won a qualifier for 3-year-old male trotters in 1:58.2 and Alagna's 4-year-old male trotter Propulsion won in 1:55. Other winners were Wayne Givens' 5-year-old pacing mare Jerseylicious (1:51.4) and Monte Gelrod's 3-year-old male pacer Maxdaddy Blue Chip (1:52.3). For the complete charts of Saturday's qualifiers, click here. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

MANALAPAN, NJ – April 25, 2015 – Harness racing Hall of Famer Stanley Dancer is competing for a spot in the New Jersey Hall of Fame.  Voting ends on June 7, 2015. Dancer is a nominee in the sports category.  The public may cast ballots here. The Hall of Fame was created to “honor New Jerseyans who have made invaluable contributions.” Dancer, one of the premier harness drivers and trainers in North America, passed away on September 9, 2005 at the age of 78.  He grew up on the family farm in New Egypt, NJ and converted it into a showcase training center called Egyptian Acres.  He campaigned many of the sports greats on his way to induction into the harness racing Hall of Fame in 1969. Dancer earned $1 million in purses in 1964, becoming the first driver to win that much in a single year, and drove Cardigan Bay, the first standardbred horse to win $1 million in career prize money.  He campaigned four Hambletonian winners. His 3,781st and final winner came in 1995, bringing his earnings as a driver to more than $28 million. Dancer trained and driven horses won the Triple Crown three times: trotters Nevele Pride in 1968 and Super Bowl in 1972, and with Most Happy Fella in 1970. He trained and drove the harness Horse of the Year seven times: trotters Su Mac Lad in 1962 and Nevele Pride in 1967 through 1969, and pacers Albatross in 1971 and 1972 and Keystone Ore in 1976. By Carol Hodes for SBOANJ

When Maurice Chevalier sang "thank heaven for little girls for they grow bigger every day"; little did NAADA president Joe Faraldo know how true those words were until the USA-French Friendship Competition was completed at The Meadowlands on Friday night (April 24) when America's Hannah Miller won the final leg of the event which vaulted the USA team to a harness racing victory 107-96. Miller reined Jacks to Open to a 1:57.1 triumph which was the second conquest by a girl in the four -race competition. The USA's Monica Banca had won the first leg at Yonkers Raceway last Tuesday (April 21). The girls really came through for us," Faraldo admitted, and then added that winning or losing never really comes into play because amateur racing is a good excuse for human relations. But don't get me wrong, winning is still preferred." After the French team was licensed in New Jersey they had a tour of the new Meadowlands grandstand before they put on their battle gear and readied for the competition in the first race on the betting card. Going into the race it appeared the USA team had the stronger steeds in the 10-race contest and although Hannah Miller's horse got the late money and was sent away as the favorite it took a confident drive by the young lady to get him to the winners circle. When the wings of the staggered starting gate folded Bob Hechkoff gunned his Bambino Hall to the lead from the 10-hole and they had control in a :28.2 opening stanza. Meanwhile Miller and Jacks To Open found a position along the pylons in the back of the field. Hechkoff was forced to keep after his trotter because Picture Perfect (Steve Oldford) was getting plenty of fresh air challenging while on the limb. Smartly, Ms Miller moved Jacks To Open second-up a behind cover supplied by Picture Perfect at the halfway point as the timer flashed :56.4. Oldford's trotter kept going forward which also moved Jacks To Open closer to the lead as the field passed the three quarters. On the final turn Miller moved her charge three-deep and they trotted around Picture Perfect and then took aim at Bambino Hall who had scooted away to a four-length lead at the top of the long homestretch. Perhaps it was the quick pace in the early going that took a toll on the Hechkoff's trotter but as they headed for paydirt Jacks To Open ranged alongside the leader and then spurted away to score a one length triumph over Bambino Hall. Third place was garnered by 55-1 long shot Bloomfieldcantifly, driven by yet another girl, France's Sophie Blanchetiere. The winner, owned by KDM Stables and trained by Nick Surick, paid $4.40 for win. Hannah Miller continues to ride her amazing hot streak. Her record this season now stands at six wins in 21 starts with 12 of those 21 races resulting in an in-the-money finish. In her fledgling career, Miller has won 15 of 41 starts. After her victory which gave the USA the upper hand against their French counterparts Hannah was asked how she felt. "I feel great now but I was a little worried before the race because Perfect Picture won in (1):55.2 last week", she said. "But the race set-up right for me. When he (Perfect Picture) got hung out I saw an opportunity and took advantage of it by moving second-up at the half and then following cover all the way to the top of the stretch. In the lane my horse was the strongest and at the finish we were the best." Now that the competition is over, on Saturday night (April 25) NAADA will treat their guests to a boat ride around the Statue of Liberty on the World Yacht. Then on Sunday the French amateurs will head for home. by John Manzi for NAADA

WELLINGTON, FL- This past Sunday, April 19, 2015, Stathis Enterprises (SE) and the World Chariot Racing Federation (WCRF) were sponsors of the 111th U.S Open Polo Championship - and wrapped up the 2015 polo season with the go-to VIP party of the season, where top Polo officials, players and fans gathered to celebrate this year's championship match. It was won in overtime by Valiente over Orchard Hill, 11-9. Guests were also treated to a sneak peak of the WCRF's collection of state-of-art harness racing chariots, which promise to revolutionize the Standardbred industry. It was a perfect blend of harness racing and polo. "The U.S. Open Polo Championship final is a great way to celebrate tradition, culture and of course, horses. For that reason, we're especially proud to connect our next generation with an equestrian sport that has withstood the test of time for more than 2,000 years - chariot racing," said SE and WCRF founder Sam Stathis. "The WCRF aims to raise major visibility for harness racing and exceed all previous expectations by attracting new fans and new owners to the sport that founded the Olympic games in antiquity," Stathis said. "While our new chariots may look futuristic they function much like their original counterparts during the Olympic Games of Ancient Greece." The exclusive after party held at the Palm Beach International Polo Club (IPC), was a veritable who's who of the polo industry, including IPC President John Wash, the Patron of the Coca-Cola Women's Polo Team, Gillian Johnston, the number one internationally ranked polo player, Adolfo Cambiaso, actor/rapper Vanilla Ice, polo star Nic Roldan and girlfriend/equestrian Jessica Springsteen, plus publisher Roxanna Cella and Jason Fenescey (Editor) of "Palm Beach Rox" and LIFE|STYLE Magazine. The event, organized by Eventsy, also featured a showcase and auction of the latest collection of luxury handbags from fashion designer Stefano Laviano - with 100% of the proceeds to be donated to Horses Healing Hearts, a 501c3 charitable organization that helps children raised with addiction in their home to begin recovery by working with horses. About WCRF Dedicated to revitalizing and re-branding harness racing as a "Sustainable Sport"â„¢ with as much thrill and excitement as auto racing, the World Chariot Racing Federation (WCRF) is creating heightened interest with events being scheduled around the world. With the WCRF bringing together breeders, owners, trainers, drivers, tracks, fans, media groups and corporate sponsors, the WCRF also champions the green revolution, spearheading the growth of ecological sustainability in both harness chariot racing and auto sports combined. About Stathis Enterprises Stathis Enterprises, (SE) led by Founder and CEO Sam Stathis, operates an extensive research and development program committed to continuous evolution and exploration by generating new and innovative technologies that deliver the highest quality products and services. Some of SE's products and services include Polo Electric Corporation, Celebrity Vision Marketing, Celebrity Farms Racing, Theometrics and Theometrics University. About Eventsy Eventsy is New York City's fastest growing social and business networking company that caters to elite professionals by filling their personal and professional lives with weekly opportunities to network, meet new people, and accelerate their career paths, while experiencing the city's best restaurants, lounges and "invite only" events. For more information, please visit: http://www.stathisenterprises.com http://www.worldchariot.org/about/ By Steve Wolf and Eventsy for Stathis Enterprises    

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 24 - Moonlit Dance and harness racing driver James MacDonald made a bold statement with a 1:52 victory in the opening leg of the Princess Series Friday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Just a single $20,000 division, featuring a field of eleven, was needed for the first leg of the three-week Princess Series for three-year-old pacing fillies. Moonlit Dance, the 9/5 favourite, turned in a razor-sharp performance to strike first in the series-opener. Driven by MacDonald, Moonlit Dance got away early in fourth and would be right lined to the outside in the second-quarter. The daughter of Art Major would eventually clear to the front before the final turn and took the field down to the three-quarter pole in a speedy 1:23.4. In the stretch, Moonlit Dance quickly created several lengths of separation on her rivals and cruised home in :28.1 to score her first victory of the season by four-lengths. Maplelea paced a :26.4 final-quarter to come from tenth at the three-quarter pole to finish second, while Twin B Honour finished third. Moonlit Dance is trained by Tony O'Sullivan for owner David Goodrow Stable. The sophomore pacing filly came into Friday night's race having finished second in all three of her starts this season. The 1:52 victory is the second victory of her career and establishes a new career-mark. Moonlit Dance's career bankroll now sits at $44,354. She returned $5.80 to win. In order to be eligible to the Princess Series, the three-year-old pacing fillies had to be non-winners of $100,000 in 2014. The second leg of the Princess will take place next Friday (May 1) and series action continues Saturday night at Mohawk with the first leg of the Diplomat for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie

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YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 25, 2015 - A perfect trip and plastic shoes did wonders for Domethatagain (Dan Dube, $17.60) Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway $529,000 final of the harness racing George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Starting from the inside post position in the Free-For-All event--harness racing's richest race of the season to date--Domethatagain saw defending series champion P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) leave like a shot from the far outside. P H Supercam's job was made much easier when the three horses directly inside of him-6-5 favorite Take it Back Terry (George Brennan), Polak A (Brian Sears) and "Supercam's" stablemate, Mach it So (Tim Tetrick)-were all off the gate. P H Supercam made the lead before a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. Domethatagain was away second, with Lucan Hanover (Dave Miller) third. "Lucan" was out early, instigating the issue toward a spiffy, :55.3 intermission, while Beach Memories (Yannick Gingras) chased from second-over. P H Supercam and Lucan Hanover dropped the gloves in a :27.2 third quarter (1:23), with the former clinging to a short lead into the lane. Domethatagain then angled inside, getting first "run" and drawing out. He best a third-over Take it Back Terry by a length in 1:51.1. Beach Memories was third, with P H Supercam fading to fourth. Mach it So earned the final pay envelope, with Windsong Jack (Eric Carlson), Polak A and Lucan Hanover rounding out the order. The final time made it the fastest local mile of the season and one-fifth off the stakes record (Maltese Artist's [Greg Grismore] 1:51 in 2007). For fifth choice Domethatagain, a 6-year-old son of Bettor's Delight co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bob Hamather and Bruce Soulsby, it was his second win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid exacta paid $70.50, the triple returned $391 and the superfecta paid $739. "I was surprised to see (P H Supercam) coming at me so early, because he usually doesn't leave that fast," Dube-winning his first Levy-said. "I had no problem sitting behind him and it worked out perfectly. He's hasn't always been same horse every week, but he was very good tonight." "We weren't happy with the way he was handling the track, so we tried plastic shoes up front," Allard said. "We thought he'd be better with them, and obviously it helped." Not to mention a helluva trip. Domethatagain The 28th edition of the Levy again honored the Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway, with the Levy family in attendance to make the winner's circle presentation. A $100,000 series consolation was won by Sapphire City (Mark MacDonald, $29.80) in 1:52.2 Note that since no one took Saturday night's Pick 5, Monday's gimmick begins with a carryover of $4,752.50 ($10,000 guaranteed pool). The Raceway's live season continues Monday (post time 7:10 PM), Tuesday (1 PM, $66,500 final of YR/SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all nighttime programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 25, 2015 - “The last quarter is her best quarter.” Such was pre-race assessment and post-race reminder from harness racing driver Jason Bartlett after Venus Delight ($5.80, part of entry) prevailed from the pocket Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway $261,000 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker for Open Pacing Mares. Starting from the inside post position in harness racing’s second-richest race of the season to date (behind the final of the G-M Levy), Venus Delight gave up the early baton to last season’s runner-up, Yagonnakissmeornot (Brian Sears). That one laid down early intervals of 27-second flats and :56.1 before her stablemate/entrymate Carolsideal (Dan Dube), the other half of the 1-2 favored proposition, moved from fourth. “Yagonna” and “Carol” moved in tandem toward a 1:24.4 three-quarters, with “Venus” pocketed and Monkey on My Wheel (Dave Miller) working from second-over. Yagonnakissmenot maintained a tenuous lead in and out of the final turn, but Venus Delight was waiting for her close-up. She ducked in and went by a stubborn leader, prevailing by three-quarters of a length in a season’s-best 1:52.4. Carolsideal held third, with Fancy Desire (Yannick Gingras) and the winner’s parimutuel partner, Krispy Apple (Tim Tetrick), grabbing the final two pay envelopes. Monkey on My Wheel, String (Eric Carlson) and the retiring Camille (George Brennan) completing the order.    For second choice (with her stablemate) Venus Delight, a 5-year-old daughter of Bettor’s Delight owned by Bamond Racing LLC and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was her third in in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid exacta paid $8.10, with the triple returning $19.80. “Last week (final series preliminary leg), I wanted to see her on the front because she hadn’t been there in so long,” Bartlett said. “She didn’t seem as comfortable. She’d rather have a target to go after.” A $75,000 series consolation was won by a first-up For the Ladies N (Sears, $13.40) in 1:53.1. Frank Drucker
Vernon, NY -- Commencing a rally out of last with five-sixteenths of the mile to go, Damon Blue Chip ($44.00) stunned harness racing fans in Saturday (April 25) evening's $10,000 Open Pace at Vernon Downs, passing every other horse in the race to just prevail.   The six-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding came away last of the field of five, allowing odds-on favorite Ashley's Husband (Fern Paquet, Jr.) to establish solid early sectional times of :26.2 and :55. Before entering the far turn, Ashley's Husband felt strong pressure from the first-over JK Panache (Chris Lems), and John MacDonald moved Damon Blue Chip off the pegs from last as the top pair dueled through a :27.3 third quarter. Ultimately carried four-wide at the top of the stretch, Damon Blue Chip was urged to gobble up ground through the stretch, prevailing in the final yards over a game Ashley's Husband. JK Panache flattened at the top of the stretch, narrowly holding third.   MacDonald, also the winning trainer, co-owns Damon Blue Chip with the J P Stables.   The featured event was the cornerstone of a driving grand slam for MacDonald, who also prevailed with another trainee of his, Dragon Fever ($6.40, 1:52). The Green Knight ($6.90, 1:53.2) and Hot Lemonade ($4.70, 1:54.2) rounded out MacDonald's quartet of driving wins on the evening's 13-race card.   The aforementioned Hot Lemonade was one of two winners in the first round of the Anthony Farina Pacing Series, pouncing from the pocket to defeat Sweet Bobbie (Chris Lems) in their division. Lilys Real Boy ($7.10) took the other $4,000 split, carried wide when circling to the fore early before kicking clear to a 6-1/4 length 1:53.2 victory with Fern Paquet, Jr. in the bike.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday evening, with first post scheduled for 6:45 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs  
Sophomore pacing colts kicked off Saturday's harness racing stake action at Balmoral Park with a field of seven lined up behind the gate for the $8,000 Betzotic Stake. This battle wound up being nothing more than a stroll in the park for James & Teri Blackmon's Dixie's Boy as he posted a decisive 3 ¾ length front stepping score in 1:54.4 over the "good" surface.   Getting away fourth as Dakota Roadster (Robert Smolin) led the field through an opening quarter in a pedestrian 30.0 driver Casey Leonard moved Dixie's Boy to the front as the field settled onto the backstretch.   Gliding along comfortably on the lead through middle splits of 59.2 & 1:27.2 the gelded son of Duneside Perch--Dingy's Model had plenty in reserve for the stretch drive, cruising home untouched in 26.4 to secure his fourth career win in start number 17. Last year's divisional leader Earndawg (Todd Warren) finished up well to edge Dakota Roadster in a tight photo for the place money.   The Joel Smith trained bay returned $8.40, $3.80 & $3.00 while upping his career bankroll to $19,814.   Older pacers were next on the docket as a field of six veterans renewed acquaintances in the $14,000 Rambling Willie Stake.   As he's done so many times over the years James Behrendt's Ice Scraper managed to get loose on the lead and there was no catching the speedball on this night as he reported home with a three-quarters of a length victory in a snappy 1:50.0 on the wet chilly evening.   Gunned to the front by Brian Carpenter the six-year-old son of Yankee Skyscaper rattled off splits of 26.3, 55.2 & 1:22.1 while going along unchallenged on the "engine".   After widening his advantage at the top of the stretch the Mike Brown trainee gamely dug in through the lane, sealing the deal with a 27.4 final panel to post his fourth victory of the season. Big Brad (Robert Smolin) rallied nicely to finish second while the pocket sitting FortSilky (Casey Leonard) was forced to settle for the show dough.   The win was the 26th of this gelding's illustrious career and with Saturday's payday Ice Scraper now boasts career earnings of almost $310,000. The third choice in the wagering in his return to the local scene Ice Scraper returned $7.80, $3.60 & $2.60 to his backers.   A number of last season's top freshmen pacing fillies were also in action on Saturday night's third race.   Renewing the rivalry they established last season Kay Willis's Lex wound up getting the best of last season's champ Mr Leland's Filly, posting a 4 ½ length wire to wire victory in 1:53.0 over a track listed as good. The win was the fifth in 11 career starts for the Nelson Willis trained miss. Mr Leyland's Filly was a late charging second while Galley Wench was third in this prep.   Live racing continues on Sunday, April 26th, at BalmoralPark with a 10-race card getting underway at 7:10 p.m. (central). Sunday's $1 Pick 4 features a guaranteed pool of $25,000. The state-bred stakes action will also continue on Sunday with a field of seven sophomore trotting fillies slugging it out in the $8,000 Koochie Stake which goes as race two.   Tom Kelley      
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