The Fiery Ginga - The

The "Ginga" is back.

Just a little over five months ago, harness racing trainer  Alan Clark thought the racing career of his star trotter The Fiery Ginga had come to a premature end. A vet examination in Melbourne had revealed that Clark's pride and joy had badly fractured a sesamoid bone. Alan Clark reflected this week on how bad the fracture The Fiery Ginga sustained was. "The vet told me that the fracture was that bad that he hadn't been able to screw all the bone back together and that the best I could hope for was that it would mend naturally." "He was adamant that it was very unlikely that The Fiery Ginga would ever race again."  After returning to his home in Timaru, Alan boxed The Fiery Ginga for a month and then let him out into a small paddock for the next two months with the affected leg bandaged. "He started galloping around  at home like a yearling so I got him checked out and received the all clear to put him back into work" The Fiery Ginga has been in work for twelve weeks now and has shown no signs of any residual effects from his injury. He has now reached the point where Alan was about to go to the trials with him but with the Timaru race meeting being right on his back door step, Alan decided to accept with The Fiery Ginga for the C2 front Equine Veterinary Services Trot over 2600 meters at Timaru on Sunday. As you would expect for a trotter that has won 27 races and $401,174, The Fiery Ginga has been handicapped off 50 meters in a field full of seasoned and smart trotters such as Spell, Donaldson and Idle Conn. But Alan Clark is confident of a big run on The Fiery Ginga's return to the track. "His work has been first class and his heart rate and recovery are right where they should be." "They will know he's there, that's for sure." Safely through Sunday's run, The Fiery Ginga will be set for the Flying Mile at Ashburton on Labour weekend and then on to the trotters free for all on New Zealand Cup day. Alan Clarke is confident The Fiery Ginga is back to his best and is looking forward to Ashburton especially. "He loves Ashburton and has been placed in the flying mile there the last two years so I will be heading there with a fair degree of confidence." It says a lot for the determination of The Fiery Ginga and his trainer Alan Clark that five months after being told he would never race again, the duo are set for another successful season on the track. Harnesslink Media

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Grand Circuit Week hits Mohawk Raceway

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 27 - Harness racing's finest is taking over Mohawk Racetrack. The annual Grand Circuit week begins tomorrow evening (August 28) with the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies and wraps up next Saturday (September 6). The Champlain Stakes for two-year-olds and Simcoe Stakes for three-year-olds are staples on the Grand Circuit schedule every year. "Having North America's top two and three-year-olds come to Mohawk is exciting and something we all look forward to," said Scott McKelvie, WEG's Racing Secretary and Director of Racing. "The Grand Circuit's annual visit is always a highlight of the racing season." Thursday night three Champlain divisions for more than $83,000 will take place for the freshman trotting fillies. Spirit To Win (PP3), the winner of this year's Pure Ivory Series, leads the group of eight in the first division. A daughter of Cantab Hall - Celebrity Spirit, Spirit To Win has won three times in four career starts for trainer Dustin Jones. The second division features Ontario Sires Stakes standout Danielle Hall (PP6) for the trainer/driver duo of Carl and Jody Jamieson. A daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe - Debbie Hall, Danielle Hall has won four of her five career starts for earnings of over $137,000. Jolene Jolene (PP1) is the 4-5 morning line favourite in the third and final division. Trained by Jonas Czernyson, Jolene Jolene is a daughter of Muscle Hill - Celebrity Speedie and has one win in four career starts. She was the runner-up in the $352,050 Merrie Annabelle at the Meadowlands on August 2. The stakes action will continue on Friday night with two divisions of more than $103,000 of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies and two $124,621 divisions of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old trotters. World champion Lifetime Pursuit, the winner of this year's Hambletonian Oaks, headlines the group of 13 three-year-old trotting fillies. Trained by Jimmy Takter, Lifetime Pursuit will start from post six in the second Simcoe Stakes division (Race 9) with driver Brett Miller. She is coming off a stakes record victory of 1:52.1 in the Casual Breeze Stakes last Friday at Mohawk. Miller and Takter will also team up in the second Champlain Stakes division with freshmen trotting colt French Laundry. A son of Muscles Yankee - Creamy Mimi, French Laundry has won three of his five career starts and will start from post three. On Saturday evening, the $207,689 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies and the $218,076 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old trotters will take place as part of the massive Canadian Pacing Derby card. Precocious Beauty leads a group of nine three-year-old pacing fillies in the Simcoe Stakes. Last year's She's A Great Lady Stakes winner, Precocious Beauty will start from post four for the trainer/driver team of Gregg and Doug McNair. A large field of 12 three-year-old trotters starring this year's Hambletonian winner Trixton will meet in their Simcoe Stakes division. Trixton, who has drawn post eleven in the second tier, will be making his first start since capturing the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands on August 2. Trixton will also be making his first start at Mohawk since he set the track record of 1:51.3 in the $272,100 Goodtimes Stakes on June 14. Trainer Jimmy Takter will take his usual position in the bike behind Trixton on Saturday evening. After a busy weekend, the Champlain and Simcoe Stakes action will resume next Saturday (September 6) with the $260,000 Champlain Stakes for two-year-old pacers, the $240,000 Champlain Stakes for the two-year-old pacing fillies and the $240,000 Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers. Racing fans can stay up to date with the Grand Circuit by visiting their Facebook page www.Facebook.com/TheGrandCircuit and all of Mohawk's racing action at www.MohawkRacetrack.com by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

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Are Ontario horsemen sucked in? Muscle Hill preview

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Contract with COSTA/WEG may not be that great - We billed it last week in a Harnesslink.com exclusive as one of the greatest possible agreements in Standardbred racing, but since then we have learned more about the dealings and how questions still remain unanswered. Graham Beirne's Betting Restricted in NZ - One of the biggest gamblers on harness racing in New Zealand is Graham Beirne who is a well-known figure in the harness racing industry. A prolific breeder and owner, his horses carry the "Anvil" trademark at the start or end of their names. Stallion Review – Muscle Hill - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the very good racehorse and stallion Muscle Hill, 1:50.1 ($3,266,835). New Low Cost Sales Format in New Zealand - A few feathers have certainly been ruffled with the announcement of the Broodmare and mixed stock being run by the Standardbred Breeders Association at Addington in September. Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

I Luv The Nitelife, harness racing

It's official; I Luv The Nitelife has been retired

It was announced yesterday by owners Richard and Joanne Young and trainer Chris Ryder that the party is over for world champion pacer I Luv The Nitelife as she has been retired from racing. After attempting to come back from an injury sustained at the end of the 2013 season, owners Richard and Joanne Young made the decision to quit with I Luv The Nitelife on Tuesday. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover - Lisjune was winless in two starts this year after recovering from a slab knee fracture and atrial fibrillation. "[She] has a few issues we didn't feel she deserved to race with," trainer Chris Ryder confirmed to Trot Insider. "Just a great mare, all heart. Very saddened by her retirement but it is the thing to do." Richard Young purchased I Luv The Nitelife, a daughter of stallion Rocknroll Hanover out of the mare Lisjune, for $60,000 under the name Hard Rock Deo at the Lexington Selected Sale in 2011. Richard Young loves to name his yearlings with something unique and came up with "I Luv The Nitelife" as he has done with other top horses he and Joanne own including Put On A Show.  Now according to the Young's, I Luv The Nitelife will go to the breeding shed next season. "We are going to miss you racing sweet girl!," Joanne Young said, "Oh, but the babies you will make!" As a two-year-old, 'Nitelife' put together a record reading 4-4-1 in 10 freshman starts to bank $682,574 in purses for the Youngs and trainer Chris Ryder. In addition to setting a world record of 1:50.1 in an elimination of the She's A Great Lady at Mohawk Racetrack, she also won the final along with divisions of the Eternal Camnation and Bluegrass Stakes. I Luv The Nitelife was also a runner-up in the Champlain Stake, International Stallion Stakes and Breeders Crown. The O'Brien voters gave her the nod as their choice for Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year in 2012. The voters had no doubt who was the best three-year-old pacing filly in 2013. I Luv The Nitelife won 13 of 15 races last year and $1.25 million en route to divisional honours as Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year in Canada and capturing USHWA's Dan Patch Award in the U.S. Her sophomore triumphs included the Breeders Crown, Fan Hanover, Valley Forge, Lynch Memorial, Jugette, Mistletoe Shalee and Miss New Jersey Pacing Classic. Her 1:48.4 time in the Valley Forge is the world record for a three-year-old filly on a five-eighths-mile track.   For her career, the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Lisjune has won 17 of 27 races and $1.94 million. No female pacer in harness racing history has won more money at ages two and three. "‎Very appreciative of the honors she accumulated," added Ryder. "Very special. She will be impossible to replace." With two world records and multiple stakes under her belt, one of her losses stands out to her co-owner as the race that shows her guts and determination. "Her last race [at three] in the American National," Richard Young told Trot Insider. "She should have lost by 10 and just got beat. One of the most memorable races of my life, and more than likely the race that ended her career." ‎"A mare like 'Nitelife' is as good as it gets, all business," continued Young. "She gave all she had in every race. She didn't wait for things to set up. She forced everyone to alter their style to race her. "If she passes her will to compete, she will be the ultimate broodmare." by Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com with files from Trot Insider

Freehold, NJ --- Trainer Nifty Norman might not be expecting his star mare Bee A Magician to beat the sport’s top male trotters in Friday’s $236,000 Crawford Farms Open at Vernon Downs, but he’s not shying from the challenge, either. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada, will face nine male rivals in the Crawford. The field includes world champion Sebastian K, who was Sweden’s Horse of the Year in 2012 and is harness racing’s No. 1-ranked horse this season, plus major stakes-winners Archangel, Intimidate, Market Share, Mister Herbie, and Spider Blue Chip. “I’m not intimidated,” Norman said. “We’ve got to do it at some point, anyway, and I think she seems really good right now. I don’t expect to win, but I expect her to be good. She looks fantastic, nice and sound.” Bee A Magician, a 4-year-old mare who was undefeated in 17 races last season, has won two of eight starts this year and finished second on five occasions. She enters the Crawford off a track-record 1:55 victory over the boys in the open on Aug. 22 at Yonkers Raceway. “That had some bearing on our decision, although that was not the same quality field,” Norman said. “But I liked the way she raced there. “Basically, we’ve got to race and it was either against the mares for $40,000 (in Monday’s Miss Versatility Series leg at Tioga Downs) or the boys for $240,000. Getting a piece of $240,000 is better than winning for $40,000. We figured we’d give it a shot. “Plus Classic Martine is racing as good as anybody right now. It’s not like facing the mares was going to be easy.” Prior to the win in the Yonkers open, Bee A Magician finished second twice to Classic Martine in the Ima Lula Series at the Meadowlands. Classic Martine captured the final by a neck in 1:51.1, equaling Bee A Magician’s world-record time for a 4-year-old female trotter. Three of Bee A Magician’s second-place finishes this year came in miles of 1:51.2 or faster. Another came in the Hambletonian Maturity, contested at 1-1/8 mile, against 4-year-old male rivals. “I haven’t been disappointed with her at all this year,” said Norman, who trains Bee A Magician for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee. “I’ve thought she’s gone some great trips. “People keep asking what’s wrong with her because she’s not winning every race. I didn’t expect her to. It’s tough at this age (4). This year is really a learning curve to see how she handles the step up. It’s more to help plan for next year.” Bee A Magician, who has won 29 of 38 races and $2.49 million, will start the Crawford from post three with regular driver Brian Sears. Sebastian K, who has won seven of eight races this year, his first season in North America, starts from post five for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. He is the fastest trotter in history thanks to his 1:49 win in the Sun Invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on June 28. Intimidate is the only horse to defeat Sebastian K this year, winning the Maple Leaf Trot by a nose. Intimidate, who starts from post eight, won last year’s edition of the Crawford, then called the Credit Winner. Market Share, who has won 24 of 49 races and $3.43 million in his career, was last season’s Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter and the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter. He will start Friday from the trailing position, post 10. “It’s a very good field, that’s for sure,” Norman said. “(Bee A Magician) has got a good spot. There’s lots of speed in there, and if she winds up getting a good enough trip, she should be good enough to get a piece.” The field for the Crawford in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 2. Spider Blue Chip, Corey Callahan, Chuck Sylvester; 3. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, Nifty Norman; 4. Flanagan Memory, Brett Miller, Rene Dion; 5. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt; 6. Master Of Law, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter; 7. Mister Herbie, Brian Sears, Jeff Gillis; 8. Intimidate, Ron Pierce, Luc Blais; 9. Quick Deal, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 10. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano. Spider Blue Chip and Bee A Magician will race as an entry. Market Share will start from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Harness racing participants are widely-regarded as being among the most generous and that status has been proven yet again. Less than a week out from the TAB.COM.AU Charity Day, a host of star reinsman have declared they will donate their earnings from a specified meeting towards the Childrens’ Tumour Foundation. Chris Alford and Shayne Cramp (Victoria), Luke McCarthy (New South Wales), Peter McMullen (Queensland), Ricky Duggan (Tasmania), Clint and Gary Hall junior (Western Australia) and Ryan Hryhorec (South Australia) will all ‘sport’ the foundation’s racing silks at a program of their choice and will donate all earnings from the day to the cause. On top of that, several of Victoria’s leading concession drivers have also dipped into their pockets. Josh Aiken, Alex Ashwood, Josh Duggan, Haydon Gray and Zac Phillips have joined forces to make a donation. Each has “thrown in” $200, with the collective $1000 - a great compliment to the recent $5000 from James and Son and the $1000 from Arthur Fullwood. Thrilled with the Fab Five’s gesture, event organiser Robbie O’Connell stated the friendship between the talented reinsmen will end come game day. “It is a wonderful gesture from the five of them,” O’Connell said. “One top of their game fee, they have thrown in an extra $200. “They may have come together as a group for this, but they will split up into three teams on game day, so I’m sure white line fever will creep in. “No doubt they will enjoy revving each other up on the field and give the odd hip and shoulder for the sake of it.” Other industry identities to support the day include Alabar Bloodstock, which has covered the costs of the footballs and netballs as well as donating a service to Grinfromeartoear, which will be the headliner of a major raffle. A service to Union Guy donated by John Campbell is also in the mix, with connections of Red Samurai also chiming in with a service to the former handy trotter. There are also plenty of prizes for the non-breeders, including a 10 kilogram block of Cadbury chocolate, Bolinda Publishing Audio Books and a Myer voucher. Yirribee Stud has returned with mugs for the Most Valuable Player in each code, while Tabcorp is back as the football jumper sponsor and will supply jumpers for the four teams. The squads will be assembled from four districts – Melton (Go Blues), Ballarat, Shepparton and Bendigo. Other sponsors include Seelite Windows and Doors, Kevin Riseley, Allan McNeil and Glenn Sharp. A small fee of $50 for players and spectators (under 16 free) covers the costs of Sunday’s sausage sizzle, the games and the night’s function. Last year’s event raised $14,000, which is outstanding considering the foundation receives $18,000 from the government. Along with the fun and games, the function will also include a memorabilia auction. It was last year’s auction that proved to be the biggest money spinner for the cause. Paul Smart from Azuma International supplied the various pieces of memorabilia, which raised almost $8000 for the Chrildren's Tumour Foundation. Unlike 99.9 percent of auctions, Azuma International didn’t place a reserve on the items. For examples, a supplier will put a $500 reserve on a particular item, and should it sell for $550, the charity only receives $50! Azuma International, however, split the takings down the middle. Paul Courts    

His list of horses the he has either owned or been involved with racing, breeding or otherwise, reads just about like a Who’s Who of harness racing greats. There is Nihilator, World Champion, Horse of the Year and still the richest pacer of all time with $3.2 million...Camtastic—Pacer of the Year and winner of over $2 million...these horses are closely associated with Northwood Bloodstock owner and president Bob Boni, who selected the horses and managed the racing stables that campaigned these great superstars and many other prime-time players in the Standardbred industry. Bob manages his Northwood Bloodstock Agency, Inc. with a "hands-on" approach and experience gleaned from over 35 years in nearly all facets of the Standardbred industry. “The way the cycle is now in my business,” said Bob Boni, “there is no “down time” except maybe during Christmas week. We just finished working with the Standardbred Sales Company and their Meadowlands sale and now we move on to getting all the yearlings set for Harrisburg. Stall assignments, catalog has gone to press, videos being done and before you know it’s sale time and once that is over then there is the January sale at the Meadowlands coming right up. It keeps going and going. “Then between all the sales,” Bob explained, “There are stallion deals, broodmares and racehorses in private sales that also needs to be handled. It’s never ending.” Bob started out at Pine Hollow Stud Farm and continuing with management roles at Dreamaire Stud, the Wall Street Racing Stable and North American Sales Co., Bob has lent his expertise to both the breeding and racing industry on many fronts. He has also served as a consultant to the Tattersalls Sales Co. in inspecting yearlings for their annual Select Sale. Bob's strong background in the study and evaluation of both pedigrees and conformation, coupled with his marketing and promotional skills, has helped propel Northwood Bloodstock into its position as one of North America's largest and most respected bloodstock agencies. There are not many major or minor race events, sales, qualifiers or social gatherings that Bob is not in attendance at throughout North America. “I try not to miss many major events,” Boni explained, “But because of computers I can watch any race live or via replay so I don’t have to jump in my car and drive to Harrah’s or Pocono as much as I use to. “What I see now that has changed the way we do business over the past 15 to 20 years,” Bob explained, “is the way we can do business due to technology. We use to labor over the Sire and Dams books, looking up and researching horses. Now we can do it with the click of a mouse. We can watch any race replay and we do not have to wait for the mailman to bring us our horse magazines so we can catch up on events from the prior week or call the USTA’s hotline for race results every morning like the old days. “Now I think we have even a bigger workload due to advance technology,” Bob said. “Everyone thrives on information and now you have to make sure you have it ready at your fingertips if someone asks. If you are not electronically set up to get this information ASAP then you can’t do your job properly. It has created more of a workload but it is worth the effort. “If you are the first one to do something unique and give special access to your customers,” Bob explained, “You will always do well in this business. Back in 1976 I remember in that same year both Hanover Shoe Farm and myself, working for Pine Hollow, started shooting video tape of yearlings for the sales. “I went to a company called Edwar Video and gave them a $10,000 deposit,” Bob said, “Because they were worried if we broke their equipment. I also learned to really appreciate those news cameramen of the times because carrying that camera on your shoulder was like carrying a piece of furniture. And then you had a battery pack strapped around the waist. But boy did it make a difference at the sales. It revolutionized how we sell horses. “It was amazing that both I and Hanover came to Harrisburg with the first yearling videos,” Bob said. “We both had video of our yearlings and no one else had it. You would have had to go to the farms to these yearling and now you see them in action right at the sales. “Tony Leonard, the world class equine photographer,” Bob said, “Was the one who first suggested it. He would come to Pine Hollow to take photos for us and he told me how at a party for some Thoroughbred people he saw someone made up a video tape of their horses racing and that I should consider doing it for the yearlings in action. “We became the very first outfit to ever do it for the Standardbred Industry for races too. The very first horse was Destin Grade and he was bought by Vic Sobolewski of Vijo, Inc. We brought in a TV and the VCR and the horse had won the night before at Roosevelt Raceway. We showed that tape and turned up the sound and everyone came to see where the race call was coming from. We had lots of people watch this horse win the night before and he brought more money that I thought he was worth. “So today it is not uncommon for someone to come and have already watched ten yearlings on video online,” said Bob, “They may ask to take them out of the stall to see them close up and then watch the video again. Information plays such a big role in today’s market and you must be up on everything to stay ahead of the game.” If you are interested in purchasing any horse or seek information about a stallion or broodmare prospect, make sure to visit www.northwoodbloodstock.com or give Bob Boni a call anytime at (201) 863-2082. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

It was a show that fans at Red Shores Charlottetown won't soon forget.   Jody Jamieson started early and he finished late, winning five races and four of the eight legs of the National Driving Championship, good enough for 96 points and his fifth berth in the World Driving Championships.   "It feel's actually amazing, I'm super pumped about it," Jamieson said about getting to represent his country one more time.   The two-time World Driving Champion got the ball rolling early in the competition winning the first two heats with C J Bluefin in 1:58.2 and followed that up in the second heat with Oppies Lifes Line.   "I don't like to say anything bad about a guys horse but, No one wanted to drive C J Bluefin, I talked to the owners nephew and he told me what he liked about him. With that knowledge going forward, it just worked out and the horse stepped up for me."   Jamieson followed that up with a second, third and second before rhyming off another victory aboard Solanos Dragon in Race 8. With two races to go and him and Islander Marc Campbell in a dog fight, Campbell picked up the win in Race 9 while Jamieson finished second.   Heading into the final leg Jamieson was on top by 10 points with 81 to Campbell's 71. When the horses crossed the wire in the final heat, it was over. Jamieson was a going away winner aboard Perfect Escape in 1:55.4 for owner Jack Kennan and trainer Jackie Matheson.   "I didn't even know what to say," Jamieson said about going under the wire and knowing he was going to represent Canada one more time. "I was just thinking about how long I'm going to stay in Australia and who's coming with me."   Jamieson treated a packed house to a special tribute as he paraded Perfect Escape in front of the fans at the fence.   "I like to show the fans the winning horse. I think people appreciate almost being able to touch a horse," said Mr. Canada. "I'm always trying to build a fan base and it starts from one person and builds from there."   Jamieson said he didn't expect to win five races coming into the card, but things worked out.   "I was just trying to do the right thing in every race, trying to navigate through some horses and hope I had some stock down by the wire, and that's what happened."   The Moffat, Ont native picked up his fifth victory in the evening finale, the$ 5, 000 Builders Cup aboard Modern Xhibit.   Marc Campbell finished second with 81 points. Brandon Campbell was third with 42. Billy Davis Jr. ( 39 ), Ryan Ellis ( 33 ), Guy Gagnon ( 32 ), Jim Marino ( 31 ) and Sylvain Lacaille ( 19 ) rounded out the competition.   The hometown hero Campbell didn't disappoint winning three races of the NDC himself. He rounded out his night with a grand slam winning the $ 25, 000 Founders Cup aboard Wazzup Wazzup in 1:53. Up The Credit cut out all the numbers of :27.3, :56.2, 1:24.4 before Maritime hopeful D Gs Camme cleared to the lead. Wazzup Wazzup made a final lunge at the wire to win in 1:53 for his owners the Rolling Hills Racing Stables and trainer Corey Johnson. D Gs Camme finished second and All Turain was third.   The fans were also taken by storm in Race 7, the $3, 000 claimer Whitesand Artist fired off a new track record for aged pacing mares winning by 16 lengths in 1:53.4 for Billy Davis Jr. and owner -trainer Neil Bambrick. The nine-year-old daughter of Artiscape who knocked three seconds off of her lifetime mark erased a 20 year-old track record taken in 1994 by Gold Cup and Saucer winner Little Black Book.   The total handle on the program was $55,151. As for Jamieson when he was asked when he would be back to P.E.I.   "I want to win the Gold Cup and Saucer so bad, It's a real tough race to win. Just ask Marc Campbell he thought he was going to win his second this year but it didn't work out for him. He's lucky enough he's got one," laughed Jamieson. "It's the race I want to win."   by Bo Ford, for Red Shores  

The very finest trotters in the land will converge on Vernon Downs the evening of Friday, August 29 for Grand Circuit racing. The Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial drew full fields for both colt and filly divisions and the Crawford Farms Free For All looks to be the race of the season thus far for the veteran trotting set.   The Crawford Farms offers a powerful field of ten to compete for a purse of $236,000. Current Top Ten Poll leader and multiple world record setting trotter Sebastian K will bring his impressive arsenal to Central New York for owners Knutsson Trotting and trainer / driver Ake Svanstedt. He will find plenty of competition here including 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician, last year's winner of this race and the only horse to vanquish Sebastian K in North American thus far Intimidate and the always formidable Market Share to name but a few.   The $340,000 Zweig Memorial main event has landed both Father Patrick and Nuncio from the Jimmy Takter stable. Father Patrick will seek to reestablish his position at the top of the sophomore crop and Nuncio will be coming in on short rest, being entered in a PASS event on Tuesday afternoon. There is also a $60,000 Zweig colt consolation on the Friday card.   Takter will also bring the likely favorite for the $150,000 Zweig companion filly race in Shake It Cerry. Last year's divisional champion has won seven of nine this season and is over $1.1 million lifetime for owner Solveig's Racing Partners. Local debutante Avalicious, PASS invader Broadway Socks and NJSS champ Heaven's Door will provide ample resistance to the top choice.   The first leg of the 8th annual Tioga & Vernon Downs Drivers' Championship will be on the Friday program as well with four overnight races dedicated to that competition. The Vernon Racing Under Saddle series draws to a close with a $5,700 final and local driving legend, the late Jack Bailey, will be memorialized with the feature preferred trot.   The hotly anticipated Jimmy Marohn, Jr bobble-head giveaway and free T shirts will only add to the festivities on this important occasion. Post time for the Friday evening extravaganza will be 6:45pm. Visit the Vernon Downs website for complete entry information and further details on racing and promotions.  

Goshen, NY--Few harness horse breeders have made a larger multi-media splash this year than Crawford Farms of Durhamville, New York.   When top trotters Sebastian K and Market Share line up for this Friday's (August 29) $200,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot at Vernon, they will score behind the bright red Crawford Farms starting car. And that is just the beginning of the Crawford's omnipresence. Driven by a passion for the sport, and a desire to help harness racing prosper, the Crawford's have sponsored this season's Meadowlands Pace, Kindergarten Classic and the aforementioned Crawford Farms Trot, formerly the Credit Winner. In addition to vast purse support, they have recently completed a state-of-the-art equine therapeutic spa, 40-stall barn, and a 6-gate horse exerciser at their central New York breeding & racing operation. Their hearts and minds are 'all-in' this game; for their farm and for the future of the Standardbred. Michelle and Albert Crawford have undoubtedly jumped-in with both feet, and provided a much-needed push to a somewhat hesitant industry. "We love this business," noted Albert, son of the late Jim Crawford who was the affable former president of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State. "My wife and I are committed to breeding top horses in New York State and supporting the industry in the process. We know that it is an uphill battle, but we are digging in for the long haul!" From the second-story Crawford Farms mural at The Meadowlands to the upcoming Red Mile Grand Circuit meet where the water trucks will bear the farm's iconic insignia, racing fans are constantly reminded of the dynamic duo's substantial commitment to the sport. Evident across multiple digital platforms, the Crawford's are very active on social media and have produced and broadcast several TV commercials. This weekend is no exception. With the $400,000 Zweig Trot also this Friday, renovations to the farm have reached a feverish pace this month in preparation for their inaugural Open House on Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. The team is eager to show the sport the fruits of their labor. "Our yearlings are ready and we hope to draw a large crowd of horse people for some food and refreshments while they evaluate our stock," exclaimed Michelle Crawford, who provides much of the spark in the engine around the farm. "My crew has really stepped up over these past few weeks to make this facility 'show ready' for the upcoming affair," the hostess added with a proud smile. The farm, which was founded in 1966 by Jim and Patricia Crawford, continues to be a family affair. The 100-acre nursery has continued to expand not only their footprint, but also their broodmare band. Last year Crawford Farm was the leading major consignor at the Morrisville Sale and will bring nine yearlings back to that venue on Sept. 21. In addition, they have ten yearlings consigned to the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, including two selling on opening night, Sept. 30. While the yearlings were being videotaped, it was 'all hands on deck' and all feet had running shoes. Al, Michelle, Jim Jr., and even matriarch Pat participated in the 35th annual running of the babies. Albert stated, "This is the day we get to really see what we have. It's exciting, but a little nerve-racking too." When they are not prepping yearlings, Michelle and Al own and operate one of the most successful healthcare lending institutions in the nation, Bankers Healthcare Group. In fact, BHG was ranked as the 5th Fastest Growing Private Company by Inc. Formed in 1992 from a modest group of four finance experts, BHG now employs close to 200. It appears that growth and commitment are not just a mission statement, it is a Crawford way of life. by Chris Tully

Leviathan harness racing owner Emilio Rosati is set to transfer his team out of New South Wales. While a few are already in Queensland and Victoria, the rest will be sent south of the Murray River during next couple of months. Rosati’s stock is estimated to be between 30 and 40 horses, with star youngster Allblack Stride headlining the crew. Other than confirming the Group One winning son of Christian Cullen is becoming a Victorian, Rosati stated he isn’t ready to announce which trainers will be in charge of his team. Rosati’s horses carry the ‘Stride’ prefix, with former stars Excel Stride and Idol Stride among his best performed pacers. “Although they haven’t raced yet, a lot have moved and the rest will be moved soon,” Rosati said. “I won’t put a number on how many horses I have, but it’s a lot. “I’m not ready to say which horses will go to which trainer, but it will be known in good time.” Rosati’s decision to vacate New South Wales is based on his ‘principles', with the astute owner citing the integrity of the industry as the primary reason for the switch. When asked to elaborate, Rosati stated he’d “leave it at that.” “I have no problem with the people running the sport, I just have a problem with the integrity of it,” Rosati said. “I don’t want to harm the industry, I’m just frustrated with the way it is at the moment. “I’m not doing this because I want to...I have to, based on my principles. “Ideally I’d prefer to be in New South Wales and hopefully the problem gets fixed and I will return them. “I will still stay on as a sponsor there.” Paul Courts

Champion trainer Chris Lang has announced he will retire from harness racing once his property is sold at auction on October 17. The leading trainer, a pioneer in in the Australian trotting industry, has made the decision to concentrate on his health as he battles Raynaud's Disease, which is a rare disorder of the blood vessels affecting his hands. Lang, 54, told Harness Racing Victoria media this morning he was shattered to have to step away from the sport, but said he was making the tough call for the betterment of his long-term health. “Basically it’s a decision that was forced upon me,” Lang said. “I’ve had a few minor health issues over the last few years, with pneumonia and a lung infection, autoimmune disease and rheumatoid arthritis, and basically I have little ongoing issues that are minor now but because of the lifestyle I lead can lead to far more major issues later on. “I have Raynaud’s Disease, which affects the circulation in my hand, especially during the winters. “At the present time it’s very minor but it has the potential to develop into a far more life-changing condition if I don’t go and try to get it fixed now.” While shattered to have to make the call, Lang said he was determined to pull the pin while he still had some say in the matter and said he won’t rule out returning to training in future. “I’m going to make the decision while it’s still my decision to a degree rather than wait until I’ve got no other option,” he said. “This is possibly just a hiatus for me rather than a retirement. “If I’m able to go away now and get this sorted out then who knows what will happen in the future?” Lang has informed his owners of his decision and stressed it was “business as usual” until his property in Nagambie is sold at auction. Lang, who has developed his property from bare land to a state-of-the-art harness racing training mecca, said he was disappointed to be selling the venue. “When we shifted there about 21 odd years ago it was a bare paddock and to build it into something that Sharon and I are so immensely proud of, I always envisaged being carried out of there in a wooden box to be honest. “We’ve always said though that we want to do the right thing and we feel this is the right thing as hard as it is.” Lang has been an indomitable force in Australian trotting circles for many years. He won the 2009 and 2010 Inter Dominion finals with the glorious squaregaiter Sundons Gift and consequently earned an invitation to the Elitlopp in Sweden. “That was an amazing achievement, really,” Lang said. “Going over there (to Sweden) was in my opinion the greatest experience because it was life-changing. “We brought a whole lot of knowledge back with us from that trip.” Lang, whose other stable champions have included Kyvalley Road, Skyvalley, Let Me Thru, National Interest, Jauriol and Lester Scot, said he remembers attending the Shepparton trials with his trotters and being the only trainer there with squaregaiters. “Now 40 to 50 per cent of horses at those trials are trotters,” he said. “It’s actually amazed me how far trotting has come since then in Australia. I’d like to say I sat back and could see it happening, but that wouldn’t be true. It really has amazed me.” Lang will continue training and driving horses until his property has been sold and said he would likely remain in the sport as an owner afterwards, but he was yet to make a decision on that. He said it would be up to his individual owners to decide how they wanted to handle the transition. Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

The question of who will wear the red and white of Canada at the 2015 World Driving Championship will be answered Tuesday night at Red Shores Charlottetown. Eight of the best drivers from their respective regions will gather in Charlottetown to contest the National Driving Championships presented by Standardbred Canada, P.E.I Harness Racing Industry Association, P.E.I. 2014 Inc. and Red Shores. Post-time for the special 12-dash card is 7 p.m. The competition to see who can fulfill the dream of representing their country will get underway in Race 3. This year's NDC is a little different than previous, this year Standardbred Canada held a draft to allow the drivers to pick the horses they wanted to drive. Two-time World Driving Champion Jody Jamieson has selected to drive the rail horse C J Bluefin, a favourite heading into the National Driving Championship, Jamieson will have to fend off seven other foes. Sylvain Lacaille took his first round selection in Race 3, selecting the two-entry Caughfoolinaround for owner Maggie Mccarthy and trainer Roy Reynolds. Quebec native Guy Gagnon had the first overall selection and took Umiztagoodthing in Race 10 from Post 5. Todd Walsh trains the five-year-old Modern Art gelding who took a lifetime best in his last race of 1:56.4. The Alberta representative, and son of former Island horseman Sanford Campbell, had the second selection in the draft. Brandon Campbell chose post 2 starter in Race 5 All Out. With two second place finishes in his last two starts, the Clarkie Smith trainee is listed as the morning line favourite. B.C. native and the second representative from the Western Region, Jim Marino had the seventh overall pick he landed the 5-2 favourite Playful Patty in Race 4. Owned by Taylor Mcguigan the newcomer to Charlottetown will look to make her mark on Tuesday night. The third overall selection went to 'The Rocketman' Billy Davis Jr. Making his first trip to P.E.I., the second entrant from Ontario will look to keep the NDC crown in Ontario, the place it has been for the past three events. Davis selected Ton Of Luck for the Ultimate Stables. Leaving from Post 5 in the sixth race, the three-year-old daughter of Camluck finished third in her last start pacing in 1:57.4. The 'Flying Pilot' Ryan Ellis had the fourth overall selection and drafted Mcdaisy Cutter for owners John and Stephen Quinn of Charlottetown. The daughter of McArdle has a no-worst-than second record in her last four starts. The hometown pride, Marc Campbell was saddled with the eighth overall pick, and if that wasn't bad enough, his first pick in the draft also won't line up behind the starting gate. Campbell selected Panacotta from Post 1 in Race 8 but he made a break on Saturday, and after a questionable review it was deemed Panacotta had broken equipment after his break and not before, putting him on the qualifying list. So instead 'King Campbell' will look towards the ninth overall selection in the draft, Rash B Havior. The four-year-old Lis Mara gelding played a contributing factor in gaining Campbell the victory in the Altantic Regional Driving Championship. The pair went right down the highway in the Championship winning in 1:56.4, a new lifetime mark. The Champion will be decided during eight of the 12 races on the card. The event concludes in Race 10. The special Tuesday card will also feature the $ 25, 000 Founders Cup and the $5,000 Builders Cup. Wazzup Wazzup has drawn into Post 6 for trainer Corey Johnson. The six-year-old son of Life Sign is owned by the Rolling Hills Racing Stables of Uxbridge, ON. Tuesday night he will gain the survives of the Maritimes top driver Marc Campbell. Only beaten a neck, pacing his own mile in track record time, 1:50.4, in the 55th running of The Sobeys Gold Cup and Saucer, Wazzup Wazzup is the morning line favourite. He picked up a lifetime mark of 1:49 just three starts ago before landing on P.E.I. for the Gold Cup and Saucer trial. Millionaire pacer Up The Credit, winner of the James 'Roach' MacGregor memorial on Friday night of Old Home Week will look to knock off the runner-up in the Gold Cup and Saucer. A winner of over $ 1.3 million in career earning, the six-year-old Western Terror horse has drawn into Post 3 for trainer and co-owner Carl Jamieson along with Tomas Kyron and Joanne Morrison. Jody Jamieson will do the driving. The trio of Jody, Carl and Up The Credit have been a dynamic one in the past winning the $1.5 million dollar North American Cup in 2011. A winner of this year's Governors Plate in track record fashion of 1:53 at Red Shores Summerside, D Gs Camme moves into Post 4, fresh off of a 1:52.2 victory on Gold Cup night in the final of the Premier's Pace. A winner of four-in-a-row, the four-year-old son of Blissfull Hall will look to continue his winning ways for the ownership group of Hal and Quentin Bevan, Tom Clark and Ronnie Matheson. Gilles Barrieau will make the trek from Saint John, NB to handle the driving duties for trainer Jackie Matheson. All Turain, Ultimate Luck, Astor and Mach Wheel round out the power packed field of seven starters. The 12th race on the card will feature the $ 5, 000 Builders Cup. The race will recognize the local contribution by two local horsemen to the sport of harness racing on P.E.I. Those two horsemen are Doug Hill of Startford, PE and Eric Johnston of Summerside, PE. Modern Xhibit in-line to Jamieson has been listed as the morning line choice from Post 3. The Jonah Moase trainee was a winner in this years Walter Dale Memorial in Fredericton and also finished fourth in the Governor's Plate. The field also includes, Narragansett, Red Magician, Blissfull Bro, Cabo Pan Lucas, Machinthesand, Red Rock and Windemere Express. Please note. There is not live racing Thursday at Red Shores Charlottetown. Live racing returns Wednesday to Red Shores Summerside at 7pm and Saturday in Charlottetown at 6pm. For information on race dates go to www.redshores.ca by Bo Ford, for Red Shores  

Australian harness racing fans...You have been warned! Not only will Follow The Stars be back next season, he will be better, stronger, faster.   Okay, Six Million Dollar Man reference aside, that was the call from New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon, who believes Follow The Stars will improve following a good break.   Having proven himself the Southern Hemisphere’s premier freshman, Follow The Stars is poised for  a stellar campaign as a three-year-old. Not only will he tackle the various majors on the Shaky Isles, he will return across the Tasman for several features such as the Victoria and New South Wales Derbys.   Purdon also plans to be back at Tabcorp Park Melton for the Australasian Breeders’ Crown – a race  Follow The Stars made his own last Sunday. “There is something special about this horse,” Purdon declared. “He has a real X-factor about him. “I would say he is more than up with the best two-year-olds I’ve trained...he is the best. “He will go home and have about eight to 10 weeks off now, then I’ll get him ready for our Derbys at home. “After that he will be back in Australia for the Derbys and the Breeders’ Crown again.”   Purdon’s “he is the best” statement is huge considering the outstanding two-year-olds he has  prepared. Headed by Il Vicolo and Light And Sound, the list includes Fly Like An Eagle, Lennon, Major Mark, Mr Nickel and The Court Owl – all multiple feature race winners.   As for Purdon’s plans, they represent a bleak season for Aussies as Follow The Stars already boasts an unblemished record from six mainland starts. Furthermore, the latest was the colt’s most impressive. Pushed forward from the outside of the front row, Follow The Stars worked to the lead as his talented stablemate, Kept Under Wraps was eased to take a trail. Never in danger of being beaten, the son of Art Major provided Purdon with an ‘armchair’ drive as he cruised to a soft five-metre win from Kept Under Wraps. My Field Marshall, which was three-wide without cover from the bell, was seven metres away third.   “That was a great run,” Purdon said. “I couldn’t have scripted it any better. “After he got to the front without doing too much work he was never going to be beaten. “He just did it so easy and had plenty in reserve at the finish.” Covering the last half in 55.7 seconds, the two-year-old rated 1:56.7 for the 2240 metres.   Raced by similar connections to Kept Under Wraps, Follow The Stars extended his record to an  impeccable 10 wins from 11 starts for earnings of $455,410.   Paul Courts    

On harness racings big day at the Breeders Crown finals at Tabcorp Park Melton yesterday, there were six pacing races up for decision. There was a great mixture of stock by all the sires in great demand by breeders in Australia. Bettors Delight, Mach Three and Sportswriter all had representation but by the end of the days racing, one stallion stood head and shoulders above the competition - Art Major His stock won three of the six pacing finals and sent breeders a clear message with the breeding season just around the corner. If anything this season, the gap in Australia between Art Major and the chasing pack  at  the age group level has grown larger and more pronounced. As the season draws to a close Art Major is $368,000 ahead of Bettors Delight on the 2 year old sires list and $1,166,000 ahead on the 3 year old list and that really confirms what a spectacular season he has had in Australia. Yesterday the two year old and three year old sections of the Breeders Crown finals were dominated by Art Major. Follow The Stars was outstanding in the 2 year old colts/geldings final, burning to the front from the outside of the gate and giving nothing else a chance from that point. But for being wiped out in the Harness Jewels in New Zealand, Follow The Stars would have been unbeaten at two. Being bred the way he is, if Follow The Stars can kick on at three then he certainly has all the credentials to be given a chance in the stallion barn. Major Crocker was a super winner of the 3 year old colts /geldings final. Used up big time early to hold the lead on two occasions, Major Crocker still found enough in the straight to pick up the outstanding Bling It On. It was a real statement from Major Crocker and he looks to have the all round game to be a "major " player next season and beyond. The third winner on the day was Just Cala  in the 3 year old fillies final who has stepped up to another level in her last few starts. A brilliant winner of her semi final, Just Cala showed that was no fluke with another outstanding performance against the best fillies going around in Australia. The Alabar team would have been smiling at those results but the cherry on top for them would have been the run of Jk Shesalady in the eliminations of the She's A Great Lady at Mohawk in Canada. She was the fastest of the elimination winners yesterday in a time of 1:51.1 and by over seven lengths and looms as the filly to beat in the $480,000 final next weekend. Art Major has always been an elite sire but right at the moment his stock worldwide are on an unbelievable run. Harnesslink Media

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Feel The Power (Full Count) pulled off the upset in the evening's $8,000 featured race at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The John Mongeon-trained trotter had been on the board in six of his previous seven starts heading into Wednesday's feature but was the race's biggest long shot while dismissed at odds of 20-1. Frank Coppola Jr. sat patiently in the first half but then swung Feel The Power three wide heading to three quarters and the seven year old trotter had enough to get by the favorite V I P (Austin Siegelman) in the stretch and record the victory in 1:57.4. V I P held second while Zorgwijk Nova (Chris Long) earned the show spot. For Feel The Power, it was win number four on the season. Live racing continues on Thursday night when NY Sire Stakes come back to town. First post time is 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway
STONEBORO PA - The Pennsylvania Fair Circuit was in a total "split" situation this past Tuesday and Wednesday, with the racing for two-year-olds conducted at both the Erie County Fair in Wattsburg and the Indiana County Fair on Tuesday, and the three-year-olds going the following days at both places. Speed was achieved at both venues: the two track records for trotting fillies were rewritten at Wattsburg, while at Indiana the only 2:00 mile of the fair season outside of Bedford went into the books. And one young horseman accomplished an amazing feat linking both tracks both days. On Tuesday morning the two-year-old trotting filly Missive reset the Wattsburg track record for a/s/g to 2:08 in winning her division of the Fair Sire Stakes (and going faster than the boys did). Steve Schoeffel, Wattsburg's leading driver with six wins in the two days, trains and drove the daughter of Muscle Massive for Lander Stables LLC and Kathy Schoeffel. Within an hour of that performance, North America's winningest two-year-olds, the pacing filly Tropical Terror (now at 12) and gelding Nippy (10), both added to their victory total, and both did it in the same unusual way - they were both placed first in their events. Both the Western Terror filly Tropical Terror (who has now won in a dead-heat and by disqualification, and lost by a half-length in her only other start) and the Nuclear Breeze gelding Nippy are campaigned by Team Shaw - trainer Jason Shaw (Wattsburg meet leader with 4 wins over the two days), driver Chris Shaw, and owner Mason Shaw, Jason's 2YO son. On Wednesday Wattsburg altered another line in its record tables when the sophomore Straight Up Lindy filly Static Electricity made the stopwatch click at 2:05.2. The firm of Shaw, Shaw, and Shaw also profited from this trotter's victory. Tuesday's Indiana action saw Todd Schadel drive four winners, but he had to settle for second behind perhaps the most impressive winner of the day, the baby trotting filly by SJ's Caviar named HS Pearl, who won in 2:07.1 (also faster than either winning time posted by her colt counterparts, like Missive at Wattsburg), and with last quarter of 29.4. Wayne Long trains and drives the impressive miss, and he shares ownership with Joyce Lineweaver. On Wednesday at Indiana, the Yankee Cruiser gelding Fangled Hanover teamed with owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer to win a division of the 3PC event in 2:00, the only magic mile of the year on the Pennsy twicearounds other than at the speed show at Bedford, which produced six such times. There have only been a handful of clockings in even time or better at Indiana (the all-time fastest is 1:58.3 by Straight Character), and Fangled Hanover now joins that select group for Hammer, who was the meet's leading trainer with four and co-leading driver with four along with his Vivid Photo partner Schadel - and an up-and-coming horseman who deserves his own paragraph. 20-year-old Cory Kreiser has only 48 driving victories in his young career, and he had never trained a winner before this season. But Kreiser posted four sulky victories at Indiana to tie the veterans Hammer and Schadel - and even more impressively he trained a winner - each day - at each of the two tracks! Winning at Wattsburg Tuesday was Uber Doober Do (Schoeffel deputizing) and Julio Lauxmont (Brady Brown) Wednesday in Quaker State events; at his "base" at Indiana, Kreiser was the victorious trainer/driver in a Sire Stake with Allstar Ballet on Tuesday and a Quaker State with Acelia on Wednesday to complete the unique trainer quartet. Cory also had Indiana catch-driving Sire Stakes triumphs with Koi Lauxmont for trainer Ted Williams on Tuesday and Medoland Onyx for conditioner Pat Medors on Wednesday, thus achieving his sulky foursome. The circuit moves on to its final "Western stop" this Friday and Sunday at the Great Stoneboro Fair; freshman will start their races at 10 a.m. Friday, with sophomores set to go Sunday at high noon. The circuit then heads east for its final tour, at Port Royal, York, Gratz, and Bloomsburg, then goes back west to The Meadows on Saturday evening, October 5 for the $200,000 Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship Night. From the PA Fair Harness Horsemen's Association
WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 28, 2014 -- When The Meadows hosts Friday's final preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes for 3-year-old harness racing colt and gelding pacers, it may seem like Act 2 of the 2014 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids Presented by Coors Light. That's because the $199,980 stake has attracted Adios champion McWicked as well as Somewhere In L A and Let's Drink On It, who along with McWicked won Adios eliminations. First post Friday is 6:55 PM. Following the Adios, McWicked easily captured a PASS division but saw his five-race winning streak snapped in the $400,000 Carl Milstein at Northfield Park, where he dead-heated for second. "He raced great, but I thought he could have been a little better than what he was," said Casie Coleman, who trains the son of McArdle-Western Sahara for SSG Stables. "He came out of it quite good. He's had a real good week training, and I've been very happy with him." She indicated McWicked, whose dominance during his winning streak has made him a legitimate candidate for divisional honors, will be pointed for the PASS championship and the Little Brown Jug, with the balance of his schedule to be determined. McWicked goes from post 4 in the first division, race 8, with David Miller aboard, and he'll renew acquaintances with Somewhere In L A, who finished a length behind McWicked in the Adios final. The Somebeachsomewhere-West Of L A gelding leaves from post 7 for Dave Palone, trainer Jimmy Takter and owners J&T Silva Stables, Deo Valente Farms and TLP Stable. Since the Adios, Somewhere In L A has won both his starts, including a strong performance in The Meadows' Preferred Pace last week. Let's Drink On It endured a tough trip in the Millstein and had to settle for fifth. In Friday's PASS, he's landed in the wide-open second division (race 10), where he leaves from post 6 for Tyler Smith. "He couldn't get into the race in the Milstein," said Joe Seekman, who conditions the son of Art Official-Letmedowneasy for Tina Seekman, Larry Bond, Hal Hewitt and Vince Boido, Jr. "When you have good horses inside you, it's suicidal to try to leave. I hope he gets away a little closer. He's been training good, and he's healthy. Also in the second division is Bob Key's Mattamerican, winner of the Adios consolation. He'll try to overcome post 8 for Aaron Merriman and trainer Norm Parker. The $260,000 (est.) PASS championship for this division is set for Sept. 7 at Harrah's Philadelphia. MANDATORY PAYOUTS FRIDAY. Because Friday is the last program of the Mountain Laurel meeting, there can be no carryovers in the Pick 4, the Pick 5 and the last Superfecta on the card. These wagers all are "must pay." In addition, the Pick 5 sports a carryover of $1,660.11. Since the Washington Trotting Association meeting begins Tuesday, Sept. 2, there will be no discontinuity in live racing. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
KSTP/ABC TV 5 Eyewitness News in Saint Paul, MN has obtained a letter management at Running Aces Harness Track has sent to hundreds of employees outlining plans to cut wages significantly. "The plan we are sharing with our employees in the coming days includes no layoffs, no loss of benefits to current full-time employees or job reductions. Our redesigned card room assignments are geared to keep the impact to employee earnings as neutral as possible. Running Aces like many businesses has struggled through the last several years due to unstable economic conditions.  Therefore we are restructuring our staff and team to optimize our guest experience to match our current labor and skill needs with the demands of our card room operations. In recent years, in addition to the unstable economic conditions, a national downturn in poker play, the multi-million dollar 10 year infusion of tribal slot machine marketing dollars into Canterbury Park, and the restrictive business and cost increases from current Statutes has taken it’s toll on Running Aces. To view the rest of this story click here.
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