Day At The Track
An injured Glenn Gath

Lucky escape for Gath in track accident

A member of one of Victoria's most notable harness racing families is recovering in hospital after a training accident this morning. Glenn Gath was fast working horses at a Long Forest property, west of Melbourne, owned by his brother Andy when he was tipped from the sulky and thrown into a pine fence post. Gath was taken to nearby Bacchus Marsh hospital and after being medically assessed was transported to Royal Melbourne Hospital. Glenn's partner, Garrards Horse and Hound veterinary consultant Dr Virginia Brosnan, said he had fractures to his cheekbone, an eye laceration and bad bruising. "Glenn told me that he and Andy were just finishing a galloping session, when he got tightened up and basically ran out of room. He was thrown face-first into the fence post," Dr Brosnan said. "He was able to get up and walk after the mishap. The eye laceration needs stitches, but doctors have told us that his eye is quite okay, which was a great relief," she said. "He's pretty bruised and a bit beaten up, but he's awake and very, very lucky. It could have been far worse. Glenn Gath made his comeback to harness racing last year "He was wearing a helmet and vest at the time. He also had glasses on, and we think they might have saved him from more serious injuries." Gath returned to harness racing last year. He had spent 10 years in thoroughbred racing at Lloyd Williams' Macedon Lodge, but returned to the standardbreds after the Williams family shut down their stable. Gath is the youngest son of former champion trainer Neville, and grandson of the Australian great, the late George Gath. Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

Tattersalls Meadowlands Sale

Luther buys top-selling pair at Tattersalls

Greg Luther's million-dollar experiment has increased in size and scope. After spending seven figures at last fall's harness racing yearling sales in what he called his "million-dollar experiment" to find and develop Grand Circuit talent, the Ohio resident has continued to add to his stable with the recent purchases of several veteran performers. On Monday (Jan. 18), Luther bought the top-selling horses at the Tattersalls Winter Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands - Chief Mate for $220,000 and Captain Kirk for $215,000. Both are 4-year-old male pacers trained formerly by Tony Alagna. Those buys came on the heels of privately purchasing 2020 Adios winner Catch The Fire as well as Catch The Fire's now 3-year-old full brother Captains Place. "I ended up spending about $1.1 million on yearlings and spent about another million dollars on older racehorses in the past 30 days," Luther said, adding with a laugh. "So, I guess it's a two-million-dollar experiment now." Luther has a 51-horse stable trained by his brother Todd, who is based at Winner's Circle Training Center in central Ohio. Luther, who competes as Black Magic Racing, is the sole owner of all the horses except Catch The Fire; original owner Charles Taylor retained an interest in the 4-year-old stallion. "This is new for both of us, my brother and myself, to be into the higher-end horses," Luther said. "We've been definitely putting it out there to try and make 2021 a huge year for us. I've got an online marketing business and things have been good here in the past year-and-a-half. I've always wanted to get into the big leagues and it just seemed like good timing. We're trying to get onto the Grand Circuit scene." As for Monday's purchases, Luther said, "Those were the two horses I was looking for." Chief Mate, a stallion by Captaintreacherous out of Heaven Forbid, has won six of 23 career starts and $226,619. He finished second by a head to Catch The Fire in last year's Adios and at age 2 won the Kentucky Sire Stakes consolation as well as three preliminary divisions of the Kindergarten Classic Series. He won a qualifier in 1:53.2 last weekend at The Meadowlands. Captain Kirk, a stallion by Captaintreacherous out of Aria Hanover, has won three of 24 lifetime starts and $265,880. Last year, he won the Tompkins-Geers Stakes and an elimination of the North America Cup. He is a full brother to Grand Circuit stakes winner Blue Diamond Eyes. Both horses were consigned by Preferred Equine. "They're both nice horses," Luther said. "Chief Mate just qualified so he's ready to race. The other horse is going to be about 90 days out yet. This is all new for me, but we're going to try to hit all the big dances with both of them. I think they'll both do well as they mature into older horses. "Everything seems to be lined up well. I think we're going to have a phenomenal year. It should be a lot of fun." King Alphonso was the top-selling trotter in Monday's sale, going for $145,000 to Matt Morrison. The 4-year-old stallion, by Muscle Hill out of Amour Heiress, was trained previously by Ake Svanstedt. He is 1-for-1 this year and has won four of 20 races in his career, totaling $241,465. He was a Grand Circuit stakes winner at age 2. He also was consigned by Preferred Equine. A total of 119 horses and stallion shares sold Monday for a gross of $3.74 million. For complete results, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Carter Dalgety,Harness racing

Down Under winners with Carter Dalgety

Down Under trio of harness racing horses score trifecta at Dover Downs Thursday race meet. It was a very close nose margin that made Itsrockandroll A the winner of the $20,000 Open Pace. Driver Cory Callahan got the very best out of the A Rocknroll Dance gelding who is trained by Dylan Davis to just edge past another down under pacer in Tiger Thompson N that was handled by down under driver Dexter Dunn who lead throughout. Then finishing strongly from wide was top performing down under mare Soho Burning Love A being steered by Tim Tetrick. Itsrockandroll A the winner, clocked the mile in 1:50.2 and also set a new lifetime mark in the process. While taking his stake earnings to well into the $200,000 bracket. Itsrockandroll A had a very successful down under harness racing career when racing in Western Australia, he won a $100,000 Group 1 race at just his third career start as a 2yo and then went on to win at Group Level twice more and placed a further 5 times.    Monday 11th January Dover Downs DE Gotta Minute N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $5,000    Monticello Raceway NY Eden Paige N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $5,200   Pompano Park FL Make A Statement A – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $10,000   Yonkers Raceway NY Crockets Cullen N – Time: 1:54.2, Stake: $14,000 Pat Stanley N – Time: 1:54.1, Stake: $17,500 Let It Ride N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $30,000 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Speed Man N, 3rd Hesa Kingslayer   Tuesday 12th January Miami Valley Raceway OH Glenferrie Bronte N – Time: 1:55.1, Stake: $12,500   Pompano Park FL Glenferrie Blade A – Time: 1:53.3, Stake: $7,600   Yonkers Raceway NY Mach Time N – Time: 1:54.4, Stake: $9,500 Runrunjimmydunn N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $11,000   Wednesday 13th January Dover Downs DE Sudden Change N – Time: 1:52.3, Stake: $13,500 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Lincolns Girl N, 3rd Western Secret A   Monticello Raceway NY Our Positano N – Time: 1:56.2, Stake: $5,200   Yonkers Raceway NY Demeter N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $18,000 Down Under First 5 – 2nd Anne Bonney N, 3rd Sezana N, 4th Donegalartchokin N, 5th Msamrcasweethart A Madame Leza A – Time: 1:58.0, Stake: $9,500   Thursday 14th January Dover Downs DE Itsrockandroll A – Time: 1:50.2, Stake: $20,000 Down Under Trifecta – 2nd Tiger Thompson N, 3rd Soho Burning Love A Dina Bolt N – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $13,000    Freehold Raceway NJ Vergeofgreatness N – Time: 1:58.0, Stake: $4,800   Monticello Raceway NY Destination Moon N – Time: 1:58.3, Stake: $3,100   Pompano Park FL Risk N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $3,600   Yonkers Raceway NY Belfast N – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $11,000 Imprincessgemma A – Time: 1:53.4, Stake: $17,500   Friday 15th January Freehold Raceway NJ Jewel Lehigh A – Time: 1:57.3, Stake: $4,200 Tall Poppy N – Time: 1:56.4, Stake: $7,500   Meadowlands NJ Tango Dancer N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $12,500 Im A Gigolo N – Time: 1:54.0, Stake: $13,500   Miami Valley Raceway OH The Great Buzz N – Time: 1:53.2, Stake: $15,000 Sprinter N – Time: 1:52.0, Stake: $15,000 Shards Halo N – Time: 1:52.1, Stake: $14,400   The Meadows PA The Spinster N – Time: 1:55.2, Stake: $4,900   Yonkers Raceway NY Walkinshaw N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $11,000   Saturday 16th January Freehold Raceway NJ Soho Chelsea A – Time: 1:55.4, Stake: $7,700   Meadowlands NJ Thndrfrmthethron N – Time: 1:50.4, Stake: $10,000 Tulhurstsantanna A – Time: 1:51.1, Stake: $15,500 American Boy N – Time: 1:51.4, Stake: $12,500 Italian Delight N – Time: 1:50.2, Stake: $12,500 The Moonshadow N – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $7,500   Miami Valley Raceway OH Messi N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $8,100 Cyclone Kiwi N – Time: 1:52.4, Stake: $22,500 Polak A – Time: 1:53.0, Stake: $22,500   Sunday 17th January Northfield Park OH Yankee Roller A – Time: 1:54.3, Stake: $5,000   Rosecroft Raceway MD Aftrdinnrspeaker N – Time: 1:55.0, Stake: $7,700 Keep On Rocking A – Time: 1:51.2, Stake: $9,000       Click here for previous weeks articles   by Carter Dalgety

Jack Pelling, harness racing

Horseman's Voice, Jack Pelling & Amber Sawyer

Harnness racing driver Jack Pelling - A 3rd generation US-born/raised for the first decade of his life, only to return to his family's roots in da land down unda, Perth, Australia; but the bug of sport kept biting him as his blood in the Industry is super thick. He decided to move back to the states a few years ago and worked his way from the ground up to prove himself as a horseman. Only three (3) months driving on the East Coast and he's already making his own name known in the Standardbred Industry. Very appreciative of all of the support and love from fellow horsepeople; he's a Driver/Trainer to watch! Amber Sawyer - A 2nd generation horsewoman (AKA the 'Pink Lady') who's instilling her knowledge of the sport to her 3rd generation son; she delved into her history of being privileged to be around horses everyday of her life. Very well-travelled around most racetracks and fairs in the Midwest and out East, she become known as a trainer with patience in fixing broken down horses. When an acquaintance had an old war horse (248 starts with 26 wins, 36 places and 37 shows in the US all besides his 6 wins Down Under) with a broken-down suspensory issue it took a lil nudging to finally convince her and the rest is well, soon to be history! This story becomes a story in itself - a literal book was published and she's now garnering local, regional, national and now INTERNATIONAL press! Her story is now turning into a true love of the sport through future plans in the works to "travel to local schools and libraries and teach kids about harness racing!"   The next edition of The Horseman's Voice is set for next Monday, January 25, 2021, so hold onto your lines - we've got our January 2021 EXCLUSIVE interview of an owner/breeder (and more) that promises to be a good one!   For more information on The Horseman's Voice, feel free to contact Publisher@HorsemansVoice.com   The International Source for Harness Racing Facebook App: https://www.FaceBook.com/HorsemansVoice YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVKGhpC8YwUit0qokiCHiZQ     Eric Poders

Harness racing fans, harnesslink community, we have some important and exciting news to share with you. The current iteration of our website is now over ten years old and while it has done it's job incredibly well, the time has come for an upgrade.  Due to a number of technological changes, our current website has started to experience several problems behind the scenes which need to be solved. This has also fortunately given us the chance to review our current design as website design has changed a lot over the last ten years.  Our new website will be coming sometime in the next few weeks and should bring with it a faster, cleaner, more modern design. We know that change is hard but we also hope that you will keep an open mind and enjoy our new look when it is launched. Here's to the next chapter! John and the Harnesslink team Here is a picture of our original Website dated 2002

Kelly Smith, who has worked for Hall of Fame harness racing trainer Chuck Sylvester for more than three decades, has been named the recipient of the 2020 Caretaker of the Year Award sponsored by Art Zubrod and Leah Cheverie's Fair Island Farm in conjunction with the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA). Smith was announced the winner during the USHWA Dan Patch Virtual Awards Show on Saturday, Jan. 16. "I was very surprised and honored," said Smith. "The competition was fierce, that's for sure. There are some of the others nominated who are very good friends of mine. Everybody nominated was well deserving; clearly somebody thought we were special. "I am very appreciative of this. Chuck has meant everything to me." Smith was nominated by Sylvester himself. "Kelly often knows more of what's going on with me than anyone else," Sylvester wrote in his nomination letter. "She is there every day starting at 5 a.m., feeding all the horses, turning them out for a few hours, waiting for vets or blacksmiths and staying with the horses, holding them during their appointments. "Kelly is honest, reliable, trustworthy and absolutely passionate about the horses! She is extremely smart and could do anything, but she chooses the horses. "This last year Kelly even went above and beyond her usual excellence and complete loyalty. When I was unable to go north this year, as I needed to stay home with my wife Sharon, Kelly went ... and was my eyes and ears. She is my unsung hero." All caretakers in North America were eligible for the Fair Island Farm Caretaker of the Year Award, with nomination letters submitted detailing the skills and special qualities of the nominee. A seven-member panel -- all USHWAns who were former caretakers themselves -- selected Smith as the winner. As winner of the Fair Island Farm Caretaker of the Year Award, Smith will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and a trophy etched with a likeness of her and a favorite horse, Breeders Crown champion Spider Blue Chip. Including Smith, 16 names were submitted for the Fair Island Farm Caretaker of the Year. All nominees will receive an honorary certificate commemorating their nomination. Here are all the nominees, with the stable for which they work noted in parentheses: Erin Bonno (George Ducharme) Margaret Gillon (Ron Burke) Bethany Graffam (Graffam Stable) Shelly Greico (Linda Toscano) Michelle Hallett (John Hallett) Kim Hines (Jason Robinson) Diane Lewis (Joe Holloway) Trish Nappi (Cory Deyermand) Lisa Palmiter (Chris Lakata) Katie Remmerswaal (Nancy Takter) Kelly Smith (Chuck Sylvester) Sierra Smith (Gerry Sarama) Anki Wernis (Jim Campbell) Dave Wisher (Joe MacDonald) Vicki Wright (Noel Daley) Cheyenne Yoder (James Yoder) From U.S. Harness Writers Association  

A standout season for young Tasmanian harness racing trainer-driver Taylor Ford wasn't enough to stop her from snapping up her dream job on the mainland. The 22-year-old recently joined the stable staff of Parwan horsewoman Jodi Quinlan, north west of Melbourne, and wasted no time in getting into the winner's circle. "I didn't have to think over the job offer all that much-and it has certainly proved to be the right decision because I'm absolutely loving it," she said. Ford was successful for her new boss at the recent Geelong meeting with brown gelding The Chancer (Bettors Delight-Fairest One Youare (Life Sign) raced by Geoff Walker along with Garry Rogers, who bred him. "I met Jodi when she ran third with Star Chamber in the Tasmania Cup at Hobart last year. We kept in regular contact after that and have become very good friends. I couldn't believe it when she offered me a full-time job at her stables," she said. Ford was forced to death-seat with The Chancer at Geelong, but didn't panic and got the most out of the horse to win a thriller by half a head from Gee Smith (Greg Sugars). Midnight Whisper (Kerryn Manning) was a head away in third place. "I wasn't sure that I'd won. It was very close, but I was excited to get my first win over here. I've had only a few drives and hopefully other trainers will give me a go with my five-point claim," she said. To watch the video replay of The Chancer click here. "It's great working for Jodi because she has quite a few trotters, which is something different for me. I'm learning so much and enjoying every minute. Hopefully I can keep driving some winners." Taylor comes from a passionate harness racing family based at Brighton, a small town with a population of just over 4000 people, situated 25 kms north of Hobart. "Last season was the best I've had back home. I had my own team going which was always around the 15 mark and (leading Tasmanian trainer) Ben Yole was really good to me by putting me on regularly to drive as well," she said. "I drove nearly 30 winners and took out the junior drivers' championship which was a big thrill, and I also got about 20 as a trainer along with a heap of placings. "It's a family involvement and it kept us busy, but we all did our bit. My mum Tammy has taken over training duties and that's working out pretty well." Ford said the move to Victoria also provided a change of pace with raceday engagements. "We probably only went to one or two meetings a week back home - since I've been here, I've never been to so many meetings in a week in my life!" Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

On a recent trip to Alabar to view the harness racing yearlings they are preparing for the upcoming sale there was one yearling that really caught my eye.   It was Lot 9 at the 2021 National Standardbred Yearling Sale is called Miki Dickinson, an Always B Miki colt out of Princess Arts (Art Major).   Princess Arts was a talented racemare winning seven races from just 24 starts in a best time of 1:55.9.   Only a young broodmare, Princess Arts has already left Alta Endeavour, a talented individual who has won 2 races from 10 starts, and Alta Wiseguy, who raced in Group 1 class as both a 2yo and 3yo. Princess Arts is out of Natal Franco (Badlands Hanover), an excellent racemare in her own right who won 7 races and over $100,000, showing an excellent maternal line in the pedigree. Always B Miki has had an outstanding start to his siring career with his first 2yo's in North America highlighted by the undefeated, US 2yo of the Year Perfect Sting and also Southwind Gendry, the best two 2yo colts in North America last season. Keep an eye out for these colts in the North American 3yo feature races this season. Perfect Sting by Always B Miki Southwind Gendry by Always B Miki Horses from Art Major sired mares have had huge success in both hemispheres, with Art Major being the broodmare sire of many great horses including Soho Tribeca and the 2020 US Horse of the Year, Tall Dark Stranger. Always B Miki crossing with an Art Major mare has already had success, with JK Alwaysbalady one of the leading 2yo fillies in North America last season. A very athletic looking individual, Miki Dickinson looks every bit a horse which will get up and race early. Miki Dickinson is part of the quality Alabar yearling consignment featuring four colts by Always B Miki and one colt by Vincent.  

When a yearling is sold for $350,000 anywhere in the Harness Racing World , you can be sure it will tick all the boxes in relation to Conformation and Pedigree. Well at Harrisburg in late 2018 a colt named Capt Midnight found himself in a bidding duel and when the hammer dropped he was off to join the powerful Tony Alagna barn in New Jersey. Tony of course had trained his sire Captaintreacherous to a $3.148 million career, whilst the Dam of this powerful and stunning colt, It Was Fascination, compiled a record of 1.51.2 and $317,222 in prizemoney. The fact that the first foal of the Dam, Captain Trevor was showing some extreme juvenile speed also helped the Breeder to his big payday. Captain Trevor in fact won six of his nine starts as a 2 year old and joined that elite group of freshman pacers to take a sub 1.50 record - 1.49.2. Capt Midnight was a readymade two year old evidenced by the fact he powered home his last quarter in 25.2 in his debut race at The Meadowlands in July 2019. He certainly was the dominant 2 year old in North America for the first half of the 2019 season with victories in the Dream Maker Series Final [in 1.49.4] , the Champlain Stakes, the Nassagaweya Stakes and an Elimination of the rich Metro Stakes - all at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Ontario. 2019 Dream Maker Stakes Final: Woodbine, Mohawk Park, August 12, 2019 - Race 3 His reinsman Andrew McCarthy was most impressed with his ability after his win the Elimination of the Metro Stakes. Metro Elimination "I rank him probably on top of all the 2 year old's I've ever driven. Once you ask him to go he gives you goose bumps." The racecaller that night described that easy win - "He's a beast, He's a weapon" will Andy McCarthy ever cut him loose." Capt Midnight is now being retired to Stud duty with a two season resume of - 25 starts, 8 wins, 7 placings and prizemoney of Can$662,286 or US$551,567. Highlights of that career included ; ## Wins at two in the Nassagaweya Stks , Champlain Stks , Dream Maker Series , International Stallion Stks [Red Mile] and an Elimination of the Metro Stks. ## The leading Stakes winning 2 year old son of Captaintreacherous in 2019. ## Paced in sub 1.48 on three occasions as a 3 year old. ## Paced 14 of his 15 starts as a 3 year old in 1.49.4 or faster. His other start was in a Heat of the Little Brown Jug when he was timed in 1.50.1 on the half mile track. Bred on a Golden Cross. Capt Midnight is from the second crop of sensational sire Captaintreacherous and is the second foal of the Stakes winning American Ideal mare It Was Fascination 1.51.2 $317,222. Captaintreacherous has been a revelation since retiring to Stud in 2015. From his 330 foals of racing age he has sired 217 winners [to 23rd Dec 2020] including an unbelievable 30 in 1.50 and 170 in 1.55. His 270 starters have averaged in excess of $100,000 per starter. It Was Fascination counted a victory in a New York Sires Stakes Final [3 year old Fillies] amongst her 6 wins and $317,222 in prizemoney. She now has a unique record of being the only Broodmare in History to produce two sub 1.50 Two Year Olds [from her first two foals] in Captain Trevor 1.49.2 and Capt Midnight 1.49.4. The cross of Captaintreacherous over the Western Hanover line mares has been a proven recipe for producing " Elite " two and three year old Pacers including; ## Lyons Sentinel 1.49.2 ($1.228 million). ## Tall Drink Hanover 1.48 ($893,532). ## Rocknificent 1.49.1 ($585,040) ## Blue Diamond Eyes 1.51 $546,527 [2yo Filly in 2020] ## Notorious Pink 1.51.2 $276,081 [2yo Filly in 2020]. Capt Midnight is a descendant of the grand Broodmare Romola as is his own sire Captaintreacherous and the sire of his Dam American Ideal. This Family has arguably been the most productive of Families in the Pacing Stud Book for both Stallions and Millionaire racetrack performers. Art Major, Sportswriter, Western Ideal, Life Sign, Whats Next [Leading Australian Sire in the 1990's] and Romeo Hanover and Silent Majority in days of old are further examples, whilst two new exciting Stallions to enter the Breeding Shed in 2021 in Tall Dark Stranger and Bettors Wish are further representatives. In todays World of Harness Racing there is no substitute for extreme speed and Capt Midnight has it bred into him. His sire Captaintreacherous was a 1.47 performer [1.47.1], the sire of his Dam American Ideal was a 1.47 performer [1.47.4] way back in 2005 whilst he also has a double cross [4 X 4] to one of the fastest Pacers in History, Matts Scooter. Capt Midnight on his arrival in Kentucky for fertility testing. Capt Midnight has recently been test bred in Kentucky with outstanding results. He will commence his Breeding career in 2021 based at Premier Acres in Indiana for an introductry fee of $4,000. Contact Dennis Bontrager on (250) 585 4927 Or email premieracres@gmail.com  

Victorian harness racing driver Tony Calabria can't remember the previous time he landed a winner in the sulky, but he won't be so quick to forget a recent Melton trip. "I really can't recall which horse I last got the money on. It would have to be a good few years ago though!" he said. Records show that his last win was in 2008 at Globe Derby in Adelaide, behind Mustang Harry, a pacer he part-owned and trained. But despite the long absence from the winner's circle, Calabria hasn't lost the fine touch that held him in high regard in South Australia. Now living in the outer western Melbourne suburb of Fraser Rise, near Caroline Springs he drove a well-timed race on Arocknatthepark (A Rocknroll Dance -Toppathepark) to take out the Allied Express Pace at TABcorp Park Melton last Friday night. The five-year-old gelding's victory was Calabria's first at the Melton track. To watch the video replay of Arocknatthepark click here. "We thought he had a good chance because his previous run at Tabcorp Park was better than it looked on paper. He's a nice horse and should win his way down through the classes," Calabria said. Arocknatthepark had won three races at Addington prior to crossing "the ditch" from New Zealand last year, and now has a record of seven wins and six placings from just 29 starts for $42k. He is trained by Calabria's good mate Tony Romeo, who races the horse with Angelo Cammaroto and Gary Furina. "Tony was in harness racing for a long time before switching to have a go with gallopers. I actually got him back into the trots," Calabria said. "I've known him for years. He's got a place at Diggers Rest which is just 10 minutes away from me and we've got a great working partnership now doing five horses," he said. Calabria works with the railways as a safety supervisor overseeing work on railway sleeper and track replacement projects. "I do night shift so that gives me time in the mornings to muck around with the horses," he said. "Both Tony and I get plenty of enjoyment in doing the horses, but we have a bit of fun as well." Calabria said he initially got involved in the sport while living in South Australia. "When I was young, I'd go for holidays and work at a property with Joe Carbone and Peter Sergi, who were big trainers at Golden Grove at the time," he said. "A few years on I was lucky to drive some winners for them. Conte De Cristo was a brilliant pacer, and the square-gaiter The Upper Crust was pretty good. Probably taking out the Gramel series with Main Artery was one of my biggest wins." Since moving to Melbourne eight years ago, Calabria has kept his hand in, spending off-and-on stints training and driving as his commitments allowed, but in recent years has concentrated more on the training side. "I had a bit of luck with a few handy horses. Brookfield Ruler was good on his night and won a couple with Nathan Jack and Brian Gath taking the reins," he said. "I got itchy fingers quite often especially when I had a few years break from 2014. I realized I was missing being a driver. I'm rapt to be back and I'm just loving it." Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

January 17, 2021 - Davidson du Pont (8m Pacha du Pont-Laguna du Pont) secured his ticket to the Prix d’Amerique by scoring impressively in today’s harness racing Prix de Belgique (Gr. II International, purse 110,000€, 2850 meters) at Vincennes. Race time was 1.12.0kr over a tight racetrack following snow and heavy conditions yesterday. Davidson du Pont, off the 4/10 favorite and handled by trainer Jean Michel Bazire for owner Albert Rayon, followed Moni Viking (8m Maharajah) and Delia du Pommereux on the outer as they chased Billie de Montfort (10f Jasmin de Flore) and then Looking Superb around the final bend. In the stretch Moni Viking was on the lead and then was engulfed by the winner (now with 14 career victories for 1,355,610€ earned) and second finishing Delia du Pommeruex (8f Niky-Noune du Pomereux) with Eric Raffin her pilot. Moni Viking held third for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and Billie de Montfort was a distant fourth with Gabriele Gelormini up. Feliciano finished fifth. Delia, Feliciano and Moni Viking had earlier earned their spots in America’s prize at month end. Of the top five finishers today, all were barefoot except for Delia du Pommereux that raced with iron on all four. Davidson du Pont Replay - https://www.letrot.com/fr/replay-courses/2021-01-17/7500/4 Amerique qualified (11) horses now are listed below. There will be eight others invited based on career earnings to complete the 18 horse lineup. Diable de Vauvert Feliciano Bahia Quesnot Face Time Bourbon Victor Ferm Moni Viking Gu d’Heripre Feerie Wood Vivid Wise As Delia du Pommereux Davidson du Pont   Thomas H. Hicks

January 17, 2021 - In The Money (3m Cristal Money-Destinee Cash) took today’s Gr. II Prix Maurice Gheest (purse 100,000€, 2700 meters, three year old International starters) for harness racing breeder/owner/trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin. Off at 3.4/1 odds, the winner was timed in 1.15.3kr as he won for the fourth time in his career and advanced life earnings to 108,000€. 24/1 Inoui Danica (3m Boccador de Simm) was second for pilot Eric Raffin and trainer Philippe Allaire. Third home was 5.3/1 Invincible Cash (3m Ready Cash) with David Bekaert up. 70/1 Idem du Pont (3m Quinoa du Gers) and 39/1 Ole Bro (3m Muscle Massive) completed the top five. In The Money The Prix Reverdy “de Riberac” (Gr. III, purse 70,000€, 2700 meters for four year olds) was next and 1.7/1 Hokkaido Jiel (4m Brillantissime-Victory Jiel) scored in 1.13.5kr for pilot P-Y Vervam. J.L. Dersoir trains the winner for Ecurie Luck as Hokkaido won for the sixth time now for 146,480€ in career earnings. 114/1 outsider Hamilton Renka (4g Charly du Noyer) was second for driver Christophe Martens and 25/1 Help Me Win (4f Otello Pierji) took third for Matthieu Abrivard. Hokkaido Jiel   Thomas H. Hicks

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Before the start of Saturday night's harness racing card at The Meadowlands, driver Dexter Dunn was named the United States Harness Writers Association's Driver of the Year for a second consecutive season in a virtual Dan Patch Awards ceremony that the entire sport could view on the internet or at any simulcast venue. Then Dunn went out and showed why that considerable amount of hardware sits on his mantle. The 31-year-old New Zealand product, whose 131 wins during 2020 led all Big M drivers, registered four scores on the 15-race program - after winning three on Friday - to seize control of the top of the Meadowlands' standings with 15 victories in the early stages of the Winter-Spring-Championship Meeting. Dunn scored with 4-5 favorite Some Chapter in the opener, a high-end conditioned trot, and followed that up by guiding 7-1 shot On Accident to the winner's circle in the third in a low-end conditioned pace. Thndrfrmthethron N, the 9-5 second choice, was winner No. 3 in another low-end conditioned pace in the fourth, before Dunn capped his grand slam with 3-2 public choice Italian Delight N in a mid-range conditioned pace in the eighth. Thndrfrmthethron N HANDLE TOPS $3 MILLION AGAIN: For a fourth consecutive Saturday, all-source wagering surpassed $3.4 million, as a total of $3,458,896 was put in play. Over the last four Saturdays, betting at The BIg M has totaled $15,386,226, an average per card of $3,846,556 at the industry's handle leader. THARPS IS THE KING: Backers of provisional driver Devon Tharps may not have known that the 27-year-old Ohio native who works for Tony Alagna had never won a pari-mutuel race in his previous 52 tries, and when the second race was over, those who bet him didn't care either way. Tharps guided Acting Out to a victory from off the pace in the Martin Luther King Remembrance Race, an event that pays tribute to the civil rights leader that features African-American drivers. Tharps and Acting Out were fifth at the three-quarter-mile mark before pacing home in :28.3 to upset the field of $12,500 claimers at odds of 9-1, returning $21.60 to win after completing the mile in 1:54.4. Acting Out A LITTLE MORE: Shnitzledosomethin worked out a perfect pocket trip and took the featured $22,500 high-end conditioned pace in 1:49.4 for trainer Dylan Davis and driver Corey Callahan. The 12-1 outsider returned $26.80 to his backers in upping his win streak to three. ... Callahan finished the night with three winners. ... If you missed the Dan Patch Awards show, you can see it from start to finish by going to The Meadowlands YouTube channel. ... Racing resumes Friday at 6 p.m. By Dave Little, Meadowlands Media Relations  

Harrisburg, PA --- Tall Dark Stranger, a 3-year-old male pacer who was harness racing’s lone millionaire last season, cashed in on his winning ways Saturday when he was named 2020 Horse of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association. Trained by Nancy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras, Tall Dark Stranger won 11 of 13 races and $1.30 million last year. He also was named Pacer of the Year and the sport’s top 3-year-old male pacer during USHWA’s virtual Dan Patch Awards show Saturday. The show replaced the organization’s traditional awards banquet, which was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Four-year-old Gimpanzee was named Trotter of the Year and best older male trotter. Trained by Marcus Melander and driven by Brian Sears, Gimpanzee won eight of 11 races and $980,964 last season. His earnings were second to Tall Dark Stranger. Trotters winning divisional Dan Patch Award honors in addition to Gimpanzee were 2-year-old male Venerate, 2-year-old female Anoka Hanover, 3-year-old male Amigo Volo, 3-year-old female Ramona Hill, and older female Manchego. Pacers garnering divisional awards in addition to Tall Dark Stranger were 2-year-old male Perfect Sting, 2-year-old female Fire Start Hanover, 3-year-old female Party Girl Hill, older male Bettor’s Wish, and older female Kissin In The Sand. Tall Dark Stranger, Bettor’s Wish, Kissin In The Sand, Gimpanzee, Ramona Hill, and Manchego all were Dan Patch Award winners in previous years. Takter, the 2020 Trainer of the Year, had three division champions: Kissin In The Sand, Manchego, and Tall Dark Stranger. Nifty Norman and Chris Ryder trained two each; Norman had Amigo Volo and Fire Start Hanover while Ryder had Bettor’s Wish and Party Girl Hill. Dexter Dunn, the 2020 Driver of the Year, was the regular driver of six champs: Amigo Volo, Bettor’s Wish, Fire Start Hanover, Kissin In The Sand, Manchego, and Party Girl Hill. In voting for Horse of the Year, Tall Dark Stranger received 89 votes, followed by Party Girl Hill with 29 and Gimpanzee with six. Receiving two votes each were Bettor’s Wish, Perfect Sting, and Ramona Hill. Anoka Hanover rounded out the balloting with one vote. Pacer of the Year voting saw Tall Dark Stranger outdistance runner-up Party Girl Hill, 93-31, among five horses receiving at least one vote. Trotter of the Year balloting saw Gimpanzee with 80 votes, followed by Ramona Hill with 29 and Amigo Volo with 11. Three other trotters also received at least one vote. Tall Dark Stranger, by Bettor’s Delight out of Precocious Beauty, is the 19th 3-year-old male pacer to be named Horse of the Year since the award began in 1947. He is only the second male pacer in 35 years to receive a Dan Patch Award at age 2 and return to be Horse of the Year at 3. The other was Somebeachsomewhere in 2008. Among Tall Dark Stranger’s wins last year were the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Cane Pace, and Kentucky Sire Stakes championship. He finished second by a neck in the Breeders Crown. “He’s just the toughest horses ever,” Takter said. “I’m going to have to add smart to that, too, because he figured out what this is all about. He knew that he was supposed to be first, and he made sure that he was first. “Where ‘heart of a champion’ is in the dictionary, Tall Dark Stranger’s name and picture are right next to it.” Tall Dark Stranger is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, and Howard Taylor. He was bred by Jim Avritt Sr. The colt is Takter’s second Horse of the Year winner, joining JK She’salady in 2014. She is the 13th trainer in history with at least two different Horse of the Year honorees. Gingras has driven three Horse of the Year winners. “It feels amazing,” Takter said. “To have the opportunity just to be involved with these great horses is a humbling experience. A lot of people put faith in me to make champions when we buy horses as yearlings and to be able to execute on that is a very rewarding feeling.” Trotter of the Year Gimpanzee counted the Breeders Crown Open Trot, Hambletonian Maturity, John Cashman Memorial, Graduate Series championship, and Caesars Trotting Classic among his wins last season. He became only the third trotter in history to capture a Breeders Crown at ages 2, 3, and 4. Trotter of the Year Gimpanzee           Dean Gillette Photography Gimpanzee, who was a Dan Patch Award winner at 2 in 2018, is owned by Courant Inc. and S R F Stable. The stallion is a son of Chapter Seven out of Steamy Windows and was bred by Order By Stable. He is Melander’s second Trotter of the Year, joining Greenshoe in 2019. There were no unanimous divisional champions. Tall Dark Stranger, Gimpanzee, Party Girl Hill, Bettor’s Wish, Ramona Hill, and Amigo Volo each received at least 97 percent of the votes in their respective divisions. The closest race was among older female trotters, where Manchego won 72-58 over Atlanta. The Dan Patch Awards show will be archived and available on the USHWA website and USHWA Facebook page, as well as the U.S. Trotting Association’s YouTube channel, on Sunday, Jan. 17. Following is a look at the 2020 Dan Patch Award division winners. Listed drivers were either the horse’s regular driver or won at least one Grand Circuit final with the horse.   TWO-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER PERFECT STING, colt Always B Miki – Shebestingin – Bettor’s Delight Breeders: Brittany Farms, Val D’Or Farms Owners: Brittany Farms, Val D’Or Farms Trainer: Joe Holloway Driver: David Miller Races: 10-10-0-0 Purses: $534,300 Mark: 1:49.2 at Red Mile Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes final   TWO-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER FIRE START HANOVER Somebeachsomewhere – Fit To Frame – Art Major Breeder: Hanover Shoe Farms Owners: Pinske Stables, David Hoese, Lawrence Means Trainer: R. Nifty Norman Driver: Dexter Dunn Races: 13-8-2-0 Purses: $592,562 Mark: 1:50.3 at Red Mile Top wins: $600,000 Breeders Crown; $151,030 Kindergarten Classic Series final   HORSE OF YEAR, PACER OF YEAR, THREE-YEAR-OLD MALE PACER TALL DARK STRANGER, colt Bettor’s Delight – Precocious Beauty – Art Major Breeder: James Avritt Sr. Owners: Crawford Farms Racing, Marvin Katz, Caviart Farms, Howard Taylor Trainer: Nancy Takter Driver: Yannick Gingras Races: 13-11-1-0 Purses: $1.30 million Mark: 1:47.1 at Meadowlands Top wins: $760,000 North America Cup; $636,650 Meadowlands Pace; $273,125 Cane Pace; $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes final; $239,500 Tattersalls division   THREE-YEAR-OLD FEMALE PACER PARTY GIRL HILL Captaintreacherous – Look Cheap – Geartogear Breeder: Tom Hill Owner: Tom Hill Trainers: Chris Ryder, Chantal Mitchell Drivers: Dexter Dunn, Doug McNair Races: 16-15-0-1 Purses: $880,345 Mark: 1:47.2 at Red Mile Top wins: $304,000 Fan Hanover; $253,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final; $239,500 Tattersalls division; $237,725 Jugette; $154,450 Matron   OLDER MALE PACER BETTOR’S WISH, 4-year-old stallion Bettor’s Delight – Lifetime Star – Western Ideal Breeder: Brittany Farms Owners: Chris Ryder, Bella Racing, Fair Island Farm, Bettors Wish Partners Trainer: Chris Ryder Driver: Dexter Dunn Races: 13-6-3-2 Purses: $685,432 Mark: 1:47.3 at Meadowlands Top wins: $340,000 TVG Series Open final; $229,660 Sam McKee Memorial; $176,500 Dayton Pacing Derby; $150,000 Allerage Farms Open   OLDER FEMALE PACER KISSIN IN THE SAND, 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere – Kiss Me Kate – Real Artist Breeders: Christina Takter, John Fielding, R A W Equine, Concord Stud Farm Owners: Marvin Katz, Hatfield Stables Trainer: Nancy Takter Drivers: Dexter Dunn, Jody Jamieson Races: 12-8-1-0 Purses: $491,984 Mark: 1:47.4 at Meadowlands Top wins: $300,000 Breeders Crown; $175,000 Dayton Distaff; $161,250 Milton; $150,000 TVG Series Mare final; $72,000 Allerage Farms Mare   TWO-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER VENERATE, colt Love You – Peaceful Kemp – Muscle Hill Breeders: Steve Stewart, Kemppi Stable Owners: Pinske Stables, Andy Miller Stable Trainer: Julie Miller Drivers: Andy Miller, Andrew McCarthy Races: 10-5-0-3 Purses: $772,914 Mark: 1:51.4 at Red Mile Top wins: $1 million Mohawk Million; $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes final   TWO-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER ANOKA HANOVER Donato Hanover – Aunt Mel – Yankee Glide Breeder: Hanover Shoe Farms Owners: Noel Daley, L.A. Express Stable, Caviart Farms Trainer: Noel Daley Driver: Todd McCarthy Races: 14-10-1-1 Purses: $587,758 Mark: 1:52.3 at Meadowlands Top wins: $451,800 Goldsmith Maid; $252,340 Kindergarten Classic Series final   THREE-YEAR-OLD MALE TROTTER AMIGO VOLO, gelding Father Patrick – Margarita Momma – Yankee Glide Breeders: Kentuckiana Farms, Jorgen Jahre Jr. Owners: Pinske Stables, David J. Miller Trainer: R. Nifty Norman Driver: Dexter Dunn Races: 15-9-1-2 Purses: $939,498 Mark: 1:50.2 at Dover Downs (world record) Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $444,000 Kentucky Futurity; $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final; $162,350 Matron   THREE-YEAR-OLD FEMALE TROTTER RAMONA HILL Muscle Hill – Lock Down Lindy – Lucky Chucky Breeder: Crawford Farms Owners: Brad Grant, Crawford Farms Racing, Robert LeBlanc, In The Gym Partners Trainer: Tony Alagna Driver: Andrew McCarthy Races: 10-6-1-1 Purses: $915,615 Mark: 1:50.1 at Meadowlands Top wins: $1 million Hambletonian; $266,000 Elegantimage; $253,500 Del Miller Memorial; $160,140 Harry M. Zweig Memorial Filly   TROTTER OF YEAR, OLDER MALE TROTTER GIMPANZEE, 4-year-old stallion Chapter Seven – Steamy Windows – Muscle Massive Breeder: Order By Stable Owners: Courant Inc., S R F Stable Trainer: Marcus Melander Driver: Brian Sears Races: 11-8-1-1 Purses: $980,964 Mark: 1:50 at Meadowlands Top wins: $500,000 Breeders Crown; $464,900 Hambletonian Maturity; $291,350 John Cashman Memorial; $250,000 Graduate Series final; $150,000 Caesars Trotting Classic   OLDER FEMALE TROTTER MANCHEGO, 5-year-old Muscle Hill – Secret Magic – Cantab Hall Breeder: Brittany Farms Owner: Black Horse Racing Trainer: Nancy Takter Driver: Dexter Dunn Races: 13-6-2-2 Purses: $599,451 Mark: 1:49.3 at Plainridge Park (world record) Top wins: $320,000 TVG Series Open final; $300,000 Breeders Crown; $250,000 Spirit of Massachusetts   For complete vote totals, click here.   Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager U.S. Trotting Association www.ustrotting.com

HARRISBURG PA - The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the leading media organization in North American harness racing, has announced the winners of its Dan Patch Awards balloting for excellence exhibited among both equines and humans. The "best of the best" are normally honored at the writers' Dan Patch Annual Awards Banquet, but that event was cancelled this year due to the ongoing health crisis, so a special Virtual Awards show was broadcast Saturday. The Dan Patch Awards Show will be archived & available on the USHWA website (www.usharnesswriters.com) & USHWA Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/USHarnessWriters) and also on USTA's YouTube channel, on Sunday, January 17, 2021. This release focuses on the human and broodmare award winners. The racehorse winners, including the Horse of the Year, will be listed in a separate release being sent at approximately the same time as this one. DRIVER DEXTER DUNN, BREEDER BRITTANY FARMS REPEAT AS WINNERS IN THEIR DAN PATCH CATEGORY Dexter Dunn, a nine-time winner of the driving title in his native land of New Zealand before the age of 30, has now been in the United States and Canada for two years, and he has been voted Driver of the Year both years. 2020 was an especially rich year for him, in two senses of the word: he was the leading money-winning driver last year with almost $11.2 million bankrolled by his charges, many of whom were voted champions of their respective divisions. In September, October, and November alone in the shortened season, he drove the winners of 26 races worth more than $100,000, including the pacing filly champions in both the 2- and 3-year-old ranks, Fire Start Hanover and Party Girl Hill; the two champions among the older pacing set, stallion Bettor's Wish and mare Kissin In The Sand; champion trotting mare Manchego; and champion sophomore trotting male Amigo Volo. He again won four Breeders Crown races. During 2021 Brittany Farms has a very good chance of being only the third breeding concern to have been the first home of the winners of $200,000,000 - and that figure achieved despite producing a good many fewer horses than their nearest competitors. They have tied Hanover Shoe Farms as the #1 breeders of Breeders Crown winners at 27. Among the farm's divisional winners in 2020 were Manchego, Bettor's Wish, and the undefeated two-year-old colt pacer Perfect Sting. They were third among breeders in 2020, with their progeny earning over $5.5 million - again, with fewer starts that others clustered at the top of the list.   PINSKE STABLES GIVEN NOD AS OWNERS OF THE YEAR; KELLY SMITH VOTED LEADING CARETAKER Fifty years in the sport with their familiar gold and green colors, the Pinske Stables, in their current composition Marlys Pinske, her son Karl, and her grandson Carter, had a great year to win the closest vote in all of the Dan Patch categories, 55-48, over another family operation, the Chaffees' Caviart Farms. The Pinskes were in various tracks' winners circles after several victories by the richest two-year-olds of both sexes, the trotting colt Venerate ($767,914) and the pacing filly Fire Start Hanover ($592,562), along with the leading three-year-old trotting colt, Amigo Volo, who won his Breeders Crown and the Kentucky Futurity. All three were voted divisional championships in the writers' Dan Patch balloting (more detail in Racehorse release). The winner of the 2020 Caretaker of the Year Award, sponsored by Art Zubrod and Leah Cheverie's Fair Island Farm, is Kelly Smith, a longtime worker in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Chuck Sylvester. Smith was nominated by Sylvester himself, who called her "my unsung hero." Smith began working for Sylvester three decades ago, with one of her first champions being the 1993 Hambletonian Oaks winner Winky's Goal. Another of Smith's many champions and one of her all-time favorite horses is 2013 Breeders Crown champion Spider Blue Chip. In all, 16 nominations for the Fair Island Farm Caretaker of the Year Award were submitted, with Smith chosen as a winner by a select group of seven USHWAns, all of whom were former caretakers themselves.   CHAMPION RACEHORSE JK SHE'SALADY NOW 2020 PACING BROODMARE OF THE YEAR; VOTE FOR TOP TROTTING BROODMARE GOES TO STEAMY WINDOWS Voted Horse of the Year after going undefeated in twelve freshman starts, the Art Major - Presidential Lady pacing mare JK She'salady is also showing her quality as a broodmare by winning that Dan Patch Award against strong opposition. Bred and owned by 3 Brothers Stables, JK She'salady from her first two foals has produced two outstanding fillies who ranked among the best of their divisions - the Western Ideal miss JK First Lady, a winner of over $700,000 and a sub-1:50 performer at both two and three, and the Always B Miki distaff JK Alwaysbalady, who won her Breeders Crown elimination then was second in the final. Both raced for 3 Brothers Stable. Her trotting counterpart is Steamy Windows, a daughter of Muscle Massive - Commando Queen who was bred and is owned by Order By Stable. She produced the Trotter of the Year, the Chapter Seven stallion Gimpanzee, who won his third straight Breeders Crown and dominated the free-for-all ranks, raising his career bankroll to $2.7 million. Gimpanzee's two-year-old full sister, Iteration, won half of her ten freshman starts and bankrolled over $300,000. Nancy Takter, trainer of Horse of the Year Tall Dark Stranger, was previously announced as the Glen Garnsey Trainer of the Year after being nominated for the award by all of USHWA's chapters.   VOTING TOTALS 130 out of 185 (70.3%) of eligible voters submitted ballots Nancy Takter unanimously selected as Trainer of the Year by USHWA's chapters Caretaker of the Year selected by an USHWA panel   OWNER OF THE YEAR PINSKE STABLES 55 Caviart Farms 48 Crawford Farms 25 abstain 2 DRIVER OF THE YEAR DEXTER DUNN 114 David Miller 13 abstain 3 BREEDER OF THE YEAR BRITTANY FARMS 88 Order By Stable 30 Runthetable Stables 7 abstain 5 TROTTING BROODMARE OF THE YEAR STEAMY WINDOWS 79 Margarita Momma 31 Dunk The Donato 8 Nantab 7 abstain 2 PACING BROODMARE OF THE YEAR JK SHE'SALADY 48 Great Memories 39 Beachy Girl 31 Swinging Beauty 8 abstain 1   U.S. Harness Writers Association

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Greg Luther's million-dollar experiment has increased in size and scope. After spending seven figures at last fall's harness racing yearling sales in what he called his "million-dollar experiment" to find and develop Grand Circuit talent, the Ohio resident has continued to add to his stable with the recent purchases of several veteran performers. On Monday (Jan. 18), Luther bought the top-selling horses at the Tattersalls Winter Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands - Chief Mate for $220,000 and Captain Kirk for $215,000. Both are 4-year-old male pacers trained formerly by Tony Alagna. Those buys came on the heels of privately purchasing 2020 Adios winner Catch The Fire as well as Catch The Fire's now 3-year-old full brother Captains Place. "I ended up spending about $1.1 million on yearlings and spent about another million dollars on older racehorses in the past 30 days," Luther said, adding with a laugh. "So, I guess it's a two-million-dollar experiment now." Luther has a 51-horse stable trained by his brother Todd, who is based at Winner's Circle Training Center in central Ohio. Luther, who competes as Black Magic Racing, is the sole owner of all the horses except Catch The Fire; original owner Charles Taylor retained an interest in the 4-year-old stallion. "This is new for both of us, my brother and myself, to be into the higher-end horses," Luther said. "We've been definitely putting it out there to try and make 2021 a huge year for us. I've got an online marketing business and things have been good here in the past year-and-a-half. I've always wanted to get into the big leagues and it just seemed like good timing. We're trying to get onto the Grand Circuit scene." As for Monday's purchases, Luther said, "Those were the two horses I was looking for." Chief Mate, a stallion by Captaintreacherous out of Heaven Forbid, has won six of 23 career starts and $226,619. He finished second by a head to Catch The Fire in last year's Adios and at age 2 won the Kentucky Sire Stakes consolation as well as three preliminary divisions of the Kindergarten Classic Series. He won a qualifier in 1:53.2 last weekend at The Meadowlands. Captain Kirk, a stallion by Captaintreacherous out of Aria Hanover, has won three of 24 lifetime starts and $265,880. Last year, he won the Tompkins-Geers Stakes and an elimination of the North America Cup. He is a full brother to Grand Circuit stakes winner Blue Diamond Eyes. Both horses were consigned by Preferred Equine. "They're both nice horses," Luther said. "Chief Mate just qualified so he's ready to race. The other horse is going to be about 90 days out yet. This is all new for me, but we're going to try to hit all the big dances with both of them. I think they'll both do well as they mature into older horses. "Everything seems to be lined up well. I think we're going to have a phenomenal year. It should be a lot of fun." King Alphonso was the top-selling trotter in Monday's sale, going for $145,000 to Matt Morrison. The 4-year-old stallion, by Muscle Hill out of Amour Heiress, was trained previously by Ake Svanstedt. He is 1-for-1 this year and has won four of 20 races in his career, totaling $241,465. He was a Grand Circuit stakes winner at age 2. He also was consigned by Preferred Equine. A total of 119 horses and stallion shares sold Monday for a gross of $3.74 million. For complete results, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager
LEBANON, OH. - Driver Dan Noble will have an enviable decision to make following the draw for the $30,000 championship of the Claim To Fame series for $20,000 claiming trotters to be held next Monday (Jan. 25). He managed to win both harness racing divisions of the final preliminary leg this Monday (Jan. 18), guiding both Here Comes Moony (1:56, $8) and Another Breath (1:56.4, $7.60) to relatively easy victories. There were no repeat winners in the two weeks of preliminaries, so the final should be contentious. In order of series earnings, which determined the final combatants, the championship field will be comprised of Another Breath, Majestic Brayden, Here Comes Moony, For A Dreamer, Hill Side, Swan Before All, Riverdancing Diva, Luminosity and Mr Houdini. Justabitofcharm (Chris Page, 1:55, $2.80), Classic Comedy (Noble, 1:55.2, $4.60) and Tequilas Jet (Sam Widger, 1:54.3, $14.20) were triumphant in a trio of similar splits for $8000 distaff pacing mares to determine the finalists to chase $17,500 purse next week. Those three winners will likely line up versus Astroffical, Don't Mach Mia, Titi's Ava, Oh Miss Rylee, Shuffle We Will and Faye's Jet Mile. Gregg Keidel
On any given day the driver's colony at Monticello Raceway has the depth, talent and ability for a handful of harness racing drivers to win a multitude of races in one day, on Monday January 18, it was Bruce Aldrich's turn as he drove 4 winners on the card. Bruce is now just 6 wins away from a career milestone of 8,000 wins. The banner day started with a dead heat in race 2 aboard Demand An Answer (PP2), who tripped the teletimer with Swancredit (Cory Stratton) next up was Lacarmeliliana 2:00 - $2.50, Spilling The Beans 1:58.4 - $4.00 earned his second consecutive win of the year. Aldrich rounded out the afternoon with After The Lovin 1:59.2-$3.10. Also on the card James Devaux and Cory Stratton each drove home 2 winners, P driver James Scarpias won with Brendas Got It, trainer Chris Petrelli had 2 winners from his stable.   Shawn Wiles Director of Racing & Facilities Monticello Raceway
Pompano Beach, FL With the Super Hi-5 Jackpot approaching $115,000 at Pompano Park, Director of Racing Gabe Prewitt has announced a mandatory payout for Tuesday, January 19. "We have had several inquiries as to when the jackpot would grow to a point where we would consider a mandatory payout and that time has come," said Prewitt.  Normally, the jackpot is paid when there is one lone winning ticket with the first five finishers in order, however, with the Super Hi-5 Jackpot pool expected to be several hundred thousand dollars, the mandatory payout lifts that restriction and there is no limit to the number of winning tickets one might have. "If the net pool is $300,000 or $400,000, we may have 15 or 20 winners--or more--that could cash in on a real bonanza," Prewitt added. "It's a great opportunity on a 20 cent based wager and we expect eager participation from the 'send it in' army." Recently, on a carryover situation on the track's popular Pick-5 wager, there were well over 600 winning tickets sharing in a net pool of about $140,000. Free programs are available on the isle casino racing website for all racing programs throughout the month of January. Post time for all racing programs at Pompano is 7:20 p.m.   Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park
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