Day At The Track
Rock Diamond N, harness racing

Rock Diamond N shines in Gold Cup & Saucer

Swift early fractions poised Rock Diamonds N and 21-year-old New England native Mitchell Cushing to rip through the field and claim victory in the 60th renewal of the Guardian Gold Cup & Saucer at Charlottetown Driving Park on Saturday, Aug. 17 as reports by Standardbred Canada. The inside three starters shot for the front with Bet On Brett brushing quickest to the top. Trial-winner Sir Pugsley sat second while Bettors Fire N, driven by Mitchell’s father Ron Cushing, ducking to third. Rock Diamonds N sat sixth past a :26.3 opening quarter and glided along the cones as Bettors Fire N pulled first over into a :54.1 half. Pacesetter Bet On Brett began to retreat up the backside. Sir Pugsley pulled pocket to take command while Bet On Brett got circled by defending champion Somewhere Fancy, with Lisburn stacked three wide and Midway Island, the other trial winner, four wide. Sir Pugsley passed three-quarters in 1:23.2 but clung to the lead as Somewhere Fancy and Lisburn loomed closer and eventually moved to the front turning for the finish. Rock Diamonds N remained at the pylons and shot through the open stretch to power past everyone and stop the clock in 1:51.4. Somewhere Fancy finished second while Lisburn took third. “I really thought my dad’s [horse] was going to step around Sir Pugsley, but we got a nice spot that opened up,” Cushing said after the race. “They all left out of there real hard, so I just took back and, after that, you just have to go with instinct—what you see with the other as they’re running out of gas and whatnot.” Winning his eighth race from 16 starts this season and his 24th from 62 overall, Rock Diamonds N races for owners Kevin Sywyk, Ron Cushing and Frank Ranaldi and has earned $282,362. Mitchell Cushing, growing up driving at the fairs in Maine and now the leading driver at Plainridge Park in Massachusetts, won in his first start in the Gold Cup & Saucer. “I thought Fryeburg Fair was pretty cool,” Cushing said, “but this is completely different. This is like what you see at a professional sports game.” Father Ron had driven Rock Diamonds N in all his stateside starts previously, including when the six-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding finished second as the favourite to Sir Pugsley in his trial last week. Ron, siding with Bettors Fire N in the final, invited Mitchell to drive the eventual winner while Bettors Fire N finished off the board. “We’re the biggest competitors,” Cushing said of racing against his father. “If we’re in against each other, I can’t wait to beat him because it means my paycheck is more than his. I wanted to beat him more than anybody on the racetrack tonight.” Rock Diamonds N returned $12.80 to win. From Standardbred Canada

Greenshoe, harness racing

Greenshoe shines bright in $330,000 Zweig

Greenshoe (Brian Sears) wins the $330,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old harness racing trotters at Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 17). Front runner Marseille (Ake Svanstedt) jumped out to the lead and led to the first quarter in :27.1. Don't Let'em (Yannick Gingras) followed in second with Brian Sears content to put Greenshoe ($2.30) in the third spot. Marseille led to the half in :56.3. After the half Greenshoe made his move going first-over as they headed for the final turn. Marseille lead was just a head as they hit three-quarters in 1:25.1. Greenshoe, who is trained by Marcus Melander for owners Courant Inc., Morten Langli, Hans Backe, and Lars Granqvist, blew right by as they made the turn for home. He looked like a rocket in the stretch as he won by six lengths in the end. The Melander trained Green Manalishi S (Tim Tetrick) came up to finish second. Marseille held on for third. Greenshoe is a 3-year-old colt by Father Patrick. It was his sixth win in eight starts this season. He now has eight career victories. The Ice Dutchess (Yannick Gingras) captures the $135,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Starita (Dexter Dunn) jumped to the front out of the gate. The Ice Dutchess ($5.80) took control just before hitting the first quarter in :27.1. She continued to lead hitting the half in :56.2. Evident Beauty (David Miller) would be the first one to make a move going around the final turn but couldn't get to The Ice Dutchess who led the way to three-quarters in 1:25.1. The Ice Dutchess, who is owned by Coyote Wynd Farms and trained by Nancy Johanson, just breezed in the stretch. Evident Beauty gave one last charge in deep stretch but it was The Ice Dutchess winning in 1:52.4. Starita held on to finish third. The Ice Dutchess is a 3-year-old filly by Muscle Hill. It was her fourth win this season. She now owns nine career victories. American Rebel (Tyler Buter) wins the $53,000 first division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for freshmen pacing colts & geldings. Major Betts (Dexter Dunn) led to the first quarter in :27.2. Cigars And Port (Tim Tetrick) would soon take control and led to the half in :56.4 and to three-quarters in 1:26.2. American Rebel ($7.90), who is trained by Patti Harmon for the Harmon Racing Stable and Robert Robinson, went first over as they made the turn for home. As the hit mid-stretch Major Betts found an opening on the inside and battled American Rebel in deep stretch. American Rebel was too strong in the end to win in a lifetime best of 1:53.4. Major Betts earned second money with Cigars And Port settling for third best. American Rebel is a 2-year-old colt by American Ideal-Restive Hanover. It was his fourth career victory. Freedom Warrior (David Miller) wins the $54,000 second division of the NYSS. Teton Sunset (Tyler Buter) led to first quarter in :27.0. Stable mate Splash Brother (Tim Tetrick) then took over and led to the half in :56.4 and three-quarters in 1:24.4. Freedom Warrior ($6.10), who is owned by Forrest Bartlett and trained by Kevin Lare, went first over just before three-quarters. He went to the front as they reached the stretch and held off the late charge by second place finisher Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley) to win in a lifetime best of 1:52.3. Hurrikanekingjames (Yannick Gingras) fired late to finish third. Freedom Warrior is a 2-year-old gelding by American Ideal. It was his second win in six lifetime starts. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 23) at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs

Real Cool Sam, harness racing

Real Cool Sam equals world record at Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 17, 2019 -- Real Cool Cam had what you might call a fair-to-middlin' day in Saturday's $186,016 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. Not only did he equal the world record 1:54.4 for freshman gelding trotters on a five-eighths-mile track, but he also extended his career unbeaten streak to six. The time matched that of Amigo Volo, who logged his record just one week ago at Harrah's Philadelphia. Ironically, Amigo Volo competed in Saturday's PASS, finishing second in a different split. Real Cool Sam's mile also is a track record for The Meadows and equaled the mark for the Florida Pro, as the stake is known. In the previous wins in his remarkable streak, Real Cool Sam never led at the quarter. The son of Muscle Hill-Cooler Schooner, whom owner Jules Siegel of Fashion Farms named to honor the late race caller Sam McKee, extended that streak as well, getting away third for David Miller before brushing to the point past the quarter. Real Cool Sam opened a daylight lead and, though King Alphonso was gaining at the wire, scored comfortably by 1-1/4 lengths. Hell Patrol finished third. His six straight wins have earned $248,134 for Real Cool Sam. "He looked very comfortable, and Dave said he raced very easily," said winning trainer Jim Campbell. "I'm very blessed to be able to train a horse like Sam. If I were sure he'd make the PASS final without going to the fourth leg, I'm not sure I'd go there. There have been a lot of winners, though, so I have to look into that. I'm trying not to get too many starts into him this year." Rome Pays Off and Gangster Hanover took the other Florida Pro splits, each in 1:55. Rome Pays Off quarter-poled to the top for Mattias Melander and held off Big Oil by 1/2 length, with Chestnut Hill third. " I felt in control all the time, but he's still a little immature," Melander said. "He really didn't know what he was doing up front, so I had to keep him on the bit all the time. He feels like he has it all." Marcus Melander conditions the son of Muscle Hill-Order By Wish, who vaulted over $100,000 in lifetime earnings, for SRF Stable. $80,000 PA Stallion Series -- 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters Miller extended his big day In Saturday's subfeature, winning three of the four divisions with Town Victor, Beyond Kronos and Saxon -- the latter two for Campbell. Spring Roll captured the other split. Town Victor prevailed in 1:56.1, fastest of the stake, by saving his brush until the three-quarters and outdueling Loyal Fox Hanover to down him by 1/2 length, with Don Grigio third. It was the second PA Stallions victory for the Winning Mister-P Town Girl gelding. "He was lucky today when a couple of the favorites made breaks," said Rich Gillock, who trains and owns the homebred with Barbara Richardson. "But I'd rather have some good luck for a change." Spring Roll rebounded from a near-disastrous outing when he had something other than racing on his mind. "He had the 9 hole last time and tried to duck out the draw gate," explained winning driver Aaron Merriman. "He made a break, but when he came back trotting, he was phenomenal. So I actually was very confident today. He was loaded, and he was well in hand." On Saturday, he found late racing room between horses and scored in 1:57.4, 1-1/2 lengths better than Matter Of Focus. Libero Hanover earned show. Chris Beaver trains the son of Cantab Hall-Won Ton Hanover and owns with Robert McNerney, Bill Manes and Leo Fleming. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters -- a $164,002 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $40,000 PA Stallion Series event -- as well as a $1,501.28 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

All Cashed Up

French success

Haras des Trotteurs and their line of French trotting sires won half the Breeders Crown heats at Maryborough this week. Leading the way was debutant sire Quaker Jet who set the ball rolling with an amazing trifecta in the opening race of the day. Despite a relatively small crop of just 24 2YOs, the son of Love You saw his daughters Im Ready Jet, Imamaorijet and Dizzysjet kick clear of the pack at the 400m mark and finish, one, two, three in the ABC 2YO Trotting Fillies First Heat. To watch this race click here. Two races later Love You’s latest star colt Ultimate Stride, a sale topper in New Zealand last year, carried the colours of Emilio and Mary Rosati to victory in the first of the ABC 2YO Colts and Geldings heat. The Redwood Classic winner made light work of his wide draw, sitting three wide early before taking over down the back straight. Given a breather by Anthony Butt, Ultimate Stride then turned up the wick at the 400m and proved far too strong for his rivals, clearing away for a most impressive win. To watch this race click here. All Cashed Up, by the leading French sire Ready Cash, was back to his best in the Breeders Crown 3YO Trotting Colts and Geldings first heat. All Cashed Up used his gate speed to lead from the gate, and set a quick tempo, kicking in the straight to hold off a fast finishing Victoria Trotting Derby winner Majestuoso to create a 3YO trotting record and the second fastest ever time (to Tornado Valley the week before), at the Maryborough track. To watch this race click here. His stablemate Xebec, by Orlando Vici, the fourth French sire to record a winner on the day, was then a convincing winner in the second heat, after making his bid 400m from home and staying on strongly to the line to win by 3,3m with 33m back to the third horse. To watch this race click here. Xebec was one of Orlando Vici’s first crop of 11 3YOs which has produced an astounding 9 winners, and which has the stallion placed second on the Australian 3YO Trotting rankings. His 3YO filly Orlando Storm also qualified for the finals with an eye-catching run for second behind Emerald Stride in the first 3YO fillies heat. Dave Sanders

The stage has been set for a thrilling TAB Breeders Crown finals night at Tabcorp Park Melton on August 24, with the field narrowing tonight at Bendigo and some new contenders emerging. It was all action at Lord's Raceway with not only the two and three-year-old pacing heats, but the draws for the pacing and trotting finals to keep tongues wagging. Here's how all the action unfolded on one of the great night's on the Victorian trots calendar. Amelia Rose wins the Always B Miki 2YO fillies first semi-final The punters take the honours in race one as Amelia Rose, who opened at $13 and was backed into $3.80, swept to the front to win for trainer Emma Stewart and reinswoman Amanda Turnbull. The victory came despite plan A having been thrown out early in the race when Rockingwithsierra was able to initially hold out Amelia Rose before taking the prized leader's back position when frontrunner Jemstone emerged. But sit-sprinter Amelia Rose soon found cover in the running line behind Michael Stanley's Iolanta and then emerged at the top of the final straight to show her customary high speed, winning by a neck from second-placed Alice Kay with Stewart stablemates Treasure and Jemstone filling out the first four in a very even division. Joining that quartet in the final will be Rockingwithsierra (fifth) and Jo Dina (sixth).   Our Road To Mecca wins the Woodlands Stud 3YO fillies' first semi-final David Moran slid Ahmed Taiba's Our Road To Mecca to the front and controlled proceedings, copping little heat before a 27.2 final quarter secured the semi-final win. "She was a bit funny last week," Moran said in regards to Our Road To Mecca failing to score up at the gates in her heat. "He put the plugs in her for the first time and she just tended to go to sleep a bit too much going up to the gates. Freddy and the boys left them out tonight and she was a lot sharper and she run a pretty good race." Tonight Our Road To Mecca comfortably crossed to the front and got a breather with a 32-second first quarter. "She's got that good early gate speed," Moran said. "Generally the mile seemed to be her go, but she seems to toughened up a bit more now and she's adjusting to that racing going around against those better fillies through some of them classic races. It's probably done her the world of good. "She's shown she's right up to them, just reliant on that little bit of luck. Tonight with the draw she was able to get the lead early and dictate from there." She was unchallenged in the straight, with Buzinga (leader's back) finishing second, 2.3 metres in arrears, and Enchanted Stride just pipping Looking Fabulous for third. They advance to the final along with Myra Dawn (fifth) and Millah Joy (sixth).   Perfect Stride wins the Downbytheseaside 2YO colts and geldings' first semi-final There was perhaps a little heart flutter late when Star Hunter threatened, but Perfect Stride got the job done having cruised to the front and swept his way into the TAB Breeders Crown finals. A $190,000 sales topper for owners Emilio and Maria Rosati, the little full-brother to Chicago Bull confirmed his favourite status in the run when he strode to the front for reinsman Anthony Butt and then did just enough late to register victory by a head. "He's a pretty casual little guy," Butt told TrotsVision. "Lovely horse to drive, but the boys did say he can wait for them a bit in front. That's what he did, he felt good turning for home and then he thought it was all over. He's learning all the time and I'm sure next week will be a different story. "He's been well trained by Ray (Green) and well educated, he's just like an old horse to drive. He come off the gate fast and just relaxed and dropped the bit and goes as fast as you want him to go. For a two-year-old he's got beautiful manners. I'm sure next week with a decent draw he won't be out of it." Green told TrotsVision that even better was yet to come from the beautifully bred two-year-old. "He's much better coming off the pace. He's probably better than (those times), had he been coming from off the pace he would have finished a lot better. He's a loafer." Joining the winner and second-placed Star Hunter in advancing to the final were Do Not Surrender (third), Focus Stride (fourth), Saint Emillion (fifth) and Santa Casa Beach (sixth).   Maajida wins the Always B Miki 2YO fillies' second semi-final She was a $1.04 job and she looked every bit of it throughout as Maajida dominated her two-year-old fillies' heat for trainer Emma Stewart and reinsman Greg Sugars, who showed patience in working to the front and then cruised to a five-metre win. "It's one thing about her, she gives you a lot of confidence as a driver this little horse because she's certainly not one dimensional by any stretch of the imagination," Sugars told TrotsVision. "She's shown her last two runs that off steady sectionals she can dash up a pretty sharp quarter if need be, like she showed in the Vicbred final when she drew an outside back row gate, circled the field and was too strong. "She's got plenty of courage about her as well. Just lovely to drive. She's quite casual in front, but it doesn't take much to wake her up and ask her to go and she responds for you. Just a pleasure to drive and I'm the lucky one who gets to sit behind her at the moment." Having initially crossed to the front, Michelle Lee Mac ran into second place with Starsbythebeach filling out the placings. Top six runners Askmeilltellya, The Pantheist and Final Peace, who did plenty of work in the breeze, also advanced to the August 24 final at Tabcorp Park Melton.   Be Happy Mach wins the Downbytheseaside 2YO colts and geldings' second semi-final It was a good race and it was won by a very good horse as Be Happy Mach notched up victory number nine from 10 starts for reinsman Chris Alford and trainer Emma Stewart, despite having to again advance from the second row. There was plenty of work early as a number of horses shuffled forward in the running line to be near the front of affairs including Youaremy Sunshine, who was four-wide for some time before settling in the breeze. Be Happy Mach cruised on by to move straight to the front ahead of Mirragon and Zeuss Bromac who were one, two and three on the pegs and that was how they'd finish, with talented types Youaremy Sunshine, Sahara Sirocco and Pacifico Dream finishing fourth, fifth and sixth to keep their TAB Breeders Crown dreams alive. Be Happy Mach rolled home in 26.9 seconds to finish 1.6 metres clear of his stablemate and to reaffirm his almost iron clad favourtism for the final, with the draw to take place after tonight's seventh race. Stay tuned.   Demon Delight wins the IRT three-year-old colts and geldings' final "How good was it - he's so fast," said reinswoman Kate Gath of Demon Delight after the Emma Stewart trained three-year-old put in a pulsating performance in the showcase race of the night, which lived up to high expectations. There was plenty going on, with Brevity surprising in holding out Max Delight early, Hurricane Harley lobbing to one-out one-back and then Jesse Duke taking the breeze as the big guns settled on the running line. A 37.8-second lead time preceded 29.5 and 29.6-second quarters at which stage Gath guided Demon Delight three-wide from the back of the field, advancing until Hurricane Harley popped into her path and provided cover. But last week's brilliant heat winner didn't have it in him tonight and at the turn Demon Delight peeled four-wide while well fancied Hurricane Harley and All Stars entrant Jesse Duke faded out of contention. Despite doing his fair share of work Demon Delight mowed down all comers to win by 1.7 metres from stablemate Brevity amid a 55.1-second last 800m, with Catch A Moment and Crime Writer hitting the line well to run third and fourth. Max Delight (fifth) and Always Fast (sixth) also qualified for the final.   Malcolms Rhythm wins the IRT three-year-old pacing colts and geldings' second semi-final Malcolms Rhythm shows he's got a few strings to his bow, grabbing and holding the lead before going all-the-way for reinswoman Kima Frenning and trainer David Aiken. The NSW Derby placegetter has mixed it with the best for much of his young career and tonight he showed he could sit inside one of the three-year-old class's toughest competitors, Lochinvar Art, take a few punches and still have plenty left in the finish. Malcolms Rhythm got home in a brisk 26.8-second final quarter off a 28.6-second third quarter to win by 2.6 metres from Lochinvar Art, who placed for a staggering 27th time from as many starts, including a sixth successive second placing. Pitch Perfect ran third with Out To Play (fourth), Fides (fifth) and Revolt (sixth) also advancing to the final.   Our Princess Tiffany wins the Woodlands Stud three-year-old fillies' second semi-final The hiccups of Kilmore's heat failure are now firmly in the rear-view for Our Princess Tiffany, who edged closer to the brilliance for which she's renowned in winning her semi-final. Reinsman Luke McCarthy, who's guiding the All Stars filly until Mark Purdon lobs across the Tasman next week, said "she didn't handle the track, it was really wet" at Kilmore and was rapt to see her return to something like her best. "Mark put in the media that they had done blood tests and were happy with her, so we were able to drive her confident and she felt super tonight," McCarthy said. "I thought if I could get in front of Kate (Gath on Two Times Bettor) early that would be the best tactic and got a good run through and sort of was able to control the tempo and she ran super." She advanced three wide early and got home in quarters of 28.3 and 27 seconds to win by three metres ahead of No Win No Feed, with third-placed Best Western 5.4 metres back. Victoria Brew (fourth), Miss Streisand (fifth) and Miss McGonagal (sixth) also advanced to the final. "She's a champion filly and had an outstanding season and it was just good to see her bounce back to her best tonight."   Michael Howard HRV Trots Media  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Harness racing Standardbred owner Adriano Sorella of Guelph, Ontario is one of the industry's most prominent and outgoing Standardbred owners in the sport. His top racehorse, Jimmy Freight, races this Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R in the $200,000C Prix d'Ete race for four-year-olds and Sorella will be there to watch his son of Sportswriter do his thing, and Sorella is bringing five friends with him to help root Jimmy Freight on. "I'm extremely happy with Jimmy Freight, Sorella added. "He's been tough all year long and I wouldn't trade him for anyone. He's a 1.2-million-dollar earner. He's been hitting the board over 90% of his races, and racing vs the best." Jimmy Freight drew post six for the Prix d'Ete and will, of course, have Louis Philippe Roy in the sulky. He is listed as the second choice in the race at odds of 3-1. The entry of This Is The Plan and Done Well are the 5/2 morning line favorite. "I expect him to be as good as he's always been on a half," Sorella explained. "He's versatile and has raced on every size track and all over NA. He's not afraid of anyone, and neither am I." A six-figure purchase from Iowa as an undefeated Sportswriter colt by Sorella. Jimmy Freight has been a big money maker for Sorella and the Jimmy Freight team. And Jimmy Freight also has a big following on Social Media, thanks to Sorella, with fans cheering him on from around the world. "Our team does a great job, Sorella said. "From his caretaker Lynn Cameron in Canada and Leo Herrera in the States, to his trainers Richard Moreau locally and Andrew Harris out of New Jersey. It also nice to see Louis Roy and Richard Moreau have a real nice animal racing in their home province of Quebec. And for the fans, they will get to see what I think will be a great race." This year Jimmy Freight scored his lifetime mark at Mohawk Raceway, winning the $100,000 Gold Cup in a sizzling 1:48.1 over the great McWicked. With great weather predicted for Sunday's Prix d'Ete, the track record at H3R will be in jeopardy. The all-age record of 1:50.3 is co-held by previous Prix d'Ete winners Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and All Bets Off (2015). PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-M/L 1-Hitman Hill-Jonathan Drury-Hunter Oakes-7/2 2-Pretty Handsome-Trevor Henry-Andrew McCabe-6/1 3-Done Well-Bob McClure-Ron Burke-5/2 4-This Is The Plan-Dan Dube-Ron Burke-5/2 5-The Downtown Bus-Doug McNair-Jeff Gillis-4/1 6-Jimmy Freight-Louis Roy-Richard Moreau-3/1 7-Turbo Hill-Hunter Oakes-Hunter Oakes-7/2 8-Casimir Richie P-Sylvain Filion-Dr. Ian Moore-5/1 Sunday's race card also features three divisions of the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old pacers plus there is a Preferred Pace and Trot on the 12-race program. The Prix d'Ete will be the 11th race on Sunday. First race post time is 1:00 pm. For a free race program or to watching the races live at H3R, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

Tim Tetrick is accustomed to having good harness racing seasons, but 2019 is shaping up to be one of his most memorable. Tetrick is the regular driver of harness racing's No. 1-ranked horse, the New Zealand-bred pacing mare Shartin, and earlier this year reached career win 11,000. And last month it was announced that Tetrick is one of four people on the ballot for the Hall of Fame. The results of the voting will be announced later this year. On top of that, Tetrick entered Friday leading the sport in earnings by a wide margin. His $9.12 million in purses were $2.8 million ahead of second-place Jason Bartlett. In addition, Tetrick had won 505 races, second to only Aaron Merriman's 579. Tetrick is on pace for more than 800 wins and more than $14 million in earnings, which are levels only one driver in history has surpassed in the same year. The driver? Tetrick, who accomplished it first in 2007 when he set the record for wins with 1,189 and earnings with $18.3 million. The following year he again surpassed the 800-victory and $14-million plateaus, winning 902 races and $19.7 million. Those earnings remain the sport's record. For his career, Tetrick ranks fourth all time in purses with $211 million and ninth in wins with 11,181. He has been named Driver of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association on four occasions. Tetrick recently took time to speak with Ken Weingartner, the U.S. Trotting Association's media relations manager, about his career, the Hall of Fame, and Shartin, who has won 17 of her past 18 races and competes in Sunday's $137,000 Artiscape at Tioga Downs. The 6-year-old mare has won 12 of 13 races this year and earned $742,927. Last year, she became the first pacing mare in history to earn $1 million in a season, reaching $1.05 million thanks to 19 victories in 24 starts. KW: You're having such a great year, on pace for over 800 wins and over $14 million, what have been the keys to success? TT: Just getting the right horses, that's all. Some years you just don't have the power. This year, I've had good stables and good horses to drive. The right horses get between my arch. KW: When you get on a roll, does it feel different? TT: It's definitely a lot easier to get out of bed and go to work when you're winning four, five, six (races), that's for sure. When you have a bad few days or couple of weeks, you start thinking you can't do it anymore, you get down on yourself. I try not to think about it. I enjoy going to work. KW: Is that the key, trying to enjoy it every day? TT: Exactly. If you over-think it, you're going to mess up. You can't over-think it. The things that can bother you, you just can't let them bother you. I tried to learn that a long time ago, but it's hard. You've got to be able to turn the page, no matter what happens. You've just got to forget about it. KW: What have been the highlights for you this year? You're getting to drive Shartin, won your 11,000th race ... TT: All of the above. (And) getting nominated for the Hall of Fame, it's a dream come true. Getting to drive great horses, like Shartin. Getting to compete at a very high level. It's pretty awesome. KW: What does it mean to you to be nominated for the Hall of Fame? TT: I never thought about it when I was younger. Over the last four or five years, I've had such great success and the numbers are good, you kind of start looking ahead. You see some of your peers that you still work with get nominated and it's pretty cool to see them go in and what it means to them. It's a Hall of Fame for a reason. They only take the best of the best. To be even considered, it's a great honor. Hopefully it will come true. KW: Reaching 11,000 wins, do those milestones mean a lot to you? TT: For sure. I know records are meant to be broken, and stuff like that, but that's a lot of wins. Most people don't get 11,000 drives in their careers and I've been able to go to the winner's circle over 11,000 times. My biggest thing, though, is the money. I've gotten to win over $200 million and there are only three guys ahead of me. And I'm only 37. But the wins are awesome. I'm racing against the top 10 guys every day, so to have that many wins is awesome. KW: Do you get extra motivation from that, knowing the competition you're facing? TT: I always want to try to beat the best. Not only are they very good at what they do, they're very safe to drive with, and they're smart. It doesn't make your job easier, but it does make your job easier racing against the best guys in the world. KW: How have you seen yourself grow over the years and what are you most proud of? TT: I still learn things every day. I heard (retired driver) Cat Manzi say one time that he learned a lot from watching the younger guys when they came up. You never stop learning, the way you sit in the bike or the way you handle a horse. I like getting a young horse and being able to come off the track and tell a trainer something that I think can make the horse better. And they come back the next week and tell you, man, that really helped. Equipment changes, or whatever it is. That is a lot of fun to me. KW: It's more than just being on the track with a horse for two minutes. TT: Exactly. I know I'm a catch driver, but I still think of myself as a horseman. I always put the care of the horse first and try to do what's best for the horse and still make them go as fast as I can. And make a lot of money. (Laughs.) KW: I wanted to talk about Shartin. Jim (trainer Jim King Jr.) and everybody around the horse say what a great job you've done helping her along, going back to the beginning last year. What has it been like to see her development and how do you view your roll in it? TT: It's awesome to watch her grow and see what she's turned into. From the first time I saw her, I could never dream she could do what she's done. She's exceeded my expectations, for sure. I think Jimmy and (his wife) Jo Ann are giving me too much credit. Good horses make good drivers look better. She's been a work in progress, a little too eager at times, but Jimmy and me work together. It's different when you race than when you train them. I hear all the time, "They didn't do that at home." Well at home you don't have a starting gate and grandstand and people cheering at you. And there are nine other drivers that are trying to beat you. On the racetrack, she's different. She wants to win and she's very eager about it sometimes. They've done a great job keeping her fit. She actually loves traveling, going places; you see her just get her game face on. KW: With a horse that can be a little overanxious, what do you do to try to keep them relaxed and focused? TT: There are different ways. You try to keep her by herself because when she gets around other horses, she wants to go after them almost. When a horse gets close to her, even in the post parade, she thinks it's race time. If you keep her by herself, she takes care of herself after that. She's a beast. KW: That type of desire, is it something you can sense in a horse? TT: In her you can. You can feel it in the lines. When you're coasting on the lead by yourself, she's actually really calm and relaxed. But she'll see other horses coming before I do. She watches. She won't let a horse pass her. She wants to fight. KW: Has she reached her full potential or is there more there? TT: There's more there. I've never hit the bottom yet. The other day, that wasn't all she had, I know that. Hopefully she doesn't ever have to go faster than that. She's a horse that might last three more years if we take care of her and pick our spots. Why show off if you can make a million dollars a year with a horse? As long as we win. It doesn't pay more if you win by four or five lengths. I just let her do what she wants to do and win by the least amount we can. KW: How meaningful was it to reach a million dollars with her? TT: The first (time) was unheard of and she might do it two years in a row. It's just awesome. She's well on her way. She's ahead of her pace from last year and I think she's stronger and more mentally stable than she was at this time last year. She just amazes me every day. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

MILTON, ON - AUG. 16, 2019 - Tall Dark Stranger made his harness racing debut in the Ontario Sires Stakes at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday evening and padded his growing resume with a seemingly effortless three length victory in 1:51.2. Lining up at Post 8 in the second $108,000 Gold Series division, driver Yannick Gingras eased Tall Dark Stranger away from the starting gate and settled in fifth as Bettor At Hightide rolled out to a :26.3 opening quarter. Heavy favourites Gingras and Tall Dark Stranger started their advance up the outer lane heading for the :56 half and at the 1:24 three-quarters they matched strides briefly with Bettor At Hightide before taking command and sailing home to a comfortable victory. Pocket-sitter Sports Obsession finished second and YS Mathis closed well to claim third-place honours. "He's been pretty easy to train and he's always kind of done what he's supposed to do, for the most part, so it makes my job a little bit easier for sure," said trainer Nancy Johansson of the colt, who is now perfect through two qualifiers and three races, with all three races clocked in 1:51.3 or faster. Tall Dark Stranger The son of Bettors Delight and $869,920 winner Precocious Beauty was a $330,000 purchase from last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale and Friday's win boosted his early career earnings to $68,000 for owners Marvin Katz of Toronto, ON, Crawford Farms Racing of Syracuse, NY, Caviart Farms of Vienna, VA and Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, PA. Tall Dark Stranger started his career at The Meadowlands, near Johansson's Allentown, NJ base, but he has taken up residence at Classy Lane Training Centre in Puslinch in preparation for the next Gold event and the Sept. 14 Metro Pace eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "I have nine horses at Classy Lane, so I have a few up here and some of my staff stays up here with them. And I've been spending essentially Tuesday through Saturday in Canada," said Johansson. "I think we might race him in the Gold on the 31st, we'll race him that Gold and then he'll go to the Metro from there, most likely. Obviously he needs to stay healthy and sound and everything." Gingras, who also calls Allentown, NJ home, has been in the race bike for all of Tall Dark Stranger's appearances and Johansson does not expect the reinsman to miss any of the colt's starts, which she expects will number 12 or 13 by the end of the season. "We got lucky there were no conflicts tonight, so that he was able to come up, but I do really like to keep the same driver on a two-year-old, so that they get comfortable with each other and confidence in each other," said Johansson. "And obviously Yannick is one of the top drivers in our sport, so if he wants to come and drive him, I'm not going to fight him not to do it. "I think it will probably be in his best interest too, to keep showing up," she added with a chuckle. While Tall Dark Stranger has been straightforward to train and a gentleman to work with, that was not the case for the winner of the other Gold Series division. In the weeks after Examiner Hanover arrived at Casie Coleman's winter base in Florida last November the trainer was so unimpressed with the $80,000 yearling she suggested owners Brad Grant of Milton and Steve Heimbecker of Conestogo, ON should either send him back to breeder Hanover Shoe Farms or give him to another trainer. The son of Hes Watching was extremely difficult to work with and seemed physically unable to learn his early lessons. "He was so bad that I actually tried to give him back to Hanover Shoe Farms, saying this horse can't even, like I can't do anything with him, he can't function. I even told Brad Grant, 'If they won't take him back just try him with one of your other trainers or something, because I can't figure this horse out'," Coleman recalled. "He ended up having a lot of chiropractic issues basically, so I don't know if something happened on the ship or what, but they got fixed up and then he was training down like a beast. He couldn't have trained any better all winter once we figured that part out." Examiner Hanover continued to train well when Coleman returned to Ontario in the spring and delivered two sharp qualifiers at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 14 and 22, but things went off the rails for a second time in July 6 Gold Series opener when the gelding's knee boots slid down his legs. "He went the entire mile with two knee boots down, and he got all hot and rattled up because of that," said Cambridge resident Coleman. "He qualified great, I was thrilled with him, then his first few starts weren't so good at all." After a fourth-place result in the second Gold Leg, Examiner Hanover rebounded with an overnight win at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 26 and then finished fourth to Tall Dark Stranger in the Dream Maker Series on Aug. 5. In Friday's Gold Series test driver Bob McClure settled Examiner Hanover in fifth through the :28.1 opening quarter and then sent the gelding up the outside heading for the :57 half. The pair was able to follow Wind Blown to the 1:24.4 three-quarters and then sprint home for a neck victory over Rhythm In Motion and Aneto in 1:52.3. Examiner Hanover "He went from a disaster, to awesome, to a little bit of a disaster again, to good again now," said Coleman with a chuckle. "Hopefully he's on the track right now." Complete results from Friday's program are available by clicking on this link. Next up on Woodbine Mohawk Park's Ontario Sires Stakes schedule are four Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old pacing colts on Saturday, Aug. 17. Post time for Saturday's program is 7:10 pm and the colts will compete in Races 3, 5, 7 and 8. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

New Zealand’s’ Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA)’ has secured a fresh agreement for Flutter Entertainment’s Australian market subsidiary Sportsbet to launch live streaming races driving fresh audience commitments. The partnerships will see Sportsbet host NZ thoroughbred live streams and harness racing fixtures, with additional coverage of greyhound racing events, which will broadcast wagering properties across Sportsbet. Tabcorp, the long-term broadcast and wagering partner of the New Zealand TAB, will act as the intermediary provider of the content in support of the live pictures partnerships. TAB General Manager for Media and International Andy Kydd said: “The new agreement includes Sportsbet taking a live view of all three New Zealand racing codes, presenting our race in front of a large new crowd on the Australian market that we’ve never been to, while at the same time creating a fresh source of income for the sector. “Sportsbet is Australia’s biggest corporate bookmaker by a stretch and behind Tabcorp’s second-largest provider on the market. “We are very grateful to Tabcorp for providing the vision to their largest competitor in Australia, Sportsbet.” Following an agreement between RIITA and Betfair, another brand owned by Flutter, Betfair will agree to pay TAB product charges in exchange for providing New Zealand racing odds. RITA and NZ Racing management have verified that further partnership is being negotiated with Australian stakeholders as part of broader attempts to revitalise the New Zealand racing scene. Reprinted with permission of Inkedin

Wins have been hard to come by, but that hasn't diminished This Is The Plan's performances in the eyes of his owners. After all, if not for history's co-fastest horse Lather Up and defending Horse of the Year McWicked, the 4-year-old gelding would have plenty more to show for his efforts. This Is The Plan has won one of 12 races this year, with his triumph coming in the Ben Franklin Pace on June 29. Since then, he has been runner-up to Lather Up three times (Graduate championship, William R. Haughton Memorial, Sam McKee Memorial) and McWicked once (Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial). Overall, This Is The Plan has six second-place finishes in his past seven starts. The Somebeachsomewhere gelding will try to get back to the winner's circle Sunday (Aug. 18) in the C$200,000 Prix d'Ete for 4-year-old pacers at Hippodrome 3R in Quebec. There is no Lather Up, but plenty of competition, including O'Brien Award winner Jimmy Freight and Confederation Cup champ Done Well. This Is The Plan will start from post four with driver Dan Dube at the lines for trainer Ron Burke. He is 5-2 on the morning line, part of the favored entry with stablemate Done Well. "We can't complain, he's been super," said Mark Weaver, who is a member of This Is The Plan's ownership group. "Ronnie has thought all along he would be a good fit for us just because he is so handy. He's been able to leave (the starting gate) and put himself in a good position. Unfortunately, when Lather Up comes moving to the front there's not much you can do except try to hold on for second. That's what he's been able to do, which is fine." This Is The Plan has won eight of 45 career races and earned $1.19 million. He was purchased by the Burke Brigade last September and paid immediate dividends with wins in the Matron Stakes (in a dead heat) and Progress Pace. He also finished third in the Breeders Crown. This season, he is No. 2 in purses among older male pacers, with $551,618. Only Lather Up is richer, with $677,448. "Nowadays, especially for the 4-year-olds, so much money is on the smaller tracks," said Weaver, who shares ownership of This Is The Plan with Mike Bruscemi (as Weaver Bruscemi LLC), Burke Racing Stable, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Larry Karr. "We try to acquire horses that we think can get around the turns. He can leave and get around smaller tracks so well. That was one of the reasons we were interested in him last year." Done Well joined the Burke stable at the same time as This Is The Plan. He began this season well, with a second in a preliminary round of the Graduate Series and wins in his Confederation Cup elimination and the final. He was found to be sick following a fourth-place finish in the Camluck Classic and has been off the board in his past six starts. During that stretch, he has started from post eight twice, post nine twice and post 11 once. For his career, Done Well has won nine of 32 races and $533,245. He is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby, and Wingfield Brothers. Done Well will start the Prix d'Ete from post three with driver Bob McClure. "To start the year, Done Well was super and This Is The Plan was drawing bad and having bad racing luck," Weaver said. "Now the last month and a half, it's kind of flip-flopped. (Done Well) has been racing against the best and has gone through a couple little ups and downs. But he's certainly a factor. "We like our horses, we like our posts, we like our drivers, so we'll take our chances from there." Racing begins at 1 p.m. (EDT) Sunday at Hippodrome 3R. The Prix d'Ete is race 11 on the card. Following is the field. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-M/L 1-Hitman Hill-Eric Goodell-Hunter Oakes-7/2 2-Pretty Handsome-Trevor Henry-Andrew McCabe-6/1 3-Done Well-Bob McClure-Ron Burke-5/2 4-This Is The Plan-Dan Dube-Ron Burke-5/2 5-The Downtown Bus-Doug McNair-Jeff Gillis-4/1 6-Jimmy Freight-Louis Roy-Richard Moreau-3/1 7-Turbo Hill-Hunter Oakes-Hunter Oakes-7/2 8-Casimir Richie P-Sylvain Filion-Dr. Ian Moore-5/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Ballarat-based harness racing young gun James Herbertson wasn't all that fussed about ever wanting to be a driver when he was a youngster. "I can remember always being around horses because my mum and dad (Jody and Ashleigh) had them, but I was never overly interested and certainly didn't have any aspirations of being a reinsman," he said. Fast forward six or seven years and we see the gifted and well-liked junior within striking distance of a remarkable 100 winners for the current season. The 19-year-old is sitting on 95 wins (six of these being metropolitan victories) with 190 placings from 720 drives - close to a 40 percent win-place ratio for the season. His numbers were boosted along by a recent haul of four wins - the first time he has achieved a quartet - at a Bendigo meeting. "I need to do something like that again to get closer to the ton in a hurry!" Herbertson said. The teenager is quite open that had it not been through the encouragement of a number of people, he may have been happy to just help out his father around the stables. "I certainly wouldn't have gone in as hard as I did, anyway, because the spark just wasn't there for me in the early days," Herbertson said. "It was probably Mattie Craven who was a massive influence. Mattie did a lot of driving for dad. He had that swagger about him, and I suppose I always thought I'd like to be a bit like him," he laughed. "Mattie is a lot of fun. Everyone is 'bro' and he's a pretty cool customer, but I learnt heaps by just watching him." Herbertson said he also had support from others, including his parents, grandparents and the other Craven boys. "But I did have a few battles with dad in regards to the pony trots!" Once he progressed to the senior harness racing ranks, the talented youngster became one of an elite group to make the dream start to his driving career by winning at his first drive. "Yes that was pretty special. It was in March, 2016, at Terang and I scored on Tearitup ($7.10), which was trained by dad," he said. Herbertson has continued to improve over the seasons since. He drove six winners and 12 places (47 drives) in his first year in 2015/16. The following season his tally increased to 48 wins, 69 places (385 drives) and then in 2017/18, he landed 62 wins, 152 places (655 drives). Educated at Ballarat's St Patrick's College, Herbertson is a fourth generation participant in the sport, following in the footsteps of his great grandfather Eric White, great uncle Merv White and his father. Herbertson regards a group one win at Melton as the highlight of his career but admits Lady Luck played a key role. "Stan Cameron, who's a trainer from Invermay (near Ballarat) started using me on his brilliant trotter Savannah Jay Jay when his regular driver Neil McCallum was badly injured in a car accident," Herbertson said. "I've driven him to his past four wins including the $50,000 Schweppes Australasian Trotting Championship at Melton in May this year. That was huge. "Prior to that I was also fortunate to get a drive on Upanatom for David Aiken. That's when I got my first metro victory. "I'm appreciative of the opportunities I get from trainers. I'm really very lucky." Last year the Herbertson family moved farms to Lexton, a small rural township, 45 kms up the Sunraysia Highway from Ballarat. "We're mixing a team of eight to 10 horses with 4500 head of sheep at the moment on 1500 acres. It's been full-on with the lambing, in conditions which haven't been ideal," he said. "Dad is most keen on the sheep. I don't mind fixing the fencing and some tractor work, but my passion is with the horses. "I suppose my goal has always been to drive 100 winners in a season, along with landing a metropolitan winner for dad, but I haven't quite done either, yet. "I really think it's going to be tight, but hopefully I can get to the ton over the next couple of weeks."   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

When it comes to Monbet, Greg Hope is sick of talking to the media. For the best part of three years now, he has done his best to answer regular questions about the recovery and progress of the former Horse of the Year that has suffered setback after setback. It got to the stage that he started to think talking to the press when Monbet was nearing a public return was a bad omen. So often after commenting on an impending return to the trials, the horse would go amiss or suffer a setback. But then, when Monbet was struck down again in March – and this time nearly died - after finally making a race track return, Hope started to wonder whether it was just the racing gods at work. So, this week, after both Monbet and stablemate Enghien returned to the trials at Rangiora, he was finally willing to talk to the press about his stable stars. Monbet, the 2016 New Zealand Horse of the Year and two-time Trotter of the Year, has raced just once since winning the Dominion Handicap in November of 2016. After numerous setbacks - too many to list - he returned back in March, finishing mid-pack on a Sunday at Addington. But the stable’s relief was short-lived. “About a week later he developed an infection in his leg that went right through his body,” Hope told HRNZ. “At one stage we were frightened he was going to die. “We ended up running every antibiotic known to man through him and that eventually got on top of it.” So, it was back to square one – again for Hope and wife/training partner Nina. It’s hard to complain when a horse has won you over $770,000 but you get the impression Hope was at the end of his tether. “One day we’ll be able to write a book about him. We’ll call it ‘The Trials and Tribulations of Monbet,” he quipped. “It will be a best-seller.” Enghien, a former two and three-year-old Trotter of the Year, hasn’t been seen since the Harness Jewels at Cambridge in June of last year. He missed his entire five-year-old season. “He had a little strain on a fetlock so we played it safe, really. “Just to make sure it didn’t end up being a problem long term we played it on the side of caution. “He’s good as gold now after a long, slow build. It’s probably been five months since he came back in to work.” Enghien, in the hands of Ben Hope, won the four-horse trial, getting over the top of In Sequence and Hey Yo in the shadows of the post. Monbet sat last, on his stablemates back, and was allowed to run to the line under his own steam for regular driver, Ricky May. Greg Hope, speaking 24 hours after the trial, was suitably pleased with everything. “Ricky jumped off Monbet and said he felt awesome. “They both pulled up well and I gave them a light jog this morning (Thursday). “They’ll trial again next week and then we’ll have a look at a race for them.” That won’t be easy. “They’re so high in the handicaps, we really need a free for all because I don’t want them chasing off long marks. “Enghien is rated 100 and Monbet is a 127.” Hope said he enquired about getting Monbet’s rating reduced given it was approaching three years since his last win, but that fell on deaf ears. Enghien is the more forward of the two, and with a slightly more palatable rating, he might be the first one seen on race night. “Based on what we’ve felt, Enghien is slightly more forward than Monbet, and their heart rates reflect that, too. “There is nothing like a good run or two under the belt and hopefully we can get those runs before the other good ones hit the track.” Don’t for a second think either horse will have lost their edge, either. “I’ve got no doubt they’re both as good as anything running around at present. “I know they’ve had a long time off the scene and are going to need a race or two to see the best, but it’s still there.” As for driving engagements when they inevitably clash, Hope says May will get the pick of the two and son Ben will drive the other. “We are lucky that we own Monbet ourselves and our partner in Enghien, Richard Dellaca, is very relaxed about it, too.”   by Garrick Knight Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

MILTON, August 15, 2019 - The harness racing team of driver Bob McClure, trainer Luc Blais and owner Serge Godin's Determination continued their success with a sweep of Thursday's Define The World and Pure Ivory second leg divisions at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The two-year-old trot series each featured a single $15,000 division. The events took a week hiatus following their first-legs on August 1. Royalty For Life colt Threefiftytwo took a break from Ontario Sires Stakes Gold action to defeat eight colts and geldings in the Define The World. Driven by McClure, Threefiftytwo was a coast-to-coast winner in 1:56.1 (:28.3 final-quarter) to lower his career-mark by two-fifths. The victory was nearly spoiled, as the rookie was inside a pair of pylons in the first-turn, but was not disqualified because no rivals were within a length at the finish line. Jula Uppercut finished 2 ¾ lengths back in second, while Sebastian Ray was third. Threefiftytwo was making his third start for owner Determination and trainer Blais following a private purchase. He now holds a record of two wins in four starts and $100,880 earned. Round one winner Horse Trader did not compete in the second-leg. A $2 win ticket on Threefiftytwo returned $6.90. Cantab Hall filly Whose Blues will have an opportunity to sweep the Pure Ivory following a 1:57 victory over eight-rivals on Thursday. The Blais trainee and driver McClure powered out to the top and were on even-terms with outside rival Panem at the opening-quarter of :28.3. The parked rival cleared and would show the way through middle-half fractions of :59 and 1:29. After following in the two-hole, McClure was able to find room to angle Whose Blues to the far outside for clear racetrack in the final-eighth and the Blais trainee stormed by rivals powerfully to win by a length and a quarter over Panem. Alyvia Deo finished third, while Svf Blushingbride was fourth. A $300,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Whose Blues is now undefeated in three starts and has banked $22,500 for owner Determination. She paid $2.70 to win. The $50,000 finals of the Define The World and Pure Ivory Series will take place next Thursday (August 22). Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications

LEXINGTON, KY--Chris Ryder harness racing trainee Bettor's Wish--off five days rest--paced a meeting's best at The Red Mile when winning the third of three $30,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) opening-preliminary divisions for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings in 1:47.4 on Thursday, Aug. 15.   Driver Dexter Dunn darted Bettor's Wish to the lead while Captain Trevor floated towards the top nearing a :27 opening quarter and eventually crossed over to control the field into the backside. Dunn soon angled the son of Bettor's Delight from the pocket and retook the lead prior to a :54.2 half. From there Bettor's Wish paced to three-quarters in 1:21.4 and finished the mile under minimal encouragement with a :26 final quarter. Captain Trevor cut into the leader's margin late when finishing second while Backlight rode the pylons for the mile and finished several lengths behind in third.   Co-owned by Ryder with Bella Racing Ltd., Fair Island Farm Inc. and Bettors Wish Partners, Bettor's Wish won his seventh race from 10 starts this season and his 12th from 22 overall, surpassing $1.1 million in earnings. The Brittany Farms-bred colt paid $2.10 to win.   Can't Beach That pounced on pacesetter Dancin Lou to take the opening KYSS division in 1:50.   Driver David Miller placed the Brett Pelling-trained Somebeachsomewhere colt in the pocket moving to a :27.1 opening quarter and stayed put at the pylons to a :55.3 half. Doc's Hooligan pulled first over from fifth moving to the far turn and progressed to apply pressure to Dancin Lou passing three-quarters in 1:23.4 but retreated through the stretch. Can't Beach That angled outside of Dancin Lou into the final eighth and powered past to win by three-quarter lengths. Dancin Lou held second from Skip To My Lou, who rode the pylons for third.   Owned by breeder Melvin Segal with partners Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Eddie Gran, Can't Beach That--out of the Kentucky-based broodmare Cannae Cammie--won his fourth race from nine starts this season and his fifth from 18 overall, earning $84,104. David Miller steered the $4.00 winner.   Trainer-driver Dan Noble swooped the field with odds-on favorite Native's Sweetlou to take the middle KYSS split in 1:49.2.   Egomania left for the front while Pyro sat pocket through an early clip of :26.3 and :54.2. Noble had Native's Sweetlou positioned seventh approaching the final turn and tipped the Allamerican Native gelding to race third over, gapping cover, as Western Exposure led the two-wide tier to three-quarters. Western Exposure pressed Egomania through the third station in 1:22 and took a narrow lead through the stretch. Noble fanned to the center of the course with Native's Sweetlou and brushed by tiring horses in progress to a length victory. Pocket-sitter Pyro snuck through a seam inside for second while Western Exposure, rough-gaited at the end, settled for third.   Leased by Chuck Grubbs, Native's Sweetlou won his fourth race from 11 starts this season and his sixth from 22 overall, crossing $100,000 in earnings. The Thomas Cave-bred gelding paid $3.40 to win.   Race-favorite and defending KYSS champ Beautyonthebeach managed slow fractions on the front while battling a far-turn blitz from Blue Ivy to take the sole split of KYSS for three-year-old pacing fillies.   Summer Charm charged for the front from the outside while Margret Hill tucked into the pocket and driver Doug McNair protected position from the pylon post circling the first turn in third. McNair then moved the Somebeachsomewhere filly off the pegs past a :28 first quarter and cleared control entering the backside. Blue Ivy sat fifth and pulled wide to venture uncovered through a :56 half with Alii Nui and Salutation in tow.   Blue Ivy accelerated towards the pacesetter and took a slim lead as the pace quickened towards three-quarters, timed in 1:23.3. Beautyonthebeach drifted from the pylons exiting the turn but quickly angled towards the cones straightening into the stretch. Blue Ivy backed through a wall of horses while Summer Charm attempted to pull pocket but threw several bad steps. Beautyonthebeach faced little challenge in the final strides to win in a lifetime-best 1:50.4 with Ali Nuii rallying from off cover to take second while Salutation paced widest of all to finish third.   A homebred filly out of Precocious Beauty for James Avritt Sr., Beautyonthebeach won her second race from nine starts this season and her seventh from 22 overall, earning $319,873. Gregg McNair conditions the $2.80 winner.   Kentucky Sires Stakes action resumes Sunday, Aug. 18 at The Red Mile with trotting freshmen contesting in the second preliminary of their events--three divisions for the colts and three for the fillies. The 15-race program starts at 7:00 p.m. (EDT).     By Ray Cotolo for The Red Mile

Trainer Matt Purvis is hoping for more luck in the running for his stable at Addington on Friday night than he has received recently. Purvis combines with reinswoman, Alana Cameron, to start a three-strong team, which is headed by Smarter VC. The 8yr-old goes in to the feature pace after has not being able to show off his best in his last two starts, after running in to traffic problems. An improved draw, after lining up from barrier 8 in his past two starts could help the pacer find more clear room in race 6 at Addington. However, because the pacer will likely be driven for one run from barrier 5, it is far from guaranteed that bad luck will not strike Smarter VC again.   “He has had no real luck since he cracked through in the Timaru Winter Cup,” Purvis said. “It makes it tough that he can’t just swing around wide and go around them.” “But, he is more consistent getting driven [with one run] and he can race week in and week out, so long as he stays being driven that way.” Smarter VC’s last two luckless runs have resulted in fourth placings. Purvis is hopeful that meeting just seven other runners in Friday night’s 1980m event could see the horse face fewer traffic problems than he has recently. “He was desperately unlucky last week and with the small field again he is going to get his chance to get home over the top of them.” Smarter VC’s has not been able to fully cash in in his recent racing, but it is evident that the horse has progressed to peak fitness and is ready to strike after having his first start for Purvis five runs ago. The trainer said he was thankful to the 8yr-old’s previous trainers, Regan Todd and Colin DeFilippi, for being able to take on the talented pacer. “I was really grateful to Regan and Colin that he was able to walk through the stable door.” “He is pretty easy to train – he pretty much lives in the swimming pool and that is pretty much him for the week.” Smarter VC clashes with an even line up of intermediate grade pacers on Friday night. Kiwis Are Flying, Doitson and Hayden’s Meddle look three of his toughest opponents. Bonny’s Gem comes in to race 5 under similar circumstances to Smarter VC. She has not enjoyed much luck in her last two starts after being held up in one run and getting checked in another. And like Smarter VC, the 4yr-old is likely to be driven for one run. “She is pretty much the same [as Smarter VC] a high speed kind of horse,” Purvis said. “So, we have opted drive her with one run while she is still strengthening.” “She didn’t have much luck [last start], copping a check when trying to slot in to the running line last week.” “But, she ran a superb last 800m and I was rapt with that.”      Like her stablemates, Machs Mareta, has also been unlucky recently. But, her luck has nothing to do with her recent racing. Injury problems have kept her out of action since she ran a decent second behind Mucho Macho Man at Forbury Park in February. Machs Mareta had a workout at Rangiora last week and Purvis believes that and her prior work have her ready for her return at Addington. “She has copped a lot of work and I was wrapt with her trial.” Machs Mareta resumes in rating 48-59 company in race 3.   By Jonny Turner Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

« Article Archive
USA
Canada
Australia
New Zealand
Europe
Greenshoe (Brian Sears) wins the $330,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old harness racing trotters at Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 17). Front runner Marseille (Ake Svanstedt) jumped out to the lead and led to the first quarter in :27.1. Don't Let'em (Yannick Gingras) followed in second with Brian Sears content to put Greenshoe ($2.30) in the third spot. Marseille led to the half in :56.3. After the half Greenshoe made his move going first-over as they headed for the final turn. Marseille lead was just a head as they hit three-quarters in 1:25.1. Greenshoe, who is trained by Marcus Melander for owners Courant Inc., Morten Langli, Hans Backe, and Lars Granqvist, blew right by as they made the turn for home. He looked like a rocket in the stretch as he won by six lengths in the end. The Melander trained Green Manalishi S (Tim Tetrick) came up to finish second. Marseille held on for third. Greenshoe is a 3-year-old colt by Father Patrick. It was his sixth win in eight starts this season. He now has eight career victories. The Ice Dutchess (Yannick Gingras) captures the $135,000 Dr. Harry M. Zweig Memorial for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Starita (Dexter Dunn) jumped to the front out of the gate. The Ice Dutchess ($5.80) took control just before hitting the first quarter in :27.1. She continued to lead hitting the half in :56.2. Evident Beauty (David Miller) would be the first one to make a move going around the final turn but couldn't get to The Ice Dutchess who led the way to three-quarters in 1:25.1. The Ice Dutchess, who is owned by Coyote Wynd Farms and trained by Nancy Johanson, just breezed in the stretch. Evident Beauty gave one last charge in deep stretch but it was The Ice Dutchess winning in 1:52.4. Starita held on to finish third. The Ice Dutchess is a 3-year-old filly by Muscle Hill. It was her fourth win this season. She now owns nine career victories. American Rebel (Tyler Buter) wins the $53,000 first division of the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) for freshmen pacing colts & geldings. Major Betts (Dexter Dunn) led to the first quarter in :27.2. Cigars And Port (Tim Tetrick) would soon take control and led to the half in :56.4 and to three-quarters in 1:26.2. American Rebel ($7.90), who is trained by Patti Harmon for the Harmon Racing Stable and Robert Robinson, went first over as they made the turn for home. As the hit mid-stretch Major Betts found an opening on the inside and battled American Rebel in deep stretch. American Rebel was too strong in the end to win in a lifetime best of 1:53.4. Major Betts earned second money with Cigars And Port settling for third best. American Rebel is a 2-year-old colt by American Ideal-Restive Hanover. It was his fourth career victory. Freedom Warrior (David Miller) wins the $54,000 second division of the NYSS. Teton Sunset (Tyler Buter) led to first quarter in :27.0. Stable mate Splash Brother (Tim Tetrick) then took over and led to the half in :56.4 and three-quarters in 1:24.4. Freedom Warrior ($6.10), who is owned by Forrest Bartlett and trained by Kevin Lare, went first over just before three-quarters. He went to the front as they reached the stretch and held off the late charge by second place finisher Groovy Joe (Matt Kakaley) to win in a lifetime best of 1:52.3. Hurrikanekingjames (Yannick Gingras) fired late to finish third. Freedom Warrior is a 2-year-old gelding by American Ideal. It was his second win in six lifetime starts. Vernon Downs returns to live racing on Friday (August 23) at 6:10 p.m. For more information go to www.vernondowns.com by John Horne, for Vernon Downs
WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 17, 2019 -- Real Cool Cam had what you might call a fair-to-middlin' day in Saturday's $186,016 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. Not only did he equal the world record 1:54.4 for freshman gelding trotters on a five-eighths-mile track, but he also extended his career unbeaten streak to six. The time matched that of Amigo Volo, who logged his record just one week ago at Harrah's Philadelphia. Ironically, Amigo Volo competed in Saturday's PASS, finishing second in a different split. Real Cool Sam's mile also is a track record for The Meadows and equaled the mark for the Florida Pro, as the stake is known. In the previous wins in his remarkable streak, Real Cool Sam never led at the quarter. The son of Muscle Hill-Cooler Schooner, whom owner Jules Siegel of Fashion Farms named to honor the late race caller Sam McKee, extended that streak as well, getting away third for David Miller before brushing to the point past the quarter. Real Cool Sam opened a daylight lead and, though King Alphonso was gaining at the wire, scored comfortably by 1-1/4 lengths. Hell Patrol finished third. His six straight wins have earned $248,134 for Real Cool Sam. "He looked very comfortable, and Dave said he raced very easily," said winning trainer Jim Campbell. "I'm very blessed to be able to train a horse like Sam. If I were sure he'd make the PASS final without going to the fourth leg, I'm not sure I'd go there. There have been a lot of winners, though, so I have to look into that. I'm trying not to get too many starts into him this year." Rome Pays Off and Gangster Hanover took the other Florida Pro splits, each in 1:55. Rome Pays Off quarter-poled to the top for Mattias Melander and held off Big Oil by 1/2 length, with Chestnut Hill third. " I felt in control all the time, but he's still a little immature," Melander said. "He really didn't know what he was doing up front, so I had to keep him on the bit all the time. He feels like he has it all." Marcus Melander conditions the son of Muscle Hill-Order By Wish, who vaulted over $100,000 in lifetime earnings, for SRF Stable. $80,000 PA Stallion Series -- 2-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Trotters Miller extended his big day In Saturday's subfeature, winning three of the four divisions with Town Victor, Beyond Kronos and Saxon -- the latter two for Campbell. Spring Roll captured the other split. Town Victor prevailed in 1:56.1, fastest of the stake, by saving his brush until the three-quarters and outdueling Loyal Fox Hanover to down him by 1/2 length, with Don Grigio third. It was the second PA Stallions victory for the Winning Mister-P Town Girl gelding. "He was lucky today when a couple of the favorites made breaks," said Rich Gillock, who trains and owns the homebred with Barbara Richardson. "But I'd rather have some good luck for a change." Spring Roll rebounded from a near-disastrous outing when he had something other than racing on his mind. "He had the 9 hole last time and tried to duck out the draw gate," explained winning driver Aaron Merriman. "He made a break, but when he came back trotting, he was phenomenal. So I actually was very confident today. He was loaded, and he was well in hand." On Saturday, he found late racing room between horses and scored in 1:57.4, 1-1/2 lengths better than Matter Of Focus. Libero Hanover earned show. Chris Beaver trains the son of Cantab Hall-Won Ton Hanover and owns with Robert McNerney, Bill Manes and Leo Fleming. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Monday, when the card features a pair of stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters -- a $164,002 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $40,000 PA Stallion Series event -- as well as a $1,501.28 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 1:05 PM. By Evan Pattak, for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association
Can B Perfect was just that--cruising to a new Scioto Downs harness racing track record clocking of 1:51.2 in the first of three $40,000 Ohio Sires Stakes for 2-year-old pacing colts on a balmy Aug. 17 evening. The son of Big Bad John stormed home free and clear of his rivals, finishing nearly six lengths ahead of 7-2 Opportune Hanover (Chris Page) while 6-5 Stanford Court (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) grabbed third-place money. "Tim (trainer Lane) changed his big around and it helped," winning driver Tyler Smith admitted. "There doesn't seem to be much end to this horse and I think he has a good shot in the Championship." Can Be Perfect, a homebred owned by James Stambaugh and trainer Tim Lane, was sent off at odds of 4-5 and now has $65,525 in career earnings from three wins and two seconds in five starts. He is the 14th foal out of the Beach Towel mare Perfect Gesture p, 5, 1:52.4f ($264,434) and is a half-brother to: Dave Panlone (by The Panderosa) p, 3, 1:49.2 ($831,874); Long Live Rock (by Rocknroll Hanover) p, 8, 1:50f ($617,085); Perfect Panderosa (by The Panderosa) p, 5, 1:49.4 ($243,827); Urban Renewal (by Cam's Card Shark) p, 5, 1:51.1 ($225,206); and Sweater Vest p, 5, 1:54f ($114, 218), among others. The second OSS division went to 6-5 Ocean Rock and driver/trainer Danny Noble, who steered the son of Rockin Amadeus to a 1:52.1 clocking for owner/breeder Sandra Burnett. This homebred youngster--the first foal out of the On The Attack mare Ocean Pearl p, 5, 1:53.2f ($143,637)-- was sixth in OSS Leg Two before scoring victories in his last two outings. "I took him to a fair and made some changes on him, and that day (at Washington Court House on July 21) was the first time he felt comfortable on the track," Noble offered. "This is the first colt that has hurt me in the barn; he's a handful but I think he's one of the top three horses in this division." Ocean Rock used front-stepping tactics to finish 1½ lengths in front of 5-2 Rockntheafterparty (Kyle Ater) with 11-1 One Rock notching third-place honors for driver Brett Miller. He now has $58,167 in career earnings from four wins and one second in six starts. Last but not least, trainer Ronnie Burke harnessed Elver Hanover to a 1:53.2 triumph for Burke Racing, B. Jablonsky, J. Melillo, J&T Silva-Purnel&Libby. Steered by Chris Page, the son of Yankee Cruiser was on the front end throughout most of the mile, finishing 1½ lengths in front of 3-1 Gray Dragon (Brett Miller) with 6-1 Mr Ds Rock (Aaron Merriman) getting up for third. The win marked the bay gelding's fourth in as many lifetime starts and upped his bankroll to an impressive $86,500. Another product of the mighty Hanover Shoe Farms empire, Elver Hanover is the seventh foal out of The Panderosa mare Edra Hanover p, 2, 1:51 ($171,753). A $50,000 yearling purchase at the Ohio Select Sale, he is a half-brother to Eddard Hanover (by Dragon Again) p, 5, 1:49.3 ($508,397) and East Side Hanover (by Somebeachsomewhere) p, 3, 1:51 ($63,801), among others. by Kimberly Rinker, Ohio Standardbred Development Fund Administrator  
ANDERSON, Ind.-August 17, 2019- It was a winning night for trainer Shane Bowermaster on Saturday, August 17 at Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as fillies from his harness racing stable swept both $49,000 divisions of the fifth leg of Indiana Sires Stakes action for three-year-old pacing fillies. With wins from Fully A Virgin and Pansy's Image, both fillies provided upsets over the heavy favorites in their respective divisions. The first upset came when Fully A Virgin and Michael Oosting surged past the field to cross the wire first and pay $16.00 to win. Stopping the time in 1:50.2, the sophomore filly used a valiant stretch rally to get up in the final strides of the mile and established a new lifetime mark with the win. Leaving from post eight in the talented field of nine, Fully A Virgin was unhurried from the gate and found a spot along the rail in eighth. The heavy favorite Rockin Nola with Joey Putnam and Tellitsassymae with Sam Widger battled for the early lead. When the field reached the first quarter in :26:3, Tellitsassymae claimed the front with Rockin Nola following closely from the pocket. The field continued in straight formation through the half in :54:4 before Rockin Nola was on the attack, first-over. Tellitsassymae and Rockin Nola were matching strides past the third quarter in 1:22:3 and when the field turned for home, the race appeared to be wide open. Oosting had Fully A Virgin well placed second over and when he tipped her to the outside, she dug in gamely and surged past her competitors to get the win by two lengths. She was followed by another Shane Bowermaster trainee, Glorious Virgin and Trace Tetirck, who utilized a ground-saving trip for second while This Peach Rocks with Ross Leonard got up for third. "She's been easy to handle since day one," Bowermaster noted in the winner's circle. "She's really easy on herself. It helps that she's filled out since last year-she's built like a tank. We took a headpole off tonight which seemed to help, that and having them out in the field last week-it really freshened her up." Fully A Virgin, the daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Of Gold, has now won seven of 23 lifetime starts and brought her lifetime bankroll to $168,555. Fully A Virgin is owned by the Emerald Highlands Farms, who also bred her. Bowermaster's second win of the night came when Pansy's Image and Sam Widger utilized a pocket trip to pull the 8-1 upset in the second division of stakes action. Following the trend from her stablemate earlier in the night, Pansy's Image also established a new lifetime mark with tonight's win, stopping the clock in 1:51:2. When the wings of the gate opened the post-time favorite Play For Pay with Brandon Bates grabbed the early lead but Widger also had Pansy's Image forwardly placed from post seven. At the first quarter in :26:1, Pansy's Image had reached the front but relinquished the lead to Play For Pay just before the half in :55. At the third quarter in 1:23:4, Queen Lagertha with John De Long moved first-over into second and began to engage Play For Pay for the lead. With the wire in sight, the top three were matching strides and pacing hard to the wire. Pansy's Image found late racing room up the inside and utilized a :27.1 final panel to get the win, crossing the wire three lengths to the good. Play For Pay held on for second and Queen Lagertha fought for third. Pansy's Image paid $19.20 to win. "She's really easy on herself too," Bowermaster revealed after the win. "I didn't really tell Sam what to do, but I knew if she was covered up she'd still be right there. I think fresher is better with these fillies, so we're planning on giving them a week off between stakes legs and make sure they are ready to go for these last few legs of the sires stakes." Pansy's Image is also owned and was bred by the Emerald Highlands Farms and has won five of 20 lifetime starts. She now sports a lifetime bankroll of $119,680, surpassing the $100,000 mark with tonight's victory. Indiana Sires Stakes action will continue at Harrah's Hoosier Park on Tuesday, August 21 with an 11-race card featuring two divisions for the two-year-old trotting fillies. Tuesday's card will also feature a $10,000 guaranteed Hoosier High 5 in race 11. With a daily post time of 6:30 pm, live racing at Harrah's Hoosier Park will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 9. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule, please visit www.harrahshoosierpark.com. by Rose Flood, for Harrah's Hoosier Park
Loader
Loader
Loader
Loader

Additional Articles