Adriano Sorella, harness racing

Adriano Sorella is focused on the positives

Harness racing owner Adriano Sorella is a happy guy and he admits being in this sport is a bit of a roller coaster ride at times.                 So, how does Adriano handle the ups and downs? Just like everyone else. “My horses won some races I didn’t expect them to win, so yes that has me content and happy.” Adriano says. “I’m a happy camper when I’m winning races and to be able to have these horses.”                 The beginning of the year didn’t blossom quite as Adriano and his connections had expected. “Things started to turn around at the beginning of June. Prior to that it wasn’t all roses, that’s for sure” explains Adriano.                 With Adriano and his connections having already committed a lot of money towards Stake races for their babies, it was time to see if their investment would pay off.                 “The babies aren’t racing yet, Vegas Vacation is on the shelf for 2014 plus I have another horse coming off an injury and some aren’t racing well.” Adriano continues, “There are fourteen mouths to feed, train, stabling bills, vet bills and with Stakes fees on top of that and no money coming in, you’re scratching your head wondering what you are going to do.”                “You know one of the worst things you can do is sit there and bleed (money)”, says Adriano. “It’s a tough decision to make but sometimes you need to invest more money into it. It’s like having three restaurants and two aren’t doing well and the third is making money trying to support the other two. You’re figuring out what you need to change.”        Before June rolled around Adriano was perplexed but his faith never wavered. Adriano would receive text messages informing him the babies were coming along well even though they hadn’t raced to date.                 One thing with Adriano is he’ll ask questions but if you’re teamed with him, it’s for a strong reason.           “All of a sudden June rolls around and the babies come to the plate… I’m so glad I bought these Sportswriter babies!” Adriano exclaims. “I’ll admit I was a little scared at first. I see Casie with the horses and how she checks them out and I said ‘let’s do it’. You haven’t seen my best ones yet because they haven’t raced.”                    “I’m pretty sure you’ll see Sportswriter babies on the grand circuit. Just give it time, watch.” Adriano admits, “I wish I owned that Stud. I’m really happy for Casie and Steve.”                 The summer continues to look bright for Adriano and his connections. “I have my filly set to race in the Empire elims this weekend, Major Dancer. She’s a very nice looking horse. We held on to her even though she had an injury before she was two. She was lightly raced at two and she’s looking really good… she’s definitely one to look for and she has been sharp.”                 Adriano considers Major Dancer to vie for the Jugette this September. (FYI: Tickets are still available for the Jug).       Another horse of Adriano’s is 2-year-old American Legend. Adriano has high expectations for American Legend. “He’s good enough for the Grand Circuit. Hopefully we see him in the Metro elims and hopefully the finals.”                 On August 4th, Adriano has Bob Ben and John set to race in the Battle of Waterloo finals at Grand River Raceway. Bob Ben and John drew the 3 spot and what’s very interesting is 5 of the 9 horses slated to race are Sportswriter babies, including Bob Ben and John.                 “We didn’t pay much for Bob Ben and John” says Adriano. “Ever since he started training over here, he’s been a different horse.”                 There are actually 13 Sportswriter babies scheduled to race throughout Monday’s card at Grand River Raceway plus one Also Eligible.              One thing harness fans should know is Adriano enjoys interacting with fans and having a laugh or two. Even if you need advice on how to stay positive through difficult times in your life, you can count on Adriano for that too.         For all of Adriano’s success, he remembers his roots and where he came from. It wasn’t too long ago Adriano was struggling as a single father. With perseverance and a positive attitude, anything can happen. by Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com

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Who Will Win It? Handicapping by Steve Wolf

We have been on a roll as of late with winning weekends the last two weeks. I am confident we can make it three straight winning weeks and never have to leave the Meadowlands. It’s their closing weekend and that mean’s Hambletonian Day, one of the best days of racing in the sport of harness racing this Saturday, headlined of course by the Hambletonian Trot. The card is jamming with top stakes action. The only problem is something we have no control over and that is Mother Nature. I handicapped based on a fast track so here’s hoping the rain either ends early or does not stop until late in the day. Good Luck! $52,000 Trot Ima Lula Final 4YO Mares Meadowlands 1st race SATURDAY – With a serious case of seconditis after her championship season last year, we keep hoping for Bee A Magician to return to her unbeaten form of 2013 but it just isn’t happening. Perhaps they will change tactics here and go back to racing her off the pace and that she will be able take this field. Use Classic Martine and Ma Chere Hall in exotic plays. $100,000 Pace Miss New Jersey 3YO Fillies Meadowlands 3rd race SATURDAY – Seems that trainer Jimmy Takter may have solved the previous breaking problems of Gettingreadytoroll off her lifetime mark last week in 1:49.3 and that she is settled down to keeping her mind on business. Repeat of last winning effort will bring home the bacon in here. Use Act Now and Bliztra in exotic plays. $225,000 Pace New Jersey Classic 3YO Colts Meadowlands 4th race SATURDAY – Western Vintage has had a rough 3YO season after many thought he would be one of the leaders in this division after his great two-year-old season. Seems he has not lived up to expectations but should go off the favorite here after decent qualifying win. I’m going with Doo Wop Hanover. He has had good success when not racing against the best in the country, drew well for this and could get the dream two-hole trip to score off of. Use Western Vintage and Bushwacker in exotic plays. $257,700 Pace FFA US Pacing Championship Meadowlands 5th race SATURDAY – Too tough to even consider going against the best pacer in the sport. Sweet Lou is on a seven-race winning streak, last four in less than 1:48 and he is just a pacing machine. He is facing a strong field but he has beaten all of them before and can do it again. Use Captaintreacherous and State Treasurer in exotic plays. $352,050 Trot Merrie Annabelle 2YO Filly Final Meadowlands 6th race SATURDAY – This will be an interesting matchup as both Mission Brief and Gatka Hanover have yet to meet and both are hot fillies that race on the front end. Mission Brief gets the call with her blinding early speed but you never know how Gatka Hanover will handle getting a two-hole trip. Use Gatka Hanover and Lock Down Lindy in exotic plays. $355,500 Trot Peter Haughton 2YO Colt Final Meadowlands 7th race SATURDAY – It’s interesting that in this final there are four return winners of the ten starters. Ake Svanstedt’s Centurion ATM showed he is the horse to beat after coming off the pace in his elimination race last week and strolling to a 1:54.2 win in just his third lifetime start. Repeat of that mile will make him an easy winner once again. Use Canepa Hanover and Guess Who’s Back in exotic plays. $75,000 Trot FFA Vincennes Invitational Meadowlands 10th race SATURDAY – All the talk was that after Master Of Law won his qualifying race that he was on his way to taking on the best in the country. He lived up to performance with a 1:52 win last time out and now gets really tested against a good field and having to start from post nine. Use Wishing Stone and D’Orsay in exotic plays. $300,650 Trot John Cashman Memorial FFA Meadowlands 11th race SATURDAY – Whether it rains or not I think Sebastian K and Ake Svanstedt are too tough to get caught again at the wire. No one can out leave him and unless every horse in the field tries to go first-over against him, he has too much stamina to not hold them off. Use Uncle Peter and Market Share in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Hambletonian Oaks 3YO Fillies Meadowlands 12th race – Last week in prep race, Ron Pierce and Shake It Cerry held Designed To Be and Brian Sears at bay and were able to win. Now Shake It Cerry starts from second tier in post 11 and won’t be able to dictate early fractions to anyone. I still think that Shake It Cerry will “shake it loose” somehow and find a different way to beat Designed To Be once again. Use Designed To Be and Lifetime Pursuit in exotic plays. $1,066,125 Trot Hambletonian Final 3YO Colts Meadowlands 13th race SATURDAY – Trainer Jimmy Takter has his heart set on finishing one, two, three in harness racing’s most prestigious race and he very well should get what wants as he has the best colts in racing. Father Patrick needs to just overcome starting from post ten as he is seconds faster than the rest of the field. Use Trixton and Nuncio in exotic plays. $177,750 Pace Lady Liberty Final Older Mares Meadowlands 14th race SATURDAY – Was super impressed with the three moves Drop The Ball made for driver Corey Callahan last week in winning elimination race. She will need that gusty performance once again to win the final as Rocklamation will be in the hunt this week. Drop The Ball gets the slim call in here. Use Rocklamation and Somwherovrarainbow in exotic plays.

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Lifeline - Watch them thrive

Here at Harnesslink we are constantly trying to bring you updates on all the harness racing and breeding issues affecting our industry. However we feel little or no coverage is given to the multitude of companies and service providers that provide products to the harness racing community. Therefore we thought it was timely to take a look at some of these companies and the products they offer. One of those companies is, APC, Inc., the manufacturer of the new LIFELINE serum-based equine performance products. While mostly unknown in the equine industry, APC is a third-generation family-owned company headquartered in Iowa. This science-based company is a global leader in the fractionation (concentration) of serum and plasma-based proteins. For over 30 years the company has been spearheading discoveries that have improved performance and health of many species of animals including calves, swine, aquaculture and more. With such proven performance in other species, APC realized they could apply these learnings to the equine industry. Everybody in the harness racing industry knows that for the equine athlete, racing, training and travelling takes a significant toll on your horse’s performance. Joint soreness, stomach upset and respiratory issues, often caused by inflammation, have been major factors affecting performance since the inception of this industry. The success of the LIFELINE range of equine products is due to BioThrive™. This active ingredient is made using APC’s proprietary process. Derived from bovine serum, its safety and beneficial effects have been documented in more than 300 published peer reviewed journal articles. These bioactive proteins have been shown to help support a healthy inflammation response. When a horse experiences stress or occasional soreness due to normal training, its immune system springs into action to combat the stressors. This immune system response results in inflammation which can have an effect on the following; Gut -  digestive health and related conditions such as ulcers Joint -  occasional soreness Respiratory -  breathing and lung issues related to exercise Bioactive proteins when given orally help reduce overstimulation of the immune system so the horse's resources aren't spent fighting the stressor and instead can promote a healthy gut, maintain proper joint function and ease respiratory issues related to exercise. Unlike a lot of the products on the market, LIFELINE is not a vitamin or mineral supplement which typically target nutrition and work in just one system at a time. It works multisystemically. It also works fast with studies demonstrating a difference within just fourteen days. LIFELINE has two equine products which are aimed at horses in different stages of their life. Both products have bioactive proteins as their active ingredient, specifically formulated based on the age of the horse. Equine Elite is for horses experiencing the rigors of training and racing. AgeWell is for the older horse who is experiencing the physical effects of aging but are still expected to perform to their best. A recent gait analysis study conducted by Dr. Josie Coverdale and Joy Campbell of Texas A+M University measured stride length and knee range of motion with increasing dosage of serum-based bioactive proteins in exercised horses. The response strongly suggested that the horses in the study experienced healthy joint function and/or comfort while on LIFLINE BioThrive™. This study involved thirty horses over a 28 day period and was a robust academic study in a controlled setting and reinforced the feedback that LIFELINE was receiving daily from its clients. APC is also in various stages of process for a number of other studies on horses to include gut health, training in 2-year old stallions and mare/foal pairs. Results are not finalized but are promising. LIFELINE takes corporate responsibility very seriously. It is a member of the National Animal Supplement Council which is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the health of companion animals and horses The company has also invested in research ensuring that LIFELINE products are show/competition safe. The LIFELINE brand has come a long way over the past few decades. Between its significant investment in R&D, current and upcoming scientific study results and positive testimonials from product users, the future for APC looks assured. All in all I think the company motto says it all about LIFELINE – Watch Them Thrive. http://horse.watchthemthrive.com/  For this months special offer click here. Harnesslink media Lifeline Equine Performance  

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Harness Racing's Hambletonian Day Notebook

Archangel's world-record 1:50 performance in last week's John Cashman Jr. Memorial eliminations might have surprised some observers, but not his driver, Yannick Gingras. "I kind of thought it was coming," Gingras said. "He's had a couple miles where he's shown that kind of brilliance, but he was unlucky." The 5-year-old trotter, who sat out last season because of stallion duty, is the 4-1 second choice in Saturday's $300,650 Cashman Memorial final. The Cashman, formerly called the Nat Ray, is for older trotters and has attracted a star-studded field that includes world champion Sebastian K, two-time Dan Patch Award winner Market Share, and numerous other stakes winners. Sebastian K, who won his Cashman elim in 1:51, is the 3-5 morning line favorite for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. Sebastian K, an 8-year-old standout from Sweden who is in his first season of racing in North America, holds the record for history's fastest mile thanks to his 1:49 victory in June at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Archangel's 1:50 mile is the fastest ever on a one-mile oval, breaking the record of 1:50.1 that was shared by Donato Hanover, Muscle Hill, Chapter Seven, Giant Diablo, Lucky Jim, and Sebastian K. The 1:49 mile by Sebastian K in the Sun Invitational at Pocono Downs came on a five-eighths-mile track. Archangel was second to Sebastian K on the final turn of that race, but went off stride and finished seventh. "He was going to trot 1:49 a few weeks ago at Pocono if he didn't make a break," Gingras said. "Around the last turn he just overtrotted a little bit, but I still had the earplugs in. Ake was already driving on his and I had trot behind him. Whether I would have gone by or not, we'll never know, and the record is his. But my horse was going to trot 1:49 too." Archangel entered his Cashman elimination off a 10th-place finish in the Maple Leaf Trot, where he went off stride early in the race. Gingras was not the driver in Canada because he was racing Foiled Again at Northfield in the Battle of Lake Erie. "He's a little bit of a tricky horse, you need to know him, and unfortunately he made a break," Gingras said. "He's a little bit grabby. You've got to know him a little bit. Sometimes he'll throw in a funny step, he's got those little quirks about him, but once you know him he's pretty good." Archangel, trained by Ron Burke for owners Alan Hainsworth's Legendary Standardbred Farm and Clare Semer, has won two of 10 races this year and 16 of 41 in his career while earning $1.02 million. His top win came in the 2012 Yonkers Trot. He has two wins, two seconds and a third in his last seven starts. "He's a horse that didn't race for a full year, so you know it's going to take him six, seven, eight, nine starts to get going," Gingras said. "He was trotting a little further in the stretch each week, so I thought he was going in the right direction. Hopefully he keeps going forward from here on out. I don't think you've seen the bottom of him yet." The Cashman Memorial is part of a stakes-filled card on Saturday, which also includes the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters and the $1 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters. The Cashman, Oaks, and Hambletonian will air during Saturday's national telecast, which begins at 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Following is the Cashman field in post order with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 3-5; 2. Your So Vain, Mike Lachance, Ake Svanstedt, 20-1; 3. Arch Madness, Brian Sears, Trond Smedshammer, 20-1; 4. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 4-1; 5. Uncle Peter, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 15-1; 6. Appomattox, Brett Miller, Liisa Vatanen, 50-1; 7. Mister Herbie, John Campbell, Mark Ford, 20-1; 8. Intimidate, Ron Pierce, Luc Blais, 8-1; 9. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 9-2; 10. Sevruga, George Brennan, Kevin Carr, 50-1. HARNESS RACING NOTEBOOK John Campbell will try to extend his record for Hambletonian wins to seven when he drives Nuncio in Saturday's 89th edition of the trotting classic. The Hall of Famer has a legitimate chance to win the race, even with prohibitive favorite Father Patrick in the field, but that's not what makes Campbell most happy. "I'm just so happy anytime I get the chance to be part of the Hambletonian," said Campbell, who has raced in every Hambletonian final but two since 1983. "When you have a horse that figures in it, that makes it more special, no question about it, but it's the best we have to offer and I never take it for granted." Nuncio is the only horse to beat Father Patrick, on July 12, 2013. Father Patrick has won 15 consecutive races since then, but drew the unenviable No. 10 post for Saturday's Hambletonian. No horse has ever won a Hambletonian final from post 10. "I'm happy with the draw; it gives me options going out of the gate," Campbell said. "I'm going to be forwardly placed, or try to be, there's no question about that. I think the unknown is how many underneath me and on the outside are going to leave. I think there's going to be a lot of action in the first quarter of the mile, it just depends how hot that is and how many are involved." Nuncio, a son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle owned by Stefan Melander's Stall TZ stable, has won 10 of 17 career races and never finished worse than second. The colt is trained by Jimmy Takter, who also is the trainer of Father Patrick and Hambletonian contender Trixton. Six of Nuncio's seven runner-up finishes have come against Father Patrick. "I know Nuncio is going into the race in good shape," Campbell said. "He's raced well every start of his life and I don't expect that to change. Father Patrick, believe me, he's earned all the accolades he's gotten. His 15-race win streak is incredible. But at the same time, I'm going to try to upset him on Saturday. "You have to race against the competition, whatever it is that year. [Nuncio] ran into a horse that has a chance to be one of the all-time greats. But I'm hoping he doesn't add the Hambletonian to his resume." Nuncio will try to give Melander his second Hambletonian victory. He was the owner, trainer and driver of 2001 winner Scarlet Knight. Part of Nuncio's success this year is because the horse has been able to relax in races. Last season, Nuncio led at the half-mile point in eight of 10 starts. This year, it's only happened once in seven races. "He wouldn't be in the Hambletonian if it wasn't for the job that Jimmy did over the winter," Campbell said. "When he came back, we made a special effort to keep him quiet and race him from off the pace and make sure he didn't get into the same mode as last year. "Last year was just him being very talented and he got so exuberant that I couldn't rate him during the middle part of the mile and it cost him a couple of races. Now he's to the point where I can leave hard with him and still control him, and that's vital. If he wasn't that way going into the Hambletonian, it would compromise his chances dramatically." Aaron Merriman will get his first drive in the Hambletonian on Saturday. He is North America's leading driver in wins, with 452. Over the past 55 years, these are the drivers who ended the season No. 1 in wins and also drove in the Hambletonian final that same year: Dave Palone (2012, Stormin Normand, and 1999, Cherry Hills), Jody Jamieson (2009, Federal Flex), Tim Tetrick (2007, Pampered Princess), and Jack Moiseyev (1991, Giant Victory). Moiseyev is the only driver to win the Hambletonian in the same year he was No. 1. Merriman, a 36-year-old Ohio native with nearly 6,600 lifetime wins, will drive 50-1 longshot Il Sogno Dream in the Hambletonian. The horse is owned by Bill Manes, Dan Manes, Leonard Christopher and Randy Christopher. He is trained by Chris Beaver. "It doesn't matter what my odds are, it's an unbelievable opportunity and I'm just really excited," Merriman said. "I feel blessed I'm even involved in the race day. Even if I was the presenter of a trophy, I'd be happy. It's the premier event in harness racing and I'm very excited." Of the 11 drivers in this year's Hambletonian, four have won the race at least once previously. John Campbell (Nuncio) holds the record with six triumphs, followed by Ron Pierce (Royal Ice) with three, Brian Sears (Harper Blue Chip) two, and Tim Tetrick (Don Dorado) one. Sears won last year's Hambletonian with Royalty For Life. If he wins again this season, he will be the first driver to win the Hambletonian in back-to-back years since John Campbell in 1987-88. Jimmy Takter and Trond Smedshammer are the only trainers in this year's Hambletonian with previous victories. Takter - who sends out favorites Father Patrick, Nuncio and Trixton - won in 2010 with Muscle Massive and 1997 with Malabar Man. Smedshammer, who trains Royal Ice, won in 2004 with Windsong's Legacy. Trainer Nancy Johansson is making her first start in the Hambletonian, with Resolve, but she is no stranger to the race. She is the daughter of two-time winning trainer Jimmy Takter and was the caretaker of the 2010 Hambletonian winner, Muscle Massive. "That helps me tons," Johansson said. "I don't really feel stressed out. I think a lot of people in my situation would be a little more stressed out, but I kind of expect to be here because we were always there working for my dad. And most of the times, I took care of those horses. "There's a lot of pressure to take care of a good horse. I always say caretakers are so underrated because every day that horse is their charge. It's your job to make sure they don't get hurt, or if they're sick you need to notice in time so something can be done. I feel like I've had that pressure a lot before. I've seen my dad deal with the pressure. It doesn't really bother me because I'm used to it." Howard Taylor, who is among the owners of 20-1 Hambletonian longshot Doncango, never expected to have a starter in this year's race. Doncango has raced only once this year, winning on July 25. "I have tickets for the Billy Joel concert Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center, so I had to scramble to rearrange my plans," Taylor said with a laugh. "In about February or so, [Doncango] got injured. We have just been rehabbing him and bringing him back slowly and he got a late start. "We have a lot of year left and [trainer Ake Svanstedt] thinks he'll be heard from for the rest of the year. But I was a little surprised that he entered the horse in the Hambletonian." Taylor has had two previous starters in the Hambletonian. He is looking for his first win. "It would be a dream," Taylor said about Doncango winning. "It would be a shock, but it would be a dream." Ron Pierce can tie Berndt Lindstedt for most Hambletonian Oaks wins by a driver, with four, if he guides Shake It Cerry to victory Saturday. She is trained by Jimmy Takter, who with a triumph would move into sole possession of second place in trainer wins. Takter is tied with Glen Garnsey with three Oaks titles. Jan Johnson leads the way with six. Shake It Cerry, who has won six of seven races this year and was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter, is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. "She's good," Takter said earlier in the week. "It was good we didn't have to extend her too much [in the Oaks prep, a 1:54.4 win]. The Hambletonian Oaks won't go like that. The race next week, they're going to mix it up a little bit. "I think she's the best one. The only time she got defeated, she had a bad trip. She's sound, everything is good with her. She is ready to go a big mile. She'll take [Pierce] home. She's not known to give up in the stretch." Prior to this Saturday, trainer Julie Miller's only Hambletonian Oaks starter was 90-1 longshot Timelesswinner Two in 2009. Timelesswinner Two finished eighth. This year, she is sending out three fillies in the Oaks including morning line favorite Designed To Be. Starting from post one with driver Brian Sears, Designed To Be has won two of four starts this year. She was second to Shake It Cerry, who drew post 11 in the Oaks, in last week's prep. "She's had a little bit of traffic trouble her last two starts," Miller said. "I give a lot of credit to Brian. He knows my filly and he's been able to control her during the pedestrian second quarters we've been going. I'm excited for [the final]. Obviously, I'd like to see them go a little more [early fractions] in the race. We'll see how it plays out. I have all the confidence in the world in Brian and Designed To Be." Miller's other starters in the Oaks are 12-1 Take The Money and 20-1 Cee Bee Yes. "Take The Money had a nice win in the Reynolds [on July 19]," Miller said. "She proved to me that she should be in here. She seems to be a horse that's better with a week off in between starts. So that's why we [skipped the Oaks prep and] gave her the week off rather than go three weeks in a row. "[Cee Bee Yes] is my sleeper. She does her job, she's a sweetheart, and Marcus [Miller] gets along with her well. If they mix it up, I think she can pick up the pieces." Saturday's card, which begins at noon, features the Hambletonian Day returns of 2012 Hambletonian winner Market Share and 2013 Hambletonian Oaks winner Bee A Magician. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, is the 4-5 favorite in the $52,000 Ima Lula Series final for 4-year-old female trotters. Market Share is the 9-2 third choice in the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters. Here is a look at the morning line choices for Hambletonian Day's top races. $52,000 Ima Lula: Bee A Magician 4-5, Classic Martine 7-5, Handover Belle 8-1. $100,000 Miss New Jersey: Gettingreadytoroll 2-1, Act Now 3-1, Blixtra 9-2. $225,000 New Jersey Classic: Doo Wop Hanover 9-5, Western Vintage 5-2, Bushwacker 9-2. $257,700 U.S. Pacing Championship: Sweet Lou 4-5, Captaintreacherous 7-2, Thinking Out Loud 6-1. $352,050 Merrie Annabelle: Mission Brief 4-5, Lock Down Lindy 3-1, Gatka Hanover 5-1. $355,500 Peter Haughton Memorial: Guess Whos Back 2-1, Canepa Hanover 5-2, Centurion ATM 3-1. $50,000 Townsend Ackerman: Amped Up Hanover 8-5, Southwind Poseidon 7-2, Marathon Man 9-2. $50,000 Townsend Ackerman: Outburst 3-1, Sumatra 7-2, Hillustrious 9-2. $75,000 Vincennes: Master Of Law 3-1, Southwind Pepino 7-2, D'Orsay 9-2. $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial: Sebastian K 3-5, Archangel 4-1, Market Share 9-2. $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks: Designed To Be 2-1, Shake It Cerry 5-2, Heaven's Door 9-2. $1 million Hambletonian: Father Patrick 4-5, Trixton 7-2, Nuncio 9-2. $177,750 Lady Liberty: Rocklamation 5-2, Drop The Ball 3-1, Somwherovrarainbow 7-2. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications  

At Harnesslink we are constantly keeping our readers up to date with all the developments on the harness racing and breeding side of this industry. One part of this industry that tends to get overlooked most of the time is the part played by all the companies that supply this industry with the products we use. So we thought it was time we shone the light on some of those companies and the part they play. One company that has really come to the fore in recent years is Razerhorse. Razerhorse was established in Sweden in 2003 by Erik Lundquist. Erik was searching for a solution to lameness in one of his racehorses and decided to take a scientific and technology based approach to the problem. Convinced that shoeing played a major part in lameness and performance, Erik in partnership with Upsala University in Sweden spent years researching the action of the hoof with the help of gait analysis software and high speed video. Erik came to the conclusion that the design of the shoes should closely mimic every function of a bare footed horse. The innovative design that Erik came up with allows the horse to balance and move as if it was barefoot yet still protects the hoof from wear. The horse has a perfect design from nature so the shoes are made to perform with the horses natural characteristics which allows the horse to perform to the best of their ability. Razerhorse shoes are made from a unique borium tool steel which is tempered during its production to allow flexibility and shape memory. Specific features include a broad toe and a rounded rim for a smoother slide upon hoof landing and a thinner outer rim to enhance traction and reduce stress during motion. Naturally all horses are born with a hoof capsule that is split in the heel by the frog which allows the two sides of the hoof to flex in, out, up and down. A shoe had to be designed to co-exist with this basic function. Because the shoes are made from this unique flexible tool steel, they do not lock in the hoof capsule and instead allow the hoof capsule to move naturally and flex for optimal health and function. Jimmy Takter interview, Conny Svensson shoeing standardbred trotting horse Razerhorse has also designed a pad to work alongside their shoes with the same emphasis on science and technology in its development. The barefoot hoof of the horse has evolved over time so that the frog and the entire underside of the hoof has full contact with the ground when landing. Named Propad, the Razerhorse pad has been designed with a flexible frog support to fill the void between the hoof frog and the ground when the horse is shod. The flexible zone built into the pad allows the center part of the pad (frog support) to follow all the movements of the frog without causing pressure at rest. The flexible frog supports and extends the frog and works as a shock absorber. It unloads the hoof wall and improves circulation in the hoof. The pads are unique in that they give the horse a barefoot feeling when shod. Razerhorse - Propad It is no surprise Hall Of Famer Jimmy Takter is an enthusiastic supporter of Razerhorse shoes and pads as his farrier of over twenty years Conny Svensson has been heavily involved in the development of Razerhorse shoes and the Propad. In the 2013 edition of the Breeders Crown Finals, three divisional winners in Father Patrick, Shake It Cerry and Ufizzi Hanover all won from the Takter barn using Razerhorse products. Father Patrick 1:50.2 ($1,263,326) who has won six from six this year and is a hot favourite for the Hambeltonian this weekend has raced exclusively with Razerhorse shoes. With the ongoing success on the track backed up by the science and technology behind their products, Razerhorse can look to the future with a lot of confidence. Harnesslink media        

ELORA, ON - Monday afternoon at Grand River Raceway, John Campbell will attempt to scratch one more stakes race off the very short list of ones he's never won when he goes to post in the 17th edition of the Battle of Waterloo behind Go Daddy Go. The Ailsa Craig, ON native is considered by many to be the greatest driver in harness racing history. His $287 million in earnings is far and away the most by any driver in the sport. He is a Hall of Famer in both Canada and the United States and he is one of only 10 people with more than 10,000 career wins. Yet, the 59-year-old, who has lived and worked in New Jersey since the late-1970s, has never won the Battle of Waterloo. In fact, he had never even been to Grand River Raceway until he drove in the eliminations last week and qualified homebred Go Daddy Go for the $217,000 Battle of Waterloo for trainer Bob McIntosh, a man who shares Campbell's distinction of being a Hall of Famer on both sides of the border. "Bob McIntosh called me about Go Daddy Go. I raced him in a Sires Stakes at Mohawk and he raced very well. He wanted to know if I would come up and try him in (the Battle of Waterloo) and I said, 'Sure.' We're not that busy through the week in New Jersey and he's a nice colt," Campbell said. Last Monday, before driving Go Daddy Go (Ponder-Sanfrancine) to a second-place finish in the first of two Battle of Waterloo eliminations - and also qualifying filly Capela for the $138,000 final of the Battle of the Belles - Campbell took a tour of Grand River and answered questions submitted by fans via social media. Asked what race he'd most like to win that he hasn't, yet, added to his long resume, Campbell told winner's circle interviewer Greg Blanchard, "right now my focus is on the Battle of Waterloo. I haven't won that and I want to next week." Go Daddy Go finished behind Sporting The Look in the first of two Battle of Waterloo eliminations. Sporting The Look was driven to victory by three-time Battle of Waterloo champ Jody Jamieson for his father, Hall of Fame trainer Carl Jamieson, who has won the Battle of Waterloo a record five times. Jody also won the other Battle of Waterloo elimination with a horse named Sportskeeper the same day his wife, Stephanie, gave birth to their daughter, Siara June Jamieson. "We just barely made it to the hospital for her to come out, but it was all good in the end," Jamieson said. "It was a trying morning, but she's here, she's healthy and I got a text today saying I was a prolific sire. I'm not really sure how to take that, actually." Speaking of prolific sires, Sporting The Look and Sportskeeper are both sons of red-hot sire Sportswriter, who also fathered two of the three winners of the eliminations for the Battle of the Belles. In all, 10 of the 18 finalists for the two stakes are sons or daughters of Sportswriter - with five Sportswriters in each race. Casie Coleman of Cambridge owns and trained Sportswriter. Monday, she will send out four Battle of Waterloo finalists and two fillies for the Battle of the Belles. Sportswriter sired all but one. "Right now it's unreal how every one of them are just like their old man," Coleman said. "I've trained a lot of babies and some of them have similarities of the stallions, but not every similarity. I've got nine Sportswriters and every one of them has a great attitude, great gait, great temperament. They want to win, they don't like being beat. It's just unreal." The Battle of Waterloo and the Battle of the Belles are all part of Grand River Raceway's annual Industry Day Celebration that gets underway on the Civic Holiday Monday with a 1:30 post time. The 12-race, $655,000 card will also feature a Racing Under Saddle event and a wide variety of family-friendly activities, including: a $5 all-access Kid's Pass for face painting, balloon artists, bouncy castles and pony rides (1-5 p.m.) the 10th annual drivers edition of the Bouncy Pony Stakes (after race 5) a chance to meet race mare Paula Seelster and her foal and participate in a contest to name that foal (1-3 p.m.) Standardbred Canada's I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club will present an online handicapping challenge Cheerleading squads presenting $250 to the fan selected to represent the winning Battle of Waterloo horse and $250 for the patron who helps cheer the Battle of the Belles winner to victory. Parking and admission are free. For more information, visit www.IndustryDayCelebration.com To hear our conversation with John Campbell, Jody Jamieson and Casie Coleman check out our weekly podcast, the Harness Racing Report, produced for Grand River Raceway by award-winning journalist Dave Briggs, at https://soundcloud.com/grandriverraceway by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway

A victory by Lord Baltimore has helped talented harness racing horsewoman Michelle Neilson snare a last gasp win in the McMillan Equine Feeds NZ Junior Drivers Championship at Addington. Needing victory in the last race of the three-race series as well as some other results to fall her way, Neilson ensured her side of the equation was complete with a heady drive on the heavily backed Geoff Dunn trained winner. Then it was down to fate, or more importantly the placing of championship leader Dylan Ferguson. The North Island hoop needed to finish in 7th position to ensure himself victory but fell agonisingly short with his 8th placing netting him five points which left him one short of Neilson who closed out the championship on 35 points. I knew I had a wee chance going into the last heat,’’ Neilson said. But I needed others to finish well back too, once I got past the line first I tried to have a look back but gave up because it was too hard to tell where they all were. 24-year-old Neilson is originally from Australia but moved over to New Zealand last year, initially to work in the stable of Mark Purdon and good friend Natalie Rasmussen before she joined the stable of Mark Jones. She admitted to not knowing a lot about the series but took an interest when people started talking about it and realising that she was in with a shot of making the championship. Backed into a $3.40 favourite to win, Neilson finished third in the first heat with Billy The Bus and then fifth with Paint The Moon in the second heat. That left her 11 points behind Ferguson who finished second in the first heat with Cullen’s Mercy and then won the second heat with Summer Vacation. Lord Baltimore was sent out a commanding favourite and Neilson didn’t let favourite punters down, taking full use of the passing lane to snare the win. It's a pretty awesome feeling to win to be honest. People have been telling me all week that I had a good chance, but you still have to get that luck. Ferguson finished in second position – a notable achievement considering this his first season of driving while Robbie Close who won the first heat of the night with Hit The Spot. The North Island versus South Island challenge – a separate contest between the 12 drivers was taken out by the Southerners in commanding fashion. By Matt Markham Harness Racing New Zealand

The fact that trainer Nancy Johansson will make her Hambletonian debut against her dad, Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter, is one of the big storylines entering Saturday's race. And while Johansson understands and appreciates the interest, it's not something that's really on her mind. Especially since, hey, there will be other trainers there too! "It's no different to race against him than anybody else," said Johansson, who trains Hambletonian starter Resolve, adding with a laugh. "It's a horserace, there has to be other horses in there. He's one of the top trainers with one of the biggest barns, so I expect him to be there." The two have teamed up for previous Hambletonian success, as Nancy was the caretaker for Takter's 2010 winner, Muscle Massive. She grew up learning the trade under Jimmy, who also won the 1997 Hambletonian with Malabar Man, having said in the past "I tell people that from going to my dad's 'school' I got a PhD in training." But neither wants to mix business with pleasure, especially when it comes to head-to-head competition. "We don't talk about it," Nancy said. "When we have family time, we talk about grandkids or other stuff. "But we're both very competitive. I think deep down inside, if somebody beats him he would want it to be me. But it's really deep down because he really wants to win first himself." And Takter has a good chance this year with favorite Father Patrick, along with two other highly regarded horses in the race - Trixton and Nuncio. This won't be the first time father and daughter pitted their Hambletonian horses against each other. On July 19, Resolve finished second to Nuncio in the Reynolds Stakes. Resolve has won two of seven races this year and hit the board six times. He has four wins in 19 career starts, earning $45,950. The horse is owned by Hans Enggren, who won the 1985 Hambletonian with Prakas. Enggren is looking for another shot at Hambletonian glory, which is why he bought Resolve just a few weeks ago. "He was pretty much purchased with the idea he was going to race in the Hambletonian," Johansson said. "Hans is getting up in age and he wants another go at the Hambletonian. He had seen the horse last year and liked him." Enggren saw him again early in the spring and liked him just as much, if not more, but Resolve was not for sale. When he was put on the market, Hans made his move. "We knew that if he raced good in the Reynolds he was going to the Hambletonian," Johansson said. "I didn't really expect him to race that good, so that was a good surprise. He's been solid all year. "He's a nice horse. I think he's going to mature into a nice older horse. He's not staked to a lot this year, so he's going to have a kind of low-key 3-year-old season." Winning the Hambletonian would certainly turn the key up a notch, and Johansson is happy with drawing the No. 1 post. But she was unhappy to see her dad's top horse get stuck in the difficult 10 hole. "The draw helped us, but I didn't like to see Father Patrick draw bad," Johansson said. "He deserves to win the Hambletonian because he's just such an extremely fine animal. With post 10, anything can happen. "I wouldn't be surprised if things shake out differently than expected, too." One of Takter's trademarks is trying new things with a horse entering a final. Nancy is unsure if that will be necessary with Resolve. "I don't know yet. We'll see," she said. "We changed a lot on the horse already. I think you have to be careful how much you change in a short amount of time. "I feel pretty confident we have him the way we want him. He trained absolutely fantastic (Wednesday) morning. I couldn't ask for a better training session than he had (that) morning. I don't really feel like there is anything we need to take care of. Everything feels very even keel right now. It's a good situation." And, as far as Johansson is concerned, a situation like any other when it comes to the trainers she will be facing in this race. Story by Rich Fisher for the Hambletonian Notes Team Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications  

Thanks to an ongoing agreement between The Meadowlands and Trackmaster, we are happy to offer the trackmaster past performances for Hambletonian Day to our customers completely free of charge. Those looking to get a head start on their handicapping for the biggest day in harness racing can access the past performances here: http://meadowlandsracetrack.com/uploadedFiles/Handicapping/Past_Performances/mxx0802e%5B1%5D.pdf. Hambletonian Day kicks off at noon with Hambletonian post time set for 5:11 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for Harnesslink.com  

Centurion ATM is the type of horse that seems ready to step up when it's time to race. The 2-year-old trotter didn't do much to impress trainer Ake Svanstedt before beginning his rookie campaign, but Svanstedt has been happy with the colt since he started going behind the gate. Last week, Centurion ATM won the single elimination for the $355,500 Peter Haughton Memorial by 3-1/2 lengths over Uncle Lasse in 1:54.2. It was Centurion ATM's first victory after second-place finishes in his first two races. "He's a racehorse," Svanstedt said. "He trained from the beginning and he was a normal horse until he qualified. Then he was something special. Before the qualifier, he did the job and was a nice and friendly horse, but he was nothing special. He loves to race." Centurion ATM will start the Haughton Memorial from post one, with Svanstedt handling the driving, as usual. The colt is 3-1 on the morning line, which makes him the third choice behind New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Guess Whos Back (2-1) and NJSS runner-up Canepa Hanover (5-2), who received byes to the final. The race is part of a stakes-filled Hambletonian Day card at the Big M. Among the other highlights are the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters, $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters, and the $1 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters. Coverage of the card will air throughout the afternoon on TVG and from 4-5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. Centurion ATM is a son of SJ's Caviar out of the mare ENS Tag Session. He was purchased for $100,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale and is a full brother to stakes-winner Triumphant Caviar. He is owned by Knutsson Trotting and Courant AB. "I hope he can do a good race," Svanstedt said. "If everything is normal, he can do a good race. I think he has potential. We'll see." Svanstedt, who was Sweden's Trainer of the Year five times and Driver of the Year on three occasions, will have nine horses racing on Saturday's card. "Absolutely, I'm looking forward to it," he said. In addition to Centurion ATM, he sends out Amicus in the Haughton plus Doncango in the $1 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters, Heaven's Door in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters, Sebastian K and Your So Vain in the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters, Home Front and DD's Hitman in $50,000 divisions of the Townsend Ackerman for 3-year-old trotters, and Blixtra in the $100,000 Thomas D'Altrui SBOA Miss New Jersey for 3-year-old female pacers. Sebastian K, the fastest trotter in harness racing history thanks to his 1:49 mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in June, is the 3-5 favorite in the Cashman Memorial. He has won six of seven races this year and is coming off a 3-1/4 length triumph over Mister Herbie in 1:51 in his Cashman elimination. "Everything was good in the last race," Svanstedt said. "And he loves the Meadowlands and the big track. He feels very good at the Meadowlands. He is a different horse at the Meadowlands." Sebastian K's only loss came by a nose to Intimidate in the Maple Leaf Trot on a sloppy track at Mohawk. "He didn't win in Canada, I think he left too fast and the track was very heavy," Svanstedt said. "We opened in :26.4 in the first quarter and that's too fast on that heavy a track, so he would be tired. He was tired, but he lost by just a nose, so he was good. He fought." Svanstedt did not plan to train Sebastian K during the week. "He is just going to go in the paddock every day for the whole day," Svanstedt said. "This is four weeks [of racing] in a row and he's never done that before. It's very different for him. But I'm not worried because he felt so good in the last race." Heaven's Door is the 9-2 third choice in the Hambletonian Oaks, behind world champion Designed To Be (2-1) and Delvin Miller Memorial winner Shake It Cerry (5-2). Heaven's Door has won two of five races this year, including the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old filly trotters, and finished second in the Miller. "There are tough horses in there, but I have a good horse too," Svanstedt said. "She has everything. She pulls a little, but she is getting better with that. Some races she pulls a lot and I cannot drive slowly. The one time [in a race in May] she galloped at the start because she is pulling so much. But she is getting better." Doncango, a 20-1 longshot in the Hambletonian, has only raced once this year - winning in 1:54 - after battling leg woes throughout the winter. "It's tough for him," Svanstedt said. "We had a lot of problems with him at the beginning. But he trained tough and feels good. He's trained three months without problems and feels sound. "If he can earn money, we'll be really happy." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

As the harness racing season ends on the 31st of July in New Zealand, Harnesslink thought it was an appropriate time to review how all the leading sires and other sires on the improve performed in each age bracket. First up is the 2 year old division. Two stallions dominated this division this year with Bettor's Delight and Art Major competing for divisional honours. To be fair the playing field was tilted rather dramatically in Bettor's Delight's favour by the fact that Bettor's Delight had 230 two year olds eligible to race while Art Major only had 85. As has become the norm worldwide it was the fillies by Bettor's Delight which really lifted him on the sires list. His three biggest stake earners for the season in Joanne's Delight 1:56.8 ($134,094) Linda Lovegrace 1:57.7 ($127,789) and Kate Perry 1:56.7 ($117,872) are all fillies and the only fillies to earn in excess of $100,000 this season that were bred in New Zealand. Bettor's Delight best colts were headed by Hug The Wind 1:56.8 ($102,332) Express Stride 2:00.2 ($76,660) and Bettor Spirits 1:59.1 ($61,601) Foals - 230   New Zealand bred winners (Aus / NZ) - 30 % of winners to foals - 13.04 NZ stakes - $871,314 For a sire with just 85 two year olds eligible to race, Art Major had a great year with runners in all the major races. The best colts were headed by Say My Name 1:57.9 ($87,673) Mighty Flying Major 1:58.4 ($60,156) and Art Union 1:58.4 ($56,853). The best fillies were headed by Fight For Glory 1:59.2 ($83,936) Unforgiving 1:57 ($45,263) and Art Critic 1:56.9 ($20,836) The elephant in the room for Art Major is of course Follow The Stars 1:53.8 ($272,080) with the Australian bred 2 year old dominating the juvenile scene in New Zealand. Foals - 85   New Zealand bred winners (Aus / NZ) - 16 % of winners to foals - 18.82 NZ stakes - $528,121 The third place getter on the sires list is the elite sire Mach Three. With a crop of just 73, Mach Three was up against it but it still was not one of his best years.. Mach Three did produce Chachingchaching 1:56.6 ($52,600) and Cyclone Kate 1:55.5 ($32,070) but his best performer was another of the Mark Purdon Australian imports in Supersonic Miss 1:54.1 ($137,128) who has legitimate claims to the two year old filly of the year title. The fourth place getter was Courage Under Fire who from a very small crop of just 23 did manage to produce the biggest stake earning 2 year old in New Zealand last season in Alta Orlando 1:56.2 ($141,749). Another that did not have his best year was super sire Christian Cullen who sired just two winners from 72 foals which by his very high standards is not like him. However Christian Cullen looks to have a very smart colt in Bracken Ridge and several qualifiers that look way above average so his stats look like they will come right at three. The best of the first season sires by a margin was the son of In The Pocket in Changeover. In Aust / NZ Changeover had 13 individual winners and plenty of qualifiers, which bodes well for his future. In the trotting ranks it was a two horse war all season between Love You and Majestic Son. It wasn't settled until late in the season with Majestic Son claiming a narrow victory on paper but it was very hard to separate them really. Monbet ($66,145) and Yaugunnakissmeornot ($26,180) starred for Love You while Wanna Play ($50,771) and Prince Feerless ($57,956) were the headliners for Majestic Son. The newcomer Angus Hall made a big impression with his first crop, finishing third overall and siring the most individual winners with the smallest crop of any of the top three sires. Harnesslink media

The siring fortunes of the son of Art Major, Major In Art are following those of many sires before him in the harness racing industry. Off to a slow start with his first crop as 2 year olds last year, Major In Art has steadily made progress with that first crop as 3 year olds. From a small crop of just 32 live foals eligible to race in New Zealand, Major In Art has now left eight winners with a handful looking above average. Major Sam 1:54.7 ($85,030) and Ultimate Major 1:58.2 ($38,460) both did well in New Zealand before carrying on the good work across the Tasman in Australia. The pick of his New Zealand bred stock is undoubtedly  Dalton Bromac. The 3 year old gelding started his career under the care of the Butcher stable from Cambridge in the North Island. After showing plenty of promise in his first three starts, Dalton Hill was purchased by Brendan Hill of Monkey King fame for a stable client and himself. Since relocating to the South Island, Dalton Bromac has set the track watchers talking with displays of power and stamina. Tonight at Addington was just further evidence if any was needed of what an emerging talent Dalton Bromac is. Restrained off the gate early by driver Ricky May, Dalton Bromac was sent to the front after 400 meters of the 2600 meters mobile race and from there the race became a procession. Challenged by the unbeaten Wesley Silcox from a lap out, Dalton Bromac simply put the pedal to the metal and cruised home an easy winner with Ricky May hardly moving in the cart. It was Dalton Bromac's third win from just four starts since joining the Hill barn and easily his most impressive. Dalton Bromac covered the 2600 meters mobile in 3.13.7, a mile rate of 1:59.8 with a last  800 meters in a brilliant 54.7 and 400 meters in 26.9 without being seriously asked. Dalton Bromac is from the Holmes Hanover mare in Desiholmes which like most of the Butcher Horses traces back to the outstanding U Scott mare in Desiree. It is a breed that has left the Butchers plenty of top liners in the last fifty years while Desiree is of course a full sister to Desilu who left Delightful Lady (47 wins) With Dalton Bromac to fly the flag in Canterbury, Major In Art has a ready made star to promote his siring abilities in New Zealand. Harnesslink media

It never takes long in harness racing for a horse to be forgotten when its not racing every week. People move on quickly and focus on what is racing. Habibti 1:56.5T ($283,007) falls squarely into that group as the forgotten superstar of trotting in Australasia. The daughter of Love You had an amazing 3 year old season last year in which she won The New Zealand Trotting Stakes (Group 1), New South Wales Derby (Group 1), New South Oaks (Group 1) and the Victorian Oaks (Group 1) amongst her nine wins. She accounted for Blitzthemcalder, Sheemon, Spidergirl and Royal Aspirations amonst others during the season. Coming back early as a 4 year old, Habibti jumped straight in the deep end and took on Australia's best trotters in Melbourne. The best win was undoubtedly in the Dullard Cup (Group One) where she accounted for Keystone Del, My High Expectations and Aleppo Midas amongst others. Returning to New Zealand, Habibti just started to show signs that all the racing and traveling was taking its toll on her. Trainer/ driver David Butt convinced the owners to miss all the rich plums on offer and give the mare a well deserved break with a view to her coming back bigger and better at five. Prior to that Habibti was served and conceived to top trotting sire Majestic Son and the embryo was transferred to a surrogate mare who is due to foal later in the year. After a lengthy spell Habibti returned to the Butt barn in early May and she is on track to return to the trials in September with a view to being ready for Cup week at Addington. Thought is being given to another embryo transfer early in the new season with Angus Hall and Andover Hall the main sires in consideration. To add further to Habibti's value as a future broodmare is the emergence of her full sister Habibti Ivy who was 11 seconds under the previous New Zealand record for 2400 meters from a stand when she qualified for trainer Paul Nairn in 3:09.5 at Ashburton on Tuesday 29th July. On that run, Habibti Ivy will be a serious player in the 3 year old classics next season. Meanwhile Habibti only needs to reproduce her early 4 year old form to once again become a serious contender in all the major trotting races next season. After looking after Habibti's welfare so well in the last twelve months, David Butt and the ownership group deserve to reap the rewards of their patience over the next twelve months with this outstanding mare. Harnesslink media      

The Board of Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr John Dumesny as its new Chief Executive. The HRNSW Chairman Mr Rex Horne announced the appointment this morning. “The process has been extensive and involved a sub-committee of the Board, which met on numerous occasions, to review the long list of candidates presented by Watermark International”, Mr Horne said. The full Board met on Tuesday and interviewed the final four candidates. It was subsequently decided to offer the position to Mr Dumesny. Mr Dumesny has a long and distinguished career in harness racing. He commenced with the New South Wales Harness Racing Club (NSWHRC) in 1988. He has been Chief Executive of the Club since 2004 and prior to that was the Racing Manager from 1988 to 2004. John was the driving force behind the sale of Harold Park in 2010 and the extensive upgrade of the Menangle Park facility to world class status. Mr Horne went on to say that without John’s drive and passion much of what we have today would never have occurred. “We have a world class track and associated facilities, higher prizemoney and a much stronger industry”, he said “The Board believes that John will bring similar drive and passion to HRNSW”. Mr Dumesny commences with HRNSW on Monday 1 September. CHIEF EXECUTIVE MOVES ON John Dumesny will be leaving his position as the Chief Executive Officer of the New South Wales Harness Racing Club to take up the position of Chief Executive of Harness Racing NSW effective from 1 September 2014. John joined the staff at our Club in 1988 as Racing Manager, and remained in that role until 2004, at which time he took up his current position of Chief Executive Officer. John has also filled positions as a Director and secretary of Australian Pacing Gold and as the Club’s representative on the Harness Racing Clubs Committee. John has provided 26 years of dedicated service to the Club and the industry during which time he has shown a great passion for the sport of harness racing and an unrivalled work ethic. John has a great knowledge of harness racing, and his experience and management expertise have ensured that he is acknowledged as a respected leading administrator in our industry. John has many achievements to his name during his time at our Club, but the most significant is his leading role in the sale of Harold Park and the relocation of the principal club to Tabcorp Park Menangle. His vision and drive ensured that a sale was achieved that has consolidated the financial future of both the Club and the industry. He has also overseen the development of the Menangle Park precinct with the construction of the track, administration building, stables and grandstand. As a result of his efforts we now have a world class facility and a financial platform that ensures the future viability of harness racing. While John has always given his unqualified commitment to our Club, he has also recognised that the Club is part of a broader industry. While his resignation is a great loss for our Club, I am sure that he will apply his skills and knowledge in his new role at Harness Racing New South Wales to continue the development of harness racing in our state. On behalf of the Board, staff and Members of our Club I thank John for his many years of dedicated service and wish him the best for the future. HRNSW

Sweet Lou and driver Ron Pierce have teamed to win seven consecutive races, but Pierce believes he deserves none of the credit for the hot streak. He also believes the best is yet to come. Sweet Lou, who has won 29 of 65 lifetime races and $2.78 million in purses, is enjoying the best stretch of his award-winning career as he heads into Saturday’s $257,700 U.S. Pacing Championship at Meadowlands Racetrack. Sweet Lou, who starts from post seven, faces eight foes, including Captaintreacherous, State Treasurer, Golden Receiver, and Ron Burke-trained stablemates Foiled Again, Bettor’s Edge, and Clear Vision. The race is part of a stakes-filled Hambletonian Day card at the Big M. Among the other highlights are the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters, $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old female trotters, and the $1 million Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters. Coverage of the card will air throughout the afternoon on TVG and from 4-5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. “It’s just unbelievable how good they have him right now,” Pierce said about Sweet Lou. “The Burke crew really has him sharp. “It’s not me, believe me, it’s the horse. The horse is doing everything pretty much on his own. I’m just a passenger. I think if any of the top guys would’ve gotten on this horse he’d be doing the same thing. I’m giving all the credit to the Burkes and their crew. They’re doing all the work. All I do is sit there.” Pierce started driving Sweet Lou in May and the two have teamed to win the Ben Franklin Pace, William R. Haughton Memorial, and Roll With Joe stakes during their seven races together. It is Sweet Lou’s longest win streak, topping his six consecutive victories bridging his 2- and 3-year-old seasons. Sweet Lou was the 2011 Dan Patch Award winner as harness racing’s best 2-year-old male pacer and earned more than $1 million at age 3, but endured a stretch of just four wins in 31 starts prior to his recent surge. “I wasn’t sure [what to expect],” Pierce said, looking back to when he started driving Sweet Lou. “I’d raced against him plenty, but no I didn’t really think he was going to be winning these kinds of races so easily. I just happened to get on him at the right time. “It’s such a pleasure to race this horse because he’s so good. You can do anything you want to do. If you want to take back, you take back; if you want to go forward, all you have to do is feed him racetrack. And then he’ll come right back to you once he gets to the top. It’s just a pleasure. It’s a thrill.” Sweet Lou, owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Larry Karr, and Phil Collura, still holds the world record of 1:49 for a 2-year-old pacer and this season became the fastest horse ever on a five-eighths-mile track when he captured the Ben Franklin in 1:47 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The fastest race mile in history is 1:46.4, a mark shared by Holborn Hanover, Somebeachsomewhere, Warrawee Needy, and He’s Watching. But Pierce thinks Sweet Lou could take down that mark sometime in the future. “If Ronnie tells me to shatter the world record, I will,” Pierce said. “He could do it, no problem. But I want to keep him within himself for as long as I can. It’s better for him. The longer I can go without stretching him out, the better off he’s going to be in the long run. I’m not going to be showboating or anything like that. “But I’m sure Ronnie is going to come to me one of these days under the right conditions and say to go ahead and shatter the world record. And then I will.” Following is the U.S. Pacing Championship field in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Golden Receiver, Corey Callahan, Jake Huff; 2. State Treasurer, David Miller, Ian Moore; 3. Thinking Out Loud, John Campbell, Bob McIntosh; 4. Sunfire Blue Chip, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 5. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 6. Bettor’s Edge, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 7. Sweet Lou, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke; 8. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna; 9. Clear Vision, Brett Miller, Ron Burke. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

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Sunday (August 3) afternoon's second Empire Breeders Classic elimination for New York-sired three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will shape up to be a clash of the titans, with classic winners He's Watching and JK Endofanera squaring off in the tenth race on the card.   He's Watching, fresh off his 1:46.4 Meadowlands Pace triumph, drew the inside post in the field of seven, and retains the services of driver Tim Tetrick. The David Menary-trained son of American Ideal missed the board just once in his 14-race career (in his Rooney elimination at Yonkers), but has quickly returned to the form he showed as a two-year-old, where he went undefeated in eight races over his freshman campaign.   The race also drew North America Cup winner JK Endofanera, who lines up from post 3 in rein to Brian Sears. Before a first-over bid in the Meadowlands pace left him fading in the late stages, he rallied well off cover to score a 1:48.4 win in the North America Cup at Mohawk. The Ron Burke-trained son of Art Major has proven victorious in five of seven races on the season.   The top four finishers from the Empire Breeders Classic eliminations, in addition to one fifth-place colt and filly, will advance to next week's finals.   In addition to Tim Tetrick and Brian Sears; top drivers Yannick Gingras, David Miller, and Scott Zeron will participate on the Sunday stakes card at Tioga, competing not only in the Empire Breeders Classic eliminations, but also in the Tompkins-Geers events carded for two-year-old pacers.   Post time for the Sunday program at Tioga Downs is 1:30 p.m. EDT, with a pair of non-wagering Tompkins-Geers events to commence at 1:00 p.m.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs 
We have been on a roll as of late with winning weekends the last two weeks. I am confident we can make it three straight winning weeks and never have to leave the Meadowlands. It’s their closing weekend and that mean’s Hambletonian Day, one of the best days of racing in the sport of harness racing this Saturday, headlined of course by the Hambletonian Trot. The card is jamming with top stakes action. The only problem is something we have no control over and that is Mother Nature. I handicapped based on a fast track so here’s hoping the rain either ends early or does not stop until late in the day. Good Luck! $52,000 Trot Ima Lula Final 4YO Mares Meadowlands 1st race SATURDAY – With a serious case of seconditis after her championship season last year, we keep hoping for Bee A Magician to return to her unbeaten form of 2013 but it just isn’t happening. Perhaps they will change tactics here and go back to racing her off the pace and that she will be able take this field. Use Classic Martine and Ma Chere Hall in exotic plays. $100,000 Pace Miss New Jersey 3YO Fillies Meadowlands 3rd race SATURDAY – Seems that trainer Jimmy Takter may have solved the previous breaking problems of Gettingreadytoroll off her lifetime mark last week in 1:49.3 and that she is settled down to keeping her mind on business. Repeat of last winning effort will bring home the bacon in here. Use Act Now and Bliztra in exotic plays. $225,000 Pace New Jersey Classic 3YO Colts Meadowlands 4th race SATURDAY – Western Vintage has had a rough 3YO season after many thought he would be one of the leaders in this division after his great two-year-old season. Seems he has not lived up to expectations but should go off the favorite here after decent qualifying win. I’m going with Doo Wop Hanover. He has had good success when not racing against the best in the country, drew well for this and could get the dream two-hole trip to score off of. Use Western Vintage and Bushwacker in exotic plays. $257,700 Pace FFA US Pacing Championship Meadowlands 5th race SATURDAY – Too tough to even consider going against the best pacer in the sport. Sweet Lou is on a seven-race winning streak, last four in less than 1:48 and he is just a pacing machine. He is facing a strong field but he has beaten all of them before and can do it again. Use Captaintreacherous and State Treasurer in exotic plays. $352,050 Trot Merrie Annabelle 2YO Filly Final Meadowlands 6th race SATURDAY – This will be an interesting matchup as both Mission Brief and Gatka Hanover have yet to meet and both are hot fillies that race on the front end. Mission Brief gets the call with her blinding early speed but you never know how Gatka Hanover will handle getting a two-hole trip. Use Gatka Hanover and Lock Down Lindy in exotic plays. $355,500 Trot Peter Haughton 2YO Colt Final Meadowlands 7th race SATURDAY – It’s interesting that in this final there are four return winners of the ten starters. Ake Svanstedt’s Centurion ATM showed he is the horse to beat after coming off the pace in his elimination race last week and strolling to a 1:54.2 win in just his third lifetime start. Repeat of that mile will make him an easy winner once again. Use Canepa Hanover and Guess Who’s Back in exotic plays. $75,000 Trot FFA Vincennes Invitational Meadowlands 10th race SATURDAY – All the talk was that after Master Of Law won his qualifying race that he was on his way to taking on the best in the country. He lived up to performance with a 1:52 win last time out and now gets really tested against a good field and having to start from post nine. Use Wishing Stone and D’Orsay in exotic plays. $300,650 Trot John Cashman Memorial FFA Meadowlands 11th race SATURDAY – Whether it rains or not I think Sebastian K and Ake Svanstedt are too tough to get caught again at the wire. No one can out leave him and unless every horse in the field tries to go first-over against him, he has too much stamina to not hold them off. Use Uncle Peter and Market Share in exotic plays. $500,000 Trot Hambletonian Oaks 3YO Fillies Meadowlands 12th race – Last week in prep race, Ron Pierce and Shake It Cerry held Designed To Be and Brian Sears at bay and were able to win. Now Shake It Cerry starts from second tier in post 11 and won’t be able to dictate early fractions to anyone. I still think that Shake It Cerry will “shake it loose” somehow and find a different way to beat Designed To Be once again. Use Designed To Be and Lifetime Pursuit in exotic plays. $1,066,125 Trot Hambletonian Final 3YO Colts Meadowlands 13th race SATURDAY – Trainer Jimmy Takter has his heart set on finishing one, two, three in harness racing’s most prestigious race and he very well should get what wants as he has the best colts in racing. Father Patrick needs to just overcome starting from post ten as he is seconds faster than the rest of the field. Use Trixton and Nuncio in exotic plays. $177,750 Pace Lady Liberty Final Older Mares Meadowlands 14th race SATURDAY – Was super impressed with the three moves Drop The Ball made for driver Corey Callahan last week in winning elimination race. She will need that gusty performance once again to win the final as Rocklamation will be in the hunt this week. Drop The Ball gets the slim call in here. Use Rocklamation and Somwherovrarainbow in exotic plays.
Here at Harnesslink we are constantly trying to bring you updates on all the harness racing and breeding issues affecting our industry. However we feel little or no coverage is given to the multitude of companies and service providers that provide products to the harness racing community. Therefore we thought it was timely to take a look at some of these companies and the products they offer. One of those companies is, APC, Inc., the manufacturer of the new LIFELINE serum-based equine performance products. While mostly unknown in the equine industry, APC is a third-generation family-owned company headquartered in Iowa. This science-based company is a global leader in the fractionation (concentration) of serum and plasma-based proteins. For over 30 years the company has been spearheading discoveries that have improved performance and health of many species of animals including calves, swine, aquaculture and more. With such proven performance in other species, APC realized they could apply these learnings to the equine industry. Everybody in the harness racing industry knows that for the equine athlete, racing, training and travelling takes a significant toll on your horse’s performance. Joint soreness, stomach upset and respiratory issues, often caused by inflammation, have been major factors affecting performance since the inception of this industry. The success of the LIFELINE range of equine products is due to BioThrive™. This active ingredient is made using APC’s proprietary process. Derived from bovine serum, its safety and beneficial effects have been documented in more than 300 published peer reviewed journal articles. These bioactive proteins have been shown to help support a healthy inflammation response. When a horse experiences stress or occasional soreness due to normal training, its immune system springs into action to combat the stressors. This immune system response results in inflammation which can have an effect on the following; Gut -  digestive health and related conditions such as ulcers Joint -  occasional soreness Respiratory -  breathing and lung issues related to exercise Bioactive proteins when given orally help reduce overstimulation of the immune system so the horse's resources aren't spent fighting the stressor and instead can promote a healthy gut, maintain proper joint function and ease respiratory issues related to exercise. Unlike a lot of the products on the market, LIFELINE is not a vitamin or mineral supplement which typically target nutrition and work in just one system at a time. It works multisystemically. It also works fast with studies demonstrating a difference within just fourteen days. LIFELINE has two equine products which are aimed at horses in different stages of their life. Both products have bioactive proteins as their active ingredient, specifically formulated based on the age of the horse. Equine Elite is for horses experiencing the rigors of training and racing. AgeWell is for the older horse who is experiencing the physical effects of aging but are still expected to perform to their best. A recent gait analysis study conducted by Dr. Josie Coverdale and Joy Campbell of Texas A+M University measured stride length and knee range of motion with increasing dosage of serum-based bioactive proteins in exercised horses. The response strongly suggested that the horses in the study experienced healthy joint function and/or comfort while on LIFLINE BioThrive™. This study involved thirty horses over a 28 day period and was a robust academic study in a controlled setting and reinforced the feedback that LIFELINE was receiving daily from its clients. APC is also in various stages of process for a number of other studies on horses to include gut health, training in 2-year old stallions and mare/foal pairs. Results are not finalized but are promising. LIFELINE takes corporate responsibility very seriously. It is a member of the National Animal Supplement Council which is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the health of companion animals and horses The company has also invested in research ensuring that LIFELINE products are show/competition safe. The LIFELINE brand has come a long way over the past few decades. Between its significant investment in R&D, current and upcoming scientific study results and positive testimonials from product users, the future for APC looks assured. All in all I think the company motto says it all about LIFELINE – Watch Them Thrive. http://horse.watchthemthrive.com/  For this months special offer click here. Harnesslink media Lifeline Equine Performance  
East Rutherford, NJ - CBS Sports Network will present a 90-minute high-definition live broadcast from 4:00-5:30 p.m. (EDT) of America's Trotting Classic, the $1.2 million Hambletonian, from The Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ on Saturday, Aug. 2. The 24-hour home of CBS Sports has been the home of the Hambletonian since 2012. CBS Sports Network expanded its coverage of harness racing in 2014 to include two more of the sport's most prestigious stakes The $750,000 Meadowlands Pace was broadcast live on July 12, in a telecast that included the dramatic win of He's Watching, as well as the final Hambletonian prep races, the Stanley Dancer Memorial won by Father Patrick and Del Miller Memorial for sophomore trotting fillies, won by Shake It Cerry. The action shifts to the historic fairgrounds at Delaware, Ohio for the $600,000 Little Brown Jug brought to you by Fazoli's, which will air on CBSSN on Sept. 18 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. Eastern. Wider exposure of the major stakes has long been a goal of Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment and the Hambletonian Society, the sponsors of the Hambletonian. "Live television of the premier events has always been a top priority of the Hambletonian Society," said Tom Charters, president of the organization which owns and administrates 137 of racing's most important events. "The Hambletonian has been televised for more than 40 years and we're proud to be televised on CBS Sport Network, and pleased to see more harness racing added to the schedule." The on-air team for the Hambletonian is a stellar trio of harness racing veterans. Gary Seibel, a host of racing coverage on ESPN, NBC, CBS and TVG, will anchor the coverage. A member of harness racing's Communicators Hall of Fame, Seibel will be appearing on his 22nd straight Hambletonian broadcast. Seibel also hosted network TV coverage of the Breeders Crown, harness racing's divisional championship series, and filled a similar role for the American Championship Harness Series. Dave Brower, one of harness racing's sharpest handicappers, will co-anchor. Brower is an alumnus of "Racing from the Meadowlands" television program on SNY, Fox Sports New York, MSG Networks and TVG's "Drive Time". This will be his third year as co-host of the Hambletonian on CBS Sports Network. Brower wrote "Harnessing Winners: The Complete Guide to Handicapping Harness Races," published by Daily Racing Form's press division in 2009. Justin Horowitz returns in his role of trackside reporter. Horowitz, a former sports video-journalist in Minnesota and New York, is now the racing and media manager for Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs in New York and Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. Horowitz debuted on CBS Sports Network's Hambletonian broadcast in 2012, and was awarded a Barasch Breakthrough Award the following year for his subsequent contributions. Emmy Award winner Mike Trager and the Trager Group will produce the Hambletonian. Peter Lasser directs. CBS Sports Network (CBSSN), the 24-hour home of CBS Sports, televises 350 live games and 2,900 hours of original programming every year including CBS Sports shoulder programming, live college football, college basketball, and more from the MW, C-USA, A-10, Army, Navy, and the Patriot League. CBSSN is the home to Professional Bull Riding and Major League Lacrosse. DIRECTV (channel 221) carries CBS Sports Network in its Choice Extra package while Dish Network (158) carries CBS Sports Network in its Classic Silver 200 package. The channel is also available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite. For more information, and to access the CBS Sports Network channel finder, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com. The CBS Sports Network channel listing for Canadian television providers is as follows: Rogers - 416 SD, 547 HD Cogeco - 160 SD, 744 HD Bell Expressvu - 413 SD, 1432 HD Eastlink - Primarily 134, also found on 206, 168 Sasktel - 425 BellAliant TV - 479. by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowands        
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