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Development of model medication rules

Earlier this year, the Ohio State Racing Commission began hearing presentations from a wide variety of individuals concerning the development of model medication rules based upon scientific and fact-based analysis. "The Ohio State Racing Commission values input from all parties within both the Ohio Thoroughbred and Ohio Standardbred racing communities in order to move forward into developing a sound medication policy," said Robert K. Schmitz, OSRC Chairman. At the February OSRC meeting, Edward J. Martin, President of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and Dr. Dionne Benson, Executive Director for the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) expressed their opinions on the current research methodology and passage of model medication rules. Martin stressed his support for adoption of rules that would have all trainers in all jurisdictions racing under the same medication protocols. Martin is also in favor of out-of-competition testing of horses in order to detect possible future lameness or injuries due to racing. Dr. Benson enlightened the audience concerning the testing procedures at the RMTC-accredited Consumer Analytical Laboratory at the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture (Reynoldsburg), where all of Ohio's racehorses' blood and urine samples are tested. Six personalities from the Ohio racing industry expounded on these same issues at the OSRC March meeting. Phil Langley and Mike Tanner, representing the United States Trotting Association (USTA); Dave Basler, Executive Director of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) and Thoroughbred trainer William Cowans; along with Standardbred conditioner Virgil Morgan, Jr., and Renee Mancino, Ohio Harness Horseman's Association (OHHA) Executive Director all expressed their views on the aforementioned subjects. "Published research should be the basis for any changes to medication threshold levels,'' Basler stressed. "Medication policies should be about protecting the welfare and safety of the horse based upon science not hype. Policies should be established via a completely transparent process with input from all interested parties. We applaud the OSRC for its measured approach on this issue." Langley and Tanner discussed the need for varying rules between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred breeds, based on the variances in training and race of those equine athletes. Morgan, Jr., one of Ohio's leading harness racing conditioners, discussed the differences in training regimes between the breeds, while Macino reiterated the need for uniform rules and testing applications. Cowans, one of the Buckeye State's top Thoroughbred trainers, expressed dissatisfaction with the RMTC's process, adding that "no medication in horses? That's like saying no medication in humans." At the April 28 OSRC meeting (10 am, 19th floor, Riffe Center, 77 South High St. Columbus), five veterinarians have been invited to speak and will present their views regarding medication protocols for both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing industries. They will also provide their insight into the Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) controlled therapeutic medication proposals. The veterinarians scheduled to attend include: Dr. John Reichert, partner/practitioner at the Woodland Run Equine Clinic in Grove City. Dr. Dan Wilson, partner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic specializing in racetrack Standardbreds, equine anesthesia, and racing medications and testing. Dr. John Piehowicz, practitioner/owner at Cincinnati Equine, LLC, whose client list includes Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup winning conditioners. Dr. Brett Berthold, owner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic whose area of focus includes lameness evaluation, respiratory health and MRI. Dr. Clara Fenger, a founding member of North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians and a practitioner in central Kentucky.   Kimberly A. Rinker

John Tapp

John Tapp announces retirement after 50 years

John Tapp announced on tonight’s Sky Racing In the Gig episode that he will retire from racing broadcasting in June this year. Tapp’s last official hosting role will be on the season finale of In the Gig almost 50 years to the day after his career started at 2GB. Tapp has been one of the iconic voices of Australian racing and called more than 50,000 races over his career with his last race call in 1998. Tapp has held various hosting roles at Sky Racing since. Tapp said he will miss sharing his love of racing with the Sky audience. “Talking racing has been an absolutely joy and the people involved in racing – you can’t go past them,” Tapp said. “I can’t pinpoint a career highlight. There are so many special horses, races, trainers, jockeys and harness drivers. Every day in racing is like a new frontier and every race has its own story.” Tapp said he will continue to train harness horses in his retirement from broadcasting. “I don’t want to have too many horses, just enough that I can be hands on,” he said. “Apart from that, I will still be keenly watching everything that is happening in racing and will remain an avid Sky Racing viewer.” Tabcorp Chief Operating Officer Wagering and Media, Craig Nugent said Tapp will be dearly missed at Sky Racing. “John Tapp is a true Australian racing legend and Sky Racing is proud to have been part of his illustrious 50-year career,” Nugent said. “I wish John all the best in his retirement. It has been a privilege for the team at Sky to have worked with him.” Tapp was honoured with an Order of Australia Medal in 1996 “for service to horse sports as a national and international racecaller, and to charitable organisations as an organiser and compere of fundraising events” and was bestowed the title of Australia Post Australian Legend in 2007 when he was immortalised in a stamp series. Sky is producing a special tribute to celebrate John Tapp’s racing and media career for broadcast during his final week on-air. His last In the Gig episode will air on Sky Racing on June 16. Rebecca Ludbrook  Tabcorp

Monkey Bones  - Had to be humanely destroyed today due to the long term effects of a knee injury

Monkey Bones humanely put down

Noel and Wendy Kennard are use to the ups and the downs you suffer being involved with the harness racing industry but nothing could prepare them for what they had to do today. Monkey Bones, the distinctive grey son of Andover Hall who had really started to make a name for himself in the trotting ranks in New Zealand had to be humanely destroyed after his long running battle with ligament and tendon injuries suffered a few seasons back eventually caught up with the stallion. Noel and Wendy have known for some time that this day would come at some point but that still doesn't prepare you for the day when you have to give the vet the go ahead. It is presumed that Monkey Bones has done the splits in the paddock and tore all the ligaments and tendons in his knee. As a result Monkey Bones has gradually become more and more immobile as time passed. " We gave him everything possible down his throat and by injection to help him. " We x-rayed him before and after every season to check his status and condition. " The vet told us that last season would most likely be his last and that's how it has worked out," Noel told Harnesslink this afternoon. Noel and Wendy went to great lengths to make Monkey Bones as comfortable over the last few seasons as possible and their affection for the horse is evident when talking to them. " He had such a lovely nature and was great to do anything with." " Even when he was in pain, it never changed his nature, he was such a kind horse," Noel said Monkey Bones served a quality book of 66 mares in his last season and will still be available for many seasons to come via frozen semen. " We have enough frozen semen barring accidents to see us through a few seasons so the last hasn't been seen of Monkey Bones by any means," Noel said. We at Harnesslink would like to express our condolences to Noel and Wendy on the loss of a horse that they were obviously very close to. Harnesslink Media

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23 runners, two countries, five tracks

The All Stars Harness Racing Stables juggernaut is really hitting top gear this week with horses racing in Group  races on both sides of the Tasman.   Over the course of Thursday through Sunday, Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen will line up 23 horses at five race meetings from Addington to Menangle and most of those runners have a big winning chance.   Most interest will centre on Our Waikiki Beach in the A$322,000 Australian Pacing Gold Final at Menangle on Sunday where after drawing barrier one and the withdrawal through injury of his biggest danger in Goodtime Sammy, Our Waikiki Beach looks incredibly hard to beat.   On the same programme the All Stars barn has the rejuvenated pacer Our Smolda lining up in the Len Smith mile and while Beautide is a deserving favourite, Smolda will test him in his present form.   At Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night, the All Stars barn has two runners and both are big winning chances.   The smart two year old filly MacKenzie goes round in the $30,000 semi finals of the Australian Pacing Gold while the outstanding three year old colt Follow The Stars goes around in the $25,000 Caduceus Club Cup.   On the other side of the Tasman, the All Stars barn is represented at three meetings in New Zealand with runners in all of the big races.   At Addington on Thursday night the top two year old Chase The Dream lines up in a $25,000 heat of the New Zealand Sires Stakes which is notable for the New Zealand debut of the very smart Shane Tritton trained Salty Robyn.   Later on in the evening on Thursday night the All Stars barn is lining up Fight For Glory, Classical Art, Supersonic Miss and Linda Lovegrace in a heat of the Nevele R Fillies series and with those four top fillies involved they should dominate the race.   At Alexandra Park on Friday night, the All Stars barn have ten runners involved starting with Prince Fearless and Arya in the $80,000 Great Northern Trotting Derby in which for once the All Stars duo are probably only running for place money against Speeding Spur and Monbet.   The All Stars barn has four runners in the $150,000 Sires Stakes final for two year old fillies and three of them look big winning chances.   The unbeaten half sister to Christen Me in Dream About Me looks very hard to beat but her stiffest competition is likely to come from her stablemates Arden's Choice and Northern Velocity.   In the $100,000 New Zealand Messenger, the All Stars barn has two runners who are both big winning chances in Border Control and Isaiah.   That is followed by King Denny in the $150,000 Rowe Cup in which he looks to be a good each way chance and then in the last race of the night they have Willow, who on last weeks winning run would look a good thing in this race.   On Sunday the All Star barn have four runners in Petite One, Kept Under Wraps, Light Fingered and The Manipulator in grade races and going by their last start efforts, all four would be big winning chances.   Looking at that list of starters over five meetings in two countries with a lot of the races carrying Group status is just another reminder if one was needed of what an outstanding training partnership Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen are.   Harnesslink Media  

Outstanding New Zealand harness racing youngster Follow The Stars will make a hit-and-run mission to Melton on Friday night. Successful at Penrith last week, the pacer was sent south by trainer Mark Purdon in a bid to cover his travel costs. Follow The Stars was brought across the Tasman to accompany his open class stablemate, Smolda, which is in Australia for next week’s Len Smith Mile. “There were a couple of suitable races for him, so I thought he may as well come over with Smolda,” Purdon said. “After his run at Melton he will head back home, where I will keep him ticking along.” Although Follow The Stars will return to the Shaky Isles this weekend, Purdon declared the son of Art Major will be back Victoria in June. “He has the Vicbred later in the season, so I will be bring him back for that,” Purdon explained. As for his latest assignment, Follow The Stars is expected to make a one-act affair of the Caduceus Club Cup. Drawn perfectly in barrier three, the colt should have no trouble leading throughout the 2240-metre trip. “It’s only a small field and he appears to be the standout on paper, but there are a couple of handy ones in the race,” Purdon said. “He still has to get out there and get the job done.” PAUL COURTS

Alabar, in association with Blue Chip Farms and the Sunshine Beach Syndicate, are thrilled to announce that they have entered into a long term agreement to stand the world champion son of the great Somebeachsomewhere – Sunshine Beach at their New Zealand farm. Broodmare owners will surely agree that the timing couldn’t be better for the arrival at stud down under of a glamour son of Somebeachsomewhere. That Somebeachsomewhere is the most commercial pacing sire in North America is a given. However, it is the momentum swing with his progeny in Australia and New Zealand that is making breeders sit up and take note. It started with Menin Gate’s victory in the Victoria Derby and has just kept building. However, it was on Saturday night that Somebeachsomewhere made his biggest statement to date in this part of the world. His two star two-year-old sons - the unbeaten Waikiki Beach and Goodtime Sammy oozed class and were simply in a different league to their rivals in the APG Semi-Finals at Menangle. Breeders will be especially interested that Waikiki Beach is from a daughter of Bettor’s Delight. Intriguingly, there are only 6 foals of racing age in North America by Somebeachsomewhere out of mares by Bettor’s Delight – all 6 have won in sub-1:55 and 4 have already won over $100,000. The sires that can cross well with the burgeoning number of quality daughters of Bettor’s Delight going to stud are the sires that will have a huge head start for success.  The early indicators point to a son of Somebeachsomewhere being a very worthy candidate for this role.   Next to the $3 million winner Captaintreacherous, Sunshine Beach is the greatest son to date of Somebeachsomewhere. In fact his crowning glory is that he is the first horse ever to defeat the great Captaintreacherous. He did so as a three-year old in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine where he led with Captaintreacherous sitting outside him. At the end of a titanic stretch duel Sunshine Beach had his nose in front in a world record equalling 1:47.8. Two months later in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Final at the same Pocono Downs venue the two outstanding sons of Somebeachsomewhere met again. This time, after starting from barrier eight it was Sunshine Beach’s turn to sit outside Captaintreacherous. Another stirring stretch duel ensued, both pacers were accorded the same time but it was Captaintreacherous that got the decision. In what was an outstanding three-year-old season, Sunshine Beach also won an elimination of the Meadowlands Pace in 1:48 (third in the Final), a division of the Bluegrass at The Red Mile in 1:48.4, an elimination of the Matron Stakes in 1:50.2 (second in the Final) and, in his final start of the season, the Progress Pace in 1:50.6. Remarkably, less than 48 hours after winning the Progress Pace, Sunshine Beach went into surgery to have a four and a half centimetre stone removed from his bladder. Following this surgery he was, however, still left with a kidney stone that continued to trouble him through, and ultimately ended, his four-year-old campaign. After having been allowed time to strengthen and only lightly raced as a two-year-old (although he did win in 1:52.2 at this age), Sunshine Beach won over $900,000 as a three-year-old with fourteen sub-1:50 performances. Trainer Mark Steacy described Sunshine Beach as “a tough, gutsy horse with a big heart". He added that "Most people don't realize that Sunshine Beach raced through an extremely painful bladder stone. Even with this he was a world champion. He narrowly missed winning the Breeders Crown after being parked with no cover from the eight hole for the whole mile. Two days after winning the Progress Pace he had major surgery to remove the bladder stone. Unfortunately he was still left with a kidney stone which he was forced to race with as a four-year-old." There is a nice symmetry in Sunshine Beach coming to stand at Alabar NZ – as the champion trotter Majestic Son was also trained by Mark Steacy. So the greatest trotter and the greatest pacer he has trained will now stand alongside each other. A spectacular individual, Sunshine Beach is the best performer from the prolific Artsplace mare Light Up – the dam of five in 1:53 and four $350,000+ winners that also include Warrawee Flare (1:50.6, $609,019), Safe Harbor (1:50.2, $502,688) and Western Moonlight (p, 2, 1:52.6, $366,091). This is the incredible Golden Miss family that has already produced many successful sires including Rocknroll Hanover, Panorama, Safely Kept, Real Desire and Grinfromeartoear. Blue Chip Farm bought into Sunshine Beach at the start of his four-year-old season. He was a horse that met all their requirements as a sire and they were excited about Sunshine Beach continuing to prove himself “against any and all competition." It wasn’t to be though, luck and health deserted Sunshine Beach as a four-year-old. Even so, he did still win in 1:49 and was timed in sub 1:50 in eight of his ten starts (he also won a qualifier by 23 lengths with a 25.4 last quarter) – but if you’ve ever had a kidney stone you’ll appreciate what he had to endure and just how tough this horse must have been. However, as we all know, sometimes adversity creates opportunity. Sunshine Beach will stand at Alabar NZ for NZ$4,000 (plus GST) and will also be available in Australia for A$4,000 (incl GST).   

YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 20, 2015 - It's never simple being Yonkers Raceway harness racing track announcer John Hernan, and even less so Monday night. Hernan plied his craft through a dense fog, which made the setting more suited for ghosts and spirits than pacers and trotters. Track photographer Mike Lizzi captured the start of the evening's first race, which was eventually won by Disarrei (Mark MacDonald, $8.40) in a life-best 1:54.3. The Raceway's live schedule continues with a French-centric Tuesday (1 PM, third round of YR/SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Saturday features the two richest North American harness races of the season to date, the $529,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series and $261,000 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker. Evening simulcasting available around all nighttime programs, with afternoon simulcasting daily. Frank Drucker

CAMPBELLVILLE, April 20 - Three-year-old trotters were on display Monday night at Mohawk Racetrack in a trio of Tie Silk harness racing series first leg divisions. A group of 23 sophomore trotting colts and geldings were split into three $15,000 divisions for the first round of the Tie Silk. The trotters not only had to battle with each other Monday evening, but also heavy winds blowing in their face down the lane. In the first division, the Pennsylvania invader Great Magic was victorious in 1:58.3. Driven by Trevor Henry, Great Magic grabbed the early lead and would face his first challenger down the backstretch in the form of Raising Richard and trainer/driver Eddie Green. Raising Richard would be unable to get by the leader and would eventually make a break nearing the three-quarter pole. After putting away the first up challenger, Great Magic open up several lengths on his rivals in the lane and trotted on to a 3 ¼ length victory. Guscrest got up for second, while Amityville Lindy overcame a pair of breaks to finish third. A son of Kadabra, Great Magic shipped up north from the Meadows for the Tie Silk and into the care of trainer Paul Reid for owner Robert Key. The sophomore trotter came into Monday evening's contest with three wins in his last four starts. Great Magic, who did not win a race in two starts as a rookie, now has a 2015 record of four wins from nine starts. His earnings now exceed $44,000. Great Magic paid $6.40 to win. Tarot and driver Randy Waples scored a 1:56.4 victory as the 7/5 favourite in the evening's second division. A son of Taurus Dream, Tarot trotted out to the early lead, while Arrakis was to his outside around the opening turn. Waples would make a give and go move by allowing Arrakis to clear in the second-quarter, but circled back to the lead with Tarot. The favourite would look strong around the final turn and reach the three-quarter pole in 1:26.2. In the stretch, Tarot was under no pressure and trotted home to win by a comfortable two lengths over Hemi Seelster. In Secret, the 9/5 second choice, finished third. Tarot, who is trained by Dave Tyrrell for owner Michael Casalino Jr, failed to win a race in 11 starts last season, but the gelding's luck has turned right around this year. The Tyrrell trainee now has five wins from 9 starts and earnings of over $46,000 in 2015. A $2 win ticket on Tarot returned $4.80. In the third and final division, Waples would pick up his second Tie Silk victory of the night with 1/9 shot Covert Operative. The heavy favourite got away in third and would trot along in that position until about the midway point. Covert Operative and Waples came first up around the final turn to challenge the leader Duh Bubbees. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:29.3, the two trotters would come off the final turn and battle it out down the stretch. Duh Bubbees tried his best to fend off the heavy choice in the lane, but Covert Operative would ultimately overtake the lead and prevail by a length in 1:59.2 Its Huw You Know, the longest shot on the board at 45/1, finished third. A son of Deweycheatumnhowe, Covert Operative is trained by Per Henrisken for owners Andrea Lea Racingstables Inc. and Asa Farm. The gelding trotter came into Monday night's Tie Silk opening leg with two wins from three starts this season. Covert Operative now has a career bankroll of $32,650. The Henriksen trainee paid $2.30 to win. In order to be eligible to the Tie Silk series, the three-year-old colt and gelding trotters had to be non-winners of $30,000 in 2014. The second leg of the Tie Silk will take place next Monday night (April 27). Changes to Mohawk qualifying schedule The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to inform harness racing people of upcoming changes to the Mohawk qualifying schedule. Beginning on Monday, April 27, two qualifying sessions will be held each week at Mohawk Racetrack. Qualifiers will take place every Monday and Friday until the end of May. Starting in June, the qualifying schedule will shift to Tuesdays and Fridays. Two-year-old baby races will be added to the qualifying lineup beginning on Saturday, June 6. Baby races will take place each Saturday, except June 20, until July 4. Post time for all qualifying sessions is 10 a.m. Below is a list of upcoming qualifying dates at Mohawk. Thursday, April 23 - 10 a.m. Monday, April 27 - 10 a.m. Friday, May 1 - 10 a.m. Monday, May 4 - 10 a.m. Friday, May 8 - 10 a.m. Mark McKelvie

Highly respected harness racing trainer David Aiken acknowledges his horse Lennytheshark is facing somewhat of an impossible task on Sunday afternoon when he competes against Beautide in the Gr. 1 Len Smith Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Lennytheshark was impressive on Saturday night at Melton when winning at his first run back since finishing sixth in the Inter Dominion behind Beautide but Aiken admitted this week it is a different 'kettle of fish'. "It is going to be hard to topple Beautide on what he did at Menangle last start but I'm really happy with Lennytheshark and he's ready to go," Aiken said. "Chris Alford was happy on Saturday night, Lenny never travels on the bit but Chris didn't have to pull the pull downs in the run to the line so we couldn't have asked much more of the horse, he got the job done." Lennytheshark had a week's break after his Inter Dominion performance and when he returned to Aiken's stable he developed a cough. "It had been pretty dry and dusty at my place and Lenny had a cough for about a week which put us behind a little bit, ideally he would have had two trials and one run before the Len Smith Mile and as a result he missed out on one of the two trials but he is where I want him now anyway." "It was just a sprint home on Saturday night and he is a very athletic individual so he will take some from benefit from it for sure." Lennytheshark has been victorious at the highest level at Menangle in the past. The son of Four Starzzz Shark won the New South Wales Derby in 2013 when trained by John Justice. Aiken is unsure of what direction he will take with Lennytheshark after Sunday. "I need to sit down with the owner and discuss what we are going to do with him, he has only had five runs this season and while he has had some injuries in the past, he is really good at the moment." "The options on the table are obviously Queensland for the winter carnival or we get him ready for the Inter Dominion series in Western Australia but we need to get Sunday out of the way first." At Tabcorp Park Menangle ten horses have beaten Beautide home in a race and of Sunday's opposition only Monifieth has achieved the feat but Aiken is hoping Lennytheshark can join the small group. "Beautide is a special horse but we are going to be doing our best this Sunday and hopefully that will be good enough." Greg Hayes

London, April 19, 2015 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District will have its 2015 Wall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday, May 15th and, for the first time, the prestigious honour will go to a horse rather than a human recipient. The incomparable Camluck, who has long resided at Seelster Farms in nearby Lucan, will be honoured during a ceremony that night in recognition of his remarkable contributions both on the race track and as a sire. The son of legendary Cam Fella became one of the fastest horses of his generation by virtue of his 1:48.4 time trial effort in 1992 at Lexington’s Red Mile. Over the course of his brilliant racing career, he earned more than $1 million while facing one of the very best older pacing crops of all-time that included the likes of Artsplace, Staying Together, Cambest, Silver Almahurst and Odds Against just to name a few. However, it was in the breeding shed, where Camluck made his greatest impact and stamped himself as one of the greatest pacing stallions in harness racing history. From 2332 foals, Camluck produced just shy of 1,600 race winners and he retired recently with overall offspring earnings of $218,771,118. His average earnings per starter was $118,768 and he produced 28 starters who banked more than $1 million and 62 performers who took a record of 1:50 or better. Wall of Fame Night will also feature the kick off race in this year’s Racing Under Saddle (RUS) series in Ontario. Fans will have a chance to watch and wager on the event as well as meet and greet with the riders and take part in the different promotions offered that night. The RUS series, sanctioned by the Ontario Racing Commission in 2014, is in its second full season in Ontario and has been growing in popularity.  Visit www.rusontario.com for more details. There will also be a pair of mini races scheduled that same night – one galloping and one gaited – as part of the fun. The Raceway’s signature event, the $150,000 Molson Pace, is slated for Friday, May 29th. Defending champion State Treasurer has recently qualified and is expected back in search of a first-ever Molson three-peat.  The Molson Pace will once again be contested as an Invitational and more details on potential starters, along with the various promotions being planned, will be announced soon. Greg Blanchard  

Well respected harness racing trainer/driver Peter Greig must have wondered weather all his bad luck had come at once when he had a night at Albion Park on Saturday night that he will never forget.   The Queensland Police raided Albion Park Raceway on Saturday night executing a search warrant for drugs on horse trainers and drivers.   When they came to Peter Greig in the stabling area, he objected to the widespread searching of bags and people and by all accounts was very close to being arrested at one point.   In the end the Police slapped Peter Grieg with an infringement notice for allegedly obstructing a sniffer dog from inspecting a bag.   A spokesman for Queensland police confirmed that no drugs were found during the extensive search and no arrests were made as a result of last nights operation.   Mr Farquharson defended the searches when spoken to last night.   “We have had several incidents in the recent  past where cocaine has been found so we want to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” Mr Farquharson said.   If the night had started badly for Peter Grieg, it got worse in race 4, the $50,000 Autumn Staryers Cup where Peter was driving Major Moment for Grant Dixon.   Away well from barrier one on the 20 metres mark, Major Moment was making good progress through the strung out field when Swarovski who had can canned away from barrier one and run up the track a touch, came back down the track and collected Major Moment who was in full flight, tipping Peter Grieg out of the bike in spectacular fashion.   Peter was able to walk to the ambulance but at this time we have no further information as to how Peter is.   We here at Harnesslink wish Peter a speedy recovery safe in the knowledge that he has just used up all his bad luck for this year in one night.   Harnesslink Media 

The words echoed around The Parkway Hotel in Dunmanway, Ireland on Friday night last. “We have left the past behind us and look forward to a new era in our sport,” Chairman Con O’Sullivan spoke at the General Meeting of The Irish Trotting and Harness Racing Federation (ITHRF), the governing body of the sport in the Southern Region of Ireland and one of the three clubs that comprise The Irish Harness Racing Club. A feel good factor not seen in many years greeted those words. The region where racing  dates back over 150 years and where the ITHRF represention has suffered in recent years through the recession and a break away by members forming a rival club (which is now defunct). But members of the ITHRF stuck together and saw off all these problems. To quote from a saying “the solution comes from within” set the wheels in motion and the key to the way forward came in the ITHRF securing a lease on The Manch Grass Racing venue described by purists in the sport as the best grass Harness Racing venue bar none in Ireland . The venue will complement the existing grass venues including Drimoleague, Ballabuidhe, Clonakilty and Gloun to mention just a few. In Wales they boast of the green green grass in Tregaron and the superb Aberystwyth track (both grass venues) and not to out done by our Welsh cousins, Manch will hold their measure any day of the week . The venue which last saw racing back in 2007/2008 is owned by the Duggan family and they have agreed to lease the venue to the ITHRF from mid-July. This will allow the owners, who operate the facility as a working farm, to harvest and then turn it into a premier harness racing venue . It is planned to stage 5 top class meetings at the venue and with the quality of the surface the imported French trotters, which are part of the Le Trot series, will have an opportunity to race on the turf and along with the pacers, will see mixed programs of racing. The ITHRF are also looking at purchasing a site to build an all-weather hard track to replace the now defunct Central track in Leap and the plan is to have this facility owned by the members of the club which would be a first in both Ireland and the UK. With Portmarnock in Dublin seeing further development the future looks bright for harness racing fans in Ireland. Back to another old phrase “A rising tide lifts all boats” and it looks as if the tide is set to lift harness racing in Ireland to a new plateau. The ITHRF is looking to the future, “Onwards and upwards” and never forget its “Our Club Our Sport!” By Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink.com

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 18, 2015 -- No one knows if P H Supercam actually bowls, but he did complete a perfect game Saturday night. Last season's defending series champ was this season's only perfect preliminary-round participant in Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Thus, his score is 300, as in 50 points for each of his four series wins and 25 points for each of his four series appearances. As a result of his late-frame heroics in the second of Round 5's three divisions. P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) become harness racing's newest millionaire. Starting from post position No. 5 after getting last week off, P H Supercam settled fourth, in front of longshot National Debt (Eric Carlson). He saw Lucan Hanover (Tim Tetrick), who was rebuffed by Clear Vision at the half a week ago, get stung by that one here. It was Clear Vision (George Brennan) forcing "Lucan" into a brisk, :26.4 opening quarter-mile. After a :56.3 intermission, 8-5 choice Beach Memories (Dan Dube) move from third, while "Supercam" was content to sit and watch. Lucan Hanover maintained the advantage in and out of the 1:24.2 three-quarters, but Beach Memories was continuing to invade. Meanwhile, P H Supercam, minding his business until now, decided to slip out. He went wide and snapped a stubborn Lucan Hanover late, winning by a head in 1:52.3. Third went to a pocketed Clear Vision, with National Debt fourth and Beach Memories fifth. For P H Supercam, an 8-year-old Million Dollar Cam gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was his sixth win in nine seasonal starts (career 45-for-163 with earnings of $1,012,291). The exacta paid $25, with the triple returning $102.50. "He's as good now as he's ever been," Bartlett said. "Tonight, I saw the leaders getting tired and I thought I had a shot to go in the passing lane. In the end, I figured it was safer just to move him outside. "Last season, he had to earn the respect. This season, he has it." Odds-on choice Take it Back Terry (George Brennan, $3.40) was both hard-used and solid in the final series prelim event. Seemingly disinterested in leaving until he saw Windsong Song (Brian Sears) with the same idea, "Terry" then whistled around Westchester :26.4, :55.3, 1:23.4, 1:51.4). Domethatgain (Dube) was a second-choice second, beaten 1¾ lengths, with Texican N (Carlson) third. For "Terry," a 6-year-old Western Terror gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura, he's now 5-for-13 this season (3-for-4 in series). The exacta paid $6.20, with the triple returning $72.50. The evening's opening series event was handily won by a first-up favorite Mach it So (Tetrick, $5.20) in 1:52.4. From post No. 4, Mach it So saw a retaking Heez Orl Black N (Shaun Vallee) lead through soft early intervals of :27.1 and :57.2. However, he couldn't stave off Mach it So, who, moving from fourth, was up, over and gone (1:24.2, 1:52.4). The final margin was a length-and-a-quarter over Dancin' Yankee (Brett Miller), with Polak A (Sears) third. For Mach it So, a 5-year-old Mach Three gelding trained by Bamond Jr. for owner Bamond Racing, it was his first win in five '15 tries. The exacta paid $24.80, with the triple returning $113.50. Series standings, through all five preliminary rounds...1-P H Supercam (300 points), 2-Take it Back Terry (275), 3-Beach Memories (230), 4-Mach it So (229), 5-Fat Man's Alley (220), 6-Domethatagain (218), 7t-Lucan Hanover, Polak A and Windsong Jack (212). Note the three-way "dead-heat" for seventh, which has to be broken by lot. Also note that these are not necessarily the finalists. The determination of the field shall be made by the race office based upon series rules regarding multiple horses for owner and/or trainer (if applicable after review) Finals for the Blue Chip Matchmaker (purse $261,000) and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series ($529,000) are set for Saturday, Apr. 25--the two richest North American races of the season to date--and are to be drawn Tuesday morning (Apr. 21) Saturday night's $42,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by 2013 Yonkers Trot champ Dewycolorintheline (Jordan Stratton, $20.20) in 1:57. The Raceway's live season continues Monday night (post time 7:10 PM), a French-centric Tuesday (1 PM, third round of YR/SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting available around all nighttime programs, with afternoon simulcasting daily. Frank Drucker

Pompano Beach, FL...April 18, 2015...In a three way calvary charge to the wire, Duc Dorleans edged out Panocchio and Cruizin K C in a seasonal best 1:50.3 performance for harness racing trainer-driver Donald Dupont at Pompano Park on Saturday night (April 18).   The five year-old altered son of Shanghai Phil, forced to abandon his usual front stepping style, came from sixth halfway through the mile, fanned widest of all turning for home and just did nail the victory in the final stride.   Panocchio's nose was, indeed, a "nose" short this time around with Cruizin K C just a neck off the winner after pushing his nose in front around the final turn at odds of 45 to 1.   Neptune, pacing the fastest final panel in the field, finished fourth, just three parts of a length away, with Steelhead Hanover picking up the nickel in the field of nine.   At the outset, Steelhead Hanover, with Joe Pavia, Jr. driving, left with his usual alacrity to take the field to the opener in:26.3 with Panocchio and Bruce Ranger on the attack and taking over shortly after that initial quarter.   Panocchio took the field halfway home in :54.3 but, on the backside, Mark O'Mara had Cruizin K C cruising in high gear and his individual backside quarter of :26.4 enabled him to stick his nose in front at the third station, timed in 1:22.1.   In the lane, these two dueled ferociously, only to be joined by Duc Dorleans a sixteenth out with the trio hitting the wire together.   In a post race interview, driver Donald Dupont said, "With all of the action early on both inside and outside, I didn't think it would be prudent to get in a battle early, so, this time, I took back...not something I really wanted to do.   "I wanted to follow Mark O'Mara (Cruizin K C) when he pulled but his horse can really brush hard and it was hard for me to keep up with him brushing like that. When we turned for home, I just went widest of all and hoped we could get there.   "He is a very game and handy horse and he proved his merit again tonight."   In achieving his sixth win of the year in 12 starts, Duc Dorleans pushed his 2015 bounty to $49,858 and $450,654 lifetime for owners Gestion Levesque 2005 Inc. and Les Ecuries Dorleans, Inc.   As fourth choice on the tote-board, Duc Dorleans paid $13.00 to win.   Pompano Park also hosted opening round action in the C.K.G. Billings Series, an event held at many North American tracks honoring the memory of Billings, owner of the sport's first 2:00 trotter, Lou Dillon, in 1903.   When the "Official" signs were posted, Joe Pennacchio and Steve Oldford came off with the victories in their respective events.   Pennacchio took the Billings pace with Terrys Star Dragon, wiring his competition with a 1:55.2 performance, the winning margin 3 1/2 lengths over Fox Valley Christo (Anthony Verruso) with Flashy (Hannah Miller) rallying from last turning for home to get third. Master Of Puppets (Steve Oldford) was fourth while Clive Hanover (John Campagnuolo) picked up the final award.   Pennacchio, who had 145 wins going into tonight's action, picked up his fourth lifetime victory back of a "sidewheeler" and first back of a pacer since July of 2012, giving Terrys Star Dragon perfect rating--:28.3, :58.1 and 1:26.1--en route to a 1:55.2 win on behalf of owners Fred Morosini and Mike Deters. It was the pacer's third straight win and 50th triumph lifetime, sending the 10 year-old's career bounty to $479,614.   Pennacchio summed up his win by saying, "It was pretty un-eventful. I did just what this horse likes to do. I followed HIS orders tonight...and it worked out great for both of us. He made ME look good!"   Terrys Star Dragon paid $3.20 to win.   Oldford got his 101st lifetime victory with his own Insider Access, this five year-old getting his initial win of the year, this victory--only his fifth lifetime--in 1:58.3   Northern Inferno (Robert Krivelin) finished second over Victors Cowboy Joe (Dein Spriggs) with Maggies Bed (Peter Gerry) fourth and Super Duke (John Campagnuolo) recovering from an early miscue to finish fifth.   After the event, Oldford said, "It was a dream trip tonight. We got away in good order (third) and then got fortunate to find some room when Dein's (Spriggs) horse (Victors Cowboy Joe) rushed up on the backside. I found some room once he settled in back of the leader and wore 'em down in the lane."   Insider Access paid $9.00 as the third choice and sent his career earnings to $112,616.   In Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, the 2-4-6-5-8 winning combination paid a $213.84 dividend for the 20 cent investment, sending the carryover to Monday's program close to $145,000.   Post time is 7:30 p.m.   by John Berry for Pompano Park      

CAMPBELLVILE, April 18 - The photo finish camera got put to work to decide a highly entertaining second leg of the harness racing Don Mills Trotting Series Saturday night at Mohawk. A field of 11 four and five-year-old trotters battled it out in the lone $20,000 division and all eyes were on the 2/5 favourite Bourbon Bay. The heavy-favourite came into Saturday's Don Mills second leg off a victory in round one and was undefeated in six starts this season on the WEG circuit. However, that undefeated streak would come to an end Saturday, as Exemplar at odds of 23/1 got up just in time to nail Bourbon Bay at the wire and prevail by the narrowest of margins. Driven by Mike Saftic, Bourbon Bay showed early speed to grab his usual position on the front-end. Down the backstretch, Wild And Crazy Guy, the other first leg winner, came up to engage the favourite and would eventually overtake the lead through a solid opening-half of :55.4. Around the final turn, Exemplar and driver Trevor Henry came off the rail from their position in fourth to make a move on the outside, while Bourbon Bay came out of the two-hole nearing the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, Bourbon Bay had retaken the lead and tried to take off from his rivals. Exemplar didn't appear to be a big threat towards the leader halfway down the lane, but the 23/1 longshot dug deep and trotted up the middle to nail Bourbon Bay at the wire in 1:53.3. The photo finish camera confirmed that Exemplar had prevailed by a nose to hand Bourbon Bay his first loss on the WEG circuit. Etruscan Hanover finished second, while Sheer Flex was fourth. A five-year-old son of Andover Hall, Exemplar, who finished third in an opening leg division, is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Andrea Lea Racingstables Inc. and Asa Farm. The 1:53.3 victory is a new career-mark for Exemplar and is the ninth win of his career. The gelding now has a 2015 record of three wins from 11 starts and earnings of $34,400. Exemplar's career bankroll now sits at over $121,000. The Moreau trainee returned $48.50 to win. The Don Mills Trotting Series will come to a close next Saturday with the $44,400 final. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie

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Earlier this year, the Ohio State Racing Commission began hearing presentations from a wide variety of individuals concerning the development of model medication rules based upon scientific and fact-based analysis. "The Ohio State Racing Commission values input from all parties within both the Ohio Thoroughbred and Ohio Standardbred racing communities in order to move forward into developing a sound medication policy," said Robert K. Schmitz, OSRC Chairman. At the February OSRC meeting, Edward J. Martin, President of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and Dr. Dionne Benson, Executive Director for the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) expressed their opinions on the current research methodology and passage of model medication rules. Martin stressed his support for adoption of rules that would have all trainers in all jurisdictions racing under the same medication protocols. Martin is also in favor of out-of-competition testing of horses in order to detect possible future lameness or injuries due to racing. Dr. Benson enlightened the audience concerning the testing procedures at the RMTC-accredited Consumer Analytical Laboratory at the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture (Reynoldsburg), where all of Ohio's racehorses' blood and urine samples are tested. Six personalities from the Ohio racing industry expounded on these same issues at the OSRC March meeting. Phil Langley and Mike Tanner, representing the United States Trotting Association (USTA); Dave Basler, Executive Director of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) and Thoroughbred trainer William Cowans; along with Standardbred conditioner Virgil Morgan, Jr., and Renee Mancino, Ohio Harness Horseman's Association (OHHA) Executive Director all expressed their views on the aforementioned subjects. "Published research should be the basis for any changes to medication threshold levels,'' Basler stressed. "Medication policies should be about protecting the welfare and safety of the horse based upon science not hype. Policies should be established via a completely transparent process with input from all interested parties. We applaud the OSRC for its measured approach on this issue." Langley and Tanner discussed the need for varying rules between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred breeds, based on the variances in training and race of those equine athletes. Morgan, Jr., one of Ohio's leading harness racing conditioners, discussed the differences in training regimes between the breeds, while Macino reiterated the need for uniform rules and testing applications. Cowans, one of the Buckeye State's top Thoroughbred trainers, expressed dissatisfaction with the RMTC's process, adding that "no medication in horses? That's like saying no medication in humans." At the April 28 OSRC meeting (10 am, 19th floor, Riffe Center, 77 South High St. Columbus), five veterinarians have been invited to speak and will present their views regarding medication protocols for both the Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing industries. They will also provide their insight into the Racing Commissioners International (RCI) and Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) controlled therapeutic medication proposals. The veterinarians scheduled to attend include: Dr. John Reichert, partner/practitioner at the Woodland Run Equine Clinic in Grove City. Dr. Dan Wilson, partner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic specializing in racetrack Standardbreds, equine anesthesia, and racing medications and testing. Dr. John Piehowicz, practitioner/owner at Cincinnati Equine, LLC, whose client list includes Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup winning conditioners. Dr. Brett Berthold, owner/practitioner at the Cleveland Equine Clinic whose area of focus includes lameness evaluation, respiratory health and MRI. Dr. Clara Fenger, a founding member of North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians and a practitioner in central Kentucky.   Kimberly A. Rinker
Pompano Beach, Fl...April 20, 2015...Lucy's Pearl, fresh off of a seasonal best 1:51.4 win in conditioned company one week ago and stepping up to the top harness racing class this night, scored a handy win in Pompano Park's $10,000 Open Handicap Pace for Mares in 1:52.1 on Monday (April 20). Confidently handled by Wally Hennessey, the four year-old daughter of Well Said, owned by Elizabeth Novak along with trainer Ron Gurfein, darted first out of the gate and then yielded--briefly--at the opening station in :27.3. She then retook command just a few long strides later and controlled the proceedings the rest of the journey, clocking fractions of :56.2 and 1:24.2 before a :27.4 sprint home sealed the deal in 1:52.1 over a track dulled by heavy rains prior to post time. All Charged Up, driven by Kevin Wallis, finish second, 1 1/4 lengths back while Limelight and Dave Ingraham teamed up to be third. The early pacesetter, Senorita Santanna, did finish fourth with Mach Me Not rallying from last turning for home to pick up the final award in the field of seven. In a post race interview, driver Hennessey related, "This is the first time I have driven this mare and she raced giant from off the pace for Steve (Condren) last week. Ronnie (trainer Gurfein) said, 'don't be afraid to put her on the lead...she's won half her races that way.' So, I thought, 'let me leave a little with her.' "When Joe's (Pavia) mare (Senorita Santanna) went by, I thought it would be a good idea to re-take and try to control the pace. She went a big mile on this track, which may have been a tick or two off because of the weather." For Lucy's Pearl, it was her second win in only four starts this year--13th win lifetime--and sent the classy mare's career earnings to $191,986. Her step up in class didn't seem to bother the wagering public, who sent sent her off as the 7 to 5 choice providing a $4.80 mutuel. One race later, Fashion Ruffles, driven by Dave Ingraham, pulled off an 18 to 1 upset in the co-featured pace for mares, scoring in a lifetime best 1:52.3. Pacific Date, with Aaron Byron aboard, was second, a half length away, with Cheap N Easy and Joe Pavia, Jr. teaming up for show honors. Sinspirational and Artful Impulse annexed the final two awards in the field of nine. Fashion Ruffles, a seven year-old daughter of Village Jolt, owned by Patricia Connor along with trainer Kelly Case, was biding her time early as there were several lead changes during hot panels of :26.3, :54.1 and 1:22.4 with Fiesta Camcun, Sinspirational, Artful Impulse and, finally, Pacific Date mixing it up big time. Turning for home, Pacific Date, on a three wide binge, stuck her head in front with Sinspirational between horses and Artful Impulse still battling on the inside. But Fashion Ruffles, on a double-bubble surge of her own around the final bend, had the most at the end, scoring the narrow victory--her second of the year in six starts. Her winning time was two full seconds better than her previous mark and sent her lifetime earnings over the century mark--$103,177 to be exact. She rewarded her followers with a $38.20 mutuel and her win was the key component is the Pick-5 payout of $2,446.25 for a 50 cent investment. In Monday night's trotting feature, Renaldo Morales III piloted Ted Berry's Teezer Bree to his first win of the year in 1:56.4, significant inasmuch as the track's Pick-4 was unscathed, setting up a $25,000 guarantee for Wednesday night's Pick-4. Finally, in Pompano Park's Super Hi-5, the winning 20 cent combination of 5-1-7-3-4 produced two winning tickets, each paying $2,684.38, pushing the carryover into the mid-week program into record territory--vaulting over $150,000. Post time is 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Ronnie Wrenn Jr., winner of more races than any other harness racing driver in North America in both 2013 and 2014 was at it again on Monday (April 20) at Northfield Park. He won four races on the 15-race program including both the $13,000 Open Pace and $13,000 Open Trot. Rockin Finish was impressive in winning the evening's Open Pace. Virgil Morgan Jr. trains the six year-old gelding for Canadian owner Gerrie Tucker. Rockin Finish (Rocknroll Hanover - Please Me Please - Camluck) started from the far outside and was parked every step while his competition carved stiff fractions of :26.2, :55.1 and 1:23.4. Rockin Finish struck the lead in the stretch and bested his competition by a half-length, in 1:53.4. Completing the race were Fancy Creek Elusive, Hotunderthecollar, Action Metro Max, Solar Surprise and Artist Night. Espen De Vie did not finish. Monday's triumph was the fourth win in 13 starts this year for Rockin Finish. It increased his lifetime win tally to 25 and his earnings to $376,947. He returned $17.60 to win. Victory Is Coming was the winner of the weekly Open Trot. Betty and John Shaw own the eight year-old. Ammon Hershberger conditions the buckeye-bred trotting mare. Victory Is Coming (Victory Sam - Norse Comer - Overcomer) left alertly from post four and led her competition at every call. She set well-rated fractions of :28.1, :58, 1:27.1 and 1:55.4 and was 2 1/2-lengths in front at the finish. Completing the race were Edit, Julians Caesar, Easy Strength, Zorgwijk Mercedes, Viewlander, Kirty Dream and Mama Made Me Blue. Victory Is Coming now has three wins in seven starts this year, 53 career successes and a bankroll of $584,595. She was the heavy favorite and paid $2.80 to win. Ayers Ratliff  
WASHINGTON, PA, April 20, 2015 — Chef Lee completed his sweep of the Tamarind Trot for 3-year-old colts and geldings when he dug in late to capture Monday’s $35,800 harness racing championship at The Meadows. Chef Lee moved to the lead before the quarter and took the field through what appeared to be a comfortable 1:28.4 three-quarters. But when Simeon angled off the pylons from third for the stretch drive, the battle was on. Chef Lee found more for Mike Wilder and downed Simeon by a nose in 1:58, with Flying Muscles third. “I probably should have let my horse sprint a little quicker, but I thought I was okay,” said Wilder, who piloted three winners on the 14-race card. “I pulled the plugs at the top of the stretch, and I got after him as much as I ever do, which is just peck at him. He was giving me all he had at the wire.” Chef Lee’s victory was especially meaningful for owner/trainer Norm Parker, who selected Chef Lee for his uncle, longtime Standardbred owner Rex Lee Parker, and purchased the gelded son of Cantab Hall-Summer Savory at Lexington as a yearling. “Uncle Rex told me I could bid up to $12,000,” Norm Parker said, “and that’s exactly what we gave for him.” When the elder Parker was diagnosed with cancer, he willed his Standardbreds to his nephew. At the time of Rex Lee Parker’s death in October 2014, Chef Lee was the only horse remaining in his stable. Rex Lee Parker never got to see his final horse win, as Chef Lee didn’t take a mark in 10 starts at 2 while remaining competitive in stakes company. “Where I raced him made a difference,” Norm Parker said. “He was in stake races most of the year, and I thought he had a chance to be a really nice horse. This year, he started out with the kind of horses he’s able to beat.” Chef Lee is undefeated in four 2015 outings and likely will be placed more judiciously. “He’ll be in Pennsylvania stuff,” Norm Parker said. “We’ll see whether we go sires or stallion series.” He views Chef Lee as a cherished connection to his late uncle. For one thing, Dwane Parker — Norm’s dad and Rex Lee’s brother — comes to the Parker stable almost daily to check up on Chef Lee. And Norm Parker feels something even stronger. “Uncle Rex is looking down on us,” he said. “Something’s going right, so we’ll say he has a little bit to do with it.” Tuesday’s card at The Meadows features the $32,800 championship of the Visible Gold Pace for sophomore colts and geldings, which goes as race 9. First post is 12:55 PM. Evan Pattak
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