Pascia’Lest, harness racing

Pascia'Lest upsets in Prix de l'Atlantique

Hippodrome Enghien in France today played host to the Gr. I International Prix de l'Atlantique with a 200,000e purse over the 2150 meters autostart sprinter distance (1-5/16 miles). Italy's Pascia'Lest (5m Varenne-Superiors Sun-Diamond Way) prevailed in a race record 1.11.3kr as he received a perfect pocket trip from reinsman Enrico Bellei for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin and owner Samuele Querci. The winner was off at 10/1 odds and scored his 13th career win now for earnings of 919,382e. Bellei was able to take the early lead away from Univers de Pan (Philippe Daugeard). In front briefly, the winner then pocketed when Univers de Pan was quick on the retake. Timoko sat third for Pierre Vercruysse but could not keep with the leading pair in the drive. Bellei waited and then sprung to the attack, finally gaining superiority as the wire approached. Univers de Pan was a brave second with Caballion third but disqualified. Tiego d'Etang was placed third for Christian Bigeon with Timoko and Olmo Holz awarded spots four and five. In the beaten field were Quinoa du Gers (sixth), Quoumba de Guez (eighth) and Roxane Griff (a fading ninth). Pascia'Lest has been under the tutelage of Thierry Duvaldestin since November, but had never passed the winning pole for the new trainer until today, and in a superb manner. Duvaldestin was at Saint -Malo today and posted four winning drives with his pupils. Pascia'Lest became one of the sprinter kings of Enghien- Soisy, including Main Wise As and Exploit Caf , other Italian champions that had won the "Atlantic " in their racing careers. This son of Varenne , timed today in 1.11.3kr, set a track record for the event , which had been held by Jag de Bellouet with 1.11.4kr in 2005. April 19, 2014 Enghien, Prix de l'Atlantique, UET Masters Series Gr. I International, 2150 meters autostart, 200,000e, 1.11.3kr new race record Fractions: 1.12.3kr at 1000; 1.11.6kr at 500 1st Pascia'Lest (5m Varenne-Superiors Sun-Diamond Way), Enrico Bellei up for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin, 10/1 Italy, his 13th career win 2nd Univers de Pan (6m Kenya du Pont-Gypsilore), Philippe Daugeard trainer/driver, 9/10 favorite 3rd Tiego d'Etang (7m Chaillot-Harolene), Christian Bigeon driver/trainer, 9/1 4th Timoko (7m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces), Pierre Vercruysse, 9/1 5th Olmo Holz (6m Uronometro-Veuve du Kros), Christophe Martens, Italy, 11/1 by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

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BetAmerica could be your best bet in an ADW

BetAmerica has been around since 2007. They were the first ADW (advance deposit wagering) site to be licensed in the state of California. BetAmerica is the largest independent ADW in that they do not own a television station or a racetrack and they are the 4th largest adw in North America.   Bet America has many features to keep their customers happy. They have over 200 racetracks to bet on. There is free live video of races and replays. There is a cash back program for over 150 tracks. There are no monthly fees, no membership fees, no fees at all.   BetAmerica is always working hard to keep their customers happy with specials all the time.  They have a 100% matching sign up bonus up to $300. This is the largest bonus of all the adw's.  There is a $50 referral bonus for every friend you get to sign up.   They have a special feature called pro picks. It is one click wagering. They have a special group of handicappers who make their selections available. The picks are available within the wagering pad. Click on the pro pick tab and you see the picks, and with just one click it is added to your wagers.   BetAmerica has a special everyday for you. They have maniac Monday. On Tuesday it is trifecta Tuesday. In April they are doing watch your email Wednesday. They do facebook promos on Thursday. There is always a different special every Saturday.   This month it focuses on the Kentucky Derby. If you have a Winning Win Bet of $10 or more in some of April’s biggest races, they we'll give you a $10 Free Bet for the Kentucky Derby. Sunday is Woodbine Super Sunday. BetAmerica prides itself on keeping it's customers happy. Customer service is #1 in importance to them.   "I love wagering with BetAmerica due to the ease of ACH deposit/withdrawal options, the great betting menu with many of racing greatest venues & THE best customer service support around. They take great care of the player, with excellent rewards."-Scott from Minnesota   "I play BetAmerica because a percentage of every wager goes to a licensed charity in North Dakota, they are US based, and the VIP program is the best."-Steve from Ohio   "Unlike some other sites where you have to wait for your deposit bonus: when BetAmerica says they match the 100% bonus, they mean it. I deposited my first $300 and my bonus money was added to my account as my first bet race went official. Plus as a Standardbred owner, I can see my mare race even if I can't get to the track,"- Ryan Dickey, Firehouse Racing These are some of the testimonials that show how BetAmerica keeps their customers happy.   BetAmerica is U.S. based, licensed and regulated. They are in full compliance with all state and federal regulations. They are safe and secure in handling of all your information. There are no hidden costs or fees.   There are so many reasons as a bettor you should join BetAmerica today. As a horse bettor your best value is at BetAmerica. They pride themselves on customer satisfaction. They care more and give more than the big guys do.   And the sexy woman in their ads is very eye-catching too! by Brian McEvoy, for Harnesslink.com

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Adore Me highlights All Stars night

Even a break down on the way to the races couldn’t stop leading trainers’ Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen from dominating another Premier nights racing at Addington. “It wasn’t an ideal start to the night but things quickly came right,” laughed Natalie Rasmussen. “Luckily, Majestic Horse Floats were able to get all of our horses there on time,” she added. The All Stars team was then successful in five of the twelve races, with Adore Me’s victory in the $100,000 Group One Easter Cup the clear highlight. Driven superbly by stand in driver Blair Orange, the champion mare began well from her ten metre handicap and soon after looped the field to take up the front running position. She then enjoyed a nice run in the van before kicking strongly in the home straight to easily hold off a long sustained run from last year’s Easter Cup winner, Terror To Love. The All Stars’ Arden Rooney, who was driven by Natalie Rasmussen, finished a further nose away in third. “Tactics were always going to be crucial in a small horse field and after she began so well I decided to make the most of her ten metre advantage over Terror,” said driver Blair Orange. “She travelled right up on the bridle the whole way and never seemed in doubt. “She is definitely right up there with Auckland Reactor as the best horse I have driven,” he added. Adore Me, who is affectionately known as Ruby around the stables, became the first four-year-old mare ever to win the Easter Cup when winning the two mile feature in a mares record time of 3-59.9. Amazingly, it is the second record Adore Me has set in the space of a week after obliterating the 2600 metre standing start record last Friday. The Taylor Mile, where she will again be driven by Blair Orange, and the New Zealand Messenger in Auckland are now her upcoming targets. The other All Stars winners at Addington were Full Speed Ahead (Blair Orange), Arya, (Colin De Filippi) Rocknroll Arden (Blair Orange), and Tokohoka (Natalie Rasmussen), while Mark Purdon was successful aboard Supersonic Miss in the APG Semi Final in Sydney, giving the barn six winners for the night. By Mitchell Robertson

Ryan Ellis, harness racing

"Flying" down the track with Ryan Ellis

Truro Raceway, (located in Truro, Nova Scotia), is about to celebrate another season of harness racing starting this Sunday, April 20th, 2014. The race card, featuring 9 races, has the 2013 top driver Ryan Ellis penciled in to drive 4 out of those 9 races. Post time is scheduled for 1:30pm local time. Ryan Ellis, 33, is actually the back-to-back-to-back leading driver at Truro Raceway. He has been the top dash winner in 2011, 2012 as well as 2013. Speaking with Ryan felt like I was kicking back with an old friend who shares a passion for NASCAR while enjoying a cold beverage. Ryan is a big 'Little E' fan, that being Dale Earnhardt Jr. #88. "When I started getting into (NASCAR) he was a rookie and I don't know why but I started following him" says Ryan. "His father was amazing... reading about his father, he seemed so dominant." Ryan is bang on there, Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s nickname was 'The Intimidator' and nobody dared to mess with Dale Sr. because he'd find you on track to even the score, usually upping his score by one! Ryan recently went down to Darlington, South Carolina to catch the Southern 500! Talk about your need for speed. "I got back yesterday, it was awesome, unreal!" Ryan says. "It's kind of shaped like Mohawk in a way, in an egg shape.... It's something everyone should do at least once." Aside from horse racing and being a NASCAR aficionado Ryan is also a full time pilot for Air Canada Jazz. "I'm a pilot for Air Canada Jazz and I just came to do harness racing as a hobby.... I've had my license since 2007." Ryan originally got into harness racing as his dad, Wayne Ellis, trained horses when Ryan was young. "He's the one who got me into it. When I was in Junior High about 13-years-old, he bought a race horse named Lonewaterhobo that I would putter around with. I would jog him and race him in amateur races. I like the excitement, the challenge and I always wanted to drive (horses)." During high school Ryan started to work on getting his pilots license, however the idea of being a full time horsemen was truly appealing so he decided to give it a go. "As soon as I graduated from high school I went to Mohawk and worked for Joe Stutzman and lived in the dorms there." Ryan goes on to say with a laugh, "that didn't last long, it was quite a shock, and I thought it was going to be all gravy. Then I came home and finished getting my pilot's license." "As a hobby, I've had some pretty good success at it and it is still a hobby but I get quite a few drives out of it... its fun for sure" says Ryan. "I've been racing for about 7 years. I was flying bush planes for 5 years up north so I kind of got out of harness racing a little bit." 'I had a couple of cheaper horses while I was up there. I bought into a third of a horse just to have something back (home). I didn't have much in way of jogging and training during those five years and once I got back home I started to get back into it." Ryan says. "I got my trainer's license which I had for about a year. Then I started to qualify to get back into driving." Ryan's first race as a driver was on a horse he owned. "I bought her just get my qualifying drives, and I think it was in September of 2007 that I had my first drive. I actually ended up getting parked; I finished third but was parked the entire mile." Ryan says, "I was kind of nervous... that night I had three drives and I remember in my third race I ended up winning. My buddy Darren Crowe gave me that drive; it was the favorite off the rail." Ryan always looks forward to all the stakes races that take place in the Maritime Provinces, such as the Gold Cup & Saucer which takes place at Charlottetown Driving Park in Prince Edward Island. "My most memorable race would have to be the Gold Cup consolation race (with) the horse Rare Jewel, (in 2011). He's a really nice horse, he's made over a million dollars. We ended up drawing the outside and didn't make the final and he ended up winning the consolation of the Gold Cup. It was 1:53 flat on Gold Cup night and the place was packed." Ryan explains. Back in the day Ryan's favorite driver was always Doug Brown. If Ryan could choose any race to win, it would be the Little Brown Jug. So why the Little Brown Jug? "I like half mile track races, I don't know if that's because that's all we have down here but I love seeing those good horses on Jug day. I love watching the Jug and watching Tim Tetrick drive, he's the best of the best." Ryan says. "For me, for it to be realistic, winning the Gold Cup in Charlottetown and to be a part of that night would be awesome." One of Ryan's closet friends, Darren Crowe finished second to him in the driver championship a couple of years ago, "it came down to the last race" Ryan says. "We are really good friends and I'm in his barn and he's the guy that 'taught me the ropes'. I always looked up to him as a kid in Truro and next thing we are battling it out for the driver's title. It was pretty cool but we give each other a hard time." Ryan also enjoys racing Legend cars, which are cars designed from the 30's and 40's but supped up to drive on tracks. "Last year, one of my owners has a couple of legend cars so I went one time to practice and then to race one on a local track." Ryan says with a laugh, man he enjoys the thrill and rush of anything moving fast! Horses, cars and planes! Oh my! Ryan and his wife Danica have a young daughter, Ivy, who is almost eight months old. Ryan and Danica also have a stable filled with 30 horses. Danica is into equestrian riding full time, so not all are Standardbreds. (Yes, Danica like Danica Patrick... it always comes back to racing with Ryan!) At Truro Raceway, purses are generally $500-$1,000, so it's understandable that horsemen in the Maritime Provinces need a second form of income to provide for their family. Given the Canadian harsh winters and being surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, these island Provinces have a much smaller window for a racing season. With that being said, the folks in the Maritimes always make the best of any situation. No matter what it may be, you can always tell Ryan is enjoying himself. His enthusiasm and upbeat demeanor is extremely contagious and throughout the entire conversation I could not stop smiling or laughing. Even typing this article several hours later I am still smiling. One day maybe Ryan will be driving horses full time at some of the biggest tracks in North America, winning major races like the Little Brown Jug. He has the spirit and genuine attitude of a gentleman and it is horsemen like Ryan that will help drive the harness racing industry. Keep smiling! by Roderick Balgobin, www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova  

From Norway, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, Italy, most every state and provience in the USA and Canada, Europe to South America, names for the harness racing Standardbred filly by Somebeachsomewhere from the mare, Put On A Show, are flying in from around the world. It is not too late for anyone who has yet to enter the contest to get their name choice submitted to try and win the $2,500 cash prize in Harnesslink’s “Name the Foal Contest.” So far nearly 600 names have been submitted for the foal. Her caretakers at Hanover Shoe Farms say, “She is a bold and brassy filly who has a mind of her own. She is very playful but never strays too far from her mother’s side.” There are new photos and also a video of the filly with this story so you can check her out while coming up with the prize winning name. The prize money has been sponsored by the owners of Put On A Show, Richard and Joanne Young of Florida, along with the Somebeachsomewhere Syndicate and Hanover Shoe Farms in Hanover, PA. There is no purchase necessary to enter the contest. You must be age 18 or older and a legal resident of the country you live in. All entries must be submitted in English. Just click on the link below and fill out all the required information. The name cannot be more than 18 letters and/or spaces combined per the rules of the United States Trotting Association (USTA). Any name that has been used in the past 15 years cannot be entered. You can check on your name suggestion to make sure it has not yet been used by going to the free service at the USTA by clicking this link http://pathway.ustrotting.com/search/. Just type in the name of the horse and click. You will then see if the name is already being used. Contestants have until midnight on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 to enter the contest. Contestants are allowed to enter only one name for the foal per email address and only one winner will be allowed per household. Within one week after the deadline date, owners Richard and Joanne Young will select up to five (5) approved names for the foal. They will draw by lot to declare the official name of the foal. If there is only one person that submitted the winning name, that contestant will be declared the official prize winner and receive the entire $2,500. If there are four (4) entries or less with the same name, there will be a drawing in descending order with those entrants dividing $1,000 evenly and the final name drawn being the ultimate winner and get $1,500. If there are more than 5 entries of the same name, all those entries will be placed in a drawing and the first four (4) names drawn will receive $250.each and the final name drawn will receive $1,500. To enter the “Name the Foal Contest” click on this link. The official rules for the competition (in detail) can be obtained by clicking on this link. Please take a moment and read the official rules so you are familiar with the regulations. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

With the North American harness racing season well underway we continue with 'A Stallion Review' series. Today we have produced an in depth review for the outstanding racehorse Shark Gesture and what impact he might have as a young sire. All statistics shown are as at the 7th of April 2014. Enjoy the read. BREEDING Shark Gesture is by Cams Card Shark, one of the all time greats to have stood at stud in the history of the standardbred breed. His figures are mind blowing and a testament to his siring ability and longevity in a very fashion conscious industry. Not only is he a great sire but he is now firmly established as a sire of sires with the great sire Bettors Delight leading the way. Others by Cams Card Shark  to have made an impact to date are Four Starzzz Shark, Riverboat King, Million Dollar Cam and Aces N Sevens while Roll With Joe and Shadyshark Hanover are young sons now at stud. Total stakes earned to date is $135,345,825. Numbers in 1:50 or better is 58. He has ten million dollar plus earners. Number in 1:53 is 346 and average earnings per starter is $103,555. Simple Gesture is the dam of Shark Gesture and she is an un-raced daughter of Western Hanover who has had six foals of racing age to date for three winners. Apart from Shark Gesture she has produced Shark Ingested 1:49.2f ($277,970) and The Village Rusty 1:51.1f ($145,541). Shark Gesture's second dam is Empty Feeling. She was a very talented mare on the racetrack taking a mark of 1:53.1 on her way to winning $354,657. She carried that into the breeding barn having left five winners from seven foals to date including the high class son of The Panderosa in Ponder 1:48.1m ($1,686,134) and Gotta Feeling 1:52.4f ($235,109). RACE RECORD As a 2yr old he had ten starts for three wins and four placings for $118,971 in stakes. His best win was in the $113,000 Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington in 1;51.3m. He also won a heat of the Breeders Crown and was second in the $156,000 International Stallion Pace. As a 3yr old he had sixteen starts for eight wins and two placings for $677,427 in stakes. His best win was undoubtedly in the final of the $695,000 Breeders Crown. Horses he beat that day included Mister Big,  Artistic Fella,  Jeremes Jet and Total Truth. Other notable wins during the season included the $288,000 Tattersalls Final in 1:49.1 (his record for his 3yr old season) and the $126,000 Bluegrass Final in 1:51 As a 4yr old he had eight starts for two wins and three places for $206,791 in stakes. His best win was in the $120,000 NH Sweepstake in 1:49.2m while he ran second in both the $200,000 Dan Patch final and the $285,000 Graduate Final. At this point he was retired to stud and didn't return to the track for over sixteen months. As a 5yr old he had three starts late in the year in which he ran a third in the last start. As a 6yr old he came back with a vengeance and had 29 starts for seven wins and eight placings for a super $963,890 in stakes, his biggest earnings for a season on the track. He was a constant in all the big races. His best win was arguably in the $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby in 1:48.1 although his win in the $688,000 W R Haughton Memorial in 1:48.2 was just as impressive. Another stellar win that season was in the $210,000 Graduate Final in 1:49. 2009 $688,000 W R Haughton Memorial As a 7yr old he had another great year on the track with just twelve starts for seven wins and three placings for $918,875 in stakes. He had arguably his best year on the track at seven with his wins in several major races being quite dominant. His best win was in the $702,000 W R Haughton Memorial in 1:48.2 at The Meadowlands. This win was especially significant as this field was full of great horses that have won between them a massive total of $21,435,937 in stakes to date. It included the great Foiled Again ($6,139,210), Won The West ($3,977,956), Bettor Sweet ($2,816,687), Vintage Master ($2,162,979), Hypnotic Blue Chip ($1,794,793) and Mr Wiggles ($1,195,099). 2010 $702,000 W R Haughton Memorial As can be seen Shark Gesture started from the far outside post 9 and was parked out wide at the quarter in 25.4 before getting cover at the half in 52.3 then he was out to attack at the three quarters in 1:20.4 before winning in hand in 1:48.2. An outstanding mile against the very best. Shark Gesture also won the $200,000 Graduate Final in 1:48.4, The $228,000 Bettors Delight Final in 1:48.3, The $200,000 Dan Patch Final in 1:48.1 and was a close second in the $500,000 Franklin Final in 1:49.1. He was timed under 1:50 in ten of his twelve starts that season.  Shark Gesture was timed in 1:47.4 (2nd), 1:47.4 (2nd), 1:47.2 (2nd) and 1:47.3 (5th) during his career. Twice in his career he posted very fast last quarters of 25.4 and 25.3 NORTH AMERICAN STUD RECORD He stood at stud for one season in Canada as a five year old. He bred 73 mares but  there were only 43 foals from mares that were of raceway standard at best. Of that 43 foals he had 33 colts born and just 10 fillies. Twenty four of those won but stakes won have only amounted to $1,261,212 with his best performers being Piston Broke 1:49.2s ($295,330) and Best Ears 1:49.4f ($191,657). He was then moved to Pennsylvania where he bred 87 mares to produce 56 foals that are two year olds in North America in 2014. He has two more crops of 39 and 30 still to come in Pennsylvania. He now stands at Abby Stables in Ohio for the 2014 season. AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD Again he has only one crop old enough to race which are now five year olds. They number just 18 and there have been twelve starters for four winners for stakes of $90,842. His two best winners have both been fillies with Gesturestar having won 8 and She’s A Killer 10. He has a crop of 24 yearlings in Australia. NEW ZEALAND STUD CAREER He only has one crop on the ground in NZ and that is the crop of 42 yearlings which are due to hit the track next year. POSITIVES The first string to his bow is that he is the biggest stake winning son of the great sire Cams Card Shark with $2,890,594 in stakes.. His soundness over several seasons at the top and the longevity of his performance at the elite level should appeal to Southern Hemisphere breeders where most of the bigger stakes are aimed at the older free for all horses. He only has one crop in NZ which are presently yearlings and they were well received at the NZ yearling sales this year with the likes of  the well respected horseman Jim Dalgety, Tony Herlihy and Nigel McGrath amongst the high profile horsemen to have purchased one. NEGATIVES Management issues coupled with poor promotion have meant he has yet to serve a meaningful book of mares at stud, either in his initial stint at stud or since his retirement in 2010. In todays market very small crops make it impossible to make an impact and can very quickly ruin a stallions career if changes are not made. OVERVIEW A smart racehorse at two and three who matured into a genuine star as an older horse. Retired to stud initially without the necessary runs on the board to attract either the quantity or the quality of mares to make it as a sire in today's marketplace. On his return to the track he matured into a super star and this time he has a much bettor shot at making it. His recent move to Ohio can only help his future prospects and give him the opportunity to achieve as a sire to the level his race record suggests he should be achieving.  OVERALL RATING 4 out of 10 JC    

It was a Callahan kind of night at The Meadowlands on Friday, as "The Captain" notched six wins on the harness racing card. The six victories moved Callahan into sole possession of third place in the driver standings behind Yannick Gingras and Dave Miller. In addition to book-ending the night with wins in the first and last race, Callahan will have a decision to make in the "Dash For The C-Notes" series, earning wins in two of the three divisions with Captain Primeau and King's Cavalier. Callahan also guided Undercover Strike to a victory in the trot feature, a $20,000 B-2/B-1 handicap. The six year old gelding was a convincing 1:52.4 winner in just his second start of the season for owner Frank Bellino & Sons and trainer Jonas Czernyson who recently brought his string north from his winter base at Sunshine Meadows. Joe Bellino was present for the race and spoke on the winter's prep for what his connections are hoping will be a successful campaign. "Jonas was impressed with him all winter. He told me early on that he felt "Strike" was a top quality horse and we have paid him into all the major stakes this summer". In this one Undercover Strike rolled up "uncovered" and wore down the formidable mare Real Babe after she had enjoyed friendly fractions on a loose lead throughout. The pair sprinted hard from mid way around the final bend before the winner edged clear by two lengths with a 27.1 sprint on the end. A few races later the top pacing mares lined up in a B-1/A-2 handicap for $22,500. Momma Rock scored a mild upset in that one benefiting from a perfect pocket steer by John Campbell. An early scrum developed when three mares left fast and Campbell used his inside position to release the favored Lorrie Please and seat Mattie Terror Girl behind him through a 27 flat opener. From there it was an easy ride for Campbell and Momma Rock, drafting in the wake of Lorrie Please through a soft middle half then sailing through the inside past that one and holding off the furious late rally by Hot List to register the 1:51.4 lifetime best score at 8-1. Bill Mac Kenzie trains the grey Rocknroll Hanover mare for Victor Apolinario of New Jersey. Racing resumes on Saturday with a $30,782 carryover into the Pick 5. The wager covers races one through five and offers a 50-cent minimum bet. With the World Harness Handicapping Championship being contested, the pick 5 pool will be even larger than a normal carryover. Post Time for the pick-5 carryover is 7:15 P.M. Victory Nightclub resumes its Revived Saturdays with DJ headlined PS1. Doors open at 10:00 P.M. for Victory. Darin Zoccali        

YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 18, 2014-Yonkers Raceways Good Friday harness racing festivities featured the fifth and final round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker for Open Mare pacers. A $40,000 divisions went postward. Series points leader Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, $3.20) did nothing to diminish her reputation, winning the opening event with solid, two-move effort. Leaving outside her six rivals, the people's choice settled in fourth as series-debuting Scandalous Hanover (Brian Sears) found the lead. After early intervals of :28 and :57.3, "Yagonna" was again on the move. She tackled Scandalous Hanover just past the 1:25 three-quarters, taking a short lead into the lane. Yagonnakissmeornot never relinquished the baton, winning a by a length in 1:53.2. Camille (Yannick Gingras), shuffled when the leader tired, closed inside for second, with Ramalama (Matt Kakaley) third For Yagonnakissmeornot, a 5-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, she's now 7-for-11 this season (4-for-5 in Matchmaker). The exacta paid $16.80, with the triple returning $89.50. "It was two moves, but she did it all on her own," Dube said, before echoing his assignment from earlier in this series that "she doesn't know where the end of the mile is, but I hope we draw well in (next Saturday night's $371,400) final." Late to the dance, but making up for lost time has been the millionaires Monkey on My Wheel (Gingras, $29.40). She authored the 13-1 upset in the second Matchmaker elim, going by a tiring 15-cents-on-the-dollar Somwherovrarainbow (Sears) in mid-stretch. In play early from post position No. 4, Monkey on My Wheel was pocketed early to defending champ Feeling You (Tyler Buter). That was before "Somwhr" moved from third, taking the lead just after a :28.1 opening quarter-mile. It was another :28.1 subsection (:56.2 half) before Shelliscape (Tim Tetrick)-who had left for a seat-took out from fourth. With nothing keeping up with Shelliscape in the outer flow, "Monkey" slipped out to race second-over. The battle was on in and out of the 1:24.2 three-quarters, with Somwherovrarainbow up a length entering the lane. However, she would not be able to close the sale, with Monkey on My Wheel going by, then holding off 75-1 rank outsider Summertime Lea (Kakaley) by a head in 1:53.2. The favorite had to settle for third, beaten three-quarters of a length. "I just didn't want to have to race her first-up," Gingras said of "Monkey." "I was able to drop in early, then get out again. It worked out very well and Brian's horse (Somwherovrarainbow) wasn't able to get away from us." For Monkey in My Wheel, a 6-year-old Mach Three Mac Nichol homebred, it was her third win in nine seasonal starts (a win and a second in this series). The exacta paid $706, with the triple returning $2,241. Friday's $38,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by favored D W's NY Yank (Brennan, $3.80) in 1:56. The George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series continues Saturday night, with three, $50,000 divisions (races 4,5 and 11 on the 12-race card) in that fifth and final prelim round. The $567,000 final of the series also goes next Saturday night, Apr. 26. (Note...Matchmaker standings after the five prelim rounds accompany this release, though the first eight in order are not necessarily the finalists until determined by the race office.) The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker Director of Publicity

Veteran harness racing pacer Finbar Abbey, a Metropolitan maiden performer, caused a major surprise when he celebrated his 100th start by working hard and winning the $40,000 Garrards Horse And Hound Easter Cup at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. The New Zealand-bred eight-year-old, a recent arrival at Ross Olivieri's Oakford stables, started from barrier five off the front in the 2902m stand and he raced three wide early and in the breeze at various stages before finishing with great determination to defeat the fast-finishing Polak (22/1) by a neck, with the 7/4 on favourite Alta Christiano in third place. Punters were stunned when Finbar Abbey surged past Alta Christiano 70m from the post. And then Polak, who had raced three back on the pegs, got clear and flew home to snatch second place from Alta Christiano. This was Alta Christiano's first defeat in six starts in Australia. Despite his lowly status, Finbar Abbey, an M0-class pacer, had many admirers after winning 2500m stands in moderate company at Northam and Gloucester Park at his first two starts for Olivieri and reinsman Chris Voak. He went out fifth favourite at 12/1. Before entering Olivieri's stables, Finbar Abbey had managed just one placing (a third at Harvey) from his 11 previous starts. Finbar Abbey galloped out for a few strides and settled down in sixth position. Alta Christiano just walked away off the front and was almost 60m behind the early pacemaker and 7/1 chance Hez Got The Nod, with Clint Kimes getting Polak away to a flying start from the inside of the 10m line to move in behind the leader. Sanjaya galloped badly off the front and Rocket Reign met severe interference. Finbar Abbey raced three wide early before moving to the breeze. He gained the one-out, one-back sit after Alta Christiano dashed forward. But when Clint Hall sent Alta Christiano to the front 950m after the start, Finbar Abbey again was racing without cover. Finbar Abbey regained the one-out, one-back sit with two laps to travel when 33/1 chance Shardons Rocket moved to the breeze. Voak eased Finbar Abbey three wide 650m from home and the old gelding moved alongside the pacemaker Alta Christiano passing the 420m mark. Finbar Abbey gained the upper hand in the final stages and then held off the fast-finishing Polak, who flashed home after getting clear. The stewards suspended Kimes (Polak's driver) for 17 days for causing interference to Braemoor. The final quarters were run in 29.3sec. and 29.5sec. and Finbar Abbey rated 2.0.8 which was 0.1sec. outside the track record for 2902m set by Christian Spirit when he won the Fremantle Cup in January 2008. The only faster mile rates set by winners of the Fremantle Cup have been: Village Kid (1.59.8 over 2500m in 1987), Allwoods Chief (2.0.3, 2900m, 1998), (The Falcon Strike (2.0.3, 2900m, 2003) and Patches (2.0.4, 2907m, 2006). Scruffy Murphy rated 2.0.8 when he was successful over 2902m in 2008. The 25-year-old Voak admitted he was surprised at Finbar Abbey's excellent performance, saying: "Six months ago you wouldn't have thought that Finbar Abbey would be winning an Easter Cup, beating the horses he has tonight. "I guess the little bit of a burn (in the first lap) took the sting out of Alta Christiano. But you can't take anything away from Finbar Abbey. I punched the breeze for the best part of a lap and he was three wide from the 750m --- and he's actually outstayed Alta Christiano and then fought off Polak over the final 50 metres. "I have nothing but praise for this horse. I really didn't think he could do something like that, even though his two previous runs were really good. On the home turn he felt big and to his credit he just lifted and lifted and showed really good fighting qualities. Alta Christiano is a pretty big name, and he did a lot of work. But Finbar Abbey didn't have it that easy himself." The victory gave Olivieri his fourth success in an Easter Cup, after wins with Abmidas (1997), OK Windermere (who dead-heated with Patches in 2006) and Arma Harris (2010). Olivieri said that part-owner David Gravolin was holidaying in Hawaii and that three of his part-owners were away, working on oil rigs off the coast of Western Australia. Finbar Abbey, by American stallion Pacific Rocket, is the third foal out of Miles McCool mare Casino Abbey, who won once from 11 starts in New Zealand. Finbar Abbey raced 63 times in New Zealand for five wins and 14 placings and his 37 WA starts have produced nine wins and nine placings. His overall record stands at 100 starts for 14 wins, 23 placings and $113,531. LIBERTYBELLE MIDFREW HAS WA OAKS AT HER MERCY Shannon Suvaljko was lavish in his praise for Libertybelle Midfrew after driving her to an effortless victory in the Garrards Horse And Hound On-Course Now WA Oaks prelude at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. The New Zealand-bred filly simply annihilated her 11 rivals and appears to have the $150,000 WA Oaks on May 9 at her mercy. "She's probably one of the best horses I have driven," said the 45-year-old Suvaljko. "She's got gears, she's strong and is all class. I haven't let her go in her three wins (in WA) and we're just waiting for the Oaks now. She is really strong and tough and she will be scary if you let her go." Libertybelle Midfrew, purchased at a high price in New Zealand early this year by Albert Walmsley, has cruised to victory by an average winning margin of four lengths at her first three appearances in WA, rating 1.58.5 over 1730m at Gloucester Park and 1.57.8 over 2185m at Pinjarra before her win by 19.5m over The Parade on Thursday night, rating 1.58.1 over 2536m. The Christian Cullen filly is prepared at Hazelmere by Mike Reed and she appears classes ahead of all other three-year-old fillies in the State. On Thursday night she started from barrier four on the back line and was favourite at evens. Polemaker Harper Grace set the pace and Suvaljko was content to settle Libertybelle Midfrew in ninth position in the one-wide line. All About Pink dashed forward to move to the breeze after 600m and Suvaljko bided his time until he sent Libertybelle Midfrew forward, three wide, 1050m from home. She got a half-length in front of Harper Grace at the 650m mark before surging to a clear lead 470m from home. She then coasted to the line more than six lengths clear of 15/4 second fancy The Parade, who finished doggedly after enjoying the perfect one-out, one-back trail. Highest Royalty (8/1) trailed the pacemaker and finished a sound third, with harper Grace (9/2) in fourth place. Libertybelle Midfrew has earned $151,007 from four wins and four placings from 14 starts. SOHO VALENCIA IS A RISING STAR Victorian-bred five-year-old Soho Valencia gave further proof that he will be a star in feature events at the next Christmas carnival when he outclassed his rivals in the 1730m Retravision Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Favourite at 5/2 on, Soho Valencia began speedily from the No. 3 barrier and gave a faultless frontrunning exhibition before coasting to a four-length victory over 18/1 chance Menelaus of Sparta, who finished strongly from sixth at the bell. Little Boy Blue (7/1) raced in the breeze and was a fighting third. Soho Valencia, produced in grand shape by leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and driven by his elder son Clint for owner Rob Watson, sped over the final 800m in 55.8sec. and rated a smart 1.55.1 to take his record to 21 wins and nine placings from 37 starts for earnings of $332,782. A winner of 13 races in Victoria, one in Queensland and four in New South Wales, he has had five starts in WA for three wins and two seconds. He is living up to the promise he showed when he was a star juvenile when his victories included the $100,000 group 1 Bathurst Gold Crown for two-year-olds in March 2011 and the $40,000 group 3 Bathurst Gold Chalice for three-year-olds a year later. By Art Major, he is the sixth foal out of Benelise (a mare by American stallion Vintner), who won at eight of her 14 Victorian starts in modest company in 2000-01. Soho Valencia's half-brother Yrubla (by Jet Laag) won the group 1 $100,000 Bathurst Gold Crown for two-year-olds in March 2007. "My guess is that Soho Valencia will get to an M4 or M5 mark and then go for a spell before coming back for the summer time," said Clint Hall. MIGHTY FLYING THOMAS A 2536m SPECIALIST For what he might lack in brilliance, Mighty Flying Thomas makes up for with his dogged determination, his stamina and fighting spirit. All these attributes were on display at Gloucester Park on Thursday night when he overcame the disadvantage of having to race without cover for almost two laps by scoring a splendid victory in the Garrards Horse And Hound One Stop Shop Pace. Favourite at 13/8 from the outside of the back line, Mighty Flying Thomas simply outstayed his 11 rivals in beating 9/1 chance Mohegan Sun by 4m, with Justlikelindt (28/1) sustaining a strong three-wide burst from fifth at the bell to be third. Mighty Flying Thomas, trained at Bickley by Peter Anderson, has proved to be a stout-hearted stayer since he arrived in WA from New Zealand in July 2012. He has proved to be a specialist over 2536m, the distance of Thursday night's event, having raced six times over that journey for five wins and a second (beaten a nose by Dashing Christian). He also won at his only appearance over 2569m (at Bunbury last November). It was a confident and aggressive drive by Morgan Woodley that paved the way for his latest victory. Mighty Flying Thomas settled down in ninth position and with Ideas Man setting a moderate pace Tom Buchanan vacated the one-out, one-back position with 9/1 chance Mohegan Sun to move into the breeze 650m after the start. Woodley then seized the initiative and sent Mighty Flying Thomas forward, out three wide, to assume the position in the breeze with just under two laps to travel. Woodley was able to get Mighty Flying Thomas to relax as Ideas Man ambled through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.9sec. and 31.6sec. The tempo then increased markedly, with the third quarter being covered in 28.8sec. Mighty Flying Thomas got to the front 250m from the post and easily held Mohegan Sun at bay, with a final quarter in 29.4sec. Mighty Flying Thomas had been placed at his three previous starts at Gloucester Park and Woodley said that the Falcon Seelster six-year-old deserved to break through for another win and break a losing sequence of 13. "He has been knocking on the door," Woodley said. "He's been going tremendously well and has been doing all the work in his races and just coming up short. The easy early sections really worked out well for him." Mighty Flying Thomas, a winner of six races from 27 starts in New Zealand, is proving a good buy for Ian and Hazel Brandon, Ian Sermon, Lee Bunney and Ken Casellas. The gelding cost a little more than $36,000 landed in Western Australia and his record in the State now stands at 36 starts for nine wins, 12 placings and stakes of $102,744. His career record stands at 63 starts for 15 wins, 19 placings and $142,783. Mighty Flying Thomas is the fourth foal out of Fleet's Pocket, who produced talented mare Flying Pocketlands, who has had 90 starts for 21 wins, 29 placings and $442,423. Mighty Flying Thomas is also related to good winners Our Graedy, Passion N Glory and Sparks Will Fly. COPAGRIN JUST LOVES LEADING Noted frontrunner Copagrin broke through for an overdue win and ended a losing sequence of eight when Callan Suvaljko drove him to a smart all-the-way victory in the 2536m Garrards Horse And Hound Open Daily Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Seven of his previous eight wins had come after he had set the pace and punters rallied to support him into favouritism at 5/2 when he drew the prized No. 1 barrier. Copagrin relished the pacemaking role and he sped over the final 800m in 57.1sec. to win comfortably by 5m from 5/1 chance Lord Lombo, who finished gamely after trailing the leader all the way. Copagrin went into the race as an M1 performer against several better-performed rivals, including M6-class runners Red Salute, Crombie and Passion Stride, Whose Mistake (M5) and Benjamin Banneker (M3). He had won once from his previous 25 starts and the strong support for him further illustrates the tremendous advantage horses have from the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park. The WA-bred Copagrin, trained at West Swan by John Guagliardo, has been an excellent moneyspinner, with his 59 starts producing 14 wins, 13 placings and stakes of $124,328. By Grinfromeartoear, he is out of Red Hot Copper, whose first foal Copper Beach Girl earned $156,851 from 14 wins and 24 placings from 84 starts. Her wins included the group 3 WASBA Breeders Stakes in May 2011. HALL'S DARING DRIVE PAYS DIVIDENDS A daring drive by Clint Hall paid handsome dividends when Indomitable, the rank outsider at 55/1, scoring a brilliant victory in the Next Payments Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. In an action-packed event Hall took the bit between his teeth and set Indomitable alight as the field of 12 approached the bell. Indomitable, who had settled down in eighth position, charged forward and swept past 45/1 chance La Stella Del Mare, who had produced a lighting burst to charge past the 2/1 favourite Kanata Queen and into the lead 600m after the start. Hall gave Indomitable her head and she sped over the third quarter of the final mile in 28.2sec. to leave her rivals floundering. The final section took 29.7sec. and Indomitable won by three and a half lengths from 11/4 second fancy Four Sisters, who finished determinedly from sixth on the pegs at the bell. Kanata Queen fought on to be third ahead of La Stella Del Mare. The winner, trained at Wanneroo by Barry Morrison, rated a slick 1.54.6 over the 1730m and she boosted her record to seven wins and 12 placings from 39 starts for earnings of $56,537. She is a full-sister to Indomitable Saab, who has amassed $154,491 from 16 wins and 12 placings from 59 starts. "She ran well the last time I drove her in town and they (the opposition) set it up tonight and I was happy to slide around to the breeze," Hall said. "She moved around so quickly that I decided to go on with it and I don't think it would have mattered if she had stayed in the breeze." KERSLEY SALUTES A GLOW BRIGHT EFFORT An exuberant, triumphant victory salute by trainer-reinsman Bill Kersley as Glow Bright passed the post an easy winner of the 2503m Garrards Horse And Hound Supporting Harness Racing Handicap at Gloucester Park on Thursday night was greeted with applause by punters who had supported the WA-bred five-year-old into favouritism at 7/4. Glow Bright, a last-start all-the-way winner in slow time in a 2503m stand nine days earlier, repeated the dose when he got away smartly from the inside of the front line and set a dawdling early pace with opening quarters of the final mile in 32.3sec., and 30.8sec. before Kersley released the brakes and the gelding sprinted over the final two quarters in 28.4sec. and 28.3sec. Glow Bright rated a slow 2.4.9 in beating Pacific Playboy (14/1) by one and a half lengths, with a half-length to Bartowski (16/1) in third place. Referring to the slow early sectionals, the 47-year-old Kersley said: "I'll take it if they give it to me. It's nice to get a winner on a Friday night (even though it was a Thursday night). I'm more than happy to salute every week. "He has done a really good job and is just shy of $100,000 and he's won an M0 tonight. You'd like a lot of them in your stable. I think he can keep earning. He's maturing and every time we give him a break and bring him back he's got mentally and physically stronger. Now he is right on top of his game." Glow Bright was placed twice in group 1 events for two-year-olds in the winter of 2011, finishing third to Major Catastrophe in the Pearl Classic and third to Cyclone Mitch in the State Sires final. NEW OWNERS CASH IN Henley Brook trainer Darryl Howes and his wife Tracey are more than happy that they encouraged a few of their friends to get involved in harness racing a few months ago. Tracey Howes, Wayne and Dianne Riekie, Brad and Rhonda Swinbourn, Barbara McGuire and Archie Laidlaw outlaid $7500 to purchase Senator Whitby when he was advertised for sale. And when Senator Whitby, driven by Chris Lewis, led all the way to score a decisive one-length victory over Last Cheque in the 2130m Garrards Horse And Hound Thank You Loyal Customers Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night the WA-bred gelding had boosted his earnings to $8395 for his first-time owners. This was Senator Whitby's seventh start for Howes and the new owners and the small gelding has notched one win, two seconds and a third placing. "They're new owners to the industry and they're all happy," said Howes, who is confident Senator Whitby will continue to perform well. "He is still only young and is still an M0. And he's a little trier who keeps trying, and that's the main thing." Senator Whitby, whose career record stands at 48 starts for seven wins, ten placings and $49,769, is by Artiscape and is out of Zerina Whitby, who earned $107,827 from 15 wins and 13 placings from 53 starts. Senator Whitby is related to dozens of winners, including Fiscal Miss, Remit, Whitbys Miss Penny, Whitby Heritage, Whitby Timer, Whitbys Merit, Montana Anna, La Roya Whitby and Aikido Whitby. SAY IT NOW, FIRST-UP, IS TOO GOOD Hopeland breeder-owner-trainer Kevin Charles produced WA-bred five-year-old Say It Now in fine fettle for his first appearance for five months when the gelding made the most of the coveted No. 1 barrier to lead all the way in the third heat of the 2130m Garrards Horse And Hound The Johnson Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Confidently handled by Chris Lewis, the well-supported 5/1 third favourite revelled in his pacemaking role and won decisively from The Black Lord (12/1) and Christian Banner (6/1). Ben Cartwright, the 5/4 favourite, worked hard without cover and dead-heated for fourth with What God Knows. Say It Now, having his first start for five months, contested two trials at Byford before Thursday night's assignment for a 22m fourth behind Mister Sheedy and a 14m third behind Lord Lexus. Say It Now followed quarters of 31.3sec., 30.8sec. and 30.4sec. with a smart final section in 28.3sec. to win well at a 1.59.5 rate. "Kevin thought we would go well, going on his latest trial," Lewis said. "But trials aren't races. It was a bit of a challenge early, but we were able to settle down pretty nicely. He does relax well and that was an advantage. "With a lap to go I didn't really know what I had. I hadn't asked him for an effort and he had travelled well, so I was confident that there was something left in the tank. But you never know until you hit the line." Say It Now, who was bred and is owned by Charles and his son Kody, has earned $80,161 from ten wins and ten placings from 42 starts. As a three-year-old in March 2012 he won the group 3 Country derby at Gloucester Park, beating Major Catastrophe by four lengths, after winning the South-West Derby at Pinjarra, beating Maggies Mystery. He raced 13 times as a four-year-old in New South Wales, winning minor races at Menangle, Newcastle and Penrith. He is related to former champion pacer Preux Chevalier, whose 40 wins from 53 starts in the 1980s included the 1985 interdominion championship at Moonee Valley when he defeated Village Kid. VAPOUR IS LAUREN'S FAVOURITE Four-year-old gelding Vapour and 19-year-old driver Lauren Jones have formed a wonderful partnership in recent weeks --- and they kept up the good work with an exciting victory in the 2130m Sully's Painting Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Jones, a recent arrival from Queensland, has settled in well as a stablehand at leading trainer Gary Hall senior's Serpentine establishment and she has driven the Hall-trained Vapour seven times for four wins and three third placings. "Something clicks and he's my favourite horse in the stable," said Jones after Vapour had finished strongly to gain a last-stride victory by a nose over 5/4 favourite Tuapeka Kahu. Vapour, second fancy at 5/2, started from the outside of the front line and Jones restrained the gelding back to a conspicuous last, about 30m from the early leader Franco Jackson. Tuapeka Kahu was working hard in the breeze and Jones drove patiently. Vapour was ninth at the bell, following the three-wide run of Knight Crusader. Knight Crusader began to wilt in the back straight and Jones switched Vapour four wide 300m from home. Tupeka Kahu then took the lead with 220m to travel, but he was overhauled in the final stride by the flying Vapour, who sprinted over the final 400m in 28.6sec. and rated 1.58.8. Vapour, by American stallion Jeremes Jet, is the first foal out of Christian Cullen mare Enjoy. He has had 13 starts in Western Australia for seven wins and five placings after racing 16 times in New Zealand for three wins and five placings. by Ken Casellas  

Ricky May says suggestions Terror To Love is vulnerable heading into tonight's Easter Cup are off the mark. Questions have been swirling this week after the champion reinsman gave the three-time New Zealand Trotting Cup winner a quiet time of it in a two-horse trial at Ashburton on Tuesday. But while some may ponder whether or not the run will have been enough to get Terror To Love in shape to defeat champion mare Adore Me in tonight's $100,000 Group I event, May is keeping his cool, calm attitude. "I've been driving at the trials at Ashburton for 30 years," May said yesterday. "I know what a hard run can do to a horse there when they are four or five days out from a race. There have been plenty who have set that track alight during the week only to fail at the weekend." Terror To Love was timed to run his 2400m heat in 3min 8sec - a sedate effort considering he went 2min and 54.9sec for the Ashburton Flying Stakes on the course, over the same distance, last October. To May the time is irrelevant. The most successful horseman in New Zealand Trotting Cup history with seven wins was impressed with how Terror To Love looked and felt. "I thought he looked fantastic, certainly not like a horse who hasn't raced for a while. I gave him a really strong preliminary before the heat too and he felt awesome. "You can never get a [true] line on him at the trials anyway, he knows when it's raceday and grows another leg. "I was really pleased with the trial, I definitely don't think we have too much to worry about other than Adore Me." Back at his favourite track and racing over his pet distance, Terror To Love will still be favoured by many to down Adore Me tonight. The pair clashed for the first time last month in the Auckland Cup at Alexandra Park and Terror To Love emerged on top after giving the brilliant mare six to seven lengths at the top of the straight and running her down. "I think we can beat her for speed. "I'd be a little more worried if we had to sit outside her and try and beat her though." Adore Me, too, has some question marks hanging over her head. She is backing up from a gruelling 2600m event last week in which she started off a 40m handicap and set the stop watches alight by smashing the New Zealand all-comers record while also going within a whisker of beating the national mobile record as well. Tonight will be the first time Adore Me races over the ultimate distance of 3200m. In her favour though is that it is likely the lead will be waiting for her whenever she decides to come forward, with stablemate Arden Rooney looking the most likely early pacemaker. Ad Feedback "I don't think we would get the lead if we went around and he [Arden Rooney] was in front. So it's going to be pretty tactical and moves in the race will be crucial." Terror To Love was last night rated a $1.70 favourite to win the Group I with Adore Me at $2.10. Both horses are likely to offer more on the tote tonight, although the value for Adore Me is sure to entice some punters. The TAB have already taken a $5000 bet on Terror To Love. May holds a strong hand in tonight's secondary feature - the Group III $25,000 New Zealand Trotting Stakes for two-year-olds. He will drive smart trotter Monbet for Greg and Nina Hope, who suffered defeat for the first time in his career at Rangiora when beaten by BD Love. ❏ Samantha Ottley became the first female to reach 100 career driving wins while a junior driver when she was victorious with Gogirl Bromac at Forbury Park on Thursday night. After a couple of weeks stuck on 99, the talented young driver, who hails from Orari in South Canterbury, finally broke the duck and notched up the ton to continue her remarkable fledgling career.. In her first raceday drive, Ottley was successful when Nigel Paul won at the Kurow meeting on her 18th birthday. Attached to the stable of Colin and Julie de Filippi, Ottley currently sits second on the national junior drivers' championship behind North Island horseman Sailesh Abernethy. By Matt Markham (Courtesy of The Press)            

TORONTO, April 17 - More harness racing stakes action took place Thursday evening at Woodbine Racetrack as sophomore trotting fillies were showcased in a pair of Celias Counsel Trotting Series divisions. Tosca and Just Call Me Lady kicked off the series opener with victories in their respective $15,000 divisions. With heavily-favoured Flexible Woman (Steve Byron) making a miscue in the first division, Tosca and driver/trainer Per Henriksen made the most of her first start of the season. K D Bella (Mike Saftic) was the tempo-setter for most of the mile through panels of :27, :57 and 1:27.4. Around the final turn, Serendipitous (Jody Jamieson) began the first-over attack giving cover to Tosca. Henriksen angled his charge three-wide at three-quarters and wore down K D Bella in deep stretch to win by three quarters of a length in 1:56.4. Wings Of Ballykeel (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Tosca, a daughter of Muscle Mass, is owned by Asa Farm and Steve Organ. The trotting lass increased her bankroll to $35,400 with the win. She paid $16.50 to win. One race later, Just Call Me Lady posted the minor upset in 1:57.2 at odds of 3-1. In doing so, driver Trevor Ritchie enjoyed his first win of the season since arriving back in Ontario after wintering in Florida. Do The Wheelhouse (Jody Jamieson) was the first leader past the opening station in :27.1. As the field of 10 marched towards the half, Chippentail (Paul Macdonell) pulled out from third and marched to the front past the mid-way point in :58.2. Fashion Goddess (Jonathan Drury) was next to pull on the right line heading towards three-quarters with Just Call Me Lady following the speed. As the field trotted past three-quarters in 1:28.1, Just Call Me Lady was well spotted sitting second-over and the talented filly marched past her rivals down the stretch en route to victory. Post time favourite Miss Everything (Sylvain Filion) came from behind to finish second, with Do The Wheelhouse claiming third prize. Trainer Blake Macintosh co-owns the youngster with Anne Campbell and Stephen Waldman. Just Call Me Lady increased her lifetime earnings to $35,549 with the victory The daughter of Angus Hall paid $8.10 to win. Greg Gangle

Ray Hall aims to complete a sweep in the five-week Bobby Weiss Series for 3- and 4-year-old male trotters when he faces eight rivals in Tuesday's $30,000 final at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. A 4-year-old gelding, Ray Hall has won six of 11 races this year, with four of the victories coming in the Weiss. He starts the final from post four with driver Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer/co-owner Mark Harder. Tuesday's card also features the $30,000 Weiss Series final for 3- and 4-year-old female pacers. "He's just a nice little horse, doing everything right," said Harder, who began training Ray Hall in December and got a share in ownership earlier this month. "He's just hit a nice little groove. He came to me with a couple series in mind out here and it's just worked out. He got happy and a nice little schedule and he's racing good." Ray Hall, who also is owned by Ohio's Bruce and Patricia Soulsby, has won 12 of 28 lifetime starts and earned $91,144. He is a son of stallion Justice Hall out of the mare Comebyrail and his family includes standout female trotter Elaine Rodney, who won the 1960 Kentucky Futurity and later found success abroad. Last weekend, Ray Hall won his Weiss division by a neck over Time To Quit in a career-best 1:53.3. Time To Quit won the Super Bowl Series final in January, with Ray Hall finishing fourth. Ray Hall also finished fourth in the Charles Singer Memorial final in March, which was won by Perfect Alliance. "He raced good against some better horses, Perfect Alliance and a couple of those other ones," Harder said. "I think he's definitely improved since then with racing. He's got a lot of nervous energy, he's a little bit hot, and just with racing he's settled down and become more manageable, more drivable. That's made him a better horse." Sixteen Mikes, who won his first three divisions in the Weiss but was third behind Ray Hall and Time To Quit last weekend, starts the final from post five for driver Mike Simons and trainer Gail Wrubel. Time To Quit, who has one win in the series, leaves from post six with driver Matt Kakaley for trainer Ron Burke. Ray Hall is not staked to any major races, but Harder hopes the trotter can still keep adding to his bankroll. "He's got nothing really, just overnights," Harder said. "We'll probably hang around Yonkers, wherever we can race him. He's not a top, top horse, but he's a nice little horse that can make money knocking around some conditions. A trotter that can trot a small track and tries and stays at it, they can make a lot of money." HARNESS RACING NOTEBOOK: THE RETURN OF ARCH MADNESS Renowned pacer Foiled Again is a perfect 10 this season - as in an undefeated 10-year-old - and now trotting star Arch Madness is getting ready to try to join him. The 10-year-old Arch Madness won a qualifier last weekend at the Meadowlands in 1:54.3 and will return to the Big M on Saturday for another prep for the upcoming campaign. Last year, Arch Madness won three of 18 races and earned $425,427 for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and owners Willow Pond LLC and Marc Goldberg, who also were among the trotter's breeders. He won the Allerage Farms Open Trot at The Red Mile in Lexington, finished second overseas in Sweden's prestigious Elitlopp, and was third in the Breeders Crown. Arch Madness has won 34 of 107 starts and became the ninth trotter in history to surpass $4 million in career earnings when he won the Allerage. A week earlier, he won the Allerage elimination race with a 1:50.2 mile, a time that equaled his own world record for the fastest ever by a male trotter older than age 4. "He's going to qualify again, but I was happy with the first qualifier," Smedshammer said. "We'll go again on Saturday and then we'll start racing. He's a year older, but it doesn't seem like he's changed at all." Arch Madness' first stakes race is slated to be the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. Eliminations are scheduled for May 10 and the $180,000 estimated final is May 17. Another trip to the Elitlopp, where Arch Madness has twice been the runner-up, is not in the works. "He's going to need a start before the Cutler, a couple starts maybe, somewhere around here," Smedshammer said. "We have no plans at all (to go to Sweden). But he seems fine." * * * Two other trotting standouts are expected to head to qualifiers in the near future. Market Share, who was voted the sport's top 3-year-old male trotter in 2012 and the best older male trotter in 2013, is anticipated to qualify on April 26 and 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician is targeted for the first weekend in May. Bee A Magician was unbeaten in 17 races last season at age 3 and earned a divisional record $1.54 million. She became the first 3-year-old filly trotter to receive the Horse of the Year Award since Continentalvictory in 1996. Trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman and driven by Brian Sears for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee, Bee A Magician's wins included the Breeders Crown for 3-year-old filly trotters, Hambletonian Oaks, Elegantimage Stakes, and Delvin Miller Memorial. Her $1.54 million in purses were the most ever for a 3-year-old filly trotter, breaking the record of $1.17 million set by Continentalvictory in 1996, and her winning time of 1:51 in the Miller Memorial at Meadowlands Racetrack is the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old filly trotter. "She's in good shape," Norman said. "I'm very happy with her." Bee A Magician is expected to qualify twice and then head to Canada for the first round of the Miss Versatility Series in Ontario on May 19. * * * As mentioned earlier, Foiled Again remains unbeaten this year. Last week, he improved to 4-for-4 this season by winning for the fourth time in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. The 10-year-old pacer, who has won 80 of 202 career races, had never before started a season with four consecutive wins. Since last fall, Foiled Again has been the richest horse in North American harness racing history, and his $100,000 in purses in 2014 have pushed his career earnings to $6.13 million for owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, and JJK Stables. Foiled Again leads the Levy series standings, but he will be back in action Saturday night for the last of the five preliminary rounds. He drew post seven in a seven-horse field and is the 3-5 morning line favorite for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Ron Burke. "He's just really getting his legs," Gingras told Yonkers Publicity Director Frank Drucker after his 1:51 win last weekend. "Give the other horses credit, but they're going to have to do better to beat Foiled Again." On Wednesday, co-owner Mark Weaver added, "He's the exception. He really hasn't been pushed that hard yet." Burke's stable has five of the top six horses in the Levy standings and all will be racing Saturday. Mach It So, from the barn of trainer P.J. Fraley, is second in the standings followed by Burke's Bettor's Edge, Itrustyou, Clear Vision, and Easy Again. Hillbilly Hanover, who is No. 11 in the standings, Special Forces (12) and Aracache Hanover (14) also will be competing for Burke in Saturday's three Levy divisions. The conditions for the eight-horse $567,000 final and eight-horse $100,000 consolation, both on April 26, limit Burke to two starters in each. For the full Levy standings, click here. * * * The last preliminary round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for older female pacers is Friday at Yonkers. Series leader Yagonnakissmeornot, who has three wins and a second in the event, is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the first of two divisions. She will be driven by Daniel Dube for trainer Rene Allard. Somwherovrarainbow is the 8-5 choice in the second division for driver Brian Sears and trainer Joe Holloway. She skipped the third round of the series, but has two wins and a second in her Matchmaker starts. She is No. 5 in the standings, behind Angels Delight, Summertime Lea, and Rocklamation. Anndrovette, the three-time pick for harness racing's best older female pacer, is sixth in the standings, with Shelliscape and defending Matchmaker champion Feeling You rounding out the top eight. For the complete series standings, click here. The $371,400 Matchmaker final is April 26, along with the $75,000 Matchmaker consolation. * * * David Miller, who will be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in July, needs 23 wins to reach 11,000 victories for his career. Miller ranks No. 8 in wins among all drivers in North American history and was the sport's Driver of the Year in 2003. He has won at least $10 million in purses in a season a record 12 times and his $178 million in lifetime purses trail only Hall of Famers John Campbell, Ron Pierce and Mike Lachance. Miller, a 49-year-old native of Ohio, has finished among the top seven drivers in seasonal purses each of the last 15 years. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Award winning equine photographer Barbara Livingston, whose popular books Old Friends and More Old Friends, painted a sentimental portrait of champion racehorses long gone from the spotlight, has completed a third edition of that series. While her first two books focused on Thoroughbred racehorses, the latest, Standardbred Old Friends, focuses on the distinctly American breed that evolved from a horse that carried the family to church, raced at the county fair and now competes world-wide at a trot and pace. The book, at $30, is ready for pre-order now at www.harnessmuseum.com. Standardbred Old Friends portrays 43 horses, from age 19 to 37, most of them multimillionaire world record holders with Hall of Fame membership, but some of more modest distinction, occupied as show horses, in law enforcement or hardworking, blue collar performers. With writer Ellen Harvey telling the rich tales of horses from Sweden to southern California, from Maine to Florida, Livingston has captured images of horses whose achievements are now decades past, but whose memories will last a lifetime. The collaboration, ready for shipment in June, grew from a 2008 Hoof Beats magazine article featuring ten champion Standardbreds over the age of 20. The article, with Livingston's photos and Harvey's stories, won top honors for journalism at the 2009 World Trotting Conference in Norway. In 2012, the two started a trek of nearly 10,000 miles to capture the lives of nearly four dozen horses whose commercial worth is long gone, but who are cherished ever still. The book's 153 photos and 43 stories were gleaned from thousands of photos and 150 interviews. Standardbred Old Friends looks at the lives of 43 horses like North American and European superstar Mack Lobell, now 30, at his home along the shores of Lake Malaren in southern Sweden, 2004 horse of the Year Cam's Card Shark at historic Hanover Shoe Farm in central Pennsylvania and mother-daughter Hall of Famers Country Kay Sue and CR Kay Suzie among the live oaks at their home in central Florida. The senior "old friend," 37-year-old Waco Hanover, was depicted against the deep snow of his home in the foothills of Vermont's Green Mountains. An autumn sunset in the tide pools of Maine's Popham Beach State Park was the setting for Dreamy Starlet and McKeever Hanover, a pair with 297 races over 13 years, with 4 foals between them, now in their 20s, but active in the show ring and hunt field. For a video sample of the photos in the book and a look at the making of Standardbred Old Friends, featuring 30-year-old champion Standardbred roadster Autobahn at Cane Run Farm in Kentucky, click here. Cover images are attached; Mack Lobell on the front, Dreamy Starlet and Elizabeth Tewksbury on the back. For more information on Barbara Livingston's work, as well as her earlier books, Saratoga, Four Seasons of Racing and Horses in Living Color, click here. Standardbred Old Friends can be purchased from the Harness Racing Museum or by calling 845-294-6330. To contact Ellen Harvey, email oldfriendsbook@hotmail or call 732-616-6092. The horses included in the book are: Armbro Feather Cam's Card Shark Country Kay Sue and CR Kay Suzie Dreamy Starlet and McKeever Hanover Dust Devil Flat Foot Fluzy Giant Victory Hattie Heatherjeankillean Hi IQ Hot Lead Incredible K Jate Lobell Jo Jo Geronimo/Jupiter Keystone Wallis Lady Ashlee Ann Larks Crown Lilting Laughter Mack Lobell Matt's Scooter Miss Easy Moni Maker Monterey Rebel and Saddle The Wind NL Loren Oriental Express Sir Taurus Stacey's Echo Staying Together Supergrit Tap In Tarport Mark Town Sweetheart Victory Tilly Waco Hanover Western Dreamer White Birch Mares: Three Mile Island, Town Pro, World Order Winky's Gill Winnies Guy/Autobahn by Ellen Harvey

Harness Racing NSW has been advised by the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that phenylbutazone and oxphenbutazone has been detected in the post race urine sample taken from MAGICAL TELF NZ after it raced and won Race 3, the Slingsby Holdings Australasian Young Drivers Heat 2 (2300 metres) at Tabcorp Park Menangle Harness meeting on 15 February 2014. This finding has been confirmed by the Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Melbourne. An inquiry into these findings will be held on Thursday 1 May 2014. Mr D Braun the trainer of MAGICAL TELF NZ has been advised. HRNSW

Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards today opened inquiries into the results of analysis from two approved laboratories that the prohibited substance Cobalt above the threshold of 200mg/Litre in urine samples collected from the following horses; COOGEE COOGEE (Trainer M Hardy) following its win in race 7, the Uranquinty Hotel Ladyship Pace (1,755 metres) conducted at Wagga on 24 January 2014 THE BIG MARN (Trainer R Nicholson) following its win in race 11, the Flying K Final (1000 metres) conducted at Menangle on 21 January 2014. MAJOR DENIAL (Trainer R Nicholson)  following its win in race 1, the Tattersalls Hotel Pace (1710 metres) conducted at Goulburn on 27 January 2014 Mr M Hardy was issued with a charge pursuant to Australian Harness Racing Rule 190 (1),(2) & (4), in that as the trainer of COOGEE COOGEE he did present that horse to race at Wagga on 24 January 2014, not free of a prohibited substance, namely cobalt above the threshold. After being issued with the charge Mr Hardy was granted an adjournment to enable him to present further evidence in defence of the charge. The inquiry was adjourned until 30 April 2014 commencing at 11am. Mr R Nicholson sought an adjournment at the opening of the inquiry to allow him further time to present his case. After some evidence was taken from Mr Nicholson and HRNSW Regulatory Veterinarian Dr M Wainscott the inquiry was adjourned until 30 April 2014 commencing at 1.30pm. HRNSW

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Saturday morning at The Meadowlands felt like spring with sunny skies, mild temperatures and many trainers bringing their stakes hopefuls in for some speed work on the big track.   Tony Alagna, Jimmy Takter and Linda Toscano were among those present and Linda had her stable star Market Share on the track for a successful workout minus the trotting hopples in anticipation of a trip to Sweden for the Elitlopp.   Many three-year-old trotters were on the menu early but the star of the show was the aging icon Arch Madness. He settled third through the early going for Trond Smedshammer while Corky and Archangel took turns on the front before mowing them down and winning by several lengths in 1:53.3 with an individual sub 28 final quarter into a considerable breeze. The buzz among the observers was that he looks as good or better than he has in the past few seasons.   2013 Breeders Crown freshman filly pace winner Uffizi Hanover made her first appearance with an effortless 1:54.4 tune up out of the pocket for Dave Miller. She comes from the Jimmy Takter barn, as did the winner of the next race, the lightly raced Gettingreadytoroll.   That one was well within herself in 1:53.3 with Yannick Gingras along for the ride. Late to the races as a two-year-old, Gettingreadytoroll has but a single money start winning in 1:54.2 at Pocono and two good qualifying efforts at The Meadowlands at the end of last year before being put away.   All Bets Off looked sharp in his second go around for the Burke stable. The Matron winner was held just off the pace by Gingras and wore down the stubborn mile cutter Parnu Hanover in 1:52.4 / 28-. Believeinthespirit actually split those two for the place in a solid effort and That's My Opinion was a willing fourth.   Burke's Governor's Cup winner JK Endofanera looked sharp winning his qualifier in 1:52.4 with a 28 flat close for Brian Sears over a game Ideal Cowboy and Somewhere Fancy in another key prep for this group.   The final race of the day saw the highly regarded Odds On Equuleus return to the wars after a disappointing sophomore campaign. Tim Tetrick sent him along quickly from the start but couldn't shake See And Ski or OK Commander. Those three finished across the track in 1:52-.   Live racing resumes at 7:15 tonight with a carryover in excess of $30,000 on the Pick Five beginning in race one.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands  
Finally had a decent week picking some winners. We had Sly McFly pay $10.40 to win in the Dash for the “C” Note final plus a nice $34.40 exacta and then Abrokenart Hanover came through and returned $8.40 in winning his “C” note final. This is the final week of preliminary rounds for both the Matchmaker and Levy Series at Yonkers plus the final of the Whata Baron and Artistic Vision Series at the Meadowlands and the return of San Pail at Woodbine. Plenty of top flight racing action to watch and wager on. Good Luck! $40,000 Pace Matchmaker Series Yonkers Raceway 4th race FRIDAY – Tried to find a way that Yagonnakissmeornot could get beaten in this final leg of the Matchmatcher Series. But I could not. Despite outside post this mare has been super sharp for trainer Rene Allard and can overcome post seven to take another leg before next weeks’ rich final. Use Krispy Apple and Ideal In Vegas in exotic plays. $40,000 Pace Matchmaker Series Yonkers Raceway 11th race FRIDAY – This is a great matchup of some real powerhouse mares who will again battle it out next week in the final. I am taking a shot with the P J Fraley Stable entry of Anndrovette/Shelliscape. They both need to be first or second to get into the final and thus need to race their hearts out and off recent weeks they have ability to surprise in here going against some of the best in the series. Use Somwherovrarainbow and Angels Delight in exotic plays. $25,000 Trot Preferred Handicap Pocono Downs 3rd race SATURDAY – Right now Modern Family is perhaps one of the best Open trotters in the country. Came back from a brief rest with an amazing 1:53.1 qualifying romp at Rosecroft Raceway and has been super sharp for trainer/driver Daryl Bier. Use Daylon Magician and Wind Of The North in exotic plays. $30,000 Pace Bobby Weiss Final 3 & 4YOs Pocono Downs 8th race SATURDAY – Series saw the best effort of the year for A Stitch In Time last start with an amazing lifetime mark of 1:49.2. Should be able to repeat provided he can overcome having to start from the far outside in post nine. Use Trys Little Prince and UF Rockin Dragon in exotic plays. $25,000 Pace Preferred Handicap Pocono Downs 10th race SATURDAY – After having his head handed to him in last two tries in the Levy Series, A J Corbelli smartly left Yonkers and comes to Pocono Downs where he drops and should pop from the rail. He was razor sharp before the series, even finished second in the opening round, but now should be able to handle this group and earn his keep. Use Abelard Hanover and Annieswesterncard in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace Levy Series Yonkers Raceway 4th race SATURDAY – With a week’s rest after winning a series leg, Apprentice Hanover draws into a tough but beatable division as he needs the points to insure a spot in the final next week so watch for him to be racing at his best. Use the Burke Stable entry of Clear Vision/Hillbilly Hanover and P H Supercam in exotic plays. $63,000 Pace Whata Baron Series Final Meadowlands 6th race SATURDAY – Most will side with Captive Audience here and perhaps should as he has been perfect in the series, undefeated in three starts and fresh as a daisy for the upcoming long season. But I am going with Wake Up Peter. Despite outside post he showed last week he can leave well enough to take command and hold on to the lead. In this case he may leave hard and get a two-hole trip where he can also score from. Use Captive Audience and Ontario Success in exotic plays. $34,000 Preferred Trot Woodbine 9th race SATURDAY – It’s the 2014 debut of world class performer San Pail. $3.1 million career winner returns once again and looks to be back in shape. After two decent qualifying wins under his belt he should be ready for action and show his back class and his heels to his much younger rivals. Use Slip Into Glide and Zeus Lightning in exotic plays. $55,500 Final Artistic Vision Pacing Series Meadowlands  11th race SATURDAY – With a perfect season underway and 6 for 6, American In Paris should be at her best once again seeking to sweep the series in the final. Teamed with stablemate Art Ideal they look to be unbeatable in here. Use JK Letitgo and Road Bet in exotic plays. $50,000 Pace Levy Series Yonkers Raceway 11th race SATURDAY – It’s the final preliminary division for the long series and Yonkers always saves the best for last. It’s Team Burke against four other poor souls. It’s the three-horse entry of Foiled Again/Special Forces/Easy Again. Win wagering and exacta only, no trifectas. With the way he has comeback this season Foiled Again should have little trouble remaining unbeaten in five starts. Use Mach It So and Word Power in exotic plays or sit this one out and just watch one of harness racing’s great performers do his thing.
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Slugfest prevailed for the third consecutive week in the Friday night Open Trot at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Maureen Salino-trained trotter has started out his season on a tear. After finishing second in his first start back in March, Slugfest (Conway Hall) has rattled off three straight wins on the front end with driver Jay Randall in the sulky. This week, the local trotting star had to overcome post position eight on Friday but marched out to the early lead in :28.4 and never looked back before stopping the timer in 158.1. Pocket sitter Obrigado (Kim Crawford) finished second while Just Make Believe (Stephane Bouchard) earned the show spot. Slugfest returned $8.00 to win as he completed his hat trick. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  
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