Day At The Track
Galactic Star,Harness racing

Bond has set his sights on Melbourne again

THE Inter Dominion rules have been addressed and top WA trainer Greg Bond has set his sights on Melbourne again. Bond was set to abort his plans with Galactic Star before the Inter Dominion Event Committee (IDEC) agreed to scrap a rule requiring all “visiting” horses to be in Melbourne five days ahead of the opening round of heats. Harness Racing Victoria, Harness Racing NSW and Harness Racing NZ successfully applied to for the rule to be deleted. “Today’s decision further highlights the willingness of our industry’s administrators to listen to participants in order to achieve industry best outcomes,” HRV chairman Dale Monteith said. Importantly, it solves what would have been an ongoing issue for the Auckland series next year and Sydney in 2020. Bond echoed the sentiments of the vast majority of trainers when he applauded the rule change. “Common sense has prevailed and we can all get on with things now,” he said. In Bond’s case, Galactic Star and, possibly Vampiro, were booked on a flight from Perth to Melbourne the Wednesday before the opening round of heats, which would’ve seen them ineligible. That’s because Bond wanted to give at least one of his possible contenders their final lead-up race at Gloucester Park this Friday night and the following Wednesday was the next available flight after that. The rule would also have significantly impacted the growing Kiwi contingent being set for the Inter Dominion trotting and pacing series. “Galactic Star is now a definite and we will decide on Vampiro in the next day or so,” Bond said. “It’s the Inter Dominion and I’m super keen to be part of it, but I wouldn’t have been if we needed to be there on the Monday.” Bond’s focus will be split between the Inter Dominion and WA’s string of major 4YO races in coming weeks. He and wife, Skye, could have as many as five runners in Group 1 races like the McInerney Ford and Golden Nugget over the next few weeks. On form, hype and potential, ex-Kiwi pacer Ana Malak is leading the way, especially after he thrashed a moderate field in slick time at Pinjarra on debut for the Bonds yesterday (Monday). “I’ve got a feeling when push comes to shove, Ryan (Warwick, stable driver) will pick Ana Malak as his drive,” Bond said. “I just wish we’d been able to get another couple of lead-up runs into him, but he missed some racing with a quarter crack. It’s fine now.” Bond’s other major players include Mighty Conqueror, who looked fantastic winning at Gloucester Park last Friday night, and Bettor Aim, who made it six wins from nine starts with an easy Pinjarra victory on Monday. But it’s Ana Malak who has most people talking. “I toyed with backing him up this Friday, but I won’t. He’ll go straight into the McInerney on Friday week,” Bond said. Adam Hamilton

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Summer carnival beckons for Lilac Flash

The Queensland summer carnival features now beckon for Lilac Flash. That won’t shock anyone given the recent form of the former New Zealand pacer who made it 8 straight wins on Saturday night at Redcliffe when triumphant in the Comfort Inn Northgate Pace. Lilac Flash has been a revelation since heading across the Tasman Sea; the pint-sized Bettors Delight gelding has now won 12 of his last 15 starts. Since joining the stables of Kylie Rasmussen and Darren Weeks, Lilac Flash has won 12 of his 19 starts in the Sunshine State. But his recent win streak has prompted connections to focus on the upcoming Albion Park features. “We’re considering some of the open class races during the summer carnival, his form is excellent and he deserves his shot for the better prizemoney. No doubt, this will be much harder but his form speaks for itself.” Co-trainer Weeks said. The Gr.3 $30,660 Be Good Johnny Sprints kicks off the carnival on December 1 followed by the $20,660 Christmas Cup (December 8) and then the Gr.2 $50,660 Queensland Cup (December 15). The trio of open class features will be raced over the distances of 1660m, 2680m and 2138m. And all distances shouldn’t pose any issues for Lilac Flash. The zippy pacer has already recorded victories at Albion Park at the 1660m and 2138m while he is untried at the 2680m distance. However, he recently scored a comfortable victory at Redcliffe over the 2280m. “He’s still very green and he’s not simple to drive just yet because he’s always running in and out during his races, he’s slowly getting there but he’s not perfect yet. “His speed is obviously his key asset, he just seems to follow pace all day long and then rattle off some quick splits of his own. It will be interesting when he’s forced to follow the higher pressure in the open class races, we think he’ll handle it but it’s an unknown at this stage. “There’s obviously some handy open types running around currently plus there’s talk of some southerners heading up for it so competition will be strong but it will give us a good guide going forward. He’s been a great buy for the stable and it’s still pretty much his first campaign for us so a few more like him will be great.” Lilac Flash was previously prepared by respected south island trainer Tony Stratford in New Zealand. Unraced as a two-year-old, Lilac Flash won two races with 11 minor placings from 20 starts before being sold. Lilac Flash is raced by Darren Wilson.   Chris Barsby

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Six Pack and Tactical Landing enter TVG Finals

East Rutherford, NJ - On Saturday night The Meadowlands will host the final Grand Circuit races of their 2018 season. The finals for both the TVG Championship and Freshman Fall Final Four will be raced on a card that will boast nearly $3 million in purses.   The $1 million TVG Series was launched in the hope that it would mirror the Breeders Cup Classic where the season's top 3-year-old performers would face older rivals in the season ending battle. The Open Trot Championship will see that concept come to fruition and in a year filled with great performances promises to be the race of the season for the trotting set.   Six Pack and Tactical Landing are the consensus top contenders for year end honors in the sophomore colt trot division and both have been declared for the TVG final, which could well also determine the outcome of that poll.   Six Pace drew an invitation via his world record Kentucky Futurity win for Ake Svanstedt who trains and drives the colt and owns him in partnership with Jeff Gural's Little E; LLC, Stall Kalmer and Lars Berg. He is the fastest 3-year-old trotter in harness racing history via his 1:49.1 Futurity victory and has earned over $1 million on the season.   Tactical Landing (Brian Sears) has lived up to his potential with a magical second half of the season in the Jimmy Takter barn highlighted by an imposing Breeders Crown win for the Tactical Landing Stable which resulted in his TVG invitation. He won his Kentucky Futurity split in his personal best time of 150.2 and has earned more that $600,000.   The TVG will serve as the "rubber match" between the pair as Tactical Landing prevailed in a Hambletonian elimination while Six Pack took the Futurity final over his rival.   Just last season What The Hill used a TVG Championship win to seal the deal for year end honors for the sophomore trotting colt division.   Their assignment is certainly not an easy one as the Championship also contains Yonkers International Trot winner Cruzado Dela Noche and TVG point leader Will Take Charge among a very accomplished field of nine.   Also, in the TVG Mare Pace Championship upset Breeders Crown winner Percy Blue Chip (Matt Kakaley) represent the sophomore ladies after trainer Ron Burke accepted the invitation for his interest as Burke Racing along with partners Weaver Bruscemi, Purnell & Libby and Don Emond. Percy Blue Chip has returned dividends of more than $400,000 since her September purchase for the group.   At the top of the standings for this division is Shartin N (Tim Tetrick) who has dominated the older mare division all season and could become the first older pacing mare to earn over $1 million in a single season in this race for trainer Jim King, Jr and owners Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King.   The TVG Open Pacing Championship has SSG Stable's McWicked at the top of the heap points-wise for trainer Casie Coleman and after his scintillating 1:47.3 in the grips win for Sears last Saturday he'll take some beating in the final as he tries to wrap up the Horse of the Year title.   The TVG Open Mare Trot is led by Emoticon Hanover (Dan Dube) in points and performance off her second consecutive Breeders Crown win for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination. 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover makes her return for the Burke barn after a freshening and Ice Attraction is a player for Svanstedt as well.   The $1.8 million Freshman Fall Final Four will send ten to post in each of the four divisions in the final big money Grand Circuit event of the season for the 2-year-olds.   Complete information on the draw will be available later today on The Meadowlands website.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands  

Mitchell Cushing, harness racing

Mitchell Cushing wins five at Plainridge

Plainville, MA --- There is no hotter set of hands currently racing in New England than those of Mitchell Cushing and he continued to pile-on numbers to his career year by winning five more races at Plainridge Park on Monday afternoon (Nov. 19). The most notable victory in Cushing's day came in the marquee event; the $16,000 Winners-Over pace where Betterlatethnnever flashed his class once again. After leaving like a runner, Betterlatethnnever stacked up four horses three-deep at the three-quarters before shifting gears to pull away to a three-length win in 1:53.2. It was the ninth win in only 12 starts this year and the seventh win in the last eight starts for Betterlatethnnever ($4.20) who now sports $55,105 in earnings for 2018. David Glazer owns and Jimmy Nickerson trains. Then in the $14,000 conditioned event for pacers under 6-years-old, Cushing scored with Lear Hanover who followed Bowedfortyova (Drew Campbell) to the top of the stretch, where he pulled and out-muscled Ramblin Art (Nick Graffam) to the wire in 1:53.1. It was the eighth win of the season for Lear Hanover ($4.00) who is also owned and trained by Glazer and Nickerson. Cushing rounded out the five-bagger with Flash Lauxmont (1:53.3, $3.80), Lucky Sport (1:54, $4.80) and See Me Streakin (1:54.4, $5.00). Nickerson trains Lucky Sport as well and that gave him the conditioning Hat Trick Monday. Mitchell Cushing has posted gaudy numbers this year. Out of his 1,066 starts he's won 235 races, finished second another 160 and third 162 times. He's earned just under $1.4 million to date with a sparkling Universal Driver Rating (UDR) of .354. At the current Plainridge Park meet Cushing is in second place for wins with 131, has a UDR of .362 and earnings of $1.01 million. He sits behind Drew Campbell (155) in the victory category as Campbell has held that top spot for most of the year. Cushing plans to change his driving venue to the Meadowlands after the Plainridge Park meet ends next week which is the same track he started out the best year of his career back in January. Racing resumes at Plainridge Park on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 20) at 1 p.m. With no winner again in the Wicked Hi-5 Pentafecta in the last race on Monday, there will be a $5,265 carry over pool for the Wicked Hi-5 bet in the final race on Tuesday. Post time for the 10th race will be approximately 4 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts

It was a days for the Pats at Wyndham on Sunday with up and coming trotter Super Fast Pat winning his second race on the trot and Gore owner Pat Kubala winning a maiden race with Art Major gelding Prince Art. On the trotting front the question on most punters minds was whether Super Fast pat could take the next step up after impressively winning his last start by thirty and a half lengths. It took just over three minutes for us to find out, and it was an emphatic yes! “He’s got a lot of speed but he just hung badly today. I wanted to get round them and be handy but I just couldn’t quite cross to the one off at the 500. He was still doing it easy enough within himself at the finish but he had a few rough strides today,” said driver Brent Barclay. The Superfast Stuart four year old has always shown potential and Barclay admits that he does get anxious when driving the talented trotter.     “For sure. You just can’t let his head go (yet) but you know the motors there. He’s just got to get his rhythm. Once he gets that in another twelve months he’ll be a nice horse. He’s starting to learn all about the grit. I was real happy with him today.” After impressing at workouts early on, trainer Lauren Pearson and partner Barclay have found the key to Super Fast Pat. “We just do a lot of strong work with him. We follows the pacemaker a lot (and it) throws a lot of grit back. That’s the main thing with him. When the grit comes back he throws his head around and it throws him off balance. Once he’s got his rhythm and he’s going, he’s not too bad. He’s always had the ability.” Barclay says he’s a totally different horse at the race track compared to being at home.    “At home he pulls and is real fierce but when you bring him out on race day he’s the friendliest horse. He’s getting there but he still needs miles.” Barclay says the horse’s next target is the $20,000 Super Gold Chips Final at Winton on 13th April. “We’ll have to school him up for that but at this stage we’ll stick to the big tracks.” His standing start manners have also improved. “He was perfect today. You still just have to nurse him really.”   Meanwhile Pat’s Delight’s brother Prince Art created a good impression when he won on debut at Wyndham on Sunday. “He gave me the impression he was going to get there but it took the length of the straight. It was a good effort to pick himself up and make up the ground. There are some promising signs there,” said driver Tim Williams. Bruce Stewart

Harness racing royalty is headed to Brisbane. And they’re coming for the Queensland summer carnival which starts on November 30 at Albion Park with the opening round of the Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship heats. The Gr.2 $40,770 Final is scheduled for December 15. Inter Dominion winning trainer/driver Darren Hancock is heading north with trio of talented performers spearheaded by feature race winning squaregaiter, Monaro Mia. Hancock scored a memorable victory with Jofess back in 2004 at Gloucester Park in Perth among a stack of other features during his glittering career. Monaro Mia, a winner of the Gr.3 Northern Trotting Oaks at Alexandra Park, Auckland last season has recently joined Hancock and has shaped nicely in her two local Sydney starts. The Imperial Count mare has been a runner-up in both starts at TABCORP Park, Menangle to date and Hancock believes the Sunshine State feature fits in nicely. “We’re heading up but the main purpose is Monaro Mia and the trotting feature, that’s the purpose of the trip and we’re looking forward to it. I have Monaro Mia and Empire Bay for the trotting series while Majestic Kiwi is also making the trip up.” Hancock said. Majestic Kiwi ranks as a full brother to On Thunder Road, a winner of 35 races and over $425,000 for Hancock in recent years. Hancock will be based at Redcliffe but the team will be under the watchful eye of his son Corey and famous uncle, Brian. B.P Hancock needs no introduction; his deeds within the industry are legendary following his three Inter Dominion victories with champion pacer Our Sir Vancelot during the late 1990’s. The winner of a record six Inter Dominions - five as a trainer and five as a driver - Hancock believes he has achieved everything he ever aspired to. Hancock trained and drove Weona Warrior (1994) while achieving the three-peat with Our Sir Vancelot (1997/98/99). He also trained Thorate (1990) while taking the drive behind Koala King (1980). During his time, Hancock made many trips north of the border when campaigning the likes of Quantum Lobell, Tallowood Pursuit, Courage Under Fire, Thorate, and Weona Warrior among many others. Known as Mr Inter Dominion, Hancock retired from race driving in 2003. And Brian and Darren Hancock have achieved feature race success in Brisbane previously when they combined with former North American pacer Sweet Fame in the Gr.1 $125,000 Trans-Tasman at Albion Park back in 2006. “We’re in good hands with Uncle Brian in charge up there, if they go good it’s because of my foundation work and if things go pear-shaped, it will be on him. “It will be a great experience for my son Corey and spending quality time with Brian, hopefully he gains plenty of knowledge. “All horses are in good form and should acquit themselves well, I’m really happy with Monaro Mia and the way she’s performing. This series fits her schedule perfectly and should be a good target going forward, she’s a quality performer with a good record.” Monaro Mia starts tomorrow (Tuesday) at Menangle. Brian will take on the role of ‘executive foreman’ during the Brisbane campaign. Feature events are scheduled for December 1, 8 and 15 at Albion Park.   Chris Barsby

The best of harness racing journalism in 2018 will be honored with the 57th edition of the John Hervey Awards for writing, the 35th edition of the Broadcasters Award and the 19th edition of the George Smallsreed Awards for photography. The deadline for entries is 5 p.m. Dec. 10. Entries will be accepted for news/commentary writing, feature writing, broadcasting, race photography and feature photography. Entries published or broadcast between Dec. 1, 2017 and Nov. 30, 2018, are eligible. All entries must be in English. Judges in each category will select a winner and, where appropriate, up to two honorable mentions. There are no entry fees or cash prizes. Winners will be announced in January and will be recognized at the U.S. Harness Writers Association's annual Dan Patch Awards festivities Feb. 24 in Orlando. Winners will receive a plaque/trophy as well as two dinner tickets to the Dan Patch Awards dinner. Photo and written submissions must have appeared in a paid-circulation publication or on the website that is the same-name affiliate of a paid-circulation publication, recognized broadcast news organization or established industry/news website. Content that appeared on personal websites, message boards or lists and similar entities is not valid for inclusion in the competition. The final decision on eligibility is in the hands of the Hervey Committee. Broadcast entries will be accepted feature or live racing segment no longer than 10 minutes. The entry must have aired on a network television or cable station, recognized news and/or industry website, or have been included in a racetrack's simulcasting presentation. Documentaries or other long-form productions are not eligible although one segment of that documentary, edited only to fit the length limitations of no more than 10 minutes, may be submitted for consideration. The awards are not open to entries that are fiction, in the form of Q&As, or were prepared for commercial purposes (for advertisements/promo/publicity purposes). There is a limit of one submission per person per category. A person may enter more than one category, but not with the same submission. An entry may only be submitted in one category and the category must be indicated clearly. The Hervey Committee, at its discretion, may disqualify an entry at any time in the process, and reserves the right not to bestow an award in a particular category based on the quality and quantity of entries. All entries must originate with the author/photographer/producer and must include a signed cover letter expressing the wish to enter materials in the contest and granting permission for the materials to be used for promoting the awards in press releases. The letter must also include the following contact information for the writer/producer/photographer: name, full address, telephone numbers (home, office, cell) and email address. The letter must also include the date that the media organization published/aired the submission and specify the category for which the entry is being submitted. Editors may submit entries provided the cover letter includes contact information for the writer/producer/photographer as well as for the person submitting the entry. All other third-party entries will be rejected. Written entries must specify the category - news or feature - for consideration. All print entries must include a tear sheet of the entry (a PDF is acceptable) as it appeared in print and a plain text version with no identifying information (bylines, publication name, graphs, photos or other graphic elements). Broadcast entries must not exceed 10 minutes and must not contain commercials. Each submission (one per person or organization) should have a cover letter. Submissions can be in the form of a mailed DVD or provided via a file-sharing service. Photography entries must include a cover letter designating the category for the photo - race or feature - and a tear sheet of the published photo, showing the date, name of publication and photographer's name. Tear sheets for Internet-based submissions will consist of a screen shot. Photographs should not be digitally enhanced beyond the basics needed to achieve realistic color balance and sharpness. Failure to follow these rules will result in disqualification. Photographs may be sent via email. If mailed, three prints of the entry must be provided. The decisions of the Hervey Committee and the judges are final. Email entries, or file shared for broadcast, are encouraged. Email entries should be sent to ken.weingartner@ustrotting.com. Mailed entries should be sent to Ken Weingartner, 425 S. Main St., Hightstown, NJ 08520. Questions can be directed to Ken Weingartner, chairman of the Hervey Committee, at the above email address. by Ken Weingartner,for the USTA

New Zealand’s Inter Dominion assault could swell to six after a couple of surprise additions. The annual trans tasman harness racing series returns to Victoria on Saturday week and has the added bonus of the return of the trotting series, which was last held in 2012. Both series will consist of three rounds of heats spread across Victoria and 2760m mobile finals at Melton on December 15 but the series, like last week’s New Zealand Cup, has been hit by the extraordinary number of injuries, retirements and overseas sales in the open class ranks this year. But while a brutal Cup week in Christchurch last week suggested New Zealand could have only two or three reps in the Inters, that number could double. Yesterday was the day many trainers sat down, dusted themselves off and planned the rest of the summer and one of the big winners has been the Auckland and Cambridge summer carnivals, with some of the industry’s glamour names staying home. That will include Thefixer, Dream About Me, Jack’s Legend, Turn It Up, Chase Auckland, Eamon Maguire and Elle Mac in the pacing ranks while Temporale, Lemond and Woodstone will also be coming north rather than heading to Melbourne.  Ultimate Machete, who missed Cup week with a hoof problem, has been on the water walker for the last week and co-trainer Mark Purdon will check on his progress before confirming an Auckland Cup campaign. That leaves the All Stars with Cruz Bromac as their confirmed Inter Dominon pacing hope with the option that Spankem could join him.  “We are still finalising a few different things and will firm everything up later in the week,” said Purdon.  While speedster Star Galleria is out of the Inters and will need a minor surgery, one surprise addition to the Kiwi pacing team could be Pat’s Delight. The Jewels winner has been both luckless and impressive over the last month and trainer Cran Dalgety is leaning toward going to Melbourne as the Inter Dominion final  could be no stronger than the Auckland Cup. “I am talking to the owner about it and he gets the final call but I am keen to go,” says Dalgety. In the trotting series Speeding Spur was always likely to go and after jogging out soundly for trainers John and Josh Dickie on Monday morning he will be in the series barring anything unforseen happening this week And he could be joined by two slightly unexpected fellow Kiwis in Alderbeck and Monty Python. Their trainer Phil Williamson says the Inter trip is on with the pair, who both had no luck in the Dominion last Friday. “I think they are both good enough to go to the series, make the final and get some money in it so we are keen,” says the champion trainer of trotters. But with driving sons Nathan, Brad and Matthew so busy at home, Williamson could be on the lookout for an Australian driver for the pair. Speeding Spur is rated the most likely New Zealand winner of one of an Inter final at $3.80 in most markets, while Tiger Tara heads many Inter Dominion pacing markets although Cruz Bromac could continue to shorten after his NZ Free-For-All win last Friday and once his participation in the series becomes more certain. Other plans for some of the big names from Cup week see three-year-old star Ultimate Sniper coming north for the Sales Series Pace at Alexandra Park on December 31 buy intermediate grade speed machine Alta Maestro will stick to a South Island standing start race programme for now to continue to educate him.   Michael Guerin

CLASSY Kiwi pacer Locharburn is heading to NSW to continue his career. The son of Christian Cullen will be flown to Sydney to join Shane and Lauren Tritton’s stable and be aimed at the Miracle Mile. Owner-trainer Kevin Chapman said it would be an emotional time when Locharburn left the barn for Sydney on Friday. “He’s part of the family, but it’s the right thing to do for him. So much work has gone into getting him back from a tendon and a suspensory. He’s really well now, but he can only run in the best races here,” he said. “He’s also not suited to how the races are run here, just sit-up and sprint home. He can run back-to-back 57sec halves, but not a 59sec and a 54sec. “He also hates Auckland. I know he’s run some good races there as a younger horse, but he just doesn’t go anywhere near as well the opposite way.” Chapman said he chose Tritton because of his record rejuvenating older horses the “drop-back” handicapping system at Menangle. “Shane says they can earn $60,000 a year at Menangle without having to beat the best ones,” Chapman said. “It would be great to see the horse drop back in class and find winning form again. Tritton can’t wait for Locharburn to join the barn. “He’s a really serious horse at his top and I reckon he’ll love the Menangle mile racing,” he said. “It’s a real buzz for us that Kevin’s decided to send him across and give us a go with him. “He’s a bit like Franco Nelson when he came to us. He’s had his issues, but our system here seems to get the best out of these older horses. “We’re really looking forward to getting him across and into our system.” Locharburn’s 39 starts have netted 14 wins, eight seconds a third. He was a superstar at three, winning the NZ Derby and finishing second to Tiger Tara in the Northern Derby and second to Isaiah in the NZ Sales Series’ final. As an older horse, Locharburn’s best win came in the 2016 Eastern Cup at Group 1 level, beating Smolda.   Adam Hamilton

KEVIN Pizzuto blames himself for Tiger Tara running one of the worst races of his career in the NZ free-for-all. And he wants punters and fans of the mighty pacer to know it won’t happen again. In short, Pizzuto said he gave Tiger Tara to much time in a lush paddock eating grass after his epic second to Thefixer in last Tuesday’s NZ Cup. “He was bloated and you know it feels when you’re bloated,” he said. “I made a mistake. I’m annoyed with myself. It shouldn’t have happened. “I can understand people thinking he might have been tired after the Cup, but it wasn’t that. He actually pulled-up blowing after the race. He’s simply had far too much of that green grass. “Of course you get everything checked after a run like that. I had him scoped, but he was fine. “And he’s been really well since so now I just want to get him home and focus on the Inter Dominion.” Tiger Tara is booked on a flight back to Sydney on Tuesday. It’s great to hear Pizzuto has committed to the Inter Dominion after being far from certainly at stages of last week. “I think this thing of needing to be in Melbourne five days before the heats start is crazy, but I will go down early if I have to,” Pizzuto said. “I’m taking about 15 horses down to Victoria to race them for a few weeks around Inter Dominion time.” Tiger Tara has eased from $4 to $5, but remains favourite for the Inter Dominion final. There has been lots of talk about Tiger Tara also going to Perth for the lucrative Fremantle and WA Cups in January. “At one stage I’d considered missing the Inter Dominion and just going to Perth, but now I’m committed to Victoria, I’ll wait and see how he comes through that before deciding on Perth,” Pizzuto said. “I’d love to go to Perth and probably will if he comes through the Inter Dominion really well.”   Adam Hamilton

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The Hippodrome 3R featured the first race program without the use of whips on Sunday and all 11 races went without a hitch. The experiment of "whipless" racing will also take place next Sunday, which is closing day for the 2018 season. H3R's leading driver the past two years, Stephane Brosseau, put on a clinic on handling a trotter without a whip in the sixth race Preferred Trot with Upvote Hanover. Holiday Party (Pascal Berube) was first off the starting gate from post five, grabbing the early lead with Caroluzzo (Stephane Gendron) sitting in the pocket-seat and R Rkadabra and driver Franics Picard stuck coming first-over. They raced past the opening quarter mile in :28.2 as Holiday Party held firm to his lead. R Rkadabra was parked out and following his outside cover was Upvote Hanover as they past the half mile marker in :59.3. Then in the backstretch, Brosseau moved Upvote Hanover three-wide and they were able to clear past R Rkadabra before the three-quarters in 1:30 and kept gaining ground on race leader Holiday Party. In the stretch, Upvote Hanover kicked in another gear for Brosseau as they pulled away and won by two lengths in 2:00.2. Second at 17-1 was EAU Naturelle (Simon Delisle) with Holiday Party third. It was the third straight win and tenth victory on the year for Upvote Hanover. The four-year-old gelded son of Kadabra is trained by Yves Tessier and owned by Francois Morin of Beauceville. He paid $4.30 to win. Rainbow Palace, the lone mare against seven male rivals, was able to show her heels to the boys, wiring the field for driver Francis Picard in 1:58.1. That was the fastest mile on the below freezing race card. Chaleurs Ad (Berube) was first on the lead with Rainbow Palace challenge on the outside and then taking the lead after a speedy opening quarter mile in :27.4. Rainbow Palace then led the way to the half mile in :58 with Hooter Scooter (Stephane Brosseau) coming first-over and giving cover to D J Power (Pierre Luc Roy) second-over. Then in the backstretch, driver Stephane Gendron took Ufdragons Rocket three-wide as they tried to loop the field past the three-quarters in 1:28.1. Coming down the stretch, Ufdragons Rocket began to fade and Rainbow Palace was able to hold off Hooter Scooter to win by a neck. Chaleurs Ad was third. Sired by Royal Mattjesty, Rainbow Palace is trained by Dominique Picard and owned by Francis Picard of Warwick. She paid $8.60 to win. Track Notes: Both Pascal Berube and Pierre Luc Roy had driving doubles and both Yves Tessier and Stephane Hubert had training doubles. Next Sunday is the final live race card of the 2018 season at the Hippodrome 3R and will also feature "whipless" racing. Both the leading driver and trainer awards will be presented. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

Today’s Gr. II Grand Prix de Bretagne (purse 120,000€, 2700 meters, 15 starters) drew a talented field and an enthusiastic audience. The winner gets an instant invitation to the Prix de Amerique in late January. The 4.2/1 Davidson du Pont (5m Pacha du Pont-Laguna du Pont) took a tough first over journey for trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire and gained the front at top of stretch with 5/10 favorite Bold Eagle (7m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) and driver Franck Nivard right behind. Davidson held game and drew to a length advantage on the line with 15/1 Delia de Pommereux (5f Niky-Noune du Pommereux) closing fast for second between horses, driven by Damien Bonne for trainer Sylvain Roger and breeder/owner Noel Lolic. Bird Parker (7m Ready Cash-Belisha) was a tough third at 10/1 for J.Ph. Monclin, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. Bold Eagle was unable to gain late and ended fourth, ahead of 19/1 Carat Williams (6m Prodigious-Miss Williams) and driver David Thomain. 50/1 Briac Dark and 53/1 Cash Gamble completed the top seven with Belina Josselyn, Uza Josselyn and Charly du Noyer all dq’s. Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_LLk_7GOxU The Gr. III Prix Boissy Saint-Leger (Gr. III, purse 95,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 13 starters) was a hotly contested event with the dq place win to 33/1 Unique Juni (5f Uptown Yankee-Staro Unique) handled by Gabriele Gelormini for trainer Jorgen Westholm. Race timed was 1.12.2kr. The 2.8/1 Racing Mange (5m Orlando Vici) was first placed last for Joakim Lovgren for going inside several pegs in late homestretch. The 9/1 Diego Sautonne (5m Look de Star) was placed second for trainer/driver Matthieu Abrivard and placed third was 108/1 Victor Ferm (4m Nad Al Sheba) driven by Andrea Guzzinati. Fun Quick (3m Carpe Diem-Activity Quick) at 4/1 won the Prix Jean Maurice Beteau (purse 52,000€, 2700 meters, four starters – three year olds) to start today’s action at Vincennes, timed in 1.16kr and piloted by Franck Nivard for trainer Marc Esper and Ecurie Quick Star. The 3.3/1 Fakir de Madey (3m Reve de Beylev) took second money for Yoann Lebourgeois and 12.1 Fakir Griff (3m Goetmals Wood) was third for Mathieu Mottier, trainer Dominique Mottier and Ecurie Griff, the owner/breeder. The 4/5 favorite Fortissimoko was a dq. The Prix de Cosse le Vivien (purse 75,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 16 European starters) went to 3.9/1 Ardente du Clos (8f Reve de Vallees-Lumiere du Clos) handled by owner/trainer Matthieu Abrivard. 28/1 Cicero Noa (6g Mandarino Blue-Ma Belle Reim) closed well for second with Pierre Vercruysse up for the breeder/owner/trainer Jan Vanhoucke. At 5/2 odds Class de Loriol (6f Ready Cash-Orageuse de Marjon) was third with Yoann Lebourgeois aboard. 8.2/1 Utile Lebel and 10/1 Tesauro completed the top five. Race time was 1.12kr. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

“Just a dream come true" is how Noel Alexander describes Golden Reign's 1995 Inter Dominion triumph, the latest great edition of the race to be celebrated in the Legends of the harness racing Inter Dominion series. Alexander, who co-trained Golden Reign with his partner Jayne Davies, tells of how the extraordinarily talented horse swept past a brilliant field to bring the trophy home from New Zealand. And what it meant to the stable. "You go back to the days when we used to go to the trots, Vinny Knight with all his good horses, winning those major races," Alexander said. “I just thought we weren’t going to get those horses. They were for other people those races." That all changed with one of the greatest horses in the greatest race series: the Inter Dominion, which returns to Victoria from December 1. “It’s our showpiece," Alexander said. "That’s the ultimate, that’s the thing. You ask any driver, any trainer, any owner when they get involved in a horse: what do you want to achieve? I want to have an Inter Dominion winner.” BOOK YOUR TICKETS AT ID18.COM.AU Click below to relive Golden Reign's terrific win: My Lightning Blue's extraordinary 1987 Inter Dominion victory in trainer-driver Jim O'Sullivan's hands would see the pair become Australasian trots immortals. Watch below: Gammalite's 1983 Inter Dominion battle with Popular Alm is the stuff of legend and reinsman Bruce Clarke shares his memories about the pride of Terang's triumph in the latest of our Legends of the Inter Dominon features. Watch below: Brian Gath's 1978 Inter Dominion triumph with Markovina is a moment that still brings him great joy and he shares that special night at Moonee Valley Racing Club in the second of our Legends of the Inter Dominion features. Watch below: Relive Eric Hurley's famed 1964 win on Minuteman with the man in the driver's seat in the first of our Legends of the Inter Dominion features, part of our count down to the great race series' Victorian return in December. Watch below:   Courtesy of Trots Media

The Gr. III Prix de L’lle d’Oleron (monte, purse 110,000€, 2850 meters, nine starters) was the day’s featured event and 1.4/1 Clegs des Champs (6g Legs du Clos-Proserpine) scored for jockey David Thomain, trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J-Y Roze. The winner scored for the tenth time in 21 career starts, now for 343,830€ earned. 17/1 Amour Fou (8g Meaulnes du Corta) took second with Franck Nivard in the irons for trainer Raffegeau and owner Roze. The 3/2 favorite Bugsy Malone (7g Ready Cash-Night Captain) took third after a valiant effort, with Yoann Lebourgeois up for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. The Prix de Belfort (purse 64,000€, 2700 meters, 14 starters) went to 1.13.5kr timed and 1.3/1 odds Dexter Chatho (5g Un Amour d’Haufor-Naoyama) with owner/trainer Christian Bigeon up. The winner scored for the seventh time in 19 career starts. 5/1 Dollar Soyer (5g Phlegyas) was second for Anthony Barrier, ahead of 77/1 Doum Jenilou (5g Rancho Gede). The Prix d’Aix les Bairs (purse 37,000€, 2700 meters. 15 starters, three year old males) saw 9/10 favorite Freeport (3m Texas Charm-Nouvelle d’Atout) score timed in 1.16.3kr for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and owner Mme. Ottavia Roffi-Urano. This colt recorded his fourth career win in six starts. 32/1 Filou des Tyll (3g Rancho Gede) was second for Matthieu Mottier and 38/1 Fynio du Pollereux (3g Timoko) was third for Franck Ouvrie. The Prix des Castres (purse 50,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 18 starters, four year old females) went to 1.13.9kr timed and 5.5/1 odds Evita de Reux (4f Goetmals Wood-Tensita Love) with owner/trainer Matthieu Abrivard driving. She scored for the seventh time in 18 career outings. The 5/10 favorite Ella de Mai (4f Neutron du Cebe) was second for owner/trainer/driver J-M Bazire and 18/1 Electra du Vivier (4f Password) took third with Sebastian Ernault up for breeder/owner/trainer J-Y Lecuyer. The 1.9/1 odds favorite Emiliano (4m Love You-Quarda du Rib) took the Prix d’Annecy (purse 50,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 15 starters) timed in 1.12.6kr. Trainer J-M Bazire piloted the now eight time winner in 19 career starts for breeder/owner Ecurie des Charmes. The 2.1/1 Eadshot Josselyn (4g The Best Madrik) was second with Gabriele Gelormini up for trainer Paul Hagoort and Stable Why Not. 24/1 Ekoango de Nile (4g Olimede) took third for David Thomain. Saturday's Quinte+ event was the Prix Mizar (purse 52,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 16 European starters) that went to the 29/1 outsider Costa Haufor (6f Saphir d’Haufor-Santa Haufor) with Charles J. Bigeon driving. Christian Bigeon bred, owns and trains this winner that now shows six career victories in 30 starts. The 2.1/1 favorite Bryssel (6m Ready Cash-Spacelane) held second for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop and third was 26/1 Chtiot de Bellande (6m Defi d’Aunou) with Anthony Barrier up. 4.2/1 Sahara One (6g Raja Mirchi) and 68/1 Caresse (6f Ready Cash) completed the exact order top five that paid 86,429.40€ to the 2€ winning ticketholders. The same Saturday harness racing card produced victory for the undefeated (now three starts) and 2/5 favorite Foxtrot Nobless (3g Quinoa du Gers-Matthiole) reined by J-M Bazire for owner J-M Rancoule in the Prix Vulpecule (purse 35,000€, 2100 meters autostart, ten starters). The 32/1 Flash de Lune (3g Redlight Jet) was second for David Thomain and 25/1 Full Aux Rois (3g Tucson) was third for Thierry Duvaldestin. Race time was 1.15.3kr. Two year olds battled in the Prix Siwa A (purse 28,000€, 2200 meters, 12 starters) with a 1.17kr timed victory earned by the 5/10 favorite Golden Bridge (2m Ready Cash-Usenza) with Yoann Lebourgeois up for trainer Philippe Allaire and breeder/owner Michel Tessier. Golden Bridge earned his second victory in three career starts by defeating 25/1 Gassman d’Essa (2m Quido du Goutier) with Francois Lagadeuc up. 46/1 Grand Cru Lorrain (2m Coktail Jet) was third. The B division of the Prix Siwa (purse 28,000€, 2200 meters, 12 starters, two year olds) went to 1.17.6kr timed and 60/1 Gelati Cut (2m Coktail Jet-Variety Cut) with Gabriele Gelormini up for trainer Romain Charles Larue and breeder/owner Ecurie de Windcut. The 2.1/1 Granaggiolo (2m Timoko) was second and 41/1 Gold de la Cote (2m Ready Cash-Uranie des Elfes) was third, this one owned and trained by Sebastien Guarato and reined by Eric Raffin. Sunday at Vincennes is the first “B” leading to the 2019 Prix d’Amerique. The lineup follows headed by Bold Eagle. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

There were plenty of surprises related to Robyns Playboy’s win at Wyndham today. With a winning margin of an impressive nine and a half lengths, and a time of 2-53.0 - a new track and Southland record for both three year olds and all-comers, Robyn’s Playboy was the standout performer of the day. “We were hoping for cover and to drive him for just one run. He hadn’t had a workout and had a fair spell,” said Gore trainer Ross Wilson after the win. Driver Craig Ferguson sat the Shadow Play gelding parked for the first 800 metres before he took the lead. With 400 metres to run he had his eight other rivals struggling. On straightening Ferguson pulled the ear plugs and Robyns Playboy instantly extended his lead, going down to the finish line nine and a half lengths ahead of I’m Trouble. “He’s just got a great cruising speed and doesn’t stop. He’s got a real big motor in him we know that. It was very pleasing.” The time 2-53.0 bettered Return To Senders 2014 Three Year Old and All-comers track record of 2-55.1, broke the long standing 2007 Three Year Old Southland record held by Rider On The Storm (2-54.5) and equalled Nex Time’s Southland’s All-comers record of 2-53.0. The time was only 0.5 of a second outside of the National Three Year Old record of 2-52.5 held by The Dorchester. This season Wilson has seen Robyns Playboy become the real deal and live up to the high opinion he had of the horse when he started his career last season. “Initially he could run but didn’t know what to do. You’d pull him out and he’d just muck around beside the other horse. He’s cottoned on now. When you pull him out he’s got to get going. He’s been working with Bridey (Bridesdale Robyn) the last couple of weeks and she went well at Addington. There’s not much between them. He’s the all-round horse. He’s got gate speed and he can stay.” So now the main worry for Wilson is where to place the quality three year old. “I don’t know what to do with him now because if you start again you’re racing horses that are near cup class.” One race for three year olds that Wilson is considering is at Gore on 27th December. It’s worth fifteen thousand dollar and is sponsored by Cadrona Distillery. The Gore Club hopes to make this race an annual feature. “I won’t go north with him, I’ll just muck around with him down here. We’ve had a few inquiries for him but he’s not for sale. He gets you out of bed in the mornings.” So impressed with Robyn’s Playboy is he, that Wilson plans to send his dam Robyn Maree back to Shadow Play.   Bruce Stewart

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Dover, DE - On a chilly moonlit night the girls went to post with the first harness racing division of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund being won gate to wire in 1:56.2 by THE LADY SHERIFF (Southwind Lynx-Sheriff Sale). She is trained by Clyde Francis and handily driven by part owner Montrell Teague for his father, George and the Fry brothers of Houston. The place filly, ANNEKE (Southwind Lynx-Whirl The Girl) is trained and owned by Montrell’s Aunt Brenda and steered tonight by Jim Morand. The second division ended up with only 3 fillies going to the gate because of sick scratches. VISTAMISTA(Powerful Mist-Yankee Vista) repeated last week’s performance for driver Victor Kirby in 1:56. Trained by Wayne Givens and owned by Legacy Racing of DE,Inc. and Sharon White of Smyrna this was the tenth lifetime start and pushed her earnings over $65K. Winner from last week, RODDYS AT IT AGAIN (Roddy’s Bags Again-Terro Franco N) earned the place spot. The final will be contested on Thursday, November 29th in conjunction with the Dover Signature event, the “Hap Hansen Progress Pace” named for the late Brandywine Raceway President. Top eight point getters advance to the final. The pacing filly division will be the only division to field a consolation of $15,000 whicundFh will be contested on Wednesday, November 28th. by Judy Davis-Wilson, for the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund
Plainville, MA --- If anyone doesn't want to see the current Plainridge Park meet come to a close its Janet Davis; owner and trainer of Iheartquestionmark who won the $12,000 Abigail Adams conditioned feature race for distaff pacers on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 20). The win was the mare's second in a row and fourth in her last five starts as she has found some of her best foot of her year just as it is winding down. With a cold wind blowing a steady rain and the track rated as sloppy, Twist Of Fate (Nick Graffam) was calling the shots on the point in the feature and took the field to the half in :59.2 through the storm. Iheartquestionmark (Steve Nason) who had gotten away sixth, was now motoring up the outside second-over behind Angel Or Terror (Ron Cushing) who had pulled past the three-eighths. As the race progressed up the backside and the outer flow stalled in the mud, Nason tipped Iheartquestionmark three-high at the three-quarters and put a circle around the girls by the time they hit the top of the stretch. From there Iheartquestionmark paced home with authority under mild urging from Nason to win by a length and one-half in 1:57.3. It was the ninth win of the year for Iheartquestionmark ($3.40) who now has $60,750 on the card in 2018. THe 9-year-old daughter of General Aidid was driven by Nason for her last two victories. There was an eye-popping instant jackpot in the tenth race at Plainridge Park on Tuesday. The Wicked Hi-5 pentafecta combination of 3-4-1-5-2 returned $32,824.60 for a $1 wager. There will be no racing on Thursday this week at Plainridge Park in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Live racing will resume on Monday (Nov. 26) at 1 p.m. to kick off the final week of racing for the year. By Tim Bojarski, for the Standardbred Owners of Massachusetts
WASHINGTON, PA, Nov. 20, 2018 -- Last by 8 lengths at the half, Cracklin Rosie followed a line of cover to the final turn, then roared wide through the lane to capture Tuesday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Cracklin Rosie was third in a cover flow that seemed excessive. But when Jim Pantaleano tipped her wide for the drive, she showed she's no "store-bought woman" -- as Neil Diamond's 1970 chart-topper Cracklin Rosie had it -- and erased the last 3-1/2 lengths of her deficit, scoring in 1:55.4 over a sloppy surface. Jewels Forreal shot the Lightning Lane for second, 1-1/2 lengths back, while the first-over McDazzle finished third. Scott Betts trains the 5-year-old daughter of Badlands Hanover-Honey's Bud Lite, who extended her career bankroll to $225,846, for Tim Betts, Stephen Moss, Nicholas Catalano and Pedro Baez III. It was one of three wins on the 13-race card for Pantaleano. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is holding its 15th Annual Toys for Tots Collection Drive November 23rd through Saturday, December 8th. This year the Meadowlands has teamed up with NY Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa & the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots to donate all the collected toys to Harlem Grown. Harlem Grown is a charitable organization in Harlem whose mission is to inspire youth to lead healthy and ambitious lives through mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition. For additional information, please visit www.HarlemGrown.org. Enunwa will be at the Meadowlands on Monday, December 3 from 6:30-8:30pm. FOX5 Sportscaster Tina Cervasio is scheduled to emcee the event. Anyone that brings in a new unwrapped toy will be able to meet and grab a selfie with Enunwa. "We are proud to host a Toys for Tots drive each holiday season," said Jason M. Settlemoir, GM/COO of Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment. "Harlem Grown is a terrific organization and we are grateful to be able to assist Quincy Enunwa in his Toys for Tots drive." Complete Meadowlands Racetrack Holiday Toy Drive information can be found at http://playmeadowlands.com/home.aspx by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands
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