Day At The Track

Top harness racing trainer Mark Purdon is pleased with the way the New Zealand Cup favourite Ultimate Machete is progressing after a win at yesterdays Mid - Canterbury trials. After he galloped away badly at his first trial appearance at Rangiora last week Ulimate Machete was much more behaved yesterday and he stepped well and led for the last 800m to win narrowly but under a hold from stablemate Spankem. Purdon was happy with the trial and said on the All Stars Website, "He did everything right. "He stepped well and I just moved up in the middle stages and went to the line with Spankem who is also going well. "I think they all finished in the first two or three and I was pleased with all the results.   The time for the 2400m trial was an unhurried 3-08.7 with a steady last 800m in 58.7 and closing 400m in 28.1. Ultimate Machete (Bettor's Delight - Reality Check) is set to resume in the $50,000 Inkwise Canterbury Classic on October 5th with the winner of that race guaranteed a start in the New Zealand Cup on Tuesday 13th November. Another All Stars New Zealand Cup nominee Dream About Me will contest the time honoured (Gr3) Hannon Memorial at Oamaru this weekend. The Bettor's Delight mare is the highest rated horse in the race and will start a short priced favourite after two good minor placings at Addington in her previous two starts.   Harnesslink media

Yannick Gingras, the leading driver in earnings in North America for the past four years, will represent the United States in the 2019 World Driving Championship in Sweden from May 24-31 next year. Conducted since 1970, the World Driving Championship brings together the world's best harness drivers for an exciting, international competition. "First of all, it's a great honor to be asked," said Gingras who will be making his first WDC appearance. "Only one person can represent the United States and I'm very humble and proud. "I'm looking forward to going to Sweden because I have made good relationships there over the years and have some great friends," added Gingras. "I'll get to spend a couple of weeks there during a beautiful time of the year. The timing and location make the whole package perfect." Gingras is currently the second-leading driver in purses earned this year with more than $7.6 million. For his career, he's on the verge of reaching 40,000 starts, 7,000 wins and $165 million in earnings. "Yannick has been an elite, big race driver for the past several years as demonstrated by his being the top money-winner for the last four years in a row," said USTA President Russell Williams in making the announcement of his selection of Gingras. "He is a fan favorite, is always very good with the media and he will be an excellent representative both on and off the track." Gingras, who turned 39 on Aug. 4, has a long list of career highlights. He was named the Driver of the Year last year and in 2014, when he had a career high $17.3 million in earnings. In 2003, he received the Rising Star Award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association. He has been among the Top 10 drivers in earnings for the past 12 years and has been in the top five in each of the past eight seasons. His $164.9 million in career earnings rank eighth all-time and fifth among active drivers. Gingras is the regular driver of 2017 Horse of the Year Award winner Hannelore Hanover. In 2017, Gingras' top wins included the Maple Leaf Trot with Hannelore Hanover, four Breeders Crown finals (with Hannelore Hanover, Ariana G, Manchego, and Youaremycandygirl) and the Little Brown Jug with Filibuster Hanover. Gingras has won 20 Breeders Crown trophies in his career. Also among his many accomplishments, Gingras is known for his association with pacer Foiled Again, the richest horse in harness racing history with $7.59 million in lifetime earnings. With Gingras in the sulky, Foiled Again got career win No. 100 on July 8 at Harrah's Philadelphia and joined Hall of Famer Rambling Willie as the only pacers with at least 100 wins and more than $2 million in purses in the past 40 years. From the USTA Communications Department    

The giants of Swedish trotting met Sunday at Ostersund to decide the UET Masters Final (purse 401,600€, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters). Propulsion (7m Andover Hall-Danae) rallied at mid-stretch for the 1.10.4kr timed victory with Orjan Kihlstrom up for Stall Zet and trainer Daniel Reden. He raised his career earnings to 2,227,405€. The 22/1 Milligans School (5m Yankee Glide-Tori Ann) rallied along the pegs for second after leading Cyber Lane faded, driven by Ulf Eriksson and owner/trainer Stefan Melander. The 7/10 favorite Readly Express (6m Ready Cash-Caddie Dream) was third handled by Bjorn Goop for trainer Timo Nurmos.  Sorbet and driver Per Linderoth was fourth ahead of the Wim Paal teamed Up And Quick. Lionel, Dreammoko and Cyber Lane finished sixth through eighth and Diamanten was a dq. Replay stretch drive link follows:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6Xp09J6HZ8 The Ostersund card also included the Krokoms Kommun (purse 25,753€, 2140 meters autostart, six starters) and the 1/10 favorite In Toto Sund (6f Ken Warkentin-Marsa LB) scored for the Orjan Kihlstrom, Daniel Reden, Stall Zet team to raise her career earnings to 416,681€.  Ginny Weasley was second for Robert Bergh, ahead of the Bjorn Goop teamed Dizzy Broad. Race time was 1.12.5kr. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

It's been 35 years since fans at the Delaware County Fair have seen a horse capture the Pacing Triple Crown with a win in the Little Brown Jug. True, three horses have won the Pacing Triple Crown since Ralph Hanover in 1983, but because the sequence of Crown races often change, none of those horses completed their quests in Delaware, Ohio. In fact, of the 10 Pacing Triple Crown winners to date, only Ralph Hanover and Adios Butler in 1959 finished their feats in the Little Brown Jug. Stay Hungry will try to join them on Thursday. He will become the sixth horse to compete in the Jug with the chance to win the Pacing Triple Crown and first since 1993 when Riyadh finished second. Western Hanover in 1992 and Albatross in 1971 also finished second in their bids. The most recent Pacing Triple Crown winner was No Pan Intended, who in 2003 won the Cane Pace first followed by the Little Brown Jug and the Messenger Stakes. To commemorate the 35th anniversary of the last Pacing Triple Crown coronation at the Little Brown Jug, Ralph Hanover's driver and co-owner Ron Waples recounted his memories of the experience and the horse. "I'd have said it then and I'd say the same thing now, it's probably one of the biggest thrills of my life," Waples said about winning the Pacing Triple Crown. "Going into the Jug, the horse was very sharp and very good. He'd taken on all comers. I think back on it now, and I think I would have been more disappointed if he'd gotten beat than anything. I was just so hyped up about it, so confident that he was going to do well." Ralph Hanover, who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1986 and died in 2008, was a son of Meadow Skipper out of Ravina Hanover. He was purchased for $58,000 by trainer Stew Firlotte and Waples, who had decided to partner on the yearling rather than bid against each other. The colt proved to be lazy throughout his career, but knew when it was show time. "He was hard to get to go at all until we got him in with horses," Waples said. "Once he got behind the gate and started to race he woke right up. Even at his best, he was always very, very lazy." Ralph Hanover won seven of 15 races at age 2 before etching his name in history at age 3. In 1983, Ralph Hanover won 20 of 25 races and earned a then-record $1.71 million in purses. He won the Messenger Stakes in June, the Meadowlands Pace and Queen City Pace (later replaced by the North America Cup) in July and three double-heat races -- the Adios, Cane Pace and Prix d'Ete -- in August. He also competed in the double-heat Oliver Wendell Holmes in August, finishing second by a nose. After some time off to freshen up, Ralph Hanover won the Simcoe Stakes before claiming the Little Brown Jug in straight heats on a chilly 50-degree day in Ohio. "He was a lazy colt, but I think that's why he lasted so long," Waples said. "You could leave out of the gate and have him on high gear and two steps later he would be going at a slow walk if you let him. Or you could come first up and he would just relax out there. It made no difference to him. "His manners and his gait were his two large pluses. I was just a minor part." Prior to the Little Brown Jug, Waples called Firlotte to find out how preparations for the race were going. "I watched three other ones train here and they all trained somewhere between 2:05 and two minutes," Firlotte told him. "And how was Ralph?" Waples asked. "I think he trained pretty good," Firlotte responded. "He went a mile in 2:35." "It was funny," Waples said. "That just shows how lazy he was. But once you got him behind the gate and asked him to go, he responded very well." Ralph Hanover won the Little Brown Jug and Pacing Triple Crown in front of a crowd of 46,087. "The Jug is a pretty cool place no matter what you're going to do," said the 74-year-old Waples, who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1986 and U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1994. "It's just unbelievable. It's quite a thrill. "Time goes by really fast. It doesn't seem that long ago. But it is." The Pacing Triple Crown began in 1956. Following is a list of the 10 horses to win the three races in the series: The Cane Pace, Messenger Stakes, and Little Brown Jug. Year-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1959-Adios Butler-Clint Hodgins-Paige West 1965-Bret Hanover-Frank Ervin-Frank Ervin 1966-Romeo Hanover-William Myer, George Sholty-Jerry Silverman 1968-Rum Customer-Billy Haughton-Billy Haughton 1970-Most Happy Fella-Stanley Dancer-Stanley Dancer 1980-Niatross-Clint Galbraith-Clint Galbraith 1983-Ralph Hanover-Ron Waples-Stew Firlotte 1997-Western Dreamer-Mike Lachance-Bill Robinson 1999-Blissfull Hall-Ron Pierce-Ben Wallace 2003-No Pan Intended-David Miller-Ivan Sugg Here is the video when Ralph Hanover won the Triple Crown at the Little Brown Jug https://youtu.be/Qf1rgX3UTRo.  by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA Media 

Every career and every job has this factor. It is the thing that keeps the job going and keeps the consumer interested. It may be a service or a product. It is the reason people do, people buy, and people watch. Harness racing has many different factors that keep the fans in the stands and the horsemen in the barn. It is the lights and camera at the end of the race, the cheers of the crowd in the grandstand, the anticipation and excitement in the paddock at post time. It is watching with tears and screams of joy as the horse you own or the horse you bet on win. More importantly, it is the animal that makes the sport what it is. The horse that is carefully and slowly trained for days, weeks, months, and years. The horse that is cared for on a 24/7 basis with a specific feeding schedule, training regimen, and equipment list. Each horse is treated and cared for individually. The sport of horse racing is plagued by stereotypes that depict the game to be inhumane and cruel. Rumors and lies are spread that convey the sport as abusive to the animal. The uninformed believe the bits and the equipment, the driver and the whip, the stall and the gates, and more are harmful to the wellbeing of the horse. The purpose of each of these and the behind the scenes in the barn is seemingly only known to those who have actually experienced it and lived it. The bit fits comfortably in the mouth where it does not make contact with the teeth. It is used for steering and control. Each piece of equipment is specific to the horse to ensure safety in the race. At a young age, these horses are trained to become accustomed to their harness and equipment. Trainers work slowly with them so that they understand their job and so that they are ready and fit to race. The whip that the driver uses is hit against the numbered saddle pad that the horse wears producing a sound, not pain. The stall a horse sits in is reasonably sized for the animal. It is for the protection and safety of the horse. There is a reason for everything that horsemen do – the only solid and most commonly shared reason is that these are here for the safety of everyone involved (horse, trainer, driver) and for the comfort of the horse. Horses are beasts of power and strength. They are capable of enduring long distances at fast speeds or short distances at even faster speeds. They run courses, go over jumps, race around barrels, and more. They are equally as intelligent as athletic. They have the ability to communicate through movement. Their ears, their eyes, and their nose communicate specific emotions. A simple gesture of the ears forward or back to indicate whether or not best to stay away or come close. The eyes moving directionally or as a retaliation of fear or anger when white. The nose flaring due to activity and motion or fear. They cannot verbally communicate with us but we have the ability to understand them. Harness race horses are individually cared for in the sport. Horsemen do what it takes to adjust them to their stable and their routine. Horsemen understand the personalities and quirks of these animals. They know what the horse’s favorite treat is, whether or not the horse likes a certain grain, how much water they drink, or what allergies they may have. They find the right equipment, right shoes, and right medicine. And, when it is time, they find the right home for the horse after their racing careers have come to an end. These horses power our sport and they have had a significant mark in history while continuing to write it. They are our horses, our pets, our family. No matter if they are a trainer or owner or groom, horsemen do what it takes to ensure the comfort and safety of their horses and a forever home after racing. Hyperion Hanover, now a 15-year-old pacing bay gelding, out of Cam Luck and Hattie. As a two-year-old, Hyperion was purchased out of the Harrisburg sale for $75,000. The trainer lightly raced him and put him back in the sale. Trainer-driver Jim McDonald purchased the colt for $5,500 for SSG Stable. He was shipped to Florida and retrained as 3-year-old. He was a stubborn horse with no good work ethic, according to McDonald. He was schooled multiple times and qualified three times. They started him five times with two wins, one in 54 and last quarter in 27.3 with driver Wally Hennessey. He was shipped to Rob Fellows in Ontario and won his first sire stake in 52. Then, he was shipped to Rod Hennessey in Western Canada where he won the Western Canada Pacing Derby. He made $300,000 as a three-year-old. He continued in Ontario and became an open pacer for another year. He went back to Jim McDonald in Florida and was given the winter off then, qualified, and sent back to Ontario. Once again with Fellows, he won in 1:50 flat. Until 2012, Hyperion continued to be a preferred type horse. He was shipped back to Florida and campaigned with the Open Pace for two more years. At age 12, he began to lose stamina and paced in only 53 and change. Owner Ed James decided rather than putting the horse in a claiming race and continuing to race him, he would retire at age 12. He was turned out in a two-acre paddock at a farm in Florida - Smiley Farms owned by Gary and Caroline Smiley. That farm was sold three years later so the Smiley couple called James and asked him to find the horse a new home. Ed James decided to put him on a truck to a facility in Canada that James is familiar with and has brood mares at already. He paid $1,500 to ship him from Florida to Canada for his new and forever home at Killean Acres in Ingrasall, Ontario. Hyperion Hanover was turned out with other horses upon arriving, the farm owners being wary of how he would act with the others. Within ten minutes he had found himself a buddy. He was never made into a riding horse because of his disposition and because the owners felt he earned his right to retirement. Overall, Hyperion Hanover had 301 lifetime starts (52 wins, 49 seconds, 42 thirds) and over $1.2 million in earnings lifetime with a record of 49.1. Ed James is the owner of Hyperion Hanover and the owner of SSG Gloves and Glasses. He has been involved in harness racing throughout his life, mostly as an owner. He was very active in the Ontario program and is the owner of McWicked. He contributes to the USTA retirement fund and is active in post-racing. He is also supportive in other equine facilities, including the hunter-jumper divisions in West Palm Beach. If a rider is wearing SSG gloves when they win a category in the show, he donates a set amount of money to a charity. A horse with a solid record and an owner with a well-known business, SSG Gloves and Glasses. Despite the large cost to transport the horse from Florida to Canada, Ed James was willing to do whatever it took to bring the horse to his retirement home. Five years ago, Michelle Crawford built her retirement farm. She built it for her love of the horses and great interest in developing a good life after racing for them. “It became this fire in the belly to just make sure they went to good homes,” she said. Michelle has a history of working as an advocate for rescuing and rehoming Standardbreds, including in the involvement of retiring racehorses. She has worked with Standardbred Retirement Foundation and has helped rescuing tons of horses. She had already had some retirees and a breeding farm, but expanded to build the retirement farm. A thousand acres and beautiful facilities that would be forever homes to numerous horses. She has 35 current retirees at her farm, including retired broodmares. It depends on the age, if the horse is young enough and has potential if it is either sold or moved to the retirement farm. “The hardest part is that some of these horses still have purpose, more than to just stand in a field for their lives. Especially, if they are young, but if there isn’t a better option for a better home, it is better they stay in place.” There are Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds at her farm, some that may be broke to ride in the near future with the help of a local woman. Michelle Crawford purchased Fifty Shades Darker as a yearling. He had gotten an injury to his foot that his first trainer rehabbed, but was unsuccessful in getting him back going again. He was finally good enough to be able to race again. The decision was now to race him up and down in the conditions or put him into a claimer. The trainer suggested putting him into a claimer, under the impression that no one would claim the colt. The first race in a claimer and he was claimed. “It broke my heart. I waited a year and a half after that hoping to get the horse back, but he wasn’t in a claimer,” Crawford said. “I watched every race and finally, he was in to go in a claimer at Pocono Downs. I didn’t know anyone there to claim him, but got in contact with trainer Chris Oakes to claim him so I could just retire him.” Chris Oakes convinced Michelle to allow him to try to race him which resulted in winning the first four starts. He made too much money and was back to square one with the decision to jam into the conditions or be put into a claimer again. The decision was made to retire him. He now lives in a paddock with a Clydesdale and four old broodmares. “Everybody loves him. They can just jump on his back. He is just a lovable and wonderful horse. A treat hog and a carrot hog. He was just one of those horses with this distinctive brow line that really set him apart. I just loved him so much and wanted him back for retirement,” Michelle said. Crawford also retired Classic Conway, a horse that she was able to watch being born. It was her “first child coming into this business”. She kept the trotting gelding from birth to retirement, where he now resides at her retirement farm. He is now a nine-year-old pasture mate to other horses at her farm. According to Michelle, Classic Conway had this special personality. He would hear her voice and come running. “He knows he is special,” she said. He won a lot of sire stakes as a two-year-old and had a lot of potential. In his three-year-old year, he hurt himself. Michelle began to nurse him back to health. He was trailered to Morrisville for the spa and towed on the grass for soft footing. He came back and won the final that year. Classic Conway was later retired due to a suspensory. He was and is Michelle’s most special horse with Fifty Shades Darker being right behind him. One horse that could continue racing and one that could not share a great life after racing on the same farm. “I am a huge, professional corporate, but found a place in the horse world to serve a purpose. I want to leave a legacy in making a difference to help animals and to save the Standardbreds or any horse. I hope that we can stop slaughter. I’ve made it my mission to gather troops to promote and do right by the industry and help in the after-racing world.” Michelle was introduced into the business 11 years ago after meeting her husband. She has an owners license and a breeding farm and now, retirement farm. Her farms have 80 broodmares, their 80th mare just being bred and 300 horses of babies, yearlings, and more. She is also a proud owner of Atlanta, the recent Hambletonian winner. Casie Coleman is currently an owner-trainer and former driver in the harness racing business. She was born and raised into it and she says it is all she has ever done. At just the age of 38, her lifetime stats include earning just under 60 million and over 2,000 wins. She has won Canada’s trainer of the year five times. Coleman claimed Our Lucky Killean (“Luck Dog”) when he was three years old out of an allowance claimer that went for $60,000. The pacing bay gelding went on to make over a million dollars in purse money, winning the Molson Pace, Des Smith Classic Pace, and other open events. “He had a mind of his own, a hundred percent,” Coleman said. “He was the boss. If things weren’t done his way or if we fought it, he would tie up easily or just get sour and race poorly.” “When you would walk him to the race track hooked to the jogger, he had days that it would take nearly an hour because he would just stand still, watching the other horses jog by. He wouldn’t move until he was ready to. “Other times he would literally go backwards in the jog cart. One time, he took me up a large hill and tried going backwards. I did my best not to tip over the jog cart!” Casie Coleman retired the gelding when he was ten years old. He was still sound and in great shape, but just wasn’t performing the way he used to. “I didn’t want to cheapen him and I didn’t want him in a claimer,” she said. She found a home with a friend of hers, Jennifer Connor, who worked for Blue Chip Farms at the time. He is now 17 years old and she still has him. “He has an amazing home. I don’t even want to know what stall rent is at the barn he is at, it is gorgeous.” Connor shows “Luck Dog” at Standardbred shows. Coleman found this new and wonderful home with the help of sharing a post about her search on Facebook. Jennifer contacted Casie expressing great interest for the horse. “I knew she would give him this unreal home, so I sent him out to New York,” she said. “He lives like a king now.” Casie is able to see him every him every once in a while, when she is in the area in New York. “Lucky, as I call him, or Luck Dog as Casie calls him is one of the classiest horses I have ever had the privilege to be around,” Jennifer Connor said. “He walked into the indoor arena the day after he arrived and I was able to get right on him. He marched around the arena like he had been doing it his whole life. And he never looked at any of the jumps that were scattered around the arena. “He exudes confidence. He has never refused anything that I have asked of him. He has shown in-hand, under saddle, jumped, been driven, hunter paced, recently went on a camping trip, and was part of a commercial shoot for Chase Bank at Blue Chip Farms. “I love this horse so much. He would jump a table if I asked him to. He walks, trots, and has a pretty decent canter for a pacer. He likes to work and prefers to be stabled with all the amenities like a fan in the summer. He’s always professional. He might not be the most affectionate horse, but he tolerates a lot!” she said. Jennifer Connor grew up in harness racing. She showed jumpers and equitation in most of her childhood. She attended University of South Carolina and rode on the NCAA Division I Team. Lucky is the first Standardbred she has ever retrained for a second career. “He is by far the easiest horse I have trained!” Casie Coleman contributes to retired race horse charities and funds. She even, recently, discovered one of her former horses that she hadn’t owned for years, Rudy the Rock, was located at a slaughter house. She contacted them and sent $1,200 to bail him out. He was rescued and given to Go and Play Stables. Our Lucky Killean is one of many horses Casie Coleman has retired. “Way too many to remember them all,” she said. “I always try to find good homes for them.” Michelle Crawford and Casie Coleman have high profile stables in the racing business. They have done whatever it takes to help provide current and former racehorses with forever homes. Owner-driver-trainer John Hallett and owner-trainer Michelle Hallett are New York and Florida horsemen and, also, my parents. They have both been in the business throughout their entire lives. They began their stable, Hallett Racing Stable, in 1991 and have since raced along the East Coast, more recently out of their stables in Tioga Downs and Pompano Park. Typical New Yorker was short in stature with a thick build. He had a black coat with a small white star in the center of his face. He earned his name as he was a “typical New Yorker”. Across the Tappan Zee bridge, the population of New York City is riddled with the stereotype that they have this overly pompous attitude. They are home to the Bravest and the Finest. New York City is the Big Apple, the land of dreams. The skyscrapers are big, the personalities are big, the attitudes are bigger. If you have ever had the pleasure of traveling across into the city, you understand where all of these notions originate. New York City has definitely earned their title and respect. It is a big and beautiful city. Yet, it is shaded by those ideas that they are better than everyone. A “look at me” attitude surrounded by the fact that they must be the center of the world. Typical New Yorker was nothing short of that. He was small but captured the attention of everyone around him. His name earned him multiple features in Justin Horowitz’s filming of ‘Inside Harness Racing’. If you ever looked into the eyes of this two-year-old colt, you would’ve seen the attitude just flourishing within. His eyes pointed like daggers at everyone around him; except, of course, in the face of a camera or in the presence of Michelle Hallett. New Yorker was her pride and joy. He was spoiled from day one. Of course, all of our horses are spoiled with treats and toys and more; but, this one was different from the start. He had reined her in with his demeanor. He was fed pudding and more. His favorite flavor was Butterscotch. He would eat anything put in front of him. He was extra spoiled when one of his owners, Roger Doire, brought him oranges. He even had a special “New Yorker” lead chain that him and him only could use. John Hallett purchased the yearling out of the Harrisburg Sale in November of 2009. John and Michelle began breaking him to race, trained him, qualified him, and then entered him into the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) once he reached the age of two-years-old in the summer of 2010. He won his first five sire stakes races in a row as a two-year-old. “He was a tough little bugger – fat, but definitely had a lot of heart and strength,” John said. “He was a tough guy until he saw a bird – white birds particularly. He was a perfect gentleman to jog or walk, but once one of those white birds flew by or landed, he was gone. He would take off and throw himself. He was funny like that,” Michelle said. Typical New Yorker was still able to race, but John and Michelle Hallett along with partner Michelle Oglesby agreed that retiring the ten-year-old would be the most beneficial option for the horse, avoiding the possibility that the horse reinjures his leg. He was retired at Tradewinds Park Stables as a trail riding horse for the staff and public. I remember the first time I tried to ride him and, with his attitude, he tried to throw me off. He was, however, a barn favorite at Tradewinds and very well-mannered to ride and go on the trails. “We chose this farm because it was a beautiful facility with practically all-day turn out with a few hours of ‘work’ time as a trail horse. Other Standardbreds were here as well and we knew workers and volunteers at the farm. However, it was the hardest decision to make. It was an easy decision to make to retire him, but so hard to watch him leave.,” Michelle said. From about eight in the morning to four in the afternoon, the horses are pulled from their turnout paddocks and moved into their stalls. They only go on one or two rides on the trail per day, depending on the day. Then, they are moved back to their fields where they spend the rest of the day and night. Their life is easy and comfortable. They have other Standardbreds at the facility. Whenever they have an open stall, they love to get retired Standardbreds due to the ease of transition into saddle. John and Michelle Hallett have shared a lifetime in the business. Michelle Hallett was born into the business with her parents being trainers Bruce and Linda Aldrich. Her brother, Bruce Aldrich, Jr. is a racehorse driver in the tracks of New York. John Hallett was introduced into the racing world at six-years-old and continued throughout his life working for various trainers, primarily Wally Hennessey, until creating his own stable with Michelle. They have two kids, Jonathan (John) Hallett and Jessica Hallett (me). They are currently training this summer at Tioga Downs. Typical New Yorker is just one of numerous race horses they have retired to happy and forever homes. Bruce Aldrich, Sr. is a lifetime horseman in the harness racing business. Since the beginning of his journey into the racing world and the beginning of his stable, he has seen and trained many horses. Of all the horses that every horseman has come across in Standardbred racing in general, there are always the select few being the favorites. For Aldrich, it was the trotting colt named Samsawinner. Samsawinner is a 12-year-old trotting gelding. Throughout his career, the horse had 62 wins with a record of 56. The gelding has always been a goofball with a special kind of personality, according to Aldrich. When he was turned out in the paddock at the top of the hill at Monticello Raceway, he was hard to catch. He would swerve and bounce out of reach to avoid being caught. He thought he was funny. Sam wasn’t racing to par, unable to go anymore, and would be forced into a claiming race, so instead he was retired. He is now at a farm in upstate New York living the pasture life. He had a good card with a lot of wins and a lot of money made. Owner Woody Hoblitzell agreed to retire the colt. Bruce Aldrich, Sr. started in the business when he was 12 years old when he cleaned stalls for Bob Tisbert. He has worked and trained for numerous stables in his career, include Carl Allen and Mickey McNichol among others. He has had his own stable as well for many years. He has trained for Woody Hoblitzell for over 20 years. Samsawinner is his first retired horse. Cheri Clarke and her husband, trainer Edgar (Sparky) Clarke, trained racehorse No Monkeys Allowed. “It’s quite humorous don’t you think? Not your typical tough, regal racehorse name and not your typical racehorse,” Cheri Clarke said. No Monkeys Allowed was originally named Issuer Blue Chip. “Someone must have seen his playful attitude and legally changed it to something to fit his personality,” Cheri joked. They got him at the age of four in 2011 for owner Robert Orr of Deerfield Beach, FL and took a career record the following year of 1:50.3 at Vernon Downs. The Rocknroll Hanover gelding with earnings of $358,624 lifetime was retired at age 11. No Monkeys Allowed, or “Monkey”, was very fat, according to Cheri as well as what other people have told her, too. He ate very well and always knew when treat time and lunch time was. “If you are headed to the paddock and it generally takes about ten minutes to get up there, give yourself 20 with Monkey,” said Cheri. He was a very nosy horse and needed time to stop and look around as they would walk to the paddock. He also had this personality that he would just know when to behave, when to stay calm, when he could get away with acting up, and then when to be a racehorse. He would let you know with his eyes if something was not right. Yet, nothing bothered him. He wasn’t afraid of anything. He was just calm and collected. The Clarkes favorite memory of Monkey was pacing in 49 and finishing second in Vernon. As time went on and Monkey got older, as all things do, his pace grew slower. Instead of putting the gelding in a claiming race, they decided to search for a new home, a new life after racing. They checked local farms with no luck due to no space available. Finally, they discovered a horseman with connections in need of a horse for trail riding. Putting the horse in a claimer and if he had been claimed would have led Cheri to wonder and worry. When any horse is claimed, especially a barn favorite, every horseman agrees to just have this thought in the back of their mind, wondering how they are doing or how they are being treated, what is going on in their new lives, where they are. With the home Cheri and Sparky found, there was no worry or wonder. They are updated regularly with pictures and stories. He is a really good riding horse and goes out on trail rides on his own or with other horses just fine. His new home was on a farm in Texas. “Although my career is short by most standards of horsemen, my husband grew up in the business with his brother, Bruce. He has had 1,500 wins and $6.3 million in purse earnings. His father, Roy (Rod) Clarke, was a predominate trainer in the Maritime provinces of Canada,” said Cheri. Sparky and Cheri are currently training at Tioga Downs for the summer and in the winter, Pompano Park. No Monkeys Allowed is their first retired horse. My Sweet Mandy was racing in her two- and three-year-old years when she was discovered by Mandy Lareau. “I wanted her and I followed her through her early years of racing. She was not a claimer, though. “I had family in the grandstand at Tioga Downs at one point and they saw this mare and her name in the race and knew I should have her. “It was a dream for me to have this horse, to get her. She shared my name and I have always wanted a grey horse,” Mandy said. The grey pacing mare was put into an auction in Delaware where Gaston and Mandy Lareau had planned to buy her, but was later taken out. She was moved to Florida where she was entered into a claiming race for her first start and claimed by the Lareau Stable. They kept her for three years until she injured her foot. The veterinarian had said it was an infection and that the horse would need to be put down, a definite no by Mandy Lareau. Four months were put into rehabilitation by Mandy. The mare was able to be brought back to the track again. Yet, the Lareau’s decided to retire her to avoid re-injury to the foot. They started by talking to Laurie Poulin for turnout at her farm. After some time, the final decision was made and now, at eight-years-old, she is a broodmare at Poulin’s farm in Florida. “She’s a sweetheart. I think she will be a great mother. She has taken care of an orphan baby at Laurie’s farm already. She just has a great personality,” said Mandy. Every horse has their own personality. Their own quirks and traits that make them individual and unique. No different than people, they have this character that makes them, them. According to Mandy, the mare has the greatest personality, just her own personality. She didn’t like anything tough on her. No lead chain over the nose. She would kick and squeal when you put the harness on. She was bad to jog. She loved treats. She didn’t wear any equipment at all, didn’t like it. The less equipment the better she would race. She would fight you to race. The easier you were on her, the better she was to you. She had a record of 53. She was a good race horse. She is good to people she is used to. She did not connect with certain people, but, according to Mandy, she loves Laurie Poulin’s granddaughter. At Tioga Downs, My Sweet Mandy was in the first stall. But, at Pompano Park, she took the second stall so that, as Mandy worked on the cross ties, the mare could play with her. If Mandy was put on the trailer second, she would not go on. She was spoiled and loved attention. She always got her way. If you showed her the lead chain she would talk. “In a way, she was like me. I wanted to be like her. She was a free spirit and just happy all the time. “My Sweet Mandy was just a joy. I loved seeing her in the morning. It would make me smile and I miss her, but I know she is in a better place now at Laurie’s farm,” said Mandy. Gaston and Mandy Lareau have each been a part of the business for over forty years. Gaston has owned, trained, and driven. “He is a horseman who loves horses and tries to figure them out, a real horseman,” according to Mandy. They have been together for thirty-eight years. “When he says something, I already know what he’s going to say.” My Sweet Mandy is their first retired horse. Typical New Yorker, Samsawinner, No Monkeys Allowed, and My Sweet Mandy were equally alike in being the barn pets and favorites for the Hallett, Aldrich, Clarke, and Lareau Racing Stables. John and Michelle Hallett; Bruce Aldrich, Sr.; Sparky and Cheri Clarke; and Mandy and Gaston Lareau did whatever it took to bring their cherished babies to a happy and forever home. Michelle MacDougall, D.V.M., is an active advocate in the race to helping find racehorses homes after retirement. She has helped place horses and has been a member on the board of Futures for Standardbreds. She has had quite a few of her own horses that she had placed in forever homes as well. Handleyourscandal is a ten-year-old mare that was retired from racing due to breathing complications while racing. Since retirement, she has foaled three, but was not being bred for the 2018 season. “In early March of 2018, I learned about a good friend, Laurie Poulin, losing her mare shortly after foaling. “I had Scandal at the farm and was not planning on breeding her this season, so I offered to try inducing lactation. Despite cautious optimism from a colleague, he provided a protocol and Scandal was able to produce milk in only four days,” said Doc MacDougall. On March 7th, Scandal was introduced to her foster filly and there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation. “A few nickers back and forth and the filly immediately latched on and successfully nursed,” Doc MacDougall said. “Laurie sent a video of the moment and I actually shed a happy tear or two.” Since then, there hasn’t been a single awkward moment, according to Michelle. The two are inseparable and have joined the broodmare herd. “There are even reports that Scandal has adopted a second colt in the field. Apparently, he prefers to spend time with her rather than her birth mother and Scandal happily nurses both fosters as if they are her own. She is such a wonderful mare.” Michelle MacDougall has also had six other retired horses – Handle My Scandal (4, P, Bay, Mare – $1,830 – Retired 2017), Overseer NZ (15, P, Bay Gelding – $125,296, 1:52.0F – Retired 2013), Twin B Flirt (8, P, Bay, Gelding – $121,080, 1:52.1M – Retired 2017), Surprise Ending (18, P, Bay, Mare – $107,734, 1:54.4 – Retired 2010), Gilbralter (18, T, Bay, Gelding – $129,598, 1:55.3F – Retired 2012), Glors Boy (18, P, Bay, Gelding – $623,421, 1:50.4M – Retired 2012), and To The Point (12, P, Bay, Mare – $80,447, 1:53.0Z – Retired 2012). Handle My Scandal (“Ms. Piggy”) was bred by Michelle MacDougall. A full body scan at the age of two revealed a microfracture in both knees and left tibia and so, the mare did not make the races. Despite the injuries, the only symptom was getting rolly and making breaks at speed in the turns. She was given time off and restarted in her three-year-old year. Another full body scan influenced Michelle to retire the mare. She is now in Maine. She participated in a youth program and graduated and was adopted by one of the youth program kids. Overseer NZ (“Lou”) was a talented racehorse whose career was cut short from a soft tissue injury, according to Michelle. She rehabbed him for over a year before breaking him to ride in the winter of 2014. Michelle set her sights on endurance riding and he was the perfect mount. “He was small, light on his feet, quick, nimble, and would rack and canter when asked,” she said. An injury to Michelle prevented her from participating in her endurance debut, despite tirelessly training Lou. He now serves as “Uncle Lou” in her breeding program where Michelle weans foals from their mothers into the paddock with him. He has raised four years of weanlings for her. Twin B Flirt (“Flirt”) suffered two separate soft tissue injuries. According to Michelle, during her time racing the colt, he was a significantly fun-loving, happy horse with all kinds of spunk and play. He had successful rehabilitation, yet the decision was made to retire him when he faced a Lasix reaction. Michelle decided that best for his health would be to retire him. He is now in a home with a novice reins man, Keith Gordon, president of Blue Star Equiculture that provides home and sanctuary to draft horses at the end of their careers. Flirt enjoys a life of pleasure driving around the farm in Massachusetts; although, at first, Michelle had warned him that driving a draft horse versus a Standardbred is the difference between a Mack Truck and a Maserati. Surprise Ending (“Prize”) suffered a slab fracture in both knees as a 3-year-old, but successfully continued racing for many more years. She was retired when the aches and pains were taking too long to recover after a race. She had a great attitude for life so Michelle decided a second career as a pleasure horse would fit her well. She has been broke to ride and spends many hours pleasure driving down the carriage paths of Arcadia National Park with now owner, Barbara Pretorious. Gibralter (“G-Money”) was a hard-hitting horse with a huge desire to race, but unfortunately was plagued with poor conformation which caused him to interfere at speed one the aches and pains of being an aged racehorse changed his gait. Changing track sizes did not help so the horse was retired. Michelle broke him to ride in 2012 and kept him for two years as a trail horse, riding through the Ocala National Forest. She offered him to New Vocations for placement. He now participates in 25- and 50-mile endurance rides with his new owner. Glors Boy was an incredibly successful racehorse who participated in and won some of the most prestigious races in harness racing. He was well-deserving of a great life after racing and was retired in 2012 as a riding horse for Michelle. She rode him for the next three years through the Ocala National Forest during her winters in Florida. In 2015, she contacted Futures for Standardbreds and Robyn Cuffey to find anyone interested in a “husband horse” because he was so good at being babysitter on the trails. He was placed in a home in the spring of 2015 and even showed and won in a local dressage competition with his new owner. He is now shared as both a trail and show horse throughout southern Maine. To the Point (“Big”) was a super talented free-legged pacer, but was plagued with lameness issues throughout her career. From a young age, she suffered from progressive white line disease and often required significant breaks from racing to allow the hoof to grow out properly. In 2012, she was retired to Michelle’s broodmare program, but, unfortunately, could not carry a foal to term so Michelle broke her to ride. She played around with her in the Ocala National Forest until 2015, when she was donated to Robyn Cuffey to become part of a competitive driving herd. Big was perfect as a singles driving horse, but was unable to relax in the pair due to her competitive nature. She was adopted as a companion to Glors Boy. Doc MacDougall is also a participating member of Racing Under Saddle (the R.U.S) as well as a competitor in the New Jersey National Standardbred Horse Show. She has trained horses to ride under saddle for the RUS and in dressage, hunt-seat, and more for the horse show. Michelle MacDougall, D.V.M., plays an important role in life after racing for harness horses. She has placed her own horses as well as others, contributed as a member of societies for placement, and has trained horses for the transition into new careers after racing. We will be competing alongside each other at the National Standardbred Horse Show in New Jersey at the end of this summer. It is a large venue that gives the opportunity to showcase the talent and flexibility of the Standardbred. It features the transition from harness and race bike to saddle and show ring. From dressage to hunt-seat to jumping, these horses can do it all. Their handlers and trainers do what it takes to ease a transition into a post-racing career. Twelve-year-old trotting gelding Red Victor was claimed to a stable that Rebecca Segal worked for six years ago, at the age of six. During this ownership, the chestnut broke down, taking a year and a half to get back going. Once he was ready to race again, the owner died, causing the horse to be put into the sale. Segal bought the eight-year-old out of the sale and has kept him ever since. She spent six months bringing him back to race ready and qualified him, where he won. “It was the most exciting part of owning him and my favorite memory that he was able to come back after all that time,” Segal said. He was very full of life, according to Rebecca. He had quite the personality, very loving and just cool. “Once the cart was on, he would rear up and just be ready to go,” she said. He didn’t race much and eventually stopped racing due to a broken bone. They were told they would have to put him down. When it came time to actually having to do it, he was moved to the house of a veterinarian and then to another place to actually help him get better. Rebecca got the horse back six months later and has kept him ever since. He travels with her; wherever she goes, he goes. Keeping a retired horse is not entirely cost effective for a groom. Rebecca ensures to keep the utmost comfort for the horse; maintaining up-to-date shoeing, vaccinations, and more. She finds a local farm, within 20 minutes of her at most, where she can board him while she works at the track, from Batavia to Buffalo to Tioga to Pompano. Rebecca finds the farms based off of good references and people that she knows and trusts. She is very specific of where she keeps him and the farm needs to match her views on good horse care, because everyone has their own style and way of doing things. “It is important to me that he has a good life being retired. I have been lucky to have been able to find people that are willing to help us. We have been able to find deals on boarding and shoeing and more that really help us out a lot,” Rebecca said. Rebecca Segal was born into the business and has been in it for all 27 years of her life. Her family is also involved in the harness racing business. She is a groom at Tioga Downs this summer and in Pompano Park in the winter. She just got her owners and trainers license. Red Victor is her first retired horse and she has done whatever it took to keep him comfortable and close-by. His new life involves traveling and a career in casual or pleasure horseback riding on the farm. Regardless if you are a groom, trainer, owner, veterinarian, or anything else, we take care of our horses, our pets, our family.  There are options for racehorses after retirement. From being a trail riding horse to a show horse or a driving horse to a pasture mate, broodmare, or stud, our racehorses have a wide spectrum of opportunity for life after racing. They can be easily broke to ride and are very adaptable to a new environment. Every horse has their own personality, quirks, and traits that make them special, that make them who they are. We, as horsemen, have our favorites. We have small stables and big stables, one horse to a full farm. We are all unique in the way we care for our horses. From the time of day we feed to how we train to how we schedule a race night in the paddock, we all have our own way. But, one thing is for sure, and that is how we treat our horses and that is in the best way possible. We make sure they are comfortable. We show up seven days a week and give them all the attention and care they need. The best part of racing happens behind the scenes. It is when the horseman puts in all the time and effort and does what it takes to keep the animal happy and safe. These horses may or may not be able to continue racing; yet, regardless, their owners and trainers take the time to make the best decision for them whether it be to continue or to sell or to retire. These are only a few of the examples of life after racing and horsemen doing what it takes to give them a forever and happy home for life. by Jessica Hallett, for Harnesslink

Delaware, OH - Ohio-bred champion Lather Up and supplemental entry Courtly Choice, drew the coveted rail positions in their eliminations for the $642,000 Little Brown Jug, presented by the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association, to be held Thursday, September 20th at the Delaware County Fair. Lather Up is a homebred son of I'm Gorgeous and has won $738,965 for Gary and Barbara Iles. He has won 14 of 19 career starts including the $760,000 North America Cup and the $275,000 Ohio Sire Stakes Final. Lather Up will be driven by Montrell Teague and is trained by Clyde Francis, the same connections that won the 2015 Little Brown Jug with Wiggle It Jiggleit. Courtly Choice has won nine starts this season and has banked more than $700,000 lifetime. The bay son of Art Major is owned by Huff Racing Stable, Mac & Heim Stables, Daniel Plouffe and Touch Stone Farms. Courtly Choice is conditioned by Blake MacIntosh and driven by the four-time Jug champion David Miller. Courtly Choice was not Jug eligible, but thanks to his win in the $701,830 Meadowlands Pace his connections could pay the $45,000 supplemental payment. Drawing post #4 in the second elimination is Stay Hungry, who is looking to become the 11th horse to win pacing's "Triple Crown." It has been 15 years since No Pan Intended accomplished this feat. The Sombeachsomewhere - My Little Dragon colt has won $1.1 million, including the $281,000 Cane Pace and the $500,000 Messenger Stake. Stay Hungry is owned by Bradley Grant and the Estate of Irwin Samelman, trained by Tony Alagna and will be piloted by Doug McNair. The first four finishers in the $102,720 eliminations will return for the second heat. The winner of the $436,560 final heat will be declared the 73rd Jug champion. The complete Little Brown Jug field and announced drivers: $102,720 - 1st Elimination (first four finishers return for second heat) PP - Horse (Driver/Trainer) 1. Lather Up (Montrell Teague/Clyde Francis) 2. This Is The Plan (Andrew McCarthy/Chris Ryder) 3. Babes Dig Me (Yannick Gingras/Tony Alagna) 4. Done Well (Tim Tetrick/Brian Brown) 5. Key Advisor (Chris Page/Tony Alagna) 6. Nutcracker Sweet (Jordan Stratton/Jimmy Takter) 7. Wes Delight (Yannick Gingras/Chris Oakes) $102,720 - 2nd Elimination (first four finishers return for second heat) PP - Horse (Driver/Trainer) 1. Courtly Choice (David Miller/Blake MacIntosh) 2. Hayden Hanover (Andy Miller/Julie Miller) 3. Hitman Hill (Brett Miller/Chris Oakes) 4. Stay Hungry (Doug McNair/Tony Alagna) 5. Dorsoduro Hanover (Matt Kakaley/Ron Burke) 6. Decoy (Jimmy Takter/Jimmy Takter) $436,560 - 2nd Heat Post time for the Thursday card will be 11:00 AM. by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

Lady Ashlee Ann, this great 25 year-old harness racing mare produces the winner of the 2018 Little Brown Jug, Courtly Choice and he is her 15th life foal and 13th winner. Nothing makes me laugh more than when I hear from those so call "harness racing experts on breeding" (Stallion owners, professionals, stud masters and the so called pedigree buffs) sitting behind their computers making outlandish remarks about how to breed a champion, when in fact the majority do not know what they are talking about! None of us do when it comes to breeding! I believe that there is only one rule with breeding horses and that is "THERE IS NO RULE" One of the arguments you hear from a number of these people is that old mares are no good to breed from, that you must breed to young mares!  If only we knew it would be easy and the rich man would own the business. I have said many times that harness racing is the only business in the world that can make billionaires into millionaires! It is because the people with a lot of money think that money can buy success in breeding but that is not the case when it comes to breeding. No, breeding is not that easy! With the $436,560 Little Brown Jug just completed yesterday I checked to see how the winners were bred and what number foal each of the starters were. Here is that result and the oldest foals produced were the best performers; 1st - Courtly Choice 15th foal (by Art Major from Lady Ashlee Ann by Camtastic)  2nd - Dorsoduro Hanover 13th foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Deer Valley Miss by Artsplace) 3rd - Lather Up 10th foal (by I'm Gorgeous from Pocket Comb by In The Pocket) 4th - Hayden Hanover 4th foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Hana Hanover by Western Hanover) 5th - This Is The Plan 4th foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Thats The Plan by Western Ideal) 6th - Done Well 2nd foal (by Well Said from Dagnabit Hanover by All American Native) 7th - Babes Dig Me 3rd foal (by Bettor's Delight from Western Babe by Western Hanover) 8th - Stay Hungary 5th foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from My Little Dragon by Dragon Again) That was the final field but here are the other starters in The Little Brown Jug for interest; Nutcracker Sweet 10th foal (by Bettor's Delight from Sweet Future by Falcons Future) Hitman Hill 7th foal (by American Ideal from Fox Valley Shaker by Incredible Finale) Wes Delight 6th foal (by Bettor's Delight from Maid West by Western Hanover) Key Advisor 3rd foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Credit Rating by Western Honover) Decoy 1st foal (by Somebeachsomewhere from Live Entertainment by Real Artist) Below is a great statistical article about  "Do young mares produce better race horses than old mares". This article was produced by Dr Mike Wilson of Canada a few years ago with help of Standardbred Canada. John Curtin Harnesslink Media   Dr Mike Wilson's article Over the years, a number of articles have been written on the relationship between birth order and racing success. All of the ones I have read have claimed that the first and second foals are more likely to be winners than are foals of older mares. None of the authors of these articles have taken into account the different numbers of horses in each of the different parities. (Parity is birth order; for example a first foal is first parity, a ninth foal is ninth parity etc). Finally after a lengthy article on this subject in an edition of Canada’s Standardbred Trot Magazine, I was prompted into doing that analysis myself. With the able assistance of Janet Cookson, of Standardbred Canada, I obtained the number of foals registered with Standardbred Canada and The United States Trotting Association for the years 1991 to 2001, and of these the number of winners, in each year, that had won more than $1,000,000, $500,000, or $100,000. These winners were related to birth order. The analysis was cut off at 2001 so that all horses had at least two years of racing. The raw data was then adjusted for each parity to 10,000 births so, if there were 20,000 first foals racing and among them, for example 2,000 winners, it would relate to 1,000 winners per 10,000. Similarly, if there were 2,000 tenth foals, in the same period, and only 200 winners, it would also be 1,000 per 10,000. In total, there were 158,357 foals registered in North America in the period of 1991 to 2001, consisting of 46,756 trotters and 111,601 pacers. Tables 1 and 2 show the numbers in each parity and the number of winners at three purse-earning levels. Indeed, as others have described, there is a fairly steep drop-off in the numbers of winners as parity increases. It might appear that a first or second foal has five or six times the likelihood of winning $500,000, than for example, a ninth or tenth foal. However, if you look at tables 3 and 4, which show the same date adjusted to 10,000 horses in each category, you will see that no such trend exists. In fact, a ninth or tenth parity foal, from either a trotting or pacing mare, is as likely to become a millionaire, as is a first or second foal. Similarly, no loss of performance potential exists in either gait for $500,000 or for $100,000 trotting winners. Older pacing mare progeny appear to produce approximately 2.5% fewer $100,000 earners per 10,000 foals than do those of young mares, however, a statistical analysis of this data (performed by Dr. Kate Dewey of the Department of population Medicine at the University of Guelph), indicates that the foals of older mares are as likely to be winners in each purse earning levels as the foals of early parities (p<0.05). I was astonished to see the very high early culling rate practiced by North American Standardbred breeders. Twenty percent of first parity mares do not produce a second foal, 15% do not produce a third foal and another 10% fail to produce a fourth foal. These culling decisions were all taken before the first foal had raced as a two-year-old! What would these data show if the 45% of culled mares had been kept in the breeding herd until they were in their ninth or tenth year parities? Why were they culled? Are older mares retained longer because those mares are superior by pedigree or by some other parameter? I intend to answer some of these questions in a later analysis. The belief that early foals are more successful than those of later parities has led to price difference for them at major yearling sales. Murray Brown, of Standardbred Horse Sales Co. in Harrisburg, PA., once told me that after the third parity, pacing yearlings (and to a lesser extent, trotters), drop off in price rapidly. From my analysis of the data, it would appear that buyers would be well advised to not automatically exclude yearlings from older broodmares! If older mares are at least as likely to produce big winners, as are younger mares, it begs the question as to whether there has been any genetic improvement in the ten years looked at in this study. The practice of breeding proven broodmares to new stallions and new broodmares to proven stallions is a breeding policy many currently follow. What would happen to the numbers if the policy were reversed? Could it be that older mares would look even better? In the meantime, this study clearly suggests that at yearling sale time, “Go for the old girls!” Table 1: Number of Pacing winners (1992-2001 North America)  by Birth Order and Earnings               Birth  Winners over Winners over Winners over  # of foals Order $1,000,000 $500,000 $100,000  registered 1st 24 116 2,448 23,779 2nd 25 17 1,830 19,067 3rd 15 84 1,437 15,733 4th 17 81 1,196 13,043 5th 14 45 898 10,760 6th 11 41 718 8,757 7th 5 24 574 7,076 8th 2 19 436 5,667 9th 6 21 317 4,391 10th 5 16 238 3,328 Total 124 564 10,092 111,601   Table 2: Number of Trotting winners (1992-2001 North America)  by Birth Order and Earnings               Birth  Winners over Winners over Winners over  # of foals Order $1,000,000 $500,000 $100,000  registered 1st 13 62 784 10,312 2nd 4 46 668 8,238 3rd 13 34 499 6,709 4th 10 29 369 5,509 5th 4 21 312 4,446 6th 3 10 235 3,495 7th 3 14 188 2,831 8th 3 13 173 2,216 9th 4 9 119 1,730 10th 1 5 81 1,270 Total 58 243 3,428 46,756   Table 3: Number of Pacing Winners (Adjusted per 10,000 foals)  By earnings and birth order                                     Earnings  1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th  7th  8th  9th  10th  >$1,000,000 10 13 10 13 13 13 7 4 14 15 >$500,000 49 61 53 62 42 47 34 34 48 48 >$100,000 1029 960 913 917 835 820 811 769 721 715                         Table 4: Number of Trotting Winners (Adjusted per 10,000 foals)  By earnings and birth order                                     Earnings  1st  2nd  3rd  4th  5th  6th  7th  8th  9th  10th  >$1,000,000 13 5 19 18 9 9 11 14 23 8 >$500,000 60 56 51 53 47 29 49 69 52 39 >$100,000 760 811 743 670 701 672 664 780 687 637                       By Mike Wilson Warrawee Farm

LEXINGTON, KY - Owners of the Red Mile, the Hambletonian Society and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission have announced the creation of a $3 million race day. The event will take place on Sunday, September 29, 2019, and will include the Commonwealth's first-ever $1 million race in The Red Mile Million for Standardbreds. "The Red Mile Million is intended to attract the world's best two-year-old trotters to Lexington to compete at the historic Red Mile and highlight the Kentucky Sire Stakes Championship Day as part of The Grand Circuit meet in 2019," said Joe Costa, the track's President. "More than that, it is intended to attract fans and guests to our exciting new entertainment destination." John Campbell of the Hambletonian Society explained the Red Mile Million format. "This is a new idea for our sport," said Campbell. "With ten slots to be acquired for $100,000 each, the race for two-year-old trotters will be a signature event for The Grand Circuit at The Red Mile going forward. There is already tremendous interest from our racing community." Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Executive Director Marc Guilfoil noted that the September 29 card at The Red Mile with The Red Mile Million and eight $250,000 Kentucky Sire Stakes Championship races will be the second richest race day in the Commonwealth, trailing only Kentucky Derby Day. "Beginning next year, our state will play host to an amazing day of racing and unprecedented purse structure for Standardbred racing," said Guilfoil. "The Red Mile Million will become a can't-miss event." With the Red Mile Million, The Grand Circuit Meet and the revitalized Kentucky Sire Stakes Program, over $11 million in harness racing purses will be competed for at The Red Mile over a seven-week period from August 2019 to October. "We are working closely not only with our racing industry, but also local and state tourism officials to make this a memorable weekend for our region," added Costa. "Stay tuned as we plan more announcements in the coming weeks." For more information, contact Brian Miller at the Bluegrass Sports Commission at bmiller@bluegrasssports.org or by phone at 859-420-4191. by Amy Ratliff, for the Red Mile

New Zealand harness racing leaders fall asleep at the switch!  There have been times, not many, in the 50 years or so that I’ve been associated with harness racing that I’ve had to admit to being ashamed of the sport I love, and the actions of figures central to it. This is one of those few times - but the shame is not because of the Operation Inca allegations! Rather it is because of the sterile and cowardly way our industry leaders are invisibly handling the controversy. Our leaders represent all harness racing participants; those now accused no less than the rest of us! Until complete facts come out, defences are heard, and decisions rendered, it is their job and moral responsibility to address the situation with delicacy but with reason, fairness, an open mind, and decency. While they must await judgement until all the facts are in, they should not stay silent and through their inaction facilitate both the general misrepresentation of the scandal’s scope and relevancy being blithely projected by police investigators and journalists, and allow individual reputations to be ruined by mere assertions. Arguably, a temporary stand down of the accused pending more information may be wise, but it should be clearly explained as a necessary self-protective gesture for an industry reliant on its image of integrity. It should be clearly said to be completely unrelated to any belief in individual innocence or guilt.  There has been no leadership voice protecting either the accused or the industry, itself, by slowing down public preconceptions, by reminding everyone of the foundation policy of innocence until guilt is proven, of clarifying the fact that police assertions to date do NOT present a picture of a scandal ridden, conspiratorial industry rife with corruption. The day of the hearing (11th of September) was interesting in that the Judge Raoul Neave was highly critical of the police for briefing the media before the hearing and he was also disapproving of the media for publishing the names of several individuals before the hearing took place. The counsel for some of the accused persons attacked the media for naming people early saying their clients have been effectively denied a right to fair trial. The next few sessions in court will possibly start to unlock the vault to see if we are really dealing with concrete evidence in some of these match fixing cases or just hearsay as has been rumoured by some. "Perhaps I am wrong perhaps I am right but I will be particularly interested to hear the evidence put forward by the police in this matter because after 18 months of investigations the more I keep hearing the more I keep thinking the police may have a lot of conspiracy theories to go on and not much else." The charges to date seem merely to throw a spotlight on what appears to be a sad proliferation of party drugs amongst some industry participants, including drivers who should be more aware of the increased potential for harm it creates in their workplace, and suggest that in a few minor races there might have been race fixing. While horrible, and deflating to affected punters, occasional race-fixing has always been assumed in thoroughbred, Greyhounds and harness racing and more recently many other first-past-the-post sports. Coordinated, endemic, large scale race fixing would, indeed, be a scandal that could bring down racing - but charges to date don’t come close to suggesting that exists! As Mark Purdon suggested in his article on his All-Stars site there is no reason to believe in an industry wide conspiracy to fix or drug race horses. Our industry leaders have done nothing to keep this asserted, self-pronounced “scandal” in perspective, a job they should be performing on a daily basis in protection of our industry! No one is asking publically what most of us are questioning privately - namely, why has this scandal been asserted by authorities now? Why a week or so after the “Messara” report, why after 15 to 18 months of investigation? This smells more like a conspiracy to harm harness racing by The Racing Minister and The Government! After attending the “Messara” report release in Hamilton (Attended by over 1,000 people from the three Codes) and watching first-hand how our harness racing bosses sat quiet throughout the public meeting in Hamilton, without a whimper, and their lack of public response to it, you have to wonder how the Harness Racing Industry is to survive much longer! It seems to me that harness racing administrators and leaders have no idea what to do next! One thing I do know is that they certainly know how to protect their jobs! As a previous Racing Minister (Mr John Carter) once told me, the only way Harness Racing in New Zealand has a chance to survive is through its own actions period. The Industry needs to replace the out-dated Club structure of running the Industry, as this has a proven record of taking the entire Industry down the slippery slope towards extinction. Now, what exactly triggered the start of this Operation Inca investigation? According to Newshub “The investigation was sparked by the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU), which tipped off police with information of the alleged illegal activity“. Well, let us look at this “Integrity Unit”. It was formed on the 1st of February 2011. How was it formed? What was it formed for? Who formed it? Who employed the people running it?  Who checks them? Does it have its own internal Integrity for self investigation? Does any outside entity has supervisory authority with respecting RIU integrity? Who investigates the Investigators? Who runs the Integrity Unit? What is their background? Let us check each and every member’s credentials. Let us look at their background. Some of their decisions over the last few years have been very questionable. Let us see if there are any indiscretions with each and every one that works there. Does the management have any untoward vendettas against any of the Codes? Does the management have any personal vendettas against any individual? Is management competent enough to make its own decisions? After all it is ‘The Racing Integrity Unit” isn’t it? And regardless of how wonderful any of these members may be, including the head, shouldn’t they be required to stand down and be replaced on a staggered base to ensure both continuity and real maintenance as investigative integrity? There should be an absolute term limit of no more than six years for all employees and maybe four years for the head. What did racing’s investigative arm see 15 to 18 months ago that started all this? Would claims of race-fixing at Nelson or Manawatu justify a 15 to 18 month effort? In my opinion probably not! Presumably whatever it was did not end up being actionable at that time because all asserted race-fixing charges seem to point to specific incidents that are quite recent! Shouldn’t the Racing Integrity Unit now disclose what worried it 15 to 18 months ago to the point of getting a police investigation started? After all, they are answerable to the three Codes! Shouldn’t we be the slightest bit concerned that human, political, business pressures are pushing the police to find corruption, and to overpublicize and overstate the importance of their discoveries, to retrospectively justify and support their expenses, time, manpower and effort expended over 15 to 18 months of industry investigation? A massive race fixing and drugging problem linked to harness racing sells papers and justifies expenses. Arresting a few prominent individuals for drug possession, personal drug use, or selling of drugs for personal use would not! Why have the police conveniently presented charges in such a way that misinterpretation is so easy? Many just read headlines and probably assume that the charges relate to drug use on horses connected to race fixing. It is just incredible that industry leaders have not jumped to clarify this point!  Are the bosses at Harness Racing New Zealand complicit with the Racing Integrity Unit? When speaking to Harness Racing Chairman Ken Spicer today, he says "HRNZ were completely blindsided by last week’s police operation. “We had no knowledge that an investigation was going on”. HRNZ has sought more information and a briefing, but at this stage had no communication from the Police and very limited communication from the RIU. “The Industry’s image has been severely damaged by this, but we just have to follow due process and see where all this goes”. HRNZ made enquiries to the RIU when there was a suggestion from media back in February 2017 that an investigation had started, but consistent with RIU policy they would not comment on operational matters. HRNZ is the responsible for setting the rules of Harness Racing, with the RIU charged with enforcing those rules." In my opinion HRNZ needs to be vocal in protecting the due process of the defendants and the good name of harness racing. HRNZ needs to respect the principles of due process, but those principles do not require that HRNZ be silient or unable to speak on the issue to safe guard individual rights and the Industry's image. From its inception the general manager of the Racing Integrity Unit has been Mike Godber, who is an ex chief executive of harness racing Addington Raceway, ex chief executive of Harness Racing Queensland and was CEO of South Australian Harness Racing before taking the current job. How did he get this job? This should be investigated. What was his reason for leaving those previous harness racing jobs? In my view this man has a lot to answer for! What is wrong with our Harness Racing Leaders? Again, how was this Racing Integrity Unit formed? I can understand having a “Racing Integrity Unit” for Harness Racing but a combined one with the Greyhounds and Thoroughbreds is ridiculous. They are three separate Industries with NO relationship except Gambling. Can you imagine now that Sports Betting is a component of the TAB’s Gambling in New Zealand that for Integrity issues in the Sport we should now combine “Netball with Cricket and Soccer” in one Integrity Unit or “The All Blacks with Cycling and Rugby League” in another Integrity Unit, That is how ridiculous this has become. The “New Zealand Racing Board” has a lot to answer for too, but I will leave that for my next report. I write this editorial not to defend the accused in Operation Inca, but to defend our industry from scurrilous attack when others who should do so, are not! We must defend it with vigilance and fairness. And we must defend the accused from prejudice and premature characterizations until we force clear presentations of evidence! We still have every reason to love our sport but we and industry leaders must prove it every day by fighting for our sport with vigour, integrity and courage. John Curtin Harnesslink Media

The combination of the $2 million Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) Super day and the inaugural Fayette County Fair brought out a large crowd to The Red Mile on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16. While several music acts performed on two stages, including rising star and Lexington native Walker Montgomery, eight $250,000 KYSS finals highlighted the 10-race card that also included a pair of $50,000 consolation events. The revamped KYSS program was in full evidence on Sunday as seven different stallions were represented in the winner's circle, with the only two-time winner being Yankee Glide, who was just retired from active stud duty at the age of 24 by the Lexington-based Kentuckiana Farms. The first KYSS final was for 2-year-old male trotters and it appeared odds-on favorite Don't Let'em, who earlier this year won the Peter Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands, was on his way to victory as the field of 10 came out of the last turn. But Don't Let'em suddenly went on a break, which paved the way for the two-hole sitting Forecast to take advantage and score a 1:53.4 victory. Shake N Bake (Tim Tetrick finished a length behind in second and just ahead of show finisher Reign Of Honor (Dexter Dunn). Corey Callahan was in the sulky for trainer John Butenschoen behind Forecast, who won for the fifth time in nine starts while posting a career best. A $70,000 yearling purchase and owned by Bill Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick, Forecast now has career earnings of $186,650. The son of Cantab Hall was bred by Diamond Creek Farm. Callahan and Butenschoen teamed up for a second KYSS champion with the 3-year-old filly trotter Nixie Volo, who redeemed herself after making a break in last year's final. Leaving from post 8, Nixie Volo was parked the entire mile but was still able to hold onto the lead she finally secured in deep stretch to win in a career-best 1:51.1. Pat Matters (Jimmy Takter) was a head back in second, with Live Laugh Love (David Miller) third. A daughter of Yankee Glide, Nixie Volo was a $22,000 yearling purchase and now owned by Kentuckiana Racing Stable, VIP Internet Stable, 83 Racing and the University of Kentucky football team's offensive coordinator Eddie Gran. With her fourth win of the year Nixie Volo boosted her seasonal earnings to $215,486 and career total to $286,786. She was bred by Jorgen Jahre Jr. Beautyonthebeach swept her way through the trio of 2-year-old filly pace preliminaries and she had no problems in the final as she cruised to a 1:51 victory. Doug McNair was in the sulky as Beautyonthebeach quarter-pole moved to the front where she led the rest of the way to win by two lengths over Margret Hill (Miller) with Summer Charm (Matt Kakaley) third. Trained by Gregg McNair, Beautyonthebeach is a Jim Avritt Sr.-homebred daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of the standout mare Precocious Beauty. The was her fifth in eight starts and equaled her career mark set in the second KYSS leg. Her earnings now stand at $181,343. Whispering Oaks sprung a 16-1 upset in the KYSS final for 2-year-old filly trotters. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Whispering Oaks left fast from post eight, but after taking the lead soon yielded to heavy favorite Taylor Swiftly. That odds-on choice held the lead turning for home but in deep stretch gave way to Whispering Oaks, who crossed the wire in 1:54. Ma Was Right (Dunn) was able to get up for second late, just ahead of Taylor Swiftly (Scott Zeron). A daughter of Father Patrick, Whispering Oaks is a $100,000 yearling purchase of Brixton Medical, Herb Liverman and RAW Equine. Trained by Jimmy Takter, the win was Whispering Oaks' third of the year and came after three consecutive second-place finishes in the KYSS prelims. Her career-best effort increased her earnings to $124,574. Whispering Oaks was bred by Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband. While the remnants of Hurricane Florence slowly made their way into the Bluegrass on Sunday, it was Hurrikane Emperor who captured the KYSS final for 2-year-old male trotters. Already the winner of the New Jersey Sires Stakes final, Hurrikane Emperor became a two-state champ with a 1:49.3 victory for driver Daniel Dube and trainer Joh McDermott Jr. Hurrikane Emperor led at every call to best the pocket-sitting Blood Money (Gingras) by a head, with favorite Captain Trevor (Andy McCarthy) third. A son of Hurrikane Kingcole, Hurrikane Emperor was bred and is owned by Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investment Group and Lind Racing Stable. The win was his sixth in eight starts, bringing her earnings to $214,400. The $250,000 KYSS final for 3-year-old filly pacers went to favorite Dance Blue and driver Andy McCarthy in 1:51.1. Defending divisional champ Band Stand (Doug McNair), who went off at odds of 68-1 on the toteboard, finished a neck behind in second, with Cabowabocuttie (Zeron) third. Winless last year at two, Dance Blue won for the sixth time in 12 starts this year, bringing her career earnings to $241,880. A $50,000 yearling purchase from breeders Steve Stewart and Julie and Charles "Cotton" Nash, the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven is owned by Katz, Goldband and Goran Anderberg Eurobond outgamed Tactical Landing in the stretch to capture the KYSS final for 3-year-old male trotters. With Wolfgang (Gingras) on the lead and Tactical Landing and trainer-driver Takter first-over, driver David Miller waited patiently along the inside. In deep stretch Miller found room with Eurobond and he was able to urge his charge to the wire a head in front of Tactical Landing in 1:51.3. Classichap (Callahan) rallied for third as Wolfang tired to fourth. A son of French stallion Love You, Eurobond is owned by breeder Lindy Farms of Conn. In partnership with Robert Rudolph. The win was just his second in a dozen starts this year and lowered his previous mark by more than two seconds. Domenico Cecere trains Eurobond, who increased his earnings to $152,900. The rich program was capped off by a 1:48.1 victory by American History in the KYSS final for 3-year-old male pacers. Driven by Gingras for trainer Tony Alagna, American History used a final quarter of :26.1 to get past leader Thinkbig Dreambig (Jordan Stratton) in deep stretch to win by one length. Grant Teton (McCarthy) was third. A son of American Ideal, American History was a $150,000 yearling purchase and now owned by breeder Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and American History Racing. The win was the seventh of the year for American History, who earlier this year posted a 1:47 victory at the Meadowlands. The effort boosted American History's earnings to $472,285. Two $50,000 KYSS consolations opened up the card. The 2-year-old filly trot consolation went to Mother Teresa in 1:55.2 for driver Zeron and trainer Cecere. The daughter of Father Patrick is a homebred of KR Breeding. The consolation for freshman male pacers went to Waterway, who won in 1:50.1 for driver Brett Miller and trainer Alagna. The daughter of Captaintreacherous was bred by Brittany Farms and is owned by Alagna & Begley Stable, Santo Barbera, David Silverman and Joseph Barbera. Three KYSS consolations were held on Saturday night. Supergirl Riley (Muscle Mass) won the 3-year-old filly trot in 1:54.3 for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Erv Miller and owners Paymaq Racing, George Golemes and Harvey Eisman; Amico Mio Bi (Donato Hanover) won the 2-year-old male trot in 1:55.4 for trainer-driver Brian Connor, who shares ownership with Janice Connor, Arden Homestead Stable and Caroline Gerry; and Cruise (Sweet Lou) won the 2-year-old male pace in 1:52.4 for driver Christian Lind, trainer Brian Brown and owner Emerald Highlands Farm. From the Kentucky Sire Stakes  

The Minnesota Harness Racing Night of Champions program was conducted at Running Aces on Saturday night (Sept. 15), with eleven championship races going for a record $362,500 in purses, with an additional $15,200 in overnights for a total of $377,700 and the richest harness racing card in state history.   Among the Championship contenders was Boom Boom Shaboom, a 7 year old pacing mare by General Aidid who was making her final career start before retirement to become a broodmare. Boom Boom Shaboom had become a fan favorite over the last few years, campaigning in races all the way up to the top level at Running Aces with many appearances in the Mares Open Pace during the past two seasons.   She drew post six for the $20,000 Aged Pacing Mares Championship, coming in fresh off a sharp winning effort (1:54.2) in a mares conditioned pace last out. Trainer/Driver Brady Jenson seized the opportunity to grab the lead right off the gate- surging to command in the first few strides.   Jenson was able to control the affair with moderate and well-rated fractions (:28.2, :58.1 and 1:27) while saving enough in the tank to sprint home in :28 and seal the victory over fast-closing rivals Swinging Again (James Yoder) and Place'n First (Steve Wiseman) with a half-length margin of victory.   The 1:55 Championship win was career tally number 36 for Boom Boom Shaboom ($24.60) and rounded her final career purse tally up to $132,520 for owners Brian and Kim Larson of Canton, South Dakota. Timothy Lems was the winning breeder.   Burning Blaze turned in a dazzling gate-to-wire performance in the $40,000 2 Year Old Colts & Geldings Championship Pace from post three with driver Steve Wiseman in the sulky. Burning Blaze was never in doubt and was well in hand through a moderate early pace of :28.1 and :58.3, but turned on the turbo charge for a third panel in :28.2 and a blazing final quarter in :27.1, giving his rivals little chance to catch him.   His :55.3 final half was the fastest of the night, and secured the victory by 3 1/2 lengths in 1:54.1 for his seventh win in nine career trips to the gate and a new lifetime mark. He also established a new track record for 2 year old gelding pacers, eclipsing the previous mark of 1:54.3.    The impressive son of Wind Me Up is owned by his breeders Alan and Cheryl Sandbulte along with Edward Gutin. The winning trainer is Justin Anfinson. Rounding out the top three were Stay Humble N Kind (Gerald Longo) and SB Bodacious (Rick Magee) Burning Blaze ($2.10) was a heavy 1-9 favorite.   Dream Chasin became a back-to-back Champion by capturing the $35,000 3 Year Old Colts & Geldings Pace in 1:55 flat with Driver Nick Roland in the sulky. Roland sent Dream Chasin quickly off the gate from the outside nine post and swept right to the lead, controlled the pace and was never in doubt with a one length victory over deep-closer Watchmeneighneigh (James Yoder) and Ridonkuloso (Steve Wiseman) was home in third.   Dream Chasin ($33.00) was the 2 year old champion pacer last season, also with Roland in the bike. The big win tonight was number six on the season and ninth career tally for the son of Fancy Schmancy who has now bankrolled $81,415 for Owners and Breeders Michelle and Gregory Budach. The winning trainer is also Greg Budach.   Full-Sisters Al Mar Reba Babe (Dean Magee) and Al Mar Bon Bon (James Yoder) finished one-two and were separated by just a whisker at the line in the $25,000 Aged Trot Championship. The two daughters of Sos Lunar Eclipse out of Golden Victory by Valley Victor hit the line together in 1:56.3 and the photo finish camera was barely able to split the pair.   Al Mar Reba Babe ($6.40) got the victory by the slimmest of margins for her third win in eighteen starts this year and eleventh career tally, pushing her lifetime bankroll to $105,619 for owner/trainer Richard Davis. Al Mar Bon Bon is owned by Cara Hauser and trained by Alexia Kehl.   The other Championship winners were as follows:   $27,500 2 Year Old Filly Trot, Twilight Tinker (Rick Magee) for owner Cathy Dessert, trainer Nick Roland, time 2:04.1 $35,000 3 Year Old Colt Trot, Bekkums Royal Duty (Dean Magee) for owner Sarah Bekkum, trainer David Ginter, time 1:59 $40,000 2 Year Old Colt Trot, MD Magic (Dean Magee) for owner Set The Pace Racing, trainer Nick Roland, time 2:00 $40,000 2 Year Old Filly Pace, Windmeupnwatchmego (Dean Magee) for owner Richard Davelaar, trainer Gordon Graham, time 1:57.2 $35,000 2 Year Old Filly Trot, Mimi Marguerite (James Yoder) Jeanne Marquis and Jesse De Long, trainer Justin Anfinson, time 1:58.3 $35,000 3 Year Old Filly Pace, I'm On A Terror (James Yoder) Brian Anfinson and Jesse De Long, trainer Justin Anfinson, time 1:55 $20,000 Aged Horses & Geldings Pace, Stuckey Dote (Rick Magee) for owner Merlin Van Oterloo, trainer Brett Ballinger, time 1:53.2   Driver Dean Magee had four Championship wins on the program, with James (J.D.) Yoder picking up two Championships and three wins overall.   Trainer Justin Anfinson had three Championship wins, with Nick Roland picking up two Championships on the night. Driver Steve Wiseman and his wife Trainer Kathleen Plested-Wiseman were crowned as the 2018 Leading Driver and Leading Trainer at Running Aces.   Wiseman picked up two wins on the closing night program to bring his final win tally to an impressive 105, his best Running Aces season to date. He had a final advantage of 16 wins over Dean Magee who was very impressive in the last six weeks of the meet pulling to within 7 or 8 wins of the lead with about three weeks to go.   Magee landed at an impressive 89 wins for the season. Kathleen was well ahead of all trainers throughout the season and pulled away from the field in the final month of racing, picking up one win on closing night for an impressive total of 68 wins for the meet, 33 wins ahead of both Gerald Longo and Justin Anfinson.   For both husband Steve, and wife Kathleen it was back-to-back Championships at Running Aces. Daughter Tyler Wiseman was also in the Winner's Circle to help celebrate the fantastic season for the Wiseman stable.   The $100,000 Guaranteed 20-cent Pick-5 wager on closing night marked a record for the largest guarantee in track history, and produced the largest gross pool in the history of our Pick-5, and also contributed to the best Saturday handle in the history of the track.   Running Aces management wishes to thank all of it's loyal fans, staff, and horsemen for another successful and record setting season. Special thanks go out to Xpressbet for the Night of Champions promotional sponsorship, as well as NAHUpicks.com and Harness Racing Replays for season long partnerships as well.   Simulcast Racing is offered year round at Running Aces as well as Casino action 365 days a year. Check our website RunAces.com for news and upcoming events. Information about the next/upcoming season of Live Racing is typically posted around February or March of each year.   By Darin Gagne, for Running Aces  

If Jimmy Takter was disappointed by Lazarus's shock defeat in Canada yesterday he was hiding it well. The champion former Kiwi pacer had to settle for second in a C$34,000 ($40,000) free-for-all at Woodbine in Toronto, closing from fourth to second at the top of the straight but easily beaten by Nirvana Seelster. Nirvana Seelster could manage only eighth in the Canadian Pacing Derby that Lazarus finished second in two weeks so after winning fresh up in North America three starts ago, Lazarus could appear to be tracking in the wrong direction. But Takter, the Hall of Fame trainer entrusted with the millionaire stallion, says he was happy enough with the performance in the 1:48.2 mile. "Obviously we would have liked to win but it is not that easy against these horses over a fast mile," said Takter. "We found out he had a virus after the Canadian Derby so he missed some work coming into this race which is why we decided to drive him further back rather than sending him down the road [leading]. "So for him to come from fourth to run second and pace his last half mile in 53.2 seconds was good. "And he will improve with that. All the mile races he can have will help." Lazarus will now head to the US$175,000 ($267,000) Hoosier Park Derby in Indiana on Friday (Saturday afternoon NZ time), the track where he won the Dan Patch in his first US start last month. The irony for Lazarus is had he started out with a performance like yesterday's in his first North American start, progressed to a second in the Canadian Derby and won the Dan Patch he would now be rated the best pacer in North America. But the expectations created by his magic mile fresh up in the Dan Patch last month mean that anything but a Lazarus win will be judged a failure by most racing fans. The six-year-old gets the chance to win them back over before the week is out. Safely through the Hoosier Park race Lazarus is still a chance to head to the super fast Red Mile in Kentucky in three weeks to chase a career best time.   Michael Guerin

Youaremycandygirl, winner of fifteen of 22 career races, headlines a field of eight filly pacers in the $230,700 Jugette on Wednesday, September 19th at the Delaware County Fair. The fillies will race one heat to determine the Jugette champion. The daughter of American Ideal owns a lifetime mark of 1:48 2/5 and has earned $1,263,536. The Ron Burke trainee will leave from post #3 and will be piloted by Yannick Gingras for owner W. J. Donovan. She was the 207 Breeders Crown champion and in 2018 won the $270,425 Empire Breeders Classic and the $96,600 Shady Daisy. The main challenge to Youaremycandygirl should come from Alexa's Power from post #5. The Somebeachsomewhere lass has earned $405,195 for Jeffrey and Michael Snyder and trainer Jim Campbell. The ultra-consistent Alexa's Power has finished on the board in 11 straight races and will be piloted by Trace Tetrick. Post time for the Wednesday card at the Delaware County Fair will be 11:00 AM. The simulcast program will start at 10:30 AM. Post positions for the $230,700 Jugette PP - Horse (Driver/Trainer) 1. Strong Opinion (Chris Page/Ron Burke) 2. Sansovina Hanover (Matt Kakaley/Ron Burke) 3. Youaremycandygirl (Yannick Gingras/Ron Burke) 4. E Dee's Well Said (Jim Pantaleano/Christen Pantaleano) 5. Alexa's Power (Trace Tetrick/Jim Campbell) 6. Sidewalk Dancer (Scott Zeron/Chris Oakes) 7. Solitary (Brett Miller/Nick Surick) 8. Aldine Hanover (Marcus Miller/Erv Miller) by Jau Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug    

MILTON, ON - September 15, 2018 - This year's edition of the $665,000 Canadian Trotting Classic was a hoof-to-hoof harness racing heavyweight battle from start to finish, with Crystal Fashion coming out on top in the final strides. Saddled with the daunting post 10, Crystal Fashion, a bay son of Cantab Hall, needed a little racing luck and plenty of grit to get the job done in Canada's richest trotting event of 2018. On Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park, the Jim Campbell trainee had plenty of the latter. Sent off as the 5-2 second choice to 3-5 Mets Hall, Crystal Fashion, piloted by Tim Tetrick, was full of trot as the gate took off from the field of 11 sophomore stars. After taking his rivals through an opening quarter in :27.3, Crystal Fashion then found himself sitting in second spot once Mets Hall, with Andy Miller driving, went from second to first. The see-saw tussle between the leaders continued through a half in :56.2 and three-quarters in 1.25-flat, with the final round coming as the field straightened for home. Down the stretch, Crystal Fashion, on the outside, and Mets Hall, to his inside, put on a show for the packed house at Woodbine Mohawk Park. At the wire, Crystal Fashion ($7.90 to win) eked out a hard-fought half-length triumph over his rival, in 1:52.1. Fiftydallarbill was third, while Lawmaker was fourth. The 10-2 exactor returned $21 and a 10-2-8 triactor paid $91.60. A $1 superfecta (10-2-8-5) was worth $444.85. There was a pari-mutuel refund for Winning American, who had a broken equipment issue prior to the start of the race. "It worked out good today," said Tetrick who two races earlier teamed with Green Manalishi S to win the William Wellwood Memorial. "We got out of there good and got on the right foot. He crossed over well, in-hand, and the favourite came and we had to let him go, so I got a dream trip." Both Crystal Fashion and Tetrick had to work overtime to finally reel in a stubborn Mets Hall. "I went ahead and pulled the pocket at the top of the lane," he said. "We had a horse race to the wire, but today my horse outgrinded him. With Crystal, you never know for sure. He always gives a pretty good effort, but sometimes he can look at butterflies." Tonight, he stung like a bee. It was lifetime win No. 13 from 25 starts for the bay gelding, owned by Fashion Farms LLC. In 13 starts this year, Crystal Fashion, bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, has nine wins and a trio of seconds. "Very impressed," said Campbell. "Timmy did a great job getting him out of there to put him in good position. The horse, he digs. If he's got a target to go at, he goes after it. He's just been a tremendous horse to train this year." Crystal Fashion will soon head to the Bluegrass State for his next engagements. "He's been good at both two and three," said Campbell. "He seems to get better. He'll go down to Lexington and have two races there and then he'll go to the Breeders Crown." by Chris Lomon, for Woodbine Communications  

MILTON, ON - September 15, 2018 - Phaetosive and trainer-driver Trond Smedshammer went from blocked at the rail to reaching up just in time on the outside in a wild $340,000 Elegantimage Stakes on Saturday at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Although it was a field of seven three-year-old trotting fillies competing, the Elegantimage Stakes was essentially a three-horse race with superstars Atlanta, Manchego and Phaetosive clashing for the first-time this season. Hambletonian champion Atlanta was blasted to the lead by driver Scott Zeron, posting a :27.1 opener. Manchego and driver Yannick Gingras got away right behind Atlanta, while Phaetosive and Smedshammer left from the rail in third. Zeron used his position on the lead to grab a soft second-quarter of :29.2. The tempo ramped up on the final-turn, as Blonde Magic and driver Jody Jamieson started pushing up on the outside from fifth. The outside mover gave Gingras his cue to pop the two-hole nearing three-quarters, while Smedshammer stayed in with Phaetosive. Atlanta reached three-quarters in 1:24.4 and led the fillies into the lane with Manchego at her wheel. The Hambletonian Day heroes engaged in battle with Manchego overtaking the lead in the final-eighth. As the lead pair battled, Phaetosive attempted to come up the inside, but no lane was available and Smedshammer went inside one pylon while taking back. Despite losing momentum, Phaetosive came across to the far outside and unleashed a furious late push to nail Manchego at the line for a 1:52.2 victory. The margin of victory was a neck. Atlanta finished third, beat 2½ lengths. The AGCO Judges reviewed Smedshammer's stretch drive and determined there was no violation committed. "Up until the three-quarter pole everything went like I planned," said Smedshammer following the victory. "When Yannick (Gingras) pulled in front of me, I thought it was going to be easier to go inside, I really thought they were going to sprint home a little bit more. "The rail didn't open up," continued Smedshammer. "I tried inside Scotty (Zeron), but he wasn't going to open up anything and I actually skimmed a pylon there, but I want back outside. She had every opportunity to get beat tonight." A daughter of Explosive Matter, Phaetosive picked up her sixth win of the season Saturday and 10th win in 15 career starts. The Smedshammer trainee has only two losses this season with the first being against colts in her season debut and most recent being a second-place finish to Manchego in the Hambletonian Oaks on August 4. "She's been great her whole life and Manchego's been getting the best of her in every start before, but today was our turn," said Smedshammer, who has managed his star filly carefully. "She is fresh. She had a couple of incidents after the Oaks that set her back a little bit. She shipped up here yesterday and I knew today she was very calm and very good in the paddock. Everything was her way tonight." Phaetosive, who entered the Elegantimage off a victory in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship, has now earned $567,864 this season and $845,604 in her career for owner Purple Haze Stables LLC of Fairport, New York. A $2 win ticket on Phaetosive returned $11.30. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, ON - September 15, 2018 - Captain Ahab and Stag Party punched their ticket to next week's $890,000 Metro Pace final with impressive harness racing victories in Saturday evening's eliminations at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 17 two-year-old pacing colts and geldings were split into a pair of $40,000 eliminations. Captain Ahab will head into the Metro Pace final a perfect seven for seven after winning his elimination in 1:50.4 for driver Andrew McCarthy and trainer Tony Alagna. A son of Captaintreacherous, Captain Ahab got away fourth in a field of eight and watched Captain Crunch cut an opening-quarter of :26.3. McCarthy sent 'Ahab' after the lead in the second-quarter, clearing to the top at a :55 half. Captain Ahab paced his third-quarter in :27.4 with first-up pressure from Lyons Night Hawk and the six for seven De Los Cielos Deo sitting second-over. In the stretch, Captain Ahab finished his mile with a :28 final-quarter to secure the victory. De Los Cielos Deo paced into second, getting to the leader's wheel at the wire. Goldberg finished third, while Lyons Night Hawk was fourth. The final ticket to next week's final was grabbed by Better Up. Captain Ahab established a new career-mark with the 1:50.4 victory and has now earned $137,616 for owners Brittany Farms LLC, Brad Grant, Vince Barbera and Captain Ahab Racing. "I kicked the ear-plugs out tonight and made him pace in the stretch because I've got so much respect for Burke's colt (De Los Cielos Deo)," said McCarthy following the victory. "I was getting flushed early, so I went ahead and put him on the front and he was fine about it." A $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Captain Ahab will head into the Metro Pace undefeated and as the likely favourite. The Alagna trainee has collected five of his seven wins at Mohawk Park. McCarthy is confident heading into the final, but not overlooking any of his opponents. "It's not going to be easy. I've got a lot of respect for the other colts, so we just got to figure out the trip and hopefully it works out for us." A $2 win ticket on Captain Ahab returned $2.50. Casie Coleman trainee Stag Party rebounded from a second-place finish in the Champlain for an impressive 1:51 victory in the first Metro elimination. Driven by David Miller, Stag Party took his time in the beginning, getting away sixth in the field of nine. Cruise Captain, who defeated Stag Party in the Champlain, posted a :27.1 opening-quarter before surrendering the lead in the second-quarter. Shake That House moved third to first entering the backstretch, but was followed by Semi Tough, who overtook the top spot and led by the half in :55.4. Miller angled Stag Party to the outside at the half and the Coleman trainee charged first-up to draw within half a length of Semi Tough at three-quarters in 1:24. In the stretch, Semi Tough dug in gamely in an attempt to hold off Stag Party, but the Coleman student muscled by in deep stretch to win by a length and a half in a career-best 1:51. Semi Tough held second, while Shake That House was third. The top-five was completed by Lyons Johnnyjnr and Buddy Hill. A son of Bettors Delight, Stag Party now has five wins in seven starts and has earned $197,489 for owners John Fielding, Mac Nichol, McKinlay & Fielding and West Wins Stable. "Casie told me he just wasn't right health wise (last week) and she got him good in a week and he went a big trip tonight," said Miller when asked about the rebound victory. "She does a great job conditioning horses and getting them ready." Stag Party was purchased as a yearling for $125,000 at the Harrisburg Sale. A $2 win ticket on the Coleman trainee returned $3.90. The post-positions for next week's $890,000 Metro Pace final were drawn following the eliminations. Captain Ahab and Stag Party earned their connections the right to select their post. Here is the field for the September 22 rich final. 1. Better Up 2. Semi Tough 3. Stag Party 4. Captain Ahab 5. Shake That House 6. Buddy Hill 7. Goldberg 8. Lyons Night Hawk 9. Lyons Johnnyjnr 10. De Los Cielos Deo AE: Captain Crunch by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications