Day At The Track

DOVER, Del. --- After breaking stride at the start of last week’s $25,000 Open Handicap trot and come back to finish third. This week Theresademoninme rebounded to score an impressive 1:53 wire-to-wire victory in the feature on Tuesday (2/20) to give driver Jonathan Roberts, trainer and co-owner Dylan Davis a training triple and owner double for the day. The Kadaba-Totoni seven-year-old co-owned by Mike Casalino, notched his second win of 2018 and 25th lifetime raising his bankroll to $381,078 lifetime. Cutting out the fast fractions of :26.2 quarter; :55.2 half; 1:23.4 three quarters pulling away to victory. Elysium Lindy (Corey Callahan) last week’s winner closed strongly to finish second in front of Golden Son (Russell Foster). Davis’ Honor And Serve teamed with Callahan for a 1:53.3 triumph in a $13,000 Winners-Over trot to beat Cajole Hanover (Tim Tetrick) and third place Baximum (Foster) in the secondary feature. Davis owns the Donato Hanover-Honorable Daughter six-year-old with Howard Taylor and Tom Lazzaro. It was his third win in five starts this year. Davis’ first win came with Soulsby, Singh, Hill and VIP Internet Stables’ LMC Mass Gem, a Muscleman-Hornby Gem gelding,  who overpowered seven rivals in 1;53.3 with Callahan driving. Holiday  Promise (Tetrick) was next. L Dees Yoyo Ma (Steve Nason) was third.   The biggest payoff of the day came when Big Walls, a 36-shot with Montrell Teague in the bike came four-wide from way back to roll home with his first win of the campaign for owner-trainer Brit Evans. The winning time for the Big Jim-Redwalls four-year-old mare was 1:54.1. Yourlipstogodsears (Tony Morgan) and race-favorite Odysseus (Tetrick) ere second and third respectively. BETTORHAVEANOTHER SEEKS SECOND STRAIGHT $25,000 MARES OPEN Bettorhaveanother  seeks a second straight $25,000 Mares Open, Wednesday, Feb. 21 at Dover Downs. A $17,000 and a $12,000 female pace top the undercard . Post time is 4:30 p.m. Corey Callahan pilots Bettorhavanother for trainer Ron Burke in the week’s distaff feature. A solid group of contenders is led by Gary Ewing’s Sweet Robbie reined by At Stafford Jr. and by last season’s Horse of the Meet; Enhance Your Mind with Vic Kirby. JFE Enterprise’s Scandalicious, driven by Jonathan Roberts, has been sharp since arriving. Tim Tetrick guides CC Racing and JoAnn Looney-King’s Newborn Sassy from post 8. Terror At night driven by Montrell Teague for Ed Maas, Arlene Paisley and Nanticoke Racing, has won three of her last five races. Valuable Art  and Westluckycam complete the starters. The sub-feature is a $18,000 Mares Winners pace .Stormtracker (Tetrick) dew the rail with Bad Lightning (Roberts) alongside. The rest of the starters are Brian and Carrie Malone’s Rosy Outlook (Tony Morgan); Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farms; Roselily (Art Stafford Jr.) and Marion Beachy’s Berazzled (from outside post 8. Live racing is featured four days a week, Monday through Thursday with post time at 4:30 p.m. Dover Downs’ features a 50-cent Pick 5 wager starting with the 2nd race through the 6th. A late daily double is carded for the 12th and 13th races. Watch the live racing and enjoy fine food at the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Simmulcasting of harness and thoroughbred races each day from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight in the Race and Sports Book.

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, February 21, 2018—The Foiled Again saga continues Thursday night (Feb. 22nd), with the venue (Yonkers Raceway) and the quest (100 harness racing career wins) remaining the same. It’s the fourth crack at the milestone for harness racing’s richest-ever equine ($7,570,878) in his 308th career purse start. Foiled Again drew post position No. 3 in the $20,000, eighth-race pace. First post is 6:50 PM, with approximate post for the eighth at 9:30 PM George Brennan drives for co-owner (as Burke Racing) / trainer Ron Burke. The 14-year-old Dragon Again gelding won (with Brennan) his seasonal debut, moving him to the precipice of the plateau. He hit the board once (a third-place finish) in three subsequent starts.  Foiled Again has raced at the same (non-winners of $20,000 in last five starts) in every start this season. Frank Drucker

Harness racing trainer Richard Brosnan has been fined $19200.00 for presenting three horses to race with trace amounts of cobalt in their system. Brosnan who is 69 years old has been a licensed trainer since he was 21years old and has been involved in the Harness Racing Industry for 50 years. The scenario that he had deliberately injected his horses with Cobalt was put to him by the JCA. Mr Brosnan denied this and explained that he had the Cobalt Chloride on the recommendation of a Veterinarian. He stated that a few years ago the neighbours were using chemical sprays on their potatoes which was impacting the welfare and fitness of his horses. His vet recommended Cobalt as a method to pick the horses up although Mr Brosnan stated that the effect was limited. He stated that he forgot that the Cobalt was in the fridge and must have been since that time. He further stated that if he wanted to cheat he would not have left the Cobalt in the fridge where it would be easily located. Full details below: BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003 IN THE MATTER of New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing RACING INTEGRITY UNIT INFORMANT RICHARD BROSNAN, Licenced Trainer DEFENDANT Judicial Committee: Mr Murray McKechnie, Chairman & Mr Gavin Jones Present: Mr Andy Cruickshank, Racing Investigator, Racing Integrity Unit Mr Richard Brosnan, Licenced Trainer PENALTY DECISION NON-RACEDAY JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DATED THIS 13th DAY OF FEBRUARY 2018 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 At a hearing which took place at Alexandra Park Raceway on the 9th day of February this year the Committee considered three (3) informations laid by the RIU against Mr Brosnan under Rules 1004(1A) and 1004(3). 1.2 In an interim decision delivered on the 9th day of February the Committee made orders disqualifying the horses BOPPER JET, GRENADO and OUR PETITE LADY from the races where positive cobalt readings had been returned. That interim decision is to be read alongside this penalty decision. 1.3 As explained in the interim decision the Committee reserved the question of penalty and now turns to that. 2. PENALTY 2.1 Rule 1004(7) provides as follows: Every person who commits a breach of sub-rule (2) or (3) shall be liable to: a) A fine not exceeding $20,000; and/or b) Be disqualified or suspended from holding or obtaining a licence for any specific period not exceeding 5 years. 3. RIU SUBMISSIONS 3.1 The submissions set out the four well-known sentencing principles. These are as follows: a) Penalties are designed to punish the offender for his/her wrong doing. They are not meant to be retributive in the sense that the punishment is disproportionate to the offence but the offender must be met with a punishment; b) In a racing context it is extremely important that a penalty has the effect of deterring others from committing similar offences; c) A penalty should also reflect the disapproval of the JCA for the type of behaviour in question; d) The need to rehabilitate the offender should be taken into account. 3.2 The RIU submissions point to what are said to be “aggravating considerations”. These are said to be as follows: a) Despite being expired by several years 4 vials of Cobalt Chloride were located in a fridge in the stable block; b) In the same fridge 2 syringes containing high levels of Cobalt were located. 3.3 The submissions then point to a number of mitigating factors. These are as follows: a) Mr Brosnan immediately accepted responsibility for the positives and has been fully cooperative with the RIU throughout the investigation; b) Mr Brosnan has admitted guilt and liability at the first available opportunity; c) Mr Brosnan has an unblemished record over 50 years as a Licence Holder and Trainer. 3.4 The RIU took a number of items from the Brosnan stable and had these analysed. Three (3) contained high levels of Cobalt. These were the following: a) Elevate B12 2000 Plus Selenium. The label indicates that this product is used to treat Cobalt and Selenium deficiency in sheep and cattle. Mr Brosnan stated that he gave the horses 10 mls of Elevate B12 2000 orally after hard working them on the Wednesday before they raced (2 days); b) Four ml Cobalt Chloride Vials. These vials contained extremely high levels of Cobalt (18,000 mg/kg). Mr Brosnan stated that he was advised by his Vet to use this product in 2012 as the neighbours were using chemical sprays on their potatoes which were impacting the welfare and fitness of his horses. The original order for Mr Brosnan in 2012 was for 25 x 4 ml vials of Cobalt Chloride. Of these four vials were located and each vial contained the full 4 mls as stated on the label; c) Syringes. Two of the syringes contained high levels of Cobalt indicating that at some stage they had been used to administer products containing high levels of Cobalt. 3.5 The RIU acknowledges that it is not possible to demonstrate that Mr Brosnan administered Cobalt to his horses. The report from Dr Grierson makes clear that it is unlikely that the Cobalt levels which were returned came about from the horses eating food which contained Cobalt. It is the RIU position that having vials of Cobalt Chloride and syringes with traces of Cobalt in the stables puts Mr Brosnan’s level of culpability at the higher end. 3.6 The RIU submissions draw attention to the prohibited Cobalt level under the Harness Racing New Zealand Rules being reduced from the 1st August 2017 from 200 ug/L to 100 ug/L (micrograms per litre). 3.7 The RIU submissions make reference to previous Cobalt decisions in both harness racing and thoroughbred racing. These decisions are: • RIU v DALGETY (16.05.2017) • RIU v BAMBRY (04.12.17) • RIU v O’SULLIVAN & SCOTT (22.03.2016) The Committee has carefully considered each of those decisions. 3.8 In conclusion the RIU seeks a fine within the range of $15,000 to $35,000. 4. MR BROSNAN’S POSITION 4.1 By a document dated the 5th day of February 2018 Mr Brosnan made a detailed response to the RIU submissions. The Committee emphasises the following matters which have been put forward by Mr Brosnan: a) No issue is taken with the summary of facts; b) Mr Brosnan says that at no time did he deliberately administer or inject Cobalt to any of his horses; c) Mr Brosnan acknowledged that there was a failure on his part to recognise that supplements he was giving to the horses could give rise to prohibited levels of Cobalt; d) Mr Brosnan acknowledged that he was at fault and said that this is why he accepted the charges immediately. 4.2 Mr Brosnan pointed to the penalty guide for New Zealand Harness Racing. This provides for an $8,000 fine for a first presentation. Here three (3) horses tested positive. 4.3 In answer to questions from the Committee Mr Brosnan advised that he was 69 years old. He told the Committee that he had been licenced since the age of 21. To quote from Mr Brosnan’s written material: “I have found this an extremely stressful process. It has damaged my reputation at a time when I am about to retire. It is a huge punishment for me”. 4.4 References and testimonials were put forward on behalf of Mr Brosnan. These included a letter from his wife. The reference and testimonials came from a large number of persons holding prominent positions in the training of standard bred horses and in the administration of standard bred racing. These references and testimonials speak of Mr Brosnan’s integrity throughout his career and make for most persuasive reading. 5. DISCUSSION 5.1 In the interim decision there is reference to Dr Grierson’s report. That demonstrates, as noted above, that the high Cobalt levels are unlikely to have come from food given to the horses. The Committee notes in particular the very high level returned by the horse OUR PETITE LADY. 5.2 There has been much publicity and discussion about Cobalt in both the harness racing code and the thoroughbred code in New Zealand and Australia in recent years. This should have put all licenced persons on notice. Trainers should have been alert to the risks that necessarily would arise where Cobalt is stored in stables as was the case here. 5.3 Mr Brosnan told the Committee that he took sole responsibility and did not seek to place any blame upon staff members. 5.4 In his written material Mr Brosnan submitted that the Bambry decision was most relevant and should be followed. The Committee does not agree. In that case only one (1) horse was involved. It is accepted that the O’Sullivan & Scott decision involves very different circumstances from those that are before the Committee. The Dalgety decision has more relevance. That involved five (5) different occasions when horses returned Cobalt levels beyond the permitted 100 ug/L. That was between November 2016 and March 2017. Further Mr Dalgety had two (2) previous convictions for breaches of the Prohibited Substance Rules. Neither involved Cobalt. The Dalgety decision is comprehensive and most helpful. 5.5 In the Committee’s view the offending here, for the reasons set out above, is more serious than in the Bambry case but less serious than in the Dalgety case. Thus it is for the Committee to fix the appropriate level of financial penalty. As already noted the penalty guide proposes a fine of $8,000 for a so-called first presentation. If that were applied in respect of each of the three (3) breaches the fine would be $24,000. The Committee considers that some discount is appropriate to acknowledge Mr Brosnan’s previous completely unblemished record and his prompt acknowledgement of responsibility. An appropriate discount would be 20%. That results in the figure of $24,000 being reduced to $19,200 and that is, in the Committee’s view, an appropriate figure and in line with the decisions spoken of earlier. That figure of $19,200 is proportionate to the circumstances around the three (3) admitted breaches of Rules 1004(1A) and 1004(3). 6. DECISION 6.1 In respect of the three (3) informations to which Mr Brosnan has pleaded guilty he will be fined in total the sum of $19,200. 6.2 The RIU do not seek costs. Mr Brosnan must make some contribution to the costs and expenses incurred by the Judicial Control Authority. An appropriate figure is $500 and that is the sum that shall be ordered to be paid to the JCA. DATED this 13th day of February 2018 Murray McKechnie Chairman ___________________________________________________________________________________________ BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE JUDICIAL CONTROL AUTHORITY UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003 IN THE MATTER of New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing RACING INTEGRITY UNIT INFORMANT RICHARD BROSNAN, Licenced Trainer DEFENDANT Judicial Committee: Mr Murray McKechnie, Chairman & Mr Gavin Jones Present: Mr Andy Cruickshank, Racing Investigator, Racing Integrity Unit Mr Richard Brosnan, Licenced Trainer INTERIM DECISION NON-RACEDAY JUDICIAL COMMITTEE DATED THIS 9TH DAY OF FEBRUARY 2018 1. NATURE OF THE CHARGES 1.1 Mr Brosnan faces three (3) charges laid under Rules 1004(1A) and 1004(3) of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing. Those charges relate to horses being presented with the prohibited substance Cobalt. The charges relate to the presentation of the horse BOPPER JET at the Auckland Trotting Club on the 31st day of August 2017, the horse GRENADO on the 31st day of August 2017 at the Auckland Trotting Club and the horse OUR PETITE LADY on the 22nd day of September 2017 at the Auckland Trotting Club. There was a teleconference on the 19th January 2018. At that time Mr Brosnan indicated that he had pleaded guilty to all three charges and those pleas were recorded and those pleas were recorded. Mr Brosnan does not take issue with the summary of facts prepared for the Racing Integrity Unit. A copy of that summary of facts (2 pages) is attached to this decision and is to be read as part of the decision. 2. HEARING ON 9TH DAY OF FEBRUARY 2018 2.1 There has this afternoon been a hearing at Alexandra Park Raceway. The Committee has before it extensive submissions from the RIU. There are also detailed submissions from Mr Brosnan together with extensive testimonials and references. 2.2 On the 5th February 2018 Dr Andrew Grierson the Chief Veterinarian for Harness Racing New Zealand prepared a report for Mr Cruickshank the RIU Investigator and this has been made available to the Committee and to Mr Brosnan. At the commencement of the hearing this afternoon Mr Brosnan made it clear that he was concerned that this material had reached him very late and outside the clear timetable that was set at the telephone conference on the 19th January. Mr Brosnan also made it known that Dr Grierson’s practice acts for his stable and that he was concerned that Dr Grierson should in those circumstances prepare this report for Harness Racing New Zealand. That is a matter upon which the Committee cannot appropriately comment. If Mr Brosnan wishes to take that issue further then he must take that up with Dr Grierson. Mr Brosnan asked if he wished to have time to respond to the material from Dr Grierson. He was told by the Committee that if he did wish to do that then the Committee would grant an adjournment of the hearing in order for that to take place. Mr Brosnan made plain that he did not wish to have an adjournment and “wished to get it over with today”. The Committee has considered the material from Dr Grierson. In particular the Committee is stuck by the very high cobalt level of 522 ug/L returned by the horse OUR PETITE LADY on the 22nd September 2017. Mr Brosnan was asked about that. He said that the only explanation that he could offer was that medication given to that mare which medication had been obtained from the Auckland Veterinary Clinic may have brought that about. That medication is to prevent mares from coming into season. That medication was given to OUR PETITE LADY but not to the other two horses BOPPER JET and GRENADO. 3. SUBMISSIONS 3.1 The Committee has heard from both Mr Cruickshank and Mr Brosnan and they have responded to questions from the Committee. It was explained that it will be necessary to give a detailed reasoned decision as to the penalty level which the Committee will impose. That written decision should be available without significant delay. 4. DECISION 4.1 In the meantime this decision now sets out that the horse BOPPER JET is disqualified from Race 2 that took place at Alexandra Park Raceway on the 31st August 2017 and the horses which finished behind BOPPER JET are moved forward. That may affect the ratings of those horses in consequence. The horse GRENADO is disqualified in respect of Race 5 that took place at Alexandra Park Raceway on the 31st August 2017 and likewise the horses that finished behind GRENADO are moved forward one place in consequence of that disqualification. OUR PETITE LADY raced on the 22nd September 2017 at Alexandra Park Raceway and won Race 3. She is disqualified and again the horses that were placed behind her move forward in the places. There will be an order for the return of all stake money in respect of the horses BOPPER JET, GRENADO and OUR PETITE LADY. The rule under which disqualification has been made is R1004(8). The Committee is informed that the stake money has not been paid out and it follows from what is said above that this stake money will be distributed in accordance with the disqualifications which have taken place. When the Committee recorded that the stake money was to be refunded it was not at that time aware that the monies had not in fact been paid. 4. RESULT OF DECISION. 4.1 The decision given today is to be immediately notified by the RIU to Harness Racing New Zealand. A typed up decision will be available within a few days. A more detailed decision fixing the penalty levels and the reasons will follow thereafter. DATED at Auckland this 9th day of February 2018 Murray McKechnie Chairman ___________________________________________________________________________________________ BEFORE THE JUDICIAL COMMITTEE AT AUCKLAND IN THE MATTER of the New Zealand Rules of Harness Racing BETWEEN RACING INTEGRITY UNIT Andy Cruickshank Investigator Informant AND Richard BROSNAN Licensed Trainer HRNZ Respondent SUMMARY OF FACTS The respondent Richard BROSNAN is a licensed Public Trainer and Open Horseman under the Rules of the Harness Racing New Zealand. On the 31st August 2017 “Bopper Jet” was correctly entered and presented to race by Mr BROSNAN in Race 2 the Hes Watching Tender Closes Tonight 8pm Mobile Pace at the Auckland Trotting Club meeting at Alexandra Park, Auckland. “Bopper Jet” is a 6 year-old bay gelding (Jereme’s Jet – Big Bopper) owned by Mrs J L Brosnan, R J Brosnan and A J Lavrencic and is trained by the Respondent Mr BROSNAN. “Bopper Jet” finished second of the twelve horse field and won a stake of $2465.00. “Bopper Jet” underwent a random Post Race urine swab. Mr BROSNAN does not contest the swabbing process. On the 31st August 2017 “Grenado” was correctly entered and presented to race by Mr BROSNAN in Race 5 the McGregor Bailey Chartered Accountants Hcp Trot at the Auckland Trotting Club meeting at Alexandra Park, Auckland. “Grenado” is a 6 year-old bay gelding (Pegasus Spur - Strapless) owned by Mrs P A Dunnell, Miss S D Brosnan, L M Gurney and Mrs J L Brosnan, and is trained by the Respondent Mr BROSNAN. “Grenado” finished first of the eleven horse field and won a stake of $6420.00. “Grenado” underwent a random Post Race urine swab. Mr BROSNAN does not contest the swabbing process. All swab samples from the meeting were couriered to the New Zealand Racing Laboratory and were analysed for the presence of substances prohibited under the Rules of New Zealand Harness Racing. On 28 September 2017 the Official Racing Analyst reported in writing that the samples from “Bopper Jet” and “Grenado” had tested positive to Cobalt. “Bopper Jet” returned a Cobalt level of 136 ug/L (micrograms per litre) and “Grenado” a Cobalt level of 128 ug/L (micrograms per litre). On the 22nd September 2017 “Our Petite Lady” was correctly entered and presented to race by Mr BROSNAN in Race 3 the Pegusus Spur Tender Closes 13 October Hcp Trot at the Auckland Trotting Club meeting at Alexandra Park, Auckland. “Our Petite Lady” is a 4 year-old bay mare (Pegasus Spur – Petite Sunshine) currently leased by C H Weaver and Miss I M Elsley and is trained by the Respondent Mr BROSNAN. “Our Petite Lady” finished first of the eleven horse field and won a stake of $7920.00. “Our Petite Lady” underwent a random Post Race urine swab. Mr BROSNAN does not contest the swabbing process. All swab samples from the meeting were couriered to the New Zealand Racing Laboratory and were analysed for the presence of substances prohibited under the Rules of New Zealand Harness Racing. On the 31st October 2017 the Official Racing Analyst reported in writing that the sample from “Our Petite Lady” had tested positive to Cobalt. “Our Petite Lady” returned a Cobalt level of 522 ug/L (micrograms per litre). Cobalt at a concentration above 100 micrograms per litre in urine is a Prohibited Substance within the meaning of the Rules and its presence in a race day sample is, prima facie, a breach of the Rules. Cobalt is an essential trace element required for life through the actions of Vitamin B12 of which Cobalt makes up about 5% of its weight. Cobalt is absorbed from the gut either as elemental or incorporated in Vitamin B12. Mr BROSNAN was spoken to at his home address on Thursday 5 October 2017. He was unable to explain the positive tests and was adamant that he had not administered Cobalt to any of his horses. Four 4ml vials of Cobalt Chloride were located in a fridge in the stabling area of Mr Brosnan’s property along with four syringes (1 x 1ml, 1 x 2ml, 2 x 10ml) which were taken for analysis testing. The vials of Cobalt Chloride were compounded by Optimus Healthcare Limited on 6 September 2012 and had a “Use by” date of 5 March 2013. When tested the vials were shown to have a level of Cobalt of 18000 mg/kg. The four vials were the remaining part of an order of 25 x 4ml vials. When the syringes were tested the 10 ml syringes had a Cobalt reading below .02 mg/kg (milligrams per kilogram). The 1ml syringe showed a Cobalt level of 330 mg/kg (milligrams per kilogram) and a 2ml syringe showed a Cobalt level of 69 mg/kg. Mr Brosnan was spoken to again on Tuesday the 5th November 2017 and the scenario that he had deliberately injected his horses with Cobalt was put to him. Mr Brosnan denied this and explained that he had the Cobalt Chloride on the recommendation of a Veterinarian. He stated that a few years ago the neighbours were using chemical sprays on their potatoes which was impacting the welfare and fitness of his horses. His vet recommended Cobalt as a method to pick the horses up although Mr Brosnan stated that the effect was limited. He stated that he forgot that the Cobalt was in the fridge and must have been since that time. He further stated that if he wanted to cheat he would not have left the Cobalt in the fridge where it would be easily located. Mr BROSNAN has been involved in the Harness Racing Industry for 50 years. He holds a Public Trainer and Open Horseman Licence and trains a number of race horses. Mr Brosnan has no previous breaches of a similar nature.

The heats of the Group 1 $100,000 WA Sales Classic for the harness racing two year olds were run at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. The Auckland Reactor filly, Cap In Hand was an impressive winner of the first heat for the fillies. A short priced favourite, she sprinted home in a slick 27.8 to win nicely by four metres in 1:59.4. The Kat Warwick trained and Gary Hall jnr driven filly is now unbeaten in both her race day starts. A winner on debut at Pinjarra in 1:59.7 she looks to have a bright future. The other heat for the fillies was won by Has No Fear (by Western Terror). The heats for the colts were won by Shockwave (by Mach Three), Patrickthepiranha (by Four Starzzz Shark) and Babyface Adda (by Rich And Spoilt) The $100,000 Sales Classic Finals for both the colts and fillies will be run at Gloucester Park on Friday the 2nd of March. Cap In Hand Harnesslink Media

It hasn’t gone unnoticed in the horse world that Southern Bred Southern Reared have topped the last 2 National Harness Yearling Sales. Just what is Southland’s secret? It’s something the Waikato dairy industry discovered more than a decade ago when a swathe of farmers made the bold decision to transfer south – it’s a decision which paid off in spades. The unique combination of a temperate climate, long sunshine hours, plentiful rainfall and mineral rich soils just might be the secret! Grinaldi Lodge – beautifully set up for raising young stock with post and rail fences, outstanding pastures, plentiful water and abundant shelter, is for sale for the first time. And in it’s 18 years a plethora of outstanding racehorses have “grown up” on these fertile soils including the latest star Mr Mojito! Nathan Williamson broke the Southland trainers record training from this property. Little wonder it’s known as “The Golden Mile”. Two beautifully appointed barns, a gearing up and tack room, other modern sheds and an equine swimming pool are facilities designed to best meet the requirements of a progressive modern and safe horse environment. An amazing 740m2 home has the potential to provide the highest quality accommodation and entertainment. The secret is out – be bold and investigate how you can have the best Southland can offer within 2 hours of Queenstown – “Grinaldi Lodge  - it’ll pay off in spades!” Cardigan Bay, Young Quinn, Chicago Bull, Beaudene Boaz … horses love Southland and Southland loves horses. Click on this link for details on Grinaldi Lodge Harnesslink Media

Punters were left up in arms by the stewards’ decision to allow the result of an Albany harness race over the weekend to stand despite several harness racing drivers pulling their horses up thinking the race had been called off. In extraordinary scenes, the standing start of Race 5 at the West Australian racetrack on Friday night saw rank outsider Melton Express stand flat footed at the start before backing straight into the path of Crimson Floyd, with both drivers dislodged. The remaining five horses continued until some 600m after the start where in the mistaken belief that the race would be abandoned because of injured drivers or horses on the track, two drivers decided to pull their horses up. Jack Justins on $4.50 shot Chuck Norris was the first to pull up, and then Lang Inwood on Across the Way ($18) decided his race was also over, dropping back through the field. Chaos reigned for the next lap as caller Craig Morrison tried to make sense of what was going on. “I’ve been calling a long time, but this is one of the strangest races I’ve ever seen,” he said. He would then receive confirmation from the stewards that the race was progressing, with just the three horses in contention. Dredlock Rockstar, the $2.80 favourite, would go on to win the race, defeating Four Needed ($7.70) and Estocada ($3.40). Across The Way would fill the first four, some 380 metres (or around 30 seconds) behind the winner. Here is the race - You be the Judge The stewards report from the meeting said that after interviewing all the drivers, it was established that there were no reasons the race should be called off. No siren had sounded and the decision to pull the horses up was made by the drivers themselves. However, an inquiry was opened into their actions. Driver Wes Andrews, who was cannoned into at the start, was taken to Albany Hospital. The replay of the race and the full stewards report is below. By Bren O'Brien Reprinted with permission of site If Albany race 5 is not declared a no race Harness Racing is dead @Punters @HRNSW_Harness @racing_nsw   The Stewards Report: As the start was effected MELTON EXPRESS stood flat footed and then commenced to run backwards and as a result CRIMSON FLOYD which was trailing made heavy contact with the sulky of MELTON EXPRESS NZ resulting in drivers W. Andrews (MELTON EXPRESS) and T. Stone (CRIMSON FLOYD) becoming dislodged from their sulkies. As both horses and drivers had cleared the track the race continued. Prior to the all-clear Stewards questioned all Drivers in the event into the reasons for them appearing to restrain their horses during the early stages of the event. The drivers stated that they elected to restrain their runners as they were off the opinion that the race would be stopped due to the fall shortly after the start. In giving consideration to the evidence tendered by all drivers Stewards were of the opinion that at no stage were any warning sirens sounded to alert the drivers to restrain their runners, there was no interference suffered to any runner and that the track was clear of any obstruction and therefore clear to continue running the race. As a results Stewards declared the event and race gave the all clear on the judge’s numbers. As Driver W. Andrews was injured he was transported to Albany Base Hospital for observation. Due to the delay all races were put back 1 race with Race 9 re scheduled to start at 11.05pm. Stewards opened an inquiry into the actions of the following Drivers L. Inwood (ACROSS THE WAY), M. Young (ESTOCADA), T. Wheeler (FOUR NEEDED), J. Justins (CHUCK NORRIS), A. Markham (DREDLOCK ROCKSTAR) during the running of the event. After taking initial evidence the inquiry was adjourned to a time and date to be fixed. MELTON EXPRESS – Stood flat footed at the start and lost ground. Driver dislodged shortly after the start. In view of the performance stood down until it can complete one satisfactory standing start trial. CRIMSON FLOYD – Severely checked after the start and dislodged driver.  

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis said “the win made his day". He was talking about the persistence shown by hobby harness racing trainer Bryce Jancey, who trained his first winner at Gloucester Park early in February when Greenngold saluted. The Oakford-based trainer, who owns Greenngold with his wife, Christine, had been trying to win a race at headquarters for more than 18 years. And Lewis summed the occasion up perfectly when he said “it’s moments like these (when you win a race for a battling hobby trainer) that make it all worthwhile”. The Janceys would be the first to agree with Lewis. “Chris is a master,” Jancey said after the race. “He drove Greenngold perfectly ... he gave him the run of the race and timed his run to perfection. He was so cool.” The victory, apart from the $10,881 winner’s cheque, meant everything for the couple who have been married for 45 years. “Both Christine and me had a year to forget in 2017,” Jancey said. Sixty-six-year-old Bryce was diagnosed with prostate cancer and Christine, 64, had open heart surgery. “We’re both coming good now but we were happy to welcome in the New Year and say goodbye to 2017. This win just tops things off for us,” he said. “It’s a great tonic. We both got pretty excited and emotional when Greenngold hit the front in the home straight. “I reckon they would have heard us over at the casino ... the way we were screaming.” The Janceys used the last of their savings to buy Greenngold for $20,000 last October from Bathurst trainer Amanda Turnbull. Greenngold is well named, being out of broodmare The Baggy Green, and he broke a duck of his own when he defeated Hot Fraternity and Good Times Ahead at GP on February 2. It was not only the four-year-old gelding’s first win for the Janceys, but the horse’s first win in more than a year. His last success came at Parkes in January 2017 when he led all the way to win The Elvis Final over 2040m. That was the Greenngold’s sixth win in a row, but he seemed to lose all form after that victory. Jancey has always been around horses - what with being the president of the Orange Grove Pony Club when the couple’s three children were growing up - and was a fan of the great Mount Eden when he was in his teens. He’s been involved as a trainer for more than 18 years and has had limited success in the country with horses such as Crouchdown, Sergeant Roy, Ruthless Impression, El Slick, Ya Dreamin and Nivea Joe. But Greenngold’s victory at headquarters was the icing on the cake for the Janceys. “It was fantastic to finally get that city winner,” he said. “I honestly thought it would never happen. “And Greenngold has a strut about him too since his win. “He’s a different horse after that race ... he knows he’s won.” Jancey was right about Greenngold being a different horse after his breakthrough win at headquarters. The Janceys started Greenngold in a stand at Northam on Saturday, February 17 with Kiara Davies in the cart and the horse made it back-to back victories when he finished with a new-found determination to win running away from his opposition. Greenngold, like his win at GP, was virtually unwanted in the market and came home at the juicy odds of 12/1 and added another $4163 to his owners’ account. The Janceys haven’t been able to wipe the smiles off their faces since Greenngold’s latest win and are happily planning his next run in the hope that he can bring up a hat-trick of victories. Wayne Currall

Hightstown, NJ --- Steve Rybka had driven in several races in his young harness racing career prior to his trip around Monticello Raceway on Jan. 3 with Rockintheniteaway, but he had never experienced feelings on the racetrack like he did that afternoon. “I got goose bumps at the three-quarter pole,” the 22-year-old Rybka said. “I came second over and once I tipped her and cleared, I was thinking I was going to win. It was a different feeling. I got butterflies in my stomach.” Rybka guided Rockintheniteaway to a 2-1/4 length win that afternoon, at odds of 28-1, for his first career victory as a driver. The New York native had three wins as a trainer in 2017, all with Cruzing Hill at Saratoga. “I was just really happy, and happy with the horse,” Rybka said about his driving triumph. “She was 28-1, but I was happy with how she was training and thought she had a shot that day. It was definitely a cool feeling. I’ll never forget it, that’s for sure.” Rybka, who lives in upstate New York about 20 miles south of Albany, followed his father, Darren Rybka Sr., and brother, Darren Rybka Jr., into the sport. “I was at the barn all the time growing up,” Rybka said. “Once I got out of high school, I worked for a year and then I came back and started working for a bunch of people (in harness racing) again. It’s pretty addicting. “I pretty much wanted to do this my whole life. I always wanted to have a stable of my own.” Rybka is training two horses in addition to trying to make it as a driver. He has driven at Monticello and Saratoga, posting one win, three seconds and four thirds in 16 lifetime starts. “Driving is what I want to do,” Rybka said. “I’d like to have my own horses too, maybe four or five, a small stable. But I definitely want to be a catch driver. “It’s not going to happen overnight. Saratoga is not an easy place to start, but I’ve got to give it a shot. I just want to get my name out there. Maybe I can get a couple shots and have some success. I just want to put a good image out there and do my best for everybody.” Rybka played football and basketball in high school and enjoys the competitiveness of racing. “It reminds me of playing sports,” Rybka said. “I get the same feeling when I get on the track, the adrenaline rush. When you get into a race, it’s really unbelievable.” Rybka and Rockintheniteaway will be in action again Thursday at Saratoga. He is hoping to drive more often as the year progresses and gain valuable experience. “I think I can handle a horse pretty well and I get along with them,” Rybka said. “I try to drive smart. I can read a program pretty good; I can handicap a race. And I feel like I can put horses in good spots and give them a good trip. But every single horse is different. The more you sit behind, the more you’re going to learn. “If I drive 10 horses next week and every one of them has the eight hole, that doesn’t bother me because I’m still learning. Any drive is a drive. It doesn’t matter if I’m driving the favorite or if I’m driving 99-1. I just love the competition. And I love the animals. They’re cool animals and they’re fun to be around. They definitely give you a lot of memories you won’t forget.” by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

Harness racing’s greatest trainer Mark Purdon has sacked himself off champion pacer Lazarus for Saturday’s $750,000 Ainsworth Miracle Mile. And he says putting partner Natalie Rasmussen on the Mile favourite gives all involved their best chance. “It wasn’t a hard choice to make,” said Purdon, who has driven Lazarus to win two New Zealand Cups, an Inter Dominion, as well as the Hunter Cup earlier this month. “Obviously our team had a little bug through them last week and they didn’t race up to our expectations, and with that in mind, I want to concentrate on getting the best out of them this week. “That means me doing my job as a trainer to 100 per cent and I think if I am busy doing that then I might only do an 85 per cent job on the driving front. “This way Natalie can concentrate on the driving and make those decisions and I will handle the training details.” Rasmussen is best-known as the former trainer-driver of Blacks A Fake, who won almost every major race in Australia, except the Miracle Mile. But she finally snared the Miracle win two years ago with an inch-perfect drive on Have Faith In Me, who she co-trained with Purdon, who nosed out Lennytheshark in an Australasian record 1:47.5. Rasmussen owns the two fastest winning miles in Australasian history, having also driven Adore Me when she paced 1:47.7 winning the Ladyship Mile a year earlier. Champion pacer Lazarus will be aiming to bounce back from a shock defeat at Menangle last weekend. Picture: Ashlea Brennan. Her aggressive style, which often sees her launch between the 1200m and 800m poles and keep running hard is perfectly suited to Menangle’s big miles, not that Purdon thinks she drives there better than anywhere else. “She is a great driver on any track, simple as that,” he said. Exactly what version of Lazarus Purdon hands over to Rasmussen on Saturday night is hard to predict after his brave but well-beaten third behind Tiger Tara last Saturday. He was feeling the lingering effects of a virus which a blood report on Tuesday suggests is now gone, but Purdon is cautious. “The best thing I can go on is his blood report and it was a lot better so we should be able to get a good week into him,” Purdon said. “And the rain we had overnight on Monday helped settle the dust, which will also help. “But I will know more after he fast works on Thursday. I am confident he will be close to his peak on Saturday night but there is no money-back guarantees.” MIRACLE MILE Menangle, Saturday night 1: Tiger Tara (1) 2: Atomic Red (2) 3: Anything For Love (3) 4: My Field Marshal (4) 5: Jilliby Kung Fu (5) 6: Soho Tribeca (6) 7: Lennytheshark (7) 8: Charlaval (8) 9: Let It Ride (9) 10: Lazarus (10) Emergencies: Let It Ride, Atomic Red. LATEST BETTING: TAB FIXED ODDS Michael Guerin Reprinted with permission of The Daily Telegraph

Harness racing participants in New South Wales will be the recipients of a $2.8million injection in prizemoney initiatives commencing from July 1 as announced by HRNSW Chairman Mr Rod Smith today. The raft of initiatives cover the broader industry as the HRNSW Board, working collaboratively with the Club Menangle Directors and respective executive managements on funding aspects, also took into consideration the needs of all stakeholder groups. These prizemoney increases should encourage existing and potential owners to invest in yearlings at the Australian Pacing Gold and Bathurst yearling sales in February and March respectively, particularly yearlings eligible for the 2019 Alabar Breeders Challenge and Bathurst Gold Crown Series. "Breeders can now look to the future and ensure all foals are paid up for the various NSW futurity series, as no doubt buyers will be very interested in eligible yearlings with the half-a-million dollar combined increase for the Breeders Challenge and Gold Crown," said Mr Smith. In partnership with Club Menangle midweek prizemoney will increase to $9,000 per race. "My Board Members are extremely appreciative of the Club Menangle team led by Ray Sharman and Bruce Christison for working with John (Dumesny - HRNSW chief executive) towards a more productive racing calendar for the Sydney area but more so for the Club's on-top contribution to the standard $6,500 per race funding for the Tuesday meetings," said Mr Smith. Whilst there are increases to the Alabar Breeders Challenge and Bathurst Gold Crown series, owners and trainers have not been forgotten especially owners who may not have horses in the top category with the introduction of a new 'Reward Series' with regional and provincial heats and finals ($10,000) as a reward for continuing to be involved in the industry. "The Reward Series will allow owners of Australian bred and NSW trained horses to compete at the lowest entry level for better prizemoney but to also earn $6,000 in Owners and Breeders Bonuses," explained Mr Smith. The funding injection will benefit breeders, owners, trainers and drivers with the further contribution of Clubs which are willing to add value to base prizemoney offered at non-feature race meetings. "Where a Club is to conduct a standard race meeting, eight races at $6,000 per race, HRNSW will offer additional monies to be matched by the Club for a single race on that programme," said Mr Smith. In making the announcement Mr Smith stated HRNSW is confident the injection of funding will continue into the future whilst wagering revenue through Tabcorp, corporate operators and tax parity streams remain consistent. "The HRNSW Board and management will continue to monitor wagering revenue streams and provided future financial commitments which can be adequately accommodated through surplus funds that are returned to the industry stakeholders in various forms be that through administrative assistance, infrastructure improvements or prizemoney," concluded Mr Smith. The $2.8 million funding is provided through: $600,000 Club Menangle funding of M1 races and increased prizemoney for Tuesday meetings to $9,000 per race in partnership with HRNSW. $600,000 Convert all $3,500 (R penalty) race meetings to minimum $5,000 (C penalty) race meetings and increase the allocation of $6,000 (C penalty) race meetings. Note: There will still be some individual "R" races for $3500 as Heats into Finals and as lead up races to support the likes of the Canola Cup. $300,000 Three-Year-Old Fillies and Mares funding for dedicated racing calendar. (Similar to the Two-Year-Old Calendar with guaranteed races if six original nominations are received) $300,000 Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge funding increase from 2019 in consultation with the Harness Breeders NSW and the NSW Standardbred Owners Associations. $200,000 Bathurst Golds Crown Carnival funding increase from 2019 in consultation with the Bathurst Harness Racing Club and industry stakeholders. $100,000 Group 2 funding increases for Pink Bonnet, Sapling Stakes, Rod Fitzpatrick, Raith Memorial and the Simpson, Paleface Adios and Hondo Grattan Sprints. $200,000 Regional Rewards Series of Heats and Finals to accommodate four-year-old and upwards C0 horses which are Australian bred and physically trained in NSW by HRNSW licenced trainers. (Heats $3,500 and Finals $10,000) $300,000 Non feature race meetings prizemoney boost in conjunction with Clubs. $200,000 Cups Series in Metropolitan and Country Regions incorporating established and new feature races. For example the Shirley Turnbull Memorial, Renshaw Cup, Treuer Memorial, Newcastle Mile and Riverina Cups (Goulburn, Young, Wagga). AMANDA RANDO

Popular South Australian harness racing trainer-driver Scott Pascoe landed his first winner in more than 10 years when Samalise scored a thrilling win in the PFD Food Services Pace (1800m) at Globe Derby Park. A $10.50 chance, Samalise recorded her first win leading throughout scoring a half-head win in a photo-finish that had only half a metre between the first four horses past the post. After receiving pressure for much of the race, the four-year-old mare responded to Pascoe’s urgings to defeat the fast-finishing Clarenden Valour ($4.50) while Fine Artist ($33.10) was a short half head away third and Eyes For You ($9.70), a half neck away fourth. A delighted Pascoe was relieved to finally have his first winner after returning to the sport in November last year. “I’ve had a few placings, but it is great to finally land a winner, and she did a great job,” Pascoe said. “Even though it has taken a while, I’m loving being back in harness racing, it is really enjoyable.” Pascoe’s previous winner was La Bella Mafia which scored at Globe Derby Park on October 27, 2007. “I gave it away soon after that but made a short comeback in 2014 before stopping again. I’ve been working in the Northern Territory but am back home in Birdwood again so have the chance to train a few.” Pascoe said he had purchased Samalise from the stable of champion Victorian trainer-driver Brian Gath. “I had been watching her for a while and when I saw her listed on the Trading Ring, just had to buy her.” Saturday was the mare’s 19th race start, and she had recorded five seconds and a third before the win. “I thought she ran really well at Kapunda on the previous Monday running home strongly to finish second. “Tonight, from gate one, I was determined to push through and hold the lead. “I wasn’t too happy when there was mid-race pressure from Peter (Borrelli on Fine Artist) but Samalise responded and really battled on strongly up the home straight.” Samalise and Fine Artist went head-for-head for the last 400 metres and Clarenden Valour, which had had an easy run back in the field, loomed up wide out in the home straight but just could not catch the mare which refused to give in. Fine Artist held on well while Eyes For You came on strongly along the sprint lane. Samalise is owned by Pascoe’s Ningana Park, managed by his wife Mandy, along with Mount Gambier committeeman Anthony Rice and his partner, and the Pascoe’s daughter Samantha. Graham Fischer

The result of every harness race run in Bendigo from 1855 to 1954 will soon be available at the click of a finger. It follows months of pain-staking research from passionate Melbourne-based harness racing historian John Peck. His 304-page Trotting Annals Bendigo and Environs 1855 – 1954 is expected to be available online at the Bendigo Library within weeks. Peck, who was last year inducted into the Victorian Harness Racing Media Association Hall of Fame, has spent countless hours delving into the records and old newspapers at the State Library over the last 12 months to compile his research. He describes it as a labour of love. “Dad and granddad always went to the races – they never owned a horse, but they always went to the races at the Showgrounds,” he said. It is not the first time Peck, who previously worked for the former Australian Trotting Record publication, has compiled in-depth works for Victorian harness racing clubs. His previous research works include histories of the Ballarat and Horsham clubs, with plans to eventually add Geelong. He says his motivation for compiling the history was simple. “Trotting just doesn’t get the coverage it deserves,” Peck said. “There’s no officials results pre-1954. I have just done Bendigo, there’s a file I work on twice a week which is now up to 3400 pages. That’s every trotting race in Victoria since 1838. “And it’s still being added to because I have done everything on Trove on all the metropolitan newspapers and now I’m going through all the country ones. “I’m doing Kyneton at the moment.” The annals record Bendigo’s first trotting race as taking place at Myers Flat on November 22, 1855, when the Tennant family-owned Bobby defeated a Mr Brown’s horse in a match-race for 20 pounds over a distance of one-and-a-half miles. Among the more popular match-race courses in the 1850s and 60s were from the former Glasgow Arms in Kangaroo Flat, to the Victoria Hotel in Pall Mall, Black Swan Hotel and Victoria Hotel, many of them starting at 5am. Peck’s research also includes an extensive list of trotting results from Bendigo Agriculture Society Sports meetings conducted at Bendigo Showgrounds and long-since disappeared tracks like Axedale, Eaglehawk, Goornong, Marong, Myers Creek, Raywood, Sebastian and Toolleen. Trotting just doesn’t get the coverage it deserves. John Peck Bendigo Harness Racing Club historian Noel Ridge said the research shed plenty of light on the history of the sport in Bendigo and dispelled a few myths. “A lot of people think trotting started with the opening of Lords Raceway in 1954, but in actual fact it’s been going for more than 100 years,” he said. “This research is not all about the horses, but it’s the people and the places and the whole social aspect that was going on at the time. “In the (gold) boom, they had some serious horses – the wealthy people engaged in horse racing big-time, so it’s a big part of Bendigo history.” Ridge said the club was indebted to Peck for his tireless work and looked forward to it being made available to the public.  Kieran Iles Reprinted with permission of The Bendigo Advertiser

DOVER, Del. --- Mister Virgin got back to his winning ways on Monday (2/19) taking the President's Day $17,500 feature pace in 1:50.3 with harness racing driver Tony Morgan driving. After Cashendash Hanover (Tim Tetrick) fired away to the lead after the start, then Tony Morgan moved into the lead and was not challenged on the way to an easy victory with Cashendash Hanover holding second with Hide Me Away (Russell Foster) the third finisher. After running up a half-dozen consecutive wins at the start of the meet, the Always A Virgin-Miss Picasso gelding was claimed in mid-January and the week after Ron Davis moved the brown gelding up to the $25,000 ranks without success, he returned to the $17,500 level for trainer Brooks Gray and again resumed to dominate the class this week. . For the second time in three starts, Wayne Long driving Nice Stuff came from off the pace from fourth to score another longshot victory, this time at 15-1to after a similar victory at 18-1 on Jan. 22 for owners Clean-N-Green Stable. Coupled with first race winner Share A Horse Inc.'s Duckie's Dynasty trained by Jim Porter and driven by Joe Fellows, a $72.80 daily double payoff .Monday's second race 6-1 exacta wit Nice Stuff and Mr. Jubilant (Art Stafford Jr.) paid $235.80 and with Broadway Joe (Rick Murphy) third, the 6-1-4 trifecta returned $2,426.80. Tony Morgan and Montrell Teague had driving doubles. ELYSIUM LINDA, ROYAL BECCA J MEET AGAIN IN $25,000 OPEN TR0T Elysium Linda and Royal Becca J were separated by a neck in last week’s $25,000 Open/Handicap  on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m.  Corey Callahan had a 2-hole trip driving Elysium Linda before taking the passing Lane to catch Royal Becca J on the way to a 1;53.3 victory, the first of the New Year for owners DiScala, Weaver Brusemi and Burke Racing.  A two-race win streak ended for the Jack Parker-driven Royal Becca J, owned by Chip Moore. There is plenty of opposition in the Thursday feature. Mike Casalino and Dylan Davis’ Theresademoninme piloted by Jonathan Roberts is enjoying a standout season. Art Stafford Jr. drives another strong contender, Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar, Steve Iaquinta and Minisink Farms’ Celebrity Pegasus who owns the track record for a senior trotter. Bamond Racing’s Crazshana closed from seventh last week to finish second. Montrell Teague will drive. Lazurus, with Tim Tetrick, has been racing well in recent Opens for Dana Parham, CC Racing and Triple D Stables. Completing the fast field ae John DeVito’s Golden Son and Bob Shahan, Jimmy and Amanda’s I Like My Boss leaving from the rail with Allan Davis. Nine lineup in the $13,000 sub-feature trot led by William Moffett’s Gillie The Kid (Ross Wolfenden), Tina and Joe Clark’s Baximum (Russell Foster), a winner last time; Howard Taylor, Tom Lazzaro and Dylan Davis’ Honor And Serve(Callahan). In a $13,500 Winners trot, LMC Mass Gem (Callahan) is a new face at the track, after several wins at Yonkers for Soulsby, Singh, Hill and VIP Internet Stable. Also making his first local start is Taylor and Lombardo’s Holiday Promise (Tetrick) Bill Cantrell’s Great Kate (Jonathan Roberts), L Dees Yoyo Ma (Steve Nason) racing for Bill Fisher and Meadow Singer N Stable and Fred Hertrich’s Gravitator (Eddie Davis Jr.) among eight starters. Dover Downs features a 50-cent Pick 5 wager starting with the 2nd race through the 6th. A late daily double is carded for the 12th and 13th races. Dover Downs races four days a week, Monday through Thursday with post time at 4:30 p.m. An excellent selection of food is available while watching the races at the acclaimed Winner's Circle Restaurant Buffet. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred races each day from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight in the Race and Sports Book. Marv Bachrad

The race to the top is on. And while the mighty champion Lazarus leads the way, it is not a given that he takes the harness racing title. Entering Saturday night’s Gr.1 $750,000 Ainsworth Miracle Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle, the Mark Purdon prepared equine freak leads the way in the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit race, sitting at the top of the leaderboard with 300 points. Victories in the New Zealand Cup, Inter Dominion and the Hunter Cup have him as the chosen one but as the season gets deeper, the challengers are coming. Only two legs remain in the current Grand Circuit season, the Miracle Mile and the Blacks A Fake in Brisbane in July and that only adds to the pressure Lazarus is facing this weekend. Lazarus is facing many adversities as he looks to rebound following his shock loss last week in the qualifying race while also looking to break a major hoodoo. On Sunday, the Bettors Delight entire was slammed with the outside barrier in the 1609m feature; he now needs to rewrite the record books. As it stands, no horse has overcome the outside gate since the race was moved from Harold Park to the spacious surroundings of Menangle back in 2009. Even more worrying, no horse has even placed from the extreme outside post position! But as we know, Lazarus is no normal horse. Yet to miss a place in 44 career starts to date, the winner of 35 races (15 at Gr.1 level) will need to bring his absolute best to establish a new and exclusive club. If successful, Lazarus will become the only pacer to win the New Zealand Cup, Inter Dominion, Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile (and all in the same season!). Purdon is no stranger to success in the Miracle Mile; he prepared the 2016 winner and race record holder Have Faith In Me (1:47.5) Lazarus may need to eclipse that mark to win this weekend. As good as Lazarus has been this season, his rivals aren’t backing away and the current logjam behind him on the Grand Circuit leaderboard is ready to take their shots again. If Soho Tribeca (165 points), Tiger Tara (125) or Lennytheshark (124) prove victorious and Lazarus can’t overcome his wide draw, the race to be crowned Grand Circuit champion could take an interesting twist. Lazarus won’t make the trip to Brisbane for the final Grand Circuit event while his three rivals could easily venture north in July and snatch victory. Both Tiger Tara and Lennytheshark contested the Blacks A Fake last season while Soho Tribeca was being considered before a late change in plans. For the third time this season in a Grand Circuit event, Tiger Tara has drawn the inside gate and will prove very hard to beat following his Gr.1 triumph last week in the Canadian Club Classic in a time of 1:51.5. Prepared by Kevin Pizzuto and to be driven by Todd McCarthy, the Bettors Delight entire will again prove a worthy rival. Allied Express Sprint winner Anything For Love rated a scintillating 1:48.7 last week and will also prove hard to catch after landing saddlecloth number three. Prepared by Shane Tritton, his wife Lauren will take the drive and look to join Kellie Kersley, Jodi Quinlan and Natalie Rasmussen as winning female drivers of the Miracle Mile. Classy pacer My Field Marshal sports saddlecloth number four and shapes as a legitimate threat following his booming effort last week when runner-up behind Tiger Tara. The ultra-consistent performer is looking to provide Tim and Anthony Butt with their maiden Miracle Mile success. Last start Chariots of Fire winner Jilliby Kung Fu will represent Victoria and the speedy four-year-old looms as the ‘wild card’ runner for Marg and Jason Lee. Fresh from his success two weeks ago when he equaled the race record of the Chariots with his 1:48.8 clocking, the emerging force looms as a genuine threat. The last four-year-old to claim the Chariots/Miracle Mile double was Have Faith In Me two years ago. Another Victorian trained pacer boasting outstanding credentials is the Michael Stanley trained and Greg Sugars driven Soho Tribeca, the classy five-year-old was beaten narrowly last week as favourite when second behind Anything For Love in 1:48.7. The WA Pacing Cup winner will carry saddlecloth number six. Defending champion Lennytheshark creates plenty of intrigue despite being safely held last week in the Allied Express Sprint, the 1:49.2 performer finished fifth behind Anything For Love and Soho Tribeca after enjoying a good trip throughout. The David Aiken prepared $2.9 million earner will be handled by champion reinsman Chris Alford and carry saddlecloth number seven. The veteran of the field is looking to become the first eight-year-old to win the Miracle Mile since the mighty Smoken Up back in 2010. Locally prepared star Charlaval finished an eye-catching third last week behind Anything For Love and Soho Tribeca in 1:48.7. Prepared by leading trainer Kerryann Turner, the five-year-old gelding will be handled by Turner’s husband, Robbie Morris. The two emergency runners are Let It Ride (saddlecloth number nine) and Atomic Red (saddlecloth number two). No mares are starting in this year’s event. The Ainsworth Miracle Mile is scheduled to start at 9.32pm local time. As always, the race time will be a fascinating aspect but the race to be crowned Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit champion could be decided after this weekend. Again, time will tell. Chris Barsby Hoofnote: Only Westburn Grant is even with Lazarus with Gr.1 victories.

A Miracle Mile that Lazarus couldn't lose is starting to look like one the champion pacer will struggle to win. The Kiwi pacing hero struck not one but two judder bars over the weekend on the road to the only great Australasian race to have eluded him and is set to be a huge drifter in the market. The first signs of trouble for Lazarus, and punters, came when the Inter Dominion champ was a brave but battling third in his $100,000 prelude to the Mile at Menangle on Saturday night. That was still enough to earn him an invitation to the A$750,000 super sprint this Saturday but Lazarus clearly wasn't at his best, only clawing his way into third on heart after looking beaten at the 500m mark.   He appeared still drained by the effects of a virus trainer-driver Mark Purdon had expected to be out of his system but dogged the entire Purdon-Rasmussen stable on a dreadful night at the office. "We had a bug through the team during the week but we thought they were over it," said Purdon. "They had good blood reports and we even had Laz scoped on the morning of the race so we could keep the stewards up to date but clearly he was still below his best. "So while I was disappointed in him because he tried so hard, it was hardly ideal." Purdon said Lazarus appeared to come through the hard run behind long-time rival Tiger Tara well and looked fresh yesterday, and he expects to know more about his well-being after fast work on Tuesday. But that isn't the only problem facing Lazarus as he drew the outside of the front line at yesterday's barrier draw, meaning he will start from barrier eight. Since the Miracle Mile moved to Menangle a decade ago no horse has even placed in the race from barrier eight. That saw him move from $1.70 on Saturday morning to $2.20 with the NZ TAB last night but he could stretch out to $3 with some bookies before race start time, especially depending on how Purdon assesses his bounce back to peak fitness. The big winner in the draw was the faster of Saturday's two prelude winners in Anything For Love, who has barrier three for the Mile while Tiger Tara's unbelievable run of ace barrier draws continued. He has now drawn the ace in the Inter Dominion Final, Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile and whether he can hold Anything For Love at the start will be a crucial factor in the race. A$750k Miracle Mile The field for the A$750,000 Ainsworth Miracle Mile at Menangle on Saturday night is: 1: Tiger Tara (1) 2: Atomic Red (2) 3: Anything For Love (3) 4: My Field Marshal (4) 5: Jilliby Kung Fu (5) 6: Soho Tribeca (6) 7: Lennytheshark (7) 8: Charlaval (8) 9: Let It Ride (9) 10: Lazarus (10) Emergencies: Let It Ride, Atomic Red.   Michael Guerin

February 18, 2018 - The 1/5 favorite Spike won Sunday’s harness racing Grand Prix BMW Suisse at St. Moritz, Switzerland, as part of the White Turf program that spanned three weekends from February 4, 11 and 18.  The programs includes a variety of trot and gallop events on the snow before a huge crowd that numbered 11,000 yesterday. Spike (12g Jag de Bellouet-Julie Jacqueline) scored timed in 1.27.4kr for driver Mme. Fanny Homderger and owner/trainer Nathaie Gowin. He won this event last year driven by his owner/trainer. Spike now has 14 wins in 81 outings for €281,727 earned. 16/1  Rubis du Gilet (13g Hulk des Chapms-Idee du Gilet) was second for Armin Koller and third went to 14/1 Terry Gahn (11g Karikalo-Katia Chere) with owner/trainer/driver Mme. Caroline Huguelet up. White Turf racing movies 04/02/2018 White Turf racing movies 11/02/2018 White Turf racing movies 18/02/2018 Thomas H. Hicks