In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great harness racing newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance. Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Get your friends to enter “Win The Wheels Contest” - How would you like to win a set of $1,400US custom race bike wheels from Forward Motion Technologies, perhaps a full set of RazorHorse shoes, maybe a five gallon bucket of Lifeline Horse Supplement or a $100 Amazon gift card? AU: Thin skinned stewards - Following an exclusive article on Harnesslink earlier this month, Victorian horseman Lance Justice is the subject of stewards' inquiry. Angered by the suspensions he received at Melton on September 29, Justice questioned the lack of definition between light and heavy interference stating: "The stewards are too heavy handed. There is no defining difference between light, medium or heavy interference, and as such, it’s just bang...this is the sentence. Its mandatory sentencing gone mad." AU: Novelty or offensive? - In a world of political correctness, would be it okay to conduct a race limited to third generation Australians? How about a race for men only? Embryo transfers are just wrong! - Embryo transfers in race horses, just like cloning or any other unnatural forms of reproduction in horse racing, is just plain wrong. NZ: Stakes money: How to calculate it - As an industry that covers different hemispheres and numerous countries, you would think that the powers that be would come up with a system regarding stakes money won that is uniformly accepted worldwide. NZ: Shuttle Stallions – Where is the $$ going? Breeding operations in the southern hemisphere are locked into the use of shuttle stallions if they want to stay relevant in a hugely competitive market. They either buy a chunk of a stallion, purchase the Southern breeding rights or get a fee for service provided to the stallion owners. But where is the actual money going? Stallion Review – ALWAYS A VIRGIN - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Always A Virgin, p,3,1:48.4 ($1,135,559). Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).
Harnesslink is proud to release Stallion Sphere, a Facebook and mobile web app containing all 23 of our exclusive Stallion reviews. We hope this will become an invaluable resource to breeders and harness fans around the world, so please check it out and share with your friends using the website's inbuilt share on Facebook functionality. Reviews will be regularly updated and all statistics are current as of the date listed at the top of each review. Stats are from official sources in North America (TrackIT), Australia & New Zealand. We'll update Stallion Sphere with new reviews every 2 weeks, but make sure to subscribe to our email newsletter “Insider Access” to get the stallion reviews two weeks early. To use the Stallion Sphere simply click and drag your mouse (or finger for touch devices) around the sphere to move it around, use your mouse wheel (or pinch on mobile) to zoom. Then click on a Stallion to read the review. For the best experience use a good modern browser like Google Chrome. If you are using Internet Explorer - depending on your version – you will either see a flat grid or nothing at all. You will also need to be logged into your Facebook account to view it, although mobile devices & tablets can access it without a Facebook account. Click here to visit Stallion Sphere www.stallionsphere.com (Once you click the above link - you will need to "like" Harnesslink on Facebook to view.)
YONKERS, NY, Friday, October 24, 2014--Yonkers Raceway's Friday night $35,000 co-featured Open Handicaps--one for distaff pacers and one for any trotter with acceptable street cred--were won by a pocketed Set Me Up (George Brennan, $6) and a two-move Melady's Monet (Jason Bartlett, $6.10). The week's fairer-sex feature was strictly a two-speed number, with slight 2-1 favorite Set Me Up--in play from post position No. 4--grabbbing the first lead before surrendering to Scandalous Hanover (Brian Sears). That one threw down early weigh stations of :28.1 and :58.1 as longshot Simple Saver N (Eric Carlson) tried it first-up. A brisk, :27.3 third quarter (1:25.4) dispatched that challenge as Scandalous Hanover owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. However, Set Me Up edged in and edged past, winning by head-fought head in 1:54. Coffee Addict (Dan Dube) rallied well for third, with ground-savers Seafood Annie (Larry Stalbaum) and Keystone Wanda (Brent Holland) rounding out the payees. For Set Me Up, a 5-year-old daughter of Shark Gesture co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her seventh win in 30 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $22.40, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $82. The week's marquee trot saw Melady's Monet, assigned post No, 7, left into a comfy three-hole. It was Andie Sophia (Dan Dube) leading through intervals of (:28.1, :57.4 and 1:26.2), with "Melady"--having taken out past the half--about to wear that one down. Melady's Monet secured the lead in and out of the final turn, then widened. The final margin was 2Â½ lengths in 1:54.4 Second went to Andie Sophia, with 7-5 choice Bambino Glide (Sears), Alternat Thursdays (Brennan) and Fortunista (Carlson) settling for the remainder. For second choice Melady's Monet, a 5-year-old Revenue S gelding trained by Melady Enterprises and trained by Kevin McDermott, he's now 5-for-23 this season. The exacta paid $24.20, the triple returned $103.50 and the superfecta paid $535. Saturday's stakes-stuffed program includes the $500,000 Yonkers Trot, $500,000 Messenger Stakes, $250,000 International Trot Preview (1Â¼ miles), $150,854 Lady Maud and $124,590 Hudson Filly Trot. Those races comprise a $20,000 guaranteed Pick 5 pool and there's also a T-shirt giveaway [while supplies last]). The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
Batavia, NY---One of the finer harness racing fields of top class trotters was assembled on Friday night (Oct. 24) at Batavia Downs and although the race had the look of a competitive contest, Lutetium proved once again he's one tough trotter to beat as he won the $9,500 Open feature. Driver Jim Morrill, Jr. had the hot hands with six winners on the card. After returning to the track from a five-week layoff, Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) found himself with a rare inside post (2) and even rarer 7-2 price. He also found himself in a familiar spot; on top of the field before they hit the eighth pole. After seating his peers with a :28.1 quarter, Lutetium strolled to the half in :58.4. When the outer flow got rolling, Second Hand News (John Cummings Jr.) was first up and got closest as the leader turned up the heat with a :29 third panel. It was then Second Hand News faded and Lutetium extended his lead to two open lengths. Down the lane, Serious George (Jack Flanigen), who got the pocket trip the whole race, made a game rush to the wire but Lutetium held strong and coasted to a half-length victory in 1:57.4. It was the 14th win in 27 starts for Lutetium ($9.50) and it raised his 2014 earnings to $79,940 for owner Colleen Girdlestone. The 7-year-old son of Credit Winner is trained by Mark Laidlaw. In the night's co-feature, Escrow Blue Chip (Jim Morrill Jr.) went gate to wire to take the win as well as a new season mark of 1:58.3. It was the second win in 29 starts for the 7-year-old Classic Photo mare and boosted her bank account to $25,040 for owner Vallelunga Z L. Escrow Blue Chip returned $6.20 for the win. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. strutted his stuff Friday while winning six races and taking five third-place finishes on the night. He only missed the board one time in his twelve drives. His winners included Landfair Nipper ($4.90), Escrow Blue Chip ($6.20), The Bronx Bumper ($2.60), Force Nine ($7.60), Dontch Remember ($17.60) and Outoftexas ($6.60). Racing resume on Saturday night (Oct. 25) at Batavia Downs with the first post slated for 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs
TRENTON — Monmouth Park was expecting thousands of extra gamblers Sunday looking to place legal bets on NFL games for the first time in New Jersey history. But that won't happen. A federal judge today granted a request by four professional sports leagues and the NCAA for a temporary restraining order to halt the Oceanport horse-racing track from becoming the first venue in New Jersey to offer legal sports wagering. Monmouth Park was set to take advantage of a law Gov. Chris Christie signed last weekpaving the way for legalized sports betting at the state's casinos and racetracks by repealing an old state ban. But the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA filed a lawsuit Monday, saying the law violates a federal ban on sports wagering. They asked U.S. District Court Judge Michael Shipp in Trenton for the restraining order, saying Monmouth Park's plan would cause them immediate irreparable harm. To view the rest of this story click here.
Ted Gewertz and Diamond Creek Racing's Somwherovrarainbow (David Miller) regained her winning ways at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday afternoon. The event was an open for filly and mare pacers, going for a purse of $35,000. The race also featured top distaffers such as three-time millionaire Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick), two-time millionaire Rocklamation (Yannick Gingras), and budding superstar Katie Said, who was driven by the returning Andy Miller. At the start, it was Rocklamation powering her way off the wings, getting the first quarter in 26.4. There was no rest up top however, as Regal Elektra (Vic Kirby) successfully brushed just beyond the quarter. After the half of 55.4, Somewherovrarainbow charged determinedly first-over, overpowering the leader at three-quarters (1:23). It was all over from that point forward, as she went on to a four length win, stopping the clock in 1:50.4. Anndrovette cleared late to be second, while Katie Said finished third. Somewherovrarainbow picked up her nineteenth career win, pushing her earnings closer to $1.3 million. She is trained by Joe Holloway. She went on to pay $37.40 to win, keying a $111.80 exacta, and a $800.80 trifecta. Open trotters were also in action on Friday over the Chester oval. The wagering public sent Bill Weaver's NF Happenstance (Andrew McCarty) off as the favorite. At the start, it was long shot Guiltywithanexcuse (Ron Pierce) moving out for the lead, by the quarter in :26.2. That lead was short-lived however, as Quick Deal (Andy Miller) surged past to clear, tripping the half in :56 (:28.3). Heading towards three-quarters, favored NF Happenstance gained ground first-over. They squared off at three quarters, which was clocked in 1:24.4 (28.4). Quick Deal made a break at the top of the stretch, which left NF Happenstance in a battle with a fast closing Backstreet Hanover, who swept past to pull off the upset, stopping the clock in 1:53.4. She paid $44.40 to win. The winner is owned by David Hamm, trained by Allan Johnson, and was one of three driving wins on the day for George Napolitano Jr. by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia
WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 24 -- Murderers Row mowed 'em down again Friday at The Meadows, capturing her second straight in a late-closing series for freshman filly trotters. Best Glider recovered from an early break to gain her second series victory while Phabaj Hanover and RV Janet also took $12,500 splits. The championships of all four current series for 2-year-olds at The Meadows are set for Saturday, Nov. 1. As she did in her initial series win, Murderers Row fired from the gate for Dave Palone and was ahead at every call, scoring comfortably in 1:59.4. The pocket-sitting She Glides was second, 3-1/2 lengths back. Red's Winner rallied for show. Ron Burke trains the daughter of Donato Hanover-Housethatruthbuilt for the Chuck Sylvester stable and owners Steve Jones, Mary Kinsey and Ted Gewertz. In the two companion features on Friday's card, one of the track's top performers extended his winning streak while another saw her victory skein end with a tough beat. In the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, Visible Gold found the Lightning Lane just in time to prevail in 1:52 for Palone, Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables. Odin Blue Chip was second, 1-1/4 lengths back, with Artist Night third. It was the fourth straight for the 6-year-old Bettor's Delight-Gabrielle gelding, who now has banked $351,444. However, in the $18,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Anaffairtoremember, who had won both starts since shipping to The Meadows, fell a neck short and settled for place when Crazy Grigio angled off the cones in the stretch and found racing room wide to score in 1:55 for Eric Goodell. Kandian Klub earned show. Burke conditions Crazy Grigio, a 4-year-old daughter of Crazed-Musetta Hanover who pushed her career earnings to $134,498, for Albert Crawford and Michelle Crawford. Burke and Mike Wilder each enjoyed a four-bagger on the 15-race card while Palone fashioned a triple. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows
YONKERS, NY, - An important wagering/refund notice from Yonkers Raceway. Regarding the early Pick 4 wager from Saturday, Oct. 18th, Yonkers Raceway regrets any confusion caused by the late "barring" of two horses-Nuncio and Amped Up Hanover-from all wagering in the fourth race. Those horses should have been coupled as a wagering entry soon after the draw, but regrettably were not. Anyone who wagered on either of those horses in the Pick 4 was, by New York State Gaming Commission rules, given the wagering favorite as a "replacement." When Nuncio (racing for purse money only) won the race and would have gone off as the heavy favorite, customers in many instances were left with a horse they did not choose. While the rules state that a refund would also be available prior to the start of the wager (third race), we understand that this may not have been communicated to, or understood by, some guests either on track, at a simulcast location or on-line. Yonkers Raceway has decided to refund any Pick 4 wager that had either of those two horses (Nuncio or Amped Up Hanover) included in the bet....and if your wager was made at EmpireCityBets.com, we are going to double the refund. Please bring your ticket to the mutuel office (4th floor), or send the ticket, or a screen shot from your wagering site confirming the wager, to... From the Mutuel Department at Yonkers Raceway
This time last year Bee A Magician was number one in the harness racing Top Ten Poll and about to draw off from Captaintreacherous. Unless she lost—an unlikely occurrence—the Horse Of The Year (HOTY) race was over. This year things are more unsettled; Sebastian K is still on top, but after consecutive losses, second place Father Patrick is threatening. And if those two implode coming down the stretch there is always the undefeated freshman filly, JK She’salady. That would be an interesting development in that no two-year-old filly has ever been voted HOTY. There have been many great freshman fillies from the trotting and pacing ranks, but circumstances, perhaps a dominant player from the sophomore or FFA ranks or simple prejudice against the fledgling set, have always prevented them from scoring the ultimate prize. For instance, in 1973 the Hickory Smoke filly Starlark Hanover won 21 of 22 starts for David Wade. She won 15 major stakes races, earned $145,000, and set nine track records along the way. She beat the boys—11 of them-- in the Harriman at Yonkers Raceway from the second tier. Starlark received only three HOTY votes. And her contemporary, two-year-old Delmonica Hanover, who was voted HOTY in 1974, received two votes that year. Handle With Care was also a freshman in 1973, winning all 17 starts for Bill Haughton, including the Matron, Belle Acton, Hanover and La Paloma. HWC was voted HOTY in Canada, but received only one vote in the US. The overwhelming choice that year, garnering 187 of 216 votes, was the trotting bred FFA pacer Sir Dalrae. He won 20 of 27 starts and earned more than $300,000 for Jim Dennis. The son of Porterhouse, who had no success as a trotter, swept the inaugural US Pacing Championship Series at Sportsman’s Park, Roosevelt Raceway and Hollywood Park, matching the Roosevelt track record of 1:57.4 in the process. That being said, it’s hard to justify Starlark, Delmonica and Handle With Care getting only six votes. In 1964 freshman filly Armbro Flight won 20 of 26 starts, earning more money than any two-year-old filly ever had--$107,452. The sourpuss daughter of Star’s Pride was voted HOTY in Canada. Her problem in the US was Bret Hanover, who became the first two-year-old to win HOTY honors. He won all 24 starts, set nine track records for his class, and earned more money than any two-year-old ever had. Bret got 174 of 182 votes, so there weren’t many left for Armbro Flight. Flamboyant, the great Florican filly trained by Bill Haughton and driven by Haughton and John Chapman, was an outstanding freshman, but ran into a similar Bret Hanover problem, as the great pacer captured his third HOTY title in 1966. George Segal’s Albatross filly, Three Diamonds, won nine of her ten starts and more than $233,000 for Gene Riegle in 1981, but Fan Hanover captured 133 votes thanks to her precedent setting win in the Little Brown Jug. There were only nine votes available to Three Diamonds. Three years later freshman Davidia Hanover won 12 of 13, set a world record at The Meadows, and earned more than $500,000, but Fancy Crown won the division handily, with On The Road Again and two-year-old Nihilator also receiving quite a few votes. There were just two left for Davidia. Follow My Star won 13 of 14 in 1985, but Nihilator and OTRA took all the votes. Four years later Peace Corps won a unanimous decision in her division off of 15 wins, including the Merrie Annabelle and the Breeders Crown, but four-year-old Mack Lobell cashed his 17 wins in for the title. In 1991 Miss Easy, who, like Armbro Flight and Peace Corps, was anything but easy to deal with, won 15 of 17, including the BC, Three Diamonds, Countess Adios and Sweetheart, but Beach Towel trumped that by winning the NA Cup, Meadowlands Pace and Tattersalls Pace. The No Nukes filly Immortality swept her division at two in 1992, with the BC, Three Diamonds and Sweetheart being among her 13 wins, earning her over a million dollars, but she received only 14 HOY votes, compared to 244 for Mr. Perfect, Artsplace. In 1995 NA Cup and Maeadowlands Pace winner Cam’s Card Shark beat BC and Nat Ray winner Pine Chip 206 to 180, leaving CR Kay Suzie in the dust with 12 measly votes. She got her title the following year when she took the Yonkers Trot and the WTD. Continentalvictory was her victim. Eternal Camnation took 12 of her 13 starts in 1999, but six-year-old Moni Maker was voted HOTY. At two the great Snow White won 11 of 13 and swept her division. She set a world record on a half and earned more than $1.2 million, however, Hambletonian, Kentucky Futurity and CTC winner Donato Hanover received 189 votes to 11 for her. Honorable Daughter was an outstanding freshman, but SBSW got in her way. Check Me Out won 14 of 16 and set a world record, but her eight HOTY votes were no match for the 93 San Pail received. JK She’salady has a better shot at getting over the HOTY hurdle than many of the fillies listed above: Sebastian and Patrick both have blemishes on their records that an undefeated filly can exploit. If her two elders stumble over the course of the next month, while she remains upright, there’s no reason she can’t be the first freshman filly to be voted Horse of the Year. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com
(NEW KENT, VA) --- Colonial Downs will showcase Virginia-bred two and three year old pacers and trotters of both sexes Sunday afternoon in the annual $371,000 "Day of Champions" program, which will usher out the 2014 fall season. The four Commonwealth geared pacing events will be part of an eleven race pari-mutuel card starting at 1:00 PM while the four trotting stakes will be held as non-wagering races starting at 11:30 AM. Perfect Number, fresh off a three length win in last week's "Day of Champions" prep, is the early 9-5 favorite in the $49,400 three year old colt pace. Corey Braden, the meet's leading driver, will be in the sulky again for the Art Official gelding, who will face seven other sophomores in the seventh race. Filomena is the early 4-5 choice in the $48,000 three year old filly pacing championship. She defeated two year old champ Santa Baby by 1 3/4 lengths in last week's prep and hopes to turn the table from a year ago when she finished second to Santa Baby as a freshman. Frank Gannon's Riggy and Herman Hagerman's entry of Cam's Lilly and Blueridge Pushy are favored in the respective two year old $50,375 colt and $46,850 filly pacing divisions. Riggy wired the field in his prep race against five other foes in 1:57 2/5 while Hagerman's pair finished fourth and second a week ago after a tight blanket finish in 2:00 3/5. Here Comes Lucy, who won that race by a neck over two others, is actually the third choice at 4-1. Always Quick Star and Jingle Bells will try to defend their championships from a year ago as freshmen when they compete in the $44,600 filly and $42,000 colt/gelding trots as three year olds. Elma Lou and Wilbur Eden hope to parlay prep wins in the two year old filly and colt trots into championship titles on Sunday when they vie for $45,575 and $44,300 purses respectively.
In the world of harness racing there is not much that super star trotter Sebastian K has not done. The eight-year-old stallion by Korean has nearly $3 million in career earnings, has won most every major event in Europe, came to the USA this year and scored the fastest one mile race in Standardbred history with his 1:49 mile at Pocono Downs. So what’s left for the world champion to prove? How about making his first start ever on a half mile track! That’s right. Sebastian K has never raced on a half mile oval. He has 74 lifetime starts, 34 wins, 14 seconds and 2 thirds in his championship career. But can he handle the sharper turns on a half mile track? “It will not be a problem,” said Bjorn “Bernie” Noren, second trainer for Ake Svanstedt, “He (Sebastian K) is in good shape and with his quick early speed he will be OK on the smaller track.” This Saturday Sebastian K and Svanstedt will start from post six in the $250,000 International Trot Preview at Yonkers Raceway. The invitational event has drawn eight of the top trotters in racing. Included in the field and making his USA debut of another European champion, Commander Crowe, who has raced against Sebastian K in the past. Also in the field and the only mare against male rivals, is the 2013 Dan Patch Harness Horse of the Year, Bee A Magician. In fact, the total career earnings of the eight horses in the race is an amazing $17 million. Both Commander Crowe and Arch Madness are career earners of more than $4 million each. The Yonkers International Trot also tests the stamina of these champion trotters as the race is not the usual distance of one mile, the mainstay of North American harness racing, but is an extra distance race at one and one-quarter mile. How will that affect Sebastian K, who now has to maneuver the sharper turns of a half mile oval five times instead of just four times. “It will affect the American horses much more than it will Sebastian K,” said Noren. “They are not use to going an extra quarter mile, but Sebastian K, Commander Crowe and Arch Madness have all raced extra distances and should have an advantage over the other horses.” Commander Crowe has just come over from Europe and may not have had enough time to recover from the stress of trip and according to Noren, “He may not be at 100% for this race. He is a very great horse but the trip overseas is very tough on a horse. He could be in good shape but I would look for him to be at his best for the Breeders Crown next month at the Meadowlands. “It is good that he (Commander Crowe) has come over here to race,” Noren added, “The competition will help make the races more exciting for everyone here.” When asked to size up the competition against Sebastian K on Saturday, Noren summed it up. “Of course Sebastian K is the best in the race,” Noren chuckled, “And Ake Svantsted is so good at measuring a horse in an extra distance race. I think that Archangel and Arch Madness can be good and if Commander Crowe is feeling good he will be tough too.” The big question in the race will be that most of the horses entered have not set foot on a half mile track for most of their careers and they include Commander Crowe, Archangel, Sebastian K, Natural Herbie and Not Afraid. That’s five of the eight starters. And the other three, Bee A Magician, Obrigado and Arch Madness, have all won or were second in their last starts on Yonkers half mile oval. The morning line has Natural Herbie from post seven as the 3-1 race favorite. He is on a three-race winning streak. Arch Madness is the second choice at odds of 7/2 and for the first time since arriving in the USA, Sebastian K is not the race favorite in the morning line, but third choice at 4-1. With such keen competition, the revival of the International Trot will be quite the event to watch this weekend. Here is the field in post position order: $250,000 International Trot Preview 1 ¼ miles Commander Crowe (Orjan Kihlstrom) 8-1 Bee A Magician (David Miller) 8-1 Archangel (Matt Kakaley) 6-1 Obrigado (Jason Bartlett) 5-1 Arch Madness (George Brennan) 7/2 Sebastian K (Ake Svanstedt) 4-1 Natural Herbie (Verlin Yoder) 3-1 Not Afraid (Brett Miller) 20-1 By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com