Shepparton, Victoria, Australia --- Life Sign, the 1993 Little Brown Jug winner and Hall of Fame member, died at Morley Park stud near Shepparton, Victoria, Australia on Aug. 14, 2014, at the age of 24. A son of the incomparable Abercrombie and world champion filly Three Diamonds, Life Sign raced only as a 2- and 3-year-old, amassing $1,912,454 from 18 wins, 10 seconds and five thirds in 35 starts. Besides his record-breaking Little Brown Jug success, he won such prestigious classics as the 3-year-old Breeders Crown, Art Rooney Memorial, International Stallion Stake, Burlington Pace, Governor’s Cup, American-National and the Bluegrass Stake. At the stud Life Sign left the winners of more than $113 million in stakes in North America, placing him among the top ten money-winning sires at his gait of all-time. While in Australia his stock has earned $12.4 million and in New Zealand, they amassed almost $2 million. Real Desire 1:48.2 ($3.1 million), the 2002 Horse of the Year; Peruvian Hanover 1:49.4 ($1.8 million); the Meadowlands Pace winner Day In A Life 1:49.4 ($1.8 million); and the 2-year-old pacing colt of the year I Am A Fool 1:51.2 ($1.1 million) were among the seven millionaires sired by Life Sign. He was the broodmare sire of the winners of more than $97 million and eight millionaires including Loyal Opposition 1:48.4 ($2.6 million) and Breeders Crown winner Village Jolt 1:50.4f ($1.6 million). Life Sign was inducted into the Living Horse Hall of Fame in 2013. by Peter Wharton
The six year old mare Maiden Rome has been a bit of a fixture around Canterbury harness racing racetracks over the last three and a half years. Raced and trained for most of her 63 start career by well known amateur driver Robert Earle apart from a brief spell with Roger Austin, the decision was made recently to transfer the six year old daughter of Julius Caesar to Greg and Nina Hope on the beach at Woodend. And it has just taken three starts for this underrated mare to turn her form around and show her true worth for her new trainers. Driven by her regular pilot of late in Steven Golding, Maiden Rome was caught wide from the start from her barrier draw of eight. Although she had cover, Maiden Rome was never closer in than three wide for the entire journeyyet still found enough in reserve to storm home late and snatch victory right on the post. It was her fifth lifetime win and without doubt her best. She paced the 1950 meters in 2:25.4 a mile rate of 2:00.3 with closing sectionals of 60 and 30.1 which was good going in the artic like conditions. Maiden Rome really is a product of Robert Earle's involvement in harness racing with her dam Jazz Tempo a daughter of Shiney Key ,an Abercrombie stallion that Robert imported and stood at stud at Elrae Lodge. While she has never won them out of turn, the way Maiden Rome won this evening suggests that tonight's win from her new quarters might not be her last. Harnesslink Media
R I P Tony Chiaravalle. He owned the 1993 Pace winner Presidential Ball and was the original owner of the third place finisher that year Riyadh. R I P Matts Scooter-1988 Meadowlands Pace winner-sire of Mach Three 2002 Pace winner. Grandsire of Somebeachsomewhere-THE most prohibitive Pace favorite of the 21st century/ R I P Joe Muscara. He owned the 2002 Pace winner Mach Three and his Muscara Trust co-owns elim divisional winner He's Watching, one of the favorites in this Saturday's race. $776,000 Pace Purse. Not counting the two years with a supplemental entry, (2000 and 2008), this is the first time since 1990 that the purse is at least $100G higher than the previous year: 1989 $852,000 Dexter Nukes 1990 $1,153,500 Beach Towel Sire Well Said looks to do-with two chances-what has been done SEVEN TIMES in Meadowlands Pace history. Win the Pace with his first crop. (Sometimes Said, Tellitlikeitis) 1984 Happy Motoring sired On The Road Again 1985 Niatross sired Nihilator 1997 Artsplace sired Dream Away 1998 Life Sign sired Day In A Life 2005 Western Ideal sired Rocknroll Hanover 2008 Art Major sired Art Official 2013 Somebeachsomewhere sired Captaintreacherous If you're betting either He's Watching or Luck Be Withyou, you have recent history on your side. Tim Tetrick and Ron Pierce have won 6 of the last 7 editions of the Meadowlands Pace, THE most dominant TWO-driver run in the races 37 year history. (Of those 6 wins between them, 3 each, 4 of those 6 were NOT favored) Ron Burke will try and do what has been done THREE TIMES before. Be the Leading trainer at the Meadowlands for the meet AND win the Meadowlands Pace. J K Endofanera 1993 and 1994 Bill Robinson did it with Presidential Ball and Cams Card Shark 1997 Brett Pelling did it with Dream Away 2004 Mark Harder did it with Holborn Hanover, who was 2-22 lifetime coming into the race and lit up the board at 58-1 "MILLER TIME?" Maybe. There are three driving "MIllers" in the race-Dave and Brett and Marcus. That doesn't even count trainer Erv. The first ever TRAINER named Miller to be in the Pace-as well as the first ever drive-BOTH finished 3rd. Del Miller trainer 3rd 1980 Tyler B Jim Miller driver 1979 3rd with Tijuana Taxi THROWBACK TIME? Some Pace participants in 2014 were prominent at the Meadowlands in the 1980s. Val D'Or Farms (Always B Miki) 3 times made a 1980s Pace final. 4th with Masquerade in 1986, 7th and 11th with Ringaleevio and Paladium Lobell in the 1988 edition Steve Elliott was 10th with Souffle in the 1986 final of the Pace, and was 3rd and then 2nd in the 1988 and 1989 Trainer Standings here Joe Holloway won FOUR races at the Meadowlands in the 1970s-including twice with a pacer named Pentagon as a DRIVER. In the 1980s, Joe became the first ever Meadowlands trainer to win as many as 106 races in a singe meet-1988 Jim Campbell was the 1989 Meadowlands Training Leader. He also started in the Pace with a pair in 1987-3rd with Run The Table and 12th with Dictionary Peter Blood is one of the owners of Doo Wop Hanover. As a trainer here-he was second in the 1988 Wilson-the LAST one to go for $1 Million-with Nukes Image to Kassa Branca. The following year, he went 1-2 in the Wilson conso. Pierce Pace Potpourri Ron Pierce drove the shortest priced Pace winner of the new millennium-$2.80 Well Said 2009. Ron Pierce UPENDED the shortest priced Pace STARTER of the new millennium-Somebeachsomewhere-10 cents on the dollar-in 2008 with Art Official. (Art Official-incidentally-sold as a $4,000 WEANLING at a Meadowlands January sale) NUMBERS 17 of the 37 Pace winners were sired by a horse who himself raced in the Pace final. ONLY ONE-Real Desire is the ONLY horse to win $3 Million-be Horse Of The Year and win the Meadowlands Pace and NOT be in the Hall Of Fame ONLY ONE Pace winner won from the second tier-On The Road Again 1984 Post 12 THREE Homebreds in the Pace final field. The 2013 Hambletonian had three homebreds win all three eliminations and then the final. Creatine, Smilin Eli and Royalty For Life 20-1 or better-Tellitlikeitis will surely be one of the longshots in the 2014 Pace final field. Rarer than rare for the North America Cup FAVORITE-ALSO the Meadowlands Pace elimination FAVORITE, to be an also-ran in the wagering in the Pace final. FIVE catch-drivers have gone into the Hall Of Fame the past TWO decades. Only five. ANNIVERSARY 23 years to the day of Precious Bunny winning the 1991 Meadowlands Pace. July 12, 1991. That marked the first time in history a horse won TWO million $ races in the same year (Nihilator did it in 1984 and 1985) John Campbell drove him in the North America Cup to victory, but opted off for Artsplace in the Pace final and Jack Moiseyev won with the Cam Fella colt. HOY. It was also the first of four STRAIGHT Pace winners for Cam Fella as a stallion-ironic when you consider that Cam Fella finished his career 57 straight times on the board-the last time he MISSED the board? 1982 Meadowlands Pace elimination!! 7th Ron Pierce is on top in North America in $$$. 58 Years of age. This stat is especially interesting when you consider that-in 2006-he was and is the ONLY 50 Years Old to EVER lead the way, and now at 58 is threatening to do the same Golden Receiver's barn change-AFTER winning $2 Million-brings back memories of possibly the two greatest horses to ever undergo a barn change. Seatttle Slew and Artsplace. WIDE OPEN PACE?-2013 TOLD US EXACTLY THAT Many live candidates to win the 2014 Meadowlands Pace. And why not. In 2013-the LEADING 2 YO colt pacing earner made $390G-Arthur Blue Chip. This marked the first time since 1977 that the leading $$-winning freshman pacing colt did NOT have at least $400G on his card. No No Yankee had $211G in 1977 (Ironically-the FIRST year of the Pace) Dave Miller-John Campbell Dave Miller-6 days after entering the Hall Of Fame, hopes to do what only John Campbell has done prior. Go into the Hall Of Fame and win either the Hambletonian or the Meadowlands Pace the SAME year. 1990-John Hambo Harmonious. Dave handles Always B Miki IF Marcus Miller wins the Meadowlands Pace-he WILL become the YOUNGEST driver ever to do so. Tetrick also did it at 25 in 2007 with Southwind Lynx, Marcus a few months younger. Canadian Influence 5 of the 6 inside posts in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace have Canadian ownership. 6 of the first 12 Meadowlands Pace winners (1977-1986) had Canadian ownership. "Hall" Pass-OOPS Pace Five of the first 10 winners of the Meadowlands Pace had trainers who were Hall Of Famers. BUT-only ONE of the last 27 training winners of the Meadowlands Pace did it. Ray Remmen 1990 Beach Towel. Jimmy Takter has two shots at ending that 24 year 0-fer. Coyne-Operated Ron Coyne (National Debt) has been in the Pace before. 1999 with Washington VC. 8th. That colt then sired a $3 Million career earner by the name of Themightyquinn If either John Campbell or Ron Pierce win the Meadowlands Pace, they will be the oldest to do so. 59 and 58. Cat Manzi at 56 in 2006 with Artistic Fella currently holds than distinction. Steve Elliott is the ONLY trainer in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace field who has won this race before. And he did it twice. 2006 and 2009. There are only two trainers in Meadowlands Pace history who have won the Pace multiple times and were FAVORED in all of their wins: Elliott, Billy Haughton Billy Did it with Falcon Almhurst in 1978-9/5 choice over eventual HOY Abercrombie-and with Nihilator at 1-9 in 1985 heading a prohibitive 5 horse entry. "Starter" Kit NO 2014 Pace finalist has more than 8 starts in 2014. Yet 16 of the first 24 Meadowlands Pace winners had at LEAST NINE starts on the season entering the Pace final. Jimmy Takter (Tellitlikeitis and Lyonssomewhere) will try and do what Brett Pelling did last. Go 1-2 in the Pace. Pelling did it with Rocknroll Hanover in 2005 and Village Jolt second. He's Watching's June 13 foaling date would be THE latest ever for any Meadowlands Pace winner. (TWO of the more famous JUNE foals of all time used to be stablemates-Art Major and McArdle) SLOW STARTS? NO PROBLEM IN THE PACE Your year isn't going the greatest going INTO the Meadowlands Pace? This doesn't mean a whole lot-or at least it didn't to these brand names: 2001 Real Desire 1 for 5 going into the Pace 2000 Gallo Blue Chip 5 for 10 entering the Pace 2010 One More Laugh 2 for 6 going into the Pace 1988 Matts Scooter Just 2 for 9 entering the Pace (NOTE-the 2 YO Champion (He's Watching 2-5)-and the 2YO Breeders Crown winner (Luck Be With You 1-5)-are a combined 3/10 entering the 2014 Pace) The "OUTSIDERS?" The three outside horses in the Pace were all sired by a Pace favorite: Post 8 Sometimes Said (Well Said 2009) Post 9 Always B Miki (Always A Virgin 2007) Post 10 Doo Wop Hanover (Rocknroll Hanover 2005) Takter's Pace Breakthrough? NO Trainer in the 21st century who's campaigned a Horse Of The Year has made it to the Hall Of Fame. Jimmy Takter is the last trainer to do both-having won the HOY titles in 1997-1998-1999. Bob McIntosh went into the Hall Of Fame in 2002-and a full decade later-won his first MILLION $ race going 1-3 in the 2012 NA Cup. Jimmy Takter is looking for his very first Pace score. Ron Burke just scored his first Million $ win taking the NA Cup with J K Endofanera. The Two oldest drivers to hit the board in the Meadowlands Pace? 1978 Joe O'Brien 59-thid with Flight Director 1982 Billy Haughton 58 3rd with McKinzie Almahurst John Campbell is 59 and Ron Pierce 58 Campbell-Meadowlands Pace-Post 10 The man is amazing. Post 10 in the Meadowlands Pace in 2014 with Doo Wop Hanover. His history from post 10 in the Pace is almost beyond belief. ALL of the following are from Post 10-IN The Meadowlands Pace: 1982 Hilarion winner-first ever catch-driver to win a Million $$ race. 1997 At Point Blank second at 14-1 the colt was WINLESS (0-15) on the year!! 1999 The Panderosa got post 10 initially-AND on the redraw-and still dominated with a 26 flat final quarter in 1:49.3-then a record mile in the Pace and thus becoming the first horse ever to win TWO million $$ races BOTH in sub 1:50) 2004 3rd with Metropolitan from post 10 2007 third with Artriverderci from post 10. 5 different trainers from post 10-five times on the board. Consider that in the other 30 times any driver raced in the Pace from post 10-combined-those drivers were 3-30 ON THE BOARD! OTHER Post 10 notes...... Dave Miller's Pace debut-1995-Cinder Lane Sam came from post 10-5th-flying home in 26.1.....Pat Crowe drove exactly once in the Pace-from post 10-in 1984 12th with a colt by the name of Greener Pastures.....Brett Pelling made his Pace debut in 1993 from post 10 (No check)....Pinocchio raced in the Pace-from post 10 for Neal Shapiro... 15 times in history the Meadowlands Pace winner has been THAT YEAR'S Leading $$ winner among ALL Pacers.(MOST common of any race of the leaders) Just HOW tough is it to WIN The Meadowlands Pace? This stat might tell it best. The last THREE Triple Crown winners in the sport-NONE of those three finished first OR second in the Meadowlands Pace!! 2003 No Pan Intended 4th 1999 Blissful Hall 7th 1997 Western Dreamer 3rd Who are the three richest ever horses to have participated in the Meadowlands Pace final and NOT gotten a check? Boulder Creek $3,425,853 8th 2003 Red Bow Tie $2,673,920 9th 1997 Western Hanover $2,541,647 7th 1992 Super Tough Quiz: Can you name the three colts who led all pacers in year end earnings but did NOT compete in the Meadowlands Pace final? 1977 Governor Skipper $522,148 1998 Shady Character $1,070,569 2002 Art Major $1,562,779 Compiled by Bob "Hollywood" Heyden
John O'Shea stole the show at Bathurst on State of Origin night with five wins in the gig two of which he also trains. John admitted to supporting Queensland but despite this he was able to have the last laugh with his fantastic display. His first winner came in race one the Western Advocate Three Year Old Fillies Pace when his bay filly Cuddle was able to whip around them with a lap to travel and wrest the lead away from Abercrombie Lisa. O'Shea then rated her home in 60.3 to defeat Abercrombie Lisa by 5 metres with Mayihaveabiscuit third a half head away. Cuddle is building up an impressive record with four wins and four minors from only fourteen starts. The Shannon Springs Pace was Johns next when he was able to guide the Lester Hewitt trained Casino Chimes to an all the way victory. The 5yo chestnut gelding has now won his his last two at Bathurst by leading throughout. He rated 2.01 and best Stevie Wander and Smack Dab Shannon by 9 1/2 metres. The Jack Butler trained Tutu Bene Lombo was next and John was able to get the second row runner to the lead shortly after the start. The 3 yo gelding set solid quarters and had the field chasing hard throughout but despite the final quarter being the slowest of the race he was able to break their hearts early and record his fourth win. Steve Turnbull took advantage of gaining the services of John, with Amanda driving in Melbourne on the night, and John didn't let him down with a superb drive on the 2yo filly French Royalty. John elected to take a sit behind the leader Virgin Tooth and somehow worked her into the clear to defeat Flip Wilson who raced one out and one back on the line by a neck. The well supported Billy Muscat trained Itz Platinum Plus sat in the breeze after an early move from the rear early and there were three or four hopes when they turned for home. John book ended the program with the Kenneth Rue trained Queen Khawaja who came with a well timed run to beat King Caractacus who tried to lead all the way. Ashlee Siejka led all the way on Marquez and she has now trained the 3yo gelding to its sixth win. Onajoyride tried hard racing in the death 7 1/2 metres away with Warner flashing home for third. Kevin Rivett was confident about the chances of Blissed By Datmuch after some nice lead up work, and his supporters were cheering when he came from near last to swamp them on the line. Steve Turnbulls Artista Lombo got its first win since the Blayney carnival of cups with an all the way result in The Railway Hotel Pace. The 3yo filly has been racing well without winning of late and was impressive beating Penny Shannon and Charlottes Delight who both raced along the pegs. The pick six on course jackpot is creeping up to $1000 punters and all it costs to enter is the price of a race book, so get along to Bathurst and test your tipping skills. By Craig Easey
All Speed Hanover 3, 1:49.4 ($819,712), one of Cam's Card Shark's most outstanding juvenile performers and winner of the USA 2YO Breeders Crown in 2009, is to do stud duty at Graham and Janine Taylor's Stonegate Farm at Nathalia, 45 kilometres north of Shepparton, Australia. He is at present doing quarantine in Kentucky and is expected to arrive in Australia in mid-August. His service fee for his first season will be $2,500 including GST with discounts for multiple mares and generous breeding packages. All Speed Hanover was unquestionably one of the best two-year-olds of his crop. From seven starts at that age he posted five wins and a placing, amassing $486,950 in stakes. Undoubtedly the highlight of his freshman campaign was his success in the $700,000 Breeders Crown at Woodbine, in which he edged out 2YO of the Year Sportswriter after a titanic stretch duel in 1:52. All Speed Hanover also won a $139,800 division of the Bluegrass Stake and a $119,350 division of the International Stallion Stake, both in 1:50.6 at Lexington's mile track. He took his record of 1:49.4 at three years, winning an elimination of the North America Cup at Mohawk, while he also captured a heat of the New Jersey Classic before finishing a nose second in the $500,000 Final in 1:49.2. All Speed Hanover added over $160,000 to his bankroll as an aged performer, retiring with $819,712 in career earnings and being race-timed in sub 1:50 on nine occasions. Noel Daley, who trained All Speed Hanover most of his career, said: "At this stage he's the most exciting young pacer I've trained. He had versatility and a great gait. I will certainly be breeding to him 'Down Under'". Meanwhile, Luke McCarthy, who drove on several occasions when based in America, said: "He's the most gifted two-year-old I have driven." An upstanding bay, All Speed Hanover has the breeding background to compliment his obvious racetrack ability. Cam's Card Shark, champion sire in America, where he has sired winners of almost $133 million and has 58 in the 1:50 list, has also made an impact through his sons as sires in Australia and New Zealand. Not only is All Speed Hanover a youthful son of Cam's Card Shark - he was foaled in 2007 - but on his distaff side he can claim equal distinctions. Allamerican Cool (1:54.8), the Stakes-winning dam of All Speed Hanover, has a 100 percent record at stud with nine foals for nine winners including five in 1:55 and three $100,000 winners. They have amassed more than $1.3million in progeny earnings. Furthermore, Allamerican Cool ranks as a half-sister to one of the greatest racemares of all-time in Eternal Camnation 1:49.4, the winner of 47 races, a record $3,748,574 in stakes and a member of the Canadian Hall of Fame. Trilogy Lobell, the third dam of All Speed Hanover, was a half-sister to the Little Brown Jug winner and champion sire Life Sign 1:50.6 ($1.9million) and to the dam of leading sire American Ideal (1:47.8), their dam being Three Diamonds (1:53.2), the USA 2YO and 3YO Filly of the Year and a Hall of Fame immortal. All Speed Hanover is a Most Happy Fella line horse - that which produced Bettor's Delight - from one of the top maternal families in the world, and boasts six strong crosses of the blood of Meadow Skipper. He should prove an ideal outcross to mares boasting Abercrombie, Western Hanover and Direct Scooter blood. By Peter Wharton
TROIS-RIVIERES, June 9, 2014 – Sunshine Beach and Dedi’s Dragon, the only three-year-olds in 2013 to have beaten the Pacer of the Year, Captaintreacherous, plus all-star performer Apprentice Hanover, headline the list of 24 harness racing pacers that are eligible to race in the Hippodrome 3R’s revival of the prestigious Prix D’Ete. Restricted to just four-year-olds and now part of the prestigious Grand Circuit, the return of the Prix D’Ete will feature purses totaling $250,000. The Prix D’Ete will be the richest race in North America for four-year-old pacers with the final going for $200,000 and the consolation race worth $50,000. The top 16 lifetime money winning horses that enter will go in the two divisions by earnings. “We are very pleased with the final nominees for the Prix D’ete,” said Hippodrome 3R’s General Manager Vincent Trudel. “I know that our track record will most certainly be in jeopardy with this high caliber of competition. The Prix D’Ete has a long history of being won by great horses and I think that will happen again with this renewal.” With the signature event of Quebec’s revival of harness racing just over three months away, on Sunday, September 21 at the Hippodrome 3R, and with the list of eligibles finalized at 24, it’s time to take a look at the leading candidates for the event, based on early 2014 accomplishments. “A” is always a very good place to start, and “A” stands for Apprentice Hanover, trained by Ontarian Ben Wallace, who has the highest earnings in 2014 among the Prix eligibles, $325,500. Indeed, that figure puts him second in all of North America this year behind P H Supercam, who won the Levy Series Final at Yonkers when Apprentice Hanover rallied from dead last at headstretch to miss by a heartbreaking neck. The “Apprentice” is a model of consistency this year, with a scorecard of 6 wins, 5 seconds, and a third in 12 starts. The other $100,000 winner in 2014 among the Prix eligibles is Mach It So, trained by New Jersey-based horseman P.J. Fraley. Mach It So won three Levy preliminaries before being stymied by a draw of post eight in the finals. (The Levy Series references are especially relevant here because Yonkers, like 3R, is a half-mile track, showing that the form of these horses should translate well to the local oval.) Sunshine Beach and Dedi’s Dragon, the two three-year-olds of 2013 who beat divisional rival Captaintreacherous (whose connections have committed him to a race in Ohio), are also among the Prix possibilities. Dedi’s Dragon has two wins and five in-the-money finishes in seven starts this year for North America’s recordsetting trainer, Ron Burke, while Sunshine Beach, from the barn of Rideau Carleton-based conditioner Mark Steacy, is ready to start his 2014 campaign after a recent 1:52 victory in a qualifier at Mohawk. Sunshine Beach did finish the 2013 season with over $900,000 in earnings and a world record mile in 1:47.4. Mention should be made also of “the local hero,” Duc Dorleans, who set the all-time 3R track record of 1:52.4 last season and this year lowered the oval’s standard for older pacers to 1:53.1. Trained by Jacques Dupont for Quebec owners Gestion Levesque, Ecuries Dorleans, and Marie Helene Dupont, the “Duc” is currently racing at 3R, where he has been first and second the last four weeks. “We hope that everyone will come out this season, especially for the Prix D’Ete weekend and enjoy our great racing program and Québécois hospitality,” Trudel said. “There are no finer vacation and tourism areas in the Quebec region than Trois-Rivieres, Montreal and Quebec City during the summer and fall months.” Initially known as the Prix d’Automne and won by older horses such as the three-time Horse of the Year Bret Hanover, the marquee event at Blue Bonnets racetrack in Montreal was converted into the Prix D’Ete, a race for 3-year-old pacers in 1970 and remained one of the major North American stakes in the division until its last running in 1992. Past winners included Cam Fella, Niatross, Albatross, Strike Out, Abercrombie, Matt’s Scooter and Beach Towel. For more information about the Prix D’Ete at Hippodrome 3R visit their website at www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club List of nominees for the 2014 Prix D’Ete Alexa’s Jackpot Apprentice Hanover Captive Audience Dedi’s Dragon Duc Dorleans Fool Me Once Good Day Mate Lonewolf Currier Lucan Hanover Mach It So Moonliteonthebeach Normandy Invasion Olde Time Hockey Rockin Amadeus Shamballa Si Semalu Sunfire Blue Chip Sunshine Beach Sweet Talkin Satin That’ll Be The Rei Twilight Bonfire Urbanite Hanover Windsong Jack Word Power
TROIS-RIVIERES, January 16, 2014 – The Quebec Jockey Club (QJC) is pleased to announce the revival of the Prix d’Ete as a race for 4-year-old pacers, to be contested Sunday September 21st at Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivieres. With a guaranteed purse of $200,000, the race marks the return of a great tradition and reflects the intention of the Quebec Jockey Club to have the province’s harness racing industry return, progressively, to a prominent place within the North American scene. Initially known as the Prix d’Automne and won by older horses such as the three-time Horse of the Year Bret Hanover, the marquee event at Blue Bonnets racetrack in Montreal was converted into a race for 3-year-old pacers in 1970 and remained one of the major North American stakes in the division until its last running in 1992. Past winners included Cam Fella, Niatross, Albatross, Strike Out, Abercrombie, Matts Scooter and Beach Towel. To encourage a recent industry trend to have the top 3-year-olds of 2013 remain in competition at age 4, the QJC will offer them a quality race on a quality half-mile venue on the 2014 calendar. “We invite participants to enjoy the warmth of a Quebecois welcome with the excitement and delights of our culture and our long tradition of quality harness racing,” said QJC chairman Tony Infilise. “This special event will be a weekend celebration of harness racing in collaboration with the city of Trois-Rivières, about 1.5 hours from Montreal. Harness racing is deeply rooted in Quebec as demonstrated by the Grand Circuit success of drivers, trainers, and owners from our province. It is an industry which has refused to die in this province despite the brutal years since 2008.” $200,000 will be the highest purse in North America for 4-year-old pacers exclusively. “Accordingly, we hope and expect to attract most of, if not all, the best 4-year-olds,” Infilise said. The format calls for the top 8 purse earners of 2014 who declare into the event to race in the final and the next 8 who declare to go in a consolation for $50,000. “It should be an event not to be missed and a gathering of those who love our sport,” Infilise said. “The Quebec Jockey Club is pleased to respond to a need for such races for 4 year olds. We will endeavor to find the funding to conduct an equivalent trotting race in the future.” The QJC is a not-for-profit entity, led by seven (7) passionate businessmen who serve the industry as volunteer directors, dedicated to re-launching a professional harness racing and breeding industry in Quebec. It began operations in March, 2010, after the bankruptcy of private racetrack operator Attractions Hippiques, and in 2012 purchased Hippodrome 3R. It also supports a regional circuit of 12 fair tracks throughout the province and oversees a network of 10 teletheatres. Submitted by the Quebec Jockey Club
The Living Horse Hall of Fame nominating committee of the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame has announced the results of recent balloting to determine the 2014 inductees into the Harness Racing Living Horse Hall of Fame. Annual members (in good standing) voted for the two horses they felt best exemplified greatness. Their choices are racehorses Donato Hanover and Precious Bunny. The other nominees were Fool's Goal, Real Desire and S J's Photo. Also entering the Living Horse Hall of Fame in 2014 will be broodmare Hattie, having met the required criteria for induction (see below). Donato Hanover, Precious Bunny and Hattie will be inducted on Hall of Fame Day, Sunday, July 6th, 2014. The ceremonies honoring these extraordinary Standardbred horses will take place during the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame's annual dinner. For information on the Hall of Fame weekend and other festivities surrounding this important occasion visit www.harnessmuseum.com from April 2014 onward or call or write the Museum at 240 Main Street, Goshen, NY 10924. Phone: 845-294-6330. Standardbreds are only eligible for nomination to harness racing's highest accolade if they comply with the following strict criteria: They must be retired from racing for five years and had a drug-free career. In addition, racehorses must have won 75% of their lifetime starts, or gone undefeated in a single season campaign of 12 or more races, or been the winner of $3 million lifetime or named Harness Horse of the Year (US and/or Canada). Stallions must rank among the 10 all-time leading money-winning sires at their gait or have sired at least 100 $200,000 winners or been a leading money-winning sire at his gait in three or more seasons. BROODMARES are automatically elected if they have produced a $1 million winner and two other winners of $500,000 OR produced a Harness Horse of the Year (US and/or Canada) and another $500,000 winner. The 2014 LIVING HORSE HALL OF FAME INDUCTEEs Donato Hanover (Nominated as Racehorse) 3,1:50.1 ($2,998,777) Bay Horse, 2004 (Andover Hall - D Train - Donerail) 2007 Hambletonian Stake winner and Horse of the Year Donato Hanover was the first trotter in history to earn more than $2 million in a single season. Foaled on May 3, 2004, he raced in 2006-2007 and never finished off the board, compiling a career record of 22-19-1-2. He is currently the fourth-leading single-season moneywinning Standardbred of all time. In 2006, two-year-old Donato Hanover finished third in his career debut, but would win his remaining 8 starts. The freshman earned $662,587 and was voted Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year. Major victories included the Peter Haughton Memorial (in a stakes record 1:55) and Breeders Crown. As a three-year-old in 2007, Donato Hanover would extend his winning streak to 19, remaining undefeated until his last 2 races in November. Major victories that year included the Stanley Dancer Memorial, Hambletonian Stake, World Trotting Derby, Canadian Trotting Classic and Kentucky Futurity. Donato Hanover earned $2,336,190 that year, and became the first trotter in the history of the sport to surpass career earnings of $2.5 million during his three-year-old season. He broke the single-season moneywinning record for a trotter by well over $400,000 and was voted 2007 Horse of the Year. At the time of his retirement, Donato Hanover held the record for the fastest trotting mile on a mile track (1:50.1) and co-owned the record for fastest two-heat trotting race on a mile track (3:41.2). As a sire, Donato Hanover has produced winners of over $12.6 million, including 2011 Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter of the Year and Breeders Crown winner Check Me Out 3,1:51.2 ($1,903,795). Precious Bunny (Nominated as Racehorse) p,3,1:49.4 ($2,281,142) Bay Horse, 1988 (Cam Fella - Bunny's Wish - B.G's Bunny) 1991 Horse of the Year Precious Bunny was foaled on May 6, 1988. At the time of his retirement, he ranked as the number one single-season moneywinning Standardbred of all time (currently ranked ninth) and the fifth-leading moneywinning pacer of all time. Precious Bunny raced from 1990-1991 and had a lifetime record of 39-21-5-4. As a two-year-old in 1990, Precious Bunny had 14 starts, winning a New Jersey Sire Stakes event and finishing the season with a record of 1:57.2 and $63,920 in earnings. In 1991, three-year-old Precious Bunny won 20 of 25 starts, including the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace (setting the stakes record in the second fastest race mile in harness racing history and fastest mile ever under the lights), Art Rooney Pace (stakes record), Adios (tying the stakes record and the world record for fastest mile by a Standardbred on a 5/8-mile track, and setting the world record for a second heat by a Standardbred on a 5/8-mile track - 1:50.4), Little Brown Jug (in straight heats with an electrifying start in the first), Cleveland Classic (stakes record), NJSS final and Windy City Pace. With his Cleveland Classic victory, Precious Bunny became only the second Standardbred to earn over $2 million in a single season (Immortal Beach Towel 1990). He was the first to win two $1 million races in one season (North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace). Precious Bunny was voted Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt and Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada. As a sire, Precious Bunny has sired North American winners of over $50 million, with 181 in 1:55, 141 $100,000 winners and three millionaires, including 2001 Horse of the Year and Hall of Famer Bunny Lake. Precious Bunny was elected to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2004. HATTIE (Broodmare) p,2,1:55.3 ($266,623) Bay Mare, 1992 (Abercrombie - Albaquel - Albatross) Sired by 1978 Horse of the Year Abercrombie, pacer Hattie was bred by Richard Staley and was foaled on February 9, 1992 in Wallkill, New York. Hattie raced from 1994-1996 and compiled a record of 57-8-13-17 with earnings of $266,623. Her major career victories included a division of the 1994 International Stallion Stakes at Lexington, and a second-place finish in the 1994 Breeders Crown. The progeny that qualified Hattie for the Hall of Fame are 2004 Meadowlands Pace winner Holborn Hanover p,5,1:46.4 ($2,070,648); 2006 Western Canada Pacing Derby winner Hyperion Hanover p,6,1:49.1s ($1,156,789) and Hillbilly Hanover p,4,1:49.3 ($592,218). To date, Hattie has produced six fillies and seven colts, with thirteen starters and earnings of over $5,313,000. She is currently performing her broodmare duties for Hanover Shoe Farms in Hanover, Pennsylvania. (USTA statistics as of January 2014) Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame
Harnesslink.com has exclusively learned today from the connections that own the undefeated world champion Standardbred two-year-old pacing colt, He’s Watching, that a half interest in the son of American Ideal has been sold to the Muscara Racing Trust He’s Watching is trained and co-owned by David Menary with Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero, all from Ontario, Canada. Muscara Racing Trust of Ivyland, Pennsylvania is comprised of the Joe Muscara family whom currently own and stand the stallions Art Official, Mach Three and Mister Big in additional to numerous race horses. This season He’s Watching put the harness racing world on notice of his ability, setting world records at Tioga Downs (1:50) and Yonkers Raceway (1:52.2). He also set track records at Buffalo Raceway, Vernon Downs and tied the track record on a rainy night at Batavia Downs. He concluded his two-year-old season with earnings of $291,722. He’s Watching was purchased by Menary as a yearling for just $3,000. Complete details of the transaction including the price were not revealed but David Menary confirmed that the current owners would have controlling interest of He’s Watching as a racehorse for the next two seasons and that the Muscara Racing Trust would have controlling interest of He’s Watching as a breeding stallion. The entire arrangement is very similar to that of the great race horse and stallion, Niatross, who was also undefeated at age two in 1979 when half interest was sold for $2.5 million with the same racing/breeding agreements. “This is a good deal for everyone,” Said Dave Menary, “We are happy to have partners like Joe Muscara and his family on board. We had a great team when we started out with the colt and now the team is even better. “I am sorry that He’s Watching was not staked to the Breeders Crown this week and can’t be supplemented,” Menary added. “We turned him out but he was in perfect shape to keep on racing. He will be staked right for next year and we plan to be in all of the big dances. “When I first bought him at the sale he was a June foal and a little small,” Menary said. “He is still growing and I am sure will fill out more this winter. What he lacked in size he made up for in speed, heart and ability and he’s not done growing yet. I like to compare him to Foiled Again.” “We are very happy with this deal,” Said Robert Muscara of the Muscara Racing Trust. “He’s Watching has so much potential for the future. Two world records, eight for eight racing this year and we can’t wait to see what happens next year. We are also very happy with Dave Menary, Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero as partners. They were great to deal with on the sale. It’s going to be very exciting next season. “ On the breeding side, He’s Watching’s pedigree, despite his bargain basement yearling sale price, shows four strains of the great broodmare K Nora – through He’s Watching himself and Western Ideal via the champion mare Leah Almahurst, plus through American Ideal and Life Sign via the world champion mare Three Diamonds. Also in his breeding is that there are duplications of Leah Almahurst and Three Diamonds that are sex-balanced (i.e. appearing via both a son and a daughter). There are also sex-balanced duplications of Abercrombie, Adios, Good Time, Knight Dream, Meadow Skipper and No Nukes. He’s Watching also has 8 daughters of Tar Heel (6 of them unique) in his 6th generation. That makes He’s Watching’s pedigree one of a possible real champion for his future stallion duties. by Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com
VERNON, NY—The quick-footed Let’s Go Higher topped four fast and fit female foes in Thursday night’s $10,000 featured Open pace at Vernon Downs. With Shawn Gray doing the driving for trainer Heidi Rohr in Thursday’s second race, the favorite Let’s Go Higher, the field’s top money-winner in her last five outings, went right to the front and prevailed by 2-1/2 lengths over the pocket-sitting, second choice, Don’t Blame Her, a winner in this event in her last two starts. The first-place finish was the third in succession and the 10th this season for the 5-year-old daughter of former track favorite Cole Muffler and out of the Abercrombie-mare Ten Speed, owned by Jesse J. De Long. The career-winner of more than $240,500 now sports 19 career victories, the fastest in 1:50.3 here on July 11. Roman Lopez, the track’s second-leading driver (86 victories) and trainer (31) this year, logged a double during the track’s 72nd program, while Fern Paquet, Jr. and Truman Gale also delivered twin tallies during Thursday’s 12-race card. DOWNS DOINGS Rick Plano, Vernon’s leading driver (130 wins) and conditioner (51) has departed the Downs to begin a fall-winter-spring campaign at Florida’s Pompano Park… Vernon will present an 11-race program on Friday night, including an $8,000 featured trot in race seven. First post will be at 6:45…Only 16 racing dates remain during the track’s 60th racing season that continues through Nov. 9… A revised 2013, 88-program racing and stakes calendar, as well as additional information regarding Vernon Downs, its casino, hotel, racing and promotional events can be obtained at www.vernondowns.com. Jim Moran
Wet, sloppy conditions kept the crowd small but didn’t prevent very competitive racing at last Wednesday’s Bathurst meeting. Ash Siejka’s training double, and an exceptional debut by Think It Through, were the highlights. On debut in a 2YO Fillies class but a very short-priced favourite on the strength of a 2:00 trial win at Young, Think It Through managed the potentially tricky inside draw then sped away in front to open up a gap of at least 50 metres during the middle stages of the race. Halfway through the second lap, trainer-driver John Vautin started to shake her up as the huge gap narrowed somewhat, and many in the stand were beginning to wonder if this Vo Rogue-like performance would end in an upset. They needn’t have worried. Though getting very weary after highballing in front in very slushy conditions, she held on by a mere 19 metres to post the first of what will surely be numerous career victories. Our Lissome NZ and Most Admired gave Steve Turnbull the minor placings. The sectional times make interesting reading. After a slow lead time as she found her footing out of the gate, she dashed through the middle 1200 metres in 1:30.0 flat, leaving all her rivals off the bit and gasping for oxygen, before a telling 33.6 final quarter, for a mile rate of 2:03.2 . A strapping type very reminiscent of her sire Ponder, the half-sister to Ultimate Art was purchased by Lester and Linda Hewitt from the Micallef draft at the 2012 Gold Crown Sale for $8,000 , the day after that year’s Crown winner had easily defeated their runner in a Crown heat . To paraphrase a familiar expression, they reckoned “ if you can’t beat ‘em, get one of ‘em. “ John Vautin hasn’t seen much of Bathurst this season, since basing himself at Cowra. Lester Hewitt is an accomplished trainer in his own right, a clear leader of the UDR Trainers Premiership at Bathurst this season, but he’s supported his former stable driver with this filly, the undoubted star of Toby Vautin’s small team. For all of them, there’s much to look forward to. In My Life NZ, the first leg of Ashlee Siejka’s training double, set the pattern for the evening by making a fast move mid-race to the death, and then outstaying favourite Two Striking and the sweet-seating Im No Lady. The last half took 60.4, with the mile rate of 2:04.8 for the 2130 metres C O event. Recent Rising Stars placegetter Kylie Barnes handled the driving duties for Siejka’s second winner Nickys Passion NZ, in a C2-C3 sprint class, sitting outside the lead and proving too strong for Miners Lane, which had enjoyed the one-one trail, and stablemate Stirling William, which had led. The mile rate of 2:02 was very good in the conditions, and the last half was run in a minute flat. Abercrombie Alice (Graham Betts for Leon Bennetts) maintained her excellent recent form with another all-the-way win, in a 3CO-3C1 sprint event. Courtesy of a neat piece of driving, and some good fortune, she found the lead around the first bend after coming from barrier 9. Hallycould held on in the death seat for second, with the original occupant of that spot and then trailer, Master Macca, getting the minor placing. Twenty Three Penny’s winning effort , in a C1 sprint class, was more conventional, with John O’Shea spearing the short-priced favourite straight to the front and controlling the race throughout. She zipped up the back in 28.7 , the night’s fastest quarter, putting the result beyond doubt, and cruised home in 31.0 to defeat Positive Thinking and Runs On Love, which had followed her on the pegs throughout. The mile rate was 2:04. It was the seventh lifetime win for the Blissfull Hall mare, which will join the nice broodmare band put together by keen Carcoar-based breeders Ray and Peter Connolly. Long Cool Woman brought up win 191 and 189 respectively for her driver and trainer, Amanda and Steve Turnbull, in a 3C O sprint event. She worked to the death seat mid-race and outstayed Aunty Olive,which raced wide for the last lap, and favourite Gabrielle Solis NZ, three-back in the running line . The mile rate was only 2:04.6, but the last half of 59.8 was good on the night. Franco Talon NZ (Amy Day for Garrett Newton) made up for the pair’s second in the opening race by taking out an R2-R3 middle-distance class. Last early before coming three-wide from the bell, the favourite had a bit in hand to defeat the death-seater Rowan Royal and Ihitthegroundrunning NZ, from the one-one.The overall rate was just 2:05.8, with the last half in 60.1 . Western Burner found the by-now coveted spot outside the leader in the final race, an R0-R1 over 2130 metres, and naturally he won, for Scott Hewitt and trainer-father David. Happy Camper came three-wide from the bell for second, with Jerula’s Mate which had the one –one trail, holding on for third. The times were moderate but the winning margin of 17 metres suggests a repeat win can be expected.
Bigga harness racing trainer Dennis Picker is planning on more trips to Queensland in the future with a team of horses after an amazing run of success recently north of the border. Picker has won eight races during his time away and it has also allowed him a chance to sell some of his horses to Queensland clients which has made the trip even more profitable. "I had always spoken about making the trip to Queensland during the winter to race a few and sell a few on but I had never followed through with my plans until this year," Picker said. "I've been training out of the Tweed Heads showground and travelling up to the different tracks around Brisbane, I brought eight horses up with me and have sold three and am still looking to sell three more before I return home which might be in a fortnight, I will just wait and see what happens." Picker is a sheep shearer and admits to having to turn down some work while he has been away. "Normally I would be getting ready to start shearing so I've had to knock back a few jobs but that doesn't worry me too much because I've had some luck up here and I'm enjoying the break." "Dad brought my horses up here for me while I was preparing Condagen for the Breeders Challenge series and that also gave me a chance to concentrate on my yearlings before they were all sent out for a break, so it has all worked out pretty well." While Picker has been able to sell some horses he acknowledges that it hasn't been an easy task. "It has been tough to sell them but in the end we have taken a bit less for them because they have been competing up here and have been earning some money." "I had Abercrombie Zombie up for sale for $5,000, had no takers but he won the Rising Stars final on Saturday night and pocketed $12,000 so a few things have worked out nicely." PANELLA BACK IN SYDNEY THIS WEEK Talented driver Lauren Panella is looking forward to returning to Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night after travelling to Albion Park for the final two meetings of the Queensland Winter Carnival over the past fortnight. Panella drove Suave Stuey Lombo to victory in the Sunshine Sprint in track record time and she is hoping to return to Sydney on a winning note. “This season has just been awesome, I’m riding the wave at the moment but in harness racing you can come down as quick as you went up so I’m just concentrating on driving the best I can this weekend at Menangle,” Panella said. “I will be driving Saucy Legend and Essbee Doubleyou in the two Gr. 3 races on Saturday night, I get on with both of them and I think they both can perform really well.” Saucy Legend won last Saturday night and despite drawing barrier ten in the Winter Cup, Panella is expecting another big performance from the George Stamiris prepared gelding. “George has done a great job with Saucy Legend, he is a really happy horse and he enjoys being out there which he has proved with some really strong runs lately, his run in the Len Smith Mile behind Gaius Caesar was really good but I’m just hoping the poor barrier doesn’t bring him undone.” Essbee Doubleyou has drawn barrier 2 in the Bretsa’s 40th Birthday Final and Panella believes his chances increase when a female driver is booked to drive. “He’s a ladies’ man, it’s funny, he just seems to go better for the female drivers and he is a horse that you need to get to know before you get the best out of him, he has drawn well, possesses some very good early speed and looks a good chance in a very tough race.” Panella has a busy weekend planned because she will head to Goulburn on Sunday afternoon for the Regional Finals of the Breeders Challenge after Menangle on Saturday night. Courtesy of Harness Racing NSW
As of the 3rd of July Shadow Play is the Leading 2yo Sire in North America.
Posey Patch took the $6,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace for harness racing owner Gregory Gardner of Sheridan, Michigan in the opening race on Friday (May 24) at Northfield Park.
Victory Is Coming was first across the wire in the $5,000 Open Trot in Northfield Park’s opening on Monday, April 29, 2013.
Mcmerry Again paced home for her third straight win on Friday (April 26) in Northfield Park's ninth race. The eight-year old is owned by Antionette Mc Kenzie of Wellsville, Ohio. Harness racing trainer Sonia Vermilye called upon Brett Miller to pilot. Crist Hershberger was aboard for the first two wins.