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.
Through the late 1990s and the early 2000s this son of Abercrombie was a very successful and popular horse on the Chicago harness racing circuit when he campaigned for the Brian Pinske Stable.
Robert E. O'Donnell, 88, a prominent harness racing breeder for many decades, died April 10, 2013, in Florida after a long illness.
She might not have entered Yonkers Raceway quite like former Iowa champion Beach Nut Brand did after capturing a $50,000 leg of the 2007 Su Mac Lad series at The Meadowlands and just missing in the $110,700 harness racing final, but Opticrombie has certainly held her own.
In a few weeks, the harness racing career of 14-year-old pacer Tattler's Jet will come to an end. And as the final chapter is written in the life of the fastest horse ever bred in Wisconsin, 71-year-old breeder/owner Dave Carter might have provided the most amusing summation of the tale, which also features 68-year-old trainer Gene Miller.
When Yankee Dream arrived at Perth airport on Friday she was effectively returning home as her dam Acropolis raced in this State more than a decade ago.
The McArdle Syndicate is pleased to announce that beginning with the 2013 breeding season, McArdle, p. 3, 149m ($2,455,609.00) (Falcon Seelster - Lilting Laughter-Nihilator), will stand stud in Ohio at harness racing's prestigious Hickory Lane Farm.
John A. Cashman, Jr., 72, one of harness racing's most active and influential leaders for many years, died Sept. 22, 2012, in Atlantis, Fla. Mr. Cashman was born June 30, 1940, to John and Eileen (McGuire) Cashman, Sr. in Garden City, N.Y.
Sacramento harness racing driver Gene Vallandingham spiced up the Late Pick 4 last weekend at Cal Expo when he guided Asgoodasioncewas to a $136 shocker, giving the 7-year-old pacer a perfect track-and-attack journey from the cozy one-hole.