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At this point many two-year-olds have a couple of starts in them, so it’s time to marry personal observations with wild speculation and project which ones will be stepping up to win the Cup, Jug and Hambletonion next year. This is by no means a definitive list of the best of the best; as a matter of fact I’m going out of my way to include some by off-brand stallions. That being said, here are a few early standouts. Artspeak is a Western ideal colt out of the Artsplace mare, The Art Museum. The Western Ideals have fallen on hard times at the sales of late, relatively speaking, but Brittany threw $100,000 at this guy, which matched the top price for any of his paternal brothers in North America. He has won both of his NJSS starts for Scott Zeron and trainer Tony Alagna, in dominant fashion. On Pace Day he came first over to win in 1:52.3 at odds of 3/5 at the Meadowlands. Western Ideal has given us the outstanding performers and game changing sires Rocknroll Hanover and American Ideal, as well as Always A Virgin and Big Jim. His 2013 crop moves on to the slugfest that is the PASS next year. Stacia Hanover, the winner of the $100,000 NJSS final for freshman pacing fillies, is also by Western Ideal. The $35,000 Harness Breeders purchase is trained by veteran Steve Elliott and, like Artspeak, driven by Scott Zeron. She has two other wins in the restricted class, aside from the high-dollar final which she won in 1:53.4 at odds of 3/5. Yankee Bounty is a two-year-old gelding by the enigmatic Artiscape stallion, Yankee Cruiser. His dam is the Allamerican Native mare Yankee Bootleg. This isn’t a combination that screams early speed. Yes, Yankee Cruiser did give is the current king of the pacing ranks, Sweet Lou, who held world records at two and three, as well as the rejuvenated speed demon Dancin Yankee, but for the most part this stallion was up against it in Pennsylvania. Yankee Bounty, a $21,000 Harness Breeders purchase, has won both of his starts in impressive fashion. He won splits of the Pennsylvania All Stars and the Albatross for Corey Callahan and trainer Kevin Lane. Yankee Cruiser stands his first year in Ohio in 2014. Bob Ben And John is one of the wave of impressive colts from the first crop of 2009 two-year-old division champ Sportswriter. Casie Coleman, who trained the son of Artsplace, and has been the leading cheerleader for his initial offering, plucked him from the Lexington sale for a modest $17,000. His dam is the Cambest mare, My Best Girl. This colt made his first pari-mutuel start last week in a $70,000 OSS-Gold leg at Mohawk. He was an easy winner by three in 1:53 at odds of 2/1 for Chris Christoforou. Sportswriter is absolutely killing it in the freshman pacing division of the Ontario Sire Stakes; he’s taking all the air; none of the others are on the same planet. SBSW shook the Pennsylvania program to its foundation with his first crop, but what’s happening with Sportswriter in his restricted program may be more dramatic. Shadow Play impressed us last year with his first crop, but he hasn’t gone on to be a factor in the open realm with his sophomores. We’ll wait and see if Sporty, a key player from the stressed Adios line, makes his presence felt outside of Ontario. Sassa Hanover is a filly from the first crop of Rock N Roll Heaven. Ron Burke bought her at Lexington for $50,000. Sassa’s dam, Sayo Hanover, is half to the very fast Shadyshark Hanover. Jim Morrill drover her to an easy two length win in a NYSS race at Monticello on the July 4. She won in 1:56.3 with plenty to spare. And two of her paternal sisters—She’s Heavenly and Band Of Angels—also won top dollar splits of the sire stakes that day. Heaven was held in high esteem at the sales, and thus far he is fulfilling his promise.   Dragon Eddy is a two-year-old gelding—aren’t they all—by Dragon Again, a stallion known more for throwing rugged long lasting types like Foiled Again, Atochia and Aracache Hanover than he is as a sire of early speed. My Little Dragon won her division at two, but she was an exception. Well, Eddy is something of an outlier himself. He brought $42,000 at Lexington, which is on the pricey side for Dragon Again, who now stands in Ohio. John Buttenschoen trains and Mike Simons drives. At the end of June Eddy won a split of the Pennsylvania All Starts in 1:54.3 at Pocono, and he went on to win a division of the Albatross in an eye opening 1:52.4 at odds of 2/5 at the Meadows on July 8. Mission Brief is a brown Muscle Hill filly who opened a lot of eyes when she took her $100,000 final of the NJSS by 13 lengths in 1:53.3 for Yanick Gingras and Ron Burke. This was an improvement on her previous start, where she only won by ten. Her dam Southwind Serena is by the great trotter Varenne. Mission Brief was a $150,000 Lexington purchase. Look out! The Bank is a Donato Hanover colt out of 2008 three-year-old division winner, Lantern Kronos. He won a split of the Pennsylvania All Stars for Jimmy Takter on July 4th and broke stride while leading on the last turn as the 1/9 favorite in a division of the Hickory Pride at The Meadows this week. Again, Takter drove. Uncle Lasse, a full brother to Shake It Cerry and Solvato, is another very promising Donato colt in the Takter Barn. He also won on July 4. Yesterday he was beaten in a quick 1:56.3 split of the Hickory Pride by the Cantab Hall colt Billy Flynn, driven to perfection by Brett Miller. Possess The Will and Your So Vain notwithstanding, Donato has pretty much been all filly no colt to this point. If this pair is turned over to Gingras or Pierce they could change that in a hurry. Honor And Serve, a Donato colt out of 2008 freshman division winner and world record holder Honorable Daughter, is another who might turn the tide. He just took a split of the Hickory Pride for Dave Palone and Jim Campbell. Royal Deceptor is one of numerous offspring of the New York stallion RC Royalty that sold at the Morrisville sale. The success of last year’s Hambletonion winner, Royalty For Life, inspired many to look favorably upon the eleven-year-old siring son of Credit Winner. Cheryl and Michael McGivern took this brown colt home for $11,000. Royal Deceptor won all three of his qualifiers, then went out and won a split of the NYSS in a track record 1:59.3 at Buffalo Raceway for Michael McGivern. Gatka is a big, rugged filly from the first crop of seven-year-old Hambletonion winner Muscle Massive, whose big brother Muscle Mass met with success in Ontario and has since been relocated to New York. Gatka is a sister to Ake Svanstedt’s Muscle Hill filly Heaven’s Door, who won the $100,000 NJSS sophomore final and finished second behind Shake It Cerry in the Del Miller. She won a division of the PA All Stars at The Meadows in 1:56 at 2/5 and last week she took a split of the Meadow Gladys with ease in 1:57.1 at 1/5.  Billy Flynn, a $120,000 Lexington purchase by Steffan Lind, is by Cantab Hall, arguably the best trotting stallion in North America. Another brown colt—there seems to be a run on them—he is out of the Enjoy Lavec mare Zeta Jones and was bred by Brittany farms. Billy took a split of the PA All Stars by six lengths in 1:57.2 at Pocono earlier this month and he beat the highly regarded Centurion ATM and Uncle Lasse in a division of the Hickory Pride. Brett Miller drives. Wild Honey is proving to be a $35,000 bargain for Jimmy Takter. The daughter of Cantab Hall was a close second to Gatka Hanover in that one’s first start and, like Gatka, won a split of the Meadow Gladys at The Meadows, for Yanick Gingras. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

WASHINGTON, PA, July 8, 2014 -- Dragon Eddy quarter-poled to the lead, then dug in late to capture the fastest division of Tuesday's $236,060 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. The event, known as the Albatross, was contested over five divisions, with Lost For Words, McJagersonthemove, McArdles Lightning and Yankee Bounty taking the other splits. Dragon Eddy, who won a PA All Stars division in his career debut, moved to the front after getting away third for Mike Simons and was able to withstand the late charge of first-time starter Elwell, downing him by a head in 1:52.4, fastest this year by a 2-year-old gelding on a five-eighths-mile track. Blood Brother was third. "He does everything right, and as a Dragon Again, he's got that early speed. I like that," Simons said. "He's a quick learner, real sensible. I wanted to be first or second; in third, too many negative things can happen. It was a quick first half, but he held tough." John Butenschoen trains Dragon Eddy, a son of Dragon Again-Jaska Hanover, for William Wiswell, Jean Groehlen, Eugene Schick and Edward Bardowski. Lost For Words made up 8-1/2 lengths in the final quarter and prevailed despite doing just about everything he could in the stretch to break stride. He scored in 1:53.4, 1-3/4 lengths better than Wakizashi Hanover, while Badiou Hanover earned show. Winning driver David Miller indicated Lost For Words ran in and might have been interfering -- new tricks by the youngster, according to trainer Brian Brown. "He's never done that to us before, so I really don't know what the problem was," Brown said of his $50,000 yearling acquisition. "First time at high speed? He's been some pretty quick quarters before. I'll talk to David before making any decisions." Country Club Acres, William Robinson, Richard Lombardo and Strollin Stable own Lost For Words, a son of Well Said-Thou Shalt Not. McJagersonthemove got no satisfaction in the PA All Stars, where he dropped back early. But following a downpour that rendered the track sloppy, Brett Miller changed tactics on him, sending him to the front. He scored easily in 1:55, a slop-distorted time that doesn't reflect the winner's dominance. Rich Wisdom rallied for second, 5 lengths back, with Cardiac Fashion completing the ticket. "I don't try to tell drivers a whole lot, but I asked Brett to put him in the race at some point," said Willard Reynolds, who conditions the son of McArdle-Grand Fancy for Mark Howard. "He's got a lot of personality. He likes to play, but he always likes his job." In the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Tamarind ground out yet another first-over victory, scoring in 1:56.1 for Aaron Merriman and owner/trainer Bill Bercury. Holy Halibut followed Tamarind's cover for second, beaten a neck, with Big And Little third. It was the ninth win this year for the 6-year-old son of Angus Hall-Spicegirl Kosmos, who now has banked $583,439 in his career. Dave Palone drove four winners -- three for trainer Ron Burke -- on the 16-race card. Wednesday's program at The Meadows features a $100,000 PA Stallions Series stake for freshman filly trotters. First post is 12:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

WASHINGTON, PA, July 7, 2014 -- Royaltyhasarrived converted a relentless uncovered move to victory in 1:55.4, fastest split of Monday's $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallions Series stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers at The Meadows. The event was contested over five divisions, with Sammy Said, Hall Of Terror, Smiling Terror and Cartel taking the other splits. Dave Palone, who piloted six winners on the 16-race card, enjoyed a stake double behind Sammy Said and Cartel. Royaltyhasarrived was coming off a trip both disastrous and promising in the PA All Stars; he was parked every step but was making up ground late while individually timed in 1:54.4. Winning driver Dan Rawlings, who was aboard that day as well, figured that made his horse the best -- particularly with Monday's addition of earplugs. "Last week I couldn't get him in a hole, I couldn't hold him," Rawlings said. "It was kind of embarrassing; it took a little pride out of me. But he definitely was fast enough. Being honest, I didn't think I would lose this race today. If he learns a little more to go with his natural ability, he might be able to go with the sires stakes horses later on." The Western Terror-Her Mattjesty gelding defeated Hillbillyrootdiggr by 4-1/2 lengths, with Caserati Hanover third. Steve Schoeffel trains Royaltyhasarrived for Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel, Jerry Dedoszak and Michael Munn. Sammy Said vaulted to the early lead for trainer Mark Harder and owner Fox Hollow Farm, the held off B Well by a head to triumph in a maiden-breaking 1: 56.2. UF Larry Alltheway earned show. After Sammy Said trailed throughout in his PA All Stars split, Harder was looking to shake up the youngster. "Mark said to put him in the hunt," Palone said. "He thought the horse was a little better than he showed the first start. We didn't plan on getting stuck on the lead. I was impressed with the little guy. He gives you a good try." Smiling Terror began his career with two front-end victories in qualifiers, but in Monday's stake, he angled off the cones from fourth for Mike Wilder and scored at first asking in 1:56.3. Given Up Terror raced well uncovered for second, 2-1/2 lengths in arrears, with Battle Cruiser third. "He got to move a little bit in both qualifiers, so we knew he was capable of making moves," said Steve Owens, who conditions the Western Terror-ASAP Or Sooner gelding for Last Laugh LLC. "He had to back out around them in the last turn; that's a hard move for young horses. Elsewhere on the program, Nice Party won her seventh consecutive race in a conditioned Fillies & Mares event -- a remarkable turnaround from her sophomore campaign in 2013, when she lost all five outings. Tony Hall drove the daughter of Party At Artsplace-Nice'n Big for trainer Randy Bendis, who owns with Tom Pollack. Tuesday's program at The Meadows features the Albatross, a $236.060 PA Sites Stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers. First post is 12:55 PM. By Evan Pattak

It’s beginning to look like Ake Svanstedt’s trotter Sebastian is so superior to the competition that he’s racing only against the clock. There was a time when time was privileged over purse money in the pursuit of assessing a stallion or mare’s suitability for the breeding ranks, but those days are long gone. Bob Marks never had much use for them, although he says he did “use them occasionally to get marks on horses that could never accomplish much in actual races.” Flip through the latest edition of the Breeder’s Book and you’ll find a couple of pacers with time trial marks—Jereme’s Jet and 26-year-old Cambest—and the Indiana stallion Jailhouse Jesse on the diagonal side. How sweet it would be to see Sebastian take to the track during the Red Mile meet with a pair of t-breds or pacers behind him and a jacked-up crowd cheering him home. He’d surely rid us of the 1:50 burden as well as Enough Said and his Colonial Downs asterisk. Fifty years ago just about every premium stallion and mare was measured against the clock at some point. Rodney, Fancy Crown, Most Happy Fella, Scotland, Yankee Lass, Bullet Hanover, Bye Bye Byrd, Dancer Hanover, Cheer Honey, Dayan, Hickory Pride, Elma, Isle Of Wight, Steady Beau and Sampson Direct all carry time trial marks. Some drivers specialized in handling the time trialing horses, while others were good with the prompters. When Adios Butler knocked two ticks off Billy Direct’s 22-year-old mark, which was set the day before Greyhound’s at The Red Mile on October 4, 1960, owner Paige West drove the 4-year-old while Del Miller and trainer/driver Eddie Cobb drove the t-bred prompters. When the 4-year-old Cash Hall went after Pine Chip’s 1:54 world record at Delaware in 2006, John Campbell drove the son of Self Possessed while Dave Palone chased after him with the Real Artist mare, Valentine. Cash Hall annihilated the mark with a 1:51.1 mile. On the trotting side, Greyhound’s TT1:55 ¼ mark, set on September 29, 1938 for Sep Palin, held fast for 31 years, until Nevele Pride dropped it to TT1:54.4 for Stanley Dancer at Indianapolis on Sunday August 31, 1969. Twelve thousand enthusiastic fans were in attendance that day. Coincidentally enough, a longstanding pacing mark of 1:55 was also set at that same Lexington meet in 1938: Billy Direct time trialed free-legged in 1:55 for Vic Fleming on September 28, 1938. That mark remained untouched during the 1940s. Frank Ervin put a 1:57.1 mark on 5-year-old Adios in a time trial when he was offered $500 to break the track record, and four years later another great progenitor, Gene Abbe, time trialed in 2:00.3, also at age five. But it took a race mark of 1:55 from Adios Harry in the American Pacing Derby at Vernon Downs on July 16, 1955, with the owner’s son Luther Lyons in the bike, to match Billy Direct’s mark. Adios Butler undercut the 1:55 standard five years later in the time trial referenced above. That 1:55 barrier was finally shattered. The great Speedy Crown didn’t break any records when he time trialed in 2:01.2 as a freshman in 1970, but after winning just four of eight starts and earning a paltry $2,000, he did prove that good things were on the way. Actually the first significant time trial for trotters in the 1970s came from Arnie Almahurst, a crazy fast son of Speedy Scot, who pretty much won every start he didn’t break stride in. He had little in common with his paternal brother, Speedy Crown, who never broke stride—not ever. Arnie time trialed in 1:57.2 at The Red Mile for Joe O’Brien and became the sixth fastest trotter behind Super Bowl, Nevele Pride, Ayres, Speedy Scot and Speedy Crown. Nine years later his 3-year-old son Arndon trotted the fastest mile ever by a trotter when he hit the wire in TT1:54 for Del Miller at The Red Mile. And twelve years after that Arndon’s 4-year-old son Pine Chip became the world record holder when he time trialed in 1:51 for John Campbell at Lexington. Arndon and his dad both retired as the fastest ever. Another important trotting time trial in the ‘70s was ABC Freight’s TT1:57.1 as a 2-year-old for Joe O’Brien at Hollywood Park in 1976. The sire of Garland Lobell topped Nevele Pride’s 1:58.2 freshman mark and became the fastest 2-year-old trotter ever. ABC set his lifetime mark of 1:56.3 the following year in a time trial. The market for blockbuster trotting time trials pretty much dried up after that, although Cash Hall did crush the half-mile mark with that 1:51.1 mile for John Campbell at Delaware in 2006 that was referenced above. The time trials involving Standardbred trotters under saddle has been less prevalent, nonetheless, it has played a prominent role due to the horses and people involved. In 1940 Greyhound ended his racing career under saddle at Lexington. Frances Dodge rode him to a world record of 2:01 ¾. That mark stood for 54-years, until Preferential and Brooke Nickells broke it in 1994 with a 1:58.2 mile. And six years later the mighty Moni Maker, like Greyhound, ended her career under saddle at The Red Mile. Jockey Julie Krone, with Jimmy Takter and Wally Hennessey following with prompters, trotted in an incredible 1:54.1. In the pacing camp it was up to Bret Hanover to continue the assault on the longstanding 1:55 standard that his paternal brother, Adios Butler, had begun. In early September of 1966, 4-year-old Bret, who was within a few months of being retired, time trialed in 1:54 at Vernon Downs for Frank Ervin with a single prompter chasing him. Five weeks later in Lexington Ervin put the TT1:53.3 mark on the big guy that would serve as his lifetime mark. Dancer preferred to put race marks on Albatross so there are no flashy time trials on Super Bird’s resume. He did become the fastest ever in a race when he won both heats of the Tattersalls Pace at The Red Mile in 1:54.4, topping Adios Harry’s race mark, which Bret had matched. He also won in 1:55.3 at Delaware, matching Adios Butler’s time trial mark and eclipsing Bret’s 1:57 half-mile track race mark. Steady Star, a free-legged son of Steady Beau,  who was a year older than Albatross, cornered the time trial market in that era. At three he circled The Red Mile in 1:54 for Joe O’Brien and the following year, on October 1, 1971, he time trialed in a head turning 1:52. Later on, in 1976, 4-year-old Nero time trialed in 1:55.1 and the following year Warm Breeze was race timed in 1:53.1 at Golden Bear in Sacramento. Two years later Meadow Skipper’s son Falcon Almahurst became the fastest 3-year-old pacer ever with a 1:52.2 time trial at Lexington for Bill Haughton. Only Steady Star had gone faster. Then came the game changer: 3-year-old Niatross’s TT1:49.1 at The Red Mile on Oct 1, 1980. It was the sport’s first sub-1:50 mile and, while it parallels Adios Butler’s breach of the 1:50 point, it was so much more. The closest thing to it was Steady Star going 1:52, but the sleek son of Steady Beau didn’t win a single open stakes race during his career—not so for Niatross. His son Nihilator was later positioned to outdo dad in a time trial at Springfield but the weather didn’t cooperate and he was unable to lower his 1:49.3 race mark in a time trial at DuQuoin.  Matt’s Scooter went after the 1:49.1 mark at The Red Mile in 1988 and knocked four ticks off of it. His 1:48.2 time trial for Mike Lachance established a new world record. Matt’s Scooter beat Niatross’s mark but 5-year-old Cambest blew it out of the water with his 1:46.1 time trial at Springfield. The problem was that he wasn’t tested afterwards and not long after that his 1:52.1 win in the Senior Jug was disqualified due to elevated bicarbonate levels. Cambest was slated to stand at Hanover Shoe Farms but in light of the controversial final chapter of his career they passed. So stick Jimmy Takter and Bernie Noren behind a couple of fast pacers and let’s see if Ake can wheel Sebastian around The Red Mile in a time that will cause the crowd to gasp the way they did for Steady Star’s 1:52 mile and Niatross’s 1:49.1. Speed has always sold in this game; time to pump it up via the time trial. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

Tiz A Masterpiece (3, 1:49), a well-bred well performed son of Western Hanover and a sire of classic winners from his first racing crop, will join the stallion strength at Ian and Judi Slater's Goodtime Lodge, Elliminiyt, near Colac this season. His service fee is $1,540 including GST. He is a quality individual standing 15.3 hands, possesses excellent conformation and manners; in fact his constitution is faultless. Tiz A Masterpiece's oldest stock are three-year-olds and they are outstanding types of young horses, clean gaited and are early goers.They include Lady Elaine, winner of the Tasmanian Yearling Sale Classic, Weona Masterpiece (Tas. Belmont), Tiz A Smokey, a two-year-old winner at Menangle in 1:55.1, and Isundula Artist (Tas. Sweepstakes heat). Tiz A Masterpiece qualified as a late two-year-old at The Red Mile but did not race at 2. His racing career commenced in May as a three-year-old with his defining win coming at The Meadowlands in the $210,000 Oliver Wendell Holmes in which he took his record of 1:49. Tiz A Masterpiece had only 17 starts at 3, winning five times and running up a stake score of $224,209 - an excellent total in a brief career. A 2005 foal, Tiz A Masterpiece is bred on a classic cross of blood - that of Western Hanover his sire and Artsplace his maternal sire. Western Hanover, sire of Tiz A Masterpiece, is the leading equine sire of all breeds with progeny earnings exceeding $175 million. A champion pacer himself, with a record of 1:50.8, Western Hanover won 27 of his 42 starts, was voted 2YO and 3YO Pacing Colt of the Year, ran up a record tally of $2.5million and was the leading USA stakemoney sire on four occasions. Western Hanover has matched his greatness as a racehorse in the siring field, and now his sons are achieving distinctions of the same order. Trulyawork Of Art (1:54.2), the dam of Tiz A Masterpiece, was one of the many grand producing daughters of a champion sire in Artsplace (1:49.4), being out of a Canadian Broodmare of the Year in Town Sweetheart (1:57.6), by Big Towner from Savilla Lobell (1:56.4), by Albatross. Besides Tiz A Masterpiece, Trulyawork Of Art is the dam of the 2011 Little Brown Jug winner Big Bad John 1:49 ($1,000,559) - a full brother to Tiz A Masterpiece - and others in Western Artwork 1:51 ($279,521) and I'm Not Gunna Lie 1:52.2 ($254,795). The grand-dam, Town Sweetheart, has been one of the gems of the American stud book. She is the dam of 15 individual winners, three $500,000 winners, three in 1:50, 10 in 1:55 and three successful sires. Northern Luck (1:49.2), a leading sire at Gloucester Park for many years, is one of the offspring of Town Sweetheart.   By Peter Wharton

It has long been recognized that some harness racing maternal families will leave winners regardless of what sires you send them to. That is certainly backed up in the case of the branch of the hugely successful Millie C family established by the Bachelor Hanover mare Excuse Me. Choice Machine is the latest descendant of  the Excuse Me clan to prove that you don't need “blue blood” sires to succeed with this family. Choice Machine is by Road Machine and won three races on the track with a best mile rate of 2:00.5 over 2200 meters. She was from a Tuff Choice daughter of Excuse Me who had six foals for two winners with Choice Machine being her best. So Road Machine and Tuff Choice are not and never will be leading broodmare sires but that hasn't stopped the Excuse Me factor helping Choice Machine start life as a brood mare with a real bang. The first foal she produced was Choice Falcon by Falcon Seelster who has gone 1:56.6 and won $98,602 to date while her second foal is the smart Changeover two year old in Controversial 1:57.3 who made it two from two winning at Newcastle on Friday night for Shane Tritton and looks to have a big future in front of him. Controversial winning last Friday night This is a maternal family that seems to thrive regardless of what sires are involved. Smooth Performer ($184,355) who descends from a daughter of Excuse Me was by the abject sire failure, Top Performer. Smooth Performer was his only $100,000 winner but she bred on as well being the dam of Franco Sequel 1:51 ($356,011). Another daughter of Excuse Me, Precious Excuse is by the poorly performed unraced Albatross sire Acquisitor who was a flop in New Zealand but Precious Excuse's first three foals have all won in bettor than 2:00. Outstanding horses that have Excuse Me as their third dam or better include Just An Excuse 1:55.6 ($1,047,157) DB Bopper 1:50 ($605,365) and Second Wind 1:49.8 ($340,501) to name just a few. This is a maternal family that seems to succeed regardless of the strength of the sires used with it. Excuse Me was an outstanding brood mare and her daughters and their descendants have carried that on, growing the reputation of a maternal family that seems to produce winners to just about any sire that they are covered with. Harnesslink Media

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

Hall of Fame horseman, Douglas J. Ackerman, 86, died today in North Carolina after an illness of almost two years. He was one of the most respected trainers in harness racing and widely admired for his innate horsemanship, ironclad integrity, and memorable sense of humor. His fellow horsemen held him in the highest esteem, and that is the ultimate compliment in his profession. Ackerman was a fixture on the Grand Circuit for decades and trained and drove many top horses, such as Albaquel, Crowning Point, Self Confident, Noble Hustle, Denali, Happy Chatter, Noble Traveler, Amer I Can, Cape Canaveral, Leopard, and the old warrior Bramble Hall. The list could go on and on. In recent years, he turned the driving duties over to his son D.R., and together they raced Chocolatier, a winner of $1.3 million and the champion freshman trotter of 2005. Albaquel was a daughter of Albatross, a stallion Ackerman admired greatly. She earned almost a half-million on the track and was the dam of six pacers to earn more than $250,000, including the Ackerman Stable stars Ever So Rich and Just The Ticket. Albaquel is also the dam of the remarkable broodmare Hattie. Doug Ackerman had a master's touch in selecting yearlings and his advice on conformation was sought by many other trainers. He was one of those rare horsemen who could "look right through a yearling" and size up its potential. Ackerman had a well-honed sense of humor and always had a clever quip to fit just about any occasion. Surely long after his death people who knew him will be saying, "As Doug Ackerman once said......" He grew up in the small rural community of Three Oaks in southwest Michigan, and both his father and grandfather trained and raced horses in the Midwest. Young Doug grew up immersed in the world of harness racing in Michigan and Indiana and recalls seeing Greyhound and Rosalind in their memorable team-to-pole effort at the Indiana State Fair in 1939. His late brother Jack was a noted horseman in his own right while brother Charles stayed on the family farm. Their father Rollin died of a heart attack in a race at the fair in Hillsdale, Michigan when Doug was just 14 years old. His father was only 48. Doug went west to seek his fortune in harness racing in the Golden State of California as a young man and set down roots there for more than a half-century. He trained for decades over the Thoroughbred track at Del Mar, just north of San Diego, which once had a large and thriving Standardbred winter colony. He met Ada Jean Funderbunk, daughter of the prominent horseman Foy Funderbunk, in 1950 and they were married four years later. They recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. While in California, Ackerman developed close friendships with Hall of Famers Joe O'Brien and Jim Dennis. The Ackerman family lived near the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Doug loved every day he trained horses at the magnificent Del Mar facility. Ackerman's ability and work ethic soon allowed him to attract owners and achieve success on the competitive California circuit. Each summer he would ship his stock east to compete on the Grand Circuit and Midwest tracks from a base in Michigan. Ackerman was particularly close to Pres Jenuine, the major domo of the Western Harness meet at Hollywood Park for many years. When Hollywood Park conducted a seminar for new owners in 1970, Ackerman met Richard Staley, a fellow transplant from the Midwest to California. They formed an owner-trainer partnership and friendship that lasted until Staley's death in the mid-1990s. Staley entrusted Ackerman implicitly to manage the horses he owned and never questioned any of Ackerman's decisions or purchases. He admired Ackerman's honesty and horsemanship and they enjoyed phenomenal success over many years. Staley recognized that Ackerman was a natural horseman, raised in an environment filled with horse talk. "Doug was to the manner born," said the erudite Staley, borrowing a phrase from Shakespeare. When Ackerman was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in 1994, he gave credit to Staley for his friendship and patronage. "He was the greatest owner ever," said Ackerman. "Ever." Ackerman had a wide circle of friends in the sport but was particularly close to such legends as Bill Brown of Blue Chip Farm, Delvin Miller, and George Sholty. The friendship between Ackerman and trainer-driver Howard Beissinger went back many decades and they talked on the phone regularly after their retirements. The two old-school Hall of Famers shared a love of rodeo, and Ackerman took great pleasure in owning a champion bucking bull in recent years. Among the active horsemen in the sport, Ackerman had close relationships with Ray Remmen, John Campbell, Chris Boring, and many others. In truth, however, anyone who ever met Ackerman quickly came to like him. In 1989, Ackerman, Beissinger, and Delvin Miller represented the United States in a driving challenge in Moscow against Russian and German reinsmen. Ackerman won the first race in the series, thus becoming the first American to win a race at the historic Central Moscow Hippodrome since before the Russian Revolution in 1917. When Del Mar closed its track for training purposes almost a decade ago, Ackerman had to relocate his horses to Pinehurst, North Carolina. When asked the difference between training in southern California and Pinehurst, Ackerman quipped, "About 50 degrees." Ackerman was seldom seen without his beloved wife Ada Jean at his side and she was as popular and widely known in harness racing as her husband. Their daughter Connie Hochstetler is a noted racing official whose husband Homer is a veteran trainer. Their son Jay, a student at the University of Kentucky, is now working at The Horseman & Fair. Son D.R. Ackerman has been training and racing the Ackerman Stable horses during his father's illness. He and wife Angelika have sons D.R. Ackerman, Jr. and Kevin. Doug Ackerman was truly a master horseman and enjoyed the respect of everyone who knew him. by Dean Hoffman    

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the 2014 inductees. A total of 14 horses and people have been elected to the Hall of Fame.   Wando and Horatio Luro are among the three horses and four people representing Thoroughbreds. Rocknroll Hanover and Wally Hennessey are included on the list of three horses and four people representing Standardbreds. The Thoroughbred Inductees are: Male Horse Category:  Wando - bred and owned by Gustav Schickedanz, Schomberg, Ontario Female Horse Category:  Apelia - bred and owned by Steve Stavros, Knob Hill Stables, Newmarket, Ontario Veteran Horse Category:  Cool Mood – owned by David Wilmot, Kinghaven Farms, King City, Ontario           Veteran People Category:  Horatio Luro – Argentine-born trainer of Northern Dancer           Jockey Category:  Robert Landry - Toronto, Ontario           Builder Category:  William (Bill) Graham - owner of Windhaven Farms, Caledon, Ontario and Lexington, Kentucky           Builder Category:  Arthur Stollery, owner Angus Glen Farms, Unionville, Ontario The    Standardbred Inductees are: Male Horse Category:  Rocknroll Hanover – bred by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc, Hanover, Pennsylvania. Owned by Jeffrey Snyder of New York, New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ontario; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC, Cream Ridge, New Jersey.            Female Horse Category:  Dreamfair Eternal – bred by Mary and John Lamers, and owned by John Lamers,                 I ngesoll,      Ontario Veteran Horse Category:  Albatross – bred by John E Wilcutts, Aberdeen, North Carolina; Charles A Kenney, Lexington, Kentucky; Elizabeth B Peters, Wilmington Delaware; and Mark Lydon, Abington, Massachusetts.  Owned by Hanover Shoe Farms Inc. Hanover, Pennsylvania; George Segal, Versailles; Castleton Farm, Lexington, Kentucky; Hal S Jones, Montgomery, New York           Trainer/Driver Category: Wally Hennessey, Coconut Creek, Florida           Builder Category: Dr. Ted Clarke, Elmira, Ontario           Builder Category:  Robert Murphy, Vancouver, British Columbia           Communicator Category:   Bill Galvin, Mississauga, Ontario    T        The seven Thoroughbred representatives in the 2014 class include: Wando, one of only seven horses to ever win the Canadian Triple Crown was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2003 for breeder owner Gustav Schickedanz, an honoured member of the CHRHF.  Trained by Mike Keogh, with Patrick Husbands as his primary jockey, the Langfuhr son retired from racing with 11 wins, eight of them in stakes, in 23 starts and earnings of $2.5 million.  He began his career as a stallion in 2006, first in Kentucky before returning to his birthplace in 2011. Wando’s progeny have earnings in excess of $5.2 million and include Grade 1 winner Turallure.   Apelia, a very fast filly owned and bred by Steve Stavro's Knob Hill Stable, was named Canada's Sovereign Award champion sprinter in 1993.  Conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Phil England, she won half of her 24 career starts and was a stakes winner at the highest level for three consecutive years.   A winner in New York, Kentucky, New Jersey, as well as Ontario, Apelia was ridden by Hall of Fame jockeys Larry Attard and Don Seymour in all her races except one.  Apelia is the dam of champion mare Saoirse. Cool Mood, herself a daughter of Northern Dancer, won the 1969 Canadian Oaks for Hall of Fame Builder D.G. Willmot, and went on to become one of Canada's most influential broodmares. In fact, she produced two fillies who in turn, would both produce Canadian Triple Crown winners. Her daughter Shy Spirit was the dam of Izvestia, and daughter Passing Mood was the dam of With Approval. The latter is an equine member of the Hall of Fame along with his half-brother, Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold. Argentine-born trainer Horatio Luro, nicknamed “El Gran Senor” was hired as a trainer by E.P. Taylor and was best known in Canada for training Northern Dancer in 1964, 50 years ago.  During his career, Luro trained 43 Stakes winners including three Queen’s Plate winners. Named Canada’s outstanding jockey in 1993 and 1994, Robert Landry’s stats over a 29 year riding career include 17,656 mounts with purse earnings of $69.7 million and over 2,000 wins.  Of note was his 1999 Atto Mile win on Quiet Resolve, as well as the 2004 Queen’s Plate aboard Niigon.  He rode five consecutive Canadian Champion two-year-old fillies from 1996-2000.   The 2003 Avelino Gomez Memorial Award winner for lifetime achievement as a jockey, Landry has also made significant contributions to the promotion of racing, including participating as a board member for LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society.  W. (Bill) D. Graham has been an integral participant in the horse racing industry for almost half a century as an outstanding breeder, owner and racing executive.  He is the owner of Windhaven Farms which operates in both Caledon, ON and Lexington, KY, and has bred many Sovereign Award-winning horses throughout his career including the 2012 Canadian Horse of the Year Uncaptured.  Graham also bred U.S. Grade I winner Joyful Victory who was victorious in the 2013 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita.  Arthur W. Stollery was the owner and breeder of two of Canada’s most celebrated racing stars, both CHRHF inductees:   Kennedy Road, named after the location of his Unionville based Angus Glen Farms, dominated Canadian racing for three years.  He was named Champion 2-year-old in 1970 and again Champion as a 3 year-old the following year; 1971. This was followed by more accolades including Canadian Horse of the Year in 1973.  Kennedy Road was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000 and has a stakes race, which is contested annually at Woodbine, named after him.  Laurie's Dancer, named after Stollery’s daughter, was an outstanding racing daughter of Northern Dancer. She captured the Canadian Oaks in 1971 on her way to being named Canada's Horse of the Year. During that season, she was also victorious in the very prestigious Alabama Stakes at Saratoga.  Laurie's Dancer was enshrined in to the Hall of Fame in 2006.            Standardbred inductees include: Rocknroll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his racing career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York, New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, Ontario; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC, Cream Ridge, New Jersey.   Career highlights included victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three year olds, the Metro Pace for two-year-old pacers and the North America Cup for three-year-olds  He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013.  To date the son of Western Ideal, out of Hall of Fame mare Rich N Elegant,  has sired winners of $60.7 million including eight million-dollar-plus winners.  Dreamfair Eternal retired from racing in 2012 after a seven year career that included 56 victories, and every major stake event on the older pacing mare schedule, earnings of over $2.5 million and Horse of the Year honours in Canada in 2010.  During that year she racked up wins in the final of the Masters Series, an elimination of the Roses are Red Stakes, elimination and final of the Milton Stakes, the elimination and final of the Forest City Pace and the Breeders Crown.  The daughter of Camluck was bred by John and Mary Lamers and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario, while Patrick Fletcher trained her for most of her career.    Wally Hennessey, born in Prince Edward Island and now a resident of Coconut Grove, Florida, has more than 8,500 victories to his credit and has banked earnings in excess of $57 million.  During the early stages of his career, Hennessey re-wrote the record books setting new standards in both wins and earnings.  In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown.   Throughout his career, Hennessey has been remarkably consistent, winning at least 200 races in each of the last 25 years, and driving horses to earnings in excess of $1 million for 24 straight years.  In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry.  Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth.  Prior to Grand River’s opening, Clarke led numerous initiatives to put Elmira Raceway on the path to stability, including the inauguration of Industry Day, the Battle of Waterloo and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network.  He was honoured for his innovative thinking and leadership with the Lloyd Chisholm Achievement Award in 1999 from the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association. The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, was one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, and was known by his popular Red Star moniker.  First introduced to racing at Cloverdale Raceway in 1980, he rapidly became one of Canada’s most prolific owners.   He averaged 935 starts as an owner each year between 2005 and 2009.  In 2007, at the age of 74, Murphy owned more Standardbreds than anyone else in Canada.  Mr. Murphy had a great impact on harness racing in BC with both his breeding and training centres, but that impact extended across the continent as his horses raced all over North America. A champion on the track and in the breeding shed, Albatross was a major influence on the Standardbred breed.  He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million.  Two of his major stakes wins in Canada included the Prix d’Ete and Canadian Pacing Derby.  He retired as both the fastest and richest horse in the history of the breed.  As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million, including Niatross who is considered by many to be the greatest pacer of the 20th Century, and Fan Hanover who is the only filly to ever win the Little Brown Jug. William (Bill) Galvin, a native of Arnprior, Ontario, and now a resident of Mississauga, Ontario,  made a tremendous impact on horse racing in the country as a Canadian horse racing historian, poet, author, publisher, educator, horseman, humanitarian, publicist and former Thoroughbred racing official.  Galvin’s promotions transcended racing.  He led a charge to bring ice horse racing to the Rideau Canal and expose the sport to thousands of potential fans.  He started the Race for MS fundraiser to gain exposure for the sport, and ran numerous other high profile campaigns dedicated to the well-being of horse racing during his career.   He was also the executive editor of TROT Magazine and a member of the Advisory board for the School of Equine Studies at Toronto’s Humber College of Applied Arts.            The Induction Ceremony will be hosted at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Wednesday, August 6, 2014             From the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2014 ballot. A total of 36 horses and people, including 18 Standardbred racing candidates and 18 Thoroughbred racing candidates have been selected to appear on this year’s ballot. A 20-person Election Committee for each breed will declare the winners in their respective categories.  Results will be announced Tuesday, April 8.   On the Standardbred ballots representing this year’s six voting categories are as follows: Male horse category, Blissfull Hall, J M Vangogh and Rocknroll Hanover In 1999, Blissfull Hall captured harness racing’s elusive Pacing Triple Crown.  Owned by Ecuries Daniel Plouffe, Inc. of Bromont, QC, this champion was trained by Ben Wallace with Ron Pierce as regular driver.   A 31 race career over two seasons amassed a record of 19-4-6, a mark of 1:49.2 and earnings of $1.4 million before embarking on a successful career as a stallion. J M Vangogh, purchased as a yearling for $4,500 by Paul Chambers of Harrington, Delaware, made a remarkable recovery from an accident in the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final as a two year old to earn $2.28 million in 206 starts over 8 seasons and the nickname “The Comeback Kid”.  Rocknroll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his race career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, ON; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC.  Career highlights include victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three year olds, the Metro Pace and the North America Cup.  He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013. Female horse category: B Cor Tamara, Dreamfair Eternal and J Cs Nathalie Before embarking on her second career as a broodmare, B Cor Tamara enjoyed a productive racing career, earning more than $185,000.  Bred and owned by Peter Core of Dresden, ON, the daughter of Dream Of Glory was the dam of 19 foals, including star trotter B Cor Pete, and granddam of two champion juveniles, Banker Hall and Broadway Hall.  Her offspring have earned in excess of $2.7 million. Dreamfair Eternal retired from racing in 2012 after a career spanning seven years, 56 victories, including every stake event on the older pacing mare schedule, earning over $2.5 million and being named Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010.  The daughter of Camluck was bred, raised and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON with Patrick Fletcher receiving training credit. As a broodmare, J Cs Nathalie has produced two millionaires for owner John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON -- pacing colt Dreamfair Vogel, and pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal.  Dreamfair Vogel was a winner of 19 races and over $1.1 million with a mark of 1:49.3.  Dreamfair Eternal, a winner of 56 races and over $2.5 million in purse earnings was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010. The trainer-driver category: Yves Filion, William Gale, and Wally Hennessey. Yves Filion, 67 of Saint-Andre-D’argent, Quebec was one of his province’s premier trainer-drivers for close to 30 years driving in almost 18,000 races with 4,362 wins and $26.5 million in earnings.   Training credits include 248 winners and horses earning in excess of $3.4 million.   Pacing colts Runnymede Lobell and Goliath Bayama each became millionaires with Filion responsible for both training and driving. William Gale, 65 of Woodstock, Ontario, was one of Canada’s leading drivers for a period that spanned the 70s, 80s and 90s. Between 1982 and 1997, Gale recorded 16 consecutive $1 million+ seasons.  During his career, he won 6,375 races, started 32,134 times and earned $42.1 million. Wally Hennessey, 56, of Prince Edward Island, has more than 8,200 victories to his name and has banked earnings in excess of $55 million.  In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown.  In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. Candidates in the builders’ category: Dr. Ted Clarke, John B. Ferguson and Robert Murphy. Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry.  Highly regarded for his thoughtful insights, Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth.  Before Grand River, Clarke led numerous initiatives to put Elmira Raceway on the path to stability, including the inauguration of Industry Day, the Battle of Waterloo and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network. John B. Ferguson may be best known for his time in the National Hockey League, but his passion for Canadian horse racing was drawn from early years spent with his father and grandfather at old Hastings Park in Vancouver, BC.  In addition to his role as a very active owner and breeder, Ferguson also took a role in track management.  He was hired by Blue Bonnets in Montreal and after leaving hockey became the President of Windsor Raceway.  He was also one of driving forces behind the formation of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, BC, one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, was known by his popular Red Star moniker.  First introduced to racing at Cloverdale Raceway in 1980, he rapidly became one of Canada’s most prolific owners.   He averaged 935 starts as an owner each year between 2005 and 2009.  In 2007, at the age of 74, Murphy owned more Standardbreds than anyone else in Canada. Outstanding Standardbreds: Albatross, Artsplace, and Happy Lady Albatross was voted US Harness Horse of the Year in 1971 and 1972.  He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million.  As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million. Artsplace was the1992 O’Brien Award and Dan Patch Award winner as Horse of the Year following an undefeated four-year-old season.  He was a two-year-old world record holder winning the Breeders Crown in a time of 1:51.1 at Pompano Park in Florida, soundly defeating champion Die Laughing.  He won 37 races and bankrolled over $3 million during his racing career which saw him race many times in Canada before becoming a world class sire. Happy Lady, a daughter of Most Happy Fella, raced in 1977 and 1978 for owners Myra Masterson of St. Catharines, ON and Linda Lockey of Ridgeville.  Though her race career was brief, she won $528,825 in purse earnings and attained a mark of 1:55.2.  Trained and driven by the late Jim Rankin, she was almost flawless in her juvenile campaign, winning 15 of 16 races.  As a sophomore she won 19 of 24 starts. Communicators category selections: Harry Eisen, Bill Galvin and Frank Salive. The late Harry Eisen spent a lifetime loving and covering horse racing in Ontario.  As a lifelong journalist, he spent many years exposing the sport to the public, including the majority of his 40 years at the London Free Press.  Eisen who once said he saw his first harness race when he was “three or four years old”, sold tip sheets at Dufferin Park Racetrack as a boy.  He was inducted into Western Fair’s Wall of Fame in 1980. As a publicist, promoter and author, Bill Galvin, a native of Arnprior, ON made a tremendous impact on horse racing in Canada. Galvin’s promotions transcended racing.  He led a charge to bring ice horse racing to the Rideau Canal and expose the sport to thousands of potential fans.  He started the Race for MS fundraiser to gain exposure for the sport, and ran numerous other high profile campaigns dedicated to the health of horse racing during his career. Leamington, ON native Frank Salive was known for over 35 years as “The Voice” of Canadian harness racing.  During his career it is estimated he called over 100,000 races, becoming a fan and industry favourite for his knowledgeable and informative calls and silky voice.  Frank’s career as a track announcer began at Sudbury Downs in the late 70’s and continued at tracks throughout Ontario,  includin  fourteen years at Ontario Jockey Club/Woodbine Entertainment Group harness tracks and concluding at Pompano Park, Florida.  Salive was also a regular writer for the Canadian Sportsman for several years. From the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame

In our prominent harness racing stallion series we have reviewed American Ideal,  Art Major, Bettors Delight, Christian Cullen, Courage Under Fire, Mach Three, Western Terror and the trotting stallion Sundon. With the North American breeding season well underway we will continue on with some of the stallions making an impact on the breeding scene. Today we have produced an in depth review for the outstanding racehorse and stallion Somebeachsomewhere. All stats shown are as 17th March 2014. Enjoy the read. BREEDING By the champion son of Matts Scooter in Mach Three who has been in the elite handful of sires worldwide for several years. His dam is the Beach Towel mare Where’s The Beach who was unraced. She has produced ten foals and apart from Somebeachsomewhere has left six winners with Stars On The Water $141,294 (1:52f), Sun N Sand $124,050 (1:52.3s) and last season’s smart two year old in Some Major Beach $138,326 (1:53.1f) being the best of them. The grand dam is the Cam Fella mare in Where’s Sarah $19,576 (1:57f) who left seven foals for seven winners. These include Night Mystery $309,433 (1:50.4)  Ifyoucouldcwhati C $348,560 (1:50.2s) and Canvas Master $137,527 (1:53.1z).  An unraced daughter by Stand Forever in Ohio Annie has left the smart I Found My Beach $524,079 (1:50.2f). The third dam is the very good Steady Star mare The Booger Lady $34,629 (T 1:57). She has left 11 winners including the very good Cam Terrific $592,594 (1:49.3) now sire of 169 winners of just on $9 million in stakes as well as Flight Of Fire who only won $262,111 but has left a great legacy as a sire in Quebec, Canada. Flight Of Fire has sired over 560 winners with over $27 million in earnings to date. Somebeachsomewhere made $40,000 at auction which about sums up his pedigree, very handy but not exceptional. RACE RECORD  Somebeachsomewhere faced the starter six times (all in Canada) at two for six wins amassing $812,592 in stakes. His best win was in the $1 million Metro Pace taking a world record for a two-year-old at that time of 1:49.3s. This was no ordinary group. This field was possibly one of the best group of two-year-olds ever and included Santanna Blue Chip ($1,641,643), Shadow Play ($1,599,822), Dali ($1,436,363), Deuce Seelster ($1,149,825), and Moon Beam ($785,986). This Metro Pace field have now combined earnings of over $11 million in stakes between them. Somebeachsomewhere's other notable wins as a two-year-old was in the $300,000 Battle Of Waterloo, the $145,300 Nasagaweya stakes and the $115,884 Champlain Stakes. His great unbeaten season at two only really served as an entree for what was an unbelievable three year old season. Facing the starter 15 times, Somebeachsomewhere won on 14 occasions with a sensational second in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace at his only other start. Many astute judges in North America maintain his second in the Meadowlands Pace as the best performance of his stellar career. This writer was on track for this outstanding and unbelievable race that is now regarded as "the race of the decade." In what is perhaps the greatest race in Meadowlands history, Art Official edges Somebeachsomewhere in a world record mile. To think that a horse could be attacking the leader three wide at the half in a world record 51.3 and lead at the three-quarters in 1:19.1 and still fight to the wire against a courageous and great Art Official in that world record 1:47 mile was something unreal and unbelievable to see but true. You have to see it to believe it! To be only beaten a neck! Somebeachsomewhere's biggest stake win was in the $1.5 million Pepsi North American Cup in 1:49. He won such time honoured classics as the $650,000 Messenger Stakes, the $500,000 Breeders Crown in 1:48.3 and the $493,000 final of the Confederation Cup (half mile track) in another world record 1:49.2. He ended his racing career with a record of 21 starts for 20 wins and 1 second for $3,328,755 in stakes. His lifetime marks are p2, 1:49.3s; p3, 1:46.4m, 1:49.2h.       He took his lifetime mark of 1:46.4 in the $134,000 Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington to become the fastest three-year-old in history. In his fifteen starts at three he went under 1:50 on ten occasions. The season wasn't without its hiccups though with Somebeachsomewhere being scratched late twice due to lameness issues. But like the truly great horses do he overcame adversity to stake his claim as one of the greatest, possibly the greatest three year old harness racing has ever seen. NORTH AMERICAN STUD CAREER As you would expect for a stallion with such a great race record, Somebeachsomewhere has served large but not huge books since retiring to stud at Hanover Shoe Farm. His first crop numbered 124 foals of which 96 went through the sales ring as yearlings averaging a hefty $62,661. And they repaid the faith of those buyers by dominating North American two year old racing in 2012. Somebeachsomewhere topped the two year olds sires list in 2012 and that crop repeated the dose as three year olds in 2013 By the end of 2013 that first crop of Somebeachsomewhere had rewritten the harness racing record books. The numbers are truly amazing. Of his 124 foals, 111 have faced the starter with 96 being race winners. Twenty eight have won $100,000 while nine have gone under 1:50, and a huge 57 have gone under 1:53. Stakes won to date are a staggering $13,681,117 with an average per starter of $123,253 which is going to reach even greater record levels as most continue racing as older horses. The best performer from this crop to date is the brilliant colt, Captaintreacherous p3, 1:47.1m who in 26 starts at two and three, won 21 and was placed four times for $2 976,810 in stakes to have a record not too much inferior to his sire. Others to excel include Sunshine Beach 1:47.4f ($950,108), Somewhereovrerainbow 1:49.1m ($892,790) and Apprentice Hanover 1:49.4 ($597,474).   Somebeachsomewhere won the three-year-old sire’s premiership in 2013 by over $2,800.000 The second crop of Somebeachsomewhere were also well received by the buyers at the yearling sales with 83 being sold averaging an enormous $83,681 They carried on from the first crop by topping the two year old sires list in 2013. Of the 114 two year olds sired by Somebeachsomewhere that season, 97 raced with 58 being winners. Of the four two year olds that went under 1:50 in 2013 throughout North America Somebeachsomewhere sired three of them. He had 21 under 1:53 and a staggering 42 under 1:55 His best performer was the filly Gallie Bythe Beach 1:50.3f ($344,076) while another filly Beach Body 1:53.1f  ($290,769) was his second best performer. Others showing up are Limelight Beach 1:49.4 ($210,192), Beach Gal 1:50.3f ($142,361), Somestarsomewhere 1:49.2m and So Surreal 1:49.4m are all looking well above average. Somebeachsomewhere two-year-olds stakes total was nearly $500,000 ahead of his competition on the sires list in 2013. AUSTRALIAN SIRES RECORD Only available via frozen semen initially and served small books as a result. His oldest crop is three in the 2013/2014 season and numbers just 19 horses. Six of them have won to date with the best of them being the two-year-old Breeders Crown winner from 2013 in Whereibylong 1:56.8 ($224,228). A Breeder's Crown winner from your first crop of just 19 foals is a great achievement. The knockers are already out in Australia as with such great expectations for any horse by Somebeachsomewhere the breeders expect all his foals to be champions! Even though he only has 19 horses in that crop one could say that the results so far have been a bit short of what Somebeachsomewhere has achieved in North America which has raised the issue of the worth of "Frozen Semen" once again. His second crop in Australia numbers 49 and that should enable Somebeachsomewhere to be a major player in two-year-old racing in the 2013/2014 season. His third crop in Australia will only total 23 foals.  His fourth crop is his first fresh semen crop with the horse standing in Australia at Empire Stallions. He bred 166 mares in Australia for 106 registered foals to date with 10 returns still to be filed, and 75 in New Zealand via fresh semen as well. That makes a total of 241 mares bred in his fourth season at stud down under. These resultant foals will give us all a much better assessment of just how great a stallion Somebeachsomewhere will be in Australia and New Zealand. NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD  Has a minute crop of three-year-olds which numbers just four. Two of those have won including the very smart Someardensomewhere 1:58.2 ($28,472) who has been racing at the elite three year old level in New Zealand. Only has eight two year olds this season for two qualifiers to date so impossible to draw any conclusions with such small numbers. Did serve 75 mares in his fourth season via fresh semen so we may have to wait for that crop to race to reach any valid conclusions about his record in New Zealand. POSITIVES The numbers say it all. This is that once in a generation stallion who has raised the bar on performance in harness racing. From every angle his numbers are better than what was thought to be achievable. He has not just made an incremental step forward for standardbreds but a giant leap. In my view without doubt the most influential sire since Albatross and his rewriting of the record books has only just started. NEGATIVES Probably the only one for most breeders is the service fee but when you are book full and closed three months before the breeding season at a fee of $30,000 then that is obviously not too expensive. It seems with his success in the Northern Hemisphere and his value having sky rocketed, the owners do not want him to shuttle again so he will more than likely not shuttle to the Southern Hemisphere and will only be available via frozen semen, which does work for some stallions and not for others. Results from his first crop in Australia suggests Somebeachsomewhere may fall into the second category.  OVERVIEW Somebeachsomewhere is that once in a generation sire who lifts the whole standardbred breed to the next level. Book full and closed at $30,000 in North America says it all. The best sire in North America by a large margin but yet to have any impact in Australia due in part to small numbers. Does have 49 two year olds in Australia in 2013/2014 so that should be ample for Somebeachsomewhere to produce the outstanding juveniles he is renowned for in North America. If he doesn't then the focus on frozen semen will only grow. OVERALL RATING:    10 out 10 JC The Story of Somebeachsomewhere Part 1 The Story of Somebeachsomewhere Part 2 The story of Somebeachsomewhere Part 3 News maker of the year - Somebeachsomewhere Somebeachsomewhere - The Bluegrass Stakes - World Record 1:46.4 Somebeachsomewhere - Confederation Cup Somebeachsomewhere winning The Breeders Crown Somebeachsomewhere - North American Cup Final Somebeachsomewhere - 2007 Metro Pace   Harnesslink has had such positive feedback on our "forgotten sires series" that we are running a series of reviews on our more prominent harness racing sires. As they say in racing you can criticize some ones car, house or wife but never their horse, and that still rings true. As a disclaimer to our next chapter of analysis we look to provide educated opinion based on years of industry knowledge and the truest form of critique backed by statistical data. The above PREVIEWS are set to strip back any sugar coated publicity often associated with Stallion promotion and give you the cold hard facts as JC sees them.  (All statistical data was provided by TrackIt for North American stats and the official organizations of New Zealand and Australia)  A Sire review - American Ideal A Sire review - Art Major A Stallion review - Bettors Delight A Stallion review - Christian Cullen A Stallion review - Courage Under Fire A Stallion review - Mach Three A Stallion review - Sundon A Stallion review - Western Terror And here is "The forgotten sire’s series" This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink have already completed with a view to sheading some light on some of  the "forgotten” sires in Australasia. Elsu - Redemption awaits McArdle - The quiet achiever Santanna Blue Chip - On the up and up! Major In Art - Big and fast Mr Feelgood - Dual hemisphere champion Pay Me Christian - Blistering speed Monkey Bones - All class Tinted Cloud - Still going strong Real Desire - The real deal Washington VC - Continuing excellence Western Ideal - A superstar sire Bacardy Lindy - Blue blood Monarchy - Out of Sundons shadow Artiscape - Frozen semen blues? Dream Vacation - Frozen semen superstar Badlands Hanover - Great value Lis Mara - The quiet achiever Brylin Boyz - Potential fulfilled

The flagships of the Division are the Australasian Classic and New Zealand Premier Yearling Sales held in Auckland Monday 17th February and Christchurch Tuesday and Wednesday 18th and 19th of February. Billed as the “Sale of the Stars” their graduates include seven modern day New Zealand Cup winners, thirty two Harness Jewels winners and thirty one Australasian Breeders Crown winners. Unity under the PGG Wrightson organisation has been a major benefit to the sales. Especially in producing a top quality catalogue, funding a very successful inward buyer scheme and the $1 million Sales Race Series now in its 24th year. Harnesslink is running a short series on some of the yearlings on offer. Lot 6 Premier sale - NERVE OF STEEL SIRE - ART OFFICIAL- His first crop raced in North America last year and made a very encouraging start in the Pennsylvania Sires stakes program against the likes of Somebeachsomewhere and the leading first season sire in Well Said. His son Let's Drink On It 1:51.2 created a big impression as did Xtra Desire 1:52.8. His first crop in Australasia are two year olds in the 2013/2014 season and several have shown up at the early workouts and trials with Taj Bromac the early standout. DAM  - OUR FIRST LADY - She was a $50,000 yearling sale purchase who showed enormous promise before being sidelined with wind issues. Her first foal at stud was the Presidential Ball filly in Presidential Rose who qualified at two and had two starts at three for a win and a second before being sold to Australia for a reported $50,000. Her second foal by Mach Three is Wings Of Hope who also qualified at two but suffered a setback which has meant an enforced break. She is due back into work in three months and is held in good regard by trainer Steven Reid. The third foal and first colt is Nerve Of Steel. Our First Lady is a full sister to Line Of Fire (1:50.3. $240,077) and a half sister to Heres Rommel (1:55.3). Her dam is the very smart race mare Borowan who won 15 races in NSW and Victoria on her way to being voted four year old mare of the year in NSW. The third dam is the race winning mare in Smooth Rowan who left seven winners and is a half sister to Summertime Girl who left the champion pacer, The Falcon Strike ($1.303,000) . OVERVIEW - This great looking horse is the first colt of his dam who had blinding speed but whose wind issues blighted her race career. Her first two filly foals have both qualified at two and the colt is the best type by far that the mare has produced to date. Coupled with his great maternal family, this colt has a lot to recommend him to potential buyers. Lot 32 Premier sale - OFFICIAL EXCUSE SIRE - ART OFFICIAL - The biggest stake earning son of super sire Art Major had his first crop race in North America as two year olds in 2013 . They competed  in the very strong Pennsylvania Sire Stakes program against the great Somebeachsomewhere and the leading first season sire in Well Said. One of his daughters in Sister Stroll (1:54.1. $102,619) created a big impression in her debut season. His first crop in Australasia are two year olds in the 2013/2014 season and while it is very early both "Coaster " Howe and Gavin Smith have had promising types at recent trials in Canterbury. DAM - PRECIOUS EXCUSE--  she is an unraced Acquisitor (Albatross / Ambiguity) daughter of the broodmare gem Excuse me. This filly is the fifth foal of her dam who is developing a great record at stud. Her first was the smart colt in Precious Lord (p3,1:59.5) and he was quickly followed by the filly I Cee U (1:58) and her full sister Crazy Mach (1:58.6). The fourth foal was Machs Excuse who looked to be the best of them all, being un-beaten at trials and workouts before suffering a career ending pedal bone injury. She is now at stud. The grand-dam Excuse Me is one of the best broodmares of the last 30 years. Not only did she leave eight winners including the very smart Mighty Hurricane (15 wins) and No Excuse (19 wins) but her daughters and grand-daughters have produced a string of elite racehorses headed by the dual New Zealand Cup winner in Just An Excuse ($944,068), DB Bopper (1:50. $690,000), Second Wind (1;49.8. $341,000),  Franco Sequel (1:51. $356,121) and Smooth Performer ($184,355). OVERVIEW - A lovely long barreled filly from a mare who has yet to miss at stud. With the incredible number of elite horses close up in her pedigree she would appear a great prospect on both the track and at stud. Her residual value when she goes to stud will be significant. JC  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Dont Say Goodby said 'hello' to the winner's circle once again after registering a three-quarters of a length victory over Stonebridge Rocket in the $10,500 Open Pace at a blustery Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (Jan. 25) in 1:59.1 over the good track.   The victory was the fourth straight in Open competition in Western New York for Dont Say Goodby ($3.30) since arriving from Indiana in late November.   The start was delayed by nearly 45 minutes after a power failure occurred during the stretch run of the seventh race. The wait didn't have any affect on Dont Say Goodby (Peter Wrenn) as he had plenty of energy in the passing lane to run down Stonebridge Rocket (Shawn McDonough).   Sand Summerfield (Dan Rawlings), who went on a brief break around the opening turn, regrouped and had the lead at one point, but had to settle for third place.   The win was the second in as many starts in 2014 for the 6-year-old Dont Say Goodby (Dontgetinmyway-Good By Albatross). It was his 15th career win and jacked his career earnings to $172,077.   Saturday night's card completed a stellar week in the handle department at Buffalo Raceway. The track took in well over $900,000 during the four-day race week.   Chief Operating Officer Jim Mango said, "We haven't seen a handle like this week in Western New York in over 10 years. There were three reasons for the big handles I believe. There were some cancellations during the week at other tracks, we have some good drivers here competing and we've had some well-balanced and wide open fields which leads to increased handles."   Buffalo Raceway will continue racing on Wednesday night with a 12-race program set to get underway at 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, promotions, race replays and statistics, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

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                    

BATAVIA, N.Y. --- It looked like things weren't going to go well for Dont Say Goodby at the top of the stretch, but by the time he reached the wire, he was saying "hello there" in posting a surprising $29.00 victory.   Dont Say Goodby (Shawn McDonough) rallied from fifth place in the passing lane and stunned the pace-setting OK Braveheart by three-quarters of a length in the $8,500 Open Pace at Batavia Downs Saturday night (Nov. 30).   Ok Braveheart (Kevin Cummings) as expected set the fractions with times of 29.1, 57.3, 1:25.4. It appeared that OK Braveheart was ready for a battle with a stubborn Unicorn Hanover down the stretch for the victory. But sitting fifth and 4-1/4 lengths off the lead, Dont Say Goodby found plenty of room in the passing lane and roared past the front runners to notch the upset win in 1:55.3.   OK Braveheart finished second while Unicorn Hanover (Ron Beback Jr.) finished in third.   It was the sixth win of the season for Dont Say Goodby (Dontgetinmyway-Good By Albatross) who is owned by Derek Menchhofer and trained by Charles Stewart. The 5-year-old gelding has now earned $62,577 in 2013 and $161,137 lifetime.   Reinsman Shawn McDonough and Ray Fisher Jr. had triples on the night while Ron Beback Jr. scored a double.   The final week of racing for 2013 starts on Wednesday night with a 12-race card beginning at 6:30 p.m. The feature is the seventh race with the $8,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace to take center stage.   For more information including upcoming promotions, latest news, statistics and race replays, go to http://bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing.   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Batavia Downs    

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