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Always B Miki made the first start of his 2015 campaign a winning one as he cruised to a dominant victory in the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes elimination for aged pacing stallion and geldings at the harness racing meeting at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, October 3. With trainer Jimmy Takter in the bike, Always B Miki stopped the timer in 1:49 under wraps, finishing five lengths in front of his next closest competitor over a track rated good on a cold, windy night in Indiana. Leaving from the outside post nine, Takter took no chances and sent Always B Miki away from the gate firing. Always B Miki quickly crossed over and grabbed the early lead through the opening quarter in :26.1 while the rest of the field sorted out early positions. Always B Miki dictated fractions of :54.2 and 1:22.2 before he began to put his talent on display. As the field turned for home, Takter asked his mount for more and Always B Miki found another gear and began to pace away from the rest of the field. Always At My Place and Ricky Macomber Jr., the second betting choice, staged a big rally late in the lane but had too much ground to make up at the end of the mile and had to settle for second place honors. Always The Sun and Travis Seekman rounded out the trifecta. As the heavy betting favorite, Always B Miki returned $3.20 at the betting window. "Scary good," Jimmy Takter said with a smile in the winner's circle. "No, really, he was scary good tonight. He raced as good as I could have hoped for." It was the first victory of the season for the son of Always A Virgin-Artstopper who had his three-year-old season cut short due to an injury. Owned by Bluewood Stable, Roll The Dice Stable, and Christina Takter, Always B Miki has amassed $936,866 lifetime. With the win, Always B Miki secured a spot in the $50,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for the aged pacing stallions and geldings slated for Saturday, October 10 at Hoosier Park. Mykindachip and Peter Wrenn were victorious in the other elimination for aged pacing stallion and geldings, scoring in 1:51.3. Trained by Jim Dailey, Mykindachip scored the 10th win of the season and sent his seasonal earnings to $129,165 for owner Carl Atley. Color's A Virgin delivered as the heavy betting favorite in the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes elimination for aged pacing mares. Overcoming a tough, first-over trip, the Brian Brown trainee was home a winner by three lengths, scoring in 1:52.1. Owned by the Emerald Highlands Farm, Color's A Virgin scored the sixth win from 16 seasonal outings and pushed her bankroll over the $100,000 mark for 2015 with the win. Live racing returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, October 6 with a new, fall post time of 5:45 p.m. Following a Tuesday through Saturday schedule, the 2015 harness racing season will be conducted through November 14. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit Emily Gaskin

It was no secret that Always B Miki would be qualifying today (Friday, September 25) at the Red Mile in Lexington, Kentucky. Now everyone will know exactly what the Always A Virgin horse did over the famed clay course. Here’s a three-word hint: world record speed. A compact seven-dash card comprised the qualifying session. When it comes to Always B Miki’s mile, if you blinked you may have missed it. Trainer Jimmy Takter was in the race bike for Always B Miki's mile. The duo started in Post 5 and made every pole a winning one. The margin of victory was 10 and a half lengths. The win time was a scintillating 1:48.2. To read the full article click on this link    

The $60,000 Southern Cross Finals for harness racing three year olds were held at Port Pirie last night and both the Colts/geldings and fillies divisions fell to warm favourites. Three year old colts/geldings Final Hez The One was a dominant favourite here even though he was poorly drawn at one on the second line. The well supported Blurred Lines with Mark Billinger in the bike grabbed the early lead from barrier five from another well supported runner in Officianado who settled into the trail. Danni Hill had Hez The One off the inside not long after the start but the son of Jeremes Jet settled a fair way back in the running line. Billinger was able to get away with a couple of cheap quarters in front which forced Danni to bring Hez The One forward three wide with just over a lap to go. The speed really went on from the 800 metres with the quarter down the back in 27.2 and Blurred Lines was the first to surrender passing the 500 metres mark. Danni shot Hez The One clear and he comfortably held them off for an impressive win. Officianado just as comfortably held second with Hit Maka battling on well for third. Hez The One paced the 2050 metres in 2:35.2, a mile rate of 2:01.9 with closing sectionals of 57.6 and 30.4. It was the 14th win from just 23 starts for the Rebecca East trained colt and took his earnings over the $120,000 mark Three year old fillies final On paper this looked a bit like an Emma Stewart benefit and that is exactly how it turned out. Even though she drew one second line, Lovelist was a pronounced favourite while Starburst Girl the stablemate was the second favourite. The one filly that could have possibly upset the Emma Stewart pair in Whats Emma Got, blew any winning chance she had when she galloped early when being rushed off the gate. Mark Billinger worked Lovelist off the inside early in the race and grabbed the lead after 500 metres. Starburst Girl in the hands of Anthony Butt worked hard for the first 600 metres from her wide second line draw before finding the death seat outside Lovelist.  Mark Billinger was in no real hurry in front, before upping the tempo passing the 800 metres mark. At that point Danni Hill sent Whats Emma Got forward but she was posted three wide when the speed went on and was having trouble hanging on to the Stewart pair passing the 400 metres. Lovelist opened up a handy break turning in and although Starburst Girl kept coming she never looked a serious winning threat. Whats Emma Got showed real tenacity to keep going and hold third after such a hard run.  Lovelist paced the 2050 metres in 2:33.1, a mile rate of 2:00.2 with smart closing sectionals of 56.5 and 28. It was the 13th win from just 24 starts for the daughter of Always A Virgin and took her earnings over the $130,000 mark. It was a night to remember for Mark Billinger who drove the winners of three of the four $60,000 finals on offer. Harnesslink Media  

Three year old harness racing gelding Rich Virgin is no stranger to feature races. The son of Always a Virgin won the 2014 Leeton Breeders Plate when trained by part owner Ben Matthews and connections are hoping he can win this Saturday night’s Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge Blue final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The five time winner was transferred to Pheasants Nest trainer Peter Rixon after the Bathurst Gold Chalice consolation with a Breeders Challenge campaign in mind. “Peter (Rixon) is one of the better trainers around Sydney and it was always going to be difficult for me to travel up from Leeton to Sydney for the Breeders Challenge series so the other owners and I decided to send the horse to him on a full time basis,” Ben Matthews said. “I work full time for Water NSW so it gets hard for me to get away and unfortunately I don’t think any of Rich Virgin’s owners will be able to get to Menangle this Saturday night either so after having all of us there on Breeders Challenge final day he will go around without a support team this weekend.” Matthews continues to enjoy training horses on a part time basis and is working with two horses that were purchased earlier this year. “We bought two more out of the sales, they’re into their second preparation and they run along alright, one of them is owned in the same interest as Rich Virgin.” “I had a few mates and we bought a claimer called Streetem, he was trained by my brother Todd and raced around in Victoria but he got claimed so we went to the Bathurst sales and purchased Rich Virgin. “I broke him in and it didn’t take him long to put it altogether, he always had ability so that’s why I targeted the Breeders Plate last year.” It hasn’t been all smooth sailing for Matthews after he was affected by the 2012 fire that ripped through the stables at the Leeton showground killing five horses. “I was very fortunate that I didn’t lose any horses in the fire unlike a couple of the other trainers but I did lose some gear and it knocked me around a bit. “This horse probably came along at the right time after that and it has been a good ride with him.” The name Rich Virgin was selected for the gelding after prospective names were put into a hat. “His breeding is Always a Virgin out of Lignum Twister but we each got to put a few suggestions in a hat and then we drew out six names and they were the ones we put down on his papers when we registered him.” With $30,000 to the winner on Saturday night, the gelding could be well named. “We only paid $6,700 for him and he has already won more than $50,000 so if he does win on Saturday night it would be a big celebration.” Harness Racing New South Wales

It has been a long harness racing season for the Bernie Hewitt trained Allnight Story. The two-year old will line up for his tenth start in Saturday night's Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge Blue 2yo colts and geldings final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Hewitt's stable has runners in the four Gr. 2 Blue finals but believes the son of Always a Virgin is his best chance of success. "Allnight Story is a pretty nice horse, he is a big overgrown horse that looks more like a five-year old and has done a really good job as a result," Hewitt said. "Because of his size he is going to grow into his frame and therefore I think he will be a better three and four year old down the track but he qualified for the Bathurst Gold Crown and didn't have much luck so maybe he can pick-up a big race on Saturday night." Allnight Story is raced by Garry and Margaret Meredith and the couple have only had horses with Hewitt for a short time. "Garry was involved with the horses years ago but had been out of the sport for a few years before arriving at the Bathurst Gold Crown yearling sale in 2013. "Garry and Margaret bought two yearlings and asked vendor Denis Howe who he would recommend giving the horses to and my name came up so Garry approached me and that's how it started." Those two yearlings would become Allnight Kiss and Allnight Raid. Both won Bathurst Sale Graduate races and went on to qualify for the 2014 Gold Tiara and Gold Crown respectively. Off the back of that success Meredith purchased the Always a Virgin - Ocean Spur yearling at the 2014 Bathurst sale and he would later be named Allnight Story. Stablemates Wabi Sabi, Pass The Major, Not My Sister and Brighteyed will also compete in the NSW Breeders Challenge Blue finals. "I've only had Wabi Sabi for half a dozen runs, he is going pretty good but is a slow maturing type and I think he'll be a better four- year old. "Cath (wife) and I bred Pass The Major, she's won a couple this season but from the wide draw is only a minor player while Not My Sister is more tractable than Brighteyed and both will have to be at their best from the poor draws." Hewitt is hoping to continue his recent good form at Menangle after winning a Country Series final last weekend. "Stormfortheboys did a good job for the stable last weekend and we weren't far away with Kenny Dee Dee either so hopefully we can have a similar result this Saturday." The first at Menangle on Saturday night is scheduled for 5:14pm with the first of the four Pepper Tree Farm NSW Breeders Challenge Blue finals to be run at 7:23pm. Greg Hayes

Keene Olivia scored a convincing victory in Friday night's $13,000 harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.   The Heidi Rohr-trained mare had been a beaten favorite in three consecutive tries though she hit the board in all three starts leading up to her try in the Spa Fillies and Mares I Handicap on Friday.   Billy Dobson sat patiently off the pace with Keene Olivia (Always A Virgin) as the tempo was fast before the four year old mare came charging hard late.   She circled the field to prevail by close to five lengths in 1:53 for her sixth win of the season.   Keene Olivia returned $7.00 to win as the race's second choice in the wagering while besting Godiva Seelster (Wally Hennessey) who was the runner up and Check My Pulse (Jim Devaux) who earned the show spot. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Saturday night with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella  

Emma Stewart keeps putting Smythes Creek on the map. Victoria’s leading harness racing trainer scored a winning quartet on Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-final night last night at Tabcorp Park Melton and set herself up for a big grand final night next Saturday. On the strength of the semi-final results Stewart looks set to walk away with at least some grand final silverware, four-year-old mare Berisari expected to lead the charge after her dominant display last night. The night's success for Team Stewart began early with Always A Virgin/Lifeline filly Lovelist taking the first race on the 12-event program, the three-year-old fillies’ first semi-final. Driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang, Lovelist powered home by 2.5 metres over reigning Vicbred champion Niki No No (Greg Sugars) with Vapar Grin (Matthew Craven) third in a mile rate for the 2240-metre trip of 1:58.6. Stewart then teamed with Sugars to win Race 4, the two-year-old fillies’ first semi-final, with Courage Under Fire/Mayhappen youngster Whirily School, who won by 2.1m win over Drumborg’s Just Wantano (Craven), with Lang piloting Heirloom Angel into third place 10.6m behind the winner. Whirily School, already a Group 2 winner via the Vicbred Platinum Home Grown Classic Final last month, worked her way to the lead 1800m out before rating 1:59.9 in victory last night. Stewart’s next winner was another two-year-old filly, this time impressive Rock N Roll Heaven/All The Magic bay Rocknroll Magic, who led from the pole and held off a late challenge by Soho Madeleine (Luke McCarthy) to score by a head in 2:02.4. Rounding out the night for Stewart was $1.10 favourite Berisari – by local sire Safari, who Stewart trained, out of Beris Holmes – winning the last race, the second of the four-year-old mares’ semis, by almost eight metres in 1:56.8. Stewart’s other qualifiers for Super Series finals were Apache Shark (fourth in the first semi-final of the two-year-old colts and geldings), Ideal For Real, who ran second to Follow The Stars in their three-year-old colts and geldings’ semi and Shadow Sax, whose superb second to Christmas Jolt in the two-year-old colts and geldings semi has him well-placed for Group 1 success next week. Click here to view the full Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-final results Cody Winnell

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 13 - Lady Shadow and Colors A Virgin were harness racing victors in their respective $35,000 Roses Are Red eliminations, for pacing fillies and mares, on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. With Doug McNair in the bike, Lady Shadow captured the first elimination in front-stepping fashion. As soon as the starting gate's wings closed, Lady Shadow brushed to the lead and that is where she remained, putting up fractions of :25.4, :54 and 121.3 before stopping the clock in a new lifetime mark of 1:48.3. Yagonnakissmeornot rallied for second and the even-money favorite, Weeper, was third. Anndrovette, a three-time Rose Are Red Final winner, was fourth and Waasmula was fifth. "She has made almost $500,000 as a two and three year old," said McNair. "She has always been a nice mare and she'll go a big trip once in a while on the front end. Tonight I was just planning on racing her from off the pace and I had seen a couple that I thought were going to leave, decided they were taking off so I just let her roll and the rest is history." With the victory, the Ron Adams trainee notched her second triumph of the season from four starts. The 13-time career winner lifts her earnings to $517,679 for owners David Kryway, Carl Atley, Edwin Gold and Richard Lombardo. The four-year-old daughter of Shadow Play-Lady Camella returned $19.40 to win. Lady Shadow In the second elimination, Colors A Virgin and driver Trace Tetrick finished second but inherited the win after race winner Venus Delight caused interference to Katie Said in the stretch and was placed eighth, according to Ontario Racing Commission judges. Krispy Apple put up fractions of :26.4, :55.1 and 1:22.2, before Venus Delight converted off second-over cover, which was provided by a first-up Colors A Virgin, to get to the wire first in 1:49. Colors A Virgin finished second and was placed first. Sandbetweenurtoes finished third and was placed second and Table Talk was fourth and placed third. The Jeff Bamond Jr. trainee notched her fourth win of the season from seven outings. The 22-time career winner lifts her earnings to $798,572 for owner Emerald Highlands Farm. The four-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Color returned $17.50 to win. Krispy Apple The $350,000 Roses Are Red Final, which is set for Saturday, June 20 as part of the $1-million Pepsi North America Cup undercard, will be drawn Tuesday. Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

Lovelist is into the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semis after winning tonight’s (Wednesday 3rd June) harness racing heat at Ballarat. The filly from the Emma Stewart camp, with Gavin Lang aboard, proved 2.7 metres too good for runner-up Morton Plains (Larry Eastman and Chris Alford) in a mile rate of 1:59 for the 2200m trip. Lovelist found plenty late and produced third and fourth quarters of 28.1secs and 27.9secs after an opening half of 61.6secs and a lead time of 45.1secs. Morton Plains made a bold bid for victory down the back straight the final time, launching strongly to tackle the frontrunner. But Lovelist fought back and the two battled out the remainder of the race, drawing clear of third placegetter Diamond Castle (David Miles) and Keayang Ebonyrose (Marg Lee and Glen Craven) in fourth. Lovelist is by US sire Always A Virgin out of Classic Garry mare Lifeline. Finishing order Video replay Who impressed you most in this heat? Tweet us @HRVnews using the hashtag #Trots >> Find out more about how the Super Series works CODY WINNELL COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA

Lookofalegend delivered on the word of astute harness racing horseman Dean Braun with a win in the Garrards Horse and House SA BOTRA Three-Year-Old Colts and Geldings final (2230m) at Globe Derby Park. Driven by ace reinsman David Harding, Lookofalegend ($7.60) sprinted home strongly to score a five-and-a-half metre win from Im Supreme ($18.20) with Hit Maka ($2.10 fav) seven-and-a-half metres away third. Trainer Luke O’Neill said stable clients had purchased the three-year-old late last year. “Dean said he felt the colt would be well placed in South Australia and we were going to throw him in at the deep end looking at the SA St Leger and Derby,” O’Neill said. “But he got a virus and we couldn’t take part.” O’Neill said he had been delighted with the Bettor's Delight colts improvement this preparation culminating in Friday night’s win. “We thought he had a good chance,” O’Neill said. “It looked like there was going to be good speed, and being a sit-sprint horse, the opportunity would arise to come home over the top of them and that is how it worked out.” Driver David Harding said he knew early that Lookofalegend would be in the finish. “He is no star but has a good sprint, and early there was nice speed,” Harding said. “I was able to get a good drag into the race and he sprinted home strongly. Im Supreme really carried me to the home turn so it was a perfect run.” Im Supreme ran well to finish second as did the favourite Hit Maka whose unbeaten run of six came to an end. In the Kevin and Kay Seymour SA BOTRA Three-year-old Fillies final (2230m), the Emma Stewart-trained Lovelist gave backers no cause for concern with an all-the-way win to give driver David Harding the two three-year-old finals. A $1.20 favourite, the Always A Virgin filly cruised to a 10.3 metre wins from Ima Shark ($8.50) with Jasperama ($47) 9.2 metres away third. For Harding it was a classic case of going to the front and gradually improving your position. He stepped up the pace each quarter giving his rivals littler chance of victory. Lovelist rated 31.1, 30.8, 29.8 and 28.2 to record 2:00:6. The filly was bred by Bruce Cameron and a group of friends, and he owns the filly with an even larger group of mates, many of whom were on course to celebrate. by Graham Fischer South Australia Harness Racing

YONKERS, NY, Friday, May 29, 2015--With three-peating Krispy Apple not in attendance Friday night, it took two harness racing lasses to fill her horseshoes. Alhambra (Brian Sears, $3.30) caught It's a Miracle (Eric Carlson, $2.90) at the wire, dead-heating in Yonkers Raceway's $42,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. It's a Miracle, leaving from post position No. 5, wound up pocketed to Virgin Mary (Jordan Stratton) through fractions of :27.4, :57.1 and 1:25.4. Meanwhile, pole-assigned Alhambra was tardy both leaving the gate, then catching her ride in the presence of Magic Starlight (George Brennan). She did, however, close ranks in time to move widest and fastest, drawing even with a passing-lane It's Miracle in 1:53.4...a life-best effort for Alhambra. Virgin Mary, who owned length lead into the lane, faded to third, beaten a length-and-quarters. Magic Starlight and Sir Jillian Z Tam (Pat Lachance) completed cashers in a compact grouping, where the eight ladies finished the course separated by less than four lengths. Sharing the salutations were second choice Alhambra, a 5-year-old daughter of Art Major owned by Joshua Schwartz and trained by William Adamczyk, now 5-for-18 this season. For 17-10 fave It's a Miracle, a 5-year-old Always a Virgin miss trained by Jose Godinez for co-owners Blindswitch Racing, Santo Farina, David Sebolsky and Stanley Yoskowitz, it was her fifth win in 20 '15 tries. The exactas paid $17.60 (Alhambra first) and $13.40 (It's a Miracle first), with the triples returning $63 (Alhambra first) and $36.80 ("Miracle" first). The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM, $300,000 final of Art Rooney Pace and $117,724 Lismore). After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM) and a French-centric Tuesday (1 PM) before hiatus. Frank Drucker

It's A Miracle (Always A Virgin) scored her second Open win in the last three weeks at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Friday night. The Jose Godinez-trained mare powered out to the early lead in 27 seconds flat and moved to retake the lead after yielding briefly to last week's Open winner Road Bet (Stephane Bouchard). It's A Miracle withstood challenges from several rivals before drawing clear to win the $18,000 Fillies and Mares Open in 1:53.4. Bruce Aldrich Jr. piloted the five year old mare to her fourth victory of the season. Road Bet held strong to finish second while Let's Go Higher (Billy Dobson) closed for third. It's A Miracle returned $6.70 to win as the public's second choice in the wagering. The exacta paid $35 and the triple $172.50. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post. Mike Sardella  

Vernon, N.Y. -- Michael Casalino's Purity ($6.60) was never in doubt, sprinting off through a :55.1 back half to soundly defeat her four rivals in Friday (May 22) evening's $10,000 harness racing Mares Open Pace at Vernon Downs.   The four-year-old Always a Virgin mare had no trouble securing the top spot from her inside post, rating a soft :57.4 first half mile while facing nary a challenger. On the far turn, she edged clear of pocket sitting The Filly Princess (Chris Lems) and first-over Always As Fast (Joe Nassimos), opening up the margin to two lengths through a :27.2 third quarter. Off the corner, Purity continued to amass a clear advantage over the others, ultimately putting 6-3/4 lengths on The Filly Princess for a 1:53 triumph. Tiger Boudoir (Truman Gale) held third off a tracking trip.   Jimmy Whittemore drove Purity for trainer Jeff Lieberman. For Whittemore, the win was one of three on the night, also teaming up with Thats My Dream ($7.80, 1:57) and Incredible Gambler ($5.30, 1:54.2). John MacDonald also recorded a driving hat trick, victorious aboard Precious Rose N ($5.30, 1:56.2), Pancakes ($3.20, 1:55.4), and Sistas ($8.30, 1:59.1) on the 11-race card.   Racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (May 23) evening, with the first of 11 races due for a 6:45 p.m. start. Three-year-old trotting fillies take center stage in New York Sire Stakes action, with 25 trotters contesting three divisions. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Well, it wasn’t a miracle but it was certainly an upset in the Friday night harness racing feature at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. It’s A Miracle (Always A Virgin) won the $18,000 Fillies and Mares Open as the race’s longshot. The Jose Godinez-trained five year old returned to town after scoring her seasonal best win at Yonkers last week. Dismissed at odds of 14-1 in the five horse Open, It’s A Miracle moved off cover in the stretch and outpaced her rivals home to prevail in 1:53, the fastest time for a distaff pacer this year at the Spa. Bruce Aldrich Jr. piloted the mare to her third victory of the season. Last week’s Open winner Deliciouslynaughty (Mark Beckwith) had to settle for second on Friday, losing the photo to It’s A Miracle while Scarlet N Silk (Austin Siegelman) finished third. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post.  Mike Sardella

Vernon Downs hosted a pair of $10,000 Open events on their Friday (May 1) night 13-race harness racing card, with distaff pacer Purity ($6.00) and trotter A Penny Earned ($3.60) taking top honors for the night.   Five pacing mares contested the $10,000 Mares Open Pace in race two, with two of the five entering off wins in their most recent outings. Those two--Purity (Claude Huckabone, III) and Seascape Hanover (Jimmy Whittemore) ultimately squared off on the far turn, well after Purity was used hard in establishing the lead through a :54.3 first half mile. With three-eighths to go, Whittemore moved 3-5 favorite Seascape Hanover first-over out of third, sustaining an extended press but proving unable to collar Purity through the stretch. The four-year-old Always a Virgin mare prevailed by three-quarters of a length in 1:52 over Seascape Hanover, while Kardashian (Truman Gale) stayed on for third after pressing the pace early.   Kevin Hough trains Purity for owner Michael Casalino, Jr.   While the favorite could not quite prevail in the Mares Open Pace, the $10,000 Open Trot saw A Penny Earned (Chris Lems) wear down Lutetium (Jimmy Whittemore) for a scant 1:54 victory in the evening's eighth race. A Penny Earned secured the pocket early, outsprinted by Lutetium through a :26.3 initial quarter. Lutetium would race uncontested through an easy 58.4 middle half, but found himself bracing for the oncoming threat of A Penny Earned at the top of the stretch--and the threat of Big Chocolate (Homer Hochstetler), who drafted behind the top pair throughout before fanning three-wide off the far turn. Battling gamely through the stretch, A Penny Earned took the lead from Lutetium 70 yards from the winning post, subsequently withstanding a stand-side charge from Big Chocolate, who missed by a scant neck.   Winning trainer George Ducharme co-owns the six-year-old Conway Hall gelding with Alfred Ross, Paul Fontaine, and Nicola Oliva.   In addition to the evening's pair of Open events, four $4,000 divisions of the second round of the Catherine Burton trotting series were held. Only Hollywood Jess ($5.50, Chris Lems) swept her preliminary legs, battling stoutly with Write That Down (Fern Paquet, Jr.) through quite literally every step of a 1:57 mile before holding clear of a late-closing Azucar (Gaetan Brunet). Blue Skies Craze ($18.40, Truman Gale, 1:56.2), Tango Pirate ($15.20, Gale, 1:57.1), and Act of Valor ($3.30, Claude Huckabone, III, 1:58.4) also were triumphant in their splits. Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (May 2), with first post slated for 5:10 p.m. by James Witherite, Vernon Downs 

ANDERSON, Ind.-April 24, 2015 - Color's A Virgin notched her second consecutive victory at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino after she effortlessly captured the featured harness racing event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational Pace for fillies and mares, on Friday, April 24.The reigning three-year-old pacing filly of the year has now gone back-to-back at the top level with her 1:52.2 victory and remains undefeated in 2015. Sent off as the overwhelming favorite in a field of eight, Color's A Virgin and regular pilot Trace Tetrick changed up their racing tactics and surprisingly left for early position. With American Girl and Sam Widger gunning for the lead from post six, Color's A Virgin left just enough to find a spot along the pylons in fourth. American Girl dictated the early tempo of :27.1 before yielding the lead to Montenegro and Jason Dillander just before the second station in :56.2. Fits Well and Tyler Smith, sitting along the rail in third, made a costly break down the backside and scattered the field behind them. Unwilling to take any chances, Tetrick avoided the breaker and gave Color's A Virgin the green light down the backside. She reached command just past the three-quarter clocking in 1:25 before turning for home with an ever-increasing lead. As the rest of the field struggled to stay within striking distance, Color's A Virgin found another gear and kicked home in :27.2 to finish two and three-quarter lengths in front of Montenegro. American Girl rallied gamely in the lane to round out the trifecta. Color's A Virgin returned $3.20 to her backers at the windows. Trained by Brian Brown, the four-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Color now sports a lifetime bankroll of $765,322 for her connections at Emerald Highlands Farm. Color's A Virgin won 13 of 18 starts in 2014, including the $178,862 Jugette on September 17 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. "Everything has been good with her, so far anyway," winning trainer Brian Brown noted after the victory. "I feel like she has really come back well. She seems a little happier to me this year not that she was unhappy last year, but I think she has come into herself this year." Color's A Virgin now has 20 career victories to her credit and has been nominated to races such as the TVG Mares Pace, The Lady Liberty and The Golden Girls for her four-year-old campaign. "To be honest, I haven't looked past the next race for her," he continued. "We're going to Miami Valley next Sunday, but as far as the rest of the year goes, we will play it stake race to stake race based on what she's ready for. I just want to make sure she's healthy, she's not tying up, and everything is good with her and so far it has been." Live racing will continue at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, April 24 with a 14-race card. The live racing schedule at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14. Emily Gaskin

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