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TORONTO --Harness racing stars Jimmy Takter and David Miller completed an incredible Breeders Crown night capturing the final event, the open pace with Always B Miki in a sensational 1:49.3 mile over a rain-soaked surface. The victory, a year removed from when the son of Always A Virgin had to be scratched from the Crown final at The Meadowlands came at the expense of stablemate J K Endofanera and Mach It So. State Treasurer and driver Chris Christoforou blasted to the early lead in a :26.3 opening quarter, but the driver was looking in the rear view mirror and when Miller came with Always B Miki on the backstretch he was anxious to yield. The half was a solid :55.2 and Always B Miki pushed it into another gear on the turn as Foiled Again attempted to come up without cover but couldn't make a dent in the leader's margin. Always B Miki hit three quarters in 1:23 and then was high-lined to the wire with a :26.3 final quarter, an awesome closing quarter given the conditions. It was the third win in as many starts this year for Always B Miki capturing the $400,000 U.S. ($518,960 Cdn) Breeders Crown and pushing his lifetime bank account over $1 million. Owned by Bluewood Stables, Roll The Dice Stable and Christina Takter, the victory was the sixth of the 12 Breeders Crown races for trainer Takter and the fifth by winning driver David Miller. Takter now has 27 Breeders Crown victories lifetime, while Miller has 19. "He's pretty special," said Miller about Always B Miki. "It's a thrill to sit behind him and to feel his power." The 2-5 favorite in the field Always B Miki impressed the trainer as well. "He's a very unique horse. I put him in the top horses to ever compete in this sport," said Takter. Takter finished 1-2 with J K Endofanera's finish as All Bets Off earned fourth money. Foiled Again was placed fifth after being lapped on a breaking State Treasurer at the finish. As for Takter wrapping up his record night. "It was almost like 100 per cent," Takter said. By Jay Bergman

There were 13 Breeders Crown eliminations on Friday and Saturday at Woodbine. That’s the same number that were needed last year at The Meadowlands. The last time Woodbine hosted the Crown in 2012 there were only 11 elimination races; the following year at Pocono Downs 18 were required. Yannick Gingras won four this year, followed by Brett and David Miller with two each. Palone, Waples, Trace Tetrick, McNair and Scott Zeron each took one. Four starters from the Takter Barn won; he went on to win three finals last year. Three winners for Burke, two for Alagna and one each for Rheinheimer, McNair and Holloway. Jimmy Takter will have 13 entered in the finals, while Ron Burke will have 10. Indiana stole the show as Always B Miki and Freaky Feet Pete, sons of that state’s premier stallions, Always A Virgin and Rockin Image, wowed the crowd with a pair of 49.4 miles. Miki had only one 2015 start in him, an Indiana Sire Stakes crush job, but that didn’t stop the bettors from sending him out as the 2/5 favorite. And he didn’t disappoint. Pete, on the other hand, has been pounding the ISS set throughout the season. He did lose to the only two GC quality horses he faced, Wiggle It Jiggleit and Wakizashi Hanover. Pete, the 4/5 choice, came first up and rolled OSS champ Reverend Hanover, who was the 6/5 second option for his hometown fans. Miki supplemented to this race last year and won his elimination, but he scratched out of the final. His paternal sister, division winner Color’s A Virgin, was also poised to give her young sire his first BC win, but she was too far back and never factored in the final. The latter has had a disappointing year, but she did beat a short field in the Allerage Mare last time out and she has drawn the rail for the BC open mare. Limelight Beach, the other 2014 elimination winner, also scratched out of last year’s final. McWicked won the race and subsequently the division. This year’s edition should prove to be a better race. Atrspeak showed the sort of closing kick that should give the connections of every rival pause, when he swooped home in 26 to nip Waki at the wire in the second elimination. Wiggle, Waki and Artspeak are all staked to the Matron on November 12 and the Progress Pace on November 29, both at Dover Downs. Freaky Feet Pete can supplement to those races for $25,000 each. That would certainly make Marv Bachrad a happy man. Casie Coleman sewed up McWicked’s 2014 division win when she supplemented him to the Progress, which he won for David Miller. The freshman colt pacers are a quiet group. There is no Captain T or Artspeak in that division. The latter had been shut down prior to last year’s BC, which was held a month later, leaving the race to outsider Traceur Hanover and his controversial trainer Corey Johnson. This edition is without the tension that existed between Jeff Gural and Johnson, who was allowed to race despite having received an indefinite suspension for a positive in Ontario. PJ Fraley, the trainer of Shelliscape, was also an issue. Freshman pacer Control The Moment (Well Said) is undefeated but has been kept under wraps in Canada and rarely been tested. He was lucky to escape his elimination with a win. Star attraction Travel Playlist followed up a poor showing in Lexington with another in his elimination and has been scratched from the final. On the filly side, LA Delight wasn’t nominated to the BC, so there will be no face-off with Takter’s undefeated SBSW filly, Pure Country. The latter was a handy winner of her elimination Friday night. Burke’s Yankee Moonshine, a full sister to Yankee Bounty, won the other elimination. Southwind Frank dispatched the opposition with the same measure of surgical precision he’s employed all season in his Friday elimination. The world champion son of Muscle Hill dominates his division to a much greater degree than any other horse in North America. He’s staked to the Valley Victory and the Matron, but as great as he’s been, there’s little chance of him being the second consecutive two-year-old Horse of the Year. Jimmy Takter won both eliminations for freshman trotting fillies. Particularly impressive was the Muscle Hill homebred All The Time, who drew off from Canadian champ Caprice Hill (Kadabra), who had been bet down to 1/5. Haughty, a Donato sister to Aldebaran Eagle coming off an ISS win, took the other split. The sophomore pacing fillies have been a soft and confusing group all year, but Divine Caroline, who came on late to easily win her elimination at 3/5 for David Miller and Joe Holloway, seems to have taken over. Last year Holloway had world Champion Shebestingin and 2012 BC winner Somwherovrarainbow, but Stingin only made three starts during the three months prior to the BC and Rainbow finished tenth. This on top of having Miki scratch out of his final. Perhaps the Rock N Roll Heaven filly will make everything right on Saturday when she starts from the rail. There was no elimination needed to sort out the three-year-old trotting Fillies. Wild Honey, who carried 1/9 Mission Brief to the quarter before picking her up at the end of the Filly Futurity, will start from the three Saturday, while the Muscle Hill world champion has drawn the seven. With wins in the Oaks, KY Filly Futurity, Bluegrass and PA Championship, Wild Honey actually has a better record than her more celebrated rival. A win in the BC would serve as icing on the cake. Does she have a shot at the Dan Patch? Probably about as much as Artspeak, Waki and Pete have of unseating Wiggle. The myth of superiority on the part of Mission Brief has been set in stone. D’One, who beat BAM in the Fresh Yankee and Muscle Hill, won’t get another chance this week as the Kadabra mare has opted for the open. There was no elimination for these divisions. Last year it was Maven who raced in the open while BAM won the mares open. Maven was second to Commander Crowe in the final, but she beat nine boys in her elimination from the ten in a world record 1:52.2. She was exiled to Europe early in the year, where she has had a disappointing campaign. The forecast calls for a dry day in Toronto on Saturday with temps in the 50s—balmy for this time of year—and not much wind.  Joe FitzGerald has been an avid harness racing fan and historian for the last half-century. He writes a weekly blog for Joe’s commentary reflects his own views and not that of Harnesslink.

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

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