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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

ANDERSON, Ind.-April 10, 2015 - The reigning three-year-old pacing filly of the year, Color's A Virgin, returned to harness racing action on Friday, April 10 and made her 2015 debut a winning one as she captured the featured event of the evening, a $21,000 Invitational Pace for fillies and mares, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. Overcoming a tough, first-over trip, Color's A Virgin scored her first victory against older mares in 1:53.3 and gave driver Trace Tetrick one of six wins on the 13-race card. Leaving from post four in a talented field of six, Color's A Virgin and Tetrick resumed their previous racing tactics and raced from off the pace early, to secure a spot along the rail in fourth. Tim Curtain sent Wings away from the gate firing and the duo reached the first quarter in :27.4. Stable Eyes and Tim Clevenger benefitted from a pocket trip while Miss Millie and Peter Wrenn were next in line, third. Pertty Music and Ed Hensley, back to back winners at this level, sat at the back of the pack for much of the mile. Wrenn gave Miss Millie the go-ahead down the backside and she secured the lead just past the half in :57. Unable to wait any longer, Color's A Virgin began her first-over bid approaching the final turn with American Girl and Sam Widger in tow. As the field reached the third station in 1:25.3, Color's A Virgin had worn down the tiring leader and began to put her talent on display as she paced away from the field. Using a :28 final panel, Color's A Virgin coasted on to the wire under a hand drive from Tetrick to finish a length in front of American Girl who was a game second. Miss Millie rounded out the trifecta while Pertty Music had too much ground to make up at the end of the mile and had to settle for fourth. As the heavy betting favorite, the Dan Patch award-winning mare returned $3.60 at the windows. "The race didn't work out exactly like I thought," Tetrick noted after the race. "I didn't want to be first-up for her first start back but that's the way it worked out and she overcame it. She did everything I asked and was well within herself at the wire." "Brian (Brown) told me she came back well," he continued. "Tonight, I could tell she's matured and handled the lay-off well. She's just a great, great mare." Color's A Virgin won 13 of 18 starts in 2014 and earned $532,622 for her connections at Emerald Highlands Farm. She captured seven of her last eight starts, including the $178,862 Jugette on September 17 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. Trained by Brian Brown, the four-year-old daughter of Always A Virgin-Full Color now sports a lifetime bankroll of $754,822. The winner of 19 career outings has been nominated to races such as the TVG Mares Pace, The Lady Liberty and The Golden Girls for her four-year-old campaign. Tetrick noted Color's A Virgin would likely make her next start at Hoosier Park before heading to Miami Valley Raceway. The victory was one of six wins for Hoosier Park's current leading driver, Trace Tetrick and four training wins for Brian Brown. Brown and Tetrick also teamed up to score with Fits Well and Win The Gold early in the card. Tetrick also found the winner's circle with Landonfitz for trainer Charlie Stewart and Pleasing Paisley for trainer Tyler George. The Brown, Tetrick combination would strike once more with Do U Mind in the last race of the evening for the Emerald Highlands Farm. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Saturday, April 11 with a 13-race card. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 14, 2015. For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

LEBANON, OH. - Poison Oak, a recent private purchase addition to the Virgil Morgan Jr. Stable, captured the $15,000 championship leg of the George Williams Memorial Series, one of nine series being contested at Miami Valley honoring the memory of 'Lebanon Legends' of days gone by. The four-year-old son of Always A Virgin topped E R Oliver (Tyler Smith) by a length with Awinkandagrin (Jeremy Smith) another three-quarters of a length back in third. Miami Valley's leading driver Josh Sutton sent Poison Oak charging out of the gate from the eight hole and steadily forged to the front just past the :27.2 opening panel. The winner posted middle fractions of :55.2 and 1:24.2 before finishing the job by stopping the clock in 1:53.4. The George Williams series featured male pacers who were shy of either four pari-mutuel wins or $30,000 in earnings when the nominations closed on March 1. It was the eighth career win for Poison Oak, owned in partnership with Morgan Jr. by Carl Howard, and increased his lifetime bankroll to $38,876. As the second choice on the tote board, Poison Oak paid $5.80 while the exacta kicked back $24.20. Gregg Keidel  

LEBANON, OH. - "Virgil set a track record at Miami Valley Raceway on Saturday night!" That statement would come as no real surprise to any harness racing devotee in the Buckeye state, and their next question would be "With which of his horses?" The reference, of course, would be to prolific trainer Virgil Morgan Jr., not only Miami Valley's current runaway leader in the trainer's standings, but the winningest trainer in Ohio history and currently the second winningest trainer in North America behind Ron Burke. Virgil has set numerous track records all over Ohio in the last decade as master of the most powerful stable in the state. This time, though, Virgil is a horse-a five-year-old son of Always A Virgin-and his 1:51 mile in the $16,500 Open Pace was the fastest mile by a male pacer in the track's two-year existence. Tyler George trains this Virgil for owner L. J. Stone. It was the twelfth career score for Virgil and pushed his lifetime bankroll to over $175,000. Driver Jeff Nisonger gave the black gelding a masterful steer to just nip last week's feature race winner Lucky Lime (Kyle Ater) with favored A Sweet Ride (Josh Sutton) settling for third after carving honest fractions of :27.3, :55.1 and 1:23 on the front end. Lucky Lime was first-over in the outer flow from the halfway point to the wire, with Virgil in tow right behind him. Nisonger swung the winner three-deep at the head of the lane and prevailed in the final strides. Sent off at 7-1 odds, Virgil paid $16.20 to win and combined with Lucky Lime produced a generous $105.40 exacta. The only horse to have ever paced faster at Miami Valley is the recently retired mare Shebestingin, who won a Grand Circuit stake for driver David Miller and trainer Joe Holloway on closing day of the inaugural 2014 meet in 1:50.4. Other highlights on Saturday night were a 1:51.2 tally by Orion's Belt (Greg Grismore) in the $11,000 top conditioned pace at odds of 18-1; and a fifth straight victory by Manipulator (Shawn Barker II) in a $15,000 claiming event. Since being purchased by trainer Cole Fitzwater in Ontario, Manipulator has steadily progressed through the claiming ranks with wins at the $8000, $10,000 and $12,500 levels before Saturday's score in 1:52.2, despite moving up in class for the fifth straight start. Gregg Keidel

Two months ago leading Victorian harness racing trainer Emma Stewart had three of the top six contenders for Sunday’s Inter Dominion. As a result of various unforeseen circumstances, Stewart is without a starter in the TAB.com.au sponsored event, but is still destined to play a major role at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Stewart, who prepares her team with partner Clayton Tonkin, will contest four Group Ones, with outstanding filly Delight Me heading the squad. Unbeaten from five starts this season, Delight Me has drawn to extend her winning sequence in the New South Wales Oaks. A stylish winner of her heat, the exceptionally-bred filly will begin from the pole for master reinsman Gavin Lang. “We are very pleased with her progress this season and she is going to be very hard to beat again from the pole,” Stewart said. “It is a pretty strong field, but there is no doubt she is up to this.” Stewart also has handy youngster Lovelist engaged in the classic, with the daughter of Always A Virgin drawn barrier four, but will slot into three with the removal of the emergency. “She was solid when third in her heat and will perform well again,” Stewart said. Stewart will then contest the Ladyship Mile with Lovelist’s ‘niece’, Beauty Secret, which has also drawn four, but will begin from three. Racing in her typical strong form, Beauty Secret faces a daunting task against star mares Frith and Adore Me. Local idol Frith will begin from the pole, with New Zealand darling, Adore Me, to come the outside of the front row. “This would have to be one of the strongest Ladyship Miles for some time,” Stewart said. “With a bit of luck the speed will be on from the outset and we will get a final crack at them.” Ideal For Real will then tackle the New South Wales Derby as Stewart aims for consecutive wins in the Blue Riband. Stewart captured last year’s edition with Major Secret – a half-brother to Beauty Secret. Triumphant in his heat, Ideal For Real will need more than his share of luck from gate nine. On the other side of the scale, Hug The Wind, which won his heat, will begin from the pole. “The draw makes it tough, but he is racing well enough to overcome it,” Stewart said. “He’ll need a bit of luck, but if breaks go his way he is going to be very hard to beat.” Exciting pacer Yankee Rockstar will then take his place in the Chariots Of Fire, a feature Stewart won last season with Guaranteed. Yankee Rockstar has won seven of his eight starts for the term, with his only defeat coming at Menangle when third behind Bling It On, which is the favourite once again. A member of the Belinda McCarthy stable, Bling It On has drawn to lead throughout from barrier three. “The draw has made it tough on Yankee Rockstar as well, but he is still in with a chance,” Stewart said. “He’s also going to need a few things go his way, but he is more than capable of taking it out.” PAUL COURTS

DOVER, Del.--- Touchdown Mindale won the Tuesday harness racing feature and was claimed in the $20,000-$25,000 Claiming/Handicap, one of seven winning drives for Corey Callahan over a 'good' track at Dover Downs on Feb. 17. The Always A Virgin - Happy To Be Best gelding held off a strong challenge from Just Bettor (Vic Kirby) in !:53.3 to score his fourth win of the meet. The week before, the Harvey Eisman-owned five-year-old had raced for a $25,000 tag, this week he entered for $20,000 and drew the rail with the meet's top driver Corey Callahan in the bike. Touchdown Mindale took the lead from Just Bettor, who left from post 8, as the field raced in front of the grandstand and never yielded. Button Fly (Jason Lynch) finished third. After the race, ownership changed hands as Touchdown Mindale was claimed. Callahan, the track's leading driver since the 2009-10 meet, has 191 wins through 70 racing days. His UDRS (similar to a batting average) is an outstanding .411. His drives this meet have earned nearly $1.7-million in purse for the horses he has driven. Four of his wins came reining trotters; Muscerne, was his first win in the 2nd race; another trotter, Nova Empress from post 8 was next in the 4th. Then Callahan was in high gear winning the next five races in-a-row. Pacer Touchdown Mindale was his third winner in the 10th; a third-trotter, Jailhouse Juice took the 11th. Right back in the 12th race driving Nine Twenty Two; Windsong Ingenius, another trotter in the 13th; Art Of Escape made it seven wins. Trace Tetrick had two early wins. Trainer Doug Lewis had one winner, his 41st of the meet, to take a two-win lead among leading trainers. Wayne Givens and Dylan Davis are tied for second with 39 each. Classic Belisma, whose four-race win streak ended with a third-place finish in her last start, leads a field of nine in the $14,500 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over trot on the Wednesday card. CLASSIC BELISIMA, DERBY HEAD WEDNESDAY FEATURE TROT DOVER, Del. ---- Classical Belisima, a four-straight winner before finishing third last time, leads nine trotters to post in the Wednesday, Feb. 18 $14,500 feature at Dover Downs. First post is 4:30 p.m. Corey Callahan will drive Classic Belisima, one of two females in the competitive field. Bill Cantrell owns the four-year-old program pick. Arty Foster Jr. sends out Everyone’s Talkin, a winner of his last two starts, with Trace Tetrick in the bike since arriving from the Meadowlands. Tina and Joe Clark’s Derby has been sharp with three-straight second place finishers. Allan Davis will drive from post 9 in the second tier. The second distaff in the event is Eric Foster’s Stirling Charisma with Vic Kirby driving. He Belongs Here, and Daryl Bier, should benefit from starting from the rail.  Ed Hall’s Up Front N Crazy handled by Roger Plante must overcome leaving from post 8. Niss Allen’s Themida, piloted by Brandon Henley, HS Merlin with Eddie Davis Jr., and Accokeek Mercury with Sean Bier complete the line-up.   A strong supporting card featuring several wide-open trotting events are on the Wednesday card. Monday through Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. There is no live racing Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. At Dover Downs, there is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad        

Harness racing is a worldwide industry but the results of stallions can vary widely between countries let alone hemispheres. A lot of stallions perform to the same level in both hemispheres but some really struggle to reproduce in one hemisphere what they have already achieved in another. One stallion in this category in our opinion is the son of Western Ideal, Always A Virgin. Standing at stud for the first time in North America in 2009, the first foals by Always A Virgin hit the ground in Indiana in 2010. Now Indiana is not New York or Pennsylvania but it is still a strong harness racing state and right from the start Always A Virgin has produced the goods. His first crop hit the tracks in 2012 and he immediately made an impact finishing eighth on the two year old sires list in North America. And he did it from a state that does not have a Sires Stakes program of anywhere near the same value as New York or Pennsylvania. That crop has just turned five and the numbers are very impressive. It includes the outstanding mare Always About Katy 1:51.1 ($794,992) as well as such smart types as Right Touch 1:50.1 ($489,660)  Sweet Talkin Satin 1:49.1 ($349,600) and Crazy On You 1:50.2 ($238,734) Foals - 117     Winners - 83     $100,000 Winners - 14     Sub 1:50 - 2     Total Stakes - $5,737,563 His second crop hit the track in 2013 and if his first crop was good, his second was even better. Even though he again finished a highly creditable eighth on the two year old North American Sires List in 2013, Always A Virgin produced two horses in this crop who performed with distinction at the highest level of the sport. Always B Miki 1:47.4 ($930,891) won 12 races during the 2014 season  but his best run was his great effort for second in the $776,000 Meadowlands Pace where he ran second to He's Watching (who equaled the world record for a three-year-old of 1:46.4) in 1:47.1 after starting from barrier nine. Colors A Virgin 1:51 ($744,322) went one better winning 13 races during the 2014 season with her best run being her winning performance in the $178,000 Final of the Jugette at Delaware Other of note from this crop include Candy's A Virgin 1:51 ($268,871) and Not A Virgin 1:50 ($259,453) This crop has just turned four and the numbers are once again very good Foals - 111     Winners - 59     $100,000 Winners - 7     Sub 1:50 - 2     Total Stakes - $4,240,879   His third crop was significantly smaller as breeders sat back to see if the initial crops would perform and he had the new boy Rockin Image standing his first season in Indiana as well. Always a Virgin had 51 two year olds in North America in 2014 and while his overall numbers were down he still produced some lovely two year olds. His two best performers last season were Harfo Hanover 1:51.3 ($135,492) and Tonis Affection 1:51.4 ($112,400) Overall his percentages were on a par with his first two crops. Foals - 51     Winners - 20     $100,000 Winners - 2     Sub 1:53 - 3     Total Stakes - $485,232 His next crop which are two year olds in 2015 only numbered 42 foals but on the back of his first crop performing well he has 85 yearlings and has served 128 mares last year. Comment Has made his name the hard way by producing quality stock from good mares but not out and out "blue bloods " like some stallions serve. The fact he has done all of this while standing in Indiana just adds further kudos to what he has achieved. Always A Virgin has shown he can leave that elite level colt or filly that all breeders are looking for. Southern Hemisphere Always A Virgin stood his first season down under in the 2010/2011 breeding season. His first crop numbered 105 foals and they raced as two year olds in the 2013/2014 season. As of today they are nearing the halfway mark of their three year old season and the results so far look to have being disappointing. They finished tenth on the Australian two year old sires list in 2013/2014 and presently sit thirteenth on the 2014/2015 Australian three year old list. His best performers to date have been Lovelist 1:58 ($50,922) and Blackntan 1:58 ($40,115) but what is even more concerning is the overall percentages which are way off the pace of most of his competitors. As you can see from the chart below, it does not make good reading. Foals - 105   Winners - 17 $50,000 Winners - 1   % Winners / live foals - 16.19% Total Stakes $294,649    His second crop down under are two year olds in the current season and they number 54 foals. The two-year-old racing season is just getting under way now so it is way to early for any definitive comments. Always A Virgin has 88 yearlings on the ground and served another 145 mares in the 2014/2015 breeding season. Comment At this point of his first crop's three year old season, you would have to say they have been very disappointing to date. There were 27 starters in the heats of the Victorian Derby on Saturday night and Always A Virgin did not have a runner in any of the three heats. Always A Virgin needs to raise his numbers of winners and quickly and needs to find some Derby and Oaks runners as well if he is to achieve any real credibility as a sire in the Southern Hemisphere.. Overview At this stage the stock of Always A Virgin in the two hemispheres are like chalk and cheese. In North America they have over achieved for a stallion standing in Indiana and earned a reputation as talented and durable performers. In Australia they have under achieved to date and they will quickly lose their appeal to breeders and owners if this trend continues. If by the end of the current season in Australia Always A Virgin hasn't significantly improved his overall numbers and produced a couple of standout individuals, then there will be a big question mark about his future in the Southern Hemisphere. Harnesslink Media

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