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Promising American Ideal four-year-old American Boy finished last in a field of 12 last Friday night, but his trainer Gary Hall sen. is confident that he is capable of bouncing back and winning the $25,000 harness racing final of the Southern Cross Schrader final over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. American Boy drew the prized No. 1 barrier and star reinsman Gary Hall jun. gave punters a strong lead by electing to drive the New Zealand-bred gelding ahead of stablemate Ideal Justice, a smart five-year-old he drove in preference to American Boy last Friday night. Ideal Justice, who won last Friday night, beating Im A Peregrine and Fernleigh Rebel, is handily drawn at No. 3 on the front line this week and will be handled by Clint Hall. American Boy was restrained from the outside barrier (N0. 9) last week and raced in last position before racing three wide in the final circuit. He failed to flatter and finished last. Asked if American Boy could turn around a twelfth last week to a win this week, Hall sen. replied: “Absolutely. He’s an excellent frontrunner and is strong. He should go close.” Explaining the gelding’s last placing last week Hall said: “There’s nothing to think about; he couldn’t get into the race the way the race was run. Gary dictated the terms (with Ideal Justice) in the breeze; he walked and sprinted. “Forget American Boy’s last run. He’s a quick beginner and should hold out Northern Assassin (a fast beginner and strong frontrunner, drawn at No. 2).” Two starts ago American Boy set the pace and sprinted over the final quarters in 28.4sec. and 27.2sec. to beat The Odd Lover at a 1.57.7 rate over 2130m. Four starts before that American Boy led and won at a 1.54.7 rate over 2130m. He rated 1.54.8 when he led and won over 1684m at Pinjarra in April. Northern Assassin, trained in Busselton by Peter Bell, will appreciate a drop back in class after he gave a solid display last Friday night when he set the pace and finished a close third to Copagrin and Run Oneover over 2130m. Northern Assassin’s regular reinsman Ryan Bell will drive the highly-promising New Zealand-bred four-year-old Risk, who looms as a major danger to American Boy. Ash Markham will handle Northern Assassin for the fourth time in a race. He drove the six-year-old three times last September and October for a close second to Phoenix Warrior in the 2100m Italian Cup in Bunbury, a win in the 2692m Alcoa Cup at Pinjarra and a third behind Soho Lennon and Mighty Flying Thomas over 2130m at Gloucester Park. Risk, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, gave a bold frontrunning display to score an easy victory from Kiwi Legend and Mattjestic Star at a 1.55.2 rate over 2130m last Friday night. The final quarters were run in 28.2sec. and 27.1sec . That improved the Changeover stallion’s record to 11 wins and eight placings from 32 starts. The Mike Reed-trained four-year-old Kiwi Legend is racing keenly, but will need a shade of luck to overcome barrier No. 8. Ken Casellas

HARRINGTON, Del. - Howard Taylor's Shine N Shimmer with harness racing driver George Dennis at the control won the featured $15,000 Fillies and Mares Open Tuesday at Harrington Raceway in 1:53.1. The race honored the memory of the late driver Ben Stafford Jr., who passed away on July 6. Stafford was a popular member of the local racing community and trained horses with his Dad for approximately 30 years. A large contingent of friends and family members were present in the winner's circle. Shine N Shimmer, a daughter of American Ideal, notched her 33rd career win for trainer Mike Hall. Quotable Quotes ($3.60, Montrell Teague) captured the $10,000 subfeatured conditioned pace with a 1:53.2 win for owners Chris Sharpe and Alex Hawes. The Charlene Sharpe-trainee notched her eighth win of the year. Teague and George Dennis each had three wins. Matthew Sparacino  

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 4 - Candlelight Dinner appears to be on the path to stardom after another fabulous harness racing performance in the Whenuwishuponastar Series final Thursday at Mohawk Racetrack. The Casie Coleman trained filly was clearly the horse to beat in Thursday's final after an outstanding six length victory in the opening leg. A field of eight went behind the gate for the $39,800 event with $75,759 of the $83,172 in the Win pool wagered on Candlelight Dinner. The American Ideal filly didn't appear to break a sweat, as she jogged to a five length victory in 1:52.2. Driven by Jonathan Drury, Candlelight Dinner got away fifth, before making a brush to the front at the half in :56.3. The Coleman trainee made a :27.2 third-quarter look easy, before cruising home in :28.2 for the victory. Black Jack Pat, who won the second leg, finished second, while Moment To Ponder was third. A $110,000 purchase at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Candlelight Dinner is now three for three to start her career for owners Mac Nichol, Let It Ride Stable and Howard Taylor. "Right from the get-go she has just been a sweetheart," said Coleman. "She got a little hot on me like most American Ideal's can, but we taught her out of that right away, that's why J.D.'s (Jonathan Drury) been racing her the way he is. "He's handled her really well, teaching her how to race when she is a dead favourite." Through three starts, Candlelight Dinner's smallest margin of victory is four and a half lengths. Coleman noted that the filly will be aimed towards the upcoming Grand Circuit events at Mohawk. "I have no plans to take her to New York for Sires Stakes," Coleman said. "She'll have a week off and then she is in the four stakes in a row here with the Eternal Camnation, (Shes A) Great Lady and stuff like that." Candlelight Dinner's Whenuwishuponastar victory gives Coleman two victories in the last three editions of the event, as Happy Becky captured the 2014 edition for the five-time O'Brien Award winning Trainer of the Year. Candlelight Dinner While the Whenuwishuponastar Series concluded Thursday, the Define The World Series got underway. A scratched down field of five rookie trotting colts and geldings met up for the $14,000 first leg. Tom Durand trainee Seven And Seven powered by a pair of rivals in deep stretch for a 1:57.4 victory. The son of Chapter Seven followed along closely, as Cant U Spell led the compact group through fractions of :29.4, 1:00.2 and 1:29.1 In the stretch, the favourite Awol Hanover came off the back of the leader looking to score the victory, but Seven And Seven had the most trot on the far outside and got up for trainer/driver Durand to win by a length. A $17,000 purchase at last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Seven And Seven is owned by June & Tom Durand and Allan Smith. The rookie trotting colt was making his second career start Thursday after a fourth place finish in his debut on July 14. Seven And Seven The second leg of the Define The World Series will take place next Thursday (August 11). Live racing continues Friday evening at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

WILKES-BARRE PA - The old adage has it that "I'd rather be lucky than smart," but it's better still when you're lucky AND smart - as was harness racing driver Matt Kakaley, who guided the American Ideal mare Scandalicious to a 1:51.3 in the $14,000 high-level conditioned pace for mares Tuesday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   Kakaley and Scandalicious, leaving from post two, were third-inside during contentious early fractions of 26.1 and 55, and things did not look good when Twin B Elite roared up three-wide down the backstretch to take on the softened front end, crossing down to two-wide and keeping Scandilicious pinned in before the parked horse had backed off. But the horse following Twin B Elite's cover could not keep up late on the backstretch, so Kakaley deftly moved Scandalicious to the outside at the ¾, and the career winner of $336,813 took it from there, drawing off to a 2¼ length victory for trainer Scott Di Domenico and owners JFE Enterprises LLC.   In the card's opener, the Western Terror sophomore filly Lindy's Nightmare ran her career record to 5 wins in 6 starts with a 1:52.4 victory in a $16,000 "nw 5 races" pace. But the victory for the 1-10* filly, who broke in her debut and since has been perfect, including winning the Town Pro Series Final at Mohawk, was very far from as easy as her backing might suggest - Brett Miller had to circle cover and come from fifth at the stretch call, and third 50 feet from the wire, to earn the neck decision for trainer Frank Antonacci and owner/breeder Lindy Farms of Connecticut.   Lindy's Nightmare had over $6600 of a $9500 win pool on her nose; in contrast, second race winner Keystone Tempo had only slightly more than $100 bet on her to win when she took an upset victory in the second half of the Early Double. Pocono's "Trot Man," driver Mike Simons, came first-over in the latter stages with his Cantab Hall mare to win in 1:56.1 and pay $77.20 for a $2 win wager. Double players fancied Keystone Tempo more than win wagerers did - the Early Double with Lindy's Nightmare on top returned $68.40.   PHHA / Pocono  

To say Fireyourguns is a local favorite would be an understatement, but the harness racing fans made it clear Saturday night (July 30) when they sent him off at 1-9 and then watched him reply in kind by winning the $10,000 Open pacing feature at Batavia Downs. Making his first start at the Downs this year, Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) took control of the race by the quarter after feeling some resistance from Instant Thrill (Jim Morrill Jr.) away from the gate. Caprio then led the short field of five through fractions of :27.1, :56.4 and 1:25.3 and had a comfortable three-length advantage at the head of the stretch. As the leader paced for home, Knocking Around (Dave McNeight III) and Whosurpal (Todd Cummings) rallied late to make it interesting but both came up short behind Fireyourguns, who won in 1:54.3 by one-half length. Fireyourguns ($2.10), a 7-year-old son of American Ideal-Villa Hanover, is owned by Jennifer and Robert Lowe and Terrence McClory, who also trains the gelding. In the co-featured $9,000 Open II, Beast Mode (Michael Whelan), who competed in the North American Cup in June, left for position and then pulled again before three-quarters to take the lead by the head of the stretch. From there he powered to an impressive three-length victory in 1:55.1. Beast Mode ($2.60) is owned by Christopher Nicol and is trained by Todd Clements. Jim Morrill Jr. won four races on the card while Dave McNeight III scored a double. JD Perrin had a training double as well. As was previously reported, the live racing card for Sunday (July 31) at Batavia Downs has been cancelled. Live racing will resume on Wednesday (Aug. 3) with the first post set for 6:15 p.m.   Tim Bojarski

Five-year-old Our Ideal Act, the least experienced runner in the $23,000 Garrard’s Horse And Hound BOTRA Cup, has an outstanding harness racing record in standing-start races and he has the ability to overcome the 20m handicap and win the 2503m stand at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred gelding, owned and trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has won 11 times from just 23 starts, with nine of those wins in stands --- two from nine starts in New Zealand and seven from 14 starts in Western Australia. Our Ideal Act bounced back to his best form three Fridays ago when he started from 10m and was 11th with two laps to travel. Ryan Warwick then sent him forward and he sustained his three-wide burst to be fifth at the bell before he sprinted over the final two 400m sections in 28.6sec. and 28.3sec. to get up in the final stride to defeat the pacemaker Importer Exporter. That was his tenth win from his past 15 starts. He is by American Ideal and is closely related to former star mare Tupelo Rose, who retired with a fine record of 101 starts for 35 wins and 25 placings for stakes of $1,146,603 Our Ideal Act is out of In Hollywood, a full-sister to the brilliant Tupelo Rose. Tupelo Rose won 12 races in New Zealand, 12 in Australia, one in Canada and ten in the United States. She won five group 1 and two group 2 events in New Zealand and her Australian victories included the Victoria and Australian Oaks at Moonee Valley in 2000. The Bonds also have another strong chance in this week’s Cup in nine-year-old Pay Me Cullen, who has won standing-start events at Gloucester Park and Northam at his past two outings. He will start from the 10m mark. Chris Lewis has high hopes of winning the BOTRA Cup for the fifth time when he drives tough stayer Our Jericho for eight-time leading West Australian trainer Ross Olivieri. Lewis has won the BOTRA Cup with Village Kid (1985), Elteei (1986), Mach Ruler (2009) and Tartary Gladiator (2011), but Olivieri has yet to train the winner of this feature event. The closest he has come was in 2010 when Lewis drove 7/2 chance Jordangarry, who set the pace and finished a close second to 9/4 favourite Albert Jaccka. Our Jericho produced a powerful performance to win a 2503m stand last Friday week when he raced three wide for much of the journey. He then started from the outside of the back line in a mobile 2130m event last Friday night and was far from disgraced when he sustained a strong three-wide burst from the rear to finish sixth behind American Boy when the final 800m (off the front) was covered in a fast 55.4sec. He will start from 10m on Friday night. The Michael Brennan-trained Naughty Maravu will have many admirers after several strong efforts in recent weeks. Naughty Maravu will start from 10m and will be driven by Gary Hall jun., who has won the BOTRA Cup with Strike A Blow (2002), Spirit of Shard (2008) and Classic American (2015). Naughty Maravu was most unlucky when seventh behind Ohoka Cooper in a 2503m stand last Friday night when he was forced to race three wide without cover in third place for more than two laps. “We had no luck at all and were history after 700m,” said Hall. “He gets his chance to make amends this week.” Ohoka Cooper ran an excellent trial for this week’s Cup when he was eighth with two laps to travel and tenth at the bell before surging home from fifth on the home turn to win by a length from the fast-finishing Phoenix Warrior. Ohoka Cooper (10m) is trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams and will again be driven by Nathan Turvey. Seven-year-old Copagrin has been set for the BOTRA Cup and part-owner and trainer John Guagliardo has high hopes of a first-up victory after the gelding’s impressive workouts in trials at Byford on the past two Sunday mornings. Ken Casellas

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 15, 2016 - Harness racing driver Jason Bartlett won five races Friday night, included both halves of Yonkers Raceway equally-divided $167,874 New York Sire Stakes Art Watson Pace for 3-year-old fillies. A first-up Soft Idea ($24.40) just held sway in the opening $83,937 division. Grabbing an three-hole from post position No. 5, she watched 31-1 proposition Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald) throw down early intervals of :28.2 and :57. Mother of Art (Joe Bongiorno), part of a three-headed, 1-20, Ron Burke-trained entry, was away second but decided not to take over from the longshot. That left Soft Idea a clear path to try it, which she did in and out of a 1:25.3 three-quarters. That one opened 2½ lengths entering the lane and looked to coast. However, a resurgent "Pink" made up a ton ground late, only miss a neck in 1:54.3. Dime a Dance (Matt Kakaley), trying to salvage some semblance of dignity for the failed entry, was third. Her partners, an eight-ball Art Critic (George Brennan) and a backpedaling Mother of Art, finished seventh and eighth, respectively. For third choice Soft Idea, an American Ideal filly trained by Linda Toscano for co-owning stable South Mountain, Bay's, Radio Racing and Little E, it was her second win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $301.50, with the triple returning $573. "First-time Lasix and racing her off the helmet made the difference," Bartlett said. "We're trying to get her back to the way she was last season. This was the first step." As for odds-on Time on My Hands ($3.50), she took it the distance (:28.1, :57.3, 1:26, 1:54.3) from post No. 4 in the second division. Opening to 3½ lengths in and out of the final turn, she whipped a closing No Clouds Bluechip (Brian Sears) by three-quarters of a length. American Ivy (Andy Miller) couldn't sustain her second move and faded to third. For Time on My Hands, an American Ideal miss trained by Chris Ryder for co-owners Robert Mondillo, Michael Robinson, Steve Cheatham and BFJ Stable, she's now 4-for-7 this season. The exacta paid $74, with the triple returning $206.50. As was the case with Soft Idea, this winner was also racing with fresh Lasix, though she had qualified with it. "The medication helped, and I wanted to give her a safe trip, and it worked out," Bartlett said. Friday night's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace was won by a cone-skimming Secrets Out N (Bartlett, $33.40) in a life-best 1:52.3. Stakes action continues Saturday night with the $100,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard (2-year-old colts/geldings). Frank Drucker

Having done their homework and taken the plunge, a Werribee harness racing father-son team has scooped the brightest prospect to grace their stable. Trainer Jeff Tabone and co-owner Luke Tabone will be hoping the good times continue when their unbeaten two-year-old gelding, Cruz, steps out for his city debut in the Group 2 $50,575 Apco Tatlow Stakes. “He is probably the best young horse I have had,” Jeff Tabone said. “He has given me and my son a lot of excitement.” Cruz won by 3.7m on debut at Cranbourne on June 14, then followed up by mowing down Our Uncle Sam by a head at Geelong via the sprint lane. It’s form that was validated when Our Uncle Sam won the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Silver Pace at his next start, and Mygoldengrinner was beaten a half-neck to third in the bronze pace, having earlier finished second to Cruz at Cranbourne and third to Cruz and Our Uncle Sam at Geelong. “There has been a lot of form around him,” Tabone said. “Most the horses than have finished second or third behind him have come out and won.” It’s encouraging reward on investment for the Tabones, whose gelding by American Ideal out of Close To Heaven has briskly seen his stocks rise. “We scooped him up in New Zealand from video trials,” Tabone said. “He’s well bred and in his trial he pushed out well.” Cruz was with renowned Kiwi trainer Tony Herilhy, a “good friend” of Tabone, whose phone call pursuing purchase led to a successful negotiation, and there is a sense the gelding has thus far only scratched the surface. “He has a lot more development to come,” Tabone said. “If he wasn’t Breeders Crown eligible I would have put him in the paddock and he would come back more educated next time around. “He’s a terrific horse at home, a very well-mannered horse, but when you put the sulky on he pulls a bit and he wants to run. His second run he was a bit more keen and pulled.” His behaviour will be tested on Saturday night at Tabcorp Park Melton, when he will run into Team Tritton’s talented Blue Moon Rising, Terang flyer Jilliby Kung Fu and Emma Stewart’s Vicbred placegetter Our Little General. “They are seasoned horses and nice horses,” Tabone said. “They are coming out of Vicbred and going well and have had a lot of racing. “I’m just hoping (Cruz) handles it well. I’m sure he will, he’ll be thereabouts. Hopefully he will finish in the first four, acquit himself well and improves on his previous run. He’s a nice horse and he should be running among this echelon of horses.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Fields for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 16 July 2016 Form guide for Tabcorp Park Melton, Saturday 16 July 2016

YONKERS, NY, Monday, July 11, 2016-It was the second downstate go-round for the state's glamour division Monday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $166,374 New York Sire Stakes Armand Palatucci Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. A pair of consecutive divisions, worth $82,437 and $83,937, respectively, comprised the event. Slight 2-1 favorite Roll Away Joe (Jim Morrill Jr., $6.30) had enough things go right for him in the opening division, which he won in a life-best 1:53. Starting outside his six rivals, he left into a chasmic three-hole as Stolen Glimpse (Matt Kakaley) was stung early by pole-sitting Autotune Hanover (Tyler Buter). A :26.2 opening quarter-mile gave way to a more sensible :55.3 intermission. Roll Away Joe was out and moving toward a 1:24.1 three-quarters, ducking inside when "Autotune" phoned it in. Stolen Glimpse held a tenuous, half-length lead into the lane, but was about to get swallowed up. Roll Away Joe slide inside, then whipped a second-over Craftship (Scott Zeron) by a length-and-a-half. Artmagic (George Brennan) was third, while Stolen Glimpse faded to fourth. "The fast early fractions helped, but at the finish he was so good that he wanted to go around again," Morrill said. For "Joe," a Roll With Joe gelding co-owned by Stephen Demeter, Howard Taylor and Thomas Lazzaro and trained by Tracy Brainard, it was his second win in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $65, with the triple returning $228.50. Odds-on Missile J (Tim Tetrick, $2.10), surprised very few in the second sire stakes grouping, prevailing in 1:53.2. Looped leaving from post No. 4 by Fine Diamond (Kakaley), the people's preference made the lead before a :27.4 opening quarter, Subsequent fractions of 57-seconds flat and 1:25.2 gave Missile J a couple of lengths in and out of the final turn. Fine Diamond chased from the pocket, beaten a non-threatening three-quarters of a length. Ideal Son (Morrill Jr.) was a three-hole third. For Missile J, the Art Rooney Pace-winning American Ideal gelding, he's now 8-for-13 this season resume ($312,902). Linda Toscano trains the winner for co-owning stables KJ and Purple Haze. "He rated well and paced home really strong," Tetrick said. Sire stakes continue here Thursday night, with the $163,374 Michael Sorentino Trot (3-year-old colts and geldings). Friday night, it's the $167,974 Art Watson Pace (3-year-old fillies). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Nichols, N.Y. -- Harness racing driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Linda Toscano swept the 3-year-old Geers Stakes divisions at Tioga Downs on Monday (July 4) afternoon, with both Missile J ($3.80) and Cut and Paste ($3.60) prevailing in convincing fashion.   In the $66,375 Geers for pacing colts and geldings, Missile J pushed clear of Mr D's Dragon (Jim Meittinis) midway on the first turn, controlling a :57.1 first half before accelerating clear on the backstretch. The 3-year-old American Ideal gelding used a :26.3 third quarter to get the jump on his eight rivals, ultimately besting pocket foe Mr D's Dragon by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:51.2. Fine Diamond (Matt Kakaley) circled belatedly to save third while detached from the top pair.   Missile J, a 7-time winner, is owned by the KJ Stables, LLC and the Purple Haze Stables, LLC.   Cut and Paste took advantage of a pocket trip through the first eleven-sixteenths of the $53,375 filly division, tracking Mother of Art (Mark MacDonald) before vaulting clear on approach to the far turn. As soon as Tetrick vacated the pocket with the Well Said filly, she sprinted clear with authority. The 6-time winner mounted a six-length margin over eventual runner-up Encore Deo (Mike Simons) before Tetrick geared her down in the last 70 yards to a 1:53 triumph. Ghose Runner (Tom Jackson) used a third-over trip to take third, just missing Encore Deo for the place spot. Early pacesetter Mother of Art faded on the far turn, finishing last of the seven fillies.   Cut and Paste is owned by the Stake Your Claim Stable, the Camelot Stable, and Fred Wallace.   Tetrick completed a driving hat trick on the nine-race card with Nitro Seelster ($3.60) in the $11,000 Open Pace, fanning three-wide off the far turn and out-sprinting Andreos Kardia (Aaron Byron), who found a seam up the pegs in the last sixteenth with an abundance of pace, in 1:51.2.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (July 8), with first post slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 2, 2016-Jason Bartlett won half of Yonkers Raceway's dozen Saturday night races, including both $45,000 Open Handicaps. Pole-sitting, odds-on Mach it So ($2.80) was a handy winner in the week's featured pace, whipping Santa Fe Beachboy (Brian Sears) by a length-and-a-quarter in a two-speed, 1:51 number. Somewhere in L A (George Brennan) was a non-threatening third. Five races later, Bartlett and Major Athens ($6.80) overcame an assigned outside seven-hole in the week's marquee trot. Leaving into a convenient three-hole, the pair engaged, then overtook, Allerage Star (Sears) in 1:54. The final margin was widening 3¾ lengths. Luminosity (Brennan), at just over even-money, lost touch with the leaders and wound up third, beaten six lengths. Special Saturday props to Great Vintage (Dan Dube, $8.50), who became the sport's newest millionaire ($ 1,004,748) while being left alone on the lead in the $35,000, winners-over pace (1:52). The 8-year-old son of American Ideal was making his 122nd career start. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

It was billed as the race of the harness racing series and it didn’t disappoint.  The Empire Stallions $115,000 Vicbred Super Series Final four-year-olds, on the cusp of Grand Circuit racing, dazzled under the Tabcorp Park Melton lights, none more so than Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin trained star Ideal For Real. Despite getting parked outside the Birchip Bull and reigning Victorian horse of the year Menin Gate, a noted fighter when in front, Ideal For Real packed too much punch in tonight’s Group 1 final and delivered a knockout 3.9-metre win over runner-up Tee Cee Bee Macray, who produced a super run rocketing home from the back, with Menin Gate boxing on gamely for third beaten 4.7m. Driven by “Group 1 Gavin Lang”, who notched his third top-level trophy for the evening with the victory, Ideal For Real rated 1:56.1. “We expected that’s how it would unfold in the race,” Lang said. “He cornered so well … in the straight he wanted to make a bit of a beeline to the outside … but he’s a great little racehorse and it was a great training performance from Emma and Clayton.” Ideal For Real (by American Ideal out of Tamara Hall) started from gate five and notched his fifth straight success this time in from five starts. Ideal For Real has now won 11 of 19 starts for almost $300,000 in stakes. And the future for the powerful pacer is bright, according to Lang. “With the four-year-olds their next step is the Grand Circuit racing next year so it’s harder as we go along but I’m quite sure this little guy will take that step,” he said. “He had too much speed for his own good when he was young. When you would show him a little bit of daylight he would try and go from A to B too quickly. He wasn’t sort of ready for that and he had a couple of little issues early as you can see now the team have turned him into a great little racehorse.” Stewart said the stable would take a cautious approach to Grand Circuit racing for Ideal For Real. “He’s a nervous sort of horse so we’ll take him slow," she said. “He’s a lovely horse and I think the second horse (Tee Cee Bee Macray) is a terrific horse too so I look forward to those clashes in the future." Lang drove four Group 1 winners tonight, all four legs of the quaddie.  Ideal For Real was bred by Bruce Edward of Durham Park.  Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Jim Morrill, Jr, driving Milky Way Rae, set a new track record of 1:53.4 for three year old pacing fillies at Goshen Historic Track on July 1, 2016. The prior record was set in 2014 record of 1:54.1 and was held held by Spreester.   The daughter of American Ideal actually broke before the start of the $15,000 division of the NY Excelsior race, but regrouped and was still able wire the field, winning by three and one-half lengths. She is owned and bred by the Fortunate One Stable of New York and is trained by Tracy Brainard.    The victory was one of four winners on the program for driver Jim Morrill, Jr.    by Geri Schwarz, for Historic Track      

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- The fireworks started two days early at Buffalo Raceway as American Bull was as hot as a firecracker in deep stretch and blew up the tote board with a $38.20 victory in the featured $9,000 Open II pace on Saturday night (July 2).   Getting a pocket journey for most of the mile, American Bull (Todd Cummings) was able to win the cavalry charge to the finish by beating Jolt Of Whiskey (Kevin Cummings) by a neck while Bad Fox (Lee Dahn) took third.   Big Bad George played give-and-go with American Bull to set the tempo with times of 30.0, 59.2 and 1:29.1. But in the final panel of pacing action, the favored Big Bad George was in retreat mode while American Bull, Jolt Of Whiskey and Bad Fox were gearing up three-wide heading for the wire.   Using the passing lane, American Bull had all the momentum in the shadow of the finish line to power past Jolt Of Whiskey and Bad Fox in 1:58.0.   Owned by Sidney Easton and trained by Anthony Cummings, American Bull (American Ideal-Touch Of Pearls) is a 5-year-old gelding that has two wins in 11 appearances this season. The win upped his 2016 bankroll to $15,210 and $103,865 lifetime.   It was a great night for Shawn McDonough as he drove home four winners and had a pair of training victories while Drew Monti had a triple in the bike. Maria Rice had a training double.   Racing will resume on Sunday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. with a 12-race program scheduled.   For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news, race replays and results, go to   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

Richly talented open class performer Mach Alert is out of the winter harness racing carnival. The Mach Three gelding has been battling hoof issues and trainer Ian Gurney has reluctantly made the decision to back off and allow him time to fully recover. Mach Alert was aiming at the Gr.2 $50,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint (July 9) followed by the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake the following week. “It’s disappointing but the horse comes first, his whole career has been thwarted by injuries and niggling setbacks and this is just another one of those issues that we have to deal with. He’s got bad corns and I’m going to get them sorted, you can’t take on horses like Christen Me, Hectorjayjay, Ohoka Punter, Ultimate Art and Nova when you’re not right so he’s out.” Gurney explained The former Queensland Derby winner recorded back to back victories recently at Albion Park including the Listed $25,000 Flashing Red but failed at his most recent start. Mach Alert finished a well beaten 8th at his most recent start in the Gr.3 $30,000 Lucky Creed on June 18 at Albion Park, the race was won by his stablemate Avonnova. While it’s disappointing for Gurney, the popular horseman still has two chances heading into the open class features with dual Queensland Horse of the Year Avonnova plus former Queensland Pacing Championship winner Ideal Scott. Both pacers are racing in excellent form. Avonnova starts on Saturday night in the Listed $25,000 Mr Feelgood at Albion Park where hostilities will be renewed with Ultimate Art. The free legged pacer ended the winning sequence of Ultimate Art at 8 wins in their most recent outing in the Lucky Creed two weeks ago. This week, Avonnova faces a tricky draw on the inside of the second-line while Ultimate Art has drawn ideally in gate two in the 2138m mobile start feature. Ideal Scott will next start in the Sunshine Sprint next week after running a slashing second in the Wondais Mate last week behind the late closing Glenferrie Hood in a time of 1:52.4. The American Ideal gelding led up in the 1660m feature. Chris Barsby

Harness Racing aficionados will be licking their lips at the thought of next Saturday night’s four-year-old entires and geldings’ Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final after tonight’s semis and barrier draw. Heat winners Ideal For Real and Tee Cee Bee Macray have drawn five and 13 respectively, while reigning Vicbred champ and horse of the year Menin Gate, a fierce warrior when in front, has drawn well in barrier three. Murranji Track in gate two has good gate speed and can run along also, so he will surely create headaches for speed mappers. Tee Cee Bee Macray was ultra-impressive in winning his heat tonight, and while barrier 13 is never ideal, he does his best work when winding up with a big finish. Trained by Alan Tubbs, Tee Cee Bee Macray (Ponder/Way Mya Macray) sprinted powerfully through the final 400m to overhaul pacemaker Solarsonic in the run to the line. Driven by Greg Sugars, Tee Cee Bee Macray rated 1:56.9. “There’s a lot of depth in the (four-year-old) field … but he’s very fast,” Sugars said. “He’s a very good horse.” The win clearly meant plenty for the Tubbs team, who received plenty of congratulations trackside. Ideal For Real (American Ideal/Tamara Hall) was also super-impressive, the Emma Stewart-trained star winning its 10th race from 18 starts with a 1:56.2 run to score by 14.2m over runner-up Sevens Hope with Mister Wickham third. Despite the ease of the win and the high expectations being placed on Ideal For Real, Lang said the entire still had a bit to learn. “He’s got to learn to go straight or he’ll have to cover more ground than the others … he’ll get beat doing that,” he said. “He’s got a good record but it won’t be an easy race next week.” The continued dominance of the Emma Stewart stable was on full display in the four-year-old mares’ Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-finals tonight. The Smythes Creek trainer qualified five mares for next Saturday night’s final, giving her almost half the field. Stewart-trained Starburst Girl (barrier two for the final), Brighty Valentine (three), Lovelist (seven), Delight Me (nine) and Stay And Play (11) will all line up in the big dance. Delight Me (Bettor's Delight/Cornsilk) impressively won her semi-final with Gavin Lang in the sulky, defeating stablemates Lovelist and Starburst Girl in the first semi-final, working wide in the run before finding the line strongly. Stay And Play (Live Or Die/Play Ball) posted a mile rate of 1:56.2 in her 8.3m win over Snip Of Grand in the second semi-final, with third placegetter Brighty Valentine also hailing from the Stewart stable.   Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO Mares Final barrier draw 1: Diamond Castle 2: Starburst Girl 3: Brighty Valentine 4: Soho Tokyo 5: Boadiceas Fury 6: Snip Of Grand 7: Lovelist 8: Glory Daze 9: Delight Me 10: Morton Plains 11: Stay And Play 12: Keayang Mercedes (em) 13: Miss Dreaming Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO Entires & Geldings Final barrier draw 1: Repeat After Me 2: Murranji Track 3: Menin Gate 4: Sevens Hope 5: Ideal For Real 6: Lucky Lombo 7: Mister Wickham 8: Solarsonic 9: Stagger Lee 10: Soynwasabi 11: Rule Of Thumb (em) 12: Blacknbrown 13: Tee Cee Bee Macray ............................................................................................................................................................................... Tingira Beach has emerged a frontrunner in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series' two-year-old colts and geldings for New South Wales team Shane and Lauren Tritton, dominating his semi-final and drawing well. Things only got better for the Somebeachsomewhere colt out of Western Tingira after he won his class's second semi-final by 12.9m, having then drawn barrier four in the final. Conversely, fellow semi-final winner Jilliby Kung Fu will start from barrier 12 and will have to do things the hard way in the final on Saturday, July 2. Lauren Tritton, driver of Tingira Beach, warned there was more improvement to come from her colt, who found the front and comfortably beat highly-fancied Victorians Our Little General and Wrappers Delight into second and third place. “(Tingira Beach) is still really green, he still had a look around, but tonight he raced a lot better," Tritton said post-win. "He still had a good look around in the race and was on and off the bit. Next week he might run a bit better and could get the best of them." Tritton said Tingira Beach's favourable draw, albeit with Geoff Webster's Wrappers Delight inside her, would not be a huge factor. “He’s very versatile and the barrier doesn’t really mean much too him," Tritton said. "He hasn’t got that much gate speed in him, it’s always good to draw a good barrier but that’s not much of a worry.” It could be a worry for Jilliby Kung Fu, though the talented Terang colt is only too happy to run them down from behind. In his semi-final, Jilliby Kung Fu found the front and, though he “gets a bit lonely out there on his own”, according to driver Jason Lee, he had enough of a buffer to win by 2.5m from Geoff Webster’s fast-finishing Misterfreeze. The two-year-old colt by Four Starzzz Shark out of Slip Slop Slap, trained at Terang by Marg Lee, produced a fifth win in 10 starts when from barrier 10 he looped the field to find the front. “I think he’s a better chaser and I probably got a bit of itchy feet and thought I should jump around to the front, but he didn’t really want to go on with the job,” Jason Lee said. “He had a little bit left in the tank.” Misterfreeze kept him close company at Tabcorp Park Melton in the semi-finals and Somebeachshadow, trained by Craig Demmler and driven by Jodi Quinlan, surprised with a third placing having started a $59 shot.   Barrier draws: Two-year-old colts and geldings pacers 1: Wrappers Delight 2: Ruthless Armbro 3: Misterfreeze 4: Tingira Beach 5: Form Analyst (emg) 6: Island Specialmajor 7: Canada Bay 8: Our Little General 9: Bundy Playboy 10: Albarock 11: Somebeachshadow 12: Jilliby Kung Fu 13: Classic Maker (ODM) Cody Winnell & Michael Howard

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