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The belief and faith in star harness racing pacer Bling It On runs deep. Just ask his co-owner and breeder Harvey Kaplan. But that belief and faith will be severely tested in the coming weeks as the American Ideal entire tackles the Queensland spring carnival at Albion Park. His deeds as a juvenile were simply sublime, constantly moving at the speed of light as he regularly took down his opponents which featured a galaxy of stars. Over the past twelve months, Bling It On has taken some brutal body blows which in turn, has left many wondering if he will take that next step. Bling It On was a beaten favourite at TABCORP Park, Menangle on September 26 when 7th behind Devil Dodger following an indifferent Brisbane winter carnival campaign in July. The now five-year-old is looking to make his mark at the elite level where there is no room for weakness and only the tough survive this hard road. “He’s still one of the most exciting pacers racing in this part of the world and his overall record clearly proves that, this Brisbane campaign won’t be easy but it looks an ideal springboard into bigger events later this season. The Miracle Mile on his home track and the Victoria Cup are the two main events for this him.” Kaplan said. Bling It On starts this Saturday night in the Gr.2 $50,000 Be Good Johnny Sprint at Albion Park but faces a massive challenge after landing gate six in the 1660m feature. UBET bookies have priced him at juicy odds of $6.50 following the draw. “I’ll be honest, I was initially disappointed following his run the other week because he had a good run in transit and trialed exceptionally well in lead-up to that race but upon closer inspection of times, the run was actually very good. “Yes, some horses were able to pass him in the straight but they took inside runs where Yank (Bling It On) came wide at the turn. His own sectionals and time were pleasing and he pulled up great following the hit-out. If you’re not on the pegs at Menangle when they’re running time, its mission impossible. “Originally, we were only heading up for the Gold Coast Cup and Queensland Pacing Championship but after a re-think, we’ve decided to tackle all three events. The draw is very unkind but he’s good enough to win, we just need no bad luck going our way.” Bling it On boasts an outstanding record at Albion Park with 9 victories from 12 starts including four features. UBET bookies have installed the locally trained Majestic Major as the favourite for Saturday’s feature after landing gate two. Majestic Major is looking for back to back victories in the Be Good Johnny Sprint after he led throughout last year in 1;54.1. by Chris Barsby Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 10 October 2015 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 10 October 2015

Two divisions of $7,700 Open II pacing mares headlined the harness racing card at Batavia Downs on Wednesday night (Oct. 7) with eleven ladies going postward. The better of the two contests turned out to be the second when Country Delight ($5.00) took a pocket trip en route to winning the seventh race by a long length. Memumsnotnice (Kevin Cummings) got away sharply as Country Delight (Jack Flanigen) tucked in behind her as the only leaver in the race. From there, Cummings led the field through fractions of :28, :58.2 and 1:27 before they circled the far turn. At the top of the stretch it appeared as if Memumsnotnice had the race won, but Flanigen shooed Country Delight into the passing lane where she accelerated past the leader to win in 1:55.4. It was the ninth win of the year for the 5-year-old American Ideal mare who has now earned $57,473 in purses this year for owner James Frandsen. Country Delight is trained by James Clouser Jr. In the first division, Infrontigo Hanover (Jim McNeight) went to go in front immediately at the start and maintained that position the entire mile, hanging on to beat the pocket-sitting 1-9 favorite, Climate Hanover (Drew Monti) by a mere nose in 1:57. It was the fifth win of 2015 for Infrontigo Hanover who now has $50,444 in the bank for the year. The 7-year-old Western Hanover mare is trained by Bob Gruber, who co-owns with Summer Wind Stable of NY. Driver John Cummings Jr. was on fire Wednesday, winning five races on the card. He took his picture with LG's Pride ($65.50), Seascape Hanover ($5.10), Voltina ($10.80), Hawaiian Joe ($4.60) and Regal Beau ($4.60). Sean McDonough and Jack Flanigen each had driving doubles. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday night with the first post set to go at 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Kelvin Harrison's In The Arsenal won the fastest of the two splits for the $185,000 Bluegrass Stakes at the harness racing meeting in The Red Mile 3-year-old colt pace, winning in 1:52.3.   Sitting off a hot pace set by Paparazzi Hanover, including fractions of :27.4, :54.3, and 1:23, driver Brian Sears pulled the even-money choice off the pylons and around a tiring pocket sitter in National Seelster.   Catching Paparazzi Hanover at the top of the stretch, In The Arsenal progressed to the lead with Rock N' Roll World, following his move after the leader, beginning to challenge for control.   However, In The Arsenal dug in to the inside of Rock N' Roll World and held a half-length advantage in the end. Reggiano closed for third.   Getting the 13th win of his career and earning $885,973 in the process, the colt by American Ideal, out of the On The Road Again mare Ladyotra, returned $4.00 to win. He's owned by breeder White Birch Farms and In The Arsenal Racing, trained by Kelvin Harrison, and driven by Brian Sears.   "He raced well tonight," Kelvin Harrison said. "Like you said [to interviewer Gabe Prewitt], he was good here last year." " In the Messenger, he got it the way he likes it, and he got nailed."   "We had some sickness issues coming out of Tioga [in the Empire Breeders Classic], and still a little bit coming out of the Messenger, but I think we finally got him cleaned up."   "We'll be here next week for the Tattersalls Pace, and then hopefully everything's good because then we're going to the Breeders Crown," Harrison also said.   Flushing cover as he began his bid past the half, Split The House rallied down the center of the course and by speed-maker Penji Hanover to take the second split of the Bluegrass in 1:53.1.   Penji Hanover established fractions of :29.1, :57.1, and 1:25.3. Dude's The Man, flushed out by Split The House after the half, came up to challenge Penji Hanover at the top of the stretch.   Penji Hanover drifted off the pylons, allowing pocket-rider Blood Brother to sprint into contention through the stretch.   Off cover, Split The House managed to out sprint Blood Brother heading to the finish, doing so while besting third-place finisher Penji Hanover and fourth-place finisher Dude's The Man.   A recent purchase by owners Crawford Farms LLC and trainer Chris Oakes, the colt by Rocknroll Hanover out of the Camluck mare Shake That Junk claimed the eighth win of his career, and pushed his earnings to $241,481.   Driven to victory by Tim Tetrick, he paid $3.20 to win.   "It's really hard for these horses to go twice in one day," Chris Oakes said in regards to scratching Split The House from the Little Brown Jug final.   "He drew badly, and I hadn't had the horse that long, so not knowing him and his characteristics, I didn't want to put his future in jeopardy; I'd only had the horse a week at that point. He was good. You could see in the last turn, he was full of pace, and I figured he'd fire home pretty well, and he did."   "I kind of had my eye on him and I mentioned it to the Crawfords," Oakes also said in regards to purchasing Split The House. "I haven't even been with them that long and they knew all about this horse. As soon as he became available, they jumped on it."   "He wasn't paid in next week [to the Tattersalls], but he does have the Breeders Crown coming up and I'm pretty sure that's what we'll be pointing to," Oakes also said.   Ray Cotolo

LEXINGTON, KY-- Joe Holloway-trainee Divine Caroline put in the fastest mile of the three harness racing divisions for the $189,400 Bluegrass 3-year-old filly pace, winning in 1:53.2. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven out of the Art Major mare Loving Caroline stalked a pace of :29.1, :57.4, and 1:26 set by Band Of Angels. Driver David Miller tipped the even-money favorite first over after the half, and applied pressure to the pacesetter nearing the top of the stretch. The two battled for control through the stretch, with Divine Caroline edging past race leader and forced to fend off the late-pacing Daut Full from off cover. She held Daut Full off, however, winning by about a length over the closer, with Band Of Angels finishing third and Storm Point fourth. Owned by Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, Rojan Stables, and Michael Ouriel, the $4.00 winner won the fifth race of her career, pushing her earnings to $396,633.   "She raced really well," David Miller said. "She's been really consistent this year and gives a good effort."   "The rail's very deep, still," Miller also said. "There's a little bit of a wind, and I guess they're [the track crew] working a little too hard on the inside."   "They're [Bettor Be Steppin and Divine Caroline] very good and they're very consistent," Joe Holloway said. "[Bettor Be] Steppin had been the better filly for most of the time, but [Divine] Caroline's been consistent and she may be the fastest. The next three to four weeks may be fun."   "We go here [for the Tattersalls Filly Pace] then to Canada for the Breeders Crown," Holloway also said.   Wicked Little Minx stalked the front for the entire mile until she had an opportunity to pace through a vacant slot in the stretch and sneak to the lead and to a 1:55.3 win in the first division. Bettor Be Steppin set the tempo after circling by early leader Invest In Art for control. Once on the lead, she put up fractions of :28.4, :57.2, and 1:27.1. Pressure came nearing the three-quarter pole from Invest In Art, who popped out of the pocket heading into the stretch. Bettor Be Steppin held her at bay in the stretch, but drifted off the pylons in the process, which allowed for Wicked Little Minx to pace by the 3-5 favorite who attempted to retake the lead approaching the finish, but settled for second. Invest In Art finished third. Wicked Little Minx, owned by Courant A B, paid $11.80 to win. This was the fourth win of her career, earning $193,679 to date. The daughter by Rocknroll Hanover, out of Beachy Lady by Jenna's Beach Boy, is trained by Nancy Johansson and driven by Brett Miller.   "She's gotten her things together from summer and onwards, and now she's going for it again," owner Anders Strom said. "Today's trip by Brett was perfect. And well done by the stable, trainer, groom, and everyone because this horse has a lot to do in the future."   "It's so fun to also be involved in the pacing business," Strom also said. "I'm a trotting person, but a few years back I told my friend Bernie Noren that I would like to get involved in pacing a little bit, and Bernie actually helped me pick this one out [Wicked Little Minx at the 2013 Harrisburg Yearling Sale]."   "Besides the Jugette, there's been many other races so far where I've gotten very bad trips with her," Brett Miller said. "Finally things worked out and we got a good trip."   "It's still tiring," Miller also said talking about the track surface. "They've [the track crew] done a great job with this track. With all the rain we had yesterday and as bad as it was last night, they've done a great job, but it's still very tiring."   Storming from the back of the pack down the center of the track, Bedroomconfessions fulfilled her duty as the 6-5 favorite by winning the second split of the Bluegrass 3-year-old filly pace in 1:54.1. Setting the pace was Devil Child, with fractions of :28.2, :56.3, and 1:26.2. Around the far turn, Triple V Hanover tipped first over, with Moremercy Bluechip and Bedroomconfessions tracking the cover. Triple V Hanover edged into second after pocket-sitter Happiness retreated at the top of the stretch, while Moremercy Bluechip fanned wide of her cover, as did Bedroomconfessions. Once rolling from the back, Bedroomconfessions soon rushed up to and by Devil Child and edged away to a two length victory.   Devil Child held on for second, Triple V Hanover finished third, and Moremercy Bluechip was fourth.   Returning $4.60 to win, Bedroomconfessions is by American Ideal, out of Jenna's Beach Boy mare Turnoffthelights. She's owned by Riverview Racing LLC and Alagna Racing LLC, trained by Tony Alagna, and driven by Tim Tetrick. She obtained her sixth win of her career, earning $372,893.   "My wife made me buy the dam, Turnoffthelights," owner and breeder Myron Bell said. "She's out of a sister to Keystone Horatio; that's a family that goes back to Smooth Fella and Happy Lady, and I always wanted to have a filly in this family. We bred her to American Ideal and Bedroom[confessions] was the first foal, so we're happy to have her."   "We bought her [dam Turnoffthelights] in Lexington about seven or eight years ago," Bell also said. "We raced her as a two-year-old. She had minor ability."   "She'll [Bedroomconfessions] be bred to the Captain[treacherous] either next year or the year after, it depends on how well she wants to race," Bell also said.   Live racing at The Red Mile continues on Wednesday, Oct. 7 with four divisions of the $268,000 International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old filly trotters. Wednesday also begins the week of matinee cards, with first race post set for 1:00pm.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

LEXINGTON, KY-- Earning his second win of the season, American Passport took the first of three divisions of the $292,200 Bluegrass 2-year-old colt pace in wire-to-wire fashion over the sloppy harness racing track at The Red Mile on Friday, Oct. 2.   The Tony Alagna trainee cleared the top easily and generated fractions of :29.1, :59, and 1:28 on the lead. The only challenge came from Rodeo Rock first over, with Big Top Hanover and Pretty Boy Hill tracking him two wide. American Passport easily kicked away at the top of the stretch, leading by 2 lengths over Big Top Hanover and Pretty Boy Hill, who began their bids down the center of the track. The two merely followed American Passport to the line and finished second and third, respectively, to the 7-2 third choice in his 1:56.1 win.   A $9.40 winner, owned by Brittany Farms, Riverview Racing LLC, Alagna Racing LLC, and Jodi Siamis, Scott Zeron steered the son of American Ideal out of the Four Starzzz Shark mare Star Of The Show to victory. He has earned $156,046 this season.   Jim Campbell's Katies Rocker also pulled off a wire-to-wire score, but did so in 1:57 at odds of 7-1. Andrew McCarthy sent the Rocknroll Hanover-Just Wait Katie-Real Artist colt for the lead, putting up times of :30.2, :59.3, and 1:29.1. Approaching the top of the stretch, Mr Right Hanover edged out of third and began a move first over, carrying 8-5 favorite Mindtrip behind. The two faded in the stretch, however, and were overtaken for the second and third spots by closers Talk Show and Fine Diamond.   Katies Rocker was a 3 length winner, paying $16.60 to win in his fourth win of the season. He pushes his earnings to $119,348.   Racing Hill, stalking in the pocket behind pacesetter Owen Hanover, drifted in his pouncing-stretch move but still managed to pull off a 2 length victory in the final division, doing so in 1:57.2. Owen Hanover led the field through panels of :30, :59.3, and 1:28.3 before losing control. Ideal Rocky, the 8-5 favorite, led the two-wide movement after Owen Hanover in the far turn, where Racing Hill began to edge off the inside and towards the center of the course. Once fed racetrack, he surpassed the 37-1 race leader and advanced to the wire in front, while Ideal Rocky finished third.   Driven by Brett Miller for trainer Tony Alagna and owner Tom Hill, the Roll With Joe colt, out of Chasing Ideals by American Ideal, paid $10.40 to win. This was his third win of the season, banking $83,576 in earnings.   Live racing at The Red Mile continues tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 3, with the $189,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old filly pace, $144,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old filly trot, $220,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old colt trot, and $185,000 Bluegrass 3-year-old colt pace. First race post is at 7:00pm.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

Spreester (American Ideal) has been a winning machine throughout her career and the locally-based mare recorded her first win of the season against feature harness racing company on Friday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Voted as the Two Year Old and Three Year Old of the Year at the Spa in the past two seasons, Spreester graduated from New York Sire Stakes star to overnight, hard hitting mare in 2015. In Friday's $17,900 Winners Over, the Paul Zabielski trainee moved out to the early lead and never had an anxious moment. Jimmy Devaux piloted Spreester, the race's 1-2 betting favorite, to a wire-to-wire victory in 1:54.1 holding off Bye Bye Michelle (Mark Beckwith) and Ella V Horse (Stephane Bouchard) in the stretch. For Spreester, it was the fifth win of the season and 19th in 48 career starts en route to earnings of over $337,000 for owner Kim Zabielski of Greenfield Center, NY. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Saturday night with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Linda Toscano trainees Cut and Paste ($2.10) and Soft Idea ($2.40) both achieved early leads and never looked back in their respective $31,894 Reynolds Stake divisions for 2-year-old pacing fillies on Thursday (September 10) evening at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs, while Katies Rocker ($2.20, part of entry) was king among five 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings in their lone $64,788 dash.   The first division for pacing fillies, contested as race 3, saw Cut and Paste work clear of Twice an Angel (Matt Kakaley) in the initial stages, controlling the terms throughout her 1:54.3 triumph.   Jim Marohn, Jr. comfortably rated sectionals of :28.1, :57.4, and 1:26.2 with the daughter of Well Said, and Cut and Paste responded immediately to the late challenge of Twice and Angel to prevail by 1-1/2 lengths.   In the second division, carded as race 5, Soft Idea settled off early pacesetters JK Fannie (Kakaley) and Wine Snob (Mike Simons), drafting through a :28.1 initial quarter before brushing to the fore upon entering the home straight on the first occasion.   Once clear on the lead, Jim Morrill, Jr. rated a :57 middle half with the American Ideal filly.   Off the far turn, Soft Idea dug in to repel dual challengers JK Fannie and Wine Snob, both of which closed in from either side in a dead heat for second, three-quarters of a length behind the odds-on winner.   While pupils of Toscano took both filly divisions of the Reynolds, a Jim Campbell trainee prevailed in the lone split for colts and geldings.   Katies Rocker worked clear of his four rivals with no trouble at all, sprinting off through a :27.3 initial quarter before Simon Allard rated a :31 breather to race's midpoint.   On the backstretch, the Rocknroll Hanover gelding was nudged along by his entrymate Show the Fashion (Kakaley), but Katies Rocker proved far superior in the end.   The Fashion Farms homebred edged clear by 1-1/2 lengths, using a :55.1 back half mile to cap a 1:53.4 victory over Safensound Hanover (Morrill), who gave chase from the pocket once clear in the final sixteenth.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday (September 11) evening, with the first of 13 races due off at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

Louisville, KY --- Harness racing trainer Brian Brown and his ownership group had their eye on Spider Man Hanover long before he went through the ring at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale, so they were thrilled to purchase him. Especially for the price. “We all really liked him and he was one of the top ones we wanted to bring home,” said Brown. “We loved his pedigree and then we were even more sold on him when we went to see him. We were prepared to go much higher for him as we thought he would go for at least $60,000, so we were very pleased we paid $40,000 for him. Actually we were in shock that’s all we had to give. The only reason I can think of that he didn’t go for more was he was on the smaller side, but he was very well built.” The son of Western Ideal and the Art Major mare Stolly Up Bluechip will seek to become a state champion when he competes on Friday (Sept. 11) in the $350,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. He will have the services of regular pilot David Miller in the ninth race on the card at The Meadows and will begin his mile from post position four. Owned by Country Club Acres, Kenneth Vaupel, Mike Mallett and Milton Leeman, Spider Man Hanover is the fourth choice on the morning line at 5-1 behind Check Six (3-1), Big Top Hanover (7-2) and Ideal Jimmy (9-2). There certainly is a lot to like about this colt’s family tree as his dam earned just shy of $200,000 during her racing career. His granddam, the Presidential Ball mare Stasia’s Girl amassed $142,774 on the track and she foaled another $100,000 winner in Cascata by American Ideal, p,1:51.2s, $145,414). Spider Man Hanover is also a full brother to Stacia Hanover p,3,1:49.2 ($238,746), who was last year’s New Jersey Sire Stakes final winner and this year’s Shady Daisy champion. He is also a half-brother to Seashell Hanover by Somebeachsomewhere, p,3,1:51.4f, $99,245) and an unnamed American Ideal weanling colt. “His family was what initially attracted our attention and then of course seeing how well his sister raced at two,” Brown said. “We knew he had ability right off and had high hopes for him right away.” Spider Man Hanover certainly has illustrated his potential. He won his first qualifying race at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on June 10 and was second in his second trip to the gate over the same oval on June 19. The colt made his career debut in a $30,000 Pennsylvania All-Stars contest at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on July 3 and was just out-finished for the triumph by the heavy favorite Allie’s Cruiser. He broke his maiden on July 15 at the same facility with David Miller at the lines for the first time in a $53,548 Sire Stakes event. Then it was on to The Meadows on July 25 where Spider Man Hanover collected his second career win in a $43,548 Sire Stake. He followed that up by coming home eighth and last in an $81,113 Sire Stakes race at Harrah’s Philadelphia on Aug. 20. The colt rebounded, however, with his third career triumph on Sept. 1 at The Meadows in a $70,714 Sire Stakes race. To date, he has banked $91,405, has a resume of 5-3-1-0 and a mark of 1:51.3f. “You can just throw that one race out,” Brown said. “He did not race well at all and David suggested some things after he came back with him, so we put a jaw cord on him and it was very helpful. Right from the start he tended to get a little aggressive when it was time to race and we have tried different things to help calm him down as well as focused on what he was doing. But with the jaw cord and him beginning to learn his job, we think he is headed in the right direction. He could tend to be pretty grabby and the equipment change helps David control him a bit better. We anticipate that he will race well on Friday.” After Spider Man Hanover’s championship engagement, he’ll begin his travels outside the Keystone State with Kentucky, Ontario and New Jersey on his itinerary. “We would like to race him twice in Lexington and then we plan on taking him to the Breeders Crown,” Brown said. “His last race will hopefully be the Governor’s Cup. We like that it’s at the Meadowlands and think that will be a great spot to end his season. “We really think a lot of him and are looking forward to how the rest of the year unfolds. He is not tremendously big, but he is well made and has the talent to be a very nice horse for us. We have high expectations for him and we think he will fulfill them.” Below is the field for the $350,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final for freshman pacing males, with drivers, trainers and morning line. 1 - Check Six by Somebeachsomewhere - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-3-1  2 - Manhattan Beach by Somebeachsomewhere - Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-8-1  3 - Big Top Hanover by Western Ideal  - Dave Palone-Ron Burke-7-2  4 - Spider Man Hanover by Western Ideal - David Miller-Brian Brown-5-1  5 - Yankee Artillery by Somebeachsomewhere -Corey Callahan-Aaron Lambert-6-1  6 - McDave by McArdle  -Andy Miller-Robin Cruise-10-1  7 - Ideal Jimmy by Western Ideal -Marcus Miller-Robin Cruise-9-2  8 - JK Will Power by Somebeachsomewhere  -Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke-10-1 by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Fifteen 2-year-old pacers--ten fillies, five colts and geldings--will vie for over $128,000 in purses as they contest their Reynolds Stake divisions on Thursday (September 10) evening at the harness racing meeting at Tioga Downs.   New York Sire Stakes standout Soft Idea has been installed the 4-5 morning line favourite in the $31,894 second division for pacing fillies, carded as the fifth race on the 11-dash program.   The daughter of American Ideal and Walk Softly has amassed over $128,000 so far in her career, winning five of seven races on the Sire Stakes circuit.   Jim Morrill, Jr. handles the driving duties for trainer Linda Toscano.   Another Toscano trainee has been made the morning line choice in the earlier $31,894 split for fillies (race 3), with Cut and Paste installed at 7-5 off her 1:53.3 maiden-breaking win at Pocono.   Jim Marohn, Jr. will drive the daughter of Well Said and On the Arm.   Of the quintet of pacing colts and geldings to contest their lone $64,788 Reynolds event (race 7), the Jim Campbell-trained entry of Show the Fashion and Katies Rocker have been made the 6-5 morning line favourite.   Katies Rocker, a two-time winner, comes off a 1:53.1 victory at Pocono after earning minor checks in the New Jersey Sire Stakes and the Geers Stake   Simon Allard is slated to drive the son of Rocknroll Hanover and Just Wait Kate.   Show the Fashion likewise ships in from Pocono, breaking maiden in 1:54.3 in his most recent effort.   Matt Kakaley will handle the lines of the son of Well Said and Show and Tell.   The first of 11 races on the season's antepenultimate program is due off at 6:15 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

Batavia, NY---One of the toughest horses to ever race in upstate New York continued his dominance at Batavia Downs by winning his third consecutive start in the $9,500 Open pacing feature on an 85 degree, late-summer Saturday night (9-5) in front of a full house of harness racing fans. It was a battle from the start as Closing Credits (Dave McNeight III) pushed hard for the lead, parking Cobble Beach (Jack Flanigen) and Pocono Downs invader Scott Rocks (Kevin Cummings) two and three wide to the quarter in :26.4. Scott Rocks eventually cleared the front but didn't slow the pace as the group rambled to the half in :55.1. At that point Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) was sitting last. Scott Rocks continued his unfettered lead past three-quarters in 1:23.2 when his immediate pursuers started to fan three-across the track at the top of the stretch, forming a wall in front of the trailing Fireyourguns. But undaunted, Caprio dinked inside one horse and dunked around another, finding just enough room to allow Fireyourguns to turn on the afterburners and make up about two-lengths in the final 20 yards and score a breathtaking victory in 1:52.3. It was the eleventh win in 14 starts for the gelded son of American Ideal and it pushed his 2015 earnings to $68,625 for owners Jennifer and Robert Lowe and Terry McClory, who also trains the horse. The winner paid $9.20. Saturday was also Drew Monti bobblehead night and the promotion seemed to have a decided effect on the attendance and handle. Not only were all the bobbleheads distributed to anxiously waiting fans, the on-track handle was up 16%, making it the second best live wagering night of the season. The overall handle was likewise up 11%. The track also catered to a sold-out crowd in the clubhouse and was encouraged to see a solid group fans on the apron and at the fence. Attendance was estimated at 3,000. Live racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Monday afternoon (Sept. 7) for the annual Labor Day matinee with post time set for 1:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

"She's very talented, but sometimes I wonder where to put the 50 cents in because the ride can get bouncy." Such was the post-race postulate Thursday night from driver Jim Morrill Jr. after he-with some able assistance from odds-on favorite Soft Idea ($3.10)-set a track record during Yonkers Raceway hosting of the $147,723 New York Sire Stakes Frank Becerra Pace for 2-year-old fillies. Soft Idea, this summer's division dominatrix, threw down a 1:53.4 gauntlet in the final ($48,941) division. Leaving from post position No. 3, she took over from second choice American Ivy (Brian Sears), then held that one at bay by a determined neck. It was more than three lengths back to Lyra (George Brennan) in third. The time matched Soft Idea's life-best, taken at Vernon. Morrill Jr., ironically, drove Summertime Lea to the previous local frosh filly track record (1:54.1) three Septembers ago. For Soft Idea, a daughter of American Ideal trained by Linda Toscano for co-owners Bay's Stable, Radio Racing Stable, South Mountain Stables and Little E LLC, it was her fifth (NYSS) win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $6.50, with the triple (three wagering favorites in order) returning $18.80. "We're looking forward to the (Sept. 26) sire stakes final," co-owner Harvey Nagler said. Morrill Jr. also won Thursday's second opening ($49,841) Becerra division, as Time on My Hands ($7.70) overcame her outside post No. 7 and avoided the first-tune happenstance to widen out in 1:55. Second went to Killing 'Em Softly (Brennan), with Art Critic (Matt Kakaley third). The "Sommelier Special" hunch play went in the spit bucket early, as Wine Snob (Ray Schnittker) made a first-turn break, badly impeding 7-5 choice Vino and Formaggio (Sears). For second choice Time on My Hands, a daughter of American Ideal co-owned by Robert Mondillo, Michael Robinson, Steve Cheatham & BFJ Stables and trained by Chris Ryder, she's now 3-for-5 this season. The exacta paid $47.60, the triple returning $190. The opening ($48,941) sire stakes event saw Dime a Dance (Kakaley, $6.10)-pocketed from post No. 5-whizz by 7-10 fave Noclouds Bluechip (Sears) by a length in 1:55.4. Angels Rockn Pink (Mark MacDonald) was third. For second choice (coupled with fourth-place finisher Encore Deo [Brennan]) Dime a Dance, a Roll with Joe miss trained by Ron Burke for co-owners Our Horse Cents and J&T Silva Stables and Blue Chip Bloodstock, it was her second (consecutive) win in seven tries this season. The exacta paid $6.30, with no triple wagering to the limited number (five) of wagering interests). "She just exploded when I asked her in the lane," Kakaley said. "As good as she was winning at Vernon (13 nights ago), she was better here."                                                                                                                         Frank Drucker

One of the real superstars of the harness racing scene in New Zealand in the just completed season has been the American Ideal three year old filly The Orange Agent. While showing some promise at two where the The Orange Agent won once and was placed once from four starts, she hadn't really given given out any signals to what a champion three year she would become. When you look at her record for the 2014/15 season, the thing that instantly takes your eye is the length of the season she had. Active in early October 2014, The Orange Agent would be facing the starter for the18th time in the last eleven months when she lined up last Sunday for the Breeders Crown final at Tabcorp Park Melton. It is a huge season for any horse but it takes a special three year old filly to still be at her peak last Sunday after such a huge season at the elite level of our industry. Brian Hughes has done a magnificent job keeping her at such a high level for so long and Brian is sure he knows why The Orange Agent has been able to take it all in her stride. " She takes absolutely nothing out of herself away from the racetrack." " She is a terrible horse to jog as she is just so lazy." " As for trackwork, she doesn't give you any indication of how good she is." " I have always regarded it as a sign of a good horse when they look after themselves away from the track like she does," Brian said. Driver Maurice McKendry, the longtime stable driver for the Hughes barn has been along for the ride all season and there is no mistaking when talking to Maurice about how highly he rates the now four year old mare. " She doesn't always do everything right but she can make up for it with her ability." " It wasn't my intention to race Start Dreaming with a lap to go in the Breeders Crown final but she bolted on me when the other horse came around us and it took me 400 metres to get her back under control." " To go on and win the race after doing that is just another sign of how good this filly is," Maurice said. Safely back in New Zealand, The Orange Agent will now have a short five week break before being aimed at the mares races around Christmas such as the Queen Of Hearts. Brian is adamant that the  five weeks break is plenty for The Orange Agent. " She is a great doer out of work so if I leave her out too long I will never get her ready in time," Brian said. With the loss of Adore Me from the open class mares ranks for this season, The Orange Agent looks well capable of taking over her mantle as New Zealand's leading racemare. Harnesslink Media

Harness racing at Yonkers Raceway bid adieu to August Monday night, hosting $165,375 New York Sire Stakes Bruce Hamilton Pace for 3-year-old pacing fillies.   The event, neatly divided into a trio of $55,125 divisions, honored the memory of a certified mover and shaker (as well as a fairly decent soul) in the state's racing and breeding program. Bruce's family was on hand for winner's circle presentations, which were dutifully given to... First division-Devil Child (Jimmy Whittemore, $8.60), from post position No. 6, rallied from sixth turning for home to pick off sire-stakes debuting Mark MacDonald) by a head in 1:54.2. Bosser's Joy (Jason Bartlett) finished third, beaten a neck. For third choice Devil Child, a daughter of American Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Homer Hochstetler, James Michaels and South of the Tracks Racing, it was her fourth win in 15 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $109, with the triple returning $680. "She's had a tough season, bad posts and some bad luck," Whittemore said of Devil Child. "This was a good win for her." Second division-Odds-on Sassa Hanover (Yannick Gingras, $2.70) methodically disposed of her six foes, essentially going the distance-from post No, 5-in 1:52.1. The margin was a length-and-a-half, with Luck Be a Lindy (Scott Zeron) second and Heart Major (Brian Sears) third. For "Sassa," a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Panhellenic Stable and Larry Karr, she's now 4-for-12 this season. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $4.90, with the triple returning $14.60. "Much better the last couple of starts," was Gingras' assessment of career winner of more than $700,000. Third division-Pole-sitting Bedroomconfessions ( Brian Sears, $13.80) was gifted with the passing lane, and she passed, whipping pace-setting Band of Angels (Gingras) by three-quarters of a length in 1:52.1. Divine Caroline (Dave Miller), as the 6-5 choice, was another who pulled pocket and flattened, settling for third. Second choice Mosquito Blue Chip (Morrill Jr.) broke leaving. For Bedroomconfessions, an American Ideal lass co-owned (as Alagna Racing) by trainer Tony Alagna and Riverview Racing, it was her third win in 12 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $72, with the triple returning $169. Frank Drucker

Vernon, N.Y. -- Despite being outsprinted early by all six of his harness racing rivals, Cascata ($14.20) kicked cover from fourth-over off the far turn, circling the field for a 1:52 victory in Sunday (August 30) afternoon's featured $7,000 top-level conditioned pace at Vernon Downs.   Frank Milby settled the 7-year-old American Ideal gelding well off dueling leaders Sassy Hanover (Claude Huckabone, Jr.) and Smile a Little (Austin Siegelman), who battled stoutly through a :54.1 half mile. Outer flow developed behind Smile a Little at Race's midpoint, with Oh My Joepa (John MacDonald) chasing from second-over. Tundra (Truman Gale) and Cascata angled third- and fourth-over respectively, and they would both benefit from clear trips off the pressured pace. While Oh My Joepa was first to make a three-wide bid at a 1:23 three-quarter mark, he would ultimately be outkicked by Cascata in mid-stretch after himself collaring the dueling pacesetters. Cascata drew away minimally in the final yards, defeating Oh My Joepa by three-quarters of a length while Tundra stayed on to finish third after he was bothered in mid-stretch by a breaking Melvyn (Roman Lopez).   Dustin Ingraham trains Cascata for Elizabeth Zimmerman.   The afternoon's program also saw six trotters compete in a non-wagering Racing Under Saddle event, and the patient Emma Wahlberg prevailed aboard Sweetie's Secret. Brett Crawford trains the 7-year-old Yankee Glide mare who angled off the pegs on the far turn, pushing clear of a tiring My Friend Charlie in upper stretch before ultimately reeling in Funny Photo, who made a costly break in the final yards after taking charge in the third quarter. Sweetie's Secret won by two lengths in 2:00.4 over Funny Photo (Sophie Engerran), while Alarming Quick (Ashley Eldred) made a mild bid to take third while well detached from the top pair.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (September 4) evening, with post time at 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

WILKES-BARRE PA -- Bigtown Hero, who already has two appearances on the harness racing sport's all-time list of "horse who have hit the 3/4s in 1:20 or better," missed by a tick becoming the only horse ever with three such appearances, winning the $24,000 featured pace at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono Saturday night.   Bigtown Hero, an altered son of American Ideal, certainly didn't have it easy, either -- he was outside with cover until favored Bandolito cleared Bushwacker past a 26 opener, then rolled up raw to grab the top early on the second turn, en route to hitting the half in 53.1.   Driver Simon Allard, sulkysitting for trainer/brother/Pocono leader Rene, opened up lengths on Bandolito down the backstretch, with Bushwacker taking other crack outside, but both were well-behind when the timer tripped at 1:20.1 with a quarter to ago. Bandolito ate fractionally into the winner's lead late, but was still shy of him by 3/4 of a length at the finish, with Quick Jolt coming from the clouds for third, a half length behind Bandolito and a length ahead of Bushwacker.   Allard Racing Inc. and Yves Sarrazin own the speed merchant, who hit the 3/4 in 1:19.4 last September 20 here en route to taking his mark of 1:47.3, and then on November 8 posted the fastest half (52.2) and 3/4s (1:19.1) in 5/8-mile track history before tiring in a race where Mach It So beat State Treasurer in 1:48. Both of these miles were also at Pocono.   Also at Pocono Saturday were a pair of $24,000 trots. Wind Of The North, an altered son of Cantab Hall who equaled a division world record of 1:51 here last year, needed only 1:53.3 Saturday to report home first for trainer Daryl Bier, co-owner with Joann Dombeck; in the other division the Andover Hall filly Sistas, 3-for-3 in Stallion Series competition, handled a big class rise, a predominantly male field, and a predominantly older field in 1:55 for driver George Napolitano Jr., trainer Chris Oakes, and owners Albert and Michelle Crawford. (Napolitano, who had 100 wins in July, won three times here Saturday to put him at 98 for August, with sessions at both Philly and Pocono tomorrow possibly letting him achieve a rare "consecutive double century" of winners; the win with Sistas was also his 500th in 2015.)   FINISHING LINES -- The Sunday August 30 card of tomorrow/today is the last Sunday action for the year at The Downs ... Next Saturday night Pocono will be hosting the $1.7M Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship Night, with $350,000 Championship races for the four classes of sophomores, plus consolations and other features.   Pocono / PHHA  

Tonight at Ballarat in the second Australasian Breeders Crown semi final for three year old fillies, Australian harness racing fans got their first look at New Zealands best three year filly in The Orange Agent who has been in stunning form all season. Starting from barrier four after a scratching, The Orange Agent and regular pilot Maurice McKendry were caught four wide into the first corner but Maurice continued to press on and reached the front after 400 metres. From that point on it was just a matter of what she would win by as Maurice dropped the speed appreciably after the early burn. Passing the 800 metres Maurice upped the tempo and scooted the quarter down the back in 27.6 with Start Dreaming and Barry Purdon looming up outside The Orange Agent passing the 400 metres mark. Maurice gave her a bit more reign and she brushed home in a brilliant 26.9 to win comfortably from a very game Start Dreaming with Soho Tokyo holding on well for third after breezing the whole race. It was the daughter of American Ideal 15th win at just start 21 and took her earning to $371,512. The Orange Agent paced the 2200 metres in 2:42.4, a mile rate of 1:58.8 with electric closing sectionals of 54.5 and 26.9. Tonights race was a perfect lead in for The Orange Agent heading into nexts week Breeders Crown final and she will be terribly hard to beat regardless of where she draws. The two obvious dangers are Ameretto, who won the first semi final in impressive fashion and Start Dreaming who has been placed behind The Orange Agent several times this season already. Harnesslink Media

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