Southern harness racing trainers are use to Canterbury raiders coming down south and plundering there races on a regular basis. Tonight in the $24,500 Alabar Super Series Final at Addington, the southerners got a bit of their own back when they trifected the race and shut out the Canterbury locals. The race was won at the start by the diminutive American Ideal three year old Tas Man Bromac when he made a brilliant beginning off ten metres and was up second after 200 metres. Trainer/Driver Nathan Williamson slowly worked him to the front before handing up to the Tony Barron trained Delightful Dash with Dexter Dunn in the bike. Tas Man Bromac got a lovely trip in the trail on Delightful Dash's back after that and sprinted up the passing lane for a comfortable victory by 1 1/4 lengths over a game Delightful Dash. Al Raza, trained at Roxburgh by Geoff and Jude Knight looped the field with a lap to go and landed in the one by one . Out on the turn in plenty of time, she fought on gamely for third to round out the trifecta for the southerners. Nathan thought the brilliant beginning by Tas Man Bromac was what won him the race. " He has got such great manners and landing the trail from the 10 metres mark is what won him the race." " Delightful Dash has gone super as well but the great beginning we made has told in the end," Nathan said. Tonights win was the three year olds sixth win from just ten starts but Nathan is not entertaining thoughts of a Derby start. " He is just a length below the top ones so we will stick to the original plan. " Our aim all season has been the Southern Supremacy Final and thats we we are aiming him, " Nathan said. The fact that the trifecta was made up of southern trained runners hadn't escaped the young trainer either. " Don't forget to mention that the first three home were all southerners" was Nathan's last comment tonight as he headed off to the swabbing box. Harnesslink Media.
Nathan Williamson has been on fire since the Gore meeting just after Xmas and Saturday at Invercargill was another stellar day for the young harness racing trainer. Nathan added another four training wins to the resume which took him up to eleven wins since Xmas while he has also driven sixteen winners in the same period. Nathan also reached another milestone yesterday when Splash Cola won the first race with that win notching up his 500th success in the sulky. Given out by Nathan as his best drive for the meeting in the Harnesslink weekly ringaround, Spash Cola won like a horse with a big future. Nathan though wasn't entirely happy with the mare's performance. "She has still got a fair bit to learn" "She didn't trot that well early but got better the further she went" " With a bit more experience I think she can go a long way," Nathan said. The second of Nathan's quartet for the day was the smart American Ideal three year old Tas Man Bromac who took 3.4 seconds off the old track for 2700 metres from a stand by a three year old when he streaked away for an easy win by 3 1/2 lengths in 3:22, a mile rate of 2:00.4. The mark was also 1.6 seconds inside the old New Zealand record for the distance set in 1999 by Seafield Raider Registering his fifth win from just nine starts, the colt is obviously well above average and Nathan was confident going into the race. "The trip away to Addington last week did him the world of good" "He was working great before the trip north but has worked better again since his return." "He is just such a lovely horse to do anything with" "Our longterm aim with him is the Southern Supremacy but he will still need to keep improving to match it with the likes of Pulp Fiction," Nathan said. The third of Nathan's winners was the three year old Changeover gelding Cool Changes who improved from a first up fourth to take out the maiden 2200 metres mobile in a style that suggested that there are a few more in store. Nathan has a bit of time for the inexperienced gelding. " He is one of those horses that you have to keep after a bit." "He is a real lazy laid back kind of character but he keeps going." " He doesn't have real high speed but can still run time due to his strength, Nathan said. The fourth and last of Nathan's winners was the very smart Armbro Invasion mare Poppymalda who came from a long way off them at the 600 metres mark to grab Queen Kenny close to home and notch up win number three at just her seventh start. Nathan was thrilled with her performance. " She just keeps getting better and better." " She was timed to trot her last 800 metres in 56.4 and that was after being out three wide so it was a great run. "Our longterm aim is the Harness Jewels at Ashburton and with that in mind we thought we might take her up to Addington this week for the experience," Nathan said. Nathan is having a stellar season to date training wise with twenty five wins in the bank and he is well on the way to beating his season's best of thirty five wins set in 2013. Nathan knew at the start of the season that he had a good team around him. " I kind of figured we might be in for a big season but we did lose a couple of our most promising horses early on to injury but other horses in the stable have preformed better than we thought so we haven't felt the loss of those horses as much as I thought we would. " Nathan said. Nathan, who has been driving for just ten years has quickly matured into a leading driver on the New Zealand harness racing scene, having already won five Southland driving premierships. Nathan continues to go from strength to strength and it looks a given that his stature in the industry will continue to rise in the coming years. Harnesslink Media
Harness racing driver Clint Hall, on a high after partnering outsider My Hard Copy to victory in last week’s WA Pacing Cup, looks set to continue his rich vein of form. Hall will replace his brother, Gary junior, behind talented pacer Classic American in Friday night’s San Simeon Classic at Gloucester Park. Junior drove Classic American to an impressive heat victory, but will miss the decider through suspension. Gary received a two-week ban for causing interference in the Pacing Cup. Generally regarded as a sit-sprinter, Classic American showed his versatility in his qualifier when leading throughout from barrier four, rating 1:57 over 2130 metres. The other heat winners - Ultimate Major (1.58.3), Jasper Freeway (1.56.3) and Erskine Range (1.59.3) - all set the pace and won convincingly. After drawing the pole, however, Classic American has been installed an odds-on favourite to continue his winning ways. Trainer Gary Hall is confident the son of American Ideal will prove too slick in the Group Two. “He’s going to lead and prove hard to beat,” Hall said. “Judging by the way he went last week you would think he’ll be hard to beat. “He is not just a sit-sprinter; he can roll, and I think he can roll a quick time.” KEN CASELLAS
Champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall has extended his record as the Western Australia Cup’s most successful competitor. Boasting eight victories in the Grand Circuit event heading into last night’s edition at Gloucester Park, Hall has once again proven he has a mortgage on the feature. Causing an upset at $18.20 on the tote, underrated pacer My Hard Copy also provided Hall’s son, Clint, with consecutive wins in the time-honoured event. Clint drove Hokonui Ben to glory for his father last season. Clint’s brother, Gary junior, co-holds the record for the most Cup wins – six - as a driver. Junior shares the mantle with the late Phil Coulson. As for Hall’s latest triumph, My Hard Copy scored by two-and-a-half metres from the favourite, David Hercules, with Northview Punter – a stablemate of the winner – a metre-and-a-half away third. Rating 1:57.4 for the 2936-metre journey, the son of American Ideal extended his tally to 18 wins and 14 placings from 52 starts for earnings of $446,497. Hall’s previous Cup wins came with The Falcon Strike in 2002, ’04 and ’05, Tealsby Karita in ’07, Im Themightyquinn ’11, ’12, ’13 and Hokonui Ben. Coulson also has five wins as a trainer - 1964 with Hy Craft, along with Lord Mina in ‘65, Colour Glo in ’66 and Pure Steel in ’77 and ‘78. PAUL COURTS
Harness racing driver Clinton Hall and the five-year-old American Ideal horse My Hard Copy NZ produced an outstanding run from last to first to win tonight's spectacular $400,000 TABTOUCH WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park in Perth. The time for the 2936 meter race was 3:34.1 with a mile rate of 1:57.4. My Hard Copy NZ won going away from a brave David Hercules who sat parked out for most of the race and then followed Northview Punter third and Our Jimmy Johnson NZ only a nose away fourth. It was start number 52 and win number 18 for the former New Zealander My Hard Copy NZ who now has won $446,497 in stake money won. My Hard Copy NZ was bred by Woodland Stud and is owned by S. K. Champman, C. Champman and D. Champman. He paid $18.20 to win. The win was also one of six winners on the ten race program for the Gary Hall stable for the evening, the others were Soho Lennon, Some Kinda Tactics NZ, Beaudiene Boaz NZ, Ben Cartwright and Classic American NZ. Harnesslink media
TORONTO, January 9 - Round one of the Snowshoe Series continued winter series action Friday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Four $16,000 divisions of the series for three and four-year-old pacers that were non-winners of two races or $30,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014 were contested Friday evening. In the first division, Vegas Rich went gate to wire to pick up the victory as the second choice on the board. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Vegas Rich cut the mile and set fractions of :28.4, :58.4 and 1:27, before pacing home in :28.3 to score a 1 ¾ length victory in 1:55.3. P L Heavenly, the heavy 3/5 favourite, was first up around the final turn, but had to settle for second. Dragon Seelster finished third. A four-year-old son of Million Dollar Cam, Vegas Rich is trained by David Gibson, who shares ownership with David Goodrow Stable and Glenn Traver, and is now one for one this year. Vegas Rich now has three career victories and pushes his bankroll to over $40,000 with the victory Friday night. He returned $6.40 to win. Kindofabigdeal did not disappoint as the 1/5 favourite and won the second division in 1:56. Also driven by Filion, Kindofabigdeal picked up second over cover around the final turn and capitalized off that trip to pace by his rivals and score a three-quarters of a length victory over Ramblingamblinman. Newbie finished in the show spot. A four-year-old son of No Pan Intended, Kindofabigdeal is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Hudson Standrdbrd Stb Inc and is now one for one in 2015. Last season, Kindofabigdeal won five of 10 starts and banked more than $53,000. Friday night's victory pushes his career earnings over the $60,000 mark. Kindofabigdeal paid $2.70 to win. Another favourite delivered a victory in the third division, as Whistle Jimmy K picked up his fourth win in his last five starts. Driven by Jody Jamieson, Whistle Jimmy K got a two-hole trip and followed closely behind American Island until just before the three-quarter pole. In the stretch, American Island tried to hold off Whistle Jimmy K, but the favourite eventually pushed his way by in the final eighth to prevail over American Island by a length and a half in 1:55.4. Mittcent Van Gogh finished third. A four-year-old son of Mach Three, Whistle Jimmy K is trained by Ben Wallace and had won his final three starts of 2014 before finishing second last week in his 2015 debut. Whistle Jimmy K now has four career victories and earnings of over $26,000 for owners Brad Grant and Wallacestandardbreds Inc. A $2 win ticket returned $3.70. In the final division, Decisive Destiny and Trevor Henry scored an impressive victory in 1:55.2. A four-year-old son of American Ideal, Decisive Destiny got away sixth and was able to get in the outer flow on the way to the half. Around the final turn, Decisive Destiny was third-over and just a little more than three lengths off the lead. In the stretch, Henry showed Decisive Destiny a clear path and he paced right by his rivals to record a 3 Â½ length victory. A Boy Named Suuzz finished second, while Bad Bug got up for third. Decisive Destiny is trained by Shawn Robinson for Robert Hamather and was making his second start of 2015. Last year, the son of American Ideal won three of 20 starts for earnings of just under $40,000. Friday night's victory was his fourth career triumph and pushes his career bankroll over $47,000. Decisive Destiny paid $8.70 to win. The second leg of the Snowshoe Series will take place next Friday (January 16). Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG Communications
Given her pedigree, pacing mare Lotsa Matzah has the potential to be a successful broodmare. But before she gives motherhood a try, trainer Ed Hart is hopeful the lightly raced 4-year-old can still be a successful racehorse. Lotsa Matzah, a full sister to stakes-winners Heston Blue Chip and Sunfire Blue Chip, has won two of 13 career starts as she heads into Friday's opening round of the Worldly Beauty series at the Meadowlands. One of those victories came at the Big M last week following a six-month layoff. "She got a little sore in the middle of last summer and we decided to quit with her," Hart said. "She just needed some time off. We turned her out and she's seemed to come back pretty good. "We had pretty high expectations for her. I thought she was an awful nice filly. Between being a little bit sore and a little immature (at ages 2 and 3) it just didn't work out. But it seems to be coming together now. We're hoping that she keeps going forward." Lotsa Matzah competes in the second of two $15,000 divisions in the first round of the Worldly Beauty series. She starts from post seven with driver Ron Pierce and is part of a 3-1 common-ownership entry with Impatience. Ron Burke's Donttellruss, who has won three of 26 lifetime starts and has hit the board 14 times, is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the race. The second leg of the Worldly Beauty series is Jan. 16 and the $65,000 (est.) final Jan. 24 at the Meadowlands. Lotsa Matzah was purchased for $57,000 under the name Tacumwah Blue Chip in the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale. A daughter of American Ideal out of the mare Shot Togo Bluechip, her family includes Dan Patch Award winners Heston Blue Chip and Kikikatie as well as millionaire Camluck. As a 2-year-old, Lotsa Matzah was winless in six starts but finished second on three occasions, all in the New York Excelsior Series. Last season she raced six times, winning a maiden race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in 1:52.4, before being sidelined. Lotsa Matzah has earned $26,191 for owners Blue Chip Bloodstock, Daniel Zucker, Christine Sallee, and Stephen Demeter. "She's really well bred; she's going to be a good broodmare at some point," Hart said. "But I've always liked this filly. She's always had a good attitude and showed good speed, she just couldn't put it all together. She was a little hard on herself and kind of had to find herself. "This year, she's come back and seemed to have matured a lot. She's come along pretty good. She's got a couple series coming up now, the Worldly Beauty and Burning Point, and we'll have to see where we go from there." Witch Dali, who went 4-for-4 in December after missing a year of action, is the 6-5 favorite in the first division of the Worldly Beauty. Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager Harness Racing Communications
On one hand, James Geddes was a little surprised at the manner in which Magna was able to win yesterday's Xmas Cup at yesterdays harness racing meeting at Motukarara, but then on the other hand he wasn't. If you're confused by that, don't be. It's just the way the smart pacing mare is. Fresh up since May, she sat three wide outside Backup for most of the last 1000 metres and instead of reaching for the oxygen tanks half way down the testing Motukarara straight she found another gear and kept fighting strongly to the line to win in emphatic fashion. And while her $20 tote price would reflect that her chances didn't appear all that strong, she turned in a performance more worthy of a horse paying single figures. "She's always been a tough mare,'' Geddes, who trains in partnership with his father Jim, said. "I thought she would go a good race, but I guess you have to be a little bit surprised at the way she did it.'' Unsighted since running fourth to Isaiah at Addington at the start of May, Geddes said it's been a healthy diet of swimming for the daughter of American Ideal. "She's hardly been in the cart, it's just been swimming and more swimming for her. "To be honest she's probably only on three legs, and she didn't feel all that comfortable out there.'' Motukarara has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Magna having registered two wins, a second and two thirds on the surface. Geddes was quick to pay credit to his father, who he said has been instrumental. "I'm just wrapt for Dad, he's done all the work with her so a lot of the credit must be given to him.'' Ther father and son partnership have made a good start to the season with Dixie Commando also winning this month. Earlier in the day, the class act of yesterday's meeting, Joanne's A Delight, made light work of her resumption. The Nigel McGrath trained filly didn't feel all that happy on the grass track surface and her trainer has no intention on starting her on the green stuff again. "She didn't like it all, I thought we were in trouble for a while,'' McGrath said. "Class got her through in the end.'' The main early target for the smart filly is the Sales Series race at Addington at the end of next month. McGrath, along with the filly's American owners Gordon Banks and Mark Hanover, opted to miss the three-year-old features at Alexandra Park with an idea of being on the fresh side for Addington. "They are running some serious times up there so some of them are going to be coming down a bit tired. "We will look to have one more run before the Sales Series.'' Courtesy of Matt Markham - Harness Racing New Zealand <
TORONTO, December 26 - A pair of Christmas presents were handed out a day late in the Valedictory and Niagara Series finals on Friday afternoon's Boxing Day card at Woodbine Racetrack. A field of seven three-year-old pacing fillies went behind the gate in the $34,800 Niagara Series final, while a group of ten three-year-old pacing colts and geldings battled it out in the $35,000 Valedictory Series final. In the Niagara final, Witch Dali completed the dominating series sweep with a 1:51.2 victory. For the third week in a row, Witch Dali's opponents only saw the back of her and driver Jody Jamieson as they went straight to the front and never looked back. Sent off as the 1/9 favourite, Witch Dali posted fractions of :26.4, :55.4 and 1:23.2, before kicking home in :28 to win by 2 Â½ lengths over Artistic Fusion. Double Joy took the show spot, while Saucy B finished fourth. A daughter of Dali, Witch Dali is trained by Tony Alagna and has now won all four of her starts in 2014. Witch Dali did not make her first start of the season until December 5th and has since rattled off four wins in four weeks. She is owned by Alagna Racing LLC. and Brad Grant. Witch Dali now has a career record of seven wins in 14 starts and earnings of $74,220. The clocking of 1:51.2 is a new career mark for Witch Dali and also broke the Niagara Series record by a full second. She returned $2.20 to win. In the Valedictory, Company Man turned in a career best effort to win the series final in 1:51.3. Driven by James MacDonald, Company Man got away in fourth, while the favourite, Kindofabigdeal, made a quick move in the first turn to swing around to the lead from second. Down the backstretch, MacDonald decided not to wait long and sent Company Man hard after the lead and cleared around Kindofabigdeal just after the half of :55. Company Man would continue to keep the tempo honest with a :27.3 third quarter to bring the field into the stretch with Kindofabigdeal following close in behind. In the stretch, Company Man dug in to turn aside Kindofabigdeal, who could only get to his wheel, and held off a late push from So Bad Im Good to win by half a length. So Bad Im Good took the place spot, while Kindofabigdeal and Ransom Demand finished third and fourth respectively. A son of American Ideal, Company Man is trained by Allen Tomlinson for owner Dan Mitchell. Company Man won a first leg division of the Valedictory and followed that up with a third place effort in round two last Friday. Friday's series final victory is his fourth victory from 19 career starts and boosts his career bankroll to over $74,000. The clocking of 1:51.3 is also a new career mark for the three-year-old gelding. Company Man paid $6.50 to win. The final card of the 2014 racing season at Woodbine will take place Saturday night with first post set for 7:25 p.m. Live racing will resume a week later with the first card of 2015 on Saturday, January 3rd. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG
Since returning to the races following a bout of sickness in late October, Milliondollarspree has been on a winning spree for trainer Ross Hardy. The pacing mare has racked up three wins in her last four trips to the track, and that includes her gate-to-wire score in Tuesday’s $7,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 3 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Trevor Henry hustled Milliondollarspree to the lead from Post 3, and after parking past the quarter pole in :27.2 she led the group through sensible middle panels of :57.3 and 1:27.4. A :31.2 closing frame is all took for her to win by three-quarters of a length over Angel On The Wing in a time of 1:59.1 over a track rated ‘good’ with a three-second variant. The show dough was earned by Racey Miss. To view the rest of this story click here. Sunfire Blue Chip to Tara Hills Stud It has been announced that the royally bred and supremely talented Sunfire Blue Chip p, 2, 1:52.4f, 3, 1:48.3f will join the stallion roster at Tara Hills Stud Farm in Port Perry, Ont. Sunfire Blue Chip, a four-year-old son of American Ideal, retires with $917,374 in earnings and several stakes titles to his credit, including this year’s revitalized Prix d’Ete in Quebec. As a sophomore, the Jimmy Takter-trained horse captured the Adios elimination and final, an elimination of the Messenger (second, by a head, in the final), the Tattersalls, Empire Breeders Classic elimination (second in final), Hempt elim (third, by a half length in final) among other victories. Sunfire Blue Chip hails from one of the sport’s most well-bred families. He is the second foal of the Cams Card Shark mare Shot Togo Bluechip, his full brother is $1.7 million winner Heston Blue Chip p, 3, 1:48f. Their half-sister sold at last month’s Harrisburg sale for $160,000. To view the rest of this story click here.
TORONTO, December 12 - Three-year-old pacing colts and geldings were in the spotlight Friday night for the first leg of the Valedictory Series at Woodbine Racetrack. 19 sophomore colts and geldings were split into two $15,000 divisions for the opening leg of the three-week series. In the first division, Kindofabigdeal, the heavy favourite, lived up to his billing with a three length victory in 1:52. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Kindofabigdeal was second at the opening quarter, but quickly scooted to the lead in the second quarter and never looked back. The son of No Pan Intended set honest fractions of :55.4 and 1:24, before rolling home in :28 to score the opening leg victory. Mittcent Van Gogh took the place spot, while Ideal Shadow finished third. Kindofabigdeal is trained by Richard Moreau for owner Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc. The three-year-old has now won four of eight starts in his first season of racing for earnings of over $42,000. He paid $3.60 to win. Kindofabigdeal In the second division, Company Man pulled off an 18-1 upset with James MacDonald in the bike. Rural Art, the even-money favourite, was first up around the final turn pressing at the leader So Bad Im Good. Meanwhile, Company Man was third over following closely behind Ransom Demand. In the stretch, Rural Art could not get by So Bad Im Good, but Ransom Demand and Company Man swept by the top two on the far outside. At the wire, Company Man got the best of Ransom Demand to score a two length victory in 1:52.2. So Bad Im Good held off Rural Art to round out the top three. A son of American Ideal, Company Man is trained by Allen Tomlinson for owner Daniel Mitchell. Company Man, who had been racing south of the border over the last few months, has now won three times from 16 starts this year and now has earnings of over $45,000 in career earnings. The clocking of 1:52.2 is a new career mark for Company Man. He paid $39 to win. Company Man In order to be eligible to the Valedictory Series, the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings had to be non-winners of $50,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. The second leg of the Valedictory will take place next Friday (December 19). Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine. Post time is 7:25 p.m. Mark McKelvie WEG Communications
Batavia, NY---As the 2014 racing season winds to a close at Batavia Downs, the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association would like to recognize the top equine athletes who competed there this year. BZ Glide was named Trotter of the Meet, Fireyourguns was the Pacer of the Meet and Bazooka Terror was named the Outstanding Distaff Performer of either gait. BZ Glide (1:56.4H $116,957) was dominant in the Open trot class this year, winning seven times at the top level. In his 14 starts at the meet he earned $40,582 and tied his lifetime mark of 1:56.4. BZ Glide likes to come from behind and he plied his trademark move in every victory this year, providing local fans with many exciting finishes. The 5-year-old son of Yankee Glide-Bloomer Zoomer is owned by Mike Caprio who also drove him in every start. Caprio's wife Alana trains BZ Glide. Fireyourguns (1:48.0S $220,121)garnered the most Open pace victories and sported a gaudy win percentage in the process. In only eight Batavia starts, Fireyourguns won five times (.625) with a best win time of 1:53.1 in those starts. Mike Caprio also drove Fireyourguns in each one of his local efforts for trainer Terrence McClory, who owns the 5-year-old son of American Ideal-Villa Hanover with Jennifer and Robert Lowe. Fireyourguns was also named Pacer of the Meet at Batavia Downs in 2013. Bazooka Terror (1:52.1F $147,007)lived up to her name this year, terrorizing the local pacing mares on the track since she arrived. She hit the board 13 times out of 16 starts with five wins, six seconds and two thirds, amassing $40,582 in purses all in the Open mare's class. She had a best local clocking of 1:53.4 and was teamed each week by her regular driver, the Downs leader Kevin Cummings, for owner Leonard Segall. During the meet, the 5-year-old daughter of Western Terror-Lucky Liz was trained by both Leonard Segall and James Clouser Jr. The connections of all three horses will receive their awards in the winner's circle at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Dec. 6) during the UNY-USHWA Night of Distinction. By Tim Bojarski, for UNY-USHWA
MANALAPAN, NJ - November 19, 2014 - The dreaded 10-hole has landed on In The Arsenal like a 100 megaton bomb. It was the two-year-old pacing colt's fate in last week's Breeders Crown eliminations, and driver Brian Sears fired him off the gate, utilizing a 26.3 opening quarter to take the lead and cut the fractions. In the end, the 3-5 favorite tired and finished third by a length, snapping his winning streak at four. "It was a tough first quarter out of the 10-hole," trainer Kelvin Harrison said of the elimination race. "You get a lot of horses leaving, and it was a tough spot. He didn't really settle that well after that. He raced very well, considering. He was three-deep for most of it." So when the over-sized ping pong balls were pulled at Tuesday's post position draw, it was despair for Harrison, a long-time member of the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey Board of Directors. Fate had stuck her finger in Harrison's eye. In The Arsenal will have to overcome post 10 again in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Colt & Gelding Pace, one of the eight divisions carded on Saturday night, November 22, 2014 at the Meadowlands. Four of the finals will occupy slots on the Friday night program. "When you draw a bad post, you have to depend on someone else's luck," Harrison said. "You've got to rely on the trip, the luck. You don't win the Breeders Crown from the 10." Occasionally, winners do overcome outside post positions, but everyone knew what Harrison meant. In The Arsenal, a son of American Ideal - LadyOTRA, was made the 4-1 third choice behind elim winners Go Daddy Go [5-2 from post five] and Traceur Hanover [7-2 from post two]. Bred by White Birch Farm of Allentown, NJ, In The Arsenal was bought back out of the Harrisburg Sale when he only drew $7,500 in the bidding. He was a smallish yearling, according to Harrison, and the 14th foal out of her 21-year-old dam. Michael Parisi's White Birch turned the colt over to Harrison to train and, thus far, it was fortuitous to be "stuck" with In The Arsenal as he has banked $271,318 this year. In The Arsenal has six wins in his 10 starts: the elims and final of the LB Sheppard at Yonkers in July, a division of the Bluegrass and the International Stallion Stakes at the Red Mile in the early fall, a Goshen Cup division of the Historic Series at Harrah's Philadelphia on October 12 and the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs on November 7. In The Arsenal's 1:49.4 mile on September 27 in Lexington has made him the only sub 1:50 two-year-old this year. Harrison, 64, was born in Methuen, New Zealand, but is based in Bordentown, NJ and racing in New Jersey since the late 1970s. He is not new to this rodeo. He has had seven prior Breeders Crown entrants, including Born Storyteller, who was second in the Mares Pace Final in 2006, and Free, who was third in the Mares Pace Final in 2007. He is looking for his first Breeders Crown champion. Harrison trainees have earned nearly $12 million, including $560,419 this year, his best since 2008 when his stable exceed $900,000 in earnings for the second straight season. Some of his other top performers have included Direct Flight, 1991 Interdominion winner Dare You Too, 1989 Woodrow Wilson winner San Francisco Ben and Frightening P. White Birch Farm is no stranger to the Breeders Crown winner's circle. It bred two of the 2013 winners, Horse of the Year Bee A Magician and two-time Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous. In The Arsenal is driven by Brian Sears, who has a record of 24 Breeders Crown wins - 44 of 107 on-the-board -- for $9.7 million in purse money. The Two-Year-Old Colt Pace will be the seventh race on the 13-race card. The draw, with driver, trainer and morning line, prior to scratches and changes: 1-Cooperstown-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke- 20-1 2-Traceur Hanover-Andy Miller-Corey Johnson-7-2 3-Lyons Levi Lewis-Ron Pierce-Ron Burke-8-1 4-Franzo-Scott-Zeron-Jimmy Takter-20-1 5-Go Daddy Go-John Campbell-Robert McIntosh-5-2 6-Sicily-George Brennan-Nikolas Drennan-20-1 7-Tomy Terror-Corey Callahan-John Butenschoen-8-1 8-Soto-Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-30-1 9-Lost For Words-David Miller-Brian Brown-9-2 10-In The Arsenal-Brian Sears-Kelvin Harrison-7-2 By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ
Rising star Bling It On will take a step towards harness racing history at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Engaged in the Cordina Sprint, Bling It On’s owners are aiming for an invite into next week’s Miracle Mile. Should the Belinda McCarthy-trained entire earn a berth in the Grand Circuit gem, he’ll then be out to join his half-sister, Baby Bling, on the prestigious sprint’s honour roll. Even more impressive is the fact no mare has produced two Miracle Mile contestants. Bling It On and Baby Bling are from broodmare gem, Alldatglittersisgold. While Bling It On’s connections realise the prospects of gaining a Miracle Mile start “are pretty slim”, part-owner Harvey Kaplan pointed to Baby Bling’s win as the perfect example of “you never know!” Baby Bling, also trained by McCarthy, captured the April 2013 edition of the premier speed test as the rank outsider, paying $33.90 on the tote. “It maybe 12 months too soon, but we thought we may as well have a go and see what happens,” Kaplan said. “We’re looking at this week’s race from two angles…one, it would be fantastic to qualify for the Miracle Mile and two, it will be great education for him to compete against the seasoned horses. “We’ve got the Chariots Of Fire picked out for him later in the season and you pretty much have to run a similar time to the Miracle Mile to win that. “Guaranteed went 1:50.4 in last year’s Chariots, while Beautide went 1:50.2 in the Miracle Mile. “Baby Bling’s Miracle Mile win proved you never know what can happen in racing.” Successful at his two runs this season, Bling It On has also been set a tough task via the barrier draw, which will see the son of American Ideal start from gate six. Short course specialist and hot favourite, Suave Stuey Lombo, will come out of eight. “Suave Stuey Lombo is obviously the one to beat,” Kaplan declared. “In the past six months he has run the three quickest miles in Australia. “As much as we’d like to qualify for the Miracle Mile, Bling It On won’t be gutted and will be driven quietly. “This time around he will be the hunter and not the hunted.” PAUL COURTS
Harness racing can be a great leveler at times and the $32,400 Futurity Final for C0-C5 horses at Addington today was another great example that races are run on the track and not in the bar. New Years Jay was a warm favourite on the back of some super performances over the last few months and Dana Duke was another to attract solid support after a string of smart runs in quality fields. Juliette Bromac led early from barrier one and set up a hectic pace in front. The first surprise came when Dana Duke broke after 400 metres and settled 10 lengths behind the bunch. The three wide train led by Parramatta and Terry Chmiel took off with 1400 metres to run and grabbed the lead off Juliette Bromac. Billies A Star driven by Gavin Smith followed up Parramatta and landed in the death seat before getting cover behind New Years Jay with 800 metres to run. Passing the 600 metres New Years Jay went into a wild gallop after hanging in and striking the wheel of Parramatta and that put paid to her chances. As they turned for home Parramatta lead but was quickly claimed by Billies A Star who shot clear for a 2 1/4 length win. Juliette Bromac got up the passing lane for a game second in front of a fast finishing Lovemetwotimes. The time for the 2600 metres from the mobile was a brilliant 3:10.6, a mile rate of 1:57.9 with closing sectionals of 57.6 and 28.9. Trained by Phil Burrows at Fernside, Billies A Star is by American Ideal from a In The Pocket daughter of a full sister to the brilliant Starship 1:54.5 ($341,780). Gavin Smith was full of praise for the trainer post race. " Phil always has his horses ready to run" " When he tells you they are ready, it gives you a lot of confidence,"he said. A bit of a rogue early on, Billies A Star is getting better with each race and Gavin was sure where the credit lay. "Phil has taken his time with this horse and is getting the rewards now," he said. At his present rate of improvement it wouldn't be a surprise to see Billies A Star in some of the 4 year old classics later in the season. Billies A Star Harnesslink media
He's Watching returns Saturday to the site of his biggest win, the Meadowlands Racetrack, and harness racing trainer Dave Menary is hopeful it will spark a return to winning form. The colt, who captured the Meadowlands Pace in July with a world-record-equaling 1:46.4 performance, will try to snap a four-race skid when he competes in the first of two Breeders Crown eliminations for 3-year-old male pacers Saturday night at the Big M. "He's undefeated at the Meadowlands, so he likes it here," Menary said. "He seems fresh and happy. We're just going to try to make sure everything is ironed out and hopefully get back on the right track. "It's a wide open (3-year-old colt) division." He's Watching, who has won five of 12 races this year and earned $824,728, starts his elimination from post six and is 7-2 on the morning line. Supplemental entry Always B Miki, the winner of four races in a row and eight of his last nine, is the 8-5 choice from post four followed by North America Cup champ JK Endofanera at 5-2 from post one. Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach is the 8-5 favorite in the second elimination, followed by Adios winner McWicked at 2-1. The top five finishers from each elimination advance to the $531,250 final on Nov. 22. Elim winners will draw for posts one through five for the final. He's Watching last won on Aug. 10, in the Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs. In his most recent start he finished sixth in a division of the Tattersalls Pace won by Always B Miki. Afterward he was discovered to have suffered from atrial fibrillation, an electrical disorder of the heart rhythm, but has since been well. "It's something I've monitored, but I think it was a fluke thing," said Menary, who owns the son of American Ideal-Baberhood with Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and the Muscara Racing Trust. "If it had been a different horse, we probably wouldn't even be talking about it. I was pretty disappointed that day, but we've regrouped and he seems fresh. "Hopefully we'll have a good couple weeks." The Canadian-based Menary skipped the Messenger and Matron stakes and prepared He's Watching for the Breeders Crown with two qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. He finished second in both, timed in 1:52.4 and 1:53.4. "We bypassed the Messenger because that was rushing him," Menary said. "I made the decision to skip the Matron just thinking it was a little less trucking and a little more time at home and I'd have him a little fresher. "His qualifiers at home were better miles than they look. They were dirty, cold mornings. One morning it was a cold rain and the second qualifier it was snowing. We sat him pretty far back and the horses he missed getting up on are pretty decent horses." The Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male pacers features eight of the division's top nine seasonal money-earners. Wins in an elimination and the final could go a long way toward deciding which horse receives the Dan Patch Award as the group's best. "I guess it depends who it is (that wins)," Menary said. "You might end up adding another horse to the mix. This is a big two weeks for everybody." Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager Harness Racing Communications