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The annual Tattersalls Summer Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands witnessed hot and fast bidding that resulted in a 34.7% increase in average per horse sale price from the previous year.   Of the 123 racehorses that sold for a gross of $2,544,200, the average reached $20,685. The main attraction of the well-attended Harness Horse auction was the "drop-in-the-box" nature of the 30 horses that raced in the two days prior to the sale, and over 100 that raced in the last week.   The highlight of the sale was the offering of World Champion trotter Sevruga 1:50.3 who was a $160,000 post-sale purchase. A winner of over $1 million lifetime, he will start in the $300,000 John Cashman, Jr Memorial on Hambo Day for new owners Scott and Joe Pennacchio.   Long-time horse owner, amateur driver, and current president of the Florida Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association, Joe Pennacchio noted that Sevruga "was one of the rare, great trotters around, and may be in just a little over his head in Grand Circuit stakes company. We look forward to racing him in Open and Late Closing events."   Consigned by Northwood Bloodstock Agency, Sevruga was one of nearly 50 horses represented by Bob Boni. Following the sale, Boni noted pleasure with the day's events and stated that "it was a very strong horse sale. Good horses sold well, as they usually do."   The annual racehorse reduction of Jules Siegel's Fashion Farm was particularly well-received, bolstered by several high-priced youngsters. Topping the overall 2-year-old sales was the PA eligible Broadway Hall gelding On The Sly, who showed consistently flat lines around 1:58 and fetched $51,000 from Barbara Boese of Milton, DE.   Preferred Equine Marketing represented another well-placed $75,000 Fashion Farm sale with the American Ideal colt, Ideal Fashion p,3,1:52.1f--`14. Kyle Spagnola signed for the 3-year-old NY eligible colt who had just won his last start at Yonkers in 1:53.4h.   Toward the end of the sale, prospective purchasers not willing to go home empty handed saw stars with Moonliteonthebeach p,4,1:51--`14, who was consigned by Preferred Equine Marketing for Scott Kimelman and the Blue Chip Bloodstock Partners. The bidding was fierce and competitive for the handsome 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere who just paced in 1:49.3 finishing second at Pocono just 12 hours before the sale. When the dust settled, Andrew Harris signed the winning $85,000 ticket for trainer P.J. Fraley and owner Jeff Bamond.   Lynch winning 3-year-old pacing filly Fancy Desire p,3,1:49 was the anticipated sale topper, and was hammered down for $195,000, however failed to reach the required reserve price.   Tattersalls sales manager David Reid was happy with the overall results of the sale, and was optimistic about the health of the industry. "Sales have been good. This was a very active group of racehorses, which always translates into active bidding. My only disappointment was the relative absence of Canadian buyers. It serves as a true indicator of the importance of the slots programs in these regional markets. Having said that, with an eye on the future, bring on the Hambletonian." by Chris Tully, for Tattersalls  

After being left to chase Prairie Jaguar in last week's pacing feature, Fireyourguns ($4.70) proved a decisive pace-setting 1:50.3 winner in Sunday (July 27) afternoon's $14,000 Open Pace at Tioga Downs.   The five-year-old American Ideal gelding left strongly, withstanding early pressure from Tell Us More (Larry Stalbaum) and Golden Gun (John Cummings, Jr.) through a :55.0 half mile before sprinting clear on the backstretch.   Entering the far turn, Aaron Byron called upon Fireyourguns for his strongest burst of speed, and he kicked clear of his rivals to lead by nearly six lengths in upper stretch. While Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) was able to mount a late bid from off the pace to take second, Fireyourguns was taken in hand through the final 100 yards, prevailing by 2-3/4 lengths.   Trainer Terence McClory co-owns Fireyourguns with Jennifer and Robert Lowe.   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Friday (August 1) evening, with first post slated for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

The final edition of Breakfast With The Babies for the 2014 season began with Hambletonian favorite Father Patrick getting in some prep work in advance of next Saturday's big dance. His performance did nothing to encourage any Hambo fence-riders that may have been considering buying a $15,000 ticket to that dance. Yannick Gingras gave him a tour of the oval in 1:52 flat, back half in :54.4, last quarter :26.2 about as easy as it could be done. It looks like "All systems go" for team Father Patrick. Last year's champion three year old filly pacer I Luv The Nitelife made her return to the races this morning in winning fashion for owners Richard and Joanne Young. She has been nursed back to the races by trainer Chris Ryder after her season ending injury last fall and she looked sound and happy in her 2014 debut. Driver Tim Tetrick settled the mare in third through a slow 57.2 half, moved her on the last turn to a stretch lead then flashed her grit by refusing to yield to the late challenge of Bakersfield with a 27.1 close to the 1:53.2 mile. A pair of Meadowlands Pace finalists teed it up in the last race of the day and Lyonssomewhere got the best of JK Endofanera here by sprinting home in 26.2 on the end of a 1:51.1 mile. Trainer Jimmy Takter put the speedy colt on the lead through friendly fractions and had enough to rebuff JK Endofanera's close. So far as the freshmen, Habitat, a speedy Conway Hall colt that had made a pair of breaks in NYSS action recently, impressed with an effortless 1:55.3 / 27.1 win with Yannick Gingras aboard. Ron Burke trains colt for himself and partners Weaver Bruscemi and Our Horse Cents Stable. The group paid $50,000 for Habitat at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale last fall. Trond Smedshammer won a couple this morning, the first with a nice Yankee Glide out of Calchips Finisher named Finish Line. He sat a pocket to first timer Sugarmakesmecrazy and Ake Svanstedt, nailing that one in the final strides of the 1:58.1 / 28.1 mile.He was a $50,000 Lexington buy for Trond's American Viking Stable, Diane Giuliano and Purple Haze. Trond came right back with the Andover Hall x Chez Belle filly Chezando, closing ground into a 28.4 final quarter for the 2:00.4 score. She cost Purple Haze and Michael Parisi $70,000 at Lexington last fall. The last of the baby trots fittingly saw Jimmy Takter win in 2:00.1 with French Laundry, a good Muscles Yankee colt who won a NJSS event in 1:56 a few weeks ago. He just held off the impressive closing rush of the $175,000 Cantab Hall colt Colbert who was making his very first start for Svanstedt. Pacers came around in the tenth race and ASAP Hanover won for the third time in morning trials, this one in 1:52.4 with Tim Tetrick driving. Linda Toscano trains the $150,000 Lexington sale colt by Somebeachsomewhere from Allamerican Coed for John Mehlenbacher. He has impressed and improved in each of his three outings. This time Tetrick put him on the lead and sprinted home in 26.4 in hand. Penji Hanover paced home hard to be second. Trainer Tony Alagna had a good day beginning with the eleventh where a pair of his pacing fillies went to the wire together with Cashaway tracking down Martinique in the final strides to get the 1:54.1 win. Cashaway was second in the recently contested NJSS final for Tim Tetrick, who drove the Western Ideal x CPA $105,000 Lexington sale grad today for owners Brittany Farms and Marvin Katz. New Jersey Sires Stakes champion Artspeak got some work in this morning, leading all the way and drawing off late in 1:53.2 over the pocket sitting Stover. The winner also hails from the Alagna barn with Scott Zeron doing the driving for owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners (John Fodera and Steve Wienick). Racing manager Myron Bell bought the Western Ideal colt from The Art Museum for $100,000 in Lexington on their behalf and it certainly looks as though they've got a good one here. A Plus completed the Alagna natural hat trick by winning in 1:54.1 / 27.3 with Zeron aboard. She's an American Ideal filly out of the Brittany broodmare Has An Attitude that Tony bought for himself with partners In The Gym, Massey and Sbrocco for $60,000 in Kentucky. Better Said was a good second here with a late move for Toscano and Tetrick. Ed Hart's nice Cam's card Shark colt Dealt A Winner prevented an Alagna-slam when he held safe over Tony's closing Rock On The Hill in 1:54.2 for Brian Sears. Jeff Snyder owns the winner, a $35,000 Harrisburg bargain buy last fall. Live racing resumes at 7:15 this evening with the John Cashman Memorial eliminations headlining the thirteen race card. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

Harness racing luck can be brutal at times and at other times everything just falls into place. Dave McHugh, the mine host of the Yaldy Hotel in Christchurch is having a golden run at the moment, winning races all over the country with different horses. The star of the team at the moment is the 4 year old Monkey Bones trotting mare Idle Bones who has won four of her last five starts and is looking an open class trotting mare in the making. Trained by Paul Ellis, who races Idle Bones with Dave McHugh, this talented mare has been a revelation in her recent runs at Alexandra Park. Last Sunday another member of the McHugh owned horses broke his duck in the Ashburton Security Mobile Pace at the Ashburton Trotting Club meeting. Trained by Geoff Dunn at West Melton, The Yaldy's Ideal stormed home late for a narrow but impressive victory in the hands of Gerald O'Reilly. It was an overdue win for the 3 year old son of American Ideal. And to top things off, Ellmer Hanover was successful tonight in the Cambridge Jockey Club Handicap Pace at Cambridge Raceway. The five year old son of Armbro Operative made a good beginning in the 2700 meters standing start event and was sent forward by driver Brent Mangos with 2000 meters to go. Keeping up a solid clip from there, Ellmer Hanover skipped clear on the turn and had enough in reserve to hold on for a comfortable win. He paced the 2700 meters in 3:26.9, a mile rate of 2:03.2 with closing sectionals of 57.6 and 28 Ellmer Hanover is another horse trained by Paul Ellis and raced in partnership with Dave McHugh. And just to keep the pot boiling,Idle Bones is a starter in the Totem – Cirque Du Soleil Handicap Trot at Alexandra Park tomorrow night. With the run that Dave McHugh is having at the moment,it would be a very brave man to bet against Idle Bones winning again tomorrow night. Ellmer Hanover winning tonight Harnesslink media

This Week: Delvin Miller Adios final, Adioo Volo and Arden Downs, The Meadows, Washington, Pa.; John Cashman Jr. Memorial, Lady Liberty, Peter Haughton Memorial and Merrie Annabelle eliminations, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit actions kicks off this Friday (July 25) at The Meadows with four divisions in the $80,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt trotters and three divisions in the $60,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Saturday (July 26) card at The Meadows features the $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios final and $30,000 Adios consolation for 3-year-old colt pacers, a single division in the $114,175 Adioo Volo for 3-year-old filly pacers, three divisions in the $75,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old colt pacers, two divisions in the $75,000 Arden Downs for 2-year-old filly pacers, two divisions in the $65,310 Arden Downs for 3-year-old colt trotters and two divisions in the $54,952 Arden Downs for 3-year-old filly trotters. Meadowlands Racetrack will offer four sets of elimination races this week, with all the finals slated for the Hambletonian card of Saturday (Aug. 2). On Friday, the Meadowlands will host two $20,000 eliminations in the Merrie Annabelle for 2-year-old filly trotters and a single $20,000 elimination in the Peter Haughton Memorial for 2-year-old colt trotters. On Saturday the program will feature two $50,000 eliminations in the John Cashman Jr. Memorial for older trotters and a single $40,000 elimination in the Lady Liberty for older pacing mares. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Intimidate, trained by Luc Blais and driven by Sylvain Filion, pulled off a 45-1 upset over the heavily favored Sebastian K in the $560,790 Maple Leaf Trot this past Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack. Intimidate won the Maple Leaf Trot by a nose over Sebastian K. Sent postward as the 1-5 favorite, Sebastian K got away in second behind post ten starter Modern Family who was sent hard to the lead over the 'sloppy' track to post an opening quarter of :26.4. In the second quarter, trainer-driver Ake Svandstedt sent Sebastian K to the lead and controlled the race through the middle half with fractions of :57.3 and 1:26.4. Intimidate got away in sixth and picked up cover in the second quarter behind Flanagan Memory and was towed around the final turn second-over and just a few lengths away from Sebastian K. In the stretch, Sebastian K continued to dig in and tried to hold off his challengers, but Intimidate in the final stride nailed the heavy favorite to win the 63rd edition of the Maple Leaf Trot in 1:54.2. Market Share, the 2013 Maple Leaf Trot winner, came off the rail and made a late charge on the far outside to finish third. The Maple Leaf Trot victory was the third win in seven starts this season for Intimidate, a 5-year-old son of Justice Hall-Fabulous Tag, owned by Determination and Judith Farrow. In other Grand Circuit action over the weekend, Clear Vision broke the Northfield Park track record for older pacing geldings, posting a 1:49.3 win in the 29th edition of the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie. Clear Vision (Western Hanover-Artistic Vision) is owned by the partnership of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, The Panhellenic Stable and James Koran. He is trained by Ron Burke, who called upon Brett Miller to drive. Clear Vision started from post four and immediately advanced a position when Bolt The Duer made an uncharacteristic break to his inside. He was still sitting third at the :26.2 opening quarter. Miller pulled Clear Vision in the second panel and he remained first-over through times of :54.2 and 1:22. Clear Vision locked horns with pacesetter Night Pro in the last turn and bested him by two lengths in the stretch, stopping the timer at 1:49.3. Foiled Again finished third. In The Arsenal (Eric Goodell) never had an anxious moment this past Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $125,000 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace in 1:56.4. In the Arsenal opened 2-3/4 lengths on the field in and out of the final turn. A pocketed Rock N' Roll World cosmetically cut the final margin down to three-quarters of a length in 1:56.4. Third went to a stubborn Parklane Eagle. Second choice In the Arsenal, a White Birch Farm homebred son of American Ideal-Ladyotra trained by Kelvin Harrison, returned $6.30 for his second win in three seasonal/career starts. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 437; 2. Tim Tetrick - 434; 3. Ron Pierce - 292; 4. Brian Sears - 205; 5. George Brennan - 174.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 767.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 397; 3. PJ Fraley - 189; 4. Ray Schnittker - 184; 5. Joe Holloway - 152. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 177.8; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 160.3; 3. Bamond Racing - 146.5; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 92; 5. Brad Grant - 79.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack, Balmoral Park and Tioga Downs. Meadowlands Racetrack will host nine Grand Circuit events, led by the $1.2 million Hambletonian, the first leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Balmoral Park will contest Hanover Stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers and trotters. Tioga Downs will race Tompkins-Geers stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit        

This winter in harness racing in New Zealand has been like no other in living memory. The winter racing scene is usually left to the lesser performed horses to strut their stuff and it is not often that a potential top liner appears at this time of year. However this season we have seen several debutantes win in a manner that suggested a big future. Both Connoisseur and Rycroft created a huge impression when winning on debut and were quickly snapped up by Australian buyers. This Friday at Alexandra Park in the Hydroflow Mobile Pace we have another horse making his debut who looks to have a big future. Trained at Pukekohe by Brent Mangos, Vibhuti has been burning up the trial tracks in recent weeks and looks to have talent to burn. Last Saturday at Alexandra Park at the Auckland Trotting Club workouts, Vibhuti gave a display not often seen by unraced maidens. Not only did he distance his opponents by 6 lengths, but he paced the 2200 meters in 2:45.9, a mile rate of 2:01.3 with the last 800 meters in a quick 57.5 and the last 400 meters in a sizzling 26.7 That would win most maiden 2200 meters races at Alexandra Park and even from the second row on Friday night, Vibhuti looks very hard to hold out. The 3 year old son of American Ideal is bred to be good. A half-brother to Mr Chin 1:51.2 ($410,837) and Light Hearted 1:56.6 ($138,452) Vibhuti is closely  related to the former star age group pacer in New Zealand in Butlers First 1:57.4 ($380,883). The family was introduced to New Zealand by David Phillips in his National Bloodstock days when he imported the Keystone Ore mare Lady's First. Hambletonian Limited, the breeder of Vibhuti is the most recent arm of the David Phillips breeding operation. Raced by Hambletonian Limited in partnership with Tony Shaw, Vibhuti is the name for the sacred ash used in Religious worship in Hinduism. Judging by his recent workout performance, Vibhuti doesn't look like he will need any divine intervention to find his way to the winners circle on Friday night.. Harnesslink media

They’re on their way. The powerful New South Wales harness racing stable of Belinda and Luke McCarthy were to the fore at Menangle on Tuesday, winning three Breeders Crown heats, and the Cobbitty yard is sure to be strongly represented at next month’s semi-finals in Victoria. Ominous Warning captured the first race at Menangle, the American Ideal @ Woodlands Breeders Crown 2YO Colts and Geldings Heat 6, defeating Francisco De Gore by a half-neck in a 1:59.1 mile rate with a last quarter of 26.8 seconds and a last half of 55.1. The son of Four Starzzz Shark found the lead easily early in the 2300m race before churning out comfortable early sectionals. Driver Luke McCarthy got busy on Ominous Warning late in the home straight as Francisco De Gore ascended down the outside, the $1.10 favourite holding on for a narrow win over the fast-finishing $40.10 outsider. Another few strides and the result probably went the other way, so punters won’t be sacking the second horse in a hurry. Lettucerockthem showed in Race 2, the Roll With Joe Breeders Crown 3YO Colts and Geldings Heat 5, that he’s in seriously good form. The son of Art Major scored an easy victory, the final 5.4m winning margin not a true indicator of the dominance with which Lettucerockthem handled Tuesday’s competition. Luke McCarthy kept peeping over his shoulder time and again in the straight aboard Lettucerockthem to see Ideal Legacy’s driver hard at work, while the rest of the field might as well have been in another race. Consequently, Lettucerockthem never had to leave second gear, clocking a mile rate of 1:58.3 and a last quarter of 28.4. Flying filly Bamako Mali then gave the McCarthys a third crown heat win for the day in a blistering 1:57.9 in heat six of the two-year-old fillies’ division. McCarthy took Bamako Mali to the front at the top of lane and she dashed clear before late challengers came from all corners in the last 50m. The race commentator commented “she was no good thing” but as is her style Bamako Mali lifted when challenged and held on by a head over Ameretto with a similar distance to Butterfly Princess in third. “Someone told me it was only 0.7 seconds outside the track record,” McCarthy said (Sheezallattitude holds the two-year-old fillies’ record for the 2300m start with a 1:57.2 set in 2010). “She’s got a great will to win. The other one almost headed her. I’d say it levelled up but she fought back. She’s a great trier.” Bamako Mali has won nine of 13 starts and been placed second or third at the other four. On Ominous Warning McCarthy said the gelding had pulled up “a little bit sick” after his recent Breeders Challenge defeat. “We were disappointed not to win that,” he said. “Luckily we were able to get him right in time for yesterday. “Ominous Warning is pretty good. He was still probably a bit underdone yesterday.” McCarthy said Lettucerockthem was potentially in career-best form. “He’s probably in the best form he’s been in since he was a two-year-old,” he said. “I felt he travelled really good throughout yesterday.” Other Breeders Crown heat winners at Menangle were Saloon Passage for Nathan Hurst in the three-year-old boys’ sixth heat, winning by 10.5m in a rate of 1:55.7, and Ocean Diva for trainer Paul Fitzpatrick and driver Blake Fitzpatrick by a short half-head over Starzzzinthenight in 1:59.5 in the three-year-old fillies’ fifth heat. By Cody Winnell (Harness Racing Australia)

Three-year-old pacing fillies were featured on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway as part of the New York Sire Stakes. Locally-based Spreester (American Ideal) scored a victory in her division of the $59,100 Sire Stakes behind a late surge with driver Jim Morrill Jr in the sulky. Spreester continued her terrific stakes season behind the 1:53.2 seasonal best victory on Saturday night. The fastest winner of the three "big time" Sire Stakes races was Major Dancer (Art Major). Making her NY debut, the Casie Coleman-trained pacer came charging hard late before drawing away to win in 1:53.1 with Hall of Famer Wally Hennessey in the sulky. The upset of the three stakes races came when Ken Doll J (Bettor's Delight) survived a first over journey to prevail in 1:55.2 with Jimmy Whittemore in the bike. Ken Doll J was dismissed at odds of 9-1 for her first win of 2014. Sire Stakes action returns to the Spa on Wednesday evening when three year old trotting fillies take center stage. Live racing resumes on Tuesday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

When no one put in a decent bid at the yearling sales for In The Arsenal, White Birch Farms of Allentown, NJ decided to buy their homebred son of American Ideal back and gave him to trainer Kelvin Harrison to prepare for the races. And that move has paid off royally as In The Arsenal was able to lead from start to finish in capturing the $125,000 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace final for two-year-olds Saturday at Yonkers Raceway. Driven by Eric Goodell, In The Arsenal was sent right to the lead from start and by the first turn he not only well in command but his main rival, the 2/5 favorite Cartoon Daddy (George Brennan), could not handle the first turn, became rough gated and went off stride. From that point on no one could come close to In The Arsenal as Goodell held the field at bay through fractions of :27.4, :58.4 and 1:28.4 before sprinting home to an easy one and one-quarter length triumph in 1:56.4. Rock N’ Roll World (Eric Carlson), who had the two-hole trip at odds of 42-1, was second with Parklane Eagle (Jordan Stratton) third. “(In the Arsenal) dragged me out of there really good,” Goodell said. “I went faster than I wanted to go early, but he was able to relax after that. “I had no idea the other horse (Cartoon Daddy) made a break. I was just worried about mine and things worked out.” Goodell also won the $44,000 Open Handicap Pace with Dream Out Loud N ($9.70) in 1:51.4, with a :54.4 back half. It was the second straight win for In The Arsenal, who paid $6.30 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Champion pacer Im Themightyquinn finished the Brisbane harness racing winter carnival the same way he started it. The Gary Hall trained nine-year-old once again captivated a massive crowd at Albion Park with a thrilling come from behind victory in the Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake defeating tough local pacer Avonnova and Mach Beauty. Handled by regular reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, Im Themightyquinn sat mid-field in the moving line before sustaining a long sprint from the 900m marker while Mach Beauty led his stablemate Suave Stuey Lombo. With Mach Beauty charging down the back straight on the final occasion in a 26.5 second split, Im Themightyquinn was left working hard while Avonnova sat patiently in the trail. In the straight, Im Themightyquinn dug deep to fight his way past Avonnova to score by a half neck margin with Mach Beauty a further 3m away in third. The winning milerate was 1;56.1 – just outside of the track record of 1;55.9 held by Mr Feelgood. Winning trainer Gary Hall was overcome with emotion following the gutsy victory. “This is unbelievable; I thought he was all done at the top of the straight after such a strong back straight split but he showed why he is a champion and that was an effort of a champion. I’m so pleased for the horse and I’m thrilled with the way he’s been admired by the Queensland people.” Hall said. Im Themightyquinn won both open class features during the carnival, the Gr.2 $60,000 Garrards Sunshine Sprint in track record time of 1;50.5 plus tonight’s Gr.1 $100,000 TattsBet Blacks A Fake. Im Themightyquinn The Gr.1 $100,000 SKY Racing Queensland Derby was dominated by race favourite and star Sydney colt Bling It On who defeated Alleluia and Yayas Hot Spot. Driven aggressively by Luke McCarthy, Bling It On found the lead at the 2000m point and dictated terms in front thereafter before striding clear to win by 9.5m in a time of 1;57.2 for the 2680m event. The American Ideal colt remains unbeaten in Queensland winning all nine starts to date. Bling It On now heads to Victoria for the Australasian Breeders Crown series next month. Bling It On The Gr.2 $80,000 Kevin & Kay Seymour QBRED Triad 2yo Finals were thrilling contests. Jack Malone scored a nose victory over a gallant A Good Chance with Constantlysideways finishing third after leading. Trained and driven by Peter Greig, Jack Malone rated 1;55.9 for the 1660m event. The Cammibest gelding is raced by Patrice Madden. Jack Malone In the fillies final, the Shannon Price trained stablemates Bettorthanspecial edged out Bettor Promise by a short head margin in a time of 1;58.5. Brad Cowen took the winning drive. Bred and raced by Tony and Katy Price, both fillies are by super sire Bettors Delight. Bettorthanspecial The Gr.3 $45,000 Gurney Group of Companies 4yo Championship was taken out by former Kiwi pacer Five Card Draw who scored via the sprintlane to beat Majestic Major and Chevals Clivesdale in a driving finish. Five Card Draw rated 1;55.8 for the 2138m event. Trained and driven by Darrel Graham, Five Card Draw has now won seven races at Albion Park since being purchased by Dean Shannon earlier this year. Five Card Draw Champion pacer Blacks A Fake was another star attraction trackside tonight parading in front of the massive crowd on a number of occasions which was met by a great response. Harness fans Rob Johnston from Cedar Creek and Alan Lendrum from Toowoomba shared in the experience of a lifetime after being drawn as the lucky winners for the owners of Im Themightyquinn and Bling It On for the night. They took 10% ownership for the night with full owner’s privileges. Well done! by Chris Barsby

Overcast skies this morning to go with the coffee and chocolate babka for Breakfast With The Babies at The Meadowlands. John Campbell took a pair of trots, most notably with the regally bred Muscle Diamond. The son of Muscle Hill from the very accomplished Windylane Hanover added trotting hopples this morning for trainer Brett Bittle and the result was a 1:58.4 win with a 27.2 final quarter. He was a $40,000 buy from the Lexington sale by the Kellers and Bittles who enjoyed such success with his dam. John won right back with the Lucky Chucky lass A List Lindy for Chuck Sylvester. She took over past the quarter and finished the 2:01 mile with a 29 flat final quarter. She's owned by Chuck and long-time partner Neal Goldman along with Pinstripe Stable and her breeder, Lindy Farms who sold her at Harrisburg for $60,000 last fall. Shaqline made her first start for Takter in this one and caught some eyes with her finishing kick. The $450,000 first crop topper for Lucky Chucky, Mr Lucky Luke made his debut today and was second in 2:02 with Campbell driving for the Cancelliere brothers. The winner there was Keystone Bodacious, an $85,000 Muscle Massive colt from Balanced Action. He was driven by Corey Callahan for the Jonas Czernyson barn and owners Arden Homestead, Mal & Janet Burroughs, LST Stables and W. Devan, Jr. Campbell and the Cancelliere boys paired up later with Rock N Roll Heaven colt Raylan Givens for a 1:54.2 score. Raylan set most of the pace and held off the late charge of Shades Of Bay for the win. He's $135,000 Harrisburg buy from Lisheen, thus a half-brother to the champion older pacer of a few years back Lis Mara. A Plus opened the pacing action and the American Ideal filly from Has An Attitude was impressive taking over from Better Said passing the half and sprinting home in 27 flat to close the 1:57.4 mile. Scott Zeron and Tony Alagna picked up where last night left off (they paired for a triple on the card) here with the flashy, blaze faced filly owned by Alagna in partnership with In The Gym Partners, Tangie Massey and Joe Sbrocco. She's A Hot Mess was making her fourth morning appearance and the speedy daughter of American Ideal x Sure Fun Tryin' flaunted her speed today for Alagna and Zeron with an effortless 1:54 win. With the field scratched down to three, She's A Hot Mess was left to set the pace and does wander a bit without a target but she sure covers the ground. She's a homebred owned by the trainer along with the Bell's Riverview Racing and John Fodera. Asap Hanover also turned heads this morning with his stretch sprint to win in 1:54.1 for Tim Tetrick. Making his second morning start following up an impressive 1:56.4/26.2 six length win last week, Asap ranks high on the list of colt prospects seen this summer. He's a $150,000 product of the Lexington yearling sale, sired by Somebeachsomewhere from Allamerican Coed. The colt is owned by John Mehlenbacher and trained by Linda Toscano. Live racing resumes tonight at 7:15 as we continue with Corntastic weekend. The race feature is a pair of eleven horse divisions of the $65,000 Reynolds Memorial stake featuring Hambletonian contenders Nuncio and Trixton making their final preparations for that classic two weeks hence. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands  

YONKERS, NY, Thursday, July 17, 2014-The Empire's best 3-year-old colts and geldings-save for He's Watching-invaded Yonkers Raceway Thursday night for the $221,000 New York Sire Stakes Armand Palatucci Pace. The odds-on gelding Twin B Tenacious (Steve Smith, $3.90) won the first ($72,800) division from second-over. Unhurried from the pole, "Tenacious" chased Twin B Speedo (Mark MacDonald) through intervals of :27.2, :58 and 1:25.4. "Speedo" swung wide and whipped the leader by a half-length in 1:54. Third went to Keystone Honor (Matt Kakaley). Smith is now 4-for-4 since picking up the drive behind Twin B Tenacious. "To be honest, I had the drive the first time (Meadowlands) when a lot of the guys were out of town," Smith said. "He had some chicken lines (breaks) previously, and has doesn't always relax. "I learned you have to let him settle, but when I've asked him, he's finished very well. Twin B Tenacious, a son of Bettor's Delight trained by Casie Coleman for owner West Wins Stable, is 4-for-8 this season. The exacta paid $12, with the triple returning $114. The second ($74,100) statebred event was supposed to be fairly simple work night for Art Rooney Pace winner All Bets Off (Kakaley). However, despite a perfect tow from entrymate I'm All Heart (George Brennan), the 1-5 tandem found themselves run over. Capital Account (Yannick Gingras, $35.80), third-over from post position No. 4, snapped All Bets Off by a half-length in 1:52.4. Big Boys Dreams (Jason Bartlett) was third. Fifth choice Capital Account, a Brittany Farms homebred American Ideal colt trained by Jimmy Takter, is now 4-for-11 this season. The exacta paid $76, with the triple returning $336.50. "This was his best race so far," Gingras said. "Sometimes, he's been known to throw in steps, but tonight, this worked out. When I saw Matt (Kakaley) working (on All Bets Off), I knew I had him beat. "The last time he was here (NYSS last month), he was locked in. If I had come first-up, he'd have won but I had to use him leaving. It was a much better trip tonight." Thursday night's final ($74,100) sires soiree saw Forty Five Red (Brennan, $22.60)-last season's winner of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace here-make the lead right at the half and hold sway. Forty Five Red, from post No. 4, took over from Sir Jake's Z Tam (Jordan Stratton) after that one's :27.3 opening quarter-mile. After a :56.3 intermission, it was a 1:24.1 three-quarters and a season's-best 1:52.3 finale, which found Forty Five Red a length better than Winds of Change (Tim Tetrick). Neat (Marcus Miller) was third, while 1-2 choice Stay Up Late (Brian Sears) was a never-in-it dead-heat for fifth. Forty Five Red, a son of If I Can Dream co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Our Horse Cents Stable, has won his last couple after beginning the season 0-for-6. The exacta paid $133, with the triple returning $379.50. "Last week (overnight here), he was all out to win and just didn't race well," Brennan said. "Tonight, I scored him down much harder he was a totally different horse...on the bit and alert." Forty Five Red's winning time Thursday was more than two seconds faster than his previous effort. After Saturday night's $125,000 final of the Sheppard Pace (2-year-old colts/geldings), New York Sire Stakes continue Tuesday night, with the $200,200 Clyde Hirt Pace for 2-year-old fillies colts and geldings. Four, $50,050 groupings go as races 2,4,5 and 6. The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

Louisville, KY --- It wasn’t exactly in the cards for White Birch Farms to be racing In The Arsenal, but after capturing his $25,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard elimination at Yonkers Raceway on July 12, in front running fashion, they have to feel vindicated after the colt came home from last year’s Harrisburg Sale rather than being in someone else’s barn. “He didn’t reach his reserve,” said Kelvin Harrison, the colt’s conditioner. “So White Birch bought him back for $7,500. It was because he was small, but not real small. He was also absolutely correct. “I think it was because he was the 14th foal out of this mare (Ladyotra). A lot of today’s yearling buyers will steer away from horses after they are the eighth foal for some reason. Also, the thing is they grow and that’s exactly what he did. Even if he had turned out to be a small 2-year-old that wouldn’t have bothered me as Direct Fight (a former Harrison trainee that earned $825,052 in his career) was and it never bothered him.” The son of American Ideal and the On The Road Again mare Ladyotra, In The Arsenal seeks his second consecutive triumph and the second of his three race career on Saturday (July 19) in the $175,000 Sheppard final. In The Arsenal will leave from post position two with Eric Goodell holding the lines in race five. He is the 5-2 morning line second choice in a field of eight. The colt will face some stiff competition from 8-5 morning line favorite Cartoon Daddy, who is a perfect two-for-two with more than $31,000 in the bank and was the other Sheppard elimination victor. But back to In The Arsenal’s family tree. The homebred’s dam was 21 years old when she foaled him, but Ladyotra, who earned more than $115,000 in her racing career, has been as prolific as they come in the breeding shed. From her 14 foals she has produced Exquisite Art (1998, Artsplace, p,3,1:50.4, $578,544), Otra Sign (1999, Life Sign, p,1:54.2f, $115,458), Queen Otra (2001, Artsplace, p,4,1:51, $200,837) and Premier (2007, Artsplace, p,1:51.3f, $158,233). Ladyotra has dropped nine winners and the 12 yearlings that were sold to other buyers at public auction fetched the sum of $589,000. It is still early in his racing career, but In The Arsenal certainly possesses the genetic material to be a very nice horse. “I watched He’s Watching last year in the final of the (New York) Sire Stakes,” Harrison said. “He was a small horse but he has the same sire as In The Arsenal and he certainly could go fast. I watched him again this year in the eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace and he had not grown much from last year but was really muscled out. Then you saw what he did the night of the Meadowlands Pace. 1:46.4. That time speaks for itself. “In The Arsenal has actually grown and is now probably bigger than He’s Watching. He is no longer a small horse but a medium sized one. He’s very muscular and he’s a well put together horse. He is also great gaited. The only thing that ever concerned me with him was he might get a little bit hot.” The colt was sixth in his career debut on July 5, a $15,000 2-year-old race at Meadowlands Racetrack, after having the lead at the half. “It wasn’t the greatest of trips,” Harrison said. “Brian (Sears) chased him up a little bit out of the gate and then he got him going. He put him in the hole and then he didn’t get out of the hole, then was a bit aggressive when he did let him go. He still paced nicely right to the wire. “For the elimination, I thought when the sheet came out, we would put him in the hole and race him from behind, but when I saw what was in there I told Eric (Goodell) to just not get him in trouble.” After Saturday’s engagement, In The Arsenal will appear in most of the major stakes races for his age, gait and gender. “We have him staked up to everything,” Harrison said. “He just has real, real high speed. I think he’s one of those that has enough speed to make his own race. He’s also one of those horses that has never had a bad day. Even when he was training, I trained him with a group and put him behind, etc. He just always did everything so easily. I even worked him at White Birch in 1:59 before I even qualified him. Even then he was really handy.” Here is the field for the Sheppard final, with drivers, trainers and morning line odds: 1-Rock N’ Roll World-Eric Carlson-Nifty Norman-10-1, 2-In The Arsenal-Eric Goodell-Kelvin Harrison-5-2, 3-Perfect Bet, Jeff Dauplaise, Jeff Dauplaise-12-1, 4-Mystical Pacer-Brent Holland-Erv Miller-10-1, 5-Cartoon Daddy-George Brennan-Ron Burke-8-5, 6-Parklane Eagle-Jordan Stratton-Peter Foley-20-1, 7-Lone Survivor-Brian Sears-Sam DePinto-6-1, 8-Byby Landon-Jason Bartlett-Allan Johnson-8-1. Courtesy of Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Top New Zealand filly Ideal Belle has been scratched from her two-horse Australasian Breeders’ Crown heat at Alexandra Park tomorrow night and has been ruled out of the rich series by trainer Barry Purdon. The New Zealand Oaks winning filly, who would have been one of the favourites for the Group One 3YO fillies division, has suffered a leg injury after being caught in a fence at Purdon’s Clevedon property. The tall American Ideal filly, who showed she was right on song for the series with a smart workout last week, will now head to the spelling paddock. Her scratching means that the Geoff Small trained Zeta Bromac will get a walkover ABC heat win, as will Ideal Belle’s stablemate Sky Major who is still well on track for the 3YO colts and geldings division of the series. In other Breeders Crown news, the Tim Butt trained Field Marshal is set to arrive in Melbourne on August 6 in preparation for the ABC after qualifying in a one horse heat at Cambridge last week, while Katy Perry, who was defeated in her Cambridge heat by Joanne’s A Delight, is already in Australia and will compete in the Tatlow Stakes (Group Two) at Melton on Saturday before heading to a Breeders' Crown Repechage. Katy Perry is just one a strong contingent of Kiwi trained or owned horses that are seat to do battle in feature races across the Tasman this weekend. Others include Messini, Kept Under Wraps, Iceobar, Bettor Rock On, My Arya, Primz Luck, One Over Da Moon, Our Twentyten, and Daenerys Targaryen. However the two highlights of the weekend may come from champion Australian pacers Im Themightyquinn and Smoken Up. ‘Trigger’ (Smoken Up) is set to have his last start in New South Wales at Menangle on Saturday and his trainer-driver Lance Justice is expecting a big performance, while ‘Quinny’, who will be reunited with Gary Hall Jnr, will battle it out with Mach Beauty, Suave Stuey Lombo, and Avonnova for Group One glory in the Blake’s A Fake at Albion Park on Saturday. After much talk about drivers leading into the race, Lauren Panella has decided to stick with Mach Beauty, while Bart Cockburn, who has been sacked from Avonnova after his interesting drive in the Sunshine Sprint, will take the reins behind Suave Stuey Lombo. Replacing Cockburn in the sulky behind Queensland star Avonnova is Shane Graham, who was victorious in his only drive on the gelding. By Mitchell Robertson  

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, July 16, 2014-Elimination winners In the Arsenal (Eric Goodell, post 2) and Cartoon Daddy (George Brennan, post 5) lead eight 2-year-old colts into Saturday night's $125,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace. In the Arsenal won the first of last weekend's two, $25,000 elims in a maiden-breaking 1:56.2. The White Birch Farm homebred son of American Ideal, caught three-wide early, nonetheless strode out by 2¾ lengths. "(The Sheppard) was always on our schedule," trainer Kelvin Harrison said. "He's a smallish horse, and we thought the half-mile track would suit him." Cartoon Daddy was a tick faster in his elimination, prevailing in 1:56.1. The $60,000 son of Art Major, co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Joe DiScala Jr., hit town after a New York Sire Stakes win at Buffalo. "He was looking around (in his elimination), the way 2-year-olds tend to, but once I pulled the plugs, he was all business," Brennan said. The Sheppard goes as the fifth race (approximate post 8:50 PM) on the 12-race card. After the open draws, the roster is... 1-Rock N' Roll World (Pat Lachance), 2-In the Arsenal (Eric Goodell), 3- Perfect Bet (Jeff Dauplaise), 4-Mystical Pacer (Brent Holland), 5-Cartoon Daddy (George Brennan), 6-Parklane Eagle (Jordan Stratton), 7-Lone Survivor (Brian Sears), 8-Byby Landon (Jason Bartlett). The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

At this point many two-year-olds have a couple of starts in them, so it’s time to marry personal observations with wild speculation and project which ones will be stepping up to win the Cup, Jug and Hambletonion next year. This is by no means a definitive list of the best of the best; as a matter of fact I’m going out of my way to include some by off-brand stallions. That being said, here are a few early standouts. Artspeak is a Western ideal colt out of the Artsplace mare, The Art Museum. The Western Ideals have fallen on hard times at the sales of late, relatively speaking, but Brittany threw $100,000 at this guy, which matched the top price for any of his paternal brothers in North America. He has won both of his NJSS starts for Scott Zeron and trainer Tony Alagna, in dominant fashion. On Pace Day he came first over to win in 1:52.3 at odds of 3/5 at the Meadowlands. Western Ideal has given us the outstanding performers and game changing sires Rocknroll Hanover and American Ideal, as well as Always A Virgin and Big Jim. His 2013 crop moves on to the slugfest that is the PASS next year. Stacia Hanover, the winner of the $100,000 NJSS final for freshman pacing fillies, is also by Western Ideal. The $35,000 Harness Breeders purchase is trained by veteran Steve Elliott and, like Artspeak, driven by Scott Zeron. She has two other wins in the restricted class, aside from the high-dollar final which she won in 1:53.4 at odds of 3/5. Yankee Bounty is a two-year-old gelding by the enigmatic Artiscape stallion, Yankee Cruiser. His dam is the Allamerican Native mare Yankee Bootleg. This isn’t a combination that screams early speed. Yes, Yankee Cruiser did give is the current king of the pacing ranks, Sweet Lou, who held world records at two and three, as well as the rejuvenated speed demon Dancin Yankee, but for the most part this stallion was up against it in Pennsylvania. Yankee Bounty, a $21,000 Harness Breeders purchase, has won both of his starts in impressive fashion. He won splits of the Pennsylvania All Stars and the Albatross for Corey Callahan and trainer Kevin Lane. Yankee Cruiser stands his first year in Ohio in 2014. Bob Ben And John is one of the wave of impressive colts from the first crop of 2009 two-year-old division champ Sportswriter. Casie Coleman, who trained the son of Artsplace, and has been the leading cheerleader for his initial offering, plucked him from the Lexington sale for a modest $17,000. His dam is the Cambest mare, My Best Girl. This colt made his first pari-mutuel start last week in a $70,000 OSS-Gold leg at Mohawk. He was an easy winner by three in 1:53 at odds of 2/1 for Chris Christoforou. Sportswriter is absolutely killing it in the freshman pacing division of the Ontario Sire Stakes; he’s taking all the air; none of the others are on the same planet. SBSW shook the Pennsylvania program to its foundation with his first crop, but what’s happening with Sportswriter in his restricted program may be more dramatic. Shadow Play impressed us last year with his first crop, but he hasn’t gone on to be a factor in the open realm with his sophomores. We’ll wait and see if Sporty, a key player from the stressed Adios line, makes his presence felt outside of Ontario. Sassa Hanover is a filly from the first crop of Rock N Roll Heaven. Ron Burke bought her at Lexington for $50,000. Sassa’s dam, Sayo Hanover, is half to the very fast Shadyshark Hanover. Jim Morrill drover her to an easy two length win in a NYSS race at Monticello on the July 4. She won in 1:56.3 with plenty to spare. And two of her paternal sisters—She’s Heavenly and Band Of Angels—also won top dollar splits of the sire stakes that day. Heaven was held in high esteem at the sales, and thus far he is fulfilling his promise.   Dragon Eddy is a two-year-old gelding—aren’t they all—by Dragon Again, a stallion known more for throwing rugged long lasting types like Foiled Again, Atochia and Aracache Hanover than he is as a sire of early speed. My Little Dragon won her division at two, but she was an exception. Well, Eddy is something of an outlier himself. He brought $42,000 at Lexington, which is on the pricey side for Dragon Again, who now stands in Ohio. John Buttenschoen trains and Mike Simons drives. At the end of June Eddy won a split of the Pennsylvania All Starts in 1:54.3 at Pocono, and he went on to win a division of the Albatross in an eye opening 1:52.4 at odds of 2/5 at the Meadows on July 8. Mission Brief is a brown Muscle Hill filly who opened a lot of eyes when she took her $100,000 final of the NJSS by 13 lengths in 1:53.3 for Yanick Gingras and Ron Burke. This was an improvement on her previous start, where she only won by ten. Her dam Southwind Serena is by the great trotter Varenne. Mission Brief was a $150,000 Lexington purchase. Look out! The Bank is a Donato Hanover colt out of 2008 three-year-old division winner, Lantern Kronos. He won a split of the Pennsylvania All Stars for Jimmy Takter on July 4th and broke stride while leading on the last turn as the 1/9 favorite in a division of the Hickory Pride at The Meadows this week. Again, Takter drove. Uncle Lasse, a full brother to Shake It Cerry and Solvato, is another very promising Donato colt in the Takter Barn. He also won on July 4. Yesterday he was beaten in a quick 1:56.3 split of the Hickory Pride by the Cantab Hall colt Billy Flynn, driven to perfection by Brett Miller. Possess The Will and Your So Vain notwithstanding, Donato has pretty much been all filly no colt to this point. If this pair is turned over to Gingras or Pierce they could change that in a hurry. Honor And Serve, a Donato colt out of 2008 freshman division winner and world record holder Honorable Daughter, is another who might turn the tide. He just took a split of the Hickory Pride for Dave Palone and Jim Campbell. Royal Deceptor is one of numerous offspring of the New York stallion RC Royalty that sold at the Morrisville sale. The success of last year’s Hambletonion winner, Royalty For Life, inspired many to look favorably upon the eleven-year-old siring son of Credit Winner. Cheryl and Michael McGivern took this brown colt home for $11,000. Royal Deceptor won all three of his qualifiers, then went out and won a split of the NYSS in a track record 1:59.3 at Buffalo Raceway for Michael McGivern. Gatka is a big, rugged filly from the first crop of seven-year-old Hambletonion winner Muscle Massive, whose big brother Muscle Mass met with success in Ontario and has since been relocated to New York. Gatka is a sister to Ake Svanstedt’s Muscle Hill filly Heaven’s Door, who won the $100,000 NJSS sophomore final and finished second behind Shake It Cerry in the Del Miller. She won a division of the PA All Stars at The Meadows in 1:56 at 2/5 and last week she took a split of the Meadow Gladys with ease in 1:57.1 at 1/5.  Billy Flynn, a $120,000 Lexington purchase by Steffan Lind, is by Cantab Hall, arguably the best trotting stallion in North America. Another brown colt—there seems to be a run on them—he is out of the Enjoy Lavec mare Zeta Jones and was bred by Brittany farms. Billy took a split of the PA All Stars by six lengths in 1:57.2 at Pocono earlier this month and he beat the highly regarded Centurion ATM and Uncle Lasse in a division of the Hickory Pride. Brett Miller drives. Wild Honey is proving to be a $35,000 bargain for Jimmy Takter. The daughter of Cantab Hall was a close second to Gatka Hanover in that one’s first start and, like Gatka, won a split of the Meadow Gladys at The Meadows, for Yanick Gingras. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

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