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Last nights harness racing meeting at Addington was notable in the first instance for being held on a Wednesday night which is unusual to say the least. Several longshots got home early in the programe with one of these being the Andrew Stuart trained Styx On. Driven on racenight for the first time by in form reinsmen Bob Butt, Styx On jumped to an early lead from the 2000 metres stand, steadied them in the middle stages before zipping home in 27.8 to just hold out the big late charge of Matty Groves and Ricky May. Bob liked attitude of the Art Major three year old filly. " She has got lovely manners and that's what got her home tonight" " She does everything right and thats always a big help in standing start races," Bob said. That was the start of what turned out to be a productive night at the office for the North Canterbury horseman. Next up was Kashana in the two year old pace and that was to be the only time Bob missed a dividend bearing place in his five drives with Kashana finishing sixth. Bob's next drive was on a horse he part owns and trains in Ancient Moonlight and he turned in a career best effort to only go under by a nose to Change The Rulz after coming from second last at the 800 metres mark. The son of Live Or Die was privately timed to run his last 800 metres in 57 out three and four wide and Bob was thrilled with the effort. " He went huge from where he was." " I had to go when I did or else it would have just been a sprint from the 400 metres and we would have got nothing". "Going by that run, his next win is not far away," Bob said. The next drive for Bob was on the old warhorse Vulcan who had been very disappointing lately after some good form around christmas time. Away well from his 30 metres handicap, Bob settled Vulcan three back in the running line and didn't move until the corner where to the surprise of everyone, Vulcan sprinted up to the leaders and only went under by 3/4 of a length when running third to the very impressive Belles Son. Bob was a bit non plussed about what to make of the run. " That was a lot more like it tonight but I think the slow sectionals in the middle stages helped." " In saying that, Roddy has been making a few little changes and that probably helped as well," Bob said. Bob's last drive of the night was on the son of American Ideal in Idealindiamonds who is trained by his parents, David and Catherine and once again manners were the key to the win. Away well to lead early, Idealindiamonds was restrained to trail the well supported Sandvik Star after 600 metres and that move was the winning of the race. Sandvik Star took Idealindiamonds to the passing lane and he zipped home in 28.2 to just hold out a fast finishing Four Starzzz Shiraz and Dexter Dunn and claim his second win at just his fourth lifetime start. Bob half expected a good run. " He has got such great manners from the stand and I thought we would get a good run if he could lead early." "He is a wee tradesman and his manners always give him a chance in a race like that," Bob said. Bob has been having a great run lately and the thing to note for punters out there is he rated Waterloo Sunset at Alexandra Park tomorrow night his best drive for the week. Harnesslink Media     

Upper conditioned level pacers highlighted the Sunday afternoon harness racing card from Harrah's Philadelphia. The wagering public placed their support behind 25 time winner Big Town Hero. The son of American Ideal was coming off of a troubled trip from an outside post at Yonkers in his most recent start. As the wings closed, it was Chris Freck trainee Dial Or Nodial (Dave Miller) moving out for the lead, with Adventure Bound (Allan Davis) securing the pocket spot. After an opening quarter of :27.3, Dial Or Nodial was able to rate the second quarter in :29.3 (:57.1). Ron Burke trainee Bat Boy Matt (Yannick Gingras) gained first over. He was followed by the upset-minded American Venture (Eric Carlson). Off at odds 26-1, American Venture powered up three wide, and cleared before the three-quarters (1:24.1). It was a battle for the minors from there, as American Venture was well clear, winning by five lengths in the end, stopping the clock in 1:51. He returned $55.20. It was the 15th career win for the son of American Ideal, who is owned by Little Bapa LLC, and trained by Jennifer Sabot. Michael Bozich

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Jokerman had the last laugh in the featured $9,500 conditioned pace at Buffalo Raceway Saturday night (April 4) with a stunning upset harness racing victory in a seasonal best time of 1:55.1 over the fast track.   Overlooked by the betting public, Jokerman returned a hefty $27.00 to his backers after turning back the mild rally of Bakken in the race to the wire   It was a battle to the lead as rail-sitting Lucky Nadotremblay tussled with the parked Jokerman to a quarter in a red-hot time of 27.4. Jokerman (Jim McNeight) was finally able to clear for the lead and posted times of 56.2 and 1:25.4 from there.   In the race to the finish, Jokerman posted a final panel of 29.2 and that was more than enough to hold off any challenges from the remaining six horses in the field. Bakken (Ray Fisher Jr.) show some mild kick but finished a non-threatening length back while Lucky Nadotremblay (Shawn McDonough) rolled into the show position.   It was the fourth win in 12 starts for Jokerman and the 6-year-old gelding has now been in the money in all but one start in 2015. He is co-owned by trainer Richard Roth along with Robert and Randy Roth. Jokerman (American Ideal-Shark Tail) has now earned $29,289 this year.   In the first round of the Niatross Knockout Claiming 'B' Series, Secluded Island ($4.10) was the fastest winner in the five divisions with a 1:57.1 clocking.   Dedalos ($3.30), who captured the Naitross 'A' Series earlier this season, took his leg with a 1:57.4 mark.   Other preliminary round winners included Nora Lee ($4.00), K C Colt ($15.80) and Full Circle Spirit ($12.00). The quarter-finals will be held next Saturday night.   Driver Drew Monti had a four-bagger on the night and Kevin Cummings went over the 100-win plateau on the year with four victories as well.   Trainer Michelle Gramza had three wins.   The racing action will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night with a 12-race card scheduled for 5 p.m.   For more information including upcoming promotions, the latest news. results and race replays, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

Last nights harness racing meeting at Cambridge was notable for having one of those rarest of happenings, a double deadheat. There was only five runners in the PGG Wrightson Sales Graduette and as expected with such a small field, it turned into a bit of a cat and mouse affair. The favourite Poppy Maguire with Maurice McKendry in the bike came out of barrier one quickly before handing up to Killer Queen and Simon Lawson after 200 metres. Simon immediately put the brakes on and they dawdled down to the 400 metres mark before the sprint really went on. Poppy Maguire quickly got up to Killer Queen on the passing lane but couldn't get past her and they went to the line locked together. Pure Opulence,after enjoying a soft run run three back on the inner, ran on well late as did Bettor Love Me who sat last the whole way and the second pair also went to the line locked together. The unlucky runner was Tuapeka Sky who got up to the leader on the corner and looked to be travelling better only to have her inexperience come through when she went rough entering the home straight and lost any winning chance she had. After what seemed an eternity, the judge called a deadheat for first between Poppy Maguire and Killer Queen and a deadheat for third between Pure Opulence and Bettor Love Me.  The two winners covered the 1700 metres in 2:08.5, a mile rate of 2:01.6 with closing sectionals of 59.6 and 28.4. Killer Queen, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven has long been held in high regard by trainer Ray Green. " She was up and going earlier in the season but then she got sick and we had to back off her." " I am not sure if she is completely over it to be honest." " Last night she knocked off half way up the straight and only got going again late in the piece when the other filly came up on her inside, " Ray said. The plans are not yet set in concrete for Killer Queen and where she goes depends on how she keeps progressing. " She is on the improve but she will need to be if she is going to be competitive against those All Stars runners." " She can go to the final of the Sires Stakes now at Auckland and if she preforms good in that then we may head south for the Harness Jewels," Ray said.  Poppy Maguire, a daughter of American Ideal pleased her driver Maurice McKendry. " She is a lovely wee filly to drive." " Nicely gaited with a bit of speed and very professional and she will more than pay her way." "I actually thought I had got up but half a win is better than second," Maurice said. Both fillies are still on the improve and will be be very competitive when the final of the Sires Stakes is held at Alexandra Park on April 24th Harnesslink Media  

The rich QBRED Breeders Classic Finals were staged at Albion Park last night (Friday) and provided great harness racing. The Gr.2 three-year-old finals were worth $50,000 each while the Listed four-year-old finals were worth $25,000 each. The night coincided with the culmination of the Racing Queensland Girls On Track race series. In the 3yo Fillies final, the Phil Mitchell prepared Cullens Jewel made full use of her front-line draw and led throughout to score a convincing victory defeating Mathilda Diventa and Feel The Faith. Race favourite Bettorthanspecial finished fourth. Cullen Jewel rated 1;58.5 for the 2138m journey while covering her final half in 57.5 seconds. Mark Dux took the winning drive on the American Ideal – Cullens Cameo filly. It was her biggest victory to date and her fourth overall. Smart pacer Admiral Bronski took honours in the 3yo Colts and Geldings final after a brilliant tactical drive from leading reinsman Shane Graham. After starting from a second-line draw, the Art Major – Bronski Gorgeous colt whipped around the field at the 1200m mark and took the lead away from race favourite A Good Chance before handing back over at the 800m marker. Admiral Bronski finished quickly via the sprintlane and held off the fast finishing burst of Jack Malone with Uncle John filling third. Race favourite A Good Chance finished fourth. Admiral Bronski rated 1;58.0 for the 2138m journey with the final half covered in 58.9 seconds. Trained by Mick Grant, Admiral Bronski is now the winner of 7 races from 23 starts. In the 4yo divisions, the favourites proved too classy for their rivals. Flashy chestnut Mafuta Vautin, trained and driven by Darrel Graham, led throughout in the Entires and Geldings final defeating Mister Higgins and The Duke Downunder. Bred and raced by Linda Graham, the Rollon Bigred – Ashleysplace gelding has now won 9 of his 13 career starts. Mafuta Vautin rated 1;57.9 for the 2138m journey while finishing off in 58 seconds. In the 4yo Mares final, Charming Allie worked her way to the front and defied running down in the home straight defeating Beef City Safari and Morethanmeetstheye. Bred and raced by Kevin and Kay Seymour, the Grant Dixon trained and driven mare claimed her 17th career victory from 27 starts. The Mr Feelgood – Charm Personified mare rated 1;59.0 for the 2138m journey while running her last half in 57.1 seconds. Congratulations to all winners and their respective connections. Racing Queensland

New Norfolk harness racing trainer Roger Whitmore has his eyes on the $30,000 Raider Stakes with his talented four-year-old Resurgent Spirit following the gelding's impressive win at Tattersall's Park Hobart last Sunday night. Resurgent Spirit resumed from a lengthy spell with a game win on his home track on Australia Day and followed up with a second at Devonport in a race that was expected to be a stroll in the park for the former Tasmanian two-year-old of the year. The loss encouraged speculation that all might not be as it should be with the gelding but this latest effort dispelled any suggestion that the gelding had lost his sparkle. With his regular driver James Austin aboard, Resurgent Spirit showed his customary early speed to easily hold the front from barrier two. He was taken on about 600m from home and at one stage it looked as if he might again succumb to the pressure. But when Austin asked him to find, the gelded son of American Ideal forged clear and went on to defeat Black Centurian by 2.3 metres with Punt Road Disco a similar margin away third in the C5-C6 event over 2090 metres. Austin was delighted with the win. "That was an awesome win because he felt good throughout the race and he never got onto his knee once in the run," Austin said. "He pretty much toyed with them tonight," he said. The Raider Stakes will be run at Devonport on April 26 with heats to be held at the same track on April 13. Peter Staples

The harness racing debutante Idealindiamonds was well supported when he lined up for his first start at the invited drivers meeting on the grass at Waikouaiti today. The three year old son of American Ideal had been impressive at trials and workouts around Canterbury for trainers David and Catherine Butt. A second to subsequent winner Boundary Row at the Rangiora workouts was followed by a trial win last Monday at Addington over Just Ben who won at Oamaru on Sunday which suggested that Idealindiamonds  was always going to be a major player today. Driver Bob Butt got him away well from barrier four and grabbed an early lead before handing up to the well supported Edge Of Reason and Sam Ottley. Edge Of Reason took Idealindiamonds all the way to the passing lane and once angled into the lane by Bob, Idealindiamonds shot clear for a very impressive debut victory. Another well supported debutante Real Raider ran on well for second just in front of the pace making Edge Of Reason. Idealindiamonds paced the 1900 metres from a stand in 2:36 with the last 800 metres in 61.8 and the 400 metres in a sharp 27.5 A $32,500 purchase at the 2013 New Zealand Premier Sale at Christchurch, Idealindiamonds is bred to be well above average. He is from Imprint 1:58.4 ($22,622) who has already produced Opulent 1:54.9 ($219,906) and Imprint is a daughter of the former smart three year old filly Impish 1:54.9 ($45,032). Bob Butt thought he would go close on debut. " He is such a wee professional." " He is such a lovely pacer and has the manners as well so I thought he would be hard to beat." " It was his first time on the grass but he is so well gaited I didn't think it would worry him," Bob said One of things that made the win more memorable for Bob Butt was it continued a long standing trend between the owners and the Butt family. " I am the fourth generation of the Butt family to have driven a winner for these owners so that makes it pretty special," Bob said. Idealindiamonds will continue to race in grade racing around Canterbury and judging by today's win he won't have any trouble handling the rise in grade. Harnesslink Media   

The long awaited return of one of last season's harness racing glamour girls in Ideal Belle took place at Alexandra Park on Friday night and as expected the daughter of American Ideal was a comfortable winner. The New Zealand Oaks winner from last season has always looked a filly that would get better with time and the now four year old looked a mare going places in a hurry. It was Ideal Belle's first standing start but Zac Butcher got her away quickly and she settled into the trail behind the free going First Home. With no mid race challengers Zac was able to wait until the straight to ease Ideal Belle into the passing lane where she dashed past First Home in the last 100 metres for a comfortable first up win. Ideal Belle paced the 2700 metres from a stand in 3:27.9, a mile rate of 2:03.9 with smart closing sectionals of 56.1 and 27. Zac Butcher was confident a long way out that she would win. "She handled the standing start really well" " She feels like a mare who will develop into a really quick beginner before too long." " To be fair she is only about 80% tonight but I knew if I got the right run she would be way too good for them and that's how it turned out." " I just let her get to the line under her steam," Zac said. After her stellar three year old campaign, Ideal Belle suffered bad cuts to her hind legs when she got them caught over a fence which has delayed her four year old debut. The main aim for the season now is for her to qualify for the Harness Jewels at Ashburton on May 30th. Zac always thought that Ideal Belle would come back better at four. " She has always had a lot of potential and was always going to get better with time." " I think she should eventually end up in the big Cup races, Zac said. With the retirement of both Adore Me and Helena Jet in the last few weeks, the time is right for Ideal Belle to stake her claim to the top spot amongst New Zealand mares. Harnesslink Media  

LEBANON, OH. – Add Betterluvnexttime to the growing list of talented mares who have won Miami Valley Raceway’s featured distaff open during the first ten weeks of the 2015 meet.  The seven-year-old American Ideal mare, driven by leading driver Josh Sutton, copped the $16,500 event on Friday night (March 13) by topping Carlina Hanover (Tyler Smith) and Artie’s Last Party (Jeff Nisonger) in 1:53.2 over a rain-soaked sloppy strip.  Recent winners Rev Me Up, Shine N Shimmer and Igottafeelinfran mixed it up early with the former tripping the first quarter beam in :26.4.  By the :56.2 halfway station Igottafeelinfran was lapped on the pacesetter’s wheel with Shine N Shimmer riding tight in the pocket.  The mares that eventually completed the winning trifecta sat second, third and fourth over in the outer flow throughout the second half of the mile which included a 1:24.1 third quarter clocking. Daniel Mitchell owns Betterluvnexttime, who won for the 40th time in her 99th career start, boosting her lifetime bounty to $481,125.  Virgil Morgan Jr. conditions the winner, who became the eighth different winner to capture a Fillies and Mares Open thus far this year at Miami Valley.   

The cheers from the Harness racing fraternity in Southwestern Ontario will be loud and long this Saturday when Madefromlucky heads postward in the $750,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.   The talented three-year-old thoroughbred colt trained by noted conditioner, Todd Pletcher for Erin, Ontario horseman, Mac Nichol, and Everett Dobson, one of the owners of the Oklahoma Thunder of the NBA, will be trying for his third consecutive victory in the 1- 1/16 mile test, which is a stepping stone on the road to the famed Kentucky Derby on May 2nd. So, why all of the cheers from the harness community for this handsome bay thoroughbred speedster? Well, Madefromlucky, is a member, and the only thoroughbred member of 'the Stable That God Loves', and, one per cent of his purse earnings in 2015 will go to Chaplain Ken Carter's homeless Standardbred Chaplaincy of Canada that is dedicated to providing for the emotional, physical, spiritual and human needs of the horse racing work force in southwestern Ontario. To date a total of 26 horses are committed to this innovative program, which is designed to raise much needed operating funds for the tireless work of the Chaplaincy, and also to put a good face on horse racing. The program hit mainstream media last week (March 5th) with an excellent two-page spread in the Toronto Sun, penned by Steve Buffery. Mac Nichol is the first owner from the "thoroughbred" community to support the Stable That God Loves, which so far includes many prominent standardbred owners, including John Fielding, John Craig, Harry Rutherford, Mark Hyatt, Dustin Jones, Norm Clements, Dr. Roly Armitage, Doug Millard and Tom Rankin, to name a few" " I figured I'll mix it up a bit on this thoroughbred and maybe it will open some more doors for support (for the chaplaincy)" said Mac. Mac Nichol is the owner of Ideal Training Centre, a 50-acre showplace with accommodation for 123 horses and excellent 5/8 mile training track in Erin. He has won plenty of major races in harness racing, either as a majority owner or partner, including the Little Brown Jug and the North America Cup in 2007 with Tell All, the 2011 Breeders Crown three-year-old filly Pace with Monkey On My Wheel and the Confederation Cup with American Ideal, among others. He has an interest in about 25 standardbreds and his trainers include Casie Coleman, Colin Johnson, Jeff Gillis and Tony Alagna. Madefromlucky was a $150,000 purchase as a two-year-old in training last year. His sire, Lookin At Lucky, won the 2010 edition of the Rebel. Madefromlucky will face six formidable opponents in this 55th running of the Rebel. He will break from post 2 with jockey John Velasquez aboard. Post time for the Rebel Stakes is 6:06 pm Central time. G O  -  M A D E F R O M L U C K Y For additional information: Bill Galvin billgalvin2000@yahoo.ca . . 647-280-7640  

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - Yonkers Raceway's 2015 stakes season continued Tuesday afternoon, with the opening round of the annual tribute to Teddy Roosevelt, aka the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series. The series, for 3- and 4-year-old males who are/were non-winners of four races and/or $40,000 through last Dec. 1, offered five, $12,500 events, with odds-on form holding in every race. The well-bet winners were... --Fort Knox,4 (by American Ideal); owner Little Bapa LLC/trainer Jennifer Sabot/driver George Brennan; 1:52.3/$3.70; --Roger Mach 'Em,g,4 (by American Ideal); owner Little Bapa LLC/trainer Sabot/driver Brian Sears; 1:54.4/$3.20; --JK Patriot,g,4 (by Bettor's Delight); co-owners Matthew Bencic,Sam Schillaci/trainer Linda Toscano/driver Tim Tetrick; 1:55.2/$2.60; --Major Uptrend,g,4 (by Somebeachsomewhere); owner Howard Taylor/trainer Ron Burke/driver Brennan; 1:53/$2.90; --Vance Bayama,4 (by Four Starzzz Shark); co-owners Michel Allard,Gerrie Tucker,Majs NY Inc,Kapildeo Singh/trainer Rene Allard/driver Dan Dube; 1:54.3/$3.30. After the Sagamore Hill events, the baton was passed to the "French" trots, with five oversized, added-distance races completing the card. Brennan swept the final two of those races, completing a four-win afternoon. Total handle for the dozen-race card was a season-high $1,014,980 (North American number only, overseas export figures not included). Note that since no one took down Tuesday's Pick 5, Thursday's gimmick offers a carryover of $3,178.11 (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). The Raceway's live season continues Thursday through Saturday (first post 7:10 PM), then an Ides of March "French" Sunday matinee (first post 1:10 PM). It's the final Sunday live program until early November. Frank Drucker

Leading Victorian harness racing trainer Emma Stewart claimed consecutive New South Wales Derby victories thanks to Ideal For Real’s gutsy performance at Tabcorp Park Menangle just moments ago. Outstaying his rivals with master reinsman Gavin Lang in the sulky, Ideal For Real follows on from Major Secret’s success last season. Naturally thrilled with the performance, Stewart will give the son of American Ideal a short break before embarking on another feature race campaign. “To win this race two years in a row is a great thrill,” Stewart declared. “Major Secret went terrific last year and now Ideal For Real has put in a huge ran. “It was tight at the finish, but I knew he’d got there in time. “He will go home now for a short spell, then we will get him revved up again for some of the majors later in the season.” Matching strides with the leader, Hug The Wind, along the home straight, Ideal For Real grabbed the front in the last stride to score by a half-head, with Sporty Spook seven metres away third. In an amazing performance from both stables, Stewart and New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon has filled the quinella in the first three Group Ones of the day. Purdon captured the New South Wales Oaks with Fight For Glory and the Ladyship Mile with Adore Me, while Stewart finished second with Delight Me and Beauty Secret. “Yeah it is good to turn the tables on Mark and win one of the Group Ones,” Stewart said. PAUL COURTS

All week the harness racing pundits previewing the Great Northern Oaks had predicted that Classical Art from barrier one would lead and control the race with the favourite The Orange Agent unlikely to get the lead off her. No one obviously told Maurice McKendry on The Orange Agent because he did exactly what everyone said couldn't be done. Maurice worked her forward from barrier four and grabbed the lead from Classical Art inside the first 200 metres and that effectively was race over. Allowed to get away with a couple of easier mid race sections, Maurice applied the pressure from a fair way out and then blew them away with a last half in 55.1 and quarter in 27.4 to cruise home home by five lengths in a new New Zealand record of 3:18.8 for the 2700 metres mobile. When talking to Harnesslink during the week, Maurice said contrary to what a lot of people thought, The Orange Agent could really leave the gate and he thought he would go forward. The daughter of American Ideal has been a revelation this season with her win tonight her seventh from just nine starts with her only unplaced run coming in the Sires Stakes Final for fillies on New Years eve when pushed out four wide by Democrat Party with a lap to go. The inexperienced Start Dreaming provided a minor highlight of the race by running home well for second to give American Ideal the quinella with Supersonic Miss holding on for third after sitting parked for the last 1200 metres and Classical Art disappointing in running fourth after having the run of the race. Maurice was pretty philosophical about the win post race. " I got the lead pretty easily really and there was no real pressure so I was pretty confident during the running that she would be tough to beat." " When you run home in front in 55 it makes it pretty hard for those behind you." " She knocked off a bit the last 100 metres when she was out on her own but she won with a bit in hand". " I like winning those Group 1 races because the extra money keeps the bank manager happy," Maurice said with a bit of a chuckle. Maurice thought that The Orange Agent would now head south to Addington. " The plan at the moment is to head south now for the New Zealand Oaks and Nevele R Fillies Final in early May," Maurice said. With a combination of a filly as talented as The Orange Agent and a driver right at the top of his game like Maurice McKendry, then you need to look no further for the favourite for the remaining fillies classics this season. Harnesslink Media  

TORONTO, February 26 - A few weeks off didn't bother Nippy W Hanover as she was razor-sharp in winning the harness racing $41,200 Miss Vera Bars series final Thursday night at Woodbine. Originally set for two preliminary legs and a final, Mother Nature caused the second-leg of the Miss Vera Bars to be cancelled twice, forcing officials to scrap the second-leg and send the series directly to a final Thursday night. All nine three-year-old pacing fillies that competed in the first leg on February 5 returned for the final. Maplelea, the winner of leg one, took most of the support at the windows and was sent off as the 4/5 favourite. However, she would have to settle for second-best, as Nippy W Hanover got the job done in 1:57.1. Driven by Mario Baillargeon, Nippy W Hanover got away in second from her rail starting spot. Down the backstretch, Baillargeon opted to circle around to the lead and never looked back. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:28 with Maplelea first up at her wheel, Nippy W Hanover turned aside the favourite's challenge in the lane and paced home in :29.1 to win by 2 ½ lengths. Wake N Bake closed well to finish third, while Docs Hollywood took fourth. A daughter of American Ideal, Nippy W Hanover is trained by Blair Burgess for owners Karin Olsson Burgess and Mac Nichol. The sophomore pacing filly finished second in the first leg after winning her 2015 debut the week before. The series final victory improves Nippy W Hanover's career record to four wins from 12 starts and earnings exceeding $50,000. A $2 win ticket on Nippy W Hanover returned $6.90. Nippy W Hanover In order to be eligible to the Miss Vera Bars series, the three-year-old fillies had to be non-winners of three races or $40,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2014. Mark McKelvie

Lloyd Arnold and Stan Bergstein, two legendary figures in harness racing, have races named in their honor this weekend at Cal Expo. The Lloyd Arnold Pace is set for Saturday night and the Stan Bergstein Trot is the feature on Sunday. Lloyd Arnold was an owner and track operator of the highest caliber. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 83. Originally the owner of Arnold Cattle Co. in Iowa, Mr. Arnold raced hundreds of horses in Illinois and across the Midwest throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. During that era, Mr. Arnold raced horses like Warm Breeze, who earned more than $250,000 in two seasons of racing in the mid-1970s, and Dancing David, who earned more than $200,000 in the 1960s. Warm Breeze took Mr. Arnold to racings pinnacle for the first time when he set the all-age world record at over this track, then known as Golden Bear Raceway. His top horses in later years included the pacing mare Sanabelle Island, who earned $1.6 million lifetime and won 57 of 110 starts. Also of note was Bagel Beach Boy, who won the 2001 Messenger and Matron stakes. In August 2003, Mr. Arnold bought Chevie Duramax, who then went on to set world records for 2-year-old pacing geldings on both mile and half-mile tracks. The fastest 3-year-old pacer in North America in 2004 belonged to Mr. Arnold as Quik Pulse Mindale won in 1:48 at Balmoral. In addition to being a prominent standardbred owner, Mr. Arnold operated this track during those Golden Bear Raceway years and also bought Los Alamitos in the late 1980s, eventually selling the track to his partner, Ed Allred. Mr. Arnold was inducted into the California Harness Hall of Fame in April of 2008. He also enjoyed personal honors in 2001 when he was feted by the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters at their annual awards dinner and received the Owner of the Year Award from the U.S. Harness Writers' Association. Chris Bardis said, Harness Racing was one of Lloyd's great passions. He accomplished so much for the sport not only in California, but nationwide. He was Mr. Harness Racing. He conducted race meetings at Cal Expo, Bay Meadows, Golden Gate Fields, Del Mar, Pomona, Hollywood Park and Los Alamitos. I know of no one else who has had a greater impact on the harness world. Sundays Stan Bergstein Trot is named for the legendary figure in harness racing who passed away in 2011 at the age of 87. Mr. Bergstein was a harness-racing titan who advocated for cooperation between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries to solve the sports' common problems. He stepped down in 2011 after 50 years as the executive vice president of Harness Tracks of America, the Standardbred industry's trade association. He was immediately appointed as the organization's first executive emeritus, and continued to advise the association and write guest columns for the Daily Racing Form until the weeks before his death. The only person to ever be inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame and its Communicators Hall of Fame, Mr. Bergstein worked in a wide variety of roles at racetracks, auction houses, announcer's booths, and racing publications, and he maintained extensive collections of harness-racing books and artwork. He was widely respected not only in the harness industry, but also in the Thoroughbred industry, and he served as a mentor to generations of young racing professionals through a close association with the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program, located in Tucson, for the past 40 years. Mr. Bergstein was a forceful proponent of forging closer ties between the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries, most notably in tackling medication abuse and problems with drug-testing. In dozens of commentaries, Bergstein maintained that the Standardbred industry's problems were, or would be those of the Thoroughbred industry, and that neglect of a problem in one sport would damage the other. Bergstein borrowed from the Thoroughbred industry early in his career, incorporating claiming races as a racing secretary while working at the Chicago tracks in the 1950's. At the time, the harness racing industry did not run claiming races, and they are now as commonplace in Standardbred racing as they are in Thoroughbred racing Bergstein also spearheaded the creation of Standardbred Investigative Services, a security agency modeled on the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau. A native of Illinois, Bergstein attended harness races as a young man and received a journalism degree from Northwestern University. He was the former executive editor of Hoof Beats magazine, and the former vice president of publicity and public relations for the United States Trotting Association. Cal Expo trackman/program director Marty Bridges credits Stan Bergstein with bringing him into harness racing as a profession. After college and two years in the Army, I was employed by the small business association. At night, after work, I was a regular patron at Sportsmans Park and Maywood in Chicago. My supervisor, a former sportswriter for the Chicago Daily News, knew of my interest and called Stan to set up a meeting. Surprisingly, I was to meet him at Du Quoin on Hambletonian Day. Watching Stan call the races from a slightly elevated booth on the infield adjacent to the finish line was thrilling and between races we talked about racing, horses, drivers and trainers. His knowledge of the sport was amazing and I had never met anyone like him, and still havent. He introduced me to John Tinsley, the program director for all the Chicago tracks and John hired me on the spot. Its been a great ride, doing something I love. Gene Vallandingham first met Stan Bergstein in 1959 when he was working for the legendary Joe OBrien. Stan came to Joes farm every spring for the annual Camptown racing weekend, when all of Shafter would be there for a day of racing. Stan was the true voice of harness racing, he was liked by all and I miss him. Chris Schick said, "Stan was foremost a kind and compassionate person. He was a true visionary in the harness racing industry. In 1979 well before simulcasting, he so rightly stated the future of the industry was in how well we brought the product to the public. He was also very vocal of the industry for being reluctant to embrace change. Our industry lost a giant when he passed. Arnold Pace, Sire Stakes, Jackpot 6 spotlighted The $10,000 Lloyd Arnold Free-for-all Pace, a pair of $10,000 California Sire Stakes and a $48,130 carryover in the Jackpot 6 are among the main attractions Saturday night at Cal Expo. A 14-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:10 p.m. The Jackpot 6 is one of four wagers on the program that feature a reduced 16% takeout rate. The others are the Hi-5, which like the Jackpot 6 is a 10-cent minimum bet; the 50-cent Pick 5; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $25,000-guaranteed pool. Looking at the Arnold Pace, China King is fresh from a 22-1 upset in last weeks Open when he hung a narrow decision on heavily-favored Pancetta in a 1:52 1/5 mile He drew the outside post in the field of seven. A 7-year-old American Ideal gelding who carries the banner of Gary and Jen Sabot with Gene Vallandingham training and Steve Wiseman in the sulky, he went-to-coast to capture the January 17 Open at 19-1, then came back last time to score from a tracking position at another nice price. Taking him are Pointsman, who gives the Vallandingham barn two looks at the outcome; Rusty Skipp and J C Onthebeach for conditioner Ray Burt; Alligator Falls from the Sal Wenceslao shedrow; the Junior Wilkinson-trained A Real Miracle; and Love Live Laugh for trainer Denise Maier. Uringoodhands and Hi Hos Little Rev have dominated the sophomore pacing colts Sire Stakes to this point and get another chance to settle the score on Saturday, while Placer gets top billing in the stakes gathering for the 4-year-old trotters. By Mark Ratzky, publicity Cal Expo Harness                            

Brian Hughes has a habit of winning the Group One Northern Oaks every decade…..and his 10-year anniversary just happens to be at the harness racing meeting at Alexandra Park this Friday night.   The man they call Bunty bred, owned and trained Iman to win the 1995 edition of the Group One classic for 3-year-old fillies, and then in 2005 Hughes owned and trained Tosti Girl to her neck victory over Cruzee Lass. They were the first and fourth favourites respectively. This Friday Hughes will line up one of the best fillies he has ever co-owned, co-bred or trained in the Pascoes The Jewellers sponsored 2700m mobile feature – and naturally The Orange Agent will again be a hot favourite.   “She’s a classy mare all right. She has come through her last win very well. She’s eaten up everything and is rearing to go. She hasn't had a workout or trial since that race but Dad (Bunty) has been putting the work into her.   “From the draw she is going to be tough to beat,” said Gareth Hughes, son of Bunty, and a man who does a lot with his father’s team.   The Orange Agent has drawn perfectly at four this week and compared to her six draw last time out in the second $20,000 Nevele R Fillies heat.   That night she looked like she would have to settle for the runner-up prize after second favourite Democrat Party got away from her on the home turn.   “She’s got a bad habit of drifting wide simply because she goes too fast for her own good around the final bend. Once she got balanced up last start she came again to win. That was a very good performance.   “We are confident she will fly around the final corner untroubled this time,” Hughes said.   The 3-year-old daughter of American Ideal and Lady Fingers has now won seven of her 12 starts and just over $105,000 in purses.   She is yet to nail a Group One victory but did win the $80,000 Caduceus Club Ladyship Stakes at Alexandra Park in December.   All seven of her wins have been at at northern headquarters, but she is yet to start over the 2700m.   “The distance won’t hurt her, especially from the draw. The Oaks has been one of Dad’s main targets with her for some time now. It’s a race that means a lot to him. He’s already won it twice,” Hughes junior said.   Another race that means a great deal to Hughes is the Great Northern Derby, which will be run on Friday week – Auckland Cup night.   The Hughes trained Hughie Green will line up one of the favourites in the sixth race on Friday – the $20,000 Derby Prelude.   With some of the best 3-year-olds missing this week a good performance will be required to make the final Derby field.   Follow The Stars, fresh from his placings in Australia, will be tough to beat but Hughes is confident Hughie Green will put in another bold showing.   “He did really well to beat Ohoka Punter last start and Dad says he’s progressed nicely since then. Both he and The Orange Agent have done everything he has asked of them.   "If I was going to single one out at this stage it would be ‘Agent’, simply because she has the better draw and the Derby Final isn’t for another nine days. Sure we will be trying to win it but the main goal is to make the final,” said Hughes.   In fact the Hughes team has five winning chances on Friday.   Gamma Lady won well here a month ago on debut and then was a nice workouts winner on Saturday. Hughes rated her right up there with The Orange Agent as one of his stable’s best winning chances in race four.   “She is flying at the moment for a young horse that has only had one run." "My Kiwi Mate can also win the last race, while Girls Are Better can also follow up her good trial form in ‘Gamma’s’ race,” said Hughes.   “She ran a nice second behind Gamma Lady in the same Workout at ‘The Park’ on Saturday,” he added. Duane Ranger - Courtesy of Steve Richardson (TAB)

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