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YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, August 26, 2015--After two decades, the return of Yonkers Raceway's International Trot is within sight, thus it makes perfect sense that the field of world-class harness racing participants is beginning to take shape. With just under seven weeks until the million-dollar event--Saturday afternoon, Oct. 10th, to be precise--the connections of Bee a Magician and Magic Tonight have offered unqualified commitments. Bee a Magician, the triple millionairess and 2013 Harness Horse of the Year, has found herself right at home in Westchester. In four Yonkers' starts, the 5-year-old daughter of Kadabra won three of 'em, setting an aged-group track record each time. "We're honored to be invited," Richard (Nifty) Norman, Bee a Magician's trainer, said. "She's proven she gets around Yonkers very well and we have no reason to think that won't continue." Magic Tonight has "2015 Elitlopp winner" stamped on his business card, so obviously, he means business. The 6-year-old son of Andover Hall has earned more than $1.3 million, taking into account his both-sides-of-the-ocean performances. Yonkers' International Trot Selection Committee (no relation to that of the NCAA) is continuing its due diligence, with further invitations/acceptances to be announced in the not-too-distant future. Again, this is a special Saturday afternoon card, with a proposed first post of 2 PM (pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission). As of this writing, the International--scheduled for 10 starters at a distance of mile-and-a-quarter--would go as the program's fourth race (approximate post time 3:25 PM). The International Trot would also be the main cog in a high-end, Pick 5 guaranteed pool (exact number TBA), while Yonkers is surrounding the event with an Oktoberfest on the track apron as well as a hat giveaway (while supplies last) and drawings for terrific prizes, including a vacation to the winning horse's home country. Purse distribution would be the same as all events (winner-50 percent, 2nd-25 percent, 3rd-12 percent, 4th-8 percent, 5th-5 percent). Non-cashing overseas entrants receive $37,500 via a purse supplement, while non-cashing North American entrants receive $10,000). "It's our pleasure to bring back the International Trot," Raceway president Timothy J. Rooney said. "It's been a signature New York race since it debuted at Roosevelt Raceway back in 1959. We took over the race after Roosevelt closed, and it was very well received. "With Yonkers now a major player in the overseas simulcast market, we feel this is the best time to showcase our track to the world by again inviting the best trotters in the world to race here. We have had tremendous cooperation from our horsemen, and all of us are looking forward to it." Frank Drucker

Mr Right went to the top of the standings among Pennsylvania Stallion Series two-year-old colt trotters when he won the fastest of seven divisions in the $140,000 third preliminary round in 1:56.3, a personal best, in Tuesday night action at the harness racing meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.   Driver Victor Kirby and the Donato Hanover-Hey Mister colt had to overcome a first-over trip, but the talented youngster came his own last half in 57.4 to run his series record to 3-2-1-0, the best of all the babies, for trainer Leigh Raymer, who is also co-owner with Stephen Moss and Harold and Helene Solomon.   The only horse to beat Mr Right in the Stallion Series is Cufflink Hanover, who won in the first leg, skipped the second to try the deeper waters of the Sire Stakes, and came back to the Stallion ranks Tuesday and won in 1:57.4 wire-to-wire.   The gelded son of Andover Hall-Savoire Faire, possibly named after the pet turtles in the movie Rocky, is owned by driver David Miller and the Enzed Racing Stable Inc of trainer Nifty Norman.   Besides Mr Right and Cufflink Hanover, Twin B Ammunition added his name to the list of two-time Stallion winners by reducing his mark to 1:58.4.   TNT Rusty, the only double winner in the first two Stallion legs, was on the lead turning for home but made a break, opening the door for the Explosive Matter-Anklets Aweigh gelding to get the decision for trainer Bennie Magliochetti, having a career season, and owner Mahlon Martin.   It's hard to believe that it has been 42 years since the filly Starlark Hanover set a world record at Pocono en route to being named 2YO Trotter of the Year (no colt/filly separate voting then), but trainer/driver Dave Wade is still going strong, as he showed by putting a 1:56.4 maiden mark on the Lear Jetta-Ponytail Xpress gelding Nathaniel in another cut.   The baby led at every call for the ownership of Wade, Jerry Brittingham, Kelley Rogers, and William Peel III, also his breeders.   The only siring double of the night went to SJ's Caviar, as two altered sons of his stepped home first: Skeezix, out of Queen Of Angels, who broke his maiden in 1:59 for driver Kevin Wallis, trainer Rollie Mallar, and owner/breeder Michael Andrew, and Petrossian As (out of Elegant Dame), who was second in his debut, a Stallion leg, but showed no signs of not having raced since that event 34 days ago with a 1:58 triumph for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Anette Lorentzon, and owner/breeder ACL Stuteri Ab.   The final division winner had even less experience than Petrossian, but the Muscle Massive-Raysofgrace De Vie colt Pilgrims Tide followed up on two winning qualifiers by winning at first asking in 1:57.4 for "The Trot Man" of Pocono, driver Mike Simons, trainer Scott Andrews, and owners Edward W. Andrews and Edward W. Andrews III.   The Sire Stakes counterparts to these freshmen will contest their third preliminary Wednesday, with $251,780 on the line in four divisions.   The second leg saw no horse as a repeat winner from the first.   Jerry Connors

Broadway Donna and Whitelake Hanover remain unbeaten — they’re a combined 13-13 lifetime — following wins in Tuesday’s Pennsylvania Sires Stake action for freshman filly trotters at the harness racing meeting at The Meadows.   The $205,840 event, known as the Delmonica Hanover, was contested over four divisions, with Kathy Parker and Womans Will taking the other splits. Though the luck of the draw has kept Broadway Donna and Whitelake Hanover apart, the two are set for a showdown in the PASS championship Sept. 11 at The Meadows, which that day will host all four $260,000 (est) finals for 2-year-olds.   Asked to compare Broadway Donna and Whitelake Hanover, David Miller, who regularly pilots both and did so in the Delmonica Hanover, said:   “They’re pretty similar, really." "They’re both real handy." "They’re pretty even, to tell you the truth." "Whitelake is probably a little quicker off the gate, but Donna makes up for it. "She can race either way."   “I was thinking how lucky I’ve been — four legs and they never met up." "Usually when I have a couple nice ones, they all get in together." "I’ll have to pick one, but it’s a nice problem to have.”   Although both fillies won easily, Broadway Donna’s victory may have been more impressive visually. After some early jockeying for the lead, she powered to the front near the quarter and drew off to triumph by 9-1/4 lengths in 1:55.2, a tick off the stake record. Winning Symbol and Lookin Sharp completed the ticket.   “She knows what she has to do, and she goes out there and does it,” said Jim Campbell, who conditions the homebred daughter of Donato Hanover-Broadway Schooner for Fashion Farms. “As I’ve said, she’s a real professional.”   With her seventh consecutive win, Broadway Donna boosted her career bankroll to $291,036.   Whitelake Hanover forged ahead by 5 lengths at the quarter and coasted home from there, prevailing by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:56.1. Maker A Yankee rallied for second, with Dancing In Thehall a ground-saving third. Chris Oakes trains the daughter of Explosive Matter-Whispering Wind, who completed her sweep of the four PASS preliminary legs, for Omar Belier, Dennis Coons and Susan Oakes.   A nose loser to Broadway Donna in the $389,450 final of the James Doherty Memorial, Kathy Parker gave the undefeated fillies something to think about when she scored for Yannick Gingras in 1:56.3 to extend her career bankroll to $171,598. She was second by 1-1/2 lengths down the backside, but Kathy Parker blue-penciled that margin when she pulled the pocket early to challenge the leader, Gracie Hanover.   “The horse on the front looked a little grabby early on,” Gingras said. “I figured it wouldn’t help either one of us if I moved earlier than that." "At that point, it was time to go. I didn’t want to have to move her into the last turn if somebody else came." "I figured it was the best place to do it. She’s right up there with the best ones.”   Synonymous Hanover was second, a length behind, while Gracie Hanover saved show. Jimmy Takter conditions Kathy Parker, a daughter of Andover Hall-Mallelujah, for Christina Takter, Brixton Medical, RAW Equine and Joyce McClelland.   Elsewhere on the card, it was her initial appearance in the $18,000 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, but Dough Dough rose to the occasion, stalking Mistress Valentine from the pocket and downing her by a neck in 1:55.1. Kandian Club finished third.   Dick Stillings drove the 5-year-old daughter of CR Excalibur-Rising Dough, who vaulted over $100,000 in career earnings, for trainer J.W. Miller and owner/breeder En Mar Stable The race featured even more dough, as the winner’s half sister, Ciao Dough, finished fourth.   Aaron Merriman and Miller each fashioned a three-bagger on the 15-race card.   Evan Pattak

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 24, 2015 -- Miss Tezsla, who reached the final of the prestigious James Doherty Memorial, showed her class to a Pennsylvania Stallion Series field Monday at The Meadows when she rolled to a harness racing victory in a stake-fastest 1:57.3. The $100,000 event for freshman filly trotters was contested over five divisions, with Rose Run Reanna, Goodtogo Hanover, Thislady'sdynamite and Ardwyn Hanover taking the other splits. Blake MacIntosh enjoyed a trainer/owner double with Rose Run Reanna and Thislady'sdynamite. After finishing second in her Doherty elimination, Miss Tezsla broke stride in the $389,450 final and finished ninth. But her placement in the Doherty shows how highly her connections -- trainer Jimmy Takter and owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical and Herb Liverman -- regard her. "She probably could go in the sires stakes, but Jimmy likes to win," said winning driver Dave Palone. "No one evaluates his horses better, and no one places them in spots better than Jimmy. When the connections are confident, I'm confident." On Monday, the daughter of Andover Hall-Filly At Bigs quarter-poled to the lead and toyed with the field thereafter, downing Twice A Night by 4-1/2 lengths. Ameliosi earned show. Fresh from a third-place finish in the Pure Ivory final at Mohawk, Rose Run Reanna moved determinedly first over for David Miller and, though snaky in the stretch, wore down the leader, Lady Athens, to capture her maiden victory in 1:58.2. Move Over Darling rallied for second, 3/4 lengths back, while Lady Athens saved show. "She has talent, but she's had troubles breaking," said MacIntosh of the daughter of Explosive Matter-Excusez Moi, a bargain yearling acquisition at $9,000. "We made some equipment adjustments on her, and she's reacted well to them. Now, we have to get the steering part down and we should be okay. She has a sore on her mouth, and the bit we have on her is a little severe. Because she gets a little aggressive, we have to leave it on. In a couple weeks when she calms down a bit, we'll switch the bit." Goodtogo Hanover, who had raced at or near the front in her five previous starts, rated kindly -- more or less -- for Brian Zendt and moved first over to victory in 1:58.2, 1/2 length ahead of Turn The Paige. I Luv Blackhawkred completed the ticket. "I had my hands full just to sit where I was at," Zendt said. "She's been used to front-running, and that didn't work the last couple starts. She was getting tired and sour, so I wanted to race her out of a hole. She was good about it. She thought about pulling up down the backside, but when they turned for home, she was game to go after the horse on the lead." Bill Zendt trains the daughter of Explosive Matter-Grammy Hall and owns with Gary Saul. In the $20,000 Preferred Handicap Trot, Tall Cotton made it four straight, despite a parked-out opening panel, when he triumphed in 1:53.2 for Palone, trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Edwin Gold and Howard Taylor. Major Athens was second, 2 lengths in arrears, while the first-over Tamarind finished third. With the victory, the 9-year-old Revenue S-B Cor Peatra gelding soared over $700,000 in career earnings. Palone completed the 15-race card with four wins. Tuesday's program at The Meadows features the Delmonica Hanover, a $205,840 PA Sires Stake for 2-year-old filly trotters. First post is 12:55 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Harness racing caretakers Malin Boman-Friberg and Viktor Flink-Ideborn enjoy special connections with their horses, D'One and Magic Tonight. It goes beyond simply sharing winning moments. Boman-Friberg was the caretaker of retired Swedish star Giant Diablo, who is the mother of D'One. Giant Diablo is history's fastest female trotter thanks to her 1:50.1 win in the 2007 Allerage Farms Open Trot at Lexington's Red Mile. Boman-Friberg's return to the U.S. with D'One is her first trip back to the States since a second brief visit with Giant Diablo in 2008. "It's a very emotional trip for me," said Boman-Friberg, who looks after the 5-year-old mare D'One for trainer Roger Walmann and ownership group Stall Kenny 23. "Who on earth would believe that I'm first going to go with the mom to America and race and then take her first-born daughter to come here. It's a super privilege." Flink-Ideborn is making his first trip to the States, with the Walmann-trained Magic Tonight. It is a return for the 6-year-old trotter, however, as Magic Tonight was born in Pennsylvania and was a multiple-stakes-winner in North America before being exported to Sweden in 2013. In May, Magic Tonight won the prestigious Elitlopp Invitational at Solvalla Raceway. "It means a lot to me to be here with him," said a smiling Flink-Ideborn, who has been Magic Tonight's caretaker since the horse arrived in Sweden two years ago. "I had to show him Sweden, now he is going to show me America." Magic Tonight and D'One both race Friday at Vernon Downs in New York. Magic Tonight is the 9-2 third choice on the morning line in the $200,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot while D'One is the 7-2 second choice in the $177,000 Muscle Hill Mare Trot. Orjan Kihlstrom will drive both horses. Bee A Magician is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the Muscle Hill and Market Share is the 5-2 pick in the Crawford Farms. The card also includes the $194,000 Artiscape for older female pacers, where the entry of Anndrovette and Venus Delight is the 5-2 favorite. D'One, a daughter of stallion Donato Hanover whose victories overseas include the Group 1 Swedish Trotting Oaks in 2013, has won 16 of 29 career races and earned $975,375. She heads to the Muscle Hill off a winning North American debut on Aug. 8 at the Meadowlands, where she captured the Fresh Yankee by one length over Bee A Magician in 2:05 for the distance of 1-1/8 miles. The time was only three-fifths of a second off JL Cruze's world record for the distance. "We are super happy," Boman-Friberg said. "It was a little unexpected. I didn't think she would be that good directly. She was in quarantine a little more than four weeks, so it's been a long ride, but it turned out really good." The Muscle Hill field includes 2014 Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry and Dan Patch Award winning divisional champion Classic Martine in addition to 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician. "It's a really tough race, but that is why we are doing this," Boman-Friberg said. "We want to race good races. We are in a good race. She drew bad again (with post seven), but we're going to give it a shot for sure." Another reason for D'One's trip to North America is to take a crack at breaking her mom's world record time of 1:50.1. "It would be really awesome if she could beat her mom's record, for sure," Boman-Friberg said. "It's going to be super tough, but I think (Walmann) has a goal on this journey and that is to beat her record." Boman-Friberg said there are few similarities between D'One and Giant Diablo. "The only things like her mom, in my opinion, are her ears and eyes," Boman-Friberg said. "She is very nice; Giant Diablo was very tough to take care of. She could bite, kick, she was strong. This one is friendly and loves people." Magic Tonight is a son of stallion Andover Hall out of the mare Miss Possessed. He has won 20 of 56 career races and earned $1.34 million. He is owned by Lennart Agren's SRF Stable. After his own lengthy layoff because of travel and spending time in quarantine, Magic Tonight finished 11th in the John Cashman Jr. Memorial on Aug. 8 at the Meadowlands. "He's fine," Flink-Ideborn said. "He has been good since the race. He hadn't raced for like two months and he usually needs a race. It probably looks worse than it was. He needs time to come here and get settled. Now he's got that time. I hope he is good." The highlight of Flink-Ideborn's time with Magic Tonight has been the Elitlopp victory, but he feels a bond with the trotter regardless. "Just saying Elitlopp winner gives me goosebumps," Flink-Ideborn said. "It's awesome. "He's a really nice horse. He's a good friend. He's the best friend you can have." Following are the fields for the Muscle Hill, Artiscape, and Crawford Farms. Note that post 10 starts from the second row. Muscle Hill - Race 7 1. Rockin With Dewey, Scott Zeron, Benoit Baillargeon, 8-1 2. Handover Belle, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 6-1 3. Allie Labrook, Andy Miller, Kristin Shetler, 5-1 4. Charmed Life, Brett Miller, Mark Cecile, 10-1 5. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman, 5-2 6. Shake It Cerry, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 9-2 7. D'One, Orjan Kihlstrom, Roger Walmann, 7-2 8. Classic Martine, Tim Tetrick, Steve Elliott, 8-1 9. Harley Momma, Jim Morrill Jr., Noel Daley, 10-1 Artiscape - Race 8 1. Skippin By, Jim Morrill Jr., Virgil Morgan Jr., 6-1 2. Radar Contact, Scott Zeron, Noel Daley, 9-2 3. Precocious Beauty, Brian Sears, Gregg McNair, 10-1 4. Table Talk, Andy Miller, W. Bart Dalious, 8-1 5. Lady Shadow, Doug McNair, Ronald Adams, 5-1 6. Sandbetweenurtoes, Brett Miller, Larry Remmen, 10-1 7. Anndrovette, Tim Tetrick, Jeff Bamond Jr., 5-2 8. Venus Delight, Jason Bartlett, Jeff Bamond Jr., 5-2 9. Fancy Desire, Mark MacDonald, Daniel Renaud, 8-1 10. Color's A Virgin, David Miller, Tony O'Sullivan, 7-2 Crawford Farms - Race 9 1. Lindy's Tru Grit, Andy Miller, Julie Miller, 8-1 2. Rossini, Doug McNair, Noel Daley, 10-1 3. Flanagan Memory, Brian Sears, Rene Dion, 7-2 4. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 5-2 5. Magic Tonight, Orjan Kihlstrom, Roger Walmann, 9-2 6. Melady's Monet, Jason Bartlett, Kevin McDermott, 6-1 7. Obrigado, Mark MacDonald, Paul Kelley, 5-1 8. DW's NY Yank, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 8-1 9. Master Of Law, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 8-1 10. Intimidate, Scott Zeron, Luc Blais, 10-1 by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA  

There were 3 divisions of PASS events for 2-year-old filly trotters held at the harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 13) each going for a purse of approximately $78,000. In the first division, it was part of the Charlie Norris trained entry Synonymous Hanover rallying to win. The daughter of Andover Hall drafted in mid pack throughout much of the race, as second-favorite Best Of Dreams (Andy Miller) set the tempo. Race-favorite Windowshopper made a break early on. Synonymous Hanover swung wide for the drive at the top of the stretch, narrowly out closing the John Butenschoen charge Lookin Sharp (Corey Callahan) to win by a nose, stopping the clock in 1:58. She paid $21.40 to win. Ultra-long shot Sand Grenade (Yannick Gingras) finished third. In the second division, it was Brittany Farm's Twice Is Right (Yannick Gingras) going all the way to win. The daughter of Donato Hanover went right to the front from post 1, setting fractions of :28.1, :57.2, and 1:26.3, with an overall time of 1:56.2. It was the second career win for the Jimmy Takter trainee, pushing her lifetime earnings beyond $50,000. Ultimate Shopper (Tim Tetrick) rallied for second, while Maker A Yankee (Marcus Miller) was third. Twice Is Right paid $11.60. In division three, it was Paul Holzman trainee Whitelake Hanover remaining unbeaten. The daughter of Explosive Matter floated off the gate into third, before quarter-brushing to the front. There were some anxious moments in the stretch however, as upset-minded Maeve Quaider (Corey Callahan) made the most of a pocket journey to finish just a neck behind, with Parimutuel Hanover (Andy Miller) finishing a distant third. The final time was 1:57.4. Whitelake Hanover is now a perfect 5 for 5 for owners Omar Beiler, Dennis Coons, and Sue Oakes. She paid $2.60. Michael Bozich

Sapphire City (Jason Bartlett, $8.60) and Backstreet Hanover (Larry Stalbaum, $10) shared the glory Saturday night at the harness racing meeting at  Yonkers Raceway's winning the co-featured $48,000 Open Handicaps. Pole-assigned Sapphire City won the weekly pacing feature, chasing Forty Five Red (Mark MacDonald) before whipping him in a two-speed number (:27.4, :56.1, 1:24, 1:51.4). The final margin was a medium-sized nose a season's-best effort. The Real One (Pat Lachance) was a belated third as the 7-5 favorite, with Frankie's Dragon (Dan Dube) and E Z Noah (Brian Sears) completing the cashers. For second choice Sapphire City, a 7-year-old millionaire Metropolitan gelding trained by Paul Blumenfeld for co-owners Centaur Stables and Jordan Sklut, it was his fifth win in 26 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $35.20, with the triple returning $150. The week's marquee trot saw the lass Backstreet Hanover-from post position No. 5-move from seventh turning for home to win going away. The margin was 2¼ lengths in a season's-best 1:55.2. Rock of Cashel (Tyler Buter) rallied for second with ABC Muscles Boy (Eric Carlson), Skates N Plates (MacDonald) and Tober (Jason Bartlett) settling for the remainder. The latter two mixed it up early (:27.4, :57.1, 1:25.4), helping the cause of the closers. Tepid 7-2 fave Theraputic (Joe Bongiorno) was a non-factor seventh. For third choice Backstreet Hanover, a 7-year-old daughter of Andover Hall trained by Chris Marino for owner David Hamm, it was her fourth win in 19 '15 tries. The exacta paid $115, the triple returned $744 and the superfecta paid $4,716. The Raceway's live season continues Monday (first post 7:10 PM), a "French-centric" Tuesday (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

There were two divisions of a non-winners of $15,000 in the last five starts for trotters contested at the harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philly on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 6). They each went for a purse of $18,000. The first division was taken by Jill Roland's Andover The Cash (David Miller). The 4-year-old son of Andover Hall waited patiently behind the speed, making his move from mid-pack after the half. He was able to circle off cover in the stretch to win by 2 lengths, stopping the clock in 1:56.2. Longshot Holiday Spirit (Pat Berry) finished second, while Westside Lindy finished third. It was the 6th career win for Brian Roland trainee, who paid $8.00 to win, keying $424.80 exacta, and a trifecta that paid $13,707.60. L A Express Stable's Pocket Trip (Corey Callahan) was victorious in the second division. The 5-year-old son of Angus Hall moved quickly after the quarter to clear the lead. He was able to maintain the lead until the finish, winning by a length, stopping the clock in 1:54.4. Raise The Curtain (Brett Miller ) finished a game second, while Modest Prince (Tim Tetrick) was third. Pocket Trip (trained by Doug Lewis) now has 19 wins out of 55 starts in his career, with 6 of those this season. He returned $6.00. Michael Bozich

Dismissed at 23-1, Cue Hall ran the rack when he powered through the Lightning Lane to capture a division of Wednesday's Hickory Smoke, a $189,616 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters at The Meadows. Wicker Hanover took the other split. Cue Hall, Bob Key's homebred son of Andover Hall-Curli Cue, hit the ticket in several prior PASS legs, but he's endured his share of misfortune. "I thought he was competitive with this group," said winning trainer Rich Gillock of his Hambletonian eligible. "We've had nothing but bad luck. He trotted in 1:54 in January. We quit with him, hoping he'd come back strong. Today's the first time things ended up working out for us." In the Hickory Smoke, Cue Hall benefited from a ground-saving trip from Tony Hall and was able to defeat Chef Lee by a head in a career-best 1:54.2. Honor And Serve rallied for show. With the victory, Cue Hall soared over $100,000 in lifetime earnings. Wicker Hanover swept to the lead from post 7 for Andrew McCarthy and withstood the stern challenge of Walter White to defeat him by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:54. Shoot The Thrill completed the ticket. "After I asked my horse, I kind of dropped my concern," McCarthy said. "He picked the bit right back up and went on with it." Noel Daley trains Wicker Hanover, a son of Explosive Matter-Won An Done who pushed his lifetime bankroll past $200,000, for Christer Haggstrom Racing Stable.   $80,000 PA Stallion Series - 3-Year-old Colt & Gelding Trotters Co-featured on Wednesday's card was an $80,000 stake for sophomore colt and gelding trotters, with Jacksons Minion, Flying Muscles, Ralph R and Mesmerized capturing the divisions. Mike Wilder fashioned a stake double behind Flying Muscles and Ralph R. The career of Jacksons Minion began under a dark cloud when his name was misspelled on his registration papers, and bad luck continued to dog him. But trainer/driver Tom Jackson began involving him earlier in races, and the Explosive Matter-Armbro Espionage gelding liked his new vantage point. He rolled home on the front in a stake- and career-best 1:56, 8 lengths better than Midniteroketlunchr. Only The Brave earned show. "He's had lots of little problems most of the year, and he's finally getting good -- hopefully at the right time," Jackson said of his $17,000 yearling acquisition. "He tends to be hot, so I've always raced him from behind, and he really didn't know how to leave." "The last couple starts I let him go forward, and it worked out perfect today." About that registration error. When Jackson and Howard Taylor, who co-owns with Jackson and Judith Miller, decided they would partner on a yearling, it was about the same time as the death of Howard Taylor's father. Jackson attended the service and became part of the minyan -- a quorum of at least 10 adult males that some branches of Judaism require to begin certain services and rites and make them official. Jackson and Howard Taylor decided they would name any colt they purchased Jackson's Minyan. "Not knowing the word, I spelled minyan wrong," Jackson said. If the horse keeps winning, chances are he'll have his minions. Flying Muscles rallied from well back to blow away the field late, triumphing in a career-best 1:56.2. Stowaway Steve finished second, 4 lengths in arrears, with Special Action third. "He's a good closer when he's right, and he was right today," said winning trainer Todd Rooney of the Muscle Massive-Maker A Laker gelding. "We struggled in a couple of the legs, but he's coming around. He has the Arden Downs next week, and we may take a shot at that." Rooney owns Flying Muscles with David Lee and Eldon Thompson. Friday's card at The Meadows features a $140,000 PA Stallion Series stake for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers. First post is 6:55 PM. Evan Pattak

There were six divisions of PA Stallion Series races for 2-year-old colt and gelding trotters contested at the harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (July 22), each going for a purse of $20,000. The first division went to the front-stepping Moneycounts De Vie (Tim Tetrick). The son of Andover Hall took the lead shortly after the quarter pole, going on to win in a time of 1:59.1. It was the first career win for the Dirk Simpson trainee, who was coming off of a double digit length qualifying romp. He is owned by Desyllas Racing, Bill Beck, and James Bafia. Division two saw TNT Rusty (John Campbell) make every call a winning one. The son of Explosive Matter is now a perfect two for two in his young career, trotting the mile in 1:58.4, which was the fastest of the day in the series. He is owned by trainer George Ducharme, Paul Fontaine, and Alfred Ross. In the third division, it was Raymer, Moss, and Solomon's, Mr Right (Vic Kirby) scoring on the front end. The son of Donato Hanover was able to hold of a late surge from Desert Runner (Ake Svanstedt) to pick up the victory in a time of 2:00. It was the first career win for Mr Right, who is trained by Leigh Raymer. Division four went to Mahlon Martin's Twin B Ammunition (Geo. Napolitano Jr.). The son of Explosive Matter swept on by past the quarter pole and never looked back, completing the mile in 1:59.2. It was the second straight win for the Bennie Magliochetti trainee, in his fifth career start. In the fifth division, Frank Antonacci trainee Elysium Lindy (Scott Zeron) scored the upset win. The son of Cantab Hall sat in the pocket behind another long shot Cloud Nine Hanover (Charlie Norris) until the stretch, when he sprinted past to win in a final time of 1:59.3. The heavily-favored Yes Sir Officer (John Campbell) broke at three-quarters. It was the first career win for Elysium Lindy, who is owned by K R Breeding. Another upset took place in the last, as Courant A B's Dollar Grin (Lucas Wallin) closed in time to pick up the win. The son of Cantab Hall was perfectly positioned second over, bailing off that cover in the lane to narrowly gun down favorite Shady McCoy (David Wade) in 2:00.2. It was the first pair-mutuel start for Dollar Grin, who is trained by Ake Svanstedt. Michael Bozich

The "Bionic Man," driver Tim Tetrick, showed that his parts don't rust in the rain, capturing three of the eight divisions of the $160,000 second round of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for two-year-old trotting fillies Tuesday night at the harness racing meeting at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono over "off" going (the first five sections on a track rated "sloppy," the last three on a "good" surface).   Tetrick captured the fastest division, 1:58.3, with Goodtogo Hanover, but it was anything but a laugher over pacesetting LOL Hanover, as the victorious daughter of Explosive Matter-Grammy Hall needed most of the Pocono Pike to rally from the pocket and hang a neck decision on her foe for trainer Bill Zendt, also co-owner with Gary Saul.   All three of Tetrick's victories came during the "sloppy" portion of the card; he also clicked with Casey T (Madison River-Gia) in 2:00.3 for trainer Todd Rooney, and with the Yankee Glide-Sarafina Hall miss I Luv Blackhawkred, another of the five "pocket rockets" who took Stallion Series glory in 2:00 for trainer Dirk Simpson.   Matching Tetrick in the triple category was sire Andover Hall, with the second-fastest winner, Miss Teszla (out of Filly At Bigs), rallying from the two-hole to win easily for trainer-driver Jimmy Takter in 1:58.4. "Andover"'s other two winners controlled most of the pace in their victories: Synonymous Hanover (out of Sweetr By The Bone) in 2:00.2 for trainer/driver Charlie Norris; and Gracie Hanover (out of Gone Lindy), home first in 2:00.4  for trainer/driver Ãke Svanstedt.   Also victorious on the evening were the two other winners who used the pocket as their launching pad: Twice A Night (Donato Hanover-Working Girl), who tallied in 2:00.4 (sy) for driver Jackie Ingrassia and trainer Frank Ingrassia; and the Cantab Hall-Keystone Vi Va baby Ki Ki Canolli, who stopped the timer in 2:00.1 (gd) for driver Scott Zeron and trainer Jonas Czernyson.   The Sire Stakes fillies take their turn in the spotlight Wednesday, with four divisions of their $247,844 event in raceslots 8, 10, 11, and 12.   Jerry Connors

Smokinmombo and Bright Baby Blues each captured a division of Tuesday's Meadow Bright, a $188,066 Pennsylvania Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters at the harness racing meeting at The Meadows, and each did it handily on the front end. Already a winner in PASS action this year, Smokinmombo pocketed Sarcy, the 4-5 favorite, and had plenty left in the lane after a comfortable 58 half to defeat her by 2 lengths in 1:54.3, with Speak To Me third. Winning driver Aaron Merriman indicated that taking the point with the daughter of Explosive Matter-Horizontal Mombo wasn't necessarily his game plan. "I do believe she's better out of a hole because she's smaller," Merriman said. "When you move her out of a hole, she just sprints." "She has a great attitude." "But she was absolutely in hand." "She's just getting better and better." Chris Beaver trains Smokinmombo, who extended her career bankroll to $195,558, and owns with Synerco Ventures and James Gallagher. Bright Baby Blues had endured a frustrating season -- no wins in six starts despite performing well -- but her disappointment ended when she trotted strongly through a brief downpour and scored in 1:56 for David Miller, trainer Bob Stewart and owners Bluestone Farms and Fredericka Caldwell. Meadowbranch Wendy was second, 1-3/4 lengths back, while Lilu Hanover earned show. "It's a tough division anymore," Stewart said of the daughter of Andover Hall-Bar Slide, who is eligible for the Hambletonian Oaks. "She trotted in 1:53 at the Meadowlands, and that wasn't enough." "But she's a very nice filly." "I don't think she's reached her potential yet." "It was good to get an easy race into her." "I don't know if we'll go to the Oaks or not." "The owners will make that decision." In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot, Kandian Klub pulled off a 9-1 upset for Mike Wilder when she rallied to nail Cowgirl Hall in the stretch and down her by 3/4 lengths in 1:54.3. Bessie completed the ticket. Ron Burke conditions Kandian Klub, a 6-year-old daughter of Pegasus Spur-KT Dee Dee who now boasts $219.266 in lifetime earnings, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. It was one of four wins for Burke on the 15-race program. Wednesday's card at The Meadows features two events for sophomore colt and gelding trotters -- The Hickory Smoke, a $189,616 PASS stake, and an $80,000 PA Stallion Series stake. First post is 12:55 PM. Evan Pattak

July 19, 2015 - Creatine (5m Andover Hall-Berry Nice Muscles) won today’s International Prix Saint Michel (purse €122,000, 8 starters, 1609 meters autostart) for trainer/driver Johnny Takter. From post five, Creatine went for the lead and was parked by Quick Fix and reinsman Jorma Kontio to almost the half mile mark when he yielded to the pocket. Quickly Takter was on the move again and cleared from Quick Fix at the three-quarter mark when he opened three lengths in the final bend and in the lane held off late closing 7/1 odds Solea Rivelliere (9f Calife des Noues-Heloa Rivelliere) driven by trainer Philippe Daugeard for an easy win clocked in 1.10.29 (1:53.10 mile rate). Creatine was the 5/1 favorite in what was an easy field. Solea Rivelliere was clocked in 1.10.54kr. Veteran Reven d’Amour (10m Revenue-Melody d’Amour) was third at 22/1 timed in 1.10.66kr for trainer Frederik B. Larsson. Seabiscuit and Bret Boko finished fourth and fifth. Smilin Eli, starting from post one, was offstride before the start. Creatine, racing with shoes on, went a tough trip and might be an important factor in future upper-class events. Adam Bowden (Diamond Creek) owns the winner.   No. Horse Driver Ed. km 1 5 Creatine JW Takter 1'10''3 2 6 Soléa Rivellière Ph. Daugeard 1'10''5 3 2 Reven d'Amour H. Torvinen 1'10''7 4 4 Seabiscuit Mr. Forss 1'10''9 5 7 Bret Boko A. Moilanen 1'11''5   6 8 Stormysky J. Torvinen 1'11''6 7 3 Quick Fix J. Kontio 1'11''7 8 1 Smilin Eli Reden D. 1'16''1   Thomas H. Hicks  

Nevele R Stud is pleased to announce its 2015-16 stallion roster  and their service fees.  In good news for harness racing breeders the Stud’s flagship stallion Christian Cullen has had his fee reduced to $9,000, making the five-time champion NZ Pacing Stallion and sire of back-to-back Australasian Grand Circuit champ Christen Me terrific value for the coming season.  Cullen Breeding is to be applauded for making this wonderful stallion accessible to a wider range of breeders in 2015-16 and we hope he will be well supported. The majority of the remaining stallions’ fees remain unchanged from the previous season, aside from Nevele R stalwart Live Or Die, whose fee has been eased by $500.   The Stud has one exciting new addition in the form of Gold Ace – a champion 3-year-old and six-time Group 1 winning pacer, and of course Bettor’s Delight’s richest down-under entire. A beautifully bred and outstanding looking individual, we’re very positive about his future. The past season has seen some of the Nevele R’s younger sires, Tintin In America and Changeover, really start to make their mark and we’re looking forward to following the progress of their progeny in 2015-16. Tintin In America’s first crop have been quick out of the starting gates, literally, with the five-time Group 1 winning speed machine already the sire of a number of exciting youngsters including the unbeaten Ready2Run sales topping colt Zee Dana, the smart 2-win Victorian filly Just Wantano, who was a respectable fourth in the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series 2YO Fillies Final last weekend, and the promising 2-win WA juvenile Dame Puissant.  Changeover’s first crop 3-year-olds have continued to impress with the likes of Group Race winners Nuala, Mister Lennox and Sudden Change and the Victorian Oaks place-getter Glenferrie Bronte leading the way. He is currently one of Australia’s leading 3yo pacing sires by average earnings and to date the sire of 49 winners of almost $1 million in stakes.   The coming season will also see the arrival of the first foals of the world champion son of Rocknroll Hanover, A Rocknroll Dance – who was incredibly well supported by breeders last season, serving over 300 mares in NZ and Australia.    Stallion                                                   NZ Fee (+ GST)                            AUS Fee (incl. GST)   A Rocknroll Dance                                   $6,000                                               $6,000 Changeover                                              $4,000                                                 $4,400 Christian Cullen                                       $9,000                                                  N/A Gold Ace                                                    $3,000                                                 $3,300 Live Or Die                                                $2,500                                                 $2,750 McArdle                                                     $3,000                                                 $3,300 Tintin In America                                      $2,050                                                 $2,255 Andover Hall                                             $7,500                                                $8,250 Badlands Hanover                                  $2,000                                                 $2,200 CR Commando                                        $3,000                                                 N/A Dream Vacation                                       TBA                                                      N/A Muscles Yankee                                      $9,000                                                 $9,900 Revenue                                                    TBA                                                      N/A   For more info on the above stallions please visit nevelerstud.co.nz. Nevele R Stud

July 2, 2015 - At Halmstad Sweden a large crowd estimated at 10,000 watched and wagered on a great harness racing card headed by the Gr. I International Sprinter Masters contested in three eliminations and a 10-horse final. Each event was 1609 meters autostart with elim winners earning 100,000SEK and the final winner earning 940,960SEK. Stefan Melander’s Nuncio swept to victory by winning the first elimination in a mile rate of 1:54.08 by three lengths in gate to wire fashion over Whitehouse Express. After the next two elims went to Hillustrious in a close heated battle with Valstead in 1:52.31 and Jontte Boy in 1:55.52 in elim three, the ten finalists faced the starter in the final with Hillustrious from post one for Johnny Takter, Nuncio from post two and Valstead from post five for Orjan Kihlstrom. As in the second elim Hillustrious and Valstead faced off as a pair with Valstead on the outer followed by stablemate Nuncio. Off the top turn Melander moved Nuncio three-wide to attack and he out-sprinted the leading pair for a neck win in 1:52.63 with Valstead and Hillustrious next. It was quite a race and a special night of racing overall. Below recaps the eliminations won by Nuncio, Hillustrious and Jontte Boy with the top three finishers: Elim 1 (1.10.9kr, or 1:54.08) Nuncio (4m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane), trainer/driver Stefan Melander for Stall TZ, now 19-11-2 in 32 starts for 15,517,726SEK earned as he led comfortably throughout for a three length score Whitehouse Express (4m Yankee Glide-Miss Garland-Garland Lobell), Erik Adielsson up for Daniel Reden trainer for Stall Zet was second King City (4m Muscle Hill-Creamy Mimi-Conway Hall), Orjan Kihlstrom for Roger Walmann trainer for AB Svensk Reklamfinons. Nuncio winning his heat Elim 2 (1.09.8kr, or 1:52.31) Hillustrious (4m Muscle Hill-Mom’s Millionaire-Pine Chip), Johnny Takter up for owner SMUAB Smolandsugar AB, a head winner after a lengthy alongside battle with parked Valstead (this one a half-brother to Snow White, multiple dominant two year-old winner in US – Acorn, Breeders Crown, Goldsmith Maid, Oakville, NJSS and International Stallion Stake) Valstead (4m Cantab Hall-Madame Volo-Yankee Glide), Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer Stefan Melander and Stall TZ owner, with a game death-seat situation Elton Attack (4m Gigant Neo-P Bird Mon Amie-Prince Mystic), Christoffer Eriksson up for trainer Tomas Malmqvist and owners Malmqvist and Baltic Stable Elim 3 (1.11.8kr, 1:55.52) Jontte Boy (4m Love You-South Hanover-Andover Hall), driver/trainer Toumas Korvenoja up Be Spontaneous (4m Andover Hall-Inspired Society-Self Possessed), Erik Adielsson up for Daniel Reden Explosive Dust (4m Sahara Dynamite-Exclusive Dust-Pine Chip), Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer Roger Walmann Nuncio rallied late to capture the final from post two at 1.34/1 odds. He followed stablemate Valstead on the outer as Valstead boldly battled pacesetter Hillustrious throughout. The top three finishers were within a long neck of each other on the line. Nuncio recorded his 20th career victory in 33 starts now with earnings of 16,458,686SEK earned. Final (1.10.1kr, or 1:52.63 mile rate) Nuncio, Stefan Melander up Valstead, Orjan Kihlstrom Hillustrious, Johnny Takter King City, Kenneth Haugstad Whitehiouse Express, Erik Adielsson Sylvester America, Bjorn Goop Nuncio winning the Final Nuncio again proved his versatility and toughness at the sprinter distance and in multiple-heats, Thomas H. Hicks  

The recognition of the importance of the trotting sector to the overall health of the breeding and racing history by successive Harness Racing Victoria administrations paid a handsome dividend last breeding season. Five years ago there were 550 trotting mares bred from in Australia compared to 734 bred from in New Zealand, however, there has been a dramatic turnaround created by an increase in racing opportunities and split gender age classics in Victoria. Figures compiled from last season reveal that the numbers of trotting mares bred from in New Zealand had dropped 20.8% from 2009 to 581, while in Australia the situation was a mirror image with an increase of 11.8% to 615. Remarkably the percentage of trotting mares bred from in Australia in 1999/2000 represented just 4.8% (454 of 9,413) of the total mares bred from, however, the comparative figure for 2013/14 was 10.1% (603 out of a total 5,975). The figure for 2014/15 is expected to be marginally higher again. Headlining the numbers were Majestic Son USA with 97 mares, Yankee Spider with 56, Bacardi Lindy USA (43), Angus Hall USA (36), Great Success USA (28), Imperial Count USA (27), Fling It USA (25), Ready Cash (FRA) (23), Muscle Hill USA (23), Andover Hall USA (22), Victoria Trotters Derby winner Danny Bouchea (21) and La Coocaracha’s son Louey Louey Louey (20). A fascinating survey of the comparative numbers of mares served by stallions based in Australia, New Zealand, North America is illuminating, especially when looking at the situation in 1999/2000. Australian based stallions served 356 mares in the 2014/15 season (383 in 1999/2000), New Zealand based stallions served 10 mares in 2014/15 (8 in 1999/2000), North American based stallions 216 mares in 2014/15 (26 in 1999/2000) and finally European based stallions 33 mares in 2014/15 (16 in 2014/15). I think they call that internationalization. The news just keeps getting too as there is an impending announcement of the importation of a 1:53 2/5s winning son of 2007 USA Harness Horse of the Year and Hambletonian winner Donato Hanover.  Furthermore, after decades of spurning the trotter Alabar Farms will be offering the frozen semen of not only Majestic Son but also the Danish Derby winner Peak who distinguished himself by also winning the Group One NZ Trotters FFA at Addington (NZ). Peak is by French stallion Ganymede, the sire of 45 Classic winners in Europe as well the Vicbred Super Sires 4YO champion Vincennes, who won the Wagon Apollo FFA at Tabcorp Park (Melton) at his last racetrack appearance. And to think that 55 years ago there was not a single North American trotting stallion in Australia and the numbers of trotting foals being bred was less than one hundred. Thank heavens for the visionary Victorian Harness Racing Hall of Famer Chris Howe who stood Bank Note, the first American trotting stallion imported direct to Australia post WW2 in 1961, and later Mt Everest. Chris was a tireless evangelist for the trotter, however, his efforts would have counted for little had it not been for administrators such as Graeme Cochran who insisted that the Victoria Sires Stake feature three age trotting classics and furthermore under his watch the Inter Dominion Trotters Championship came to Victoria for the first time and the Victoria Trotters Oaks was inaugurated. Next Friday night at Tabcorp Park there will be a ten race all trotting programme headlined by six Group One Vicbred Super Sires Finals, a stunning endorsement of the vision of administrators who supported the never say die efforts of countless trotting breeders and enthusiasts. John Peck

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