WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 13, 2016 -- Major Athens waltzed through a soft front half that enabled him to cruise to a harness racing victory in Wednesday's $22,500 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. When Tony Hall gave Major Athens opening fractions of 29.3/59.2, the 6-year-old son of Andover Hall-Miss Athens had little trouble thwarting the first-over challenge of Tamarind and scoring in 1:56.4. The pocket-sitting Keystone Chester finished second, 1-3/4 lengths back, with Redder Than Red third. Rich Gillock trains the homebred Major Athens, who now boasts $470,585 in career earnings, for Thomas Brice and Charles Receski. Mike Wilder and Hall each collected three wins on the 15-race card. The Road to Louisville Thoroughbred handicapping contests, each featuring a Kentucky Derby prep, are set for Saturdays. Featured race Jan. 16 is the California Derby at Golden Gate. Entry fee is $5. Each location winner receives all entry fees collected plus 20,000 points while the overall winner receives an additional 20,000 bonus points. For more information or to enter, visit the retail counter at either location. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino
January 2, 2016 - Jennifer Tillman teamed 4.6/1 Food Money (8g Andover Hall-Windylane Hanover-Lindy Lane) to victory in today’s V75 Gold with 150,000SEK to the winner of this 2140 meters autostart harness racing event. Thomas Jezek is the trainer of Food Money. 2.5/1 On Hold (8g Valley Victor-Kill Time-SJ’s Caviar) was second for driver Magnus Jakobsson with third to 5.5/1 Cool Keeper (6m Broadway Hall-Missys Go Go-Yankee Glide) with Leif Witasp aboard. Democrat, Francais Gull and Luckycharm Hanover (at 3.8/1) trailed the top three to the line. Thomas H. Hicks
January 1, 2016 - Daniel Reden’s trainee Luckycharm Hanover (8m Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover-Donerail) heads an 11 horse field in Saturday’s V75 Gold at Romme. Owned by Stall Zet, this winner of over 3.1SEK million will be driven by legendary Orjan Kihlstrom. Other 3SEK million plus winners in the group include Francais du Gull and David Sisu. Early favorite is Cool Keeper (6m Broadway Hall-Missy’s Go Go-Yankee Glide) trained and driven by Leif Witasp. This one has three wins in his last six outings and was six for 14 in 2015. January 2, 2015 V75 Gold – Romme, 2140 meters autostart, first prize 150,000SEK Cool Keeper, Leif Witasp Food Money, Jennifer Tiillman Francais du Gull, Erik Lindegren Luckycharm Hanover, Orjan Kihlstrom Nato Dream, Ulf Ohlsson On Hold, Magnus Jakobsson License Holder, Joni-Petteri Irri I Saw You, Ake Lindblom Save My Ashes, Benny Christensen Democrat, Torbjorn Jansson David Sisu, Jorma Kontio Thomas H. Hicks
December 26, 2015 - Today’s Gr. II UET Masters Series International Gold-Gert Lindbergs (250,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) at Solvalla went to harness racing veteran On Track Piraten (7g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Pine Chip) at 2.6/1 for teamster Johnny Takter. 7.3/1 Thai Broadway (6m Broadway Hall-Isabella Knick-Tap In) was next for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop with third to 6.4/1 Royal Fighter (7m Varenne-Froken Julie-Supergill) and driver Jennifer Tillman. Well-regarded Dreams Take Time and Food Money were disqualified. The Baroness Karsks for aged mares (200,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) went to 3.8/1 Fleetfoot Hanover (8f Andover Hall-Firefly Annie-SJ’s Photo) for Peter Untersteiner ahead of 4.2/1 Blue Martini As (5f Allstar Hall-True Blue Victory-Valley Victory) driven by Orjan Kihlstrom. Third was 7.1/1 My Happiness EP (7f Credit Winner-US Francesca-Coktail Jet) handled by Jeppe Juel. Radysin America was a scratch. The 200,000SEK (to winner) Stayerlopp over 3140 meters (voltstart) went to 2.5/1 Candor Hall (7g Adams Hall-Ava Crown-Super Arnie) and trainer/driver Bjorn Goop. The winner overcame a 60 meter handicap. 6.9/1 Condor Motion (6g Adams Hall-Lady Motion-Goetmals Wood) was second for Hans Crebas after a 20 meter penalty. 14.5/1 Aristocat Boko (8g From Above-Big Blue Kitten-Pine Chip) ended third for Ulf Ohlsson, this one also overcoming a 60 meter handicap. Thomas H. Hicks
Monday (December 21) at Cagnes-Sur-Mer was held the Prix des Lutins (purse €21,000, 14 three year-olds, 2925 meters) and the 1.18.2kr winner was 19.7/1 outsider Courtly Love (3m Love You-Minnie Perrine) for trainer/driver Ch-A Mary and Ecurie D. The 1.1/1 favorite Cyprin d’Erable (3m Prodigious-Quinine d’Lerable) was second for driver/trainer Yannick A. Briand with 7.3/1 Cornflower Jac (3g Opium-Lady Mary) home third, also trained by Briand, On December 16 in Sweden the Gosta Nordins (100,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) at Solvalla went to 3.7/1 favorite Luckycharm Hanover (7m Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover-Donerail) teamed by Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Daniel Reden and Stall Zet. The veteran classmaster defeated 18.6/1 I Saw You (10g Love You-I Saw Molly-Lindys Crown) handled by trainer Ake Lindblom with third to 4.8/1 Attack Diablo (5g Blue York Yankee-Chanson d’Inverne-SJs Photo) that Yohan Untersteiner drove for trainer Peter Untersteiner. On that Solvalla card the Gunnar Nordins (purse 100,000SEK, 2140 meters autostart) went to 1.4/1 favorite Al’s Wintermede (4m Olimede-Memory-Supergill) driven by Jorma Kontio for trainer Svante Ericsson. 15.5/1 Be Spontaneous (4m Andover Hall-Inspired Society-Self Possessed) was second for Kenneth Haugstad, trainer Daniel Reden and Stall Zet. 35.8/1 Digital Collection (4m Super Photo Kosmos-Full Authority-Scarlet Knight) was third for Per Lennartsson and trainer Robert Bergh. Thomas H. Hicks
Pompano Beach, FL…December 14, 2015…Auspicious Hanover, masterfully driven by Kevin Wallis, overcame the nine post and eight rivals to score a hard earned 1:54 victory in Pompano Park’s $11,000 Open Handicap Trot on Monday night. His winning margin was a neck over the late charging Cashahallic, handled by Aaron Byron, with Diamond Dagger third for Mark O’Mara. Elin rallied for fourth while Gold Savage saved ground all the way from his rail post to pick up the nickel. Auspiciois Hanover, a four year-old gelded son of Andover Hall, trained by Chris Oakes for owner Susan Oakes, was on the prowl early from his outside post looking for a spot mid-pack early and found one, nestling in fourth as Proud Moment overtook Cashahallic for early supremacy through an opening quarter of :27.2 before Cashahallic reclaimed shortly thereafter. Three-eighths into the mile, Wallis was on the move again with Auspicious Hanover, taking command just a couple strides prior to a demanding half in :55.1. On the backside, Auspicious maintained his safe lead with Cashahallic right behind and Proud Moment now out and trying to mount a bid but stalling past three-quarters in 1:24. In the lane, Auspicious Hanover, tiring from the demanding journey, was feeling the heat from Cashahallic with the latter’s rally falling short in the photo. It was the ninth win of the year for Auspicious Hanover with the winner’s share of the purse sending his 2015 bankroll to $94,377 and $310,776 lifetime. In a post-race interview, driver Kevin Wallis, now less than 100 wins away from 10,000 lifetime, said, “I figured that the only way to get into the race was to leave and try to find a spot up close. I certainly didn’t want to spot the field nine or 10 lengths early. “I found a good spot early but this horse felt like he didn’t want to be restrained, so I sent him to the top. “Yes, he was tiring at the end but the wire came at the right time.” As second choice on the tote-board, Auspicious Hanover paid $6.00 to win. Pompano Park also hosted the second legs of two late closing events for pacers—the Success Cameo for claiming mares and the Sea Eagle, which turned out to be for claiming geldings. The first division of the Success Cameo, named after driver-trainer Dave Legum’s mare that competed at Pompano Park during its infancy, went to Mayabelle, driven by Jason Dillander, turning the tables on last week’s first leg winner, Dakota Law, handled by Ed Hensley, in 1:54.2, a season’s best effort. Pacific Date, third last week in the opening leg, finished third again for Aaron Byron with Lily Rei fourth and Fair Voltage picking up the nickel in the septet. Mayabelle, a four year-old daughter of McArdle trained by Dale Gilmour for Karma Racing, was out alertly and took the field to the opening quarter in :28 before yielding to Dakota Law with the latter posting subsequent panels of :57.2 and 1:26. Turning for home, Mayabelle left the coziness of the pocket and rolled on by a sixteenth out to score the one length victory—her third of the year in 24 starts—to send her 2015 earnings to $15,762 and $110,934 lifetime. Off as the 8 to 5 second choice, Mayabelle paid $5.40 to win. The second division was captured by Ruths Shadylady for Kevin Wallis in 1:54.4. Rallying in deep stretch, this six year-old daughter of Geartogear, first, collared favored Sweet Bet (Wally Hennessey) and, finally, held off the late charging Come On Kathryn (Ed Hensley) to score by a half-length. Trained by Fred Cohen for new owner Brian Calvert, Ruths Shadylady was fifth early on, tilting to the outside around the second turn and grinding forward the rest of the journey to record her 11th win of the year in a busy 38 starts—this after a winless 2014 season covering 24 starts. She’s banked $26,577 in 2015. Off at 2 to 1, Ruths Shadylady paid $6.80 to her faithful. Division one of the Sea Eagle, named for the very first winner at Pompano Park on February 4, 1964, produced the first dead-heat for win this season when the judges could not separate Yuma Hanover and Goldstar Raider at the wire. In this 1:53.1 thriller, the first seven finishers in the octet were but two lengths apart at the wire with Yuma Hanover, driven by Aaron Byron, finding a very small seam mid-stretch to knife through for a share of the top prize while Goldstar Raider, handled by Mike Micallef, swung widest of all from last turning for home (and still last at mid-stretch) to nail his share in the last stride. On The Green, with Rob Hoffman in the bike, was third, edging out My Buddy Mason for show honors. Allie’s Dragon finished fifth. Yuma Hanover, trained by Mike Hardy for owner John Stubits, is an eight year-old son of Real Artist and won for the sixth time this semester and 24th lifetime to send his seasonal bounty to $20,636. The necessity of sharing the first and second place awards prevented Yuma from going over the $150,000 in lifetime bounty—now at $149,551, instead of $150,239 had he been a clear winner. Goldstar Raider, a Florida bred son of Rock On, trained by Tim Maier for owner Denise Maier, earned his ninth win of the season to push his 2015 earnings to $28,342 and $141,833 career-wise. Yuma Hanover, off at 14 to 1, paid $15.00 while Goldstar Raider, 7 to 1 on the board, paid $9.00 to win. The final division of the Sea Eagle went to Mixed Media, driven by Wally Hennessey for new trainer-owner Tom Artandi, covering the mile in a lifetime best performance timed in 1:52.4. Terrorizer was second for Ed Hensley, a half-length back while the 3 to 5 favorite, Geared To Win, driven by Andy Santeramo, finished third, five lengths away. Sturgeon Seelster finished fourth after being prominent early and Western Legend, cutting serious fractions of :27.1 and :55.4 before relinquishing to Geared To Win at the third station in 1:23.4, finished fifth. The winner, meanwhile, followed live cover through the final half mile to wend his way into contention turning for home and then on to victory—his eighth of the year—to send his 2015 bankroll to $33,077 and just short of $300,000 lifetime--$297,139 to be precise. Mixed Media paid $12.20 as third betting choice. Racing continues on Tuesday night with a 13 race program beginning at 7:30 p.m. by John Berry for Pompano Park
Until the late 1990s when the shuttling of stallions between hemispheres started to take off, breeders in Australasia had lagged behind their North American counterparts with no access to the latest successful stallions. However since shuttling became a part of the breeding scene, the siring charts now in both hemispheres have a lot of the same names near the top of those charts. Pacing down under has definitely caught up with it's North American cousins with regards to access to the best but until recently trotting had failed to have the same access to the very best in North America. However that has all started to change in a hurry in the last three or four years and as each subsequent breeding season goes by, trotting breeders are getting spoilt for choice with the quality of the trotting sires now available. Heading the sires available is the brilliant racehorse and now champion sire Muscle Hill 1:50.1 ($3,273,242) who has been a siring star right from the start. From his first crop he sired the brilliant Trixton 1:50.3 ($947,051) who won last years Hambletonian while from his second crop he produced the champion two year old filly Mission Brief 2- 1:50.3 ($1,599,587) who was narrowly beaten in this years Hambletonian. From his third crop this year, Muscle Hill has produced the brilliant Southwind Frank 1:52.2 ($941,811) who won eleven of his twelve starts at two. With just three crops on the track, Muscle Hill already sits third on the all age charts and it seems just a matter of time before before he assumes the mantle of leading trotting sire. Another stallion available down under who is making a slash on the siring charts in North America is Lucky Chucky 1:50.4 (2,099,973) After a good debut year last season with his first crop, Lucky Chucky broke into the top ten with his second crop, currently lying eighth after producing a couple of top two year olds. Dog Gone Lucky 1:54 ($505,841) was his flagbearer winning his last five in a row including the $216,000 Matron Trot and deadheating for first in the $490,000 Valley Victory final. Non Stick 1:56.3 ($185,448) was the other Lucky Chucky to stand up, being unbeaten in six starts. The success of his second crop didn't go un-noticed at this years yearling sales where the Lucky Chucky's sold very well. Another stallion available down under is Andover Hall 1:51.6 ($875,047) who has been an elite level sire from the time his first crop hit the track. As of today he has over $65,000,000 on his card including nine millionaires and 22 in sub 1:53. Andover Hall is still in the top half dozen on any siring chart you care to look at and continues to do an outstanding job. The leading European sires such as Love You and Ready Cash could be just as influential were it not for the issues of supply of semen which has been a bugbear for a couple of seasons now and is affecting their credibility in the marketplace. All up the trotting breeder has plenty to smile about these days and it would not be a surprise to see our trotters close the gap on their Northern Hemisphere cousins in the next few years. Harnesslink Media
A field of seven faced the starter for the featured event on Thursday afternoon (Dec. 3) at Harrah's Philadelphia, a trot for non-winners of $22,000 in their last 5 starts. The wagering public sent Ron Burke trainee Appomattox (Y. Gingras) off as the favorite. The 6-year-old son of Yankee Glide had victories in 2 of his last 3 starts. Getting away from post 6, he was parked the first half-mile, before overtaking Ras Shakinthtbacon (G. Napolotano Jr.) just after the half. Pressure quickly came however, as Panamanian Hanover (Dave Miller) rushed up to challenge after drafting behind the favorite during the race's middle half. The 5-year-old gelded son of Andover Hall was able to grind his way to victory, holding off a late closing Outburst (A. McCarthy) to win by three quarters of a length in 1:55.2. It was the third victory in the last four starts for Panamanian Hanover ($15.20) , who stopped the clock in 1:55.2. He is owned by Ted Gewertz, and is trained by Scott Di Domenico.
WILKES-BARRE PA -- Two horses hit the wire virtually inseparable in the seventh race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Tuesday night. One was the even-money favorite, a daughter of Andover Hall out of Classical Flirt, the dam of world champion Market Share. The other was 198-1. Which one do you think won the photo? Well -- if the chalk had won, would you be reading a story about it? Lady Of The Lake, a daughter of CR Excalibur, proved a shade more photogenic than Amorous Flirt for trainer/driver Joe Antonelli in the contest, taking a new mark of 1:58.4 while breaking her maiden in her 30th lifetime start. And paying $398.60 for a $2 win ticket, having captured only $23 of a $5659 total win pool. Lady Of The Lake was undoubtedly helped by the fractions (57 to the half, 1:01.4 the second half in 41 degree temperatures), but still she had to come uncovered all the way from seventh at the half, hooking up with Amorous Flirt, who had brushed to the lead in the second quarter for driver Matt Kalaley, midway around the final turn, from which the two battled side-by-side until Lady Of The Lake got the winning headbob. Scarlett's Legacy was third, a neck off, at 26-1 ("just a piker," noted announcer Jim Beviglia), while two lengths further back to complete the Superfecta was 157-1 shot Dalmatinka. The across-the-board for Lady Of The Lake was $398.60, $61.80, and $13.80. The 9-1 Exacta paid $2339.60 for $2 (with the even-money chalk second, remember). Nobody got further than the first two in the Trifecta, with a 9-1-ALL listing worth $766.80 for $2, while the 9-1-8-ALL Superfecta extrapolated out to $8023.00 for $2 ($2 payout listings are mandatory in Pennsylvania; with the takeout, there was just short of $1 worth in 9-1-8-A Superfecta tickets based on the pool size.) Lynn Antonelli, Jane Capone, and Jane Farkas finally got to get a picture taken with Joe Antonelli and Lady Of The Lake, who with the win raised her lifetime bankroll to $25,930 -- not bad considering she had never won going into the race. The winner's breeder was Winbak Farm -- maybe producing $398.60 winners helps you get to the Hall Of Fame, as Winbak's Joe Thomson was inducted this summer. PHHA / Pocono
TORONTO -- In the second start of his homecoming, Jimmy Takter-trainee Creatine displayed an effortless harness racing performance, taking the $531,250 U.S. ($689,244 Cdn) Breeders Crown open trot at Woodbine Racetrack in 1:52.4 over Resolve, Gural Hanover, and Bee A Magician. Under minor encouragement by driver Johnny Takter, Creatine swept to the lead over Resolve and Gural Hanover, passing the first quarter in :27.2 and remaining unchallenged through a :56.4 half. Bee A Magician made her move into the far turn, flushing out Resolve heading to the third quarter. Timed in 1:25.1, Creatine began to sprint home. Resolve chased in second, while Gural Hanover snuck by a stalled Bee A Magician to the inside. Creatine was a two-length winner at the wire. "He was a little bit hot at sometimes," Johnny Takter said of Creatine. The Andover Hall horse, out of the Muscles Yankee mare Berry Nice Muscles, passed $2 million in career earnings with the Crown victory. He has 17 wins from 52 starts. Bred by Diamond Creek Farm, he competes for the interest of Big C Racing and conditioner Jimmy Takter. The $7.00 winner gave Jimmy Takter his fifth win on the Breeders Crown card and 26th lifetime. This was also brother Johnny Takter's first Breeders Crown win. "We [Johnny and I] have come a long way together," Jimmy Takter said. "John had a fantastic career in Europe, and I've done well over here. He has driven a few race for me over the years here, too, but it's always special when your brother wins a race for you like this. He had done a fantastic job with the horse over in Europe. It's very special for us." Asked about how Creatine's connections decided to supplement to the Breeders Crown, Takter said, "Of course [it was a hard decision] because $62,500 is a lot of money to bring into this game. The horse raced well at Yonkers. Unfortunately, he tied up a little bit there, and I thought he would've had a heck of a shot to win that one, too. The horse is razor sharp and has been racing well in Europe, so I know we belong. I also basically knew what was going to be here, and I knew he could beat these horses." By Ray Cotolo
Cranbury, NJ --- The pride of Indiana, harness racing 3-year-old colt pacer Freaky Feet Pete, as well as 5-year-old trotter Creatine, back home in the U.S. after an international campaign this year, were supplemented to their respective Breeders Crown divisions by the noon deadline on Monday, Oct. 12. The U.S.$5.8 million Breeders Crown events will be contested on Saturday, Oct. 24, at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Canada. Indiana-bred Wiggle It Jiggleit has dominated both the 3-year-old pacing colt division and the sport's headlines since February, but like Freaky Feet Pete was not eligible to the Breeders Crown program. The owners of "Pete," Mary Jo and Marty Rheinheimer, pulled the trigger on the $62,500 supplemental fee after their homebred defeated Wiggle It Jiggleit at Hoosier Park in the $220,000 Indiana state-bred final on Saturday, Oct. 10. With a record of 11 wins in 13 starts this year, Freaky Feet Pete has not left his home turf of Hoosier Park but has only been beaten twice there, once by Wiggle It Jiggleit in May, and by Wakizashi Hanover in September. The son of Rockin Image has combined win margins of more than 67 lengths and his two losses measure less than four lengths. "Yes, we are going to Breeders Crown," trainer Larry Rheinheimer told reporter Kim French, after his last victory. "We let the horse tell us what to do and tonight he told us." Creatine, owned by Big C Racing [Adam Bowden of Diamond Creek Farm, Creatine's former trainer Bob Stewart and his wife Lynda, and Diamond Creek Racing], has racked up an impressive $1.83 million in his four-year career. The son of Andover Hall was campaigned overseas in 2015, but returned home to represent the U.S. in last Saturday's $1 million Yonkers International Trot, finishing third behind Papagayo E and Timoko. Now trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by his brother Johnny, Creatine will make his third start in Breeders Crown competition after finishing second as a 3-year-old and third in the 2014 Open Trot. The supplemental fee of $62,500 was necessary because the eligibility fees for 2015 had not been made. Regular entries for eligible trotters and pacers are due by 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, at the Mohawk race office. There are no supplemental provisions for 2-year-old races. The contestants for the 12 Breeders Crown Finals will be determined through elimination races this Friday and Saturday night at Woodbine. Eliminations for all 2-year-olds will be raced on Friday [post time 7:25 p.m.] and eliminations for all 3-year-olds and up will be Saturday [post time 7:25 p.m.]. Elimination winners draw for inside post positions 1-5 for the finals. The U.S.$5.8 million divisional championships finals are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 24, at Woodbine Racetrack. Special post time is 6:30 p.m. [EDT]. There will be a live broadcast from 9-10:00 p.m. on TSN2 in Canada. Follow Breeders Crown news and updates on Twitter @Breeders_Crown, using #BreedersCrown15 and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BreedersCrown. Fans can also go to http://harnessracingfanzone.com, the Place for Harness Racing Fans to See, Share, Connect and Play.
October 7 at Solvalla was an interesting harness racing card headlined by the sixth consecutive win by Nuncio (4m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) reined by owner Stefan Melander clocked in 1.12.8kr over 2140 meters autostart. The winner earned 40,000SEK for this Kat 2 victory and now has an 8-1-1 slate in 10 starts this year for 2,350,000SEK earned. The lifetime stats are 24-11-2 in 37 starts for 16,882,726SEK. Off at even money Nuncio gained the front in the first turn and led the rest of the journey to secure a three length victory. 28/1 Democrat (8g Pearsall Hanover-Sugar Dream-Sugarcane Hanover) was second for Per Lennartsson and third went to 19/1 Royal Blessed (5m Varenne-Ivory Kronos-Viking Kronos) with Wim Paal. On the Solvalla card was a prep for the October 18 Grand Prix de l’Uet and 1.8/1 Cash Gamble (4m Ready Cash-No Way Back-Viking Kronos) took home the 150,000SEK first money for Per Lennartsson. 5.4/1 Sorbet (4m Super Photo Kosmos-Altar Bound-Supergill) was second for Daniel Reden ahead of 3.5/1 From Dust To Dawn (4m From Above-Emotional Dust-Banker Hall) with Erik Adielsson aboard. The Breeders Crown for two year-olds (175,000SEK first money, 1640 meters autostart) went to 23.7/1 outsider Gareth Boko (2m Make It Happen-Vanilla Boko-Pine Chip) for trainer/driver Per Lennartsson. 5.3/1 Rhyme Broline (2f Celebrity Secret-Candelin-Armbro Goal) was second for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Svante Bath. Third was 17/1 Inga In Heaven (2f Orlando Vici-VasterboFromHeaven-Red Xing) driven by Bjorn Goop for trainer Fredrik Wallin. Thomas H. Hicks
LEXINGTON, KY-- Night two of the Grand Circuit meeting at The Red Mile was highlighted by four divisions of the $289,000 Bluegrass Stakes for harness racing 2-year-old colt trotters, which were contested on Thursday, Oct. 1. Milligan's School sat a pocket trip after failing to clear the lead into the first turn, and slid up a seam in the stretch to draw off to a 2-length win in 1:56.3 in the opening Bluegrass round. Holding the top spot through fractions of :29.3, :58.3, and 1:28 was Dominion Beach. Into the far turn, Waitlifter K supplied a challenge from first over, while Metatron had an opportunity to fan off the cones and prepare for a wide stretch drive. While in control, Dominion Beach drifted slightly off the pylons, which prompted Milligan's School to trot by to his inside. Metatron was the fiercest closer down the center of the track, but could not out-sprint Milligan's School and Andy Miller at the finish. Waitlifter K held on for third, while Make Or Miss got fourth. Sent off the 6-5 favorite, Milligan's School, a $4.40 winner, is owned by Stroy Inc. and trained by Julie Miller. The earner of $128,494 in 10 starts this season was bred by Richard and Joyce McClelland. "That's still pretty fresh on my mind, what happened the other night [his break on Sept. 11 at The Meadows]," Julie Miller said. "When we were sitting in the two hole here I said 'Come on, let's make sure we take advantage of this big opportunity.' It was a misfortune [the break], but we bounced back tonight. That's all you can do." "I've been really pleased with this horse," Miller also said. "From the word go, he's just done everything I've asked. Andy [Miller] gets along with him great, and I expect a lot of good things from him." The second split was claimed by Taco Tuesday, who benefitted from a patient drive and battled home to finish narrowly in front of Hollywood Highway in a 1:58.2 mile. Runner-up Hollywood Highway set the tempo for most the mile, putting up fractions of :30.2, :59.4, and a third-quarter in 1:29.1 thanks to the pressure of first-over Desert Runner. Taco Tuesday tracked Desert Runner two-wide into the far turn, tipping wide into the stretch. Desert Runner held the lead shortly during the stretch, while Hollywood Highway continued to battle for control, and Taco Tuesday edged into a length of the battle. Into the final sixteenth, he got a neck in front of Hollywood Highway to pull off a 12-1 upset. Finishing third was Desert Runner, and fourth was Honor Above All via disqualification of Coughlin for a lapped-on break. Sired by Cantab Hall, out of the Yankee Glide mare Be My Baby, the James Wilhite-bred colt is owned by Lindy Farms of Connecticut, R. Rudolph, and F. Baldassare, trained by Frank Antonacci, and driven by Andy Miller. Taco Tuesday, in his maiden-breaking score, pushes his seasonal earnings to $39,565 in six starts. "If you watch how we are with our two-year-olds, we don't race them very early," Frank Antonacci said. "This guy I had staked to the Peter Haughton, so I really thought a lot of him all winter. Then you fall into some bad grooves and make some baby mistakes, and it doesn't take long to be in October and have $7,000 on your card." "He just got into a couple of bad spots where he got too aggressive," Antonacci said in response to the colt's history of breaking. "When you're trying to race horses and get them back mentally, it's a little challenging sometimes. But it was nice to have Andy [Miller] qualify him last week [at Lexington]. Obviously it paid off tonight." The pocket trip resulted in victory again in the third division, with Lagerfeld stalking tempo-setter Southwind Flash before pouncing out of the pocket in progress to a 1 1/4 length victory in 1:57.4. Southwind Flash passed the quarter in :30.3 and the half in 1:00.4 before being challenged by Mavens Way, who broke into the first turn due to interference by Sutton, also off stride. Mavens Way broke before three-quarters, leaving a gap for Lagerfeld to edge out of the pocket. Timed in 1:29.4, Lagerfeld began his bid in the final quarter of a mile. By the final eighth, his nose emerged in front of Southwind Flash and the margin gradually grew as the 6-5 favorite hit the line in front. Claiming the third and fourth spots were Brownie Hanover and Kanthaka. Trained by Jimmy Takter, the son of Yankee Glide, out of Yankee Paco mare Southern Senorita, paid $4.60 to win. He's owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Herb Liverman. Lagerfeld has now earned $279,709 in eight starts this season, with this win being his third. "He got the perfect trip," Jimmy Takter said. "He got a little lucky with a couple of horses breaking in the first turn, but it's a tricky track tonight and last night was the same. It's maybe slightly better today, but it's very sticky at the rail and a lot of horses have a problem to find some legs there." "It's normally like that when it's a very windy day with two-year-olds," Takter also said in regards to the benefit of coming off the pace. "It's always tough to cut the mile, and on the backside there's a very tough wind. We got a perfect trip, but I don't want to take anything away from this horse. He almost made $300,000 and he's a great potential colt." In a wire-to-wire performance, 7-2 third choice Dupree was a winner in 1:57.3 over 1-2 favorite Bar Hopping, who began to challenge for the lead heading into the far turn. Dupree set fractions of :29.3 and :59.4 before being confronted by Bar Hopping first over. The two were stride for stride through a 1:30 third quarter before Dupree edged away from Bar Hopping after he drifted off the turn. Bar Hopping could not recuperate the lost ground off that turn and solely chased Dupree to the line while holding off third-place finisher Cloud Nine Hanover and fourth-place finisher Celebrity Pilatus. Owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc. and Courant A B, the Andover Hall colt out of the Muscles Yankee mare Hustle N Muscle paid $9.40 to win. This was his second win out of seven starts this season, with the victory pushing his seasonal earnings to $114,031. He is trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt. "He's a real nice horse," assistant trainer Bernie Noren said. "We've always had high thoughts for him and today he showed up as the horse we thought he was gonna' be. I think he likes the big track, but he raced really good last time [in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes final]. He was sick before that, but he's come back and we gave him two races, and now he's getting back to himself again." Grand Circuit action resumes tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 2, with three divisions of the $243,000 Bluegrass 2-year-old filly pace and the $292,200 Bluegrass 2-year-old colt pace. Post time is 7:00pm. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile
There were four divisions of the Liberty Bell for 2-year-old filly trotters at the harness racing meetings at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 23), each going for a purse of $35,000. In the first division, it was Erv Miller & Paymaq Racing's Maker A Yankee (Marcus Miller) scoring the come from behind victory. The daughter of Yankee Glide sat off the early duel while maintaining striking position throughout the middle half. She entered the stretch two lengths from a battle between race favorite Maeve Quaider (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) and Lookin Sharp (Mike Simons). She out closed Lookin Sharp in the final steps winning by a nose, stopping the clock in 1:57 for her second career win. She returned $13.40. The second division saw Candy Lane (Ake Svanstedt) upset favorite Whitelake Hanover (Geo. Napolitano Jr.). The daughter of Cantab Hall led the first quarter, but yielded to the heavy effort soon after. They were one-two until the stretch, when Candy Lane drove out of the pocket to win by nearly a length, stopping the clock in 1:58.4. Twice A Night (Jackie Ingrassia) finished third. It was the second straight win for Candy Lane ($16.20), who is owned by Melby Gard Inc. The Melby Gard / Ake Svanstedt connection struck again in division 3, as Gracie Hanover sprung the mild upset. The daughter of Andover Hall followed the blueprint of the previous winner, leading the opening quarter, and yielding to race favorite Twill Be Done (Mike Simons) shortly after. Gracie Hanover vacated the pocket, winning the sprint home by 2 lengths in the end, stopping the timer in 1:58.2. She paid $9.20. The fourth and final division went to Jimmy Takter trainee Kathy Parker (Geo. Napolitano Jr.). The daughter of Andover Hall drafted behind the determined speed of Windowshopper (Ray Schnittker) until three-quarters. At that point, she engaged the leader, and was able to sprint away to win by 3 lengths in a series fastest 1:56.3. Hot Curry (George Brennan) rallied up for place, while Windowshopper held third. Kathy Parker ($2.20) has now won four of her last seven starts for owners Christina Takter, Joyce Mc Clelland, Brixton Medical and R A W Equine. Mike Bozich
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, September 22, 2015; The harness racing field has been finalized for Yonkers Raceway's million-dollar International Trot, set for Saturday afternoon, Oct. 10 Creatine and Natural Herbie have been chosen as the United States representatives. Creatine, a 5-year-old son of Andover Hall, has raced abroad this far in 2015 for Johnny and Jimmy Takter. This season, his wins include Hugo Abergs Memorial (Sweden) and Prix Saint Michel (Finland), as well as a second in the final of UET Masters (Belgium). His three-season North American resume, when he was trained by co-owner Bob Stewart, included 14 wins, nine seconds and six thirds in 40 starts ($1,329,170). Creatine's career North American highlight was the 2013 Kentucky Futurity at the Red Mile, when he authored a 15-1 upset in a soggy 1:53.2. As for Natural Herbie, he already impressed the local screening committee with last season's win over a world-class field in the $250,000 International Trot Preview. The 5-year-old Here Comes Herbie gelding, the pride and joy of owner/trainer/driver Verlin Yoder, won his elimination of the Maple Leaf Trot before finishing third in the final. His career earnings are approaching $900,000. His winning time of 2:24.4 for the 1¼ mile distance (same of the International) was/is a world record for the distance over a half-mile oval. The two American reps round out the stellar 10-horse field as the International returns after a two-decade hiatus. The previously-confirmed (alphabetical) attendees, with their home & countries, are BBS Sugarlight (Norway) Bee a Magician (Canada) Mosaique Face (Sweden) Oasis Bi (Italy) On Track Piraten (Sweden) Papagayo E (Norway) Rod Stewart (Italy) Timoko (France). Again, please note the International is part of a scheduled matinee card, with proposed first post (pending approval of the NYS Gaming Commission) at 2 PM and the race itself going at approximately 3:20 PM. Frank Drucker
2-year-old PA Stallion Series Championships were the main attractions on a rainy Thursday afternoon (Sept 10) at the harness racing meeting at Harrah's Philadelphia, each going for a purse of $40,000. The 2-year-old filly trot went to Jimmy Takter trainee Miss Tezsla (Yannick Gingras). The daughter of Andover Hall wasted little time getting into gear, as she wrestled the lead away from Lady Athens (Andy Miller) at the quarter pole. She was able to maintain a 1 length advantage until the top of the stretch, when she edged away to win by 4 lengths in the end, stopping the clock in 1:57.4. Turn The Paige (Vic Kirby), who was part of a 3 horse entry, rallied for second, while Global Inspiration (Andrew McCarthy) was third. It was the 4th career win for Miss Tezsla, who is owned by Christina Takter, Jim and John Fielding, Brixton Medical, And Herb Liverman. She paid $3.20 to win. It was a much more contentious affair in the 2-year-old colt trot, as Mr Right (Vic Kirby) needed every last inch of stretch real estate to assure victory. The son of Donato Hanover had to work hard to secure pocket position, as he brushed past Petrossian As (Andrew McCarthy) at the quarter pole, only to be passed by race favorite Cufflink Hanover (Dave Miller). It stayed that way until the stretch drive, when Mr Right emerged up the passing lane to win a tight 3 horse finish in 1:57. Cufflink Hanover held place, while Petrossian As settled for third. It was career win 4 out of 9 starts for the Leigh Raymer trainee, and his 4th win in 7 starts. Mr Right is owned by his trainer, Stephen Moss, and Harold and Helene Solomon. He paid $10.40. In the 2-year-old filly pace, it was complete domination for Ron Burke trainee East Side Hanover (Yannick Gingras). The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere made the top before the quarter, and it was all over from there. She had a 4 length lead at three quarters, before going into "beast mode", drawing off to a 12 length victory in the end, stopping the clock in 1:54.2. Burden Of Proof (Tim Tetrick) closed for second, while Foolish Terror (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) was third. It was the 2nd career win for East Side Hanover, who is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and Paul Treiber. She paid $3.20. Rich Ringler trainee Nimble and Quick (Jim Morand) was dominant in the 2-year-old colt and gelding pace. The son of Western Ideal brushed at the quarter, and went on to win easily by 4 lengths, stopping the timer in 1:52.1. Beach Ogre (Andy Miller) rallied up the inside for second, while Owen Hanover (Geo. Napolitano Jr.) finished third. It was the 5th straight win for Nimble and Quick, who is owned by Pat Lachance and M&M Harness Racing. He returned $2.80 to win. Mike Bozich