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Stefan Melander has trained some great trotters during his harness racing career, including 2006 Prix d’Amerique winner Gigant Neo and 2001 Hambletonian winner Scarlet Knight, but he has never enjoyed a relationship with a horse in quite the same way as with Elitloppet favorite Nuncio. Nuncio, who is also owned by Melander, is the 2-1 favorite according to online oddsmakers to win Sunday’s (May 29) prestigious Elitloppet, an invitational for older trotters that features an international lineup, at Solvalla Raceway in Stockholm. Nuncio, a 5-year-old stallion who was a star in the U.S. at ages 2 and 3, has won all four of his races this season and 14 of 17 starts since arriving in Europe last year. He finished third in last year’s Elitloppet. “Last year he was just great; he came to Sweden in good shape,” Melander said in an e-mail translated by associate Simon Hagen. “Jimmy Takter and Jim Oscarsson (who each trained Nuncio in the U.S.) did a great job with him. He trained very good so we decided to participate in the Elitlopp last year even if I think it was a little bit too early. He arrived to my farm in February so he just had two races before the Elitlopp. “This year I have been able to get him in good shape before the race. He has grown enormously much. Last year I saw that he probably needed a year to be perfect, which I think he is now. He is much bigger and stronger.” Nuncio is a son of stallion Andover Hall out of the mare Nicole Isabelle. He raced primarily for Oscarsson at age 2 and solely for Takter at age 3, when Nuncio and regular driver John Campbell won the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot and finished second in the Hambletonian. For his career, Nuncio has won 30 of 44 races, never finishing worse than third in any start, and earned $2.18 million. “I am really impressed that he makes everything so easy,” Melander said. “He is so special, too. He knows that he is best in our stable but he is not cocky or anything. He is so smart. I have trained Gigant Neo and Scarlet Knight, but this horse is so special he actually understands you when you talk to him sometimes.” Melander, who is a renowned photographer as well as a horseman, won the 2010 Elitloppet with Iceland. He grew up less than a mile from Solvalla Raceway and took photos in the stables when he was a teenager. “If I could win again with Nuncio it would be just great,” Melander said. “Iceland was a really good horse but cannot compete with Nuncio. I train them different. Nuncio just wants to race with all my other horses so I have to drive him for himself on the straight track. Usually we have up to 30-35 horses in every set.” Nuncio trained Thursday and will jog and walk in the days prior to the race, Melander said. “He loves to go out and jog,” Melander said. “We also ride him and he really loves it.” Melander has been Nuncio’s regular driver, but will give the lines to Orjan Kilhstrom for Sunday’s Elitloppet. Kilhstrom won last year’s Elitloppet with Magic Tonight and the 2003 edition with From Above. “Orjan Kilhstrom is a better driver than me,” Melander said. “I think sometimes that I am a little bit too kind to (Nuncio). I actually wanted John Campbell to drive him, but his daughter would be getting married this weekend, which I understand is more important.” Nuncio races Sunday in the second of two Elitloppet eliminations. The top four finishers from each division advance to the same-day final. The first elimination features the next three best bets to win the race according to the oddsmakers: 2014 champion Timoko (7-1), formerly U.S.-based Propulsion (9-1) and U.S. representative Resolve (10-1). Timoko, who finished second in this year’s Prix d’Amerique, has won three of six starts this season. The 9-year-old stallion has earned $4.43 million in his career. Five-year-old Propulsion, who raced for trainer Tony Alagna in the States, is 3-for-3 this year. Resolve is trained and driven by two-time Elitloppet winner Ake Svanstedt. “This year almost all the horses can actually win this race,” Melander said. Nuncio isn’t Melander’s only shot at winning the race. He also sends out Volstead in the first elimination. Volstead is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Madame Volo. He was purchased as a yearling for $50,000 at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale. He is a full brother to stakes-winner High Bridge and his family also includes stakes-winners Missy’s Goalfire, Have You Ever, Lassie’s Goal, and Lear Jetta. “I actually think Volstead has a good chance to be among the (top) three,” Melander said. “His last performance he was outstanding. If we take it to the final and get a decent position, I would almost be worried if I was Nuncio.” Sunday’s card at Solvalla also features appearances by two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Pinkman, French Laundry, and Uncle Lasse in a Group 2 event for 4-year-old trotters. Yannick Gingras will drive Pinkman. Also, millionaire Wild Honey competes in a Group 2 event for 4-year-old female trotters. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

WILKES-BARRE PA - The front end proved the place to be in three $30,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania All-Stars event for three-year-old trotting fillies Tuesday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with Synonymous Hanover, Lookin Sharp, and Modern Mercury all parlaying leads at the half-mile pole into new career marks.   Synonymous Hanover made a sharp brush to the top on the second turn in her All-Stars division, "stole" a 1:00 middle half, then sprinted home in 28.1 to hold safe early leader Ginny Weasley, trying to come back in the Pocono Pike, by 1¼ lengths in 1:56. Brett Miller handled the daughter of Andover Hall in her victorious 2016 debut for trainer Chris Oakes and owners Susan Oakes and Scott Bice.   Andover Hall quickly earned a siring double credit in the next All-Stars heat, where the winner, Lookin Sharp, was probably the most impressive winner of the night, powering straight to command from the outer post nine and commanding her field by 4¾ lengths in 1:55.2. Lookin Sharp, in her second start of the campaign, certainly lived up to her name for driver David Miller, trainer John Butenschoen, and owners William Wiswell and M&L Of Delaware Inc.   The third division saw the Donato Hanover filly Modern Mercury regained pace control in front of the stands the first time, then making her advantage stand up for one complete lap more, tallying by two lengths in 1:56.1. Trainer Charlie Norris was in the sulky behind the winner of two straight for owners Carrie Norris and Anthony Klis III.   On Sunday night, inaugural Pennsylvania Classic Final winner Check Six returns to town, heading three divisions of the first preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts. His Ron Burke stablemates JK Will Power and Big Top Hanover, 2-3 in the Classic Final to complete the Burke "sweep," all also among the entered, as are the three winners of Pennsylvania All-Stars divisional action this past Sunday - Another Daily Copy, Voltaire, and The Catamount Kid.   From the PHHA

Nuncio (5m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) won Solvalla’s Kat 1 on the V64 Wednesday harness racing program over 1640 meters autostart with 100,000SEK to the winner. Owner/trainer Stefan Melander was again at the lines as the 2/5 odds favorite scored timed in 1.10.3kr (mile rate 1:53.11). 7/1 Vasterbo Highflyer (8g Look de Star-Vasterbo Highclass-Pine Chip) was second for Daniel Reden ahead of third finishing 3/1 Nimbus CD (6g Mythical Lindy-Kiss Of Life-Tenor de Baune) with Orjan Kihlstrom up. Food Money and I Saw You were fourth and fifth.  Nuncio, bred by Russell C. Williams of Hanover, PA USA, now has a 30-12-1 slate in 44 career outings for 18,472,726SEK earned. Today’s victory was his sixth straight and 12th in the last 13 starts since being 2-3 in the 2015 Elitloppet. Nuncio scored on April 27 timed in 1.09.9kr (1:52.47), his best of the year. The Elitloppet accepted invites now include Nuncio, Timoko, Your Highness, Oasis Bi, Un med d’Heripre, Propulsion, Resolve and Voltigeur de Myrt.. Thomas H. Hicks  

Harness racing trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and driver David Miller have teamed up to win a number of open stakes races in recent years, but never with a horse they owned together. That could change Saturday. Miller and Norman share ownership of Cufflink Hanover, who is the 2-1 morning line favorite in Saturday's $140,800 Dexter Cup at Freehold Raceway. The gelding has won four of 10 career races, including his Dexter Cup elimination last weekend in 1:57.3 --- the fastest of the three elims for the event --- and earned $70,914. Cufflink Hanover will start the Dexter Cup final from post three, with Miller in the sulky. Miller on Wednesday became the third driver in harness racing history to surpass $200 million in career purses. "We hope we can have a little fun with him; that was the idea," said Norman, whose major stakes wins with Miller include the 2012 Hambletonian Oaks with Personal Style and a 2009 Breeders Crown with Poof She's Gone. "We'll see how it goes. "He raced good last week and got a good draw. We'll have to see how the race goes, but he's going to show up there." The Dexter Cup is the first major stakes event for 3-year-old trotters on the road to August's $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Last year's Dexter Cup winner, Habitat, reached the Hambletonian and finished seventh in the final. Less than a month later, he won the Yonkers Trot. In 2013, Dexter Cup runner-up Dontyouforgetit also went on to race in the Hambletonian and four years ago Market Share competed in the Dexter Cup --- he lost a shoe early in the race and went off stride --- and later won the Hambletonian. Cufflink Hanover, Dominion Beach, and Dante won last week's Dexter Cup eliminations. They are joined in Saturday's final by second-place finishers Steed, Sir Royson, and Inukchuk Chuck. Two third-place finishers chosen by lot, Credevie and Hillman, also advanced to the final. Dominion Beach and Steed are eligible to the Hambletonian. Stakes-winner Dominion Beach, trained by Nancy Johansson, and lightly-raced Dante, trained by Ake Svanstedt, will race as an entry because both are owned by Anders Strom's Courant A B. Dante, a son of Credit Winner out of the stakes-winning mare Michelle's Angel purchased as a yearling for $355,000 at the 2014 Lexington Selected Sale, is a full brother to millionaire Archangel. Cufflink Hanover was selected by Miller and purchased for $30,000 as a yearling at the 2014 Standardbred Horse Sale. A son of Andover Hall out of the mare CR Savoire Faire, his family includes 1995 Horse of the Year CR Kay Suzie and multiple-stakes-winner CR Renegade. "When I broke him for David, I liked him," said Norman, who owns horses under the Enzed Racing Stable. "I just liked his gait. He had a great gait and a good attitude. He's a nice-looking horse. He was easy to like." Although Cufflink Hanover is not eligible to the Hambletonian, the horse's stakes schedule includes the Yonkers Trot, Currier & Ives, Keystone Classic, Matron, and Tompkins-Geers. "We didn't think he was a top-level horse," Norman said. "He's kind of a second tier horse, but he's a nice solid horse. He acts like he can get around a half-mile track good, which should help." In the Dexter, the entry of Dominion Beach and Dante is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. Dominion Beach will start from post five with driver Marcus Johansson while Dante will leave from post seven with Svanstedt at the lines. Dominion Beach, a son of Muscle Hill out of the Dan Patch Award-winning mare Windylane Hanover, has won two of three races this year, including his Dexter elim in 1:58. A full brother to multiple-stakes-winner Muscle Diamond, Dominion Beach has won three of 12 races lifetime and earned $98,267. Dante won his Dexter elimination in 1:58.3 in his seasonal debut. The colt was winless in two races last season. Sir Royson, from the stable of trainer Linda Toscano, drew post No. 1 and is 7-2 on the morning line. Sir Royson, who has won three of six career races and finished off the board only once, will be driven by Jim Marohn Jr. Steed, trained by Richard Johnson, will start from post eight in the eight-horse field and is 4-1 on the morning line. Matt Kakaley is the driver. "The other winners of the eliminations drew outside of us, so I think we got the best draw of the winners," Norman said. "I think (Sir Royson) is pretty decent too. It's one of those half-mile track races and we'll just have to see how things go. We'll need a little bit of luck but he should be right there." Ken Weingartner

Saturday April 30th Freehold Raceway set the stage for harness racing three-year-old colt trotters in eliminations of the Dexter Cup. The first elimination was taken by Cufflink Hanover, the son of Andover Hall. He settled in for a two-hole trip behind the favorite Steed. Cufflink Hanover took the lead in the stretch to win in a brisk 1:57.3 for driver David Miller. The three-year old colt trotter is trained by Nifty Norman and has secured a spot in the Dexter final. Dominion Beach was favored to win the second elimination and did just that. Marcus Johansson and Dominion Beach held off a late surge by Sir Royson in the stretch to win in 1:58.0. Trained by Nancy Johansson the Muscle Beach colt looks to repeat in the final. Dante driven and trained by Ake Svanstedt took the lead from the word go and never looked back in the third and final elimination. The son of Credit Winner defeated the favorite Inukchuk Chuck in 1:58.3. The $140,800 final will be held on Derby Day, Saturday May 7th, at Freehold Raceway. The three winners will be accompanied by the three-second place finishers: Steed, Sir Royson and Inukchuk Chuck, and two of the third place finishers. Credevie, Cloud Nine Hanover and Hillman will draw for the two remaining spots in the final, by lot. Courtney Stafford

Nuncio (5h Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) scored this night in a swift 1.09.9kr (mile 1:52.47) for owner/trainer/driver Stefan Melander at .68/1 odds from post one in a 1640 meter autostart contest at Sovalla, Sweden. It was the fastest time in Europe so far this year. Nuncio now has three wins in as many 2016 starts and a career slate of 29-12-2 in 43 starts for earnings of 18,372,726SEK. Winner’s share of the purse was 80,000SEK. The 3.4/1 Food Money (8g Andover Hall-Windylane Hanover-Lindy Lane) was second for Jennifer Tillman with 4.2/1 Nimbus CD (6f Mythical Lindy-Kiss Of Life-Tenor de Baune) third for Orjan Kihlstrom. On the same V86 card another 1640 meter autostart even, worth 60,000SWK to the winner, went to 2.9/1 Pepi di Jesolo(7g Ganymede-Zanna di Jesolo-Baltic Speed) handled by Bjorn Goop for trainer Edvib Ceka. This 1.11.5kr timed winner bested 3.1/1 Ski To The Max (5f Conway Hall-Enjoy The Sun-Enjoy Lavec) driven by Per Lennartsson. Arden Homestead Stable co-bred this mare with Adelaide Skoglund. 9.6/1 Neon Face (6f Igor November-Pelopanic-Coktail Jet) was third, that one trained by Stig H. Johansson. On Saturday (April 30) at Aby will be the Gr. I Olympiatravet, over 2140 meters autostart with 1.5SEK million to the winner. Nine solid performers will be at the start following the scratch of Papagayo E. 1) On Track Piraten – Johnny Takter 2) B.B.S.Sugarlight – Peter Untersteiner 3) Anna Mix – Pierre Vercruysse 4) Nahar – Robert Bergh 5) Your Highness – Björn Goop 6) Sauveur – Åke Lindblom 7) Spartan Kronos – Conrad Lugauer 8) Papagayo E. – non runner 9) Mosaique Face – Lutfi Kolgjini 10) Gigant Slugger – Jeppe Juel The undercard includes the Lovely Godivas (first prize 250,000SEK, 2140 meters autostart) and that field includes the Chocolatier mares Coco de Vie and Ultimate Wine. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Dismissed at 19-1, Breedlove launched an explosive uncovered move that gobbled up the field and carried him to a 19-1 upset victory in Tuesday's opening leg of the Classicality Trot at The Meadows. The event for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters honors Classicality, a fast-class trotter currently performing at The Meadows for Dunn Stable. Breedlove, with only a maiden victory to his credit, got away third from post 8 and moved willingly first over for Mike Wilder down the backside, He drew off to score in 1:58.1, 5-1/4 lengths better that early leader Chip's Halloffame, with Treasure Quest K third. Norm Parker trains the son of Cantab Hall-Siren Hall for Shaleni Farm LLC. The other $17,500 Classicality division was an odd-looking affair that began innocently enough when Moneycounts De Vie left for Dan Rawlings from post 8 and appeared to be settling in the pocket. But the leader, Judge Russell, broke stride, left the course and continued to race inside the pylons. In all the confusion, Moneycounts De Vie found himself shuffled, without apparent racing room. But Rawlings angled him off the cones, and the Andover Hall-Nordicdish gelding powered home to triumph in 1:57.3. The first-over Meadowbranch Memo was second, 3/4 lengths back, while Edinburgh earned show. Dirk Simpson conditions Moneycounts Di Vie for James Bafia and Dirk Simpson Stable. Wilder piloted five winners on the 15-race card while trainer Mark Goldberg enjoyed a triple. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Saturday’s featured Scot Palmer DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) at Kincsem Park went to 1.9/1 favorite Spartakus Ans (5g Cantab Hall-Velgamma OK-Lemon Dra) for Sandor Varga, driving for Antiuoch Arani SRO if the Czech Republic. Timed in 1.16.2kr the winner defeated 6.4/1 Philadelphia (7g Detroit-Gertrud-Rendfonok) and reinsman Lajos Marton with 39/1 Zavita Meerswal (10f Good As Gold-Davidia Storm-Quick Pay) home third for Csaba Lakatos. On the Kincsem Park program 1.9/1 Alegria Dream (8f Andover Hall-Adri di Jesolo-Donerail), in rein to Csaba Lakatos, won the 360,000Huf Akkaratus Handicap clocked in 1.16.6kr over 1800 meters autostart. 2.8/1 Amazing Lobell (9f Incredible Crafts-US Companion-Dancer’s Victory) was second for Arpad Lakatos ahead for 8.3/1 Silver Lady (5f Wall Street Banker-Golden Lady-Endless Sands) driven byt Balazs Juhasz. The winner is owned by Privikege Security Kft and Tuire Kykkanen-Nieminen. Later in the card was the 360,000Huf Demure DIJ (1900 meters autostart) and 3/2 favorite Ragdoll (4f Ever To Excel-Woodhill’s Elvirah-Friendly Face) scored in 1.19.9kr for trainer/driver Csaba Lakatos. The well-bred, lightly-raced, mare defeated  8.5/1 Tunderrozsa (4f Tony Oaks-Kamilla-Valley Guardian) and her driver Laszlo Cser with third to another 8.5/1 odds performer, Talizman (4m Ata Star L-Igazgyongy-Valley Guardian) with Balazs Juhasz uo. Ragdoll is owned by PrivilegeSecurity Kft and Stable Magic Square. She is one that bears tracking in her future endeavors. Thomas H. Hicks

Major Athens (Brian Sears, $11.20) gutted it out Sunday afternoon, winning Yonkers Raceway's $40,400 harness racing Open Handicap Trot. Assigned post position No. 7, he was one of several leavers through some quick fractions. Crazshana (Jason Bartlett) played leapfrog on the lead with Red Hot Herbie (Dan Dube) between equal opening intervals of :28.2 ( :56.4 half). It took a half-mile before Major Athens finally made the lead, and when he did, that left 3-2 favorite Luminosity (George Brennan) outside all by his lonesome. Meanwhile, Major Athens held his advantage through a 1:26 three-quarters and a 1:55.3 milepost. Then, Dot Dot Dot Dash (Matt Kakaley) wound up from last, surging into contention in and out of the final turn. Major Athens owned a length-a-three-quarter lead entering the lane, then held off a pocket-pulling Crazshana and a flattening Dot Dot Dot Dash. The margin over the former was three-quarters of a length in 2:25.4, a track record for his weight class at this added distance (a tick faster than Papagayo E's effort in last fall's International Trot). Dot Dot Dot Dash, Latoka (Eric Carlson) and Money Maven (Andy Miller) completed the cashers, while Luminosity backed up to last. The weekly trotting feature was one of seven "French" races, each listed with 10 horses (though there were two subsequent scratches) at the mile-and-and-a-quarter distance. For fourth choice Major Athens, a 6-year-old son of Andover Hall owned by Howard Taylor and trained by Tom Milici, it was his third win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $50.50, with the triple returning $283.50. Though Bartlett did not win the feature, he did waltz (or pace, or trot) away with just about everything else, as in seven wins on the dozen-race card. The last of the victories was a 7¼-length, 1:50.4, season's-fastest local mile with Santa Fe Beachboy ($2.20) in the finale. This was the fourth Sunday matinee of the season, with the next one scheduled for next Sunday (March 20,. first post 1:10 PM). The card features Round 1 of the inaugural Drivers' Cup, featuring five leading Yonkers' drivers against a quintet of their French counterparts. The Raceway's live season continues Monday night (first post 7:10 PM), with the second round of the Petticoat Pacing Series. Frank Drucker

On February 27 at Son Pardo (Spain) the  Gran Premi Govern de les Illes Balears (purse €9,000, 2150 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to 1.1.7kr winner, 4.9/1 odds Vitorino Mar (7m Captain Cook-Stina Sas) for G. Andreau over 1/1 Vastervik Jazz (7m And Arifant-Lepere de l’Iton) for driver Jme Fluxa with 12/1 Vanuit Bg home third. At Enghien the Prix de Mimizan (purse €70,000, 2250 meters, 12 European monte starters) went to 7/1 Ultra Or (8g Orlando Vici-Petra du Chene) for Anthony Barrier, trainer Fabrice Souloy and Ecurie AB Trot. The 1.13.1kr timed winner bested 2/1 favorite Art On Line (9g Rite On Line-Las Fleur) for Damien Bonne, trainer Souloy and Team Art On Line AB. 4/1 Vincent des Obeaux finished third for Julien Raffestin ahead of Orionne Spin and jockey Camille Levesque. At Halmstad the Saturday V75 Gold for 150,000SEK first prize went to Nothing But Class (7m Andover Hall-Bold Dreamer0Donerail) with Orjan Kihlstrom up. The 3.4/1 favorite was bred by Valley High Stable. Spring Erom (11m Gentle Star-Springflickan-Prince Mystic) was second at 8.8/1 for Bjorn Goop with third to 45/1 Edward Ale (8g Here Comes Herbie-Mustang Donna-Pine Chip) with Peter Ingves up for trainer Petri Puro (formerly handler of the legendary Commander Crowe). Also at Halmstad their V75 Silver for a first prize of 125,000SEK went to West Wing (8g Steinlager-Westgate-Niton) for Johan Untersteiner, also trainer. Stall Victory HB owns the 3.2/1 winner that defeated For Pleasure As (7m Abano As-Frill Aas-Pine Chip) with Conrad Lugauer up at 9/1 odds. Third was 44/1 Go Green Pellini (8m Love You-Sparkling Pellini-Giant Chill) with Peter Ingves up for trainer Petri Puro. Also on the card aged mares went to 100,000SEK first money with 5.5/1 Donna du Quattro (6f Love You-Whoopie As-SJ’s Photo) scoring for Bjorn Goop and trainer Tomas Malmqvist for owner Langebro Konsult AB. Georgie Mae (6f Valley Victory-Missysmandarine-Malabar Man) was second for Johnny Taker at 9/1 with third to Jetset (7f Juliano Star-Superlet-Super Arnie). Other US-registered imports in the beaten field included Fleetfoot Hanover, Single Sock and Blue Martini As. Thomas H. Hicks

Second choices Major Athens (George Brennan, $6.50) and Polak A (Brian Sears, $7.30) were second to none Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's pair of harness racing $32,000 Open Handicaps. Major Athens won the week's featured trot after being pocketed from assigned post position No. 6. He watched as Red Hot Herbie (Dan Dube) led through intervals of :28.3, :58.4 and 1:28. It was "Herbie" taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane while being pestered by 13-10 choice Money Maven (Sears). That one slipped off the cones from third, engaging in and out of the final turn. Money Maven continued well and fought the good fight, but was tripped up by a cone-skimming Major Athens. The latter whipped the former by a nose in 1:56, with Home'n Dry (Jordan Stratton), Dot Dot Dot Dash (Matt Kakaley) and Crazshana (Jason Bartlett) settling for the remainder. For Major Athens, a 6-year-old son of Andover Hall owned by Howard Taylor and trained by Tom Milici, it was his second win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $21, with the triple returning $144.50. The week's marquee pace had a three-move effort from Polak A. Away third from his ordered post No. 5 venue, he trailed both 4-5 fave Roland N Rock (Dube) and Hugh Hefner N (Stratton) in a gapping octet. "Roland" sped away (:27.4, :56.3, 1:24.3) while "Hugh" lost touch in the pocket. That allowed Polak A a rest stop when he moved toward the leader. Roland N Rock had a couple of lengths turning for home, but Polak A was sizing him up and easing past. He won by a length in a season's-best 1:53. Third went to Atta Boy Dan (Brennan), with Phil Your Boots (Tyler Buter) and Bad Boy Matt (Mack MacDonald) grabbing the minor moolah. For Polak A, a 7-year-old Down Under Pacific Fella gelding co-owned by many Bellinos and trained by Tony O'Sullivan, he's now 3-for-5 this season. The exacta paid $10.60, the triple returned $94.50 and the superfecta paid $646. Saturday's Pick 5, buoyed by a double-carryover of just over $9,400, attracted $24,891 of new money. The winning combination of 6-5-3-6-8 returned $2,552 for every correct half-a-buck ticket. The Raceway's season continues Monday night (post time 7:10 PM), with a dozen races and a $10,000 guaranteed Pick 5 pool (50-cent base wager, races 7 through 11). Frank Drucker

The 1.6/1 favorite Prudy (7f Stallone Jet-Ustione-Sebastian Bob) took today’s featured 600,000Huf Laszlo Tolnay Memporial over 2560 meters (distance handicap) at Kincsem Park (Budapest). Co-owner Vito Sadl drove the winner for trainer Tibor Hajnal and co-owner Illetmeny KIft., timed in 1.21.4kr over a slow course this day. Prudy traveled the 250 meters as did second finishing Philadelphia (7g Detroit-Gertrud-Rendfonok) with Lajos Marton aboard at 3.5/1 odds. Orangyl (8f Wall Street Banker-Derengo-Endless Sands) overcame a 40 meter handicap to land third for reinsman Emil Csordas. The Deer Dust Handicap (purse 360,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) went to 1.20.6kr timed Alegria Dream (8f Andover Hall-Adri di Jesolo-Donerail) at even-money odds for trainer/driver Csaba Lakatos. This mare is owned by Drimwind 2011 Kft and Tuire-Kykhanen-Niemenen and was bred by Reve Avec Moi Dreamwithme (Jean-Pierre Dubois) in Quebec. 2.9/1 Rangos Meteor (6g Belami-Kahinoor-Valley Guardian) finished second for Emil Csordas with third to 5.1/1 Redwood Vita (6m Ata Star L-Corsa de Gloria-Indro Park) for driver Tibor Hajnal. Thomas H. Hicks

With the yearling sales just ten days away now, all the vendors at this years sales have long ago finalized all their advertising and promotion of their stock. The photos and videos are up and all the vendors can hope for is that the prospective buyers are as taken with their yearlings as they are. One way that the odd vendor can get a lift in the last ten days or so before a sale is if close relatives to their offerings make a bit of a splash on the racing scene. Last weekend the very successful broodmare Juverna had stock winning races all over Australasia which can only bode well for the sale prospects of her Majestic Son filly on the first day of this years New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale in Christchurch. Selling as Lot 250, The Best Moment Yet had three siblings salute the judge on both sides of the Tasman in the space of 24 hours. First up was Quite A Moment who was ultra impressive winning a $20,000 trot at Melton where she easily accounted for the very smart Maori Time and One Over Da Moon. The daughter of Quite Easy simply bolted in and it was a run that really impressed driver Ricky May. " She won that so easily the other night I think she would be more than competitive against the best trotters going around and I think Greg is considering that option," Ricky told Harnesslink earlier in the week. It was her 14th career victory and took her earnings over the $258,000 mark. Two hours later at Albion Park, Duke Of The Moment kept the momentum going when he took out the trotters handicap. The son of Monarchy was recording his 18th career victory which took his lifetime earnings to just shy of $158,000. Come Sunday in New Zealand and the icing on the cake for Juverna was the performance of her Love You daughter Moment Of Love, who brained them by eight and a half lengths at the Wairarapa meeting at the Manawatu Raceway. Grant Beckett, the vendor of The Best Moment Yet at this years sales is still shaking his head over the three progeny winning last weekend. " With the sales just around the corner, to have three winners from the mare in just one weekend was a huge thrill. " The best advertising you can ever get is the progeny winning races and to have three do it together is a great achievement." " I already thought that The Best Moment Yet would sell well because I think she is best yearling on type that Juverna has produced so the three winners is really a bonus," Grant told Harnesslink earlier today.  Grant has a second yearling from the family that he is selling on the second day of the New Zealand Premier Sale at Christchurch as Lot 432 A daughter of Lucky Chucky 1:50.8 ($2,099,973) who sired a Hambletonian Oaks elimination winner from his first crop, the filly is named Luck Of The Moment and is from a Sundon daughter of Juverna. " She has just been a bit behind the other filly all the way through but has closed the gap just lately and has a lot of the family traits of Juverna so I have a bit of time for her," was Grant's opinion of her when talking to us today. Juverna has since produced a colt by Peak but it has already been sold. " Tim Butt was very keen to buy him so he has changed hands already and I put her back in foal to Peak." "Sunny Moment didn't have a foal this year but she is safely in foal to Andover Hall now," Grant said.  Juverna is from as good a trotting family results wise over the last twenty years as there is in the New Zealand stud book. The three winners last weekend is just a timely reminder to yearling buyers of how good this family is. Harnesslink Media

One of the hardest things to promote in the harness racing industry is a stallion who is promising but not quite delivering with the results on the track at the level needed. There can be a whole raft of reasons but the prospective broodmare clients for the stallion just want to see those runs on the board and the more the merrier. I think the above description fits the young trotting stallion The Pres perfectly. The Pres is a son of  the champion trotting sire Andover Hall who is proving to be a great sire of sires with his son Donato Hanover being at the top of the pile in North America Add in a maternal family that is littered with outstanding performers and The Pres has a pedigree that ticks all the boxes. Lightly raced before a career ending injury, The Pres won four of nine and took a 1:55 mark which is a clear  indication of a quality individual. His first crop was welcomed with a lot of favourable comment from trainers in New Zealand when being broken in and they were well received at the sales. From that first crop he produced the smart two year old Primz Luck 2:00.8 who won four of seven starts at two and looked top class but due to injury hasn't again since. That first crop in New Zealand numbered 38 foals and has produced 17 qualifiers to date which in New Zealand conditions is okay but it is only now that they are four year olds that they are stating to convert that into winning performances. Several look very promising such as Le Lievre's Gift 1:57.6 who is two from two to date and Precious Pet who won her only start to date in the manner of a horse with plenty more wins in store The second crop numbers 46 foals which are half way through their three year old seasons. Eight have qualified to date including one of last season's star two year olds in Cyclone Chief  2:01.7p ($34,491) who was very unlucky not to win the Breeders Crown Final at Melton at two going under by a neck after being checked late in the race. Two other three year olds from that crop that look well above average are the Phil Williamson stablemates in Astral Ruler and Sam Galleon. Astral Ruler went round in the Hambletonian at Ashburton on the weekend and didn't disgrace himself while Sam Galleon was impressive winning at Winton last Friday. So The Pres is slowly righting the ship in New Zealand and those numbers should keep improving from now on. While The Pres had been battling to establish himself in New Zealand, his very small Australian crops have been making hay while the sun shines. His first crop who are four this season numbered just two foals, neither of which has raced. His second crop who are three this season number just five foals but four have already won including the star filly Princess Phoenix ($80,133) who won two Group 1 races at two and the promising colt Big Jack Hammer ($33,600) who won one Group 1 at two. To produce two very smart youngsters such as those two from just five foals is the kind of result that stallion owners dream of. What it shows yet again though is that The Pres can produce that individual that is capable of winning Group races which is a must do for any aspiring stallion to establish himself in todays competitive stallion market. There are only six yearlings by the Pres in this years yearlings sales and they are all at the Christchurch sale. The whole six are from lovely trotting mares and with the recent results in both New Zealand and Australia being so positive, the stock of The Pres may surprise a few people on sale day in a fortnight. Harnesslink Media

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

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