The feature event of the evening at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday was the $25,000 Harness Breeders (Vic) Tailamade Lombo, with victory going the way of former top line juvenile filly Shake It Mama. Now five years of age, Shake It Mama bred and raced by Heathcote’s David Sheppard, trained by Emma Stewart and driven by Gavin Lang was sent forward from gate three to cross Fairest One Youare inside her running into the first turn, with stablemate Bettor Give It (gate six) also pressing forward to park in the open. Allowed to bowl along without any pressure being applied, Shake It Mama had plenty in reserve at the straight entrance, before coasting to victory 1.3 metres in advance of Fairest One Youare and Bettor Give It in a sizzling mile rate of 1-54.7. Running her last half mile in 55.6 and quarter in 27 dead, Shake It Mama recorded her 15th victory in 38 race appearances.. Eight year old Falcon Seelster/Sabrina Bromac entire Smudge Bromac notched up his 23rd victory at start number 128, when successful in the Yarra Valley Cup Day Claiming Pace over 1720 metres, returning a brilliant mile rate of 1-56.5. Trained by David Aiken at Avenel and driven by Nathan Jack, Smudge Bromac was immediately taken back to the rear from outside the front line, but enjoyed the electric tempo of the race set by a free running Mister Grizzly. Taken three wide in the final circuit, Smudge Bromac’s quality told on straightening as he strode clear to score by 2 metres in advance of the fast finishing Our Archangel out wide from four back the markers, with the ever reliable Washmepockets holding down third after racing in the open throughout. Tough ex-Tasmanian 5-Y-0 Hugo Play showed his true staying prowess by taking out the $15,000 Tabcorp Park Melton Pace Final for M0 & M1 class over 2240 metres which qualified in the heats held a week earlier. Now in the care of Lance Justice in close proximity of the track, Hugo Play a gelded son of Jr Mint andToy Story was allowed to find his feet three wide after starting outside the front row, with stablemate Alchemy beginning at 100 miles an hour from the extreme draw to park outside the favourite Sals Mo which led from gate three. Once balanced, Hugo Play moved forward to join Sals Mo and once there, Lance made it quite clear that the pacemaker was not going to get it easy. Taking a narrow lead on the final bend, Hugo Play was very strong at the finish, defeating Alchemy which was given every chance on his back due to the “drive of the night” by Rod Petroff. Pole marker Mister Orion finished third after trailing the leader and using the sprint lane, while Sals Mo battled on to finish fourth. In quarters of 30.1, 29.3, 28.3 and 28.6, Hugo Play returned a mile rate of 1-56.5 for the journey. The margins a neck by 1.6 metres. Peter Manning’s exciting Elsu/Hanover Chic gelding Eliseos Falcon was once again ultra impressive in landing the Benstud Standardbreds 3-Y-0 Pace over 2240 metres in a mile rate of 1-59. Raced by a group of dedicated harness followers Tony Prochilo, Ange Cammaroto, Rob Merola and Michael Taranto, Eliseos Falcon driven by Kerryn Manning was sent forward from outside the front row to park outside the last start Melton winner Woodlea Beau which was backed for plenty. Despite over racing at times, Eliseos Falcon surged to the front on straightening to score by 12.5 metres over Blackwarrior along the sprint lane after trailing the leader, with Countdown (one/one) third. It was Eliseos Falcon’s 3rd victory in 7 outings. On an entertaining night of racing, Chris Lang’s fully American bred 6-Y-0 Chocolatier/Duo Val Car gelding Kyvalley Blur chalked up victory number 13 when successful in the Prydes Easifeed Trotters Free For All over 1720 metres. Using the sprint lane off the back of the leader Cold Sister, Kyvalley Blur returned a mile rate of 1-58.7 in defeating Cold Sister and I See Icy Earl (one/one) a stablemate of the winner. David Aiken enjoyed a good night “at the office”, with 7-Y-0 Courage Under Fire/Soky’s Sweetheart gelding Wartime Sweetheart winning her 19th race by taking out the Tab.com.au Pace for M1 & M2 class over 2240 metres. Taking a concession for Caroline Springs based Rhys Nicholson, Wartime Sweetheart from inside the second row was quickly away from the markers to possie mid-field in the moving line. Easing three wide to follow the favourite Jazz King in the final circuit, Wartime Sweetheart sprinted like a gazelle on straightening to blow his rivals away, scoring by 6.2 metres in a rate of 1-56.5 from Illawong Kath which used the sprint lane after trailing the weakening leader Because I Can, with The Phantom (one/one) third when first up since February. By Len Baker
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 15, 2013--Quick Deal (George Brennan) dipped his hooves in ink and rewrote Yonkers Raceway's record book Tuesday night, becoming the fastest trotter in local history. Returning to Westchester for the first time since early this season, Quick Deal's big deal blew away the gang in the $19,000, sixth-race trot. Leaving from post position No. 5 as the 35-cents-on-the-dollar favorite, he made the lead around Political Desire (Mark MacDonald) right at the :27.3 opening quarter-mile. From there, a 57-second intermission and 1:25 three-quarters gave Quick Deal 8½ lengths turning for home. The final margin--over Cash Poor (Austin Siegelman)--was 11½ lengths in 1:53.3, with Political Desire third. The effort displaced a quartet of trotters--Blacktuxwhitesocks (Brennan), 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel (Jim Morrill Jr.), Super Manning (MacDonald) and Tall Cotton (Dan Dube)--whose previous 1:54.1 efforts adorned the archives. According to USTA records, Quick Deal also eclipsed Scorpion Moon's (1:54) aged gelding/half-mile oval world record, taken at Saratoga in 2010. For Quick Deal, a 5-year-old Revenue S gelding trained by Ron Burke for co-owners Our Horse Cents Stable and Rossie Smith, he returned $2.70 for his fifth win in 17 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $21, with the triple returning $59.50. "I know he didn't have a whole lot of half-mile experience (a break the last he was here), and they just said to watch out with him going into the first turn," Brennan said. "Once I made the lead, the rest was simple. I've won a ton of Opens here, but obviously never that fast. "A sub-1:54 mile for a trotter here, that's something, but he felt very strong." Quick Deal's effort came within Tuesday's Pick 5, where a $13,000-plus double carryover and a $25,000 guaranteed pool spurred $37,306 of new money. The gimmick wager was hit (winning numbers 4-5-2-4-3 paid $1,648 for a 50-cent wager). The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule. Frank Drucker
BATAVIA, N.Y. ---When you talk about Sunday afternoon's New York Sire Stakes for three-year-old colt trotters at Batavia Downs, it's not about the quantity but the quality of horses that will line up behind the starting gate. There will be just two divisions of $65,220 each of the Sire Stakes, but it will bring together 15 top three-year-old colt and gelding trotters along with some big-name drivers to Batavia Downs. There will also be five divisions of the Excelsior Series, including a non-betting affair set for 12:50 p.m., just before the regular 1:15 p.m. post. Drivers expected in town again will include Hall-of-Famer Cat Manzi, Jim Morrill Jr., Per Henriksen, John Stark Jr., Stephane Bouchard and Jeff Gregory. The first $65,220 division of the Sire Stakes will be the fifth race with Crazy About Pat and Tirade Hanover headlining the field of seven. Crazy About Pat (5-2) has won his last two races in the Sires Stakes, posting a 1:57.3 at Saratoga and a 1:56 at Yonkers. Driver Cat Manzi will start Crazy About Pat, a son of Crazed, from the seven post and will want to set the pace which has proven to be successful recently. A winner six times in 14 starts, Crazy About Pat has earned $200,995 this season and has surely matured and developed since 2012 when he had just four show finishes in eight starts and just $21,222 in earnings. The main threat should come from the rail where Tirade Hanover (9-5) and driver Jim Morrill Jr. will start. In going 1:55.4 in a victorious effort at Saratoga on August 6, Tirade Hanover, an altered son of Crazed, was nearly seven lengths off the lead at the half, but trotted home to win easily by 3-1/4 lengths. He has won $277,161 in his career and had a great 2012 campaign, winning seven times in 11 appearances for $193,999 in winnings. It should be a classic battle where Crazy About Pat will play 'catch me if you can' with Tirade Hanover, who should come charging with a late kick. The fans are in for a treat in the eighth race, the second $65,220 division of the Sire Stakes. That's where E L Rocket will be, fresh off a fourth place finish in 1:52.4 in a Hambletonian Stakes elimination at the Meadowlands. He will highlight the field of eight as the heavy 3-5 favorite from post five. E L Rocket, by Credit Winner, has won five of 11 races and amassed $108,625 this season. He will be driven by local favorite Jim Morrill Jr. and is conditioned by Ron Burke, far and away North America's leading trainer. Burke has 659 wins this season and nearly $12 million in earnings. To prove Burke's dominance, Rene Allard is a distant second with 294 victories, a 365-win difference. E L Rocket has had a four-race win streak earlier in the year and posted marks of 1:53.1 at Vernon Downs and a 1:55.1 at Yonkers, all in Sire Stakes events. Modest Prince, (3-1) has been camera shy this season, winning just once in 10 starts. But Modest Prince, however, has earned $146,895 this year thanks to being in the money nine out of 10 times. He's also been saddled with some brutal post positions the past three appearances. The rail could be just what Modest Prince, a son of Rc Royalty, and driver Jeff Gregory need to find the winner's circle. The three-year-colt trotting mark was set last season of 1:54.3 by Archangel. It also set the all-time track record trotting mark at Batavia Downs. With great conditions expected, it's a time that could be challenged. There will also be four $12,700 Excelsior Series races sprinkled in among the 13-race card, along with the $7,000 Open II Trot and $8,500 Open Trot. The program could be considered the best thus far this season. A big crowd is expected as besides the outstanding card and nice weather, it's Dollar Days with $1 Sahlen's Hot Dogs, sodas and draft beer. For more information on the track, including schedule, race replays and upcoming promotions, go to http://bataviadownscasino.com/live-racing. by Brian J. Mazurek
Blue Chip Farms in Wallkill, N.Y., welcomes harness racing world champion Archangel to its stallion ranks in 2013.