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Luck goes a long way in harness racing. And Mark Dux is hoping he has a little on his side when he lines up in the Gr.2 $50,000 QBRED Breeders Classic 3yo Fillies Final at Albion Park on Friday night with his talented prospect Covert Beauty. So far, luck has deserted them both. Following the barrier draw earlier this week, Dux has been in a dilemma about which path to navigate with his classy filly. “It’s probably the only draw I didn’t want with her, its nasty and gives you very little room to move but we can’t change it now so we have to deal with it. Getting a good draw is so crucial in today’s racing, you only have to look at results to realise that.” Dux said. While the draw has taken some of the gloss of the feature event for Dux, he can’t hide his enthusiasm about his pupil. The homebred Art Official – Our Lillyfield filly has returned in sparkling form this season and has finished no further back than fourth in her 8 starts to date this campaign which includes a career best performance at Albion Park three starts ago in 1:54.3. Covert Beauty enters Friday’s feature as an easy last start winner at Redcliffe where she came off the pace before scoring decisively. The leading stables of Grant Dixon loom as the biggest threat to Covert Beauty with Reds Jet Star, Cherish The Moment, Charms On A Roll and Get In The Groove all sporting the familiar black and white checks. “Obviously Grant’s stable will be the toughest to beat, both Cherish The Moment and Get In The Groove are high quality fillies but I think my filly can feature with some normal luck. Tactically, it will be an interesting race because there are some fast beginners drawn off the front-line which could open things up. “My filly is versatile and she’s sensible, we probably need a genuine speed being set because of our draw but if we get it, I think we can play a hand in the finish. I like the way she has come up this campaign and she’s trained on well since her latest victory. “Another bonus with my filly is the distance, she likes the longer races and with her turn of foot, it can be a dangerous combination. It all comes down to luck and if we get it, we’ll be in the mix for sure.” Covert Beauty is raced by Mark’s older brother, Stephen. The QBRED Breeders Classic 3yo Fillies Final is scheduled as race 4 at 6.54pm. by Chris Barsby Fields for Gold Coast at Albion Park, Friday 01 April 2016 Form guide for Gold Coast at Albion Park, Friday 01 April 2016

Anyone who has been around the New Zealand yearling sale scene over the last 30 years will know who Brian West is. Since the mid 1980s, Brian has been preparing and selling yearlings for the Christcurch based sale and during that time he has lead the way in introducing things such as specialized feeding and exercise programmes which have revolutionized how yearlings are prepared in 2016 compared to just a few years ago. The yearlings presented at New Zealand sales in 2016 are up there with anything in the world and Brian has been a big part of that development over the years. There wouldn't be a major yearling vendor in North America who hasn't had a visit from Brian trying to pick their brains for any knowledge that would help his boutique breeding operation Studholme Park produce a better yearling. The results would say that Brian is as good as it gets when it comes to producing elite level age group performers and this years draft once again looks full of quality individuals. I recently sat down with Brian to discuss this years draft and to ask for his opinion on which lots had really impressed him but he wanted his staff involved in the discussion as well . " I have outstanding staff lead by Jan Payne and I respect their opinion enormously so I will nominate the yearlings that have impressed me but I would like their views to be known as well as they have been with the yearlings since day one," Brian told Harnesslink this week Brians Selections Top Colt  -  Lot 334 - A chestnut colt by Love You from Paramount Star Just an outstanding colt in every way. He has a lovely attitude, he is with you the whole time. Very quick learner and just a pleasure to work with. I have bred some elite level trotters in the past but this colt is the next generation up in my opinion. He just ticks every box for me Top Filly - Lot 260  -  A brown filly by Bettor's Delight from Lancome This filly reminds me so much of her mother and she has all those little habits that her dam had. There is a bit of class about her when you work with her and she has a superb temperament which is so critical today. I have had a lot of high class fillies through Studholme Park over the years and you pick up all the little traits that the elite performers have and this filly has them all in spades. Sleeper in the draft  -  Lot 398  -  A bay colt by Art Official from Simply Devine This was an easy selection. Being by Art Official means he is behind the eight ball from the start but the buyers should put their catalogue down and just have a look at the colt. He is one very well put together colt and a very attractive type in the flesh. A very quick learner who is just a pleasure to do anything with. Everyone at Studholme Park likes him which is a rare achievement for a yearling here I can tell you. He is there to be sold so someone is going to get a cheap horse whatever he sells for.   Staffs Selection (Jan Payne) Top Colt - Lot 312 - A brown colt by Bettor's Delight from My Style A lovely colt who has all the attributes you look for in those elite colts.. He is a correct attractive colt, who is always cooperative when you are working with him. He is a very alert colt who is a very quick learner but not one to get stressed. Just ticks every box and does it easily. Top Filly  -  Lot 493  - A bay filly by Bettor's Delight from A Legend Just a lovely filly to do anything with right from day one. She picks things up quickly and is a very mature filly for her age. Nothing worries her which is a big plus and she has all the attributes of a filly that will run early. Sleeper in the draft  -  Lot 398 - A bay colt by Art Official from Simply Devine I have to agree with Brian here in that the Art Official colt has impressed everyone at Studholme during the yearling preparation. He is such a lovely individual to do anything with and is a great looking horse as well. He has shown all the attributes you look for in an elite colt but being by Art Official will see him make a fraction of what we think he is worth. Brian and Studholme Park are offering twenty yearlings over the two days of the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale at Christchurch and one thing you can be sure of is those yearlings have lacked for nothing in the lead up to next week. Harnesslink Media

Louisville, KY --- She arrived in Jim Dailey’s shedrow from a combination of luck, faith and hope. Although one never knows exactly what to expect in this sport and can easily be disappointed by a twist of fate, My Tweed Heart has not only satisfied her harness racing connections, she has thrilled them. “I cannot take any of the credit for making her into the horse she is,” said Dailey. “That all goes to Tye Loy. We are the same age and I’ve known him for years. He bought her as a baby and brought her along. She was ready when I got her because he is an excellent horseman and I completely trusted him.” The now 3-year-old daughter of Manhardt and the Towner’s Big Guy mare Tweedle D was a $2,500 yearling purchase on behalf of Loy. Her ownership was then transferred to Carl Atley when he signed a check for a much larger sum after the filly’s impressive debut victory in Ohio Sire Stakes company on July 3 at Northfield Park. In her first season of competition, My Tweed Heart banked $132,252, amassed a record of 6-3-2-1 and set her speed standard of 1:54 at Scioto Downs on Aug. 5. My Tweed Heart is the fifth foal out of her dam and to date is the only one of Tweedle’s D’s offspring to earn a check. That mare collected just under $300,000 during her racing career and was managed as a youngster by Jim Arledge. “I always liked the filly’s mother,” Dailey said. “Jim trained her and I helped him out with her. I actually had her for a little bit and enjoyed driving her. She is a big, strong mare and very nicely gaited. Whenever you are around a horse you like in that way, you always look forward to seeing what kind of babies they have. Before this filly she did not have anything that worked out, but when we heard there was a filly out of her for sale I was excited because I thought maybe she had produced something like herself. When I looked at this filly I was immediately pleased.” Unfortunately, Dailey had to scratch My Tweed Heart from her first engagement under his tutelage. The filly was sick and could not appear in her $40,000 Ohio Sire Stakes event on July 25. All the people associated with her were dismayed, but their emotions were soon bolstered after Kayne Kauffman steered her to victory in an Ohio State Fair race at Scioto Downs the following week. “I was definitely upset when we had to scratch her out of that race,” Dailey said. “But what can you do? Carl (Atley) and I went to high school together and have run around with each other ever since. We were very excited about racing her and when something like that happens you hope you don’t end up encountering other problems. Also, because of my relationship with Carl, I didn’t want him to be dissatisfied after he just got her. Thankfully, that is the only real bump in the road we have had with her. She is a very sound filly and we really thought we had an excellent chance to win the Sire Stakes final with her.” After capturing her first two trips for Dailey and Atley, My Tweed Heart was third in an OSS race at Scioto Downs on Sept. 4 in a blanket finish. Her next appearance was the following week in the $225,000 Sire Stakes final and the filly came up just shy of catching winner Miss Me Yet in the stretch. Her final performance of 2015 was in a $35,811 division of the Ohio Breeders Championship for her age, gait and gender. Once again she could not overhaul the same rival prior to the wire and finished second. “She flattened out in those two starts,” Dailey said. “She was a little sick for both of them and that race in (Columbus -- the third place finish on Sept. 4) took her edge off. That trip was hard on her and she did not bounce back for the final quite like we had hoped. We really liked our chances to win that race and the one at Delaware, but we were very proud of her to race as well as she did on both occasions. She certainly did not disgrace herself and in fact, put forth a very nice effort just to be second in that Delaware race. Nothing went right for her from the start and she made up so much ground just to finish where she did. Of course you always want to win, but when horses race like that you are always pleased with it.” With her winter vacation now officially over, My Tweed Heart is currently being prepared for her sophomore season. “She has not grown any taller, but she has filled out and physically matured,” Dailey said. “She always has an excellent attitude and she enjoys racing. Because she has been so good to us, we also took a chance on her younger sister Tweedledtweedledum. That filly is by Art Official. “I have not really developed an opinion on these Art Official horses yet, but like My Tweed Heart this filly has done everything right training down. She has the same mindset and she is very nicely gaited. We are really excited about both of them racing this year and are looking very much forward to participating with them in the Ohio program. It’s always a great feeling when you have horses like these that are competitive and have some quality. Especially when they are connected to people like Carl and Tye, who I have had relationships with for quite some time.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Harness racing followers in New Zealand will tell you that when it comes to Premier night racing you back the All Stars barn come what may. Thats how it was tonight in the first race on Premier night at Addington Raceway with the All Stars runner Benicio the warmest of favourites with the punters. Benicio found the death seat a fair way out and when he grabbed the front 200 metres out he looked to have the race in safe keeping until Easy Rider and Bob Butt swooped late and nailed the hot favourite right on the line. Bob Butt was a bit shocked that he had picked up the All Star runner. " On Premier night it is not often that you run down one of the All Stars runners" " When I came out I thought I might get second but it did surprise me that we got up." " However he did impress me last week and he seems to be getting better every start," Bob said. It has been far from plain sailing with the son of Art Official who has shown plenty right from his trials as a two year old. " He ran second to the smart Field Marshal when he qualified but was put aside to strengthen up." " However he was never settled at three and we put him aside again." " This time in he is finally starting to fulfill the promise he showed at two." " He has always had high speed, right from his two year old days," Bob said. The future for Easy Rider is pretty well set in stone with the horse owned in Australia by the long time client of the David and Catherine Butt stable in Tony McGrath. " He has got a few more wins in him here in New Zealand but when he reaches his mark here he will go to Australia so Tony can see him race. " The immediate aim for the four year old is the Futurity final on Show Day," Bob said. The All Star barn are rarely beaten on Premier night but as Easy Rider showed it is not impossible. Harnesslink Media

YONKERS, NY, Friday, September 11, 2015 - Harness racing favorite Cinamony (George Brennan) returned to form Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $48,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Leaving from post position No. 6 (in one notch after an inside defection), Cinamony quickly worked around invading Sudoku (Jordan Stratton). After a :27.3 opening quarter-mile and a pokey :56.4 intermission, Carobbean Pacetry (Brent Holland) moved from third. Cinamony had few issues in and out a 1:25 three-quarters, taking a 2¼-length lead into the lane. The final margin was 2½ lengths in 1:52.4. Second went to Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter), with Sudoku, Carobbean Pacetry and Caribbean Rose N (Brian Sears) settled for the small change. Nothing from outside assignee Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett), who didn't leave and beat just one lass. For Cinamony, a 4-year-old daughter of Art Official co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her ninth win in 15 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $22.60, with the triple returning $123.50. Saturday's card is the first of two New York Night of Champions, featuring eight, $225,000 sire stakes finals for 3-year-olds (races 5 through 8 in the dozen-race program). The 2-year-olds have their evening Saturday, Sept. 26th. Frank Drucker

Despite an off track, Tipton Teeez and Valuable Art each scored in1:53.4 to match Palm Beach's stake record in Tuesday's $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series event at The Meadows. The stake for freshman filly pacers was contested over five divisions, with Hailey Hanover, Albany Girl and Healthy Gain taking the other splits. Dave Palone enjoyed a stake double, behind Tipton Teeez and Albany Girl, among his three wins overall. Although intermittent rain rendered the track sloppy for the early part of the program, the surface was upgraded to "good" for the splits of Tipton Teeez and Valuable Art, setting the stage for their record-matchers. Palone let the dust settle before moving Tipton Teeez to the front at the quarter pole. The daughter of Western Terror-Finest Arts drew off thereafter and defeated Gingertreescarlett by 7 lengths, with Q T Pie Hanover third. Brian Brown trains Tipton Teeez for Jennifer Brown and Richard Lombardo. "She's a typical Brian Brown horse -- well rigged, well mannered," Palone said. "She was the easiest kind of winner." "She won on cruise control." "She made my job easy." Valuable Art appeared buried along the cones when a seam unexpectedly opened. Eric Goodell urged her through, and the daughter of Art-Official-Race Me Valerie ended up winning comfortably. Terror At Night was second, 3-1/4 lengths back, while early leader East Side Hanover earned show. "We got lucky," said Nick Callahan, the father of winning trainer Shaun Callahan as well as the co-breeder of Valuable Art. "The horse in front of us moved over, and we got through." "Without that, we're not getting much." She's had some minor issues, and we changed her rigging to help her." "I think she'll learn how to be a nice horse." Breakaway Racing campaigns Valuable Art. A five-race maiden entering the stake, Hailey Hanover slingshot to the lead down the backside -- despite being three wide -- and rolled home in 1:56.4 in the slop, 4 lengths better than Terror Grin, with Saucy Wench third. Mike Wilder drove for trainer Nifty Norman and owner David McDuffee. "Her last start, she closed well but ran into a wall of horses and couldn't get through." "She might have been the best that day," Wilder said of the daughter Well Said-Hattie. "When I moved her today, she was serious." "She was the real deal today." It was one of four wins for Wilder on the 15-race card. Wednesday's program at The Meadows features the Meadow Cheer, a $212,776 PA Sires Stake for 2-year-old filly pacers. First post is 12:55 PM. Evan Pattak

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 31, 2015--The names have not been changed to protect the innocent, because the song remains the same. Cinamony and harness racing driver George Brennan continued there  roll Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $48,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Remanded outside her seven rivals and caught what appeared about 46-wide leaving, the 7-5 choice nonetheless had few issues. They weren't going all that much early (:28.2, :56.4), as Cinamony--parked just about two turns--eventually pocketed second choice Venus Delight. After a 1:25 three-quarters, Cinamony owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. The final margin was a confidently-driven, half-length in 1:53. Venus Delight chased around the oval, with Skippin' By (Brian Sears), Justthaventmetuyet (Jordan Stratton) and Handsoffmycupcake (Dan Dube) getting the minor moolah. For Cinamony, a 4-year-old daughter of Art Official co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her seventh win in 11 seasonal starts (6-for-6 since hitting town). The exacta paid $13.40, with the triple returning $33.60. Earlier during the 12-race card, they came thisclose to a four-way win dead-heat in the $15,500 fourth-race pace. It was No. 1, Art for Art's Sake (Sears), "getting the bob" over No. 7, Duke's Up (Brennan). No. 4, Lucky Terror (Bartlett), was third and No. 3, Lennon Blue Chip (Dube), finished fourth. The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (first post 7:10 PM), then next Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (all at 7:10 PM), with a Tuesday matinee (first post 1 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 24, 2015 - The next time they beat Cinamony (George Brennan, $8.10) here would be the first time they beat Cinamony here. The form spree continued Friday night, as the lass won Yonkers Raceway's $48,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Assigned outside what became her six rivals (Road Bet came up ill), Cinamony had to wait her turn before making the lead. She did so around arch enemy-and 11-10 favorite--Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) just after a :27.2 opening quarter-mile. It was a :55.3 intermission before Caribbean Rose N (Brian Sears) moved from fourth, not getting all that close at a 1:23.3 three-quarters. Cinamony owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane before holding Krispy Apple at bay in 1:51.3, matching her own (along with two others) track record for 4-year-old mares. The final margin was three-quarters of a length. Third went to a non-threatening Caribbean Rose N, with Handsoffmycupcake (Dan Dube) and Alhambra (Larry Stalbaum) completing the cashers. For third choice Cinamony, a daughter of Art Official co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her sixth win in 10 seasonal starts (5-for-5 since hitting town). The exacta paid $15.20, with the triple returning $45.20. The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (first post 7:10 PM), then next Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (all at 7:10 PM), with a "French-centric" Tuesday matinee (first post 1 PM). Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 17, 2015 - It was assigned as a two-horse race, wagered as a two-horse race and contested as a two-horse race. Favored Cinamony (George Brennan $4.20) was able to the get the jump on rival Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) Friday night and that proved enough. The formful miss went the distance, winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $48,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. Cinamony, starting from post position No. 7 directly inside of her foe, was not about to waste that advantage. She led at every station (:27.4, :56.4, 1:25, 1:52.2), while Krispy Apple, as the second choice, tucked in fourth before making her second bid. The former whipped the latter by a length-and-a-quarter, with Alhambra (Larry Stalbaum), Caribbean Rose N (Tyler Buter) and Handsoffmycupcake (Dan Dube) settling for the small change. For Cinamony, a 4-year-old daughter of Art Official co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her fifth win in nine seasonal starts (4-for-4 since hitting town). The exacta (those two wagering choices) paid $9.70, with the triple returning $53.50 The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (first post at 7:10 PM), featuring the $107,500 final of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace for 2-year-old colts and geldings. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

Seeing that next month will be the 10th anniversary of Vivid Photo's winning of The Hambletonian, it seems correct that his owners, Roger Hammer and hometown hero Todd Schadel, would tie atop the horsemen's standings for the harness racing meetings on Saturday/Sunday in Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes action here at the central Pennsylvania oval, perhaps the local circuit's fastest, with four wins each as trainer and driver.   Schadel posted the fastest mile of the young Keystone fair season, 1:58.1, with the Art Official filly Keystone I Wish, last year's 2PF Fair Championship winner, whom he owns with his wife Christine.   Another highlight for Todd came when he swept the two-year-old trotting filly divisions in the first two races of the meet, with the Explosive Matter miss, home in 2:03.3 for Todd and Christine, and Connie Jean, a Cantab Hall miss who clocked in 2:03 for Charles Keller III (Hall of Fame nominees race at the Pennsylvania fairs!), Charles Keller IV, E. Dan Bittle, and Brett Bittle. Keystone I Wish and Connie Jean, like their fellow six horses who were the fastest divisional winner in their respective Gratz events, also became PA Fairs season's leaders in notching their winning clockings.   Hammer's highlight was the 1:59.4 victory with the two-year-old ( on a fair half-mile track in mid-July!) pacing gelding Billy's Falcon, who in his only other fair start went 2:00.1 at Bloomsburg.   The Nuclear Breeze gelding is owned by Hammer, as were his other three weekend winners, giving him 16 victories in just six fairs as both trainer and driver, leading both sets of statistics.   The other sub-2:00 mile of the weekend was notched by Royaltyhasarrived, a sophomore Western Breeze gelding who had set a divisional track record at Butler in his last start.   On Sunday he covered the Gratz twicearound in 1:59.1 for driver Brady Brown, trainer Steve Schoeffel, and owners Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel and Michael Munn.   Special mention must be made of two drivers named Brandon, especially Brandon Givens, who had been away from the races over five years putting his life back together.   Now working for fellow "comeback kid" Kevin Lare, Brandon, a career winner of over 1000 races who had not driven for 1917 days, fashioned a sulky triple on Saturday, two of them for trainer Lare.   The other Brandon, Brandon Henley, made his first Pennsylvania fair appearance Sunday - in fact, it was the first time he had raced at a fair since the very first start of his career, in the summer of 2010 at The Great Pocomoke City (MD) Fair.   He was also quick to find the winners circle, rounding out the weekend's action by guiding the Tom Ridge 3TG Oregon Ridge to a 2:04 victory for lessee/trainer Syl King Jr.   Jerry Connors

YONKERS, NY, Friday, July 3, 2015  - Cinamony with harness racing driver George Brennan in the bike is just better than her foes right now. She proved it again Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's featured $42,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace for a third consecutive local victory. Starting outside her six foes, she was content to be an early laggard as invading Inittowinafortune (Dan Dube) worked around It's a Miracle (Eric Carlson), laying down early intervals of :27.4 and :56.2. It was Tipitina (Eric Goodell) offering weak, first-up company while Hot List (Brian Sears) gapped from second-over. That forced 4-5 choice Venus Delight (Jason Bartlett) and Cinamony around that one going toward a 1:24.1 three-quarters. Inittowinafortune owned a length-and-a-half lead into the lane, but the wheels were wobbling. Cinamony uncoiled to rally widest and fastest, whipping a cone-skimming Alhambra (Tyler Buter)-the 28-1 rank outsider-by a neck in 1:53. Venus Delight, It's a Miracle and Hot List rounded out the payees, with the pace-setter tiring to sixth. For third choice Cinamony, a 4-year-old daughter of Art Official co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, it was her fourth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $144, with the triple returning $437.50. The Raceway's live season continues Saturday night (post time 7:10 PM). After that, it's Monday (7:10 PM), 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

The Meadows Racetrack hosted its first qualifiers for two-year-olds over the weekend, with eight groups of harness racing freshmen prepping for the upcoming stake season.   Many of the horses that took to the track are headed to the Pennsylvania Fairs, which get underway on June 12 at Wattsburg, PA.   The opening qualifier of the day proved to be the fastest of the session, with Bob Key's Dragon Strikes winning in 1:58.2. The colt, by Art Official out of the Dragon Again mare Dragon Flier K, won for trainer Rich Gillock and driver Tony Hall.   For video of Dragon Strikes' victory and all of the other qualifiers in the session       The fastest trotting mile was turned in by gelding Major Matter, a son of Explosive Matter-Tahiti Springs (Dream Vacation). Owner/trainer Rick Beinhauer was in the bike for the 2:01.3 win, with a final half of 1:00.   Underdog Hanover, owned by Virginia and Kathy Schoeffel and Jim Reuther, was a 2:02.1 winner for trainer/driver Steve Schoeffel. The Muscle Massive filly is out of the mare Up Front Pepe, by Andover Hall.   The top pacing filly of the morning was Unbeamlievable, a Moon Beam filly out of the mare DVC Iblievenangles (Life Sign). Driver Chris Shaw guided her to a come-from-behind win in 2:02.3 for owner Mason Shaw and trainer Jason Shaw.   Other winners were Grumpy Tom (Lear Jetta), 2:07.2 in a colt trot for Jason and Chris Shaw, pacing colt License To Steal (Western Terror) in 2:02.2 for trainer/driver Lester Smeal, trotting filly Kelsey Hanover (Muscle Massive), 2:05.4 for trainer Terry Altmeyer and driver Mike Wilder, and pacing filly Fernbrook Hanover (2:03) for trainer/driver Steve Schoeffel.   Dozens more freshmen are expected to qualify this coming week. Jeff Zidek

All of a sudden, the barrier draw is crucial to the outcome of the harness racing Gr.2 $80,000 Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sale Series No.7 Final next Friday (June 5). Under the conditions of the series, preferential barrier preference is given to fillies that qualify for the rich final. And after the four heats were contested tonight (Wednesday), the fairer sex made a clean sweep following the victories of Charlyse, Covert Beauty, Shezabonnygem and Aussie Vista. A total of six fillies qualified for the final with the four remaining spots going to the boy’s. The opening heat went the way of the highly regarded first starter Charlyse for trainer/driver Darren Weeks who led throughout to score easily by a widening margin from Earl Jujon and Timmo Time in a mile rate of 2;00.9 for the 1780m. The Changeover – Gliding Atom filly rated the quickest time of the four heats staged. Heat two was taken out by race favourite Covert Beauty who gained control soon after the start before scoring comfortably from a game debutant in Bella Rippin and Wishitwasheaven in a time of 2;01.6 Prepared by Mark Dux and handled by Pete McMullen, the Art Official – Our Lillyfield filly has now won three of her four starts to date. In heat three, promising type Shezabonnygem was able to race to the early lead and dictate terms before racing clear over the concluding stages  to defeat Riverleigh Dolly and Ivan The Third in a time of 2;03.1. Trained and driven by Grant Dixon, the South Park Hanover – Bonny Willow filly broke maiden ranks with this victory. In the fourth and final heat, race favourite Mucho Macho Man couldn’t reel in speedy filly Aussie Vista who led throughout after starting from the ace draw in a time of 2;01.1 with first starter Leos Best catching the eye with his fast finishing third. Trained by Shane Sanderson, the Tintin In America – Terranora Vista Filly provided star young reinsman Pete McMullen with a double for the night. The final field is; (not in barrier draw order) Charlyse, Earl Jujon, Timmo Time, Covert Beauty, Bella Rippin, Shezabonnygem, Riverleigh Dolly, Aussie Vista, Mucho Macho Man and Leos Best. The barrier draw will be conducted next Tuesday (June 2). A total of 30 two-year-olds contested the heats which is almost a third of the yearling sale staged last year by Darren Ebert & Co. Auctioneers which left club officials thrilled. Racing Queensland

Hunter Valley harness racing trainer Shane Tritton has arrived in New Zealand ready to put the final touches on Salty Robyn in the lead up to Saturday's Harness Jewels. The son of Art Official was narrowly beaten in a workout last Saturday by the Mark Purdon trained Dream About Me with the final quarter clocked in a scintillating 25.6. Salty Robyn led from the start in the field of three with Mark Jones in the sulky and looked set for victory after dashing away turning for home but was grabbed late with the official margin between the first two runners just a half-head. "Salty Robyn has come through the hit-out really well, I think Saturday's run proves that he is back at the top of his game because he is as much better horse than he showed at Addington last start," said Tritton. "I was at Melton for the Queen Of The Pacific on Saturday night and flew directly from Melbourne and arrived in New Zealand on Sunday, I'll look after him for the rest of the week and Lauren (Panella) will fly in after driving at Newcastle on Thursday." Tritton believes Salty Robyn was a run short before his last start 7th in the New Zealand Sires Stakes. "On reflection he was underdone going into the Sires, I gave him an easy time of it when he first arrived in New Zealand and in hindsight I may have been too soft on him. "He will be spot on for Saturday, he has drawn well and he has good gate speed so he will be doing his normal thing and pushing forward at the start." The Purdon pair Chase The Dream and Lazarus will be the hardest to beat according to Tritton. "Chase The Dream has beaten us twice already, Lazarus was in the Sires Final and finished third so he has shown how good he is too. "Mark (Purdon) and Nat (Rasmussen) are the benchmark, they get the results and they will be extremely hard to beat." Tritton and Panella will return to Australia on Monday. "We will fly back on the Monday and the horses will fly over on the Tuesday, I've got two other horses racing at Ashburton on Sunday (No Potato and Lurah) as well so it is going to be a big weekend for us." Greg Hayes

There were three divisions of The Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (May 21) each going for a purse of just over $71,000. In the first division, it was Miller's Stable's Somewhere Sweet (Dave Miller) scoring an impressive five length victory. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere rolled right to the front, tripping the quarter beam in :27.1. After a rated second quarter of :29.1 (:56.2 half), the Brian Brown trainee began to draw away, getting the back half in :56.2, completing the mile in an in-hand 1:52.4. It was her fourth career win of eleven starts, and her third in the last four. Better Said (Tim Tetrick) was making her 2015 debut after going two for five in the win column as a two-year-old. She rallied on for second, while Moma's Got A Gun (Brett Miller) finished third. The winner paid $6.60. The track was downgraded to good for the second division, in which trainer Brian Brown continued his winning ways with Serious Filly (Tim Tetrick). The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was taken off the early pace, but shifted into gear shy of the half. She mounted a persistent first-over bid, and was able to grind past pace-setter Aria Hanover (Brett Miller) to win by a little more than a length, stopping the clock in 1:53.3. Imagine Dragon (Scott Zeron) shook loose late to close for second, while Doll Fins (Yannick Gingras) finished third. Owned by Emerald Highlands Farm, Serious Filly remains undefeated in 2015, a perfect four for four. The winner paid $14.40. Trainer Brian Brown was looking for the sweep in Division three, as he sent out the heavy favorite Triple V Hanover (Dave Miller). The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere was taken off the early pace, but brushed hard towards the top after the quarter (:28), not clearing until the half (:56.2). The tough trip took its toll in the stretch, as Art's Jem (Tim Tetrick) closed fast up the inside to win, stopping the clock in 1:54.2. Southwind Roulette (Yannick Gingras) finished second while Deli Beach (John Campbell) finished third. It was the third seasonal win in five starts for the daughter of Art Official, who is owned by CC Racing. The Joann Looney-King trainee paid $19.60 to win. Michael Bozich

DUNDAS, May 14 - Lets Drink On It can toast to an impressive harness racing 2015 so far, finishing no worse than second in four starts and neatly putting away his competition in the second Confederation Cup elimination at Flamboro Downs on Sunday. The Seekman family is no stranger to speed, having trained Art Official to a successful career with over $2 million in career earnings, and are now back in the fast lane with one of his offspring. "I honestly think he's (Lets Drink On It) a better horse than Art Official was," said trainer and owner Tina Seekman. "I can't take anything away from 'Art' though, but as far as determination, he definitely has given a lot more than what Art would have done." After suffering from a small setback as 2014 wrapped up, Lets Drink On It seems to have returned in fine form. "He trained down awesome this past season, he had a few little issues with a leg that he's had since he was a baby, but we got everything taken care of," said Seekman. "He seems like a more mature colt than he was last year. "He's gotten taller and a lot bigger from three to four, but as far as driving, I know he wasn't the easiest to drive sometimes. He could be just a bit squirrelly." The four-year-old came off an impressive win at HoosierPark in 1:51.4 by five lengths with a last quarter in 26.3 before heading to the Dundas, Ontario oval. Owned by Tina Seekman, Larry Bond, Hal Hewitt and Vincent Boido Jr., Lets Drink On It looked to improve upon his last visit to Canadian soil in the 2014 Pepsi North America Cup where he experienced a tough trip, finishing eighth. Having banked in excess of $600,000 lifetime so far, he will look to extend his win streak to three with the Confederation Cup final. The May 10 card featured two nine-horse fields, with Ron Burke trainee All Bets Off sweeping the competition in the first elimination in a track record 1:50.4. Lets Drink On It rallied off cover, capturing his elimination in 1:51.4 but did so without his usual partner in the bike. Driven regularly by Tyler Smith, it was a surprise to fans trackside that local Billy Davis Jr. would be taking up the challenge. "Billy has got a name for himself up there, he handled the horse really good and it worked out perfectly on the track," said Smith, proud of the horse's effort regardless. "I wish I could have been there but I had trouble with my flight. I'll be watching on Sunday though, I texted Tina right after the win that he looked good and that I was happy for them." Seekman called Davis Jr. Sunday afternoon, explaining the predicament. As one of the top drivers at Flamboro Downs, she felt he would know the track best and that he would be the optimal choice. Understandably, he jumped at the chance. "It really came out of nowhere," said Davis. "I got the call around 2:30 or 3 in the afternoon and they told me Tyler Smith had some trouble travelling and they needed a driver. "I watched the horse in previous years; he was always in the mix and had a good kick. They gave me a play by play beforehand and explained how he should go. I warmed him up and got a feel for what he was like." Happy with the elimination drive, Seekman chose to remain with Davis going into the final. Affectionately known as "Drink", the colt emerged from the race in good spirits and in good health, setting high hopes for a promising effort on May 17. Unfortunately the luck of the draw did not seem to be in their favour this time around, with announcer Gary Guy selecting post position eight. "He doesn't leave a lot; he has never been a leaver when the gate folds so he likes to drop in where he goes," said Seekman. "He responds best if he can come with cover and as soon as he tipped him off from cover, the horse kicks in two more gears. If the race sets up, he'll be alright out there." As for Billy Davis Jr., he is confident the speed and talent shown in the elimination will shine through again in Sunday's final. "I didn't want to move him in the mile, but at the three-quarter mark he did it himself and was ready to go. He got up on the helmet and they were going big fractions. He had tons left in the tank, we coasted home. "He's the best horse I've ever driven and with the speed in this race, I think it could set up just right for him." Following the Confederation Cup, Lets Drink On It will be pointed to the Graduate Series at Tioga Downs on May 25. Confederation Cup Elimination   Mark McKelvie

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