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At the height of his power Artoc was a C7-M2 assessed harness racing gelding taking on some of the cream of the Victorian trots crop. Now at age 10 the son of Artiscape out of Eileen Monica is a C2-M1 pacer, but has recaptured winning form with two victories on the trot over the past fortnight. Driven by Alex Ashwood (23 wins this season), Artoc won the TAB.com.au Pace Final last night at Tabcorp Park Melton for local trainer Danny Mullan, who also produced runner-up Jaccka Wilco for a stable quinella (which paid $45.70 on the Victorian tote). “When they get to this age they usually don’t find the line, but his horses when they get older, it doesn’t faze them,” Ashwood said of Mullan’s training performance. “(This horse) has a great will to win, which goes a long way with these older horses.” Artoc made it 22 career wins and took his stake earnings to more than $164,000 with last night’s victory. “He’s been a great old horse for connections,” Ashwood said. “He’s raced against the best of the best, probably the last six months he’s really dropped down in grade and it has paid dividends tonight.” In his bright yellow gear, matching his racing silks and saddlecloth No.5, Artoc marched to the lead after about a quarter-mile before kicking on to hold out a challenge from Big Bang Leonard, the lead time posted at 45.4secs (nearly a second quicker than average). Stablemate Jaccka Wilco appeared to head off Artoc as they swung around the final bend. And in the straight Black Cougar looked home and hosed when he chimed in at the 100m. But Jaccka Wilco and Black Cougar ran out of steam as Artoc dug in, Ashwood getting everything out of the veteran at start No.231 to score a neck win in 2:00.1. According to the computer Mullan has trained 108 winners in his career, but it is important to note he was training when Australian trotting data moved to computers (season 1979-80), so he may have had more successes. Artoc started second-favourite tonight after winning his series heat. Race favourite Shishi finished last and underwent a vet’s examination post-race. Cody Winnell

Escape The News took advantage of a sizzling three-quarters and pounced late to score in 1:49.1, matching the harness racing track record, in Saturday’s $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Unlocked was on a mission on the lead, clicking off three-quarters in 1:21.1 and frustrating most would-be challengers. Not Escape The News, who moved first over from third for Aaron Merriman and nailed Unlocked by a nose. Hall Bro was third. The time equaled Atta Boy Dan’s track record for older geldings. Brewer Adams trains the 7-year-old son of Artiscape-Ideal News, who now boasts $711,976 in career earnings, for Kevin Sywyk. Saturday’s card also featured two second-leg divisions of the Walter Russell Memorial Pace for 3- and 4-year-old colts, horses and geldings, with Connecting Flight and Dr Drake Ramoray each taking a $12,000 split. It was the second straight series win for Connecting Flight, and if anything, it was easier than his opening-leg romp. The 4-year-old Panspacificflight-Shares Rebound gelding zipped to the front for Dave Palone and steadily widened, scoring in a career-best 1:51.1. Stone Fire Hanover rallied for second, 6-3/4 lengths back, while Keystone Dylan held show. Kevin Johnson conditions Connecting Flight for Erv Miller. Merriman piloted four winners on the 15-race program while Tony Hall and Palone each fashioned a triple. Evan Pattak

It wasn't a matter if Youwillwishyouhad was going to win at Buffalo Raceway, it was just a matter of when. Well, that elusive harness racing victory came about on Saturday night (March 5) as Youwillwishyouhad got the perfect trip and posted a 1-3/4 length decision over If It Rains in the $10,000 Open Pace. The winning time was 1:56.4 over the good track.   And while Youwillwishyouhad finally found the winner's circle, driver Jim Morrill Jr. has been making himself right at home there. He scored seven victories on the night and was in the money in all 11 races with two second place finishes and two thirds. Morrill Jr. now has an amazing 17 wins in 33 starts over a seven-day span at Buffalo Raceway.   Morrill Jr. has had seven wins on a program at Buffalo Raceway twice before. He did it on March 1, 2013 and February 15, 2006. Kevin Cummings holds the all-time mark at the track with eight wins on a card on June 11, 2005.   In the feature, after four second place finishes and a third in his last five tries in the Open Pace at the Hamburg half-mile oval, Youwillwishyouhad ($4.10) was more than primed for a winning effort and didn't disappoint as the even money choice.   LA Camcharger did the dirty work by cutting the fractions of 28.1, 57.1, and 1:27.0 while Youwillwishyouhad sat back and enjoyed the pocket sitting trip. In the stretch drive, driver David McNeight III dropped Youwillwishyouhad into the passing lane and cruised past the leg-weary LA Camcharger (Ron Beback Jr.) who finished in third.   If It Rains (Morrill Jr.) showed some late kick to take second place but was never a serious threat to the wire.   With his first victory of the 2016 campaign, Youwillwishyouhad (Artiscape-Dawn's Ideal) has now been in the money in seven of eight starts this year, earning $18,200. It jacked the 5-year-old gelding's lifetime bankroll to $160,260. He is co-owned by Mark Jakubik and Tessa Roland and trained by JD Perrin, who had conditioned two winners.   Racing will continue at Buffalo Raceway on Wednesday night with an 11-race card set for 5 p.m.   For more information including the latest news, race replays, upcoming promotions and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway  

Mustang Art doesn't do sick days. OK, that is a slight exaggeration. Mustang Art has missed a race here or there because of sickness. But what Mustang Art has never missed since beginning his harness racing career in January 2010 is a month without racing. That's right. The 9-year-old male pacer has started at least one race in 74 consecutive months. "It's like I always say," trainer Jim McGuire said with a laugh, "he kind of likes his job I guess." Mustang Art has won 42 of 238 career races, hit the board a total of 123 times, and earned $697,522. The gelding was claimed by his current connections --- owners Max Walton and Gregory Papaleo, both from Delaware, and Pennsylvania-based trainer McGuire --- for $15,000 in August 2011. So far this year, Mustang Art has won three of five Delaware Special Handicap starts at Dover Downs and earned $43,950. On Monday, he faces seven rivals in the $30,000 Open Preferred Handicap. Sean Bier will drive Mustang Art, leaving from post five. "I've been in the business for quite some time and I've never had a horse that's so tough," the 72-year-old Walton said. "He's unbelievable. He's a rare horse. I never dreamed I'd have a horse like him. "He's given me a lot of great memories. He's meant a lot to me." Mustang Art is a son of stallion Artiscape out of the mare Paula Seelster, who earned nearly 90 percent of her lifetime $583,613 in purses after the age of 4. She retired following her 8-year-old season in 2002. Mustang Art's half-brother Wazzup Wazzup, an 8-year-old gelding, has earned $403,437 in his career and is 1-for-1 this season in Canada. Unraced at age 2, Mustang Art won his career debut on Jan. 24, 2010 at Woodbine Racetrack. He continued racing in Canada until July 2011. A month after his arrival in the U.S., he was claimed by McGuire at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. "There were two claims on him the night I got him," McGuire said. "I got lucky there. "I was looking for something and he caught my eye. I looked him over and decided to take a shot. When he turned 5, he started getting better and better. But he showed high speed before then. His mother was a pretty good mare and (Mustang Art) had a couple brothers that were decent racehorses also. I like to look at the dams and what they produce." Mustang Art has made at least 41 starts in each of the past four years, competing primarily at Dover Downs and Pocono, and set his career mark of 1:48.3 in 2013 at Pocono. According to the U.S. Trotting Association's Information and Research Department, tens of thousands of horses have raced in the past 25 years but only 222 have made 40-plus starts in at least four consecutive years. "He's quite an athlete; he's very light on his feet," McGuire said. "He takes pretty good care of himself. He doesn't require a lot of work. Of course with 40-some starts every year he keeps himself pretty tight. He likes to go out in the paddock for a couple hours every day and he jogs a little bit. He seems to be happy doing that. "He's real nice to be around. He doesn't do anything wrong. A kid could take care of him." Mustang Art's three wins this season have come at odds of 33-1, 13-1 and 16-1. "That's been amazing," McGuire said, laughing. "Everybody is talking about that now. And he had three different drivers (Brett Miller, Marcus Miller, and Bier) in those three wins. It seems like he knows what he's doing on his own." The plan for this year is for Mustang Art to continue his workmanlike routine through the meets at Dover and Pocono, with perhaps occasional trips to Harrah's Philadelphia. "He may get a short break in between (Dover and Pocono) but he usually stays pretty good," McGuire said. "I've had some decent horses over the years, but he's been the best one I've ever had. He's been a pleasure." Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications

DOVER, Del. --- Bushwacker recorded his third win at the meet this season scoring a 1:50.2 harness racing victory in the week’s top pace the $30,000 Preferred on Monday, Feb. 1. It was de ja’ vu all over again for 13-1 Mustang Art winning the $27,500 Delaware Special at Dover Downs. Tim Tetrick tripled.   For the second straight week, Tim Tetrick who piloted Henderson Farms’ Bushwacker into the early lead but this time did not stop in the stretch on the way to a 1:50.2 success in the $30,000 Preferred Handicap pace. The five-year-old altered son of Rocknroll Hanover-Dolphins Can Talk posted his sixth victory in his last eight starts with a second and a third for trainer Chris Ryder. The win pushed his career bankroll to $411,212. Doctor Butch (Tony Morgan was a fast finishing second with Dapper Dude (Vic Kirby), last week’s winner third. For Mustang Art, the only change was a driver, Sean Bier. Just as last Monday, he went off at 13-1, and the Artiscape-Paula Seelster gelding left fast to get the lead, then sat second behind runner-up Bad Boy Matt (Allan Davis) until late in the stretch before coming on for a !:50.2 triumph for his second consecutive $27,500 Delaware Special win. Captive Audience (Corey Callahan) was the show horse. Max Walton and Greg Papaleo own Mustang Art who won for the 42nd time. Casey At Bat made it two straight victories in $15,000 4&5-Year-Old Male company to lead off the program as Allan Davis drove the four-year-old Sportsmaster-Odds On Casey gelding to victory number-5 this meet for trainer Wayne Givens and Sharon White, Denise Davis and legacy Racing. Totally Dreamy (George Dennis) finished second with Twin B Stingray (Kirby) third. Blazing Bobby Sox came from off-the-pace to take the lead three-wide turning for home and rolled to a 1:54.1 decision in a $15,000 4&5-Year-Old pace. Driver Art Stafford Jr. who owns The Panderosa-Liamatters gelding with his dad, Art Stafford, won for the fifth time this meet. Skyway Gladiator (Mike Rossi) led until the closing steps and finished second in front of Denslow Hanover (Tetrick) third. Vic Kirby put Soto into the lead and there was no catching the four-year-old Rock N Roll Hanover-Incredible Beauty horse in a 1:51.1 $14,000 Male Winners-Over pace. Contraband Hanover (Callahan) was next best wile race-favorite Just A Jolt (Tetrick) came storming down the lane from way back to finish third. The win was the second in-a-row and Third in the last four for owners ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta.         Brioni, a five-year-old Four Starzzz Shark Ambro Bahama horse, claimed last week, won for new owner-trainer Ron Davis for his sixth consecutive victory, romping to a 1:52 conquest in a $15,000-$20,000 Male Claiming Handicap to give Tony Morgan, the second leading winning driver in North America, his third win on the program. Beavercreek Artist (A.Davis) and Sir Jonathan Z Tam (Tyler Davis) were second and third respectively. Impressive winners from last week meet Hearts And Flowers and No Respect, a pair of impressive winners last week, head the 'Ground Hog' day, $20,000 Mares Open Handicap on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. After taking the lead in front of the grandstand, Bay Pond Stable's Hearts And Flowers had clear sailing for Allan Davis on the way to a 1:52.1 victory having enough to hold off the consistent and fast finishing Springforth, owned and trained by Jeff Clark with George Dennis driving. Race favorite JFE Enterprise's Scandalicious and Tim Tetrick, finished third. John McGill's No Respect turned in a convincing 1:52 triumph in her last start and will be driven by Vic Kirby from the rail. Cheyenne Robin, the only four-year-old in the contest, was absent last week after a near wire-to-wire victory, finishing second by a nose, in her last start. Corey Callahan will be at the controls this week. Chris White's Fashion Showdown won this event two weeks in-a-row with Ross Wolfenden, but was parked-out last Tuesday and again is burdened with post 8. Other starters are Bob Winkelman's Paradise Lost piloted by Montrell Teague, and Elliesjet N, owned by Barry Spedden, Kevin Evans, Nanticoke Racing and trainer Josh Parker, who should enjoy leaving from post 2 this week. Among as talent rich assortment of top female paces is a $15,000 Mares Winners-Over pace led by last week's 1-2 finishers, Playncardswitroddy (Dennis), owned by George &Tina Dennis and Ask W stables, and Lorie and Paul Davis' Lady Beth (Wolfenden) and a $12,500 distaff pace featuring Howard Taylor's steady Shine N Shimmer (Callahan) and Foulk Stables' Valerya (Jonathan Roberts). . Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. No live racing on Friday and Saturday. Sunday post time is 5:30 p.m. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant's acclaimed Buffet and for those planning to stay at Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del. --- Mustang Art, overlooked at 33-1, enjoyed a perfect rip to come on to post a 1:51 success in the $28,500 Delaware Special Handicap pace at Dover Downs on Monday Jan. 4. Harness racing drivers Yannick Gingras, Corey Callahan and George Dennis drove three winners on a windy and cold day. Starting from the second tier in the Monday feature, Mustang Art, reined by Brett Miller, found room deep in the lane to score a 1:51 victory for trainer Jim McGuire and owners Max Walton and Greg Papaleo. The Artiscape-Paula Seelster nine-year-old gelding beat fast-finishing Captive Audience (Corey Callahan) and Bad Boy Matt (Allan Davis) to the finish line and paid $68.40 for a $2-win ticket setting up a $301.60 exacta and 1,173,.60 trifecta. The victory was the 40th lifetime for Mustang Art who now has won $665,822 in his career. Frank Chick's 20-1 shot, Totally Dreamy, overtook race favorite Ata Boy Bones (Art Stafford Jr.) in deep stretch for a 1:54 triumph in a $15,500 pace for 4-and 5-year-old pacers. Rip N Rock (Vic Kirby) finished third. George Dennis was winning driver for his third win on the card. Kevin Lare trains the If I Can dream-Almost Vital gelding who won for the second consecutive start. Gingras returned to the winner's circle piloting Class Six to a wire-to-wire 1:53.1 score in a $15,000 4&5-Year-Old Male pace for Weaver Bruscemi and Burke Racing Stable. It was the Western Ideal-Can Du River gelding's sixth win in his last seven efforts. Provenance (Callahan) was second best with Apollo Seelster (Jonathan Roberts) third. The race ended a three-race win streak for Blazing Bobby Sox (Art Stafford Jr.) who was parked out most of the race. Papa Ray, handled by Allan Davis, out dueled Laughing Matters (Callahan) to notch a 1:51.2 victory in a $14,500 Male Winners-Over pace. Davis was content to wait as others battled early before moving up to challenge. Wayne Givens trains the Village Jolt-Liamatters seven-year-old for Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing. Papa Ray has now won 28 times in his career banking $457,208 lifetime. George Dennis joined drivers Corey Callahan and Yannick Gingras along with trainer Dylan Davis with three winners each. Vic Kirby and trainer Jim King had doubles. Marv Bachrad

DOVER, Del. --- The feature race wasn't 'No Laughing Matters,' because Matters did win the top race on the Thursday, Dec. 10 harness racing program at Dover Downs. Framed Art wins fastest on card in 1:50. Claimed two starts back by PT Stable, Laughing Matters rushed away from post 7 and was not approachable the rest of a 1:51.2 mile to win the $20,000-$25,000 4&5-Year-Old Claiming/Handicap pace. Corey Callahan drove for trainer Doug Lewis as the 5-Year-Old altered son of American Ideal-Liamatters won for the fifth time this campaign. PL Hoofhearted (Marcus Miller), the race favorite, chased the winner home to finish second. Jackson Brady (Ross Wolfenden) rallied late for show honors. Framed Art, a 5-year-old son of Artiscape-Lo Gophobia reduced his lifetime record to 1:50 as Art Stafford Jr. wheeled him around the track for his fifth win of the year. Owned by Art and trainer Andrew Stafford, Framed Art won for the second straight start lifting his career earnings to $432,316. The oldest racehorse at the track, 14-year-old Albert Chief nears the end of his racing days but still has it. The Albert Albert-Rea Bromac owned by Art Brewer was at his best wiring a good field of Delaware $5,000 claimers in 1:53.3 holding off Coastal Storm (Callahan), second, and Itsgottabemyway (RogerPlante), a close third, with a :29.1 final panel for his 20th win of the year and 68th lifetime. The Kathleen Brewer trained veteran won for the third time in four starts and fourth in his last six. He has earned $615,141 in his career. The winningest horse at the met, Tina Clark's Jingle Bell Rocker, is in the holiday spirit chalking up his fourth win in-a-row with Ross Wolfenden at the controls in a 1:53.2 decision to win a 3,4&5-Year-Old $10,000 Claiming Allowance. It was his 16th triumph of 2015. Allan Davis, who had three winners, led off the card driving both ends of the daily double. Ross Wolfenden also had two wins as did trainer Les Givens. Dover Downs races Monday through Thursday with post time, 4:30 p.m. There is no live racing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. On Monday, when racing resumes at 4:30 p.m., Just A Jolt rejoins the $27,500 Delaware Special to battle last week's winner Captive Audience. Marv Bachrad

The answer to the trivia question of "What horse did Bruce Aldrich Jr. drive for his 6000th win is Unimpeachable". The performance came on a rain soaked day where 3 drivers had individual hat tricks. Bruce finished the day with 3 wins, as did James Devaux and Kyle DiBenedetto, who himself is a dozen wins away from his 6000th win. Bruce started the day by winning both half's of the Daily Double, but then DiBenedetto and Devaux went on their own hot streak to keep Aldrich at bay. After the race, Bruce was welcomed by many well-wishers in the winners circle, when interviewed in the winners circle after the win a jubilant Aldrich said "I am so happy that I got the win at Monticello Raceway, I have so many fond memories here, I would have been here sooner if I had driven my fathers horse in the in the 4th race, but I drove another mount and Kyle won with him!" Bruce Aldrich Jr. has been a longtime regular and favorite of Monticello Raceway, for years driving alongside his idol and mentor Billy "Zeke" Parker. Bruce has lifetime earnings in excess of $21.6 million. Unimpeachable came into the race winning his prior 2 starts, the 2 year old son of Artiscape, is owned and trained by Heidi Garofalo of Cincinnatus, NY. By Shawn Wiles

DOVER, Del.--- Starting in the second-tier was no problem for Bay Pond Racing's Hearts N Flowers who collected her second straight win and ninth this season winning the $21,000 Mares Winners-Over pace at Dover Downs on Tuesday, Dec. 3. On the undercard, Elliesjet N made it six-in-a-row since crossing the Pacific and meet-leading driver Corey Callahan made five trips to the winner's circle on the 15-race harness racing card. Allan Davis, who had four winning drives himself, piloted Hearts N Flowers home in 1:52.2 equaling her lifetime best clocking. The six-year-old daughter of Artiscape-Hasty Dewer has started 37 times this season with 24 win-place-show performances for trainer Wayne Givens. Tyra (Vic Kirby) took place honors with Scandalicious (Tony Morgan) third. Elliesjet N began her career in the U.S., on Oct. 13 and has been perfect in all six starts since. Her latest, from post 8, in a $15,500 3,4&5-Year-Old Distaff pace, was clocked in 1:54.2 over a track rained upon all day. Art Stafford Jr. held the reins for trainer-co-owner Josh Parker and Evans, Spedden and Nanticoke Racing. Cover Up Hall (Wolfenden) finished second in front of Mildred's Button (Kim Vincent) third. Girlofyourdreams made a big move on the backstretch to take command and then breezed to a 1:52.3 success in another $15,500 contest for young females. Montrell drove the Bettor's Delight-JK Majorette sophomore to her fourth win for The Wiz Kids Stable She has now won $56,010 lifetime. Sweet Bobbie (Callahan) came on to take second. Ava Destruction (Wolfenden) cut out the mile mostly under duress, and held on for third. Callahan, who had 40 wins during November, builds up his lead with a five-bagger with runner-up Tim Tetrick on a month's vacation to Australia. Allan Davis won four races while trainers Doug Lewis, Josh Green and Joe Hundertphund had doubles ROLLS BLUE CHIP, HEMI SEELSTER, POWERFUL CHARGER AT DOVER Rolls Blue Chip is the lone winner last start in a wide-open field at Dover Downs on Wednesday, Nov. 4. First post is 4:30 p.m. Allan Davis will drive Reg Hazzard and Legacy Racing’s Rolls Blue Chip trained by Wayne Givens in the $14,000 Winners-Over trot feature. The five-year-old won his last outing after consecutive second-place finishes. Hemi Seelster makes his third start for trainer Josh Green and driver Ross Wolfenden for new owners Carl Atley, Bob :LeBlanc and Rich Lombardo, after racing his first two seasons in Canada. He closed sharply along the passing lane last week to finish second beaten a half-length.  Powerful Charger has been a Delaware top class trotter for Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim King winning 12 times this year. Bluebird Reverend, a strong Indiana-bred gelding has been in the money 16 of his 21 starts for co-owner, trainer Bobby Reeser, Dennis, Johannsen and Case. George Dennis will drive. Callam Racing’s Spunky Jack with Roger Plante in the bike leaves from the rail with Eric Foster’s Stirling Charisma and Tony Morgan, alongside.  Ashes Cash, owned and trained by Leigh Raymer has been racing well adding seven wins this season and will be in the hands of meet leader Corey Callahan. Larry Fisher’s Cashontherocs, piloted by Jonathan Roberts, has been racing 'til recently at Yonkers in feature trots.  Marv Bachrad

Tammy McNiven, proprietor of Twinbrook Farm in Embro, Ontario with her husband, Rob, had small dreams for a pacing filly they raised and sold on Wednesday at the Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, PA. But when hip number #917, Twin B Babe, Wednesday's sales topper at $100,000, attracted a steady stream of lookers, they thought perhaps their estimates might be exceeded. "We bought the mare pregnant with this filly for $6 or $7,000, she was from the He's Watching family and he was good that year," she said. "We thought if we got $15,000 for the first foal, if it was a nice one, that would be great, but never dreamed of this. "She was very busy with people looking at her. Casie Coleman was the underbidder and she doesn't usually pay that kind of money, so you know how good she is. She is pretty. Her name suits her, she's real babe. "She has an impeccable pedigree," said Myron Bell, who signed the $100,000 ticket as Captain's Court. "She looks just like her sire, Artiscape, spitting image. [Trainer] Tony Alagna is going to take her to Florida and hopefully she'll make the races and do some good, get a record and maybe make a few dollars. In two years, she's in the Captain's court, she'll be bred to Captaintreacherous. She has her partnership already, it's Mike Gulotta, myself, Tony Alagna and Joe DiScala, a good friend of ours." A little earlier in the sale, Twinbrook also sold the $90,000 trotting colt Twin B Argo, a son of Chapter Seven and Anklets Aweigh to Mike Kimelman. The new connections of Lovin A Player, hip #687 at Wednesday's Standardbred Horse sale in Harrisburg, PA never had a doubt her was the horse for them. . "We loved him," said Toscano who signed the $92,000 sales ticket on the Roll With Joe - Lovin A Fool colt, whose video can be seen here. "Wanda (Polisseni, of Purple Haze Stable) and I looked at him the first day and we loved him from the minute we saw him. "We hoped that he'd go cheaper, but unfortunately that was not to be. He's a beautiful colt. Mike Kimelman told me he looked as much like Roll With Joe as any colt he's seen. He has a beautiful head and just enough "boy" in him, which I like and stood real correct. He's just a very, very nice looking horse, pretty colt. "He will be going to Pinehurst, I'm training down there this year. After three winters in the cold, we decided it was time." Opulent Blue Chip, hip # 763, was among the highest selling yearlings of the day. The Art Major filly out of the Bettor's Delight mare Haze's Zure Bet was sold for $67,000 to Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ontario. Her Shadow Play brother, Nvestment Blue Chip (1:51.1), is a winner of over $280,000, won a division of the Champlain Stakes, three Ontario-sired events and was third in the Breeders Crown. ""She was a beautiful filly and with the colt out there, she's got tons behind her," said Jean Brown of Blue Chip. "We're very excited about her. She was good sized (born February 1), beautiful filly, got a great home with Mark Steacy and wish them a lot of luck." "I went to the annual Blue Chip Open House and she was probably my pick of them all that day," says Steacy. "I liked her conformation. She just had that racey look to her. I also have been racing against Nvestment Blue Chip, I've seen the wrong end of him a few times and I knew the family could produce a good horse like that; she looked the part and hopefully she's a sound filly. She was eye catching I thought. She's very athletic, she moved nice on the video." Through three days of yearlings sold, a total of 1,010, the cumulative average is $30,835 and a gross of $31,143,500. In 2014, there were 1,089 sold for an average of $32,903 and a gross of $35,831,500. Russell Williams, chairman of the Standardbred Sales Company, said, at the close of the day, "Those who brought a commercially attractive product to market were well rewarded. Therefore, this sale was like every other sale. I will say that the Pennsylvania yearlings were exceptionally low on average, I was surprised by that." Asked if he thought that low average was due to the current difficulties in structuring an adequate operating budget for the Pennsylvania Racing Commission and the looming possibility of a racing shutdown, he said, "I think we're going to find out if that is the cause. The facts will develop." by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Batavia, NY---The last harness racing matinee card of the year at Batavia Downs was held on Saturday (Oct. 31) and featured the top-two pacing classes on the grounds and the performances turned in by the winner of each were equally impressive. Cobble Beach (Jack Flanigen) shook off a couple fringe finishes and took no prisoners going wire to wire in the $10,000 Open pace in 1:54.4. It was the ninth win of 2015 for Cobble Beach ($7.70), which has become a career year for wins and earnings (now $74,180) for the 5-year-old Artiscape gelding. James Clouser Jr. trains Cobble Beach for owner Leonard Segall. In the co-feature $8,400 Open II, Historian (Jim McNeight) took advantage of a two-hole trip behind FB Seelster (Dave McNeight III) and stalked the leader the entire mile before shooting up the passing lane in deep-stretch to garner victory by a mere head. Historian ($12.20) toured the course in 1:53.3, which was a new lifetime mark for the 5-year-old Stonebridge Regal gelding. Jack and Maria Rice own the winner with Maria Rice also doing the training. Several horsemen made multiple trips to the winner's circle on Saturday. Kevin Cummings, Jim McNeight and Jack Flanigen all had driving triples while trainers Maria Rice, James Clouser Jr. and JD Perrin all sent two winners postward. Arainna Brone, who was visiting Batavia Downs while home for the weekend from college, won the $4,000 pair of diamond earrings in the "Diamond of a Day" promotion sponsored by TAG Jewelers. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Nov. 4) with post time at 6:15 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Winning the $9,000 Open pace at Batavia Downs seemed like a walk in the park for Cobble Beach on Saturday night (Sept. 19) as he made putting away the harness racing competition look pretty much, stress-free. Assigned post seven, Cobble Beach (Jack Flanigen) left sharply to take a lead he would not relinquish this night. With the field in post-position order behind him, Cobble Beach set fractions of :27.3 and :56.3 before a weak outer flow developed past five-eighths. As the group hit the six-furlong marker in 1:26.1, the outside threat failed just as Spender Hanover (Don Rothfuss) and Closing Credits (Dave McNeight III) came out to take their best shot after following quietly on the pylons. But their best wasn't good enough as Cobble Beach coasted to an easy two-length victory in 1:55.2. It was the sixth win in 32 starts for Cobble Beach ($8.40) this year and the purse increased his earnings to $63,065 for 2015. The 5-year-old gelded son of Artiscape is owned and trained by James Clouser Jr. The Downs top-two drivers, Kevin Cummings and Dave McNeight III, both scored driving triples Saturday while Jack Flanigen and Sean Mcdonough both doubled their pleasure. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Tuesday afternoon with the second (and final) twilight post time of 4:30 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Vernon, N.Y. -- Including his last-to-first victory in Friday (September 11) evening's featured $8,000 Open II Pace, Jimmy Whittemore captured five driving wins on the Patriot Day harness racing program at Vernon Downs.   After parlaying a pocket trip to victory in the opener with Try This ($5.90, 1:57), the Maine Native passed all four of his rivals in the feature with Big City Jewel ($3.80). Whittemore settled the 4-year-old Artiscape gelding at the back of the compact field, having no part of the pace while Card Knock Life (Frank Davis) controlled the terms through a rapid first six furlongs in 1:22. As Sassy Hanover (Claude Huckabone, Jr.) failed to fire from the pocket, Big City Jewel was carried three-wide off the far turn, chasing valiantly after Card Knock Life and ultimately prevailing in the final sixteenth of a 1:50.2 mile. Damon Blue Chip stayed on from a tracking trip to take third.   Homer Hochstetler trains Big City Jewel for Kristofer Heim.   Following his sweep of the early double, Whittemore teamed up with Veal Marsala ($4.70, 1:54.4), Ziegler Hanover ($4.50, 1:55.2), and The Grey Bullet ($4.10, 1:54.4) to round out his five-win evening.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (September 12) evening, with post time at 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

Art and Andrew Stafford's Framed Art ($9.20, Art Stafford Jr.) was a wire-to-wire winner in Monday's featured $12,500 Open II in 1:50.4 at the harness racing meeting at Harrington Raceway. It was a new lifetime best for the 5-year-old Artiscape stallion, who recorded his 14th lifetime win. The win time was just one fifth of a second off the track record for aged pacing stallions (Dancin Yankee). Framed Art held off a charge from Special T Rocks, who was second and third place finisher Mojo Terror. Framed Art, trained by his driver, is a former New York Sire Stakes champion who has banked more than $420,000 lifetime. Jim Morand, Victor Kirby and Jon Roberts each had a driving double. Matt Sparacino  

Taking advantage of a second-over trip, Big City Jewel ($3.80) kicked cover at head-stretch and held off a stout late charge from 18-1 longshot Some Or Lis to capture Sunday (August 16) afternoon's featured $8,000 Open II Pace at the harness racing meeting at Vernon Downs.   John MacDonald settled at the back of the pack early on with the 4-year-old Artiscape gelding, having no part of the pace while A Fool For Mark (Dustin Ingraham) controlled a :55.4 first half mile.   On the far turn, A Fool For Mark faced pressure from the first-over Its a Good Thing (Chris Lems), and Big City Jewel slid second-over to slipstream dueling leaders off the far turn.   After a :27.4 third sectional, MacDonald fanned Big City Jewel off cover, and the two vaulted to the lead in upper stretch--but they weren't out of the woods yet.   A threat remained from Some Or Lis (Andy Gardner), who hooked to the grandstand side after a mild shuffle on the far turn.   Big City Jewel ultimately prevailed in 1:51.3, a length better than his late-closing rival, while Its a Good Thing held third after he was overtaken from off cover.   Homer Hochstetler trains Big City Jewel for owner Kristofer Heim.   Truman Gale, William Hernandez, and Chris Lems all recorded driving doubles on the 11-race program.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Friday (August 21) evening, with the Artiscape distaff pace, Muscle Hill distaff trot, and Crawford Farms open trot serving as co-headlines to the blockbuster program.   Post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern time.   James Witherite

John Cummings Jr. bought a ticket to ride and he didn't care while winning the $9,500 Open pace feature with Cobble Beach at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Aug. 15). Cobble Beach ($6.80) flew off the wings and took the top past the three-eights pole while post time favorite Fireyourguns (Mike Caprio) took to the wood last. After the leader passed the quarter in 27.1, Caprio wasted no time getting Fireyourguns in gear as he moved him to the outside in pursuit. Although it seemed like a good move in theory, the exercise was futile because there was no catching Cobble Beach tonight. Cummings Jr. had the best view of the proceedings as his charge flew by the half in 55.3 and three-quarters in 1:23.2. Then he raised the lines, laid back in the bike and with a swish of the whip opened up four and was looking for more. The pair then proceeded to pace away to an impressive 1:52.1 win. James Clouser Jr. owns and trains the 5-year-old altered son of Artiscape and his evenings efforts increased the horse's annual earnings to $51,440. Drivers scoring multiple victories on the card included Kevin Cummings and Dave McNeight III with three and Jim McNeight with two. Trainer Dave McNeight also registered a double. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Sunday (Aug. 16) with a matinee card starting at 1:15 p.m. Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations  

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