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CAMPBELLVILLE, August 28 - When John Campbell turns Go Daddy Go to the gate in the $667,000 Metro Pace final Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack, he's hoping it will prove to be another successful chapter in a partnership with trainer Bob McIntosh of LaSalle, Ont. that goes back nearly 40 years. A week after winning his Metro elimination by one-and-a-quarter lengths over Lyons Levi Lewis in a career-best 1:52.4, Go Daddy Go will leave from the two hole in an effort to deliver the first Metro title to McIntosh and the fifth for Campbell. The Metro is race 7 on a card that kicks off at 7:25 p.m. "He's a tough guy," McIntosh said of Go Daddy Go. "He doesn't mind being first up. He's versatile that way. He's maybe not the best on the front end, yet. He's a little green. But, coming at horses he's awfully impressive. He reminds me a lot of his dad, Ponder. There wasn't a tougher horse around. He was as game as they came." Go Daddy Go, who is also owned by Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, hasn't been off the board in his seven lifetime starts. He sports a 3-3-1 record, with wins in the $200,000 Battle of Waterloo at Grand River Raceway and a strong second in his $90,000 Nassagaweya test on Aug. 14 at Mohawk that convinced McIntosh to take a shot at the Metro. "He hasn't gone a bad race," Campbell said. "He's figuring it out as he goes. He's got the desire part. You can't teach that... He keeps improving and doing his work. He's just a very solid colt." Campbell, 59, and McIntosh, 62, are both Hall of Famers in Canada and the United States that have teamed up on innumerable champions. "The oldtimers are still at it - him and I," McIntosh said, laughing. "Over the years we've had some good ones. It's been a great run and John's still driving like a young guy. He's still the best. He hasn't lost a beat." Saturday, Campbell will drive all four of the horses McIntosh has entered on the stakes-rich card. He'll pilot Lasting Appeal in the $207,689 Simcoe, Thinking Out Loud in the $634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby and Dapper Dude in the $34,000 Preferred. The first horse Campbell drove for McIntosh was a $5,000 claiming mare named Brilliant Bonnie in 1977 at Windsor Raceway. "She was an orangutan," McIntosh said. "She was no fun to drive. I do remember that," Campbell said. "She was no Go Daddy Go." Go Daddy Go is a homebred colt out of McIntosh's mare San Francine. She has also produced Daddy Mac ($600,000), Change Your Luck ($180,000) and Miss Maverick ($230,000). "She'd made me a lot more money breeding than racing," McIntosh said of San Francine. McIntosh also bred San Francine, a mare sired by Artsplace, who, in 1990, became the first of Campbell's four Metro winners. At the time, Artsplace was trained by Gene Riegle. Later in the colt's career, McIntosh trained Artsplace. In 1999, Campbell won the Metro with The Firepan and denied McIntosh his first Metro victory. The trainer was a close second and third that year with Intrepid Seelster and Richess Hanover. Two years later, Campbell and McIntosh were on the verge of winning the Metro together with Western Shooter when the talented colt made a late break in deep stretch. "That was my fault. That was a whip break," Campbell said. Further tragedy struck when Western Shooter died before he could begin a promising sophomore campaign. "Yeah, we've had a lot of success over the years and some really good horses, but I think the first one that would come to (McIntosh's) mind and mine as well is Western Shooter," Campbell said. "He passed away between his two- and three-year-old year, but that might have been the best horse we had and we never got to prove it. He was just tremendous, just so strong. He just kept getting better all year. We really had high hopes for him." Go Daddy Go might not be in Western Shooter's class just yet, but John Campbell would dearly love to win the Metro for Bob McIntosh. "I know Artspeak will be the huge favourite," McIntosh said. "But there's a reason they hook them up and race them because anything can happen." by Dave Briggs, for WEG

Eight $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots contests for two-year-old colt and gelding pacers were staged on Sunday night (August 24) at Georgian Downs, and the last of those eight splits saw a new track record of 1:52.2 turned in by Seaforth. Driven by Mike Saftic, Seaforth was up to grab the lead away from Pan Street USA (Randy Waples) after the :27.2 opening quarter. From there, Seaforth hit the half in :56 and the three-quarters in 1:23.4 before he paced a final quarter in :28.3 to seal the win and the record. Pan Street USA held second, beaten just over a length by the winner, and Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair) finished third. The clocking lowered the previous rookie gelding pace record of 1:53.1 set earlier this year by Southwind Indy, and also is better than Sportskeeper’s colt record of 1:52.3 by a fifth of a second. Eric Adams trains Seaforth, a No Pan Intended gelding, for owner/breeder Millar Farms of Newmarket, Ont. This was Seaforth’s second win from six starts and he has now earned $38,260. He’s the first foal out of the Western Hanover mare Chocolate Truffle, a half-sister to five six-figure earners, including multi-time Grassroots winner Rare Copy (Grinfromeartoear, $158,213). Driver Paul MacDonell also enjoyed a fine trip to Georgian Downs as he racked up three Grassroots wins, including a pair for trainer Jack Darling. Darling and MacDonell connected for the first time in the sixth flight withMoonwards Hanover (1:54) and then came right back in the next dash with York Seelster (1:54). MacDonell also prevailed in the fifth division with Pair Of Deuces (1:54.1). Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ont. owns both Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter, and York Seelster, a Mach Three gelding. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who broke his maiden in his fourth try and pushed his bankroll to $21,500, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. York Seelster, bred by Seelster Farms Inc. and sold for $55,000 at the 2013 Forest City Yearling Sale, is now one-for-five in the win column to go with earnings of $24,900. The fourth foal out of the Artsplace mare Yankee Athena, York Seelster is a half-brother to Yoselin Seelster (Shadow Play, $109,432), an OSS Gold winner last season for two-year-old pacing fillies. Richard “Nifty” Norman trains Pair Of Deuces, MacDonell’s other winner, for owner/breeder Pinske Stables of Plato, Minnesota. The Badlands Hanover colt is now a two-time winner from five trips behind the gate and he has stashed away $19,500. He’s the first foal out of the Pinske’s Dragon Again mare Pacific Dragonette, a sister to horses like Doubleshotascotch ($683,773). In other action Jeb (Phil Hudon, 1:54.3) and Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples, 1:54.2) both posted their second victories in Grassroots competition this season. Jeb, a colt by Camluck, is trained by James “Friday” Dean for owners Wilma and James MacKenzie of Ennismore, Ont. Jeb, who has banked $26,160 to go with his pair of wins, was bred by Seawind Amg Stbs 2005 Inc. and was taken out of the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale for $22,000. He’s the second foal out of the Western Hanover mare Keystone Treasure, a half-sister to a pair of former OSS standouts in Invitro (Camluck, $2,383,597) and Bigtime Ball (Camluck, $1,625,073). Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his second win from five attempts and pushed his bankroll to $27,660, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ont. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. The other Grassroots winners on Sunday night were: --Midnight Play (Shadow Play), a 1:54.2 maiden-breaking winner for driver Jonathan Drury, trainer Bill Cass, and owner John Craig of North York, Ont. Bred by Winbak Farm, he was sold for $72,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Midnight Play’s dam Midnight Art (Artsplace) is a half-sister to the likes of Manchine ($257,361). --Fightmaster (Art Colony, 1:55). He also won for the first time in his career with James MacDonald at the controls for trainer Ben Baillargeon and owners Jack Quinn and Michael McGuigan of Charlottetown, P.E.I. Fightmaster was bred by Charlotte Ranch and Caneast Standards Inc. and fetched $24,000 at the 2013 Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale. His dam is the Bo Knows Jate mare Ardor Chymes ($497,707), a multiple-time OSS winner in her racing career. The two-year-old male pacers of the OSS Grassroots will be back in action next Sunday afternoon (August 31) at Clinton Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

After a two-week hiatus live racing returned to BalmoralPark with a pair of state-bred stakes for older pacers sharing top billing on the 13-race program. The ladies kicked off the action with a pair of $21,400 divisions of the Parklane Powerful Stake. In the first division Kenneth Rucker's Party Hangover continued her dominance of this division as she cruised to a 3 ¼ length victory in a career best of 1:51.1 for driver Todd Warren. After leaving alertly from the outside starting spot, Warren sent the five-year-old daughter of Party At Artsplace on her way from fourth after an opening quarter of 27.0. Quickly moving to the front, the Catrina Rucker trained miss proceeded to lead the field through middle splits of 54.1 & 1:22.2. Through the lane the only thing in doubt was who would pick up the minor spoils as Party Hangover effortlessly reported home with her sixth straight victory. Just By Design (Dave Magee) rallied from last to finish second while Fox Valley Touche (Dale Hiteman) was third. With the win Party Hangover boasts a record of 7-3-2 in 21 starts this season. The overwhelming favorite returned just $3.20, $2.60 & $2.10 while upping her career earnings to $292,511. The second division provided an upset as Mark Winship's No Respect took advantage of a miscue in the lane by favorite Dallas Jones in route to a 2 ¾ length victory in a lifetime best of 1:51.4 for driver John De Long. Settling near the back as the action up front was hot and heavy De Long was happy to watch Incredible Filly (Ronnie Gillespie), The Bruzilian Blur (Todd Warren) and then Dallas Jones (Kyle Wilfong) all trade blows through red-hot splits of 27.3, 54.1 & 1:23.1. In the lane, State Fair Stake winner Dallas Jones made a very uncharacteristic break jamming up several rivals while leaving a fit and fresh No Respect with clear sailing to the wire. The Nick Giberson trained daughter of Sportsmaster then proceeded to uncork a 28.0 final quarter to notch her seventh victory of the season. Dune In Red (Dave Magee) who inherited the lead after the miscue by the favorite held on for second while Kimberly R (Dale Hiteman) finished third. Sent off at 9-1 the brown five-year-old returned $22.80, $4.00 & $3.20 while pushing her career earnings up to $314,428. A full field of 10 pacers went postward in the $35,200 Big Tom Stake and when the smoke cleared in this wild and wooly affair it was John Prentice and Neva Jane Ikeler's FortSilky who emerged with an impressive 6 ¾ length victory in 1:49.3 for driver Casey Leonard. With even money favorite Al's Hammered saddled with a starting spot in the second tier Leonard left quickly with Fort Silky sitting right on the back of the hard leaving Ice Scraper (Ross Leonard) through splits of 27.2 & 55.0. Deftly averting disaster when the pace setter made a break approaching the top of the stretch, Fort Silky was in full in stride as he sailed by the three-quarter-mile mark in 1:22.3. Leaving his rivals in his wake the eight-year-old Ft. ApacheHanover gelding sealed the deal in grand fashion, pacing home in 27.0 to post his 20th win over the past two seasons. Iam Bonasera (Kyle Wilfong) turned a nice ground saving trip into a second place check while Al's Hammered was forced to settle for third on this night. The Terry Leonard trainee returned $9.20, $5.60 & $3.20 while upping his career bankroll to an eye popping $650,650. by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral Park

Paul & Sharon Carmody’s Lochend Stud at Maitland in NSW thought this season was going to be disaster when they found their champion stallion Aces N Sevens dead in his yard a little over a month ago. Little did they know then that this season could well turn into one of the best ever now that they have secured an exciting son of Artsplace – Shoobee’s Place 1.49.1 $787,271, to stand at their pristine Lochend Stud. Paul has always dreamed of being able to offer a quality Artsplace son to breeders in Australia, but could never find the right one. Well now it looks like he may have the perfect offering. In fact Shoobee’s Place is as close to an ideal offering for Australian mares as you could get. Bred on the ultra successful Artsplace – Jate Lobell cross, similar to stallion of the moment, Sportswriter, the ultra impressive Mr Feelgood & Mister Big and also Yankee Cruiser (sire of possibly one of the greatest aged horses we have ever seen in Sweet Lou 1.47 on a 5/8 track). Another stand out in his pedigree is his third dam – the great Blue Horizon, the dam of Panorama. She is also the dam of Smile Upon the dam of Grinfromeartoear, who certainly needs no introduction to Australian breeders, and is also the sire of Mr Feelgood & Mister Big. This fact alone makes him the ultimate choice in particular for Panorama mares and mares by Grinfromeartoear, allowing you to double on this highly productive line. Shoobee’s Place has an impressive & enduring race record, racing and winning every season from two thru to seven. He took a race record of 1.52 as a 2yo with his career best 1.49.1 at 4yo. He was placed 2nd in the Bluegrass stakes as 2YO. He bounced back as a 3YO with a win in the heat & final of the New Jersey Sires stakes. In his career he won the Consolation of the Battle of Brandywine, elimination & final of the Bergstein Pace, consolation of the Levy Memorial. In all he won in under 1.52 on no less than 15 occasions. Shoobee’s Place is an outstanding individual, standing 15.3hh with correct conformation, great looks and a superb temperament. He also had the reputation of a talented and tough raceway performer right throughout his career. Shoobee’s Place is being offered at an introductory fee of $2200 incl GST, with very generous discounts available for multiple mares and Members of Harness Breeders NSW.  For more information or to book your mare in phone Paul Carmody on 0439 607 349 or 02 49 33 6903. Harness Racing New South Wales    

Elora, ON --- A total of seven $16,740 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series divisions for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers were featured on Monday night (July 21) at Grand River Raceway and they saved the fastest split for last as Single White Sock toured the half-mile oval in 1:56. With Scott Coulter at the lines, Single White Sock was in front through fractions of :27.4, :58, and 1:27.3. Single White Sock turned away a big three-wide bid by Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon) past three-quarters, and he then kicked clear in the lane to prevail by 2-1/4 lengths. Twin B Scandal wound up second with Pan Street USA (Bob McClure) back in third. It was the second win in three starts for Single White Sock, a Badlands Hanovercolt trained by Barry Treen for owner Len Gamble. Tanya Prescott bred Single White Sock, who was purchased for $24,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale. Single White Sock, an earner of $17,281, is the fifth foal out of the Apaches Fame mare Love You Dear, making him a half-brother to millionaire and former Ontario Sires Stakes winner Ramegade Bruiser. Camluck, the long-time stalwart sire of the Ontario Sires Stakes program, had a pair of winners with Big Moment winning the second division in 1:56.1 with Alfie Carroll handling the driving assignment and Mike's Powerhouse picking up a 1:56.4 victory in the third section for driver Trevor Henry. Big Moment broke his maiden in his second attempt for trainer Bob McIntosh, who also bred the colt with CSX Stables. McIntosh and partner Max Newham own Big Moment, the fourth foal out of the No Pan Intended mare Breathtacular. Breathtacular is related to two six-figure earners in Breathdefying and Lucky Encounter. Mike's Powerhouse, who is out of the Artsplace mare Michelle's Jackpot, making him a full brother to the likes of 2012 Little Brown Jug champion and millionaire Michael's Power and millionaire Michelle's Power, is trained by Casie Coleman for owner-breeder Jeff Snyder. Mike's Powerhouse was victorious at first asking after finishing fourth and first in two qualifiers at Mohawk Racetrack. Coleman was right back in the winner’s circle in the next race after Mike's Powerhouse’s victory as her Sportskeeper (Jody Jamieson) romped to a an 8-1/4 length decision in 1:56.3. Coleman also bred and co-owns Sportskeeper, a Sportswriter colt, with partner Merlin Howse. Sportskeeper, who was also making the initial start of his racing career, is the third foal out of the Nuclear Flash mare Keeper Flying, which means Sportskeeper is a half-brother to former Ontario Sires Stakes competitor Keepers Destiny (Intrepid Seelster, $702,855). Sportswriter had another siring credit with Half A Billion, who was a 1:57.3 victor in the sixth Grassroots flight. Mike Saftic drove the colt for trainer Marcel Barrieau. Half A Billion is a homebred for the Hudson Standardbred Stable and he is a perfect two-for-two in his career and in Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series competition. Half A Billion, the fifth foal out of the Western Hanover mare Racey Miss, is a half-brother to multiple OSS winner Racey Miss ($214,571) and Petite Courageuse ($195,733). Also picking up victories were: Bridge Of Stone, a Stonebridge Regal-Dreamlands Sachi (Western Hanover) gelding, who halted the clock in 1:57.3 for driver Scott Coulter, trainer Carmen Auciello, and owners Denarben Stables and Rocco Auciello. He has won both of his Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series tries The Fire Within, a gelding by Whosurboy and out of the Big Towner mare Mollie Hanover. The half-brother to Illusionist ($893,246) picked up his second win from three attempts for driver Jody Jamieson and breeder/owner/trainer Fred Drouillard. The next time the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will be in action is August 15 at Mohawk Racetrack. For full results of Monday’s night’s events, click here. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

BEDFORD PA - The two-year-old pacer Gordo astonished the racing fans at the Bedford (PA) Fair on Monday afternoon when he scorched to a 1:57 victory in a Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes event, missing both the all-time Bedford track record and the national season's record for age, sex, and gait by only 2/5 of a second. Driver Steve Schoeffel sent Gordo right to the front and blitzed amazing fractions of 28.2, 58.2, and 1:26.2 en route to the sensational victory. A son of McArdle out of the Blissful Hall mare Blissard Of Oz (who had had only one winner in four living foals pre-Gordo), the fast freshman was bred by Perretti Farms. (As to whether this horse is named after Gordon Waterstone, the Hervey Award-winning journalist for the Horseman and Fair World magazine, there are only two possible clues: 1) being a Perretti-bred, he was likely named by Communicators Hall of Fame candidate Bob Marks, who often incorporated people's names into horses' names: an earlier foal of Blissard Of Oz was named Duke Of Pellington; 2) the pacer is a gelding.) For driver Steve Schoeffel, the circuit's leading driver and trainer, it was his fifth visit to Victory Lane on the day (but first with a pacer; more on that later), all five of whom come from his own barn. His wife Kathy had her fourth winner of the day with Gordo, and co-owner Lander Stables LLC got their third. The other two winners in the sections of the FSS two-year-old colt pace had a distinctly "hometown" flavor. In the first, R N Nate paced in 2:00.2, which would be a divisional track standard for about 30 minutes, for breeder-owner-trainer-driver Roger Hammer, perhaps the best-known citizen of Bedford in harness racing. And in the second, Sam Beegle, PHHA president and a state wrestling championship finalist when attending his native Bedford High School, paraded back Modern Yankee after a 2:01.3 triumph. Two impressive freshman fillies paced home first in their Fair Sire Stakes cuts. Keystone I Wish was first up, and she went the first 2:00 mile of the local fair season when she won in even time for trainer/driver Todd Schadel. Her clocking shaved two seconds off the previous divisional track mark co-held by Keystone Trixie and Keystone Haden - a tribute to the Hempt Farms' "Keystones," which are still producing winners; Schadel is co-breeder of "Wish" with the Estate of George Hempt Trust. (And that is not to forget Keystone Famous, whose 1:56.3 here in 1986 is still the pacing record, though threatened by Gordo today.) The other baby filly winner, Tropical Terror, kept her distinction intact: she has now won at all seven stops to date on the circuit, here in 2:02.1 for (driver Chris) Shaw / (trainer Jason) Shaw / and (owner and 2YO himself Mason) Shaw. The Schoeffel barn sent out four of the five winners in Fair Sire Stakes freshman trotting competition, including the new track recordholder for 2TFs, Mooksie, who lowered the old mark 5 2/5 seconds with a 2:02.1 tally, over three seconds faster than any of her colt counterparts trotted today. Also a winner was Missive, in 2:05, for the same ownership as Gordo. The Schoeffelites winning the colt events were Police Navidad, fastest of the victorious trio in 2:05.3, and the unusually-bred Shark Gesture trotter out of an Artsplace mare, Chiney Babco, who has now won six "on the trot," here in 2:07.2. Trainer-owner Boots Dunn and driver Chris Shaw sent out 2:06.3 winner King Karma to break up a total Schoeffel sweep. Oh ... and the track was rated "slow" throughout the card. FINISHING LINES-The first race of the day was a Quaker State trot, and the only two entrants were from the Syl King Stable, so it was not really shocking to see a final time of 2:27.4 - which by the way, grouped with Gordo's 1:57 mile to produce a 30 4/5 second variance from fastest to slowest mile on a card, was NOT a record for Western Pennsylvania - just about 29 years ago, Marauder won his heat of the 1985 Adios in 1:52.1, and then, when Nihilator did not return for the final, took the trophy by walking over in 2:27.4, for a 35 3/5 second variance!... The three-year-olds take to the track at Bedford Tuesday at 11 a.m., and given the speed show put on by the babies, who knows how fast the sophomores will go? From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association  

HUGHESVILLE PA - The national newspaper USA TODAY runs a feature in its upper left-hand corner of the Sports section called "Names You Need To Know." After Thursday's conclusion of the two-day harness meet at the Lycoming County Fairgrounds in Hughesville PA, our modification of this "header" is "A Name and a Number You Need to Know." The number is "2:00.3." The name is "Shaw." "2:00.3" is the fastest time recorded at the six stops to date on the 2014 Pennsy fair tour. It was first achieved last Sunday by Mister Chaos, a three-year-old Art Official gelding trained by Bob Rougeaux III for owners D&P Racing LLC. Mister Chaos then came back three days later, during Wednesday's sophomore action at Hughesville, and equaled his season standard for Rougeaux and D&P. Then a third 2:00.3 appeared, unexpectedly - on Thursday, during two-year-old action. Marshmallow Pulse, a Quik Pulse Mindale colt (out of the mare Marshamarshamarsha - Brady Bunch fans, go explain that name to the others), overcame the outside post, brushing from last after the 30 quarter to the lead in 1:00.1 en route to clockings of 1:30 and the prized 2:00.3. Marshmallow Pulse now has four wins and two seconds in six starts. The name "Shaw"? Well, we can start with Marshmallow Pulse's driver, Chris Shaw. Chris also happens to have been the driver of Mister Chaos in his two miles of 2:00.3. But there are many more Shaws. Marshmallow Pulse is trained by Chris's brother Jason, and the precocious baby is owned by Jason's son Mason - who is now the same age as Marshmallow Pulse! In all, Shaw/Shaw/Shaw had five wins over the two days at Hughesville. Another of the five winners was another impressive freshman, Tropical Terror, who became the only horse to win at each of the six Pennsylvania fairs to date when she triumphed Thursday in 2:03.1-1:00. A daughter of Western Terror, Tropical Terror is tied as the winningest freshman in all of North America - and her 2:01 at Gratz had been the local marker for two-year-olds of either sex until "Pulse" eclipsed her in the 26th and final race of the two-day session. In all, Chris Shaw had seven wins in the two days, bringing him within range of last year's fair champion (and a North American UDR leader in 2013) Steve Schoeffel, who "only" had four wins, with Schoeffel now having a 38-36 advantage (remember, after only 12 cards of racing). Schoeffel's four sulky triumphs were all from his own barn, so Jason Shaw's five wins now makes the trainers' score Team Shaw 26, Team Schoeffel 24. From a breeding standpoint, Schoeffel's most interesting horse would be the freshman trotting colt Chiney Babco, who racked up his fifth straight win on Thursday. Chiney Babco is interesting because he is a Shark Gesture colt out of an Artsplace mare - Schoeffel reported that he couldn't get the horse to pace all winter, but he showed an inclination to trot, and with a quintet of victories and over $13,000 on his card already, Schoeffel showed his good judgment and horsemanship with that "conversion." FINISHING LINES - The fair circuit in PA now moves southwest to Bedford PA, for Monday and Tuesday racing beginning at 11 a.m. Last year Bedford rejoined the circuit for the first time in 23 years, and this year's it is hoped they get both cards in, instead of having one washed out, as happened in 2013 ... And in referencing "Marshmarshamarsha" again, those of you watching too much TV Land can tell your friends why a colt out of a mare named Pilgrims Pebbles has a perfect name in Bambam Lauxmont ... From the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association  

At this point many two-year-olds have a couple of starts in them, so it’s time to marry personal observations with wild speculation and project which ones will be stepping up to win the Cup, Jug and Hambletonion next year. This is by no means a definitive list of the best of the best; as a matter of fact I’m going out of my way to include some by off-brand stallions. That being said, here are a few early standouts. Artspeak is a Western ideal colt out of the Artsplace mare, The Art Museum. The Western Ideals have fallen on hard times at the sales of late, relatively speaking, but Brittany threw $100,000 at this guy, which matched the top price for any of his paternal brothers in North America. He has won both of his NJSS starts for Scott Zeron and trainer Tony Alagna, in dominant fashion. On Pace Day he came first over to win in 1:52.3 at odds of 3/5 at the Meadowlands. Western Ideal has given us the outstanding performers and game changing sires Rocknroll Hanover and American Ideal, as well as Always A Virgin and Big Jim. His 2013 crop moves on to the slugfest that is the PASS next year. Stacia Hanover, the winner of the $100,000 NJSS final for freshman pacing fillies, is also by Western Ideal. The $35,000 Harness Breeders purchase is trained by veteran Steve Elliott and, like Artspeak, driven by Scott Zeron. She has two other wins in the restricted class, aside from the high-dollar final which she won in 1:53.4 at odds of 3/5. Yankee Bounty is a two-year-old gelding by the enigmatic Artiscape stallion, Yankee Cruiser. His dam is the Allamerican Native mare Yankee Bootleg. This isn’t a combination that screams early speed. Yes, Yankee Cruiser did give is the current king of the pacing ranks, Sweet Lou, who held world records at two and three, as well as the rejuvenated speed demon Dancin Yankee, but for the most part this stallion was up against it in Pennsylvania. Yankee Bounty, a $21,000 Harness Breeders purchase, has won both of his starts in impressive fashion. He won splits of the Pennsylvania All Stars and the Albatross for Corey Callahan and trainer Kevin Lane. Yankee Cruiser stands his first year in Ohio in 2014. Bob Ben And John is one of the wave of impressive colts from the first crop of 2009 two-year-old division champ Sportswriter. Casie Coleman, who trained the son of Artsplace, and has been the leading cheerleader for his initial offering, plucked him from the Lexington sale for a modest $17,000. His dam is the Cambest mare, My Best Girl. This colt made his first pari-mutuel start last week in a $70,000 OSS-Gold leg at Mohawk. He was an easy winner by three in 1:53 at odds of 2/1 for Chris Christoforou. Sportswriter is absolutely killing it in the freshman pacing division of the Ontario Sire Stakes; he’s taking all the air; none of the others are on the same planet. SBSW shook the Pennsylvania program to its foundation with his first crop, but what’s happening with Sportswriter in his restricted program may be more dramatic. Shadow Play impressed us last year with his first crop, but he hasn’t gone on to be a factor in the open realm with his sophomores. We’ll wait and see if Sporty, a key player from the stressed Adios line, makes his presence felt outside of Ontario. Sassa Hanover is a filly from the first crop of Rock N Roll Heaven. Ron Burke bought her at Lexington for $50,000. Sassa’s dam, Sayo Hanover, is half to the very fast Shadyshark Hanover. Jim Morrill drover her to an easy two length win in a NYSS race at Monticello on the July 4. She won in 1:56.3 with plenty to spare. And two of her paternal sisters—She’s Heavenly and Band Of Angels—also won top dollar splits of the sire stakes that day. Heaven was held in high esteem at the sales, and thus far he is fulfilling his promise.   Dragon Eddy is a two-year-old gelding—aren’t they all—by Dragon Again, a stallion known more for throwing rugged long lasting types like Foiled Again, Atochia and Aracache Hanover than he is as a sire of early speed. My Little Dragon won her division at two, but she was an exception. Well, Eddy is something of an outlier himself. He brought $42,000 at Lexington, which is on the pricey side for Dragon Again, who now stands in Ohio. John Buttenschoen trains and Mike Simons drives. At the end of June Eddy won a split of the Pennsylvania All Starts in 1:54.3 at Pocono, and he went on to win a division of the Albatross in an eye opening 1:52.4 at odds of 2/5 at the Meadows on July 8. Mission Brief is a brown Muscle Hill filly who opened a lot of eyes when she took her $100,000 final of the NJSS by 13 lengths in 1:53.3 for Yanick Gingras and Ron Burke. This was an improvement on her previous start, where she only won by ten. Her dam Southwind Serena is by the great trotter Varenne. Mission Brief was a $150,000 Lexington purchase. Look out! The Bank is a Donato Hanover colt out of 2008 three-year-old division winner, Lantern Kronos. He won a split of the Pennsylvania All Stars for Jimmy Takter on July 4th and broke stride while leading on the last turn as the 1/9 favorite in a division of the Hickory Pride at The Meadows this week. Again, Takter drove. Uncle Lasse, a full brother to Shake It Cerry and Solvato, is another very promising Donato colt in the Takter Barn. He also won on July 4. Yesterday he was beaten in a quick 1:56.3 split of the Hickory Pride by the Cantab Hall colt Billy Flynn, driven to perfection by Brett Miller. Possess The Will and Your So Vain notwithstanding, Donato has pretty much been all filly no colt to this point. If this pair is turned over to Gingras or Pierce they could change that in a hurry. Honor And Serve, a Donato colt out of 2008 freshman division winner and world record holder Honorable Daughter, is another who might turn the tide. He just took a split of the Hickory Pride for Dave Palone and Jim Campbell. Royal Deceptor is one of numerous offspring of the New York stallion RC Royalty that sold at the Morrisville sale. The success of last year’s Hambletonion winner, Royalty For Life, inspired many to look favorably upon the eleven-year-old siring son of Credit Winner. Cheryl and Michael McGivern took this brown colt home for $11,000. Royal Deceptor won all three of his qualifiers, then went out and won a split of the NYSS in a track record 1:59.3 at Buffalo Raceway for Michael McGivern. Gatka is a big, rugged filly from the first crop of seven-year-old Hambletonion winner Muscle Massive, whose big brother Muscle Mass met with success in Ontario and has since been relocated to New York. Gatka is a sister to Ake Svanstedt’s Muscle Hill filly Heaven’s Door, who won the $100,000 NJSS sophomore final and finished second behind Shake It Cerry in the Del Miller. She won a division of the PA All Stars at The Meadows in 1:56 at 2/5 and last week she took a split of the Meadow Gladys with ease in 1:57.1 at 1/5.  Billy Flynn, a $120,000 Lexington purchase by Steffan Lind, is by Cantab Hall, arguably the best trotting stallion in North America. Another brown colt—there seems to be a run on them—he is out of the Enjoy Lavec mare Zeta Jones and was bred by Brittany farms. Billy took a split of the PA All Stars by six lengths in 1:57.2 at Pocono earlier this month and he beat the highly regarded Centurion ATM and Uncle Lasse in a division of the Hickory Pride. Brett Miller drives. Wild Honey is proving to be a $35,000 bargain for Jimmy Takter. The daughter of Cantab Hall was a close second to Gatka Hanover in that one’s first start and, like Gatka, won a split of the Meadow Gladys at The Meadows, for Yanick Gingras. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

Winning harness races has become a habit for the leading dual code trainer Graeme Rogerson. In partnership in the harness racing side of the business with former leading harness trainer Peter Blanchard, this duo of top horsemen continue to produce a steady stream of winners from their base at Tuhikaramea in the Waikato. Last night at Cambridge the duo added another winner to the list when Art I Special won the the Support Local Promotion handicap pace with the added bonus that Graeme owns the horse as well. This 5 year old son of Artsplace went straight to the top after 100 meters in the hands of promising junior driver, Dylan Ferguson and though pressured a couple of times during the running had enough in reserve to hold out the late challenge of Westburn Courage which was driven by his father, Peter Ferguson. It was the third win this season and fourth overall from 24 starts for this promising pacer who has also netted eight minor placings. He covered the 2200 meters stand in 2:48.7, a mile rate of 2:3.4 with closing sectionals of 57.7 and 28.4. As with a lot of the Rogerson/Blanchard  team, Art I Special is bred to be good. He is from Vicario, who apart from being the dam of two outstanding horses already in Stunin Cullen 1:54.1 ($1,493,716) and Coburg 1:56.8 ($205,176) is also a half sister to another top liner in Il Vicolo 1:56.7 ($1,580,948). Art I Special may never reach the heights of his famous siblings but he does look to have something to offer in the next few months going by the manner of his win last night. Harnesslink media

R I P Tony Chiaravalle. He owned the 1993 Pace winner Presidential Ball and was the original owner of the third place finisher that year Riyadh. R I P Matts Scooter-1988 Meadowlands Pace winner-sire of Mach Three 2002 Pace winner. Grandsire of Somebeachsomewhere-THE most prohibitive Pace favorite of the 21st century/ R I P Joe Muscara. He owned the 2002 Pace winner Mach Three and his Muscara Trust co-owns elim divisional winner He's Watching, one of the favorites in this Saturday's race.   $776,000 Pace Purse. Not counting the two years with a supplemental entry, (2000 and 2008), this is the first time since 1990 that the purse is at least $100G higher than the previous year: 1989 $852,000 Dexter Nukes 1990 $1,153,500 Beach Towel   Sire Well Said looks to do-with two chances-what has been done SEVEN TIMES in Meadowlands Pace history. Win the Pace with his first crop. (Sometimes Said, Tellitlikeitis) 1984 Happy Motoring sired On The Road Again 1985 Niatross sired Nihilator 1997 Artsplace sired Dream Away 1998 Life Sign sired Day In A Life 2005 Western Ideal sired Rocknroll Hanover 2008 Art Major sired Art Official 2013 Somebeachsomewhere sired Captaintreacherous   If you're betting either He's Watching or Luck Be Withyou, you have recent history on your side. Tim Tetrick and Ron Pierce have won 6 of the last 7 editions of the Meadowlands Pace, THE most dominant TWO-driver run in the races 37 year history. (Of those 6 wins between them, 3 each, 4 of those 6 were NOT favored)   Ron Burke will try and do what has been done THREE TIMES before. Be the Leading trainer at the Meadowlands for the meet AND win the Meadowlands Pace. J K Endofanera 1993 and 1994 Bill Robinson did it with Presidential Ball and Cams Card Shark 1997 Brett Pelling did it with Dream Away 2004 Mark Harder did it with Holborn Hanover, who was 2-22 lifetime coming into the race and lit up the board at 58-1   "MILLER TIME?" Maybe. There are three driving "MIllers" in the race-Dave and Brett and Marcus. That doesn't even count trainer Erv. The first ever TRAINER named Miller to be in the Pace-as well as the first ever drive-BOTH finished 3rd. Del Miller trainer 3rd 1980 Tyler B Jim Miller driver 1979 3rd with Tijuana Taxi   THROWBACK TIME? Some Pace participants in 2014 were prominent at the Meadowlands in the 1980s. Val D'Or Farms (Always B Miki) 3 times made a 1980s Pace final. 4th with Masquerade in 1986, 7th and 11th with Ringaleevio and Paladium Lobell in the 1988 edition Steve Elliott was 10th with Souffle in the 1986 final of the Pace, and was 3rd and then 2nd in the 1988 and 1989 Trainer Standings here Joe Holloway won FOUR races at the Meadowlands in the 1970s-including twice with a pacer named Pentagon as a DRIVER. In the 1980s, Joe became the first ever Meadowlands trainer to win as many as 106 races in a singe meet-1988 Jim Campbell was the 1989 Meadowlands Training Leader. He also started in the Pace with a pair in 1987-3rd with Run The Table and 12th with Dictionary   Peter Blood is one of the owners of Doo Wop Hanover. As a trainer here-he was second in the 1988 Wilson-the LAST one to go for $1 Million-with Nukes Image to Kassa Branca. The following year, he went 1-2 in the Wilson conso.   Pierce Pace Potpourri Ron Pierce drove the shortest priced Pace winner of the new millennium-$2.80 Well Said 2009. Ron Pierce UPENDED the shortest priced Pace STARTER of the new millennium-Somebeachsomewhere-10 cents on the dollar-in 2008 with Art Official. (Art Official-incidentally-sold as a $4,000 WEANLING at a Meadowlands January sale)   NUMBERS 17 of the 37 Pace winners were sired by a horse who himself raced in the Pace final. ONLY ONE-Real Desire is the ONLY horse to win $3 Million-be Horse Of The Year and win the Meadowlands Pace and NOT be in the Hall Of Fame ONLY ONE Pace winner won from the second tier-On The Road Again 1984 Post 12 THREE Homebreds in the Pace final field. The 2013 Hambletonian had three homebreds win all three eliminations and then the final. Creatine, Smilin Eli and Royalty For Life 20-1 or better-Tellitlikeitis will surely be one of the longshots in the 2014 Pace final field. Rarer than rare for the North America Cup FAVORITE-ALSO the Meadowlands Pace elimination FAVORITE, to be an also-ran in the wagering in the Pace final. FIVE catch-drivers have gone into the Hall Of Fame the past TWO decades. Only five.   ANNIVERSARY 23 years to the day of Precious Bunny winning the 1991 Meadowlands Pace. July 12, 1991. That marked the first time in history a horse won TWO million $ races in the same year (Nihilator did it in 1984 and 1985) John Campbell drove him in the North America Cup to victory, but opted off for Artsplace in the Pace final and Jack Moiseyev won with the Cam Fella colt. HOY. It was also the first of four STRAIGHT Pace winners for Cam Fella as a stallion-ironic when you consider that Cam Fella finished his career 57 straight times on the board-the last time he MISSED the board? 1982 Meadowlands Pace elimination!! 7th   Ron Pierce is on top in North America in $$$. 58 Years of age. This stat is especially interesting when you consider that-in 2006-he was and is the ONLY 50 Years Old to EVER lead the way, and now at 58 is threatening to do the same   Golden Receiver's barn change-AFTER winning $2 Million-brings back memories of possibly the two greatest horses to ever undergo a barn change. Seatttle Slew and Artsplace.   WIDE OPEN PACE?-2013 TOLD US EXACTLY THAT Many live candidates to win the 2014 Meadowlands Pace. And why not. In 2013-the LEADING 2 YO colt pacing earner made $390G-Arthur Blue Chip. This marked the first time since 1977 that the leading $$-winning freshman pacing colt did NOT have at least $400G on his card. No No Yankee had $211G in 1977 (Ironically-the FIRST year of the Pace)   Dave Miller-John Campbell Dave Miller-6 days after entering the Hall Of Fame, hopes to do what only John Campbell has done prior. Go into the Hall Of Fame and win either the Hambletonian or the Meadowlands Pace the SAME year. 1990-John Hambo Harmonious. Dave handles Always B Miki   IF Marcus Miller wins the Meadowlands Pace-he WILL become the YOUNGEST driver ever to do so. Tetrick also did it at 25 in 2007 with Southwind Lynx, Marcus a few months younger.   Canadian Influence 5 of the 6 inside posts in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace have Canadian ownership. 6 of the first 12 Meadowlands Pace winners (1977-1986) had Canadian ownership.   "Hall" Pass-OOPS Pace Five of the first 10 winners of the Meadowlands Pace had trainers who were Hall Of Famers. BUT-only ONE of the last 27 training winners of the Meadowlands Pace did it. Ray Remmen 1990 Beach Towel. Jimmy Takter has two shots at ending that 24 year 0-fer.   Coyne-Operated Ron Coyne (National Debt) has been in the Pace before. 1999 with Washington VC. 8th. That colt then sired a $3 Million career earner by the name of Themightyquinn   If either John Campbell or Ron Pierce win the Meadowlands Pace, they will be the oldest to do so. 59 and 58. Cat Manzi at 56 in 2006 with Artistic Fella currently holds than distinction.   Steve Elliott is the ONLY trainer in the 2014 Meadowlands Pace field who has won this race before. And he did it twice. 2006 and 2009. There are only two trainers in Meadowlands Pace history who have won the Pace multiple times and were FAVORED in all of their wins: Elliott, Billy Haughton  Billy Did it with Falcon Almhurst in 1978-9/5 choice over eventual HOY Abercrombie-and with Nihilator at 1-9 in 1985 heading a prohibitive 5 horse entry.   "Starter" Kit NO 2014 Pace finalist has more than 8 starts in 2014. Yet 16 of the first 24 Meadowlands Pace winners had at LEAST NINE starts on the season entering the Pace final.   Jimmy Takter (Tellitlikeitis and Lyonssomewhere) will try and do what Brett Pelling did last. Go 1-2 in the Pace. Pelling did it with Rocknroll Hanover in 2005 and Village Jolt second.   He's Watching's June 13 foaling date would be THE latest ever for any Meadowlands Pace winner. (TWO of the more famous JUNE foals of all time used to be stablemates-Art Major and McArdle)   SLOW STARTS? NO PROBLEM IN THE PACE Your year isn't going the greatest going INTO the Meadowlands Pace? This doesn't mean a whole lot-or at least it didn't to these brand names: 2001 Real Desire 1 for 5 going into the Pace 2000 Gallo Blue Chip 5 for 10 entering the Pace 2010 One More Laugh 2 for 6 going into the Pace 1988 Matts Scooter Just 2 for 9 entering the Pace (NOTE-the 2 YO Champion (He's Watching 2-5)-and the 2YO Breeders Crown winner (Luck Be With You 1-5)-are a combined 3/10 entering the 2014 Pace)   The "OUTSIDERS?" The three outside horses in the Pace were all sired by a Pace favorite: Post 8 Sometimes Said (Well Said 2009) Post 9 Always B Miki (Always A Virgin 2007) Post 10 Doo Wop Hanover (Rocknroll Hanover 2005)   Takter's Pace Breakthrough? NO Trainer in the 21st century who's campaigned a Horse Of The Year has made it to the Hall Of Fame. Jimmy Takter is the last trainer to do both-having won the HOY titles in 1997-1998-1999. Bob McIntosh went into the Hall Of Fame in 2002-and a full decade later-won his first MILLION $ race going 1-3 in the 2012 NA Cup. Jimmy Takter is looking for his very first Pace score. Ron Burke just scored his first Million $ win taking the NA Cup with J K Endofanera.   The Two oldest drivers to hit the board in the Meadowlands Pace? 1978 Joe O'Brien 59-thid with Flight Director 1982 Billy Haughton 58 3rd with McKinzie Almahurst John Campbell is 59 and Ron Pierce 58   Campbell-Meadowlands Pace-Post 10 The man is amazing. Post 10 in the Meadowlands Pace in 2014 with Doo Wop Hanover. His history from post 10 in the Pace is almost beyond belief. ALL of the following are from Post 10-IN The Meadowlands Pace: 1982 Hilarion winner-first ever catch-driver to win a Million $$ race. 1997 At Point Blank second at 14-1 the colt was WINLESS (0-15) on the year!! 1999 The Panderosa got post 10 initially-AND on the redraw-and still dominated with a 26 flat final quarter in 1:49.3-then a record mile in the Pace and thus becoming the first horse ever to win TWO million $$ races BOTH in sub 1:50) 2004 3rd with Metropolitan from post 10 2007 third with Artriverderci from post 10. 5 different trainers from post 10-five times on the board. Consider that in the other 30 times any driver raced in the Pace from post 10-combined-those drivers were 3-30 ON THE BOARD!   OTHER Post 10 notes...... Dave Miller's Pace debut-1995-Cinder Lane Sam came from post 10-5th-flying home in 26.1.....Pat Crowe drove exactly once in the Pace-from post 10-in 1984 12th with a colt by the name of Greener Pastures.....Brett Pelling made his Pace debut in 1993 from post 10 (No check)....Pinocchio raced in the Pace-from post 10 for Neal Shapiro...   15 times in history the Meadowlands Pace winner has been THAT YEAR'S Leading $$ winner among ALL Pacers.(MOST common of any race of the leaders)   Just HOW tough is it to WIN The Meadowlands Pace? This stat might tell it best. The last THREE Triple Crown winners in the sport-NONE of those three finished first OR second in the Meadowlands Pace!! 2003 No Pan Intended 4th 1999 Blissful Hall 7th 1997 Western Dreamer 3rd   Who are the three richest ever horses to have participated in the Meadowlands Pace final and NOT gotten a check? Boulder Creek $3,425,853 8th 2003 Red Bow Tie $2,673,920 9th 1997 Western Hanover $2,541,647 7th 1992   Super Tough Quiz: Can you name the three colts who led all pacers in year end earnings but did NOT compete in the Meadowlands Pace final? 1977 Governor Skipper $522,148 1998 Shady Character $1,070,569 2002 Art Major $1,562,779   Compiled by Bob "Hollywood" Heyden

WASHINGTON, PA, July 7, 2014 -- Royaltyhasarrived converted a relentless uncovered move to victory in 1:55.4, fastest split of Monday's $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallions Series stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers at The Meadows. The event was contested over five divisions, with Sammy Said, Hall Of Terror, Smiling Terror and Cartel taking the other splits. Dave Palone, who piloted six winners on the 16-race card, enjoyed a stake double behind Sammy Said and Cartel. Royaltyhasarrived was coming off a trip both disastrous and promising in the PA All Stars; he was parked every step but was making up ground late while individually timed in 1:54.4. Winning driver Dan Rawlings, who was aboard that day as well, figured that made his horse the best -- particularly with Monday's addition of earplugs. "Last week I couldn't get him in a hole, I couldn't hold him," Rawlings said. "It was kind of embarrassing; it took a little pride out of me. But he definitely was fast enough. Being honest, I didn't think I would lose this race today. If he learns a little more to go with his natural ability, he might be able to go with the sires stakes horses later on." The Western Terror-Her Mattjesty gelding defeated Hillbillyrootdiggr by 4-1/2 lengths, with Caserati Hanover third. Steve Schoeffel trains Royaltyhasarrived for Virginia Schoeffel, Kathy Schoeffel, Jerry Dedoszak and Michael Munn. Sammy Said vaulted to the early lead for trainer Mark Harder and owner Fox Hollow Farm, the held off B Well by a head to triumph in a maiden-breaking 1: 56.2. UF Larry Alltheway earned show. After Sammy Said trailed throughout in his PA All Stars split, Harder was looking to shake up the youngster. "Mark said to put him in the hunt," Palone said. "He thought the horse was a little better than he showed the first start. We didn't plan on getting stuck on the lead. I was impressed with the little guy. He gives you a good try." Smiling Terror began his career with two front-end victories in qualifiers, but in Monday's stake, he angled off the cones from fourth for Mike Wilder and scored at first asking in 1:56.3. Given Up Terror raced well uncovered for second, 2-1/2 lengths in arrears, with Battle Cruiser third. "He got to move a little bit in both qualifiers, so we knew he was capable of making moves," said Steve Owens, who conditions the Western Terror-ASAP Or Sooner gelding for Last Laugh LLC. "He had to back out around them in the last turn; that's a hard move for young horses. Elsewhere on the program, Nice Party won her seventh consecutive race in a conditioned Fillies & Mares event -- a remarkable turnaround from her sophomore campaign in 2013, when she lost all five outings. Tony Hall drove the daughter of Party At Artsplace-Nice'n Big for trainer Randy Bendis, who owns with Tom Pollack. Tuesday's program at The Meadows features the Albatross, a $236.060 PA Sites Stake for freshman colt and gelding pacers. First post is 12:55 PM. By Evan Pattak

Chase The Sun paced home for his sixth straight win Monday (July 7) in Northfield Park's eighth race. The eight year-old gelding is owned by Lawrence La Barbera of Saint Loius, MO and trained by Brian Loney. Northfield Park's leading driver, Josh Sutton, was aboard for the winning drive. Chase The Sun started from post six and was content in fifth position through a blistering :26.1 opening quarter. Sutton pulled Chase The Sun in the second quarter and remained first-over through fractions of :55 and 1:23.4 before taking lead. Once on the lead, he imposed his dominance by drawing off by 10 ½-lengths in 1:52.3. Monday's triumph was the 29th career success for Chase The Sun (Bettor's Delight-Out Of The Shadows-No Nukes) and increased his lifetime earnings to $180,388. He was the race favorite and returned $4.00 to win. In Race 10 Just Crowned captured the $12,000 Open Pace. Mark Headworth trains the seven year-old for Tony Piroski of Essex, Ontario, Canada. Aaron Merriman was the winning driver. Just Crowned (Artsplace-Princess Justice-The Panderosa) started from post two. He sat the pocket through fractions of :26.2, :54.2 and 1:23.2. Merriman pulled from the two-hole and bested his competition 1 ¼-lengths in 1:53. Completing the race were Major Belle, True To Mach, Carmen's Best, Hall Of Memories, Heza Star Cruiser, Bursting Blaze and Moreland Flash. High Noon was scratched from the event. Monday's triumph was the second win in 20 starts this year for Just Crowned. It increased his lifetime win tally to 24 and his earnings to $197,067. He paid $9.80 to win. In the evening's 11th race, Mythical Hall was victorious in the $12,000 Open Handicap Trot. He is trained by Any Rickert and driven by Aaron Merriman for owner Mark Jakubik of West Seneca, New York. Mythical Hall (Andover Hall-Myth-Lindy Lane) started from the rail and was leading at every post through fractions of :27, :55, 1:24.2 and 1:55. He outfought competition in the stretch and was a neck in front at the finish. Completing the race were Run And Tell Pap, Kahoku, Here Comes Bubba, Rose Run Logan, Zorgwijk Heavenly, Wind Surfer, Rush N Supreme and Miss Panthers. Mythical Hall now has five wins in 13 starts this year, 23 career successes and a bankroll of $373,923. He returned $5.80 to win. Ayers Ratliff    

One stallion stood head and shoulders above the competition last night in the six finals of the harness racing Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Finals. Five of the six winners were sired by sons of Artsplace and to top it off his outstanding son Guaranteed was a brave second in the only age division he didn't win. Artsplace sons have been having an outstanding run in Australia for quite a while  and last nights results just confirmed how dominant the sire line is at the moment in Australia. Modern Art started the ball rolling with his smart 2 year old Feeling Arty who caused an upset in the 2 year old colts and geldings division. It was his  third  win from just nine lifetime starts and was just reward for a colt who has only been out of the money once in those nine starts. Art Major got into the act with his outstanding son Messini giving notice of his potential with a great win in the 3 year old colts and geldings division. It was his third win in three starts this season in Australia and his tenth win lifetime and judging by last nights effort there are a lot more wins to come yet. Modern Art was back on center stage in the 4 year old mares division with Pressplay, driven a treat by Amanda Turnbull, overcoming an early check to storm home center track for an impressive win. It was her fifth win this season and the eight lifetime for the Modern Art mare who was bred and is owned and trained by Rebecca Cartwright. Art Major got back into the picture in the 3 year old fillies division with My Bella Star just hanging on after a great front running drive from Gavin Lang. It was her eight win from just 14 starts this season and she looks like developing into a lovely mare next season. Next up was the 4 year old colts and geldings division and the only final not won by a descendant of Artsplace although the run of Guaranteed for second was every bit as good as that of the winner Lennytheshark with the draw having a major bearing on the contest. The last final for the night was the 2 year old fillies division with Niki No No from the first crop of Sportswriter showing real grit after being wide for a lap to kick away in the straight for a great win. It was her fourth win from just six starts and Niki No No looks a filly of real promise. All in all a great night for Artsplace and his sons and one that we may see a lot more of in the immediate future. Harnesslink media

The super tough Grinfromeartoear 3 year old Mister Jadore once again showed all his staying qualities when he led up and fought off all the challengers in the $100,000 Westbred Final for harness racing 3 year olds at Gloucester Park last night. Attacked in front by the favourite Mista Rush for the last lap, Mister Jadore responded magnificently for driver Chris Lewis to record a narrow but well deserved victory. He covered the the 2130 meters in 2:35, a mile rate of 1:57 with closing sectionals of 57.8 and 29.3. It was the Annie Belton trained pacers 12th lifetime win from just 27 starts and took his stake earnings to $267,889. The interesting thing about the win is although Mister Jadore is a Western Australian bred horse, he has a really international pedigree. By the very successful son of Artsplace in Grinfromeartoear, Mister Jadore is from the very smart New Zealand bred mare in Crystal Journey 2:00.2 ($113,185). Crystal Journey is a full sister to the smart New Zealand pacer, Revamy (9 wins)  and is closely related to several smart horses including the very talented Galactic Council 1:52.1 ($224,440) who is a full brother to the dam of Crystal Journey, Silky Atom and Hippitty Hop 1:53.2 9 ($131,137) who is a half-brother to Silky Atom. This family originated in North America and the branch that Mister Jadore belongs to was established in Australasia when David Phillips of National Bloodstock imported the Airliner mare Satin Lining to New Zealand in the 1980s. Satin Lining's best performer was the very smart New York Motoring mare Silk And Satin 1:59.1 ($82,684) who is the grand-dam of Mister Jadore. So why last night’s race was only for West Australian breds, the pedigree of Mister Jadore has a real international feel to it. Mister Jadore Harnesslink media

Victorian harness racing has a new pinup boy. A combination of good looks, versatility, speed and a brilliant name has the trots world raving about David Aiken-trained rising superstar Lennytheshark. He’s taken all before him this season with five wins from five starts and tomorrow night will be shooting for a seventh straight win overall when he takes on the best four-year-olds Victoria has to offer at Tabcorp Park Melton. Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series grand final night has become all about Lenny. The Shark has simply devoured his opposition of late – his combined winning margin from his five wins this season stands at a whopping 58.7 metres. “He’s one of the nicest horses I’ve trained … he’s got a great attitude and really I don’t think I’ve got him 100 per cent fit yet,” Aiken said. “He’s so easy on himself at home. I think there will be loads more improvement when he starts racing against the better ones. “Once you reach Grand Circuit level, you’re up against the big boys. There’s always sustained pressure throughout in those races but I’m confident Lennytheshark will relish that and really improve seeing he’s shown he’s a tough horse. He’s got all the attributes.” While you would happily own a share in any of the 12 starters in tomorrow night’s four-year-old entires’ and geldings’ Vicbred final, most agree Lennytheshark and second-favourite Guaranteed should be fighting out the finish. Both won their semi-finals in dazzling fashion last Friday night, Lennytheshark rating 1:58.5 in his 13.7m win and Guaranteed going 1:58.2 in his 9.9m triumph. Guaranteed has had two runs back  from a spell and ran third  beaten 10.5m behind Lennytheshark in the Vicbred heat two runs back. But the son of Artsplace should be at the top of his game tomorrow night and if Lenny doesn’t bring his A-game, Guaranteed looks the beneficiary. That said, Guaranteed won the Group 1 Chariots of Fire in awesome fashion earlier this year, rating 1:50.4 at Menangle to beat Ginger Bliss and Majestic Mach and has been victorious at 20 of his 29 starts, so it’s probably hardly fair to assume he can’t beat any four-year-old on his merits. “I would have loved to take Lennytheshark to the Chariots, but the way Guaranteed won that race, you can’t take anything away from him,” Aiken said. Adding to the theatre of tomorrow night’s showdown is that two legends will be in the cart behind the two favourites. Gavin Lang will steer Guaranteed, while Chris Alford will pilot Lennytheshark. Alford and Lang boast almost 11,000 wins between them and have been the dominant drivers in Victorian harness racing since the 1980s. Meanwhile, one can never rule out the emergence of a dark horse when all the talk is skewed elsewhere. In the four-year-olds’ final, Ginger Bliss looks to be that runner. Ginger Bliss finished second to Guaranteed in the Chariots of Fire earlier this year and beat that horse to the line two starts back in the Vicbred heat when he finished 1.9m behind Lennytheshark. But drawing inside the back row tomorrow night could make things tricky for Ginger Bliss, whose major weapon is an abundance of gate speed. One thing’s for certain. This is going to be one heck of a race. by Cody Winnell

Lennytheshark looks to have a stranglehold on the harness racing Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 4YO entires and geldings’ series after a commanding semi-final win. The David Aiken-trained rising superstar produced a stunning performance on Friday night at Tabcorp Park Melton to obliterate his rivals in his semi, beating the second horse over the line, Valley Of Diamonds, by 13.7m. Reinsman Chris Alford took the son of Four Starzzz Shark to the lead midrace after initially easing to midfield early from his gate-six draw. Once in front, Lennytheshark was eyeballed by Smart Major until the home turn when Alford and the favourite broke the Forbes-trained pacer’s resistance. In the straight, Lennytheshark let down like a champion, putting daylight on a handy batch of four-year-olds for a memorable win in a mile rate of 1:58.5. While he has shown a tendency to lay out in the home straight in recent starts, Lennytheshark hasn’t had many horses to keep him company in the latter part of his races as they simply can’t keep up. The other 4YO boys’ semi-final was taken out by Lennytheshark’s arch enemy Guaranteed – considered by most punters to be the only horse capable of landing the knockout blow to the favourite in next Saturday night’s grand final. The Emma Stewart-trained son of Artsplace overhauled Ginger Bliss in the home straight for a 9.9m win in a mile rate of 1:58.2. Gavin Lang produced another typically masterful drive aboard the winner, extricating it from a four-back-the-pegs position early after the horse was shuffled back with no speed from its pole draw. From there, Lang got cover out three-wide before making a sharp run towards pacy Ginger Bliss on turning for home. Guaranteed packed too big a punch in the stretch, Ginger Bliss battling on strongly for second, with Three Pints snaring third. The eye-catcher from the race was Boyz Torque, which made up enormous ground along the inside in the last 100m to finish fourth. Diamond Castle – raced by Harness Racing Victoria ownership program Raceapacer – scored a 1.8m win over Missed By Red in a rate of 2:02.2 in the second semi-final for 2YO fillies. Trained and driven by David Miles, Diamond Castle was having just her second start after a debut second at Ballarat first-up. The daughter of Art Major settled well back in the field with $1.20 favourite Lovelist finding the lead comfortably. But at the business end the roles were reversed, with Diamond Castle finishing too well to get the win. Lovelist ran third. Talented Kari Males-trained Niki No No captured the other 2YO fillies’ semi-final, Greg Sugars steering the daughter of Sportswriter to victory. Niki No No did plenty of work early and recorded a winning mile rate of 1:59.8, with Yankee Showgirl second and Our Star Dust third. Courageousnquick scored an impressive start-to-finish win in the 4YO mares’ second semi-final, holding off Mcrita, Union Belle and the fast-finishing Pressplay in the home straight. Trained by Brent Lilley and driven by Kyle Marshall, Courageousnquick held out Earth Angel to find the lead at the start before seeing off all challengers in the home straight at the finish for a neck win in a rate of 2:00.4. The other 4YO mares’ semi went to Im Smouldering for Doreen trainer John Yeomans, who teamed with Gavin Lang. Im Smouldering’s winning margin was 2m and his mile rate 1:56.7. The 2YO colts and geldings’ semi-finals were taken out by Virgil Hilts at big odds for trainer-driver Lisa Miles and Major Invictus for trainer/driver Michael Stanley. Hectorjayjay (for the in-form Bill and Simone Walker team) and Messini (Brent Lilley and Chris Alford) took out the 3YO colts’ and geldings’ semis, while Berisari (Emma Stewart and Nathan Jack) and Tasmanian star Barynya (Dick Eaves and Rohan Hillier) won the 3YO fillies’ races. Friday night's races were held in windy conditions. Videos of all races are attached above. The Super Series grand final nights will be held this Friday (for the trotters) and Saturday (pacers). Twelve Group 1 races will be contested across the two-day carnival of meetings. by Cody Winnell

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