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Well known harness racing trainer Wayne Honan is pressing ahead with plans to try his former star pacer Flightpath again and at this stage everything is on track. It is over 75 months since the son of Artsplace set foot on a racetrack but the eleven year old has had a lot of solid groundwork in his preparation for a return to racing. "It has been in the back of my mind to try him again for quite a while but with him being at stud I have never taken it any further." However when it looked like I had sold the farm earlier this year and he wasn't going to stand this year, I thought then it would be a good time to see if still had what it takes to be competitive." Wayne said. Flightpath was a star two year old, taking out the $314,000 Australasian Breeders Crown Final at Ballarat and after a run of issues over the next two years following that great win, he was retired to stud the winner of twelve lifetime for stakes totaling $290,694.  Flightpath was well received in his initial two years at stud and although the mares weren't top class they were nice middle of the road mares. He left 23 winners from his first crop including such good types as Alphitania 1:57.3 ($71,645) Tulhurst Sarsha 1:55.8 ($58,545) and Flytomo 1:58.3 ($ 53,783)  and seemed off to a good start. The talented Quagmire 1:56.1 ($53,165) quickly followed in year two but then a decision to move the stallion away from Golden Gait Stud did the horse more damage than good with the quality of the mares dropping while the number of mares served dropped bigtime as well. Still there are plenty of Flightpath progeny doing a good job with the latest being Lucy Lamb who is unbeaten in four todate and goes around in the $30,600 Eugowra Cup later today. Wayne has being varying Flightpath's training as he gets closer to a resumption with a view to keeping his mind on the job. " I have started swimming him again which he loves and I have been driving him around the farm in his work as well. " In the next couple of weeks I will head down to Sydney and look for a trial for him." " If he handles that okay I will start looking for a suitable race to kick off this campaign," Wayne said. It should be an interesting few weeks as we watch to see if the talented Flightpath still has what it takes to be competitive on the track. Harnesslink Media

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 7, 2015 -- Sam Hill had to work hard for the early lead, but he was much the best once he got there, capturing his third straight harness racing victory in Friday's $15,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life Pace at The Meadows. Carol's Comet seized the lead and forced Sam Hill to a 27.1 opening quarter. But the 9-year-old Artsplace-Apple Of My Eye gelding suffered no anxious moments thereafter, easily thwarting the first-over challenge of Hillbilly Hanover to defeat him by 1/2 length in 1:51.3. Visible Gold rallied for show. Greg Wright, Jr. piloted Sam Hill, who extended his lifetime bankroll to $378,477, for trainer John Sullivan and owner Don Tiger. Eric Goodell drove three winners on the 12-race card. Friday's 11th race, a $5,000 claiming pace, produced what might be called the geriatric trifecta -- Fox Valley Armor (age 13), Just Pretend A (age 14), Western Kissed (age 10). Among them, the trio has amassed 812 career starts. Evan Pattak The Meadows Racetrack & Casino    

Ten new inductees were enshrined in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Wednesday evening in front of a packed house in Mississauga, Ontario. From the thoroughbred side, owner/breeder (the late) Robert Anderson, Trainer Roger Laurin, jockey Stewart Elliot, 2008 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and communicator Jim Bannon were inducted. Representing the Standardbred breed, breeder owner Charles H. Armstrong, driver William Gale, racehorse Artsplace, broodmare J Cs Nathalie and communicator Harry Eisen also received their Hall of Fame rings. Harry Eisen’s wife Maxine summed up her husband’s all-encompassing love of harness racing when she accepted on his behalf. “He loved his job so much, he’d have worked for free,” she told the audience. “But I’m glad he didn’t!” Horse racing shaped Harry Eisen’s life from his pre-Kindergarten days attending races in Palmerston, Ontario through to the end of his career as a journalist. He used to sell tip sheets at Dufferin Park Racetrack as a youngster and later used his knowledge of racing to become an expert handicapper. Eisen, who passed away in 1993, combined his passions for racing and writing into a storied career at the London Free Press, where he reported on the sport, wrote a popular column called Mostly About Horses and made the daily Western Fair Raceway selections. Eisen spent 22 years covering horse racing full time for the newspaper and retired in 1983, earning many accolades and honours - including the first media award handed out by the Canadian Trotting Association, also in 1983 - and the respect of horsepeople and other reporters along the way. His first full-time gig was with the Sudbury Star before he arrived in London, where he met his wife Maxine. “When I found out (about the induction) I couldn’t believe, it!” Maxine Eisen said upon accepting the Hall of Fame ring. “It’s nice to know Harry was remembered and appreciated.” Roger Laurin  saddled the first winner of the Breeders’ Cup in 1984, Chief ’s Crown, and conditioned Eclipse Award winning filly Numbered Account for Ogden Phipps in 1971. Born in 1935, Roger was involved in horse racing as a youngster. He galloped horses for his father before going to school while living in Florida or where Lucien was racing at the time. At age he 16 earned a trainer’s license at Narragansett, RI. Roger came into prominence in 1964 when he took charge of the conditioning of Miss Cavandish, a $1,500 purchase by Harry Nichols. “I’d like to thank my father for being born before me,” Laurin quipped to the delight of the crowd while accepting his award. “Thank you for the induction; it’s greatly appreciated and a great part of my life.” Laurin was of course referring to Lucien Laurin, whom he coaxed out of retirement to help train at Penny Chenery Tweedy’s Meadow Stable in Virginia in 1971 “on a temporary basis” which culminated in the elder Laurin conditioning 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat for Chenery. Roger Laurin enjoyed success locally winning the 1970 Canadian International Championship with the remarkable filly Drumtop, who broke three track records in 1971. That year was a huge one for Laurin as he had eight stakes winners, including Phipps’ Numbered Account, champion two-year-old filly. In the late 1970s he trained for Reginald N. Webster and the U.S. racing division for E.P. Taylor’s Windfields Farm. Chief ’s Crown was champion 2-year-old after his Breeders’ Cup victory in 1984 and was in the money in all three Triple Crown races in 1985. He won the Travers, Flamingo, Blue Grass and Marlboro Cup Invitational that year. Laurin, however, left the main stage at age 50, retiring along with Chief ’s Crown. He was quoted as saying after Chief ’s Crown’s disappointing fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, “He’s the horse of a lifetime. It took 30 years to find him, and I can’t wait another 30.” When John Lamers claimed pacing mare JCs Nathalie as a five-year old for $25,000 at Mohawk Racetrack on Nov. 11, 1993, he never suspected she would become Dreamfair’s foundation Broodmare. But Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario said his outstanding broodmare is proof that desire is a breedable characteristic. She’s instilled it in her remarkable sons and daughters, among them the farm’s first great champion Dreamfair Vogel, a winner of nearly $1.2 million, and 2010 Canadian Horse of the Year Dreamfair Eternal, the sensational pacing mare that earned over $2.5 million and was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2014. From 13 foals, including 11 starters, JCs Nathalie’s progeny have earned more than $4.5 million and averaged $409,230 per starter for Lamers’ Dreamfair Farms. “It’s a bit emotional for me,” Lamers began when accepting JC S Nathalie’s Hall of Fame induction. “Every morning I look out the back door and see JC S Nathalie in the paddock eating grass, as healthy as can be. Hopefully she’s going to be there for a long time yet.”  Lamers was almost ready to get out of the business the autumn before Dreamfair Vogel started winning. “I guess my suggestion to anyone would be: Don’t give up, there’s a winner out there. Do your homework, study your pedigrees. Then you need to be patient,” Lamers said. “I’m not always a patient man, but for some reason I am when it comes to the horses.” In over 35 years in the sulky, 2015 Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Bill Gale won 6,375 races, but none were more memorable than winning his first Breeders Crown in 1986 with Sunset Warrior at Garden State Park in New Jersey for trainer, friend and fellow LaSalle, ON resident Bob McIntosh. “It was such a big thing at the time for an Ontario-based guy to go to the States and win a race of that stature. I think they were going for $800,000 or so that night,” Gale said. “I think that was the win that kind of pushed me into the spotlight a little.” Gale first thanked his wife of 46 years Janice while delivering his acceptance speech. “I know there’s a few in the audience that think she deserves an award for putting up with me,’ He joked. “They’re probably right!” Gale went on to thank the owners and horseman that “put him in a position to succeed” during his career. “To be recognized by your peers is one of the highest honors you can receive,” he said. “I find this honor greatly humbling, but it is also one I accept with great pride and I thank you all.” Legends of the game such as fellow driver John Campbell and McIntosh — Hall of Famers in both Canada and the United States — made it clear when the 2015 ballot came out that Gale deserved to join them in Canadian Hall. Campbell said Gale was, “easily the best driver not yet enshrined.” McIntosh said Gale, “deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. We traveled all over the United States and Canada and he won a lot of stakes races for me. He had the lightest set of hands. He could keep a bad horse quiet. He was very good with them. Strategically as a driver he was right up there with the best, though he was underrated all the time.” Between 1982 and 1997, Gale recorded 16 consecutive $1 million+ seasons. In his career, he drove the winners of $42.1 million in an era before slots-fattened purses. In 1991, Gale was honoured with an O’Brien Award as Canada’s Driver of the Year following a season where he exceeded $3.2 million in purse earnings. He holds the record for the most driving wins at Windsor Raceway (some 3,500) and was inducted into the Windsor / Essex County Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. Gale last drove in 2007, having his career cut short due to injuries sustained in a number of racing accidents. In May, 2004, Canadian jockey Stewart Elliott became the first jockey in 25 years to win the Kentucky Derby in his first appearance when he guided chestnut colt Smarty Jones to victory over 17 contenders over a sloppy track in front of 120,000 racing fans. Under Elliott’s guidance, Smarty Jones became the first undefeated horse since Seattle Slew in 1977 to win the Kentucky Derby. Elliott and Smarty Jones then set the horseracing world abuzz with an 11 1/2 length romp in The Preakness Stakes and expectations of the first Triple Crown winner in 31 were high. But in the Belmont Stakes, Elliott and Smarty Jones set most of the pace only to be nailed in the closing strides by longshot Birdstone, who went on to win by a length. “I know this is an industry where many toil with little or no recognition,” Elliott, a Toronto native, said accepting his Hall of Fame induction. “So I know how fortunate I am to have had a successful career in both Canada and the U.S.” 2004 was a career year for the 39-year-old Elliott as his mounts earned more than $14.5 million. Included in that total was a $5 million bonus from the people at Oaklawn for winning their Arkansas Derby along with the Rebel and the Kentucky Derby. And as he continues to ride into the 2015 season, the 50-year-old Elliott is approaching 4,800 wins, many of which came at Keystone Park, later named Philadelphia Park and now named Parx Racing. He won his first race at Keystone and was leading apprentice rider. Artsplace won 37 times in 49 races, including an undefeated 4-year-old campaign in which he won 16 races without tasting defeat. He set a world record of 1:51 1/5 winning the Breeders Crown at Pompano in 1990 in a performance that to this day is hailed as one of the greatest rookie performances ever. But his excellence was not limited to the racetrack as Artsplace is one of the greatest sires in the history of the sport. To date, his progeny have accumulated over $173 million in earnings with an average of $126,372 per starter. Many of Artsplace’s sons and daughters have gone on to sire champions, including Art Major, sire of 2008 Meadowlands Pace champion Art Official, who won in 1:47, which, at the time, was a world record for three-year-old pacers, and the second fastest race mile in harness racing history.  Artsplace was also unique being both a sire of great sires and also of great broodmares, an unusual circumstance in today’s mostly abbreviated sire careers. Art Zubrod – for whom the great champion was named – accepted the induction and thanked “everyone that was involved with the horse,” and specifically thanked trainers Gene Reigle, who developed Artsplace and trained him at two, and “the great Bob McIntosh” who campaigned the champion for Brittany Farms at three and four.  Artsplace – who won Horse of the Year both in Canada and the U.S. in 1992 - goes into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame 15 years after being enshrined in the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame. He is part of the third crop of predominantly U.S.-connected superstar horses to gain entry to the Canadian Hall since eligibility rules were loosened in 2013 to allow entry to horses that made a significant contribution to Canadian racing. Previously horses had to be Canadian-bred or owned, predominantly, by Canadians. H. Charles (Charlie) Armstrong of Brampton, Ontario, built the Armstrong Brothers farm into the second largest Standardbred breeding operation in North America from 1978 until 2005 when the farm ceased operation. Armstrong, 93, who appeared via video accompanied by family members when told of his Hall of Fame induction replied, “Mercy me, thank you kindly. Armstrong’s wife Lenore accepted the award in his absence and thanked Murray Brown of Hanover Shoe farms for the nomination and the Hall of Fame for the induction. Armstrong and fellow Hall of Famer Gustav Schickedanz were also the breeders of champion trotter Goodtimes, who retired after 11 years on the track, as the richest Canadian bred trotter of all time. Goodtimes was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2004. Outside of heading Armstrong Bros., Charlie also had tremendous success with his own Village Acres farm, which produced two-time Breeders Crown winner Village Jiffy, as well as such horses as Village Jove, Village Jolt, Village Connection and Village Beretta. In 1999, Charlie was named to the Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame and the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association presented him with the Chris Van Bussell Award in 2003. Jim Bannon’s induction was met with a lengthy standing ovation from all in attendance as the audience showed their appreciation for a lengthy and charismatic career as a broadcaster, educator and humanitarian. Bannon, who first arrived at Woodbine in 1965 looking for a job at one of the stables, parlayed that interest in horseracing at a young age into a storied career as a public handicapper, analyst and television commentator and as a deeply religious and emotional man, he has led Woodbine’s Chaplaincy program since the late 1980s. Bannon has also produced the popular “Journal” since 1972 which offers bettors his observations and insights in print every racing day. Hall of Fame communicator Louis Cauz presented to Bannon, joking that he was breaking a rule that he instituted as Director of the Hall of Fame that forbid presenters to speak. “Tonight I pass the mantle to a legend who has dedicated his life to the sport of horseracing,” an emotional Cauz said. “It makes me feel I belong,” Bannon said of his induction. “I don’t think anyone wants anything else than to feel they belong to such a distinguished community.”  Bannon recalled fondly his first introduction to the sport of horseracing. “I was seven years old and my grandmother took me down to Greenwood Racetrack,” he began. “This isn’t your ordinary grandmother. Grandmothers take you to the Exhibition. This grandmother, who was the mother of 16, took me to Greenwood and put me right where I could see the start of a 7 Furlong race.” “She held my hand as the horses came out of the gate,” he continued. “I got a picture that I would have all my life; the yelling, horses thrusting, the screaming. She looked down at me as if to say “did you get that”, and I got it. I still have it 60 years later.” Bannon, who won a Gemini Award in 2010 as Canada’s best sports analyst acknowledges that “an act of providence” was the main factor in his achievements. A deeply religious and emotional human, Bannon admits it was “an unmistakable evidence of God’s providence, which is everywhere in my life.” The late Robert Anderson, who died suddenly at the age of 64 in 2010, led one of the most influential breeding operations of the 1970s and 1980s. In the heyday of thoroughbred breeding and selling, Anderson surged to the top of the breeders charts. He sold yearlings for millions and bred numerous graded stakes winners. In 1985, Anderson Farms was the leading consignor at Saratoga and Keeneland yearling sales. For more than 41 years before his death Anderson did exactly what he wanted to do for a living. It was something he predicted when he was very young. “I went to Wellington Street School and I remember one day in Grade 5 a teacher asked everybody what they wanted to do, and I said I wanted to raise horses and sell them,” he once said. Anderson’s son David, accepted the induction with his sister Jessica Anderson Buckley remembered his father as a “true sportsman” that did something that he truly loved, traveling millions of miles up and down the 401 corridor following his racehorses. He was also remembered as a man who “treated everyone equally” by his son. That’s one of the things I loved about my father,” he remarked. “One minute he’d be rubbing shoulders with a Fortune 500 executive the next minute he’d be out drinking a Bud Lite with a Hot Walker laughing and telling jokes.” Anderson personally created the match-ups of stallions and mares that produced so many top class Canadian-bred thoroughbreds, most notably Alydeed and champions such as Pinafore Park, Larkwhistle, Prince Avatar, Bounding Away, Triple Wow, Northern Craze, Fifty Proof, A La Reine and Raymi Coya. Another key to his success as a breeder was the stallions he bred, Alydeed, National Assembly and Ascot Knight, who sold for $1.4 million in 1985. Ascot Knight, who stood at Windfields Farm, sired champions Pennyhill Park, Hey Hazel, Influent, Plenty of Sugar and Southdale, who was owned by long-time friend and business partner Rod Ferguson. In 2000, Anderson Farms became involved in Standardbred racing and immediately found success with such champions as Pampered Princess, who earned $1.7 million, Southwind Allaire, Cabrini Hanover, who earned close to $1.5 million, and The Pres. It is estimated Anderson Farms was the birthplace of some 1,400 horses. Anderson was a complete horseman, delving into every facet of the game. He was a director of the Ontario Jockey Club (now Woodbine Entertainment Group) for 25 years, president of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, director of the Hambletonian Society, board member of The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, a member of The Jockey Club of Canada and the Ontario Racing Commission. He was also the first chairman of the Guelph Equine Centre for Equine Research and a member of the E.P. Taylor Equine Research Fund. He was the guy you wanted to have on your team,” David Anderson said “I always said: stand behind him or stand beside him; but don’t ever stand in front of him”. During his four-year racing career Mine That Bird won five races, four at Woodbine, the other in a monumental upset in the 2009 Kentucky Derby at Louisville’s Churchill Downs. He went off at odds of 50-to-1 and galloped from 19th place to win going away by six lengths and paying $103.20, the second largest payoff in Derby history. He was just the second gelding to win the Derby since 1929. The other one was Funny Cide in 2003. Bred in Kentucky by Toronto’s Peter Lamantia and partners Jim Blackburn of Chicago, and Kentucky horsemen Phil Needham and Bill Betz, Mine That Bird’s Canadian connections trace back to Northern Dancer on both the male and female lines of his pedigree. Accepting the induction for Mine That Bird was Dr. Leonard Bloch, who still seemed a bit surprised to this day that the gelding with Canadian connections won the world’s most famous horserace against all odds. “Who would have thought that a 50/1 shot coming out of New Mexico that hadn’t won since we bought him would win the Kentucky Derby?” he said. “It had to be divine intervention.” Like the grandsire of Mine That Bird’s dam, Mining My Own, the bay gelding had not celebrated his real birthday before the Derby. Both the Dancer and Mine That Bird were late May foals. The gelding was viewed as being a little small, with a crooked leg and was withdrawn from the Keeneland September yearling sales. “He was small because of his May birth date and we figured it might help if we sold him later,” said Needham. The following month he went through the sales ring at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October mixed sale and was bought for $9,500 by Woodbine-based trainer Dave Cotey on behalf of Dominion Bloodstock owners Derek Ball and Hugh Galbraith. Another Canadian connection was the gelding’s dam, Mining My Own, a daughter of Sam- Son Farm’s champion sire Smart Strike. The acquisition of Mine That Bird, a son of Belmont Stakes winner Birdstone, was profitable for his owners. At Woodbine he won the Swynford, Silver Deputy and Grey Stakes and was named Canada’s champion male two-year-old in 2008. He earned $324,000 as a juvenile and was sold to New Mexico owners, Double Eagle Ranch and Buena Suerte Equine for a reported $400,000. He was transferred to New Mexico to begin his sophomore campaign for trainer Chip Woolley Jr. He was second in the Borderland Derby in New Mexico before Woodley vanned him 1,450 miles to Kentucky. The graded-stakes earnings from his win in the Grey Stakes at Woodbine earned him a place in the starting gate at Churchill Downs. Its track was rated as “sloppy” after an overnight rain and Mine That Bird, ridden by Calvin Borel, had trouble out of the starting gate and was left about eight lengths behind the rest of the 18 starters. His gallant trip from 19th place escaped the attention of NBC announcer Tom Durkin as the field sped down the backstretch. Borel, using his ground-saving, rail-skimming riding technique, made up 21 lengths, moving into contention at the turn for home. Durkin, focusing on the leaders, didn’t see Borel steering his mount past tiring horses along the rail until he was three lengths in the lead, pulling away with each stride. Borel selected the great filly Rachel Alexandra for the Preakness, defeating Mine That Bird and jockey Mike Smith by a length. He closed rapidly in the stretch but the finish line came before he could catch her. Borel was back on the gelding in the Belmont but was third. A movie called “50/1” was made about Mine That Bird’s career – and more specifically his improbable Kentucky Derby win – and Bloch said he brought the horse to several premieres in the United States for which he sometimes gets recognized. “Hey, you’re the guy that won the Kentucky Derby,” he said people will stop him and say. “I reply: No I’m not. The horse won the Derby!” Standardbred Inductees Male Horse Category:  Artsplace – bred and owned by George I. Segal, Chicago, Illinois & Brian P. Monieson, Northbrook, Illinois;   later owned by Artsplace Syndicate, Versailles, Kentucky. Veteran Horse Category:  J Cs Nathalie – bred by Gaetan Dessureault, St. Ours, Quebec;   owned by John P. Lamers, Ingersoll, ON Builder Category:  H. Charles Armstrong, Brampton, Ontario Communicator Category:  Harry Eisen, London, Ontario Driver/Trainer:  William (Bill) Gale, Ingersoll, Ontario Thoroughbred Inductees Male Horse Category:  Mine That Bird, bred by Lamantia, Blackburn & Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds; owned by Double Eagle Ranch Inc. and Buena Suerte Equine, New Mexico Builder Category:  Robert (Bob) Anderson, St. Thomas, Ontario Communicator Category:  James (Jim) E. Bannon, Toronto, Ontario Jockey Category:  Stewart Elliott, Auburn, Kentucky Trainer Category:  Roger Laurin, Ocala, Florida Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame may be found at Presentation photos available at:  HOF 2015 Awards Linda Rainey Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame  

Pompano Beach, FL...June 27, 2015...Raji's Blue Line, handled by harness racing driver Andy Santeramo, dug in late to score a courageous win in Pompano Park's $9,000 Winner's Over feature pace on Saturday night (June 27). The seven year-old son of Artsplace, owned by Souren Hovsepian along with trainer Rod Lorenzo, had to survive four separate incidents during the mile before stopping the timer in 1:51.2. Abreathofreshart (Wally Ross, Jr.) was second in the mile while Northern Companion (Tom Sells) finished third. Who's Your Maddy and Histoire Eternelle were next in the sextet while Freeneasy Hanover was doomed at the start after a miscue leaving. When the gate sprung, Histoire Eternelle (Post 5) was on the engine along with Raji's Blue Line (Post 6) with the former battling the latter through a demanding opener of :26.3 before Raji's Blue Line took over a few strides later. That was the first incident. Incident number two was that there was not much of a let-up going to the half, with the mid-mile timed in a harsh :54.4 with Histoire Eternelle not in the garden spot...but not for long. Heading to turn three, Histoire Eternelle was out moving and putting the pressure on the leader past the third station in 1:23.1. In the lane, Raji's Blue Line put away the challenge of Histoire Eternelle but Abreathofreshart found some room in the lane to close in on the leader during the final stages of the mile--that was incident number four. But Raji's Blue Line was up to the task and responded with a :28.1 finale to hit the wire a half length to the good. In a post race interview, driver Andy Santeramo said, "They threw everything but the kitchen sink at him tonight but he just kept digging and digging all the way home. He was very brave tonight." In achieving his fourth win of the year in 22 starts, Raji's Blue Line sent his seasonal bounty to $41,166 and $215,866 lifetime to go along with a Pompano Park mark of 1:51. Pompano Park returns on October 4, 2015 with a 126 day meeting. Complete details of exact dates will be forthcoming in future press releases. by John Berry for Pompano Park

The old saying in harness racing that the cream always rises to the top all things being equal is never more appropriate than in the case of young North Canterbury trainer Gavin Smith. After  a promising start to his training career, Gavin had struck one problem after another from blood issues to soundness problems and it seemed to be never ending and as a result, Gavin was on the verge of giving the training game away as recently as earlier this year. The harder he tried the worse it seemed to get and not surprisingly Gavin was having thoughts of getting a Monday to Friday job to pay the bills. This from a horseman who looked just a few years earlier to have a huge future in the harness racing industry after a stellar junior driver career. Gavin started out in the industry helping out Murray Hamilton during the school holidays. " Murray was a friend of mum and dads and I would help out there during the school holidays." " The first time I sat in a cart I was hooked and from that time on this is all that I have wanted to do," Gavin told Harnesslink this week. While his parents raced the odd horse, there is no family history of involvement in the industry. " I am pretty sure I am the only one from either side of the family who is involved in the racing industry as a career," Gavin said. Hooked by harness racing, Gavin got his first job in the industry at age 16 when he went to work for Doug Gale. " Doug was really good to work for and I was there for over two years before doing a three year stint with Mark Purdon." " You never stopped learning off Mark and he was always good to watch and learn from." " From there I did over four years with David and Catherine Butt and I can never thank them enough for all the opportuniities they gave me." "It was while there that I got established as a driver and I don't think I would still be in the industry if it hadn't been for their help." " After that I did 18 months working for Graham Rogerson when he was in partnership with firstly Peter Simpson and latterly with Steven Reid and like everyone you work for, you pick up little things from them that helps give their horses that edge," Gavin said. Deciding it was time to go out training on his own, Gavin returned to Canterbury and purchased a 20 acre block at Leithfield beach and it wasn't long before he brought another adjacent 20 acre block. While his driving for outside trainers such as Phil Burrows and Robert Dunn was going great, his own team was forever having issues. " I got a bad virus that went right through the stable and the horses struggled to get over it." " I could never get their blood right and I tested everything to try to get to the source of the problem with no luck." " I just had one of those runs where nothing went right." " It got to the point where I was thinking seriously about giving the training away." " Then I got the opportunity to lease the complex at Dancingonmoonlight and I thought a change of scenery might change my luck so I moved here on April 2nd this year." " The horses were coming right before I moved here and since the move they have continued to improve." "I have put a lot of time into understanding the results of blood tests and I now like to think I can nip a lot of things in the bud before they become a major problem,"Gavin said. Gavin is thankful to his owners who stuck by him even when things weren't going that well. "Trish Dunell has been with me since I started out on my own and she has been great to train for." "She has been so loyal to the stable and its good she is getting a bit of payback now," Gavin said. Over the last few years Gavin has brought a handful of cheaper yearlings at the sales with the aim to turn them over quickly at a profit and been reasonably successful in doing so but now the plan has changed. " I am not buying as many as I use to but the quality is a lot better and they are by better sires." "I really like three that I bought at this years sales." * Filly by The Pres from Howz Lucky for $16,000 * Colt by Muscle Mass from Whosinthenest for $19,000 * Colt by Artsplace from Sirius Flight for $38,000. " They have all shown plenty to date so I am really looking forward to racing them next season," Gavin said. Gavin is also breeding from three mares in Hanover Glory, Bute Falcon and All Settled Down and has covered them with high profile stallions with Hanover Glory going to Sportswriter, Bute Falcon to Mach Three and All Settled Down to Majestic Son. As with all stables Gavin has one horse that he has really high hopes for next season. " I think Scarlett Banner could be very competitive in the big fillies races next season." " I gave her one start this season when she ran fifth to Dream About Me and Arden's Choice and then had to put her aside." " She has just blossomed in the last couple of months and I am really looking forward to next season with her," Gavin said. Since the move to his new stables Gavin has really got his mojo back, racking up 15 wins as a driver and more importantly 10 winners from his own barn. The highlight though was undoubtedly his drive on the Fred Fletcher trained Sunny Ruby to win the 3 year old Ruby on Jewels day. " Fred and Sam did such a great job just to get her there." " She never started to come right until ten days before the race so to have her ready to run 1:54 was a great training achievement." " She use to over race quite badly but they have got her to settle now so they deserve a lot of credit for the turnaround in her attitude." "She has an all round game and I think she will measure up in the best company in time," Gavin said. With the massive turnaround in stable fortunes since the move to his new stables, Gavin is looking to the future with a lot of confidence. " The move has been positive on so many fronts." Not only with the horses but I get to see a lot more of the family not having to travel so much up to Leithfield. "Sara is running the breeding side with her father Robert and so we work in together a lot with the two operations." It is working out really well, Gavin said. Gavin knows how lucky he is to be in the position he now finds himself in. "I know how hard it is for people who don't have family in the industry to get established." "When I have a look now at all the drivers who were about in my junior driving days, only Nathan Williamson and Jay Abernathy have made it in the training ranks which shows you how hard it is for a young trainer to get established in harness racing," Gavin said. With the way his team is performing at the moment and the confidence he is gaining from driving so well at present, Gavin looks poised to reach the high levels that many astute judges in the industry always thought he was destined for. Harnesslink Media

The Prairie State lost one of its most popular Illinois bred horses of this century with the passing last week of King Johnny, the Illinois bred pacer who played a major role in the early development of "Hall of Fame" harness racing driver Tim Tetrick. King Johnny was the only horse to win the same Super Night championship three consecutive years at Balmoral Park, capturing the Dan Patch (later renamed later the Tony Maurello) Final in 2005, 2006 and 2007 with Tetrick “I found King Johnny down in our field,” said is co-owner and trainer Clark Fairley. “It appears he died of natural causes. There were no signs of a struggle or anything like that.” King Johnny was 17. King Johnny, a son of Kingston out of the Artsplace broodmare Swift Sister, was purchased privately by Fairley and his mother Marlene soon after the horse’s freshman season when he went unplaced in two starts at fair tracks. You would think his consecutive ICF championships would have come in the gelding’s prime years as a 4, 5 and 6-year-old. Amazingly, they came in his last three seasons of racing as a 7, 8 and 9-year-old. King Johnny was purchased privately by Fairley and his mother Marlene soon after the horse’s freshman season when he went unplaced in two starts at fair tracks. You would think his consecutive ICF championships would have come in the gelding’s prime years as a 4-, 5- and 6-year-old. Amazingly, they came in his last three seasons of racing as a 7-, 8- and 9-year-old. King Johnny had health issues that limited his career starts to 93 and he never went postward more than 18 times in a single season. “He only raced five times as a 4-year-old,” said Fairley. “He pulled a ligament in a knee that required a lot of time off. Later on in his career he had a problem with an ankle that needed a lot of attention. King Johnny wasn’t a horse you could race week to week. But when he did go out to race he always gave you his best. “King Johnny was a pussy-cat to be around. All of my daughters at one time or another jogged him. I always knew they would be just fine with King Johnny. He was such a pleasure to have around.” Nevertheless, when it came to competing on a race track, King Johnny was all business and very often in his later years business was very good for the Fairley family. That’s why he’ll always be remembered in Illinois as the Super Night “Kingpin.” In his first three seasons the horse earned less than $37,000, but King Johnny turned into a solid pacer in 2005 as a 5-year-old when Clark turned in his lines to the up and coming then 22-year-old Tetrick. That combination put both horse and driver on the road to stardom. “King Johnny was one of the first big horses I got to drive and was one of my all-time favorites. No doubt about that,” said Tetrick. “He always put out 110 percent and he could find a way to win. He was a talented horse and the fact he belonged to such a very nice family and Clark being one of my very good friends, made King Johnny very special to me. He’ll always have a spot in my heart.” In 2004, as a 6-year-old, King Johnny lowered his lifetime mark by almost three full seconds to 1:50.3 with Tetrick. The next year at 7 he would step into the spotlight on Super Night at Balmoral Park and go on to become a huge fan favorite. King Johnny won the 2005 Dan Patch with Tetrick at odds of 6-1 over the public’s choice Fox Valley Gallant in a 1:51 mile. As an 8-year-old in 2006 the Fairley trainee pulled away to defend his older pacing crown by 6-1/2 lengths in 1:50.1 after he took a new mark of 1:49.2 a week earlier in his elimination. In 2007 Tetrick was in his second year of driving almost exclusively outside of Illinois, nevertheless the Flora, Ill., native got off his scheduled drives in Canada to come back home to drive King Johnny on Super Night and his beloved horse didn’t disappoint him. As a 9-year-old King Johnny made Super Night history when he became a “three peat” victor of the Dan Patch in 1:50, finishing almost two lengths ahead of such ICF stars as My Boy David and Thisbigdogwilfight. After the race, Tetrick told that Super Night crowd, “It’s amazing that every year he gets better and better. This horse has got so much heart. You don’t find horses like him. He’s got physical problems and is not the best gaited to go fast like he does. He’s a freak, that’s what he is.” Earlier in the summer of 2007 at Springfield Tetrick steered the 9-year-old to a lifetime best mile of 1:48.4, the horse’s last year of competition. King Johnny was then retired by Fairley and went on to enjoy the rest of his days frolicking in the fields of the Lema, Ill., conditioner’s farm until the horse’s untimely death. Mike Paradise

Today's All aged harness racing sale at Karaka was like any sale really. Stock by sires who are proven and hot were in demand whereas stock by unproven or stallions yet to make their mark were traded at less than stud fee on many occasions. The biggest price among the broodmares was Trilby, an Artsplace mare who is very closely related to Chokin 1:56.2 ($1,801,685) and Changeover 1:53.4 ($2,426,765). Trilby was not in foal due to having foaled a nice Somebeachsomewhere colt in January which was part of the package offered and which sold for $26,000 to Brent Mangos acting as agent.  The top priced weanling colt was Lot 44 who was a full brother to the smart three year old this season in Bettor Spirits 1:53.8 ($136,234) and he was knocked down to the trainer of Bettor Spirits in Mike Berger of Morrinsville. The next best price was $35,000 paid by Lincoln Farms proprietor John Street for a colt by the stallion he owns, Sir Lincoln. A lovely type, he attracted spirited biding before John Street prevailed. The interesting part of his pedigree was that both the dam of Sir Lincoln and the dam of the colt were by Beach Towel and there was a close double up of Direct Scooter which has crossed so well with Beach Towel. The highest priced filly was offered by Alabar and was a daughter of leading sire Bettor's Delight from a full sister to Gotta Go Harmony 1:55.5 ($205,910) and Gotta Go Cullect 1:57 ($87,682) while the second dam was the great age group filly Elect To Live 1:55.5 ($577,992). She was sold for $28,000 to the Styx Stables of Christchurch who are long standing vendors at the yearling sales. Plenty of weanlings struggled to make their service fee but still found a home as both Alabar and Woodlands studs met the market. Select a sale: Auckland Autumn Weanling and All Age Sale - 2015 Studholme Bloodstock Ltd Online Mixed Sale - 2014 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale - 2015 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale - 2015 Auckland Autumn Weanling and All Age Sale - 2014 Christchurch Autumn Weanling and All Age Sale - 2014 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale - 2014 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale - 2014 Auckland Weanling and All Age Sale - 2013 Christchurch Weanling and All Age Sale - 2013 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale Day 2 - 2013 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale Day 1 - 2013 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale - 2013 Auckland Autumn Weanling and All Age Sale - 2012 Christchurch Autumn Weanling and All Age Sale - 2012 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale - 2012 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale Day 2 - 2012 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale Day 1 - 2012 Ready to Run Sale - 2011 Spreydon Lodge Reduction Sale - 2011 Auckland Autumn Weanling and All Age Sale - 2011 Christchurch Autumn Weanling and All Age Sale - 2011 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale Day 3 - 2011 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale Day 2 - 2011 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale Day 1 - 2011 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale - 2011 Ready to Run Sale - 2010 Cullen Breeding Dispersal Sale - 2010 Auckland Broodmare and All Age Sale - 2010 Christchurch Broodmare and All Age Sale - 2010 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale Day 3 - 2010 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale Days 1 and 2 - 2010 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale - 2010 Ready to Run Sale - 2009 Auckland Autumn Broodmare and All Age Sale - 2009 Christchurch Autumn Broodmare and All Age Sale - 2009 Bromac Lodge Sale - 2009 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale Day 3 - 2009 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale Days 1 and 2 - 2009 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale - 2009 Ready to Run 2yo Sale - 2008 Auckland Autumn Broodmare and All Age Sale - 2008 Christchurch Autumn Broodmare and All Age Sale - 2008 Spreydon Lodge Sale - 2008 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale - 2008 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale - 2008 Christchurch Ready to Run Sale - 2007 Auckland Autumn Broodmare and All Age Sale - 2007 Christchurch Autumn Broodmare and All Age Sale - 2007 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale - 2007 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale - 2007     Lot Name Colour Sex Sire Dam Vendor Buyer Location Price     1 Warm Soak BR M Soky's Atom Cee Cee Bon Breckon Farms Ltd Ohaupo Not sold, Res $1,500     2 Bella Me B M Presidential Ball Estabella Old Ridge Services No. 4 Ltd Taupaki Not sold, Res $25,000     3 Black And Royal BL M Elsu Spirit Of Venus Mrs. M. Carson Helensville Withdrawn     4 Trilby B M Artsplace Belmont Rose Cambridge Standardbred Stud Ltd Cambridge BRENT MANGOS AS AGENT KUMEU $26,000 5 Ca Cest Lamore B M Live Or Die Les Payzen Star Les Girls No.2 Syndicate Pukekohe CROON BLOODSTOCK AUCKLAND $7,000 6 Anam Cara BL M Presidential Ball Corbie Breckon Farms Ltd Ohaupo TOOKI RIGGS MANUKAU $600 7 Diamond Like B M Art Major Diamond Fleet Brogden Lodge Cambridge WOODLANDS STUD (NZ) LTD TAKANINI $2,100 8 Electrify B M Holmes Hanover Lumber Lie Chatsworth Lodge Ltd Auckland No bid     9 Janet Leigh Rose C M Sundon Miss Chiola Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR GEOFF PULLEN HENDERSON $1,500 10 Kurahaupo Charm B M Christian Cullen Kurahaupo Dream Old Ridge Services No. 4 Ltd Taupaki Not sold, Res $10,000     11 Letz Hope B M Pegasus Spur Early Surprise Longlands Syndicate Auckland MR H SEFONTE AUSTRALIA $2,200 12 Presidential Su B M Elsu Presidential Affair Mr. S. A. Ashworth Auckland Not sold, Res $3,000     13 Diamonds N Gold B M Holmes Hanover Tabella Bindy Breckon Farms Ltd Ohaupo MRS J BROSNAN PAPAKURA $2,200 14 Ultimate Art B M Art Major Princess Paua Cambridge Standardbred Stud Ltd Cambridge WOODLANDS STUD (NZ) LTD TAKANINI $3,700 15 Unnamed B F Big Jim Yes But Of Course Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa L & M HJALMARSSON WAIUKU $1,100 16 Unnamed B F Mach Three Zena Hanover Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa PETER BLANCHARD as agent HAMILTON $15,000 17 Unnamed B F American Ideal Whale Watcher Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon JEREMY YOUNG PUKEKOHE $6,500 18 Unnamed B F Auckland Reactor Amazing Luck Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa Not sold, Res $3,000     19 Unnamed BR C Mach Three Warm Soak Breckon Farms Ltd Ohaupo JB & JR DAVIES HAMILTON $13,000 20 Unnamed BR F Big Jim Art Ablaze Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa Not sold     21 Unnamed B C Bettor's Delight American Grace Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon ROSEDALE FARMING P'SHIP CHCH $16,000 22 Unnamed BR C Art Official Bella Valencia Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR D M MCKENDRY ASHBURTON $1,100 23 Unnamed B F Tintin In America Westerly Wind Mrs. V. M. & Mr. G. J. Syman Tauranga MR AP & MRS LM NEAL CAMBRIDGE $4,000 24 Unnamed B C Auckland Reactor Caballe Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa M SWAIN INVERCARGILL $2,500 25 Unnamed B C American Ideal Aqualiner Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon MR WA FAUSETT PUKEKOHE $8,500 26 Unnamed BR C Mach Three Caps Off Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa DUNCRAIGEN LTD WYNDHAM $14,500 27 Unnamed B F Bettor's Delight Beach Parade Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon MR RL SANDFORD CHCH $16,000 28 Unnamed B C Betterthancheddar Chevyover Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa JOHNNIE BUTCHER KUMEU $7,000 29 Unnamed B C Art Official China Godess Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa Not sold, Res $2,000     30 Unnamed BR C Betterthancheddar Alberta Jewel Mrs. L. P. Wood Hunua STEVE GREEN *S/BRED* TUAKAU $3,000 31 Unnamed B F Big Jim Christian Bella Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR DA NEWTON ASHBURTON $4,000 32 Unnamed B F Bettor's Delight Christian Doll Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon EQUINE DEVELOPMENTS LTD KAIAPOI $12,500 33 Unnamed B F Betterthancheddar Classy Return Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR CHRIS MCDOWELL ROLLESTON $2,500 34 Unnamed B C American Ideal Classic Vicolo Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon KEITH HASLER TE AWAMUTU $7,500 35 Unnamed B C Shadow Play Cloneen Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa G SMALL PUKEKOHE $5,000 36 Unnamed BR F American Ideal Angies Daughter Croon Bloodstock Ltd Auckland Withdrawn     37 Unnamed B F Auckland Reactor Drums Of Time Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR SCOTT G DICKSON MARTON $1,100 38 Unnamed B C Sir Lincoln Finiamo Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon LINCOLN FARM KUMEU $35,000 39 Unnamed BR F Mach Three Erinyes Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR SCOTT G DICKSON MARTON $2,500 40 Unnamed BR C Big Jim Esha Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa Not sold, Res $5,000     41 Unnamed B F Bettor's Delight Huchi Mama Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon WADE CASTLE WAIUKU $7,000 42 Unnamed B C Auckland Reactor Gemside Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR T BEATON CHCH $6,000 43 Unnamed BR C Well Said Black And Royal Mrs. M. Carson Helensville LINCOLN FARM KUMEU $10,000 44 Unnamed B F Bettor's Delight Gotta Go Hype Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR AN RICH CHCH $28,000 45 Unnamed B F American Ideal La Vicola Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon JEREMY YOUNG PUKEKOHE $3,500 46 Unnamed B F Betterthancheddar Hip Pocket Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa ALAN HAIR PUKEKOHE $2,700 47 Unnamed B C American Ideal Lisconnie Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon MILLER YAUKHANA AUSTRALIA $1,000 48 Unnamed B F Big Jim Ides Of May Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa Not sold, Res $1,000     49 Unnamed B F Shadow Play Diamond Like Brogden Lodge Cambridge Not sold, Res $2,000     50 Unnamed B F Majestic Son Janet Leigh Rose Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa M SWAIN INVERCARGILL $5,200                             51 Unnamed BR F American Ideal Lisdargan Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon M SWAIN INVERCARGILL $6,500 52 Unnamed B C Majestic Son Just Tartan Around Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa ALDEBARAN LODGE PTY LTD AUSTRALIA $18,000 53 Unnamed BR C Betterthancheddar Luck Be A Lady Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa JOHNNIE BUTCHER KUMEU $3,000 54 Unnamed B C Bettor's Delight Marie's Legend Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon MR BRETT COTTERILL AUSTRALIA $7,500 55 Unnamed BR C Auckland Reactor Make It Hot Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa Not sold, Res $10,000     56 Unnamed B C Art Major Georgia Brooke Georgia Brooke Lodge Huntly Not sold, Res $54,000     57 Unnamed BR F Big Jim Mareta Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR SCOTT G DICKSON MARTON $1,000 58 Unnamed B F Bettor's Delight Pleasureseeker Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon Not sold, Res $12,000     59 Unnamed B C Mach Three Matavutu Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR B MANGOS PUKEKOHE $21,000 60 Unnamed B F American Ideal Pocket Conquest Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon LINCOLN FARM KUMEU $7,000 61 Unnamed B F Art Official Meg Morris Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa G SMALL PUKEKOHE $2,500 62 Unnamed B C Stunin Cullen Naughty Dancer Rosehaven Standardbreds Palmerston North Not sold, Res $4,500     63 Unnamed B F Majestic Son Mi Sierra Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa JOSHUA DICKIE PAPAKURA $4,000 64 Unnamed BR C Bettor's Delight Pocketmore Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon MANUORA TRUST LINCOLN $28,000 65 Unnamed B C Big Jim Nile Star Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa ALTA BREEDING CO LTD PUKEKOHE $8,000 66 Unnamed B C Big Jim Presidential Affair Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR GREG PAYNE CHCH $9,000 67 Unnamed B C American Ideal Rosemary Grace Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon BRAEVIEW LTD GORE $9,500 68 Unnamed B C Mach Three Ragini Todi Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa ROSEDALE FARMING P'SHIP CHCH $6,500 69 Dianne Lorena B F Mach Three Precious Maiden Kamwood Lodge Pukekohe Withdrawn     70 Unnamed B C Big Jim Russian Gold Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR SR BAUCKE INVERCARGILL $2,000 71 Unnamed B C American Ideal Screen Idol Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon ATHERTON FARM LEESTON $3,000 72 Unnamed BR F Mach Three Russian Rose Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa NORWEGIAN WOOD BREEDING LTD LEESTON $8,000 73 Unnamed BR C Bettor's Delight Spirit Of Eros Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon M BERGER CAMBRIDGE $44,000 74 Unnamed B C Grinfromeartoear Saieda Spirit Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa Withdrawn     75 Unnamed B F American Ideal Shoshana Hall Croon Bloodstock Ltd Auckland Withdrawn     76 Unnamed B F Art Official Sailors Sin Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa Not sold, Res $1,000     77 Unnamed BR F Mach Three Shazza's Dream Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR GAVIN SMITH KAIAPOI $13,000 78 Unnamed B F American Ideal Star Empress Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon Not sold, Res $6,000     79 Unnamed B F Grinfromeartoear Sheza Gem Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR KELVIN WILSON TE AWAMUTU $1,100 80 Unnamed B F American Ideal Sunny Beach Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon PD BLAKEMORE KUMEU $5,000 81 Unnamed B F Mach Three Star Of Tonight Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR B MANGOS PUKEKOHE $25,000 82 Unnamed B C Betterthancheddar Suzen Star Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa Not sold, Res $4,000     83 Unnamed B C Sir Lincoln Toast Of New York Mrs. M. Carson Helensville LINCOLN FARM KUMEU $10,000 84 Unnamed B F Mach Three Tapestry Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa MR RL SANDFORD CHCH $24,000 85 Unnamed B C Auckland Reactor Tirol's Sallance Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa ROSEDALE FARMING P'SHIP as age CHCH $7,000 86 Unnamed B F American Ideal True Delight Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd Clevedon MICHAEL MUSCAT AUSTRALIA $8,000 87 Unnamed B F Art Official Toast Of The Ball Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa R STUART WAKEFIELD $2,500 88 Unnamed B F Auckland Reactor Tragically Hip Alabar (NZ) Ltd Waiau Pa ALAN HAIR PUKEKOHE $2,500 89 Sochi B C Bettor's Delight Warm Soak Breckon Farms Ltd Ohaupo P KERR KAIAPOI $7,500 90 Lancewood Dot Com B C Gotta Go Cullect Alberta Jewel Mrs. L. P. Wood Hunua STEVE GREEN TUAKAU $1,500 91 Lets Go Better B G Bettor's Delight Let's Go Party Hudson Rees Limited Te Awamutu Not sold, Res $8,000     92 Jivin' Jimima BL F Big Jim Naughty Dancer Rosehaven Standardbreds Palmerston North Not sold, Res $7,000     93 Chocolate Brownie B G Continentalman French Tarte Rogerson Bloodstock Hamilton MATT BRAY KUMEU $3,000 94 Apache Morris B G Gotta Go Cullect Highly Volatile Mr. S. A. Ashworth Auckland Not sold, Res $4,000     95 Pinup Pony B F Art Major Tarena Jay Breckon Farms Ltd Ohaupo D & R MICALLEF AUSTRALIA $7,700 96 Queen Of Glory B F Mach Three Reine Guinevere Mr. A. J. & Mrs. P. R. A. Parker Drury MR SCOTT G DICKSON MARTON $1,500 97 Lets Go Desire B F Real Desire Let's Go Party Hudson Rees Limited Te Awamutu Not sold, Res $2,000     98 She's Heavenly B F Rock N Roll Heaven Close Escape Messrs. W. R. Callaghan & R. W. Lansdown Pukekohe Paul Kenny PAPAKURA $1,500 99 Lambrusco B G Live Or Die Nemesis Choice Rogerson Bloodstock Hamilton Withdrawn     100 Tigers Lady BR F Elsu Tigerish Top Notch Lodge Pukekohe WOODLANDS STUD (NZ) LTD TAKANINI $5,000     Lot Name Colour Sex Sire Dam Vendor Buyer Location Price     203 Rangi Rangdu B G Badlands Hanover Super Scandy Mr. B. I. & Mrs. J. E. Candy Kaitaia Not sold   Harnesslink Media    

Sam Hill stalked the leader, Dew N Doughnuts, from the pocket, then nailed him in the Lightning Lane to capture Wednesday's $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at the harness racing meeting at The Meadows. Greg Wright, Jr. hustled Sam Hill to the pocket, where the 9-year-old Artsplace-Apple Of My Eye gelding was content to let Dew N Doughnuts do the heavy lifting. Sam Hill had just enough to get by the leader in deep stretch, downing him by a nose in 1:51.3. I'm The Pied Piper finished third. John Sullivan trains Sam Hill, who extended his lifetime bankroll to $342,332, for Don Tiger. Tony Hall and Dave Palone each piloted four winners on the 13-race card. Palone, who notched career win 17,000 in the first race, ended the day with 17,003 career victories. Evan Pattak    

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2015 inductees.    A total of 5 horses and people have been elected to the harness racing section of the Hall of Fame.    Standardbred inductees include horses Artsplace, J Cs Nathalie and the people include H. Charles (Charlie) Armstrong, William (Bill) Gale and Harry Eisen.   Artsplace, representing the Standardbred Male Horse Category, was the 1992 O’Brien Award and Dan Patch Award winner as Horse of the Year following a sixteen race, undefeated four-year-old season.    He was a World Record holder in his two-year-old season, winning the Breeders Crown in a time of 1:51.1 at Pompano Park in Florida.    Under the care of trainer Bob McIntosh and driven throughout his racing career by Hall of Famers John Campbell,  Bill O’Donnell and Cat Manzi, and Bill Gale, Artsplace won 37 races and bankrolled over $3 million.    As a stallion, Artsplace produced top horses from the time his first crop raced in 1996.   To date, his progeny, including 18 millionaires, have accumulated over $173 million in earnings with an average of $126,372 per starter.    Many of Artsplace’s sons and daughters have gone on to sire champions, including Art Major, sire of 2008 Meadowlands Pace champion Art Official, who won in 1:47, at the time a world record for three year old pacers, and the second fastest race mile in harness racing history.   Standardbred Veteran Horse Category inductee, J Cs Nathalie has produced two millionaires for owner John Lamers of Ingersoll, Ontario -- pacing colt Dreamfair Vogel, and pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal.   Dreamfair Vogel was a winner of 19 races and over $1.1 million with a race record of 1:49.3.   Dreamfair Eternal, a winner of 56 races and over $2.5 million in purse earnings was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010 and was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2014.   In total J Cs Nathalie has produced 13 horses of which 11 have started and banked more than $4.5 million in purse earnings.   In the Driver/Trainer Category, William (Bill) Gale, 66 of Woodstock, Ontario, has been elected to the Hall of Fame.   Gale was one of Canada’s leading drivers for a period that spanned the 70s, 80s and 90s.   Between 1982 and 1997, Gale recorded 16 consecutive $1 million+ seasons.  During a driving career that spanned over 30 years, he won 6,375 races, started 32,134 times and earned $42.1 million.   In the fall of ’91 at Pompano Park he won a pair of Breeders Crown Championships, as he guided King Conch to a World Record 1:56.2 win in the $300,000 Two-Year-Old Colt Trot and reined Three Wizards to an upset victory over Die Laughing and Artsplace in the $357,000 Breeders Crown for Three-Year-Old Pacing Colts.   In 1991, William Gale was honoured with an O’Brien Award as Canada’s Driver of The Year following a season where he exceeded $3.2 million in purse earnings.   H. Charles (Charlie) Armstrong, 93, of Brampton, Ontario, has been a true Icon in the Ontario and North American Horse Industry for over 60 years.   Following the death of his father Elgin, Charlie and his wife Lenore took over the operation of Armstrong Bros. Farm, and as Chairman of Armstrong Holdings Brampton Limited, he oversaw the growth of the farm into the second largest Standardbred breeding operation in North America.   The Armbro name was ever-present in the winner’s circles of prestigious races for both trotters and pacers, producing such champions as Armbro Flight, Armbro Feather, Armbro Omaha and hundreds of others.   Of note, Charlie Armstrong and fellow hall of famer, Gustav Schickedanz were the breeders of champion trotter Goodtimes, who at the end of his 11 year race career was retired as the richest Canadian Bred Trotting Horse of all time.   Other notables include two-time Breeders Crown winner Village Jiffy, as well as such horses as Village Jove and Village Jolt.   Stallions standing at the Armstrong breeding operation included King Conch, Camotion, Dream of Glory, Armbro Emerson and Adios Pick to name a few.   The family company was dispersed in 2005; however Charlie, along with his daughters, continues to raise and race Standardbreds under the name Village Acres Limited.   Charlie’s involvement in racing extended far beyond that of a breeder and owner and resulted in a long list of achievements for his commitment to the racing industry.   In 1999 he was named Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame Honouree in 1999 and the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association presented him with the Van Bussell Award in 2003.     The 2015 Standardbred Communicator Inductee is the late Harry Eisen who spent a lifetime loving and covering horse racing in Ontario.   Eisen who once said he saw his first harness race when he was “three or four years old,” sold tip sheets at Dufferin Park Racetrack as a boy.   As a lifelong journalist, he spent many years exposing the sport to the public, including the majority of his 40 years at the London Free Press and described his work as a “labour of love”.   Eisen’s regular column, “Mostly About Horses” kept horse lovers in the loop.   As a highly regarded handicapper, he also made the Western Fair selections for the Free Press.   In 1980, he became the first non-horseman to be inducted to the Western Fair Raceway Wall of Fame.   Standardbred Inductees Male Horse Category:  Artsplace – bred and owned by George I. Segal, Chicago, Illinois & Brian P. Monieson, Northbrook, Illinois;   later owned by Artsplace Syndicate, Versailles, Kentucky.   Veteran Horse Category:  J Cs Nathalie – bred by Gaetan Dessureault, St. Ours, Quebec;   owned by John P. Lamers, Ingersoll, ON   Builder Category:  H. Charles Armstrong, Brampton, Ontario   Communicator Category:  Harry Eisen, London, Ontario   Driver/Trainer:  William (Bill) Gale, Ingersoll, Ontario     Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame may be found at   Linda Rainey Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame  

Pompano Beach, FL...March 8, 2015... Remissionofsins, knocking at the door with second place finishes in his last three starts, finally got through to the pearly gates of the Pompano Park  winner's circle on Sunday night, scoring a handy harness racing victory for George Napolitano, Jr. in a lifetime best performance. The seven year-old altered son of Final Cheers stopped the clock in 1:50.4 in the $10,000 pace for $20,000-$25,000 claimers, one tick faster than his former mark set two seasons back. Though starting from the outside post eight in his classy octet, Remission was sent winging as the gate opened, assuming the lead from Premier (Rick Plano) just a step or two prior to the blazing opener of :26.2 and went on to post subsequent panels of :55 and 1:23.1 before setting sail on a :27.3 journey home to hit the wire 2 1/2 lengths to the good of Premier with Fearless Chip (Aaron Byron) third. Zavan and Dont Tell Rusty were next. In a post race interview, driver George Napolitano, Jr. lamented, "This is a hard hitting racehorse with great gate speed. He showed that from the nine post a couple of starts back and, since this was his first start off of a fresh claim last week, I thought I'd send him, too, since he seems to like to get into the action early. I certainly couldn't afford to spot these good horses eight lengths at the start. I thought the opening quarter might take some sting out of him but he proved he was worth the claim...that's for sure!" In, this, his first start for new owner Susan Oakes and trainer Chris Oakes, Remissionofsins won for the initial time this season with this share of the purse sending his 2015 earnings to $21,660 on the strength of a 1-5-2 scorecard in 10 starts. He's banked $128,796 lifetime. As second choice on the tote-board, Remissionofsins paid $6.20 to win. The co-featured $8,500 pace for $15,000 claimers went to Red Hot Yankee, justifying his re-claim one week ago by former owners Melvin Fink and Cliff Grundy. Trained by Paul Holzman and driven this night by George Napolitano, Jr., Red Hot Yankee annihilated his competition with a seasonal best time of 1:51.1, scoring by eight lengths over Electric Albert (Aaron Byron) with Hurricane Howard (Tom Sells) third. Major Stone, off the gate at the start, rallied for fourth while Fly'n With Royalty finished fifth in the sextet after making an attempt for the top during the second quarter that proved fatal for his chance to win. Red Hot Yankee, an 11 year-old son of Artsplace, won for the third time in nine starts this semester, pushing his 2015 earnings to $24,756. He's banked $259,014 lifetime. As the 1 to 2 favorite, Red Hot Yankee paid $3.00 to his many faithful. The featured trot on Sunday night--the $7,700 Pop-Up conditioned event--went to C&F Associates Dream Lake, superbly handled by Matt Romano. The seven year-old gelded son of Dream Vacation was given picture perfect rating through fractions of :28.2, :58 and 1:28 before holding his foes at bay with a :28.4 finale to score by 1 1/2 lengths over the pocket sitting Speed Hanover (Ed Hensley) in 1:56.4. Bsmaximummoondream (Dave Ingraham) was third while Rose Run Nolan finished fourth. Famous Legs picked up the nickel in the bulky field of 10. Dream Lake won for the third time in nine starts--15th win lifetime--to send his seasonal bounty to $14,200. He's banked $161,371 lifetime. Second choice at 8 to 5 in the win betting, Dream Lake paid $5.40 to win. Pompano Park's popular Pick-5 wager, conducted on races two through six, went unscathed on Sunday night and a $12,500 guarantee has been put in effect for Monday night's Pick-5 pool. In Pompano Park's finale on Sunday night, four of the leading drivers in all of harness racing--Bruce Ranger, Wally Hennessey, Kevin Wallis and George Napolitano, Jr., coming into the action with a combined lifetime win total of 34,031--finished 1-2-3-4 in the track's Super Hi-5...and nobody could even get past the top three with the 5-7-2-ALL-ALL combo paying over $1,400 for a 20 cent ticket. The Super Hi-5 event now has been left untouched for several programs and that carryover has vaulted to over $24,000 going into Monday night's card. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Reported by John Berry for Pompano Park

Any southern hemisphere harness racing breeder looking at the results of matings of Artsplace mares in the northern hemisphere will quickly come to one conclusion. Cover the mare with Rocknroll Hanover and chances are very good that the resultant foal will be a serious racehorse.  It has been a cross without parallel in recent times and six of the eight millionaires that Rocknroll Hanover has produced have been from Artsplace mares. Rock N Roll Heaven - 1:47.3 ($2,774,478) Put On A Show - 1:47.3 ($2,459,903) Rocklamation - 1:48.3 ($2,259,904) Pet Rock - 1:47 ($1,985,820) Rock N Soul - 1:49.4 ($1,158,637) Ticket To Rock - 1:50.3 ($1,131,163) Looking through the maternal families of horses bred on this cross in this years Australasian Classic yearling sale led us to Lot 129 and the filly, Crystal Sparkles. Crystal Sparkles is the second foal of the young Artsplace mare Taylor Kate who is from the former smart two and three year old filly in Black Maire 1:59.8 ($39,981) Taylor Kate is a half sister to six winners including the brilliant two and three year old filly Lauraella 1:55.9 ($649,946) The 2008/2009 three year old filly of the year in New Zealand, Lauraella won the New Zealand Oaks, Great Northern Oaks, Nevele R Fillies Final as well as the Harness Jewels Diamond at two. The first foal of Lauraella is this seasons very smart three year old Express Stride 1:58.1 ($119,525) Taylor Kate is also a half sister to a very smart two and three year old in The Muskeg Express 1:55.9 ($111,331) A full sister to Black Maire in Syriana is the dam of this seasons big improver in the four year old ranks, Meticulous 1:55.6 ($99,420) The third dam is the handy Vance Hanover mare in Corbie 1:57.2 who left six winners including the talented Agios Nikolaos 1:52.2 ($192,180) while the fourth dam is Black Watch herself. This is one of the strongest branches of the strongest family in the New Zealand stud book. Given that Crystal Sparkles is also bred on such a dynamic breeding cross makes her a great proposition both on the track and in the breeding barn. Harnesslink Media   

Even though he was euthanized in 2013, Rocknroll Hanover continues via frozen semen to add to his  harness racing legacy in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Many breeders in Australasia are looking at his successful crosses in the northern hemisphere and are trying to replicate those same crosses down under The most successful cross of course is over daughters of super sire Artsplace which has produced several millionaires including horses such as Rocknroll Heaven 1:47.3 ($2,774,478)  Put On A Show 1:47.3 ($2,459,903) and Rocklamation 1:48.3 ($2,259,904) to mention just a few. This years Australasian Classic sale include four yearlings bred on this cross and the one that took our eye from the videos is Lot 117, Head Honcho. This colt is the first foal from the race winning Artsplace mare Stateofthenation who is a three quarter sister to the former smart juvenile Exotic Lover 1:59.5 ($110,336) who has already left Abraxas 1:55.4 ($88,108) at stud.  Stateofthenation is from the former talented filly Affairs Of State 2:00.1 ($50,811) who finished second in both the Nevele R Fillies Final as well the three year old fillies Yearling Sale pace. Affairs of State has left three winners from four foals at stud  including this seasons talented three year old in Chachingchaching 1:56.6 ($75,223) The third dam is none other than the former champion three year old filly Under Cover Lover 1:51.8 ($864,988) who won twenty one races in the northern and southern hemispheres. Under Cover Lover is also a half sister to the dam of another outstanding racemare in the millionaire pacer in Bettor Cover Lover 1:53.8 ($1,061,534). With yearlings as well bred as Head Honcho still coming through, the influence of Rocknroll Hanover on harness racing may continue for a while yet. Harnesslink Media    

From the time In The Pocket hit the harness racing scene in New Zealand he has been a star. His first crop contained Christian Cullen 1:54.1 ($1,249,150) and Under Cover Lover 1:51.8 ($864,923)  while his second crop included the champion juvenile Courage Under Fire 1:54.2 ($1,551,941) The progeny of In The Pocket have won $18,250,055 in New Zealand and his broodmares have been an instant hit in the broodmare barn with $16,941,556 in the bank already and plenty more to come yet. One breeding cross that has produced some talented fillies in the last few years is that of Artsplace over a daughter of In The Pocket or vice versa. This cross has produced such talented types as Annie McGuire 1:53.2 ($280,060) and Exotic Lover 1:55.5 ($110,336) and has been seen a bit more after that initial success. In this years sales the cross is present in Lot 105 at the Australasian Classic Sale in Auckland. Fullofheart  is her name and she is a daughter of Artsplace from the In The Pocket mare Pocketfullofposies. Qualified but only lightly raced, Pocketfullofposies has already left three winners including the smart son of McArdle in Mickey McRooney 1:55.8 ($41,067) The grand dam is the five win Smooth Fella mare Jayvee 2:00.5 who has left seven winners to date including the outstanding grand circuit pacer Sovereign Hill 1:55.5 ($432,555) Black Reef 1:51.8 ($326,846) and Ohara 1:58.8 ($134,131) Half sisters to Pocketfullofposies have left such talented pacers such as Dartmoor 1:55.8 ($416,575) J Walker 1:58 ($173,291) and Bettor Dreams 1:54.6 ($172,542) The third dam is the New Zealand Broodmare Excellence Award winner in Aberfeldy who has done such an outstanding job in the broodmare barn. This is widely recognized as the strongest branch of the famed Black Watch family and with all the smart racehorses close up in the pedigree you can see why. Fullofheart ticks a lot of boxes being by Artsplace from an In The Pocket grand daughter of the brilliant broodmare Aberfeldy and should have plenty of residual value once she has finished racing. Harnesslink Media  

Pompano Beach, FL...Saturday, February 7, 2015...Speed was the keynote at Pompano Park on a harness racing Saturday night as Duc Dorleans captured the $13,000 Open Handicap Pace in 1:50.4 and Red Hot Yankee took top honors in the $17,500 final of the Murdock Hanover Late Closer in 1:51.2.   Duc Dorleans, driven by Donald Dupont for owner Gestion Levesque 2005, Inc., led every step of his journey clocking panels of :27, :56.1 and 1:24.1 before sprinting home in :26.3 to seal a victory measuring almost three lengths over Fancyfreeshark (Bruce Ranger) and Lyons Johnny (George Napolitano, Jr.), the latter two finishing in a dead-heat for place honors.   Don't Tell Rusty, rallied from far back to finish fourth while Cadillac Phil picked up the nickel in the septet.   In a post race interview, driver Donald Dupont said, "My horse has great speed out of the gate and, since we had an inside post (2), it was easy for him to get the lead. When nobody challenged me during the straightaway, my horse was nice and relaxed getting away with a 'soft' half...for him, anyhow (:56.1). From there, I was very confident he could carry his speed all the way home and his final quarter (:26.3) proved that tonight. He's a very good horse!"   For this five year-old son of Shanghai Phil, it was his second win in five starts this year--19th lifetime in 63 starts--and sent his lifetime bounty to $418,056.   Second choice on the tote-board, Duc Dorleans paid $7.80 to his faithful.   Red Hot Yankee's win was a hit more dramatic as he held on for dear life at the end of his gate-to-wire 1:51.2 effort for Kevin Wallis to hold off stablemate Officernagentleman (George Napolitano, Jr.) to score by a scant head.   Fearless Chip (Bruce Ranger), prominent all the way in the garden spot, finished third three parts of a length away with the late surging Bold Wille fourth. A Fool For Mark picked up the minors in the field of nine.   Red Hot Yankee, an 11 year-old son of Artsplace, carded sizzling fractions of :27, :54.3 and 1:22.3 along the way.   After the race, driver Kevin Wallis said, "he's a warrior, alright. Those first three-quarters were pretty stiff but that's the way he likes it. He dug in late...but I was very happy the wire came when it did!"   Making his first start off of a claim by owners Melvin Fink and Clifford Grundy, Red Hot Yankee was making his 150th lifetime start and first start in the Paul Holzman Stable.   The victory, Red Hot Yankee's 19th lifetime, sent his career bounty past the $250,000 mark--$250,599 to be exact. He paid $3.60 as the betting favorite.   The $20,000-$25,000 Claiming Handicap Pace carrying a purse of $11,000, went, in an upset, to Raji's Blue Line in 1:51.1.   This seven year-old son of Artiscape, owned by Lew and Kathy Whitaker along with William Schnopf, was given a gutsy drive by Mike Micallef, making a bold move from dead last and over 10 lengths away at the opener, to the lead shortly after the half, and going on from there to score a win measuring just short of two lengths.   Always In The Money (Peter Wrenn) was second while Premier (Rick Plano) finished third. Canadian Touch and No Monkeys Allowed also picked up checks in the octet.   Making his 100th lifetime start, Raji's Blue Line won for the 19th time, sending his career bankroll to $185,700.   Finally, the Super Hi-5 again had multiple consolation winners and the carryover for Sunday's card now exceeds $100,000. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   John Berry    

One of the greatest harness racing stallions of all time in Artsplace is still available to breeders in the southern hemisphere via his frozen semen even though he has been deceased for nearly nine years. The son of Abercrombie has run up a set of statistics in the northern hemisphere that are truly mind boggling and will surely see him regarded as one of the all time greats. Winners - 1179        Stakes won $172,974,661     18 Millionaires      48 in 1:50  Artsplace only has three colts available in this years series of yearling sales in New Zealand and only one in the Australasian Classic Sale in Auckland. The colt for sale in Auckland is Lot 53, Bobs Your Uncle and he has a strong maternal family to support him. He is the second foal from the young Bettor's Delight mare Delightful Dale who though she qualified was unraced. The second dam is the former smart age group performer Dale Elinor 1:57.2 ($60,985) who finished an unlucky second in the Bathurst Gold Tiara Final at two. Dale Elinor has had a wretched run at stud with Delightful Dale her only live foal old enough to race at this stage. A full sister to Dale Elinor in Karen Donna left last seasons outstanding two year old filly Katy Perry 1:56.7 ($378,478) Kate Perry is by Bettor's Delight making her a full sister in blood to the dam of Bobs Your Uncle, Delightful Dale The third dam is the former star two and three year old filly in Megaera 1:56.8 ($250,646) who won the Caduceus Club Classic and the New Zealand Sires Stakes Filly final at three among her eight wins and was 1995/1996 two year filly of the year. This is another branch of the ultra successful Black Watch family which continues to churn out classic winners every season. Artsplace has already proven himself in the southern hemisphere with over 100 winners to date including such standouts as Guaranteed 1:50.4 ($810,772) and Flightpath 1:55.9 ($290,684)  Bobs Your Uncle has all the credentials on both sides of his pedigree to add to the record of his sire. Harnesslink Media  

Boom harness racing performer Guaranteed will be kept fresh ahead of his return clash with Christen Me and Beautide. Guaranteed finished third behind the pair in Menangle’s Miracle Mile last November in what was his Grand Circuit debut. The trio are set to reunite in the Victoria Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton on January 31. Guaranteed and Christen Me are also due to compete in the A G Hunter Cup the following week. Co-trainer Emma Stewart revealed her plans following tonight’s South Australia Cup victory at Globe Derby. Stewart prepares her team with her partner, Clayton Tonkin. “At this stage he will just be kept ticking along at home to prepare for the Victoria and Hunter Cups,” Stewart said. “Both those races will be tough, but he has proven he can compete at that level.” First-up since the Miracle Mile, Guaranteed was driven to perfection by champion reinsman, Gavin Lang, who eased the stallion away from the mobile as Im Barney Rubble led from gate three. With Franco Ledger working his way to the front, Lang moved Guaranteed forward to occupy the ‘death seat’ during the middle stages. Forging his way to the lead on the home turn, Guaranteed was untouched to score by three-and-a-half metres from Flaming Flutter, with Steam Washed completing an all-Victorian trifecta when three-and-a-half metres away third. “That was his first run in six weeks, but his work at home had been sensational,” Stewart said. “Drawing the outside of the second row was always going to be tricky, but we were confident he could overcome it. “Gavin drove him a treat and made his move at just the right time.” Rating 1:54.4 for the 2230 metres, the five-year-old extended his record to an impressive 24 wins and 10 placings from 36 starts for earnings of just over $800,000. By Artsplace, Guaranteed is from broodmare gem, Jadah Rose, which is also the dam of last night’s Melton winner, Jadahson. A member of the Stewart/Tonkin stable, Jadahson outclassed his rivals in 1:58.3 for the 1720 metres. PAUL COURTS

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