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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

Under the Preferential Draw system it was never going to be easy, but the draw for Saturday night’s South Australia Cup has made life close to impossible for harness racing star Guaranteed. With the Group One field drawn on lifetime earnings, Guaranteed could have begun from five, six, seven, 10, 11 or connections dismay, the son of Artsplace received 12! On the tight Globe Derby circuit over 2230 metres, Guaranteed will “have to produce a record run” according to co-trainer Emma Stewart. Maximan, which will start from gate seven in the $100,000 feature, set the 1:55.9 track record last weekend. “The draw has made it very hard for him,” Stewart said. “It is never easy to come from the second row in any big race, but at Globe Derby over a short trip, it is even harder. “He is in top shape and ready to go, but he will have to produce a record run to win from there. “We will get him to the track in the best possible shape, then once he’s out on the track it’s up to Gavin (Lang, driver) to work the rest out.” Citing Franco Ledger as the one to beat, Stewart believes local idol Come On Frank is capable of completing a hometown victory. Successful at his debut for Geoff Webster at Melton last week, Franco Ledger will come from barrier five, with Come On Frank in gate six. Come On Frank has 10 of his last 13 starts, while finishing second during the other three outings, including a gutsy effort behind Maximan when facing the breeze. Come On Frank is aiming to become the first local to capture the Cup this century! Ryans Day was the last home state hero in 1999 when trained and driven by Webster. Ironically, Webster has won the race twice since his move to Victoria – 2009 with Mister Swinger and the following year with Mister Zion. “Franco Ledger was impressive at Melton in the way he finished off the race,” Stewart said. “If he does that again he will be very hard to hold out. “Come On Frank is in career best form, and although this is a step up for him on recent starts, he is a proven performer. “It is going to be a very interesting race.” PAUL COURTS

Guaranteed will win harness racing’s premier sprint - SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile - at Menangle on Saturday night. That’s not a personal opinion, or a tip, but rather a guide by statistics and history. In what is destined to be an exciting edition of the time-honoured feature, Guaranteed ‘ticks all the boxes’ as far as the weight of numbers is concerned. Since its inception in 1967 when New Zealand mare Robin Dundee achieved the exact goal the event was created for, 47 editions of the Miracle Mile have been run and won. As a result of the Equine Influenza outbreak, 2007 is the only season Grand Circuit gem has been missing from the calendar. As for the Miracle Mile’s original ‘goal’, the mission of the new race was to see the magical two-minute barrier broken for the first time under race conditions in Australia. During the next five decades the Miracle Mile has established itself as the Southern Hemisphere’s ultimate speed test, but how does Guaranteed fit into the equation? A breakdown of the winners results in a five-year-old from interstate as the ultimate Miracle Mile candidate! Five-year-olds have been the most successful age group with 18 wins… six-year-olds are next on 10. The eldest winner is Double Agent, which was a true ‘greybeard’ at 12 in 1984 for Joe Isley. Visitors out score local competitors almost three-to-one, with only 13 New South Wales-trained horses emerging triumphant. As the only five-year-old raider in the field, Guaranteed ‘fits the bill’ for Victorian co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. “Let’s just hope the stats are a good indicator,” Stewart said. To be driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang – Australia’s most successful Group One driver – Guaranteed has drawn barrier seven, which may prove a blessing in disguise according to Stewart. The son of Artsplace slots into six with the removal of the emergency. “There is going to be plenty of speed early, so the draw may turn out in our favour,” Stewart said. “From there he will be eased out under his own steam and looking for a good trail. “He has proven how quickly he can sprint when coming off a fast tempo, so with a bit of luck that’s what he will be able to do. “This is another step up for him, but he won’t disgrace himself.” PAUL COURTS

On face value the draw for Menangle on Saturday night hasn’t been kind to harness racing’s boom pacer Guaranteed. Receiving barrier seven in the Coca-Cola Sprint, Guaranteed slots into five with the removal of the emergency for co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. A brilliant winner of his three starts this season, Guaranteed – along with fellow Victorians Abettorpunt, Bitobliss and Hilltop Hustler – has been sent across the Murray in a bid to secure a Miracle Mile berth. Australasia’s premier sprint, the Miracle Mile is scheduled to be run on November 29. While five can be considered an awkward draw, co-owner Mark Thompson believes the starting position “shouldn’t really have an effect” in the Group One. “I don’t think he is favoured by an inside draw anyway as he doesn’t get away all that quickly,” Thompson said. “If anything, he will get out better when a little wider out. “Given he doesn’t have blistering gate speed, the draw isn’t the be all and end all, so it shouldn’t really have an effect on him overall.” To be driven by master reinsman Gavin Lang, Guaranteed is no stranger to feature race glory at the world class venue. Successful in the Tatlow Stake as a two-year-old, the son of Artsplace won a Derby heat at three before capturing the Mount Eden Championship and Chariots Of Fire at four. The latter performance – widely-regarded as the greatest victory in the prestigious event – was the day Guaranteed proved he is a Grand Circuit contender in the making according to Thompson. “From the time he made his debut he has shown a lot of promise, and delivered on it, but in the Chariots he really showed what he is capable of,” Thompson said. “That said, people still see him as a big, strong horse, but under estimate his speed. When he gets the chance to follow and come off the pace, you’ll see how quickly he can sprint.” Aware of the high expectations surrounding the stallion, Thompson declared Guaranteed’s career won’t be defined on his first attempt at the highest level. “No doubt if he doesn’t run well plenty of knockers will come out, but I’m not worried about that,” Thompson said. “This is another step up for him and there is no doubt he will put in a good run….he won’t disgrace himself. “If you take a really hard look at the Grand Circuit races, more often than not it the horse which gets the best run that wins, so like all of them we’ll need a bit of luck. “Smoken Up is the perfect example of that…he did a power of work in his races and on many occasions got beaten right on the line by a horse that had the better run and luck. “If things go his way, again like most of them, he will go very close.” PAUL COURTS

Guaranteed, Australasia’s most exciting harness racing prospect, is on target to make his Grand Circuit debut next month. Fresh from his Kilmore Cup victory this afternoon, Guaranteed has been aimed at the Southern Hemipshere’s premier sprint – Miracle Mile. Co-trainer Emma Stewart confirmed the Tabcorp Park Menangle-based feature tops the five-year-old’s agenda. The Miracle Mile is scheduled to be conducted on November 29. In the build up to the Group One, Guaranteed will tackle the Smoken Up Sprint at Melton on November 7, followed by one of the Miracle Mile qualifying events. “Now we will set him for the Miracle Mile,” said Stewart, who prepares her team with Clayton Tonkin. “He will have a few easy days now as he’s had three starts in three weeks, then we’ll get him ready for the various sprints in the lead up to the Miracle Mile. “He has come back in sensational form and we’ve got no doubt he can take the step to the next level.” Based on the strength of Guaranteed’s latest effort, few can argue with Stewart’s assessment. Missing early trouble after Broadways Best galloped from the tapes, Guaranteed was given time to settle into his stride by master reinsman, Gavin Lang, as Maximan worked to the lead. Angled three-wide during the middle stages, the son of Artsplace was sent forward as Lang controlled the tempo from the ‘death seat’. Forging his way to the front halfway along the home straight, Guaranteed then staved off late challenges from Im Corzin Terror and Flaming Flutter to complete a gutsy triumph. “What a run,” Stewart declared. “He went huge. “He was in peak condition for this and Gavin got everything out of him up the straight. “It got close on the line, but after doing all the work, he just kept finding and was holding them off.” Covering the last half in 56.3 seconds, the stallion rated 2:00.3 for the 3150-metre stand, slicing eight-tenths of a second off Sting Lika Bee’s track record established in the 2007 Cup. Guaranteed’s win also makes him just the second pacer to complete the Nyah/Kilmore Cup double. Former South Australian great Nevada Smoke set the benchmark with his brilliant victories in 1974. Only two other pacers have won both provincial features, albeit different years, with Game Oro successful in the 1984 Nyah Cup before completing consecutive Kilmore Cup wins in ’85 and ’86. Bold Cruiser repeated the dose with a Nyah win in 2007 and a Kilmore victory the following season. PAUL COURTS

LEXINGTON, KY-- Harness racing freshmen colt pacers congregated at The Red Mile on Saturday, September 27 to compete in four divisions of the $331,000 Bluegrass Stakes, the fastest In The Arsenal in 1:49.4. In his first mile since his Metro Pace triumph, undefeated Artspeak led for nearly every step as the 1/9 favorite, winning in 1:51.3. Sicily and Blood Brother battled for the top while Artspeak floated off the gate, and got parked in fourth. He soon sprinted up to race-leader Sicily and cleared command after a :27.2 first quarter. Left alone on top, Artspeak rolled to the half in :55.4 (:28.2). Blood Brother soon edged to the outside and began to pursuit Artspeak. With Hall Of Terror tracking his move, Blood Brother paced up to Artspeak's wheel at three-quarters in 1:24.3 (:28.4). Artspeak turned away Blood Brother's challenge, and, while not drawing away, was striding towards the finish. Sicily slid up the inside to take second, and Traceur Hanover was storming down the center of the course, but had to settle for third as Artspeak crossed the line in front in 1:51.3 (:27). Owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, and In The Gym Partners, trained by Tony Alagna, and driven by Scott Zeron, the divisional leader has earned $479,575 this season. A son of Western Ideal-The Art Museum-Artsplace, he returned $2.10 to win. "They got close to me because we went a soft third quarter, but when they looked him in the eye, he [Artspeak] took off like a good horse," driver Scott Zeron said. "He's pretty smart; he has a closed bridle, so he can't see them coming, but he can hear them, even through the earplugs. He was pretty full tonight." "He's a sweetheart to drive," Scott Zeron also said. "He acts like an aged pacer already, so my job is easy." Artspeak New York Sires Stakes champion Cartoon Daddy traveled patiently around the track and swept passed his cover and rivals to win in 1:50.1. David Miller sent Talking Points for the front and battled with Gallic Beach for that spot. Sprinting by her approaching the quarter, Talking Points led through a :27.4 first panel. After an uncontested half in :55 (:27.1), Jake Blue Chip tipped first over with Cartoon Daddy on his back. Jake Blue Chip stalled in his bid midway through the turn, but soon rushed towards Talking Points to apply pressure. The duo hooked into battle through a 1:23.1 (:28.1) third quarter. Jake Blue Chip quickly abandoned the battle, while Cartoon Daddy fanned wide and began to rally down the center of the course. Gallic Beach slid by Talking Points at the pylons to quickly gain control, but it was soon revoked by Cartoon Daddy in a 1:50.1 (:27) mile, a lifetime mark. Bankrolling $249,067 this year, the Art Major-Ask Alice-The Panderosa colt is owned by Burke Racing Stable and Joseph Di Scala, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras. Sent off the 4/5 favorite, he paid $3.80 to win. "I knew the cover was good enough, but it was just if the horse [Cartoon Daddy] was good enough," trainer Ron Burke said. "That was a good-enough trip that he should win if he was the best. He raced good; the horse up the rail [Gallic Beach] bothered me more than the trip." Cartoon Daddy The Well Said-Thou Shalt Not-Real Desire colt Lost For Words maintained control of the field for the latter stages of the mile and sprinted to victory in 1:51.1. Bet You floated towards the front, with Penji Hanover tucking into second and Lost For Words getting away in third. After an opening split in :30, David Miller signaled Lost For Words to brush to the top. Stubborn to lose control, Bet You stretched out the 2/5 favorite to the best of his ability, but Lost For Words gained control through a :56.1 (:26.1) half. Attempting to slow down the third quarter, Berkley led a two-wide cavalry charge towards the top, tracked by Lone Survivor and Tyd Theglyde. Lost For Words was revved-up for a quarter-mile sprint after reaching three-quarters in 1:24.4 (:28.3). Edging 4-lengths clear from Bet You, Lost For Words flew down to the wire in 1:51.1 (:26.2). Bet You settled for second, Penji Hanover closed for third and Lone Survivor finished fourth. The $2.80 winner has earned $150,337 this year for owners Country Club Acres, William Robinson, Richard Lombardo, and The Strollin Stables. Trained by Brian Brown, Lost For Words equaled his lifetime best of 1:51.1 at Harrah's Philadelphia. "He had to work pretty good to get back there [to the lead]," driver David Miller said. "He got a third-quarter breather, and he was strolling coming home." "He's been really good all season long," Dave Miller also said. "I overdrove him in the final of the [Pennsylvania] Sires Stakes, but he's made up for it in the last couple of weeks." Lost For Words Lawrence B. Sheppard champion In The Arsenal pulled off a 25-1 upset in the closing division, doing so over Rich Wisdom in 1:49.4. Several colts contested in the early pace, with Well Well Well gaining control after a :27.3 quarter. Southwind Masimo soon edged to the outside to take the front, with In The Arsenal on his back and The Wayfaring Man. In The Arsenal took control after a :55 (:27.2) half. After a 1:23 (:28) third quarter, In The Arsenal braced for the bids of Rich Wisdom and Freedomformysoul towards the center of the course. Once Rich Wisdom came within a length of In The Arsenal, he quickly responded to driver Brian Sears' encouragement and crossed the line in 1:49.4 (:26.4). A son of American Ideal-Ladyotra-On The Road Again, he has earned $118,655 this season for owner White Birch Farms. Trained by Kelvin Harrison, his mile of 1:49.4 was a lifetime mark. He paid $52.20 to win. "He won the Sheppard earlier," Brian Sears said. "On a half-mile track, he showed some ability. His manners have been unruly at times, but he has a very good gait, very willing and loves to race horses. He tries all the way. The only thing we've had problems with is his manners at times, but he has tons of talent." In The Arsenal Live racing resumes on Sunday, September 28, with the $173,400 Bluegrass for three-year-old filly trotters and the $187,200 Bluegrass for three-year-old colt trotters. Post time is slated for 1:00pmEDT. Race replays of action from The Red Mile can be found on our YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

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