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

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

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

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

Tiz A Masterpiece (3, 1:49), a well-bred well performed son of Western Hanover and a sire of classic winners from his first racing crop, will join the stallion strength at Ian and Judi Slater's Goodtime Lodge, Elliminiyt, near Colac this season. His service fee is $1,540 including GST. He is a quality individual standing 15.3 hands, possesses excellent conformation and manners; in fact his constitution is faultless. Tiz A Masterpiece's oldest stock are three-year-olds and they are outstanding types of young horses, clean gaited and are early goers.They include Lady Elaine, winner of the Tasmanian Yearling Sale Classic, Weona Masterpiece (Tas. Belmont), Tiz A Smokey, a two-year-old winner at Menangle in 1:55.1, and Isundula Artist (Tas. Sweepstakes heat). Tiz A Masterpiece qualified as a late two-year-old at The Red Mile but did not race at 2. His racing career commenced in May as a three-year-old with his defining win coming at The Meadowlands in the $210,000 Oliver Wendell Holmes in which he took his record of 1:49. Tiz A Masterpiece had only 17 starts at 3, winning five times and running up a stake score of $224,209 - an excellent total in a brief career. A 2005 foal, Tiz A Masterpiece is bred on a classic cross of blood - that of Western Hanover his sire and Artsplace his maternal sire. Western Hanover, sire of Tiz A Masterpiece, is the leading equine sire of all breeds with progeny earnings exceeding $175 million. A champion pacer himself, with a record of 1:50.8, Western Hanover won 27 of his 42 starts, was voted 2YO and 3YO Pacing Colt of the Year, ran up a record tally of $2.5million and was the leading USA stakemoney sire on four occasions. Western Hanover has matched his greatness as a racehorse in the siring field, and now his sons are achieving distinctions of the same order. Trulyawork Of Art (1:54.2), the dam of Tiz A Masterpiece, was one of the many grand producing daughters of a champion sire in Artsplace (1:49.4), being out of a Canadian Broodmare of the Year in Town Sweetheart (1:57.6), by Big Towner from Savilla Lobell (1:56.4), by Albatross. Besides Tiz A Masterpiece, Trulyawork Of Art is the dam of the 2011 Little Brown Jug winner Big Bad John 1:49 ($1,000,559) - a full brother to Tiz A Masterpiece - and others in Western Artwork 1:51 ($279,521) and I'm Not Gunna Lie 1:52.2 ($254,795). The grand-dam, Town Sweetheart, has been one of the gems of the American stud book. She is the dam of 15 individual winners, three $500,000 winners, three in 1:50, 10 in 1:55 and three successful sires. Northern Luck (1:49.2), a leading sire at Gloucester Park for many years, is one of the offspring of Town Sweetheart.   By Peter Wharton

WASHINGTON, PA, Saturday, June 7, 2014 -- A loser in all seven of his previous starts, Verbal Assault broke his maiden in style Friday at The Meadows, pulling off a 16-1 upset in a $100,000 Pennsylvania Stallions Series stake for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. The event was contested over five divisions, with Brioni, Avalanche Hanover, Invictus Hanover and Status Quo taking the other splits. Dave Palone and trainer Ron Burke teamed for two victories in the stake (Invictus Hanover, Status Quo) while Aaron Merriman also enjoyed a stake double (Verbal Assault, Avalanche Hanover). Verbal Assault wasn't sold as a yearling due to a chip in his coffin joint and was instead entrusted to the care of trainer Sam Beegle. Beegle and his partner, Daniel Courtemanche, liked the son of Well Said-Well Read so much they purchased him privately, only to see his career get off to a rocky beginning. "He's had all bad luck -- nothing good's happened," Beegle said. "Two weeks ago, a brand new hopple hanger broke, dropped, and he stepped out of the hopple. Nothing has gone right until today. He has a lot of upside." On Friday, he followed cover to the lead and held off the late brush of Barbarian by a head in 1:52.4. Bristol Bay was third. Avalanche Hanover moved first over down the backside, clearing before the three-quarters and scoring in 1:52, 2-1/4 lengths better than Dragon's Successor. Stone Cold Shark earned show. "He looked real good on paper, so I just let him do his thing," Merriman said. "He definitely has speed, though he was a little bit green when he got away from them. He needs another second-and-a-half, and you never know what he can race with." Ron Potter trains the Somebeachsomewhere-Anadarko Hanover gelding for Clyde Perfect. Invictus Hanover, who had endured a series of lousy post positions, hustled to the pocket from post 5 and brushed late to down 39-1 bomb Ivan Bob by a length in 1:53.2, with Jackson Brady third. "He's always been a beautiful horse to drive," Palone said of the Yankee Cruiser-I Sparkle gelding. "From the word go, he's always been a pleasure. He's probably a step below the top ones, but he's a fun horse that you look forward to driving. Having been over the track a few times gives him a big advantage." Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Keith Pippi and Michelle Yanek campaign Invictus Hanover, a Hanover Adios Yearling Sale acquisition whose winnings left him $62 short of $100,000 for his career. In the $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Sam Hill extended his winning streak to four in most improbable fashion, parked the entire mile yet prevailing in 1:50.3. Twilight Bonfire was second, a length in arrears, with Lollipop Kid third. Greg Wright, Jr. piloted the 8-year-old Artsplace-Apple Of My Eye gelding, who now boasts a lifetime bankroll of $283,389, for trainer John Sullivan and owner Don Tiger. Saturday's Belmont Day card at The Meadows features the Bye Bye Bird, a $199,000 PA Sires Stake for sophomore colt and gelding pacers. First post is 11:25 AM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Exciting comeback pacer Raging Bull may be having his first start for some 19 months at Addington on Friday night, but his new trainer John Parsons is confident that he can win, despite the fact that he has had no trials or workouts in preparation for his resumption. “He is as fit as I can have him without having a run under his belt,” said Parsons. “He is a five-year-old stallion having his first run in a long time, so you wouldn’t quite know what he is going to do on raceday, but on his work he is definitely up to winning,” he added. Raging Bull, who hasn’t raced since finishing second to superstar pacer Christen Me on October 12 2012, has been in work with Parsons for four months after standing a season at Dancingonmoonlight Stud, where he served a book of 32 mares. “He went in a suspensory and was retired to stud, but time is a good healer and at this stage his legs seems good. However, he is still a day-to-day proposition,” he warned. The bulky son of Christian Cullen and San Sophia (Artsplace) was sent to Parsons by his owner Haleen David, who recently bought out the stallions other connections. “Haleen rung me up out of the blue one day and said he wanted to try him on the beach,” said Parsons. “At this stage I am very glad that he did,” he enthused. Raging Bull, who was formerly trained by Cran Dalgety, has had 10 starts to date for five wins and five seconds. However, since Raging Bull disappeared off the harness racing scene, we have worked out just how good the only three horses that have ever beaten him are - Christen Me, Smolda (x3), and Ideal Scott. That’s not a bad form line when you consider he will contest a C2-3 on Friday night. “On his work he is as good as any harness horses I have been involved with,” said the dual-coded John Parsons. That’s no mean feat when you consider that Parsons has trained multiple cup class performers including Harnett’s Creek, Scorching, and more recently, Artiface. “But I am not getting too carried away at this stage,” said Parson. “We will just take things as they come and try and get Friday out of the way before making any rash plans,” he concluded. Raging Bull has drawn the outside of his gate for his resumption at Addington at 8.35pm, with some handy enough types inside him including Anton Oliver, Jango Fett, Scotlynn Jiggs, and Karanga Red Fantasy. Meanwhile, Southland trainer-driver Clark Barron has indicated that he is keen to take his star filly Raksdeal to Queensland for the Oaks provided that she comes through the Harness Jewels well. By Mitchell Robertson  

WASHINGTON, PA, May 16, 2014 -- Broadway Socks not only routed the field by 8 lengths in her division of Friday's $120,000 Pennsylvania Stallions Series event at The Meadows, but she also established a stake record of 1:55.2 in the process. The stake for 3-year-old filly trotters was conducted over six divisions, with Explosive Attitude, Passing Jetta, Czech It Out, Indoor Voices and Glisten Hanover also taking $20,000 splits. Dave Palone (Explosive Attitude, Czech It Out) and Mike Wilder (Passing Jetta, Indoor Voices) each enjoyed a stake double. With five wins overall on the 15-race card, Wilder has collected 15 victories over the last three programs. Although Broadway Socks earned $84,260 at 2 and reached the championship of the PA Sires Stakes, trainer David Wade had no reservations about dropping her back to the stallions series this year. "We weren't ready for the sires stakes yet -- too early," he said of his $34,000 yearling acquisition. "We're not ready to go in 1:54. We'll be ready to go faster than that eventually, but we're not there yet. But if I kick her back up (to the sires stakes), I'll miss both finals. But $10,000 here is nice money. There are no guarantees in the sires stakes. She's eligible to other stakes -- a couple of things in the Midwest late in the year." Her time erased the old stake mark of 1:56.3 established by Sephora De Vie in 2011. Dan Rawlings drove the daughter of Broadway Hall-I Gotta Feelin to her front-end romp for owners Gerald Brittingham, William F. Peel III and Wade. Explosive Attitude, whom owner/trainer Arlene Cameron describes as "evil" away from the track, moved smartly first over from fifth and easily captured her second straight stallions series split in 1:57.4, matching her career best. Glams K rallied for second, 3-1/4 lengths back, with Keystone Harper third. "On the track she's perfect; in the barn, it's another story," said Cameron of the diminutive daughter of Explosive Matter-My Foolish Dream. "Some days it takes a half hour to catch her in the stall. She'll wheel on you, or she'll come at you with her mouth wide open. I just try not to get mad at her and let her do her thing. You can't manhandle her or fight her and think you'll get somewhere with her because you won't. She'll win every time." Passing Jetta had failed in all five of her previous starts, but she brushed confidently from third into the final turn and drew off late, breaking her maiden in 1:58.1. Exclusive Photo came from far back for second, 5 lengths in arrears, while early leader Winky Dink earned show. "They told me she would be a little excited going to the track but not to pay any attention to that," Wilder said. "They were right. First step on the racetrack, she was a class act. She was fantastic to drive, and she's very smart. I couldn't have asked her to do her job any better." Jonas Czernyson conditions the daughter of Lear Jetta-Europass for Team JC Stable, Joanna Callahan, Aldebaran Park and Trish Foulk. In the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Sam Hill found late racing room and notched his second consecutive victory in 1:51.4, a nose better than Justified, with Good Day Mate completing the ticket. Greg Wright, Jr. drove for trainer John Sullivan and owner Don Tiger. The 8-year-old Artsplace-Apple Of My Eye gelding now boasts career earnings of $264,389. Saturday's Preakness Day card at The Meadows is highlighted by the Stenographer, a $199,400 PA Sires Stake for 3-year-old filly trotters which features the season's debut of Shake It Cerry, the 2013 divisional champion. She goes in the second split, Race 8, from post 7, with Ron Pierce piloting. First post Saturday is 11:25 AM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

When Bill and Anne Anderson of Lauriston Bloodstock were the successful breeders and owners of the 2012 2YO Australian Pacing Gold Fillies winner, Musical Delight, they didn’t think things could get any better. Ten days ago, Bill and Anne equalled that feat when winning the exact same APG fillies’ final with Musical Delight’s little sister, Queen Of Pop (Art Major – Top Tempo). They then went one better when they were the successful breeders of Friday night’s winner of the $322,000 APG two-year-old colts division, Follow The Stars. “Winning the APG Final in 2012 with Musical Delight was incredible, but to bred both of the two-year-old winners and own one of them was something else,” said Anne Anderson. “It is definitely the highlight of our breeding to date,” she enthused. The Andersons also own Rosie O’Reilly, who looks very talented and finished fifth in the APG Fillies Final. However, it is Follow The Stars who has Anne very excited. “I don’t want to get too carried away at this early stage, but he could be anything. He has done everything Mark (Purdon) has asked him to date anyway,” said Anderson. The Andersons have formed a good association with Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen in recent years. “They are fantastic trainers, so we were stoked when they bought Follow The Stars from us last year as we knew he would get the best opportunity possible.” “Mark has been out to our place in Victoria a few times now and also purchased Group One winning filly Willow from us.” Mark Purdon was also the trainer of the very good mare Top Tempo, who is quickly becoming the Anderson’s broodmare gem. “We rung him up before we purchased her and Mark (Purdon) said that she was a great race mare and to go right ahead, so I guess we owe him for that a bit as well,” she quipped. When asked what Follow The Stars was like as a yearling, Anderson said that he wasn’t a complete standout to look at but added that he always showed extreme athleticism. “He always used to pace around the yard and is very light on his feet, so I guess that is what caught Mark’s eye. “Had paid $20,000 for him but said that he like him that much that he would have gone to $45, 000,” she added. Follow The Stars is a son of Art Major and Cam’s Card Shark mare Smyrna Duruisseau. “He is the first colt from the mare. We have just weaned an American Ideal filly from her and she is in foal to Sportswritter, so it is all go,” said Anderson. “Sportswritter has made quite a big impression in Australia so far and, like Art Major, is from the Artsplace line so he should be suited to Smyrna Duruisseau,” she concluded. To find out more about the Lauriston Bloodstock breeding operation click here. By Mitchell Robertson

After prevailing against similar company a fortnight ago and finishing a respectable second to Fireyourguns in last week's top pacing event, Kelly Hope's Stonebridge Master ($3.00) took top honors in Saturday (April 26) evening's $8,000 Miracle Mile 2 Pace at Vernon Downs, posting a 1:54.2 victory in going-away fashion over sloppy going.   The eight-year-old Artsplace gelding raced patiently from off the pace, tracking live cover from Western Trademark (Fern Paquet, Jr.) before swinging three-wide in upper stretch. At immediate asking from Aaron Byron, Stonebridge Master powered clear of his four rivals, winning by a widening 1-1/4 lengths over Western Trademark, while pacesetter Sheer Brilliance (Claude Huckabone, III) was worn down late, finishing third.   Earlier in the card, a pair of $4,000 second round divisions of the Anthony Farina Pacing Series were contested, in which William Donovan's Medusa ($2.30) remained undefeated through three career races. The three-year-old Bettor's Delight fully controlled a :58 half mile before pushing clear on the far turn, scoring a 1:55.2 win by a 6-1/2 length margin in rein to Chris Lems. Joseph Meylan's Stony Brook ($3.30) prevailed in the other division, scoring a 5-length win in 1:56.1.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Thursday, May 1, with the first of 10 races scheduled for 6:45 p.m. EDT. The upcoming Thursday card marks a switch to a three-night weekly schedule at Vernon, as well as the beginning of the Showdown Handicapping Contest, worth $1,500 to the last contestant standing. Visit showdown.vernondowns.com for further details.   by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs

ASHINGTON, PA, April 25, 2014 -- Passed by Seashell Hanover down the backside, Mamas Fallen Angel gamely persevered, overcame her rival in deep stretch and captured Friday's $34,250 championship leg of the Do Me Honor Pace for 3-year-old fillies at The Meadows, completing her series sweep. Unraced at 2, Mamas Fallen Angel was acquired by Megan Rogers Racing Stables via an Internet transaction. A half sister to Odds On Equuleus, a highly touted 3-year-old of 2013, she showed both speed and heart in the Do Me Honor final by enduring a 27.3 opening panel from post 9 and coming on again for Tony Hall after being pocketed. She triumphed in 1:55.3 in the slop, 1/2 length better than Seashell Hanover, with Americangirlfriend third. "She's really a classy filly in that she'll relax real easily," said Norm Parker, who trains the daughter of Well Said-Latte Lady. "After using her so hard, I kind of thought Tony might save her. He's always says he likes to race her off a helmet, but we haven't really been able to. I think she has a lot of potential." Parker said the filly will be pointed to next week's Pennsylvania Sires Stakes opener. "We'll let her tell us where we're going from there," he said. "She's staked quite a bit. Hopefully, she'll dance a lot of dances." In the $18,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace, Outrageous Art parlayed a cover trip and a 26.4 final quarter to victory in 1:56 for Dan Charlino. Twilight Bonfire, who lacked racing room, was second, 3/4 lengths back, while Dedi's Dragon earned show. Ron Burke conditions the 7-year-old son of Artsplace-Righteous Renee, who vaulted over $400,000 in career earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Yannick Gingras and Joseph DiScala, Jr. Dave Palone drove four winners and Dan Rawlings three on the 15-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows  

HARRINGTON, Del. - Robert Winkelman's Paradise Lost ($4.20) benefited from a pocket trip to earn a narrow win in 1:54.2 in the featured $17,000 Mares Open Tuesday at Harrington Raceway as one of five driving winners for Allan Davis. The 7-year-old Artsplace mare sat behind pacesetter Lloyd's Lady who left from her rail post position and set fractions of 28.4, 57.2 and 1:26.1 before Davis urged Paradise Lost to the outside to edge clear in deep stretch. Scootin For Joy closed ground late for third. With just two nights of racing in the books in Harrington's 2014 season, Davis has ten winners. Four-time defending driving champion Ross Wolfenden had two winners as did Eric Goodell, who won the daily doubl, Bret Brittingham and Mike Rossi. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway

Legal Brief stuck his nose out in time to win a photo in Wednesday's featured race at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Trained and driven by Jordan Derue, Legal Brief (Party At Artsplace) survived a first over journey to prevail for the third time in six local tries. The even money favorite worked hard to best rival One Shark Road (Jim Devaux) who nearly wired the field but had to settle for second. Longshot Five Across Nickey (Shawn Gray) earned the show spot. Legal Brief stopped the timer in 1:58.3 for his victory in the $6,000 conditional-claimer. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway    

With Restless Yankee and MacKenzie's Bliss tussling early, Kelly Hope's Stonebridge Master ($5.10) had a fast pace to close into, looping the field in the final quarter mile for a 1:51.2 triumph in the featured $8,000 Miracle Mile 2 Pace at Vernon Downs on Saturday (April 12) evening.   The eight-year-old Artsplace gelding was in no hurry early on, sitting well off a pressured :26.4 first quarter, and even having a 12-length deficit at race's midpoint, where JK Panache (Truman Gale) pushed past Restless Yankee (Chris Lems) to force a :55.2 half mile. Midway around the far turn,   Aaron Byron angled Stonebridge Master off the pegs, and the Jordan Hope trainee's response was instant. Moving three-wide at the top of the stretch, Stonebridge Master gobbled up ground at will, taking over the lead in upper stretch, drawing clear to win by 3-1/4 lengths, and posting a solid :26.3 last quarter en route. Unicorn Hanover (Shawn McDonough) closed from far back to take second, while Moonlight Ransom (Jimmy Whittemore) rallied from last to finish third.   by James Witherite, for Vernon Downs

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- Auditorial had a second and a pair of third place finishes in the qualifying legs of the Michael Scores Knockout Claiming Series at Buffalo Raceway but he saved his best for the $22,750 finals Saturday night (April 5) and registered the mild upset in 1:57.4.   The surprises then continued in the co-featured $10,500 Open Pace as Sand Savage ($16.00) posted a head win over the heavily-favored Running Book in a seasonal best of 1:55.1 over the fast track.   Drew Monti, a 19-year-old provisional driver at Buffalo Raceway, enjoyed the night as he guided both Auditorial and Sand Savage to the victories in the co-features.   In the Michael Scores finals, postponed from last week due to snow and poor track conditions, Auditorial ($13.60) got the perfect trip. He sat in second place from the start, following the pace-setting Enzo Seelster (John Cummings) who put up fractions of 28.2, 58.3 and 1:28. In the dash to the wire, Monti urged Auditorial through the inside passing lane and eventually wore down Enzo Seelster to score the 1/2 length decision. Catman (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) took the show position, finishing a mere length behind.   Owned and trained by Daniel Mullet, Auditorial (Artsplace-Special Addition) is an 8-year-old gelding who has now earned $17,589 this season and $164,760 lifetime. It was his second win in 2014 and 17th of his career as well.   In the Open, it was a two-horse breakaway as the pace-setting Running Book and pocket-sitting Sand Savage opened up an 11-length lead on the field by the three-quarter marker. In the stretch, the leg-weary Running Book drifted out badly while Monti kept Sand Savage on a straight course to the finish line and managed to win by a neck.   Sand Savage (Allamerican Native-Sheer Hose) is owned by Robert Salzman and is conditioned by Rose Russo. It was the second win in 11 starts for the 7-year-old horse this year. It upped his winnings to $16,332 in 2014 and $340,184 lifetime.   Racing will resume on Wednesday night at Buffalo Raceway with a 13-race card set to begin at 5 p.m. The $10,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace is the feature and is scheduled as the eighth race.   For more information including upcoming schedule, promotions, replays, results and news, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

WASHINGTON, PA, March 29, 2014 -- Imagine Hanover completed his sweep of the Ken Weaver Memorial Trot at The Meadows by romping away with Friday's $27,750 championship and rolling up a combined, four-leg victory margin of 36-3/4 lengths. Also taking series championships were Partyatbartsplace -- who also swept his four legs -- Hierarchy and Stirling Bella. Brett Miller (Imagine Hanover, Hierarchy) and Aaron Merriman (Partyatbartsplace, Stirling Bella) logged a sweep of sorts by winning all four finals between them. Imagine Hanover hadn't been performing terribly well in overnights prior to the series for 3- and 4-year-old colts, horses and geldings. But the 4-year-old Broadway Hall-Imposing Hanover gelding put it all together for the Weaver. Del S. Miller, who trains Imagine Hanover for James Beluscak and Robert Carson, can't put his finger on any specific reason for the improvement. "I really think we might have started him before he was ready," Miller said. "He qualified super, then threw in two or three clunkers. He just came around and put four races together really well. I just hope it continues. They make you pull your hair out, these horses. You think you have them figured out, then they prove you wrong." In Friday's final, Imagine Hanover moved easily first over and triumphed in 1:54, 11-1/4 lengths better than 80-1 Gotta Luv Cash, with Spicey Victor third. Miller said he likely will give Imagine Hanover some time off before resuming his campaign at The Meadows. In the other championships: $28,500 Walter Russell Memorial Pace, 3- and 4-year-old colts, horses and geldings Partyatbartsplace rushed to the lead for trainer Chas Norris and owner Thumbs Up Stable and held off the Lightning Lane charge of Mattamerican to down him by 3/4 lengths in 1:54.1. Hickory Icon earned show. Much like Imagine Hanover, Partyatbartsplace entered his series off several poor outings, but Merriman said he remained confident in the abilities of the 4-year-old Party At Artsplace-Miss Major Power gelding. "I watched him race at Northfield a lot," Merriman said, "and truthfully, he really isn't as alert on the front; he kind of waits on them. But he's turning into a nice little racehorse. Chas has done a great job with him." $30,750 Mary Wohlmuth Memorial Trot, 3- and 4-year-old fillies and mares Shuffled to seventh and with no apparent racing room, Hierarchy found a seam late and won in a wild photo finish involving seven horses in 1:59. The rallying Mina was a hard-luck second, a head back, with Mystical Melody third. The win was especially gratifying for trainer Tim Twaddle, who purchased a piece of the 3-year-old Glidemaster-Mi Amiga filly after owner Karin Olsson Burgess bought her back at the Meadowlands sale. "She certainly had trot," Twaddle said. "Boy, the seas parted and we got through, thank goodness. She's in the next series here for 3-year-olds. From there on, we'll see how she develops." $28,500 Donna Dunn Memorial Pace, 3- and 4-year-old fillies and mares Stirling Bella rushed to the pocket from post 8 and blew by the 1-2 favorite, Small Town Charmer, in the stretch to defeat her by 3/4 lengths in 1:54.3 and capture her third series leg. Fashion Katie completed the ticket. "I bought her to race, maybe put her in conditioned-claimers if she wasn't good enough," said Dave Zito, who trains the 4-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Fast Princess for Mervin Wengerd. "I didn't even think about the series -- she just made it under the earnings limit by about $300. I thought, let's give her a shot. She's not a real big filly, so you can't beat her up real hard leaving, but she has some speed, and she's nice to drive. "We'll give her a couple weeks off and just keep racing her."  

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