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The harness racing pundits in Western Australia reckoned the $200,000 WA  Derby tonight at Gloucester Park was a match race between the two best three year old pacers in the west. Beaudine Boaz from barrier one and Kiwi Legend from barrier two were everybodys pick for the quinella with most opting for the Gary Hall trained Beaudiene Boaz as the likely winner. Gary Hall jnr held the front easily with Beaudiene Boaz with All Aussie Boy and Kyle Harper sitting parked which gave Kiwi Legend and Mark Reid a lovely sit in the one by one. Gary Hall jnr was able to back the pace off over the next two laps with no mid race pressure and it wasn't until he went past the 800 metres to go mark that he turned up the wick with a quarter down the back in 27 before brushing home in 27 to distance the opposition. At the finish Beaudiene Boaz was 24 metres in front of the game filly Tricky Styx who made ground well from a long way back and Danny Crane who had received the run of the race on the back of Beaudiene Boaz in the trail. Kiwi Legend made a three wide run from the 600 metres but only battled in to seventh while the well supported Delightful Offer galloped when looking a big place chance with 350 metres to go. Beaudiene Boaz paced the 2536 metres in 3:06.4, a mile rate of 1:58.3 with closing sectionals of 27 and 27 - a 54 half. It was the eighth win in Australia for the son of Badlands Hanover from just nine starts and the Kiwi import took his lifetime earnings over the $400,000 mark. Harnesslink Media

Champion harness racing reinsman Gary Hall jun. is promising a blistering start with Beaudiene Boaz and is confident the star New Zealand-bred colt will set the pace and win the $200,000 Sky Racing WA Derby at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall is determined to make every post a winner after Beaudiene Boaz drew the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line in the group 1 classic over 2536m and the Badlands Hanover three-year-old is certain to start a red hot odds-on favourite. “We will be coming out of the gate all guns blazing, regardless of what the tactics of the other runners are,” he said. “Kiwi Legend, from barrier two, obviously will have a look (for the lead) out of the gate, and we’ll come out as fast as we can. I’m as confident as you can be in a Derby. But you can’t be too confident in those sort of races. It can be your undoing sometimes. “I’m confident Beaudiene Boaz will lead; I’m confident he’s good enough and I’m confident that he’s well in himself. So taking all those things into consideration I am as confident as I can be. I don’t like to be over-confident.” Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. echoed the sentiments of his son, saying: “Beaudiene Boaz should lead and win. I think he has improved slightly on his win in the Western Gateway last Friday week. He’s got the right barrier and he’s going to make use of it.” Beaudiene Boaz set a track record for a three-year-old over the Derby distance of 2536m (rating 1.56.3) when he started out wide at No. 6, raced three wide for the first 500m, took the lead 150m later and reeled of quarters in 30sec., 28.2sec., 27.5sec. and 29.2sec. in beating Military Master by just over four lengths. That victory made amends for his shock failure at 3/1 on when he raced in the breeze and met interference in the final lap, broke and finished eighth behind the pacemaking Kiwi Legend over 2130m the week before the Western Gateway Classic . Kiwi Legend rated 1.54.7 over the 2130m in that brilliant victory before he raced in the breeze outside Beaudiene Boaz and wilted to finish eighth. “When you’re going 1.54 and a bit over 2130m and on the rail no one is going to sit in the breeze and beat you,” said Hall jun. “In New Zealand Beaudiene Boaz was driven as a  speed horse and when he came over here Dad thought he was just a speed horse. But I reckon he’s more the other way, more tough than fast. He proved at his latest win that the 2536m is right up his alley. “Beaudiene Boaz is a bit of a pain and he doesn’t do much on the sand track, so we’ve got to get into him when it is hopple day. So I let him run along last Wednesday and gave him a good hit-out. I sort of made him go a little bit too quick early, wanting to see how he finished off. He had Elegant Christian sitting on him, and he’s about ready to resume racing. But he didn’t even get to my wheel. I was really happy with the workout.” Asked to compare Beaudiene Boaz with Alta Christiano, who he drove to a runaway victory in the 2013 WA Derby for his father after racing without cover, Hall said: “It’s hard to line them up. Alta Christiano didn’t have the same sort of competition as Beaudiene Boaz has got from Kiwi Legend. We never saw the best of Alta Christiano because his legs were stuffed.” Hall sen. said that Beaudiene Boaz, winner of ten of his 15 starts, would go for a spell after Friday night’s classic. He said that New Zealand authorities had telephoned him to see whether he would like Beaudiene Boaz to be Australia’s invited representative in the rich Jewels Classic in the winter. “I declined the offer and my plans are to concentrate on racing him exclusively in Western Australia,” he said. “After a spell, I’ll bring him back and prepare him for the Golden Nugget and then there’s the interdominion championship here for him in the following two years. He’s got everything here for him and there’s no incentive for me to leave here with him.” The Halls are looking for their second WA Derby success, while the father-son combination of trainer Mike Reed and reinsman Mark Reed is aiming for victory with Kiwi Legend. The Reeds combined to win the Derby with Tricky Vic (2002) and Ace of Spades (2003). Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond hold a strong hand in this week’s classic with five runners, Ima Connoisseur, Assassinator, Bungalow Bill, Denny Crane and Delightful Offer. Delightful Offer was most impressive when Ryan Warwick drove him to an effortless five-length victory over El Comacho and Bungalow Bill in a 2130m Derby prelude last Friday night. Delightful Offer’s prospects diminished significantly when he drew barrier three on the back line. “The draw, with Beaudiene Boaz at No. 1, makes all the other runners only a place chance,” Warwick said. “Delightful Offer felt good and looked good last week. But he faces a stern test and so do all the other runners. Beaudiene Boaz would have to do something wrong to be beaten.” Pacific Warrior clashes with John of Arc Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams described Pacific Warrior as fit, fresh and bright --- and ready to maintain his splendid form by winning the $22,500 Sky Racing Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.      And if Pacific Warrior performs strongly Williams will set him for the $30,000 Narrogin Cup, a mobile over 2662m, on May 2. Pacific Warrior, who has earned $99,950 from four wins and three placings from 13 starts in his current campaign, fared perfectly in the random draw and will start from the prized No. 1 barrier on the front line. His clash with up-and-coming star John of Arc will be a highlight on the ten-event program. John of Arc, who has won in dashing style at his past two starts for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and ace reinsman Gary Hall jun., steps up considerably in class. But the five-year-old, a comparative novice of just 18 starts for 12 wins and four seconds, faces a moment of truth from the unfavourable barrier six on the front line. The wide draw is not fazing Hall sen., who said: “I reckon if he had drawn inside of Pacific Warrior he could beat him. If Pacific Warrior leads, I don’t think John of Arc can beat him. But I think John of Arc is a better horse than Pacific Warrior and he will give him a fright on Friday night. “We won’t give the race to Pacific Warrior. We’ll go round and have a look at him at some stage.”  Hall jun. is looking forward to John of Arc being tested in stronger company.” I thought he could win with a good draw,” he said. “But it will be hard from out wide. “He’s a funny horse who has shown us at home that he is right up there with the best horses we’ve had. But his manners aren’t the best. He won’t do anything wrong, but he doesn’t get around the track all that well. He’s had bad legs, so it’s probably not all his fault.” Williams said that if Pacific Warrior, to be driven by Kade Howson, would contest the Narrogin Cup if he maintained his excellent form in Friday night’s race. “If he leads and any horse apart from John of Arc beats him he will go straight to the paddock,” he said. “The Narrogin Cup could well be his final run in this preparation. He will have a spell for about six weeks before coming back to be prepared for the interdominion championship series in Perth in November and December.” Hall also is looking at the interdominion championship for John of Arc, providing he stays sound. Nuala set to remain unbeaten Outstanding reinsman Clint Hall is bubbling with confidence that brilliant three-year-old Nuala will maintain her unbeaten record by proving too strong for her six rivals in the Push By Schneider WA Oaks Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “This will be her first test over 2536m (the distance of the $150,000 WA Oaks on May 8) and I expect her to enjoy the increase in distance,” he said. “It should be to her liking and I expect her to jump to the front from barrier two and then run a controlled lead time. We’re very happy with where she’s at.” The New Zealand-bred Nuala has not been extended in winning at all her six starts --- by an aggregate margin of 70.1 metres, an average of 11.68m (just under four lengths). Trainer Gary Hall sen. should provide the quinella, with Giuliana Rancic, to be driven by Gary Hall jun., expected to provide the strongest opposition to Nuala. Remarkably, Giuliana Rancic consistently beats Nuala in trackwork at the Hall’s Serpentine training establishment. “I’ve chased Nuala home with Giuliana Rancic in her past two to three runs and haven’t been able to get near her,” Hall jun. said. “And I can’t see this changing on Friday. She’s a bit of a pain because she beats Nuala on the track all the time, leading or sitting. If I lead with Giuliana Rancic, Nuala doesn’t get near her and if I sit I get over her almost every time.   “It’s a bit like Zennart and Beaudiene Boaz. Zennart always beats him on the track, but it’s a different matter in a race.” Leading WA Oaks candidates Tricky Styx and Quite A Delight are not in Friday night’s prelude, with Northam trainer Jesse Moore preferring to contest the WA Derby with Tricky Styx and Justin Prentice keeping Quite A Delight at home. However, adding interest to Friday night’s event will be the first appearance in WA of the Courtney Burch-trained Uaintseennothinyet, the Mike Reed-trained Foxy Dame and Baileys Gold, trained by Greg and Skye Bond. Uaintseennothinyet has won once from ten starts in New Zealand and should obtain an ideal passage from the No. 1 barrier. Foxy Dame has won at one of her six starts in New Zealand and Baileys Gold is capable of a sound effort at her debut after scoring easy wins in three Byford trials in recent weeks.  Jungle Jewel will pay to follow Well-performed four-year-old Jungle Jewel will resume racing after a 31-day absence when she starts from barrier two on the front line of the third heat of the Clipsal Powerhouse Johnson Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and reinsman Ryan Warwick says that she will pay to follow in this campaign. Warwick, in top form after landing trebles at Gloucester Park last Friday night and at Kellerberrin on Sunday, said: “She’s pretty close and will improve with the run. She’s going pretty good and she had a good hit-out in a trial at Byford on Sunday morning when she sat one-out and one-back and got pushed around a little bit.” Jungle Jewel finished fifth in the six-horse trial, five lengths from the winner Heez On Fire, who rated 1.58.5 over the 2185m journey.  Jungle Jewel, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, rarely performs below par and has already earned $89,082 from ten wins and seven placings from 35 starts. Byford trainer David Thompson will be represented by smart four-year-olds Harper Grace (barrier one) and Harriet Elisabeth (No. 2 on the back line) and both mares will have admirers. Hall fancies insignificant horse Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. is excited at the prospect of driving inexperienced New Zealand-bred four-year-old Ideal Justice for the first time when the stallion starts from the No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Sky Racing Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ideal Justice raced three times in New Zealand for a first-up win and two seconds and he is unbeaten at two WA starts when driven by Alysha Johnston and Clint Hall. He raced without cover before careering away for easy wins in his two WA starts. “I haven’t driven him in a race and I’m pretty excited at seeing what he feels like,” Hall jun. said. “He’s been very impressive. “He’s a funny horse who doesn’t show much at home. He’s an insignificant sort of horse at home, who does nothing to grab anyone’s attention. But he has just come out and gone bang, bang. “We had him for quite a long time and he had soreness issues and we couldn’t find anything. We stopped everything and turned him out for a while before starting again.” Hall sen. said that Ideal Justice kept going lame. “So I just put him in a box for six weeks,” he explained. “He had no treatment and now he doesn’t show any sign of any problem.” by Ken Casellas

Master harness racing trainer Gary Hall is having difficulty in controlling his enthusiasm over Beaudiene Boaz. Having already mapped out an ambitious program for the lightly-raced colt, Hall believes Beaudiene Boaz has the potential to follow the hoof prints of recently-retired superstar Im Themightyquinn. Such is his confidence in the son of Badlands Hanover, Hall believes he is unbeatable in Friday night’s 40,000 Caduceus Club Classic at Gloucester Park. Given Beaudiene Boaz is unbeaten from five Western Australian starts, rivals trainers are all but conceding defeat ahead of the feature. Following this week’s engagement, Hall will set the three-year-old for the WA Derby, but will resist heading interstate this season. With the Golden Nugget high on the agenda next term, Beaudiene Boaz is unlikely to travel anytime soon, especially with the riches on offer locally. “There’s the Inter Dominion in WA for the next three years and the WA Pacing Cup, Fremantle Cup and other big feature events every year,” Hall said. As for his upcoming assignment, Hall believes Beaudiene Boaz is capable of leading throughout from barrier three. “The plan will be to go forward,” Hall said. “We will see what the other runners want to do. If they want to get in a war, so be it. “Beaudiene Boaz won last Friday night when he sprinted over the final quarter in 27.1 seconds with the ear plugs still in place. “We haven’t got to the bottom of him and don’t really know what will happen when we find a horse who can actually go with him. “It’s exciting to wonder what he’s capable of. I’m sure he is capable of running a quarter in about 26.5 seconds without any trouble. “He is as good as any three-year-old I’ve ever had. He is a better three-year-old than Quinny was. “At that age Quinny wasn’t as professional as this horse. He had a lot of problems; he wasn’t tractable and pulled too hard. “Beaudiene Boaz is on a par with Alta Christiano, who scored a runaway victory in the 2013 WA Derby.” The Hall family has enjoyed considerable success in the Caduceus Club Classic, with the patriarch preparing the quinella last season when his son Clint scored with Elegant Christian and Gary junior was second with Machtu. Hall previously won the event with The Falcon Strike (2001), Ulrich (2004), Gracias Para Nada (2012) and Northview Punter (2013). Junior’s victories have come with Latte (2003), Ulrich, Alberts Fantasy (2006), Gracias Para Nada and Northview Punter. KEN CASELLAS

Dual harness racing Group One winner Chariot King has been retired after sustaining a serious injury which forced him to undergo emergency surgery last Sunday.  Trainer John Tapp confirmed the gelding had suffered a hairline fracture of his near hind pastern bone and is recovering after the operation. “After the Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All at Menangle on Inter Dominion day he was x-rayed and it highlighted an issue with the pastern,” Tapp explained. “When it was re x-rayed four days later it revealed the injury was more severe than was first thought. “He underwent surgery on Sunday where the bone was screwed into place. He is in a plaster cast and faces a long, slow road to recovery, but he will never race again.” Tapp stated Chariot King is a pacer he will never be able to replace and it is a tough time for everyone involved with him. “He has been with us for so long,” Tapp said. “Chariot King has really become one of the family and he has given us so many thrills in his career. “He has come through the operation well and he was on his feet nearly straight away. He seems comfortable enough, but he will stay at the clinic until the end of the week.” Chariot King will enjoy retirement in a paddock, with Tapp suggesting his wife Ann has plans for the son of Badlands Hanover. “Ann had intended to take him to the various shows and enter him in the standardbred lead in class when he was retired previously with the “thumps”, but when a racetrack return beckoned we had to put that on hold,” Tapp said. “He’s a very pretty horse and I am sure he will win his fair share of ribbons once he has fully recovered from the injury.” Owner Peter Welsh was Chariot king’s biggest fan and he is going to miss him racing. “He has given me a lot of pleasure, a lot of joy and I have made many great friends during his career,” Welsh said. “Chariot King has raced in 43 Group races during his career and I can’t find a horse that is currently racing that has competed in that many. “He may not have been the very best but he wasn’t too far behind them and always tried so hard.” Welsh purchased Chariot King at the Australian Pacing Gold Sale in Sydney after talking with leading horseman Blake Fitzpatrick. “Before the sales Blake told me to go through the catalogue and pick out half a dozen, I did that and after he had the chance to look at them he said that Chariot King was the best one,” Welsh said. “I went into the sales ring and got into a bidding war with Mick McIlroy who was sitting next to me.” “Mick had bought his half-brother Emjayem Grand the year before, but I made sure I was always quick to bid against him and I think in the end he knew that I wasn’t going to back down, I ended up buying him for $25,000 plus GST.” Chariot King’s record sits on 30 wins and 39 placings from 121 starts for earnings of $643,405, with his Group One triumphs coming in the Bathurst Gold Crown and Breeders’ Challenge.    HRNSW Media

In harness racing when you hear the moniker ‘Weona’ you automatically think of topliners. That thought process is only naturally considering outstanding types such as Inter Dominion winner Weona Warrior, Weona Chief and Weona Brave to name a few. For those looking to own a potential ‘Weona’ star, then Lot 287 at the Sydney leg of the Australian Pacing Gold Sale could be the answer to your dreams. Part of the stellar Yirribee Pacing Stud collection, the youngster will enter the ring on February 28. By successful stallion Badlands Hanover – sire of Washakie, Chariot King, Nearea Franco, Flying Pocketlands and Beaudiene Bad Babe – the filly is from good producer, Weona Sassy. A well-bred matron, Weona Sassy is the dam of four winners from six starters, including metropolitan winner, Weona Badgirl. Among the top performers of her crop, Weona Badgirl’s career was cut short after winning six of her 16 starts, with seven placings – including the Victoria Oaks – also to her credit. Along with being in the rich APG race series, the filly is eligible for the Australasian Breeders’ Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown and New South Wales Breeders’ Challenge. PAUL COURTS

Canterbury harness racing trainer Steve Dolan has been going through a bit of a quiet patch lately by his own high standards but a couple of recent acquisitions to the stable look capable of turning that around. The Badlands Hanover gelding Cimarron had his first start for the stable yesterday at Motukarara and didn't disappoint with a nice run for a close up second to the smart Big Texas and it was a run that suggested that he won't be a maiden for long. Steve brought the horse for a syndicate of a dozen people as a low cost entry into harness racing for the group. " He was a cheapie I brought for a syndicate of new owners to let them experience the thrill of racing a horse." "He is no star but he will pick up a race or two and hopefully convert a few of the new owners into long term owners," Steve told Harnesslink today. Cimarron is from the Astreos mare Samantha B who is a half sister to the smart Blackjacky ($54,104) while the grand dam Rare Vintage is a half sister to the former outstanding pacer Impressionist 1:57.9 ($427,005)  The other recent purchase for stable clients was the 4 year old Man Around Town gelding Nui Toc Tien who after an unlucky third at Addington first up for the stable had won his next start with a fair degree of authority at Rangiora last week. That win qualified Nui Toc Tien for the $12,000 Wakefield and Williams Grass Track Championship final at Motukarara yesterday but he had the misfortune to draw the outside of the second row for the mobile 2000 metres race. Driver Dexter Dunn sent him forward early and he worked to the front at the 1200 metres mark. Although hotly challenged early in the run home, Nui Toc Tien really dug deep  when Dexter asked him and he went strongly to the line for another authorative victory. Purchased off breeder/trainer Neil Ure after a smart run for second at Ashburton during Cup Week, Steve thinks that Nui Toc Tien has a bright future. " He was recommended to one of my owners Mark Wooton by Mitchell Kerr as a horse with a future." "We purchased him off Neil Ure and he had done a great job with him and it was a pleasure to buy such a well educated and conditioned horse." "He is a lovely type with both a great gait and speed and has a super attitude as well" "Dexter really likes him and said his win yesterday was a lot easier than it looked," Steve said. Steve has decided a short break of three weeks is in order now and then he will map out a programme for Nui Toc Tien. "I think he has a big future and could go a wee way," Steve said. Although you wouldn't call Nui Toc Tien a "blue blood" being by Man Around Town from a Falcon's Icon mare, his maternal family is littered with outstanding horses. Champion racemares in Arania and Hurrania are close up in his maternal line and his dam Nui Thi Vai is closely related to such smart types as Smooth Trickster 1:54.3 ($156,874), Pulse 1:50 ($196,551) and Glenroydon 1:51.3 ($119,791) to mention just a few. Steve Dolan has developed a reputation as an astute trainer with an eye for a promising horse and his two recent purchases have only further built on that reputation. Harnesslink Media   

The Badlands Hanover Syndicate, in conjunction with Winbak Farm of Canada, has announced that the proven sire Badlands Hanover, will remain in Ontario for the 2015 breeding season at a reduced fee of $3,500. "Ontario is still one of the best racing programs in North America", stated John Celii, Badlands Hanover Syndicate Manager. "Badlands has performed very well since moving to Canada and has become a leading Ontario sire including being the sire of 2014 two-year-old ONSS performers, Manny In Sports, p, 2, 1:53.4s ($115,014), and Ms Mac N Cheese, p, 2, 1:53.2s ($57,626)." "We are encouraged by some of the recent improvements to the ONSS programs", stated Larry Dysdale of Winbak Canada. "In addition, we believe that the 2014 Badlands yearlings sold were clearly the best group we have seen to date". Find more information on Badlands Hanover at www.winbakfarm.com. For breeding inquiries, contact Larry Drysdale at Winbak of Ontario, 905.838.2145, or email winbakcanada@bellnet.ca. From Winbak Farm

Bandana is due to make his return to harness racing tomorrow night at Alexandra Park as he looks to get his once promising career back on track. Bandana, who is a full brother to the former smart racemare Hannah 1:54.3 ($52,,829) is closely related to the former outstanding juvenile Tuapeka Knight 1:58.1 ($198,305)   The son of Badlands Hanover looked a star in the making in his first three starts as a 2 year old, winning his first two starts by daylight and then being narrowly beaten at his third start. The subject of a sizeable offer at that point which ultimately fell through, Bandana also picked up a nasty virus at the same time and was briefly spelled. When he returned to racing, Bandana performed several notches below his best and was tipped out again for a longer spell. Brought back again, Bandana still wasn't right and was tipped out yet again by trainer/ owner Roni Lauren. Having a few little issues that needed sorting out, Roni has entrusted Bandana to local trainer Sean McCaffrey this time in, who had driven the gelding in most of his early runs. Last Saturday at the Cambridge workouts, Bandana in the hands of Sean gave his rivals including the talented Percy Jones a pacing lesson as he cut the 2200 metres out in 2:44.7, a mile rate of 2:00.4 with closing sectionals of 57.6 and 29.2 as he coasted home by 10 lengths. Sean is still not convinced that Bandana is back to his best. " He did that real easy and was waiting for them up the straight but he has to do it on raceday yet and that will the big test of where he is at " he told Harnesslink this week.  "He has a few little kinks to be ironed out yet but there is no doubting the ability is there" he said. As luck would have it, Bandana has landed a smart maiden field to make his debut for the season with Downunderstide, Love Ina Chevy and Percy Jones all looking destined for better things. To compound that, Bandana who is to be driven by champion reinsman Maurice McKendry, has drawn barrier eight and Sean knows it will be tough from out there. "He doesn't have a lot of gate speed so we will be going back at the start and look to have one last shot at them. We just have to hope there is some genuine pace up front otherwise we are up against it a bit, " he said. However tomorrow night pans out, Bandana has shown enough in his short career to date to suggest there are plenty more wins in store yet. Harnesslink Media  

Limelight Beach picked the perfect time of year to blossom.   The sophomore son of Somebeachsomewhere has done nothing less than win his last three starts with aplomb for trainer Ronnie Burke, and now tackles the daunting job of capturing Saturday's 11th race--the $227,000 American National Pace for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings.   He's certainly proven he's up to the task, as Burke harnessed the bay gelding to a pair of victories on Sept. 18 in one of harness racing's most prestigious events--the Little Brown Jug--the second leg of pacing's Triple Crown.   Contested over Delaware, Ohio's half-mile, county fair oval, Limelight Beach and driver Yannick Gingras captured the 69th edition of the pacing classic in straight heats of 1:51 and 1:50.4.   "It was a dream come true--winning the Jug," Gingras said, after he and trainer Burke had both captured their very first Little Brown Jug title.   "Hopefully, this is the start of something big for him," Burke noted. "Maybe he's coming into his own now."   It would appear that is the case. On Sept. 27, Limelight Beach fittingly scored an impressive, wire-to-wire victory in a $92,600 Somebeachsomewhere Bluegrass Stake division at Lexington's Red Mile in a career best 1:49.1.   Limelight Beach had been paired with Delaware-Ohio based trainer Brian Brown until early July, when he made the switch to the Burke Stable.   Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 Stable and Wingfield Brothers, Limelight Beach won six of 10 races last year, with victories in Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes divisions as a 2-year-old, earning $210,192.   This season he's amassed $515,038 from 15 starts with three wins, seven seconds and one third, pushing his lifetime bankroll to $725,230.   Limelight Beach was a $25,000 yearling purchase at the 2012 Standardbred Horse Sale at Harrisburg and is the second foal out of the Badlands Hanover mare Benear p,4,1:49.3f ($319,321). He is a full brother to Benearthebeach p,3,1:53.2f ($66,226) and Momas Got A Gun p,2,1:55f ($13,420).   His main rival appears to be stablemate and million dollar earner JK Endofanera--who won the $218,300 Tattersalls at The Red Mile in 1:49.1 on Oct. 4--and Let's Drink On It, who also won a heat of the Jug in 1:51, but then finished a bottled-up second to Limelight Beach in the final.   Burke, who has conditioned 5,464 winners to $116,631,100 in career earnings, will also throw the harness on the backs of Somesizesomestyle (post 2) and At Press Time (post 3) in addition to JK Endofanera (post 9) and Limelight Beach (post 8). By Kimberly Rinker    

The best performers in the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots this year, pacers and trotters, colts and fillies, will be on display at Mohawk Racetrack Friday and Saturday night. Two $20,000 Semi-Finals will be raced for each division to determine the starters for next week’s $50,000 Grassroots finals. The horses earned their way into the Semi-Finals through their performances in the Grassroots races in their divisions throughout the course of the OSS season. The top 20 point earners entered into the Semi-Finals are eligible to compete. The two-year-olds are in the spotlight on Friday night with the trotting fillies kicking things off in races one and two. Leading point earner Summers Jewel, who has yet to finish worse than third in her young career, has drawn post two for breeder/owner/trainer Ben Baillargeon of Rockwood, Ontario, whose brother Mario will be in the sulky. The Angus Hall miss has started in all six Grassroots events this year with three wins, a second and two thirds. The rookie pacing colts are next up in the third and fifth races. The top two colts in the division, Thinkofagameplan and Jeb will square off in the third race from posts six and eight respectively. Trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario and his cousin Al McIntosh of Leamington, Ontario, bred and own Thinkofagameplan, a son of Ponder who has captured four of six Grassroots events this year. A horse to watch in the fifth race is Moonwards Hanover, who comes into the contest riding a three race winning streak, all in Grassroots events. From the red hot first crop of Sportswriter, Moonwards Hanover is owned and trained by Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario, who also trained her dam, Mouse Hanover. He’s drawn post four with Paul MacDonell aboard. MacDonell will also be up behind Call Me Richard, the leading point earner among the rookie trotting colts, in the next race. Trained by Clare Bradshaw for owner Andrea Arthur of Scotland, Ontario, the Muscle Mass son has won his last two races, both OSS events. The two-year-old pacing fillies are featured in races seven and 10 on Friday’s program with top point earner Ms Mac N Cheese departing from post four in the first split. The Badlands Hanover daughter owned by David Ratchford of Nova Scotia has been on a real roll lately with three straight victories on her scorecard. Sylvain Filion will drive from post four. On Saturday’s card it’s the three-year-old trotting fillies getting the Semi-Finals underway. Torches Star tops the point standings in this group and has post five in race five with regular pilot Steve Condren in the race bike for trainer Ben Wallace and owner Brad Grand of Milton, Ontario. The Angus Hall filly is the second foal from former OSS star Torch, a winner of $357,000 in her career. Their colt counterparts get things rolling in race two and come right back in race three for their two Semi-Finals. Aventure, the leader in this bunch, drew post nine in the third race with Trevor Henry up for trainer Bill Budd. Owned by Orville Rursch of Illinois, Aventure is 4-1-0 in five OSS starts this year. The glamour boy division, the three-year-old pacing colts, are featured in races six and nine on Saturday evening. Top point earner Shadow Place has post three in race six with Henry at the lines for trainer Richard Moreau. Regal Babe, who is less than 10 points behind in second in this division, has post five in race nine. The pacing fillies close out the card in races eight and 10. The latter finds Her Own Land in post five with James MacDonald at the helm for trainer Dave Menary. The leading point getter in this category, the Blissfull Hall filly has three wins and a second in her most recent starts, all Grassroots events. Saturday’s card also features the $286,000 Milton final for pacing mares with three Ontario-sired performers, Monkey On My Wheel, Camille and Voelz Hanover, taking part. To view the entries for Friday and Saturday night at Mohawk, please use these links Mohawk Entries - September 19. Mohawk Entries - September 20. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

The regular harness racing season for the two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series concluded on Friday (September 12) night at Mohawk Racetrack with five $18,000 divisions, and Moonwards Hanover and Thinkofagameplan both kept their Grassroots win streaks intact. Competing in the opening event, Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell), who came into this race off Grassroots successes on August 24 at Georgian Downs and August 31 at Clinton Raceway, circled from third to first before the :56.3 half. He would go on to post three-quarters in 1:26.1 and then kicked home in :28.4 to win by half a length over a closing Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair). There was a dead-heat for third between Big Moment (Randy Waples) and Ballybunion (James MacDonald). Trainer Jack Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ontario, owns Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who is now three-for-six in the win column with a bankroll of $36,000, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples), the points leader in this group, was behind the gate in the second Grassroots split, and he would pull out of the pocket to take command after the 27 second opening quarter. Thinkofagameplan, who was second in a division of the Grand Circuit Champlain Stakes at Mohawk in his last try, would then click off the half in 57 seconds and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 en route to a 1:54.3 score. He defeated runner-up Mybestolxfriendray (Phil Hudon) by a length and three-quarters with Ace Of Clubs (Doug McNair) back in third. Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his fourth win (all in Grassroots competition) from eight attempts and pushed his earnings to $76.440, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. While those familiar faces were victorious, the other three Grassroots flights were all won by horses who hadn’t yet tasted a win in the provincial program this season. Mr Carrotts (Phil Hudon) was the first to break through as he won the third section in 1:54.2. He was first at the :27.2 opening quarter and the :56.4 half, but first-over challenger Star Cover (Jody Jamieson) put a head in front at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Mr Carrotts would battle back on the inside in the lane, and he would go on to beat Star Cover by a length at the finish line with Windsong Lord (Chris Christoforou) in third. Murray Brethour trains Mr Carrotts, a colt by Mach Three, for owner-breeder Melvyn Varcoe of Thornton, Ontario. Mr Carrotts broke his maiden in his fifth trip behind the gate, and he has now put away $10,000. He’s the fourth foal out of the Run The Table mare Cueless ($466,638), who was a three-time winner in OSS competition during her racing career. Robert Hill (James MacDonald) had been picking up minor shares against Gold Series competition, but a drop to the Grassroots level made him a 1:54.1 winner on this night. He left from post eight in the fourth Grassroots test, and he was up to grab the front after the :27.4 opening quarter. Robert Hill would go on to put the :56.3 half and the 1:25.3 three-quarters on the board before a :28.3 final kicker sealed his two and a quarter length triumph. Halton Hurricane (Rick Zeron) was second and Pace Seelster (Jody Jamieson) nabbed third. Tony Alagna trains the winner, a Jeremes Jet colt, for owner Thomas Hill of England. Robert Hill, who was bred by Perretti Farms and sold for $30,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale, picked up his first win from six attempts, and he has now pocketed $19,220. He’s the seventh foal out of the Caprock mare Smooth Latin N ($217,884), which makes him a half-brother to two six-figure earners in McApulco ($365,942) and Mcaracas ($170,579) and to three-year-old Shadios, who has won twice in Grassroots competition this year for the Alagna/Hill combination. In the nightcap it was Supersonic Jet (Trevor Henry) who chopped out the :26.4 first quarter, but he would be overtaken by both Pier Ho Temptation (Chris Christoforou) and Shippen Out (Doug McNair) prior to the :56.2 half. Shippen Out then got to three-quarters first in 1:25, fighting off a first-over test by Jeb (Phil Hudon) in the process. Shippen Out put away Jeb for good early in the stretch drive and then held his pursuers at bay late in the mile to win by a length and a quarter in 1:54. Mystical Jet (Jody Jamieson) came in second and Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon) took third. Blair Burgess trains the victorious Badlands Hanover colt for owner Karin Olsson-Burgess of Milton, Ontario. Shippen Out won for the first time in eight starts, and he has now earned $16,150. Winbak Farm bred Shippen Out, who fetched $9,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. He’s the first foal out of the No Pan Intended mare Shipps Bikini ($410,500), who won a Grassroots division herself as a two-year-old. The two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will return to Mohawk next Friday (September 19) to compete in their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of this Friday’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0912mohsn.dat.

Whenever the Mark Purdon/ Natalie Rasmussen barn lines up a maiden 3 year old at any harness racing meeting in New Zealand, it usually means the opposition is racing for second money. That's the way the betting public saw it tonight in race two at Addington Raceway (September 12th) with the All Stars runner Alta Ronaldo a prohibitive short priced favourite. The general consensus was that Alta Ronaldo should be a class above this lot having raced against the better 2 year olds last season. But as we all know there is no such thing as a certainty in racing and Margarita proved once again that no race is easy to win. Bred and owned by Cran Dalgety and his wife Chrissie and trained by Cran at West Melton, Margarita had the form on the board heading into tonights race. She won a race at two at Forbury in a 2:00.8 mile rate and resumed at three with a meritorious second to the very talented Bettor Scott in a 1:58.8 mile rate. Dexter Dunn sent Margarita forward from barrier seven and grabbed the lead after 300 meters with Alta Ronaldo sitting parked from the start. Mark Purdon sent Alta Ronaldo up to eyeball Margarita at the 600 meters mark but it was obvious passing the 400 meters mark that Margarita still had plenty to offer. And so it proved in the straight with Margarita holding a three quarters of a length advantage over Alta Ronaldo all the way to the finishing line. A 3 year old daughter of Bettor's Delight, she paced the 1950 meters in 2:25.4, a mile rate of 1:59.9 with the last 800 meters in 56 .4 and the closing 400 meters in a very sharp 26.9 The dam of Margarita is the smart Badlands Hanover mare Holloway 1:56.1 ($56,432) who won six races on the track in New Zealand. Holloway is a half sister to two handy types in Ducks A Flyin 1:55.2 ($93,581) and Simple Saver 1:52 ($84,658) and is closely related to the very smart Telemeconique 1:52.2 ($185,615) Why it is early in the season, Margarita looks the type with natural improvement that could mix it with the elite fillies by the time the classics come around. Harnesslink Media   

Mohawk Racetrack had four $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series contests for rookie pacing fillies on their Thursday (September 11) harness racing program, and Sassafras Girl took the fastest time as she won the third flight in 1:53.3. With Phil Hudon handling the driving chores, Sassafras Girl shot to the lead from her post three starting position, and she would click off fractions of :27, :56, and 1:25. The fillies sprinted for home off that 59 second middle half, and Sassafras Girl kicked out a :28.3 final panel to seal the win by two and a quarter lengths over Twin B Honour (Trevor Henry). Little Miss Artist (Doug McNair) was third. Murray Brethour trains Sassafras Girl, a Badlands Hanover filly, for owner Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, Pennsylvania. Sassafras Girl, who is now four-for-eight overall and has banked $31,280, was bred by Winbak Farm. She’s out of the Die Laughing mare Tug River Della ($219,395) and a half-sister to the likes of Rub N Tug ($433,999). This was Sassafras Girl’s third Grassroots success of the season, joining her wins on July 10 and August 11 at Mohawk. Back in the Grassroots opener public choice Southwind Luna (Billy Davis Jr.) carved out fractions of :27.2, :56.4, and 1:26.2, and at the eighth pole she was clear by over three lengths. However, she began to falter inside the final sixteenth, and pocket-sitter Marachere (Jonathan Drury) took advantage, getting up in the shadow of the wire to prevail by half a length in 1:54.4. Southwind Luna had to settle for second and OK Hallelujah (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Marachere, a filly by Lis Mara, broke her maiden in her third try and pushed her earnings to $15,660. Trainer Carmen Auciello of Stouffville, Ontario, also co-owns Marachere with partners Robert Watson of London, Armando Cappuccitti of Maple and Mike Bartram of Ingersoll, Ontario. Marachere, who was bred by Ervin Miller Stable Inc., is the second foal out of the Cole Muffler mare Cherry Tree Coco, a full sister to Home Bed Advantage ($574,535). Race favourite Ride Away Shark (Jody Jamieson) had her backers smiling after a 1:54.4 triumph in the second Grassroots flight. She was in the lead at the 27 second opening quarter, the :55.3 half, and the 1:24.4 three-quarters on her way to a three-quarter length decision over Dublin Rose (Paul MacDonell). Amazing Control (Mike Saftic) checked in third. Ride Away Shark, another Winbak Farm-bred filly, has a trio of victories from eight attempts and has put away $28,480 for trainer Scott McNiven and owners Kim McNiven of Putnam and Thomas Brodhurst of London, Ontario. Those connections took Ride Away Shark, a daughter of Classic Card Shark, out of last year’s Forest City Yearling Sale for $7,000. She’s the first foal out of the Dream Away mare Freedom Away. This was Ride Away Shark’s second Grassroots win of the year as she was also victorious on August 11 at Mohawk. The Grassroots nightcap was brought to you by the number three as Ms Mac N Cheese (Sylvain Filion) posted her third consecutive Grassroots win and breeder Winbak Farm won for the third time. Ms Mac N Cheese worked her way around Machin Marley (Billy Davis Jr.) for the lead at the :27.1 opening quarter, and she would go on to post a :56.2 half and a 1:25.4 three-quarters. Ms Mac N Cheese padded her advantage through the stretch and then coasted home late to win by two and a half lengths in 1:54 flat. She was followed across the finish line by Evas Girl (Peter Core) and OK Heavenly (Doug McNair). Richard Moreau trains the victorious Badlands Hanover filly for owner L. David Ratchford of North Sydney, Nova Scotia. She has five wins from seven attempts this season, and she has earned $33,467. The second foal out of the Artiscape mare Mr Delis Filly, Ms Mac N Cheese was sold for $10,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. Tonight’s races concluded the Grassroots regular season for two-year-old pacing fillies. They will return to Mohawk on September 19 for their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of Thursday night’s events at Mohawk from the Ontario Sire Stakes

Trevor Henry, consistently one of the leading drivers in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, captured three of the four $18,000 Grassroots events for two-year-old trotting fillies on the opening night of Flamboro Downs’ fall meet this evening. All of the fields were reduced by at least one filly with a few having to be scratched due to an accident on the 407 highway which prevented them from making it to the track on time. Just before the first division got underway the field was reduced to seven with the late scratch of Unrelenting and was reduced again when Wicked Speed made a break at the start over the track rated Good due to earlier rains. Bella Santanna and Tyler Moore grabbed control early and hit the opening quarter in :29. She was challenged throughout the next quarter by Lady Jen and that pair hit the half in :57.3. Bella Santanna put that challenger away and was at the three-quarters in 1:27.4. OK Heartbeat gave chase down the stretch but Bella Santanna held on to win in 2:00.1. OK Heartbeat was second with P L Impressive third. Sent off at 50-1 odds, Bella Santanna paid more than $114 for a two dollar win ticket. She was recording her second lifetime win for owner Brydown Farms Inc., of Clinton, Ontario and trainer Heather Toll. A daughter of Santanna Blue Chip, Bella Santanna was making her first OSS appearance of the year. The second division was also reduced by one with the scratch of Marachere. It was Ms Mac N Cheese grabbing the lead early and never relinquishing it in that division, craving out fractions of :29, :59.4 and 1:29.3 and rolling to a nine length win in 1:59.1. OK Heavenly was second followed by Missy Ann. It was the fourth win in six career starts for Ms Mac N Cheese, a daughter of Badlands Hanover owned by David Ratchford of Nova Scotia who developed her and got her started at Northside Downs in the Maritimes before shipping her to Ontario. It was also her second straight Grassroots victory. The third division was minus two starters with the scratches of Sassafras Girl and Katie Snoops. Machin Marley and Fiftyshadesofbay reached the :28 opening quarter together with the latter filly taking over for Trevor Henry and hitting the half in :58.1. OK Hallelujah came up quickly to challenge but Fiftyshadesofbay rallied back and hit the third panel in 1:27.3 and was a three length winner in 1:58.1 over OK Hallelujah and Little Miss Artist. It was the first lifetime victory for Fiftyshadesofbay who had two seconds and three thirds from five starts coming into tonight’s contest. Rick Zeron of Oakville, Ontario trains and co-owns the daughter of Armbro Deuce with breeder Linda Condon of New Jersey. Out from the fourth and final split was Stonebridge Quest. Hello Marylin had the early lead but was passed by Maralika at the :27.3 opening quarter. Twin B Honour paced past the leader at the :57 half and was at the three-quarters in 1:27.2. Down the stretch she had company in the form of Shes A Pansation and that pair drew away from the field with Twin B Honour hitting the wire first in 1:58.1. Blissfulla Cin was third. However, it was deemed that Shes A Pansation caused interference which moved her to third and Blissfulla Cin to second. Trevor Henry was at the lines behind Twin B Honour to give him a driving triple in tonight’s OSS events. Vic Puddy trains the winner, a daughter of Sportswriter, for owner Percy Elkins of Campbellville, Ontario. She is the second foal from a half-sister to $1.4 million winner Our Lucky Killean. The final Grassroots event for this division will take place on September 11 at Mohawk followed by the Semi-Finals on September 19 at the Campbellville oval. Flamboro’s next OSS event will be contested on September 11 when the three-year-old trotting fillies come to town for Grassroots action. To view the results from tonight’s card, please click Flamboro Results - September 2. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

August 31, 2014 - Harness racing driver Donnie Ranking Jr. made four trips to the winner’s circle today at Dresden Raceway. Rankin’s first winner of the day was MUST BE PAIGE in the fifth race.  The three year-old BADLANDS HANOVER filly is owned by trainer Joe Santarossa and his wife Bev. MUST BE PAIGE won her third in a row in 2:01.2. Rankin struck again in the seventh race with RAMMATTIC in 2:00. The six-year-old RAMBARAN mare is owned by Tom Jacobs and Dom DeSantis while Greg Price does training. The man in the blue and yellow checkerboard made his way to the winner’s circle in the eighth race while at the controls of PCS WILCARD. The five-year-old SAND CHASER gelding trotted the mile in 2:02 and is co-owned by trainer Pat Sweeney and his partner Jeff Lemmer. Rankin rounded out the day by guiding SAMILLION DOLLARS to victory in 1:58.2 for owner Amber Robinet and trainer Price. The handle for the Kid’s Day card of racing was $14,475. Monday will feature the revival of the Shelly Goodreau Memorial Pace. Goodreau grew up near Dresden and was one of North America’s premier harness drivers but was killed in a racing accident at Hollywood Park in California in 1982. The morning line favourite is LEAFS AND WINGS while the race is expected to be hotly contested by KENDAL GUSTAV and CALGARY SEELSTER. There will also be lots of draws and giveaways on Labour Day. Post time is 1p.m. and admission is free. by Gary Patterson, for Dresden Raceway

Clinton Raceway will end their 2014 harness racing season this Sunday with a jammed packed card which includes Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots action for two-year-old pacing colts, the track’s 34th annual Charity Drivers’ Challenge and a fundraiser for Childcan. The eight drivers participating in the drivers’ challenge, Trevor Henry, Bruce Richardson, Ryan Holliday, Chris Christoforou, Jody Jamieson, Doug McNair, Phil Hudon and James MacDonald, have all generously donated their driving fees from the competition to Childcan. “We’ve had a great season in 2014 and I’d like to thank all of our horse people, fans and staff who have contributed to its success. We’re very appreciative of the drivers who have donated their fees from Sunday’s card to our fundraiser. We’re looking forward to another great season next year,” noted Clinton’s General Manager Ian Fleming. In addition to participating in the driving challenge, all of the drivers will also be piloting colts in the six OSS divisions. Jamieson, MacDonald and Henry have drives in all six splits. McNair has five OSS steers, Christoforou is listed on four colts, Hudon has three OSS mounts while Holiday and Richardson will each guide one. The first OSS division, race four, features two colts who won a Grassroots event in their most recent outing. The simply named Jeb was a winner at Georgian on August 24 and will leave from the rail with Hudon driving for trainer James ‘Friday’ Dean and owners Wilma and Jim MacKenzie of Ennismore, Ontario. The Camluck son is looking for his third OSS victory this year having also won the first event for this group at Mohawk in early July. Jeb is tied as the leading point earner in this division with 137 points. Big Moment, who also has 137 points, has drawn post three in the second division, race five. Randy Waples will be at the lines as usual for trainer Bob McIntosh behind the son of Camluck who has won three Grassroots to date and was second in another. Moonwards Hanover will also look for his second straight Grassroots win in the first split. He won at Georgian in a life best 1:54. Paul MacDonell will be up behind the son of Sportswriter owned and trained by Jack Darling of Cambridge, Ontario. The third division, race six, finds two colts vying for their third straight Grassroots win. Thinkofagameplan, who has won his last two events, will leave from post two with Waples up for trainer McIntosh. The son of Ponder, owned by McIntosh of Windsor, Ontario and his cousin Al McIntosh of Leamington, Ontario, has yet to finish off the board in five starts to date. Pair Of Deuces has also captured his last two Grassroots outings, at Georgian and Mohawk, for trainer Nifty Norman and owner/breeder Pinske Stables. The son of Badlands Hanover will depart from post six with MacDonell at the lines. The two-year-old pacing colts are featured in races four, five, six, nine, 11 and 12 on Sunday’s card. To view the full program, please click Clinton Entries - August 31. Ontario Sire Stakes

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