Day At The Track
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Fly Like An Eagle is the horse to beat in Saturday's Harness Racing Jewels $200,000 2YO Emerald at Ashburton after a sensational workout on the course yesterday.

First it was ducks, then a cat and yesterday a dog. What will it be next? A frisky feline narrowly avoided being roadkill when it ran out in front of a harness racing field near the finish of the last race at Alexandra Park on Friday night, just down from where a mother duck and her ducklings caused mayhem two seasons ago.

An unheralded former Southland harness racing pacer named Baby Bling, who flopped at a low class meeting in New South Wales, could rid Kiwis of a mystery leviathan punter, who has been wreaking havoc with tote dividends.

It was a statement that made everyone snap to attention. Here was top harness racing driver Ricky May, the pilot of champions like Christian Cullen, and New Zealand Cup heroes Monkey King, Mainland Banner, Iraklis and Inky Lord, labelling Carabella as potentially the best horse he has driven.

The sponsor of Friday night's Sires Stakes Two-Year-Old Fillies' Championship was almost as happy as the winning owner. Braeden Whitelock and his wife Caroline celebrated their second Group I win in a week when O Baby upset her harness racing rivals in the end of season fillies' feature.

Andrew Breckon surely set a world first when the nine-year-old stepped boldly to the front to thank the Auckland Trotting Club for staging the $200,000 Canam Rowe Cup on Friday night. When most other children of his age would have been tucked up in bed, here he was holding stage in the harness racing hospitality room at Alexandra Park, making the acceptance speech for his absent parents.

Three down, two to go. That's harness racing trainer John Dickie's scorecard with Paramount Geegee, gutsy winner of Friday night's $80,000 Breckon Farms Northern Trotting Derby. "I set five goals for him this year," Dickie said after the hunking trotter reeled in Springbank Sam with a desperate late burst at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

For harness racing owner Laurie Henwood, winning the Woodlands Stud Taylor Mile with Gomeo Romeo meant far more than the $65,786 winner's stake, or the Group I status. The significance of the success for the little man with the big humour became apparent immediately after the race in the hospitality room at Alexandra Park, which was packed with his newfound family.

One of the most important people behind crack filly Dancing Diamonds was missing from the harness racing winner's circle at Alexandra Park on Friday night. But the reason Margaret Creighton was at home in Mosgiel, watching her pride and joy bag the $200,000 PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales Fillies' Final, explained why she was so good, according to husband Phil.

Harness racing trainer John Dickie can't believe breeders and buyers still haven't woken up to Pegasus Spur as the next boom trotting sire, despite the deeds of his brilliant pair Paramount Geegee and Flying Isa.

It will be another week before harness racing owner Trevor Lindsay knows if star filly Better Cover Lover will survive her horrific foot injury. He talks to Barry Lichter about his heartbreaking experience.

How Interdominion champion Smoken Up has returned a positive test to DMSO is a complete mystery to one of New Zealand's most respected harness racing trainers, Richard Brosnan, who hosted the horse during the series in Auckland.

Two former teenage buddies who lost touch with each other, but were reunited by sheer chance more than 25 years later through their love of harness racing stood, teary-eyed, in the winner's circle at Alexandra Park on Friday night, celebrating Smoken Up's brave Interdominion Grand Final pacing win.

The Infield sign closest to the winning post at Alexandra Park reads "Breckon Farms, breeding champions" so it was entirely appropriate that was just about the spot where I Can Doosit mastered boom Australian Let Me Thru to become 2011 harness racing Interdominion trotting champion.

You could see they didn't want to leave the harness racing victory circle. The cameras kept clicking, with hugs and high fives long after Annicka had come back to scale on Friday. Dressed in their smart blue tops, like a Swedish national team, Annicka's large band of supporters milled round gushing in Swedish over their ground-breaking win in the Interdominion Trotting Consolation.

Horsemen are starting to question harness racing's policy of not stopping the mobile gate when a false start is declared, after the favourites were affected in both Interdominion trotting heats at Auckland.

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