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DOVER, Del.--- Just Bettor, second from post 8 in three of his previous four races, finally made the harness racing winner's circle in the $20,000-$25,000 Claiming Handicap on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at Dover Downs. Second by a neck last time, by a head the race before, Just Bettor won the battle to the finish line in 1:53.4 to win the top claiming event of the week, for his 14th lifetime win and $164,086 career earnings. King Royalty (Jim Morand) paced strongly on the outside to challenge on the backstretch and continued on to finish a close-up second. Bettor And Bold (Trace Tetrick) came on to take third money. Ken Wood and Minisink Farms own the Bettor's Delight-Just Great gelding who has not missed a check in his last seven outings. The win was the first of two for driver Vic Kirby. Eddie Davis Jr. had the longshot winner of the day driving David Hamm's 43-1 shot Lengthoftime home in 1:54.3 to win a Delaware $4,700 Male pace. Earlier he piloted J&M Racing's Jaipur to victory in 1:54.4 to take a $5,000 Delaware pace. Ross Wolfenden and meet leader Corey Callahan led the driver's parade with three winners each. Along with Eddie Davis Jr., Vic Kirby and trainer Joe Hundertpfund had two wins apiece. A strong octet of trotters meet in the $18,000 Open on Wednesday led by Tirade Hanover, Tough Mac and Fitness Craze, all winners last time out. Monday through Thursday racing starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday are "dark days.' Racing resumes Sunday with post time 5:30 p.m. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight. There is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner's Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. The draw schedule to be changed temporarily Dover Downs will not race on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) necessitating the draw schedule to be changed temporarily. There will be a double draw on Monday (Feb 2) for race programs for Thursday (Feb. 5) and for Sunday (Feb. 8). On Tuesday, Feb. 10, the usual draw schedule will resume. Marv Bachrad

The harness racing workouts at Rangiora today (January 28th) featured 20 heats but most interest was centred around the six two year old heats. There were plenty of well bred youngsters on display and some budding stars put their hands up today. We thought we would comment on all the juveniles that impressed us in their heats and as has become common in the last few seasons, most of those were runners belonging to the All Stars Stable. Chase The Dream - Straight to the front and gave nothing a look in in taking out his 2000 metres heat in 2:30.5, a mile rate of 2:01 with closing sectionals of 57.9 and 28.5 Seemed to do it with a fair bit in reserve and backed up his impressive trial win at Ashburton last week. Obvious contender for feature races coming up in the next few weeks. Waikiki Beach - Settled well back in the running,but made ground impressively late to run second to Chase The Dream, beaten two lengths. Ran through the line and seems to have a fair bit of bottom to him. One or two look better at the moment but he is the type to keep getting better with trials/racing. Major Ben - Settled midfield on the inner before breezing from the 600 and was holding his stablemate Motu Premier the last 50 metres after giving him the drag home. He cut the 2000 metres out in 2:29.5, the fastest time of the day, a mile rate of 2:00.2 with closing sectionals of 57.7 and 28.6. It was another impressive display after his 1:57.6 mile at the Ashburton trials last week. A big son of Art Major, Major Ben has all the attributes you look for in a top two year old and he looks to have a big future.  Linton Shard - Nice run for third this week after a handy workout win last week and the Changeover half brother to Smiling Shard 1:53.7 ($1,178,793) and Pemberton Shard 1:55.8 ($187,997) continues to impress. The addition of Dexter in the bike should make him competitive. Motu Premier - Ran his stablemate Major Ben to a head but did have the drag home on his back. Showed real improvement on his third at last weeks Ashburton trials and further improvement on today's effort will make him competitive where ever he starts. Mastercraftsman - Having his first run away from home, the son of Bettors Delight was very impressive storming home late to grab Ice Crusher. Cut out the 2000 metres in 2:30.9, a mile rate of 2:01.3 with closing sectionals of 58.1 and 29.3. Will definitely improve of his first run which makes him a major player anywhere he goes. Ice Crusher - Went good last week at the workouts but better again this week and has all the ringcraft to make a two year old. Looks a touch off a few mentioned here but manners and ringcraft will take him a long way. Dream About Me - The three quarter sister to champion mare Adore Me was very impressive finishing quickly late for the win. She paced the 2000 metres in 2:33..2, a mile rate of 2:03.2 with closing sectionals of 58.6 and 28.3 This was her first run back after a couple of unplaced trial runs in November and there is a lot of upside in this filly. Emeli Maguire - This daughter of Rocknroll Hanover is a half sister to the brilliant Lizzie Maguire 1:55.1 ($477,366). A winner and placed at her two previous trials last October/November, Emeli Maguire has come back  really well and looks a filly with a big future. Northern Velocity - Didn't run time today but very impressive performance. Last at the 800 metres, she worked forward from there and was too strong in the straight.   Has had plenty of practice to date and looks to have plenty of upside. Arden's Choice - Again she didn't run time but very impressive closing 800 metres of 57.2 shows she is a two year old of real potential A half sister to such standouts as Bettors Strike 1:55.7 ($890,201) Rocknroll Arden 1:54.8 ($172,154) and  Southwind Arden 1:58.4 ($150,127) means she has the breeding to match her ability. Also has the ringcraft to go with her ability Mackenzie - Big powerful filly who really made ground stylishly the last bit to push Arden's Choice. Coming off the back of a very impressive win last week at Ashburton, Mackenzie looks like a filly that can do a lot of work and still finish off her races. Mackenzie is by Rocknroll Heaven from the champion Australian racemare Kept For Pleasure 1:56 ($542,343) so she lacks nothing in the breeding department. The best Rocknroll Heavens to date have all been fillies so she ticks all the boxes. Harnesslink Media

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 22, 2015 -- The beaten harness racing favorite in five of his six most recent starts, Visible Gold was determined not to let another opportunity slip away, digging in late to capture Thursday's $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Visible Gold was leading throughout the mile but was challenged in mid-stretch by the pocket-sitting Dew N Doughnuts. The 7-year-old Bettor's Delight-Gabrielle gelding held off his challenger by a nose to score for Dave Palone in 1:53.4 over a sloppy surface. Solar Surprise rallied for show. Ron Burke trains Visible Gold, who extended his career bankroll to $383,944, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables. It was one of four wins on the 14-race card for Palone. Evan Pattak

Canterbury harness racing trainer Barry Ward has always got a nice horse or two in his racing team and his runners often turn up at lucrative odds when you least expect them too. Add in the grass track at Motukarara and Barry's runners are a must include in any combinations for punters as his record at the rural Canterbury track is second to none. Today Barry lined up the three year old Bettors Delight filly Bird Of Paradise in the C1-2000 metre mobile and even though her form looked pretty bleak on paper, punters were well aware of the ability of the Ward runners on grass and sent her out third favourite in the 14 horse field. Taken back off the gate by driver Sam Ottley from barrier eight, Bird Of Paradise settled fourth last in the strung out field and didn't start to improve until she joined the three wide line with cover at the 600 metres mark.  Sam pulled her out four wide as they turned for home and she quickly ran to the leaders and just kept getting further in front the further they went. At the line Bird Of Paradise held a four length advantage over her nearest challengers in Party Rage and Expressive Victor. Barry Ward wasn't surprised by the ease of the win. " Her work at home has been super for a while but she has just been so unlucky on raceday." "Bad draws, checks in the running, you name it and she has copped it in the last few starts" " I thought the draw might be enough to stop us again today but Sam drove a beautiful race and Bird Of Paradise did the rest. "She may lack a touch of high speed but she will stay all day," Barry said. Bird Of Paradise is bred to be good being the ninth winner from Barry's former top racemare Time's On My Side (10 wins) ($85,865) Other smart winners from the mare include Wonderful Tonight (6 wins) ($118,740) Child In Time (10 wins) ($85,144) and Carl Lewis 1:52 ($71,350). Time's On My Side is now the ripe old age of 24 and is suffering badly from arthritis and Barry is concerned about her health. " She is like part of the furniture at home but the arthritis is really bad now and I don't think she will cope with another winter." "I  would really hate to see her suffering," Barry said. Todays win by Bird Of Paradise continued the great run of success that Barry has enjoyed on the track and punters have learned long ago to always include the Ward runner in your trifecta and first four bets at Motukarara. Harnesslink Media  

With the $200,000 Ladyship Mile which is run on Inter - Dominion Grand Final day getting closer, a lot of the local trainers in New South Wales lined up last night in the $40,000 Group 3 Teeny Teeny Stakes with an eye on the upcoming mares classic. The race was also notable for the presence of the outstanding Queensland mare Forever Gold who punters sent out the $1:60 favourite. Local trainer Shane Tritton had four of the ten runners but their chances were not rated highly after they drew the four outside barriers for the mile race.  With the winner guaranteed a start in the Ladyship Mile no quarter was asked or given last night. The well supported Sweet Molly O'Shea grabbed the lead early with Forever Gold settling in the death seat while two of the Tritton runners in Pas Ultimate Delight and Chance went forward and the other two in Laterron and Rathmore Lady were restrained back to the rear at the start. After 500 metres Elusive Chick was sent forward by Robbie Morris but Brad Hewitt on Sweet Molly O'Shea and Shane Graham on Forever Gold were having none of it and the trio went head to head for the next 800 metres. As they turned for home Sweet Molly O'Shea had shaken off the two challengers but was very vulnerable to the swoopers from the back. First to appear was Rathmore Lady from the back who swept to the lead only to be claimed late in the piece by Pas Ultimate Delight with Lauren Panella in the bike. Another stablemate of the first two in Laterron finished on well for third with Sweet Molly O'Shea fighting on gamely for fourth. Shane Tritton was not sure how his runners would fare from the draws. " I really didn't know what to expect having drawn the four outside gates but all the drivers did a great job and put them in the right spot at the right time," Shane said. The Tritton barn has always a big opinion of the winner Pas Ultimate Delight. "She has always been a mare who is running on in those fast run races. " "She is a great mare on the speed and I have been dying to get her into a race like the Ladyship Mile where they really run along." "I am sure she won't disgrace herself," Shane said. Shane was thrilled with the runs of both Rathmore Lady and Laterron and expects both to derive a lot of benefit from last nights run. "They were both first up last night so there is still a lot of improvement left in both of them" "There is another race in a fortnight for the four of them which is restricted to mares and where the winner is guaranteed a start in the Ladyship Mile so they can all go round again," Shane said  Pas Ultimate Delight paced the mile in 1 :52 with closing sectionals of 56.5 and 28.1 It was the daughter of Bettor's Delight 13th win and took her stake earnings over the $150,000 mark. Punters who follow the Tritton barn would have been on good terms with themselves after the race with the quinella paying $610.70 and the trifecta a whopping $6,261,70 Harnesslink Media    

Plenty of harness racing pundits thought that the smart 2 year old Lazarus would be hard pushed to repeat his debut win when he lined up in heat two of the Young Guns series at Alexandra Park today. After all his main competition in Swamp Major and Motown had both drawn nicely in close while Lazarus had drawn badly at barrier eight. With the margin from their first meeting being so narrow, many thought that the result would be reversed this time. Swamp Major with Blair Orange in the bike left the gate quickly and grabbed the early lead while Motown slotted into a lovely trail from barrier two. Mark Purdon went forward from barrier eight with Lazarus and when Sabrage galloped he was able to slot onto the back of Kimani in the one by one. That is the way the order stayed until 150 metres from home where Mark angled Lazarus off Kimani's back and dashed home the last bit for a narrow but impressive victory. Swamp Major was game in second place with Motown battling into third place along the passing lane. Lazarus paced the 1700 metres in a quick 2:03.1, a mile rate of 1:56.5 with closing sectionals of 55.7 and 27. Part of last years Studholme Bloodstock's consignment to the yearling sales, Lazarus was purchased by long time All Stars clients Kennard Bloodstock for $75,000 and they were joined in the ownership by Trevor Casey and Kevin Riseley.  While loath to compare him to previous top 2 year olds he has trained, Mark Purdon gave the son of Bettor's Delight a good rap. " He is just a natural 2 year old and has great manners and that counts for a lot in these races." " The time didn't surprise me as they have been running time in most of the races here," Mark said. When quizzed about whether Lazarus looked the early favourite for the Young Guns final Mark was a touch more circumspect. " Bit early to say but he is certainly heading in the right direction,"Mark said  Harnesslink Media  

The Gore Harness Racing Club was the scene yesterday of just another reminder of how talented the Williamson clan is when the family completely dominated the Xmas meeting. Phil tends to take a back seat this days as his three sons have gone about establishing themselves as top horsemen in their own right. Race one was a portent of things to come for the day when the Phil Williamson barn runner Brads Kenny absolutely bolted in on debut by 8 3/4 lengths with Nathan and Brad driving the minor placegetters for a "Williamson" tfifecta. A 3 year old son of Monarchy from the former 3 year old Trotting Filly of the year in One Over Kenny ($87,919), Brads Kenny was purchased by Phil Williamson for the Met Eight Syndicate at the 2013 sales at Christchurch for $26,000. Even though he qualified at two, Brads Kenny has been given plenty of time before making his debut yesterday. Driver Matthew Williamson was suitably impressed with yesterday's effort. " It was a real good effort for a young trotter having his first start" " He does have great manners though so I thought he would do things right," Matthew told Harnesslink today. " He is not very big like a lot of that "Kenny" breed but he is beautifully gaited and has a future," Matthew said. No one in the stable is getting too carried away at this stage and plans at the moment are to set him for the Northern Southland meeting on January 15th. "We will just race him in the grades down here and see how he progresses," Matthew said. Not to be outdone, Nathan Williamson trained and drove the short priced winner of race 2 in Statham. Another making his debut yesterday, Statham was sent out a $1:50 shot on the back of some impressive trials performances. The 3 year old son of Bettor's Delight is from a full sister in blood to the former Harness Jewels winner in Joyfuljoy 1:51.3 ($339,612). After qualifying Statham as a 2 year old in 2:00.2 for the mile, Nathan turned him out to strengthen up. " The owners have been really patient and I think it will pay dividends in the long run." "He won yesterday on raw talent and great manners but I don't think you will see the best of him until he is four" "He is such a big horse and when he matures he will make a lovely older horse," Nathan said. No sooner had Nathan won race 2 then he was at it again taking out race 5 with the talented Sundon trotting mare Dwindle Mist.  Starting off 40 metres behind, Dwindle Mist came with a strong staying run from well back in the field to grab her fourth win in her last six starts. Nathan thought the two false starts may have undone her yesterday. " She caused the first false start when she went through the barrier strand and then on the second attempt she got the tape around her legs. "On the third attempt she bounded away but came down quickly but settled well back so I didn't think I could win the race from back there." "When I looked up at the 800 metres, we were miles from the leaders but she ran home great," Nathan said. Trained for her first two wins by his father Phil, Dwindle Mist was sent to Nathan to give her a change of scenery and she hasn't looked back. "She is really in the zone at the moment and I don't think she has stopped winning yet." "We will head to Roxburgh next where she will be off 50 metres but I don't think that will stop her, Nathan said. To cap off a great day, Nathan trained and drove his third winner for the meeting when the Jereme's Jet 4 year old mare Kiwi Focus took out the last at odds of 27 to 1. Last early in the 14 horse field, Kiwi Focus was three wide for nearly a lap before finding the death at the 900 metres mark and then proved too strong in the straight for the Dexter Dunn driven Ohoka Royal in a 2:00.6 mile rate. Nathan was quietly confident of a big run prior to the race. "Her work at home has been excellent and everything pointed to a big run" "She finished close up behind Statham at the recent trials in a 56.6 half so I thought she would go good" " I cant believe she paid $27.00 but the owners are happy because they had a punt on her," Nathan said. All things considered it was a great day for the Williamson boys and the way their horses went it might pay to follow them over the holiday period. Harnesslink Media   

Prebbleton trainer John McDermott was more than a touch emotional yesterday when Supreme Gem stormed home late to win the mares mile at the Boxing Day harness racing meeting at Ashburton. John couldn't help but contemplate how the people who taught and helped him get involved in harness racing weren't around to share the victory with him. "Peter Cowan and his partner Vicky were very good friends of mine and taught me the ropes when I was starting out." "Peter wanted to send his top mare Flying Sands to Christian Cullen but didn't have a booking so I let him use one of my bookings and the resultant foal was Supreme Gem." "I saw her from a foal right through to the yearling sales when helping Peter out but I really had no intention of buying her at that stage,"John told Harnesslink today. By the time of the sales Peter had died and Vicky had taken over the racing and breeding operation. Sold for $60,000 to Burnham trainer Mark Jones at the sales, John was told soon after that Mark didn't have any owners in mind when he purchased her. "So I contacted Mark and ended up buying a quarter share for myself and my wife and some very good friends of ours Pat and Fred Dowie also brought a quarter share. "The other half was taken up by one of Marks owners in the first instance but we along with the Dowies brought out the other owner of Supreme Gem when she was a 4 year old." "I took over her training in April 2012 but I couldn't have done it without Mark Jones's help" "I really owe Mark Jones a huge debt of gratitude for all his help and advice through Supreme Gem's racing career," John said. Of course by this time Vicky had also died and John admits he was fairly emotional yesterday when Supreme Gem finally got a time in line with her ability. Restrained off the gate early from barrier nine by driver Mark Jones yesterday, SupremeGem was last at the 800 metres before latching on to the three wide train at that point. From there she stayed on Stradowan's back until 250 metres from home where she peeled off and grabbed a game Stradowan in the last fifty metres for a deserved success. "She was beaten as a 3 year old by a head in 1:54.4 after being three wide for 800 metres and then being parked for the last 800 metres so I was rapt yesterday that Supreme Gem finally got a time in keeping with her ability." "I heard the commentator Mark McNamara say that I would be doing handstands over the win and I would have been if the old body had been up to it,"John said. But John also was aware that his very good good friends Peter and Vicky were no longer here to share in the victory. "I was thinking of them straight after the race and it was a bit of a bitter/sweet moment," John said. Supreme Gem is lucky to be racing at all after fracturing a pasten a couple of years ago. " She had a few screws inserted and why she has had a few niggles with the leg, she has still managed to continue racing." " I've had her on the beach with Regan Todd for the last ten days and that has helped with all those little niggles," John said. Regardless of how her leg holds up, the racing future of Supreme Gem is limited as the daughter of Christian Cullen is in foal to champion sire Bettor's Delight. " She and her stablemate Flyover are both in foal to Bettor's Delight so don't have many races left," John said. With Supreme Gem having won over $80,000 to date and with a winning time of 1:53.7 besides her name, she has plenty to recommend her as a broodmare. However when you take into account that her dam Flying Sands went 1:56.5 and won $113,194 and that she is very closely related to a myriad of outstanding horses such as Venus Serena 1:52.1 ($701,921), Bettor's Strike 1:55.7 ($890,201) and Bella's Boy 1:52.1 ($473,171) then Supreme Gem looks very well placed to add to this outstanding family's achievements. Harnesslink Media     

Some things in harness racing never change and that was reinforced yet again this evening when the first heat of the "Young Guns" series for juveniles was held at Alexandra Park. The All Stars barn of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen always have 2 year olds ready to go early in the season and tonight was no exception with the leading New Zealand barn represented by the son of Bettor's Delight in Lazarus. Purchased out of the New Zealand Premier sale in February for $75,000, Lazarus is from the Christian Cullen mare Bethany who is closely related to the former topliners Stars And Stripes 1:51.2 ($795,750) and Light And Sound 1:50.4 ($560,904). Drawing six at the barrier, driver Mark Purdon set Lazarus alight out of the gate and he worked to the front after 300 metres from the well supported Kimani who settled in the trail. Mark immediately took the foot off the throttle and was allowed to dictate a moderate tempo during the mid stages. Increasing the tempo from the half, Mark pressed the go button at the 400 metres but had company as they straightened for the run home with Kimani on his inside and Swamp Major on his outer. Just when it looked like he may be beaten, Lazarus pulled away the last 75 metres for a 1/2 length victory on debut with Swamp Major and Kimani filling the minor placings. Lazarus paced the 1700 metres in a moderate 2:08.2, a mile rate of 2:01.3 with closing sectionals of 57.1 and the final 400 metres in a sizzling 26.8. While there are still another five heats before the final in early March, Lazarus showed enough tonight to suggest he will be a leading candidate in ten weeks time. Harnesslink Media    

The outstanding Bettors Delight gelding Arden Rooney will do his summer racing at least in Australia heading to Melbourne in the New Year. Instead of racing in Canterbury as previously planned, Arden Rooney will head north and race at Cambridge in the Futurity for four and five year olds on December 24. Arden Rooney was going to head south after Xmas for the cups circuit down south but will head to Cambridge instead. "Then its off to Melbourne and he will race over there  for some time" Natalie said this week. Australian-owned by Butterworth Racing Syndicate, Arden Rooney was not originally included in the Auckland-based team because of his moderate record on right -handed tracks. He has won nearly $250,000 on his way through the grades after being purchased from the Stiven-Grant Payne partnership as a youngster. He won a series of intermediate staying races coming through the grades including the Ashburton and Rangiora Cups and the Country Cup Final and then ran third to Adore Me and Terror To Love in the Easter Cup. In his leadup to the New Zealand Cup in November he won the Kaikoura Cup and has proved himself a distinguished stayer. Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stable - Check site here

Steven Reid has been in the harness racing industry long enough to know that horses have a shelf life and that is why he he looking at the immediate future of his stable star Gold Ace in such a measured fashion. Trained by Steven all the way through, Gold Ace has provided the South Auckland trainer with some of his most memorable career highlights. A winner as a 2 year old, Gold Ace really came of age as a 3 year old winning ten races from fifteen starts including the $166,000 Sires Stakes Final, the $200,000 New Zealand Derby and the $150,000 Harness Jewels. Gold Ace kicked on as an early 4 year old when he trekked to Perth and took out the $50,000 4 year old championship followed closely afterwards by the $175,000 Golden Nugget.  Stabled at Gary Hall's during their time in Perth, the connections of Gold Ace knocked back an offer of $1,000,000 during their stay there from their host. From there Gold Ace has moved between New Zealand and Australia with some of his more memorable performances included winning the $100,000 Cranbourne Cup,  the $147,500 New Zealand Free For All and an outstanding 3rd in the $400,000 Hunter Cup. Numerous placings behind such greats as Christen Me, Terror To Love and Sir Lincoln are present throughout his racelines. Based in New South Wales with Luke McCarthy earlier this season and not quite performing up to his usual high standards, the decision was made to return Gold Ace to New Zealand to Steven Reid and to set him for the New Zealand Free For All in Cup Week. While he ran a creditable fifth in a super strong field, Steven is aware the end of his racing career may not be far away. "I was happy enough with his run at Addington as he didn't get much go his way but he was still a wee way off the speed." " He has done everything right heading into the Summer Cup on Friday night but I just don't know if we can beat Franco Nelson," Steven told Harnesslink this week.  "We will head to the FFA at Auckland before Xmas and then on to the Flying Mile at Waikato early in January and if he continues to improve and race well we will head to the Auckland Cup. "If he is not competitive in those races then maybe its time to retire Gold Ace to stud, " Steven said  A 7 year old son of champion sire Bettors Delight, Gold Ace has a pedigree to match his racetrack performances. He is bred on the "golden cross" of Bettors Delight over an In The Pocket mare and his pedigree is littered with high class performers. The full sister Gold Elite 1:57.3 $70,037 and full brother Strike The Gold 1:55.8 $45,759 are both smart types. The last two full brothers to Gold Ace to go through the ring at the Australasian Classic Yearling sale have both made $75,000. The grand - dam Touch Of Gold has produced Seeking The Gold 1:50.4 ($250,785)  Golden Son 1:54.4 ($86,585) and Golden Charm 1:59 - the dam of Coppertone 1:50.4 ($119,076) Gold Ace is closely related to the brilliant juvenile Smiling Shard 1:53.7 ($1,178,793) who is now at stud in Australia. Steven knows how hard it is in todays competitive stud scene but is determined to give Gold Ace his chance. " He has everything you look for in a sire - Breeding - Conformation - Performance - Longevity" " Priced right, I am sure he will get his chance to prove himself " " I will certainly be supporting him and so will a few close to the barn so he will get his chance," Steven said. So why one door on Gold Ace's career is starting to close, another one is starting to open. Harnesslink Media

JK Patriot completed a training double for Sam Schillaci in the $7,490 featured pacing race on Thursday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Stephane Bouchard sat behind JK Patriot (Bettor's Delight) as he brushed to lead past the opening quarter and didn't look back before stopping the timer in 1:56. Earlier in the night, Bouchard piloted the Schillaci-trained Khan Blue Chip to a career best score of 1:56.1. Both JK Patriot and Khan Blue Chip had been squaring off against some of the track's top young horses in the Gary Kamal Memorial Pacing Series in recent weeks. On Thursday, they comprised two-thirds of the driving triple for Bouchard on the night. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Saradella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Bruce Clarke has returned for another winter stay in California, bringing along his top trotter I Love New York and a dozen other assorted performers. You can say that Im hoping to rebuild, said Clarke, an accomplished driver/trainer who has driven over 2,900 winners in his career and recently went over the $12 million mark as a chauffeur. I Love New York is owned by Clarke along with longtime clients Jack Coffey and Patricia Waldeck and the 6-year-old Broadway Hall homebred is nearing $250,000 in earnings while sporting a 1:54 3/5 career standard that was established here last season. His most recent victory came in late August over the five-eighths Tioga Downs oval in the state hes named after and the dark-hued trotter has gone some big miles for Clarke since his introduction to the game. Im out here for the winter and its nice to get away from the cold, Bruce related. This wasnt the best of summers for the barn, because we had a lot of bad luck, but Ive got some young ones here that Ill be getting ready. The one thing missing from his arsenal this year would be some Sire Stakes performers, which has been a mainstay of the shedrow over the years, but Clarke still figures to make his presence felt during the course of this meeting. A reminder that there are now four wagers here that feature a reduced 16% takeout rate. They are the 50-cent Pick 5; the Jackpot 6; the Pick 4 and the Hi-5 on the nitecap.    High Bet Hanover High Bet Hanover, who has fired nothing but bullets at this meet in five appearances, heads the cast for Sunday evenings featured Open III Pace for fillies and mares. An 11-race card is on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with a first post of 4:45 Pacific. The headliner will go as the second race on the evening with a field of six set to face the starter. High Bet Hanover has recorded two victories and three seconds from her five starts at the stand for owner Kc C Cavalho, trainer Tim Brown and driver Luke Plano. Overall, she is going for her eighth snapshot on the season from 41 trips to the post. The 6-year-old Bettors Delight established a new lifetime mark three starts back when she captured the finale of the Annette Funicello Series on October 18 in 1:53 4/5. She came back to be the runner-up in a conditioned affair and then returned to her winning ways in her most recent tour. Sent off the even-money choice in that contest, High Bet Hanover sat a tracking trip for a half, then attacked to the final bend and went on to a two and three-quarter length score with Plano This time around, Director of Racing Robin Schadt has assigned the mare the outside post. Dont Hurry Love completed the exacta behind High Bet Hanover last week and will be looking to turn the tables. The 5-year-old daughter of Dontgetinmyway races for Ed Actkinson, takes her lessons from Bob Johnson and will be guided by Mooney Svendsen. She boasts $135,000 in earnings and a 1:54 1/5 career standard. Completing the cast are Free Girl, who gives the Brown barn two looks at the outcome; the Steve Wiseman-trained duo of Surprisingly Sweet and Razzle Be Dazzled; and Rag Doll, who hails from the Lino Pacheco barn and leaves from the inside slot. Mike Ratzky - Cal Expo Harness

One of two runners on Sunday at Wyndham could propel one of the nice guys in New Zealand harness racing in Cran Dalgety into that elite group who have trained 1000 winners. Two winners on Thursday at Rangiora took him to 999 winners and both his winners look to have a big future. Bettor Think Twice appreciated the drop back in class from Sires Stakes racing to a C0 fillies and mares race and won the race at the start when Dexter Dunn sent her forward and she missed all the mayhem when Quaint Glen broke after 200 metres. Taken to the front with 1300 metres to run by Dexter, Bettor Think Twice scooted over her last 400 metres in 28.2 for a comfortable 2 and1/2 length victory over the very unlucky Tintinara who was involved in the early skirmish. Bettor Think Twice is bred to be good as she is the first foal from the former smart 2 year old Rona Lorraine ($133,270) who is a half sister to none other than last years champion 3 year old filly, Venus Serena 1:52.1 ($664,886) A $78,000 dollar yearling purchase, yesterday's win took Bettor Think Twice's earnings to $24,461 with the promise of plenty more to come. The second winner that Cran produced yesterday was Bungalow Bill and he produced an outstanding performance to come from last at the 900 metres mark to get up and beat the smart 3 year old Smithy in a very quick 2:26.9 for the 2000 metres mobile. Dexter was at his very best as he saved ground on the corner by switching back to the inner after sweeping up wide down the back and that enabled Bungalow Bill to get up in the shadows of the post for a breathtaking win. Bungalow Bill also lacks nothing on the score of breeding being by Bettor's Delight from the smart racemare Strawberry Fields ($48,430) who is a half sister to the former outstanding juvenile Lennon 1:52 ($349,539). That was the second win for Bungalow Bill from just two starts and he looks very hard to roll in the $20,000 Graduation Final on Cup Day where he has drawn barrier two. Cran has two chances to crack the 1000 barrier at Wyndham on Sunday in Supriya and Margarita and both look huge winning chances. It is a shame in a way if it does happen at Wyndham as the man who has driven a big chunk of those winners in Dexter Dunn  will not be driving the Dalgety horses on Sunday. However one thing is a given. Cran's feat in training 1000 winners whenever it happens will be warmly received by his peers who hold the West Melton trainer in high regard.  Harnesslink Media    

Kentuckiana Lodge filly Delightful Lana tried hard but wasn’t quite good enough to hold out the short-priced Allstars favourite in Fight For Glory in the $25,000 Alabar Sires Stakes Fillies Heat at Addington on Friday October 31. The two leading stables reps went head to head over the final lap. They had lengths on their rivals as the top two duelled it out in a 1:55.8 mile rate (1950m), showing no respite over their last 800m in 55s and final 400m in 27s. The winning time of 2:20.4 was fast but outside the NZ 3YO fillies mark of 2:19.1 (1:54.7) rate, set by last season’s age group champ Venus Serena in the G1 Nevele R Fillies Final on May 10. Delightful Lana held the inside running from the ace barrier, with Fight For Glory, after having no luck getting into the running line from the four gate into the first turn, forced to move up parked. The honours in this round went to Fight For Glory, the daughter of Art Major and the first foal from seven-win NZ mares record-holder Breath Of Life (2:39.8, 2200m), who did just enough to score by a head in the hands of co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen. She was first-up since her top 2YO filly season, but had trialled strongly for the Allstars barn in recent weeks. Fight For Glory won two of seven juvenile starts but was also placed four times and her worst run was a fourth in the Harness Jewels.. She was very good running a nose second from the second row to Joanne’s A Delight in the G1 $138,000 Magness Benrow Sires Stakes Fillies Championship (1:55.4 rate, 1700m), and also a length second to Katy Perry in the Listed $146,250 PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales 2YO Fillies Final (1:56.7 rate, 1700m, both at Auckland in May. Fight For Glory wrapped up her 2YO racing with a close-up strong-finishing fourth behind stablemates Supersonic Miss and Linda Lovegrace, and the Nigel McGrath-trained Joanne’s A Delight, in the G1 Harness Jewels 2YO Fillies Diamond (1:54.1 mile) at Cambridge on May 31. Delighful Lana was a sound but luckless seventh in the Jewels (racetimed in 1:55.2), making ground after settling back on the inner. Fight For Glory and Delightful Lana drew out by 4 1/4 lengths in their Addington clash, with lightly-raced Mark Jones-trained Bettor’s Delight filly Twice The Delight, finishing on late from four back on the markers to grab third. The marker line was the place to be in such a fast run. BB’s Inspiration, three back on the inner, fought solidly for fourth, with Lightning Mach, having her first run in a feature fillies race, peaking inside the last 100m after having every chance in the trail behind Delightful Lana, to wind up fifth. Margarita, given the run of the race on outer behind Fight For Glory by Jeremy Markham, was unable to quicken on the fast speed in the run home, battling away to finish next. Bettor Think Twice, after being eased from her wide gate early, made a dab three wide down the back at the 600m, but couldn’t progress further over the fast final 800m. Courtesy Of Cran Dalgety Racing Stables - Check site here  

Harness racing 3 year olds in the North Island always have a hard road to the Sires Stakes Final at Addington on Cup day with few suitable races to get them race hardened for the big day. Hence it is no surprise that on Friday night at Alexandra Park we find the three leading North island hopes lining up in a C2-C6 pace over 2200 metres. First and foremost is Hughie Green who has been in exceptional form this season and is rated the North's best hope of taking home the silverware on Cup day. However South Auckland trainer Ray Green has two 3 year olds that he thinks are more than capable of holding their own in the Sires Stakes Final in the Bettor's Delight colt, Strike The Gold and the Mach Three colt, Chachingchaching. The pair ran the quinella in the Sires Stakes heat at Alexandra Park a fortnight ago and did it in the style of horses who are right at the top of their game. Strike The Gold had a head to spare on that occasion over Chachingchaching as they cut out the 1700 metres in a very fast 2:02.3, a mile rate of 1:55.8 with closing sectionals of 56.3 and 27.4 It was a performance that suggested that the duo will be very competitive come the Final on Cup day. Ray is happy with both of them heading into Friday night. "They are both well enough heading into Friday night but in saying that the run will help to tighten both of them up looking towards the final,"  Ray told Harnesslink today. "We are up against Hughie Green on Friday night  but there is no point in ducking him so I'm looking forward to the race actually," he said. Safely through Friday night, Ray's pair of top 3 year olds will not head south until late in the piece. " They can both have a run at the trials after Friday night just to top them off for Addington. "The plan at this stage is to fly them down a couple of days before the final,"  he said. Ray Green has fashioned a great record in the Sires Stakes final in the last five years, winning it with Sir Lincoln and running fourth with Besotted while Hawkeye Bromac was unplaced last year. Ray knows what it takes to takes to win the Sires Stakes Final and in Chachingchaching and Strike The Gold he has two 3 year olds capable of doing just that. Harnesslink Media  

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