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Plans for Brisbane harness racing colt Maestro Bellini to tackle the Victoria Derby have been shelved. The Bettor's Delight – Santuzza three-year-old tasted defeat for the second time this campaign at Albion Park yesterday (Tuesday) when overpowered late by Three Of The Best and Bet Im Special in the Burwood Stud Pace in a time of 1:55.9. Originally, trainer/driver Chris Petroff planned on heading south tomorrow (Thursday) in preparation for the heats on Saturday week at TABCORP Park, Melton while the $200,000 final is scheduled for the following week. “I think the Melbourne feature has probably come up a little quick for us so in the best interests of the colt, we’ll stay home and aim now for the NSW Derby next month.” Petroff said. The $200,000 NSW Derby is scheduled for February 25, the heats taking place a week earlier. Petroff will continue to work on the fitness levels of Maestro Bellini in readiness for the Sydney feature while racing him will also strip the weight. The chunky colt finished third in his first start back ten days earlier after sitting without cover before being bombed late by Sombronskisomwhere and Statement Made in a time of 1:56.7. “He came back in very good order from his break and really enjoyed his time out, being a colt and by Bettor's Delight he’s obviously going to take some work to reach peak fitness. Both runs have been solid but probably not good enough for a series like the Victoria Derby. “He had two very quiet trials plus finding suitable races hasn’t been ideal but we’ll move on and hopefully he’ll be cherry ripe for the Sydney campaign, it’s a long season and he’s staked for many of the major events so we’ll use this time wisely. “I know he’s good enough, his record proves that and he’ll get his chance throughout the season. The good thing is that he’s come through the race well and we’ll just keep pushing on with him.” Maestro Bellini is raced by his breeder, Alf La Spina and his family. Back in 2013, the La Spina family got close to winning the Victoria Derby when their pacer Caesar Augustus ran a terrific third behind Ohoka Punter and Guaranteed. Chris Barsby

Unbeaten Bettor's Delight filly Partyon, driven by Mark Purdon in the $31,800 Group 3 JL Raith Memorial at Tabcorp Park Menangle last Saturday night, did the unimaginable winning her first start back after a five-month spell and not only winning but smashing the harness racing three-year-old Australasian record in the process. After drawing two on the second row Partyon sat near the rear and came out at the top of the home straight to power home in a patient drive and record a stunning win. Partyon paced the 1609 metres in 1:51.3 with sectionals of 26.5, 29.1, 28.2 and 27.5. This broke the previous record of 1:52.4 set by another Purdon filly My Mackenzie in May of last year. Trained by the Allstars team Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen this was the sixth win and first as a three-year-old for Partyon from her only starts to date. As a two-year-old Partyon won the $150,000 Group 1 Harness Jewels Diamond, rating 1:55.5 for the mile at Cambridge in New Zealand and followed that up with two further starts in Australia at Tabcorp Park Melton, winning the $280,000 Group 1 Australasian Breeder's Crown for two-year-old fillies. In this race she rated a very good 1:54.4 mile-rate over 2240 metres. RA & JV YARNDLEY 2YO DIAMOND (MOBILE PACE) (Gr1), $150,000, 2YO FILLIES, 1609m Mark Purdon on Partyon winning the Alabar Breeders Crown Series 19 Partyon - 31,800 Group 3 JL Raith Memorial Partyon was bred by Woodlands Stud and sold as a weanling at the 2014 Auckland weanling sale for $20,000. She is the second live foal of the Beach Towel mare Beach Parade. A real bargain to say the least as of this date Partyon has earnings of $256,675. Beach Parade has a current two-year-old full sister to Partyon called Lydia's Delight who was also sold as a weanling for $16,000 to a client of Jeff Dunn's stable at the 2015 weanling sale, once again bred by Woodlands Stud. This filly is already a bargain as Bettor's Delight will stand for $25,000 plus GST this next breeding season. For those looking to buy a top yearling at this year's sale there is a full brother to Partyon, yes a full brother by Bettor's Delight in the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale at Karaka on February the 20th selling as Lot 104 on behalf of Breckon Farms. We have attached a photo and video of this yearling called Kokomo Beach. Lot 104 – Kokomo Beach (brown colt Bettor’s Delight / Beach Parade) 2017 Harnesslink Media.    

The New Zealand bred harness racing four-year-old, the Bettor's Delight gelding Chicago Bull, proved to be one of Australia's best pacers tonight in taking out the $450,000 Tabtouch WA Pacing Cup run over 2936 metres, on the half-mile Gloucester Park track in Perth, Western Australia. The late scratching of Bettors Fire left a field of 11 going to the post. Nine of the 11 pacers were New Zealand bred. The only mare in the race Major Reality led early with not much pace on until the Hall team came looking first with Beaudiene Boaz who took the lead with Cyamach sitting parked out then Chicago Bull with Gary Hall in the sulky came around the field to sit parked out to give the Hall team a three pronged attack in front with a round and a half to go. Joan Of Arc (Courage Under Fire) had an easy trip following Major Reality in the trail early and then three back before flashing home to get second with Soho Tribeca (American Ideal) holding on for third after making a big run with a round to go to sit parked out three wide. Chicago Bull, regarded as one of the smallest pacers in commision, barely 14 hands high, has now taken his record to 30 starts, 18 wins, four seconds and four thirds for $871,329 in stakes. The gross time of the race was 3.34.2 with a mile rate of 1:57.4. Amazingly the trainer Gary Hall senior has now won eleven WA Pacing Cups with the last seven of those in a row. Harnesslink Media

WASHINGTON, PA, Jan. 11, 2017 -- Medusa stalked Skippin By from the pocket, then edged by her late to capture Wednesday's $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Skippin By took the field through leisurely fractions of 27.4/57.4, but when she sprinted home, she could not shake Medusa. The 6-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical took the outside route for Tony Hall and nipped Skippin By by a head in1:54.3 over a "good" surface. Spreester finished third. Randy Bendis trains Medusa, who vaulted over $400,000 in career earnings, and owns with Tom Pollack. Dave Palone and Hall each collected three wins on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows            

The 67-year-old Hall, who has won the rich feature harness racing event a remarkable ten times in the past 15 years, will be represented by exciting four-year-old Chicago Bull, equine millionaire Beaudiene Boaz and Cyamach in the $450,000 Group 1 WA Pacing Cup event over the marathon trip of 2936m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.. Asked if the weight of expectation of a seventh straight Cup victory was a heavy burden, Hall replied that he was not concerned about the law of averages. “No, I go into these races with an open mind,” he said. “And, hopefully, we’ve got the right horses to do the right job. And I think we have.” He ranked Chicago Bull, winner of the 2536m Fremantle Cup last Friday night, as his best hope. But he said that Beaudiene Boaz was ready to run a big race. Chicago Bull, a diminutive New Zealand-bred Bettor's Delight gelding, is a rising star who has amassed $583,329 from 17 wins and eight placings from only 29 starts. He gave another sample of his class when he raced without cover for the first lap and then enjoyed the ideal one-out, one-back trail before bursting to the front 250m from home and winning by a half-length from fellow four-year-old Soho Tribeca in last week’s Fremantle Cup. Chicago Bull fared poorly in the barrier draw for this week’s big race in which he again will be handled by the trainer’s son Gary Hall jun. (who has driven the winner of the WA Pacing Cup six times). A win on Friday night would result in Hall jun. equalling the record of seven Pacing Cup wins, a feat achieved by Phil Coulson. Chicago Bull will start out wide at barrier eight on the front line. “Obviously, Chicago Bull won’t be involved in the early battle; he’ll go back and will be running home strongly,” said Hall sen. “I’m sure there will be a fair bit of action and that there will be a few people (drivers) looking over their right shoulder in the last lap. “Chicago Bull has done super since his Fremantle Cup win. He was holding Soho Tribeca quite easily on the line.” Beaudiene Boaz, who trailed the pacemaker Devendra before finishing determinedly to be third behind stablemate My Hard Copy in last year’s WA Pacing Cup, is awkwardly drawn at barrier six in this week’s Cup in which he will be driven by Clint Hall, who is aiming to become the first person to drive the winner of the WA Pacing Cup four years in a row --- after winning the past three Cups with Hokonui Ben (2014) and My Hard Copy (2015 and 2016). Beaudiene Boaz a son of Badlands Hanover had a tough run before wilting to ninth in last week’s Fremantle Cup. He paced roughly at the start after one of his hind legs struck a wheel of his sulky. He dashed forward, three wide, in the first lap and moved outside the pacemaker Franco Nelson after a lap before hitting the front 480m from home. He was still in front at the 250m mark (when Chicago Bull surged to the lead). “You can’t discount Beaudiene Boaz’s prospects and I think he’s a good each-way chance,” said Hall sen. “Cyamach a son of Mach Three will be driven by Nathan Turvey from barrier four and he will go forward early in an attempt to lead. He’s essentially a frontrunner.” Hall jun. predicted that there would be abundant early speed and that Chicago Bull would not be bustled in the early stages. “The long journey will suit him.” Greg and Skye Bond, who hold a commanding lead in the Statewide trainers’ premiership table and are the leading trainers in Australia this season, are hoping to break through for their first success in a WA Pacing Cup. They have strong each-way prospects in Our Jimmy Johnstone and Delightful Offer. Our Jimmy Johnstone, an eight-year-old to be driven by Ryan Warwick, will start from out wide at No. 7 on the front line, with five-year-old Delightful Offer (Ryan Bell) starting from barrier No. 3. Our Jimmy Johnstone was an excellent third in last week’s Fremantle Cup and Delightful Offer impressed in running home solidly from last at the bell to be fifth. Our Jimmy Johnstone began fast from barrier seven, but was trapped three wide for the first 500m before Warwick restrained him. He finished boldly from sixth at the bell into third place. “Our Jimmy Johnstone measures up to this class and 2900m is right up his alley,” said Greg Bond. “He’s probably our better chance. Delightful Offer is a developing horse on the way up and I expect him to finish this week’s race as well as most.” Trainer Michael Brennan and reinsman Michael Grantham are looking for a strong effort from seven-year-old The Bucket List from his favourable draw at No. 2 on the front line. “The distance will suit him,” said Brennan. And Grantham said: “I’ll be going out as hard as I can in an attempt to hold on to the back of the speed battle.” Ken Casellas

There is one constant in the TABtouch WA Pacing Cup in recent years --- and that is the appearance of grand stayer Bettors Fire, a New Zealand-bred eight-year-old by Bettor's Delight whose harness racing trainer-driver Kyle Harper has high hopes of breaking through for a win in the $450,000 group 1 event at his fourth attempt.      Bettors Fire, a winner of 31 races and $620,522 from 82 starts, will be the only pacer to have run in the big race in 2014, 2015, 2016 and this year for a fifth behind Hokonui Ben in 2014 and ninths behind My Hard Copy in the past two years. He has a record of four runs in the Fremantle Cup for a second to Im Victorious, fourth to David Hercules, third to Beaudiene Boaz and an excellent eye-catching fourth behind Chicago Bull last Friday night when he surged home from eleventh at the bell. And his form before last week’s effort was good, including victory over Smolda in a 2130m heat of the recent Interdominion championship and a solid sixth behind Smolda in the 2936m final. Bettors Fire will start from the No. 5 barrier on the front line in Friday night’s 2936m Cup and Harper is considering using the gelding’s sparkling gate speed in a bid to burst to an early lead. “We’d certainly like to lead,” Harper said. “But you’ve always got to be a bit careful over the 2900m. I suppose a lot will depend on the speed shown by the four runners drawn on our inside. However, I think we’ve got the speed to cross to the front. But on the other hand, over the long journey the big question is whether you really want to open the floodgates and burn that fuel early. “I think that if he can lead without changing too many gears he will be very hard to beat. These races are not easy to win whether you have a good barrier or not. And you’ve got to respect Major Reality’s gate speed and her ability, and I also rate Soho Tribeca and Delightful Offer as major dangers. “Looking at last week’s Fremantle Cup, the winner Chicago Bull went good, but Bettors Fire went even better. I was really happy with his run. The barrier draw (No. 9) got us. Bettors Fire was about six deep on the home bend and he got home super. No horse likes being six deep on the bend and he probably lost just that quarter of a length turning for home. He was hitting the line just as good as any runner in the race.” Harper agreed that Bettors Fire was finally due to win a big cup. He still has fond memories of his first drive in a WA Pacing Cup on January 21, 2011 when he was in the sulky behind 16/1 chance Mysta Magical Mach, who set the pace and finished a half-length second to superstar Im Themightyquinn. Harper managed to set a dawdling pace with opening quarters of the final mile in 32.7sec. and 31.1sec. before final sections of 27.6sec. and 27.9sec. If Bettors Fire manages to get to an early lead on Friday night Harper certainly will not enjoy the benefit of getting away with such leisurely sectionals. Gloucester Park

The man behind the magic mares won't compare them out of respect. Because having been lucky enough to train both Adore Me and Dream About Me, Mark Purdon knows he have been blessed. Dream About Me obliterated the Auckland Cup race record and her opponents in the $250,000 group one at Alexandra Park tonight, crowing herself the new queen of Australasian pacing. Settling well back off a startling speed set by Christen Me and Titan Banner, the daughter of Bettor's Delight swept into the race at the bell, sat parked and left her rivals gasping at the top of the straight. She clipped four seconds off Chokin's race and track record taking her record to 19 wins from 22 starts, with two of her defeats coming when she was luckless and the other when she was fresh-up and not at her peak. At only the halfway point of her four-year-old season she already has a record that sits alongside some of the great female pacers in New Zealand history, with the promise of so much more to come. Already in that mare's Hall Of Fame is her close relation Adore Me, who Purdon and partner Natalie Rasmussen trained to win a New Zealand Cup in record time and then pace the then fastest ever mile in Australasian history when she clocked 1:47.7 at Menangle. Adore Me couldn't win an Auckland Cup though, the race sadly ending her career when she injured herself in it two years ago. Purdon drove both and shakes his head at one following the other so quickly. "You couldn't believe you could get Dream About Me so soon after Adore Me," said Purdon. "But it is hard to compare them because I don't want to disrespect either. "Adore Me was an amazing mare but she (Dream About Me) has done just as much and more at this stage of her career. "So while we never got to see what Adore Me could have been later in her career because of her injury, maybe we will with this mare." While mares winning the Auckland Cup are rare -- Dream About Me became just the third in 33 years tonight -- she won't be asked to tackle the open class male pacers too often again this season. She is off next to Sydney for the Ladyship Mile, which means she will dodge the Miracle Mile and then her connections have a big decision to make: race into the autumn or pull stumps and have a big winter break to set her for the New Zealand Cup, a recipe that worked with Lazarus this season. Dream About Me She wasn't the only mare to smash her male rivals tonight as Quite A Moment broke the the 2700m mobile trot record in the National Trot, continuing the domination of the open class trot features for trainers Greg and Nina Hope. They have won almost everything that matters with Monbet in the last 12 months but even with the champ sidelined Quite A Moment simply outstayed her rivals, including hot favourite Marcoola. The latter pulled too hard in front and was beaten on the home bend. Quite A Moment Earlier in the meeting Ultimate Machete left no doubt as to who is the best three-year-old pacer in Australasia when he was too good for More The Better in the $200,000 PGG Wrightson Sales Series Pace. Ultimate Machete He will join Dream About Me and Lazarus, who worked well before the first race today, in Sydney with his aim being the NSW Derby. - NZ Herald Read more by Michael Guerin

Bettormeboy looks to get 2017 off to a fast start when he suits up in Sunday's main harness racing event at Cal Expo for owners Richard Morita and David Yamada and trainer Lino Pacheco. Luke Plano will do the honors. The newly-turned 7-year-old son of Bettor's Delight made a half-dozen trips to the winner's circle from 32 appearances in 2016, including a lifetime-best 1:52 performance over this layout. Since returning from a summer campaign at Running Aces, he has a win, a second and a third from his last three trips to the post. The victory came over a bit easier on a sloppy track on December 3, followed by a third behind one of Sunday's rivals in Windsong Jack. "I've had Bettormeboy for a couple of years now and he gives his best," trainer Pacheco noted at entry time. "He likes to come from off the pace, and sometimes that can hurt him when the race doesn't set up right. "Three starts back, when he was the favorite, he got stuck behind some very poor cover and I think it cost him the win. Then he raced over that sloppy track and put in a real big finish to win. I don't think it really matters to him if it's an off track or a fast track." Bettormeboy is coming off a third-place when last seen on December 17 and leaves from the No. 5 post for this go-around. "He had a little bit of traffic last time," his mentor noted. Pacheco has trained for Morita and Yamada for seven years and has sent out some solid performers for the pair over that time. "They're great owners who let me do the training," he said. Main event brings out Windsong Jack Windsong Jack, runner-up in two of his three local appearances, looks to get the overdue snapshot in Sunday night's featured $4,400 Open III Handicap Pace. A 14-race card is on tap under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC with first post set for 4:45 p.m. Windsong Jack will leave from the outside post in Sunday's headliner with Mooney Svendsen at the controls. The 6-year-old son of Santanna Blue Chip races for Little Bapa LLC and takes his lessons from Gene Vallandingham. The dark-hued performer was 4-5 when he made his Cal Expo debut in a November 12 Open and lost a heartbreaker that evening after carving out all the fractions and being overhauled late in a 1:54 mile. He was again odds-on when wheeled back two weeks later at the top rung, but this time stopped badly. The Vallandingham trainee made his most recent start on December 17 in a conditioned/optional claiming affair and missed by three-quarters of a length in a solid outing. Taking him on are Fort Knox, Bettermeboy, Why Ask Why, Dontdoubthelakers, Rusty Carter and Bestnotlie Handover. *** Beginning next week, the racing action here at Cal Expo will return to the regular Friday and Saturday night schedule. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

TORONTO, December 26 - The Father-Son team of Gregg and Doug McNair were the stars of the show on Monday's abbreviated Boxing Day harness racing card at Woodbine Racetrack. Mild temperatures and consistent rain took a toll on the racing surface throughout the card, which forced officials to cancel the final three-races due to unsafe track conditions. However, the $35,400 Valedictory and $33,400 Niagara Series finals were both contested before the cancellation. Senior K delivered a gritty effort to win the Valedictory final for Team McNair. The three-year-old gelded son of Bettor's Delight shot off cover in the stretch and paced through the sloppy conditions to score a narrow victory by a head over Awesomeness in 1:54.3. Owned by Keith Waples, Senior K now has three wins in 13 starts this season and increased his 2016 earnings to $50,650 with the Valedictory score. He paid $13.80 to win. Senior K Senior K's Valedictory victory added to a big day for the McNair's. Gregg McNair sent out three horses on the card and all three visited the winner's circle, while Doug recorded a driving Grand Slam by capturing four of the nine races contested. The Niagara Series final for three-year-old pacing fillies saw Jimbelina complete a sweep of the series by scoring a four-length victory in Monday's $33,400 final. The Rene Bourassa trainee was fired out of the ten-hole and directly to the front by driver Sylvain Filion. It was lights out from there, as Jimbelina scooted around the sloppy oval for an easy 1:57 victory. Owned by Roland Trudel, Jimbelina is now a 10-time winner this season following her Niagara score. The Bourassa trainee improved her record to 10 wins in 19 starts and her seasonal earnings to $70,580 with Monday's score. Jimbelina paid $3.30 to win. Jimbelina Three-year-olds that were non-winners of $60,000 lifetime as of October 31, 2016 were eligible for nomination to the Valedictory and Niagara Series. Monday's Boxing Day card was the final card of live racing at Woodbine for 2016. Live racing resumes Saturday, January 7at 7:30 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

Wheels are in motion for classy pacer Maestro Bellini. The striking harness racing three-year-old stepped out for the first time this season at the Albion Park trial session yesterday (Tuesday) in preparation for a busy season ahead. Prepared by Chris Petroff, Maestro Bellini has not raced since finishing third behind Changeoverme and Rock With Sam in the Gr.1 $100,000 QBRED Triad Final on July 16 as a short priced favourite. The Bettor's Delight – Santuzza colt was given an easy time in the trial where he was opposing open class rivals. Sitting back at the rear of the field, Maestro Bellini finished some 8.5m from eventual winner Mattgregor in a time of 1:54.5. “I was really happy with the effort but it was unfortunate that we had to take on that class of horse, this was his first run in five months and I was determined to give him an easy trial as possible. He did everything that was asked of him.” Petroff said. Connections are looking at the Gr.1 $200,000 Victoria Derby series at Melton starting next month while a host of features have also been earmarked. During his rookie term, Maestro Bellini won 4 of his 11 starts including the Paleface Adios Classic and the QBRED Breeders Classic; both features were staged at Albion Park. He banked more than $80,000 while taking a mark of 1:55.0. “He did a good job last season, he went to Bathurst for the Gold Crown and then to Melbourne for the APG (Australian Pacing Gold) while taking on the local features. He probably should’ve won the Triad but the conditions that night were shocking, He wasn’t comfortable on that surface. “He’s definitely come back in good shape; he’s bigger and thicker this time around. I’m planning on giving him another trial next week before looking at a race and then all going to plan, we’ll head to Melbourne. “His next trial will tighten him even further and then he’ll be ready to go, I’ve been really happy with his work since returning from the break and I’m hopeful he’ll have a good campaign. Most of his features come south of the border so it will be a long season for him.” Bred and raced by Alf La Spina and his family, they are fully aware of the challenge in front of them but are keen to win the country’s most revered classic. Back in 2013, they came close when Caesar Augustus ran a courageous third behind Ohoka Punter and Guaranteed while beating home the likes of Bit Of A Legend, Lennytheshark and Arden Rooney among others. by Chris Barsby

Medusa powered to the lead from post 7 for Tony Hall and rolled to victory -- her 13th this year and second straight -- in Monday's $20,000 Filly & Mare Not Listed Preferred/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. It was one of five wins for Hall on the 12-race harness racing card. Once Medusa cleared to the lead, she easily thwarted the first-over challenge of Skippin By and prevailed in 1:53.2 over a "good" surface, a neck better than Certified Ideal, who gave trainer Randy Bendis an exacta sweep. The pocket-sitting Spreester was third. Tom Pollack and Bendis campaign Medusa, a 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical who now boasts $395,952 in career earnings. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

A ninth and a tenth at his past two starts is hardly a strong recommendation for a harness racing pacer starting out wide at barrier eight in a race at Gloucester Park. But Galactic Star looks set to bounce back to winning form in race nine, an $18,500 M0 event on Friday night, when he should enjoy a dramatic drop in class.   The New Zealand-bred four-year-old trained by Greg and Skye Bond did not threaten danger when ninth behind Chicago Bull in the group 1 McInerney Ford Classic on November 25 and then was always well back before being blocked for a clear passage in the closing stages when tenth behind Soho Tribeca in the group 1 Golden Nugget Championship last Friday night. He appears to have a considerable edge in class over his eight rivals on Friday night and Ryan Warwick is likely to drive the Bettor's Delight gelding aggressively as the best horse in the race. Galactic Star has built up an impressive record of 11 wins and eight placings from only 24 starts and has a bright future. His chief rivals on Friday night could be Ultimate Major and Americanbootscoota. Ultimate Major, trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo, was an impressive winner in a 2503m stand at Bunbury on Saturday night. He settled in sixth position before dashing to the front after about 700m and he sped over the final quarters in 27.5sec. and 28.5sec. to win in good style from stablemate Sky Art. That was his 11th win from 39 starts. He is certainly a realistic hope on Friday night, despite starting from the outside barrier in a field of nine. Americanbootscoota, a four-year-old to be driven by Brayden Green for Boyanup trainer Dennis Roche, has been unplaced at his past three starts. But he is a stylish, freewheeling frontrunner who could set a brisk pace and take plenty of catching. He started from barrier four on the back line and settled at the rear in the Williams Cup on Sunday before he dashed forward, three wide, to be third at the bell. However, he faded and finished eighth, ten lengths behind the winner Scoobys Delight.   Ken Casellas  

Medusa stalked Spreester from the pocket, then kicked by her in the Lightning Lane to capture Monday's $20,000 harness racing filly & mare Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Although Spreester held off the outside challengers, she was helpless against the attack inside from Medusa, the 8-5 favorite. The 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight-Mythical scored in 1:54.1 for Tony Hall, a length better than Spreester, while Skippin By rallied from last for show. Randy Bendis trains Medusa, who now boasts $385,952 in career earnings, and owns with Tom Pollack. Dave Palone and Hall each piloted four winners on the 14-race card. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

New England harness racing invader She'sjustadelight N (Ron Cushing, $11.20) picked off pace-setting Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron) in a two-speed number Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. As the lead suggests, both ladies were put in play, from post position Nos. 5 and 6, respectively. There was some early daylight as Glenferie Bronte N (Mark MacDonald) gapped badly from the three-hole. After a :27.3 opening quarter-mile and :56.4 intermission, Frost Damage Blues (Dan Dube) moved from a distant fourth. That one never really was an issue in and out of a 1:24.4 three-quarters. 'Bedroom' owned a length-and-a-half entering the lane, but company was coming. She'sjustadelight N edged inside, while last week's victress, Mach it a Par (Jordan Stratton), offered her usual late arrival as this week's slight 2-1 choice. She'sjustadelight N whipped Bedroomconfessions by a neck in 1:53, with Mach it a Par, Frost Damage Blues and Motu Moonbeam N (Brent Holland) rounded out the payees. For fourth choice She'sjustadelight N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Bettor's Delight co-owned by her driver & Kevin Sywyk and trained by Heidi Gibbs, it was her 13th win in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $37.60, the triple returned $102 and the superfecta paid $367.50. Note that since no one took down Friday night's Pick 5, Saturday's gimmick begins with a carryover of $2,041.73 (50-cent base wager, now races 6 through 10). Frank Drucker

Chicago Bull has developed into an excellent sit-sprinter for champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall sen. and he has the ability to overcome the disadvantage of a wide barrier and win the $200,000 Retravision Golden Nugget Championship over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The remarkably consistent four-year-old, who has taken no harm from minor abrasions he received when he ran into a water tank at Hall’s Serpentine property the day after he had scored a convincing victory in the McInerney Ford Classic last Friday week,  will start from the No. 8 barrier on the front line. Gary Hall jun. looks certain to restrain the little Bettor's Delight gelding at the start and will rely on his ability to sprint fast when held up for a late burst. Hall sen. is looking for his third training success in the Golden Nugget after wins with The Gold Ace in 2011 and Beaudiene Boaz last year. He also drove the Des Parr-trained Valley Champ to victory in the 1993 Golden Nugget. Hall jun. successfully adopted sit-sprint tactics when Chicago Bull started from barrier six in the McInerney Ford Classic in which the little gelding travelled kindly in tenth position for almost two laps before starting a three-wide run (with cover) approaching the bell. The final three quarters of the 2536m event were covered in 28.4sec., 28.1sec. and 28.9sec. and Chicago Bull rated 1.54.9 to set a track record for a four-year-old over 2536m. Chicago Bull took the lead 250m from home and won by one and a half lengths from the fast-finishing Vanquished, who had enjoyed a perfect run three back on the pegs. Vanquished, one of three runners from the all-conquering stables of leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, has drawn ideally at barrier two and should enjoy a favourable run throughout. The other Bond runners are Mister Daytona (a winner at ten of his 13 starts) at barrier one and the highly-promising Galactic Star at barrier No. 5. There is a strong possibility that the Michael Brennan-trained Nathans Courage will reveal his customary early sparkling speed from barrier three to get to an early lead for Michael Grantham. Nathans Courage led from the No. 1 barrier for the first 250m before taking the trail behind hot favourite Mr Mojito in the 2130m Four-Year-Old Championship last Friday night. He ran home gamely to finish second, a length behind Mr Mojito. Ace New Zealand trainer-reinsman Mark Purdon faces a tougher task this week with the comparatively inexperienced but extremely talented Mr Mojito, who will start out wide from the No. 7 barrier. The Justin Prentice-trained Natural Disaster (barrier six) is in excellent form. He finished powerfully from 11th at the bell to finish third behind Chicago Bull in the McInerney Ford Classic. That followed his stylish all-the-way victory over Vanquished and Ideal Tyson the previous week. Another runner with sound claims is the Kim Prentice-trained Soho Tribeca, who will start from barrier four. Soho Tribeca had a torrid run and covered a lot of extra ground when a close fifth in the McInerney Classic. He also covered a lot of extra ground before winning from Cut For An Ace a week earlier. The $200,000 Retravision Golden Nugget 1 - Mister Daytona NZ by American Ideal 2 - Vanquished NZ by Bettor's Delight 3 - Nathans Courage by Courage Under Fire 4 - Soho Tribeca by American Ideal 5 - Galactic Star NZ by Bettor's Delight 6 - Natural Disaster by Shadow Play 7 - Mister Mojito NZ by Real Desire 8 - Chicago Bull NZ by Bettor's Delight 9 - Franco Rayner NZ by Live Or Die ............................................................. 10 - Johnny Disco by Jereme's Jet 11 - Harry Hoo NZ by Bettor's Delight 12 - Ideal Tyson by American Ideal 13 - Sprinter NZ (EM 1) by Mach Three 14 - Motu Gatecrasher NZ (EM 2) by Changeover Ken Casellas

Inspired by a gap in the harness racing television schedule down under the debut season of "StandardBred" is now showing on Australian screens having completed it's New Zealand run during the spring on Trackside television.   Producer Sheldon Murtha offered an idea at a NZ Standardbred Breeders Association meeting that while thoroughbred breeding shows were flourishing on racing television channels there wasn't a standardbred equal.   "Such a programme had to be viable given the following harness racing has, especially in New Zealand" he recalls.    So with the support of The Breeders Associations across NZ, Trackside Television NZ and a stable of enthusiastic partners, the show got the go ahead for two seasons back in July this year. Heads are around the table mapping the next series following a more than encouraging response to the programmes.   "Viewer numbers across the various platforms available these days have been well beyond expectations" reveals Murtha whose dabbled successfully and otherwise with such broadcast projects.   "Making horse racing content that isn't generating some sort of quick betting turnover hike is shaky ground these days.It has been for a while now."   While television networks are interested in the marquee events, week to week coverage is the domain of racing channels like New Zealand's Trackside and Australia's Sky Racing which have become the drivers of the dollars relied on by racing through betting turnover. 'Colour' shows are queried and need to be self sustaining and popular to live long.   "There'll be an attempt to make StandardBred appeal to a wide audience that has a soft spot for rural, farming or country set stories" says Murtha."It almost hit the mark with a couple of these initial episodes but we were feeling our way a little too so it's an exciting project to be involved with. There's a global scope to it and the medium long term view is that we try and make a programme that can appeal to horse lovers in both hemispheres."   So how trotting is done in Europe or harness racing is faring in North America these days might make the schedule down the track if StandardBred can make good on it's great start.   Standard Bred | Episode 6 We caught up with Andrew Grierson of Woodlands Stud at his and Charles Roberts beautiful Clevedon based harness racing's standardbred breeding operation. We cover Bettor's Delight and his rise from the unknown to prominence. We also take a look a closer look at the 'Great White Blaze' who is hoped to be the perfect out-cross solution to New Zealand breeders before finding time to adore a foal as sweet (and valuable) as they come. StandardBred | Episode 5 This time on StandardBred, we catch up with Ken Breckon at his breeding establishment of Breckon Farms in Ohaupo for a yarn or two. Ken talks about his incredulous introduction to harness racing at the 1995 yearling sales in Karaka, where he and his late brother Peter purchased the 1996 2YO filly of the year. We also find time to look at a farm bred Australasian trotting champion and his incredible journey just to get to the races under more than just a watchful eye. We also take a deeper look into the farm operation and pedigrees of a few of the Breckon broodmare band that like anything 'Breckon' just keep on delivering. StandardBred | Episode 4 Sheldon catches up with Greg & Nina Hope to find out about what it takes to breed a NZ Horse of the year in Monbet. After yesterday's fresh up win in the Flying Mile, Monbet looks set for another HUGE season! StandardBred | Episode 3 On this episode of Standardbred, Sheldon catches up with Trent Yesberg of Dancingonmoonlight Farm to discuss what lays ahead for champion racehorse and now stallion Christian Cullen. We also take a look at the impact Direct Scooter line stallions have had in New Zealand and whether we have any heir apparent's to the colonial stallion throne. Standard Bred | Episode 2 Sheldon catches up with Graham Pearson to find out about life post breeding a harness racing superstar in the ilk of Under Cover Lover. We also take a look back at the impact of her sire, In The Pocket, and the influence of the Direct Scooter line in New Zealand harness racing!! Standard Bred | Episode 1 In this first episode of Standard Bred, Sheldon catches up with young breeder Sam Langrope and his wife Claire to hear about their pursuit of breeding their very own harness racing champion! Harness Racing New Zealand  

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