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Progeny of former 2001 Australasian Breeders Crown 3YO filly champ Sparks A Flyin (1:52, US) won within hours on both sides of the Tasman on Friday night October 17, 2014. Smart colt Art Union took another stepping stone towards the $170,000 NRM Sires’ Stakes Final at Addington on November 11 at Addington, while older half-brother Bettors Fire returned to winning form at Gloucester Park, Perth. The Cran Dalgety-trained Art Union justified his hot $1.40 favouritism in the C3-6 pace at Addington, but he didn’t dominate from the outset as many anticipated. Driver Dexter Dunn, from barrier three with the Art Major colt, elected not to race second favourite Mighty Major (ace) for the early lead, settling him into a perfect one-one trail. When a move from the back came a lap out, Dexter was on the move, letting Art Union stride past Mighty Major at the 900m. The favourite kept up another strong run to hold Mighty Major by a length in a 1:57 rate for the 1950m, quickening over his last 800m in 56.1s and final 400m in 26.8s. Jim and Dr Susan Wakefield’s home-bred stretched his record to seven wins from 12 starts for $83,403, and remains unbeaten in three 3YO appearances. Bettors Fire justified his $1.70 favouritism in the $17,500 Demon Adios Discretionary Handicap in Perth. The Cran Dalgety-trained Art Union justified his hot $1.40 favouritism in the C3-6 pace at Addington, but he didn’t dominate from the outset as many anticipated. Driver Dexter Dunn, from barrier three with the Art Major colt, elected not to race second favourite Mighty Major (ace) for the early lead, settling him into a perfect one-one trail. When a move from the back came a lap out, Dexter was on the move, letting Art Union stride past Mighty Major at the 900m. The favourite kept up another strong run to hold Mighty Major by a length in a 1:57 rate for the 1950m, quickening over his last 800m in 56.1s and final 400m in 26.8s. Jim and Dr Susan Wakefield’s home-bred stretched his record to seven wins from 12 starts for $83,403, and remains unbeaten in three 3YO appearances. Bettors Fire justified his $1.70 favouritism in the $17,500 Demon Adios Discretionary Handicap in Perth. Despite start off the 30m line in a Class D pace, Bettors Fire played the iron horse, moving up parked outside fellow ex-Kiwi Bartowski over the final lap for trainer-driver Kyle Harper. The 6YO Bettors Delight gelding was too strong from the home turn, holding out fellow NZ-breds, To Transcend and False Promise, in a 2:04 rate over the 2503m. He scored by 2.4 metres, the leaders running their last 800m in 56.6s and final 400m in 28.3. Bettors Fire, who lowered his best mile rate to 1:53.8 in Perth last term, lifted his career earnings past the $A244,000 mark with his 19th win from 45 starts. Safedra (1:56.3 mile rate, 1700m), a successful half-sister to Art Union and Bettors Fire, has returned to New Zealand after an Australian stint in recent months, where she added a further two wins to her tally. The 5YO daughter of Mach Three is to commence a breeding career this term. Safedra’s best racetrack efforts have been a second to Adore Me in the 2013 Group One New Zealand Oaks, and winner of the Group Two $40,000 Southland Oaks Final. She is the winner of eight and has been 13 times placed in 35 starts for $135,577. Safedra rated 1:56.3 in a 1700m heat of the Nevele R Fillies Series at Forbury, while she has rated 1:59.8 over 2600m to win at Addington, and 1:58.7 to win over 2400m at Ashburton. Sparks A Flyin’s first five foals have all been well above average. Earlier foals from the Sands A Flyin-Belle Glade mare were Diomedes (1:57.5, Aust), the winner of 12 in Australasia, and Empyrean (1:56.2), the winner of 10 and $121,302. Bungalow Bill, the first of two Cran Dalgety-trained winners at Addington on October 17, delivered narrowly but well to beat favourite Matty Groves by half a head in the Murney Family Trust & Mid Canty Catholic Parish Mobile Maiden Pace. Driver Dexter Dunn settled him handy on the outer, then was denied the front by Ask Me Mach when having a dash for the lead a lap out. Bungalow Bill, a 3YO Bettor’s Delight gelding and the first foal from four-win 1:58.6 mare Strawberry Fields (Presidential Ball-Penny Lane), lengthened out when asked inside the final 100m to stick his head out in a three-way finish, rating 1:58 (1950m). The leaders ran their last 800m in 59s and final 400m in 27.5s. Bungalow Bill is raced by Chrissie Dalgety with Small Car World principal Graham Beirne. Chrissie gained her second win of the weekend when Margarita led over the last 900m as a $1.40 favourite to win her C1-2 fillies & mares mile at Winton in 1:57.1. Margarita, a 3YO Bettor’s Delight-Holloway filly, was the sixth consecutive winning drive on the Wairio card on a wonderful day for catch driver Tim Williams. Tim was unable to make it seven in a row in the final race with Kentuckiana Lodge debutante Tenacious Bromac, but they did well to hold third after being pressured strongly mid-race for the front by favourite Lookofalegend in a 1:56.7 mile. Courtesy Cran Dalgety Racing Stables - Check site here  

The aptly-named Twice The Delight passed her first step toward a potential Southland Oaks target in the autumn with a tidy front-running debut win at Gore on Saturday, October 11. The daughter of Bettor’s Delight and Trelise (Holmes Hanover-Twice As Good) was sent out a dominating $1.60 favourite on the strength of an impressive recent Rangiora trial and was always in control. Overport Lodge trainer-driver Mark Jones, who brought up his sixth training win for the term, dictated the front end from the three gate. After having former stablemate Rockahula Arden for company over the last lap, was too good in the run home, winning by 1 1/4 lengths in a 2:00.4 rate (1700m). Mark was entrusted with Twice The Delight after she failed to attract a bid at the 2013 NZ Premier Yearling Sale. A cut to a leg a week from the sales distracted potential buyers. Southland breeders, Wyndham-based Bruce and Caroline Robertson, and Bathan and Jane Muir, of Edendale, decided to leave her with Mark and restructured her ownership. The Robertsons’ and the Muirs’, along with Bathan’s parents Ken and Jill, combined under the Matai Farms Limited banner. Other shares were taken by Bill and Pauline Bain, of Roxburgh; and Peter and Caroline Clulee, of Mosgiel. Twice The Delight, who continues to strengthen, has plenty going for her on breeding. She is a sister to three-win squaregaiter Bet Online, but hails from a big “black type” winning pacing family. Their four-win dam Trelise (1:58.7, 1700m) is a daughter of five-win Butler BG mare Twice As Good (1:56.5 m.r., 1700m). Trelise is a half-sister to the smart pacers, St Barts (1:57 m.r., 1950m, 15 wins & over $150,000), Waitfornoone (1:55.7 m.r., 1700m, 11 wins & $201,805), Fight Fire With Fire (1:56.7, seven wins & $151,656), Twice As Hot (1:59.6 m.r, 2200m, five wins & $50,537) and Mark Dennis (1:54.2, 25 wins & $A177,567). Two close relatives starred across the Tasman last weekend. Mark Dennis won first-up since transferring to the New South Wales team of Shane Tritton in the $A30,000 Group Three ffa at Menangle, NSW, on Saturday night, in a 1:57.4 rate over 2300m. Twice As Hot’s son Flaming Flutter (1:53.9, 15 wins & $A190,446) shone at Tabcorp Park, Melton, Victoria, on Friday night. The son of Bettor’s Delight and Twice As Hot was just outside Carribean Blaster’s Melton 2240m stand start track mark when taking out the Group Two $A50,505 City Of Melton Plate in a fast 1:57.6 rate. Twice The Delight’s third dam Princess Nandina (1:59.8) left top USA filly/mare Pacific (p2, 1:56.8 & p3, 1:53), the winner of 27 race for $871,550 including a Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies and Mistletoe Shalee Stakes Final. RUMERATION FOR LAST-PLACED GUGGENHEIM The connections of Gore maiden runnerup Rockahula Arden were ordered to pay  remuneration equivalent to the third-placed stake of $475 to the connections of last-placed Guggenheim under the discretion of new judicial rules. In a first-case scenario, it was established that Rockahula Arden (Dexter Dunn) had shifted out sharply when the removeable deafeners were released, despite the driver’s efforts to keep his horse straight, checking Guggenheim (Nathan Williamson, three wide). Trailing horses, Canasta and Neat N Petite, were also inconvenienced. The connections of Guggenheim sought a JCA ruling, which empowered the Judicial committee to order part, or all, of the stake monies payable if they were satisfied the interference denied the affected runner a chance to finish in a higher place. Courtesy Of Mark Jones Racing - Check site here    

Delightful Lana justified her short $1.60 win quote with a bonus maiden run at Timaru on Sunday October 12 with trainer Cran Dalgety saying she’ll need to keep going up a notch for the autumn 3YO features. “She will need to improve a wee bit for the classics,” was Cran’s appraisal. Delightful Lana was good enough to post a NZ 2YO mobile 2600m fillies record of 3:14.6 when she last raced at the Phar Lap Raceway in May. That was the second of two wins from six 2YO starts, but with the NZ handicapping concessions, returned to maiden status to begin her 3YO racing. “She’s good enough to win her handicap races pretty quickly,” he said. Delightful Lana wasn’t disgraced behind the best 2YO fillies on offer when shipped north for two end of season fillies classics. She ran fifth, after an overland trip, to stablemate Katy Perry in the Listed $146,250 PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales 2YO Fillies Pace, and after going back from the five gate in the $150,000 Harness Jewels Diamond, battled on late for seventh as Supersonic Miss ran a supersonic NZ record of 1:54.1 (1609m) to beat Linda Lovegrace and Joanne’s A Delight. Her stamina was to the fore when returning to the maiden grade at Timaru on Sunday, being left parked from the nine gate on a solid clip. The big daughter of Bettor’s Delight and Long Live Lana stretched out well when the tempo stepped up nearing the quarter pole and she was a bit too good for trailer Armazem and Stopandstare. She won by 1 1/4 lengths in a handy 2:27 (2000m), a 1:58.2 mile rate, with the leaders running their last 800m in 57.4s and final 400m in 28.3s. Spirit of Art hold the NZ fillies mark for the distance at 2:24.9. Delightful Lana is co-raced by Melbourne interests, the BFJ Bloodstock Trust (managed by Brendan James), along with wife, Anne. She changed hands at last year’s NZ Premier Yearling Sale, after initially being passed in for $19,000, with a reserve of $26,000. Delightful Lana is bred to be above average, being the first foal from the In The Pocket mare Long Live Lana, who won twice at three, rating 2:01.2 (mobile 2600m). Her fourth dam is 2009 NZ Broodmare Excellency Award winner Coo Doo, who left 11 individual winners including big winners Palestine (18 wins incl. Wellington Cup) and Barbara Del (nine wins incl. NZ Welcome Stakes). Coo Doo is also the grand-dam of smart pacers Ruthless (nine NZ wins), Cock Robin (1:52, US) and Derby (11 NZ wins), and great grand-dam of smart filly English Elegance (five NZ wins including a Northern Oaks, 1:53.2, US), herself the dam of five individual sub 2:00 winners. English Elegance is now the dam of smart West Australian Elegant Christian (1:56.1), the winner of 12 and over $A140,000 for the Gary Hall sen stable. Entrancing, the third dam of Delightful Lana, became the grand-dam of big North American winner Long Live America (p3, 1:55, 34 USA wins $230,960) and smart NZ pacer Tennis Ball (12 wins, 1:56.3 mile rate, 1950m). The Kentuckiana Lodge stable had to settle for second with their other maiden starter on Sunday in Uaintseennothinyet, who fought well from three back on the markers behind short-priced winner Holy Grail. * Meanwhile trainer Cran Dalgety was satisfied with Christen Me’s game third behind favourite Terror To Love, and runnerup Franco Nelson, in the Group Two $40,000 Canterbury Classic at Addington on Friday. Christen Me was left parked in the cool conditions on a fast clip. After going clear turning for home, he was swamped late by the fast finishers in a near record 3:11.6 for the stand start 2600m. The top pacers will have another pre-NZ Cup clash in the Ashburton Flying Stakes on Monday, October 27. Courtesy Of Cran Dalgety Racing   Check site here    

Katy Perry, voted Australian 2YO Pacing Filly of the Year after feature wins in both the $A297,000 Australasian Breeders Crown and $A50,505 Garrards Tatlow Stakes, is back in work at Kentuckiana Lodge. The precocious daughter of Bettor’s Delight and Karen Donna had five weeks out after going unbeaten in four Victorian starts, culminating in her big Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Final at Melton on August 24. “She had a week off in Australia before coming home, which was helpful,” said trainer Cran Dalgety. “I would have liked her to have given her a longer break, but there are three nice races for her at Auckland in December.” Preceeding the Group One $150,000 Sires Stakes 3YO Fillies Final at Auckland on December 31 is the Group Two $75,000 Peter Breckon Memorial Ladyship Stakes, also at Alexandra Park, on December 19. There is also a lead-in race beginning the Auckland carnival. “She’s looking fantastic. She’s really grunted up and bulked up over the rear end,” Cran said. Last term in NZ, Katy Perry won the Listed $146,250 PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales 2YO Fillies Final, and was the runnerup to Linda Lovegrace in the Group One $113,406 Woodlands Stud/Caduceus Club 2YO Fillies Classic, both at Auckland in May. Her 2YO successes earned connections $367,603 from seven wins and two seconds in 10 starts. Theoretically, a faster Katy Perry should return this term, wearing two less straps. The Kentuckiana Lodge mentor had to race her with spreaders in the Breeders Crown, a legacy of her shock fall in the preliminary before the Harness Jewels 2YO Diamond at Cambridge on May 31. “She ended up with a big mark on the inside knob of the knee, which she just touched and made it worse.” “Thats all good now and this time in we’ll get rid of the spreaders. She’ll have less weight to carry anyway.” The Kentuckiana Lodge trainer has a strong support cast of 3Y0 fillies this term. “Its funny how its just fallen that way,” he said. Delightful Lana, who set a NZ mobile 2600m 2YO fillies record of 3:14.6 at Timaru in May and won twice in six juvenile starts, returned to the trials last Monday. Bettor Think Twice, from the same family as Venus Serena and also good enough to race in the Harness Jewels 2YO Diamond, won once and was twice placed in eight juvenile starts. “She has improved a bit, which she has needed to do, as she was there last term, without being dominant,” Cran said. Lightning Mach, who won back-to-back Forbury starts in April-May from just four 2YO starts, and Supriya, who won once in four 2YO filly starts, are also likely to advance further this term. Then there’s diminuitive but speedy Margarita, who only began racing in July and has quickly won three from five, including a 1:57.9 Addington mile last week. “She has to keep improving to get up to the better ones but she hasn’t hit a brick wall yet,” said Cran, who trains her for wife, Chrissie. Margarita has been withdrawn from Rangiora on Sunday. She was transferred to the stand start 2600m C1 pace after her nominated mobile race was deleted. Courtesy Of Cran Dalgety Racing - Check site here

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 3, 2014 -- Visible Gold pulled the pocket around the final turn and brushed through the stretch to capture Friday's $20,000 Winners Over $10.000 Life/Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. Visible Gold stalked the leader, Shock It To 'Em, for most of the mile before Dave Palone asked him for pace in the lane. The 6-year-old Bettor's Delight-Gabrielle gelding responded by opening up and prevailing in 1:51.4 over a sloppy surface. The first-over Bigrisk was second, 1-3/4 lengths back, while Camcruiser Hanover rallied for show. Ron Burke trains Visible Gold, who has won 23 races over the past two seasons and $333,444 in his career, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables. On the 15-race card, Palone drove six winners, each for a different trainer: Burke, Roy Mac Davis, Chris Oakes, Mike Palone, Jimmie Ritter, Jr., Kent Sherman. Live racing continues Saturday when The Meadows offers a special card featuring eight Pennsylvania Fairs championships, each with a purse of $25,000. First post is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

The harness racing gypsy Gold Ace has arrived back home where it all began as he prepares to remind New Zealand racegoers what they have been missing. The seven year old entire by Bettors Delight arrived at Steven Reid's stable yesterday after spending the last 12 months racing out of the Luke McCarthy stable. The "Reidman" was happy with the last 12 months. " Gold Ace won the $100,000 Cranbourne Cup, $50,000 Shepparton Cup and ran third in the $400,000 Hunter Cup earning over $200,000 in the process so its been a good 12 months" he said "His couple of runs at the start of this campaign were below par and had Luke scratching his head so we thought we would bring him back to New Zealand and race him here," Reid told Harnesslink today. Gold Ace has done an outstanding job right from day one and goes into his seven year old season as the winner of 20 races and $1,128,709 in stakes and Steven is confident more wins are in store. "Luke has sent him back in terrific order and we have already mapped out a tentative program for him starting with the Free For All during Cup week". "We will give him a run from behind the mobile at the Cup trials and that will tell us weather we start in the Junior Free For All on Cup Day or weather we resume in the Group 1 Free For All on Show Day" he said "We wouldn't have looked at the race if it was still over a mile but with it reverting back to 1950 metres that makes the draw no where near as important"he said.  Gold Ace might be back at his home base at Pukekohe but he is certainly a different horse to the one they are used to according to Reid. "He is has been very colty since he stepped off the float and you have to watch yourself around him now. We will race him this season and then with his record he deserves a chance to prove himself as a sire next year" he said. Arguably the quickest horse off the gate in New Zealand before his spell in Australia, Gold Ace will add further interest to the open class races in New Zealand this season. Harnesslink Media 

The breeders involved in harness racing in Australasia have access in 2014 to the leading sires in the world but just three North American sires continue to dominate our breeding scene at the moment and they are Art Major, Bettor's Delight and Mach Three. Australia Art Major stands in Australia and is completely dominant on the stakes money charts in that country due in no small part to the large numerical advantage he holds over his two main opponents. The charts below show quite clearly the advantage he has.  Art Major   4 year olds - 167                   3 year olds - 129                   2 year olds - 153  Bettors Delight                    4 year olds - 56                    3 year olds - 84                    2 year olds - 74 Mach Three                    4 year olds - 53                    3 year olds - 33                    2 year olds - 49 As you can see Art Major has a huge advantage and thats what you see every time you go to the track. You see Art Majors everywhere and that reinforces the message that he is on top. But the big numbers are only important if the stallion can deliver elite level racehorses and Art Major can do that in spades as he has shown over many years. New Zealand Skip across the Tasman to the home of both Bettors Delight and Mach Three and you get a completely different picture, again entirely due to foal numbers. Bettors Delight is completely dominant there on the stake money won list due in the main to huge books which have given him huge foal numbers most years. He is extremely fertile and has the added bonus of being a great filly sire as well The charts below show that huge advantage Bettors Delight has numbers wise over Art Major and Mach Three. Bettors Delight                   4 year olds - 117                   3 year olds - 234                   2 year olds - 220 Art Major                   4 years old - 98                   3 year olds - 87                   2 year olds - 49 Mach Three                   4 year olds - 160                   3 year olds - 77                   2 year olds - 94 Last years three year old season in New Zealand was different from normal in so much as Mach Three had more foals than either Bettors Delight or Art Major for the first time in living memory. The result was that Mach Three won the 3 year olds stake money list  quite comfortably from Bettors Delight and Art Major which proves once again that foal numbers do matter when it comes to winning sire premierships Now plenty of sires are trying to break the dominance of the big three and the latest is Sportswriter. He met the first requirement for all new stallions trying to dislodge the top three in that he had the largest crop of 2 year olds with 155 of any sire in Australia last season and he did leave 33 winners from his first crop. But when it came to the big money races, the Art Majors and Bettors Delights scooped up most of the money. So a good start for Sportswriter but not up with the big boys yet. Another stallion who has been given a big chance to join the big boys in Australia is Shadow Play who served a huge book of 295 mares last season in Australia and a further 80 in New Zealand on the back of a great first season in North America. His first crop of two year olds in Australasia were good last season without being brilliant so the jury is still out as to weather he can challenge the big three. Rock N Roll Heaven served a book of 215 mares in his first year at stud in Australia and a further 52 in New Zealand so his first crop which are two year olds in the current season will be watched with great interest. His North American results in the super tough New York Sires Stakes have been very good so the signs so far are positive. Auckland Reactor is another stallion who has been handed an opportunity to join the big three serving 212 mares in New Zealand and 182 in Australia in his first season at stud. With that number of mares, Auckland Reactor needs to make a big slash right from the start or else he will be discarded quickly. As it stands the big three continue to dominate but one thing is very clear. To compete with the Art Majors, Bettors Delights and Mach Threes is never going to be easy as they are world class sires who perform in both hemispheres. For any new sire to challenge the dominance of the three established top sires, he needs a book of mares of a comparable size and quality to what they regularly serve or he is really going to struggle. Harnesslink Media

Harness racing returned to the grass at Motukarara today (September 28th) and it was notable for junior driver Jessica Young driving a double on the day. Jessica is no novice driver having already chalked up 15 wins and 64 placings prior to today's meeting but today was the first time she had driven a double in her career. The first of the winners was Jessica's favourite horse Roxy Bromac who is trained at West Melton by her father, Paul Young. Settling last from her wide draw, Jessica hooked on to the three wide train at the 1200 metres mark and got a lovely drag into the race before peeling out at the 300 metres  and storming home for a stylish win. It was the daughter of Bettors Delight's seventh lifetime win and took her earnings to $52,629 but Jessica thinks she is not to far away from the broodmare paddock. " She is getting on a real tough mark now and once the grass track circuit is over we may just retire her" she told Harnesslink this evening. "Roxy loves the grass and while she is no better on grass than she is on the grit , she doesn't lose any speed on the grass which is a big plus" "She is actually a terrible pacer but is such a lovely mare to do anything with and is very honest" she said. The second of Jessica's winners today was the Sands A Flyin mare Maybe Flyin who is trained by Ray Needham at Hilderthorpe. Away well from barrier one, Jessica slotted Maybe Flyin into the trail behind the front running Natural Courage and got a lovely run the whole trip. Bursting through along the inner at the 200 metres mark, Maybe Flyin scooted away for an easy win. Jessica has driven for Ray Needham before and was glad to repay the faith he had shown in her. "Ray wasn't going to come here originally but after Maybe Flyin ran a close second at Methven last weekend he had a change of heart and I am glad he did."  "I have driven her for Ray before and she has a sharp sprint if given one run at them" she said The wins have come at a good time for Jessica who along with her family has just moved to a property on the Old West Road at West Melton. The wins were a timely reminder to Canterbury trainers of what a talented young driver Jessica is.  Harnesslink Media        

Pop I (Andover Hall) won his first ever local Open Trot on Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Harry Landy trains and drives the four year old trotter who rode a two race win streak into Sunday's co-feature. Dismissed at odds of 22-1, Pop I followed the cover of Baby Boy Grin (Stephane Bouchard) throughout the second half of the mile before tracking him down in the final strides of the $17,000 Open Trot. The win for Pop I came in a career best 1:55.2 and the earnings from the win moved the Landy trainee's career bankroll to over the $100,000 mark. Baby Boy Grin was the runner up in the Open for the second consecutive week while the race's favorite Tac's Delight (Billy Dobson) had to settle for third. Road Bet (Bettor's Delight) prevailed in the Fillies and Mares Open for the second straight week in the matinee card's co-feature. Road Bet was driven by Frank Coppola Jr. who piloted for trainer Kyle Spagnola. Live racing resumes on Thursday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. Mike Sardella  

Vernon Downs held harness racing Finals in eight divisions of the New York Excelsior "A" Series on Saturday night with purses totaling $360,000.   The 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings were first up and provided an 11-1 upset with Commissioner Daley (Conway Hall-Irish Washerwoman) storming through the stretch once he got into the clear and rolling right past Genius At Work late to win in a final time of 1:55.2.   Commissioner Daley is owned by Ann-Mari Daley of Lake Worth, Florida and Michael White of Royal Palm Beach, Florida. Dan Daley is the trainer-driver.   2-year-old trotting fillies were up next and, as opposed to the first of the eight Finals, this one went according to form as 3-5 favorite Barn Girl (Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie) took the lead in mid-stretch and held off a strong closing kick from Morcredit Bluechip to score a victory in 1:57.   Barn Girl is owned by Steven and Nancy Pratt of Corfu, New York. The trainer is Howard Okusko and she was driven to victory by Jeff Gregory on Saturday night.   Freshman trotting colts & geldings provided the most exciting stretch drive of the night as part of a 5-1 entry, Progression (Credit Winner-Ens Curious), came through an opening on the inside left when the favored Crazshana drifted out in the lane. Progression's final time was 1:57.4.   Progression is owned by Leigh Raymer, who also trains, of Delaware, Stephen Moss of Pennsylvania, Harold and Helane Solomon of New York. Mark MacDonald was the driver on Saturday night.   The sophomore pacing filly race was won in gate-to-wire fashion by Expose (Artiscape-Good News Lady). She took the lead immediately and never was headed again as she triumphed in 1:52.4   Expose is owned by Linwood Higgins of Scarborough, Maine and Stake Your Claim Stable of Seacaucus, New Jersey. Linda Toscano trains and Jim Morrill Jr. was the winning driver.   Archetto Hanover (Bettor's Delight-Arts Masterpiece) took the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace after rallying past the favored Murder He Wrote at the top of the stretch. He went on to win by a length in a final time of 1:51.4   Archetto Hanover is owned by Paymaq Racing of Illinois, Greg Gillis of Ontario, Canada, and Louis Willinger of Kentucky. The trainer is Erv Miller and the winning driver was Marcus Miller.   2-year-old pacing colts and geldings might have provided one of the more impressive wins of the night from Artistic Major (Art Major-Western Dancer). Artistic Major (Brent Holland) made the lead at the top of the stretch and powered away to win by four lengths in a time of 1:52.4.   Artistic Major is owned by David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio of Ohio and Steve Elliott of New Jersey. Steve Elliott doubles as the trainer.   Freshman pacing fillies followed that and Rock Me Gently (Rock N Roll Heaven-Cam Swifty) prevailed in what turned into a clustered finish with multiple horses ending up close together. The final time was 1:55.   Rock Me Gently is owned by Old Block Stables Inc. and Kenneth Klein of New York and The Fra Stable LLC of New Jersey. The trainer is Steve Elliott.   The final Final of the Excelsior "A" Series on Saturday night was 3-year-old trotting fillies and the winner was Dreamsteeler (Cash Hall-Dream Street) with Jim Morrill Jr. driving. She took the lead right away and cruised to an easy victory by nine lengths in a final time of 1:56.3   Dreamsteeler is owned by Andrew Herzog of Monticello, New York and Tracy Brainard is the trainer.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with an 11-race program. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity

WASHINGTON, PA, Sept. 19, 2014 -- Visible Gold strolled through a leisurely front half on the lead, then blitzed the back half in 54.2 to capture Friday's harness racing $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at The Meadows. When Dave Palone was able to give Visible Gold fractions of 28/58, the 6-year-old Bettor's Delight -Gabrielle gelding had plenty in the tank to roll home in 1:52.2, 3/4 lengths better than the pocket-sitting Exactly Black. Major Belle raced well first over for show. Ron Burke trains Visible Gold, who has won 10 races this year and $323,444 in his career, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and RTC Stables. Palone drove six winners -- three for Burke -- on the 15-race card while Aaron Merriman enjoyed a four-bagger. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Yonkers Raceway Saturday night hosted the 25th edition of the New York Harness Racing Night of Champions. The $1.8 million event--richest night of racing in the state--offered eight, $225,000 sire stakes finals for 2-and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Once again, each race was sponsored by a prominent Empire State breeding farm. Despite Mother Nature sticking her nose in--rain throughout first half of card and delays due to track maintenance-the state's best were summarily saluted. Here's the chronological compendium... Crawford Farms 2-Year-Old Filly Trot - Slight second choice Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, $4.40) was the best coming in and best going out, winning (from post position No. 5) by five lengths in a soggy 2:00.4. Nunkeri (Mark MacDonald) was second, with Betcha (Jim Morrill Jr.) a recovering third after a break. Concentration (Brian Sears), also at 6-5 but the tepid favorite, broke early, though came back to finish fourth. For Barn Doll, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, it was her seventh win in nine seasonal starts (3-for-3 here). The exacta paid $44, with the triple returning $192.50. "She just knows what she's doing, a total pro," Gregory said. "I wasn't worried about her coming up sick (in her last scheduled NYSS start, because Steve said it wasn't that bad and she had trained well. I'm hoping she keeps it going next season as a 3-year-old.. Cameo Hills Farm 3-Year-Old Filly Pace - As expected, the 11-10 choice, pole-sitting Spreester (Jason Bartlett) cut the mile, but she was no match for the lass on her back, It Was Fascination (Brett Miller, $6), from post 2, ducked inside and won by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:57.2. Table Talk (Matt Kakaley) was a first-up third. For "Fascination," a daughter of American Ideal co-owned by (trainer) Tony Alagna, Riverview Racing and Bay's Stable, it was her fourth win in 13 '14 tries. The exacta paid $12.20, the triple returned $38.60 and the superfecta (Major Dancer [Sears] was fourth) paid $85.50. "I've never driven her before, but I watched her replays and thought if she was close enough, she'd have a chance," Miller said. Winbak Farm 2-Year-Old Filly Pace - The three-headed, Ron Burke-trained monster in Band of Angels (George Brennan), Sassa Hanover (Morrill Jr.) and Bettor N Better (Kakaley) were considered so potent, they were barred from all wagering. The finished fourth, fifth and eight (last). It was just-over even-money Mosquito Blue Chip (John Campbell, $4.10)-seventh at the three-quarters from post No. 6-furiously closing to snap Bossers Joy (Bartlett) by a nose on the money in 1:56. Heavenly Bride (Sears) was a from-last third. "Sassa" led to the lane before tiring to fifth. For "Mosquito," a Bettor's Delight lass co-owned by (trainer) Paul Jessop, Our Three Sons Stable and Donato Falcicchio, she's now 4-for-9 this season. The exacta paid $18.60, with no triple wagering due to the limited number of wagering interests. "I thought Jason (Bartlett, driving Bossers Joy) had lost me around the last turn, but in the straightaway, my filly just kept going," Campbell said. "She's a lot calmer than when I baby-raced her, maybe a bit too calm, but she was strong at the finish." Stirling Brook Farms 3-Year-Old Filly Trot - Last season's champ is now this season's champ. Odds-on Market Rally (Morrill Jr., $2.40, part of entry) put a whuppin' on her outclassed foes. From post No. 6, she had open-length lead seemingly from the post parade. Up 10 at the half, she coasted home by 5¾ lengths in 1:58. Second went to Cutup Hanover (Gregory), Glowngold (Sears, part of another entry) third. For Market Rally, a daughter of Cash Hall co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bu7rscemi and Panhellenic Stabler, it was her seventh win in 10 '14 efforts. The exacta paid $31.60, with tbe triple returning $82. Market Rally is 6-for-6 here in her career. Morrisville College Equine Institute 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot - Odds-on Crazy Wow ($3.80) and driver Dan Rawlings are each a perfect 2-for-2 locally, winning the draw and leading at every pylon in 2:00.1. Wings of Royalty (Sears) was a first-up second-beaten 3½ lengths-with Buen Camino (Trond Smedshammer) third. For Crazy Wow, a son of Crazed owned by Joseph Hess and trained by Dan O'Mara, he's now 4-for-7 in his first season. The exacta paid $15.80, with the triple returning $34.80. "I really didn't care where I was leaving the gate, as long as he left trotting," Rawlings said. "I saw too many horses 'blow up' earlier and I wanted to make sure he didn't. The fact that I was able to get a breather made me happy." Blue Chip Farms 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace - Odds-on All Bets Off (Kakaley, $2.30, part of entry) beat down his overmatched foes. From post No. 5, he took no prisoners, going down the road by four lengths in 1:54. Stay Up Late (MacDonald) was a first-up second, with Western Conquest (Brent Holland) third. For Art Rooney Pace winner All Bets Off, a son of Bettor's Delight co-owned (with Frank Baldachinio, Panhellenic Stable and Rosemary Shelswell) by trainer Burke, he's now 9-for-12 this season (career earning nearing $830,000) for an original $7,000 yearling purchase). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $6.60. "He's just better than these horses," Kakaley said. "Ronnie has had him good all season. There wasn't much to it tonight." Genesee Valley Farm 2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Pace  - Driver and trainer teamed up again, this time with Cartoon Daddy ($15.40), though not before surviving an inquiry. Away third from post No. 6, he extricated himself from the cones just before Oneisalonelynumber (Bartlett) came to him on the outside. That move placed Cartoon Daddy second-over behind Berkley, before grabbing that rival and winning by a couple of lengths in 1:55. Betting Exchange (Sears), as the 3-2 choice, crossed the line, but was set down to seventh for impeding Oneisalonelynumber soon after Cartoon Daddy was acquitted for possibly doing the same thing. Southwind Masimo (Pat Lachance) and a tiring early leader Americanprimetime (Morrill Jr.) were advanced to third and fourth, respectively. For fourth choice Cartoon Daddy, a Aert Major frosh trained by Burke for himself (as Burke Racing) and Joe DiScala Jr., it was his fifth win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $125.50, the triple returned $681 and the superfecta paid $1,526 Allerage Farm 3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding Trot - Defending champ Flyhawk El Durado (MacDonald) led to the lane, only to make a bad break and take any suspense out of his meeting with Gural Hanover (Morrill Jr., $2.90, part of entry). The latter, never out of range from post No. 2, then had the race all to himself. He defeated Zoey De Vie (Sears) by 4¾ lengths, with Daley Lovin' (Dan Daley) third. "El Durado" recovered to finish fourth. For Gural Hanover, a Crazed gelding co-owned by trainer Burke, Little E and Panhellenic Stables, it was his eight consecutive (sire stakes) win and his ninth win in 11 '14 tries. The exacta paid $21, with the triple returning $187.50. . Saturday's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace was won by Bigtown Hero (Kakaley, $17) in 1:53.2 The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker

Pat Lachance is betting on a son of Bettor's Delight to make Saturday's New York Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers a joyous event. Southwind Masimo, trained by Lachance, was his division's top points earner through the preliminary rounds and will start Saturday's $225,000 final from post No. 1 at Yonkers Raceway. Lachance will handle the driving, as he has in all but one of the colt's previous five races. The race is part of the Night of Champions card at Yonkers, where eight NYSS champions will be crowned. Post time is 7:10 p.m. for the first race. Southwind Masimo, owned by Hudson Standardbred Stable and Conrad Leber, has won four of five starts - all on the sire stakes circuit - and earned $85,481. He is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line, behind Tom Fanning's Betting Exchange, who starts from post two and is 3-1. Betting Exchange, also a son of Bettor's Delight, has won two of five races and earned $66,125. His victories have come in his two most recent starts, including a 1:51.1 triumph in a sire stakes division on Aug. 30 at Vernon Downs. Only six 2-year-old pacers have won with a faster time so far this season. "I don't know who the best one is in there, but there's a few of them that can go," Lachance said. "There are some good ones for sure. I think (Southwind Masimo) has got as much of a chance as anybody. "I'm going to try to get away as close as I can to the front and we'll see what happens. With a little racing luck we'll be in good shape, I think." Southwind Masimo is the first foal out of the dam Max's Leading Lady and was purchased for $65,000 at last October's Lexington Selected Sale. Max's Leading Lady was a multiple winner on the New York Sire Stakes circuit and second dam Ascending won an Ontario Sire Stakes Super Final and Canadian Breeders Championship. Lachance has trained two million-dollar-earners by Bettor's Delight, Forensic Z Tam and Hula's Z Tam, so that was another prime selling point. Hula's Z Tam was the 2009 New York Sire Stakes champion for 2-year-old female pacers and Forensic Z Tam was a two-time runner-up to Kenneth J in NYSS finals. "Bettor's Delight has been very good to me, so that was the first thing I liked about him," Lachance said about Southwind Masimo. "He had decent size and his conformation was good. We were just trying to get the best conformation, the best pedigree possible, obviously for what you can afford. He was well put together and we took a shot at him." Following the New York Sire Stakes championship, Southwind Masimo is scheduled to head to Lexington's Red Mile for the Bluegrass and International Stallion stakes. He also is eligible to the Matron and Breeders Crown. "We'd like to go on and give him a chance," Lachance said. "He's always showed ability and racing in New York is as good as anywhere. You're going to race against Grand Circuit horses Saturday night. "I think he'll like a big track," he added about his colt, who has raced so far only on half-mile and five-eighths-mile ovals. "He certainly can get around a half very well, but I think a big track will really help him. I think he'll step up. I don't think it will be a problem at all." Lachance's hopes in the NYSS are not limited to Southwind Masimo. He sends out longshot Sir Sam's Z Tam in the final for 3-year-old male pacers, starting from post three at 20-1 on the morning line. Ron Burke's entry of All Bets Off, a multiple stakes-winner, and Forty Five Red is the 4-5 choice. "We're shooting for a check," Lachance said. "He's had a decent year. He's not the best one in there, but I hope to hit the board with him." For more about Saturday's Night of Champions, read here. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

As one of last season's top 4yr olds with his five wins incuding the 4yr old Emerald on Jewels day, Franco Nelson looks sure to be one to follow over the comimg weeks. He had his first public run for the new season at the Rangiora's workouts on Wednesday and put paid to a moderate C1 and faster field over the 2600m, coming home his last 800m in 57.6 and 400m in 28.7. John was very pleased with his charge. "Yea he went really good mate. Very happy! We'll give him a trial next week and then reassess. He's a chance to run in the Avon City Ford (26 September), but otherwise the classic a couple of weeks later." In terms of the other fast class pacers in the stable, there has been some mixed news. "Elios has had a setback and has gone out. He'll probably not be back racing now until December." Pure Power and Jivin Cullen both raced in the Maurice Holmes Vase last Friday and were a bit disappointing. "I did go pretty hard with Jivin Cullen, but he was still entitled to go better than he did."  "Pure Power had a bit of an off night and we are hoping for better this week in the Hannon." Both will carry on in their push for places in the 2014 cup field.   Some of last seasons younger brigade are also getting close to race day. "Say My Name has really filled out now and looks superb. He ran a nice second at the Rangiora workouts. We will most likely go to the Forbury Sires Stakes heat with him." Robbie Burns who impressed first up last season and stable newcomer Little Grin are both getting close to workouts and trials and can be expected to be seen in the next couple of weeks. The "babies" had an early season run on Wednesday as well, with Sales purchase Code Black (Bettor's Delight - Chritian Watch) getting the big tick from John. "He came out of the gate well and travelled good throughout. He took the passing lane good and went to the line full of running." "He can have a short break now and then he'll be back. We'll be targeting the Young Guns with him for sure." The Art Official colt Ruffalo went a pleasing run in the same workout. Courtesy Robert Dunn Racing      Click here to visit site      

Carried three-wide through the far turn, Bettorsluckystreak ($26.80) sustained his late bid en route to a 1:51.4 upset victory in Sunday (September 7) afternoon's featured pace at Tioga Downs.   The $10,000 upper-level conditioned event drew a field of eight, with newcomer Johnny Grippa (Jim Meittinis) handling the pacesetting duties throughout, establishing a solid tempo through a :55 half mile.   With Cashendash Hanover (Brandon Simpson) fading from the pocket and Hasty Western (Aaron Byron) sliding first-over with three-eighths to go, Greg Merton moved the four-year-old son of Bettor's Delight out to track cover en route to the far turn.   While Hasty Western continued two-wide despite the pocket opening up approaching the far turn, Merton moved Bettorsluckystreak three-wide past three-quarters in 1:22.4. The two sustained their rally, passing Hasty Western at the top of the stretch and pulling clear of Johnny Grippa in the final 70 yards to prevail by a length.   Prairie Jaguar, the 8-5 favorite, failed to sustain an extended uncovered bid, staying even to finish fifth.   James Clouser, Jr. trains Bettorsluckystreak for Kenneth Weckstein, Richard Rubin, and Gary Messenger.   Mike Simons and Tyler Buter led all drivers with three wins each on the 13-race card.   The 2014 live racing season concludes at Tioga Downs this upcoming weekend, with Friday (September 12) and Saturday (September 13) cards both scheduled for 6:15 p.m. EDT.   by James Witherite, for Tioga Downs

Batavia, NY---The last chance to see the best bred standardbreds in the Empire State race at Batavia Downs this year occurs on Saturday night (Sept. 6) when the New York Sire Stakes makes its last stop at the Genesee County oval for 2014. The 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings are featured as the stars of tomorrow and will compete for $109,000 in purses. The first $54,500 NYSS division goes as the fifth race and features seven pacers going postward. Americanprimetime (American Ideal-Prime Example A) is currently ranked second in points for the Night of Champions finals for his sex and gait and boasts a 1:52.4 lifetime mark at Tioga Downs this year. This Rick Dane Jr. trained colt likes to be on the front end and will get his chance here scoring from post three. He has made two breaks in his six starts but when he is on his game he's hard to beat. Brent Holland will sit behind Americanprimetime for the first time in this race. Betting Exchange (Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover) beat Americanprimetime last week at Vernon Downs en route to taking his lifetime mark of 1:51.1. He has been lightly raced due to an injury in July and has only four starts this year. But he's made the most of the opportunities he has had and appears to be improving with every start. Betting Exchange needs points to move up in the standing in order to make the final and this will be his last chance to do it. Top NYSS reinsman Jim Morrill Jr. is aboard for trainer Tom Fanning. Azorean Art (Art Major-Dancin Barefoot) is trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter and looks to be coming into this race sharp as a tack. Also coming off a lifetime mark of 1:52.3 at Vernon last week, Azorean Art overcame road trouble the entire race and still found a way to win. Driver Mark MacDonald drove him for the first time in that victory and is back in the sulky here. Azorean Art is currently fifth in the standings but could move up substantially with a win. The second $54,500 NYSS division goes as race nine and has the top horse in the series competing in it. Southwind Masimo (Bettor's Delight-Max's Leading Lady) is a perfect four-for-four this year and all in NYSS action. He has won both on the front and from behind, and on both small and large tracks. The Pat LaChance trained colt took his lifetime mark of 1:54 at Tioga Downs, but he actually paced faster last quarters in his two starts at Yonkers. However Southwind Masimo is coming into this race off a scratch at Vernon last week when he reported sick, so the colt has not raced in 18 days. Whether or not this will affect his performance remains to be seen, but having Hall of Fame driver Mike Lachance on board will certainly help his cause. Cartoon Daddy (Art Major-Ask Alice) has four wins in seven starts this year and oddly enough, all four wins were on half-mile tracks. He has a sparkling lifetime mark of 1:53.4 at Yonkers Raceway which is considerably faster than any other horse in this race has paced over a half-mile track. He is currently third in points and could vault to number one with a victory. Cartoon Daddy hails from the powerful Ron Burke stable and will be driven by Jim Morrill Jr. Bet You (Bettor's Delight-Armbro Amoretto) has two wins and three seconds in six starts this year and the only time he finished off the board was due to an interference break. Also a Takter trainee, Bet You has displayed racing versatility on the track and seems to be brave on the front end. His mark is 1:55.1 at Yonkers but he paced considerably faster in a just-beaten mile at Tioga Downs in 1:52.4. Bet You is right behind Cartoon Daddy in the points standing and could also take the top spot with a win. Mark MacDonald gets his second straight ride behind him in here. There are also three divisions of the Excelsior series to be contested in races one, two and seven going for a total of $37,800. Post time for the first race is 6:35. One other highlight for the night is the return of popular and second leading driver Shawn McDonough who was injured in a spill at Batavia Downs during a race on Labor Day. Only three days removed from the incident, McDonough will be back in the sulky on Friday night and is slated to drive the full card on Saturday. McDonough said "I'm doing pretty good. My ankle is still sore but not too bad, and I have been taking it easy the last few days. But now I'm ready to come back." -- Tim Bojarski

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