Search Results
1 to 16 of 1667
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Trainer James Rattray is contemplating a trip north for the beginning of the harness racing Grand Circuit with stable star Beautide. Originally stating he will restrict the reigning Australian Horse of the Year to New South Wales-based targets, Rattray is considering tackling the Queensland Pacing Championship on October 25. At this stage, Rattray is “50-50” on a Sunshine State campaign with the Inter Dominion winner. “I'm still undecided on which way I am going to go, but the trip to Queensland is now 50-50 after last Saturday night (when fourth at Menangle),” Rattray said. “I was happy with his performance on the weekend, it was only his second run back and it hasn’t knocked him around.” Whether he crosses the border remains to be seen, however, Beautide is a certainty to tackle the Miracle Mile as the son of Bettors Delight aims to join an elite fraternity. Should the gelding successfully defend his title he will become just the seventh pacer to secure consecutive Miracle Miles since its inauguration in 1967 when captured by wonder mare, Robin Dundee. Former champion Westbrun Grant was the ground breaker with his wins in 1989 and ’90, followed by Chokin (’93-’94), Holmes D G (199, 2000), Sokyola (’03-’04), Be Good Johnny and Smoken Up (’10-’11). Village Kid is the only other dual winner of the prestigious sprint, having scored in 1986 and ’87. The Western Australian’s victories were split by Master Mood when two Miracle Miles were conducted in 1986. PAUL COURTS

Harness racing’s pin up pacer Beautide will make his long-awaited return to racing at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Given a well-earned spell following his Len Smith Mile success at the same venue last April, Beautide faces a tough first-up task for trainer James Rattray. The Inter Dominion winner has drawn the outside of the front line, with noted front runner Suave Stuey Lombo expected to lead from six. Suave Stuey Lombo beat Beautide in a trial around the 1400-metre circuit last week, covering the mile 1:49.2 – the second fastest time recorded in the Southern Hemisphere. Recently retired star Smoken Up holds the top mantle with his 1:48.5 registered in the 2011 Len Smith Mile. Pleased with the son of Bettors Delight’s progress, Rattray stated Beautide will be eased back into racing as he works towards his initial main target – Miracle Mile title defence. “I’m very happy with the way he has come back,” Rattray said. “He is in good shape, but race fitness is another thing all together. “He has come through last week’s trial well and is ready to put in a good run. “I won’t be firing him out of the gate or pushing too hard at this stage as all these races are just warm ups to get him ready for the Miracle Mile in November.” Along with his Inter Dominion defence on March 1, Beautide will contest the Ballarat and Victoria Cups. The Ballarat Cup is scheduled for December 13, with the Victoria Cup to be conducted on January 31. Beautide finished fourth behind For A Reason in last season’s Victoria Cup. “The Ballarat Cup is an option with him, but I will decide on that when it gets closer,” Rattray said. “The Victoria Cup is definitely on the agenda as it also fits in well for him being two weeks before the Inter Dominion heats.” PAUL COURTS

Charlottetown Driving Park hosted a double-header of PEI Colt Stakes on Saturday with the two-year-olds featured during the afternoon card and three-year-olds front and center in the evening. Gilles Barrieau, Clare MacDonald and Mike Stevenson each won three of the stakes divisions, which ranged in purses of $5,400 to $6,300. Barrieau pulled off the biggest upset of the day when he catch-drove Landed Alien to a 1:57.4 triumph, converting from the pocket to defeat heavy favourite Lovineveryminute at odds of 11-1. Jackie Matheson trains the sophomore filly, who earned her first stakes victory and a new lifetime mark. Barrieau also drove two-year-old winners Dixeland Band (1:59) for trainer Kevin MacLean and filly Jann Down (1:59.3) for trainer Stephen Mason. To view the rest of the story click here. Emotional win at Kawartha Downs It was an emotional night at Kawartha Downs tonight for the Boyd family, who buried family patriarch Ross Boyd this afternoon. They then travelled to the track to watch grandson Nick record two victories on the card including one with a horse he owns and trains. Boyd went gate-to-wire with his own colt, two-year-old Rise Against, who won in 1:58.3. Boyd, of Guelph, Ont., also trains the youngster, who was notching his first lifetime win in just two starts. Boyd was also in the winner’s circle following the third race thanks to a 1:57.2 effort by Lucky Regal. “We buried my grandpa this afternoon and tonight down the lane it was like he was helping me across the wire,” Nick said following the win. To view the rest of this story click here.  Accident mars Alberta stakes Mothers Melody and Shark Festival were victorious in the $10,000 Alberta Standardbred Horse Association Filly Stakes for three-year-olds on Saturday afternoon at Alberta Downs, but the final division was marred by an accident at the top the stretch. Charismatic Art (J.F. Gagne) was leading the fillies around the final turn in the second division when she broke stride causing interference to Rummys Command (Jim Marino) in behind and Blue Star Escape (Kelly Hoerdt), who fell in the backfield. The rest of the field was able to get around the breaker with Shark Festival (Keith Clark) closing off cover for the 1:56.3 victory. Favourite Rollin Deep (Travis Cullen) finished one and a quarter length behind in second with Great Desire (Philip Giesbrecht) back in third. Marino was up on his feet quickly after being dumped from the sulky. Hoerdt told Trot Insider he was doing okay after the race, but headed to hospital to have his left ankle x-rayed. Both drivers booked off their remaining assignments after the 10th race accident. To view the rest of this story click here. Hat Trick for Sparling at Leamington Hockey season may not have started yet, but Rob Sparling Jr. scored three wins on the Saturday afternoon card at Leamington Raceway. Starting in the third race with an impressive two-year-old Bettors Delight filly, Passion Delight ($3.70), "Spar" made it look easy, winning in 2:04.3 over the "good" track for trainer Andrew McCabe and owner Glenview Livestock Ltd. of Guelph-Eramosa, Ont. The time of the mile was a track record for freshman fillies. His next win with DS Surprise ($4.10) wasn't so easy as he battled tooth and nail with St Lads Top Model and Alfie Carroll, ending up in a dead-heat for win in 2:00.3. DS Surprise is owned by Archie and Janice McEachern of Alvinston, Ont., with Janice handling the training chores. Sparling's third win was memorable as well, as he drove three-year-old filly Blissfullannmarie ($25.10) to a maiden win in 2:04 for trainer Catharine Gaudreau and owner Don Wilkins of Bothwell, Ont. With the 2014 election campaign just underway, Lakeshore mayor Tom Bain didn't need the winner's circle platform to announce his candidacy as no one in Lakeshore dare run against the popular mayor. Still, he was in the winner's circle with his trainee Wallet Sniffer, catch-driven by Alex Lilley for owner Don McMurren of South Woodslee, Ont. and parked the mile in 2:02.3. The handle for the Saturday afternoon card was $9,153. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Leamington Raceway. (With files from Leamington Raceway)

Make plans to attend the Canadian Yearling Sale Preview Day Saturday at Flamboro Downs. All yearlings set for auction on Sunday will be ready for viewing. The sale is set to start at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14. Complete sale information is available on theCanadian Yearling Sale page. Offspring from Ontario’s top stallions will be offered at the Canadian Yearling Sale, such as trotters sired by Angus Hall, Kadabra, Majestic Son and Muscle Mass, and pacers sired by Camluck, Mach Three, Shadow Play and Sportswriter. First crop Ontario-eligible stallions with yearlings available include pacers Big Jim, Bettors Delight, Up The Credit and Vintage Master, and trotter Manofmanymissions. To view the online catalogue, click the following link: Canadian Yearling Sale Online Catalogue From the Canadian Yearling Sales Company

Videos for the Southwind Farms Lexington Yearling Consignment are now available on the farms website at www.southwindfarms.net. The consignment features ten yearlings by World Champion MUSCLE HILL and five by sensational first crop sire SPORTSWRITER, as well as three Bettors Delights, and a Dragon Again, brother to Pa Sire Stakes Champion SOUTHWIND ROULETTE p,2,1:51.4f. The yearlings will sell as part of the Preferred Equine Agency consignment in Lexington and are available for inspection at the farm until September 25th   Please contact Farm Manager Laura Young at (609) 737-9067 or Syndicate Manager, Michael Klau at (516)599-2442. From Southwind Farms

Astute harness racing trainer Ross Sugars is expecting big things from boom pacer Bettor Rock On this campaign. Unbeaten from five starts since crossing the Tasman, Bettor Rock On is close to a return having been freshened following his victory at Tabcorp Park Melton last July. The son of Bettors Delight won a trial at Victoria’s racing headquarters on Tuesday night, with Sugars pleased with Bettor Rock On’s performance for two reasons. Firstly, the gelding gave every indication he has improved this time in, and secondly, he handled his first standing start test like a seasoned trouper. Those positives combined have Sugars citing several features, including the Melton Plate and some of the more prominent country cups, as targets for the five-year-old. Bettor Rock On will return at Melton next week as a lead-in to the Plate a fortnight later. “He showed last time in he has the makings of a nice horse,” Sugars said. “He did everything we asked of him and more. “After a nice little break he has come back better again and we expect him to be a contender in some of the better races. “I put him in that trial to test his standing start manners and he stood up well, which also gives us the option of chasing some of the country cups. “He’ll go around at Melton on the 19th, then have a crack at the Melton Plate a couple of weeks later. “We will see how he measures up in that, then we’ll make plans as we go along. At this stage it will just be baby steps with him as he has raced through the grades pretty quickly. “To go from restricted country front to open metro is a quantum leap and so far he is taking that leap in his stride.” PAUL COURTS

Harness Racing Australia has announced the winners of the various breeding awards, with Art Major leading the way. The siring sensation, which stands for Alabar, topped five categories, including leading sire by winners for the third time. Art Major, which produced 303 winners, was also leading juvenile sire for the sixth time. Veteran stallion Holmes Hanover saw his legacy continue as the leading broodmare sire in winners, overall stakes and three-year-old stakes. Sundon led the way yet again in the trotters’ divisions, taking out the leading sire by stakes and broodmare sire. HRA’s awards are sponsored by IRT - the world’s most trusted international horse transporters. IRT have been in operation for more than 40 years, with the company an ideal partner in recognising precious bloodstock. The HRA award winners are: LEADING SIRE BY STAKEMONEY BETTORS DELIGHT USA (for the 3rd time) 407 Starters 290 Winners 905 Wins $9,215,974 LEADING SIRE OF 2YO’S BY STAKEMONEY ART MAJOR USA (for the 5th Time) 63 Starters 30 Winners 69 Wins $1,382,817 LEADING SIRE OF 3YO’S BY STAKEMONEY ART MAJOR USA (for the 4th time) 123 Starters 80 Winners 231 Wins $2,349,133 LEADING JUVENILE SIRE BY STAKEMONEY (2&3YO’S)  ART MAJOR USA (for the 6th time) 186 Starters 110 Winners 300 Wins $3,731,950 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE BY STAKEMONEY  HOLMES HANOVER USA (for the 6th time) 445 Starters 275 Winners 718 Wins $5,255,879 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 2YO’S BY STAKEMONEY| IN THE POCKET USA (for the 1st time) 24 Starters 14 Winners 23 Wins $701,235 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 3YO’S BY STAKEMONEY HOLMES HANOVER USA (for the 2nd time) 58 Starters 37 Winners 95 Wins $901,485 LEADING SIRE OF TROTTERS BY STAKEMONEY SUNDON USA (for the 12th time) 115 Starters 66 Winners 154 Wins $1,283,366 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF TROTTERS BY STAKES SUNDON USA (for the 4th time) 119 Starters 73 Winners 203 Wins $1,865,422 LEADING SIRE OF WINNERS  ART MAJOR USA (for the 3rd time) – 303 LEADING SIRE OF 2YO’S BY WINNERS  SPORTSWRITER USA (for the 1st time) - 33 LEADING SIRE OF 3YO’S BY WINNERS  ART MAJOR USA (for the 3rd time) – 80 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE BY WINNERS  HOLMES HANOVER USA (for the 8th time) – 275 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 2YO’S BY WINNERS  SAFELY KEPT USA (for the 2nd time) – 19 LEADING BROODMARE SIRE OF 3YO’S BY WINNERS  SAFELY KEPT USA (for the 2nd time) – 46 PAUL COURTS

Onlookers had to check and double check their stop watches as two harness racing speedsters trialled at Tabcorp Park Menangle today. After galloping at the start of last Saturday night’s free-for-all at the same venue - therefore missing a much-needed run - Suave Stuey Lombo was taken to the trials by trainer Shane Tritton “to get the blow out he had to have”. The trial also doubled as Beautide’s third public hit out since his Len Smith Mile triumph for trainer James Rattray last April. Showing his customary gate speed to lead from barrier six, Suave Stuey Lombo was allowed to roll along by premier reinswoman Lauren Panella as Beautide was driven quietly. The top pacers then broke clear of the field during the latter stages as Suave Stuey Lombo covered the mile in a breathtaking 1:49.2! Suave Stuey Lombo’s time is the second fastest recorded in Australasia and the second occasion the son of Bettors Delight has broken the magical 1:50 mark. Last weekend’s retiree, Smoken Up, became the first standardbred in the Southern Hemisphere to better 1:50 when he captured the 2011 Len Smith Mile at Menangle. The son of Tinted Cloud set the benchmark with a brilliant 1:48.5. Comeback pacer For A Reason stopped the clock at 1:49.4 last November, before Smoken Up did it again with his 1:49.9 three weeks later. Suave Stuey Lombo’s 1:49.6 was registered last June. Leaving no doubt which track is the premier track on this side of the equator, all five sub 1:50 times have been run around Menangle’s world class 1400-metre circuit. “That’s the time he should have run last Saturday night,” Tritton said. “He’d worked the best he had ever gone leading into the race, but on the night he was just too full of himself and that cost him. “Given he wasn’t going to race for another couple of weeks, I wanted him to have a real good blow out at the trials to keep him at his peak. “These times can be a regular occurrence at Menangle…it’s just a matter of the drivers letting them run along, especially in that second quarter.” Earmarking the time-honoured Miracle Mile as the gelding’s primary target, Tritton stated Suave Stuey Lombo will be restricted to short distance racing until the November 29 showdown. The seven-year-old first step towards a berth in the premier sprint will be the Newcastle Mile on November 8. “He loves mile and speed racing, so that’s what I will try and stick to with him,” Tritton declared. “That said, there is a possibility of the Queensland Pacing Championship, but it’s not confirmed yet, whereas the Miracle Mile is a definite target. “I’d like to think he can break Smoken Up’s record and I won’t be surprised if this year’s Miracle Mile winner does just that.” PAUL COURTS

The Battlin' Billings Boys made their annual trip north of the border to compete in Canada and race on Prince Edward Island at Charlottetown Driving Park on Saturday,(Sept. 6) and at Summerside Raceway the following afternoon. Eight members were to make the trip but when "Bullet Bob" Davis had to cancel, the group leader and Billings vice president, Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford, contacted local amateur and Charlottetown resident, Todd Walsh, to fill in for Davis. And Walsh made the best of his chances, winning a Billings contest at both Maritime racetracks. But even though Todd "the substitute" Walsh copped a pair that still left room for two others who made the journey to have their pictures taken in the winner's circle. Mike "the Mortgage Man" Mitchell was one and "Racin' Jason" Sgrignuoli the other. The first contest at Charlottetown on Saturday went to Walsh when he sat back off the leaders and then closed with a rush to score an easy 2:01.2 victory with the veteran Bettors Delight pacing gelding, Blue Man Group. Also coming from off the pace was second place finisher TMS Starlet Cruise, capably handled by "Mighty Matt" Zuccarello. Third place went to Wine To Go, driven by Hilliard Graves, the retired professional hockey player. Graves appeared in 556 games in the National Hockey League from a 1970-1980 with the Vancouver Canucks, the Atlanta Flames, the Winnipeg Jets and the California Golden Seals. And like many other Canadian- born hockey players where hockey and harness racing are national sports in their country, Graves has been involved in harness racing, for most of his adult life and thus far he has won 265 races. Oldford, and the other Billings members, were very pleased to have Graves fill in for one the absent members. The second contest there saw "the Mortgage Man" take advantage of sizzling early fractions then rally Sumbodys Fool to collar Forced To Travel and Steve Oldford in the final strides to score a neck victory a time of 1:59.2. Hilliard Graves drove the third place finisher in that contest, also. On Sunday (Sept. 7) at Summerside Raceway, Walsh was back in the winners circle after winning the first Billings contest there with In Cahoots in a time of 2:01.3. They finished 1-1/2 length s ahead of Bizzy Izzy driven by Daniel "Handy Dan" St. Pierre. Matt Zuccarello took home the show dough with Incredible Mike. A final Billings race went to All Out, who seemed to be all-out from gate to wire to score a two length triumph in a time of 1:59 triumph for "Racin' Jason" Sgrignuoli. Zuccarello was second with Jamantha while Todd Walsh finished third with Woodmere No Fool. "We got to the lead easily and we never had a serious challenge in the race ," Sgrignuoli said. "At the finish my horse still had a lot left and the owners (Dale and Ronnie Rennie) were very happy. I was too. " Later all the Billings drivers, and even some of ( the PEI) horsemen, got together and celebrated with a nice dinner." The next day, when all the Billings participants were at the airport and were readying for the trip back home, Steve Oldford, who has been the driving force behind this international amateur completion, had nothing but compliments for their Canadian hosts. "I can't say enough good things about the hospitality we are shown when we come here," Oldford said. "Every one invites us to stop by their barns and 'have a beverage or two'. No one tells us how to drive their horses; all they say to us is 'have fun-be safe'. "We enjoy every moment when we are with our PEI friends and we look forward to a return trip again next year. by John Manzi, for the Billings Amateur Driver Series

CAMPBELLVILLE, September 6 - Grand Circuit week wrapped up with a bang Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Two divisions of the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers and two divisions of the Champlain Stakes for two-year-old pacers of both sexes highlighted the 12-race card. In the first $106,038 Simcoe Stakes division, Dancin Hill and driver Scott Zeron picked up the victory in a career best clocking of 1:50.1 Trained by Tony Alagna, Dancin Hill sat off the early pace as the lead changed hands a few times in the opening half mile. In the third quarter, Zeron fired up Dancin Hill and brought him first up to challenge the leader Western Vintage. After a three-quarter time of 1:22.3, Dancin Hill powered by Western Vintage in the lane and paced strong to the wire to win by 2 ¼ lengths over Winds Of Change. Carracci Hanover took the show spot. A son of Rocknroll Hanover - Beyonce Blue Chip, Dancin Hill has now won two of his last three starts and improved his seasonal record to three wins in 12 starts. "I was very happy with him," said Alagna following the race. "I felt good at the head of the lane because I know he always kicks home hard and Scott (Zeron) said he was super." Dancin Hill is owned by Tom Hill of Lancashire, Great Britain and has now won five races in his career for earnings of more than $133,000. He paid $3.80 to win. Melmerby Beach and Paul Macdonell scored their second victory in back-to-back weeks to take the second $107,538 division. Melmerby Beach sprinted off the gate to grab the lead and paced by the opening quarter in :26.4. After putting up fractions of :54.4 and 1:22.1, Melmerby Beach led the field into that lane, while Play It Again Sam was sticking close first up and Jet Airway was second over. In the stretch, Melmerby Beach dug in and held off Play It Again Sam to win by half a length in 1:50.2. Jet Airway couldn't find his best stride and finished third, while Surprise Hanover got up for fourth. A son of Somebeachsomewhere - Db Blue Chip, Melmerby Beach has now won three of his last five starts. "The last few weeks we've been leaving with him pretty good and haven't really done that much most of the year," said MacDonell following the race. "He seems to be responding to that style of racing so far." MacDonell also said that Melmerby Beach may be better suited for the cooler weather. "I think the fall weather is going to help him. He suffered a bit of allergy symptoms most of the summer and he is just getting stronger and better and we are hoping for a good fall season with him." Trained by Brent MacGrath for Schooner II Stable, Melmerby Beach has now won six of his 14 starts this year and seven in his career for earnings of more than $159,000. He paid $6.50 to win. 18 freshman pacing colts and geldings were split into two divisions of the Champlain Stakes. In the first $123,120 division, Lyons Levi Lewis delivered a 1:52.1 victory as the 3/5 favourite. Driven by Sylvain Filion, Lyons Levi Lewis got away in fourth and made a second quarter brush and touched down on the lead at the half in :55.1. After reaching the three-quarter pole in 1:23.2, Lyons Levi Lewis kept his rivals away to win by a length. Thinkofagameplan finished second, while Some Power was third. Following the race, Filion explained his strategy with the heavy favourite. "Leaving the gate I just didn't want to get caught up in the speed duel," said Filion. "Let them settle and then retake the lead down the backside and control the pace." Lyons Levi Lewis, who is owned by Joseph Lyons Mound, has now won twice in eight starts for earnings of more than $265,000. He paid $2.70 to win. As the field approached the start in the first division, Sports Bettor fell down and tossed driver James MacDonald to the track. Sports Bettor was caught outside the paddock, while James MacDonald was able to get up under his own power and continued driving on the remainder of the card. If You Want Fire and Chris Christoforou benefited from hot fractions in the second $123,120 division to come from sixth at three-quarter pole and pace by his rivals to win in 1:52.2. A first quarter battle saw Kona Kid, Southwind Indy and Mitt Jagger fly by the opening quarter in :26. Mitt Jagger, who was three-wide around the first turn, finally took the lead, but Lyons Again paced up from fourth to take control at the half in :54. Lyons Again reached the three-quarter pole in 1:22.2 to lead the field into the stretch, while Traceur Hanover sat two lengths back in second. In the stretch, Lyons Again began to tire and needed the wire, but couldn't hold on as If You Want Fire surged by the favourite to win by three-quarters of a length. Lyons Again held on for second over a late charging Mikes Powerhouse. A son of Bettors Delight - Dream Of Treasure, If You Want Fire lost the first four starts of his career, but has now won three races in a row for earnings of over $75,000. Trained by Casie Coleman, If You Want Fire is owned by West Wins Stable, Ron Broadstone, Leslie Halsted and Dr. Fred Kruszelnicki. He paid $8.60 to win. 14 two-year-old pacing fillies were also on display in two divisions of the Champlain Stakes. Happy Becky and Chris Christoforou made a second quarter move to the lead and never looked back to win the first $117,557 division. A daughter of Cams Card Shark - Happy Doris, Christoforou sent Happy Becky from fourth to the lead in the second quarter. Happy Becky paced by the three-quarter pole in 1:23.4 and then paced a strong final quarter to fight off Shakai Hanover, who was stuck in the two-hole, and Shes A Hot Mess, who came first up in the third quarter. Trained by Casie Coleman, the clocking of 1:52.2 is a new career best for Happy Becky. Following the race, Christoforou said racing luck just hadn't been a friend of Happy Becky in her most recent starts. "She had a little bad luck in her last couple starts...she got locked in last time and just circumstances," said Christoforou. "I wanted to give her the best chance I could, so that's how it worked out." Happy Becky is owned by West Wins Stable, J Robert Darrow, Ron Broadstone and Dave Miller. She has now won five of her first seven starts and has earnings of more than $104,000. Happy Becky paid $6.00. The Show Returns and Scott Zeron took the second $117,557 division in 1:52. Coming into the Champlain Stakes off a victory in the Shes A Great Lady Stakes consolation, The Show Returns grabbed the early lead over Sports Chic and Solar Sister. Solar Sister made a move to the lead in the second quarter and carried that lead to the three-quarter pole as The Show Returns sat in the two-hole. In the stretch, Zeron found room for The Show Returns and powered past Solar Sister to win by a length. Sports Chic took second, while Solar Sister held on for third. A daughter of Rocknroll Hanover - Stienams Place, The Show Returns was making her debut in the Tony O'Sullivan barn. Owned by Richard and Joanne Young, she has now won three times in eight starts for earnings of more than $90,000. She paid $4.90 to win. The final rounds of the Champlain and Simcoe Stakes concludes Grand Circuit week, but harness racing's finest will return next Saturday night for the $682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic. Also on next Saturday's card is the Elegantimage Stakes, William Wellwood Memorial and the Peaceful Way Stakes. Post time is 7:25 p.m. and more information can be found at www.MohawkRacetrack.com. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

Former Tasmanian pacer Beautide is expected to be a ‘walk-up start’ for the top crown during next month’s Harness Racing New South Wales awards night. Prepared locally by talented horseman James Rattray, Beautide had 13 starts in his new home state for 12 wins, a second and earnings of $1,101,025. He also finished fourth behind fellow NSW pacer, For A Reason, in the SEW-Eurodrive Victoria Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton. As for his victories, the son of Bettors Delight completed the Miracle Mile-Inter Dominion double to become just the fourth pacer to capture the two prestigious events in the same season. Village Kid set the benchmark when he secured both in 1986, followed by Our Sir Vancelot during the 1997/98 term and Smooth Satin in 2001/02. For the record, Hondo Grattan (1974), Young Quinn (’75), Preux Chevalier (‘85) and Our Maestro (‘88) annexed the Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion in the same calendar year. Beautide was also triumphant in the Len Smith and Newcastle Miles, with his best time of 1:50.2 coming in the Miracle Mile. Joining the gelding as nominees for the Aged Stallion/Gelding of the Year are For A Reason, Ideal Scott, Mach Beauty, Seel N Print, Suave Stuey Lombo, The Gold Ace and Washakie. Voting is based upon the performances by NSW-trained campaigners anywhere in Australasia, with visitors only judged on their efforts within the state. Rising star Victorian squaregaiter Spidergrace is the only non-local in the running for an award. The daughter of Yankee Spider is one of three nominees in the Three-Year-Old Trotter of the Year division. Trained by David Moran, Spidergrace had four starts north of the Murray River for three wins and a fourth in the Trotters’ Derby won by Our Twentyten. Nominations for the various categories are: 2YO Filly of the Year: Ameretto, Bamako Mali, Makes Every Scents, Read About Lexy, Sally Fletcher, Smooth Showgirl 2YO Colt/Gelding of the Year: Artistic Flite, Its Only Rocknroll, Ominous Warning, Spare Me Days, Sporty Spook, Stardust 2YO Trotter of the Year: Maximiser, Royal Treat, Twice As Much, Val Gardena 3YO Filly of the Year: Amanda Von, Freedom Is, Just Cala, Nike Franco, Ocean Diva, Shes A Runa, Spicy Stride 3YO Colt/Gelding of the Year: Bling It On, Iam Mr Brightside, Lettuceriprita, Lettucerockthem, Saloon Passage, Yayas Hot 3YO Trotter of the Year: My Valerie, Spidergrace, Verbier Aged Mare of the Year: Awesome Belmer, Baby Bling, Chance, Frith, Vansumic, Zenable PAUL COURTS

One of the best things about spring in New Zealand from a harness racings fan's point of view is the emergence of the next wave of  harness racing stars on to the race tracks. Some of the maiden fields during winter had little depth or class but now that spring has arrived the smart early season 3 year olds are coming out of the woodwork. On Thursday night at Alexandra Park (September 4th) race two on the program is a C0 pace for 3 year olds over 2200 meters and if blood counts for anything it should be one hell of a race. Happy To Go is a first starter for the Telfer/Garlick barn who has drawn well at barrier four and has performed well at trials and workouts. She is by Bettors Delight and is the first foal from the former outstanding racemare Time To Fly 1:54.2 ($154,680) Hartofdixie from the Barry Purdon barn is another first starter who has drawn nicely at barrier five and she has also impressed track watchers with her runs at trials and workouts. A daughter of American Ideal, Hart Of Dixie is the third foal from Splendid Deal whose first two foals were Splendour 1:56.2 ($148,990) and Maxim 1:55.9 ($397,413) Courtney John from the Todd Mitchell barn is yet another first starter who has recently moved north from the Phil Burrows barn in Canterbury and will start from barrier two on the second line. She qualified in 2:00 neat back in February at Ashburton and has always looked above average. The McArdle filly is a half sister to the smart Seven Point One 1:56.1 from a daughter of the super broodmare Port Medley. The last of the first starters is Local Yokel for trainer/driver Tony Herlihy and he has also been performing well at trials and workouts and will start from three on the second line. A son of Elsu, Local Yokel is a half brother to the very smart duo of Presido 1:56 ($153,575) and Sound Of Thunder 1:57.4 ($134,841) The field is full of horses with good form with Christy Maguire from barrier two yet to finish out of the money in four starts while Percy Jones from barrier seven has also been placed in his three lifetime starts to date. Sirius Star from barrier eight has been placed in three of his last four starts while Culler Coded, Bettor Ace and Machulbeatchu have all looked above average in brief careers to date. It is a punters nightmare to predict but if we had to go for one it, we would probably lean towards Hart Of Dixie but without a lot of confidence. Who ever does come out on top will know they have really earned their first lifetime win. Harnesslink Media 

Star harness racing filly Mindarie Priddy has lost her battle with laminitis. Struggling to recover from a “simple” cut in her hoof, Mindarie Priddy had to be put down yesterday. Devastated by the news, trainer David Miles remains shocked by the manner in which the daughter of Artistic Fella met her demise. “All this is the result of something amazingly simple,” Miles said. “Initially she only stood on a toe chip, which developed into a foot infection that didn’t burst as you’d normally expect. “We took her to the vet surgery and it went pear-shaped from there, and before we knew it, she was fighting for her life. “In the end she was suffering from laminitis and we had to make the heartbreaking call.” Laminitis is a disease that affects hooved animals, often leading to perforation of the coffin bone through the sole of the hoof, requiring aggressive treatment or euthanasia. Sadly in the case of Mindarie Priddy – a winner of 11 races from 17 starts for earnings of $284,659 - it was the latter. In human terms, Laminitis is similar to gangrene, which often leads to amputation. “I can’t believe this has happened,” Miles declared. “We tried everything we could to save her, but her body was just fighting itself and not responding. “In the end the laminitis was too bad and there was every chance the pedal bone would have kept rotating and pushed through the sole of her foot. “There was even talk of getting a prosthetic leg for her, so I can tell you we tried, and thought of, everything, but the overall result is she had to be put down.” Miles also revealed connections flushed several embryos from the mare, which was served by leading sire, Bettors Delight. Again to Miles’ dismay, the embryos “didn’t take”. “During the last month we knew things weren’t looking good and were aware of what may come, so we tried to get some embryos out of her,” Miles said. “They were by Bettors Delight, which would have been a terrific mating, but they didn’t take, so we’ve ended up with nothing. “She was without doubt the best filly I have ever put a bridle on…she had speed, stamina and brains, she was the perfect racehorse. “The Australian Pacing Gold will remain her best win, but for one reason or another, we never got to see the best of her.” PAUL COURTS

It is not that often that horses from the central districts of the north island are sent out the hot favourite at the northern harness racing capital of Alexandra Park. But then Te Kawau is not your normal central districts horse. Going into tonights race as the warmest of favourites was due in no small part to the outstanding runs he put up last season at three against Locharburn, Sky Major and company. With two runs back against Cyamach to help him to full fitness, Te Kawau looked very hard to beat and so it proved. Steadied from his second row draw by driver Zac Butcher in the 2200 meters mobile event, Zac sent him forward with 1400 to go and grabbed the lead off Royal Taz with 1100 meters to run. From there Te Kawau always held too many guns for the opposition and comfortably held them at bay in the home straight. Pricillas Girl continued her rich vein of form to grab second after starting from the outside of the second row while early leader Royal Taz was a nose away in third. Te Kawau paced the 2200 meters in 2:43.71 with closing sectionals of 57.3 and 27.3 It was his sixth win from just 14 starts along with five minor placings and stake earnings of $39,727 When you look at how Te Kawau is bred it is no wonder he is smart. By the champion sire Bettors Delight , the dam of Te Kawau is Haylin Express, a daughter of Christian Cullen who won $44,438 on the track and Te Kawau is her first foal. The grand dam by Holmes Hanover is a half sister to the brilliant Agua Caliente 1:55.3 ($413,027) and the ill fated Haylin Fella (7 wins) who died suddenly in Auckland after being sold for big money to Queensland interests. A big striking looking individual, Te Kawau looks to have come back better than ever and should grace the better four year old races later in the season. Harnesslink Media    

Trainer David Lewis says Abettorpunt cannot afford another setback if he is to contest this year’s New Zealand Trotting Cup in November. Lewis said Abettorpunt had recently fallen victim to a virus which flattened the majority of his Hamilton stable, but the six-year-old is now back in full work and a $31 shot for the NZ Cup with tab.com.au. “We had a little hiccup unfortunately. Most of my horses had a virus so I had to lay him down for a few weeks and we missed the Breeders free for all. That had been the aim,” Lewis said. “Now I’m hoping to get a couple of runs into him in Melbourne before I go and hopefully everything goes right between now and then, because if he’s not 100 per cent he won’t be going.” Lewis said Abettorpunt was still an “85-90 per cent” chance of contesting the NZ Trotting Cup but said the son of Bettors Delight couldn’t afford any more mishaps. “Plan B might be to take him to Queensland for a feature race there, then it’ll be up to Sydney,” he said. “The Inter Dominion is the plan in the New Year and I’d like to go back to South Australia for the SA Cup and work my way back through Victoria for some country cups. A bit similar to last year, I was happy with the pattern we went with.” Lewis said fans were yet to see the best of Abettorpunt, who finished his last preparation with a Group 1 triumph in the Bohemia Crystal Free-For-All at Menangle. He also won last year’s Casey Classic at Tabcorp Park Melton and ran an unlucky fourth in the Del-Re National Hunter Cup. Brett Cox, who works for Lewis, will travel with Abettorpunt if he heads to New Zealand while Matthew Craven will take the reins. “He loves the stand start and distance races so it would certainly suit him,” Lewis said. Terror To Love is $4.40 favourite for the NZ Trotting Cup, just ahead of Christen Me at $4.60, with Smolda ($5.50), Im Themightyquinn ($6.50), Adore Me and For A Reason ($10), and Locharburn ($12) next in the market. Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

In a matter of months she has gone from being a filly few wanted to be involved with to one of the hottest properties in harness racing. Having purchased a youngster by Bettors Delight from Karen Donna, leading New Zealand horseman Cran Dalgety was struggling to find people to buy shares in the pacer. Fast forward to Tabcorp Park last Sunday and the same prospect – racing as Katy Perry – is an Australasian Breeders’ Crown champion. Katy Perry’s latest success compliments her Group One victory in the PGG Wrightson Sales Final last May. “I did like her, which is why I bought her, but I was having a hard time syndicating her to people,” Dalgety said. “The dam hadn’t really done much, which is what scared people off I reckon. “Only about a year ago, before Katy started racing, the broodmare was sold for $1000. “As for Katy, she hasn’t stopped improving and has developed into a wonderful buy.” Unbeaten from four Australian starts, Katy Perry was forced to dig deep during her latest triumph when driven by star reinsman Dexter Dunn. Beginning swiftly to lead from barrier four, Katy Perry was ‘kept honest’ throughout the 2240-metre event by Joannes A Delight, which issued a strong challenge from the ‘death seat’. With the pair matching along the home straight, Katy Perry staved off her fellow Kiwi to score by a head. Cyclone Kate provided a New Zealand trifecta when two metres away third. “She didn’t have to do too much to get to the front, but the ‘death’ filly certainly kept the race on,” Dunn said. “She was challenged strongly up the straight, but responded well and proved she was up to it.” With the final 800 metres run in 57.3 seconds, the two-year-old rated 1:58.7, taking her record to seven wins and two seconds from 10 starts for earnings of $348,347. Due to return across the Tasman on Friday, Katy Perry will be given a “nice break” before being prepared for the various classics next season. “She will stay in Australia until the end of the week before she heads home for a nice break,” Dalgety said. “I will have her up and running again in time for the Oaks and other majors at home, but she will also be back here at some stage. “I’ll look at the Victoria Oaks as well as the Breeders’ Crown when she returns. Paul Courts    

1 to 16 of 1667
1 2 3 4 5 Next »