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Yonkers, NY --- Harness racing trainer Jenny Melander started two horses in the $100,000 Yonkers Raceway/SOA of NY Bonus Trotting Series last year, Golden Son and Ameliosi, who finished third and fifth, respectively. In addition, Ontheroad De Vie claimed the runner-up spot in the $25,000 consolation for series eligibles on the same card. When the four-week series starts anew Tuesday (April 3), Melander will send out a formidable foursome. For her, the series has become a prime target for talented trotters to jump start their 4-year-old seasons. “We’re not as big as the biggest stables, but we try to get the best value out of the horses for our owners and with that, it seems to work out that we keep the 3-year-olds that haven’t made enough money so they still fit the series, and they can have a good and healthy 4-year-old season. And if we can buy a horse who fits the series, that’s great as well,” Melander said. “I think that series is one of the best series there is for the amount of money you spend to be in it and the number of starts you can get in for that kind of money,” she continued. “It’s a good series and we’ve had good luck in it in the past, so I don’t see why we shouldn’t keep aiming for it.” Melander’s stable is now 35 strong in total. She prides herself on showing continuous improvement in each of her six years since she went out on her own as a trainer, both in quality and in quantity. In 2017, her horses earned $1,266,587, a personal best. “I’m very happy with the progress we’ve made over the last few years and where we’re at now, I think we have better quality each year and I think this year we have a little better quality than last year,” she said. Melander commented on each of the four horses she will start in the $25,000 divisions of the series’ first leg: Race 2 – Division One #1 Frankie Mullins 5-2 (Jason Bartlett) Belmar Racing’s 4-year-old son of Muscle Massive is 4-for-27 with $94,092 earned. The gelding earned multiple placings in the Pennsylvania Stallion Series last year before ending the season with a string of off-the-board finishes at Yonkers and Harrah's Philadelphia. After a winter break, Frankie Mullins qualified back March 6 and finished third and fifth in two starts at Pocono on March 17 and 23, respectively. “We’ve had him since halfway through his 2-year-old year. He’s a good horse, he tries, he always gives it what he can, he gets around the half good. Not a top-of-the-line horse, but he’s a grinder and he always does well, he always tries. He’s improved a bit, he’s filled out a bit, gotten a little bigger. I give pretty much all my horses a winter break, I think they deserve it. He’s come back good. He had a good first start at Pocono when he finished third and then last week he got locked in on the rail, but he should be ready on Tuesday.” Race 6 – Division Four #3 Meadowbrook Glider 9-5 (Jason Bartlett) A $25,000 buy for John Devito from the Ohio Blooded Horse Sale last May, Meadowbrook Glider has proved a challenge for Melander. Although he’s shown talent, trotting to a 1:54.4 victory at Pocono last season, the 5-year-old son of Justice Hall makes frequent breaks in stride. After a change in equipment following his latest break March 9 led to two strong races -- a third from post seven at Yonkers March 18 and a win at Pocono March 24 -- Melander feels more confident in the gelding coming into the series. “He’s a little bit trickier. He’s really fast, he showed his speed last year. He’s had a little tougher time coming back this year and getting gaited. He still sits on a ton of speed, it’s just a matter of keeping him sound and focused enough. He’s switched to the pace a couple times and his mind wanders off and you have to get him focused. We just put the racer pads on him up front. That’s what he had last year and I think he just needs them. He loves the racer pads and they seem to work for him. “You have to drive him up in the bit, keep his attention. I was very happy with his last start at Pocono where he showed he’s still got it. The talent is there, but you have to drive him and hold him together at the same time. He raced good at Yonkers when he finished third and he came flying late from the back of the pack and was four-wide on the last turn, so that was a good effort as well. He’s had two solid races now after a few miscues early on.” Race 7 – Division Five #5 Chapter Too 2-1 (Andy Miller) Belmar Racing paid $70,000 at Harrisburg last fall to acquire New York Sire Stakes finalist Chapter Too, a daughter of Chapter Seven out of the Kadabra mare Wood Blue Chip. She won her debut for Melander off the winter layoff at the Meadowlands March 9 before finishing second by a nose after sustaining a long first-over charge in her next outing March 17. In her most recent start, Chapter Too earned her fifth career win and pushed her earnings to $159,908 when she won a Meadowlands overnight in 1:54.1. “From the second she came into our barn, I really liked her. She is a lovely, lovely horse. The owner is planning to breed her eventually, she’s pretty well-bred and we’re hoping to make some money with her during her 4-year-old year. She sits on a ton of speed, she’s a very classy mare. We already know she can get around a half-mile track, we just wanted to get a few starts into her before going to Yonkers. “She’s an all-around mare. She can leave, she can sit back, she can pretty much do whatever you want her to do. The first week, obviously after just one qualifier, she needed to be raced following something. She got a beautiful trip and everything was good. The following week, she had to race a little tougher than what we initially hoped for, but she’s a tough mare, it didn’t do anything bad to her. I thought she fought it out all the way and after a tough race, only lost by a small bit. Then, just showing how good a mare she is, she just got better after that. In her last start at the Meadowlands, (Andy Miller) never even pulled the plugs. She kind of has a little funky way of going at times, her action isn’t 100 percent clear, but I think that’s just the way she goes.” Race 9 – Division Six #6 Ontheroad De Vie 5-1 (Jim Marohn Jr.) Immediately after Ontheroad De Vie finished second in a series consolation last year, it was obvious something was amiss. Melander soon discovered the gelded son of Holiday Road fractured a bone in his hoof and spent the rest of the year nurturing him back to health. The 6-year-old won for the first time since his injury when he captured a $3,100 overnight from post eight at Monticello March 26. “We wanted to sell him in the January sale last year. He was racing really well for us in the fall and into the winter, but nobody really wanted to pay any money for him, so we ended up buying him back. From the sale until the end of the series, he had a great time and was making great money every start and really consistent. He’s not a top-of-the-line horse, but he shows up and he tries and he’s consistent. He makes good money doing that. “Then unfortunately he broke his coffin bone in the consolation. When he came off the track, he was limping and before we left the paddock, he was crippled. We spent all summer just getting him back. It was a pretty bad break, so we didn’t know how good of a horse he was going to be coming back, but he’s come back sound and good and I think he’s just about the same horse he was when he broke down. He’s been good to us and I’m glad we could be good to him and get him back to where he’s doing good. We’re lucky that we can stay eligible to the series again.” by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY 

Goulburn trainer-driver Dennis Day hopes Harry Day can measure up at Menangle after an impressive harness racing victory at Wagga on Sunday. Wagga Harness Racing Club hosted an Easter meeting on Sunday with a good crowd turning out for the nine-race card. Dennis Day made the three-hour trip from Goulburn and it proved worthwhile as Harry Day justified his short price with a strong win in the $10,000 Kevin & Kay Seymour Evolution Series 3YO Colts and Geldings Heat (1755m). Harry Day ($1.80) worked early but still had enough in reserve to hold off Run Business Run ($6.70) by five metres. $3.70 chance Miracle Marcus was a further 10 metres back in third place. “I thought he would go pretty good,” Day said. “This track suited him, going forward, but he’s pretty versatile. “The final is in a fortnight at Menangle so we’ll see how we go there.” The win qualified Harry Day for the $20,000 Evolution Series Final (1609m) at Menangle on April 14, where he will meet horses from the other heats held at Dubbo, Penrith and Newcastle. Harry Day ran sixth in an Evolution Series Final at Menangle in February, beaten only seven metres.     +9      Wagga trots - April 1 Pictures by Les Smith Day hopes he can go closer this time. “We’ve sorted him out a bit,” he said. “He’s had a few little issues, only minor things, just a few little niggles but I’m happy with him at the moment.” Day used Harry Day out of the gate, but was unable to cross Mastablasta ($18.40) as they ran 29.4 seconds for the first quarter. After sitting outside the leader, Day worked to the front rounding the home turn and then held his rivals at bay to score in a slick mile rate of 1:57.3. “He was still strong on the line, which was good,” Day said. It was Harry Day’s fourth win from 12 career starts. Meantime, the Shane Hillier-trained Resounding ($5.20) took out the Terry Hinchcliffe Surveyors Easter Cup (2165m) at Wagga. Resounding gradually worked to the lead as $3.30 favourite Miss Gold Fortune broke as they came out from the gate. The four-year-old mare kicked strongly at the top of the straight to hold off the fast-finishing Our American Princess ($7.30) by a head. It was the second leg of a winning double for Mitchell Reese, who won earlier in the day on the Wayne Potter-trained Itsadanceoff ($1.70). Leeton trainer-driver Wayne Sullivan won the Rules Club Harness Breeders NSW Bonus Scheme 2YO Pace (1755m) with Cee Cee Ambro ($2.50). After running second on debut at Wagga last Tuesday, Cee Cee Ambro went one better on Sunday, outlasting Western Secret ($5.40) by a head. By Matt Malone Reprinted with permission of The Daily Advertiser

An Open Pace featuring I'm An Athlete and Allmyx'sliventexas and a Filly and Mare Open Pace that brings out Delightfully Wild and Directing Traffic that head the harness racing marquee on Saturday night at Cal Expo. I'm An Athlete and Allymx'sliventexas put on quite a show at the head of the class last week and get another chance to settle the score in the co-feature while leaving from the No. 6 and 7 outside post positions, respectively. I'm An Athlete is an 8-year-old son of Art Major who carries the banner of Ronald Rettig-Zucchi, is trained by Jessie Pacheco and will once again have James Kennedy giving directions. He has four wins from nine starts on the year with a 1:51 1/5 lifetime standard. After some tough trips from difficult posts in his previous two miles, I'm An Athlete returned to his winning ways last week. He was able to leave into a pocket trip behind the odds-on Allymx'sliventexas, tracked that one to the drive and was up by a nose in a 1:52 mile. Allymx'sliventexas is a 5-year-old homebred who competes for Wayne and Rod Knittel, takes his lessons from Bob Johnson and has main man Mooney Svendsen back at the controls. The hard-hitting performer had three straight victories going into last week's Open, including a head-heat in the Glen Holt Memorial and a career-best 1:50 4/5 mile in his next outing despite being parked the mile that evening. In last week's clash, the Knittel colorbearer shot right to the front for Svendsen, opened a lengthy lead at midstretch but could not quite hold off the pocket-sitting I'm An Athlete in another strong outing. Veteran mare Silverlode continues good fight Silverlode added another victory to her resume last weekend as she dead-heated with Silverhill Volo in an Open II Trot, pushing her lifetime bankroll near the $175,000 mark. A 9-year-old homebred daughter of British Sterling who races for Steve and Vickie Desomer and has been handled of late by Steve Wiseman, Silverlode is out of the top racemare and producer Charlotte's Web. The latter has had a very impressive group of performers on the racetrack. In addition to divisional leader Silverlode, she has had divisional leaders in Placer and Cadet; the takes-winning Kiss The Girls and a promising pair in Pay Dirt and Shudabinaclaudius. Charlotte's Web, who celebrated her 16th birthday this year, is a daughter of Website who was a multiple stakes winner as a 2-year-old and was retired in the midst of her sophomore campaign. There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate - the 50-cent Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4. The Pick 4 comes with a $50,000-guaranteed gross pool on Saturdays and a $30,000 guarantee on Fridays. Last Saturday night's Pick 4 returned a nifty $1,922 for each correct 20-cent ticket and would have paid $1,716 using the regular takeout. That's $206 bonus for each ducket. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Last Thursday one of the State’s great harness racing trainer-drivers in Fred Hough died at the age of 86. Fred Hough was born in 1930 to a family steeped in trotting with his father Arthur a leading Perth trainer and driver and his mother Lella a daughter of legendary dual-code trainer Fred Thomas. Fred drove his first winner Gunplay as a 16yo on 18th January 1947 at Gloucester Park and after his last win with Regal Explorer on 28th September 1990, also at Gloucester Park, he had a tally of some 512 winners with 220 of them in the city. Fred’s tally of 512 winners ranks him in 39th place on the all-time list of successful drivers in this State. He was a part of history on 2nd September 1950 behind Step Lad when that horse dead-heated with Attaboy. It was the first dead-heat at Gloucester Park after the introduction of the photo-finish. Fred also won the first WA Oaks in 1968 when he trained and drove the outstanding filly Pyramus to victory. She was to go on and win a WA Pacing Cup for Les Marriott. Fred won ten races with Pyramus and he also developed another outstanding horse in Velvet Prince which later went on to run third in the 1978 Inter Dominion Final for Fred Kersley. While he was an outstanding educator of young horses, it was the fifties champion Frosty Nelson which took Fred Hough to the pinnacle of trotting in Western Australia. Frosty Nelson won 28 races whilst in Fred’s stables including the 1955 WA Pacing Cup and two heats of the 1957 Inter Dominion held at Gloucester Park and a State Sprint Championship. Fred won a second State Sprint in 1968 with Carpathian. Fred was also keenly sought after as a freelance reinsman and won a pair of Stratton Cups with Blue Pennant (for trainer Tom Charles) and Red Vicar (for trainer Geoff Sherriffs). Alan Parker  

Campanile (No Pan Intended) made her return to the harness racing winner's circle on Thursday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The Chris Marino-trained mare came into the Fillies and Mares Open with eight wins on the year but the classy distaffer had gone winless since mid-May in the local feature. Campanile got the pocket ride in the $15,000 Open behind the race's favorite Bye Bye Michelle (Stephane Bouchard) and reeled that rival in in the final strides. Campanile stopped the timer in 1:53.2 while pulling off a mild upset at odds of 9-2. Bye Bye Michelle was the runner up and completed an exacta that returned $26.80 while the triple with longshot Hipnumberone (Jim Devaux) third paid $187.50. For Campanile, it was the sixth win in the local feature this season. The seven year old mare was piloted to victory by Austin Siegelman. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella

Lucan Hanover withstood a tremendous closing effort from Dapper Dude to win the $30,000 Preferred Handicap in 1:51.2 on the Washington's birthday harness racing card, Monday, Feb. 22 at Dover Downs. Newcomer Lucan Hanover, owned by West Wins Stable and piloted by Yannick Gingras, in his first local appearance had all he could handle in the stretch when Vic Kirby pulled last week's feature race winner Dapper Dude, from dead-last as the select field of seven top class pacers turned for home and came on sensational to within a short nose of victory in the week's top race on another strong Monday program. The win was one of three for driver Gingras and one of two for trainer Andrew Harris Lucan Hanover won his first start of 2016 and moved to $810,626 in career purses with his 19th lifetime win. Dapper Dude was followed by Sparky Mark (Jonathan Roberts), third. Bushwacker (Jim Meittinis) was race favorite but finished off the board. Blazing Bobby Sox driven by Art Stafford Jr. enjoyed a perfect rip following Apollo Seelster (Gingras) on the outside en route to a 1:52.2 victory in one of two $15,000 paces for young horses. Art Stafford, the trainer-driver's dad, own The Panderosa-Liamatters gelding, now a three-time winner in 2016. Sectionline Rocks (All Davis) came on in the lane to overtake Apollo Seelster for second-place money. Trainer Eric Ell, who often wins races in bunches was at it again, posting a triple. Soto closed strongly to win for the third time in his last four outings, a $14,500 Male Winners-Over pace in 1:52.1, one of two wins for Vic Kirby. Fancy Colt (Tony Morgan) a 69-1 shot was a close second with Speed Again (Gingras) third. Soto is also owned by Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta, whose Jeremes General with Allan Davis collected a 1:52.3 score in a $20,000 Male Claiming race. Earlier Ell conditioned Bill Emmons' Giant Sculpture, also driven by Davis, to a 1:51.1 victory in a $12,500 Male pace. George Dennis pulled Silver Fox J to the outside in mid-stretch and raced past leader Totally Dream (Corey Callahan) to score a 1:52.2 win in a $15,000 pace for young horses, the third win of the year for the Kenneth J-Fox Valley Backoff gelding trained and owned by Dennis, his wife Tina and The Wiz Kids Stable. Time Out I'm Tired (Montrell Teague) was the show horse. Yannick Gingras' first win came directing pacer JT to a 1:51.2 success in one of two $13,500 4&5-Year-Old Male paces for trainer Ron Burke and owners Weaver Bruscemi and Burke Racing Stable. Go Collect (Corey Callahan) was second in front of Suchasenseofhumor (Jim Morand). It was the first win of the season for the Badlands Hanover-Snowhite Beach gelding. Cams Director (Roberts) won the other $13,500 edition beating Swapportunity (Morand) in a 1:52 photo. Tina and Joe Clark and breeder Kovach Stables own the Art Director-Camcarol gelding. Big Secret (Ross Wolfenden) took third money. MATINEE DRAGON, SCANDALICIOUS MEET IN $20,000 MARES OPEN Market Dragon and Scandalicious, the last two winners, both longshots, meet again in the $20,000 Mares Open Handicap on Tuesday, Feb. 23 AT Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p m. Lou Catana and Vince Bradley’s Matinee Dragon was overlooked at 56-1 in last week distaff feature when Jonathan Roberts drove the veteran pacer to a powerful 1:52.4 upset. Two weeks before JFE Enterprise’s Scandalicious came from far back with Tony Morgan driving for a 24-1 upset win.  The remainder of the talented field of six females includes Chris White’s Fashion Showdown with driver Corey Callahan, fifth last week but beaten only by three-quarters of a length, has post 1 this time.. John McGill’s No Respect, and Vic Kirby, should profit from moving inside to post 4. Allan Davis will drive Bay Pond Racing’s Hearts N Flowers, a 1:52.1 winner three weeks ago. Stepping up in the top mare’s event of the week is Bob Bailey’s sharp Duneside Chella, with two wins, a second and a third in her last four races. Ross Wolfenden will drive. A $15,500, a $14,000 and a $12,000 distaff pace are on a strong undercard. During February, Dover Downs has raced five days a week. Monday through Thursday at 4:30 p.m. This Sunday is the last Sunday this meet, with post time at 5:30 p.m. No Live racing on Friday and Saturday.                                                                                Watch the races and enjoy dining in the Winners Circle Restaurant. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight at Dover Downs where there is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad  

Col. Keith E. Willey, 81, of Herald died Sept. 27, 2015 after a three-month battle with cancer. He was born Sept. 7, 1934 in Cherokee, Iowa. Col. Willey had resided in Sacramento County 43 years, 26 of which were spent in Herald. He served as a full-time military officer in the California National Guard , retiring in August 1992. He began as a national guardsman in 1953 and also served as air defense commander and comptroller with the California State Military Department. He was a horseman and worked as a driver, trainer, breeder and owner of standard bred race horses. He was a self-taught computer guru, photographer, pilot, music lover of old country music, a Mr. Fix-it, and cowboy at heart, who liked challenges. Surviving him are his wife Deborah Willey and son Kenneth Willey, plus numerous dogs, cats and horses. A military service will be held at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon. Ben Salas Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.   Robin Clements-CHHA

Pompano Beach, FL...February 15, 2015...The big news at Pompano Park on Sunday night came in the very last race when Blended Whiskey, driven by George Napolitano, Jr., won that finale, keying a record 20 cent Super Hi-5 payoff of $146,288.30 to one very lucky but, as yet, unidentified bettor.   Blended Whiskey, 3 to 1 on the board, was followed by the 40 to 1 chance One Bad Shot (Dave Ingraham) with Orator, 35 to 1, (Travis Cullen) third. Fox Valley Arctic, 9 to 1 (Bruce Ranger) finished fourth with the lukewarm 3 to 1 favorite, Ring Leda (Jason Dillander) fifth--the winning combination being 2-1-10-4-5.   The payoff is a record covering the half century history at Pompano Park.   Now, on to the feature events...   Trot Fudge Sundae, driven by Dave Ingraham, scored a narrow victory in Pompano Park's $13,200 Open Trot for Mares on Sunday night.   The five year-old daughter of American Native, trained by Rick Sronce for owners James Bafia and Eugene White. held off the furious late surge of Jailhouse Jessica, handled by Bruce Ranger, to score by a quickly diminishing neck in 1:56.   Blushing Hanover, with Mickey McNichol handling her lines, finished third after cutting panels of :27.1; :57.1 and 1:25.3. McTiny's Hope finished fourth and M T Ur Pockets rallied from last half way through the mile to finish fifth.   Ingraham's charge was away third through the opening stages of the mile and pull first over just short of the half, grinding forward the rest of the journey before taking command shortly after straightening away for the wire and then hold off Jailhouse Jessica, five lengths back at the third station, in the photo.   In a post race interview, driver Dave Ingraham said, "you know, I had a choice to make at the half--go first up or sit in. I decided to give it a go because I didn't want to get bottled up with no place to go...after all, these are very good trotters in here and they can be out and driving in a heartbeat and leave you with no room to roam. She's a rugged mare who like to win and can swallow a lot of air! It worked out just right!   For Trot Fudge Sundae, it was her first success of the year in six starts--24th win lifetime--and sent her career earnings to $366,342 in 70 lifetime starts.   Fifth choice in the betting, Trot Fudge Sundae paid $15.80 on this "Sundae Night!"   Pompano Park also hosted the second leg of "The Battleground" Late Closer for claiming trotters and Northern Inferno snuck on through along the pylons in the final stages to score a photo finish win for Kevin Wallis in 1:57.3 at odds of 28 to 1--the longest proposition in the field of six.   This nine year-old son of Angus Hall pinned the upset--measured at a head--on Overwhat (18 to 1), with Joe Sanzeri in the bike with Sand Wyndham and Joe Pavia, Jr. teaming up for third, just a length away.   The 3 to 5 favorite, Thirtyeightspecial, finished fourth after cutting panels of :27.4, :58 and 1:26.3 JL Rockin Jake picked up the nickel in the sextet.   Northern Inferno, fifth for the opening three quarters of the mile, never left the inside and snuck through as they started to gang up on the leader turning for home.   Trained by Sandy Hollon for owner Heddy Nelson, Northern Inferno won for the third time in six tries this year. He's won 33 times during his career spanning 139 starts, good for $185,338.   Paying $59.80 to win, Northern Inferno keyed an exacta payoff of $567.00 in the six horse field.   Also driver Dennis Whittemore, who rarely makes an appearance in the sulky these days, won his first race since July 31, 2007 and first extended pari-mutuel race since May 14, 2006 when he guided his own P L Humanity to victory in a conditioned trotting event on Sunday night.   Whittemore sent this four year-old son of Striking Sahbra to the front from his outside eight post at the :28.2 opener and led the rest of the journey, clocking panels of :59.1 and 1:28.2 en route to a 1:59.1 win over the 1 to 5 favoritee Pointe Of Inquiry (Wayne Henry), who closed with ferocity after a miscue at the start. Witty's Winner was third in that mile.   As the 5 to 1 second choice in the betting, P l Humanity paid $12.40 to win.   In the $8,500 pace for $15,000 claimers, the 11 year-old warrior St. Pete Star won for the 53rd time in his illustrious career by coming off the pace for George Napolitano, Jr. to score a hard earned victory in 1:52 over Machinist (Joe Pavia, Jr.) with Red Hot Yankee (Kevin Wallis) third.   Trained by Paul Holzman for owner Melvin Fink, St Pete Star is now three-for-six this young season, good for $17.094. He's banked $610,184 lifetime and paid $7.40 to his faithful followers.   Racing resumes Monday night with pacing mares in the spotlight in an Open Handicap event. Post time is 7:30 p.m.   John Berry        

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 10, 2015 -- Mistress Valentine followed Whata Donato around the track, then blew by her in the lane to capture Tuesday's harness racing $22,500 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Mike Wilder hustled Mistress Valentine to the lead, and the pair settled in behind Whata Donato, who was trying to overcome post 9. The 6-year-old daughter of Master Glide - Patsy's Valentine pulled the pocket before the final turn and drew off to down Whata Donato by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:56.3. The ground-saving Ajuama finished third. Tyler Stillings trains Mistress Valentine, who extended her career bankroll to $239,479, and owns with Rags To Riches Of PA. Wilder also was prominent In Tuesday's co-feature, the $18,000 Winners Over Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, when he guided Tall Cotton to victory off a layoff of nearly 4-1/2 months. Tall Cotton, who shares the all-age track record of 1:51.3 on the trot, triumphed in 1:56, a neck better than TSM Photo Bugger. Classicality earned show. Ron Burke conditions Tall Cotton, who soared over $600,000 in lifetime earnings, for Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Edwin Gold and Howard Taylor. THE MEADOWS ADDS $5,000 GUARANTEE FOR WEDNESDAY PICK 5 On Wednesday, Feb. 11, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino will offer a $5,000-guaranteed total pool for its Pick 5 wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. The Meadows added the “instant” guarantee after Tuesday’s Pick 5 was uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $1,228.11. Minimum wager for the Pick 5 (Races 10-14) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post for Wednesday’s program is 12:55 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

A horse trainer has told how he was at a harness-racing meeting on Friday night when his mother was fatally struck by a hit-run driver only a short distance away. Earlier, Betty McArthur, 84, had watched her son Mick Darling’s horses in two races on the program at Phoenix Park in Port Pirie. She was walking back to her car parked in its usual spot outside a friend’s house, in Grey Terrace, when she was hit by the vehicle about 9.30pm. This is only about 100 metres from the entrance to the trotting park – and Mr Darling was still at the track when he got the news that someone had been hit. “It was straight after race five,” a shocked Mr Darling told The Recorder Editor Greg Mayfield on Saturday afternoon at his home at Bungama on the outskirts of Port Pirie. He spoke just after police released the news that a suspected offender was being interviewed over the hit-run. Mr Darling said he had ”mind-boggling” support from the community after the tragedy. “You don’t know how many friends you have got,” he said. He said it would be difficult on Christmas Day with an empty seat being there for Mrs McArthur. “All Christmases are special,” he said. Mrs McArthur is a former president with the Women’s and Children’s Hospital auxiliary and used to make dinners for drivers and trainers at the trotting track until a few years ago. She was a regular supplier of delicious nut rolls to a local delicatessen. Mr Darling agreed his mother was proud of him and always watched his horses go round the track. “I drove one horse in one race and another driver drove one of my other horses in the other race. They were the fourth and sixth races on the program and she watched them both,” he said. Mr Darling is president of the Port Pirie Harness Racing Club and president of the South Australian Country Harness Racing Clubs. “Mum and Dad had horses when we were kids. I originally raced her horses,” he said. “We went to school at Snowtown and Lochiel and shifted to Port Pirie for the last year of high school. “Mum didn’t work – looking after six kids was a big enough job.” It is not the first time that tragedy has truck the family. Mr Darling’s brother Robin died 17 years ago from an asthma attack. Later, Mr Darling’s mother remarried and became Mrs McArthur. “When she remarried there were 13 of us,” he said. “It was a big Christmas and a big day at tea-time. “Everyone knows her. She worked so hard for the trotting club. “She had been president of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital auxiliary for eight or nine years. “She was inspired to do this by her two disabled grandchildren. One of them can’t speak, but recently had a long “conversation” on the phone with Mum’ and was laughing and smiling. “Because my wife and I are shifting to Moonta, Christmas celebrations were going to be at Moonta. “I asked my mother when she wanted to be picked up to travel to Moonta and she said she was going to drive down - at the age of 84 - but we would have driven her anyway.” He said his mother always attended the trotting meetings. “She was actually a life member of the harness racing club,” he said. “I suppose that indicates how much work she did for the club. “She always made nut roll for the delicatessen – one of her loves was cooking. “She was proud of all of us.” A 40-year-old Port Pirie man was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop and render assistance at a collision, and leaving the scene of a collision.  He will be granted bail to appear in court at a later date. by Greg Mayfield Reprinted with permission of the http://www.busseltonmail.com.au/   Major Crash investigators continue to examine the circumstances surrounding the collision, and ask anyone that may have seen a dark-coloured Ford station wagon in the area to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au  

Freehold, NJ --- Winky’s Gill, winner of a heat of the 1983 Hambletonian, dam of 1993 Hambletonian Oaks winner Winky’s Goal (1:54.4, $844,924) and 1987 Peter Haughton Memorial winner, Supergill (1:53.3, $664,194) died at the age of 34 on August 8 at Perretti Farm, her home of 14 years.   She was buried in the farm’s equine cemetery.  The daughter of Bonefish and Lassie Blue Chip was bred by Ulf Moberg and was born January 31, 1980 in Lexington, Kentucky. Her stakes wins include the 1982 Merrie Annabelle, Acorn, Review, Hayes and Lexington Filly Stakes.  In addition to a heat of the 1983 Hambletonian against colts in which she was third overall, she won the Coaching Club Oaks, Breeders Filly Stakes, Review and the Bluegrass Stake.  Her 15 wins in 27 starts got her purse earnings of $472,154 and a mark of 1:55.2. In her later years, Winky’s Gill served as babysitter for yearling fillies at Perretti Farm, a job at which she excelled, but only after two tries.  “We tried her back when she was a young girl in her mid-twenties,” said Breeding Operations Manager Lindsay Taylor in the book Standardbred Old Friends, in which Winky’s Gill is one of 43 horses featured.  “Winky decided she really didn’t want to come in to the barn any more.  It became a problem.  She figured out that every time we were coming out, she was coming in the barn and would be separated from her charges.  “She decided she was the matriarchal mare and she was going to round up her herd and take off for the foothills.  She regarded it as her responsibility to round up the babies and take them to a safe place. It was actually pretty funny if you weren’t the one out there trying to catch them.” Given another chance a few years later, Winky’s Gill got the hang of the job and made life easier for farm staff by leading fillies in to the barn for farrier and veterinary care.  “It’s like the Pied Piper,” said Taylor.  “Where ever she goes, they follow her in a little line. She usually selects one or two favorites, or they select her, I’m not sure which way it goes.  “She’ll have a couple; we call them her lieutenants, who have a special affinity for her or she for them.  She keeps them within 20 or 30 feet.  They form a kind of bond.  When she moves, they go with her.  If not, she usually goes back and round them up and takes them with her.” Taylor said that Winky’s Gill liked those she knew well, but had a definite opinion about one particular profession.  “She’s been around enough veterinarians that she’s a little leery of them.”  Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications  Courtesy of the US Trotting Association Web Newsroom

To Our Friends in the Harness Racing Industry, Trying to say thank you to everyone who called, texted, posted on the internet, sent flowers or prayed for us at the time of our son, Ryder Steck's death, seems impossible. The love and compassion we have felt from our entire industry has been so very overwhelming and amazing. It is true that when something tragic happens you find out who your friends are and we are honored to have so many in this business that we can call our friends. While not all of you may have personally known Ryder, you reached out to our family with such care and compassion, at a time when we needed it most.  We do not have answers as to why Ryder didn’t make it, his Doctors are still unsure. All we do know is that we had 18 years, one month, and 14 days with an incredible young man that we were blessed to call our son. Our pain is unimaginable and something we will carry with us forever but please believe us when we say that we have felt your prayers, text messages, and facebook post from the beginning of this tragedy. The pictures Rob Pennington posted on Hambo day truly touched our hearts and brought smiles to our faces during such a tragic time. We have said numerous times that trying to say thank you for something like this seems so small, we can only hope that each of you will feel our heartfelt thanks and truly realize how much we appreciate all the love and support. Although we know the days ahead are sure to be harder than the days behind us, we know that it is your prayers and the love our industry has shown us that has moved us forward this far. We will continue to move forward with your love and support with every passing day because that is what Ryder would want us to do. From the bottom of our hearts, Thank you again. Ron, Kila, Parker and Ranger Steck and the entire family of Ryder Wilson Steck

A fluke is defined as “an unlikely chance occurrence, especially a surprising piece of luck”. So one could mount an argument that to pinch a win over a highly rated opponent in horse racing is a fluke, but to do it twice in two starts? Not so much. Kept Under Wraps is no longer the hunter in his mini-rivalry against Birdy Mach – he has to be hunted by virtue of his two-from-two record against the highly rated New South Welsh colt. The colt by Bettors Delight in the care of Bolinda trainer Brent Lilley took out the 11th heat of the American Ideal @ Woodlands Breeders Crown Series for two-year-old colts and geldings at Shepparton last night with a blistering fourth quarter of 26.8 seconds. Birdy Mach ($1.50) and reinsman Luke McCarthy pinged off the arm to find the lead early from the 2190-metre start with Kept Under Wraps ($2.70) straight on to his back for in-form Greg Sugars. Kate Gath took the third favourite Burnaholeinmypocket ($13.60) to the breeze from gate seven, the trio jogtrotting through the middle stages of the race to make it near impossible for the backmarkers to make late ground. With a third quarter of 30.5 seconds after earlier splits of 31.4 and 32.1 it was always going to be hard to topple Birdy Mach in the straight, but once Kept Under Wraps gained  the sprint lane in the home stretch his withering burst of speed carried him over the line first. The final margin of a half-head was closer than when Kept Under Wraps defeated Birdy Mach in the Tatlow Stakes (1.1m) the start prior. Burnaholeinmypocket battled on gamely for third. Lilley admitted Birdy Mach might still be a little bit green and said that horse lacked nothing in the ability stakes before heaping praise on his fella. “Last night to come home with a really quick last quarter like that was a pleasant surprise,” he said. “He’s really come along nicely in the time I’ve had him down here.” Lilley said leading New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon was likely to take Kept Under Wraps and Messini, who Lilley has also enjoyed immense success with of late, back for the Breeders Crown semi-finals and finals next month. “I’ve definitely enjoyed having them here, that’s for sure,” Lilley said. Lilley used to work for Purdon in New Zealand before starting his own training operation at Kaiapoi, near Christchurch. “The relationship with Mark goes back a long way,” Lilley said. “I worked for him when he started out about 15 years ago, then I went out on my own and I’d work a fair few horses on the beach. “Mark would send some down to me that were suited to beach work and he actually sent me a really good horse in Cool Hand Luke (16 wins from 36 starts).” Lilley puts the polish on Messini tomorrow night at Bendigo in heat nine of the Roll With Joe Breeders Crown three-year-old colts geldings series. Messini has won four races on the trot – including an 8.8m success in the Group 1 Vicbred Super Series Final two starts back. Meanwhile, Scott Stewart trained-and-driven Its Just Kenny made it two wins from two starts with a 3.4m win in the 10th heat of the two-year-old males’ Breeders Crown series last night, the Kenneth J gelding going 1:59.8 to defeat Mojo Major by 3.4m. The other heat winner was Show Me The Bling, who defeated Mach Doro by 1.4m in a fast rate of 1:58.4 (last half 56.9). Show Me The Bling is trained by David Aiken and was steered by Nathan Jack. By Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria was saddened to hear overnight of the passing of Don Dove at age 86. Dove was a masterful trainer over many years, posting regular victories at the Showgrounds and then later at Moonee Valley, including winning many feature races. Dove’s horses were always perfectly educated, his runners – donning the famous yellow and green crossed sashes silks – regularly standing confidently behind the tapes in the stand-start races at the Showgrounds before commencing quickly. Dove’s best horse was Monara, which was named Victorian Horse of the Year in 1973-74. Monara’s feature race victories included the A.G. Hunter Cup in 1973 and 1974, the Ballarat Cup in 1972 and the Bendigo Cup the same year. Other notable feature-race winners with which Dove was associated included Macaree (winner of the 1965 Warragul Cup), Kelly Kid (1967 Victoria Derby), Lauries Legacy (1996 Chris Howe Trotters Cup and 1996 Victoria Sires Stakes 4YO Trotters Final), Nelson’s Report (1965 Victoria Trotters Derby), Flecks (1994 Central Victorian Pacing Championship Final), Kara Mia (1995 Ladyship Cup) and Missing Charm (1998 Angelique Club Cup). He also trained noted metropolitan performers Jay Ar Ewing, Tis A Miss, Ebony Chick, Monara’s Image and Personality Pete. Dove competed in a non-betting legends’ handicap race at Moonee Valley on November 15, 1997, winning the race aboard Hazzas Hope (magazine excerpt picture below - Dove is pictured driving Hazzas Hope). Dove moved to Queensland in 1998. Dove’s last winner as trainer came with Laylite at Albion Park in 2003 and his last winner as a driver was at the Gold Coast aboard Waltzing in 2000. Sons Trevor and Stephen have each been highly credentialed reinsmen. HRV will advise funeral details when known. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Former TAB Chief Executive Allen Windross AM passed away after losing his battle with illness on Boxing Day. Windross held the position of Chief Executive at the TAB from 1987 to his retirement in 1999. He was regarded as a mathematical genius and world leader in totalisator betting. One of his many achievements include the thesis he wrote following his retirement, "Betting by the Book - A Study of Systems Adopted by Punters" which was a wide collaboration of research into punter behaviour and information on betting systems. Windross was made a member of the Order of Australia - AM, in recognition of his services to the Australian community and more recently served as a trustee of the Racing NSW's Jockey's Benefit Fund and was the elected Chairman of the Trust at the time of his passing. HRNSW Board Member Graham Kelly - the former Chairman of TAB Limited, Sky Channel Limited and Centrebet International Ltd - said: "Allen was a great mentor of mine when I was appointed to the TAB Board. Even after his retirement, he continued to give generously of friendly helpful advice. "Without Allen's great leadership the NSW TAB would never have reached its potential. The NSW racing codes have benefitted enormously from Allen's contribution to the profitable 'Jolly Green Giant'." Nancy O'Grady | Executive Assistant | Harness Racing New South Wales |    

Freehold, NJ --- Giant Victory, winner of the 1991 Hambletonian, died overnight between Sept. 3 and 4 in his paddock at Hanover Shoe Farms, in Hanover, Pa. He was 25. The son of Super Bowl-Pink Cheeks showed no signs of illness when last checked on the evening of Sept. 3 and appears to have died of natural causes. He will be buried in the Hanover Shoe Farms cemetery. Bred by Stoner Creek Stud, Giant Victory was born in Paris, Ky. and owned by Ted Gewertz and Hanover Shoe Farms. Giant Victory also won the Breeders Crown as a 3-year-old and was named Trotter of the Year. He served stallion duties at Hanover Shoe Farms starting in 1992 and was exported to Marco Folli’s stallion station in Italy in 1997. After 12 seasons in Italy, Folli offered transit back to the US and Gewertz and Hanover Shoe Farms forged an agreement for him to live out his life at Hanover. Giant Victory, then 21, got the chance to return to the site of his shining moment in racing to lead the post parade for the 2009 Hambletonian. He carried out his task, trotting down the track and posing for photos, after a quick sideways duck away from a bouncy ride in the track’s Paddock Park. From 285 foals registered in the US, he had 200 starters, 83 2:00 winners and five winners in 1:55 or faster. His progeny collectively won $9,975,225. His top performer was Victory Margin (1:53.4, $623,329). “After all his years racing and living on two continents, he was as nice an old stallion as you’d ever want to meet, kind in every way,” said Russell Williams, chairman of Hanover Shoe Farms. “His special talent has been to bring out the best in every human being he’s ever been associated with. If there were a world record for that category, not many horses could compete with him.” by Ellen Harvey, Harness Racing Communications

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