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Trainer Nancy Johansson might keep an eye on the racing in Canada on Saturday night, but her primary focus will be on her own horse at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Johansson's Western Vintage, one of the most highly regarded 3-year-old male pacers in North America, is the 3-5 morning line favorite in his division's $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship at the Big M. Sire Stakes crowns also will be handed out to 3-year-old female pacers, female trotters, and male trotters. If all goes well for Western Vintage, after the sire stakes final he will head to Canada's Mohawk Racetrack for the North America Cup eliminations June 7. The C$1 million North America Cup final is June 14. The final Canadian prep races for the North America Cup, three divisions of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, also are Saturday night. The first division will go to the gate approximately 30 minutes after Western Vintage's race at the Meadowlands. "We'll be watching, but really the most important thing is that my horse does his work," said Johansson, who trains Western Vintage for owners Perry Soderberg and Marvin Katz. "I think I have the best one, so I just need to worry about him and let the others worry about themselves. I can only control what happens with my horse anyway, I can't control anything with the others." A son of stallion Western Ideal out of the mare Major Harmony, Western Vintage was purchased by Soderberg for $7,000 as a yearling at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale. Last season, he won five of eight races and earned $316,838. His victories included the $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male pacers and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile. He finished second in the $648,850 Metro Pace at Mohawk. Western Vintage started his 2014 season by winning the opening round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes on May 17. He sat out last weekend's second round, which was won by Doo Wop Hanover. "So far I can't complain about anything with him," Johansson said. "He's sound and happy and doing his work well. We're where we want to be with him at this point." In the New Jersey Sire Stakes final for 3-year-old male trotters, Trixton is the 3-5 favorite thanks to winning the Simpson Memorial in a season-best 1:51.2 and exploding in the stretch to win the first sire stakes leg by 4-3/4 lengths with a :26.2 last quarter-mile over a sloppy track. Trixton is trained by Jimmy Takter, who is Johansson's father. Takter also has the 8-5 favorite in the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old filly pacers, Gettingreadytoroll. And he has the 5-2 second choice in the sire stakes final for 3-year-old filly trotters, Moonlight In Miami. Julie Miller-trained Cee Bee Yes is the 2-1 choice. 2nd Race - $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final - 3yo Colts & Geldings Pace 1-Doo Wop Hanover [Rocknroll Hanover], John Campbell, Steve Elliott, 8-5 2-Dancin Hill [Rocknroll Hanover], Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna, 9-2 3-Western Vintage [Western Ideal], Yannick Gingras, Nancy Johansson, 3-5 4-Rock Out [Rocknroll Hanover], Matt Kakaley, Steve Elliott, 15-1 5-Beat The Drum [Tell All], Brett Miller, Staffan Lind, 20-1 3rd Race - $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final - 3yo Colts & Geldings Trot 1-Well Built [Muscle Hill], Jim Meittinis, Chris Ryder, 15-1 2-Skates N Plates [Revenue], Trond Smedshammer, Trond Smedshammer, 20-1 3-Trixton [Muscle Hill], Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter, 3-5 4-Martiniwithmuscle [Muscle Hill], Yannick Gingras, Joseph King, 12-1 5-Speak The Truth [Muscle Hill], Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano, 5-1 6-Resolve [Muscle Hill], Matt Kakaley, Roman Lopez, 20-1 7-Sumatra [Muscles Yankee], Brett Miller, Tom Fanning, 12-1 8-Odds On Amethyst [Muscle Hill], Howard Parker, Chris Ryder, 9-2 9-King City [Muscle Hill], Mike Lachance, Jonas Czernyson, 30-1 10-Lightning Force [Muscle Hill], John Campbell, Randy Beeckman, 20-1 4th Race - $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final - 3yo Fillies Trot 1-My Inspiration [Chocolatier], Trond Smedshammer, Trond Smedshammer, 6-1 2-Mistresswithmuscle [Muscle Hill], Matt Kakaley, Nifty Norman, 30-1 3-Ravine [Muscle Hill], Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart, 30-1 4-Yoga [Muscles Yankee], Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 4-1 5-Moonlight In Miami [Muscles Yankee], John Campbell, Jimmy Takter, 5-2 6-Heaven's Door [Muscle Hill], Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 9-2 7-Scream And Shout [Muscles Yankee], Tim Tetrick, Jimmy Takter, 8-1 8-Cee Bee Yes [Muscles Yankee], Marcus Miller, Julie Miller, 2-1 5th Race - $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final - 3yo Fillies Pace 1-Blixtra [Rocknroll Hanover], Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt, 20-1 2-Atasallrite Hanover [Rocknroll Hanover], Brett Miller, Ron Burke, 8-1 3-Sayitall BB [Tell All], Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 4-1 4-Highland Rockstar [Rocknroll Hanover], Mike Lachance, Buzzy Sholty, 20-1 5-Ideal Helen [Western Ideal], Marcus Miller, Erv Miller, 30-1 6-Fanticipation [Rocknroll Hanover], John Campbell, Michael Forte, 15-1 7-Act Now [Western Ideal], Tim Tetrick, Nikolas Drennan, 9-5 8-Rockingham Park [Rocknroll Hanover], Howard Parker, Ron Coyne Jr., 12-1 9-Fiyonce [Rocknroll Hanover], Joe Bongiorno, Ron Burke, 20-1 10-Gettingreadytoroll [Rocknroll Hanover], Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 8-5 by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Blue Chip Farms today announced that it has become partners with Hudson Standardbred Stable (Tony Infilise), Diane Bertrand, and Conrad Leber on world champion Sunshine Beach. Now four, Sunshine Beach, took his world record of p,3,1:47.4f winning the $500,000 Battle of Brandywine at Pocono in 2013 (defeating Captaintreacherous). Accruing over $900,000 (US) at three; he also surpassed stakes competition in the Somebeachsomewhere, Progress Pace, and Bluegrass Stakes. He was second in the elimination and final of the Breeders Crown. Mark Steacy of Lansdowne, Ontario will continue to train and direct the horse's racing career for the group. Tom Grossman, the owner of Blue Chip, noted that, "We looked at them all, but not since Art Major have I seen a horse at this level with all the other requirements met, and where there are several very legitimate reasons to believe in genuine improvement from three to four. We are unbelievably excited to go out with our new partners and prove it against any and all competition." Infilise, on behalf of Bertrand and Leber, commented, “We are honoured to have one of the very best Standardbred farms in the business join our partnership and very much look forward to Sunshine Beach's 2014 racing schedule.” Sunshine Beach will stand at Blue Chip's New York farm for the 2015 breeding season. The partnership, led by Blue Chip, plans to syndicate Sunshine Beach by the end of his four-year-old season. From Blue Chip Farms

Trainer Noel Daley is hoping for a pleasant year from Delightful Dragon. A 3-year-old filly pacer, Delightful Dragon was slow to make it to the races last season because of issues with her knees but finished the campaign by winning the $394,950 Three Diamonds Stakes on Nov. 30 at Meadowlands Racetrack. Overall, the homebred daughter of Bettor’s Delight-Little Miss Dragon won three of eight starts and earned $227,329 for owner Adam Victor & Son Stable. “She’s come back very sound,” Daley said. “She can go right with the top ones, I think. She’s a big strong filly. She’s got the will and the desire. She didn’t have a tough year by any means. A few of the speedy ones last year had a lot of racing; it’s always interesting to see what comes back.” Delightful Dragon made her first start on Aug. 19, winning a conditioned race at Yonkers in 1:56.2. She was off the board in her next five appearances, but suffered in part from tough draws. She got post 10 in her division of the Bluegrass Stakes, where she finished fourth, and post nine in her elimination for the Breeders Crown, where she finished eighth. “We always liked her; we always thought she had a lot of ability,” Daley said. “She had no luck a few times. She drew outside in the Bluegrass and (driver) Mike Lachance said afterward that she was the best 90-1 shot he’d ever driven. She drew the outside in her elimination for the Breeders Crown, which was a death sentence. After that, we tried to set her up for the Three Diamonds.” Delightful Dragon won a conditioned race at Yonkers in early November and then qualified twice to prep for the Three Diamonds, which she captured by a neck over Act Now in 1:52.4 at odds of 9-1. “It worked out,” Daley said. “She got a good trip, but she deserved to win that race. She was definitely good enough; it wasn’t a shock to us at all.” Delightful Dragon’s mom, Little Miss Dragon, was a multiple-stakes winner during her racing days. Her first foal was a colt, but he lacked, in Daley’s words, “ambition.” “She’s the opposite,” Daley said. “She’s very nice to deal with, lovely to be around, wants to do it. Everything about her is good.” In addition to Delightful Dragon, Daley is getting a number of other horses ready to return to action. Here is a synopsis of three others to keep an eye on. Demoiselle Hanover: A 3-year-old half-sister to 2007 Horse of the Year Donato Hanover, she was winless in four starts last season. The trotter is by stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare D Train and is owned by Timo Nurmos’ Timot Stable. “She only had a couple races; she had a bunch of issues,” Daley said. “She’s got enough ability to go with them if she behaves herself. If (last year’s division leaders) come back and improve, they’re obviously going to be very good. But you can’t worry about anyone else’s horses. I’m happy with the way she’s been and she’s definitely got enough go if she can step it up a little.” Outburst: A 3-year-old male trotter, he won five of 10 races last season and finished worse than third only once. He trotted a world-record 1:53.1 in winning his division of the Bluegrass Stakes. He is owned by Daley, Adam Victor & Son Stable, Kemppi Stables, and Mirva Bogucki. “He’s a nice horse,” Daley said. “I don’t think he’s a top three or four horse, but I think he’s a top 10 horse if he comes back as good as he was. If you can be a top 10 horse you can make a lot of money if you pick your spots and get lucky now and then. There’s so much money out there and the good ones can’t be in all of them. If you can win one decent one, you can do alright there.” Cedar Dove: She was the Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old filly trotter in 2011. She has won 14 of 50 lifetime races and earned $1.17 million. Last year, she won a division of the Miss Versatility (in a dead heat with Maven) and finished second in the Breeders Crown and Armbro Flight. She is owned by Bill Weaver. “So far she’s been really good,” Daley said. “I just have to make sure I don’t have her ready too early because she seems to fade away as the year goes on. Keeping weight on her is her biggest issue. But so far so good; I’m real happy with her. She won’t race in too much else other than those (major stakes) races. Canada seems to wipe her out, so I’ll probably do the Armbro Flight but won’t go for the early Miss Versatility this year. She could qualify in probably a week or two.” by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

The honeymoon is not over for Bill Mack when it comes to harness racing. Mack, a breeder/owner in central New Jersey, sends 3-year-old filly trotter Sally Savannah into Wednesday's third round of the Bobby Weiss Series at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Sally Savannah finished second in her Weiss division last week and was third in the opening round. Driven by George Napolitano Jr. for trainer Neal Ehrhart, the filly is 9-2 on the morning line. The 71-year-old Mack has owned horses since retiring from his job as a criminal court administrator for the state of New Jersey. Most of his horses have "Savannah" in their names, which is a nod to the city where Mack and his wife Lorraine spent their honeymoon. "(Sally Savannah) is racing very well," Mack said. "I like her determination; she just seems to like to race. I'm hoping to have a nice year with her." A homebred daughter by stallion Equinox Bi out of Mack's mare Sassy Savannah, Sally Savannah won two of nine races last year and earned $42,512. She won a division of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Stallion Series, finished second to world champion Designed To Be in a division of the Pennsylvania All Stars and capped her 2-year-old season by finishing third in her division of the Keystone Classic. "She finished last year well and she's back where she left off," Ehrhart said. "We toyed around with the idea of putting her in the regular sire stakes last year, but thought it might be pushing it. It worked out because she did well in the Stallion Series. "I don't know yet where we'll put her this year. I'd rather be a star in the Stallion Series than put her in over her head. A lot of the top 3-year-old (trotting) fillies are going to come out of Pennsylvania. Maybe she'll get there, but she'll let us know." Sally Savannah, who was named by one of Mack's granddaughters because she was naming all her dolls "Sally" at that time, also is eligible to the Arden Downs Stakes and Currier & Ives this year. "This series should be a good prep for the sire stakes," Ehrhart said. "She's been facing a lot of 4-year-olds (in the Weiss) and that's what has impressed me. "This horse is a lot like her mother, and that's a good thing," the trainer added. "George Napolitano said (Sally Savannah) is a very smart horse. She can size up a race and know where she needs to be." Sassy Savannah was a rare yearling purchase for Mack. He bought her for $6,000 under the name Strapless at the 2002 Standardbred Horse Sale. Sassy Savannah won a division of the Arden Downs as a 2-year-old and a Landmark Stakes at age 3, finishing her career with $101,242. "She was sick as a dog at the sale," Ehrhart said. "That might have hurt her (price in the auction), but it didn't hurt her down the road." Mack and Ehrhart have been a team for nearly 15 years. Mack found Ehrhart through an advertisement in Hoof Beats magazine. "He's a nice person," Mack said. "He's easy to deal with. He's done I think as well as could be expected with my horses." Said Ehrhart of Mack, "He's the epitome of what a good racehorse owner should be. He cares about the horses and is patient and never puts them in positions they shouldn't be in. We have a trust and he has confidence in me. He leaves me to do my thing and we've held our own." The two hope to continue the success with Sally Savannah. She faces six rivals Wednesday in the Weiss Series, which is for 3- and 4-year-old female trotters that entered 2014 with fewer than three career wins or $40,000 in lifetime purses. Clementine Dream, who finished second in the Super Bowl Series final in January, is the 5-2 favorite. Connie Keeper, who has finished second in both her Weiss races, is the 2-1 choice in the first division. Perfect Alliance and Take The Money, both undefeated this year out of the stable of trainer Julie Miller, are skipping this week's races after winning their starts in the previous two rounds. "It's a lot stronger series than I had anticipated," Mack said. "I think she'd have to hit the board (Wednesday) and next week to make the final. But I always have high hopes for my horses. Hopefully she'll do alright." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Cam's Card Shark, one of the leading stallions of his generation, has just been retired from stud duty, but hopes are high in Ohio that one of his greatest progeny can carry on his dynamic legacy in the breeding shed. Shark Gesture, whose earnings in excess of $2.8 million are the most of the more than 1,700 racehorses that Cam's Card Shark sired and one of the fastest with a speed mark of 1:48.1s, will be represented by a crop of two-year-olds this season. Abby Stables in Sugarcreek, Ohio, is standing the big, dark brown stallion.  "Shark Gesture is the total package," Abby Stables' Teresa Maddox told Harness Racing Update."   Shark Gesture developed into a horse for the ages. A $110,000 yearling purchase by Norm Smiley, Shark Gesture raced from two to four, posting some impressive victories.  He was retired to the breeding shed due to an injury and stood as a stallion in Ontario for the 2008 season. Later that year, when the injury had fully healed and he trained excellently, Shark Gesture returned to the races and started three times. But it was as a six- and seven-year-old that he excelled, earning over $1.8 million. He beat some of the best aged pacers, including the likes of Foiled Again, Mister Big, Art Official, Boulder Creek, Artistic Fella, Shadow Play and Won The West 12 times, including by more than 10 lengths in the Hoosier Cup.  Maddox said because Shark Gesture disappeared from the breeding scene for three years people may be confused about his history.  "He really hasn't gotten a fair shake as a stallion," Maddox said. "If you go back and look at some of his races, he was phenomenal. He's well-mannered, he's intelligent and was a bear on the racetrack. It's just a breath of fresh air to have him in Ohio. We welcomed him with open arms." Shark Gesture can be seen in action on his page at . His web page comes complete with race footage, photos, pedigree, articles and both a downloadable and digital breeding contract.  "There is no reason because he had 44 foals that raced from his first and only crop as a stallion, standing in Ontario and bred to mostly Ontario-bred mares, that people should have forgotten about him because he went back to the races," said Smiley. "He is still a good horse.  This year he has two-year-olds that are training and I've got good reports on them. Trainer Fred Grant has a colt by Shark Gesture out of Boca Babe.  Fred owns the dam and owns a piece of the colt and said, 'he's very good-gaited, very sound, very willing and has lots of speed. I just love him.'" Trainer David Miller, currently training a two-year-old Shark Gesture filly named Hex, described her as a "big, strong, great-gaited, intelligent filly who is showing excellent speed." Another trainer, Jenny Melander, has a nice sturdy black filly named When Sharks Fly and echoed Miller's comments about Shark Gesture's offspring. "His foals are big and sturdy, with heart, speed, intelligence and strength," she said.   Shark Gesture is truly an anomaly. How many horses return to the races two years after retiring and earn almost twice as much, facing battled-hardened competitors? In total, he posted 31 sub-1:50 miles, 16 of those 1:49 or better and four of those sub-1:49. As a 2-year-old, he won the Bluegrass Stakes (recording a freshman mark of 1:51.3), the Simpson Stakes and an elimination of the Breeders Crown.  At three, he won the Breeders Crown, the Tattersalls Pace (with a sophomore speed mark of 1:49.1), the Bluegrass Stakes, the Simpson Stakes and the Progress Pace. In an abbreviated four-year-old season, he won the New Hampshire Sweepstakes. In his return to the races, he won the William R. Haughton Memorial two years in a row, the Canadian Pacing Derby Final (with a lifetime mark of 1:48.1), the Graduate Series twice, the Dan Patch Invitational Pace and the Bettor's Delight. He broke track records at Tioga Downs and Hoosier Park and tied the track record when he won the Canadian Pacing Derby. "He's won all the big races, beat all the good horses," Maddox said. "He beat Foiled Again (the top aged pacer last year) more than once. He beat Won The West. He's beat them all at one point or another. His owners believed in him so much, they told us the story (of why he retired and then returned to the races) and it was just a no-brainer for us." 2010 Graduate Final William R. Haughton Memorial Smiley recalled why he bought Shark Gesture. Even though he was big and growthy, Smiley liked him, viewing him six times. "There are certain horses you go to the auction and put a price on and you go to that price or a few bucks more," Smiley said. "With him I said I was buying him, period."  Smiley subsequently offered shares to his brother, Gerald, and Thomas and Louis Pantone. Typical of a Cam's Card Shark offspring, Shark Gesture grew into his body from two to three. He stood about 17 hands high and had a long stride. Early in Shark Gesture's two-year-old season, he won the Bluegrass in 1:51 3/5, but he was still developing and growing. As a three-year-old, he did some amazing things, none more so than winning the Breeders Crown only a week after he fell down in a mishap in his elimination race for the final. He finished third and was moved up to second, but Norm Smiley and trainer Erv Miller feared the colt might not survive the accident. Once the bike and equipment were removed, Shark Gesture stood up and walked off as if nothing had happened, although he did have some cuts and abrasions. Driver Brian Sears, Miller, Smiley and the horse's vet shook their heads in disbelief. "If that's not a tough horse, I don't know what is," Smiley said.   A week later, he won the Breeders Crown with George Brennan, who would become his principle driver, steering him in what was a clean trip, racing on or near the pace. "Nobody knew that horse like Georgie," Smiley said.  "George was tremendous with that horse from the first time he drove him." Shark Gesture raced only eight times in an abbreviated four-year-old season and was retired, his notable victory in the New Hampshire. Some of the notable offspring from the 32 starters from his first crop as a sire include stakes winner Piston Broke, 1:49.2s ($291,131) and Best Ears, 1:49.4f, ($188,483). After Shark Gesture recovered from his injury and trained solidly, Norm Smiley made the decision to bring the horse back to the races. It would prove to be a shrewd decision. In 2009 at the age of six, Shark Gesture came into his own, racing 29 times and winning seven, including the Haughton Memorial and Canadian Pacing Derby and topping all pacers with more than $900,000 in earnings. At age seven, he raced 12 times and winning seven, notably the Graduate, Bettors Delight, Dan Patch (by a whopping 10½ lengths), and repeating in the Haughton.  He finished second by a length in the Franklin. He was retired at the end of the season.  "He was just amazing," Norm Smiley said. "This horse never got the respect he deserved. He was a tremendous racehorse." By Perry Lefko, for Harness Racing Update

It is common practice in France, but standing a stallion at stud while pursuing an active racing career is a rarity in the United States. So when Deo Volente Farms in Flemington, New Jersey decided to stand their $2.2 million trotting star Wishing Stone at stud while also continuing his track career, it sent a buzz of excitement through the industry. Keeping stars racing is a proven formula for maintaining the public interest in Europe, and of course Wishing Stone himself has already proven himself highly competitive on both sides of the ditch, even more so considering his European sojourn was conducted when he was just four and five-years-old, a mere baby in European terms. And the news that he will also be available to European breeders has been warmly received – he has been oversubscribed already in Europe for services for the upcoming season – aware as they are that many of the top sires in Europe have competed successfully as an aged horse there – with Scarlet Knight and SJ’s Photo prime examples. “Wishing Stone brings to breeders, durability and longevity.   An exceptional colt and aged performer, it is likely his offspring will inherit those qualities,” says Sue Agopian, managing partner at Deo Volente Farms. Wishing Stone certainly ticks all the boxes as a potential stallion, a world record holder with major wins in four countries, the United States, France, Sweden and Denmark – he also competed in some of the very best races in Europe –where only the elite are invited. In France they pay down to seventh, and a placing in a group one event is the equivalent of a black type credential, with many going on to successful stud careers simply with the words classique or semi-classique on their CV. It showed they were good enough to race against the very best. Take Wishing Stone’s seventh placing in the 2011 Prix de France, one of the French Triple Crowns, the absolute jewels in the sparkling European circuit where the royally-bred French, Swedish and Italian elite race The winner of the Prix de France in 2011 was none other than Ready Cash, the greatest horse of a great generation in France. A dual Prix d’Amerique winner and winner of last year’s Masters du Trot grand final, he retired last month as the richest trotter in history with earnings of 4,282,300 euros (US $5,953,675).  . Second was Maharajah, the greatest horse that Sweden has produced in decades and the winner of this year’s Prix d’Amerique, while third was Lana Del Rio, a multiple Group One winning Italian millionaire mare, who beat the boys in Italy’s richest race, the Italian Derby. Fifth was Olga du Bewitz who retired as the twelfth richest horse of all time in France, and the best of her generation with wins in the world championship of saddle racing, the Prix du Cornulier and under harness a win in the Prix de Bretagne and a third placing in the Prix d’Amerique. These races mean little to American breeders, but mean plenty to those in Europe and again Wishing Stone appeared in this blue ribbon event as a 4YO, which is incredibly young in European terms. Wishing Stone not only competed against the best trotters in the world on their own turf, he won several of their biggest races. When he came from an almost impossible position, with a withering sprint to win the Copenhagen Cup, he ran down Quarcio du Chene, a Group One winner (Finlandia-Ajo) and one of Sweden’s best aged performers, with Group Two victories in France, Norway and Sweden. In the process he also beat the German sensation Brioni , the winner of the Elitloppet and Olympiatravet – the two biggest open Group One races in Sweden, and French star, and popular stallion Oynonnax (who won the Prix d’Amerique) and also another brilliant French horse Rapide Lebel, the greatest gelding of the R generation who was second in the Elitloppet by a whisker and earned 2.5 million euros. When Wishing Stone won the Group One King Gustav Pokal, he beat Kadet C.D and Raja Mirchi, two of the brightest young stars in Sweden and when he won the Grand Prix de Sud-Ouest in France, he beat Premiere Steed  a multiple Group One winner, who won the prestigious French Prix Rene Balliere and Finland’s prestigious St Michel Ajo. In the USA he is a world record holder at 6 in 1:51.2f beating Uncle Peter,  Arch Madness and Market Share. As a 5YO he was winner of the Maxie Lee in 2013 (again over Uncle Peter) and before he left for his two-year-stint in Europe he was a top colt, winning the 2010 Kentucky Futurity in straight heats with a final time of 1:51.2. The same year he won the Matron, the American National and was third in the Hambletonian. Wishing Stone was also a winner as a 2YO with victories in the International Stallion Stake, the Bluegrass Stakes, and the NYSS at Monticello.  He has a super pedigree, especially for Europe, being the best son of Conway Hall, who is the brother of four successful stallions in Europe and closely related to several more. Wishing Stone is out of the super broodmare Meadowbranch Magic, a $330,000 yearling and the granddaughter of $1.1 Million winning Davidia Hanover. Wishing Stone’s full brother, Make It Happen, nearly a $1 million winner, has become a sought after stallion in Europe after producing two near Swedish  millionaires from his first crop including TravKrterium (Sweden’s top 3YO race)  second place finisher Final Oak.  Wishing Stone is also a sibling of three other $100,000 winners, which is always a great guide to prepotency. His durability says volumes for his physique and conformation and he is blessed with a perfect gait, which is a necessity for competition in France, where rough gaits lead to disqualifications. He has a wide-striding front action which will remind Swedes of the likes of Maharajah, the winner of this year’s Prix d’Amerique. With services to stallions in Europe heavily regulated, his popularity already is such that he is over-subscribed for his first season, for which he is in Maryland at SBS for frozen semen collection serving the non-US market.  He is to be distributed through Offspring Management in Sweden, Allevamenti Toniatti sas in Italy, ENS Snapshot in Denmark and Stallions Australasia  for Australia and New Zealand. “We plan to bring him home to New Jersey at Deo Volente Farms this week to serve the US breeding market,” says Sue Agopian.  “We will be breeding the mare Yalta Hanover dam of horse of the month Perfect Alliance to Wishing Stone this year. “He will continue breeding and start jogging and training at the training facility few miles from our farm and will be racing come summer. Breeding is part of his daily life, when we need to serve the US breeders we will bring him to the farm for collection.” Wishing Stone  will be breeding until June and his immediate racing programme is likely to  be focused on the the U.S looking towards the Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown. However, the Copenhagen Cup & TVG trot are also on the future agenda.  “Our strategy is for him to have a global career. With Ron [Burke] as his trainer we have all the confidence that he will have a well rounded global career,” says Sue Agopian.  There are no plans for how long  Wishing Stone can continue combining a race career and breeding, it is common in Europe for racing stallions to continue until nine and ten if their form holds up, Ready Cash a great example, retiring recently at nine, just as his first progeny were cleaning up group races in France.  “He will tell us how long to continue breeding and racing him.  He had an exceptional season at age 6 setting world records in the process.. As long as he is able to compete at that lofty level, we will breed and race. He has a phenomenal legacy and we want to make sure it remains that way!” By David Sanders, for

On Wednesday, December 18, Standardbred Canada announced the finalists for the 2013 O’Brien Awards, which honour Canada’s best in harness racing over the past season. The winners will be announced at the annual O’Brien Awards Black Tie Gala on Saturday, February 8, 2014. This year marks the 25th edition of the O’Brien Awards, named in honour of the late Joe O’Brien, an outstanding horseman and member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Nine past O’Brien Award winners are looking to add to their trophy collections and are either defending titles or are nominated in a new division. These past winners include: Anndrovette, Bee A Magician, Foiled Again, I Luv The Nitelife, Intimidate, Mister Herbie, Sylvain Filion, Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms. Sylvain Filion will defend the Driver of the Year title against first-time nominee Doug McNair. Filion, 44, of Milton, ON, is currently the leading money winning driver on the WEG circuit with over $5 million to his credit between Mohawk and Woodbine. With 281 victories, he is closing in on Scott Zeron for the title as WEG’s top dash winning driver. He has a good shot of achieving that as Zeron has moved to The Meadowlands. A career winner of 7,477 races, Filion recently surpassed $6 million in earnings in 2013 in addition to going over $80 million in his career. He is also the regular driver for O’Brien finalist, Intimidate. Doug McNair, 24, of Guelph, ON, is enjoying a productive year as he’s driven 292 winners to go along with $5.6 million in purse earnings, his second best year on record ever for money. McNair was the regular driver for O’Brien finalists Precocious Beauty and Love Canal. There will be a new name beside the Trainer of the Year category as Gregg McNair and Richard Moreau are looking for their first National title. McNair, 52, of Guelph, ON, is en route to a career year and sits second in the Canadian trainer earnings standings. McNair conditions O’Brien finalist Precocious Beauty and to date has trained 109 winners and horses to $3.1 million in purse earnings. Moreau, 49, of Puslinch, ON, was a finalist in this category last year. The conditioner has been a mainstay on the WEG circuit for the last decade. He leads the Canadian trainer standings with $3.5 million in earnings and 270 wins. He celebrated the biggest win of his career this past season when Boomboom Ballykeel captured the $683,000 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack. Kelly Hoerdt, 47, of Beaumont, AB, receives his third nomination for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship and he is up against first time nominee Paul MacKenzie. Kelly Hoerdt is a successful horsemen who is annually near the top of the training and driving charts in Alberta. He’s been training in Alberta on and off for 25 years. Hoerdt was the leading trainer in earnings at Alberta Downs this year. He’s currently in the top five trainers at Northlands for both wins and money and sits in sixth at Northlands in the driving charts. Hoerdt has 66 wins and $487,528 in earnings as a driver and 81 wins and $616,517 as a trainer. Paul MacKenzie, 52, of Puslinch, ON, has been driving and training for over 35 years and has managed to be one of the top B circuit drivers for decades. The Charlottetown native is the all time leader in driving wins at Flamboro Downs. In 2013 he was the third leading dash winner at Grand River and in the top 10 drivers at Flamboro. Paul drove 169 winners and horses to earnings in excess of $1 million in 2013. He didn’t focus much on training. Unfortunately MacKenzie suffered some injuries at Grand River in late October and has not driven since. Precocious Beauty and Shes Da Bomb, both sired by Art Major, are the finalists in the Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly category. Precocious Beauty won 7 of 11 races, $462,912 and took a mark of 1:50.1 which happened to tie a World Record for the mile track. Her richest payday was a victory in the $451,000 Shes A Great Lady at Mohawk. Shes Da Bomb had 5 wins in 8 starts and earnings of $216,056. She paced to her season’s record of 1:50.3 at The Red Mile. Both fillies captured divisions of the Eternal Camnation Stakes and Champlain at Mohawk. Arthur Blue Chip and Luck Be Withyou didn’t battle each other much on the racetrack but the two will vie for the Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt title. Arthur Blue Chip scored 6 wins in 11 starts, bankrolled $400,120 and took a mark of 1:51.2 in an elimination of the Metro at Mohawk before being scratched from the final. His most lucrative payday was a runner-up finish in the Governor’s Cup. He also won a handful of Ontario Sires Stakes races, an elimination of the Battle of Waterloo and a division of the Nassagaweya. Luck Be Withyou’s victory in the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs was the highlight of a 40 year partnership between owner John Craig and trainer Bill Cass. Luck Be Withyou had 5 wins in 11 races and $363,402 in purse earnings. He took a mark of 1:50 in an elimination of the Breeders Crown, and also scored a victory in a division of the Champlain at Mohawk. I Luv The Nitelife returned as a seasoned sophomore and looks to add another O’Brien to her trophy case. She is up against Love Canal in the three-year-old pacing filly division. I Luv The Nitelife boasted a record of 13-1-1 in 15 races and $1.2 million in earnings. She took a mark of 1:48.4 in the Valley Forge at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. She also set a two-heat world record of 3:42.2 in the Jugette. She swept the Fan Hanover, the Lynch, the Mistletoe Shalee and closed the season as strongly as she began with a win in the Breeders Crown and runner-up finish in the American National. Love Canal put together a record of 4-3-1 in 13 races, earned $344,693 and took a mark of 1:50.1 at Mohawk in the Canadian Breeders Championship one week after her win in the elimination. She also had victories in the final of the SBOA Stake and an Ontario Sires Stakes event. Sunshine Beach and Vegas Vacation are finalists in the sophomore pacing colt category. Sunshine Beach hit for 16 top three finishes, including eight wins in 20 starts for earnings of $913,702. He defeated Captaintreacherous in the Battle of the Brandywine in a 1:47.4 world record mile at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in August and was a runner-up to the division leader in the Breeders Crown. He was also victorious in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes and the Progress Pace. Vegas Vacation put together a sophomore record reading 10-4-1 in 20 starts while banking $976,037 in purses with major wins in the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes, Empire Breeders Classic, Simcoe Stakes, Little Brown Jug and the Matron Stakes. He was also a close runner-up in the Hempt Memorial, the Tattersalls Pace and the Adios. Anndrovette is looking to defend her crown as Canada’s Older Pacing Mare against the talented Rocklamation. Anndrovette is looking for her third consecutive trophy as the country’s top pacing mare following a season where she scored 7 wins and bankrolled $564,827. She took a mark of 1:48 at Mohawk in the Roses Are Red Final -- a Canadian record -- and also posted a win in the elimination. She won three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, an elimination of the Breeders Crown and finished third in the final. Rocklamation won 5 of 21 races and earned $546,217 on the season while posting a mark of 1:49.3 in the Golden Girls at The Meadowlands. She won two legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and captured the Milton Stakes at Mohawk. A Rocknroll Dance and Foiled Again are the Older Pacing Horse finalists. Multiple World Champion A Rocknroll Dance was the first horse in harness racing history to pace three consecutive sub-1:48 wins. Those scores came this year in an invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1:47.4f) and in the elimination and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby (1:47.3-1:47.2). He established World Records as a four-year-old on both five-eighths and half-mile tracks. His 1:49.1 world mark on a half was taken winning the Battle Of Lake Erie at Northfield over Foiled Again, and his 1:47.4 world mark on a five-eighths came in an invitational race at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. He defeated the best older pacers of the year in winning the Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk in track and Canadian record time. A Rocknroll Dance has been retired from racing and will begin his stud career in 2014 at Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. The $6 million horse, Foiled Again didn’t show any signs of slowing down in his nine-year-old season as he won 11 of his 29 starts, including three Levy divisions, the Ben Franklin elimination and final as well as the Breeders Crown elimination and final, for his third straight million-dollar campaign. Following Foiled Again's final start of the year, trainer Ron Burke noted that the iron tough pacer has exceeded his expectations with all of his accomplishments. He earned $1.4 million on the year, while surpassing the $6 million career marker and closed the season sweeping the elimination and final of the TVG Free For All Pace at The Meadowlands. Miss Aultsville and Riveting Rosie are nominees in the two-year-old filly trotting category. Miss Aultsville established a stakes, track and Canadian record of 1:59.2 for two-year-old trotting fillies on a half-mile track in an Ontario Sires Stakes event, one of her two season wins. She earned just over $151,000 on the season. Riveting Rosie closed out her 2013 campaign with six wins, one second and one third in eight starts and earnings of $468,613. Riveting Rosie’s major victories were the Peaceful Way Final, The Ontario Stakes Super Final and a division of the Champlain. Father Patrick and Muscle Matters will face off in the Two-Year-Old Trotting Colt division. Father Patrick topped the earnings chart in his division and was flawless in 10 stakes starts with his only blemish coming in an early season two-year-old race where he was beaten by just a head. Father Patrick amassed $752,395 in earnings with major wins in the Breeders Crown, Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial Trot, Champlain Stakes and Bluegrass Stakes. Muscle Matters was lightly raced but earned $218,800 in 6 starts, half of which he won. He took his mark of 1:55.4 in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. Bee A Magician, who was perfect in her 2013 season, is up against Motown Muscle in the Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly division. Bee A Magician won all 17 of her 2013 races and earned in excess of $1.57 million for a perfect sophomore season. The invincible filly took a mark of 1:51 at The Meadowlands and won the SBOA elimination and final, the Casual Breeze, the Elegantimage elimination and final, three Ontario Sires Stakes events including the Super Final, the Delvin Miller, Hambletonian Oaks elimination and final, the Simcoe, Breeders Crown elimination and final, American National and Moni Maker. Motown Muscle enjoyed a productive 2013 campaign, hitting for 6 wins in 14 races and $331,423 in purse money. She took a mark of 1:53.4 at Mohawk and racked up wins in a division of the Casual Breeze, Canadian Breeders Championship elimination and final, and several Ontario Sires Stakes events. Flanagan Memory and Your So Vain are the sophomore trotting colt nominees. Flanagan Memory won seven of 11 races for $408,798 in earnings. He clocked a season’s best 1:53 effort in winning the OSS Super Final at Mohawk. He also scored victories in the Goodtimes and several OSS events. Your So Vain was a winner of 5 of 13 and $382,105. He posted a mark of 1:52.4 in winning an elimination of the Canadian Trotting Classic. He also added wins in the Simcoe Stakes, Bluegrass Stakes, and a heat of the Kentucky Futurity to his resume. Bax Of Life and Maven are the Older Trotting Mare finalists. Bax of Life won 4 of 23 races and earned just over $155,000. She took a mark of 1:52.2 at The Red Mile. She was a nose winner in a Breeders Crown elimination and second in the Miss Versatility. Since winning the 2012 Breeders Crown at Woodbine Racetrack, Maven has been one of the most consistent trotters in North America. She swept the Miss Versatility Trotting Series including a 1:51.4 World Record in the final at Delaware. She also added wins in an elimination and the final of the Armbro Flight and Allerage to her credentials. She showed just how good she was by claiming a second Breeders Crown title. At season’s end Maven had won 10 of 14 races, and added $513,485 to her coffers. Intimidate and Mister Herbie are the Older Trotting Horse finalists. Both horses were O’Brien winners in 2012 – Intimidate as Canada’s Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year and Mister Herbie as Canada’s Older Trotting Horse. Intimidate stepped up to the Older Trotting Horse ranks to win 7 of 9 on the year and bank $176,000. He won several Preferred events and took a mark of 1:51 in the Credit Winner at Vernon Downs. Although Mister Herbie only won one race in 2013, he was a strong contender in many of the major stakes and scored six runner-up finishes in races including the Maple Leaf Trot, Allerage, John Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown, finishing the season with $492,067. Robert McIntosh Stables Inc. and Seelster Farms are nominated in the Armstrong Breeder of the Year category, and are both previous winners of this award. McIntosh’s 98 starters have accounted for 228 wins and just over $2 million in earnings in 2013, while Seelster-bred horses have posted 254 victories and $2.1 million in purse earnings. In the Future Star Category, the finalists for this first-time award are Travis Cullen and Patrick Shepherd. Horseman Travis Cullen, 21 of Edmonton, AB, closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the last day of racing while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year of over $366,000 in trainer earnings and over $577,000 in driving earnings, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. His 2013 total of 109 training wins in Canada places him fourth among all trainers while his .430 UTRS leads the nation. Patrick Shepherd, 21, of Lynden, ON, trained 112 winners and horses to $542,799 in earnings. His Canadian win total ranks as the third best among all conditioners, as does his .389 training average. One of the 24 horse nominees will be honoured as Canada’s Horse of the Year. The winners will be announced at the O’Brien Awards Gala on Saturday, February 8, 20114, at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, PE. The complete list of finalists and owners is as follows. 2013 O’Brien Award Nominees Pacers Two-Year-Old Filly Pacer Precocious Beauty - owned by James L Avritt Sr., Lebanon, KY Shes Da Bomb – owned by F. Bellino And Sons LLC, Bronxville, NY   Two-Year-Old Colt Pacer Arthur Blue Chip – owned by Dr. Ian Moore, Guelph, ON – R G McGroup Ltd., Bathurst, NB – Serge Savard, Saint-Bruno, QC Luck Be Withyou – owned by John H. Craig, North York, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Pacer I Luv The Nitelife - owned by Richard P. Young, Boca Raton- Joanne Young, Coconut Creek, FL Love Canal - owned by Let It Ride Stables Inc – Robert Cooper Stables LLC, Boca Raton, FL - J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY   Three-Year-Old Colt Pacer Sunshine Beach - owned by Hudson Standardbred Stb Inc., Hudson- Conrad Leber, Montreal QC – Diane Bertrand, Edmonton, AB Vegas Vacation – owned by West Wins Stable, Cambridge- Adriano Sorella, Milton – Anthony B Beaton, Waterdown – Phyllis M Saunders, Hamilton, ON   Older Pacing Mare Anndrovette - owned by Bamond Racing LLC, Brick – Joseph Davino, Clarksburg, NJ Rocklamation - owned by J and T Silva Stables LLC, Long Beach, NY – Stable 45, Boynton Beach, FL- Our Horse Centre Stables, Clifton Park, NY   Older Pacing Horse A Rocknroll Dance - owned by A Rocknroll Dance Stable, Wauseon, OH Foiled Again - owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Fredericktown – Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Canonsburg, PA – JJK Stables LLC, Fort Lauderdale, FL   Trotters   Two-Year-Old Filly Trotter Miss Aultsville - owned by Old Aultsville Stable, Mississauga, ON – Pealer Pen, Camp Hill, PA – John Kopas Stables Ltd. Milton, ON Riveting Rosie - owned by Parkhill Stud Farm, Peterborough – Don Allensen, Wyoming – J And T Stable Newmarket – John F Hayes, Sharon, ON   Two-Year-Old Colt Trotter Father Patrick - owned by Father Patrick Stable, East Windsor, NJ Muscle Matters - owned by Nunzio Vena, Bolton – Santo Vena, Brampton – Benoit Baillargeon, Rockwood – Richard Thompson, London, ON   Three-Year-Old Filly Trotter Bee A Magician – owned by Melvin Hartman, Ottawa, ON – Herb Liverman, Miami Beach – David H McDuffee, Delray Beach, FL Motown Muscle - owned by Bet Max Stables Inc., Casco – Benenati Inc., Clinton Twp, MI   Three-Year-Old Colt Trotter Flanagan Memory - owned by Liette Flanagan, Repentigny-Rene Dion, Saint-Lazare, QC Your So Vain – owned by P G Van Camp Stables, Port Perry, ON   Older Trotting Mare Bax Of Life – owned by Jerry Duford – Joanne S Wray, Campbellville, ON Maven - owned by William J. Donovan, Ft Lauderdale, FL   Older Trotting Horse Intimidate – owned by Judith Farrow, Hemmingford – Luc Blais, Lochaber Ouest, QC Mister Herbie – owned by Jeffrey R Gillis, Hillsburgh – Mac T Nichol, Burlington, ON- Gerald T Stay, Buffalo, NY   People Awards   O’Brien Award of Horsemanship Kelly Hoerdt, Beaumont, AB Paul MacKenzie, Puslinch, ON   Armstrong Breeder of the Year Robert McIntosh Stables Inc., Windsor, ON Seelster Farms, Lucan, ON   Driver of the Year Sylvain Filion, Campbellville, ON Doug McNair, Guelph, ON   Trainer of the Year Gregg McNair, Guelph, ON Richard Moreau, Puslinch, ON   Future Star Award Travis Cullen, Edmonton, AB Patrick Shepherd, Lynden, ON

Sixteen down, one to go. Bee A Magician will try to complete a perfect season Saturday night when she faces nine foes in the $253,000 Moni Maker Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack. Ranked No. 1 in the sport's current Top 10 poll, Bee A Magician is 16-for-16 this year, with $1.42 million in earnings. She will start the Moni Maker from post eight for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and driver Brian Sears. "I am feeling a bit of pressure, yeah," Norman said. "I wasn't feeling any until now, because you're so close. We're a few days away from it being over. "But it's exciting. The other thing is you could be not racing. Two weeks from now when she's not racing and she's out in the paddock I'm going to miss her, that's for sure." Bee A Magician will try to join Muscle Hill, Syrinx Hanover and A Worthy Lad as the only trotters to go undefeated at age 3 and earn year-end honors dating back to 1975. Muscle Hill, a colt, won all 12 of his races in 2009 and was named Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada. Syrinx Hanover, a filly, went 12-for-12 in 2001 and was named Trotter of the Year in the U.S. (losing Horse of the Year to filly pacer Bunny Lake). A Worthy Lad, a colt, was perfect in 13 starts in 1990 and received the O'Brien Award as Canada's best 3-year-old male trotter. "It's just a dream," said Mel Hartman, who owns Bee A Magician with David McDuffee and Herb Liverman. "At times she's done it so easy it's scary. I've had some great horses, but if you have a horse that's being considered for Horse of the Year they have to be super special. I would say she's super special. It's been a hell of a ride." Bee A Magician's wins this year include the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, in a stakes-record 1:51.4, and the $500,000 Breeders Crown, in a stakes-record 1:52.4. She also captured the Elegantimage Stakes, the Delvin Miller Memorial in a world-record 1:51, and the Ontario Sire Stakes championship. For her career, Bee A Magician has won 26 of 29 races and earned $2.18 million. Her earnings are the record for any filly, trotter or pacer, at ages 2 and 3 combined. She is coming off a victory in the American-National Stakes on Nov. 9 at Balmoral Park in Chicago. "She's had three weeks since her last race, so she's not right on top of her game, I wouldn't say," Norman said. "But we trained today (Tuesday) so she's going to be very close." There is no precipitation in the forecast for Saturday, but it will be cold. The high temperature is projected at 38 degrees and the low at 32. "I'm nervous racing this late in the year," Hartman said. "My experience is that fillies and mares are not too crazy about racing in the cold. It seems harder on them than the (male) horses. I just hope we haven't made a mistake." The Moni Maker field includes Sheena's Shadow, Handover Belle, Ma Chere Hall, Andie Sophia, Little Bitty Lies, Southwind Cocoa and Time To Kill lining up inside Bee A Magician, with Mistery Woman and Deja Vu Too to her outside on the starting gate. "I didn't expect anything like this," Norman said about Bee A Magician's campaign. "You don't expect that from any horse. It is a long year; the horse has been in work since February and we're almost to December. It's 10 months of hard work and a lot of starts. "It's just tough for them to keep going and be good the whole time. It's amazing that she has been, really. That's why it's such a big achievement, I guess. "She's a great horse. I hope she finishes it off." by Ken Weingartner for Harness Racing Communications  

Freehold, NJ --- The Captain is still the king, but he faces another tough challenge in Saturday’s Tattersalls Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers at Lexington’s Red Mile. Fourteen horses entered the Tattersalls and the field was divided into two seven-horse divisions. Captaintreacherous, the defending Pacer of the Year and sport’s top-ranked pacer this season, will compete in the first of the two $215,500 splits -- along with the only horse to beat The Captain this year, Sunshine Beach, and Little Brown Jug winner Vegas Vacation. Captaintreacherous, Vegas Vacation and Sunshine Beach are harness racing’s three richest 3-year-old male pacers this season. Vegas Vacation drew post one while Captaintreacherous got five and Sunshine Beach got seven. “They sure stacked them up,” said Mark Steacy, who trains Sunshine Beach. “It would have been nice to stay away from them until the Breeders Crown, but you can’t do anything about that. Plus we drew the outside post; I guess (driver) John Campbell will just have to work his magic.” Sunshine Beach handed Captaintreacherous his only loss in 10 races this year when he beat The Captain by a nose in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine on Aug. 17 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. The time of 1:47.4 equaled the world record for 3-year-old pacers on a five-eighths-mile track. “Yeah, but he’s got about six (wins) up on us,” Steacy said with a laugh. “I’d like nothing more than to beat him again, but we want to win every time we race no matter what horses are in there.” Captaintreacherous won his three previous encounters with Sunshine Beach this year, including in the $980,000 North America Cup and $635,750 Meadowlands Pace. He also has four wins over Vegas Vacation, including the $360,211 Cane Pace. “It shapes up like a great race,” Captaintreacherous’ trainer Tony Alagna said. “I don’t look at it like we have to beat this horse or that horse; I just want my horse to go out there and race to his capabilities and he never lets me down.” Vegas Vacation, whose last three setbacks to Captaintreacherous have come by a combined total of less than a length, comes to the Tattersalls off his straight heats victory in the Little Brown Jug on Sept. 19 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. “I’m still the underdog,” Vegas Vacation’s trainer Casie Coleman said. “(Captaintreacherous) is still the king of the castle, but we’re going to try to take him off the throne. We’re going to give it our best shot.” Captaintreacherous and Sunshine Beach, who both skipped the Little Brown Jug, won Bluegrass Stakes divisions last weekend at The Red Mile. Captaintreacherous, who has earned $1.50 million this season, won by 1-1/2 lengths over Beach Memories in a career-best 1:47.1 with regular driver Tim Tetrick at the lines. “I was very happy with how he raced last week,” said Alagna, who trains the colt for the ownership group Captaintreacherous Racing. “And he’s trained back really well.” Sunshine Beach, who has won six of 13 races and $543,135 this season for owners Hudson Standardbred Stable, Conrad Leber and Diane Bertrand, captured his Bluegrass division by a neck over Resistance Futile in 1:48.2. It was his first start since a second-place finish to Vegas Vacation in a division of the Simcoe Stakes on Sept. 7. “For a horse that hadn’t raced in three weeks, I thought he was very courageous,” Steacy said. “Resistance Futile is a nice horse with a good kick and he was able to fight him off. I hope he’s a little bit better this week.” Vegas Vacation has won nine of 15 races this year and earned $806,287 for owners West Wins Stable, Adriano Sorella, Anthony Beaton and Phyllis Saunders. He has won three in a row and five of his last six starts. “(Captaintreacherous) won in (1):47.1 last week, so he’s obviously awesome,” Coleman said. “But I think my guy is awesome right now too.” The second Tattersalls division includes Adios winner Sunfire Blue Chip, New York Sire Stakes champion Fool Me Once, and North America Cup runner-up Twilight Bonfire. Saturday’s card also features two divisions of the Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old filly pacers and four divisions of the International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. First race post time is 1 p.m. by Ken Weingartner for HRC

Remember the "Titan," if not for the remainder of this year, perhaps next season. E L Titan is heading to Lexington for Friday's International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters and trainer Riina Rekila has high hopes for the lightly-raced son of Muscle Hill. Bred and owned by Erkki Laakkonen, the colt has won once in three starts and earned $27,414. He won his first start in 1:58 on Aug. 22 at Mohawk Racetrack and finished second to Father Patrick, who is the No. 4-ranked horse in harness racing's Top 10 poll, in a division of the Champlain Stakes a week later. He enters the International Stallion off a troubled-trip third in a conditioned race on Sept. 16 at Mohawk. "We started a little later with him, which was the plan," said Rekila, who also drives E L Titan. "We wanted to save him a bit. He was a little sick in the spring, but that didn't really change anything for us. His first stakes wasn't until the Champlain, so we took our time. He felt so good sitting behind him that I didn't want to ruin him. "I have never pushed him. Everything he is doing, he is doing on his own and doing very easy. I don't usually train too fast. The main thing is to build a nice 3-year-old." E L Titan is out of the mare Courtney Hall, a stakes-winning full sister to millionaire Cameron Hall. E L Titan is Courtney Hall's fourth foal and the previous three - E L Rock, Appomattox and E L Rocket - each earned at least $200,000. Appomattox, who leads the trio with $368,518, is racing in Sunday's Allerage Open Trot and E L Rocket is eligible to the Kentucky Futurity on the same day. Rekila trained E L Rocket before the 3-year-old colt was sold to Ron Burke in June. E L Rocket, who made only two starts as a 2-year-old, has won five of 16 races this year and finished second in a division of the Simcoe Stakes. He also raced in the Hambletonian, finishing fourth in his elimination and failing to advance to the final. "They have some things that are similar, but I think (E L Titan) is a much better horse," Rekila said. "E L Rocket was one of the fastest horses I've ever sat behind, but he was so big gaited that it was difficult for him to keep it together. "It seems like (Courtney Hall's foals) get better as they get older. That's why we're looking ahead for Titan." E L Titan is eligible to the Breeders Crown, but Rekila was undecided whether she would send the colt. The Breeders Crown eliminations for 2-year-old male trotters are Oct. 11 and the final is Oct. 19. "We'll see how he does here and make a decision," Rekila said. "We were going to race last week (in the Bluegrass Stakes) but his white count was high so we skipped that. We'll go by how the horse feels. "If he races like he did in the Champlain, I think he is very competitive," she added. "He is very strong when you sit behind him and he has speed. I don't think he is mature yet; I think he is just doing it because he is talented." E L Titan races in the third of three International Stallion Stakes divisions. Bluegrass Stakes division winners Odds On Amethyst and Outburst also are among the 2-year-old male trotters racing Friday. Outburst, who won in a world-record 1:53.1 last week, is in the second International Stallion Stakes split; Odds On Amethyst is in the first. Friday's card also features three divisions of International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers, headlined by Precocious Beauty. The filly has won six of eight races and finished second in the other two. She has won five in a row, including three consecutive stakes. by Ken Weingartner for HRC  

Captaintreacherous, trainer Ron Burke, drivers Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. (dashes) and Tim Tetrick (money) all lead the nation in their respective categories per money won and wins so far in the 2013 race season.   Bluegrass Stakes, $87,000 divisions, 3-year-old male trotters, Sept. 29, The Red Mile 1. Creatine, 2. Punxsutawney, 3. Deadliest Catch. Time: 1:52.3. Margin: 1/2. 1. Your So Vain, 2. Lindy's Tru Grit, 3. Vibe Blue Chip. Time: 1:53.3. Margin: 3/4. 1. Spider Blue Chip, 2. Pine Credit, 3. All Laid Out. Time: 1:51.3. Margin: 3/4. Bluegrass Stakes, $86,000 divisions, 3-year-old filly trotters, Sept. 29, The Red Mile 1. Ma Chere Hall, 2. Shared Past, 3. Royal Assets. Time: 1:52.3. Margin: Neck. 1. Handover Belle, 2. To Dream On, 3. Mistery Woman. Time: 1:52.2. Margin: 1/2. $122,000 Bluegrass Stakes, 3-year-old filly pacers, Sept. 28, The Red Mile 1. Shebestingin, 2. Parlee Beach, 3. Authorize. Time: 1:49. Margin: 4-1/4. Bluegrass Stakes, $96,000 divisions, 3-year-old male pacers, Sept. 28, The Red Mile 1. Captaintreacherous, 2. Beach Memories, 3. Emeritus Maximus. Time: 1:47.1. Margin: 1-1/2. 1. Sunshine Beach, 2. Resistance Futile, 3. Wake Up Peter. Time: 1:48.2. Margin: Neck. Bluegrass Stakes, $77,000 divisions, 2-year-old male pacers, Sept. 28, The Red Mile 1. Western Vintage, 2. On Golden Ponder, 3. Some Major Beach. Time: 1:49.4. Margin: 4-1/4. 1. Limelight Beach, 2. So Surreal, 3. Somestarsomewhere. Time: 1:49.4. Margin: 1-1/4. 1. Smack Talk, 2. Sometimes Said, 3. He's Got It. Time: 1:50.4. Margin: 1/2. 1. Odds On Rhodonite, 2. Journeyman, 3. Carracci Hanover. Time: 1:50.2. Margin: 1/2. Bluegrass Stakes, $90,100 divisions, 2-year-old male trotters, Sept. 27, The Red Mile 1. Father Patrick, 2. Lightning Force, 3. Raise The Curtain. Time: 1:54. Margin: 2-1/4. 1. Odds On Amethyst, 2. Muscle Network, 3. Shift Into Glide. Time: 1:54.2. Margin: 3-3/4. 1. Outburst, 2. Southwind Spirit, 3. Trixton. Time: 1:53.1 (world record). Margin: Nose. Bluegrass Stakes, $86,000 divisions, 2-year-old filly pacers, Sept. 27, The Red Mile 1. Precocious Beauty, 2. Southwind Silence, 3. Beach Gal. Time: 1:51. Margin: 3/4. 1. She's Da Bomb, 2. Allstar Rating, 3. Lasting Appeal. Time: 1:50.3. Margin: 1-1/2. 1. Uffizi Hanover, 2. Gallie Bythe Beach, 3. I Need Hotstuff. Time: 1:50.3. Margin: 3/4. Bluegrass Stakes, $96,000 divisions, 2-year-old filly trotters, Sept. 26, The Red Mile 1. Struck By Lindy, 2. Heaven's Door, 3. Anonyme Hanover. Time: 1:53.1. Margin: 5-1/4. 1. Chivaree Hanover, 2. Cee Bee Yes, 3. A Sundae On Sunday. Time: 1:56.3. Margin: 3/4. 1. Designed To Be, 2. Shake It Cerry, 3. Cooler Schooner. Time: 1:52.2 (world record). Margin: 1/2. HARNESS RACING LEADERS Horses by Earnings Horse Name Age Sex Gait Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings CAPTAINTREACHEROUS 3 H P 10 9 1 0 1,504,023 ROYALTY FOR LIFE 3 H T 11 6 2 0 1,217,160 BEE A MAGICIAN 3 M T 13 13 0 0 1,096,684 I LUV THE NITELIFE 3 M P 13 12 0 1 968,337 VEGAS VACATION 3 G P 15 9 3 1 806,287 FOILED AGAIN 9 G P 22 6 4 7 734,109 SPIDER BLUE CHIP 3 G T 14 8 1 1 686,063 CORKY 3 H T 16 4 5 3 667,608 PET ROCK 4 H P 13 4 3 1 644,070 SMILIN ELI 3 H T 12 4 3 2 572,379 SUNSHINE BEACH 3 H P 13 6 1 3 543,135   Drivers by Wins   First Name Last Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings Ronnie Wrenn Jr. 2316 516 363 313 2,037,850 David Palone 1872 486 270 187 4,886,761 Tim Tetrick 2413 471 345 316 12,221,770 Corey Callahan 2728 471 343 376 7,271,282 Bruce Aldrich Jr. 2476 444 363 331 2,059,909 Michael Oosting 1822 431 302 244 2,953,817 Ronald Pierce 2751 429 364 387 8,273,868 Aaron Merriman 2573 426 408 369 3,200,406 Brian Sears 1768 424 309 261 11,161,908 George Napolitano Jr. 2262 413 333 285 4,620,286   Drivers by Earnings   First Name Last Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings Tim Tetrick 2413 471 345 316 12,221,770 Brian Sears 1768 424 309 261 11,161,908 Yannick Gingras 1784 389 291 247 9,918,279 David Miller 2196 313 334 304 8,814,616 Ronald Pierce 2751 429 364 387 8,273,868 Corey Callahan 2728 471 343 376 7,271,282 George Brennan 1933 328 336 237 7,153,976 Andy Miller 2115 306 307 271 6,056,543 Matthew Kakaley 2251 354 347 324 5,936,556 James Morrill Jr. 1302 324 256 161 5,739,141   Trainers by Earnings   First Name Last Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings Ronald Burke 3506 826 567 402 16,155,944 Jimmy Takter 469 108 63 66 5,374,941 Tony Alagna 637 120 75 77 4,092,841 Ervin Miller 1068 210 172 142 3,836,300 Rene Allard 1509 343 227 176 3,644,706 P.J. Fraley 723 138 114 102 3,163,667 Virgil Morgan Jr. 1113 272 165 136 3,107,094 Linda Toscano 464 94 63 82 3,011,660 Richard Norman 376 69 61 43 2,979,504 Richard Moreau 1063 217 168 162 2,970,482  

3YO Trot Filly Shine In Bluegrass Stakes

Creatine is back at The Red Mile, where he made all seven of his starts last season, and trainer Bob Stewart hopes the 3-year-old colt trotter is ready to continue his winning ways. A son of former Stewart-trained standout Andover Hall, Creatine has won five of 10 races and $233,527 this year for owners Adam and Chris Bowden's Diamond Creek Racing. The horse has won four of five starts since having throat surgery in July to correct a breathing problem. On Sunday afternoon, Creatine will race in the first of three Bluegrass Stakes divisions for 3-year-old male trotters. Creatine, driven by Mike Lachance, is the 2-1 morning line favorite in his split. Your So Vain (7-5) and Master Of Law (5-2) are the morning line choices in the second and third divisions, respectively. "The horse is doing well," said Stewart, who is from Lexington. "He got in the habit of being turned out (earlier this year) so we've been doing it here and it seems to be agreeing with him. He won't have raced in 16 days, but we've done that before. He needed a break before all the racing he's got coming up in the next few weeks." The Bluegrass will serve as a final prep for the Kentucky Futurity, the third jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown, on Oct. 6 at The Red Mile. Of the 22 horses racing in the Bluegrass divisions, 17 are eligible to the Futurity. If all goes well, Stewart will send Creatine to the Futurity and then the Breeders Crown at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Eliminations for the Breeders Crown are Oct. 12 and the finals are Oct. 19. "I'm looking forward to racing him here; it's my home track," Stewart said. Last year, Creatine won three of seven races, including a $101,000 Bluegrass Stakes division for 2-year-old male trotters. "We decided to stop with him and not go to the Breeders Crown or any of the other year-end races, because we thought he had raced enough as a 2-year-old," Stewart said. "We were concentrating on this year and he came back to our expectations." Creatine had a win and two second-place finishes in five starts prior to his throat surgery. His only loss since then came in the $1 million Hambletonian on Aug. 3 at the Meadowlands. Creatine won his elimination race earlier in the day, but in the final got stuck outside the entire mile and finished eighth. "He's a very good horse," Stewart said. "I don't know if he's the best, but I guess in the next three weeks we're going to find out." Sunday's card, which begins at 1 p.m., also includes two Bluegrass divisions for 3-year-old filly trotters and eliminations for the Allerage Farms Open Trot and Allerage Farms Open Pace. Ma Chere Hall is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the first Bluegrass division for the fillies while world-record-setting Frau Blucher is the 2-1 choice in the second. Market Share is the 5-2 favorite in the Allerage Trot elimination and A Rocknroll Dance is the 5-2 favorite in the Allerage Pace elim. by Ken Weingartner for HRC  

Myron Bell will have his eyes on Captaintreacherous when the sport's top-rated pacer headlines Saturday's card at The Red Mile in Lexington, but "The Captain" will share Bell's attention with several youngsters looking to make names for themselves in Bluegrass Stakes action. That's My Opinion, Fort Knox and Journeyman will be among the horses competing in Saturday's four Bluegrass divisions for 2-year-old male pacers. That's My Opinion and Fort Knox are co-owned by Brittany Farms, for which Bell is the racing manager, while Journeyman is owned by Brittany Farms and Bell's Riverview Racing. Bell and Brittany Farms also are among the owners of Captaintreacherous, who is the 3-5 morning line favorite in the first of two Bluegrass divisions for 3-year-old male pacers. All of the horses are trained by Tony Alagna. Captaintreacherous, the defending Pacer of the Year, has won eight of nine races and $1.45 million this season. His wins include the North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Cane Pace and Hempt Memorial. He finished second by a nose to Sunshine Beach in the Battle of the Brandywine. He is the No. 2-ranked horse in the sport's Top 10 poll, behind only trotter Bee A Magician. "I wasn't that smart - I never thought he would go almost undefeated," Bell said. "He's exceeded all of our wildest expectations. We knew that he was a top horse, but the Captain has been super in every one of his races this year, even in his narrow defeat. You can't say anything bad about him." Still, Captaintreacherous has had his critics this season; some lamenting his connection's decision to skip the Little Brown Jug, others pointing to his lack of total domination (three wins by a neck). "(Heart) is what makes greatness," Bell said. "Speed is one facet of greatness, and he's got the will to win. People are always going to knock something that's good. I really don't worry about that. If they don't talk about you, you don't exist." For his career, the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Worldly Treasure has won 16 of 19 starts, never been off the board, and earned $2.37 million. He was purchased as a yearling for $250,000 at the 2011 Lexington Selected Sale. That is a big price, but not as hefty as the $350,000 paid for That's My Opinion, who was purchased under the name Blister Hanover at last year's Standardbred Horse Sale. A son of Somebeachsomewhere-Boldnbrash Hanover, That's My Opinion has won one of four races and earned $13,029. He is coming off a second-place finish in a condition race at Mohawk, where he missed by a head after battling through traffic in the stretch. The Bluegrass will be his first try in stakes company and he drew into a division including New Jersey Sire Stakes champion Western Vintage, world-record-setter On Golden Ponder and stakes-placed Some Major Beach. That's My Opinion and driver Scott Zeron will start from post seven in the seven-horse field. "He was a beautiful yearling and he was very costly," Bell said. "Tony has done a phenomenal job with him. He went through a growth spurt and Tony did a very good job. I want to give Scott Zeron and (driver) Brian Sears, who baby raced him, a lot of credit too. We babied him to a certain degree and he's ready to rock and roll now. "He's in a tough division and drew a tough post, but I believe we'll make a good account of ourselves. Right now he's a nothing because he hasn't won on the Grand Circuit yet. I don't want to brag him up, but I think he's a really nice colt." As for the colt's name change, it came indirectly from Bell himself. "I have a favorite saying, 'That's my opinion,' and Tony wanted to dedicate that name to this horse for some reason, so we went along with it," Bell said. "It's a fun conversation piece." Fort Knox has won one of three races and was second in a division of the Champlain Stakes. Bred by Brittany Farms and Melvin Hartman, he is a son of American Ideal-The Art Museum and a three-quarter-brother to Acquavella. "He's a very nice horse," Bell said. "I bought the mare for Brittany for a lot of money; she never got to the races and her first two foals have been very good. Acquavella just had a career-ending injury, but she was meant to be a good filly. He raced very well when he came first over in (the Champlain)." Journeyman, also bred by Brittany Farms, has won once in five starts. He is a son of American Ideal-Cosmic Journey. "He's been a little disappointing so far, but he's got high speed," Bell said. "He had a foot problem earlier in the year; he's sound now and I expect a decent effort. I think he'll be OK this year." In addition to the colts, Bell will be watching Authorize, who is in the Bluegrass for 3-year-old filly pacers. She has won one of 13 races this year after winning the New Jersey Sire Stakes championship in 2012. Authorize is a daughter of Western Ideal-CPA and her granddam is Delinquent Account, who is also the mother of millionaire Artiscape. "She's only won one race this year, so I guess she's a bit of an underachiever, but I think she's going to be very good at The Red Mile," Bell said. "She had some issues and right now she's as sound as she could be. She'll race through the year and then she'll become a broodmare for next year; she has a great pedigree. "I hope she can finish up well. She's a trip horse. She can't leave the gate, so everything is predicated on the trip. But she can really close pretty good." That's My Opinion is not the only big-money yearling racing Saturday at The Red Mile. Rockstar Stride, who is in a late closer for 2-year-old male pacers, was purchased for $300,000 at the Lexington Selected Sale under the name Rock The Casbah and is owned by Emilio and Maria Rosati. Trained by Mark Harder, Rockstar Stride is winless in two starts and heads to The Red Mile off a second-place finish by a neck in a conditioned race at Yonkers. Rockstar Stride is a son of Rocknroll Hanover-Stienam's Place and a full brother to $2 million-earner Put On A Show, the fastest female pacer in harness racing history. Sweet Talkin Clyde, another 2-year-old male pacer, also will be in late closer action. He was purchased for $325,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale by brothers John and Tom Cancelliere. A son of Well Said-Sweet Future, he is a half-brother to stakes-winners Bettor Sweet and Sweet Lou. He has one win in four starts this year. by Ken Weingartner, for HRC  

We’re back from the Jug and not happy about our prior selections…I was only really correct on Vegas Vacation winning the Jug. Right now I stand at picking horses in 132 races with 52 winners. I went just four for ten last week and lost $7.20 (based on $2 win bet each race). We are still in the minus earning column at  -$35.80 going into this weekend. Tons of action and great racing, mostly Saturday night…two races on Sunday. Saturday’s features are Yonkers Raceway and Mohawk Raceway’s Sire Stakes Finals plus Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington’s Red Mile. Plus two great older horse trot and pace at Red Mile on Sunday. $225,000 NYSS Final 2YO Colt trot 2nd race Yonkers – One of many great matchups for the final. Five of eight in this field are all standouts. I am going with Flyhawk El Durado from post four. He has won five of eight this year, $188,000, is on a three-race winning streak, can leave well or come from behind. $225,000 NYSS Final 3YO Filly Pace 8th race Yonkers – Summertime Lea has the most money earned and has beaten many in this field and Cheyenne Miriam and Springforth are no slouches either. But I like Social Scene. Casie Coleman Stable is red hot and this filly has the speed to win in here. She set half mile track records for most of the season and is due for a big score. $225,000 NYSS Final 3YO Colt Pace 9th race Yonkers – Every starter in this final has big earnings this year. Doctor Butch is just a little too far out for me in post eight so I am going with Fool Me Once in post five. Sears drove this one two starts back to a 1:49.4 score at Mohawk and he can handle a half mile track. Class of the field with $368,000 earned this year and almost never loses on a half mile oval. $200,000 OSS Final 3YO Filly Pace 4th race  Mohawk – Racey Miss looks like she can not only win in here but also pay a nice price. She will be driven for the first time by Chris Christoforou. Has won her last two starts from both on and off the pace and has a good shot in here from decent inside post. $200,000 OSS Final 2YO Filly Pace 9th race Mohawk - It is not often that I pick a horse from post 10 but here we go. Lady Shadow has won five of seven starts this year. She has the speed to overcome outside but must get to the top easy. Last time she was this far out she left but got stung early and faded. I’m betting in here she can leave and go right to the front and never look back. $122,000 Bluegrass Stakes 3YO Filly Pace 9th race Red Mile – Full field here of some top fillies (except I Luv The Nitelife) and I am going with Ms Caila J Fra. She starts from rail and despite making a break in her last start I can see her rebounding and either getting great cover or even cutting the mile herself for a big score. $96,500 Bluegrass Stakes 3YO Colt Pace 8th race Red Mile – I guess we can call this a “dart board race” and throw a dart to see who to pick. Well matched group will be banging heads in here for sure. I am going with Resistance Futile. He was very impressive in first heat of the Little Brown Jug last week but two heats took its toll. I know he will not be 24-1 but still can pay a price and with inside position should be primed for working out a good trip to win off of. $95,500 Bluegrass Stakes 3YO Colt Pace  3rd race Red Mile – It’s the return of the “Captain” but I think he drew into the softer of the two fields. After 1:49.4 romp at Hoosier he should be primed for a major mile in here if challenged. Could go in 1:47 if conditions are ideal. Some say Apprentice Hanover may be ready to take him on but I don’t think so. We’ll see on Saturday. $10,000 Allerage Elim Open Trot 7th race Red Mile SUNDAY – What a great group of trotters for only a $10,000 purse. Market Share should be primed for a big effort. But the same can be said for Arch Madness and Sevruga and Mister Herbie. Very tough call on who can get the job done. I am going to take a shot with Sevruga as Andy and Julie Miller’s Stable is hot after world record mile Thursday night. $10,000 Allerage Elim Open Pace 9th race Red Mile SUNDAY – Another great group, this time pacers, for a $10,000 purse. A Rocknroll Dance is the horse to beat. He cut all the fractions when Pet Rock set the world record on Jug Day and just got beat the wire. Golden Receiver is back in action and should not be ignored, same as Sweet Lou and Clear Vision. But I see A RocknRoll Dance where he comes from off the pace or cuts the mile being the best in here.  

The Red Mile Grand Circuit concludes week one with a thirteen race matinee card on Sunday. The program features five divisions of the Bluegrass Stakes for sophomore trotters, three colt divisions and a pair for the fair sex.   A pair of eliminations for the Allerage Farms Open stakes, containing the stars of the mature set, highlight the program. When Racing Secretary Billy Perkins opened the box at 10am this morning, he found an overflow of declarations in both events, necessitating several byes being offered to get both fields down to ten starters.   On the pacing side, top seasonal earner and division leader Pet Rock was the first to have the option to accept a free pass into next Sunday's $175,000 final on the strength of his 2013 bankroll of $644,070. His connections, trainer Virgil Morgan, Jr. and owner Frank Bellino, accepted the offer and he will join the top nine finishers from this Sunday's elimination in the final. Left to battle for the remaining berths are the titans of the division including no less than five from the Ron Burke stable headed up by the razor sharp Clear Vision. A Rocknroll Dance, Bolt The Duer, Sweet Lou  and Golden Receiver (returning from a month long freshening) are chief among the contenders. Thirteen were declared for the Allerage Open Trot and the bye process took more effort to implement, as several trainers chose to bypass the free roll and race in the elimination. The pot is sweetened by the chance to win the right to select their post position for next week's final with a victory in this race. At the end of the process, Guccio, Southwind Pepino and Wishing Stone will go directly to the $170,000 final next Sunday. That left an awfully good field of horses to race for the remaining seven slots. Leading seasonal earner Sevruga leaves from post four with Andy Miller set to drive for owner KDM Stables Corporation. Market Share is also racing and will start just outside Sevruga as he makes his bid for the win. Tim Tetrick has driven him in each of his eight seasonal starts and will again call the shots for trainer Linda Toscano and owners Richard Gutnick, TLP Stable and Bill Augustine. The fun starts at 1:00pm and the weather forecast remains positive with a warm early fall afternoon predicted. Be reminded that The Red Mile clubhouse will be open each racing day and you may reserve a table by calling (859) 233-0814. Parking is free and admission is a mere $2 for a great day of harness racing. The Lexington Selected Yearling Sale begins on Tuesday, October 1st at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion. Find further sale info at their website. by Nick Salvi for the Grand Circuit  

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