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Adam Bowden was in the Kentucky Futurity winner's circle last year with Creatine and he hopes to return there following Sunday's 122nd edition of the trotting classic, this time with Father Patrick. Bowden and his father, Chris, operate Diamond Creek Farm, which is part of Father Patrick's ownership group. Father Patrick, who has won 20 of 23 career races and $1.92 million, drew post No. 1 for Sunday's $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters at The Red Mile in Lexington. Nine horses entered the Futurity, so eliminations are unnecessary. Yannick Gingras will drive Father Patrick for trainer Jimmy Takter in the one-dash-for-the-cash event. Rounding out the field in post order are Il Sogno Dream, Martiniwithmuscle, Datsyuk, Hillustrious, Nuncio, Mr Lindy, DD's Hitman, and Lightning Force. Sunday's card also includes the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, $173,000 Allerage Farm Open Trot, $160,500 Allerage Farm Open Pace, $90,000 Allerage Farm Mare Pace, and $89,000 Allerage Farm Mare Trot. Father Patrick brings a four-race win streak to the Futurity, including a 4-1/2 length victory over Lightning Force in 1:50.4 in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile last Sunday. He also has won the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic, $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and $340,000 Zweig Memorial since losing by a half-length to Datsyuk in a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. "Last week he was on cruise control and still trotted in sub-1:51," said Bowden, who owns Father Patrick with John Fielding, Christina Takter, Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical AB, and the group of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. "Hopefully, we're in the winner's circle on Sunday. Jimmy gives me two thumbs up. I'm hoping that's going to be the case." Last year, the Diamond Creek-bred-and-owned Creatine won the Futurity for hometown trainer Bob Stewart. Bowden had planned to sell Creatine when he was a yearling, but the horse was withdrawn from the auction because of an infected hock and remained with Diamond Creek. Creatine races Sunday in the Allerage Farm Open Trot. "We've been with Bob since the beginning and for him to be a Kentucky guy, no offense, I love Father Patrick, but I don't think anything is going to top last year," Bowden said. "That was the most exciting thing for me. It was the first time. It was a homebred with a good friend of mine. We always believed in the horse and we finally won one of the big ones. That was exciting." The Bowdens started Diamond Creek Farm in 2005 in Paris, Ky., and now have a second location in Pennsylvania. Diamond Creek will stand Father Patrick as a stallion at the conclusion of his racing career. Father Patrick, bred by Brittany Farms, is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Gala Dream. He is a full brother to million-dollar-earner Pastor Stephen. "We're very happy and lucky; we want to stand the best horses," Bowden said. "After his 2-year-old year, we took a huge risk that (Father Patrick) was going to come back and be dominant at 3. Right now it looks like our gamble is going to pay off. Cantab Hall is arguably the hottest sire in the sport, along with Muscle Hill, and here's his greatest son so far. It's a great sire line and we're hoping it continues with Father Patrick." The Kentucky Futurity is the second jewel in this year's Trotting Triple Crown. Trixton won the first, the Hambletonian, but has since been retired because of injury. The third jewel, the Yonkers Trot, is Oct. 25. Takter trained and drove Trixton in the Hambletonian. Another of his charges, Nuncio, finished second in the race. Father Patrick went off stride from post 10 and finished off the board for the only time in his career. Nuncio will be driven by John Campbell, his regular pilot, in Sunday's Futurity. Nuncio has won 12 of 22 career races and finished second in the other 10. Eight of those runner-up finishes have come behind Father Patrick. "Nuncio is one tough horse," Bowden said. "He's a great horse and in any other year he's the best horse. "One of these days you think he's going to beat his stablemate. But I hope it's not Sunday." Takter sends out the likely favorite in the Kentucky Filly Futurity, Shake It Cerry. She was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter and has won 10 of 12 races this season. She will start from post three with driver Ron Pierce. Scream And Shout and Heaven's Door will start inside of Shake It Cerry while to her outside are Highest Peak, Chivaree Hanover, Vanity Matters, and Yoga. Scream And Shout and Yoga also are from the Takter Stable. The Allerage Farm Open Trot features Sebastian K, the fastest horse in harness racing history thanks to his 1:49 win earlier this year, two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Market Share, 2010 Kentucky Futurity winner Wishing Stone and recent Centaur Trotting Classic winner Master Of Law. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, and multiple-stakes-winner Classic Martine lead the way in the Allerage Farm Mare Trot, where they will encounter Dan Patch Award-winner and defending race winner Maven. Sweet Lou, who has won 10 of 15 races and nearly $1 million this year, and Foiled Again, North American harness racing's all-time money-winner, are among the 10 horses in the Allerage Farm Open Pace. Eleven horses were entered in the Allerage Farm Mare Pace, including three-time Dan Patch Award-winner Anndrovette, stakes-winners Rocklamation and Somwherovrarainbow, world champion Shebestingin, last year's race winner Shelliscape, and 2012 winner Drop The Ball. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

LEXINGTON, KY-- In the premier afternoon card of the annual Grand Circuit fortnight, harness racing sophomore filly trotters were in the spotlight, as they competed in two divisions of the $173,400 Bluegrass Stakes. And one filly stole the spotlight as Cee Bee Yes became the fastest three-year-old trotting filly ever with her victory in 1:50.2. With Cooler Schooner setting fast fractions, Cee Bee Yes coasted in the pocket, passed her into the stretch and dueled with Hambletonian Oaks-winner Lifetime Pursuit, ultimately getting her neck in front to win in the world record clocking. The prior world mark was 1:50.4 set by Lifetime Pursuit earlier this year. Cooler Schooner took control with ease, while Cee Bee Yes sat in second and Lifetime Pursuit in third. The top trio remained in that order as Cooler Schooner set splits of :27.4, :53.2 (:25.3), and 1:21.4 (:28.2). Galloping at the top of the stretch, Cooler Schooner was passed by Lifetime Pursuit, with Cee Bee Yes circling by, too. In the final eighth, Lifetime Pursuit had a slight advantage on Cee Bee Yes, who trotted alongside, then by the world champion filly, to christen her has a champion in 1:50.2 (:28.3). Owned by Jason and Doug Allen, trained by Julie Miller, and driven by Scott Zeron, the daughter of Muscles Yankee-Enbeecee-Enjoy Lavec paid $115.40 to win, with the $2 exacta, over 1/9 favorite Lifetime Pursuit, paying $217. This victory pushed Cee Bee Yes's career earnings to $339,532. "I didn't expect her to be the fastest of all-time, but I knew the race would set up with fast fractions," regular driver Andy Miller said, whose been sidelined due to a race injury sustained in April. "She's a very tough filly. Scott [Zeron] did a great job getting her into the race. He was patient, then he got her home." "In this business, you always throw the audible, but we would talk to Ron Allen and see the plans," trainer Julie Miller said in regards to Cee Bee Yes's retirement at the end of the season. "I would think she'd be a great mother." Cee Bee Yes Shake It Cerry, clearing the lead before the half, strode through the stretch to win in 1:51.2. The other Takter-trainee in the field, Scream And Shout, took the lead, while My Inspiration got away in second and Shake It Cerry in third. After a :27.2 quarter, Shake It Cerry made her move. Controlling the pace through a :55.1 (:27.4) half and 1:23.2 (:28.1) third quarter, Shake It Cerry kicked clear of Scream And Shout chasing in second, while Chivaree Hanover was rallying down the center of the course into second, and My Inspiration weaved her way into third. Shake It Cerry crossed the line in 1:51.2 (:28). With career earnings of $1,405,205, the daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig-Yankee Glide is owned by Solveig's Racing Partners, trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Ron Pierce. Paying $3.00, her 1:51.2 mile is a lifetime best. "The filly [Shake It Cerry] took me around there [The Red Mile] on her own," driver Ron Pierce said. "I just sat there, just a passenger." "She sure felt like it to me," Pierce also said in regards to Shake It Cerry's sharp form. "I was saying 'Whoa girl, whoa, girl,' and she was thinking I was saying 'Go girl, go girl.' I could have let her trot and easily broke the world record, but I didn't see any sense of it; we have the Breeders Crown coming up, the [Filly] Futurity next week. There are still some major races for her." Shake It Cerry Live racing will resume on Thursday, October 2 with the $300,000 International Stallion Series for two-year-old filly trotters. The entry box will be open until 9:30amEDT on Monday, September 29. Post time for that card is scheduled for 1:00pmEDT. Race replays of action from The Red Mile can be found on our YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- Sophomore colt trotters prepped for the $500,000 Kentucky Futurity, slated for Sunday, October 5th, in two divisions of the $187,200 Bluegrass Stakes on Sunday, September 28th. And it was the Jimmy Takter Stables Father Patrick and Nuncio who were the impressive harness racing winners. Divisional-leader Father Patrick floated off the gate, took control in the backstretch, and effortlessly trotted to a 1:50.4 victory over Lightning Force. The field was led by Lightning Force, who set a :28.1 opening split. Entering the backstretch, Yannick Gingras edged Father Patrick off the pylons and quickly claimed the lead. He was uncontested through a :56 (:27.4) half and 1:23.3 (:27.3) third quarter. Gingras piloted Father Patrick through the stretch with a hand drive, while Lightning Force chased in second and Martiniwithmuscle in third. Father Patrick crossed the finish line in 1:50.4 (:27.1). Owned by Father Patrick Stable, trained by Jimmy Takter, and driven by Yannick Gingras, the son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream-Enjoy Lavec paid $2.10 to win. Father Patrick has $1,927,508 in career earnings. "He's one of a kind; I've never been around a horse even close to his kind," trainer Jimmy Takter said. Father Patrick "I've got to give that horse [Nuncio] a lot of credit," Takter also said, commenting on Nuncio's performance earlier in the card. "He's been chasing this horse [Father Patrick] for two years, and he's still keeping his spirits up. He's a fantastic horse." Nuncio, getting away fourth in the early stages, patiently progressed towards the front and left his foes in the dust with a 1:50.4 victory in the other division of the Bluegrass. Hillustrious and Datsyuk contested for the top, while Damfoolrmillionair got away third. Datsyuk cleared the lead after a :27.4 quarter. Hillustrious was anxious In The Pocket as Dastyuk set a half in :54.4 (:27). Entering the far turn, Hillustrious sprung out of the pocket and took control as Datsyuk backed out of the race. Nuncio had begun an overland journey and was up to challenge Hillustrious through a 1:23.3 (:28.4) third quarter. Under minimal encouragement, Nuncio trotted by and away from Hillustrious, who battled for second between Mr Lindy and Damfoolrmillionair. Nuncio won by 6 ½ lengths over Hillustrious, Mr Lindy, and Damfoolrmillionair in 1:50.4 (:27.1). A son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane, he is owned by Stall Tz Inc., trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by John Campbell. His 1:50.4 mile is a lifetime best, and he has now bankrolled $1,271,470 in his career. He paid $2.40 to win. "Before, if you started him [Nuncio] up at the gate, you couldn't stop him," driver John Campbell said. "His manners have gotten so much better; he relaxes in the hole. They were going hot on the front, so when I did move him, he trotted up there comfortably, and trotted home well within himself. I was pretty sure, coming off the turn for home, that he was going to win." Nuncio Live racing will resume on Thursday, October 2nd with the $300,000 International Stallion Series for two-year-old filly trotters. The entry box will be open until 9:30amEDT on Monday, September 29th. Post time for that card is scheduled for 1:00pmEDT. Race replays of action from The Red Mile can be found on our YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- Harness racing freshmen colt pacers congregated at The Red Mile on Saturday, September 27 to compete in four divisions of the $331,000 Bluegrass Stakes, the fastest In The Arsenal in 1:49.4. In his first mile since his Metro Pace triumph, undefeated Artspeak led for nearly every step as the 1/9 favorite, winning in 1:51.3. Sicily and Blood Brother battled for the top while Artspeak floated off the gate, and got parked in fourth. He soon sprinted up to race-leader Sicily and cleared command after a :27.2 first quarter. Left alone on top, Artspeak rolled to the half in :55.4 (:28.2). Blood Brother soon edged to the outside and began to pursuit Artspeak. With Hall Of Terror tracking his move, Blood Brother paced up to Artspeak's wheel at three-quarters in 1:24.3 (:28.4). Artspeak turned away Blood Brother's challenge, and, while not drawing away, was striding towards the finish. Sicily slid up the inside to take second, and Traceur Hanover was storming down the center of the course, but had to settle for third as Artspeak crossed the line in front in 1:51.3 (:27). Owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, and In The Gym Partners, trained by Tony Alagna, and driven by Scott Zeron, the divisional leader has earned $479,575 this season. A son of Western Ideal-The Art Museum-Artsplace, he returned $2.10 to win. "They got close to me because we went a soft third quarter, but when they looked him in the eye, he [Artspeak] took off like a good horse," driver Scott Zeron said. "He's pretty smart; he has a closed bridle, so he can't see them coming, but he can hear them, even through the earplugs. He was pretty full tonight." "He's a sweetheart to drive," Scott Zeron also said. "He acts like an aged pacer already, so my job is easy." Artspeak New York Sires Stakes champion Cartoon Daddy traveled patiently around the track and swept passed his cover and rivals to win in 1:50.1. David Miller sent Talking Points for the front and battled with Gallic Beach for that spot. Sprinting by her approaching the quarter, Talking Points led through a :27.4 first panel. After an uncontested half in :55 (:27.1), Jake Blue Chip tipped first over with Cartoon Daddy on his back. Jake Blue Chip stalled in his bid midway through the turn, but soon rushed towards Talking Points to apply pressure. The duo hooked into battle through a 1:23.1 (:28.1) third quarter. Jake Blue Chip quickly abandoned the battle, while Cartoon Daddy fanned wide and began to rally down the center of the course. Gallic Beach slid by Talking Points at the pylons to quickly gain control, but it was soon revoked by Cartoon Daddy in a 1:50.1 (:27) mile, a lifetime mark. Bankrolling $249,067 this year, the Art Major-Ask Alice-The Panderosa colt is owned by Burke Racing Stable and Joseph Di Scala, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras. Sent off the 4/5 favorite, he paid $3.80 to win. "I knew the cover was good enough, but it was just if the horse [Cartoon Daddy] was good enough," trainer Ron Burke said. "That was a good-enough trip that he should win if he was the best. He raced good; the horse up the rail [Gallic Beach] bothered me more than the trip." Cartoon Daddy The Well Said-Thou Shalt Not-Real Desire colt Lost For Words maintained control of the field for the latter stages of the mile and sprinted to victory in 1:51.1. Bet You floated towards the front, with Penji Hanover tucking into second and Lost For Words getting away in third. After an opening split in :30, David Miller signaled Lost For Words to brush to the top. Stubborn to lose control, Bet You stretched out the 2/5 favorite to the best of his ability, but Lost For Words gained control through a :56.1 (:26.1) half. Attempting to slow down the third quarter, Berkley led a two-wide cavalry charge towards the top, tracked by Lone Survivor and Tyd Theglyde. Lost For Words was revved-up for a quarter-mile sprint after reaching three-quarters in 1:24.4 (:28.3). Edging 4-lengths clear from Bet You, Lost For Words flew down to the wire in 1:51.1 (:26.2). Bet You settled for second, Penji Hanover closed for third and Lone Survivor finished fourth. The $2.80 winner has earned $150,337 this year for owners Country Club Acres, William Robinson, Richard Lombardo, and The Strollin Stables. Trained by Brian Brown, Lost For Words equaled his lifetime best of 1:51.1 at Harrah's Philadelphia. "He had to work pretty good to get back there [to the lead]," driver David Miller said. "He got a third-quarter breather, and he was strolling coming home." "He's been really good all season long," Dave Miller also said. "I overdrove him in the final of the [Pennsylvania] Sires Stakes, but he's made up for it in the last couple of weeks." Lost For Words Lawrence B. Sheppard champion In The Arsenal pulled off a 25-1 upset in the closing division, doing so over Rich Wisdom in 1:49.4. Several colts contested in the early pace, with Well Well Well gaining control after a :27.3 quarter. Southwind Masimo soon edged to the outside to take the front, with In The Arsenal on his back and The Wayfaring Man. In The Arsenal took control after a :55 (:27.2) half. After a 1:23 (:28) third quarter, In The Arsenal braced for the bids of Rich Wisdom and Freedomformysoul towards the center of the course. Once Rich Wisdom came within a length of In The Arsenal, he quickly responded to driver Brian Sears' encouragement and crossed the line in 1:49.4 (:26.4). A son of American Ideal-Ladyotra-On The Road Again, he has earned $118,655 this season for owner White Birch Farms. Trained by Kelvin Harrison, his mile of 1:49.4 was a lifetime mark. He paid $52.20 to win. "He won the Sheppard earlier," Brian Sears said. "On a half-mile track, he showed some ability. His manners have been unruly at times, but he has a very good gait, very willing and loves to race horses. He tries all the way. The only thing we've had problems with is his manners at times, but he has tons of talent." In The Arsenal Live racing resumes on Sunday, September 28, with the $173,400 Bluegrass for three-year-old filly trotters and the $187,200 Bluegrass for three-year-old colt trotters. Post time is slated for 1:00pmEDT. Race replays of action from The Red Mile can be found on our YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- A duo of harness racing divisions for the $146,600 Bluegrass Stakes was contested for three-year-old filly pacers on Saturday, September 27 at The Red Mile. After blazing fractions established by Ali Blue, Gallie Bythe Beach traveled third over and stormed by her rivals to win in 1:49. Ali Blue sprinted to the front, while Allstar Rating paced into second and Act Now into third. Gallie Bythe Beach sat fourth through a :27 first quarter. Under restraint, Ali Blue remained on the motor through a :53.2 (:26.2) half and was to be contested after a 1:21 (:27.3) third quarter. Allstar Rating led the charge to the front, but lacked late pace. Act Now tipped to her outside and was soon the new leader. From third over, Gallie Bythe Beach began to rally down the center of the course and edged by Act Now for victory. Beach Gal closed for third and Ali Blue held onto fourth in 1:49 (:28). With lifetime earnings at $468,193, the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Galleria-Artsplace is owned by Fashion Farms, trained by Jim Campbell and driven by Tim Tetrick. Her 1:49 mile is a lifetime best. "My mare had to earn it," driver Tim Tetrick said. "Brian's mare [Act Now] made the lead and had a length on me at the old tunnel, but my mare fought back and got up for the win." "I know how good she is [Act Now]," Tetrick also said in regards to his past drives on Act Now. "I know how bad she can pull up. I didn't think I was going to catch her in the last strides, but my mare kicked in late and I got up to get her." Gallie Bythe Beach Gettingreadytoroll, after getting away fifth, journeyed easily first over and powered by Beautiful Lady to win the other Bluegrass division in 1:49.2. The outer trio, Sweetnsinful, Beautiful Lady, and It Was Fascination, barreled straight towards the front. Beautiful Lady secured to the top, but It Was Fascination brushed by through a :27.1 first quarter. Beautiful Lady popped to the outside and reclaimed the lead heading to the half. Gettingreadytoroll was given her cue to close through a :55 (:27.4) half. With Precocious Beauty tracking her, Gettingreadytoroll applied pressure to Beautiful Lady at three-quarters in 1:22.3 (:27.3). By the eighth-pole, Gettingreadytoroll powered by Beautiful Lady, while Precocious Beauty fanned off cover and rallied down the center. Regardless, Gettingreadytoroll was kept to her task and progressed to victory in 1:49.2 (:26.4). Precocious Beauty finished second, and It Was Fascination was third. Owned by Christina Takter and John and Jim Fielding, trained by Jimmy Takter, and driven by Yannick Gingras, the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Captain Holly-Cambest traveled a lifetime-best mile. Paying $3.60 to win, she has earned $238,143 this season. "She has tremendous ability, but once she clears, her mind wanders a little and you got to keep her to her task," driver Yannick Gingras said. "She can go plenty, it's just a matter of in her head." "I thought she was the best horse in the race," Gingras also said. "The second best horse was on my back [Precocious Beauty]; I was a little worried about that, but I wanted to make sure I cleared as late as I could, so that way she keeps her mind on business." Gettingreadytoroll Live racing resumes on Sunday, September 28, with the $173,400 Bluegrass for three-year-old filly trotters and the $187,200 Bluegrass for three-year-old colt trotters. Post time is slated for 1:00pmEDT. Race replays of action from The Red Mile can be found on our YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- Freshmen colt trotters occupied the Friday night card at The Red Mile, with four divisions of the $396,000 Bluegrass Stakes contested on September 26. Habitat and The Bank put in the quickest miles of the four divisions contested. William Wellwood champion Habitat once again reigned supreme, this time by ¾ lengths over Honor And Serve and Cruzado Dela Noche in 1:53.4. The early tempo setter was Honor And Serve, leading Canappealformore and Habitat through a :28.2 first quarter. Yannick Gingras soon gave Habitat the cue to circle by his foes, clearing the field slightly after a :57.4 (:29.2) half. Boots N Chains gradually progressed to Habitat's wheel around the far turn. Habitat, through three-quarters in 1:26.3 (:28.4), began to draw away from his competitors. Cruzado Dela Noche, traveling second over, fanned off cover and began a bid down the center of the course, while Honor And Serve snuck out of the pocket. Yet, they were runner-up as Habitat held on in a lifetime-best of 1:53.4 (:27.1). A son of Conway Hall-Habit's Best-Muscles Yankee, he's owned by Burke Racing Stable, Out Horse Cents Stables and Weaver Bruscemi, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras. "I think he was as sharp, but he was maybe too sharp," Yannick Gingras said in regards to Habitat's margin of victory. "He was a little keen tonight. Usually, he lets me do what I want with him. He's usually two fingers to drive, but he was a little wound up tonight, and I think that cost him a little bit of energy. "Coming to the top of the stretch, I knew I had a big last quarter left in him, but Honor and Serve and that horse Dave was driving [Cruzado Dela Noche] are two quality horses as well. He was 1-5, but it was no 'gimme,' there was good horses in here." Pulling first over nearing the half, The Bank gradually grew closer to the front and eventually passed Piercewave Hanover in a 1:53.4 mile. Sent for the top was One Direction, with Piercewave Hanover taking the pocket. Past the quarter in :28.3, Piercewave Hanover swept to the top. Yannick Gingras tried to ration his speed as he trotted the half-mile in :56.2 (:27.4). Around the far turn, The Bank began to charge towards pacesetter. He remained 3 lengths off the lead through a 1:25.1 (:28.4) third quarter. Shortening in stride, Piercewave Hanover's lead slowly diminished. The Bank was rallying down the center of the track and went by Piercewave Hanover in the final strides to win by a ½ length in 1:53.4 (:28.3), a lifetime best. Earning $64,810 this season, the son of Donato Hanover-Lantern Kronos-Viking Kronos is owned by Christina Takter and Goran Falk and is trained and driven by Jimmy Takter. Sent off the public choice, he paid $4.80 to win. "I know my horse is extremely honest and I haven't used him at all," Jimmy Takter said. "I kind of got a little bit messed up at the start; I didn't want to rush him out of the gate. He can leave very good, but I just felt like I wanted to race him from behind because he's not really sharp enough for cutting it." Southwind Stryker defeated Peter Haughton winner Centurion Atm in a 1:53.4 effort. The lead was occupied by Walter White, who led Whataworkout, Mercury Fashion, Centurion Atm, and Southwind Stryker respectively past a :28.3 first quarter. He remained in control through a :57.3 (:29) half, but Centurion Atm was grinding towards him first over. Southwind Stryker tracked Centurion ATM around the far turn as he battled with Walter White for control. After a 1:26 (:28.2) third quarter, Centurion ATM gained control. Centurion ATM was trying to gain separation from Southwind Stryker, but instead began to brace for his challenge. The two were stride for stride in the final hundred yards and at the line, Southwind Stryker had a nose on Centurion ATM, with Wicker Hanover finishing fourth, but placed third due to a lapped-on break by third-place finisher, placed fourth, Whataworkout. The son of Muscle Hill-Soxeelady-Conway Hall paid $10 as he triumphed over the 1/5 favorite. He's owned by Brad Maxwell, Paul Van Camp, Herb Liverman, and, trained by Brad Maxwell, and was driven by Tim Tetrick. Breaking his maiden, Southwind Stryker established a lifetime best of 1:53.4, and has earned $99,641 lifetime. "That horse that I was following [Centurion Atm] has some go," driver Tim Tetrick said. "My horse has been racing, and his [Ake Svanstedt's] horse had a big break and only one qualifier, but my horse had to earn it. If I had been third over, it would have been tough to catch him, but the trip worked out perfectly." Billy Flynn remained undefeated after a game stretch battle with 8/5 second-choice Muscle Diamond, traveling wire-to-wire in 1:55.4. Taking the lead was Gabe The Bear Dean as the octet trotted into the first turn. Billy Flynn tracked him from second, with Suit And Tie traveling third. Pilot Brett Miller gave the cue for Billy Flynn to circle by the 30-1 shot, clearing control in a :29.2 first quarter. Billy Flynn turned the march to the half into a stroll, reaching that station in :58.1 (:29.4). Suit And Tie broke from third, causing confusion with Progression and Muscle Diamond. Regardless, Muscle Diamond began his charge towards favored Billy Flynn entering the far turn. The two hooked up to duel at three-quarters in 1:28.3 (:30.2). The battling Billy Flynn and Muscle Diamond edged 3 lengths clear of Progression trotting in third. As Muscle Diamond appeared to get a nose in front, Billy Flynn fought back at the inside and managed, not only to retake the lead, but extend his margin of victory to a length over Muscle Diamond in 1:55.4 (:27.1). A $2.80 winner, Billy Flynn, a son of Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones-Enjoy Lavec, is owned by Bender Sweden Inc., trained by Staffan Lind and driven by Brett Miller. He has now earned $312,057 this season. "He's done everything right so far," trainer Staffan Lind said. "I hope he can stay on track. It's a long season with a lot of races, so whenever you can steal one is good." Uncle Lasse, a full-brother to Dan Patch champion Shake It Cerry, was victorious in 1:54.1 over Guess Whos Back. Getting away In The Pocket, Uncle Lasse soon pulled two wide and circled around early pacesetter Iron. After a quarter in :28.2, Uncle Lasse cleared the front. He was uncontested through a :57.3 (:29.1) half and strolled to three-quarters in 1:27 (:29.2). Sugarmakesmecrazy began to pursuit Uncle Lasse, with Guess Whos Back following second over. Guess Whos Back managed to swing off his cover and take second, while Sugarmakesmecrazy chased in third. Uncle Lasse won by a length in 1:54.1 (:27.1), a lifetime best. Owned by Solveig's Racing Partners, trained by Jimmy Takter, and driven by Ron Pierce, he paid $4.60 to win. He has earned $203,279 this season. "He was super sharp, a little on edge," Ron Pierce said. "He's good feeling colt, a little edgy, but his gait was flawless and he had plenty of trot." Racing resumes on Saturday, September 27 with the $331,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old colt pacers, $185,200 Bluegrass for three-year-old colt pacers, and the $146,600 Bluegrass for three-year-old filly pacers. Post time is scheduled for 7:00pmEDT. Race replays can be found on The Red Mile's YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- Freshmen filly pacers competed in three divisions of the $287,600 Bluegrass stakes on Friday, September 26 at The Red Mile. With favorites dominating a majority of the evening, Ideal Nuggets defied the math and blew up the tote board at 173-1 in 1:50.4. Bedroomconfessions left for the top, while Ideal Nuggets was sent into the pocket. After a quarter in :27.4, Bedroomconfessions secured the top. Leading through a :56.1 (:28.2) half, Bedroomconfessions was soon challenged by favored Shakai Hanover. The two battled past three quarters in 1:23.4 (:27.3). Shakai Hanover abandoned the battle midway through the stretch. Given room, Ideal Nuggets slingshot from the pocket and by Bedroomconfessions to win in 1:50.4 (:27). Divine Caroline closed for second and Bedroomconfessions settled for third. Paying $249.20 to win, the Western Ideal-Rough Sketch-Art Major filly is owned by Robert and Lauren Tucker, trained by Ed Lohmeyer and was driven by David Miller. Breaking her maiden, her 1:50.4 mile is a lifetime mark. She has earned $100,623 this year. Bettor Be Steppin blazed around the oval to win in 1:52 as the 1/9 favorite. Hillary's Style got the lead, while Devil Child tucked into the pocket, and Bettor Be Steppin got away in third. Driver Corey Callahan gave the public choice the cue to brush to the lead into a :27.3 first quarter. Securing the front midway through the backstretch, she continued to lead through a :55.3 (:28) half-mile. Rock Her World pulled first over, with Seeking Nirvana drafting behind. Bettor Be Steppin managed to get a breather in a 1:25.2 (:29.4) third quarter. Bettor Be Steppin continued to lead through the stretch, while Hillary's Style attempted to slide up the inside. Rock Her World and Seeking Nirvana gave chase as Bettor Be Steppin sprinted home to a 1:52 (:26.3) victory. Owned by Val D'or Farms, Rojan Stables, and Ted Gewertz, and trained by Joe Holloway, the Bettor's Delight-Two Steppin' Sally-Western Hanover filly paid $2.20 to win. Bettor Be Steppin lowered her lifetime mark of 1:52.2, obtained a week ago at Hoosier Park. She has earned $209,487 this season. "I had to use her [Bettor Be Steppin] a little bit to get to the lead," driver Corey Callahan said. "Through the last turn, I was able to get a nice breather in, and, when I called on her, she stepped away. I think she had more if I needed it." Sassa Hanover commandeered the field shortly after the half and progressed to a 3-length victory over 4/5 favorite Heavenly Bride in 1:51. She's Heavenly took the front, with Crescent City taking second and Crucial Moment in third. Crescent City edged out of the pocket and swept by She's Heavenly after a first quarter in :28. Approaching the half, Sassa Hanover pulled first over and had a ¾-length lead through a :56 (:28) half-mile. She was strolling in control around the far turn, as She's Heavenly was flushed by Heavenly Bride en route to three-quarters. Sassa Hanover led by the third panel in 1:24.3 (:28.3). Sassa Hanover began to draw away from Crescent City chasing in second, as well as She's Heavenly and Heavenly Bride trying to close into their deficit. Sassa Hanover was victorious in 1:51 (:26.2) over Heavenly Bride, Crescent City, and a closing Zip Code Envy. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven-Sayo Hanover-Allamerican Native is owned by Burke Racing Stables, The Panhellenic Stables, Weaver Bruscemi, and Larry Karr, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras. She paid $4.20 to win. Her mile of 1:51 is a lifetime mark, and her win puts her at $212,091 in seasonal earnings. "Ronnie told me to draw a line through that last start, as the track was bad," Yannick Gingras said. "We were planning on racing her from the back, but, getting away fourth, if I come first up, I carry Brian [Sears and Heavenly Bride] into the race, so I decided to move to the front. I had the plugs still in, and I showed her the whip to keep her to task, but she had some pace left." Racing resumes on Saturday, September 27 with the $331,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old colt pacers, $185,200 Bluegrass for three-year-old colt pacers, and the $146,600 Bluegrass for three-year-old filly pacers. Post time is scheduled for 7:00pmEDT. Race replays can be found on The Red Mile's YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

As the racing career of award-winning pacer Captaintreacherous comes to an end, with a retirement ceremony scheduled for next week at The Red Mile, an heir apparent competes Saturday night at the famed Lexington oval. Artspeak, who like Captaintreacherous is from the stable of trainer Tony Alagna, is 6-for-6 as he heads to The Red Mile for his division of the Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. He is coming off a 3-1/2 length win in 1:50.2 in the Metro Pace on Aug. 30 at Mohawk Racetrack. The colt has won all six of his races by a minimum of 1-3/4 lengths. "He's done everything we've asked of him," driver Scott Zeron said. "I don't think we've seen his bottom yet. Tony's done a good job of making sure that every time he gets behind the gate he's fully prepared. "He's got heart. That's something you just have to pray you have in a horse. He's a horse that every time he steps onto the track he wants to beat other horses. He kind of actually wants to demolish them. That speaks for itself. So far he's proven that he's a major player." Captaintreacherous, who will be honored Oct. 2 at The Red Mile, won eight of 10 starts at age 2 and became the first 2-year-old in 25 years to be named Pacer of the Year. Last season at age 3, he won 13 of 16 races and received his second Pacer of the Year award. "A lot of the people have been comparing the two," Zeron said. "Obviously, they were both dominant at this point in their careers when you compare them at 2. Every time I sit behind (Artspeak) he's just a pleasure. He's so nice to handle. Tony has taught him to really know what he's doing out on the racetrack." Artspeak is a son of stallion Western Ideal out of the mare The Art Museum. He was purchased for $100,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes 2007 Meadowlands Pace winner Southwind Lynx. Artspeak is owned by co-breeder Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, and In The Gym Partners. He races in the third of four Bluegrass divisions and is the 4-5 morning line favorite. "His being undefeated isn't something that crosses my mind every time we race," Zeron said when asked if there was pressure driving a horse like Artspeak. "I just want to try to drive him to where he can display his abilities. That's my job, to make sure I give him every chance to display what he can do. "We were 1-9 in the Metro Pace; I don't know if people call that pressure or a weight off your shoulders. I'd rather be the 1-9 shot going into those races." The Canadian-born Zeron has 11 drives Saturday night at The Red Mile, with 10 of them behind Alagna-trained horses. The 25-year-old, who is the son of driver Rick Zeron, moved to the U.S. with the hopes of advancing his career. It has worked out better than he imagined. Zeron, who in 2012 became the youngest driver to win the Little Brown Jug behind Casie Coleman-trainee Michael's Power, has earned $4.30 million this year, good for No. 14 among all drivers in North America. "Tony told me if I did make the move he would help me out and try to make me first call on the (young horses), and he's done just that," Zeron said. "So I give him credit for the majority of my (success) this year. "All I ever wanted was to be on the Grand Circuit. Now to be down at The Red Mile and have multiple drives on every card, it's a thrill. I'm happy to be at the point I'm at. This is where every heavy hitter comes and to be racing with them on a nightly basis is amazing." Among Zeron's other drives are It Was Fascination and Beach Gal in divisions of the Bluegrass for 3-year-old female pacers. It Was Fascination is 6-1 on the morning line and Beach Gal is 3-1. Both start from post eight in eight-horse fields. It Was Fascination, trained by Alagna and owned by Riverview Racing, Alagna Racing and The Bay's Stable, has won four of 13 races and earned $246,028. She is coming off a win in the New York Sire Stakes championship. "She's had a phenomenal year," Zeron said. "You'll never have a horse that tries as hard as she does. She always tries to be right in the money - 1, 2, 3 - every week. Coming down to Lexington, Tony said she's been great. We'll hope for a big effort from her. She always seems to deliver. "We didn't draw that well, but she has tactical speed and hopefully we can forwardly place her." Beach Gal is the only non-Alagna horse Zeron will drive Saturday. Trained by Dave Menary, she has won three of 14 races and $227,127 for owners Kenneth Ewen, Hewvilla Farms, Denis Breton and Larry Menary. "I drove her almost her whole 2-year-old year; I know her really well," Zeron said. "She's a trip horse. You wouldn't find a horse that could come off a helmet any faster than she could last year. I'm excited to go behind her. "She's had a very good year. We didn't draw well, but maybe we can hope for some hot fractions or maybe I'll try to get her out of there and hope for a second-over trip." Sunday: Father Patrick, Lifetime Pursuit headline trotters at Red Mile Driver Yannick Gingras is atop the national purse standings with $11.72 million heading into Friday evening, and this Sunday he has engagements with two trotters who have contributed to that total considerably. Father Patrick, who leads all horses in earnings with $1.13 million, and Hambletonian Oaks winner Lifetime Pursuit, who has banked $652,054, are among the horses that have dates with Gingras at The Red Mile on Sunday. Both horses are trained by Jimmy Takter. Lifetime Pursuit, who has won eight of 13 races this year and set multiple world records, has post two in the first of two Bluegrass Stakes divisions for 3-year-old female trotters. She has won six consecutive starts, including the Hambletonian Oaks, divisions of the Casual Breeze and Simcoe stakes, and most recently the Buckette at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Gingras says the Brittany Farms-owned filly is an uncomplicated assignment. Lifetime Pursuit is the 7-5 morning line favorite in her Bluegrass split. "She'll do anything I want her to do," Gingras said. "She's really a sweetheart, very easy on herself, easy for me to drive. Her last two starts before Delaware, I thought she was due for a covered-up trip, but at Delaware, on a half-mile track at (odds of) 1-9, it is what it is, she was much the best. "Going back to a big track down here, I'd like to have her covered up and if she's the best horse in the race, she'll do what she has to do in the stretch." Gingras says the daughter of Cantab Hall-Queen Of Grace has matured emotionally over the racing season. "She was one early on that needed an easy trip and needed to get mentally ready," he said. "She wasn't quite ready to cut miles or go first over, nothing like that. But as the year went along, she got better and better with that and now I can do whatever I want. She was the one that early on, I really had to babysit a little bit, whereas Father Patrick, he's just a sweetheart." Father Patrick and Gingras will team up once again in the second of two Bluegrass Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters. Father Patrick, the 3-5 morning line favorite, has post one. The colt, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream, has won nine of 11 races this season and 19 of 22 in his career. His lifetime earnings are $1.88 million. He enters the Bluegrass off a win in the Canadian Trotting Classic on Sept. 13 at Mohawk Racetrack. Father Patrick was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. "There's nothing about him not to like, you can do whatever you like," Gingras said. "You can come from the back, be first over or in the front. It doesn't matter to him, he'll get it done. "He's been the same horse, but obviously he's a little stronger now than he was in his first couple starts. But as far as manners and what he can do on the racetrack, he's the same horse, just a perfect horse." The two-week Red Mile meet provides both drivers and trainers with a few more tools to utilize in seeking a top performance from their horses, Gingras says. "The clay is definitely the biggest difference, you can race horses barefoot here, which on most stone dust tracks, you can't," Gingras said. "Trainers can come here and take their (horses') shoes off and sometimes it improves their gait big time. It's something you can't do every week, but you'll see certain horses that step up here versus racing at other tracks because you can make changes here. "The Red Mile is probably the last track left in North America that's not a speed favoring track. You can win races from the front, but it's a track where you can actually come from the back very easily and win races. The other tracks we go to, they're speed favoring, most of them." by Ken Weingartner & Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

So we had an OK last week of selections but nothing great to brag about. Now we are on to the Grand Circuit at Lexington’s Red Mile with tons of Bluegrass Stakes action today, Saturday and Sunday. Plus Saturday night is the Ohio Sire Stakes Championships at Scioto Downs and we will also venture to Freehold Raceway Saturday for the Lou Babic Memorial. Good Luck! $78,400 Trot Bluegrass Stake 2YO Colts Red Mile 3rd race FRIDAY – Considering that Centurion ATM has nearly three times the purse earnings of anyone else in the field, trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt should be able to take his colt to the front after the opening quarter mile and never look back. $207,000 winner is super good and takes another in here. Use Whataworkout and Mercury Fashion in exotic plays. $78,400 Trot Bluegrass Stake 2YO Colts Red Mile 5th race FRIDAY – Being undefeated in seven starts and owning a record of 1:55.2 in his last starts most certainly makes Billy Flynn the horse to beat in here. Super good trotter will be tested on one mile oval for first time but I think he is up to the task and watch the teletimer in this race. Use Muscle Diamond and Progression in exotic plays. $100,000 Pace Lou Babic Memorial Freehold Raceway 9th race SATURDAY – The afternoon delight of harness racing hosts 2yo NJ sired final and it will be an interesting battle between Dealt A Winner and Too Darn Hot. I am going with Dealt A Winner as he has been a winner, winning four of five lifetime starts including some Grand Circuit races. Gets tested on half mile track but shows too much speed to lose in here. Use Too Darn Hot and Rock N’ Roll World in exotic plays. $83,250 Pace Bluegrass Stake 2yo Colts Red Mile 7th race SATURDAY – Top rated colt in the nation gets to strut his stuff on the Red Mile’s clay oval. Artspeak puts his six-race win streak on the line but as long as he has returned from rest break in peak form he should be able to crush this field as he has been doing to others all season long. Use Blood Brother and Traceur Hanover in exotic plays. $92,600 Pace Bluegrass Stake 2yo Colt Pace Red Mile 8th race SATURDAY – This will be a great race with top colts going at it. Giving credit to Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach that he has found his niche and will continue his winning ways against tough competition. Use He’s Watching and Let’s Drink On It in exotic plays. $200,000 Trot OSS Final 3yo Fillies Scioto Downs 10th race SATURDAY – Super strong field of fillies for this final and half the field can be the winner. I am going with Turbochargedroxie as this filly has the front end speed needed to lead all the way as she has done in two of her last three starts, just getting nipped at the wire last week. Use Sandys Victory and Anniesbluejeanbaby in exotic plays. $200,000 Pace OSS Final 3yo Fillies Scioto Downs 11th race SATURDAY – While everyone will be watching Crown Time Keeper from post nine, I think that Paydaze On The Way is the horse to beat. She does not win all the time but is in perfect position to get a dream trip to score from. Burke/Kakaley combo has been super sharp and this one could pay a price. Use Crown The Keeper and Shakin Friskie in exotic plays. $200,000 Pace Jim Ewart Memorial Invite Scioto Downs 13th race SATURDAY – Very good field of top pacers from around the nation in this event. I think Sweet Lou needed some rest and should be able to come back to his winning ways and close out the 2014 season with no more losses. Certainly gets tested in here. Use Bigtown Hero and Foiled Again in exotic plays. $86,700 Trot Bluegrass Stakes 3yo Fillies Red Mile 5th race SUNDAY – Too tough to even consider going against Jimmy Takter’s Lifetime Pursuit in here. She is so awesome right now and in this short field she can bide her time to make her move to the front and not look back. Use Cooler Schooler and Bikini So Teeny in exotic plays. $94,100 Trot Bluegrass Stakes 3yo Colts Red Mile 8th race SUNDAY – With no Father Patrick in this division it becomes Nunzio’s race to win. He has been very good all season long and should be able to trot up a storm in here although you still have to watch out for Datsyuk as he looms a threat whenever he races. Use Datsyuk and Hillustrious in exotic plays. $94,100 Trot Bluegrass Stakes 3yo Colts Red Mile 10th race SUNDAY – With the weather forecast calling for sun and warm with no rain all weekend long, the Red Mile’s clay track should be perfect for Father Patrick to put on a trotting clinic in this division. If trainer Jimmy Takter allows Yannick Gingras to cut loose with this exceptional colt the teletimer could explode! Use Auspicious Hanover and Martiniwithmuscle in exotic plays. $86,700 Trot Bluegrass Stakes 3yo Fillies Red Mile 11th race SUNDAY – It won’t be a walk in the park for Shake It Cerry in here but she should still be able to have things her own way. Top filly has had a great season and can cap it off with a world record performance in here. Use Take The Money and Highest Peak in exotic plays.    

The sport's leading three-year-old colt trotter, Father Patrick, will race in the Bluegrass stakes at The Red Mile as the Grand Circuit meet continues on Sunday afternoon. Fifteen colts were entered in the stake, Father Patrick drew into the tenth race and will race for a purse of $93,100.   The Cantab Hall colt from Gala Dream comes in after a resounding success in the Canadian Classic at Mohawk where he dominated the field in 1:52.4 after being outside the entire mile. That win put the pride of the Father Patrick Stable over $1 million in seasonal earnings. He will start from post one on Sunday with regular driver Yannick Gingras aboard for trainer Jimmy Takter.   Also on the card are a pair of $86,700 Bluegrass divisions for the sophomore trotting fillies featuring the potent duo of Lifetime Dream and Shake It Cerry, also racing out of the Takter barn.   Lifetime Pursuit has been nothing short of sensational since her Hambletonian Oaks win at The Meadowlands. She lowered the world record for her age and gender on the mile track in that one at 1:50.4 and has since equaled the world record on a five-eighths track with a 1:51.3 score at The Meadows during her current six-race win skein.   Now a winner eight times in thirteen starts, the Cantab Hall X Gala Dream lass is approaching $1 million in career earnings for owner/breeder Brittany Farms. Yannick Gingras has driven Lifetime Pursuit to all of those successes for Takter and will have the assignment from post two in the fifth race on Sunday.   Shake It Cerry has been a model of consistency over her twenty-two race career with seventeen wins and $1.4 million earned for Solveig's Racing Partners. She was at perhaps her career best in a dazzling Elegant Image score at Mohawk her last start in a personal record of 1:52.1, winning by more than nine lengths.   Shake It Cerry is by Donato Hanover from the prolific producer Solveig. Jimmy Taker developed the family and has trained her throughout her career. Ron Pierce has been aboard last year's divisional champion for virtually all of her starts and will drive from post two in Sunday's eleventh race.   The Allerage Farms Open Pace and Trot did not require elimination races and the horses entered will go directly to the finals on Kentucky Futurity Day, Sunday, October 5.   Among the entrants are the top two horses in the current Top Ten Poll, Sebastian K in the trotting race and Sweet Lou in the pace   Sunday post time is a matinee 1:00 pm. Clubhouse dining is available for all Grand Circuit cards and reservations may be made by calling (859) 233-0814. More details are available by visiting The Red Mile website.   From the press box at The Red Mile  

Saturday night racing at The Red Mile features the top pacers in the land with another eight divisions of the Grand Circuit Bluegrass Stakes. Freshman colts and sophomores of both sexes are on the bill with over $700,000 in purses distributed over the twelve race card.   The Bluegrass two year old pacing colts split four ways with each division of the "Westen Ideal" racing for over $80,000. Division leader Artspeak returns from a brief freshening in race seven after his Metro triumph of last month. Unbeaten in six outings, Artspeak tuned up with a 1:52.4 qualifying win over the track last Friday in anticipation of the Bluegrass.   He wears the target of a favorite here for owner/breeder Brittany Farms, partners Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners. Tony Alagna trains and Scott Zeron drives the son of Western Ideal & The Art Museum.   Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach has been entered in the three-year-old Bluegrass colt stake named for his sire, super-stallion Somebeachsomewhere. The stake drew a pair of nine horse fields and each will race for a purse of $92,600.   Limelight Beach's division reads the tougher of the two off the form as he lines up behind the Magical Acres starting gate next to Meadowlands Pace winner He's Watching and Jug heat winner Let's Drink On It. While the Jug wins were his first of the year, Limelight Beach has been steady throughout and would eclipse the half million dollar mark in seasonal earnings for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 Stable and the Wingfield Brothers. Ronnie Burke trains and Yannick Gingras drives on Saturday.   The filly pacers split nicely into two fields of eight in the Darlin's Delight, each for a purse of $73,300. The first division (race 10) offers a competitive group featuring the return of last year's division leader and Red Mile track & world record holder Precocious Beauty to her home state of Kentucky. The Art Major filly from Precious Beauty was raised by breeder/owner Jim Avritt in nearby Lebanon, KY and seems to thrive on the home cookin'. She'll face a staunch group here for trainer Gregg McNair and driver Brian Sears.   The fun starts at 7:00pm at The Red Mile. Visit The Red Mile website for more information.   From the press box at The Red Mile

The Red Mile will play host to another powerful Grand Circuit card with eight divisions of the Bluegrass stakes drawn for Friday night. The Walnut Hall, LTD two-year-old colt trot required five races to accommodate the forty one entries and freshman filly pacers split three ways in the Crawford Farms.   All of the top trotting colts have been entered for the $393,000 Walnut Hall with Peter Haughton Memorial winner Centurion ATM, undefeated PASS champ Billy Flynn, William Wellwood Memorial winner Habitat, KYSS final winner Cinnabar Hall, American National winner Iron and the NYSS champ Crazy Wow sprinkled throughout the card.   The pacing fillies will race for a total of $287, 600 in the Crawford Farms and are evenly matched throughout the divisions. The last of the three (race 8) appears the deepest on paper with four fillies showing six-figure seasonal earnings thus far.   Bedroomconfessions has had a dreamy season thus far for Stephanie & Myron Bell's Riverview Racing and trainer/owner Tony Alagna. The American Ideal homebred has a pair of wins, five runner-ups and $187, 733 in eight starts with her last two defeats coming at the hand of division leader JK Shesalady who is sitting this one out. Scott Zeron is her regular driver and is listed for Friday.   Bedroomconfessions won't miss her nemesis here but she'll have her hooves full with the likes of Shakai Hanover who has been impressive enough to warrant her recent sale to Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham. She moves from the Carl Jamieson barn to Ross "Croc" Croghan now and leaves from post one with Jody Jamieson retaining the mount.   The field also includes a pair of high dollar earners from the Ron Burke barn in Kays Dragon Lady and Bettor N Better.   Friday's twelve race program gets underway at 7:00pm. The forecast is fine and if you enjoy the very best Grand Circuit racing has to offer, make plans to attend.   From the Red Mile press box

It was announced yesterday by owners Richard and Joanne Young and trainer Chris Ryder that the party is over for world champion pacer I Luv The Nitelife as she has been retired from racing. After attempting to come back from an injury sustained at the end of the 2013 season, owners Richard and Joanne Young made the decision to quit with I Luv The Nitelife on Tuesday. The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover - Lisjune was winless in two starts this year after recovering from a slab knee fracture and atrial fibrillation. "[She] has a few issues we didn't feel she deserved to race with," trainer Chris Ryder confirmed to Trot Insider. "Just a great mare, all heart. Very saddened by her retirement but it is the thing to do." Richard Young purchased I Luv The Nitelife, a daughter of stallion Rocknroll Hanover out of the mare Lisjune, for $60,000 under the name Hard Rock Deo at the Lexington Selected Sale in 2011. Richard Young loves to name his yearlings with something unique and came up with "I Luv The Nitelife" as he has done with other top horses he and Joanne own including Put On A Show.  Now according to the Young's, I Luv The Nitelife will go to the breeding shed next season. "We are going to miss you racing sweet girl!," Joanne Young said, "Oh, but the babies you will make!" As a two-year-old, 'Nitelife' put together a record reading 4-4-1 in 10 freshman starts to bank $682,574 in purses for the Youngs and trainer Chris Ryder. In addition to setting a world record of 1:50.1 in an elimination of the She's A Great Lady at Mohawk Racetrack, she also won the final along with divisions of the Eternal Camnation and Bluegrass Stakes. I Luv The Nitelife was also a runner-up in the Champlain Stake, International Stallion Stakes and Breeders Crown. The O'Brien voters gave her the nod as their choice for Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year in 2012. The voters had no doubt who was the best three-year-old pacing filly in 2013. I Luv The Nitelife won 13 of 15 races last year and $1.25 million en route to divisional honours as Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year in Canada and capturing USHWA's Dan Patch Award in the U.S. Her sophomore triumphs included the Breeders Crown, Fan Hanover, Valley Forge, Lynch Memorial, Jugette, Mistletoe Shalee and Miss New Jersey Pacing Classic. Her 1:48.4 time in the Valley Forge is the world record for a three-year-old filly on a five-eighths-mile track.   For her career, the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Lisjune has won 17 of 27 races and $1.94 million. No female pacer in harness racing history has won more money at ages two and three. "‎Very appreciative of the honors she accumulated," added Ryder. "Very special. She will be impossible to replace." With two world records and multiple stakes under her belt, one of her losses stands out to her co-owner as the race that shows her guts and determination. "Her last race [at three] in the American National," Richard Young told Trot Insider. "She should have lost by 10 and just got beat. One of the most memorable races of my life, and more than likely the race that ended her career." ‎"A mare like 'Nitelife' is as good as it gets, all business," continued Young. "She gave all she had in every race. She didn't wait for things to set up. She forced everyone to alter their style to race her. "If she passes her will to compete, she will be the ultimate broodmare." by Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com with files from Trot Insider

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 31, 2014 - If the pieces all fall into place, the connections of Western Vintage could be sipping champagne on Saturday. the son of Western Ideal is making his return to the races, after being sidelined since late June, in the $225,000 Anthony Abbatiello New Jersey Classic, the fourth of 15 races on the Hambletonian Day program on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at the Meadowlands. The New Jersey Classic and its filly companion event, the $100,000 Thomas D'Altrui Miss New Jersey for fillies, are restricted to New Jersey-sired three-year-old pacers. Both events are sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey. In a well-balanced field, Western Vintage is rated the 5-2 second choice [Doo Wop Hanover is 9-5] and will leave from post two with Brian Sears at the lines. Last season, Western Vintage won five of eight races and earned $316,838. His victories included the $150,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Championship for two-year-old pacing colts and a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at the Red Mile. He finished second in the $648,850 Metro Pace at Mohawk. This all marked the bargain colt - he cost only $7,000 at the 2012 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale - as a potential divisional star at three. Health issues, however, detoured Western Vintage after four starts this spring. "We gave him a break after the Hempt [on June 21] for a couple of reasons," said Perry Soderberg, the colt's co-owner. "One, because he had some really tough races up to that point, and two, his blood work wasn't perfect so we needed some time to improve that. It is a long year and another year after this one, so we want to take care of the horse." Western Vintage opened his 2014 campaign with a New Jersey Sire Stakes win in 1:49.4 on May 17 at the Meadowlands and a week later was second to Doo Wop Hanover in the $100,000 final. Then it was on the road to Mohawk Raceway for the North America Cup elims [he finished fourth] and to Pocono for the Hempt [he was eighth]. Trainer Nancy Johansson qualified Western Vintage twice in July, including a 1:50.3 clocking and five and a half length victory on July 19 in the hands of new pilot Brian Sears. "Well, Yannick [Gingras, who previously drove the colt] has been great, but he has [Jimmy] Takter's and [Ron] Burke's horses to choose from down the road, and they have been better than mine so far this year," Soderberg explained. "I know Brian has JK Endofanera and other options as well, but I am thankful that he wants to drive him now. "All in all, I thought it was time to get the horse used to different drivers," he added. "He has been a bit tricky to drive, but he better get used to different drivers; that's how this business works." Swedish-born Soderberg, who has been evaluating horses since 1986, usually picks out yearlings for others, primarily trainer Jimmy Takter and his owners. But when no one wanted Western Vintage, he purchased the colt for himself for $7,000. Marvin Katz of Toronto bought an interest last October. With $53,890 earned this year, Western Vintage now has a bankroll of $370,728. "Western Vintage is coming in to this race in good shape," said Soderberg. "He qualified well, and I think he is the type of horse that can race good after a break." Post time on Saturday, August 2, 2014 is 12 noon with gates opening at 10 a.m. Admission is $5. The $1 million Hambletonian [Race 13] and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks [Race 12] and the $300,650 John Cashman Jr. Memorial Trot will be featured on the live television broadcast from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network [for Channel Finder - www.cbssportsnework.com]. The program will be hosted by Gary Seibel, Dave Brower and Justin Horowitz. The fields for the New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey with post, horse, sire, driver, trainer and morning line odds: Race 4 - $225,000 ANTHONY ABBATIELLO NEW JERSEY CLASSIC 1-Doo Wop Hanover - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Steve Elliott - 9-5 2-Western Vintage - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nancy Johansson - 5-2 3-Rockeyed Optimist - Rocknroll Hanover - Matt Kakaley - Steve Elliott - 20-1 4-Buckwacker - Rocknroll Hanover - David Miller - Chris Ryder - 9-2 5-Sweet Rock - Rocknroll Hanover - Brett Miller - Wayne Given - 20-1 6-Dancin Hill - Rocknroll Hanover - Scott Zeron - Tony Alagna - 10-1 7-Rock Out - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Steve Elliott - 15-1 8-Card Shock- Cam's Card Shark - George Brennan - Mark Silva - 20-1 9-Beat The Drum - Tell All - Ron Pierce - Staffan Lind - 6-1 10-Rocknroll Reality - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - John Butenschoen - 12-1 Race 3 - $100,000 THOMAS D'ALTRUI MISS NEW JERSEY 1-Ideal Helen - Western Ideal - Marcus Miller - Erv Miller - 10-1 2-Act Now - Western Ideal - Brian Sears - Nikolas Drennan - 3-1 3-Gettingreadytoroll - Rocknroll Hanover - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 2-1 4-My Lady Day - Western Ideal - David Miller - Joe Holloway - 15-1 5-Surfside Sexy - Rocknroll Hanover - Ron Pierce - Ron Burke - 20-1 6-Cut A Deal - Rocknroll Hanover - George Brennan - Nick Surick - 20-1 7-Blixtra - Rocknroll Hanover - Ake Svanstedt - Ake Svandstedt - 9-2 8-Highland Rockstar - Rocknroll Hanover - Mike Lachance - Buzzy Sholty - 20-1 9-Rockingcam Park - Rocknroll Hanover - Tim Tetrick - Ron Coyne Jr. - 8-1 10- Kate Can't Wait - Rocknroll Hanover - Corey Callahan - Ross Croghan - 6-1 By Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ  

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

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