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Creatine sets new track record of 1:52.4 at Scioto Downs in the $25K Open Trot. Creatine shattered the previous harness racing record for a 4-year old horse of 1:54.1 set by Shark Kosmos in 2002. Creatine is a son of Andover Hall out of Berry Nice Muscles. He's conditioned by Bob Stewart for Diamond Creek Racing of Pennsylvania. Creatine started from assigned post five in the field of seven and Dan Noble had the controls. Slated as 9-5 favorite and going off at odds of 3-5, Noble said go when the gates folded. The pair had to work for the top from a stubborn Its Complicated and Josh Sutton. They cleared before the quarter that was trotted in a brisk :26.2. Noble was able to give Creatine a breather on their way to the half that was clocked in :56.1. Boy Meets Girl K and Randy Tharps started their first over bid to apply the pressure down the back side. Southwind Pepino and Sandy Beatty were right in their tow second over. Its Complicated started to tire giving Southwind Pepino a chance to sneak back to the rail. They clocked the three quarters in 1:24.4. Creatine held off the challenge from Boy Meets Girl K, but still had Southwind Pepino to fend off in the stretch. Creatine dug in to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Southwind Pepino and War Cry Hall and Greg Grismore rallied to complete the trifecta. This victory was Creatine's first of the season, but the 12th of his career. He's now banked over $938,000 in just 32 lifetime starts. Betterluvnexttime becomes the fastest mare in the history of Scioto Downs after winning the Filly and Mare Open Pace in 1:50.2. Betterluvnexttime broke her own track record set earlier this year of 1:50.4 and a mark of 1:50.3 set by her stable mate Top Brand. Betterluvnexttime is a 6-year old mare by American Ideal out of Darriwillian. She's trained by Scioto Downs leading trainer, Virgil Morgan Jr for Daniel Mitchell. Josh Sutton had the lines from post eight in the partially assigned field of nine. Betterluvnexttime was the 9-2 morning line third choice and went off at odds of 5-1. Sutton drove her like she was the one to beat. When the started said go, so did Josh. They pushed the gate away and drove for command. Sutton settled in an early third after the opening quarter that was paced in :26 by Sectionline Yankee. She's Shocking settled in the pocket spot for Kayne Kauffman, but they would have the pocket seat for long. Betterluvnexttime and Sutton were underway before the half that was paced in :54.1 and she was able to clear to the top on the backside. Betterluvnexttime had no time back down the pace. She had company from Continual Velocity and Chris Page. They battled to the three quarters in 1:21.3. The duel continued through the stretch and Sectionline Yankee was licking her chops behind the battling pair. The two outstanding mares battled it out and Betterluvnexttime had the winning stride. She beat a game Continual Velocity by a narrow neck and Sectionline Yankee settled for the show spot. This was Betterluvnexttime's fourth consecutive win and her 37th victory in 86 career starts. Racing continues on Saturday (August 31) post time is 6:30 pm. Scioto Downs will host an autograph session prior to post time, starting at 5:45 pm in the grandstand breezeway. Scioto Downs Racino

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 16 - Sebastian K's dominance may be overshadowing his competition, but Creatine is taking steps early in his four-year-old season to be a contender with the older trotters. Creatine and driver Mike Lachance will start from post seven in Saturday night's $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot final. A son of Andover Hall - Berry Nice Muscles, Creatine banked over $800,000 last year as a three-year-old, with his biggest victory coming in the Kentucky Futurity. This season, the Bob Stewart trainee has had to quickly make the transition from age three-to-four to compete with a talented group of older trotters led by Sebastian K In four starts, Creatine has yet to find the winner's circle, but has shown he can hang with the big boys by picking up a cheque in three of his four starts. In the Maple Leaf Trot elimination, Creatine finished second and four lengths behind winner Sebastian K., but the effort pleased his conditioner. "We were very happy with him, Mike (Lachance) actually never pulled the ear plugs," said Stewart following the elimination. "He saw he was going to be second and he was coming back in six days from a very tough trip at the Meadowlands, we couldn't be happier actually." Before the Maple Leaf Trot elimination, Creatine finished fifth in the Hambletonian Maturity, a race restricted for four-year-old trotters only. While Creatine has shown he can compete with the older trotters, Stewart said he would have liked to have seen more opportunities for the four-year-olds to compete against each other, rather than having to jump right in against the heavyweights. "It's very tough (transition from three-to-four)...they should have made that Hambletonian Maturity a series of three races and a final," said Stewart. "They had the money to do it and these four-year-olds would've been able to get their legs underneath themselves a little more." Creatine and the rest of the top older trotters may be wishing their was a stake race without Sebastian K as the "Scandinavian Powerhouse" has yet to be lose in five starts. Stewart said it was bad timing that this was the season he had a competitive older trotter. "It's just unfortunate that he had to come back as a four-year-old the year that Sebastian K showed up, any other year I would feel better about the situation." Heading into the Maple Leaf Trot final, Stewart admits Sebastian K will have to be off his game to get beat and hopes he can find some races down the road to avoid the world's fastest trotter. "To be realistic you don't see him every beating Sebastian K, unless Sebastian K slips some, but he's eligible to everything and hopefully for our sake there are some races at Indiana and a race in Ohio that hopefully Sebastian K won't go to," Sebastian K may hold down the spot as top older trotter, but Stewart is confident that Creatine is good enough to be right there in second. "He's going to hold his own against all the rest of them I think." by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 15 - A stellar 13-race card featuring the $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot has been assembled for Saturday night (July 19) at Mohawk Racetrack. Sebastian K, the world's fastest trotter (1:49), highlights the field of ten for the 63rd edition of Canada's most storied trotting event, the Maple Leaf Trot (Race 9). The eight-year-old "Scandinavian Powerhouse" won his elimination last Friday (July 11) for trainer-driver Ake Svandstedt in 1:52.2. Upon earning the right to select his post position for the final, Svandstedt selected the rail as the starting spot for his prized trotter. Svandstedt, a top horseman in his native Sweden for many years, relocated his stable to North America this season and is in the midst of a successful campaign, thanks in large part to Sebastian K who is a perfect five for five on North American soil. The high point of the season thus far for Sebastian K was a seven-length victory in the Sun Invitational at Pocono Downs on June 28, in which he became the fastest trotter in the history of harness racing with a jaw-dropping mile time of 1:49. Before coming to North America, Sebastian K had victories in top events such as the 2013 Oslo Grand Prix, a heat of the 2013 Elitlopp and the 2012 UET Trotting Masters. The nine rivals who will look to knock Sebastian K off the top of the mountain, include the last two Maple Leaf Trot winners, Mister Herbie ('12) and Market Share ('13). Market Share won the second elimination last week in 1:53 with a last quarter of :26.4 for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Linda Toscano. His connections selected post position two for the final. The five-year-son of Revenue - Classical Flirt is the richest horse in the field with over $3.2 million in career earnings. Market Share followed up his Maple Leaf Trot victory last year with a triumph in the Breeders Crown. His career highlights also include two million-dollar race victories in 2012 in the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands and the Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk. Leading the charge for the local horses will be Mister Herbie, who finished runner-up to Market Share in not only his elimination last week, but also in last year's final. The Jeff Gillis trainee won the 2012 edition of the Maple Leaf Trot in a stakes and track record clocking of 1:50.4 and was last year's O'Brien Award winner as top older trotter in Canada. Mister Herbie will start from post six and will be driven by Hall of Fame driver Steve Condren who won his first and only Maple Leaf Trot in 1988 with Natural Image. The seven other challengers in the field are a group of well accomplished standardbreds. Intimidate, a past Breeders Crown and O'Brien Award winner, will start from post three for driver Sylvain Filion and trainer Luc Blais. Ron Burke, North America's leading trainer, will send out two starters. Archangel, post four, was the 2012 Yonkers Trot champion, while Wishing Stone, post five, has had success in both North America and Europe with victories in the 2012 Copenhagen Cup in Denmark and the 2013 Maxie Lee Memorial at Harrah's Philadelphia. Creatine, last year's Kentucky Futurity winner, will start from post seven for the duo of Hall of Fame driver Mike Lachance and trotting conditioner Bob Stewart. Undercover Strike will leave from post eight and is a Preferred winner at both Mohawk and the Meadows. He is sent out by trainer Tony O'Sullivan and will be driven by Doug McNair. Flanagan Memory, who won last year's Goodtimes, Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final and an O'Brien Award, starts from post nine for trainer Rene Dion and Woodbine/Mohawk's leading driver Chris Christoforou. Modern Family, a multiple stakes winner, will start from post ten for trainer Daryl Bier and will have Ron Pierce, a two-time Maple Leaf Trot winner, in the sulky. The field of ten for the Maple Leaf Trot has combined for 188 career victories and career earnings of $13,837,506. The Maple Leaf Trot undercard will feature four Canadian Breeders Championships (Races 2,3,7,10) for three-year-olds. Trevor Ritchie, a three-time Maple Leaf Trot winning driver ('03 Rotation, '06 Peaceful Way, '07 Equinox Bi), recently announced his retirement from driving. Ritchie will be on hand Saturday night to present the trophy to this year's winner and will be a special guest on Mohawk Racing Live's pre-game show beginning at 6:45 p.m. Post time for Saturday's Maple Leaf Trot card is 7:25 p.m, with the Maple Leaf Trot expected to go behind the gate at 10:05 p.m. Here is the field for the $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot. Race 9 - Maple Leaf Trot - Purse: $603,000 PP/Horse/Driver/Trainer/Morning Line 1. Sebastian K - Ake Svandstedt - Ake Svandstedt - 2/5 2. Market Share - Tim Tetrick - Linda Toscano - 6-1 3. Intimidate - Sylvain Filion - Luc Blais - 12-1 4. Archangel - Jody Jamieson - Ron Burke - 10-1 5. Wishing Stone - Randall Waples - Ron Burke - 20-1 6. Mister Herbie - Steve Condren - Jeff Gillis - 15-1 7. Creatine - Mike Lachance - Bob Stewart - 15-1 8. Undercover Strike - Doug McNair - Tony O'Sullivan - 25-1 9. Flanagan Memory - Chris Christoforou - Rene Dion - 25-1 10. Modern Family - Ron Pierce - Daryl Bier - 20-1 AE: Wheeling N Dealin - Jody Jamieson - Luc Blais - N/A by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

Bee A Magician will try to return to her winning ways when she faces 13 male rivals - including last year's Hambletonian Stakes winner Royalty For Life - in Saturday's $484,850 Hambletonian Maturity for 4-year-old trotters at Meadowlands Racetrack. Last year, Bee A Magician won all 17 of her starts and was named Horse of the Year in the U.S. and Canada. This season, the mare is winless in three races and coming off a ninth-place finish in the Armbro Flight Stakes on June 14 at Mohawk Racetrack. It was her first off-the-board finish since going off stride in her second lifetime start in July 2012. Trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman said Bee A Magician scoped sick following the Armbro Flight. Bee A Magician, who has won 27 of 33 career starts and $2.33 million, prepped for the Hambletonian Maturity with a 1:53.1 qualifier win on June 27, trotting her final quarter-mile in :26.3. She will start the Hambletonian Maturity, to be contested at 1-1/8 mile, from post No. 13 with regular driver Brian Sears. "She qualified really good and she's acting fine, so it looks good now," said Norman, who trains Bee A Magician for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. "I was really happy with her qualifier and Brian thought she was back to her old self, so hopefully we're good. "It was a bit of a shock," he added about Bee A Magician's finish in the Armbro Flight. "I've never seen her stop before. But these things happen. She's never really had any setbacks before, so we weren't used to it. But she got over it, so we're OK. At least we knew there was something wrong." Joining Bee A Magician in the Hambletonian Maturity field are Your So Vain, Sweet Justice, Bambino Glide, Fico, Wheeling N Dealin, Royalty For Life, Flanagan Memory, Spider Blue Chip, High Bridge, Master Of Law, Major Athens, Possessed Fashion, and Creatine. Conditions for the Hambletonian Maturity allowed for up to 16 starters rather than the traditional 10. Royalty For Life, who is making his 2014 debut, won last year's Hambletonian Stakes while Spider Blue Chip was the Breeders Crown champion and Creatine captured the Kentucky Futurity. Wheeling N Dealin was the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. "I think it will be OK; I think we'll be alright," Norman said about facing the boys. "We'll see how some of those colts are." Also on Saturday's card at the Meadowlands are two eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace and one elimination for the Mistletoe Shalee. The first elimination for the Meadowlands Pace features North America Cup winner JK Endofanera. The second division includes He's Watching, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer, and last year's Breeders Crown champion Luck Be Withyou. The top five finishers from each elim advance to the July 12 final. As for Bee A Magician's future schedule, she is being pointed to the Ima Lula Series at the Meadowlands, which is for trotting mares, following the Hambletonian Maturity. "I think I'll try to keep her at home as much as possible, race her close to home," Norman said. "It's a long year and I don't want to over-race her. We'll see how it goes. If we can do some good on Saturday and get some money there, that's a big purse, it would make the rest of the year a lot nicer." Following is the field in post order for the Hambletonian Maturity with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Your So Vain, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt; 2. Sweet Justice, Corey Callahan, Bruce Saunders; 3. Bambino Glide, Marcus Miller, Julie Miller; 4. Fico, Tyler Smith, Staffan Lind; 5. Wheeling N Dealin, Jody Jamieson, Luc Blais; 6. Royalty For Life, David Miller, George Ducharme; 7. Flanagan Memory, Ron Pierce, Rene Dion; 8. Spider Blue Chip, Ron Pierce, Chuck Sylvester; 9. High Bridge, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 10. Master Of Law, Scott Zeron, Frank Antonacci; 11. Major Athens, John Campbell, Rich Gillock; 12. Possessed Fashion, Tim Tetrick, Tom Fanning; 13. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, R. Nifty Norman; 14. Creatine, Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart. by Ken Weingarter, for Harness Racing Communications

Market Share has visited six different states and the Canadian province of Ontario during his award-winning harness racing career, but has never been to Ohio. That will change this weekend. Coming off a world-record performance 10 days ago, Market Share heads to Scioto Downs for Saturday's $200,000 Charlie Hill Memorial for older trotters. Market Share drew post four in a field of 10 and will be driven by Jeff Gregory for trainer Linda Toscano. The Charlie Hill Memorial field also features Arch Madness, Archangel, Creatine, Undercover Strike, Modern Family, Fusion Man, Major Athens, Rompaway Beau, and DW's NY Yank. Toscano said she was "on the fence" whether to go to the race, particularly because Market Share's regular driver, Tim Tetrick, would be unavailable due to commitments in Canada, but made the decision after talking with owner Richard Gutnick. "We sat down yesterday and talked about it," Toscano said. "We made a 'pro' and 'con' list and the only thing on the 'con' list was we're not going to have our driver. But we're very fortunate to have Jeff Gregory in the barn and there's a break from Yonkers and the New York Sire Stakes this week, so he can go and drive the horse. "Our next main goal is to have him as good as we can for the Maple Leaf Trot (in mid-July). I think this race fits his schedule nicely and he seems good. I understand the track is great out there, so we're going to take a shot." Gregory drove Market Share to a 5-for-5 season as a 2-year-old in 2011. For his career, the 5-year-old Market Share has won 23 of 42 races and earned $3.26 million. He was named the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter and the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter. He is owned by Gutnick, TLP Stable, and Bill Augustine. Market Share's victories include the 2012 Hambletonian Stakes and Canadian Trotting Classic, the 2013 Breeders Crown and Maple Leaf Trot, and this year's Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational. In winning the Maxie Lee on May 25 at Harrah's Philadelphia, Market Share trotted history's fastest mile on a five-eighths track, sto "He came out of the Maxie Lee really, really well," Toscano said. "He had a nice easy week last week and should be ready to go." Market Share is not the only star in the Charlie Hill Memorial. Ten-year-old Arch Madness is one of just nine trotters to earn more than $4 million in career purses. He has won 34 of 111 lifetime races, including the 2007 Breeders Crown, 2008 Maple Leaf Trot, and 2011 Oslo Grand Prix. He is a two-time runner-up in the international invitational Elitlopp in Sweden. Archangel and Creatine both won Trotting Triple Crown races at age 3; Archangel capturing the 2012 Yonkers Trot and Creatine the 2013 Kentucky Futurity. Modern Family is coming into the Charlie Hill off a second-place finish in the Cutler Memorial on May 17 and has finished no worse than third in 11 starts this year. He has won five times. DW's NY Yank leads the field in earnings this year, with $171,600, and has exceled on smaller tracks. He has won nine of his last 14 starts around five-eighths-mile ovals and failed to hit the board only once. "It's going to be a good race," Toscano said. "It all goes to promoting the horse and promoting the industry. That's the beauty of the older horses. I think we're going to find that the older horses really develop a following. People really like watching quality horses race. "Years ago, the horse was the star. I'm all about making the horse the star. I believe in it. I love that." Racing in Ohio has enjoyed a resurgence since the introduction of video lottery terminals in 2012 and has attracted some of the sport's best horses for Grand Circuit events. "It's nice to see Ohio is getting back on the map again," Toscano said. "They've always been good fans. Probably the single-biggest turnout every year is the Little Brown Jug, so Ohio has been very good to Standardbred racing. It's kind of fun to be able to pay back a little bit and go out there and race." Here is the field in post order for the Charlie Hill Memorial with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Arch Madness, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Trond Smedshammer; 2. Archangel, Chris Page, Ron Burke; 3. Creatine, Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart; 4. Market Share, Jeff Gregory, Linda Toscano; 5. Undercover Strike, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Tony O'Sullivan; 6. Modern Family, Dave Palone, Daryl Bier; 7. Fusion Man, Dan Noble, Jeff Smith; 8. Major Athens, Tony Hall, Rich Gillock; 9. Rompaway Beau, Don Harmon, Krista Harmon; 10. DW's NY Yank, Ronnie Wrenn Jr., Ron Burke. DW's NY Yank will start from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

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

Another great rivalry has shaped up late this season between the sophomore trotters Creatine and Spider Blue Chip. That match-up figures to be front and center again this Saturday, Nov. 9th when the two diagonally gaited foes meet again in the $235,000 American National 3yo Colt Trot.   Just last Friday (Nov. 1) at Hoosier Park, Creatine avenged his Breeders Crown loss to his main rival by besting him by a head in the $286,500 Carl Erskine Trot in 1:54.3.  Spider Blue Chip had prevailed by a head over Creatine in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Sophomore Trot on Oct. 19 at Pocono, winning that race in 1:53.3 by a neck.   Trained by Bob Stewart and bred and owned by the Diamond Creek Racing Stable of Wellsville, PA, Creatine has been steered in the majority of his outings by Hall of Famer Mike LA chance, and now sports $815,495 in career earnings.   “He came out of the win at Hoosier just happy as a clam,” Stewart said. “Afterwards, we shipped him back to our winter base of Paris, Kentucky.  He’ll be at Odds On Acres on Friday morning prior to his start at Balmoral, because we want to make sure he gets plenty of turn-out time before Saturday’s American National.”   A brown son of Andover Hall, Creatine raced just seven times as a freshman, with all of his pari-mutuel starts coming at Lexington.  He scored three wins, a second and a third—earning $63,020 for his connections—and winning two overnights on The Red Mile clay in early autumn, before capturing the $101,000 Bluegrass 2-Year-Old Colt Final on Sept. 28, 2012 in a seasonal best 1:57.1 with Lachance in the sulky.   “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 after the youngster’s Bluegrass triumph. “We were concentrating on this year and he came back to our expectations.”   Stewart’s patience obviously paid off, as Creatine has missed only two checks all season, and has thus far amassed $752,439 in 16 starts, with eight wins, four seconds and one third.   “We’ve had good luck at Balmoral with our other horses over the years, and this will be the last start of the season for him,” Stewart acknowledged.  “We’re looking forward to racing him next season.”   After having throat surgery in early July of this year to correct a breathing issue, Creatine went on to score victories in a $79,416 Pennsylvania Sire Stake on July 18 in 1:54.4 and his Hambletonian elimination on Aug. 3 in 1:52.4.  He also won a $200,000 Colonial Invitational Trot on Aug. 17 at Pocono in a lifetime best of 1:52.2; then won a $50,000 PASS consolation in 1:53.2 by five lengths on Sept. 13; and a $86,900 Blue Grass division on Sept. 29 in 1:52.3.     The following week he captured the $368,900 Kentucky Futurity Final—the third jewel of trotting’s Triple Crown—in 1:53.2 over a sloppy Red Mile surface. The victory gave Creatine his tenth career  victory and driver Mike Lachance his fourth Kentucky Futurity triumph and his second in a row, as he captured the 2012 edition with My MVP.   “We haven’t made any changes to Creatine for his Balmoral start,” Stewart noted.  “He races in aluminum shoes and the only time that changes is when he races at The Red Mile and we change his shoes to steel.”   “The Hoosier win was great for the horse and great for Mike (driver Lachance),” Stewart said. “I think Mike thought he had the best horse in the Breeders Crown, and he was a bit disappointed to finish second that night.  Now hopefully, we’ll just have a repeat of the Hoosier race at Balmoral.”   Lachance, who was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1995, is no stranger to winning races at Balmoral Park. He ranks tenth in history among all drivers in wins, with more 10,000 and his $189+ million in purse earnings sets him third on the all-time list in that category as well.   Creatine is just the second of four foals out of the Muscles Yankee mare Berry Nice Muscles ($31,906).  He has half-siblings in Strawberry Wine (by Kadabra) 4, 1:56F ($101,285) and Mister Anson (by Conway Hall) 2, 2:00.4H ($99,542).   Stewart, 58, has conditioned the winners of more than $10 million to date, including Dan Patch award winners Andover Hall and Conway Hall, and Angus Hall.   With over one million dollars in his career coffers, Spider Blue Chip will be looking to avenge his loss to Creatine one week ago.  The brown son of Andover Hall was a $60,000 yearling purchase at the 2010 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale by owner David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON.   Besides his Breeders Crown victory in both the final and his elimination (in 1:52.4), Spider Blue Chip has also scored triumphs in the $500,000 Colonial Trot on Aug. 17 at Pocono Downs in 1:52.2, the $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship on Sept. 13 at The Meadows in 1:54.1, and a Bluegrass division on Sept. 29 at The Red Mile in a career best 1:51.3. “This horse is just is so consistent every week,” trainer Chuck Sylvester stressed. “I’m really proud of him. He wants to win and won’t let horses go by. We’ll probably race him next year since he’s a gelding.”   Spider Blue Chip also was impressive even in defeat. He was second by a head to Royalty For Life in the $294,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial at the Meadowlands on July 13, third in the Kentucky Futurity final in 1:52, and fifth in the Hambletonian Final on Aug. 3 after winning his $70,000 elimination in 1:53.4 earlier that afternoon.   “This horse tries every week and he’ll show up,” said Sylvester, 73. “That’s what’s good.   To date in 2013 Spider Blue Chip has $1,084,218 in earnings from 19 starts, with ten wins, three seconds and a pair of thirds. As a freshman, he earned $89,181 from eight starts, winning two, including a PASS.   When he became unruly at the end of his 2-year-old season, Sylvester gelded the youngster, only to discover later that his breaking problem was caused by a foot abscess.   “He popped a gravel in his left hind hoof,” Sylvester said. “If we had known that, we wouldn’t have cut him.”   Sylvester is well known for having a special touch with the trotting gait, as he harnessed both 1987 and 1988 Horse of the Year Mack Lobell to a trio of Breeders Crown victories, and also trained two-time Crown winner Pine Chip. He conditioned Muscles Yankee to numerous wins in 1998, and has won the famed Hambletonian four times (only Billy Haughton, Stanley Dancer and Ben White have won it more times as trainers).   Spider Blue Chip was bred by Olympic show jumping rider McLain Ward, of Brewster, NY and is the second of four foals out of the Muscles Yankee mare Southwind Catlin 2, 1:57.2 ($203,734).  He has half siblings in Depp Blue Chip (by Equinox Bi) 4, 1:58.1F ($16,243) and Mandela Blue Chip (by Crazed, now 2) 2, 2:01.1F ($9,259). Regular pilot and Hall of Fame reinsman Ron Pierce is slated to drive him tonight. by Kimberly Rinker for Balmoral Park  

   Balmoral Park will not only play host to some of the best horses in North America on Saturday Nov. 9th for the American National Stakes ,  but some of the sport’s leading reinsman will also be in Crete to steer the cream of the crop over the one-mile oval.      A pair of $200 million men—Hall of Famers John Campbell and Ron Pierce are slated to drive. This pair will reach half a billion combined in purse earnings—that’s right—HALF A BILLION DOLLARS, in 2014.       While many of Campbell’s accomplishments in the sport came when he was in his 30s and 40s, every single one of Pierce’s Triple Crown or Breeders Crown triumphs—41 total—have all come after his 35th birthday!  Pierce, who trailed Campbell for many years, surpassed $200 million in career earnings while competing at Lexington’s famed Red Mile this September.      Pierce is also the oldest driver to record a driving triple in Breeders Crown Finals, when he did so a few weeks ago at Pocono Downs, at age 57.  He was the first driver to win with a 2-year-old in 1:50, when he steered Badlands Hanover to a 1:50 clocking in the 1998 Breeders Crown at Colonial Downs.  He was also the only driver to defeat world champ Somebeachsomewhere, when he piloted Art Official to victory in the 2008 Meadowlands Pace.      Pierce is also the only driver to go five straight seasons winning either the Meadowlands Pace (2008, 2009, 2001) or the Hambletonian (2007, 2010)—two of the sport’s greatest events, and just missed becoming the only driver in history to win the Hambletonian from post ten in 2002 with Like A Prayer, who finished a neck back of the winning Chip Chip Hooray. Pierce also was the driver behind the sport’s last female Horse of the Year, Rainbow Blue (2004).      Campbell, 58, was the youngest person ever inducted into harness racing’ s Hall of Fame in 1990, and his dominance and presence in racing in untouchable, as he at the top of nearly every statistical list kept by the USTA.  He’s driven the winners of more than $3 million annually every year since 1982, except for 2011, when he drove the winners of $2.5 million.   He currently has $284 million in career purse earnings and 10,613 lifetime wins to his credit.      Campbell is the leading driver of Breeders Crown winners with 43 to his credit and has won six Hambletonians , three Hambletonian Oaks, six Kentucky Futurities, three Little Brown Jugs, and Sweden’s famed Elitloppe, among his endless list of accomplishments.       Campbell and Pierce are also the two winningest drivers in Breeders Crown history with 29 victories each, while Mike Lachance (also here tonight) is in third with 27 Breeders Crown titles to his credit.      Speaking of Breeders Crown triumphs, for the first time in history, the top five ranking North American drivers won every Breeders Crown Final contested this year, on Oct. 19 at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania.  Pierce, Tim Tetrick, and Yannick Gingras each won three Crowns, while David Miller notched two Crowns and Brian Sears a single Crown.       With his lone 2013 Breeders Crown victory, Sears (also here tonight!) extended his streak of winning at least one Breeders Crown race now for 11 straight years.   John Campbell, no surprise, holds the record at 15 years (1984-1988).      Sears has nearly $150 million in purse earnings and was the first driver in history to earn more than $15 million in a single season (in 2005), the same year he drove Rocknroll Hanover and Muscle Hill to Horse of the Year titles, and the same year he set a world record for female pacers with My Little Dragon of 1:48.1.       Ten of Sears’ 24 Breeders Crown wins (all since 2003) have come with 3-year-old trotters (5 fillies & 5 colts each).  He has driven all of trainer Trond Smedshammer’s eight Breeders Crown winners, and is the only driver in history to have won the Hambletonian and the Hambletonian Oaks in the same year, twice—in 2009 and 2013.      Yannick Gingras (he’s here too!) had just one Breeders Crown victory prior to his start in the classic events in 2012.  That lone win, however, came with Southwind Serena in 2008 in the 3-year-old Filly Trot—when he steered her to win and return $102.80 on a two dollar ticket.  Gingras, 34, is nearly $7 million ahead of Campbell in career earnings at the same age.      Gingras also steered the 2012 American National 3-year-old Filly Trot winner Maven, to a 1:54.3 clocking here last year, and had multiple Am-Nat victories in 2011 when he piloted Princess Cruiser to win the 2-year-old Filly Pace in 1:56.1; Looking Hanover to win the Aged Trot in 1:56; and Foiled Again to win the Aged Pace in 1:51.4.      Mike Lachance, 62, who’ll be piloting Creatine tonight in the American National for 3-year-old colt trotters, just finished second with the colt at the Breeders Crown, and won the Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile with the Bob Stewart-trained sophomore in September.       Lachance was the first driver to win six races on a day card and six races that same night, when he did so at Yonkers on June 23, 1987.  One year later, in 1988, he scored his 5,000th career victory at The Meadowlands, with Instrument Landing.      Lachance also became the first driver in history to win a Breeders Crown race at age 55 or older when he won three in 2006 at Woodbine Raceway in Toronto.  He won one Hambletonian (with Dream Victory in 1994) before going into the Hall of Fame in 1995, and three after going in (with Continentalvictory in 1996; Self Possessed in 1999 and Amigo Hall in 2003) and is the last driver to win the Hambletonian with a female, the aforementioned Continentalvictory.      Lachance has won eight American Nationals:  first in 1988 with Matt’s Scooter in 1:55.2 in the 3-year-old Colt Pace; then in 1992 with Baltic Striker in 1:57.3 in the 3-year-old Colt Trot & with Imperfection in 1:59.3 in the 3-year-old Filly Trot & with Crouch in 1:54.4 in the 3-year-old Colt Pace; in 1995 with Divine Victory in 1:57.2 in the 3-year-old Filly Trot; in 1999 with Self Possessed in 1:53 in the 3-year-old Colt Trot; in 2004 with Cantab Hall in 1:55 in the 3-year-old Colt Trot; and in 2009 with Lanson in 1:53.4 in the Aged Trot.      Ohio native David Miller, 48, is the fourth leading money winning driver in the sport’s history and has nearly 11,000 career victories. He is the only driver in history with eleven, $10 million seasons and is the only driver to ever have a Triple Crown and Breeders Crown winner in the same season, in 2003 with No Pan Intended.  He won the first ever Breeders Crown million dollar event, with the mighty trotter Magician in 2000.      This year he’s steered his two fastest career drives: with Pet Rock and Shebestingin, who both paced in 1:47, and was elected into harness racing’s national Hall of Fame this year as well. He was named Driver of the Year in 2003 and is a three-time winner of the Little Brown Jug.  He is also one of only two drivers to have won the Jug and its sister event, the Jugette, the same year.  His ranks among the top five Breeders Crown winning reinsmen, with $8.5 million in Crown earnings.      Tim Tetrick needs no introduction to Illinois racing fans. This Prairie State native has 13 Breeders Crown wins under his belt with only a few weeks away from his 32nd birthday (Nov. 22).  This is the seventh straight year he’ll sit atop the national standings in earnings (only Billy Haughton has ever gone longer; eight years—from 1952 to 1959).    Tetrick has the distinction of being the youngest member of harness racing’s $100 million-earning club, and is the only driver to win a million dollar race on a half-mile track—when he steered Southwind Lynx to win the 2007 Rooney at Yonkers. He’s the only driver in history to win the Meadowlands Pace twice in his first four attempts and if Captaintreacherous is named Horse of the Year, it will be the first time in 28 years that a driver has won that award back to back with a trotter and then with a pacer (last year he was the driver on the Linda Toscano-trained Chapter Seven).  Hall of Famer Bill O’Donnell accomplished that feat in 1984 and 1985 with Fancy Crown and the great Nihilator.   by Kimberly Rinker for Balmoral Park

Schedule of events: Balmoral Park will host eight American-National Grand Circuit stakes events on Saturday (Nov. 9). The card will feature the $275,000 (est.) 3-year-old colt pace, the $250,000 (est.) 3-year-old colt trot, the $200,000 (est.) open pace, the $180,000 (est.) open trot, the $150,000 (est.) 3-year-old filly pace, the $150,000 (est.) 3-year-old filly trot, the $115,000 2-year-old filly pace and the $113,000 2-year-old colt pace. Dover Downs will feature seven sets of Matron eliminations on Sunday night (Nov. 10). There will be two elimination races in the $55,550 Matron for 2-year-old colt trotters and $43,550 Matron for 3-year-old filly pacers. Single eliminations will be held in the $54,750 3-year-old filly trot, the $53,462 3-year-old colt pace, the $51,525 2-year-old colt pace, the $51,075 3-year-old colt trot and the $44,175 2-year-old filly pace. Eliminations were not required for the 2-year-old filly trotters, but a field of eight will go to the post Sunday night in a $46,700 Matron preview. Last time: Jason Bartlett and the New York-bred Ronny Bugatti out-gamed a stubborn Sunfire Blue Chip (Yannick Gingras) on the money, winning Yonkers Raceway's $450,000 final of the Messenger Stakes -- final jewel of the Pacing Triple Crown -- for 3-year-old colts and geldings this past Saturday night. Ronny Bugatti ducked inside in the lane and stopped Sunfire Blue Chip by a head in 1:51.4 -- a track record for 3-year-old pacing geldings. Twilight Bonfire (Tim Tetrick), next-to-last early, rallied for third. Ronny Bugatti, an Art Major gelding trained by Allan Johnson for co-owners Eric Prevost, Bridget McNeese and Tom Haughton, returned $14.80 for his third win in 15 seasonal starts. Charisma Hanover (Yannick Gingras) romped to a stakes record Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $178,684 final of the Lady Maud pace for 3-year-old fillies with the greatest of ease. The final margin was 3-1/2 lengths in 1:52. Certified Ideal managed to hold second from a very loose pocket, with Scandalous Hanover, Handsoffmycupcake and Antigua Hanover rounding out the payees. Charisma Hanover, a daughter of Dragon Again co-owned (as Burke Racing) by trainer Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, returned $2.90 for her 11th win in 17 '13 tries. At odds of 43-1, Dedi's Dragon pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season as he was able to wear down the overwhelmingly favored Captaintreacherous late in the stretch to win the $252,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Nov. 1. Driver Yannick Gingras was able to work out a perfect, second-over trip to get the sophomore colt home in 1:50.4. Notching his fourth win from 20 seasonal outings, Dedi's Dragon established a new lifetime mark with the victory. Dedi's Dragon has now amassed $330,043 for his connections at Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Phil Collura and Tracy Hendler. On a night ruled by upsets, Creatine and Mike Lachance stayed true to course to pull off a slight upset in the $286,500 Carl Erskine trot at Hoosier Park. After finishing second to Spider Blue Chip in the $500,000 Breeders Crown last month, Creatine was able to reverse the charges and use a sharp, front-running effort to hold off a late charge from the recent Breeders Crown champion and score in 1:54.3. Notching his eighth win from 16 seasonal starts, Creatine has now earned $815,459 lifetime for his connections at Diamond Creek Racing. The Kentucky Futurity champion is sired by Andover Hall and has now won 11 of 23 lifetime outings for trainer Bob Stewart. Pet Rock and David Miller followed suit in the $223,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby by holding off Breeders Crown champion Foiled Again late in the stretch to score in 1:50.3. After finishing second to Foiled Again in the Breeders Crown Open Pace, Pet Rock and Miller turned the tables and used a similar front-running effort to get the victory. Virgil Morgan, Jr. trains the 4-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover-Casual Beauty for owner Frank Bellino. Notching his fifth win of the season, the multiple world champion has amassed $880,820 this season. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2013, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Hanover Shoe Farms is the sponsor for the 2013 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,710; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,417; 3. David Miller - 1,058; 4. Ron Pierce - 662.5; and 5. Brian Sears - 654.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,644.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,111.5; 3. Linda Toscano - 468.5; 4. Tony Alagna - 431; and 5. Jonas Czernyson - 422.5. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 368.9; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 346.95; 3. Brittany Farms - 256.8; 4. Frank Bellino - 248.5; and 5. WJ Donovan - 227.75. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Maywood Park and Dover Downs. Maywood will host four Grand Circuit stakes led by the Windy City Pace for 3-year-old colts. Dover will host eight Matron Stake finals for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. by Paul Ramlow for the Grand Circuit  

After being unable to find any clearance and losing by a neck to Spider Blue Chip in the $500,000 Breeders Crown, Creatine and driver Mike Lachance were able to reverse that role and hand Spider Blue Chip a head loss Saturday in the $286,500 Carl Erskine Trot at Hoosier Park. It was as simple as playing catch me if you can. Lachance sent Creatine to the front with Spider Blue Chip (Ron Pierce) on their backs while Creatine cut fractions of :27.2, :57.3 and 1:26.2 to the three-quarters mile marker. Meanwhile, E L Rocket (Yannick Gingras) came first-over at the half and gave cover on the outside to Tirade Hanover (Dave Miller) but they were unable to collar the race leader. Then in the stretch Spider Blue Chip and Pierce mounted their charge at Creatine and Lachance but Creatine proved to be the strong horse tonight and just held on at the finish in 1:54.3. Dewycolorintheline (Mark Macdonald) closed well to be third. Trained by Bob Stewart and bred and owned by the Diamond Creek Racing Stable of Wellsville, PA, it was the eighth win in sixteen starts for the son of Andover Hall. Sent off as the 2-1 second choice in the race, Creatine paid $6.00 to win. By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 29, 2013-Based on the heels of a 27% increase in year-to-date handle, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will offer arguably the best 14-race card in its' 20 year history on Friday, November 1.  Hoosier Park will play host to Grand Circuit racing action for the third time this season and welcome the top rated horses in North America to Hoosier Park as they convene on the seven-eighths mile oval in search of the lucrative purses offered on the 14-race card beginning at 5:30 p.m.  For the first time in its' 20 year history, Hoosier Park will host a standout card that includes the $286,500 Carl Erskine, the $250,000 Monument Circle, and the $223,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. Fresh off his victory in the Breeders Crown final on October 19, the defending Pacer of the Year, Captaintreacherous will once again make his way to Hoosier Park to compete in Friday night's $250,000 Monument Circle stake for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers. The biggest star in harness racing will put his six race win streak on the line as faces nine other rivals and starts from post two for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Tim Tetrick. Older pacers will also be in the spotlight at Hoosier Park on Friday as a field of ten will be sent postward in the $223,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby. In what may be the most talented field ever assembled, the field boasts combined career purse earnings over $16 million and includes three World Champions. Heading the list of entrants in the $223,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby is the richest pacer in the history of the sport, Foiled Again who will start from post six for Hoosier Park's leading trainer, Ron Burke. Joining him is multiple World Champion, Pet Rock who will start from post three for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. The field also includes World Champion, Bolt The Duer who will look to make it back to back wins at Hoosier Park from post two after scoring in the 2013 Dan Patch Invitational Pace earlier in the season. The $286,500 Carl Erskine trot will be highlighted by the 2013 Breeders Crown Champion Spider Blue Chip who will start from the coveted rail position for driver Ron Pierce. Creatine, the 2013 Kentucky Futurity Champion, will look to make amends for a second place finish in the Breeders Crown Final and start from post two in the ten horse field for trainer Bob Stewart. "I am overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of exceptional horses that are coming to Hoosier Park," Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager or Racing, Rick Moore noted. "This is unequivocally the best harness racing card to ever take place at Hoosier Park and we couldn't be more excited to offer this opportunity to racing fans across the country." Racing fans will have the chance, once again, to participate in a special wagering opportunity offered for the 14-race card on Friday, November 1. A $15,000 guaranteed pick-4 pool will be available as part of the Strategic Wagering Program through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park, and the Indiana Standardbred Association. The Pick-4, which offers a 50-cent minimum wager, will begin in the eighth race and will continue through the eleventh race. Approximate post time for the first leg of the wager, the eighth race, is 8:20 p.m. (est.). Free past performances for the Pick 4 races will be available on the USTA website. Expert selections and handicapping tools are also available on Hoosier Park's website.  Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday-Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:30 p.m. The 160-day, all harness racing meet began on April 2 and will be conducted through November 9. Emily Gaskin  

This Week: Breeders Crown eliminations, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. and Hanover Stakes, Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week will get underway on Friday night (Oct. 11) at Pocono Downs with three sets of Breeders Crown eliminations, with a $25,000 purse for each race. There will be a pair of elims in the 2-year-old filly trot and 2-year-old filly pace, plus a single contest for the 2-year-old colt trotters. The Saturday card (Oct. 12) at Pocono will feature seven sets of $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations. The 2-year-old colt pacers will split into a trio of eliminations; the 3-year-old filly trotters, 3-year-old colt trotters, 3-year-old colt pacers, and older mare trotters will have two eliminations apiece; and the older mare pacers and older open pacers will each have a single elimination. Balmoral Park will host a pair of $70,000 (est.) Hanover Stakes on Sunday (Oct. 13) with contests for both the 2-year-old colt trotters and the 2-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2013, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Hanover Shoe Farms is the sponsor for the 2013 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 1,423; 2. Tim Tetrick – 1,284; 3. David Miller - 872; 4. Brian Sears - 598.5; and 5. Andy Miller – 575. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,357.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 937.5; 3. Linda Toscano – 443.5; 4. Jonas Czernyson – 362.5; and 5. Tony Alagna – 359. Owners: 1. Burke Racing – 298.2; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 280; 3. Brittany Farms – 225.1; 4. Frank Bellino – 218.5; and 5. WJ Donovan – 185.75. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and Vernon Downs. Pocono will host all 12 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds and older horses of both sexes and gaits. Vernon will offer the fifth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow for the Grand Circuit  

Bee A Magician, Captaintreacherous and I Luv The Nitelife, who have combined to win 35 of 37 races and $3.67 million this year, lead the list of 156 horses entered Tuesday for the 12 Breeders Crown events at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Eliminations are unnecessary for the 3-year-old filly pacers and Open Trot, which both received nine entries. Eliminations for 2-year-old male and female trotters plus 2-year-old female pacers are Friday at Pocono Downs, with the remaining elims Saturday. Post time is 6:30 p.m. both nights. All 12 finals - with purses totaling $5.6 million - will be Saturday, Oct. 19, at Pocono Downs. Post time is 5 p.m. for the first race. Bee A Magician, a 3-year-old filly trotter, is 13-for-13 this year for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owners Melvin Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee. She enters the Breeders Crown off a win in the Ontario Sire Stakes championship Sept. 28 at Mohawk, which pushed her seasonal earnings to $1.09 million. Other victories this season include the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks and $356,981 Elegantimage Stakes. A daughter of the stallion Kadabra out of the mare Beehive, Bee A Magician is the fastest 3-year-old trotter this season, with a clocking of 1:51 that came in winning the $265,500 Delvin Miller Memorial on July 13 at the Meadowlands. The time is the fastest ever for a 3-year-old filly trotter. Bee A Magician has won 23 of 26 lifetime starts and earned $1.86 million - the most ever for a filly trotter at ages 2 and 3 combined. She finished third in last season's Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly trotters, which was won by To Dream On. Bee A Magician is the second of two eliminations for the 3-year-old filly trotters, starting from post three. To Dream On, who on Sunday won the $205,100 Kentucky Filly Futurity final, is in the second of the two eliminations. To Dream On is one of 12 previous Breeders Crown champions entered in this year's event. Three-year-old colt pacer Captaintreacherous is a nose from perfect this year, with 10 wins in 11 starts and $1.61 million. He is trained by Tony Alagna for the Captaintreacherous Racing ownership group. He heads to the Breeders Crown following his victory Saturday in a $215,500 division of the Tattersalls Pace at The Red Mile. Other wins this year for the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Worldly Treasure include the $980,000 North America Cup, the $635,750 Meadowlands Pace, the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Memorial and the $360,211 Cane Pace. His only loss came by a nose to Sunshine Beach in the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine in a world-record 1:47.4 mile. Captaintreacherous has won 18 of 21 career races and earned $2.53 million. He finished third in last season's Breeders Crown for 2-year-old male pacers. He is in the second of two eliminations for the 3-year-old male pacers and will leave from post four. I Luv The Nitelife, a 3-year-old filly pacer, has won 12 of 13 races this year and earned $968,337 for trainer Chris Ryder and owners Richard and Joanne Young. A daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Lisjune, she most recently won the $154,650 Jugette final at the Delaware County Fair on Sept. 18 for her 11th consecutive victory. Other triumphs include the $384,044 Fan Hanover Stakes, the $350,000 Valley Forge and the $300,000 James M. Lynch Memorial. For her career, she has won 16 of 23 starts and $1.65 million. She finished second in last season's Breeders Crown for 2-year-old filly pacers, which was won by Somwherovrarainbow. Eliminations are unnecessary for the 3-year-old filly pacers, so the final was drawn Tuesday. I Luv The Nitelife will start from post seven; Somwherovrarainbow leaves from post eight. Shebestingin, who on Sunday paced the fastest mile in history by a female pacer when she won a division of the Glen Garnsey Memorial in 1:47, drew post five. The Open Trot, Mare Trot and Mare Pace each have three past Breeders Crown winners. Arch Madness, who makes his record-tying sixth Breeders Crown appearance, Intimidate and Uncle Peter all are previous trophy winners competing in this year's Open Trot. Arch Madness became the ninth trotter in history to surpass $4 million in career earnings when he won the Allerage Farms Open Trot on Sunday at The Red Mile. In the Mare Trot, Cedar Dove, Check Me Out and Maven have won titles, as have Mare Pace contenders Anndrovette, Economy Terror and Monkey On My Wheel. Anndrovette is seeking her third consecutive Breeders Crown, a feat never accomplished in any of the open divisions. Sweet Lou, in the Open Pace, completes the list of previous Breeders Crown champions. The Open Pace also includes Foiled Again, who is the richest pacer in harness racing history, with $5.38 million. Following are the fields with listed drivers and trainers. Elimination purses are $25,000. FRIDAY ELIMINATIONS 2-year-old filly trotters (top four in each elim and fifth place with highest seasonal earnings advance) Division One: 1. Struck By Lindy, David Miller, Nifty Norman; 2. Goddess, John Campbell, Paul Kelley; 3. Designed To Be, Andy Miller, Julie Miller; 4. Shake It Cerry, Ron Pierce, Jimmy Takter; 5. Lifetime Pursuit, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 6. Cantabs Fortune, Rick Zeron, Rick Zeron; 7. Market Rally, John Cummings Jr., Megan Wilson. Division Two: 1. Cooler Schooner, John Campbell, Jim Campbell; 2. Scream And Shout, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter; 3. Harley Momma, Howard Parker, Jim Raymer; 4. Vanity Matters, Yannick Gingras, Jonas Czernyson; 5. Noon Tea Party, Brian Sears, Paul Fusco; 6. Demanding Sam, Paul Macdonell, Scott McEneny; 7. Ruby, Marcus Miller, Erv Miller. 2-year-old filly pacers (top four in each elim and fifth place with highest seasonal earnings advance) Division One: She's Da Bomb, Jody Jamieson, Tony O'Sullivan; 2. Rain Cloud Hanover, Brian Sears, David Taff; 3. Put On A Display, Tim Tetrick, Chris Ryder; 4. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell; 5. Bettor Business, Tim Tetrick, Scott DiDomenico; 6. Southwind Silence, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 7. Ali Blue, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 8. Beach Body, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes. Division Two: 1. Precocious Beauty, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair; 2. JK Molly, Tim Tetrick, Ron Burke; 3. Act Now, Ron Pierce, Nikolas Drennan; 4. Quick Thrill, Jim Morrill Jr., Brewer Adams; 5. Allstar Rating, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 6. Rockingcam Park, Brian Sears, Ron Coyne Jr.; 7. Scandalicious, Andy Miller, Scott DiDomenico; 8. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter; 9. Delightful Dragon, Mike Lachance, Noel Daley. 2-year-old male trotters (top seven advance) 1. Southwind Spirit, Brian Sears, Ron Burke; 2. Expressive Action, Brian Sears, John Grasso; 3. Exodus Hanover, Andy Miller, Steve Elliott; 4. Another Transcript, Corey Callahan, Jerry Silverman; 5. Odds On Amethyst, Tim Tetrick, Robin Schadt; 6. Auspicious Hanover, Charlie Norris, Charlie Norris; 7. Muscle Network, Jody Jamieson, Tony O'Sullivan; 8. Nuncio, John Campbell, Jim Oscarsson; 9. Father Patrick, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter. Byes: Credit Fashion, Don Dorado. SATURDAY ELIMINATIONS 2-year-old male pacers (top three finishers from each elimination advance) Division One: 1. Workandplayhard, Corey Callahan, John Butenschoen; 2. Journeyman, Mike Lachance, Tony Alagna; 3. Let's Drink On It, Ron Pierce, Joe Seekman; 4. So Surreal, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker; 5. Idealbeach Hanover, Jody Jamieson, Mark Ford; 6. Somestarsomewhere, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 7. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell. Division Two: 1. Beat The Drum, TBA, Staffan Lind; 2. Doo Wop Hanover, Ron Pierce, Steve Elliott; 3. Bakersfield, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 4. Melmerby Beach, Paul Macdonell, Brent MacGrath; 5. Crafty Master, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair; 6. Carracci Hanover, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 7. Western Vintage, Yannick Gingras, Nancy Johansson; 8. Some Major Beach, Brian Sears, Tony Alagna. Division Three: 1. Luck Be Withyou, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes; 2. Smack Talk, Ron Pierce, John Williamson; 3. Three Of Clubs, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair; 4. Fort Knox, Scott Zeron, Tony Alagna; 5. Pierce, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter; 6. Ari Allstar, Brian Sears, Mark Ford; 7. Stevensville, Ray Schnittker, Ray Schnittker; 8. Arthur Blue Chip, Randy Waples, Ian Moore. 3-year-old filly trotters (top four in each elim and fifth place with highest seasonal earnings advance) Division One: 1. Royal Assets, Ray Schnittker, Ray Schnittker; 2. Bouncing Bax, Howard Parker, Jim Raymer; 3. Coffeecake Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 4. Thistle Dhu, Brett Miller, Del S. Miller; 5. To Dream On, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter; 6. Frau Blucher, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes. Division Two: 1. Southwind Cocoa, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano; 2. Shared Past, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 3. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, Nifty Norman; 4. Ma Chere Hall, Corey Callahan, Jonas Czernyson; 5. Time To Kill, John Campbell, Ross Croghan; 6. Handover Belle, Mike Lachance, Tony Alagna. Mare trotters (top four in each elim and fifth place with highest seasonal earnings advance) Division One: 1. Bax Of Life, John Campbell, Jerry Duford; 2. Unefoisdansmavie, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 3. Mystical Starlight, Brett Miller, Ross Croghan; 4. D'Orsay, Corey Callahan, Jonas Czernyson; 5. Cowgirl Hall, Brian Sears, Deborah Brunet; 6. Cedar Dove, Ron Pierce, Noel Daley; 7. China Pearls, Paul Macdonell, David Drew. Division Two: 1. Real Babe, David Miller, Mark Harder; 2. Maven, Yannick Gingras, Jonas Czernyson; 3. Check Me Out, Tim Tetrick, Ray Schnittker; 4. Intense America, Mike Lachance, Susanne Kerwood; 5. Win Missy B, TBA, Rich Gillock; 6. Beatgoeson Hanover, David Miller, Nifty Norman. 3-year-old male pacers (top four in each elim and fifth place with highest seasonal earnings advance) Division One: 1. Lucan Hanover, David Miller, Casie Coleman; 2. Sunshine Beach, John Campbell, Mark Steacy; 3. Wake Up Peter, Rick Zeron, Tony Alagna; 4. Fool Me Once, Brian Sears, Mark Austin; 5. Apprentice Hanover, Jody Jamieson, Ben Wallace; 6. Captive Audience, Randy Waples, Colin Johnson. Division Two: 1. Vegas Vacation, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman; 2. Urbanite Hanover, Yannick Gingras, John Williamson; 3. Emeritus Maximus, TBA, Tony Alagna; 4. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Alagna; 5. Sunfire Blue Chip, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter; 6. Beach Memories, David Miller, Brian Brown. 3-year-old male trotters (top four in each elim and fifth place with highest seasonal earnings advance) Division One: 1. Bluto, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter; 2. Dewycolorintheline, Ray Schnittker, Ray Schnittker; 3. Fico, Corey Callahan, Staffan Lind; 4. Deadliest Catch, Ron Pierce, John Duer; 5. Smilin Eli, Tim Tetrick, David Smith; 6. All Laid Out, David Miller, Noel Daley; 7. Possessed Fashion, John Campbell, Tom Fanning. Division Two: 1. Caveat Emptor, Ray Schnittker, Ray Schnittker; 2. Royalty For Life, Brian Sears, George Ducharme; 3. Hamdalla, Jody Jamieson, Riina Rekila; 4. E L Rocket, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 5. Spider Blue Chip, Ron Pierce, Chuck Sylvester; 6. Aperfectyankee, Jim Oscarsson, Jim Oscarsson; 7. Creatine, Mike Lachance, Bob Stewart. Open Pace (top seven advance) 1. Warrawee Needy, Jody Jamieson, Mark Ford; 2. A Rocknroll Dance, Tim Tetrick, Jim Mulinix; 3. Bettor's Edge, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano; 4. Modern Legend, John Campbell, David Drew; 5. Sweet Lou, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 6. Foiled Again, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 7. Golden Receiver, Corey Callahan, Mark Harder; 8. Michael's Power, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman; 9. Bolt The Duer, Mark MacDonald, Pete Foley. Byes: Clear Vision, Pet Rock. Mare Pace (top seven advance) 1. Economy Terror, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes; 2. Rocklamation, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 3. Swinging Beauty, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke; 4. Ooh Bad Shark, Howard Parker, William Wiggins; 5. Anndrovette, Tim Tetrick, P.J. Fraley; 6. Monkey On My Wheel, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman; 7. Krispy Apple, Tim Tetrick, P.J. Fraley; 8. Camille, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 9. Shelliscape, David Miller, P.J. Fraley. Byes: Drop The Ball, Feeling You. FINALS, ON OCT. 19 (no eliminations necessary) $500,000 3-year-old filly pace: 1. Parlee Beach, 2. Mattie Terror Girl, 3. Carols Desire, 4. Authorize, 5. Shebestingin, 6. Aunt Caroline, 7. I Luv The Nitelife, 8. Somwherovrarainbow, 9. Love Canal. $600,000 Open Trot: 1. Market Share, 2. Wishing Stone, 3. My MVP, 4. Guccio, 5. Intimidate, 6. Mister Herbie, 7. Arch Madness, 8. Uncle Peter, 9. Sevruga. by Ken Weingartner for HRC  

The first pair of American National stakes of the season, both for two-year-old trotters, highlight Wednesday’s Balmoral Park card. The sixth race $69,000 American National colt and geldings has a clear-cut favorite while the fifth race $63,000 added money stake doesn’t. The Ron Burke Stable’s Southwind Spirit should be a heavy favorite by post time after opening up at 2-1. The $105,000 yearling purchase has won 3 of his last 4 races and finished third in the other, the prestigious $250,000 Peter Haughton Final at The Meadowlands. Southwind Spirit comes off a career best 1:54.1 mile in a division of the Kindergarten at Lexington and with Mike Oosting at his lines and the two-slot the Muscle Hill colt looks hard to beat. Chuck Sylvester’s Toss Cartwright (programmed 4-1, Trace Tetrick), a three-time season winner including the $37,339 Wilfong stake at the Indianapolis State Fair last month should get plenty of play and so should Dwayne Minor’s Hillustrious (5-1) who dropped at neck decision in his Kindergarten event a week ago at The Red Mile. Among the local hopes are Plesac stake champion Bobby B Breeze (8-1, Todd Warren) from the Roger Welch Stable and Joel Smith’s (10-1, Dale Hiteman) Big Bad Bob, third best in the Springfield Final. In the filly division, Bobby Browner’s Pray For Me (7-2, Dave Magee) was a double stakes winner in Pennsylvania and took third in the $108,050 Kentuckana stake at Hoosier Park. Herroyalhighness (5-1, Trace Tetrick), the fourth place finisher in that same stake, was a $60,000 purchase by trainer Bob Stewart. Muscle Hill (4-1, Dave Magee) is 2-for-2 since joining the Mike Brink Stable and is 2-for-2 at Balmoral for her Norwegian owner Kjeli Magne Anderson who only paid $15,000 for her at last year’s Lexington Selected Sale. Fox Valley Lotus (6-1, John Roberts) had a strong 1:57.3 winning mile in her Springfield championship and it came in only her third career start, her first was a third-place finish in the July 31 Fox Valley Flan. “We got a late start with the filly because she was having breathing problems,” said her trainer Curt Grummel. “I tried a number of things to help her and when I tried what they call ‘The Cornell Collar’ (a throat support device developed at Cornell University), knock on wood, it’s worked.” Grummel’s familiarity with Fox Valley Lotus’s dam Love You More was the primary reason he purchased the filly for Pittsfield owner Dr. Patrick Graham. “We bought ‘Lotus’ for $20,000 as a yearling at last year’s Walker Sale,” said 41-year-old Carrollton native. “What attracted me the most to her was the filly’s family. I raced two of her sisters, Fox Valley Luxury and Fox Valley Lexus. “So far ‘Luxury’ has been the best of the three sisters. She won the Springfield Final, the Land Lincoln Land and another big stake at Balmoral (the Fox Valley Flan) in her first season but never made a start as a three-year-old.  Her career was cut short in 2010 when she developed a couple of bone chips in an ankle. “I stopped racing ‘Lexus’ earlier this year. She had a breathing problem, just like her younger sister ‘Lotus’ but ‘Lexus’ wasn’t able to overcome it and go fast enough to race on the Chicago circuit.” By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

After his big victory in his elimination division of the Hambletonian, Creatine showed racing fans he is for real and he showed them once again with an easy wire-to-wire triumph Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs with a lifetime best1:52.2 victory in the $200,000 Colonial Trot consolation for three-year-olds. Driven by Mike Lachance, Creatine left from post four and the race was all but over. To Dream On (Yannick Gingras) elected to race against the colts and grabbed the two-hole trip at the quarter in :27.2. But as the field came to half mile, Pluto and trainer/driver Jimmy Takter came charging first-over as To Dream On went off-stride at the half mile in :55.3 so Pluto dropped right into the two-hole spot as they raced down the backstretch. By the three-quarters in 1:24, Creatine was firmly in control as Possessed Fashion (Brian Sears) was first-over with Vibe Blue Chip (Matt Kakaley). But coming down the stretch it was all Creatine, who won by three and three-quarter lengths. Sired by Andover Hall, Creatine posted his fourth win of the year and paid $3.00 to win. He is trained by Bob Stewart and was bred and is owned by Diamond Creek racing of Wellsville, PA. Johny Rock and driver Andy Miller made perfect use of the passing lane to capture the $200,000 Battle of Brandywine consolation in a lifetime record of 1:48.3. It was Rockin Amadeus (Yannick Gingras) who shot out of the starting gate to take early command with Johny Rock in the two-hold spot through the opening quarter mile in a speedy :25.4. Sweet Talkin Satin (Tim Tetrick) came first-over at the half in :54.2 and started to pressure the leaders down the backstretch with Olde Time Hockey (George Napolitano, Jr.) following second over. At the three-quarters in 1:21.2, Rockin Amadeus was still in command with Sweet Talkin Satin collaring the race leader. As they straighten down and started down the stretch, Andy Miller shot right into the passing lane with Johny Rock and they passed everyone by to win by three lengths. Sweet Talkin Satin was second with Raockin Amadeus fading to third place. Sired by Rocknroll Hanover, it was the fourth win this year for Johny Rock. He is trained by John Butenschoen and is owned by William Wellwood, Jean Geohlen and Eugene Schick. In the $150,000 Valley Forge consolation for three-year-old pacing fillies, Nikki Beach and driver Ron Pierce made it look easy as the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere led from start to finish and won in a lifetime best 1:50. Pocket-sitting Live Entertainment (Yannick Gingras) was second with first-over Carols Desire (Matt Kakaley) finished third. Nikki Beach held the field at bay the entire mile and won by two and one-quarter lengths for her third victory on the season. She is trained by Tony Alagna and is owned by Brittany Farms of Versailles, KY. By Steve Wolf

East Rutherford, NJ – Creatine, a 5-1 mild long shot, was given an alert drive by Mike Lachance and easily captured the 8th race $70,000 second elimination division of the Hambletonian with a 1:52.4 victory. He paid $13.80 to win. Leaving strong from post eight, Creatine and Lachance went right out and took the early lead away from Wheeling N Dealin (Sylvain Filion) and then got down to business of cutting the mile with quarters in :27, :55 and 1:23.4. Wheeling N Dealin stayed right on their back as Aperfectyankee (Jim Oscarsson) came first over late but could not catch up to the race leader.  Lachance had no trouble coming down the stretch Creatine went on to win by two open lengths. Wheeling N Dealin was second with Aperfectyankee third and also having a chance to make the final was fourth place finisher Dontyouforgetit (Yannick Gingras). Trained by Bob Stewart, it was the third win this year Creatine, a son of Andover Hall, who is owned by Diamond Creek Racing of Wellsville, Pa.  “ I know my horse,” Lachance said, “And he can be good and has been good, but not perfect. His last two starts have been good but he was at his best today.” by Steve Wolf  

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