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In the 1980s there were a number of memorable race track confrontations on the local harness racing circuit and one that has always stuck out in my mind came in the latter part of 1988 at Sportsman’s Park. It was the $384,000 American National on the first Saturday of November, a 3-year-old pacing stake that was billed nationally as the “Showdown of the Tear. A victory by Matt’s Scooter would clinch 3-year-old of the year honors and put the Direct Scooter colt in strong positon to win Pacer of the Year Honors. However the task wasn’t going to be easy for Matt’s Scooter. All the big guns in the sophomore division came to town and each one wanted to leave with the winning $192,250 check Unfortunately the weatherman didn’t co-operate on November 5, 1988. The evening was very chilly and the track was sloppy from a steady day-long rain but that didn’t put a damper on the race or the enthusiasm of a jam-packed crowd in attendance at the Cicero, Illinois facility. Matt’s Scooter and driver Mike Lachance earlier that year became the fastest harness horse in the sport’s history with a 1:48.2 time trial at Lexington, smashing the old record of 1:49.2 set by the great Niatross 8 years earlier. In The American National showdown Lachance got Matt’s Scooter to the top on the rain-soaked racing strip and put away a bid from Camtastic, one of his chief rivals, at the three-quarter pole. He then held off a spirited rally from another major rival, Albert Albert, finishing 1 and 1/2 lengths ahead in the 1:55.3 mile in the slop. Matt’s Scooter would go on to earn $1,783,588 in his second season winning 11 of 22 starts with 7 seconds and 2 thirds, failing to hit the tote board only once in 1988, earning both Three-Year-Old and Pacer of the Year honors. A season-later as a 4-year-old Matt’s Scooter was named the 1989 Harness Horse of the Year when he captured 23 of 30 starts. often against the very best pacers in the U.S. and Canada for trainer Harry Poulton while adding another $1.14 million to his bankroll for his Canadian owners Illa Rumpel and Charles Juravinski. Matt turned in at that time the fastest mile ever in Canada when he captured the Mohawk Gold Cup in 1:51. He also won the Breeders Crown, William Haughton Memorial, Driscoll Free-For-All, and legs of the U.S. Pacing Championship, George Morton Levy Memorial, and Graduate Series. In a 1989 media interview his trainer Harry Poulton had this to say about Matt’s Scooter: “He never really did anything bad. He didn’t break any carts, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. He was always bucking, kicking or doing something. We shipped him home 12 hours one day, and the next day he was on his hind legs in the yard. I don’t know where he got his energy.” Matt’s Scooter was retired at the end of his 4-year-old campaign and went on to be an splendid stallion. In his 22 years at stud—all but one standing at Perretti's flagship farm in New Jersey—Matt’s Scooter sired the winners of more than $76.3 million, with five millionaires. His greatest legacies as a sire were Mach Three (1:49, $2,376,700), who won the 2002 Meadowlands Pace and produced the great Pacer of the Year and world record holder Somebeachsomewhere (1:46.4, $3,221,299), Royal Mattjesty (1:48.4, $1,840,681); the 1996 Three-Year-Old Filly of the Year Mystical Maddy (1:50 $1,436,325) and His Mattjesty (1:50 $1,038,861). As a broodmare sire, Matts Scooter's credentials include the million-dollar winning mares Glowing Report, Economy Terror, Yellow Diamond and Drop The Ball. The horse was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 1992 and into the U.S. Living Hall of Fame in 1996. Matt’s Scooter was euthanized on June 30 of 2014 at the age of 29. 1989 Breeders Crown 1998 Meadowlands Pace 1998 Confederation Cup By Mike Paradise The Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association

His list of horses the he has either owned or been involved with racing, breeding or otherwise, reads just about like a Who’s Who of harness racing greats. There is Nihilator, World Champion, Horse of the Year and still the richest pacer of all time with $3.2 million...Camtastic—Pacer of the Year and winner of over $2 million...these horses are closely associated with Northwood Bloodstock owner and president Bob Boni, who selected the horses and managed the racing stables that campaigned these great superstars and many other prime-time players in the Standardbred industry. Bob manages his Northwood Bloodstock Agency, Inc. with a "hands-on" approach and experience gleaned from over 35 years in nearly all facets of the Standardbred industry. “The way the cycle is now in my business,” said Bob Boni, “there is no “down time” except maybe during Christmas week. We just finished working with the Standardbred Sales Company and their Meadowlands sale and now we move on to getting all the yearlings set for Harrisburg. Stall assignments, catalog has gone to press, videos being done and before you know it’s sale time and once that is over then there is the January sale at the Meadowlands coming right up. It keeps going and going. “Then between all the sales,” Bob explained, “There are stallion deals, broodmares and racehorses in private sales that also needs to be handled. It’s never ending.” Bob started out at Pine Hollow Stud Farm and continuing with management roles at Dreamaire Stud, the Wall Street Racing Stable and North American Sales Co., Bob has lent his expertise to both the breeding and racing industry on many fronts. He has also served as a consultant to the Tattersalls Sales Co. in inspecting yearlings for their annual Select Sale. Bob's strong background in the study and evaluation of both pedigrees and conformation, coupled with his marketing and promotional skills, has helped propel Northwood Bloodstock into its position as one of North America's largest and most respected bloodstock agencies. There are not many major or minor race events, sales, qualifiers or social gatherings that Bob is not in attendance at throughout North America. “I try not to miss many major events,” Boni explained, “But because of computers I can watch any race live or via replay so I don’t have to jump in my car and drive to Harrah’s or Pocono as much as I use to. “What I see now that has changed the way we do business over the past 15 to 20 years,” Bob explained, “is the way we can do business due to technology. We use to labor over the Sire and Dams books, looking up and researching horses. Now we can do it with the click of a mouse. We can watch any race replay and we do not have to wait for the mailman to bring us our horse magazines so we can catch up on events from the prior week or call the USTA’s hotline for race results every morning like the old days. “Now I think we have even a bigger workload due to advance technology,” Bob said. “Everyone thrives on information and now you have to make sure you have it ready at your fingertips if someone asks. If you are not electronically set up to get this information ASAP then you can’t do your job properly. It has created more of a workload but it is worth the effort. “If you are the first one to do something unique and give special access to your customers,” Bob explained, “You will always do well in this business. Back in 1976 I remember in that same year both Hanover Shoe Farm and myself, working for Pine Hollow, started shooting video tape of yearlings for the sales. “I went to a company called Edwar Video and gave them a $10,000 deposit,” Bob said, “Because they were worried if we broke their equipment. I also learned to really appreciate those news cameramen of the times because carrying that camera on your shoulder was like carrying a piece of furniture. And then you had a battery pack strapped around the waist. But boy did it make a difference at the sales. It revolutionized how we sell horses. “It was amazing that both I and Hanover came to Harrisburg with the first yearling videos,” Bob said. “We both had video of our yearlings and no one else had it. You would have had to go to the farms to these yearling and now you see them in action right at the sales. “Tony Leonard, the world class equine photographer,” Bob said, “Was the one who first suggested it. He would come to Pine Hollow to take photos for us and he told me how at a party for some Thoroughbred people he saw someone made up a video tape of their horses racing and that I should consider doing it for the yearlings in action. “We became the very first outfit to ever do it for the Standardbred Industry for races too. The very first horse was Destin Grade and he was bought by Vic Sobolewski of Vijo, Inc. We brought in a TV and the VCR and the horse had won the night before at Roosevelt Raceway. We showed that tape and turned up the sound and everyone came to see where the race call was coming from. We had lots of people watch this horse win the night before and he brought more money that I thought he was worth. “So today it is not uncommon for someone to come and have already watched ten yearlings on video online,” said Bob, “They may ask to take them out of the stall to see them close up and then watch the video again. Information plays such a big role in today’s market and you must be up on everything to stay ahead of the game.” If you are interested in purchasing any horse or seek information about a stallion or broodmare prospect, make sure to visit or give Bob Boni a call anytime at (201) 863-2082. By Steve Wolf, for

In the spring of 2013,one of the most talked about horses in the North Island was the Andrew and Lyn Nea trained gelding Beyond The Silence. The son of Courage Under Fire had won five of his first nine starts along with a couple of placings and had impressed many seasoned observers with his high speed and stamina. On the strength of those performances the decision was made by his connections to trek south for the PGG Wrightson $50,000 sales race at Kaikoura and from there to Cup week at Addington. A near enough sixth at Kaikoura was followed by a poor ninth on Cup Day and Beyond The Silence returned to the North Island to rest and lick his wounds. A series of workouts had Beyond The Silence well primed for his new campaign when he stepped out at Alexandra Park in Auckland tonight. Sent straight to the front from barrier three by Lyn Neal, he cruised along in front for a lap before handing up to the favourite, Russley Haste with 1200 meters to go and from there it was just a matter of zooming up the passing lane for an impressive win over the stablemate Who Dares Wins who also used the passing lane to great effect. The time for the 2200 meters in the very windy conditions was only 2:46.3, a mile rate of 2:01.6 but they scooted home from the 800 in 56.6 and the 400 in 27.2. From a Camtastic half sister to the former smart Fred Fletcher trained pacers Roymark ($122,461) and Precious Romance ($62,015), Beyond The Silence belongs to the family of the imported No Nukes mare Romantic 11. Raced by the Neals with the estate of Lyn's father Frank Bebbington, Beyond The Silence looks to have a big future in front of him judging by tonights performance. Harnesslink Media

The $200,000 WA Derby on April 11 is shaping up as an enthralling two-horse showdown between exciting stablemates Elegant Christian and Machtu after the New Zealand-bred three-year-olds had the crowd at Gloucester Park on Friday night in raptures as they obliterated the opposition in the $40,000 Caduceus Club Classic. Master trainer Gary Hall sen. produced Elegant Christian in superb condition for his first appearance for six months and the big, powerful son of Christian Cullen gave further convincing proof of his enormous potential with a magnificent all-the-way victory. But Elegant Christian, favourite at 2/1 on, was fully tested by Machtu, the 5/1 second fancy who started from barrier four on the back line. Machtu settled at the rear before Gary Hall jun. set him alight towards the end of the first circuit to move into the breeze 1500m from home. Clint Hall used Elegant Christian's sparkling early speed to dash the gelding straight to the front from the No. 3 barrier. The first two 400m sections of the final mile went by in moderate times of 31.1sec. and 30.9sec. before the stablemates became engaged in a thrilling battle for ascendancy over the final circuit when sizzling quarters of 27.7sec. and 27.6sec. left their rivals floundering. Machtu tried valiantly to gain the upper hand, but Elegant Christian responded to every challenge and won the 2536m classic by 2m at a 1.58.5 rate. There was a gap of more than eight lengths to the third placegetter, Mister Jadore, with a further length to Tasmanian Bromac in fourth place. This meant that Elegant Christian remained unbeaten after five starts and that Machtu's winning sequence of six had been brought to an end. "It was an outstanding effort," said Clint Hall. "Elegant Christian is a special horse. He couldn't shake off Machtu, but he only does what he has to. If Machtu had come at us again I think that Elegant Christian would have dug deep and held him off. "If Machtu had led tonight and Elegant Christian had sat outside of him I couldn't have beaten him. I looked back after the finish and there was a bit of a gap between second and third, and that's a bit exciting." Elegant Christian, the sixth foal out of English Elegance, a New Zealand mare by American sire Camtastic, was purchased as a yearling for $27,000 and should prove a wonderful moneyspinner for Karen Hall, Neven Botica, Garry Ralston, Glen Moore, Mark Congerton, John Burt, Andrew Curran and Ross North. His five wins have netted $58,265 in prizemoney. Friday night's victory gave Hall sen. his fifth success in the Caduceus Club Classic. He was successful with The Falcon Strike (2001), Ulrich (2004), Gracias Para Nada (2012) and Northview Punter (2013). Apart from Elegant Christian and Machtu, Hall has several other smart three-year-olds, including Pelusiac, High Courage, Eyre Crusher, Classic American, Courage Rules, Avalon Bromac, Get Outta Eyre, VC Manoeuvre and the talented filly Majorly Foxy Styx. RED SALUTE PASSES HIS ACID TEST WITH FLYING COLOURS West Australian-bred five-year-old Red Salute stamped himself as a genuine open-class performer when he set the pace and scored an impressive victory in the $21,000 HBF Run For A Reason Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "This was his acid test tonight," said delighted reinsman Chris Voak. After Red Salute had finished second to David Hercules at his previous start a fortnight earlier Voak had told trainer Ross Olivier and the gelding's owners Denise Trobe, Jeanine Diederich, Adrian Staltari and Anthony Jones that it was the first time he had felt like a group 1 horse. "He stepped up and followed a fast speed in that race and tonight we were willing to lead and cop the pressure to see how he would handle it," Voak explained. "But thankfully we didn't have to do that." Red Salute, with the distinct advantage of starting from the prized No. 1 barrier, was a heavily-supported 5/4 favourite, with WA Pacing Cup winner and smart last-start winner Hokonui Ben's tote price easing from 10/9 on to 2/1. Red Salute easily won the start and Hokonui Ben, from barrier four, raced three wide for the first 300m before Aldo Cortopassi restrained the gelding to the rear after failing in an early bid to get past Red Salute and Passion Stride (breeze) into the lead. This enabled Voak to get Red Salute to relax and amble through the first quarter of the final mile in 31.6sec. The moderate pace left Cortopassi little or no option but to send Hokonui Ben forward and the seven-year-old began a three-wide move with 1000m to travel. After a third quarter in 29.8sec., Red Salute sprinted over the final quarters in 28.2sec. and 28.5sec. Red Salute went on to defeat stablemate and 7/1 chance Sensational Gabby, who trailed the leader throughout before finishing fast. Famous Alchemist (45/1) was seventh at the bell and flew home, five wide, to snatch third place from Hokonui Ben. Red salute rated 1.56.9 over the 2130m journey and took his record to 15 wins and 13 placings from 51 starts for stakes of $178,289. "With Aldo baling out early with Hokonui Ben, it helped us," Voak said. "I expected to cop a lead time of 36.5sec. If it was any faster I thought that none of the three of us (Red Salute, Hokonui Ben and Passion Stride) could win the race." The lead time was 36.5sec. and then being able to get a soft first quarter was ideal for Red Salute. "With 400m to travel and with Hokonui Ben and Passion Stride struggling, the only danger was the horse on my back, and this was stablemate Sensational Gabby," Voak said. "I couldn't hold Red Salute's momentum any further round the corner, so I just cut the ribbons at the top of the straight, and he was good enough to hang on." OUR ARLINGTON COMES FROM LAST TO END LOSING SEQUENCE OF 19 Former Victorian performer Our Arlington went into the Marandoo Boys From Rio Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night with a losing sequence of 19 and the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line. But this did not deter his admirers who rallied to support the six-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding from an opening on-course tote price of 12/1 to start a warm 7/4 favourite. Clint Hall restrained Our Arlington at the start and the gelding settled down in last position in the field of eleven while Vance Stampalia had 6/1 second fancy Shifting Sand bowling along in front. Our Arlington started a three-wide move 1200m from home and this flushed out Mighty Flying Thomas, which gave the favourite a perfect trail. Mighty Flying Thomas moved to second at the 400m after a 28.5sec. third quarter. Our Arlington sustained a powerful sprint to charge to the front 100m from the post and he won by a half-length from the fast-finishing Little Boy Blue (7/1), with 25/1 chance The Feather Foot rattling home, out wide, from ninth on the pegs at the bell. The winner, making his fourth appearance in WA, rated 1.56.9 over the 2130m. He had not been successful since his win in the $25,000 Hamilton Cup in Victoria in January 2013. He won twice from three starts as a three-year-old in New Zealand in March 2011 and then raced 50 times in Victoria for 11 wins and 12 placings. He now has earned $131,267 from 14 wins and 14m placings from 57 starts. By Washington VC, Our Arlington is out of Holmes Hanover mare People's Princess, who was unsuccessful from ten starts before she produced Hot Night In Paris (129 starts for 11 wins, 26 placings and $85,584) and The Forger (78 starts for 11 wins, 18 placings and $91,650). Our Arlington is also related to former star Roydon Glen, who amassed $463,244 from 22 wins and 15 placings from 56 starts. TURVEY WEAVES HIS MAGIC WITH OUTSIDER HOKURI HANDRAIL Nathan Turvey produced a masterly exhibition in the sulky to land 63/1 outsider Hokuri Handrail an easy winner of the 2130m first heat of the Caduceus Club Come Up And Join Us The Clarke Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hokuri Handrail, placed only once at his previous 15 starts, was written off by most punters, who gave him little hope from the No. 5 barrier on the front line. In an open betting race punters pinned their faith on Lovers Delight (3/1), Adda Paternal Suit (7/2), Code Red (6/1), Rocky Marciano (13/2) and Lord Lombo (7/1). Adda Paternal Suit was first out from the inside barrier and Hokuri Handrail was trapped three wide for the first 200m before Turvey restrained the gelding and cleverly eased him to the pegs in fifth position. Almost immediately Turvey eased into the one-wide line. But then 150m later he angled Hokuri Handrail back to the pegs. Justin Prentice then made an early move after 550m, easing 14/1 chance Braemoor from the one-out, two-back position to start a three-wide move which saw him take up the breeze. Then Braemoor received cover when Aiden De Campo moved Lovers Delight to the outside of the pacemaking Adda Paternal Suit. At the bell Hokuri Handrail was tucked away in fifth place, three back on the pegs, covered by Braemoor. But Braemoor momentarily dropped the bit and Turvey was able to get Hokuri Handrail off the pegs and force Braemoor three wide 700m from home. Braemoor sustained a strong three-wide burst to take the lead 125m from the post before Hokuri handrail charged to the front in the final 90m to win by 5m from Lord Lombo, who was eighth at the bell and thundered home, seven wide. Braemoor was third and Rocky Marciano was an excellent fourth after finishing strongly from last in the middle stages. Hokuri Handrail, trained at Baldivis by Kristie Morrone, struck a purple patch in the first half of last year when he won ten times from 11 starts in the space of four months. He now has earned $117,356 from 17 wins and ten placings from 60 starts. SMOOTH CAESAR IS PROVING A BARGAIN AT $10,000 Giant pacer Smooth Caesar, recognised for much of his career as a big amiable gelding who refused to do his best, has turned the corner in remarkable style since being claimed for $10,000 last November. He again revealed his new-found strength and speed when Pinjarra trainer Kim Young drove him to a splendid victory in the 2130m Caduceus Club Positive For Pacing Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Since entering Young's stables after being claimed on November 15 by Marie Bingham, the eight-year-old has had 18 starts for three wins, five seconds and two thirds for earnings of $31,503. Friday night's win boosted his record to 84 starts for 12 wins, 22 placings and $99,557 in prizemoney. Smooth Caesar started from barrier five on the front line and raced three wide for the first 500m before getting to the breeze outside the pacemaker and 9/4 favourite Myouri. The well-fancied Galactic Galleon settled down in the one-out, two-back position before Colin Brown started a three-wide move 570m after the start. Galactic Galleon moved to the breeze and gave Smooth Caesar the one-out, one-back trail 1300m from home. Galactic Galleon took the lead with 270m to travel before being overhauled by the fast-finioshi9ng Smooth Caesar 25m from the post. The winner rated 1.58.3. Despite winning the previous Friday night and then finishing a good third at Pinjarra the following Monday, Smooth Caesar was neglected by punters and started at 201/1. "We tried to change his racing pattern and finally he has caught on," Young said. "He's finishing strongly now." He explained that Smooth Caesar was kept out three wide in the early stages because Kyle Harper, driving Im Clean Cut, was having difficulty in restraining his horse in the breeze because he was kicking a wheel and was fired up. SOUTHERN LEGACY COMPLTES A TRAINING DOUBLE FOR Justin Prentice Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice has no regrets that he accepted an offer two years ago from Pinjarra horseman Ray Grantham to lease unraced three-year-old filly Southern Legacy. Southern Legacy has proved to be a wonderful acquisition for Prentice and when Kaiden Hayter drove her to a smart all-the-way win in the 1730m The West Australian Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night she boosted her earnings to $81,131 from six wins and ten placings from only 24 starts. The win completed a training double for the 25-year-old Prentice, who was successful earlier in the program with Jezalenkoubeauty. He also trained and drove third placegetters Braemoor and Mister Sarkozy and Tasmanian Bromac, who finished fourth in the Caduceus Club Classic. Prentice engaged Hayter, his stable foreman, to drive Southern Legacy in order to receive a concession for a junior driver. This prevented Southern Legacy from automatically being drawn an outside barrier. Southern Legacy drew the prized No. 1 barrier and Hayter made the most of this advantage and he rated the five0-year-old well in front. After opening quarters of the final mile in 30.1sec. and 31.5sec., Southern Legacy sprinted over the final sections in 28.7sec. and 28.6sec. Southern Legacy rated 1.58.1 in defeating 7/1 chance Blue Jean Baby by a half-length, with 2m back to La Stella Del Mare (11/1) in third place. "She has been a most consistent performer," Prentice said. "She now has backed up three weeks in a row. I normally space her runs and try to keep her racing against fillies and mares." NUCLEAR BUNNY IS JUST A ONE-TRICK PONY Ace reinsman Colin Brown describes WA-bred six-year-old Nuclear Bunny as a one-dimensional pacer who refuses to do his best unless he races in the lead. Nuclear Bunny was drawn to lead in the 1730m Make Smoking History Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and astute punters rallied to the cause and the gelding who boasted a losing sequence of 21 was sent out a strongly-supported second favourite at 7/2 behind the polemarker Stealthy Shannon (3/1). Nuclear Bunny began speedily from barrier three and surged straight to the front, giving Stealthy Shannon an ideal passage behind the pacemaker. A first quarter of the final mile in 28.7sec. was followed by sections of 31.9sec. and 29.2sec. before Nuclear Bunny sprinted the final 400m in 28.8sec. and defeated Stealthy Shannon by just over a length, rating 1.57.8 Nuclear Bunny, trained at North Dandalup by Vivienne Moran, had not been successful since Brown drove her to an all-the-way win over 1700m at Gloucester Park on December 21, 2012. He then had managed only one placing from his next 21 starts. He won at his first three starts, all at Harvey, as a three-year-old in 2010-11. He had 15 starts in Victoria in 2012 for four wins --- two at Warragul and one each at Geelong and Cranbourne. Nuclear Bunny's dam Shoalwater (by What's Next) won at Narrogin and Gloucester Park in 2003. Shoalwater is out of Tasmanian mare Crystal Wrist, who had 91 starts for 13 wins, 18 placings and $64,699. Crystal Wrist won ten times in Victoria and three times in WA. Brown drove her only once ---m for her final victory, in an M1 event at Gloucester Park in April 1996. Crystal Wrist then produced five winners, including Hilton Mile High (1156 starts for 13 wins, 23 placings and $80,949) and Hilton Fly High (100 starts for 20 wins, 20 placings and $267,095). "There was some talk about him being retired recently, Brown said. "But we saw this race coming up and thought he could draw (favourably) and could lead. And he showed that tonight. He just loves it in front and he simply doesn't try unless he's in front." Nuclear Bunny now has earned $47,110 from ten wins and five placings from 51 starts. TALK IT UP GIVES NEW OWNERS A REASON TO CELEBRATE Recently-elected Gloucester Park Harness Racing committeemen Laurie Kennedy and a handful of friends celebrated in style at Gloucester Park on Friday night when veteran pacer Talk It Up stormed home to cause an upset by beating 2/1 on favourite Real Hammer in the 2130m 25 Years And Still Going Strong Pace. They had outlaid $10,000 to claim the nine-year-old in the last week of December and the gelding has earned his new connections $16,565 from this win and two placings from eight starts for his new trainer Barry Morrison. Talk It Up was an 8/1 chance from barrier two on the back line and his win completed a double for reinsman Nathan Turvey, who had been successful earlier in the program with brank outsider Hokuri Handrail. Real Hammer was smartest into stride from barrier four on the front line and Robbie Williams had him in front after 120m. After opening quarters of the final mile in 30.9sec. and 30.8sec. Real Hammer looked very hard to beat. But he wilted slightly after final quarters in 29sec. and 29.3sec. to lose by a half-head to Talk It Up, who finished fast after enjoying an ideal trail ibn sixth place, one-out and two-back. Talk It Up went four wide on the home turn and finished strongly to get up in the final stride. Robbery, second fancy at 6/1, finished gamely to be a head away in third place. Talk It Up, who ended a losing sequence of 11, has raced 116 times for 13 wins and 44 placings for stakes of $113,420. JEZALENKOUBEAUTY GIVES PRENTICE A GOOD FEELING "In the preliminary he felt like a different horse and when he gets strong and feels good he normally goes good," said Justin Prentice after driving 10/1 chance Jezalenkoubeauty to a convincing victory in the first heat of the 2130m Caduceus Club Members Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "In the preliminary I thought I might have a different horse tonight than the one I've had for a while." This feeling gave Prentice the confidence to go forward at the start from barrier five on the front line. Jezalenkoubeauty raced three wide in the early stages before getting to the breeze, with 13/4 second fancy Reminder Call setting the pace. Boofshalfbrother started a three-wide move 1200m from home and moved to third, out three wide, at the bell, with 2/1 favourite Truckers Buckeroo poised to strike in fifth position in the one-wide line. Truckers Buckeroo loomed as a danger approaching the home turn, but when third on the corner he hit a wheel and broke into a gallop. At the 250m mark Jezalenkoubeauty was hard under the whip and appeared most unlikely to figure in the finish. But Prentice continued to drive the gelding hard under the whip. He responded and got to the front in the final 80m to win by just over a length from outsider Senator Whitby, who finished solidly from the rear. Jezalenkoubeauty was purchased for $12,500 as a yearling by Craig Lynn and now has had 80 starts for eight wins, 25 placings and $64,909. SUVALJKO SEIZES THE OPPORTUNITY WITH HEZ GOT THE NOD Shannon Suvaljko made the most of the three inside horses on the front line galloping at the start of the Caduceus Club Oh What A View Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night by spearing through from the 10m line and bursting to the front after 50m with Hez Got the Nod. Suvaljko then dictated terms and noted frontrunner Hez Got The Nod fought on doggedly to win narrowly from 18/1 chance Pacific Black, who finished strongly after trailing the leader all the way. Punters groaned when 5/2 on favourite Ben Cartwright, from barrier No. 2, broke into a gallop when the tapes released the field of eleven. Polemarker Compact Rocket and I Am legend (barrier three) also galloped and Suvaljko seized his opportunity to dash Hez Got The Nod through a widening opening caused by Ben Cartwright veering outwards as he galloped. "To win the race I had to find the front off 10m," Suvaljko said. "My plan was to watch Ben Cartwright.I had watched his last starts and noticed that he veered out at the start. So I was waiting for the outward movement at the start. "Hez Got The Nod is a good rolling type. I probably ran the race upside down just to beat Ben Cartwright. Down the back we just blocked everyone in and just sprinted down the straight." Ben Cartwright settled in seventh position before Gary hall jun. sent him forward, three wide, after 350m to move into the breeze. Ben Cartwright was still second with 220m to travel before he began to fade. He dropped back to finish eighth. Hez Got the Nod has had 16 starts in WA for trainer Debbie Padberg for six wins and four seconds. He has earned $77,436 from 11 wins and 20 placings from 49 starts. by Ken Casellas  

The flagships of the Division are the Australasian Classic and New Zealand Premier Yearling Sales held in Auckland Monday 17th February and Christchurch Tuesday and Wednesday 18th and 19th of February. Billed as the “Sale of the Stars” their graduates include seven modern day New Zealand Cup winners, thirty two Harness Jewels winners and thirty one Australasian Breeders Crown winners. Unity under the PGG Wrightson organisation has been a major benefit to the sales. Especially in producing a top quality catalogue, funding a very successful inward buyer scheme and the $1 million Sales Race Series now in its 24th year. Harnesslink is running a short series on some of the yearlings on offer. Lot 269 Premier sale - GRACIOUS MACH SIRE - MACH THREE - A great sire worldwide who has left outstanding fillies where ever he has stood. His North American filly credits are headed by the brilliant pair of  Monkey On My Wheel (1:49.3s) and $1,334,934 in stakes and Mach You And Me (1:50.2m) $800,819, while his Australasian filly credits are headed by Joyfuljoy (1:51.2) $480,422, Millwood Meg ($336,795), Shake It Mama ($237 193), while this years star three year old filly, Venus Serena ($434,152) recently broke the New Zealand mile record for a three year old filly when winning in 1:52.2 and may end up the best of them all in Australasia. Mach Three also is proving himself a very good broodmare sire as well leaving the Sapling Stakes winner at Melton on Saturday night just gone Luvumum (Grinfromeartoear from Mach And Me by Mach Three) DAM - JARAGUA - She won three races in a brief race career. This is her second foal with the first Atomic Blonde qualifying at two. She is a full sister to Gracious Mach. Jaragua is by the Cam Fella sire in Camtastic, she is a half to six winners including the smart Kim Crawford $149,254 (1:53) and Sandrea's Fault ($86,418). The third dam is Moon Weave who left the talented Moonweave Motoring (1:58.6) and the dam of Speriamo $144,570 (1;58). She is a half to Blythbank Del (1:58.5) who at stud left the brilliant juvenile Benefactor $263,798. OVERVIEW -  Being a January foal puts her three months behind most of her sales rival but she still has the appearance of a filly that will run early. She is a lovely put together filly who is quite racy in appearance and should develop into a lovely type with maturity. This is a great opportunity to buy a quality Mach Three filly without breaking the bank. Catalogue pedigree Lot 319 Premier sale - FRANCO LAMAR SIRE - Another son of the first season sire, Changeover who is biggest stakes winner left by the super sire In the Pocket who has quickly established himself as a great sire of sires with both Christian Cullen and Courage Under Fire excelling at stud. They have been very prominent at the early two year old trials and workouts and everything looks very positive at this stage. DAM - Lewinsky Franco is by the leading brood mare sire in Falcon Seelster. She was a very smart race mare racing at the elite level as a two and three year old in New Zealand before ending up in North America as an older horse where she took a mark of 1:51.4 on her way to winning $167,508 returning to Nevele R for stud duties she has quickly established herself as a quality brood mare. Her son Franco Lordship 1:58.1 won six as a two and three year old in New Zealand while Lucca Franco (1:59.8) has already won three from a handful of starts. The grand-dam Look's the Part was placed in the New Zealand Oaks and has left ten winners including the full sister to Lewinsky Franco in Labretta Franco (1:58.5) who is the dam of the brilliant Lilac Stride $276,144 1:54.4. The third dam is the smart race mare and great brood mare, Living Doll. OVERVIEW - A colt by the biggest stake winning son of super sire In The Pocket from one of New Zealand's fastest ever race mares. It is not often that buyers in Australasia have the opportunity to buy the progeny of a mare that went 1:51.4 and with the strength of the family behind him, this colt looks a great  chance to further embellish this families record. Catalogue pedigree. Lot 347 Premier sale - FRANCO NIVEN SIRE - Another son of the hugely successful son of  the great Falcon Seelster in McArdle. He has sired the winners of well over $45,000,000 worldwide and continues to leave quality racehorses with the very smart two year old in Jay Dub the latest to create a favourable impression. DAM - Nature Franco (1:59.2) is a speedy daughter of the Western Hanover sire, Union Guy. This is her sixth foal of which four have already raced for three winners including Lively GNP (1:58.2),  Franco Nattai (1:55.6) and Franco Nepia (1:58). Their dam is a half sister to nine winners including Franco Natura $204,542, Napa Franco (1:58.6) and Franco No Fear (1:57.9) while two half sisters have starred in the brood mare barn with Universe leaving Universal Dream $277,906 (1:50) and Northern Franco leaving Pembrook Benny ($839,232). The grand-dam Natural Appeal was a very smart three year old winning five at that age and was a half sister to the very smart, Panyan (29 wins). OVERVIEW--- This is a family that is noted for leaving hard wearing and tough individuals and this mares three winners all fit that mold. Great pedigree of quality individuals means this colt has a great chance of joining his siblings in the winners circle. Catalogue pedigree JC

Word Power picked up his first stakes win of the season last time out and hopes to make it two in a row to finish the campaign when he faces five foes in Saturday's $126,000 Cleveland Classic for 3-year-old pacers at Northfield Park in Ohio. Trained by Larry Remmen for owner Bradley Grant, Word Power won the $176,000 Windy City Pace on Nov. 15 at Maywood Park. The colt, second by a neck to Captaintreacherous in the Cane Pace and third in the Adios, has won seven of 17 starts and earned $372,284 this year. "He deserves it," Remmen said. "He's missed a few by a small part, but that happens. I thought he was going to go by in the Cane, but it wasn't meant to be. But at Maywood he was very good. He seems like he's in good form right now." Word Power will start the Cleveland Classic from post four with driver Scott Zeron, who was in the sulky for the Windy City Pace score, and is 4-1 on the morning line. Word Power prepped for the Cleveland Classic by winning a qualifier in 1:53.4 on Dec. 6 at the Meadowlands. The remainder of the Cleveland Classic field includes stakes-winners Dedi's Dragon and Twilight Bonfire along with Apprentice Hanover, Good Day Mate and Only The Lonely. Twilight Bonfire, who won the Reynolds Stakes and was second in the North America Cup and Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, will start from post two with driver Tony Hall and is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Dedi's Dragon, who won the Monument Circle and will start from post three with driver Dave Palone, is the 3-1 second choice. Apprentice Hanover also is owned by Grant. "It's pretty competitive for a six-horse field," Remmen said. "It's sure not going to be a walk in the park. Anyone with the right luck can win that race." Word Power, a son of stallion Western Ideal out of the mare Lush Limbaugh, sold for $13,000 at the 2011 Lexington Selected Sale. He is a three-quarter brother to stakes-winner Yankee Lariat and his dam is a three-quarter sister to $2-million-earner Camtastic. Unraced at age 2 because of health issues, Word Power has earned a check in all but three races this year. He was seventh in the New Jersey Classic and eighth in the Messenger Stakes. (His other miss came when he made an interference break in his elimination of the Little Brown Jug.) "I was disappointed with the New Jersey Classic and Messenger, but every other race he showed up," Remmen said. "After this race we'll give him some time off and decide on the plans for next year." A $10,000 guaranteed Pick-4 has been added to Saturday's card. The Pick-4 begins in the eighth race and will conclude with the Cleveland Classic. Post time is 6:30 p.m. for the night's first race. Following is the Cleveland Classic field with listed drivers and trainers (and morning line odds): 1. Only The Lonely, Aaron Merriman, Nick Surick (10-1); 2. Twilight Bonfire, Tony Hall, Rich Gillock (5-2); 3. Dedi's Dragon, Dave Palone, Ron Burke (3-1); 4. Word Power, Scott Zeron, Larry Remmen (4-1); 5. Apprentice Hanover, Jody Jamieson, Ben Wallace (6-1); 6. Good Day Mate, Brett Miller, Burke (12-1). by Ken Weingardner for Harness Racing Communications  

Lexington, KY --- The Lexington Selected Yearling Sale’s third session youngsters turned in a sterling performance on Thursday (Oct. 3), as their sale results crushed the numbers from the same session in 2012. The average sale price of $34,051 for the 157 sold was a gain of 31 percent, gross sales rose more than 33 percent and the number of $100,000 yearlings jumped from one to six. This remarkably strong showing has helped push the average price of $54,148 for 420 yearlings through three sessions to a 10 percent advantage over the first three days a year ago. The sale topper Thursday at $105,000 was pacing colt Helios Lindy, by American Ideal out of Sunshine Sister. Jeff Gillis signed as agent for Mac Nichol for this colt in the Preferred Equine Marketing consignment. Five yearlings sold for an even $100,000. The first of these was the colt Lush Art, by Art Major out of Lush Limbaugh, a $200,000-winning three-quarter sister to Camtastic and the producer of a pair of $200,000-plus winners. This includes the current 3-year-old Word Power, who boasts a 1:49.4 record. Ray Remmen, trainer of Word Power, signed for this Dunroven Stud-bred colt. The next yearling to reach $100,000 was Southwind Wildfire, a colt by Muscle Hill out of Wafs. Bjorn Noren cast the winning bid on behalf of Courant AB for this colt that was consigned by Preferred Equine Marketing as agent for Southwind Farms. The very next horse in the ring sold for that same price. This was the Western Ideal colt Artspeak, out of the Artsplace mare The Art Museum, a member of the same family as Southwind Lynx ($1,763,389) and Ultra Jet ($756,571). John Fodera signed as agent for this youngster from the Brittany Farms consignment. Courant AB of Sweden returned to $100,000 territory, this time in pursuit of a pacer. Nancy Takter Johansson signed the slip for Courant AB in acquiring the Art Major colt Think Again, out of $900,000 winner Remember When, closely related to millionaires Mr Feelgood, Western ideal, and Leah Almahurst. Brittany Farms bred Think Again. The final $100,000 yearling for the night went to Ken Jacobs’ K J Stables LLC, as he selected the Bettor's Delight colt Eagle Feather. Dam Town Feather has produced a pair of full siblings, the filly Ramalama and colt Duke Did It, each with earnings over $200,000, as well as millionaire half brother Razzle Dazzle. Preferred Equine Marketing consigned the colt for Freedom Hill Farms. Here are the summary statistics by gait and sex, from both the third session and overall, plus the leading horses by price from the third session: Session 3       Group-No. Sold-Total Price-Average Price-Top Price-Median-$100,000+ Pacing Colts-40-$1,604,000-$40,100-$105,000-$30,000-5 Pacing Fillies-29-$831,000-$28,655-$92,000-$19,000-0 Trotting Colts-40-$1,629,000-$40,725-$100,000-$38,500-1 Trotting Fillies-48-$1,282,000-$26,708-$65,000-$20,000-0 Total-157-$5,346,000-$34,051-$105,000-$30,000-6 Sale through three sessions       Group-No. Sold-Total Price-Average Price-Top Price-Median-$100,000+ Pacing Colts-101-$5,981,000-$59,218-$150,000-$50,000-22 Pacing Fillies-94-$4,571,000-$48,628-$180,000-$40,000-10 Trotting Colts-108-$7,156,000-$66,259-$475,000-$48,500-18 Trotting Fillies-117-$5,034,000-$43,026-$260,000-$35,000-8 Total-420-$22,742,000-$54,148-$475,000-$42,000-58 Yearling-Sire-Dam-Sex-Gait-Price-Buyer Helios Lindy-American Ideal-Sunshine Sister-C-P-$105,000-Jeff Gillis, Agent For Mac Nichol Lush Art-Art Major-Lush Limbaugh-C-P-$100,000-Ray Remmen Southwind Wildfire-Muscle Hill-Wafs-C-T-$100,000-Bjorn Norden, Agent For Courant Ab & M Langli Artspeak-Western Ideal-The Art Museum-C-P-$100,000-John A. Fodera, Agent Think Again-Art Major-Remember When-C-P-$100,000-Nancy Johansson, Agent For Courant Ab Eagle Feather-Bettor's Delight-Town Feather-C-P-$100,000-K J Stables Llc The Lexington Selected Yearling Sale continues each evening at 7 p.m. through Saturday at the Fasig-Tipton Sale Arena. by David Carr for USTA

NEW SOUTH WALES DERBY ON THE AGENDA FOR ELEGANT CHRISTIAN Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. is excited at the wonderful potential of New Zealand-bred three-year-old Elegant Christian and is mapping out an ambitious program for the big, powerfully-built gelding, including the $200,000 New South Wales Derby in March and the $200,000 WA Derby the following month. “If he keeps going well I’ll take him to Sydney next year when I travel over with Im Themightyquinn for the interdominion championship,” Hall said after Elegant Christian had scored an effortless victory in the Go Freo Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Elegant Christian, at unbackable odds of 25/1 on, gave Clint Hall an armchair drive as he set a brisk pace and romped to victory by three lengths over stablemate Eyre Crusher in a field of four. He sped over the final two 400m sections in 28.8sec. and 27.9sec. and rated an excellent 1.57 over the 2130m. This took Elegant Christian’s record to four starts for four wins and earnings of $31,865 and he is proving a very good buy for his owners Karen Hall, Neven Botica, Garry Ralston, Glenn Moore, Mark Congerton, John Burt, Andrew Curran and Ross North. Congerton purchased eight yearlings in New Zealand last year and paid $27,000 for Elegant Christian, who is by Christian Cullen and out of English Elegance, a mare by the American stallion Camtastic. He then offered shares in the yearlings to several of his friends. Botica decided to buy a share in only Elegant Christian because he had unsuccessfully attempted to buy English Elegance about six or seven years ago as a breeding proposition. Elegant Christian is the sixth foal out of English Elegance and Congerton bought Elegant Christian because he had been so impressed by Home Secretary, a full-brother to the youngster. “I bought Home Secretary and he looked like being anything as a two-year-old,” Hall said. “He’s a real nice horse, but he kept breaking down. He was too big and got pushed too early (in New Zealand). He ran a 56sec. half in a trial as a two-year-old.” Home Secretary has broken down twice with suspensory ligament problems and his future is extremely uncertain. He has had only three starts, finishing second to Kiss Chasey as a three-year-old at Pinjarra on debut in May 2011. He broke down and was out of action for 19 months before resuming with a second placing to Major Catastrophe at Gloucester Park in December 2012. Then, a week later, Home Secretary won a 2185m race at Pinjarra by seven lengths after sprinting over the final two 400m sections in 28.2sec. and 26.7sec. He has not raced since. “But there’s a cloud in every silver lining,” Hall said. “If I hadn’t had Home Secretary we wouldn’t have had Elegant Christian now.” Elegant Christian’s brilliant victory completed a splendid night for Hall, who, earlier in the program had been successful with Chloe Vargarita, This Time Dylan and The Ragpickers Dream. Hall is so impressed by Elegant Christian that he has just paid $40,000 for his yearling brother Chevrons Delight. LEDA McNALLY SET FOR BIG SUMMER CARNIVAL EVENTS Five-year-old Victorian-bred Leda McNally gave further convincing proof that she will be a leading contender in the rich feature events for mares in the summer months when she finished with a sizzling burst to win the $21,000 Ross North Group Spring Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pinjarra trainer Chris King is setting Leda McNally for the Nepean Conveyors Classic for mares at Gloucester Park in December and is hoping she will maintain her brilliant form and will be able to contest the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup. Leda McNally, the only mare in Friday night’s event and third favourite at 13/2, started from the inside of the back line and Chris Voak had her travelling smoothly three back on the pegs before she flashed home to get up and defeat the pacemaker and 5/4 on favourite Sneakyn Down Under by a half-length, rating 1.54 over 1730m after the final 800m was covered in 56.5sec. Owned by Victorian Greg Stubbs, Leda McNally managed one win from 15 Victorian starts before being sent to WA to be prepared by King. She now has raced 24 times in this State for 14 wins and five placings and her earnings stand at $151,088. Sneakyn Down Under, driven for the first time by Brad Stampalia (in the absence of the 11-year-old’s part-owner and trainer Darren Duffy, who is serving a term of suspension from driving), burst straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and he sped through the first quarter of the final mile in 28.9sec. before coasting through the next section in 29.3sec. However, Sneakyn Down Under began to show signs of weakening in the home straight before Leda McNally charged to the front about 20m from the post. This was Leda McNally’s fourth win from seven starts in her current campaign. Leda McNally is showing no signs of the injuries she suffered when she took fright during an electrical storm at King’s property last March when she bolted and burst through a couple of fences, suffering severe lacerations to her legs and damage to hooves. Fortunately, King was able to catch the mare and this prevented further injuries. EL MACHINE GIVES HOWSON AND GEORGE GOOD REASON TO SMILE Young trainer-reinsmen Kade Howson and Michael George were enjoying a couple of refreshing beers at the Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale in 2010 when they decided, on a whim, to outlay $5000 for lot 32, a small colt by former star pacer Elsu. The colt is now a five-year-old gelding by the name of El Machine, who is proving a wonderful bargain. The 25-year-old Howson trains El Machine at Pinjarra and he drove him to an impressive victory in the 2130m TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to take his record to 37 starts for 13 wins, 12 placings and $96,205 in prizemoney. “El Machine is a brother of In A Fashion, a horse I liked, so we bought the colt even though he was not much to look at,” Howson said. In A Fashion raced 78 times for 12 wins, 14 placings and stakes of $77,858 and a half-brother Parsons Clothes managed four wins from 75 starts for earnings of $30,014. El Machine and his brothers are out of Fashion Statement, a mare by Life Sign, who earned just $6290 from a win at Kalgoorlie and two at Geraldton in a 22-start career. El Machine is also related to Little Town Blues, who earned $104,066 from 13 wins and 18 placings from 62 starts. As a three-year-old El Machine finished second to the brilliant Gracias Para Nada in the Sales Classic and he won a prelude of the WA Derby. He gives every indication of being able to continue on his winning ways. El Machine was a solidly-supported 7/4 favourite on Friday night when Howson restrained him from barrier six to the rear before sending him forward, three wide, after a lap. He then was able to follow the three-wide run of Lord Diego and was sixth at the bell before surging to the front 250m from home. He raced away to score by three lengths from 15/4 second fancy Rojen Cruz, with a head to the pacemaker Boy O Boy, rating 1.58 after covering the final 800m in 57.2sec. CHLOE VARGARITA REVIVES THE DEEDS OF THE MIGHTY DIVISIVE Memories of former champion pacer and equine millionaire Divisive were rekindled when New South Wales-bred mare Chloe Vargarita stormed home to win the 2130m Ross North Complete Homes Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Chloe Vargarita is the first foal out of Badlands Hanover mare Susie O’Neill, an elder half-sister to Divisive, who won the Victoria Derby at Moonee Valley, the NSW Derby at Harold Park and Australian Derby in Launceston in 2006 and the Miracle Mile at Harold Park in November 2008. Divisive then came to Perth when he made two appearances at Gloucester Park in January 2009, finishing second to Power of Tara in the Fremantle Cup and a nose second to Mysta Magical Mach in the WA Pacing Cup. Susie O’Neill was a handy performer who retired with a record of 11 wins and 14 placings from 52 starts for stakes of $61,179. Chloe Vargarita is owned by a Victorian syndicate headed by Andrew Grover. She was prepared by outstanding Victorian reinsman Daniel Jack who recently decided to send her to WA to be trained by Gary Hall sen. in a bid to win a city race or two before being retired to the stud later this year. Chloe Vargarita had eight starts in Victoria for three wins, nine starts in NSW for two wins and eight starts in Tasmania for three wins. Her first three starts for Hall have produced a win, a second and a third. She has earned $48,454 from nine wins and five placings from 29 starts. Chloe Vargarita started from the inside of the back line on Friday night and was a solidly-supported 11/8 favourite. Gary Hall jun. settled her down behind the polemarker and pacemaker Grin On The Beach before he cleverly angled her off the pegs about 870m from home. Chloe Vargarita was forced four wide just before the turn out of the back straight and she produced a powerful finishing burst to hit the front 90m from the post. After a moderate early pace, the final 800m whizzed by in 57sec. And Chloe Vargarita rated a modest 2.0.6. BANANA DANA APPRECIATES A DROP IN GRADE Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred eight-year-old Banana Dana is the latest pacer to make the most of the drop-down regulation. He was recently reclassified from an M3-class performer to an M2 classification. This downgrade (granted to horses graded M2 or better after completing a losing sequence of ten) enabled him to start in the Ross North Signature Range Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he received an additional bonus when he drew the prized No. 1 barrier. Part-owner and trainer Darren Duffy is serving a term of suspension and he handed the reins to Brad Stampalia, who had driven Banana Dana at his first two starts as a two-year-old at Gloucester Park in June and July 2008 when he won on debut before finishing a close second to Aussie Reactor. The drop-down regulation certainly proved a tremendous bonus for Banana Dana, particularly considering that before he completed a losing sequence of ten he had won five races in a row for $45,870 in prizemoney. The Courage Under Fire gelding now has earned $126,089 from 13 wins and 13 placings from 52 starts. An indication of Banana Dana’s ability can been gleaned from the fact his previous win before Friday night was in the 2012 Media Guild Cup when he defeated class performers Can Return Fire, Sneakyn Down Under and Mysta Magical Mach. Stampalia had no difficulty in jumping Banana Dana, hot favourite at 10/9, straight to the front and he rated the gelding perfectly, with Old McDonald (7/1) working hard in the breeze, Sir Swanky (11/2) trailing the pacemaker and Wrongly Accused (22/1) in the one-out, one-back position. After a third quarter of the final mile in 29.4sec., Banana Dana sped over the final section in 28.7sec. and won comfortably by 2m from Wrongly Accused, with Sir Swanky a close-up third. DEMON POSSESSED GIVES PEARCE HIS FIRST METRO-CLASS WIN Part-time Middle Swan trainer Clinton Pearce landed his first Metropolitan-class winner when 52/1 tote outsider Demon Possessed gave a bold frontrunning performance to dead-heat with the fast-finishing This Time Dylan in the 2503m Download Complete Homes App Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Demon Possessed, a five-year-old Life Sign gelding, stole a march on his rivals when Jamie Rigoli got him away brilliantly from the outside (barrier four) on the front line in the stand. Demon Possessed bowled along in front and he fought on grandly to cross the line locked together with This Time Dylan, an 9/2 chance off the 10m line, who was 11th in the middle stages and then followed the three-wide burst of 7/2 favourite False Promise before putting in a desperate lunge right on the line. The photo finish equipment malfunctioned and there was considerable conjecture over which horse had won. Finally, after the judges, relying on their vision and watching the video tape of the finish, declared a head-heat. Polemarker Ya Dreamin (11/1) was third after trailing the leader all the way. Braemoor, who started off 20m, finished strongly to be fourth, with False Promise in fifth place. Demon Possessed, a winner at Northam in June and at Kellerberrin in August, is raced on lease from Frank Bratovich by the 29-year-old Pearce, a finance broker, his wife Danielle, father Ross, brother Travis and P. W. Cheater. Clinton Pearce trained his first winner at Gloucester Park 11 days earlier when Rigoli was successful with 10/1 chance Spoilt Rich in a country-class event. Demon Possessed has now earned $20,419 from five wins and two placings from 36 starts. He is a half-brother to Adayspay (83 starts for 19 wins, 18m placings and $134,594) and Country Change (41 starts for 11 wins, ten placings and $95,383). This Time Dylan, trained by Gary Hall sen. and driven by his son Gary, has had 26b starts for seven wins, five placings and $43,515. He has had 18 starts in WA for four wins and two placings. SPARKLING SEELSTER GETS HOME AT LAST AND ENDS LOSING RUN OF 22 Consistent six-year-old Sparkling Seelster broke through for a long overdue win when Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice brought him home with a spirited burst to score an easy victory in the third heat of the 2130m Ross North Complete Home And Land Packages Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Sparkling Seelster, a 9/1 chance, started from the outside of the back line and he settled at the rear before Prentice started a three-wide move approaching the bell. Polemarker and 2/1 favourite Luck Has It was setting the pace, with Levi Judd and then Cheeryrose in the breeze. Sparkling Seelster was eighth at the bell and he sustained a strong three-wide burst to hit the front 100m from the post. He drew away to score by 5m from Ballas Arockstar, with Moonlight Rockhole running home fast to be third. The win ended a losing sequence of 22 for Sparkling Seelster, with those 22 starts yielding five seconds and four thirds. He now has earned $50,182 from eight wins and 13 placings from 50 starts. He won at each of his first four starts, three at Bunbury and one at Harvey, and also was successful at his Gloucester Park debut. His dam Sally Anna had 17 starts in WA for seven wins in 2001-02 before being retired with a record of ten wins, 15 placings and stakes of $59,428 from just 37 starts. ASIAN COURAGE RETURNS TO FORM AND COMPLETES A DOUBLE FOR HOWSON Asian Courage, unplaced at his eight starts since winning at Pinjarra in May, bounced back to form with a splendid victory in the 2130m Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His fast-finishing win by a half-length over Franco Nasser gave 25-year-old Pinjarra horseman Kade Howson the second leg of a training and driving double. Howson had started the program with El Machine’s win in the opening event. Asian Courage started from barrier four on the back line and was an 11/1 chance in an event in which the polemarker Glow Bright was a surprisingly short-priced favourite at 10/9. Glow Bright set the pace for Brian Kersley while Howson bided his time in tenth position before starting a three-wide move, with cover, approaching the bell. Give Us A Hand moved on terms with Glow Bright 550m from home after working hard in the breeze. But he wilted badly top finish last Asian Courage sustained his strong effort to get to the front in the final stages and win from 10/1 chance Franco Nasser, who finished determinedly. Glow Bright held on to be a nose away in third place. Asian Courage, a New Zealand-bred seven-year-old by Courage Under Fire, took his earnings to $36,943 from five wins and 11 placings from 38 starts. THE RAGPICKERS DREAM MAKES A PERFECT WA DEBUT Former Victorian performer The Ragpickers Dream made an impressive West Australian debut when he stormed home to snatch victory in the third heat of the Developwest The Warwick Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Having his first start since mid-April, the New Zealand-bred six-year-old started from the back line and was third favourite at 6/1, with the polemarker The Pacing Priest hot favourite at 10/9 and Copagrin second fancy at 13/4. Gary Hall jun. quickly had The Ragpickers Dream in an ideal position, one-out and two-back, following Copagrin. And when Darren Kerr sent Copagrin forward approaching the bell, Hall followed that horse’s three-wide run. The Ragpickers Dream finished too strongly for his rivals, bursting to the front in the final 90m and winning by a neck from The Pacing Priest, with North Toa Luckstar a head away in third place after trailing the leader throughout. Copagrin was a close fourth. The final 800m was covered in 57.2sec. and The Ragpickers Dream rated 1.59.5 over the 2130mn journey. The Ragpickers Dream, trained by Gary Hall sen., was unplaced at two starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand in March 2010. Then he made a terrific start to his career in Victoria where his first 15 starts produced ten wins and four placings. He was claimed when he won a claiming event at Melton last January and his new owners, led by Matt Leppard, sent him to be trained at Mildura. But he was not comfortable racing on the Mildura track and Leppard then offered him to Hall, the trainer of his promising four-year-old mare Korobeit Angel. The Ragpickers Dream is a full-brother to Dream Guest, who raced in WA in 2010-11 when his 12 starts in the State produced three wins and two placings. Dream Guest has earned $87,986 from 12 wins and 15 placings from 88 starts. The Ragpickers Dream has earned $90,018 from 13 wins and nine placings from 41 starts. SHEZ EL DE ROSA LEADS AND ENDS A LOSING SEQUENCE OF 12 New Zealand-bred eight-year-old Shez El De Rosa made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier when Shannon Suvaljko drove her to an easy all-the-way victory in the 2130m Download Ross North Homes App Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This broke a losing sequence of 12. Trained at Wanneroo by Debbie Padberg, Shez El De Rosa was a firm 5/4 on favourite and her supporters were on good terms with themselves when Suvaljko guided her through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 32.5sec. and 30.2sec. Suvaljko increased the tempo with a 28.7sec. third quarter before the mare strolled over the final section in 29.3sec. to win by a length and a half from Zamaye at a modest 2.1.1 rate. Here For The Money battled on to be third after trailing the leader all the way. Shez El De Rosa had 14 starts in New Zealand for three wins and five placings before winning three races at Penrith in New South Wales before arriving in Western Australia where she has had 20 starts for Padberg for two wins and four placings. Shez El De Rosa has now earned $57,088 from eight wins and 13 placings from 66 starts. by Ken Casellas  

ANDERSON, Ind.—September 12, 2013— Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is proud to announce that the defending Pacer of the Year, Captaintreacherous will make his Hoosier Park racing debut on Saturday, September 21 in a $50,000 three-year-old Invitational pace. Hoosier Park’s Racing Secretary, Scott Peine, reached out to the connections of Captaintreacherous with hopes that they would be looking for a place to race before his previously announced engagements in Grand Circuit action in Lexington, KY. After discussions with the connections of the harness racing superstar, Captaintreacherous will set sail for Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval fresh off his victory in the $360,211 Cane Pace on September 2. Boasting a career bankroll over $2.3 million, Captaintreacherous was victorious in the 2013 installment of the Meadowlands Pace and North American Cup. Trained by Tony Alagna, the sophomore pacer has won seven of eight starts this year and over $1.4 million in purse earnings for his connections at Captaintreacherous Racing Captaintreacherous, a son of 2008 Horse of the Year Somebeachsomewhere, is the first foal out of the lightly raced stakes-winning mare Worldly Treasure, who is a full sister to two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Worldly Beauty. Last year, Captaintreacherous became the first two-year-old pacer in 25 years to be named Pacer of the Year. Captaintreacherous, who also was named harness racing’s best two-year-old male pacer, joins Camtastic and Niatross as the only 2-year-olds presented with the Pacer of the Year honor. He was victorious in the marquee two-year-old events at both the Meadowlands in the Woodrow Wilson and Mohawk Racetrack in The Metro while compiling four wins of 1:50 or faster, the first freshman in racing history to accomplish that feat. “We thought with the locality of Hoosier Park and trying to prepare for the Grand Circuit meet in Lexington, this race would be a perfect fit,” Alagna said of his trainee. “Of course we are looking to get a nice start in the horse before his races in Lexington, but I had a chance to talk with Tim (Tetrick) and being that we are both from the Midwest, we are very excited to come back and have the opportunity to showcase the horse there.” Captaintreacherous will ship to Hoosier Park in the midst of its’ fastest season to date. Hoosier Park’s track surface continues to sizzle as sixteen track records have been re-established this season. Night Pro, an Indiana Sire Stakes champion, recently lowered the track record for three-year-old pacing colts to 1:49 in a leg of the $30,000 Indiana Gold Sire Stakes. Shark Gesture, the winner of the 2010 Dan Patch, still holds the overall track record, at 1:48.1. The list of all-star horses that have made their way to Hoosier Park over the years includes Jenna’s Beach Boy, Maltese Artist and former seven-eighths mile world record holder, the late Pacific Fella. 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. by Emily Gaskin for Hoosier Park  

The all-conquering father-and-son combination of Gary Hall sen. and Gary Hall jun. ended the 2012-13 season on a high note at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Northview Punter scored an impressive victory in the Mornings With Matt McDermott Pace and emerged as a leading candidate for the rich Golden Nugget Championship in November. Never in the history of Western Australian harness racing has a trainer and driver been so dominant. The 63-year-old Hall and his 31-year-old son scored runaway wins in the awards for the State’s leading trainer and reinsman. Hall sen. trained 192 winners and 155 placegetters from 673 starters for earnings of $2,715,678 and Hall jun. drove 237 winners and 229 placegetters from 871 starters for total stakes of $2,982,094. Greg and Skye Bond finished second in the Statewide trainers’ premiership with 153 winners and 197 placegetters from 736 starters, with Andrew De Campo next with 92 winners and 127 placegetters from 457 starters. Colin Brown took second place in the Statewide drivers’ premiership with 139 winners from 787 starters, with Chris Voak and Morgan Woodley next with 130 winners each. In the Metropolitan premierships, Hall sen. trained 150 winners to finish well ahead of the Bond team, with 74 winners. Hall jun. (163 winners from 520 starters) was the leading city reinsman, finishing ahead of Chris Lewis (69 winners from 604 drives), Brown (63) and Woodley (60). Northview Punter, a solidly-supported 6/4 favourite from the outside of the back line on Friday night, settled down in ninth position and moved to seventh, three wide, at the bell before forging past the pacemaker Big ben Lombo 320m from home and going on to win by a length from Deluxe Edition, the only filly in the race, who finished strongly from sixth on the pegs at the bell. Slick Chapel, a stablemate of the winner, ran home strongly from the rear to be third. Northview Punter covered the final 800m in 59.1sec. and rated 1.58 over the 2130m journey on a slowish track. This took his record to 19 starts for 11 wins and five placings for stakes of $145,425. He won once from two starts in New Zealand before entering Hall’s stables. He is by American stallion Bettors Delight out of an American mare Watch Your Step, who had 48 starts in the United States for five wins, 16 placings and $59,806. He is a close relation to 1990 Little Brown Jug winner Beach Towel, the American harness Horse of the Year that season. HAS THE ANSWERS WINS EASILY, BUT SUFFERS FROM A DAMAGED HOOF Evergreen champion Has The Answers bled profusely from a nasty puncture wound in his off fore hoof after scoring an effortless all-the-way win in the 2130m Racing Radio Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It is not known what caused the injury or whether it affected him during the race. Trainer Tony Svilicich must produce a veterinary certificate of soundness before the stewards will permit the gelding to race again. It is hoped that the problem is not serious. Has The Answers, favourite at 3/1 on from the No. 1 barrier and he was surprising beaten for early speed by 20/1 chance Lord Lombo, who began very fast from barrier six. However, Lord Lombo was unable to cross to the front and Chris Voak then cleverly manoeuvred him to the pegs to enjoy the perfect passage behind the noted frontrunner. After a moderate lead time of 38sec. Has The Answers had the luxury of being able to amble through the first 400m section of the final mile in 30.5sec. before Morgan Woodley increased the tempo and the ten-year-old dashed over the next three quarters in 29.1sec., 27.2sec. and 28.9sec. to win by two lengths from Lord Lombo, rating 1.56.5. Sneakyn N Down Under, second favourite at 4/1, was more than two lengths farther back in third place after he had enjoyed a perfect sit, one-out and one-back. Shardons Rocket (23/1), a stablemate of Has The Answers, was a wilting fifth after racing without cover. Has The Answers is seemingly indestructible and he now has raced 240 times for 76 wins, 40 seconds and 25 thirds for $1,326,582 in prizemoney. Woodley has enjoyed a wonderful association with the Legacy Of Power gelding, having driven him 47 times for 22 wins, six seconds and four thirds. ELEGANT CHRISTIAN FOLLOWS A FAMILY TRADITION Elegant Christian, a sturdily-built New Zealand-bred gelding, followed a family tradition when he scored a fighting victory in the 2130m TABtouch.Mobi Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was his second win from first two starts (after a runaway victory at Pinjarra earlier in the month) to emulate the performance of his dam English Elegance, whom was successful at her first two starts, as a two-year-old at Addington in April-May 2007 before she finished a close third at her next start, in a group 1 $75,000 event for fillies at Alexandra Park. English Elegance, by American stallion Camtasticus, was retired as a three-year-old with a record of five wins, six placings and $82,936 from 13 starts and Elegant Christian is her sixth foal. Elegant Christian is trained by Gary Hall sen., who also had Pelusiac, an easy winner at his first two starts, engaged in the race. Gary Hall jun. chose to drive the Washinghton VC gelding in preference to Elegant Christian, who gave Kim Prentice a welcome 52nd birthday present. Pelusiac, who had won his first two starts by margins of eight lengths and four lengths, was a warm 7/4 on favourite from the outside (barrier two) on the back line. Elegant Christian was drawn out wide, at No. 6 on the front line, but was a well-supported 9/4 second fancy. Polemarker All Williams (12/1) led for the first 350m before Pelusiac took up the running, with Prentice quickly getting Elegant Christian into the breeze. After a third quarter in 29.4sec., Elegant Christian applied considerable pressure on Pelusiac and got on terms with 220m to travel. Elegant Christian gained the upper hand 100m from home and went on to beat Pelusiac by 1m at a 1.59 rate after the final 400m was covered in 28sec. Soho Star, the third runner in the race trained by Hall sen., raced in the one-out, one-back position before fighting on to third to give Hall a trifecta result which returned a dividend of $13.40 for a $1 investment. LOVING YOU MAKES QUITE AN IMPRESSION Loving You, a filly by Art Major, revived memories of Victorian pacer Impressionist’s victory in the group 1 Golden Nugget Championship at Gloucester Park in January 1992 when she gave a bold frontrunning display to outclass her rivals in the 2130m Big Breakfast Show Pace on Friday night. Loving You, owned by Neven Botica, trained by Peter Tilbrook and driven by Shannon Suvaljko, was a heavily-supported 5/2 on favourite who set the pace and defeated outsider Firth of Tay by four and a half lengths. Loving You is related on her dam’s side to Impressionist, who was driven by star Victorian horseman Ted Demmler to victory over Whitbys Miss Penny in the 1992 Golden Nugget. Loving You is the third foal out of Roustabout, whose great granddam Tilla was the mother of Impressionist, who ended his career with a splendid record of 56 starts for 23 wins and 12 placings for earnings of $427,005. Roustabout is a half-sister to two-year-old Pelusiac, who finished a close second in the opening event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Roustabout’s first foal is Arousing, a winner at Northam last Tuesday night after winning at Pinjarra the previous week. Arousing, also owned by Botica, has earned $46,873 from six wins and 16 placings from 55 starts. Roustabout, by Christian Cullen, was retired after having 12 starts for four wins, two placings and $33,171 in stakes. She won twice in WA, at Pinjarra and Gloucester Park in March 2006. Herr Gloucester Park success was by a nose over Precious Maiden in the group 3 Empress Stakes. Loving You, who finished third behind Frith in the group 1 WA Oaks in May this year, went into Friday night’s race with a losing sequence of 11. But she looked outstanding from the No. 2 barrier on the front line. Indomitable, a 10/1 chance, began speedily from barrier six, but was unable to cross to the lead, with Loving You kicking up strongly on her inside. Nathan Turvey then was able to get Indomitable across to the pegs after 350m to take the trail behind Loving You. Eselar (10/1) raced three wide before getting to the breeze after 700m and she faded to finish ninth. Indomitable did not threaten danger and finished tenth. Zonya, a last-start Northam winner for trainer Mike Beech, caught the eye in coming from 12th at the bell to be a fast-finishing third. BUTCHER HURT AND EGERTON-GREEN SEIZES HIS OPPORTUNITY A fall when driving trackwork on Thursday left young reinsman Shane Butcher stiff and sore and unable to take the drive behind Ohoka Samson in the 2130m Drivetime With Stewart Maister Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Part-owner and trainer Kade Howson then engaged Dylan Egerton-Green, who made the most of the unexpected opportunity to land the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old an easy winner. Ohoka Samson, heavily supported to start favourite at 5/4 on, made the most of the favourable No. 2 barrier and he set a solid pace before sprinting over the final 800m in 56.8sec. to win at a 1.58.2 rate by three and a half lengths from Imtheguy (11/1), who finished gamely after racing three back on the pegs. Polemarker Arch On Fire (7/1) ran on solidly to be a head away in third place after trailing the leader all the way. Ohoka Samson, owned by Howson in partnership with the gelding’s New Zealand breeders Lorraine and Pero Smith, has been plagued by injury throughout his career. After winning at three of his eight starts in New Zealand and once from two starts in Victoria, Ohoka Samson has had only 20 starts in Western Australia for nine wins and five placings to take his career record to 30 starts for 13 wins, eight placings and $102,714. Ohoka Samson fractured his pelvis in a fall in April 2009 and was unable to race for 19 months. He resumed in November 2010 when he ran two seconds before winning six in a row. He damaged a tendon in the winter of 23011 and was forced on to the sidelines for 24 months. He resumed racing at Bunbury on July 13 this year and his first five starts in his comeback campaign have produced two wins, two seconds and a tenth placing. MEXICANO INHERITS THE ABILITY OF PRECIOUS MAIDEN Mexicano, who revealed outstanding potential as an early two-year-old in New Zealand, gave promise of better things to come when he recorded his first Australian victory with an impressive win in the 2130m TABform Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. After two fourths and a second at his first three appearances in Western Australia, Mexicano gave a sample of his class when he raced three wide for the first 250m and then outside the pacemaker and even-money favourite Grand Cru before surging to the front on the home turn and beating Grand Cru by two lengths. Trained at Bickley by Peter Anderson and driven with supreme confidence by Morgan Woodley, Mexicano, third favourite at 13/2, will now have a short spell before being prepared for feature events for four-year-olds in the coming summer months. After Grand Cru had coasted through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.5sec. and 30.7sec., the final quarters went by in 28.4sec. and 29sec. and Mexicano rated 1.59.5. He won at his debut, at Alexandra Park in December 2011 when he sprinted over the final 800m in 28.2sec. and beat Slick Chapel before he finished a head second at his next start to Ohoka Punter, who has developed into a star performer, earning $478,402 from his ten wins and seven placings from his first 17 starts. Ohoka Punter’s successes include the $200,000m Victoria Derby at Melton last February and the $246,000 New Zealand Northern Derby a month later. Mexicano, who is owned by Ian Sermon, Lee Bunney, Greg Newbold, Peter and Michael Pike, Tracey Sermon, Dave Morley and Gary Charlton, is by Christian Cullen and is the first foal out of Precious Maiden, who was retired after earning $158,498 from 12 wins and 28 placings from 70 starts. Precious Maiden, a winner of two races in New Zealand, was trained in Western Australia by Grant Williams and won at each of her first three starts in the State in February-March 2006. At her final appearance she finished second to Jilsander in the group 3 Mares Mile at Gloucester Park in December 2007. BRILLIANT START PAVES THE WAY FOR THE BLACK LORD A flying start by The Black Lord paved the way for the New Zealand-bred five-year-old’s smart win in the 2130m Afternoons With Peter O’Neill Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Despite his easy victory when he raced three wide for much of the way at Bunbury at his previous outing, a fortnight earlier, The Black Lord was sent out at the liberal odds of 17/1 in a race in which Victorian newcomer Barkers Hall (5/4) and polemarker Saint Petersburg (11/4) dominated betting. Aiden De Campo got The Black Lord away brilliantly from the No. 3 barrier and the Elsu gelding sped to the front after 150m and bowled along in front before sprinting the final 400m in 28.8sec. to beat 16/1 chance Myouri by a half-length at a 1.59.1 rate. Im Clean Cut, who raced three back on the pegs, ran on well to be third. The Black Lord, trained at Henley Brook by Chelsey Harding, shows good promise and has a record of seven wins and eight placings from 39 starts for stakes of $39,097. His dam Visa Girl is a full-sister to Lord Miles, who raced with Great Success in Perth in 2000 and 2001 when he had 19 starts for seven wins and four placings. His wins included the $20,000 Country Cup at Gloucester Park in November 2000 and the Christmas Gift in December 2001 when he defeated The Die Is Cast, Chivalrous Fella and Baltic Eagle. He retired with earnings of $143,072 from 21 wins and 27 placings from 103 starts. GDAY MATE ENDS A LOSING SEQUENCE OF 27 New Zealand-bred six-year-old Gday Mate ended a losing sequence of 27 and broke a 14-month drought when young Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice brought him home with a sparkling burst of speed to score an easy win in the 2503m Late Nights With Ashleigh Paikos Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His previous success was also in a 2503m stand in June of last year. Gday Mate, a 13/2 chance, started from barrier four on the front line and Prentice had the gelding travelling smoothly in the one-wide line before he finished boldly from fifth at the bell to burst to the front 250m from home. He sprinted the final 400m in 28.3sec. and beat 2/1 favourite J Walker by three lengths, with the pacemaker To Transcend (3/1) seven lengths farther back in third place. J Walker will pay to follow. He was eighth at the bell and after being switched four wide by Robbie Williams with 450m to travel, he finished powerfully. Gday Mate, bred in New Zealand by Lorraine and Pero Smith, has had 77 starts for 11 wins, 29 placings and $130,033.He is a younger full-brother of smart open-class performer Please Release Me, who has earned $232,820 from 20 wins and 33 placings from 84 starts. SMOOTH CAESAR MAKES THE MOST OF PRIZED No. 1 BARRIER Giant pacer Smooth Caesar outmuscled his 11 rivals when he made full use of the prized No. 1 barrier when Shannon Suvaljko drove him to an all-the-way victory in the 1730m Friday Morning Pacing Preview Westbred Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Punters rallied to support Smooth Caesar, trained at Mardella by Matthew Henwood, and the seven-year-old gelding was a warm 5/4 on favourite. Loaded Aussie was smartest to begin from barrier three, but was unable to cross to the pegs, with Suvaljko driving Smooth Caesar hard to maintain the lead. Kissed Flush, who started from the outside of the back line, was sent forward by Colin Brown in the early stages to take up the position in the breeze. Criminal Minds finished fast from ninth at the bell to be a close second, with Kissed Flush holding on to be third, in front of Soho Monza, who fought on from eighth with a lap to travel. Smooth Caesar, whose dam Hilarion Lass had 48 starts for five wins, ten placings and $9209, has raced 60 times for nine wins, 14 placings and stakes of $66,549. BACKAS COBBER MAKING A GOOD START TO HIS WA CAREER Six-year-old Backas Cobber, who arrived in Western Australia from Victoria about five weeks ago with a losing sequence of 29, notched his second win at his third start in the State when he held on to score a narrow victory in the 2130m 1206AM Trotters Trot at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Owned by Bruce and Pauline Stanley, Backas Cobber is trained at Wundowie by Bruce Stanley, who drove the gelding assertively. Backas Cobber started from the inside of the back, line and Stanley wasted no time in easing the gelding off the pegs and dashing him forward. Ryan Bell got last-start winner Idle Maple away with a fast start from barrier five and the seven-year-old led for the first 600m before Stanley got Backas Cobber to the front. This left Hot Holiday in the breeze and that trotter finished with great determination to finish a nose behind Backas Cobber, who rated 2.3.4. Backas Cobber has raced 101 times for 18 wins and 23 placings for stakes of $154,716. He is a half-brother to Backa Beyond, who had 35 starts in WA a couple of years ago form one win from 35 starts in that State. by Ken Casellas  

Bill O’Donnell is one of harness racing’s most successful drivers and will be making his seventh straight appearance at the Central Huron oval’s biggest event of the racing season this Sunday, August 18. The native of Springhill, Nova Scotia formed one half of racing’s dynamic duo (the other being John Campbell) that terrorized race tracks across North America through the 1980's and is considered one of the sport’s first true ‘catch drivers’. "As a youngster growing up in the business I didn’t really think about becoming a driver," he recalls. "It was just something that evolved and I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time really with the opening of The Meadowlands in the late 70's. That really changed everything in harness racing and for me personally." O’Donnell remembers getting hooked on racing early, at the age of 8, while helping his uncle Art Porter at the former Maritime racing mecca of Sackville Downs near Halifax. From that point on he knew that there was nothing else he wanted to do. That path took him to Ontario at the age of 17 where he went to work for the late Ron Feagan before returning the next summer and working for the iconic Bill Wellwood. It wasn’t long before O’Donnell headed south of the border to Massachusetts where he landed a job working for fellow Maritimer Jim Doherty in the late 1970's. It was around that time that a new one-mile track was opening in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and little did he know at the time what an important role it would play in his career. "I remember Joe Defrank (Meadowlands’ Race Secretary at the time) coming to Rockingham and scouting some of the top local guys like Jim (Doherty) and Teddy Wing," he explains. "There was no one happier than me to see those guys go because I vaulted from about sixth in the driver’s colony to first that next season," he jokes. After honing his skills for the next couple of seasons at other venues like Rosecroft and Saratoga, O’Donnell finally made his first foray to The Meadowlands. By the time that second year rolled around, he was becoming more and more in demand and finally decided to try and make that his ew home. By 1984, he had become well established in the New York/New Jersey area and it was that year that fortune really smiled down on him. The legendary Billy Haughton was pointing a rookie phenom named Nihilator towards the $2 million Woodrow Wilson and made the fateful decision to pull himself off the colt in favour of the younger O’Donnell. "I couldn’t believe it and I actually said ‘Bill are you crazy’?" he remembers vividly. "He said candidly that his eyesight wasn’t as good then and that he felt he was just a step behind the younger guys at that point in his career. It was pivotal for me and was probably a catalyst for the catch-driving movement at that time." Nihilator obliterated the field in the Wilson and went on to a career record of 35 wins from 38 starts and more than $3.2 million in earnings while winning everything in the sport along the way. By then, O’Donnell was at the top of his game and in huge demand in all of the sport’s biggest races. He would have the chance to sit behind some of the greats including Genghis Khan, Staying Together, Prakas, Napoletano, Troublemaker and Camtastic. He is just a few dollars shy of $100 million in career purse winnings and has steered the winners of more than 5,700 winners during his distinguished career. These days he splits his time between the horses and serving as President of the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA). On Sunday, he will get a chance to renew acquaintances with several old friends (and rivals on the racetrack) including Campbell, Doherty, Ray Remmen and Ron Waples. "Getting to see all those guys again is much fun for me as anything. We were all very competitive when we raced each other but great friends off the track," he says. "This sport has given me much more than I’ve given it, so I always like to make time for events like this. The enthusiasm of the fans on this day is always fantastic and I can’t wait for it." The $15,000 Legends Day Trot and Ontario Sires Stakes action for two-year-olds will be the highlight races of the afternoon. Fans will have an opportunity to meet this year’s legends and receive autographs starting at 2:30 p.m. There will also be live entertainment and pony rides and face painting for the kids. The Pineridge Barbecue Chicken dinner is scheduled from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. (tickets $15 each) and Legends T-shirts will be on sale for just $2. All roceeds, along with those from the silent auction that day, will go to the Clinton Public Hospital Foundation. For details on the days events visit by Jessica Carnochan  

Moreland Flash was the winner of $6,000 Open Pace in Northfield Park's opening race on a harness racing Monday night, July 1, 2013.

It will be 'party on' for the connections of Winbak Farm on Sunday, July 7 as two of their horses, Pennsylvania sire Bettor’s Delight and broodmare Lady Ashlee Ann will both be inducted into the Living Hall of Fame at the Harness Racing Museum.

There is little doubt the bar is set high for Captaintreacherous this season. When you are the first 2-year-old to receive Pacer of the Year in 25 years, there is little way around it.

It was another crowning moment for Chapter Seven. Chapter Seven and his connections received the Dan Patch Award for harness racing's Horse of the Year on Sunday night before a crowd of more than 400 people at the Westin Beach Resort and Spa.

This photo of champion harness racing pacer Cam Fella was taken in 1997 outside the paddock of Sportsman's Park when the 18-year-old pacer was making his farewell tour through the country enroute to his retirement home at The Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

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