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There have been hundreds of New Zealand bred mares exported to North America over the years but only a small percentage are ever bred from in the Northern Hemisphere. A few make their way back to New Zealand but a lot are given away as hacks One well performed New Zealand bred mare that is being bred from in North America is the Caprock mare Smooth Latin. Trained in New Zealand in the first instance by John Hay and then Ray Norton, Smooth Latin won four races here and just $25,000 before being exported to North America in early 2000. Smooth Latin did a big job on the track in North America, taking a mark of 1:52.1 and in the process took her overall stake earnings to $217,884. However it is in the broodmare barn that she has really excelled. Smooth Latin's first foal was by McArdle and named McApulco and he took a mark of 1:51.2 on his way to earning $365,942. Next up was Morguns Romeo 1:53 ($44,875) by Artiscape and the third foal was another McArdle colt in McAracas 1:51.4 ($170,579) The fourth foal from Smooth Latin was by Red River Hanover and is her only filly to date in Redy La Mar 1:56.1 ($44,192) while her fifth by Royal Mattjesty in Mattista was her only non winner to date. The sixth foal from Smooth Latin was the very smart Shadow Play colt in Shadios 1:49.4 ($82,860) who has issues from half way through his three year old campaign and never really fulfilled his potential. The seventh foal from Smooth Latin is the Jeremes Jet three year old Robert Hill 1:51. ($158,190) who last week took out a $105,000 division of the Ontario Sires Stakes and looks potentially the best of Smooth Latin's progeny to date. Smooth Latin was lucky enough to be bred from in North America but a lot of well bred, well performed New Zealand mares are being left on the shelf after they finish racing. The cost of the transport back to New Zealand is very expensive but maybe New Zealand breeders should be looking to bring home some of our better performed mares that are being wasted in North America. Harnesslink Media

Nevele R Stud has had a major influence on harness racing in the Southern Hemisphere since its inception over 40 years ago and that influence continues to this day. From Live Or Die to Holmes Hanover to anyone of another half a dozen stallions they have stood, a lot of pedigrees in New Zealand have a Nevele R influence.  The up coming sales have a lot of yearlings whose maternal families are almost completely Nevele R Products and one of those is Lot 97 at the Australasian Classic sale in Auckland. Named Got The Music In You, she is a daughter of of the champion sire Rocknroll Hanover from the outstanding Caprock mare OK Rock 1:56.1 ($168,529) who won the Great Northern Oaks and the New South Wales Oaks on her way to the New Zealand 1999 three year old filly of the year title. At stud OK Rock has left the very talented Big Dog 1:58.7 ($206,682) as well as Burning Cash 1:53 ($40,555) and the talented filly Mohua 1:57.3 ($75,016) A half sister to OK Rock in the Live Or Die mare Lets Scoot Franco 1:56.6 is the dam of the southern superstar Franco Ledger 1:53.7 ($487,982). The grand dam of Got The Music In You is the OK Bye mare Looks Ok who has left five winners to date including OK Galleon 1:53.7 ($125,490) The third dam is the former outstanding racemare Lancia (10 wins) who went to open class in New Zealand in the late 1970s. The winners tracing back to her are too numerous to mention but include such standouts as Late Bid 1:57.1 ($506,413) Ohoka Arizona 1:56.2 ($273,499) and Franco Lotsmore 1:56.8 ($271,403). One thing about Got Music In You is certain and that is her residual value when she retires from the track will be significant. Harnesslink Media  

The regular harness racing season for the two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series concluded on Friday (September 12) night at Mohawk Racetrack with five $18,000 divisions, and Moonwards Hanover and Thinkofagameplan both kept their Grassroots win streaks intact. Competing in the opening event, Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell), who came into this race off Grassroots successes on August 24 at Georgian Downs and August 31 at Clinton Raceway, circled from third to first before the :56.3 half. He would go on to post three-quarters in 1:26.1 and then kicked home in :28.4 to win by half a length over a closing Rightinthekisser (Doug McNair). There was a dead-heat for third between Big Moment (Randy Waples) and Ballybunion (James MacDonald). Trainer Jack Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ontario, owns Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who is now three-for-six in the win column with a bankroll of $36,000, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. Thinkofagameplan (Randy Waples), the points leader in this group, was behind the gate in the second Grassroots split, and he would pull out of the pocket to take command after the 27 second opening quarter. Thinkofagameplan, who was second in a division of the Grand Circuit Champlain Stakes at Mohawk in his last try, would then click off the half in 57 seconds and the three-quarters in 1:26.2 en route to a 1:54.3 score. He defeated runner-up Mybestolxfriendray (Phil Hudon) by a length and three-quarters with Ace Of Clubs (Doug McNair) back in third. Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his fourth win (all in Grassroots competition) from eight attempts and pushed his earnings to $76.440, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. While those familiar faces were victorious, the other three Grassroots flights were all won by horses who hadn’t yet tasted a win in the provincial program this season. Mr Carrotts (Phil Hudon) was the first to break through as he won the third section in 1:54.2. He was first at the :27.2 opening quarter and the :56.4 half, but first-over challenger Star Cover (Jody Jamieson) put a head in front at the 1:25.2 three-quarters. Mr Carrotts would battle back on the inside in the lane, and he would go on to beat Star Cover by a length at the finish line with Windsong Lord (Chris Christoforou) in third. Murray Brethour trains Mr Carrotts, a colt by Mach Three, for owner-breeder Melvyn Varcoe of Thornton, Ontario. Mr Carrotts broke his maiden in his fifth trip behind the gate, and he has now put away $10,000. He’s the fourth foal out of the Run The Table mare Cueless ($466,638), who was a three-time winner in OSS competition during her racing career. Robert Hill (James MacDonald) had been picking up minor shares against Gold Series competition, but a drop to the Grassroots level made him a 1:54.1 winner on this night. He left from post eight in the fourth Grassroots test, and he was up to grab the front after the :27.4 opening quarter. Robert Hill would go on to put the :56.3 half and the 1:25.3 three-quarters on the board before a :28.3 final kicker sealed his two and a quarter length triumph. Halton Hurricane (Rick Zeron) was second and Pace Seelster (Jody Jamieson) nabbed third. Tony Alagna trains the winner, a Jeremes Jet colt, for owner Thomas Hill of England. Robert Hill, who was bred by Perretti Farms and sold for $30,000 at the 2013 Canadian Yearling Sale, picked up his first win from six attempts, and he has now pocketed $19,220. He’s the seventh foal out of the Caprock mare Smooth Latin N ($217,884), which makes him a half-brother to two six-figure earners in McApulco ($365,942) and Mcaracas ($170,579) and to three-year-old Shadios, who has won twice in Grassroots competition this year for the Alagna/Hill combination. In the nightcap it was Supersonic Jet (Trevor Henry) who chopped out the :26.4 first quarter, but he would be overtaken by both Pier Ho Temptation (Chris Christoforou) and Shippen Out (Doug McNair) prior to the :56.2 half. Shippen Out then got to three-quarters first in 1:25, fighting off a first-over test by Jeb (Phil Hudon) in the process. Shippen Out put away Jeb for good early in the stretch drive and then held his pursuers at bay late in the mile to win by a length and a quarter in 1:54. Mystical Jet (Jody Jamieson) came in second and Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon) took third. Blair Burgess trains the victorious Badlands Hanover colt for owner Karin Olsson-Burgess of Milton, Ontario. Shippen Out won for the first time in eight starts, and he has now earned $16,150. Winbak Farm bred Shippen Out, who fetched $9,000 at last year’s Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. He’s the first foal out of the No Pan Intended mare Shipps Bikini ($410,500), who won a Grassroots division herself as a two-year-old. The two-year-old colt and gelding pacers of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Series will return to Mohawk next Friday (September 19) to compete in their Semifinal events. For full results and charts of this Friday’s races at Mohawk, please visit - http://www.standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0912mohsn.dat.

Drew Bromac N paced home for his 50th career victory, winning the second race at Northfield Park on Wednesday (April 23). The 14 year-old classy veteran has 234 career starts, winning 50 times, and finishing second and third 37 and 38 times respectively. Drew Bromac N (OK Bye-Deana Bromac-Caprock) has career earnings of $294,096 and a lifetime mark of 1:54 at Harrington Raceway at age 10. The pacer's richest win was for a purse of $15,000 in an Open Pace at Saratoga Raceway in 2008. His 50 wins have been spread across eight different racing surfaces in five different states. Brew Bromac N started from post three and sat the pocket through fractions of :28.1, :57.1 and 1:26.4. He entered the passing lane in the stretch and bested his competition by 1/2-length in 1:56.4. After winning eight times in 2013, Wednesday's victory was the first win in 13 attempts this year. Drew Bromac N returned $7.40 to win. Barry Armstrong of Northfield, Ohio owns and trains Drew Bromac N. Armstrong called upon Ronnie Wrenn. Jr. to drive for this milestone triumph. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

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 79 Premier sale - FRANCO TAI SIRE - Lis Mara is one of the big movers on the New Zealand sires list this season. The winners have been coming thick and fast lately and all he needs now is that flag bearer in all the classics.That horse may have arrived with Quick as A Trick looking more like Derby material with every run. DAM - The dam Thatcher Franco (p3,1:59.4) is by the noted filly sire in McArdle from the race winning Badlands Hanover mare in Thoroughly Franco. She is a half sister to the smart Franco Taima (p3,1:59.4. 2240m) who has won seven races and $30,721 to date. The third dam Think Again Franco only left two foals who both won including Try Me Franco (TT1:58.8). The third dam is a half sister to the brilliant Franco Tiger ($991,387) and they both are progeny of the brilliant race mare Tempest Tiger who went on to be the brood mare of the year in the 95/96 season. OVERVIEW - Great chance to buy into one of New Zealands most prolific juvenile producing families. First two dams have been winners and have left winners so Franco Tai is a great chance to add to this families success. Catalogue pedigree Lot 149 Premier sale - FRANCO CHRISTANO SIRE - Bettors Delight needs no introduction. He ticks every box as a sire with his stock being smart age group performers who go on to the Grand Circuit as older horses. DAM - Cherish A Franco (1:58.2) is a race winning daughter of Caprock from the outstanding brood mare in Cherubic (1;57.2 placed). This is her fifth foal and she is already the dam of two very smart performers in Cruiser Franco (1:53.4. $118,000) and Franco Czar 3 wins and 9 placings to date. The dam is a half to eight winners including the brilliant Franco Catapult (1:49.4. $640,831) and Franco Conquest (1;53.4. $94,993) OVERVIEW - A colt by the leading sire in Australasia from Cherish A Franco (1:58.2) who is a daughter of Cherubic (1:57.2). The dam has already left a 1:53.4 winner in Cruiser Franco so the question is not will this colt win races, the question is how many will he win? Catlogue pedigree Lot 259 Premier sale - FRANCO JAMESON SIRE - McArdle is an established sire with over $10,000,000 on his card in New Zealand including such stars as Tintin In America (1:53.2. $906,422) and Elusive Chick (1:53.9. $299,844) DAM - Jazz Franco is a daughter of prominent brood mare sire in Live Or Die. This is her sixth foal and she already has four to race including the full brother to this colt in Franco Jazzman (1:55.7h. $101,840) and a half sister in Jolene Franco (1:58.1) while another full brother in Franco Joaquin was placed in 1:57.9 as a two year old last season. The race winning grand-dam has left five winners including Franco Jonquill (1:52.6) and Franco Justin (1:56.4f). OVERVIEW - A full brother to two smart types in Franco Jazzman and Franco Joaquin, this colt is from a mare that hasn't missed at stud to date. The four foals 3 years and older have all raced and Franco Jameson looks a likely type to join his siblings in the winners circle. Catalogue pedigree JC

Comply Or Die’s Roxburgh Cup victory on Sunday (January 5) might have been his last race in New Zealand. Both trainer-driver Ken Barron and the 5-year-old’s syndicate manager/breeder Brian Leonard, said Comply Or Die could compete in Australia for three to four months – or possibly even for good. “He’s reached his mark here and now there is nowhere for him to run and hide. He might have won nine races, but because none of his wins have been over $15,000 here he is still a maiden (M0) in Australia. “It makes sense for us to race him over there. It would be silly to keep him here and race against the likes of Terror To Love and Pembrook Benny. He’s at least a year away from that sort of competition,” Barron said. Leonard agreed saying Comply Or Die would compete in $22,000 maiden heats and then a $50,000 final at Menangle. There were two series of this nature held Tabcorp Park Menangle each season. Barron said he could possibly travel with the horse but he wouldn’t be staying there. His alternative training options would be either Darren Hancock or Greg Bennett. “We are still in the early stages of working everything out but that’s the plan after talking to his owners after the race yesterday,” Barron said. Barron has campaigned Comply or Die the last three years in Central Otago and he’s yet to taste defeat. He also has a one-from-one strike rate at Roxburgh, and Sunday’s victory was his first Roxburgh Cup triumph. Comply Or Die was the sole back-marker on the 30m handicap and Ken Barron had him at the tail of the field with two laps remaining. He then asked the Live Or Die gelding to make a move from the rear at the 700m. He followed Canardly Lover and Hamish Hunter into the race, and then on the home turn took the short route along the markers to win by a length and a head from the pace-making favourite, Awesum Teddy (Andrew Armour). Winner’s time for the 2700m stand: 3:22.9. Mile rate: 2:00.9. Last 800m: 58.7. Last 400m: 29.4. It was Comply or Die’s ninth win from 34 starts. He’s also placed nine times for $76,395 in stakes. “I’d say he would have won more than $100,000 if you take into account his three bonus place wins,” Barron added. “He’s such a good beginner. That will stand him in good stead in Australia. He led them up when Didjamakembolt Bolt won a $30,000 race on Cup Day, and after the Cup Carnival he had notched up the quickest lead time. “I think his terrific gait speed will take him a long way in Aussie. We are quite excited about him racing over there,” Timaru-based Leonard said. “Ken always said he would make a nice 5 or 6-year-old. The horse is a credit to him,” he added. Both Leonard and co-owner Doug Gillespie hail from Timaru, while the two other owners Russell Aitkenhead and Gus Cuthbertson are from Nelson. The Timaru boys bred him. Comply or Die is the second foal of four, and only winner out of the maiden Caprock mare, Mood Indigo. She was trained by Tony Grayling at Pukekohe. By Duane Ranger (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)

Broodmare gem Alldatglittersisgold achieved a truly amazing feat when two of her progeny were successful in Group races at Menangle yesterday. Former Miracle Mile winner Baby Bling, a six-year-old daughter of Western Terror and Alldatglittersisgold, returned to her best to easily win the Robin Dundee Stakes (Group 2), breaking the winning streak of New Zealand owned mare Simple Saver. Before her younger brother Bling It On, a three-year-old by American Ideal, downed Yankee Rockstar to win the (Group 2) Chokin Three-Year-Old Championship. Both horses share many of the same owners and are trained by Belinda McCarthy, who astonishingly won six of the ten races yesterday. Alldatglittersisgold, who was named Australian Broodmare of the Year last season, is a 13-year-old daughter of Caprock and Lordship mare Glitter, whose progeny include Sparks Will Fly, Champagne Tastes, Our Graedy (32 wins, $307,713), and Fleet Vance, who herself has produced some more than handy performers in the form of Place Of Glory, Passion N Glory, and Lifeswhatyoumakeit. Alldatglittersisgold was purchased from New Zealand whilst in foal to Western Terror (Baby Bling) for $10,000 by the late Kaye Gilgour and Harvey Kaplan. Bling It On is the first foal she bred after being imported to Australia. Alldatglittersisgold is currently in foal to Somebeachsomewhere. *Baby Bling paced the mile in 1-52.8, while her younger brother Bling It On clocked in a smidgen quicker in 1-52.4 By Mitchell Robertson

Don’t be surprised if you see Robbie Close achieve high honours amongst our best Junior Drivers this season. The 21-year-old reinsman, as he puts it, ‘wants to give the Juniors a real crack’ in 2013-2014. And one man who believes in his driving abilities is one of our greatest all-time reinsman, Methven maestro, Ricky May. It was May who convinced Kaiapoi trainer Brendon Hill to give the former South Aucklander the drive last Friday night (August 23) behind the talented Bettor Rock On. The 4-year-old Bettor’s Delight gelding is now unbeaten in two starts this season after May drove him to one-two-win victory at Oamaru on August 4. Close had Bettor Rock On in front soon after the start of the $5,500 Muscara Standardbred Pace for Junior Drivers. From that point they proved too strong in the run home pacing the 2600m stand in 3:19.3 (mile rate: 2:03.3), with final 800m and 400m sprints of 57.2 and 28 seconds flat. He was the $2.90 favourite. Outsiders Tyron’s Falcon Ella (Jessica Young) and Massimo (Matt Purvis) were second and third some 1-3/4 lengths and 1-1/2 lengths away. “He’s a really nice horse – probably one of the best I’ve driven. He was doing it easy, but he did knock off with about 100 to go. “It was really good of Ricky and Brendon to give me the drive. He felt like a good horse. “It was really pleasing to hear that Ricky had been impressed by some of my drives lately. Drivers like him and Blair Orange are reinsmen I really look up to,” Close said. Close transferred from South Auckland to Canterbury four years ago from his home town of Waiuku. He’s just started his fourth season. He’s driven 43 winners – 22 of them last year. Asked if he felt the pressure, especially when sitting behind a warm favourite, Close replied: “Pressure has never been a concern. I am pretty relaxed actually. I talk to the other drivers and really don’t think about anything until the starter says ‘Go’. “I really enjoyed driving Bettor Rock On. Even though he’s a bit green you can tell he’s going to be a very nice horse.” Bettor Rock On is the fourth of six foals out of the 17-year-old one-win Caprock mare, Jingle Belle Rock. Her first two foals – Great Balls A Flyin (by Sands A Flyin) and J D Fortune (Washington VC) won three and six races respectively. Bettor Rock on has now raced 18 times for four wins and eight placings. He’s won $32,716 in purses. He is owned by Hill, D.P. McHugh, P.M. Ellis, and Peter Yesberg. He was bred by Yesberg, and A, and R. Hemingway. Close regarded Bettor Rock On As his number one drive so far. “Donaldson and Lachlan Jack are some other nice ones I’ve driven also. They are right up there,” he added. For the record Close has driven two winners and two place-getters from eight drives this season. He worked for Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett in Waiuku and had a short stint with Barry Purdon before transferring south and taking up a position with Robbie Holmes at Amberley for three years. Close has been with Greg and Nina Hope since just prior to last Christmas. By Duane Ranger Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand

The rich history of Australia's oldest continuously run harness race will continue at Gloucester Park on Friday night with the 100th running of the harness racing WA Pacing Cup.

Star New South Wales harness racing reinsman Luke McCarthy was thrilled with Baby Bling's brilliant victory in the $100,000 Nepean Conveyors Mares Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night and declared that he would return to Perth to drive the five-year-old in the $40,000 Norms Daughter Classic next Friday night.

Bungaree's Julian Jobe has his small but harness racing select team flying at present, with the most recent winner being PB Bullville/Left Tycoon filly Classic Tycoon in the Bartlett's Waste Management 3-Y-0 Pace over 2100 metres at Geelong on Tuesday.

Harness racing's most decorated Tuesday specialist has finally hit the big league. Surly Caprock gelding His Honour registered his 10th career win at the Rangiora Harness Racing Club's meeting held today (Tuesday), the eight year old taking the final step through to the open class ranks.

Kaiapoi harness racing trainer Bryan Lilley has struck up the perfect partnership with reinsman Jamie Keast, with the pair dominating today's (Tuesday August 31) meeting held at Addington Raceway. A regular competitor at Tuesday meets, Bryan Lilley enjoyed his best day (by ratio of wins) at the races producing three winners from just four starters.

Rangiora harness racing horseman Barry White took his first sip from sacred chalice of raceday success, when he drove the Dave and Cath Butt trained UK Connection to victory in the final amateur race for the season at today's (Tuesday) New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club's meeting.

Before the start of the 2009-2010 harness racing season South Auckland-based junior driver Joshua Dickie set himself a target of 20 wins for the year. Tonight (Thursday April 15) at Manawatu Raceway he virtually dealt to that goal within the space of three races.

Lolique made his seasonal debut a winning one in the last $31,000 Open Handicap trot of the Dover Downs meet on its penultimate harness racing program of the 2009-2010 season on Wednesday, April 14. Josh Green clinched his fifth straight Leading Trainer crown.

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