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Multiple Stakes Winning Son of Credit Winner, Jurgen Hanover, standing his first season in Ohio! NR Holdings, LLC, owners of Jurgen Hanover, by Credit Winner out of the Sir Taurus mare, Yassi Hanover, are pleased to announce that he will be standing his first season at Abby Stables. In his racing career, cut short by injury, Jurgen Hanover achieved a 3-year-old mark of  1:53.4 beating some of the best, including the 2013 Hambletonian winner, Royalty For Life, 65 cents on the dollar, on his home turf at Vernon Downs taking the Empire Breeders Classic.  He won seven in-a-row out of nine starts. Though Jurgen Hanover was picked as one to watch for the Hambletonian, injury took him out of competition. Jurgen Hanover has an impeccable pedigree.  He is sired by Credit Winner, who is currently one of the leading trotting sires in the world, and his dam comes from a great family as well.  Yassi Hanover is a half-sister to Yursa Hanover, 1:52.3 ($910,567) who is the dam of Perfect Alliance, 4, 1:51.2s, ($249,788).  This year, 4-year-old Perfect Alliance, was the winner of 13 in a row, including two qualifiers, beating the best mares such as Bee A Magician and Frau. Jurgen Hanover stands his first season for $2,500, multiple mare discounts may apply.   Visit www.abbystables.com for more information, or call (330) 852-0789.

Winbak Farm of Ontario introduces millionaire Archangel, 2, 1:58.2s; 3, 1:53.1s; 1:50 -'14 ($1,140,946), to its winning stallion lineup for 2015. "We are very excited to add Archangel, who has a stakes-winning race record and has a World Champion pedigree, to the lineup," said Larry Drysdale, Winbak of Ontario Manager. "His offspring will be potentially eligible to the lucrative Ontario Sire Stakes program, that competed for 15.9 Million in 2014." Archangel was a tough racehorse from the beginning of his racing career. At 2, Archangel won 2 New York Sire Stakes divisions and New York State Fair. He finished second in the Breeders Crown elimination, John Simpson Memorial, 3 New York Sire Stakes divisions and the New York Sire Stakes Final. At 3, Archangel won the Empire Breeders Classic elimination and Final, KY Futurity, NY State Fair, 5 New York Sire Stakes divisions and the Yonkers Trot Final. When Archangel won the Yonkers Trot, he set a World Record of 1:54.1. The mile was a World Record for 3-year-olds on a half-mile track, a track record for the same division, the fastest Yonkers Trot ever raced and a tie for the all-age trotting track record. With his win in a division of the New York Sire Stakes at Batavia Downs, he shattered the all-age track record by winning in 1:54.3. The previous record had been 1:56 and had stood since 1993. Archangel was second in his Hambletonian elimination and New York Sire Stakes prep race. After breeding a select group of mares in 2013, Archangel returned to the races to set a World Record and new lifetime mark of 1:50, tying him with Sebastian K for the fastest trotter ever on a mile track, while winning the John Cashman Memorial elimination in September. He also was second in the Charlie Hill Memorial and Crawford Farms Trot. During his career, Archangel was able to win on a 1/2-mile track, 5/8-mile track, 7/8 mile track and mile track while competing against the best trotters in North America including Market Share and Sebastian K. In addition to his winning performance record, Archangel also boasts an impressive pedigree. He is the fastest & second richest son of Credit Winner. He is the first foal out of Michelle's Angel, 3, 1:54 ($436,921). Michelle's Angel is an Andover Hall daughter of Almost An Angel, 3, 1:56 ($498,577). Archangel was also a $120,000 yearling. "Archangel's pedigree makes him a great cross for mares from the Valley Victory line, including Donerail, Lindy Lane and Muscles Yankee," said Drysdale. "Balanced Image, Mr. Lavec and Kadabra mares will also match very well with Archangel." Archangel will stand for $4,500 in 2015. For more information visit www.winbakfarm.com or contact Larry Drysdale at Winbak Farm of Ontario, 905-838-2145 or email winbakcanada@bellnet.ca.   From Winbak Farm of Ontario

Batavia, NY-- An abbreviated field of five turned into a two horse race in Batavia Downs $11,000 Open trot on Friday night (Nov. 28) and for the fifth time of the harness racing meet, Lutetium prevailed. Driver Kevin Cummings utilized a very unconventional strategy with the front-running Lutetium, letting Second Hand News (Shawn McDonough) cut the mile and then taking a two-hole trip. Second Hand News proceeded to dictate the pace with fractions of :28.2, 1:00 and 1:29.4 through the cold night air while Lutetium followed snug in second and the rest of the field watched from behind. At the top of the stretch Cummings pulled the pocket and Lutetium brought game while methodically running down the race-long leader to the wire, eventually winning by a head in 1:59. Second Hand News was second and Absolutely Certain (Ron Beback Jr.) finished third. The victory was number 16 overall for the year for Lutetium ($5.30) and pushed his earnings to $90,190 for owner Colleen Girdlestone. The 7-year-old Credit Winner gelding is trained by Mark Laidlaw. Drivers Kevin Cummings and Dave McNeight III had outstanding nights in the bike as they both won four races on the card. Ron Beback Jr. also registered a driving double. Lofty superfecta payoffs continued in race 12 at Batavia as the 4-5-6-7 combination returned $7,647. Live racing resumes on Saturday (Nov. 29) at Batavia Downs with the first of two double header cards being presented on the last two Saturdays of the meet. Post times are set for 12:15 and 6:35. Tim Bojarski

Kentucky Futurity Day showcased North America’s monte racing as six harness racing entrants contested the $10,000 exhibition event Sunday. Therese Lindgren piloted In Nomine Patri to victory with a rallying 2:00.3 win, last quarter in a sharp :27.2. The winner, a six year-old gelded son of Credit Winner-Blue Skies Hanover-Donerail, is trained by Liisa Vatanen, co-owner with American Dream Racing Stable. Pacesetter Chinese Cuisine was a solid second for Tina Duer with Flowing James home third for Tara Hynes. In Nomine Patri Ontario monte action also continued with Western Fair’s pari-mutuel test on October 3rd. The $3,000 purse event went to Lexus Hawkeye (5g Amigo Hall-Lexus Lulu-Angus Hall) and N. Elliott. Radical Dreamer (Marit Valstad)  and Twin B Excalibur (E. Harms) trailed the 2:04.3h winner. Next up in Ontario monte action is October 12 at Leamington. monteamerica.com Thomas H. Hicks

The first session (September 30th) of this years Lexington Select Sale of harness racing yearlings was out of control from the time the auctioneer opened the bidding on lot one. Encore Deo, a filly by Rocknroll Hanover made $100,000 which was the first time that had ever happened in the sales history. Shortly afterwards Lot 5, a colt by Cantab Hall from a full sister to Dream Vacation entered the ring and bidding was fierce from the start for the aptly named Prince De Vie. Opening with a bid of $200,000 , it quickly moved to $400,000 and was knocked down to the bid of Myron Bell That price was equalled later in the session when Bene Bene also made $400,000 after a spirited bidding duel. A Kadabra filly, she is a full sister to Miss Paris 1: 54.2 $865,160 and Bella Dolce 1:54.2 $730,384 and was knocked down to the bid of Melvin Hartman, Marvin Katz and David McDuffee of Ottawa, Canada.  Bene Bene Three other yearlings topped the $300,000 mark during the first session. Dante is an upstanding colt by Credit Winner from Michelle's Angel which makes him a full brother to the millionaire world champion Archangel. He was knocked down to Bjorn Noren for $355,000 The Europeans were active throughout the session with the highest priced lot going to Europe being another son of Credit Winner in The Perfect Lindy. His dam Highscore Kem won $100,000 and is a 3/4 sister to this years Hambeltonian winner, Trixton. He went to the bid of Robert Lindstrom for $320,000 The only pacer to break through the $300,000 barrier was Sonoma Valley. A daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, she is a half sister to the $2,000,000+ winner Vintage Master and was sold to the bid of well known owner George Segal. By the time the dust had settled, records had been broken left right and centre. The average of $104,959 for the 97 yearlings sold was the first time ever that the $100,000 barrier  had been beaten in the 10 year history of the sale. It was a 21.6% increase over the previous record of $89,847 which was set in 2008. A total of 39 yearlings made $100,000 which tied the record set for a session in 2007. Pacing Colts Sold - 21       Average Price - $77,714 Highest Price - $130,000   Pacing Fillies Sold - 27 Average Price - $106,333 Highest Price - $325,000   Trotting Colts Sold - 31 Average Price - $121,197 Highest Price - $400,000   Trotting Fillies Sold - 18 Average Price - $106,722 Highest Price - $400,000 A total of 156 yearlings were sold during the Wednesday night second session for a total of $8,833,000, producing an average of  about $56,500. Last year's average price for the second session was $52,734. The sale continues on Thursday night at 7 p.m. and runs though Saturday, October 4. Links; Sortable Sale Roster Sale Results Sale Streaming Video active during Sale Harnesslink Media      

Sunday's Morrisville Sale featured overall numbers close to last year’s; five more yearlings were sold for a similar average of more than $10,000. Still, the number sold is down about 37% from 2011. Last year the first crop sales of high profile New York stallions Rock N Roll Heaven and Lucky Chucky created some buzz, while this year it was 2011 sophomore division winner Roll With Joe who was experiencing his first auction. Only five by that stallion sold at Morrisville, for a very modest $8,700 average. Most of the initial action on RWJ will come at Lexington, where nine fillies and eight colts will be sold, and in Harrisburg, where nineteen fillies and eighteen colts will be hammered down. Last year only six from Lucy Chucky’s first crop sold at Morrisville, for an encouraging $22,000 average—high for this sale. The $450,000 the Cancelliere brothers paid for a brother to Muscle Massive and Muscle Mass skewed the results at Lexington, but at Harrisburg 32 averaged more than $32,000. Overall, the Chuckys were well received. Lucky Chucky ranked third behind Conway Hall and Crazed on the NYSS 2-year-old earnings list; Nunkeri, who finished second in the Championship Final, was his top filly and Gabe The Bear Dean and Mambo Blue Chip were two of the better colts. All in all Chucky was competitive in the program but hasn’t made his mark on the Grand Circuit. Granted, opportunities for the latter have been limited. Twice as many sold at Morrisville this year—13—and they averaged about half of what they did last year--$12,423. A dozen Lucky Chuckys will sell in Lexington and 17 will be available at Harrisburg. Like Lucky Chucky, Rock N Roll Heaven keeps a low profile at the Morrisville Sale. Five sold for a $15,000 average last year while three averaged almost $13,000 today. What happened at Morrisville gave no clue about Heaven’s future sale prospects in 2013: 33 of them averaged a hefty $48,000 at Harrisburg. Twenty-five will be available there this year and 30 will sell at Lexington. Heaven ranked third in his division, behind Bettor’s Delight and Art Major, on the NYSS 2-year-old pacing money list. His daughters Sassa Hanover and Band Of Angels were dominant players in the division for Ron Burke, but in the Championship final at Yonkers, the leader in both age groups, Bettor’s Delight, stepped up for the win in the form of his daughter Mosquito Blue Chip. Heaven was a decidedly gyno-centric stallion; his colts were no factor. Prediction: nobody will be writing a $450,000 check for one this year. RC Royalty stands at Morrisville and topped the sale in the number available, as 17 brought an average of more than $13,000. This was down 27% from last year when 20 sold on the wave of Royalty For Life’s division championship. RC Royalty ranked fourth on the 2-year-old money list and fifth on the 3-year-old list. The sophomore filly Avalicious and the freshman colt Royal Deceptor were probably his best. There were no budding Royalty For Life’s in the mix. He sells one at Lexington and none at Harrisburg. His brush with fame did not propel the eleven-year-old beyond his regional stallion status. But the sales topper on Sunday was one of his daughters, Royal Encore, who brought $85,000. Cash Hall, the Self Possessed stallion who now stands in Ohio for $3,000, raised his profile markedly in the NYSS with his outstanding freshman filly Market Rally and her paternal brother Buen Camino. The former crushed the opposition on the Night of Champions. Premium performers will always garner a stallion more love than healthy averages. Last year Cash Hall, who still has NYSS eligibility, had 13 sell at Morrisville for an $8,800 average. This year only four sold, but they averaged three times that. Cash Hall is in a no man’s land between New York and Ohio right now. The young Credit Winner stallion, Crazed, is about to stand his third season at Hanover in Pennsylvania. His fee was dropped from $6,000 to $4,000 last year. Crazed, who still has NYSS eligibility, sold seven for $16,571 today, up from the 12 he sold for an average of $9,200 in 2013. He was second to Conway Hall among two and three-year-old trotters in the NYSS this year. Gural Hanover and Crazy Wow, both winners of their respective finals, were crazy good this year. Nineteen by Crazed sell at Harrisburg. The buyers haven’t been particularly receptive up until now, but we should see more enthusiasm for him this year. Credit Winner, Art Major and Bettor’s Delight play a very limited role in this sale.  The latter, who now resides in Pennsylvania, has exhausted his two-year-old eligibility which will transfer to Ontario next year. He won’t be missed by the other stallions. We’ll find out at Lexington and Harrisburg whether or not the buyers consider his little brother, Roll With Joe, a suitable substitute. Conway Hall, leader of both the two and three-year-old divisions, and the most underrated stallion in the sport, sold seven for a $19,000 average, just like last year. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com

Vernon Downs held harness racing Finals in eight divisions of the New York Excelsior "A" Series on Saturday night with purses totaling $360,000.   The 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings were first up and provided an 11-1 upset with Commissioner Daley (Conway Hall-Irish Washerwoman) storming through the stretch once he got into the clear and rolling right past Genius At Work late to win in a final time of 1:55.2.   Commissioner Daley is owned by Ann-Mari Daley of Lake Worth, Florida and Michael White of Royal Palm Beach, Florida. Dan Daley is the trainer-driver.   2-year-old trotting fillies were up next and, as opposed to the first of the eight Finals, this one went according to form as 3-5 favorite Barn Girl (Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie) took the lead in mid-stretch and held off a strong closing kick from Morcredit Bluechip to score a victory in 1:57.   Barn Girl is owned by Steven and Nancy Pratt of Corfu, New York. The trainer is Howard Okusko and she was driven to victory by Jeff Gregory on Saturday night.   Freshman trotting colts & geldings provided the most exciting stretch drive of the night as part of a 5-1 entry, Progression (Credit Winner-Ens Curious), came through an opening on the inside left when the favored Crazshana drifted out in the lane. Progression's final time was 1:57.4.   Progression is owned by Leigh Raymer, who also trains, of Delaware, Stephen Moss of Pennsylvania, Harold and Helane Solomon of New York. Mark MacDonald was the driver on Saturday night.   The sophomore pacing filly race was won in gate-to-wire fashion by Expose (Artiscape-Good News Lady). She took the lead immediately and never was headed again as she triumphed in 1:52.4   Expose is owned by Linwood Higgins of Scarborough, Maine and Stake Your Claim Stable of Seacaucus, New Jersey. Linda Toscano trains and Jim Morrill Jr. was the winning driver.   Archetto Hanover (Bettor's Delight-Arts Masterpiece) took the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace after rallying past the favored Murder He Wrote at the top of the stretch. He went on to win by a length in a final time of 1:51.4   Archetto Hanover is owned by Paymaq Racing of Illinois, Greg Gillis of Ontario, Canada, and Louis Willinger of Kentucky. The trainer is Erv Miller and the winning driver was Marcus Miller.   2-year-old pacing colts and geldings might have provided one of the more impressive wins of the night from Artistic Major (Art Major-Western Dancer). Artistic Major (Brent Holland) made the lead at the top of the stretch and powered away to win by four lengths in a time of 1:52.4.   Artistic Major is owned by David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio of Ohio and Steve Elliott of New Jersey. Steve Elliott doubles as the trainer.   Freshman pacing fillies followed that and Rock Me Gently (Rock N Roll Heaven-Cam Swifty) prevailed in what turned into a clustered finish with multiple horses ending up close together. The final time was 1:55.   Rock Me Gently is owned by Old Block Stables Inc. and Kenneth Klein of New York and The Fra Stable LLC of New Jersey. The trainer is Steve Elliott.   The final Final of the Excelsior "A" Series on Saturday night was 3-year-old trotting fillies and the winner was Dreamsteeler (Cash Hall-Dream Street) with Jim Morrill Jr. driving. She took the lead right away and cruised to an easy victory by nine lengths in a final time of 1:56.3   Dreamsteeler is owned by Andrew Herzog of Monticello, New York and Tracy Brainard is the trainer.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with an 11-race program. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity

Jack's Reef (Credit Winner) was one of several upset harness racing winners at Saratoga Casino and Raceway on Friday night. Coming out of the barn of leading trainer Jordan Derue, Jack's Reef was a 12-1 longshot in the evening's $8,000 featured trotting race. Showing early speed from post position seven, Jack's Reef made the early lead but gave way at the quarter to the race's favorite Lucid Thoughts (Jay Randall). With several rivals going offstride in the race, Lucid Thoughts and Jack's Reef drew away around the final turn. Derue's ten year old trotter outtrotted the 1-2 favorite in the stretch and wound up drawing away late to win in 1:58.1. It was the second consecutive victory in 1:58.1 for Jack's Reef who won for the fifth time in fifteen seasonal starts. Lucid Thoughts was a clear second while Blackwolf Run (Sam Schillaci) came on for third. Derue holds a six win lead in the trainer standings over conditioner Heidi Rohr. Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella  

Lookslikeachpndale strutted winning form for the first time when he captured his elimination for Saturday's C$390,000 William Wellwood Memorial for 2-year-old male trotters at Mohawk Racetrack and driver Sylvain Filion thinks the colt can show even more. Trained by Luc Blais, Lookslikeachpndale starts Saturday's final from post two, one spot inside of last week's other Wellwood elimination winner, Uncle Lasse. The Wellwood is part of a stakes-filled card that also features the C$682,000 Canadian Trotting Classic for 3-year-old trotters, C$409,000 Elegantimage for 3-year-old female trotters, and C$385,000 Peaceful Way for 2-year-old female trotters. Lookslikeachpndale has one win in five starts, but came into the Wellwood elims off two consecutive third-place finishes after twice finishing off the board. "He's been improving a lot of late," Filion said. "I feel he is still not the horse we think he'll become. He was pretty good last week and I think he is going to get better and better. There's still lots more to him than there is right now. He's still green. He doesn't really know what he's doing out there right now. That's why I think with a few more races he'll get better. He'll probably get the hang of it." A son of 2009 Horse of the Year Muscle Hill out of the stakes-winning mare Poster Pin Up, Lookslikeachpndale was purchased for $185,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by Serge Godin's Determination stable. The colt's second dam is stakes-winner Poster Princess and his third dam is Me Maggie, who was the 1990 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old filly trotter and is a half-sister to Lawn Tennis, the mother of standout racehorse and sire Credit Winner. Me Maggie's offspring include Prime Mistress, the dam of stakes winners The Chancellor and Beer Summit, not to mention grandmother of this year's Hambletonian Oaks winner, Lifetime Pursuit. "He's got a great family," Filion said. "He's got all the credentials for him. I know he will only get better, so that's pretty interesting." Lookslikeachpndale won his Wellwood elimination by a head over Jetpedia in 1:56.2. Uncle Lasse, who is a full brother to Shake It Cerry, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter, won his division by 1-1/4 lengths over Habitat in 1:54.4. Filion also has drives in the Canadian Trotting Classic, Elegantimage and Peaceful Way. In the Canadian Trotting Classic, Filion will sit behind Harper Blue Chip. The Mark Steacy-trained colt has won four of 10 races this year and earned $335,320. He finished third in both the Hambletonian and Goodtimes stakes, both won by CTC contender Trixton. Harper Blue Chip will start from post two. Trixton, trained and driven by Jimmy Takter, leaves from post five while his stablemate, Father Patrick, is in post six. "He's been drawing real bad all year and he finally gets a good post," Filion said. "But we've got a tough bunch of horses to race against. He's very good right now. I'm hoping for a good, close-to-the-front trip and hopefully some top horses won't be on their game, because we'll need a lot of luck to beat those horses. It's a very high-quality group." Filion will drive Designed To Be in the Elegantimage, starting from the second tier in post 11. Trained by Julie Miller, Designed To Be has won three of eight races, never finished worse than third, and earned $366,299 this year. Filion has driven the filly once previously, winning the Simcoe Stakes on Aug. 29 at Mohawk. Designed To Be enters the Elegantimage off a second-place finish to Lifetime Pursuit in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship at Harrah's Philadelphia last weekend. "I was really impressed with her when I drove her," Filion said. "They told me to be careful behind the gate, which I did; maybe I was a little bit extra careful. She's got a huge engine and she can go all day. I watched her race (last week) and she raced huge. She was parked out the whole mile. "My only concern is she's going to be trailing (a horse at the start), but I guess that's better than drawing the 10 hole. I feel confident with her. I think she can overcome that. If everything goes well, there's no problem, but you're following someone leaving the gate and a lot of things can happen. That's my only concern." Million-dollar-earner Shake It Cerry, trained by Takter and driven by Ron Pierce, leaves from post seven in the Elegantimage. She enters the race off a victory in the filly division of the Zweig Memorial on Aug. 29 at Vernon Downs and has eight wins in 10 starts this season. In the Peaceful Way, Filion drives Dynamite Dame, who earlier this year won a division of the Tompkins-Geers at Tioga Downs. Trained by Nifty Norman, she will start from post seven. Elimination winners Jolene Jolene and Mission Brief start from posts three and five, respectively. "She's a nice filly," Filion said. "She tries hard. She might not have the talent that the best ones have in there. But with racing luck we can go a long ways." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Monticello Raceway hosted the final leg of the New York Sire Stakes and the Excelsior Series for 2 year old filly trotters on Wednesday (Sept. 3). There were three $37,000 splits in the sire stakes and five short fields in the Excelsior Series. And despite eight of the 12 races on the card featuring the up- and -coming freshmen trotters still wagering was good. The owners of all the winners could stand tall especially Braxton Medical AB, the proprietors of Shaqline who, in only her fourth lifetime start, equaled the track record for freshmen trotting fillies when Jimmy Takter guided her to a 1:59.2 triumph in her NYSS split. Shaqline now shares top honors with Lady Riviera who also was victorious in 1:59.2 for Ronnie Pierce in 2012. Takter, driving more now and enjoying it immensely, sent the daughter of Credit Winner-Vivaca Hall to the lead from the pole position and they raced unchallenged on the front- end until the final turn. There, after shadowing Shaqline all the way from the get-go, Mark MacDonald moved Nunkeri out to contest the leader but all Takter had to do was give his filly her head and she remained in front as she trotted a final quarter in :28.4 en route to her track record equaling performance. Nunkeri was three lengths back in second place and Dancewithmechuck took home the show dough for Charlie Norris She's a real good filly," Takter told those who joined him in the winner's circle.. He was asked why this was only Shaqline's fourth career start to which he replied; "She had an entrapped epiglottis and it took three surgeries before the problem got fixed. She's breathing great now and she's going to be a real good 3 year old." Shaqline is a pretty nice 2 year old now, Jimmy, and she'll be the one to beat in her $225,000 NYSS Final at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday, September 13. Sent of the favorite in the betting Shaqline paid $3.80 for win. The finale will be no cake walk when Shaqline faces some of the other division winners along the way, especially Concentration and Kaliska, who each were victorious in NYSS action at the Mighty M on Wednesday. Concentration, a daughter of Conway Hall-Super Starlet, had driver Chris Lems smiling in the winners circle after they scored a 2:00.1 victory over Summer Scent and driver Dan Daley. After a slow start Lems put Concentration on the pylons in third position and they were five lengths off the lead set by Daly and Summer Scent as they passed the quarter in :30. Lems followed the leader until he moved his filly out to challenge up the backside. They easily gained command and at the third stanza in 1:30 they had two on Summer Scent. From there it was catch me if you can, and no one could, as Concentration coasted home a 1-1/4-length winner in 2:00.1. Daley's filly was second and Ray Schnittker got Summers Windsong up for third place. "She's a nice filly and if we get a good (post) position in the final I think she'll be heard from,' Lems added through his smiles. Trained by George Ducharme for owner Chip Campbell, Concentration paid $5.20 for win. Schnittker also got a chance to have his picture taken after he won the final $37,000 NYSS division with Kaliska in 2:00. But he had to work hard for it. After they fell into the two-hole on the first turn behind Dan Daley and Cherry Crown Jewel that duo led the field by the quarter in a swift :28. When they passed the half in :58 Schnittker was out and going and Kaliska took command up the backside. They kept the lead until the finish and Schnittker had to steadily urge his filly but Kaliska held off a late rally on the far outside by Mark MacDonald and Duolectra to win by a neck. Favored Pig Hunt was third for George Brennan. "She's green and I had to keep after her because she tried to pull up three times in the stretch," Schnittker expounded after the mile. The Credit Winner-Armbro Vivian filly is trained by Schnittker and owned by Schnittker, Tom Spatorico, the Pepin Stable and Fam Alber Horse Racing LLC. She paid $10.00 for win. The undercard featured five divisions in the Excelsior Series also for freshmen trotting fillies. Winners included: I'm Very Lucky (Sam Schillaci) in 2:08.4 ; Barn Girl (Jeff Gregory) in 2:00; Morcredit Bluechip (Jeff Gregory) in 2:00.2; Teacher Pat (Chris Lems) in 2:02.3 and Waiting Room (Jimmy Morrill, Jr.) in 2:01.1. by John Manzi, for Monticello Raceway

Freehold, NJ --- Trainer Nifty Norman might not be expecting his star mare Bee A Magician to beat the sport’s top male trotters in Friday’s $236,000 Crawford Farms Open at Vernon Downs, but he’s not shying from the challenge, either. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year in both the U.S. and Canada, will face nine male rivals in the Crawford. The field includes world champion Sebastian K, who was Sweden’s Horse of the Year in 2012 and is harness racing’s No. 1-ranked horse this season, plus major stakes-winners Archangel, Intimidate, Market Share, Mister Herbie, and Spider Blue Chip. “I’m not intimidated,” Norman said. “We’ve got to do it at some point, anyway, and I think she seems really good right now. I don’t expect to win, but I expect her to be good. She looks fantastic, nice and sound.” Bee A Magician, a 4-year-old mare who was undefeated in 17 races last season, has won two of eight starts this year and finished second on five occasions. She enters the Crawford off a track-record 1:55 victory over the boys in the open on Aug. 22 at Yonkers Raceway. “That had some bearing on our decision, although that was not the same quality field,” Norman said. “But I liked the way she raced there. “Basically, we’ve got to race and it was either against the mares for $40,000 (in Monday’s Miss Versatility Series leg at Tioga Downs) or the boys for $240,000. Getting a piece of $240,000 is better than winning for $40,000. We figured we’d give it a shot. “Plus Classic Martine is racing as good as anybody right now. It’s not like facing the mares was going to be easy.” Prior to the win in the Yonkers open, Bee A Magician finished second twice to Classic Martine in the Ima Lula Series at the Meadowlands. Classic Martine captured the final by a neck in 1:51.1, equaling Bee A Magician’s world-record time for a 4-year-old female trotter. Three of Bee A Magician’s second-place finishes this year came in miles of 1:51.2 or faster. Another came in the Hambletonian Maturity, contested at 1-1/8 mile, against 4-year-old male rivals. “I haven’t been disappointed with her at all this year,” said Norman, who trains Bee A Magician for owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman, and David McDuffee. “I’ve thought she’s gone some great trips. “People keep asking what’s wrong with her because she’s not winning every race. I didn’t expect her to. It’s tough at this age (4). This year is really a learning curve to see how she handles the step up. It’s more to help plan for next year.” Bee A Magician, who has won 29 of 38 races and $2.49 million, will start the Crawford from post three with regular driver Brian Sears. Sebastian K, who has won seven of eight races this year, his first season in North America, starts from post five for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. He is the fastest trotter in history thanks to his 1:49 win in the Sun Invitational at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on June 28. Intimidate is the only horse to defeat Sebastian K this year, winning the Maple Leaf Trot by a nose. Intimidate, who starts from post eight, won last year’s edition of the Crawford, then called the Credit Winner. Market Share, who has won 24 of 49 races and $3.43 million in his career, was last season’s Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter and the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter. He will start Friday from the trailing position, post 10. “It’s a very good field, that’s for sure,” Norman said. “(Bee A Magician) has got a good spot. There’s lots of speed in there, and if she winds up getting a good enough trip, she should be good enough to get a piece.” The field for the Crawford in post order with listed drivers and trainers: 1. Archangel, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke; 2. Spider Blue Chip, Corey Callahan, Chuck Sylvester; 3. Bee A Magician, Brian Sears, Nifty Norman; 4. Flanagan Memory, Brett Miller, Rene Dion; 5. Sebastian K, Ake Svanstedt, Ake Svanstedt; 6. Master Of Law, Jimmy Takter, Jimmy Takter; 7. Mister Herbie, Brian Sears, Jeff Gillis; 8. Intimidate, Ron Pierce, Luc Blais; 9. Quick Deal, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke; 10. Market Share, Tim Tetrick, Linda Toscano. Spider Blue Chip and Bee A Magician will race as an entry. Market Share will start from the second tier. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Goshen, NY--Few harness horse breeders have made a larger multi-media splash this year than Crawford Farms of Durhamville, New York.   When top trotters Sebastian K and Market Share line up for this Friday's (August 29) $200,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot at Vernon, they will score behind the bright red Crawford Farms starting car. And that is just the beginning of the Crawford's omnipresence. Driven by a passion for the sport, and a desire to help harness racing prosper, the Crawford's have sponsored this season's Meadowlands Pace, Kindergarten Classic and the aforementioned Crawford Farms Trot, formerly the Credit Winner. In addition to vast purse support, they have recently completed a state-of-the-art equine therapeutic spa, 40-stall barn, and a 6-gate horse exerciser at their central New York breeding & racing operation. Their hearts and minds are 'all-in' this game; for their farm and for the future of the Standardbred. Michelle and Albert Crawford have undoubtedly jumped-in with both feet, and provided a much-needed push to a somewhat hesitant industry. "We love this business," noted Albert, son of the late Jim Crawford who was the affable former president of the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State. "My wife and I are committed to breeding top horses in New York State and supporting the industry in the process. We know that it is an uphill battle, but we are digging in for the long haul!" From the second-story Crawford Farms mural at The Meadowlands to the upcoming Red Mile Grand Circuit meet where the water trucks will bear the farm's iconic insignia, racing fans are constantly reminded of the dynamic duo's substantial commitment to the sport. Evident across multiple digital platforms, the Crawford's are very active on social media and have produced and broadcast several TV commercials. This weekend is no exception. With the $400,000 Zweig Trot also this Friday, renovations to the farm have reached a feverish pace this month in preparation for their inaugural Open House on Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. The team is eager to show the sport the fruits of their labor. "Our yearlings are ready and we hope to draw a large crowd of horse people for some food and refreshments while they evaluate our stock," exclaimed Michelle Crawford, who provides much of the spark in the engine around the farm. "My crew has really stepped up over these past few weeks to make this facility 'show ready' for the upcoming affair," the hostess added with a proud smile. The farm, which was founded in 1966 by Jim and Patricia Crawford, continues to be a family affair. The 100-acre nursery has continued to expand not only their footprint, but also their broodmare band. Last year Crawford Farm was the leading major consignor at the Morrisville Sale and will bring nine yearlings back to that venue on Sept. 21. In addition, they have ten yearlings consigned to the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, including two selling on opening night, Sept. 30. While the yearlings were being videotaped, it was 'all hands on deck' and all feet had running shoes. Al, Michelle, Jim Jr., and even matriarch Pat participated in the 35th annual running of the babies. Albert stated, "This is the day we get to really see what we have. It's exciting, but a little nerve-racking too." When they are not prepping yearlings, Michelle and Al own and operate one of the most successful healthcare lending institutions in the nation, Bankers Healthcare Group. In fact, BHG was ranked as the 5th Fastest Growing Private Company by Inc. Formed in 1992 from a modest group of four finance experts, BHG now employs close to 200. It appears that growth and commitment are not just a mission statement, it is a Crawford way of life. by Chris Tully

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 21 - Homen Dry had the Define The World series title fall into his lap Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A field of nine lined up Thursday night to contest the $46,600 series finale for two-year-old trotters. Jetpedia, the leg one winner, sprinted off the gate to grab the lead, while Homen Dry, the leg two winner, got away in third. Jetpedia and driver Mike Saftic trotted by the quarter pole in :29.2 and then slowed the tempo down considerably to reach the half way point in 1:00.4. In the third quarter, Homen Dry and driver Chris Christoforou advanced from third into second, while Saftic picked up the speed with Jetpedia to reach the three-quarter pole in 1:29.4. As the field entered the stretch, it appeared Homen Dry was in for a sprint to get by Jetpedia, but Jetpedia made a costly break a few strides into the stretch allowing Homen Dry to inherit the lead and cruise to a 1:58.2 victory. Trained by Brad Maxwell, Homen Dry won by three quarters of a length over stablemate Southwind Stryker, while Lookslikeachpndale took the show spot. Following the race, Christoforou said the trip didn't exactly work out as planned. "It really wasn't where I wanted to be, but because of his habits he will tend to pull up on the front and I didn't really want to be there even though the fractions were slow" said Christoforou. "I had to sit back, but I didn't want to be too far back because the fractions were slow, so I was close as I could be without being on the front." The series finale victory for the son of Credit Winner - Beyond Blue Chip was the second win in a row after finishing second in his first two career starts. "He (Homen Dry) has done quite well," said Christoforou. "He's a bit of tricky little guy to drive at times, but he's got lots of speed." Owned by Paul Van Camp, Ben Mudry and Tim Murray, Homen Dry was a $19,000 yearling purchase at last November's Harrisburg Sale. The winner's share of the purse increases Homen Dry's career earnings to over $35,000. He paid $4.40 to win. Stakes action continues tomorrow night at Mohawk as the three-year-old trotting fillies will be on display in two $101,296 Casual Breeze Stakes divisions. Headlining the second division is Lifetime Pursuit, the winner of this year's Hambletonian Oaks. She will start from post seven with regular driver Yannick Gingras. Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

Bugsy Malone took today's Prix d'Antibes (E52,000 purse, 2700 meters, seven starters) at Paris-Vincennes for Yohan Lebourgeois and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire in 1.16kr. The 3/5 favorite defeated Berry Felin (3m Nahar de Beval-Krisma des Bois) and Franck Ouvrie at 28/1 with Balthazar Maza (3m Prodigious-Paloma) with Mathieu Abrivard at the lines third for trainer Sebastian Guarato, off at 18/1 odds. The featured Gr. II Prix Pierre Gamare (E120,000 purse, 2700 meters monte, 10 starters) went to Bomba (3f Goetmals Wood-Passion d'Amour) with Mathieu Mottier up for trainer Philippe Allaire at 8.9/1 odds. She scored by six lengths in 1.15kr over 26/1 outside Blooma d'Heripre (3f Rolling d'Heripre-Quenta Por Favor) and David Thomain. 19/1 Bikini des Molands (3m Gai Brillant-Quiche des Molands) was third for trainer Anthony Dollion. Today's Quinte+ was at Vincennes and the Prix de Beaune (European, E60,000 purse, 2700 meters, 15 starters) went to Teatro (7m Ganymede-Josette) with Christian Bigeon up as driver/trainer/owner. The 5.6/1 odds winner recorded his eighth career victory in 38 starts for E241,300, scoring in 1.13.1kr. Tommerre Marjea (7g Jeanbat du Vivier-Jharia du Ham) was second for J-M Bazire with Conrads Fredrik (7g Credit Winner-Ahmeida) third for Dominik Locqueneux. Italy's Nefertite del Rio (7f Varenne-Zeudia) was fourth for Alexandre Abrivard. The exact order Q+ payoff was E3,450 for a E2 wager. The jackpot was E3.65 million. Italy's Painting Wise took the Prix du Perigord (E60,000 purse, 2700 meters, European eligibles with 14 starters) in 1.12.9kr. J-M Bazire teamed the winner for trainer Fabrice Souloy and owner Azienda Agricola Biasuzzi. He was off at 2.6/1 and defeated Virgious Maza (6g Prodigious-Pocket Edition) with trainer/driver Sebastian Ernault. Picone (6m Credit Winner-Fabiaz) was third for trainer/driver Santo Mollo and owner Ecurie Don Miguel. Thomas H. Hicks

Batavia, NY---Perfect weather and a lightning fast track provided record-breaking conditions for Buen Camino and trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and the pair did not disappoint. They were never headed in a $55,500 division of the New York Sire Stakes on Wednesday night (Aug. 20) at Batavia Downs and rewrote history. In an uncharacteristic move, Smedshammer sent Buen Camino out of the gate and put him right on the point; something the 2-year-old had never done before. But it wasn't done by accident; his driver had a plan. Smedshammer said after the race "It was time to put him on the front end. He was very good tonight." And perhaps very good was an understatement. After cutting fractions of :29.3, :59.4 and 1:29.2, Buen Camino pulled away from the pack while motoring in a :28.3 final panel to post a lifetime mark of 1:58 flat, which was also a new track record at Batavia Downs for 2-year-old trotting geldings. Post time favorite Gabe The Bear Dean (Ray Schnittker) got caught second over in a dull outer flow behind Andy Ray (Brent Holland) and followed that one to the top of the last turn before tipping three deep. But by that time it was too late as Buen Camino had opened up three and was cruising for the wire. Insomniac (Jason Bartlett) who skirted the pylons during the mile caught second and Mambo Blue Chip (Jeff Gregory) closed well to be third. The winner paid $22.40. This was the second win in only four lifetime starts for Buen Camino (Cash Hall-Baby Bella) and it boosted his earnings to $64,722 for owner Wanda Polisseni of the Purple Haze Stable LLC. After the race, Polisseni said "He's been a nice horse since day one but he's had some bad trips along the way. Trond really likes him and we're both very optimistic for next year." In the other $54,500 division, Tidquist (Conway Hall-Appomattox Lady) captured his first lifetime win in a convincing wire-to-wire, 1:59.4 victory for driver Mike Simons. Shooting quickly off the wings, Tidquist took a powerful four-length lead to the quarter pole where most of the field had trouble keeping up with him. After marking the first three stations in :30.1, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1, Royal Deceptor (Michael Mc Givern) who had been tracking him second, finally got close and pulled to challenge at the top of the lane. But Tidquist had another idea and turned on the speed to fly home in a sparkling :28.3 final quarter to win by a widening length and a quarter. Royal Deceptor hung on for second and Wings of Royalty (Chris Lems) was third. Overlooked by the bettors, the winner paid $27.60. The win was the first in six lifetime starts for Tidquist and was responsible for the bulk of his $33,196 in earnings for owners Robert Brooks, Jana Bowen, John Buettner and Charlene Long. Tidquist is trained by Jeffrey Long. There were also three divisions of the Excelsior Series that went for a total of $38,000. Abir Hanover (Credit Winner-Are You Ready) captured the first $12,600 division in 2:01.2 for trainer Paul Kelley and driver Jason Bartlett and paid $4.60. Abir Hanover is owned by Paul Kelley, W.J. Donovan and Theodore Gewertz. Lucky Pablo (Lucky Chuck-Classical Princess) won the second $12,700 split, also in 2:01.2 for trainer/driver John Stark Jr. and paid $24.00. Lucky Pablo is owned by Edmund Smith, Crawford Farms LLC, James Giannuzzi and David Smith. And in the third session, Crazshana (Crazed-Keystone Shana) won the $12,700 contest in 2:00.2 for trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer and paid $3.50. Crazshana is owned by the Purple Haze Stable LLC. The Purple Haze Stable sent out three winners on the evening and drivers Trond Smedshammer and Mark MacDonald both had driving triples. Racing resumes on Friday (Aug. 22) at Batavia Downs with a 12 race card that has a 6:35 post time.   Tim Bojarski

Barn Doll got off to a slow start but she finished first and fastest of four divisions of New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting fillies on Sunday (Aug. 17) at Batavia Downs. After getting away a gapped fourth, Barn Doll (Conway Hall-Headintheclouds) and driver Jeff Gregory watched as Jim Morrill Jr.'s Pig Hunt cut out speedy fractions of :29 and :59.3, while pulling just before that second station. After starting the outer flow, Barn Doll slowly advance towards the leader as they hit the three-quarters in 1:30 flat. Once being eased around the last turn, Gregory got the filly in gear and she simply out-motored the rest to win in an impressive 1:59.4. Summers Windsong (Ray Schnittker) who followed Pig Hunt the whole race was second and My Lucky Word (Mark MacDonald) closed outside to be third. The winner paid $4.70. This was the fifth win in seven starts for the Steve Pratt trained Barn Doll who has now earned $70,712 on the year for owners Steve and Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stable. She is the current point's leader in the NYSS standings for her gait and sex. Nunkeri (Lucky Chucky-Laverne Lavec) won the second fastest division, going wire-to-wire in 2:01. After leaving hard to grab the lead, Mark MacDonald then grabbed leather to perfectly rate the game trotter through fractions of :30.1, 1:01.1, 1:31.4 before flying home in a brisk :29.1 to register the win. Betcha (Dan Daley) was second and Northern Obsession (Ray Schnittker) was third. Nunkeri paid $3.50. Nunkeri is owned by Millstream Inc. and the Nunkeri Stable and is trained by Jonas Czernyson. This was her second win in five starts in 2014 and brings her bank up to $49,825. Kaliska (Credit Winner-Armbro Vivian) also won her division in 2:01 but had to do it amidst an overabundance of road trouble. At the start of the race, Duolectra (Mark MacDonald) made a break which allowed Kaliska to inherit a quick lead. That lead was subsequently challenged by Summer Scent (Dan Daley) to the quarter in :30.2. Once she cleared, Kaliska and Ray Schnittker followed close behind while watching Concentration (Chris Lems), Frou Frou (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Spell That (Sam Schillaci) make breaks at various points of the mile. Once pulled, Kaliska out-dueled Summer Scent to the wire to win by almost two lengths. Kaliska returned $15.00 to win. The victory was the second of the year for Kaliska and pushed her earnings to $44,957 for owners Tom Spatorico, the Pepin Stable, Farm Alber Horse Racing LLC and Ray Schnittker, who is also her trainer. In the fourth split, Zanna Blu (RC Royalty-Zann's Fan) proved dominant in what became a very short field very fast. With an early scratch and Miss B'ville J (Jim Morrill Jr.) and Hot Start (Mark MacDonald) making breaks before the eighth pole, Zanna Blu found herself with a commanding lead and only three contenders behind her. Driver Gates Brunet took her through fractions of :30.3, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1 with a five-length lead, before shutting her down with a line-drive to a length and three-quarter win in 2:01.1. She returned $6.90 to her backers. This was the third win in six starts for Zanna Blu and her owners Albert Crawford, Michelle Crawford and James Crawford. The winners share pushed the Gates Brunet trained filly's cash total to $47,176 for 2014. There were also two divisions of the Excelsior series on the card. Meshugana Miss (Crazed-Darling Marissa) who was driven by Mark MacDonald won the first $12,600 division in 2:00.4 for owner/trainer Janice Conner. Long Summer (Prayer I Am-Summer Ran) driven by Jeff Gregory won the second $12,700 split in 2:04.2 for owner Roy Dobbins and trainer Andrew Byler. And Barn Girl (Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie) was driven by Mark MacDonald and won the last $12,700 session in 2:02.4 for owners Steve and Nancy Pratt. Barn Girl is trained by Howard Okusko. Driver Jim Morrill Jr. registered his 6,000 career driving victory in a non-betting Excelsior B race with Ron's Coren in 2:04.1. Along with the wins, Morrill has pocketed purses totaling $87,659,175 during his career and annually remains one of the highest UDR reinsmen in the sport. Drivers Jeff Gregory and Mark MacDonald both scored driving triples on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Aug. 20) with post time at 6:35. The card features two divisions of the $110,000 New York Sires Stakes for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

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