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Cranbourne harness racing trainer and veterinarian Dr Hugh Cathels has embarked on an ambitious plan to race the North American trotting filly Waiting Room from his base at the Cranbourne Training Complex in the coming months. Cathels has long harboured a desire to turn his hand to the trotting gait after achieving success with the prominent pacers Garnet River, Gemfire and Astronaut in recent years. Never one to do things by halves, Cathels hatched a plan some time ago to purchase a well-bred, well-performed USA filly and realised that dream when he secured the three-year-old daughter of Credit Winner at last week’s Harrisburg mixed sales. The winner of over $78,000US to date, Waiting Room has taken a lifetime mark of 1:56:1 and has recorded wins in a heat of the Kindergarten Series at two and legs of the Excelsior Series at both two and three years of age.  Waiting Room is the oldest progeny of the race winning 1:56:4 mare Wedding Dress who accumulated over $100,000US on the track. Understandably Cathels is excited at the prospect of getting his purchase downunder. “My daughter Holly actually flew to Harrisburg and settled on Waiting Room after inspecting a dozen or so fillies that we had picked out from the sale catalogue. I couldn’t get away at this time of year but Holly says she is a lovely big filly with a wonderful temperament.  Hopefully we have got the right horse,” Cathels said. “She was just below the A-graders this season and only managed one win but was placed in five New York Sires Stakes heats before being unplaced in the final." Waiting Room will begin a one-month quarantine period in mid-December before flying out to Australia in January. In the meantime Cathels intends racing the mare from the Noel Daly barn hoping to pick up another three-year-old win before the end of the North American season. “It would be tremendous to pick up another win or two before she flies out to help with the transport costs of getting her home. She is in full work and won a trial last week so we’d be silly not to keep her going. My understanding is that even if she was to win another two before leaving Waiting Room will arrive as a four-year-old T0 mare and so there should be plenty of scope to win a race or two with her here.” When pressed on his plans for the filly Cathels explained: “We will see how she acclimatises before deciding on a programme for her." Hugh and Holly, who combine their training duties with a busy equine veterinarian practice, also have high hopes for a current two-year-old colt by Mach Three from Gemfire and a two-year-old filly by Somebeachsomewhere from Penultimate who should return to their Cranbourne stable in the coming weeks. by David Scott Harness Racing Victoria

Jericho (Credit Winner) prevailed in Thursday's harness racing feature for New York Sired trotters at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The three year old was recently purchased by Linda Kenney and the DiStefano & Son Stable of Massachusetts following a season in the New York Sires Stakes. Competing mostly in the Excelsior Series, Jericho had a solid summer and followed up his stint in the Excelsior with a win for new connections in a $20,000 trotting event at Yonkers Raceway in September. On Thursday, Jericho made his return to the Spa and was the public's 4-5 betting favorite while starting from the rail. Driver Mark Beckwith moved the favorite out to the early lead before withstanding a tenacious first-over bid from fellow Excelsior participant Nono Lindy (Frank Coppola Jr). Jericho drew clear of that rival late in the mile and hit the wire first in 1:58.4. The three year old's victory was his fifth in eleven career tries. Nono Lindy finished second while longshot Camp Speedy (Billy Dobson) earned the show spot in the $11,250 feature for trotters. Live racing continues on Friday with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

Nautilus De Vie (Credit Winner) scored in the $11,250 feature for New York Sired trotters with harness racing driver Jimmy Devaux in the sulky on Thursday evening at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The five year old trotter went wire-to-wire in 1:58.1 just one week after finishing an improved third in the same class. Nautilus De Vie was one of four winners on the card for Devaux who has been going back and forth with Stephane Bouchard for fourth in the local driver standings this season. The Jim Doherty-trainee prevailed for the fourth time of the season and did so at odds of 6-1. Kinda Naughty (Bouchard) finished second after getting the pocket ride to the winner while Patronus (Frank Coppola Jr) closed for third. Devaux piloted four winners on the program including one with pacer Partner for trainer Gary Levine who had three wins of his own on the Thursday card. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 6:45pm. Mike Sardella

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, September 12, 2015-It was a dark and stormy night, but undeterred, Yonkers Raceway forged ahead for the first of two harness racing New York Nights of Champions. For the first time since its inception in 1990, the eight sire stakes finals were halved. Saturday night, the Empire's best 3-year-olds had the marquee, with four, $225,000 sire stakes finals. The NYSS events were each again sponsored by a prominent breeding farm. The skinny... Majestic View Farms Filly Trot - Second choice Jewels in Hock (Jim Morrill Jr., $6.20), leaving from post position No. 4, needed every bit of her lead. She was just sway against the relentless chase of last season's divisional champ, 3-5 favorite Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory). The final margin, after fractions of :28.1, :57, 1:26. and a sloppy 1:56.3, was a narrow nostril, with both drifting late (though not near one another). Lady Winona (Jason Bartlett) was a pocket third. For Jewels in Hock, a daughter of Credit Winner trained by Linda Toscano for KJ Stables, it was her ninth win in 17 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $12.20, with the triple returning $27.60. "The advantage we had (over Barn Doll) was this filly can leave the gate," Toscano said. "She hasn't always been the easiest horse to work with and we've tinkered with the equipment, but she's shown she has the talent." After the race, it was revealed Barn Doll had been sold to William Weaver III for an undisclosed amount, with Gregory taking over the training. Cameo Hill Farm Filly Pace - Props to Bartlett, who launched Band of Angels ($21.60) from an eight-hole and went the distance. She looped defending champ (and 2-1 choice) Mosquito Blue Chip (Morrill Jr.), forcing that one into a seat and a second move. Band of Angels was able to rate early (:28.2, :58, 1:26.1, 1:54), then whip pocket-protecting Devil Child (Jimmy Whittemore) by a wet nose. Mosquito Blue Chip was a credible third. For sixth choice Band of Angels, a daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven owned by W J Donovan and trained by Ron Burke, she's now 6-for-13 this season. The exacts paid $124.50, with the triple returning $458.50. "I was going to duck her inside (Mosquito Blue Chip), but she was so good leaving, I just went on with it," Bartlett said. "The half was cheap, even with the sloppy track and she felt strong. We beat some nice fillies in here." Morrisville College Equine Institute Colt/Gelding Trot - In bingo, Habitat (Morrill Jr. $2.70) would have been your proverbial free space. A Yonkers Trot champ last Saturday was a statebred champ this Saturday. From post No. 3, Habitat saw Wings of Royalty (Bartlett) grab the first lead, then did his thing (:29, :58.2, 1:28. 1:56.3). The final margin was a never-threatened length-and-a-quarter over Wings of Royalty, with Mythology Bluechip (Andy Miller) third. For Habitat, a Conway Hall colt co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Burke, Weaver Bruscemi and Our Horse Cents Stable, it was his eighth win (fourth consecutive) in 15 '15 tries. The exacta paid $13.20, with the triple returning $83.50. "A training mile," Morrill Jr. said. Blue Chips Farms Colt/Gelding Pace - "He just shows up every start." That's what co-owner/trainer Tom Fanning appreciates about odds-on Betting Exchange (Bartlett, $3.70) after that one's solid win in the finale of the sire stakes quartet. Two-moving to the lead from post No. 5, he controlled the conversation (:27.1; 56.4; 1:24.4; 1:52.4), dispatching a first-up Rockin' in Heaven (Trevor Henry) en route to a handy, 3¼-length victory. Rank outsider Americanprimetime (Eric Carlson) skimmed the cones for second at 41-1, with first leader National Seelster (Miller) lasting for third. For Betting Exchange, a son of Bettor's Delight also co-owned by Howard Taylor and Susan Kajfasz, he's now 3-for-14 this season after beginning 0-for-7. The exacta paid $77.50, with the triple returning $393.50. Scheduled superfecta wagering was cancelled after a pair of scratches, including the winner's entrymate. "We closed up his bridle and that's made him more aggressive," Fanning said. "He's not waiting on horses anymore." The Raceway hosts New York Night of Champions (Part II)-four, $225,000 sire stakes finals for 2-year-olds-Saturday night. Sept. 26. Saturday's pair of $48,000 Open Handicaps were won by... --Pace, Sapphire City (Jordan Stratton, $26.80) in 1:52.2; --Trot, Luminosity (George Brennan, $10) in 1:55.2. Frank Drucker  

When the best Empire State harness racing 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits convene at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday (Sept. 12) for the first edition of the 2015 Night of Champions, some of the best sophomores in North American harness racing will be competing for the $900,000 in purses. In fact, it will include four of the top 20 colt and filly pacers and four of the top 15 colt and filly trotters currently in the sport. That gaudy list is definitely led by Habitat 3, 1:53 ($1,104,841) by Conway Hall-Habit's Best, whose $570,434 in 2015 ranks him fourth in North America among trotters of all ages behind Hambletonian winner Pinkman, Open sensation JL Cruze and Hambletonian Oaks winner Wild Honey. Habitat has been made the morning line choice in the 3-year-old trotting colt and gelding division by the track handicapper and is listed at 1-1. After completing an outstanding freshman campaign that saw him earn in excess of $500,000, Habitat began this year in quick fashion by winning the $133,170 Dexter Cup at Freehold in his very first start. He then won two out of three early NYSS events before hitting the Grand Circuit. Habitat trotted his fastest mile of the year in his Hambletonian elimination heat where he finished fourth to eventual stake winner, Pinkman, in 1:51.2. Unfortunately he drew post 10 in the final and was only able to watch his stablemate, Mission Brief, finish second from nine lengths behind. But since that time, the Conway Hall colt has been red hot; stringing together three consecutive victories in what could only be described as dominating fashion. He won the $58,662 Tompkins Memorial at Tioga Downs in a lifetime best-tying time of 1:53. Then two weeks later it was wire to wire in the $40,000 Yonkers Trot elimination. And he followed that up with a three and one-half length romp in the $500,000 Yonkers Trot final. The NYSS final will be the third straight start at Yonkers Raceway for Habitat, who has already shown a propensity to perform well on that surface. The sports leading trainer, Ron Burke, will send Habitat postward with the leading NYSS driver, Jim Morrill Jr. in tow for owners Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables and Weaver Bruscemi. The 3-year-old distaff trotting division features Barn Doll who has been installed as the 9-5 choice. Barn Doll 3, 1:52.1 ($560,650) by Conway Hall-Headintheclouds, seemingly does nothing but win. She is 17 out of 21 lifetime and 10 out of 12 this year. Her lifetime mark of 1:52.1 occurred two weeks in a row at Vernon Downs in June when she won the elimination and final of the $248,275 Empire Breeders Classic in identical times. Barn Doll has only been beaten twice this year, finishing second both times. And as this filly likes to come at the three-eighths, it took a :56 back half at Tioga and a :57 last-lap at Yonkers to take her down. Given the convincing manner she won her most recent two starts it would appear she comes into this race razor sharp. Steve Pratt trains Barn Doll and co-owns the filly with Nancy Pratt and Wanda Polisseni's Purple Haze Stable. Jeff Gregory will once again be at the lines as he has for eight of her wins this year Jewels In Hock 3, 1:53.3 ($254,496) by Credit Winner-Jewels Galore, should pose the major threat to Barn Doll in this race as she comes into the contest winning three out of her last four starts. She is eight out of 16 in the winner's circle this year and that $241,496 has accounted for the bulk of her lifetime income. The filly likes the front end and will get the opportunity to cut the race in here for driver Jim Morrill Jr. Linda Toscano trains Jewels In Hock for Ken Jacobs' KJ Stables LLC. In the 3-year-old pacing filly division, Mosquito Blue Chip is rated the 5-2 morning line choice but comes into the race as bit of an enigma. Mosquito Blue Chip 3, 1:49.3 ($477,511) by Bettor's Delight-Sandfly Hanover, had been rolling right along; winning three out of four races including a lifetime best 1:49.3 in winning the $269,000 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs on August 23. But the very next week after a raucous spell behind the gate, going into the first turn she made the only break of her career; and it was a bad one. So how does that affect her chances 12 days later over the same track? Aside from that line, Mosquito Blue Chip has been a model of consistency since the beginning of June. She is eight out of 12 in the money, including five wins. And she was the third leading point getter and second highest money-earner in the series for her division this year. Jim Morrill Jr. will steer Mosquito Blue Chip for trainer Paul Jessop, who co-owns the filly with Our Three Sons Stable LLC and Donato Falcicchio. Finally, in the 3-year-old pacing colts and geldings split, Betting Exchange is the prohibitive 7-5 choice coming off a very convincing outing his last start. Betting Exchange 3, 1:51.2 ($401,663) by Bettor's Delight-Cheeky Hanover, is having an outstanding year. He finished third behind Wakizashi Hanover and Wiggle It Jiggleit (who are currently first and third in North America for 2015 earnings) in the $810,000 North America Cup at Mohawk Raceway in 1:48 flat, beaten only three lengths. Then he finished fourth in the $290,000 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs. Yannick Gingras took the colt to the front from post seven in 26.2 before getting a two-hole trip for the race. After shaking loose in the stretch, he finished fourth in 1:50, beaten only three lengths. Betting Exchange followed that up with a devastating nine-length victory seven days later at Batavia Downs, going the mile in 1:51.2 and just missing the all-time track record by one fifth of a second. Jason Bartlett was up for that win and returns to try and repeat the effort for trainer Tom Fanning. Betting Exchange is owned by his trainer along with Howard Taylor and Susan Kajfasz. By Tim Bojarski, for the Harness Horse Breeders of New York        

Avivas Winner (Credit Winner) lengthened his win streak in the Wednesday night feature at the harness racing meeting at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The John Podres-trained trotter didn't have a victory this season before a couple weeks ago but after scoring a front-running win in 1:57.4 two weeks back, the young trotter has gotten awfully sharp. Jim Devaux pilots the four year old who held on to repeat as the public's odds-on favorite last week. Avivas Winner was the second choice in the wagering as he looked to threepeat in Wednesday's $11,250 trotting feature. After an early scramble for the lead, Avivas Winner overpowered the favored leader heading to the half and cruised away from his rivals to prevail by eight lengths in a career best 1:56.3. Devaux and Podres also teamed up for a win with veteran pacer Predator DVM (Bettor's Delight) who scored in a seasonal best 1:53.3. Devaux, who currently sits fourth in the local driver standings, piloted four winners on the Wednesday card. Live racing continues at Saratoga on Thursday with a first post time of 4:00pm. Mike Sardella  

Nautilus De Vie (Credit Winner) easily set a new lifetime mark as he trotted past the race's favorite to prevail in the $8,300 co-feature on Thursday night at the harness racing meeting at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Leading driver Bruce Aldrich Jr. piloted the Jim Doherty-trained trotter and left hard early to make the lead before yielding to the move of the favored UF Lindsay Lou Who (Mark Beckwith). Nautilus De Vie went into the passing lane in the stretch and sailed by to score in a career best 1:57.2 in the Winners of 2 but not more than four Lifetime trotting co-feature. UF Lindsay Lou Who held second while Tango Pirate (Frank Coppola Jr) earned the show spot. It was the third victory of the year for Nautilus De Vie who came into Thursday's tilt with a career best win time of 2:01.1, a mark that was significantly lowered after his pocket ride in the co-feature. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 7:05pm. Mike Sardella  

Form pretty much ruled the Tuesday afternoon harness racing meeting, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the $166,874 New York Sire Stakes Mike Cipriani Trot for 3-year-old fillies. It certainly did in the second ($82,687) division, as Barn Doll (Jeff Gregory, $2.10) won as she pleased. Near the back off the early bus from position No. 5, she methodically moved to the lead just passing the half, then put the hammer down. The final margin was an unasked 5¼ lengths in 1:55.3. Northern Obsession (Tyler Buter) was a rallying second, with Zanna Blu (George Brennan) third. For Barn Doll, a daughter of Conway Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve Pratt & Nancy Pratt and Purple Haze Stables, it was her 10th win in a dozen seasonal starts (17-for-21 lifetime). The exacta paid $7.20, the triple returning $62 Form was also in play in the opening ($84,187) sire stakes event, as second choice Lady Winona (Miller)-from post No. 3--snapped pace-setting 6-5 choice Jewels in Hock (Jim Morrill Jr.) in an 1:55.3, two-speed number (no misprint, the winning times were identical). The margin here was three-quarters of a lengths. Frou Frou (Brennan) "won the bob" for third as the 52-1 rank outsider. For Lady Winona, a Credit Winner miss trained by Julie Miller for owner Stroy Inc. (which includes Ms. Miller), she's now 3-for-15 this season. The exacta paid $17.20, with the triple returning $459. The hard-working lass was second (ironically, beaten from the pocket) in this past Saturday night's final of the Hudson Filly Trot. Tuesday's sire stakes event honored the memory of Yonkers' longtime, award-winning track photographer, whose family-including son, Ralph-made the winner's circle presentations. Special Tuesday props to Grain of Truth (Jordan Stratton, $17.20) as the ageless (actually 14-year-old) gelding won the $19,000, fifth-race trot in 1:56.1 It was the 81st career win in 336 starts for the now-$1.5 million earner, owned by Charles Iannazzo and trained by Ray Schnittker. Frank Drucker

Credit Score (Credit Winner) cruised to victory in Thursday's featured claimer at the harness racing meeting Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The nine year old trotter dropped into the $7,500 claiming level for the first time and driver Alek Chartrand got the call to pilot the veteran for trainer Andy Sardella and owner Julie Asmussen, wife of thoroughbred trainer Steve Asmussen. Credit Score, the race's 6-5 betting favorite moved right out to the front and extended his lead throughout the mile before drawing off to win by more than five lengths in 1:57.3. It was the ninth victory in eighteen seasonal tries for Credit Score who was claimed out of Thursday's race. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with first post time set for 7:05pm.                                       Mike Sardella  

Batavia, NY-- He's three-for-three at the current meet and continues to win at will. Lutetium wired his foes on Friday night (Aug. 14) in the $10,000 Open trot feature at Batavia Downs. Once again leaving from the widest post in the draw (7), Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) made quick work of taking the lead before setting-down for the mile. However this week his main rival BZ Glide (Mike Caprio) decided to leave as well and tucked in third for the trip. The field was led to a soft half in: 58 when the tempo picked up on the backside. Lutetium tripped the three-quarters in 1:26.3 with BZ Glide on the outside, closing in for the chase. As the race hit the top of the stretch, Lutetium's 2-length advantage was dwindling and continued to do so as the sparring pair drove to the wire. But when they hit, the 8-year-old gelded son of Credit Winner mustered just enough to gut out a head victory over the fast closing BZ Glide. It was the seventh win in 21 starts for Lutetium ($7.60) and pushed his earnings to $48,331 for owner Colleen Girdlestone and trainer Mark Laidlaw. Five drivers were seeing double on Friday as Kevin Cummings, Shawn Gray, Dave McNeight III, Ray Fisher Jr. and Jim McNeight all scored two wins on the card. Shawn Gray, Jim McNeight and Carl Smith also tallied a pair as trainers. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday (Aug. 15) with post time set for 6:35 p.m. By Tim Bojarski  Batavia Downs Media Relations  

Vernon, N.Y. -- Four New York Sire Stakes events for 2-year-old trotting fillies headlined Friday (August 14) evening's harness racing card at Vernon Downs, and Lucky Chucky filly Posterity ($7.30) proved most impressive among the quartet of winners.   In the $27,250 seventh race, trainer-driver Charlie Norris floated Posterity into midfield from her outside post, rating well off odds-on favourite Dizzy Broad (Jim Morrill, Jr.) through a :27.4 first quarter before charging to the fore amid a slackening :58.1 half mile. Upon reaching the end of the backstretch, Posterity was able to clear down to the pegs, turn aside a mild challenge from the first-over Credit To Thelimit (Sam Schillaci), and draw clear of her rivals through a dazzling :27.4 final quarter. Her 1:56 mile was the fastest of the four Sire Stakes splits, and she defeated runner-up Dizzy Broad by 3-1/2 lengths.   Carrie Norris, Janine Zito, and Buck Sprinkle share the ownership of Posterity.   Ãke Svanstedt recorded a Sire Stakes driving double, teaming up with Jimmy Takter trainee Pampered Winner ($13.00) in the $27,250 fourth race for his first of two co-featured wins. The royally-bred daughter of Credit Winner kicked clear off a first-over effort, holding off a late charge from Monarchs Sequel (Mark MacDonald) in 1:56.2. Svanstedt also prevailed with his own pupil Non Stick ($6.30) in the $27,750 ninth race, kicking clear from the pocket to defeat Swinging Royalty (Chris Lems) by 3-1/2 lengths in 1:56.3.   The greatest margin of victory went to Goosebump Hanover ($6.10), who drew off for a 4-1/4 length triumph in the $ 27,250 sixth race. After brushing to the lead on the first half of the far turn, Goosebump Hanover gradually extended her advantage over Lucky Kristen (Marcus Melander) and I Will Take Credit (Dan Daley), prevailing ultimately in 1:57.2. Jim Morrill, Jr. drove the RC Royalty filly for trainer Ron Burke.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 15) evening. Post time is 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs    

The harness racing meeting at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night hosted the $168,374 New York Sire Stakes Joe Goldstein Trot for 3-year-old fillies. The event, honoring the memory of a legendary sports publicist, went in two, $84,187 events. The opening division was won by Barn Girl (Jeff Gregory, $5.60) in a snappy 1:56.4. Unhurried from post position No. 2, she saw pole-sitting Nunkeri (Mark MacDonald) contend with a second move from 9-10 choice Lady Winona (Andy Miller). Nunkeri owned a short lead into the lane, but Barn Girl-who had chased Lady Winona before falling into a vacant pocket-ducked inside and went by. She beat "Winona" by a 1¾ lengths, with Nunkeri an easily-better-than-the-rest third. "She was very good in Excelsiors (lower-level statebred races), so they wanted to try her in sire stakes," Gregory said of Barn Girl. "She's turned into one of the better one in this group." For second choice Barn Girl, a daughter of Cash Hall co-owned by (trainer) Steve & Nancy Pratt and Out in the Country Stable, it was her fifth win in nine seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, with triple returning $28. Thursday night's second sire stakes event saw Jewels in Hock (Jim Morrill Jr., $4.60) hold off a troubled-trip, 1-2 favorite in last season's freshman champ Barn Doll (Gregory). The final margin was a length in 1:57.3. First leader Waiting Room (Miller) held third. In play from post No. 4, Jewels in Hock retook from Waiting Room as Barn Doll, in search of a ninth consecutive victory, was caught wide early. She eventually found a five-hole before moving again first-up. For second choice "Jewels," a Credit Winner miss trained by Linda Toscano for owner Ken Jacobs' KJ Stables, she's now 7-for-14 this season. The exacta paid $9.50, with the triple returning $45.20. "She's given us a lot of headaches with her equipment," Toscano said. "John (Campbell, who drove her exclusively earlier in the season) wanted her rigged one way, while Jimmy (Morrill Jr.) wanted her another way." We eventually (and lovingly, we'd guess) told Jimmy to shut up and we're leaving her the way she was with John, and it's seemed to work out." The Raceway's live season continues Friday and Saturday (first post both nights 7:10 PM). Frank Drucker

Batavia, NY---More spectacular weather greeted a full house of harness racing fans at Batavia Downs on Friday night (July31) and the faithful were treated to extraordinary performances by both man and beast. The man was 20-year-old Drew Monti, who put on a driving clinic scoring five victories on the card. He won with Feets Of Magic ($4.00), I'm The Cash Man ($15.80), Ooga Booga ($7.80), Greg's Girl ($10.40) and Big Baller ($5.70). But winning wasn't the whole story. Monti had a total of eight drives and never missed the board. Besides the already mentioned victories, he had two seconds and a third which gave him an amazing UDR of .805 for the program. The beast was definitely Lutetium (Kevin Cummings) who regained old form and put forth a monstrous effort in winning the Friday night feature, $10,000 Open trot. Leaving with the car when the race began, Lutetium was on top before track announcer Joe Zambito could articulate it. He then took his followers through fractions of 28.2, 57 and 1:26.2 before trotting away from the group by three-lengths in 1:56 flat. That time was one-fifth off the track record for aged trotting geldings, which Lutetium co-holds with Second Hand News. The effort was so dominant that no other horse in the race got close enough to make a bid. It was the fifth win in 19 starts this year for Lutetium and it raised his annual income to $38,581 for owner Colleen Girdlestone. Mark Laidlaw trains the altered son of Credit Winner who paid $7.40. Other notable performances included Downs defending driving champion Kevin Cummings scoring a hat trick and trainer Darrin Monti who also registered three winners on the card. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night with post time set at 6:35. By Tim Bojarski, Batavia Downs Media Relations

Four divisions of New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) 2-year-old trotting fillies went postward on opening night (7-27) at the harness racing meeting at Batavia Downs and as a result the first record of the season just missed being broken. The track proved lightning fast as three of the four divisions set lifetime marks. Posterity (Lucky Chucky-Vintage Ship) took full advantage of an early break by favored Winning Princess (Jim Morrill Jr.) to wire the field and post a 1:59.1 victory, which was only one-fifth of a second off the track record set by Dreamy Dawn in 2010. Charlie Norris, who both trains and drives the filly, left sharp and set even fractions en route to an easy three and one-half length decision. The winning time was a new lifetime mark and the second win in three starts this year for Posterity, who paid $7.00. Posterity is owned by Carrie Norris, Janine Zito and Jerry Buck Sprinkle. In the first division, Lima Playtime (Credit Winner-Pacific Legacy) was an easy coast to coast winner who led the field by open lengths the whole race. Driver Rick Zeron seemed to have a gas pedal at his disposal after they passed three-quarters in 1:32.1; that's when the mare sped away from the group to come home in an impressive 28.3 and take a new lifetime mark of 2:00.4. The even-money favorite returned $4.20. Zeron trains and co-owns Lima Playtime with Millar Farms, James Walker and Paul Fisher. The second division saw a dominant winner displaced due to interference by her coupled entry. Goosebump Hanover (RC Royalty-Good Common Cents) and Jim Morrill Jr. wasted no time getting the lead before setting speedy fractions of 28.4, 58.4 and 1:29.4 into the far turn. The entry on the ticket, Steel Wheels (Lucky Chucky-Some Girls) and Gates Brunet pulled off the rail from third to take a shot at the leader. But shortly after that move, she made a break and interfered with trailing horses. After the heavily favored Goosebump Hanover pulled away to an easy five-length victory, the inquiry sign went up, and the winner came down due to the interference by the coupled horse. Second place finisher, Credit To Thelimit (Credit Winner-Prize Angie) and driver Sam Schillaci were then declared the winner ($23.80). Credit To Thelimit is also trained by Schillaci for owners Matthew Bencic, Peter Barbato, Sam Bova and Jodi Schillaci. In the final split, Dizzy Broad (Broad Bahn-Portia) proved last week's win was no fluke as she set a new lifetime mark of 2:00.4 while registering a four-length decision over her six competitors. Lindylicious (Credit Winner-Scrumptious Lindy) flew off the wings for Chris Lems and went right to the front before leading for almost three-quarters of the race. But when the field was headed up the backside, driver Kevin Cummings pulled Dizzy Broad from third and appeared to fly past Lindylicious to take the lead. From that point on the only thing in question was how much the filly would win by. Dizzy Broad, who is owned and trained by Noel Daley, returned $9.10 to her backers. There were also two divisions of the NYSS Excelsior A series on the card and the both also proved to be career best efforts for the winners. Take The Cash (Cash Hall-Take The Lid Off) driven by Jim Morrill Jr. scored her first career victory in 2:01.4 and returned $4.60. Take The Cash is trained by Perry Simser, who co- owns the filly with Clifford Morcom, Richard Kaplan and Salvatore Corcione. In the second leg, Barn Diva (Conway Hall-Misty Ridge) captured her second straight career win while also stopping the timer in 2:01.4. The winner, who returned $4.30, is trained and co-owned by Steve Pratt with Nancy Pratt and the Purple Haze Stable. Racing resumes Wednesday night (7-29) at Batavia Downs with the first post set for 6:35 p.m. Tim Bojarski

July 22, 2015 - Today’s Enghien Quinte+ (€4.9 million jackpot) was the Prix du Medoc (€65,000 purse, 2875 meters, 16 starters European eligibles) and the open-lengths 1.14kr winner was second-favorite 1.3/1 odds Rocky Winner (7m Credit Winner-Level Fortytwo). Jorgen Westholm trains this one for Nortronic KB of Sweden.  1.1/1 favorite H.M. Monocerus (8f Staro Showbiz-Taxi Genova) was second for trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin for owner Geir Nordbotten of Norway. 12/1 Ufena Nonantaise (7f Kerido du Donjon-Info Nonantaise) was third for Eric Raffin. Enghien’s Prix de Crespieres (€44,000 purse, 2875 meters, 16 starters) was a 1.16.4kr victory for Auroire Sautonne (5f Ready Cash-Galaxie de Sautonne) with trainer Tonyt LeBeller driving for owner Ecurie de Suatonne. This 4.6/a odds winner defeated 3/2 favorite Athena de l’Abbaye (5f Defi d’Aunou-Galbanella) for trainer J-M Bazire and owner Ecurie de l’Abbaye. 23/1 Australio Beco (5f Jam Pridem-High Star) was third in this close battle to the line. The Gr. III Prix de la Chaussee d’Antin (€85,000 purse, 2875 meters) went to 9/10 odds favorite Akido (5g Love You-Isba) with trainer Franck Nivard up for owner Ecurie Comte P. de Montesson ahead of 10.6/1 Attila du Gaboreau (5m Mercenaire-Iola du Gabereau) with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer Mathieu Abrivard. Third was 2.6/1 Alsonn de Gucz (5m Baccarat du Pont-Gitana de Bellouet) with trainer J-M Bazire driving. Time of race was 1.17.3kr over the extended distance. Thomas H. Hicks  

A field of eight pacers will assemble for the Thursday evening feature at the harness racing meeting at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park and it promises to be a lively opening quarter. First race post time is 7 pm for the 12-dash program. Windemere Eric is the classifier's choice in the race 11 feature with a $1.700 purse. Gary Chappell trains, drives and owns the six-year-old son of Articulator and will leave from the outer post 7 with plenty of early speed promised to his inside. The hard leaving Minor Wisdom has post 6 for driver Brad Smith and owner-trainer Kristina McCourt of Summerside fresh off of a fourth place finish in 1:57 where she cut opening fractions of 27.4 and 56.4 in Summerside. Leading Camdidate has rail control with Ken Murphy in the bike for owner-trainer Jeff Holmes of Orwell, while Beckenbauer is second choice from post 5 with Ryan Perrot subbing in for regular driver Jason Hughes, who is competing in stakes races in Truro Thursday. Race analyst Les MacIsaac gives the nod to Leading Camdidate in the feature event. "A good late kick and rail control can be a dangerous combination and that's just what this guy has so we'll treat him as the one to beat," MacIsaac said of Leading Camdidate. Other entries include Prince Adam (Mark McKinnon), Sinners In Heaven (Terry Gallant), Whitesand Artist (Neil Bambrick) and Balanchine (Ron Matheson). Two trot classes populate the evening program in races 3 and 5. The race 3 trot has the veteran trotter Neal favoured from post 7 with co-owner and trainer Brian Andrew in the bike for co-owner William Andrew of Calgary. The seven-year-old son of Credit Winner drops out of the Open trot will look to capitalize on his backclass to land in the winner's circle and bolster his $280,883 in lifetime earnings. Other top choices in the $1,350 affair include Hopedale Dora (Joey Pineau) and Kims Pjs (Lenny Myers). Race 5 has a $1,550 purse on the lines with Majian Dilion getting the faith of the classifier and drawing post 1 for trainer-driver Jim Ripley and owner Marylea Ripley of Amherst, N.S. JK Queen (Doug MacGregor) and Money Show (Brian Andrew) are the next choices. Nicholas Oakes

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