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Some Or Lis (Lis Mara-Grabbersome) was the longest shot on the board in the $7,200 feature race at Vernon Downs on Saturday night, but that did not prevent him from storming past the entire field to score an upset harness racing win in 1:51.4.   The early stages of the race featured a speed duel between You Bet Your Glass (Frank Davis) and I Do Hanover (Chris Lems), who was parked on the outside for the majority of the mile. Those two set some fast fractions early on, covering a quarter in 25.4 and a half in 53.4. That early speed ended up being the undoing of the duo, both of whom finished out of the top three. After hitting three quarters of a mile in 1:22.4, You Bet Your Glass and I Do Hanover faded in the stretch and Some Or Lis (Claude Huckabone III) came all the way from last in the field of six at the top of the stretch to win at 20-1.   The second-longest shot in the field, The Green Knight (John Macdonald) at 14-1, finished second. The exacta ended up paying $240 with the two longshots comprising it. Buckeye Baddler (Truman Gale) sat behind the early speed battle in third position and started to rally through on the inside in the stretch as the leaders fell back, but the closers also passed him by and he had to settle for third.   The complete order of finish was: Some Or Lis, The Green Knight, Buckeye Baddler, I Do Hanover, You Bet Your Glass, and Stonebridge Master. Some Or Lis is owned by Richard Dow of Holland Patent, New York and trained by Stephen Marsh.   The driving star of the night was John Macdonald who scored three victories and three seconds on the 11-race program. He was a winner with Bandini in the 1st race, MacKenzie's Bliss in the 7th race, and That's Ideal in the 9th race. He was second with The Green Knight in the 2nd race, Beignet in the 8th race, and Tactical Attack in the 11th race.   No live racing on Thursday with a concert being held by Jerrod Niemann and Love & Theft. The concert benefits The Food Bank of Central New York. Tickets are available for $15 and the Chairman of American Racing and Entertainment, Jeff Gural, will be personally donating $10 for every ticket sold to the Food Bank of Central New York with a goal of raising $100,000 to benefit the Food Bank.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Friday, July 4 with a 6:45pm post time. The Friday program will feature the first leg of the Racing Under Saddle Series. There will be a special July 4th Fireworks Display following the conclusion of the live racing program.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity    

Champion harness racing reinsman Dexter Dunn may be home and hosed in the National Drivers’ Premiership, but the battle among the juniors is still on in earnest. And although Samantha Ottley’s recent link up with the powerful Dunn stable has made her a warm favourite to take this year’s junior drivers’ title, a double from Sailesh Abernethy at Cambridge last night has brought him right back into contention. Abernethy, who is now on 41 wins, just one win behind Ottley, guided Hudey Haxwell to an all of the way victory in the first race on the card, before doubling the dose in the fourth event when adopting similar tactics aboard the Andrew Grant trained Heart Of Jessie. Abernethy has three drives at Alexandra Park tonight, while Ottley, who has already set a record for the most wins by a junior female reinswoman in a season, has numbers on her side, with five drives at Forbury Park tonight and six drives at Rangiora on Sunday. Meanwhile, Amatuer driver Michelle Northcott nearly pulled off a remarkable double when finishing second aboard Easy For Cullen in the last race on the card.  The dual-coded Northcott, who is employeed by Graeme Rogerson, had earlier in the day flown down to Otago’s Wingatui Thoroughbred meeting, where she was victorious in an amatuer riders’ event aboard a galloper she owns herself in Mr Nobody. By Mitchell Robertson  

The 2 Titans Racing Stable and the Fowlerville Horsemen are hosting qualifying and gate training on Sunday, June 22. The event will begin at 1 p.m. at the Fowlerville Fairgrounds. All horses must enter on Thursday, June 19, by calling the fair office (517-223-8186) or Claudia's Cary-Davidson's cell (517-294-0003) between 9-11 a.m. (EDT). Qualifying horses will go first and gate training to follow. Five horses on the gate. Stalls are available on a first-come basis (NO STRAW PLEASE). Gate training colts will be classified by age, speed, and gait for schooling. The Fowlerville Horsemen committee will offer hotdogs and brats for a picnic. Please bring a dish to pass if you can. Everyone will be welcome for lunch. Please note the following rules: 1) Only licensed drivers and trainers on the track; 2) Race bikes only for schooling horses; 3) Drivers must be in colors; 4) Eligibility papers and Coggins required for qualifying horses. Special thanks to 2 Titans Racing Stable for sponsoring this event. Their generous donation has paid for the race officials required to conduct this year's event. For updates and further details, visit Fowlerville Harness Horsemen on Facebook or our website (Rock-N-Horsestandardbreds.com). From the Fowlerville Harness Horsemen    

ANDERSON, Ind.-June 11, 2014 - Sam Widger notched the 5,000th win of his career after he piloted Brooklyn's Z Tam to victory in a condition pace at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, June 11. The 1:56.2 victory marked a lifetime best performance for the four-year-old daughter of Electric Yankee-Slick Fit and a career milestone for the 50-year-old reinsman. Trained by Mike Murphy, Brooklyn's Z Tam was able to take advantage of a perfect second-over trip to record the first win of her 4-year-old campaign. Owned by Connie Blakeman, Brooklyn's Z Tam now sports a career bankroll of $24,870. Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager, Rick Moore, along with Widger's friends and fellow drivers were in the winner's circle to congratulate and acknowledge his accomplishment. "On behalf of Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, I'd like to congratulate Sam on win number 5,000," Moore noted. "Through his professionalism and attitude, Sam is a great ambassador for our sport. We wish Sam continued success for the remainder of this season and throughout his career. We look forward to watching him win many more races at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino." Now in his 28th season as a driver, Widger completed his ninth season with purse earnings surpassing the $2.5 million mark in 2013. The veteran reinsman has gone over the $3 million mark in purse earnings four times in the last eight years and has finished among the top ten drivers at Hoosier Park every season he has competed. Widger also received a spot in the Hoosier Park history books when he guided Bolt The Duer to victory in the 2013 installment of Hoosier Park's most prestigious race, the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational. Widger, who has a farm in Beecher, IL that he shares with his wife, Nancy, and his five children, loves to hunt, fish and also enjoys helping out on the family farm in his spare time. Widger remains humble when considering his career and accredits much of his success to hard work, determination and perseverance. "God willing, trainers willing, and owners willing, we'll just keep on going," Widger said after his win. "I count my blessings every day, not only with the harness racing, but with family as well. I'm as rich as anybody could be when it comes to family." Widger is currently third on the 2014 leading driver standings at Hoosier Park with 65 trips to the winner's circle and over $640,000 in purse earnings. Trace Tetrick leads all drivers with 97 victories while Tyler Smith is just behind him in second with 92 wins. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Thursday, June 12 with a 14-race card highlighted by the $17,500 Fillies and Mares Preferred trot. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule through November 15. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

Following a hiatus of several years, the Canterbury Branches of the Standardbred Breeders Association, Owners Association, and the Trainers & Drivers Association, are combining to resurrect an Awards dinner to recognise the achievements of local harness racing participants. The event will be staged in the Silks Lounge at Addington Raceway on Saturday 27 September and will comprise of a buffet dinner interspersed with the presentation of the awards by Master of Ceremonies, Mark McNamara. Guests should arrive from 6:30pm onwards with the function itself commencing at 7:15. Numbers are limited to 300 and the ticket price is $50 per person, which includes an introductory drink and antipasto platter. The criteria for the winners will differ from those presented at the National Awards function, in that they will not necessarily be given to the Season leaders. More information on this aspect of the evening will be forthcoming in the near future. Should you wish to book tickets or require more information, please contact the following: OWNERS Assn: Barry Dent 021 653 499 bcdent@ihug.co.nz Greg Crawford 027 778 9493 gregc.doublee@xtra.co.nz HORSEMANS Assn: Ken Barron 027 4372532 kenbarron@xtra.co.nz Peter Cook 3433 713 petecee@clear.net.nz BREEDERS Assn: Robyn Boyle 027 2173643 boyles4@xtra.co.nz Noel Kennard 3479699 noel@goharness.co.nz By Peter Cook                            

Top junior horsewoman Samantha Ottley crept within one win of Sailesh Abernethy in the Junior Drivers’ premiership when guiding Secret Lotion to victory at Nelson yesterday. In doing so, she also notched up her first win for Robert and John Dunn, after recently joining forces with the powerful Woodened Beach stable. “Colin (DeFilippi) is pretty quiet at the moment so he had a chat to John Dunn and suggested that I go and work for them for a while to increase my chances of winning the Junior Drivers’ premiership,” said Ottley. ”I am very grateful to Colin and Julie and of course the Dunns for giving me this opportunity,” said Ottley. “It’s my last season as a junior so it’s now or never as far as winning the premiership goes,” she added. Ottley now sits on 38 wins for the season with North Island reinsman Saliesh Abernethy on 39. Brad Williamson currently sits in third with 29 wins to date. “I really wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of Colin (DeFillipi),”advised Ottley. “He has been my mentor and continues to help me achieve the best results possible,” she enthused. The Dunns have done a bit of a swap with the DeFilippi stable and have sent junior horsewoman Loren Lester to work for DeFilippi stable during Ottley’s absence. “I just hope it works out well for everyone in the finish,” concluded Ottley. Meanwhile, the Nelson Winter Cup Prelude, was taken out by Beckinsale, who clung on win over the fast-finish Fifth Edition at odds of $38.30 and $7.40. Other impressive winners on the day included debut maiden winners Wesley Silcox and Robbie Burns, both whom should have no problems measuring up in C1 company on Sunday. By Mitchell Robertson

A new addition to the Robert Dunn stable is top junior driver Samantha Ottley. "Sam" is on loan to the stable with the blessing of her employers Colin and Julie De Filippi.  "Colin approached us and said he was a bit quiet at the moment," said John. "He is very keen for Sam to win the premiership and felt that the best chance of doing so was by linking up with a top stable." At present Sam trails northern reinsman Sailesh Abernethy (39 wins) by two wins in the junior drivers premiership. Sam will have her first drives for the stable at this weekend's two day Nelson meeting. Race 3 - Can't Get Enough Race 7 - Secret Potion Race 11 - Nikola  By Mike Drury (ROBERT DUNN RACING)

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, May 31, 2014-Odds-on favorite All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley, $2.60) was both anxious and effective Saturday night, winning the $300,000 final of Yonkers Raceway's Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-old colts and geldings. In play from post position No. 4 as the 3-10 favorite, All Bets Off made the first lead in the 24th Rooney. He then handed the baton to second choice Stevensville (Tim Tetrick) right around a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. The song remained the same at the 55.1 intermission and early in the backstretch the second time. That's when Maxi Bon (Dan Dube) moved from fourth, and he was in a hurry. He disposed of a no-fight Stevensville just after a 1:23.3 three-quarters. Good thing for All Bets Off that nothing was moving behind "Maxi," as he was able to extricate himself. All Bets off collared the new leader early in the lane, then held off a rallying Some Playa (George Brennan) by a length-and-a-half in 1:52.2. Maxi Bon held third, with Unlocked (Brent Holland) closing from last to grab fourth. Bondi Hanover (Jason Bartlett) earned the final pay envelope, with Gold Rocks (Eric Goodell), a tiring Stevensville and Ideal Fashion (Jordan Stratton) rounding out the order. For All Bets Off, a statebred son of Bettor's Delight co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Frank Baldachino, Panhellenic Stables and Rosemary Shelswell, he's now 3-for-4 this season (earnings of $180,250). The exacta paid $15.80, with no triple returning $44.20. "Oh, yeah, I was worried," Kakaley said. "I thought giving up the lead (to Stevensville) was the right thing to do."Then I saw Danny's (Dube, with Max Bon) coming fast and I knew I was in trouble. I was lucky to get out. If I don't, I'm shuffled out, and probably last "He's (All Bets Off) handy enough for the half-mile , but I think he can carry his speed to bigger tracks, too," Kakaley said. "Every start, (All Bets Off) has been on his toes. Give Ronnie (Burke) and his crew an A-plus. I'm just fortunate to have the drive." In the $124,744 Lismore Final for three-year-old pacing fillies, Tyra showed her heels to the field for driver Tim Tetrick, grinding the lead away from Southwind Silence (George Brennan) by the three-quarters and then pulling away from the field to win by seven open lengths in 1:52.1. Southwind Silence was second with Also Encouraging (Matt Kakaley) third. It was the second win in four starts this year for Tyra. the daughter of McArdle is trained by Joann Looney-King and is owned by the CC Racing, Inc. of Mokena, ILL. She paid 43.50 to win as the betting favorite. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

Popular New Brunswick catch-driver Mark Haig held the hot hands at Fredericton Raceway on Saturday as he registered a driving triple.   Haig played spoiler in the top-class as Todd Trites looked to be on his way to his 2000th career win with Joseph Michael but Haig got up to win with newcomer J Rs Hurricane.   Jean Belliveau owns the five-year-old son of Mach Three and he stopped the clock in 1:57.2 to record the fastest mile of the afternoon.   Haig's other wins came with Skippy in 1:58 and Nucoz Typhoon in 2:02.   Other winners on the eight-dash card included Ultimate Spirit for Stephen Trites ( 2:01 ), American Terror and Ed Harvey ( 2:00.3 ), trotter Justplainshea for John Stewart ( 2:02.2 ), Couleur Magnifique with Lonny Stokes ( 2:01.3 ) and D Gs Crosby for Phil Reid ( 2:02.2 ).   Todd Trites still needs that elusive single win to record his milestone of 2000-wins and will attempt the feat at Truro Raceway on Sunday.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB

Art Bettor Now (Bettor's Delight) made perfect use of a pocket ride on Thursday night at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Margaret Spagnola-trained four-year-old followed rival Good Win Earl (Billy Dobson) every step of the way before pouncing on him in the stretch to record a lifetime best victory in the evening's $6,000 featured race at the Spa. Art Bettor Now, who was driven by Bruce Aldrich Jr, was dismissed at odds of 8-1 for his pocket sitting score which came in a career best 1:54.4. Good Win Earl held second while Tijuana Party (Stephane Bouchard) closed for the third in the optional $15,000 conditional-claimer. Live racing continues on Friday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

One of the best free-for-all pacing fields of the year is assembled in southwestern Ontario Friday night for the annual highlight of the Western Fair (London) racing season, the $150,000 Molson Pace. Making the race doubly intriguing is the London oval itself: a half-mile track, with seven starters across (if they tried eight across, the outside horse would be starting from the front yard of the homeowner across the street), and the eight-hole as a trailer. This fact has traditionally been a major factor in the outcome of the race -- and betting on it. #1, STATE TREASURER, 3-1 (the author's morning line), driver Chris Christoforou on the WFR proof: Defending champion in the Molson, State Treasurer has been a bit "under the radar" in the States, but he has won three straight Preferreds at Woodbine, all under 1:50, the last in 1:48.3. The veteran Christoforou is behind a horse that has the ability to control the front, and thus the outcome of the race, with a quick enough start -- which will be the key to the contest. #2, BETTORS EDGE, 8-1, Doug McNair: Stuck with post nine in his last two standards, TVG legs at The Meadowlands, but coming home sub-26 in both. Showed early speed at Yonkers, but if the one horse leaves and the eight stays on his back, might have to take back. On paper, doesn't figure to get a great trip. #3, BANDOLITO, 6-1, Mark MacDonald: The "little horse that can" has had only one start in the last 27 days, where he was shuffled to last at The Meadowlands. His best bet may be to try to join the outer flow and, with his lightning acceleration, try to sweep the field down the backside, but that may be a tall order here. #4, APPRENTICE HANOVER, 4-1, Jody Jamieson: Since that impossible but magnificent second in the Levy Final, he has raced only once, on May 17 at Woodbine, where he sat second and came up a length shy to State Treasurer. If the pace gets overheated and he's in a good position entering the final turn -- look out! #5, DANCIN YANKEE, 9-2, Brett Miller: Very good in the Levy, and brilliant in his last two starts at Pocono Downs, in the latter equaling the all-time record for 5/8-mile tracks of 1:47.2 after reaching the half in 52.2. In terrific form, but at a positional disadvantage here, with lots of speed inside, and a closer as fearsome as Apprentice Hanover in front of him if the flow develops as expected. #6, P H SUPERCAM, 10-1, Jason Bartlett: Won the Levy Final when the inside opened up, and on the board in 13 of 14 starts. I'm not sure how Bartlett can work out any kind of favorable trip for the talented gelding from here. #7, FOILED AGAIN, 8-1, Yannick Gingras: Yes, that says "8-1" next to the Six Million Dollar Man. Again, it's all positioning -- even the great Gingras will have to be a magician to work out the winning trip (tuck fifth early then second-over, or something like that). But he knows the terrain-- this is his sixth Molson start. #8, CAPTIVE AUDIENCE, 9-2, Sylvain Filion: Meadowlands fans will remember him sweeping the Whata Baron Series. The main thing he has going for him here is the trailing post eight, with the speedy State Treasurer in front of him. If not locked in by parked horses, he could be well-placed throughout, and he has been in good form at Woodbine. By Jerry Connors, for Harnesslink.com    

Bjorn Goop steered Richard Westerink's Timoko (7m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces-And Arifant) to victory in today's first Elitloppet elimination. Timed in 1.09.9kr over 1609 meters autostart, the winner rated second over throughout following Digital Ink (Orjan Kihlstrom up) with Maven and Yannick Gingras placed third on the outer. Shaq Is Back and Daniel Reden was the pacesetter traveling the first 500 meters in 1.08kr. Off the final turn Timoko moved to the front with a game Digital Ink second and Maven third after being forced three-wide in that last turn. The winner now has 21 career wins in 59 starts for earnings of 20,285,351SEK. Reven d'Amour finished fourth for Erik Adielsson with Truculent fifth for Johnny Takter. Prussia ended sixth for Pietro Gubellini after being boxed on the inner almost to the line. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com    

Nick Surick, the leading harness racing trainer at Freehold Raceway, did not have a racing background when he became a horseman. All Nick knew was he wanted to be a part of harness racing industry any way possible. As of the 22nd of May, Nick leads as the top trainer at Freehold Raceway with 26 wins out of 118 starts resulting in $86,000 in total purse winnings for 2014. "I have no horse racing background whatsoever" says Nick. "I actually grew up in Freehold, NJ and I lived about five minutes away from Freehold Raceway which was a ten minute bike ride. I used ride my bike to the track to watch the races as a kid." Nick credits his mom, Debbie, for always supporting him. "Through the bad times she helped me, good or bad she always stood behind me. She always wanted me to be happy" says Nick. His parents divorced right around the time Nick was getting into the harness racing industry and it must have been difficult for him, for anyone in that position. What originally drew Nick to the track was the gambling component. Nick's father, Kevin, helped introduce Nick to this unhealthy lifestyle due to the fact that Nick's father had substance abuse issues and was a known gambler. "I was a gambler; I was actually thrown out of a lot of tracks for underage gambling. My father was an alcoholic and a degenerate gambler." Nick admits. "I was more hooked that way more than anything. Aside from the gambling back then, I think the horse itself intrigued me and I liked the animal so much that it was good for me. " "I really wasn't the best student when it came to school." Nick explains, "I really couldn't care less about school. I dropped out of my second year in college so I could train full time when I got the opportunity from one of my big owners, Howard Schneidler. It all came together at the right time. "Once I learned the backside to horse racing, that's when I lost the itch for gambling. It was about growing up, maturing and getting smarter." Nick says. "Now that I was physically with the horse, gambling was not an issue anymore." The fact Nick was able to break away and cut the cord, so to speak, speaks volumes. Once Nick established himself as a horseman, it came to the point where Nick's father was constantly causing Nick problems at the Raceway and in life as a whole. "He caused me a lot of headaches at the track" Nick says about his father. "With me training horses, it wasn't good for him. He started making things up, telling people to bet horses (based) on what I said which are things I never said. If I talk to him a couple times a year, that's a lot. He was hurting my livelihood. "I had to take a step back, even though he's my dad I had to cut him out." Nick admits. "I had to think about my future and hopefully I have a lot of years ahead of me. "Drug and alcohol abuse made him a person he wasn't." Nick continues, "He was nasty to people... when you're under the influence you become a different person." The best piece of advice Nick ever received was from Richard Annunziata and it was about Nick ensuring he surrounds himself with good people. "He told me this when I was 16 and I am 26 now but I still remember it" says Nick. "Surround yourself with successful people; surround yourself with people that are better than you.... If you surround yourself with bad apples, that's who you're going to be. "That's what I did" says Nick. "I cut out all of the bad people from my life. The people who were bringing me down." Once Nick graduated from high school, he admits he changed lives. Nick did a 180 degree turn to better his life and to develop into a better person. Was it easy? That's tough to say as everyone deals with changes in their own manner but knowing that change is needed and working towards that is a task in itself. What Nick did is commendable, not many people can switch 'tracks' in life and to do so at a young and impressionable age is astounding. When Nick got started, he first worked for fellow trainer Eric Abbatiello. "I never had anyone behind me to push me, I did it all on my own." After working with Eric Abbatiello, Nick and his (now former) partner Anna Glide joined forces. "We worked together for four or five years and the business grew together between us" Nick explains. "We went from two horses to thirty five horses almost overnight. "When it comes to owners, I am happy with who I have," Nick says. Once Nick finds people he is comfortable with and who he believes has a good heart, Nick is content and doesn't go looking for more. It's about quality, not quantity for Nick. "I've learned a lot from Erv Miller... like who to accept in your barn." Nick states. "My girlfriend Hannah is his daughter." Working with Erv, Nick says "I've learned to individualize each horse. Treating each horse as their own... treat each horse as a separate entity." "Anytime I need any advice, I can pick up the phone and call Erv," says Nick. "He has one of the best managed barns I've ever seen. His memory is unbelievable!" Nick is open when he admits he doesn't like change, right now he's very happy residing near Freehold Raceway and all the major tracks are within driving distance. "Right now I take it one day at a time" says Nick when asked about what the future may hold for him. "I'm comfortable with my 30 to 40 horse barn." When it comes to Pacers or Trotters, hands down Nick prefers the Pacers. "I just haven't had any luck with the Trotters" laughs Nick. Nick pulls double duty at Freehold Raceway where he drives as well. Nick only plans on driving at Freehold Raceway and admits it's a lot of fun. Nick considers driving more of a hobby compared to training which is his passion. Nick believes the harness racing industry is headed in the proper direction by pushing to have the major races showcased on National TV. "We need a lot more one on one interaction with the drivers, trainers and the public." Nick says. Nick credits the success of his barn to his employees, the second trainers, the grooms and most importantly his owners. "I'm nothing without them and their financial backing" Nick states. "I've got great people behind me; I've got to give them credit. Nick Surick can't take care of 35- 40 horses, it takes a team. There's no magic, its teamwork." Roderick Balgobin's column will appear weekly on Harnesslink. You can contact him at rod.balgobin @supernovasportsclub.com or Twitter: ScSupernova        

Monday afternoon saw the return of live racing in the province of New Brunswick and Todd Trites notched three wins on opening day at Fredericton Raceway.   With the wins, the popular driver stands just four-wins shy of 2000 career victories. Included in his wins was the Victoria Day pace with the Eric Wilson trainee Joseph Michael in 2:01.   He paced his final half in a sizzling :58.3 for owners Andrea Dolan and Valerie Phelan. Trites other winners came with Wave That Banner and Dusty Lane Oscar.   Other winners on the card were American Terror ( Ed Harvey ) in 2:04 for owner Kathy McLean and co-owner Harvey. A son of American Ideal, the four-year-old was very impressive in his first start on N.B soil.   Rounding out the opening day winners were Victory George ( Jeff Lewis ), Pinch Of Paradise ( Phil Reid ) and Lucky In Love ( Mike Downey ). Next live card goes this Saturday on May 24th, post time scheduled for 1:00 P.M.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB    

Charlottetown, PE - Van Zant has drawn the rail in the Saturday night feature event at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park while newcomer Sa Summers Luck is the morning line favorite in the Victoria Day pace for opening day card Monday at Red Shores Summerside to set the stage for a busy weekend of harness racing at Island tracks. First race post time on Saturday is 6pm while the Monday card is slated for a 1pm post time. Ron Matheson will drive Van Zant for his co-owner Tom Clark of Charlottetown and goes into the program with 989 career wins as a driver only 11 away from milestone 1,000. The team, which includes son Jackie as trainer, has been sharp posting two seconds and a victory over his last three starts. The Matheson stable will also send out General Luckypercy from post 6 with Gilles Barrieau in the bike. There will be stiff competition from Tempo Seelster (Vince Poulton) from post 3 while Sterling Seelster, who's riding a two race winning streak, will also make his presence felt for driver Marc Campbell and new owner Marie Cameron of Summerside. The all-star line-up also includes Blue Star Outlaw, Nobestbfor and Machinthesand. In other action, Abundaspin is making headlines in his last year of racing as the trotter hasn't tasted defeat since he returned to the track on April 26. Harold Shepherd will handle the 14 year-old lifetime winner of $471,504 in the open trot class. The other morning line favorites include newcomer Kan Wire, who arrives from London Ontario, and Caliban Hanover will attempt to spoil the party for Abundaspin and owner Mikeala Lustic of Cornwall. The Saturday card will begin with a first race post time at 6pm. For race programs, top picks and live broadcast go to www.redshores.ca Horses are back at Summerside Summerside, PE - The horses are back at Summerside! The new season gets underway Monday afternoon at Red Shores Summerside with an exciting 12 dash program. Post time is 1pm and the card will official launch the countdown to the Governor's Plate. The 11th race Victoria Day pace will headline the program with newcomer Sa Summers Luck being established as the morning line favorite for driver Corey MacPherson and the Bing Easter stable from O'Leary. The pacer was in action at Flamboro Downs in Ontario then made three starts at Truro which included a second place finish in a sparking 1:57.2. The Jason Hughes stable has two starters in the race with Bunny Mach (pp1) and Cambest Kisser (pp7) both capable of hitting the triactor ticket. The field has top guns like Paphos, Bet the House, Carnivore, Windemere Eric and Lucky Encounter. What a great match-up to kick off the 2014 season. Darren and Jennifer Trainor of Vernon River, who walked away with a truckload of trophies at the annual Prince County Horsemen's Club awards night recently, are favored to win the back-up class on the afternoon with Panda Bear in race 10. Marc Campbell gets the driving assignment from the husband and wife team who enjoyed Great Success at Summerside oval in 2013. Race analyst Jared Stretch is back with his top picks for the 2014 season and put Capitalism as his top choice in this class followed by Panda Bear and Onhotvet (4-3-5). For race programs, Jared's top picks and live broadcast go to www.redshores.ca. you can also follow the action on twitter @red_shores. by Lee A. Drake, for Red Shores

While Gives Me Chills looks the one to beat in Monday’s $14,999 of the Garrards Junior  Concession Driver Challenge at Pinjarra the gelding’s driver Luke Edwards cannot win the  overall title which gives the winner a prize of $2,000 cash from Garrards and will be Western  Australia’s representative at the 2014 New South Wales Rising Stars Series.    Luke can however earn a $250 voucher from Garrards for winning the final and is in  contention to win Series Three of the Challenge and earn himself $500 Garrards voucher.    The New South Wales Rising Stars Series will commence on June 22nd and culminate on  NSW Breeders Challenge Day at Menangle on Sunday June 29th.    Cody Wallrodt, with 21 points, has a three point lead in Series Three from Kaiden Hayter (18)  and Harley Matthew (16). With the winner of Monday’s race to receive 10 points, 2nd (8  points), 3rd (7), 4th (6) etc the Series Three challenge is wide open.    The overall Garrards Driver Challenge is even more wide open with anyone of the leading five  drivers capable of taking the title and the rewards that go with it.    Stuart McDonald has a two point lead heading into Monday’s race and is poised to become  the only driver to score better than 20 points in each of the three series.    McDonald has a total of 58 points and leads from Bunbury based Tom Buchanan and Kristy  Sheehy who each have 56 points with Kiara Davies and Cody Wallrodt each on 50 points.    McDonald will drive the well-fancied Keeper Of Keys in Monday’s race while Tom Buchanan  will drive another leading fancy in Crimson Floyd which is handily drawn on the back of likely  leader Gives Me Chills.    Number  Horse                                 Driver                                              Trainer  1 LUCKY IN LIFE                      K A (Kiara) Davies (C)                 I M (Ian) Hedley  2 GIVES ME CHILLS                L R (Luke) Edwards (C)              M G (Michael) Brennan  3 TE KANA TRUNKEY             D (Dylan) Egerton-Green (C)      R J (John) Robinson  4 BATAVIA COMET                   K M (Kaiden) Hayter (C)                H T (Heather) Herbert  5 KEEPER OF KEYS                S A (Stuart) McDonald (C)           D A (David) Thompson  6 ZERBEBO                              M B (Micheal) Ferguson (C)         K F (Kevin) Keys  7 RODEO MAN                         K S (Kristy) Sheehy (C)                 S L (Sarah) Suvaljko  8  HURRICANE SHOWALL    H J (Harley) Matthew (C)              R B (Robert) MacDonald  9 CRIMSON FLOYD                 T B (Thomas) Buchanan (C)       J W (James) Howlett  10  FAMOUS CARIBBEAN       L (Letitia) Barron (C)                      M L (Michele) Charman  11 KAMENDABLE LASS           C L (Cody) Wallrodt (C)                G R (Graeme) Collins  12  FRANCO TOULONE NZ    L C (Lauren) Jones (C)                C D (Colin) Brown  13 GENERAL JOHNSON    (E1)  R W (Robert) Britza  14 NORTHTOALASKA          (E2) H T (Heather) Herbert                                                            Series 1     Series 2   Series 3   Total  McDonald, S A (Stuart)                  22                  21              15          58  Buchanan, T B (Thomas)             19                  23              14          56  Sheehy, K S (Kristy)                       21                  22              13          56  Davies, K A (Kiara)                         35                    6                9           50  Wallrodt, C L (Cody)                       15                 14               21          50  Matthew, H J (Harley)                       7                  26              16           49  Egerton-Green, D (Dylan)              15                 19              12           46  Hayter, K M (Kaiden)                       16                   9               18           43  Ferguson, M B (Micheal)                  2                  18              12           32  Edwards, L R (Luke)                         9                    7              15           31  Miller, D B (Dean)                              9                   22               0           31  Justins, J R (Jack)                            20                   7                0           27  Barron, L (Letitia)                               0                    0              17          17  Jones, L C (Lauren)                          0                    0              16           16  Dunne, B (Brian)                                0                  13                0           13  Green, B E (Brayden)                        9                    0                0             9    Alan Parker    

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