Roland Beaulieu, best known for his 1970s stars Columbia George, Skipper Walt and Romalie Hanover, passed away Thursday, April 10, at his home in Orlando, Fla. At the age of 98. A native of Lewiston, Maine, with a large population of French Canadians, Beaulieu didn't learn English until his teenaged years and then employed himself by opening a bar and snack shop, although he was a teetotaler. In his mid 20s, when he developed health issues, a doctor advised him to get more fresh air and he started spending time with harness horses on the Maine fair circuit, and harness racing became his life's work. Early in his career he developed the stakes winner Eileen Eden and the raceway notables Regal Pick and Adam Eden. In 1969, training horses for Dr. George Smith of Byram, Conn., Beaulieu became a fixture on the Grand Circuit with the two-year-old pacing colt Columbia George. Beaulieu knew the colt had talent, but he also had a couple of bowed tendons. He made a special leg paint to treat the affliction and with the help of his wife, Blondie, the Good Time colt won 12 races as a two-year-old and set seasonal, track and world records. As a three-year-old Columbia George won the American-National, a Hanover-Hempt, a heat of the Adios, a heat of the Little Brown Jug, and a heat of the Tattersalls Pace, but his nemesis Most Happy Fella was a tough adversary. To read the rest of the story click here.
I realize that many believe ten-year-old Foiled Again is hands down the greatest harness racing greybeard pacer ever, but that simply isn’t true. Yes, Foiled Again has won more money than any Standardbred ever in North America, but another aging gelding, one who used to hold that title, was better—Cardigan Bay. Stanley Dancer leased him from Down Under for $100,000 in the winter of 1964, when he was eight. The horse had come close to being destroyed two years earlier when he sustained a serious hip injury. The Hal Tryax gelding had won more than thirty stakes races in his home country, often handicapped as much as 132 yards at the start. His earnings stood at $156,000. He made his first start at Yonkers Raceway in May of that year. It was a winning effort and the following week he faced the great Overtrick in the mile and a half International Pace, losing a neck. Two weeks later he was the 1/2 favorite in the mile and a quarter Good Time Pace and had no trouble beating the likes of Meadow Skipper, Henry T Adios, Rusty Range, Adora’s Dream, Irvin Paul and Country Don. There aren’t any fields of FFA pacers like that today. He then beat the same bunch in the two mile National Championship. Cardigan Bay and Overtrick then traded narrow wins in a pair of match races. In 1965, as a nine-year-old, Cardigan Bay popped splints in his front legs and had surgery on one of those legs. When he got back in early June he crushed a FFA field which included Fly Fly Byrd and Bengazi Hanover, from the outside post. He then won the $50,000 Dan Patch Pace at a mile and a half over Oreti, Cold Front and Fly Fly Byrd. In September he won the $50,000 Bye Bye Byrd at a mile and a half, paying 2.80. Cardigan Bay won three more at Yonkers before going to California where he beat giant slayer Adios Vic in three of four races, after which he returned to New York and won the NPD and the Nassau. Foiled Again has won an impressive 39% of his lifetime starts. Cardigan Bay won 52% of his in North America and Down Under. Each of them are credited with 20 stakes wins in North America, and Foiled Again is still racing. Again, Cardigan Bay also won more than thirty stakes before he was imported. At age ten Cardy started the season with a win at Liberty Bell, and then moved on to Yonkers where he won seven stakes races, including the $100,000 mile and a half International Pace, where he created the largest minus pool ever--$33,000. $143,435 of the $151,750 bet to show was on him. They then barred him from betting in the mile and a quarter Good Time, which he also won over Adora’s Dream and Orbiter N. Adios Vic was then favored in the $50,000 National Pace, only because there was no betting on Cardy. He made three moves and pulled away from Vic in the last quarter. Bret Hanover had never been beaten on a half when Cardy did it in the Pace of the Century at Yonkers. Bret returned the favor a week later at Roosevelt. Cardy capped that season with a win in the $50,000 Nassau Pace at a mile and a half . He paid $3.60. In 1967, when Cardigan Bay was eleven, he started the season by equaling the track record at Windsor in the Provincial Cup—this is in March. Fearing minus pools tracks refused to give him a race. Finally Roosevelt relented and the grizzled gelding crushed Orbiter and Tactile, paying 2.40. He’d been handicapped with the outside post, but the track insisted that from that point on he would also be handicapped by yardage, something that was unheard of in North America. Dancer balked and sat the next one out. Every year there was a new wave of stars graduating to the FFA ranks: Romeo Hanover, True Duane, Bret Hanover and Romulus Hanover. Cardy was showing his age, but was still a formidable opponent, with early season wins in the Valley Forge, provincial Cup and Clark. In May, when he beat True Duane in the Adios Butler at Roosevelt, he paid $10.60, which was the highest payoff on Cardigan Bay to that point in North America. Dancer’s goal was that he become the first ever million dollar winning Standardbred, which he did by winning a $15,000 Pace at Freehold in the fall over little Robin Dundee and Jerry Gauman. This put him in the company of the eight thoroughbreds who had become millionaires. He was retired at Yonkers Raceway on October 12. Cardigan Bay certainly gets extra points for dominating at all distances, from a mile to two-miles. On the other hand, Foiled Again doesn’t have that opportunity so you can’t hold that against him. Cardy was more of a consistent big time player than Foiled Again has been; yes, those were significant triumphs in the TVG and BC last year, but there are too many wins in the Quillen, Molson, IPD, Battle of Lake Erie and Levy, and not enough of the top tier FFA stakes. Cardy won the Good Time twice, the National Championship twice, the Nassau twice, the Provincial Cup twice, the International, the Pace of the Century, the Clark, Dan Patch ….And the fact that he had never paid off at higher than 4/1 during his first four years racing in North America is noteworthy. Foiled has gone off at double digits many times. Cardy was a preeminent force at ten and eleven. We’ll see if Foiled Again also rules in his old age. by Joe FitzGerald, for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/
We had a decent go last week as Apprentice Hanover finally came through at a decent price plus I had the exacta and trifecta cold and they paid better than expected. We broke even for the night which is also OK. This week I am not including any of the Levy Series divisions as they all feature 3/5 chalk that should not get beaten. This weekend we have a lot of action both Friday and Saturday night mainly between Yonkers and the Meadowlands plus a nice Preferred Pace at Woodbine. Good Luck! $40,000 Matchmaker Series Pace Yonkers 4th race FRIDAY – Despite being winless in all their starts this year, the Ron Burke Stable entry of Charisma Hanover/Bettor B Lucky may finally have landed in a division the Matchmaker Series they can dominate. Short field should enable either of them to find some live cover to score from. Use Monkey On My Wheel and Sheeliscape in exotic plays. $40,000 Matchmaker Series Pace Yonkers 5th race FRIDAY – Last week Angels Delight saw her five-race win streak come to an end but still put in a super game effort. I look for her to once again make the most of her inside post position and return to her winning ways. Use Anndrovette and the entry of Rocklamation/Camille in exotic plays. $22,500 Artistic Vision Series Pace Meadowlands 6th race FRIDAY – What a great matchup here. Full field of 11 fillies and mares headlined by return winners American in Paris and Road Bet. But the one I think will return to her winning ways is JK Letitgo. She cut all the fractions for American In Paris to score from last week and I think from the rail again she will lead the field but not give up the lead so easy. Use the entry of American In Paris/Art Deal and Road Bet in exotic plays. $25,000 Final Dash For The “C” Note Pace Meadowlands 7th race FRIDAY – Every starter in this field has been first, second or third in the series and makes for a well matched final. The Mark Capone entry of Abrokenart Hanover/Always On A Roll looms the overwhelming favorite and rightly so. They both won their last starts, each by a neck, and will be all out in here for a big purse. Use Nutmegs Cider and Its De Lovely in exotic plays. $38,000 Open Handicap Trot Yonkers 8th race FRIDAY – Tough call in this field and despite not having made a start in nearly a month I am going with DW’s NY Yank. Burke Stable would not have sent him back in if he was not ready for action. Has overcome outside post in the past and with strong gait speed he will be able to grab good position to score from. Use Super Manning and Coraggioso in exotic plays. $40,000 Matchmaker Pacing Series Yonkers 11th race FRIDAY – Ineey meany miney moe, you nearly need a dart board to help make a pick in this field. Short but powerpacked goup of mares will do battle here and all of them are super competitive. Going to go with Somwherovrarainbow as she is undefeated in the series so far and has been razor sharp from both on and off the pace. Use Summertime Lea and Yagonnakissmeornot in exotic plays. $30,000 A-2/A-1/FFA Handicap Pace Meadowlands 2nd race SATURDAY – It’s the four-year-old Dovuto Hanover against the veteran pacing champ Golden Receiver. Dovuto Hanover has been winning the battle as of late with two straight wins but I’m putting my money down on Golden Receiver, who after a week’s rest should be primed and ready to wire the field and let no one catch him this week. Use Dovuto Hanover and Allstar Ledgend in exotic plays. $25,000 Final Dash For The “C” Note Pace Meadowlands 5th race SATURDAY – Once again this series has produced some super competitive finals and this one is no different. Six return winners makes who ever can score in hear return a handsome payoff. I am going with Sky McFly, who has gotten perfect drives the last two weeks and rewarded backers with wins. Should be battling early in this race and he will find cover to work his way to the front once again. Use That’s Justice and Stallone Blue Chip in exotic plays. $22,500 Whata Baron Pacing Series Meadowlands 6th race SATURDAY – I am going for a second straight week with Prairie Jaguar in hopes the same horse that left Florida on a nine-race winning streak will return to winning form. Last week he as parked for his life and after that mile should be tight and ready to pop one. Use Wake Up Peter and Alexa’s Jackpot in exotic plays. $34,000 Preferred Pace Woodbine 8th race SATURDAY – I can never go against perfection, especially when I have picked this horse the last two weeks and he has rewarded me with wins. Cougar Hall once again heads the field and this week draws the rail for Jackie Mo. I think he will just motor up first-over, clear to the lead in the backstretch and make it three straight wins. Use Avatartist and Machal Jordan in exotic plays.
TORONTO , April 7 - Sophomore pacing colts and geldings were showcased Monday evening at Woodbine in the second round of the Youthful Series. Andreios Kardia, driven by Steve Byron, captured the first of two divisions in 1:55.4 over a 'Good' track. Byron was in no hurry at the start as Regal Son (Randy Waples) made his way to the front to lead the field of six past the first quarter in :27.2. As the talented pacers headed towards the half, Paul Macdonell elected to send second-choice Dragon Seelster to the front before the half in :58. Kuchar (Jody Jamieson) began the first-over attack around the final turn, giving live cover to 4-5 favourite Andreios Kardia. Kuchar and Dragon Seelster matched strides past three-quarters in 1:27.3, but down the lane Byron showed Andreios Kardia open racetrack and the son of Badlands Hanover exploded in deep stretch to capture his third career victory. Trained by James Madill for owner Ina Madill, Andreios Kardia increased his bankroll to $28,480. With the track down-graded to 'Sloppy,' Highland Tartan and James MacDonald captured the second division as the favourite in 1:56.2. MacDonald elected to sit in the two-hole in the early going as Reasonable Force (Jody Jamieson) made their way to the front past the opening quarter in :27.1. Highland Tartan was then angled to the outside and crossed over to command to lead past the middle-half in :59.1 and 1:29.1. As the field turned for home, Reasonable Force angled out of the pocket, but could only reach the leaders saddle pad as Highland Tartan prevailed in deep stretch to score the narrow win. Little Ben (Luc Ouellette) enjoyed a ground saving trip to finish third. Trained and co-owned by Marty Fine along with Mary Clark, Highland Tartan enjoyed his second career victory as his lifetime earnings now sits at $15,200. The son of Major In Art paid $4.90 to win. The Youthful Series is for three-year-old colt and gelding pacers, who are non-winners of three races of $15,000 in 2013. by Greg Gangle, for WEG
Muscle Beachboy (Somebeachsomewhere) became the fifth horse to win the Open Pace in five seasonal Opens at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. The Tracy Brainard-trained pacer went out to the early lead and had to withstand sizzling fractions on a chilly Saturday night before having plenty left in the stretch. Dan Cappello Jr piloted Muscle Beachboy to the 1:54.2, a win time that matched the fastest of the young season at the Spa. Spinarama (Austin Siegelman) finished second in the $18,190 feature while Village Jackson (Stephane Bouchard) earned the show spot. Muscle Beachboy, the race’s morning line favorite, returned $8.40 to win. By Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway
Cam's Card Shark, one of the leading stallions of his generation, has just been retired from stud duty, but hopes are high in Ohio that one of his greatest progeny can carry on his dynamic legacy in the breeding shed. Shark Gesture, whose earnings in excess of $2.8 million are the most of the more than 1,700 racehorses that Cam's Card Shark sired and one of the fastest with a speed mark of 1:48.1s, will be represented by a crop of two-year-olds this season. Abby Stables in Sugarcreek, Ohio, is standing the big, dark brown stallion. "Shark Gesture is the total package," Abby Stables' Teresa Maddox told Harness Racing Update." Shark Gesture developed into a horse for the ages. A $110,000 yearling purchase by Norm Smiley, Shark Gesture raced from two to four, posting some impressive victories. He was retired to the breeding shed due to an injury and stood as a stallion in Ontario for the 2008 season. Later that year, when the injury had fully healed and he trained excellently, Shark Gesture returned to the races and started three times. But it was as a six- and seven-year-old that he excelled, earning over $1.8 million. He beat some of the best aged pacers, including the likes of Foiled Again, Mister Big, Art Official, Boulder Creek, Artistic Fella, Shadow Play and Won The West 12 times, including by more than 10 lengths in the Hoosier Cup. Maddox said because Shark Gesture disappeared from the breeding scene for three years people may be confused about his history. "He really hasn't gotten a fair shake as a stallion," Maddox said. "If you go back and look at some of his races, he was phenomenal. He's well-mannered, he's intelligent and was a bear on the racetrack. It's just a breath of fresh air to have him in Ohio. We welcomed him with open arms." Shark Gesture can be seen in action on his page at www.abbystables.com . His web page comes complete with race footage, photos, pedigree, articles and both a downloadable and digital breeding contract. "There is no reason because he had 44 foals that raced from his first and only crop as a stallion, standing in Ontario and bred to mostly Ontario-bred mares, that people should have forgotten about him because he went back to the races," said Smiley. "He is still a good horse. This year he has two-year-olds that are training and I've got good reports on them. Trainer Fred Grant has a colt by Shark Gesture out of Boca Babe. Fred owns the dam and owns a piece of the colt and said, 'he's very good-gaited, very sound, very willing and has lots of speed. I just love him.'" Trainer David Miller, currently training a two-year-old Shark Gesture filly named Hex, described her as a "big, strong, great-gaited, intelligent filly who is showing excellent speed." Another trainer, Jenny Melander, has a nice sturdy black filly named When Sharks Fly and echoed Miller's comments about Shark Gesture's offspring. "His foals are big and sturdy, with heart, speed, intelligence and strength," she said. Shark Gesture is truly an anomaly. How many horses return to the races two years after retiring and earn almost twice as much, facing battled-hardened competitors? In total, he posted 31 sub-1:50 miles, 16 of those 1:49 or better and four of those sub-1:49. As a 2-year-old, he won the Bluegrass Stakes (recording a freshman mark of 1:51.3), the Simpson Stakes and an elimination of the Breeders Crown. At three, he won the Breeders Crown, the Tattersalls Pace (with a sophomore speed mark of 1:49.1), the Bluegrass Stakes, the Simpson Stakes and the Progress Pace. In an abbreviated four-year-old season, he won the New Hampshire Sweepstakes. In his return to the races, he won the William R. Haughton Memorial two years in a row, the Canadian Pacing Derby Final (with a lifetime mark of 1:48.1), the Graduate Series twice, the Dan Patch Invitational Pace and the Bettor's Delight. He broke track records at Tioga Downs and Hoosier Park and tied the track record when he won the Canadian Pacing Derby. "He's won all the big races, beat all the good horses," Maddox said. "He beat Foiled Again (the top aged pacer last year) more than once. He beat Won The West. He's beat them all at one point or another. His owners believed in him so much, they told us the story (of why he retired and then returned to the races) and it was just a no-brainer for us." 2010 Graduate Final William R. Haughton Memorial Smiley recalled why he bought Shark Gesture. Even though he was big and growthy, Smiley liked him, viewing him six times. "There are certain horses you go to the auction and put a price on and you go to that price or a few bucks more," Smiley said. "With him I said I was buying him, period." Smiley subsequently offered shares to his brother, Gerald, and Thomas and Louis Pantone. Typical of a Cam's Card Shark offspring, Shark Gesture grew into his body from two to three. He stood about 17 hands high and had a long stride. Early in Shark Gesture's two-year-old season, he won the Bluegrass in 1:51 3/5, but he was still developing and growing. As a three-year-old, he did some amazing things, none more so than winning the Breeders Crown only a week after he fell down in a mishap in his elimination race for the final. He finished third and was moved up to second, but Norm Smiley and trainer Erv Miller feared the colt might not survive the accident. Once the bike and equipment were removed, Shark Gesture stood up and walked off as if nothing had happened, although he did have some cuts and abrasions. Driver Brian Sears, Miller, Smiley and the horse's vet shook their heads in disbelief. "If that's not a tough horse, I don't know what is," Smiley said. A week later, he won the Breeders Crown with George Brennan, who would become his principle driver, steering him in what was a clean trip, racing on or near the pace. "Nobody knew that horse like Georgie," Smiley said. "George was tremendous with that horse from the first time he drove him." Shark Gesture raced only eight times in an abbreviated four-year-old season and was retired, his notable victory in the New Hampshire. Some of the notable offspring from the 32 starters from his first crop as a sire include stakes winner Piston Broke, 1:49.2s ($291,131) and Best Ears, 1:49.4f, ($188,483). After Shark Gesture recovered from his injury and trained solidly, Norm Smiley made the decision to bring the horse back to the races. It would prove to be a shrewd decision. In 2009 at the age of six, Shark Gesture came into his own, racing 29 times and winning seven, including the Haughton Memorial and Canadian Pacing Derby and topping all pacers with more than $900,000 in earnings. At age seven, he raced 12 times and winning seven, notably the Graduate, Bettors Delight, Dan Patch (by a whopping 10½ lengths), and repeating in the Haughton. He finished second by a length in the Franklin. He was retired at the end of the season. "He was just amazing," Norm Smiley said. "This horse never got the respect he deserved. He was a tremendous racehorse." By Perry Lefko, for Harness Racing Update
Chris Christoforou is one of the premier names in harness racing, and if a fan does not recognize his name it's most likely they are new to the sport. Chris has quite the extensive resume from winning the Little Brown Jug in 2000 with Astreos, to winning the Breeders Crown in 1993 aboard Earl. Chris won the Breeders Crown two more times, in 1999 and 2002. Chris has won pretty much every major stake race between Woodbine Racetrack, (Toronto, ON) and Mohawk Racetrack, (Campbellvile, ON). This includes the Canadian Breeders (twice), the Don Mills (twice), the Oakville Stakes (twice), the Burlington, the Fan Hanover and both the Champlain Pace and Trot which combining both Champlain series wins gives him a lucky seven victories (4 times in the Pace and 3 times in the Trot). Acknowledging these major wins is the tip of the iceberg and there's at least two dozen more stake wins. That's a pretty big iceberg that could take down the Titanic once again. What is left for Chris to win? Pretty much every race where he's driving and despite the success, Chris maintains a strong and focused drive to continuously reach the Winner's Circle. "The Hambletonian..." says Chris, "...is one I would love to win given the opportunity." With the future uncertainty that looms for harness racing in Ontario, (with the Ontario Government cancelling the slot revenue agreement), Chris remains passionate about wanting to stay close to home. "It depends on the future here in Ontario," Chris says, "but I have no plans to leave. I'd really like to stay here, it's my home, it's my family... and hopefully I can. "I enjoy my life, I enjoy my career and we make a living." Chris explained, "It's tough at times but I would never discourage anyone from wanting to get into the (racing) business." Chris is fine with the thought of his children following in his footsteps as well as his father's. Chris won his first race in 1990 at Flamboro Downs driving Delias Star to the Winner's Circle. In all this time, Chris continually keeps it fresh by maintaining a positive attitude and keeping things light whenever possible. "I find if you are enjoying what you are doing, people catch that vibe from you and it rubs off on them." Chris explains, "The guys I drive with, we all get along and it's a good group of guys here (at Woodbine Racetrack). It's not easy when you are competing with guys night in and night out, but I thing we do a really good job of (having fun)." Asking Chris if he had a memory of a special time where the drivers meshed cohesively and were quite successful, he says "It was strong in the WEG circuit (Woodbine Entertainment Group), in the 80's and up til now it's been very strong." "The top 5 or 6 guys here can drive with anyone in the world as far as I'm concerned. From Campbell to Sears to Lachance, just because we drive here (at Woodbine/Mohawk), it doesn't mean we are any less skilled. Put up Jody Jamieson, Randy Waples or Paul MacDonnell and they can drive with anyone and they have proven that in the past." Talking with Chris is quite fulfilling, and not in terms of generic terms or metaphors, but the open honesty of how good his fellow drivers are, no matter where they race. A perfect example is Chris paying respect to Dave Palone who drives predominantly at the Meadows (located in Washington, PA). Yes, it is a different size track than others, it's a 5/8th mile oval but according to Chris regardless of the type of track, Dave Palone can drive with the best no matter where. Chris is quick to point the good and talent in others. With Chris you get the sense that there is always a silver lining. "Take the top 50 drivers in North America and it's a very slim margin as to who is better." Chris looks to the horses that make up the difference, "Give the 50th guy the best horse and the top guy the fifth best horse and I am pretty sure, 90% of the time the guy with the best horse wins. To that point, it's all horse power." When driving any horse, Chris looks at past performance to see how to best deal with the horse during the race. However "...tactics can switch in a split second. If the horse is moving from a low percentage barn to a higher percentage barn, you are more likely to be more aggressive." "An extreme chess match" Chris says, "very very fast chess game." Horse racing has its strains like any other career, and Chris is grateful to his wife, Camilla, for being so supportive. "It's tough when the kids are off for two months in the summer and I'm busy racing." Chris says. How does Chris balance the intensity of work with family, "every now and then in the summer if I'm in a slump, we'll jump in the car for two days and go to Niagara Falls, ON, change things up and get a refresher." It's all about quality time. In any job, business and career one thing that's constant is communication. Flat out, it's a requirement. During a race when fans are standing at the fence, the sound of the horses charging to the wire is intoxicating. Along with the ground vibrating you can hear faint sounds coming from drivers, but not all the discernable. At the start of the race, Chris explains very little, if any is being said. "You hear drivers hollering down the stretch for sure but the only thing a driver hears, and I don't think drivers even realize it, you can hear if a horse is getting rough, or if his gait is changing." Chris explains, "The sound pattern the horses make when their gait is changing, short stepping. A lot does get blocked out, you're in the zone." "At Woodbine, if a driver's horse is getting rough, he starts screaming and it's usually a sound of panic so everybody knows what's coming and tries to avoid that guy. We all know what each other's voice sounds like, so even if you can't see him and he's three or four horses ahead of you, you know who it is." When it comes to pacers or trotters, Chris would have taken the pacer over the trotter in his early days. Now with his experience, Chris will opt for racing a trotter, not only for the strategy but for the technique involved. When it comes to any game outside of horse racing, Chris' favorite sport is soccer and he loves the English Premier League. His team is Manchester United aka the Red Devils. "We're having a tough year, with a new manager and the team wasn't left in the best shape. There's some older players that need to retire, it's been a slow process." Chris thinks Manchester United will give team manager David Moyes a couple of years to figure things out. "Ferguson (Sir Alex Ferguson was the previous manager) has his back and picked him as his replacement. So they will give Moyes time to work things out." If you're planning to come over to his place to watch the Derby where rivals Manchester United and Manchester City square off, you better be wearing the right colors. No City fans allowed. Ok well, Chris being the nice guy he is may let you in but I think that's just the Canadian politeness poking through. Let's just say United fans only. With a laugh Chris says there's a driver/trainer at Flamboro Downs, Anthony Haughan, who gives Chris a hard time as Anthony is a supporter of another Manchester United rival, Liverpool. "He sent me about 5 messages yesterday about how bad my team is. We have a lot of fun with it." Chris says. Being the soccer fan he is Chris is cheering for England in the 2014 World Cup taking place in Brazil. "My mother is English... so I got to cheer for them. I think Germany has the best team this year and are probably the favorites and Brazil to." What's the one sporting event Chris has on his bucket list that he definitely wants to cross off? It's the World Cup. It's tough for him to go, because June is part of the peak season for horse racing, but when he retires, that's one of his first trips. So long as it's taking place somewhere warm! By Roderick Balgobin, www.supernovasportsclub.com Twitter: ScSupernova
Record figures were achieved from 115 lots at the Gold Crown Yearling Sale at Bathurst last weekend. Sale organiser Graeme Board said it was the best sale he has been involved with. "I've been doing the sale at Bathurst for nearly 20 years and this is by far the best I have seen," said Board. "Everyone wanted to be a part of the action and the results are great for the future of harness racing." Yearling colt sales hit an average price of $9,000 while the fillies were close to the $7,000 mark. The sale turned over just shy of $1 million, a significant increase on 2013. The top price lot was a for Sportswriter-Sixteen Carat colt purchased by Emilio Rosati for $34,000, while Pat Bourke purchased a Courage Under Fire-Lombo Silhouette colt for $27,000. Bred by Laurie and Gwen Paton, the sale-topping colt is out of the 1:55.5 Menangle winner Sixteen Carat, a Blissfull Hall mare. Rosati also shelled $27,000 for the Rocknroll Hanover-Counterfeit Chic colt and $25,000 for the American Ideal-Superstar Lady filly, the top-priced filly at the sale. Other lots to fetch $20,000 or more were the Courage Under Fire-Pleasure Machine colt at $21,500 and the Rock N Roll Heaven-So Savvy colt and the Art Colony-Jillette colt both at $20,000. For a full list of results go to graemeboard.com Dale Walker | Manager - Marketing | Harness Racing New South Wales 22 Meredith Street Bankstown NSW 2200 T: 02 9722 6677| F: 02 8580 5795 |M: 0411 627 113 |E: firstname.lastname@example.org| W: www.hrnsw.com.au
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is pleased to announce its 2014 ballot. A total of 36 horses and people, including 18 Standardbred racing candidates and 18 Thoroughbred racing candidates have been selected to appear on this year’s ballot. A 20-person Election Committee for each breed will declare the winners in their respective categories. Results will be announced Tuesday, April 8. On the Standardbred ballots representing this year’s six voting categories are as follows: Male horse category, Blissfull Hall, J M Vangogh and Rocknroll Hanover In 1999, Blissfull Hall captured harness racing’s elusive Pacing Triple Crown. Owned by Ecuries Daniel Plouffe, Inc. of Bromont, QC, this champion was trained by Ben Wallace with Ron Pierce as regular driver. A 31 race career over two seasons amassed a record of 19-4-6, a mark of 1:49.2 and earnings of $1.4 million before embarking on a successful career as a stallion. J M Vangogh, purchased as a yearling for $4,500 by Paul Chambers of Harrington, Delaware, made a remarkable recovery from an accident in the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final as a two year old to earn $2.28 million in 206 starts over 8 seasons and the nickname “The Comeback Kid”. Rocknroll Hanover banked more than $3 million during his race career, for owners Jeffrey Snyder of New York; Lothlorien Equestrian Centre, Cheltenham, ON; and Perretti Racing Stable, LLC. Career highlights include victories in Canada’s most prestigious races for two and three year olds, the Metro Pace and the North America Cup. He then embarked on a second career, becoming one of North America’s most prolific stallions before passing away in 2013. Female horse category: B Cor Tamara, Dreamfair Eternal and J Cs Nathalie Before embarking on her second career as a broodmare, B Cor Tamara enjoyed a productive racing career, earning more than $185,000. Bred and owned by Peter Core of Dresden, ON, the daughter of Dream Of Glory was the dam of 19 foals, including star trotter B Cor Pete, and granddam of two champion juveniles, Banker Hall and Broadway Hall. Her offspring have earned in excess of $2.7 million. Dreamfair Eternal retired from racing in 2012 after a career spanning seven years, 56 victories, including every stake event on the older pacing mare schedule, earning over $2.5 million and being named Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010. The daughter of Camluck was bred, raised and owned by John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON with Patrick Fletcher receiving training credit. As a broodmare, J Cs Nathalie has produced two millionaires for owner John Lamers of Ingersoll, ON -- pacing colt Dreamfair Vogel, and pacing mare Dreamfair Eternal. Dreamfair Vogel was a winner of 19 races and over $1.1 million with a mark of 1:49.3. Dreamfair Eternal, a winner of 56 races and over $2.5 million in purse earnings was Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2010. The trainer-driver category: Yves Filion, William Gale, and Wally Hennessey. Yves Filion, 67 of Saint-Andre-D’argent, Quebec was one of his province’s premier trainer-drivers for close to 30 years driving in almost 18,000 races with 4,362 wins and $26.5 million in earnings. Training credits include 248 winners and horses earning in excess of $3.4 million. Pacing colts Runnymede Lobell and Goliath Bayama each became millionaires with Filion responsible for both training and driving. William Gale, 65 of Woodstock, Ontario, was one of Canada’s leading drivers for a period that spanned the 70s, 80s and 90s. Between 1982 and 1997, Gale recorded 16 consecutive $1 million+ seasons. During his career, he won 6,375 races, started 32,134 times and earned $42.1 million. Wally Hennessey, 56, of Prince Edward Island, has more than 8,200 victories to his name and has banked earnings in excess of $55 million. In the late 1990s, he enjoyed success with the trotter Moni Maker, a winner of $5.5 million and numerous stakes including the Nat Ray in three different years, the Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown. In the summer of 2007, Hennessey was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame in Goshen, New York. Candidates in the builders’ category: Dr. Ted Clarke, John B. Ferguson and Robert Murphy. Dr. Ted Clarke is recognized by his peers as a visionary in the horse racing industry. Highly regarded for his thoughtful insights, Clarke’s strong and steady leadership has helped guide Grand River Raceway to be a leader in innovation and growth. Before Grand River, Clarke led numerous initiatives to put Elmira Raceway on the path to stability, including the inauguration of Industry Day, the Battle of Waterloo and the establishment of the Ontario Teletheatre Network. John B. Ferguson may be best known for his time in the National Hockey League, but his passion for Canadian horse racing was drawn from early years spent with his father and grandfather at old Hastings Park in Vancouver, BC. In addition to his role as a very active owner and breeder, Ferguson also took a role in track management. He was hired by Blue Bonnets in Montreal and after leaving hockey became the President of Windsor Raceway. He was also one of driving forces behind the formation of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. The late Robert Murphy, a native of Vancouver, BC, one of Canada’s most respected horse breeders and owners, was known by his popular Red Star moniker. First introduced to racing at Cloverdale Raceway in 1980, he rapidly became one of Canada’s most prolific owners. He averaged 935 starts as an owner each year between 2005 and 2009. In 2007, at the age of 74, Murphy owned more Standardbreds than anyone else in Canada. Outstanding Standardbreds: Albatross, Artsplace, and Happy Lady Albatross was voted US Harness Horse of the Year in 1971 and 1972. He won 59 of 71 starts, including the Cane Pace and Messenger Stakes in 1971, and earned in excess of $1.2 million. As a sire, Albatross's thousands of sons and daughters have won more than $100 million. Artsplace was the1992 O’Brien Award and Dan Patch Award winner as Horse of the Year following an undefeated four-year-old season. He was a two-year-old world record holder winning the Breeders Crown in a time of 1:51.1 at Pompano Park in Florida, soundly defeating champion Die Laughing. He won 37 races and bankrolled over $3 million during his racing career which saw him race many times in Canada before becoming a world class sire. Happy Lady, a daughter of Most Happy Fella, raced in 1977 and 1978 for owners Myra Masterson of St. Catharines, ON and Linda Lockey of Ridgeville. Though her race career was brief, she won $528,825 in purse earnings and attained a mark of 1:55.2. Trained and driven by the late Jim Rankin, she was almost flawless in her juvenile campaign, winning 15 of 16 races. As a sophomore she won 19 of 24 starts. Communicators category selections: Harry Eisen, Bill Galvin and Frank Salive. The late Harry Eisen spent a lifetime loving and covering horse racing in Ontario. As a lifelong journalist, he spent many years exposing the sport to the public, including the majority of his 40 years at the London Free Press. Eisen who once said he saw his first harness race when he was “three or four years old”, sold tip sheets at Dufferin Park Racetrack as a boy. He was inducted into Western Fair’s Wall of Fame in 1980. As a publicist, promoter and author, Bill Galvin, a native of Arnprior, ON made a tremendous impact on horse racing in Canada. Galvin’s promotions transcended racing. He led a charge to bring ice horse racing to the Rideau Canal and expose the sport to thousands of potential fans. He started the Race for MS fundraiser to gain exposure for the sport, and ran numerous other high profile campaigns dedicated to the health of horse racing during his career. Leamington, ON native Frank Salive was known for over 35 years as “The Voice” of Canadian harness racing. During his career it is estimated he called over 100,000 races, becoming a fan and industry favourite for his knowledgeable and informative calls and silky voice. Frank’s career as a track announcer began at Sudbury Downs in the late 70’s and continued at tracks throughout Ontario, includin fourteen years at Ontario Jockey Club/Woodbine Entertainment Group harness tracks and concluding at Pompano Park, Florida. Salive was also a regular writer for the Canadian Sportsman for several years. From the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame
The 2014 stake schedules for both Balmoral and Maywood Park have been released by racing secretary Doc Narotsky. The action kicks off at Balmoral on March 29th with the Taurus Bomber Stake for Illinois conceived and foaled three-year-old pacing colts. Maywood’s stake season gets underway on Friday, April 11th with sophomore pacing colts slugging it out in the Sportsmaster Stake. The first “major” state-bred stake of the season will be contested on Sunday, May 18th with three-year-old pacing fillies squaring off in the $45,000 Violet Stake at Balmoral. There will also be Violet and Cardinal Stakes for Illinois conceived and foaled pacers and trotters on Sunday, May 25th, Wednesday, May 28th, and Saturday, May 31st at Balmoral Park. Maywood’s first big event of the season will be the $100,000 Filly Maywood Pace for ICF three-year-old fillies on Friday, June 13th. The $100,000 Maywood Pace for ICF sophomore pacing colts will be held the following Friday, June 20th. . The first Hanover Stakes of the season at Balmoral Park will feature a pair of events for three-year-old trotters on Saturday, June 7th. The Southland Festival of Racing will provide a weekend filled with state-bred action at Balmoral on Saturday, July 26th and Sunday, July 27th with pacers and trotters squaring off in $50,000 battles like the Mini Me Stake, Loyal Opposition Stake, Incredible Finale Stake, Ann Vonian Stake, Kadabra Stake, Fox Valley Evita Stake, Fox Valley Flan Stake and Plesac Stake. A pair of $50,000 Hanover’s for two-year-old colt and filly pacers are scheduled for Saturday, August 2nd at the Crete oval while a pair of $60,000 events for freshmen trotters will be contested on Sunday, August 3rd. Balmoral will also play host to Illinois’ biggest night of racing, Super Night, on Saturday, Sept. 13th. As always, the state’s top pacers and trotters will be on display as they battle for more than $1 million in purse money. The prestigious American National’s kick off on Wednesday, Sept. 17th with a pair of $90,000 trotting stakes for two-year-olds. October will be a busy month for the youngsters as the $100,000 Lady Lincoln Stake for two-year-old trotting fillies takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 1st while their male counterparts battle in the $100,000 Lincoln Land Stake on Sunday, Oct. 5th Balmoral Park. Maywood will also host the $60,000 Cardinal and Violet Stakes for two-year-old colt and filly pacers on Friday, Oct. 3rd. If the last few years were any indication of things to come then racing fans throughout the country will want to circle Saturday, Oct. 11th and Friday, Oct. 17th, on their calendars as some of North America’s best pacers and trotters are expected to visit the Chicagoland area as Grand Circuit action comes to town. Balmoral Park will play host to the $250,000 three-year-old colt pace, $225,00 American National three-year-old colt trot, $200,000 American National Aged Pace, $180,000 aged trot, $175,000 American National three-year-old filly pace, $150,000 three-year-old filly trot, $125,000 two-year-old colt pace and $125,000 two-year-old filly pace approximately one month earlier than in recent years. Maywood’s biggest card of the season is just six days later on Friday, Oct. 17th with the $225,000 Windy City Pace for three-year-old pacing colts, the $130,000 Abe Lincoln Stake for two-year-old pacing colts, the $110,00 Galt Trot for three-year-old trotting colts and the $100,000 Cinderella Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies sharing the spotlight. The $30,000 Associates-McKeever Stake for ICF pacers is also scheduled for that same night. Below is a complete list of both tracks entire stake schedules. All purse values are estimated. Date Day Track A-S-G ICF Name Est Purse 3/29/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Taurus Bomber 10,000 4/5/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Song Cycle 17,000 4/5/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Direct Balance 10,000 4/11/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Sportsmaster 10,000 4/13/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Trotting Tilly 10,000 4/16/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Speedy Rodney 10,000 4/18/2014 Fri May 3fp ICF Desperate Lady 10,000 4/26/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Rambling Willie 17,000 4/26/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Betzotic 10,000 4/27/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Koochie 10,000 4/30/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Iggy Magoo 10,000 5/2/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Taser Gun 10,000 5/3/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Betzotic 10,000 5/11/2014 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Violet Eliminations 10,000 5/11/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Betzotic 10,000 5/14/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Betzotic 10,000 5/16/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Gosox 10,000 5/18/2014 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Violet 45,000 5/18/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Violet Eliminations 10,000 5/21/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Cardinal Eliminations 10,000 5/24/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Cardinal Eliminations 10,000 5/25/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Violet 40,000 5/28/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Cardinal 40,000 5/31/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Cardinal 45,000 6/1/2014 Sun Bal 2cp ICF Jimmy Sunshine 5,000 6/4/2014 Wed Bal 2fp ICF Egyptian Grande 5,000 6/5/2014 Thur May 3fp ICF Filly Maywood Pace Elim 10,000 6/7/2014 Sat Bal 3ct Hanover 35,000 6/7/2014 Sat Bal 3ft Hanover 35,000 6/8/2014 Sun Bal 2cp ICF Bingo Johnnie 5,000 6/11/2014 Wed Bal 2fp ICF Misty Misty Misty 5,000 6/13/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Maywood Pace Elim 10,000 6/13/2014 Fri May 3fp ICF Filly Maywood Pace 100,000 6/14/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Broadway Preview 30,000 6/14/2014 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Southern Rocketop 10,000 6/15/2014 Sun Bal 2cp ICF Wicked Brew 10,000 6/15/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Million Dollar Bye 5,000 6/18/2014 Wed Bal 2fp ICF Incredible Tillie 10,000 6/18/2014 Wed Bal 2ft ICF Star Slinger 5,000 6/20/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Maywood Pace 100,000 6/21/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Sue Fee 20,000 6/22/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Betzotic 10,000 6/25/2014 Wed Bal 3ct ICF Betzotic 10,000 6/26/2014 Thur May 2fp ICF Juxtaposition 10,000 6/27/2014 Fri May 2cp ICF Enzo The Baker 10,000 6/28/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Betzotic 10,000 6/29/2014 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Mystical Victress 10,000 7/2/2014 Wed Bal 3ft ICF Sorce Ann 10,000 7/4/2014 Fri May 3+p ICF Cook County 30,000 7/5/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Hot Head 10,000 7/5/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Ohyouprettything 10,000 7/6/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Vaporize 10,000 7/9/2014 Wed Bal 2ct ICF Psychic Spirit 10,000 7/9/2014 Wed Bal 3ft ICF Fox Valley Diva 10,000 7/10/2014 Thur May 2fp ICF My Metallica 10,000 7/11/2014 Fri May 2cp ICF Fox Valley Barzgar 10,000 7/12/2014 Sat Bal 3cp Hanover 45,000 7/12/2014 Sat Bal 3fp Hanover 40,000 7/13/2014 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Brandenburg 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Mini Me Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Loyal Opposition Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Incredible Finale Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat/Sun Bal 3ct ICF Kadabra Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat/Sun Bal 3fp ICF Ann Vonian Elim 10,000 7/19/2014 Sat/Sun Bal 3ft ICF Fox Valley Evita Elim 10,000 7/20/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Plesac Eliminations 10,000 7/20/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Fox Valley Flan Elim 10,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Mini Me 50,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Loyal Opposition 50,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Incredible Finale 50,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Kadabra 50,000 7/26/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Ann Vonian 50,000 7/27/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Fox Valley Evita 50,000 7/27/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Plesac 50,000 7/27/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Fox Valley Flan 50,000 8/2/2014 Sat Bal 2cp Hanover 50,000 8/2/2014 Sat Bal 2fp Hanover 50,000 8/3/2014 Sun Bal 2ct Hanover 60,000 8/3/2014 Sun Bal 2ft Hanover 60,000 8/3/2014 Sun Bal 3+T ICF Mikes A Mystery 25,000 8/16/2014 Sat Bal 3+P ICF Big Tom 40,000 8/16/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Parklane Powerful 40,000 8/29/2014 Fri May 3+p ICF Egyptian 30,000 9/6/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Orange & Blue Elim 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Filly O&B Eliminations 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat/Sn Bal 3+p ICF Tony Maurello Elim 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Pete Langley Mem Elim 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Grandma Ann Elim 15,000 9/6/2014 Sat/Sn Bal f&m p ICF Lorna Propes Elim 15,000 9/7/2014 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Su Mac Lad Elim 15,000 9/7/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Lady Ann Reed Elim 15,000 9/10/2014 Wed Bal 2ct American National Elim 15,000 9/10/2014 Wed Bal 2ft American National Elim 15,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Orange & Blue Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Orange & Blue 250,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Filly O&B Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Filly O&B 225,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Tony Maurello Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3+p ICF Tony Maurello 115,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Pete Langley Mem Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Pete Langley Mem 170,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3ct ICF Su Mac Lad 100,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Grandma Ann Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3fp ICF Grandma Ann 170,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal 3ft ICF Lady Ann Reed 100,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Lorna Propes Cons 25,000 9/13/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Lorna Propes 115,000 9/14/2014 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Su Mac Lad Cons 25,000Date Day Track A-S-G ICF Name Est Purse 9/14/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Lady Ann Reed Cons 25,000 9/17/2014 Wed Bal 2ct American National 90,000 9/17/2014 Wed Bal 2ft American National 90,000 9/20/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Yates Eagle 15,000 9/20/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Thrifty Way 15,000 9/24/2014 Wed Bal 2ft ICF Lady Lincoln Land Elim 15,000 9/26/2014 Fri May 2cp ICF Cardinal Elim 10,000 9/26/2014 Fri May 2fp ICF Violet Elim 10,000 9/27/2014 Sat Bal 3cp ICF Bye Bye Byrd 15,000 9/28/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Lincoln Land Elim 15,000 9/28/2014 Sun Bal 3fp ICF Direct Dottie 15,000 10/1/2014 Wed Bal 2ft ICF Lady Lincoln Land Cons 25,000 10/1/2014 Wed Bal 2ft ICF Lady Lincoln Land 100,000 10/1/2014 Sun Bal 3ft ICF Betzotic 10,000 10/3/2014 Fri May 2cp ICF Cardinal 50,000 10/3/2014 Fri May 2fp ICF Violet 60,000 10/5/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Lincoln Land 100,000 10/5/2014 Sun Bal 2ct ICF Lincoln Land Cons 25,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 2cp American National 125,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 2fp American National 125,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 3cp American National 250,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 3ct American National 225,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 3fp American National 175,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal 3ft American National 150,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal ap American National 200,000 10/11/2014 Sat Bal at American National 180,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 2cp Abe Lincoln 130,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 3+p ICF Associates-McKeever 30,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 3cp Windy City Pace 225,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 3ct Galt 110,000 10/17/2014 Fri May 3fp Cinderella 100,000 10/18/2014 Sat Bal 2fp ICF Beecher 10,000 10/19/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Violet Elim 10,000 10/22/2014 Wed Bal 2ct ICF Cardinal Elim 10,000 10/26/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Violet 40,000 10/26/2014 Sun Bal 3ct ICF Betzotic 10,000 10/29/2014 Wed Bal 2ct ICF Cardinal 40,000 10/30/2014 Thur May 3ft ICF Speed N The Tunnel 10,000 10/31/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Betzotic 10,000 10/31/2014 Fri May 3fp ICF Giggles The Clown 10,000 11/1/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Crete 10,000 11/2/2014 Sun Bal 2fp ICF Betzotic 10,000 11/2/2014 Sun Bal 2ft ICF Monee 10,000 11/5/2014 Wed Bal 2ct ICF Betzotic 10,000 11/6/2014 Thur May 3ct ICF Lifes A Holiday 10,000 11/14/2014 Thur May 3fp ICF Betzotic 10,000 11/15/2014 Sat Bal 2cp ICF Betzotic 10,000 11/21/2014 Fri May 3cp ICF Cole Muffler 10,000 11/22/2014 Sat Bal f&m p ICF Fox Valley Memory 15,000 by Tom Kelley, for Balmoral & Maywood Park
Trainer Gary McDonald gave his 2014 win count a big boost on Sunday evening as he sent our five winners from his barn during the 12-race card at Rideau Carleton Raceway. McDonald opened the Sunday program by sweeping the early Daily Double as pacing mare Taras Jet ($3.50) romped to a four length victory in rein to Denis St. Pierre and trotter Love Is Strong ($8.40) recovered from an early miscue to prevail by more than two lengths. The winning duo combined for a $2 Daily Double payout of $17.10. Driven by Ted McDonald, Luke But Dontouch ($10.80) also trotted to victory lane in the fourth race and Woodbine invader Allamerican Extra ($5) won the sixth race pace in his debut for the McDonald stable. Pacer Hopetobefirst ($6.20) concluded McDonald's five-win night with a narrow score in the following dash. To read rest of story click here.
Taylor Spitzig, 23, of Courtright, Ont., celebrated her first ever career win, as a trainer, this past Tuesday at The Raceway at Western Fair District, In London, Ont.. Taylor is the owner and trainer of Windwood Nick who would roll gate-to-wire at 11/1 for driver Lorne House in 2:00 flat. When asked about her background in racing, she says she’s been involved her whole life. “My dad (Rusty) has always had horses and back before harness racing was popular he was racing ponies in Sarnia and in Indiana, Michagan and Ohio,” shes says. “As a young child I’d bring my colouring books to the track - while my dad drove or looked after the horses we had racing that night. I was ten when I picked up my groom’s license just so I could actually be in the paddock with my dad.” “Dad has been my biggest influence, but I also look at trainer Casie Coleman and the success she has had in the business,” continued Spitzig. “Not only is she the top female trainer, but she’s a top trainer in a male dominated industry.” Together with her dad, the Spitzigs look after sixteen horses - a mixture of race horses, two-year-olds, yearlings, broodmares and retired horses. “I have a two-year-old of my own that I’m getting ready for O.S.S. action this year - Casimir Ozzy aka Ozzy - and then I’m training two Dontgetinmyway two-year-olds to go back to Indiana for their sire stakes this summer,” she explains. “Some other ‘project’ horses I have are my two three-year-olds and my old trotter Twin B Rawley. I’m hoping to have those three qualified by mid-April.” Going into Tuesday’s race with Winwood Nick, Taylor said there was no need to be any more confident about her chances of winning. “Whenever I am confident it seems to backfire on me... All I said to Lorne (House), before the race, was - I hope ‘Woody’ has his game face on... I figured I was good enough for a cheque but not the win. Being in against my dad’s horse (Birkdale) and my pet, I was just hoping they could both finish in the money - which they did!” When asked if she had purchased a win ticket on Winwood Nick, for that first training win, Taylor was quick to admit that she’s very superstitious. “No I didn’t have a ticket on him,” she says. “I won’t bet my horses... I won’t Tweet about them or go on Facebook to talk about them until after they race. I feel like I jinx them when I do any of that,” she continued. “You may just see me in the same jeans, tank, sweater and sneakers next time ‘Woody’ is in to race because that’s how superstitious I am!” Here’s Taylor describing the feeling of watching and winning her first race... “When they got past the half and ‘Woody’ was still on top – the excitement started to kick in... I was yelling at the top of my lungs from the fence hoping he would keep going. I don’t even remember seeing the finish I was just way too excited. And then I questioned myself thinking he may have got nipped at the wire - because it was close - but then I heard Brad in the starting car say ‘test the winner #3’ and I started walking to the winner's circle with probably the biggest, goofiest, smile on my face ever. All the guys going out to warm up horses kept congratulating me... It felt amazing! All I could think was 'I finally won my first race!’ and that smile hasn’t left my face yet... My dad keeps teasing me - asking how many copies of the win photo I'm going to have made.” by Shannon "Sugar" Doyle, for the Raceway
Shimmering Crown was treated to a sweet trip in Thursday’s $7,000 Preferred 3 for trotters at Flamboro Downs, and the homebred didn’t let it go to waste. The four-year-old son of Macs Crown K-Charming Star, who was sent off as the 4-5 favourite, used a :29.3 closing quarter to prevail by a narrow margin in a career-best clocking of 1:58.4. Trevor Henry tucked the Ron Parsons pupil into an early six-hole while Triple B Herbie was allowed to throw down fractions of :28.3, :58.3 and 1:28.3. Shimmering Crown snuck out to catch cover in the final half of the trotting affair, and he then sprinted by foes in the lane to win by a head over So Sure. Triple B Herbie faded late and wound up settling for third prize. To read the rest of the story click here.
Just when we thought it was going to get a little easier to get a handle on formlines, so the V75 shows you just why this is the best multi-race betting system in the world. While we got 2 legs home, we sat by as favourite after favourite got rolled as Sanity didn’t prevail and outsiders including a $50/1 longshot and two paying in the high teens came in. And the lucky punter who chose the seven winning horses correctly walked off with 613,588.60 EUR ($845,437). And just to make it a little tougher, this week the V75 shifts to Norway for one of those occasional joint V75s, this one coinciding with a Norway versus Sweden apprentice drivers challenge. The Norwegian breeding programme is nowhere near as strong as Sweden’s and so the racing in one of Europe’s richest nations is heavily influenced by imports from not only its bigger neighbour but also Italy and the United States. Several prominent Danish trainers such as Bo Westerdaard, Flemming Jensen and Jeppe Juel also make a living racing their second-string horses between Denmark and Norway while the top ones foot it in Sweden. And like Finland, coldblood trotters make up nearly half of the racing stock, which adds another bit of spice into the handicapping stew – although there is only one coldblood race in the V75. So what is the strategy? Does the horses for courses theory favour local runners or do, Swedish raiders have the tougher racing so are basically dropping back in grade here? They certainly cleaned up in France which should be much tougher. Or shall we go with the early tote, which to be frank hasn’t been that reliable lately as a guide to the “smart” money. Decisions, decisions. At least the French racing has a bit more familiarity to it, we've been following most of these horses over winter. Anyhoo here goes. V75-1 Silver division 2140m: The Swedish-breds Your Highness (12), Jaguar Broline (1), Stormysky (3) and Burning Line Gral (6) are the logical picks. Looking for an outsider, and there is a US-bred locally trained runner with three wins in her last five starts who might figure, so I’ve taken Cantabharmony (5). Selection 12-1-3-6-5 V75-2 Klass I 1640m: Ulf Ohlen’s Pedro Bi (1) has had three Sovalla wins in his last five starts while Flemming Jensen’s Roxy Hill (2) won at Aby last start. From these draws, they look the two to beat. As Elvis had it, 1 for the money and 2 for the show. Selection 1 (2) V75-3 Dack Partner Bil-Vulkan loppet (mares) 2140m: Italian-bred Nalda Nof (5) has won group two races in Italy and Norway and been placed in the same class in France where she was trained for a while. Now with Marcus Lindgren in Halmstad, she looks a class above these, this is her second start back from a decent spell and has the brilliant Swedish driver Bjorn Goop in the cart. That makes her an anchor. Selection 5 V75-4 Östfoldpokalen 2140m: Coldblood race where Gylden Balder (13) and Timian Scott (15) are the heavy early favourites. They’ll do me in the dartboard selection of the mix. Selection 13 (15) V75-5 Klass II 2640m: A lot of recent winners in this, so it’s a matter of sifting through who they beat and where. Flemming Jensen has another consistent performer here in Solo Nolo (12) off the wide second draw, Reims Gasti (5) has three recent Solvalla wins, while Spirit (2) has won three races in a row, at Aby, Sweden and two in Denmark. This is wide open, with many chances but we’ll stick with these three. Selection 12-5-2 V75-6 Steinlagers Hederslopp (Gold) 1640m: This has been a tough meeting to find bankers, but I was really impressed with Francais du Gull (1) last time out. He might not be in the class of Mr Picolet or Beanie MM, the last two winners of this race, but from this draw he should get to the front, and he is definitely good enough to win from there. Selection: 1 V75-7 Bronze division 2140m: Another toughie with More Than Enough (1), KLM Buymethemoon (6), Huge Star (10) who all have strong Swedish form looking the strongest suspects. We need an outsider somewhere and Vacqueryas (8) is due a change of form, and this might be an easier race than he has been in for a while. Selection 1-6-10-8 R4 Prix Louis Forcinal (Group 2) monte 2700m: This looks a match race between the two best monte horses of their generations, Ulysse (8) and Vision Intense (9). Normally I would choose the older horse over the younger and the stallion over the mare, which in both cases favour Ulysse, but Vision Intense is something special and mares hold their own under saddle more than in the bike. So it’s Vision Intense for me. R8 Prix Robert Auvray (Group 2) 2850m: A very competitive race with plenty of form to consider. Jean Etienne Dubois’ Villeroi (8) has won his last two starts, but is trailing the early favouritism to Viking de Val (9) while the Jean-Michel Bazire factor is behind the 4 horse Varade d’Hermine’s short price (5/2). Jean Phillippe Dubois has three entries but I’m leaning towards Voltigeur de Myrt (10), the Criterium des 4 Ans winner who was a gallant sixth in the Prix de Selection in a joint equal fastest time under handicap, (1.11.1 or 1.54.2MR/2200m) which was his new record. That indicates to me a horse at the top of his game, and there are no others in this field that fronted in that prestigious group one. So Voltigeur de Myrt for me. TOTAL COMBINATIONS 60 – Cost $5, +1 alternate $10, + 2 alternate $20 Also here are my win wagers from Momarken and Vincennes. SINGLE WAGERS $2 MOMARKEN Race 5 Your Highness (12), Race 6 Pedro Bi (1) Race 7 Nalda Nof (5) Race 8 Gylden Balder (13) Race 9 Solo Nolo (12) Race 10 Francais du Gull (1) Race 11 Vacqueryas (8) VINCENNES Race 4 Vision Intense (9) Race 8 Voltigeur de Myrt (10)
The 2014 Bathurst Gold Crown Yearling Sale will be conducted by Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd at 11am on Sunday at the Bathurst Showground. The sale comprises 186 lots by 50 different sires including Australia’s champion sire Art Major, leading juvenile sire Courage Under Fire, former USA Horse of the Year Rock N Roll Heaven and premier North American sire Rocknroll Hanover, along with leading first-crop stallions Sportswriter, Shadow Play, Always A Virgin, Changeover and Million Dollar Cam. Other well known stallions include American Ideal, Grinfromeartoear, McArdle, Armbro Operative, Live Or Die, Elsu, Four Starzzz Shark, Artistic Fella, Modern Art, Village Jasper, Tinted Cloud and Aces N Sevens. The catalogue includes yearlings out of Group winners including the Edgar Tatlow winners Katasopos and Lady Titian Lombo, the WA Oaks winner Onassis Legacy and Modern Day (QSBA Breeders Classic). Other Group heat or metropolitan winners include Jillette, Unspoiled, Ezy Lady, Ambre Solaire, Lite Energy, Nietta Lombo, Spirit Of Tara, Madusa Cam, Lombo Silhouette, Lockton Loaded, Love Nest, Touch Of Jerry and Dana Bromac. The majority of the yearlings are eligible for the $1.17-million NSW Breeders Challenge Race series for two, three and four-year-olds of both sexes. They are also eligible for rich futurity series such as the Australasian Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown, Vicbred and QBred. The online catalogue for the Bathurst sale can be viewed at www.graemeboard.com Hard-copy catalogues can be requested from Davidson Cameron & Co Dubbo Pty Ltd on (02) 6884 8355 or email email@example.com or the Bathurst Harness Racing Club on (02) 6333 5000. by Peter Wharton for Bathurst Gold Crown Sale
Firstclassflight was treated to a second-over trip in Tuesday’s $10,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred 2 at The Raceway at Western Fair District, and a result the former claimer was able to win the featured tilt in going away fashion for trainer Dave Menary. Doug McNair mapped out the winning trip for Firstclassflight, who now boasts a 2-2-0 record in her first four starts since being claimed for $10,000 on February 3. Sent off as the 6-5 favourite, Firstclassflight got away fifth before grabbing the cover of first-over attacker Cards That Count going to the mid-way point. Firstclassflight made a three-wide charge in the backstretch and then used a :30.3 closing panel to win by 2-1/4 lengths over Cards That Count in 1:57.2. Black Magic Eyes took home the show dough. Taylor Spitzig celebrated her first training win on Tuesday night as her own pacer Winwood Nick wired the fourth race field at Western Fair Raceway Driven by Lorne House, 11-1 longshot Winwood Nick ($24) established the lead early in the $5,000 claiming event and held off second choice Royal Sir for the half-length victory in a two minute mile. Favourite My Perfect Heart finished three and a half lengths behind in third. To read the rest of the story click here.