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Passionate Sydney harness racing owner Emilio Rosati has never been afraid to think outside the box - and now he's doing that with success, with three former American horses. While there's a veritable procession of Australian and New Zealand standardbreds being sent to the Northern Hemisphere, it's a relatively rare thing for American race-horses to be brought "Down Under". But that's what Rosati has done and, prepared by his private trainer former North American champion mentor Noel "Oz" Daley, two of his US imports scored impressively at Menangle last Saturday night. Rosati has been in the sport over 45 years and has used the suffix "stride" in the names of many of his horses, after one of the first horses raced with his wife in the 1970s, named Stride High who won nine races. Seven-year-old mare Blue Moon Stride USA (Rocknroll Hanover USA-Classic Star) took out the $22,440 Mares Pace for James Rattray, while five-year-old square gaiter Lily Stride USA (Muscle Hill USA-Sterling Volo) was victorious in the $14,280 Trotters Mobile with Anthony Butt aboard. "It was certainly very pleasing as they were off the scene for quite a while - one of them unraced for nine months - so it's taken a bit to get them up and going again," Daley said. "Lily Stride has really hit her straps with four wins now from her six outings for us. But she does have some class on her side because back in the States she scored an upset win in the 3yo Breeders Crown Filly Trot, worth a purse of $500,000, last October," he said. "Blue Moon Stride is a gorgeous mare who has now earnt over $1.2 million. Emilio and his wife Mary bought her as a weanling. She's beautifully bred, out of a sister to (former star racehorse and now leading sire) Bettors Delight. "Over in the US she came up against ex-Aussie mare Shartin, who recently won at The Meadowlands in world record time of 1.46-4. (Before being sent to the Northern Hemisphere, Shartin was considered to be one of Australia's best juveniles, taking the Tasmania and Queensland Oaks while under the care of Victorian trainer Dean Braun.) "Both Lily Stride and Blue Moon Stride were prepared by former Kiwi trainer Mark Harder, who has probably been USA-based for over 30 years. Mark did a great job with them and he also had Mooshka Stride, a trotter that's joined our barn as well." Mooshka Stride USA (Credit Winner-Check Me Out) has had one start for the Rosati-Daley team, for a Menangle success on July 2 in 1.58-5. This took her career tally to five wins and seven placings from 21 starts for over $85,000 in earnings. "She got kicked by another horse and is just back in training again," Daley said. The USA trio flew out in November. They arrived in Australia after enjoying a short time in New Zealand. "They all had a good few months off which was ideal," Daley said. The Daley stable has 18 horses in training - a far cry from the huge numbers the skilled horseman had under his care while overseas. "The most we got up to was probably about 125. However, over the past few years in the States when I was scaling down after deciding to make Australia home again, it was a much smaller," he said. "At the beginning of my last season there was 25 horses, and at the end about 10 to 12." Over three decades based in the United States, largely at New Jersey, Daley stamped himself as one of the all-time greats. He prepared 2570 winners for more than $61.1 million, which ranks sixth among all trainers in harness racing history. by Terry Gange  

Following last week’s exclusive on leviathan harness racing owner Emilio Rosati, harnesslink can reveal the first two Victorian trainers in line to receive the majority of his team. Just to recap, Rosati has decided to transfer his horses out of New South Wales as a result of his disappointment with the integrity of the local industry. While a few have already been sent south of the Murray River – and also to Queensland – the majority of his stock are yet to be moved interstate. The remainder of Rosati’s team will begin being shipped next week, with trainers Jayne Davies and Andy Gath to receive the bulk of the ‘deliveries’. It is believed South Australia’s David Harding will also have his stable numbers increased within the month. Rosati’s horses carry the ‘Stride’ prefix, with former stars Excel Stride and Idol Stride among his best performers. Rosati’s stock is estimated to be between 30 and 40 horses, with star youngster Allblack Stride headlining the crew. “Although they haven’t raced yet, a lot have moved and the rest will be moved soon,” Rosati said. “I won’t put a number on how many horses I have, but it’s a lot.” Rosati’s decision to vacate New South Wales is based on his ‘principles'. When asked to elaborate, Rosati stated he’d “leave it at that.” “I have no problem with the people running the sport, I just have a problem with the integrity of it,” Rosati said. “I don’t want to harm the industry, I’m just frustrated with the way it is at the moment. I’m not doing this because I want to...I have to, based on my principles. “Ideally I’d prefer to be in New South Wales and hopefully the problem gets fixed and I will return them. “I will still stay on as a sponsor there.” Paul Courts

Leviathan harness racing owner Emilio Rosati is set to transfer his team out of New South Wales. While a few are already in Queensland and Victoria, the rest will be sent south of the Murray River during next couple of months. Rosati’s stock is estimated to be between 30 and 40 horses, with star youngster Allblack Stride headlining the crew. Other than confirming the Group One winning son of Christian Cullen is becoming a Victorian, Rosati stated he isn’t ready to announce which trainers will be in charge of his team. Rosati’s horses carry the ‘Stride’ prefix, with former stars Excel Stride and Idol Stride among his best performed pacers. “Although they haven’t raced yet, a lot have moved and the rest will be moved soon,” Rosati said. “I won’t put a number on how many horses I have, but it’s a lot. “I’m not ready to say which horses will go to which trainer, but it will be known in good time.” Rosati’s decision to vacate New South Wales is based on his ‘principles', with the astute owner citing the integrity of the industry as the primary reason for the switch. When asked to elaborate, Rosati stated he’d “leave it at that.” “I have no problem with the people running the sport, I just have a problem with the integrity of it,” Rosati said. “I don’t want to harm the industry, I’m just frustrated with the way it is at the moment. “I’m not doing this because I want to...I have to, based on my principles. “Ideally I’d prefer to be in New South Wales and hopefully the problem gets fixed and I will return them. “I will still stay on as a sponsor there.” Paul Courts

Exceptional reinsman Blair Orange nailed his second Group One victory in less than a week when guiding Superbowlcheerleader to success in the $100,000 Group One Anzac Cup at Alexandra Park tonight. The much improved trotter, who is now trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, was parked out for the majority of the trip, yet still proved too strong for the fast finishing Aussie raider Zedalite, who is trained by ex-pat Kiwi trainer Brent Lilley. Cool Cobber closed well to finish in third, while favourite Prime Power was a disappointing fifth after enjoying the gun run in the trail. The 5YO Sundon mare, who bought up her tenth career win tonight, will now compete in next week’s Greenlane Cup before eyeing up the $150,000 Rowe Cup, which is the last leg of the Alexandra Park ‘Triple Crown’. Superbowlcheerleader, who is owned by Mrs S Grainger along with Brian West of Studholme Bloodstock Limited, was originally trained by Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett before joining the All Stars barn. Meanwhile, Ray Green and Lincoln Farms enjoyed success on the card with smart juveniles Strike The Gold and Beaudiene Boaz, who were both impressive winners, while the Tony Herlihy trained and Emilio Rosati owned Express Stride earned himself a spot in the Sires Stakes Final when winning a non-tote heat of the rich series earlier in the evening. By Mitchell Robertson

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: dwalker@hrnsw.com.au| W: www.hrnsw.com.au                  

The former Kiwi rock star has officially taken a backseat to the star-studded Americans. That’s the opinion of Bruce Barlass, the Canterbury rep for PGG Wrightson, following the second day of the two-day New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale in Christchurch yesterday (Wednesday). “For the first time about a decade Christian Cullen hasn’t been the big tick item at one of our yearling sales. In fact there were only a couple of Christian Cullens in Auckland and a handful down here (Christchurch). “He has made way to the likes of Bettor’s Delight, Mach Three, Rock N Roll Heaven, and Rocknroll Hanover,” Barlass said. And in fact it was Bettor’s Delight that fetched the only six-figure sum at yesterday’s sale. Mark Purdon, on behalf of Victorian Merv Butterworth, paid $100,000 for lot 334 – a Bettor’s Delight – Motu Pocket O’Jewels (In The Pocket) bay colt named Motu Premier. The vendor was Ohoka’s Motu Lodge Stud. The second highest price yesterday was also paid by another Australian – this time Emilio Rosati (via Tony Herlihy – MNZM) paid $95,000 for Lot 316 – a Rock N Roll Heaven – Lucinda Midfrew (Live Or Die) bay colt named Lipstickonyourcollar. The vendor was J. W. and Mrs R. G. Mooney. There were three $100,000 plus sales on the first day – (Lot 124 – a Bettor’s Delight – Beaudiene Babe colt ); Lot 59, a Rocknroll Hanover-Tallulah Bromac colt; and the most expensive filly on all three days - Lot 40, who was by Bettor’s Delight out of Rona Lorraine . The only six figure price in Auckland was Lot 57, a Bettor’s Delight- Galleon’s Supreme colt. The top trotter yesterday was Lot 248 – a son of Angus Hall and Cata (Muscles Yankee). Aldebaran Lodge in Victoria paid $70,000 to Rosedale Farm of Ladbrooks for the brown colt Hall Pass. The vendor was K. N. and Mrs A. M. Spicer. Barlass said 124 lots were sold yesterday amounting to $2,976,750. The clearance rate was 75b per cent and the average price paid was $24,006. He said both ‘Premier’ days saw 254 lots sold at an aggregate total price of $6,232,250. The average on Tuesday and Wednesday collectively was $24,536. “This gave us an overall clearance rate of 76 per cent. Our overall clearance rate went from $5.5 million last year to $6.2 million this year. “That’s a 12 per cent increase. Sure we are delighted with that result, but the way the economy has been improving – especially here in Christchurch, it was expected,” Barlass said. He said the stake increases at Alexandra Park, the positivity at Addington Raceway, and the heavy Australian interest all ensured the increase. Barlass also believed the change in the Premier Sales format from three days to two days a few years ago also ensured the rise. “I also think having two even days instead of just having the best horses on day one also helped. This is the first year we have mingled the best horses on both days. “It was a successful move because this year we had two equal days and it meant horses of lesser quality were also able to be sold alongside some of the best – not just on day one, but on both Tuesday and Wednesday,” Barlass said. To view the Sales results from the two-day New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale, click here: By Duane Ranger (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)

Fears the new Inter Dominion date will savage the Auckland Trotting Cup look set to be wide of the mark for the second year running. Nominations for Alexandra Park's iconic race on March 7 close tomorrow and will contain many harness racing superstars set to compete at Menangle five days earlier. When the Interdoms and its giant support card were moved to Sydney last year to clash with Auckland Cup week some critics thought it would ruin the Auckland Trotting Cup. That could hardly have been more wrong last year though as I'm Themightyquinn beat Terror To Love and Bettor Cover Lover in the Cup, with all three having raced at Menangle five days earlier. Plenty of trainers are keeping that option open again, with Mark Purdon having nominated both Adore Me and Smolda, who race in Sydney on Sunday week, for the Cup. WA pacers I'm Victorious and Livingontheinterest have also been nominated while Luke McCarthy is likely to nominate The Gold Ace and possibly even For A Reason for Auckland, all four being in the Inter Final.   Most of those trainers will wait to see how their charges come through their March 2 races before deciding on the Auckland Cup, the barrier draw for which has now been pushed back to Monday night to accommodate them. While ATC officials have every reason to be beaming about the Cup nominations, the sheer strength of entries for the Woodlands Northern Derby the same night is keeping numbers down. It already contains group one winners Maxim, Sky Major, Cyclone Prince and Tiger Tara as well the much-hyped Locharburn and Aldo Rossi. "We are thrilled with the quality but would like some more horses because it is $250,000 and last season we saw a lower-grade horse finish fourth against a similarly hot field," said ATC racing manager Kevin Smith. Meanwhile, super sire Bettors Delight produced the top lot for the third day running at yesterday's yearling sales in Christchurch. Australian owner Merv Butterworth paid $100,000 for a Bettors Delight colt out of four-race winner Motu Pocket O'Jewels, narrowly topping a $95,000 colt by Rock N Roll Heaven from Lucinda Midfrew for Sydney owner Emilio Rosati to be trained by Tony Herlihy. Courtesy of Michael Guerin and the New Zealand Herald

It's rare to see big-spending owner Emilio Rosati campaign a horse without the suffix 'Stride.' But the businessman, who divides his time between his home in Sydney and business in Melbourne, has come up trumps with an unbeaten three- year-old which fits that category. The horse in question, Heavenly Cullen, a filly which made it two wins from as many starts when she led throughout in a fast 1:56.4 at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, last Tuesday. The Rosatis - Emilio and his wife, Mary - trading as E & M Stride, bought the Christian Cullen filly at the inaugural two-year-old trialling sale at Menangle. Heavenly Cullen is prepared by Belinda McCarthy, whose husband, Luke, drove her on debut to win at Penrith, then again last Tuesday. "I like the filly, and I'm rapt in the trialling sale concept," Luke said. "This filly was a reasonable price, one of the less expensive ones on the day, so you can pick up a bargain there. "This type of sale shouldn't be thought of as opposition to yearling sales, but rather as an adjunct to them...the thoroughbreds have shown that." The sale is sponsored by Garrards Horse & Hound, which has arranged for a Trade Display to partner the sale and Industry Day, where kindred bodies will be featured. Some 50 youngsters have been catalogued, and they are the only ones eligible to be nominated for a rich late season two-year-old Group feature, the C.J. Garrard Classic, over 2300 metres, also at Tabcorp Park, Menangle. On top of that, most of the youngsters are also eligible for rich young horse classics including Australian Pacing Gold, Australasian Breeders' Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown, the Lombo, New South Wales Breeders Challenge, QBred or Vicbred. On the day, all horses will trial over 800 metres, with the final 400 metres flat out, from 8.30am, after a complimentary breakfast at 7.30am. The sale will start around 1pm. Catalogues are available by calling Kerry Baker on 0402 336 598 or by emailing kausbred@bigpond.net.au

Real Babe handed the heavily favored Maven her first defeat of the 2013 harness racing campaign in the first $20,000 leg of the Ima Lula trotting series for four year old mares. Joe Bongiorno was in from Saratoga for the card and picked up the drive on Real Babe for trainer Mark Harder. Joe got the mare away second and when the dust settled moved her to the front through a comfortable 56.1 half. The pair would face no pressure until very late and Real Babe required minimal encouragement from Bongiorno. Maven meanwhile followed stablemate D'Orsay up into striking position off the final bend but could not track the winner down through a 28.1 end to a 1:53.2 mile. The mile is a career best for the regally bred daughter of Donato Hanover from Housethatruthbuilt and sets her up nicely for the balance of the series which concludes on #Hambo13 Day, August 3. Emilio and Maria Rosati of New South Wales, Australia are the proud owners. It was one of three wins on the night for Bongiorno. Personal Style finished third while Check Me Out rallied boldly from last at the top of the stretch to finish a very fast-closing fourth. The Ima Lula Final on Hambletonian Day is shaping up to be a classic. Thanks to large fields and competitive racing, total handle showed an increase of 25-percent when compared to the same Saturday program one year ago, despite the Meadowlands regular drivers being scattered around North America due to major stakes action. Racing returns on Friday with the Eliminations for The Merrie Annabelle and Peter Haughton Memorial. Saturday features Eliminations for The Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship, Lady Liberty, New Jersey Classic and Miss New Jersey as well as the second leg of The Ima Lula Series. Post Time for both programs is 7:15 P.M. Rachel Ryan

What a night for harness racing first crop sire Major In Art at Bathurst on Wednesday. He sired the winners of both finals of the Gold Crown Yearling Sale Graduate series in Lagoon Stride (colt) and Goodtime Stride (filly). Both are out of Fake Left mares and were bred by Wayne and Anne Lamb and owned by Emilio and Maria Rosati.

Real Babe overcame post position 10 to win the $47,800 Charles Singer Memorial final for harness racing 4-year-old trotters on Saturday night (Feb. 23) at Meadowlands Racetrack. David Miller was in the bike for owners Emilio and Maria Rosati of Australia and trainer Mark Harder as the 4-year-old daughter of Donato Hanover-Housethatruthbuilt recorded her fourth win in six season's starts, lifting her 2013 bankroll to $46,800.

Big spending owner Emilio Rosati had one of his proudest moments in harness racing when his horses snared the quinella in tonight's (Saturday 23rd February) $50,000 Allied Express Rod Fitzpatrick Memorial at Tabcorp Park Menangle.

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