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Australian harness racing has lost one of its all-time greats with the death of Westburn Grant. His trainer-driver and adoring caretaker in retirement Vic Frost said Westburn Grant died at his property near Tweed Heads on Thursday, just a couple of months short of his 35th birthday. Westburn Grant, affectionately known as “Spot”, won 38 of his 67 starts and over $2 million, including the 1992 Melbourne Inter Dominion and two Miracle Miles in 1989 and ‘90. “He’d had a tumour on his neck and went downhill in the last week,” Frost said. “It’s a really sad time … he’s been with me all his life. I raced his Mum (Westburn Vue) and he’s been with me since he was born. “He’s had a fantastic life, he was almost 35. He’s had the run of the place at home here with Gail (Frost’s wife) and I. He’d help himself to the hay shed and wander from one horse to another to stand next to them, many of those horses his descendants. Gail pampered him like nothing else. “What a super racehorse he was, too. He had blistering speed and could do it early or late, as well as having a fair bit of stamina. Frost will always treasured the two Miracle Mile wins in 1989 and 1990, but spoke most glowingly of his 1992 Melbourne Inter Dominion win. “That was a real challenge, a real triumph,” he said. “He’d always had bad feet, but they were a huge issue during that series. “I had to find a long stretch beach to train him and I did, at least a couple of hours from Melbourne at a place called Venus Bay. “We were away from the world and nobody could contact me. I got him as well as I could and he did the rest in the final.” The most special win of Westburn Grant’s career for Frost came when he landed his second Group 1 WA Pacing Cup victory in January, 1992. It came just two weeks after Vic and his then wife, Margaret, lost their son Gary in a tragic accident at home. Group 1 WA Pacing Cup “We were in Perth with the horse when Gary died,” Frost said. “We went back home, left the horse with Colin Brown in Perth, and went back a week or so later and ‘Spot’ did it for us. That win meant so much.” Reprinted with permission of The Courier Mail Westburn Grant on YouTube Click on the links for each show; This is a story about the great Westburn Grant and trainer/driver Vic Frost. The great Westburn Grant in one of his two Miracle Mile wins. The first of six epic battles in the 1991-92 season between Westburn Grant and Franco Ice This is the 1992 Inter-Dominion grand final from Moonee Valley This is the 1989 New Zealand Derby from Christchurch.Here we see Vic Frost in the sulky behind Westburn Grant,as they win this great race. This is the 1989 Miracle Mile as it was aired live on SBS tv.Here we see Vic Frost in the sulky This is a story about Vic Frost and his champion pacer Westburn Grant, as they prepare for the 1991 Miracle Mile at Harold Park. This is the 1992 Inter-Dominion grand final. The last of six battles on the 1991-92 Grand Circuit was the Victoria Cup This is the 1990 Miracle Mile from Sydney's Harold Park Paceway Harness Racing from Harold Park. Includes Sinbad Bay, Thorate and Westburn Grant.  

Lexington, KY — Muscles Yankee (Valley Victory-Maiden Yankee), the Hambletonian champion of 1998 and among the greatest trotting stallions in history, passed away peacefully in his paddock at Perretti Farms on Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 10), it was reported by Nicola Abrams, manager of the still existing Cream Ridge, N.J., farm. Muscles Yankee, immortalized as the sire of the greatest trotter in his decade, Muscle Hill, won 15 of 21 starts at two and three and retired with earnings of $1,424,938. A foal of 1995, Muscles Yankee was 25. “I remember that when we got him he had OCDs taken out of his hocks…and when we x-rayed him, he still had OCDs in his hocks. So he had to be operated on again,” remembered Chuck Sylvester, who trained Muscles Yankee. “So he got a late start because of that. He never had a bad training day. He was always a horse that was ready to do his work and it came easy to him. He never had any problems. He was a horse that always wanted to please you. “He was good gaited even though he had a dish foot in his right front. We always had to worry and work on that. But he was a very smart and very good horse. I knew that with the way he was built that he’d be a good sire. He was a good-sized Valley Victory, and never touched his boots or anything.” Muscles Yankee was one of four Hambletonian victories for Sylvester, and one of six wins for driver John Campbell. “He was exceptional,” said Campbell, currently the president of The Hambletonian Society. “I’ve always said it is hard to compare horses from one year to another, and they can only be compared to the ones they raced against. He certainly compared quite favorably his year. “He had enough ability at the end of his 2-year-old year that he won some Grand Circuit races, but he got a little over-aggressive at the end of the year and that cost him some money and races. But I think certainly ability wise he was on par to be successful. He really matured both physically and mentally over the winter, and when he came back he was just a professional horse. And a very easy horse to drive. He certainly left his mark as a stallion, and that is going to show up for generations. “I would have liked to have seen him come back as a 4-year-old because I think he would have been bigger and stronger. But the economics of him going to stud didn’t allow for that, and I certainly understand it. I think he would have proven himself even more so on the track had he had another year.” from harnessracing.com

July 17, 2019 - Champion Aubrion du Gers (9g Memphis du Rib-J’Arrive du Gers) was killed yesterday in a training accident at the harness racing training center of Jean Michel Bazire. Stablemate Cyrano du Pont succumbed to injuries in the same accident. Aubrion du Gers won 46 times in 73 career starts for earnings in excess of 2.5€ million. He won 16 straight at one point in 2018-19 before losing the final heat of the Elitloppet. The FR veteran trotteur will be greatly missed, and in many of the greatest International contests. He was to represent France in the 2019 Yonkers International Trot. Back to the racing scene, Sunday at Rojan was the 10th leg of the Trophee Vert series, this one raced on the turf over 3100 meters by 15 starters for the 45,000€ purse. 10/1 Aldo d’Argentre (9m Qualmio de Vandel-Isabelle de Yalda) scored timed in 1.15.7kr with owner/trainer E Lamy aboard. The winner scored his 28th victory in 104 career starts. Aldo d’Argentre 39/1 Aribo Mix (9g Reve des Vallees) took second for D. Cordeau and 38/1 Calsaka de Guez (7f Pomerol de Laumac) was third for Nicolas Bazire and trainer JMB. Viking Dream and Blues des Landiers completed the top five. Thomas H. Hicks  

Los Angeles – This morning, PETA called on the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office to launch an immediate investigation into the deaths of 19 Thoroughbred horses used for racing in just the first eight weeks of the Santa Anita racetrack’s current season. The horses sustained broken bones while racing or training, and PETA believes that they likely had undisclosed injuries that were masked by medications given to keep lame and unfit horses competing—and that while the drugs may be legal, racing injured horses likely violates state anti-cruelty laws. PETA is also calling on the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) to investigate the trainers of all the horses who died in the last two months and review all veterinary records. In California, every horse who dies on the track is necropsied—and the results of thousands of these procedures show that the breaks usually occurred where there was already an injury. According to PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, these horses “were invariably doped up and literally run to death.” In a presentation to The Jockey Club, CHRB Equine Medical Director Dr. Rick Arthur stated that “90 percent of all horses suffering fatal musculoskeletal injuries racing or training have pre-existing pathology—a prior injury—at the site of their fatal injury.” “If 19 football players died during one season, there would be hell to pay—and it would be an understatement to say that the NFL would be under scrutiny,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “If trainers know that horses are sore or injured, and they’re giving them painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and sedatives to keep them running when they should be resting, the trainers are culpable in these deaths and should be charged with cruelty to animals.” One ugly fact is that most horses are injected with the powerful anti-inflammatory phenylbutazone (aka “bute”) 24 hours before racing—supposedly to prevent swelling. But the drug also masks pain and keeps a lame horse running to his or her detriment. For this reason, injuries that can cause a horse’s leg bones to snap or shatter on the track are missed during pre-race examinations because the horse isn’t feeling or showing the pain of an injury and the track veterinarian doesn’t examine trainers’ records. A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey in March 2018 by a harness racing fan who lost a bet only to find out later that the winning horse had been illegally drugged is pending. Local residents will protest at Santa Anita on Sunday. PETA’s appeal for an investigation is available upon request. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a belief in human supremacy that allows animals to be exploited for human gain. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

A suspect is facing charges after releasing more than a dozen harness racing horses from the Stark County Fairgrounds. More than a dozen racehorses roamed the city’s west side early Monday morning after a man let the animals out of a barn at the Stark County Fairgrounds, police said. One of the horses later died after falling into the icy water at Meyers Lake. Canton Township firefighters tried to rescue the animal, but it drowned before it could be reached. Police and firefighters from several area departments, assisted by volunteers, managed to round up 14 other horses that were released and wandering area streets. Horses let loose from Stark County Fairgrounds, roam through Canton Dale Klick, president of the Stark County Agricultural Society, which operates the fairgrounds, said the 14 horses were returned to the barn and were seen by a veterinarian. Area trainers and owners board horses at the fairgrounds and use the track for training. The animals released Monday morning are harness racing horses that run at Northfield Park. Police arrested Jonathan D. Ford, 28, who formerly lived in Canton and now has a Mansfield address, on charges of breaking and entering, disrupting public service, inducing panic and possession of drugs. Police said Ford had two different types of marijuana when he was apprehended. He was taken to the Stark County Jail. Canton police haven’t determined why Ford released the horses, said Lt. Dennis Garren, public information officer. Police were called to the fairgrounds just before 5:30 p.m. and told the horses had been released. Ford was still on the property. Responding officers said Ford told them the horses wanted or needed to be freed. The horses ran through the neighborhood, police said. Officers and firefighters worked to keep the animals away from main streets, according to police reports. Perry Township police and firefighters and Canton Township firefighters helped with the effort. According to police, it took nearly two hours to get back to the barn. ShaneandRachel Taylor I took this video about 6am heading east on 12th to 13th St.. Just past Myers Lake. Did not want to turn light on camera. They already seemed pretty spooked. Facebook. Commented on The Canton Repository / CantonRep.com's public post Canton Township Fire Department’s water rescue team was called around 7:30 a.m. when a resident reported seeing an animal struggling in Meyers Lake. Firefighters arrived to find the horse swimming about 100 yards off shore. Assistant Chief Rick Morabito said thick ice near the shore made it difficult for the rescue team to get into the water quickly. The horse was treading and moving farther from shore as the rescue team reached open water. Morabito said the team was about 20 yards away when the animal went under. By Edd Pritchard  Reprinted with permission of the GateHouse Media Ohio  Reach Edd at 330-580-8484 or edd.pritchard@cantonrep.com On Twitter: @epritchardREP

A Putnam Township harness racing family lost all their horses in a barn fire Sunday morning. Putnam Township Fire Chief Greg Amburgey tells WHMI that his department was called out at about 6:15am to the barn located on property at Hinchey and Burgess Roads. Upon arrival, Amburgey says they found the structure fully engulfed in flames. They immediately began pouring water onto the barn, but it was a complete loss, including the seven horses inside. Amburgey says firefighters had to wake up horse’s owners and that the call was made by a neighbor after they heard an explosion, which was likely a propane tank kept inside the barn. The structure was a complete loss. He says a cause is unknown at this point, but it doesn’t appear to involve foul play. There were no other injuries. The Hamburg, Unadilla and Howell fire departments assisted at the scene of the fire, while Dexter firefighters covered the Putnam Township station. (JK) Reprinted with permission of www.whmi.com According to www.harnessracing.com longtime Michigan horsewoman Ann Russell and her daughter, Erin Spychala, lost their entire stable in the early-morning barn fire on Sunday morning (Jan. 13) in Pinckney, Mich. The fire was reported around 5 a.m. and killed all seven horses in the barn, including five Standardbred racehorses, one broodmare and a riding pony. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Russell and Spychala. To go to the GoFundMe page and donate please click here. www.harnessracing.com    

MILTON, December 21, 2018 - Woodbine Entertainment would like to extend condolences toharness racing trainer Mark Steacy and the connections of the five Standardbreds lost in Friday morning's tragic barn fire at nearby First Line Training Centre. In this time of emergency, Woodbine Mohawk Park has made available its backstretch barn area for the surviving horses. As of Friday morning, a total of 26 horses trained by Mark Steacy are currently being stabled in Mohawk Park's Barn Eight. "Everyone at Woodbine Entertainment was devastated to wake up Friday to the news of the barn fire at First Line Training Centre," said Jessica Buckley, President of Woodbine Mohawk Park. "We're grateful that so many horses survived the fire and that we can make our barn area available for the horses and the Steacy stable during this difficult time. "Woodbine offers our sincerest condolences to all the connections of the horses lost and everyone impacted by this tragic event." The five horses lost in Friday's barn fire were Pearl Blue Chip (three-year-old pacing filly), Mademoiselle Tammy (two-year-old pacing filly), Rap Royalty (two-year-old gelded trotter), Miss Wheely (yearling filly) and Irma (yearling filly). Woodbine Mohawk Park will hold a moment of silence in memory of the horses lost ahead of Friday evening's card of live racing. Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment

Sixteen horses died on Racing NSW tracks between January 1 and June 30 this year, The New Daily can reveal. Another 13 have been euthanised after being injured in a race. There have also been three cases of sudden death due to cardiovascular failure associated with racing, according to figures obtained by NSW Greens animal welfare spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi under freedom of information. Two horses died on Harness Racing NSW tracks between January 1 and August 6, and another two were euthanised due to their injuries. The numbers were revealed after the Information and Privacy Commission told the racing agencies they must comply with freedom of information laws, as reported by The New Daily last month. Racing NSW said 67 horses were so injured in the first half of this year they either retired or took prolonged time off. “It should be noted, 10,572 individual horses started in races with 53,245 starts between them in the 12-month period to 30 June 2018,” Peter Sweney, General Counsel of Racing NSW said in his response to Dr Faruqi. Ninety-four horses were injured in harness racing as at August 6. Harness Racing NSW chief executive John Dumesny told The New Dailyhorses collectively raced about 34,500 times a year. Dr Faruqi called for a special commission of inquiry into the industry. “Whenever animals and gambling are mixed, animals always come last by a long way,” she said. “When animals are treated as disposable commodities and valued only for their profit, unfortunately injuries and euthanasia seem to be all too common. “We need to get to the bottom of how many horses die for the sake of a bet.” A spokesperson for NSW Racing Minister Paul Toole said the industry was leading the nation on animal welfare initiatives. “The Greens should just be honest and admit they want to shut down the racing industry, something that would put thousands of working people out of a job.” Horse retirements in Racing NSW Mr Sweney said Racing NSW has “the most comprehensive and robust retirement program for racehorses” in Australia. Overseer Janelle Bowden prepares Memphis at St Heliers Correctional Centre. Photo: NSW Justice / Colin Lavender Horses are re-trained to ensure they are equipped to be re-homed for jumping, hacking, eventing, polo, dressage and pleasure riding. Inmates at St Heliers Correctional Centre – at Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley – care for up to 80 horses at a time under a partnership with Corrective Services NSW that has been running since 2012. “This operation has proven to have positive outcomes for both the horses and the inmates, with improvements in inmate behaviour and reduced recidivism rates,” Mr Sweney said. NSW RSL also operates a similar Homes for Heroes program for returned servicemen with physical and mental health issues at Picton, southwest of Sydney. Horse deaths on racing tracks are notified in public steward reports but not recorded in the Racing NSW annual report. Harness Racing NSW Mr Dumesny reiterated Harness Racing NSW was transparent and accountable and provided information when requested. “We take care of the horses in the most humane way and veterinarily [sic] practical ways,” he told The New Daily. Where we can we save these beautiful horses. “Unfortunately these things do occur.” In his response to Dr Faruqi, Mr Dumesny said the number of horse deaths and injuries would be detailed in the 2018 annual report. The 2016-17 annual report did not provide information on deaths and injuries. Harness Racing NSW horses collectively race about 34,500 times a year. Photo: Getty It said about 80 per cent of standardbreds were “re-homed in areas of leisure activities and breeding” nationally on retirement. Mr Dumesny told Dr Faruqi that horse deaths and injuries are reported by stewards onto an internal portal, which registers on a national database. The Regulatory Veterinarian reviews the reports and refers them to him, he said. Dr Faruqi also made similar inquiries in questions on notice in the Legislative Council. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Tydd wrote to both racing regulators on June 13 to tell them they were accountable to the public and needed to comply with the GIPA (Government Information Public Access) Act. Dr Faruqi will be sworn into the federal Senate this week after resigning from state parliament. Racing NSW declined to comment. By Rachel Eddie Reprinted with permission of The New Daily

Hightstown, NJ --- Hall of Fame harness racing broodmare Country Kay Sue, the dam of 1995 Horse of the Year CR Kay Suzie, died Monday (Jan. 15) in Ocala, Fla., owner Rod Allen said today. She was 32. Country Kay Sue was limited to nine lifetime races because of injuries, but made her name as a broodmare. In addition to being the dam of CR Kay Suzie, she produced CR Renegade, who counted the 1999 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters among his stakes wins. Both were homebreds by Royal Troubador, the Allen family’s Dan Patch Award-winning colt and later stallion. Last August, on Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands, Country Kay Sue was found in the maternal line of four horses competing on the card --- Allen’s filly Dream Baby Dream in the Hambletonian Oaks and Dover Dan in the Hambletonian plus Cufflink Hanover and Italian-born Tuonoblu Rex in the Open. “If there can be such a thing as good timing in a situation like this, she might have had it,” Allen said. “She had more of her offspring racing at the Grand Circuit level last year, so it was kind of fitting. “We stuck it out with that family for a long time. I was criticized at times for it, with people saying it was more for sentimental reasons, but it really worked out.” Country Kay Sue, a daughter of Speedy Somolli out of Pams Key, was purchased for $25,000 under the name Molli Pam by Allen and his father, Carl. She was renamed after Rod’s daughter, Kaylie Suzanne. She actually was the second horse named in Kaylie’s honor; the first, Country Kaylie, was sold. “She was upset because we sold her horse,” Allen said. “My dad said we were going to buy another horse and we would never sell her. And she never left the farm.” Country Kay Sue was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2001. To read more about Country Kay Sue and CR Kay Suzie from the book Standardbred Old Friends, click here. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

Harnesslink has received confirmation that Somebeachsomewhere p,3,1:46.4 ($3,328,755), the harness racing superstar both on the track and as a stallion, has passed away at the age of 13. We will keep you updated as the details come in. Somebeachsomewhere (Mach Three) lead all pacing sires lists in 2017 in North America. He is the sire of 13 millionaires, 232 $100,000 plus winners, 54 in 1:50 or better.  His average earnings per live foal are $111,347. Harnesslink Media      

Millstone, NJ--- Hall of Fame broodmare Flat Foot Fluzy died Thursday (Jan. 4) in New Jersey, equine surgeon Dr. Patty Hogan, the wife of harness racing owner Ed Lohmeyer, said. Flat Foot Fluzy was 31. Lohmeyer bred Flat Foot Fluzy, a daughter of Direct Scooter out of Quinella Blue Chip, with William Simon, who was Secretary of the Treasury during the Nixon and Ford administrations. Simon, who enjoyed success as a co-owner of Lohmeyer-trained multiple-stakes-winner Landslide, and Lohmeyer had bought Flat Foot Fluzy’s dam with the intentions of getting into the breeding business. Flat Foot Fluzy’s career on the racetrack was cut short by injury as a 2-year-old, but she made her mark as a broodmare. Her first foal, a son of Albert Albert named Pacific Rocket, was a Dan Patch Award winner who earned $2.33 million lifetime. Overall, Flat Foot Fluzy was the dam of 12 horses, of which five earned six figures. Those horses included Pacific Titan, who won 32 races and $800,072, and Pacific Missile, who won 32 races and $378,797. Flat Foot Fluzy was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2002. “She was nasty,” Lohmeyer said about Flat Foot Fluzy in the 2014 book Standardbred Old Friends. “She’d put her ears down the back of her neck, wanted to bite, she wanted her own space. I don’t think she liked anybody. But oh boy, was she a great-gaited filly. She had an effortless, long gait that covered a lot of ground. “She’s a big part of my life. She’s been around a long time and was the start of my being able to breed some nice horses.” In recent years, Flat Foot Fluzy’s favorite companion was Keystone Wallis, the grandam of Always A Virgin. The two shared a paddock for eight years until Keystone Wallis’ passing seven months ago, June 4, 2017. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager 

Durham Park Stud today issued a media release informing of the sad passing of 2017 Australian harness racing three-year-old filly of the year, Petacular. Durham Park confirmed the Breeders Crown champion was euthanized after breaking a cannon bone while spelling in the paddock. Owner and breeder Bruce Edward was devastated. “It’s an absolute shame, but after discussions with the surgeons at Ballarat Veterinary Practice we decided it was unfair on the mare to put her through a complex operation and six to eight months of recovery in a box with expected complications for a low chance of recovery,” Mr Edward said. During her racing career Petacular won 19 races and had seven placings from 26 starts for earnings of $454,083, including Group 1 wins in the two-year-old Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final and the Woodlands Stud Breeders Crown 3YO Fillies Final. She will also be remembered for her four brave second placings in Group 1 finals, including the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series 3YO Fillies Final, the Victorian Oaks, the NSW Oaks and the 2YO Fillies Breeders Crown Final. Mr Edward said Petacular would have gone on to be “an important broodmare at Durham Park Stud”. Re-live Petacular's memorable 3YO Fillies Breeders Crown victory At trainer/driver Michael Stanley’s request Petacular was buried on his farm. The Stanley stable issued a statement today, which read: “It is with much regret and a tremendously heavy heart that I inform the racing industry of the tragic loss of our beautiful, brave mare Petacular (Bonnie). "Whilst spelling, she had a freak accident in the paddock. Petacular was dearly loved by all involved at the Stanley Stable and will be deeply missed, particularly  by Mick, who shared a very special bond with her, as did her best friend RoRo (Soho Angel). She was treated like the Queen and she knew herself that she was so special. "We would like to acknowledge Bruce Edward and the and the PETstock Racing Syndicate for entrusting her in our care. Every moment with Bonnie was a pleasure and we are privileged to have been a part of her life. Thank you for everything BonBon. RIP big girl”. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) extends sincere condolences to all involved with Petacular. Fans are continuing to send tributes to the filly on social media. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Gippsland trots stalwart Roly Thompson died last Monday after a battle with illness, a fortnight short of his 91st birthday. Roly was a friend to all in local harness racing and had an active involvement in the sport in Gippsland for many years. I last saw Roly about four weeks ago when I visited him to find out more about his interest and involvement in trotting - that day he told me that "harness racing saved his life", as it gave him something to focus on after his wife passed away in the early 1980s. Roly became involved in the Latrobe Valley (Traralgon) Trotting Club when introduced to the sport by club committeeman Max McMahon. Roly later served as a committeeman at the club, trained as a club steward, and also worked as timekeeper at the Traralgon gallops meetings. As an active volunteer with Traralgon, he spent many hours assisting with track preparation and attending state meetings with then President Stan Bonighton in an effort to improve the fortunes of trotting in the Latrobe Valley, and experienced many frustrations as the eastern outpost battled for survival. Roly also related that Bonighton used to get him "to find the bloke who had travelled the furthest with a horse, and bring him upstairs for a cup of tea and a sandwich" as a small token of appreciation for those who often travelled hundreds of kilometres to compete at Traralgon. After Traralgon did fold in the mid 1990s Roly continued to work as a Club Steward at local trots meetings and trials - his support of Warragul saw him awarded a Life Membership of the Warragul and District Light Harness Club over a decade ago. He also arranged, without the desire for recognition, that the Traralgon Pacing Cup trophy be paid for each year to keep the memory of that chapter of harness racing alive. Roly later moved from Morwell to Carrum Downs with his partner Bev, but continued to attend trots meetings at Warragul and Cranbourne, and also travelled the state for many years catching up with friends at the trots, particularly in the members' at Moonee Valley and at the Mildura Cup Carnival. He was particularly proud of the fact that he and Bev once attended every Victorian Country Cup meeting in a single season, such was their interest in harness racing. Kyle Galley

One of New Zealand's most popular ever racehorses has passed away with a record that may never be matched. Tiny pacing hero turned stallion Courage Under Fire died in Australia yesterday where he was standing at Yirribee Stud in New South Wales. He would have turned 22 on Tuesday. While he was a very commercial stallion who sired recently-retired Inter Dominion champion Smolda, it is as the Mighty Mouse of pacing that Courage Under Fire will be best remembered. He won his first 24 starts, being unbeaten at two and three, that classic season including a record six Derby victories. It is doubtful any galloper would ever have contested six Derbys and very few harness horses probably have either, let alone winning them all. So his rarest of places in racing history would seem to be Courage Under Fire's alone forever. The Derbys were part of a 41-win career from 56 starts that saw him amass $1,551,941 in stakes after starting his career in New Zealand with Bruce Negus and then being transferred to champion NSW trainer Brian Hancock after a sensational failure in the 2000 Inter Dominion in Melbourne. Courage Under Fire suffered his first defeat in a heat of that series, prompting Moonee Valley commentator Dan Milecki to yell "the world must be ending" as Kyema Kid surged past Courage Under Fire. While the world survived, Courage Under Fire's career plateaued by his earlier standards and he was never as dominant as an older horse, winning a series of good races but never one of the great ones. He was narrowly beaten in both a Miracle Mile and Victoria Cup and fourth in an Inter Dominion Final but picked up Grand Circuit races like the South Australia Cup, Queensland Pacing Champs and Australian Pacing Champs. He came back to the pack because while he was a pacing machine at three he never got much stronger or faster, forever looking a fast teenager racing grown men. But as a three-year-old he captured the racing -- and some non-racing -- public's imagination in a golden era that also saw Christian Cullen and Lyell Creek draw huge fan bases. The other two were better older horses, albeit all too briefly in Christian Cullen's case, but Courage Under Fire's size endeared him to race fans, his little legs whirling like a cartoon character when he was at full speed. Off the track he was a little softy. "He loved people and was the loveliest little horse to have around," says original trainer Negus. "He had so many fans and when little kids came up to him to pat him, which happened all the time, he would lower his head down so they could get to him. "Once, when Brian Hancock was training him, they couldn't find Brian's six-year-old granddaughter and they were all panicking. "They couldn't believe it when they found her in Courage's paddock and she was patting him as he nuzzled her. This was when he was a seven-year-old stallion, he was just such a gentleman." So did training a racing icon change Negus's career or even life? "It definitely helped my career because we had a lot of good horses, many for his owner Greg Brodie after Courage left the stable. "But it also changed my life. I met so many people and was once asked to speak at a racing awards dinner because I was the guy who trained Courage Under Fire. "I met my wife Colleen at that function, so I owe Courage more than he would ever have known." Reprinted with permission of New Zealand Herald

ANDERSON, Ind.; - JUNE 9, 2017 - During the tenth race at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, June 9, an incident occurred approaching the final turn involving several horses and drivers. A major spill took place when Onedin Mach N, driven by Andy Shetler, appeared to take a bad step while racing down the backstretch in second place. Four additional horses and drivers were involved in the accident, though no serious injuries appear to have been sustained by any of the horses or drivers behind Onedin Mach N. However, Onedin Mach N was euthanized after suffering a catastrophic injury. All of the drivers involved were examined and treated by the attending medical staff at Hoosier Park. Two of the drivers involved in the accident, Andy Shetler and Ricky Macomber, Jr., were shaken up and took off of their remaining assignments after the tenth race incident. Live racing will resume at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, June 10 with a 12-race card beginning with a special first race post time of 7:15 pm. For more information on the live racing schedule and upcoming events at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

Claudius Augustus, t,5 ,1:53.3m, $305,889 out of the Speedy Claude mare, Claudes Last Lady succumbed to colic this past week. Bred and raised by the late Dr.Gary Budahn and his wife Debra, Claudius made his mark not only on the harness racing track but also in the breeding shed in California and Minnesota. Whether racing from behind or on the front end, Claudius showed his grit and speed appearing in the winner’s circle 28 times out of 74 lifetime starts. Along with his laid back temperament, Claudius passed on his traits to his offspring, making him a favorite in California while standing stud. With outstanding Sires stakes champions, My Little Susie t,3 1:56.4f $75,363 and Cadet t,4 1:56.4m $38,796, Sandy’s Song t,4 1:57.4 $58,956.  Keeping him in the family, Claudius was shipped to Nancy and Larry Jenson of Iowa to stand in the now rising Minnesota sires stakes. Nancy is the sister to the late Dr. Gary Budahn. Ironically, Cal Expo in Sacramento, California is hosting the Gary Budahn series this week with the final racing this friday in memory of the veterinarian who not only had many outstanding horses racing in California but was a top track vet for over 35 years along with being a CHHA president for many years. Robin Clements CHHA director

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