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Freehold, NJ --- Father Patrick, off his win in the American-National Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters, pulled within 16 points of No. 1-ranked Sebastian K in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. Sebastian K did not race last week. Father Patrick, who leads all horses in purses with $1.38 million, received six first-place votes, an increase of four. Sebastian K saw his total drop from 26 to 22 while 2-year-old female pacer JK She’salady was unchanged with seven. Shake It Cerry, who won the American-National Stakes for 3-year-old female trotters, moved up one spot to No. 4 in the poll while Sweet Lou, who was idle, dropped to fifth. JK Endofanera won the American-National Stakes for 3-year-old male pacers and joined the Top 10 at No. 10. McWicked, another 3-year-old male pacer, dropped out. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 22 – 10/14/2014 Rank Name (1st Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (22) 8th 11-8-2-0 $663,853 322 1 2 Father Patrick (6) 3tc 14-11-2-0 $1,385,581 306 2 3 JK She’salady (7) 2pf 8-8-0-0 $421,025 228 3 4 Shake It Cerry 3tf 14-12-0-1 $803,436 201 5 5 Sweet Lou 5ph 16-10-1-1 $958,558 195 4 6 Trixton 3tc 11-8-1-1 $893,370 125 6 7 Nuncio 3tc 13-8-5-0 $1,027,896 114 8 8 Artspeak 2pc 8-7-0-1 $488,090 108 7 9 Mission Brief 2tf 9-6-0-0 $313,315 82 9 10 JK Endofanera 3pc 14-9-2-1 $921,145 60 -- Also: Lifetime Pursuit (37), He’s Watching (32), McWicked (30), Always B Miki (24), Yankee Bounty (14), Limelight Beach (13), In The Arsenal, Modern Family, Somewhere In LA (5), All Bets Off, Creatine (4), Billy Flynn, Dancin Yankee, Market Share (3), Freaky Feet Pete, Harper Blue Chip (1). by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Two-million dollar winner Father Patrick invades the Chicago racing scene on Saturday night, headlining a field of ten sophomore trotters in the $203,000 American National 3-Year-Old Colt Trot, slated as the fourth race on the big American National Night program. Trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras, Father Patrick is owned by the Father Patrick Stables of East Windsor, NJ and to date has earnings of $2,036,258. Takter named the colt in honor of the Rev. Patrick McDonnell of the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Hightstown, N.J. McDonnell said he was first taken aback, then welcomed the idea of having a horse named after him.   "Most people have a baby named after them," McDonnell, 70, offered. "What do you do when you have a 1,200-pound horse named after you when it comes to birthdays and things like that?" Takter, 53, was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 2012 and has conditioned three Hambletonian champions, including this year's winner Trixton, who he also drove to victory in trotting's biggest event. He also harnessed Hambo champs Muscle Massive in 2010 and Malabar Man in 1997. Despite training more than 1,487 winners to $86,429,844 in purses, Takter says Father Patrick is in a league of his own. "I had a lot of great horses," he acknowledged. "I'd been looking for that horse I consider quite outstanding. I think Father Patrick is that horse. He's so flexible, has a great gait and a very sound horse. He's extremely easy to work with and never gives you a bad day He's one of a kind." Father Patrick was the unanimous choice by the US Harness Writers as the Dan Patch Award winning 2-Year-Old Trotting Colt of 2013 when he won 10 of 11 starts, including the Peter Haughton Memorial, William Wellwood Memorial and the Breeders Crown, setting a world record mark of 1:52.1f at Pocono Downs. He was also the leading money winner in his division with $755,047 in seasonal earnings in 2013. This year, Father Patrick's wins include a 1:50.4 triumph in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile on Sept. 28, and wins in the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic; the $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship Final and the $340,000 Zweig Memorial, the $500,000 Earl Beal Jr at Pocono Downs in a world record time of 1:50.2f and the $317 Stanley Dancer Memorial in 1:51.3, among others. Last Sunday at The Red Mile he was bested by stablemate Nuncio in the $435,000 Kentucky Futurity in the late stretch after battling the latter throughout the last half of the race. Coincidentally, Nuncio was only horse to defeat Father Patrick during his freshman campaign. That tough-luck loss did nothing to tarnish the colt's image with regular driver Yannick Gingras who was still singing his praises after the loss. "He's a great horse," Gingras stated. "When I made the move to the Meadowlands, I made it to drive great horses and he's definitely the most talented horse I've driven." The Father Patrick Stable is comprised of owners Adam Bowden, John Fielding, Christina Takter, Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical AB, Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. Co-owner Bowden owns Diamond Creek Farm, which has facilities in both Kentucky and Pennsylvania, and it's at one of those facilities that Father Patrick will stand stud once his racing career is finished. Father Patrick was bred by Brittany Farms, and is a son of Cantab Hall out of the unraced Enjoy Lavec mare Gala Dream. He was a $105,000 yearling purchase at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale and is a full brother to million-dollar-earner and 2010 Dan Patch Award winner Pastor Stephen, 3, 1:52.4s, ($1,048,607). He also has a 2-year-old full brother in Whom Shall I Fear (a $475,000 yearling purchase at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale), who finished second by a head on Oct. 3 at Lexington to longshot Aldabaran Eagle in 1:55.1 with Gingras in the sulky. Takter also conditions this colt. After going unclaimed on Thursday night, horseplayer’s will have a shot at a big payoff on Friday night at Maywood Park as the 10 cent Hi-Five will have a carryover of $6,522.88. Thus with the help of Maywood Park management and the United States Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Initiative, Maywood will offer aguaranteed Hi-Five pool of $25,000 on the Friday night finale!     Balmoral Hi-Five at $25,000 TONIGHT!   Once again the Hi-Five can be played for as little as a .10 cent investment giving all gamblers, regardless of the size of the their bankrolls, a chance to play for a nice payday tonight. The wager is often referred to as the “ultimate get out bet” by handicappers throughout the country.   There will also be a $10,000 guaranteed Pick 4 pool on races 10-13 this evening.   The Pick 6 also has a carryover of $595.10 for Friday night’s action. The Pick 6, which features a low 20 cent minimum wager is on races four through nine.     Handicappers across North America can get a head start on their competition with free 12 line program pages for the guaranteed pools courtesy of the USTA Strategic Wagering Initiative and Track Master on the handicapping section at www.ustrotting.com.   Post time for the opener on Friday, Oct. 10th, at Maywood Park is 7:10 p.m. (central). This marks the second straight Friday night that fans will have a shot at the big money before heading home!    by Kimbery RInker, for Balmoral Park

This Week's Harness Racing: Historic Series, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Chester, Pa., and American-National finals, Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week will get underway on Thursday (Oct. 9) at Harrah’s Philadelphia with four divisions in the $100,680 Historic – Acorn for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Friday (Oct. 10) card at Philadelphia will feature a trio of divisions in the $104,178 Historic – Debutante for 2-year-old filly pacers. The Sunday (Oct. 12) card at Philadelphia offers three divisions in the $102,878 Historic – Goshen Cup for 2-year-old colt pacers and two splits in the $102,380 Historic – Harriman Cup for 2-year-old colt trotters. Balmoral Park will host eight American-National Grand Circuit stakes events on Saturday (Oct. 11). The card will feature the $227,000 3-year-old colt pace, the $203,000 3-year-old colt trot, the $179,000 open pace, the $173,500 3-year-old filly pace, the $166,300 open trot, the $150,000 3-year-old filly trot, the $86,000 2-year-old colt pace and the $61,150 2-year-old filly pace. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: The Kentucky Futurity, the second leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown, capped off two exciting weeks of Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile.   USTA/Mark Hall photo Nuncio and John Campbell captured the Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile. Team Takter provided Red Mile fans with a thrilling stretch duel between stablemates Nuncio and Father Patrick who slugged it out to the wire, with Nuncio emerging victorious by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:51.3 in the 122nd edition of the $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for sophomore trotting colts. Hall of Famer John Campbell steered Nuncio, a son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle, to his eighth win of the season and his 13th career victory for owner Stall TZ, Inc. He now has $1,488,970 in career earnings. Nuncio had the lead from start to finish, trotting through splits of :27.2, :54.1 and 1:22.2 before Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras) began to challenge him. It appeared that Father Patrick was going to trot right past Nuncio, but the latter dug in hard and held off his stablemate. Shake It Cerry put forth a dominating performance in the 49th edition of the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, stopping the timer in 1:52.2 for driver Ron Pierce and trainer Takter. The 1-5 public’s choice, a daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig, pushed her career earnings to $1,562,205 for the Solveig’s Racing Partners. Shake It Cerry took the lead handily in rein to Pierce, trotting comfortably through fractions of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:25.1 before drawing off in the stretch by 4-1/2 lengths. Vanity Matters (David Miller) made a bid first over going to the three-quarters and held on to be second, while Scream And Shout (Yannick Gingras) got up for third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 1,685; 2. Tim Tetrick – 850; 3. David Miller – 780.5; 4. Ron Pierce – 565.5; 5. Corey Callahan – 501. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,735.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 1,367; 3. Joe Holloway – 329; 4. Erv Miller – 311.5; 5. Tony Alagna – 310. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 388.85; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 346.35; 3. 3 Brothers Stable – 247; 4. Robert Key – 230; 5. Brittany Farms – 223.95. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Maywood Park, Woodbine Racetrack, Vernon Downs and Yonkers Raceway. Maywood Park will feature four races led by the Windy City Pace for 3-year-olds, along with the Cinderella for 3-year-old filly pacers, the Abe Lincoln for 2-year-old colt pacers and the Galt for 3-year-old trotters; Woodbine will offer eliminations in four events for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits (the Goldsmith Maid and Three Diamonds for fillies and the Governor’s Cup and Valley Victory for colts); Vernon will offer the fifth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; and Yonkers has four sets of eliminations in stakes for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gats, led by the Messenger, the final leg of Pacing’s Triple Crown, and the Yonkers Trot, the final leg of Trotting’s Triple Crown, along with the Lady Maud for pacing fillies and the Hudson Filly Trot for trotting fillies. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

The old proverb “You Win Some and You Lose Some” certainly fits as far as the entries for Saturday’s American National Night at Balmoral Park. One of the biggest losses occurred when the nation’s top older pacer Sweet Lou wasn’t entered for the $250,000 Aged Pace, one of eight American National stakes to be contested on the Crete, IL big track. “Sweet Lou is on his way back to New Jersey,” trainer Ron Burke told me in a phone conversation. “The horse hasn’t been right so I sent him back home. I did enter three of my other older pacers: Foiled Again, Clear Vision and Bettor’s Edge, so I feel pretty comfortable going into that race.” I’ll have more on Burke’s Big Guns in Saturday’s Notes & Quotes column. Sweet Lou was to make his last Chicago appearance in the American National but has it turns out, his fourth place in last year’s American National was his final start in Chicago. It was announced a few weeks ago that Sweet Lou is being retired after this season and will stand stud at the Diamond Creek Farm in Pennsylvania. Burke did enter the powerful one-two punch of Limelight Beach and JK Endofanera in Saturday’s $227,000 American National 3-year-old colt pace. Both sophomores come off strong wins in Kentucky. Limelight Beach ($515,038) comes off a 1:49.1 triumph in a division of the Bluegrass two weeks ago. He captured the prestigious $310,800 Little Brown Jug in his previous start with Yanick Gingras who will come to town to drive the colt and a few other Burke trainees. JK Endofanera ($816,725) captured a division of the Tattersall’s last weekend at The Red Mile. Back in June he was the winner of the $920,000 North America Cup at Mohawk in 1:48.4, two ticks off his lifetime mark of 1:48.2 set in his Meadowlands Pace elimination. Plenty of other big names will be here for the circuit’s richest and most prominent evening of racing in Illinois: Market Share, Creatine and Master Of Law in the $166,300 Aged Trot; State Treasurer and Al’s Hammered along with Burke’s big three in the $179,000 Aged Pace; Limelight Beach, JK Endofanera, Unlocked and  Let’s Drink On It in the $227,000 3-year-old colt pace;  Gettingreadytoroll, Act Now, Weeper and Katie Said  in the $173,500 3-year-old filly pace;  Father Patrick and E L Titan and in the $203,000 3-year-old colt trot and   Lifetime Pursuit, Cee Bee Yes and Shake It Cerry in the $150,000 3-year-old filly trot. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

World record holder Sebastian K isn’t coming to town but the trotter who beat him last weekend will be here for Saturday’s American National Night and the nation’s No. 1 ranked 3-year-old colt trotter is also on his way to Balmoral Park. Creatine, who nipped the overwhelming 1 to 5 favorite Sebastian K in last Sunday’s $173,000 Allerage Open Trot will make a second straight appearance on American National night. The Bob Stewart trainee was second in the last year’s American National 3-year-old trot at Balmoral Park. “If everything is okay we’ll be at Balmoral for the American National (Aged Trot) and then hopefully, the Breeders Crown,” announced Stewart after Creatine made up four lengths in the stretch at The Red Mile to overtake Sebastian K in 1:51.2. Meanwhile trainer Jimmy Takter announced that Sunday’s $435,000 Kentucky Futurity winner Nuncio is  headed to New York but runner-up Father Patrick, who beat Nuncio the previous eight times they met and was ranked as the top 3-year-old colt trotter in the country in the latest USTA poll,  is Balmoral Park bound. “(Father) Patrick is going to Chicago for the American National; Nuncio goes to New York for the Yonkers Trot,” Taker told reporters in Kentucky. Father Patrick boasts victories in 20 of 24 lifetime starts with 3 seconds,   Prior to his loss Sunday the 3-year-old colt had rattled off consecutive victories in the $340,000 Zwig at Vernon Downs, the $250,000 PASS stake at Philadelphia, the $613,800 Canadian Trot at Mohawk and a $93,100 division of the Bluegrass at Lexington. Earlier Father Patrick took the $500,000 Beal Final at Pocono Downs and the $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial at The Meadowlands in consecutive outings. His 2014 purse earnings stand at $1,292,201 going into Saturday’s $200,000 (est.) American National 3-Year-Old Colt Trot. Saturday’s American National Night lost one of its brightest stars when Joe Holloway, the trainer of nationally ranked Always B Miki, said his horse will skip the $250,000 three-year-old colt pace, 1 of 8 loaded added money stakes on the Balmoral Park card. Always B Miki easily took his $213,800 division of the Tattersalls Pace last Saturday  at The Red Mile opening up a 6 and 1/2 length margin at the 1:21 3/5 there-quarter pole  before settling for a 1 and 1/4 length margin in 1:49.3. “There was stiff wind in the stretch and he felt it when he hit it,” said Holloway. “But he beat a nice field and that’s what a top horse needs to do, find a day to win when it’s not their best day. “It was in the plans to go to Balmoral for the American National but Always B Miki has raced hard three weeks in a row so I wanted to give him the week off. He also didn’t come out of Saturday’s race the way I would have liked and I don’t want to take any chances with him.” In a division of the Bluegrass the previous Saturday Always B Miki stopped the timer in 1:47.4. Always B Miki spent a part of his 2-year-old season under the care of Roger Welch who raced him at Hoosier Park in Indiana Sire Stakes. The colt earned over $85,000 under Welch’s care and didn’t really take off as a 3-year-old until this summer rolled around. “Last year when Roger had him the horse still had a lot of growing to do. He’s a big horse with a long-stride. This summer he’s put it all together but I think he’ll be even better as a 4-year-old when he fills out a little more,” added Holloway. J Ks Endofanera, a head winner of the second Tattersall division in 1:49.1, is expected to be one of several Ron Burke trained horses coming to town for the American Nationals. Entries will be taken for American National Night Wednesday morning at Balmoral Park. by Mike Paradise, for IHHA

Freehold, NJ --- JK She’salady, Shake It Cerry, Nuncio, and Mission Brief were big winners at The Red Mile and made big gains in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. Freshman female pacer JK She’salady remained undefeated with a victory in a division of the International Stallion Stakes. She received seven first-place votes and moved from sixth to third in the rankings. Shake It Cerry won the Kentucky Filly Futurity for 3-year-old female trotters and soared from ninth to fifth in the poll. Sophomore male trotter Nuncio won the Kentucky Futurity, defeating stablemate and No. 2-ranked Father Patrick, to join the Top 10 at No. 8 while Mission Brief also landed in the Top 10, at No. 9, following her world-record 1:50.3 victory in a division of the International Stallion Stakes. No. 1-ranked Sebastian K lost the Allerage Farm Open Trot by a head to Creatine, but remained in the top spot. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 21 – 10/7/2014   Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (25) 8th 11-8-2-0 $663,853 325 1 2 Father Patrick (2) 3tc 13-10-2-0 $1,292,201 298 2 3 JK She’salady (7) 2pf 8-8-0-0 $421,025 210 6 4 Sweet Lou 5ph 16-10-1-1 $958,558 194 3 5 Shake It Cerry 3tf 13-11-0-1 $734,436 165 9 6 Trixton 3tc 11-8-1-1 $893,370 135 4 7 Artspeak (1) 2pc 8-7-0-1 $488,090 120 5 8 Nuncio 3tc 13-8-5-0 $1,027,896 114 -- 9 Mission Brief 2tf 9-6-0-0 $313,315 80 -- 10 McWicked 3pc 16-9-4-1 $945,596 51 7 Also: Lifetime Pursuit (47), JK Endofanera (45), He’s Watching (37), Limelight Beach (30), Always B Miki (25), Yankee Bounty (22), All Bets Off, Market Share (5), Modern Family (4), Somewhere In LA (3), Billy Flynn, Creatine, Dancin Yankee, Sassa Hanover (2), Act Now, Yagonnakissmeornot (1).   by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Adam Bowden was in the Kentucky Futurity winner's circle last year with Creatine and he hopes to return there following Sunday's 122nd edition of the trotting classic, this time with Father Patrick. Bowden and his father, Chris, operate Diamond Creek Farm, which is part of Father Patrick's ownership group. Father Patrick, who has won 20 of 23 career races and $1.92 million, drew post No. 1 for Sunday's $435,000 Kentucky Futurity for 3-year-old trotters at The Red Mile in Lexington. Nine horses entered the Futurity, so eliminations are unnecessary. Yannick Gingras will drive Father Patrick for trainer Jimmy Takter in the one-dash-for-the-cash event. Rounding out the field in post order are Il Sogno Dream, Martiniwithmuscle, Datsyuk, Hillustrious, Nuncio, Mr Lindy, DD's Hitman, and Lightning Force. Sunday's card also includes the $224,000 Kentucky Filly Futurity, $173,000 Allerage Farm Open Trot, $160,500 Allerage Farm Open Pace, $90,000 Allerage Farm Mare Pace, and $89,000 Allerage Farm Mare Trot. Father Patrick brings a four-race win streak to the Futurity, including a 4-1/2 length victory over Lightning Force in 1:50.4 in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile last Sunday. He also has won the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic, $260,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship and $340,000 Zweig Memorial since losing by a half-length to Datsyuk in a division of the Tompkins-Geers Stakes. "Last week he was on cruise control and still trotted in sub-1:51," said Bowden, who owns Father Patrick with John Fielding, Christina Takter, Brittany Farms, Brixton Medical AB, and the group of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. "Hopefully, we're in the winner's circle on Sunday. Jimmy gives me two thumbs up. I'm hoping that's going to be the case." Last year, the Diamond Creek-bred-and-owned Creatine won the Futurity for hometown trainer Bob Stewart. Bowden had planned to sell Creatine when he was a yearling, but the horse was withdrawn from the auction because of an infected hock and remained with Diamond Creek. Creatine races Sunday in the Allerage Farm Open Trot. "We've been with Bob since the beginning and for him to be a Kentucky guy, no offense, I love Father Patrick, but I don't think anything is going to top last year," Bowden said. "That was the most exciting thing for me. It was the first time. It was a homebred with a good friend of mine. We always believed in the horse and we finally won one of the big ones. That was exciting." The Bowdens started Diamond Creek Farm in 2005 in Paris, Ky., and now have a second location in Pennsylvania. Diamond Creek will stand Father Patrick as a stallion at the conclusion of his racing career. Father Patrick, bred by Brittany Farms, is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Gala Dream. He is a full brother to million-dollar-earner Pastor Stephen. "We're very happy and lucky; we want to stand the best horses," Bowden said. "After his 2-year-old year, we took a huge risk that (Father Patrick) was going to come back and be dominant at 3. Right now it looks like our gamble is going to pay off. Cantab Hall is arguably the hottest sire in the sport, along with Muscle Hill, and here's his greatest son so far. It's a great sire line and we're hoping it continues with Father Patrick." The Kentucky Futurity is the second jewel in this year's Trotting Triple Crown. Trixton won the first, the Hambletonian, but has since been retired because of injury. The third jewel, the Yonkers Trot, is Oct. 25. Takter trained and drove Trixton in the Hambletonian. Another of his charges, Nuncio, finished second in the race. Father Patrick went off stride from post 10 and finished off the board for the only time in his career. Nuncio will be driven by John Campbell, his regular pilot, in Sunday's Futurity. Nuncio has won 12 of 22 career races and finished second in the other 10. Eight of those runner-up finishes have come behind Father Patrick. "Nuncio is one tough horse," Bowden said. "He's a great horse and in any other year he's the best horse. "One of these days you think he's going to beat his stablemate. But I hope it's not Sunday." Takter sends out the likely favorite in the Kentucky Filly Futurity, Shake It Cerry. She was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter and has won 10 of 12 races this season. She will start from post three with driver Ron Pierce. Scream And Shout and Heaven's Door will start inside of Shake It Cerry while to her outside are Highest Peak, Chivaree Hanover, Vanity Matters, and Yoga. Scream And Shout and Yoga also are from the Takter Stable. The Allerage Farm Open Trot features Sebastian K, the fastest horse in harness racing history thanks to his 1:49 win earlier this year, two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Market Share, 2010 Kentucky Futurity winner Wishing Stone and recent Centaur Trotting Classic winner Master Of Law. Bee A Magician, the 2013 Horse of the Year, and multiple-stakes-winner Classic Martine lead the way in the Allerage Farm Mare Trot, where they will encounter Dan Patch Award-winner and defending race winner Maven. Sweet Lou, who has won 10 of 15 races and nearly $1 million this year, and Foiled Again, North American harness racing's all-time money-winner, are among the 10 horses in the Allerage Farm Open Pace. Eleven horses were entered in the Allerage Farm Mare Pace, including three-time Dan Patch Award-winner Anndrovette, stakes-winners Rocklamation and Somwherovrarainbow, world champion Shebestingin, last year's race winner Shelliscape, and 2012 winner Drop The Ball. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Harness racing driver Brett Miller has suffered few anxious moments this season with undefeated 2-year-old male trotter Billy Flynn, but the minutes prior to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship were difficult to endure. Billy Flynn, in the midst of enjoying himself as the field warmed up for the race, accidentally took off his right front shoe. Miller tried to locate the shoe, but muddy track conditions that night made it impossible. So Miller brought Billy Flynn back to the paddock, where the blacksmith put on a random shoe moments before racing for $260,000. "I was sick to my stomach," said Miller, who is able to laugh now as he retells the story. "It felt like it took an hour. For him to go through all that and then go out and annihilate the field, it was pretty amazing." Billy Flynn won the race, held Sept. 6 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, by 2-3/4 lengths in a career-best 1:55.2. He rallied from fourth place after three-quarters with a three-wide move around the final turn. "He races great on the front, but I think he's better from off the pace," Miller said. "When he's following horses and has a target to go after, he's unreal." Billy Flynn puts his 8-for-8 record on the line Friday in the third of five International Stallion Stakes divisions at The Red Mile in Lexington. Billy Flynn will start from post six with Miller at the lines for trainer Staffan Lind. Last week, in his first start since the sire stakes championship, Billy Flynn won a division of the Bluegrass Stakes by a half-length over Muscle Diamond in 1:55.4. "I thought he raced great," Miller said. "He felt as good as he's felt all year. He was a little wound up, a little more grabby than usual, but I think being at Lexington he was just feeling good." Billy Flynn is a son of stallion Cantab Hall out of the mare Zeta Jones and was named after the smooth-talking lawyer in the musical "Chicago," which co-starred Catherine Zeta-Jones in the film version. Owned by Bender Sweden Inc., the colt was purchased as a yearling for $120,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale and is a full brother to Mr Chicago, who was a winner in both the U.S. and Europe. "Staffan has done some kind of job training him, manners-wise," said Miller, who has driven Billy Flynn in all eight of his races, earning $312,057 in purses. "I know a lot of that, too, is the horse himself, but Staffan has done a great job with him. "He's like an older horse because you can do anything you want with him in a race. He's so handy. His manners are so good. And he gives 110 percent. When a horse is near him, he tries so hard to fight that horse off. So far, he has (fought them off)." Billy Flynn's International Stallion Stakes division includes stakes-winner Pinkman and New York Sire Stakes champion Crazy Wow. Also part of the field is Canepa Hanover, a $300,000 yearling purchase who is a half-brother to 2006 Horse of the Year Glidemaster. "I'm realistic," Miller said. "I know there are some colts out there that he could have a tough time with. I love the colt, he's the best 2-year-old trotting colt I've ever sat behind, but he hasn't faced everybody. I'm sure he's going to get beat one day. "It's just been a fun ride so far, that's for sure." Stakes-winner French Laundry and New York Sire Stakes championship runner-up Wings Of Royalty are among the trotters in the first division of the International Stallion Stakes. Shoot The Thrill, who won a division of the Arden Downs, is in the second split. Uncle Lasse, a full brother to standout 3-year-old female trotter Shake It Cerry and a Bluegrass division winner last week, is in the fourth division. The fifth division finds Peter Haughton Memorial champion Centurion ATM and Bluegrass division winner The Bank, plus Whom Shall I Fear, a full brother to star 3-year-old male trotter Father Patrick. Friday's card at The Red Mile also includes three divisions of International Stallion Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers. by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA

Freehold, NJ --- Father Patrick made it four wins in a row when he captured his division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile and as a result moved up to No. 2 in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown harness racing poll. The 3-year-old male trotter received eight first-place votes, an increase of five. Older male trotter Sebastian K, who did not race, remained No. 1. He received 25 first-place votes, a decrease of two from last week. Artspeak, a 2-year-old male pacer who won his division of the Bluegrass and is ranked No. 5, got the remaining two first-place votes. Sweet Lou finished fifth in the Ewart Memorial for older male pacers at Scioto Downs and slipped from second to third in the rankings. There were no newcomers to the Top 10. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 20 – 9/30/2014 Rank Name (1st Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (25) 8th 10-8-1-0 $620,603 334 1 2 Father Patrick (8) 3tc 12-10-1-0 $1,183,451 308 3 3 Sweet Lou 5ph 15-10-1-1 $950,533 264 2 4 Trixton 3tc 11-8-1-1 $893,370 207 4 5 Artspeak (2) 2pc 7-7-0-0 $479,450 191 5 6 JK She’salady 2pf 7-7-0-0 $378,575 145 6 7 McWicked 3pc 15-9-3-1 $939,346 90 7 8 He’s Watching 3pc 11-5-3-1 $824,728 85 8 9 Shake It Cerry 3tf 12-10-0-1 $622,436 77 10 10 Lifetime Pursuit 3tf 14-8-2-2 $673,729 64 9 Also: Limelight Beach (38), JK Endofanera (25), Nuncio (23), Yankee Bounty (17), Sandbetweenurtoes (10), Mission Brief (7), Classic Martine, Market Share (6), Modern Family (5), All Bets Off, Billy Flynn (4), Always B Miki, Bigtown Hero, Cee Bee Yes, Dancin Yankee, Habitat, Somewhere In LA, Somwherovrarainbow (2), Wild Honey (1). by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

LEXINGTON, KY-- Sophomore colt trotters prepped for the $500,000 Kentucky Futurity, slated for Sunday, October 5th, in two divisions of the $187,200 Bluegrass Stakes on Sunday, September 28th. And it was the Jimmy Takter Stables Father Patrick and Nuncio who were the impressive harness racing winners. Divisional-leader Father Patrick floated off the gate, took control in the backstretch, and effortlessly trotted to a 1:50.4 victory over Lightning Force. The field was led by Lightning Force, who set a :28.1 opening split. Entering the backstretch, Yannick Gingras edged Father Patrick off the pylons and quickly claimed the lead. He was uncontested through a :56 (:27.4) half and 1:23.3 (:27.3) third quarter. Gingras piloted Father Patrick through the stretch with a hand drive, while Lightning Force chased in second and Martiniwithmuscle in third. Father Patrick crossed the finish line in 1:50.4 (:27.1). Owned by Father Patrick Stable, trained by Jimmy Takter, and driven by Yannick Gingras, the son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream-Enjoy Lavec paid $2.10 to win. Father Patrick has $1,927,508 in career earnings. "He's one of a kind; I've never been around a horse even close to his kind," trainer Jimmy Takter said. Father Patrick "I've got to give that horse [Nuncio] a lot of credit," Takter also said, commenting on Nuncio's performance earlier in the card. "He's been chasing this horse [Father Patrick] for two years, and he's still keeping his spirits up. He's a fantastic horse." Nuncio, getting away fourth in the early stages, patiently progressed towards the front and left his foes in the dust with a 1:50.4 victory in the other division of the Bluegrass. Hillustrious and Datsyuk contested for the top, while Damfoolrmillionair got away third. Datsyuk cleared the lead after a :27.4 quarter. Hillustrious was anxious In The Pocket as Dastyuk set a half in :54.4 (:27). Entering the far turn, Hillustrious sprung out of the pocket and took control as Datsyuk backed out of the race. Nuncio had begun an overland journey and was up to challenge Hillustrious through a 1:23.3 (:28.4) third quarter. Under minimal encouragement, Nuncio trotted by and away from Hillustrious, who battled for second between Mr Lindy and Damfoolrmillionair. Nuncio won by 6 ½ lengths over Hillustrious, Mr Lindy, and Damfoolrmillionair in 1:50.4 (:27.1). A son of Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane, he is owned by Stall Tz Inc., trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by John Campbell. His 1:50.4 mile is a lifetime best, and he has now bankrolled $1,271,470 in his career. He paid $2.40 to win. "Before, if you started him [Nuncio] up at the gate, you couldn't stop him," driver John Campbell said. "His manners have gotten so much better; he relaxes in the hole. They were going hot on the front, so when I did move him, he trotted up there comfortably, and trotted home well within himself. I was pretty sure, coming off the turn for home, that he was going to win." Nuncio Live racing will resume on Thursday, October 2nd with the $300,000 International Stallion Series for two-year-old filly trotters. The entry box will be open until 9:30amEDT on Monday, September 29th. Post time for that card is scheduled for 1:00pmEDT. Race replays of action from The Red Mile can be found on our YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

As the racing career of award-winning pacer Captaintreacherous comes to an end, with a retirement ceremony scheduled for next week at The Red Mile, an heir apparent competes Saturday night at the famed Lexington oval. Artspeak, who like Captaintreacherous is from the stable of trainer Tony Alagna, is 6-for-6 as he heads to The Red Mile for his division of the Bluegrass Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. He is coming off a 3-1/2 length win in 1:50.2 in the Metro Pace on Aug. 30 at Mohawk Racetrack. The colt has won all six of his races by a minimum of 1-3/4 lengths. "He's done everything we've asked of him," driver Scott Zeron said. "I don't think we've seen his bottom yet. Tony's done a good job of making sure that every time he gets behind the gate he's fully prepared. "He's got heart. That's something you just have to pray you have in a horse. He's a horse that every time he steps onto the track he wants to beat other horses. He kind of actually wants to demolish them. That speaks for itself. So far he's proven that he's a major player." Captaintreacherous, who will be honored Oct. 2 at The Red Mile, won eight of 10 starts at age 2 and became the first 2-year-old in 25 years to be named Pacer of the Year. Last season at age 3, he won 13 of 16 races and received his second Pacer of the Year award. "A lot of the people have been comparing the two," Zeron said. "Obviously, they were both dominant at this point in their careers when you compare them at 2. Every time I sit behind (Artspeak) he's just a pleasure. He's so nice to handle. Tony has taught him to really know what he's doing out on the racetrack." Artspeak is a son of stallion Western Ideal out of the mare The Art Museum. He was purchased for $100,000 at the 2013 Lexington Selected Sale and his family includes 2007 Meadowlands Pace winner Southwind Lynx. Artspeak is owned by co-breeder Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco, and In The Gym Partners. He races in the third of four Bluegrass divisions and is the 4-5 morning line favorite. "His being undefeated isn't something that crosses my mind every time we race," Zeron said when asked if there was pressure driving a horse like Artspeak. "I just want to try to drive him to where he can display his abilities. That's my job, to make sure I give him every chance to display what he can do. "We were 1-9 in the Metro Pace; I don't know if people call that pressure or a weight off your shoulders. I'd rather be the 1-9 shot going into those races." The Canadian-born Zeron has 11 drives Saturday night at The Red Mile, with 10 of them behind Alagna-trained horses. The 25-year-old, who is the son of driver Rick Zeron, moved to the U.S. with the hopes of advancing his career. It has worked out better than he imagined. Zeron, who in 2012 became the youngest driver to win the Little Brown Jug behind Casie Coleman-trainee Michael's Power, has earned $4.30 million this year, good for No. 14 among all drivers in North America. "Tony told me if I did make the move he would help me out and try to make me first call on the (young horses), and he's done just that," Zeron said. "So I give him credit for the majority of my (success) this year. "All I ever wanted was to be on the Grand Circuit. Now to be down at The Red Mile and have multiple drives on every card, it's a thrill. I'm happy to be at the point I'm at. This is where every heavy hitter comes and to be racing with them on a nightly basis is amazing." Among Zeron's other drives are It Was Fascination and Beach Gal in divisions of the Bluegrass for 3-year-old female pacers. It Was Fascination is 6-1 on the morning line and Beach Gal is 3-1. Both start from post eight in eight-horse fields. It Was Fascination, trained by Alagna and owned by Riverview Racing, Alagna Racing and The Bay's Stable, has won four of 13 races and earned $246,028. She is coming off a win in the New York Sire Stakes championship. "She's had a phenomenal year," Zeron said. "You'll never have a horse that tries as hard as she does. She always tries to be right in the money - 1, 2, 3 - every week. Coming down to Lexington, Tony said she's been great. We'll hope for a big effort from her. She always seems to deliver. "We didn't draw that well, but she has tactical speed and hopefully we can forwardly place her." Beach Gal is the only non-Alagna horse Zeron will drive Saturday. Trained by Dave Menary, she has won three of 14 races and $227,127 for owners Kenneth Ewen, Hewvilla Farms, Denis Breton and Larry Menary. "I drove her almost her whole 2-year-old year; I know her really well," Zeron said. "She's a trip horse. You wouldn't find a horse that could come off a helmet any faster than she could last year. I'm excited to go behind her. "She's had a very good year. We didn't draw well, but maybe we can hope for some hot fractions or maybe I'll try to get her out of there and hope for a second-over trip." Sunday: Father Patrick, Lifetime Pursuit headline trotters at Red Mile Driver Yannick Gingras is atop the national purse standings with $11.72 million heading into Friday evening, and this Sunday he has engagements with two trotters who have contributed to that total considerably. Father Patrick, who leads all horses in earnings with $1.13 million, and Hambletonian Oaks winner Lifetime Pursuit, who has banked $652,054, are among the horses that have dates with Gingras at The Red Mile on Sunday. Both horses are trained by Jimmy Takter. Lifetime Pursuit, who has won eight of 13 races this year and set multiple world records, has post two in the first of two Bluegrass Stakes divisions for 3-year-old female trotters. She has won six consecutive starts, including the Hambletonian Oaks, divisions of the Casual Breeze and Simcoe stakes, and most recently the Buckette at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. Gingras says the Brittany Farms-owned filly is an uncomplicated assignment. Lifetime Pursuit is the 7-5 morning line favorite in her Bluegrass split. "She'll do anything I want her to do," Gingras said. "She's really a sweetheart, very easy on herself, easy for me to drive. Her last two starts before Delaware, I thought she was due for a covered-up trip, but at Delaware, on a half-mile track at (odds of) 1-9, it is what it is, she was much the best. "Going back to a big track down here, I'd like to have her covered up and if she's the best horse in the race, she'll do what she has to do in the stretch." Gingras says the daughter of Cantab Hall-Queen Of Grace has matured emotionally over the racing season. "She was one early on that needed an easy trip and needed to get mentally ready," he said. "She wasn't quite ready to cut miles or go first over, nothing like that. But as the year went along, she got better and better with that and now I can do whatever I want. She was the one that early on, I really had to babysit a little bit, whereas Father Patrick, he's just a sweetheart." Father Patrick and Gingras will team up once again in the second of two Bluegrass Stakes for 3-year-old male trotters. Father Patrick, the 3-5 morning line favorite, has post one. The colt, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream, has won nine of 11 races this season and 19 of 22 in his career. His lifetime earnings are $1.88 million. He enters the Bluegrass off a win in the Canadian Trotting Classic on Sept. 13 at Mohawk Racetrack. Father Patrick was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. "There's nothing about him not to like, you can do whatever you like," Gingras said. "You can come from the back, be first over or in the front. It doesn't matter to him, he'll get it done. "He's been the same horse, but obviously he's a little stronger now than he was in his first couple starts. But as far as manners and what he can do on the racetrack, he's the same horse, just a perfect horse." The two-week Red Mile meet provides both drivers and trainers with a few more tools to utilize in seeking a top performance from their horses, Gingras says. "The clay is definitely the biggest difference, you can race horses barefoot here, which on most stone dust tracks, you can't," Gingras said. "Trainers can come here and take their (horses') shoes off and sometimes it improves their gait big time. It's something you can't do every week, but you'll see certain horses that step up here versus racing at other tracks because you can make changes here. "The Red Mile is probably the last track left in North America that's not a speed favoring track. You can win races from the front, but it's a track where you can actually come from the back very easily and win races. The other tracks we go to, they're speed favoring, most of them." by Ken Weingartner & Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

The sport's leading three-year-old colt trotter, Father Patrick, will race in the Bluegrass stakes at The Red Mile as the Grand Circuit meet continues on Sunday afternoon. Fifteen colts were entered in the stake, Father Patrick drew into the tenth race and will race for a purse of $93,100.   The Cantab Hall colt from Gala Dream comes in after a resounding success in the Canadian Classic at Mohawk where he dominated the field in 1:52.4 after being outside the entire mile. That win put the pride of the Father Patrick Stable over $1 million in seasonal earnings. He will start from post one on Sunday with regular driver Yannick Gingras aboard for trainer Jimmy Takter.   Also on the card are a pair of $86,700 Bluegrass divisions for the sophomore trotting fillies featuring the potent duo of Lifetime Dream and Shake It Cerry, also racing out of the Takter barn.   Lifetime Pursuit has been nothing short of sensational since her Hambletonian Oaks win at The Meadowlands. She lowered the world record for her age and gender on the mile track in that one at 1:50.4 and has since equaled the world record on a five-eighths track with a 1:51.3 score at The Meadows during her current six-race win skein.   Now a winner eight times in thirteen starts, the Cantab Hall X Gala Dream lass is approaching $1 million in career earnings for owner/breeder Brittany Farms. Yannick Gingras has driven Lifetime Pursuit to all of those successes for Takter and will have the assignment from post two in the fifth race on Sunday.   Shake It Cerry has been a model of consistency over her twenty-two race career with seventeen wins and $1.4 million earned for Solveig's Racing Partners. She was at perhaps her career best in a dazzling Elegant Image score at Mohawk her last start in a personal record of 1:52.1, winning by more than nine lengths.   Shake It Cerry is by Donato Hanover from the prolific producer Solveig. Jimmy Taker developed the family and has trained her throughout her career. Ron Pierce has been aboard last year's divisional champion for virtually all of her starts and will drive from post two in Sunday's eleventh race.   The Allerage Farms Open Pace and Trot did not require elimination races and the horses entered will go directly to the finals on Kentucky Futurity Day, Sunday, October 5.   Among the entrants are the top two horses in the current Top Ten Poll, Sebastian K in the trotting race and Sweet Lou in the pace   Sunday post time is a matinee 1:00 pm. Clubhouse dining is available for all Grand Circuit cards and reservations may be made by calling (859) 233-0814. More details are available by visiting The Red Mile website.   From the press box at The Red Mile  

Freehold, NJ --- Sebastian K remained No. 1 following his seventh-place finish in the Centaur Trotting Classic, but the 8-year-old trotter lost eight first-place votes to the competition in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll. Sweet Lou, Father Patrick and Artspeak all received at least one first-place vote. All three were idle last week. Winners last week in the Top 10 were JK She’salady in a division of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers and Lifetime Pursuit in the Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters. Shake It Cerry, who was idle, moved into the No. 10 spot as Sandbetweenurtoes dropped out. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 19 – 9/23/2014                                              Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (27) 8th 10-8-1-0 $620,603 335 1 2 Sweet Lou (4) 5ph 14-10-1-1 $940,533 303 2 3 Father Patrick (3) 3tc 11-9-1-0 $1,136,901 284 3 4 Trixton 3tc 11-8-1-1 $893,370 218 4 5 Artspeak (1) 2pc 6-6-0-0 $437,825 142 7 6 JK She’salady 2pf 7-7-0-0 $378,575 125 8 7 McWicked 3pc 15-9-3-1 $939,346 120 6 8 He’s Watching 3pc 10-5-2-1 $801,578 117 5 9 Lifetime Pursuit 3tf 13-8-1-2 $652,054 99 9 10 Shake It Cerry 3tf 11-9-0-1 $579,086 41 -- Also: JK Endofanera, Sandbetweenurtoes (19), Limelight Beach (15), Nuncio (13), Classic Martine, Mission Brief, Yankee Bounty (12), Foiled Again (9), Dancin Yankee, Market Share (6), Modern Family (5), All Bets Off (4), Somewhere In LA, Somwherovrarainbow (2), Billy Flynn, Clear Vision, I Like My Boss, Master Of Law, Wild Honey (1). Compiled by Ken Weingartner

Since there were only two nights of live racing in the past seven days at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs due to the Oktoberfest festivities on the grounds, it seems like a good time to look at the broader picture of harness racing through the Pocono lens. This is the time of year when people start to talk about yearend awards and horses of the year and things like that. We've been graced with the presence of many of the year's best, so let's examine the performances of the Top 10 horses in the latest Breeders Crown/Hambletonian poll when they travelled to MSPD this year. Four out of the top ten, #8 JK Shesalady, #7 Artspeak, #5 He's Watching, and #4 Trixton, have not appeared at Pocono. (Trixton, this year's Hambletonian champ, did have a winning qualifier at Pocono.) The other six have not only raced here, but they've all picked up at least one victory on the Pocono oval this year, often in impressive fashion. #10 Sandbetweenurtoes, a 3-year-old pacing filly from the Larry Remmen barn, just suffered the first loss of her season with a disappointing seventh in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships at Harrah's at Philadelphia. But her lone voyage at Pocono was successful, as she rallied from an early deficit to win a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes race on August 9 in 1:50. #9 Lifetime Pursuit wasn't quite on top of her game when she raced at Pocono earlier in the meet, going once across the board in three starts with the win coming in a Pennsylvania All Stars race in June. The 3-year-old trotting filly from the Jimmy Takter barn has been sizzling since, winning her last five races including the Hambletonian Oaks and the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final in her age group. It's been an amazing 3-year-old season for pacing colt Mcwicked, trained by Casie Coleman. Much of that success took place at MSPD. He's won three of four at Pocono in 2014. Although his record includes wins in the prestigious Adios and in the Pennsylvania Championships, his signature victory for the year was likely his incredible effort in winning the Max Hempt Memorial pace at Pocono in June in a world-record time of 1:47:3. The #3 horse on the list is Father Patrick, who has made an impact everywhere he's raced but has been absolutely spotless at Pocono. The 3-year-old trotting colt went four-for-four at Pocono as a 2-year-old, including a Breeders Crown title. He has won all four of his starts at MSPD this year as well, the highlight of those coming in the Earl Beal Jr. Memorial trot in June when he won in 1:50:2, the fastest ever trotting time for a 3-year-old on a 5/8-mile oval. On that same night in June, #2 Sweet Lou, a 5-year-old stallion from the Ron Burke barn, was solidifying his amazing return to prominence in the sport. After struggling in the early part of the season, which included a ho-hum 3rd in an Open at Pocono in May, Sweet Lou found the stride that made him such a force early in his career. In the Ben Franklin at Pocono on that fateful June night, the stallion dominated a stellar field with the fastest pacing time ever on a 5/8-mile oval of 1:47. The #1 horse on the list has been a revelation all year long and his one start at Pocono was one for the ages. Of course, I'm talking about the sublime Sebastian K, the eight-year-old trotting stallion trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt who has won eight of his nine 2014 races, usually in record-breaking fashion, despite never have raced in the U.S. prior to this year. In his lone start at Pocono in an Open trot on that same June 28 that saw so many incendiary performances, Sebastian K stole the show with a win in 1:49, the fastest mile trotted on any track of any size in the history of the sport. As you can tell, many of the superstars of the sport have left indelible marks on the Pocono racing wars in 2014. There is still a lot of racing to go in the season before such things as yearend awards are decided. But when those honors are chosen, it's likely that some of the most compelling evidence for those choices will come courtesy of action at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at jbeviglia@mohegansunpocono.com. by Jim Beviglia, for Pocono Downs

Freehold, NJ --- Father Patrick won the Canadian Trotting Classic last weekend and became the first harness racing horse this season to surpass $1 million. The 3-year-old male trotter also moved up one spot in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, from fourth to third. Older male trotter Sebastian K remained the unanimous choice at No. 1, followed by older male pacer Sweet Lou. Four of the horses in the Top 10 race at the Delaware County Fair this week. Lifetime Pursuit, who is No. 9, is in Wednesday’s Buckette for 3-year-olde female trotters and No. 10 Sandbetweenurtoes is in Wednesday’s Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers. On Thursday, No. 5 He’s Watching and No. 6 McWicked are in the Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old male pacers. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 18 – 9/16/2014 Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (35) 8th 9-8-1-0 $620,603 350 1 2 Sweet Lou 5ph 14-10-1-1 $940,533 298 2 3 Father Patrick 3tc 11-9-1-0 $1,136,901 257 4 4 Trixton 3tc 11-8-1-1 $893,370 217 3 5 He’s Watching 3pc 9-5-2-1 $801,578 205 5 6 McWicked 3pc 13-9-3-0 $908,266 162 6 7 Artspeak 2pc 6-6-0-0 $437,825 109 7 8 JK She’salady 2pf 6-6-0-0 $302,600 70 8 9 Lifetime Pursuit 3tf 12-7-1-2 $611,791 51 10 10 Sandbetweenurtoes 3pf 9-8-0-0 $248,598 44 9 Also: Shake It Cerry (39), Mission Brief (29), Nuncio (16), JK Endofanera (15), Yankee Bounty (12), Dancin Yankee (11), Lyonssomewhere (8), Classic Martine, Foiled Again (7), Market Share (6), Modern Family (5), Somewhere In LA (2), All Bets Off, Billy Flynn, Clear Vision, Habitat, I Like My Boss (1). by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

This Week: Delaware Grand Circuit, Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Ohio; American-National, Balmoral Park, Crete. Ill; Kindergarten Series, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.; Milton Stake final, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Centaur Trot, Kentuckiana Stallion Management and The Elevation, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Prix D'Ete, Hippodrome 3R, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Wednesday (Sept. 17) at Delaware with the $298,100 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers, the $89,475 Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters and two divisions in the $64,646 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Thursday (Sept. 18) card at Delaware is highlighted by the $647,500 Little Brown Jug, the second leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap that day are the $121,000 Miss Versatility final for older trotting mares, the $118,300 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old colt trotters, the $59,445 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt trotters, the $58,045 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $51,000 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly pacers. Balmoral Park will host a pair of Grand Circuit events on Wednesday with the $73,000 American-National for 2-year-old colt trotters and the $57,200 American-National for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Thursday card at The Red Mile will feature four $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters. Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 20) with the C$286,000 Milton Stake final for older pacing mares. Hoosier Park on Saturday will host the $250,000 (est.) Kentuckiana Stallion Management for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $225,000 (est.) Centaur for Open trotters, the $200,000 (est.) Kentuckiana Stallion Management for 2-year-old filly trotters and the $150,000 (est.) Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers. Rounding out the busy week of Grand Circuit racing, on Sunday (Sept. 21) Hippodrome 3R will offer the C$200,000 Prix D'Ete for 4-year-old pacers, plus a C$50,000 Prix D'Ete consolation. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Canadian races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Mohawk Racetrack this past Saturday, with the finals of four stakes, led by the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic for sophomore male trotters. Father Patrick, the 1-5 choice with driver Yannick Gingras, scored a popular 1-3/4 length victory in a time of 1:52.4. Father Patrick captured the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic in a time of 1:52.4. Trainer Jimmy Takter held more than a strong hand going into this year's renewal for 3-year-old trotters, sending out Hambletonian winner Trixton and Father Patrick, last year's divisional champion who had been expected to win the Meadowlands showcase event in August but made an unexpected early break. The toteboard reflected that, as Father Patrick was 1-5, Trixton 9-5 when they went behind the gate, while their five rivals ranged from 18-1 to 80-1. The two favorites, both of whom had won eight of their 10 starts this year, were expected to duke it out but this time it was Trixton, driven by Takter, who went off-stride at the start to eliminate himself. It wasn't a walk in the park but the win at least put aside the nightmare of this year's Hambletonian for Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream. Parked in fourth for the first half-mile, as Damfoolrmillionair took the field through a quarter in :26.4 and the half in :55.2, Gingras sent Father Patrick up to challenge the pacesetter, took over before the three-quarters was reached in 1:24, then powered home for the win in 1:52.4. E L Titan came on for second, with Harper Blue Chip third. The winner is owned by the Father Patrick Stable. On Monday (Sept. 15), the venerable 10-year-old pacing superstar Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) prevailed in the eighth annual $220,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway in 1:50.2. Foiled Again held off Clear Vision to win the Quillen Memorial in 1:50.2. Owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables, Foiled Again assumed command from his rail post position just past the quarter-mile in :26.3. He led the rich field of eight, whose combined lifetime bankroll is near $15 million, to the half-mile in :55.1 and three-quarters in 1:23.1. Stablemate Clear Vision, who won the 2013 Quillen, received his marching orders from driver Brett Miller at the half-mile and battled first over but could not get closer than a half-length from Foiled Again at the wire. Bettor's Edge finished third. Foiled Again, the richest horse in harness racing history, boosted his lifetime bankroll to more than $6.6 million. It was his sixth consecutive year in Harrington's marquee event. Clear Vision was making his fourth consecutive start. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,025; 2. Tim Tetrick - 583; 3. David Miller - 506.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 443.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 321. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,335.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 815; 3. Tony Alagna - 245: 4. Erv Miller - 244; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 222. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 291.25; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 263.75; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 187; 4. Robert Key - 185; 5. Bamond Racing - 167.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Lexington's historic Red Mile. There will be eight Bluegrass stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, as well as eliminations in the Allerage for open pacers and trotters. Scioto Downs will also be hosting a Grand Circuit event, the $200,000 (est.) Jim Ewart Memorial for open pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

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