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Lightly-raced three-year-old pacer Four Ex Dan will go into next Sunday night's Tasmanian Derby with winning form following his effortless harness racing victory at Tattersall's Park Hobart last night. Four Ex Dan settled worse than midfield in the one-out line from his second row draw before trainer-driver Rohan Hillier sent the gelding around the field to race outside of the leader Tiz A Jamane when his charge began to pull fiercely 1400m from home. Hillier was content to allow the son of Four Starzzz Shark to race outside of the leader until turning for home the last time. As Hillier slipped him more rein, Four Ex Dan darted clear to score comfortably from Cardinal Spec, which ran home from well back, with Charlie James third and just ahead of Tiz A Jamane. Listen to what trainer-driver Rohan Hillier had to say about Four Ex Dan and his Derby prospects. Peter Staples

Glamour harness racing mare Frith is set to rack up plenty of frequent flyer points by the end of the year. Fresh from her success in last night’s Young Cup, trainer Bruce Harpley revealed his extensive travel plans for the five-year-old. Beginning with a trip south of the Murray River for the Queen Of The Pacific in May, Harpley is also looking to take Frith north for the Queensland Winter Carnival and across the Nullarbor for the Perth Inter Dominion. “The Queen Of The Pacific at Melton is the first main aim with her,” Harpley said. “Bernie (Kelly, owner) is also talking about the Queensland winter races. “I want to have her in Western Australia for the Inter Dominion in November as I reckon the conditions and the track will suit her. “That said, I will have to space her runs and keep her fresh in between.” With Harpley in the cart during her latest triumph, Frith worked to the lead from her second row draw before completing a two-and-a-half metre win from Heza Thrill, with Blazin N Cullen two metres away third. “That was a pretty nice run from her,” Harpley said. “She’d pulled up well from her run in the Ladyship Mile a couple of weeks ago and I expected her to put in a big run. “She rolled along really well and I’m happy with the way she hit the line.” Covering the last half in 57 seconds, the daughter of Four Starzzz Shark rated 1:59.4 for the 2480 metres, taking her record to 31 wins and eight placings from 42 starts for earnings of $853,572. Amazingly, Frith’s three unplaced efforts were gallant fourths. PAUL COURTS

Exceptionally-bred filly Makes Every Scents will be out to emulate one of her mother’s feats when she competes at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Sunday. A member of the powerful Belinda McCarthy stable, Makes Every Scents is engaged in the New South Wales Oaks, a feature her dam – Scent – captured in 1997. Prepared by astute horseman Peter Walsh, Scent caused an upset by scoring at 15/1, with Dougals Dream (16/1) and Concorde Lombo, the 6/4 favourite, filling the placings. Like her mum, Makes Every Scents will have to upstage the favourite, Delight Me, with McCarhty's husband, Luke, in the cart. Although successful in her heat last weekend, Makes Every Scents is considered a $12 chance after drawing six. The daughter of Four Starzzz Shark will slot into four with the removal of the emergencies. Also successful in her heat, Delight Me is listed at $2.20 from the pole, with New Zealand raider Fight For Glory the second elect at $2.50. Prepared by champion Kiwi horseman Mark Purdon, Fight For Glory will begin from gate nine. Referring to the Blue Riband as one of the strongest on record, McCarthy is confident Makes Every Scents can join her mother on the honour roll. “We are very happy with her and she is in perfect condition for this,” McCarthy said. “It’s a tremendous Oaks, with so many wonderful fillies engaged. “The draw is a little tricky, but with a touch of luck and the right run she will be right in the finish. “She went well in her heat and her work has been terrific this week.” PAUL COURTS

It was hard to get any consensus among harness racing scribes this week about which filly would come out on top in the second heat of the New South Wales Oaks tonight at Menangle. Punters also had trouble sorting the field out with several runners at single figure odds. The Belinda McCarthy trained Makes Every Scents was the shortest of those in single figures and worked her way to the front from barrier seven for driver Luke McCarthy. There was no real mid race pressure with the well supported CC Chevron content to sit outside the leader and control the tempo. Passing the 400 metres mark Luke let the brakes off and Makes Every Scents shot clear as they straightened for the run home. CC Chevron didn't kick on and it was left to Du Vella with Anthony Butt in the bike to storm home late from midfield to make a race of it but Du Vella came up short by half a neck at the finishing line. A daughter of Four Starzzz Shark, Makes Every Scents is from the former smart Holmes Hanover mare in  Scent 1:57.9 ($122,082) Makes Every Scents paced the 2400 metres in 2:57.1, a mile rate of 1:58.8 with closing sectionals of 56.3 and 27.8. This heat was run over three seconds slower than the first heat won by Delight Me and both Makes Every Scents and Du Vella are going to need to lift to be serious winning chances in the Oaks final on Sunday week. Harnesslink Media 

Victorian harness racing star Lennytheshark is officially the first qualifier for the Inter Dominion. Lennytheshark sealed his berth in the TAB.com.au sponsored Final be capturing the Melton heat just moments ago. The $750,000 Inter Dominion is scheduled to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on March 1. Driven by premier reinsman Chris Alford, the son of Four Starzzz Shark led throughout from barrier three to account for Flaming Flutter and Im Corzin Terror. Thrilled with the five-year-old’s performance, trainer David Aiken is confident Lennytheshark can make his presence felt in the Final. “A lot will come down to the draw, but he will prove more than competitive,” Aiken said. “After three runs back he is in top shape and will be spot on for the Final.” Lennytheshark is no stranger to top shelf glory at Menangle having captured the New South Wales Derby in 2013. PAUL COURTS

If you had asked anyone involved with harness racing in New Zealand who Robert Famularo was, the answer would invariably be the man who raced Monkey King and Carabella. But racing horses was never really meant to be the plan when Robert and his daughter Sara established Dancingonmoonlight Stud at Ohoka all those years ago. The plan had always been to set up Dancingonmoonlight as a boutique breeding establishment and to sell the yearlings they raised at the sales each year. But with the emergence of first Monkey King and then Carabella, those plans were put on hold as the emphasis understandably went on the racing team. Now Dancingonmoonlight is about to fulfill those original plans with a batch of yearlings heading to the Christchurch sales next week. Situated on nearly 200 acres at Ohoka, Robert and Sara have developed Dancingonmoonlight into a showplace the equal of any in the world. From the long tree lined entrance to the state of the art yearling boxes to the fully irrigated paddocks, no expense has been spared in establishing the stud. Sara is really looking forward to next weeks sales. " I am a bit nervous but excited at the same time about next week." " We have raised these yearlings from foals and I think there are some great types amongst our draft" " We are taking them there  to sell and thats the hard part for me as I've handled them all the way through but I will get a big thrill out of seeing them race regardless of who owns them," Sara told Harnesslink this week. At present they have about 15 mares in their broodmare band and Sara thinks that is not to far off their optimum number.  "We have bred a couple of Artsplace fillies with the sole intention of adding them to the broodmare band long term but apart from that we are pretty happy with the mares we have." Sara said. This years draft are all from mares that Cavalla Bloodstock have either imported or raced and as you would expect Sara has a couple of favourites amongst them " The two I really like are from full sisters actually." "One is the Mach Three colt from the very smart racemare Timeless Perfection (1:56.9 6 Wins) and the other is the Four Starzzz Shark colt from her full sister Miss Moonlight Shadow." "They are both lovely strong colts who have been very popular with trainers and owners looking at our draft," Sara said. Next year Sara expects to have up to twelve yearlings entered and the star lot of those will undoubtedly be the Mach Three colt from the champion racemare Carabella 1:55.2 ($693,617) " He is Carabella's first foal and is a lovely type. " We have all the top sires represented amongst our foals but we also have some Raging Bull foals to go through the ring next year. "He stood here last year and we have some lovely foals by him," Sara said. While it may have taken a bit longer than planned to get Dancingonmoonlight Stud functioning as they originally planned, Robert and Sara should be very proud to have a breeding establishment unrivaled in the southern hemisphere and a lovely broodmare band with which to take advantage of the superb facilities. Harnesslink Media 

Frith will be kept ‘ticking along at home’ in preparation for Australasia’s premier mares’ event – Ladyship Mile. Thanks to her Ranji Bill Stake success at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night, Frith is guaranteed a berth in the prestigious sprint, which is scheduled to be run at the same venue on March 1. The Ladyship Mile is part of the stellar TAB.com.au Inter Dominion program. Pleased with his stable star’s progress, trainer Bruce Harpley is confident Frith will be at her peak for the Group One. “She is in pretty good shape and I’m sure she will be right at her best for the Ladyship in a few weeks,” Harpley said. “It is unlikely she will have another start before then, so I will keep her ticking along at home.” With Harpley in the cart during her latest triumph, Frith outstayed her rivals on her way to a two-and-a-half metre win from Dynamite Denn Nee and Laterron, which dead-heated for second. “I knew she was ready to run a big race and that’s what she did,” Harpley said. With the final 800 metres run in 56.1 seconds, the daughter of Four Starzzz Shark covered the mile in 1:53.4. Bred and owned by Dianne Kelly, Frith extended her record to an impeccable 29 wins and eight placings from 39 starts. PAUL COURTS

The second heat of the Southern Belle Speed Series for mares, run at Ascot Park on Thursday, was a triumph for Makarewa trainer Austin Stack who shares ownership of the winner Sheeza Shark with Terry Ashby and Neil McDiarmid. Ashby paid $9000 for Sheeza Shark at the 2012 Sales and invited Stack and McDiarmid in. When she ended her three year old season with a record of three wins and three placings from six starts, Stack named the speed series as an ideal target for her second campaign. The win guarantees her a start in the $20,000 final at Winton on 14 March, won last year by Helena Jet. Nathan Williamson drove Sheeza Shark, his 498th New Zealand winner. Earlier in the day, trotter Poppymalda was his 497th when she scored her second win in six starts. She is trained by Williamson who also has an ownership share. He was the only driver to get two wins but his father Phil, Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, and Tony Stratford trained two each. Springbank Sam won the group three Southern Lights for Phil Williamson while stablemate Father Christmas returned from six months away from racing to record his fourth win in eight starts. Williamson said the four year old is still maturing but will be given the chance to make the Jewels. “If he wins enough money he'll be there,” Williamson said. Purdon and Rasmussen won the group three Northern Southland Cup with Isaiah and produced Take The Sky to win his third from five starts, despite going from the outside of the second line and being caught wide for a lot of the 2200 metre journey. Take To The Sky was bred by Brian West and is raced by his company Studholme Bloodstock Limited. Bonnie's Khaleesi was the first of Stratford's two winners and credited Clark Barron with his 990th New Zealand driving win. S he is the fourth foal of Bonnie Lass whose 10 wins included the 2001 Northern Southland Cup. Bonnie Lass was prepared for all but one of her wins by Brent McIntyre, who shares in the ownership of Bonnie's Khaleesi. She was his second winner in a week following the success of Levi Jade at Wyndham two days earlier. In his first start since the Sires Stakes Final in November, Stratford's second winner Pulp Fiction won the battle of arguably Southland's best three year old colts when he came off the back of Costa Del Magnifico and beat him by three lengths in 2:41.7 for the mobile 2200. It was the last race of the day but Dexter Dunn's first winner. Glenn Scott from Kaiapoi gained his first win at Ascot Park when Take After Me not only won but picked up a harness plus bonus as well. From the 21st crop of the legendary Holmes Hanover, Take After Me is raced by Scott's parents, Fred and Janice. Mainland Banner's fourth foal Rocker Band won at her second start, having been narrowly beaten on debut at the Wairio meeting by Rakarolla, half sister to 1:54.9 miler Raksdeal. Mac Henry - Courtesy Of Harness Racing New Zealand  

DOVER, Del. --- Kiss Dont Bite won the 1:51.2 photo finish and was greeted by Santa Claus in the winner's circle after winning the $18,000 Mares Open Pace on Monday, December 15 at Dover Downs. After three second-place finishes in her last four starts, Vic Kirby steered Kiss Dont Bite to victory besting odds-on favorite For The Ladies N (Tim Tetrick) and Handsoffmycookie (Trace Tetrick) in the week's top distaff feature. In The Red owns the four-year-old Four Starzzz Shark-Kiss Me Once Again campaigner who won for the fifth time this year upping her bankroll to $63,680 in 2014 and $294,805 lifetime. In the $14,500 3,4&5-Year-Old Female Winners-Over sub-feature, Harvey Eisman, Bert Hocksprung and Erving Miller Stable's 11-1Twin B Heartland gave driver Marcus Miller his third win on the card when the Bettor's Delight-Twin B Intimate four-year-old roared down the lane for a 1:54.1 success, the second for trainer Nick Surick. Sophia Seelster (Corey Callahan) finished second while front-pacing McArma (Ross Wolfenden) held on for third. Marcus Miller had his biggest win night at Dover Downs making the winner's circle three times as did Vic Kirby. Tony Morgan and Allan Davis chipped in with two wins each while trainer Nick Surick and owner Ervin Miller Stables also had doubles. During this week, Wednesday and Thursday post time is 4:30 p.m. The annual Dover Downs Christmas Break Week beings this Friday, Dec. 19. There is no live racing until racing resumes on Sunday, Dec. 28. There is no charge for parking or admission when visiting Dover Downs. Leading harness and thoroughbred simulcasts are featured from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight daily in the Dover Downs Race and Sports Book. by Marv Bachrad, for Dover Downs  

TOP Tasmanian harness racing trainer Barrie Rattray had hopes for Blue Pointer last season and while he performed well he didn't quite live up to expectations. But at the TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Sunday night Blue Pointer finally delivered on the promise he showed early on by winning the $20,000 City of Launceston Cup over 2698 metres and in track record time. Blue Pointer recorded a mile rate of 1m.59.07 that smashed the previous best set by star New Zealand three-year-old Elect To Live that clocked a rate of 1m.59.7 seconds in the 2002 Australian Derby. Rattray said he was not surprised by the son of Four Starzzz Shark's win, despite starting at double figure odds, but the time was quite unexpected. "I was concerned that he might not have enough high speed but I knew that he'd stay the distance," Rattray said. "He's a horse that promised a lot as a three-year-old but didn't really deliver." "Now he's finally going like he should," the trainer said. Blue Pointer paid $12.50 but won like an odds-on chance. It was a perfect drive from the trainer's son Todd Rattray. "Todd made all the right moves at the right times - it was a great drive,' Rattray said. Todd had Blue Pointer settled three-back the fence but midrace he eased into the one-out line and made his move three-wide heading down the back straight and cruised to her front 400 metres from home. The five-year-old then staved off all challenges and went on to score by 3.9 metres from Outback Mach (Gavin Lang) with Riverboat Jasper three metres away third. The trainer is undecided as to whether he will back Blue Pointer up in next Sunday's $40,000 Tasmania Cup in Hobart. "I'm not sure about taking him to the Tasmania Cup - the horse has already come a long way in a short space of time (this preparation)," he said. Blue Pointer began his racing career as a three-year-old and won five times with three in successive wins coming at the end of the 2012-13 season. He won his next two starts as a four-year-old before being sent for a four-month spell. But after three starts he was dispatched to the spelling paddock in February and didn't return to the racetrack until October. This time in he has won five from seven and recorded sub two-minute mile rates four times with his best a 1.58.3 in winning a C5-C7 pace in Hobart over 2090 metres on November 09. Peter Staples

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 27, 2014 -- The Lunch Pail powered to the front and rolled to a comfortable victory in a career-best 1:51.1, fastest in Wednesday's $60,000 Pennsylvania Stallion Series at The Meadows. The event for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers was contested over three divisions, with Sean Liam Q and Brioni also taking $20,000 splits. Eric Ledford enjoyed a stake double behind The Lunch Pail and Sean Liam Q. The Meadows will host the championships for all eight stallion series divisions Sept. 8-9. The Lunch Pail dueled with Avalanche Hanover before grabbing the lead and allowing his rival to stalk from the pocket. But Avalanche Hanover couldn't cut into the margin late and settled for second, 1-1/2 lengths back, with Hemingway third. "I wanted to cut it with him," Ledford said. "Last time he was out here he raced really well on the front end. We got away with a pretty nice second quarter, so things worked out pretty good." Joe Holloway trains The Lunch Pail, a Yankee Cruiser-Noble Marty gelding, for Michael Ouriel. Looped while vying for the early lead, Sean Liam Q persevered and prevailed handily in 1:51.2, 2-1/2 lengths better than the rallying Stone Cold Shark. Jins Shark earned show. "We got strung out in a 26.3 quarter -- that wasn't my objective," Ledford said of the son of McArdle-Taylor Lou Q. "We were committed to the front after that. But he was pretty strong, considering the fractions." Ross Croghan conditions Sean Liam Q for Steve Stewart, Bourbon Creek Stable, Donald Robinson and Michael Robinson. Brioni competed in the Adios at The Meadows, and while he couldn't go with that crowd, he favorably impressed Mike Wilder. "Obviously, he was up against some of the toughest horses in the country, and he wasn't humiliated in any way," Wilder said. "When you get a horse like that in the stallion series, you're pretty confident you have a pretty good shot. He was push button." Buoyed by that observation, Wilder sent Brioni on a quarter-pole move that carried him to victory in 1:52.2, 1-1/4 lengths ahead of Bristol Bay. Well Said Stride completed the ticket. Robin Cruise trains the son of Four Starzzz Shark-Armbro Bahama for owner/breeder Ronald Michelon. In the $22,500 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot, Cowgirl Hall matched her own track record for older mares -- a mark she shares with Daylon Miracle -- when she scored a front-end victory in 1:52.4. ER Ellie was 8 lengths back in second, with True Day Dream third. Dave Palone drove the 5-year-old daughter of Cash Hall-Centerfold Hall for trainer Ron Burke and owners Burke Racing Stable. Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jack Piatt III and Michael Rosenthal. Cowgirl Hall extended her career bankroll to $579,463. Dan Rawlings drove five winners on the 16-race card while Palone and Wilder each fashioned a triple. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Friday, when the card features the Tarport Effrat, a $199,980 PA Sires Stake for sophomore colt and gelding pacers with a field headlined by Adios winner McWicked. First post is 6:55 PM. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

While relaxing in a paddock after another successful season, outstanding mare Frith is set to deliver more exciting news…well sort of! Frith’s first foal is due within the next few weeks via a surrogate mother. The youngster, which is destined to be a sales topper, is by boom sire Mach Three. “She’s out for roughly two months now, but she will still be providing us with a highlight during that time,” trainer Bruce Harpley explained. “Because she had such a long break after the Breeders’ Crown last year, Bernie and Dianne (Kelly, owners) put her in foal to Mach Three. “Now the surrogate mother is due to foal next month, so it will be interesting to see if she has a colt or filly. “If it can turn out to be anywhere near as good as its mum, then we can look forward to plenty more good times.” The unborn youngster will have a massive shadow to step out from given the extent of Frith’s feats. A daughter of Four Starzzz Shark, Frith boasts 29 wins and eight placings from 38 starts, including consecutive Breeders’ Crown Finals – the most recent coming at Tabcorp Park Melton last Sunday. With Harpley in the cart, Frith was quickly angled away from the inside of the second row to be three-wide and pushing forward at the start as Arma Xpress set the early pace. Allowed to stroll to the front during the middle stages, Frith was never fully extended on her way to a three-and-a-half metre win from The Baggy Green. From dual Breeders’ Crown winner Lady Waratah, The Baggy Green was also bred by the Kellys. After working overtime in the ‘death seat’, Im Smouldering was two metres away third. “As much as it is a thrill to win such a big race, it’s also a relief to get the job done,” Harpley said. “It can look easy on paper, but it’s never the case as you’ve still got to get out there and perform at your best. “She had to work a little more than I would have liked to find the front, but she still had plenty left at the finish. “She’s just such an ideal racehorse as she has strength, speed and brains to boot.” Covering the last half in 57.5 seconds, the four-year-old rated 1:56.6 for the 2240 metres, stretching her bankroll to $794,972. To be given “about seven weeks off”, Frith will be aimed at the major mares’ races next season beginning with the prestigious Ladyship Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. “I haven’t spoken to Bernie yet, but she will have about seven weeks off now,” Harpley said. “That will see her back racing about early to mid January, which gives her a couple of months racing to be ready for the Ladyship Mile. “Further down the track, I’d like to bring her back to Melton for the three main mares’ races in May, particularly the Queen of the Pacific. “She hasn’t had a crack from the stand, but I can’t see it being a problem.” Paul Courts    

Harness racing super mare Frith scored win No. 29 at start No. 38 today in the Pet Rock Breeders Crown 4YO Mares Final at Tabcorp Park Melton. Punters started the day on a winning note, the Bruce Harpley trained and driven daughter of Four Starzzz Shark paying $1.40 fixed odds with the TAB. Harpley managed to overcome an inside back row draw with Frith, who took a five-race win streak into today’s final. Frith went three-wide early as West Australian Arma Xpress was trying to get away with a cheap run out in front. At about the 1500m Frith loomed up to the breeze and turning for home to get the bell Harpley took the favourite up to eyeball the leader before running past it at the 900m. Im Smouldering worked to the spot outside the leader and Arma Xpress went looking for a breather on the leader’s back. Off the back straight Frith made her move, putting her rivals to the sword and breaking their hearts as the crowd started to cheer. Frith skipped 5m clear at the top of the home stretch before holding off late challengers The Baggy Green, Im Smouldering and Courageousnquick to score by 3.5m in a rate of 1:56.6. Harpley gave an enthusiastic victory salute at the winning post, clearly thrilled to have got the job done. “She’s strong, fast, got brains – what more do you want,” Harpley said after the race. “She’s such a champion. She’s just so strong.” Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria

MEADVILLE, PA-- But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." - Matthew 19:14 In all of the centuries of exegesis of that famous Biblical passage, though, no one before the horsemen on the Pennsylvania fair circuit this week would have come up with the interpretation "The two-year-olds get to race, but rain could wash out some of the three-year-old contests." Racing at the Crawford County Fair in Meadville PA this week, the local freshmen got both of their days of racing in - they haven't missed a race yet in 2014. But the three-year-old trotters were washed out on Wednesday - the third time that the sophomores have missed part or the entirety of their action, some 27 races in all so far. The 3YO pacers, though, did get to race on Thursday, so the week "batted" 75%. The sophomores that did get to work, the pacers, made the most of their opportunity, with the fastest Sire Stakes mile of the week, 2:01.1, going to the Well Said gelding Wellsaidanddone, conditioned by Mike Gillock for owner Harry Locke. Wellsaidanddone's driver Brady Brown has come into his own this summer, the 21-year-old already having won 19 races at the fairs, good for fourth place in the current standings. Driver Chris Shaw, the circuit leader, took two of the three divisions of the 3PF event, the fastest being the Four Starzzz Shark miss Allstar Morning, home in 2:02 for trainer Gerald Lee Jr. and owners Kristen and Ethan Spahn. (This division thus had two youthful winning owners in 13YO Ethan and the redoubtable 2YO Mason Shaw, whose La Fiesta also triumphed for Team Shaw.) Both of the Meadville divisional track records this past week came on the trot - remarkable considering there was only one day devoted to trotters, Monday. The freshman Muscle Massive gelding Police Navidad set that division's race record with a 2:06.2 victory in the very first race of the meet for trainer/driver Steve Schoeffel and owners Kathy and Virginia Schoeffel, Lander Stables LLC, and James Reuther. (A quirk in the Meadville books also lists the 2T male Penn Monie Mosie in this category with a 2:05.1 mile, achieved in a qualifier.) The other track trot mark came on Tuesday in the FFA event, with driver Brady Brown again prominent as he hustled the Pegasus Spur gelding Wild Ride to a 2:03 victory to rewrite the line for older trotting males. Wild Ride beat by 1/5 the former mark of S J Better Days; in the FFA pace, Rockabella posted the fastest overall mile of the week for owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer, with the 2:00.1 time only a fifth shy of Vesuvio Grande's local mark for the older pacing male set. Tuesday's pacing freshmen contests saw three frequent winners for Team Shaw again in Victory Lane, with the Western Terror filly Tropical Terror now the winningest 2YO in North America by two after her 11th victory, this one in 2:04.4. On the colt side, Marshmallow Pulse (at 2:01.4 the fastest division winner) and Nippy both crossed the wire first for the ninth time, putting them among joint leaders for most triumphs by a baby male in 2014. Next on the PA fair schedule are stops on Tuesday and Wednesday at both Indiana and Wattsburg, with freshmen set for Tuesday and sophomores ready to go Wednesday in both settings. Let's hope that at those two stops Genesis 8:4 is more appropriate: ... and the water receded steadily from the earth. From the PA Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

History says there aren't too many better at dealing with "big-race presure" than New South Wales reinsman Luke McCarthy. On Saturday night McCarthy has a strong book at Ballarat’s Breeders Crown semi-finals meeting, with drives in seven of the eight semis, and he looks certain to qualify several of his stable stars for the rich Super Sunday finals program at Tabcorp Park Melton next Sunday. McCarthy’s leading Breeders Crown chance according to the markets is three-year-old filly Nike Franco, who is a $2 favourite with the TAB to take out her series final. Nike Franco is coming off a brilliant Queensland campaign that netted her connections the Tatts Gold Coast Oaks, the Group 1 Queensland Oaks and a comfortable win in the Breeders Crown heat at Albion Park when a money-back favourite last time out. McCarthy spoke confidently about Nike Franco’s chances in the three-year-old girls’ second semi-final from gate five. “I think we’d find the front. She was unbeaten in Queensland and she’s improved since then,” McCarthy said. “I think if she can find the front then she’s the horse to beat.” McCarthy also has a serious live chance in the two-year-old boys’ Breeders Crown with rising star Birdy Mach. Winning his heat on Saturday night however will be tough, as New Zealand superstar Follow The Stars has drawn three while Birdy Mach will start from gate 12. “Follow The Stars would probably be the best two-year-old I’ve ever seen. I’m a big fan of his,” McCarthy said. “With Birdy Mach it will be nice for him not to have to go forward and make the pace this time from the draw. We can drive him with a sit and I’m looking forward to it. “He’s a real high-speed horse so driving him from back in the field will suit.” McCarthy also has Ominous Warning in the two-year-old colts and geldings’ section, the son of Four Starzzz Shark to begin from gate 11 in the first semi-final on Saturday night. Ominous Warning won his Breeders Crown heat at Menangle in 1:59.1 with a last half of 55.1 seconds but was only 75 per cent that day, says McCarthy. “He’s right back to his best, so almost at 100 per cent I’d say,” McCarthy said. In the two-year-old fillies’ semi-finals McCarthy will line up Smooth Showgirl and Bamako Mali in Races 2 and 6. Smooth Showgirl has drawn gate three in the first semi-final, with New Zealand star Linda Lovegrace and Vicbred Super Series champion Niki No No drawn outside her. “She’s got good speed early so it will be nice to go forward and get a prominent position early,” McCarthy said. McCarthy also sang the praises of Bamako Mali, who has drawn gate nine in her semi. “She’s just as good when driven with a sit as she is when she goes forward,” he said. But McCarthy is concerned the Kiwi fillies might have the wood on the Australians this year in the juvenile girls’ section. “I think the Kiwi fillies look pretty strong this year,” he said. Bling It On and Lettucerockthem will both carry the McCarthy polish in the three-year-old boys’ section, with Lettucerockthem drawn gate eight in the first semi-final while Bling It On will start from 10 in the second. Bling It On has run into New Zealand champion Our Sky Major in the semi, but if the promised early speed of pole horse Saloon Passage and his driver Nathan Hurst is delivered then Zac Butcher has some decisions to make aboard the series favourite. For Bling It On, a hot speed up front would play into his hands. McCarthy is looking forward to playing the race by ear, the horse’s versatility allowing the reinsman to go into the event with several plans of attack. “I’ll just see how it the race presents itself,” he said. The 10-race Ballarat meeting kicks off at 5.35pm. Cody Winnell - Harness Racing Victoria The TAB is offering a $200,000 quaddie jackpot on the night -- for more details visit tab.com.au

VICTORIAN pacer Fon Ess Kay completed half of his Tasmanian mission at Tattersall's Park in Hobart last night when he scored a game win in the Back In Motion Pace over 2090 metres. Fon Ess Kay has only been in the care of Tasmanian trainer Rohan Hillier for about two weeks and in that time he was a first-up fourth in Hobart only a day after he arrived by boat followed by his win last night. The horse hails from the Adam Kelly stable in Victoria but the three-year-old gelding hade done no more than a few trials. "I had my mare Nola Mayhem staying at Adam's (Kelly) stables and while I was there he suggested that he might send this horse to me to try and win his two three-year-old races because he is Tasmanian bred," Hillier said. "The horse was nominated for a race in Hobart and arrived the day before the race on July 20." "Because he is Tasbred he qualifies for two bonuses for winning his first two three-year-old races so that's why he's here." "We are halfway there but I'm not sure about winning another one because there are only three meetings of the season left," he said. Fon Ess Kay (Four Starzzz Shark-Ess Kay Precious) began fairly from gate four but didn't have enough speed to cross to the fence so Hillier eased him back while Strange Conduct rolled across from gate six to lead. When the pace slackened Hillier sent his charge around the field and when the leader's driver Rod Ashwood was happy to hand Fon Ess Kay rolled to the front. Once on top Hillier set a leisurely tempo and when he called on the gelding for the big effort in the home straight he forged clear and hit the line over three metres clear of Strange Conduct with Aboycalledsu hanging on for third after circumnavigating the field midrace to race outside of the eventual winner. Fon Ess Kay clocked a mile rate of 2.03.6. Peter Staples

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