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Two more spots are up for grabs this Saturday in Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment's $200 January Qualifier. The qualifier has a $200 total fee ($100 entry plus a $100 real-money bankroll). The format requires players to bet a minimum of $10 Win wagers on 10 Meadowlands races. Players can wager on more than 10 races if they so desire. Players can register on-site Saturday up until 7:15 pm. DerbyWars.com is hosting an online WHHC Qualifier with the winner gaining one $1,000 Final seat. Details can be found at https://www.derbywars.com/tournaments/list/whhc Twenty-two people have already qualified for the World Harness Handicapping Championship presented by DerbyWars.com.  A detailed list is below: ·         Meadowlands Racetrack: Summer Survival Challenge –Brady Kosic, Bill Zvara, Bud Olejniczak  ·         Meadowlands Racetrack: December 2, 2017: $200 Qualifier: Mike Petruccelli & Guy Gerber ·         DerbyWars.com Friday, October 20: Free WHHC Qualifier with one WHHC seat: Gary Respecki  ·         DerbyWars.com October 21: WHHC Qualifier with one WHHC seat: Travis Foelsch ·         DerbyWars.com October 28: WHHC Qualifier with one WHHC seat: Stephen Levine  ·         DerbyWars.com November 4:  WHHC Qualifier Game with one WHHC seat: Mark Kunen ·         DerbyWars.com November 11: WHHC Qualifier Game with one WHHC seat: Mark Kunen ·         DerbyWars.com November 18:  WHHC Qualifier Game with one WHHC seat: Russell Slader ·         DerbyWars.com November 25: WHHC Qualifier Game with one WHHC seat: Shirley Kunen ·         DerbyWars.com December 2: $10,000 WHHC Qualifier Game with two WHHC seats: Derick Giwner & Carlos Gutierrez ·         DerbyWars.com December 9: WHHC Qualifier with two WHHC seats: Stan Koper & Stephen Pozzuoli ·         DerbyWars.com December 16:  WHHC Qualifier Game with one WHHC seat: Gregg Sheehan ·         DerbyWars.com December 23: WHHC Qualifier Game with one WHHC seat: Rocco Dibello ·         DerbyWars.com December 30: WHHC Qualifier with two WHHC seats: Vince Sitoski ·         DerbyWars.com January 13:  WHHC Qualifier Game with one WHHC seat: Matt Minger ·         DerbyWars.com January 13:  $5,000 All Harness Contest with two WHHC Seats: Stephen Levine & Stan Koper The remaining Meadowlands contest schedule is as follows: ·         Saturday, February 17, 2018  - $400 contest with top 4 finishers winning WHHC Final seats ·         Saturday, March 10, 2018 - $200 contest with top 2 finishers winning WHHC Final seats ·         Saturday, April 7, 2018 - $100 Last Chance contest with top 2 finishers winning WHHC Final seats Buffalo Raceway is hosting a WHHC Qualifier on Saturday, March 24.  Tioga Downs has set qualifiers for March 3rd and 17th and Vernon Downs has qualifiers on March 10th and 24th with four people in total qualifying for the WHHC presented by DerbyWars.com Final.  Additional qualifiers from partner outlets will be announced in the coming weeks.  The World Harness Handicapping Championship presented by DerbyWars.com Final is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment and has a guaranteed prize pool of $75,000. For more information on how to become a WHHC partner outlet or sponsor, contact Rachel Ryan, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment (raryan@playmeadowlands.com) or 201-842-5015. Rachel Ryan

Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have pinpointed champion New Zealand pacer Lazarus, classy mare Maczaffair and leading harness racing trainer Gary Hall’s latest edition to his stable, Wardan Express, as star bets for Friday night’s Fremantle Pacing Cup meeting at Gloucester Park. All three pacers will be sent out as hot favourites and, barring accidents, should prove the testing material in their respective races. Guild president Wayne Currall spoke for his colleagues when he said Lazarus was on track to overtake Monkey King ($3,332,513) as the fourth richest pacer in the southern hemisphere. “Blacks A Fake with earnings of $4,575,456 is the richest standardbred in the southern hemisphere, but Lazarus is looming large,” Currall said. “The word champion is bandied about too much, but it’s deserved in the case of Lazarus. “Victory on Friday night and again in next week’s WA Pacing Cup would see Lazarus surpass the third richest pacer in Australasia, Smoken Up ($3,607,985). “Trainer/driver Mark Purdon has also pencilled in the Hunter Cup and the Miracle Mile for the best pacer he’s ever trained. Wins in either, or both, would put Lazarus within touch of Im Themightyquinn, the second richest with stakes of $4,567,456. “Lazarus deserves to be talked about in the same breath as the above champions he’s the real deal and will prove it again in the Fremantle Cup.” Leading tipster Stuart Lowe, TABradio’s Matt Young and The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft believe Wardan Express will make a winning debut for the Hall camp. Lowe spoke for his two comrades when he said Wardan Express had his hoof on the till. “My best bet is Wardan Express who has finished down the track at three WA runs,” Lowe said. “However, he faces a big drop in class here and has his best draw in WA in barrier three.” GPTV’s Ken Casellas has opted for Dredlock Rockstar as his star bet. “Veteran pacer Dredlock Rockstar bounced back to his best with an impressive victory at Bunbury last Sunday week and he should maintain that form by winning on Friday night,” Casellas said. “He is ideally drawn at the No. 2 barrier and is my star bet on the splendid 10-event program.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning is a fan of Ima Rocknroll Legend. “Ima Rocknroll Legend is not in the elite bracket of Gary Hall’s stable, but he has become established as one of the most consistent pacers competing at Gloucester Park and he appears to have hit top form,” Manning said. “He should be able to overcome an outside gate, judging by his win after racing three-wide last Friday. His GP tally is three wins and six places from 12 starts.” Veteran tipster Bill Brindley has earmarked Maczaffair as his best bet. “Maczaffair has to be my best bet despite a wide barrier,” Brindley said. “She is low flying and can make it a hat-trick of victories. The classy Idealndiamonds is my other best bet.” Longshot king Pat Harding believes the Fremantle Pacing Cup will be fought out between the two Purdon horses, Lazarus and Ultimate Machete. “I think Lazarus and Ultimate Machete will fight out the finish of the Fremantle Pacing Cup with the WA horses Chicago Bull and Soho Tribeca filling third and fourth,” Harding said. VALUE BETS Wayne: Collie pacer Mighty Flying Deal has been racing in career-best form and looks a great each-way chance in the second event. Stuart: Bronze Seeker had a great run behind the leader when second last week. Likely to get a similar run here from the pole. Matt: De La Tourbie in the first race needs a touch of luck, but A C Lewis is in form and she should run well on her latest effort. Ryan: Devendra is drawn to surprise in what could be a high-speed Fremantle Cup. If the leaders burn early, look for Chris Voak to be extricating him in the late stages. Ken: American Boy is capable of leading from the No. 4 barrier and beating quality performers, including Our Jimmy Johnstone, A Piccadilly Princess and Delightful Offer. Ernie: Red Salute has slipped down in class and the veteran gets his chance for another victory after striking interference and then being slow away at his past two appearances. Bill: Red Salute and Glenferrie Rustler are my value bets. Both horses should go out at good each-way prices and can win with the right runs. Pat: Idealindiamonds won’t be sent out at any fancy prices but should be a good thing for punters.         To view all of the Media Guild Tips for this week click here. Good punting. Wayne Currall

There are two harness racing wagers offered here each night with a reduced 16 percent takeout, and one lucky patron at the California satellite in Monterey saw the impact first-hand last Friday when they held the only winning ticket in the 20-cent Pick 4 that returned a whooping $33,644. To put things in perspective, using the regular takeout, that ticket would have been worth $30,039, which is still a very nice score but a difference of $3,605. Using a ticket that went 4 by 4 by 2 by 3 for a cost of $19.20, the patron was able to string together longshots Winonefordoug and Place At The Beach while finishing up the sequence with a well-regarded pair of performers in 5-2 shot Art Genta and 3-1 Nutmegs Desire. In addition to the 20-cent Pick 4, which comes with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool, the reduced 16 percent takeout is also offered on the 50-cent Pick 5, which covers the first five events each evening. *** Friday's program at Cal Expo is headed by the Gary Budahn Trot Prep and a $6,600 Filly and Mare Open Pace. The field for the Budahn Prep will line up this way from the rail out: Rss Express, Silverlode, Franky Provolone, Winsom Kelly, Livid Luke, Dougs Hobby Horse, Cadet and Franks Best. Looking ahead to Saturday's card, the finals of the Shelly Goudreau and Robert Gordon will highlight the action with last week's elimination winners Major Jessie and Mystery Dragon and Lucky Ivan and Cantholdmeback heading their respective races. Delightfully Wild returns with a huge effort Despite being away from the wars for four months, Delightfully Wild was up to the task in last week's Filly and Mare Open Pace and got the job done off a pocket trip by a neck with Luke Plano giving directions. The daughter of Bettor's Delight goes about her business for Richard Morita and David Yamada with Lino Pacheco training and the 1:54 1/5 final clocking shaved a tick off her previous lifetime mark. "What a nice surprise to end 2017," said Morita. "We bought Delightfully a little over a year ago at the Delaware sale. We were fortunate that Gretchen Smith was there and looked over a number of horses for Dave and me. "As it turned out, Wild was for sale on the last day and we got her. Sometimes the 'best buys' are the ones you don't get, and we were lucky to get her after missing on some of our earlier bids. "She has been solid for us right from the beginning, but really started to blossom in the spring here, and in Chicago over the summer. We gave her a nice break after a hard year of racing and she has trained back really well. "We certainly didn't expect to win the Open after just one slow qualifier, but Lino has kept her sharp and has been impressed with how strong she has become. Credit for our horses' success is due to our trainer and drivers, who do a great job." Morita points out that Delightfully Wild is a case in point. "She had a tendency to get on a line, sometimes making it hard to keep her straight, but she seems to have matured and now can better use her speed. Our drivers have done a nice job with her, including Jim Lackey, Ryan Anderson, and now Luke." By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

Columbus, OH --- Total wagering on harness racing at U.S. racetracks in 2017 was $1,383,189,222, a 4.39 percent decrease, which was down $63,579,485, from the $1,446,768,707 bet in 2016. The 2017 per race average wagering was $37,327, three dollars more than the $37,324 average from a year ago, while total race days declined 1.77 percent to 3,610 days, compared with 3,675 in 2016. Total purses distributed increased by $9,927,646 (2.35 percent) to $432,995,289 versus last year’s $423,067,643. Following are the comparative economic indicators for U.S. harness racing from 2016 and 2017.       2017   2016   % Change   Total Wagered   $1,383,189,222   $1,446,768,707   -4.39% Per Race avg. $37,327 $37,324 -0.01% Purses $432,995,289 $423,067,643 +2.35% Race Days 3,610 3,675 -1.77%   Please note: Includes U.S. and Canadian common and separate pool wagers on races contested in the U.S. Data source: United Tote. The United States Trotting Association, located in Columbus, Ohio, is a not-for-profit association of Standardbred owners, breeders, drivers, trainers, and officials, organized to provide administrative, rulemaking, licensing and breed registry services to its members. For more information on the USTA, please visit www.ustrotting.com. USTA Communications Department 

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – While winter’s chill has been covering the Northeast of late, the harness racing action – as well as the payoffs – at the Meadowlands have been white-hot. Racing resumes at the Big M this evening for the final race week of 2017 with a 10-race program that gets underway at 6:35 p.m. The track will then come back with back-to-back 14-race cards on Friday and Saturday with the same earlier-than-normal winter post time, which will be in effect through the end of February. There will be many opportunities for bettors over the course of the three programs, as of the 38 races, 34 of them have full 10-horse fields. Couple that with Pick Fours and Pick Fives that have a low takeout of 15 percent, and you have the recipe for a post-Christmas score. “The winter meet offers great opportunities for vertical and horizontal bettors,” said Big M chief operating officer and general manager Jason Settlemoir. “The full 10-horse fields combined with the long stretch at the Meadowlands makes racing a little more unpredictable, which makes the pools larger because the bigger payouts now become possible. We’re looking forward to a great 2018.” Given how things went last weekend, he has good reason to be optimistic: All-source handle on Saturday night totaled $2,771,241 The Pick Four pool on Friday was $68,192 and $64,196 on Saturday The 50 Cent Pick Five payout on Friday was $4,375 and $3,671 on Saturday The average payoff for the 20 Cent Survivor Pick 10 was $8,479 The first race Trifecta on Saturday returned $12,390. It was outdone one race later, when $27,399 was the payout One lucky bettor in Chicago cashed in for $28,332 Saturday when he or she had the only ticket with the winning combination of 6-8-3-1-9 in the Early 20 Cent Jackpot Super High Five This evening’s Late 20 Cent Jackpot Super High Five (Race 10) sports a carryover of $53,076 Fast and Furious Females on Friday at The Meadowlands   Friday night at The Meadowlands offers another terrific wagering opportunity with fourteen large, competitive field on the menu. The evening’s features are a pair of conditioned races for a purse of $11,500, one for trotters, the other for pacing mares.    A pair of imports demand consideration among the very diverse field of ten mares in the eighth race.     Neon Sky N (PP #3) is brand new to US racing having but a single start on these shores. That one was an excellent effort versus this very same class a week ago. Trained by Matthew Adamczyk for owner Joseph Pisarski, Neon Sky N was held just off the pace by driver Anthony Napoliatno before a nice closing rally resulted in being third, beaten only a length and a half. She’s drawn an advantageous post inside her main rivals allowing A Nap the opportunity to conduct another favorable journey on Friday.   Jewel Lehigh A has been plying her trade on the continent for the past two seasons with 2017 being her best year by far. She’s generated over $122,000 for owner Michael Goldberg and trainer Andrew Harris this season and gets significant class relief on Friday. Billy Dobson will drive from post seven in Friday’s race.   Promotionally The Meadowlands will be giving away a mountain of cash in the “Win Your Share of $2017”. Sign up on the way in and get some free money!   Post time is 6:35 p.m. From the Meadowlands Media Relations Department  

Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have labelled classy mare Maczaffair as the best of good things for Friday night’s last harness racing Gloucester Park meeting of 2017. The Mike Reed-trained pacer will be very short, but should be winning. The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft summed up the thoughts of his colleagues when he said Maczaffair should post an all-the-way victory. “Maczaffair showed blistering gate speed when second to Ultimate Machete in the Golden Nugget,” Havercroft said. “She should have no trouble in fining the top in The Coulson Final and will take rolling.” Longshot king Pat Harding believes Livura can deliver some good cheers to punters. “I thought that one of the better bets comes up in race three with the Nathan Turvey-trained and driven Livura,” Harding said. “Should get a good run from gate four and follow up a good third at his last start with a win.” Leading tipster Stuart Lowe has marked the consistent Skippy Rascal as his best for the night.“My best bet is Skippy Rascal who has drawn perfectly in one,” Lowe said. “Was a strong winner when he drew the pole three starts ago and is racing well enough to repeat the dose.” Sunday Times columnist Robbie Dewar fancies Idealindiamonds. “This Skye Bond-trained pacer is building up an imposing record in WA,” Dewar said. “He goes back another 10 metres for his last-start win but he’s in terrific form and can go on with it here.” Guild president Wayne Currall is confident punters can start the night on a winning note by supporting polemarker Handsandwheels. “Handsandwheels can use his speed from the machine to take up the running in the opening event,” Currall said. “He’s a last-start winner and will prove the testing material here.” TABradio’s Matt Young also is a fan of Skippy Rascal. “Skippy Rascal has come up with the draw and is racing well,” Young said. “He should lead and prove very hard to beat and give Dodolicious plenty to think about.” On-course announcer Ken Casellas is keen on Itz Bettor To Win in the second race. “The outside of the backline is certainly not an ideal position, but Itz Bettor To Win has the class to overcome this disadvantage and win on Friday night,” Casellas said. “The lightly-raced New Zealand-bred six-year-old has a distinct edge in ability over his 11 rivals and is my star bet for the meeting.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning also is in the Maczaffair camp. “WA Oaks winner Maczaffair looks ideally suited with barrier two in the Coulson Final, which is restricted to mares,” Manning said. “She fought on tenaciously to finish second after facing the breeze in a Coulson heat and will be hard to beat if reproducing her performance to finish second to Ultimate Machete in the Golden Nugget two starts ago.” Value Bets: Ryan: Bonsu loves the stand and is drawn on the pegs from which she is always a place chance. Pat: Three Pints appeals (pardon the pun). With the ever-reliable Shannon Suvaljko aboard, I think punters might be able to cash in. Stuart: My value bet is the promising Lightning Jolt, who was a slashing winner from gate eight at his last start. The pole draw here brings him in with strong claims. Robbie: Ella Gant Player is an each-way proposition. At her last three outings the filly has won and been placed twice. Hard to beat from gate three. Wayne: Tommy Be Good has drawn the inside of the backline and loves the trailing draw. Can figure in the finish, particularly off a hot speed. Matt: Sightseeing Anvil has been warming up and this looks a good race for him. May find the top and be very hard to run down. Ken: Looking for value, I’ve come up with Galactic Star. He has drawn barrier four and Ryan Warwick should have him in a favourable position all the way. Ernie: Johnny Fox showed plenty of ability when a New Zealand and Melbourne winner. Unplaced at his past four starts, but should get a soft run on Friday night. Good punting and a Happy New Year to all. Wayne Currall

WASHINGTON, PA, Dec. 25, 2017 -- The Meadows Racetrack & Casino has tripled -- to $15,000 -- the total-pool guarantee for its Tuesday, Dec. 26 Pick 4 harness rscing wager as part of the United States Trotting Association's Strategic Wagering Initiative. While $5,000 Pick 4 guarantees are offered each card, The Meadows upped the ante when Saturday's Pick 4 was uncovered, resulting in a carryover of $4,216.97. Minimum wager for the Pick 4 (races 4-7) is 50 cents. Since Pennsylvania law requires a minimum per-race wager of $2, a player wagering at the 50-cent level must bet at least four tickets. First post Tuesday is 1:05 PM. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

TORONTO, December 22, 2017 – The scene is now set for Saturday’s harness racing Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout at Woodbine Racetrack. The carryover heading into the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout (Race 12) is $227,101.87. Horseplayers are advised that there are two scratches in Saturday’s Jackpot Hi-5 race. Wanda Bayama (Post 2) and Twice An Angel (Post 8) are both scratched from Saturday’s Jackpot Hi-5 race. The two scratches reduces the field size to 10. Despite the scratches, Naughty Lady B (Post 11) and Aintsheasweetie (Post 12) will continue to start from the second-tier. Horseplayers are reminded to check @WoodbineSB<https://twitter.com/WoodbineSB> on Twitter throughout the day Saturday for anymore possible scratches or changes to the Jackpot Hi-5 race. Based on past mandatory payouts, more than $1 million in new money could be wagered into Saturday’s Hi-5 pool. The Jackpot Hi-5 wager requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order and features a $0.20 minimum wager and a low 15 per cent takeout. Horseplayers can download a free program for Saturday’s card by clicking here. Post time Saturday is 7:30 p.m. Here is the field for the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout (Race 12). 1. Kays Shadow (Jamieson/Dean) 12-1 2. Wanda Bayama (Cullen/Cullen) SCRATCHED 3. Barockey (Drury/Auciello) 6-1 4. Lights Go Out (Hudon/Boyd) 9-2 5. The Empiressister N (Roy/Fine) 10-1 6. Wildcat Magic (Henry/Gillespie) 12-1 7. Mischieviousgirls (Davis/Hebert) 20-1 8. Twice An Angel (Hensley/Cullen) SCRATCHED 9. Reis Star Cross (MacDonald/Davis) 15-1 10. Hot Spot Hanover (Saftic/Bishop) 12-1 11. Naughty Lady B (Filion/Harding) 12-1 12. Aintsheasweetie (McClure/O’Sullivan) 5-1 Mark McKelvie - WEG Communications

TORONTO, December 21, 2017 - If the holidays weren't enough of a reason to celebrate, Saturday evening's harness racing card of Standardbred racing at Woodbine Racetrack will have horseplayers filled with cheer. A deep 12-race program, featuring a pair of Preferreds and many full fields, has been put together. The highlight of the evening is a mandatory payout on the Jackpot Hi-5 in the evening's final-race (Race 12). The Jackpot Hi-5 race feature a field of 12 pacing mares (Non-Winners of $6,000 last five or $13,000 last 10 starts) and will force horseplayers to throw on their thinking cap in order to craft a winning ticket. Unlike past mandatory payouts, the Jackpot Hi-5 pool is not frozen and will continue to grow up until Saturday's card. The carryover heading into Friday's card of racing is $213,527.54 and horseplayers can expect a large pool on the final evening before the mandatory payout. A total of $261,179 was wagered into the Hi-5 pool on October 7 at Mohawk, which was the final opportunity to take a shot at the Jackpot Hi-5 ahead of a mandatory payout on October 14. If past Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payouts are any indication, Saturday evening's pool should exceed $1 million in new money. The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order and features a $0.20 minimum wager and a low 15 per cent take out. Outside of the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout, Saturday's card is filled with many intriguing races and features the circuit's top performers. A full-field of 10 will compete in the $34,000 Preferred Trot (Race 3), including the red-hot Will Take Charge (PP9), who captured Monday's edition of the Preferred to extend his current-win streak to three. A four-year-old gelding, Will Take Charge is undefeated in three starts since being acquired by new owner Mac Nichol and trainer Jeff Gillis. Jody Jamieson handles the driving duties. Il Sogno Dream (PP6), who had a three-race win streak snapped on Monday, will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing fifth-place finish. The six-year-old winner of over $1.1 million has the post position advantage over Will Take Charge and will have the driving services of Jonathan Drury. The Preferred Trot also features Odds On Amethyst, who this week was named an O'Brien Award finalist. The six-year-old gelding has won 10 of 37 starts and earned over $215,000 this season for co-owner/trainer/driver Pat Hudon. The $34,000 Preferred Trot is carded as Race 3. The circuit's top older pacer Easy Lover Hanover will attempt to stretch his current win-streak to six in Saturday's $34,000 Preferred Pace. The Ben Wallace trained four-year-old gelding has been dominating the Preferred since scoring a 1:50 victory on November 4. 'Easy Lover' held his own in some fall Grand Circuit events and appeared to gain great confidence to go on an outstanding late-season run. Owned by Brad Grant, Easy Lover Hanover is eight for 23 with $198,487 earned this season. Jamieson will sit behind the four-year-old for a second-consecutive week. Overall, Easy Lover Hanover has won nine of 14 career starts with Jamieson in the sulky. While the Wallace trainee is clearly the horse to beat, Prescotts Hope (PP4) and Champagne Phil (PP2) each came up just a head short of defeating 'Easy Lover' last week and both are in the field of eight for Saturday's contest. Saturday's card features 111 horses competing in 12-races. Along with the Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout, the wagering menu includes a $50,000 Pick-5 starting Race 1 and $50,000 Early Pick-4 starting in Race 4. Horseplayers can download a free program for Saturday's card by clicking here. Post time Saturday is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Media Communications C: 905-864-9110            

Harness racing Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have labelled some good things at Gloucester Park on Friday night that should ensure your stockings are bulging with goodies come the big day on Monday. The Gary Hall-trained Ima Rocknroll Legend, his stablemate Herrick Roosevelt and Skye Bond’s Vampiro are all considered star bets from members of the Guild. On-course announcer Ken Casellas, the West Australian’s Ernie Manning and TABradio’s Matt Young are keen on Ima Rocknroll Legend. Casellas spoke for his colleagues when he said Ima Rocknroll Legend put the writing on the wall with an eye-catching first-up performance last Friday night. “Ima Rocknroll Legend has the talent to overcome the significant disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier on the front line and win on Friday night,” he said. “Last week he was making his first appearance in four months and is sure to have derived considerable benefit from that run.” Longshot maestro Pat Harding, veteran tipster Bill Brindley and Sunday Times columnist Robbie Dewar are all in the Vampiro camp. Harding echoed the thoughts of his comrades when he said Vampiro could make it successive wins at headquarters. “This should be a good meeting for punters just before Christmas and I think they can get off to a good start in the second with Vampiro,” he said. “Skye Bond and Ryan Warwick had a good win last week with Vampiro and from barrier two I expect them to repeat the dose.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft and yours truly have earmarked Herrick Roosevelt as their best bet. Havercroft spoke for him and Currall when he said Herrick Roosevelt should make the most of his improved barrier draw. “Herrick Roosevelt was brave last week when sitting outside Wrappers Delight in their heat of Friday’s Christmas Gift,” he said. “He is drawn to reverse his fortunes with Wrappers Delight drawn to his immediate outside.” Leading tipster Stuart Lowe is keen on squaregaiter Sunnys Little Whiz as his star bet. “The best bet is Sunnys Little Whiz who had won 12 times and run second three times from her previous 15 starts, before breaking last start and finishing unplaced,” he said. “Should return to winners’ list here.” VALUE BETS: Ken: El Hombre drops quite a deal in class and he is my recommendation as the value bet of the night, even though he has drawn out wide at barrier eight.  Ernie: El Hombre has been beaten at his past seven starts, but ran eye-catching fourths after being four back on the pegs at his last two appearances. Matt: Major Catastrophe has come back very good and likely to make his presence felt here. He is big and strong and with a safe start will give this a shake. Pat: I’m looking at doubling up on Vampiro into Herrick Roosevelt. They’ll both be short, but they should be winning. Bill: My value bet comes up in the opening event in Khun Ratha. Ran a good race last week and can surprise at odds. Also fancy C C Chevron on an each-way basis in the fifth. Robbie: Auctioneers Elsu has drawn badly on the outside of the front line in the second last, but she is racing in great heart and can figure in the finish. Ryan: Red Salute hasn’t won since March, but is an interesting runner dropping back into a stand. Ross Olivieri horses are always well educated from behind the strands. Wayne: Walkinshaw is set to get the run of the race behind likely leader Herrick Roosevelt and looks like figuring in the placings. Stuart: The value bet is Alfa Queen who is a smart beginner and well drawn in an even field. Respect. To view all of the Media Guild Tips for this week click here. Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year from all members of the WA Trotting Media Guild. Wayne Currall

Cal Expo is guaranteeing a $25,000 gross pool on Friday night's harness racing 50-cent Pick-6, with a $10,684 carryover going into the sequence that covers races 6 through 11 on the program. First post for the 13-race card is 6:10 p.m. On Saturday, there will mandatory payouts on all wagers. There will be no live racing here next week, with the trotters and pacers back in action on December 26 with a special Tuesday evening card that will begin at 5 p.m. There will also be racing that week on Friday and Saturday, December 29 and 30. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness  

TORONTO, December 14, 2017 – Christmas will come a few days early for harness racing horseplayers, as Woodbine Racetrack has announced a mandatory payout on the Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 for Saturday, December 23. The Jackpot Hi-5 carryover currently sits at $153,104.77 with six-cards remaining ahead of December 23. There will be no freezing of the pool ahead of the mandatory payout. This will be the second consecutive year that Woodbine has offered a Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout on the final card before Christmas. A mandatory payout on December 23, 2016, which had a carryover of $548,396, saw more than $2 million of new money wagered into the pool. Horseplayers that correctly selected the top-five finishers in order scored a Holiday bonus of $4,842.70 for a $0.20 ticket. The most recent mandatory payout offered on the Woodbine Standardbred product was on October 14 at Mohawk. The carryover that evening was a record $978,779 and horseplayers wagered an additional $2.3 million on the Hi-5. Winning horseplayers on October 14 got back $2,446.33 for a $0.20 ticket. The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order and features a $0.20 minimum wager with a 15 per cent takeout. The wager is offered nightly on the final-race of each card. Live racing continues at Woodbine Racetrack every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Post time is 7:30 p.m. For more information leading up to the Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout, follow @WoodbineSB on Twitter. Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment

Harness racing punters who followed longshot maestro Pat Harding would have been laughing all the way to the bank after last week’s meeting at Gloucester Park. Harding, who has won the WA Trotting Media Guild’s longest-priced winner competition for the last seven years in a row, tipped Courage Tells who duly saluted at the massive odds of $114.50. Not only did Harding steer punters on to Courage Tells, but he also tipped the main quaddie for the night, which paid $3756.50 for $1. “I never thought a horse trained by Skye Bond and driven by Ryan Warwick would get out to such a big price,” Harding said. “I think I’ll be hard pressed to top the price that Courage Tells got out to.” And members of the Media Guild will be hard pressed to stop Harding making it eight wins in a row for the longest-priced winner. Harding believes punters can get off to a great start with Cott Beach in the first race. “Cott Beach has drawn gate five in a small field and she should be suited,” he said. “I am sure driver Nathan Turvey can notch up another great win with this classy filly.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning and TABradio’s Matt Young have earmarked Rock Diamonds as their best. Manning spoke for both when he said Rock Diamonds had drawn favourably and should appreciate a class drop. “Rock Diamonds figured prominently in legs of the 4YO series,” he said. “He ran third to Ultimate Machete in the 4YO Classic, then won the 4YO Championship. A backline draw set him a tough task in the Golden Nugget, but he is poised to bounce back.” On-course announcer Ken Casellas, Sunday Times columnist Robbie Dewar and yours truly are keen on Zach Maguire. Casellas spoke for his colleagues when he said Zach Maguire had resumed from a spell in splendid form. “Zach Maguire has the class to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the backline,” he said. “The five-year-old, trained by Gary Hall and to be driven by Gary Hall Jr, is my star bet on a highly competitive 10-event program.” Leading tipster Stuart Lowe has made Madame Meilland his best bet. “Madame Meilland, who has had three wins and three placings from six WA starts, is down in class from her last two city runs and is well drawn,” he said. “She’s the one to beat.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft is keen on Mistahmistah. “Mistahmistah showed good early toe when winning his only start to date at Addington in July as a $1.10 favourite,” he said. “He is drawn the pole after the scratching and if he has derived benefit from a spell, then he would give a handy field of three-year-olds something to chase.” VALUE BETS Pat: Assassinator has had a few places since changing stables and is overdue for a win. I think with Chris Voak aboard and off 10m he can cash in. Ernie: Tommy Be Good is capable of overcoming a 30m handicap judging by his Pinjarra win when he scored from The Bucket List and Ohoka Punter, who ran first and second in the Inter Dominion Consolation. Matt: Shes Artful in the ninth meets a decent field but she has the draw and wasn’t disgraced last Friday in the Group 1. Should be cheeky at odds. Ken: Ohoka Punter has drawn out at barrier six, but I’m selecting him to outmuscle and beat his stablemate Ideal Alice, who looks set to lead over the 2536m journey. Robbie: The Trilogy has been in consistent form of late and is poised to get a charmed run from the pole. Looks each-way all day. Wayne: Costa Del Magnifico should take up a handy position from his good draw and appeals as a good each-way chance. Stuart: My value bet is Maximum Demand who has won his last two standing-start races and returns to standing-start conditions here. Ryan: Lord Lexus caught my eye three starts ago when flashing home late. I expect him to get a similar run if dropped out in a race where the best chances are drawn the backline. To view all of the Media Guild Tips for this week click here. Good punting. Wayne Currall

The New Jersey General Assembly reportedly approved proposed legislation last week that would allow the state’s three horseracing tracks to sign deals with Atlantic City casinos in order to offer online gambling to race-goers. According to a report from FlushDraw, the lower house in Trenton passed Assembly Bill 4255 by a vote of 60 to twelve with one abstention on Thursday and the measure is now destined to go before the 40-member and Democratic-controlled New Jersey Senate for further consideration. G3Newswire reported that New Jersey legalized online gambling in November of 2013 and the industry has so far generated aggregated revenues of around $682.6 million with some $119.4 million of this going to the state including approximately $3.6 million in October alone. However, current regulations reportedly forbid any land-based venue located outside of Atlantic City from offering real-money online gambling but Assembly Bill 4255 would alter this prohibition by creating a special carve-out for horseracing tracks such as Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport. The legislation purportedly envisages permitting such locations, which would continue to be prevented from offering slots and table games, to create bespoke areas where punters could wager over the Internet between race sessions. Assembly Bill 4255 reportedly states that thoroughbred and harness racing tracks in New Jersey would be allowed to ‘enter into an agreement with a casino located in Atlantic City or such a casino’s Internet gaming affiliate’ in order to make their premises ‘available as a venue at which the holder of an Internet gaming account may place wagers at casinos using the Internet’. According to a report from The Associated Press news service published by The Providence Journal newspaper, Ralph Caputo, a Democratic member of the New Jersey General Assembly, stated that Assembly Bill 4255 is a way to ‘bring more traffic into the racetracks’ as they ‘need it desperately’. Dennis Drazin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Monmouth Park Racetrack, reportedly told The Associated Press that he is hoping the proposed legislation receives the full support of the casino industry as ‘absolutely nothing will happen unless they agree to allow it through an agreement with a track’. “Nobody is forcing anything on them,” Drazin reportedly told The Associated Press. “This is really a win-win for the racing industry and the casino industry.” By Adam Morgan Reprinted with permission of World Casino News

What a night of harness racing at Gloucester Park! The best Inter Dominion Championship Final we’ve seen in many years and three other high-quality Group 1 events on a stellar 11-event card. Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have identified classy New Zealand four-year-old Ultimate Machete and star Victorian mare Ameretto as stand outs in the Golden Nugget and Mares Classic respectively. The West Australian’s Ernie Manning, Sunday Times columnist Robbie Dewar, the West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft and yours truly have labelled Ultimate Machete as the best of good things. Manning spoke for his colleagues when he said Ultimate Machete was shaping as the next rising star in Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s stable. “Ultimate Machete already looks a strong 2018 Inter Dominion hope,” Manning said. “He won the New Zealand Free-For-All from Tiger Tara on November 17 and only a week later scored in the Four-Year-Old Classic at Gloucester Park. Probably would have started favourite from any draw and barrier one is a big bonus.” Leading tipster Stuart Lowe, TABradio’s Matt Young and longshot king Pat Harding are keen fans of Ameretto. Lowe echoed the thoughts of his fellow tipsters when he waxed lyrical about the Kerryn Manning-trained mare. “My best bet on a star-studded night is the brilliant Victorian mare Ameretto,” Lowe said. “She was too strong when winning the Norms Daughter Classic two starts ago. Covered a lot of extra ground when a close-up third in the Parliamentarians Cup last week. Draw favours her this week.” GPTV’s Ken Casellas has settled on Mighty Mr Sharkey as his best for the night. “Leading trainer Skye Bond has Mighty Mr Sharkey racing keenly and the four-year-old looks a star bet when he starts from barrier four in the third heat of the Sky Racing Drivers series,” Casellas said. “He has been unplaced at his past four starts against quality opposition, but has the ability to return to the winning list at good odds.” Veteran tipster Bill Brindley has earmarked A Piccadilly Princess as his star bet. “Mark Purdon is set for a big night on Friday with live chances in three of the four Group 1 events,” Brindley said. “I think A Piccadilly Princess could start the night off on the right note for him.” VALUE BETS Ernie: Sea Me Smile has run unplaced in her past four races, but a return to mares company will suit her. She is a winner of five Gloucester Park races. Robbie: Devendra has had a disappointing campaign but could pay expenses with victory in the Inters Consolation. Ryan: Lisharry, from inside of the back-line, would be a great each-way prospect if Skippy Rascal is able to hold the lead in the first of the Sky Racing Drivers heats. Wayne: Bettor Bling is drawn to get the run of the race in the Invitation Ladies Drivers race and looks to be each-way all day. Stuart: Ohoka Darcy was luckless last week when unplaced. He won well at two previous starts and is drawn better here. Matt: Shes Artful was very good on resumption in a top-class race. She steps down in grade and is nicely drawn with Deni Roberts to do the steering. Pat: The Bucket List will give punters a good sight in the Inters Consolation. The Brennan/Grantham combination should see punters on the winning end. Ken: The Bucket List caught the eye last Friday night when he ran home solidly from sixth on the home turn to finish fourth behind Chicago Bull. Bill: Shes Artful is drawn well in the ladies event and can feature at odds. To view all of the Media Guild tips for this week click here. Good Punting.  Wayne Currall

Wagering service provider UBET has a number of attractive exotic betting offerings for the harness racing meeting at Albion Park on Saturday night headlined by a $50K guaranteed trifecta inclusive of a $10K jackpot on race 1 scheduled for 5:42pm EST. Additionally, a $5K Quadrella jackpot is listed for races 2 to 5 with the first leg due at 6:13pm EST which is complimented by $2K jackpot Trifectas on races 3 to 5. For the most up to date form analysis and selections refer to Racing Queensland harness racing specialist Darren Clayton’s deliberations on the meeting via this link here: The night boasts an attractive 10 race card including the Summer Carnival feature race the AQWA Constructions 2017 Christmas Cup, set to get underway at 8.40pm EST. Staged over 2680 metres the AQWA Constructions Christmas Cup brings together a top field of open class pacers headed by two-time Christmas Cup winner Avonnova, as well as Ultimate Art, Our Hi Jinx and Major Cam. In Christmas Cup night tradition Santa will arrive with gifts for the kids after race four. For further information contact the Club on 07 3262 2577 or info@aphrc.com.au Visit the Club website at www.aphrc.com.au  

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