Hectorjayjay has won the harness racing Garrard’s Sunshine Sprint tonight at Albion Park in a last-minute run from behind that has to be seen to be believed. The bay gelding spent the vast majority of the race in the back of the field, only making his run for the line at the 400 metre mark sitting five wide. Hectorjayjay is in the midst of brilliant form, beating his stable mate and Inter Dominion winner Lennytheshark only recently in the Len Smith Mile, and now running down the brilliant Christen Me to take out tonight’s feature race. Handler and travel companion of Hectorjayjay, Kima Fenning, said she was used to the horse coming from behind but tonight’s late run had her thinking. “To be honest, I wasn’t too worried at the start of the race because I’ve seen him come from way behind before, but at the 400 mark when he was still second last I thought we were in a bit of trouble,” “I saw when he came out on the top of the straight, I saw him put in that little extra that he does, but then again I saw Christen Me get a run and I thought “Oh, we might be in trouble here”, but he’s just an amazing horse and he never puts in a bad run, he just always does that little bit extra,” said Fenning. Harness racing Operations Manager Brett Rail was impressed with the great run and the flow-on effect it has for harness racing. “It was an outstanding race, and it’s the type of race that brings people back to trotting,” “To see the son of Dream Away come from the tail of the field in a virtually impossible position to beat horses like Christen Me, who’s probably the best in Australasia, it was an outstanding field and an outstanding race.” “I think Hectorjayjay is the next one on the block, he’s ready to take over the mantle and become the best horse in Australasia I’m sure,” Rail added. The 2016 DPMA Queensland Oaks (2138m) was another high-quality race on the cards tonight, with the gutsy three-year-old filly Nek Time (Gotta Go Cullect) working hard to grab the lead early and take home the win in a blistering time of 2 minutes 34.2 seconds. Brett Rail praised the run and the stunning victory. “The winner Nek Time was an absolutely outstanding run, she did so much work early and through the run,” “It was a super-fast time, and the way that horse just kept going it was just an unforgettable race to watch, hopefully she goes on to the Derby for a Picket Fence next week,” Rail added. The 2016 Garrard’s Gold Coast Derby was the other feature race of the night, and it was always going to be a hard to separate the contenders, all entrants very even on paper. Both the winner Charlaval and runner-up Stanly Ross Robyn did a great job to grab their win and place, Rail full of praise for the quality three-year-olds. “It was an outstanding field of three-year-olds, Charlaval from the draw had a good run and was an outstanding winner,” “There are a number of horses in that race that can easily win the Derby, barrier draws are going to be all important for that one,” said Rail. The ground-breaking Picket Fence promotion offers trainers and owners the chance to win a share of $111,000 in bonuses if their horse can win three races in a row in Queensland including one of four feature races on Blacks A Fake Night. At this time the Bill Cosby-trained Slippery Jade is eligible for the two-year-old filly’s bonus, Chris Petroff’s Maestro Bellini is eligible for the two-year-old colt’s and gelding’s bonus, while the Chmiel-trained Nek Time will be in the running for the bonus in the Derby. Blacks A Fake night will be held next Saturday, July 16.
Star New Zealand harness racing filly Nek Time is a chance of taking on the boys next week in the Queensland Derby. But first, she must claim the Gr.1 $75,000 DPMA Queensland Oaks at Albion Park on Saturday night. And her chances are looking good following her stylish all the way victory last week in the Gold Coast Oaks coupled with a handy draw this weekend. The Terry and Glenys Chmiel trained Gotta Go Cullect filly will start from gate four on Saturday and provides reinsman Dexter Dunn with plenty of options. “It’s a nice draw and we’ve got room to move so Dex can plot a path to success hopefully from there, I’m really happy with the way she won last week. She had a good blow after the race so I’m expecting a good performance again this week but it’s a much stronger field with several new fillies starting this week.” Co-trainer Terry Chmiel said. New faces this week include a trio of talented fillies from Sydney headlined by last start Gr.1 Breeders Challenge winner Rockmemama plus the duo from the stables of Amanda Turnbull in Eye See Diamonds and Neon Sky while classy local filly Cherish The Moment also starts after bypassing last week. Rockmemama defeated Eye See Diamonds in the Breeders Challenge final two weeks ago while Newcastle Oaks winner Neon Sky has been kept fresh for this assignment. But Chmiel is confident his filly can lift again and rise to the challenge. “I’m actually a little surprised how well she’s actually doing over here, after I weighed her the other day, she’s actually put some weight on so she’s really thriving in the warmer climate. Her work this week has been good and everything is looking good. “That was the first time we’ve used her off the gate last week and the lead time was pretty solid so I was more than happy with the effort, normally we just drive her steady early before making a move but Dex made full use of the good draw last week. “If we can win again this weekend, she’s eligible for the Picket Fence bonus but she must start in the Queensland Derby next week so we’ll keep our options open. We’ve got to win this weekend first.” The Rob and Sharon Symon owned filly is chasing her third Oaks success this season after already winning the Southland and Gold Coast Oaks. New Zealand bred fillies have a fine record in the Queensland Oaks with the past four winners coming from the shaky isles. Last year, the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Fight For Glory proved victorious. Betting giant UBET have opened Rockmemama ($2.50) a slight favourite over Nek Time ($2.80). Related Links Fields for Albion Park, Saturday 09 July 2016 Form guide for Albion Park, Saturday 09 July 2016 Chris Barsby
Harness Racing Co-trainer Terry Chmiel is toying with the idea of extending Nek Time's Brisbane campaign after she won the Gold Coast Oaks in Brisbane on Saturday night. Another big run by Nek Time in next Saturday's Queensland Oaks could persuade Chmiel and training partner wife Glenys to consider starting her in the Queensland Derby a week later. Wins in all three races would earn her a Picket Fence Bonus of A$30,000 (NZ$31,360). A grade race on the same programme as the Derby is also an option for Nek Time. Reinsman Dexter Dunn drove Nek Time in front in Saturday's Gold Coast Oaks (2138m mobile), with the filly fighting off two challengers for the early lead. Nek Time held on comfortably by two lengths in a mile rate of 1:56.6. She sped over the closing 800m in 57 and 400m in 28.9. "She had a good blow afterwards and should improve for next week," Terry Chmiel said from Brisbane. The daughter of Gotta Go Cullect doesn't need to lead and can work a bit in races. "She's in the zone, let's hope she stays in it." Southland owners Robert and Sharyn Symon were at Albion Park for the win. "It was a pretty big thrill . . . the club really turned it on for us," Robert Symon said. Glenys Chmiel, who is looking after the team at Leeston, will join her husband and the Symons in Brisbane on Thursday. Nek Time's win on Saturday also marked the first time the Chmiels had raced a horse in Australia. Terry has not driven there, unlike Glenys who finished third in the Australasian Junior Drivers' Championship in South Australia in the 1990s. Dexter Dunn's other two drives on Saturday night were Rubys Bad Boy (fifth) and Candyliscious (fifth). Meanwhile, Our Waikiki Beach has drawn No 1 for a C5 and faster mobile mile at Menangle, Sydney, on Tuesday. The unbeaten three-year-old, trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, will be shooting for his 20th win. Luke McCarthy is booked to drive. The race will be televised on Trackside at 7.17pm (NZ time). Among his rivals is ex-Kiwi Four Starzzz Flash, who has not won since his success in the Group III Maurice Holmes Vase at Addington in September, 2013. Mat Kermeen
The Harness Racing team of Graeme Anderson and Rory Mcllwrick have a huge chance of picking up four winners at today's Forbury Park Trotting Club's meeting. Starting off in race 3 with 4yo Gotta Go Cullect gelding, Hunters Collect, who was recently purchased by Rory, out of the Murray Brown stable. Hunters Collect galloped behind the mobile gate last Monday, and was subsequently pulled up. He draws a handy in barrier 3 and has been put up as a $6.00 FF chance with the NZ Tab. With Anderson's record of turning horses around, you would think this fella will be breaking maidens in the coming weeks. Fast forward to Race 7, and Anderson lines up smart 4yo Panspacificflight gelding Arden's Concord, who was seen powering home last start. He recently switched back to the Anderson barn, after winning 3 races for West Plains based trainer Matt Saunders. The Tab have him as a $2.20 FF favourite, while recent Rangiora winner Parramatta is at $3.30 for driver/co-trainer Terry Chmiel. Even from a tricky barrier, he still looks tough to beat and could be a possible anchor for pick 6 players. In race 9, 5yo Four Starzzz Shark gelding Four Starzz Shiraz will look to make it back to back win after he darted up the lane to record his 6th career victory. His massive early speed negates his wide barrier and you should see another short priced Anderson runner, salute the judge. Currently $3.00 FF With everything going to plan earlier on, junior driver Rory Mcllwrick and trainer Graeme Anderson could be looking at four winners for the night if Elusive Flight was to capture heat 2 of the Forbury Park claimers series. A $9,000.00 claimer, the 7yo Elsu gelding Elusive Flight is owned by Charlotte Purvis, A D Gow, S R Pulley and R Chalklin and is another runner who has drawn tricky in barrier 9. He is currently $2.20 FF, while a former Anderson trained runner Laughing Cavalier, who was claimed last week, will start for the first time for new connections and new trainer/driver Andrew Armour. Andrew Fitzgerald
Al Raza N (Mark MacDonald, $13) roared through the lane Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $40,000 harness racing filly and mare Open Handicap Pace. It didn't appear to be a closer's race after odds-on number Mosquito Blue Chip (Dan Dube) worked around Pasultimatedelite N (George Brennan) and dawdled through early intervals of 28-flat and 57-flat. Even when longshot Know it All (Eric Abbatiello) offered a stern, backside challenge, it was only into a 28-second (1:25) three-quarters. Despite the comfy fractions, "Mosquito" was about to be swatted. She was swallowed up from all sides early in the lane, with a third-over (from post position No. 7) Al Raza N closing fastest from sixth turning for home. She picked off Pasultimatedelite N by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.2, with McCovey Cove N (Jordan Stratton), Jag Out (Steve Smith) and Know it All settling for the remainder. Mosquito Blue Chip faded to sixth. For third choice Al Raza N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Gotta Go Cullect owned by (trainer) Augie Abbatiello's Durazzano Stable LLC, it was her fifth win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $44.40, with the all-Kiwi triple returning $153. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday evening’s (Apr. 30) Pick 5 wager begins with a tidy carryover of $4,999.04. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing program. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday evening), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next program. Frank Drucker
A happy Al Raza has harness racing owner Augie Abbatiello feeling pretty cheerful himself. Al Raza, a New Zealand-bred female pacer, is the lone undefeated horse through three weeks of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway and the 6-year-old mare will look to make it 4-for-4 when she faces six rivals in Friday's penultimate preliminary round at The Hilltop. "She is a real nice mare," said Abbatiello, who also trains Al Raza. "Most of the horses from New Zealand get very hot, but she has nice manners. She gets turned out every morning and she likes company, with the other ones out in the paddock. That is important. She is very relaxed and very nice. "You want to keep her happy. The longer you keep her happy she will give you everything you want. I like her very much." Al Raza, who leads the Matchmaker series standings with 225 points, will start from post seven in Friday's third of three $40,000 divisions. David Miller will drive Al Raza, who had Jordan Stratton in the sulky in her three wins in the series. Stratton, though, is committed to driving regularly for trainer Peter Tritton, who also has a horse (New Zealand-bred For The Ladies) in the third division. Horses receive 25 points for entering the Matchmaker each week, then 50 points for a win, 25 for second place, 12 for third, 8 for fourth and 5 for fifth. The top eight horses in the standings qualify for the $125,000-added final on April 23. Sell A Bit, another New Zealand-bred import in Tritton's stable, has two wins in the series and starts Friday in the second division. Mach It A Par, who is third in points behind Al Raza and Sell A Bit, is in the first division. Rounding out the top eight in points are Yagonnakissmeornot (in Friday's second division), Venus Delight (first division), For The Ladies (third division), Krispy Apple (third division), and Skippin By (second division). Al Raza, a daughter of stallion Gotta Go Cullect and the Mach Three mare Al Zahra, was an award-winning 4-year-old in New Zealand and made her debut for Abbatiello in September 2015. In addition to training horses, Abbatiello is the owner of the Pine Bush Training Facility in upstate New York. Tritton is stabled at the farm and Abbatiello used Tritton's Down Under contact, agent Peter Larkin, to get Al Raza. "I watched a lot of her races and I liked the way she comes at the end, she has that extra gear and flies off," Abbatiello said. "That's why I bought her. I gave her a couple months off, I took my time with her, and she has been very good." The 64-year-old Abbatiello, who is distantly related to the family of harness racing legend Carmine Abbatiello, was born in Italy and moved to the U.S. in 1969. Abbatiello's ownership stable name, Durazzano, is a reference to his hometown in the province of Benevento in Italy. Abbatiello, who is active in real estate development, automotive repair, and restaurant businesses, bought his first horse in the mid-1980s. "I do a little bit of everything," said Abbatiello, who is currently training a dozen horses. "This is my hobby. I just liked the game and my family likes the horses. We used to have horses in Italy too. We just kept going." In 2007, Abbatiello bought an abandoned horse farm and turned it into the Pine Bush Training Facility, located approximately 20 miles north of Goshen and 80 miles from Manhattan. The 130-acre property includes a half-mile track, indoor pool, and 18 five-acre paddocks. "This place came up for sale and I looked at it and fell in love with it," Abbatiello said. "I figured it would be a good place to train the horses. The place is beautiful. I do a lot of the work myself too. When I finished, I looked and thought, wow, I accomplished something. I'm the kind of person who likes to do things right or not do them at all. "We really enjoy this. It keeps me occupied. I love being out there doing the racetrack and taking care of the horses." Among other successful horses for Abbatiello is 10-year-old male pacer Life Up Front, who has earned $554,279 since joining his stable in 2011. On Saturday, Life Up Front gave Abbatiello his 150th win as a trainer. Al Raza will try to add to that total on Friday. Since she arrived in the U.S., the mare has won seven of 17 races and earned $169,450. The plan is to race Al Raza in the Matchmaker this week, then skip the final preliminary round to rest for the championship. "She's very healthy and I just have to hope it works out for the final," Abbatiello said. "After that, we'll give her a little time off and then race in the Open. We take it as we go. I think she can make money as long as she stays healthy." And happy. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications
Fooling no one, Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker continued Friday night. Three compacted, $40,000 legions of harness racing lasses comprised a 'sloppy' third of five preliminary rounds...and if you're name isn't Jordan Stratton, there's really no reason to continue reading. The first event saw 1-2 favorite Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) caught wide early, paying a pretty (:26.4, :55.4) price for the lead. Regil Elektra (Tim Tetrick) then moved from fourth, disposing of the leader after the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Regil Elektra owned a three-quarter-length lead into the lane and hung in there gamely, but was mowed down late by a from-last For the Ladies N (Stratton, $40.40) in 1:53.1. The longest shot on the board-from post position No. 5-won by a neck, with Jungle Genie N (Matt Kakaley) third, while Krispy Apple faded to lead among the half-dozen. For the Ladies N, a 7-year-old Down Under daughter of Jereme's Jet owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, is now 1-for-5 this season. The exacta paid $140.50, with the triple returning $884. Friday's second Matchmaker event had owner, trainer and driver double-up with Sell a Bit N ($7.10), who herself made it a series two-fer. Negating her outside six-hole, the second choice worked around Skippin' By (Yannick Gingras), then laid down the law (:27.4, :56.4, 1:25.2, 1:53). Venus Delight (Bartlett), as the 3-5 choice, moved to challenge from third, but never came close. Sell a Bit N won by a length-and-a-quarter, with Venus Delight second and Skippin' By third. Sell a Bit N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar, is now 2-for-6 this season. The exacta paid $12.20, with the triple returning $55. The evening's final series soiree saw Stratton and just-over-even-money Al Raza N ($4.10) complete an evening/series hat trick, respectively. Watching early from post No, 4, series points leader Al Raza N was content to have Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube) retake from Request for Parole (Gingras), with early intervals of :27.4 and :57. Anndrovette moved from third down the backside, towing Al Raza N along for the ride in and out of a 1:25.1 three-quarters. Entering the lane, Yagonnakissmeornot was about to give up the ghost. Al Raza N moved widest and defeated the lass on her back, Mach it a Par (George Brennan), by a half-length in 1:53. Anndrovette held well for third. Al Raza N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Gotta Go Cullect owned by Durazzano Stable and trained by Agostino Abbatiello, it was her fourth win in four five starts. The exacta paid $9, with the triple returned $41.60. “(For the Ladies N) was definitely helped by fast fractions and a short field, while the other two (Sell a Bit N and Al Raza N) always race well,” Stratton—now an honorary Kiwi—said. “I’ve been fortunate they haven’t drawn in against one another.” Yet. Friday night's Pick 5 wager, beginning with a carryover of $8,041.75, attracted $24,967 of new investments. After takeout, $26,767 was divvied up to those who had the correct sequence. The "phrase that pays" was 4/7/2/6/4, returning $545.25 for each winning half-a-buck wager. Saturday night's card brings the third round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Four, $50,000 divisions (races 6 through 9) comprise this go-round, with reining Harness Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit debuting in the third event. Frank Drucker
Yonkers Raceway’s Blue Chip Matchmaker continued Friday night. It was “second verse same as the first,” with three consecutive, $40,000 harness racing divisions comprising the encore round. The evening’s opening event saw Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton, $5.50) take full advantage of a rare good starting station. In play from post position No. 4, she held sway (:27.3, :56.3, 1:24.3, 1:52.1). Pylon-procuring Request for Parole (Yannick Gingras) chased around the oval, ducked inside and missed a neck, while Mach it a Par (George Brennan), last week’s 39-1 upsetter, was third after a hard challenge down the backside. Venus Delight (Jason Bartlett), the wagering favorite by a mere $30, wound up a non-threatening fourth. For slight second choice Sell a Bit N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her first win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $26.40, with the triple returning $87. Friday’s second Matchmaker event had Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, $5.70), as the second choice, do it from first-up. Away third from post No. 2, she saw season-debuting Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick) and 11-10 choice Skippin’ By (Gingras) take early turns (:27.2, :56.2). When “Yagonna” first moved off the cones nearing the 1:24.3 three-quarters, she didn’t appear all that interested. Skippin’ By owned a length-and-a-half into the lane before Yagonnakissmeornot read the memo. She surged past late, winning by a neck in 1:53.3. Anndrovette, probably a bit short, was a passing-land third, beaten a half-length, For Yagonnakissmeornot, a 7-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, it was her first win in three ’16 starts. The exacta paid $10, with the triple returning $38.60. The night’s final series event was won by an off-the-pace Al Raza N (Stratton, $8.60), who had some numbers to “run at” and did just that. As was the case a week ago, Al Raza N was content to spectate early. She watched as Krispy Apple (Bartlett) and 13-10 choice Lady Shadow (Corey Callahan) were both sent out (:26.4, :55.2).as the rest of the lasses gapped behind them. Secrets Out N (Brian Sears) did close ranks from third and move to challenge, but never came close. Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) gapped that one badly in and out of the 1:23.2 three-quarters, which did no favors for the eventual winner. Al Raza N, sitting seventh and racing from third-over, launched her bid before the final turn. She was fifth entering the lane, but just powered by. The final margin was a length-and-a-quarter in 1:52.1, matching her life-best. It was Krispy Apple nosing a tiring Lady Shadow for second, with a from-last Regil Elektra (Tetrick) and Delightful Dragon settling for the remainder. For third choice Al Raza N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Gotta Go Cullect owned by Durazzano Stable and trained by Agostino Abbatiello, it was her third win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $32, the triple returned $89 and the superfecta paid $1,274. Saturday night’s card brings the second round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Five, $50,000 divisions (races 5 and 7 through 10) comprise this go-round. Frank Drucker
Conditions at the harness racing meeting at Winton Raceway today were perfect for quick times on the big 1400 metres track and right throughout the day, times were recorded by lower graded horses that are usually associated with what we refer to as cup class horses. Still even with the perfect conditions it came as a bit of a surprise later in day when the well performed three year old filly Nek Time won race nine over 2400 metres in a new New Zealand All Comers record of 2:53. That took 1.3 seconds off the old record held by Hannah Jaye for mares over the distance and is 1.5 seconds quicker than the colts and geldings record currently held by Rider On The Storm. It is the first time that 2:54 has been bettered for 2400 metres in a race in New Zealand. And Nek Time had a far from easy run when setting the record. From three on the second line, Nek Time settled five back in the running line as Celestial Arden and Blair Orange held the lead from barrier one. Driver Dexter Dunn set Nek Time alight with 1500 metres to go and she quickly looped the field and grabbed the lead at the 1300 metres. Dexter kept Nek Time bowling along in front at a good clip and it was obvious a long way out that the only serious challenger she faced was Celestial Arden who was hard on her back. As they straightened for the run home, Celestial Arden immediately took the passing lane and appeared to have the momentum to pass Nek Time but Dexter got the filly to lift and she came clear the last bit to win by one and a quarter lengths. Nek Times 2:53 for the 2400 metres was a mile rate for the distance of 1:56 and she finished the race off with super closing sectionals of 55.5 and 26.9. Todays win was number five for the daughter of Gotta Go Cullect at start 17 and along with six placings she has now banked just over $62,000 to date. Ever since her very good run for fourth to Dream About Me in last seasons Harness Jewels, Nek Time has been on the up. She has the ability to sub 27 quarters with ease and can stick on as well and looks well capable of being a major player in the upcoming three year old fillies classics with a run to suit her talents Post Note - The perfect race conditions today helped Erin Jaccka run 1:53.9 for 1609 Metres when winning the maiden pace for fillies and mares. The daughter of Mach Three was having just her third lifetime start and her 1:53.9 effort is a new track record for three year old fillies at Winton. Harnesslink Media
Yonkers Raceway's harness racing Blue Chip Matchmaker series began Friday night, with the sport's best pacing mares embarking upon a six-week odyssey. Three consecutive, $40,000 events comprised the opening round. The series starter saw Al Raza N (Jordan Stratton, $15.20) snap 9-10 fave Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) right nearing the wire in a season's-best 1:52.3. Hazmatt (Brian Sears) was third, with Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) and Skippin' By (Yannick Gingras) settling for the remainder. It was a certified scrum early with Krispy Apple making the lead by looping Regil Elektra (Tim Tetrick). Regil Elektra was out again, winning the :27.1 opening quarter-mile. Soon after, Sandbetweenurtoes (Jody Jamieson), having dropped in third, made her second move, leading at a :55.4 intermission. Down the backside, Krispy Apple took out and third and went by a defenseless Sandbetweenurtoes with the greatest of ease. The people's preference opened 3¼ lengths by the 1:23.4 three-quarters and had a couple of lengths entering the lane. However, she couldn't close the sale. Al Raza N, unhurried from post position No. 2, moved from third-over (second-up after Krispy Apple cleared the lead), continuing to make up ground. Advancing to third in and out of the final turn, she wore down her target by a half-length. The roster was rounded out by a shuffled-out Regil Elektra and a dropping-anchor Sandbetweenurtoes. For fifth choice Al Raza N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Gotta Go Cullect owned by Durazzano Stable and trained by Agostino Abbatiello, it was her second win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $44, with the triple returning $316. Friday's second Matchmaker event saw rank outsider Mach it a Par (George Brennan, $81) do her best Middle Tennessee State impression, picking off defending series champion Venus Delight by a nose in 1:53.2. Venus Delight had engaged, then overhauled, 4-5 fave Secrets Out N (Sears). That one, after getting away third, controlled the crowd (:27.4, :57, 1:25.2) until early in the lane before faltering. Mach it a Par, from post No. 6, operated from second-over. She and Venus Delight battled for the tiara, with the former just getting to the latter. Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube) lost some contact in the pocket but managed third, with Sell a Bit N (Stratton) and Cheyenne Robin (Corey Callahan) settling for the minor moolah. Secrets Out N faded to sixth. For Mach it a Par, a 6-year-old daughter of Mach Three co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmine Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was her first win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $721, with the triple returning $1,699. Mach it a Par, off a sale/barn change, had been off nearly four weeks (with a "sick line" in between). The evening final series event was won by a down-the-road Lady Shadow (Callahan, $7), who overcame an outside post No. 7 and widened late. Lady Shadow had to wait her turn, finally getting around 7-5 favorite Gallie Bythe Beach (Matt Kakaley). From there, she had little issues (:27.4, :56.3, 1:25, 1:53.4), prevailing by 2¼ lengths. "Gallie" chased from the pocket and saved second, with Jungle Genie N (Bartlett), first leader Inittowinafortune (Tyler Buter) and For the Ladies N (Stratton) grabbing the smaller envelopes. For second choice Lady Shadow, a 5-year-old daughter of Shadow Play co-owned by David Kryway, Carl Atley, Edwin Gold & BFJ Stable and trained by Josh Green, it was a season-debuting victory.. The exacta paid $17, the triple returned $74.50 and the superfecta paid $568. Saturday night's card brings the opening round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Six, $50,000 divisions (races 4,5,6,7, 9 and 10) each feature seven Free-For-Allers. YONKERS’ SATURDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $3,500 CARRYOVER A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Saturday night’s (March 19) Pick 5 wager begins with a tidy carryover of $3,500.50. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing program (or earlier if less than 11 races). It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Friday evening), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next program. Saturday’s gimmick includes the last three divisions in the opening round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series (races 7,9 and 10). Frank Drucker
The four year old gelding Culley Backy provided Methven trainer Michael Heenan with a well overdue win yesterday when he was successful in the Thomas Freight Pace at the harness racing meeting at Reefton. Facing the starter yesterday for the eighteenth time,Culley Backy had already been placed six times in his previous seventeen starts and had had little luck throughout his short career. Taken straight to the front yesterday by leading driver Ricky May, Culley Backy set a solid tempo in front and had them all in trouble as they straightened for home and when Ricky asked for the big effort, the son of Gotta Go Cullect shot clear and won with with plenty in hand by 2 1/2 lengths. Culley Backy paced the 2000 metres from the stand in 2:38.6 with closing sectionals on the grass of 59.6 and 29.1. Michael was relieved that Culley Backy had finally put a complete performance together. " He has promised to do that for a while to be honest but he rarely gets the rub of the green this horse and it was nice to see him in front today and out of trouble for once." " He has had a lot of little issues that haven't helped the cause as well but we seem to be getting on top of these at the moment," Michael told Harnesslink yesterday afternoon. Michael and his wife Di bought Culley Backy off local Methven trainer Danny McKendry as a three year old. " Danny likes to sell his horses that he develops while they are still three year olds but Culley Backy had had a couple of setbacks and it was getting late in the season when we bought him." "Danny quite liked him which is always a good recommendation as he is a great judge, " Michael said. Culley Backy qualified quite impressively at Ashburton last year but a shoulder injury has taken a lot longer to come right than initially envisaged which has hindered his progress. Varying his training routine to help his recovery, Michael discovered that Culley Backy can trot quite impressively. " He looks to have a fair bit of upside as a trotter in my opinion and I will be switching him over to trotting full time in the near future." " I may give him a start in an upcoming Junior Drivers event as a pacer but after that I will concentrate on sorting out his switch to trotting. "I gave him a run at the qualifying trials as a trotter and he missed away badly but made up a huge amount of ground after that and was well inside the time required so the ability is there" " He only broke because he touched himself behind so sorting that issue is the first priority at the moment," Michael said. Harnesslink Media
Lucan Hanover made it two-in-row in the $30,000 Preferred pace on a balmy Monday, Feb. 29, on the Leap Year edition of Dover Downs harness racing. Unlike last week when Lucan Hanover enjoyed a 2-hole trip to score a nose victory, this week after overtaking Mustang Art with Sean Bier after a :26 opening quarter, Corey Callahan took over guiding Lucan Hanover, a six-year-old Western Ideal-Lauren Order gelding, the rest of the way in front and then pulling away with a: 27.1 final panel to a decisive 1:49 conquest over some of the sport's top-class pacers now racing. Tony Morgan and Doctor Butch closed along the passing lane to nip Mustang Art for second. The win was the 20th of his career for the $825,626 lifetime winner. Blazing Bobby Sox, owned by Art Stafford and trainer-driver Art Stafford Jr., won for the fourth time this year notching a career fastest 1:50.2 triumph in a $15,500 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over Male pace. Sectionline Rock (Tim Tetrick) closed well to pick up second money. Apollo Seelster (Yannick Gingras) was the show finisher. It was the 12 lifetime win for Blazing Bobby Sox, a The Panderosa-Liamatters five-year-old gelding. Robert Cooper Stables' Go Collect N was an impressive 1:51.2 winner in another pace for young horses winning the $13,500 event for his third win in five races since arriving from New Zealand. Corey Callahan steered the winner for trainer Dylan Davis. Since arriving in North America, the Gotta Go Collect-No Parking N gelding has in addition to three wins, three seconds in his seven starts. Swappertunity (Jim Morand) finished second for the second straight time. Rednickyachtclub (Allan Davis) was third. In another $13,500 division Yannick Gingras drove JT to a 1:52.2 score for trainer Ron Burke and owners Weaver Brucsemi and Burke Racing Stable. An altered son of Badlands Hanover-Snowhite Beach, it was his second straight win in five races. Ima Rebel (Morgan) closed swiftly along the passing lane for second. Roll Big (Callahan) was the third finisher. Local favorite Just A Jolt made it to the winner's circle for the first time in 2016 in his seventh start as Tim Tetrick got the Village Jolt-Just Wait Kate gelding away quickly and never looked back for a 1:50.3 victory to win a $12,500 Mile pace. Four Staces (Callahan) finished second with Papa Ray (Allan Davis) going a tough trip for third. Meet leading driver Corey Callahan and leading trainer Dylan Davis had three wins each, Tim Tetrick, Art Stafford Jr. and trainer Eric Ell had two wins apiece. FASHION SHOWDOWN VERSUS SEVEN IN $20,000 MARES OPEN Fashion Showdown, an impressive 1:51.1 winner in last week’s $20,000 Mares Open Handicap faces seven rivals on Tuesday, March 1 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p m. Corey Callahan will drive Chris White’s Fashion Showdown, a winner of three Opens already in 2016. Among her opponents, Jeff Clark’s Springforth, with George Dennis driving, has been right there in recent starts with a win, three seconds and a third in her last six starts. Another competitor in top form is Lou Catana and Vince Bradley’s Matinee Dragon handled by Jonathan Roberts. Not to be overlooked are Sage N, a two-time winner in her last three races, and Tim Tetrick piloting from the outside for C.V Iannazzo, JFE Enterprises and Triple D Stables, Bob Bailey’s sharp Duneside Chella with Tony Morgan, John McGill’s hard-hitting No Respect, and from the rail, B Stern and Vic Kirby stepping up in class for owners Steve Moss, Hal and Helene Solomon and trainer Leigh Raymer. A $15,500, a $15,000, a $14,000 and $12,000 distaff paces for 4&5-year-olds, top a strong undercard. Dover Downs races Monday through Thursday starting at 4:30 p.m. No Live racing on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Watch the races and enjoy dining in the Winners Circle Restaurant. Call 302-674-4600 for reservations. Simulcasting of harness and thoroughbred racing is available daily from 12 Noon until 12 Midnight at Dover Downs where there is no charge for parking and admission. Reservations are suggested for the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and for those planning to stay at the 4-star Dover Downs Hotel. Call 302-674-4600. Marv Bachrad
Local harness racing owners Robert and Sharyn Symon are enjoying watching their Gotta Go Cullect filly Nek Time perform not only on the big stage at Addington but also on their home turf in Southland. Trained by Terry and Glenys Chmiel at Leeston, the three year old has been at the top of her game. From nine starts this season she's won three races and has run second and third twice. In today's Hydroflow Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace Nek Time drew wide at barrier eight but Chmiel pushed the go button and after 500 metres she was in front. From that point she pricked her ears and enjoyed the front running role. "I sort of had to go forward because I thought Dexter Dunn (driving Talkerup) would be hard to beat." "He had the second line so I wanted to get in front of him." "She jogged it today. It was pretty windy down the back but she did it pretty easy," said Terry Chmiel. She's been one of the big improvers in the three year old pacing fillies ranks in the south and that hasn't gone unnoticed by her co-trainer. "Since we won the other night she's come on leaps and bounds." "She's just getting better and better." "In the last month or so she's also grown a hand." Nek Time is out of the one win Jenna's Beach Boy mare Braithwaite and was bought as an unraced two year old off Stephen Boyd. Her pedigree goes back on the dam side to open class mare Classiebawn. "The first time I trialled her I knew she was a nice horse" Terry said. The Symons were on-course today to celebrate the win. "They don't spend a lot of money." We've been through the good times and the bad." "They do put their hand up and have been very loyal owners," said Terry. The longterm goal for Nek Time is the Nevele R/Macca Lodge Southland Oaks Final on Diamonds Day at Ascot Park on Sunday 17th April. "She's coming back in a fortnights time (Northern Southland meeting) and if she doesn't run in the money she'll have to run the following week and stay on for the Southland Oaks." So how does Chmiel rate this filly? "She's the best filly I've trained." There's a couple of nice fillies out there but who's to say we haven't got better too," Terry said. But Chmiel admits that Nex Time is very much a ladies horse. "She's a bit of an old madam." "She's got speed but she's tough too." "In the paddock if she doesn't like you she won't go near you and she'll chase you out of the paddock." "Glenys does most of the work with her at home." " All the credit goes to Glenys really." "Glenys just spoils her and she loves it," Terry said. Bruce Stewart - Southland Harness Racing - Check site here
Terry and Glenys Chmiel have always held Nek Time in high regard since they purchased her privately for stable clients as an early two year old. The daughter of Gotta Go Collect has always looked well above average and her fourth in the Harness Jewels at two was just reward for a filly that never had much luck at times last season. Prior to tonights race at Addington Raceway, she hadn't been further back than fourth in seventh starts at three but had disappointed co -trainer Glenys Chmiel at Marlborough recently. " Even though she went near enough,I thought on her work she would win at least one of the days." "It was only when we got home that we found that she had a bad lung infection so her runs under the circumstances were super." " Her work at home since she has been treated has been really good so I thought she would be hard to beat tonight," Glenys said. With Terry committed to stablemate Franco Tai, who better to warm the seat that Dexter Dunn, the countries leading driver. In the first score up, Nek Time went into a wild gallop and caused a false start but Dexter had no hesitation in staying in his original barrier of three in the second attempt at a start. " The gallop in the score up on the first attempt was my fault as she was a bit fresh and I put her on the gate way to early." " I was confident she would be fine on the second attempt if I didn't rush her on to the gate," Dexter told Harnesslink post race. Sent straight to the front by Dexter at the restart, Nek Time took a trail behind stablemate Franco Tai after 200 metres but was out again 200 metres later to reclaim the lead. Going past the 800 metres mark, Dreamy Damien and Colin De Filippi went up and looked Nek Time in the eye and they sizzled down the back straight in 26.9. Going past the 400 metres Nek Time had shook off Dreamy Damien but the challengers were coming wider out. Half way up the straight RR Sand Dollar stuck its neck in front but Nek Time refused to lie down and lifted inside the last 100 metres to fight back and claim an outstanding victory. Not only was the manner of the win top class but the times she ran were just superb. Nek Time covered the 1950 metres in 2:19.2, a mile rate of 1:54.8 with a brilliant last 800 metres of 54.5 and 400 metres of 27.6. Glenys was all smiles as she ungeared the filly. " This filly has very high speed but she is also as tough as they come." " She doesn't know how to give in and I knew she would fight back, " Glenys said. Terry wasn't sure if she had got up from where he was on Franco Tai. " I couldn't tell from where I was but I know how tough she is." " You can get up to her but getting past her is another matter," Terry said. The Chmiels were especially happy to have taken out the $40,000 PGG listed event. " That is the biggest stakes race we have won as trainers so its a real thrill, "Terry said. The manner of the victory tonight suggests Nek Time is a live chance in some of the bigger fillies races later in the season. Harnesslink Media.
A lot of of the harness racing pundits looking at today's Westport Cup were convinced that those off the back marks would find it difficult to win the race due to the leader bias of the Paterson Park track. It is a good thing Cullect A Guinness can't read as the lone back marker on 30 metres turned in an outstanding staying performance to take this years Westport Cup. John Dunn settled the big son of Gotta Go Cullect well back in the field early before getting on the three wide line and working himself into the one by one with just over a lap to run. Coming out on the point of the turn, Cullect A Guinness dashed clear and while a couple closed late, he never looking in danger of being beaten. Cullect A Guinness paced the 3200 metres on grass in 4:11.8 with closing sectionals of 61.3 and 29.5. It was Cullect A Guinness's seventh win at just his fourteenth start and took his earnings over the $50,000 mark. John Dunn was impressed with the performance. “This horse never fails to impress this time in.” “He won his first race two and a half years ago but then broke down.” “We gave him plenty of time to get over his problems but when we brought him back in he looked terrible so we turned him out again.” “This time in he has just gone from strength to strength” “I got a nice drag around to get handy but when I pulled him out he just went straight past them.” “I may have been a bit hard on him in the straight as he was running away from them at the line” “He has just absolutely bolted in,” John said. One thing that has been noticeable all this campaign has been the tendancy of Cullect A Guinness to get his head around at right angles during the running. “He won't accept any gear to straighten him up so it is just something you have to put up with,” John said. It is Murphy's law that as soon a stallion dies or is withdrawn from service that his progency excel on the track. With Gotta Go Cullect back in work with Jay Abernethy, it shouldn't be a surprise that Cullect A Guinness is on the rampage through the grades. Cullect A Guinness Harnesslink Media
It is a fact of life in harness racing that having a season or two away from the track due to injury or illness can be career ending for some horses who never recapture their former glory once they comeback. Having a horse attempting a comeback after six and a half years on the sidelines due to injury and stallion duty would seem a herculean task but that is what the former age group star Gotta Go Cullect is attempting at the moment. Brought outright by Alabar (NZ) Ltd for stud duties when injury brought his racing career to a premature end , Gotta Go Cullect was given every show by breeders in his six years at stud. He has served 550 mares in those six seasons which has resulted in 399 live foals on the ground. As of today he has produced 45 winners including such smart types as Al Raza 1:52.1 (H) ($149,977), the Southland Oaks winner Royal Counsel, 1:54.2 ($88,202), the current form pacer Cullect A Guinness, 1:55.1 ($39,690 and Harrysul 1:57.1 ($45,056) but overall his numbers have fallen short of what is required in today’s hugely competitive stallion market and the numbers of mares he served each season has dropped accordingly. Alabar head honcho Graeme Henley was at a crossroads as the 2015-2016 breeding season drew close on what to do with Gotta Go Cullect – especially with the imminent arrival of high profile new recruit He’s Watching meaning Alabar needed to free up a stallion paddock. " I’d previously had a couple of approaches from Jay Abernethy to lease the horse and when I weighed it all up that looked to be the best option for Gotta Go Cullect going forward." "Especially with Jay having a water treadmill to get him fit without having to put pressure on his legs." " Jay had driven Gotta Go Cullect in his first five starts for four wins and a second and has a genuine fondness for the horse and was keen to be reunited with him." " Gotta Go Cullect has had six years as a stallion." "He’s kept himself fairly fit but without the stress of training and racing. As a result his legs were looking great when he went to Jay's." " The reports from Jay have been very positive and I think at this stage it is highly likely we will see Gotta Go Cullect back at the races early in 2016. We’re really grateful to Jay for looking after Gotta Go Cullect and hope it goes well for them both" Graeme said. Gotta Go Cullect was an outstanding two and three year old racing against quality horses such as Stunin Cullen, 1:53.7 ($1,493,716), Highview Tommy 1:54 ($1,021,904) and Tintin In America 1:53.2 ($934,305) and while it is unrealistic to expect him to race at that level again at this stage of his career, class will ensure he won't disgrace himself where ever he lines up. Harnesslink Media