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

Lexington, KY - Grand Circuit harness racing resumes on Friday at The Red Mile with no fewer than eight two-year-old stakes on the eleven race card. The $382,600 International Stallion Stakes (INSS) for colt trotters drew five divisions while the $253,000 filly pace split three ways.   The pacing fillies open the Friday matinee card in races one, three and five with the middle division looking the toughest on paper. That split features the Red Mile debut of undefeated World Champ JK She'salady for owner/breeders the 3 Brothers Stable of New York.   The Art Major filly from Presidential Lady has been just vicious thus far in her seven race career putting a few withering moves on the competition at Mohawk including the record-equaling 1:50.1 mile in the $441,600 She's A Great Lady final. Her most recent was an easy score in a division of the Kentuckiana stakes at Hoosier Park.   Trained in the Nancy Johansson barn and driven by Yannick Gingras, JK She'salady will find a pretty talented field waiting for her on Friday.   Chief among the competition is the speedy Bettor Be Steppin, who won the other Kentuckiana split and further impressed last week here in Lexington with a forwardly placed 1:52 win, closing it out with a 26.3 final quarter under no pressure. She races for the Val D'Or Farms, Rojan Stables and Ted Gewertz and is trained by Joe Holloway, who has long had a "way with the ladies".   The accomplished Bedroomconfessions also caught this division as did Hilary's Style and Heavenly Bride, both coming off excellent races in week one of the meet.   Two of the Bluegrass division winners from last week will meet in a division of the INSS carded as the day's tenth race. The Bank and Southwind Stryker square off for the top prize in the $76,100 contest. Both colts trotted in 1:53.4 in their respective Bluegrass start and both used a stalking trip to get the job done.   The Bank has a slight post advantage beginning from post two for trainer/driver Jimmy Takter. He rolled up second over, closing in 28 flat to win by a half-length. Bred by part owner Goran Falk he races for Falk and Christina Takter and has made just shy of $65,000 thus far.   Southwind Stryker (Muscle Hill x Soxeelady) was a winner for the very first time in the Bluegrass mile but is just shy of the $100,000 mark in earnings for the partnership of Millard, Van Camp, Taylor and trainer Brad Maxwell who gave $40,000 for him at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale last fall. Driver Tim Tetrick gave him a good trip then said good things about the colt last week and has the return engagement this Friday.   It is by no means a two horse races as Haughton winner Centurion ATM and the highest priced yearling of 2013 Whom Shall I Fear (Father Patrick's little brother) are also a part of the talented field.   Friday post time is 1:00pm.   Nick Salvi

Grand Circuit racing resumes on Thursday afternoon at The Red Mile with the $323,200 International Stallion Stakes (INSS) for two-year-old filly trotters. Thirty three freshman lasses were declared, resulting in four divisions of the stake.   The marquee player in the division thus far, co-world record holder Mission Brief has been entered and will leave from post three in the day's fourth race. The Muscle Hill filly from Southwind Serena has been sensational if slightly erratic in her young career.   Her blazing speed has carried her to five wins by wide margins in fast times, including the Merrie Annabelle and NJSS finals in stakes record time and a Peaceful Way elimination in the record mile of 1:52.1 (equaled last Thursday by Jolene Jolene at The Red Mile). The only blemishes on her eight race slate are by her own hand, going off-stride in all three and losing all chance.   The Grand Circuit's leading combination handles Mission Brief, with Ron Burke doing the conditioning for his own Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Our Horse Cents Stable and J&T Silva Stable while Yannick Gingras will try to keep her on her best behavior. The way the track has been playing thus far, with her talent that record may be further reduced on Thursday.   The Burke stable will also send out contenders in two of the other divisions, with Kirsi Hanover a key player in race two and Gatka Hanover to be dealt with in race eight.   In between, Alfred Ross' emerging star debutante Bee The Queen will look to complete the Lexington Grand Circuit double by winning both weeks as she seeks her fifth consecutive win for trainer George Ducharme in race five. The Donato Hanover x Bee Line filly was a late comer, but she has surely found her best form here in Kentucky. Brian Sears has the drive.   Competition for the "Queen" will be led by Livininthefastlane from the rail for driver Tim Tetrick. She's also a Donato Hanover (Nicole's Promise) owned by the potent partnership of Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld & Sam Goldband and trained by Julie Miller. Livininthefastlane comes in off a convincing win in the Kentuckiana Farms trot at Hoosier Park and has amassed more than $165,000 on the season.   Ten races comprise the Thursday Red Mile card with a post time of 1:00pm, which shall continue through the meet's end on Kentucky Futurity Day, October 5. You can find more pertinent info at The Red Mile website and if you missed any of last week's action visit the youtube page for all video replays of the races.   The start of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale is Tuesday at 7:00pm and continues through Saturday with the cream of the Standardbred yearling crop available for your inspection and purchase.   From the Red Mile press box

September 29, 2014 - The first stanza of the Grand Circuit at The Red Mile is in the books and for the week, it was the Garnet Barnsdale Show in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest.  Barnsdale was hot this week, earning a weekly net profit of $3,254 to bring his overall net profit to $711.30, leapfrogging from 11th place to 5th place in the thick of things as he is now only $1,356.85 behind overall leader Bob Zanakis whose overall net profit is $2,086.15, just $718.15 ahead of 2nd place Mark McKelvie. Josi Verlingieri sits in 3rd place with Brandon Valvo and the aforementioned Barnsdale within $250 of her. Day 1 of The Red Mile meet was a tough challenge for all the handicappers with Verlingieri being the only handicapper to score a significant profit of $155 thanks to a $150 win ticket on the winner of the 4th division of the Bluegrass stakes for 2yo filly trotters as Bee The Queen returned a $405 dividend. Day 2 and 3 of the meet was all Barnsdale. On the 2nd day of the meet, Barnsdale earned a net profit of $1,405 thanks to his wagers in the 1st division of the Bluegrass stakes for 2yo filly pacers. A $200 exacta of Better Be Steppin and Hillary's Style returned him $720 while a $50 trifecta including Rock Her World for third return $935. Dennis O'Hara had a daily profit of $175 while Gordon Waterstone earned $100. On the 3rd day of the meet, Barnsdale increased his net profit by $2,349 in the 3rd division of the Bluegrass Stakes for 2yo colt pacers. A $40 superfecta partial wheel ($240 total ticket) of Art Speak-Sicily-Traceur Hanover-Blood Brother returned a dividend of $2,252 while a straight $10 trifecta paid $347. Also rans on day 3 were Verlingieri with a $250 net profit and Rusty Nash with a $178.50 net thanks to winning exactas in the 1st division of the Bluegrass for 3yo colt pacers and the FFA pacers at Scioto Downs in the Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational Pace. Derick Giwner earned $112 for the day. The final day of the 1st stanza of The Red Mile meet was a tough day for all and the only winner of note was Rusty Nash whose $119 net profit was fueled by a $15 trifecta key ($90) in the 1st division of the Bluegrass for 3yo colt trotters which paid $369. The current standings after the completion of the weekend's activity are:   As of September 28, 2014 - Leg 38 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis ($863.20) $2,086.15   2nd Mark McKelvie ($560.00) $1,350.00 $718.15 3rd Josi Verlingieri ($95.00) $933.05 $1,135.10 4th Brandon Valvo ($970.00) $745.00 $1,323.15 5th Garnet Barnsdale $3,254.00 $711.30 $1,356.85 6th Rusty Nash $8.00 ($434.76) $2,502.91 7th Brian McEvoy $100.00 ($459.00) $2,527.15 8th Gordon Waterstone $77.00 ($623.30) $2,691.45 9th Earl Paulson ($727.50) ($1,918.00) $3,986.15 10th Derick Giwner ($282.00) ($2,306.23) $4,374.38 11th Ray Garnett ($448.00) ($3,031.10) $5,099.25 12th Sally Hinckley ($643.00) ($3,084.90) $5,153.05 13th Ann Stepien ($590.80) ($3,189.71) $5,257.86 14th Dennis O'Hara ($555.00) ($3,349.90) $5,418.05 15th Ray Cotolo ($750.00) ($6,598.40) $8,666.55                                                                                  This week, the second stanza of the Red Mile meet is the focus of the handicapping challenge with Thursday racing featuring the International Stallion Stakes (ISS) for 2yo filly trotters.  Friday’ contests include the ISS for 2yo colt trotters and filly pacers.  Saturday’s tilts include the ISS for 2yo colt pacers and the Garnsey Memorial for 3yo filly pacers in addition to the Tatersalls for 3yo open pacers.  Closing day in Lexington features a quartet of races, the first heat of the Kentucky Futurity and Kentucky Filly Futurity plus older horses in the Allerage for 3yo open trotters and pacers as well as their corresponding filly and mare stakes.   As always, the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.       by Allan Schott, for HANA   

LEXINGTON, KY-- In the premier afternoon card of the annual Grand Circuit fortnight, harness racing sophomore filly trotters were in the spotlight, as they competed in two divisions of the $173,400 Bluegrass Stakes. And one filly stole the spotlight as Cee Bee Yes became the fastest three-year-old trotting filly ever with her victory in 1:50.2. With Cooler Schooner setting fast fractions, Cee Bee Yes coasted in the pocket, passed her into the stretch and dueled with Hambletonian Oaks-winner Lifetime Pursuit, ultimately getting her neck in front to win in the world record clocking. The prior world mark was 1:50.4 set by Lifetime Pursuit earlier this year. Cooler Schooner took control with ease, while Cee Bee Yes sat in second and Lifetime Pursuit in third. The top trio remained in that order as Cooler Schooner set splits of :27.4, :53.2 (:25.3), and 1:21.4 (:28.2). Galloping at the top of the stretch, Cooler Schooner was passed by Lifetime Pursuit, with Cee Bee Yes circling by, too. In the final eighth, Lifetime Pursuit had a slight advantage on Cee Bee Yes, who trotted alongside, then by the world champion filly, to christen her has a champion in 1:50.2 (:28.3). Owned by Jason and Doug Allen, trained by Julie Miller, and driven by Scott Zeron, the daughter of Muscles Yankee-Enbeecee-Enjoy Lavec paid $115.40 to win, with the $2 exacta, over 1/9 favorite Lifetime Pursuit, paying $217. This victory pushed Cee Bee Yes's career earnings to $339,532. "I didn't expect her to be the fastest of all-time, but I knew the race would set up with fast fractions," regular driver Andy Miller said, whose been sidelined due to a race injury sustained in April. "She's a very tough filly. Scott [Zeron] did a great job getting her into the race. He was patient, then he got her home." "In this business, you always throw the audible, but we would talk to Ron Allen and see the plans," trainer Julie Miller said in regards to Cee Bee Yes's retirement at the end of the season. "I would think she'd be a great mother." Cee Bee Yes Shake It Cerry, clearing the lead before the half, strode through the stretch to win in 1:51.2. The other Takter-trainee in the field, Scream And Shout, took the lead, while My Inspiration got away in second and Shake It Cerry in third. After a :27.2 quarter, Shake It Cerry made her move. Controlling the pace through a :55.1 (:27.4) half and 1:23.2 (:28.1) third quarter, Shake It Cerry kicked clear of Scream And Shout chasing in second, while Chivaree Hanover was rallying down the center of the course into second, and My Inspiration weaved her way into third. Shake It Cerry crossed the line in 1:51.2 (:28). With career earnings of $1,405,205, the daughter of Donato Hanover-Solveig-Yankee Glide is owned by Solveig's Racing Partners, trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Ron Pierce. Paying $3.00, her 1:51.2 mile is a lifetime best. "The filly [Shake It Cerry] took me around there [The Red Mile] on her own," driver Ron Pierce said. "I just sat there, just a passenger." "She sure felt like it to me," Pierce also said in regards to Shake It Cerry's sharp form. "I was saying 'Whoa girl, whoa, girl,' and she was thinking I was saying 'Go girl, go girl.' I could have let her trot and easily broke the world record, but I didn't see any sense of it; we have the Breeders Crown coming up, the [Filly] Futurity next week. There are still some major races for her." Shake It Cerry Live racing will resume on Thursday, October 2 with the $300,000 International Stallion Series for two-year-old filly trotters. The entry box will be open until 9:30amEDT on Monday, September 29. Post time for that card is scheduled for 1:00pmEDT. Race replays of action from The Red Mile can be found on our YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- With the $500,000 Tattersalls Pace, a staple of The Red Mile's Grand Circuit showcases, slated for next week, two divisions of sophomore colt pacers competed on the Saturday, September 27th card in the $185,200 Bluegrass. Always B Miki parked for the first half of the mile, cleared the front into the far turn and sprinted home in :25.3 to win by 8 lengths in 1:47.4. Melmerby Beach claimed the front from Somestarsomewhere around the first turn. Public-choice Always B Miki floated off the gate and was first over in fifth through a :26.3 first quarter. Always B Miki soon hit the motor in the backstretch and got his nose in front of Melmerby Beach through a :54.4 (:28.1) half. Strolling past three-quarters in 1:22.1 (:27.2), Always B Miki was left unscathed by a late challenge from Melmerby Beach. Within a blink of an eye, Always B Miki was 6 lengths clear of Melmerby Beach, who would take second, and Capital Account, who would take third. Always B Miki stopped the clock in 1:47.4 (:25.3), the fastest mile of the night and a lifetime best. Earning $567,716 in his career, the son of Always A Virgin-Artstopper-Artsplace is owned by Bluewood Stable, Val D'or Farms, and Roll The Dice Stable, trained by Joe Holloway, and driven by David Miller. He paid $2.40 to win. "He gives me chills, too," David Miller said in response to Always B Miki's impressive mile. "He can motor along pretty good. He goes along pretty easily, and it's pretty hard to judge his speed because he does it so easily, but I knew he was pacing pretty good down by the wire. He was going easy the whole way." "He's a pretty nice horse," trainer Joe Holloway said. "He gets over the ground very easily." Always B Miki Limelight Beach, fresh off his victory in the Little Brown Jug, traveled wire-to-wire in the other division of the Bluegrass in 1:49.1. Heading straight to the pylons before the first turn, Limelight Beach secured the front. Big Boy Dreams tucked into the pocket, and Caviart Luca got away third. Limelight Beach paced by the opening panel in :27.4. Unchallenged through a half in :56.1 (:28.2) and three-quarters in 1:23.1 (:27), Limelight Beach was ready to sprint home. He's Watching applied pressure from first over while Somesizesomestyle drafted behind. Limelight Beach did drift off the pylons in his dash to the finish, but he held off He's Watching and Big Boy Dreams in 1:49.1 (:26). The son of Somebeachsomewhere-Benear-Badlands Hanover pushed his seasonal earnings to $515,038, with $725,230 credited to his overall career. Owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 Stable, and Wingfield Brothers, trained by Ron Burke and driven by Yannick Gingras, he paid $4.80 to win. His 1:49.1 mile is a lifetime mark. "He was coming into his own heading into the Jug, and obviously came up big that day," driver Yannick Gingras said. "It was a huge mile here tonight." "Into the first turn, there was no speed, so I was able to rate him to the half," Gingras also said. "He's Watching has a huge half in him, but I figured, in :56, my horse could come home in a big half, too." Limelight Beach Live racing resumes on Sunday, September 28, with the $173,400 Bluegrass for three-year-old filly trotters and the $187,200 Bluegrass for three-year-old colt trotters. Post time is slated for 1:00pmEDT. Race replays of action from The Red Mile can be found on our YouTube channel: Red Mile Harness. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

LEXINGTON, KY-- Despite an hour-and-a-half delay provoked by a blown transformer near the first turn, the $336,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly trotters was contested in four divisions on Thursday, September 25. The wait was worth it as a world record was tied. Jolene Jolene, sent off the 8/5-second choice, equaled the world record for freshmen filly trotters of 1:52.1 in division two of Bluegrass action.   Classical Annie circled around Scented Roses to secure command through a :28.2 first quarter. Passing three-eighths, Jolene Jolene made a furious bid from fourth to commandeer the field. Clearing in a :56.3 (:28.1) half-mile, her lead began to grow into the far turn.   Leading by 5 lengths through a 1:24 (:27.2) third quarter, driver David Miller kept Jolene Jolene to task while Lock Down Lindy tried to close, as well as Gold Cora and Sweet Thing. As Lock Down Lindy broke, Gold Cora and Sweet Thing took over second and third while Jolene Jolene was striding to an 8-length victory in 1:52.1 (:28.1).   Returning $5.40 to win, the Muscle Hill-Celebrity Speedie-Malabar Man daughter is owned by William Donovan and trained by Jonas Czernyson. The 1:52.1 effort is a lifetime mark for the filly trotter, and this win puts her season's earnings at $207,527. Scratched down to a field of four in the pari-mutual spectrum, Wild Honey, off a world-record 1:55.2 mile at Delaware, Ohio, coasted around the Lexington oval to win in 1:55.2, with a :26.3 final quarter.   Able to put up fractions of :29.2, :59.3 (:30.1), and 1:28.4 (:29.1), Wild Honey led foes Onda Di Mare, Love Me Madly, Shafina Hanover, and Hot Stuff, respectively, in her gate-to-wire performance. They remained in that order as Wild Honey sprinted to the wire in :26.3 to win in 1:55.2.   Owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, and Herb Liverman, the Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy-S J's Photo daughter paid $2.10 to win. She's trained by Jimmy Takter and driven by Yannick Gingras. Winning seven of eight starts, the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes champion has now amassed $312,656 in earnings.   Fresh off a victory in the Kindergarten Series, Lilu Hanover claimed victory in the third division of the Bluegrass in 1:54.2.   Getting away on the lead, Lilu Hanover led Armatrading, That's So Ironic, and Annaliina as she marched to the quarter. Passing that station in :29, Annaliina was sent two wide and began to brush by her competition. She took the lead from Lilu Hanover through a half of :57.2 (:28.2).   Around into the far turn, Armatrading pulled first over to challenge Annaliina for control. Lilu Hanover sat steady In The Pocket through a 1:27.1 (:29.4) third-quarter. Midway into the stretch, Lilu Hanover pulled the pocket and managed to split Annaliina and Armatrading to get a nose in front and extend to a length in 1:54.2 (:27.1). Annaliina was second, Concentration was third and Armatrading was fourth.   A daughter of Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover-Donerail, she is owned by Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld, trained by Jimmy Takter and Scott Zeron guided her to victory. Paying $5.20 to win, the 1:54.2 mile is a lifetime mark for Lilu Hanover.   Bee The Queen capped the stakes action with a 1:54.1 victory over   Allerage Star and Crunchess Finale dueled for control through a :27.3 first quarter. Clearing the front into the backstretch, Allerage Star maintained her lead past the half in :55.2 (:27.4). Driver Brian Sears gave Bee The Queen the cue to go entering the far turn, flushed from fourth by Sarcy.   Within a matter of strides, Bee The Queen secured control. Sarcy stalked uncovered while Allerage Star was to her inside In The Pocket. Bee The Queen trotted by three-quarters in 1:24.3 (:29.1).   Sarcy broke turning for home, and Allerage Star swung out of the pocket, but failed to rally by Bee The Queen. Wiclet Hanover from the back closed into second, as well as Kirsi Hanover into third as Bee The Queen was victorious in 1:54.1 (:29.3).   Owned by Alfred Ross and trained by George Ducharme, the Donato Hanover-Bee Line-Self Possessed filly paid $5.40 to win. Her 1:54.1 victory is a lifetime best, and her season's earnings are now at $63,392.   Live racing resumes Friday, September 26 with the $287,600 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly pacers and the $393,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old colt trotters. With three divisions for the fillies and four for the colts, post time is set at 7:00pmEDT.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

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

Saturday night racing at The Red Mile features the top pacers in the land with another eight divisions of the Grand Circuit Bluegrass Stakes. Freshman colts and sophomores of both sexes are on the bill with over $700,000 in purses distributed over the twelve race card.   The Bluegrass two year old pacing colts split four ways with each division of the "Westen Ideal" racing for over $80,000. Division leader Artspeak returns from a brief freshening in race seven after his Metro triumph of last month. Unbeaten in six outings, Artspeak tuned up with a 1:52.4 qualifying win over the track last Friday in anticipation of the Bluegrass.   He wears the target of a favorite here for owner/breeder Brittany Farms, partners Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and In The Gym Partners. Tony Alagna trains and Scott Zeron drives the son of Western Ideal & The Art Museum.   Little Brown Jug winner Limelight Beach has been entered in the three-year-old Bluegrass colt stake named for his sire, super-stallion Somebeachsomewhere. The stake drew a pair of nine horse fields and each will race for a purse of $92,600.   Limelight Beach's division reads the tougher of the two off the form as he lines up behind the Magical Acres starting gate next to Meadowlands Pace winner He's Watching and Jug heat winner Let's Drink On It. While the Jug wins were his first of the year, Limelight Beach has been steady throughout and would eclipse the half million dollar mark in seasonal earnings for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 Stable and the Wingfield Brothers. Ronnie Burke trains and Yannick Gingras drives on Saturday.   The filly pacers split nicely into two fields of eight in the Darlin's Delight, each for a purse of $73,300. The first division (race 10) offers a competitive group featuring the return of last year's division leader and Red Mile track & world record holder Precocious Beauty to her home state of Kentucky. The Art Major filly from Precious Beauty was raised by breeder/owner Jim Avritt in nearby Lebanon, KY and seems to thrive on the home cookin'. She'll face a staunch group here for trainer Gregg McNair and driver Brian Sears.   The fun starts at 7:00pm at The Red Mile. Visit The Red Mile website for more information.   From the press box at The Red Mile

The Red Mile will play host to another powerful Grand Circuit card with eight divisions of the Bluegrass stakes drawn for Friday night. The Walnut Hall, LTD two-year-old colt trot required five races to accommodate the forty one entries and freshman filly pacers split three ways in the Crawford Farms.   All of the top trotting colts have been entered for the $393,000 Walnut Hall with Peter Haughton Memorial winner Centurion ATM, undefeated PASS champ Billy Flynn, William Wellwood Memorial winner Habitat, KYSS final winner Cinnabar Hall, American National winner Iron and the NYSS champ Crazy Wow sprinkled throughout the card.   The pacing fillies will race for a total of $287, 600 in the Crawford Farms and are evenly matched throughout the divisions. The last of the three (race 8) appears the deepest on paper with four fillies showing six-figure seasonal earnings thus far.   Bedroomconfessions has had a dreamy season thus far for Stephanie & Myron Bell's Riverview Racing and trainer/owner Tony Alagna. The American Ideal homebred has a pair of wins, five runner-ups and $187, 733 in eight starts with her last two defeats coming at the hand of division leader JK Shesalady who is sitting this one out. Scott Zeron is her regular driver and is listed for Friday.   Bedroomconfessions won't miss her nemesis here but she'll have her hooves full with the likes of Shakai Hanover who has been impressive enough to warrant her recent sale to Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham. She moves from the Carl Jamieson barn to Ross "Croc" Croghan now and leaves from post one with Jody Jamieson retaining the mount.   The field also includes a pair of high dollar earners from the Ron Burke barn in Kays Dragon Lady and Bettor N Better.   Friday's twelve race program gets underway at 7:00pm. The forecast is fine and if you enjoy the very best Grand Circuit racing has to offer, make plans to attend.   From the Red Mile press box

The annual fortnight of Grand Circuit racing begins on Thursday, September 25 with the $336,000 Bluegrass Stakes for freshman trotting fillies, traditionally the kick-off to the meet.   This stake has been known for a number as years as the Norman S. Woolworth Memorial remembering one of harness racing's most beloved personalities. Twenty seven fashionably bred debutantes were entered and split into quad-features on the twelve race card.   Wild Honey leads the first division of six in the third race. The gifted Cantab Hall filly is but a head away from an unbeaten season, having won six of seven with the $260,000 PASS final chief among those wins. Wild Honey shattered CR Kay Suzie's 20 year old half-mile track World Record by more than a second in a dazzling 1:55.2 performance last week at Delaware. She'll be a short price in this one for the Jimmy Takter barn and driver Yannick Gingras. Christina Takter, Fielding, Liverman & Fielding are the proud owners of the $35,000 bargain from last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale.   Jolene Jolene is the most accomplished of the seven fillies in the second division of the Woolworth (race 5). This Muscle Hill filly was second in the Merrie Annabelle and the winner of the Champlain stakes on her way to over $165,000 in earnings. She blew a shot at big money with an early break in the Peaceful Way final at Mohawk last week when division leader Mission Brief took herself out by going off-stride as well. A chance for redemption looms for Jolene, her owner Bill Donovan, trainer Jonas Czernyson and driver Dave Miller on Thursday.   A pair of solid fillies who have had their efforts focused on regional programs move onto the Grand Circuit stage in division three (race 8). Concentration has been working her way around the Empire State via the NYSS program with just over $100,000 in earnings to show for those efforts. She was the betting favorite in last week's rich final but jumped it off early and lost all chance for owner Ray Campbell, Jr. Trainer George Ducharme and Driver Brian Sears who teamed to win the 2013 Hambletonian with Royalty For Life, a horse in which Mr. Campbell had an interest, will look to rekindle that spark.   Local hopeful Armatrading (named for recording artist Joan Armatrading) should provide ample competition for Concentration. The Groton Hall lass won the $175,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes final over this very track in August and closed nicely to be third in a Kindergarten leg last week for Atlantic Trot, trainer Kenneth Oscarsson and driver Randy Jerrell.   The fourth division (10th race) appears the most contentious based on current form.   Bee The Queen has really found her best stride here at The Red Mile with back to back Kindergarten scores for George Ducharme and owner Alfred Ross with equally effortless 1:56 wins. Allerage Star has pretty much made the winners circle her alternate residence, winning four of seven including her most recent, an unlikely recovery from an early break in the Kindergarten last Thursday. She flashed unusual determination and grit in that one for the ownership group of Jeff Gural (via his nom de course Little E, LLC) Jason Settlemoir, Dave Stolz and Art Geiger and trainer Jessica Okusko.   Captain Corey Callahan has the enviable yet difficult choice of either, having been named to drive both fillies.   The races begin at 7:00 on Thursday evening and continue at that post time through Saturday, then shift to 1:00pm on Sunday afternoon. Further information is available by visiting The Red Mile website.   by Nick Salvi, for the Red Mile                         View on www.theredmile.com Preview by Yahoo      

September 22, 2014 - With Ray Cotolo's $1,250 profit on Little Brown Jug Day, it looked very much like he would cruise home to victory this week in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. However, by the end the week's handicapping action In Quebec, Cotolo was indeed the weekly winner, but his lead had shrunk from $588 to only $105.20 over Dennis O'Hara as these two handicappers were the only ones to finish the week in the black. While the finish for weekly honors was tight, Bob Zanakis retains a comfortable lead of $1,039.35 to maintain the overall lead ($2,949.35) over second place Mark McKelvie ($1,910.00) through 34 legs of the contest. Brandon Valvo ($1,715.00) trails closely behind in third which rounds out the top three positions where donations are to be made to standardbred horse rescues on the victors' behalf. Jugette Day (Wednesday, September 17) at the Delaware County Fair had Dennis O'Hara lead the handicappers with his daily net profit of $589.80 thanks to his $6 base Superfecta ($240 total) on the Buckette coming in, paying $829.90 which was his sole wager for the day. Second best on Thursday was Josi Verlingieri, whose $410 profit was attributable to a $100 Win ticket on the American-National for 2yo colt trotters at Balmoral Park which paid a $660 dividend. Jug Day (Thursday, September 18) saw Cotolo collect the previously mentioned $1,250 return which was earned on a do-or-die $250 win ticket on the 2nd division of the Jug paying a generous $1,500. Sally Hinckley was the only other player with a positive return Thursday ($632) thanks to her $4 trifecta box ($24 total) in the Old Oaken Bucket which returned $882. With a day off, the contest resumed Saturday night with a septet of races at Hoosier Park plus the Milton Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack. Needless to say, the defeat of Sebastian K took most of the handicappers down but at the end of day, a lone handicapper had a positive return. Dennis O'Hara led the group with a net profit of $135 for Friday thanks to his $300 investment in $25 Superfectas in the 2nd division of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management stake for 2yo pacing fillies which paid $507.50. To conclude the weekend's activity, the team of handicappers did battle with the return of the Prix d'Ete at Hippodrome 3r. By the time the curtain came down on Sunday's action, only two handicappers had a positive return, led by Derick Giwner who had a positive return of $225 thanks to his $150 win wager on Sunfire Blue Chip who returned $375. The other handicapper with a positive return was Verlingieri, whose $125 profit was attributable to her own $150 win ticket. The current standings after the completion of the weekend’s activity are:   As of September 21, 2014 - Leg 34 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis ($789.50) $2,949.35   2nd Mark McKelvie ($462.00) $1,910.00 $1,039.35 3rd Brandon Valvo ($860.00) $1,715.00 $1,234.35 4th Josi Verlingieri ($111.00) $1,028.05 $1,921.30 5th Rusty Nash ($640.00) ($442.76) $3,392.11 6th Brian McEvoy ($337.50) ($559.00) $3,508.35 7th Gordon Waterstone ($361.00) ($700.30) $3,649.65 8th Earl Paulson ($1,095.00) ($1,190.50) $4,139.85 9th Derick Giwner ($675.00) ($2,024.23) $4,973.58 10th Sally Hinckley ($200.00) ($2,441.90) $5,391.25 11th Garnet Barnsdale ($1,148.00) ($2,542.70) $5,492.05 12th Ray Garnett ($956.00) ($2,583.10) $5,532.45 13th Ann Stepien ($466.20) ($2,598.91) $5,548.26 14th Dennis O'Hara $244.80 ($2,794.90) $5,744.25 15th Ray Cotolo $350.00 ($5,848.40) $8,797.75                                                                                    This week, the racing action is concentrated at The Red Mile with various divisions of the Bluegrass being contested Thursday thru Sunday.  The only deviation from an all-Lexington weekend comes Saturday with the $200,000 Jim Ert Memorial Invitational at Scioto Downs for pacers four year old and up..  As always, the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.       Allan Schott HANA Harness Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org      

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - Harness driver Yannick Gingras put on a driving clinic at his home track at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday, winning four of the ten races including the revival of the prestigious Prix D’Ete Pace with Sunfire Blue Chip for a purse of $200,000. The Prix D’Ete is part of the national Grand Circuit and was restricted to only four-year-olds who had made prior nomination payments. Saddled with starting from the far outside on 3R’s speedy half mile oval, Gingras left with Sunfire Blue Chip but ended up having to float on the outside as Si Semalu (Denis St Pierre) was first on the lead. That lead was short lived as Mach It So and driver Scott Zeron wanted the front and took it by the opening quarter mile in a speedy :26 despite the rain that began in the post parade. At the opening quarter it was Gingras and Sunfire Blue Chip pressing on the outside and they were able to go against Mach It So and take command after the opening quarter mile and they led the field to the half mile marker in :54.1. Sunshine Beach and Doug McNair then came first-over and following their outside flow was Lucan Hanover and driver David Miller. Then at the three-quarters in 1:22.1, Miller sent Lucan Hanover three-wide to trip and loop the field but to no avail. By the top of the stretch, Yannick had the lead for good with Sunfire Blue Chip and they went on to win by two and one-half open lengths in 1:50.3. Local favorite Due D’Orleans (Daniel Dube) closed well to be second with Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson) third. The time of the race shattered the all-age track record of 1:52.4 set by Duc D’Orleans back in 2013. “When I scored him down before the race he felt unbelievable,” Gringras said about Sunfire Blue Chip. “He was really sharp, sometimes he’s not, but today he definitely was at his best. “I knew I had to get into the race,”” Gingras explained, “It cost me a little more than I hoped to get to the front. I was a little worried but he got the job done. He was just scary sharp today. “If I had rolled him a little more in the backstretch,” Gringras said, “I had to respect the other horses in the race. It was such a quality field. So I did not turn him loose until the top of the stretch. If I had turned him loose a little sooner we would have gone in 1:49.3, maybe 1:49.1. I wasn’t really looking at setting the track record, I just wanted to win the purse.” It was the fifth straight win for Sunfire Blue Chip. The four-year-old son of American Ideal is trained by Jimmy Takter and is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical Ab and R A W Equine, Inc. Sent off as the 3/2 wagering favorite, Sunfire Blue Chip paid $5.00 to win. Yannick Gingras started off the day winning the 4th race trot with Somoli E in 2:01.3, then won the 5th race pace with Icare De Chapra in 1:56 and also the tenth race with Enduring Grin in 1:56.3 to cap his four win afternoon. “How great is it to come back to Quebec and the Prix D’Ete,” Gringas said. “I have so many family members and friends here supporting me, I had to do well. And what a great day for harness racing in Quebec and at the Hippodrome 3R.” Gingras will be back at the Hippodrome 3R, along with Ontario’s Jody Jamieson, on Sunday, October 12 for the first Tournament of Drivers at 3R. Featured will be the top six leading drivers at 3R through the October 5 race program along with Gingras and Jamieson. The eight drivers will be in competition for a prize of $3,000. From the Quebec Jockey Club

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 19, 2014 - Hoosier Park will offer arguably the best 14-race card of the 2014 live harness racing season to-date on Saturday, September 20. Grand Circuit racing action will make its way to Hoosier Park for the second time this season and with it, bring the top rated horses in North America to Hoosier Park as they convene on the seven-eighths mile oval in search of the lucrative purses offered on the card beginning at 5:15 p.m. Hoosier Park will host a standout card that includes the $238,500 Centaur Trotting Classic, the $250,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes, the $150,000 Elevation Pace and the $50,000 Jenna's Beach Boy Invitational Pace. The world's fastest trotter, Sebastian K will highlight a powerful field of ten for Hoosier Park's richest trotting event, The Centaur Trotting Classic which has been slated as the twelfth race on the 14-race card. Fresh off his win in the $236,000 Crawford Farms Trot, Sebastian K has won eight of nine outings this year with a career bankroll of over $2.9 million and will start from post six with driver, trainer Ake Svenstadt at the lines. Joining the stellar cast of entrants in The Centaur Trotting Classic will be Hambletonian Winner, Market Share who has drawn the coveted rail position. The winner of last year's edition of the Centaur Trotting Classic and Hoosier Park's current track record holder for older horses on the trot, Uncle Peter will start from post seven. "I am overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of exceptional horses that are coming to Hoosier Park," Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager or Racing, Rick Moore noted. "This is unequivocally the best harness racing card to take place at Hoosier Park this season and we couldn't be more excited to showcase this night of nights to racing fans across the country." In a continued partnership with Hoosier Park, HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, will provide exclusive coverage for all the Grand Circuit racing action on Saturday. HRTV will be on property to provide racing fans with exclusive coverage of all the festivities happening on and off the race track. Racing fans can also catch exclusive interviews from drivers and trainers racing at Hoosier Park on the HRTV programming. In conjunction with all the action taking place on the track, Hoosier Park will host the inaugural "Food Truck Throwdown" in Hoosier Park's yard. Starting at 5 p.m., racing fans will have the opportunity to select from a variety of the best food trucks in the area and local craft beers. The Food Truck Throwdown ticket package costs $20 and includes: $10 food truck voucher, 16 oz. Dan Patch mug, two craft beer pints, and a mystery racing voucher that could be worth up to $1,000. All ticket proceeds will benefit the Madison County United Way. Racing fans will also have the opportunity to enjoy the annual FarmTastic event, a farm themed and family friendly day at the races. The event will feature an antique tractor exhibit, a tractor parade, children's activities and farm food favorites. Free sweet corn and watermelon will be available while supplies last. Hoosier Park's stakes filled 14-race card will begin at its regularly scheduled post of 5:15 p.m. Hoosier Park's live racing action will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule and be conducted through November 15. Emily Gaskin

LEXINGTON, KY-- A trio of divisions for round four of the Kindergarten Classic Series were held at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 18, with 24 freshmen colts entered on the late stages of the weekday harness racing card. First-time starter Whataworkout defeated 1/5 favorite Airman Batten in a 1:56.4 gate-to-wire effort.   Keystone Bodacious made a bid for the front, as well as Suit And Tie to the inside and Whataworkout taking the outer route towards the top. Keystone Bodacious broke as they began to turn, taking Suit And Tie out of contention, as well as impeding Airman Batten, causing him to run for a moment. Whataworkout trotted to the quarter in :30.1.   Strolling to a 1:00 (:29.4) half-mile, Whataworkout soon had Airman Batten challenging for command. True Blue Stride sat In The Pocket third and Whom Shall I Fear tracked the favorite's move from fourth. Stalled first over, Airman Batten remained 1 ½ lengths off leader Whataworkout through three-quarters in 1:28.4 (:28.4).   Whataworkout began to extend his stride into the final eighth. Airman Batten backed into the pocket, admitting defeat to 48-1 Whataworkout in 1:56.4. Whom Shall I Fear finished third and True Blue Stride, galloping into the stretch, recovered his stride to finish fourth.   A $99.60 winner, Whataworkout is owned by Lindy Farms, trained by Frank Antonacci and was driven by Domenico Cecere. Sired by Muscle Hill, out of the Chocolatier mare Southwind Sofia, the 1:56.4 effort is a lifetime and season best.   French Laundry, sent off the 1-2 favorite, won by lengths in 1:54.4.   Special Action left from the center, with Image Of Luck sliding into the pocket, and French Laundry opted for the overland route as they rolled into the turn. Special Action had a slight advantage over French Laundry through a :29.3 quarter.   Clearing the lead in the backstretch, French Laundry coasted his way to the half, with Special Action now second, Image Of Luck third and P Mac Attack trotting fourth, nearly 5 lengths off the lead. French Laundry traveled past the half in :57.2 (:27.4) and three-quarters in 1:26.1 (:28.4).   P Mac Attack took to the outside after French Laundry, while Special Action and Image Of Luck continued to chase. Under minimal urging, French Laundry drew clear of his foes and won by 5 lengths in 1:54.4 (:28.3) over Special Action, Lucky Ten K and P Mac Attack.   Owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld, and trained and driven by Jimmy Takter, the son of Muscles Yankee-Creamy Mimi-Conway Hall paid $3.00 to win.   Wicker Hanover, victorious in the third leg of the Kindergarten, returned to Lexington and claimed victory in the final division of the Kindergarten in 1:57.   Bighandsbiggloves got the lead, while Divisionist sat the pocket, Dapper Don trotted third and Boots N Chains stalked from fourth. The front quartet remained in that line-up through fractions of :29.1 and :59.2 (:30.1).   Boots N Chains pulled first over and engaged with Bighandsbiggloves for command. Wicker Hanover traveled second over while Divisionist sat the pocket.   After three-quarters in 1:29.3 (:30.1), Boots N Chains had a slight lead. Wicker Hanover fanned three wide, while Divisionist attempted to split horses. Wicker Hanover, in the final sixteenth, swept by Boots N Chains and won by a half-length in 1:57 (:27.2) over Boots N Chains, Divisionist and Bighandsbiggloves.   Owned by Christer Haggstrom Racing Stable, the son of Explosive Matter-Won An Done-Conway Hall is trained by Noel Daley and was driven by Kyle Bolon. He returned $6.40 to win.   French Laundry remains on top of the leader with 162 points. Wicker Hanover moved into second with 100 points and Airman Batten is third with 75 points.   Live racing resumes at The Red Mile on Thursday, September 25, with the Grand Circuit meeting, commencing with the $300,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old filly trotters. Declaration time is 9:30 A.M. on Monday, September 22.   By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile  

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