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Sebastian K, despite his photo finish first loss since coming to the USA last week in the Maple Leaf Trot, remains strongly in the #1 spot in the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Top Ten Poll. He received 29 of the 35 first place votes with Father Patrick getting three votes and Sweet Lou getting two votes. Someone even used their first place vote by sentimentally giving it to Modern Family. Seems that a lot of voters feel that Dancin Yankee is not worthy of Top Ten status. He has only won 13 of his 20 starts, three seconds, one third while competing week in and week again against the best pacers in the country. He has won his last five in a row, eight of his last ten, a record of 1:57.2 and has beaten Sweet Lou. Plus he has raced and won at four different tracks already this season, including two half mile ovals. Pretty much the same for Perfect Alliance, who after two straight losses (she had 13 straight win to start off the year), is off the Top Ten list. It is every tough to remain on the board this season. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 10 – 7/22/2014                                              Rank Name (First Place Votes) Age/Gait/Sex Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (29) 8th 6-5-1-0 $327,278 340 1 2 Father Patrick (3) 3tc 6-6-0-0 $510,931 304 2 3 Sweet Lou (2) 5ph 9-6-1-1 $642,650 277 3 4 He’s Watching 3pc 6-3-1-1 $558,235 229 4 5 Trixton 3tc 8-6-1-1 $283,855 160 5 6 McWicked 3pc 8-5-2-0 $418,830 130 6 7 JK Endofanera 3pc 7-5-0-1 $566,667 100 7 8 Shake It Cerry 3tf 6-5-0-1 $217,338 76 8 9 Sandbetweenurtoes 3pf 7-7-0-0 $211,157 68 10 10 Nuncio 3tc 7-5-2-0 $342,003 56 -- Also: Dancin Yankee (48), Perfect Alliance (31), Bee A Magician (27), Modern Family (17), Market Share (12), Intimidate, Somwherovrarainbow (10), Classic Martine (5), Anndrovette, Rocklamation (4), Artspeak, Your So Vain (3), Bettor’s Edge, Fancy Desire, Foiled Again, Mission Brief (2), Clear Vision, Designed To Be, I Like My Boss (1). Note: Modern Family received 1 first-place vote. Compiled by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Saturday night at the Meadowlands offered perfect weather with comfortable temps and just a hint of an eastern breeze as the sophomore filly trotters competed in the $47,915 WN Reynolds Memorial Grand Circuit stakes at 6:50pm. The early start was made necessary by the entry of just a quartet when the race was drawn on Tuesday, resulting in the early, non-wagering format. If it were a wagering contest, Take The Money would have been a heavy favorite and she would have delivered, taking the big share after leading all the way in 1:55.3. Bikini So Teeny tracked the winner throughout and although she menaced late for Charlie Norris, she could not go by in the 27.2 final quarter. Take The Money is owned by Barry Guarligia's Black Horse Racing and the winner's share put her past $160,000 in earnings for the season. Julie Miller is the conditioner and Marcus Miller had the assignment for this one. On the body of the wagering card were a pair of eleven colt divisions of the Reynolds going forth as races two and twelve with a purse of $32,207 offered for each. Nuncio played the lead role in the first division getting his final tune-up for the August 2 Hambletonian and he did not disappoint. Nuncio was put into play early from post seven by John Campbell and cleared quickly to the lead before yielding to Resolve and Corey Callahan for a few steps past the 27.2 quarter. Back to the front on the re-move, Campbell rated Nuncio kindly then kicked home in 27.3 to reduce his career best to 1:51.4. Resolve raced very well and was gaining on the unthreatened winner to be beaten less than a length for new connections owner Hans Enggren and trainer Nancy Johansson. Amped Up Hanover was third throughout and held his position for the Burke barn Nuncio is trained by Jimmy Takter for international connections, Stall TZ. Trainer Takter said good things about the colt who would be the Hambo favorite in many other years in his post-race interview. The twelfth race would feature another Takter Hambo hopeful, the enigmatic Trixton. He's developed into a classic horse for Jimmy this summer and tonight Takter pulled the front shoes and added blinkers in an attempt to squeeze another tick or two out of the colt and close the gap on Hambletonian favorite Father Patrick. The race began with a quick start by Muscle Midas from the outside and he cleared the lead well before the 27.2 quarter. Takter edged Trixton to the outside and claimed the top, gradually widening the margin through the 27.1 final quarter to end the 1:51.4 mile. Datsyuk closed to be second with Lightning Force third. Post-race Takter spoke of the evolution of Trixton and the upcoming Hambletonian, "I liked to try him without shoes, it's more natural. He'll get a few days to recover then some light work going into the race. I feel we'll really see how great he is in the future years." The driving star of the night was John Campbell who won a half dozen races. Total handle was up ten percent over a year ago at $2,658,445 and the live in the building on Meadowlands races reflected a 12% increase over 2013 numbers. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 19 - A quartet of Canadian Breeders Championships for the nation's finest three-year-old pacers and trotters highlighted the undercard for Maple Leaf Trot night at Mohawk. Harper Blue Chip, with Sylvain Filion at the controls, turned in another top notch performance to win the $121,958 Canadian Breeders Championship for three-year-old colts and geldings trotters. After getting away in third, the son of Majestic Son - Winning Jonlin was sent to the lead approaching the half and never looked back winning by 3 ¾ lengths in 1:55.2. Muscle Matters, the early leader, finished second, while Jitterbug finished third by a nose over Entranced. Harper Blue Chip is trained by Mark Steacy for owners Landmark 6 Racing Stable, David McDonald, David Reid and George Judson. Following the race, Howard Pearce, a member of the Landmark 6 Racing Sable, said it was a sweet victory. "It's a tough year to have a really nice horse like 'Harper' because of those three nice horses down south," said Pearce. "But he's proven that he is one of the best in Canada, so that's wonderful." Pearce also mentioned that it appears Harper Blue Chip will now head south to the Meadowlands to compete in the Hambletonian. The Breeders Championship victory was the second win in five starts this season for Harper Blue Chip and the fifth win of his career. His career earnings now jump more than $350,000. He paid $2.70 to win. White Becomes Her extended her win streak to four in winning the $118,090 Canadian Breeders Championship for the three-year-old filly trotters. Mario Baillargeon moved the daughter of Angus Hall - Pursuing Keagan from the two-hole to the lead in the second quarter. After posting a three-quarter time of 1:28.1, White Becomes Her trotted away from her rivals with a :28.3 last quarter to win by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:56.4. Margie finished in the place spot, while Mayberry trotted into third. White Becomes Her is trained by Ben Baillargeon for owner Vince Mastrangelon. The Breeders Championship was the fifth win in eight starts this season for White Becomes Her. Following the race, Mario Baillargeon said we haven't seen the best of her yet. "I don't think so, I can't wait to race her with the American fillies and get a trip," said Baillargeon. "She loves to follow a lot more than racing on the front, so I would like to get her on a helmet behind Shake It Cerry and see what happens in the lane." White Becomes Her now has six wins and earnings of over $210,000 in her career. She returned $3.30. Silverhill Shadow repelled all comers with a smart front-end pace to win the $122,028 Canadian Breeders Championship for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Chris Christoforou blasted off the gate to demand the lead from pocket-sitting Shadowbriand marking a quarter in :27 and a half in :56.2 through a persistent drizzle over a sloppy track. Sylain Filion made a menacing move first over into the turn with Victor Bayama, but Silverhill Shadow had another gear and stepped away to a dominant win in 1:51.2. A ground saving Shadowbriand, efficiently steered by Paul MacDonnell, stayed on determinedly to earn the place photo over Victory Bayama. Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, the Shadow Play colt earned his fourth win of the campaign from six starts. The conditioner noted a very important similarity to his champion sire. "Heart and desire for sure," said Moore. "He's a big strong colt and he gives you all he's got every time out." A front-end trip was always in the cards for the quick Silverhill Shadow. "Chris was asking him to get the front going the first quarter, and I thought I had him warmed up pretty good, but he was great the last half-mile and that's where it counted," said Moore. He paid $5.80 to win. Brescia Seelster pulled off a 60-1 upset in the $122,343 Canadian Breeders Championship final for three-year-old pacing fillies. Sudoku brushed to the lead under urging from Jody Jamieson down the backstretch in :56.1, but it was an amped up My Secret Belle, piloted by Joe Hudon, who took over into the turn. My Secret Belle and Sudoku battled to mid-stretch before a closing cavalry of filly pacers converged with the outside rally of Brescia Seelster the winning move for Mario Baillargeon. Performing Art, a 40-1 long shot, stormed up the rail to earn place money keying boxcar payoffs. It was the fourth win in eight starts this season for Brescia Seelster, improving on a 1-4-1 record from 10 starts a year ago. "She was a little slow in maturing and Mario has been telling us all along as this horse gets older it'll be better," said co-owner Norman Keyes. Co-owned and trained by David Keyes, Brescia Seelster paid $138.70 to win. by Mark McKelvie and Keith McCalmont, for WEG

Overcast skies this morning to go with the coffee and chocolate babka for Breakfast With The Babies at The Meadowlands. John Campbell took a pair of trots, most notably with the regally bred Muscle Diamond. The son of Muscle Hill from the very accomplished Windylane Hanover added trotting hopples this morning for trainer Brett Bittle and the result was a 1:58.4 win with a 27.2 final quarter. He was a $40,000 buy from the Lexington sale by the Kellers and Bittles who enjoyed such success with his dam. John won right back with the Lucky Chucky lass A List Lindy for Chuck Sylvester. She took over past the quarter and finished the 2:01 mile with a 29 flat final quarter. She's owned by Chuck and long-time partner Neal Goldman along with Pinstripe Stable and her breeder, Lindy Farms who sold her at Harrisburg for $60,000 last fall. Shaqline made her first start for Takter in this one and caught some eyes with her finishing kick. The $450,000 first crop topper for Lucky Chucky, Mr Lucky Luke made his debut today and was second in 2:02 with Campbell driving for the Cancelliere brothers. The winner there was Keystone Bodacious, an $85,000 Muscle Massive colt from Balanced Action. He was driven by Corey Callahan for the Jonas Czernyson barn and owners Arden Homestead, Mal & Janet Burroughs, LST Stables and W. Devan, Jr. Campbell and the Cancelliere boys paired up later with Rock N Roll Heaven colt Raylan Givens for a 1:54.2 score. Raylan set most of the pace and held off the late charge of Shades Of Bay for the win. He's $135,000 Harrisburg buy from Lisheen, thus a half-brother to the champion older pacer of a few years back Lis Mara. A Plus opened the pacing action and the American Ideal filly from Has An Attitude was impressive taking over from Better Said passing the half and sprinting home in 27 flat to close the 1:57.4 mile. Scott Zeron and Tony Alagna picked up where last night left off (they paired for a triple on the card) here with the flashy, blaze faced filly owned by Alagna in partnership with In The Gym Partners, Tangie Massey and Joe Sbrocco. She's A Hot Mess was making her fourth morning appearance and the speedy daughter of American Ideal x Sure Fun Tryin' flaunted her speed today for Alagna and Zeron with an effortless 1:54 win. With the field scratched down to three, She's A Hot Mess was left to set the pace and does wander a bit without a target but she sure covers the ground. She's a homebred owned by the trainer along with the Bell's Riverview Racing and John Fodera. Asap Hanover also turned heads this morning with his stretch sprint to win in 1:54.1 for Tim Tetrick. Making his second morning start following up an impressive 1:56.4/26.2 six length win last week, Asap ranks high on the list of colt prospects seen this summer. He's a $150,000 product of the Lexington yearling sale, sired by Somebeachsomewhere from Allamerican Coed. The colt is owned by John Mehlenbacher and trained by Linda Toscano. Live racing resumes tonight at 7:15 as we continue with Corntastic weekend. The race feature is a pair of eleven horse divisions of the $65,000 Reynolds Memorial stake featuring Hambletonian contenders Nuncio and Trixton making their final preparations for that classic two weeks hence. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands  

Take My Picture (7g Classic Photo-Habits Lady-Muscles Yankee) with Therese Lindgren in the irons for trainer Nikolas Drennan captured the second division of the first leg of the Hambletonian Monte Series at the new Meadowlands in a hotly contested affair. Bred by Status Stables and owned by Joseph and Laurie Davino, the winner scored in a sharp 1:58.1 (last quarter :27.4) to defeat Vernon open trotter A Penny Earned and Michelle Crawford with pacesetter, veteran Master Pine and Helene Gregory home third. Master Pine holds the North American monte record of 1:57.1 taken August 4, 2012. Take My Picture is a career earner of $836,916 with 23 victories in 109 starts (both sulky and monte). The first division went to Flowing James (8g Ilooklikemymom-Flowing Jody-Rule The Wind) and trainer Tara Hynes. This pair scored in 2:00 over Bambino Hall, Stephanie Jacobs aboard, with Tymal So Nice and Heather Reese finishing third. Each division carried a purse of $5,000 and were conducted as non-wagering races after the second and fourth races on the regular card. The Hambletonian Monte Series Final will take place the evening prior to the Hambletonian and will carry an estimated purse of $30,000. by Thomas H. Hicks, for MonteAmerica

East Rutherford, NJ - Corntastic weekend kicked off on Friday night with a nice crowd coming out to enjoy the bounty of corn and the contests, two human and an inflated total of sixteen for the equines.   The Racing Under Saddle events were held between races two and four with Tara Haynes holding on to win with Flowing James in 2:00 and Therese Lindgren getting up in the last jump with Take My Picture in 1:57.   A pair of Billings events opened the card, one a non-betting race won by Bob Davis with Teezer Bee in 1:57.3 and the first race of the regular card taken by Bob Krivelin and his own Current Cast in a career best time of 1:56.1.   The card was trot-centric and both features offered square-gaiters. The top overnight class was taken by Master Of Law in a new personal best of 1:52. The speedy gelding was making his first money start for Jimmy Takter after an imposing qualifier six days ago. Tonight's win put Master Of Law's career bankroll over $200,000 for owners Lindy Racing, Brittany Farms and Adam Victor & Son.   The $20,000 opening leg of the Ima Lula series for four year old trotting mares was on the bill and though short in size, the six mares boast over $2 million in career earnings.   Handover Belle took the top prize, trotting to a new life mark of 1:51.4 with Scott Zeron aboard. The Andover Hall mare does her best racing from off cover and Zeron had her in perfect striking position second over to chase down Mistery Woman then hold off Ma Chere Hall for the score.   She was winning for the third time this season for owners Howard Taylor and John Carver. Tony Alagna is her trainer.   Racing returns on Saturday with first post at 7:15 P.M. The 13-race program features The Reynolds Stake for three year old trotters to be races in two divisions. Headlining The Reynolds are major Hambletonian contenders Nuncio and Trixton. For more information log onto playmeadowlands.com.   by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 16 - Sebastian K's dominance may be overshadowing his competition, but Creatine is taking steps early in his four-year-old season to be a contender with the older trotters. Creatine and driver Mike Lachance will start from post seven in Saturday night's $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot final. A son of Andover Hall - Berry Nice Muscles, Creatine banked over $800,000 last year as a three-year-old, with his biggest victory coming in the Kentucky Futurity. This season, the Bob Stewart trainee has had to quickly make the transition from age three-to-four to compete with a talented group of older trotters led by Sebastian K In four starts, Creatine has yet to find the winner's circle, but has shown he can hang with the big boys by picking up a cheque in three of his four starts. In the Maple Leaf Trot elimination, Creatine finished second and four lengths behind winner Sebastian K., but the effort pleased his conditioner. "We were very happy with him, Mike (Lachance) actually never pulled the ear plugs," said Stewart following the elimination. "He saw he was going to be second and he was coming back in six days from a very tough trip at the Meadowlands, we couldn't be happier actually." Before the Maple Leaf Trot elimination, Creatine finished fifth in the Hambletonian Maturity, a race restricted for four-year-old trotters only. While Creatine has shown he can compete with the older trotters, Stewart said he would have liked to have seen more opportunities for the four-year-olds to compete against each other, rather than having to jump right in against the heavyweights. "It's very tough (transition from three-to-four)...they should have made that Hambletonian Maturity a series of three races and a final," said Stewart. "They had the money to do it and these four-year-olds would've been able to get their legs underneath themselves a little more." Creatine and the rest of the top older trotters may be wishing their was a stake race without Sebastian K as the "Scandinavian Powerhouse" has yet to be lose in five starts. Stewart said it was bad timing that this was the season he had a competitive older trotter. "It's just unfortunate that he had to come back as a four-year-old the year that Sebastian K showed up, any other year I would feel better about the situation." Heading into the Maple Leaf Trot final, Stewart admits Sebastian K will have to be off his game to get beat and hopes he can find some races down the road to avoid the world's fastest trotter. "To be realistic you don't see him every beating Sebastian K, unless Sebastian K slips some, but he's eligible to everything and hopefully for our sake there are some races at Indiana and a race in Ohio that hopefully Sebastian K won't go to," Sebastian K may hold down the spot as top older trotter, but Stewart is confident that Creatine is good enough to be right there in second. "He's going to hold his own against all the rest of them I think." by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

MANALAPAN, NJ - July 18, 2014 - A late afternoon summer storm failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the 110 golfers who competed at the 19th Annual SBOANJ Golf Outing & Fundraiser on July 14, 2014 at Gambler Ridge Golf Course in Cream Ridge, NJ. A total of 125 golfers and banquet attendees feasted on a prime rib dinner. Numerous door prizes were distributed along with presentations for golfing prowess. Best foursome honors went to Kunz Equine Team of Simon Spicer, Mike Seddon, Shannon Murphy and Johnny Pregman. The "most honest" foursome award went to Jim Hogan, Jesse Johnson, John Hynes and Frank VanWie. Longest drive-prizes went to Hannah Miller, who won Kindle Fire tablet, and Jeff Bamond Jr., who received a Boze Bluetooth speaker Closest to the Pin was Simon Spicer from of the Kunz Equine Team, who won a 32-inch HD TV. Putting contest honors - and $145 - went to Kelly Breen. Frank Lomangino won the drawing for a Track Trainer jog cart, which was donated by Allen Eggert of Pennsbury Enterprises. The 50-50 winner was Garrett Federico, whose share was $895. Sponsorships, key to the fund raising effort which benefits New Jersey's standardbred horsemen in need, were provided at several levels. The overall tournament sponsors were Shay Cowan of Katz/Pierz, and Thomas Cordovano and John Macri of the La Ferla Group. At the Gold Level, the donors were the Meadowlands Racetrack; Drucker, Math & Whitman CPAs; Berman, Gara & Rutsky Group/UBS Financial Services; Joie de Vie Farms and Rollermagic Roller Rinks. At the Silver Level, the donors were Showplace Farms, Gaitway Farms, Federico's Landscape Design, Santoro & Santoro [Dennis Dowd], Valley High Stables, Freehold Raceway, Eposimato Stable, Mark Ford Training Stable, Nick Salenetri, Aetna/Meritain Health, Hambletonian Society and Val D'Or Farms. At the Bronze Level, the donors are Advocacy Management Group, Network Security Group, New Jersey Community Bank, Chris Ryder and Nick Surick. Additional fundraising was accomplished through the donation of goods and services by Bluestone Farms, Deo Volente Farm, Gambler Ridge Golf Club, Ellen Harvey, Meadowbrook Industries, Makefield Highlands Golf Club, Northwood Bloodstock, Pennsbury Enterprises, Reynolds Hay & Straw/Tribute Equine Nutrition, Rick's Saddle Shop/Purina, Baker Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram and Newport Graphics. Dinner, lunch and competition awards were underwritten by Martin Scharf, Deo Volente Farm, Berman, Gara & Rutsky, Electric Battery Company, Network Security Group, Nick Surick, Marc and Marcia Goldberg and Green Acquisition Corp. Hole sponsors were Berman Gara & Rutsky, John and Paula Campbell, Drucker, Math & Whitman, Thomas J. Durkin/ Joseph Spadaro, Green Acquisition Corp, Joie de Vie Farms, Katz/Pierz, La Ferla Group, Meadowlands Racetrack, Andy Miller, Ervin Miller Stable, Network Security Group, Rollermagic Roller Rinks and Suydam Insurance Agency. The SBOANJ golf outing is co-chaired by SBOANJ directors Ed Razzetti and Bob Baggitt Sr. by Carol Hodes, for SBOANJ

The much anticipated first leg of the Hambletonian Monte Series drew 11 entrants and has been split into two divisions, each for a $5,000 purse. The races will be contested as non-wagering events after the second and fourth races on the regular harness racing card. The lineups are shown below (horse, rider, trainer): Division 1 Tymal Oh So Nice, Heather Reese/R. Macdonald Chinese Cuisine, Tina Duer/B. Bittle Flowing James, Tara Hynes also trainer Bambino Hall, Stephanie Jacobs/Julie Miller OU Gus, Whitney Richards also trainer CJ's Crown, Caroline Green/J. Haigh-Bivona Division 2 Blue Boy Yankee, Kristina Smith/R. Smith Take My Picture, Therese Lindgren/N. Drennan Truth In Action, Karen Isbell also trainer Master Pine, Helene Gregory/J. Miller A Penny Earned, Heather Reese/G. Ducharme Be there for the RUS action at the New Meadowlands. monteamerica.com Thomas H. Hicks  

When harness racing trainer Ake Svanstedt announced he was leaving Sweden to compete in North America, the initial reaction of Michael Knutsson and Tristan Sjoberg, who had their star trotter Sebastian K in Svanstedt's care, was disappointment. As time passed, the brothers decided it was an opportunity. Rather than find a new trainer, they decided to send Sebastian K to the U.S. with Svanstedt. After watching Sebastian K win the first five starts of his North American campaign and trot the fastest mile in harness racing history, a 1:49 triumph in the Sun Invitational on June 28, they are happy they did. Sebastian K puts his perfect 5-for-5 record on the line in Saturday's C$603,000 Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk Racetrack. The 8-year-old horse will start from post No. 1 with Svanstedt driving and is the 2-5 favorite on the morning line. Michael, 53, and Tristan, 43, race under the Knutsson Trotting Inc. stable banner. Their father, Bertil, who passed away in 2012, got the family started in harness racing some 50 years ago. Knutsson Trotting has 44 horses, counting racehorses, broodmares and foals. They have six horses in the U.S., including Sebastian K and the rare 2-year-old white pacing colt White Bliss. Four of the horses in the States are co-owned by Courant AB, including Peter Haughton Memorial hopeful Centurion ATM. The brothers operate gaming company TCS John Huxley and Knutsson Holdings AB, with Michael living in Sweden and Tristan in Singapore. They recently took time to speak and correspond with Harness Racing Communications' Ken Weingartner about their passion for racing and Sebastian K. KW: What has the experience with Sebastian K been like so far? MK: It's been absolutely amazing. I'm not surprised with the speed, to be honest, but I'm surprised that he got into it so quickly; that he's been acclimatized so quickly. We knew about his capacity. Of course, 1:49 was absolutely a blast. But we knew he would have a good shot at the old record. It was a bit of a gamble for us to move him from a good environment in Sweden where there is good money and good races, but we're adventurous. We did the right thing and we're enjoying the moment. KW: Why did you decide to send Sebastian K to the States? TS: For the adventure! And to break the world record. We knew he was fast enough to compete against the best in North America and win races, but the real carrot was breaking the world record. His best time in Sweden was 1:51 flat and that was on a five-eighths-mile track that is medium fast. We believed he could go sub-1:50 on a fast mile track so after a lot of soul-searching we decided to ship him to the States with Ake with the singular aim to break the world record. KW: Was it a tough decision? MK: That was a tough decision. It took us months. Automatically, when Ake Svanstedt declared he would move to the U.S., we thought 'Oh no, oh no,' who will train [Sebastian K]. We did not have any thoughts whatsoever to move him outside the Nordic countries because he was doing so well. But then he did a very good race during the summer and we started to speculate: How fast is he? That's what triggered the question whether to move him to the U.S. or not. Not to even try would have been cowardly. So we decided to go for it and we sure did make the right decision. We're very happy about it. KW: Was it an emotional decision? MK: It was very tough emotionally. Firstly, he's done very well in the North European races. And also not to be able to go to him anytime we want, not to see him as often and go to every race, that was emotionally very tough. KW: Did you expect to see Sebastian K do so well so quickly? TS: Yes and no. I did expect him to win races early on, but not in the effortless way he has done. He has really taken well to the U.S. climate and harness racing in general. He was always at his best in Sweden racing at sprint distance (one mile) and on fast tracks in the summer. So the racing conditions in the U.S. and Canada really suits him. KW: What do you think about the Maple Leaf Trot? TS: Apart from the Hambletonian, it is the most recognized North American harness race in Europe. We often see it as the "over there" equivalent of Sweden's Elitloppet. It is steeped in tradition, and after breaking the world record this is the race we really want to win. The younger horses do not have the same cachet here as they do [in North America]. We are drawn to the older horses, the personalities. We like personalities, even with our horses. MK: We have big, big hopes for him. So far everything looks good. He has a good history with five straight wins, so we truly hope he can pull it off. KW: How did you get started in harness racing? TS: It was the passion of our late father, Bertil, and we are carrying on his legacy. The success we are experiencing with Sebastian K is down to our father's hard work and investment over 30 years in harness racing. He started with trotters and he had immediate success with a stakes-equivalent winner in Sweden called Private Property, sired by The Prophet. From there, the barn grew every year as our father was a buyer of horses and not a seller. KW: Michael, you were with your father when Sebastian K won his first classic race [the Group I King's Trophy in Sweden] at the age of 4. What was that like? MK: That was fantastic. Deep inside, we knew there was something going with him, but he had never proven himself in a big race. That was the first big race he won and it was in our hometown of Gothenburg. It was an amazing feeling. It also was [validation] that he was a good horse. Only a few months later he was second in the European Derby for 4-year-olds. That in itself was amazing, too, to be the second best in Europe at that time. KW: What was it like to see Sebastian K win in 1:49? TS: One of the highlights of my life, save for the birth of my daughter. It was 9 a.m. in Singapore and my hand was trembling. When I calmed down I went to my wine fridge to pull out a bottle of champagne, but I realized that it was not going to be strong enough so I grabbed a bottle of 24-year old rum from Guyana instead. It was a good breakfast! My brother Michael was in Sweden and it was 3 a.m. there and we spoke for over half an hour on the phone. He told me later that he was so jacked up that he could not go to bed until 6 a.m.! It was a wonderful day for our family and our thoughts were with our father. It was very emotional. KW: What is Sebastian K's schedule for the rest of the year? TS: If he feels good after the Maple Leaf Trot we will enter him for the Cashman Memorial. After that he gets a well-earned break. The next race would tentatively be the Crawford Farms Trot at Vernon Downs, followed by Centaur Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park and Allerage at The Red Mile. He is also staked to the American-National and Dayton Derby Trot, but we have to make a decision closer to the dates. Of course, the season finale is the TVG Championship at the end of November at the Meadowlands. KW: What do you plan to do with Sebastian K after this year? TS: That is the million-dollar question. Our preference would be to combine stud duties with racing, which is the norm in Europe. I know Wishing Stone is doing just that this year in the States so it can be done. We are investigating that possibility and I am already talking to one farm about that option. But no decision has been taken yet. Sebastian K acted as a stud for some of our broodmares and he has sired six yearlings. One of them, a filly, will go under the hammer at Sweden's most prestigious yearling auction, Kolgjini Sales, in September. The dam won close to U.S.$200,000. It will be very interesting to see what price she fetches. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

This Week: Maple Leaf Trot final, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Battle of Lake Erie, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; Lawrence B. Sheppard final, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Delvin Miller Adios eliminations, The Meadows, Washington, Pa. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action will be held this Saturday (July 19) at five different racetracks. Mohawk Racetrack will offer one of their most lucrative events, the C$603,000 Maple Leaf Trot for open trotters, featuring world record holder Sebastian K and defending Maple Leaf Trot champion Market Share. Northfield Park's marquee race, the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie for open pacers, will also be held this Saturday. Yonkers Raceway will host the $125,000 Lawrence B. Sheppard final for 2-year-old pacing colts. Meadowlands Racetrack will host a pair of W.N. Reynolds Memorial trots with two divisions in the $64,414 3-year-old male trot and a single division in the $47,915 3-year-old filly trot. Rounding out the Saturday night action, The Meadows will offer a trio of $50,000 eliminations for their signature event, the Devlin Miller Adios for 3-year-old colt pacers. Complete entries for the U.S. races are available at this link. Mohawk entries can be found at this link. Last time: Meadowlands Racetrack hosted seven lucrative Grand Circuit events this past Saturday, led by the $776,000 Meadowlands Pace for 3-year-olds. He's Watching (Tim Tetrick) watched and waited for a straight shot to the finish line as he won the Meadowlands Pace in an all-age world record-equaling 1:46.4. The time equaled the race mark for pacers on a mile track held by Somebeachsomewhere, Holborn Hanover and Warrawee Needy. He's Watching was content to take a back seat in fifth to early leader Lyonssomewhere, who led the field to the :25.3 quarter, with Luck Be Withyou pacing along in second and JK Endofanera third along the rail. The leader held his position to the :53.2 half when JK Endofanera came off the rail, attempting to improve his position and pressuring the leader around the turn. He's Watching was behind JK Endofanera second-over. It looked like Lyonssomewhere might bottom out the field at the 1:20.3 three-quarters, but horses were soon coming from everywhere. From the huddle of horses trailing Lyonssomewhere came He's Watching, fanned five wide across the track and making up ground with every stride. Behind him and even wider were Always B Miki and Tellitlikeitis. Those three battled down the stretch with He's Watching scoring by 2-1/2 lengths over Always B Miki while Tellitlikeitis was third. He's Watching is owned by Menary Racing, Brad Gray, Michael Guerriero and Muscara Racing Trust. In what some observers predict could be a dress rehearsal for the August 2 Hambletonian, the Jimmy Takter Stable starters finished in a fanned-out constellation of three horses across the track, with 2-5 favorite Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras) first to the wire in 1:51.3 in the $317,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial for 3-year-old trotting colts. The field was led off the gate by Nuncio, but he was soon overtaken by Father Patrick who hit the quarter-mile mark in :27.2 and led the field to the :56 half. Muscle Network was on the move on the outside, making progress toward the lead before making a break at the top of the stretch. Father Patrick was well within himself at the 1:24.3 three-quarters, with Nuncio inching closer to the leader and Trixton advancing on those two, but unable to get past. As the field hit the finish line, Father Patrick was three-quarters of a length in front, with Nuncio two lengths in front of Trixton. Father Patrick is owned by the Father Patrick Stable of East Windsor, N.J. Sweet Lou sailed down the homestretch for his sixth straight win to take the $463,300 William Haughton Memorial for open pacers in 1:47.1. When the field turned for home, Captaintreacherous held the lead at the 1:21 three-quarters, but was soon set upon on the inside by Bettor's Edge and on the outside by Ron Pierce and Sweet Lou. At the wire, it was Sweet Lou with stablemate Bettor's Edge second and Captaintreacherous held for third. Sweet Lou is trained by Ron Burke and co-owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura. Complete recaps of all the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 432; 2. Tim Tetrick - 429; 3. Ron Pierce - 292; 4. Brian Sears - 205; 5. George Brennan - 174.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 730.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 347; 3. PJ Fraley - 189; 4. Ray Schnittker - 182; 5. Joe Holloway - 152. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 167.35; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 151.1; 3. Bamond Racing - 146.5; 4. 3 Brothers Stable - 92; 5. Brad Grant - 79.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next weekend at The Meadows and Meadowlands Racetrack. The Meadows will host eight Grand Circuit events, led by the final of the Delvin Miller Adios for 3-year-old pacing colts. Meadowlands Racetrack will host eliminations for six lucrative stakes, led by the Hambletonian Oaks for 3-year-old filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

East Rutherford, NJ - July 16, 2014 -- The New Meadowlands Racetrack, the popular racing and entertainment facility located in New Jersey, announced today that it will offer free to play "Real Time" Sports Contests starting September 2, 2014 at its Victory Sports Bar. Players who have registered will be given an account with 1,000 points, enabling them to play every week starting Tuesday morning on any listed football game through the Monday Night game. Each Tuesday, the New Meadowlands Racetrack will award a weekly cash prize of $2,000.00 to the player who has earned the most points from the previous week. At the end of the regular football season, a Grand Prize of $10,000.00 will be awarded to the player who has accumulated the most points. In addition, gifts and prizes from the New Meadowlands Racetrack will be awarded to runners up. Official rules will be announced shortly and posted at the New Meadowlands Racetrack. The New Meadowlands Racetrack contest system is powered by CG Technology, a preeminent technology company based in Nevada, and will utilize real time information and real time results ensuring continual action for the contestants every day. "At the New Meadowlands Racetrack we offer a state of the art facility with a popular Las Vegas themed sports bar," said Jeff Gural, owner of The New Meadowlands Racetrack. "Unlike other sports contests, our free to play "Real Time" Sports Contests offers football enthusiasts the opportunity to play all week long in a luxurious setting. We look forward to offering this product this coming Fall." In addition to the weekly and season long cash prizes, the New Meadowlands Racetrack will offer other contest prizes from properties that utilize CG Technology's platforms. This will include travel and the opportunity to stay at many luxury Las Vegas locations and in the Bahamas. About the New Meadowlands Racetrack Since 1976, the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ, has been a staple in North American racing, known for events like the Hambletonian and Meadowlands Pace. In November 2013, managing partner Jeffrey Gural unveiled the New Meadowlands Racetrack. The $100 million state of the art complex features racing, entertainment, dining and nightlife. The New Meadowlands Racetrack boasts live harness racing and year round simulcasting, Victory Sports Bar & Club, Victory Rooftop Terrace, indoor and outdoor dining options, corporate and VIP events spaces, as well as family-friendly activities. The New Meadowlands Racetrack is an exciting destination that both racing and non-racing fans can enjoy. For more information please visit: PlayMeadowlands.com About CG Technology CG Technology is a preeminent technology company providing innovative technological products for a variety of gaming-related industries including integrated resorts, cruise lines, and lottery companies. It provides private networks, systems, operations, management services, system licensing, and hardware and software design and development. We are a leader in providing mobile technology in the state of Nevada and internationally, via Androidâ„¢ and Apple® compatible applications. We are passionate about applying best-in-class technology to offer a unique and innovative gaming experience. For more information please visit: http://www.cgtglobal.com/ by Rachel Ryan, for the Meadowlands        

The Daily Racing Form (www.drf.com) reported today that harness racing trainer/driver Jimmy Takter may hold all the aces in this year’s Hambletonian, but whether he’ll be able to remain the regular driver on Trixton could be in some doubt.  The Hall of Fame conditioner is expected to come under some fire for his drive aboard Scream And Shout in the Del Miller Memorial this past Saturday (July 12) at the Meadowlands. Takter, who trained three uncoupled horses (Scream And Shout, Shake It Cerry and Lifetime Pursuit) in the Del Miller, left away from the gate with Scream And Shout and watched as Shake It Cerry marched to the front. Once Shake It Cerry assumed command, Takter appeared to idle on the rim with 102-1 shot Scream And Shout just to the outside of the heavily favored Designed To Be. Whether intentional or not, Takter successfully kept the even-money favorite pinned to the cones while his Shake It Cerry got away with a very soft 30 1/5 second quarter and eventually won the race. It is also worth noting that by not advancing with Scream And Shout, Lifetime Pursuit was also placed in a bad position behind that one's dull cover. According to high ranking sources at the Meadowlands, Takter will be called in for a meeting with state racing officials (Judges) on Friday to discuss his drive. Gural, who called the drive “problematical,” said he was looking into the possibility of banning a driver from driving in a race in which he has ownership of another horse. If Gural is successful, Takter could potentially be prohibited from driving Trixton in the Hambletonian against Father Patrick, who is co-owned by his wife Christina. Reported from the Daily Racing Form

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands has been a proud host to The Hambletonian for the past 34 years as America's Trotting Classic has been calling East Rutherford, New Jersey home since 1981. This year delivers a new and exciting aspect to The Hambletonian as it will be the first to be raced out of the brand new $100 Million facility which opened November, 2013. Hambletonian week begins on Saturday July 26th with the eliminations for The Hambletonian Oaks, John Cashman Memorial, U.S. Pacing Championship and Lady Liberty. The evening will be centered around the theme of "Ladies Night," including a concert in the Backyard by Lisa Matassa, Macy's Gift Card and Ladies Handbag drawings as well as a special Ladies' Night cocktail. Reserved seats and packages for Hambletonian Day, Saturday August 2nd will be on sale all week at a price of $10.00 for an outdoor seat. Indoor grandstand seating is already sold out. Please call (201) 460-4079 for tickets. Tuesday, July 29th will feature the post position draw for the 89th Hambletonian. Once again, the draw will be raced in "heat format", with same day eliminations. If 13 horses or less enter The Hambletonian, it will be contested as one dash for $1.2 Million. The post position draw will take place at Victory Sports Bar at 4:00 P.M. After the post position draw, Casino Night will follow in The Lounge and The Gallery, beginning at 5:30 P.M. Casino night will benefit The Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame as well as the Standardbred Retirement Foundation. Racing begins on Friday August 1st at 7:15 P.M. The racing program will feature the Townsend Ackerman, Duenna Invitational, Hambletonian Amateur Drivers, Kindergarten Classic and Hambletonian Racing Under Saddle event. Advance wagering on the entire Hambletonian Day program will begin at 12:00 P.M., Friday. Hambletonian Day begins with doors opening at 10:00 A.M, with admission of $5. All paid adult guests will receive a Hambletonian baseball cap, while paid children will receive a Hambletonian lunch bag. WFAN will be broadcasting in The Backyard from 10:00 through 12:30 P.M. For our younger guests, there will be Kiddie Rides, Face Painters and Pony Rides from 11:00 A.M. through 4:00 P.M. First race post time is scheduled for 12:00 P.M. Live music will begin at 12:00 P.M. as well. The Hambletonian national broadcast will be aired on CBS Sports Network from 4:00 - 5:30 P.M. TVG will be on-site and broadcasting live the entire afternoon. The Hambletonian Final is scheduled for race 13, with post time at 5:11 P.M. Following the 14th race will be the Horseplay Car Giveaway where someone will drive out of The Meadowlands in a brand new car. Guests have many options when it comes to dining. Victory Sports Bar will be open at 10:00 A.M. featuring a buffet at a price of $44.95 per person. The East Apron tent also features a buffet, with a carving station at a price of $44.95 per person. Trotters is members-only for Hambletonian Day and a reservation is required. Lastly, Pink will feature a prix-fixe menu at a price of $49.95 per person. For all things Hambletonian, visit playmeadowlands.com and hambletonian.org. From the Meadowlands Media Relations

July 13, 2014 - Meadowlands Pace night provided six contest races for HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. Most of the handicappers availed themselves of more than one race to play but Bob Zanakis had the patience to wait until the Meadowlands Pace while Garnet Barnsdale decided to play only the first contest race, the Stanley Dancer Memorial. Patience was the word as these two handicappers exploded last night with Zanakis using his weekly gain of $2,925.20 to jump from fifth place to first , while Barnsdale rung up a $1,040 profit to move from twelfth to eighth place. Six other handicappers showed positive results to a lesser degree for the weekend. With Zanakis' performance, he now shows a net profit for the contest of $2,855.70, leading previous leader Brandon Valvo by $302.20. Zanakis unloaded on the Meadowlands Pace by earning $1,053.20 on the Meadowlands Pace Superfecta by playing $144 in $1 Supefecta tickets. Zanakis earned $2,272 by playing $240 in $5 Trifecta tickets. As for Barnsdale, he earned $1,440 by playing $400 on a an exacta of Father Patrick and Nuncio straight. When the day was over, Barnsdale showed a contest net profit of -$548. Other notable plays for the evening were successful. Derick Giwner scored $180 by playing a $50 Exacta on the Stanley Dancer Memorial. Ann Stepien's $48 in $2 Trifecta tickets on the Meadowlands Pace paid a dividend of $454.40. Handicapper Brandon Valvo played in the Stanley Dancer Memorial a $10 Exacta ($60 total) which paid $154; a $90 win wager in the William R. Haughton Memorial pad $180; a $100 win ticket on the Meadowlands Pace paid $310. In the Del Miller Memorial, Josi Verlinigeri $100 place ticket paid $390 and her $.50 Superfecta ($60 total) paid $313.50. As a result of last night's performance, the standings have had some movement. Here are the standings after last night's action. As of July 12, 2014 - Leg 17 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis $2,925.20 $2,855.70   2nd Brandon Valvo $244.00 $2,553.50 $302.20 3rd Derick Giwner $20.00 $415.17 $2,440.53 4th Mark McKelvie ($390.00) $278.00 $2,577.70 5th Ray Garnett ($275.50) $233.85 $2,621.85 6th Earl Paulson $2.50 ($116.00) $2,971.70 7th Brian McEvoy $12.50 ($205.00) $3,060.70 8th Garnet Barnsdale $1,040.00 ($548.00) $3,403.70 9th Sally Hinckley ($102.00) ($675.00) $3,530.70 10th Josi Verlingieri $303.35 ($680.40) $3,536.10 11th Gordon Waterstone ($292.00) ($847.90) $3,703.60 12th Ann Stepien $398.83 ($1,310.17) $4,165.87 13th Dennis O'Hara ($390.00) ($1,878.20) $4,733.90 14th Rusty Nash ($260.00) ($2,132.40) $4,988.10 15th Ray Cotolo ($352.00) ($3,453.40) $6,309.10 The Grand Circuit Shoot-Out visits three tracks this Saturday, July 19, starting at Northfield Park for the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie. The Shoot-Out then moves on to Yonkers Raceway for the $125,000 Lawrence B Sheppard for 2yos and Mohawk for the highly-anticipated $603,000 Maple Leaf Trot. Further contest details may be found at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. by Allan Schott, for HANA  

Takter’s Shake It Cerry wins $213,500 Del Miller Memorial

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