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Serpentine trainer Matt Scott was thrilled with Clarenden Hustler’s first-up effort last week and is setting the chestnut the task of scoring an all-the-way victory in the 1730m On Track With Enda Brady Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Clarenden Hustler will start from the No. 6 barrier on the front line and Scott declared: “We’ll be looking to go handlebars down this week. He’s got good gate speed and our aim will be to go forward, definitely. He will come out hard, he races well in front and 1730m is his pet distance.” Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr handled the South Australian-bred Clarenden Hustler for the first time when the gelding resumed after a spell in a 1730m event last Friday night. Clarenden Hustler started from the outside of the back line and raced in ninth position before starting a three-wide move 650m from home. He sustained a strong burst to finish fifth behind Carter Micheal. “We were rapt with the run,” said Scott who is enjoying a successful season with 62 winners and 103 placegetters. “He will be improved by the run.” In what should prove to be a keen betting race, One Off Delight, Waimac Attack, Michael Joseph and Roman Aviator are sure to be strongly supported. One Off Delight, trained by Debra Lewis, is a smart frontrunner and Chris Lewis is sure to attempt to make every post a winner from the No. 3 barrier. One Off Delight was an easy all-the-way winner over 2130m two starts ago before he galloped in a stand, raced at the rear and finished tenth behind Eloquent Mach last Friday night. Waimac Attack bounced back to his best form last Friday night when he worked hard in the breeze before getting to the front 250m from home and winning from Rock Me Over over 1730m last week. Michael Joseph is awkwardly drawn at barrier seven but has the ability to overcome this disadvantage. Her fought on from eighth at the bell to finish fifth behind Convert Denario last Friday night. Four-year-old Roman Aviator raced in the one-out, one-back position when a solid fourth in that event.   Ken Casellas

Trois-Rivieres, QC - With a very impressive first-over performance against Choo Choo Blue, Claudi P V and driver Pascal Berube scored a big upset at odds of 9-1 in the opening round of the Breeders Cup Series at Hippodrome 3R. The series features three weeks of preliminary competition for three-year-old trotters and pacers with the top eight point earners returning on Sunday, September 8 for their respective $65,000C finals. The second race first division for three-year-old trotting fillies with a purse of $10,000C saw Choo Choo Blue and driver Jocelyn Gendron shoot to the early lead after the opening quarter mile in :30 with My Lady Hall (Serge Nadeau) grabbing the two-hole spot after leading to the first quarter mile. Choo Choo Blue led to the half mile in 1:00.3 before Claudi P V and Berube started up first-over with Cor Leo (Stephane Gendron) second over. As they passed the three-quarters in 1:31, the two race favorites, Justice Society (Stephane Brosseau) and Kinderunbelievable (Justin Filion), who made early breaks in the race, came charging three-wide on the final turn to come after Choo Choo Blue. But it was Claudi P V who was the strong horse, grinding it out against Choo Choo Blue and coming on in the stretch to win by one length in 2:02.1. Cho Choo Blue was second with Justice Society third. Claudi P V paid a handsome $20.50 to win. It was the first victory in five starts this year for the daughter of Holiday Road. She is trained by Serge Nadeau and is co-owned by Nadeau with breeder Marcel Brouillard of St-Marcel-De-Richelieu. In the $10,000C fifth race division for the trotting colts, it was all race favorite Only For Justice and driver Stephane Brosseau. They sat an early pocket-seat to Triomphe Dunharas and driver/trainer Denis Gueriel and then burst to the lead after the opening quarter mile in :28. Once on top there was no looking back for Only For Justice, as Brosseau kept his colt easily on the lead, holding the field at bay to the half mile in :59 and the three-quarters in 1:28.4. In the stretch, Only For Justice kept on trotting to win with ease by five open lengths in 1:57.4. Cesar Duharas (Pascal Berube) closed to be second with Triomphe Dunharas third. Sired by Justice Hall, it was the second win in five starts for trainer Dany Fontaine and the Gaetan Bono Stable of Montreal, who also bred Justice Hall. He paid just $2.10 to win and is now a career winner of $146,469C. In the eighth and final race on the program, G A Speed Sammy and driver Stephane Gendron wore down Maracasso (Carol Voyer) in the stretch and posted a 1:54.1 lifetime mark. That mile tied G S Speed Sammy with Atomic Million AM as the co-fastest winners at H3R this season. G A Speed Sammy posted his sixth win in eight starts this year for Yves Tessier and owner-breed Alain Carrier of St-Henri-De-Levis and paid $4.20 to win. Track Notes: Two drivers, Pascal Berube and Stephane Gendron each had driving doubles Friday. On Saturday, the Quebec Jockey Club hosts the Quebec Regional Fair which will feature a family fun day at the track with 13 races beginning at 1:00 pm. Special activities on Saturday for the race fans include drawings for rides in a two-seat sulky on the racetrack, rides in the starting gate, plus drawings for dining-room packages and betting vouchers. There will be a live horse on display at the entrance to the track for fans to take photos with and specially for the children there will be balloon sculptors and face painting, etc. And all the events are FREE for the patrons. In addition to the live racing, the track will also have a special Monte Race (racing under saddle) with trotters. The Quebec-Bred Series for older horses culminates on Sunday with four $30,000C final for the trotters and pacers plus the opening round of the $470,000C Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old pacers. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

The $50,000 Globe Derby Harness Racing Stakes final looks like going to the Rattray family for the fifth time in nine years at Mowbray on Sunday night. But, barring bad luck, it should be a different member of Tasmania's most successful harness racing dynasty lining up to collect the trophy. The Kent Rattray-trained Sunny Sanz will be at almost unbackable odds after his dominant win over a similar field in last week's prelude. Rattray's brother Barrie won the race in 2011 with Beautide and again in 2013 with Pachacuti while Barrie's son Todd has won the past two with Harjeet and Izaha. Todd's brothers Gareth (Beautide) and James (Pachacuti) also appear on the honour roll as winning drivers. Rattray family patriarch Wayne won the third running of the race back in 1985 with Napoleon Stone when it was open to fillies and also scored in 1991 with Karalta Jet. Sunny Sanz won his only three starts as a two-year-old before being sidelined by injury. He has won two of his three starts since returning, suffering his only defeat behind smart filly Spoilt Sport in Hobart when Rattray said he "got fired up." His prelude win was outstanding as he lost ground after locking wheels with a tiring runner in the back straight. He appears to be clearly the best horse in the final and it would be hard to begrudge him a win. "I feel like we left a lot of money on the table last season when he got injured and this is a good opportunity to make up for some of that," Rattray said. By Greg Mansfield Reprinted with permission from The Examiner

Millers Forest harness racing trainer Chris Bourke will chase a first group race success when Que Sera competes in the Go Girlfriend Series Final at Menangle Park on Saturday night. Que Sera has won three of 22 starts for Bourke since coming to his stable last December. The four-year-old will start from gate nine of 10 in the $30,000 group 3 mares race on Saturday night after securing a place with second to Love My Sister in a heat at Newcastle on May 31. Que Sera (Auckland Reactor), with Blake Fitzpatrick to drive, was $41 with TAB on Friday and Bourke was not discounting her chances. "It's good to make the final in any group race," Bourke said. "They are all an even bunch and lightly assessed. "There's a couple of good ones, of courses. [Luke] McCarthy's got one out of the good mare Fleur De Lil, Love My Sister, that won the Newcastle heat ours came second in. She's a handy type. "Ours has pulled up good, and it just all depends how the race is run. "She's drawn bad but she's got no gate speed anyway.  "All the better ones are in the same boat except the good one from Queensland, [Rocknroll Pearl], it's got a bit of gate speed." Morisset trainer Mark Callaghan and his son Jack have a busy night across the Menangle and Newcastle meetings on Saturday night. The stable has genuine chances with Vega Star in the first and Downunder Stride in the fifth at Menangle. Jack will drive strong hopes Repartee in race eight and Glenn Ford in the fourth at Newcastle for his dad. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of the Newcastle Herald

Experienced Melbourne harness racing trainer Shane Gallagher could be forgiven for thinking that his wife may just be the lucky charm he’s needed around horses.   Gallagher, who is head-trainer at the picturesque Doreen property Homestead Farm, owned by John and Christine Yeomans, has his wife Rachael Benns as owner of two square gaiters.   “I don’t know if it’s beginner’s luck or what it is, but the horses have seven wins between them, and they’re the first two that Rachael has ever owned,” Gallagher said.   “My wife has a love for buying shoes, so needless-to-say she has been adding to her collection with each racetrack victory - she will probably kill me, but there’s about 100 pairs in her collection.”   Six-year-old bay mare Whattalottafray (Armbro Invasion USA-Whatta Tussle (Brioso Hanover USA) gave Rachael another reason to go shopping with an all-the-way win at Maryborough on Thursday afternoon.   After beginning nicely from the standing start tapes, the mare assumed control in front and was then rated in typically brilliant fashion by master reinsman Chris Alford.   With comfortable splits of 31.2, 31.3, 28.6 and 29.6, Whattalottafray had an eight-metre advantage up her sleeve at the finish over Surbiton Armistice, and a further four metres back to Allens Delight.   Gallagher said he had put the trotter up for sale a few weeks ago. “I couldn’t believe it, but I didn’t get a single call. It was quite surprising, but perhaps I might get one now because she’s still on the market,” he said.   “I’m actually enjoying training a few trotters because I haven’t had any for many years.”   The other square gaiter in the Gallagher team is brilliant three-year-old Fear The Yankee (Yankee Spider USA-Whatta Tussle (Brioso Hanover USA), a half-sister to Whattalottafray.   Fear The Yankee has three wins and two placings for $79,000.   Her victories were in the $50,000 Platinum Home Grown Classic Group One final in May and then the $90,000 Super Series Group One final for trotting fillies two months later. On both occasions, Anthony Butt was the winning driver.   “A friend told me about Whattalottafray, suggesting it was well worth a try,” Gallagher said.   “Then we later had the chance to purchase Fear The Yankee so we’ve been a bit fortunate.   “I only work two at a time, while John (Yeomans), who I’ve been with for probably 30 years, usually has a few more with six or seven in training.”   Gallagher said all jokes aside, he didn’t have a problem with wife Rachael having a full rack of footwear.   “She is a big shoe buyer and providing her horses keep up their form, I haven’t got a problem in the world!”     Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 16, 2019 -- Say this much for harness racing driver Dan Dube...he appreciates timing. Approaching his latest driving milestone for a while, Dube coordinated it just right, stylishly winning Saturday night's (March 16th) opener of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. His open-length romp with favored Western Ace ($4.40) not only served as the 9,000th win of his career, but threw down the Free-For-All series gauntlet as the fastest local mile (1:51.1) of the season. From post position No. 4 in the first of a half-dozen, $50,000 divisions, Western Ace gave nothing else a shot through intervals of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:24.1. The two-length lead off the final turn became 5¾ lengths at the wire, helped by his fast feet and a scattering behind after a nasty break by Windsong Leo (George Brennan). Somewhere in L A avoid the happenstance to end us second, with Mach it So (Brent Holland), Lyons Steel (Mark MacDonald) and Don Domingo N (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder. For Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal co-owned by Go Fast and B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski & Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, it was his first win a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, the triple returned $110 and the superfecta paid $967. Western Fame The Quebec-born Dube, turning 50 this June, was the main driver of Horse of the Year Gallo Blue Chip (2000) and Rock N Roll Heaven (2010). His career purse earnings exceed $119 million. :"He (Western Fame) was ready for this mile," Dube said. "I thought he'd race well. I heard something behind me (field scattering), but I was in front by a few lengths so I wasn't worried about it. "I'm obviously happy to get to this (9,000) number. When I came down from Canada, I never thought I'd have the success I've had." Frank Drucker

Saturday night's Filly and Mare Open Pace is named for Larry and Eileen Brodbar, recipients of the harness racing 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award by the California Harness Horsemen's Association. "This is truly an honor for us," said Eileen Brodbar. Larry and Eileen were married in 1980 and it was Larry, who cut his teeth on the trotters and pacers at New York's Monticello Raceway, who introduced his wife to the game up close and personal. "In 1987, there was harness racing at Fairplex Park and there was ad in the program for a seminar for potential new owners," Eileen related. "Ann and Jonn McGregor were there as well as Andy Perez, and that along with some advice from Alan Horowitz led us to buying into our first horse." The Brodbars became partners with the McGregors in a newly-turned 3-year-old named Pasadena Phantom and they were off and running, or more accurately in this case, pacing. Pasadena Phantom worked his way up the ranks and eventually became an Invitational winner, one of many outstanding performers who have joined Larry and Eileen in the winner's circle not only in California, but across the country. The best they ever bred was Iwannawinbets, while Eileen estimates the best they've ever campaigned in partnership is Show Runner. In between, they have been represented by the likes of Solid Bet and the New Zealand trio of Jay Bees Risk, Gifted Lobell and Bobby's Dream. "Risky Broad, who is a daughter of Jay Bees Risk, is currently our broodmare," Brodbar noted. One of Eileen's major contributions to the sport came at Los Alamitos in the 80's and early 90's when she was responsible for Clocker's Corner, which educated people about harness racing with drivers, trainers and handicappers on scene to make it a well-rounded and educational experience. "I'm very proud of the what we were able to accomplish with those seminars," she stated. Said CHHA Hall of Fame Committee Chairman Robin Clements, "The Brodbars have stuck with California through the good and the bad times and they still support and love the sport." Cal Expo congratulates Larry and Eileen Brodbar on this well-deserved recognition. Outrageousdelightn sets sights on another score Outrageousdelightn, who has accounted for two of the last three top dances at the meet, heads the cast for Saturday night's Larry and Eileen Brodbar Filly and Mare Open Pace. There are 11 races on tap, including the co-featured Robert Gordon Prep, with first post under the Watch and Wager LLC banner set for 6:10 p.m. Outrageousdelightn has captured two of the last three Distaff Opens since coming in from the East. The 10-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight races for Don and Barbara Arnstine, Steve Chambers and Tyler Wiseman with Kathie Plested conditioning. In last week's clash at the head of the class, driver Steve Wiseman was able to work out a pocket trip behind favored Delightfully Wild, eased out for the drive and got the job done by three-quarters of a length. Capitol Hill accounted for three straight Filly and Mare Opens between November 10 and December 15 and gives the Plested barn two big looks at the outcome. The 8-year-old Badlands Hanover mare is owned by of George McChrystal and Plested. Rounding out the cast are Magnifique, Misspanderosajones, Along Came Jane, Bettor Lady, Burn My Villa and Getter Queen Flush. The Robert Gordon Prep will match a field of eight as they get ready for next week's Final. Urgointohearmeroar has won four of this five starts at the meet and looms large for owner Mark Anderson, trainer Gordie Graham and regular pilot Mooney Svendsen. By Mark Ratzky, publicity - Cal Expo Harness

RESPECTED driver Neville Donnelly hasn’t got a big stable anymore and luck turned his way at Bathurst on Monday afternoon bringing tears of joy for the trainer Christine Brodie and her family. Donnelly was aboard ($8.80) pop Family Ambition and he sat patiently just off the pace and carefully guided the seven-year-old past another local Flightnfight to record a stunning victory. The favourite, debutante, Major Hall galloped on release at the mobile and left the race with options. "I wasn’t really that confident but she did the job well. I’m so happy for Chrissy,"  Donnelly said. Christine Brodie who trains the mare rushed trackside with her family to celebrate the mare’s first career win. Joy Brodie summed up what it meant to them. ‘’We’re so excited this is Family Ambition’s first win and Christine has worked so hard," she said. "There will be a lot of tears." The Bank of Reliance Pace over 1730m was a celebration of what the sport is about . "I’ve driven a few winners here and it’s much better than the old days at the Showground,"  Donnelly said. Local trainer Peter Bullock created a personal milestone training a trifecta in the WIN News Pace (1730m) and popular reinswoman Amy Rees was full of praise for her mentor who shied away from the glamour. It was a big moment for the Peter Bullock stable at Gold Crown Paceway on Monday when landing a trifecta in one race and training a double at the meeting. Enk Spot Shannon  ($5.60) upset favourite ($2.30) Jedda Shannon with a strong  finishing burst with Bullock’ other pacer Shazam Shannon ($37.60) flashing up for third. Rees sat off the pace and pulled to the outside unleashing a strong dash. Mud spattered, Rees was full of praise for Bullock and his team. "It’s great for Peter, he does a good job. I was pretty comfortable with him sitting behind the pace and getting a good run," Rees said. It wasn’t the end for Rees and Bullock either with another Shannon-named pacer taking out in the Bathurst Toyota Pace (1730m). Lorenzo Shannon unwanted by punters ($19.20) powered home with Rees driving brilliantly to grab a double over legend Steve Turnbull on A Little Bit Dusty. "I knew he was going well and we got there," Rees said. Meanwhile, Browns Creek trainer-driver Jake Davis took the Town and Country Rural Supplies Pace with his three-year-old Sonny Studleigh rushing home from well back to sweep past favourite Ginger Leigh. Race Caller Fred Hastings awarding Davisthe 'Best Drive of the Day'. Goulburn driver Neil Day said fitness was the key for the sweet victory of Better Than Grange in the 1730m TAB.com.au Ladyship Pace downing favourite Wandary Muscat who led everywhere but the post . "She was always going well and she just had the better condition in the end after three runs." Day has 12 horses in work at Goulburn "and that’s enough" Day said. Locals also celebrated when Will Rixon piloted Abercrombie Tab to victory in the Lexus Of Dubbo Pace (1730m) . The Betts family train the six-year-old gelding who motored past Hey Suzie and Another Buddy. "I was happy to sit behind them and come home," Rixon Said.   Farren Hotham

December 9, 2018 - A superb harness racing card was held Sunday at Napoli that included three classic races. The Gr. II G.P. Royal Mares (purse 88,000€, 1600 meters autostart) began the action and Trendy OK (6f Varenne-Annette Hanover-Sierra Kosmos) went first over to gain the lead and draw clear in the lane for the victory timed in a record 1.11.1kr. Alessandro Gocciadoro teamed his trainee to the score that increased Trendy’s life earnings to 294,701€. “Trendy Trendy OK OK” put away second finishing Pantera del Pino (9f Turbo Sund-Desire’ del Pino) with G.P. Minnucci up and third finishing Sonia (7f Donato Hanover-Ele Code-Uronometro) handled by Rene’ Legati. The featured Gr. I G.P. Mipaaft Open (purse 440,000€, 2100 meters autostart) saw the favored Axl Rose (2m Love You-Linda di Casei-Uronometro) rally to win decisively for driver V.P. Dell’Annunziata. This colt is special, and he defeated another fine one Granon Vedaquais (2m Brilliantissime-Sesteire-Cezio Josselyn) with Andrea Guzzinati up, for trainer Philippe Allaire and breeder J.P. Guay. Third was the filly Anita Roc (2f Filipp Roc-CK Roc-Pine Chip). Well regarded Amelie Grif was fourth. Race time was 1.15kr. The G.P. Mipaaft Filly (Gr. II, purse 88,000€, 1600 meters autostart) saw the game All Wise As (2f Varenne-Temple Blue Chip-Cantab Hall), with Bjorn Goop driving, fend off the battling A Sexygirl PAR (2f Varenne-Fight For Lux-Toss Out) handled by V.P. Dell’Annunziata, clocked in 1.13.9kr. A Sexybomb PAR (2f Yankee Slide-Vivarissima PAR-Harvard Yard) was third. Harvard Yard, a stallion rarely seen on today’s programs, is a 1985 son of Speedy Crown-Somolli, a full-brother to the 1975 foaled Speedy Somolli and others from the mare including Mae Jean’s Crown, Seascape Lobell, and Santana Lobell. Somolli had 14 foals. Harvard Yard earned 114,767€ with a 1.13kr record, and bred mares in Italy from 1992-2003, producing only four winners of over 100,000€. The following news was also reported. Retired now are the well-regarded Twister Bi, Rod Stewart and Voltigeur de Myrt. Readly Express is being prepped for the December 30th Prix de Bourgogne and Villiam for the Criterium Continental, both at Vincennes and both carrying possible invitations to the Prix d’Amerique, the top three in Bourgogne and the winner of the Continental. Thomas H. Hicks

From the moment Ella Johansson saw him, there was a connection. The colt's name was Captain Bean and Ella spotted him as soon as she and her parents, harness racing trainer Nancy and driver Marcus Johansson, arrived in Harrisburg to look at yearlings the day before the 2017 Standardbred Horse Sale. Ella, who accompanied her parents only because it seemed a better option to sitting at her brother's baseball tournament, implored her mother to buy him. Nancy also liked the colt, but knew acquiring him might be easier said than done. She put together a group of owners interested in buying the horse, set a budget, and on the opening day of the sale waited for Captain Bean to enter the auction ring. Ella, watching the live stream of the sale at home in New Jersey, waited too. Ella knew what the group was prepared to spend and when Captain Bean eventually sold for $85,000 she knew who had the winning bid. "We got him!" she exclaimed to Marcus in the kitchen. And a year later, her enthusiasm for the colt, now known as Captain Crunch, is undiminished. "He was the first horse that I saw," 13-year-old Ella said, recounting her initial moments with Captain Crunch. "We walked in and he was there. He was big, he was pretty; a very sweet horse. I petted him. "He's sweet and he's nice. He's just fun to be around." Said Nancy, "He's big, but he's gentle with her. He lets her pet him and he plays with you. He's as nice as a 2-year-old colt can be. If you spend a couple minutes with him you can't help but to like him. He's got unbelievable charisma." Captain Crunch, who was renamed by Ella and Nancy's mom Christina Takter, has won five of eight races this year. His most recent start came Oct. 27 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, where he won the $600,000 Breeders Crown championship for 2-year-old male pacers on a cold, rainy night. Ella greeted him in the winner's circle with a kiss. "He stood like a perfect gentleman, like he always does," Nancy said. Captain Crunch's next start is Saturday at the Meadowlands in the sole $20,000 elimination for the Governor's Cup, which is one of the Fall Final Four stakes for 2-year-olds at the Big M. The top-seven finishers will join bye recipients Blood Money, Semi Tough, and Sugar Factory in the $469,300 final on Nov. 24. The elimination winner will draw from posts one through six for the final. Scott Zeron will drive Captain Crunch, who starts from post eight in the field of 10. Prior to each race, Ella offers words of encouragement to Captain Crunch via FaceTime. "I just tell him good luck," Ella said. "Win." "When they FaceTime he's paying attention to what she's saying, like he's listening," Marcus added. "It's kind of funny." Captain Crunch is a son of Captaintreacherous out of Sweet Paprika, from the family of Dan Patch Award-winner Sweet Lou and $2.78-million-earner Bettor Sweet. In addition to the Breeders Crown, his wins include divisions of the Nassagaweya and International Stallion Stakes (in a career-best 1:49.1). His only off-the-board finish was in his Metro Pace elimination in September, when he came up sick. The colt is owned by 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms. "He's a good-looking horse," Marcus said. "He's got a great personality. He's happy all the time. He's always in a good mood. I like horses like that. If you walk into work and see someone who is miserable, you become miserable even if you were happy. He's the first horse on the end (of the stable). I park my car there so I can go and see him. It starts out the day good." And while one might expect Ella to be a horse-crazy kid given her environment, it is not the case. "As much of a horse girl that I am, she's not," Nancy said, laughing. "She doesn't care about the horses much at all." Captain Crunch is the exception, which has made his season all the more special. "We live a crazy life, on the road a lot," Nancy said. "It's almost like joining the circus. So it's nice when (our kids) see we're working hard and it's paying off and they feel involved in that." For the record, Ella's brother, Marcus Jr., has a favorite horse as well. His is also a 2-year-old colt pacer, Caviart Rockland. "They each have a horse that they follow," Marcus said. "It's 'their' horse. It makes it fun for all of us." The stakes in addition to the Governor's Cup that make up the Fall Final Four are the Three Diamonds for 2-year-old female pacers, Valley Victory for 2-year-old male trotters, and Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old female trotters. Eliminations were unnecessary for the Goldsmith Maid and Three Diamonds. There will be two eliminations Saturday for the Valley Victory. For Saturday's complete Meadowlands entries, click here. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EST). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 16, 2018 -- Wind Of The North, a speedy, rugged and durable trotter throughout his career, vaulted over $1 million in lifetime earnings with an in-hand victory in Tuesday's $18,000 Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. The 8-year-old Cantab Hall-Talk To The Wind gelding has won 47 of his 160 lifetime starts and banked $1,005,098. Wind Of The North retook the lead with a quarter-pole move for Aaron Merriman and owner/trainer Bill Bercury and had little trouble turning aside the first-over bid of Call For Justice. He scored in 1:55.4, 2-1/2 lengths better than early leader PL Jerico, with Cantab Lindy third. Wind Of The North took his 1:51 mark at Pocono at 4 and enjoyed his most productive years in 2015-2016, when he collected $489,352. In 2015, he won the Chip Noble at Scioto Downs and was second in the Cutler Memorial at the Meadowlands. Tony Hall piloted three winners on the 13-race card. by Evan Pattak, for the Meadows

Today’s Quinte+ race was the Prix des Gobelins (purse 54,000€, 2150 meters autostart, 16 European starters) with victory to the 2.1/1 odds Ce Belle Romain (6g Jam Pridem-Miss Echo Bella) with Anthony Barrier up timed in 1.12.5kr. S.G. Dupont owns and trains the winner now of 13 wins in 37 starts for 262,460€ earned. 6.7/1 Citizen Kane (6g Orlando Vici-Queen of Viking) was second driven by trainer Thomas Levesque for breeder/owner Pierre Levesque. The 4.1/1 Carlo de Cursi with Eric Raffin up took third, ahead of 22/1 Romi Mms and Franck Nivard with the fifth check to 7.6/1 Vixel, handled by trainer Franck Ouvrie. The exact order winning ticket holders earned 1,165€ for a 2€ wager. There was an exact order jackpot winner and that paid 918,596€. On the card was the Prix du Pont Mirabeau (32,000€ purse, 2700 meters, 2150 meters autostart, 11 starters) and 5.5/1 odds Geisha d’Arbaz (2f Rolling d’Heripre-Pepite Winner) scored for Matthieu Abrivard for owner/breeder Francois Cousin. The 2.4/1 Galijca de Vandel (2f Niky) was second for Alexandre Abrivard, ahead of 1.3/1 favorite Golden Girl (2f Ready Cash-Private Love) handled by Franck Nivard. Race time was 1.17.2kr. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink      

LEXINGTON, KY--Advancing uncovered into quick fractions set by pacesetter Caviart Ally, Shartin N powered to the front into the stretch and finished under wraps to take the $98,500 Fear The Dragon Allerage Farms Mare Pace, sponsored by Midland Acres, on Sunday, Oct. 7 at The Red Mile. Caviart Ally left for the top with Pure Country tucking into the pocket ahead of Inverse Hanover yielding for third. Past the quarter in :26.3, Caviart Ally continued unchallenged to the half in :54.3 while Shartin N, positioned fifth, began her charge first over. Matching strides past three-quarters in 1:21.3, Shartin N edged past Caviart Ally into the stretch and maintained a length advantage to the line while Caviart Ally gave pursuit to hold second. Pure Country finished third ahead of Blue Moon Stride rallying from last for fourth. "She's got big lungs," driver Tim Tetrick said after the race. "We got her off the gate good today but then going into the backside she kind of jammed up and I had to move her. She's used to sitting on the outside so I wasn't too worried especially when I could head Andrew's mare [Caviart Ally]; I knew my mare was going to give me a good run." Winning her 16th race in 21 starts since shipping from New Zealand and her 23rd from 34 overall, Shartin N has earned $623,978 for owners Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King. Jim King Jr. conditions the five-year-old mare by Tintin In America and paid $4.80 to win. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

Freehold, NJ-- There's an old adage in harness racing that states, "when you think your horse is the best in the race send him to the lead and if he gets beat on the front-end he probably wasn't the best." Case in point; today's (Sept 15th) Billings trot at Freehold Raceway. After "Tough Tony" Ciuffetelli sent Someway Same Hall to the lead from the four hole he obviously felt his trotter was the best in the field when he proceeded to park-out all comers and then roll on to an impressive 1:58.1 victory over six others. After the gate sprung both Fiji (Dave "the Rave" Offenberg) and Wygant Prince, in rein to "Coach Paul" Minore, were on the limb and Ciuffetelli seemed oblivious and left them on the outside as he hustled Someway Same Hall forward with Fiji right alongside while Wygant Prince was second over. Of course the challenges made the first fraction a swift :28.1 and at the halfway point the timer flashed :58.0. But Ciufferelli was undaunted as his steed began to pull away from the parked horses. At the three-quarters Ciuffetelli and Someway Same Hall had three lengths on the field which was opened to seven at the top of the lane. And when they headed for paydirt "Tough Tony" was looking around for company and they cruised to and easy 8-length triumph as the early challengers faded. Way Cry Hall and Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff were second under the wire while Fiji held on for the show dough. The winner is owned by the Tic Racing Stable and trained by Ciuffetelli. Although "Tough Tony" felt his horse was the best the betting crowd didn't concur and sent them off at odds of over 10-1 and Someway Same Hall paid $22.10. by John Manzi, for Billings Series

YONKERS, N.Y. – When the draw to randomly allocate the 22 harness racing trotters of the SOA of NY’s French American Trotting Club to their new connections was complete, trainer Jenn Bongiorno was excited to begin researching her new prospect, Ursis Des Caillons. When she viewed the gelding’s profile and saw he is already 10 years old and appeared small on replays, she didn’t know what to expect. “I started looking him up and I was like, oh my gosh, he’s 10,” Bongiorno said. “So we got an older one, but he has some nice races over there. From what we saw, we thought he was going to be extremely small. When we were watching replays, we thought we got a really small horse.” A son of Kool du Caux out of the Workaholic mare Jolie Nuit, Ursis Des Caillons won eight races and 239,580€ in France in the stables of Hubert Hardy and Nicolas Ensch. Although his last victory came November 20, 2017 and his two most recent starts resulted in disqualifications, Mike Lachance felt the 10-year-old was worth including in the French American Trotting Club. “I asked Alex (Dadoyan) who ended up training him over in France and he said Mike Lachance. Mike’s comment was that he’s very well-mannered and he handles the turns very well,” Bongiorno said. Bongiorno’s concerns about Ursis Des Caillons’ age were alleviated when he arrived at her stable in good order last month. Although she and brother Joe Bongiorno did find Ursis Des Caillons to be small and narrow, he looked like he would be suited to the half-mile track at Yonkers Raceway.  “I was excited to get him over here and when he walked in the barn, he was just very narrow and he was skinny, so we definitely got him some groceries and we took care of him,” Bongiorno said. “He’s put on weight, so I’m happy to see that. How he’s so narrow and small is not the worst thing when you’re going to be racing on a half-mile.” Bongiorno then focused on adapting the gelding to her training style and changing his equipment. She started with a blank slate and worked her way up. A shoeing change proved beneficial and Bongiorno now says Ursis Des Caillons trots perfectly. She also added a headpole, a piece of equipment not worn in France. “On day one, we just put a harness on him, put some cotton in his ears and he was fine, he jogged really well. Joe actually sat behind him day one and really liked him and every day he improves and adapts well,” Bongiorno said.  “We put on a shoe that we really believe in here with our trotters,” she continued. “He does have a headpole on. We approached it like he was a baby though because they don’t wear a lot of equipment over there. We actually jogged him with the headpole first to make sure he was going to be ok with it and then trained him with the headpole and he’s fine. I thought that was funny, we have a 10-year-old that we’re babying because we have to make sure he’s not going to be uncomfortable with it.” Ursis Des Caillons proved impressive in the mornings. He went a training trip ahead of his first qualifier and beat one of Bongiorno’s pacers. “When we biked him up, he passed one of my pacers and came the last quarter in 26-and-a-piece,” the trainer said. “Joe and I looked at each other and said, ‘we have a real horse here.’ Really the question was just if he was going to handle the half.” Ursis Des Caillons completed his first qualifier at Yonkers Raceway July 13. After racing in second early, driver Joe Bongiorno moved Ursis Des Caillons to the lead before the half. He won the 1 ¼-mile trial by 3 lengths, stopping the timer in 2:30.4 with a :27.3 final panel. Scott Di Domenico’s Deo finished second while Aigle De La Vallee was third for Rob Harmon. Very Very Fast captured the other French-exclusive qualifier that afternoon for Bob Bresnahan, beating Rich Banca’s Adagio De La Tour and Bob Bongiorno’s Uhlan Noir in 2:29.4. “When we came here the other day and Joe went a trip with him to warm him up, he was super. Joe thought he was going to handle the track perfectly and then he went out and that qualifier was really, really good. He was wrapped up, not asking him at all.” Bongiorno said.  “When he was coming over here, I thought we were going to have a nice horse, I thought we would improve him for sure, but after that training mile and qualifier, I really think we have one of the best ones.” Other French American Trotting Club participants Alpha d’Urzy and Bioness made their first pari-mutuel starts in the United States this week. The former won a $4,500 overnight in 1:57.1 at Saratoga July 15 for trainer Rene Allard while the latter finished third, individually timed in 1:54.4, in an $11,000 race at Pocono July 17 for Chris Oakes. Ed Gannon’s French trotter Ubanji finished second, individually timed in 1:55.3, in a qualifier at Harrah’s Philadelphia July 17. Yonkers will host qualifiers exclusively for the French Trotters at the 1 ¼-mile distance July 21 ahead of the start of the French American Trotting Club Series August 5. The second and third legs of the series will be held August 19 and 26, respectively and the $100,000 final is set for September 2. For more information, click here. by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Back-to-back nights of Ohio Sires Stakes action is slated to commence on July 16 & 17 at Northfield Park. Leg two of the four-round series continues for Ohio-bred 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings (July 16) and 2-year-old pacing fillies (July 17) at the Cleveland half-miler. All the freshman Leg 1 winners of this series are returning to wage war among their laterally-gaited constituents. A total of 34 pacing colts and geldings will line up behind the Northfield Park gate in four divisions on Monday night, July 16, while 25 fillies will battle in three divisions on Tuesday night, July 17. Post time each evening is 6 pm, ET. Of the male youngsters, eight are sired by Pet Rock, with five each by Dragon Again and Western Vintage. McArdle has sire four of the competitors; Big Bad John three; and Yankee Cruiser, two. The stallions Believeinbruiser, Cheyenne Rei, Mister Big, Nob Hill High, Pine Valley, Rockin Amadeus and We Will See are represented by one foal each among the colts and geldings. The stallions McArdle and Dragon Again each sired four of the filly combatants; Big Bad John and Pet Rock sired three each, and The Panderosa and Yankee Cruiser sired two distaffs each. Allamerican Native, Art Official, Beachtrea, Feelin Friskie, Rockin Amadeus, Western Vintage and Woodstock are represented by one foal each in the filly divisions. The pacing colts went postward in OSS Leg one at Scioto Downs on July 4. Returning to try for his second career victory in as many tries is the Kim Dailey-trained Rose Run Ulysses, a chestnut altered son by Western Vintage, who won his first OSS leg in 1:52.2 for Danny Noble. Owned by Dailey in partnership with Carl & Melanie Atley, Rose Run Ulysses was bred by the Rose Run Farm and will start from post six in the first division (Race 5) with Noble in the bike. Authentic Hanover won his first OSS leg in 1:53.3 with Tyler Smith driving for trainer Dustin Arledge, who owns the bay Western Vintage colt with Hutchinson Hms and MJ Thompson. Bred by Hanover Shoe Farms, Authentic Hanover starts from post four in the second OSS division (Race 7). High On Paydaze won OSS Leg one in 1:53.1 with Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., at the lines for trainer Brian Brown, and that same combination will go postward from post two in the third OSS division (Race 9). This bay colt by Nob Hill High is owned by breeder Scott Hagemeyer, R. A. Mondillo and D. E. Robinson. Gold Digger King will try to best High On Paydaze in this same event (Race 9), leaving from post six with Kayne Kauffman in the sulky. This altered Pet Rock youngster is trained by Scott Mogan for breeder-owner Linda Van Camp and won his OSS Leg one in a snappy 1:52.4 with Kauffman piloting. See You In Tuscany hails from the powerful Canadian team of trainer Jason McGinnis and driver Anthony MacDonald, who won their first OSS leg in 1:53. This bay colt by We Will See was bred by Mark Maroletti and is owned by Thestable Tuscany Group. He'll start from the rail in the fourth and final OSS division for freshman pacing colts (Race 11). In the distaff division, each of the OSS Leg one winners plied their wares on July 6 at Scioto Downs. Queen Of The Pride hopes to make another trip to the winner's circle from post one in the second OSS division (Race 6) on Tuesday night (July 17). Trained by Kevin Lare for owner Frank Chick, this bay McArdle lass--who was bred by Ohioan Brad Wallace--posted a 1:54 clocking with Tony Hall at the lines that steamy evening at Scioto Downs. Carmen Ohio won her Leg one division in 1:55.2 for driver Ryan Stahl and trainer Brian Brown. This daughter by The Panderosa is owned by breeder M. Leeman, along with partners S. Manning, B. Meizlish and W. Calvert. She's just outside of Queen Of The Pride, starting from post three in the second division (Race 6) with Stahl at the lines. Lofty Beach posted a 1:55 clocking in Leg one for driver Aaron Merriman, who returns to drive the black daughter of Beachtrea from post position four in the third OSS division (Race 9). Scott McEney conditions Lofty Beach--who was bred by Spring Haven Farm--for Canadian owner Bradley Grant. Twinsburg, a winner of her Leg one division in 1:54.4, will have to try to best Lofty Beach from post seven in this same third division (Race 9). The Canadian duo of trainer Jason McGinnis and driver Anthony McDonald will look to visit the winner's circle a second time with this bay daughter of McArdle, who was bred by Steve Stewart and is owned by Brock O'Brien. by Kimberly Rinker, OSDF Administrator

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