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CAMPBELLVILLE, June 20...Wakizashi Hanover, driven by Tim Tetrick, sat a perfect two-hole trip behind the pacesetting heavy favourite and previously unbeaten Wiggle It Jiggleit, before charging by the leader in deep stretch to win capture the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup, the richest harness racing pacing event in the world, Saturday at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:48. The final time was just a fifth of a second off the stakes record at Mohawk set by Thinking Out Loud in 2012. It also marked the 18th time that an elim winner had also won the final. Named for a ceremonial Japanese sword, 'Wakizashi' had come into the final off a blazing 1:49.2 elim win, when he threw down a :25.3 final quarter while upsetting last year's division champion Artspeak. The 32nd edition of the Cup brought together the finest three-year-old pacers on the continent, including the undefeated Wiggle It Jiggleit, a perfect 11-for-11, including his elim in 1:49.2 and Wakizashi Hanover, who tipped his hand last week as well. For Tetrick, it was his second Cup win, following a victory with favoured Captaintreacherous in 2013. Wakizashi Hanover, purchased for only $23,000 at the Harrisburg Sale in 2013, is owned by a group of Nova Scotians, based in Truro, and trained by Joann Looney-King. The Cup was his fifth and biggest win in six starts this year, after taking two of six last year. But the gelded son of Dragon Again-Western Gesture, bred by Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania, has only been worse than second once. The sire was fourth to Straight Path in the 1998 Cup. "It worked out perfect," said Tetrick. "I got to follow a really good horse (Wiggle It Jiggleit) and the horse did the rest. My horse tipped and we got the job done. He's a nice colt. The connections have done a great job with him. I appreciate them letting me drive the horse. He's versatile. He's a good horse and he's got tons of speed." As expected, Wiggle It Jiggleit, driven by 24-year-old Montrell Teague for his father, owner George Teague, went immediately to the front, laying down fractions of :25.1 (equalling the fastest Cup first-quarter), 53.3 for the half and 1:21 for three-quarters. But right on his tail throughout was Wakizashi Hanover, who was then angled out in mid-stretch and wore down the leader for the mild surprise by three-quarters of a length. Betting Exchange came on for third, three lengths behind the winner, while In The Arsenal, another elim winner from last week, was fourth. "Lots of supporters calling, sending messages in the last two days, it's just been phenomenal," said co-owner Bruce Kennedy, who along with his partners, races under the Tri County Stable banner. "We're living a dream. Three of the six people are brand new owners, never owned a horse before. What a way to start a career. Now they're hooked, I hope. "We've got a great trainer in Joann Looney-King and her husband, Jim, and we have a great relationship. We're all small time operators. I don't know how you get Tim Tetrick as a driver but we did. We had the package coming in." Wakizashi Hanover earned $500,000 for the prestigious win, pushing his career bankroll to almost $700,000. Sent postward the 5-1 third choice, he paid $13.40, $4 and $3.20, combining with Wiggle It Jiggleit ($2.50, $2.20) for a $30.60 (2-3) exactor. A 2-3-4 (Betting Exchange, $8.40) triactor came back $235.10, while a $1 Superfecta [2-3-4-5 (In The Arsenal)] was worth $410.45. Mark McKelvie

EAST RUTHERFORD (June 19, 2015) - The third leg of the Graduate Series for trotters at The Meadowlands pitted a rematch of JL Cruze vs. Father Patrick, this time for $100,000. Fresh off the upset two weeks ago that sent shockwaves throughout the harness racing sport, JL Cruze was given more respect at the windows Friday night, sent off as the 9/5 second choice. Father Patrick was given the nod as the favorite, despite the narrow loss last-out and post 10 tonight, released as the 1/2 choice. JL Cruze floated off the gate, while Father Patrick did the same, watching many trotters vying for early position to his inside. Around the first turn, JL Cruze sat mid-pack in fifth, with Father Patrick right behind him. The early lead belonged to Gural Hanover, who reached the quarter in 26.4. As the field straightened up on the backstretch, JL Cruze launched his bid for the lead, with Father Patrick hot on his heels and the pair ranged up into contention as JL Cruze cleared the lead going to the half-mile in a sharp 54.1. Father Patrick was left uncovered briefly, but he asserted himself rather quickly and made the lead as the field moved into the far turn. His pilot, Yannick Gingras, let Patrick roll to three quarters in 1:22.3, while Sumata was challenging first over. JL Cruze was locked in the pocket for much of the stretch as Father Patrick reached for the line. But inside the final eighth of a mile, the pylons opened up for JL Cruze and John Campbell guided his trotter through the narrow opening where he sprinted to the wire to defeat Father Patrick in a lifetime best 1:50.4. That clocking also equaled the fastest trotting mile of the season thus far. Resolve rallied to be third from well back. JL Cruze is owned by W Kenneth Wood, W J Dittmar Jr and S J Iaquinta and trained by Eric Ell. The four-year-old Crazed gelding cost just $32,000 at the Harrisburg Mixed Sale in November and has now earned $233,638 this season. Driver John Campbell spoke to how the horse has developed. "Back in February, we knew he was good, but I don't think anyone could have predicted this. But he kept getting stronger as time went on and I knew he could trot with these, but I wasn't sure he could win. But he just keeps getting better." Amazingly, trainer Eric Ell reported that JL Cruze kicked his stall the morning of the second round of the Graduate and he considered scratching the horse. Not only did he race, but he defeated Father Patrick, a feat he accomplished again tonight. The $250,000 Graduate Trot Final will be contested on Meadowlands Pace elimination night, Saturday, July 11th. JL Cruze The third leg for the Graduate pacers was also contested Friday night at The Meadowlands for $100,000. An overloaded field of twelve would go to the post and because of the two trailers, the race was contested at 1 1/8th miles. Rockeyed Optimist, a winner of nine of 10 starts this season was sent off as the odds-on favorite, while Doo Wop Hanover, a winner of the first rounds of the Graduate series was let go at 7/2. Both four year olds are trained by Steve Elliot. The early speed came from the inside as Limelight Beach and Lyonssomewhere blasted to the front, but Rockeyed Optimist was aggressive from his outside post and he would grind into it early on and made the lead past the quarter of 27.1. In the meantime, Doo Wop Hanover never saw the pylons and was allowed to settle into his stride uncovered while racing nearly 10 lengths off the lead as Rockeyed Optimist sprinted past the half-mile in 53.4. At that point, Doo Wop Hanover began to a launch a steady bid for the lead while leading the outer flow, tracked by All Bets Off. Rockeyed Optimist completed three-quarters in 1:22.1 as Doo Wop Hanover continued to close in. As the field straightened away in the stretch, the two Elliot trainees were side by side and they put on a show, pacing through the stretch together, leaving the field behind. Doo Wop Hanover, despite being uncovered throughout the nine furlongs, was able to wear down his stable mate and score a win in a world record clocking for one mile and one eighth, winning in 2:02.3, eclipsing the previous mark of 2:03.1, established by Noble Ability in 1999. All Bets Off checked in third. The four-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover  was sent out by owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks. John Campbell swept The Graduate events Friday night and was extremely impressed with the performance of Doo Wop Hanover. "He went a huge trip, but he wasn't working that hard and that was the key. But we were out the whole way and he just kept coming." Both Elliot trainees are being pointed to the $250,000 Graduate Final on Friday, July 3rd. Doo Wop Hanover In other action, Hot List (McArdle) made it back to back victories, both in the form of pylon skimming drives as she won the $28,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace over Iniitowinafortune in a sharp 1:49.4. The win was another on the card for John Campbell who scored a hat trick on the program. The mare is trained by Arnold Marks. The $26,000 Open Trot was won in wire to wire fashion by DW's NY Yank, who led at every pole to score in 1:52.1. Obrigado was locked in the pocket throughout the mile and appeared to have a ton of trot while finishing second. Trainer Ron Burke sent out the winner. DW's NY Yank The $22,800 Cathedra Dot Com Final went to Next Flight Up in a 24-1 upset and she rallied down the center of the racetrack and chased down Oceans Motion, Real Drama and That Woman Hanover to score in 1:50.4 for Brett Miller and trainer Jeff Smith. Next Flight Up Both carryovers in the Jackpot Super Hi-5 lived to fight another day, with the fifth race carryover growing to $162,597 and the last race carryover swelling to $141,004. Total handle for the Friday program yielded a 10-percent increase over the same night in 2014, despite one less race. Racing resumes on Saturday with a 13-race program beginning at 7:15 P.M. Darin Zoccali

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 18 - For the harness racing Tri County Stable of Truro, Nova Scotia, their direct flight to cloud nine was a $23,000 ticket purchased at the Harrisburg Yearling Sale in 2013. The six-partner syndicate will touch down at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday night, in the hopes of watching Wakizashi Hanover trip the timer first in the Pepsi North America Cup final. Comprised of Percy Bonnell, Scott Bowen, David Bugden, Wayne Burley, David Chabassol, and Bruce Kennedy, the group pooled $20,000 in the hopes of jumping back into the racing game. "Three of us have fifty years in the business," said partner Bruce Kennedy. "We had the yearning to get back into racing after some time away so we pulled a group together and hurried down to Harrisburg with the little Black Book in our hands." The story of the Dragon Again gelding snowballs from there. Close friend and neighbour Brent MacGrath of Somebeachsomewhere fame spoke with his contacts at Hanover Shoe Farms, who compiled a list of their yearlings that were likely to fit the requirements of the group. Among the group was Wakizashi Hanover. "We weren't looking for $100,000 yearlings; we were looking for something more reasonable. Everyone judges and grades yearlings differently and with the help of that list, we narrowed it down to 50 or 60 horses." As the sale progressed, the group put in bids on nine yearlings but failed to emerge the winning buyer. This caused them some concern, having purchased a new harness and all the necessary gear for their new horse earlier in the week. "There were around 1,118 yearlings or so in the sale and he was 1,104. We really started looking at the last fifteen horses; we paid a little bit over our budget for him but we were prepared to pay a bit extra over leaving without a horse at all." The group had connected with Maine-based trainer Gordon Corey prior to the sale, having worked with him in the past. The gelding shipped directly to Pinehurst, North Carolina to learn the ropes under Corey's watchful eye. "Corey was happy to have him; he was coming along pretty good from November to February. We kept a weekly record of him, tracking his progress every step of the way." As February arrived, so did stakes payment season. Unsure of what to pay him into, they chose to focus on the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes program. The two-year-old was showing his potential and didn't fail to catch the eye of others. Involved with a horse racing in Harrington, Delaware with Jim King Jr., Corey introduced King to the young hopeful. "Jim was at the Fun Day at Pinehurst to wrap up the winter program. He came over and trained the horse a few trips and really liked him. He trained the horse in 2:19 and Gordon relayed to us how pleased Jim was with the horse. "We made contact with Jim and said 'if you've got space for him, you've got him'. The plan was for Jim to keep him until July to see if he was good enough to bring home to race in our country. Long story short, he hasn't made it to Nova Scotia yet." During his freshman campaign, he posted a record of 2-3-0 in six starts and bankrolled over $100,000 for his connections. Posting a mark of 1:51 over Pocono Downs in a Sires Stakes event, he always seemed to indicate that there was more left in the tank. Kennedy describes the group fondly as a family, united by their beloved horse. "We've grown to have a great relationship with the Kings; Jim is a personal friend and a great partner with Tim Tetrick. We couldn't have afforded to look for a driver like Tim and yet he came our way. "Our six people are really ecstatic about this guy, we've rolled into racing with the elite at three and we never thought we'd be here." Wakizashi Hanover stormed home in his North America Cup elimination from sixth-place to claim victory in a career best of 1:49.2, holding off 1-5 favourite Artspeak in an impressive finish. Emerging from last Saturday fresh and in good spirits, Kennedy is confident in the horse's performance in the final. "He gave us something he was hiding all along, after the race Tim said to me 'he was explosive today, he gave me more than anything I expected to get'. Tim has had a few drives on him and it couldn't have been any better for us, the strategy panned out perfectly. "This morning (June 17) we were at the training center and he trained awesome, he looks as ready as can be. The way he was this morning proved that. He has never missed a meal, rests himself well every day and he's just a happy and healthy horse." Staked lightly last year due to financial constraints and uncertainty, Tri County have an impressive dance card slated for their horse in the upcoming season. "We took all his earnings from last year in Pennsylvania and we reinvested it all in the three-year-old stake program for him." Wakizashi Hanover has many major events on his radar, with the Hempt, the Meadowlands Pace and the Milstein in the near future. The syndicate is also looking further down the road with the Breeders Crown the goal at the end of the season, back on Canadian soil. "I don't know if the horse gets as tired listening to all of these things as I do listing them, but he's got a full place if he can handle it. It's a wicked schedule of fierce competitors. "We're not the richest people in racing but we're the luckiest right now. This kind of a trip, I wish everyone could have this one day in harness racing, just once." Wakizashi Hanover Hannah Beckett for WEG Communications

East Rutherford, NJ - Breakfast with the Babies on Saturday morning at The Meadowlands drew a large harness racing crowd of interested observers on a lovely morning with fluffy clouds, a pleasant breeze and temperatures in the mid-70's as the races began at 9:30am.   Jimmy Takter and Yannick Gingras were back from an exceptionally successful trip to Mohawk last night and they picked up right where they left off, sharing a win in the first race for filly trotters via a dead-heat.   Takter cut the mile with Kathy Parker (Andover Hall) with Gingras in High Heels (Kadabra) tracking her from the pocket. In the stretch High Heels advanced on the leader, but Kathy Parker dug in, stubbornly holding her ground in 2:00.1 / 29-.   High Heels is owned by Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding and Herb Liverman who paid $115,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sales (SHS) last fall, while Kathy Parker cost Mrs. Takter, Brixton Medical, RAW Equine and Joyce McClelland $87,000 at The Lexington Selected Yearling Sale (LSYS).   Race two went to the Muscle Hill filly Dream Child in 2:00.4. Dave Miller moved her to the top as they passed the half in 1:02.3 holding sway over Candy Lane and Powerful Glare. Dream Child was a $75,000 LSYS purchase by Bill Donovan and is trained in the Jonas Czernyson stable.   Ray Schnittker won the third with Will Self, a son of Donato Hanover from the champion mare Fall For You, a $65,000 buy at Harrisburg by Ray with Ted Gewertz, Arden Homestead and the Bordogna Arnold Stable. Ray took the lead early with Will Self, released Dark Pool after the quarter and followed that one until unleashing a powerful 28.3 close on the 2:00.3 mile.   Jan Johnson drove I'm Volo, a Yankee Glide homebred filly he trains for long-time owner Jorgen Jahre, Jr to a 2:02.3 win after storming to the top around the final bend.   Race five shaped up to be a throwback to the "Million Dollar Baby" days with over $1.25 million worth of hopes and dreams spread over the eight trotting colts that lined up behind the gate.   Mosconi Hanover gave both Jimmy Takter and Donato Hanover another winner with a 1:59.4 front end effort. The $190,000 SHS graduate held off a pair of Svanstedt colts in a 29.4 final quarter with Jimmy driving. Christina Takter, Brixton Medical, Lou Camara and Order By Stable comprise the partnership that owns the promising colt.   Ake Svanstedt struck with Dice Man (a $33,000 SHS SJ's Caviar colt) out the pocket with a 28.4 last quarter tacked onto the 2:01.1 mile. Courant AB owns the winner.   Schnittker unveiled a very talented Donato Hanover filly dazzled the crowd with a quick move around the final turn into the 28.1 third quarter then coasted in for the 1:58.3 win. She was a $27,000 bargain bought from the SHS by Ray and Charles Iannazzo.   Takter came back to win the eighth with the $130,000 SHS Cantab Hall colt Cantabra after a prolonged battle with Remix Hanover and Svanstedt. Jimmy drove him to the win for owners Christina Takter and Brixton Medical.   Pacing colts took over in the ninth race with the Somebeachsomewhere Check Six winning for Gingras in 1:56.2 with a 27.3 last split. He comes from the Burke stable where Ron and partners Weaver Bruscemi, Bill Switala and James Martin invested $30,000 to put him in the barn.   The Sportswriter colt Voracity was a winner today in 1:56.1 / 27.3 converting a pocket ride with Scott Zeron driving for Tony Alagna. He cost Brad Grant, John Fodera and his trainer $47,000 at the Lexington sale last fall.   Corey Callahan sent Brooklynite right to the front from his open outside post and set solid fractions, lasting for the 1:54.2 win. Joe Holloway trains the winner for Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, Rojan Stable and L&L DeVisser who paid $80,000 for the son of Somebeachsomewhere at Harrisburg last fall.   Eloquent Grace opened the filly pacing races with a 1:55.2 / 28.1 score for Burke & Gingras. She popped out of the pocket and barely wore down a very game American Ivy for the "W". The Well Said filly brought an $80,000 bid from Burke Racing, Ed Gold, Howard Taylor and J&T Silva.   Burke and Gingras came right back with the $42,000 SHS buy Yankee Moonshine, a Yankee Cruiser filly who looked sharp winning for the second time, this one in 1:56.2. Burke Racing, JT 45, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi own her.   Western Dynasty was dead game to win in the fourteenth and last two-year-old race, holding off three closers after setting the pace in 1:57.2 / 27.3. Dave Miller drove the $100,000 SHS Western Ideal colt for trainer Chris Ryder who shares ownership with Craig Henderson and Bob Mondillo. Beach Ogre, Capital Builder and Mindtrip were across the track in pursuit.   To see the full results click here   Videos will be added as they become avaliable   Race 1 - High Heels     Race 2 - Dream Child       Race 3 - Will Self     Race 4 - I'm Volo       Race 5 - Mosconi Hanover     Race 6 - Dice Man       Race 7 - Windowshopper       Race 8 - Cantabra     Race 9 - Check Six       Race 10 - Voracity       Race 11 - Brooklynite       Race 12 - Eloquent Grace       Race 13 - Yankee Moonshine       Race 14 - Western Dynasty       Live racing tonight at The Meadowlands begins at 7:15pm.   Meadowlands Media Relations Department

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 11 - As bidding stalled at $7,000 on one of White Birch Farm's yearlings at the Harrisburg sale in 2013, Farm Manager Steve Williams felt compelled to act. Choosing to buy the colt back for $7,500, he soon proved to be the ultimate harness racing bargain. Making his first start on Canadian soil in the second $50,000 North America Cup elimination on Saturday night, In The Arsenal will be looking to extend his sophomore win-streak after going three for three to start his campaign. In his first start of 2015, the American Ideal colt captured a New York Sires Stakes event in a tidy 1:50 before finishing on top in both his Art Rooney elimination and the $300,000 final. Choosing to forego the Somebeachsomewhere at Mohawk Racetrack on June 6, trainer Kelvin Harrison believes he is good and fresh going into the eliminations. "He's a little more mature as a three year old," said Harrison. "He didn't grow much but he is a lot smarter than he was last year. "I didn't feel it was necessary to send him to the 'Somebeach'. He raced three weeks in a row and I wanted him to get some rest before the North America Cup." In The Arsenal's freshman campaign saw a 6-1-1 record in eleven starts, banking just shy of $400,000. Owned by White Birch Farm and In The Arsenal Racing, he took a mark of 1:49.4 over Lexington in September before rounding out the season with an impressive performance in the Breeders Crown final, finishing second by a head to Traceur Hanover. Though he picked up the lion's share of the purse in the Art Rooney final on May 30, a slight bobble at the wire gave fans pause and nearly cost him the race. Fortunately, Harrison believes this nothing to show concern over. "It was the finish lights at Yonkers. There was a little bit of sunlight peaking over the building and he ducked a little sideways. He made it look worse than it actually was." The fourteenth foal out of Ladyotra headed north Wednesday morning with Harrison following suit on Thursday. Brian Sears is confirmed to drive, after establishing a successful partnership with the colt in his last nine starts. "He's going to be stabled at (Richard) 'Nifty' Norman's place. Hopefully we'll be there after the eliminations and for the final." In The Arsenal's first start in Canada will bring Harrison back to Mohawk after a seven year hiatus. His last start came in the Breeders Crown Open Mare Pace where his trainee Free held off a hard-closing Invitro to finish third. He will be looking for repeat success, with a finish in the top three guaranteeing a coveted spot in the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup Final on June 20. "He was very good coming out of the Rooney. He's obviously as good as anything I've ever had; he's a real tough horse." Harrison has seen his fair share of success, with $11.9 million in purses collected over the last thirteen years and he is hopeful In The Arsenal will do his part in helping him surpass the 1,000 win milestone. The three-year-old will start from post position seven and is one of only two horses in his elimination field to bypass the Somebeachsomewhere. He will face off against division winner Dudes the Man, who won handily in his 'Beach' division for Corey Callahan in 1:50.3, to his outside in post position eight. The field also includes Bob McIntosh trainee Go Daddy Go, who rallied to finish a strong second in his division after starting from the ten hole. Pennsylvania invader Allbeef N Nobull and The Wayfaring Man are likely to find themselves in the mix as well, posing a challenge for Harrison's trainee. "It's a talented field; they wouldn't be there if they weren't. It comes down to a little luck and a big effort. "It's like I always say 'it's not where you start, it's where you finish'." In The Arsenal is staked to the majority of major stakes event throughout the rest of the season, with the Meadowlands Pace and the Little Brown Jug on Harrison's radar. Twenty-four horses will start in three North America Cup eliminations Saturday (June 13) at Mohawk in search of a spot in the $1 million final the following week. The first race goes to post at 7:25 p.m. Hannah Beckett for WEG Communications

East Rutherford, NJ - Saturday morning served as Opening Day for the 2015 harness racing edition of Breakfast With The Babies at The Meadowlands. It was a beautiful, windless morning with temperatures in the 70's. There were but four two-year-old races with short fields in all.   The first race was for trotters with a field of three fillies. Royal Treason led all the way with a 28.4 sprint on the end of a mile in 202.2 for driver Tim Tetrick. She's a daughter of RC Royalty owned by trainer Paul Kelley in partnership with Charlie Iannazzo, Steve Michaels and Jim Winske. She was a $26,000 purchase at the Morrisville sale last fall.   Colt trotters came up next and the Andover Hall colt Mikkeli Hanover looked like his $130,000 Harrisburg price tag may have been a bargain. He set all fractions as driver Yannick Gingras did his best to rate the colt through a sensible 1:01 half, tacking a 28.2 final quarter on the 1:59.3 mile under wraps. He sure is big and pretty! Ron Burke trains for his Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino and Panhellic Stable Corp.   Also noteworthy in this race was the sharp looking Cantab Hall colt Rocky Hanover who followed along willingly to be second just a few lengths off the winner, finishing under his own power. Rocky Hanover will sell tomorrow in the Tattersalls Mixed sale as Hip #9 for trainer Tony Alagna and Steve Stewart.   A pair of Burke pacing fillies squared off in the third with Yankee Moonshine holding Eloquent Grace at bay though a sparkling 26.3 close to a 1:57.2 mile. Matt Kakaley drove the $42,000 Harrisburg Yankee Cruiser filly for Burke Racing, Stable 45, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi. The Roll With Joe filly Play Again went along nicely to be third here and she will be sold in tomorrow's sale as Hip #7.   Stolen Glimpse looked sharp, easily winning the colt pace in 1:55.3/27.2 for Gingras and Burke. The Art Major colt was a $100,000 Harrisburg purchase by Stable 45, J&T Silva and Burke Racing. No Shame Blue Chip, also sale-bound as Hip #6, set the early fractions here.   Moving on, one of last season's top freshman filly trotters and half-mile track World Record holder Wild Honey breezed a mile in 1:54.1/27.2 for Yannick. She looked fantastic today for trainer Jimmy Takter scoring a decisive open length win over the good colt Billy Flynn.   Gural Hanover (Gingras) and JL Cruze (John Campbell) came out to sharpen up for next week's second leg of the Graduate Series and sharpen up they did. Gural Hanover cut the mile as JL Cruze followed along in second through a 1:24.3 three quarters, then threw up a 27 flat last quarter to finish the 1:51.3 mile that drew a couple of "Wows" from the small crowd of attendees. JL Cruze actually closed it up a bit in the final eighth under no urging at all.   The field of pacers that lined up next would be the feature at any track with three of the entrants, Foiled Again, McWicked and Bettor's Edge accounting for more than $9 million. There were all nearly upstaged by That's My Opinion who bull rushed the field just past the McWicked-led 57.2 half and opened up by three or four. Ultimately, the old warrior Foiled Again (Gingras) saved the day by tracking That's My Opinion down near the wire in 1:51 flat and he looked good doing it. It's good to see him back.   That's My Opinion sells as Hip #84 tomorrow, he may be the sleeper of the sale.   JK Endofanera (Gingras) and Somewhere In LA (Brett Miller) were also getting in some work before the Graduate leg, the former zipping around the oval in 1:50 off a half in 56 for Gingras going under the wire four or five in advance of his chief rival.   Three year old pacer King Of Delight closed it out with a 1:51.3 win for trainer/driver Richie Silverman over Dream's Beachboy and the sale-bound Suchasenseofhumor (Hip #54) who set the fractions and held well late.   Live racing resumes tonight at 7:15pm and it will be accompanied by the annual Food Truck battle known as JerseyFest.   Royal Treason (Race 1 Baby race)     Mikkeli Hanover (Race 2 Baby race)     Yankee Moonshine (Race 3 Baby race)     Stolen Glimpse  (Race 4 Baby race)     Toys Is Ours (Race 5 qualifier)     Wild Honey (Race 6 qualifier)     Gural Hanover (Race 7 qualifier)     Foiled Again (Race 8 qualifier)     JK Endofanera (Race 9 qualifier)     Well Hello There (Race 10 qualifier)     King Of Delight (Race 11 qualifier)     Meadowlands Media Relations Department    

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (May 20, 2015) - Most harness racing trainers would be happy if their prized pupil started their three-year-old season with an impressive win, but Nik Drennan continues to describe Guess Who's Back as a work in progress. "He was good and I was happy, just not 100-percent happy," said Drennan in describing his colt's win in last week's opening leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes at the Meadowlands. "He put in a few steps around the first turn so we're just trying to work some things out. He has to get over his issues. We need to get him on a regular routine of racing so that we can build his confidence and get him stronger both mentally and physically." Guess Who's Back has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite in the second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, co-feature on the Meadowlands 12-race Friday program. Brian Sears will drive the Muscles Yankee colt. The other opening leg winner, French Laundry, was given the week off by trainer Jimmy Takter. Guess Who's Back sold for $90,000 as a yearling at the Harrisburg Sale. His dam is a half-sister to the millionaire Breeders Crown champion Poof She's Gone. He is owned by Joseph Davino in partnership with Brad Shackman, TLP Stable and J&T Silva Stables. Drennan said he has never had a horse as good as Guess Who's Back, yet he is far from a finished product. He flashed major talent last year, winning the $100,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Final, but also frustrated Drennan by going off-stride in four starts. "He was pretty big," explained Drennan. "Last year he looked like a four-year-old and was racing against horses that were half his size. Now he probably looks like a five-year-old. He had to get over some aches and pains last year. It's more mental than anything with him now. The next couple of starts will tell with him." Friday's card also includes the second leg of the New Jersey Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies and an Open Handicap for pacing mares that serves as the seasonal debut of stakes-winning four-year-olds Sandbetweenurtoes and Act Now. There is a carryover of $124,509 in the race five Jackpot Super High 5 and $96,746 in the last race Jackpot Super High 5. Post time is 7:15 p.m. Belmont Stakes Trip Giveaway With the eyes of the racing world fixed upon American Pharoah and his quest for thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, the Meadowlands is going to give one of its fans a trip of a lifetime. Fans visiting the Meadowlands during live racing can enter to win a VIP trip to the Belmont Stakes. The prize package includes clubhouse seating for four, dining in the Marquee Tent, and a parking pass. The winner will be drawn May 29. Fans must be present to win the grand prize. Justin Horowitz

Harness racing trainer Jim Campbell is happy with Honor And Serve's preparation for his 3-year-old season. He is less excited about the way the trotting colt will have to start it. Honor And Serve opens his campaign Thursday by competing in the fourth of four Pennsylvania Sire Stakes divisions at Harrah's Philadelphia. He faces a group that includes returning Dan Patch Award-winner Pinkman as well as stakes-winners Walter White and Cruzado Dela Noche. A total of 23 Hambletonian Stakes-eligible trotters will race in Thursday's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes divisions at Philly. Trainer Jimmy Takter sends out the morning line favorite in each division: Uncle Lasse in the first, Whom Shall I Fear in the second, The Bank in the third, and Pinkman in the fourth. The $1 million Hambletonian is Aug. 8 at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Last year, Honor And Serve won two preliminary divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and finished second to Billy Flynn in the $260,000 series championship. He also finished second to Habitat in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile. He ended the season with six top-three finishes in nine starts and earnings of $164,920 for owner Fashion Farms. Two of his off-the-board finishes came when he went off stride and the other was a fifth-place finish where he was beaten by only 1-1/2 lengths in a division of the International Stallion Stakes. "I was happy with his year," Campbell said. "He raced really good in some of the sire stakes, including the sire stakes final, and he raced good in Lexington too. We had a couple disappointments with him making breaks in the Peter Haughton (Stakes) and the Matron; in the Haughton he just took a bad step and in the Matron he kind of got jammed up a little bit. "But he was the type of horse that never got hurt or anything like that, so hopefully he'll come back and have a good year for us." Honor And Serve is a son of Donato Hanover - the 2007 Horse of the Year - out of mare Honorable Daughter, who received the 2008 Dan Patch Award for best 2-year-old female trotter. Bred by Valley High Stable, the colt sold for $75,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale. "He's matured both physically and mentally," Campbell said. "He showed us some nice speed last year and he's bigger and stronger this year so hopefully he'll be able to carry it further." Honor And Serve prepped for the start of this season with two qualifiers, winning the second in 1:56.2 on May 5 at Harrah's Philadelphia. He will start his Pennsylvania Sire Stakes race from post one with driver Tim Tetrick and is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line. Pinkman, who is 2-1, also is making his seasonal debut. He will leave from post three with driver Yannick Gingras. Last season, Pinkman won six of eight races and earned $566,960. Named after a character from the television series "Breaking Bad" (as is stablemate Walter White) the gelding's victories included the Breeders Crown, in a stakes-record-equaling 1:53.2, and Valley Victory Stakes. Walter White, Cruzado Dela Noche, and Dapper Don all enter the race 1-for-1 this season. Cruzado Dela Noche won a division of the Pennsylvania All Stars on May 2 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono while Walter White and Dapper Don won conditioned races. "We couldn't have asked him to be any better in his two qualifiers," Campbell said about Honor And Serve. "It's just unfortunate he got into the division he got in, but we have no control over that. "He's staked for everything. What he races in, that's going to be week to week. There are a lot of good horses out there, that's for sure." Whom Shall I Fear, who is a full brother to Dan Patch Award winners Pastor Stephen and Father Patrick, is 3-for-3 this year after going winless in five starts last season. He is coming off a victory in the Pennsylvania All Stars and is the 9-5 morning line favorite in the second PaSS division. Uncle Lasse, a full brother to Trotter of the Year Shake It Cerry, last year won a division of the Bluegrass and finished second in the Peter Haughton and Valley Victory. He is making his seasonal debut and is the 2-1 choice in the first PaSS group. The Bank, who also won a Bluegrass division last season, is the 2-1 favorite in the third division. Here is a link to Thursday's entire card at Harrah's Philadelphia. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

WILKES-BARRE PA - Harness racing trainer Ron Burke and driver Matt Kakaley swept both $15,000 divisions of the third leg of the Bobby Weiss Series for pacing males Saturday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with Victory At Last now 3-for-3 in the series and Major Uptrend making his initial Weiss start a winning one.   After winning by a head in the first two legs, the Quik Pulse Mindale gelding Victory At Last had it relatively easy in the third, coming out of the pocket and gaining into a 55.4 final half to defeat Shadow Margeaux, the only other previous Weiss winner in his division, by ¾ of a length while taking a new mark of 1:52.1 for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC.   Major Uptrend, a big factor in the winter series at The Meadowlands, had made breaks in his last two outings, in the Sagamore Hill Series at Yonkers, and the switch to the more spacious oval proved a good tonic for the altered son of Somebeachsomewhere and Tricky Tooshie, who won over $1M on the racetrack. The Major marched to the lead past the ¼, then threw twin 27.4 splits on the end of his mile to complete the handy triumph in 1:51.3 for owner Howard Taylor, defeating four previous Weiss division winners, including second-place YS Lotus, making his sixth start in 18 days (racing in the Sagamore and Weiss three straight weeks).   One other interesting note: both winners sold at Harrisburg as yearlings - Major Uptrend for $177,000, Victory At Last for $7500.   PHHA / Pocono

Louisville, KY --- He is not quite sure how all these harness racing agents tracked down his number, but Andrew Moore’s cell phone began to ring incessantly on Jan. 9. Nearly 90 days later, people still have not received the message as Moore and his girlfriend, Dr. Tiffany Richards of Russell Equine in Ontario, have no intention of selling their stable star Maplelea. “I guess you should never say never,” said the 35-year-old Prince Edward Island native. “But it would have to be a partnership and it would have to be the perfect situation. Believe me, my girlfriend picked her out and she said she is not going anywhere. Somehow or another, the woman always wins.” The 3-year-old daughter of Sportswriter and the Run The Table mare Maple Lady is one the hottest horses in harness racing and will seek to make it five wins in a row when she competes in the second leg of the Blossom Series at Woodbine Racetrack on Monday (April 6). She will commence her mile from post six, with regular reinsman Rick Zeron in charge, as the 4-5 morning line favorite after a facile triumph in 1:57 in the first leg of the series on March 30. A $7,000 yearling purchase at the 2013 Standardbred Horse Sale, Maplelea’s seasonal record now stands at a sparkling 8-6-2-0 with just under $60,000 in the bank and a mark of 1:53.4s in a dominating performance in the second leg of the Horseplayer Interactive Series on March 13. The filly took those first two legs by a total margin of 14-1/4 lengths before cruising home in the final by 4-1/4 lengths in 1:55.3. As a 2-year-old, however, she only made it to the gate on three occasions, hit the board once and earned a mere $979. So how did Maplelea come home fourth at Rideau Carleton in a $3,870 non-winners race on Dec. 28 and pace to a maiden-breaking triumph in an $11,900 non-winners contest at Woodbine on Jan. 8? Well, it’s pretty simple really. It involved a little bit of luck, a lot of class in the family tree and Zeron grabbing the lines. “To tell you the truth I was looking at her pedigree at the sale and her mother was a nice mare that made more than $260,000 going up against the best,” said Moore, who is a schoolteacher by day. “Meanwhile Tiffany was looking her over and she was slightly off in one knee, as well as being on the small side, but not many people would notice the knee. Tiffany really wanted her, especially after her mother and brother went through the ring and the price was right, so we took her home. “She was easy to break and then right around the first week of December, before I could even put hobbles on her, we found her face down in her stall with one of her back feet stuck in the stall bars,” Moore said. “Thank God we were able to get her shoes off and get her out of there. “She was sore in her back and hind end, but I was not sure what kind of racehorse she would ever be after that or if she did something that would not allow her to ever be a racehorse. So I just gave her time and did not even jog her for months after that. “Last year was just about giving her an education and she was racing against colts, as well as older mares. Also, I took care of her while I was driving. I just wanted her to learn what she was supposed to do and then was ever so fortunate she did not hurt herself too badly. We had a chiropractor work on her and now I always put a mat up in her stall. She goes nowhere without it because she’s a good-feeling horse and does like to bounce around in there.” Although her sire was certainly no slouch, Maplelea does hail from a high quality female line. All four of her siblings have made it to the races and collected purse money, with Storm The Beach (Somebeachsomewhere, p,4,1:50.2, $169,909) the most prolific to date. Her dam is a half-sister to College Student (Beach Towel, p,3,1:54, $117,563), Rusty’s For Real (Real Artist, p,3,1:50f, $429,747), Takemewithyou (Artiscape, p,1:51.2f, $158,206) and Winbak Carl (Royal Mattjesty, p,1:51f, $101,948). Her second dam, the Cam Fella mare Cams Exotic, also amassed $618,585 on the racetrack and at the astonishing age of 27 has a 2-year-old Dragon Again colt in Cloud Speed. Her last two foals have both broken the $100,000 barrier in purse money. Also, Maplelea’s third dam, Armbro Exotic, although nowhere near as superb on the racetrack as Maple Lady and Cams Exotic, or in the breeding shed, did produce a full brother to Cams Exotic in Exotic Earl p,4,1:50.2 ($412,165) and is by Niatross. “I did train a couple Run The Tables and one thing I noticed about them was they had a lot of longevity,” Moore said. “Also, I was very attracted to her third dam and that pedigree. “Maple is just such a pleasure to be around; words cannot express it. She has great manners, is two fingers to drive and we are just lucky she did not hurt herself badly in her stall. To this day, we have no idea how she managed to do that, but we just know we don’t want it to ever happen again and are so very thankful.” As far as what awaits Maplelea after her participation in the Blossom Series, Moore and Richards will allow her to tell them. They are, however, pointing towards a prestigious race her dam was ninth in. “Because of that injury, I did not pay her into very much as I just did not know if she was going to come back from it,” he said. “I did pay her into another series after this one and she is paid into the Fan Hanover. I know those are the very best fillies and we will see if she can go with them, but you will never know if you don’t try. “Let’s just say I don’t think she could ever really disappoint us and she is just a very special filly.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Trenton, NJ --- In 2008, veterinarians Randy Hutchison and his dad, Robert, visited the Standardbred Horse Sale. It was the first time the father and son went to inspect and actually purchase a harness racing yearling on their own. Call it instinct, good horse sense or just plain beginner’s luck, but the Hutchisons were about to go on a nice little seven-year ride that ended last Friday night (March 13). They purchased a female pacer named Keystone Linda for $4,000, renamed her Holiday Shopper at the urging of Randy’s daughter Anna, and the mare proceeded to win 30 times and earned $403,649. That’s a pretty good bang for the buck, and it concluded at Miami Valley Raceway in Ohio with a second-place finish on Friday. “She raced well and she gave it her best, she didn’t embarrass herself,” Randy Hutchison said. “We decided that would be her last race because over the last two to three months we just started to see the number of races and miles she raced over the last six years starting to catch up a little bit. “We always said she’s been too good of a horse to just watch her go around the track. We were going to let her go out with some dignity.” The laid-back daughter of Camluck carried herself with dignity throughout her racing career, first under the training of Ivan and Duke Sugg, and for the last four years under Jeff Brewer. Ivan Sugg was with the Hutchisons at Harrisburg when the filly entered the auction ring. She was sitting at $3,000 and Sugg felt she was definitely worth that much. Randy and Robert bid $4,000 and had themselves a horse. “She had a good video and was put together well,” Randy said. “Some thought she was too small, but we have never really found that to be a huge problem. “We kind of have a certain standard we look for. Are they anatomically correct so they have the chance of holding up to the rigors of racing? We watched hundreds and hundreds of yearling videos. She just had something about her, she had the anatomy and athleticism we liked, and her breeding.” After the name change -- because Anna liked the name Holiday -- the horse began racing as a 2-year-old, started out decently and remained consistent up until her finale. “She’s gone strong,” Randy said. “Even last year she won 11 times. That first year, she had some races in the stakes program in Ontario. There were a few races where she really started to show her heart and competitiveness and we realized we did have something more than a regular horse. We thought she was just something that might be a little better than what we expected.” Actually, she was a lot better than expected. Some of her highlights were finishing second as a 2-year-old in the $92,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots final and racing in the Jugette in the Hutchisons’ home state of Ohio. “We like to race pacing fillies. That’s our goal to get to that race, and she got us in that race,” Randy said. “She didn’t do anything in it (finishing sixth in her opening heat). But just to be in there and being in that barn and being part of that was fabulous. All her sire stakes races in Ontario were great. Just really the whole thing over all seven years. And because she’s the first one we picked out ourselves it made it even more special.” Robert, who lives in North Ridgeville, Ohio, had been an owner for nearly 30 years before he and Randy (of Avon Lake, Ohio) teamed up for the purchase. They have bought several others on their own and have parts of six horses now. Holiday Shopper is the most successful of them all, and is also a friend of the family. “My whole family knew her, knew who she was,” Randy said. “For my dad for Christmas we had a painting of her done. She was the best horse (results-wise) we’ve had and she provided not only excitement, but a lot of great family moments with my dad and myself, my wife and my family.” Holiday Shopper raced primarily in Canada before finishing up in Ohio the past two years. She will now be a broodmare and the Hutchisons are hoping they might be able to race one of her offspring. One thing is certain, if she does as well giving birth as she did on the track, some good horses are on the way. Asked if they ever expected to earn 10 times as much as they paid for Holiday Shopper, Randy said, “No, never. It’s kind of one of those things, it just happened. You look at her winnings, she’s won almost the same every year, we never would have thought that. “I mean, she hasn’t won $2 million. But to us, she’s special.” by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (March 11, 2015) - With wins already in the Super Bowl and Charles Singer Memorial, JL Cruze begins his quest for a third straight harness racing winter series win Friday (March 13) in the opening round of the Shiaway St. Pat, honoring the 1981 Hambletonian champion, at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment. Thirteen trotters were entered for Friday's first round. JL Cruze is the 6/5 morning line favorite in the second of two divisions, which will go as the twelfth race on the 13-race card. The thirteenth race features a $161,277 carryover in the Jackpot Super High 5. JL Cruze was purchased for $37,000 at last fall's Harrisburg Mixed Sale by Mid-Atlantic based trainer Eric Ell for owners Kenneth Wood, Bill Dittmar, Jr., and Stephen Iaquinta. In the 10 starts with Ell, JL Cruze has earned $87,760 with seven wins and two runner-up finishes. "Originally, we just wanted a horse to race up through his conditions in Delaware, but he has been a blessing in disguise," explained Ell. "He just does it so easily and it looks like he's the one to beat again heading into this series." The 55-year-old Ell has trained more than 1,100 winners with more than $14 million in earnings during his career. Always humble and gracious, Ell admits he has had many solid racehorses during his career. He describes his biggest win as the 2011 Maxie Lee at Harrah's Philadelphia with Anders Bluestone, who would go on to earn more than $1 million. "[JL Cruze] just might be one of the best we've had," admitted Ell. "If he keeps improving like he has, you never know." Hall of Famer John Campbell will take his usual seat behind JL Cruze on Friday. Ell will also be represented in the Shiaway St. Pat with another exciting prospect; Razor Ramone brings a five-race winning streak into the first division and will be driven Friday for the first time by Hall of Famer David Miller. Ell purchased the son of Kadabra out of Canada last September. Like JL Cruze, he's owned by Iaquinta and Dittmar. "He can trot a lot, but not quite like JL Cruze yet," said Ell. "He's good on a five-eighths mile track, but I'm not sure if the big track at the Meadowlands will help. He's a stocky built, 'Mighty Mouse' type of horse. His qualifier last week was a good tightener and we're looking forward to seeing how he races on Friday." Holloway Provides Update on star pacing mares Trainer Joe Holloway's Somwherovrarainbow headlines a field of eight in Friday's $30,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace. The 2012 champion 2-year-old pacing filly has raced only once this year, an easy win in January at the Meadowlands. "I needed to see if she would return to her good form this year and so far it looks like she has," said Holloway. "I expect her to race like herself on Friday and continue after that." Holloway said the plan is to race Somwherovrarainbow in the Blue Chip Matchmaker at Yonkers Raceway. Holloway also reported that his other star mare, world champion Shebestingin, has been retired from racing and is scheduled to be bred to Captaintreacherous. Mare Open Trot Written for Friday A new class has been added to the Friday condition sheet. A Mare Open Handicap Trot for a purse of $27,500 - $30,000 is listed in the hope that enough top trotting mares enter to fill the class. The next condition sheet can be accessed by following this link. By Justin Horowitz for Meadowlands Media Relations  

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (March 4, 2015) - She's named for the heroine in The Hunger Games, yet the racing career of Katniss has taken a bit longer than was hoped to live up to its lofty expectations. With a price tag of $260,000, Katniss was the most expensive trotting filly to sell at the 2013 Harrisburg yearling sale. She was picked out by trainer Francisco Del Cid and purchased by owner Mario Mazza. Friday, March 6, Katniss makes her long-awaited debut in the first race at the Meadowlands. The 3-year-old Credit Winner filly is a full-sister to $1.1 million stakes winner Dejarmbro and her dam, Armbro Deja Vu, is a half-sister to millionaire world champion Manofmanymissions. "She suffered a soft tissue injury on the back of her front left leg last year when she reared up over a stall gate," said trainer Julie Miller, who has taken over training of the filly. "The owner gave her plenty of time to recover and it's not bothering her now. Hopefully she turns into a nice New York Sire Stakes filly or even more of a stakes horse, especially with that pedigree." Katniss enters Friday's race off a pair of qualifiers, drew post nine and will be driven by Andy Miller. She's listed at 3/1 on the morning line. "We're hoping she has a good positive experience racing for the first time," said her trainer. "Hopefully she passes a few horses down the stretch and finishes well." Friday's 13-race card at the Meadowlands is headlined by a $27,500 Open Handicap Trot. The field of eight is led by the coupled entry of Lindy's Tru Grit and Master of Law. Lindy's Tru Grit scored a narrow victory over Master of Law two weeks ago in their last starts. "[Lindy's Tru Grit] was staked lightly this year," continued Miller, who also trains Lindy's Tru Grit. "He's not the best trainer but he sure shows up to race. He's best tracking horses and utilizing that Meadowlands slingshot move." Friday's program also features two large carryovers in the Jackpot Super High 5. The fifth race carryover is now $41,316 and the thirteenth race carryover is $148,525. By Justin Horowitz for Meadowlands Media Relations          

Harrisburg, PA---No sooner had pedigree reader Bob Heyden introduced Saturday's (Nov. 8) equine celebrity in the Standardbred Horse Sale with, “Here comes Maven,” did auctioneer Dan Green start rattling off numbers. “Three, four, I’m looking for five,” he said, moving in $100,000 increments.    The first flash of the board was $500,000 and it jumped a few quick flashes from there before stalling at $750,000, when Green called for a brief respite at $750,000. That’s just the first heat,” he said. But there were no more bids and the hammer fell at $750,000 to Herb Liverman, standing in a hall adjacent to the sales area with trainer Jimmy Takter at his side.  The price was enough to make the world champion Maven 4, 1:51.4h ($1,594,496), Dan Patch and O'Brien Award Older Mare Trotter of the Year, the highest-priced trotting mare to sell at public auction. Mystical Sunshine previously held that mark at $525,000, selling in 2007. “That was probably my last bid and probably a hundred more than I thought,” said Liverman after signing the sales slip. “I own [2013 Horse of the Year] Bee A Magician 3, 1:51 ($2,607,870) and I wanted them to not race against each other, so we’re probably going to race her against colts.”  Asked if she might make her next start in the stable of Jimmy Takter, Liverman said, “That’s not set in stone, but I want Bee A Magician to be in one race and Maven in another. I hate to look ahead with horses, you know. I once bid a million and didn’t get a horse at auction, Cameron Hall, remember that? "I don’t have a partner; I bought her myself.”  Cameron Hall sold for $1.1 million as a 2-year-old in 2001. Asked if he might race in the Open Trot at the Breeders Crown this month, Liverman said, “I have to talk to Jimmy, but I don’t want to race her against Bee A Magician.” The moment was, for seller Bill Donovan, “Bittersweet. She brought some victories that most people only dream of.  She was a storybook, but every book has an ending and I guess it ended today. I actually bought a filly out of her three-quarter sister, bought her at $55,000 last year and didn’t make the races. Even though I’m getting out of the commercial breeding business, I’m still keeping a few mares so that I can raise them and race them myself, so that filly is one I will keep.”  To view mobile phone video of Maven being sold, click here.  Boccone Dolce sold for $250,000 to Diamond Creek Farm from the Northwood Bloodstock Agency consignment for owners Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm and Donald Robinson. The 2-year-old filly has a mark of 1:56.4 and is a granddaughter of Pizza Dolce 3, 1:52.4 ($668,824). Final numbers are not in yet, but sales figures appear to be up. “Racehorses are selling like crazy,” said Paul F. “Pete” Spears, CEO of the Standardbred Sales Company.  “There seems to be a 33 percent or even 50 percent premium over what I’ve seen in recent years.  It used to be you could use a horse’s yearly earnings as a gauge, but they’re selling far in excess of that.”  Asked what he thought might be the reason for the inflated prices, Spears said, “Supply and demand.” 

Harrisburg, PA---High-priced broodmares were the headliners of the first day of the mixed portion of the Standardbred Horse Sale, held Friday (Nov. 7).  Selling for $200,000 was 3-year-old filly Royalty Forever, the full sister to 2013 Hambletonian winner Royalty For Life.    In foal to Muscle Hill, the #1375 sales slip was signed by Robert Lindstrom of Sweden. She was sold by the same partnership group that owns Royalty For Life.  “She was very marketable; a beautiful filly in foal to the right stallion and everything seemed to fit,” said former co-owner, Paul Fontaine. “It was time to move her, given the fact that the stallion is just going in to stud service and the stallion line has been very hot. Yearlings are selling well. We had her in foal to Muscle Hill and all the stars were aligned to sell her. She’s absolutely beautiful, which is much of the reason she sold so well; stunning, stunning looking filly.”  Also selling with a $200,000 price tag was hip #1417, Fancy Filly, a daughter of Western Hanover carrying her second foal, by Somebeachsomewhere. The Dan Patch and O’Brien champion 2-year-old pacing filly champion is the sibling of eight winners out of her dam Fanciful Hanover, all of them in 1:55 or better. She’s headed to White Birch Farm in Allentown, N.J. The day’s offerings were a mixed bag of stallion shares, broodmares, weanlings and some yearlings. They collectively sold for $5,632,000. The day’s results can be found here. Selling resumes Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with racehorses. by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

Harrisburg, PA --- Through the close of sales on Wednesday, the cumulative yearling average at the Standardbred Horse Sale made up some ground from losses against 2013 as the average of all horses sold is down about 5.1 percent. However, comparing Wednesday against Wednesday from last year to this, the day was up about 5.1 percent, which helped make up ground from the previous two days. Paul F. “Pete” Spears, CEO of the Sales company, has no clear indication of the soft spots in the market. “We picked up a little bit of ground today, not enough to make up for the first two days, but it was stronger today. We do have certain consigners that like to backload their consignments and obviously it’s not a usual thing to have a $200,000 filly sell on Wednesday (hip No. 751, High Fashion Model, Western Terror–Makes You Wonder, bought by John Como Jr. from the All American Harnessbred consignment) so it’s an example of that. “I’ve been walking around and asking people what they think of the sale and many people have said to me that they’re scratching their heads, too. Certain horses that were going to bring too much money for them -- so they didn’t bother to look at -- suddenly they’re bargains, but because they didn’t look at them, they didn’t bid. Other horses that they wanted to go after they suddenly found they couldn’t touch, so it’s been a very schizophrenic sale. “I think we kind of obsess a little too much about average some times and I think that’s part of the reason we are so focused on the average of each and every single day. When I talk to people, they’re still looking for horses and as I say some are still puzzled. Some of them have told me they’re going to intensely re-review tomorrow in more detail because of what has happened to them, so they don’t overlook a good horse tomorrow.” Wednesday’s yearlings averaged $20,156 overall against $19,170 last year. Trotting fillies dropped a bit from last year, averaging $17,220 against $19,663 in 2013, while the trotting colts moved a bit ahead with an average of $22,946 against $21,527 in ’13. On the pacing side, colts this year averaged $20,584 but last year were $21,336. Buoyed by the $200,000 High Fashion Model sale, the average for pacing fillies was $17,320 this year and $15,250 last year. Comparative Sales Stats–Day Three Year-Gait/Sex-No. Sold-Gross-Average 2014-Pacing Colts-59-$1,214,500-$20,584 2013-Pacing Colts-70-$1,493,500-$21,336 2014-Pacing Fillies-81-$1,403,000-$17,320 2013-Pacing Fillies-80-$1,220,000-$15,250 2014-Trotting Colts-75-$1,721,000-$22,946 2013-Trotting Colts-56-$1,205,500-$21,527 2014-Trotting Fillies-59-$1,1016,00-$17,220 2013-Trotting Fillies-62-$1,218,500-$19,663 2014 Totals-275-$5,541,500-$20,150 2013 Totals-268-$5,137,500-$19,170 Cumulative Totals Year-Gait/Sex-No. Sold-Gross-Average 2014-Pacing Colts-210-$9,045,000-$43,071 2013-Pacing Colts-222-$10,273,500-$46,277 2014-Pacing Fillies-217-$6,460,000-$29,770 2013-Pacing Fillies-215-$6,307,000-$29,335 2014-Trotting Colts-205-$8,933,000-$43,576 2013-Trotting Colts-187-$8,335,500-$44,575 2014-Trotting Fillies-177-$6,089,500-$34,404 2013-Trotting Fillies-161-$6,292,000-$39,081 2014 Totals-810-$30,551,500-$37,718 2013 Totals-785-$31,208,000-$39,753 DAY 3 – TOP 20 Hip-Sex-Gait-Name-Sire-Dam-Buyer-Price 751-F-P-High Fashion Model-Western Terror-Makes You Wonder-John Como Jr.-$200,000 739-C-T-All Time Lindy-Cantab Hall-Love To Lindy-Brixton Medical-$130,000 568-F-T-Pizza Queen-Credit Winner-Armbro Domino-Noel Daley-$100,000 832-C-P-McPhil-McArdle-Philadelphia-Ed James-$90,000 775-F-T-Alamos-Conway Hall-Misty Ridge-Steven Pratt-$75,000 622-F-T-Kindly Reminder-Kadabra-Friendly Persuader-Yves Filion-$67,000 724-C-T-Don Lindy-Crazed-Lindy’s Madonna-Marco Folli-$65,000 736-C-P-Love Tap Hanover-Big Bad John-Love Lace Mindale-Mark Harder-$60,000 651-C-T-Conway Cloud-Conway Hall-Headintheclouds-Chris Oakes-$57,000 657-F-T-Sylvia Express-Conway Hall-Hernameissylvia-David Spagnola, agent-$55,000 759-F-P-Megaball Hanover-Western Terror-Mary Mattgalane-Jerry Silva-$55,000 687-C-T-I Mean Business-Swan For All-Kalibrated-Denise Dennis-$50,000 731-C-T-Lean Hanover-Donato Hanover-Lives Like A Queen-PC Wellwood Ent.-$50,000 839-C-T-Password Hanover-Cantab Hall-Playwood-William Zendt-$50,000 794-C-P-Costume Cruiser-Yankee Cruiser-Native Costume-Ron Desyllas-$46,000 822-C-P-Orly Hanover-Somebeachsomewhere-Ozmopolitan-Geoff Lyons-$45,000 660-C-P-Numerouno Bluechip-Art Major-Ichiban Blue Chip-Linda Toscano, agent-$42,000 758-C-T-Millbrook Hanover-Muscle  Massive-Mary Ana Hanover-Ake Svanstedt-$42,000 786-F-T-Nookie Blue Chip-Explosive Matter-Up Front Hotsey-Reijo Liljendahl-$42,000 629-F-T-Night Watch-Credit Winner-Giulie Bi-Andy Miller, agent-$40,000 649-C-P-Nvestment Bluechip-Shadow Play-Haze’s Zure Bet-Dave Menary-$40,000 680-F-T-Jinx-Muscles Yankee-Jodi’s Jayme-Doug Hurhins-$40,000 761-C-T-Nahuel Blue Chip-Credit Winner-Mathers Ginger-Linda Schaefer-$40,000 783-C-T-Craziville-Crazed-Musclelini-Ted Gewertz-$40,000 811-C-T-Marty De Vie-Explosive Matter-On Broadway De Vie-Todd Buter-$40,000 Pizza Queen sells for $100,000 The pizza was timed just right, according to Carter Duer, proprietor of Peninsula Farm, whose consignment includes the  $100,000 Credit Winner–Armbro Domino filly, Pizza Queen, hip No. 568. The six figure sales price is an outlier for Wednesday, when yearlings are generally more modestly priced than Monday and Tuesday. Noel Daley signed the sales slip on the February 22 foal. Her mother hadn’t really done anything and she had one go to Russia (multiple European stakes winner Betterthancheckers). I guess that’s the reason she was there (Wednesday),” said Duer. “I’d just as soon have her there than somewhere else. She was better (priced) today than she would have been Monday. She had a great video and she’s very correct -- and just a great video -- that was it.” For Duer, age 75, the return to routine farm tasks like videotaping yearlings was not a foregone conclusion after a car accident in June. “We didn’t video until the Lexington sale and I was there then, but I was in the hospital for seven weeks in Virginia. I had surgery in Norfolk, Va., and I was there about 10 or 12 days then to rehab. I’m still doing rehab, but I got a week off this week. “I broke this (his right, still splinted) arm, I’ve got a plate from my elbow to my wrist. I broke this (right) hip and this (right) femur and I’ve got a rod going down my leg and I broke some ribs on this (left) side, but I’m doing OK. The ribs were OK after about two and a half weeks.” Shopping with Dave Menary -- what he doesn’t want watching him Two years ago, Dave Menary got the bargain of a lifetime at Harrisburg when he bought the eventual $1.1 million winner He’s Watching for a mere $3,000. He’s shopping again this year, but without the illusion that there’s another $3,000 millionaire to be found. “I just take it by the right situation,” he said. “I wouldn’t try to make a living buying $3,000 horses. You’re going to go broke pretty quick, but that one (He’s Watching) worked out.” Compromises have to be made when shopping in that price range and Menary said he made concessions for He’s Watching. “Size. He had a great foot and back end on him. He had a great pedigree. I didn’t think he was a $3,000 colt, he wasn’t on my short list, I pegged him at $25,000-$30,000. I wasn’t looking for a June (birthday), New York sired colt, but when I saw him in the ring, I thought they’d brought out the wrong horse. I actually had to make two bids, but I owned him at $3,000. “The only two things I won’t take are a horse that’s back at the knees and I don’t want to train any walleyed horses,” he added, referring to horses with white around their eye. “It doesn’t affect them, but it gives me a bad feeling every day. They don’t get a fair start from the beginning, so I try to just stay away. I think they’re always looking at me the wrong way.” by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

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