Ron Waples will join the field for the Hall of Fame harness racing drivers race at Goshen Historic Track, the annual $10,000 Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry Memorial Trot, to be held Sunday (July 5). Post time is 1 p.m. Waples drove Park Avenue Joe in the 1989 Hambletonian dead heat race-off with Probe and driver Bill Fahy. He's also won nearly 7,000 races, including two Little Brown Jugs (Ralph Hanover-1983 and Fake Left-1992) along with $74.2 million in purse earnings. The slate for that race brings together a "Who's Who" of harness racing talent. John Campbell, David Miller, Bill O'Donnell, Dick Stillings, Jimmy Takter and Wally Hennessey will all compete that day. Ron Pierce, recovering from neck and back surgery this spring, is a possibility as he is nearing the end of his rehabilitation. His participation will be confirmed as the date draws closer. Collectively, the confirmed participants have won 13 Little Brown Jugs and 11 Hambletonians as trainers or drivers, along with nearly 52,000 races and $875 million in purse earnings. The race honors the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Gerry; their sons Elbridge and Peter will be on hand to present the trophy. After the race, the drivers will meet fans and autograph photos. Goshen Historic Track is located at 44 Park Place in Goshen; admission is $5 for adults (includes program) and children are free. For more information, go to www.goshenhistorictrack.com or call 845.294.5333. The hashtag for this year's events is #harnessgoshen. By Ellen Harvey Harness Racing Communications USTA
Cream Ridge, NJ --- After a day of unrelenting rain, skies cleared on Sunday afternoon (June 28) for the second annual open house at Fair Winds Farm, celebrating the month of the horse in New Jersey. About 350 guests, most of them with no connection or experience with horses, walked up the tree-lined lane, past fields of mares and foals, to the Cream Ridge farm for an afternoon of everything equine. Fair Wind's Mark Mullen invited several partners and exhibitors to open the doors to the farm and the horse world to the general public, with FFA members parking cars and exhibiting alongside Rutgers University Equine Science program, Harness Horse Youth Foundation, Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization, NJ Quarter Horse Association, NJ Farm Bureau and Monmouth County 4H, complete with real bunnies in baskets. Guests were treated to horse and wagon rides around the farm, a demonstration of what the well-dressed racehorse wears with Jacqueline Ingrassia and the very patient Cool Beans, who stood stock still, with ears up for photos and pats from children and adults getting their hands on a horse for the first time. Retired trotter Independent Act and owner Suzanne D'Ambrose walked throughout the crowd for hours, with "Indy" sampling grass and saying hello to curious children generous with scratches and pats. Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization members showed the crowd what Standardbreds can do off the track. Helene Gregory was there with Jambalayabar Man, Rob Pennington with Glissade and Worldclass Guy was ridden by Stephanie Jacobs. Nicole Bursac showed off the roan Styled N Misty, while Terry Keynton had Osborne's Shy Cam outfitted for trail riding. Farrier Tom Mulryne trimmed a horse with a crowd listening to his explanation of equine foot care. Dr. Patty Hogan opened up her clinic for the day, with three fully subscribed tours learning about diagnostic and surgical procedures, as well as seeing horses recovering from or preparing for orthopedic surgery. "It was a beautiful day and we had enthusiastic participation from many groups and a lot of non-horse people here, visiting Dr. Hogan's clinic, seeing all the demos," said Fair Winds' owner Mark Mullen. "People were very complimentary about the farm and all the horses and activities. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time." by Ellen Harvey Harness Racing Communications USTA
An amazing and action packed day at York on Saturday was highlighted by a ten length win by Irish star Meadowbranch DJ (John Richardson for Mark and Willie Flanagan) in the first heat of Australia’s Inter Dominion, where the time of 3.00.8 broke the long standing British record for a mile and a half by three seconds. The winner assumed the lead after a 27.8 opening stanza, ran through the mile in 1.59.4 and in the final lap shot clear of his floundering harness racing rivals. A luckless Brywinsmagicpotion shook clear of traffic late to grab second place from stablemate of the winner Meadowbranch Romeo who led out then took the trail. Outside of the winner Saunders Mach 3 was the run of the race as he sat three wide for the last five furlongs (1000 metres) and was a whisker off the placegetters. The second heat of the series will be conducted at Dublin’s Portmarnock circuit on Sunday July 26. The other highlight of the day was top three year old Titanium’s heat and final victory in the York 3YO Championship – he set a new British record of 1.56.8 for his age group early in the day, then eclipsed that mark with a 1.56.4 clocking in the final, ending Rewrite History’s unbeaten streak of seven when comfortably holding off his late charge. Scottish gelding Robhall was an outsider when outfinishing UK’s best four year olds in a blanket finish to win the York 4YO Championship in a day of class pacing and trotting that will be well remembered. By Bill Hutchison Chris Berry presents York Harness Racing BHRC presents "Come Harness Racing"
Boca Raton, FL - Noted author, Victoria Howard, will be making two book signing appearances in Ontario, Canada July 4 and July 10. Howard will be appearing at Mohawk Raceway in Toronto on Saturday, July 4 and then at Grand River Raceway in Elora on Friday, July 10. She will be promoting her most recent book, "Roosevelt Raceway - Where It All Began" and her children's equine novel, "The Adventures of Max & Molly." At Mohawk Raceway on Saturday, July 4, Victoria Howard will be signing autographs and meeting fans starting at 6:00 pm on the main level of the track near the escalators to the main dining room and leading out towards trackside. Also that night on the racetrack will be the second leg of the Summertime Series for 3-year-old pacing colts and gelding. At Grand River Raceway on Friday, July 10, Victoria Howard will be meeting guests and signing autographs starting at 6:30 pm under the Tarmac Tent area. "I can't wait to get up to Canada next week," said Victoria Howard. 'It will be great to be there to meet racing fans plus I will get to see my baby in training, Magical Valentine. She is a two-year-old filly by Kadabra." Victoria Howard is the author of eleven books including the top seller "Why Women Love Bad Boys" that has already been translated and sold in 15 countries. She is a former Miss Pittsburgh, a Barbizon model, a Playboy Bunny and has been a Standardbred owner, breeder and trainer. She was a co-owner of the 1994 Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year, Efishnc, and still owns and breeds horses today. Ms. Howard is the host of the radio talk show, Beauty and the Shrink, and is a columnist for Aroundtown Newspaper with her bi-weekly "Dear Victoria" column. She was also honored in 2014 with the Allen J. Finkelson Award and in 2013 with the R.D. Ricketts Award, both awards for substantial contributions to the promotion of the Standardbred industry. For more information visit Victoria Howard on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org. By Steve Wolf
Racing Queensland Stewards today concluded an inquiry into the analyst’s findings that high levels of Cobalt were detected in urine samples obtained from Ohoka Mach(NZ) – (1100 ug/L) following its win at the harness racing meeting at Redcliffe on 30 April 2014 and Mister Manhattan (NZ) – (630 ug/L) following its win at the harness racing meeting at Redcliffe on 6 September 2014. Trainer Trevor Lambourn gave evidence today relating to his feeding and husbandry practices leading up to the races in question. Stewards considered submissions from Mr Lambourn’s legal counsel Mr Michael O’Connor. Evidence was also taken from Professor Paul Mills (University of Queensland), Dr Robert Kenobi (James Cook University) and Dr Bruce Young from the Queensland Government Racing Science Centre. After consideration the following charges were issued in breach of Rule 190(1) which reads: “A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.” Charge 1 – that Mr Lambourn presented Ohoka Mach (NZ) for racing at Redcliffe on 30 April 2014 when a sample taken from that horse was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Cobalt. Charge 2 – that Mr Lambourn presented Mister Manhattan (NZ) for racing at Redcliffe on 6 September 2014 when a sample taken from that horse was found, upon analysis, to contain the prohibited substance Cobalt. Mr Lambourn pleaded not guilty to both charges as issued. After consideration of further submissions Stewards were of the view that both charges could be sustained and found Mr Lambourn guilty. Submissions were tendered in relation to penalty and after consideration the following penalties were issued: Charge 1 – three (3) years disqualification Charge 2 – three (3) years disqualification Stewards directed that both terms of disqualification be served concurrently. Acting under AHR 195 Ohoka Mach(NZ) was disqualified from its 1st placing at Redcliffe on 30 April 2014 and Mister Manharran(NZ) was disqualified from its 1st placing at Redcliffe on 6 September 2014 and all other placegetters were amended accordingly. Mr Lambourn was advised of his rights of appeal. Panel: David Farquharson, Allan Reardon, Daniel Aurisch
The New South Wales Harness Racing Club has welcomed the announcement by Harness Racing Victoria that they will hold the 2016 editions of the Victoria and Hunter Cups on the same weekends the features were held this year. This avoids the clash which was created in February this year when HRV announced they were moving their 2016 carnival forward a week to coincide with the opening week of the Miracle Mile Carnival. This decision is in the best interests of both states and the entire industry according to NSWHRC Chief Executive Officer Bruce Christison. "This will ensure that the best horses have the opportunity to contest all Grand Circuit events," Christison said. "Both states can now get on with organising their carnivals and just as importantly the connections of these elite horses can start to plan their campaigns." NSWHRC Chairman Ray Sharman said that the Club has offered a Miracle Mile invitation to the winner of the Victorian Cup to assist in resolving the clash. This offer was accepted by HRV who have amended their Summer of Glory calendar. "It is a relief to all concerned that a Group One clash has been avoided," Sharman said. The Sky Carnival of Miracles will commence on February 13 with the Miracle Mile qualifying races and culminates on Sunday February 28 with the SEW-Eurodrive Miracle Mile headlining Group One Day. The prizemoney for the Carnival exceeds $2.5million. For further information please contact NSWHRC CEO Bruce Christison on (02) 4645 2200.
North Yorkshire, England - York Championship Day looked an exciting prospect on paper and the reality definitely lived up to the hype, with two British records being broken throughout the course of the day on Saturday. The first race saw a selection of the best 3YO fillies go to post in the first of three eliminations for the coveted York 3YO Championship Final. With the betting favourite Shaba Hanover drawn post position five on the outside of the gate, the race was a more open affair than the betting suggested, and it was Oaks Maddico who showed early speed to land in front off the first bend, with Vision Of Hope settling in second. At the quarter, Lady Claires Best pulled out first up allowing Mick Lord and Shaba Hanover to follow through second over. Oaks Maddico continued to set even fractions and as they turned into the back stretch for the second time, Mick Lord took the opportunity to mount his challenge as Lady Claires Best tucked back in onto the rail leaving him a clear run at the leader. Under a cool drive from Pam Haythornthwaite, Oaks Maddico was asked to find more rolling off the final bend as the fancied horse was bearing down on her and the filly responded well to pull away. Race 1 York Championship Heat 1 – Fillies 1st Oaks Maddico (Rogue Hall-Oaks Express) – P Haythornthwaite 2nd Shaba Hanover (Real Desire-Shakeitupamy) – M Lord 3rd ATM (Genghis Pan-Yoko Hall) – H Menzies 4th Lady Claires Best (Pro Bono Best-Lady Lea) – A Haythornthwaite 7 Ran Time: 2.00.7 Dist: 3 1/2L & 1/2L The second elimination was restricted to colts and geldings, and it was all eyes on the 2014 Vincent Delaney winner, Titanium, who was making his 3YO debut following an impressive workout last weekend at Tir Prince. With the benefit of post position one, Vicky Gill only had one thing on her mind as she gunned her charge out of the gate and before the field had settled it looked to be a foregone conclusion. Coalford Tetrick and Sports Trick settled into second and third respectively and the field proceeded in Indian file to the half mile marker, when Alan Haythornthwaite mounted the first challenge with Sports Trick first over. These three broke away from the field, but as they hit the three quarter pole Titanium kicked on and the result was never in doubt as he eased home to an impressive victory and a new British 3YO record of 1.56.8. Race 2 York Championship Heat 2 – Colts & Geldings 1st Titanium (Hasty Hall-Another Mattie) – V Gill 2nd Coalford Tetrick (Rogue Hall-Sweet Tahoma) – M Pritchard 3rd Sports Trick (Sportswriter-Tricky) – A Haythornthwaite 4th Ayr Major (Daylon Alert-Ayr Queen) – W Laidler 6 Ran Time: 1.56.8 (New British 3YO Record) Dist: 5L & 4L The final elimination was a mixed category featuring both fillies and colts, and this time the spotlight was on the Scottish unbeaten phenomenon, Rewrite History, who was aiming to make this run his seventh victory from seven lifetime starts. The 2YO track record holder was the deserved betting favourite and found himself fortunate to avoid trouble when the early leader J Ms Hallstar made a bad mistake heading into the first turn. Kicking on, Gordon Gilvear settled into a comfortable lead and cut sensible fractions, which allowed Frisco Frisk and Greentree Serenity to close the gap on the rail and as they reached the half, the field had gathered behind the leader to mount their challenges. William ‘Rocker’ Laidler moved first over and yet again the experienced Mick Lord took advantage of the second over spot with J Ms Hallstar who had made an exceptional recovery from her early falter. He was forced to switch three wide down the back stretch to join Frisco Frisk in their attempts to catch the leader, but Gordon Gilvear hadn’t even flicked his whip and as they rolled off the final bend. Rewrite History looked to have more to give as he jogged to the line. Race 3 York Championship Heat 3 – Mixed 1st Rewrite History (Sportswriter-Treat Me Good) – G Gilvear 2nd J Ms Hallstar (Hasty Hall-Camden Lover) – M Lord 3rd Frisco Frisk (Rogue Hall-Lifeisjustadream) – A Haythornthwaite 4th Rhyds Gambler (Hasty Hall-CPs Village Jigsaw) – W Laidler 5 Ran Time: 2.01.2 Dist: 5L & neck Race four was the first of two Trotteur Francais events over one and three quarter miles. It was Solicitor and Ian Pimlott that led out and made all, with the early challenge coming from Sire Atout partnered by Gary Dowse. Despite their best attempts they were unable to head the leader and found themselves parked wide for much of the remainder of the race. The next challenge came from Tanis De Viro at the mile, with Vif Du Layon second over and looking dangerous. As they headed into the back straight for the final time, Quarillon D’Or switched three wide to pass Vif Du Layon, however he was unable to complete the task; as they rounded the paddock bend, Vicky Gill was forced to switch three wide with Vif Du Layon to clear the front two horses and as they approached the finish she kicked on to win comfortably from the long time leader, Solicitor. Race 4 Prix Sancho Panza Le Trot 1st Vif Du Layon (Mon Premier Cehere-Laureate Du Layon) – V Gill 2nd Solicitor (Biesolo-Glorieuse De Mai) – I Pimlott 3rd Tanis De Viro (Fripon Rose-Dirce) – M Lord 4th Sarah Nima (Koktail de Perron-Inima) – A Haythornthwaite 9 Ran Time: 3.43.5 Dist: 5L & 1L The fifth race was the first of three 2YO events and an open race by all accounts with six recently qualified juveniles facing the starter. It was Best Of Class and Watson Harrop Jr who showed early speed to take a comfortable three length lead going to the quarter. Pricing The Dream in the hands of Gary Dowse landed second on the rail with the remainder of the field some five lengths behind them. The field began to close the gap and as they passed the half mile marker Rocker Laidler moved first over with Ayrosmith to pile the pressure on the leader. Best Of Class was reluctant to abdicate her position but Ayrosmith kicked on at the three quarters and took a commanding lead to ease home ahead of Pricing The Dream. Race 5 York 2YO Futurity – Bronze Division 1st Ayrosmith (Daylon Alert-Out In The Opan) – W Laidler 2nd Pricing The Dream (Net Pool Pricing-Ericas Dream) – G Dowse 3rd Best Of Class (Sportswriter-Class Of Her Own) – W Harrop Jr 4th Ladyford Sunrise (Backnthesaddleapan-Stoneriggs Hall) – A Cairns 6 Ran Time: 2.05.6 Dist: 7 1/2L & 3 1/2L The next race was another open 2YO event with a field of 8 going to post. The Irish filly Meadowbranch Queen was the first to show with John Richardson in the bike, from Ontop Big C in second and Porcelain Seelster who edged into third on the rail at the quarter. Once again it was Rocker Laidler who showed his hand first and pulled out to attempt a challenge at the half with Caenwood Classic, however he landed second over as Patrick Kane Jr and Ontop Big C decided to have the first shot at the target that was Meadowbranch Queen. As they reached the three quarter pole, the race was between three horses with Porcelain Seelster sitting dangerously in the pocket. Turning for home Meadowbranch Queen kicked on to go clear by five lengths, and a notably strong finisher came in the form of Reeds Scarlett, who had been largely unseen throughout. Meadowbranch Queen, from the super-broodmare Churchill Queen, will be one to watch throughout the forthcoming stakes events. Race 6 York 2YO Futurity – Silver Division 1st Meadowbranch Queen (Kikikolt-Churchill Queen) – J Richardson 2nd Porcelain Seelster (Camluck-Pantecostal) – A Haythornthwaite 3rd Ontop Big C (The Preacher Pan-Penguins Can Dance) – P Kane Jr 4th Reeds Scarlett (Hasty Hall-Yankee Prestige) – M Lord 8 Ran Time: 2.02.4 Dist: 5L & 1L The last of the three 2YO races featured some noteworthy participants, particularly NWHOA 2YO winner Party At he Spa and Titanium’s half-brother, Miraculous, who had finished runner up to the former at Tir Prince only one week ago. John Richardson, looking for a back-to-back double, made use of his pole position with Meadowbranch Titus to command an early lead ahead of Coalford Bruce and Joe Maw. The early movers in the race were Party At The Spa and Miraculous, who eased from the rear of the field down the back straight, with Party At The Spa finding himself first over at the quarter. Miraculous completed the quartet second over approaching the half. Meadowbranch Titus dug deep in front through the three quarters and looked to have the better of Party At The Spa. As they rounded the final turn, Miraculous was forced to switch three wide and heading for home he found himself embroiled in a battle with the long time leader, finally getting the better of the Irish raider yards from the winning line and giving his dam, Another Mattie, two from two on the day following Titanium’s earlier success. Race 7 York 2YO Futurity – Gold Division 1st Miraculous (Arts Conquest-Another Mattie) – P Kane Jr 2nd Meadowbranch Titus (Kikikolt-Meadowbranch Giglo) – J Richardson 3rd No Stoppin (Hasty Hall-Panama Canal) – W Laidler 4th Coalford Bruce (Rogue Hall-Blackwell Minogue) – J Maw 7 Ran Time: 2.01.4 Dist: 1L & 2 1/2L Race eight was the second of the two trotting races over an extended distance. Rindy Ronvillais in the hands of Joss Edwards showed early supremacy to dictate from on top, commanding a 6 length lead for much of the first lap. Rocker Laidler mounted the first challenge with T’es Trop Foot first over at the three quarters, finally heading the leader just after the mile. Very Cornuaillaise and the betting favourite, Show Business, cleared the fading Rindy Ronvillais to settle second and third on the rail heading down the back straight for the final time. Paul Mather wasted no time with Show Business and took the race to T’es Trop Foot, who faltered turning off the last bend, allowing Show Business to go clear, with Very Cornuaillaise staying on for second. Race 8 Prix Tenor De Baune Le Trot 1st Show Business (Game Jet-Kette D’Epinay) – P Mather 2nd Very Cornuaillaise (Hibiscus Du Rib-Odile d’Anjou) – A Haythornthwaite 3rd Speed Des Noes (Atome De Mai-Laranie Des Noes) – J Foy 4th Seven Des Vents (First De Retz-Grande Vaise) – J Ali 8 Ran Time: 3.41.1 Dist: 6 1/2L & 4 1/2L The ninth race was the first of four Inter-Dominion qualifying races for the top British and Irish horses. With Meadowbranch Josh and Meadowbranch Demon non-runners, only eight horses faced the starter in this hotly-anticipated race over the extended distance of one and a half miles. Meadowbranch Romeo in the hands of Noel Ryan headed the field as the start car pulled away, but it was stable companion Meadowbranch DJ who eased to the lead as they reached the quarter marker in 27.8 seconds. Rhyds Destiny settled in third on the rail as Astounding went first up to draw alongside the leader at the half in 59.3 seconds. Heading down the back straight for the second time the field was four in four out with John Richardson dictating sizzling fractions on top as they hit the three-quarters in 1.28.6. Rhys Evans with Saunders Mach 3 switched three wide turning onto the home straight with a lap to go and eased up alongside Meadowbranch DJ and Astounding as they clocked the mile in 1.59.4. With the benefit of the inside rail, John Richardson kicked on going down the back straight leaving his former front-running partners in his wake and for the final quarter he extended his lead for an easy victory in 3.00.8, knocking 3 seconds off the previous British record for the distance which had stood for over 20 years. A blanket finish for the minor placings saw Brywinsmagicpotion fight his way out of the pocket to finish second, Meadowbranch Romeo third and Saunders Mach 3 under a bold drive finish in fourth. Race 9 Inter-Dominion 2015 – Leg One 1st Meadowbranch DJ (Real Artist-Search For Cam) – J Richardson 2nd Brywinsmagicpotion (Camotion-Lifes Magic Girl) – A Haythornthwaite 3rd Meadowbranch Romeo (Fantastic Western-Churchill Queen) – N Ryan 4th Saunders Mach 3 (Mach III-Campressious) – R Evans 8 Ran Time: 3.00.8 (New British Mile and a Half All-Comers Record) Dist: 10L & head Race ten featured eight of the best 4YO horses in the country. The early leader came in the form of the Scottish representative, Robhall, from post position two, heading the betting favourite Rhyds Art as they exited the first bend. Rhyds Design followed and landed second on the rail down the back straight, with Ayr Regal in third. Rhyds Art and Mick Lord pulled out to make a bold move down the outside as they rounded the paddock bend, however it was Rhyds Design that moved first over, forcing the filly to switch three wide as they entered the home straight for the first time. Passing the half mile marker, Rhyds Design powered to the head of the pack with Ayr Regal first over at the three quarters. Turning for home, it was anyone’s race, and as Rhyds Design drifted off the rail, Robhall slipped up the inside with Ayr Regal mounting a challenge on the outside, following closely by the strong finishing Camden Jody, Serranohall and Lyons Mischief. Race 10 York 4YO Championship Final 1st Robhall (Dreamfair Vogel-Yoko Hall) – H Menzies 2nd Ayr Regal (Hasty Hall-Ayr Queen) – P Kane Jr 3rd Camden Jody (Yankee Lariat-Lets All Boogie) – L Rix 4th Serranohall (Western Ideal-Redhot Pepperpot) – W Laidler 8 Ran Time: 1.59.8 Dist: 1L & neck The final race of the day was the York 3YO Championship Final, which had whipped the crowd into a frenzy; and rightly so. This would be the first meeting of top former 2YOs, Titanium and Rewrite History, drawn 1 and 2 on the gate respectively. Vicky Gill wasted no time in asserting her authority in the race, as Gordon Gilvear moved into second on the rail to track the leader. Richard Haythornthwaite with a catch drive on Shaba Hanover was first to challenge and found herself parked as Rewrite History settled in the pocket. As they entered the second lap it was the three heat winners sitting in first, second and third, and at the three quarters the two colts went clear to set up a scintillating final quarter. Despite Titanium setting blazing fractions, Rewrite History was still poised to challenge approaching the final bend; however, Titanium held off his rival down the stretch to be crowned the champion and in doing so, broke his own British record from earlier in the afternoon. Race 11 York 3YO Championship Final 2015 1st Titanium (Hasty Hall-Another Mattie) – V Gill 2nd Rewrite History (Sportswriter-Treat Me Good) – G Gilvear 3rd Sports Trick (Sportswriter-Tricky) – A Haythornthwaite 4th Coalford Tetrick (Rogue Hall-Sweet Tahoma) – M Pritchard 10 Ran Time: 1.56.4 (New British 3YO Record) Dist: 1 1/4L & 6L By Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink.com
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec – Newcomer Fortune Playboy showed he is a force to be reckoned with as driver Gilles Gendron toyed with the harness racing field at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday in the third race feature pace. Shipping in from Kawartha Downs on a two-race win streak, Fortune Playboy was heard from first once the starting gate pulled away as the five-year-old gelded son of Rambaran shot right to the lead from post six. To the opening quarter mile in :28.1, Fortune Playboy already held the field at bay as Aarons Mattjesty (Denis St Pierre) was battling with Pieraz (Sylvain Lacaille) for the two-hole spot with Aarons Mattjesty winning that fight. Past the half mile marker in :57.2, Fortune Playboy held command of the lead by a length as Pieraz was now first-over but could not collar the leader with Aarons Mattjesty getting the pocket trip. It was the still the same as they reached the three-quarters in 1:26.2. It was then that Gendron stopped playing with the field, led Fortune Playboy have his head and they pulled away for a three length victory in 1:56.1 on the off-track. Aarons Mattjesty was second with Pieraz third. Trained by John MacMillan, it was Fortune Playboy’s sixth win this year. He is co-owned by MacMillan and 2099551 Ontario, Inc. and paid $4.00 to win. It was a driver/trainer double on the afternoon as Gendron/MacMillan teamed up to also win the fifth race pace with Windson Stetson ($2.90) in 1:59.1. Driver Denis St Pierre had the hots hands Sunday despite the rain and scored his fourth driving quadruple of the season. He is now just two wins away from scoring his 4,000th career victory. Coming up this Wednesday evening is the opening round of the Quebec-Bred Series for three-year-old trotting colts and fillies. There will be four weeks of elimination competition in July with the top point earners returning on Sunday, September 6 for their $65,000 finals. Post time on Wednesday is 7:00 pm. For more information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club
IT doesn't get any better than winning your first Group One on a big day's harness racing. So it was a day to savour for both leading trainer Kerry Ann Turner and young reinsman David Morris at Tabcorp Park Menangle today. Turner won the NSW Breeders Challenge four-year-old entires and geldings final with Lettucerockthem while a little over half an hour later Morris saluted when he led all the way to win with Luda, in the four-year-old mares' final, also giving rookie trainer Daniel Neagoe his first Group One. Turner arrived at Tabcorp Park Menangle today "expecting" and she left over the moon with her first Group One winner safely in the bank. Lettucerockthem became the first horse to win three Breeders Challenges in successive years when he cruised home with the $100,000 Four-Year-Old colts and geldings final. It has been a long-time coming because Turner lost a Group One at this very meeting three years ago when Blissful Guy (with Robbie Morris in the sulky) was first past the post but lost the race on protest to No Ah Saint. Turner, who will have her first child in a few months, was ecstatic when Lettucerockthem was sold recently and the new owners sent the son of Art Major to her Menangle stables to train. Her partner, Robert Morris did the rest, finding the front out of the gate from nine and cruising through the first half of his last mile in 60.3 seconds. That made it mathematically impossible for short-priced favourite My General Lee, who sat back in last place and had little chance of running them down. Turning for home Morris held all the aces and clicked up with a final split in 26.6s and a last half of 53.9 to win as he liked, beating Theartofconfusion (Todd McCarthy) by 16m and the fast-finishing My General Lee (David Morris) 23m away from the winner in third place. Luda (Christian Cullen) was just as impressive in the mares' final, holding off a wall of challengers in the straight to score in 1:58.5 mile rate. David Morris obviously learned from his defeat in the previous race as he quickly found the front from the widest gate, stacked up his rivals then held them all off in the run to the line. By Michael Court, Editor-In-Chief, National Trotguide
Harness racing two year old gelding Our Waikiki Beach was all the rage in the $125,000 two year old colts and geldings division of the NSW Pepper Tree Farm Breeders Challenge Final at Tabcorp Park Menangle this afternoon. The winner of eight from eight going into the final, the son of Somebeachsomewhere has looked special from the first time he stepped on a track and hadn't really been put under any great pressure in his races. That all changed today when the rival drivers threw down the gauntlet to Our Waikiki Beach. Blake Fitzpatrick blazed out of the gate from barrier 10 with Match In Heaven, another son of Somebeachsomewhere and grabbed the early lead before handing up to Shadow Runner and Michael Formosa after 400 metres. Mark Purdon worked Our Waikiki Beach forward to the wheel of Shadow Runner but applied no pressue with the first half going by in a leisurely 58.1. The tempo was upped down the back by Formosa on Shadow Runner and he still lead as they turned for home. Our Waikiki Beach mastered Shadow Runner soon after they turned for home but then had to withstand a big challenge on his inside from Match In Heaven. For the first time in his career, Mark Purdon had to pull the ear plugs on Our Waikiki Beach and like the top colt he is he responded and held his challengers at bay. Match In Heaven stuck on gamely for second just in front of El Major and Shadow Runner. Our Waikiki Beach paced the mile in 1:53.7 with closing sectionals of 55.6 and 27.1 and all from the parked position. That made it win number nine for Our Waikiki Beach and took his stake earnings in his debut season over the $300,000 mark. A $50,000 purchase at last years yearling sales, Our Waikiki Beach is the first foal of the former handy Bettor's Delight racemare, Cyclone Betty 1:59.3 ($68,186) Our Waikiki Beach will now head to the Breeders Crown at Melton and a chance to crack the $500,000 stakes mark as a two year old. Harnesslink Media
The finals of the $125,000 HRNSW Pepper Tree Farm Breeders Challange were dominated in a lot of cases by a prohibitive favourite today but that wasn't the case with the three year old colts and geldings final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Kept Under Wraps was the favourite but two defeats in his last two starts to horses involved in todays final meant no one was super confident of the outcome. Nathan Jack sent the Amanda Turnbull trained Mouse In The House to the front early before handing up to Mark Purdon and Kept Under Wraps after 600 metres. Mark Purdon was able to back the tempo off in the mid stages with a 61.9 first half of the last mile before upping the speed from the 800 metres mark. Going down the back in 27.9 made it impossible for those back in the field to play a big part as the field turned for home. Kept Under Wraps looked under siege half way up the straight with Mouse In The House challenging him hard on the inner and Pompidou and Robbie Morris flashing home wider on the track after having a lovely trip in the one by one the whole race. Kept Under Wraps kept giving for Mark Purdon and at the line still had a half head to spare from Pompidou with Mouse In The House close up in third. The son of Bettor's Delight paced the 2400 metres in 2:55.1, a mile rate of 1:57.4 with closing sectionals of 55.6 and 27.7. Often the bridesmaid in big races, todays win was the seventh lifetime for Kept Under Wraps and took his earnings over the $200,000 mark. It also completed a stellar day for the All Star Racing Stables with three of the six $125,000 Group 1 finals falling to the Kiwi training barn. Harnesslink Media
Harness racing three year filly Supersonic Miss has a lot of positive attributes but size is definitely not one of them. The diminutive daughter of Mach Three might be small in statue but she has a huge motor. When she fronted up today for the $125,000 final of the NSW Pepper Tree Farm Breeders Challenge at Tabcorp Park Menangle for three year old fillies, she might have been the smallest filly in the race but it mattered not in the finish as she strode away for an effortless victory. Allowed to settle back from barrier four, Supersonic Miss worked onto the back of Sally Fletcher in the one by one but some way off the leaders. Somelovesomewhere lead early before handing up to the well supported Makes Every Scents after 800 metres. Mark Purdon got a lovely run up with Supersonic Miss to the leader on the back of Sally Fletcher and when he peeled her three wide at the top of the straight, Supersonic Miss quickly sprinted to the lead and put the race beyond doubt half way up the long Menangle straight. The Ashlee Siejka trained and driver Ameretto provided a minor highlight of the race by storming home late for second after an early gallop had cost her 10-12 lengths. For the daughter of Million Dollar Cam it was a case of what might have been but for the early gallop. Supersonic Miss paced the 2400 metres in a swift 2:54.6, a mile rate of 1:57.1 with closing sectionals of 57.1 and 27.1 It was the ninth lifetime win for the Mach Three filly and took her earnings to just shy of $300,000. Harnesslink Media
The harness racing $125,000 NSW Pepper Tree Farm Breeders Challenge finals at Tabcorp Park Menangle bring the best of the best together and the first big final to go today was the race for the two year old filliesl. Heavens Trend was a dominating favourite after four wins in a row, the last of them in an Australian record time of 1:52.1. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven had drawn nicely at barrier three while the main opposition in Our Golden Goddess had drawn wider at barrier six. As the gates folded, Mark Purdon driving Our Golden Goddeess threw caution to the wind and charged out to try to grab an early lead. Gavin Lang in the bike behind Heaven's Trend was having none of it and the two favourites charged through ther first quarter in 26.1 with Heavens Trend holding the front. When the half was reached in just over 55, a few were struggling with the pace but it was clear a long way out that Heavens Trend was in cruise control. As they straightened for home Gavin Lang gave her a bit of rein and Heavens Trend strode clear for an emphatic victory with Gavin sitting quite as in the bike. Hot Shot Woman dashed home late for second to continue her string of second placings with Boundtobemad edging out a game Our Golden Goddess for third. Heavens Trend paced the mile in 1:52.9 with closing sectionals of 57.1 and 28.9. Emma Stewart is the trainer. Heavens Trend is from the first Australian crop of Rock N Roll Heaven 1:47.6 ($2,774,478) and is a daughter of the former outstanding race filly Trend Setter 1:55.6 ($199,414). The second placegetter Hot Shot Woman is by Rocknroll Hanover and must be the biggest stake earning maiden in Australasia with todays placing taking her well over the $100,000 mark. The main aim now for Heavens Trend is the Breeders Crown at Melton at the end of August where she will meet the unbeaten New Zealand champion Dream About Me and that should be a race well worth going to see. Harnesslink Media
WILKES-BARRE PA - The harness racing conditions were not pleasant - cool and rainy, the latter making the track "sloppy" - but the horses seeking places in four Championship races on next Saturday's $1.8M Sun Stakes Saturday overcame the challenging conditions to earn their spots for the big showdowns seven days hence at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. (Note: Hanover Shoe Farms bred the evening’s first three winners: Cruzado Dela Noche, Stacia Hanover, and Wicker Hanover.) BEN FRANKLIN ELIMINATIONS (FFAP) Two for $30,000; top four plus fastest fifth-place horse return for $500,000 Championship 5YO+ FFA pacing division leader State Treasurer, last most of the way and coming from eighth nearing headstretch, stormed home with a wicked last 1/16 that picked up the entire field in his 1:50.3 elim. Driver David Miller, like Scott Zeron a stakes doubler, sent the son of Real Desire five-wide in the lane and let his horse do the rest, getting up by a neck over a very durable Dynamic Youth, who was overland for 7 of the race’s 8 furlongs, with Clear Vision and Mach It So taking third and fourth behind the winner, trained by Dr. Ian Moore for owners Sally and Paul Macdonald. Long-memoried fans who recalled that Luck Be With You won the 2013 2PC Breeders Crown Championship here at Pocono over a sloppy track were rewarded with 6-1 win odds Saturday, as the son of Western Ideal went coast-to-coast in 1:50. “Luck” eliminated luck by laying down fractions of 26, 53.4, and 1:22 in staying safe by 1¾ lengths over 8-5 favorite Vegas Vacation, who had to rally four-wide on the final turn. Captive Audience, last at the ¾, did a masterful bob-and-weave in the lane to be up for a DH3 with Pocono Pike-shooting Domethatagain; Foiled Again, the $7 Million Dollar Man, was fifth after having to travel the last turn three-wide, with his 1:50.2 clocking earning him the last Franklin spot. Luck Be With You’s driver and trainer, George Napolitano Jr. and Chris Oakes respectively, have combined for many an engine victory at Pocono; if they can win next week, neither they nor owner John Craig will be fussy about the path the horse travels. Brittany Farms bred both Franklin elim winners and was a partner breeder in Artspeak, giving them a temporary tie with Hanover Shoe Farms in breeding three winners (Cruzado Dela Noche, Stacia Hanover, and Wicker Hanover), but then Hanover “reclaimed the lead” with Wakizashi Hanover in the tenth race. EARL BEAL JR. ELIMINATIONS (3CT) Three for $25,000; top three return for $500,000 Championship Uncle Lasse, “not the favorite at 4-5” (how often do you see that phrase?), just caught 3-5* Crazy Wow in the shadow of the wire to take an exciting Beal elim in 1:54. The son of Donato Hanover, trained by Jimmy Takter, sat the pocket, got out behind Crazy Wow as that one raced up uncovered to go to the lead on the far turn, then inexorably gained on his game rival to be along by a head, with Shoot The Thrill another two lengths back in third. Uncle Lasse is undefeated in four seasonal starts for the interlocking owner/breeder combine of Solveig’s Racing Partners/ Solveig’s Breeders. The Explosive Matter colt Wicker Hanover ($35.20), a double PA Sires winner but yet to prove himself at the highest level, exploded in the last 1/8 to catch 2014 champion Pinkman, heretofore undefeated this year, by a half -length in 1:54.1. Pinkman was sent to the lead early and cut a reasonable pace in the off going, but Wicker Hanover, who had to pause past midturn as his cover Donatomite was the third of the race's three breakers, regathered and overpowered the champ late for driver Andrew McCarthy, trainer Noel Daley, and owner Christer Haggstrom Racing Stable Inc. Centurion ATM also qualified for the Beal Final, 1 1/2 lengths behind Pinkman and a half-length in front of Pinkman's stablemate Whom Shall I Fear. (the coupled betting entry going down at 1-9*) A fast pace, and the early break of 2-5 favorite Habitat, helped set up the Muscle Massive colt Cruzado Dela Noche to sweep the field into the far turn and draw off to a 2¼ length victory in 1:53.3 over the two longest shots in the field, Southwind Mozart and Boots N Chains. Cruzado Dela Noche, only a half-length behind Uncle Lasse in a PA Sires event two starts back, took a new lifetime mark with the triumph for driver David Miller, trainer Nancy Johansson, and owner Courant A B as the 3-1 second choice. MAX C. HEMPT ELIMINATIONS (3CP) Three for $25,000; top three return for $500,000 Championship Artspeak set an evenly-rated pace, looked to be threatened at headstretch, but responded gamely late to withstand Pocono Pike challenger In The Arsenal for a 1:50 triumph. The son of Western Ideal, 2YO champion and now 11 for 15 lifetime, made the lead just before the 27 first quarter, and got the middle splits in 55.1 and 1:22.3. But around the final turn first-over Pierce Hanover made a menacing move, and the 8-5 In The Arsenal had been literally breathing down the neck of 3-5* Artspeak’s driver Scott Zeron (winner of half of the first four elim winners). In The Arsenal took a pair of fumbly steps entering the Pike, but then found high gear, and Pierce Hanover just wouldn’t go away, but Artspeak showed his class to dig down and preserve a head margin at the wire, with ”Pierce” only another ¾ of a length behind and also advancing. Artspeak is trained by Tony Alagna for owners Brittany Farms (also co-breeder), Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and the In The Gym Partners. Wiggle It Jiggleit bounced back nicely after his first career loss, making a move in front of the stands to the front nearing the 5/8 and going on to an in-hand 4 length victory for driver Montrell Teague in 1:50.1. 67-1 National Seelster had the good fortune of the 1-20*’s cover for a quarter-mile, then the bad luck to be left raw, but he fought home gamely to beat early pacesetter Betting Exchange by a neck for the place. The winning altered son of Mr Wiggles is now 12-for-13; Clyde Francis handles the training for George Teague Jr Inc. Wakizashi Hanover completed a Hempt elim sweep for favorites, rallying in the Pocono Pike to catch Lost For Words by 1½ lengths in 1:50.4. The victorious Dragon Again gelding was three-wide much of a 26.4 opener before making the top, but Lost For Words came from seventh at the quarter with a bold move that carried him to the top past the 55.1 half. Past the 1:22.4 3/4s, the main question seemed to be if there would be a pocket rocket or a sustaining pacesetter, and “Wakizashi” answered the question with his crisp rally, while in his defense Lost For Words, well-clear of third-place A Bettor Hat, had not raced in three weeks, and figureesto be tighter next week. But this, like in the North America Cup Final, was the night for Wakizashi Hanover, who was guided by Tim Tetrick for trainer Joanne Looney-King and the Tri-County Stable (the second straight winner, after State Treasurer, with Maritime connections, and giving Hanover a fourth breeding credit. JAMES LYNCH ELIMINATIONS (3FP) Three for $20,000; top three return for $300,000 Championship The middle and perhaps “featured” Lynch elim was supposed to be another matchup of 2014 Harness Horse of the Year JK She’salady and Sassa Hanover – but nobody told The Show Returns. The second-place finisher in the Fan Hanover despite PP10 at 113-1 was backed down to 9-2 locally, and she rallied for a strong two length victory in 1:51.3. The winning daughter of Rocknroll Hanover shot to the top for John Campbell, yielded to a midrace brush from slight favorite “JK” to sit the pocket, then slipped out on the far turn when Sassa Hanover challenged and went to the lead headstretch. Campbell tipped her wide and went by “Sassa” late, with Single Me third and JK She’salady fading to fifth. Chris Ryder trains the winner for Richard and Joanne Young, whose I Luv The Nitelife set the divisional world record for “f” tracks, 1:48.4, right here. Stacia Hanover, returning to the races with Lasix after a month layoff, came back sharp for trainer Steve Elliott, making the lead past the 1/8 and going on to a 1¾-length victory for driver Scott Zeron while earning a new speed badge of 1:51.3. Bettor Be Steppin photoed out Wicked Little Minx for second, with both qualifying for the Championship along with the winner, who is owned by David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio and was the even-money chalk. Momas Got A Gun dueled with favored Divine Caroline through the last 3/16, then went past her in deep stretch to take her elim by a half-length in a new mark of 1:51.3. The Somebeachsomewhere filly, making her second move of the race a winning one, was driven by Brett Miller for trainer Virgil Morgan Jr. and owner Geoffrey Martin. Deli Beach, over 10 lengths out at the half behind a bad gapper, rallied for third and advancement. FINISHING LINES – Brett Miller, David Miller, and Scott Zeron all had stakes driving doubles; eleven different trainers won the eleven eliminations….As mentioned Hanover had a 4-3 breeders edge over Brittany in a great night for both, while in the siring ranks Western Ideal was the only stud with more than one winning offspring: Stacia Hanover, Artspeak, and Luck Be With You. PHHA / Pocono
Driver Jim Marohn Jr. is in the midst of a breakout season and he can point to the opportunities he has been receiving as a major part of the reason why. He cashed in on his opportunities on Saturday at The Meadowlands, finding the winner's circle on four separate occasions on the 13-race harness racing program. As we are on the doorstep of the half-way mark of the calendar year, Marohn is on pace to drive in over 2,400 races which would be 500 more races than he had ever competed in one year before. Naturally, thanks to the increased opportunities Marohn is on pace for a 400 win campaign and earnings of nearly $2.5 Million, which both would be career eyes for the "Mighty-Mite." Marohn currently sits fourth in the driver standings at Monticello, despite splitting his weekdays with Freehold Raceway where he was seventh in the driver standings, while winning at a higher percentage than any other driver on the grounds. Marohn amazingly is tied for second in the driver standings at Tioga Downs, despite only driving there one day each week. At The Meadowlands, Marohn sits ninth in the driver standings, which places him in the top 10 of four different racetrack's drivers colonies in the first six months of the year. Marohn's Meadowlands Grand Slam with Triple Major in a claiming mini-series, a late drive that he picked up when Dan Rawlings booked off his drives. He also scored with Bolder in a Dash For The "G" Notes division and Trading Up in a condition pacing event as well as a triumph in the nightcap with The Summer Wind. There were four divisions of the The Dash For The "G" Notes and the first division to Jin Dandy, who has now won three of his last four starts on the heels of not winning a race for 18 months. Jin Dandy has become a popular commodity at the claiming box as he was claimed for the third consecutive start, this time for $12,500 and he will race for trainer Nick Surick in the "G" Notes Final. Jin Dandy won for Liv With Autism Stables LLC and was trained by Stanley Weitoish. Bolder scored his second victory of the 2015 racing season in his division of the "G" Notes as he rallied off cover for Jim Marohn Jr. to score in 1:53.4. The win by Bolder was one of two on the racing program for Marohn. Bolder is owned by the Comeback Stable for trainer Julius Czermann. Gratias Deo endured a first over trip to win the third "G" Note division for Marcus Miller. The five year old gelding was able to chase down Colossal who set strong fractions up front and win in the slop in 1:53.1. The winner scored for the Imdonegetout Stable and trainer John Butenschoen who earned his third training win of the weekend. An upset was sprung in the last "G" Note elimination as Bubbie Boy scored at 18-1 despite a tough first over trip with John Plutino. Kingofthejungle appeared to be loaded with pace, but was trapped behind horses and shook free too late to catch the longshot winner. The highest money earners from tonight's eliminations return for the $25,000 mini-series Final on Saturday, July 4th. Bubbie Boy won for Stephen Schneider and William Siegel and is trained by Jean Drolet. In other action, Rock Star pulled off a 9-1 upset in an upper-level condition pacing event, flashing a good late kick for Jim Pantaleano to win for the fourth time this season. Rock Star followed the cover of Canbec Kingkazimir who led the outer-flow which was chasing reasonable fractions of 26.4, 55.1 and 1:23.1 before turning for home, where Canbec Kingkazimir poked a head in front. The speed was established by the 4/5 favorite, Madiba Magic N, but that gelding came up empty in the stretch. Rock Star was lengthening his stride down the center of the track and he was able to sprint past the speed while out-gunning Dealt A Winner to the wire to win in 1:51. The three year old, Dealt A Winner rallied to be second with Canbec Kingkazimir third. The winner is owned by Robert Zakian and trained by Kenneth Anderson. Both Jackpot Super Hi-5 Carryovers continued to grow, with the fifth race carryover expanding to $170,877 and the last race carryover reaching $154,332. Racing returns on Friday, July 3rd with post time at 7:15 P.M. That program includes the $250,000 Graduate Pacing Final as well as a Fireworks Spectacular at the conclusion of the racing card. Darin Zoccali
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, June 27, 2015--If your favorite harness racing driver is Dan Dube and your favorite number is four, congratulations and go collect. Dube went "four-th" Saturday night, winning both halves of Yonkers Raceway's soggy $42,000 co-featured Open Handicaps. Great Vintage ($6.20) had nary an anxious moment in the weekly pacing feature, working around a returning P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) and strolling through fractions of :27.4, :57.1, 1:25.2 and 1:53.2. Great Vintage whipped 19-10 choice P H Supercam--out four weeks prior to this start--by a couple of lengths. Texican N (Eric Carlson) was a three-hole third, with Rock on Moe (Jordan Stratton) and a tough-trip All Bets Off (George Brennan) settling for the remainder. For second choice Great Vintage, a 7-year-old son of American Ideal trained by Jimmy Takter for co-owners his wife, Christina, John Fielding and a pair of Gorans (Anderberg and Falk) it was his third win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $19, with the triple returning $62.50. The week's marquee trot saw 11-10 choice Daylon Miracle--in one notch after an inside scratch--duplicate the down-the-road (:28.3, :58.2, 1:27, 1:56.4) MO of Great Vintage. Daylon Miracle held off a second move of outside assignee Luminosity (Brennan) by a length-and-a-half, with Backstreet Hanover (Tyler Buter), Rock of Cashel (Eric Goodell) and Lorenzo Dream (Carlson) rounding out the payees. For Daylon Miracle, a 6-year-old daughter of Pegasus Spur owned (as Allard Racing) and trained by Rene Allard, it was her eighth win in 14 '15 tries. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $11.20, the triple returned $47.80 and the superfecta paid $165.50. The Raceway's live season continues Monday night (7:10 PM), Tuesday matinee (1 PM), then Thursday through Saturday (all at 7:10 PM). Note Sunday matinees are done until November. Evening simulcasting accompanies all night programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker