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Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - After the third race on Sunday, the management and horsemen and women at the Hippodrome 3R, paid tribute to harness racing legend Herve Filion, who passed away Thursday at age 77. A native of Angers, Quebec, Filion went on to become a harness racing icon in the sport. He came to the United States in 1961 and was the North America's leading driver 16 times, earning his first title in 1968 and last in 1990. He retired with 15,179 wins and had career earnings of $88.4 million. Many of the horsemen and women participating on the racing card, came out to the winner's circle, along with track management and racing fans. Handicapper Daniel Delisle read about Filion's illustrious career in both French and English, followed by a moment of silence. All of the infield flags on Sunday were lowered to half-mast. On the racetrack Sunday was the $30,000 finals of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotting mares and horses. The horses were first in the limelight in the sixth race and no one was going to pass by Wildwild Men and driver Robert Shepherd when the starting gate pulled away. Shepherd sent Wildwild Men right to the front with KFB Amigo Cool (Stephane Brosseau) leaving from post six and grabbing the two-hole spot. After a fast :28.3 opening quarter mile, Shepherd was able to back off the pace by the half mile marker in 1:00 as the field remained in Indian-style format with no one willing to try and come first-over. When Wildwild Men got to the three-quarters in 1:29.3, Shepherd let the five-year-old gelding by Muscle Mass have his head and they held the field at bay, winning with ease by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:59.1 as Shepherd raised his whip in triumph coming to the wire. KFB Amigo Cool held for second place with last year's champion, Holiday Party (Pascal Berube) third. "He really behaved himself today." Said Robert Shepherd. "It feels good when you can open up in the stretch like he did today." As a two-year-old, Wildwild Men set the track record for his age at H3R in winning the Future Stars Final and now has added his second Final in capturing the Quebec-Bred Series. Trained by Isabelle Darveau, it was the second win in five starts this year for Wildwild Men, who has yet to finish worse than second place this season. He paid $2.80 to win. Wildwild Men was bred by Chantal Gravel of St-Cyrille-De-Wendover and she co-owns the horse with Catheline Pelletier of Mirabel. Rains came in and turned the track surface from fast to good by the ninth race $30,000 final for the trotting mares. Carl Duguay's Y S Suzanne left sharply for driver Stephane Gendron to take command with EAU Naturelle (Simon Delisle) getting the two-hole trip to the opening quarter mile in :30.1. Y S Suzanne then led the field to the half mile in 1:02 as Artemis Duharas and driver Raymond Gingras boldly came first-over to challenge. As the field reached the backstretch, EAU Naturelle went off-stride in the two-hole, but Gingras did not want to stop the moment of his mare and they stayed on the outside and were able to collar Y S Suzanne past the three-quarters in 1:32.2 and around the final turn. As they started down the stretch, Artemis Duharas would not be denied as Gingras urged his mare on to victory by one and one-half lengths in 2:03.1. Second was the 30-1 long shot, Grace And Claire (Francis Picard) with Y A Jailhouse Jodi (Guy Gagnon), who was unable to get into the flow of the race, rallied to be third. Sent off at odds of 9/2, Artemis Duharas paid $9.40 to win. It was the first victory in four starts this year for the four-year-old mare by Andover Hall. She is trained by Manon Levasseuri for owner/breeder Haras De L Estri, Inc. of Dunham. Track Notes: For the first time this season, not one driver or trainer on the race program could win more than one race. All ten races on the program were won by a different driver and trainer. The racing action continues at the Hippodrome 3R on Tuesday evening. First race post time is 7:00 pm and the feature event is the 6th race Invitational Trot headlined by return winner, Theregoesthegroom, taking on Caroluzzo, Four Starz Speed and Spicey Victor. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

June 24, 2017 - On Track Piraten (9g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) took today’s MidSummer worth 100,000SEK to the winner of this 2140 meter autostart contest for upper class harness racing veterans. Johnny Takter was the pilot for trainer Hans R. Stromberg of this 2.8/1 second choice that was timed in 1.12.5kr over an off track. Piraten won for the 37th time in 109 starts now for 14,600,710SEK earned. He scored by two lengths over 8/1 Order To Fly (7m Order By Fax-Too Fat To Fly-Flying Irishman) reined by his trainer Per Lennartsson. Another length back in third was Nuncio (6m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) that raced with shoes for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer/owner Stefan Melander. This champion now has a career slate of 40-13-4 in 59 outings for 28,373,230SEK earned. His last six starts have been 1-1-2 and generally off previous form. The Rattvik card also featured Breeders Crown events. The four year-old males event for 70,000SEK to the winner (distance 2140 meters autostart) went to 1.12.3kr timed and 2/1 favorite Policy Of Truth (4g Explosive Matter-Champagne-Supergill) driven by Ulf Ohlsson. Easy KB owns this Reijo Liljendahl trainee. 14/1 Dominion Beach (4m Muscle Hill-Windylane Hanover-Lindy Lane) was second for Per Lennartsson and trainer Stefan Melander. Stall Courant AB owns this one that Ernst Gerbaulet bred. Third was 6/1 Dartagnan Sisu (4m Ready Cash-Armbro Carroll-Malabar Man) with Ulf Eriksson up for Mattias Djuse, the trainer. The Breeders Crown for four year-old females (70,000SEK first prize, 2140 meters autostart) went to 5/1 Darling Mearas(4f Cantab Hall-Khao Maree-Muscles Yankee) for driver/trainer Stefan Persson and Snogarps Gard YB. Timed in 1.13.3kr this one bested Dream Lane and Inja In Heaven, The three year-old filly Breeders Crown (same purse and distance) went to 3/1 Helloise Boko (3f The Best Madrik-Elida Boko-Chocolatier-Goddess of Chaos) with Ulf Eriksson handling the lines for owner/trainer Mattias Djuse. Electrical and Maharani de Baroda were next to the wire. The three year-old colt Breeders Crown went to 13/1 Wreckless M.M. (3m Raja Mirchi-Phoebe MM-Super Arnie) timed in 1.14.2kr. Bjorn Goop was the winning driver for trainer Morten Waage and owner Magdalena Johansson. Hazard Boko and Iola de Puras were second and third. Thomas H. Hicks

June 25, 2015 - Bold Eagle (6m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet), off as 3/10 harness racing favorite, surged from behind three wide cover at top of stretch and scored for Frank Nivard by two lengths timed in 1.10.5kr. Sebastien Guarato trains the Pierre Pilarski owned stallion that was bred by Jean-Etienne Dubois. The Gr. I Prix Rene Balliere carries a €200,000 purse and was raced over 2100 meters autostart with ten starters. Fractions were quick and steady (1.10.1kr at 1500 to go; 1.09.7 with 1000 remaining and 1.10.9kr with 500 meter left in the contest). Bold Eagle recorded his 36th career win in 42 starts, now for €3,344,620 earned. 16/1 Valko Jenilat (8m Kepler-Perle du Roc) was a solid second for Eric Raffin and trainer Guarato. Third was 8/1 Amiral Sacha (7m Ganymede-Nostalgique Sacha) driven by Gabriele Gelormini, 37/1 DD’s Hitman (6g Donato Hanover-Deedee’s Destiny) and 108/1 Pioneer Gar (8m Varenne-Follia) were fourth and fifth. Thomas H. Hicks

June 25, 2017 - Groupe action today at Paris Vincennes included three monte events, two being Gr. I tests. The monte day began with the Prix Xavier de Saint Paris (monte, Gr. II, purse €120,000, 12 starters) and it went to 6.5/1 Cassate (5f Neoh Jiel-Quivadu Rib) with Adrien Lamy in the irons for Ecurie Luck and trainer J.L. Dersoir. 22/1 Cavalleria (5f Prodigious-Janga) was second for Eric Raffin and trainer Sebastien Guarato, with third to 18/1 Clara du Pontseuil (5f Mich Phili-Osaka d’Occagnes) for jockey Anthony Barrier. The heavy 9/10 favorite Canadien d’Am was a miscue dq. The Gr. I Monte Prix Dessai (purse €200,000, 2175 meters, 12 starters, three year olds) went to 1.13kr clocked and 5/10 odds favorite Eye Of The Storm (3m Village Mystic-La Dolce Vita) with Yoann Lebourgeois in the irons. The Philippe Allaire owned and trained product was bred by Hugues Rousseau. 20/1 Epatante (3f Village Mystic-Suricate) almost nailed her stablemate on the line with Anthony Barrier up for trainer Allaire and breeder/owner Pierre Tebirent. 5/1 Eiffel Tower (3f Ready Cash-Nouvelle d’Atout) took third for jockey David Thomain, trainer J-M Bazire and owner Ottavia Roffi-Urano. The race winner bounced back nicely from a pair of recent miscue dq’s. Draft Life (4f Ubriaco-Maflymede) at 10/1 took the prestigious Gr. I Monte Grand Prix du President de la Republique (purse €240,000, 2850 meters, 13 starters) with Eric Raffin in the irons. Raffin powered Draft Life to the front after 1000 meters and opened a huge margin that the pair held to the line. Louis Baudron bred, owns and trains the winner. Draft Life recorded her eighth career win in 21 starts, now for €482,170 earned. 13/1 Dawana (4f Ready Cash-Sanawa) was second for Anthony Barrier and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. Third was 6/1 Dragon de Fresne (4m Saphir Castelets-Rosee des Bois) with Matthieu Abrivard, the jockey. Heavily backed Django Riff and Darling de Reux was miscue dq’s. Race time was 1.12.8kr. This event was presented, as was the entire program, very professionally and garnered great support from the large crowd in the fan and entertainment areas and in the winner’s circle. Great racing, great horses and fan entertainment makes for an unbeatable afternoon. Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwfHsvcL7vw This win by Eric Raffin placed him in the points lead for the E-challenge and culminated superb monte action. Thomas H. Hicks  

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- All eyes were focused on Barn Bella in the $58,000 first division of the New York Sire Stakes for 3-year-old trotting fillies at Buffalo Raceway on Sunday afternoon (June 25). But a break in stride by the heavy 1-to-9 favorite going into the first turn sure changed the entire complexion of the race in a real hurry.   Mamora Bay (Sam Schillaci) took advantage of Barn Bella's misfortune and registered the $20.60 upset victory over Maewegonow by a 1-1/4 length in 1:59.4 over the fast track.   In the second division worth $59,100, there was drama as well as 3-to-5 favorite Amber Ella broke gait several times which opened up opportunities for the remaining five. Heels On Wheels (Jim Morrill Jr.) bounced on the chance created by Amber Ella's bobbles and scored the neck win over Chapter Too (Jeff Gregory) in 1:59.4.   In the first stunner, the defending 2-year-old champion, Barn Bella (Gregory) jumped it off as soon as she started to enter the first turn. In the meantime, the remaining four trotters stayed on their best behavior knowing the race was up for grabs.   Maewegonow (Charlie Norris) took the lead off the rail and posted splits of 30.0, 1:01.0 and 1:31.2. The race boiled down to three ladies in the stretch with Mamora Bay using the passing lane to go past Maewegonow while Mighty Surf (Morrill Jr.) took the show spot. Barn Bella regrouped in time to take fourth but was 8-1/4 lengths behind the winner.   Schillaci said, "Mamora Bay wasn't herself at Vernon Downs last week but she felt good today." He added, "A little racing luck didn't hurt with Barn Bella breaking and then getting a perfect trip up the passing lane."   Owned by Peter Barbato and trained by former Buffalo Raceway regular Schillaci, Mamora Bay (Chapter Seven-Giulie Bi) got her first victory of the 2017 campaign. The win moved her seasonal earnings to $41,433 and $223,804 lifetime.   In the second division with Amber Ella out of contention around the opening turn, Heels On Wheels ($9.10) got to the lead and put up splits of 29.3, 59.1 and 1:30.0.   The drive to the finish line was a little tense as Heels On Wheels started to get leg weary while Chapter Too was charging down the lane but came up just short. Deli-Delite (Drew Monti) captured the show check.   Morrill Jr. stated after the race, "She's a nice filly and we caught some luck with the breaking favorite. Once Heels On Wheels got settled on the lead, she was game to hold off Chapter Too late."   Co-owned by the Burke Racing Stable, the Crawford Farm Racing Stable, Lawrence Karr and Weaver Bruscemi, it was the second victory in five tries this season for Heels On Wheels (Conway Hall-Go Go Dancer). The win upped her 2017 winnings to $40,863 and $139,113 lifetime.   Seventh Heaven ($4.10) was able to overcome the eight post and capture the first $15,000 division of the Excelsior A Series race. Jason Bartlett toured the half mile oval aboard Seventh Heaven in 2:02.2. The second division went to Cinnamon Prayer ($6.70) who also found the winner's circle from the eight spot. Morrill Jr. was in the sulky as Cinnamon Prayer went the mile in 2:02.3.   In the lone $6,600 Excelsior B Series race, Running Prayer ($6.10) went gate-to-wire in 2:02.3 for Morrill Jr.   Morrill Jr. finished the afternoon with four victories Monti had two wins. Trainer Dennis Laterza had a double.   Action will continue on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. with a 10-race program scheduled. There is a $907 carryover in the Pick-5 which begins in the second race.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, race replays and results, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

June 25, 2017 - Besides Bold Eagle, monte groupe contests, food and entertainment, what else could there be. How about three more groupe events and the day’s important harness racing Quinte+. The Gr. I Prix Albert Viel (purse €200,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) went as it was supposed to be…..except….the 8/10 favorite Ecu Pierji (3m Tucson-Tosca Pierji) was a dq for being rough gaited in the lane while on a comfortable lead. Therefore, this Sebastien Guarato trainee faced a rare defeat and the…winner was….8/1 Eros du Chene (3m Un Amour d’Haufor-Oulanova de Lou) with Matthieu Abrivard driving for trainer Julien Le Mer and breeder/owner Claude Geudj timed in 1.14.4kr. 50/1 Easy des Racques (3m Rodrigo Jet-Ombre des Racques) was placed third with J.Ph. Monclin aboard and 59/1 Elite du Ruel (3f Timoko-Romance du Ruel) was awarded third, this one trained and driven by Franck Anne and bred/owned by Annick Bazin. The Gr. III Prix de Grasse (purse €80,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) produced a rallying 1.13.8kr timed score for 9/1 Bel Avis (6g Ganymede-Gloria Maris). Jean-Michel Bazire teamed his trainee to victory for Wildenstein Stables Ltd. 21/1 Flex Lane (6m Federal Flex-Margo Hall) tool second for Gabriele Gelormini and trainer L.I. Nilsson in a blanket covering photo over 92/1 Tano Fohle SM (5g Ganymede-Fohle BSM) reined by Antonio Di Nardo. The finale this day was another groupe contest, the Prix Raymond Fouard (Gr. III, purse €85,000, 2850 meters, 10 starters. The 4.3/1 Orlando Jet (4m Orlando Vici-Chicolina) rallied from back to sweep past the field in the late stages for the 1.15kr timed score. Trainer Rudolf Haller was at the lines for Team Neuhof (AUT), the owner. The second place horse, also 4.3/1, was Dragon des Racques (4m Love You-Quinte des Racques) driven by Alexandre Abrivard for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. Third went to 57/1 United Love (4m Conway Hall-Dolly Kronos) in rein to Eric Raffin. Unika Steed was unplaced at 52/1 for J-M Bazire. Rudy Haller was one happy teamster. Today’s Quinte+ was the Prix Bertrand Deloison at Vincennes (purse €90,000, 2850 meters, 14 starters) and the 1.4/1 favorite Afghan Barbes (7g Meaulnes du Corta-Nuance Barbes) scored timed in 1.13.7kr for Ch. J. Bigeon, driving for trainer Christian Bigeon and breeder/owner Andre Francis Bigeon. 1.9/1 Uza Josselyn (6f Love You-Teza Josselyn) took second for J-M Bazire, ahead of 22/1 Opitergium (9m Pine Chip-Jovelinotte) reined by Dominik Locqueneux for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and Stall Courant AB. Violine Mourotaise and Best Buissonay completed the top five. The Bigeon stable continue their excellent streak from the Vincennes Winter Meet. Thomas H. Hicks

A world record in harness racing was achieved at York Raceway, in York, England Saturday when Evenwood Sunofagun paced the mile in 1:57.3, a record for pacers under saddle on a half mile track. Owned by Raymond Hushka and trained by Alexis Laidler, the five-year-old gelding by The Firepan, out of the mare, I’m The Last, was also ridden on the day by the UK’s leading trainer, Alexis Laidler. Quickly asserting themselves at the start of the race, Evenwood Sunofagun kept up the blistering pace, cutting fractions of :29, :58, 1:27 and burnt off his rivals one by one to score by more than six lengths in 1:57.3 – a certified new world record. Race favourite, Rhyds Design, was second whilst Afan Romeo and Burning Dust claimed the remaining places. The previous world record was held by Darla Frakes (nee Conklin) who clocked 2:00 in July 1998 at Northfield Park in the USA with the gelding, Highly Rated. Amid chaotic scenes in the winner’s enclosure, Alexis Laidler was surrounded by scores of family and friends and thanked race organizers Lisa Farrelly, Lauren Moran and Sarah Thomas for staging the contest and giving her the opportunity of entering the history books. “He's such a dream horse,” Laidler added about Evenwood Sonofagun. “And I can't believe he has achieved this. Was such a fab day.” Asked about how she came to ride pacers, Laidler stated that she always rode ponies as a child, and in recent years she started taking out the saddle again with some of her aged pacers in order to “sweeten them up” and introduce something different into their training regime. Laidler, is an eight-time Leading Trainer in the UK alongside her husband, William “Rocker” Laidler”, who won that title twice himself, so between them, Great Britain’s power couple have won the last ten trainers titles, an achievement that Alexis is rightly proud off. And now she can add world record holder to her burgeoning resume. When asked about her future ambitions, eclipsing her previous total of 102 winners in a single season, is next on the agenda and some classic race winners along the way are always an added bonus. On hearing the news, previous holder of the record, Darla Frakes, was quickly onto connections of the winner, expressing her congratulations and stated that she never thought her world record would stand for almost 20 years, and she looked forward to seeing some pics and official video of the occasion.   An emotional and overwhelmed Mick Welling, owner and promoter of York Raceway, commented that he never thought in a million years that a world record in harness racing would find a home at the venue, his pride and joy. Heavily involved in the sport in the UK, Welling also runs Camden Stud, which is situated adjacent to York Raceway and currently stands stallions Art Professor, My Panmar, Eagle Luck, Stonebridge Galaxy and Yankee Lariot and is a boutique breeder himself with a dozen or so select broodmares, whose progeny all run under the Camden prefix. To view the world record under saddle mile, click on this link. https://www.facebook.com/scottishharnessracingclub/videos/825934210914763/ By Thomas Bennett, for Harnesslink

The harness racing fans turned out in force to see what was hailed as a match-race. But feature-race specialists Tim Butt and Anthony Butt spoiled the party when five-year-old My Field Marshall scored a race-record win in today's $100,000 Len Smith Mile at Tabcorp Park Menangle. The son of former champion mare Foreal, by Art Major scored an amazing win in the Group One feature, nailing another surprise packet Mach Doro near the line to score in 1:50.2, breaking Hectorjayjay's race record set last year. The plucky Lennytheshark raced outside the leader Hectorjayjay and held on manfully to take third place, but had no answer to the sprint of the first two placegetters in the straight. Part-owner of My Field Marshall Syd Brown said he had looked at the list of previous winners including the likes of Smoken Up (four times), Changeover, Beautide, Smolda and Hectorjayjay and said he dreamt of just having a horse good enough to compete against the Grand Circuit stars. The rest was left to the Butt brothers . . trainer Tim has been in Sydney for almost a month preparing the Christchurch pacer for his shot at glory while Anthony, who is now domiciled in Melbourne, he has become one of that state's leading reinsman with a string of winners. But Anthony admitted this might be his biggest win on the Menangle circuit and was certainly something special against some of the best horses in Australasia. Hectorjayjay (Josh Aiken) showed his normal extraordinary turn of foot to easily find the front in the 1609m sprint while Lennytheshark (Chris Alford) never shirked the task and gradually made his way around the field to sit outside of his stablemate for most of the race. Turning for home it became obvious 'Hector' couldn't shake off his stablemate, but that didn't matter as first Mach Doro and then My Field Marshall made their moves out wide. Butt had something in hand as he easily picked up his rivals to score in 1:50.2 after sectionals of 26.9s, 29.4s, 26.8 and home in 27.1 for a win that stunned most of those present - except the Butts, who knew they had a horse that was up to the task. . . . and one whose name will look quite at home in the record books beside some of the greats of the sport. Amanda Zammit  

No instructions, no regrets and one of his biggest thrills. That was the only way young harness racing trainer Todd Rattray could explain a massive win in securing today's Breeders Challenge for two-year-old colts with Ignatius at Tabcorp Park Menangle. Ignatius set a new track record two-year-old rating 1:51.3 to beat outsider Little Peanut and the well-backed Sicario in the Group One classic. The Tasmanian youngster by Roll With Joe has improved with every step since crossing Bass Strait and Todd was more than happy to hand the reins to big brother James when Ignatius hit Sydney a month or so ago. "James has done a terrific job today and to come up here and beat the likes of Mark Purdon and Shane Tritton's stables is pretty special," said Todd. "No, I'm not sorry I wasn't driving him . . . it's just a thrill to see him win. To be honest we never dreamt he could improve this much and be this good when we decided to send him up here. "Yes, this is just great for Tasmanian harness racing too. "We haven't had any really smart two-year-olds down there this season until this bloke came along and it's good to see he might be something special." Ignatius With the retirement of Beautide a few weeks ago, the arrival of Ignatius what just what the state . . . and the Rattrays needed. In a fast-run affair Divine State quickly took the front and reinsman Chris Geary showed his intention was to keep them running. He did that with a 26.9s first split and a 28.2 second quarter. But turning for home Divine State was looking almost spent while Sicario and Ignatius were quickly putting themselves into the race. No sooner had Sicario (Mark Purdon) hit the front and Ignatius came at him and quickly put the issue beyond doubt as it was left to outsider Little Peanut to issue a late challenge. After a 29.9s third quarter, they came home in 28.3s to become the state's fastest two-year-old this season. * Earlier in the day owner-breeder Diane Kelly admits she still had to pinch herself when she watched star two-year-old filly Molly Kelly race. "We had so much fun with Frith when she raced, we never dreamt that we'd get another horse as good as Molly Kelly," said Diane as she accepted the trophy for her youngster winning the Breeders Challenge two-year-old fillies' final at Menangle this afternoon. "This is just amazing." Dianne had just watched the full sister to frith blow away a class field to win the Group One for trainer Emma Stewart and champion reinsman Chris Alford. Taken straight to the front by Alford, the master reinsman found he had to stoke the filly up going up the back straight with a few taps with the whip as she looked to relax mid-race, which only allowed a few challengers to suspect they might be a chance. Turning for home Molly Kelly (Four Starzzz Shark) wandered away from the pegs and for an all-too-brief moment it appeared that the Craig Cross-trained and Luke McCarthy driven Love My Sister might sneak up on the pegs and blouse her. Tassini also made a dash out wide but like her sister Frith, Molly Kelly was just keeping them interested as she held them out all the way down the straight to score a three-metre win in 1:55.3. Love My Sister stayed on for second ahead of outsider Tassini and the fast-finishing War Dan Bad Girl, who flashed home when the race was all but decided. Alford later commented that it had always been a long-term goal of his to come up from Victoria and win a Breeders Challenge final. "Thanks to Di and Bernie Kelly, I've been able to do that today. I'm so glad they send this horse down to Emma [Stewart] and Clayton [Tonkin] to train. "They are the best owners and hopefully our association will continue for many years to come." Molly Kelly Amanda Zammit  

Harness racing owner-breeder Mal Beal admitted four-year-old gelding Rock Of America had been something of a problem horse a few times over the past 18 months or so. But all that was forgotten when the son of Rock N Roll Heaven finished powerfully to win today's Breeders Challenge four-year-old colts and geldings final at Tabcorp Park Menangle. A patient drive by star reinsman Greg Sugars, saw Rock Of America finish all over the top of a quality field of rivals to win the Group One by a head from outsider Left Tenant (Brendan Barnes) with pacemaker Power Of Red hanging on for third in a 1:51.4 mile rate. Trainer Mick Doltoff said Rock Of America had caused them a few headaches. "But we've had a bit of luck in these Breeders Challenge races and barrier 11 seems to be lucky for us too," said Doltoff. "This horse has plenty of heart and he showed that today with a marvellous win." Disappointment of the race was the well-backed Fouroeight, which failed to run on in the straight and finished just behind the placegetters. Rock Of America * EARLIER improving mare Eye See Diamonds (Rock N Roll Heaven) caused something of a minor upset when she outstayed top mare Heavens Trend to take the four-year-old mares' final of the NSW Breeders Challenge. Taken straight to the front from the outside of the front line, trainer-driver Amanda Turnbull quickly made her intentions clear with a slick 26.6s first quarter of the mile as she looked to retain the inside running for the rest of the race. That left Heavens Trend to work hard before eventually settling outside the leader as Turnbull and Eye See Diamonds backed off the speed slightly with a 29.5 second split of the mile. But that was as easy as it got for both ace mares as they singled out from the rest of the field turning for home and settled down to tight out the race the length of the long Menangle straight. Heavens Trend may have got her nose slightly in front but in a finish that even the caller couldn't pick, Eye See Diamonds fought back beautifully to score by a nose in a 1:52.1 mile. The final two quarters were both put away in 28 seconds neat while it was left to Hot Shot Woman to emerge from the distantly chasing pack to grab third, just ahead of Abettorrose, who enjoyed a soft run four back on the pegs before motoring home late in the piece. Turnbull later gave her training partner Nathan Jack and their families the credit for their success. "Really without them, none of this would be possible," she said. "And the owners of Eye See Diamonds, Rosemary and Terry Cluse have stuck with us through thick and thin and have been fantastic supporters. And that all helps so much." Eye See Diamonds Amanda Zammit

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, June 24, 2017 - The people's preferences prevailed Saturday night, with Resolve (Ake Svanstedt, $6.20) and Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett, $3.80) winning Yonkers Raceway's $55,000 co-featured harness racing Open Handicaps. Double-millionaire Resolve showed no ill effects from his sojourn to Solvalla. Returning to the scene of a Yonkers International Trot world record last October, he proved as proficient at eight furlongs as he did at 10. Resolve, from post position No. 7 (in one notch after a defection) worked around Gural Hanover (George Brennan), then finished it off (:28.1, 58, 1:26.4, 1:54.3). Gural Hanover eventually broke in the pocket, while Obrigado (Mark MacDonald) chased after ducking in third. Resolve held sway, beating Obrigado by a length. Springbank Sam N (Jordan Stratton) was a best-of-the-rest third, while Money Maven (Eric Goodell) and Melady's Monet (Bartlett) were both moved up, respectively. Gural Hanover was set down from fourth to seventh for his transgressions. For Resolve, a 6-year-old son of Muscle Hill trained by his driver for owner Hans Enggren, it was his second win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $20.20, with the triple returning $99. Saturday night's Open Handicap Pace was nary more than a public workout for Somewhere in L A. From post No. 7, he threw down the gauntlet (:27, 56.1, 1:24.2, 1:52.1) to defeat a closing Bit of a Legend N (Stratton) by a couple of lengths. Dream Out Loud N (Shaun Vallee) skimmed the cones for third as the 81-1 rank outsider, with a tiring-pocket Somewhere Fancy (Dan Dube) and Clear Vision (Brennan) settling for the remainder. For 'L A,' a 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P and Gandolfo Stables, it was his eighth win in 19 '17 tries. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $7.80, the triple returning $75.50 and the superfecta paid $258.80. The featured pace win was one of a half-dozen for Bartlett during the dozen-race card. Special salutations to Americanprimetime (Brennan, $4), who drilled the $40,000 Preferred Handicap Pace in 1:51, fastest local mile of the season. Frank Drucker

He's been hailed as the next Lazarus . . . and the greatest three-year-old pacer in Australasia. And this afternoon at Tabcorp Park Menangle Vincent proved just that as he cruised to an Australasian record 1:50.2 mile win in the Breeders Challenge final for harness racing three-year-old colts and geldings. The Art Major-Kept For Pleasure colt gave Mark Purdon his lone Group One for the day when he beat a plucky Atomic Red with outsider Joes Star Of Mia third. Some suspected Vincent might be vulnerable after he had to pull out all stops to hold off Pretty Hot and Jakes Sportswriter in his Breeders Challenge semi-final the previous week, when he rated 1:51 to score by just a metre with Luke McCarthy in the bike. Yet Purdon admitted Vincent needed that run and would be improved out of sight for the $153,000 final against some of the best three-year-olds in the land. As usual, he was right as Vincent showed he would easily fit into the big pair of shoes that Lazarus currently fills for Purdon's All Stars New Zealand stable. He easily ran down pacemaker Atomic Red in the straight to win almost untouched after splits of 26.2, 29s, 27.6s, 27.4s for a 1:50.2 mile rate, breaking stablemate Our Waikiki Beach's record of 1:50.6 posted early last year. So impressive was Vincent both in appearance and talent that this three-year-old already looks to be Purdon's next New Zealand Cup winner . . . after Lazarus steps down from the podium, of course. Vincent * Earlier the three-year-old fillies' Breeders Challenge final saw another minor upset, of sorts . . . albeit a historic one when Georges Plans [Bathurst] trainer-driver Bernie Hewitt broke through for his first Group One success when Royal Story scored. The draw told the story of the race when Royal Story (Always A Virgin) was quick to find the front from gate four and defied all attempts to run her down. Once again it was the two second-row runners Don't Think Twice and Shezallapples that had to do it tough if they were to beat Royal Story, who was well found in the betting as the $5 second favourite. "We'd never send our horses anywhere else," said owner Gary Meredith. "We call Royal Story 'Big Girl' around the stables but this is actually our 20th win with them as owners and we couldn't be happier with the way we've been treated." Hewitt was naturally ecstatic with his breakthrough win. "We put a lot of work into working with juveniles and to come here and win a race like this makes it all worthwhile," he said. "But just to be able to train and drive a filly likes this is a great thrill and today she showed us how good she is. "A lot of people in our stable can take some of the credit for this - mostly my wife Cathy who holds us all together and makes wins like this all the more worthwhile." Don't Think Twice had to do it tough from the second row and failed by a mere half-head from running down Royal Story after racing three-wide earlier in the race as young trainer-driver Jason Grimson sought to put him into the action. In contrast, last year's two-year-old fillies' winner Shezallapples settled near last and, similar to 2016, came with a flashing finish 1.4m away in third place in a 1:53 mile rate. Royal Story Amanda Zammit

WILKES-BARRE PA - Ariana G, Mel Mara, and Downbytheseaside were impressive in victories in the Sun Stakes eliminations Saturday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but McWicked and Freaky Feet Pete will watch the rich races from the sidelines, in a night with a healthy dose of harness racing  favorites and a sprinkling of longshots.   Each of next Saturday's Championship events on the $2M Sun Stakes Saturday card - the $500,000 Ben Franklin Free-For-All Pace, the $500,000 Earl Beal Three-Year-Old Trot, the $500,000 Max C. Hempt Three-Year-Old Colt Pace, and the $300,000 James Lynch Three-Year-Old Filly Pace - had enough entrants to necessitate three elimination divisions on this Saturday's Pocono card, with the top three finishers returning in seven days for their rich finales.   This summary reviews the action in each of the four events' three eliminations. It should be noted that a strong stretch headwind was in play in the first half of the card; then it reversed to be behind the field in the lane before calming nearing the evening's end.   BEN FRANKLIN PACE -- $35,000 per elimination   Mel Mara looked as impressive as anyone on the big SSS elim card, drawing clear through the stretch to win his elimination of the Franklin Pace in 1:48.4.   Luck Be Withyou, the 2015 Franklin winner, left like a rocket and made the lead well before a stunning 25.3 opening quarter, then yielded to a strong brush from Mel Mara in front of the stands, which carried him to the half in a demanding 53. Rock N' Roll World moved first-over but could get no closer to the winner than joint-second by the 1:21.2 ¾. Through the lane the only questions were the winning margin (3¾ lengths) and the two other finalists (Rockin Ron rallied up the inside for second, while Rock 'N Roll World kept on going to just nip Luck Be Withyou for third).   Mel Mara, a son of Lis Mara, now has three wins and a second in four seasonal starts, with earnings of $751,464. Corey Callahan was in his usual perch in the sulky for trainer Dylan Davis and the ownership of Robert Cooper Stables LLC and J&T Silva Stables LLC.   Mel Mara McWicked and Freaky Feet Pete, the two favorites in their Franklin elim, will not be racing in the Franklin Final, as they finished fourth and fifth respectively; their conqueror was the 2016 Pocono Horse of the Year, the evergreen nine-year-old who set a season's record of 1:48.3.   Freaky Feet Pete moved to the lead around Mach It So to the 26.4 quarter, then went on to post aggressive splits of 54 and 1:20.3 in his seasonal debut, with All Bets Off and Keystone Velocity first- and second-over respectively. In the stretch Freaky Feet Pete tired, with Mach It So getting a brief lead to midstretch, only to surrender it to All Bets Off. But Keystone Velocity was still determined, and he managed to go by for a neck victory; All Bets Off was game to hold for second, with Mach It So third. McWicked, who sat in third, wheeled out for clearance in the stretch but could only recover for fourth, with "Pete" falling back to fifth.   Simon Allard drove the son of Western Hanover (from his last crop), with brother/trainer Rene conditioning the winner of $908,971 for Allard Racing Inc., Kapildeo Singh, and VIP Internet Stable LLC.   Keystone Velocity   The fastest three-year-old of 2015 was Dealt A Winner, who went 1:47.2 in upsetting Wiggle It Jiggleit and others in the Cane Pace. Saturday the altered son of Cam's Card Shark went probably his best mile since that outing, dusting a good field by 3½ lengths in 1:49.1. Soto went out and set early splits of 26.4 and 55; at the half David Miller moved the "Winner" raw, and he responded by pacing his third quarter in the vicinity of 26 flat, going by the 1:21.3 ¾ and widening his margin as they approached the wire. Boston Red Rocks, who gapped the winner's cover down the back, went on steadily for second, ¾ of a length ahead of Shamballa, who rallied from last to make the Franklin Final. Mark Silva trains the winner of nearly $750,000 for owner Jeffrey Snyder. Split The House was scratched from this elimination.   Dealt A Winner   EARL BEAL TROT -- $25,000 per elimination   Perhaps the "most respected thing" a harness horse can be is a three-year-old trotting filly taking on and defeating colts; if that's true, Ariana G is the most respected harness horse racing, as the superstar filly raced against colts in a Beal elimination and couldn't have been more impressive, or an easier winner. The daughter of Muscle Hill worked her way to the lead before the 27.3, and such was the respect she engenders that she was allowed a 57.4 half. Bill's Man came up to challenge uncovered before the 1:26.1 ¾, but driver Yannick Gingras looked over unconcerned, letting his filly trot home in 27.3 to complete a 1:53.4 mile. Bill's Man held gamely for second, 1 1/2 lengths off the winner, with Moonshiner Hanover rallying to nip Muscles Jared for third and a spot in the Championship. What The Hill was scratched from this elimination.   The Jimmy Takter trainee is perfect in three starts this year and 12 for 14 lifetime, with earnings of $818,967 for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Though she'll face the best of the elim horses next week, it's hard to see her as anything but a big favorite.   Ariana G   Long Tom was two-wide past a 27.1 quarter in going to the top in front of the stands, then went on to put up fractions of 55.3 and 1:24 on the lead. When first-over Sortie broke on the final turn and pocketsitter Giveitgasandgo ran out of gas at that point, Long Tom was long gone, winning by 6¼ lengths in 1:52.3, a season record. Sortie and Lucky Matter rallied off cover to grab the other two spots in the Beal Championship behind the victorious son of Muscle Hill, driven by Tim Tetrick and now 3 for 3 in 2017 after sweeping New Jersey Sire Stakes competition for trainer Marcus Melander and Amg Stable Oy.   Long Tom   The wind reversal noted earlier may have made the difference as 23-1 shot Perfect Spirit shot the inside to catch 2-5 favorite Devious Man by a head in 1:54.1. Dover Dan moved to the top around Perfect Spirit in the vicinity of the 28 quarter, trotted on to reach the half in 56.4, then went into the wind and faced a challenge from Devious Man, who had enough to clear to the front by the 1:25.1 ¾. But the swift quarter into the wind may have been Devious Man's undoing, for while he held off third-place Dover Dan's comeback attempt by 1¼ lengths, he could not sustain his advantage against the up the rail charge of the winning son of Andover Hall, whom Yannick Gingras catch-drove for trainer Ake Svanstedt, who was winning with Resolve at Yonkers) and owners SRF Stable. King Of The Hill was a scratch from this elimination.   Perfect Spirit     MAX C. HEMPT PACE -- $25,000 per elimination   Downbytheseaside continues to show a "1" call at all of his ¾ calls, but never did he have to work harder to get this one, as he went a tough first-over trip then still prevailed in 1:49.2.   Photobombr Hanover barreled away around Eddard Hanover for the early lead, forcing Downbytheseaside and driver Brian Sears, set for Hall of Fame induction on July 2, to tuck third before the 26 quarter. Photobombr Hanover continued to lead past the half in 54.1, but he was soon joined by "Seaside," and the two went a 26.4 third quarter, with the Brian Brown trainee getting a short advantage around the turn but not able to clear to the inside.   The victorious son of Somebeachsomewhere showed gameness in the lane, as PA Stallion Series champion Donttellmeagain cleared between horses in the lane and came with a head of steam, only to miss by a half-length. Eddard Hanover rallied from the pocket to be third behind the winner of $875,606, owned by Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco, Richard Lombardo, and Diamond Creek Racing.   Downbytheseaside     The other half of trainer Brown's "fearsome twosome," Fear The Dragon, was 1-9 after opening 2017 with five straight victories, but he was fair and square outpaced by the mile of his life from Miso Fast, who paced his back half in a stunning 53.3 - 26.4 quarters first into, then with the wind, opening a 3-length advantage by the 3/4 and then withstanding a comeback bid by the Dragon by 1½ lengths in a personal best of 1:49.2, beating his previous mark by three seconds.   Summer Side took advantage of the rail to take the early lead, putting Miso Fast in the pocket, then past the 27 quarter Fear The Dragon moved out and up to get the lead at the 3/8, reaching the half in 55.4. Off that turn Miso Fast and driver Matt Kakaley unleashed a frightening brush that carried him to the lead before the 5/8 and to a tremendous lead to the ¾ and around the turn. Fear The Dragon was game and rallied back in the stretch but came up shy, with Funknwaffles winning a photo for third over Summer Side behind the never-better winner, a son of Roll With Joe trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Our Horse Cents Stables, and J&T Silva Stables LLC.   Miso Fast   The "division without a Brian Brown colt" saw a major upset after two of the three favorites were out of the race past the 1/8, with Blood Line making a break and Every Way Out also going offstride nearing the ¼. Avoiding the trouble, though right behind Blood Line, was the Bettor's Delight colt Santafe's Coach, who worked out a second-over trip behind pacesetter Boogie Shuffle's fractions of 26, 54.3, and 1:22.2, swung wide in the final turn, and then just outfooted potential pocket rocket Ozone Blue Chip by a neck in 1:51.1, with Boogie Shuffle holding for third and advancing to next week's rich Championship. The 21-1 winner took a new mark with the triumph for driver Anthony Napolitano, trainer Leo Iordan, and owners Ed De Rosa (also the breeder), Matthew Iovaldi, and Ralph Woythaler.   Santafe's Coach       JAMES LYNCH PACE -- $20,000 per elimination   The card opened with a bang in the very first race, the first Lynch elim, as the American Ideal filly Tequila Monday took control from the pole right away, with Idyllic Beach keeping the pocket closed. Tequila Monday set fractions of 26.3, 55.3, and 1:22.4, then had to dig in as Idyllic Beach came out in the lane to challenge and inched up, but "Monday" went on gamely to hold off her rival by a nose, equaling her lifetime best of 1:50.4 and posting a season's record. Inverse Hanover was not able to stay with the top pair but held third to advance to the Championship. Brian Sears guided Tequila Monday to the hard-fought victory for trainer Chris Oakes and owners Susan Oakes and Chuck Pompey.   Tequila Monday     Agent Q, who missed a nose to Bettor's Up in the Fan Hanover last week, set the fractions to her own liking seven days later, coming home in 55 - 27 to leave Bettor's Up 1 1/2 lengths up the track while winning in a new mark of 1:51.1 as a drizzle started. After Caviart Ally shot to the early lead and the quarter was reached in 27.2, the Western Terror miss Agent Q moved to the lead, hit the half in 56.1, then put on her closing sprint. Bettor's Up beat out Caviart Ally for second; both will advance to the Championship, along with the winner, who was driven by David Miller for trainer Aaron Lambert and the ownership of Martin Scharf, Rochetti Cassar Racing, and Robert Muscara.   Agent Q     The Bettor's Delight filly Brazuca quarter-moved after a 26.1 opener in her elim, put up middle splits of 55.1 and 1:23.1 under Corey Callahan's handling, then survived stretch threats both inside and outside to emerge first by ¾ of a length in 1:52.3. The inside threat was Big City Betty, who found room up the Pocono Pike; the outside threat was Misqued, who started a challenge uncovered nearing the final turn - these two finished behind Brazuca in that order (Big City Betty a neck in front of Misqued) and also advanced. Brazuca is undefeated in three seasonal outings for trainer Thomas Cancelliere and owner John Cancelliere.   Brazuca     PHHA / Pocono  

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 24 – The harness racing top pacers and trotters on the WEG Circuit were on display in a pair of $34,000 Preferred events on Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Nirvana Seelster went down the road once again and picked up a 1:49.1 victory over six rivals in the Preferred Pace. Trevor Henry guided the Bill Budd trainee to his seventh win of the season and third win in his last five starts. Nirvana Seelster cut out fractions of :26.2, :54.2 and 1:22, before digging in and pacing home in :27.1 to win by 2 ½ lengths over Fool Me Once. American Virgin finished third, while Ellis Park was fourth. A six-year-old gelded son of Camluck, Nirvana Seelster was coming into Saturday’s start off a strong second-place finish in the $100,000 Mohawk Gold Cup last week. The Budd trainee’s 30th career victory gives him $141,000 earned this season to bring his career earnings to $663,006 for owner Bruce Davy. Nirvana Seelster paid $3.10 to win. Nirvana Seelster The Preferred Trot was the sight of a third consecutive victory for Windsun Revenge and a milestone for Il Sogno Dream. Jeff Durham trainee Windsun Revenge grabbed the lead in the second-quarter and posted solid fractions of :55.4 and 1:23.2 to lead the field of eight into the lane. Musical Rhythm, who was the early leader, turned in a solid bid to make things close, but Windsun Revenge held him off to win by a neck in 1:53. Lookslikeachpndale finished third, while Il Sogno Dream was fourth. A six-year-old gelded son of Kadabra, Windsun Revenge now has three victories in six starts this season to bring his 2017 earnings to $59,800. Following Saturday’s victory, Windsun Revenge’s career numbers now sit at 18 wins and $424,363 earned for owners Robert Van Camp and Durham. The public’s choice paid $4.50 to win. Windsun Revenge The fourth-place cheque earned by Il Sogno Dream was enough to push the six-year-old stallion over $1 million in career earnings. The Victor Puddy trainee came into Saturday’s Preferred just $1,328 shy of the milestone. A son of Cantab Hall, Il Sogno Dream reaches the $1 million mark with 20 career victories for owners Bill & Dan Manes and Leonard & Randy Christopher. His career highlights include finishing fourth in the 2014 Hambletonian, winning the 2015 Allerage Trot and finishing second in the 2016 Maxie Lee. Reaching milestones and competing on the racetrack is not the only thing keeping Il Sogno Dream busy this season, as he has also been standing stud at Mac Lilley Farms in Dutton, Ontario. The Puddy trainee is eligible to this year’s Maple Leaf Trot. Live racing resumes Monday night at Mohawk. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie  

East Rutherford, NJ - Picture perfect weather conditions greeted a large crowd on Saturday evening at The Meadowlands for live harness racing on the track and the annual Winefest off the track. The featured event of the night, a conditioned event carrying a purse of $18,000, lived up to expectations with the classy Bettor's Edge (Victor Kirby) surviving a tough journey to score in 1:48.2, just one-fifth of a second off his career best. Titus Seelster (Eric Abbatiello) blasted off the wings but faced immediate earlier pressure from Seeley Man (Christian Lind), the former Maine superstar who was 24 for 24 at the ages of two and three. Those two dueled through an opening split of 26.4, with Seeley Man eventually muscling his way to the lead. Shortly after clearing for the lead, it was millionaire In The Arsenal (Vinnie Ginsburg) who launched an attack, clearing to take over shortly after the half in 53.3. Bettor's Edge was left uncovered after In The Arsenal cleared to the lead, but the classy son of Bettor's Delight eventually wore down that rival shortly after three-quarters in 1:21, and staved off a mild late bid from More Dragon (Marcus Miller) to pick up his 36th career win. Jennifer Lappe conditions the winner and co-owns with Robert Santagata, both of Campbell Hall, NY. With the win, Bettor's Edge is now less than $40,000 shy of $2 million in career earnings. Total handle on the 11-race card was $2,229,351. Live racing resumes next Friday featuring a retirement celebration in honor of Hall of Famer John Campbell. For more information, visit www.playmeadowlands.com. Justin Horowitz

Race fixing, corruption, intimidation, threats, leaks and bashings – this was the year the traditional world of racing met the sophisticated world of law enforcement. Covert surveillance, coercive hearings and informant recruitment have all been used to uncover criminal activity in the first year of the newly established Queensland Racing Integrity Commission. It was the State Government’s answer to the horror of the live baiting scandal – images of piglets, rabbits and native possums torn apart by racing greyhounds splashed across the media, the footage uncovered by Animal Liberation Queensland. An industry that once policed itself would now be policed by one of the state’s most respected career detectives. Ross Barnett left his role as Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner to run the commission – a detective with 39 years’ experience who trained with the FBI and spent years on national counter-terrorism committees. Mr Barnett was chosen, deliberately so, because he had no knowledge of, or connection to, the racing industry. He took on the role knowing it would not be a popular one and said the past year had been a “steep learning curve which is unending”. Harness racing investigation Integrity on the agenda “Our first year has uncovered significant evidence of previous failures to investigate complaints about serious matters adequately or at all and the leaking of sensitive information to industry participants,” he said. “A lot of what we’re investigating is actually criminal in nature. More than just the rules of racing. The rules of racing can adequately be enforced by the stewards, generally. “But we’re talking serious animal cruelty – a seven-year crime. Match fixing or race fixing – a 10-year crime. The commission is not just addressing the rules of racing, but also animal cruelty. “This is high level crime, quite organised crime, and common sense tells you that you need the police and the police powers if you’re going to investigate a crime properly and that’s why we’ve been successful in laying race-fixing charges in our first nine months.” Not long after Mr Barnett took on his new role, he became aware of an alarming situation. In the months before the commission was established, an informant had come forward with allegations of race fixing. But the information was leaked, spread around, and before long, the informant was confronted at home by their partner about what they’d done. “So hence, that story gets around and people know they (integrity officers) can’t be trusted,” he said. “That was the sort of environment we needed to fix.” Today, the Racing Crime Squad, made up of Queensland police officers, and the Integrity Regulatory Unit are quarantined away, its staff working in locked rooms. Queensland's Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett was chosen because he had no previous connection to the racing industry. He says police powers are necessary to clean up corruption. Picture: Tim Marsden A corruption prevention officer from the Crime and Corruption Commission was brought in to talk on the importance of discretion when handling matters that could lead to criminal charges. And Mr Barnett used the Commission’s coercive powers – similar to those often used in the CCC’s secret Star Chamber hearings – in an attempt to uncover the source of the leak. “It’s a significant power which we use judiciously but it’s a valuable part of the arsenal,” he said. The investigation is ongoing but Mr Barnett said much has been done to ensure future informants can be sure they will be protected. In the past year, investigators have uncovered alleged animal cruelty, intimidation, threats, assaults and misconduct. “It has given me no joy to see a number of staff depart in the first year after investigations into a range of allegations of serious misconduct,” he said. Mr Barnett said the integrity of the racing industry was important in a climate where it is possible to bet on almost anything. Investigators on winning streak: OCTOBER 2016: A harness steward resigns amid allegations he gave harness trainers advance warning of stable inspections. JANUARY 2017: Yandina horse trainer David Ronald Gafa, 56, is charged with animal cruelty following allegations he drowned a four-month-old thoroughbred foal. FEBRUARY 2017: A 32-year-old Molendinar man is charged with assault occasioning bodily harm and two counts of common assault against three harness racing participants. The charges were the result of a four-month investigation into claims of intimidation and assaults. FEBRUARY 2017: A 62-year-old central Queensland man is charged with failing to comply with a welfare direction after 11 allegedly neglected racehorses are found on his Alton Downs property. FEBRUARY 2017: Chief Harness Racing Stipendiary Steward David Farquharson is sacked following an independent, external investigation into a complaint made by a racing industry participant. APRIL 2017: Queensland Police and the Crime and Corruption Commission join with QRIC to raid the properties of five harness racing participants amid allegations of systemic race fixing. Two men are charged with match fixing. MAY 2017: The Commission’s integrity regulation unit head is reassigned from his role following a complaint of misconduct. Norm Torpey was accused of not properly investigating a matter reported by a participant. MAY 2017: A cadet steward resigns after she was investigated for entering false information on a chain-of-custody document for a swab taken from a horse. By Kate Kyriacou, The Sunday Mail (Qld) Reprinted with permission of The Courier Mail

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