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The following letter was sent to the membership of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York by its president, Joe Faraldo. The Standardbred Owners Association of New York and Yonkers Raceway have spent a great deal of time, effort and resources in securing new markets to simulcast races from Yonkers. It started with a relationship with Australian harness racing, which has now grown to a market that wagers more than $30 million a year on races from Yonkers. The next new market is Europe. For the last year, no kidding, we have been working on getting races from Yonkers simulcast to the PMU, the French pari-mutuel wagering association that takes bets from much of Europe. Those efforts are coming to fruition with the start of Sunday simulcasting on November 9 and continuing every Sunday through the end of the Yonkers meet December 14. It’s always challenging to enter a new market and this European market is extra special. The PMU hosts the second largest wagering pools in the world. And Yonkers will be the first track, harness or thoroughbred, which will be simulcast there from the United States on a weekly basis. Here are some of the things Yonkers & the SOA of NY have teamed together on to educate bettors overseas and to help make this venture a success: Developed web site in French www.yonkers-france to promote Yonkers and have an easy way to give out racing information to bettors overseas. Created social media pages (facebook, twitter, pinterest) in French for fans to keep up with American racing. Started and funded in cooperation with Yonkers an ad campaign in the daily French racing form, The Paris Turf, and also on the French racing television channel in an effort to insure that we properly promote Yonkers’ signal. Engaged domestic ADWs to offer promotions for members to wager on Yonkers on Sundays. Some ADWs will provide multiple reward benefits for wagering on this special Sunday card. The Yonkers signal will also be distributed to Switzerland, Belgium, Spanish Basque community, Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, Holland, Estonia and Malta The French PMU marketing branch is offering $5,000 Euros (approx. $6,500) on the first two Sundays to the French bettors that wager on Yonkers. Engaged an expert as an overseas liaison to help us make decisions and coordinate our efforts to put our best foot forward.  We believe this will open the door to more of this simulcasting at more reasonable times on a different day of the week – that would be more convenient to the horsmen . Obtained permission to have advanced wagering on Sunday card from the NYS Gaming Commission. As part of this effort the International Trot will return in 2015 to Yonkers Raceway and its Preview will be raced October 25th, 2015 on a blockbuster card including the Yonkers Trot, The Messenger Stakes, the Lady Maud and the Hudson Filly Trot. The real payoff to the global expansion is commingling because it presents the opportunity for much bigger wagering pools which would be very attractive to our players currently based here in the US. Basically, we have busted our butt to for a long time and with a lot of days, weeks and months of extraordinary cooperation with Yonkers and the NYS Gaming Commission. The Commission has been encouraging us to move forward to promote our sport and has been extremely sensitive to the sacrifices and unique needs of the French initiative. There is no doubt as to its untapped potential.  We realize that this initial Pilot Program will mean sacrifices for everyone and so far everyone has gone out on a limb to make this work, however but this initial sacrifice will lead to the start of a global exposure for Yonkers and our industry. It will insure to a large extent, more than anything else, a future for our game. We are excited about the Pilot Program’s potential expansion which will not be as onerous on all of our resources as this startup is. We are pleased about the participation and cooperation from the NYS Gaming Commission and Yonkers and truly believe that Tim Rooney, Sr. aptly said of these six weeks of the Program, “we have but one chance to get this right, we can’t fail”. The SOA and Yonkers will see to it that those horsemen participating in these French simulcasts will be  rewarded. We know the sacrifices the SOA and Yonkers have made; the numerous meetings, the planning, the expense and we sincerely hope that all horsemen join hands in the effort to insure the vitality of our business. Programs like this are essential for our future. A future which as we have seen can be altered overnight. 

This Week: Messenger Stakes, Yonkers Trot, International Trot Preview, Lady Maud and Hudson Filly Trot, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Fall Four Stakes, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Dayton Pacing Derby and Dayton Trotting Derby, Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Dayton, Ohio; Circle City and Madison County, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and John Simpson Stakes, Vernon Downs, Vernon, N.Y. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week will get underway on Friday (Oct. 24) at Hollywood Dayton Raceway with the $160,000 Dayton Trotting Derby for older trotters and the $122,000 Dayton Pacing Derby for older pacers. Also on Friday, Hoosier Park will offer Circle City races for 3-year-old trotters and pacers, There will be three divisions in the $90,000 3-year-old colt pace, three divisions in the $82,200 3-year-old filly trot, two divisions in the $74,300 3-year-old colt trot and two divisions in the $71,000 3-year-old filly pace. On Saturday (Oct. 25), Hoosier will race Madison County events for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. Each of the four divisions carries an estimated purse of $75,000. Rounding out the busy Friday of Grand Circuit racing, Vernon Downs will contest the John Simpson Stakes for freshman pacers and trotters. There will be three divisions in the $31,005 2-year-old colt trot, two divisions in the $26,816 2-year-old filly trot and single divisions in the $26,503 2-year-old colt pace and $25,616 2-year-old filly pace. Yonkers Raceway will offer five Grand Circuit stakes on Saturday night led by two Triple Crown events, the $500,000 Yonkers Trot for 3-year-old trotters and the $500,000 Messenger for 3-year-old pacers. Also on tap will be the $250,000 International Trot Preview for older trotters, the $150,854 Lady Maud for 3-year-old pacing fillies and the $124,590 Hudson Filly Trot for 3-year-old trotting fillies. Woodbine will offer the Fall Four Stakes on Saturday featuring the C$565,000 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old colt pacers, the C$521,000 Valley Victory for 2-year-old colt trotters, the C$464,000 Goldsmith Maid for 2-year-old filly trotters, and the C$424,000 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old filly pacers. Complete entries for the U.S. races are available at this link. Woodbine entries can be seen at this link. Last time: The Windy City Pace at Maywood Park was the featured event this past weekend on the extensive Grand Circuit schedule. Big Boy Dreams and Tim Tetrick won the Windy City Pace. Big Boy Dreams won the $180,000 Windy City Pace on Oct. 17 in wire-to-wire fashion for driver Tim Tetrick in 1:51. The Ron Burke trainee and New York Sire Stakes competitor notched his fourth win of the year in 10 starts. Big Boy Dreams took the field to a brutal :25.4 first quarter and a :54.1 half, with Let's Drink On It challenging the leader going to the 1:22.2 three-quarters. But Big Boy Dreams just continued to draw away in the stretch to win by 2-1/2 lengths. He now has $168,495 in seasonal earnings for owner Dominic Rosato. It was "Elimination Saturday," on Oct. 18, with Yonkers Raceway hosting elims for three stakes events. Fifteen 3-year-old colts and geldings turned into eight for Yonkers Trot No. 60, as standouts Nuncio (John Campbell) and Gural Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) were comfy winners in the pair of $40,000 eliminations. Nuncio, in play early from post position No. 5, waited his turn before finally making the lead. He parked Skates N Plates, then strode home by 3-1/2 lengths through fractions of :28.4, :58, 1:26.4 and 1:56.2. Don Dorado was second, with Journey and Expressive Action third and fourth, respectively. Gural Hanover, New York Sire Stakes champion and the lone $30,000 supplemental entrant into this season's Trot, won the draw in the second elim. He retook from a breaking-soon-after Flyhawk El Durado before finishing his four turns though panels of :28.4, 58.1, 1:27.2 and 1:56.3, a length faster than Resolve. Third went to King City, with Datsyuk getting the final place at the table. The $40,000 elim for the 59th Messenger -- nine sophomore colts/geldings to end up with eight -- was won by a pocket-sitting Luck Be Withyou (Tim Tetrick). From post No. 2, he whipped a cone-skimming Forty Five Red by a neck in 1:53 with McWicked a belated third. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,890; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,002; 3. David Miller - 869.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 625.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 523. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,957.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,519; 3. Erv Miller - 396.5; 4. Joe Holloway - 349; 5. Tony Alagna - 312. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 431.4; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 386.4; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 277; 4. Brittany Farms - 254.45; 5. Robert Key - 232. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Hoosier Park and Vernon Downs. Hoosier will feature the Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-olds, the Monument Circle for 3-year-old male pacers, the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for older pacers, the Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old filly pacers and the Moni Maker for 3-year-old filly trotters. Vernon will offer the Artiscape for older pacing mares, the Muscle Hill for older trotting mares, and a pair of Kindergarten finals for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit

As the famous saying goes “the older the fiddle the sweeter the tune” and there was never a truer word spoken at Portmarnock Raceway last Sunday when the annual “Legends” drivers race was held at the Dublin, Ireland venue. With an average age of 60, each driver, a harness hero in their respective heydays, paraded before the event in front of hundreds of adoring friends, family and fans all anxious to see these legends of the track all strut their stuff just one more time. As the starting car pulled away, a huge cheer rang out from the packed stands as Seamus Corey from Belfast locked horns with County Meaths Patrick Kane in an early battle for supremacy. With a circuit left to run, Joe Haide aboard Deans Alibi entered the fray and put the geldings devastating turn of foot to good use, quickly striding five lengths clear. Although Tom Richardson with Springhill Jack and Phillip Gilligan with Major Tom tried to launch race-winning challenges in the home stretch it was Deans Alibi who landed the spoils to the delight of the oldest driver in the racem Joe Haide.  The runners up spot fell to Mahogany Montana who performed creditably for Seamus Corey whilst Christy Bennett, a former pro who hasn’t drove competitively in a race in 20 years, finished third aboard favourite Oakwood Outlaw. Coy about his age when quizzed in the winners enclosure winning driver Joe admitted to be north of 70 years old, but to those there on the day he showed he had lost none of his prowess in the bike or indeed the ability to make a vital tack change when things are going wrong. Deans Alibi had ran poorly in his own race earlier on in the afternoon, seeming to hate the sloppy conditions. After having a quick consultation with the owner, a mesh face mask was obtained and produced which had the desired effect and Deans Alibi knuckled down to a gutsy win to the delight of Joes wife Peggy, and dozens of family members that had came along to see a true legend in action. Bragging rights were put to good use in the clubhouse after racing and a big party was held in honour of all participants who regaled patrons with anecdotes and tall tales of their exploits from the 1960s right through to this very day. The “Legends” race remains one of the highlights of the season at Portmarnock and it was great to see so many people turn out on the day to pay homage to those who gave their best years to the sport they love for our enjoyment. The last word must go to Joe Haide for when he was asked if he will be back in 2015 to defend his title he bellowed “Of course I’ll be back, there’s plenty of kicks still left in this mule!” By Thomas Bennett, for Portmarnock Raceway

Already a member of an elite harness racing fraternity, Bitobliss will tackle a new challenge at Kilmore’s Cup meeting on Sunday. At is stands, Bitobliss is one of only three pacers to register consecutive wins in the club’s flagship event since its inauguration in 1964 when captured by You Crovottie. Thanks to his victories in 2011 and ’12, the Scott Stewart-trained stallion sits alongside Popular Alm and Game Oro to form the ‘terrific three’. Popular Alm was the first to achieve the feat in 1981 and ’82, followed by Game Oro in 1985 and ’86. Stewart is hoping Bitobliss’ connection to Popular Alm can continue in the Sprint named after the former superstar. Popular Alm was prepared by the late Bob and Vin Knight, who Stewart worked for during the late 1980s and early ‘90s. As for Bitobliss, he has drawn perfectly in barrier one in the 1690-metre feature. “That is a top barrier, but hopefully we haven’t used up all our luck with the draw,” Stewart declared. “From there I’d like to see him hold the lead, but we’ll have to see what happens when the mobile lets them go.” Although first-up for three months, Bitobliss is in “pretty good shape” after three solid trials, with Stewart confident of forward showing. “He’s had three good trials and his work at home has been great,” Stewart said. “He has certainly come up better than he did when he had a few runs last July. “His work has lifted and he is just generally better within himself. “I would have liked to have another crack at the Cup, but it’s just too much first-up from a spell.” Following his provincial engagement, Bitobliss will return to Tabcorp Park Melton for the Smoken Up Sprint on November 7. Should the son of Blissfull Hall race as expected, Stewart will head to Menangle for the Coca-Cola Sprint a week later in a bid to earn a berth in the Miracle Mile. Australasia’s premier speed test, the Miracle Mile is scheduled to be held at Menangle on November 29. “All that depends on how well he is going,” Stewart said. “For now I’m just concentrating on Kilmore then we will go from there.” PAUL COURTS

Traffic shapes as the main issue standing in the way of boom harness racing performer Guaranteed in his bid for a record-equalling win at Kilmore on Sunday. Engaged in the club’s famed Cup, Guaranteed is aiming to join former South Australian great Nevada Smoke as the only pacers to complete the Nyah/Kilmore Cup double. Nevada Smoke set the benchmark with his brilliant victories in 1974, while Guaranteed was triumphant in last Saturday night’s Nyah feature. Only two other pacers have won both provincial features, albeit different years, with Game Oro successful in the 1984 Nyah Cup before completing consecutive Kilmore Cup wins in ’85 and ’86. Bold Cruiser repeated the dose with a Nyah win in 2007 and a Kilmore victory the following season. As for Guaranteed’s attempt at a slice of history, the five-year-old has drawn awkwardly on the inside of the second row in the 3150-metre handicap. Disappointed with the barrier co-trainer Emma Stewart, who prepares her team with Clayton Tonkin, remains confident Guaranteed can continue his winning form. The son of Artsplace had had two starts this campaign, with his other victory coming in the Melton Plate when first-up from a spell. “The draw isn’t what you would ask for, but that’s part of racing,” Stewart said. “He has come from the second row plenty of times. “The biggest concern is traffic and hoping he can avoid any early trouble if those in front, or next to, him gallop away. “As long as he gets a clean go at them, he will be very hard to beat.” Citing Maximan as the main danger, Stewart believes Im Corzin Terror will be ready to produce his best after three eye-catching runs from a spell. Boasting four wins and a second for trainer Andy Gath, Maximan will come from seven – the outside of the front row. Winner of last season’s standing start Maryborough Cup, Im Corzin Terror has drawn four, but will slot into three with the removal of the emergency for trainer Amanda Grieve. “Although he’s drawn wide, Maximan is the one to beat,” Stewart said. “He’s a very nice type and will be ideally suited to these conditions. “Im Corzin Terror has proven himself on the country cups circuit, and after a few runs this time in, will also be in it for a long way.” PAUL COURTS

In case you have not already signed up for Harnesslink’s great harness racing newsletter called Insider Access, then here is your chance.  Just click here and within seconds you will be on track for the latest news in harness racing that you will not see or read about anywhere else, even on our own website. This week’s Insider Access newsletter contains the following feature stories: Embryo transplants are just wrong! - Embryo transplants in race horses, just like cloning or any other unnatural forms of reproduction in horse racing, is just plain wrong. Get your friends to enter “Win The Wheels Contest” - How would you like to win a set of $1,400US custom race bike wheels from Forward Motion Technologies, perhaps a full set of RazorHorse shoes, maybe a five gallon bucket of Lifeline Horse Supplement or a $100 Amazon gift card? AU: Thin skinned stewards -  Following an exclusive article on Harnesslink earlier this month, Victorian horseman Lance Justice is the subject of stewards' inquiry. Angered by the suspensions he received at Melton on September 29, Justice questioned the lack of definition between light and heavy interference stating: "The stewards are too heavy handed. There is no defining difference between light, medium or heavy interference, and as such, it’s just bang...this is the sentence. Its mandatory sentencing gone mad." AU: Novelty or offensive? - In a world of political correctness, would be it okay to conduct a race limited to third generation Australians? How about a race for men only? Embryo transplants are just wrong! - Embryo transplants in race horses, just like cloning or any other unnatural forms of reproduction in horse racing, is just plain wrong. Get your friends to enter “Win The Wheels Contest” - How would you like to win a set of $1,400US custom race bike wheels from Forward Motion Technologies, perhaps a full set of RazorHorse shoes, maybe a five gallon bucket of Lifeline Horse Supplement or a $100 Amazon gift card? NZ: Stakes money: How to calculate it - As an industry that covers different hemispheres and numerous countries, you would think that the powers that be would come up with a system regarding stakes money won that is uniformly accepted worldwide. NZ: Shuttle Stallions –  Where is the $$ going? Breeding operations in the southern hemisphere are locked into the use of shuttle stallions if they want to stay relevant in a hugely competitive market. They either buy a chunk of a stallion, purchase the Southern breeding rights or get a fee for service provided to the stallion owners. But where is the actual money going? Stallion Review – ALWAYS A VIRGIN - Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the excellent racehorse and stallion Always A Virgin, p,3,1:48.4 ($1,135,559). Don’t miss out on the next edition of Insider Access. The newsletter currently comes out every other Tuesday morning (North America), Tuesday afternoon (Europe) and Wednesday morning (Australasia).

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, October 21, 2014—All together now…”The pills are alive with the sound of stakes draws…” Post positions have been procured for Yonkers Raceway’s stakes-stuffed Saturday night program, which features more than $1.5 million in purses for the five features, a $20,000 guaranteed all-stakes-race Pick 5 pool and a free t-shirt (while supplies last).  First post for the baker’s-dozen buffet is 7:10 PM. Race 5 – $500,000 YONKERS TROT NO. 60 (3-year-old colts/geldings) approximate post time 8:50 PM, with approx. 20-25 minutes between these races 1-Gural Hanover (Jim Morrill Jr.) 2-Nuncio (John Campbell) 3-Expressive Action (Jason Bartlett) 4-Datsyuk (Charlie Norris) 5-Resolve (Tim Tetrick) 6-King City (George Brennan) 7-Journey (Dan Dube) 8-Don Dorado (Tetrick also listed) Race 6 – $500,000 MESSENGER STAKES 1-Stevensville (Mark MacDonald) 2-National Debt (Bartlett) 3-Lyonssomewhere (Brett Miller) 4-McWicked (Dave Miller) 5-Luck Be Withyou (Tetrick) 6-e-All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) 7-Western Conquest (Brent Holland) 8-e-Forty Five Red (Brennan) e-Ron Burke owner/trainer entry Race 7 – $150,874 HUDSON FILLY TROT  1-Highest Peak (Ake Svanstedt) 2-e-Market Rally (Morrill Jr.) 3-Mistresswithmuscle (Driver TBA) 4-e-Avalacious (MacDonald) 5-Bambino Supreme (Brennan) 6-Yoga (Brett Miller) e-Ron Burke owner/trainer entry Race 8 – $124,590 LADY MAUD  1-Do Your Job (Eric Carlson) 2-Act Now (Brennan) 3-Scandalicious (Dube) 4-Anagada (Campbell) 5-Fancy Desire (Brennan also listed) 6-Tyra (Tetrick) 7-e-Beautiful Lady (Kakaley) 8-e-A La Notte Hanover (Kakaley also listed) e-Ron Burke owner/trainer entry Race 9 – $250,000 INTERNATIONAL TROT PREVIEW (1¼ miles) 1-Commander Crowe (Orjan Kihlstrom) 2-Bee a Magician (Dave Miller) 3-Archangel (Kakaley) 4-Obrigado (Bartlett) 5-Arch Madness (Trond Smedshammer) 6-Sebastian K (Ake Svanstedt) 7-Natural Herbie (Verlin Yoder) 8-Not Afraid (Brett Miller) Program changes are to be made Wednesday morning. Please be advised that program pages Saturday’s Pick 5 (50-cent base) shall be available for perusal no later than Wednesday afternoon at www.yonkersraceway.com. As always, the guaranteed pool is a joint venture of the Raceway, the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and the US Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program.      Yonkers Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily.  by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

TORONTO, October 21 - The finest two-year-olds in harness racing will take centre stage this Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack, as the Fall Four Stakes highlight a $2.1 million card. The $565,000 Governors Cup, the $521,000 Valley Victory, the $464,000 Goldsmith Maid and the $424,000 Three Diamonds make up the Fall Four Stakes, which star the best youngsters in the sport. The Fall Four Stakes were established during the mid to late 1980's at Garden State Park in New Jersey. This Saturday will be the sixth time that the Woodbine Entertainment Group plays host to the Fall Four. Multiple World Champions and divisional leaders will be on display in the four rich finals this Saturday evening. The Governors Cup for two-year-old pacers was established in 1985 and over the years many of the sport's greats have won the prestigious event, including Artsplace, Western Hanover and Life Sign. This year's edition of the Governors Cup is headlined by Metro Pace winner Artspeak. The son of Western Ideal made a break on the final turn in his elimination, but recovered to make up ground in the stretch and finish third. Artspeak (PP6), who will be driven by Scott Zeron for trainer Tony Alagna, is a seven-time winner from nine starts and has earned $523,227 in his rookie season. Lyons Again (PP3) and Pierce Hanover (PP2) were both upset winners in last Saturday's eliminations. Lyons Again broke his maiden with his 14-1 upset victory, while Pierce Hanover was a 13-1 surprise winner in his split. A son of Dragon Again, Lyons Again will be driven by Yannick Gingras for trainer Ron Burke. Despite having only one victory on his resume, Lyons Again has a bankroll of over $174,000 from eight starts this season. Pierce Hanover is a four-time winner from ten starts for career earnings of $62,688. The son of Cams Card Shark will be driven by Jody Jamieson for trainer Ken Sucee, who shares ownership with his brother, Ralph. The Governors Cup will take place as Race 7 Saturday night. The Goldsmith Maid for two-year-old trotting fillies was first contested in 1990. CR Kay Suzie, Peaceful Way and Passionate Glide are just some of the top trotters to have captured the event. Looking to add her name to the impressive list of champions is World Champion Mission Brief (PP4) The Burke trainee captured her elimination last Friday in 1:54.4 and was making her first start since becoming the fastest two-year-old trotter of all-time when she won at The Red Mile in 1:50.3 on October 2. The daughter of Muscle Hill will be driven by Gingras, who was happy with her performance in the elimination. "She was very good, wrapped up and had plenty of trot left," said Gingras. "She had been off a few weeks, so I think next week will be even better and she will be at her best." Mission Brief has won seven of 10 starts for earnings of $327,400. Gingras and Burke also teamed up in the other elimination to win with Gatka Hanover. A daughter of Muscle Massive, Gatka Hanover (PP3) turned in arguably her best performance to date in her elimination and impressed her driver. "She beat a great filly in Jolene Jolene rather easily so I was impressed with her." Gatka Hanover has won five of 11 starts for earnings of $160,068. The Goldsmith Maid has been carded as Race 3 Saturday evening. Established in 1990, the Valley Victory for two-year-old trotters has been captured by top trotters Donerail, Lindy Lane and Deweycheatumnhowe. The team of Gingras and Burke will once again team up in the Valley Victory, this time with William Wellwood Memorial winner Habitat. A son of Conway Hall, Habitat (PP4) won his third consecutive race in last Saturday's elimination by almost three lengths. Habitat has won six of nine starts for career earnings of just under $350,000. The other elimination winner, Whataworkout (PP3), is also the most lightly raced trotter in the field. A son of Muscle Hill, Whataworkout will be making only his fifth career start this Saturday. The Frank Antonacci trainee has two wins in four starts for earnings of over $27,000. Scott Zeron will be at the controls of Whataworkout. The Valley Victory will take place as Race 5. The Three Diamonds for two-year-old pacing fillies was first held in 1989 and has been won by top fillies such as Miss Easy, Immortality and Worldly Beauty. Arguably the top two-year-old in all of harness racing, Jk Shesalady, headlines the field of ten for the Three Diamonds. A daughter of Art Major, Jk Shesalady won her elimination last Friday to improve her career record to a perfect nine for nine. Trained by Nancy Johansson and driven by Gingras, Jk Shesalady's biggest victory of the season came in the $480,000 Shes A Great Lady final at Mohawk on August 30. The undefeated filly has banked $457,350 this season. Looking to hand Jk Shesalady her first defeat is the other elimination winner, The Show Returns. Trained by Chris Ryder and driven by Zeron, The Show Returns won her elimination last week for her fourth win in nine starts this season. A daughter of Rocknroll Hanover, The Show Returns biggest victory of the season was in a division of the Champlain Stakes at Mohawk on September 6. The Show Returns has earned just over $106,000 this season. The Three Diamonds has been carded as Race 9 Saturday evening. Post time for the 13-race card Saturday evening is 7:25 p.m. Here are the full fields for Saturday night's Fall Four Stakes finals. PP/Horse/Driver Race 3 - Goldsmith Maid - Purse: $464,000 1. Jolene Jolene - Brian Sears 2. Demons N Diamonds - Scott Zeron 3. Gatka Hanover - Yannick Gingras 4. Mission Brief - Yannick Gingras 5. Flirting Filly - Ron Pierce 6. Smexi - Corey Callahan 7. Stubborn Belle - Paul Macdonell 8. Juanitas Fury - Paul Macdonell 9. Tymal Illbthere - Trevor Henry 10. Danielle Hall - Jody Jamieson AE: Lilu Hanover - Scott Zeron Race 5 - Valley Victory - Purse: $521,000 1. Pinkman - Sylvain Filion 2. Uncle Lasse - Ron Pierce 3. Whataworkout - Scott Zeron 4. Habitat - Yannick Gingras 5. Aldebaran Eagle - Corey Callahan 6. Jetpedia - Mike Saftic 7. The Bank - Jimmy Takter 8. Walter White - Brian Sears 9. Big Rich - Randy Waples 10. Iron - Brian Sears AE: Lookslikeachpndale - Sylvain Filion Race 7 - Governors Cup - Purse: $565,000 1. Lancaster Park - James MacDonald 2. Pierce Hanover - Jody Jamieson 3. Lyons Again - Yannick Gingras 4. Arque Hanover - Steve Condren 5. Lost For Words - Doug McNair 6. Artspeak - Scott Zeron 7. Go Daddy Go - Corey Callahan 8. Migrate Blue Chip - Rick Zeron 9. Blood Brother - Sylvain Filion 10. Traceur Hanover - Randy Waples AE: Lyons Levi Lewis - Sylvain Filion Race 9 - Three Diamonds - Purse: $424,000 1. Happy Becky - Chris Christoforou 2. The Show Returns - Scott Zeron 3. Jk Shesalady - Yannick Gingras 4. Float On By - James MacDonald 5. Solar Sister - Scott Zeron 6. Ideal Nuggets - Sylvain Filion 7. Rock Her World - James MacDonald 8. Band Of Angels - Yannick Gingras 9. Zip Code Envy - Ron Pierce 10. Shakai Hanover - Jody Jamieson AE: Storm Point - Ron Pierce by Mark McKelvie, for WEG

Regardless of form, or draw, the safe bet in Saturday night’s Queensland Pacing Championship – which doubles as the beginning of harness racing’s Grand Circuit – is McCarthy. Which McCarthy is harder to select, but given the family’s history with the feature, picking the right one is likely to be the best wager of the night at Albion Park. The McCarthys have won seven of the past eight editions of the Group One, beginning with Cobbity Classic in 2004. Trained by the elder statesman, John, Cobbity Classic was driven by his son, Luke. Luke then trained and drove Slipnslide to glory in 2005 and ‘06, with John finishing third on both occasions with Be Good Johnny. Four years later Luke repeated the dose with Mr Feelgood, which was too classy in 2010 and ‘11. John finished second with Washakie in 2010 and fourth with the same pacer the following year. The father and son joined forced to score with Washakie in 2012 before John combined with Luke’s trainer-wife, Belinda, to win with Ideal Scott last season. Only Natalie Rasmussen’s two wins with Blacks A Fake in 2008 and ’09 have stopped the McCarthys during the past nine years. The race was not run in 2007 due to the Equine Influenza breakout. As for their latest assault on the time-honoured event, the McCarthys boast four runners – two from John’s team and two from Belinda’s stable. John will partner Blazin N Cullen from barrier six, with Bart Cockburn to take the reins behind Machtavish, which has drawn gate nine. Belinda’s brother-in-law, Todd, will drive Our Hi Jinx, which has drawn the pole, while Luke is sticking with For A Reason from three. The leading prospect of the quartet, For A Reason is expected to be at his peak following two eye-catching runs from a spell. Finishing fourth on both occasions, the son of Art Major is no stranger to top shelf glory at the circuit, having captured the Queensland Derby in 2010. Rejuvenated pacer Avonnova shapes as the candidate most likely to halt the McCarthy onslaught for local trainer Ian Gurney. Successful in last week’s Gold Coast Cup, which saw Blazin N Cullen, For A Reason and Machtavish among the beaten brigade, Avonnova faces a tougher task from barrier five. Another son of Art Major, Avonnova was named Queensland Horse of the Year last Sunday, with a victory this weekend the perfect complement to his new title. PAUL COURTS

After guiding Lyons Again to his first career win in his Governor's Cup elimination at Woodbine last weekend, driver Yannick Gingras believes it is just the start for the 2-year-old male pacer. Gingras arrived at Woodbine last Friday and Saturday with plenty of firepower for the Fall Four Stakes for 2-year-old pacers and trotters, and it all fired. He drove horses in all eight Fall Four eliminations, posting five wins, two second-place finishes and one fourth. In addition to winning with Lyons Again, Gingras picked up victories in both eliminations for the Goldsmith Maid, with female trotters Mission Brief and Gatka Hanover, a win in the Three Diamonds with female pacer JK She'salady, and a triumph in the Valley Victory with male trotter Habitat. He finished second with Three Diamonds contender Band Of Angels and runner-up with Governor's Cup hopeful Blood Brother. His fourth-place finish was with Pinkman in the Valley Victory elims. The Fall Four Stakes finals, worth a total of nearly C$2 million, are Saturday at Woodbine. Lyons Again was the longest shot driven by Gingras, at 14-1, but his Governor's Cup elimination win from post nine by three-quarters of a length over Traceur Hanover in 1:52.4 was not a complete surprise. "He was a longshot for everybody (else) but I've really, really liked this colt," Gingras said. "He's really been a bridesmaid, always finishing second or third, but he ran into a really sharp horse in Artspeak early in the year. There's no shame in finishing second to him, as sharp as he was." A son of Dragon Again-A Filly To Fear owned by Geoffrey Lyons Mound, Lyons Again has one win, four seconds and two thirds in eight starts. Three times he hit the board in races won by Artspeak, with two runner-up finishes, and once he finished second to Yankee Bounty. Artspeak and Yankee Bounty are harness racing's two richest 2-year-old male pacers and have combined to win 15 of 18 races. Lyons Again, who finished third in the Metro Pace and has earned $161,687 this year, was not eligible to the Grand Circuit races at The Red Mile in Lexington, so the colt enjoyed a six-week layoff following his second-place finish in a division of the Champlain Stakes on Sept. 6 at Mohawk. "It's not very often that you'll have a horse at that level getting a six-week break in the middle of the summer when they're healthy," Gingras said. "I think it's going to help him. I think this week he should be even tighter; it will be his second start off the layoff." Lyons Again, trained by Ron Burke, will start the C$565,000 Governor's Cup from post three. Pierce Hanover, who won the other elimination, leaves from post two with Jody Jamieson at the lines for trainer Ken Sucee. Artspeak, who finished third after going off stride in his elim, won by Pierce Hanover, is in post six for driver Scott Zeron and trainer Tony Alagna. "After this we move onto the Breeders Crown," Gingras said. "I think (Lyons Again) could have a big fall. He's a big, strong horse and I think he's going to keep getting better." In addition to speaking about Lyons Again, Gingras provided some insights regarding the seven remaining horses he drove in the Fall Four Stakes elims. Blood Brother: Trained by Jimmy Takter, he finished one length behind Pierce Hanover last weekend. He will start the Governor's Cup final from post nine with Sylvain Filion listed to drive. A son of Somebeachsomewhere-Blood Diamond, his family includes millionaires If I Can Dream, Western Terror, Delinquent Account and Artiscape. He has one win in eight starts and $68,731 for owners Diamond Creek Racing and J&T Silva Stables. "He's a nice little horse," Gingras said. "He always fusses with his head. The day he decides that he's going to pay attention to racing and forget about all the other stuff he'll be an even better horse. He's got a lot of ability, but his mind is not always on racing. "Last week he raced really good. I used him a little bit early and then had to come out around the last turn because the horse in front of me didn't carry me as far as I'd have liked. He gave (Pierce Hanover) a good run in the stretch; it was a horserace. He'd been off for a few weeks, so I think he'll be even better. But he didn't draw very good, so that's going to be a little harder for him." Mission Brief: Trained by Ron Burke, she won her Goldsmith Maid elimination by 1-1/4 lengths over Danielle Hall in 1:54.4. She starts the C$464,000 final from post four. She is the fastest 2-year-old trotter in harness racing history, with a mark of 1:50.3, and winner of seven of 10 races for $324,440. She went off stride in all three losses. The filly is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, J&T Silva Stables and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. "She was really good last week," Gingras said. "She might have been the most relaxed she's ever been. She was two fingers to drive, maybe a little bit on the lazy side if anything. I think she's getting to understand what we're trying to do with her. Obviously, she had plenty left. I came the last quarter in 28 and change and the earplugs were still in her and I never asked her. She was wrapped up. "She's her own worst enemy. If she's going to get beat, it's because she's going to go back to her bad habits. But knock on wood, she was solid last week and should be good again this week." Gatka Hanover: Trained by Burke, she won her Goldsmith Maid elim by 4-1/2 lengths over Jolene Jolene in 1:55.4. She starts the final from post three. A daughter of Muscle Massive-Girlie Tough, Gatka Hanover has won five of 11 races and $158,693. She is owned by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents, Tracy Hendler, and Weaver Bruscemi. "She proved game last week," Gingras said. "She was a little bit too grabby; I went to the half fairly quickly (:56.4) and it was more her than me that was making that happen. But then when Jolene Jolene came at her, she still was strong. "I think she's second best in this race. Mission Brief is going to have to beat her to win, but I don't think they're quite in the same league." Habitat: Trained by Burke, he won his Valley Victory elimination by 2-3/4 lengths over Jetpedia in 1:55.4 and starts the C$521,000 final from post four. Habitat made breaks in his first two starts, but has won six of seven races since then, including the William Wellwood Memorial. He has earned $323,078. The son of Conway Hall-Habit's Best is owned by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents, and Weaver Bruscemi. "Early in the year he had a couple little glitches behind the gate, but ever since he got over that stuff, he's been absolutely perfect," Gingras said. "He does everything you ask of him, and more. He's got perfect manners and is beautiful to drive. He makes my job really easy. "He's been racing on the front quite a bit, but he really doesn't need to. When he baby raced, he did it from the back and just stormed home, going by a lot of horses. He's very handy; you can do whatever you want with him. He showed that he's got a lot of speed and he's game, so he's got all the qualities that you're really looking for in a racehorse. He's very complete." Pinkman: Trained by Takter, he finished fourth in his Valley Victory elimination, which was won by Frank Antonacci's Whataworkout, snapping a three-race win streak. Pinkman, named after a character from the television series "Breaking Bad," starts the final from post one, with Filion listed to drive. A son of Explosive Matter-Margie Seelster, Pinkman has won three of five races and $72,615 for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland, and Herb Liverman. "He's a very nice horse too," Gingras said. "He got locked in last week, otherwise I think he would have won too. I never had daylight. I tried to go up the inside, but there was no room there. "He's done nothing wrong. He's a little bit of a late-bloomer, but I've raced him his last four starts and he's won three of them, and he beat good horses doing it. He's a little bit on the lazy side, but once you get him to go, he can go a long way and he doesn't seem to get tired. He'll give you a hundred percent. "No doubt, he's one of the horses to beat. This race, there are five or six horses that can win. Whoever can trip out the best will be the winner." JK She'salady: Trained by Nancy Johansson, she won her Three Diamonds elimination by one length over Solar Sister in 1:53.3. She will start the C$424,000 final from post three. Undefeated in nine starts and ranked No. 3 in the current Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Top 10 poll, behind trotters Sebastian K and Father Patrick, JK She'salady has earned $432,150 for owner 3 Brothers Stables. She is a homebred daughter of Art Major-Presidential Lady and her mark of 1:50.1 is tied for the fastest in history by a 2-year-old female pacer. "She hasn't done anything wrong," Gingras said. "She's got a crazy brush in her. I don't think she necessarily has to race (from off the pace) but why change something that's working? We'll see how this week plays out. Maybe we'll put her in play a little bit earlier than we have been. In an ideal world, they'll mix it up a little bit up front and I get to race her again first or second over and I think she'll get the job done from there." Band Of Angels: Trained by Burke, she finished second by a neck to The Show Returns in her Three Diamonds elimination. She starts the final from post eight. A daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven-Time N Again, and half-sister to millionaire Romantic Moment, Band Of Angels has won six of nine races and $177,487 for owner Bill Donovan. "I think she might have been a little bit short last week," Gingras said. "She felt really good turning for home and got outpaced in the last little bit. Not by much, but a little bit. She hadn't raced in a few weeks; I think she needed the start. I think she'll be even better this week, so there's no doubt in my mind that if I'm going to win (with JK She'salady) she's one of the major contenders I'm going to have to beat." Gingras is North America's leading driver in purses, with $13.42 million, and No. 1 in the Grand Circuit standings. He has won 29 races worth at least $100,000, with 14 coming with horses trained by Burke and 13 by Takter. Burke leads all trainers with a record $22.88 million in purses this year while Takter is second with a career-best $10.19 million. "It's been a great year, no doubt, but I'm only as good as the trainers I'm driving for," Gingras said. "Ronnie and Jimmy getting along and letting me do my thing and pick the best horse definitely helps tremendously. They really have been understanding. "It's definitely the hardest part of my job to tell one of them that I'm not driving their horse. But I've been honest with both of them. If I say to one of them I'm going with theirs, I'm going with theirs. I think they're both appreciative of that, that I'm up front. All three of us, nobody is playing games. They respect each other, and I think that makes it a lot easier. Hopefully there's more success to come for all of us." by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

Harnesslink is proud to release Stallion Sphere, a Facebook and mobile web app containing all 23 of our exclusive Stallion reviews. We hope this will become an invaluable resource to breeders and harness fans around the world, so please check it out and share with your friends using the website's inbuilt share on Facebook functionality. Reviews will be regularly updated and all statistics are current as of the date listed at the top of each review. Stats are from official sources in North America (TrackIT), Australia & New Zealand. We'll update Stallion Sphere with new reviews every 2 weeks, but make sure to subscribe to our email newsletter “Insider Access” to get the stallion reviews two weeks early. To use the Stallion Sphere simply click and drag your mouse (or finger for touch devices) around the sphere to move it around, use your mouse wheel (or pinch on mobile) to zoom. Then click on a Stallion to read the review. For the best experience use a good modern browser like Google Chrome. If you are using Internet Explorer - depending on your version – you will either see a flat grid or nothing at all. You will also need to be logged into your Facebook account to view it, although mobile devices & tablets can access it without a Facebook account. Click here to visit Stallion Sphere www.stallionsphere.com (Once you click the above link - you will need to "like" Harnesslink on Facebook to view.)

Memories of one of the greatest harness racing performers produced in the Southern Hemisphere came to the fore at Pinjarra yesterday. Successful in the Medic Aid Handicap, Donegal Chokin – as the name suggests – is closely-related to former superstar Chokin. By Art Major from Chokin Hanover, Donegal Chokin is in stylish form this campaign, with his five starts yielding two wins and a second for trainer Sonia Zucchiatti. Driven by Kim Prentice during his latest triumph, Donegal Chokin led throughout from four to account for Blacknsweet Adda and Lively Shard. Thrilled with the gelding’s progress, Zucchiatti is hoping Donegal Chokin can continue his winning form in an M0 at Gloucester Park. Donegal Chokin’s second was registered at Western Australia’s home of racing last month. “I’ve had a few issues with him since he got here last October, but he’s over those now,” Zucchiatti said. “It was never anything serious, just things like getting his blood right, which set you back. “He has come along really well this time up and hopefully can put a few more wins on the board. “He’s getting away from the stand really well, so I will stick with those for the time being and try to win a race in town.” As for his family tree, Donegal Chokin is also closely-related to Changeover, which is from Chokin’s sister, Chaangerr. The siblings are by Vance Hanover from Nell’s Pride, with Chokin leading the way. A brilliant freshman, Chokin won seven of his eight starts for trainer Barry Purdon to quickly be touted as the industry’s next superstar. Just as dominant the following season, Chokin created history by becoming the first - and still only - three-year-old to contest the Miracle Mile. After over racing during the middle stages of the sprint, Chokin collapsed with exhaustion at the top of Harold Park’s home straight as his stablemate, Christopher Vance, went on to victory. Sadly the gelding broke down midway through his campaign before returning in brilliant style as a four-year-old. Australasia’s premier pacer at five and six, Chokin was found dead in his paddock while spelling after finishing fourth behind Golden Reign in the 1995 Christchurch Inter Dominion. Chokin was later promoted to second when Young Mister Charles and Victor Supreme were disqualified for swab irregularities. Chokin’s victories included 13 Group Ones, consisting of two Miracle Miles, two Auckland Cups, New Zealand Cup, New Zealand Free-For-All, Victoria Cup, two New Zealand Sires’ Stake Finals, Messenger Championship, Easter Cup, South Australia Derby and New Zealand Two-Year-Old Championship. PAUL COURTS

TORONTO, October 20 - On Monday evening at Woodbine Racetrack, harness racing driver Mike Saftic recorded his 5,000 career driving victory behind trotter Magic Shelley. Saftic, 52, entered the evening only one win shy of the career milestone. In the evening's third race, Saftic worked out the perfect trip with Magic Shelley to not only record his 5,000 victory, but also captured a division of the first leg of the Autumn Series. Saftic began his driving career in 1981 at his hometown track, Sudbury Downs, before moving to the Woodbine Entertainment circuit a few years later. Since joining the circuit, Saftic has consistently put up solid numbers each season and has driven top horses such as, Hall of Fame pacing mare Ellamony, Armbro Cruiser, Luck Of Michelle and 2002 Metro Pace champion Sir Luck. A resident of Milton, Saftic has earned more than $1 million in each season since 1989 and has career earnings of more than $93 million. This season, the veteran reinsman has recorded 96 victories and earnings of just under $2 million. The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to congratulate Mike on his accomplishment and wish him continued success throughout his career. The Autumn Series for Ontario sired two-year-old fillies of both gaits got underway Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack. Two $14,000 divisions of the opening leg were contested for both pacers and trotters. In order to be eligible to the Autumn Series, two-year-olds must be Ontario sired and be non-winners of $30,000 lifetime as of September 30, 2014. In the opening division for the filly trotters, Mischief Smile moved from second to first in the second quarter and never looked back en route to a 3 ¼ length victory in 1:58.4. Trained by Paul Reid and driven by Trevor Henry, the daughter of Majestic Son broke her maiden with the victory and has now earned over $46,000 in nine career starts. Battle Mage finished second, while Mets Life and Cum Laude Hall finished third and fourth respectively. Mischief Smile returned $6.20 to win. In the second division, another Reid trainee was first to the wire to give the conditioner a sweep of round one action. Magic Shelley grinded her way first up and trotted away from her rivals in the stretch for a 3 ¼ length victory in 1:57.4. The victory was extra special for driver Mike Saftic, as it was his 5,000th career driving victory. The leg one triumph was a maiden breaking score for the daughter of Majestic Son. Magic Shelley has now earned over $13,000 in eight career starts. Meadow Seelster took the place spot, while Tymal Fireitup and Mass Rail rounded out the Superfecta. Magic Shelley paid $11.50 to win. The first division for the two-year-old pacing fillies saw another filly break her maiden. Little Miss Sporty, who was last at the three-quarter pole, was shown racetrack in the stretch by driver Steve Condren and blew by her rivals with ease for a 1 ¼ length victory in 1:55.1. Trained and co-owned by Stacey Reinsma, Little Miss Sporty had a pair of second place efforts in four starts heading into Monday evening, including a second place finish in an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold leg. A daughter of Sportswriter, Little Miss Sporty now has career earnings of $36,250 for owners Reinsma and John Patterson. Caviart Cari Ann finished second, while Dublin Rose took the show spot. Amazing Control rounded out the Superfecta. Little Miss Sporty paid $35.90 to win. In the final division, Tessa Seelster went gate to wire for a 1 ¾ length victory in 1:55.4. A daughter of Shadow Play, Tessa Seelster was blasted to the lead by driver Mario Baillargeon and never looked back to pick her up second victory in five career starts. Trained by Ben Baillargeon, Tessa Seelster has now earned $15,760 in her young career for owner Richard Berthiaume. Southwind Luna finished second over Maralika, while Lady Jen finished fourth. Tessa Seelster returned $7.00 to win. The second round of the Autumn Series for two-year-old fillies will take place next Monday night (October 27). Autumn Series action continues Thursday evening with the opening round for two-year-old colts and geldings of both gaits.  Post time is 7:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

The legend that is harness racing’s very own Where’s Wally is growing by the day! Named after the fictional character as a result of an exclusive Harnesslink article a fortnight ago, astute horseman Graham ‘Wally’ McDermott has been given no choice but to embrace his new cult status. Having visited six tracks since the original article, McDermott is being increasingly referred to as “Wally”. So much so, it would appear the astute horseman has an official lifelong nickname. “I’ve been to several tracks since the original article was on Harnesslink and I keep getting people referring to me as Wally,” Wally said. “I’m surprised it has caught on, let alone this quickly. “I get this feeling I will be called Wally for some time to come.” A third generation horseman, Wally has enjoyed a solid rate of success throughout the years with his own team and as a highly sought-after educator. Citing former feature race winner Romeo Castle as the best he has trained, Wally has broken in the likes of top shelf winners Artificial, Saint Flash, Waikare Patricia and Waikare Aristocrat to name a few. For the original article on McDermott’s ‘Wally’ transformation click the links below http://www.harnesslink.com/News/Aussie-Globe-Trotters?highlight=boko http://www.harnesslink.com/News/Look-out-for-Graham-Wally-McDermott?highlight=boko http://www.harnesslink.com/Australia/Wally-out-and-about-again If you happen to run into Wally, or discover him in one of your racetrack photos, please send them to paul@harnesslink.com - we'd love to see them! PAUL COURTS

Throughout the years, so many great harness racing comebacks have been achieved. As highlighted on Harnesslink, yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of Popular Alm’s return from a broken leg. Poppy, as he was affectionately-known, scored first-up in the Italian Cup, with his comeback lasting only two starts – for two wins. Seven years after Popular Alm’s injury, which saw two screws inserted into his offside hind pastern, another superstar was on the comeback trail from a similar ailment. Australasia’s premier pacer, Westburn Grant’s career was in doubt after he fractured his nearside hind pastern. Just like Popular Alm, Westburn Grant’s injury was the result of a freak track work accident, with the stallion requiring four screws to hold the bone together. Despite missing the two final legs of the Australian Grand Circuit, Westburn Grant still managed to be crowned Grand Circuit champion for the second year in succession. He was also named Australian Horse of the Year for the second time. After nine months on the sidelines, Westburn Grant scored first-up at Newcastle before returning to his place at the top of the Grand Circuit. In his comeback campaign, the son of Land Grant raced 14 times for five wins, three seconds and two thirds for an Australian seasonal record of $631,355. Westburn Grant’s victories included the 1992 Inter Dominion, along with a record third Australian Horse of the Year title and the mantle as Grand Circuit champion for the third time. Just months before Westburn Grant’s injury, another outstanding campaigner, Sinbad Bay, returned from a 19-month layoff to engage in several memorable battles with Vic Frost-trained superstar. Touted as the best pacer since Popular Alm following his demolition job of the February 1989 Winfield Cup, Sinbad Bay suffered leg problems a few days later before returning with a Kilmore win in October 1990. Limited to 12 starts before his war torn legs had him sidelined for another three years, Sinbad Bay registered seven wins and three placings, with his victories including the Winfield Cup, which had been renamed the Victoria Cup by 1991. During the course of the next six years, Sinbad Bay made several comebacks and raced with distinction at the highest level. Arguably the greatest comeback of all belongs to Blacks A Fake. A feature race winning three-year-old, Blacks A Fake curbed a hock and damaged his suspensory late in the season, which saw him out of action for 17 months. “His hock was in pretty bad shape and he also had suspensory problems high up on his leg,” trainer Natalie Rasmussen said. “We were more hopeful than confident he would return at the time. “He had 12 months in a paddock, then a long, slow build up before he raced again.” Returning as a five-year-old, Blacks A Fake raced on to be the only competitor to capture four Inter Dominions en route to becoming the world’s rich pacer with a bankroll of $4,575,438. On top of his early leg problems, the son of Fake Left also overcame Equine Influenza in 2007. “He was one of the first to get it in Queensland,” Rasmussen said. “I think champions just find a way to get through the injuries and setbacks by fighting through any niggles they may be feeling.” Current star For A Reason is a modern day comeback hero, having returned from a two-and-a-half year layoff to secure the 2013 Victoria Cup. During his hiatus, the Belinda McCarthy-trained son of Art Major stood at stud. While it remains to be seen what heights he will scale, rising star Philadelphia Man was certainly impressive in his racing return at Melton last week. After 27 months on the sidelines, Philadelphia Man registered a scintillating win for co-trainers Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin. Another son of Art Major, Philadelphia Man has been aimed at key targets such as the Smoken Up Sprint and Miracle Mile. PAUL COURTS

If her recent results are any indication, The Show Returns has arrived. But harness racing owner Richard Young says the reason the filly was slow to find the spotlight had more to do with unfortunate luck than lack of performance. The Show Returns heads into Saturday's $424,000 Three Diamonds Stakes for 2-year-old female pacers at Woodbine off a neck win over Band Of Angels in 1:53.1 in their elimination division, giving the Chris Ryder-trainee three victories in a row. She will start the Three Diamonds from post No. 2, with Scott Zeron listed to drive. A daughter of stallion Rocknroll Hanover out of Stienam's Place, The Show Returns is a full sister to previous Young female pacing star Put On A Show, who earned $2.4 million in her career and was the 2010 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old female pacer. The Show Returns, who was purchased for $180,000 under the name Hey There Delilah, at last year's Lexington Selected Sale, has won four of nine races and earned $98,738 for Richard and Joanne Young.  "We thought she was quite good from the get-go, so to speak, but she just had unfortunate situations," Richard Young said. "People are saying she kind of tailed off in the middle (of the year) but she didn't really tail off. Some things happened. It wasn't that she got bad; if she had gotten bad, I'd have turned her out." The Show Returns finished second by a half-length to Stacia Hanover in her debut in a preliminary round of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, then finished a troubled-trip fifth in the final. She bounced back to win a round of the Whenuwishuponastar Series at Mohawk Racetrack, then finished fifth-placed-fourth in the final.  After the race, The Show Returns was diagnosed with synchronous diaphragmatic flutter; spasms of the diaphragm in synchronization with the heartbeat more commonly called "the thumps."  The Show Returns was off-the-board in her next two races, but has been unbeaten since. Among her wins were the She's A Great Lady Consolation and a division of the Champlain Stakes, both in 1:52.  "She's a nice filly," said Young, who in addition to Put On A Show owned I Luv The Nitelife, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old filly pacer. "I don't know if she'll ever be as good as the other two; I think that's asking a lot. But she's competitive and she has good speed. "Anytime you have speed, you can get position. And when you get position, something (good) can happen. I like her." The Show Returns is Young's only racehorse at the current time. "If you look at her on the track, she's a peanut," Young said, laughing. "I don't generally buy peanuts, I like the bigger horse. But she was a June foal, so I thought she might grow. I don't think she's grown an inch. But she has speed, she has an ability to get position, and it looks like she will fight. I can always hope."  The Show Returns will face - for the first time - undefeated JK She'salady in the Three Diamonds. JK She'salady won her elimination on Saturday by one length over Solar Sister in 1:53.3 for driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Nancy Johansson. The filly, who in August won the She's A Great Lady Stakes by four lengths in a world-record-equaling 1:50.1, is 9-for-9 this year.  "I've been touting 'Lady' for Pacer of the Year, and I think if she stays undefeated, she should be," Young said. "I don't know if very many people are going along with me, but the fact is she does have the best record out there. She's undefeated and she's won them all easily.  "Of course, I want to beat her and prove me wrong. I wouldn't bet my horse with your money, but that doesn't mean I can't hope that we beat her. I think she's untouchable right now, but I'm hoping that she's not. "I'm a little spoiled. In the last six years or so, I had the horse that was supposed to win. I have to get used to not being the best one. But she could in fact be the second-best one. That's OK, too." The Show Returns in her Three Diamonds Elimination The full field in post order for the Three Diamonds is 1  Happy Becky 2  The Show Returns 3  JK She'salady 4  Float On By 5  Solar Sister 6  Ideal Nuggets 7  Rock Her World 8  Band Of Angels 9  Zip Code Envy 10 Shakai Hanover. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications

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