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It was a case of mixed emotions at Victorian harness racing’s biggest social event – TAB.COM.AU Charity Football Day – at Bendigo yesterday. As a high, the Melton girls cleaned up in the Aldebaran Netball Cup, but on the downside, the Melton fellas were smashed on the Tabcorp footy field. Melton is yet to win from four starts…the only team still waiting to enjoy a taste glory! On the opposite end of the scale, the skill and agility of the netballers placed them in a class of their own as they rocketed to success. Multiple Group One winning reinswoman Kate Gath was the recipient of the Yirribee Stud Most Valuable Player Award. Gath’s football counterpart was Heath Barton, who enjoyed double success as a member of the triumphant Shepparton squad. After dispensing of Ballarat in the opener, Shepparton then accounted for defending champions, Bendigo, to hold the Tabcorp Premiership Cup aloft. Tobey Courts,11, earned an honourable mention after booting four goals, including three against Ballarat. Away from the fun and games, the event had a serious side – raising awareness and valuable funds for the Childrens’ Tumour Foundation. Thrilled with the wide spread involvement, organiser Robbie O’Connell declared both ‘goals’ were achieved by the 500-strong crowd. “The amount of publicity this day has generated has certainly helped raising the awareness of the cause,” O’Connell said. “Anyone in harness racing would have to have been living in a cave not to have known about the day and what it’s all about. “And I’m thrilled to say we eclipsed last year’s total and even bettered our target amount in money raised. After $14,000 last year we were hoping for $20,000 this time, but we’re sitting on $22,000 at the moment. “Everyone involved, be it sponsor, helper, player or spectator can hold their heads up high…well, except for the Melton footy team!” There were also plenty of fun activities for the kids throughout the afternoon, as they enjoyed the jumping castle, little athletics competition and the free Auckland Reactor soccer and footballs thanks to Alabar Bloodstock. Alexa Astin and Will Janky were big winners after scoring bikes thanks to Amart Sports Melton by guessing the amount of snakes in a jar. “I couldn’t believe Alexa guessed the exact amount,” O’Connell said. “I thought I was clever not making it an obvious amount like 125 or 120, so I left it at 123. “According to Alexa’s dad her guess was simple, she counted them one, two, three, so he wrote that down! “Overall if was a terrific day, everyone had fun and we achieved our goals thanks to the sponsors, the helpers and every person who came and participated in the spirit of it all.” PAUL COURTS

The Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association have certainly got harness racing people talking with their innovative broodmare and mixed stock sale. Scheduled for next Thursday (September 11th), the sale concept is unlike anything seen in New Zealand before and has created a lot of interest from breeders and buyers if the feedback we are getting at Harnesslink is anything to go by. The timing of the sale has met with almost universal approval and with spring upon us and the breeding season commencing shortly it does seem an opportune time to sell/buy breeding stock. The other breeding stock sales up to now have been held in May where you have the prospect of a hard winter in front of you and that has tended to drag the sales down a touch, especially in the South Island. No stock will be on site next Thursday with all prospective buyers having done their due diligence prior to the sale. The aim of that measure is to keep the cost down to the vendors with transport a major cost for those vendors outside of Christchurch. There is a small entry fee of $125 but no commission is payable on any lots that are sold which makes this a very low cost sale for the vendors. The sale has attracted 72 entries in the broodmare section and 18 in the mixed stock section which is a good number for a first up sale of this type. As with any new venture there are things that are not quite up to the mark and the one drawing the most comment is the form of the online catalogue.  Notable Australian breeders such as Trevor Swan and Anne Anderson have expressed their frustration at not having a catalogue page to peruse and the amount of work that is required  to research the immediate family of each lot. What this sale has done is bring some new vendors to the market with maternal families that have been hard to acquire in the recent past. All in all we think the Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association should be applauded for trying to have a sale with a low cost structure at a time that suits everyone in the industry. If they can fix up the catalogue issue for future sales then the Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association may be on to a winner. For details on the sale click here. Harnesslink Media

Rhyds Destiny joined the ranks of the elite in harness racing in West Cork as he captured the coveted All Ireland Harness Final at Clonakilty on Sunday . Seven runners lined up for the premier event on the calendar and Rhyds Destiny with Mike Kelleher in the bike set a blistering early pace on this mile and three furlong event. Best of The Fleet went in pursuit of the pace maker along with Ringo Star and Miraculous Return but this was a day that Rhyds Destiny met his "Destiny" and run out an easy eight length winner from Ringo Star who had won the stayers championship at the three day Tregaron festival in Wales last week . The winner is jointly owned by Leap based John Shanahan and Aiden Hayes and John Mycock a Derbyshire dairy farmer in the UK who is a regular visitor to the West Cork area and has in the past been associated with Fidlin another All Ireland winner. Winning driver Mike Kelleher drove two winners on the day having earlier coming off the pace in the final furlong to win on Meadowbranch Kiki who won his maiden at the same fixture last year. IB Maximus is another to win in Wales last week followed up with a hard fought win in the Grade 1 & 2. This son of Kikicolt took to this testing track to hold off Rocokoko and The Hitman in a blanket finiosh to ensure driver Donal Murphy the 2014 ITHRF drivers championship . Mr Security with owner "Red" John O Donovan in the bike notched up another win in his best season to date . Drawn in pole position this son of Cams Security led from the start and his five length winning margin may have been a lot more if required . IB Mohican has found end of season form and denied 2014 ITHRF horse of the year Sunnyside Kildare his seventh local win . Seamus Quill was seen at his best to deny "Kildare " another win . The talented but at times erratic Millers Boy broke his maiden in a fashion that suggests that 2015 may bring further honours for this son of Timon Del Sol who gave Brickley Racing yet another win in a season that saw the Baltimore based stables win their first Ballabuidhe Grand Prix. by Tim Kelleher RESULTS Maiden & Novice 1. Shelley Brickley MILLERS BOY C Brickley 2. C & C Racing MEADOWBRANCH LUCKY J Cross 3. Talavary Stud TALAVARY TIARA M Kelleher DIST 3l 12l TIME 2.10.6 SP EV 3/1 3/1 Novice & Grade 1 1. Kelleher Bros MEADOWBRANCH KIKI M Kelleher 2. P McInerney BRYWINS LIFESTYLE Owner 3. D O Brien NAVY BLUE M O Brien DIST 1/2l 1/2l TIME 2.12.4 SP 5/2 2/1 3/1 Grade 1 & 2 1. IB Stables IB MAXIMUS D Murphy 2. B Duggan ROCOKOKO J O Donovan 3. J Hill THE HITMAN K Sheehy DIST 1l SH TIME 2.12.4 SP 6/4 6/4 3/1 Grade 2 - 4 1. F Quill IB MOHICAN S Quill 2. S Buckley SUNNYSIDE KILDARE D Murphy 3. K Connolly TALENTED MAN K Sheehy DIST 1/2l 4l TIME 2.08.8 SP 3/1 4/5 3/1 Grade 4 & 5 1. J O Donovan MR SECURITY Owner 2. Marie Moloney CAMDEN JIMMY M O Reilly 3. F Quill IB RAPIDO D Quill DIST 5l 1/2l TIME 2.10.6 ALL IRELAND HARNESS FINAL (Sponsored by Bernies Bar Clonakilty) 1.Shanahan /Mycock /Hayes RHYDS DESTINY M Kelleher 2. F Brickley RINGO STAR C Brickley 3. C & C Racing MIRACULOUS RETURN J Cross DIST 8l 1l TIME 3.06.7 SP 4/7 4/1 5/1  

The 2014 harness racing season at Clinton Raceway came to a close on Sunday afternoon (August 31), and six $18,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots divisions were contested on the program. The star of those races was Thinkofagameplan, who moved into sole possession of the top spot in the Grassroots point standings with a 1:57 track record performance in the third split. With Randy Waples handling the driving assignment, Thinkofagameplan overtook leader Pan Street USA (Doug McNair) from first-over past three-quarters and then drew away in the stretch to win by four lengths in the new track record clocking. Pan Street USA wound up second with Pair Of Deuces (Paul MacDonell) back in third. The 1:57 effort dropped the track record for a two-year-old pacing colt by a fifth of a second. It had belonged to Front Row since he won a Grassroots division in 1:57.1 on September 21, 2003. Thinkofagameplan, a Ponder colt who scored his third win (all in Grassroots competition) from six attempts and pushed his bankroll to $36,660, is a homebred for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. of Leamington, Ontario. The winner is the second foal out of the Camluck mare Noshameinmygame. She was a Grassroots winner at both two and three. In other action three horses picked up their second Grassroots wins of the season. The first to do it was Moonwards Hanover (Paul MacDonell), who backed up his victory last Sunday at Georgian Downs with a 1:59.2 tally in the Grassroots opener. He was followed up by Twin B Scandal (Joe Hudon), who bagged the fourth section in 1:58 after a two-hole trip, and The Fire Within (Jody Jamieson) was the last to double up as he snagged the fifth flight in 1:58.4. Trainer Jack Darling’s stable of Cambridge, Ontario, owns Moonwards Hanover, a son of Sportswriter. Darling purchased Moonwards Hanover, who is now two-for-five in the win column with a bankroll of $30,500, for $35,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale. The Hanover Shoe Farms Inc.-bred is the third foal out of the Western Ideal mare Mouse Hanover, a half-sister to the likes of Mt Vernon Hanover (Rustler Hanover, $623,067), a two-time OSS winner. Joe Hudon, who resides in Acton, Ontario, also co-owns Twin B Scandal, a gelded son of Mach Three-Twin B Intrigue (McArdle), with partner R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, Ontario. Twin B Scandal now has a pair of triumphs from seven efforts, and he has banked $28,440. The dam of Twin B Scandal is out of Daylon Magic, who won 18 times in Ontario Sires Stakes competition between her two- and three-year-old seasons. Twin B Scandal, who brought $32,000 at last year’s Canadian Yearling Sale, was bred by Twinbrook Limited and James Kirk. The Fire Within is a gelding by Whosurboy and out of the Big Towner mare Mollie Hanover ($311,480). The half-brother to millionaire Illusionist picked up his third win from six attempts and ran his rookie season earnings to $23,620 for breeder, owner, trainer Fred Drouillard of Dutton, Ontario. Also winning in Grassroots competition today were: --Star Cover (Jody Jamieson, 1:57.3). This son of Royal Mattjesty is owned and trained by Blake MacIntosh of Waterdown, Ontario. Star Cover has won twice from seven trips behind the gate, and he has put away $14,060. He was bred by Winbak Farm and fetched $4,500 at the 2013 Forest City Yearling Sale. Star Cover’s dam is the Dexter Nukes mare Armbro Rosebud ($721,057), an Ontario Sires Stakes superstar who won 11 times from 14 attempts during her OSS career. --Charlottes Colony (Trevor Henry, 1:58). An Art Colony colt, Charlottes Colony broke his maiden in his fifth try and boosted his output to $16,800. Charlottes Colony is trained by Richard Moreau for owners Thomas McGuffog of Hanwell and Geoffrey Macneish of Douglas, New Brunswick. Charlottes Colony, whose dam is the Mohican Pride mare OGs Starlett ($536,647), was bred by Dan Belliveau and was hammered down for $4,200 at last year’s Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale. The next Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots event for rookie pacing males will take place on September 12 at Mohawk Racetrack. For full results and charts click here. Ontario Sire Stakes  

If we could hear it 'from the horse's mouth', it's pretty obvious what harness racing superstar Smoken Up will be wishing for. With today (1st of September) the beginning of the Australian season, Smoken Up and his standardbred counterparts are celebrating their birthday. Marking his 12th birthday with a party and cake at trainer Lance Justice's stable in Melton, Victoria, Smoken Up is on the verge of retirement. To be more precise, the son of Tinted Cloud is due to have his last start at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night. Taking that into consideration, Smoken Up is likely to be wishing for a 'fairytale ending'...least that's what Justice and the gelding's connections are looking to achieve with the multi millionaire. Justice was fortunate to enjoy a perfect end to former stable star Sokyola's career at Moonee Valley on June 22, 2007 when the son of Soky's Atom accounted for The Warp Drive and The Phantoms Guest. "We were lucking enough to have a happy ending with Sokyola and with a bit of luck we can enjoy the same with Smoken Up at Tabcorp Park next Saturday night," Justice said. "We will know how our chances are shaping up a little better on Tuesday when the fields come out and can see where he has drawn. "I'm a realist and am fully aware it's unlikely to happen, but at the same time we can enjoy the ride, hope for a good draw and then hope for the best on race night. "Whether he wins or not, it's going to be a joyful and sad occasion at the same time as it's the end of an era." Successful upon debut for Justice at Yarra Valley on March 8, 2007, Smoken Up has registered a further 71 victories and 48 placings from 141 starts for earnings of $3,588,949 to be Australasia's third richest pacer behind Blacks A Fake ($4,575,438) and Im Themightyquinn ($4,567,456). His wins include two Miracle Miles, four South Australia Cups, four Len Smith Miles and the Victoria Cup, with his best time of 1:48.5 coming at Tabcorp Park Menangle on April 30, 2011. Smoken Up has claimed 13 Group Ones across the Southern Hemisphere, won at 15 tracks and set numerous records, including becoming the first standardbred on this side of the equator to better 1:50. PAUL COURTS

Tumble Dust (4m Crazed-Affinity-Victory Dream) easily won today's 2014 Danish Derby in Copenhagen worth 600,000kr (US$106,183) to the winner. Bjorn Goop teamed Tumble Dust to his third consecutive win for trainer Tomas Malmqvist and owner Stall Easy KB.  The winner recorded his seventh career victory in 23 starts, now for earnings of 2,491,245kr (US$440,881). Tumble Dust scored over 3000 meters autostart (1-7/8 miles, three laps around the 1000 meter oval) in 1.14.7kr despite the sloppy racetrack dulled by day-long rains that delayed the start of the racing program. His time was the fastest Derby winner ever despite the off-track conditions. Wagering favorite Tumble Dust (odds 1.7/1) scored from post four and took to the front in the first turn from T Rex and reinsman Lars Anvar Kolle, and then led throughout. Tano Bork (by Great Challenger) and Tango Vang (by Lindy Lane) were second and third. Bred and raised by Thomas Lind-Holm Washer and trained by Jagersro's Tomas Malmqvist, Tumble Dust prepped at Charlottenlund with a victory in a derby trial 14 days ago over 2500 meters. Prior to the trial he had been racing at the 1609 meter sprinter distance. In the final run Tumble Dust was almost alone on the field, and won easily by three lengths, while Tano Bork, who had been sitting in the third couple on the outside, ended well for second place for teamster Christian Lindhardt. Tumble Dust's next big task will be to qualify to start in the European Derby, which this year will be raced at Mauquenchy (FR). Tumble Dust gave trainer Malmqvist his second Danish Derby victory and it was the first time that Bjorn Goop won the Derby in Copenhagen. Fine racing at Charlottenlund graced the Danish Derby undercard today. The Gr. II UET Masters Series Rex The Great, raced over 2000 meters autostart for 187,500kr to the winner, went to O'Grady (8m SJ's Photo-Dawn Garbo-Smasher) and trainer/driver Flemming Jensen. He scored in 1.14.5kr to record his 35th win in 66 starts, now for earnings of 2,781,679kr. Politiken (7g Ens Snapshot-Goldie Hawn-Earthquake) was second for Morten Friis and Obi-Wan (8g Ganymede-Hejsa Reerstrup-Speedy Herve) ended third. Commander Crowe and Kaffir Face were scratched. Well-regarded Owen CR was shuffled toward the back and his attempt to circle the filed around the last bend was unsuccessful. The Derby Consolation (2000 meters autostart for 50,000kr to the winner) went to Triton Sisa (4g Credit Winner-Keenness Sisa-Carmody Lobell) for teamster/trainer Jan Dahlgaard. He scored in 1.14.4kr over Tripolini VP and Top Winner. The Walther Kaiser-Hansens 2014 race for 75,000kr to the winner went to Je T'Aime Express and Peter Untersteiner. The Swedish bred three year-old gelded son of Symphonic Hanover-Je T'Aime Marron-Sugarcane Hanover scored in 1.14.3kr over 2000 meters autostart. The Krafft Stayercup over 2950 meters distance handicapped, worth 60,000kr to the winner, went to Alphatron reined by Jeppe Juel. The winner raced without distance penalty and scored in 1.16kr over 13 rivals, 11 of which started with 20 or 40 meter penalties. Two year-olds face the starter in the Mark Ingdams over 2000 meters autostart. 50,000kr went to impressive winner Amalie Bork (2f Beaumont Hanover-Malou Bork-Chipmate) in 1.17kr. She's now undefeated in three starts. Another CN (by Buvetier d'Aunou) and Alongcameaspider (by Lindy Lane) were next and a battle for third also involved Alex Trojborg (by Great Challenger) and Echauffour US (Donato Hanover-Bourbon Dream), the latter piloted by Bjorn Goop for J-P Dubois in his first start.  by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

The Muscle Hill-Oiseau-Andover Hall colt Babe La Marc topped tonight's DTC Danish Derby Yearling Sale, attracting a winning bid of 210,000 Danish krone ($37,000 US) from trainer Peter G. Norman. Oiseau is from Weather Bird, she by Lindy Lane from the Speedy Crown mare San Antonio Belle, winner of the Kentucky Standardbred at age two in the US. Seven yearlings brought 100,000kr or more as 42 sold of the 66 cataloged. Those sold averaged 56,857kr, or US$10,022. The sale summary and top five sellers are shown below. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

With race favorites winning most of the stakes races at Mohawk Raceway Saturday night, Modern Legend was the shocker of the evening as he won the $634,000 Canadian Pacing Derby at odds of 66-1 Saturday and paid $135.70 to win. The 1/5 betting favorite, Sweet Lou, saw his ten-race winning streak come to an abrupt halt in the race as he was on the lead coming down the stretch but faded to sixth place at the finish. The race began with Bettor’s Edge (Matt Kakaley) beating out Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) to the early lead but once they reached the opening quarter mile in :26, Gingras came right out with Foiled Again and took command. Then by the half mile in :53, Ron Pierce came charging up first-over with Sweet Lou and cleared with ease to control the pace. And just as Sweet Lou was on the lead, up came Clear Vision (Brett Miller) to challenge first-over and following their cover was the long shot Modern Legend and driver David Miller. Past the three-quarters in a blazing 1:20.1, Clear Vision was about to collar Sweet Lou as they started down the stretch and Foiled Again and Gingras were already trying to squeeze by on the inside as everyone sensed that Sweet Lou had had enough. But it was David Miller and Modern Legend who proved to be much the best as they tipped three-wide on the final turn and mowed everybody by, pulling away for a three and one-half length triumph in 1:47.2. Foiled Again was second with Clear Vision third. The time of the race tied the track, stakes and Canadian record with A Rocknroll Dance in 2013. It was a lifetime mark and the fourth win this year for Modern Legend. The six-year-old gelding by Modern Art was bred and is owned and trained by Dave Drew of Catharines, Ontario. “This is the only horse I have right now,” said Dave Drew, “I had as many as five this year but now down to just this one. This is a horse of a lifetime for me and this was a race of a lifetime. He has been racing for me on the Grand Circuit the last couple of years and always coming close and never really putting it all together. But tonight David Miller gave him a perfect drive and he was on his game. Just a super night for him. “He has always raced well but has had some outside posts earlier this season,” Drew said. “Had some tough trips, was interfered with but he has been racing well and it was just a matter of putting it all together at the right time and in the right race and he did that tonight. It was just a superb night for me and my family.” “It worked out great tonight,” said winning driver David Miller, “I know the horse Clear Vision and I figured if I can get on his back and follow him and he would take us to where we needed to be in the race. I was real surprised around the last turn as I still had a lot of horse coming to the stretch so I fanned him out and he did the rest. He raced tremendous. He beat some great horses tonight. Hats off to the horse. He’s been racing against them the past couple of years and it was great to see him get the job done.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Unbeaten two-year-old pacing colt, Artspeak, stamped himself as the top freshman colt in harness racing as he strolled to a five length triumph in capturing the $667,000 final of the Metro Pace at Mohawk Raceway Saturday. The race began with Lone Survivor (David Miller) left from post nine and was able to get to the lead with Lyons Again (Yannick Gingras) also leaving from post eight and getting the two-hole trip as they went to the opening quarter mile in :26.3. They raced that way to the half mile marker in :55.3 and that was when the action began to heat up as John Campbell came first-over with Go Daddy Go and following their outside cover was the 1/9 race favorite Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron. To the three-quarters in 1:23.3 Lone Survivor was still in command but coming off the final turn, Zeron tipped three-wide with Artspeak and without raising his whip nor lifting his lines for encouragement, Artspeak took off and left the field in his wake, winning in a romp in 1:50.2. Lyons Levi Lewis (Sylvain Filion) was second with Lyons Again third. “When we had Captaintreacherous and his career and he was such an amazing horse and to come back right after that with this colt is amazing,” said winning trainer Tony Alagna. “I talked to Scott (Zeron) last fall and talked with him about making the change and coming to the United States to drive. I told him if he was willing to come down and drive that I was willing to give him a shot. He’s made the commitment. He comes to the farm to train, baby racing and training before qualifiers and he deserved this win.” Sired by Western Ideal, bred and co-owned by Brittany Farms with Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and The Gym Partners, it was the sixth straight win for Artspeak. He paid $2.30 to win. “The primary ownership group for this horse is the same as Captaintreacherous,” said co-owner Marvin Katz, who has won the Metro final three times now, “Tony had trained the mare (The Art Museum, dam of Artspeak) and he loved the family and thought the mare would throw a good one. He selected the colt in Lexington and we put together the same partnership as Captaintreacherous. This never gets old I was telling Tony (Alagna). When you can win these types of races, this is a thrill and to be enjoyed.” “I really stuck my neck out going all by myself to New Jersey,” said winning driver Scott Zeron, “I worked as hard as I could this year. It’s Tony Alagna and Myron Bell. The two of them together made it happen. They helped me with the move. And this is reason I did it. To come back home and win a race like this with a great horse like this. This is once in a lifetime. “To be second over was a perfect trip for this horse,” Zeron said. “He follows horses so well. I have always had to put him on the front because he is 1/9. Today I was able to trip him out behind this really good horse of John’s (Campbell) and coming down the lane he was game. He is a freak of nature. He probably came home in :26.2 and I didn’t even chirp to him.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

The 3 Brothers Stable of New York and trainer Nancy Johansson have plenty to cheer about as their unbeaten harness racing homebred filly, JK Shesalady scored a romp in capturing the $480,000 final of the She’s A Great Lady Stakes final at Mohawk Raceway Saturday. Driven by Yannick Gingras, JK Shesalady’s time for the one mile race of 1:50.1 tied the world record for two-year-old fillies and rewrote the stakes record. The race started off with Happy Becky (David Miller) shooting to the early lead with Band Of Angels (Ron Pierce) sitting on their back and Bettor Be Steppin (Corey Callahan) trapped first-over. To the opening quarter mile in :26.4, Callahan went on with Bettor Be Steppin and took over the lead from Happy Becky. Right away Pierce pulled with Band Of Angels and they took the lead away from Bettor Be Steppin. They went to the half mile in :55 and John Campbell coming first-over with Divine Caroline were able to flush Yannick Gingras with race favorite JK Shesalady, who not only started up first-over but kept right on going and blew by Band Of Angels to take command before the three-quarters in 1:22.1. Campbell was able to continue to gain ground first-over with Divine Caroline but once the field reached the top of the stretch Gingras and JK Shesalady were up by two lengths and then never stopped going to the wire to win by four and one-half lengths. Bedroomconfessions (Scott Zeron) was able to close for second place with Shakai Hanover (Jody Jamieson) grabbing third place. Her time of 1:50.1 tied the world record that is now co-held with I Luv The Nitelife (2013) and Precocious Beauty (2013). Sired by Art Major, JK Shesalady is a full sister to the top three-year-old colt and million dollar winner, JK Endofanera. She is undefeated in six career starts and paid $2.90 to win. “When I baby raced this filly I liked her,” Gingras said. “I didn’t think at that time she was this kind of filly but every start she just got better and better. Last week she really impressed me. It was a big mile last week and that’s when she really stamped herself as the best. She has a great move for 3/8th of a mile and puts me in a good position. I didn’t think the front was that good tonight but you have to close at all times. I didn’t want to get myself caught second or third over. I wanted to be first up. I then thought that Ronnie’s horse was not that strong so I made my move. “Selecting which horse I would drive in this race,” Gingras said, “Was the toughest decision I have ever had to make in harness racing. I drive for Ronnie Burke and I drive Maven for Mr. Donovan. Filly wise I knew JK is the better of the two but both Ron Burke and Mr. Donovan has been so great to me. It was so tough to pick as far as connections go. I am sorry but I had to pick one and I went for the win. But I am sure I will pay it back to Ronnie real soon.” By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 30 - The Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies and three-year-old trotters highlighted the Canadian Pacing Derby undercard Saturday night at Mohawk. A field of twelve three-year-old trotters, headlined by Hambletonian winner Trixton, battled for a purse of $218,076. Making his first start since his Hambletonian victory, Trixton did not disappoint the 2/5 favourite despite starting from the second tier in post position eleven. Trained and driven by Jimmy Takter, Trixton got away seventh, but was buried along the rail as the field went by the opening quarter in :26.4. In the second quarter, Takter got Trixton off the pylons and third over behind Il Sogno Dream. However, Il Sogno Dream stopped advancing in the third quarter and Takter was forced to send Trixton three-wide as he was fifth at the three-quarter pole in 1:23.1. El Titan led the field into the stretch, but Damfoolrmillionair overtook the lead and had a four length advantage on Trixton with an eighth of a mile to go. In the final eighth, Trixton would show his abilites to track down Damfoolrmillionair and trot by to win by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:52.2. "It's really hard to predict a race like this," said Takter about starting from post eleven. "He hadn't raced for a month and he needed this start." Damfoolrmillionair held on for second, while P L Hercules was third. A son of Muscle Hill - Emilie Cas El, Trixton is owned by Brixton Medical Ab and Christina Takter. The Simcoe Stakes victory was Trixton's eighth win in 10 starts this season and the 12th victory of his career. He now has career earnings of $961,876. Trixton paid $2.80 to win. Trixton A field of nine three-year-old pacing fillies contested their Simcoe Stakes for a purse of $207,689. Gettingreadytoroll showed a ton of grit to capture the event after a tough first over trip. A daughter of Rocknroll Hanover - Captain Holly, Gettingreadytoroll came first up after Precocious Beauty rolled along on the lead and set opening fractions of :26.4 and :54.3. Precocious Beauty reached the three-quarter pole in 1:22.2 with Nat A Virgin in the two-hole, Gettingreadytoroll first up and Uffizi Hanover second over. In the stretch, Gettingreadytoroll powered her way to the lead and held off Beach Gal, who came from third over to finish second, and Nat A Virgin, who came up the rail to take third, to win by half a length in 1:49.4. The Simcoe Stakes start was the first start for Gettingreadytorollsince winning the Miss New Jersey Stakes at the Meadowlands on August 2. Following the race, trainer Jimmy Takter said he was a little worried his filly might be short after the long layoff. "Actually I was (worried about the layoff). It's a long gap, I qualified her myself in Pocono last week and I just gave her a little workout," said Takter. "Staying sharp is a big factor, but she's a game girl." Gettingreadytoroll is owned by Christina Takter and John and Jim Fielding. The Simcoe Stakes victory was her fifth win in ten starts this season and the sixth victory of her career. The winner's share of the purse boosts Gettingreadytoroll earnings to more than $208,000. She paid $10.10 to win. The Simcoe/Champlain Grand Circuit Stakes continue next Saturday with the Simcoe Stakes for three-year-old pacers and the Champlain Stakes for both the two-year-old filly pacers and the two-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Gettingreadytoroll by Mark McKelvie, for WEG  

Harness racing trainer Taylor Spitzig, 23, is a dedicated and hard working individual with a bubbly and bright spirit. Taylor says she was 'bred' into horse racing. Being around horses from a young age, Taylor knew she was destined to be horsewoman. "My parents are divorced and I spent a great deal of time with my mom (Barb). The only time I would be at the barn or the track was when I spent a weekend with my dad (Rusty)." Taylor continues, "Going into the 7th grade, I moved out to my dad's house and that's when I got more involved with (the horses)." After high school, Taylor went to Fanshawe College for Fashion Merchandising. After working in the fashion field for a couple of companies, Taylor came to understand that working with horses is what she truly wanted to do. Taylor obtained her trainer's license last December and in March Taylor tallied her first training victory at Western Fair (London, ON)! Looking back at her first win, Taylor was not sure her horse even won. "Where we stand at Western Fair, you can't really tell" says Taylor. "I was watching the TV, and then back at the track, then back to the TV. I was like 'Aww he got beat'. Looking at the win photo it was so close; the other horse could have got him in the next stride." "Then I heard (starter) Brad yell 'Test #3' and that was me so I was all excited and went to the winner's circle." That win photo is framed and on the fridge at the stables' office. "It was my first win and it was the first win for the stable this year, so we started a tradition that every win we have goes on the fridge" Taylor explains. "The office is really my dad's man cave and that's where we throw all of our parties." What came to mind was Taylor decorating it, floor to ceiling with win photos throughout the entire room. When posed with the question what will happen when she gets to 500 wins? Taylor opted to think about that scenario when the time comes. "It was hard to get your first" Taylor admits with a laugh, "and it's harder to get your second." Through the summer, Taylor has been racing her horses at Dresden Raceway, Hiawatha Horse Park (Sarnia, ON) and Clinton Raceway. Once Leamington Raceway kicks off in September, you will see Taylor there cheering on her horses. When it comes to travelling, Taylor is all for it, though it can be tiring as Taylor works the night shift for a trucking company where she handles the customs paperwork. "I work Wednesday through Saturday from 9pm to 730am" Taylor confirms. "I make sure all my transports can cross through customs without any problems. I deal with trucks crossing in British Columbia, Alberta, Windsor and Quebec. Working with customs isn't always easy." "Sunday mornings when I get back from work, we are kind of rushed as its two hours from Sarnia to Clinton." Taylor continues, "I'm pretty tired.... Sometimes I don't go out the barn and my dad will get on me saying I should be in the barn. After working 40 hours night shift, it's hard to get to the barn. Driving home you're dead tired and it's like I don't want to fall asleep jogging horses." Working night shift is a tough adjustment. Some people think it's easier than a day job, but for anyone who has worked night shifts; it's physically and mentally draining. Plus working night shifts makes one feel segregated from society at times. Looking forward, Taylor has a two-year-old named Casimir Ozzy, who she is hoping to get on the track soon. "I think he'll be really good, maybe not a preferred but pretty good." Taylor states. With Taylor learning more and more, she believes in time she will be getting higher into the claiming game. Taylor admits, if she has questions that can help her learn, she is not afraid to ask. "You have to work from the bottom to make your way up" says Taylor. "You need to work with 3 claimers to learn and understand. When you have a good horse, of course it's easier." Flat out, Taylor acknowledges she gets along better with Colts and Geldings opposed to Mares. "It could be a Mare thing where our attitudes might clash. I think it might be a 'who wants to be the boss' situation" laughs Taylor. "Colts and Geldings are much more laid back." Down the road, Taylor has full intentions of owning more horses and becoming a regular name in the racing program. Don't be surprised if you see her at the sales, stocking up! Taylor will be heading out to Hoosier Park in Indiana this weekend to watch her friends' horses race. Two years ago Taylor went to the Little Brown Jug and she has plans on going again this year. Taylor may be a spectator this year at the Jug but it won't be long until she is the trainer of horses competing in such races. If anyone has a 'can do' attitude, it is Taylor. Despite working 40 hours at a night shift job and working at the barn, she's always smiling and outgoing. Taylor sincerely thanks her friends and family who have helped and supported her. As well, Taylor thanks her dad for everything he has taught her about horses and it's because of him that she's training horses. Keep smiling! By Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com                

Creatine sets new track record of 1:52.4 at Scioto Downs in the $25K Open Trot. Creatine shattered the previous harness racing record for a 4-year old horse of 1:54.1 set by Shark Kosmos in 2002. Creatine is a son of Andover Hall out of Berry Nice Muscles. He's conditioned by Bob Stewart for Diamond Creek Racing of Pennsylvania. Creatine started from assigned post five in the field of seven and Dan Noble had the controls. Slated as 9-5 favorite and going off at odds of 3-5, Noble said go when the gates folded. The pair had to work for the top from a stubborn Its Complicated and Josh Sutton. They cleared before the quarter that was trotted in a brisk :26.2. Noble was able to give Creatine a breather on their way to the half that was clocked in :56.1. Boy Meets Girl K and Randy Tharps started their first over bid to apply the pressure down the back side. Southwind Pepino and Sandy Beatty were right in their tow second over. Its Complicated started to tire giving Southwind Pepino a chance to sneak back to the rail. They clocked the three quarters in 1:24.4. Creatine held off the challenge from Boy Meets Girl K, but still had Southwind Pepino to fend off in the stretch. Creatine dug in to win by 1-1/4 lengths over Southwind Pepino and War Cry Hall and Greg Grismore rallied to complete the trifecta. This victory was Creatine's first of the season, but the 12th of his career. He's now banked over $938,000 in just 32 lifetime starts. Betterluvnexttime becomes the fastest mare in the history of Scioto Downs after winning the Filly and Mare Open Pace in 1:50.2. Betterluvnexttime broke her own track record set earlier this year of 1:50.4 and a mark of 1:50.3 set by her stable mate Top Brand. Betterluvnexttime is a 6-year old mare by American Ideal out of Darriwillian. She's trained by Scioto Downs leading trainer, Virgil Morgan Jr for Daniel Mitchell. Josh Sutton had the lines from post eight in the partially assigned field of nine. Betterluvnexttime was the 9-2 morning line third choice and went off at odds of 5-1. Sutton drove her like she was the one to beat. When the started said go, so did Josh. They pushed the gate away and drove for command. Sutton settled in an early third after the opening quarter that was paced in :26 by Sectionline Yankee. She's Shocking settled in the pocket spot for Kayne Kauffman, but they would have the pocket seat for long. Betterluvnexttime and Sutton were underway before the half that was paced in :54.1 and she was able to clear to the top on the backside. Betterluvnexttime had no time back down the pace. She had company from Continual Velocity and Chris Page. They battled to the three quarters in 1:21.3. The duel continued through the stretch and Sectionline Yankee was licking her chops behind the battling pair. The two outstanding mares battled it out and Betterluvnexttime had the winning stride. She beat a game Continual Velocity by a narrow neck and Sectionline Yankee settled for the show spot. This was Betterluvnexttime's fourth consecutive win and her 37th victory in 86 career starts. Racing continues on Saturday (August 31) post time is 6:30 pm. Scioto Downs will host an autograph session prior to post time, starting at 5:45 pm in the grandstand breezeway. Scioto Downs Racino

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 30, 2014 -- Trailing by 5 lengths at the three-quarters and with his cover stalling, Adios champion McWicked showed his speed and determination Friday at The Meadows when he roared wide down the lane to score in a harness racing stake-record 1:48.3 in a $199,980 Pennsylvania Sires Stake. Sometimes Said captured the other division of the event for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers known as the Tarport Effrat, giving David Miller a sweep. McWicked saw his five-race winning streak snapped in the Carl Milstein, and it appeared certain that his losing skein would grow when he was third over and treading water. But Somewhere In L A had taken the field through a hot three-quarters in 1:20.4, a wicked pace that gave Miller confidence. "They were going pretty hard there, but I did start getting worried in the last turn when they stalled out," Miller said. "But the leader wasn't getting away, and I was within range enough to catch him. I was happy with him. He got beat on the front last week, so I wanted to change it up. He doesn't have to be on the lead to win." The son of McArdle-Western Sahara had just enough track to down the game Somewhere in L A by a nose, with the pocket-sitting Limelight Beach third. Casie Coleman trains McWicked, who boosted his career bankroll to $957,883, for SSG Stables. The time shattered the previous stake mark of 1:49.2 shared by Big Bad John and Resistance Futile. Coleman previously indicated that McWicked will be pointed to the PASS championship and the Little Brown Jug. With the victory, McWicked became only the third Adios winner to score in the Tarport Effrat, joining Armbro Ranger (1976) and May June Character (2007). Fashion Farms' Sometimes Said entered the Tarport Effrat on a two-race winning streak, and he had little trouble extending that streak, following the first-over cover of Let's Drink On It and prevailing in 1:50. Somesizesomestyle rallied for second, 1/2 length back, while Let's Drink On It saved show. "I was impressed with him," said Miller, who was piloting Sometimes Said for the first time. "He raced as good as I expected him to." Jim Campbell conditions Sometimes Said, who soared over $400,000 in lifetime earnings. In the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace, converted claimer Colby Jate shot the Lightning Lane to triumph in 1:50.3 and notch his fourth straight victory. Aaron Merriman drove the 7-year-old Jate Lobell-Cam Press Shania gelding for trainer Mike Watson and owner Friendship Stables. Tony Hall drove four winners and Dave Palone three on the 15-race card. Following a brief holiday hiatus, live racing at The Meadows resumes Tuesday, first post 12:55 PM. Even Pattak

The “barefoot wonder” did it again as Sebastian K was able to lead from start to finish and set a harness racing track record for older horses with his 1:53 triumph at Vernon Downs Friday in the $236,000 Crawford Farms Open Trot. Leaving like he was shot out of a rocket, trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt has Sebastian K on the lead just moments after leaving the starting gate. Also leaving and securing the two-hold trip behind him was Archangel and driver Yannick Gingras as they sped to the opening quarter mile in an easy :28.1. Then in typical fashion, Svanstedt backed off Sebastian K to the half mile marker in :57.3 with Archangel right on their backs. It was then that Market Share and driver Tim Tetrick began to move up first-over and following their outside flow was Quick Deal (Matt Kakaley). When they passed the three-quarters in 1:26.3, Market Share was still gaining ground on the leaders and as they started down the stretch Archangel looked as if he had plenty of trot but no place to go as he was locked in behind Sebastian K with Market Share on the outside. Then in the stretch, Svanstedt let Sevastian K have his head and the world champion trotters pulled away from the group and went on to win with ease by two open lengths. Archangel was second with Market Share third. His 1:53 clocking tied the track record for older trotters that was first set in 2013 by For You Almost Free. “It was a great race,” said Bjorn “Bernie” Noren, second trainer for Ake Svanstedt, “He got an easy first half and a pretty good second half. It was an easy race for him tonight. During the off time he does what he always does. He trains twice a week intervals on the sand track and then go in the paddock the rest of the week. “It is such a great experience to have a good horse like him,” Noren said. “It is good to bring a top horse like Sebastian K here and that the fans really appreciate him. He has so many fans now and that is great for harness racing. We need that in our sport. “His next race will be at Hoosier Park on September 20 and then he will go to Lexington,” Noren said. Then we will go to Yonkers for their new International Trot and then maybe if all is OK we will supplement him to the Breeders Crown.” For Sebastian K it was his third straight win and eighth victory in nine outings here in the USA. His only loss was by a neck. The eight-year-old son of Korean was bred and is owned by Knutsson Trotting, Inc. of Vero Beach, FL. Sebastian K paid $2.30 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

After leaving strong from behind the starting gate, one could realize that Father Patrick and driver Yannick Gingras were not going to be passed by and that held to be true as the top colt wired the field in winning the $340,00 Harry M Zweig Memorial for three-year-old colt trotters Friday at Vernon Downs. With stable mate and entry Nuncio and driver John Campbell also leaving at the start it was a formidable duo that took control of the early lead to the opening quarter mile in a blazing :25.4 seconds. They raced indian-style to the half mile in an easy :56 and that was when Skates N Plates (Jim Morrill, Jr.) decided to the try coming first-over to no avail as they passed the three-quarters in 1:25.2. It was then that driver John Campbell moved out of the pocket and started to get Nuncio into high gear to mount a challenge against Father Patrick. But it was not to happen as Gingras urged Father Patrick on and he trotted a :27 second last quarter mile to win with ease by two lengths in 1:52.2. Nuncio was second with Flyhawk El Durado (Mark MacDonald) third. The time of the race was one-fifth of a second off of tying the stakes record for the Zweig Memorial. “In the post parade he felt really sharp,” said Yannick Gingras, “He was on the bit and this was one of his best races all year, the way he is supposed to be. When they popped the plugs (Nuncio) you have to worry as he is a great horse too. He tried hard too and never gives up. But once he came alongside my horse then my horse latched on even more. I was really confident with him and did not have to get after him tonight and that’s a good thing.” For Father Patrick, the son of Cantab Hall posted his seventh win in nine starts this  year for trainer Jimmy Takter. It was a sweep of the Zweig Memorial as Taker’s Shake It Cerry earlier captured the Zweig filly division. Father Patrick is owned by the Father Patrick Stables of East Windsor, NJ and he paid $2.10 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com 

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