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Star pacer Bettors Fire is on the verge of creating harness racing history by becoming the first pacer to win the time-honoured Navy Cup for the second time, according to the eight-year-old’s trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper. Harper has the New Zealand-bred gelding in tip-top condition for $35,000 Navy Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The group 3 feature event has been run 45 times and no pacer has been successful twice. Harper trained and drove Bettors Fire to an all-the-way victory over Ima Rocket Star in the 2536m Navy Cup in October 2013. That was Bettors Fire’s first win in a metropolitan-class race. Bettors Fire has set the pace and won at each of his past three starts, over 2536m and 2130m (twice) at Gloucester Park. However, the son of Bettor's Delight is awkwardly drawn at barrier seven on the front line on Friday night. And several of his rivals have sparkling gate speed. “This is a very nice field, containing several very nice horses,” Harper said. “I’m hoping Bettors Fire can get across and find the top again. However, I’ll be keeping my options open. There is no plan to cut the ribbons and come out guns ablazing. “But he’s got that natural gate speed that enables him to roll forward and make some ground pretty quickly. Whether horses on his inside will hand up is open to question. “The great thing about my horse is that he’s so versatile and has so many strings to his bow. We can leave our options open; we can roll forward and we can go back and sit him up. He’s not a one-trick pony and can win from any position. It would be nice to win another Navy Cup, a race my Dad (Lindsay) won behind Digger of Fortune in 2003.” Harper said that Bettors Fire had thrived since winning the Spring Pace from Copagrin and Libertybelle Midfrew last Friday week. “He did it easily and got a nice cheap run before hitting the line strongly after a final quarter in 27.2sec.” he said. “Touch wood, everything is going really well with him. Thankfully, things have gone really smoothly and he’s had some pretty easy runs with some very cheap early sectionals. “I’d say that his best run in four starts in this campaign was his first-up effort when he finished powerfully from well back to be a nose second to Cyamach in fast time over 1730m.” Harper is realistic enough to concede that Friday night’s race will be no walk in the park for Bettors Fire, a winner of 30 races and $527,152 in prizemoney.  The gelding will need to be close to his peak to defeat the brilliant Elegant Christian and the highly-regarded Beaudiene Boaz. Clive Dalton, trainer of Elegant Christian, declared the lightly-raced six-year-old would go forward from his outside barrier (No. 9 on the front line) and was ready to run a super race. “He’s a genuine winning chance,” Dalton said. “There is a bit of speed on his inside, but we’ll definitely go forward. It’s no good going back over 2130m which is his pet distance.” Elegant Christian, a winner at 19 of his 35 starts, was a heavily backed 3/1 on favourite from barrier one when he reappeared after an eleven-week absence last Friday week. But Elegant Christian galloped badly at the start before making up a great deal of lost ground to finish seventh, just over four lengths behind the winner Bettors Fire. Clint Hall did not knock Elegant Christian about and the pacer went to the line without Hall releasing the ear plugs. “It was a disaster, but it was a great run,” said Dalton. “He pulled up super and his work has been good.” Beaudiene Boaz, trained by Gary Hall sen., will start out wide at barrier eight on Friday night and the five-year-old’s many admirers will be looking forward to the stallion returning to top form after disappointing unplaced efforts at his past three outings. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri said that the Cup was far from a foregone conclusion and he said that ideal barriers would suit his runners Red Salute and Our Blackbird. Red Salute (Chris Voak) will start from the No. 1 barrier, with Our Blackbird at No. 2. Red Salute has a losing sequence of 20 and Our Blackbird’s losing run stands at 18. “I consider Our Blackbird has more of a winning chance than Red Salute,” Olivieri said. “They both get out quickly and are capable of leading. Red Salute led and beat Our Blackbird on the track this morning (Tuesday), but I still think Our Blackbird is the better of my two runners. “Our Blackbird couldn’t get clear when an unlucky fifth behind Bettors Fire last Friday week and he had no luck when fifth behind Phoenix Warrior at his previous start.” Ken Casellas

It's a very old story that happily never gets old. A young native Canadian harness racing driver garners both wins and accolades at his local raceways with such frequency that he's tagged as a prodigy. He then travels southbound on the Adirondack Northway to ply his trade at the big time ovals in the states. Faced with stiff competition from entrenched veteran horsemen, the prodigy doesn't wilt; rather, he just gets better. On September 15, 27 year old Montreal native Scott Zeron notched his 3,000th driving win at Yonkers Raceway. The achievement marks a career milestone for Zeron during what is clearly a career year. The winner of this year's Hambletonian and Yonkers Trot (Marion Marauder), Scott currently sits fifth on the 2016 earnings' board. The youngest Canadian driver to achieve 1,000 wins, Scott became the youngest driver in history to reach 2,000 wins. The 2012 Rising Star Award winner, Scott is also the youngest driver ever to win the Little Brown Jug (Michael's Power, 2012). The Standardbred Owners Association of New York is proud that Scott earned his milestone victory at the Hilltop Oval, and even prouder that he is a regular part of our deeply talented drivers' colony. Scott has achieved big things in a short time, and we wish him years of future success. Standardbred Owners Association of New York

LEXINGTON, KY-- The Saturday, October 1st harness racing program at The Red Mile will feature four divisions of the $294,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old pacing fillies and five divisions of the $330,000 Bluegrass for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Idyllic Beach draws into the opening division of the Bluegrass for pacing fillies. Racing from post five, the filly by Somebeachsomewhere, from the American Ideal mare Idyllic, enters off a 1:52.2 performance at Hoosier Park as the 1-5 favorite in the $246,000 Kentuckiana Pace. Owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Brixton Medical Ab and Marvin Katz, and trained by Jimmy Takter, she has won six of eight starts this season, earning $449,132. Noel Daley sends Jenny's Terror in the second division. By Western Terror from the Beach Towel mare Beach Jenny, Jenny's Terror enters off two wins in Kindergarten Classic preliminaries, winning recently in 1:53.4 at 3-2. Owned by The Ok Corral, she has earned $12,800 over five starts this year, and will start from post two. Ella Christina also starts in the second division. Racing from post five, the Nancy Johansson-trainee enters off a 1:54.3 win at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in a $49,200 division of the Standardbred Stakes. Also owned by Nancy Johansson, the daughter of Western Ideal, from the Artiscape mare Arthroscopic, has won two of seven starts, earning $48,067. Division three gathers She's A Great Lady finalists Happy Hannah, That's The Ticket, and Awash. Recently winning a conditioned race at Mohawk Racetrack as the 1-5 favorite, Happy Hannah, by Well Said from the Village Jolt mare Hallie Gallie, will make her eighth start of the season. She has earned $54,479 over seven starts for owners Stan Klemencic, Hudson Standardbred Inc., and Hutt Racing Stable and trainer Mark Steacy. She races from post one. That's The Ticket, who upset her She's A Great Lady elimination in 1:52 at 58-1, starts from post three. By Roll With Joe from the Artsplace mare Art Account, the Chris Ryder trainee enters off a seventh-place effort at Mohawk in an $81,671 division of the Champlain. She has one win in eight starts this year, amassing $42,681 in earnings for owners Craig Henderson, Robert Mondillo, and Lawrence Minowitz. Awash, entering off a third-place effort at Hoosier Park in the Kentuckiana Stakes, will start from post five. Winning one race in eight starts, she has earned $91,503 this season for owner Bradley Grant. Tony Alagna trains the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere, from the Jereme's Jet mare Apogee Hanover. The final pacing filly split features Everyones Watching. Trained by Tony Alagna, the daughter of Artiscape, from the Rocknroll Hanover mare Burnett Blue Chip, enters off a 1:52.4 win at Mohawk in an $80,516 division of the Champlain Stakes. With that being her lone win in six outings this year, she has earned $79,941 for owners Riverview Racing, Deo Volente Farms, Crawford Farms Racing, and Steven Wienick. Kicking off the Bluegrass splits for pacing colts and geldings is a matchup between Huntsville, Ocean Colony, and Fear The Dragon. Huntsville, by Somebeachsomewhere from the Western Hanover mare Wild West Show, has finished better than second in every start this season. He enters off a win in the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship, where he bested Fear The Dragon in 1:51.1. Earning $227,484 over six starts this season, Huntsville will race from post three for owner-trainer Ray Schnittker along with partners Ted Gewertz, Charles Iannazzo, and Steven Arnold. Fear The Dragon, a son of Dragon Again from the Western Ideal mare Armbro Cinnamon, races from post seven. Trained by Brian Brown, he has finished better than third in every outing this season. He enters off a 1:50.4 win at Hoosier Park as the even-money favorite in the $140,000 Elevation Pace. Winning five of nine starts this year, he has earned $212,016 for owner Emerald Highlands Farm. Jimmy Takter trains Ocean Colony, by Somebeachsomewhere from the Western Ideal mare Amora Hanover. He finished second to Fear The Dragon in the Elevation Stakes and was fifth as the even-money favorite in the $508,970 Metro Pace final. Earning $91,383 over seven starts this year, Ocean Colony will race from post six for owners Christina Takter, John Fielding, Hatfield Stables, Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld, and Sam Goldband. Division two features Windsong Napoleon, who won a $30,800 Metro Pace elimination in 1:51.3 going wire to wire at 54-1. Finishing ninth in the final, the Carl Jamieson trainee rebounded to finish third in an $81,215 division of the Champlain Stakes. By Art Major from the Precious Bunny mare Bunny Dearest, he has won three out of ten starts this year, earning $70,635 for owners Carl Jamieson, Thomas Kyron, and Douglas Good. He starts from post four. Rivaling Windsong Napoleon is Odds On Delray, who failed to make the Metro Pace final following a break at the start in his elimination. Going on to win the $38,500 consolation in 1:51.2, he has since finished third in a division of the Champlain Stakes and in the Elevation Stakes. Winning three times in eight starts, the son of Somebeachsomewhere, from the Dragon Again mare My Little Dragon, has earned $62,095 this season for owner Odds On Racing. Trained by Tony Alagna, Odds On Delray starts from post two. Tony Alagna sends Western Hill in the third division. Starting from post one, the Western Ideal colt from the Art Major mare Cosmo Blue Chip enters off a 1:54.3 qualifier at The Red Mile, as well as a 1:53 effort to win the $40,000 Stallion Series final at Pocono Downs. Owned by Tom Hill, he has won four of five starts this season, compiling $49,750 in earnings. Starting from post three in the third division is Blood Line. Sent off the favorite in his Metro Pace elimination, he went on to finish tenth in the final. Following that performance finishing second in a division of the Champlain and fifth in the Elevation, the Jimmy Takter trainee will go for his second win of the season. He has earned $69,687 over seven starts this season for owner Diamond Creek Racing. Downbytheseaside highlights the fourth division. Exiting a 1:50 performance at the Delaware County Fairgrounds to win a $34,500 division of the Standardbred Stakes, the Brian Brown trainee will start from post seven. Winning four of eight starts this year, the Somebeachsomewhere colt from the Allamerican Native mare Sprig Hanover has earned $173,956 this season for owners Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco, and Richard Lombardo. Against him from post one is Machiavelli, by Somebeachsomewhere from the Western Ideal mare So Perfect. Finishing third and second respectively in his recent performances in the Kindergarten Classic preliminaries, he will try for his second win of the season. Trained by Joe Holloway, he has earned $16,622 this season for owners Val D'Or Farms, Ted Gewertz, and Rojan Stables. The final division features Miso Fast, by Roll With Joe from the Artsplace mare Sakura Hanover. Entering off a second-place finish at Yonkers Raceway in the $225,000 New York Sires Stakes final, the Ron Burke trainee will start from post two. He has won five of eight starts this year, earning $174,231 for owners Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables, and Jerry & Theresa Silva Stables. Brian Brown sends Mcthriller from post one. He enters off a six-length victory in 1:53.4 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in the $35,325 Ohio Breeders Championship, where he trailed the field by 13 lengths at the quarter. A winner of four in seven starts this season, he has earned $88,662 for owners Nr Holdings LLC, T L P Stable, and Howard Taylor. First race post for Saturday's 11-race program is 7:00pm. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile

Visconti (7g Magnificent Rodney-Hematite) rallied to take today’s Quinte+ Gr. III Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf at Le Mont Saint-Michel. Trainer Benjamin Goetz teamed the barefoot winner for owner Daniele Gozlan in this 1.16.2kr score over 3250 meters. 18 starters battled for the €90,000 purse. Off at 5.6/1 Visconti bested 2.3/1 Vacate Money (7f Prodigious-Making Money) with Jean-Philippe Dubois at the lines for his Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. 49.2/1 Tiburce de Brion (9g Ganymede-Macapa du Vivier) was third with Mathieu Abrivard up. The 2/1 favorite Utinka Selloise was a miscue dq with J-M Bazire up. Caly LouLou Wins Grand Prix de L’UET Caly LouLou took today’s Grand Prix de L’UET (purse €60,000, 2100 meters autostart, four year-olds, 12 starters) at Paris-Vincennes on its evening program. 5.8/1 Caly LouLou was driven by trainer Mathieu Abrivard and is a four year-old daughter of Gazouillis-Neige de Genetine. She was clocked in 1.13kr to defeat 40.3/1 Toseland Kyu (4m Love You-Zoraya Kyu) with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer Vitale Ciotola. Cahal des Rioults (4m Password-Plesse des Rioults) landed third for J-Ph Monclin, trainer, and Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Cuise la Motte (4f Repeat Love-Onagra du Vivier) ended third for Bjorn Goop, ahead of Clif du Pommereux, Tuonoblu Rex and Calita Wood. The 2/5 favorite Charly du Noyer was a miscue dq. The undercard Prix Aldebaran (purse €42,000, 2200 meters, eight two year-old starters) went to 1.17kr timed and 4.2/1 odds Esprit Pierji (2m Goetmals Wood-Lady Pierji) for trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin and owner Richard Cohen. 2.4/1 Everest de Ginai (2m Love You-Nymphe de Ginai) landed second with Gabriel Gelormini driving for trainer Philippe Allaire and Ecurie Reima Kuisla OY. Edile du Goutier (2m Coktail Jet-Scylla du Goutier) was third. Thomas H. Hicks

Springfield, OH --- Unfortunately, Joe Bellino could not personally attend the second edition of the Buckeye Classic Sale conducted in Springfield, Ohio, on Tuesday (Sept. 27), but that did not impede him from purchasing the most sought-after harness racing yearling at the event for $90,000. “I was watching it on Facebook Live and I kept thinking, ‘When is the gavel going to drop?” he said. “It was like he said ‘$90,000’ for each $1,000 that was bid on him, but we were bringing him home no matter what the price was. My wife is very excited and so I am about this colt. His videos are fantastic and we cannot wait to get him to the farm and see him.” Raised and consigned by Cornerstone Stock Farm, Brangus is by Bellino’s world champion stallion Pet Rock and out of the Grinfromeartoear mare Can’t Quit Smiling. No other yearling that stepped through the ring commanded that type of attention or price tag, as the second-highest-priced individual was Bounding Dragon, a bay colt by Dragon Again out of Bound To Rock, consigned by Emerald Highlands Farm and purchased by Mike Roth of Anderson, Ind., for $50,000. Brangus is the fourth foal out of his dam and is a half-sibling to the Rockin Image filly Can’t Touch Her. She has collected $147,934 from her time on the track and was very competitive on the lucrative Indiana Sire Stakes circuit. His granddam, Day After, by No Nukes and out of Becky’s Love by Albatross produced Crisis Situation (Walton Hanover, $235,704), Keep Your Pans Off (Abercrombie, $298,411) and Lookinforasign (Life Sign, $159,849). “The people from Cornerstone starting sending me pictures and videos of him when he was very young,” Bellino said. “They said he was always the one that led the rest of the horses from the time he first left his mother. He was always the one to eat first and lead the rest of them. They also said he was very intelligent and one of the best horses they had raised. I have to give them credit because even in the sales ring with everything going on around him, nothing seemed to bother him. “He will go to Tony O’Sullivan; he won this Metro this year, and does a great job with 2-year-olds. He did not know about him at first and now that he saw his videos he is really excited as well. I’ve received numerous messages about this colt because people were so impressed with him. We all are really looking forward to his future.” This year’s sale posted an increase over last year’s results with yearling prices checking in 11.4 percent higher than in 2015. With 242 horses being sold versus 179 last year for an average of $7,055, those involved with the event were pleased with the results. “It was definitely a team effort from everyone that participated and their efforts are much appreciated,” said Steve Cross, sales manager. “This is an exceptional facility that is well laid out and with the Ohio program exploding in recent years, that addition, as well as the blend of horses from Indiana, Pennsylvania and Illinois, certainly made the sale very attractive for our buyers and consigners. “I would like to thank those buyers and consigners that made this sale such a success. The entire team is very happy with the quality of horses that were allowed to be sold and look forward to the future.” For more information on the Buckeye Classic Sale as well as comprehensive sale results please click here. by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor

Freehold, NJ --- Long Tom might be short on experience, but trainer Marcus Melander believes the 2-year-old male trotter can stand tall when it comes to harness racing on the Grand Circuit. The colt, who spent time in Sweden after being purchased for $60,000 at last year’s Standardbred Horse Sale, competes Thursday (Sept. 29) in the first of six Bluegrass Stakes divisions at Red Mile. “He feels like the right horse, but there are some good horses out there as well, so it’s not so easy,” Melander said about Long Tom, who heads to Lexington with two wins and a second in three career races. “He started out good and we’ll see how he does against the best ones out here. I definitely think he can be on the Grand Circuit. “He feels like a good horse and I think he’ll get better and better with every race he can have. We’ll see after Lexington how we do. But so far he’s been very good.” Long Tom is a son of stallion Muscle Hill out of the mare Ilia. He is a half-brother to Tight Lines, who last week finished third in the Old Oaken Bucket at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio. Signed for by Swedish trainer Reijo Liljendahl, the horse is owned by the Finland-based AMG Stable Oy. Following the Harrisburg sale, Long Tom traveled to Sweden, where he was in Liljendahl’s stable. “We talked in February and Reijo told me he had a good horse he wanted to send over,” Melander said. “I liked him already at the sale, so when Reijo told me the name of the horse I was happy. He was a good-looking horse. He came to me at the end of March.” Because of his travels, Long Tom wasn’t ready to see action when qualifiers for 2-year-olds began in mid-June at the Meadowlands. But when Melander brought the colt to qualifiers a month later, he was pleased. On Aug. 9, Long Tom made his racing debut in a conditioned race at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono and won by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:59.1. Four weeks later, he finished second to New Jersey Viking in the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey-sponsored Harold Dancer Memorial Trot and followed that effort with a 1:56.1 victory in a conditioned race for 2- and 3-year-olds at the Meadowlands. “He’s been racing very well,” Melander said. “In the qualifiers I took it very easy with him and I felt he was a good horse. In his first lifetime start, he won very easy at Pocono even if it was just in (1):59.1. He did it so easy. “After that, he had some problems getting into races when the Meadowlands closed. But he raced very well at Freehold after some time off and when he won at the Meadowlands he raced great again.” Long Tom is a horse that tends to get complacent when he reaches the front, but Melander is impressed with the colt’s desire to win. “He’s not like a monster in training; he’s very lazy,” Melander said. “He’s like an older horse that’s been doing this for a while. He’s never grabby. He’s almost too lazy sometimes. Last week when he won at the Meadowlands he had plenty left. He’s just so lazy you need to get him going to hold his speed otherwise he waits for the other horses. “But you can feel in a horse when they want to be first. He’s nice gaited, but what I like most is his head. He wants to be a racehorse; he wants to win.” At Lexington, Melander is anxious to see if Long Tom has the speed to be a top colt. “That’s the thing, he’s never been coming home faster than :29 (seconds),” Melander said. “But he’s so lazy. When he’s first, he doesn’t go much faster. He knows he’s first and he knows he’s going to win. I think he’s got the speed. I’m not saying he’s going to go :26 quarters down here, but I think he can go faster than :29, that’s for sure.” Long Tom, who has earned $19,250 this season, is 9-2 on the morning line in his six-horse Bluegrass division, where he will start from post one with driver Tim Tetrick. Bill’s Man, from the stable of trainer John Butenschoen, is the 2-1 favorite from post two with driver Corey Callahan. The morning line favorites in the remaining divisions, in race order, are Tony Alagna’s stakes-winner Signal Hill, Frank Antonacci’s International Moni, Julie Miller’s stakes-winner Fly On, Ron Burke’s Peter Haughton Memorial champ What The Hill, and Jimmy Takter’s King On The Hill. For the complete card, click here. by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

Harness Racing This Week: Bluegrass Stakes, Red Mile, Lexington, Ky. and Dayton Pacing Derby and Dayton Trotting Derby, Hollywood Dayton Raceway, Dayton, Ohio. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Thursday (Sept. 29) at Red Mile with six divisions in the $334,500 Bluegrass for 2-year-old colt trotters. The Friday (Sept. 30) card at the Lexington oval will feature five divisions in the $298,000 Bluegrass for 2-year-old filly trotters. On Saturday (Oct. 1), The Red Mile will offer $200,000 (est.) Bluegrass events for 2-year-old colt and filly pacers. The first week of racing in Lexington will conclude on Sunday (Oct. 2) with $200,000 (est.) Bluegrass events for 3-year-old male and female trotters and pacers. Hollywood Dayton Raceway on Friday night will feature a pair of Grand Circuit stakes in the $150,000 Dayton Pacing Derby for older pacers and the $160,000 Dayton Trotting Derby for older trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on the Delaware (Ohio) County Fair this past week, with the $577,000 Little Brown Jug leading five days of exciting stakes races. Betting Line won the 71st Little Brown Jug, presented by the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association, with a world record performance in the event's second heat Thursday (Sept. 22) at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. The Casie Coleman-trained Betting Line, who extended his win streak to 13 races with his Jug victory, stopped the timer in 1:49, equaling the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old pacer on a half-mile track. Wiggle It Jiggleit, a gelding, established that record last year at Harrington Raceway. Betting Line's effort, though, was the fastest half-mile triumph ever by a colt. Betting Line, the 1-9 favorite in the second heat, took the lead from Western Fame just after the halfway point in the mile race for 3-year-old pacers and cruised to an eight length victory from there. Western Fame was second, followed by Dr J Hanover and Lyons Snyder. It was driver David Miller's fourth career Jug win and the third for Coleman. Betting Line has won 13 of 14 races this year and earned $1.37 million. He is owned by Coleman's West Wins Stable, Christine Calhoun, and Mac Nichol. In other Grand Circuit action over the weekend, some of the sport's top trotters were showcased in the $220,000 Centaur Trotting Classic at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday (Sept. 24). Hannelore Hanover, with driver Yannick Gingras, returned to her home state of Indiana to turn in a dominant performance. Just as Bee A Magician did the previous year, Hannelore Hanover easily handled a field of nine male counterparts to add another stakes victory to her resume. With a final time of 1:52.4, the world champion mare made her game winning move down the backside and coasted on to the wire to finish 2-1/4 lengths in front of the competition. Trained by Hoosier Park's leading trainer, Ron Burke, the 4-year-old daughter of Swan For All-High Sobriety notched her 15th win from 17 seasonal outings. Hannelore Hanover has now amassed $1,201,685 lifetime for her connections of Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Frank Baldachino, and J&T Silva Stables. Lady Shadow continued her outstanding season with a powerful 1:50 victory in the $236,360 Milton Stakes Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Yagonnakissmeornot was able to finish second after getting away fourth and staying inside until three-quarters. Waasmula charged home for third, while Bedroomconfessions closed well from the back for fourth. A 5-year-old daughter of Shadow Play, Lady Shadow has now won nine of 16 starts and earned $618,481 this season for trainer Ron Adams and owners David Kryway, Carl Atley, Edwin Gold and BFJ Stable. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2016, 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 Farm is the sponsor for the 2016 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the current leaders: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,056.5; 2. David Miller - 820; 3. Tim Tetrick - 708.5; 4. Brett Miller - 407.5; 5. Scott Zeron - 336.5. Trainers: 1. Jimmy Takter - 952.5; 2. Ron Burke - 913.5; 3. Tony Alagna - 412; 4. Ake Svanstedt - 306; 5. Linda Toscano - 249. Owners: 1. Burke Racing Stable - 211.17; 2. Marvin Katz - 179.6; 3. Tom Hill - 179; 4. Weaver Bruscemi - 175.52; 5.Harry von Knoblauch - 149.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Lexington's historic Red Mile. Featured will be the Kentucky Futurity, the third leg of Trotting's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap will be the companion Kentucky Filly Futurity for the sophomore fillies, the Tattersalls Pace and the Glen Garnsey Memorial for 3-year-old pacers, four International Stallion Stakes races for 2-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, and four Allerage contests for open pacers and trotters. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

Today, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) Stewards, commenced an inquiry into a report from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that the substances boldenone, nandrolone and 5alpha-estran-3beta,17alpha-diol were detected in a post race urine sample collected from VINNY CHASE subsequent to that horse winning at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Tuesday, 14 June 2016. The “B” sample was confirmed by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) in Melbourne. The inquiry also considered a further report from the ARFL that the substances boldenone, nandrolone and 5alpha-estran-3beta,17alpha-diol were detected in an out of competition urine sample collected from VINNY CHASE at the registered training establishment of Mrs B McCarthy on 15 July 2016. Mrs McCarthy appeared and was represented by Solicitor Mr Matthew Hammond. Mrs McCarthy was issued with the following charges: Pursuant to AHRR 190 (1),(2) & (4), which reads; (1)  A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. (2)  If a horse is presented for a race otherwise than in accordance with sub rule (1) the trainer of the horse is guilty of an offence. (4)  An offence under sub rule (2) or sub rule (3) is committed regardless of the circumstances in which the prohibited substance came to be present in or on the horse. That as the registered she did present VINNY CHASE to race at Tabcorp Park Menangle on 14 June 2016 with prohibited substances in its system. Pursuant to AHRR 190A (1) (a); 1)  When a sample taken at any time from a horse being trained or cared for by a licensed person has detected in it any prohibited substance specified in sub-rule (2):- (a)  The trainer and any other person who was in charge of such horse at the relevant time shall be guilty of an offence.    That as the registered trainer at the relevant time on 15 July 2016, she did have VINNY CHASE in her care, when a urine sample upon anaylsis revealed it to contain prohibited substances in contravention of Rule 190A (2)(r). Mr Hammond on behalf of his client, Mrs McCarthy sought an adjournment to consider the charges and to provide further expert evidence.  Stewards adjourned the inquiry until 11am on Wednesday, 26 October 2016. Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) is the controlling body for harness racing in New South Wales with responsibility for commercial and regulatory management of the industry including 33 racing clubs across the State.  HRNSW is headed by an industry-appointed Board of Directors and is independent of Government.   Reid Sanders - CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER p: (02) 9722 6600 • e: rsanders@hrnsw.com.au www.harnessmediacentre.com.au   Vinny Chase at Tabcorp Park Menangle on 14 June 2016

HARRINGTON, Del. - Montrell Teague notched his 1,000th career driving win Tuesday at Harrington Raceway aboard Henry The Dragon ($2.20) in a $20,000 division of the Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund (DSBF) stakes for harness racing 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings. In the second of four DSBF splits, Henry The Dragon, a son of Custard The Dragon, was a wire-to-winner for owner George Teague Jr. and trainer Clyde Francis. Montrell Teague was joined by friends and family in the winner's circle for the milestone won. Kdk Standardbreds' Almost Cut My Hair ($2.20, Kevin Switzer Jr.) improved to 6-for-6 lifetime with a 1:55.2 win in his DSBF division for trainer Kevin Switzer. The Barber Pole gelding figures to be the early favorite in next Wednesday's (October 5) $100,000 final. The third division went to Bags To Riches ($2.60, Art Stafford Jr.) in 1:55.1 for owners Only Money Inc. and Jason Skinner. Trained by Skinner, the Roddy's Bags Again colt see the pace as the heavy favorite and never had an anxious moment. Skinner had two training wins on the program. The final division went to George Teague's Daylen ($6.20, Switzer Jr.) who sat a pocket trip before claiming the lead in deep stretch for a 1:56.3 victory. Daylen, sired by Mr. Apples, picked up his second career win for trainer Clyde Francis. Owner George Teague Jr. and trainer Francis had three wins each on the program. In the $16,500 Mares Open, Kirby earned a driving double by guiding Jo Ann Looney-King's Purrfect Bags ($2.80) to a 1:52.3 victory. Trained by her owner, it was the 23rd lifetime win in 37 career starts for the 4-year-old Roddy's Bags Again mare. Tony Morgan had three wins. Matthew Sparacino  

LEXINGTON, KY-- Freshmen trotting fillies will race in the spotlight on Friday, September 30 at The Red Mile, with five divisions of the $298,000 Bluegrass Stakes scheduled for the nine-race harness racing program. The first division draws six fillies. Chezatter, by Explosive Matter from the Malabar Man mare Chez Lucie, will start from post three for owner Purple Haze Stables LLC and trainer Trond Smedshammer. Making her eighth start this season, she has already compiled $134,325 in earnings, including three wins, two seconds and one third. Her lone off-the-board finish was in the $252,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship, where she broke at the start.   Chezatter's competition includes Princess Aurora, a Jimmy Takter-trainee exiting a 1:54.4 win in the $35,000 Kentuckiana Consolation, and Evelyn, entering off wins in a $29,190 Reynolds division and a conditioned race at Pocono Downs. They race from posts four and five respectively.   Division two attracts Grandma's Moni, by Donato Hanover from the Self Possessed mare All Our Moni. Racing for owner Moni Maker Stable and trainer Frank Antonacci, she will try to rebound off of breaks in a $23,100 Peaceful Way elimination and in her most recent qualifier. She'll start from post five.   French Press, also in division two, will make her tenth start of the season. Winless, she enters off a second-place finish in a $27,747 division of the Standardbred Stakes at the Delaware County Fairgrounds. She has earned $27,274 this year for owner Black Horse Racing and trainer Nancy Johnansson. She'll race from post two.   Meeting up in the third division are That's All Moni, Can't I, and Hillarmbro. That's All Moni, a Jimmy Takter-trainee by Cantab Hall from the Pine Chip mare Mom's Millionaire, recently finished second at Mohawk Racetrack in the $275,880 Peaceful Way Stakes. She has won three times in seven outings, earning $173,523 for owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld. She'll start from post two.   Can't I, a Bob Stewart-trainee by Cantab Hall out of the Jailhouse Jesse mare Buck I St Pat, has won four times in six starts and finished second twice. Amassing $205,752 in earnings for owners Howard Taylor, Edwin Gold, Abraham Basen, and Ron Fuller, she enters off a second-place finish at Hoosier Park in the $250,000 Kentuckiana Stakes. She races from post four.   Hillarmbro, a Trond Smedshammer-trainee by Muscle Hill out of the Dream Vacation mare Armbro Emma, ships from the Meadowlands, where she won three-races straight, including two preliminaries of the Kindergarten Classic. With three wins out of five starts, she has earned $17,050 for owner Purple Haze Stables LLC. She'll race from post six.   The fourth division lines seven trotting fillies behind the gate. Both Broadway Idole, starting from post two, and Heels On Wheels, racing from post four, exit Sires Stakes finals. Broadway Idole, by Broadway Hall from the Promising Catch mare Idole Normand, enters from a fourth-place finish in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship, while Heels On Wheels ships in from a third-place effort in the $225,000 New York Sires Stakes Final.   Broadway Idole races for owner Fashion Farms and trainer Jim Campbell, and has earned $97,279 in eight starts this season. Heels On Wheels, owned by Burke Racing Stable, Crawford Farms Racing, Lawrence Karr, and Weaver Bruscemi and trained by Ron Burke, has earned $98,250 in nine starts.   Rounding out the program is the fifth division. Racing from post four is Fine Tuned Lady, by Cantab Hall from the Pine Chip mare Poster Princess. Owned by William Wiswell and M&L of Delaware LLC, the John Butenschoen-trainee has not finished worse than second in eight starts this year. She has earned $326,340 and enters the Bluegrass off wins in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes Championship and Kentuckiana Stakes.   First race post for the Friday, September 30 program is 7:00pm. By Ray Cotolo, for The Red Mile            

Guelph, ON, Sept. 27, 2016 - Equine Guelph has launched the new Barn Fire Prevention online tool as a resource for horse owners.  Responding to the high incidence of barn fires in Ontario last winter, Equine Guelph has developed a tool that is easy to use and provides horse owners with interactive assessments for their individual facilities.   "If you have a farm, you have combustibles that need to be stored properly, electrical wiring that requires proper installation and maintenance and a host of appliances that may or may not be safe for use," says Gayle Ecker, director of Equine Guelph.  "The key to reducing the risk of fire is education focusing on prevention.   We are pleased to partner with Heartland Farm Mutual to offer a healthcare tool which creates two handy checklists for fire safety both inside and outside the barn."   Developed in collaboration with fire protection professionals; the tool asks 20 important questions that will help maintain a safe facility as well as provide insight for anyone looking to build or renovate their barn.  A key recommendation is to bring a local fire prevention officer or insurance loss prevention specialist to your property for a walk through.  They will look for risks and provide suggestions for a prevention plan.  For example, what a barn owner sees as a neatly stacked supply of hay in the barn, the fire marshal will instantly recognize as a fuel source that is best stored in a separate building.  In addition to finding sources of combustion many of us would not even have considered, they will also look for accessibility and available water sources.      Another professional to consult is a qualified electrician experienced in agricultural applications.  They will ensure proper installation of wires in non-corrosive conduit and make sure electrical outlets are GFCI protected and circuits have arc fault breakers.  Properly installed permanent wiring is an important safety consideration for every farm.  Too often, fires are started through improper use of extension cords, power bars and household appliances (especially space heaters and fans).   "Equine Guelph's Barn Fire Prevention Tool is a practical way to promote education and awareness of farm safety," says Jim Zyta, Vice President Loss Prevention/ Risk Assessment Specialist at Heartland Mutual.  "In the farm insurance industry, we have seen first-hand the many causes of barn fires and their devastating effects. Losses from such events are not only physical and financial, but can be very emotional for the horse owner. In many cases, the tragedy is realizing that the fire could have easily been prevented. We encourage all farm owners to use this simple checklist to identify the potential hazards in their own barn and help keep it a safe environment."   Please, take 5 minutes to answer the questions on each activity and receive a personalized list of recommended improvements for your facility.   Link to Equine Guelph's Fire Prevention Tool:http://www.equineguelph.ca/Tools/fireprevention.php   Story by:  Equine Guelph     

Trenton, NJ --- The fact that harness racing driver Chris Presley got his first driving win last month is not nearly as impressive as the fact that he lived through college long enough to gain such an accomplishment. Growing up in Michigan, the 21-year-old Presley was raised in what he termed “A Michigan family,” meaning they all root for the university that plays football in Ann Arbor. Chris, however, spent two years at Michigan State -- where they eat Wolverines for breakfast. “I had Michigan stuff and they hated it,” he said. “I always walked the streets in caution. I never wore yellow on campus, but I really wanted to.” After participating in Michigan State’s animal science program, Presley earned a certificate in equine studies last year. He quickly got his driver and trainer licenses and headed for Bowling Green, Ohio, where he started working with Billy Farmer. Since Ohio State is Michigan’s most hated rival, Chris once again found himself in enemy territory. “I can’t stand Ohio State,” he sighed. “Everybody around here loves it. I’m always in the wrong place at the wrong time.” He was in the right place on Aug. 12, when he drove 3-year-old pacing filly Angela Nichole to victory at the Hartford Independent Fair in Croton, Ohio. “It was a rough first go, the first few times I drove,” Presley said. “It’s kind of a funny story, because the first three drives I had, I was parked the whole mile for the first three drives. “I finally said, ‘Well you know what, we’re in cheap, it looks like we have the best horse in the race so we’ll sit back.’ We just sat pretty through the three-quarter pole and she opened up by 14 in the stretch.” He did so with a Gene Humphrey-trained horse that had not been too popular among the other drivers. “They had her racing as a 2-year-old last year, nobody got along with her,” Presley said. “I was lucky enough to be up at Delaware at the fairgrounds one day and they were qualifying her. They needed somebody, I had my colors and there I was. I got to drive her the rest of the year. “I’ve been driving her at every fair. She’s a hard-working little filly.” And she gave him a night to remember after pulling Chris into the winner’s circle for the first time in his professional career. “That felt great,” he said. “I’d been waiting for that since I was 3 or 4 years old. I just got started late. I didn’t really have the opportunity in Michigan where I was.” Presley, who now has two wins, 13 top-three finishes “and a whole lot of fourths,” grew up in Michigan Center. Neither of his parents had horses but his grandmother, Marie Konieczki, trained a few and Chris was fascinated by them. “I could never get away from it,” he said. “My parents didn’t really want me to do it, they didn’t really want me to get hooked on it. I got to be around it when I was really little, and then I went out with my grandma to Indiana in the summers and took care of the horses.” Konieczki works for Jamie Macomber, who oversees all training responsibilities for the division of the Ron Burke Stable racing at Hoosier Park. She got into the business through her association with Danny Davidson. By the time Presley turned 13, he had thrown himself into playing sports. He played football, basketball and baseball at Michigan Center High School, and was recruited for hoops by some small colleges. He could not get horses out of his blood, though, and every morning on his way to school he would see trainer Al Tomlinson out jogging horses. “I stopped in one day and asked him for a job,” Chris said. “The first time I ever jogged a horse I was probably 18.” He then went to Michigan State and his career was soon underway. After moving to Ohio, Presley was given the opportunity to train six or seven horses on his own. “That was a good experience, it helped me out a lot,” he said. “You learn more doing it kind of on your own, than you do just helping out.” Presley eventually hooked up as a second trainer for Peter Wrenn, who ran into Konieczki in Florida and decided to give her grandson a call. Chris is now slowly building up a resume. His main focus is now on driving and he is not afraid to pay his dues. “I’ve probably been to 30 fairs this year, one or two drives at each one, but that’s where you’ve got to start,” he said. “I travel three hours sometimes just for one drive. But I haven’t been doing bad. For the horses I’ve been driving I’ve been doing pretty good. I’m getting started, trainers are noticing, and other drivers think I’ve excelled pretty far along for how long I’ve been doing it. I haven’t really been involved that long. “I’m just kind of building up clientele, showing people I have the potential to do it. That’s why I have to go to all these fairs. You hear people say they’re busy, they can’t make it, but I really like to move everything out of the way so I can go to the fairs and drive a couple of these horses.” Looking down the road, Presley feels he and his girlfriend may look into making some purchases. “I’d like to get a few horses of my own, so I don’t have to travel around working for other people,” he said. “But, I like what I’m doing now because I get enough free time where I can go to the fairs, go to the track if I need to race. But I’d like to have four or five of my own one day.” Don’t bet against him. If Presley could survive being a Wolverine in the land of the Spartans, he’s probably a pretty capable guy. by Rich Fisher, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Freehold, NJ --- Five-year-old female pacer Lady Shadow was the week’s biggest mover in the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, climbing from ninth to sixth in the harness racing rankings following her win in the Milton Stakes last weekend. Wiggle It Jiggleit, who was idle, remains No. 1. The next four spots also are unchanged, with Hannelore Hanover, Always B Miki, Betting Line, and Marion Marauder rounding out the top five. Hannelore Hanover won last week’s Centaur Trotting Classic while Always B Miki captured the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and Betting Line won the Little Brown Jug. Marion Marauder did not race. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 19 – 9/27/2016 Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Wiggle It Jiggleit (22) 4pg 21-13-6-2 $1,424,337 324 1 2 Hannelore Hanover (1) 4tm 17-15-2-0 $896,111 281 2 3 Always B Miki (4) 5ph 13-8-4-0 $961,792 274 3 4 Betting Line (8) 3pc 14-13-1-0 $1,372,386 272 4 5 Marion Marauder 3tc 12-9-2-0 $1,257,782 208 5 6 Lady Shadow 5pm 16-9-2-1 $618,481 106 9 7 Racing Hill 3pc 12-5-5-2 $1,225,550 94 6 8 Resolve 5th 8-4-1-1 $538,740 81 8 9 Southwind Frank 3tc 11-6-4-0 $941,218 74 7 10 Ariana G 2tf 8-7-0-0 $407,092 43 10   Also: Pure Country (42); Bar Hopping (29); L A Delight (27); Control The Moment (13); Western Fame (10); Freaky Feet Pete (9); Caprice Hill, Darlinonthebeach (8); Homicide Hunter (5); Beyond Delight, Shamballa (4); All The Time, Blenheim, Downbytheseaside, Idyllic Beach (2); Arsenic (1). by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, September 27, 2016 - Yonkers Raceway is looking to augment its million-dollar Yonkers International Trot (Saturday afternoon, Oct. 15th) with a pair of $250,000 harness racing Invitationals, one each for trotters and pacers. The distance(s) of the Invitationals race(s) is/are one mile, though either/or may be changed. Any interested parties are requested, resumes in hand, to contact the race office at (914) 457-2627. Horsemen and fans are reminded that first post for the rare Saturday afternoon card is 1:10 PM, pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission. Frank Drucker

The Halters For Hope program, which sells halters used by harness racing stars to benefit adoption programs for their fellow Standardbred has some power-packed new additions. Halters worn by Continentalvictory, Father Patrick, Somebeachsomewhere and Bettor's Delight can be purchased for a $400 tax deductible donation. Halters For Hope designates donations to a rotating assortment of programs that serve Standardbreds. The halters were generously donated by the connections of the horses who wore them. For a $250 donation, the halters of a star-studded group that includes Mr. Muscleman, Forrest Skipper, Camtastic, See You At Peelers, Bunny Lake and broodmares D Train, Rich N Elegant and Hattie are available. A full list can be found on the Halters For Hope Facebook page. There is no additional charge for shipping and 100% of all donations go directly to the adoption programs benefitting Standardbreds. Ordering information is on the Facebook page. Ellen Harvey

There are not that many mystery novels on the bookshelves (or internet) that center around harness racing, but recently author Tina Sugarman penned Horse Flesh, a novel that for many will be an enticing read. This fiction novel enters the highly competitive world of Standardbred horse racing, and is an exhilarating debut from an insider.  While many in the industry may take offense to the outright knocks on the industry, one must remember this is fiction and the author’s right to “jazz it up” to make it a riveting read to outsiders, should be taken into consideration. Then again, with all the recent controversy surrounding the Little Brown Jug last week, the events in this novel may seem to be spot on. The story features a brilliant harness racing driver whose drug habit risks costing him everything, his cousin, a trainer who refuses to compromise her integrity, a mysterious individual known only as the Scorpion, lurking in the shadows, pulling the strings, the Director of Racing trying desperately to clean up the industry, his mentor and best friend who has his own agenda, a low life groom who knows too much for his own good, the Canadian Mountie who inadvertently gets involved, with unforeseen consequences, and a veterinarian caught between two worlds. These are just some of the players in Horse Flesh, where passions run high and where the distinction between right and wrong, good and evil, is always blurred.  I found the book to be fascinating, very fast paced and with shocking twists and turns. At first I was turned off as the book did not “grab me” right off the bat and I was not happy with some of the demeaning references to the industry as an insider. As I read on and understood the characters that made up the novel, I had trouble at times to put the book down. It drew me into the read to see where the story was going, what was going to happen to some of the stars and how was author Tina Sugarman going to tie this all together in the end. She did a superb job with some great insights that people in the industry should consider. She got the job done and her HORSE FLESH is a breakthrough debut novel set to entertain not only horse and racing enthusiasts, but fiction fans looking for a fresh read.  Tina’s blending of the life events of four yearlings into becoming racehorses was very well done and woven nicely into the novel. The paperback version is very thick, over 700 pages of small type, so some might want to get the Kindle or Nook version. And don’t expect to read this one overnight! Tina Sugarman writes from her personal experiences and gives a compelling insight into the world of harness racing. She has been involved with Standardbred horse racing in Ontario for nearly two decades, spending summers on a horse farm nearby Mohawk Raceway, the premier harness racing track in Canada. This novel is available through all major booksellers. by Steven Wolf, for Harnesslink

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