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Boca Raton, FL - August 27, 2015 - Meadow Skipper, The Untold Story, written by equine professionals Victoria M. Howard and Bob Marks, has been pre-released. Meadow Skipper, The Untold Story, is an unofficial autobiography of the historical life story of the Standardbred world champion pacer, Meadow Skipper, as told in a unique fashion with commentary by the horse himself. The book features many action photographs of Meadow Skipper during his racing career and his life as the most prominent stallion in the history of the sport since Rysdyk's Hambletonian back in the 1850's. The novel follows Meadow Skipper from his birth in 1960 through his intense racing career with trainer/driver Earle Avery. Meadow Skipper was a world or seasonal champion during each year that he raced. Once retired to stud duty, he went on to sired more than 1,700 progeny and as a stud, his progeny earned more than $66 million. Some of his world champion foals include Albatross, Most Happy Fella, Ralph Hanover, Handle With Care, Naughty But Nice, Genghis Khan, Chairmanoftheboard and Governor Skipper, just to name a few of the nearly countless top horses he bred. Published by Tate Publishing, the book is now available only through the publisher at https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-68187-954-3. It will be sold throughout bookstores nationwide beginning in September. Victoria M. Howard has raised, bred and raced harness horses for over 40 years. Howard has published 12 books. Her prior equine novels include Roosevelt Raceway; Where it all began and a children's book, The Adventures of Max & Molly. Bob Marks is a longtime marketing head of Perretti Farms in New Jersey and a noted equine writer, Standardbred pedigree expert and professional handicapper. He was recently inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in July, 2015. This is his first novel. A book signing tour is set to begin on Sunday, October 4 at the Lexington Select Yearling Sales in Lexington, KY. For more information or interview requests please contact Steven Wolf, publicist, at (954) 654-3757 or send an email to stevenwolf1956@gmail.com. by Steven Wolf

Ceredigion, UK - With the start of the Tregaron festival 2015 just hour's away, harness racing horsemen and women will be making the journey over the mountains or across the Irish Sea to the picturesque town of Tregaron. Many of us were eagerly watching our computer screens earlier in the week to see what decision the committee would make regarding the fixture and following a meeting on Monday evening they chose to cut down to two days and stay in Tregaron. Now as I write this the sun is shining and we are all hoping Tregaron will be as fantastic as ever! The two major finals of the weekend will consist of five heats which will be run as open preferred handicaps with the top two from each heat moving into the final. On Friday Mikey Camden (one of 15 entries for top trainer Alexis Laidler) draws well in heat three of the Strata Florida and has won on the track before and could provide the team with yet another Strata Florida winner. Also on day one is the big guns free for all featuring recent Crock of Gold winner Stoneriggs Mystery. Can Brywins Magicpotion overhaul the champ or will it be another victory for Mick Lord's stable star? As expected there are a number of top names in the heats for the Welsh Classic. Top Irish contender Poterstown Chris makes the journey for the Dunne family but can he overcome his wide draw and get the better of his other Irish compatriots Heart of Steel and Dean's Alibi, or will it be local I'm Immpartial Too, who hasn't been seen yet this year, who grabs the spoils. Imjustalittleguy has already won in excess of £7,000 this year so far and has the plum draw in heat 5. Can he add some more money to his pot and give Richard Haythornthwaite another major final winner. This year sees three trotting races at Tregaron, including two divisions of the 'Le Trot' series and the Tregaron Trot. All three of these will be run on Saturday so that's the day to be there for the square going enthusiasts. One of the highlights at Tregaron is the Dragon Series. Friday see's the 2 year olds do battle with separate divisions for the colts and fillies. Jessie's Conquest has bags of speed and will be the bookies favourite but Tregaron will be cheering home Rhyds Nightlife for Club treasurer Dewi Lloyd-Davies. Brenda Dean has not graced the racetrack at Tregaron for a number of years and her entry Kick On in the colts division could spark a bit of interest as its unlikely that she made the long trip simply to make up the numbers. Again there are two divisions of the three year olds on the Saturday. The Irish campaigner Carmel Camden travels to Tregaron on the back of another win at Portmarnock and a good draw here could see her leading from pillar to post. Her main dangers come from the northern raiders particularly Shaba Hanover for the mighty Mick Lord. It's difficult to look past Coalford Tetrick in the colts division especially after his performance at York a fortnight ago. So the clocks counting down and the excitements building, with so many top class races Tregaron is definitely the place to be this weekend! by Kayleigh Evans, for the Ceredigion  

HRV has today released the "Harness Racing Victoria Strategic Plan 2020 Consultation Paper" which will be the blueprint to take Victorian harness racing into the future. The plan is designed to revitalise harness racing in Victoria and create a dynamic and world class industry that will serve as a national and global leader. The plan will cover such key issues as integrity and animal welfare, horse population, innovation of the racing product, wagering, industry participation and growth, marketing and communications to name a few. HRV Chairman Ken Latta PSM said: "For the Plan to achieve its objectives the input, ideas and support of the industry is critical." Mr Latta invites all participants passionate about harness racing to become involved. HRV proposes to engage widely and embark on a rigorous consultation process to discuss the plan. In the coming month HRV will: * Hold sessions with formal industry consultation groups * Conduct forums with participants across Victoria * Receive feedback via written submissions Harness racing makes a significant contribution to the social fabric of Victoria and currently contributes $422 million to the Victorian economy, $226 million in household wages and is responsible for the employment of 4000 FTE jobs. With fresh ideas and industry input the 2020 Plan will ensure that harness racing continues to make its mark in Victoria well into the future. The timetable for the consultation process is: * Release of Consultation Paper - August 27 * Stakeholders consultation and forums to take place during September 2015 * Written submissions close September 30, 2015 * Strategic Plan 2020 released late 2015 The consultation forums will be conducted at the following locations, commencing at 7pm: * Bendigo Harness Racing Club September 15 * Shepparton Harness Racing Club September 22 * Tabcorp Park Melton September 23 To access the Harness Racing Victoria Strategic Plan 2020 Consultation Paper and written submissions form click here CODY WINNELL, COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA MANAGER

THE Addington Harness Racing New Zealand Ranking Committee had a busy time yesterday dealing to two sets of rankings for the first time at its initial meeting for 2015. In a rare situation, a marked increase in Australian and international nominations made comparing the various merits of horses more difficult, but it is exciting to see so many varied form-lines coming together for races like the $750,000 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup and the $250,000 Hellers Dominion. The NZ Trotting Cup rankings are headed by last season's 'Horse of the Year' Christen Me, with Australian nomination and Hunter Cup winner Arden Rooney at two being the top ranked visitor. While the NZ Cup is missing stars such as Adore Me and Terror To Love, a new guard is set to take their place. The committee was impressed with the overall depth and quality of those nominated, which suggests an intriguing spring build-up is in store. There is the potential to have a large group of quality up-and-comers clambering spots in the lead-up to harness racing's great race. In the Dominion, defending champion Jaccka Justy heads the list, just ahead of Trotter of the Year, Stent and the ever-present Sheemon. An exciting aspect is the addition of two well-performed European trotters. This is sure to add a significant edge to the Dominion and its lead-up. Ranking the Hellers Dominion proved to be an interesting process for the committee. Addington Racing Manager Brian Rabbit explains; "It's tremendous having the international flavour adding to the Dominion.: "The Australian nominations are well credentialed, which is great for the potential depth of the race but that also gave us some headaches." "The trickiest part for the committee was weighing up the two European horses, Used To Me and Daryl Boko." "Both have competed very well in the hotbed of European trotting." "Used To Me is a proven top-level type performer in France, while Daryl Boko ran third when favourite in the Finnish Derby last year, a Group 1 race worth 221,000 Euros and brings over solid Swedish form." "We had to exercise discretion for the European pair, as they clearly fall outside of what the ranking criteria was introduced to cover." The connections of smart trotter Boizel have made a Late Payment to nominate and he now takes the total number of Hellers Dominion nominations to 39. The next set of rankings will be released following a committee meeting on Tuesday 8 September after the Maurice Holmes Vase on September 4. If you require any further information on this, please do not hesitate to contact the Racing Department at HRNZ on 03) 964 1200 or Brian Rabbitt at Addington Raceway on 03) 338 9094. Courtney Clarke New Zealand Cup Rankings 1) Christen Me 2) Arden Rooney 3) Smolda 4) Franco Nelson 5) Franco Ledger 6) Sky Major 7) Ohoka Punter 8) Tiger Tara 9) Corzin Terror 10) Easy On The Eye 11) Venus Serena 12) Lancewood Lizzie 13) Mossdale Conner 14) Forever Gold 15) Jason Rulz 16) Belkmyster 17) Te Kawau 18) Dalton Bromac 19) Alleluia 20) Messini 21) Bit Of A Legend 22) Saveapatrol 23) Choise Achiever 24) Mach Beauty 25) Chancellor Cullen 26) Brilliant Strike 27) Quick As A Trick 28) Lewy Risk 29) Jivin Cullen 30) Ideal Success 31) Mighty Flying Mac 32) Mach’s Gladiator 33) Ballindooley 34) Bettor Dream 35) No Doctor Needed 36) Major Bubbles 37) Delightful Dash 38) Major Star 39) Provocative Prince 40) Zakspatrol   Dominion Handicap Rankings 1) Jaccka Justy 2) Stent 3) Sheemon 4) Master Lavros 5) Used To Me 6) Kincaslough 7) Alley Way 8) Vincennes 9) One Over Da Moon 10) Jag’s Invasion 11) King Denny 12) Habibti 13) Daryl Boko 14) Clover Don 15) Prime Power 16) Realmein 17) Kyvalley Blur 18) Maori Time  19) Springbank Sam 20) Speeding Spur 21) Royal Aspirations 22) Overanova 23) Boizel 24) Valmagne 25) Cool Cobber 26) Uncas 27) Monbet 28) Majestic Time 29) Quite A Moment 30) Escapee 31) Harrysul 32) Live The Dream 33) Sol Invictus 34) Al Bundy 35) Leanne’s Boy 36) Monty Python 37) Waterloo Sunset 38) Wingsonhai 39) Prestine  

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - Two-year-old trotter Wildwild Men rewrote a 22-year-old harness racing track record at the Hippodrome 3R Wednesday in capturing the first of two elimination divisions of the $200,000 Quebec-Bred Series. Driven by Robert Shepherd, Wildwild Men traded control of the early lead with Panamas Boy (Stephane Brosseau) and they sped to a quick opening quarter mile in :28.2. Once settled on the lead and in control, Shepherd and Wildwild Men backed down the pace as they led the field past the half mile marker in 1:00. Then in the backstretch, Sass and driver Clarke Steacy came first-over to try and mount a challenge, but Wildwild Men would have nothing to do with that and he kicked in another gear after the three-quarters in 1:31.2. By the top of the stretch, Wildwild Men was leading by four and one-half lengths and then poured it on with a :29.1 last quarter mile to win in a romp by six and one-half open lengths in 2:00.3. The prior track record for two-year-old trotters was 2:01.3 set by Jobie Tempest (Claude St-Jacques) in 1993. Trained by Isabelle D'Darveau and co-owned by Catheline Pelletier with breeder Chantal Gravel, it was the third straight win for Wildwild Men. The gelded son of Muscle Mass now has four wins in seven starts this year. He paid just $2.30 to win. In the fourth race, second division, KFB Amigo Cool and driver Guy Gagnon were able to stay on stride and wire the field, scoring an upset over the 1/5 race favorite, Tuscans Memory (Pascal Berube). KFB Amigo Cool went right out to the early lead, stuffing a determined SOS Chico (Jocelyn Gendron) into the pocket seat to the opening quarter mile in :29. KFB Amigo Cool then led to the half mile in 1:01.2 when Berube came first-over with Tuscans Memory. Past the three-quarters in 1:32.3, KFB Amigo Cool would not give ground to Tuscans Memory around the final turn as they battled head and head for the lead. Tuscans Memory then went wide as they started down the stretch and could not catch KFB Amigo Cool, who won by one and one-quarter lengths in 2:03. Defi Normand (Pierre Bovay) was third. Sent off at odds of 6-1, KFB Amigo Cool paid $14.00 to win. It was his maiden victory after four lifetime starts for the ridgling son of Amigo Hall, who is trained by Dany Fontane for owner/breeder Investissement K F B of Sorel-Tracy, QC. This was the third and final preliminary round of the series. Now the top eight point earners from the filly and colt divisions, return on Sunday, September 6 for their respective $65,000 finals. On Sunday the two-year-old pacing colts and fillies compete in their third round of the series. For more information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Harness racing is typically a sport that has rural roots and its participants are usually males carrying on a family tradition that was started before they were even born. Most trainers and drivers had someone in their family or a close friend that took them under their wing, showed them the ropes and helped them get a start in the business. However, trainer Kim Sloan had a much different entry into harness racing. She was born into a Cleveland, Ohio urban family that had never owned or cared for a horse. Although knowing virtually nothing about horses, Kim's father and grandparents were fans of the sport and were often rooting for their picks on the grandstand apron of Northfield Park. As a child Kim was at Northfield many times but never on the backstretch. "I was usually running around the grandstand with the other kids picking up losing tickets off the ground," remembers Sloan. Being present in the excitement of a racetrack fostered an affection for horses that has grown throughout Kim's life. Sloan entered the workforce immediately after graduating in 1981 from the Cleveland City School System. She secured employment at a title insurance company in downtown Cleveland. However searching titles was not her passion, so Kim went to a horse auction at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in 1992 and purchased two yearling fillies, Aint That A Dame and Takin Chances. "Everyone I talked to told me to get a horse that was already racing and not to buy yearlings. But I wanted to learn how to train a horse from the start," said Sloan. "I thought that buying a horse that was already racing would be like sitting down in a theatre in the middle of a movie. I bought yearlings because I wanted to learn from the ground up." Kim feels fortunate to have been initially stabled next to Dan Kirkwood at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea, Ohio. "I tried to be observant and ask a lot of questions," explained Sloan. "Dan was always willing to guide me." Even though Kim asked questions and tried to learn from fellow trainers, "My biggest tool was the book Care & Training of the Trotter & Pacer. I read it religiously, especially the chapter written by Stanley Dancer. That book was like my Bible." Kim's first race was in October, 1995 with Aint That A Dame. It resulted in a seventh place finish, beaten 25½ lengths for a 1,600 purse at Northfield Park. Her first win was the following August at the Cuyahoga County Fair with a pacing mare named Botton Line in 2:05.3. Since the beginning Kim has kept a small stable. Her starters have posted 233 wins and have earnings approaching $1 million. However, in January she joined forces with Fred Peters, owner of Pod Stable LLC. She now trains six for her new owner, as well as two others, and for the first time is truly looking to grow the stable. "You have to keep going one race at a time and continuously evaluate where you are going and what you need to do," said Sloan. "In this business, many changes need to be made along the way." Her most recent victory came with Pod Stable owned Fluff Me Up at Northfield Park on Monday (August 24) in the $13,000 Open Trot where Sloan's four year-old gelding won by seven ½-lengths in 1:54.2. The clocking was not only a track record, but it equaled the world's record for his age, sex and gate on a half-mile track. "It was his first start without trotting hopples," said Sloan. "I have wanted to take the hopples off for quite a while but to do so you have to miss a week of racing to requalify. Timing worked out to take them off because he was not going to race for a week. I could not be happier with him. I have never had a win like this before." Ayers Ratliff          

YONKERS, NY, Wednesday, August 26, 2015--After two decades, the return of Yonkers Raceway's International Trot is within sight, thus it makes perfect sense that the field of world-class harness racing participants is beginning to take shape. With just under seven weeks until the million-dollar event--Saturday afternoon, Oct. 10th, to be precise--the connections of Bee a Magician and Magic Tonight have offered unqualified commitments. Bee a Magician, the triple millionairess and 2013 Harness Horse of the Year, has found herself right at home in Westchester. In four Yonkers' starts, the 5-year-old daughter of Kadabra won three of 'em, setting an aged-group track record each time. "We're honored to be invited," Richard (Nifty) Norman, Bee a Magician's trainer, said. "She's proven she gets around Yonkers very well and we have no reason to think that won't continue." Magic Tonight has "2015 Elitlopp winner" stamped on his business card, so obviously, he means business. The 6-year-old son of Andover Hall has earned more than $1.3 million, taking into account his both-sides-of-the-ocean performances. Yonkers' International Trot Selection Committee (no relation to that of the NCAA) is continuing its due diligence, with further invitations/acceptances to be announced in the not-too-distant future. Again, this is a special Saturday afternoon card, with a proposed first post of 2 PM (pending approval of the New York State Gaming Commission). As of this writing, the International--scheduled for 10 starters at a distance of mile-and-a-quarter--would go as the program's fourth race (approximate post time 3:25 PM). The International Trot would also be the main cog in a high-end, Pick 5 guaranteed pool (exact number TBA), while Yonkers is surrounding the event with an Oktoberfest on the track apron as well as a hat giveaway (while supplies last) and drawings for terrific prizes, including a vacation to the winning horse's home country. Purse distribution would be the same as all events (winner-50 percent, 2nd-25 percent, 3rd-12 percent, 4th-8 percent, 5th-5 percent). Non-cashing overseas entrants receive $37,500 via a purse supplement, while non-cashing North American entrants receive $10,000). "It's our pleasure to bring back the International Trot," Raceway president Timothy J. Rooney said. "It's been a signature New York race since it debuted at Roosevelt Raceway back in 1959. We took over the race after Roosevelt closed, and it was very well received. "With Yonkers now a major player in the overseas simulcast market, we feel this is the best time to showcase our track to the world by again inviting the best trotters in the world to race here. We have had tremendous cooperation from our horsemen, and all of us are looking forward to it." Frank Drucker

Centurion ATM will try to build on his best start of the season, a harness racing victory last weekend in a consolation division of the Colonial Stakes at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, when he heads to Yonkers Raceway for Saturday's eliminations for the Yonkers Trot. And it was the colt's best start in more ways than one. A notorious slow starter, Centurion ATM moved quickly from the gate in his race last weekend, charging from post nine to land in second place after the opening quarter-mile. It was only the second time in 14 lifetime races that Centurion ATM was better than third at the first call. The other time came in the colt's career debut in July 2014. Centurion ATM posted a 1:53.3 win in his Colonial consolation for his first triumph of the season. Ake Svanstedt, who trains and drives Centurion ATM, credited the early speed to a change in equipment. "We took off the blind and he is a new horse," Svanstedt said. "Before he was a slow starter, now he can leave faster. He was good." Centurion ATM was among 11 horses entered for the Yonkers Trot, which is for 3-year-old trotters and is the second jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. Pinkman, who won the first jewel -- the Hambletonian -- on Aug. 8, also was among the horses entered. It is the first time the Hambletonian winner will compete in the race since Glidemaster capped a Triple Crown sweep and Horse of the Year season by winning the Yonkers Trot in 2006. Hambletonian champ Market Share competed in the 2012 Yonkers Trot, but the race preceded the Hambletonian that year. Two $40,000 eliminations will be contested Saturday, with the top four finishers from each division advancing to the $500,000 Yonkers Trot final on Sept. 5. Centurion ATM is in the second elim, along with stablemate Southwind Mozart, Billy Flynn, Massive Lightning, Habitat, and French Laundry. Pinkman is in the opening division, with Buen Camino, Crazy Wow, Workout Wonder, and Wings Of Royalty. Centurion ATM has won four of 14 lifetime races and earned $429,742 for owners Courant A B and Knutsson Trotting. He won last year's Peter Haughton Memorial Stakes with a world-record-equaling 1:53.2 performance. Prior to winning last weekend at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Centurion ATM finished eighth in his Hambletonian elimination and failed to advance to the final. "He was good before the Hambletonian elimination, but in the elimination he was bad, just bad," Svanstedt said. "I don't know why. But now he was good again." Centurion ATM's appearance at Yonkers will mark his first time on a half-mile track, but Svanstedt is unconcerned. "He is a good trotter so he should be OK," Svanstedt said. "I hope he will get to the final, that is the important thing. He is a good horse." Svanstedt's other Yonkers Trot hopefuls are Workout Wonder and Southwind Mozart. Workout Wonder has two wins this season, both on half-mile tracks in New York Sire Stakes action, including a 1:56.3 triumph ahead of Buen Camino and Wings Of Royalty at Yonkers on May 21. Crazy Wow, who won last year's New York Sire Stakes championship for 2-year-old male trotters at Yonkers, heads to the Yonkers Trot off a win in the Colonial Stakes main event. He is one of two Ron Burke-trained horses in the field, along with fellow multiple-stakes-winner Habitat. Buen Camino, from the stable of trainer Trond Smedshammer, enters his Yonkers Trot elim off three consecutive victories on the New York Sire Stakes circuit. Smedshammer captured the 2004 Trotting Triple Crown with Windsong's Legacy. Saturday's card at Yonkers also includes the $149,240 Hudson Trot for 3-year-old female trotters and the $116,430 Lady Maud for 3-year-old female pacers. Below are the fields for the Yonkers Trot eliminations, with listed drivers and trainers. Race 4-First Elimination PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Buen Camino-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer 2-Crazy Wow-Tim Tetrick-Ron Burke 3-Pinkman-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter 4-Workout Wonder-Daniel Dube-Ake Svanstedt 5-Wings Of Royalty-Brian Sears-George Ducharme Race 5-Second Elimination PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Southwind Mozart-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 2-Centurion ATM-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt 3-Billy Flynn-Jason Bartlett-Staffan Lind 4-Massive Lightning-Tyler Buter-Steve Elliott 5-Habitat-Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke 6-French Laundry-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter By Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA    

A summary of the great harness racing at Pocono Downs last Saturday that the meadia experienced; FIRST RACE – CINAMONY was away quickly, yielded and then made a quarter-move, controlled the pace, sprinting home in 27 to be drawing away late. KATIE SAID was first-over nearing the half, grinded up, held with great gameness through the lane to win a three-way decision for second. KRISPY APPLE charged out to command, yielded past the quarter to the winner for the pocket, had a clear shot in the Pocono Pike but could not reach. OOH BAD SHARK tucked third behind the two early boilers at the 1/8, went to the deep Pocono Pike, did pretty well. YAGONNASKISSMEORNOT tucked fourth just past the 1/8, thought about coming out first-over but stayed in nearing the half, then angled very wide early stretch and finished with speed. LUCY’S PEARL worked out a great second-over trip from eighth, but didn’t have enough at crunch time. THE OTHERS never gained contention. SECOND RACE – INVEST IN ART was quarter-mover #2 and the fourth – and last – leader before the second turn, kicked the plugs past midturn, held sway to the wire although several others tried to wrest the win away. STRUT MY STUFF outgunned the field four-wide into the first turn, then saw three go by in the second quarter, came back out again raw and challenged, looked to be melting off as two lengths down midstretch, but battled back ultra-gamely to just miss in a picture and edge SOUTHWIND ROULETTE for second. The latter tucked early then was quarter-mover #1, relinquished to the winner for the pocket, tried very hard in the Pocono Pike and didn’t miss by much at all. LUCK BE A LINDY was second-over, hung in there fairly well. CRESCENT CITY couldn’t reach from third-over. WELL HELLO THERE was looped leaving and needed until the 5/16 to get control of the racetrack, then saw two rush by in quick succession, gapped out ¾. THE OTHERS couldn’t get into a forward flow. THIRD RACE – MUSCLE DIAMOND raced second-over, three-wide headstretch, along very late in a five-across-the-wire finish. CRUZADO DELA NOCHE moved uncovered just before the half, went 27.2 into a slight breeze to pressure the leader, kept at it steadily. CRESCENT FASHION stayed in, gapped a little down the back, then tightened and went steadily in the deep Pocono Pike. SOUTHWIND MOZART made the lead at the 1/8 and took these a long way, under pressure much of the second half before tiring very late. BOOTS N CHAINS yielded for the pocket, not enough in the Pocono Pike. REAL DJ HANOVER and RALPH R gapped. DONATOMITE was three-wide to the 1/8, broke trying to take back into the 3-hole 3/16. NEWCASTLE lost gait shortly after the start. FOURTH RACE – The wind has picked up and is now a stretch tailwind … ROLLIN RING AFIRE was carried up perfectly second-over – well, semi-perfectly, because he was left uncovered just past ¾ as the first-over tucked in the pocket, but continued on strongly to get the decision with horses coming from both sides. RUFO was first-over into the second turn, challenged, backed off a mite to go into the pocket just past the ¾, came back for more in the Pocono Pike and got the lead to midstretch but couldn’t quite sustain to the wire. PAPARAZZI HANOVER, last at the quarter, was in the fine flow third-over, narrowed in strongly. LYONS LEVI LEWIS was outleft, bypassed the pocket in favor of being outside past a 25.4 opener to get the top, kept going on the lead, saw the first-over take the pocket behind him to the ¾, held well. TRADING UP, wide early, backed off to take a 4-tuck, was shuffled as the pocketsitter gave way then was out in a blindswitch, finished with pace then edged LUCPARK for the last check. The latter was placed up-close, also shuffled behind a tiring pocketsitter, out then back in, evenly. TOMY TERROR followed WESTERN PONDER wide on the far turn, but neither could reach. DRAGON EDDY outburst everybody early and pushed a horse past a 25.4 opener before yielding, was tiring 5/8. FIFTH RACE – E L TITAN improved position early, then was in a great spot second-over, three-wide late on the turn and powered by late. RESOLVE made the front just past the 1/8, pushed a foe to the 5/16 before yielding for the pocket, went to the Pocono Pike and went quickly to the lead just past midstretch, nipped on the end. DAYLON MIRACLE worked out a fine trip behind the winner, widest and flying late in a big race. JL CRUZE drifted then got in gear at the 1/8 and went to the front 5/16, did not get wild fractions for this kind, beaten midstretch but held very gamely. WIND OF THE NORTH let RESOLVE go at the 1/8, inside, also in the Pike, two steps behind the top ones. NATURAL HERBIE was first-over before the clubhouse turn, got to the leader’s wheel midturn before fading some. THE OTHERS were not prominent, with ETRUSCAN HANOVER making a break very early. SIXTH RACE – SINGLE ME won because of the move she didn’t make – as IDEAL NUGGETS was deciding whether to let SEEKING NIRVANA go, driver Miller tipped the winner half-out implying a quarter-move, which caused the leader to hang her foe and give the winner a perfect pocket trip, outside headstretch to keep SERIOUS FILLY three-wide, strong late. SERIOUS FILLY was carried up a long way by the parked horse then had to move three-wide midturn as that one stopped suddenly, second-best. TRIPLE V HANOVER was behind SERIOUS FILLY and edged STORM POINT for third; the latter sat in, found stretch clearance, got slightly rough nearing the wire and missed out on third. IDEAL NUGGETS was pressed by SEEKING NIRVANA, who was urged early, nearing the ¼, then decided to hang that foe throughout, with the parked horse right in it until stopping badly on the far turn and the pacesetter fading in the lane. THE OTHERS were not factors. SEVENTH RACE – CENTURION ATM went up wide at the 1/8 and raced into the pocket past the ¼, vacated the two-hole to challenge, powered by in the last 1/8 to win easily. ALDEBARAN EAGLE took a tuck, stayed connected, up to the pocket as the winner came out, up the Pocono Pike and got second a three-way photo. WHOM SHALL I FEAR was sent away and forced tucks during and just past a 27.3 quarter, backed off the half, met the heat of the winner past the 5/8, could not sustain in the lane. FASHION CREDITOR came out just past the half, got cover just past the 5/8, gapped on the turn but finished steadily. CUE HALL was no factor. WALTER WHITE made a break 3/16, repaired well. DIVISIONIST was outside early, broke on the second turn. HONOR AND SERVE got a slow start, third-over when he made a break on the far turn. SHOOT THE THRILL was not a contender when he broke on the backstretch. EIGHTH RACE – BLOOD BROTHER was well-placed just off a cutthroat half, second-over behind a parked-the-mile horse, three-wide late turn and had the most late. K-ROCK followed the winner, four-wide in the lane and was along for second over a pack of foes. BADIOU HANOVER was outside midpack early, in gear 3/16 and three-wide 5/16 around a parked horse to get the lead past the 3/8, set the pace with pressure in fast middle splits, held well. PARKLANE EAGLE was last at the 3/4, advanced in a blindswitch in the turn and followed the path of the winner, closed well. ALLBEEF N NOBULL forced a very fast quarter, yielded then moved to the top before the next wave came, yielded to the wide brusher, pocket, Pocono Pike, so-so late. BADIX HANOVER left between horses in a furious opener, was taken back to try to tuck third but wouldn’t go in, was looped nearing the 3/8 and left out raw, two-wide the duration, hung in there very well. CARDIAC FASHION was widest in the lane and finished OK+. REMEMBER ME VK was three-wide 3/16 and parked past the 25.3 opener for command, yielded, not too much left late. MCARDLES LIGHTNING tucked fourth past the 1/8, no factor late. NINTH RACE – ALWAYS AT MY PLACE kept the pocket shut 3/16, then was able to move out 5/16 in front of the parked horse to an immediate lead, hit the half in 53 and the drew clear to the 1:20 3/4s, saw some foes coming on the far turn so was put to encouragement through more than half the stretch, stayed clear and finished in 1:47.2 – a time beaten only here by Sweet Lou (1:47 here) in the history of 5/8-mile tracks (Pet Rock went that clocking at Scioto, and State Treasurer would tie it the next day at Tioga – that’s good company). CAPTIVE AUDIENCE worked his way into a 5-tuck at the quarter, then followed cover nearing the ¾, just edged BANDOLITO for second. The latter moved out before the ¾ as DAPPER DUDE started to give way, just caught for second in the closing strides. SCOTT ROCKS came all the way up the inside. GREAT VINTAGE moved out behind the parked horse on the second turn, went three-wide 5/8 around the parked horse but never gained much; nor did ALEXA’S JACKPOT on his back. FOOL ME ONCE gapped inside. DAPPER DUDE set sail from the rail, yielded to the winner, began losing contact before the ¾. DOMETHATAGAIN left in a bid for the lead, saw the pocket shut on him and then saw that pocket horse get in front of him and brush to the lead, left outside raw and faded past he half. TENTH RACE – BETTOR BE STEPPIN was steppin’ early and made the top at the 1/8, rated the half, then sprinted first in 27 to ward off the backstretch challenger, then 27.1 to keep away Pikeshooting MOMAS GOT A GUN for the victory. The latter left hard and secured the pocket, took her shot in the Pocono Pike, good but had to settle for second. SASSA HANOVER took the 4-spot early, came first-up into the second turn, rolled in 26.3 down the back to put pressure on the leader, but flattened some late (understandably). TOTALLY RUSTY maintained early position, stayed in, deep in the Pocono Pike and OK. THE SHOW RETURNS was second-over and loomed when moving three-wide midturn, but couldn’t get it into a high enough gear. SAFE FROM TERROR sat in, had pace in very tight quarters between horses, may not have been clear. WICKED LITTLE MINX and IMAGINE DRAGON never factored. ELEVENTH RACE – CRAZY WOW maximized his chances here, taking advantage of the break of the heavy favorite, then trotted up to keep the pocket filled in the 26.3 opener, had the garden trip in the two-hole, then to the Pocono Pike and steadily to go by the leader midstretch and draw clear, giving Tetrick four (for four different trainers) and Burke three (for three different drivers). THE BANK tucked early, was taken to the deep Pocono Pike, at first didn’t respond sharply (tight quarters?), but then responded just past midstretch to be along for second. UNCLE LASSE went down the road under pressure, laboring a little bit in the last 1/16. WICKER HANOVER sat in, gained but was shut off. FRENCH LAUNDRY was wide off cover and got the last check. CANEPA HANOVER never went inside, went a 56.1 middle half raw to press the leader, held well. SUIT AND TIE was second-over, wide but couldn’t gain enough. JACKSON’S MINION made a forward bid, found no hole and broke while outside past the ¼. PINKMAN was not on the gate and then made a break some 50 feet before the start. TWELFTH RACE – WIGGLE IT JIGGLEIT was unhurried early, uncovered 3/8, rode outside the third quarter then was tapped going to the 11/16 and soon gave a burst that carried him right to the lead (oh, they were going 26.2), was under a hold late but equaled the 3PG world record of 1:48. WAKIZASHI HANOVER left very hard between horses and took the pocket behind ARTSPEAK in the 25.4 opener, shuffled a little as the winner got away, had a good Pocono Pike response for second but wasn’t threatening the dominating horse. DUDE’S THE MAN had a second-over trip, couldn’t keep up at the ¾ but held gamely for third. ARTSPEAK was wide into the first turn, paid a 25.4 price for command, rated the half, then increased the speed down the back but still was left behind past the ¾, good. THE OTHERS never really entered serious contention here – though the entire field broke 1:50. THIRTEENTH RACE – LYONS AGAIN went down the road, left these behind (save ELWELL) in a 26.2 third quarter, then handled that one’s late gain for Burke’s fourth (Gingras his only “repeater”). ELWELL was uncovered from the 3/8, tucked in the pocket ¾, out again in the lane but had to settle for second. HALL OF TERROR and MODERN YANKEE kept to the inside and were next in line (a lot of minor checks have been won by horses who were less than two-wide most their last halves). REGGIANO gapped cover. AMORA BEACH had the pocket leaving, tired from chasing the 26.2 third quarter, gave the pocket and faded. DREAMS BEACH BOY never factored from third-over. THE OTHER PAIR were never close. FOURTEENTH RACE – BODACIOUS made the top past the 1/8, had pressure from the 5/8, but saw the $355,000 yearling purchase price kick in and she handled challengers to both sides to win the finale, Tetrick’s fifth (five different trainers). HILLARY’S STYLE joined the fray second-over, wide in the lane and motoring late. SHAKAI HANOVER went first-up into turn two and scooted in 26.4 to be nose-to-nose with the winner most of the rest of the way, stayed in the thick of it. ALEXA SAID yielded for the pocket, Pocono Pike, a step shy. KAY’S DRAGON LADY angled wide but couldn’t gain. DELI BEACH didn’t seem to be going forward, then checked when SHOWTIME TERROR broke in front of her past the 5/8. Jerry Connors    

August 25, 2015 - At Jagersro SWE this evening was held Krafft Derby tests for females and males, four year-olds. Five mares divisions were contested over 2140 meters autostart each for 100,000SEK first money. The winners of the mares events were: Evelina Palema (4f Symphonic Hanover-Harmony Heart-Mack Lobell), 1.13kr, Erik Adielsson up Evin Boko (4f Viking Kronos-Welat Boko-Garland Lobell), 1.13.4kr, Jorma Kontio driving Empress Brodda (4f Viking Kronos-Elma Gold-Good As Gold), 1.13.8kr, Christoffer Eriicksson Olympia Gold (4f Olimede-Shella Gold-Good As Gold), 1.12.9kr, Per Linderoth driving Diamond River (4f Ready Cash-First Out-Lemon Dra), 1.13.6kr, Stefan Soderkvist There were six divisions for the males, each going for 200,000SEK first money over the 2640 meters autostart course. The winners were as follows, four being largely US pedigrees: From Dust To Dawn (4m From Above-Emotional Dust-Banker Hall), 1.14.1kr, driver Johnny Takter Serious Try (4g Crazed-Miss Volo-Yankee Glide), 1.13.6kr, Henrik Svensson up Vasterbo Éclair (4m Echo-Vasterbo Flash-Spotlite Lobell), 1.13.9kr, Joakim Lovgren Flex Lane (4m Federal Flex-Margo Hall-Like A Prayer), 1.14.1kr, Johnny Takter aboard Carabinieri (4m Wellino Boko-Dew Princess-JR Broline), 1.13.3kr, Peter Untersteiner Conlight As (4m Conway Hall-Delight As-Striking Sahbra), 1.13.2kr, Erik Adielsson On August 25 at Cabourg the Prix des Nerines (purse €13,000, 2050 meters autostart, 11 starters) went to the 1.17.3kr winner Daddy Wood (2m Ready Cash-Ushuaia Wood) for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire and reinsman Gabriel Gelormini. The winner was the 3/5 favorite. 9.3/1 Digne Et Droit (2m The Best Badrik-Plenty Pocket) for owner/trainer/driver  Joel Van Eeckhaute was second ahead of 33/1 Dragon Darche (2mRomero du Houlme-Topazedarche) for Sebastien Hardy and trainer A-P Schmitt. Thomas H. Hicks

MEADVILLE PA - The Pennsylvania Fair Circuit set up shop for a four-day stay at the Crawford County Fairgrounds in this northwest Pennsylvania city, with the first two days of harness racing action devoted to two-year-olds. Here are some of the highlights from that action:   --The Great George Two-Annabelle Lane trotting filly A Little Laid Back, possibly named for owner/trainer/driver Roger Hammer, sped around the fairgrounds oval Monday in 2:04.1 for a new divisional track mark, her second of the summer following a 2:03.4 at Hughesville. To put the clocking it perspective: it lowered the old mark of Glide By Shooting by 1 2/5 seconds; it is more than two seconds faster than any colt counterpart has won a race in here; it was 3 1/5 seconds faster than the faster colt division Monday; and it went 3/5 faster than the quickest pacing filly section went the next day. A Little Laid Back is tied for second among North American 2TF with eight wins (believe it or not, there is an Illinois/Iowa filly named Surviver Di with 16 wins already, in just 84 days of racing!). Hammer had four wins on Monday and added another Tuesday.   --Continuing a fine tradition on to its fourth generation, 20YO horseman Nicholas Cook visited Victory Lane for the first time Tuesday, guiding the Well Said-Dragon So pacing colt Ginger Tree Currie to a 2:04.3 over Mclassic - the colt and his driver "breaking their maidens" at the same time. Nicholas's father is horseman Steve Cook, the main trainer for the stable of his grandfather Sam Beegle (like Beegle, Nick was an excellent high school wrestler), and his grand-grandfather was George Heit Jr., a noted southwest Pennsylvania horseman.   In the other two 2PC colts, the Western Terror-Free At Last colt Wagon Master made it three for three in his fair career, downing Hammer's highly-regarded Billy's Falcon, the only 2:00 freshman on the circuit to date, in 2:02.4, and Well Lets See joined Billy's Falcon at 7 for 9 at the fairs with a 2:04.3 triumph. --Possibly no victory was better received than the 2:05.3 victory of Bellagio Bay in the FFA trot Tuesday, as the trainer was none other than hometown hero Boots Dunn.   The racing continues at Meadville continues Wednesday (trotters) and Thursday (pacers) for the three-year-old set.   Publicity Office, PA Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

Hiding pain is one of the top survival skills of the horse. An important part of horse ownership is learning to recognize the signs a horse may be in discomfort rather than dismissing certain subtle cues as just bad behaviour. Dr. Brianne Henderson recently gave a well-received lecture to a room full of horse owners in Hillsburgh, ON. The attendees were interested in ensuring the welfare of their equine companions by honing their skills for detecting pain. There has been increased awareness of pain recognition and management in small animals and this science is also gaining more acknowledgement in the world of horses as well. The Facial Grimaces Score used originally to identify pain in rodents and rabbits has been incorporated into a “grimace scale” for equines as well. It uses ear position and tightening of the muscles around the eyes and mouth to come up with a score (0 – no pain, 1 – moderate, 2 – obvious). Everyone wants to be greeted by a bright-eyed, soft and relaxed face. The horse is telling you something hurts when they avoid looking at you, appear despondent, clench their jaw, flatten ears back and/or squint their eyes. Dr. Henderson went on to briefly explain pain scales used by veterinarians that focus on physiological parameters and behavior patterns. One included the Composite Pain Scale (CPS) which looks at the change in frequency of normal behavior patterns such as eating, the presence of pain-related behaviours such as kicking at the abdomen and physiological parameters such as elevated vitals. There is a long list of signs that are scored from 0 – 3. Some of these indicators, including vitals, can also be assessed using a quick 16-point health check poster developed by Equine Guelph. The poster or handy new Horse Health Tracker app are invaluable tools for horse owners to provide important health data to their veterinarian. The choir was obviously present and little preaching was required as Henderson rolled through a barrage of images asking the audience to denote which ones depicted animals in pain. By stance, facial cues and action the savvy auditors were hitting the mark and also picked up on the fact that circumstance plays a role. How many people have had the phone call of alarm when a passerby sees a horse flat out in the field when it was actually just napping in the sun? Flehmen is another response that can be circumstantial. It can occur due to an interesting smell or taste sensation but it can also be a moderate pain response displaying nostril and mouth tension. The stallion curling his upper lip testing for pheromones when a mare passes by is a different context than the horse who didn’t finish his feed, is stretched out with his poll low and is showing the flehmen response. Subtle changes require your attention such as a horse at the back of its stall with a half-eaten breakfast when it is normally standing at the door waiting to go out after licking the feed tub clean. Catching a potential colic at this early stage could result in a huge cost savings as well as avoid what could turn into a very painful experience for the horse. The performance horse who suddenly starts refusing to accomplish tasks that it used to find easy requires a careful evaluation as early signs of lameness rather than misbehaving could be the culprit. As the owner of a stoic animal, accustomed to hiding pain, horse people need to be on the lookout for atypical behavior such as a horse who begins to segregate itself from the herd or suddenly displays a less tolerant behavior with its paddock mates. When variations in behavior occur, a step back may be required to figure out if it is you or the horse that has changed. “If I have had a bad day at the office and not taken the time to decompress – my horse will not come to the gate for me,” Henderson explains. “Similarly, I know if he doesn’t come to the gate under normal circumstances, there is something wrong because he typically loves his job.” Grooming is the next interaction where paying close attention will tell you much about your horse’s health. Rather than quickly dusting off the saddle area and jumping on to ride, take the time to run your hands over their whole body, especially the back and legs, before and after work, checking for any heat, swelling or reactions that can be early indicators something is not quite right. Obvious pain requires a veterinary examination. When a horse comes in from the paddock hopping lame, it can often be hard to tell if it is an abscess requiring a simple poultice or a fracture requiring much more intensive treatment and stabilization. When acute pain is obvious; don’t guess or delay – call the veterinarian. For less obvious lameness, your veterinarian has been trained to assess the severity on a scale from one to five. Early intervention increases the chances of a good outcome and can prevent matters from escalating into a much worse injury. The veterinarian will check the horse in both walk and trot, on straight lines and turns.“A lameness that is visible at the walk is automatically going to be at least a three if not higher,” comments Henderson. After a thorough exam, a rehabilitation plan can be made. Chronic pain will impact the horse’s ability to heal and their quality of life. “It is an old way of thinking to want a horse to be a bit sore in the healing process to prevent it from box-walking,” explains Henderson. “Our ability to control pain both every day and certainly in the medical environment is becoming more and more recognized as mandatory.” Once the horse is controlled in its pain, they can move better and heal faster and therefore do not lose as much muscle quality during the healing period. Modern treatment methods can also help avoid the knock on effects of stomach ulcers and sourness that often accompany chronic pain. Choosing the right pain control method or treatment is another conversation to have with your veterinarian as there are many option available and extended use of Phenylbutazone can have negative effects on a horse’s stomach. In addition to being on the look-out for signs of pain, a dutiful horse owner is always employing prevention practices. They apply poultice and wrap horse’s legs to stem swelling after a hard work out and give them time to recover. Similarly, we take care of ourselves with rest after a work-out, a hearty meal to replace nutrients and perhaps a hot bath. Our horses count on us, their primary care-takers to be diligent and attentive in both prevention and early detection of pain. Equine Guelph is the horse owners’ and care givers’ Centre at the University of Guelph. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government – for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information visit: EquineGuelph.ca.   Jackie Bellamy-Zions Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada

Harness Racing This Week: Yonkers Trot eliminations and Hudson Filly Trot and Lady Maud, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro and She's A Great Lady eliminations and Casual Breeze, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; and Kindergarten Series, Tioga Downs, Nichols, N.Y. Schedule of events: This Saturday (Aug. 29), Yonkers Raceway will host a pair of $40,000 eliminations in the Yonkers Trot for sophomore trotters, the second leg of the sport's trotting Triple Crown. Only eight horses entered the Messenger Stakes for sophomore pacers, the second leg of pacing's Triple Crown, so all eight will advance to next week's final. Additionally, Yonkers will host the $149,240 Hudson Filly Trot for 3-year-old filly trotters and the $116,430 Lady Maud for 3-year-old filly pacers. Grand Circuit action at Mohawk Racetrack kicks off on Friday (Aug. 28) with two divisions in the C$183,950 Casual Breeze for 3-year-old trotting fillies. On Saturday, Mohawk will host a trio of stakes eliminations. There will be a pair of C$40,000 eliminations in the Canadian Pacing Derby for open pacers, a trio of C$40,000 eliminations in the Metro for 2-year-old colt pacers and two C$35,000 eliminations in the She's A Great Lady for 2-year-old filly pacers. On Sunday (Aug. 30), Tioga Downs will host the second leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. Each of the divisions will race for purses of $10,000. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Mohawk races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono this past Saturday night as the track hosted a busy card of 3-year-old stakes, while celebrating its 50th anniversary. Wiggle It Jiggleit won the Battle of the Brandywine in 1:48 for driver Montrell Teague. Wiggle It Jiggleit made it look easy, capturing Saturday's $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine for 3-year-old male pacers by three lengths over Wakizashi Hanover in 1:48. Dude's The Man finished third and Artspeak was fourth. The winning time equaled Lucan Hanover's world record for a 3-year-old gelding pacer on a five-eighths-mile track. Wiggle It Jiggleit has won 16 of 18 races this year and pushed his seasonal earnings to $1.43 million. His previous stakes victories this season included the Hempt Memorial, also at Pocono, Meadowlands Pace and Milstein Memorial. For his career, the son of Mr Wiggles-Mozzi Hanover has won 17 of 19 starts. Hambletonian champion Pinkman went off stride at the start, opening the door for his eight rivals in Saturday's $500,000 Colonial for 3-year-old male trotters, and Crazy Wow was the one to take advantage. Crazy Wow, who was not eligible to the Hambletonian, won the Colonial by 1-1/4 lengths over The Bank in 1:52.3. Uncle Lasse finished third and Wicker Hanover was fourth. Crazy Wow, sent off at odds of 9-1, was the third choice in the betting behind 1-5 favorite Pinkman and Uncle Lasse. Crazy Wow has won five of nine races this year and earned $542,537. For his career, the son of Crazed-No Pan No Gain has won 10 of 20 starts and banked $775,465. He is owned by Our Horse Cents Stables, JT45, J&T Silva Stables, and Deo Volente Farms. Bettor Be Steppin earned her second stakes win of the season at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, capturing Saturday's $350,000 Valley Forge for 3-year-old female pacers in a lifetime-best 1:50. Momas Got A Gun was second, beaten by three-quarters of a length, while Sassa Hanover finished third and Totally Rusty was fourth. Bettor Be Steppin, trained by Joe Holloway, has won five of 11 races this year and earned $419,150. She has won nine of 23 races lifetime for owners Val D'Or Farms, Rojan Stables, and Ted Gewertz. She pushed her career earnings to $717,793. Fresh off his 1:47 win in the U.S. Pacing Championship, State Treasurer maintained his superiority in the older pacing ranks with a 1:47.2 track record triumph in the $150,000 Roll With Joe, held Sunday (Aug. 23) at Tioga Downs. State Treasurer prevailed by 3-3/4 lengths in the end, well in hand at the winning post with plenty in reserve. Clear Vision held second, while Foiled Again stayed on for third off a second-over trip. Dr. Ian Moore trains State Treasurer for owners Sally and Paul MacDonald. He has won six of his 12 season's starts, with earnings of $489,482. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2015, 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 2015 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past week's action: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 669; 2. Tim Tetrick - 485; 3. David Miller - 431.5; 4. Brian Sears - 387; 5. Corey Callahan - 327.5. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 857; 2. Jimmy Takter - 542; 3. Jeff Bamond Jr. - 298; 4. Erv Miller - 212; 5. Tony Alagna - 191. Owners: 1. Bamond Racing - 233; 2. Burke Racing - 198.4; 3. Weaver Bruscemi - 172.70; 4. George Teague Jr. Inc. - 140; 5. Jeff Snyder - 101.2. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Yonkers Raceway, Mohawk Racetrack and Balmoral Park. Yonkers will feature the finals of the Yonkers Trot and Messenger Stakes; Mohawk will offer the finals of the Canadian Pacing Derby, Metro Pace and She's A Great Lady, as well as Simcoe Stakes for 3-year-old colt and filly trotters and 3-year-old filly pacers and Champlain Stakes for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters; and Balmoral has American-National races for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. Paul Ramlow Grand Circuit Publicity Director

AUGUST 25, 2015 - After coming close in each of his previous Gold Series starts, three-year-old pacing gelding Mr Carrotts scored a narrow victory in front of a hometown crowd at Georgian Downs on Tuesday evening. Owned and bred by Melvyn Varcoe of Thornton, Mr Carrotts trailed fan favourite Go Daddy Go in the outer lane for much of the mile and then sprinted down the stretch to get a whisker in front of Sportsmanship for his first Gold Series win. It was also a close contest for third, with pacesetter Star Cover holding off Robert Hill. Mr Carrotts and driver Paul MacKenzie of Puslinch, ON stopped the Georgian Downs teletimer at 1:53.2 over a "Good" track rated one second slower than normal. "He always showed talent, but he's lazy," said Murray Brethour, who conditions the Mach Three gelding for Thornton resident Melvyn Varcoe and actually sold the horse's dam, Cueless, to Varcoe's father Clarence in 2001. "I bought the mother as a yearling and then I got out of racing and I sold her," explained the Sunderland resident. "She was a good mare." Cueless earned $466,638 in her racing career and produced $240,028 winner Card Hustler in her first mating. Mr Carrotts is her fourth foal and to date he has banked $116,318, with all but $10,000 coming this season. Through 13 sophomore starts the gelding has tallied two wins, three seconds, five thirds and three fifths. With a five and one-half week break before the fifth and final Gold Leg, Brethour says Mr Carrotts will likely enjoy a mini-vacation before beginning preparations for the regular season finale and, hopefully, the Super Final. The top 10 point earners from the regular season advance to the Super Final and Tuesday's victory boosted the gelding up the point standings from thirteenth to fifth. "We'll give him a couple of weeks off, freshen him up," said Brethour. "He's very laid back. It takes a little while to jog him, he don't get too excited, you're out there for half an hour. "Only bad thing about him - I don't own him," concluded Brethour, with a chuckle. In addition to Mr Carrotts' hometown win, Tuesday's Gold Series contest also featured the return of 2014 freshman pacing colt champion Reverend Hanover. Sidelined by an injury in May, the son of Sportswriter missed the first three Gold Legs and was looking to make up for lost time from Post 2 in the second $105,000 division. With Hall of Famer Steve Condren in the race bike, Reverend Hanover controlled the race from start to finish, sailing home two and three-quarter lengths the best in 1:51.4. Pocket-sitter Drachan Hanover earned the second-place share and early challenger J Js Delivery was third. Milton, ON resident Condren crafted the win for trainer Casie Coleman of Cambridge, ON and owners West Wins Stable of Cambridge, Steve Calhoun of Chatham, ON and Anthony Beaton of Waterdown, ON. With Tuesday's victory under his belt, Coleman said the winner of $224,500 has a number of open stakes engagements on his calendar before the next Gold Leg. "He is fully staked up, and there are still enough dances on his plate to rack up some money," said the trainer. "The next big one would be Sept. 12 at Mohawk, the Simcoe, and I wouldn't mind a three-year-old open next Saturday (at Mohawk) if they can fill one." Through three starts in his two-year-old campaign and Tuesday's triumph, Reverend Hanover remains undefeated in Gold Series action. The three-year-old pacing colts and geldings make their final regular season Gold Series start at Woodbine Racetrack on Oct. 2 and the $250,000 Super Final will also be contested at Woodbine on Oct. 10. Georgian Downs wraps up its 2015 Ontario Sires Stakes schedule on Saturday, Aug. 29 with the fifth Grassroots event for the three-year-old pacing fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

Champion harness racing driver Pete McMullen scored a treble of wins at Albion Park yesterday but his performance was overshadowed by his younger sister Narissa McMullen reaching the 100 win milestone for a second consecutive season. Pete steered a race to race trotting double on Thumbs Up Jerry and Ode to Success then won the Rising Stars Championship Heat on Floyd Mayweather while Narissa saved the best for last and took family bragging rights, taking out the meeting closer on her father John’s horse Blessed Is The Boy. Making a one act affair of the Virginia Pace Mile (1660m), Blissful Hall five-year-old gelding Blessed Is The Boy scored by 7.4 metres from Chevals Diamond and Smiling High. It was the 10th career win for Blessed Is The Boy and career best mile in 1.58.4. Narissa was at her brilliant best and displayed the top form that she has shown also season with a tremendous strike rate over the last 12 months. Her strike is particularly impressive when the win and place form are considered together. Narissa has had 867 drives winning 100 races, placing 209 times and finishing fourth 96 times which means that she was a top four finisher 47% of the time and has a UDRS of 0.2231, her best in five seasons of race driving. 20-year-old Narissa's total stakes winnings so far for 2014/15 are $650,562. Last season Narissa drove 139 winners from 1064 drives and failed by just four wins to reach the ton in 2012/13. Narissa joins Shane Graham (249 wins), Grant Dixon (213 wins), Pete McMullen (170 wins) and Gary Whittaker (106 wins) as the only Queenslanders to reach the century of driving victories this season. She is also the State’s number one female driver, ranks fifth on the overall state premiership, fourth on the state’s metropolitan premiership and first on the state concession driver’s premiership. In another high point for the year, Narissa also won a half share in the Leigh Plunkett Foundation Scholarship. She dead-heated for the award with NSW’s Robbie Morris. For her share of the prize Narissa received a $10,000 travel study voucher. Narissa is also a contender for Queensland’s 2015 Centenary Classic Mercedes Benz Young Achiever Award winning a monthly nomination in October last year. David Aldred

Queensland harness racing trainer Ian Gurney has had a change of heart and will now target the $1.8 Million TABtouch Perth Inter Dominion later this year with his star pacer Avonnova. Avonnova has been one of the true fairytale stories in the sport since Gurney claimed the gelding for just $20,000 in 2013. During the recent Queensland Winter Carnival the pacer that wears no hobbles, finally broke through for his maiden Group 1 success in the Sunshine Sprint, which took his earnings since joining the Gurney stable to nearly half a million dollars. “He’s just been a wonderful horse to me. I just love him and he had been so close in a few Group 1’s behind champions such as Im Themightyquinn and Beautide, so it was great to see him win the Sunshine Sprint,” Gurney said. Gurney initially was concerned Avonnova would struggle with the Inter Dominion format of three runs in a week, but after working the son of Art Major on Wednesday he quickly changed his mind. “I couldn’t believe the way he worked and then I had a look at the calendar and there was nothing for him here, so I got onto the phone to Mick Radley (Chief Executive of Gloucester Park) and organised travel arrangements. “Gloucester Park should suit him and if he draws to lead in his heats he will be more than competitive and you can’t bypass a series worth $1.3 million dollars when you have a horse like Avonnova in your backyard,” Gurney said. Gurney will now prepare his star for the Queensland Spring Carnival in October before flying to Perth a couple of weeks before the series starts. “I’m also going to take Mach Alert across to Perth, and I think he will also be really competitive. He’s starting to find his best form and is another with a gate speed that should be suited to WA racing.” “I went to Perth a few weeks ago and loved it, so I can’t wait to get over there,” Gurney said. Regular driver, and Queensland’s best, Shane Graham, will drive Avonnova in the Inter Dominion. by Gareth Hall

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