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Webis Holdings said their subsidiary, WatchandWager.com, has signed a further two-year agreement with the HKJC Horse Race Betting Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Hong Kong Jockey Club to provide access to the HKJC pari-mutuel pools.  Headquartered in San Francisco, California, WatchandWager conducts US licensed advanced deposit pool wagering and racetrack operations.  WatchandWager was the first US based wagering operator to link directly into the HKJC pools during the 2013/14 racing season. The operation proved to be a success both technically and commercially for both parties and this new two year contract for HKJC racing seasons 2014/15 and 2015/16 is testament to that.  The 2014/15 HKJC racing season commenced on Sunday 14th September at Sha Tin racecourse, and will run through to July 12th 2015. WatchandWager will access the HKJC betting pools via its Tote provider, AmTote International, based in Maryland, US.  Access initially will be to selected account holders and shortly thereafter to be opened up to all USA clients via its website watchandwager.com and mobile product.  This two year contract provides for the ability to actively promote the HKJC product over the longer term and consequently the financial impact to WatchandWager operations from this deal is expected to be significant. Ed Comins, President of WatchandWager.com LLC, said:  "We are proud for the HKJC to award WatchandWager a contract for the next two racing seasons. Racing in Hong Kong offers integrity, consistent field sizes and the huge pool liquidity that many of our customers are seeking. We expect a great season of racing at Sha Tin and Happy Valley for our players." Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

Sunbury, OH --- The 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale was held on Monday (Sept. 15) at the Eden Park Equestrian Complex in Sunbury, Ohio. The sales topper was hip number 100, One Fine John, a black pacing colt by Little Brown Jug winner Big Bad John-One Fine Cam. Ron Potter, acting as agent, purchased the yearling that was consigned by Spring Haven Farm, acting as agent for Gregory Triplet, for a price of $150,000. Another colt by Big Bad John also topped the $100,000 mark as Shell I Be Bad, was sold to Carl Atley of Xenia, Ohio, for $115,000. The colt is out of Shell I Shoot, the dam of the top pacing mare Shelliscape and Ohio star Shell I Attack and was consigned by Midland Acres. Complete results of the sale can be found at this link. From the Ohio Selected Jug Sale

It's happened several times recently. Casie Coleman leaves for the Delaware County Fair in central Ohio and ends up elsewhere. She doesn't mind, though. In fact, she hopes it happens again. After all, there's nothing like ending up on Cloud Nine. Coleman has won the last two editions of the Little Brown Jug, the second jewel in harness racing's Pacing Triple Crown, and on Thursday will try to become the first trainer in history to win three in a row when she sends McWicked into the $647,500 Little Brown Jug presented by Fazoli's at the Delaware County Fair. The race, offering the richest purse in its 69-year history, attracted 16 3-year-old male pacers, a number reduced to 15 earlier today when Cammikey was scratched due to illness. The field was divided into two first-heat elimination divisions and the top four finishers from each group will advance to the second round. If a first-heat winner also is victorious in the second heat, he is declared the Little Brown Jug champion. If not, there will be a race off between the three winners of the heats. McWicked will start from post No. 1 in the second opening-round division with regular driver David Miller and is the 7-5 morning line favorite to win his heat. "No one has won three in a row before and we're going to give it our best shot and see what happens," said Coleman, who trains McWicked for owner Ed James' S S G Stables. "It's a thrill for me just to be in it each year, let alone have a shot to win it. If we actually won it again, that would be pretty awesome. It would be surreal." Coleman, a 34-year-old from Canada, won the Little Brown Jug with Michael's Power in 2012 and Vegas Vacation in 2013. "It's hard to say what you're feeling at the time," Coleman said. "It's just you're on Cloud Nine for quite a long time." McWicked has won nine of 13 races, finished second on three occasions, and earned $908,266 this year. He has won seven of his last eight starts, including the Max C. Hempt Memorial and Delvin Miller Adios. He enters the Jug off a win in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship on Sept. 7 at Harrah's Philadelphia. "He's been real good," Coleman said. "I trained him myself a couple trips over the weekend and he was very good, I was extremely happy. His blood is clean, he seems healthy and sound. "He went a trip (at Delaware on Monday morning) and he got over the track great. He seems to have settled into the Jug Barn without any problems. He seems happy. He's pretty easy on himself. He doesn't stress me out too much because he's a pretty easy horse to take care of." While Coleman is looking to make history with McWicked, Miller is hoping to add to his total of Jug victories as well. Miller has won the Jug three times and could tie Stanley Dancer and Ron Pierce for second place on the career wins list. Billy Haughton and Mike Lachance share the top spot with five victories. McWicked's first-heat division also includes Meadowlands Pace winner He's Watching and the second- through fourth-place finishers from the PaSS championship, Limelight Beach, Somewhere In L A, and Sometimes Said. "We hit the toughest division by far, but we got the rail so we can't really complain," Coleman said. "We've got David Miller, who knows Delaware better than anybody, I think, in the bike. I think things are looking good. We've had pretty good luck." Coleman's success at Delaware hasn't been limited to the Little Brown Jug. She won the filly companion race, the Jugette, in 2010 with Western Silk and in 2011 with Idyllic. This year, she sends Also Encouraging and Someislandsomwhere into Wednesday's $298,100 Jugette. Also Encouraging drew post seven in the first of three eliminations while Someislandsomwhere got post four in the third division. The top three from each group advances to the same-day final. "Also Encouraging doesn't have a whole lot of gate speed, which isn't a good thing for the Jugette," Coleman said. "But she's been racing phenomenal all season. She's been pretty much top three every time she goes behind the gate. She gives it everything she's got every time she goes out there. "Someislandsomwhere hit kind of a tough division. If anyone watches her races, it's unbelievable how bad her luck has been. She's due to get some good luck here. She's been racing great, it's just one thing after another with her and bad luck. I'm hoping she can come around. "I realize we're kind of longshots coming in, but we're going to give it a whirl." Following are the first-round elimination heats for the Little Brown Jug in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds. Elim One: 1. Let's Drink On It, Tyler Smith, Joe Seekman, 5-1; 2. Winds Of Change, Brett Miller, Linda Toscano, 8-1; 3. Three Of Clubs, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair, 10-1; 4. On Golden Ponder, John Campbell, Bob McIntosh, 7-2; 5. At Press Time, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 8-1; 6. Beat The Drum, Ron Pierce, Staffan Lind, 15-1; 7. Lyonssomewhere, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 8. Rediscovery, Chris Page, Ben Davis, 20-1. Elim Two: 1. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 7-5; 2. Limelight Beach, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 3. Avalanche Hanover, Aaron Merriman, Ron Potter, 12-1; 4. Capital Account, Ron Pierce, Jimmy Takter, 10-1; 5. Somewhere In L A, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 7-2; 6. He's Watching, Tim Tetrick, Dave Menary, 5-2; 7. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 10-1; 8. Cammikey, scratched. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Freehold, NJ --- Father Patrick won the Canadian Trotting Classic last weekend and became the first harness racing horse this season to surpass $1 million. The 3-year-old male trotter also moved up one spot in this week’s Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, from fourth to third. Older male trotter Sebastian K remained the unanimous choice at No. 1, followed by older male pacer Sweet Lou. Four of the horses in the Top 10 race at the Delaware County Fair this week. Lifetime Pursuit, who is No. 9, is in Wednesday’s Buckette for 3-year-olde female trotters and No. 10 Sandbetweenurtoes is in Wednesday’s Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers. On Thursday, No. 5 He’s Watching and No. 6 McWicked are in the Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old male pacers. Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 18 – 9/16/2014 Rank Name (First Place Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 Sebastian K (35) 8th 9-8-1-0 $620,603 350 1 2 Sweet Lou 5ph 14-10-1-1 $940,533 298 2 3 Father Patrick 3tc 11-9-1-0 $1,136,901 257 4 4 Trixton 3tc 11-8-1-1 $893,370 217 3 5 He’s Watching 3pc 9-5-2-1 $801,578 205 5 6 McWicked 3pc 13-9-3-0 $908,266 162 6 7 Artspeak 2pc 6-6-0-0 $437,825 109 7 8 JK She’salady 2pf 6-6-0-0 $302,600 70 8 9 Lifetime Pursuit 3tf 12-7-1-2 $611,791 51 10 10 Sandbetweenurtoes 3pf 9-8-0-0 $248,598 44 9 Also: Shake It Cerry (39), Mission Brief (29), Nuncio (16), JK Endofanera (15), Yankee Bounty (12), Dancin Yankee (11), Lyonssomewhere (8), Classic Martine, Foiled Again (7), Market Share (6), Modern Family (5), Somewhere In LA (2), All Bets Off, Billy Flynn, Clear Vision, Habitat, I Like My Boss (1). by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Western Australia is set to hold the world’s richest harness racing event in 2015. Thanks to a sensational deal with TABtouch, Racing and Wagering WA has not only returned the Inter Dominion to its ‘spiritual home’, but has ensured the time-honoured Championship will once again be the pinnacle point of the industry. Although a three-heat tournament named the Inter Colonial Free-For-All was conducted at Moonee Valley on March 4, 1896, the Inter Dominion’s beginning is recognised as the 1936 Perth series won by Logan Derby. For the records, the Moonee Valley edition was captured by Fritz, which made a clean sweep of the event. As for next season’s Inter Dominion, RWWA’s arrangement will see the Final staged for a mouth watering $1.3million, with the overall series worth a whopping $1.8million. The Inter Dominion’s first million-dollar Final was at Moonee Valley in 2000 thanks to the vision and hard work of the Ian McEwen-led Harness Racing Victoria board. It also marked the first time a million-dollar harness racing feature was run in the Southern Hemisphere. As a result of their Betfair deal, Tasracing’s 2006 Inter Dominion – won by Blacks A Fake – boasted a massive $1.5million Final, the richest harness race in Australasian history. Along with the 2015 Championship, RWWA will retain the Inter Dominion until 2017 as a result the three-year TABtouch sponsorship. RWWA has also moved the Inter Dominion to an earlier timeslot, with the first heat to be run on Friday, November 27 heading into the decider on December 11. Purists will also be pleased to note the traditional three heats and a Final in a fortnight will return. Gloucester Park will host two heats and the Final, with Pinjarra set to conduct a qualifying round. With the $250,000 Fremantle and $400,000 WA Cups scheduled to be run a month later, Western Australia is destined to become the ‘Mecca’ for every top pacer in the Southern Hemisphere….perhaps the world! RWWA chief executive Richard Burt is confident the record prizemoney on offer will ensure global interest. “The prize money will showcase the best of harness racing, not only here in Australia, but throughout the world,” Burt declared. “To attract the best horses, drivers and trainers to WA is a major boost for our industry and a golden opportunity to highlight our sport to a wider audience. “Perth has a proud heritage with the Inter Dominion and we look forward to promoting our broader racing industry on this international stage.” Gloucester Park President, John Burt, echoed Burt’s sentiments stating the announcement marks a positive move forward for the local industry, which is bound to boost investor confidence leading to an increase of ownership and sponsorship. Gloucester Park last hosted the Inter Dominion in 2012 when hometown hero Im Themightyquinn made a clean sweep of the three heats and Final. Tabcorp Park Menangle, which held the 2013 and ‘14 Inter Dominions, will stage this season’s Final on March 1, 2015. As a result of WA’s date adjustment, it will be the first time the Inter Dominion has been run twice in a calendar year. “This is exciting news for all racing fans” Burt said. “The Inter Dominion was created in Western Australia and for the series to return home at such a level will honour the legacy of James Brennan and JP Stratton, who created the Inter Dominion in 1936. “Moving the Championship to before Christmas will allow Gloucester Park to capitalise on our already well-established races, with Grand Final night to feature the Group One Golden Nugget and Mares’ Classic. “The TABtouch Inter Dominion is not about Gloucester Park hosting a big event, but rather a three-year series that will give the industry confidence to invest and I’m sure we will see positive effects throughout the broader WA harness racing industry.” EXCLUSIVE by PAUL COURTS

September 16, 2014 - While most contest handicappers found this a weekend to forget, Rusty Nash will remember this week as he leapfrogged from 11th to 5th place in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs thanks to his hit in the Canadian Trotting Classic which netted him $2,912 for the night. At the end of the weekend's action, which included the Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway, Nash netted a profit of $2,816 for the week and took weekly honors. The only other handicapper who showed a positive result for the weekend was Mark McKelvie who netted $237.50 for the period. Despite having a poor showing for the weekend, Bob Zanakis maintains a comfortable overall lead in the contest with al net profit of $3,738.85, $1,163.85 ahead of second place handicapper Brandon Valvo. Close behind Valvo with a difference of less than $200 is Mark McKelvie. The big hit of the weekend was the aforementioned hit by Nash where a $40 trifecta partial wheel (out of a total of $230 wagered on the trifecta) paid $3,162. The only other significant hit of the weekend belonged to McKelvie whose $50 win ticket on the Peaceful Way paid $487.50. The current standings after the completion of the weekend's activity are: As of September 15, 2014 - Leg 30 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis ($452.60) $3,738.85   2nd Brandon Valvo ($250.00) $2,575.00 $1,163.85 3rd Mark McKelvie $237.50 $2,372.00 $1,366.85 4th Josi Verlingieri ($349.00) $1,139.05 $2,599.80 5th Rusty Nash $2,816.00 $197.24 $3,541.61 6th Earl Paulson ($364.00) ($95.50) $3,834.35 7th Brian McEvoy ($19.00) ($221.50) $3,960.35 8th Gordon Waterstone ($382.00) ($339.30) $4,078.15 9th Derick Giwner ($340.00) ($1,349.23) $5,088.08 10th Garnet Barnsdale ($250.00) ($1,394.70) $5,133.55 11th Ray Garnett ($488.00) ($1,627.10) $5,365.95 12th Ann Stepien ($248.40) ($2,132.71) $5,871.56 13th Sally Hinckley ($198.00) ($2,241.90) $5,980.75 14th Dennis O'Hara ($210.00) ($3,039.70) $6,778.55 15th Ray Cotolo ($500.00) ($6,198.40) $9,937.25                                                                                   This week, the action comes fast and furious with the American-Nationals for 2yo trotters at Balmoral Park and at Delaware, the Buckette, Old Oaken Bucket, and the eliminations of the Jugette and Little Brown Jug on Wednesday and Thursday.  The week’s action concludes with a quartet of stakes at Hoosier Park plus the Milton at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday evening.  As always, the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.     by Alan Schott, for HANA

Joe Thomson, owner of Maryland-based Standardbred breeding operation Winbak Farm, has been elected to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame, the U.S. Harness Writers Association (USHWA) announced Tuesday. Thomson and his wife JoAnn started Winbak Farm in 1991. The operation has ranked No. 2 among all breeders in purses earned each of the last 12 years, totaling more than $205 million since the start of 2002, and produced three Horse of the Year Award winners. In addition, Bob Marks, the longtime marketing guru of Perretti Farms and a noted writer and handicapper, and Kathy Parker, the editor and general manager of the Horseman and Fair World publishing company, were elected to the Communicators Hall of Fame. The three honorees will be inducted during ceremonies at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y., on July 5. Winbak Farm - which stands stallions in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario - bred consecutive Horse of the Year Award winners in pacing colt No Pan Intended, in 2003, and pacing filly Rainbow Blue, in 2004, and later saw trotting colt Muscle Hill claim the honor in 2009. No Pan Intended is the last pacer to win the Triple Crown. Rainbow Blue is one of only three filly pacers to be named Horse of the Year. Muscle Hill is one of two Hambletonian winning trotters bred by Winbak, joining 2005 winner Vivid Photo. Thomson, who lives in Phoenixville, Pa., is the president of the Pennsylvania Harness Breeders Association. He also is co-owner of The Red Mile, the historic harness racing track in Lexington, Ky., and serves as a director of the Hambletonian Society. In 2013, Thomson received the Stanley F. Bergstein-Proximity Achievement Award from USHWA, an honor bestowed by the organization that is second only to election to the Hall of Fame. Other honors for Thomson include being named to the Little Brown Jug Wall of Fame in 2009. Marks' work in harness racing spans 50 years, starting as a contributor to Trotter Magazine and later as a writer and editor for Trotter Weekly. He handicapped for Top Trotter's daily letter from 1966 to 1978 and was among the original chart commentators for Sports Eye, starting in 1968. Over the years, Marks was a contributor to Hub Rail, Times Standard, Hoof Beats, and Sports Eye. He also was host of "Accent on Racing," on Meadowlands Cablevision, from 1980 to 1985, and host and analyst for "Racing from Roosevelt" in 1982. In 1988, he began working as pedigree analyst and marketing director at Perretti Farms. He wrote more than 500 "Trotlines" for the farm's website and 1,000 advertisements, in addition to naming more than 2,000 horses. Parker started her employment at Horseman and Fair World, a Lexington, Ky.-based trade magazine, in 1980 while still attending the University of Kentucky, and rose through the ranks until arriving at the top by being named editor and general manager in 1995. During Parker's tenure, Horseman and Fair World has expanded its efforts to provide news and information, starting with the launch of a website in 1998, and then the introduction of an e-newsletter, "Harness Racing Weekend Preview," in 2009. As a writer, Parker has traveled the world to report on the sport's top events, including all major stakes races in North America, plus the Elitlopp in Sweden, Prix d'Amerique in Paris, and Inter-Dominion in Sydney. Among Parker's honors are a Hervey Award for excellence in writing, the Harness Horsemen's International Media Award, and the Kentucky Harness Horsemen's Media Award. In 2010, Parker's Horseman and Fair World received the Proximity Award from USHWA. From the United States Harness Writers Association

This Week: Delaware Grand Circuit, Delaware County Fair, Delaware, Ohio; American-National, Balmoral Park, Crete. Ill; Kindergarten Series, The Red Mile, Lexington, Ky.; Milton Stake final, Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, Ontario; Centaur Trot, Kentuckiana Stallion Management and The Elevation, Hoosier Park, Anderson, Ind.; and Prix D'Ete, Hippodrome 3R, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action kicks off on Wednesday (Sept. 17) at Delaware with the $298,100 Jugette for 3-year-old filly pacers, the $89,475 Buckette for 3-year-old filly trotters and two divisions in the $64,646 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Thursday (Sept. 18) card at Delaware is highlighted by the $647,500 Little Brown Jug, the second leg of Pacing's Triple Crown for 3-year-olds. Also on tap that day are the $121,000 Miss Versatility final for older trotting mares, the $118,300 Old Oaken Bucket for 3-year-old colt trotters, the $59,445 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt trotters, the $58,045 Standardbred for 2-year-old colt pacers and the $51,000 Standardbred for 2-year-old filly pacers. Balmoral Park will host a pair of Grand Circuit events on Wednesday with the $73,000 American-National for 2-year-old colt trotters and the $57,200 American-National for 2-year-old filly trotters. The Thursday card at The Red Mile will feature four $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old filly trotters and three $10,000 divisions in the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt trotters. Grand Circuit action at Mohawk will be held on Saturday (Sept. 20) with the C$286,000 Milton Stake final for older pacing mares. Hoosier Park on Saturday will host the $250,000 (est.) Kentuckiana Stallion Management for 2-year-old filly pacers, the $225,000 (est.) Centaur for Open trotters, the $200,000 (est.) Kentuckiana Stallion Management for 2-year-old filly trotters and the $150,000 (est.) Elevation for 2-year-old colt pacers. Rounding out the busy week of Grand Circuit racing, on Sunday (Sept. 21) Hippodrome 3R will offer the C$200,000 Prix D'Ete for 4-year-old pacers, plus a C$50,000 Prix D'Ete consolation. Complete entries for the races at the U.S. tracks are available at this link. Entries for the Canadian races are available at this link. Last time: The Grand Circuit spotlight was on Mohawk Racetrack this past Saturday, with the finals of four stakes, led by the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic for sophomore male trotters. Father Patrick, the 1-5 choice with driver Yannick Gingras, scored a popular 1-3/4 length victory in a time of 1:52.4. Father Patrick captured the $613,800 Canadian Trotting Classic in a time of 1:52.4. Trainer Jimmy Takter held more than a strong hand going into this year's renewal for 3-year-old trotters, sending out Hambletonian winner Trixton and Father Patrick, last year's divisional champion who had been expected to win the Meadowlands showcase event in August but made an unexpected early break. The toteboard reflected that, as Father Patrick was 1-5, Trixton 9-5 when they went behind the gate, while their five rivals ranged from 18-1 to 80-1. The two favorites, both of whom had won eight of their 10 starts this year, were expected to duke it out but this time it was Trixton, driven by Takter, who went off-stride at the start to eliminate himself. It wasn't a walk in the park but the win at least put aside the nightmare of this year's Hambletonian for Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream. Parked in fourth for the first half-mile, as Damfoolrmillionair took the field through a quarter in :26.4 and the half in :55.2, Gingras sent Father Patrick up to challenge the pacesetter, took over before the three-quarters was reached in 1:24, then powered home for the win in 1:52.4. E L Titan came on for second, with Harper Blue Chip third. The winner is owned by the Father Patrick Stable. On Monday (Sept. 15), the venerable 10-year-old pacing superstar Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) prevailed in the eighth annual $220,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway in 1:50.2. Foiled Again held off Clear Vision to win the Quillen Memorial in 1:50.2. Owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables, Foiled Again assumed command from his rail post position just past the quarter-mile in :26.3. He led the rich field of eight, whose combined lifetime bankroll is near $15 million, to the half-mile in :55.1 and three-quarters in 1:23.1. Stablemate Clear Vision, who won the 2013 Quillen, received his marching orders from driver Brett Miller at the half-mile and battled first over but could not get closer than a half-length from Foiled Again at the wire. Bettor's Edge finished third. Foiled Again, the richest horse in harness racing history, boosted his lifetime bankroll to more than $6.6 million. It was his sixth consecutive year in Harrington's marquee event. Clear Vision was making his fourth consecutive start. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend. Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras - 1,025; 2. Tim Tetrick - 583; 3. David Miller - 506.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 443.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 321. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 1,335.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 815; 3. Tony Alagna - 245: 4. Erv Miller - 244; 5. Ake Svanstedt - 222. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 291.25; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 263.75; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 187; 4. Robert Key - 185; 5. Bamond Racing - 167.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will be taking place next week at Lexington's historic Red Mile. There will be eight Bluegrass stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits, as well as eliminations in the Allerage for open pacers and trotters. Scioto Downs will also be hosting a Grand Circuit event, the $200,000 (est.) Jim Ewart Memorial for open pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

The Irish Harness Racing Club are currently organising the next Trotteur Francais Sale series which will take place on the first week of November following the Irish Day at Hippodrome D’Argantan in Normandy on 2nd of November. Due to the success of the 2014 initiative there is a keen interest from owners and trainers to purchase additional racing stock for the 2015 season which is hoped to be in the order of 30 to 40 horses. It is envisaged that the total purse for Trotteur Francais races in 2015 will be in the order of €300,000 and an average race purse in excess of €2,500. Any intending purchasers please contact Mark Flanagan 086-2698399, William Flanagan 086-2352365 or James O’Sullivan 087-2571330 as horses will be supplied on a first come first served basis depending on suitability and availability of horses provided by Le Trot for the upcoming Sale Series. From the Irish Harness Racing Club

During the 22nd and 23rd of September in the Swedish racecourses of Halmstad and Jagersro (Malmö) will be held the Men European Harness Racing Championships for amateur drivers organized by the flag of the FEGAT (European federation of amateurs drivers).    The championship will be played on four scoring races, two in each racecourse, with the participation of drivers from 13 different nationalities, members of FEGAT. the most important achievements of some of the drivers participating in the European  Championship 2014 are:    Italian Maurizio Biasuzzi, 2 times World Champion in 1996 (Australia) & 2005 (Austria) and European Champion in 2013 (Russia) and with 725 wins in his career.  German Heinrich Gentz, 2 times European Champion in 1990 (Hungary) & 1991 (Finland) with 1237 wins in his career.  Swiss Joey Vignoni and Spanish Damian Oliver Oliver, silver medals in the 2 last World Championships in Finland 2014 and New Zealand 2012 Belgian Piet Van Pollaert, vice champion behind Maurizio Biasuzzi in the European Championship 2013.  The official link of the European Championship 2014 is http://www.fegat.info/competition_cat2014/gentlemen-european-championship-in-sweden/    For more information you can check the official website of FEGAT www.fegat.com and don’t hesitate to contact with us to solve your doubts about the championship at fegatsecretary@gmail.com.   The official list of the drivers for this 2014 FEGAT European Championship for amateur drivers are below:   Country       Driver                License since  2013 wins   2014 wins     Total Wins   Austria     Thomas Royer               1997                  19                  19           173  Belgium    Piet Van Pollaert           1998                  25                  15           135  Denmark   Torben Nygaard           1987                    9                     1          104  Finland      Mikael Niva                   1997                  10                    4            55  Germany    Heinrich Gentz             1969                  17                   10         1237  Hungary      Tamas Kelemen           1991                  4                     2            234  Italy           Maurizio Biasuzzi          1972                  25                    7            725  Netherlands Jaap Terstal                 2003                 8                    11             60  Norway          Bernt Oksnevad         1983                 5                      8           113  Russia           Ivan Serik                   1994                 7                      2           134  Spain             Damian Oliver            1997                 7                      6             70  Sweden     Hakan B. Johansson      1993                 9                      3           216  Switzerland   Joey Vignoni                2008              14                      3             33    From FEGAT

HARRINGTON, Del. - The venerable 10-year-old pacing superstar Foiled Again ($3.20, Yannick Gingras) prevailed in the eighth annual $220,000 Bobby Quillen Memorial Monday at Harrington Raceway in 1:50.2. A large crowd filled the Harrington grandstand, watching harness racing's heavyweights among the older horse pacing ranks battle it out on Delaware's half-mile racetrack. Owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables, the 10-year-old Foiled Again assumed command from his rail post position just past the quarter mile in 26.3. He led the rich field of eight, whose combined lifetime bankroll is near $15 million, to the half mile in 55.1 and three-quarters in 1:23.1. Stable mate Clear Vision, who won the 2013 Quillen, received his marching orders from driver Brett Miller at the half mile and battled first over but could not get closer than a half length from Foiled Again at the wire. Bettor's Edge finished third. "It seems like every year, he rewrites the record books," said Gingras. "It was great to come out on top tonight." Foiled Again, the richest horse in harness racing, boosted his lifetime bankroll to more than $6.6 million. It was his sixth consecutive year in Harrington's marquee event. Clear Vision was making his fourth consecutive start. Both horses are trained by Ron Burke. The race honors the memory of the late Delaware legislator Bobby Quillen, who was a racetrack regular and always had the horsemen's best interest at heart. Quillen's sister Grace Wanda Quillen, and brothers Francis and Frank Quillen were on hand for the winner's circle presentation. In the overnight feature, John Dayton's Just A Jolt ($5.20, Victor Kirby) recorded a 1:51.1 triumph in the $17,000 Open for trainer Jim King Jr. by Matt Sparacino, for Harrington Raceway

Although he is still relatively new as an owner, Lindsey Rankin understands how rare it is to find a top racehorse. So he is trying to enjoy the ride with Lady Shadow to the fullest. Lady Shadow is among 22 horses in Wednesday's $298,100 Jugette for 3-year-old female pacers at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio. The field was divided into three eliminations, from which the top three in each will advance to the same-day final. The winner of 10 of 18 career races, Lady Shadow competes in the first elimination. She drew post No. 2 for the son-and-father team of driver Doug McNair and trainer Gregg McNair and is the 5-2 morning line favorite. Beach Gal, who is coming off a third-place finish in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, is the 5-2 favorite in the second elimination. She starts from post four for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Dave Menary. Gettingreadytoroll, who has won three in a row including the Simcoe Stakes and Miss New Jersey, is the 5-2 choice in the third division. She will start from post two with Yannick Gingras at the lines for trainer Jimmy Takter. Lady Shadow has earned $426,753 in her career, racing to this point only in Ontario. "We've only been in it for five years, but I think she's probably our once-in-a-lifetime horse," said Rankin, a Michigan resident who owns Lady Shadow with his wife, Connie. "So we're going to try to enjoy it. It would be nice to make the final. We have family and friends coming to see her. "She's got a lot of ability. She's a really nice filly. She's got a big heart. It's been a lot of fun." Lady Shadow won five of eight races last year, including the Battle of the Belles at Grand River Raceway, and finished second by a neck in the Ontario Sire Stakes championship. So far this season, Lady Shadow has won five of 10 starts, including the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association final and two preliminary divisions of the Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series. She won her elimination for the Canadian Breeders Championship by more than eight lengths in a career-best 1:49.2 on July 12 at Mohawk, but went off stride at the start of the final on a sloppy track and finished sixth. But even with the miscue, which left her trailing the early leaders by 27 lengths after the first quarter and 21 lengths at the halfway point, she missed by just 1-3/4 lengths. "We're not really sure what happened," Rankin said. "Doug said she was fumbly gaited and just started to run. Once he set her, she was fine, but he wasn't real sure what that was all about. She did that once earlier this year too. She's kind of a hot head sometimes. She's settled down as the season has gone on, but at the beginning of the year she was a lot to handle. "She's got a lot of speed, but sometimes she's hard to rate. She likes to be put up in the front, in contention, from the get-go." Rankin owned horses for three years beginning in 1979, but got out of the sport because of the demands of running a business that supplies graphic design equipment. Five years ago, he asked his then 11-year-old daughter Abby if she wanted to get a horse, and when the young girl's eyes lit up, he was back in the game. "Now we're kind of hooked back into it," said the now-retired Rankin, who owns six horses. He bought Lady Shadow for $19,000 at the Forest City Sale in Ontario. The filly is a daughter of 2008 Little Brown Jug winner Shadow Play out of the mare Lady Camella. The dam's family includes 1962 Little Brown Jug winner Lehigh Hanover as well as famed trotter Peter Volo. "I liked a lot about her; her conformation," Rankin said. "She's always been high strung. We had a lot of issues with her when she was a yearling. She was always trying to do something stupid, but we got through it all. "We've been real happy with her this year. She paces a half-mile track just as well as she does a big track, so we think she deserves a shot." Below are the elimination fields for the Jugette in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds. Elim One: 1. Shell Bell, Kurt Sugg, Kurt Sugg, 12-1; 2. Lady Shadow, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair, 5-2; 3. Color's A Virgin, Trace Tetrick, Brian Brown, 4-1; 4. Southwind Silence, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 6-1; 5. Ali Blue, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-1; 6. Beach Body, Ron Pierce, Chris Oakes, 10-1; 7. Also Encouraging, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 7-2. Elim Two: 1. Uffizi Hanover, David Miller, Jimmy Takter, 4-1; 2. Allstar Rating, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 7-2; 3. Somethinincredible, Ron Pierce, Bob McIntosh, 8-1; 4. Beach Gal, Tim Tetrick, Dave Menary, 5-2; 5. Fits Well, Scott Zeron, Brian Brown, 12-1; 6. Gallie Bythe Beach, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 10-1; 7. A La Notte Hanover, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 8-1; 8. Sectionline Aqua, Brett Miller, Steve Bauder, 5-1. Elim Three: 1. Cut A Deal, Jim Pantaleano, Nick Surick, 12-1; 2. Gettingreadytoroll, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 3. Beautiful Lady, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 5-1; 4. Someislandsomwhere, Ron Pierce, Casie Coleman, 6-1; 5. Candy's A Virgin, Trace Tetrick, Brian Brown, 4-1; 6. Sandbetweenurtoes, Brett Miller, Larry Remmen, 7-2; 7. Beach Story, David Miller, Kelvin Harrison, 8-1. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Canadian harness racing trainer Mark Austin of Fergus, Ontario, tragically passed away Sunday night in the race paddock at Flamboro Downs. He was only 54. Austin was at Flamboro Downs Sunday night to race his horse, Brocks Fortune, who ended up racing and finishing second in the eighth race. Prior to that race there was major commotion in the race paddock before the start of the fourth race and an ambulance was called to the scene. No details of what took place have been made available. Austin was primarily a trainer, beginning his career in 1980. He had 837 training victories with the horses he raced and purse earnings of more than $9 million. He also drove horses but stopped in 2000. As a driver he had 139 wins and purse earnings of $315,084. Some of his top horses over the years included the top pacer and winner of more than $681,000, Fool Me Once, Go Get Her, Part Shark, XLB Patrick,HeresToPatrick, Sparky Mark, Machleen and many other stakes and raceway horses. Austin is survived by his wife Julie and two girls, Paige and Paula. More details about the incident and funeral arrangements will be posted when announced. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com 

Harness racing’s pin up pacer Beautide will make his long-awaited return to racing at Tabcorp Park Menangle on Saturday night. Given a well-earned spell following his Len Smith Mile success at the same venue last April, Beautide faces a tough first-up task for trainer James Rattray. The Inter Dominion winner has drawn the outside of the front line, with noted front runner Suave Stuey Lombo expected to lead from six. Suave Stuey Lombo beat Beautide in a trial around the 1400-metre circuit last week, covering the mile 1:49.2 – the second fastest time recorded in the Southern Hemisphere. Recently retired star Smoken Up holds the top mantle with his 1:48.5 registered in the 2011 Len Smith Mile. Pleased with the son of Bettors Delight’s progress, Rattray stated Beautide will be eased back into racing as he works towards his initial main target – Miracle Mile title defence. “I’m very happy with the way he has come back,” Rattray said. “He is in good shape, but race fitness is another thing all together. “He has come through last week’s trial well and is ready to put in a good run. “I won’t be firing him out of the gate or pushing too hard at this stage as all these races are just warm ups to get him ready for the Miracle Mile in November.” Along with his Inter Dominion defence on March 1, Beautide will contest the Ballarat and Victoria Cups. The Ballarat Cup is scheduled for December 13, with the Victoria Cup to be conducted on January 31. Beautide finished fourth behind For A Reason in last season’s Victoria Cup. “The Ballarat Cup is an option with him, but I will decide on that when it gets closer,” Rattray said. “The Victoria Cup is definitely on the agenda as it also fits in well for him being two weeks before the Inter Dominion heats.” PAUL COURTS

Not many 12-year-olds own stakes winning horses, but given Emma Christoforou’s family tree, it would be rather surprising if she didn’t have an interest in horses having been around them from birth. The grade seven student from Moffat, Ontario, owns a number of Standardbreds, including Cowgirl Tough, a starter in Monday night’s Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event for two-year-old pacing fillies at Mohawk. She bred and co-owns the daughter of Ponder with her mother, Joanne Colville, the administrator of the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society, owner of High Stakes Farm, director of Standardbred Canada and the Central Ontario Standardbred Association and outrider at the Woodbine Entertainment racetracks. Emma has the luxury of having two of the best drivers in North America available to drive her horses in her father, Chris Christoforou and her step-father Jack Moiseyev. The latter also handles the training for Cowgirl Tough who was victorious in her first OSS contest on August 10 at Georgian Downs, scoring by two lengths in 1:54.1. But Emma notes it was her second place finish in the Eternal Camnation Stake a week later that is her favourite to date. “I was on the sidelines watching the race and I couldn’t find her and then all of a sudden I spotted her pink browband and she was just zooming up to get second. Jack was really pleased with her and everyone was so happy,” recalled Emma who was on hand when Cowgirl Tough was born at their farm in April of 2012. “That was amazing how everything happened so quickly,” noted Emma who added that she sensed early that the filly might be something special. “She was really nice to be around but she had a look in her eye as if to say ‘game on.’ And when she was a yearling she was the biggest one in the paddock and the leader.” When it came time to name the filly with personality to spare, they decided to honour Joanne’s sister, Annemarie. “She’s had cancer a couple of times and she’s been so strong. There’s a group called Cowgirls Kicking Cancer’s Butt and Lope For Hope and that’s gave us the idea for her name. Their motto is ‘tough enough to wear pink.’” Cowgirl Tough demonstrates that sentiment through her equipment. “She wears a lot of pink,” explains Emma. “We’re now trying to find a pink harness for her.” Cowgirl Tough’s pink and Moiseyev’s familiar black, white and yellow colours, will line up behind the gate in post three in the second of two $105,000 OSS Gold divisions Monday night at Mohawk. Emma’s dad Chris is aboard the five horse in the same race, Business As Usual while next door in post six is Sports Chic, the leading point earner in this division to date. That filly will be driven by Jody Jamieson, father of Emma’s good friend, Hailey Jamieson, whose step-dad, Tony O’Sullivan, trains Capela, who has post 10 in the same race. Cowgirl Tough’s dam is Almost A Lady, who was trained throughout her career, during which she won $185,000, by Emma’s grandfather Frank Colville. Almost A Lady is sired by Astreos, the million dollar Little Brown Jug winner who was trained by Emma’s paternal grandfather Charalambos Christoforou. In fact Emma and her brother Niklas Christoforou bred and co-own a two-year-old trotting filly by Holiday Road trained by the senior Christoforou, Emmas Misty Angel who made two starts in the OSS Grassroots. “She’s taking some time to mature now,” Emma notes. In addition going to school, helping with chores and watching her horses race, Emma is also an accomplished equestrienne, competing in numerous horse shows around the province with her horse Kash, noting her favourite event is jumping. Her career aspirations aren’t surprising. “When I’m older I plan on being a vet, having a farm and working with harness horses.” Given her experience to date, she’s certainly well on her way. To view the complete card for Mohawk’s Monday card, please click Mohawk Entries - September 15. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

The trotting side of harness racing has been one part of the industry that seems to have been holding its own in recent years. More and more North American and European sires are now available to Australasian breeders and one that is making a big impact is the son of S J's Photo in Bacardi Lindy. Imported by Ross Simpson, Bacardi Lindy has spent time in both Australia and New Zealand and these days is resident at Morley Park in Victoria. A son of S J's Photo from the brilliant Valley Victory mare Rum Boogie 1:55 ($900,908), Bacardi Lindy made $115,000 when sold at Tattersalls as a yearling and recouped that and more on the track winning $207,546 and taking a mark of 1:52.8 Bacardi Lindy made a slow start with his first crop but his stock have just kept improving and several starting showing up in the age group classics. Claudy's Princess ($198,746) was a star 3 year old last season while The Boss Man ($95,132) was another of his better performers in the 4 year old ranks as  Bacardi Lindy established himself as the the best of the Australian based trotting sires. His profile in New Zealand has been pretty low key to this point but that may be about to change with the emergence of the smart 2 year old Cocktail Waiter. Even though the season is only six weeks old in New Zealand, Cocktail Waiter has already qualified and in great fashion for a trotter this early in the season. He won his qualifying trial at Oamaru over 2000 meters from the mobile in 2:41.4, a mile rate of 2:09.8 with a closing 800 meters of 60.3 Cocktail Waiter is the second foal from the Sundon mare Gina and is owned and trained by Alan Clark of the The Fiery Ginga fame. Allan Clark was suitably impressed by the run. "He is such a lovely horse to do anything with. He is a beautifully gaited individual and has a touch of class that the good horses have and really finds when you ask him. I am pretty confident Cocktail Waiter will be a major player in all the good 2 year old trotting races later in the season", he said. Alan borrowed Gina to breed Cocktail Waiter after the mares first foal Clifden Clowers ($33,653) had been a handy winner and he remembered a full sister to Gina in The Great Pretender had raced in the Jewels as a 2 year old. As smart as Cocktail Waiter looks to be, Alan had high hopes for a filly by Bacardi Lindy until her sudden death. "I thought she was a touch better than Cocktail Waiter to be honest but I found her dead in her paddock one morning which was a real shame. The Bacardi Lindy's have really impressed me to date and I will be sending a couple of mares this season for sure,"he said. The way his stock are starting to fire on both sides of the Tasman, Bacardi Lindy could be in for a very busy stud season. Harnesslink Media

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