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Lazarus has a rare chance to complete a historic full set of major race wins after securing a perfect draw for Sunday's C$615,000 Canadian Pacing Derby. The champion Kiwi pacer has drawn barrier two in his second North American start, which is scheduled for 1.50pm (NZ time) on Sunday and after his bullying win in the Dan Patch in Indiana two weeks ago he has opened a $1.45 favourite with the NZ TAB. The Dan Patch was Lazarus' first start for his new United States owners after being sold for $4 million in the hopes he can win some of North America's biggest races and become a dual-hemisphere stallion prospect. The Dan Patch victory, in which Lazarus overcame barrier nine to lead for most of the race, saw the hype around the six-year-old go sky high and with Sunday's field not much stronger, Lazarus will only need to maintain that performance level to probably win again. Although trotting races are held in many parts of the world, the pacing gait is the focal point of the harness racing industry in only four countries - New Zealand, Australia, United States and Canada. If Lazarus wins on Sunday, he will have won a group one race or equivalent level race in all four of those countries inside 10 months. So while Kiwi pacing heroes such as Cardigan Bay and Young Quinn have tasted serious success in North America before, Lazarus' effort might be the first clean-sweep in such a short-time frame. Such is the interest in the superstar, Trackside television plan to have 20 minutes of lead-in from the Woodbine track before the race. Closer to home, Dream About Me looks set to start favourite in Friday night's Maurice Holmes Vase at Addington as the countdown to the New Zealand Trotting Cup starts to get serious. Thefixer downed Dream About Me in the first open class race of the season last Thursday but that was under handicap conditions with Dream About Me off 30m. On Friday, they meet under free-for-all conditions and with Dream About Me expected to derive enormous benefit from last Thursday she could well head the market. Both Thefixer and Dream About Me have been touted as possible Victoria Cup raiders in mid-October as that Melton classic is unlikely to have the depth of previous years and could be a lucrative target for the stablemates before they return to Addington for the New Zealand Cup in November. Michael Guerin

Chester, PA --- Not only did Sunfire Blue Chip ($14.20) duel down double millionaire Mach It So, but he also parried a ferocious late rally from the white-hot Donttellmeagain in Sunday afternoon's (Aug. 26) featured $30,000 Great Northeast event for open pacers at Harrah's Philadelphia.   The 8-year-old American Ideal entire got away cleanly in third behind early pacesetter Check Six (Tony Morgan) and stalked a :26.1 first quarter before watching Mach It So (George Napolitano Jr.) brush from the pocket with a circuit to go before working to clear before reaching race's midpoint in :54.2. Driver Josert Fonseca angled Sunfire Blue Chip first-over up the far side and worked steadily toward Mach It So through a :27.3 third split.   Within half a length a quarter from home, Sunfire Blue Chip inched closer through the far turn and gained equal footing with Mach It So at head-stretch. Meanwhile, Donttellmeagain (Victor Kirby) -- a 1:49.1 winner in Great Northeast action a fortnight ago -- was building momentum around foes after kicking third-over cover.   With one challenger put away, Sunfire Blue Chip held tough to the end of a 1:50 mile, keeping Donttellmeagain a head at bay. Third-place finisher Mach It So proved valiant in defeat, only beaten by half a length.   For Jimmy Takter trainee Sunfire Blue Chip, the Great Northeast win was his 30th career tally and his fifth of the season. Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical and R A W Equine own the millionaire pacer.   No one correctly selected the top five finishers in the afternoon's fifth race, despite 4-5 favorite Penzance Hanover ($3.60, Napolitano) winning the $17,000 conditioned event. As such, the 20-cent Jackpot Hi-5 carryover for Wednesday's (Aug. 29) program increased to $7,146.35. Post time for the first of 14 races on Wednesday is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, for Harrah's Philadelphia  

Lexington, KY - The Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) for 2-year-old trotters took place on a perfect, cloudless Saturday night at The Red Mile with temperatures in the mid 70's at the 7:00 post time. There were five harness racing stakes, three filly divisions and two colt races, all for a purse of $30,000. Hall of Fame horseman Jimmy Takter swept both colt divisions with a talented pair of freshmen from his barn of trotting all stars while Dave Palone won two of the filly divisions for Lindy Farms and trainer Domenico Cecere. The colts opened the card and Peter Haughton Memorial winner Don't Let'em made amends for last week's miscue with a workman-like 1:55.2 win with Takter in the sulky. Handicapped with post 10, Takter patiently moved his charge away from the gate, stayed wide as he navigated around several breakers in tune one then ground to the front just after High Into The Sky (Matt Kruger) took the field by the quarter. Once Don't Let'em crossed over to the top the race was, for all intents and purposes, over. Takter set a moderate pace then widened his lead to 6 1/4 lengths at the wire while asking the colt for nothing. High Into The Sky held nicely for second while Buckeyeonbroadway (Randy Jerrel) trotted well to be third. The winner is a Brittney bred son of Muscle Hill, racing for the interests of the breeder with partners Christina Takter, John Fielding and Herb Liverman. He was an $80,000 buy at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale (LSYS). Super Schissel repeated his leg one win as the Uncle Peter colt took over near the half and held sway in 1:56.4. With heavily favored Greenshoe again undone by a break well before the start, first Reign Of Honor (Dexter Dunn) then Lindy's Crazy Hall (Palone) took turns on the lead before Takter and Super Schissel arrived on the scene. Once again the Takter tactics paid off, at $15.60 return to his mutual backers and $15,000 prize to owners Al Libfeld and the red hot Perry Soderberg as their $115,000 LSYS buy from Coyote Wind Farms came home a 2 ¼ length winner. Reign Of Honor and Lindy's Crazy Hall followed him across the wire. Taylor Swiftly reprised her love story with The Red Mile, becoming a KYSS repeat winner with her remarkably easy 1:55.3 score for Dave Palone. Leaving from the seven hole, Palone eased the Trixton filly around turn one, wore past early leader and eventual place finisher Asiago (Takter) near the 57.3 half, got a 29.3 third quarter breather then won as she pleased with a controlled 28.2 end to the mile. Longshot Highway To The Sky (Mike Wilder) rallied for third. Taylor Swiftly is a Lindy Farms homebred from True Diva and is trained by Domenico Cecere. The Palone, Cecere, Lindy Farms juggernaut came right back in the third race to score a $50 upset win with yet another homebred filly, this time it was the Muscle Hill lass Lindy Pearl taking a nice 1:55.1 mark for the group. Starting from the rail after a series of unfortunate post draws, Lindy Pearl was settled in the pocket by Palone as the speedy yet erratic Run Lindy Run (Wilder) reeled off fair fractions before jumping off stride as the field neared turn two. This development left Lindy Pearl fresh on the lead with heavy favorite French Press (Andy Miller) launching an unsuccessful uncovered bid. Lindy Pearl was well up to the task here, closing out the mile with a 28.2 final quarter an handy 2 1/4 length winner over So Romantic (Ken Holliday) and Graceful (Pat Lachance) with something left. Ma Was Right got up over favored Whispering Oaks (Takter) in the shadow of the wire to put visiting Down Under reinsman Dexter Dunn in the Red Mile winner's circle for the first time in the New Zealander's stateside tour. Dexter settled his charge in third as Whispering Oaks cut the mile, shifted out around the last turn to engage then eyeball the leader mid-stretch and edged by late in 1:57. Atonement (Wilder) took third. The Muscle Hill filly, a $100,000 LSYS purchase by the All Laid Out stable, was winning for the fourth time in seven starts for trainer Noel Daley. She was bred by the Moni Market Breeders. The freshman pacers take to the clay oval tomorrow evening in their second KYSS leg. Post time is 7:00. by Nick Salvi, for the Red Mile

MILTON, ON - August 24, 2018 - Hambletonian Oaks champion Manchego delivered a stunning 1:51.4 stakes record performance to defeat Hambletonian champion Atlanta in Friday's $136,000 Casual Breeze at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The superstar fillies were squaring off for the first time in 2018 and went off as co-favourites at odds of 4/5 in a field of 10. Manchego and driver Yannick Gingras left strong from post-eight, while Atlanta and driver Scott Zeron showed their usual early speed from post-three. Driver Trevor Henry decided to mix things by firing longshot Smoke And Mirrors towards the lead and kept Manchego out going around the first turn, as Zeron took back to settle third. The Jimmy Takter trained Manchego cleared to the top just strides after leading by three-quarters of a length at the opening-quarter in :27.3. The Hambletonian Oaks champion continued to trot strong for the next eighth of a mile before Gingras tapped the breaks to grab a comfortable :28.4 second-quarter. Atlanta was angled from the three-hole heading into the far turn, while Gingras and Manchego began to ramp up the tempo. Smoke And Mirrors gapped in the two-hole, which allowed Zeron to drop in with Atlanta and power up for the stretch battle. Manchego reached three-quarters in 1:24.1 with a length and a half lead on Atlanta. In the stretch, Manchego continued her powerful ways and didn't allow Atlanta to get any closer than her wheel. The Takter trainee trotted a :27.3 final-quarter to defeat Atlanta by a length and three-quarters in a Canadian record equaling 1:51.4. Friday's matchup between Manchego and Atlanta was months in the making. Manchego entered the season as the top filly after an undefeated rookie campaign. Atlanta made an immediate impact to start her sophomore season and eventually successfully took on the boys in the Hambletonian, while Manchego beat the fillies in the Oaks. "Everybody was talking about Atlanta and rightfully so, she's a great filly too, but I never lost confidence in mine and all along I thought I had the best filly," said Gingras following the victory. "It's just one matchup...they'll meet up again many times, but my filly was super strong tonight." Sorceress Seelster, who sat fourth most of the mile, finished 11 lengths back in third, while Blonde Magic was 12 lengths behind the winner in fourth. Gingras noted in the winner's circle that the race didn't play out like he imagined but didn't think the outcome would've been any different with opposite trips. "I thought I would maybe get away second behind him, but of course when I was able to grab the lead I was happy about that. I think either way, at least tonight, even if he cut the mile I'd had beat him anyway." A daughter of Muscle Hill, Manchego improved to 18 wins and over $1.4 million earned in 21 career starts for owners Black Horse Racing, John Fielding and Herb Liverman. She has now won six of nine this season and remains undefeated in three starts at Mohawk Park. Rick Zeron trainee Atlanta suffered just her second loss in eight starts this season. The Chapter Seven filly's only prior defeat was a second in the first heat of the Hambletonian, which she followed up with an impressive victory in the final. Manchego and Atlanta are both eligible to next Friday's Simcoe Stakes, which is followed by the Elegantimage Stakes eliminations on September 8. Competing in all three events would mean four consecutive weeks of racing, leaving a strong possibility one or both could skip next week's event. A $2 win ticket on Manchego returned $3.60. Live racing continues Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Maple Leaf Trot eliminations, Nassagaweya Stakes and Eternal Camnation Stakes headline an outstanding 13-race program. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

Lexington, KY - The 3-year-olds raced in the first of three $30,000 legs of the Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) over a fast track at The Red Mile on a perfect Kentucky Sunday evening. The colt trot featuring a couple of Hambletonian contenders was the last of the stakes but the most intriguing and Wolfgang (Jordan Stratton) bounced back from a disappointing effort on that day to hold on in a tight photo over longshot Eurobond (Domenico Cecere) in 1:53.2. Race favorite and Hambo heat winner Tactical Landing (Takter) went off-stride just before the start from his rail post with two horses trailing, losing too much ground to threaten the top two though he did recover to be third. Stratton put Wolfgang on the front and had his own way for much of the race until Euro Bond joined him on the final turn as the passed the three-quarters in 1:26.1. That pair slugged it out through the length of the stretch with Euro Bond gaining a slight edge, but Wolfgang was game and dug back in for the win. The winner is trained in the Jimmy Takter barn and is owned by Brixton Medical, Goran Falk, Hatfield Racing, and breeder Fair Island Farm. The son of My MVP was a $60,000 Lexington yearling. Twenty-two trotting fillies were spread over three divisions and the first group took the track for race two. Perry Soderberg's recent Tattersalls Mixed Sale purchase Urban Legend (Marcus Johansson) shaved 2/5's off her career best with a 1:54.2 win over Byway (Jordan Stratton) in her first start for the new owner and trainer, Nancy Johansson. Marcus settled her in early from post two then moved to the front as they passed the half in 56.3. The rest was easy as Urban Legend comfortably held the challenge from Byway and won in hand. Diamond Creek Farms bred the winner who was a $70,000 Lexington Selected Sale buy. Last year's KYSS final winner in the class, Top Expectation (Jordan Stratton) took the second division for trainer Erv Miller in 1:55.4. She also moved to the front after everyone had settled, got easy fractions then sprinted home in 27.1 to hold the late moving Deschanel (Trace Tetrick) at bay with something left. Daniel Plouffe owns Top Expectations, another Lexington sale grad at a $120,000 premium from breeder Dunroven Stud, LLC. Live Laugh Love (Peter Wrenn) won the third and fastest of the filly canters in 1:52.2, using every bit of a 28 final quarter to hold off the charge from longshot Pat Matters (Jimmy Takter) by a diminishing neck. Wrenn had her moving early from the outermost post, cleared at the 28.2 quarter then rated the mile evenly for the win. Diamond Creek and Mel Hartman bred the winner and added Dave McDuffee as a partner after she went through the Lexington yearling sale for $90,000. Pacing fillies numbered fifteen with Fine Art (Josh Sutton) winning the first of two divisions in 1:55. In the style of the evening, Sutton moved his charge to the front as they went into the final turn then used a 27 flat sprint home to outlast pocket sitter Tipp City (Hugh Beatty). Fine Art, a $67,000 Lexington Selected Sale yearling is trained by Nick Surick for his interests and Louis Willinger. The Bettor's Delight filly is a Brittany bred. The Johanssons took the second filly pace with the improving Dance Blue who equaled her career best of 1:50.2 in the process. Marcus brushed his filly by early leader and eventual place finisher Neverforgetwhour (Elliott Deaton) then flew home with a fast 26.3 close to hold that rival safe. Marvin Katz, Sam Goldband and Goran Anderberg own the winner, a $50,000 Lexington Select but from breeders Steve Stewart and Cotton & Julie Nash. Jimmy Takter pupils finished one-two in the single pacing colt division but the order was something of a surprise with the trainer driving Grand Teton to a win over heavily favored Thinkbig Dreambig (Jordan Stratton). Beginning from the outermost post ten in the bulky field of twelve, Takter had Grand Teton crossed over to the front by the 27.4 quarter then rated even fractions while Stratton chose a long uncovered grind for Thinkbig Dreambig who dueled with the leader through a 26 flat end to the 1:51 mile but could not get by. Adam Bowden owns the winner, a homebred, as Diamond Creek Racing. Racing returns to The Red Mile on Thursday at 7:00 pm with Wiener Dog racing the highlight. by Nick Salvi, for The Red Mile  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - With a forecast of sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70's, the Hippodrome 3R harness racing track record of 1:50.3 will be in jeopardy Sunday in the $200,000 Prix D'Ete pace for four-year-old's. The record was first set in the first revival of the Prix D'Ete in 2014 by Sunfire Blue Chip. It was then equaled in the 2015 Prix D'Ete by All Bets Off. There are eight starters in the 10th race feature and the early favorites are the entry from the Ron Burke Stable of Eddard Hanover (post one) and Filibuster Hanover (post three) could be the one to do it. Eddard Hanover has H3R's leading driver, Stephane Brosseau, in the bike. In his last start he not only won at Pocono Downs in 1:51.1, and had a :27.3 last quarter mile. Filibuster Hanover gets the driving services of Canada's leading reinsman, Louis Philippe Roy. Filibuster Hanover was a game third place finisher in the Sam McKee Memorial that was won by Western Joe. He is the richest competitor in the field with lifetime earnings of $1,269,000. Western Joe would have been the race favorite if not for drawing the far outside post eight. This son of Western Ideal sports nine wins on the year and will be driven by Doug McNair. Western Joe is seeking his third straight win as he won the Sam McKee Memorial and the prior week took a lifetime mark of 1:47.3 at the Meadowlands. Completing the field that have a shot at breaking the track record include Miso Fast (Daniel Dube) post seven, Blood Line (Trevor Henry) post five, Beckhams Z Tam (Ricky Macomber) post two, Modern Reflection (Pascal Berube) post five and American Wiggle (Guy Gagnon) in post four. Only driver Ricky Macomber has never driven at H3R before. Trevor Henry won the Prix D'Ete last year with Western Fame. Trainers Ron Burke and Jimmy Takter, have each won the Prix D'Ete twice over the past four years. Burke with All Bets Off (2015) and Rockin Ron (2016). Takter won with Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and Western Fame (2017). Of the eight drivers in the race, five are from Quebec and seven are from Canada with Ricky Macomber the only driver from the USA. The only return winners in the field are Eddard Hanover and Western Joe. It is the first time this season that Filibuster Hanover (Louis Philippe Roy) will be driven by someone other than Yannick Gingras. Post time is 12:50 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Tactical Landing, who won his Hambletonian elimination and then finished third in the $1 million final on Aug. 4 at the Meadowlands, and Wolfgang, winner of the $202,160 Goodtimes final and $181,000 Stanley Dancer Memorial, will go to post together in Sunday night's single $30,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) for 3-year-old male trotters at The Red Mile. Post time is 7 p.m. (EDT). Both trained by Jimmy Takter, Tactical Landing will start from post 1 with Takter in the sulky, while Wolfgang and driver Yannick Gingras will line up in post 7 in the 12-horse field (Race 9). Tactical Landing, a son of Muscle Hill who brought a price of $800,000 at last year's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, has shown rapid improvement in five starts this year, culminating with a career-best 1:52.1 win in his Hambletonian elim and then a third in the rich final after racing parked the entire mile. After racing on Lasix all year, Wolfgang, a son of My MVP, competed in the Hambletonian without the anti-bleeding medication due to stake regulations. Tipped by Gingras past the quarter in his elim, Wolfgang failed to fire and finished sixth, which left him out of the same-day final. There is also a lone $30,000 division for 3-year-old colt pacers on the card (Race 6), with Takter also having a pair of entries, including Thinkbig Dreambig, who captured last Saturday's $400,000 Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park. Jordan Stratton will drive the son of Bettor's Delight from post 3. Takter will drive Grand Teton, who starts from post 10 in the 12-horse field. The son of A Rocknroll Dance finished second in last year's $250,000 KYSS final. The 2017 KYSS champion Band Stand is back to defend her title, lining up in post 3 in the first of two divisions for 3-year-old filly pacers (Race 3). Trainer Tony Alagna has enlisted Matt Krueger to drive the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance, who tuned up for Sunday's race with a 1:53 overnight score on Aug. 9 at The Red Mile. There is also KYSS action on Saturday night (post 7 p.m.) with 2-year-old pacers of both sexes on the track. With new regulations in place that opens up the KYSS program-including having the mare reside in Kentucky for 180 consecutive days during the calendar year-star performers from other states have made their way to the Bluegrass. They include the 2-year-old colt pacer Hurrikane Emperor and the 2-year-old filly pacer Mollydooker, both winners of their respective New Jersey Sires Stakes finals last month at the Meadowlands. Hurrikane Emperor, whose win in the $75,000 New Jersey final stretched his unbeaten streak to four, will start from post 5 in the last of three divisions for male pacers (Race 5). That division also includes Pyro, who has enough points to be in the field for $252,000 Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship on Sept. 1 at The Meadows. Scott Zeron will drive the son of Hurrikane Kingcole for trainer John McDermott Jr. Mollydooker starts from post 4 in the second of two distaff splits (Race 3) with Brett Miller driving for trainer Alagna. After suffering some equipment issues that took her out of contention in her first sires stakes try in new Jersey, the daughter of Great Vintage cruised to wins in the second leg and final. All eight divisions for 2 and 3 year olds will race in three preliminary legs before $250,000 finals on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, with a special post time of 3 p.m. For the first time there will be $50,000 consolation races, with those scheduled for Saturday night, Sept. 15. From the Kentucky Sire Stakes  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The eight finalists have been declared for Sunday's $200,000 Prix D'Ete for four-year-old harness racing pacers at the Hippodrome 3R. The draw for post position will take place at the racetrack Tuesday evening after the fourth race on the betting program. Trainers Ron Burke and Richard Moreau, each have two horses from their stable entered in the big race. Burke has Filibuster Hanover and Eddard Hanover while Moreau has entered Modern Reflection and American Wiggle. Also entered is Western Joe for trainer Chris Choate. He has won his last two starts including the $260,000 Sam McKee Memorial against the best pacers in North America and the prior week won at the Meadowland in 1:47.3. Since the Prix D'Ete's revival at the Hippodrome 3R four years ago, the race has been won twice by Ron Burke horses and twice by Jimmy Takter trainees. Here is the field in alphabetical order with tentative drivers: American Wiggle (Tr. Richard Moreau, Dr. Louis Philippe Roy) Beckhams Z Tam (Tr. Jamie Macomber, Dr. Ricky Macomber) Blood Line (Tr. Jimmy Takter, Dr. Trevor Henry) Eddard Hanover (Tr. Ron Burke, Dr. Stephane Brosseau) Filibuster Hanover (Tr. Ron Burke, Dr. Louis Philippe Roy) Miso Fast (Tr. Virgil Morgan, Jr., Dr. Daniel Dube) Modern Reflection (Tr. Richard Moreau, Dr. Louis Philippe Roy) Western Joe (Tr. Chris Choate, Dr. Doug McNair) The post position draw takes place Tuesday evening at H3R after the fourth race on the betting card. Final drivers for the race will be declared by Wednesday morning. Post time for Tuesday's card is 6:30 pm and features five divisions of the second round of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacers. For more information and a free program for Tuesday night, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, August 11, 2018-Veteran Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald, $9) finished what he started Saturday night (Aug. 11th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. Using his usual gate speed, Great Vintage-from post position No. 5-threw down intervals of :27.1, :56.4, 1:24.2 and 1:52.2. He held off a first-up McErlean (Brent Holland) by a head, with 3-2 favorite Always at My Place (George Brennan a second-over third. Pacing Major N (Austin Siegelman) and Doctor Butch (Jason Bartlett) came away with the minors, while logical would-be favorite Evenin 'of Pleasure was scratched-sick. For third choice Great Vintage, a 10-year-old son of American Ideal owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding, Goran Anderberg & Goran Falk and trained by Jimmy Takter, it was his fifth win in 13 seasonal starts (career 45-for-161, earnings over $1.26 million). The exacta paid $102.50, the triple returned $402 and the superfecta paid $636. It was one of MacDonald's four wins during the 11-race card. Sunday's (Aug. 12th) matinee has a first post of 12:40 PM, with races 1 through 4 of the overflow-field, mile-and-a-quarter 'French' theme. The 'New York, New York Double' is comprised of Saratoga's first race and Yonkers' third. Post times are 1 PM and 1:40 PM, respectively. A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Sunday afternoon’s (Aug. 12th) Pick 5 wager starts with a carryover of $4,979.96 and a $15,000 guaranteed pool. The guarantee is in conjunction with the U.S. Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 (if 11 or less races, the gimmick is the last five races on the card). It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Saturday night), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next racing program. Sunday‘s program may be downloaded at http://www.empirecitycasino.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/sun_program.pdf First post Sunday is 12:40 PM. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway  

The man enjoying the ride behind Kiwi pacing sensation Lazarus says only one horse may be able to stop him becoming the fastest pacer in history. And that would be Lazarus himself. Champion driver Yannick Gingras was still buzzing hours after driving Lazarus to a dominant victory in his first North American start, the pair overcoming the outside barrier to lead for the last half of the US$325,000 Dan Patch at Hoosier Park in Indiana on Saturday afternoon (NZ time). It was Lazarus’s first start in the United States since being sold for an estimated record price of $4million to Taylor Made Stallions. While he had been the best standardbred in Australasia for two years and qualified in sensational time in the US two weeks ago, any horse traveling to the other side of the world to take on their best comes with question marks. Lazarus turned those into exclamations marks with his 1:48.8 mile. The win has already justified his purchase price because with North American breeders now seeing how powerful Lazarus is in full flight he is guaranteed a commercial start to a dual hemisphere stallion career. That leaves the $3.8million earner with just a couple of major targets that could greatly embellish his reputation — winning at the Breeders Crown in late October and pacing a super fast mile time, close to the world record of 1:46 held by Always B Miki. But while Gingras says that time may be within Lazraus physical capabilities, the horse himself might need some company. “A lot of things need to happen to get down to that speed but I think he can do it,” Gingras said. “I have no doubt with the improvement he has in him he can pace 1:46 and change, maybe even 1:46 flat. “But to do that you need the right track, the right conditions and the right horses to push you. “Tonight he would have gone a lot faster if he had needed to and I think he is a horse who will always find more when another horse gets close to him and pushes him. “So to pace 1:46 he will need all of those things and a horse good enough to push him to that time. Otherwise I don’t think he is a horse who will want to go much faster than he has to to win. “But anything is possible because he had only had that one qualifier here before tonight’s race so he is obviously going to get better and better.” Lazraus’s next starts are likely to be in the heat and final of the Canadian Pacing Derby on August 25 and September 1 and yesterday’s win guarantees him a start in the Hoosier Park Derby on September 21. After that looms the US$500,000 major free-for-all at the rocket fast Red Mile (October 7) in Kentucky, the ideal track to attempt a lightning quick mile. “Tonight was the perfect starting point. He won, we got to show people how good he is but he wasn’t put under any strain.” What was it like driving the Kiwi hero? “It is a real thrill. Driving any great horse is amazing but the novelty around him tonight and the way the race was promoted, and knowing so many people Down Under were watching. It was pretty special.” Michael Guerin

Anderson, Ind.--Aug. 10, 2018-- On a gorgeous Friday evening (Aug. 10) in which it appeared a presence from above intervened to provide perfect conditions, Lazarus N, the Wonder from Down Under, anointed himself as a true harness racing superstar with an impressive 1:48.4 performance in the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino before a legion of admirers in his first pari-mutuel engagement in the U.S. "One of the reasons I decided to buy this horse with my brothers was because we are devoutly Catholic," said Duncan Taylor, whose Taylor Made Farms owns the 6-year-old stallion. "First of all his name is Lazarus which represents a miracle, and his dam's name is Bethany, which is the location where the resurrection took place. Then Bethany's sire is Christen Cullen. These factors made it appear as if (purchasing the horse) was meant to be and a gift from god." Guided by Yannick Gingras and conditioned by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, Lazarus N, a son of Bettor's Delight, left alertly from his assigned post position nine to settle into second behind fellow New Zealand-bred Bit Of A Legend N before the teletimer posted the first quarter-mile split of :26.1. Shortly after the two frontrunners glided around the first turn, Gingras brushed the stallion to the lead and the duo hit the half-mile marker in a measured :54.2. As Lazarus N continued to lead the field of nine through to the three-quarter pole in 1:22.4, he placed a bit of separation between himself and his rivals. As he rounded the final turn, it seemed the horse would pull away in the stretch to post a facile victory. Halfway down the lane, however, Breeders Crown victor Split The House (Brett Miller) mounted a furious rally which drew him nearly alongside Lazarus N. Proving he already has established a passionate fan base, those in attendance were cheering so loudly for Lazarus N to hit the wire first the words of announcer Steve Cross could scarcely be heard. As the noise of the crowd drowned out all sound, Gingras asked his horse for more. He responded in kind to spurt away from Split The House, as well as a closing McWicked (Brian Sears), to stop the clock in 1:48.4. The stallion paced his last quarter mile in a stellar :26. "Yannick said this horse only does what you ask of him," Taylor said. "In Thoroughbred racing we would refer to it as not getting to the bottom of them, but in Lazarus' case he is just a very relaxed horse. Jimmy (Takter) keeps telling us how intelligent he is and that characteristic definitely a part of why he is a special horse. All I know is he is a blessing." After his first U.S. victory, Lazarus N, New Zealand's defending Horse of the Year and that nation's Pacer of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2017, now improves his record to 36 wins from 46 starts. The stallion has now earned more than $2.8 million. As the 6-5 favorite, Lazarus N provided his backers with $3 for their support. Split The House paid $7.20 at odds of 19-1 for his second place finish while McWicked offered his supporters $2.20 for third. By Kim French for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

Lazarus N, the world champion harness racing pacer from New Zealand was given a tough welcome to the United States as he drew the far outside post 9 for his debut race in North America in the $325,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park on Friday. The career winner of more than $2.6 million (US), Lazarus N, a son of Bettor’s Delight, was supplemented to the Dan Patch for a fee of $25,000 that went directly to the purse. Lazarus N was purchased earlier this season for a reported 3.9 million by Taylor Made Stallions of Kentucky and is being trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter. Just ten days ago, Lazarus N, driven by Yannick Gingras, won a qualifying race at the Meadowlands in 1:48.3 in an impressive performance. It is off that mile that Lazarus N has been made the 6/5 morning line favorite in the Dan Patch despite drawing the outside post. Second choice in the race is perhaps the top pacer in North America, McWicked, who drew post six. He is at odds of 2-1 and third choice in the field is Dealt A Winner, post one, at odds of 8-1. Lazarus N will also be facing fellow country-mate, Bit Of Legend N, who drew post five. Bit Of Legend N has been in the USA for some time now and is a career winner of $2.3 million. These two have faced each other before in New Zealand. This is the 25th annual Dan Patch Invitational, which started out with a purse of just $40,000. The Friday night feature will go off as race 11 as the main event of the richest weekend of racing at Hoosier Park in 2018. Here are the Dan Patch Post Positions: $325,000 Dan Patch Invitational Race 11 Dealt A Winner by Cams Card Shark (8-1) Beckham’s Z Tam  by Always A Virgin (20-1) Split The House by Rocknroll Hanover (20-1) Rockin Ron by Real Desire (10-1) Bit Of A Legend N by Bettor's Delight (12-1) McWicked by McArdle  (2-1) All Bets Off by Bettor's Delight (10-1) New Talent by Mach Three (20-1) Lazarus by Bettor's Delight (6/5) By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - August 4, 2018 - Tactical Landing took the tactical route outside to avoid inside traffic and win the second $100,000 Hambletonian Elimination, the ninth race, on Saturday afternoon at the Meadowlands Racetrack. The Jimmy Takter driven and trained three-year-old son of Muscle Hill scored his third consecutive win, crossing the wire in 1:52.2. He returned $14.80, $7.80, $7.20. It was a quarter length back to Patent Leather ($50.20, $36.20) in second and Fashionwoodchopper ($21.40) in third by 1 ¾ lengths. Also advancing to the final were fourth place Alarm Detector and Classichap in fifth. The Tactical Landing Stable of Perrysburg, OH owns Tactical Landing, who was only making his sixth career start. "He's inexperienced, but he's a strong horse to go heats," said Takter. "We got pushed out on the back side. He was three wide for a while there. I mean, this is the Hambletonian, a lot of sh*t happens. It’s a crazy race, horses going in and out.  This horse has three lifetime starts never been in a stake race, and being that professional that he was today, I was so impressed with this horse. I’m proud of this guy." Six Pack, the 2-5 favorite, hooked wheels in the stretch, finished sixth and will miss the $1 million Hambletonian Final. From the Meadowlands Publicity Department  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - August 4, 2018 - The Ice Dutchess won Saturday's $357,450 James Doherty Memorial for 2-year-old filly trotters, besting Beautiful Sin by a neck in 1:53 4/5 at the Meadowlands. Hanna Dreamgirl was third by three-quarters of a length. The Ice Dutchess and Beautiful Sin both are from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter, who has won the Doherty Memorial three years in a row and six of the last nine editions. Johnny Takter, Jimmy's brother, drove The Ice Dutchess and put the filly in front on the backstretch after Hanovers Best left quickly from post nine and set the tempo of :28 to the first quarter. The Ice Dutchess yielded the lead to Beautiful Sin at the half, reached in :56.4, and followed the leader through three-quarters in 1:25.4. After turning for home, Johnny Takter and The Ice Dutchess found room inside and trotted to her second win in three starts. Her loss was by a nose in last week's Doherty eliminations. The Ice Dutchess is a daughter of Muscle Hill out of The Ice Queen and a full sister to stakes-winner Ice Attraction. She was purchased for $320,000 at last fall's Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by John Floren's Coyote Wynd Farms. She pushed her earnings to $189,790. The Ice Dutchess paid $12.80, $4.80 and $3.40 Beautiful Sin paid $2.60 and $2.20. Hanna Dreamgirl paid $3.40. From the Meadowlands Publicity Department  

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --- August 4, 2018 - Don't Let'em, driven by Yannick Gingras, led wire-to-wire to win by 3 1/4 lengths, setting a stakes and track harness racing record of 1:51 4/5 in the 38th edition of $422,350 Peter Haughton Memorial Final for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings, the fourth race on Saturday afternoon at the Meadowlands. By winning the Peter Haughton, Don't is the early favorite for the 2019 Hambletonian as the race has always served as a preview to harness racing's biggest trotting race. He is trained by Jimmy Takter. Wallner previously held the track record of 1:53, set on October 29, 2016. At odds of 3-1, Don't Let'em took the lead at the quarter in 27.1 and never looked back. Don't Let'em paid $8.00, $4.20, and $3.20. The 11-1 Green Manalishi S ($12.20, $9.80), driven by David Miller, finished second and Mass Fortune K finished third ($27.00) by 6 ¼ lengths. "It doesn't surprise anyone from the farm or any of the ownership. He is a very, very talented horse," said General Manager Art Zubrod of Brittany Farms, the co-owner and breeder of the Muscle Hill colt who is also owned by Christina Takter, John Fielding and Herb Liverman. This was Gingras's second win of the day and his fourth Haughton win, having won with You Know You Do (1:54.2) in 2017, Southwind Frank (1:53.4) in 2015 and Father Patrick (1:54.1) in 2013. From the Meadowlands Publicity Department    

Jimmy Takter has an idea of what to expect in Saturday's 93rd Hambletonian at The Meadowlands. The unexpected. Takter, who will send four horses into the sport's grand harness racing event for 3-year-old trotters as he tries for a record-tying fifth win, said the Hambletonian is a race that rarely follows conventional wisdom. Only five favorites have won the Hambletonian in the 21st century, and three came in the span of three years, 2007-2009, when future Hall of Famers Donato Hanover, Deweycheatumnhowe and Muscle Hill claimed the trophy. The other favorites to win were Royalty For Life in 2013 and Scarlet Knight in 2001. Ten winners during that span were at odds of more than 4-1. "I think it's going to be a (1):50 mile," Takter said about Saturday's race. "But the Hambletonian, somehow, is not known to be a record-breaking day. I don't know; maybe there is so much tension. That race never goes as you predict it will go. Always something happens in that race. "It's a lot of tension in that race. You can feel it. When you go out behind the gate, you see the drivers and they don't have the same coolness in their face. That includes myself. The horses don't know it, but the people do. People say to treat it just like another race, but it doesn't work like that. "But you've got to be cool and you've got to let the horse do the work." Takter has the 5-2 morning-line favorite, Wolfgang, in the first of Saturday's two $100,000 eliminations. The top-five finishers from each elimination return later in the day for the $1 million final. Wolfgang is 3-for-3 this year, with wins in the Goodtimes Stakes and a division of the Stanley Dancer Memorial, but faces a field that includes the race's lone filly, Atlanta, and Earl Beal Jr. Memorial winner Crystal Fashion. Atlanta is undefeated in five races this season and Crystal Fashion has been no worse than second in eight starts, with five victories. "He's very good," Takter said about Wolfgang. "I trained him a (1):56 mile here last Friday with a good last half and he felt awesome. You try to peak them as best you can. "He's been very good every start. He's so professional. He's most likely the most reliable horse I have in the Hambletonian this year." Takter also has Zephyr Kronos, at 10-1, in the first elimination. The horse has won four of nine races this year. All of his victories came in conditioned races, but he was third in the Dancer division won by Wolfgang on July 14 and second in the Tompkins-Geers on July 21. "He's been a project, but I like the program we've set for him," Takter said. "I did not leave the Meadowlands. I was going to sit there and milk him in the (conditioned) class. The horse is coming in as good as I can have him. He's a strong horse. He hasn't really been down to the speed that it's possible he'll have to go, but he's trotted a :54.2 last half so I know he has the speed. He's kind of an interesting horse." In the second elimination, where Six Pack is the 2-1 favorite, Taker sends out Tactical Landing (4-1) and You Know You Do (8-1). Tactical Landing was purchased for $800,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Sale, the second-highest yearling price in harness racing history. The colt is a full brother to Mission Brief, the two-time Dan Patch Award-winner and multiple world-record-holding filly who finished second to Pinkman in the 2015 Hambletonian. He joined Takter's stable in the spring after going off stride in his only two races at age 2. The colt has won two of three races this year, but has yet to face open stakes company in his career. "I don't think two heats will bother him," Takter said. "He's a low-pulsed horse; he recovers very well after races. His lack of experience might hurt him. "He's more a grinder type of horse. He doesn't care if he's outside. I like him. His last start, I felt comfortable with him. I felt I could trust him a little bit more. I think he has confidence. He's a smart colt. If he wins this race it will be a remarkable story. I don't think it's impossible." You Know You Do, last year's Peter Haughton Memorial winner, has won six of 16 career races and enters the Hambletonian off a second-place finish behind Six Pack in their Dancer division. "He's a little sleeper," Takter said. "He's also coming in I think in the right form. I feel optimistic about him. He's a very gifted horse. And he's got a good attitude, he's not selling himself short. He's a real fighter. He likes to be up in contention and if he gets a decent spot I wouldn't rule him out." Takter is tied with Chuck Sylvester for the second-most training wins in the Hambletonian. Billy Haughton, Stanley Dancer and Ben White share the record of five. Takter won the Hambletonian in 1997 with Malabar Man, 2010 with Muscle Massive, 2014 with Trixton, and 2015 with Pinkman. He drove Trixton to his victory. The $1 million Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks will be shown live from 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT) on CBS Sports Network. The stakes-filled Hambletonian Day card begins at noon. Following are the fields for the Hambletonian eliminations. Hambletonian Elimination One PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Shoshie Deo-George Brennan-Dewayne Minor-10/1 2-Evaluate-Orjan Kihlstrom-Marcus Melander-15/1 3-Met's Hall-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-10/1 4-Lawmaker-David Miller-Andrew Harris-8/1 5-Wolfgang-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-5/2 6-Crystal Fashion-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell-7/2 7-Atlanta-Scott Zeron-Rick Zeron-3/1 8-Hat Trick Habit-Brian Sears-Scott DiDomenico-12/1 9-Zephyr Kronos-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-10/1 Hambletonian Elimination Two PP-Driver -Trainer-Morning Line 1-Fashionwoodchopper-David Miller-Jim Campbell-10/1 2-Patent Leather-Tim Tetrick-Jim Campbell-15/1 3-Classichap-Trond Smedshammer-Trond Smedshammer-6/1 4-Alarm Detector-Trevor Henry-Benoit Baillargeon-10/1 5-Fourth Dimension-Brian Sears-Marcus Melander-10/1 6-Southwind Chrome-Scott Zeron-Paula Wellwood-5/1 7-Tactical Landing-Jimmy Takter-Jimmy Takter-4/1 8-You Know You Do-Yannick Gingras-Jimmy Takter-8/1 9-Six Pack-Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-2/1 by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

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