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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

Lazarus' army of Kiwi fans will be able to watch his first US start next week, something his new trainer Jimmy Takter may not be able to do. The champion pacer kicks off his North American career a lot sooner than anybody anticipated on Saturday week (NZ time) after a US$25,000 late payment was made for the now US$325,000 Dan Patch at Hoosier Park in Indiana. The race is scheduled for early Saturday afternoon on August 11 and wasn't originally going to be covered by Trackside but with the TAB wanting to support the huge interest in Lazarus, it will now be broadcast live, most likely on Trackside 2. This means Kiwis will get to see a race that Takter himself is likely to miss. The Hall of Fame trainer is going on his annual holiday next week because he, like everybody else, didn't think Lazarus would be racing yet. Takter says the trip to Indiana will involve a 10-hour transporter (horse float) ride for Lazarus. Depending on how he performs in the Dan Patch, Lazarus's next major target has been confirmed as the Canadian Pacing Derby, which has eliminations on August 25 and the final on September 1 (Sunday NZT).   Michael Guerin

ANDERSON, ID --July 31, 2018--Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is proud to announce Lazarus N, who is hailed as the greatest racehorse to ever emerge from New Zealand, will be making his North American racing debut at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for the 25th edition of the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes on Friday, August 10. Lazarus N will be supplemented to the Dan Patch Stakes for a fee of $25,000 by Hall of Fame trainer, Jimmy Takter. Takter is no stranger to the Dan Patch Winner's Circle as he won the 2015 edition of the race with JK Endofanera and driver Brett Miller. The event is for older male pacers and restricted to the 10 highest lifetime money-earners that enter. With the supplemental fee, the Dan Patch Stakes will boast an increased purse of $325,000 for the third consecutive year. A winner of 35 of his 45 lifetime starts at the variety of distances raced in Australia and New Zealand, Lazarus N is the richest Down Under bred Standardbred of all time with earnings of NZ$3,821,066 (US$2,683,343). The New Zealand bred was named Pacer of the Year at ages 3 and 4 and was victorious in two editions of the prestigious New Zealand Cup and 15 Group One events overall. Lazarus N has only finished off the board once in his career. Lazarus N was recently purchased by world-renowned Thoroughbred farm Taylor Made Sales and Stallions of Nicholasville, Kentucky as they returned to the Standardbred world with a huge splash. The six-year-old horse arrived in the United States in late May and made his debut on the racetrack with a dazzling 1:48.3 qualifying mile on Saturday, July 28 at The Meadowlands. "It is truly an honor to have a horse as incredibly renowned as Lazarus N make his North American debut at Hoosier Park during our 25th anniversary season," said Hoosier Park's Vice President and General Manager of Racing Rick Moore. "He's taking the world by storm, and his presence at our 25th edition of the $325,000 Dan Patch Stakes is a testament to the racing program we've built here in Indiana." When the nominations closed for the Dan Patch Stakes, a total of 26 of the top rated older pacers in North America were included in the lineup. William R. Haughton Memorial winner McWicked, who is currently ranked No. 2 in harness racing's weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, is among the list of eligibles. McWicked has won six of eight starts while amassing $574,561 in purse earnings this season. The Casie Coleman trainee is approaching $3 million in career earnings and is currently the top horse in harness racing's older male pacer division. As an added bonus, the winner of the 2018 Dan Patch Stakes will get an automatic nomination to the 2018 edition of the $175,000 est. Hoosier Park Pacing Derby slated for Friday, September 21 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. All nomination fees will be waived but in the event the winner of the Dan Patch has already been nominated to the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, a refund of all fees will be given upon declaration. Once again, the Dan Patch Stakes will highlight the 2018 harness racing season as the best in the sport of harness racing will descend upon the seven-eighths mile oval seeking glory in Hoosier Park's premier harness racing event. As part of a weekend long festival of entertainment and racing, The Dan Patch stakes will serve as Indiana's richest harness race of the season and will be broadcasted live on Indianapolis's WISH-TV Channel 8. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park

After making his U.S. debut with a 1:48.3 qualifying mile Saturday (July 28) at The Meadowlands, the next time New Zealand-bred pacer Lazarus emerges will be for real. If all goes as planned, Lazarus will be supplemented to the $300,000 Dan Patch on Aug. 10 at Hoosier Park for his first official race in North America. The event is for older pacers and restricted to the 10 highest lifetime money-earners that enter. The fee to supplement Lazarus, who earned the U.S. equivalent of $2.66 million during his storied career Down Under, would be $25,000. Jimmy Takter, who trains Lazarus for owner Taylor Made Stallions, said it would have been nice to race the 6-year-old pacer on Hambletonian Day this Saturday at the Meadowlands, but the Dan Patch was a better fit in the horse's schedule. In addition, the winner of the Dan Patch receives an automatic nomination to the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby on Sept. 21. Furthermore, in the past three weeks Lazarus trained in 1:52.2 at Takter's farm, 1:51.2 at the Meadowlands, and then qualified in 1:48.3. "Three weeks in a row he's gone up, now it gives me two weeks," Takter said. "I think (the Dan Patch) is a good spot for him. If he wins that one, he could race in the (Hoosier Park Pacing Derby). And Hoosier is a good track. It's a fast track too." Lazarus arrived at Takter's farm in late May following his purchase by Taylor Made Stallions. During his career Down Under, Lazarus won 35 of 45 races, including two editions of the prestigious New Zealand Cup and 15 Group One events overall, and finished off the board only once. He earned NZ$3.8 million. On Saturday, the stallion capped his 1:48.3 mile with a :25.3 final quarter. His time was only three-fifths of a second off Pure Country's 1:48 record for a qualifier. Driver Yannick Gingras told DRF's Derick Giwner, "He couldn't have done it any easier." Later, Takter concurred. "It wasn't like Yannick was hard on him," Takter said. "He's a heck of a horse." Lazarus is a son of Hall of Famer Bettor's Delight out of Bethany, who was sired by top Down Under stallion Christian Cullen. It did not take long for Takter to determine Lazarus was worthy of his reputation. "I could feel pretty early that he was a little special," Takter said. "You could feel it. This is not just a horse. We knew that, but you never know. He came from a totally different continent. Everything is different. I've never been in New Zealand or Australia, but everything is so different compared to our racing. You never know how they're going to do. "But a lot of these horses that have come from Down Under have done well. And he was one of the best they ever had down there." Takter was surprised by how quickly Lazarus acclimated to life in the States and proved to be ready for action. Takter decided it was time to start the horse's North American campaign sooner than later. "He feels so good," Takter said. "I'm scared to over-train an older horse. Too much training makes them a little bored at it. Especially the training I do, it's a little boring. It's like a job." As much as Takter appreciates Lazarus' talent, he is equally impressed with his disposition. "I like when you get those nice Bettor's Delights," Takter said. "They're very laid back and sweet, not a mean streak in them. They are just sweethearts. "He's such a laidback horse. He's not a horse that does anything flashy when he's training, he just goes through the motions. He takes care of himself, he's a smart colt. But when you ask him, he's serious. Very serious." Lazarus' schedule could include the Canadian Pacing Derby (eliminations Aug. 25; final Sept. 1 at Woodbine Mohawk Park), Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, Allerage Farms Open Pace (Oct. 6 at Red Mile) and the Breeders Crown (eliminations Oct. 20; final Oct. 27 at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono). "I'm excited by it," Takter said. "We'll play it by ear. We're going to play it a little as it goes. It might work out pretty good." Here is the video from Lazarus N's qualifying win  by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Lazarus’s debut in North America looks set to be fast-tracked after the Kiwi champion dazzled in his first public outing there. The two-time New Zealand Cup winner paced a 1:48.6 mile in a qualifier (trial) at The Meadowlands in New Jersey on Saturday morning (US time), beating outstanding three-year-old Lather On, winner of the North America Cup. Purchased out of New Zealand for around $4million just a few months ago Lazarus is now trained by Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter with the aim of winning a major North American race and pacing a sub 1:47 mile to make him a dual hemisphere stallion prospect. Saturday’s performance was a hugely positive step in that direction. It proved Lazarus is fit and healthy and handling his new training regime as Takter tries to sharpen him up for the almost exclusively diet mile racing in North America. And importantly Lazarus showed gate speed in the trial, leading from the ace early before trailing and the powering past Lather On at the 400m mark and holding him easily at the line. “I couldn’t be any happier with him,” driver Yannick Gingras “told local media. “He’s very easy on himself and had tons of pace.” Lazarus’s gate speed, or perceived lack of it, was one of the concerns for the $3.6million earner when he headed to the States as it will be incredibly hard to win a top level free-for-all in North America coming from back in the field. But the way he left the mobile, cruised past a serious horse and paced one of the fastest qualifying times in history suggests he is already set to pace 1:48 when needed, probably faster. When Lazarus left New Zealand the original targets were races at the Red Mile early in October, where the track is condusive to a very fast time, and the Breeders Crown at Pocono on October 27. But he looks way more advanced than anybody expected and Takter has indicated a late entry fee could be paid for Lazarus to contest the US$300,000 Dan Patch at Hoosier Park in Indiana on August 10. His next aim could then be the Canadian Pacing Derby (open to older horses) on September 1, with heats a week earlier. If he holds together and doesn’t get struck down by the illness so many imported horses are susceptible to because of their exposure to different viruses than they are used to Down Under, Lazarus looks set for a longer and more profitable North American campaign than many would have imagined.   Michael Guerin

Lazarus N, with a :25.3 last quarter mile for harness racing driver Yannick Gingras, was able to beat North America Cup winner Lather Up, by one and one-quarter lengths in 1:48.3 in his USA qualifying win Saturday morning at the Meadowland. It was Lather Up and driver Montrell Teague who left from post seven to take the early lead over Lazarus N in :28.2. The field then raced in alignment past the half mile in :55.3 and then the action began to heat up. Approaching the three-quarter mile marker, Gingras came first-over with Lazarus N and brushed right by Lather Up in 1:23. As they came down the stretch, Teague tried to urge Lather Up to come back against Lazarus N, but Lazarus N proved to be the strong horse as Lather Up could gain no ground on the winner. Blood Line (Andrew McCarthy) was third. The last half mile was also super impressive in :53 flat. "I couldn't be any happier with him," said Yannick as he dashed off to catch a flight to The Meadows for today's Adios stake. "He's very easy on himself and had tons of pace." Trained by Jimmy Takter for the Taylor Made Stallions of Nicholasville, KY, Lazarus is the richest Standardbred of all time down under. The son of Bettor's Delight came to the USA from New Zealand, seeking to break the world record of Always N Miki of 1:46 and then become a duel hemisphere stallion, serving stud both in North America and Australasia. Lazarus N by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Despite being on the other side of the globe, Lazarus is still King. The champion pacer is gearing up for a racing campaign on North American soil in the coming months following his sale earlier this year and the charismatic stallion is still very much on everyone’s mind. And with good reason. The 2017/18 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season has come to a close and the Bettors Delight entire has claimed back to back titles following another brilliant season. Lazarus amassed 304 points during the term. Points are awarded during the Grand Circuit, 100 points for a win, 60 points for second, 40 points for third, and so on, to last placing. The eight leg series which commenced back in 1977 is now worth more than $4.4 million and starts in October at Melbourne with the Victoria Cup followed by the New Zealand Cup in Christchurch, Inter Dominion (Perth), Auckland Cup, WA Pacing Cup, Hunter Cup, Miracle Mile before concluding with the Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship. The Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained star becomes the first pacer since Christen Me (2014/15) to record back to back titles as Grand Circuit champion. His Grand Circuit haul during the season included the New Zealand Cup, Inter Dominion and Hunter Cup while his only unplaced run for the season came at his most recent start, finishing 7th in the Miracle Mile in Australasian record time. While Young Rufus and Smolda have been crowned previous Grand Circuit champions, Lazarus becomes the first horse from the All Stars stable to record back to back titles. Overall, he won 8 of his 13 starts while amassing more than $1.6 million in prizemoney. The All Stars stable claimed 4 of the 8 legs with Lazarus winning three events while Vincent won the Auckland Cup. The full list of Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit winners during the season were Lennytheshark (Victoria Cup), Lazarus (New Zealand Cup), Lazarus (Inter Dominion), Vincent (Auckland Cup), Soho Tribeca (WA Pacing Cup), Lazarus (Hunter Cup), My Field Marshal (Miracle Mile) and Let It Ride (Blacks A Fake Qld Championship). And the Top 5 point scorers were; Lazarus – 304 points Soho Tribeca – 205 Tiger Tara – 145 Lennytheshark – 134 Chicago Bull – 120 Congratulations to the owners of Lazarus – Phil & Glenys Kennard, Trevor Casey and Kevin Riseley.   Hoofnote – Lazarus is now trained by Jimmy Takter after being purchased by Taylor Made Stallions.   Chris Barsby

WILKES-BARRE, PA - Both of the $21,500 features at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on Sunday night required the use of the photo finish camera, with the mare Satin Dancer holding off Crazshana by a nose on the trot and Juslikeaqueen rallying furiously from sixth at the 3/4 to get a neck decison in the distaff pace. Satin Dancer, a double winner in Open company at Hoosier before coming east, was sent right to the top in a 27.1 quarter over off going by driver Matt Kakaley in the trotting headliner, then got a breather to the half in 57. The winning daughter of Big Stick accelerated the tempo to the ¾, reaching that pole in 1:25.1, then had to go faster and dig deep as Crazshana narrowed in from the pocket, retaining the smallest possible advantage on the money while equaling her mark of 1:53. Travis Alexander conditions the winner, one of the big factors at two and three in Indiana as her $637,160 earnings would attest, for Summit Pacing Acres LLC (a "Pacing Acres" owning a fast trotter - they really have the winning touch!). Obvious Blue Chip tried to live up to 1-5 backing in the female pacing feature, moving to the front near the 27.4 quarter and then posting middle fractions of 57 and 1:24.4. But first-over Princess Fabulosa grinded at the leader, passed her in the stretch, then herself was caught by the flying-from-third-over Juslikeaqueen, from whom Anthony Napolitano summoned a huge last quarter while wide to take a 1:53.1 decision. Antonia Storer owns and trains the Palone Ranger mare, who now has a lifetime bankroll of $175,710. And just in case you thought that all those good Jimmy Takter trotters easily roll out of the barn all ready to go stakes-caliber miles, consider Fleet Admiral, who had a 1:56.3 win and a break in two qualifiers as a freshman, then put in two stretch breaks as a sophomore before qualifying at Pocono in 1:54.4. He made a break in his first purse start, was 16½ lengths out at the quarter, and rallied to be second, so when he broke at the start of his second race Sunday but was only 9¼ down at the quarter, he was "obviously" still in the hunt, and he again showed a giant recovery kick for driver Josert Fonseca, coming his last ¾ in 1:27.1 to win in 1:57.3 on a sloppy track. Oh, did we mention that he's a full brother to Ariana G? Hurricane Beach :51.3 to the half is fastest ever According to a detailed check of available records, the Somebeachsomewhere – Blazing Yankee four-year-old gelding Hurricane Beach cut the fastest half-mile ever in a Standardbred race mile on a 5/8-mile track, 51.3, in winning the last race on Sunday night at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The final time for the mile was 1:49.4, over a sloppy track, in the $17,000 conditioned pace. Hurricane Beach blasted away from post eight for driver Simon Allard, hitting the quarter in 25.2 with the field well-strung-out behind, and Allard had the horse under a hold passing the stands for the first time. The half-mile station was reached as noted in 51.3, and the ¾ was reached in 1:19.3. Hurricane Beach officially had a 10-length lead at the stretch call, and won by 7¼ lengths. A detailed list of miles which have reached the 3/4s in 1:20, while not official, has been kept, and the 51.3 clocking eradicated the former mark for 5/8-mile tracks of 52.1 set by Split The House in the 2016 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft, won by All Bets Off. The record in such a race on an “f” track for the quarter is 25.1, notched by five horses (only one of which went on to win); Always B Miki went 1:19 to the 3/4s in winning the Ewart Pace at Scioto, also in 2016. The overall harness record for reaching the half in a mile race, according to this list, is 51.2, set by Devonshire Hanover at The Meadowlands in 2006. Those with long memories about unusual records probably had a bell ring as soon as they saw a horse named “Hurricane” involved in fast fractions. And yes, Hurricane Beach is a half-brother, out of Blazing Yankee, to the Cam’s Card Shark pacer Hurrikane Kingcole, who holds the overall record for the fastest-ever clocking to the ¾ in a mile race, 1:18.2, in the 2012 SBOANJ Classic at The Meadowlands, which was won by Panther Hanover. From the PHHA/Pocono Downs

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, July 21, 2018-Veteran Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald, $6.60) had to work for the lead and that worked for him Saturday night (July 21st), winning Yonkers Raceway's $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. Using his usual gate speed, Great Vintage-from post position No. 5-had an early impediment in Barimah A (Brent Holland). Forced wide around that one, Great Vintage then continued to the lead, taking over from Robbie Burns N (Greg Merton) before a 27-second opening quarter-mile. Once he fronted the fray, Great Vintage finished it off (:56.4, 1:24.4, 1:52.4). Second went to a stubborn 17-10 fave Always at My Place (George Brennan), who was also compromised when an out-again Barimah A moved first-up and was his obligatory hard-to-steer self. Barimah A eventually went back in-again-leaving Always at My Place to take up the chase. Great Vintage, with a length-and-a-half lead entering the lane, defeated Always at My Place by three-quarters of a length in 1:52. Robbie Burns N was a pocket third, with Run Oneover N (Jim Marohn Jr.) and that Barimah A rounding out the payees. For second 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 fourth win in 11 seasonal starts (career 44-for-159, earnings over $1.24 million). The exacta paid $22, the triple returned $68.50 and the superfecta paid $281. Sunday's (July 22nd) matinee has a first post of 12:30 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 third race and Yonkers' fifth. Post times are 2:07 PM and 2:20 PM, respectively. . by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

WILKES-BARRE, PA - A veteran harness racing pacer with career earnings of $1.3 million and a record of ability to race well over an off-track, teamed with a driver making his first career start on a sloppy track to pull off a 12-1 upset, as Sunfire Blue Chip and driver Josert Fonseca skimmed the inside pylons to take a 1:50.4 victory in a $30,000 Great Northeast Open Series for fast-class pacers on Saturday night. Sunfire Blue Chip, who was beaten only a half-length over sloppy footing when third behind Captaintreacherous and Vegas Vacation in the 2013 Hempt Championship here, started from post six and took his spot sixth in the early "lineup" (1 through 7) out of the gate, but things changed radically even before the 27 quarter, as Christen Me N was already out to take the lead from polesitter and favorite Bettor's Edge, only to see that one remove to the top by the 54.3 half. Highalator came uncovered from third with Rockeyed Optimist and the mare Bettorhaveanother right behind, and when Rockeyed Optimist gapped cover Christen Me N slid out behind Highalator, with Sunfire Blue Chip and Fonseca, sixth in front of the stands, advancing quickly to find themselves in the pocket to the 1:22.4 3/4. Highalator wore down pacesetting Bettor's Edge early in the stretch, but Fonseca had his son of American Ideal flying up the famed Pocono Pike, and they beat out the game Highalator by a neck, with Bettorhaveanother, ducking back in to get out of her bad flow, closing well to miss the big end of the purse by only ¾ of a length as the 43-1 longest shot on the board. Sunfire Blue Chip, whose mark of 1:48.3 was taken in his Hempt elim just over five years ago, boosted his earnings for trainer Jimmy Takter to $1,357,440 for Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Brixton Medical Inc., and R A W Equine Inc. For driver Fonseca, his budding career now shows a 14-6-2-1 tally, good for a UDR of .532 - which rises to 1.000 if only sloppy track races are considered. Frpm the PHHA/Pocono Downs

East Rutherford, NJ - Trainer Jimmy Takter brought the down under sensation Lazarus out for gate schooling after today's qualifiers and the pair went a dazzling mile in 1:51 flat, the only company being two trotters that were unable to keep up and the only encouragement a few "C'mon boy" calls from the driver.   Fractions were 29.2, 57, 1:25.3, 1:51.   The six-year-old New Zealand bred son of Bettors Delight was imported by Taylor Made Stallions and is expected to contest the top older horse events for the balance of the season.   Breakfast WithThe Babies (BWTB), sponsored by Fashion Farms Meadowlands Pace Day edition, was conducted at 9:00 am under ideal conditions, no wind and temperatures of 70 degrees. Pacing colts opened the card today and Goldberg rode the Team Teague bus up from Harrington this morning then went a sensational mile in 1:51.3 for catch driver Dewayne Minor. He went right to the front, set fast fractions and closed it out in 27.3 in hand. Artie's Ideal (Marcus Miller) rallied between horses for second and Alittlewiggleroom, driven by George Teague, gained wide late for third. Goldberg is a Montrell Teague homebred by family sire Mr Wiggles and is trained by his aunt Brenda Teague. Captain McKee was a 1:53.4 winner for trainer Tony Alagna and driver Scott Zeron. Zeron afforded the Captaintreacherous colt a perfect trip behind eventual second place finisher Cub Fan (Andy Miller), tipping off that one in the stretch through the 27.2 final panel for the win. Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Brad Grant and Captain Trevor Racing gave $75,000 for the Hanover bred at Harrisburg last fall. Pacing filly Pace Baby Pace (Andy Miller) put one in the win column for her sire Sweet Lou with a 1:56.1 score for the Burke barn. She sat a pocket to Passion Struck (Andy McCarthy) through reasonable fractions then sailed by under minimal encouragement form the driver. JK Mardi Says (Zeron) rallied wide nicely for the place. The winner is a homebred for Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi, LLC. Trotting fillies came next and Sister's Promise can now be counted among the winners from Father Patrick's first crop after her effortless 2:00.4 score for Tim Tetrick. Celebrity Serena cut the mile through slow numbers and led until mid-stretch where the winner and Mother Teresa (Zeron) went by in the 28.4 final stanza. Linda Toscano trains Sister's Promise for Brittany Farms. She was a $120,000 Harrisburg yearling, bred by Fred Hertrich, III. Andy and Julie Miller won the next race with the Donato Hanover filly American Kronos in 1:58. Getting away in third, American Kronos accelerated when asked around the last bend and sailed by early leader Lindy Pearl (Zeron) through the 27.4 end to the mile. Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and David Goodrow own the winner, bred in Italy by Allevamento Kronos. Full Right (Justin Morrison) won in 1:59.1, surging by a stubborn Celebrity Stalone (Minor) in the shadow of the wire. Jim Campbell trains the homebred son of RC Royalty for Runthetable Stable. Finally Dewayne Minor doubled up for the day by driving Fearless Dreamer, an Explosive Matter colt from Bold Dreamer to a front stepping 1:59.1 win over Practical Cat (Takter). The winner is owned by Rivers Stable who gave $35,000 from the Valley High consignment at the Lexington Yearling Sale. Also of note last season's Dan Patch award winning freshman trotter Fourth Dimension went a flat qualifier in 1:52.4 for Brian Sears as trainer Marcus Melander continues to seek answers to the colt's erratic performances thus far this year. Live racing tonight at 8:00 and it's Corntastic Night!   Lazarus “schools” in an approximate time of 1:51. Last qua in 25 and change. — Dave Brower (@eedoogie) July 21, 2018   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Trainers Jimmy Takter and Tony Alagna had the hot horses Friday night at the Meadowlands, as each conditioner sent three pupils apiece to the winner's circle. Takter swept the Early Daily Double not only as trainer, but driver as well. Susy took a division of the Kindergarten Classic for 2-year-old trotting fillies in 1:55.1. The 2-5 favorite is a daughter of Father Patrick. Tactical Landing, the 1-2 public choice, completed a $4, all-Takter double in a non-winners of two event. The Hambletonian hopeful, a son of Muscle Hill, hit the wire in 1:52.3. Takter's three-bagger was complete after 1-9 choice Beautiful Sin won a Kindergarten for 2-year-old trotting fillies in 1:55.1 in the sixth race. The daughter of Muscle Hill made it two wins in as many parimutuel starts. Alagna sent out a pair of winners in the Kindergarten for 2-year-old colts and geldings on the pace. The first was in race five, when Major Deception (a Captaintreacherous colt) scored in 1:53.3 as the 3-5 favorite. The other was with Captain Ahab (another Captaintreacherous colt), who scored as the 4-5 choice in a sizzling 1:51.1 in race nine. Tony's trifecta was capped in the 11th race when 5-1 chance (the longest shot of the night) Key West scored in a Kindergarten for 2-year-old pacing fillies in a remarkable 1:51.1. Making her second career start, the daughter of Captaintreacherous paced her final quarter in :25.4. A LITTLE MORE: Tim Tetrick drove three winners on the card, while Takter, Yannick Gingras and Andy McCarthy had two apiece. ... Marcus Melander trained a pair of winners on the program. ... Seven favorites scored on the 11-race card, with the longest two prices of the night (5-2 and 5-1) coming in the last two races to create a Late Double that came back $68.00. ... The Pick-4 pool $100,000 streak ended at four, but betting was still brisk at $90,497. ... Total handle on the card was $1,978,174. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday with a special post time of 8 p.m. by Dave Little, for the Meadowlands

When Lazarus stepped foot upon American soil at the start of June this year it officially began the next leg of the great pacer’s remarkable journey. It was also the beginning of a growing hype from the North American and international harness racing media. Since arriving at Jimmy Takter’s East Windsor Farm in New Jersey, the enquiries have been constant. The reputation and expectation that preceded his arrival would put pressure on any trainer. But his new trainer seems extremely calm about it all. With 45 starts, 35 wins, 9 placings (he was only once out of the top three) and $3.8 million (NZ)  in earnings, Lazarus has already won two editions of his home country’s most prestigious race, the New Zealand Cup, and a staggering 15 Group One races in Australasia. But his ultimate challenge still lies ahead of him. Lazarus has been purchased by Taylor Made Stallions, who up until last year have been thoroughbred stallion owners, and are based in Kentucky. One of four brothers who own Taylor Made Stallions, Duncan Taylor grew up in the Standardbred game and decided that branching back out into the harness racing world would be a sentimental move and also a lucrative opportunity for their company. His new trainer, US Hall of Fame inductee Jimmy Takter, is a Swedish native that has tasted success at the very highest level in Europe and North America. Takter trained Elitlopp winner Moni Maker and also the world’s fastest pacer, Always B Miki, and he now has his sights set on translating Lazarus into an international star. “My main goal with Lazarus is the Breeders Crown in October,” says Takter. “He has been working very well here, last week he paced a mile at home in 1.56 and did it very handily.” “I intend to go a bit quicker with him this week but I am very pleased with him. You can tell he’s a legend.” The horse has recovered from his trip and has adapted well coming from winter to spring reported Takter. “He’s been tremendous so far. There is a lot of stress that is put on a horse coming to this hemisphere. Different food, different environment, but my farm is very quiet and relaxing.” “He arrived looking great but with a little winter coat. His body was a bit confused so it took a little bit for him to adapt.  In the last two weeks I would say he has really blossomed and he is starting to look really good now.” For Takter the weight of expectation from the international racing community is nothing new, and he thrives on the challenge. “It’s not intimidating for me. I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I took on Moni Maker years ago and that was the best decision I ever made,” laughed Takter. “I like the idea of taking on great horses. That’s what we work for right?” “A lot of people are asking about the horse at the moment, hopefully we are able to live up to the expectation.” Since joining the team Lazarus has made a unique impression on Takter. Who fondly refers to the horse’s characteristics during his work. “He’s got personality, he’s very cool. We train him on the straight track with a team of eight horses and he is very vocal,” he said. “He screams the whole way. He’s a funny horse.” The biggest challenge in adapting to the racing style in North America Takter feels is gate speed. “I know his racing style at home is varied and over different distances, but up here you have to have gate speed. That will be the biggest thing he will need to have to make it here but it feels like he has it. I don’t think it will be a problem.” Takter knows you can’t compare Champions from different hemispheres against each other. “I have been asked if Lazarus compares to Miki (Always B Miki) and I don’t think you can really put them up against each other. They are such unique horses.” “And that is not to put Lazarus down of course. It’s just hard to compare at this stage.” “Lazarus is more laid back and more humble. And Miki was more stallion-like. But I was so proud to be associated with that horse and the world record.” The next task will be to find a suitable catch driver for the Down Under wonder. “We don’t know who will drive him yet,” admitted Takter. “Yannick Gingras does a lot of driving for me and I think the horse would fit Yannick’s style.” “I’m not one hundred percent sure but the owners are great people and basically leave it up to me to make the best decision for the horse which I appreciate.” So what would Takter deem as a success in North America for Lazarus? “Pocono Downs is not a track where you can go under 1.46. But if he does win the Breeders Crown this horse will go down as one of the greatest of all time, not only in the Southern Hemisphere but in the Northern Hemisphere as well.” But to even get to the Crown the horse will need to trial and show he’s ready for it. Lazarus will attempt to qualify at the Meadowlands in four weeks’ time, coinciding with the close of the Meadowland racing season and their Hambletonian Day meet. “I hope we can accomplish success at the highest level,” said Takter. “I am very happy to have this horse.” “We all know how difficult it is for horses to travel and keep at their peak form.”   by Jess Smith, for Harness Racing New Zealand

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