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Thirty years ago, on a similar fall Saturday afternoon, Marcia Hamilton was doing what so many caretakers around the country are doing right now: getting their horses ready to race. But in her case, she took care of the morning-line favorite in the inaugural $481,000 Breeders Crown sophomore trot, one in a three-horse Nordin Stable entry, named Baltic Speed. No one knew at the time whether the fledgling Breeders Crown would achieve what its creators hoped, and no one would have guessed that Baltic Speed would subsequently go on to galvanize the Standardbred breed by siring Valley Victory and Peace Corps in his first crop. This is Marcia Hamilton's first-person account of Saturday, November 16, 1984, when the brand new Breeders Crown series rolled into Pompano Park, Florida. Tonight is the big night! The Breeders Crown for 3-year-old trotting colts at Pompano Park. Adding to the excitement is the fact that it's the one big race, the highlight of the year, and the big draw of the evening's TV show on ESPN. Baltic hadn't raced since Kentucky due to a cold, but he was fine, fit and ready to go. That morning I was told that the dentist was going to come by to check Baltic's teeth and just smooth off any rough edges that he might have. I had already given Baltic a good bath, cleaned his stall and tossed him some hay first thing that morning. I always gave him his hay first thing on a race day, which he eventually realized the meaning of, and so after eating that hay, he would lie down and rest almost the entire day, very race savvy. Later in the morning the dentist arrived and started to do a bit of filing on Baltic's teeth, I was in the next stall putting away my last horse. After that, I walked into Baltic's stall and saw blood running down the dentist's arm and blood all over Baltic's mouth. I was shocked and said "What did you do?" "You were just supposed to smooth off the rough edges"! The dentist had pulled Baltic's front, upper and lower, 3-year-old baby teeth, which were barely ready to come out! I was shocked that he would do that! Baltic had one of the most important races of the year that night and this guy has blood running down his arm and I'm sure Baltic was in pain. [Head trainer] Soren [Nordin] was livid and that dentist was never allowed in the barn again. I did what I could to make Baltic comfortable but I was seething the whole time. The big evening arrived, my mother and some of her friends were coming to watch, adding to the excitement. She had never seen Baltic race before, live, so it was a big treat for her. I got him all ready, everything shined and polished, walked him to the main track across the street from the training side, some of the grooms waving us on and wishing us luck. I had made sure that I brought a clean sponge with some salt water to rinse out his mouth to try and help a little, anyway. The first heat went well, and I got him bathed and ready for the final. Jimmy Takter and Jan Nordin stood there those last minutes before being called out for the race and Jimmy asked me if I thought Baltic Speed could win. I told Jimmy I was pretty sure he could and I smiled, "That's if he isn't last at the half!" referring to his position in the Hambletonian a few months earlier. That got a laugh out of Jimmy laughed and even Jan smiled. Baltic did his usual trick of staying off the pace then making his move coming around the final turn and winning with Sandy Bowl and Giorgio D - the other Nordin horses - finishing second and third. It was a tremendous night for Team Nordin. It was also very exciting and more than a little poignant as I knew this would be Baltic's and my last race together so I savored every moment of it, from the Winners Circle presentations to the walk back to the paddock, enjoying every wave and shout of the crowd. After all was done in the paddock, we walked back to the barn and I took a little longer time than usual putting him away. I gave him long hugs, told him how much I loved him and what a great horse he was, and that my life story would never be complete without him being in it. Then I left him to eat his dinner and hay and have a well-deserved rest. I had been invited to the Greenbriar Pub afterwards and when I walked in I was greeted by a round of applause and lots of shouts of "congratulations." I stood there for a moment with my head down, very touched by this show of support, then went in with a huge smile on my face and had a very nice evening with good food and good friends. Later I went back to check on Baltic, rinsed his mouth out one more time, then stood holding his sweet face in my arms, him gently holding onto my forearm as he did every night when I went to do his night check. Another great memory with this wonderful, tiger on the track, kitten in the barn, stallion... and friend. by Marcia Hamilton, for the Breeders Crown

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J./ Heavy race favorite Shake It Cerry, with harness racing driver Ron Piece in the bike, waited mid-pack and then swept three wide to win the Breeders Crown $500,000 Three-Year-Old Filly Trot in a harness racing stakes-record 1:52.2 mile at the Meadowlands on Nov. 21. It was trainer Jimmy Takter's 19th Breeders Crown winner. Shake It Cerry sat fifth early as Riveting Rose took the early lead. Just after the :27.1 first quarter, Takter's other filly, Lifetime Pursuit, took over. Shake It Cerry was sixth until Cee Bee Yes went first over and she followed as the half went in :55.3. Shake It Cerry came out around the turn and went three wide to begin a strong brush to the lead, with three-quarters in 1:24.4 and a masterful command of the field. She soared home to win by 2¼ lengths. Cee Bee Yes held for second as Struck By Lindy made up enough ground mid-stretch to just miss catching her, getting third. "Just the way things worked out," said Ron Pierce after the trip. "They were mixing up real good and we decided to relax a bit. We found a live helmet to take us up the last turn anyway and carried it the rest, I just sat there. she just cruised by ‘em. Very little encouragement. Jimmy did a great job with her I just can’t say enough about her." Solveig's Breeders bred Shake It Cerry for owners Solveig's Racing Partners. She paid just $2.40 to win. Shake It Cerry by Ray Cotolo, for the Breeders Crown  

This Week: Breeders Crown finals, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit will be at Meadowlands Racetrack this Friday (Nov. 21) and Saturday (Nov. 22) for 12 Breeders Crown championships. The Friday card features four of the Breeders Crown events: the $593,750 3-Year-Old Filly Pace, the $500,000 3-Year-Old Filly Trot, the $500,000 2-Year-Old Filly Trot and the $250,000 Mare Trot. The Saturday card offers eight Breeders Crown races: the $531,250 3-Year-Old Colt Pace, the $500,000 Open Trot, the $500,000 3-Year-Old Colt Trot, the $500,000 2-Year-Old Colt Trot, the $500,000 2-Year-Old Colt Pace, the $500,000 2-Year-Old Filly Pace, the $400,000 Open Pace and the $281,250 Mare Pace. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Last time: Seven classes competed in Breeders Crown eliminations this past weekend at Meadowlands Racetrack. Let's take a look at some of the highlights: On Friday, JK She'salady increased her unbeaten streak to 11 with new driver Tim Tetrick, winning a $25,000 Breeders Crown elimination for 2-year-old filly pacers in 1:51.1. JK She'salady did it the hard way, with a prolonged first-over grind. She faced Sassa Hanover in the stretch, than pulled away to a 2-3/4 length victory. Color's A Virgin captured her 3-year-old filly pace Breeders Crown elimination, finishing in 1:51, 1-1/2 lengths ahead of second place finisher Precocious Beauty. Color's A Virgin extended her winning streak to seven with the victory. The Jugette winner is coming into the final in top form following this first-over victory with Trace Tetrick in the sulky. On Saturday at The Meadowlands, the Breeders Crown eliminations continued with Maven and driver Yannick Gingras finishing on top in a $25,000 Open Trot elimination race in 1:52.2. Maven was the only mare in the race, starting from post ten to win by a neck over Your So Vain and driver Ake Svanstadt. Maven, who was purchased for $750,000 earlier this month at the Standardbred Mixed Sale, was making her first start for new owner Herb Liverman and trainer Jimmy Takter. Always B Miki ran his winning streak to five as he and driver David Miller captured their $25,000 Breeders Crown elimination race on Saturday at The Meadowlands, finishing in 1:50. This win means that Always B Miki has earned a chance to win back his $62,500 supplement fee this Saturday in the $531,250 final. JK Endofanera and driver Ron Pierce moved to the lead early but ended up finishing second, a neck behind Always B Miki. 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 - 2,157; 2. Tim Tetrick - 1,127; 3. David Miller - 988.5; 4. Ron Pierce - 797.5; 5. Corey Callahan - 642. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke - 2,345.5; 2. Jimmy Takter - 1,828; 3. Erv Miller - 446.5; 4. Joe Holloway - 406; 5. Tony Alagna - 332. Owners: 1. Burke Racing - 514.23; 2. Weaver Bruscemi - 464.23; 3. 3 Brothers Stable - 332; 4. Brittany Farms - 294.45; 5. Robert Key - 272. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will once again take place next week at Meadowlands Racetrack with the TVG Series championships for older pacers and trotters, while Dover Downs will host eliminations in the Progress Pace for 3-year-old male pacers. by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit  

Victory Sports Bar at the Meadowlands was the scene today of the final draws for the Breeders Crown races this Friday and Saturday. The press conference featured the post position draws for the final four divisions for the $5.4 million Breeders Crown championships. Many of the world’s top trotters and pacers will do battle in hope decent weather with a dry forecast and temperatures to be in the 30’s both nights. On Friday there are four finals and then eight on Saturday Here are the fields and early morning line odds. Friday Night $500,000 Two-Year-Old Filly Trot Post - Horse 1. Love Me Madly  50-1 2. Wild Honey  5-2 3. Danielle Hall  8-1 4. Wiclet Hanover  30-1 5. Mission Brief  4-5 6. Stubborn Belle  12-1 7. Lilu Hanover  30-1 8. Hot Start  50-1 9. Livininthefastlane  8-1 10. Smexi  15-1 AE1. Sarcy AE2. Scented Roses $500,000 Three-Year-Old Filly Trot Post - Horse 1. Market Rally  8-1 2. Lifetime Pursuit  5-2 3. Shake It Cerry  4-5 4. Struck By Lindy 15-1 5. Cantabs Fortune  20-1 6. Heavens Door  20-1 7. Vanity Matters  12-1 8. Riveting Rosie- 30-1 9. Cee Bee Yes  8-1 $593,750 Three-Year-Old Filly Pace Post - Horse 1. Major Dancer  8-1 2. Beach Gal  15-1 3. Gettingreadytoroll  9-1 4. Gallie Bythe Beach  3-1 5. Colors A Virgin  6-5 6. Uffizi Hanover  20-1 7. Beach Story 30-1 8. Allstar Rating  20-1 9. Sayitall BB  10-1 10. Precocious Beauty  20-1 AE1. Weeper AE2. Table Talk $281,250 Mares Open Pace Post - Horse 1. Camille  15-1 2. Charisma Hanover  20-1 3. Voelz Hanover  9-2 4. Somwherovrarainbow  5-1 5. Yagonnakissmeornot  5-2 6. Shelliscape  10-1 7. Krispy Apple- 12-1 8. Anndrovette  7-2 9. Rocklamation  6-1 10. Regil Elektra  30-1 11. Venus Delight  20-1 Saturday Night $500,000 Two-Year-Old Filly Pace Post - Horse 1. Southwind Roulette - 15-1 2. Divine Caroline - 12-1 3. JK Shesalady  3-5 4. Heart Major  8-1 5. Bettor Be Steppin  20-1 6. Well Hello There 12-1 7. Bettor N Better 30-1 8. Heavenly Bride  20-1 9. Sassa Hanover  5-1 10. Ideal Nuggets  12-1 AE1. The Show Returns Race 7 - $500,000 Two-Year-Old Colt Pace Post - Horse 1. Cooperstown  20-1 2. Traceur Hanover  7-2 3. Lyons Levi Lewis  8-1 4. Franzo  20-1 5. Go Daddy Go  5-2 6. Sicily 20-1 7. Tomy Terror  8-1 8. Soto  30-1 9. Lost For Words- 9-2 10. In The Arsenal  4-1 Race 10 - $531,250 Three-Year-Old Colt Pace Post - Horse 1. Lets Drink On It  15-1 2. Somesizesomestyle  30-1 3. McWicked  6-1 4. Always B Miki  8-5 5. Limelight Beach  3-1 6. Jk Endofanera  5-2 7. Doo Wop Hanover -20-1 8. Somestarsomewhere  30-1 9. Luck Be Withyou  20-1 10. Capital Account  30-1 $400,000 Open Pace Post - Horse 1. Bettors Edge 7-2 2. Modern Legend  8-1 3. State Treasurer 12-1 4. Thinking Out Loud- 6-1 5. Foiled Again  9-2 6. Clear Vision  5-2 7. Sweet Lou  3-1  $500,000 Two-Year-Old Colt Trot Post - Horse 1. French Laundry 3-1 2. Walter White  50-1 3. Habitat 9-2 4. Suit And Tie  30-1 5. Pinkman -2-1 6. Muscle Diamond  4-1 7. Guess Whos Back  8-1 8. Uncle Lasse  12-1 9. Piercewave Hanover- 15-1 10. The Bank  15-1 Race 9 - $500,000 Three-Year-Old Colt Trot Post - Horse 1. Datsyuk -20-1 2. Hillustrious  50-1 3. Nuncio  6-5 4. Don Dorado  20-1 5. Il Sogno Dream  20-1 6. Father Patrick  7-5 7. Odds On Amethyst  20-1 8. Sumatra  50-1 9. Harper Blue Chip- 12-1 10. E L Titan  8-1 $250,000 Mares Open Trot Post - Horse 1. Intense America  30-1 2. Classic Martine  5-2 3. Bee A Magician  9-5 4. Handover Belle  4-1 5. Ma Chere Hall  20-1 6. Charmed Life  6-1 7. Dorsay  20-1 8. Mistery Woman  8-1 Race 11 - $500,000 Open Trot Post - Horse 1. Your So Vain 8-1 2. Market Share 7-2 3. Arch Madness 12-1 4. Maven 4-1 5. Flanagan Memory 30-1 6. Archangel  10-1 7. Creatine  9-2 8. Wishing Stone 20-1 9. Commander Crowe 3-1 10. Intimidate 8-1 By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

The drawing of post position for the final divisions of the Breeders Crown this weekend at the Meadowlands Racetrack took place this afternoon at the Meadowlands. For the $525,000 Older Horse Trot division, European world champion, Commander Crowe drew the outside post position nine but was still make the 3-1 morning line favorite. Market Share drew post two and is the second choice at odds of 7/2. In the $550,000 final of the Breeders Crown for two-year-old pacing colts, it was Go Daddy Go who drew post position five and was installed as the 5/2 race favorite while for the second straight week, In The Arsenal drew the far outside ten post. The $581,250 Breeders Crown final for three-year-old pacing colts saw Always B Miki draw post four and then be made the 8/5 favorite while JK Endofanera drew post six and was made the 5/2 second choice in the race. For the $500,000 final of the Breeders Crown for three-year-old trotting colts, it was Nuncio drawing post position three and he was made the 6/5 morning line favorite over stable mate Father Patrick, who drew post six and is the 7/5 second choice in the race. By Chris Tully , for Harnesslink.com

Not only did Maven beat her nine harness racing male rivals in winning the $25,000 Breeders Crown elimination for older horses. Not only did she do it having to start from the far outside in post ten. Not only did she make her second start for a new trainer a winning effort. But she also did it having to close from sixth place around the final turn. Quick Deal (Corey Callahan) was first to show with Wheeling N Dealin (Rick Zeron) sitting the pocket trip and Sevruga (Andy Miller) stuck first-over to the quarter in :27.2 with Arch Madness (Brian Sears) second over. Maven and Yannick Gingras was just getting into gear third over following Archangle (Brian Sears) on the outside. Then after the half mile in :56, Quick Deal went off-stride and Callahan sharply took him inside as to not hinder the field. Sevruga was able to take the lead, Arch Madness then came first-over and they went to the three-quarters in 1:24.2. Turning for home Sevruga began to fade as Arch Madness came on but then there was Maven and Gingras pouring it on to take the lead and following them with a ton of speed was Your So Vain and Ake Svantedt. Your So Vain kept gaining ground but it was too late as Maven held on to win by a half-length in 1:52.2. “She really showed me in the post parade she was going to be good,” said Yannick Gingras. “She was parked out with cover the whole, it was an OK trip, not the worst.  It was about as good as it was going to get. She is such a great horse. She didn’t have the best of weeks from the sale and being able to race on the outside the whole mile and still dug in she showed what a great horse she is.” Your So Vain was second with Flanagan Memory (Brett Miller) third. Also making it to the final next week were Archangle in fifth and Arch Madness in sixth. Maven paid $6.60 to win. A five-year-old mare by Glidemaster, she is now trained by Jimmy Takter as she was purchased at the Harrisburg sale for $750,000 earlier this month by Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

The Jimmy Takter Stable kicked off Day Two of the Breeders Crown eliminations at the Meadowlands Saturday in grand style, winning both $25,000 divisions for two-year-old trotting colts with Pinkman and French Laundry. Pinkman and Yannick Gingras took the early lead away from Guess Who’s Back (George Brennan) after an opening quarter mile in :27.3. Habitat (Brian Sears) was parked out and kept on going with Habitat and they cleared to the lead by the half mile marker in :57. Then Guess Who’s Back came back first-over with The Bank (Jimmy Takter) grabbing the live outside cover to the three-quarters in 1:26.3. Down the stretch Guess Who’s Back collared and started to pass Habitat, but Sears came back with Habitat but it was all in vain as Gringras weaved Pinkman to clearance and came charging down to the wire to beat The Bank by a half length in 1:54.1. Guess Who’s Back and Habitat finished in a dead heat for third with Walter White (Scott Zeron) grabbing fifth place and making it to next week’s final. It was the fifth win in just seven starts for Pinkman, a gelded son of Explosive Matter who paid $4.40 to win. He was a $70,000 yearling purchase and is co-owned by Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding, J McClelland and Herb Liverman. Pinkman French Laundry got an uncharacteristic second over trip and used it for well for driver Brett Miller in winning the second Breeders Crown elimination division for freshman trotting colts. Uncle Lasse (Ron Pierce) was first on the lead but after the opening quarter in :28 it was Whataworkout and driver Scott Zeron pressing to the lead at the half mile in :56.4. That moved flushed out Stonebridge Force (Ake Svanstedt) first-over and they gave French Laundry the needed outside cover past the three-quarters in 1:27.1. Racing down the stretch Miller was able to get French Laundry into gear late and as he started to pull away, John Campbell with race favorite Muscle Diamond came charging at them but it was too late as French Laundry held on to win by a neck in 1:55.1. Suit And Tie was third with Piercewave Hanover fourth and Uncle Lasse fifth to complete the finalists for next week. It was the second straight win and seventh victory on the year for French Laundry. The son of Muscles Yankee paid $9.80 to win for co-owners Christina Takter, John & Jim Fielding and Marvin Katz. French Laundry By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Post positions for the $500,000 freshman Breeders Crown filly pace and trot finals and the $593,750 3-year-old filly pace were drawn tonight at The Meadowlands Racetrack. Elim winners in an order determined by lot, are then placed in the draw for post positions 1 through 5. After those are drawn all other post positions are drawn for the remaining eight horse. Mission Brief and Wild Honey were heavily favored in their respective elims, paying just sixty cents on the dollar to their backers. Mission Brief, from the Burke Stable, went first in the shake and got post five. Wild Honey then drew post two. $500,000 2-Year-Old Filly Trot: (drivers listed from eliminations) 1. Love Me Madly, John Campbell, Ross Croghan 2. Wild Honey, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter 3. Danielle Hall, Jody Jamieson, Carl Jamieson. 4. Wiclet Hanover, Ake Svanstadt, Ake Svanstadt; 5. Mission Brief, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 6. Stubborn Belle, Paul Macdonell, John Bax 7. Lilu Hanover, Scott Zeron, Jimmy Takter 8. Hot Start, Brian Sears, Jonas Czernyson 9. Livininthefastlane, Tim Tetrick, Julie Miller 10. Smexi, Corey Callahan, Jimmy Takter AE1 Sarcy AE2 Scented Roses The completed field is as follows: Undefeated filly JK She'salady extended her winning streak to 11 while Heart Major was placed first after an incident-plagued elimination race that ended with winner Ideal Nuggets set back to sixth for interfering with Well Hello There and fifth placed finisher Happiness placed seventh for multiple pylon violations. First in the draw was Heart Major, receiving pill number 5. JK She'salady then got post 4. $500,000 2-Year-Old Filly Pace: (drivers listed from eliminations) 1. Southwind Roulette, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 2. Divine Caroline, Corey Callahan, Joe Holloway 3. Happy Becky, David Miller, Casie Coleman 4. JK She'salady, Tim Tetrick, Nancy Johansson 5. Heart Major, Ron Pierce, Joe Pavia Jr. 6. Bettor Be Steppin, Corey Callahan, Joe Holloway 7. Well Hello There, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke 8. Bettor N Better, Ron Pierce, Ron Burke 9. Heavenly Bride, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman 10. Sassa Hanover, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke AE1 Ideal Nuggets AE2 The Show Returns Color's A Virgin continued her march towards divisional honors, making short work of an elimination race that could have passed for the Crown final. The Jugette winner was first in shake order and drew post five. The other elim winner Gallie Bythe Beach drew post four. $593,750 3-Year-Old Filly Pace (drivers listed from eliminations) 1. Major Dancer, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman 2. Beach Gal, Jody Jamieson, Dave Menary 3. Gettingreadytoroll, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter 4. Gallie Bythe Beach, Tim Tetrick, Jim Campbell 5. Color's A Virgin, Trace Tetrick, Brian Brown 6. Uffizi Hanover, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter 7. Beach Story, David Miller, Kelvin Harrison 8. Allstar Rating, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 9. Sayitall BB, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke 10. Precocious Beauty, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair AE1 Weeper, Ron Pierce, Kelly O'Donnell AE2 Table Talk, Andy Miller, Bart Dalious The $500,000 2-Year-Old Colt Trot will be drawn after tonight's ninth race at The Meadowlands. by Moira Fanning, for the Breeders Crown

Harrisburg, PA---No sooner had pedigree reader Bob Heyden introduced Saturday's (Nov. 8) equine celebrity in the Standardbred Horse Sale with, “Here comes Maven,” did auctioneer Dan Green start rattling off numbers. “Three, four, I’m looking for five,” he said, moving in $100,000 increments.    The first flash of the board was $500,000 and it jumped a few quick flashes from there before stalling at $750,000, when Green called for a brief respite at $750,000. That’s just the first heat,” he said. But there were no more bids and the hammer fell at $750,000 to Herb Liverman, standing in a hall adjacent to the sales area with trainer Jimmy Takter at his side.  The price was enough to make the world champion Maven 4, 1:51.4h ($1,594,496), Dan Patch and O'Brien Award Older Mare Trotter of the Year, the highest-priced trotting mare to sell at public auction. Mystical Sunshine previously held that mark at $525,000, selling in 2007. “That was probably my last bid and probably a hundred more than I thought,” said Liverman after signing the sales slip. “I own [2013 Horse of the Year] Bee A Magician 3, 1:51 ($2,607,870) and I wanted them to not race against each other, so we’re probably going to race her against colts.”  Asked if she might make her next start in the stable of Jimmy Takter, Liverman said, “That’s not set in stone, but I want Bee A Magician to be in one race and Maven in another. I hate to look ahead with horses, you know. I once bid a million and didn’t get a horse at auction, Cameron Hall, remember that? "I don’t have a partner; I bought her myself.”  Cameron Hall sold for $1.1 million as a 2-year-old in 2001. Asked if he might race in the Open Trot at the Breeders Crown this month, Liverman said, “I have to talk to Jimmy, but I don’t want to race her against Bee A Magician.” The moment was, for seller Bill Donovan, “Bittersweet. She brought some victories that most people only dream of.  She was a storybook, but every book has an ending and I guess it ended today. I actually bought a filly out of her three-quarter sister, bought her at $55,000 last year and didn’t make the races. Even though I’m getting out of the commercial breeding business, I’m still keeping a few mares so that I can raise them and race them myself, so that filly is one I will keep.”  To view mobile phone video of Maven being sold, click here.  Boccone Dolce sold for $250,000 to Diamond Creek Farm from the Northwood Bloodstock Agency consignment for owners Steve Stewart, Black Creek Farm and Donald Robinson. The 2-year-old filly has a mark of 1:56.4 and is a granddaughter of Pizza Dolce 3, 1:52.4 ($668,824). Final numbers are not in yet, but sales figures appear to be up. “Racehorses are selling like crazy,” said Paul F. “Pete” Spears, CEO of the Standardbred Sales Company.  “There seems to be a 33 percent or even 50 percent premium over what I’ve seen in recent years.  It used to be you could use a horse’s yearly earnings as a gauge, but they’re selling far in excess of that.”  Asked what he thought might be the reason for the inflated prices, Spears said, “Supply and demand.” 

This is a reminder that the New Jersey Racing Commission's new medication rules went into effect on November 3rd. Most notably, the recommended withdrawal time for Clenbuterol in New Jersey will increase to 14 days. All horsemen who are planning to race at The Meadowlands beginning Friday November 14th, including The Breeders Crown Eliminations and Finals, should take note of these new Racing Commission rules. Additionally, there are now 26 medications categorized as Controlled Therapeutic Medication. Information relating to these 26 medications can be found within the ARCI Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule at www.acri.com/ . The initial announcement of these new medication rules can be found at http://sboanj.com/index.asp?Key=3880. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands Big action in Meadowlands qualifiers Racing returned to The Meadowlands in the form of a dozen qualifying races on the morning of Friday, November 7. The races were contested on a fast track under overcast skies with a fairly stiff breeze facing them in the home stretch and temperatures in the low 50’s.   Race one fielded freshman trotters and (does this sound familiar at all) Jimmy Takter ran one-two with siblings to a pair of his more successful stars, driving Ferragamo (full brother to Guccio) to a head win over Father Parick’s little brother, Whom Shall I Fear (Yannick Gingras) in 1:58.4.   Valley Victory final winner Pinkman was absolutely vicious this morning with a start to finish romp in 1:55.1 with Gingras aboard for Takter. He sailed through the wind in 28.2 without being asked to finish the mile, widening to a six or seven length decision over the good filly Livininthefastlane who finished resolutely under minimal urging from Tim Tetrick.   Three year old fillies were next up on the menu and NYSS champ Market Rally showed that she’s not just a small track girl, “rallying” wide into the breeze from well back to get up over Harley Momma (Jim Raymer) and Miss Liv (Andy Miller) in 1:56.1/29.3. Matt Kakaley drove for the Ron Burke stable in this one.   Odds On Amethyst had a good morning, leading all the way for Yannick while dominating a group of sophomore square-gaiters in 1:54.3. Loose on the lead, as he prefers, the Muscle Hill gelding sprinted a good 28 flat final panel as he moved away from Opulent Yankee (A. Miller) and Journey (Dan Dube). Takter trains.   After a training break, with less of a breeze now, Master Of Law got in a good prep in with Takter. The imposing looking four-year-old sat in until the half, moved to the lead before the final turn and held Your So Vain at bay in 1:56-/27.4 willingly. Your So Vain was ok in his first public appearance since the Cashman on Hambo Day and held second, looking like he needed the work for Ake Svanstedt.   Creatine looked strong this morning in his first race with new designated driver Ron Pierce. He sat a loose pocket behind the front-loving Sevruga through honest fractions, emerged from the pocket and went by willingly in 1:54.3/29.1. Sevruga looked sound and fit in his return to his favorite track and stable, racing again out of the Julie Miller barn today, he held up well. Wishing Stone (Kakaley) was a comfortable third.   Pacers were next and Hall Of Terror held off the charge of four rival freshmen in 1:53.2/27.4 for Andy Miller in this one. Franzo, ASAP Hanover and Soto were all rallying in the stretch, to no avail.   A mere quartet of two-year-old filly pacers took the track for the ninth and Happy Becky was the winner with Dave Miller aboard in 1:54.2 over pacesetter Zip Code Envy.   Sayitall BB cut the mile in the tenth and held off the late bid of packet sitter Sandbetweenurtoes in 1:53-/28-. The winner has been lightly raced this season and with the possibility of being supplemented to the Breeders Crown just might have a “say” in the outcome. Kakaley drove for Burke Racing.   Bettor Believe It was a powerful winner of race eleven for Andy Miller, holding off a determined bid by the good Parnu Hanover after leading all the way in 1:52.4/27.3. He should relish a shot at the NW 3 class when the meet opens next week.   The venerable Golden Receiver toured the oval in 1:52.4 to close out the day’s events. He was racing out of the Julie Miller barn for the first time and Andy returned to the sulky, where he’s been for several of the old horse’s greatest moments.   Live racing at The Meadowlands begins next Friday, November 14 with the return of harness racing’s championship series, the Breeders Crown. The eliminations are set for opening weekend and the $5.3 million finals on November 21 & 22.   Visit www.playmeadowlands.com for charts and video replays of today’s qualifiers, information on the upcoming live race meet and seating and dining options for the Breeders Crown.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

Despite pouring rain that delayed the start of the first race by a half hour, Habitat and Wild Honey did not mind the “off-track” as they both cruised to half-length victories in winning their respective divisions of the Matron Stakes Thursday afternoon at Dover Downs. Both were strong wins in the daily double for driver Yannick Gingras. Wild Honey started off the show in capturing her $203,600 Matron Stakes for two-year-old trotting fillies. The track was labeled good despite constant rain. Bright Baby Blues (David Miller) was the first to show but by the opening quarter mile in :27.4, driver Yannick Gringas had Wild Honey, the 1/5 favorite, on the move and took over the lead. From that point on the field raced Indian-style past the half mile in :57.4 before the action began to pick up. Corey Callahan was sitting third with Smexi and then came first-over with Gold Gora (Tim Tetrick) following the live cover in the backstretch and past the three-quarters in 1:26.3. Then coming down the stretch Gingras held the field at bay with Wild Honey. Bright Baby Blues came up the passing lane to try and mount a challenge but it was too little too late as Wild Honey won in 1:55.2. “She’s just a fantastic filly,” said trainer Jimmy Takter in the winner’s circle, “Despite the conditions she was just on cruise control.” It was the eighth straight win and ninth of the year in only ten starts for Wild Honey. The freshman daughter of Cantab Hall is co-owned by Christina Takter, John Fieldings, Herb Liverman and Jim Fieldings. She paid just $2.20 to win. Wild Honey The $237,500 Matron Stakes for two-year-old trotting colts saw Habitat and Gringras go to the early lead over Uncle Lasse (Ron Pierce) with the first quarter mile in :28. Then it was Cruzado Dela Noche and driver David Miller quarter moving to the front before the half mile marker in :56.1. As they hit the backstretch Pierce came back first-over with Uncle Lasse and trying to follow their outside cover was Billy Flynn (Brett Miller) but to no avail as they could not close the gap. Past the three-quarters in 1:25 saw Uncle Lasse in contention but then he began to tire and at the top of the stretch, Gingras left the pocket with Habitat to come after Cruzado Dela Noche and all the while, sitting in fourth place along the race was David Miller with Muscle Diamond and they shot up the passing lane. But it was not enough as Habitat was the strong horse, winning by a half length in 1:54.2 with Muscle Diamond nosing out Cruzado Dela Noche for second place. “He (Habitat) is a very consistent horse,” said trainer Ron Burke, “and he can do it all. I was glad to see Yannick give him a trip today. I think he will be in great shape for the upcoming Breeders Crown.” Sired by Conway Hall, it was the seventh win this year for Habitat. He is owned by the Hauser Brothers Racing, and J & T Silva Stables and paid $6.20 to win. Habitat By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

With the stakes season waning, each remaining race takes on greater importance for end of the year Dan Patch award honors. One race that voters will watch carefully is the $200,350 Matron Stake for 3-year-old male trotters this Thursday evening (Nov. 6) at Dover Downs. The race, set to go as race 10 at about 7:30 p.m., features on the far inside at post one, Father Patrick (Yannick Gingras), and the far outside in post eight, Nuncio (John Campbell). Nuncio comes into the race with four straight stakes wins, including two legs of the Trotting Triple Crown, the Kentucky Futurity and the Yonkers Trot. His stablemate Father Patrick has a pair of wins in the American-National and Bluegrass Stakes and two second place finishes in his four most recent starts. The two share the air at their home in East Windsor, N.J. and a trainer in Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter, but they'll be looking to separate themselves from each other in end of the year balloting. Here is a look at the numbers behind the 2014 season, with each horse putting in 15 starts. Data Point Nuncio 15-10-5-0 $1,297,896, 1:50.4m Father Patrick 15-11-3-0 $1,443,081, 1:50.2f Average margin of victory                   2.4 lengths                   3.82 lengths Fastest last quarter                   :27 – three times                   :27 – two times Races won for over $100,000                   2                   6 Average earnings per start                $86,526.40              $96,205.40 Race timed at 1:52 or better                   6                      4 Winning favorite                 88%                    73% Wins from post 8 or higher                 0 for 1                    3 for 4 Head-to-head                 33% - 2 for 6                    66% - 4 for 6 by Ellen Harvey, for Harness Racing Communications

DOVER, Del ---  A total of $1,561,150 in Matron Stakes purses is on the line in eight stakes finals on a giant Thursday, Nov. 6 program at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. A $26,000 Delaware Special headed by defending Horse of the Meet Nova Artist and track record holder Bandolito, lead a strong undercard. There are five $1,000,000 winners, one of whom, Father Patrick, has earned more than $2-million among the Matron starters. Leading trainers Ron Burke and Jimmy Takter have entered their top young horses. The Filly and Colt freshmen trotters make up the daily double. Wild Honey, a winner of eight of nine races with one second with Yannick Gingras driving for Christine Takter, Liverman and the Fielding’s is the one to beat in the first race boasting a $203,800 purse while Burke-owned Habitat with partners Weaver Bruscemi and Our Horse Cents Stable matches strides with Bender Sweden and Roy Holth’s Bill Flynn with Brett Miller in race #2 going for $237,500.  A Delaware-owned filly pacer, Bettor Be Steppin, owned by Rojan Stables, along with Ted Gewertz and Val D’or Stable and trained by University of Delaware grad Joe Holloway, is a major contender in the $199,600 Matron frosh pace meeting Southwind Roulette, with Corey Callahan, a winner of five of eight starts for Phila. attorney Howard Taylor and Brad Grant and Burke Racing, Pahellerric Stable, Larry Karr and Weaver Bruscemi’s Sassa Hanover, who has won eight of 10 and driven by Gingras. Another local tie comes in the $193,200 colt and gelding pace where Yankee Bounty, owned by Frank Pitts of Harrington, and the Yankee Bounty Partnership, holding an impressive eight wins in nine races record meeting Joe Lyons-Mound’s Lyons Levi Lewis, handled by Ron Pierce, and White Birch Farm’s In The Arsenal, reined by Brian Sears and New York Sire Stakes champion Cartoon Daddy driven by Gingras for Joe Scala and Burke Racing. Takter has the trotters to beat in the sophomore division. The streaking Shake It Cerry racing for Solveig’s Racing Partners and driver Pierce and Lifetime Pursuit, owned by breeder Brittany Farms with Gingras in the bike, are both listed in the sport’s Top 10 and meet in the $160,950 three-year-old filly trot. Father Patrick, owned by the Father Patrick Stable, a winner of 11 of 15 and nearly $2.2-million in his career drew the rail with Gingras driving in the $200,350 colt trot. Red hot trotter Nuncio, winner of last year’s from Matron with John Campbell, returns but most overcome outside post 8. The Stall Tz Inc. colt has never been worse than second winning 15 of 25 lifetime and approaching $1.8-million in earnings. SSG Stable’s McWicked, with David Miller driving for trainer Casey Coleman, a $1-million winner; Matt Kakaley teams with All Bets Off , another million-dollar winner, for Baldachino, Shelswell, Panhellenic Stable and Burke Racing, are among the contestants in the $186,550 Matron Colt pace. Fast finishing Weeper, owned by Bay Pond Stable of Paoli, Pa. and steered by Corey Callahan, is a dramatic fast finisher, She tangles with a pair of Coleman trainees, Mac Nichol’s Major Dancer and Brett Miller and Also Encouraging with David Miller. Both are owned by West Win Stables, in the $179,200 filly pace. To top off the outstanding card, in the $26,000 Delaware Special, Bandolito, co-owned by trainer-driver Daryl Bier, Charles Dombeck and David Bier, closed out last meet scoring a 1:48 performance to break the former track record. In the first Del. Special of the new meet, he collides with Eddie and Kathy Davis’ Nova Artist, with driver Allan Davis, who was voted Horse of the Meet twice in the past three seasons. Among the nine contestants, John Dayton’s Just A Jolt, handled by Vic Kirby, and Kovach Stable’s Feel Like A Fool with Corey Callahan are fast contenders on the strong undercard. Throughout the year, Harness and Thoroughbred Simulcasting opens daily at 12 Noon until 12 Midnight at Dover Downs Race and Sports Book in the Colonnade. There is no charge for parking or admission at Dover Downs.

The 2014 Hambletonian champion Trixton has been retired and will stand stud at Deo Volente Farms in Flemington, N. J. for the 2015 breeding season, it was jointly announced Friday by Hall of Fame trainer-driver Jimmy Takter and Mike Gulotta, majority owner of Deo Volente.   "I'm excited that this great colt will stand in New Jersey at such a great farm like Deo Volente,” said Takter as he reiterated his own personal ties to what is his home state from his showcase Millennium Farm and training center in East Windsor, N. J.   Gulotta stressed that "Trixton represents a significant new beginning for the New Jersey breeding industry in tune with Jeff Gural's enlightened stewardship at the New Meadowlands racetrack.” Gulotta also stressed that the entire climate for the New Jersey racing program is on the improve and that the program should be MORE THAN competitive with other state programs by the time Trixton's foals reach the racetrack.”   To view the rest of this story click here.

Harness racing's richest horse this year, Father Patrick, will look to add to his bankroll when he visits Indiana's Hoosier Park for Friday's $230,000 Carl Erskine Trot for 3-year-olds. Father Patrick, who on Tuesday ascended to the No. 1 spot in the weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, knocking Sebastian K from the position he held each of the previous 23 weeks of the rankings, drew post one for the Erskine with regular driver Yannick Gingras. Father Patrick has earned $1.38 million this year. The Erskine is part of a stakes-filled card at Hoosier, along with the $275,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old male pacers, $211,500 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for older pacers, $193,000 Moni Maker for 3-year-old female trotters, and $176,500 Nadia Lobell for 3-year-old female pacers. Father Patrick hails from the stable of trainer Jimmy Takter, who conditions the five richest trotters in North America this season: 3-year-old colts Father Patrick, Nuncio and Trixton, followed by 3-year-old fillies Shake It Cerry and Lifetime Pursuit. Nuncio, who last weekend won the Yonkers Trot, has earned $1.29 million. It marks the first time in harness racing history that one trainer has produced two million-dollar trotters in the same division. Shake It Cerry and Lifetime Pursuit will square off in the Moni Maker Stakes. Father Patrick is coming off a three-length victory in the American-National Stakes at Chicago's Balmoral Park on Oct. 11. He has won 11 of 14 starts this year, including the Canadian Trotting Classic, Beal Memorial, Zweig Memorial, and Stanley Dancer Memorial. He has five wins in his most recent six races, with his only setback being a second-place finish to Nuncio in the Kentucky Futurity on Oct. 5. "He got a nice little break after the American-National," Takter said. "He had a little foot issue (in the Futurity). He wasn't happy about that. In his start in Chicago, I saw right away he was on the right foot there. "It's got to be perfect for these horses, that's the way it is." Father Patrick, a son of Cantab Hall-Gala Dream owned by the Christina Takter-led Father Patrick Stable ownership group, has won 21 of 25 career races and $2.12 million. He was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male trotter. Takter also sends Odds On Amethyst to the Erskine. Odds On Amethyst has won three of 10 races this season, but gone off stride in five losses. "He's fast enough, but whether he's going to manner himself, that's another thing," Takter said. The race also includes home-track star Rose Run Parker, from the stable of trainer Ron Burke. Rose Run Parker, who has never raced anywhere but Hoosier Park, has won 13 of 15 races this year and $324,700. He will start from post three with regular driver Ricky Macomber Jr. Shake It Cerry has won 12 of 14 races this year and $803,436 while Lifetime Pursuit has won eight of 15 starts and $706,729. Shake It Cerry, the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old female trotter, leaves from post six with driver Ron Pierce while Lifetime Pursuit has post two with Gingras. Last time out, Shake It Cerry beat Lifetime Pursuit by three-quarters of a length in the American-National for 3-year-old female trotters. "Both of them raced very good in Chicago," Takter said. "They're going to meet again in Indiana. They're both very, very nice fillies. They've been able to stay sound." Takter's Somewhere In L A, who bumped the starting gate and suffered a nosebleed in the American-National for 3-year-old male pacers and struggled to a seventh-place finish, takes on the Burke Stable's JK Endofanera, Limelight Beach, Big Boy Dreams, At Press Time, and Forty Five Red in the Monument Circle. "He's such a good horse," Takter said about Somewhere In L A. "I love that horse. He's as good as any 3-year-old pacing colt out there. He's very, very tough. I trained him back twice now, and no bleeding. I talked to (Dr.) Patty Hogan and she thought he's going to be fine." The Monument Circle also includes Joe Holloway's Always B Miki, Joe Seekman's Let's Drink On It, and Erv Miller's Jet Airway. Takter's Uffizi Hanover is among the nine 3-year-old filly pacers in the Nadia Lobell, which also includes Jugette winner Color's A Virgin from the stable of Brian Brown. "Uffizi trained so good," Takter said. "She's been having so much problems in the turns, but she was fantastic today. Uffizi, when she has the right day, she's good." The Burke Stable is also well represented in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, sending out Sweet Lou, Foiled Again, Bettor's Edge, Clear Vision, and Easy Again. Sweet Lou, who has won 10 of 16 races and $958,558 this year, will try to snap a three-race losing streak. Foiled Again has won six of 23 starts and $701,643 this season, pushing his North American record for career purses to $6.73 million. To view the full card, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

TORONTO, October 25 - The finest two-year-olds in harness racing were on display Saturday night at Woodbine Racetrack for the Fall Four Stakes. Consisting of the Governors Cup, Valley Victory, Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid, the Fall Four Stakes has been an annual showcase of the best freshmen in the sport. A costly miscue and a giant upset got the action underway in the $464,000 Goldsmith Maid for two-year-old trotting fillies. Mission Brief, the 3/5 heavy favourite, made a break leaving the gate throwing the fate of the rich final up into the air. Capitalizing on the public's choice break was 70-1 longshot Smexi and driver Corey Callahan. A daughter of Explosive Matter, Smexi got a two-hole trip behind Stubborn Belle and driver Paul Macdonell and was able to come off the leaders back in the stretch and trot on to a length and a half victory. Stubborn Belle held on for second, while Juanitas Fury finished third. "Leaving out of there I looked over and saw that she (Mission Brief) had made a break," said Callahan following the race. "We got really lucky Paul and I, we just kind of got things on our own up there, nobody really moved and it worked perfect for me." Trained by Jimmy Takter for owners Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding and Herb Liverman, Smexi had only one victory in eleven starts heading into the Goldsmith Maid. Takter, who drove Smexi in her elimination last week, handed the lines over to Callahan and told the driver his filly was ready and to put her in the race. "Tonight before the race he (Takter) pulled me aside and told me listen she was a little rough on me last week," said Callahan. "But I warmed her up tonight and she was really sharp and on her toes." The Goldsmith Maid victory pushes Smexi's career bankroll to over $364,000. Smexi paid $159.30 to win, while a $2 exactor paid just under $1,200. Smexi Fall Four night quickly became the Takter show in the $521,000 Valley Victory for two-year-old trotting colts and geldings. Takter trainees finished first, second, fourth and fifth to almost take the entire purse home in the rich final Pinkman and driver Sylvain Filion were able to convert off a second over trip to narrowly defeat stablemate Uncle Lasse by a head in 1:55.4. The heavy 3/5 favourite, Habitat, finished third wedge between Takter starters, as The Bank and Walter White finished fourth and fifth respectively. A son of Explosive Matter, Pinkman was making only his sixth career start in the Valley Victory final, but has now won four of those starts for earnings of over $330,000. Following the race, Takter explained why Pinkman was a little late getting to the races. "We castrated him after his baby races, he kind of didn't pay attention where he was suppose to," said Takter. "He had a very complicated castration, so it took a little bit of a long time for him to get where he (is), but he has surprised me a lot." Takter also said the son of Explosive Matter wasn't on his radar as a superstar training down. "Average, he did everything right, but I had quite a few horses that I thought were a lot better, but these horses that have the good willing to want to do it, especially at this time of year, can get it all." Pinkman is owned by Christina Takter, John and Jim Fielding, Joyce McClelland and Herb Liverman. He returned $16.60 to win. Pinkman Artspeak, this year's Metro Pace winner, bounced back in impressive fashion to win the $565,000 Governors Cup for the two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Leaving from post position six, Artspeak and driver Scott Zeron got away sixth and were able to get into the outer flow on the backstretch, as Lost For Words hung up a big half of :54.3. As the field rounded the final turn, Pierce Hanover cleared to the front leaving Artspeak second over on the back of Lyons Again, as the field ripped by the three-quarter pole in 1:21.4. In the stretch, Artspeak came off his cover and powered by his rivals to take the lead and score a solid length and a half victory in 1:50.4. Go Daddy Go got up to finish second, while Pierce Hanover held on for third. A son of Western Ideal, Artspeak is trained by Tony Alagna for owners Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz, Joe Sbrocco and In The GYM Partners. Heading into the Governors Cup final, Artspeak had made a break in two consecutive starts for the first two losses of his career. Following the race, Alagna spoke about the recent miscues from the two-year-old and getting him ready for the final. "I came up Tuesday, trained him up Wednesday and he trained fantastic at the farm, so I thought we had the kinks worked out," said Alagna. "Most people know that if I didn't have confidence the horse was ok, with the connections that own the horse he would've never been here to race, so I was very happy that he showed us the redemption that everybody thought he should." After training Artspeak earlier in the week, Alagna said he told the connections at dinner that he had full confidence in the horse. "I told them that night at dinner, he's back on his game, we've got our horse back." By adding the Governors Cup to his resume that already includes the Metro Pace, Artspeak has now won the two richest events of the season for two-year-old pacers. His record now stands at eight wins from ten starts for career earnings of just over $805,000. Artspeak paid $3.50 to win. Jk Shesalady improved to a perfect ten for ten with another victory in the $424,000 Three Diamonds for two-year-old pacing fillies Saturday night at Woodbine. Sent off as the heavy 1/5 favourite, Jk Shesalady and Yannick Gingras got away fifth and sat along the rail until the midway point of the race. Around the final turn, Gingras sent Jk Shealady first up to challenge the leader, The Show Returns, as the fillies were on even terms at the three-quarter pole in 1:24. Jk Shesalady came off the turn and quickly created separation with the field and cruised home to an impressive looking length and a half victory in 1:52.1. Solar Sister took the place spot, while Ideal Nuggets finished third. The Three Diamonds victory was the tenth win in a row for the undefeated Jk Shealady. Following the race, Gingras talked about racing her first up once again Saturday night. "It seems to be working for her, so no sense in changing anything," said Gingras. "She likes to relax in the first half and she's got a huge brush for the second half." A daughter of Art Major, Jk Shesalady is trained by Nancy Johansson for owners 3 Brothers Stable. Jk Shesalady has now banked over $669,000 in her rookie season and has earned herself consideration in Horse of the Year talk. She returned $2.50 to win. Mark McKelvie

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