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Goshen, NY - David Reid, who heads up Preferred Equine Sales Agency, was elected president of the Standardbred Transition Alliance at the first meeting of that group, held Tuesday (Nov. 27) at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. Reid, though his work with Preferred, has sold tens of thousands of Standardbreds at public and private auction, both as a consignment agency and sales manager of Tattersalls and Lexington Selected Yearling Sales Company in Lexington, Ky. and at The Meadowlands. He also breeds and races Standardbreds. "This is a long overdue initiative that will take cooperation of the entire industry and I'm optimistic that, over time, it will make a big difference for our horses and the groups that serve them. It will also give donors confidence that they're supporting groups with solid operational practices," said Reid. "I am honored by the confidence of my fellow board members and look forward to working with all of them." Committees were formed to advance fundraising for and accreditation of groups helping horses in transition from traditional uses. The STA will provide grants to cover partial funding of 501(c)(3) groups serving Standardbreds and ensure they utilize best practices for equine care and financial management through an accreditation process. The STA will adapt the established model used to accredit and partially fund 70 groups serving Thoroughbreds, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. The STA is a self-standing organization that has applied for 501(C)(3) status and is a registered charity with the Ohio Secretary of State and Attorney General. Moira Fanning, chief operations officer at The Hambletonian Society, was elected vice president, Mitchel Skolnick of Bluestone Farm will serve as treasurer and Elizabeth Caldwell of Cane Run Farm will be secretary. The board members are Rick Moore of Hoosier Park, Kelly Young of the New York Sire Stakes, Kevin Greenfield of the Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association and Hickory Lane Farm, Michelle Crawford of Crawford Farm, Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky of Hanover Shoe Farm, Bill Abdelnour of the New England Amateur Harness Drivers Club, Dr. Donna Franchetti, Standardbred owner and veterinarian, and Dr. Patty Hogan of Hogan Equine Clinic. Ken Weingartner Media Relations Manager

Hightstown, NJ — Dorsoduro Hanover began his season with a win and will try to go out the same way in Thursday’s $260,000 Hap Hansen Progress Pace for harness racing 3-year-old pacers at Dover Downs. It will not be easy. In addition to facing seven talented rivals, Dorsoduro Hanover will begin the race from post No. 8, the least favorable starting spot on the gate at the track. “I’m not too happy about that,” said driver Matt Kakaley, who will try to guide Dorsoduro Hanover to victory from a post that has produced only four winners from 100 starts during the current Dover Downs meet. “The eight hole is going to be tough. But it should be a good race for everybody to watch. There is a lot of speed in there.” Dorsoduro Hanover, the sport’s richest 3-year-old with $1.25 million in purses this year, is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. Jimmy Freight, who defeated Dorsoduro Hanover by a neck in last week’s Progress Pace elimination, is the 2-1 favorite. He will start from post No. 7 with driver Scott Zeron. This Is The Plan and driver Tim Tetrick are 9-2 and will leave from post three. “This Is The Plan will be pushing for sure; I know Scotty will be leaving and I’m not taking back, so there’s going to be some action,” Kakaley said. “I don’t know how it will all shake out in the first turn, but there will be enough guys leaving, that’s for sure.” The Ron Burke-trained Dorsoduro Hanover has won 10 of 21 races this year, finished second on six occasions and third once. His wins include the Breeders Crown, Adios, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship, and an elimination of the Little Brown Jug. He finished second in the Little Brown Jug final and also was runner-up in the Meadowlands Pace and a division of the Tattersalls Pace. The gelding has finished off the board only once in his past 10 starts, a fourth in the Nov. 15 Matron Stakes at Dover, where he was beaten by a neck. He is owned by Burke Racing, the group of Silva, Purnel & Libby, the Weaver Bruscemi partnership, and Wingfield Five. “He’s had a long year and he’s still racing good,” Kakaley said about Dorsoduro Hanover, who made his seasonal debut on May 5. “Ronnie has done an amazing job keeping him sharp like this. He raced great last week, another first-over trip and he dug in hard all the way to the wire. You can’t really fault him. He usually gives you what he’s got. “He’s had a tremendous year, there’s no doubt about that. He’s got the most money made, he’s been knocking on the door the whole year, racing hard the whole year, and he’s always right there. A couple of the other ones were good early and not so good late, or vice versa, but he’s been pretty consistent the whole year.” In addition to the Progress Pace, Dover on Thursday hosts Delaware Standardbred Breeders Fund championships for 2-year-old pacers and trotters. The Progress Pace was renamed in 2015 to honor the late W.E. “Hap” Hansen, a Dover Downs and Brandywine Raceway executive who passed away the previous year. Following is the field for the Hap Hansen Progress Pace in post-position order. PP-Horse-Sire-Driver-Trainer-Morning Line 1 - Shnitzledosomethin - Fred And Ginger - David Miller - Dylan Davis - 15/1 2 - Heavenly Sound - Rock N Roll Heaven - Victor Kirby - Bruce Saunders - 12/1 3 - This Is The Plan - Somebeachsomewhere - Tim Tetrick - Ron Burke - 9/2 4 - Thinkbig Dreambig - Bettors Delight - Yannick Gingras - Jimmy Takter - 8/1 5 - Done Well - Well Said - Corey Callahan - Ron Burke -10/1 6 - I’m A Big Deal - Somebeachsomewhere - Eric Carlson - Chris Ryder - 12/1 7 - Jimmy Freight - Sportswriter - Scott Zeron - Andrew Harris -2/1 8 - Dorsoduro Hanover - Somebeachsomewhere - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 5/2 by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

Hightstown, NJ — Harness racing trainer Ron Burke saw his stable surpass $20 million in purses for the sixth consecutive year when Sonnet Grace won the Goldsmith Maid Stakes for 2-year-old female trotters over the weekend at The Meadowlands. The 49-year-old Burke is the only trainer in harness racing history to ever reach $20 million in a year. His stable earned a record $28.4 million in 2014. This season Burke’s stable leads the sport in both purses, with $20.2 million, and wins, with 917. No other trainer has won more than 344 races or $8.56 million. It will be Burke’s 10th consecutive year at the top of both categories. Burke has exceeded 900 wins five times in his career, including a record 1,093 victories in 2014. For his career, Burke has won a record 9,369 races and a record $211 million in purses. by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

East Rutherford, NJ - Captain Crunch and driver Scott Zeron tipped three wide coming off the final turn and powered through the stretch to win the $469,300 Governor's Cup for 2-year-old male pacers by 3-3/4 lengths over Mac's Power in 1:50.3 on a wet Saturday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Blood Money finished third. The Governor's Cup was one of the Fall Final Four events for 2-year-old pacers and trotters at the Big M. Southwind Avenger won the $435,900 Valley Victory for male trotters while Sonnet Grace captured the $490,000 Goldsmith Maid for female trotters and Prescient Beauty claimed the $391,250 Three Diamonds for female pacers. All of the races were contested over a sloppy track as the result of persistent rain. In the Governor's Cup, Captain Crunch was fifth through the first half of the race as Escapetothebeach and Mangogh each took a turn on the lead. Captain Crunch followed the cover of Semi Tough around the final turn before moving to the front in the stretch and cruising to victory. Captain Crunch, a son of Captaintreacherous out of Sweet Paprika, has won six of 10 races this year and earned $616,113 for owners 3 Brothers Stables, Christina Takter, Rojan Stables, and Caviart Farms. The colt, who last month won the Breeders Crown, is trained by Nancy Johansson. He was bred by Walnridge Farm and Sherri Meirs. "We really took our time with him," Johansson said. "He's a big growthy colt and there is a lot of money to be made toward the end of the season. We just figured we would take our time and let him come into his own." Johansson purchased Captain Crunch, then known as Captain Bean, for $85,000 at the 2017 Standardbred Horse Sale at the urging of her then 12-year-old daughter, Ella. "She said, 'Whatever you do, you have to buy Captain Bean,'" Johansson said, adding with a laugh, "Great. No pressure. "Luckily I have a good group of owners behind me and we were able to put together a group and purchase the colt and it's been a fairy tale story ever since." Captain Crunch, the 9-5 favorite, paid $5.80 to win. In the Valley Victory, Southwind Avenger upset at odds of 15-1, defeating Chin Chin Hall by a half-length in 1:55.3. Reign Of Honor finished third. Seven Hills, the 2-1 favorite, went off stride entering the final turn. Southwind Avenger, a Southwind Farms-bred son of E L Titan out of Auvergne, has won two of 11 races and earned $355,067 for owners Mel Hartman, David McDuffee, and Little E LLC. The gelding is trained by Richard "Nifty" Norman, who also trains Reign Of Honor, and was driven by Dexter Dunn. "We were looking for something for Canada that we thought would maybe step up there," said McDuffee, who also co-owns Chin Chin Hall. "We've had a lot of luck racing up in Canada. He was a beautiful colt out of a very nice mare. The rest is history, I guess. Nifty has done a wonderful job bringing him along. "One thing about Nifty, he's not in any hurry. He takes his time and lets them develop. When they're ready, he's ready. He just does a really nice job." Southwind Avenger paid $32.40 to win. In the Goldsmith Maid, second favorite Sonnet Grace took the lead on the backstretch and fended off challenges from Evident Beauty and Princess Deo to win by a half-length in 1:54.2. Princess Deo was second and Evident Beauty was third. Yannick Gingras drove Sonnet Grace for trainer Ron Burke. Sonnet Grace, a daughter of Muscle Massive out of I Believe, has won seven of 12 races this year and earned $402,597. She is owned by the Sonnet Grace Stable, which purchased the filly from former owner-trainer-driver Rod Allen in late September. Allen also bred the filly. "Rod Allen is a hell of a horseman and I give a shout out to him because he did a great job getting her broke and trained down," said the ownership group's Howard Taylor. "We got lucky." Sonnet Grace paid $6.40 to win. In the $391,250 Three Diamonds, Prescient Beauty rallied in the stretch to overtake battling leaders Zero Tolerance and Warrawee Ubeaut to win by a half-length in a career-best 1:50.4. Zero Tolerance finished second and even-money favorite Warrawee Ubeaut was third. Doug McNair drove Prescient Beauty to the victory for his dad, trainer Gregg McNair. Prescient Beauty had finished third behind Warrawee Ubeaut and Zero Tolerance in last month's Breeders Crown. Prescient Beauty, a daughter of Art Major out of Precious Beauty, has won five of 13 races this year and earned $439,971 for breeder-owner Jim Avritt Sr. Gregg McNair also trained fourth-place finisher Beautyonthebeach, another Avritt-owned homebred. "They've raced good," McNair said. "They've had a few problems here and there, but they've kept going. They're a good pair of mares." Sent off at 9-2, Prescient Beauty paid $11 to win. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Harness racing's top-ranked horses, No. 1 McWicked and No. 2 Shartin N, head to their respective TVG Series championships Saturday at The Meadowlands Racetrack looking to bolster their Horse of the Year credentials while closing out historic seasons. The Meadowlands hosts four TVG Series finals Saturday, with events also for male and female trotters, and four stakes races for 2-year-olds - the Governor's Cup for colt and gelding pacers, Valley Victory for colt and gelding trotters, Three Diamonds for filly pacers, and Goldsmith Maid for filly trotters. McWicked faces six foes in the $350,000 TVG Series final for male pacers. He starts from post one with Brian Sears driving for trainer Casie Coleman. Shartin N meets seven rivals in the $175,000 TVG Series final for female pacers. She also starts from post one, with Tim Tetrick at the lines for trainer Jim King Jr. Shartin N, who has won 18 of 23 races this year, has already set the record for single-season earnings by an older female pacer, with $968,361, and is attempting to become the first pacing mare to reach $1 million. The New Zealand-bred 5-year-old is owned by Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King. McWicked has won 11 of 18 races and earned $1.40 million in 2018. The 7-year-old stallion leads all horses in North America in purses and will be the first horse older than the age of 5 to finish atop the annual money standings since 7-year-old trotter Savoir in 1975. He is owned by Ed James' S S G Stables. Last week, McWicked won the five-horse preferred handicap at The Meadowlands by 2-1/4 lengths over Filibuster Hanover in 1:47.3. He brings a four-race win streak to his TVG final. "I couldn't be any happier," Coleman said. "He was off for three weeks and when we drew the five hole in a five-horse field I expected they would go slow fractions trying to get away on him late. When they hit the half in :53.4 I was pretty happy. I wasn't expecting that fast a mile out of him, but he did it real easy. "He came out of it really good. He was feeling good the next day. Everything seems good. Hopefully we can have a little bit of luck with him on Saturday." McWicked, who was a Dan Patch Award-winner at the age of 3, counts the Breeders Crown Open Pace, Ben Franklin Pace, William R. Haughton Memorial, Canadian Pacing Derby, Dan Rooney Invitational, and Allerage Open Pace among his wins this year. Two fourth-place finishes are his only off-the-board results in his 18 starts. If he were named Horse of the Year, McWicked would be the oldest pacer to ever receive the honor. "To think he was going to do what he did this year would be impossible," Coleman said. "I felt confident he would have a big season, but he's made almost $1.5 million and barely missed the top three. In the starts he got beat, he only got beat from the way the trip went. I've never seen anybody as consistent as he's been week in and week out. "It's not like he has easy miles and he's been at the top of his game since the time he started the season. The horse is 7 years old and racing against the best of the best in the open (class) every week. It's fun every time he goes to the gate. As long as he's healthy and sound we're definitely planning to race him next year." Shartin N prepped for her TVG final with a 1:52.2 win in a qualifier Nov. 14 at Dover Downs. She last raced Oct. 27, winning the Breeders Crown Mare Pace. She also brings a four-race win streak to her TVG event. "She qualified really good the other day, very pleasing," King said. "She doesn't seem to mind the time between races. I think she's OK." In addition to the Breeders Crown, Shartin N's victories this year include the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series championship, Roses Are Red, Lady Liberty, Artiscape, Betsy Ross Invitational, Chip Noble Memorial, and Allerage Farms Mare Pace. If she were named Horse of the Year, Shartin N would be the first pacing mare to ever receive the honor. "I think that's a pretty tall order; McWicked is so sharp right now," King said. "A few weeks ago, I thought it was going to be all about (3-year-old trotting filly) Atlanta, but people have short memories. It's really something just to be even considered, to be in the running. She's gone all year since the Matchmaker (beginning in March) and she hasn't missed yet where she didn't have an excuse or real good reason. Every time she didn't win, something went wrong. "There are so few things through the year that didn't make me smile. It's just a thrill to be around one like her and to think you were a part of it. I'd really love to get over that million-dollar mark; that would be something. You never want to see a year like this end, but she's had quite a year. She's just a horse of a different color. She's pretty damn special." For Saturday's complete Meadowlands entries, click here. First-race post time is 7:15 p.m. (EST). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Driver Bob McClure and trainer Luc Blais have forged a strong relationship this year, winning 28 percent of their starts together. The partnership has helped McClure make a successful transition from Canada's "B" tracks to the main stage of Woodbine Mohawk Park, not to mention the harness racing Grand Circuit, and aided Blais' bid for career highs for wins and purses. The two will look to add to their accomplishments Saturday (Nov. 17) at the Meadowlands, where Ontario Sire Stakes champion Forbidden Trade takes on seven rivals in the second of two eliminations for the Valley Victory Stakes for 2-year-old male trotters. The top-five finishers from each elim advance to the $435,900 final on Nov. 24 at the Big M. Elimination winners will draw for posts one thorough six. Forbidden Trade, who has won seven of nine races, is the 7-2 second choice on the morning line. He will start from post seven. Seven Hills is the 3-1 favorite, with Corey Callahan driving for trainer John Butenschoen. "He's been top notch all year," McClure said about Forbidden Trade. "He's pretty incredible for a 2-year-old. He looks like a 3-year-old and has the maturity of a 4-year-old. He's never given me any trouble. He's perfect to drive, a complete professional, no matter what kind of trip you give him. He's got the attitude of a good one. "The two races he lost were probably his two best races. One race (a preliminary leg of the sire stakes) he had a lot of bad racing luck and still raced huge. The other time (in a division of the Champlain Stakes) he had some traffic trouble. I didn't have him in good position and he got out of gear a little bit. He still came home :27.1, but he was in no position to win. He could have come home in :26.4 and he still wasn't going to win." Forbidden Trade, by Kadabra out of O'Brien Award-winner Pure Ivory, has earned $213,139 for owner Serge Godin's Determination stable. He brings a four-race win streak to his Valley Victory elimination. "I think the sky is the limit for him," McClure said. "He's been a professional from day one. He's made my job easy. If he's in any position to win he usually gets the job done. He's been fun to drive all year. I think he has the potential to be a top Grand Circuit horse." The 28-year-old McClure led Canada in wins in 2017 and 2016, topping 500 both years, and was third in 2015. This season, with his focus on Woodbine Mohawk, he has won 285 races and a career-best $3.74 million (U.S.) in purses. He ranks third in Canada in both wins and purses. "I'm very happy," McClure said. "I have a lot of people to thank for that. I was really happy where I was (at the smaller tracks) and I was having a lot of fun. But I decided to commit to (Woodbine Mohawk). I wanted to be home with family more. I didn't anticipate picking up the stakes stables I did. I didn't anticipate having as good a year that I've had right off the bat. It's worked out significantly better than I thought it would." Among those on McClure's thank-you list is trainer Dean Nixon, who backed the driver from the earliest days of his transition. "I've driven for him for a long time and he's somebody I've had a really good working relationship with," McClure said. "He's happy with the work I do, and I respect the good job he does. We've always done really well together. It gave me the freedom of being able to make some mistakes during the transition and not worry about him being upset about it. He's always going to be in your corner. "When I picked up Luc Blais, that was the icing on the cake." Blais, who trains exclusively for Determination, is in the midst of his third consecutive million-dollar-season. His 66 wins this year are the third most of his career (his best came in 2000 with 77) and his $1.56 million in purses is also third (his best came last year with $1.85 million). In addition to winning the Ontario Sire Stakes championship with Forbidden Trade, Blais and McClure have captured the Steele Memorial and Joie De Vie with Dream Together. They finished second in the Armbro Flight Stakes with Emoticon Hanover and second in the Ontario Sire Stakes championship with Champagne Jane. "They asked if I wanted to be the driver for Determination stables and I jumped at the opportunity," said McClure, who has driven 163 of Blais' 236 starters. "Serge Godin and Luc Blais are very good people to work for. "I think everyone is real happy with the year we've had." For Saturday's complete Meadowlands entries, click here. Racing begins at 7:15 p.m. (EST). by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Custom Cantab brings a career-long streak of 28 on-the-board finishes to Thursday's $183,900 Matron Stakes for 3-year-old filly trotters at Dover Downs, which will be the filly's first start at a harness racing track other than Hoosier Park. Custom Cantab, who is 6-1 on the morning line, heads to the event off a win in the Crossroads of America on Nov. 2. The triumph was her 12th in 16 races this season. Trained and co-owned by Chris Beaver, Custom Cantab has 14 wins, 10 seconds and four thirds in her career and earnings of $643,936. In addition to the Crossroads, her victories this year include a division of the Pegasus Stakes and the Indiana Sire Stakes championship. She finished second to Manchego in the Moni Maker Stakes and has not finished worse than second in 13 races since surgery to correct an entrapped epiglottis. Custom Cantab will start the Matron from post six with regular driver Peter Wrenn. Breeders Crown champion Lily Stride is the 2-1 morning-line favorite from post three, with Tim Tetrick driving for trainer Mark Harder. Plunge Blue Chip is the 5-2 second choice from post one with trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. "We were up in the air whether to start her again, but everything checked out on her and I'd been anxious to see how she would race against a top field to get some perspective," Beaver said. "We plan on racing her next year. She's probably not as valuable as a broodmare as some of those fillies are, but she's a really nice racehorse. "I think she will be staked to some of the mare races and maybe some of the 4-year-old races. I wouldn't be staking to everything. I'd like to space out her starts. Maybe she won't be good enough, but the way she acts, she's never let a horse get away from her. She's always been competitive." Dover Downs host the four Matrons for 3-year-old trotters and pacers Thursday. Racing begins at 4:30 p.m. (EST). Six Pack is the 6-5 morning-line favorite in the $210,150 colt and gelding trot, followed by Met's Hall at 8-5. Dorsoduro Hanover is the 2-1 choice in the $193,750 colt and gelding pace, which also includes Jimmy Freight (5-2) and Lather Up (7-2). Youaremycandygirl is the 5-2 favorite in the $159,350 filly pace, where she will see familiar rivals Alexa's Power (7-2) and Percy Bluechip (9-2). Custom Cantab is a daughter of Mr Cantab out of Custom Model. Beaver bought Custom Model's first foal, the Chocolatier-sired My Ghost Bi, for $3,000 at the 2011 Lexington Selected Sale and the gelding made $75,852 lifetime. Beaver bought Custom Cantab, the mare's third foal, for $6,000 at the 2016 Hoosier Sale. "I knew the family and thought she was something nicer than what the mare had thrown before," Beaver said. "I kind of studied crosses and I thought the mare would cross with Mr Cantab, but I can't say I had any idea she would turn out as good as this. I was just hoping to get a horse that was competitive in the sire stakes." Beaver, who owns Custom Cantab with Donald Robinson and R.B.H. Ventures, is not concerned about the filly going on the road for the first time and racing on a five-eighths-mile oval compared to Hoosier Park's seven-eighths track. "She trains on a little farm track, so she should be all right," Beaver said. "I think she would be good on any size track because even if she was struggling in the turns she would let you help her. She knows what she's supposed to be doing. "She's smart. She can leave all you want and let a horse go, settle in a hole, and follow without using any more energy than necessary. She's been racing on the front a lot lately because she's been the favorite, but she is great off a helmet. She knows how to take care of herself and put herself in position to stay close. She is an extremely professional horse." For Thursday's complete Dover Downs entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA 

Hightstown, NJ — None of the horses in the harness racing Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll’s Top 10 were in action last week. Seven-year-old pacing stallion McWicked, the year’s richest horse with $1.39 million in purses, continues in the top spot and had 26 first-place votes. Shartin N is in second place and picked up seven first-place votes. They remaining two first-place votes went to Woodside Charm, who ranks fourth overall behind Atlanta. The Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll does not determine Horse of the Year. The U.S. Harness Writers Association votes in December on all Dan Patch Award division winners plus Trotter of the Year, Pacer of the Year and Horse of the Year. Rankings based on the votes of harness racing media representatives on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown Standardbred Poll: Week 25 – 11/13/2018 Rank Name (First Votes) A/G/S Record Earnings Points Pvs 1 McWicked (26) 7ph 17-10-3-2 $1,393,864 340 1 2 Shartin N (7) 5pm 23-18-1-0 $968,361 306 2 3 Atlanta 3tf 14-8-5-1 $1,017,278 246 3 4 Woodside Charm (2) 2tf 7-7-0-0 $521,658 214 4i 5 Kissin In The Sand 3pf 15-10-5-0 $845,495 183 5 6 Gimpanzee 2tc 9-9-0-0 $591,358 141 6 7 Dorsoduro Hanover 3pg 19-10-5-1 $1,229,112 95 7 8 Six Pack 3tc 13-10-1-1 $970,573 80 8 9 Courtly Choice    3pc 16-10-1-0 $910,603 68 9 10 Tactical Landing 3tc 13-8-2-2 $642,800 67 10 Also: Homicide Hunter 59; Warrawee Ubeaut 39; Manchego 18; Jimmy Freight, Marion Marauder 12; Lather Up 11; Captain Crunch, Crystal Fashion, Emoticon Hanover 7; Met’s Hall 6; Plunge Blue Chip 3; Caviart Ally 2; Foiled Again, Lily Stride 1. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Harrisburg, PA — Gallie Bythe Beach, a 7-year-old pacing mare in foal to Always B Miki, was the top seller Thursday (Nov. 8) during the first session of the Standardbred Horse Sale’s two-day mixed sale. She was purchased for $280,000 by Hanover Shoe Farms. A daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of the mare Galleria, the stakes-winning Gallie Bythe Beach earned $749,898 during her career in harness racing. She retired in 2016. Her dam was a Dan Patch Award-winner in 1998 and 1999 and added an O’Brien Award in 2000. The family also includes mares Gallic Sea and Gallie Beach, who joined Gallie Bythe Beach on Thursday’s top-sellers list. Gallic Sea, a full sister to Gallie Bythe Beach, was purchased by Shmuel Farhi for $157,000, which was the day’s third-highest price. The 4-year-old mare is in foal to Always B Miki. Gallie Beach, a 4-year-old by Somebeachsomewhere out of stakes-winner Western Gallie, sold for $110,000 to Fair Winds Farm. She also is in foal to Always B Miki. Her dam is a half-sister to Gallie Bythe Beach. Gallie Beach’s price tied for the day’s fourth highest. Coming in at No. 2 on Thursday was 3-year-old trotting filly Danish Girl, who was purchased for $170,000 by Karen Carroll. Danish Girl is a daughter of Credit Winner out of Steamy Windows and a half-sister to undefeated Breeders Crown champion Gimpanzee. She is in foal to Muscle Mass. Rounding out the top five at $110,000 was 4-year-old pacing mare Kate Is Well Said. The mare is a daughter of Well Said out of stakes-winner Just Wait Kate. The family also includes Dan Patch Award-winner Kikikatie. Kate Is Well Said is in foal to Captaintreacherous. One other mare, 4-year-old trotter Pure Kemp, reached six figures. She was purchased for $100,000 by agent Bjorn “Bernie” Noren. Pure Kemp is a daughter of Muscle Hill out of Ally Hall. The family includes O’Brien Award-winner Amigo Hall. Pure Kemp is in foal to Walner. All of the six-figure sellers were consigned by Preferred Equine. Among stallion shares sold Thursday, two shares in Muscle Hill were purchased for $150,000 and $135,000 by Steve Stewart and Fair Winds Farm, respectively. Both shares were consigned by Preferred Equine. One Chapter Seven stallion share sold for $140,000 to Steve Jones and one Captaintreacherous share sold for $125,000 to Tim Klemencic. The Chapter Seven share was consigned by Steiner Stock Farm and the Captaintreacherous share was consigned by Preferred Equine. A stallion share for pacer Lazarus N sold for $50,000 to Urie Byler. The share was donated to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation by Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made Sales and Stallions and Mike Gulotta of Deo Volente Farms. Lazarus N will stand at Deo Volente for the 2019 breeding season. The Standardbred Horse Sale concludes Friday with the second session of the mixed sale at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex. For complete results visit The Black Book. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Harrisburg, PA — Chapter Seven-sired trotting colt Book Seven sold for $157,000 to lead Wednesday’s (Nov. 7) sellers at the Standardbred Horse Sale, which concluded its three-day yearling auction with a record average of $42,675 for 830 horses sold. The average topped the previous high set in 2007, when 1,048 yearlings sold for $40,824. This year’s average was 7.56 percent better than 2017, when 851 horses sold for an average of $39,675. This year’s gross was $35.42 million, which surpassed last year’s $33.76 million. “I’m very happy with such a successful sale,” Standardbred Horse Sales President and CEO Pete Spears said. “Despite the fact we sold 21 fewer horses than last year the gross is way up. I thought today the sale was a little spotty, it was up and down, but there were still some very strong sales. People were still active and enthusiastic and the figures reflected that. “It was a fabulous yearling sale and now we go on to the mixed sale tomorrow. Breeders should have a little bit of money in their pockets to reinvest in mares and race fillies. “Hanover Shoe Farms went over $12 million today for the sale, and I know Mr. Simpson (Jim Simpson, Hanover Shoe Farms president and CEO and Standardbred Horse Sales vice president) is extremely happy about that as well.” Book Seven was purchased for $157,000 by Stroy Inc. The colt, out of the mare Tantalizing Donna, is from the family of stakes-winners Triumphant Caviar, Prayer Session, and Centurion ATM. He was bred and consigned by Winbak Farm. Next on Wednesday’s top-sellers list was Sportswriter-sired pacing colt Sports Style, purchased for $100,000 by Adriano Sorella. Sports Style, out of the mare Nothing But Style, is from the family of 2008 Horse of the Year Somebeachsomewhere. He was bred and consigned by Spring Haven Farm. Tony Alagna bought filly pacer Pure Essence and colt pacer Radiant Blue Chip for $90,000 apiece. Pure Essence, by Western Ideal out of My Little Artist, is a full sister to stakes-winner Mangogh, who races Thursday in the Matron Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. The family also includes Dan Patch Award-winner My Little Dragon. Pure Essence was bred by White Birch Farm and consigned by Preferred Equine. Radiant Blue Chip, by Roll With Joe out of Incredible Beauty, is from the family of Dan Patch Award-winners Sportswriter and Precocious Beauty as well as stakes-winner Prescient Beauty. Radiant Blue Chip was bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock and consigned by Blue Chip Farms. Nine yearlings sold for at least $80,000 on Wednesday. Pacing colts led the yearling sale with an average of $49,465 for 226 horses. Trotting fillies were next with an average of $47,215 for 177 followed by trotting colts at $41,265 for 185 and pacing fillies at $34,091 for 242. Muscle Hill led trotting stallions with an average of $178,938 for 16 yearlings followed by Father Patrick at $119,000 for 12. Captaintreacherous led pacing stallions with an average of $81,091 for 44 yearlings followed by Somebeachsomewhere at $72,235 for 51. The Standardbred Horse Sale’s mixed sale begins at 10 a.m. (EST) Thursday at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex. For complete sale results, visit The Black Book. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Erv Miller thinks Artie's Ideal has his best harness racing days ahead of him. Miller hopes that includes Thursday when the colt visits Dover Downs for the $213,000 Matron Stakes for 2-year-old male pacers. Artie's Ideal was a two-time winner on the New York Sire Stakes circuit and finished third in the series championship before trying the Grand Circuit for the first time at Lexington's Red Mile. The colt was second to Workin Ona Mystery in a division of the Bluegrass Stakes, pacing a :26.1 final quarter-mile, before a seventh-place finish in a division of the International Stallion Stakes. After a three-week respite, Artie's Ideal qualified in 1:54.2 at Harrah's Philadelphia on Oct. 30 to prep for the Matron. He won the qualifier by 10-1/2 lengths. "He was a real green colt getting started and he's just been getting better all the way through," said Miller, who trains Artie's Ideal for owner Bay Pond Racing Stable. "He had a little setback the second week at Lexington, his blood was a little messed up, but as far as getting more mature he's gotten better every time we went to the gate. "He qualified really well at (Philly) and I look for him to put in a good effort." Artie's Ideal and driver Marcus Miller, Erv's son, will start the Matron from post four. He is 10-1 on the morning line. Metro Pace runner-up Semi Tough, with Matt Kakaley driving for trainer Ron Burke, is the 5-2 favorite. "He got the four hole, that's a good spot, and if things work out for him he should be right there," Miller said. Dover Downs host the four Matrons for 2-year-old trotters and pacers Thursday. Racing begins at 4:15 p.m. (EST) with a non-betting race, the Matron for colt and gelding trotters, followed by the regular card at 4:30 p.m. Breeders Crown runner-up When Dovescry is the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the $177,800 filly trot and Breeders Crown finalist Queen Of The Pride is 5-2 in the $179,100 filly pace. Artie's Ideal is a son of American Ideal out of Midnight Art. The colt has earned $114,508 in nine starts and is Midnight Art's third six-figure-earner. The family also includes Grand Circuit winners Good News Lady and Ideal News. Miller said the colt was immature physically to begin the season, but has developed nicely. "I think he's going to be a nice colt," Miller said. "He's easy to drive, an easy trainer. He handles well. You can tell he's got a great attitude. He's so handy and he's a smart little horse. I really look forward to next year with him." Artie's Ideal is eligible to the Governor's Cup later this month at the Meadowlands, but the Matron could be his final start of the year. "We'll go off how he races," Miller said. For Thursday's complete pari-mutuel entries at Dover Downs, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA   

Harrisburg, PA —- Ken Jacobs arrived at Tuesday’s second session of the Standardbred Horse Sale with the intention of buying one horse. He departed several hours later with his objective fulfilled. Jacobs bought pacing colt Rodeo Blue Chip, out of the family of his Dan Patch Award-winning Heston Blue Chip, for $250,000. The price topped the 303 yearlings sold on Day 2. “I was going to get him,” Jacobs said. “He looked good. He looked a lot like (Heston Blue Chip). I didn’t think I would have to pay that much, but if you’ve got one guy who likes him beside yourself, you’re going to pay. “I’m done,” he added with a laugh. “I’m going home.” Linda Toscano will train Rodeo Blue Chip. The colt was among three yearlings to sell for at least $235,000 on Tuesday. Last year, the second session’s top-seller went for $180,000. Through two sessions this year, a total of 473 horses sold for $27.99 million. The average of $59,182 was 11.9 percent better than last year’s $52,847 for 483 horses ($25.5 million gross). On Tuesday, 19 horses sold for at least six figures, which was an increase of two from 2017. Rodeo Blue Chip is by Sweet Lou out of Lotsa Matzah and his family also includes millionaire Sunfire Blue Chip and Dan Patch Award-winner Kikikatie. He was bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock, Daniel Zucker, Christine Sallee, and Stephen Demeter. The colt was consigned by Blue Chip Farms. Following Rodeo Blue Chip on the top-sellers list were Chapter Seven-sired trotting colt Third Shift and Muscle Hill-sired trotting filly Hilly Holbrook. Both yearlings sold for $235,000. Third Shift was purchased by trainer Ake Svanstedt. The colt, bred and consigned by Winbak Farm, is out of the mare Overnight Command. “He is a very nice horse and good gaited,” Svanstedt said. “I like his conformation and that he is a Chapter Seven.” Hilly Holbrook was purchased by trainer Julie Miller for a group headed by Marvin Katz. Also in the partnership are Brixton Medical and Bud Hatfield. The filly is out of the mare Winky Dink, from the family of Dan Patch Award-winner Winky’s Goal. She was bred by Julie Meirs and consigned by Concord Stud Farm. “We’re super excited,” Miller said. “We loved her at Concord. She was great in the field, she just had a racy, athletic way of moving. She is a strong filly. You can’t help but love the (pedigree) page and her being a Muscle Hill filly. I don’t know if we can go wrong. Getting her was our goal and we were successful.” Rounding out the top five Tuesday were Chapter Seven-sired trotting filly Robin Blue Chip and Andover Hall-sired trotting colt Amstel Hanover. Robin Blue Chip, out of the Swedish-bred mare Richesse Oblige, sold for $175,000 to trainer Per Engblom for a yet-to-be-completed partnership. She was bred by Blue Chip Bloodstock, Herbert Burns III, and Jacob Kiefer and consigned by Blue Chip Farms. “She was solid and very correct, I thought,” Engblom said. “The Chapter Seven fillies are doing great, so we want to get on the train. She’s out of a Swedish family I know pretty well. It’s a good, solid Swedish family.” Amstel Hanover, out of the mare Angel Pie from the family of Hambletonian champion American Winner, sold for $170,000 to agent Lina Alm. The colt was bred and consigned by Hanover Shoe Farms. Through two days, trotting fillies led the sale with an average of $67,570 for 100 yearlings sold. Pacing colts were next with an average of $64,254 for 138 sold followed by trotting colts at $58,529 for 104 and pacing fillies at $47,954 for 131. Muscle Hill led trotting stallions with an average of $178,938 for 16 yearlings sold while Captaintreacherous led pacing stallions with an average of $84,146 for 41. The yearling portion of the Standardbred Horse Sale concludes Wednesday. The final session begins at 10 a.m. (EST) at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex. For complete results, visit The Black Book. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Harrisburg, PA — Bidders were active at Monday’s (Nov. 5) opening session of the Standardbred Horse Sale from beginning to end, resulting in a 24.2 percent increase in the average purchase price compared to the first day in 2017. A total of 170 yearlings sold for a gross of $15.9 million and average of $93,541, up from $75,305 last year. Eight horses sold for at least $300,000 led by Muscle Hill-sired trotting filly Fifty Cent Piece, who was acquired for $500,000 by Lennart Agren’s SRF Stables. She was one of three horses to sell for at least $400,000, joined by Trixton-sired trotting filly Krickan ($415,000 to John Floren’s Coyote Wynd Farms) and Captaintreacherous-sired pacing colt Honorat Hanover ($400,000 to Myron Bell as agent for the Captain’s Court ownership group). Overall, 21 horses sold for at least $200,000 and 56 reached six figures. The totals for those two categories in 2017 were 11 and 42, respectively. Last year’s top sellers for the first day, Sheer Muscle and The Ice Dutchess, were $320,000. “It was a fantastic sale, top to bottom; trotters, pacers, colts, fillies,” Standardbred Horse Sale President and CEO Pete Spears said. “I looked down preliminarily through the consignors and it looks like they all did well. Everyone I’ve talked to is very excited and pleased, so obviously I am too. “I was hoping to get (a day like this). There is always the possibility things won’t work out the way you hope, but we really felt we had a very strong catalogue and that this type of day was possible. We’re very happy the buyers recognized the strength of the entries and have bought a bunch of good horses.” Fifty Cent Piece, out of the mare Thatsnotmyname, is a half-sister to stakes-winner Basquiat and the family also includes 2010 Hambletonian winner Muscle Massive. She was bred by Order By Stable and consigned by Concord Stud Farm. “It was great that we got her,” said agent Lina Alm, who bid on the filly for Agren. “I got a text from Lennart right before (the bidding closed) — $500,000. It was at the last moment. “We do the same thing every time we pick out horses. They have to have the pedigree, which she has obviously, and they also have to make a good video. We know the fact that some horses do not make good videos and still are good, but we like to see at least a tiny bit of what we want to have in a horse in the video. And then the last thing is me looking at them and feeling energy and (that they have good) conformation.” Agren’s other purchases on Monday included $335,000 Swiss House Onfire, a trotting colt by Muscle Hill out of Brooklyn from the family of Dan Patch Award-winner Pizza Dolce and stakes-winner Creamy Mimi. He also was bred by Order By Stable and consigned by Concord Stud Farm. “He was by far the most athletic and most good-looking horse in the sale,” said agent Robert Lindstrom, who handled the bidding on Swiss House Onfire. “That was the colt we liked most.” The Trixton filly Krickan is out of Hall of Fame mare Solveig and a half-sister to Dan Patch Award-winner Shake It Cerry and international millionaire Uncle Lasse. She was bred by Solveig’s Breeders and consigned by Concord Stud Farm. “I’m in the breeding business and you don’t get to buy out of that type of mare very often,” Floren said. “She’s a very nice filly as well. One of the nicest ones out of that mare from what (Jimmy Takter) just told me, and I think he’s trained them all. “I expected her to go for $400,000. I’m happy about this one. (The sale) is very strong.” The Captaintreacherous colt Honorat Hanover is out of the millionaire mare Hana Hanover and a three-quarter brother to stakes-winner Hayden Hanover. The horse was bred and consigned by Hanover Shoe Farms. Bell also signed for $350,000 In Reality Hanover, a colt by Captaintreacherous out of It Was Fascination. He is a full brother to stakes-winner Captain Trevor. He also was bred and consigned by Hanover Shoe Farms. “Whether they were (sired by Captaintreacherous) or not, we felt these were the two best colts that Hanover Shoe Farms had,” Bell said. “We were very fortunate to be able to buy them.” Captaintreacherous is the leading sire of 2-year-old pacers this year, with his first crop totaling $3.07 million in purses. His 21 yearlings that sold Monday in Harrisburg averaged $119,333, which was the best among pacing stallions. “When you get on stage, you better perform,” Bell said. “The Captain is under pressure because now everybody expects that every Captain out there is going to be a world champion, which we know cannot happen. But when you breed a good mare to Captain and they present themselves like these two colts, I think we have a fighting shot.” Muscle Hill led trotting stallions, with 14 yearlings selling for an average of $185,429. Father Patrick was not far behind, with seven horses averaging $182,143. Trotting colts led the first day with an average of $108,667 for 33 horses. Trotting fillies were next with $100,561 for 41 followed by pacing colts with $96,569 for 51 and pacing fillies with $72,622 for 45. The yearling portion of the sale resumes Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Complex. The final day for yearlings is Wednesday, also beginning at 10. “We hope for a strong day tomorrow and Wednesday,” Spears said. “We have a very good catalogue tomorrow and a good catalogue Wednesday. I think there will be more strong days to come. The economy is good, people are feeling good; they’re having a lot of fun.” Day One Top 10 Hip–Sex–Gait–Name–Sire–Dam–Buyer–Consignor–Price 144-F-T-Fifty Cent Piece-Muscle Hill-Thatsnotmyname-SRF Stables-Concord Stud Farm, agent-$500,000 133-F-T-Krickan-Trixton-Solveig-Clark Beelby, agent-Concord Stud Farm, agent-$415,000 47-C-P-Honorat Hanover-Captaintreacherous-Hana Hanover-Myron Bell, agent-Hanover Shoe Farms-$400,000 170-F-T-Hello Tomorrow-Muscle Hill-Armbro Deja Vu-Marvin Katz, Brixton Medical, Bud Hatfield-Fair Winds Farm-$380,000 60-C-P-In Reality Hanover-Captaintreacherous-It Was Fascination-Myron Bell, agent-Hanover Shoe Farms-$350,000 13-C-T-Swiss House Onfire-Muscle Hill-Brooklyn-Robert Lindstrom, agent-Concord Stud Farm, agent-$335,000 118-F-T-Quadrille Hanover-Father Patrick-Queen Of Grace-Jeff Snyder-Hanover Shoe Farms-$300,000 127-C-T-Shadrack Hanover-Muscle Hill-Shared Past-Elite Trotting, agent-Hanover Shoe Farms-$300,000 45-C-T-Gangster Hanover-Father Patrick-Global Desire-Ake Svanstedt-Hanover Shoe Farms-$275,000 145-F-T-Queentrix-Trixton-The Ice Queen-David McDuffee-Preferred Equine, agent-$260,000 To view the full results of the Monday session or the upcoming catalogue, please click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Verlin Yoder raced the best horse of his career this season, the undefeated Breeders Crown champion Woodside Charm, but the filly was not alone in helping the 45-year-old owner/trainer/driver to the best season of his career. Yoder established highs of 31 wins and $1.38 million in purses as a trainer to go with a career-best $1.15 million as a driver. His 26 victories in the sulky were two shy of his career mark of 28 set last season. And while 2-year-old female trotter Woodside Charm contributed $521,658 in purses to this year's totals, Yoder still would have surpassed his previous highs of $571,162 as a trainer and $571,903 as a driver without her. "We just had the right horses in the right classes," Yoder said. "It worked out great." Yoder had three Indiana Sire Stakes champions: 2-year-old male trotter It's A Herbie, 2-year-old female trotter Kissesforall, and 4-year-old female trotter Compelling. Three-year-old male trotter Katkin American finished second to Fiftydallarbill in his Indiana Sire Stakes final. Those four horses combined for 18 wins, hitting the board 43 times in 50 starts, and $749,440. Compelling, claimed by Yoder last year, came back from a suspensory injury to find success. Katkin American was unraced at 2, but showed potential last winter while training with Yoder's millionaire trotter Natural Herbie. Driven by Yoder's son James, Katkin American was a Hoosier Park track-record-setter and finished worse than second only once in 12 starts. "I knew we had some decent ones coming out of Florida," said Yoder, who lives in the Sunshine State during the offseason and returns to Indiana to race. "We knew (Katkin American) was pretty nice. It was nice to have him and watch my son do well with him. "The Herbie colt, about the middle of March he showed me he had some real talent. We just took our time with him. He's a big growthy colt and I stuck to my guns and kept on trying to teach him. Every start, he got smarter about things. I was really excited about him. "Compelling was a very nice addition. I was going for a Hail Mary (when I claimed her last year) because I was kind of soft in the 3-year-old fillies. I took the gamble of keeping her and rehabbing her. I tried to do all the right things and she came back a hundred percent. It was the middle of February and the boys kept on telling me they're going to read about her. The farther we got down, the stronger she got." And then there was Woodside Charm, who on Oct. 27 capped a 7-for-7 campaign with her win in the Breeders Crown final for 2-year-old female trotters at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. It was Yoder's first trip to the Breeders Crown. She joined Manchego as the only 2-year-old filly trotters to be undefeated Breeders Crown champions. "The way she did it is what impressed me about her," Yoder said about the filly's season. "She went to so many tracks and shipped all over, and every time I went to a different track she adjusted. She let me do what I had to do. "She's a fast, smart horse." Woodside Charm won her Breeders Crown final by 1-3/4 lengths over Simon Allard-driven When Dovescry, covering the mile distance in 1:54.1 on a cold rainy night. "I was going up the backside and she was cruising and I'm thinking, man, it can't be this easy," Yoder said. "I thought I better grab into her a little bit to make sure I had plenty left. Then when Simon pulled, I was waiting on him, I squawked at her and she was gone. "You're pinching yourself in the race. And then when you get done and get home and start thinking about what you did in the last couple weeks, it's pretty amazing. "It takes a lot of focus and a lot of hard work to pull something like that off. The biggest thing is staying focused on your work. To stay focused and do your job every day, and stay religious about it, that's the tough part. You set up a plan to lead to one direction. I wouldn't say that I'm proud of myself, but I was happy with myself to stay focused." Yoder also credited his wife, Rachel, with being instrumental to the stable's success. "This was the first year that my wife was able to help me in Indiana and it made a big difference," Yoder said. "We've always been a team, but the boys always went to school and she had to be in Florida and I was always trying to do it myself. When you have somebody that thinks the same way that you do and it's a team, it just works better." Yoder is already resettled in Florida, giving his horses some time off and contemplating next season. "Things went right; we did the right things and stuck to the plan," Yoder said. "Now we have to go back through the motions again. Hopefully we come back and do all right again." by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA

Chris Lakata hopes it's best to be "Lucky" this weekend at The Meadowlands. Lucky Weekend, trained by Lakata, starts from post eight with driver Vincent Ginsburg in Saturday's $221,540 Kindergarten Classic Series championship for 2-year-old male harness racing trotters at the Big M. The gelding, purchased last month by Richard Mishkin for $45,000 at the inaugural Lexington Selected Mixed Sale, has won five of nine races and is among the season's 10 fastest 2-year-old male trotters, with a mark of 1:54.2. He went off stride in his first start for his new connections on Oct. 12, but rebounded with a Kindergarten win a week later. He was scratched last week because of sickness. "There are a lot of horses that are sick now; it seems to be going around," Lakata said about Lucky Weekend, a son of Lucky Chucky-Weekend Vacation who was trained previously by Chuck Sylvester. "He seems to be better now. "He seems like a nice solid horse. He's got a great attitude and is a very happy horse. I really like everything about him. He was already on his way to looking good before we got him. He made a break the first week we raced him so we changed a couple things and he was really good his last start." The Meadowlands hosts four Kindergarten championships on Saturday. In addition to the final for 2-year-old male trotters there is the $236,060 final for 2-year-old female trotters, $173,800 final for 2-year-old male pacers, and $148,700 final for 2-year-old female pacers. Post time is 7:15 p.m. (EDT) for the program's first race. Lakata, a former longtime assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Ron Gurfein, is in his fourth year operating his own stable. His barn at Joie De Vie Farm in New Jersey typically numbers five to 10 horses. Lucky Weekend's appearance in the Kindergarten championship is Lakata's first trip to a Grand Circuit final with his own stable. "Some weeks are great, and some are not so great," said a laughing Lakata, who grew up near Saratoga and began working with horses there after graduating from high school. "Sometimes you think you're a genius, and other times you look in the mirror and ask yourself if you know what you're doing. I've been doing it all my life, so I'm used to it. "I don't think I could work indoors in an office. As soon as I started (with the horses) I liked it. You're around all kind of people and they all blend together. It's a lot of fun." Lucky Weekend faces a field that includes 4-for-4 Seven Hills, trained by John Butenschoen, and Divine Spirit, trained by Brett Pelling. The horses, which were tied atop the Kindergarten standings, both enter the final off back-to-back wins in the series. This will be Lucky Weekend's final start of the year. "I think (Lucky Weekend) is as good as the others in there," Lakata said. "We'll find out. I hope he's as good this week as he was in his last start. He should be OK." For Saturday's complete entries, click here. For the Kindergarten standings, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

After skipping the Breeders Crown at Pocono, Always A Prince will have the Breeders Crown come to him. Sort of. Always A Prince is among the 10 horses in Friday's $190,000 Monument Circle for 3-year-old male pacers at Hoosier Park. The field features four of the top-five finishers from last Saturday's Breeders Crown final at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, including champion Dorsoduro Hanover and runner-up Lather Up. For the season, the Hoosier Park-based Always A Prince has won 18 of 21 races and $397,875. His victories include the Jenna's Beach Boy at Hoosier, where he defeated Breeders Crown fourth-place finisher Shnitzledosomethin and Jimmy Freight. The gelding also has the Indiana Sire Stakes championship to his credit. "We were thinking of taking him to the Breeders Crown, but we decided to wait," said Carl Atley, who owns Always A Prince with his wife Melanie. "Now they all come here to Hoosier to race. That's his home ground, so maybe it's a little bit of an advantage for us. "But it's tough, tough horses coming to race against you. That's part of the game. If you have the purses, the horses will show up. It's nice that Hoosier has got this race. I'm just glad the horse is sound and ready to go in a race like this. We gave him a break last week so we would be prepared for this race." Always A Prince is trained by Tyler George, but was selected and developed by James "Bill" Dailey, who passed away unexpectedly in May at the age of 57. Each time Always A Prince races, it is a tribute to Dailey. "Absolutely," said Atley, who was a friend of Dailey's since childhood. "This is really special because this is his. "Bill was the greatest guy, the hardest worker, always great to be around. He was always so nice to everybody. He treated everybody with respect. It was fun to be around him." Always A Prince was unraced at age 2 because of soreness, but returned this year and won his first seven races, all in conditioned classes, before tackling the Indiana Sire Stakes circuit. He finished second in his series debut, but has lost only once since in Indiana. His remaining defeat came in the Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park, where he was sixth from post eight. "As an owner, you always hope to get a horse like this," Atley said. "It's a dream come true. "His best quality is he takes care of himself. Some horses are so wild and crazy, they kick and carry on, but he goes in and lies down and takes care of himself. He's a well-mannered colt. We're very, very fortunate. He's had a great year. Just unbelievable." The Monument Circle will be Always A Prince's final start of the year. "He'll be turned out and come back next year as a 4-year-old," Atley said. "He'll probably go to some of the (stakes) events they have for just the 4-year-olds. There is a tough bunch of 3-year-olds this year. It's not just one or two horses dominating, there are three, or four, or five of them that are really good." Friday's Hoosier Park card also features the $256,000 Carl Erskine for 3-year-old male trotters, the $137,000 Crossroads of America for 3-year-old female trotters, and the $113,000 USS Indianapolis for 3-year-old female pacers. In addition, Foiled Again, harness racing's all-time richest horse with $7.60 million, will be in action in a division of the Dick Macomber Memorial, with Ricky Macomber Jr. in the sulky. The 14-year-old Foiled Again will retire at the end of the year and has won five of his past seven races, upping his career total for victories to 105, on his Farewell Tour. The Ron Burke-trained gelding has raced in Delaware, Ohio, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, and Maine during that span and been driven by six different drivers - Montrell Teague, Chris Page, Chris Shaw, Jim Morrill Jr., George Brennan, and Mitchell Cushing. Racing begins at 6:30 p.m. (EDT). For Friday's complete entries, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

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