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East Rutherford, NJ -- It appeared Lather Up barely broke a sweat as he paced his way into the harness racing history books with a 1:46 mile on Saturday evening (July 6) at The Meadowlands en route to his 20th career victory in the $250,000 Graduate final for 4-year-old pacers. Only Always B Miki, at age five in 2016 at Red Mile, has ever stopped the clock as swiftly. The mile also broke the previous mark of 1:46.4 for a 4-year-old pacer, held jointly by stallion Warrawee Needy in 2013 at The Meadowlands and gelding Dr J Hanover in 2017 at Mohawk. Steered by Montrell Teague, the son of I'm Gorgeous-Pocket Comb enjoyed the perfect pocket journey behind Indiana champion Always A Prince (Brian Sears). That rival established torrid fractions of :25.3, :52 and 1:19.1 prior to being overhauled by Lather Up. The winner defeated a hard closing This Is The Plan (Yannick Gingras) by 2-1/4 lengths and Backstreet Shadow (Tim Tetrick) to procure his record-setting triumph. After his early efforts, Always A Prince held gamely for fourth. Owned by his breeders, Gary and Barbara Iles, Lather Up is conditioned by Clyde Francis. He entered this contest after a costly break at the half-mile pole in the $500,000 Ben Franklin final at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on June 29 caused him to finish ninth. "I knew we were going to go a crazy mile," said Montrell Teague. "When I popped the pocket and my horse just sprinted I knew we were in a very good position. He throws in a couple bad races here and there but we showed how good he really is tonight. "It's monumental; it's amazing. Wiggles (2015 Horse of the Year and Teague standout Wiggle It Jiggleit) never did anything like that, but hats off to how good Lather Up really is." "George (Teague) has always told me this horse is capable of a (1):46 mile," said Gary Iles. "He's been telling me that for the last two years. We have had some bad goes but he has said he really is that good. Of course, now we know he is. I saw those fractions coming up and I saw Montrell and knew where he was sitting and was very confident it was going to be a win." Lather Up has now amassed more than $1.18 million from 33 lifetime trips to the gate and sports a record of 8-5-0-1 for the season. He paid $14 to win as the third choice in the wagering, while This Is The Plan paid $6.40 to place. Backstreet Shadow was $6.60 to show. By Kimberly French, Hoof Beats Editor  

 East Rutherford, NJ -- Atlanta (Yannick Gingras) took the overland route to claim a world record triumph in 1:49.1 in the $250,000 Graduate final for harness racing 4-year-old trotters at The Meadowlands on Saturday (July 6). The daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip exploded in the lane to defeat world champion Six Pack (Ãke Svenstadt) and Indiana champion Custom Cantab (David Miller) at the wire. The time of 1:49.1 was the fastest ever for a trotting mare, besting the 1:49.2 mark put up in 2017 by Hannelore Hanover at Red Mile. It was also the fastest trotting mile ever at The Meadowlands. Leaving from post position four Atlanta was unhurried as Manchego (Dexter Dunn) led the field of 10 through a swift opening quarter-mile of :26.2. That mare was overtaken by a first-over Six Pack shortly after that marker. Six Pack posted fractions of :54.1 and 1:22 as the field turned for home. Driven confidently by Gingras, Atlanta commenced her march on the outside from third place at the top of the stretch to best Six Pack by a neck in a cavalry charge to the finish line. "I can't say I was not worried turning for home," said Gingras. "His horse (Svanstedt with Six Pack) kicked clear and I know he's a tremendous horse too but this mare is just unreal. She just kept on digging. "Honestly I thought I was a winner at the eighth pole but his horse (Svanstedt's) just kept on fighting and at that point I wasn't so sure. When I tipped her off cover I really thought I was going to get him a little easier than I did but at the end of the day it was two great horses going at it and we came out on top." Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Brad Grant and Howard Taylor, the 4-year-old mare is trained by Ron Burke. The 2018 Hambletonian winner now has earned more than $1.48 million in her career and is a perfect six-for-six in her 2019 campaign. Atlanta paid $2.60 to win as the 3-10 public choice. Six Pack paid $4.20 to place, while Custom Cantab provided her supporters with $7.40 to show. By Kimberly French, Hoof Beats Editor

ANDERSON, IN  - It was billed as Round Three of a budding rivalry between two superstar harness racing pacers in Lazarus N (Yannick Gingras) and McWicked (David Miller) and the contest lived up to every bit of the hype, as on Friday (Sept. 21) Lazarus N defeated a hard-charging McWicked by a neck in a scintillating edition of the $177,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in 1:48.4. "He felt very good when I was warming him up so I was confident he would race well tonight," said Jimmy Takter, who conditions Lazarus N for Taylor Made Farm. "We know what a talented horse he is, and he really seems to like it here at Hoosier Park." Unlike his last race at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 15 where Gingras drove Lazarus N rather conservatively after his second place finish to McWicked in the $462,000 Canadian Pacing Derby on Sept. 1, the 6-year-old stallion was placed right on the lead prior to the first turn. Leading the field of nine through a first quarter in :26 and the half-mile in :55, Lazarus N looked very strong on the lead he maintained over Filibuster Hanover and Split The House. As Lazarus N hit the three-quarter pole in 1:23, McWicked was pacing comfortably in fifth place and when Western Fame moved first-over, he received a perfect second-over trip to commence his bid for victory. Around the final turn, the separation Lazarus N had placed between himself and the rest of the field began to vanish while McWicked swung to the outside to close with his customary power. As the wire loomed ever closer, McWicked was gaining on Lazarus N with every stride, but Lazarus N was determined and held off McWicked by a diminishing neck. Donttellmeagain (Tim Tetrick) used a :24.3 final quarter to finish third. "He felt just like he did the first time we came to Hoosier Park," Gingras said. "He is definitely back to himself." Sent to the gate as the even-money favorite, Lazarus N, a son of Bettor's Delight, rewarded his backers with a payout of $4.40. McWicked, who is trained by Casie Coleman and owned by Ed James, was the public's second selection at odds of 2-1, provided his supporters with $3.40. Donttellmeagain, (10-1) paid $4 for his third place finish. By Kim French, for Hoosier Park Racing & Casino

Columbus, OH --- On Saturday evening (Sept. 8) at Eldorado Scioto Downs, Split The House (Aaron Merriman) demonstrated why he is the defending Breeders Crown champion with a 1:49.1 triumph over Nuclear Dragon (Dan Noble) in the $250,000 Jim Ewart Memorial. Merriman and his charge stated their case when leaving with conviction from post position six. Nuclear Dragon, however, snatched the front to lead the field through a sharp :26.2 first quarter-mile.Filibuster Hanover (Tony Hall) was third, with Western Fame (Tyler Smith) and favored McWicked (David Miller) dead-heating for fourth on the sloppy track. Noble continued to sulky-sit as Nuclear Dragon paced his splits in :53.2 and 1:20.4. It appeared the 6-year-old gelding was on his way to his first Grand Circuit victory. That is until a resurgent Split The House rallied on the rail to win by a neck and collect his second victory of the season in nine starts and 14th in 39 career efforts. Owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Split The House is trained by Chris Oakes. He has now earned $306,846 in 2018 and $913,179 lifetime. He paid $12.20 to win, while Nuclear Dragon was $9.20 to place and Filibuster Hanover $17.40 to show. by Kim French, for the USTA

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

Columbus, OH --- The U.S. Trotting Association announced Friday (May 4) that Kim French, who currently serves as an internet newsroom editor and writer for the organization's website, has been named interim editor of Hoof Beats magazine. In addition, former editor Dean Hoffman has been hired as a consultant for the magazine. They replace TJ Burkett who recently resigned to pursue another career opportunity outside of the harness racing industry. French joined the USTA staff in April 2016 but had been a contributor to both Hoof Beats and the website as a writer for a decade prior to that. She has written for about 20 equine magazines during her career and was the recipient of a Hervey Award for a Hoof Beats story that appeared in 2016. A graduate of Northern Kentucky University, French also has extensive television experience that includes serving as associate producer, field producer, production assistant and stage manager for ESPN and NBC Sports Thoroughbred national broadcasts, program editor for the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup from 2007 through 2015, and has produced the national newsfeed for both the Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup since 2013. Hoffman most recently taught a Race Track Marketing and Media Relations course as well as provided support for the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program's marketing efforts and its annual Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming. Previously, he worked in public relations and advertising agencies in varying capacities before being named Executive Editor of Hoof Beats magazine, a position that he held for almost 25 years, longer than any other editor since the magazine was established in 1933. In 2007, Hoffman was inducted into the Communicators Hall of Fame. Two years earlier, he was awarded Harness Tracks of America's Stanley F. Bergstein Messenger Award for contributions to the literature of harness racing and he was president of American Horse Publications and served on its board for 15 years. Ken Weingartner

Columbus, OH --- He may not possess the name recognition or credentials of harness racing stablemates Boston Red Rocks and Doo Wop Hanover, yet Music Is Art has always been held in high regard by his winter conditioner and co-owner, Peter Blood. In fact, he holds a distinction no other horse has attained in the New England and Florida Hall of Fame member’s five decades in the sport. “I’ve always said he is the fastest horse I’ve ever sat behind,” said Blood. “The problem was he could not carry that speed, but I think we have the stamina in him now to do so.” Purchased for $85,000 by Blood and his long-time partner Rick Berks at the 2015 Standardbred Horse Sale, Music Is Art is a 4-year-old son of Art Major and the Western Ideal mare Music Row. As a 2- and 3-year-old he showed glimpses of his ability while compiling a record of 26-5-1-4 and banking just over $100,000. Campaigned by Steve Elliott as a freshman, Music Is Art competed primarily in New York Sire Stakes events, but he was also fourth in a $66,000 division of the Bluegrass Stakes. As a sophomore, the gelding was in the barns of Blood, Mike Deters and Jake Leamon and Elliott and returned to New York for the early part of the season where he was third in the $263,100 Empire Breeders Classic final. He was fourth once again in a $73,400 division of the Bluegrass Stakes and completed his season with a seventh place finish in the $308,060 Progress Pace final. Despite being eligible for the Breeders Crown, Blood and Berks opted to provide Music Is Art with an extended vacation and prepare him for a 4-year-old campaign. “As I said, I always knew he had the speed,” Blood said. “And it was there in his races but he just was not finishing his miles. That does not seem to be an issue this year as he has won both of his races and has already been in 1:50.3. Tony (Kerwood) has been driving him and told me he feels great.” Music Is Art commenced his 2018 with a triumph in a non-winners race at Pompano Park on April 10. He followed that performance with another win in the Open ranks at the same facility on April 22 in the aforementioned 1:50.3, which is also a new lifetime mark. “He and Doo Wop will be sent to race out of New York with Mike Deters,” Blood said. “Red Rocks will go back to Steve (Elliott).” While naturally Blood hopes Music Is Art joins Doo Wop Hanover and champion Boston Red Rocks with stakes wins, each horse has their own unique course charted for the year. “The Graduate (which opens this Saturday at the Meadowlands) is really the only thing we have Music Is Art staked for,” Blood said. “We learned from what happened to Red Rocks last year how tough a horse’s 4-year-old year can be so we’ll see what he tells us for the rest of the year.” After nearly losing Doo Wop Hanover, who captured the 2015 Graduate final and was poised to become a big star in the older pacing ranks, Blood was thrilled to see him return to the winner’s circle on Nov. 27, 2017. It was his first victory since the 2015 Jim Ewart Memorial and the gelding has added two more wins, two seconds and three thirds while racing this winter at Pompano Park. It has been nothing short of a tremendous turnaround for a horse that seemed doubtful would ever appear in a pari-mutuel event again and whom Blood was unsure if he could merely save his life. “We are also just going to take our time with Doo Wop and see how it goes,” Blood said. “I sent his groom up with him, who he loves, and we will keep his races spaced out. He is such a happy horse right now and I don’t have to use a cradle on him anymore. I think he really enjoyed his time down in Florida without having to be put on a trailer to race all the time. I don’t really know what to expect, he’ll let us know; the goal is to keep him happy.” As for 2015 Dan Patch Award winner Boston Red Rocks, the 5-year-old stallion was fourth in his most recent qualifying event behind Filibuster Hanover, Rock N Tony and fellow champion Pure Country at The Meadowlands on April 28. “Red Rocks will follow much the same schedule as he did last year,” Blood said. “Although we will probably go a little lighter with him because we thought he was tired at the end of the season. He had a lot of hard races and despite not getting a lot of wins with him you cannot take anything away from how well he raced. We have no reason not to anticipate him to race well this year. He always gives you all he has and has four :27 quarters in him; he just keeps coming. So we figured we would race him again this year and then maybe see about standing him (at stud).” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

Columbus, OH --- Although he did not compete in Grand Circuit contests as a harness racing freshman, Massachusetts Sire Stakes champion Hashtagmadeyalook could very well demand some attention in his sophomore campaign. He may not be strong in stature, but this young gelding possesses a motor and mind which commands attention on any occasion he places a hoof on the track. “He has not grown taller, but has really filled out,” said George Ducharme, the gelding’s conditioner. “He has grown into his chest and has a nice, big butt. He’s training really well and I think he’s going to be a good little horse.” A son of Chapter Seven-Royalty Free, Hashtagmadeyalook performs for his breeder/owner, Raymond Campbell Jr. The Campbell family’s dedication to the sport spans decades and this horse is a product of that devotion. Although their stallion RC Royalty did not capture the Hambletonian (seventh in his elimination), he has sired a victor of that prized event in Royalty For Life and is also the broodmare sire of this 3-year-old. “RC Royalty has sure been good to me,” said Ducharme, who was responsible for the career of Royalty For Life. “And my relationship with Mr. Campbell goes back many years to when you had to stand a stallion in Massachusetts for their offspring to be eligible; I think that was in the 1980s. The program there has come so far just within the last several years and we are very grateful for it.” Hashtagmadeyalook has compiled a record of 4-2-2-0 and banked $77,550. He is a Commonwealth champion and established a track record (1:56.3) for his age, gait and gender in his first triumph at Plainridge Park on Oct. 23, 2017. With regular pilot Chris Lems holding the lines, the gelding chased Kinda Lucky Lindy around the track in his first engagement at Plainridge Park, in his career debut on Sept. 25 in Massachusetts Sire Stakes action. He was again second behind that rival in his next trip to the post, also in Sire Stakes company, but did trot a :28.2 last panel. Hashtagmadeyalook, however, turned the tables on that rival in his third journey to the gate. He stated he was a force to be reckoned with off a stakes and track record performance on the very first occasion he entered the winner’s circle. The gelding also demonstrated his education was right on point by defeating Kinda Lucky Lindy in the $90,000 Massachusetts Sire Stakes final on Nov. 6. Hashtagmadeyalook assumed command at the beginning of the race and never relinquished control. Lems merely shook the reins to keep his mind on business as the horse stopped the clock in a measured 1:57. “We got a late start with him and qualified him twice at Vernon Downs,” Ducharme said. “We just took our time with him and I think it was the right thing to do. We kept him in Massachusetts rather than taking him to New York, but we are going to try him there this year.” The gelding, who is the first foal from a dam that is a half-sibling to RC Serpent (Conway Hall, $141,161) and Temper Of Will (Conway Hall, $173,888), will ply his trade in the Empire State and determine his own destiny. “Mr. Campbell wanted to keep him eligible outside of New York and Massachusetts for several stakes races,” Ducharme said. “But it is all up to him; we’ll let him tell us what he wants to do, but he has always been good-gaited and knows his work. I think allowing him to have the time off was the best thing and we are hopeful he will have a nice season this year for it.” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

Columbus, OH --- Prior to the emergence of Hannelore Hanover there was another young lady that captured the hearts of Hoosier Park harness racing fans with her dominating performances and regal demeanor. Five years into her career, people still crowd the fences to catch a glimpse of her and will her to victory. She is none other than dual Indiana Sire Stakes champion Churita, who possesses a personality that tries her trainer’s patience, but which has propelled her to excel in elite competition. “It has been a journey since we brought her home as a yearling,” said Matt Rheinheimer, her conditioner. “At the end of the day you realize there is no sense fighting with her because she will always get her way. If you walk away from her and she turns her back to you, in her mind she has won. I have had other people take care of her and they wonder how I deal with her, but I don’t know what it would be like without her; I don’t even want to think about it.” A daughter of Airzoom Lindy-Stonebridge Volare, Churita was purchased for $3,700 at the 2013 Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale by Jack Porter. She was not Porter’s or Rheinheimer’s first selection and actually was not even on their list, but for some unknown reason the stars aligned on that particular day and the filly that initially did not warrant special attention became Porter’s property. Churita was not especially impressive training down and Rheinheimer was not sure she was even going to make it to the races as a freshman. In fact, she was only purchased to compete at the fairs, where Rheinheimer and Porter have long concentrated their efforts, but it was discovered she was not eligible to that circuit shortly after she entered Rheinheimer’s barn. Therefore, Churita was pointed to the Indiana Sire Stakes program, where she not only demonstrated her trainer might not have appropriately gauged her ability, but reeled off seven consecutive victories en route to concluding her campaign with a triumph in the $220,000 Sire Stakes final. The trotting filly picked up right where she left off as a sophomore and added nine straight wins before being defeated by Hannelore Hanover in sire stakes action on Sept. 19, 2015. She ended her 3-year-old season with two more seconds to Hannelore Hanover, including the $220,000 sire stakes final, prior to finishing behind Bright Baby Blues in a $46,750 division of the Circle City and the $140,000 Crossroads of America. At that juncture, Churita had earned just over $500,000 and her resume stood at a stellar 24-17-5-2. “Can you imagine how the guy feels that was bidding against me on her?” Porter said. “If he would only have went to $4,000 she would have been his because I was not going any higher.” Like her rival Hannelore Hanover, Churita has continued to trot consistently as both a 4-and 5-year-old. Participating primarily in Opens and Invitationals at Hoosier Park, Miami Valley Raceway and Dayton Raceway, the now 6-year-old has defeated males, came home first in front of Hannelore Hanover in last year’s $70,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final for older mares and has begun this season with two wins in the Open Handicap at Miami Valley Raceway. Churita is currently on a four-race winning streak and has banked $794,710. “People have asked me why we just race her locally but the truth is she is not a very good shipper,” Porter said. “It took Matt some time to even get her to be able to go to Miami Valley and Dayton. The only way you can keep her from tearing the trailer down is allowing her to hang her head out the window as far as she can. I followed him one time to Miami Valley when her head wasn’t out and the trailer was shaking from her.” Rheinheimer concurs the only way to keep Churita happy while hauling her is to allow her to witness what is transpiring around her. “I’ve never seen anything quite like it really,” he said. “And it’s very funny to watch. If a big truck comes along, like a semi, she will just pull her head right in and wait for it to pass. One time we were stopped in traffic and there was a bunch of kids outside. They were just having a ball watching her.” Although she is generous with her time to her fans, Churita is not nearly as kind to her trainer and owner. “She used to never like being turned out and stood right at the gate,” Rheinheimer said. “Now I can’t catch her when she’s out there and she just comes in for her food. She also will not wear wraps and will chew them right off. I can’t really poultice her either because she will lick that right off and every time I go to put the first trotting boot on her she’ll kick. She will only do it once to get it out of her system and then she’s fine. But I think she does like me even though she would never admit it. My wife even says she acts differently when she feeds her than when I do.” Porter does not deal with his prized mare on a daily basis, but Churita will not even allow the man who pays for her feed to snap a photo of her. “She’ll put her head up and prick her ears for anyone else,” he said. “The girls at Hoosier Park have got some wonderful pictures of her in the paddock and many other people that stop by to see her do as well. She won’t for me though. The minute she sees me and sees I have a phone in my hand or a camera, she turns right around, then goes to the corner of her stall. I’m starting to think maybe when she sees me she knows it’s time to race, but I do know I can’t get a picture of her unless it’s in the winner’s circle.” Despite the difficulties she presents, Rheinheimer and Porter could not be any prouder of Churita and how she has blossomed. “We gave her some time off because of the EHV-1 situation at Miami Valley but we should be putting her in on Sunday,” Rheinheimer said. “She has done more than we ever imagined or dreamed of but I would have to say my proudest moment was when she won the Arnie Almahurst at the Darke County Fair. Jackie and I have only ever had fair horses; to have a horse like her good enough to win that race and for it to be her, was very special to us; it was very emotional. “I really don’t know what I will do without her. Jackie bought a farm and keeps asking me when she can be a broodmare. I just keep telling him not yet because I’m just not through with her.” While Porter’s property in Tennessee ultimately awaits Churita for her second career and eventual retirement, the mare still has plenty of races to contest in 2018. “Matt keeps telling me she is too racy to be a broodmare,” Porter said. “I just know my farm is ready for her and I can have her with me for the rest of her days. We are still looking forward to racing her this year and staked her to the Grand Circuit events at Miami Valley, Dayton and Scioto. Whatever she does now is just extra and it always was. To go from racing at the fairs to having a Grand Circuit horse is something I never thought would happen to me. She is my horse of a lifetime and my baby girl.” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

Columbus, OH --- One of the primary components of the sport of harness racing is the hope of discovering the next champion despite the odds being stacked in the opposite direction. Therefore, when a horse comes along who defies the unwritten legislation of harness racing it is an inexplicable emotion, which Casie Coleman is now experiencing with the Empire State’s defending freshman filly pacing champion, Alexis Faith. “I focus on the horse rather than the pedigree and this filly was just what I was looking for,” Coleman said. “She had the conformation and size as she was not too big or too small, but she didn’t show us much so I only staked her to New York. When we hooked her up to the race bike though something changed and she became a surprise, but a very good one.” A daughter of the Coleman-trained champion American Ideal and stakes winner Cannae Cammie, Alexis Faith is the first foal from her dam, who collected $538,140 during her career and is a half sibling to Cannae Princess (Cambest, $137,729) and a full sister to Shark On Board ($139,131). Purchased for $55,000 at the 2016 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, this filly is owned by Coleman's West Wins Stable, Jim Fielding, J. Robert Darrow and Kevin McKinlay. “She is by American Ideal,” said Coleman. “And the pedigree is there on her mother’s side so she does have that behind her, but selecting her was on how I felt about her individually.” Although she was a bit on the lazy side when it came to training, Alexis Faith demonstrated her talents in her debut as she dispatched O’Brien Award finalist Kendall Seelster by two lengths in 1:54.2. The young lady accumulated four more consecutive triumphs until she suffered her first defeat at the hooves of Dan Patch Award winner and world champion Youaremycandygirl in an $80,200 division of the New York Sire Stakes at Yonkers Raceway on Aug. 29. Alexis Faith then finished second to a very nice filly in Azreal As It Gets in a $54,500 sire stakes contest at Batavia Downs on Sept. 8 and third behind that rival, in addition to Hurrikane Shorty, under the same conditions at Monticello Raceway on Sept. 19. The filly, however, atoned for those losses by defeating each of the aforementioned colleagues in the $225,000 New York Sire Stakes final at Yonkers Raceway on Oct. 14 in 1:55.2. In her sole season of competition she amassed a resume of 9-6-2-1, banked $228,810 and took a mark of 1:53.1. “When she was training she did everything we asked of her, but she just didn’t show us the spark the good horses do,” Coleman said. “But having a New York champion was exciting for us all and for her to exceed our expectations was more than gratifying.” Although Coleman acknowledges she did second guess herself for not paying Alexis Faith in to premier stakes engagements last season, she also admits she will not make the same mistake twice. “She is training great and we are looking forward to her season,” she said. “I did stake her so she has an opportunity to go against the top horses in her division. You never know what is going to happen and even if those races do not work for her, I have a fresh horse that will hopefully do well in the New York Sire Stakes again this year. That is more than enough to ask for, so anything else she does is just extra and how could we not be happy with that? As I told her owners, it could be a blessing she did not have to go up against the toughest horses every week last year and could make her a better horse this year. “We don’t ever know what can happen, but she is awfully good on a half-mile track.” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

Columbus, OH --- When Bill Bercury took his future wife, Renee, out on their first date, he selected The Meadows as his venue of choice. For two people that were not involved in harness racing in any way, shape or form, it’s pretty darn ironic their lifetime commitment has not only included a magnificent relationship, but two of The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association’s 2017 award winners in Barn Girl and Dapper Dude. “Neither one of us knew anything about horses,” Bercury said. “But we did know we liked them. I just thought it was a good place to take someone on a first date because everything was there for us. Who would have thought this would ever happen? And it is because I do have such a wonderful wife; she has never been anything but supportive of the horses.” When the Bercurys had the opportunity to acquire world champion Barn Girl in Nov. 2016, they did not hesitate. After all, the daughter of Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie was a veritable winning machine and had already amassed $315,146 while competing in the New York Excelsior Series, New York Sire Stakes and Open events at The Meadows. “She came up for sale because Ron Burke had so many good female trotters, like Hannelore Hanover, he was thinking he couldn’t get them all raced,” Bercury said. “I am so grateful and fortunate we could get her. She is tied for the world record on a half-mile track at Northfield (1:53) and she just loves to race; she loves to pass horses.” With a record of 90-43-17-16 and $583,368 in the bank, Barn Girl, a 6-year-old, has demonstrated her ability on many occasions and will continue to do so in 2018 as The MSOA's defending champion older trotting mare. “She is nervous and is like that all the time,” Bercury said. “She can be tough to deal with and when she bites, she bites hard and when she kicks it is with purpose, but she is easy to drive. Aaron Merriman has done a great job with her and really loves her.” The Bercurys also own Dapper Dude, The MSOA's older pacing horse/gelding of the year. The 9-year-old son of The Panderosa-Dress To Suggest defeated world champion Sweet Lou to claim the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship in 2012. Dapper Dude also finished ahead of that rival, but behind Thinking Out Loud and Time To Roll in that year’s $1,470,000 North America Cup final. State Treasurer, A Rock N Roll Dance, Pet Rock and Warrawee Needy were also in his wake. “When I first heard he was up for sale (in 2015) I was outbid on him,” Bercury said. “So when I heard he was up for sale again (in 2016) I jumped on it and didn’t ask any questions. He is such a great horse to be around. You can do anything with him and he has excellent manners; he’s just a joy to be around.” To date, Dapper Dude has amassed $1.18 million and sports a resume of 158-42-28-30. He, like Barn Girl, will remain primarily in the Keystone State for this year’s campaign. “We are not going to do the Miss Versatility Series with Barn Girl this year,” Bercury said. “It just didn’t work out for her last year and we think she is a second tier mare, but a very good second tier. We might go to Miami Valley with her, but otherwise she will stay close to home. With Dapper Dude, we will also keep him here; he’s right there every time.” The Bercurys, however, may have a fortuitous issue as two of their six horses will likely have to compete against one another as their newly acquired world champion, Wind Of The North, will most likely have to take on Barn Girl yet again. “I think he is just going to have a great season,” Bercury said. “Not that I don’t think Barn Girl or Dapper Dude won’t and I also have two 4-year-olds I think will do well, but I think this horse is going to do really well. He fits in perfectly with our stable and has his own paddock he goes out in every day, like everyone else, and he seems really happy. He is another horse that is great to be around and you can do anything with. He’s the only one I own, as Renee owns all the rest of our horses. And he has already beaten Barn Girl.” No matter what the future holds for the Bercury stable, Bill credits Renee for a majority of their success. “She is never afraid to take a chance,” he said. “I have to give her a lot of credit for seeing opportunities and believing in them with the horses. And we have our motto and stick to it: harness racing is fun. That is just what we believe in and how we approach it.” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

Columbus, OH --- While his harness racing rivals continued their journey through 2017, there was a name that was conspicuously missing from the programs of the sport’s marquee older trotting events as the march to divisional honors transpired. That horse, the 2016 Dan Patch Award winner, is none other than Obrigado and if all goes according to plan, the 8-year-old world champion will return to work next week to resume his quest for another title. “After his last start (a ninth place finish in the $303,050 Cashman Memorial on Aug. 5) we just knew he was not himself,” said co-owner and conditioner Paul Kelley. “That is why we started a little later with him last year because we knew something was bothering him; we just couldn’t figure out what it was. Finally Dr. Stewart pinpointed that it was something in his right stifle, so we took him to Cornell where he had arthroscopic surgery in November. Dr. Nixon went in and just cleaned it up for him. Everything looks great and we hope to start jogging him the third week in January down here in Florida.” Also owned by SRF Stable, Linwood Higgins and Stable 45, Obrigado is also a two-time Maine champion and burst onto the national scene in 2014 after winning 21 consecutive contests in his home state. Kelley and his partners purchased him for $53,000 at the 2013 Standardbred Mixed Sale and since then the gelding has collected more than $1.5 million for his connections. A model of consistency, Obrigado has earned $405,535, $873,300 and $109,265 in his last three seasonal campaigns. Although he did bank more than $100,000 last year, that obviously was unusual from one of the best older trotters on the planet. Even at less than his best he still managed to accrue that amount from a record of 6-0-2-2. “We just could not find out what was wrong with him,” Kelley said. “We took him all over to have him looked at. Even when he had a bone scan nothing came up that was not normal. I’m just so grateful to Dr. Stewart and Dr. Nixon for finding the problem; they deserve all the credit.” Since his time on the surgical table, Obrigado has been engaged in light exercise in preparation for his return. “He’s just been doing some groundwork after he had some rest,” Kelley said. “He looks great and his recovery seems to be coming along perfectly. Of course it always helps he is such a good patient. I would expect he is ready to begin doing just a little more though as he does really enjoy racing.” With the advances in veterinary medicine, removing bone chips, draining fluid or simply “cleaning up” a joint or two is now quite standard and the prognosis for a full recovery from most horses is excellent. Therefore, there is no reason to not expect Obrigado to return to his exceptional self this season. “We will start jogging him in January but he will not race again until very late spring or early summer,” Kelley said. “It is such a long season with so many good races late in the summer and fall that you really just want to have him ready for those. It’s a lot of travel and with so much racing it can be hard on them. We just want to do what’s best for the horse and he pretty much tells us what to do for him. “Of course we were disappointed with what happened last year, but most of that came from him not being himself, so we knew our job was to find out what was bugging him. Hopefully we will pick up right where he left off and have another great season this year. In this business you never know anything and have to see what happens. We are, however, very excited to have repaired the issue and have him back. “We are also really looking forward to this year with him. He really is such a great horse to simply be around and watching him race has brought us so much joy. We hope it is more of the same this year.” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor   

Columbus, OH --- It’s been more than a decade since he set a hoof upon the turf he trod as a youngster, but 13-year-old Illinois harness racing champion Glass Pack knew shortly after he arrived at Legacy Lane Farm that he had finally returned home to be reunited with his Hall of Fame dam and the family who is so delighted to have raised him. “He’s out in the field right now where he ran around as a baby,” said Duane Miller, his breeder and new owner. “It seemed like he realized right away where he was and that he was back; he’s just running around out there happy as can be.” A son of Cole Muffler and 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Fox Valley Monika, Glass Pack entered this world on April 19, 2004 and is the second of 10 foals the daughter of Incredible Finale has produced. He is a half-brother to Architect (Artiscape, $189,976), Doubletrouble (Richess Hanover, $704,754), Our Dragon King (Dragon Again, $556,106) and Can’t Touch This (Rockin Image, $422,864), as well as the sales topper at this year’s Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale ($145,000) in Newport Party (Rockin Image). Glass Pack, however, has set himself apart from his prolific siblings as the son of Cole Muffler is the only millionaire ($1.01 million) amongst his siblings, is the sole world champion and possesses the honor of equaling the swiftest mile ever paced in the history of the now defunct Maywood Park (1:50.2). He is also the horse that is responsible for placing his mother in the Hall of Fame. “He has provided us with so many thrills,” Miller said. “When he only needed a fifth place check to top $1 million, my son and I drove to Northfield to watch him, as my family and I had a sheet where we would put down all of his races. It was a cold winter night and there was nothing going on at the track, but he won instead of just getting a check. It was only (an overnight) race, but I cannot describe what it was like for us to be there in that winner’s circle and now we have him back.” Purchased for $18,500 at the 2005 Illini Yearling Sale, Glass Pack commenced his career with seven consecutive triumphs and established his world record as a sophomore. The gelding faced the starter on 342 occasions with a record of 67-42-41 and competed at nearly every facility in the Midwest in addition to the East Coast. His homecoming certainly provides the Millers, whose daughter Amy recovered from leuekemia this year, with a storybook ending to 2017, as she was the one holding the shank on Newport Party in the Hoosier Classic sales ring. What is ironic is how the Millers acquired Fox Valley Monika was not the stuff dreams are made of. “I had to work and could not get to the Harrisburg Sale on Wednesday like I should have,” Miller said. “So I sent my brother out there, who is a dairy farmer and knows nothing about horses, with a check for $25,000 and a book all marked with what I wanted him to buy. So he calls me and said, ‘I bought you a mare, but it’s not one you had marked because all the ones you wanted were too expensive.’ I thought to myself, ‘Oh no, what am I getting?’ I was not looking for a Illinois-bred by Incredible Finale, but more like a Western Hanover or Artiscape mare. “Then he called me and said he bought another mare so I thought, ‘Now I have two of them?’ Artha Rae, the other mare he bought for $7,000, foaled Indiana Sire Stakes winner Pacific Sun Rae (Panspacificflight, $323,212) and Wilbur’s Z Tam (Charley Barley), $258,259). Now when I go to Harrisburg, I always ask Dennis if he wants to come along. You can’t ever imagine you would pay $20,000 for two broodmares through a guy that knows nothing about horses to have this happen and he reminds me of it all the time.” Despite being 19 years old Fox Valley Monika looks like a horse half her age and passed that genetic blessing along to Glass Pack, who Miller was also fortunate enough to purchase from a sale. “Albert (Adams), the agent from Winterwood Farm, and I communicated when he I saw he (Glass Pack) was in the (recent) Blooded Horse Sale,” Miller said. “He couldn’t believe how good he looked for being 13 years old and with all those races. We weren’t sure what he was going to go for because people still could have purchased him to race, but we got him and brought him home. “There is not a mark on him, not one bit of swelling in his ankles and when we put him on the trailer he was ready to go. I actually talked to a guy about racing him again, because he seemed like he was still wanting to do that, but he told me there was no reason to. And my son wanted to race him just one more time so we could have a winner’s circle ceremony to retire him, so people could make a fuss over him. But that’s okay, we will just feed him hay and let him live out the rest of his days with us. “I really cannot tell you how proud my whole family is to have him home, or of the kind of year we have had. My partner always said it was a dream to sell a yearling for $100,000 and my daughter was able to walk that horse in the ring when we thought she might not make it a year ago; now we have Glass Pack back, too. My family has been blessed and things really do come full circle.” by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor

Columbus, OH --- The Midwest Mixed Sale debuted on Friday (Nov. 24) and the Michiana Classic Yearling Sale followed suit on Saturday (Nov. 25) at the newly constructed Michiana Event Center in Shipshewana, Ind. Conducted by the Midwest Auction Company, the harness racing event’s first day saw the mare Real Lady Katie fetch the top bid of $52,000, while the Hoosier Classic Sale Company's yearling session saw the colt Whata Swan bring $39,000 to snatch the headlines in the second component of the sale. Consigned by Winterwood Farm as agent, the 9-year-old Real Lady Katie went through the ring as Hip No. 24 and was purchased by Andy Byler. The daughter of Real Artist-Katies Lucky Lady is a full sibling to champion Kikikatie, who is the dam of Rockin Image (Rocknroll Hanover, $901,756), Grams Legacy (Rocknroll Hanover, $240,648), Time To Roll (Rocknroll Hanover, $803,625), Rockin Amadeus (Rocknroll Hanover, $728,392) and Tellitlikeitis (Well Said, $490,695). Real Lady Katie is also a full sister to 2005 Jugette winner Just Wait Kate, who has foaled Jolting Katie (Village Jolt, $269,035) and Katies Rocker (Rocknroll Hanover, $433,764) and to Kiss Me Kate ($283,839) who is responsible for Too Darn Hot (Rocknroll Hanover, $139,275), as well as the Nov. 25 Three Diamonds favorite and elimination winner Kissin In The Sand (Somebeachsomewhere, $227,363). The mare is also a half-sibling to Katies Western (Western Ideal, $118,740), the dam of Donna Lee (Real Artist, $166,742) and Katie Said (Well Said, $506,476). Real Lady Katie earned $26,290 during her racing career and has foaled four offspring, three of racing age. Consigned by In Law Stables as Hip No. 102 in the Michiana Classic Yearling Sale, Whata Swan is a son of Swan For All-Tanya’s Legacy. Bred by Leonard Miller, the black colt is the first foal out of his dam, who is by Lou’s Legacy and earned $7,110 during her racing career. Purchased by John Barnard, the owner of Breeders Crown champion Fiftydallarbill and Indiana Sire Stakes champion Swan Chase, Whata Swan’s great-granddam, Yankee Tanya (Arndon, $3,725), was the dam of six winners from eight foals to race. Three of those winners collected more than $100,000 from their appearances on the track. Also the sire of the fastest trotting female in the sport in Hannelore Hanover, Swan For All was certainly supported by Barnard as the Miami, Fla. resident brought home another Swan For Allfilly for $21,000. Consigned by In Law Stables, Swanderful Bistdu was Hip No. 117 and out of the mare Yadubist Bluegrass, who happens to be a full sister to Yaichibin Bluegrass, the granddam of Whata Swan. While the female families of these yearlings obviously appealed to Barnard, the fact both horses were sired by Swan For All definitely increased their stock. I bought shares in Swan For All,” Barnard said several weeks ago. “It’s not because of Swan Chase and Fiftydallarbill or what he has accomplished on a national level with other horses, but I truly believe he is going to be an excellent stud for many years to come. Many of his foals look just like him and are built very well, with manners and intelligence. After the success we have already enjoyed with him, I intend to buy more of his yearlings because I think he has such a bright future.” For sales results from the Midwest Mixed Sale please click here and for the Michiana Classic Yearling Sale visit this link.   by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

Columbus, OH --- He is no stranger to the sport’s marquee event, as harness racing owner Howard Taylor has collected four Breeders Crown trophies, but this year’s edition on Friday (Oct. 27) and Saturday (Oct. 28) at Hoosier Park could be scintillating for the Philadelphia resident. Shnitzledosomethin, one of four entries Taylor is involved with in this year’s edition, possesses the opportunity to not only redeem his sire’s second place finish in the 2010 Crown sophomore male pace, but to place himself firmly on center stage as a truly special horse. “I am very, very excited about Shnitzledosomethin,” said Taylor. “I watched every single qualifying race for all of Fred And Ginger’s foals, which unfortunately he only had 16 starters this year, and this horse was definitely the best. I loved him right away and I know he’s still a little green, but I think he can show he is a talented horse that has a great opportunity to win this race. We also think he has the ability to be one of the top horses in years to come. I usually like to own horses in thirds, but I have so many partners on his horse because when I asked five people wanted to be in on him.” Out of the Sand Shooter mare Summer N Sand , Shnitzledosomethin is the first foal from his dam and his granddam, (Summer In Fiji, Whitefish Falls, $173,180) was an Indiana Sire Stakes champion.   Linscott Photography Shnitzledosomethin has a resume of 11-6-3-1, a bankroll of $194,981 and a mark of 1:51. Co-owned by Taylor’s BFJ Stable, Thomas Lazzaro, Ed Gold and Abraham Basen, the Indiana-bred is conditioned by Dylan Davis. He and his regular pilot, Peter Wrenn, will commence their quest for Breeders Crown glory from post position seven and are rated 8-1 on the morning line. The Indiana Sire Stakes victor will seek to claim his first Grand Circuit triumph against a field of 10, which includes elimination winners Lost In Time (post three, Scott Zeron, 2-1), Stay Hungry (post five, Doug McNair, 3-1) and Karpathian Kid (post one, David Miller, 7-2). Shnitzledosomethin, however, boasts his own noteworthy credentials which include a resume of 11-6-3-1, a bankroll of $194,981 and a mark of 1:51. The colt was only a mere nose behind Stay Hungry in his elimination and owns an advantage over his top three rivals, as Hoosier Park is his home facility. “His second qualifying race was even more impressive than his first,” Taylor said. “His (former) owner wanted a very high price for him after the first qualifier. Well after that second race, I knew he was right and I had to have him not only because he was so good, but I wanted to support Fred. “We stood him in Indiana (Schwartz Boarding Farm) and thought he would be well-received. He is a world champion, was second in the Breeders Crown and went in 1:47.3, as well as beat Sweet Lou and Pet Rock. He also has a great pedigree with a sister, Ginger And Fred, that earned $1.92 million. Unfortunately, he only received 27 mares this year and this horse could really put him on the map.” Shnitzledosomethin proved Taylor and his partners were correct in assessing his ability as the colt began his career a perfect four-for-four while sweeping the first two rounds of Indiana Sire Stakes contests. He suffered his first defeat, a third place finish in the $51,929 Fox Stake at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on Aug. 9, was second on Aug. 30 in a qualifying contest to none other than Lost In Time, then returned to capture two more victories and a second place finish in his next three engagements. After an issue behind the gate in the Indiana Sire Stakes final on Oct. 6, Shnitzledosomethin was outfinished by Always Bet De Grey by 1-1/4 lengths in the $220,000 Indiana Sire Stakes Super Final on Oct. 13 prior to his appearance in the Breeders Crown eliminations. Davis also had nothing but praise for the colt after his performance last Saturday evening. “I was very happy with him,” he said. “The horse is maturing more every time he goes to the gate. We’ve been looking forward to putting him in with the big dogs and seeing what we have. I’m very happy with him. It doesn’t hurt this is his home track. I’ve been very impressed with him. We still have trouble getting him to pay attention, but other than that, he’s got it all.” There was another purpose behind Taylor and his partners purchasing Shnitzledosomethin. “We feel he can be another horse that not only will help support his sire, but also show how far the Indiana program has come,” Taylor said. “It is one of the best in the country and has become so in a short time. We want Shnitzle to put his name up with all the other top horses that have come out of Indiana.”   USTA/Mark Hall photo Lady Shadow has won 33 times in her career, with $1.8 million in earnings. In addition to Shnitzledosomethin, Taylor also is a part-owner of three other Crown contestants with Dan Patch and O’Brien Award-winner Lady Shadow attempting to defend her title in the $250,000 Open Mare Pace on Friday evening. With Yannick Gingras in his usual position behind her, Lady Shadow will seek to avenge her narrow loss to Darlinonthebeach in her elimination from post position eight. She is the third choice on the morning line at 7-2 behind favored Nike Franco N (post three, Tim Tetrick, 2-1). Taylor and his co-owners, David Kryway, Carl Atley and Ed Gold, will all be watching the 6-year-old daughter of Shadow Play compete under their names for the final time. “The sale on Lady Shadow is final,” Taylor said. “Win, lose or draw; no matter if she wins by open lengths or loses by them. We decided it was the only fair thing to do for her and for us. There are a limited amount of races available for older pacing mares and not being to race her in our names in several of those, really is not right for her. She deserves the opportunity and for us, it is a business, so to be that limited with what we can do with her, when we feel she should still be racing, also places us in an undesirable situation. It’s the best thing for everybody. “I don’t love the post position, but she can win from anywhere and every time she is in a race she has the ability to win. She has shown that for years.” Taylor is also a component of the group that co-owns the 2-year-old trotting filly Atlanta and also includes trainer/driver Rick Zeron, Holland Racing Stable and Bradley Grant. The daughter of Chapter Seven-Hemi Blue Chip was fourth in her elimination last Friday evening and will attempt to improve upon that position this Friday from post position one. Zeron will be steering the 15-1 morning line selection, who must contend with the undefeated Manchego (post position four, Gingras, 6-5) and Hoosier Park’s latest track record holder Phaetosive (post five, Trond Smedshammer, 9-5). “We realize Manchego is a monster and don’t think our filly is in a position to beat her at the moment,” Taylor said. “But with her post position and her improvement over the year, we think she has a great chance to be right up there to pick up a check. She keeps getting better and better and we think she will be an even nicer filly next year.” Peter Haughton Memorial winner You Know You Do is the fourth horse who has Crown aspirations for Taylor. The 2-year-old trotting colt is by Muscle Hill and out of New York Sire Stakes champion You Want Me. Trained by Jimmy Takter, the colt was selected for $350,000 at the 2016 Standardbred Horse Sale by Taylor, Order By Stable, Bud Hatfield and Marvin Katz, Al Libfeld and Sam Goldband. The colt will leave from post two in Saturday evening’s eighth race with Gingras holding the lines. By virtue of his even fifth place in his elimination last week, You Know You Do is 6-1 on the morning line behind elimination winners Crystal Fashion (post one, David Miller, 7-2) and track record holder Fourth Dimension (post four, Brian Sears, 5-2), as well as second-place elimination finisher Met’s Hall (post five, Andy Miller, 9-2). “Some people might think he has tailed off since earlier in the season,” Taylor said. “Jimmy (Takter’s) barn also had some sickness and I asked him about that, thinking maybe this colt was part of that, but I expect a much better race from him this weekend. Jimmy blamed himself for the colt’s performance as he said he didn’t shoe him properly for the race. He plans on making changes this week for all his horses and expects them to all race much better.” All of the Breeders Crown championships for female pacers and trotters are Friday. Racing begins at 6 p.m. (EDT) at Hoosier Park and the Breeders Crown events are races seven through 12. Click here for Friday's complete card. For complete Saturday entries, click here. Hoosier Park, in conjunction with Roberts Communications, will offer live steaming and replays of the Breeders Crown races here. by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor

Columbus, OH --- When Ellen Mulinix answered her husband’s phone regarding an inquiry about Lost In Time, she responded with a laugh as the couple was merely performing the daily tasks they had lovingly conducted with his sire at the very same stage in his harness racing career. “Jim is putting shoes on him right now while I am holding his head,” said Ellen. “Can he call you back?” A 2-year-old son of A Rocknroll Dance-Summer Mystery, Lost In Time, co-owned by Mulinix (as part of A Roknroll Dance Racing), Denny Miller, William Rufenacht and Team S Racing Stable, is certainly following in his world champion father’s hoofprints, as he hails from the same barn, possesses a similar demeanor and has thrived in an identical program. This colt, however, has already accomplished something the 2012 Meadowlands Pace victor did not with a triumph in the $660,960 Metro Pace at Mohawk Racetrack on Sept. 23. Jim and Ellen Mulinix hope he can replicate that achievement with a Breeders Crown trophy on Oct. 28 at Hoosier Park, but first he must place five other qualified rivals in his wake in the first of three $20,000 eliminations on Saturday (Oct. 21) to claim a spot on the starting gate for the $600,000 final. The colt will have the services of Scott Zeron and the duo will commence their quest for a Crown from post position six as the 2-1 morning line favorite. They will, however, have to contend with the likes of Nutcracker Sweet (post one, Tim Tetrick, 5-2) and This Is The Plan (post five, David Miller, 4-1). “As you already probably know Dance did not win the Breeders Crown just like the Metro Pace (he finished second in both races),” Jim Mulinix said. “And I think it could have been for the same reason as we had to change drivers from the eliminations to the finals for those races. Dance wasn’t a hard horse to drive but you had to know him.” Unlike his father, Lost In Time retains the services of his regular pilot, but Jim and Ellen Mulinix have embarked upon nearly exactly the same course they did with A Rocknroll Dance for his freshman campaign. To date, the colt is 5-3-2-0, has banked $375,555 and has a lifetime mark of 1:50.1 established during his Canadian journey. “We started Dance at Raceway Park for his first (qualifying) start,” Mulinix said. “People laughed at me when I started this colt at the fairs, but we had another horse in (at the Hicksville, Ohio Fair) and I just wanted to see how he would handle shipping. Shortly after the first turn is where all the rides are and that caught his attention so he was looking all over the place, but when it came time on the backside nothing was a problem. “Then we decided to take him to Kentucky for the sire stakes. His other owners kept telling me he had to finish first or second to make the final, but I was already thinking of the Metro Pace, as winning the Metro Pace would make him a real horse. Donnie Harmon drove him down there (at Red Mile) for me and he asked me if he could leave but I told him not to do that. My instructions were to not race him hard early, put him in position and let him come home. When Donnie got off of him he said he waited to let him go and when he did he could have went another mile. Since we finished second I could now talk my other owners into the Metro Pace.” Lost In Time did not capture his elimination for that contest like A Rocknroll Dance did, but was second by a neck to the very talented Stay Hungry in 1:50.2. “He ran into a little trouble in that race when another horse was doing something funny in front of him and saw his head go straight up,” Mulinix said. “Scottie had to pull him out of it and he hit himself, but he raced very well. “Scottie is such a good young driver and knows what he has to do to win races. He told me this horse would have to leave to win the Metro final so he could keep him in a good position. I told him he could, he just hadn’t yet because I didn’t want other people to know exactly what I’ve got and with the great drive Scottie gave him we won. We are just so lucky to have a driver like him for this horse.” Lost In Time returned to the Bluegrass State for the International Stallion Stakes on Oct. 7 at Red Mile. He won his $58,000 division well within himself and paced his final quarter in :26.1. “I was very pleased with how he raced in Kentucky,” Mulinix said. “He has some splint bones that have been bothering him and was really on the right line in Canada. We have been working on them and painting them, which seems to have helped him. So far our plan has worked for him and everything has fallen into place, which is unusual not only in this sport, but any sport. We just hope it continues for us at Hoosier Park.” The Anderson oval may also be the very last occasion Jim and Ellen will care for and condition Lost In Time for a Grand Circuit event, as the couple has decided to slow down as they learned from A Rocknroll Dance, it was time to relish life a bit more. “We couldn’t even enjoy it when Dance won the Meadowlands Pace,” Mulinix said. “My grandkids called us at 2:30 a.m. and couldn’t believe we were eating soup from a gas station, while trying to get a couple hours of sleep instead of having a nice dinner to celebrate winning such a big race. I tried to explain to them nothing else was open and I had other horses to get back and shoe and train; we also had a 10-hour drive. I’ll never forget that drive as we were so tired and worried something was wrong with the truck and we wouldn’t make it back without breaking down. “Even with only being down to eight or 10 horses, the travel for these big races is just too much for us. Because of Dance we were able to buy a farm, the Gilchrist Training Center in Florida, that is affordable for us and we will raise a couple babies, then have a couple horses to fool around with but I didn’t buy any yearlings this year and we don’t plan on it. In fact my wife made me pour cement in one of the stalls in Florida to make it a feed storage area so I wouldn’t be tempted to put a horse in there.” Even if Lost In Time procures restitution for his sire’s misfortune in the Breeders Crown, Jim and Ellen are still not tempted to continue with the horse’s career, no matter how bright the future may be. “I didn’t even want to buy him as a yearling, but I had to support Dance as a stallion and this horse looked like the best one,” Mulinix said. “I always thought and still think Dance will make a great stallion and this horse is so athletic, with the same attitude. If I had to compare them, it would be that Dance was a fullback and Lost In Time is like a running back or halfback, but the shipping and back and forth is too much for us. “At the Metro people were talking about Jimmy Takter retiring and I can understand why. You work so many hours and this is not like a regular job and it is so easy to get burnt out because you don’t have the chance to just enjoy what you have done. “Jimmy and I have called each other for years about how to shoe our horses when I go out east and he comes out here. I know he said it would be his last year next year, but I asked him to take this horse to train and he said yes. “Of course the Breeders Crown would be so meaningful for us to win, not just because it would make up for Dance, but because we are so blessed in our lives to have him, this horse and so many other things that have come along. We hope our good fortune continues in Indiana, but we made our plan whether this colt wins the race or not. “He might go to the Governor’s Cup, I’m not sure right now, then maybe to Florida with us but then it is time for us to pretty much retire.” Click here for Friday’s complete Hoosier Park card. Click here for Saturday’s complete Hoosier Park card. by Kim French, USTA Internet News Editor 

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