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Louisville, KY --- For two Ohio gentlemen rapidly approaching octogenarian status, it appears that harness racing owners Don McKirgan and Keith Ross have discovered the ever elusive Fountain of Youth. Contrary to popular belief, the “Water of Life” is not a liquid and is not presented in a golden chalice. The key to eternal vitality presents itself in many different forms and in this case, it just happens to be a horse. In what is a certainly not a twist of fate, this equine vessel’s name is Like Old Times and she is the Buckeye State’s 2015 Horse of the Year. “(Driver) Ronnie (Wrenn Jr.) has done a terrific job with her,” said Ross when he accepted his homebred’s divisional hardware. “He told me good horses improve his talent, but I think he is being modest. “There was one occasion where Ronnie could not drive her and Donnie asked me who I wanted to put up on her. I told him to put himself up and he said, ‘What should I do?’ I told him to just ask Ronnie who said, ‘Just drive her like I do and she will win.’ When Don said that to me it was right before the race and I just walked away. When we were in the winner’s circle he asked me why I did that and my response was, ‘Don, we have been together more than 40 years and you have never done anything that anyone told you to do.’ “I know it shows how old I am, but I am old (79). “That win probably makes Don the oldest trainer and driver (at age 75) to win a race here in Ohio, but age is just a number because it has been one of the best years of my life. I think this filly has added on at least another four years for both of us.” Like Old Times is a daughter of Chip Chip Hooray and the Royal Troubadour mare Royal Two. She has performed on 25 occasions in her two-year career under McKirgan’s watchful eye and compiled a record of 14-6-2 with a bankroll just under $315,000. She served notice she was a force to be reckoned with on Aug. 22, 2014 at Scioto Downs. After competing in a mile where she never even caught a glimpse of the fence, Like Old Times hit the wire first in 1:57.1, which was a track record. She completed the season with a slate of 10-3-2-2 and just over $64,000 in purse money. “We always knew she was a very nice filly,” Ross said. “Her dam is a 100 percent producer and she has thrown two other horses that made over $200,000 (Cool Colby and Lucky Colby, both by Jailhouse Jesse). “Royal Two only raced once as a 2-year-old and she won a Pennsylvania Sire Stake race in that start. Unfortunately, she broke a bone so we had to retire her, but she has been nothing but good to us and Like Old Times is definitely the best horse from the 11 foals she has produced. “In nearly all of her races as a 2-year-old she was parked out wide, but when Dan Noble drove her in the Ohio Sire Stakes final he said if she had not been so far back she would have won. She was third by a head and we were happy with that. We just wanted to protect her and still do.” In 2016, Like Old Times amassed just under $251,000 and did capture the $225,000 Sire Stakes final in a romp. In 15 trips to the gate, her picture was taken on 11 occasions and the other four appearances were second place finishes. “How can you ever think to even complain about that kind of year?” Ross said. “I think her total margin of defeat in those races was by a total of three lengths. We were so lucky to have her and Ronnie always drove her just enough to win. He took care of her and we are so grateful for that. “For example, look at what she did at Delaware (County Fairgrounds in the Ohio Breeders Championship). She was second by a nose and her and Ronnie both thought they won. She came back to the barn not ever knowing she was beaten. Also, the one we lost to was Dan Ater’s horse (Honey B) and if we are ever going to lose to somebody, I would rather it be him.” McKirgan heartily concurs with Ross’ assessment of this filly, but adds an additional component to why Like Old Times is so successful. “She is the best horse I have ever had in my barn,” he said. “She has perfect manners on and off the track. She is also very intelligent and enjoys her work. When it comes to trotting fillies they can be difficult and have a lot of bumps in the road. This one has never had an issue. She is beautifully gaited and although I put headpoles and a hood on her ears as a 2-year-old, I don’t think she needs them. I just never wanted to change anything since she has done so well. If it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it. That is one thing I’ve learned over the years.” Although all her appearances were within the confines of Ohio’s state lines, Like Old Times will be venturing into new territory in 2016. “I had her eligible for a late closer race at Lexington last year,” Ross said. “I’m glad we did not end up racing her there because all it did was rain. We really think she will like a big track, but we also think she adapts herself to any kind of environment just because of how much she loves to race. Her personality is like no other horse I’ve ever had and I’ve had several that made it to the Hambo. Our goal was to just take care of her. “She is in training now and we are putting her in some of the bigger races this year. The first one we are pointing to is at Miami Valley on May 8. She will compete primarily in Ohio and at The Meadows. We look forward to seeing how she does this year and I will be there to watch her every time she races. “I may be old, but this one makes me look forward to putting my head on the pillow so I can wake up in the morning and I think she has done the same for Donnie. “Also, I never expected her to win Horse of the Year. I was just tickled she won 3-year-old filly trotting champion. I was amazed and humbled by the fact people voted for her. I can’t thank them enough. Especially with all the tremendous Ohio horses that raced this year.” McKirgan clearly has the same confidence in this state champion that Ross possesses. “She is training well and we just hope she can come back this year in the same form,” he said. “She seems to be, but you never know until it happens. Also, this a year where she will take on older mares, so you have to take that into account, but if anyone can do it, this one can. She just loves being out there, is easy on herself and does everything on her own. It has been a pleasure to watch Mr. Ross enjoy here and she has probably added at least another four years on to my life. She makes you want to get up and come to the barn each morning to see her.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Louisville, KY --- She arrived in Jim Dailey’s shedrow from a combination of luck, faith and hope. Although one never knows exactly what to expect in this sport and can easily be disappointed by a twist of fate, My Tweed Heart has not only satisfied her harness racing connections, she has thrilled them. “I cannot take any of the credit for making her into the horse she is,” said Dailey. “That all goes to Tye Loy. We are the same age and I’ve known him for years. He bought her as a baby and brought her along. She was ready when I got her because he is an excellent horseman and I completely trusted him.” The now 3-year-old daughter of Manhardt and the Towner’s Big Guy mare Tweedle D was a $2,500 yearling purchase on behalf of Loy. Her ownership was then transferred to Carl Atley when he signed a check for a much larger sum after the filly’s impressive debut victory in Ohio Sire Stakes company on July 3 at Northfield Park. In her first season of competition, My Tweed Heart banked $132,252, amassed a record of 6-3-2-1 and set her speed standard of 1:54 at Scioto Downs on Aug. 5. My Tweed Heart is the fifth foal out of her dam and to date is the only one of Tweedle’s D’s offspring to earn a check. That mare collected just under $300,000 during her racing career and was managed as a youngster by Jim Arledge. “I always liked the filly’s mother,” Dailey said. “Jim trained her and I helped him out with her. I actually had her for a little bit and enjoyed driving her. She is a big, strong mare and very nicely gaited. Whenever you are around a horse you like in that way, you always look forward to seeing what kind of babies they have. Before this filly she did not have anything that worked out, but when we heard there was a filly out of her for sale I was excited because I thought maybe she had produced something like herself. When I looked at this filly I was immediately pleased.” Unfortunately, Dailey had to scratch My Tweed Heart from her first engagement under his tutelage. The filly was sick and could not appear in her $40,000 Ohio Sire Stakes event on July 25. All the people associated with her were dismayed, but their emotions were soon bolstered after Kayne Kauffman steered her to victory in an Ohio State Fair race at Scioto Downs the following week. “I was definitely upset when we had to scratch her out of that race,” Dailey said. “But what can you do? Carl (Atley) and I went to high school together and have run around with each other ever since. We were very excited about racing her and when something like that happens you hope you don’t end up encountering other problems. Also, because of my relationship with Carl, I didn’t want him to be dissatisfied after he just got her. Thankfully, that is the only real bump in the road we have had with her. She is a very sound filly and we really thought we had an excellent chance to win the Sire Stakes final with her.” After capturing her first two trips for Dailey and Atley, My Tweed Heart was third in an OSS race at Scioto Downs on Sept. 4 in a blanket finish. Her next appearance was the following week in the $225,000 Sire Stakes final and the filly came up just shy of catching winner Miss Me Yet in the stretch. Her final performance of 2015 was in a $35,811 division of the Ohio Breeders Championship for her age, gait and gender. Once again she could not overhaul the same rival prior to the wire and finished second. “She flattened out in those two starts,” Dailey said. “She was a little sick for both of them and that race in (Columbus -- the third place finish on Sept. 4) took her edge off. That trip was hard on her and she did not bounce back for the final quite like we had hoped. We really liked our chances to win that race and the one at Delaware, but we were very proud of her to race as well as she did on both occasions. She certainly did not disgrace herself and in fact, put forth a very nice effort just to be second in that Delaware race. Nothing went right for her from the start and she made up so much ground just to finish where she did. Of course you always want to win, but when horses race like that you are always pleased with it.” With her winter vacation now officially over, My Tweed Heart is currently being prepared for her sophomore season. “She has not grown any taller, but she has filled out and physically matured,” Dailey said. “She always has an excellent attitude and she enjoys racing. Because she has been so good to us, we also took a chance on her younger sister Tweedledtweedledum. That filly is by Art Official. “I have not really developed an opinion on these Art Official horses yet, but like My Tweed Heart this filly has done everything right training down. She has the same mindset and she is very nicely gaited. We are really excited about both of them racing this year and are looking very much forward to participating with them in the Ohio program. It’s always a great feeling when you have horses like these that are competitive and have some quality. Especially when they are connected to people like Carl and Tye, who I have had relationships with for quite some time.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Louisville, KY --- From the moment she was born, Just Jess’ connections were excited about her future and are still pinching themselves that their filly is a harness racing Indiana champion. “We bought her dam Glide Sally Glide and she is such a nice mare,” said Alan White, Just Jess' co-owner and breeder. “She made over a $100,000 for us and we had a couple Swan For Alls from her before this filly came along. They were nice looking horses, but they were a little big so we thought maybe he was not a good fit for her. That’s when we chose Jailhouse Jesse and when this filly came along, right from day one she was just perfect. She has a beautiful conformation and always had an excellent attitude.” Just Jess is owned by White and Julie Rideout. She is conditioned and steered by Julie’s husband Doug, who is also Just Jess' co-breeder. In 15 trips to the gate last year as a 2-year-old, she collected eight victories, two seconds, one third and just over $250,000. She established her lifetime mark of 1:57 when she captured the $220,000 Indiana Sire Stakes championship on Oct. 10 at Hoosier Park and completed her freshman campaign with three consecutive triumphs. Although the filly competed primarily in the Hoosier State's Sire Stakes, she also annexed her $37,200 division of the Standardbred Grand Circuit stake at the Delaware County Fairgrounds by a neck and her $39,250 division of the Madison County Stake with a powerful performance. “Unfortunately, she was battling sickness over the summer,” Doug Rideout said. “She had some allergies, but we just treated that and allowed the illness to run its course. When she started feeling better she really came right along. I think she was 100 percent for the first time at Delaware and since then all she has done is improve. We never had to do anything with her because she really is the entire package.” Just Jess broke her maiden in her first start, a $3,000 event at the Converse Fair on June 4. Rideout then qualified her twice at Hoosier Park before she came home fifth in a $20,000 Indiana Sire Stakes elimination on June 23. She rebounded the following week with a triumph in the $75,000 final at odds of 25-1. From her next six starts she collected three wins, two seconds and a third. At the end of August, the filly began to show she was not at the top of her game and Rideout realized she was battling some type of health condition. “She was just full of mucus,” he said. “We knew it was allergies and even when she still wasn’t at her best, she went out there and tried her heart out. Even when she was sick, she still did not perform badly. She really is such a nice horse. She was only a 2-year-old, but she took everything in stride. She is so well-gaited and has such a good mind. She really is a pleasure and is two fingers to drive. I can’t say enough good things about her, because you want all of them to be like she is.” In her first three races in September, Just Jess was fourth twice in sire stakes completion and then sixth in another $75,000 final. Just three days later, the filly came storming down the Delaware stretch to claim her first win in a month and since then she has been a force to be reckoned with. “We were not sure how she would like the half-mile track at Delaware,” White said. “But we felt she would handle it nicely being that she is built so well. She really seemed to love it and it was so special to win a race there with her. That is one of the greatest venues in harness racing and to have one of your horses be in the winner’s circle there is something so exciting. When I saw that she was going to win that race, I was beside myself and was so overjoyed I was confused about how to get down to the winner’s circle.” Just Jess followed that performance with her triumph in the $220,000 Super final on Oct. 10. Sent off at odds of 6-1, the filly went to the top, relinquished the lead to Naughty III at the half-mile marker and trotted in second until kicking in down the lane to pass that rival in a sprint to the wire. Although her last quarter was in :29.3, the filly was well within herself and it appeared she could have trotted over the Anderson oval all over again. Her connections were absolutely beaming as the filly was positioned for her photograph, but Rideout was swift to give the horse all the credit. “She just really came around and we allowed her to develop at her own pace,” he said that evening. “We knew she had talent, but how easy she traveled tonight still has me kind of shocked. She was just so strong and had more to give if I needed to ask her for it. She is so easy on herself and I think that helps her tremendously when she is racing.” Just Jess terminated her season with another facile victory in her division of the Madison County Stake on Oct. 24. She assumed command at the half-mile marker and trotted smoothly home. The filly stopped the timer in 1:59.3 on a blustery evening in what appeared to be merely a training session. “She is just so good right now,” Rideout said that evening. “What else can you say? I leave it all up to her and she has exceeded all our expectations. My wife has always believed in her and Alan and I have too. It’s even more special for us because we did breed her. It definitely holds more meaning when you raise them from a baby and you have a nice horse.” Just Jess will continue to compete at Hoosier Park for her sophomore campaign, but the Rideouts and White may have different plans for several of her 2016 appearances. “We have discussed it,” White said. “She will definitely stay in Indiana for the Sire Stakes program. It’s just such a good system based on not only the money, but how the races are scheduled. You really don’t want to leave to race somewhere else and miss out on a Sire Stakes leg. “We are going to stake her to several other races though and she will definitely race at Delaware again. She has been such a blessing for us and we are just fortunate to have a filly that is as nice as her. All we needed to do was just have a little patience with her and she has rewarded us in more ways than we ever could have imagined.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Louisville, KY --- When Tyler Smith conferred with Steve Brannon prior to guiding Freddyscooter over the Hollywood Dayton oval the day after Christmas, he confided in the horse’s owner/trainer/breeder he had brought something with him that might provide an extra large dose of good luck.  “Tyler said he had Brad’s (Hanners) sulky with him and he wanted to hook Freddy up to it for the race,” said Brannon. “Trace (Tetrick) has done really well with the horse and Tyler is doing terrific with him now that he has been driving him, but Brad was the one that made this horse. He was always one of his favorites and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know if Freddy ever would have accomplished what he has. He taught him how to be a racehorse. You can never say if the sulky did provide some good fortune, but it certainly fit the situation. What made it perfect is he won and it was like everything came full circle.” A son of the ill-fated world champion I Scoot Hanover and the tremendous Artsplace broodmare Precious Sarah, Freddyscooter is a newly turned 11-year-old gelding co-owned by Brannan and Frederick Shiery. He is a dual Indiana Sire Stakes champion, the highest earning offspring for his sire and dam, became one of only seven horses to pace in under 1:50 at Hoosier Park in 2009 and has amassed $894,895 during his career. His resume stands at 180-49-33-33 and he established his lifetime mark of 1:49.2 at age nine. Since leaving the friendly confines of Hoosier Park, a place he knows and loves well, Freddyscooter has collected two triumphs in two trips at Hollywood Dayton, the last in the Open Handicap ranks. “When he won his last race I didn’t even realize it was his 49th win,” Brannan said. “I don’t really keep track of that with him. He was supposed to race in between those two races, but I scratched him after one of his hoofs had a bit of a scratch. If he is not more than 100 percent he does not race. “I was also telling Tyler, who really fits this horse well and deserves a lot of credit, I’ll have to give him a break here soon. I normally do all my racing at Hoosier and that is where he will go back, but he was doing well so we thought we could give him a shot out here. Tyler couldn’t believe I would give him some time off when he is doing so well, but he’s 11 now. I’ve never pushed him his entire career and I don’t plan on starting now.” Although Precious Sarah only collected just over $1,000 during her racing days, she has been worth her weight in gold to Brannan. She has also produced Rebelman (Electric Yankee, $459,975), Three Sparkles (Threefold, $167,810) and Funny Deacon (Full Of Fun, $431,616). Only one of her 13 registered foals of racing age failed to hit the winner’s circle and that horse, Mr Bond (Real Desire, $1,932) just turned three. He has only made three trips to the gate. Brannan also has a 2016 2-year-old daughter out of that mare by Rockin Image that he is high on. “This is her last foal and even training her down early on I can tell she has talent,” he said. “Her name is Rockin Sarah. She (Precious Sarah) slipped under cover to Hypnotic Blue Chip and she has done more than anyone could ever have imagined for us. I decided just a couple weeks ago it was time to retire her and turn her out in the fields. To say she has earned it is an understatement. All her foals could go. Every single one of them. How often can you say that?” Brannan and his wife Nanci have raised Precious Sarah’s offspring themselves, while campaigning what will be eight of them in their own name. “Fred (Shiery) has bought half of nearly all of her foals and the ones he owned by himself I’ve trained,” Brannan said. “Freddy is definitely the best and he is so much more than a racehorse to us. He actually is one of the most spoiled horses you will ever meet and is a complete pet. My wife loves him as much as I do and she works with him all the time. She also deserves a lot of credit for everything she does with him to keep him in such good shape.” Although Freddyscooter definitely enjoys competing, there are certainly other aspects of life that please him. “He knows where the wire is and he likes getting there first,” Brannan said. “But let me tell you, he is one hard son of a gun to hold when it comes to getting him in the winner’s circle. That is where he behaves the worst. It’s a good thing they don’t have to hand out trophies when he is there because he will not stand for that long. It’s the only time he misbehaves at all. “In fact, it’s surprising he acts that way because I’ve never seen a horse that likes attention this much. He just soaks it up like a sponge, from anyone that will give it to him. We always were part of the barn tours at Hoosier Park and he just loves the people coming by to see him. We still have Rebel (Rebelman) his brother too and he likes people as well, but this one wants all the attention all the time. We give him anything he wants. Rebel too.” Obviously the gelding is approaching the end of his time on the track and has already accomplished a multitude of feats that have made the Brannans exceptionally proud of him, but there is one more thing his connections hope to witness prior to his retirement. “He is easy on himself and like I said, I have never pushed him,” Brannan said. “I never will. I know he has lost a step and can’t go with the very best horses like he used to. I’ll never beat him up trying to keep him in those classes, but as long as he is healthy and still happy out there we will continue to race him. “I really would like to have a million dollars on his card before he retires. He deserves to be a millionaire with all he has done. It is a goal, but if he can’t make it, that’s it. He has a forever home here with us and already provided more than we could ever dream of.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Louisville, KY --- It has certainly not been the swiftest or simplest journey for Bushwacker during his 49-race career, but the 4-year-old pacing gelding is poised to relegate all those frustrating miles far in arrears and fulfill all the potential his harness racing connections were convinced he possessed as a youngster. “I liked him right when I first saw him,” said Chris Ryder, his conditioner. “He was a big, strong colt with a presence about him. He missed out in some of the races that went for big money as a 2- and 3-year old, but he is doing really well right now. I think he’s the best he’s ever been and I expect a very good performance from him on Saturday (Jan. 2) night.” Ryder is referring to the horse's appearance in a very stout edition of a $25,000 Open Handicap at the Meadowlands that evening. Bushwacker will attempt to collect his first win after his fifth birthday and commence his 2016 season on a winning note. Owned by Henderson Farms, the $135,000 yearling purchase will begin pacing from post position eight in the ninth race on the card and is the 5-2 favorite on the morning line. Corey Callahan will be responsible for guiding him over the New Jersey oval where his primary competition will come from Kingofthejungle, Ultimate Beachboy, Doctor Butch and Shooter's Dream. “I am very pleased with him right now,” Ryder said. “He seems to have put it all together and we are looking forward to the upcoming season with him.” A son of Rocknroll Hanover and the Camluck mare Dolphins Can Talk, Bushwacker elicited high expectations from those associated with him immediately after the check for him was signed at the 2012 Lexington Selected Sale. Not only is he the progeny of a tremendous sire, he hails from one of the most powerful female families in harness racing. His dam, a daughter of the world champion and prolific producer Stienam’s Place, is a half-sibling to Donkeys Can Talk (Jate Lobell, $153,164), Showherthemoney (Cam's Card Shark, $871,161), Put On A Show (Rocknroll Hanover, $2,406,628), Good Day Mate (Christian Cullen, $469,189), Rockstar Stride (Rocknroll Hanover, $103,025) and The Show Returns (Rocknroll Hanover, $377,327). Prior to giving birth to Bushwacker, Dolphins Can Talk continued the family tradition by foaling Flipper J (Art Major, $586,182) and Talk Back (Tell All, $103,410). All six of her offspring have picked up at least one check and none of them have sold for less than $70,000. With a pedigree packed with that type of star power most participants in this business would wonder why Bushwacker is a gelding. “Right when we got him home he was very naughty,” said Ryder, who also managed the careers of Put On A Show and The Show Returns. “That is why we had to castrate him and his manners improved immediately after we performed that surgery. We just would not have been able to get along with him otherwise.” In his first year of racing, Bushwacker amassed a record of 7-2-0-3, collected just over $82,000 and paced in 1:51.4. He ended his year with a third place finish in the $534,500 Governor’s Cup at the Meadowlands behind divisional heavyweights JK Endofanera and Arthur Blue Chip. After he was shut down for the winter, Ryder noticed he was having an issue with a stifle and the horse was sent to the New Bolton Center. “(Dr.) Mike Ross performed surgery on that stifle to remove bone chips,” Ryder said. “We were quite shocked when he sent us the pictures after the operation and there were 19 chips. That definitely had to be bothering him all year. We were really unsure if he would ever be able to race again after he recovered, but he never allowed it to faze him one bit. He came back as good as new and you would never even know he had the procedure performed.” As a sophomore, Bushwacker made 15 trips to the post with a resume of 2-3-2 and earned just more than $122,000. He was third in the $225,000 New Jersey Classic and fourth in the $437,325 Cane Pace, but failed to hit the board in the $500,000 Hempt Memorial final, the $400,000 Adios final and the $227,000 American-National. He did, however, lower his lifetime mark to 1:50.1. “He got really tired towards the end of last year,” Ryder said. “So we just stopped on him and gave him the time he needed. He came back terrific and is an even bigger, stronger horse.” The gelding has enjoyed an excellent 2015. While competing primarily at the Meadowlands and the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Bushwacker advanced to the Open ranks after competing in non-winners contests. Since Sept. 26 he has not been worse than fourth in nine starts. He enters this Saturday's contest after a pair of triumphs in two Open events at Dover Downs and just missed to the red hot Atta Boy Dan at the same facility in his most recent start on Monday (Dec. 28). He has banked just under $150,000 in 2015, paced in 1:49.1 and his record stands at 27-8-6-4. “David (Miller) is actually a really good fit for this horse and has driven him in his last several starts,” Ryder said. “He’s out of town for this race and I’m sure Corey (Callahan) will do a top notch job with him. “It took him awhile to come around, but we plan on staking him to some of the big events over the summer. He will keep the same schedule of races over the winter until I give him a rest. It’s hard to do when he is doing so well, but it will be a long year for him and we want to give him opportunity to have an outstanding 5-year-old year, which we think he will.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

Louisville, KY --- Most people would attribute Red Clay’s astonishing development to co-owner/trainer Carmen Cappotelli’s patience and perseverance, but his wife (and the horse's co-owner) Pat offered another explanation for the 5-year-old trotting gelding’s award winning harness racing season. “I have a Saint Therese medal I carry in my pocket when he races,” she said. “Every time I had it he won and then I couldn’t find it for the two starts he was second in. I found it and had it with me for his last race and he won again. I know some people would find it silly, but I like to think it provides him protection every time he’s out on the track. I just want him to come back safe and sound every time he goes out there.” Red Clay, a flashy chestnut son of American Mike and the El Paso Kash mare Ersa Kash, is Batavia Down’s winningest trotter of the meet and was the recipient of the Heart of the Standardbred award from the Upstate New York Chapter of the United States Harness Writers Association for defying all odds to become a racehorse. “We are in our early seventies and the last award we ever won was in 1984 and 1985 with my mom’s horse who was the state fair champion,” Pat said. “We were so excited when Todd Haight (General Manager/Director of Live Racing of Batavia Downs) came to us in the paddock and told us he was going to be tied or win the most trotting races for the meet. It was very kind of him to be so nice to us and he always took an interest in this horse.” The gelding certainly satisfied, if not exceeded, the criteria of the award and merited Haight’s attention. He was unraced at 2 and only started on six occasions prior to 2015. He never visited the winner’s circle, as he only placed twice and earned just over $2,000. This year, however, it was quite the reversal of fortune as the gelding went to the post 16 times, amassed a record of 8-2-0 and collected $23,745. The only time he earned a check at a facility other than Batavia Downs was at Vernon Downs on April 24 when he finished third but was placed fourth. After arriving at Batavia Downs, Red Clay, who was piloted primarily by Shawn McDonough, captured seven of his first nine starts and was the favorite seven times. He established his lifetime mark of 1:57.4 on Sept. 26 and hit the wire in front by 6-1/2 lengths in his last start of the season on Dec. 11. “There were so many times I would look at all the big, beautiful horses he was racing against and wonder how my little red horse was going to beat them,” Pat said. “But a friend of mine kept coming to the winner’s circle with us every time and said every time I would have my doubts, “Of course he’s going to win. He’s the little red engine that could.’” But for two years the Cappotellis wondered if Red Clay was the little red engine that couldn’t. Carmen received the horse as a birthday gift from the couple’s close friends Clint and Barbara Galbraith. The Cappotellis had owned the gelding’s older half-sister Easy Hit (Giant Hit, $19,844), but right when they first met him, they wondered if Red Clay would suit them. “When Carmen went in his stall he backed right up in the corner and started roaring at him,” Pat said. “He had just been turned out his whole life and it was now March of his 3-year-old season. The only human contact he really had was when Barb would feed him. Carmen was not too sure he wanted to take him if he couldn’t get along with him. But Barb came over and got him better adjusted. “After that we had him sent to an Amish boy in Pennsylvania to break him. We started him in three fair races that year, but he broke in his last start. Carmen decided to just stop with him as he gained some racing experience and we were a little worried he hurt himself on that break. Everything was fine though.” At age 4 it was more of the same as Red Clay made three starts at Batavia Downs, but struggled with sickness and staying flat. The first half of this year the gelding continued to make costly breaks but in his Aug. 26 qualifying contest it was as if he decided to put everything behind him for a fresh start. “He always had a pattern of qualifying well and then the next time out would break,” Pat said. “We never really knew why he would do it and never wanted him to hurt himself. We were actually wondering what we were going to do with him for the rest of the year if that qualifier had not went so well. “I was nervous because it was like I told everyone, ‘I think they only give you three chances and this is his last one.’ He went out there and was great with Jim McNeight driving him. Jim couldn’t drive him in his first race at Batavia because he had a horse of his own in there and we wanted someone familiar with him. Shawn had driven him before and was available so he has been with him ever since. “He loves this horse and really fits him well. He said the only time he has to grab a hold of him is at the gate and then you can do whatever you want with him. He also said he’s never really asked him. He does it all on his own.” Red Clay is now preparing for his winter sojourn before he resumes training for his 2016 campaign. The Cappotellis are looking forward to how he performs next year. “I just love this horse,” Pat said. “To think how far he has come. He is so mild-mannered and gentle. It’s hard to believe he roared at Carmen like that. You can do anything with him and he never kicks or nips at you. He is the perfect gentleman in all ways. I grab him to nuzzle him and kiss on him all the time and he never moves a muscle. He is my sweet boy.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Louisville, KY --- Wilbur Lang and Chris Beaver are happy with the performances of the filly Kestrel and the colt Kanthaka, who earned $191,650 and $140,814, respectively, during their recently concluded freshman campaigns. Both are from the first crop of trotting stallion Triumphant Caviar. Although his name may not immediately leap to mind when discussing Ohio trotting stallions, world champion Triumphant Caviar is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Buckeye State. From his first crop, 31 of 41 registered foals have started and collected $827,706. He ranks 11th in earnings amongst all North American stallions as a sire of 2-year-old trotters and ranks fifth on the list of average earnings per foal in 2015 ($20,102) for the same age group. “We are very, very pleased with how he has performed as a stud,” said Lang, a member of the stallion’s syndication group. “He has more than exceeded our expectations and he really seems to improve his mares. I bred all four of mine to him and all four of the foals were very nice.” Triumphant Caviar, the third wealthiest son of SJ’s Caviar, earned $796,794 from 16 triumphs on the racetrack. He is out of the Tagliabue mare ENS Tag Session, which makes him a half-brother to Kentucky Sire Stakes champion Prayer Session (Like A Prayer) 3,1:53.2 ($678,401) and Theatrical Session (Broadway Hall) 3,1:55.3f ($160,879). He is a full brother to world champion Centurion ATM 2,1:53.2 ($437,462). The stallion, who stands at Abby Stables, was a $13,000 yearling purchase at the 2007 Standardbred Horse Sale for Kerry Beaver, James Gallagher, Luc Ouellette and Paul Bernard. Conditioned by Chris Beaver, Triumphant Caviar was fourth in the Breeders Crown at age two and amassed more than $127,000. As a 3-year-old he was second to Muscle Hill in his Hambletonian elimination, captured the Old Oaken Bucket in a world record of 1:54.2 and was second in the Breeders Crown final to Muscle Hill. Racing as a 4- and 5-year-old, Triumphant Caviar banked more than $300,000 and lowered his mark to 1:51.4s. He didn’t exactly knock his trainer off his feet when he first began to train down, but Triumphant Caviar showed his trainer he had high speed. “He was rough gaited when we first started working with him,” Beaver said. “Once we got him down to a certain speed though he became very nicely gaited, had another gear and really cleaned everything up. His career statistics are a bit deceiving because he had some minor issues when the big money was on the line as a 2- and 3-year-old. At 2 it was foot abscesses in the summer and fall, while at 3, he was very good for the Hambletonian. After the elimination we think he was bitten by a bug and had an allergic reaction while he was in New Jersey. He was no good for the final and it took him some time to overcome it. That is when he bounced back at Delaware with his world record and he was second in the Breeders Crown. There were times he simply could not show his best.” It appears Triumphant Caviar may now have the opportunity to shine in his second career. His two top progeny so far are Kestrel and Kanthaka. Kestrel was a nose away from being a perfect 7-for-7, while Kanthaka established a new track record for his age, gender and gait at Northfield Park (1:58) on July 24. He then lowered it to 1:57.1 on August 21. The colt continued to exhibit his talent when he set another track record of 1:57.1 at Scioto Downs on Sept. 5 in Ohio Sire Stakes competition. Both 2-year-olds are co-owned by Lang and Beaver with the latter in charge of training duties. “As I said I bred all four of my mares to Triumphant Caviar to show my support of him,” Lang said. “We sold one of them and kept three, Kestrel, Kanthaka and Soft Power. Elena, Kanthaka’s dam and Honey Thorn, Soft Power’s dam, both raced for us. They were and are very nice mares. Blackrock (Kestrel's dam) did not race (for us) and was purchased by us, but she is a nice mare also. Kestrel was her first foal. “We liked all of them right from the beginning. Kestrel was actually a demon to break, while Kanthaka and Soft Power were both good right from the start.” Despite Kestrel’s juvenile attitude when it came to being harnessed, she turned into a push button filly when it was time to compete. It required a picture perfect drive by Kurt Sugg with Count On Kami to nip her at the wire in the $225,000 Ohio Sire Stakes final. She rebounded with a decisive win in a division of the Ohio Breeders Championship on Jugette Day. “She has been a dream to drive all season,” Aaron Merriman, her regular pilot, said that day. “She is a pleasure and does everything we ever ask of her.” Beaver concurs with his assessment, but also acknowledges Kestrel remains tough to handle in the barn. “She doesn’t really like people and she doesn’t really like anything done to her,” he said. “It took us a long time of working with her every day to get her broken. Even then she got so irritated with us she kicked the stall door down and nearly took my wife’s head off. I think she is so good when she’s on the race track because no one is bothering her. She is all by herself and can do her own thing.” Kanthaka, despite six consecutive victories and three track records to begin his career, did not finish his season as strongly as his connections hoped. He was third in the Sire Stakes final, fourth in his division of the Ohio Breeders Championship and fourth in his division of the Bluegrass Stakes in Lexington. “We had a little problem with a testicle that was twisting on him, but we got that straightened out,” Beaver said. “It just seemed after he set that track record at Scioto he didn’t come back the same horse. He was very, very far off the pace when he had never been in that position before, so it was a huge effort for him to come and win that race. Especially for a 2-year-old.” Both horses are turned out with Lang but will resume training at Beaver’s Delaware base after their third birthdays. “Kanthaka has come back to himself with the time off,” Lang said. “Kestrel is doing fine as well. We are going to try them in some Grand Circuit Stakes next year. The story here is not really with either horse though. It is all about Triumphant Caviar. It is not only what these two horses have done, but his entire first crop. It is impossible not to be impressed by those statistics. They speak for themselves.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Louisville, KY --- On a bone-chilling blustery evening at Hoosier Park, few harness racing fans were willing to brave the bracing air as Bridge To Jesse’s powered home to cap off an outstanding season on Oct. 10. Rather than discussing his dominance, however, his connections and track personnel were concerned with how he would behave in the winner’s circle. This mild-mannered gelding that aims to please, is a pleasure to paddock and a dream to drive, has developed the habit of bucking like a bronco when it is time to have his picture taken. “I had to start holding him towards the end of the year,” said Roger Welch, his conditioner and co-owner. “He did get better about it. He was like a kid. You could see it in his eyes and he was just trying to get away with something. When I held him though he knew he had to cut it out because it was like, ‘Uh oh, Dad is here now. I can’t do that kind of thing now.’” A son of Jailhouse Jesse and the Angus Hall mare Bridge To Nowhere, Bridge To Jesse’s was purchased for $28,000 by Wisconsin Hall of Famer William ‘Bo’ DeLong, his son Pat, his brother Ray and Welch at last year’s Indiana Premier Yearling Sale. Welch was not immediately sold on him, but Bo’s enthusiasm and his wife Amy’s opinion swayed him to convince himself and Pat the yearling was worth putting up the cash for. The gelding has proven those emotions to be spot on as he has collected more than $309,000 in purse money, compiled a record of 12-10-1-0, set a track standard of 1:56 and is a state champion. There was also another reason Welch felt the horse possessed potential. “Besides Bo really liking him and Amy falling in love with him the moment she laid eyes on him, ‘Jesse’ was bred by (Wilt Standardbreds),” he said. “The Wilts (Michael and Randy) do a tremendous job breeding and raising their horses at their farm down in Missouri. In fact, the horse that finished second in the final, Late Bid Tom, is turned out with him right now. They were foaled together, grew up together and finished one-two in the biggest race in their division. That speaks volumes for what the Wilts do.” After finishing fourth in his debut on June 23 in an Indiana Sire Stakes elimination, Bridge To Jesse’s showed the world what he was made of by annihilating his competition in the $25,000 consolation the following week. The gelding continued to hit the line ahead of all his colleagues for nine straight races, all over the Anderson oval, before finishing second in a $14,375 Indiana sired event on Sept. 30. “He really was not tight for that race,” Welch said. “We gave him some time off to get ready for the final. That was the goal and he went out there and did exactly what we expected of him. Actually, I think his last start was his best. When we started with him we just wanted to teach him how to race and let him come along at his own pace. As the year went on he continued to get stronger with each start. That is exactly what you want to see in a horse. I was very impressed with his race in the final.” Piloted by Ed Hensley for his first nine trips to the gate, Bridge To Jesse’s trotted to his track record on Aug. 15 and after three more pari-mutuel excursions, the lines were relinquished to John DeLong. “Ed went to Florida and I knew John would be an excellent fit for the horse,” Welch said. “Not only is he Bo’s nephew and Pat’s cousin, he has driven for me a number of years. He knew what to do with him and they get along really well.” With DeLong guiding the way, Bridge To Jesse’s stopped the clock in 1:56.2, 1:57.1 and 1:56.1. “He is such an easy horse to drive,” Welch said. “I’m also very proud of him trotting consistently right around (1):56 as a 2-year-old. “He does wear hobbles, but that’s only because he tends to get a bit rambunctious when he goes to the gate. He is perfectly gaited, but those are kind of like insurance just to make sure nothing goes wrong. “That extra energy comes from his gaining more confidence with every race. It is as if every time he races he becomes a bit more full of himself at the start. He knows he is winning and he enjoys every moment of it.” After his vacation has ended, Bridge To Jesse’s will return to Hoosier Park for his sophomore year to defend his crown. Welch sees no reason to venture outside state lines when such a trip could conflict with the gelding’s Sire Stakes engagements. “I am based in Illinois but when Balmoral closes shortly it appears there is no future here,” he said. “Amy and I have been looking for a house and farm in Indiana. We just have not found the right place yet. “Jesse was eligible to other races this year, but we decided it was better to just keep him on his Indiana schedule. With how some of the racing dates are set up it’s hard to take them somewhere else because of how everything is timed. “We are just looking forward to bringing him back next year and watching what he accomplishes. Hopefully he will be just as good, if not better.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Louisville, KY --- When he received the call about a 2-year-old trotting filly that was for sale, Frank Bellino was in no mad rush to sign a check. His reluctance to purchase Muscle Baby Doll had nothing to do with her family tree or the fact she commenced her career on the Iowa fair circuit. He simply had already acquired a filly of the same age and gait that was also staked to the Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series. “I had just bought You’re Majestic,” said Bellino. “The connections are from Louisiana, but bring their horses to Ohio to sell them. I got her after she won her first start very impressively at Northfield. I was also looking for something that was eligible to the Ontario program. “Since I already had that filly, I did not need another one for the same conditions and although she (Muscle Baby Doll) was a $5,000 yearling, the price the Huffmans (the filly’s former owners) wanted was much, much more than that. “I finally made the move to get her because I loved her pedigree. (Jimmy) Takter trained her mother (Have You Ever) and made over $200,000 with her. I have purchased Iowa fair circuit horses before and done quite well with them. They were not stakes horses but performed great in overnights. Also, I really liked her races. It impressed me she beat older horses on a fair track as a 2-year-old. Even after I bought her, I still thought You’re Majestic would be the better filly.” While You’re Majestic has certainly not disgraced herself as she has amassed just over $200,000 in her short career, Muscle Baby Doll was a quality filly last year and dominated the Ontario Sire Stakes circuit this year. She defeated Hambletonian Oaks and Breeders Crown victor Wild Honey in their $26,250 Elegantimage elimination on Sept. 11 at Mohawk Racetrack and captured seven consecutive races before losing the $307,040 final. With Bellino deciding not to supplement Muscle Baby Doll to the Breeders Crown and You’re Majestic also being ineligible, he decided to ship his fillies to Hoosier Park to compete against one another in the $140,000 Crossroads of America on Friday (Oct. 30). Muscle Baby Doll, fresh off a track record performance of 1:53.1 in her $46,750 division of the Circle City over the same surface last week, will leave from post position two in what is carded as the 10th race. David Miller will be holding the lines and the filly is the 5-2 morning line selection. You’re Majestic drew the 10 hole with Yannick Gingras at the controls and is rated at 15-1 off her seventh place finish in the first division of last week’s Circle City. Although both fillies are conditioned by Tony O’Sullivan, they will race under Trent Stohler’s name this weekend. “Both of them have raced at Hoosier Park before and done well,” Bellino said. “Tony pointed out to me that ‘Baby Doll’s’ race was a track record when he showed me the winners’ photo. I planned on supplementing her to the Breeders Crown, but that performance in the Ontario Sire Stakes final (10th) can be thrown right out. Something got her all worked up behind the gate, she broke and everything just went wrong for her, which is not like her at all. After what happened in the Breeders Crown, Tony and I were Monday morning quarterbacks because we were saying, ‘what if we had put her in’ but hindsight is 20/20 and she was excellent at Hoosier last week. I expect her to race well this weekend. “With You’re Majestic, we just thought she would perform a bit better. Not that she has been bad at all, but she is definitely not as strong as ‘Baby Doll’ and just did not seem to advance from two to three.” Muscle Baby Doll is a daughter of Muscle Mass and the Yankee Glide mare Have You Ever. She is the third foal from her dam, who won a $103,938 Simcoe Stakes division in 2004, was third in the Buckette, and fourth in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks and $325,000 Delvin Miller Memorial. She was sold to Swedish interests after this filly was weaned. In her two years of competition, Muscle Baby Doll has collected $387,720, compiled a record of 22-13-4-2 and a mark of 1:52. She has been a model of consistency and a very pleasant surprise for her connections. She really illustrated an incredible amount of potential with a strong second place finish to Danielle Hall in last year’s Ontario Sires Stakes Super Final. Muscle Baby Doll’s equipment was broken, but she still managed to charge to the line to just miss. This year she rolled along on that win streak until she had an off night in the Elegantimage and came home eighth. She was then second in a $78,750 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event and 10th in the Super Final after some unknown disturbance. You’re Majestic has been entered in the same events as her stablemate and while trotting steadily, has been nowhere near as flashy or accomplished. The daughter of Majestic Son and You’re Adorable has earned just under $77,000 in 2015 while coming home fourth in the Super Final and fifth in the Elegantimage. Her lone win of the season came in a non-winners contest in June. “Tony thinks she (Muscle Baby Doll) slipped through the cracks,” said Bellino, who is recognized as a pacer man due to the success of such horses as Rock N Roll Heaven and Pet Rock. “She went really late in the sale and he thinks people just were not paying attention to her. It does happen, but trust me we paid a lot more than $5,000 for her. “Actually we’ve been offered quite a bit of money for her, but I wouldn’t sell. After the season ends though, I need to sell one of these fillies. It looks like that will be You’re Majestic, but she does get over a half (-mile track) well and Yonkers goes for really good money. “We have had an offer from individuals in Sweden for Baby Doll, but I really need to think about it. Tony absolutely loves her and does not want me to sell her, but it’s hard for a 4-year-old to race against males and other older horses. Look how good Bee A Magician is and what her 4-year-old season was like. I have a lot to consider and plan on thinking long and hard about what to do. Especially since we don’t normally part with many horses, especially if they are stakes horses.” How Carroll and Rick Huffman came to take Muscle Baby Doll home for only $5,000 remains a mystery, but Bellino knows one thing, he is thrilled he took a chance on her. “I think she can compete with anyone,” he said. “If we don’t sell her to the Swedish interests we will keep her and breed her. Her pedigree is outstanding and she has already proven her class and toughness. When I told Tony I bought her, he asked me if we were now in the 2-year-old trotting filly business and was not sold on her, but now she is his favorite trotter out of all he has had. I didn’t think I wanted her and she showed me I was wrong.” The Crossroads Of America PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1-I'm So Fancy-Matt Kakaley-Ron Burke-3-1 2-Muscle Baby Doll-David Miller-Trent Stohler-5-2 3-Smokinmombo-Aaron Merriman-Christopher Beaver-10-1 4-Livininthefastlane-Andy Miller-Julie Miller-8-1 5-Fox Valley Yoko-John De Long-Curt Grummel-30-1 6-Churita-Trace Tetrick-Matt Rheinheimer-8-1 7-Armatrading-Mark O'Mara-Mark O'Mara-30-1 8-Speak To Me-Brett Miller-Jimmy Takter-6-1 9-Bright Baby Blues-Tim Tetrick-Bob Stewart-4-1 10-You're Majestic-Yannick Gingras-Trent Stohler-15-1 by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 25, 2015 - Everyone knows ladies come first and it was no exception on Saturday, (October 24) at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as the facility hosted four divisions of the Madison County Stakes for harness racing 2-year-old trotting lads and lasses and two divisions for their pacing colleagues. Naughty III, a veteran performer over the Anderson surface, was the first participant to be feted in the winners' circle after capturing the second race, which was a $39,250 split for the diagonally gaited. Guided by Tyler Smith and conditioned by Melanie Wrenn, the daughter of Here Comes Herbie and the outstanding Indiana performer Msnaughtybynature was content to lead the field through the first quarter mile in :28, yielded to Cash All for the second panel and then regained the top position at the three quarter pole. From there was never much doubt Naughty III would collect her fourth career triumph to improve her record to 12-4-4-1 and boost her bankroll to over $150,000 as the overwhelming public choice by stopping the clock in 2:00. Owned by the Kales Company and Wrenn Racing, the filly was followed home by Catch All and Maeve Quaider. The payouts were $3.40, $7.00 and $2.00. The fifth race was the $77,300 opportunity for 2-year-old pacing fillies to strut their stuff in the Madison County Stake and that is exactly what Can't Touch This did. The daughter of Rockin Image and Fox Valley Monika, who was the wagering public's second selection, was steered by Dan Shetler and is trained by Roger Welch. Shetler placed her in the garden spot shortly after the break and the Indiana champion remained settled in that position through three quarters of the mile with fractions of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:26.2 until her pilot gave her the green light. That's when Can't Touch This overhauled post time favorite Roll With Dreams and poured it on the stretch to hit the wire four lengths the best. The final time for the contest was 1:56.1, the win improved the filly's record to 15-6-1-2 and she now has more than $150,000 in the bank. Owned by William C. DeLong, William P. DeLong and Douglas Riccolo, Can't Touch This paid $7.60, while Kak's Shark Attack provided $4.60 and Roll With Dreams offered $2.80. "She is a treacherous horse in that pocket spot," Shetler said. "She is a tempermental filly but tonight she stayed in there and was patient. Then again, that's not surprising. She's like all other women and they generally do not put up with too much." The second $39,250 trotting split of the Madison County Stake was race seven on the card and Just Jess dominated her competition to have her picture taken as the Anderson oval's latest stakes victress when she tripped the teletimer in 1:59.3. Sent off at odds of 9-2, the daughter of Jailhouse Jesse and Glide Sally Glide, was guided through her mile by her trainer Doug Rideout. Owned by Alan White and Julie Rideout, Just Jess was sent to the lead from the third spot after a :28 first panel and her driver never experienced an anxious moment for the rest of the mile. "I knew when I pulled her out and Hot Curry was not gaining on us she was gone," he said. "I still had a ton of horse left and did not even have to ask her." Love To Win was second and Cindy Lane got up for third. The payouts were $5.00, $8.20 and $2.10. Just Jess's record now stands at 15-8-2-1 and she has amassed more than $250,000 in her first season of racing. In race nine, it was time for the colts and geldings to perform in their respective divisions. Downthehighwy led the sole group of pacing participants in their quest for the $76,700 purse. The son of Dontgetinmyway and Happy Tears is owned by Mack Racing Stables and had the services of Jason Dillander, who won four races over the course of the evening, in the bike. Trained by Robert Taylor, the colt was the easiest of victors as he literally led from wire to wire through fractions of :27.3, :57.3, 1:25.4 and 1:54 to increase his career earnings to just shy of $175,000. Downthehighwy now sports a resume of 14-4-4-2 and provided his backers with $3.80 to win. Mystical Rock raced well to be second and paid $2.20, while Winwood Mac nailed down the show spot. He was $2.10 to place. "The wind has definitely picked up enough where you have to work a little bit harder on the backside of the mile," Dillander said. "But that really was no problem for him tonight. He felt very strong throughout the entire mile." Late Bid Tom has trotted some huge miles in this last four races and really was appearing to come into his own. In race 11 the son of Jailhouse Jesse and Whisk Hanover rewarded his connections' faith in his ability as a youngster by annexing his $37,600 division by a head over Victor's Hall. Leaving the gate as the 9-5 top choice, the gelding, who is conditioned by Jeff Cullipher and was in rein to Jason Dillander, raced in third through fractions of :27.4, :58.1, 1:28.3 before making his move at the top of the stretch to mow down Victor's Hall and surpass him by that very scant margin at the finish line. Treasure Keys K rounded out the trifecta. "We have always thought very highly of him," Cullipher said. "We thought he had a lot of ability right when we first got him, so we always expected to him to be a nice colt. We are very pleased with how he has been performing and how he raced tonight." Owned by Randall Bendis, Thomas Pollack and David Lewis Linker, Late Bid Tom paid $5.60 for the triumph and now has a slate of 12-3-3-2 with purse money earned standing at $127,800. Victor's Hall provided $5.00 and Treasure Keys K was $3.00 to show. Race 13 featured the final $37,600 division and Macy's Big Boy claimed the prize. The son of Donato Hanover and Macy Lane only had four trips to the post in 2015 and this performance broke his maiden, as he had hit the line once in second place and another in third. Driven by Dan Shetler and conditioned by that same individual, the colt is owned by Silver Linden Farms. Placed in sixth position off the gate, Macy's Big Boy remained in that spot for the first panel of the mile, advanced into fifth at the half mile marker and improved his position to third at the top of the lane. As he trotted to the wire, he increased his lead over all but a determined Emerald Chip who had tons of trot. That rival closed from fifth to just miss at the finish line. Here Comes Rocky was up for third. Macy's Big Boy increased his career earnings to more than $40,000 for his brief campaign and rewarded his backers with $10.80, while Emerald Chip paid $2.80 and Here Comes Rocky offered $5.20. Kimberly French

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 22, 2015 - They sure do have a lot in common. Barryscourt and Emerald Chip reside in the same barn, are the same age, possess the same gait, were purchased for exactly the same price as yearlings, have collected more than $100,000 in purse money, are gelded and will be major contenders in their respective divisions of the Madison County Stake at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, October 24. Despite the numerous similarities, these two youngsters are also vastly different. "Barryscourt is a big, strong horse," said Bobby Brower, their conditioner. "With Emerald Chip you just rub your chin and then your head wondering how such a little horse can do what he does out there. He looks like a nice-sized animal from behind, but when you get a real good look at him you can see how petite he is. He's my wife's pet and she spoils him. He's the type of horse that will eat tons of the same thing for about three days and then give you that look telling you he won't touch that now. It's time for something else." Barryscourt will make the first appearance of the duo in race 11 and will leave from post position seven with LeWayne Miller holding the lines. Emerald Chip competes in race 13 and will start trotting from post position five with Darrell Wright managing the driving duties. Both horses are the 2-1 morning line favorites in their respective races and will be vying for a purse of $37,600. Owned by Mystical Marker Farms, Brower, Ben Graber and Victory Hill Farm, Barryscourt is by Northern Kid and out of the Conway Hall mare Katie Hall and was brought home from the 2014 Blooded Horse sale for $15,500. He joined his older half sibling Petticoat Affair (Valley Victor, t, 2, 1:56.4, $292,336) as a freshman Kentucky Sire Stakes champion on August 30 at The Red Mile. His connections feel he has the potential to live up to what his sister accomplished, as she was champion at ages 2 and 3. "He has been what you refer to as a good surprise," Brower said. "Dennis Lakomy of Mystical Marker Farms was looking through a catalogue for that February sale and he tipped me off he was in. Stacey Ruddick keeps all my mares and horses that are rehabbing. She always goes to that sale, where I don't, so I told her if he looked straight to buy him. We actually bought the full sister to Petticoat Affair (Kayte On The Go, t, 3, Q1:58.4, $14,165) while this horse was still a weanling, but she never amounted to anything. I didn't know if he was going to either, because he had ability but absolutely no desire to pass other horses while he was training down. That final in Kentucky had me wowed because the way he won that race by going away was something I had never seen from him before and that's when he knew he could be a really nice horse." At this juncture of his brief career, Barryscourt sports a record of 5-3-1, has earned $140,116 and his swiftest mile is 1:56.1m. The only time the gelding has failed to hit the board was in the second leg of the Kentucky Sire Stakes when he struggled home sixth and he definitely had an excuse. Otherwise he captured his division of the $60,400 American-National Stake at Balmoral Park by a neck and was second by a half-length in a $50,000 Standardbred stake on Jug Day. "He was really sick for that race down in Lexington," Brower said. "My vet was out of town, so I went to Dr. Andy Roberts. He said it was the flu, because I was trying all kinds of antibiotics and nothing worked. He gave him a flu rhino vaccine on a Thursday, I had it done by another vet the next day and then my vet on Monday. It was all gone within 48 to 72 hours. At Delaware, he has never been on a half mile track and he's a big horse, so he struggled a little bit with the turns. If he had a little more ground he could have won because he was coming back on that horse. The American-National was another good surprise. Bob Stewart's horse (Waitlifter K) was heavily favored and was supposed to be much better than the rest of the field, but this guy won again." Emerald Chip is a son of Chip Chip Hooray and the Conway Hall mare Emerald Myway. Owned by VIP Stables, Josh Sutton and Mystical Marker Farms, he was procured at the 2014 Ohio Selected Jug Sale based upon Brower's intuition. He has a resume of 7-2-3-1, a bankroll of $115,815 and a speed standard of 1:59.1. The only time he has not picked up a check is when he was fifth in his debut on July 24 at Northfield Park. The gelding has raced nearly exclusively in the Ohio Sire Stakes program except for a second place finish in a salty $10,000 contest at The Red Mile on October 8. Emerald Chip was only beaten by a neck and trotted the fastest last quarter in :27.2. "Everyone else wanted a pacer, but I went to the sale looking for trotters," Brower said. "I wanted a Pilgrim's Taj but he went for too much money and I didn't like the look of the Triumphant Caviars. That's when I sat back and started looking through my book. I came across this horse. He was small, but I like the back class he has in going back to Bonefish. The price was right so I bought him. He really is such a nice little trotter. He just got beat at Scioto by getting locked up on the inside and at Delaware his owner, who drives him, got a little greedy with him and sent him a little too soon. I've known Josh since he was a kid and my wife loves him. I'm always telling him to just keep him back then let him trot through to the wire. A consistent trotter is always going to be better than just a fast one." Barryscourt and Emerald Chip will both be turned out for the winter after Hoosier Park concludes its meet. Each will follow a path similar to what they embarked on this year and remain in the Midwest. While they receive a vacation a new addition to Brower's barn will begin to learn her lessons. "We bought Emerald Chip's full sister (Emerald Of Oz)," Brower said. "She's out at the farm right now and she is already at least two to three inches bigger all over than he is. We are thinking she's going to be a nice horse too." The Madison County Stakes for the two-year-old trotters and pacers will highlight the 14-race card on Saturday at Hoosier Park. The first race will line-up behind the gate at 5:45 p.m. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule with a daily post time of 5:45 p.m. The 160-day all harness racing meet will be conducted through November 14. Kimberly French

Louisville, KY --- He has owned more than 800 horses during his several decades of being involved in the sport, but Philadelphia attorney Howard Taylor still can’t quite wrap his head around the fact he has eight in-to-go for Saturday’s (Oct. 24) Breeders Crown races at Woodbine. “Frankly I’m shocked,” he said. “I’m sitting here talking about it now and it still has not sunken in. The crazy thing is probably the best horse I have right now is not eligible and will be racing at Hoosier Park for $45,000. That would be Betting Exchange. He drew post nine against Wiggle It Jiggleit, but ever since we made an equipment change with him he has been terrific. I expect him to race really well.” The first occasion Taylor will have the opportunity to add to his collection of three Breeders Crown trophies is in the $250,000 Open Mare Trot, which is the very first race, with Handover Belle, a 5-year-old daughter of Andover Hall and the Lindy Lane mare Harbour Belle, who has earned just over $513,000 during her career. The mare was sixth in her 2013 Crown event and ninth in 2012. She will leave from post position 11 with Matt Kakaley in the sulky and Ron Burke as the trainer. Her competition includes Daylon Miracle, who is a relatively new acquisition for Taylor. The world champion offspring of Pegasus Spur and Daylon Marvel is now six. With a bankroll of just under $595,000, Daylon Miracle is conditioned by Rene Allard and will be guided from post position eight by Brent Miller. She is 15-1 on the morning line, while Handover Belle is 20-1. “Daylon Miracle is as tough as they come,” Taylor said. “I think she can trot with any of them and I have been very impressed with a lot of her races. She is always very competitive and has a shot to win. Handover Belle is doing well as of late and she is also capable of putting in a good effort.” Taylor’s next opportunity for a piece of hardware lies with Southwind Roulette in the $500,000 3-year-old filly pace which goes off as the fourth race. Despite finishing second in this year’s edition of the Jugette, possessing the 2014 title as the Keystone State’s 2-year-old pacing filly champ and amassing a $468,045 bankroll, the daughter of  Somebeachsomewhere and the Artsplace mare Southwind Rio, is 10-1 on the morning line. Like Handover Belle, she hails from the barn of Ron Burke and will be piloted by Yannick Gingras, who won four Breeders Crown titles last year. “You know what’s funny is she raced so hard last year and was a grinder,” Taylor said. “I wondered if she would come back as good this year at three. She hasn’t been as sharp, but she was super in the Jugette which surprised me. She always gives all she has and is right there. That’s why she deserves the chance. She may not have won a race this year, but she always picks up a check.” I’m So Fancy will represent Taylor in the $500,000 3-year-old filly trot which is carded as the sixth race. Bred by Taylor, the daughter of Donato Hanover is a half-sister to Handover Belle and despite being overshadowed by her superstar stablemate Mission Brief, she has managed to accumulate $133,141 in purse money in just one season of competition. I’m So Fancy will be driven by Matt Kakaley, is 30-1 on the morning line and will start from post position five. Burke is also her conditioner. “I have no illusions about her ability,” Taylor said. “But she is a nice that filly that does always try very hard, but she is no Mission Brief. That’s for sure.” The undefeated 2-year-old pacing colt Control The Moment may very well be Taylor’s best chance to collect his fourth Crown. Trained by Brad Maxwell who co-owns with Taylor, Ed Gold and Ben Mudry, the son of Well Said and Life’sliltreasure is a perfect 8-for-8, has earned $341,757 and will start pacing from post position three in the seventh race. The colt is the 8-5 morning line favorite for the $600,000 contest and Randy Waples will assume his customary position in the bike. “I really think Well Said is going to make one heck of a sire,” Taylor said. “That’s one of the reasons I bought in on this colt and also brought Ed (Gold) in. Every time we are partners it seems to strike gold. Our first horse was Buck I St Pat (2009, 2010 Breeders Crown winner), then Ginger And Fred, Fred And Ginger and Economy Terror (2011 Breeders Crown winner). Everyone knows the story about our involvement with this horse, but he is exciting. Especially since Brad didn’t think he was much of anything until he qualified and then he called me up saying he thought he was really special.” Race eight brings about one of the biggest surprises, if not the number one shocker, that Taylor has ever experienced in the business. That would be the Ake Svanstedt trained Crescent Fashion, who just finished a strong second to divisional leader Pinkman in the $527,000 Kentucky Futurity. The son of Muscle Hill and Fashion Feline is also owned by Laura Noren and Order By Stable. He will begin trotting from post seven with Scott Zeron holding the lines and is 12-1 on the morning line. “It was a good thing I was sitting down because I couldn’t believe my eyes when that horse not only finished second, but a strong second by holding off other horses in the lane,” Taylor said. “I have never been that shell shocked in my life at how well a horse has performed. We bought him for $13,000 as a 2-year-old and Ake all of a sudden had us supplementing him to everything, including the Hambletonian, which I wasn’t sure he was that quality of horse. He won at Yonkers impressively earlier in the year, but there were no real quality horses in there. “I thought at the top of the stretch (in the Futurity) he might be able to hold on and get a check for fourth place, but I could not believe my eyes with the way he finished. I’m fascinated to see how he performs in the Breeders Crown.” Kelvin Harrison trainee In The Arsenal will contest the $531,250 3-year-old colt and gelding pace, while 2014 O’Brien Award winner Lady Shadow, who is conditioned by Ron Adams, will participate in the $250,000 Open Mare Pace. In The Arsenal, a son of American Ideal and Ladyotra, would become a millionaire by finishing first or second in this event. He is always a threat within his division and will be steered by Brian Sears from post nine. He is a juicy 15-1 on the morning line as Artspeak, Wakizashi Hanover and Freaky Feet Pete received most of the attention. Lady Shadow, meanwhile, does not come in under the radar. The daughter of Shadow Play and the Camluck mare Lady Camella is 4-1 on the morning line by virtue of her continued consistency throughout her entire career. She will be in rein to regular driver Doug McNair and is co-owned by Taylor's BFJ Stable, as well as Ed Gold, Carl Atley and David Kryway. “When she came up for sale, she had a pretty high price tag for an unproven horse,” Taylor said. “That’s when I called Ed (Gold) up and asked him if he wanted to buy a piece of her. He told me, 'She has a great pedigree so even if she doesn’t work out on the track, she is worth that as a broodmare. I’m in.' Then we go out and buy her, which I was still thinking she was too expensive and she made all the money back we paid for her in like three weeks. That never happens in this business and was certainly a first for me. She is another horse that always has a chance to win and she should be ready to go this weekend.” Taylor fosters no blind hopes that he will be traveling home with eight Breeders Crown trophies. He is just thrilled to have a quality stable that allows him to participate. “I could never have imagined it would work out this way,” he said. “It is like I have a wealth of riches and am just very fortunate to have the right horses at the best time. Of course I would like to win, but I also know what kind of horses they are up against. I’m just going to enjoy being able to be there with my wife and watch them race.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

Louisville, KY --- It’s a tough question to answer summing up a human or horse’s personality in one word but harness racing trainer Paula Wellwood had no problem describing 2-year-old trotting colt Marion Marauder, who has had the misfortune of chasing Southwind Frank around the track frequently this season, with pinpoint accuracy. “He’s a terror,” said the colt’s co-conditioner. “He is constantly on the go, getting into everything and continuously trying to amuse himself. You have to watch him every minute and then when he decides something is not fun anymore, he’s out like a light. “Whenever he decides he is done -- and it can be in an instant -- he is sleeping. You can yell at him, make all kinds of noise and try to do anything you can to get him up, but it will not happen. He is so much fun to be around and has one of the best personalities I have ever seen in a horse.” Of which Wellwood has seen many. She is the daughter of the late Canadian Hall of Fame trainer William Wellwood and was responsible for guiding the careers of O’Brien Award winners Was It A Dream and Laddie. In conjunction with her husband, Michael Keeling, Wellwood also added to her O’Brien collection for the couple’s success with dual winner Elusive Desire. Keeling and Wellwood will seek to add another piece of hardware to their collection when they send out Marion Marauder on Saturday (Oct. 24) at Woodbine Racetrack to contest the $600,000 Breeders Crown 2-year-old colt and gelding trot. The colt will commence from post position three with Scott Zeron at the lines. This son of Muscle Hill and the 2000 Nova 2-year-old trotting filly champion Spellbound Hanover, was bred by William Mulligan and purchased for $37,000 at the 2014 Lexington Selected Sale by Marion Wellwood and Devin Keeling. His dam, who was second in the 2000 Breeders Crown 2-year-old filly trot final, is by Donerail and out of the Super Bowl mare Sounds Swell. She has produced some top females in Spellyuptothebar (Malabar Man, 4,1:57.3h, $156,213), Sweetspellosuccess (Credit Winner, 3,Q1:58.4, $206,024) and Fifty Shades (Malabar Man, 3,1:59.2h, $205,659). “This is one very, very nice colt,” Wellwood said, with her voice full of pride over Marion Marauder. “He was really small when we first got him as a baby, but then he really grew up. He’s still not a big horse, but he is nice-sized and just oozes with all that character. We are extremely happy with him.” Marion Marauder closed swiftest of all with a last panel of :27.2 into a stiff headwind to come home second in his Crown elimination, five lengths behind division leader Southwind Frank. Pilot Scott Zeron was content to settle Marion Marauder in seventh in the early stages of the contest, then advanced to sixth by the three-quarter pole and fifth at the top of the stretch off Dupree’s cover, before he unleashed his closing kick on the far outside of the track. Although he packed a powerful late punch, the colt was no match for the winner who stopped the clock in 1:55.2. Marion Marauder started his racing career with a break behind the gate when leaving from post position nine in an $11,340 2-year-old conditioned event on June 23 at Mohawk Racetrack. The colt was fourth in his second engagement, which was a $20,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes race at the Meadowlands on July 3. He was then second in the next leg and third in the $100,000 final on July 17. Returning to his Canadian home-base, Marion Marauder was third in a $10,500 conditioned race at Mohawk and then fourth in an $88,055 Champlain Stakes race over the same surface on Sept. 4. He was second to Southwind Frank in a $22,500 William Wellwood Memorial elimination on Sept. 11 and also in the $283,480 final the following week. With that foe not a member of the field, the colt finally broke his maiden on Oct. 1 at Woodbine in a $12,160 2-year-old conditioned event directly prior to his Breeders Crown appearance. After his second in the elimination his record now stands at 10-1-4-2 and he has earned $107,392. “He had some problems early on in his career with breaking at the gate,” Wellwood said. “He’s not a bad mannered or bad horse, but when you would put him on the gate he would want to jab out at the other horses. We think it is something he will grow out of, but we worked with him so he doesn’t really do it anymore. We don’t want to take a chance though, so we never put him right on the gate and back off with him. We don’t feel there is any sense in rushing him along, but because we do that with him he will never get away from there very fast.” Although Keeling has captured an elimination for a Breeders Crown with Elusive Desire and Wellwood one with Laddie, a triumph by this colt in the final would be the first title for this horse’s connections. “Coming into the stretch, I thought we would get fourth,” Wellwood said about the elimination. “Frank was long gone, but this horse loves to pass other horses and he loves a target. We even trained him down to race that way because he enjoys it so much. He saw those other two horses and he was going to get by them. It was a huge mile for him and I think he trotted the fastest last quarter of the night and he’s only a 2-year-old. We think he is a very talented colt, so we will just see how we do in the final. “We will always let him tell us, but he might have one more race after the Breeders Crown, depending on if he is sound and happy. We just think the world of him and that he has a very bright future. Fortunately, he is family owned, so he owes us nothing, so there is no need to rush him, but we do think his time will come.” $600,000 Breeders Crown 2-year-old colt trot Post-Horse-Driver-Trainer-Line 1 - Muscles For Life - Doug McNair-Gregg McNair-30-1  2 - Deep Impact - Steve Condren-Brad Maxwell-20-1  3 - Marion Marauder - Scott Zeron-Michael Keeling-8-1  4 - Sliding Home - David Miller-Jonas Czernyson-15-1  5 - Southwind Frank - Yannick Gingras-Ron Burke-2-5  6 - Lagerfeld - Johnny Takter-Jimmy Takter-4-1  7 - Tony Soprano - John Campbell-Robert McIntosh-12-1  8 - Dupree - Ake Svanstedt-Ake Svanstedt-20-1  9 - Milligan's School - Andy Miller-Julie Miller-15-1  10 - Will Take Charge - Paul MacDonell-John Bax-20-1 by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent 

ANDERSON, Ind.-October 10, 2015 - The apron was packed, the harness racing winners' circle was standing room only and there were many tears of joy as Freaky Feet Pete entered the winners' circle at Hoosier Park on Saturday (October 10) after capturing an emotional edition of the $220,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Final for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers over the sport's top ranked horse in Wiggle It Jiggleit. It was as 'Pete' heard the roar of the crowd, as he certainly received overwhelming support from nearly all present at the Anderson oval, as he paced strongly through the lane to best his rival in 1:50.1. Vague Traces rounded out the trifecta. "They are both very good horses," explained winning pilot Trace Tetrick. "You can't take anything away from Wiggle It Jiggleit. I knew he has a history of coming back on the inside when he is headed, so I was patient and waited to pull my horse out. I knew when I saw the lights on the end of the toteboard that I had it. It is a terrific feeling to win a race like this with him, but he has just been so good all year long." Wiggle It Jiggleit, who left from post position three with Montrell Teague in the bike, was the post time favorite at 1-5 for his conditioner Clyde Francis and owner George Teague. He was sent immediately to the lead while Tetrick placed 'Pete' in second from post 10. The two geldings remained in that very same position through spits of 27.2, 56.1 and 1:24.1 until Tetrick popped his horse from the garden spot midway into the stretch. Freaky Feet Pete drew alongside his rival, edged clear several hundred feet before the wire and placed a length and a quarter of daylight between him and the Little Brown Jug victor. The son of Rockin Image and Pilgrim's Punch mare Skyway Lori is trained by Larry Rheinheimer and owned by Mary Jo and Marty Rheinheimer. Freaky Feet Pete paid $5.80 to win as the public's second choice and paced his last quarter mile in :26. Wiggle It Jiggleit paid $2.10 to show and Vague Traces provided $4.10 to his supporters for his third place finish. With the triumph, Freaky Feet Pete punched his ticket to the Breeders Crown and thrilled Indiana harness racing fans by illustrating he does indeed deserve the distinction of top ten status. His overall resume now stands at 22-19-2-0, with his 2015 record at 13-11-2-0, with his only defeats coming at the hooves of Wakizashi Hanover and Wiggle It Jiggleit. "Yes, we are going to Breeders Crown," Rheinheimer said over the unabashed cheers from the throng around the winners' circle and with a smile that could not be larger. "We let the horse tell us what to do and tonight he told us." "I never give Trace any instructions," he continued. "I told him before the race to just be safe and good luck. He has a done a terrific job with this horse all year long, I have to give him the credit for that and the season we have had. That is why I never need to give him instructions." By: Kimberly French

Louisville, KY --- When harness racing driver Tyler Smith hopped out of the bike and handed over the lines the smile on his face would be nearly impossible to replicate. And who could blame him? He just guided Topville Cadillac to victory in her $125,900 division of the Kentucky Stallion Management Stake at Hoosier Park and now the world knew this filly was for real. “Being on the front end was not the trip we had envisioned for her,” he said. “But that is how the race worked out. She is still very green and has a lot of maturing to do as far as figuring things out, but we have not reached the bottom of her. I think there is so much more yet to give as she learns her job.” Owned by her conditioner Alvin Miller as well as Twila Harts and Ted Comerford, Topville Cadillac is a 2-year-old daughter of Rockin Image and the top notch broodmare Topville Cyberwave. She will seek to add to her win total when she leaves from post position three on Saturday (Oct. 10) in the $200,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final at Hoosier Park. She was purchased for $95,000, which would make her the sales topper at last year’s Hoosier Classic Sale and comes from one of the finest female families in Indiana. She is a half-sister to Sapphire Martini (Dream Work, p,3,1:53.3, $137,173), Radar Contact (Dontgetinmyway, p,1:49.2, $967,846) and Always About Katey (Always A Virgin, p, 3,1:51.3s, $839,407). All three of these mares are Indiana Sire Stakes champions and this filly joined them with her 1:53.3 triumph in the same class and conditions on Sept. 4. “We actually had three or so horses picked out for the sale that we really liked,” Miller said. “We bid on them but did not end up bringing them home. She was our top horse, because of her pedigree for one thing, but she was last in the sale. It ended up working out that she was because since we didn’t get the other ones, we could get her.” The filly broke her maiden in her first trip to the gate on July 8 in a $6,900 non-winners event at Hoosier Park. She followed that up with another win in a $20,000 Indiana Sire Stake elimination on July 17 at the same facility. Topville Cadillac then finished sixth and fourth, respectively, in the $75,000 Indiana Sire Stakes final on July 24 and a $20,000 ISS elimination on Aug. 8 before regaining her prior form. She has now reeled off four straight wins with an overall record of 8-6-0-0 and purse money of $138,000. She set a new track record of 1:52.1 at the Anderson oval in her sire stake elimination on Aug. 28 and then reduced that standard with her gate-to-wire triumph in 1:52 in the Kentucky Stallion Management Stakes on Sept. 26. Topville Cadillac fended off the likes of Darlinonthebeach, the regally bred first daughter of champion Darlin’s Delight and Lyons River Pride from the potent Ron Burke barn. That performance illustrated she is a force to be reckoned with in open company. “She was a real handful to break,” Miller said. “She was also tough to get to the races. She is afraid of everything. That’s why she wears the fly screen. When I qualified her I couldn’t even get her near other horses. She jumps at any little thing. Even though she has raced eight times she is still really green and has a lot to learn about racing.” Smith, who also steered her sister Always About Katey, claims the two siblings do not resemble each other in any way. “I did not get on Katey until she was older,” he said. “But she was always kind of lazy. You had to get into her to make her work. This filly is not like that. She is complete business when she is on the racetrack. She just really needs to learn how to do her job and it’s exciting to know there is so much more to come with her once she realizes what is going on out there. We really don’t even know how to race her the way she likes. We don’t know if she is better off a helmet or on the front end, but I don’t think she even knows that yet. She was just great (in the Kentucky Stallion Management Stakes on Sept. 26) and was strong the entire mile. I think she has a really big future.” Miller, however, feels Topville Cadillac does have something in common with her older and to date more illustrious sibling. “She is really lazy training,” he said. “That’s why we just go really long with her all the time. It’s also hard to really get a gauge on her because she is this way. I always knew she had another gear to her and the engine is there. It’s just a matter of her recognizing it when she races.” The plan is for Topville Cadillac to compete on one more occasion in 2015 and then it’s time for a vacation. “We skipped the last elimination for the sire stakes with her because I did not want to race her too hard this year,” Miller said. “She will race one more time in the Indiana Sire Stakes and that is enough as we have put her in nine times. She will have a couple weeks off before the next race, but she showed in the Kentucky Stallion Management Stakes she can train into a race then go well. I’m not worried about winning everything. She has already earned back what we put up for her. I just want to educate her and point her towards next year.” This filly will have quite the agenda for 2016, but Miller will provide her with ample time to prepare. “We’ll give her as much time as she needs, but we plan on giving her opportunities outside of Indiana next year,” he said. “We will stake her to several races. We have not decided which ones yet, but we have already discussed it. We do know if she is sound and healthy we will keep her eligible for the Breeders Crown. We would like to travel with her and have some fun. She can be difficult for sure but we are very excited about her and what the future holds in store.” by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 26, 2015 - Although all harness racing fans, participants and bettors were still assessing the impact of Wiggle It Jiggleit's sensational triumph in Thursday's (Sept. 24) rendition of the Little Brown Jug, the anticipation for Wakizashi Hanover's trip to Hoosier Park on Saturday (Sept. 26) to take on local hero Freaky Feet Pete in the $110,250 Jenna's Beach Boy was at fever pitch. It was a contest of brother versus brother, one of two horses to defeat Wiggle It Jiggleit and the measuring stick for just how talented 'Pete' truly is. Unfortunately, despite being valiant in defeat, Pete hit the wire second while Wakizashi Hanover took home the trophy, purse and blanket by a quarter of a length in 1:48.4. "If I would have had the nine hole and Trace and his horse would have six the hole, the result could very well have been much different," said winning driver, Tim Tetrick, in the winners' circle. "Pete is a very talented horse and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. I also know my brother's driving capabilities. I know if I had the nine I would have to gun right out there just like he did. You aren't left with any other option. This horse, though, has little bit of everything. He has enough gate speed to leave to put himself in a good position and then has high speed when called upon to supply it. He paced the fastest last quarter of the night to win this. I'm very happy with his effort." There was certainly no drama, as the showdown in the 12th race commenced right when the field took their noses off the gate. Trace Tetrick drove right to the lead and dared Wakizashi Hanover and his sibling to go with them. Freaky Feet Pete traveled his first panel in 26.2 with is rival sitting in the garden spot directly behind him. After a half in 54.2 and three quarters in 1:22, Freaky Feet Pete was pulling away from Wakizashi Hanover at the top of the lane, but his competitor had plenty more to give. The North American Cup victor wore down the leader late in the homestretch for a score in his first appearance over the Anderson oval. "He's a wonderful horse," said conditioner Joanne Looney-King, of the son of Dragon Again and Western Gesture. "He just is the horse of a lifetime. I cannot say enough good things about him on the racetrack or in the barn." His share of the purse money boosted Wakizashi Hanover to millionaire status during a sophomore campaign that included wins in the $350,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final, a $35,000 division of the Liberty Bell, a second in the $500,000 Battle of Brandywine, a third in the $405,000 Carl Milstein Memorial and another third in the $706,000 Meadowlands Pace final. Wakizashi Hanover, who is owned by Tri County Stable, paid $3.80 for those who backed him, while Freaky Feet Pete offered $2.10 and third place finisher Vague Traces paid $5.60. The winner's record now stands at 15-9-3-2 for the season and 21-11-6-2 for his career. He has banked more than $1.1 million. The competition between Wakizashi Hanover and Freaky Feet Pete was merely one component of an outstanding 14 race card with plenty of Grand Circuit action, such as Hoosier Park's most lucrative event for the diagonally gaited in the $210,000 Centaur Trotting Classic, the $207,000 Kentucky Stallion Management Stakes, and the $150,250 Elevation Pace. It was a short field comprised of only five 2-year-old trotting fillies, but Sunset Glider swiftly disposed of her rivals in the first division of the Kentucky Stallion Management Stakes (race 2). In rein to Yannick Gingras, the daughter of Cantab Hall and the Yankee Glide mare Highland Glider, who is conditioned by Jimmy Takter and owned by Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and Al Liebfied, hit the finish line a head in front for her second win in five career parimutual trips. Her record now stands at 6-2-2-2 and the win lifted her earnings to more than $100,000 while tripping the timer in 1:56.1. She paid $7.20 to win with Woman's Will ($2.10) and Wildflower ($3.20) rounded out the trifecta. Topville Cadillac illustrated she is a force to be reckoned with beyond the Indiana Sire Stakes program, as Hoosier State's champion daughter of Rockin Image and the Electric Yankee mare Topville Cyberwave, went to the front and held off all challenges to lower her own track record and lifetime mark to 1:52 in her $125,900 division of the Kentucky Stallion Management Stakes. Piloted by Tyler Smith for her co-owner and trainer Alvin Miller, the most expensive yearling purchase ($95,000) at last year's Hoosier Classic Sale is a half-sister to fellow Indiana champs Radar Contact, Always About Katey and Sapphire Martini. Also owned by Ted Comerford and Twila Hart, Smith placed this 2-year-old pacing filly right on the lead in the evening's 7th race where she led the field through fractions of 27.3, 55.4, 1:24.3 prior to entering the winners' circle. Although she was finishing swiftly at the end, Darlinonthebeach could not reel in Topville Cadillac who paid $5.60 to win and had to settle for second place. She paid $3.20 and third place finisher Lyons River Pride provided $2.10 to bettors. "I hope I didn't sound silly when I said earlier she was still green and there is still so much more for her to give," Smith said. "She really is still learning though and it seems like there is no bottom to her. I did drive her one sister, Always About Katey and you would have to push on her to do her work, but mentally she was sharper. This filly is very professional, she just needs to learn more. I think she is a very exciting horse and I'm thrilled to be driving her." Next up was Call Me Queen Be in her $127,150 division of the Kentucky Stallion Management Stakes. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere and the Western Terror mare Preppy Party Girl was sent off the post time favorite at 9-2 in the ninth race. Steered by Scott Zeron and trained by Ross Crogan, the filly, who is owned by Let It Ride Stables and Dana Parham, was content to allow the other members of the field to do the heavy lifting as Can't Touch This led the way with fractions of 27.1, 56.4 and 1:26.3 before Call Me Queen Be exploded in mid-stretch along the pylons to win by a length in 1:54.4. She paid $3.00 for the victory, while Yankee Moonshine provided $3.00 for her second place finish and JK Fannie yielded $4.40 for her third. "Not many 2-year-olds would come up on the inside the way she did when they only have a few races under their belt," Zeron said. "She is just absolutely push button to drive though and two fingers. She does get worked up for the races, as she just about flipped over the in paddock before coming out on the track and she won't stand in the winners' circle, but she has a lot of ability. I think she will only improve with time." He was sent off the 3-1 selection in the $150,150 Elevation (Race 11), and American Passport illustrated why he finished second in his Metro Pace elimination earlier this season. The Tony Alagna pupil, who was driven by Scott Zeron, races as a homebred for Brittany Farms and is also owned by Alagna as well as Riverview Racing. It was 81-1 outsider Allie's Cruiser who established all the early splits of 27.2, 56.2 and 1:52.2. Just when it appeared to be bombs away, the faltering leader was overwhelmed by first Manhattan Beach, then Mindtrip and ultimately American Passport. The son of American Ideal and the Four Starzzz Shark mare Star Of The Show, tripped the timer in 1:52.2 for his maiden breaking victory. His resume now stands at 7-1-3-0 and he has collected $107,546. The colt was headed to Lexington after cooling out from tonight's performance and paid $8.00 to win. He was followed home by Mindtrip ($9.40) and Big Top Hanover ($6.00). "We always knew this colt had a tremendous amount of ability," Alagna said. "He trained down excellent and we were not surprised he was second in the Metro elim. Then he drew the 10 hole for the final and he has experienced some other things that are part of bad racing luck. But he also wanted to always go fast and kind of do what he wanted to do out there. He has really started to understand what is job is and you can rate him now so he can carry that speed. We are very excited about this win and look forward to racing him in Lexington. We are not sure whether he will race once or twice, that depends on how he does, but then it's the Breeders Crown after Kentucky." Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Tuesday, September 29 with a 14-race card that is set to begin at 5:15 p.m. Following a Tuesday through Saturday schedule, live racing will be conducted through November 14. For more information on the upcoming entertainment and live racing schedule, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. By Kimberly French

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