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For the fourth consecutive week, Up Front Kellie Jo was up to the task in the $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace on Thursday (April 10) in Northfield Park's 10th race. The harness racing mare is trained by Rob Harmon for owners C. Ed Mullinax and Mark Ford. Josh Sutton has been in the bike for all four of her consecutive victories. Despite being assigned the outside, Up Front Kellie Jo (Bettor's Delight-Life's Highway-Life Sign) fired off the gate and went to the lead. She stayed well in hand and never experienced an anxious moment, while posting fractions of :27.2, :56.4, 1:24.3 and 1:52.3, just 2/5 of a second off of the track record. She was an uncontested 2 ¼-lengths in front at the wire. Completing the race were Power Everywhere, Y Mach Me, Sweetheart Dance, It Must Be Magic, Special Lady D, Here And Now and Seascape Hanover. Clear Character was scratched. Thursday's win was the 43rd career victory for Up Front Kellie Jo and increased her lifetime earnings to $846,097. She was the race favorite and returned $3.60 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park      

Driver Josh Sutton has been on fire in 2014 and again dominated most of the evening on Monday (April 7) at Northfield Park. The evening's Open Pace and Open Trot were just two of the six successful drives on the night for Sutton. Sutton, 31, began driving in 2000 and has since garnered 2,336 career victories and is approaching $13,000,000 in purse earnings. He has posted 113 victories so far this year over Northfield's Flying Turns, ranking him second on the local driving ranks, just one victory behind Ronnie Wrenn Jr. Chasing Wrenn and Sutton are: Aaron Merriman (84), David Lake (46) and Robin Miller (45). Sutton has been driving at Miami Valley on Northfield Park's nights off and he has been winning there as well. He has 140 driving wins so far in 2014, ranking him as the seventh winningest driver so far this year in North America. Only Aaron Merriman (178), Corey Callahan (167), Ronnie Wrenn Jr. (164), Ron Pierce (157), Brian Sears (146) and Dave Palone (144) have more wins this year than Josh Sutton. Sutton captured the evening's $9,500 Open Pace with Lyons Josephjnr in the eighth race. Ron Burke trains the five year-old for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi. Chris Page was the winning driver. Lyons Josephjnr (Million Dollar Cam-Lyons Sure Sign-Life Sign) started from post four and was fourth through an opening fraction of :27.1. Sutton tipped the pacer first over and he sustained a successful first-over bid through fractions of :56.1 and 1:25.4. Lyons Josephjnr cleared to the lead in the final quarter and bested his competition by two lengths in 1:54.3 on a very sloppy surface. Completing the race were I Found My Beach, Nathan Feelsgood, Goodnite Goodluck, Hall Of Memories, Forever Good and Kiasma. Monday's triumph increased Lyons Josephjnr's lifetime win tally to 13 and his earnings to $198,951. He was the race favorite and returned $3.60 to win. Sutton piloted Rose Run Logan to victory in the $10,000 Open Trot in the evening's 10th race. He is owned and trained by Jeff Hochstetler of Urichsville, Ohio. Rose Run Logan (Armbro Laser-How Miraculous-Baltic Speed) started from post seven and was parked every step through fractions of :28, :56.4 and 1:25.4. He took the lead in the stretch and completed the mile in 1:55.1. He was ¾-length in front at the wire. The win represents a new lifetime mark for Rose Run Logan. Completing the race were Action-Broadway, Mary's Darvin, Pembroke Snapshot, Sure Thing, Kahoku, Wind Surfer, Hello Carlo and Theraputic. Rose Run Logan now has 13 career successes and has won seven of eight starts in 2014. Monday's victory pushed his bankroll to $40,198. He paid $5.60 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park  

The racing season is fast approaching and stables based at Sunshine Meadows have and are readying excellent older (three year-olds and up) players for stakes and northern track overnights. Several that have caught our attention are profiled below. Spider Blue Chip (4gt, Andover Hall-Southwind Catlin-Muscles Yankee) - Charles Sylvester 3, 1:51.3, $1,178,099, 12 time winner in 28 starts. Owned by David Mc Duffee and Melvin Hartmanand bred by McLain L. Ward, Brewster, NY. Hambletonian elimination winner in 2013 along with Breeders Crown and world record win in the Colonial. Acapulco Hall (3ft Deweycheatmnhowe-Ali's Cat-Meadow Road) - Fred Grant Unraced in 2013. Classy filly owned and by Walnut Hall Limited, Lexington, KY. Dam has produced Amigo Hall (3, 1:54, $928,183), Ally Hall (2, 1:57.1s, $384,595) and Great Challenger (3,q1:55.3, $182,471) and four other sub-2:00 record performers. Sorrento Hall (3gt, Groton Hall-SB's Fuscia Image-Balanced Image) - Fred Grant 2, 1:58, $134,090. Bred and owned by Walnut Hall Limited, Lexington, KY. Kentucky Sires Stakes Final winner in 2013. Starfall Winner (3ft Credit Winner-Myth-Lindy Lane) - Robert Bencal Stable. Sixth foal of Myth, dam of Mythical Lindy (3, 1:53.2, $629,104), Mythical Hall (5, 1:55f, $345,283) and Valbruna (3, 1:56.1s, $116,142). Sunshine Meadows trainees are rapidly gearing up for the 2013 racing campaign. On Saturday, Jonas Czernyson's band of female trotters qualified at the new Meadowlands in fine fashion- Maven, 1.56.1; D'orsay, 1:56.3; Ma Chere Hall, 1:56.4; Coffeecake Hanover, 1:57.3 and Mistery Woman, 1:57.4. At Pompano Park, Bob Bencal's Sina (4mt Cantab Hall-Third Reef-Conway Hall) was a qualifying winner in 1:57.3f for reinsman Michael Marx, Jr. Fred Grant piloted his trainee Somenicebeach (3mp Somebeachsomewhere-Up Front Gal-Dragon Again) to a 1:56.1f win and followed that with a 1:56.2f victory behind Shamballa (4hp Somebachsomewhere-Bolero Takara-Life Sign). Two other Sunshine trainees won "for money" events at Pompano. Dewayne Minor scored with Mitey Savage in 2:00.2f and Francisco de Cid reined Broadway's Fortune to a 1:58.1f victory. Others yet to start for money, but worth watching, include Master of Law and Lindy's Tru Grit from the Lindy Farms barn trained by Domenico Cecere, Ken Oscarsson's Scacco Matto (a Kentucky eligible three year-old colt), and Jarold Hawks' Jack Litten (a Muscle Mass colt that qualified at Pompano). by Thomas H. Hicks

For the third consecutive week, Up Front Kellie Jo was up to the task in the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace on Thursday (April 3) in Northfield Park's fifth race. She is trained by Rob Harmon for owners C. Ed Mullinax and Mark Ford. Josh Sutton has been in the bike for the trio of victories. Up Front Kellie Jo (Bettor's Delight-Life's Highway-Life Sign) was assigned the outside and let her competition set the :27.4 and :56 early fractions. Sutton tipped the mare four wide approaching the 1:25.3 three-quarters. Up Front Kellie Jo struck the front in the stretch and bested her competition by a full length in 1:55.3 over a sloppy surface. Completing the race were Power Everywhere, Sweetheart Dance, Y Mach Me, Canaco Star, It Must Be Magic and Special Lady D. Thursday's win was the 42 career victory for Up Front Kellie Jo and increased her lifetime earnings to $841,097. She was the race favorite and returned $3.60 to win. Earlier in the program, the evening's second race saw Riverdancer post her fourth straight win over Northfield's Flying Turns. The seven year-old mare is owned by Michael Yoder and Joseph Miller, who also trains. Ronnie Wrenn Jr. was aboard for all of the consecutive victories. Riverdancer (Red River Hanover-Millenium Missle-Sealed N Delivered) now has five wins in 2014 and 23 career successes along with a bankroll of $141,375. She paid $8.40 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

After taking a few weeks off, Phantom Dan returns to the wars in Saturdays Open Pace while taking on the classy Pancetta and the streaking Docs Zippy in the main event. The 6-year-old son of Little Steven is owned, trained and driven by James Kennedy and was last seen capturing the March 22 Open Handicap Pace by a nose over heavily-favored One And Only while lowering his career standard to 1:52 1/5 in the process. There was nothing wrong with him, Kennedy explained. Its just that hed been racing his you-know-what off and I wanted to give him a bit of a break and do a little work on him. While Phantom Dan came from last to account for that most recent outing, in his previous victory in a conditioned affair he used front-end tactics to get the job done, putting his versatility on full display. Ive learned that he there are two ways to race him, his mentor noted. You either leave with him and let him roll, or you duck and let him do his pacing at the end. As far as the Phantom Dan you would find around the barn, James describes him as A Pig, while wearing a smile on his face. His happiest times are when hes in a pen and he can just roll around in the mud. He absolutely loves it. He also eats anything you put in front of him, from donuts to hamburgers. Apparently this playful nature and unusual diet agree quite well with the performer, who looks to keep the momentum going this weekend after getting a little R and R at Camp Kennedy. Open Pace entices hard-knocking cast Pancetta, who had to settle for second in his seasonal debut while leaving from the testing No. 10 post over a sloppy track last weekend; Docs Zippy, who got the job done in that affair for his second straight score, and the always-dangerous Phantom Dan headline Saturday nights Open Pace at Cal Expo. A 13-race card is on tap with first set at 5:45 p.m. The Open Pace goes as the third event on the evening with One And Only and Mobil Big John completing the cast. Pancetta is a 5-year-old son of No Pan Intended out of the Life Sign mare Gingerbread Square who is owned by Richard Morita and David Yamada, takes his lessons from Lino Pacheco and will have Steve Wiseman at the controls. Pancetta comes into this assignment just shy of the $200,000 earnings plateau with a 1:51 1/5 mark that was established last year at Pocono Downs. He was making his first start since December last week while doing his work from that demanding No. 10 post over the sloppy going and put in a solid effort for the place spot. Docs Zippy will be looking for his third straight trip to the charmed enclosure for the team of Toman Enterprises Ltd, trainer George Anthrop and pilot Patrick Galbraith. The son of Cams Eclipse was a 1:51 victor last season over the Colonial Downs strip. Two starts back, Docs Zippy took the measure of a conditioned field while coming from last, then did the stalk-and-pounce to perfection last week while seemingly appreciating the off going . Galbraith came first over with his charge at the half, gained command straightening for home and prevailed by a length and a half over the 1-5 favorite. Phantom Dan is making his first start since capturing the March 15 Open for his owner/driver/trainer James Kennedy. The 6-year-old Little Steven gelding has a versatile style that gives Kennedy options when the gate rolls. By Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness

When former champion juvenile Sensational Gabby managed just one win and one third placing from 11 starts between December 2012 and January this year her harness racing future was in extreme doubt. She was wrecking her winning prospects by overracing fiercely and hanging and her connections were seriously considering retirement plans. But astute Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri did not give up the battle and after months of experimenting he has cured her bad habits of pulling hard and hanging in her races and now she has regained all the brilliance which enabled her to win at 23 of her first 27 starts. She paced generously and faultlessly when she revealed blistering speed to outclass her rivals in the Ray Duffy Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night, recording a smart 1.54.8 rate over the 2130m after speeding over the final mile in 1min.53.9sec. Sensational Gabby now has several feature events for mares over the next two months at her mercy. These include the $20,000 Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra on April 21, the $35,000 Race For Roses at Gloucester Park on May 9, the $40,000 WASBA Breeders Pace on May 23 and the $30,000 Westbred Fillies and Mares Classic on May 30. And so well is Sensational Gabby performing that there are plans to set her for rich feature events next summer, including the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup. Olivieri is well pleased that Sensational Gabby is now tractable in her races, but he remains tight-lipped about what gear changes he has made to cure her bad habits. Sensational Gabby was an easing 13/4 second favourite on Friday night when most punters pinned their faith on Soho Valencia, who was a heavily-supported 2/1 on favourite from the No. 2 barrier on the front line. However, the anticipated battle for supremacy never really eventuated, with Chris Lewis firing out Sensational Gabby from the No. 1 barrier and establishing a decisive early lead on the opposition, leaving Soho Valencia in the breeze, but a couple of lengths behind the flying pacemaker. After a 29.3sec. first 400m section of the final mile Sensational Gabby left the opposition floundering in her wake as she sped of the next quarters in 28.5sec., 27.7sec. and 28.4sec. Sensational Gabby won by two lengths from Soho Valencia, with almost a length to Code Red (9/1) in third place after he had trailed the leader throughout. The five-year-old WA-bred Sensational Gabby has now amassed $527,495 from 27 wins and six placings from 48 starts. Sensational Gabby's win gave Lewis the third leg of a winning treble in consecutive events --- after wins with Shirlz Sensation and Lovers Delight. Lewis almost landed four wins in a row (in the four legs of the quadrella) when Pembrook Henry set the pace and finished second to Erris Lad. MACHTU EQUALS STATE RECORD Crack New Zealand-bred gelding Machtu is now a clear favourite for the $200,000 WA Derby on Friday week after his devastating performance to crush his rivals in the Cowden Ltd Derby Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Machtu, prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., is spot on for the rich classic and he equalled the State record for three-year-olds over 2536m when he rated 1.57.2 in beating Three Blind Mice by almost seven lengths. Robyns C C also rated 1.57.2 when she finished strongly to win a race for fillies last August. What made Machtu's performance all the more impressive was that he worked hard without cover for much of the way before storming away from his rivals in the final stages with a final 400m in 28.2sec. After unplaced runs at his first two starts in New Zealand as a two-year-old in December 2012, Machtu has won at seven of his next eight starts. His five WA starts have produced four wins and a fighting second to stablemate Elegant Christian. Machtu, favourite at 3/1 on, started from barrier four and raced three wide for the first 200m before Clint Hall restrained him back to settle in ninth position. Hall started a three-wide run after 900m and Machtu quickly moved alongside the pacemaker So Ubettabelieveit. Machtu surged to the front 270m from home and careered away from his rivals. Three Blind Mice, trained by Barry Howlett, was a 19/1 chance who raced without cover during the first lap and then gained the one-out, one-back trail behind Classic American before being shuffled back to seventh at the bell. He finished powerfully, out wide, to be a splendid second. Life Live Fast (66/1) enjoyed an ideal pegs run throughout and fought on along the inside to be third, with Zacharia finishing solidly into fourth place. Machtu, who has earned $51,038 from seven wins and a second from ten starts, is the fourth foal out of Holmes Hanover mare Letatalk, who managed to win only once from 20 New Zealand starts for stakes of just $3938. SHIRLZ SENSATION IS ON THE RISE Four-year-old Shirlz Sensation looks set for a bright career after another outstanding performance to score an effortless victory in the Community Newspaper Group Westbred final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Starting favourite at evens from barrier two on the back line, Shirlz Sensational was driven aggressively by Chris Lewis before scoring by three lengths from Smooth Caesar (6/1), with the strongly-supported 9/4 second fancy Soho Jackman one and a half lengths farther back in third place. Oneheart Twofists jumped straight to the front from barrier three and he was joined by Shirlz sensation 700m after the start after a slow 37.9sec. lead time and 30.9sec. opening quarter of the final mile. The third quarter whizzed by in 28.1sec. before Lewis sent Shirlz Sensation to the front with 230m to travel. The final quarter was covered in a sparkling 27.8sec. and Shirlz Sensation rated a smart 1.57 over the 2130m. Soho Jackman started from the outside of the back line and did a good job to finish third. He was last 1050m from home before sustaining a solid three-wide burst. Shirlz Sensation, part-owned and trained by Mike Beech, has turned the corner this season, with his past seven starts producing five wins, a second and a third. He was also extremely impressive last Friday week when he raced without cover before winning by more than ten lengths. He now has raced 22 times for seven wins and three placings for stakes of $58,720. LOVERS DELIGHT IS GETTING TOUGHER Lightly-raced six-year-old Lovers Delight, a noted frontrunner, revealed improved stamina and determination when he raced in the breeze before beating the pacemaker Lord Lombo in the $25,000 Pick Of The Little Scrapbooking Clarke final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo and driven by Chris Lewis, Lovers Delight, the heavily-supported 3/1 favourite, simply carried too many guns for his 11 rivals. Lord Lombo, a 9/1 chance, was first into stride from barrier two and Lewis then was quite content to allow Lovers Delight to settle in the breeze. After a third section of the final mile in 28.1sec. Lord Lombo looked set to score an upset win. But he was unable to withstand the finishing effort of Lovers Delight who got to the front in the final 25m and scored by 2m at a 1.57.6 rate over 2130m. Outsider Franco Torres overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line when he ran on from eighth (on the pegs) at the bell to be third, a half-head in front of polemarker Benjamin Banneker. The New Zealand-bred Lovers Delight has raced 22 times in WA for eight wins and eight placings to take his career record to32 starts for 12 wins, ten placings and $170,203. He now graduates to an M3 classification and looks set for many more successes. BREAKTHROUGH SUCCESS FOR MISSISSIPPI BELL Four-year-old Mississippi Bell, unplaced at her only seven previous appearances at Gloucester Park, made a significant breakthrough when her Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop drove her to a convincing victory in the 2130m Ross North Group Mares Pace on Friday night. Mississippi Bell, a 12/1 chance from the inside of the back line, relished the run of the race behind the pacemaker Awesome Desire (13/4) before Mellsop eased her into the clear in the closing stages. She ran on determinedly to hit the front 80m from the post and draw away to beat Awesome Desire by almost a length, with 20/1 chance Mene Jaccka coming from three back on the pegs to fill third position. Love In The Dark, a newcomer from Queensland, was strongly supported to start favourite at 10/9 on at her WA debut for Byford trainer-reinsman Shannon Suvaljko. She was beaten for early speed from the No. 3 barrier and worked hard in the breeze before fading to finish eighth. Mississippi Bell rated 2.0.3 and took her record to 28 starts for six wins and one placings for stakes of $33,032. She is by American stallion Riverboat King out of Northern Lights mare Firestorm Whitby and is certainly bred to be a good winner. Firestorm Whitby's dam Tempting Franco produced five winners, including Typhoon Whitby, who had 46 starts for 17 wins, seven placings and $163,751. Typhoon Whitby finished second to The Kindly One in the $100,000 1999 Bathurst Gold Tiara, won the $60,000 State Sires Series for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park in August 1999 and was fourth behind Tupelo Rose in the 2000 Victoria oaks. Mississippi bell also is closely related to former outstanding pacer Franco Tiger, who amassed $991,387 from 43 wins and 36 placings from 116 starts. Franco Tiger's victories included the 1992 Miracle Mile, the 1992 Australian Pacing Championship, the 1992 Queensland Pacing Championship and the 1993 Treuer Memorial. He also finished second to Westburn Grant in the 1992 interdominion championship at Moonee Valley and third behind The Harlem Boy and Jack Morris in the 1993 WA Pacing Cup. SPRINT TRIP SUITS CARTERS ROCKET Carters Rocket, a flop when he led and faded to third behind Wolowitz over 2190m at Northam last Tuesday, appreciated returning to a sprint journey when he scored an all-the-way victory in the 1730m Kennards Hire Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His one-length win over Ima Grumpy Jasper at a 1.57.78 rate ended a losing sequence of 12, which included only two placed efforts. Polemarker Im Clean Cut, a surprising 5/4 on favourite after finishing ninth, twelfth and eleventh at his three previous starts, was beaten out at the start by Carters Rocket (second fancy at 17/4) from the No. 2 barrier. This proved decisive. Colin Brown gave Carters Rocket his head and the New Zealand-bred five-year-old by Elsu sped through the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.7sec. before Brown was able to give the gelding a breather with a leisurely second quarter in only 31.9sec. Carters Rocket covered the final quarters in 29.8sec. and 28.2sec. and won from Ima Grumpy Jasper, a 12/1 chance who ran on from eighth in the middle stages. Im Clean Cut trailed the pacemaker before getting a clear passage in the final stages to finish gamely into third place. Carters Rocket, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, won twice from seven New Zealand starts and has been a handy performer in Western Australia where his 38 starts have produced eight wins and seven placings. He now has a record of 46 starts for ten wins, ten placings and $57,931. Carters Rocket is out of the unraced Pocket Rose, whose full-sister Tupelo Rose was a champion performer who earned $879,867 from 35 wins and 25 placings from 101 starts. Hollywood Rose, a mare by Butler B G, failed to win from 20 starts in the early 1990s. However, Tupelo Rose quickly developed into a superstar who won several group 1 and group 2 events as a juvenile. She won two group 1 classics for fillies as a two-year-old at Alexandra Park in 1999 before winning the New Zealand Great Northern Oaks, the Victoria Oaks, the Queensland Oaks and Australian Oaks the following year. Tupelo Rose won 12 races in New Zealand, 12 in Australia, one in Canada and ten in America. AM OPULENT Four-year-old Am Opulent, a group 1 classic winner as a two-year-old in New Zealand, took full advantage of the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when she gave a bold frontrunning display to win the 2130m Gannons Mares Pace on Friday night. Favourite at 7/4 on, Am Opulent was driven with supreme confidence by Ryan Warwick, who gave the mare her head when she dashed over the final 800m in 57.5sec. She won by a neck at a 1.57.3 rate from 15/1 chance Bettor Whitby, who trailed her throughout. Jungle Genie (13/2), a stablemate of the winner, sustained a three-wide burst from last in the middle stages to be a neck away in third place. Am Opulent, who ended a losing sequence of ten with an easy victory at Harvey at her previous outing, gives every indication of many more wins. She has earned $162,757 from ten wins and eight placings from 31 starts. A winner of three races from seven starts in New Zealand, Am Opulent has had 24 starts in WA for seven wins and seven placings. She revealed abundant early promise and was successful in the group 1 Caduceus Club Classic for two-year-old fillies at Alexandra Park in April 2012. Her dam Imprint (by Life Sign) earned only $22,622 from three wins and three placings from 14 starts, but she is closely related to Smart Son, who earned $347,805 from 41 wins and 59 placings from 226 starts. He was successful in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Am Opulent completed a double in the first two events on Friday night's program for Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who prepared Carters Rocket for his win in the opening event. The Bonds continued on their winning ways with a double at Kellerberrin on Sunday afternoon when Showstopper and Jungle Jewel scored all-the-way victories. DASHING CHRISTIAN ENDS LOSING RUN OF 14 New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Dashing Christian ended a losing sequence of 14 when he unleashed a powerful burst which enabled him to get up in the final stride to snatch victory by a nose over 7/4 favourite Mighty Flying Thomas in the 2536m Plscrapbooking.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Dashing Christian, third favourite at 5/1, started from the inside of the back line and Clint Hall had him in fifth position, three back on the pegs, for most of the race, with Shifting Sand (14/1) setting the pace. Mighty Flying Thomas settled in tenth place before Morgan Woodley sent him forward after 550m to move into the breeze. After a third quarter of the final mile in a brisk 28.2sec., Mighty Flying Thomas got his head in front with 375m to travel and looked set for victory when he led clearly in the home straight. But Dashing Christian sprouted wings and gained the verdict by the barest of margins after a final quarter in 28.9sec. The Feather Foot (9/2) ran on strongly from sixth at the bell to be third. Dashing Christian, who had finished encouraging seconds at his two previous starts, gave trainer Gary Hall sen. and Clint Hall a double after they had combined to win the previous event with Machtu. Dashing Christian, a winner at one of his seven New Zealand starts, raced seven times in New South Wales for seven wins and six placings. He has had 23 starts in WA for three wins and nine placings to take his career earnings to $105,955 from 11 wins and 19 placings. He is then second foal out of Falcon Seelster mare Dreamy Dash, who managed just one win and seven placings from 33 starts for earnings of $17,165. ERRIS LAD MAKES THE MOST OF DROP-DOWN RULE The drop-down rule introduced a couple of years ago which enables pacers assessed M2 and better to drop down a grade has proved a tremendous boon for WA-bred Erris Lad, who has returned to winning form three times after receiving this advantage. Horses handicapped M2 or better drop down a grade after completing a losing sequence of ten. Erris Lad, trained at Hazelmere by Mike Reed, dropped back from an M2 to an M1 classification after chalking up a losing run of ten when a sound fourth behind Major Fury last Friday week. This enabled the seven-year-old to start from the front line in Friday night's 2503m TABtouch Handicap, an event for M1 and better-class pacers. Colin Brown took advantage of the front-line draw and had Erris Lad, a 20/1 outsider, poised to strike from the one-out, one-back position, with 3/1 chance Pembrook Henry setting the pace. Erris Lad finished full of running to take the lead 100m from the post. He went on to beat Pembrook Henry by a half-length, with a neck back to 16/1 chance Hez Got the Nod, who finished strongly out five wide after racing three back on the pegs. Flyalong Falcon, favourite at 5/2, lost his chance by galloping at the start. Mister Sarkozy also galloped and The Pacing Priest broke soon after the start. Flyalong Falcon came from tenth in the middle stages to be fifth before breaking on the home turn and dropping back to finish last. Erris Lad has been the beneficiary of the drop-down rule three times. His previous victory was last November when having his first start after a losing run of ten. His previous win before that success came after he had also enjoyed a downgrade. Under the old handicapping regulations Erris Lad would now have an M5 classification. His win on Friday night returns him to an M2 mark. FLYING START PAVES THE WAY FOR LA PASSIONE A flying start from the outside barrier paved the way for New Zealand-bred five-year-old La Passione's impressive victory in the 2536m McInerney Ford Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Darling Downs trainer Aldo Cortopassi revved up La Passione from the unfavourable No. 7 barrier and the gelding quickly charged past polemarker Good Luck Dollar and into the lead. Cortopassi was able to get La Passione to relax and the 4/1 second favourite coasted through the first two sections of the final mile in 31.8sec. and 30.7sec. before dashing over the next two quarters in 28.7sec. and 29.1sec. to win by two lengths from Black Cracker, who fought on doggedly after racing without cover. Good Luck Dollar trailed the leader and finished a neck away in third place. La Passione, by American stallion Pacific Rocket, is beginning to realise his potential after arriving in Western Australia about 14 months ago after having had 18 starts in New Zealand for four wins and seven placings. His 21 WA starts have produced four wins and six placings and he should develop into a handy and consistent city performer. Ken Casellas  

Last weeks feature winner, Up Front Kellie Jo was up to the task again in the $10,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace on Thursday (March 27) in Northfield Park's tenth race. She is trained by Rob Harmon for owners C. Ed Mullinax and Mark Ford. Josh Sutton has been in the bike for the consecutive victories. Up Front Kellie Jo (Bettor's Delight-Life's Highway-Life Sign) started from the second tier and was sixth through the :27.3 opening quarter. Sutton pulled Up Front Kellie Jo second over approaching the half. She remained in the cover flow through fractions of :57 and 1:25.3 before taking the lead in the final turn and eventually besting her competition by 2-lengths in 1:54.3. Completing the race were Y Mach Me, Power Everywhere, Miss Two Punch, Canaco Star, Sweetheart Dance, Eradikate, Clear Character and Bluebird Jettart. Thursday's win was the 41 career victory for Up Front Kellie Jo and increased her lifetime earnings to $836,347. She was the race favorite and returned $4.40 to win. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Up Front Kellie Jo was victorious in the $9,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace on Thursday (March 20) in Northfield Park's fifth race. She is trained by Rob Harmon for harness racing owners C. Ed Mullinax and Mark Ford. Josh Sutton was aboard for the winning drive. Up Front Kellie Jo (Bettor's Delight-Life's Highway-Life Sign) started from post six and was content being mid-pack while her competition carved out fractions of :27.2, :55.3 and 1:25. Sutton called upon Up Front Kellie Jo in the final quarter and she surged to the lead and bested her competition by 2-lengths in 1:55.2. Completing the race were Clear Character, Y Mach Me, It Must be Magic, Canaco Star, Power Everywhere and Women Rule. Thursday's win was the 40 career victory for Up Front Kellie Jo and increased her lifetime earnings to $831,347. She was an upset winner and returned $22.40 to win. Scoring in the evening's feature was one of five wins on the night for Sutton. He also posted victories with Alhambra Bokay ($4.80) in race six, Bluebird Jettart ($14.20) in race nine, Braggin Hanover ($10.80) in race 10 and Doowrah Double ($17.00) in race 11. Thursday's victories makes consecutive nights that Josh Sutton has posted five winners. 

Terang based brothers Matthew and Glen Craven had a day out at the Stawell trots on Thursday, with Glen snaring a driving treble and Matt also providing a winner, as well as figuring in two quinella’s during the afternoon. Matt continued his stellar season when It Is I/Shy Star gelding Okelerho Lad was a brilliant all of the way winner of the Doctor DC 3-Y-0 Pace over 2175 metres, running his rivals ragged from gate three in accounting for the hot favourite Our Petite Soeur (one/one) and Usage (one/two) in a rate of 2-01.1. Glen and Matt Craven fought out a thrilling finish to the James McLeod Memorial Pace for C1 class over 2175 metres when Partnersinvancelot nosed out Our Uptown Girl. Trained at Dunnstown by Robert McCartney, Partnersinvancelot did all of the work from gate three racing outside Our Uptown Girl (Matt) which exploded away from outside the front line to lead. Dropping down to follow the pacemaker for a brief breather approaching the home turn, Partnersinvancelot when asked for a supreme effort on straightening, rallied under hard driving to gain the decision in a tricky finish, with White Eyed Girl (one/two – three wide at bell) third. The mile rate 2-01.3. Glen partnered Hamilton trainer David Lewis’4-Y-0 Life Sign/Royal Franco mare Twentyfivetolife first up since November to register an impressive victory in the Stawell Farm Supplies Pace for C2 & C3 class over 1780 metres. Starting outside the front row, Twentyfivetolife settled four back in the running line, with the pole marker Big Gorilla leading easily as the mobile gate pulled away. Easing three wide at the bell, Twentyfivetolife was accommodated by Paris To Berlin coming out ahead of her, thus receing a nice trail home. Charging down the centre of the track in the straight, Twentyfivetolife scored by 1.6 metres over the well supported The Ole Buckaroo along the sprint lane after trailing the leader, with Arr En Special third from three back the markers. Glen was to finish the day with a driving treble after border hopper Forced Out greeted the judge in the Landmark Harcourts Pace for C1 class over 1780 metres. Trained at Allendale East by David Kemp, Forced Out a most consistent 5-Y-0 daughter of Safely Kept and May Be Trouble led throughout from gate two in defeating Peters Ace (Matt) by 4.5 metres in a rate of 1-58.8 giving the brothers another quinella for the day. Bella Hotshot (one/three – three wide last lap) finished third. By Len Baker (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)  

For the second consecutive race night, the pick five was not hit on Thursday at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Offered on every race card now, the pick five has become a more and more popular bet and on Thursday, longshot Danger Sign N (Life Sign) knocked out many of the bettors behind his leg one score at odds of 22-1. The fourteen year old pacer went last to first to pull off the upset in the evening's $4,495 claiming pace. Austin Siegelman piloted Danger Sign N for trainer Allan Johnson. The pick five carryover to Friday night's pool is $3,411. The pick five is a $.50 wager and is offered on every race card in the 2014 racing season. Live racing continues on Friday night with a 6:45pm first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Driver Jim Morrill Jr usually dominates the action when he comes to Saratoga Casino and Raceway and opening day of the 2014 season was no different. Morrill piled up six victories on the card including a sweep of the Sunday double feature. The $17,000 Fillies and Mares Open served as the undercard and Morrill cruised to victory behind the Ron Burke-trained Magic Starlight (Real Desire). Moving to the lead early on, Magic Starlight never looked back before drawing away late to prevail in 1:56 as the race's odds-on favorite. Morrill and Money Twitch A (Life Sign) came from well off the pace to win the $18,190 Open Pace while overcoming the outside post. Trained by last year's Trainer of the Year at the Spa Heidi Rohr, Money Twitch A stopped the timer in 1:55.3 after utilizing a cover trip to secure his fourth win of 2014. Morrill, who averages close to five wins a night when coming to town, scored three of his six Sunday victories while piloting for trainer Kevin Efimetz. Live racing resumes on Thursday night with a 6:45pm first post. There will be a carryover in the pick 5 pool as the wager was not hit on opening day. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Canaco Star captured the $9,000 Fillies and Mares Open Pace on Thursday (February 27) in Northfield Park’s third race.  She is trained by Misty Carey for owners Michael Kessler of New Hartford, New York and Speed to Burn Racing Stable of Utica, New York.  Keith KashJr. was aboard for the winning drive.      Canaco Star (Yankee Cam-Dime A Minute-Life Sign) started from post four and sat the pocket through fractions of :28.1, :57.2, and 1:26.3.  Kash tipped Canaco Star in the final quarter and bested the competition by ½-length in 1:56.  Completing the race were Up Front Kellie Jo, Pertty Music, Crazy Luv Bug, Y Mach Me and Sweetheart Dance.            Thursday’s win was the 38 career victory for Canaco Star and increased her bankroll to $153,018.  She returned $13.00 to win. New Claiming Series at Northfield Northfield Park has announced the dates of six “Hard Rockin’ Claiming Series.”  “These new late closers are just part of the increased opportunities offered here at Northfield,” said Dave Bianconi, Executive Vice President of Racing and Simulcasting.  “As our purses increase, we would like to fill more straight claiming races.  These series will give claimers a real opportunity to race for solid purses in each leg and a big money final.”  Mondays (March 31, April 7 and April 14) will host The Hall of Fame Series, for $8,000 claiming trotters, and The Legend Series, for $8,000 claiming pacers.  Each of the three legs will carry purses of $6,500.   Tuesdays (April 1, April 8 and April 15) will offer The Icon Series for $4,000 claiming pacers.  Each leg will be raced for a $4,000 purse.   Wednesdays (April 2, April 9 and April 16) highlight The Juke Box Hero Series, for $4,000 claiming trotters.  Each of these legs will also carry a $4,000 purse. Thursdays (April 3, April 10 and April 17) will feature The Diva Series, for fillies and mares $4,000 claiming pacers, offering purses of $4,000.  Also on those nights, The Prima Donna Series, for fillies and mares $8,000 claiming pacers, will offer purses of $6,500. The finals of all six series will be raced on Friday (April 25) on the undercard of the $100,000 (gtd) Courageous Lady, the first Grand Circuit stakes event of 2014 for three year-old filly pacers.  The finals of The Hall of Fame, The Legend and The Prima Donna Series will carry purses of $20,000 (gtd).  The Icon, The Juke Box Hero and The Diva Series finals will race for $15,000 (gtd). A one-time $100 payment will be required of each entrant to be eligible.  Payments are due by March 15.  Exact conditions for the series at www.northfieldpark.com.  The link is near the bottom of Northfield’s homepage. by Ayers Ratliff, for Northfield Park

Pembroke Snapshot was the winner of $9,500 Open Trot in Northfield Park’s opening race on Monday (February 17).  Johnny Yoder of Dundee, Ohio owns and trains the nine year-old trotter.  Aaron Merriman was aboard for the winning drive. Pembroke Snapshot (SJs Photo-Super Earl-Earl) started from post four and led at every call through fractions of :28.4, :58.4, 1:27.4 and 1:57.3.  Pembroke Snapshot easily handled his competition and was 2 ¾-lengths in front at the wire.  Completing the race were Kahoku, Arianna Hall, Hello Carlo, Easy Strength, Saintfrancis and Zorgwijk Heavenly.    Monday’s triumph increased Pembroke Snapshot’s lifetime win tally to 25 and his career earnings to $255,650.  He was the race favorite and returned $3.60 to win.  In the evening’s eighth race, Lyons Josephjnr captured the $10,000 Open Pace for owners Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC and trainer Ron Burke.  Northfield Park’s leading driver, Josh Sutton, picked up the win aboard the five year-old stallion. Lyons Josephjnr (Million Dollar Cam-Lyons Sure Sign-Life Sign) started from post seven and let his competition carve fractions of :28.1, :57.1 and 1:26.4 while facing strong wind and heavy snow.  Lyons Josephjnr bested his competition by a length, stopping the clock at 1:56.  Completing the race were Nathan Feelsgood, PL Dragon, Machel Angelo, Malosi N, Bestinthebusiness, Stevie Diamonds and Nabber Again.       Lyons Josephjnr now has 12 career successes. Monday’s victory pushed his bankroll to $187,651. He paid $19.60 to win. Ayers Ratliff  

Itsabouttonight found the conditions of the Marvin Shapiro Pacing series made to order, going coast-to-coast in last weekends opening leg for owner/trainer Gretchen Smith and driver Tim Maier. It had been awhile between drinks for the 5-year-old mare, who recorded a 1:53 3/5 victory as a sophomore. She made only four starts last year without a snapshot and was getting the job done for the first time in six appearances here this season. Gretchen noted that both she and her pacer are Illinois-breds who joined forces late last year. I bought her at the Delaware Sale in November and its funny how you can race so far from where youre from and end up with a horse that was born and raised in your home state. It turns out that old trainer is also someone that I used to race with in Illinois and her previous trainer is good friends and partner with a friend from Illinois as well. Its truly a small world and we are just two Illinois-born and raised girls who are far from home. Smith relates things did not go all that smoothly when Itsabouttonight first joined the barn. I struggled with her when she first got here. She can be pretty strong in the bit and she didnt want to rate very well. We made some minor equipment adjustments and finally she is racing like we hoped. Having a good driver like Tim Maier, who is patient and gets along well with her, certainly makes all the difference in the world. I am very thankful for his efforts with her. Itsabouttonight will be back in action in Saturdays second leg of the Sharpiro, which goes as the seventh race on the program. If all goes well, she should be a major player when the finale rolls around next week. California Sire Stakes, Shapiro Series highlighted A $10,000 California Sire Stakes headed by King Of The Crop and Rikybrnthegaragdwn and the second leg of the Marvin Shapiro Pacing Series are the main events at the Watch and Wager LLC meet at Cal Expo on Saturday night. King Of The Crop and Rikybrnthegaragdwn, have accounted for the first two Sire Stakes for the 3-year-old pacing males, while last weeks opening leg of the Shapiro saw Plum Crazy Baby and Itsaboutttonight prevailing in the two divisions. King Of The Crop is a homebred son of Little Steven who carries the banner of Frank Nevarez while being trained and driven by James Kennedy. Rikybrnthegaragdwn is by Living It Up and races for Maryann Plano with son Luke reining and training. Plum Crazy Baby is a 6-year-old mare by Relentless Yankee who carries the banner of Derick Takahashi, hails from the Dario Solares barn and has Dave Siegel in the bike for a return engagement. She made two moves to the lead on the sloppy track from her outside slot and went on to a convincing three and three-quarter lengths decision. Itsabouttonight is a 5-year-old daughter of Armbro Mackintosh and the Life Sign mare Churchbell Sign who is owned and trained by Gretchen Smith and will once again have Tim Maier giving directions. The bay miss had actually been winless for quite some time coming into last weeks opening leg of the Shapiro, having recorded a 1:53 3/5 career-best mile two years ago. She had been making menacing noises in her past few starts here and put it all together last weekend. Sent off the 5-2 second choice, Itsaboutttonight went right to the front from her outside slot and left little doubt over the sloppy going. She opened up over four lengths on the field on the final bend and came to the wire with five and a quarter lengths to spare in an overpowering performance. by Mark Ratzky, for Cal Expo Harness            

Marooned, a seven-year-old gelding, who boasted a losing sequence of 20 when he was claimed for $10,000 ten weeks ago, delighted his new owners when he stormed home from the rear to win the $50,000 Channel Nine Binshaw Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A tote outsider at 46/1, Marooned was handled expertly by Chris Voak and his victory over the heavily-supported 9/2 third favourite Northern Assassin and Copagin (10/1) came as a major surprise. There were six claims lodged for Marooned when he contested a claimer at Gloucester Park on November 29 and Gloucester Park Harness Racing committeeman Garry Scott was exceedingly happy when he was successful in the ballot. Marooned, who is raced by Scott, his wife Janine, their son Matt and friends Tony Maguire, Alison Tilt and the Manton brothers, is proving a splendid acquisition, with his first eight starts since entering Matt Scott's Serpentine stables producing two wins and a second placing for stakes of $42,845. The New South Wales-bred Marooned was able to contest the heats of the Binshaw Classic, restricted to M1-class pacers, because his classification was reduced from an M2 mark to M1 after he had extended his losing sequence to ten last August. He started out wide from barrier six on the front line in Friday night's 2130m final and Voak eased him back to race on the pegs. Polemarker Shnappy, the 3/1 favourite, set the pace after resisting a strong early challenge from Atlastalone. The pace was solid throughout, and after each of the first two 400m sections of the final mile went by in 29.4sec., Shnappy sprinted the third quarter in 28.6sec. Northern Assassin, ninth in the first lap, started a three-wide move approaching the bell and he got to a narrow lead 300m from home and looked the winner until Marooned flew home out wide on the track. Marooned was tucked away in the pegs in ninth position at the bell. He was still ninth when Voak eased him off the inside with 400m to travel. Marooned then went four wide and was sixth on the home turn before charging home to burst to the lead in the closing stages. The final quarter took 29.5sec. and the winner rated 1.57. Copagin, who raced three back on the pegs, finished boldly, out wide, to be a neck away in third place, with Shnappy wilting to fourth. "Last week his run (fourth to Copagrin) was a hell of a lot better than what it looked," Voak said. "I don't think we would have been any match for Copagrin, but I reckon if he had got clear a little earlier he would have run second. "Often in these type of races, with the hot speed, you need a lot of luck, and we got that. But by the same token the horse still has to be good enough to hit the line. And tonight he certainly ate it up. I drove Marooned for Matt early in December and he finished strongly to beat This Time Dylan (who went on to finish third to Hokonui Ben and Toretto in the WA Pacing Cup). If This Time Dylan was in tonight's field he probably would have been the $2 favourite." When Marooned won from This Time Dylan he sprinted the final 800m in 56.7sec. and the last quarter in 27.6sec. and Voak admitted to Matt Scott that the gelding was quite a bit better than he had anticipated. Friday night's win, paying $46.80 on the tote, was one of several successes by the gelding at handsome odds. His New South Wales successes included wins at $44.70 at Wagga and $17.60 and $48.70 at Menangle. By American stallion Hare Hare, Marooned has earned $145,722 from 17 wins and 15 placings from 72 starts. The victory continued the 25-year-old Voak's great run of successes this season. With 63 wins he is in second place behind Gary hall jun. (72) on the Statewide premiership. He is equal sixth on the Metropolitan premiership table with 22 wins, with Hall showing the way with 53 wins. EMPRESS STAKES IS THE TARGET FOR FAMOUS ALCHEMIST Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. is setting talented New Zealand-bred five-year-old Famous Alchemist for the $50,000 Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park on February 28 after she had strolled to victory in the 1730m Alan Vawser Memorial on Friday night. Famous Alchemist, favourite at 7/4 on, was never seriously challenged and she was able to stroll through the lead time in a modest 8.3sec. before simply ambling through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.3sec. and 30.8sec. Rarely, in any company, is a leader able to dawdle over the first 800m of the final mile in 62.1sec. Gary Hall jun. gave Famous Alchemist a little more rein and she sped over the final quarters in 28.5sec. and 27.2sec. She was not extended in coasting to victory by a length from 7/1 chance Sensational Gabby, who fought on doggedly after racing without cover. Rocky Marciano, second fancy at 5/2, trailed the pacemaker throughout and was hopelessly blocked for a run in finishing a close third. Hall did not release the ear plugs and Famous Alchemist rated 1.57.3 and could have gone considerably faster. She has led six times at her 20 starts in Western Australia and has won every time. The expected early speed battle between Famous Alchemist (barrier 1) and Sensational Gabby (three) did not eventuate and trainer Ross Olivieri appears to have cured the mare's recent habit of overracing badly in her races. This surprised Hall jun., who said: "I thought that there would have been a lot of speed off the gate and during the week everyone said to me that Famous Alchemist would have trouble in holding up. And we thought that the first half might be run quicker than the last. "But it was one of those races which did not pan out that way and she has led comfortably. Half-way through the race I felt like pulling her one off the fence and putting some pressure on myself. She is a quality mare who has had a few setbacks, and we're happy to have her racing in this sort of form." Famous Alchemist, owned by Karen Hall, has had 37 starts for 12 wins and 12 placings for earnings of $236,219. LIVELONG AND PROSPER REGAINING FORM AFTER SURGERY About a year ago Livelong And Prosper was laid low by injury and his future was uncertain. He was suffering from severe stifle lock in both hind legs and veterinary surgeon Kim Rose had to cut the ligaments in both legs in an attempt to cure the problem. The operation was successful, but when Livelong And Prosper resumed work for Bickley trainer Peter Anderson the somewhat gangling and lightly-framed gelding struggled to reproduce the form he showed when he started his Western Australian career as a three-year-old early in 2012. Anderson then experimented by giving Livelong And Prosper a lighter workload on the training track and concentrated on a lot of swimming in the pool. This decision is paying dividends. The New Zealand-bred gelding has put on weight and is racing with admirable enthusiasm. In his current preparation he has won at Bunbury in November and at Gloucester Park and Harvey in December and he impressed at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he unwound a sparkling late burst to snatch victory from Im Clean Cut and Soho Jackman in the 2130m See It First on Nine Pathway Pace. Despite fast-finishing thirds at his two previous outings, Livelong And Prosper was a 25/1 chance, mainly because of his wide draw at No. 5 on the front line. Soho Jackman, undefeated at three starts since a spell, was favourite at 10/9 on and polemarker Ohoka Kentucky was a firm 6/4 second fancy. Ohoka Kentucky was first into stride, with Gary Hall jun. getting Soho Jackman away brilliantly from barrier six. Soho Jackman poured on the pressure and was held at bay by Ohoka Kentucky before Robbie Williams relinquished the lead after 450m. The early cracking pace had the rest of the field well spread out, mainly in Indian file, with Morgan Woodley able to get Livelong And Prosper across to the pegs in sixth position. Williams took Ohoka Kentucky off the pegs and into the breeze 1050m from home to put some pressure on the leader. Livelong And Prosper was sixth at the bell when Woodley was able to ease him off the pegs before switching him three wide 460m from home. Then the gelding was forced four wide at the 400m when Shannon Suvaljko started a three-wide move with Im Clean Cut. Livelong And Prosper sustained his spirited burst, out wide, to hit the front about 70m from the post and he beat Im Clean Cut (18/1) by a neck, with a neck to Soho Jackman. Ohoka Kentucky wilted to finish fifth. Livelong And Prosper was purchased as a three-year-old by Ken Casellas and Ross Waddell after his four starts had produced one third placing at Alexandra Park. He made an auspicious start in WA, winning at his first two starts, at Harvey and Narrogin in January 2012 before catching the eye with a splendid fast-finishing third to talented three-year-olds Gracias Para Nada and Western Cullen at Gloucester Park the following month. He is now starting to realise his full potential and should improve on his record of seven wins, 16 placings and $45,235 in stakes from 46 starts. By American stallion Falcon Seelster, Livelong And Prosper is the second foal out of Badlands Hanover mare Nicolosa, who had only five starts for one win (at Alexandra Park in August 2006). Nicolosa is the first foal out of Al Cioccolato, who won at her only start, as a three-year-old at Forbury in May 2001. Woodley said that he felt confident after the fast lead time and with the pressure being applied in front. "I was confident until we were pushed four wide at the 400m," he said. "However, he knuckled down well in the straight." UNWANTED ARTISTIC COPPER SHOWS HER CLASS Prominent breeder Mike Howie was disappointed when Artistic Copper failed to attract a single bid at the 2012 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale. But now is quite happy that nobody was interested in the filly, who had a reserve price of $10,000. Howie decided to keep the filly and gave her to Andrew De Campo to be prepared for racing. Artistic Copper boosted her earnings to $83,125 when she gave a polished frontrunning exhibition to score a three-length victory over the fast-finishing Lipizzaner in the $21,000 Love Child On Nine WA Sales Classic for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Artistic Copper, hot favourite at 3/1 on, started from barrier two and Matt White dashed her to the front after 120m. After moderate quarters of 31.7sec. and 31.3sec., Artistic Copper sped over the final sections in 28.7sec. and 28.3sec. to win easily from 8/1 chance Lipizzaner, who fought on solidly from sixth and last at the bell. Shez Sensational was a half-length away in third place after racing without cover in the middle stages. This gave Artistic Copper her second success in a feature event for fillies. White drove her to victory in the group 1 $100,000 Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies last April. She now has raced 13 times for four wins and one placing. "She is a lot stronger this time in," said White. "She has got better with every run this preparation and she has put it all together now." Artistic Copper is by American stallion Artistic Fella, who earned $2,604,855 from 26 wins, ten seconds and four thirds from 52 starts. He set a world record rate of 1.49.3 over 1700m and in seven of his wins he rated 1.48.4 or better and in another five wins he rated faster than 1.50. ROBINSON GETS VEITCHTY HOME IN A THREE-WAY PHOTO Trainer Michael Robinson made full use of a needle-eye opening in the final stages of the Fat Tony On Nine Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to send 9/1 chance Veitchy through on the inside of the pacemaker Sargent Sonny to score in a thrilling three-way photo. The camera revealed that Veitchy had scored by a nose from 9/4 favourite Sparkling Seelster, with a head to Sargent Sonny, the 3/1 second fancy. "He always finishes strongly and hits the line well," Robinson said. "He's so consistent and I love driving him. It's a pleasure to have this little horse." Robinson was happy to take the trail behind the pacemaker Sargent Sonny, with Sparkling Seelster in the breeze and 6/1 chance Soho Highroller in the one-out, one-back position. Sparkling Seelster got his nose in front 20m from the post, but just failed to hold off the fast-finishing Veitchy. Veitchy, who won at seven of his 26 starts in New Zealand, has earned $73,795 from 11 wins and 21 placings from 71 starts. He is raced by Dion Poolman, Ashlee Cortopassi, Barry Street, Christian McArthur, Kirsty Ferguson, Simon Campbell-Hardwick, Brett King, Haley Morland, Frank Ranaldi and Richard McArthur. The six-year-old by Sands A Flyin is related to several good winners, including The Cavalier, who won 15 races and $248,089. He is the second foal out of I'llmakemyname, who had only one start, for a win as a three-year-old at Bay of Plenty in October 2005. NORTHVIEW PUNTER ANSWERS A FEW QUERIES "There has probably been a little bit of a question mark over him lately, whether he is still up to his best form," Gary Hall jun. said after driving Northview Punter to a convincing victory in the first heat of the Block On Nine Lewis Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Well the New Zealand-bred four-year-old, favourite at 10/9 on, certainly showed that he is in splendid form as he surged past stablemate Real Hammer and into the lead after 450m and then relaxed with a muddling 31.5sec. quarter before he sprinted over the final three 400m sections in 29.7sec., 28.1sec. and 28sec. to score by just over two lengths from Pacific Warrior, rating 1.56.8 over the 2130m journey. Pacific Warrior, second fancy at 9/4, raced three wide early and then in the breeze and he was gallant in defeat. Mein Guy ran on from sixth at the bell to be a fair third, with Mohegan Sun finishing boldly to be an eye-catching fourth. "There were questions about his form and tonight we were definitely going to find out," Hall said. "We got away with a bit once we got to the front. Northview Punter is a class animal and when he finds the rail he's a hard horse to get over." Northview Punter, a Bettors Delight horse who is prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., has already earned $208,215 from 16 wins and 11 placings from 34 starts. BOBBY TEAL LEADS AND MAKES IT FOUR WINS IN A ROW Former Victorian pacer Bobby Teal, who managed just one win from his first 25 starts in Western Australia and had a losing sequence of 20 three months ago, has struck a purple patch of form and his smart all-the-way win in the 2503m Mark Readings Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night was his sixth victory from his past nine starts and his fourth in a row. Forrestdale trainer Jarrad Humphries has produced the Life Sign six-year-old in grand shape in the past three months and Kyle Harper has relished the opportunity to drive the standing-start specialist who has contested 44 stands in his past 45 starts. Bobby Teal, equal favourite at 7/4, was not extended in leading throughout to win by 5m from the equal fancy J Walker, who started from 20m and sustained a strong three-wide burst from ninth at the bell. Lord Coburn (22/1) who raced three back on the pegs, ran on strongly to finish third. Once Bobby Teal jumped to the front Harper was able to get the gelding to relax and he was able to amble through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.1sec. before he lifted his rating and reeled off final quarters of 29.3sec., 28.5sec. and 29.5sec. "A lot of stands recently have been run the same way, with the leader being able to get it easy early and then run a quick time over the final 1200m," Harper said. "Most of these fields are made up of evenly-matched bunches. "There was nothing tonight to put a lot of pressure on and that makes it easy to get what you need, and if the horse is good enough he will prove hard to run down." Bobby Teal, owned by Albany businessman Harry Capararo and Queenslander Wayne Innes, has raced 72 times for 12 wins and 24 placings for stakes of $80,966. TAJIES GIRL FINISHES FAST TO CAUSE AN UPSET West Australian-bred four-year-old Tajies Girl caused an upset when she started at 31/1 and finished strongly to get up and snatch victory from 5/4 on favourite Hoylakes Firstlady in the 1730m The Voice On Nine Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The win, by a head, was a triumph for young owner-trainer-reinsman Chris Butt, who had the Blissfull Hall mare poised to strike in the one-out, one-back position throughout. Hoylakes Firstlady started from the No. 1 barrier and was beaten out by Am Opulent from the No. 3 barrier. However, Am Opulent was unable to cross to the pegs and was forced to race without cover all the way. Butt bided his time and waited until the home turn before switching Tajies Girl three wide. Tajies Girl sprinted strongly and burst to the front in the final 15m, with the final quarter being run in a smart 28.6sec. Am Opulent fought on gamely to be third. The winner rated 1.58.5. Tajies Girl, a sound second to Bonsu at Pinjarra last Monday, drew favourably at barrier two in Friday night's race, but Butt was left to Ponder his tactics. "When the draw came out I wasn't sure how it was going to work out," he said. "And as things turned out we got the perfect trip and she got the job done. "She has been racing well in the country, but she is a bit limited and has to be held up for one run." Tajies Girl is out of Classic Rendezvous, who produced Lord Matao, who has had 42 starts for eight wins, eight placings and $65,040. Tajies Girl now has had 27 starts for four wins, six placings and $32,003 in prizemoney. Classic rendezvous was unplaced at three starts as a two-year-old in early 2000 before being retired. SHARDONS ROCKET APPROACHES $300,000 MILESTONE Seemingly indestructible nine-year-old Shardons Rocket moved a step closer to reaching $300,000 in prizemoney when Chris Lewis drove his assertively to score a solid all-the-way victory in the 2130m A Current Affair Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Owned by Ashley and Gavin McPhail and trained at Byford by Tony Svilicich, Shardons Rocket is an iron horse who has raced 137 times for 25 wins and 47 placings for stakes of $297,102. He was favourite at 5/4 on and Lewis drove him hard from the No. 2 barrier to get past the polemarker Touch Me Toes and into the lead after 80m. Pride of Colorado, resuming after a spell, raced wide early before moving into the breeze and then Lewis increased the tempo, with Shardons Rocket dashing over the final three quarters in 29.3sec., 28.4sec. and 29.2sec. He had to fight grimly to hold on and beat 9/1 chance Rojen Cruz, who raced three back on the pegs before Chris Voak brought him home with a fast run, out five wide on the track. Pride of Colorado battled on gamely to be a close third, a nose ahead of Whos Mistake. On All Fours, who had won at his two previous starts and had enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, lacked sparkle and finished sixth in the field of seven. by Ken Casellas  

After surviving late pressure from a first-over foe, Thats The Life then had to survive a Judges’ inquiry and a driver’s objection to take home top prize in Monday’s featured $11,000 Preferred 2 at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Thats The Life, who was sent off as the 9-5 favourite, got away third in the eight-horse affair while Clic K powered the field through first-half panels of :28.4 and :59. Thats The Life and Alfie Carroll moved to the outside halfway around the second turn and managed to drop into the two-hole nearing the mid-way point. Kendal Gustav was left first-over, and shortly past the half-mile marker he and Thats The Life raced in tight quarters and made contact with one another when Thats The Life manoeuvred out of the pocket position. Thats The Life brushed to the front in the backstretch and led at the three-quarter pole in 1:29. He then used a :30.2 closing quarter to stave off a determined Kendal Gustav by three-quarters of a length in 1:59.2. Smokin Bear was third. Lorne House, the driver of Kendal Gustav, filed an objection against Alfie Carroll, the driver of Thats The Life, claiming interference was caused by that foe shortly past the half. The ORC Judges disallowed the objection and let the original numbers stand. Victor Puddy trains Thats The Life for owner Keith Cassell of Smiths Falls, Ontario. The six-year-old son of Life Sign-All That now owns a 2-3-0 record from five trips to the track this season. The 19-time winner has banked more than $225,000 to date. Monday’s card also featured a set of $7,000 Preferred 3 affairs – one for pacers and one for trotters. Leafs And Wings was a front-stepping winner in the pacing affair for the tandem of driver Scott Coulter and trainer Michael Rogers. The seven-year-old son of Rambaran-Rockton Road parked past the quarter pole in :28.2 before clearing to the lead and tossing out middle splits of :59.4 and 1:29.2. The public’s top choice then used a :30.2 final frame to win by one-quarter of a length over Twin B Brat in 1:59.4. Judge Jon survived a tough, first-over trip to finish third. Gregory Rogers of Auburn Hills, Michigan bred and owns the 24-time winner who broke into the win column for the first time this season. The lion’s share of the purse increased his career cash stash to $278,266. The $7,000 Preferred 3 for trotters went to Joyful Road, who erupted for a 38-1 upset in her assignment for driver Lorne House. The five-year-old daughter of Thunder Road-Hasty Image rallied into the slowing tempo and drew clear to win by 1-1/2 lengths over Winkys Pride, with the show dough going to House Of Cash. Peter Core of Sarnia, Ontario shares ownership on the mare with partners Raymond Core, Daniel Diebold and Don Allensen. The homebred improved this year’s record to 2-1-0 from five starters while her overall bank account climbed upwards of $77,000. To view results for Monday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Monday Results – The Raceway at Western Fair District. Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca

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