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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - (Saturday, March 14, 2015) There have not been many better horses in the sport of harness racing this winter than Rockeyed Optimist and his win Saturday night at The Meadowlands in the first round of the Clyde Hirt series may have been his most impressive victory yet. Fresh off his win in the $59,000 Sonsam Final, a lifetime best 1:50 performance, Rockeyed Optimist was a 1/5 favorite to win the $20,000 first round of the Clyde Hirt series and he did not disappoint. Reunited with Tim Tetrick, who returned from the World Drivers Championship in Australia, Rockeyed Optimist sat third early in the mile and was relaxed through a quarter of 26.4 before making his move for the lead. He would spring past Rock Out before the half-mile in 55-seconds and that essentially closed the book on the race. From the moment he seized command, the lead would only expand through the final three-eighths of a mile, sprinting a 27.4 third panel before setting sail for home. At the top of the stretch Tetrick asked his star for speed and the response was devastating as Rockeyed Optimist sprinted to the wire in 26.4 to win by open lengths in a lifetime best 1:49.3. Caviart Luca was the runner-up with Rock Out third. Rockeyed Optimist has now won five times from six starts this season for trainer Steve Elliot and owners Anthony Perretti, Berkner, A&B Stable and Battaglia. The $25,000 Preferred Handicap for pacers featured a competitive field and a thrilling finish. Speed Again and Yannick Gingras made an easy lead off the gate, with Doctor Butch, the 7/5 favorite securing the pocket spot into the first turn. Speed Again rolled through fractions of 27.2, 56.2 and 1:24.2, and Doctor Butch remained right behind the leader throughout the first three-quarters of a mile. Ontario Success moved first over and challenged for the lead around the far turn, effectively keeping Tim Tetrick and Doctor Butch locked in the pocket. That scenario played out in the stretch with Tetrick look for racing room as Ontario Success hit the front in the final eighth of a mile. Blatanly Best was gathering momentum from the back of the pack and began to close in as Tetrick tried to thread the needle between horses nearing the wire. There was just enough room for Doctor Butch as he slipped through and just got his nose on the wire first in 1:51.2. Blatantly Best finished second with Ontario Success not far behind in third. Doctor Butch is trained by Linda Toscano for Kenneth Jacobs. The win was the 20th in the five year olds career.   Darin Zoccali

Three harness racing series finals made up the Winter Series Spectacular at The Meadowlands on Saturday night. The Super Bowl, Wordly Beauty and last but not least, the Escort Final with a purse of $56,000 appeared the most competitive of the three series finals on paper. Coming into The Escort Final, Tim Tetrick had what appeared to be a difficult decision to make, between Khan Blue Chip, a Linda Toscano trainee and Company Man. Tetrick decided to sit behind Company Man and it was proven that he chose wisely. Sent off as the 2-1 second choice, Tetrick allowed Company Man to sit third, just off the speed of Khan Blue Chip through a rather soft opening quarter of 28.1. Sensing the light tempo, Tetrick pulled his gelding as they straightened up in the backstretch and made a strong bid for the lead. Company Man hit the half-mile in 56 and three-quarters in 1:23.3, before getting separation on the field and opening up a three length lead turning for home. His main rival, Major Uptrend, was stacked up third over finding himself with five lengths to make up at the top of the stretch. Driven by Corey Callahan, Major Uptrend lengthened his stride late, along with a game JK Patriot and that pair began to close in on Company Man. But Tetrick saved just enough for the final strides and Company Man held on for the score in 1:51.4. Major Uptrend was second and JK Patriot third. Tetrick noted that his horse has the potential to move up the class ladder in the coming months. "He's tough enough," said Tetrick, "he can carry his speed for a long time and he's tough enough and that makes for a good racehorse." Up next for Company Man will be the Sonsam series which gets underway on Saturday February 7th. The top-five finishers from The Escort are all eligible to the Sonsam. Company Man is trained by Virgil Morgan Jr.for Daniel Mitchell. Company Man Tetrick was far from done as he had a major contender, Witch Dali, in the the second winter-series Final contested which was the $47,600 Wordly Beauty for three and four year old filly and mare pacers. Donttellruss was sent off as the 4/5 favorite off her pocket-rocket win over Witch Dali in round two of the series. Tonight, Corey Callahan was intent on the lead, parking out all challengers, especially the first over Just Fine. Donttellruss established a hot-pace of 27, 54 and 1:22.3 before turning for home with the lead, with Empress Deo looming off cover and Witch Dali situated third over as the field entered the stretch. Callahan called on Donttellruss for everything she had, but Tim Tetrick showed his mare, Witch Dali some racetrack and she responded, carving into the margin with each and ever stride. Nearing the wire, Witch Dali wore down a gritty Donttellruss to win the Worldly Beauty in 1:52.2. The win marked the sixth in seven starts since returning from the layoff for Witch Dali and it also made for the second winter series win for the daughter of Dali. Trainer Tony Alagna said he was "licking his chops watching his mare tracking the leaders from third over with the hot fractions up front." Alagna also made reference to a foot issue that kept his mare on the sidelines for one year saying, "we waited on her, but she has come back great and she was super tonight." Witch Dali was driven by Tim Tetrick for Tony Alagna, Alagna Racing and Bradley Grant. Donttellruss saved the runner-up spot with Empress Deo third. The top-three finishers are all bound for the Burning Point series which gets underway on Friday, February 6th. The Super Bowl looked like a four-horse race on paper and on the heels of a defeat in round two of the Super Bowl series as a 3/5 favorite, JL Cruze turned the tables once again on Opulent Yankee when the big money was down, winning the $50,000 Super Bowl Final with John Campbell. Sent off as the 2-1 third choice, JL Cruze left for position and was seemingly moving up to challenge the early lead, but was promptly looped by a three-wide Two Hip Dip going past the opening quarter of 28.4. JL Cruze was hung out on the rim, grinding it first over through a strong 27.2 second quarter. Campbell asked his gelding for speed at this point and JL Cruze responded and took over the lead from Two Hip Dip moving into the far turn. Opulent Yankee was tracking the leaders from third and he elected to remain on the pylons as his entry-mates Blocking The Way and Propulsion moved to the outside. However, Two Hip Dip got aggressive and pulled from the pocket just before the three-quarter pole to challenge JL Cruze, which enabled Opulent Yankee to advance along the pylons as Two Hip Dip flattened out in the stretch. Turning for home off three-quarters in 1:25, JL Cruze accelerated away from the field, with the three-horse entry chasing him home as Two Hip Dip faded, but no one was catching JL Cruze, who streaked under the wire a powerful Super Bowl Champion in 1:54.4. Opulent Yankee was second with Blocking The Way third. The top-five finishers in the Super Bowl Final are all eligible to the upcoming Charles Singer Memorial trotting series which begins on Thursday, February 5th. JL Cruze was driven to victory by John Campbell for trainer Eric Ell who mentioned in a post-race interview that his gelding "was battling a bit of an illness the week before and was not 100-percent, but he had a great week this week and showed up with his best effort tonight." JL Cruze is owned by W Kenneth Wood, W J Dittmar Jr. and S J Iaquinta. The Super Bowl Final was part of a pick 5 sequence that sported a $22,616 carryover, resulting in a total pool Saturday night of $146,934. Darin Zoccali    

From where trainer harness racing Linda Toscano sits, JK Patriot looks like his mom. More importantly, the 4-year-old pacer acts like her too. Toscano trained JK Patriot's dam, JK Majorette, a stakes-winning three-quarter sister to millionaire Yankee Cruiser, in 2007 and 2008. Now she conditions JK Patriot for owners Matt Bencic and Sam Schillaci, and is preparing the gelding for Saturday's $56,000 Escort Series final for 3- and 4-year-old male pacers at the Meadowlands. "They have a similar gait," Toscano said about JK Patriot and JK Majorette. "Sitting behind them, his rear end is the exact same as hers was. "She was a good race mare for me, so to get to race him is kind of a cool thing. He's got a really good desire and she was the same way too. She wanted to win." JK Patriot will start Saturday's nine-horse Escort final from post eight with driver David Miller. JK Patriot, who had a win and a second-place finish in the two preliminary rounds of the series, is 6-1 on the morning line. Toscano also will send Khan Blue Chip into the final. Khan Blue Chip, who had a dead-heat win and second-place finish in his preliminary rounds, is 4-1 from post three with driver Andy Miller. The entry of Major Uptrend and Brick Bazooka is the 8-5 morning line favorite, followed by What I Believe at 2-1. JK Patriot and Khan Blue Chip both were trained by Schillaci before being sent to Toscano for the Escort. JK Patriot has won seven of 24 career races and $59,709. In his last nine starts, dating back to early November, he has five victories and four second-place finishes. Khan Blue Chip, owned by William Heinz and Jack Heinz, has won six of 16 lifetime races and $38,739. "They both came from Jodi and Sammy Schillaci; I babysit for them in the wintertime, and I'm happy to do it," Toscano said. "They're good horsemen and they always send horses that look great and are ready to do exactly what they tell me they're ready to do. "(JK Patriot) was good every start before I got him and he's been holding his form. He's been very sharp. (Khan Blue Chip) is a fast horse. He was unlucky in his first start -- he got caught in -- but finished up good. Last week he raced great." Last week, JK Patriot won his Escort division - which was contested at 1-1/8 miles - by two lengths over Major Uptrend, who was eventually disqualified and placed 11th. Toscano believes the extra distance might help the horse in this week's traditional mile race. "It can't hurt," Toscano said. "I don't think (the horses) notice a difference unless they're on the lead or on the outside. But there's no question it will leg one up. When I'm trying to leg one up training, it's not uncommon for me to go a mile-and-a-half, so why wouldn't it help." Major Uptrend, Company Man and What I Believe each won a first-round Escort division. JK Patriot was joined by Khan Blue Chip and What I Believe, who finished in a dead heat, with victories in round two. What I Believe will start from post four with Ron Pierce driving for trainer Ron Burke. Major Uptrend, who went off stride last week in the race won by JK Patriot, leaves from post five with Corey Callahan at the lines, also for Burke. Major Uptrend is coupled with Brick Bazooka, trained by Larry Remmen, because of common ownership. Company Man, trained by Virgil Morgan Jr., drew post one and is 6-1 with driver Tim Tetrick. "It's a good group," Toscano said. "I think the trip will win it. That's what I like about the (JK) Patriot horse; he doesn't seem to need one. The outside hasn't hurt him too much and he's been first up for a long ways. He kind of does what he needs to do. "But there are some really nice horses in there and I think whoever gets the best trip is probably going to be the victor." By Ken Weingartner / Harness Racing Communications / USTA

For the first time this harness racing meet, there was a back to back winner in the Free For All Handicap Pace at The Meadowlands and his name is Doctor Butch. Doctor Butch showed good speed early in the mile for Tim Tetrick, who elected to sit the pocket behind the hard-leaving Beach Memories. The pacesetter established an opening quarter of 26.3 and while not feeling any pressure on the lead, settled down and reached the half-mile in 54.4. From there Beach Memories picked up the pace, with Casimir Jitterbug stalling first over. Doctor Butch was able to stick with the leader through a third quarter of 27 seconds flat. Wake Up Peter kicked off dull cover and came with his rally in the stretch as Doctor Butch took dead aim from the pocket. The field closed in on Beach Memories nearing the wire, with Doctor Butch grabbing the lead and holding off the rally of Wake Up Peter to score in a sensational 1:48.4. A son of Art Major Doctor Butch is trained by Linda Toscano for Kenneth Jacobs. Major Uptrend may have been making his debut for the Ron Burke stable, but he picked up right where he left off, in the winner's circle, this time in the first round of The Escort pacing series. Sent off as the 2/5 betting choice, Major Uptrend settled just off the speed of Khan Blue Chip through an opening quarter in 27.2. Moving past the three-eighths pole, Major Uptrend made an aggressive move to the lead for new pilot Yannick Gingras and settled in through a half-mile of 56 seconds. Not feeling any pressure, Major uptrend coasted through a 28.2 third panel before sprinting to the wire in just 26.1 to score a compelling victory over Khan Blue Chip in 1:50.3, which established a new lifetime mark for the four year old gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere. I Am Will shook free late to be third. Major Uptrend is owned by Howard Taylor. The second division of The Escort was a more competitive event on paper as it looked like a three-pronged battle between JK Patriot, Brick Bazooka and Company and it played out that way throughout the mile on the racetrack. JK Patriot showed speed and after briefly relinquishing the lead to Autobiographical, he would move back to the front past an opening quarter of 28 seconds. Big Bazooka was the next to move for John Campbell as he was launched past the three-eighths pole and cleared the lead past the half-mile in 56.3. Company Man was not far behind as he revved his engine and was the next to brush to the front and would clear the lead into the far turn, where he proceeded to widen the margin past three quarters in 1:24.3. Company Man put some daylight between himself and Big Bazooka in the stretch while JK Patriot searched for racing room. Company Man would take them all the way to the wire, winning in 1:51.4 for Tim Tetrick. JK Patriot shook free too late and was a fast-closing second with Brick Bazooka third. Company Man is trained and owned by Daniel Mitchell. The third division of The Escort featured a 3/5 favorite in What I Believe who worked on to earn the victory in 1:51.2.  What I Believe moved to the lead early, before relinquishing the lead briefly on the backstretch and then re-taking the advantage through fractions of 27.4 and 55.4.  He would lead the field through three-quarters of 1:24 before holding off the late charge of Blacktree to score in 1:51.2.  What I Believe gave Yannick Gingras his fifth victory of the night, his fourth teamed up with trainer Ron Burke. What I Believe is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Honorable mention tonight goes to Hurrikane Kingcole, widely known as one of the fastest horses this sport has ever seen.  He got back to his winning ways in a $10,000 C-1 event with a powerful first over performance, completing the mile in 1:49.4. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands

The Free For All pacers have taken turns beating each other for the majority of the meet thus far at The Meadowlands. That trend continued on Saturday night in the form of Doctor Butch. Sent off as the 4-1 third choice, Doctor Butch settled mid-pack and off the pace that was established early on by last weeks winner, Dapper Dude. After tripping the opening quarter in 26-seconds, John Campbell elected to yield the lead with Dapper Dude to the oncoming Warrawee Needy, who moved to the front, hitting the half-mile in 54-seconds. At this point, the outer-flow began to develop, led by the gritty Wake Up Peter who committed first over. Warrawee Needy went past three-quarters in 1:21.3, beginning to feel the pressure of the 9/5 favorite, Wake Up Peter who put a head in front in the stretch. Doctor Butch was hot on his heels track his cover from second over and he was able to wear down the favorite while holding off the late charge of Beach Memories, who had been tracking Doctor Butch throughout to complete the mile in 1:49, which established a new lifetime mark for the son of Art Major. The win marked the second on the card for Linda Toscano and the third for Tim Tetrick at that point, but he wasnt done yet. Doctor Butch is owned by Kenneth Jacobs. The eighth race $20,000 B-1 Pace was captured by a revitalized Odds On Equuleus. Aggressively moving to the lead after a 28.3 tepid opening quarter, Odds On Equuleus asserted himself on the lead and would carry the field through middle fractions of 56.3 and 1:24 before turning for home in front. With Long Live Rock On his back, Tim Tetrick asked the classy five year old for speed and Odds On Equuleus responded and maintained his one length advantage through the stretch to score in 1:51.1. Odds On Equuleus is trained by Tony Alagna, giving him a training double and is owned by Odds On Racing. The win marked the fourth on the card for Tim Tetrick. The sixth race, a $20,000 B-2/B-1 Handicap Pace saw Al's Hammered rally from far off the pace to score a bounce-back win in 1:51, splashing home in a powerful 26.4 seconds. Al's Hammered was coming off a season that saw him win 15 of 29 starts and he makes his first start of 2015 a winning one. The six year old Peter Tritton trainee was guided to victory by Ron Pierce for Harry von Knoblauch. There were no winning tickets in the fifth race Jackpot Super Hi-5. The carryover into the Thursday program stands at $10,645.77. The thirtheenth race jackpot went unclaimed and the carryover for race 13 on Thursday is $28,076.98. Post time for Thursday night is 7:15 P.M. and features the first round of The Super Bowl trotting series. by Darin Zoccali, for the Meadowlands  

The distaff element of harness racing—two legged and four—has stepped to the fore and shone brightly during 2014. JK She’salady, the first freshman filly to be voted Horse of the Year, stands above all others in this regard. A perfect 12 for 12 season with a 1:50.1 world record to boot, secures her top spot. And beyond that, she is trained by Nancy Johansson, who thus becomes the second woman to train a Horse of the Year. Linda Toscano was the first, in 2012 when Chapter Seven won. Many were adamant about a two-year-old filly never winning this award, but her flawed opponents cancelled each other out and she emerged as a narrow winner. McWicked, who received only two votes, is the only other O’Brien eligible horse that received Horse of the Year votes in the US. So, the Art Major filly, who won five times in Canada, is odds on to be voted Horse of the Year in Canada as well. With a couple of weeks left in the year there are three women in the top dozen of the leading trainer’s money list. Casie Coleman is number four with $4.5 million earned in many fewer starts than any other trainer in the top 15. Right now she only has nine more wins than in all of 2013, but she’s earned a million dollars more than she did last year. Coleman is, like Jimmy Takter, a quality over quantity trainer. Her Dan Patch winner, McWicked, who won the Breeders Crown and the Adios, sports the second largest bankroll overall--$1.4 million. And several from Sportswriter’s successful first crop, including Super Final winner Reverend Hanover, also contributed. Julie Miller currently occupies the six slot on the money list, after finishing 17th in 2013. The fact that husband Andy spent the heart of the season recovering from a broken back suffered in an accident at Yonkers in mid-April didn’t make things any easier. Perfect Alliance, who won 11 in a row early in the year, as well as Robin Cruiser and Katie Said had successful campaigns. Market Share’s earnings were cut in half this year, Heston Blue Chip never regained his colt form and Chapter Seven is a distant memory, but Linda Toscano is still holding down the number 11 spot.  And we can’t forget about Riina Rekila, whose Muscle Hill colt E L Titan won the Galt with her driving and then beat Dan Patch winner, Father Patrick, in the Erskine for Ron Pierce. Trotter of the Year, Shake It Cerry, is the diagonally gaited miss who best represents the exceptional talent displayed by the distaff set in 2014. She won 15 of her 17 starts, with her only losses coming to a pair of formidable foes—Designed To Be in an early season edition of the PASS and, of course, to stablemate Lifetime Pursuit in the Oaks. Cerry set a stakes record in winning the BC and established a Dover Downs track record when she won the Matron. And it’s only fitting that ten years ago her dam Solveig won a Dan Patch. Sydney Weaver was the at the epicenter of the most potent demonstration of social media as a positive force in harness racing early in the year when her beloved mare Sydney Seelster was taken from her in a claiming race at Flamboro Downs. Trainer Guy Gagnon was pilloried on Facebook and Twitter for making the claim and soon cried uncle, agreeing to allow Sydney to claim her mare back. All of this went down back in February, but I can’t think of anything that topped it as the feel good story of the year. A woman who achieved a measure of notoriety this year for abusing her horses is photo journalist/trainer/amateur blacksmith and self-proclaimed equine maven Monica Thors. She was trimming the hooves of her horses to the point where they bled and became infected from the glue she used to keep the shoes on, leading to a situation where they either couldn’t stand or died. The state was moving at a glacial pace to correct this situation when Kathy McGuire, an animal cruelty investigator, got things moving. A Facebook page entitled “Stop Monica Thors,” which has drawn almost 14,000 Likes, brought enough pressure on regulators to remove the horses from Thors’ property. Whether it was base incompetence, a dark heart or personal issues that led to this tragedy, Monica Thors represents the worst of women in 2014. Thankfully there was a Kathy McGuire to help right the wrong. At the end of March Premier Kathleen Wynne, confirmed a $500 million dollar investment in horse racing by the Ontario Government. This was one year to the day after Paul Godfrey and Dwight Duncan had hung a March 31, 2013 date on the termination of the fifteen-year-old SARP program which had allowed harness racing to flourish in the province. This partial about face on the part of the Liberal Government has had a soothing effect on the entire industry. Two years ago, when signals were sent that the industry was about to suffer a critical blow, it had a dramatic impact on sales in Canada and the US. This year that situation shifted nicely as Canadians spent freely at Lexington and Harrisburg. And we certainly wouldn’t be looking forward to the Breeders Crown being raced at Woodbine in 2015 without this five-year government funding guarantee. The men in the OLG screwed this thing up big time, leaving it to Wynn to open her eyes and ears and realize that racing was worth saving in Ontario.  Male chauvinism is alive and well in harness racing. Many are furious about JK She’salady capturing Horse of the Year honors, and Casie Coleman, who has always inspired jealousy, sent them over the edge with her new trim physique. However, even the grump brigade can’t deny the prominent role the distaff set played in this game during 2014. by Joe FitzGerald for http://viewfromthegrandstand.blogspot.com/

Last weekend ended up on a winning note with a $1 profit on the nine races selected. It's never a bad weekend when you can show a profit. We will try to do it again this Saturday night. Good Luck! $14,000 Pace Open Handicap Pompano Park 1st race SATURDAY - The Peter Pellegrino entry of LYONS JOHNNY/E Z NOAH looms too tough against this short field. Poor Prairie Jaguar keeps cutting mean miles for someone else to win from, losing last three starts by a nose and neck. Both Lyons Johnny and E Z Noah have won their last starts and one of them is likely to get the dream trip behind Prairie Jaguar to win off of. Use Prairie Jaguar and Cadillac Phil in exotic plays. $10,000 Pace NW last 5 Pompano Park 3rd race SATURDAY - With a drop in class from the Open Pace, RAJI'S BLUE LINE may just be able to make the most of once again drawing a good inside post. Last week he could do nothing from the rail and gets a driver change to Ed Hensley, who has been the hottest driver at Pompano this meet. Prior lines show he should be able to win in here. Use Rage N Ryan and That'll Be The Rei in exotic plays. $30,000 Pace FFA Handicap The Meadowlands 6th race SATURDAY - This is going to be a great race. Top performers going head and head for a good purse. I am taking a shot in here that ODDS ON EQUULEUS, despite being off for two months is ready to pop in first starts back. He was decent in qualifying race and was very sharp when given a good rest but faces some formidable foes in here. Use Wake Up Peter and Handsome Henry K in exotic plays. $27,000 Trot NW $27,000 last 5 starts Woodbine 6th race SATURDAY - Whomever this marewins this close match-up will pay a good price, even the favorite. I am going with INTENSE AMERICA as this mare, one of only two taking on male rivals, is on a roll with two straight wins and thus I feel she can handle the hike in class. She has shown in her last two starts that she can win from either on or off the pace and get a slim call. Use Nowucit Nowudon't and Zeus Lightning in exotic plays. $20,000 Pace B-1 Horses & Geldings The Meadowlands 7th race SATURDAY - Another well matched group in here. I like return winners and thus am going with ROCKIN WIZARD. He has won his last two starts with impressive scores at both the Meadowlands and Yonkers, coming from off the pace and also wiring the field. And with him drawing the rail he should be game right to the finish wire again. Use Tye Seelster and Dedi's Dragon in exotic plays. $34,000 Pace Preferred Handicap Woodbine 7th race SATURDAY - I kept reviewing this race, trying to find a reason to not pick MODERN LEGEND. Despite being the class of the field and having drawn the far outside post ten I am worried about his time off from racing and if he could be sharp enough in here to overcome outside post. Looking at the rest of the field I really could not find someone who would beat Modern Legend provided he is back in shape and sharp from his last outing, which was not great. But I couldn't find anyone I felt can beat him. Use Machal Jordan and Nickle Bad in exotic plays. $20,000 Pace 3YO Handicap The Meadowlands 8th race SATURDAY - With a two month rest and some strong qualifying wins coming into this race I really like WINDS OF CHANGE. Hails from the Linda Toscano Stable and looks to be ready for a strong effort despite going against some strong competition. This horse is fresh and should be strong to the wire. Use National Debt and Gold Rocks in exotic plays.

Winbak Farm of New York is proud to introduce Breeders Crown Winner and Millionaire pacer, Heston Blue Chip, p, 2, 1:50.4f; 3, 1:48f ($1,777,769), for 2015. "Heston Blue Chip is the real deal," said Linda Toscano, Heston Blue Chip's trainer. "He was clearly the best New York Sire Stakes colt at two and three, setting multiple track records on all size tracks." Heston Blue Chip was an USHWA Dan Patch Award Winner for Three-Year-Old Pacing Colts. "Heston had a great attitude and he wanted to win at high speeds and usually that transfers to a stallion's offspring," said Tim Tetrick, driver. "His offspring should do great if they have his attitude and desire." At 2, Heston Blue Chip's stakes wins included the John Simpson Memorial, Matron Final, 7 New York Sire Stakes legs and the Final. "I really enjoyed racing Heston Blue Chip", said Tetrick. "From the first time I raced him in a baby race I knew he was going to be special, he raced great at 2 and 3, and he never let me down." At 3, he came back for a stellar year that included wins in the Breeders Crown elimination and Final, Cane Pace elimination, Empire Breeder Classic elimination and Final, Historic, Matron Final, Meadowlands Pace elimination, 4 New York Sire Stakes Legs and the Progress Pace elimination and Final. "In his Breeders Crown win, he beat the best of the best including Sweet Lou," said Toscano, "If that isn't enough, he's one of the kindest, nicest and happiest horses I've ever had the pleasure to work with." Heston Blue Chip set track records at both Dover Downs and Tioga Downs in his racing career. "He's great gaited, wore no boots, and a 63" hopple," said Toscano. As a racehorse, he had early speed including having the fastest first quarter ever at Dover Downs when he won the $270,000 Matron at 3 in 1:49. "He was a beautiful animal, big, strong and athletic on his feet, " said Tetrick. "He could leave the gate lightning fast. Heston was just super nice and raced good on all size tracks." Born with a proven pedigree, Heston Blue Chip is the richest son of American Ideal and is a full-brother to 2013 Adios Winner, Sunfire Blue Chip, p, 2, 1:52.4f; 3, 1:48.3f ($907,799). His maternal family also includes Millionaire Kikikatie, p, 2, 1:51.3s; 3, 1:50.3 ($1,268,463), who is the dam of proven sire, Rockin Image, p, 2, 1:50.4; 3, 1:48.2 ($900,541). "We are looking forward to the 2015 season with him standing here. It is nice to have a new pacer to stand in New York," said Noelle Duspiva, New York Farm Manager. "He is good looking and we are excited to start working with him since he has had a great race career. Now, we are looking forward to a successful stallion career." His stud fee for 2015 will be $4,500. Find more information on him at www.winbakfarm.com. Call Winbak Farm of New York at 845.778.5421 to book now! From Winbak Farms  

In one of the classic harness racing stretch drives of the year, Clear Vision and driver Tim Tetrick nosed out Foiled Again and Yannick Gingras in winning the Grand Circuit inaugural $122,000 Dayton Pacing Derby. The time of the race was a track record 1:49 mile and it was the first time that Tetrick had ever driven the horse. It was race favorite Dancin Yankee and driver Tyler Buter who was first to show out of the starting gate, brushing by Night Pro (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) to a speedy :25.4 opening quarter mile. Then at the half mile marker in :53.4, Tetrick sent Clear Vision first-over and they flushed out Foiled Again who went right after Dancin Yankee and took command of the race by the three-quarters in 1:21.1 as Dancin Yankee spit out the bit and began to fade. That left Clear Vision first-over with Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson) on their backs going around the last turn but Clear Vision was still on the move. Collaring Foiled Again at the top of the stretch, those two went at it neck and neck in a driving finish to the wire with Clear Vision barely getting up in the final stride to win it. Apprentice Hanover was two and one-half lengths back in third. “It was very very tight,” said Tim Tetrick after the race, “It was horse race against Foiled Again. He’s one of the best horses I have ever seen, Foiled Again. He just doesn’t give up. He got a little rougher trip then my guy got up right when he needed to. I was loving the trip we were getting but with Foiled Again it’s so tough to get by him. I was in the right spot and my horse worn him down. “He (Clear Vision) is a nice horse and can tough it out,” Tetrick said. “He knows how to get the job done.” An eight-year-old gelding by Western Hanover, it was the sixth win this year for Clear Vision. He is trained by Ron Burke and is owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, Panhellenic Stable and Jim Koran. He paid $4.60 to win. Tetrick came right back to the winner’s circle in the very next race after he won the $162,000 inaugural Grand Circuit Dayton Trotting Derby for older horses, also in a track record time with Market Share. It was Lindy’s Tru Grit (Scott Zeron) who took full advantage of the rail and sped to the early lead with race favorite Creatine and driver Dan Nobel sitting half in-half out in the two-hole and Daylon Magician (Jack Moiseyev) stuck first-over and floating on the outside in third. They went that way to the opening quarter mile in :26.3. Daylon Magician finally worked his way to the front and then Noble came first-over with Creatine with Wishing Stone (Yannick Gingras) second over and following third over was Market Share to the half mile in :55.1. Then the backstretch, before the three-quarter mile marker in 1:24.1, Tetrick sent Market Share three-wide and they came marching on and were able to clear to the lead after the bold move before the top of the stretch. From there it was a breeze for Market Share as he pulled away from the field and went on to win going away by three and one-half lengths in 1:52.4. Opening Night (Ronnie Wrenn, Jr.) was able to close for second with Creatine third. “If you look at him (Market Share),” Tetrick said, “he’s not very big but he has a big heart and he tries. It’s been kinda tough on Linda pulling her hair out this season trying to get him right. He’s had some health issues but he now has showed how he has made over $3 million. He’s done it the hard way, he won the Hambletonian, he was a $16,000 yearling and I have a special place (in my heart) for him. “When my horse is on his game,” Tetrick added, “He can race with the best in the country. Maybe by Breeders Crown we can beat Sebastian K.” For Market Share, a five-year-old stallion by Revenue S, it was his fourth win this year for trainer Linda Toscano and owners Richard Gutnick, T L P Stable and Bill Augustine. He paid $7.80 to win. An $11,500 Fillies and Mares Open Pace, named in memory of R. J. "Skeeter" Brown, was also featured on the card. Latenite Rendezvous (Chris Page), making her first start at Dayton Raceway, was victorious for the partnership of Jerry Daugherty, Roger Hall and Page. They won in track record time of 1:51.4. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

A field of eight trotters lined up for the featured event at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (October 16), a NW of $17,500 in their last five starts.   The wagering public was evenly split between Modest Prince (Tim Tetrick) and Smilin Eli (Corey Callahan). Modest Prince has been ultra consistent, hitting the board in six of his last seven, while Smilin Eli was coming off of a sharp 1:54.3 qualifier over this oval.   At the start, it was Smilin Eli and Smoother Ride (Yannick Gingras) moving out for the lead, with the latter clearing from the extreme outside post, in a 27.3 opening quarter.   Smilin Eli quickly vacated the pocket however, and took the lead, tripping the halfway beam in 56.1 (28.3). Co-favorite Modest Prince was sent on his way from mid-pack, grinding first over to challenge the leader, and these two battled to three-quarters which was timed in 1:24.1 (:28).   Modest Prince forged ahead at the head of the lane, and went on to a handy three length win, stopping the clock in a season's best 1:52.1.   Trained by Linda Toscano, Modest Prince now has nine career wins of thirty-nine starts. He is owned by Richard Gutnick. Smoother Ride finished second, while Lucky Colby (Eric Carlson) rallied for third. The winner paid $5.60, keying a $24.00 exacta, and a trifecta that paid $120.20.   by Mike Bozich, for Harrah's Philadelphia

Market Share, the 2013 Hambletonian winner and victor in the $235,000 American National for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters, returns to Balmoral Park on Saturday night in Race 9 to defend his harness racing crown in the $166,300 American National Aged Trot. The son of Revenue S-Classical Flirt-Yankee Glide was clocked in 1:53.3 with driver Tim Tetrick at the lines for the Linda Toscano-trained, then-sophomore. Owned by Richard S. Gutnick of Pennsylvania, TLP Stable and J Augustine of New Jersey, Market Share will leave from post five in the field of eight trotters. "Never, never in a million years did we dream that Market Share could be this kind of horse," Toscano offered. "He's just one of those horses that enjoys his work and tries real hard. It's surprising, but that's a good thing." Bred by Hayley Moore of Paris, Kentucky, Market Share, a $16,000 yearling purchase from the 2010 Lexington Selected Sale, won all five of his 2-year-old starts over Freehold Raceway's half-mile oval. Toscano and principal owner Richard Gutnick were uncertain if he could excel at the bigger tracks, such as the Meadowlands. So it was up to Market Share to show them. In 2012, at age 3, Market Share won the $1.5 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands and the $1 million Canadian Trotting Classic at Mohawk en route to earnings of $2 million. He also trotted the fastest mile in the history of Maywood Park when he captured the $108,000 Galt in 1:54.4, erasing Green Day's previous track record of 1:55.1, set in 2007. As a result, he was named the Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter. Last season, his wins included the Breeders Crown Open Trot, Maple Leaf Trot, TVG Free For All Series Championship and American-National Stakes. He led all older trotters with $1.07 million in purses and received the Dan Patch Award for best older male trotter. "It's a treat to be able to bring one back like that as a 5-year-old," Toscano said. "By bringing back the older horses, people recognize the names and the horses become the stars again. I think that's what is missing in our industry. I think it's a real good thing." This year Market Share has added another $357,296 to his bank account, pushing his career earnings to $3,471,308 via a $37,200 Maple Leaf elimination at Mohawk, the $250,000 Maxi Lee at Harrah's Chester--when he set a new world record and career best clocking of 1:50.2 for an aged gelding trotter on a five-eighths mile oval--and a victory in a $40,000 Cutler elimination in 1:50.3. Driven by Tim Tetrick, Market Share surpassed the previous world mark of 1:50.3 that was co-held by Uncle Peter and Sevruga, both set in 2013 when he scored that record clocking in the Maxi Lee. Market Share now has 24 wins, seven seconds and 12 thirds in 53 career starts. On Oct. 5, he was race-timed in 1:52, finishing fifth by three lengths in the $173,000 Allerage Trot at Lexington's Red Mile. Market Share is the fourth of six foals out of his unraced dam Classical Flirt, and is a half-brother to Photogenic Legs (by Classic Photo) 3, 1:57.2h ($102,892) and to Broadway Legs (by Broadway Hall) 3, 1:55 ($57,225). By Kimberly Rinker

Vernon Downs held harness racing Finals in eight divisions of the New York Excelsior "A" Series on Saturday night with purses totaling $360,000.   The 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings were first up and provided an 11-1 upset with Commissioner Daley (Conway Hall-Irish Washerwoman) storming through the stretch once he got into the clear and rolling right past Genius At Work late to win in a final time of 1:55.2.   Commissioner Daley is owned by Ann-Mari Daley of Lake Worth, Florida and Michael White of Royal Palm Beach, Florida. Dan Daley is the trainer-driver.   2-year-old trotting fillies were up next and, as opposed to the first of the eight Finals, this one went according to form as 3-5 favorite Barn Girl (Cash Hall-Turquoise Sweetie) took the lead in mid-stretch and held off a strong closing kick from Morcredit Bluechip to score a victory in 1:57.   Barn Girl is owned by Steven and Nancy Pratt of Corfu, New York. The trainer is Howard Okusko and she was driven to victory by Jeff Gregory on Saturday night.   Freshman trotting colts & geldings provided the most exciting stretch drive of the night as part of a 5-1 entry, Progression (Credit Winner-Ens Curious), came through an opening on the inside left when the favored Crazshana drifted out in the lane. Progression's final time was 1:57.4.   Progression is owned by Leigh Raymer, who also trains, of Delaware, Stephen Moss of Pennsylvania, Harold and Helane Solomon of New York. Mark MacDonald was the driver on Saturday night.   The sophomore pacing filly race was won in gate-to-wire fashion by Expose (Artiscape-Good News Lady). She took the lead immediately and never was headed again as she triumphed in 1:52.4   Expose is owned by Linwood Higgins of Scarborough, Maine and Stake Your Claim Stable of Seacaucus, New Jersey. Linda Toscano trains and Jim Morrill Jr. was the winning driver.   Archetto Hanover (Bettor's Delight-Arts Masterpiece) took the 3-year-old colt and gelding pace after rallying past the favored Murder He Wrote at the top of the stretch. He went on to win by a length in a final time of 1:51.4   Archetto Hanover is owned by Paymaq Racing of Illinois, Greg Gillis of Ontario, Canada, and Louis Willinger of Kentucky. The trainer is Erv Miller and the winning driver was Marcus Miller.   2-year-old pacing colts and geldings might have provided one of the more impressive wins of the night from Artistic Major (Art Major-Western Dancer). Artistic Major (Brent Holland) made the lead at the top of the stretch and powered away to win by four lengths in a time of 1:52.4.   Artistic Major is owned by David Van Dusen and Michael Cimaglio of Ohio and Steve Elliott of New Jersey. Steve Elliott doubles as the trainer.   Freshman pacing fillies followed that and Rock Me Gently (Rock N Roll Heaven-Cam Swifty) prevailed in what turned into a clustered finish with multiple horses ending up close together. The final time was 1:55.   Rock Me Gently is owned by Old Block Stables Inc. and Kenneth Klein of New York and The Fra Stable LLC of New Jersey. The trainer is Steve Elliott.   The final Final of the Excelsior "A" Series on Saturday night was 3-year-old trotting fillies and the winner was Dreamsteeler (Cash Hall-Dream Street) with Jim Morrill Jr. driving. She took the lead right away and cruised to an easy victory by nine lengths in a final time of 1:56.3   Dreamsteeler is owned by Andrew Herzog of Monticello, New York and Tracy Brainard is the trainer.   Live racing will resume at Vernon Downs on Thursday night with an 11-race program. Post time is 6:45pm.   by Michael Chamberlain, Vernon Downs Publicity

It's been almost 20 years since the International Trot was last run at Yonkers Raceway, but it's back and may be better than ever before.   With a probable field including world record holder Sebastian K, along with the 2012 Hambletonian winner Market Share, the 2013 Horse of the Year Bee A Magician and the 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel, the 37th running of the $250,000 International Trot will be a must race to see at Yonkers Raceway on Oct. 25.   "The timing seems right to bring it back," said Bob Galterio, the vice president and chief operating officer of Yonkers. "This year, with so many good American trotters and a couple from overseas the time just seems to be right."   When last run in 1995, it was Sweden's His Majesty who took the International Trot over S.J.'s Photo and Panifesto, both American trotters, and this year Sweden looks well represented by Sebastian K. "Of course it means a lot," said Bjorn (Bernie) Noren, the assistant to trainer Ake Svanstedt for Sweden's Sebastian K. "It's a big event for Europeans and it should be a big race getting all the good trotters together from overseas."   His Majesty - 1995 International Trot   Linda Toscano, trainer of Market Share, grew up at Roosevelt Raceway, where the International Trot was conducted from its inception in 1959 until 1988.   "I come from Roosevelt and one of the highlights I looked forward to was seeing the other horses coming from the other countries to compete in the International," Toscano said. "I think it's a real cool thing that they revived it."   The International Trot will be run along with the Messenger Stakes and the Yonkers Trot that evening, making for a super night of racing at the Old Hilltop.   "We're very excited about that evening," Galterio said. "It should be a great night of racing and we're looking forward to it."   · Yonkers Raceway hopes to keep the international flavor going on Sundays, beginning on Nov. 9 through Dec. 14, when it will host an all trotting card that will be simulcast to Europe starting with an 11 a.m. first post.   The track will offer fans many promotions for the special Sunday cards. More details about the promotions will be available as the time draws closer.   By Jerry Bossert

ANDERSON, Ind.-September 17, 2014 - Sebastian K, the world's fastest trotter, will make his Hoosier Park Racing & Casino debut as he heads a powerful field of ten in the $238,500 Centaur Trotting Classic on Saturday, September 20. Offering arguably the best 14-race card of the 2014 live racing season to-date, Hoosier Park will play host to a stakes-filled card that boasts lofty purses as Grand Circuit racing action returns to the seventh-eighths mile oval. As Hoosier Park's signature trotting event, The Centaur Trotting Classic will highlight the 14-race program that begins at 5:15 p.m. The 8-year-old Swedish trotter Sebastian K has taken the sport of harness racing by storm since arriving in North America earlier this year, setting records nearly everywhere he goes. Boasting a career bankroll of over $2.9 million, Sebastian K has won 34 of 72 races in his career and has only been defeated one time in eight starts since racing in North America. Sebastian K's stunning 1:49 victory on June 28 at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in the $100,000 Sun Invitational was the fastest mile clocking ever recorded by a trotter. In addition to trotting the fastest mile in history, he is also the first trotter to ever win four times in 1:50.3 or faster. The No. 1-ranked harness racing horse in North America last appeared on August 29 at Vernon Downs when he won the Crawford Farms Open Trot in 1:53. Sebastian K is owned by Knutsson Trotting Inc. and is trained and driven by Ake Svanstedt. Svanstedt and Sebastian K will start from post six in the field of ten and have been enlisted as the 3-5 morning line favorite. Joining the stellar cast of entrants in the Centaur Trotting Classic is Hambletonian winner, Market Share who will start from the coveted rail position with regular driver Tim Tetrick at the lines. Market Share, who has won 24 of 51 races and $3.4 million in his career, was last season's Dan Patch Award winner for best older male trotter and the 2012 Dan Patch Award winner for best 3-year-old male trotter. The triple millionaire is trained by Linda Toscano and has been enlisted as the morning line second choice. The Centaur Trotting Classic is part of a stakes-filled card on Saturday at Hoosier Park, which also includes the $250,000 Kentuckiana Stallion Management Stakes for two-year-old trotting and pacing fillies, the $150,000 Elevation Pace for two-year-old pacing colts and the $50,000 Jenna's Beach Boy Invitational Pace for three-year-old pacing colts. HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, will provide exclusive coverage for the 14-race card. Racing fans can also catch exclusive interviews on the HRTV programming from drivers and trainers racing at Hoosier Park. Following is the Centaur Trotting Classic field in post order with trainers: 1. Market Share, Linda Toscano  2. Natural Herbie, Verlin Yoder 3. Red Hot Herbie, Byron Hooley 4. Creatine, Bob Stewart 5. Master of Law, Jimmy Takter  6.Sebastian K, Ake Svenstadt  7. Uncle Peter, Jimmy Takter 8. Fusion Man, Jeff Smith 9. Arch Angel, Ron Burke 10. Appomattox, Liisa Vatanen For more information on the upcoming entertainment or live racing schedule at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park    

Post No. 7 proved lucky for Lyonssomewhere in the Cane Pace and his connections will hope for the same good fortune Thursday when the colt starts from the same spot in his first-round elimination heat in the Little Brown Jug at the Delaware County Fair. The outside post positions at Delaware's half-mile oval are historically regarded as difficult starting spots, but driver Yannick Gingras and trainer Jimmy Takter are hopeful that Lyonssomewhere can overcome the draw. The colt, who supplemented into the race thanks to his victory in the Cane Pace, is the 5-2 favorite in his heat. A total of 16 3-year-old male pacers entered the $647,500 Little Brown Jug, presented by Fazoli's, but the number was reduced to 15 on Tuesday when Cammikey scratched because of illness. The field was divided into two first-heat elimination divisions and the top four finishers from each group will advance to the second round. If a first-heat winner also is victorious in the second heat, he is declared the Little Brown Jug champion. If not, there will be a race off between the three winners of the heats. "He ended up, on paper anyway, in a little softer division than the others," said Takter, who won the Little Brown Jug in 2006 with Mr Feelgood. "What are you going to do? "The horse is in good form. We'll give it a try." Gingras was able to put Lyonssomewhere in front early in the Cane Pace at five-eighths-mile Tioga Downs and held off favorite He's Watching by a half-length for the win. "In the Cane, I wasn't planning on leaving," Gingras said. "It's not like I had him wound up. He looped them, but I went to the gate thinking I was going to race him from off the pace. The gate was picking up speed and no one was leaving, he's a very handy horse, and I just had to put the whip on his tail and he went. "In the Jug, from post seven, I'll wind him up a little bit. He can leave a little faster than he did in the Cane. There's no doubt the plan is to go forward and I'll make my mind up in the first turn." Lyonssomewhere has won five of nine races this year and earned $370,892 for owner Geoffrey Lyons Mound. The horse wasn't eligible to the Little Brown Jug, but the conditions allow the winner of the Cane Pace to supplement to the Jug for $45,000. The Cane Pace is the first leg in the Pacing Triple Crown, the Jug is the second. Since supplements were first allowed in 1999, three horses have used that route to enter the Jug field: Four Starzzz Shark in 2001, Art Official in 2008, and Betterthancheddar in 2011. All three finished third in the Jug. "I think (Lyonssomewhere) has got a great chance," said Gingras, who is North America's leading purse-earning driver and is seeking his first Jug. "It would be awesome to win it. This is a race everyone wants to win. With the fans there, it's a different atmosphere. The Jug is different than any other race. It's been a great year for me and it would add to what an unbelievable year it's been." The last horse to win the Pacing Triple Crown was No Pan Intended in 2003. The third and final leg, the Messenger Stakes, will be raced on Oct. 25 at Yonkers Raceway. Lyonssomewhere is not Takter's only chance to win the Jug. He sends out Capital Account and Somewhere In L A in the second division of opening-round heats. Capital Account starts from post four with driver Ron Pierce and is 10-1 on the morning line. Somewhere In L A starts from post six with driver Brett Miller at odds of 7-2. The favorite in the elimination is Casie Coleman's McWicked, who drew post No. 1 and is the 7-5 choice. Somewhere In L A has won six of 15 races this year and earned $301,502 for owners Deo Volente Farms, J&T Silva Stables, and T L P Stable. The gelding finished second to McWicked in the Delvin Miller Adios. "He's a very good horse," Takter said about Somewhere In L A, adding with a laugh, "He's been consistently racing against McWicked, and McWicked has got to be the luckiest horse I ever saw at getting a good post position. We have six or seven and McWicked has all these good posts. "But he's been racing gamely. I'm really proud of him. This race is going to be interesting. Hopefully they're going to mix it up a little bit and there will be some action." Capital Account has won four of 16 races this season and earned $114,744. He is owned by Brittany Farms. "If he would have been in the other division, he would have had a better shot to make the final," Takter said. "He's a quick little horse. He's a good horse. But in that division, it's tough. He's a longshot." Following are the first-round elimination heats for the Little Brown Jug in post order with drivers, trainers, and morning line odds. Elim One: 1. Let's Drink On It, Tyler Smith, Joe Seekman, 5-1; 2. Winds Of Change, Brett Miller, Linda Toscano, 8-1; 3. Three Of Clubs, Doug McNair, Gregg McNair, 10-1; 4. On Golden Ponder, John Campbell, Bob McIntosh, 7-2; 5. At Press Time, Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke, 8-1; 6. Beat The Drum, Ron Pierce, Staffan Lind, 15-1; 7. Lyonssomewhere, Yannick Gingras, Jimmy Takter, 5-2; 8. Rediscovery, Chris Page, Ben Davis, 20-1. Elim Two: 1. McWicked, David Miller, Casie Coleman, 7-5; 2. Limelight Beach, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke, 6-1; 3. Avalanche Hanover, Aaron Merriman, Ron Potter, 12-1; 4. Capital Account, Ron Pierce, Jimmy Takter, 10-1; 5. Somewhere In L A, Brett Miller, Jimmy Takter, 7-2; 6. He's Watching, Tim Tetrick, Dave Menary, 5-2; 7. Sometimes Said, John Campbell, Jim Campbell, 10-1; 8. Cammikey, scratched. The Little Brown Jug brought to you by Fazoli's will air live from 5-6:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. The last Jug elimination heat will be shown live at approximately 5:11 p.m. The remaining elimination will be covered on a tape delay basis. The second heat of the Jug will be shown live at approximately 6:15 p.m. If a race-off is necessary, CBS Sports Network will cut into its regularly scheduled program at 7 p.m. to show the race-off live. Post time of the race-off would be approximately 7:02 p.m. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Jeff Gregory is not ready to close the book on being a catch driver, but he is set to write a new chapter in his harness racing career. Or, maybe more exactly, rewrite a chapter.   Gregory, who has won nearly 6,700 races as a driver, plans to start training horses again. The New York native last trained regularly in the mid-1990s, prior to moving his base to New Jersey. He qualified his first horse, a 2-year-old female trotter named Miss Andover, last week at Harrah's Philadelphia. The filly is owned by Bill Weaver and was trained previously by Noel Daley.   "Noel was kind of looking to put her into a smaller stable, maybe where someone could pay attention to her every day and train her and drive her,” Gregory said. "She's maybe a little nervous filly and might do better with having one guy looking over her. So they brought her to me.   "It's nice to have a Hall of Famer (in owner Bill Weaver) give me the chance to get started again.”   Gregory, who turned 48 years old on Monday, Sept. 8, established his career high for driving wins in 2004, with 581. His career best for purses came in 2010, with $5.73 million. He is a three-time U.S. Trotting Association District 8 Driver of the Year and was the U.S. Harness Writers Association's Rising Star in 2002.   He was sidelined from September until late March because of a broken elbow, but has won 55 of 466 races this year and nearly $1 million in purses. He continues to be one of the top drivers on the New York Sires Stakes and Excelsior series circuits.   "The last couple winters have been a little slower for me catch driving, in part because I got hurt last year with my elbow,” Gregory said. "I'm getting to the point in my career where I'm leaning toward training some younger horses again, like I used to. I'm (48) and running up and down the road all the time, it's nice money, but there are a lot of young guys doing it too.   "I've got this one (filly) for Bill and I have two 2 year olds that are turned out that I'll be bringing back in around December. I've got two or three guys that want to buy yearlings, so I'm hoping to have half-a-dozen horses or so for the winter. We'll go from there. I'm not giving up driving, but I enjoy the horses and I like working with the young horses.”   Gregory has owned a handful of horses with Bill Richardson in recent years, with Linda Toscano handling the training. But Gregory often jogs and works with the horses in the morning.   "She's very excited about me doing this,” said Gregory, who won the 2011 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters with Toscano's Chapter Seven. "She's been helping me out. Whatever I need, I'm welcome to, to help get me started.”   Gregory, who followed his father, Gary, into harness racing and got his biggest win in 2005 with Jonas Czernyson-trained Jalopy in the Hambletonian Oaks, is going to be based at Showplace Farm in central New Jersey.   "I'm looking to start another chapter,” Gregory said. "I'm going to train these horses in the morning and try to stick to (driving at) Yonkers if I can. The New York Sire Stakes has been good to me. I'm hoping some of these horses of my own turn out where I can take them around and race them, hopefully reap the benefits of hard work over the winter.   "Hopefully, we'll catch a good lottery ticket at the sales. Maybe we'll get lucky. I feel I can do a good job with the horses.”   by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

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