Andrew Neal fondly remembers Easter School holidays being spent travelling with his father Peter to the Hawera trots from their Marlborough home. The Neals holidayed in the rural Taranaki town while racing on the Saturday and Monday. Although Neal Senior never won a Hawera Cup he had success and memorable times while competing in North Island grass track events. Fast forward to 2014 and his son and daughter-in-law have won the last two Hawera Cups. After Delight Brigade won last year, stablemate Three Jewels added the 2014 Hawera Cup on Saturday to the Taranaki Cup he won last year. The Mach Three mare was driven a treat by (Lyn) Neal. She settled her four back on the inner from her 20m handicap and was then four back on the outside with cover. Then on the home turn Neal had Three Jewels the widest turning in, and in the straight they were simply too strong clearing out to win by 2-1/2 lengths and one length from favourite River Polka (Tony Herlihy MNZM) and second favourite Styx It To Em (Maurice McKendry). Andrew Neal was delighted with the performance. “It’s a prestigious Cup. We are thrilled with her. She’s not far behind some of the best mares running around. She was a really nice fourth behind Adore Me in the Queen Of Hearts at Alexandra Park in December. “She also won the Taranaki in the mud last year. She’s a good tough mare who I think will be a nice broodmare one day,” Neal said. “It was also a very nice drive from Lyn,” he added. It was the 5-year-old’s 11th win in 25 starts. She’s also placed nine times and now won $90,548. Three of those wins have come this season. She also won two $8,000 races in consecutive starts at Cambridge Raceway on November 17 and December 5. Stablemate Delight Brigade was scratched from the Cup due to a blood disorder, and as a precaution will be out for another couple of weeks. Neal said Three Jewels, who finished fifth in the Country Cups Final two days after her Hawera Cup win, will now continue to race at Alexandra Park and Cambridge, most likely from handicaps. “She’s won 11 races and it’s not always easy to place her but she’s a quality mare and is a lot better than what her recent form-line has displayed. “She has a win or two left in her yet, and should perform well at stud one day,” he said. Three Jewels is the third of three foals out of the one-win Falcon Seelster mare, Falcon Jewel. Younger brother Courageous Falcon (by Courage Under Fire) won four of his 17 starts in New Zealand for the Neals, before being exported to Australia on July 18, 2011 where he won seven more races. Three Jewels is owned by the Neals and Mrs K. M. Yardley. She was bred by her trainers and Mrs J. Yardley. By Duane Ranger (Courtesy of HRNZ)
YONKERS, NY, Friday, April 18, 2014-Yonkers Raceways Good Friday harness racing festivities featured the fifth and final round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker for Open Mare pacers. A $40,000 divisions went postward. Series points leader Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, $3.20) did nothing to diminish her reputation, winning the opening event with solid, two-move effort. Leaving outside her six rivals, the people's choice settled in fourth as series-debuting Scandalous Hanover (Brian Sears) found the lead. After early intervals of :28 and :57.3, "Yagonna" was again on the move. She tackled Scandalous Hanover just past the 1:25 three-quarters, taking a short lead into the lane. Yagonnakissmeornot never relinquished the baton, winning a by a length in 1:53.2. Camille (Yannick Gingras), shuffled when the leader tired, closed inside for second, with Ramalama (Matt Kakaley) third For Yagonnakissmeornot, a 5-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, she's now 7-for-11 this season (4-for-5 in Matchmaker). The exacta paid $16.80, with the triple returning $89.50. "It was two moves, but she did it all on her own," Dube said, before echoing his assignment from earlier in this series that "she doesn't know where the end of the mile is, but I hope we draw well in (next Saturday night's $371,400) final." Late to the dance, but making up for lost time has been the millionaires Monkey on My Wheel (Gingras, $29.40). She authored the 13-1 upset in the second Matchmaker elim, going by a tiring 15-cents-on-the-dollar Somwherovrarainbow (Sears) in mid-stretch. In play early from post position No. 4, Monkey on My Wheel was pocketed early to defending champ Feeling You (Tyler Buter). That was before "Somwhr" moved from third, taking the lead just after a :28.1 opening quarter-mile. It was another :28.1 subsection (:56.2 half) before Shelliscape (Tim Tetrick)-who had left for a seat-took out from fourth. With nothing keeping up with Shelliscape in the outer flow, "Monkey" slipped out to race second-over. The battle was on in and out of the 1:24.2 three-quarters, with Somwherovrarainbow up a length entering the lane. However, she would not be able to close the sale, with Monkey on My Wheel going by, then holding off 75-1 rank outsider Summertime Lea (Kakaley) by a head in 1:53.2. The favorite had to settle for third, beaten three-quarters of a length. "I just didn't want to have to race her first-up," Gingras said of "Monkey." "I was able to drop in early, then get out again. It worked out very well and Brian's horse (Somwherovrarainbow) wasn't able to get away from us." For Monkey in My Wheel, a 6-year-old Mach Three Mac Nichol homebred, it was her third win in nine seasonal starts (a win and a second in this series). The exacta paid $706, with the triple returning $2,241. Friday's $38,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by favored D W's NY Yank (Brennan, $3.80) in 1:56. The George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series continues Saturday night, with three, $50,000 divisions (races 4,5 and 11 on the 12-race card) in that fifth and final prelim round. The $567,000 final of the series also goes next Saturday night, Apr. 26. (Note...Matchmaker standings after the five prelim rounds accompany this release, though the first eight in order are not necessarily the finalists until determined by the race office.) The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. Frank Drucker Director of Publicity
Twin B Wrangler went to the front and didn’t look back en route to a narrow triumph in Monday’s $11,000 Preferred 2 for pacers at The Raceway at Western Fair District. Alfie Carroll hustled Twin B Wrangler through fractions of :27.4, :57 and 1:25.3 before using a :30.2 closing quarter to prevail by a neck over race favourite Leafs And Wings in 1:56. Ja El Pocketrocket was third. Keith Cassell of Smiths Falls, Ontario owns and Victor Puddy trains the five-year-old son of Mach Three-Stryper. To date, the pacer has managed to stash away career earnings of $120,290. Monday’s card also featured a set of Preferred-3 events – one for trotters and one for pacers. To read the rest of the story click here.
Young Serpentine trainer Stephanie Smith boosted her reputation as a first-up specialist when she produced Dundee Three in superb condition at Gloucester Park on Friday night for a fighting victory in the 2503m Big Sports Breakfast TV Channel 519 Handicap. Driven by her partner Morgan Woodley, Dundee Three, an 8/1 chance, galloped out from the 20m mark and was last with two laps to travel with noted frontrunner Hez Got The Nod bowling along in the lead. Woodley started a three-wide move with 1150m to travel and the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old sustained a spirited effort to get to the front 30m from the post and win by a metre from Hez Got The Nod after final quarters in 28.4sec. and 28.7sec. The $11,220 first prize was a wonderful reward for Smith, who has worked assiduously to get the injury-plagued Dundee Three fit enough to make a comeback. She was given Dundee Three as a gift from leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond after she, her father Stewart, Lee Bunney and Ian Sermon had outlaid $10,000 to claim Gate Bender (trained by the Bonds) last June. “Greg and Skye asked me if I wanted a chance to rehabilitate Dundee Three (who had a damaged off fore suspensory ligament) and they said I could have him for nothing,” Smith said. “So I thought I would have a go and now I want to say thanks to Greg and Skye.” Smith, in her second season as a trainer, is a qualified veterinary nurse and she has managed to get Dundee Three sound enough to resume racing. The Mach Three gelding was having his first start for 11 months on Friday night and if he retains his fitness looks sure to win more races. Smith gave Dundee Three six months off in the paddock and then she had to work hard to cure several other problems, apart from his suspensory damage. “He has got bad feet problems, contracted heels, front and back,” she said. “He also has funny knees and jars up after almost every run.” Dundee Three now races in egg bar shoes on top of silicon filling and Smith treats his knees almost daily. She also takes the small gelding to the beach at Kwinana about every second day and rush wades him (riding him as he trots in the water). He also wades and rolls in the sand. Woodley was thrilled at Dundee Three’s performance, saying: “All credit to Steph; she has done a fantastic job. I’m so proud of her and so proud of the horse as well. He is a tremendous competitor. He is just a little horse, but is so brave. He showed courage tonight, winning after a quick last half and out three wide. “He just clawed his way right to the post and never gave it away. I thought it was probably curtains down the back straight when I didn’t quite get past Copagrin (in the breeze) like I had anticipated. And I then thought that the leader was probably going to hold on and I thought if we could hang on for a place I would be delighted with his performance. “Steph does all the on per cent things that I think make a big difference. She down there (at the stables) from early morning until late at night, doing things like icing their feet, wrapping their legs and taking them out for a pick in the grass, just keeping them in a happy place. She deserves all the accolades she gets.” Dundee Three, a half-brother to Scruncher (69 starts for 20 wins, 18 placings and $137,002), has earned $205,378 from 20 wins and 22 placings from 75 starts. Smith also showed great skill in preparing Gate Bender and Big Town Drive for first-up victories and she has also been successful with Sovereign Grange and Bolshevic in the past 12 months. Gate Bender won at his first start for Smith when he beat Shardons Rocket in a stand at Gloucester Park in December. Big Town Drive then won first-up for Smith at Williams in February before winning again at his next three starts, at Pinjarra, Narrogin and Harvey. By Ken Casellas
Barry Howlett, who runs a tree lopping business in Busselton, and Dunedin-born Matt White, who immigrated to Western Australia in late 2009, combined to cause a significant upset when White drove the lowly-credentialled Three Blind Mice to a stirring all-the-way victory in the $200,000 Sky racing WA Derby at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Three Blind Mice, a 17/1 chance on the tote, made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier by setting the pace before revealing splendid fighting qualities to hold three geldings prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall sen. at bay in the group 1 classic over 2536m. Three Blind Mice, prepared by 59-year-old hobby trainer Howlett, won by a metre from 11/1 chance Eyre Crusher (Morgan Woodley), with a neck to Machtu (13/4, Kim Prentice) and a further length to even-money favourite Elegant Christian (Clint Hall). All honours were with Three Blind Mice, a gelding by American stallion Santanna Blue Chip who was purchased as a yearling in New Zealand by Howlett. But there was a dramatic discovery after the event. The brilliant Elegant Christian, who went into the race with a record of six wins and a nose second from seven starts, had the major disadvantage of having to having to carry a flat tyre on the off side wheel of the sulky over the final 1800m. The tyre deflated mysteriously. It had not been struck by the hoof of another horse or any other object. Given this impediment, combined with the fact that Elegant Christian raced three wide early and then in the breeze, his effort was outstanding. Supporters of Elegant Christian were on good terms with themselves when the gelding levelled with the pacemaker 400m from home. But White kept his cool and Three Blind Mice resisted the challenge before drawing away to win in grand style at a 1.57.5 rate, which was just outside the track record for a three-year-old, the 1.57.2 shared by Robyns C C and Machtu. Eyre Crusher trailed the leader throughout and after getting into the clear in the late stages he rattled home to be second. Machtu raced in ninth position for the first two laps before Prentice sent him forward, three wide, approaching the bell. Machtu sustained his effort to finish third, with each of the final two 400m sections being covered in 28.5sec. Three Blind Mice was afforded the luxury of coasting through the first 400m of the final mile in 30.8sec. before White increased the tempo. The stewards fined Clint Hall $400 for his incorrect use of the whip in the home straight. Three Blind Mice won once from six starts in New Zealand before Brent Mangos brought him to WA late last year when he drove him in races at Pinjarra and Harvey in November for a seventh and third placing. Three Blind Mice notched his first Australian victory three starts before the Derby, when he worked hard without cover before winning over 2150m at Harvey. Then followed a splendid strong-finishing second to Machtu over 25346m at Gloucester Park and an eighth behind Elegant Christian in the Western Gateway Pace when he was hampered for room in the final lap. Three Blind Mice went into the Derby with a modest record of two wins from 13 starts for $15,917 in prizemoney. His earnings after the Derby have been boosted to $147,917. The 29-year-old White started working for Howlett at his Busselton stables just over three months ago and he thanked Howlett and his wife Lyn for the opportunity. "This is a dream come true and Three Blind Mice is a nice horse who will be even better next year," he said. "He's got a good high cruising speed and will go a long way." The Derby victory gave Howlett and White their biggest success in harness racing. Howlett's previous biggest most important victory was as the owner, trainer and driver of Lights Above in the $75,000 State Sires Series final for two-year-old fillies in May 1994. Among his winners since then have been Lights Above's daughter Up Above, Eliza Grace, Lil Miss Hilarious and Cielito. White, who guided Vancelot Lady to victory at 10/1 at Bridgetown in December 2009 for his first WA success, was one of New Zealand's leading junior drivers from 2006 to 2008, drove Safin to victory in the Diamond for three-year-old fillies at Cambridge in May 2008. He drove Miss Bay Point to victory in the $100,000 group 1State Sires Series for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park in July 2010, and won group 2 and 3 feature events with Lombo Navigator --- the Nights of Thunder, Harvey Cup and August Cup in 2011 and the Pinjarra Cup in 2012. He also finished third with Lombo Navigator in the group 1 2012 interdominion championship final won by Im Themightyquinn. Three Blind Mice is bred to be a good winner. His dam Time Again Franco (by Holmes Hanover) is out of Tango Franco, the mother of This Time Franco (36 starts for ten wins, 11 placings and $249,151) and Franco Thunder (178 starts for 44 wins, 43 placings and $199,928). Tango Franco is a half-sister to former superstar Franco Tiger (116 starts for 43 wins, 36 placings and $991,387) and OK Tiger (52 starts for 12 wins, nine placings and $142,866) Franco Tiger's successes included the Miracle Mile at Harold Park in 1992, the Australian Pacing Championship at Bankstown in 1992, the Queensland Championship at Albion Park in 1992 and the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown in 1993. He also finished second to Sinbad Bay in the $275,000 Victoria Cup at Moonee Valley in 1991 and second to Westburn Grant in the interdominion championship at Moonee Valley in March 1992. VOAK BRINGS UP HIS CENTURY AND GOES TO THE TOP Chris Voak maintained his grand form in the sulky when he brought 2/1 favourite Rocky Pop home with a determined burst to snatch a last-stride half-head victory over the pacemaker Fully Zapped (7/1) in the 2130m Sky Racing App Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This gave the 25-year-old Voak his 99th winner for the season --- and he kept up the good work with a double with Allazar and Ultimate Fighter at Harvey on Saturday night. The Harvey double placed Voak in unfamiliar territory --- on top of the Statewide reinsmen's premiership table with 101 winners from 741 drives. He has wrested the lead from champion reinsman Gary Hall jun., who is serving a term of suspension. Hall has driven 99 winners from 359 drives this season. Rocky Pop, a Jet Laag four-year-old trained in Bunbury by Murray Hansen, started from barrier two on the back line and was favourite at 2/1 after covering a lot of ground and winning at Bunbury the previous Saturday night. Polemarker Fully Zapped set the pace and he looked hard to beat after coasting through the first quarter of the final mile in 31.8sec. This prompted Voak to send Rocky Pop forward with a three-wide move 1300m from home. Rocky Pop quickly moved to third, out wide, at the bell and he sustained his effort to gain the verdict in the final stride after a final 800m in a slick 57.4sec. Rocky Pop, owned by Adam and Philip Sofoulis and Dianne Knowles, is a half-brother to Hansen's stable star Truckers Ruffnut, who has earned $249,770 from 20 wins and 14 placings from 53 starts. Rocky Pop now has raced 31 times for seven wins, 14 placings and $54,830. Rocky Pop's five-year-old half-brother Tuxedo Tour resumed racing after a spell at Harvey on Saturday night when he won for the ninth time from 34 starts and took his earnings to $108,456. HOKONUI BEN SURVIVES EARLY AND LATE CHALLENGES The ability of hot favourite Hokonui Ben to muster sufficient speed to hold out brilliant mare Sensational Gabby in the early stages of the 2130m Big Sports Breakfast TV Channel 519 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night paved the way for his narrow victory. Hokonui Ben, favourite at 6/4 on, began well from the No. 2 barrier, but was easily beaten out by Sensational Gabby, the 11/4 second fancy who began with a sparkling burst of speed from the No. 4 barrier. Sensational Gabby quickly charged to a one-length lead, but was unable to cross to the pegs. Chris Lewis then angled Sensational Gabby to the pegs to race in third position, with the polemarker Rocket Reign having gained the perfect sit behind the leader. After surviving the early challenge, Hokonui Ben was able to relax and Aldo Cortopassi sent her through the first 400m section of the final mile in a dawdling 31.8sec. before another comfortable quarter in 31.2sec. Lewis eased Sensational Gabby off the pegs with 1000m to travel to move to the breeze, a couple of lengths behind the pacemaker. The third quarter was covered in 28.5sec. and Sensational Gabby was beginning to show the pinch. Chris Playle, who was following Sensational Gabby with 22/1 chance This Time Dylan, switched the gelding three wide 250m from home. This Time Dylan sprinted home fast and just failed to overhaul Hokonui Ben, who scored in a photo by a half-head. Rocket Reign got clear in the final stages and flashed home to be a close third, just ahead of Red Salute, who finished strongly, out wide. The final 400m was covered in a fast 27.8sec. and the winner rated 1.57.7. "It's always a worry with a mare like Sensational Gabby, who can get off the gate as quick as she can," Cortopassi said. "It was lucky we got to a corner with our legs still inside her. And that helped us to keep the front. I was relatively confident after a 63sec. first half. "Hokonui Ben missed a bit of work when he got that bit of a bug. So I wanted to try to get a soft half and then run from there. It worked out pretty well, even though This Time Dylan gave us a bit of a scare on the line." Sensational Gabby faded to finish sixth in the field of seven, ahead of Dasher VC, who was at the rear throughout in his first appearance for almost three months. Hokonui Ben has amassed $596,339 in prizemoney from 19 wins and 15 placings from 55 starts. SUVALJKO DISCOVERS SECRET OF SUCCESS Byford trainer-reinsman Shannon Suvaljko has discovered the secret to winning races at Gloucester Park --- start a horse in the country the previous night. That was the formula which worked perfectly for the 45-year-old Suvaljko on Friday night when he took two horses, Love In The Dark and Celtic Crusader, to the course the night after they had competed at Narrogin, 198km south-east of Perth, on Thursday night. The long two-way float trip did not affect the pacers who scored decisive victories at Gloucester Park. They completed a driving treble for Suvaljko, who started the program by guiding the Mike Reed-trained Grand Cru to victory in the opening event. Love In The Dark failed at Narrogin when she was driven by Luke Edwards and galloped at the start before finishing sixth behind Jasper Freeway. Edwards also drove Celtic Crusader, who started at 25/1 and raced four back on the pegs before finishing solidly to be third behind Cuzin Judd. The stewards placed Love In The Dark on the outside of the back line in the 2130m In The Gig Mares Pace and the five-year-old Elsu mare was an outsider at 33/1. She raced in ninth position in the one-wide line and was eighth on the home turn before she flew home, six wide, to win by almost a length from 5/1 chance Korobeit Angel, who had set the pace after dashing to the front 550m after the start. This was Love In The Dark's third appearance in a race in Western Australia. She started favourite at 10/9 on at her first start in the State when she raced without cover and faded to eighth in a field of nine, more than ten lengths behind the winner Mississippi bell at Gloucester Park on March 28. "She's got the ability and the fast lead time (35.9sec.) and the slow last quarter (29.5sec.) probably helped her," said Suvaljko. "She raced at Narrogin the previous night --- and that might be something." Love In The Dark won once from 25 New Zealand starts and three times from 16 starts in Queensland. She now has earned $41,566 from five wins and 15 placings from 44 starts. Celtic Crusader started from the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Sky Racing, No. 1 In Racing Pace and was a 6/1 chance who led for the first 150m before Suvaljko opted to take then sit behind 5/4 favourite Bettors Ace. Bettors Ace began to shorten stride in the home straight and Celtic Crusader ran on fast to burst to the front 20m from the post before defeating the pacemaker by just under a length at a 1.58.1 rate. Celtic Crusader, purchased for $10,000m by Gemma Davies and Klarry Andritsos a couple of years ago, is a hardy New South Wales-bred seven-year-old who has earned $143,751 from 19 wins and 33 placings from 140 starts. Suvaljko kept up the good work at Kellerberrin on Sunday when he drove Sir Ricky (5/2) and Laura Florence (11/8) to victory for Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg, who was also successful with even-money favourite Xupan Three, who was driven by Edwards. GRAND CRU IS BRED TO BE A WINNER Four-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding Grand Cru gave a sample of his class with an easy victory in the 1730m Sky Racing TV Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is by Bettors Delight out of former champion mare Under Cover Lover, who earned $864,923 from 21 wins and 22 placings from 70 starts before being retired to the breeding barn. Tommy Smith, having his first start for just over four months for Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan, was all the rage from the prized No. 1 barrier and was favourite at 7/4 on, with Grand Cru a 15/1 chance from barrier six on the front line. Shannon Suvaljko got Grand Cru away to a flying start and the gelding quickly moved to the breeze position, with Tommy Smith setting a moderate pace. Morgan Woodley attempted to shake off Tommy Smith's rivals with a sizzling third quarter in 27.3sec. But Grand Cru stuck with the flying pacemaker and got his head in front passing the 400m mark. Grand Cru then dashed away and won by 7m from Tommy Smith, rating a slick 1.56.2 rate and improving his record to seven wins and 17 placings from 41 starts. "He's racing well," said Suvaljko. "And we knew that we had to sit. So we sat up in the breeze and knew that Tommy Smith would be a bit underdone. We had to get it a bit easy so we could hold out Ohoka Kentucky (5/2 second fancy). So when he was coming, three wide, at the bell I said that we had done nothing and then had to get running. "Grand Cru got it very easy early with a first quarter of 31.1sec. and he was always on the bit. I'm sure he is capable of winning a couple more." EL MACHINE RESUMES IN FINE STYE Talented WA-bred five-year-old El Machine looks set for a successful campaign in feature events over the winter months when he resumed after a four-month absence in grand style at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Produced in splendid fettle by 26-year-old Pinjarra trainer-reinsman Kade Howson (who owns the gelding in partnership with Michael George), El Machine was a well-supported 7/2 chance and he produced an excellent effort to win the 2130m Mini Owners Club of WA Club Pace by a length from the 9/4 favourite Mighty Flying Thomas. Polemarker I Am Legend set a solid pace, with Mighty Flying Thomas working hard in the breeze. Howson restrained El Machine from the outside of the front line back to last before sending the gelding forward, three wide, approaching the bell. El Machine got on to the back of Pride of Colorado, but when that pacer began to wilt turning into the back straight Howson switched El Machine four wide. Morgan Woodley sent Mighty Flying Thomas to the front 380m from home, but El Machine was carrying too many guns and he forged to the lead at the 250m mark. Mighty Flying Thomas fought ion grandly and finished two and a half lengths in front of the third placegetter Quick Reflection. El Machine, purchased by Howson and George for $5000 at the 2009 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale, has earned $143,514 from 17 wins and 13 placings from 43 starts. SHIRLZ SENSATION NOTCHES A HAT-TRICK West Australian-bred four-year-old Shirlz Sensation is one of the State's most improved pacers and he completed a winning hat-trick when Chris Lewis drove him to a stylish win in the second heat of the Riley Car Club Johnson Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at 11/8 from the outside of the front line, Shirlz Sensation was restrained to the rear by Chris Lewis while polemarker Ima Grumpy Jasper set the pace from 6/1 chance Vapour in the breeze. Shirlz Sensation improved to seventh at the bell, out three wide with cover, before Lewis switched him four wide with 700m to travel. He sustained his effort to hit the front 130m from the post and won by just under a length from 6/1 chance What The Blazes, who flew home from the rear. Vapour, who had got to the lead at the 450m mark, was a fighting third. Shirlz Sensation had won easily after racing without cover at his two previous starts, at Gloucester Park, and is sure to be a major fancy in the $25,000 final of the Johnson Pace next Friday week. Shirlz Sensation, raced by Margie Guy and Jandabup trainer Mike Beech, has earned $68,619 from eight wins and three placings from only 23 starts. by Ken Casellas
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 12, 2014--Foiled Again won his 80th career race Saturday night. That's just wrong. Foiled Again, as in 10-year-old Foiled Again, sauntered around Yonkers Raceway in 1:51 Saturday night. That, too, is just wrong. Maybe, but try convincing him, or his date, of that. "That's what he's supposed to do," driver Yannick Gingras after "Foiled's" fourth win in as many George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series/season starts. Leaving from post position No. 3 as the stronger half of a 1-20 entry, Foiled Again had to work to get around P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett). He did so before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile and found a :56.3 intermission Bettor's Edge (George Brennan), certified barn buddy of Foiled Again, was away third and A J Corbelli (Tim Tetrick) fourth. It was Dancin' Yankee (Ron Pierce) then moving from fifth, engaging Foiled Again toward a 1:24 three-quarters. Soon after, Bettor's Edge--who, as with Foiled Again, was 3-for-3 in this series entering the evening--slipped out to race second-over. However, Bettor's Edge became very rough very quickly, soon jumping it off. Foiled Again owned a half-length lead entering the lane. His pesky rival wouldn't go away, but wouldn't go by, either. Foiled Again, with his escort offering only occasional reminders, won by a head in 1:51....fastest local mile of the season. Third went to P H Supercam, beaten a half-length. For Foiled Again, a Dragon Again gelding, the $25,000 payday increased his lifetime loot to $6,130,968 (80-for-202). Ron Burke trains and co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. Foiled Again once again returned the legal-minimum $2.10, The exacta paid $5.90, with the triple returning $10.60. "He's just really getting his legs," Gingras said. "Give the other horses credit, but they're gonna have to do better to beat Foiled Again. "I know he's now guaranteed a place in the (Apr. 26) final (prelim leader with 300 points), so he could get next week off. It's up to Ronnie (Burke). If he's here, then I'm here." Saturday night's other Levy winners were... --Mach it So,,g,4 (by Mach Three); owner Bamond Racing/trainer PJ Fraley/driver Tetrick; 1:52.1/$4; --Clear Vision,g,9 (by Western Hanover); co-owners (as Burke Racing, trainer) Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,Panhellenic Stb,James Koran/driver Brennan; 1:52.1/$2.10 (POE). by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
High-priced New Zealand import Libertybelle Midfrew gave a sample of her class with an effortless victory at her Australian debut in the 1730m Make Smoking History Pace at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening. Trained at Hazelmere by Mike Reed and driven by Shannon Suvaljko, Libertybelle Midfrew, favourite at 3/1 on, started from the outside of the front line and was restrained to last before sustaining a powerful three-wide burst which took her from sixth at the bell to the front 400m from home. She dashed over the final quarters in 28.4sec. and 29.8sec. and was not extended in beating All About Pink by more than two lengths at a 1.58.5 rate. The filly was bought by Perth businessman Albert Walmsley and is being set for the $150,000 WA Oaks on May 9. “I went to New Zealand two months ago to buy a yearling at the sales in Christchurch, but changed my mind and bought Libertybelle Midfrew instead,” Walmsley said. Libertybelle Midfrew (by Christian Cullen) had 11 starts in New Zealand for one win and four placings for stakes of $131,012. She scored a five-length victory in the $156,000 Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies at Alexandra Park in April of last year. She was placed at three of her final four New Zealand starts behind star Mach Three filly Venus Serena, who has amassed $503,622 from 11 wins from 16 starts. By Ken Casellas
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, April 1, 2014-Favored Extreme Machine N (Eric Goodell) prevailed from loosest of pockets Tuesday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $67,400 final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series. The Teddy Roosevelt-approved series, for 3- and 4-year-old colts and geldings, culminated with Yonkers Raceway's richest race of the season to date. Extreme Machine N, as the 9-10 favorite, won the draw and watched as Artist Night (George Brennan) set sail on a mission. That mission included a 28-second opening quarter-mile and :55.3 half. All the while, Extreme Machine N was pacing just enough to make sure outside leavers Ashley's Husband (Jordan Derue) and A Stitch in Time (Ron Pierce) had no hole. Artist Night had five lengths at the wicked 1:22.4 three-quarters before Goodell asked his charge to close ranks. The margin was a length-and-a-half entering the lane, but the fractions were shockingly taking their toll. Extreme Machine N went by, getting the best of a three-hole-sitting Sir Michigan Z Tam by a half-length in a life-best 1:52.1. Artist Night held third, beaten a couple of lengths, with City Hall (Brian Sears) and Touchdown Mindale (Andy Miller) grabbing the remainder. Wilcox (Dan Dube), "Ashley" and A Stitch in Time rounded out the order. "I haven't seen the end to him yet," Goodell said. "I didn't want to be right on George's (Brennan, driving Artist Night) back, and even with those fractions, I was worried I waited too long. "In the (final) turn, he started to come back to me. (Extreme Machine N) steers a bit funny, and has a lot to learn, but the more experience he gets over here, he's just going to get better." For Extreme Machine N, a 4-year-old Down Under Mach Three gelding owned by Joseph Muscara and trained by Darren Cassar, he returned $3.90 for his third win as many seasonal/series/North American starts. The exacta paid $18, the triple returned $42.20 and the superfecta paid $104. A trio of series consolations, worth $25,000, $12,500 and $12,500, respectively, were won by I Dreamed a Dream (Pat Lachance, $14) in 1:54.2, Rolandale Buster (Dube, $8.20) in a life-best 1:54.4, and Artacus (catch-driver Miller, $38.20) in a life-best 1:54. Tuesday's Pick-5 pool, fortified with a $7,907.68 carryover and featuring a $25,000 guaranteed pool, induced $32,731 of fresh coin into the equation. The winning combination of 3/4/6/1/5 returned a tidy $16,228 to a pair of intelligent handicappers. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
Reinsman Clint Hall declared that inexperienced gelding Elegant Christian was spot on for the WA Derby on Friday week and was supremely confident that he would wind up his preparation for the $200,000 classic by winning the $50,000 TABtouch Western Gateway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Elegant Christian stunned punters when he started at 25/1 on and was beaten in a minor event at Gloucester Park on Monday of last week. However, Hall said that there was a significant excuse for that defeat (by a nose behind Mister Jadore) and that the lightly-raced three-year-old had bounced back to his brilliant best with a dazzling performance in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he romped to a 15-length victory after flying home over the final 800m in 55.5sec. "He drew the outside of the front line in the trial and I kept him four and five wide on the first corner before easing him back to last," he said. "And then after we got through the first quarter I asked him to come out and he went up and took the breeze and he raced there for a lap until he went to the front at the bell. "I sent him around the last two corners and he was fine, back to normal. We added a nearside lugging pole, a Murphy blind and an underhead check --- and he felt super. "I made him run round the corner from the 800m to the 600m and made him run again from the 400m to the 200m. I then let him ease up going to the line and I was quite surprised when I saw he had run 26.9sec. for the last quarter." Six days earlier Elegant Christian hung very badly in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park when he raced in the breeze outside Mister Jadore. He fought on gamely, but just failed to overhaul the pacemaker. Trainer Gary Hall sen. then discovered that the gelding was suffering from an ulcer in his mouth which caused him to hang inwards. This has been cured. That was Elegant Christian's first defeat in a six-start career and now Clint Hall is bubbling with confidence that the gelding will be untroubled to set the pace from the prized No. 1 barrier on the front line in Friday night's group 3 event. Elegant Christian is one of four runners from the powerful Hall stable, the others being Machtu, Eyre Crusher and Classic American. Kim Prentice will drive Machtu from barrier two on the back line, Morgan Woodley has been booked to handle Eyre Crusher (inside of the back line) and Chris Voak will drive Classic American from barrier four on the back line. Clint Hall drove Machtu when he gave a superb performance to score a runaway victory in a 2536m Derby prelude last Friday night. But he had no hesitation in choosing to drive Elegant Christian this week. Machtu settled at the rear in last week's event before surging forward to the breeze in the middle stages and then charging away from his rivals to win by just under seven lengths from Three Blind Mice. "It was a super run by Machtu and he is sure to be prominent in this week's race," Hall said. "Eyre Crusher will appreciate drawing the inside of the back line and should follow Elegant Christian. He should finish in the top three." Eyre Crusher has had nine starts for four wins and four seconds. Classic American has won at six of his nine starts, but faces a stern test from barrier four on the back line. Mister Jadore, a winner of ten races, also faces a tough task from the outside of the back line. Pelusiac, with a record of five wins and three seconds from ten starts, left Hall's stables last Sunday week and will be making his first appearance for Capel trainer Andrew De Campo. He will be handled by Aiden De Campo from barrier three on the back line. Adding further interest to the race will be the Australian debut of Ultimate Major, who has entered de Campo's stables this year after winning at three of his four starts in New Zealand late last year. He will start from barrier four on the front line. Three Blind Mice (barrier two) and Calais (three) are smart geldings who are racing keenly and should be prominent. However, Elegant Christian appears likely to carry too many guns for his rivals and should give Hall sen. his third success in the Western Gateway Pace. He trained and drove The Falcon Strike when he beat Knightwatchman and Shadow Maker in 2001 and he prepared Alta Christiano for his success 12 months ago. HALL SAYS SOHO VALENCIA IS "GOING PLACES" "I think he's going places and is a Christmas horse, and a Christmas horse should take care of these," said Clint Hall when assessing the prospects of Soho Valencia in the 2130m Princi Butchers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall will drive the five-year-old, who will start from barrier three on the back line and is likely to make a sweeping move in the first lap in a bid to burst to the front. Soho Valencia is one of four runners in the race prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., the others being last-start winner Dashing Christian (Kim Prentice), Benjamin Banneker (Kiara Davies) and Our Arlington (Lauren Jones). They are better-assessed pacers than Soho Valencia, who is an M1-class performer. But Soho Valencia has greater ability and potential than that trio and he is certain to prove very hard to beat after second placings as favourite on the past two Friday nights. They were his first two runs after an injury-enforced absence of 17 months and they were full of merit. He had a tough run when a fighting second to his classy stablemate Northview Punter last Friday week and then he raced without cover all the way when second to the brilliant mare Sensational Gabby last Friday night. "He drops down a bit in class this week after last week's Free-For-All," said Clint Hall. "His run last week was super. Chris Lewis (Sensational Gabby) didn't make the mistake of letting Soho Valencia into the race after having the advantage of the barrier draw. This week Soho Valencia will be hard to beat." The prospects of Lovers Delight, the impressive winner of the Clarke final last week when he worked hard in the breeze before getting up to defeat Lord Lombo, deteriorated when he drew the outside of the front line in the preferential barrier draw. Dashing Christian has drawn ideally at No. 2 on the front line and is capable of a bold showing. He should be prominent throughout. He impressed last Friday night when he raced three back on the pegs before charging home to snatch a nose victory over Mighty Flying Thomas. Adding interest to the race will be the return of smart eight-year-old Ohoka Samson for Pinjarra trainer-reinsman Kade Howson. Ohoka Samson has been off the scene for four months, but impressed when he sprinted over the final 400m in 27.6sec. to win a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning, rating 1.55.9. He will start from barrier four on the back line. DROP-DOWN RULE SHOULD HELP MAGGIES MYSTERY When smart five-year-old mare Maggies Mystery was an unlucky fourth behind Erris Lad last Friday night she increased her losing sequence to ten and immediately became the latest beneficiary of the drop-down rule, with her classification being altered from an M3 to an M2 mark. This has enabled her to be handicapped off the front line in the discretionary M1 and better Bet Today Collect Today Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night, thus boosting her prospects. Maggies Mystery, to be driven by Aldo Cortopassi for Burekup trainer Colin Reeves, was unlucky last week. She was in ninth position on the pegs at the bell and was finishing strongly, but was hampered for room when fourth, just over a length behind the winner. She caught the eye four days earlier when a fast-finishing fourth behind Soho Jackman in a 1730m, sprint at Gloucester Park. There is plenty of exposed form in Friday night's standing-start event over 2503m and punters should get great value for their investments, with polemarker Copagrin and last-start all-the-way winner Major Fury (barrier two) sure to be prominent. Hez Got The Nod, J Walker, Pembrook Henry, Balleybofey, Danieljohn and Erris Lad all have sound claims. QUINNY GETS ALTA CHRISTIANO ON THE MOVE Richly-talented New Zealand-bred four-year-old Alta Christiano was beaten in a track workout last Saturday morning. But it was an effort which enhanced his prospects of winning the first heat of the Making Smoking History Johnson Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Why? The answer is simple. He was beaten on the home track of Serpentine master trainer Gary Hall sen. by none other than superstar Im Themightyquinn. Alta Christiano, driven by Clint Hall, set the pace in then workout before being beaten comfortably by Im Themightyquinn (Gary Hall jun.). "We ran the mile and a half on the 1000m track in 3min. 3sec. and the last quarter took 27.1sec.," said Clint Hall. "It was Quinny's first real hit-out and his first workout with another horse in this preparation. He went to the line under a strong hold. "Alta Christiano should be too good for his rivals on Friday night. His first-up run was very good. He was nice and relaxed and sharp at the end, and he wanted to run another quarter." In that 2536m event at Gloucester Park last Monday week Alta Christiano made most of the running and won easily from Jungleface Jake after sprinting over the final 800m in 55.8sec. and the last 400m in 27sec. It was his first appearance after a ten-month absence. Alta Christiano will start from the inside of the back line on Friday night and Hall is likely to attempt to get him off the pegs and to go forward as early as possible. Im Themightyquinn will return to Gloucester Park on Friday week with an exhibition workout. He is expected to return to racing on the same track a fortnight later. SCHOOLBOY LANDS FIRST CITY WINNER Sixteen-year-old schoolboy Micheal Ferguson took time off from his studies to go to Gloucester Park with his parents Brian and Allison on Tuesday evening --- and he landed his first city winner by driving 5/2 chance Barkers Hall to an all-the-way victory over the even-money favourite Dashing Major in the 2536m Schweppes Pace. A day earlier, he got permission to take the afternoon to attend the meeting at Pinjarra where he drove Adda Notherzero to a thrilling nose victory over Chooks Reward after bringing Guilty Grin from the rear to finish a nose second to Director Whitby Ferguson now has driven four winners in his brief career after learning the ropes from his father, a Byford trainer-reinsman who has been concentrating on breaking in young pacers in recent years. Young Ferguson also has been assisting at the Serpentine stables of leading trainer Gary Hall sen. during school holidays and on weekends. Barkers Hall, a Victorian-bred five-year-old, is trained by Hall and his win on Tuesday night was his first in 12 starts in Western Australia. Ferguson jumped Barkers Hall straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and he stole a march on his rivals when he was able to get the gelding to amble through the first two 400m sections of the final milem in 32.7sec. and 30.7sec. before increasing the tempo with two final quarters in 28.4sec. by Ken Casellas
YONKERS, NY, Monday, March 31, 2014-Macharoundtheclock (Scott Zeron) pounced from the pocket Monday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $63,000 final of the Petticoat Pacing Series. The series, for 3- and 4-year-old fillies and mares, culminated with a 1-9 parimutuel entry in the form of Doo Wee Rusty (George Brennan, post 1) and Hobe Sound (Brian Sears, post 2). It was "Rusty" outsprinting everyone before a :27.4 opening quarter-mile. Macharoundtheclock, leaving from post position No. 4, found himself sequestered In The Pocket, while A Sham of Amber (Jason Bartlett) was adroitly away in third. A soft, :31.1 second quarter (:59 half) figured to serve the leader well as his partner, Hobe Sound, moved from fourth. That one actually poked a head in front at the 1:28.1 three-quarters, with Mattie Terror Girl (Andy Miller) second-over. Doo Wee Rusty battled back to put her nose first turning for home, but no matter...both halves of the entry were toast. Macharoundtheclock, carried the lane, zipped inside and drew off. The final margin was a length-and-a-half in 1:57. Mattie Terror Girl raced very credibly from the eight-hole to grab second, with Road Bet (Dan Dube), So Long My Love (Jordan Stratton) and Cloris Hanover (Tyler Buter) grabbing the final pay envelopes. Hobe Sound, a Sham of Amber and Doo Wee Rusty rounded out the order. "The fractions played to the leader, but at the same time, kept a lot of us in striking distance," Zeron said. "Once she saw the passing lane, she just took off." For Macharoundtheclock, a 4-year-old homebred daughter of Mach Three owned by Birnam Wood Farms and trained by Larry Remmen, she returned $22.40 (second choice) for her fourth win in six seasonal starts. The exacta paid $130, with the triple returning $500. A pair of series consolations, worth $25,000 and $12,500, respectively, were won by It's a Miracle (Brennan, $5.60) in a life-best 1:54.3 and Wednesday's Whim (Brennan again, $10) in 1:55.3 The $67,400 final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series, for 3- and 4-year-olds of the male persuasion, goes Tuesday night. Note that since no one took down Monday night's Pick-5, Tuesday's wager-which usually has a $10,000 guaranteed pool----shall now offers a $25,000 guaranteed pool...complete with a $7,907.68 carryover. The Pick-5 is a 50-cent base wager on races 5 through 9 nightly. Program pages for Tuesday's quintet are available at www.yonkersraceway.com. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 29, 2014 - "He stopped surprising me a long time ago," driver Yannick Gingras said before Foiled Again's 200th career start. There would be no surprises Saturday night, as Foiled Again's 78th lifetime victory was among his simplest in Round 2 of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Leaving from post position No. 4 in the last of four, $50,000 divisions, Foiled Again, leading a 1-20 Ron Burke-trained troika, had nothing more than a soggy stroll. After fractions of :28.1, :57, 1:25.3 and 1:53.4, Foiled Again found himself getting to the finish line 3¼ lengths before his competition. In this case, the closest competition was entrymate Aracache Hanover (Dan Dube), with Texican N (Brian Sears) third. For Foiled Again, a 10-year-old Dragon Again gelding, the $25,000 public workout payday increased his lifetime loot to $6,080,968. Burke co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. He returned the legal-minimum $2.10, with the exacta (Texican N second for this wager) paying $7.70. The win pool of $84,083-of which $56,387 was wagered on the "Foiled" faction-is believed to be the largest since the filly See You at Peelers whipped the boys in the Art Rooney Pace a couple of seasons ago. Foiled Again was just one of four repeat winners as the Levy series rolled on. It had to be contagious...even the Philadelphia 76ers won tonight. Mach it So (Tim Tetrick) has become the bettor's best friend. After winning at 8-1 in the opening leg, he snapped 9-10 choice Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson) on the money in the evening's fourth division to the tune of 20-1. Leaving from post No. 6, Mach it So was well back early as Dancin' Yankee (Ron Pierce) made the lead around Apprentice Hanover. After a 27-second opening quarter-mile, Sweet Lou (Gingras), half of the 9-10 second-choice (not a misprint as Apprentice Hanover was the wagering favorite), came to visit. However, the leader was in no mood for company, parking "Lou" passed a 55-second intermission. Down the backside, Sweet Lou's barn buddy, Easy Again (George Brennan), made a bold move, wide from fifth. However, going the 1:23.1 three-quarters, the leader stood his ground. Entering the lane, after Sweet Lou gave up the ghost, Apprentice Hanover adroitly slipped out of the pocket. He looked every bit the winner before the blur of Mach it So-fifth turning for home--nailed him by a head in 1:52.4. Third went to Easy Again. For Mach it So, a 4-year-old Mach Three gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trainer P J Fraley, he returned $42.80 (fourth choice) for his second win in two series/season starts. The exacta paid $116.50, with the triple returning $256. "He's been under the radar, but he's been very sharp," Tetrick said. "There was a lot of action up front, and that's what gave him a shot." The evening's other Levy events were won by... --Bettor's Edge,g,5 (by Bettor's Delight); co-owners (as Burke Racing, trainer) Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,M1 Stb/driver Gingras; 1:53.4/$2.60 (POE); --Itrustyou,g,6 (by Third Straight); co-owners (as Burke Racing, trainer) Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,RTC Stbs/driver Gingras; 1:55/$2.10 (POE). The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway
Thursday night harness racing was held at Kilmore with most classes catered for in an entertaining eight event card. Former Kiwi trainer/driver Warren Cochrane now based at Bagshot in Central Victoria, brought up victory number three with much improved four year old Mach Three / Executive Lady gelding Uroc Mman in the VHRSC Pace (Heat 2) for C1 class over 2180 metres at Kilmore on Thursday. Given the run of the race from inside the second row trailing the pole line pacemaker The Major League, Uroc Mman finished hard along the sprint lane to gain the day over the leader in a rate of 2-00.1. Rogers Joy (three back the markers) finished third. Axedale trainer/driver Mick Carbone’s New Zealand bred Mach Three / Vermillion five year old gelding Master Pip overcame a 30 metre backmark to land the Harness Thursday Trackside Treats Pacers Handicap for C1 class over 2150 metres. Stepping safely, Master Pip gradually made ground to be one/two mid-race, before moving a spot closer when the heavily backed Miss Toolern Vale crossed the leader Forever Arma at the bell leaving Sunrise Lady in the open. Taken three wide in the last lap to be outside the leader on the home turn, Master Pip gained the upper hand shortly after, holding a 4.5 meter margin to the wire in accounting for Miss Toolern Vale and Forever Arma in a rate of 2-02. Parwan trainer Geoff Walker combined with Jodi Quinlan to capture the Catch It To Kilmore 2-Y-0 Trotters Handicap over 1660 metres with Muscle Hill / Adellas Dash filly Glenferrie Burn. Making her third race appearance, Glenferrie Burn raced by Peter Chambers’ Glenferrie Farms Pty Ltd was safely away from barrier four, settling four back along the markers, before moving to be one/one in the final circuit following her stablemate Glenferrie Belle. Easing three wide on the final bend, Glenferrie Burn ran home stylishly to score by 3.2 metres in a slick rate of 2-07.2 for the babies over Mister Oz which did everything right to lead, with Glenferrie Belle third. Melton’s Alison Chisholm snared the www.facebook.com/kilmoreracing Claiming Pace over 2180 metres with Kiwi bred six year old Falcon Seelster / Mustang Sally gelding Jaccka Murphy. Trapped outside the pole line pacemaker Jaccka Tom from gate three in the early stages, Jaccka Murphy was driven with aggression to take over and once in front relaxed beautifully after spending plenty of petrol. Kicking clear on straightening, Jaccka Murphy defeated Summer Ace which raced outside him from the bell, giving the Melton district the quinella, with Jaccka Tom holding down third. The mile rate 2-00.8. Long Forest duo Andy and Kate Gath brought up victory number eleven with honest It Is I/Shot Of Sugar four year old entire Quadentate in the Kilmore Timber Hardware Mitre 10 Pace for C5 & C7 class over 2180 metres in a rate of 1-57.8. Starting from the extreme draw, Quadentate settled four back in the running line, with Salem leading from gate four. Commencing a forward move three wide solo at the bell, Quadentate gradually made ground on the leaders before finishing his race off well to score from Nimble Jack along the sprint lane after trailing the front runner. Artoc (three back the markers – four wide home turn) finished third. by Len Baker Courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria
Moving up in class with ease, the Victor Puddy-trained Twin B Wrangler cruised gate-to-wire in the featured $11,000 Preferred 2 Pace on Monday at The Raceway at the Western Fair District. A winner in the Preferred 3 last Monday night, Twin B Wrangler ($10) and driver Alfie Carroll left from post one in this evening's ninth race feature and carved out fractions of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:25.3 en route to the one and a half length victory in 1:55.3. Mach It Big and Robert Shepherd followed in second while Leafs And Wings (Scott Wray) rounded out the top three finishers. The five-year-old Mach Three gelding now has two wins in four London starts this year for owner Keith Cassell of Smiths Falls, Ont. The win was his 10th lifetime and bumped his bankroll to $113,910. To read rest of story click here.
In our prominent harness racing stallion series we have reviewed American Ideal, Art Major, Bettors Delight, Christian Cullen, Courage Under Fire, Mach Three, Western Terror and the trotting stallion Sundon. With the North American breeding season well underway we will continue on with some of the stallions making an impact on the breeding scene. Today we have produced an in depth review for the outstanding racehorse and stallion Somebeachsomewhere. All stats shown are as 17th March 2014. Enjoy the read. BREEDING By the champion son of Matts Scooter in Mach Three who has been in the elite handful of sires worldwide for several years. His dam is the Beach Towel mare Where’s The Beach who was unraced. She has produced ten foals and apart from Somebeachsomewhere has left six winners with Stars On The Water $141,294 (1:52f), Sun N Sand $124,050 (1:52.3s) and last season’s smart two year old in Some Major Beach $138,326 (1:53.1f) being the best of them. The grand dam is the Cam Fella mare in Where’s Sarah $19,576 (1:57f) who left seven foals for seven winners. These include Night Mystery $309,433 (1:50.4) Ifyoucouldcwhati C $348,560 (1:50.2s) and Canvas Master $137,527 (1:53.1z). An unraced daughter by Stand Forever in Ohio Annie has left the smart I Found My Beach $524,079 (1:50.2f). The third dam is the very good Steady Star mare The Booger Lady $34,629 (T 1:57). She has left 11 winners including the very good Cam Terrific $592,594 (1:49.3) now sire of 169 winners of just on $9 million in stakes as well as Flight Of Fire who only won $262,111 but has left a great legacy as a sire in Quebec, Canada. Flight Of Fire has sired over 560 winners with over $27 million in earnings to date. Somebeachsomewhere made $40,000 at auction which about sums up his pedigree, very handy but not exceptional. RACE RECORD Somebeachsomewhere faced the starter six times (all in Canada) at two for six wins amassing $812,592 in stakes. His best win was in the $1 million Metro Pace taking a world record for a two-year-old at that time of 1:49.3s. This was no ordinary group. This field was possibly one of the best group of two-year-olds ever and included Santanna Blue Chip ($1,641,643), Shadow Play ($1,599,822), Dali ($1,436,363), Deuce Seelster ($1,149,825), and Moon Beam ($785,986). This Metro Pace field have now combined earnings of over $11 million in stakes between them. Somebeachsomewhere's other notable wins as a two-year-old was in the $300,000 Battle Of Waterloo, the $145,300 Nasagaweya stakes and the $115,884 Champlain Stakes. His great unbeaten season at two only really served as an entree for what was an unbelievable three year old season. Facing the starter 15 times, Somebeachsomewhere won on 14 occasions with a sensational second in the $1 million Meadowlands Pace at his only other start. Many astute judges in North America maintain his second in the Meadowlands Pace as the best performance of his stellar career. This writer was on track for this outstanding and unbelievable race that is now regarded as "the race of the decade." In what is perhaps the greatest race in Meadowlands history, Art Official edges Somebeachsomewhere in a world record mile. To think that a horse could be attacking the leader three wide at the half in a world record 51.3 and lead at the three-quarters in 1:19.1 and still fight to the wire against a courageous and great Art Official in that world record 1:47 mile was something unreal and unbelievable to see but true. You have to see it to believe it! To be only beaten a neck! Somebeachsomewhere's biggest stake win was in the $1.5 million Pepsi North American Cup in 1:49. He won such time honoured classics as the $650,000 Messenger Stakes, the $500,000 Breeders Crown in 1:48.3 and the $493,000 final of the Confederation Cup (half mile track) in another world record 1:49.2. He ended his racing career with a record of 21 starts for 20 wins and 1 second for $3,328,755 in stakes. His lifetime marks are p2, 1:49.3s; p3, 1:46.4m, 1:49.2h. He took his lifetime mark of 1:46.4 in the $134,000 Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington to become the fastest three-year-old in history. In his fifteen starts at three he went under 1:50 on ten occasions. The season wasn't without its hiccups though with Somebeachsomewhere being scratched late twice due to lameness issues. But like the truly great horses do he overcame adversity to stake his claim as one of the greatest, possibly the greatest three year old harness racing has ever seen. NORTH AMERICAN STUD CAREER As you would expect for a stallion with such a great race record, Somebeachsomewhere has served large but not huge books since retiring to stud at Hanover Shoe Farm. His first crop numbered 124 foals of which 96 went through the sales ring as yearlings averaging a hefty $62,661. And they repaid the faith of those buyers by dominating North American two year old racing in 2012. Somebeachsomewhere topped the two year olds sires list in 2012 and that crop repeated the dose as three year olds in 2013 By the end of 2013 that first crop of Somebeachsomewhere had rewritten the harness racing record books. The numbers are truly amazing. Of his 124 foals, 111 have faced the starter with 96 being race winners. Twenty eight have won $100,000 while nine have gone under 1:50, and a huge 57 have gone under 1:53. Stakes won to date are a staggering $13,681,117 with an average per starter of $123,253 which is going to reach even greater record levels as most continue racing as older horses. The best performer from this crop to date is the brilliant colt, Captaintreacherous p3, 1:47.1m who in 26 starts at two and three, won 21 and was placed four times for $2 976,810 in stakes to have a record not too much inferior to his sire. Others to excel include Sunshine Beach 1:47.4f ($950,108), Somewhereovrerainbow 1:49.1m ($892,790) and Apprentice Hanover 1:49.4 ($597,474). Somebeachsomewhere won the three-year-old sire’s premiership in 2013 by over $2,800.000 The second crop of Somebeachsomewhere were also well received by the buyers at the yearling sales with 83 being sold averaging an enormous $83,681 They carried on from the first crop by topping the two year old sires list in 2013. Of the 114 two year olds sired by Somebeachsomewhere that season, 97 raced with 58 being winners. Of the four two year olds that went under 1:50 in 2013 throughout North America Somebeachsomewhere sired three of them. He had 21 under 1:53 and a staggering 42 under 1:55 His best performer was the filly Gallie Bythe Beach 1:50.3f ($344,076) while another filly Beach Body 1:53.1f ($290,769) was his second best performer. Others showing up are Limelight Beach 1:49.4 ($210,192), Beach Gal 1:50.3f ($142,361), Somestarsomewhere 1:49.2m and So Surreal 1:49.4m are all looking well above average. Somebeachsomewhere two-year-olds stakes total was nearly $500,000 ahead of his competition on the sires list in 2013. AUSTRALIAN SIRES RECORD Only available via frozen semen initially and served small books as a result. His oldest crop is three in the 2013/2014 season and numbers just 19 horses. Six of them have won to date with the best of them being the two-year-old Breeders Crown winner from 2013 in Whereibylong 1:56.8 ($224,228). A Breeder's Crown winner from your first crop of just 19 foals is a great achievement. The knockers are already out in Australia as with such great expectations for any horse by Somebeachsomewhere the breeders expect all his foals to be champions! Even though he only has 19 horses in that crop one could say that the results so far have been a bit short of what Somebeachsomewhere has achieved in North America which has raised the issue of the worth of "Frozen Semen" once again. His second crop in Australia numbers 49 and that should enable Somebeachsomewhere to be a major player in two-year-old racing in the 2013/2014 season. His third crop in Australia will only total 23 foals. His fourth crop is his first fresh semen crop with the horse standing in Australia at Empire Stallions. He bred 166 mares in Australia for 106 registered foals to date with 10 returns still to be filed, and 75 in New Zealand via fresh semen as well. That makes a total of 241 mares bred in his fourth season at stud down under. These resultant foals will give us all a much better assessment of just how great a stallion Somebeachsomewhere will be in Australia and New Zealand. NEW ZEALAND STUD RECORD Has a minute crop of three-year-olds which numbers just four. Two of those have won including the very smart Someardensomewhere 1:58.2 ($28,472) who has been racing at the elite three year old level in New Zealand. Only has eight two year olds this season for two qualifiers to date so impossible to draw any conclusions with such small numbers. Did serve 75 mares in his fourth season via fresh semen so we may have to wait for that crop to race to reach any valid conclusions about his record in New Zealand. POSITIVES The numbers say it all. This is that once in a generation stallion who has raised the bar on performance in harness racing. From every angle his numbers are better than what was thought to be achievable. He has not just made an incremental step forward for standardbreds but a giant leap. In my view without doubt the most influential sire since Albatross and his rewriting of the record books has only just started. NEGATIVES Probably the only one for most breeders is the service fee but when you are book full and closed three months before the breeding season at a fee of $30,000 then that is obviously not too expensive. It seems with his success in the Northern Hemisphere and his value having sky rocketed, the owners do not want him to shuttle again so he will more than likely not shuttle to the Southern Hemisphere and will only be available via frozen semen, which does work for some stallions and not for others. Results from his first crop in Australia suggests Somebeachsomewhere may fall into the second category. OVERVIEW Somebeachsomewhere is that once in a generation sire who lifts the whole standardbred breed to the next level. Book full and closed at $30,000 in North America says it all. The best sire in North America by a large margin but yet to have any impact in Australia due in part to small numbers. Does have 49 two year olds in Australia in 2013/2014 so that should be ample for Somebeachsomewhere to produce the outstanding juveniles he is renowned for in North America. If he doesn't then the focus on frozen semen will only grow. OVERALL RATING: 10 out 10 JC The Story of Somebeachsomewhere Part 1 The Story of Somebeachsomewhere Part 2 The story of Somebeachsomewhere Part 3 News maker of the year - Somebeachsomewhere Somebeachsomewhere - The Bluegrass Stakes - World Record 1:46.4 Somebeachsomewhere - Confederation Cup Somebeachsomewhere winning The Breeders Crown Somebeachsomewhere - North American Cup Final Somebeachsomewhere - 2007 Metro Pace Harnesslink has had such positive feedback on our "forgotten sires series" that we are running a series of reviews on our more prominent harness racing sires. As they say in racing you can criticize some ones car, house or wife but never their horse, and that still rings true. As a disclaimer to our next chapter of analysis we look to provide educated opinion based on years of industry knowledge and the truest form of critique backed by statistical data. The above PREVIEWS are set to strip back any sugar coated publicity often associated with Stallion promotion and give you the cold hard facts as JC sees them. (All statistical data was provided by TrackIt for North American stats and the official organizations of New Zealand and Australia) A Sire review - American Ideal A Sire review - Art Major A Stallion review - Bettors Delight A Stallion review - Christian Cullen A Stallion review - Courage Under Fire A Stallion review - Mach Three A Stallion review - Sundon A Stallion review - Western Terror And here is "The forgotten sire’s series" This is a series of stallion reviews that Harnesslink have already completed with a view to sheading some light on some of the "forgotten” sires in Australasia. Elsu - Redemption awaits McArdle - The quiet achiever Santanna Blue Chip - On the up and up! Major In Art - Big and fast Mr Feelgood - Dual hemisphere champion Pay Me Christian - Blistering speed Monkey Bones - All class Tinted Cloud - Still going strong Real Desire - The real deal Washington VC - Continuing excellence Western Ideal - A superstar sire Bacardy Lindy - Blue blood Monarchy - Out of Sundons shadow Artiscape - Frozen semen blues? Dream Vacation - Frozen semen superstar Badlands Hanover - Great value Lis Mara - The quiet achiever Brylin Boyz - Potential fulfilled
Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. maintained his dominance of feature events at Gloucester Park when his younger son Gary produced a near-perfect drive to land up-and-coming star Northview Punter a decisive and impressive winner of the $35,000 Alltools Four And Five-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And to emphasise the 64-year-old's overwhelming superiority in West Australian harness racing he produced the trifecta, with Soho Valencia (Clint Hall) finishing second, a neck ahead of Benjamin Banneker (Justin Prentice). The trifecta paid $514.70 for a $1 investment. Hall sen. is now mapping out plans for the New Zealand-bred four-year-old Northview Punter to contest the rich feature events at next summer's Gloucester Park carnival. "He has taken his time to hit his straps," Hall jun. said. "He's always had the ability, but it has taken a little while to get it out of him. He's a bull and he's starting to mature at the right time. "I always thought that he was just below them (the State's top pacers), but the way he's going now, and if he keeps heading in that direction, he's going to be a player come Christmas." In a keen betting race, Northview Punter was solidly supported to start third favourite at 7/2, with five-year-olds Soho Valencia and Red Salute sharing favouritism at 2/1. Benjamin Banneker was a 52/1 tote outsider. Red Salute, as expected, jumped straight to the front from the No. 1 barrier and Hall jun. urged Northview Punter forward from the No. 4 barrier to race three wide for the first 200m before applying some pressure on Red Salute. Northview Punter then gained the one-out, one-back trail after a lap when Soho Valencia (sent forward, three wide, after 600m) moved into the breeze. After moderate first sections of the final mile in 30.8sec. and 30.4sec., the third 400m section whizzed by in a sizzling 27.7sec. when Soho Valencia challenged Red Salute for supremacy. Finally, Soho Valencia took the lead 250m from home, but he was unable to withstand the powerful late burst from Northview Punter, who burst to the front with 70m to travel and went on to win by just under a length at a 1.57.1 rate after a final quarter of 28.8sec. Benjamin Banneker raced three back on the pegs before finishing strongly to be third, with Rocky Marciano sustaining a spirited three-wide burst to be a splendid fourth. Red Salute wilted to fifth. Northview Punter, by Bettors Delight, has now earned $256,915 from 18 wins and 12 placings from 38 starts. Hall jun. admitted that he was "not really confident" after the third quarter in 27.7sec., saying: "He did sort of drop the bit at that stage. He does struggle a bit with point-to-point speed. But that quarter down the back definitely brought me into the race and on the bend he was charging, full of running." HALL SUSPENDED FOR 30 DAYS AND WILL MISS WA DERBY Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. has been denied the opportunity of winning the $200,000 WA Derby on April 11 after being suspended for 30 days for causing interference in the Alltools Red Lithium Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 31-year-old Hall, in the sulky behind 7/4 favourite Korobeit Angel, was suspended for severely checking the early pacemaker Lord Lexus rounding the first turn shortly after the start of the 1730m event. Korobeit Angel, who started from barrier three and raced three wide early, contacted the off fore leg of Lord Lexus, causing the 5/1 third favourite to break into a gallop and drop back to the rear. Korobeit Angel then went on to set the pace. She pulled hard in the lead and wilted to finish third behind the fast-finishing last-start winner and 20/1 chance Hokuri Handrail and Little Boy Blue. The 30-day suspension is the heaviest penalty in recent years imposed on a driver causing interference in a race in WA. The stewards intended to hand down a 34-day suspension before reducing the penalty to 30 days after Hall pleaded guilty to the charge of careless driving in that he allowed Korobeit Angel to shift in and check Lord Lexus. Hall decided to start his suspension immediately and did not drive at the Bunbury meeting on Saturday night. He has driven 99 winners in WA this season and will be eligible to resume at the Pinjarra meeting on Monday April 21. Korobeit Angel sprinted over the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.4sec. and sustained a smart pace with the next quarters in 29.3sec., 29.3sec. and 29.1sec. Hokuri Handrail, an M3-class pacer, became eligible to contest Friday night's event restricted to M0 and M2-class performers when trainer Kristie Morrone engaged Luke Edwards to make use of his concession as a junior driver. Hokuri Handrail started from the outside of the back line and was on the pegs in eighth position at the bell before Edwards brought the New Zealand-bred six-year-old home with a brilliant burst. Edwards eased the gelding off the pegs with 250m to travel and after going four wide on the home turn Hokuri Handrail charged home from fifth at the 100m mark to burst to the front 50m from the post. He rated 1.56 in scoring his 13th win from 39 starts in WA. He now has earned $129,752 from 18 wins and ten placings from 61 starts. DALTON MAKES A GREAT START TO WA CAREER Former Victorian trainer-reinsman Clive Dalton made a wonderful debut as a trainer at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Major Fury set the pace and held on to win the 2503m Alltools The Name Says It All Handicap. The 55-year-old Dalton, who has driven about 500 winners and trained almost 700 winners in Victoria, prepares Major Fury for New South Wales breeder-owner Matthew Sandblom at Neven Botica's Herron property, 60km north of Bunbury. Dalton took over the preparation of Major Fury from Peter Tilbrook after the NSW-bred five-year-old had finished second to Hez Got The Nod at Gloucester Park a fortnight before Friday night's success. In an unusual coincidence, Next Dawn, the winner of the final race on Friday night's program, was trained and driven by Dalton for 17 starts in 2011 for three wins at Shepparton and one win at Cobram. Major Fury was a firm even-money favourite on Friday night and his supporters were on good terms with themselves when Callan Suvaljko got the gelding away to a flying start from the inside of the front line. After an opening quarter of the final mile in 30.7sec., Suvaljko increased the tempo and Major Fury covered the next three sections in 29.7sec., 28.9sec. and 29.2sec. Major Fury fought on tenaciously to beat 10/1 chance The Pacing Priest, who finished strongly from fifth at the bell to go down by only one metre. A neck away in third place was Black Cracker, who trailed the pacemaker throughout. "As soon as he jumped away I was pretty confident," Suvaljko said. "He can roll 30sec. quarters and sprint home pretty well. That was the plan to roll along and make it difficult for the backmarkers. He should win more races." Major Fury, a winner of four races in NSW as a two and three-year-old, has had 16 starts in WA for six wins and three seconds to boost his career earnings to $63,189 from ten wins and five seconds from only 27 starts. His dam The Kindly One (by American stallion Praised Dignity) raced 42 times in NSW for eight wins, 11 placings and $95,562. She has produced six winners, including Art Princess, an earner of $179,364 from 14 wins and 21 placings from 62 starts. The Kindly One's dam, the Queensland-bred Kotare Fury, had 100 starts form 19 wins and 38 placings for stakes of 72,958. EYRE CRUSHER STAKES HIS DERBY CLAIMS Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has a vice-like grip on the $200,000 WA Derby on April 11 with a team of brilliant three-year-olds, including Elegant Christian, Machtu, High Courage, Pelusiac and Classic American. And Eyre Crusher emerged as another realistic prospect for the Hall camp in the group 1 classic when Clint hall drove him to a thrilling fast-finishing victory in the 2130m Milwaukee Nothing But Heavy Duty WA Derby Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "Eyre Crusher will beat any of my three-year-olds, sitting on them, as long as he doesn't work early," Hall sen. said. "When Gary drives him at home he says he feels the closest to Im Themightyquinn. But he's not strong. He's got a lightning burst for about two furlongs, and once he's at the end of that he falls in a heap. He's an opportunist." Pelusiac was all the rage in Friday night's race and was sent out favourite at 5/2 on, with Eyre Crusher second favourite at the gift odds of 15/2 and Bettor Offer, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, at 8/1. Pelusiac lacked sparkle from the No. 2 barrier and raced without cover for the first 500m taking over as pacemaker from 33/1 chance Back On Board. Bettor Offer then was left in the breeze and Eyre Crusher gained the perfect one-out and one-back trail. Colin Brown sent Bettor Offer to the front 140m from the post, but he was overhauled in the final stride by the flying Eyre Crusher, who gained the verdict in the photo by a nose. Both the final 400m sections were covered in 28.1sec. and Eyre Crusher rated 1.56.7. Eyre Crusher won once from two starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand and his record now stands at nine starts for four wins and four seconds for earnings of $39,623. He is the first foal out of Mach Three mare Lucasta Midfrew, who won twice from 30 starts. Lucastra Midfrew's half-sister (by Christian Cullen) Libertybelle Midfrew won the $156,000 Yearling sales final for two-year-old fillies by five lengths at Alexandra Park in April 2013. DELIGHTFUL JADE OVERCOMES A CHECK TO WIN Delightful Jade, who is closely related to former star performer Whitbys Miss Penny, remained unbeaten after two starts when she unwound a spirited finishing burst to win the $21,000 Alltools Western Crown Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She overcame a check approaching the home turn to get up and beat the pacemaker and 7/4 on favourite Mohito, who dead-heated for second with 20/1 chance Lady Willoughby. Mohito was two lengths clear of her nearest rival with 100m to travel before she wilted and was defeated by Delightful Jade, who trailed her throughout. Tricky Styx, a 6/1 chance driven by Aiden De Campo, raced in last place in the field of six before starting a three-wide move at the 550m mark. She sprinted strongly to get three-quarters of a length in front of Mohito 250m from home. She had not crossed to a clear lead when she broke into a gallop approaching the home turn. "When I got checked when Aiden's horse galloped I didn't think I was going to pick up the leader," said Delightful Jade's driver Matt White. "To her credit she knuckled down and did the job. She has got a great attitude and will only improve. This is the first time I have driven her and I was pretty impressed." Delightful Jade, second favourite at 9/4 and trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo for breeder-owner Melissa Howie, is by Bettors Delight out of Booth Hanover mare Whitbys Solitaire, who raced only nine times for two wins, four placings and $5443. Delightful Jade has earned $18,620 for her two wins from two starts. Whitbys Solitaire is out of Fiscal Miss, a mare who won 15 races and earned $53,854. The first foal out of Fiscal Miss was Whitbys Miss Penny, who was retired after having had 50 starts for 32 wins and six placings for $568,289 in prizemoney. Whitbys Miss Penny won the $80,000 Edgar Tatlow Stakes at Moonee Valley in March 1990 at her third start and her victories in 1991 included the Western Gateway Pace, the Battle of Bunbury, the WA Oaks, the WA Derby, the Caduceus Club Classic, the Sires for three-year-old fillies, the Pink Diamond and the Four-Year-Old Coca Cola Pace. In 1992 she finished second to Impressionist in the Golden Nugget Championship and won the Fremantle Cup, the Mount Eden Sprint, the Bunbury Cup and a prelude of the WA Pacing Cup. RED HOT MAJOR CALLS THE TUNE Red Hot Major, the 11/4 second favourite, made the most of an abominable start by 2/1 favourite Artillery Major by leading all the way in the $21,000 Alltools Western Crown Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Artillery Major galloped badly and lost about 200m and this enabled Kim Young to drive Red Hot Major hard from the No. 4 barrier to cross to the front soon after the start. Red Hot Major was joined in the lead in the first lap by 13/4 third favourite Out Of The Shadow and he looked set for an easy victory when that gelding began to wilt in the final circuit. But debutant Military Master, a 7/1 chance who had trailed Red Hot Major all the way, loomed as a serious threat when he got into the clear approaching the home turn and ran home determinedly. However, Red Hot Major revealed splendid fighting qualities to resist the challenge and go on and win by 1m at a 1.59.6 rate over 1730m. "The other horse (Military Master) went really well and surprised me a bit," said Young. "I was probably driving to beat two of the others (Artillery Major and Out Of The Shadow) and when Military Master came at me I thought we were going to get beaten. Military Master was not the worst horse, but one we didn't know anything about. However, my horse showed good endeavour." Red Hot Major, owned and trained by Gary Elson, has won at his first two starts and has earned $18,035. His dam Red Hot Rita earned $32,564 from 11 wins and 13 placings from 46 starts. Red Hot Rita also produced smart performers Just Live Life (43 starts for ten wins, 16 placings and $60,440) and Im Smouldering, who had 31 starts for 14 wins, 14 placings and $262,475 in prizemoney. Im Smouldering won the group 2 Tatlow Stakes for two-year-old fillies at Melton in May 2012, defeating the brilliant Frith, and the group 1 $100,000 Vicbred Super Series final for three-year-old fillies at Melton last July. NEXT DAWN SHINING FOR CUMMINGS Former Victorian pacer Next Dawn maintained his sound form for his new trainer Graham Cummings when he finished in dashing style to score an easy victory in the 1730m Make Smoking History Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A winner at Northam four starts earlier, Next Dawn was a 14/1 chance from barrier two on the back line, with polemarker I Am Legend (boasting a losing sequence of 17 and unplaced at his previous 12 starts) a well-supported favourite at 5/2, with Absolute Cool, placed once at his previous eight starts, a strong second fancy at 13/4 from barrier four on the front line. Next Dawn, driven for the first time by Robbie Williams, raced in seventh position, three back on the pegs while I Am Legend set the pace with Absolute Cool working hard in the breeze. Williams got Next Dawn off the pegs and into the clear approaching the home turn and the Victorian-bred six-year-old finished strongly to take the lead 90m from the post. He won by one and a half lengths from I Am legend, with two lengths to Im Terrific in third place after that pacer had trailed the pacemaker all the way. Next Dawn, who rated 1.56.3, has won 11 times from 42 starts in Western Australia to take his record to 75 starts for 16 wins, 14 placings and $97,947. By American stallion Dawn Of A New Day, he is the fifth and final foal, and only winner, out of unraced What's Next mare Next Interest. PACIFIC WARRIOR A MAJOR CHANC E IN CLARKE FINAL New Zealand-bred six-year-old Pacific Warrior emerged as the horse to beat in the $25,000 final of the Clarke Pace next Friday night when he gave another powerhouse performance to score a narrow but impressive victory in the third qualifying heat at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pacific Warrior was a 6/1 chance from barrier five on the front line, with most punters pinning their faith in the polemarker Lovers Delight, who started favourite at 6/4 on. Our Arlington (barrier three) and Menelaus of Sparta (four) were smartest into stride, but neither was able to get to an early lead, with Chris Lewis driving hard to keep Lovers Delight in front with a slick lead time of 36.6sec. Kade Howson did not bustle Pacific Warrior early before he sent the gelding forward to move into the breeze after about 600m. After the first two sections of the final mile in 30.5sec. and 30sec. Howson applied more pressure on the leader and the next two quarters whizzed by in 28.4sec. and 28.1sec. Pacific Warrior got his head in front 400m from home and he and Lovers Delight matched strides down the home straight, with Pacific Warrior prevailing by a half-head, with 5m to Pride of Colorado, who trailed the leader all the way. "Lovers Delight ran the lead time (a brisk 36.6sec.) and we stayed out of that," Howson said. "And from there we just had to keep at him. Lovers Delight had burnt early and was a bit vulnerable. Pacific Warrior just keeps coming. He's a tough, big horse and hopefully he will develop into a Cups prospect." Pacific Warrior, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, has had 30 starts in WA for 16 wins, six seconds and two thirds to take his career record to 57 starts for 20 wins, 15 placings and $176,293 in stakes. SHIRLZ SENSATION LOOKS SET FOR A BRIGHT CAREER Lightly-raced four-year-old Shirlz Sensation has taken his time to develop and is now giving promise of becoming a good winner for Jandabup trainer Mike Beech. Shirlz Sensation started from the outside of the front line at the gift price of 15/2 in the third qualifying heat of the 2130m Community Newspaper Group Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and gave a most impressive display to score an effortless victory. Atlastalone, favourite at 11/8 from barrier three on the front line, hung out in the score-up and locked sulky wheels with Kissed Flush when the mobile sent the field on its way. Outsider Mako Shadow was smartest into stride, but was unable to wrest the lead from polemarker Atomic Chip (4/1) in a fast lead time of 36.1sec. Ryan Warwick then sent Firebomb to the front after 520m and soon after that Chris Lewis dashed Shirlz Sensation forward to work hard in the breeze. Shirlz Sensation led by a half-length at the bell and remained in that position for the next 500m before forging to a clear lead 300m from home. Shirlz Sensation then careered away from his rivals to cover the final 400m in 28.4sec. and win at a 1.56.7 rate by a margin of 31 metres from Soho Monza, with a head to Firebomb. Shirlz Sensation has had 21 starts for six wins, three placings and stakes of $48,971. COMPACT ROCKET DELAYS THE START AND THEN BEHAVES PERFECTLY West Australian-bred five-year-old Compact Rocket, who has been unreliable at the start in several recent stands, again was fractious behind the tapes and delayed the start of the 2503m Alltools.com.au Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Chris Voak then got Compact Rocket away to a perfect flying start and the gelding burst straight to the front before bowling along in the lead and scoring an easy victory, beating Pacific Playboy by one and a half lengths, with Veitchy flashing home along the pegs to be third. Compact Rocket, a 7/1 chance trained by Ross Olivieri, kept his rivals, particularly 2/1 favourite Trojan Bromac, well at bay in the middle stages when he dashed through the second and third quarters of the final mile in 29.9sec. and 28.2sec. Trojan Bromac, who moved into the breeze with two laps to travel, wilted to finish fifth. Compact Rocket is by American sire Dr Drew and is the only winner out of New Zealand-bred mare Pipe Dreamer, who raced eight times in New Zealand and eight times in Victoria for just one win, at Cranbourne in August 2001. Compact Rocket, bred and owned by Bob Fowler, has been a handy performer who has earned $64,396 from nine wins and nine placings from 55 starts. by Ken Casellas
Smart three-year-old No Doctor Needed looks right on target for next week’s $45,000 Southern Supremacy after coasting to an effortless win at Invercargill on Saturday. “We didn’t really want to start him, as it means he will race three weeks in a row, but there was a chance that if he didn’t win another race in the South he could lose his spot in the Supremacy and that was a risk that we weren’t willing to take,” said trainer Robert Dunn. No Doctor Needed, who is a strong strapping son of Mach Three and star mare Molly Darling, has now had three starts for two wins and a second, but Robert Dunn is adamant that the three-year-old could have just as easily been unbeaten. “He was a run short last week so Johnny (Dunn) opted to take a trail behind Gentle Western and the race ended up being nothing more than a sprint home,” said Dunn. “But i’m confident that he would be three for three if he stayed in front.” “I think he has the potential to be a very very good horse,” Dunn added. “And if he manages to find the top in the Southern Supremacy I don’t think John will be taking a trail. He seems better when in front at this stage of his career as he is such a big rolling type.” Dunn, who will also have Return To Sender in next Sunday’s $45,000 co-feature, will be looking for back-to-back Supremacy victories after taking the race out last year with Elios, a horse who shares many similar traits to No Doctor Needed. Meanwhile, Raksdeal looks near on unbeaten in the $45,000 Southland Oaks after setting a fillies track record on Saturday in what was her first run in nearly two months. By Mitchell Robertson