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As this weekends Australasian Breeders Crown finals loom large, here at Harnesslink we thought we would do a runner by runner preview of each of the finals at Tabcorp Park Melton. First up is the $84,000 two year old trotting fillies final 1) High Gait  (Muscles Yankee)     Starts 8   -   Wins 7   -   Seconds 1   -   Thirds 0     Stakes  $100,631   High Gait has had an outstanding season winning seven from eight and being beaten a nose in her other start. Beat the boys on Redwood day and from this draw with her gait speed it is hard to see her beaten.  Great manners just add to the impression that she is nigh on unbeatable from barrier 1 2) The Cooler  (Majestic Son)   Starts 4   -   Wins 0   -   Seconds 0   -   Thirds 3   -   Stakemoney $8,200 The Cooler is yet to go a bad race in her brief four start career with three thirds and a fourth. Hard to see her troubling two or three here on class but does things right which is a big plus in two year old trots. Throw in for trifectas and first fours 3) Smile Smile Smile  (Angus Hall)   -   Starts 3  -  Wins 2  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $7493 Promising filly with a good draw but needed to draw inside High Gait to be a chance to beat her. Still on the up and looks a major player her. Must include for trifecta and first four takers. 4) A Nip Will Do (Bacardi Lindy)  Starts 14  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 3  -  Stakes $7,178 Thereabouts in a lot of her starts this season but it is hard to see her playing a major part here. Several runners appear to have the wood on her in this race going on past performances. Not for us. 5) Jay Bee Flex (Federal Flex)  Starts 6  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 2  -  Stakes $4363 Last run at Maryborough was her best run this season, finishing a close up third to Smile Smile Smile. However the depth of this field is far stronger and the draw doesn't help either. Not for us. 6) Liava (Bacardi Lindy)  Starts 4  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $1403 Has failed to really impress in her four starts todate. Hard to see on exposed form how she is a player here. Not for us 7) Parisian Chic (Love You)  Starts 6  -  Wins 3  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $18,658 A real winning chance if she had just drawn well instead of the outside of the front line. Really nice second two starts back to Missandei and has won three of her last four. Major player here but more a trifecta and first four chance due to the draw                                                                                                                         SECOND LINE 8) Missandei (Angus Hall)  Starts 7  -  Wins 3  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $76,530 The obvious danger to High Gait  having drawn on her back and seems to have improved even further since her Harness Jewels win. Only filly in this field to have beaten High Gait but her fortunes may depend on how much mid race pressure the favourite is put under. Can win this but does need a few things to go her way. Clear second pick. 9) Cobbler Creek (Great Success)  Starts 9  -  Wins 1  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $6438 Has won a race this season which is more than some here. Just appears to be be a length or two off the good ones in this race Not for us. 10) Sky Majesty (Skyvalley)  Starts 8  -  Wins 1  -  Seconds 2  -  Thirds 1  -  Stakes $12,540 Has really come solid in her last four starts and has definitely improved lately. Needed a good front line draw to help her chances so from three second line she faces a real challenge. First four player at best for us from the draw. 11) Fear Not (Skyvalley)  Starts 12  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 0  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $2935  ( Emerg 1) The emergency for the race and on disclosed form would appear to be out of her depth. Not for us 12) Social Fireball (Courage Under Fire)  Starts 7  -  Wins 1  -  Seconds 4  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $18,676 Pacing bred filly that has developed into a lovely trotter. Hard to fault her last five runs with her second in the $60,000 Vicbred Trot in smart time over the distance of 2240 metres a good pointer. Appeals to us as a trifecta and first four player even from the draw. 13) Mizurri (Skyvalley)   Starts 3  -  Wins 0  -  Seconds 1  -  Thirds 0  -  Stakes $1,038 Very inexperienced filly and this looks a huge jump in class to us. Throw in the draw and it looks like mission impossible. Not for us. SELECTIONS High Gait from the draw looks very hard to beat. Should lead and should win Missandei is the clear second pick and if High Gait is eyeballed in front during the race, she is a chance to upset the favourite up the passing lane. For trifecta and first four takers, throw in The Cooler, Smile Smile Smile, Parisian Chic and Social Fireball. Harnesslink Media

Yearlings by many of the world’s greatest sires will go up for auction at the Shepparton Mixed Sale, to be held at the Shepparton Racing Complex on Sunday September 6.   The 18-strong yearling contingent features yearlings by 14 different sires headed up by champion sire Mach Three and leading trotting sire Majestic Son, as well as Modern Art, Shadow Play (3 lots), Artistic Fella, Jet Laag, Village Jolt (3 lots), Major In Art, Tell All and Mister Big.   Several exciting, young sires will be represented by their first crop and they include  USA 2YO of the Year Big Jim, the $1.6million winner Betterthancheddar, dual NZ Horse of the Year Auckland Reactor and NZ 2YO of the Year Smiling Shard.   The catalogue comprises youngsters out of 2:00 winning mares and 2:00 winner producers.   There’s colts out of the former 3YO Filly of the Year Yeronga Songbird, Melbourne winners Room With A View (1:56) and Our Favourite Girl, Got The Gold (6 wins) and Closetomyheart (Tr 2:04.2) and fillies from the USA Stakes winner Out Of Sight  1:52.4 ($200,142), the NSW Oaks placegetter Lahaini (1:57.5) and the Melton winner Kiss And Fly (1:58.4).   The sale also highlights half-sisters to   *The Youthful Stakes winner Vista Bella 1:57.9 ($110,021)   *The smart racemares Twirling ($105,707) and Golden Grinder 1:55.6 ($90,340)   * Half-brothers to the Moonee Valley winner Stormwarning, Boston Yankee (1:56.6) and The Lombo heat winner Rosemay.   For a catalogue or further information contact Shepparton Harness Racing Club manager Ian McDonald on phone 0428 231 403 or email shepparton@hrv.org.au    Pedigrees can be downloaded from the website www.sheppartonhrc.com.au   Click on the News link. Pedigrees are also available on the Shepparton HRC Facebook page.   Peter Wharton

He did it with Peak in 2013 and now Canterbury harness racing trainer Tim Butt is hoping another Swedish trotter named Daryl Boko can get him back into the big time. The five-year-old flew into New Zealand last weekend and will join Butt's Premier Stables in another week and, hopefully, be ready to contest the feature trotting races at cup time in November. He will be a welcome recruit for Butt who has just ended one of his quietest seasons since he started training, producing only 85 starters for just six wins.  Butt has been on the lookout for a replacement for Peak since he galloped out of the 2103 Dominion Handicap in only his third start here and was later found to have injured a hind suspensory ligament. It was a cruel blow for Butt and the syndicate which imported Peak and two other trotters from Scandinavia as Peak won his only two other starts, the Trotters' Flying Mile at Ashburton and NZ Free-for-all at Addington. "He was an awesome horse to drive and could have been anything," said Butt who attempted to bring Peak back but eventually retired him to stud, where at Alabar he is now attracting a lot of attention. Unable to buy one of the better trotters here, Butt also tried importing one from the United States in the well performed Imperial Count but that project foundered when the horse bled in his first race here, last September's Ordeal Cup. "We didn't know what we needed when we bought the last lot from Scandinavia but Peak proved up to the best and we didn't want to go below his standard this time. "Even though Kvintet Avenger also won a Group I race in Australia (the Trotters Cup at Menangle) you have to pay good money for the really good ones. "I didn't want an old horse, who'd done it already, I wanted a young, up-and-coming one, and they're not easy to get." Butt entrusted his search to Swedish trainer Sofia Arronson who worked for him here in 2006 and she eventually hit the jackpot securing Daryl Boko from Veijo Heiskanen for a sum well into six figures. Most of Butt's loyal owners who had shares in Peak have come in on Daryl Boko, with a few newcomers as well, Butt said. "I didn't initially want a gelding - with a stallion you always have a stud career to fall back on - but Peak was pretty colty and geldings actually settle in better to new surroundings. "Daryl Boko is five by northern hemisphere time but he's had only 28 starts and is untapped." Butt said he had clocked Daryl Boko in several of his races and he had run the equivalent of  2:25 for 2000 metres and 3:57 for 3200 metres, times which would win him any race in New Zealand. With nine wins, four seconds and three thirds and NZ$130,000 in stakes, Daryl Boko had shown he was a top flight contender, winning a heat of the Finnish Trotting Derby (2640m) last September and running third in the $NZ165,000 final. Peak had won the Denmark Derby, a slightly inferior quality race.  By Majestic Son, the leading age group trotting stallion in New Zealand, Daryl Boko was actually bred in the United States out of the Donerail mare Insider Trade. Butt said while Daryl Boko had been stuck in quarantine for four weeks in England and would have a fortnight couped up here before being released, he raced as recently as July 2 so his job of readying him for racing would be easier. "But to be racing by cup time we can't afford anything to go wrong." Butt said he was in a rebuilding phase after many horses had reached their mark and were sold. His team was down to only 14. "It's tough going. We've had to start again and the owners aren't there like they used to be - they don't want to compete against the big stables like Mark Purdon, Robert Dunn and Cran Dalgety. "But we have some nice young ones coming along." Butt served notice that he was on the front foot again, with two wins from his first two starters of the season in Franco Harrington and Prestine, placing him second on the premiership after two weeks. But he knows it will take a while again before he enjoys the highs of 2006 and 2007 when Flashing Red won the New Zealand Trotting Cup twice and, more recently, 2011 when he was seventh on the trainers' ladder with 47 wins racing high achievers like Vulcan, Stunin Cullen, Choise Achiever and Raglan. Barry Lichter Reproduced with permission of Stuff NZ - Check site here

Magical Steph scored her third straight win in Grassroots action at the harness racing meeting during Georgian Downs' celebration of the Ontario Sires Stakes program on Saturday evening. The two-year-old trotting filly and driver Steve Byron of Thornton, ON powered away from Post 7 and sat third through fractions of :28 and :59, then moved to take command of the race heading for the 1:28.3 three-quarters. One and three-quarter lengths ahead of the field turning for home, Magical Steph hit the wire three lengths ahead of her peers in 1:58.1. Dayliner and Wonder Wand earned the second and third place shares of the $18,000 Grassroots purse. "Some of the guys in our barn, they joke that she's been push button right from the start," said owner-trainer Gary Lance with a chuckle. "A Kadabra - push button." Magical Steph qualified at Georgian Downs on June 27 and made her racing debut in the first freshman trotting filly Gold Leg at the Innisfil oval on July 12. The daughter of Kadabra and I Like Stephanie finished a closing fourth, but Lance felt a stint at the Grassroots level would serve as a better platform for the filly's long term development. "She was a late foal, she's a May foal, and we lost a little bit of time with her in the spring." "We knew going into the start of the Sires Stakes that she was a little bit behind the other fillies, probably a good month, so that's kind of why we just thought we'd try her in the Gold and see how she was," explained Lance. "She's getting better every week and these races in the Grassroots have really helped her develop." Since moving down to the Grassroots level, Magical Steph has posted a 2:02.1 quarter length victory at Grand River Raceway on July 22, a four and three-quarter length 1:57.1 personal best at Mohawk Racetrack on July 30 and Saturday night's victory at Georgian Downs. Through four starts she has banked $31,200. Once the filly has a had a few days to recover from Saturday's contest, Lance will decide whether her next start will be the fifth Grassroots event at Rideau Carleton Raceway on August 16 or the fourth Gold Series event, back at Georgian Downs on August 15. "We'll see how she comes out of this, we haven't decided what we're going to do next week, whether we're going to go to Ottawa," said the Port Perry, ON resident. "It's kind of a long hike up to Ottawa, so we just might stay local around here and try the Gold." A $50,000 purchase from the Harrisburg Yearling Sale last fall, Magical Steph is a full-sister to Lance's good trotter Cold Certified, who was a three-time Gold Elimination winner in his 2012 sophomore season. Since then the colt has gone on to earnings of $436,478 and currently competes out of the Jeff Brewer barn at Scioto Downs. "We raced the full brother to her, Cold Certified, I bought him off Robert and Owen Coblentz from Double Spring Farm in Ohio," said Lance "She's kind of like the spitting image of him, looks just like him and travels the same way on the track like him." Lance, who works full-time as a maintenance manager at Ontario Power Generation, currently has one other trotter in his barn in addition Magical Steph and says the support of family and friends have been instrumental to both the filly's and her brother's success. "This is our hobby, and we always have a good contingent of people that come with us and support us." "My buddy Brian Samis and his son Ryan, they come to almost every race," said Lance. "We always have fun when we go to race, we always enjoy it." "I think it's kind of a boys night out for us because we don't race very often, and when we go out we really enjoy it and we enjoy each other's company." "We have a great time when we do race." "And my son helps out quite a bit, Trevor (Lance), he helps around the barn and comes and helps us race and he helps with the daily activities at the barn, he's quite involved as well." Other ownership groups that were celebrating at Georgian Downs on Saturday were those connected to Dewdle All Day, Its All About Sam, Majestic Presence, Smash Hit, Liseberg and Mariana. Dewdle All Day popped out of the pocket to win the first division for trainer-driver Dustin Jones of Waterdown, ON and his partners 9177 8720 Quebec Inc. of Saint-Sauveur, QC and Greg Judson of Athens, ON. The Deweycheatumnhowe daughter hit the wire in a personal best 1:59.3, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of favourite I Want Kandy and Shezastrikin Loral. Its All About Sam picked up her third Grassroots trophy in the second division, cruising home a two and three-quarter length winner in 1:58.3. Paul MacDonell of Guelph, ON crafted the win for trainer Scott McEneny of Waterdown, ON and owners Brad Grant and Teresa Davidson of Milton, ON and Michelle McEneny of Waterdown. Tough Affair and Chapel Hall finished second and third behind the Angus Hall daughter. Majestic Presence went gate-to-wire in 1:58.4 to record her first lifetime victory for trainer-driver Anthony MacDonald of Guelph, ON and owners Brenda Selwyn Waxman and Isaac Waxman of Dundas, ON, Rene Allard of Milford, PA and Danielle Henri of Saint-Esprit, QC. The Majestic Son daughter bested Trumpets and Jarette AS by four and one-half lengths. Smash Hit also earned her first victory with a 1:59.2 score in the fifth division. The Kadabra filly and trainer-driver Per Henriksen of Norwood, ON hit the wire one and one-half lengths ahead of Traviata and Anneli Hanover. Steve Organ of Aurora, ON and Asa Farm of Norwood share ownership of Smash Hit. Owner, trainer and driver Dagfin Henriksen of Peterborough, ON guided Liseberg to her first win in Race 6, one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Cadillac Sally and Malia. The Johnny William daughter controlled the tempo from start to finish, reaching the wire in 1:58.1. The final Grassroots trophy of the evening went home with Mariana, who sprinted down the stretch to a 1:59.3 victory over Malibu Seelster and T C Sno Massive. Riina Rekila of Campbellville, ON trains and drives Manofmanymissions daughter Mariana for Overseas Farms Ltd. of Campbellville. Next Saturday, August 15 Georgian Downs hosts Gold Series action for both the two-year-old pacing fillies and two-year-old trotting fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

JULY 22, 2015 - Guelph resident Anthony MacDonald took his brother's advice about an equipment change on two-year-old trotting filly Onatopp, and it paid off with a harness racing Grassroots victory at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening. "I was stubborn; I didn't want to put the hopples on her. I felt that, the few times that I put them on her, I didn't feel that she was as strong or as fast with them on, and I felt that I could keep her trotting, at least on the bigger track, without them," said MacDonald, who co-owns, trains and drives Onatopp. "And James had schooled her for me when I was away and he said, you know, I think she needs the hopples. And, you know, he was right. I put them on her and she was really, really good." Making her debut with trotting hopples from Post 9 in Wednesday's sixth Grassroots division, Onatopp was able to secure a spot on the rail in fourth as favourite Ballykeel Rocket led the field to a :31.4 opening quarter. MacDonald was content to sit fourth through the 1:04.3 half, but when Favourite Tweet stepped into the outer lane from third, he followed suit. Rolling by the 1:36 three-quarters MacDonald tipped Onatopp out three-wide and she sailed effortlessly past the leaders to the front, pulling away to a two and one-half length lead in the stretch and stopping the clock at 2:05.1. Ballykeel Rocket settled for second and pocket sitter Sweet With Heat was third. "I know she only went in 2:05.1 tonight, but she can go as fast as any Grassroots filly out there, there's no end to her speed," said MacDonald. "I mean she come a last half in :59 or something tonight and I never pulled the ear plugs, never even asked her, I just moved her out in position where she could do her work, and she was more than happy to do it." MacDonald and his partner Rene Allard of Milford, PA purchased Onatopp out of the Canadian Yearling Sale for $11,000. The filly is a Manofmanymissions half-sister to $529,825 winner Sim Brown, and the partners had high hopes for her all winter. Onatopp made her Ontario Sires Stakes debut in the July 12 Gold Series opener at Georgian Downs, but made a break and finished eighth, a result that prompted MacDonald to take his brother, James MacDonald's, advice. In addition to his brother, the horseman said a great deal of credit for Onatopp's victory falls to his wife Amy who works alongside him in their 11-horse stable. "She works really, really hard on them and she deserves a lot of the credit, a lot of the credit," he emphasized. In addition to Onatopp, six other fillies went home from Grand River Raceway with Grassroots trophies on Wednesday, with four of them also stepping down from the Gold Series for their second Ontario Sires Stakes start. Mariana and trainer-driver Riina Rekila kicked things off in the first race with a 2:04 clocking, reeling in pacesetter Shezastrikin Loral and pocket sitter Tala Seelster in the stretch. Rekila and Esa Lahtinen bred and own Mariana through their Overseas Farms Ltd. of Campbellville, ON. Rekila piloted the daughter of Manofmanymissions to a runner-up result in the Grassroots season opener at Georgian Downs on July 7. Trainer-driver Eddie Green piloted Malia to a 2:03 win in the second $18,000 division. The Cornaro Dasolo daughter bested Tymal Tempest and Early Decision by one-half length. Green conditions Malia for Kristine Green of Ohsweken and, like MacDonald, sent her to the Gold Series for her first provincial appearance, where she finished sixth. Guelph resident Phil Hudon crafted a gate-to-wire victory for Toss It Back in the third division. The Majestic Son filly cruised across the wire four lengths ahead of Chapel Hall and Talbotcreek Jetta. Trainer Pat Hunt of Cambridge, ON shares ownership of Toss It Back with Leo Fleming of Campbellville, ON. The win gives the filly one victory and one fourth-place result through the first two Grassroots events. Magical Steph was the second filly of the evening to step down from the Gold Series and find success, capturing the fourth Grassroots division with a late sprint past pacesetter and favourite Shes In Gear. Major Muscle rounded out the top three in the 2:02.1 mile. Steve Byron engineered the Kadabra filly's first victory for trainer Gary Lance and owner GL Racing Inc. of Port Perry, ON. In the fifth division, Deweycheatumnhowe daughter Dewdle All Day hit the wire three and one-half lengths up on Windsongmusclelady and Herbe A Loral in 2:03.3. Dustin Jones of Waterdown, ON drives, trains and co-owns Dewdle All Day with partners 9177 8720 Quebec Inc. of Saint-Sauveur, QC and Greg Judson of Athens, ON. Dewdle All Day came into the test off a sixth-place result in the July 12 Gold Series event. The final Grassroots trophy of the evening went home with Myretirementticket, the fifth competitor shifting from Gold to Grassroots competition. The Cornaro Dasolo daughter and owner-trainer-driver Eli Wagler of Ingersoll, ON cruised along on the front end to a 2:01.1 victory, crossing the wire two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Very Classy and Cadillac Sally. The two-year-old trotting fillies make their third Grassroots start at Mohawk Racetrack on July 30. Grand River Raceway's next Ontario Sires Stakes event will come during the highly anticipated Industry Day program on Monday, Aug. 3. The Elora oval will host the third Gold Leg for the three-year-old pacing fillies in addition to the finals for its signature races, the Battle of the Belles for two-year-old pacing fillies and Battle of Waterloo for two-year-old pacing colts. Ontario Horse Racing

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec - It was most certainly "ladies night" at the Hippodrome 3R as two fillies outshined their male counterparts in winning both divisions of the $200,000 Quebec-Bred Series Wednesday. In the fifth race first division, Meganou and driver Jocelyn Gendron, despite making a break out of the starting gate, regrouped and still was able to lead the entire mile race. She was able to hold off a strong challenge on the final turn by Promesses Imperial (Jerome Lombart) to win by a half-length in 2:03.2. D'Espoir (Pascal Berube) was third. The 2014 Quebec-Bred Series champion last year, it was the first win this year for Meganou. The daughter of Kadabra is trained by Daniel Martin for owner Jean Picard of Orford, QC and paid $4.40 to win. Then in the sixth race, second division of the series, the overwhelming favorite, Intouchable, at odds of 1/5 for driver Mario Charron, could not stay on-stride before the start and was declared a non-starter in the race. Double Chance and driver Sylvain LaCaille took full advantage of her rail post position and shot to the early lead and never looked back. She was challenged late by a fast flying Champagne Panic (Denis Filion), who looked like he was going to overtake Double Chance coming down the stretch, but went off-stride. Double Chance went on to win in a romp by ten open lengths. The Sprinter (Gaetan Lamy) was second with National Trace (Stephane Brosseau) third. Double Chance equaled her lifetime mark with a clocking of 2:01.3. Trained and owned by Serge Nadeau of Scott, QC, it was the second win this year for the daughter of Majestic Son who paid $6.80 to win. The undefeated three-year-old pacing colt, JT, continued his winning ways Wednesday with his fifth straight score. The son of Badlands Hanover, driven by Stephane Brosseau, took the early lead away from Monster Magic (Gaetan Lamy) by the opening quarter mile and then in a close stretch drive, held off Monster Magic to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:58.2. JT paid just $2.50 to win for trainer Dominic Gladu. This Sunday is the fourth and final preliminary round of the $250,000 Quebec-Bred Series for three-year-old pacers. After this Sunday's program, the Hippodrome 3R will be closed for live racing due to the Trois-Rivieres Grand Prix auto races. Live racing will resume on Wednesday, August 12 at 7:00 pm. For more information contact www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

When it comes to preparing trotters in the North Island, harness racing trainers Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett are two of the best around. Last night they lined up the talented but erratic Lady J in the first of the night. Slowly but surely Michelle and Bernie have turned the speedy but unruly daughter of Majestic Son into a racemare and lately she has started to look more like the racehorse she is bred to be. Regular pilot Todd Mitchell had Lady J away well from the 2200 metres stand and she settled three back on the inner after 200 metres. With 1200 metres to go Todd eased Lady J out into the running line to sit parked but he put no pressure into the leader, Landora's Amber with Nicky Chilcott in the bike. With no mid race moves, Todd was content to sit on her wheel until 400 metres from home where he pressed the go button and Lady J quickly put the race to bed, sprinting clear for an emphatic 4 1/4 length victory. Lady J trotted the 2200 metres from a stand in 2:56.5 with smart closing sectionals of 59.5 and 28.9. Driver Todd Mitchell was quick to acknowledge the great job Michelle and Bernie had done with the headstrong trotter. "She did that really easily tonight, I never even pulled the plugs." " The last couple of weeks she has been trotting really square and her manners have come good so a lot of the credit must go to Michelle and Bernie for the job they have done with her." " It was a timely win tonight actually as Michelle told me prior to the race that they are looking to retire her and send her to the broodmare paddock in August," Todd said. Lady J certainly has the breeding to make her mark as a broodmare. By leading trotting sire Majestic Son, Lady J is from a Muscles Yankee daughter of the former outstanding age group trotter in Inda Bank 1:58.9 ($138,660) Lady J may only have one win beside her name as she heads to stud but the ease and style of her win last night suggested she is way better than that. Harnesslink Media  

JULY 7, 2015 - Georgian Downs hosted the Ontario Sires Stakes debut of the two-year-old trotting fillies on Tuesday evening and harness racing driver Alfie Carroll piloted three of the novice trotters to Grassroots victory over the rain-soaked oval. "The trainers had them all ready and they raced super," said Carroll. "Made my night great, made it easy - it wasn't really anything I did." Carroll kicked things off with a win in the first $18,000 Grassroots division, guiding Ballykeel Rocket to a 2:03.2 score for trainer Richard Moreau of Puslinch, ON and owner-breeder Ballykeel Racing Inc. of Tillsonburg, ON. The Majestic Son daughter finished two lengths ahead of pacesetter Shes All Muscle and Darling Diva. "Richard doesn't really tell you too much how to drive, he just said don't get her on the gate too soon, so I just timed her in and she got away decent," said Carroll of Ballykeel Rocket. "Then I just moved her first up and she trotted on by. She raced good." In the second Grassroots division Carroll followed a nearly identical path to the winner's circle with Bob McIntosh trainee Tough Affair. Getting away third, the reinsman tipped the filly out heading for the three-quarters and Tough Affair pulled away from the field to a four and one-quarter length victory in 2:00.3, an impressive mile over a surface rated two seconds slower than normal. Shes In Gear and Windsongmusclelady finished behind Tough Affair in second and third. "The trainer said Bob said to say that they were better than their lines showed," noted Carroll. "So I just basically did the same thing, left comfortably, got away third and was able to move first up, and she raced tough too." Hall of Fame horseman McIntosh of Windsor, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, Ohio bred and own Tough Affair, a Muscle Mass daughter from their $462,826 winning broodmare Armbro Affair. Carroll completed the driving hat trick in the final Grassroots division aboard another McIntosh trainee, Krafty. Starting from Post 1 the fan favourites went straight to the front, cruised through fractions of :32, 1:05 and 1:35.4, and hit the wire three-quarters of a length on top in 2:05.3. Pocket-sitter Mariana and a hard-closing Malibu Seelster rounded out the top three. "They said she's a Cadillac to drive and the Kadabra filly was," said Carroll of his third winner. "She left good, I got to the front, got decent fractions and she was strong right to the end." While Carroll has visited the Grassroots winner's circle before, the Iona Station, ON resident had never captured three events on one night. Coming off a personal best season in 2014 and on track for an even more successful 2015, Carroll is hoping the Ontario Sires Stakes program becomes a regular part of his summer schedule. "I've won a few Grassroots, but never three in one night, so it was a great night for me," said the 30-year-old. "Bob (McIntosh) was wondering if I could drive some of them for him, kind of commit to some of them, so I said I'd try to do my best. And then there's a few other trainers, hopefully if I get that one of Moreau's back I'll follow it too. Hopefully it keeps rolling." The other two Grassroots divisions on the Tuesday evening program went to Jangone and Its All About Sam. Trainer Riina Rekila piloted Jangone to a front-end victory from Post 7 in the third division, sailing home three and three-quarter lengths ahead of The Power of Many and Shezastrikin Loral in 2:03.4. It was the second straight win over the Georgian Downs oval for Jangone and Rekila, who captured a two-year-old event on June 27. A daughter of Johnny William and Panderosa F, Jangone is owned by breeder Overseas Farms Ltd. of Campbellville, ON. Its All About Sam closed hard through the last quarter to earn her first victory, reaching the wire three lengths ahead of First Mission and Attitude To Burn in 2:02.3. The Angus Hall daughter, a $40,000 acquisition at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale, is trained by Scott McEneny for Bradley Grant and Teresa Davidson of Milton and Michelle McEneny of Waterdown, ON. Guelph resident James MacDonald engineered the win. The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their second Grassroots start on July 22 at Grand River Raceway. Georgian Downs has a full weekend of Ontario Sires Stakes action on tap beginning Saturday, July 11 with the two-year-old trotting colt Grassroots season opener and continuing on Sunday, July 12 with the first Gold Series event for the two-year-old trotting fillies. Ontario Horse Racing

COLUMBUS, MN. - Silence Son and Keep The Dream won their respective $8000 Opens at Running Aces on Sunday night; while the 50-cent Pick 6-offering a $5000 guaranteed pool-went unsolved due to a pair of longshot winners. When harness racing resumes at Running Aces on Tuesday (July 7) night, track officials expect that the Pick 6 pool will grow to well over $10,000. Silence Son (Nick Roland) took full advantage of a two-hole trip behind favored Franky Provolone (Steve Wiseman), passing the frontrunner in deep stretch to win the Open Trot by three-quarters of a length. After comfortable fractions for the track's top trotters of :28.2, :58.3 and 1:28.1, the winner put a finishing :28.3 on his triumphant 1:57 win. Californian George Reider both owns and trains the six-year-old son of Majestic Son who now has $88,509 in career earnings. Jailer (Rick Bertrand) got the show dough in the featured race for squaregaiters. Keep The Dream gave Roland, the leading driver at the meet, a sweep of the pair of features by copping her $8000 event for the best pacing mares in Minnesota in 1:54.4. The five-year-old Mach Three mare was placed fourth through the first two fractions of :28.1 and :58, then moved first-up through the 1:26.1 third panel to pull within a length of pacesetting Part Time Lady. With a strong :28.2 closing panel, Keep The Dream passed the leader and held off fellow closers De Valeria (Tim Maier) and Rev Me Up (Mark P'Pool) to garner her third local victory, but first in open company. The winner boosted her lifetime bounty to $125,166 for owner Dr. James Findlay of British Columbia. Tawa Road and driver Tony Succarotte pulled a major upset in the first leg of the Running Aces Pick 6 on Sunday, narrowly defeating heavily-favored Super Son Of Sandy (Lemoyne Svendsen) and returning $49 to win.   Sunday's handle of $220,098 was the best of the young 2015 summer meet at Running Aces. Bigger and better numbers are expected on Tuesday when a solid 11-race card-including the 50-cent Pick 6 with an estimated $10,000-plus pool-begins at 7 p.m. (CDT). Gregg Keidel

Four-year-old Euroa trotter Im Stately won his second Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series harness racing trophy at Tabcorp Park Melton on Friday night, two years after he won his first as a two-year-old. The David Jack-trained son of Majestic Son/Shadows started long odds-on despite his barrier-seven draw in the four-year-old entires and geldings' trotting final and didn't give his backers reason to worry. Jack, who also drove the stallion, sat three-wide early as the leaders sorted their order out. With about 1300 metres to run Im Stately made his move, Jack taking him to the lead from initial frontrunner Law Legend. Once in front Im Stately kept a good gap between himself and his challengers, eventually finishing 4.8 metres clear of runner-up Maybetothemax (Nathan Jack) with Savannah Jay Jay running third for Neil McCallum beaten 5.8m. The winner’s closing splits were 29.9secs and 30.2secs, his mile rate 2:01.5. Ultra-talented Im Stately has now won 13 races from 19 career starts. Watch Im Stately win the 4YO Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Trotting Entires & Geldings Final Cody Winnell

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec – The $200,000 Quebec-Bred Series for three-year-old trotters gets underway Wednesday evening at the Hippodrome 3R and leading driver Denis St Pierre is just two wins away from his 4,000th career victory. The Quebec-Bred Series gets underway early on the program in the first and third races. Through the month of July there will be four weeks of elimination competition with the top eight point earners returning on Sunday, September 6 for their respective $65,000 finals. The first race is headed by the filly Double Chance, who starts from the rail for driver Sylvain Lacaille. The daughter of Majestic Son enters the race off a sharp 2:01.3 triumph in her last start, her first win in just two starts this season for owner/trainer Serge Nadeau of Scott, QC. Other contenders in the race include Gros Bill (post six) and National Trace (post 5). The second division for colts in the third race spotlights what may be the two best horses in the series, Intouchable and Promesses Imperial. Intouchable was bred to be a winner and looks the part after his first start of the 2015 season. He is sired by Angus Hall from the top mare Iceberg Angus, thus making him a full brother to top performer Maximuscle, who recently won the Quebec-Bred Series final for older trotters. Trained by Maxime Velaye for owner/breeder Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC, Intouchable may have been winless last year at age 2, but still earned more than $26,000. Now age 3, Intouchable wowed the fans in his first start of the season at Rideau Carlton with a 1:58.3 triumph and starts from post two in the third race for trotting master Mario Charron, who is also the reinsman for Maximuscle. But hometown fans also have their favorite in the race, Promesses Imperial, who starts from post three for owner/driver Jerome Lombar of Bromont, QC. The homebred son of Imperial Angus is on a three-race win streak at the Hippodrome 3R and in his last start took a lifetime mark of 2:01.3 on the Trois-Rivieres half mile oval. The late bloomer Seeyou Meh, is also a contender in the race and starts from the rail for driver Robert Shepherd. He has but one start in his career, but that was a winning effort in 2:02 at Georgia Downs. After scoring his fourth driving quadruple at 3R this past Sunday, leading driver Denis St Pierre is just two wins away from achieving career milestone victory number 4,000. He is listed to drive in six of the ten races on the program. Post time Wednesday is 7:00 pm. For more information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Longtime local harness racing horseman, George Ketros, was able to steer his horse, Majestic Mystic, to victory in race four on Monday night at Grand River Raceway. Not only was it George's first training and driving win of the year but also the Majestic Son geldings first. George and wife, Mary who is the owner of Majestic Mystic, are natives of Arthur, ON and have been regulars of the local harness racing scene for over 20 years. Grand River Raceway features live harness racing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights all summer. Complete schedule info at www.grandriverraceway.com . Kelly Spencer

The recognition of the importance of the trotting sector to the overall health of the breeding and racing history by successive Harness Racing Victoria administrations paid a handsome dividend last breeding season. Five years ago there were 550 trotting mares bred from in Australia compared to 734 bred from in New Zealand, however, there has been a dramatic turnaround created by an increase in racing opportunities and split gender age classics in Victoria. Figures compiled from last season reveal that the numbers of trotting mares bred from in New Zealand had dropped 20.8% from 2009 to 581, while in Australia the situation was a mirror image with an increase of 11.8% to 615. Remarkably the percentage of trotting mares bred from in Australia in 1999/2000 represented just 4.8% (454 of 9,413) of the total mares bred from, however, the comparative figure for 2013/14 was 10.1% (603 out of a total 5,975). The figure for 2014/15 is expected to be marginally higher again. Headlining the numbers were Majestic Son USA with 97 mares, Yankee Spider with 56, Bacardi Lindy USA (43), Angus Hall USA (36), Great Success USA (28), Imperial Count USA (27), Fling It USA (25), Ready Cash (FRA) (23), Muscle Hill USA (23), Andover Hall USA (22), Victoria Trotters Derby winner Danny Bouchea (21) and La Coocaracha’s son Louey Louey Louey (20). A fascinating survey of the comparative numbers of mares served by stallions based in Australia, New Zealand, North America is illuminating, especially when looking at the situation in 1999/2000. Australian based stallions served 356 mares in the 2014/15 season (383 in 1999/2000), New Zealand based stallions served 10 mares in 2014/15 (8 in 1999/2000), North American based stallions 216 mares in 2014/15 (26 in 1999/2000) and finally European based stallions 33 mares in 2014/15 (16 in 2014/15). I think they call that internationalization. The news just keeps getting too as there is an impending announcement of the importation of a 1:53 2/5s winning son of 2007 USA Harness Horse of the Year and Hambletonian winner Donato Hanover.  Furthermore, after decades of spurning the trotter Alabar Farms will be offering the frozen semen of not only Majestic Son but also the Danish Derby winner Peak who distinguished himself by also winning the Group One NZ Trotters FFA at Addington (NZ). Peak is by French stallion Ganymede, the sire of 45 Classic winners in Europe as well the Vicbred Super Sires 4YO champion Vincennes, who won the Wagon Apollo FFA at Tabcorp Park (Melton) at his last racetrack appearance. And to think that 55 years ago there was not a single North American trotting stallion in Australia and the numbers of trotting foals being bred was less than one hundred. Thank heavens for the visionary Victorian Harness Racing Hall of Famer Chris Howe who stood Bank Note, the first American trotting stallion imported direct to Australia post WW2 in 1961, and later Mt Everest. Chris was a tireless evangelist for the trotter, however, his efforts would have counted for little had it not been for administrators such as Graeme Cochran who insisted that the Victoria Sires Stake feature three age trotting classics and furthermore under his watch the Inter Dominion Trotters Championship came to Victoria for the first time and the Victoria Trotters Oaks was inaugurated. Next Friday night at Tabcorp Park there will be a ten race all trotting programme headlined by six Group One Vicbred Super Sires Finals, a stunning endorsement of the vision of administrators who supported the never say die efforts of countless trotting breeders and enthusiasts. John Peck

It is quickly coming around to that point of the New Zealand harness racing season where we start to hand out the gongs for best performed in each age group and gait divisions. Harnesslink thought we would do a review of each of the categories with our view on where the contenders sit. Here is our review of the 4 year old trotting mares division 1) Poppymalda - 2015 Season:  10 starts,    4 wins,    1 seconds,    2 thirds,    Lt $34,613 Lovely Armbro Invasion mare who just seemed to get better as the season went on. Has a few strings to her claim for this division when you look at the stats. She won the most money during the season for a four year old trotting mare  as well as the most races for a four year old trotting mare. She saved her best for last when she was an outstanding third in the Harness Jewels, storming home for third to King Denny after being badly held up on the last corner and was the first mare home in the Group 1 fixture. 2) Majestic Time - 2015 Season:    11 starts,    3 wins,    2 seconds,    2 thirds,    Lt $27,416 High class Majestic Son mare at her best but didn't look at her best at times during the season. Threw the toys out of the cot a couple of times which added to the feeling she wasn't 100% right. Several good runs during the season but not as sharp as she was at three. Her two gallops at the Harness Jewels for no apparent reason typified her season for us. 3) All Royal Gal - 2015 Season:  14 starts,  2 wins,    3 seconds,    1 thirds,    Lt $27,757 Always looked a nice mare in the making and the daughter of Monarchy hit a purple patch of form late in the season where she looked very smart. Had her chance in the Harness Jewels after working to get handy early from the second row but just battled in the straight. Placed behind some smart horses such as Monbet during the season but just not consistent enough. Selection After weighing everything up we went for Poppymalda for the following reasons over Majestic Time. *She won the most money in this division *She won the most races in this division *First mare home in the Harness Jewels from this division. Harnesslink Media 

It is quickly coming around to that point of the New Zealand harness racing season where we start to hand out the gongs for best performed in each age group and gait divisions. Harnesslink thought we would do a review of each of the categories with our view on where the contenders sit. This is our review of the 4 year old Colts / Geldings trotters division 1) King Denny - 2015 Season:    9 starts,    4 wins,    1 seconds,    0 thirds,    Lt $95,375 Without doubt the star four year old of the season. The Majestic Son gelding won his way through to the best grades with several outstanding runs in the intermediate grades and once in with the older and more experienced trotters, raced with distinction against the likes of Stent, Sheemon and Master Lavros. Looked to have the Harness Jewels in safe keeping half way up the straight but as he has done in the past he can knock off when clear and give his supporters a fright. Everything points to him being a big player on the grand circuit next season as a five year old. 2) Mums Pride - 2015 Season:   8 starts,    5 wins,    0 seconds,    1 thirds,    Lt $60,661 Started the season with a series of outstanding wins but health issues hindered his preparation and race performance in the latter part of the season. The Monarchy gelding faced King Denny twice during the season and finished behind him on both occasions. Raced against the top liners once in the Rowe Cup and found the step up hard as many do. With only 14 runs under his belt lifetime there should be plenty of room left for further improvement and expect to see him in all the big trot races next season. 3) Belles Son - 2015 Season:    9 starts,    6 wins,    0 seconds,    0 thirds,    Lt $53,804 The find of the season in the four year old ranks. Was still a C1 in February but then preceded to win six in a row in a style of a real topliner. The Majestic Son gelding beat some nice horses on his way through the grades such as Majestic Time but did fail the big test when he came up against King Denny and company in the Harness Jewels. If he had won that he may have been a chance of winning this award but his ringcraft let him down badly and with that went his chances here. SELECTION Only one winner here with King Denny clearly the best four year old trotter in the country. The only four year old to race consistently against the best trotters in the country such as Stent, Sheemon and Master Lavros and performed with distinction against them. Harnesslink Media

COLUMBUS, MN. – Silence Son and harness racing driver (Nick Roland) used a convincing third quarter brush to overtake pacesetting El Azteca (Tim Maier) and favored Franky Provolone (Steve Wiseman) then threw in a :29 second final panel to win the $8000 Open Trot at Running Aces on Sunday night in 1:56.1.  Franky Provolone, who had captured the weekly top trot on the first two Sundays of the 2015 meet, also overtook El Azteca to finish second in his third attempt. Silence Son is owned and trained by George Reider.  It was the sixth win this season for the six-year-old altered son of Majestic Son with the first five coming at Cal-Expo in Sacramento, California.  With 22 lifetime wins in just 78 starts the winner now sports an $82,509 career bankroll. For driver Nick Roland, the win in the feature race was one of four on the program and vaulted the 32-year-old Iowa native back to the top of the dash standings after nine nights of the 53-night summer season.  Roland’s other triumphs were with Just The Way It Is (1:53.4), Hotmones (1:55.1) and Place At The Beach (1:56.1). Luke Plano scored a driving double behind Free Girl (1:56.1) and Prana (1:52.1, quickest mile of the night). Gregg Keidel Running Aces

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