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Some of the heavyweights of Swedish racing have made the journey to Norway this weekend as the Scandinavian circuit kicks off with top group racing at Klosterskogen. The meeting is on Saturday is highlighted by the UET Masters Series Klosterskogen Grand Prix over 2100m for a purse of 74,000 euros, one of two group two races to be run, drawing highly competitive international fields. Lutfi Kolgjini's Mosaique Face is the current European Derby and Swedish Derby champion. The stallion son of Classic Photo made his season debut on the 4th of the month running fourth at Mantorp, so will be better for this. Erik Lindegren's Francais du Gull has been in very impressive form lately having won a V75 gold division heat last month and also run second at Momarken, here in Norway, earlier in the year. He won't be meeting the likes of Sanity and Raja Mirchi here as he did last start in the V75 final. These two have the early favouritism in the markets with US import I'm The Answer, a Credit Winner trained by local trainer Frode Hamre Another local hero Thai Broadway is also heavily supported with the only other in the market being Italian-bred Oasis Bi who is now in Sweden with Stefan Petterson and will have champion Swedish driver Bjorn Goop in the cart. The second race of note is the NO Habibs Minneløp, a group two for 4YOs over 2100m, a 200,000NOK (24,175 euros) which has drawn a strong Scandinavian field led by even money favourite Becky's Serious a Staro Showbiz stallion from the local barn of Vidar Holmlund. Frode Hamre has another with a chance here in Mucsles Yankee colt Mustoyevsky who will have Per Oleg Midtfjeld in the cart. Kolgjini never travels with a bad horse and Dante Boko is a colt by boom Swedish sire Going Kronos and is sure to be prominent here. KLOSTERSKOGEN GRAND PRIX Klosterskogen 2  19/04/14 UET Masters Series  Group II  Int  2100 3-12 74 000e 1         Francais du Gull (h   Jag de Bellouet - Tantiem Gull) Dr:   Erik Lindegren  Tr:  Erik Lindegren     2100        2          Mosaique Face (h   Classic Photo - Iona L.B. )  Dr:  Lutfi Kolgjini  Tr:  Lutfi Kolgjini     2100         3         Tourbillon (v   Ganymede - Inlaid Pine)  Dr:  Åsbjörn Tengsareid Tr:   Åsbjörn Tengsareid    2100        4         I'm The Answer (h   Credit Winner - Southwind Flanders)  Dr:  Vidar Hop  Tr:  Frode Hamre     2100        5          Oasis B   (h   Toss Out - Up Front Jm)   Dr: Björn Goop   Tr: Stefan P Pettersson     2100        6          Thai Broadway (h   Broadway Hall - Isabella Knick)   Dr: Gunnar Austevoll Tr:   Trond Anderssen     2100        7         Premance Simoni (s   S J's Photo - Amance Höjgård)   Dr: Bo Westergård  Tr:  Bo Westergård     2100        8         Lord Capar (h   Varenne - Foxy'n Rowdy)   Dr: Thomas Dalborg  Tr:  Mats Karlsson     2100        9         Broadway Legs (h   Broadway Hall - Classical Flirt)   Dr: Frode Hamre   Tr: Frode Hamre     2100        10         Orali (h   Great Challenger - Action Elpin)   Dr:  Jeppe Juel   Tr:  Jeppe Juel     2100        HABIBS MINNELØP Group II  Int  4YOS 2100m  24,175 euros 1         Mustoyevsky (h   Muscles Yankee - Olympic Cheers)   Dr: Per Oleg Midtfjeld  Tr:  Frode Hamre         2         Tano Bork (h   Great Challenger - Frederikke Bork)   Dr: Christian Lindhardt   Tr: Christian Lindhardt       3         Shocking Icon (h   Whitesand Titan - Bernadette's Cat)   Dr: Kai Johansen  Tr:  Anders L Wolden       4         Becky's Serious (h   Staro Showbiz - Bella Coal)   Dr: Eirik Höitomt   Tr: Vidar Holmlund             5         Dante Boko (h   Going Kronos - Margherita Rosa)  Dr:  Lutfi Kolgjini  Tr:  Lutfi Kolgjini          6         Talking Story (h   Majestic Son - R. First Inquirer)   Dr: Torgeir Hagmann  Tr:  Torgeir Hagmann       7         Glad Hall T. (s   Boardwalk Hall - Glad Suit)   Dr: Björn Garberg   Tr: Björn Garberg           8         Duke of Greenwood (h   Otello Pierji - Nikki Groenhof)   Dr: Hugo Langeweg J:r   Tr: Peter Strooper          9         Boys Going In (h   Going Kronos - Namura)   Dr: Björn Goop   Tr: Fredrik Persson          10         Bullish U.S. (v   Cantab Hall - Upmarket Hanover)   Dr: Frode Hamre   Tr: Frode Hamre by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

TORONTO, April 14 - After failing to find the winner's circle in both preliminary legs, Reasonable Force found his best stride when it counted the most as he captured this year's edition of the $36,200 Youthful Series final Monday at Woodbine. In doing so, the Doug McNair-driven sophomore returned $33.00 to his backers. McNair and Reasonable Force were in no hurry off the gate as Account Rollover (Randy Waples) cleared to the lead past the opening station in :27.1. Account Rollover, who found the wire in the first leg of the series, continued to lead his nine rivals past the half in :56 and three-quarters in 1:24.4. McNair began the first-over attack around the final turn and was within striking distance of the tempo-setter turning for home. Down the stretch, McNair asked his charge for more pace and the three-time winner responded with a two length win. Post time favourite Andreios Kardia (Steve Byron) finished second, with Dragon Seelster (Paul Macdonell) finishing third. Trained by Tony Montini for owners Doug Dunbar and Steve LeBlanc, Reasonable Force lifted his career earnings to $44,840. The son of Shadow Play now has a 2-2-1 record from eight starts this season. Also on Monday's program, the second round of the Lifetime Dream series continued with two $18,000 divisions. Rose Run Oriana (Randy Waples) kicked-off the 10-race programme with a 1:54.2 score in the first division. The daughter of Trainforthefuture enjoyed a new career best in the debut for trainer Corey Johnson. Waples led gate-to-wire with the 15-time winner through panels of :28, :57 and 1:25.3, before fending off 3/5 favourite Rockin With Dewey (Mario Baillargeon) in deep stretch to win by one and a half lengths. Samira Hanover (Paul Macdonell) finished third. Owned by Rolling Hills Racing Stables, Rose Run Oriana will look for the series sweep next week as her bankroll increased to $134,717. She paid $4.90 to win. One race later, Her Name Is Lola (Phil Hudon) enjoyed her fifth career score at odds of 3-1. The daughter of Majestic Son laid parked on the outside at the quarter in :28.2, before clearing to the lead before the half in :57.2. From there, the trotting miss led her five rivals past in 1:26.1 before fending off a late challenge from Frisky Magic (Randy Waples) to win by a nose. Standing My Ground (Sylvain Filion) finished third. Trained by Russell Bax for Baxmar Holsteins Ltd, Her Name Is Lola increased her bankroll to $85,560. She paid $8.70 to win. by Greg Gangle, for WEG

Pompano Beach, FL...April 2, 2014...Count Speed, returning to the Open trotting ranks after a pair of victories in conditioned events, easily handled his competition on Wednesday night at Pompano Park for Wally Hennessey to extend his winning streak to three. The five-year-old altered son of Majestic Son, trained by Dan Hennessey for owners Paul and Patricia O'Neil, took command in the sextet shortly after the wings folded and, given superb rating, wired together panels of :28.4, :58 and 1:26.1 to stop the tele-timer in 1:55, his winning margin 1 ¾ lengths over Permanent Joy (Bruce Ranger) with My Revenuer (Bryce Fenn) third and 5 ½ lengths away. Go Jesse Jo was placed fourth ahead of the 7 to 5 favorite, Jolene's Pinehonker, who was disqualified after an extended miscue through the stretch. The win was Count Speed's third of the year in five starts and 15th lifetime, sending his career bankroll to $144,398. In a post-race interview, both trainer and driver gave credit to the other for the Count Speed's recent successes. Said trainer Dan Hennessey, "This is a very difficult horse to drive. He's fast, yes, but he has a mind of his own and is hard to handle. He sure doesn't like to train and it takes a very delicate set of hands--like Wally's--to get him around the racetrack without incident. Driver Wally Hennessey put all of the praise on his brother, trainer Dan. "It's hard to keep this horse comfortable. Every little thing bothers him. If it's not this, it's that. If it's not that, it's this. Dan made a few changes over the past few weeks and it's his wisdom as a trainer that has led to Count Speed's success. It is Dan that has made this horse as good as he is right now." As second choice in the wagering, Count Speed paid $5.20 to win. by John Berry, for the Isle Pompano Park    

Results from March 31 and April 1 produced interesting trotting winners at multiple venues in Northern Europe as action heats up leading to the Elitloppet and its prep events. Shaq Is Back and Traveling Man were noteworthy winners. Both are trained by Daniel Reden. Shaq Is Back won his third straight in 2014, the March 31 victory in a sharp 110.4kr over the 1640 meter autostart distance at Farjestad. March 31, 2014 Mantorp, Bonne Aparte (6g Offshore Dream-Kelsey Lady-SpotliteLobell, 1.14.4kr over 2140 meters autostart, 20,000SEK to winner, Magdalena Ulriks-Siminski up Mantorp, Onas Sonja (5f Civil Action-Goodtime Doll-Balanced Image), 1.12.9kr over 1640 meters autostart, 20,000SEK to winner, Fredrik Berg up defeating True Blue For You (5f Yankee Glide-Alanis Blue Chip-Kadabra) and Livacious Lindy (5f Cantab Hall-Luscious Hall-Pine Chip) with Jennifer Tillman driving for trainer/co-owner Per Eriksson Farjestad, Shaq Is Back (7m Credit Winner-Vivica Hall-Victory Dream), 1.10.4kr over 1640 meters autostart, 35,000SEK to winner, Daniel Reden trainer/driver as winner defeated Hamres One More (7m Supergill-Kimberly Lobell-Speedy Somolli) and Circles (5f by Majestic Son). The winner recorded his Third Straight 2014 victory Farjestad, Food Money (6g Andover Hall-Windylane Hanover-Lindy Lane), 1.14.1kr over 2140 meters autostart, 30,000SEK to winner, Mercedes Balogh aboard Farkestad, Bar Plombier (5g Tony Oaks-Francine Bar-Foreign Office), 1.13kr over 2140 meters autostart, 30,000SEK to winner, Jorman Kontio at the lines Aby, Perfect Kronos (5g Yankee Glide-Dame Kronos-King Conch), 1.16.4kr over 2140 meters autostart, 15,000SEK to winner, Anders Svanstedt driving Aby, Windson Yankee (4m Windsong's Legacy-Wind Glider-Yankee Glide), 1.11.9kr over 1640 meters autostart, 25,000SEK first prize, Andre Eklundh aboard April 1, 2014 Bolinas, Sabrina's Master (3g Glidemaster-Sabrina Hall-Garland Lobell), 1.16.5kr over 2140 meters turning start, 15,000SEK to winner, Leif Witasp driver/trainer Jagersro, Benico d'Sam (3m Ready Cash-Royale For You-Love You), 1.17.3kr over 2140 meters volt start, 20,000SEK to winner, Niklas Lindblad up for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini Jagersro, Shosholoza As (4f Broadway Hall-Fortune As-Tenor de Baune), 1.18.3kr over 2140 meters volt start, 30,000SEK to winner, Christoffer Eriksson the teamster Jagersro, Nebraska SAS (7g Abano As-Zelda Per-Crowning Point), 1.14.1kr over 1640 meters autostart, 15,000SEK to winner, Conrad Lugauer trainer/driver Eskilstuna, Pigtails (6f Varenne-Sweet Young Thing-Nevele Pride), 1.13.7kr over 2140 meters autostart, 30,000SEK to winner, Antti Vetelainen driver Eskilstuna, Stylish Hanover (5f Yankee Glide-Susi's Image-Balanced Image), 1.13.5kr over 1640 meters volt start, 30,000SEK to winner, Jorma Kontio up, her 9th career win in 16 starts Eskilstuna, Eros Tooma (6m Diamond Way-Atas Nice Girl L-Desert Ruler), 1.13.5kr over 1640 meters turning start, 35,000SEK to winner, Jennifer Tillman aboard Eskilstuna, Traveling Man (9m Supergill-Kimberly Lobell-Speedy Somolli), 1.13.6kr over 2140 meters autostart, Johan Untersteiner up for trainer Daniel Reden, the veteran stallions' second straight 2014 win and 22nd lifetime in 72 starts for earnings of 2.26SEK million. Quid Pro Quo (5m Yankee Glide-Hostage-Express Ride) was second with Friction (7m Scarlet Knight-Hermit Lady-Express Ride) third for Orjan Kihlstrom teaming for Stefan Melander owner/trainer by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

ANDERSON, Ind.-March 29, 2014 - On a cold night in Indiana, odds-on favorites were hot at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino as both of the favorites delivered in the $22,000 featured trot and pace on Saturday, March 29. Kicking things off for the evening harness racing, current world record holder, Summer Indian was able to overcome a tough, first-over trip to make his seasonal debut a winning one in 1:57.3 in the featured trot. Leaving from post eight, Ricky Macomber Jr. sent Summer Indian away from the gate just enough to grab a spot along the rail in fourth. Good Sound Advice and Pete Wrenn grabbed the early lead and dictated fractions of :28.1 and :59 before feeling ever being contested. As the field approached the final turn, Summer Indian began his long first-over bid for the front and reached the leader's wheel at the three-quarter mark in 1:28.3. Good Sound Advice appeared to be up to the task as the top pair battled down the long Hoosier Park stretch, but Summer Indian was able to stick a nose in front at the wire. Martz Time and Trace Tetrick staged a big rally late in the lane to get up for the second place finish while Good Sound Advice held on gamely for third. As the heavy betting favorite, Summer Indian returned $5.80 for the win. Trained by Hoosier Park's 2013 leading trainer, Ron Burke, Summer Indian set the world record for 4-year-old trotters on a five-eighths mile track at Pocono Downs last season with a 1:51.1 performance. Now five, Summer Indian notched his first win of the season and 22nd career victory. The gelded son of Majestic Son-A Touch of Frost has earned $366,636 for his connections of Burke Racing Stable, J. Piattlll, Rtc Stable & Weaver Bruscemi. On the pacing side of things, Jammin Joshua and Sam Widger delivered as the heavy betting favorite in the $22,000 Invitational Pace with a final time in 1:53.4. Using a sharp, front-running effort, Jammin Joshua rattled off fractions of :27.0, :57, and 1:25.2 before holding off a late charge from Fashion Delight and Tyler Smith to score his first win of the season. As the 3-2 favorite, Jammin Joshua returned $5.00 at the betting window for the win. Fashion Delight got up for the second place finish while Lucky Jet and Jason Dillander rallied late for third. Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will continue on Thursday, April 3 with a new, daily post time of 5:15 p.m. With an extended stakes scheduled offered for the 2014 live racing season, the live racing season will be conducted through November 15, 2014. Photos: 1) Summer Indian (8) and Ricky Macomber Jr. winning the featured trot at Hoosier Park. 2) Jammin Joshua and Sam Widger winning the featured pace at Hoosier Park. Photo courtesy of Linscott Photography. by Emily Gaskin, for Hoosier Park  

Harness racing prominent breeder-owner Pat Driscoll knocked down the three top-priced lots at the second Pryde’s EasiFeed Australasian Premier Trotting Sale held at Tabcorp Park Melton on March 23. Driscoll, who trades as Yabby Dam Farms, pocketed a cool $119,000 for his three-strong draft including the sale topping colt at $41,000, a son of USA superstar Muscle Hill out of the Malabar Maple mare Calder Luck, a half-sister to the multiple Group 1 placegetter Calder Sensation, Calder Image and Bella Cheval. The handsome youngster was bought for a syndicate by John and Maree Caldow, who developed and trained Calder Sensation, a winner of 16 races and $142,762. An Angus Hall colt out of Maori’s Dream, the grand-dam of the top priced lot, realised the second highest price of $40,000. He was knocked down to Romsey trainer Chris Alford on behalf of stable clients Phil Walshe and Craig Nott. While another of the Muscle Hill progeny, a colt from the USA bred Let’s Be Happy, the dam of Bathurst Gold Coronet winner Verbier, was garnered by Christchurch trainer Tim Butt for $38,000. Two Angus Hall youngsters, one out of the Muscles Yankee mare Lindy’s Two Step (1:57.4) and the other from the useful Sundon mare Pinevale Ellason, realised $30,000 and $28,000 respectively. Majestic Son, a leading sire of juvenile trotters, had three head sell including a gelding out of the R C’s Dee Jay mare Howdoudo, the dam of Vicbred champion Split Image, which was haltered by Chris Lang Jnr for $30,000. Two Majestic Son colts out of strong New Zealand-bred mares from Harness Breeders Vic committeeman Gerard Moloney’s draft sold for $22,000 and $20,000. Former local champion Skyvalley was the sire of the highest priced filly Aldebaran Eve, out of the Victoria Oaks winner Aldebaran Dream, consigned by Aldebaran Park and sold for $18,000, while a Skyvalley colt from the 2YO and 3YO Trotter of the Year Jauriol realised $20,000. Running Pinevale, also a Victoria Oaks champion, was represented by her second foal, a colt by NZ-based import The Pres, who was knocked down for $22,000. Of the 36 lots offered, 31 were sold for an average price of $16,359, up almost 25 percent on last year. by Peter Wharton

Group 1 winning mare Quite A Moment ended a frustrating run of minor placings to post a near record victory at Lord's Raceway last night. The daughter Quite Easy had posted four seconds and two third placings this season from six starts before last night's win. "Finally," driver Greg Sugars said as he returned to get the all clear from Steward Barry Delaney. Trained by Greg's father Ross, Quite A Moment has won almost $140,000 winning 8 races from 33 race starts including the Blue Chip Farms Breeders Crown 3yo Trot Group 1 final at Melton last August. In the Skyvalley Trot (2150m) at Bendigo, Sugars had Quite A Moment in cruise control striding along in front to dominate the race from start to finish. The mare strolled to the line posting a 2.00.3 mile rate, just outside Skyvalley's 2008 record of 1.59. In the Harness Breeders Victoria Trot (1650m) favourite Secret Kiss. trained and driven by Paul Males just held on to beat Queens Vacation (Glenn Douglas). The Armbro Invasion mare won by a neck in a 2.00.8 mile rate. Majestic Son filly Majestic Grace was far to good for its opposition in the Aldebaran Yankee 3yo Trot (1650m). The Mick Blackmore trained trotter won by 7 metres in a 1.59.7 rate and was driven by Chris Alford. Bendigo’s next race meeting on Saturday 8 March 2014 features the Gold and Silver heats of the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed for Speed Series. With the winner’s progressing to the Breed for Speed Finals at Tabcorp Park’s Great Southern Star race meeting on 22 March 2014. By David Alfred (Harness Racing Australia)

Eyre I Come, who was an impressive debut winner at Timaru on Sunday, will now eye the $100,000 NZ Yearling Sales Series Trotters Final at Addington on Thursday. “David Gaffaney (trainer) and Greg Hope have always had a very big opinion of the horse, but he has had a few problems along the way,” said owner Grant Hatton. Hatton purchased Eyre I Come, a son of Majestic Son and well bred mare Landoras Special, for $45,000 at the 2012 NZ Premier Yearling Sales on the advice of Mark Jones. “Mark and I actually liked him better than the Landoras Special colt the next year which sold for $127, 500,” said Hatton, who is also the owner of top pacer Saveapatrol. Eyre I Come, who was backed in from $31 on the fixed odds on Sunday, came with a strong finishing burst to beat smart trotter Trouble Rieu. He was driven by Ricky May who will once again partner him in Thursday’s feature. “We were probably a bit lucky with Lothario galloping in the home straight, but it was still a good effort to pick the second horse up,” said Hatton. Hatton said that talented trotter Thebestlove definitely looks the one that they all have to beat on Thursday, however he believes his gelding has the game to be highly competitive if he was to do things right. By Mitchell Robertson  

Parwan trainer Craig Demmler will be relying on a dual Glenferrie attack on Friday night’s Tontine Finals at Bray Raceway. It’s shaping up as a massive few months for the experienced horseman, having just secured one of Australasia’s brightest – and most enigmatic – young trotters in Blitzthemcalder. But the focus will immediately land on Ballarat and with the Tontine Series’ often a pointer to future stars of the sport, Demmler will send the exciting Glenferrie EJ to the pacing version of the finals with five wins from her last six. “She did all the work the other day and hit the front and she probably just knocked off a little bit late and the other horse just came out wide and nabbed us right on the post,” Demmler said. “They’ll know she’s there on Friday night and I’m sure she will only get better too. That defeat may have been her first in almost 12 months, but for much of that she was laid up in the paddock. Having always shown ability, Demmler admits that she was actually on the verge of going straight to the top as a juvenile.  “There wasn’t much between her and (Breeders Crown winner) Glenferrie Shuffle as younger horses but it’s just good to have two horses like that in the stable,” he said. “She’s been through hell and back really, she was off the scene for six months after having a mishap at the trials one day but she’s actually come back really well.” The other Glenferrie to grace the track on Friday will be Typhoon. Forming part of a lethal three-year-old crop of trotters last season, which included new stablemate Blitzthemcalder, they were unanimously touted as the best group of the modern era. Having returned in style with a brave second first-up, the signs are positive for the progeny of exciting stallion Majestic Son. It doesn’t get any easier this week though, with Demmler having to take on the very same horse who defeated him in the heat, Unico Crown. “He went super first-up, I’ve always liked him but last year was his first year of racing. He went out for a spell and he’s come back a bit stronger which I was hoping he would,” he said. “He did a good job to sit outside Dean’s horse but I think on Friday night he will have a bit of a task again because that horse is drawn inside us again but I’m sure we’ll take benefit from the first run.” It’s often noted that leaping from age-restricted racing to the open class isn’t the easiest transition. With that in the back of his mind, Demmler isn’t setting overly lofty ambitions however he believes that ‘Typhoon’ has all the attributes needed to take the step up. “He’s pretty right, he’s good from a stand and he’s got good manners so that sort of helps him,” he said. “It was a race I targeted a long time ago thinking he was probably good enough; to do what he did in one year, I think he should be able to go through his classes pretty quickly.” The other news to emerge from the stable is that Blitzthemcalder will have his first run for the team next Friday night in a TM0-1 race at Tabcorp Park Melton before heading to Sydney for the Chambers Challenge on Inter Dominion day. By Blake Redden (Harness Racing Australia)

Mike Ward won the Group One New Zealand Messenger Championship in 1996, but Saturday’s victory by Majestic Time in the Group Three $25,000 Neumann’s Hambletonian Classic at Ashburton was his career highlight. Ward owned and bred Decision Time but Mark Purdon trained him for 10 days before that Messenger triumph. “I think this win is even sweeter because even although we also bred this filly, and our family also owns her, I did the training this time round,” the West Melton horseman said. Majestic Time was the fourth favourite in Saturday’s 1609 metre mobile trot and paid $9 to win. She and driver Ken Barron had 1-1/2 lengths and a length to spare over place-getters, Any Old way (Paul Nairn) and Thebestlove (Anthony Butt). Winner’s time: 1:58.6. Last 800m: 58.4. 27.8. Majestic Time is owned by Ward, his wife Pauline, daughter Susan, and son Craig. “I’ve always had a bit of time for her. That’s why I gave my kids a share in her. I didn’t want to give them a dud,” Ward said. The bay filly is by Majestic Son out of the Ward owned and trained five-win ($54,939) Sundon mare, Time To Shine. She left four foals but died last year while foaling to a Muscles Yankee filly. “It’s a real honour to win a big race like the Hambletonian. It’s a prestigious race, especially here in Canterbury. She will make a good broodmare one day,” 63-year-old Ward said. He said there was still one win he would now dearly love to win – the Group Three New Zealand Trotting Oaks at Addington on April 4. “It’s the only major race on the calendar where she will get to take on her on sex. She beat the boys and girls on Saturday and should be tough to roll against the fillies. “But this is racing and you can never take anything for granted because you just don’t know who is going to come out of the woodwork, especially from the North Island,” said Ward who is a builder by trade and works three horses at West Melton. Mark Purdon won the last three Hambletonian Classics with Paramount Queen (2013 in 1:59.7), Escapee (2012 in 1:59.5), and Kylie Ree (2011 in 1:59.9). Purdon might not have won yesterday’s big trot but he and co-trainer Natalie Rasmussen did claim their own Group Three prize on Saturday when he drove Follow The Stars to win the $25,000 Teltrack Sapling Stakes for 2-year-old pacers. Isaiah also won the same race from him in 1:57.2 last year, but Follow The Stars beat that time recording a blistering a 1:53.2. The Geoff Dunn trained Venus Serena was again brilliant in the third heat of the $15,000 Nevele R Fillies heat, recording the fastest mile of the day in a lightning 1:52.2. Driver John Dunn late last month told HRNZ the 3-year-old Mach Three filly was the best horse he had driven. She further endorsed that reputation on Saturday with her quickest career mile win, and 10th in 15 starts. Venus Serena has now banked $434,152 in stakes. Ashburton again proved to be one of the fastest tracks in New Zealand on Saturday when the 10 races carded all produced sub two-win miles. In fact Majestic Time’s 1:58.6 triumph was the slowest of the day. By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)

One of Canada’s harness racing greats is coming ‘Down Under’. Rick Zeron left Canada bound for Perth, via Dubai, last night (Tuesday). He and his wife of 34 years, Joyce, will return to Oakville in Ontario on March 4. As at Tuesday (February 4), Zeron had driven 7,711 winners ($103 million) from 46,454 starters and trained a further 2,120 ($27 million) more from 8,916 attempts. “I’m going to visit friends in Perth and then we will be heading to Sydney. There is a good chance we will attend the Inter Dominion grand final. “New Zealand is also a possibility because we know that is a very beautiful country. It would be great to see how both countries operate their racing,” Zeron said. The 57-year-old said he had never been to New Zealand and Australia. “It’s been a life-time goal. My wife and I had planned to head down there in five or six years, but I said to her, ‘what the hell’, let’s do it now. We are really excited about it,” Zeron said. Zeron shifted from Connaught Park to Blue Bonnets in 1982 and soon established himself as one of Quebec’s top driver, winning the Blue Bonnets driving premiership seven times from 1986-1994. For seven consecutive years he was also the leading stakes earner seven times and top UDR strike rate driver on five occasions. In 1995 he moved to the Woodbine and Mohawk circuits and has been one of their top reinsmen ever since. His Little Brown Jug (Michael’s Power, 2012) winning son, Scott, is now one of Canada’s best reinsman, and recently moved to New Jersey to further his name at the surrounding big tracks like the Meadowlands. On March 21 last year he became the youngest driver in history to win 2,000 races. He was just two months shy of his 24th birthday. His father explained why he believed his son was so good in the sulky: “I told him if you ever get a chance to put a good horse in the race, do exactly that, but if you are driving a poor horse I said to him to sit back and run on late and try and get a cheque for the owners. “I also told him if I ever saw him flogging a horse with his stick like a crazed monkey he would never make it in the game.” That epitomises why Zeron senior has made his name in North American harness racing circles. Last year he drove 106 winners ($3 million) and trained 43 ($959,921). Zeron has no driving assignments in Australia or New Zealand. Zeron’s major wins include (with years in brackets): CANADIAN TROT CLASSIC (96) Classic Adam CASUAL BREEZE (04) Sunshinenlollipops CHAMPLAIN STAKE (90) Prudhomme (98) Blissfull Hall (02) Moma’s Millionaire (02) Boulder Creek (03) Character Counts (05) Majestic Son (07) Intimidator (07) If And Only If (08) Hibbler COLONIAL LADY (00) Hornby Jean DYGERT MEMORIAL (95) Tak The Tuk FRANK RYAN MEMORIAL (06) Stiletto GENERAL BROCK FINAL (96) Yentls Iceman (04) Deadmans Curve HARVEST (03) Character Counts MAPLE LEAF TROT (98) Hanko Angus ROBERT STEWART MEM. (95) SOS Ninja SIMCOE STAKE (90) Osgood Hanover (96) Look Whos Cumin (99) Hawaiian Dancer (00) Ladys A President (03) EZ Past (07) Hagi   By Duane Ranger (Harness Racing New Zealand)

DOVER, Del.----Traverse Seelster had to take the long route on the way to his second straight $20,000 Open/Handicap trot win on a chilly Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Dover Downs. Corey Callahan pulled Traverse Seelster to the outside in front of the grandstand and steadily moved on the outside chasing the leader, Modern Family and Daryl Bier, who had a big lead heading to the final turn. Callahan was able to duck in second for a short stretch before coming out to challenge Modern Family in a stretch duel which resulted in Traverse Seelster getting up to win by half-a-length in 1:53. Keith Pippi owns the Ontario-bred Angus Hall-Tavelin Lavec gelding who won for the 23rd time in his career while building up $435,009 bankroll. Modern Family held on for second. Awsome Valley and Tony Morgan closed well to finish third. In a $15,500 Winners-Over trot, Backstreet Hanover made his first appearance at the track a winning one. Eric Carlson drove the Allan Johnson-trained six-year-old Andover Hall-Bye Bye Kerry mare to an impressive 1:54.1 triumph. The win for the David Hamm-owned lass was her third in the last four trips and fourth in her last six starts. A 16-race winner, Backstreet Hanover has now won $290,950 lifetime. Spunky Jack (Roger Plante) was the show finisher. Pounce Hanover game driver Vic Kirby his fourth victory scoring a 1:54 victory in a $15,000 4&5-Year-Old Winners-Over trot. Kirby also trains the winner for ownership partners Mike Hill and Chris Giaccio. Ideal Revenue (Mike Rossi) closed strongly for second in front of Ashes Cash (Wolfenden). Since the four-year-old altered son of Majestic Son-Playwood Donerail, Pouncer Hanover has come into the Kirby Stable; he has three wins and three seconds in six races. Former Dover Downs champion Tim Tetrick celebrated getting an OK from his doctor to return driving by watching Line Item, a trotter he owns with trainer Jim King, make the winner's circle in an $11,500 4&5-Year-Old trot after a 1:56 victory. Vic Kirby led all drivers with four wins, Corey Callahan, Ross Wolfenden, owner-trainer Joe Hundertfund had three winners. Trainer Leigh Raymer had a double. Special Forces returns in $30,000 Pace Special Forces beat Rock On Moe by a nose to win last week’s $30,000 Preferred/Handicap pace. They return Thursday along with Nova Artist and Dancin Yankee in the feature. Sunshine Superman and All Stienam are fresh from wins last time and meet in the $27,500 Delaware Special on another top card, on Jan 30 at Dover Downs. Post time is 4:30 p.m. The sport’s 2014 leading driver Corey Callahan will again drive Special Forces for William Robinson, Mike Mallett and Country Club Enterprises who became the first sub 1:50 winner of the year a week ago. JLRL’s Rock On Moe, with George Dennis, overlooked at 17-1 closed to within a nose of victory, while local favorite Nova Artist, is a five-time winner this meet driven by Allan Davis for owners Eddie and Kathy Davis. The rest of the highly competitive field is made up of Ken Wood, Bill Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta’s Adventure Bound and driver Ron Pierce, who must overcome starting from outside post 8, Harry von Knoblauch’s Texican N teamed with Ross Wolfenden. A Cool Card, handled by Trace Tetrick, leaves from the rail for owners Ken Duffy, Shim Racing, Paymaq Racing and Mystical Marker Farms with Trevor Stafford’s Bigtown Hero and Art Stafford, alongside. Sunshine Superman, owned, trained and driven by Toby Lynch returns after a powerful wire-to-wire win last week in the $28,500 Delaware Special. J,J&M Stable and Green Racing’s All Stienam (Chris Page) steps up after consecutive Open pace wins, while Full Of Sand (Callahan) racing for Brit Evans and Foulk Stables, from post 1 and Robin and Jay Breasure’s People  Are Crazy (Pierce), directly behind in post 9, second tier, were both second-place finishers in their last outings. The rest of the field is: Heavenly Way’s Jeremy’s Successor (Trace Tetrick), Kovach Stable’s Feel Like A Fool (George Dennis), Max Walton and Greg Papaleo’s Mustang Art (Ron Pierce) and Legacy Racing and Reg Hazzard’s Papa Ray (Ross Wolfenden). A strong undercard features an $18,000 Open, three $15,000 Winners-Over and a $25,000-$30,000 Claiming Handicap pace on the 15-race program. by Marv Bachrad for Dover Downs  

The Group Three Hambletonian Classic is next on the agenda for the classy Tim Butt trained three-year-old trotter Thebestlove, who set a new New Zealand record for 3YO trotters at Rangiora today. “He is a lovely trotter, who I think can go a fair way,” said driver Anthony Butt, after the gelding made it two wins from as many starts. “He has speed, he can stay, and the manners are there also, so he really is the all-round package,” he explained. Thebestlove had a slight bobble just as the gate got rolling, but Butt said that was more his fault than anything. “I had him way back off the gate, so he just panicked trying to chase it,” said Butt. “He came down quickly though and actually left the gate really well. After finding the front, Butt let the son of Love You and Kathy Galleon roll, before increasing the tempo further down the back straight. “I knew the hardest horse to beat (Lothario) was outside me so I wanted to make sure he worked,” Butt explained. Thebestlove had two lengths to spare on Lothario at the line, with a further two lengths back to K D Muscles in third. His time of 2-29.0 (1-59.8) shaved 0.4 of a second off the former three-year-old record of Paramount Geegee, who also set his record at Rangiora. Through a new incentive brought in at the last Rangiora board meeting, the connections of Thebestlove picked up an extra $3,000 on top of the stake due to the fact he set a New Zealand record, while his breeder also picked up $1,000. “He is out of a speedy type in Kathy Galleon (6 starts, 3 wins), while his sire Love You should add a bit of toughness,” analyzed Butt.  When asked if there had been any interest in the young trotting talent, Butt said that Thebestlove probably wouldn’t be for sale. “He is co-owned by the richest man in New Zealand (Graham Beirne),” quipped Butt. Meanwhile, Butt was very happy when news came through that Mah Sish had drawn number one for Saturday’s $A400,000 Hunter Cup. “He is generally a really good beginner, so I am very happy with the draw,” he enthused . “We will be doing our best to hold up and won’t be handing to anyone,” he added. Another to impress at Rangiora today was last season’s 2yo Harness Jewels runner-up Majestic Time (Majestic Son – Time To Shine), who trotted just 1.6 seconds slower than Thebestlove when effortlessly downing his maiden rivals by 2 & ¼ lengths.  He will also compete in the Hambletonian Classic on February 8. By Mitchell Robertson

The second annual Australasian Premier Trotting Sale, sponsored by Pryde’s EasiFeed, will be held on Sunday, March 23 at Tabcorp Park Melton, the day following the running of the Group 1 $400,000 Great Southern Star. The sale has attracted 44 nominations – up from 40 last year – and will feature the cream of the crop of Australia's trotting yearlings. And, to give the sale a truly international flavour, 40 percent of the catalogue are out of overseas mares – three USA, 14 NZ and one Europe. Duncan McPherson, a Director of the sales company, said: “The sale represents an opportunity for purchasers to buy at any level of the market. With 18 stallions represented there’s a horse in the sale for every pocket. Never before in Australia has such an offering and variety of yearlings been made available to the Harness industry. “Full credit goes to the vendors of the yearlings who have shown great faith not only in the sale but also in the initiatives taken by Harness Racing Victoria in its efforts to internationalise and globalise the Trotter.” A feature of the sale will be the first Australian crop of former USA superstar and now siring sensation Muscle Hill. He will be represented by two colts, one out of a half-sister to Calder Sensation and to the dam of Blitzthemcalder, and the other from the American-bred Let’s Be Happy, the mother of Vicbred heat winner Verbier. Muscles Yankee, the sire of Muscle Hill, has a single entry, a filly out of the multiple Group 1 winner Adella’s Dash, dam of the SA Trotters Derby winner Glenferrie Dreamer. Muscles Yankee’s highest stakes earning entire son ‘Down Under’, Skyvalley ($322,675), has by far the biggest draft with seven fillies and two colts. The top picks could be the colt out of former top racemare Jauriol, the colt from the sister to Swedish star Yield Boko and fillies out of Aldebaran Dream (Vic. Trotters Oaks) and the Muscles Yankee mare Charming Yankee. Besides Muscles Yankee and his sons, the catalogue boasts stock by established sires such as Angus Hall, Majestic Son, Pegasus Spur, Monarchy and Conch Deville and the exciting newcomers Bacardi Lindy, Federal Flex, Great Success, Lawman, Armbro Variable, The Pres, Bad Boy Truscott, Tennotrump, Aldebaran Yankee and Zooma. Angus Hall, one of America’s most successful sires of all-time, has four nominations including a gelding from the 1:57 $150,000 winning Muscles Yankee mare Lindy’s Two Step, two colts out of mares from the wonderful Maori Miss tribe and a colt from the classics-winning Pinevale Ellason. Another sire with a strong representation at the sale is Majestic Son, last year’s leading sire of two-year-old trotters. His five entries include a half-brother to the Vicbred champion Split Image, a colt out of a half-sister to Skyvalley and Allegro Agitato, a half-brother to the Derby placegetter Our Dreamlover and a filly out of a half-sister to the cup class trotter Danny Cash. While Pegasus Spur, the sire of three Breeders Crown champions, has fillies out of Shez Allrighty ($85,431), Kyvalley Bling (family of Kyvalley Road) and the Muscles Yankee mare Aldebaran Honey and a colt out of Maori Sunshine (Lightfoot Laurels). Other well performed racemares with progeny in the sale include the Trotters Oaks winner Running Pinevale, Speedy Naomi ($77,316), Aldebaran Maori ($74,581), Cloud Chaser (VSTA Cup), Poppy, Strike Destroyer, Enjoy A Champers and the Breeders Crown placegetter Pocket Fantasy. There’s a sister to the dual Vicbred champion Brunelleschi and close relatives to a swag of Group and Cup winning trotters including Galleon’s Assassin, Merinai, Spidergirl, Danny Bouchea, Stoned I Am, National Interest, My Missindependent, Jazz Legend and Tucumcari. All prospective purchasers should note that the $7,000 Vicbred First Win bonus is applicable to Vicbred eligible horses as is Breeders Crown and Need For Speed Series. All purchasers are encouraged to become members of the Victorian Harness Racing Sports Club as owners bonuses are available to all those horses owned by members in selected events during their racing careers. The online catalogue for the Australasian Premier Trotting sale can be viewed at www.austrottingsale.com.au Hard-copy catalogues can be requested from Harness Racing Victoria on phone 8378 0200 in early February. by Peter Wharton

While trotting maestro Paul Nairn is confident of a bold showing from One Over Da Moon on Sunday at Motukarara, he is not prepared to declare last season’s two-year-old Jewels champion a winner. “I don’t think he will be able to make his own luck and win on Sunday but with the right run he is definitely capable of doing so,” said Nairn. “He is as fit as I can have him without having a trial under his belt, but in saying that he will definitely improve off the run.” Nairn said that while the grass track is a slight concern for the three-year-old son of Majestic Son and champion mare One Over Kenny, he thinks he will handle it okay. “He has done a bit of work down the roadside, which is pretty similar to racing on a grass track,” explained Nairn. Nairn also expects his rising star to cope with the standing start. “He is generally a very quick beginner at home, so I am hoping he will translate that to race day,” said Nairn. One Over Da Moon, who won five of his eleven starts as a two-year-old, is likely to race again at Addington on January 31st, before honing in on his first main target – the $25,000 Hambletonian at Ashburton on February 8th. “I want to give him a couple of standing starts before the Hambletonian, as last time in he got quite fiery behind the mobile. While Nairn thinks One Over Da Moon is a good chance from his 20 metre back mark on Sunday, he is vulnerable, which opens things up for up and coming trotter Spell. “She is a very nice wee trotter with a lot of ability,” said co-trainer Peter Jones. “She was extremely tied up at Nelson last start, which makes her run for second even more impressive. She seems better now, so I expect her to be very hard to beat from her front mark.” Meanwhile, Nairn confirmed that champion trotter Stig is back in work after a two week let-up. “We have nothing set in concrete for him at the moment, we will just see how he is feeling,” said Nairn. “He is unlikely to head to Australia for the Great Southern Star, but we may give him a crack at going back-to-back in the Rowe Cup,” Nairn concluded. By Mitchell Robertson

DOVER, Del.--- Traverse Seelster made his first start in a month a winning one taking the $20,000 Open trot in 1:53.1 Lovely Vacation turned in a 1:55.4 succcess in the $15,000 Winners-Over sub-feature trot at Dover Downs on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Corey Callahan and Ron Pierce drove four winners each. Meet leading, and currently the sport's leading driver in 2014, Corey Callahan guided Traverse Seelster into the lead early and led seven rivals home in 1:53.1. The holder of the track record for an older trotter notched his 22 lifetime win earning $425,009 in purses. Awsome Valley, who had been racing on-the-lead with Tony Morgan in recent starts, closed along the passing lane from third to finish second. Modern Family and Daryl Bier challenged for the lead but had to accept third. Keith Pippi owns Traverse Seelster, an Angus Hall-Travelin Lavec gelding, trained by Josh Green. Lovely Vacation and Ron Pierce started from post 1 and controlled the action scoring a 1:55.4 wire-to-wire victory in the $15,000 Winners-Over Handicap trot. Nick Surick conditions the Majestic Son-Short Vacation five-year-old mare, the only female in the event, for owner Diane Giuliano. Can Do (Vic Kirby) closed well for second-place honors with I'm So Striking (Eddie Dennis), who had a two-race win streak halted, finishing third. Jailhouse Juice streaked down the lane to overtake Pounce Hanover (Vic Kirby), to win the $14,500 4&5-Year-Old trot in a career fastest 1:54.4. Trained and driven by Toby Lynch, owns the Jailhouse Jesse-Wine Chip gelding with his son Jason Lynch. Amiga Valley (Montrell Teague) picked up third money. Both Corey Callahan and Ron Pierce scored a 'grand slam' driving four winners apiece. A $30,000 Preferred, $27,500 Delaware Special and a $17,500 Open pace tops a strong Thursday card. by Marv Bachrad fo Dover Downs  

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